Spiritual Experiences (Interim Diary) #4545

By Emanuel Swedenborg
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4545. Spiritual Experiences (Interim Diary)

[NCBSP: The numbered sections in this work really nest inside a larger work, titled Spiritual Experiences. See the footnote below for a fuller explanation.] 1

About order in regard to conscience

The first plane is the innermost of the rational mind, and pertains to inner sight thus to love to the Lord, consequently to goodness and to the goodness of truth. The second plane is the middle of the rational mind, and pertains to the conscience of goodness and truth, thus to piety, and is the plane of the Church and the Kingdom of the Lord. The third plane is that of the conscience of what is just and fair - thus of one's function in civil life - consequently that of society and of the common good, pertaining to the lower rational mind. The fourth plane is that of honorableness and good manners, thus that of getting along, that is, among friends and acquaintances, and pertains to the physical faculties. These planes can be joined together, and the more inward flow into the more outward, in which case the outermost plane, namely of what is honorable and good manners, is good, because it flows in from its own proper origin.


1. For some years, Swedenborg made a practice of recording his spiritual experiences in a sort of diary, with numbered paragraphs. From Odhner's translator's preface, here's a description of how this section of Swedenborg's diary came to be treated as a distinct work:

"For a period after [Swedenborg] had written paragraph 4544, however, the manuscript was not available to him, [he was travelling, and probably the quarto-sized volume was inconveniently large] and he therefore started afresh with paragraph 4545 in a new, smaller (octavo) blank volume. Its paragraphs he numbered up to 4715, leaving some at the end unnumbered. I refer to this text, formerly called [by Tafel, an earlier translator], the "Minor Diary" as the "Interim Diary," differentiating it from the main text by adding an a to its numbers. When Swedenborg again had access to the main tome, he continued documenting his experiences in it, resuming with the number 4545 and continuing to number 6096 along with 15 unnumbered paragraphs and a notation in Swedish.

[NCBSP: We have not adopted Odhner's numbering method with the added letter a after the paragraph number. Instead, we just use the numbers, and ask readers to recognize that, e.g. Section 4600 in Spiritual Experiences (Interim Diary) is different, and considerably earlier in time, than #4600 in the main Spiritual Experiences work. For readers wishing to fit this into its timeline and context, the preceding section is Spiritual Experiences 4544 and the one that follows the end of this work would be Spiritual Experiences 4545.]

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