10751. THE FIFTH PLANET OUT IN SPACE - continued
Afterwards I was allowed to talk to those spirits about their planet. For all spirits know how to talk, when their natural or external memory is opened by the Lord; they bring that memory with them from the world, but it is opened only at the Lord's discretion. The ones to whom I was talking said of the planet to which they belonged that when permitted to do so they appear as people to inhabitants of their planet and talk to them. The way this is done is by their being taken back to their natural or external memory and consequently to the thought-level that had been theirs when they lived in the world; and at the same time the inhabitants have their interior sight or the sight of their spirit opened for them. This is how the spirits appear to the inhabitants. They added that those inhabitants are unaware of them as anything other than people living on that planet, and that the inhabitants first realize that they are not ordinary people when they are withdrawn suddenly from their sight. I told them that people in ancient times on our own planet, such as Abraham, Sarah, Lot, the inhabitants of Sodom, Manoah and his wife, Joshua, Mary, Zechariah 1 , and the prophets in general had had the same experience. I said that the Lord had appeared in the same way, and that those who saw Him were unaware of His being anyone other than a person living on our planet, until He revealed who He really was. But at the present day, I said, people are rarely given this experience, for fear that such things will compel them to believe; for belief instilled under compulsion, such as that which miracles induce, is short-lived. Furthermore that kind of experience would do harm to those who are capable of having belief implanted in them by means of the Word, in a state in which there is no such compulsion.
1. i.e. the father of John the Baptist. The Latin says Elisabeth, but in the New Testament Zechariah is the one to whom the angel of the Lord appears.