Arcana Coelestia #227

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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227. But seeing that the origin of perception, dictate, and conscience needs to be known, it being totally unknown at the present day, let some reference be made to it here. It is a momentous truth that the Lord governs man by means of spirits and angels. When evil spirits start to have dominion, angels set to work to ward off evils and falsities, as a consequence of which conflict arises. And it is by means of perception, dictate, and conscience that a person comes to feel this conflict. These, together with temptations, make it possible for a person to become plainly aware of the fact that spirits and angels are residing with him, provided he is not so totally engrossed in bodily interests that he believes nothing he is told about spirits and angels. Consequently if such people were to experience conflict a hundred times over they would still call them delusions and the result of some mental disturbance. I have been allowed almost constantly for several years now to experience thousands of times these conflicts and the resultant feeling, and also to know who those spirits and angels were, what they were like, where they came from, when they arrived, and when they went away; and I have talked to them.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.