DISEASE >> Cupidities >> Passions
>> Lower Mind >> Intemperance
>> Luxury >> Bodily Pleasures
>> Envy >> Hatred >> Revenge
>> Lewdness >> Hells >> Evils >> Sin
As the correspondence of diseases is to be treated of, be it known that all diseases in man have correspondence with the spiritual world; for whatever in universal nature has not correspondence with the spiritual world cannot exist, having no cause from which to exist, consequently from which to subsist. The things that are in nature are nothing but effects; their causes are in the spiritual world, and the causes of these causes, which are ends, are in the interior heaven. Nor can the effect subsist unless the cause is constantly in it, because the effect ceases when the cause ceases. Regarded in itself the effect is nothing else than the cause, but so clothed outwardly as to enable the cause to act as a cause in a lower sphere. Similar to the relation of the effect to the cause is that between the cause and the end; unless a cause also exists from its cause, which is an end, it is not a cause; for a cause without an end is a cause in no order, and where there is no order nothing is effected. From this it is now plain that regarded in itself an effect is a cause, and that regarded in itself a cause is an end, and that an end of good is in heaven and proceeds from the Lord; consequently that an effect is not an effect unless a cause is in it, and constantly in it; and that a cause is not a cause unless an end is in it, and constantly in it; and that an end is not an end of good unless the Divine which proceeds from the Lord is in it. Hence it is also plain that as each and all things in the world have come forth from the Divine, they continue to come forth from the Divine. [AC 5711]
These things have been said in order that it may be known that diseases also have correspondence with the spiritual world; not a correspondence with heaven, which is the Grand Man, but with those who are in what is opposite, thus with those who are in the hells. By the spiritual world in the universal sense is meant both heaven and hell; for when man dies he passes out of the natural into the spiritual world. That diseases have correspondence with such is because they correspond to the cupidities and passions of the lower mind, which are also their origins; for the origins of diseases are, in general, intemperance, luxury of various kinds, mere bodily pleasures, as also feelings of envy, hatred, revenge, lewdness, and the like, which destroy man’s interiors; and when these are destroyed the exteriors suffer, and drag man into disease, and so into death. It is known in the church that the death of man is from evils, or on account of sin; and it is the same with diseases, for these belong to death. From all this it is evident that even diseases have correspondence with the spiritual world, but with unclean things there; for diseases are in themselves unclean, because as before said they spring from unclean things. [AC 5712]
All the infernals induce diseases, but with a difference, for the reason that all the hells are in the desires and lusts of evil, and thus are contrary to the things of heaven; wherefore they act upon man from what is opposite. Heaven, which is the Grand Man, holds all things together in connection and safety; hell, being in what is opposite, destroys and severs all things. Consequently if the infernals are applied they induce diseases and at last death. Yet they are not permitted to flow as far as into the solid parts of the body, or into the parts of which man’s viscera, organs, and members consist, but merely into his cupidities and falsities. It is only when the man falls into disease that they flow into such unclean things as belong to the disease; for as before said nothing ever takes place in man without a cause in the spiritual world. If the natural with man were separated from the spiritual, it would be separated from all cause of existence, and thus from all that is vital. Yet this does not hinder man’s being healed in a natural way; for the Lord’s providence concurs with such means. That this is so has been given me to know by much experience, and this so often and for so long that no doubt was left; for evil spirits from such places have been applied to me often and long, and according to their presence they induced pains, and also diseases. I was shown where they were, and what they were, and was told also where they came from. [AC 5713]
One who in the life of the body had been a consummate adulterer, and had made his highest delight consist in committing adultery with many women, whom he immediately afterward discarded and held in aversion, persisted in such practices even to old age. Moreover he had also been devoted to pleasures, and did not desire to act well to anyone and do him a service, except for his own sake, especially for the sake of his adultery. He was with me for several days, being seen under the feet; and when the sphere of his life was communicated to me, to whatever part he came he inflicted a pain in the periosteums and nerves of that part, as for instance in the toes of the left foot; and when he was permitted to rise up he inflicted pain in the parts where he was, especially in the periosteums in the loins, and in the periosteums of the breast under the diaphragm, and also in the interior of the teeth. While his sphere was operating it caused also great oppression in the stomach. [AC 5714]
There once appeared a great quadrangular opening that extended obliquely downward to a considerable depth. In the deep was seen a round opening, which was then open but presently was closed. From it exhaled a dangerous heat, collected from various hells, and arising from cupidities of various kinds, as from arrogance, lewdness, adultery, hatred, revenge, quarrels, and fights, from which arise in the hells such heat as exhaled. When it acted upon my body it instantly brought on disease like that of a burning fever; but when it ceased to flow in, this effect of disease at once ceased. When a man falls into such a disease as he has contracted from his life, then forthwith an unclean sphere corresponding to the disease attaches itself, and is present as a fomenting cause. That I might know for certain that this is the case, there have been spirits with me from a number of hells, through whom the sphere of exhalations thence was communicated; and according as it was permitted to act upon the solid parts of the body, I was seized with oppression, with pain, even with the corresponding disease, which ceased in an instant then those spirits were driven away; and that no room for doubt might be left, this has been done a thousand times. [AC 5715]
There are also spirits not far therefrom who infuse unclean colds, like those of a shivering fever, as has been granted me to know by experience. The same spirits induce such things as disturb the mind, and they also bring on swoons. The spirits from this neighborhood are most malicious. [AC 5716]
There are some who not only relate to the most viscid substances of the brain, which are its excrementitious things, but also know how to infect them as if with poisons. When such spirits arrive they rush within the skull, and thence by continuity even into the spinal marrow. This cannot be felt by those whose interiors are not open. It has been given me plainly to feel the inroad, and also the effort to destroy me; but this was vain, because I was protected by the Lord. They strove to take away from me all the capacity of the intellect. I plainly felt their operation, and felt also pain from it, which however soon ceased. I afterward spoke to them, and they were compelled to confess whence they were. They said that they lived in dark forests, where they durst not injure their companions, because in that case their companions were allowed to treat them cruelly. Thus they are kept in bonds. They are ugly, having the face of a wild beast, and hairy. I was told that they are such as had formerly slain whole armies, as we read in the Word; for they rushed into the chambers of everyone’s brain, and inspired terror, together with such madness that they killed each other. At the present day such spirits are kept shut up within their own hell, and are not let out. These too bear relation to deadly tumors of the head within the skull. It was said above that they rush within the skull and by continuity therefrom even into the spinal marrow; but be it known that it is only an appearance that the spirits themselves rush in, they being borne along outside by a way which corresponds to the spaces in question within the body, which is felt within as if there were an inroad. This sensation is caused by correspondence, from which their operation is easily brought to bear upon the man to whom it is directed. [AC 5717]
There is a certain kind of spirits who, because they wish to have dominion, and to be sole rulers over all others, to this end stir up enmities, hatreds, and fights among others. I have seen the consequent fights, and wondered at them. I inquired who they were, and was told that they were that kind of spirits who excite such passions because they are bent on being sole rulers, according to the maxim, Divide and rule. It was also granted me to talk with them, and they immediately said that they rule all. But it was given to answer that they were insanity personified if they sought to establish their rule by such means. They talked with me from above at a middle height over the forehead. They spoke with fluency, because in the bodily life they had excelled in eloquence. I was instructed that they are such as relate to the thick phlegm of the brain, from which organ they take away vitality by their presence, and induce on it torpor, whence come obstructions, giving rise to a number of diseases, as well as to dulnesses.
 It was noticed that they were devoid of all conscience, and that they made human prudence and wisdom to consist in stirring up enmities, hatreds, and intestine fights, in order to rule. It was given to ask them whether they know that they are now in the other life, where they are to live to eternity, and that there are spiritual laws there which utterly forbid such actions, and that while they were in the world they might among fools be esteemed and believed to be wise, but that among the wise they are insane. This displeased them. I continued, that they ought to know that heaven consists in mutual love, or that of one toward another, whence there is order in heaven, whereby so many myriads are ruled as one; but that the contrary is the case with them, because they instigate others to breathe against their companions nothing but what savors of hatred, revenge, and cruelty. They replied that they cannot be other than they are; whereupon it was given to say that from this they may know that everyone’s life remains with him after death. [AC 5718]
They who despise and ridicule the Word in the letter, and still more who do this to the things contained therein in the deeper sense, and consequently to the doctrinal things that are from the Word, and who at the same time are in no love toward the neighbor, but are in the love of self, bear relation to the vitiated things of the blood, which find their way to all the veins and arteries, and taint the whole mass. Lest by their presence they should bring anything of the kind upon man, they are kept separate from others in their own hell, and communicate only with those who are of this nature; for these throw themselves into the breath and sphere of that hell. [AC 5719]
Hypocrites have been with me, those namely who have spoken in a holy manner about Divine things, and with an affection of love about the public and the neighbor, and have borne witness to what is just and equitable, and yet in their heart have despised and even laughed at these things. When they were permitted to flow into the parts of the body to which they correspond by opposition, they inflicted pain on the teeth, so severe on their nearest presence that I could not bear it; and in proportion as they were removed, the pain ceased. This was shown repeatedly, that no doubt might remain. Among them was one whom I had known in the life of his body, and I therefore spoke to him; and at his presence also there was pain in the teeth and gums. When he was raised upward to the left, the pain attacked the left jaw, and invaded the bone of the left temple down to the bones of the cheek. [AC 5720]
The most stubborn of all are they who during their life in the body had appeared more just than others, and had also been established in dignity, and on both accounts had authority and weight, and yet had believed nothing, and had lived a mere life of the love of self, being inflamed with inward hatred and revenge against all who did not favor them, and pay them reverence, and still more against those who in any way opposed them. If in these they detected any blemish they made an enormous evil of it, and defamed them, even though they might be among the best of citizens.
 In the other life such persons speak as they had done in this world, with authority and weight, and as if from justice; wherefore many suppose that they are to be believed above others. Yet they are most malicious. When they are applied to a man, they induce great pain by weariness, which they continually inflate and increase, even to the utmost impatience; which induces so great a weakness in the mind and in consequence in the body that the man can scarcely rise from his bed. This was shown me by such weakness seizing me when they were present, and yet ceasing according to the degree in which they were removed.
 They make use of many an art in order to infuse weariness and consequent weakness, especially by means of disparagements and defamations among themselves and their associates, whose common sphere they inject. When these persons reason within their closets about Divine worship, faith, and eternal life, they utterly reject them, and this they do as from a pre-eminent wisdom. In the other life they are willing to be called devils, provided they are allowed to rule over the hells, and thus from supreme power–as they believe–to act against the Divine. Inwardly they are filthy, because pre-eminently in the love of self, and thereby in hatred and revenge, and in cruelty against all who do not pay court to them.
 They are severely punished, as I have also heard, until they desist from leading others astray by an appearance of justice. When this appearance is taken away from them, they speak in another tone. They are afterward cast out from the world of spirits, and are then carried toward the left, and there are cast down deep into hell. Their hell is toward the left at a mid distance. [AC 5721]
There are others who in the life of the body have been most filthy, their filthiness being such as to be unmentionable. By their presence and influx into the solid parts of the body they induce a weariness of life, and such torpor in the members and limbs that the man cannot rise from his bed. They are very stubborn, and do not desist through penalties, as do other devils. They appear beside the head, and as if lying there. When they are driven away, it is not done suddenly, but gently, and they are then by degrees rolled down toward lower places; and when they come into the deep, they are tormented there so severely that they cannot but desist from infesting others. Such is their delight in doing evil that nothing is more delightful to them. [AC 5722]
There were spirits with me who induced so severe an oppression in the stomach that I seemed to myself scarcely able to live. The oppression was so great that with others it would have brought on a swoon. But they were removed, and then it at once ceased. I was told that such spirits are they who in the life of the body had been devoted to no pursuit, not even at home, but solely to pleasure, and besides had lived in foul idleness and sloth, and had not cared anything for others. Moreover they had despised the faith. In short, they had been animals, not men. The sphere of such produces numbness in the members and joints of the sick. [AC 5723]
There are in the brain viscidities in which is mingled something spirituous or vital, and these viscidities, expelled from the blood there, fall first among the meninges, then among the fibers, part of them into the great ventricles of the brain, and so on. The spirits who relate by correspondence to those viscidities which have something spirituous or some life in them, appear almost directly above the middle of the head at a mid distance, and are such that from habit acquired in the life of the body they stir scruples of conscience, and intrude in matters of no conscience, and in this way burden the conscience of the simple. Nor do they know what ought to engage the conscience, but make everything that occurs a matter of conscience. Such spirits induce a sensible anxiety in the part of the abdomen beneath the region of the diaphragm. They are also present in temptations, and inject anxieties, at times unbearable. Those of them who correspond to the viscous phlegm of less vitality then keep the thought fixed in these anxieties. Moreover when I have been in discourse with them, in order to know their quality, they tried in various ways to burden the conscience. This had been the delight of their life; and it was given me to notice that they cannot attend to reasons, and that they do not possess that more universal view of things that would enable them to see the singular ones. [AC 5724]
It has been granted me to learn by experience what an inundation or deluge is in the spiritual sense. Such an inundation is two-fold, one of cupidities, and the other of falsities. That which is of cupidities belongs to the will part, and is on the right side of the brain; but that which is of falsities belongs to the intellectual part, in which is the left side of the brain. When a man who has lived in good is remitted into his own, thus into the sphere of his own life, there then appears as it were an inundation; and when he is in this inundation he is indignant, angry, thinks restlessly, desires impetuously. This takes place in one way when the left side of the brain where there are falsities is inundated, and in another when the right side where evils are is inundated. But when the man is kept in the sphere of life which he had received from the Lord by regeneration, he is then entirely out of such an inundation, and is as it were in a serene and sunny, cheerful and happy state, thus far from indignation, anger, unrest, cupidities, and the like. This is the morning or springtime of spirits; the other is their evening or autumn. It was given me to perceive that I was outside this inundation, and this for quite a long time; while I saw that other spirits were in it. Afterward however I myself was immersed, and then I noticed the appearance of an inundation. In such an inundation are they who are in temptations. By it too I was instructed what the “flood” signifies in the Word–that the last posterity of the most ancient people, who were of the Lord’s celestial church, were completely inundated with evils and falsities, and thus perished. [AC 5725]
As death is from no other source than sin, and sin is all that which is contrary to Divine order, therefore evil closes the very smallest and most invisible vessels, of which are composed the next larger ones, also invisible; for the vessels which are smallest of all and wholly invisible are continued from man’s interiors. Hence comes the first and inmost obstruction, and hence the first and inmost vitiation into the blood. When this vitiation increases, it causes disease, and finally death. If however man had lived a life of good, his interiors would be open into heaven, and through heaven to the Lord; and so too would the very least and most invisible little vessels (the traces of the first threads may be called little vessels, on account of the correspondence). In consequence man would be without disease, and would merely decline to extreme old age, even until he became again a little child, but a wise one; and when the body could no longer minister to his internal man or spirit, he would pass without disease out of his earthly body into a body such as the angels have, thus out of the world directly into heaven. [AC 5726]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)