Disassembling Of ‘Self’ (8 mins)

Arcana Coelestia 6191. That man is governed by the Lord by means of angels and spirits, has been given me to know by experience so manifest as not to leave even the smallest doubt concerning it; for now through a course of many years all my thoughts and all my affections, even to the most minute of all, have flowed in by means of spirits and angels. This it has been given me to perceive so plainly that nothing could be more plain; for I have perceived, I have seen, and I have heard, who they were, what was their quality, and where they were. And when anything adverse fell into my thought or will, I have spoken with them and chided them. And I have also observed that the power they had of infusing such things was restrained by the angels; and also in what manner; and likewise often that they were driven away, and that then new spirits were present in their place, from whom again there was influx. It has also been given me to perceive whence those spirits came, or of what societies they were the subjects; and an opportunity of speaking with those societies themselves has likewise frequently been granted. And notwithstanding that everything, even to the most minute, of the thoughts and affections, flowed in through the spirits and angels, still I thought as before, and willed as before, and conversed with men as before, no difference from my former life being observed by anyone. I am aware that scarcely anyone will believe that such is the fact, but still it is an eternal verity.

AC 6192. It has been shown me to the life in what manner spirits flow in with man. When they come to him, they put on all things of his memory, thus all things which the man has learned and imbibed from infancy, and the spirits suppose these things to be their own. Thus they act as it were the part of the man in the man. But they are not allowed to enter further with a man than to his interiors which are of the thought and will, and not to the exteriors which are of the actions and speech; for these latter come into act by means of a general influx from the Lord without the mediation of particular spirits and angels. But although the spirits act the part of the man with a man in respect to those things which are of his thought and will, they nevertheless do not know that they are with a man, for the reason that they possess all things of his memory, and believe that these are not another’s, but their own; and this for the reason also that they may not injure the man. For unless the spirits from hell who are with a man believed these things to be their own, they would attempt in every way to destroy the man both body and soul, because this is the infernal delight itself.

AC 6193. As in this way spirits possess all things of a man’s thought and will, and angels things which are still more interior, and as the man is thus most closely conjoined with them, therefore the man must necessarily perceive and feel that it is he himself who thinks and wills; for the communications in the other life are of such a nature that in a society containing similar spirits each one believes that to be his own which is another’s. And therefore when the good come into heavenly society, they at once enter into all the intelligence and wisdom of that society, insomuch that they know no otherwise than that these are in themselves. And such also is the case with a man, and with a spirit who is attendant upon him. The things which flow in from the spirits who are from hell are evils and falsities, but those which flow in from the angels who are from heaven are goods and truths. Thus by means of influxes opposite to each other the man is kept in the midst, thus in freedom. As the things which flow in from the angels, flow in through the more inward interiors, they are not so apparent to the outward sense as are those which flow in from evil spirits. Moreover the angels are of such a character that they never desire to hear that the influxes of good and truth are from themselves, but that they are from the Lord, and they are indignant if it is thought otherwise; for they are in the manifest perception that it is so, and they love nothing more than to will and think not from themselves, but from the Lord. On the other hand, evil spirits are angry if told that they do not think and will from themselves, because this is contrary to the delight of their loves; and they are more angry when told that life is not in them, but that it flows in. When this is shown them by experience to the life, which has often been done, they then indeed confess that it is so, for they cannot speak contrary to experience; but still after some delay they deny it, and then they are not willing that it should be any further confirmed by experience.

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key Logopraxis principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.


  1. Janna King

    Perhaps this is obvious, but just in case: It isn’t only the self-glorying aspects of the proprium that can be subdued with this approach, but also the entrapment which is manifest as self -loathing inherent in any compulsions/addictions of the natural man. It is a wonderful tool for loosening identification with hell.

    • Sarah Walker

      Yes. I think that even self loathing is a form of self glorifying of the proprium – any state is that submits to the idea that the sense of self, the “I”, is real rather than an appearance.

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