157. About the disturbance of my understanding due to the dissension of spirits
Sometimes spirits were granted the opportunity or freedom to disagree about some matter, to the point that one held a different opinion than the other. This very readily happens when there is a slight slackening [of bonds] and freeing [from constraints]. Then instantly, my mind becomes so confused that I understand almost nothing of what lies hidden in the more inward level of meaning [of the Word]. It is as if darkness comes over the understanding and blots out the light.
I have experienced this several times, with great indignation. For sometimes spirits reasoning together - who can be called "reasonings," but want to be hailed as angels of understanding - are given the opportunity to dispute among themselves. From this, a like turmoil arises among lower spirits that utterly confuses the mind and utterly deprives it of the light of truth.
This is a severe trial, when the mind is concentrated on the necessity of thinking - demanded by one's conscience, which I could not resist - and at the same time one seems to lose all patience, and one's mind is anguished by the fear of overlooking that obligation. 1747, 22 August (old calendar).
This takes place also for the reason that the spirits centered on understanding want to be distinguished from reasoning ones, thus to be called angels, when yet they also are spirits, and really the least intelligent when they are left to themselves. Therefore angels are spirits, and in fact, not good when left to themselves; but they are angels when they let themselves be governed by God the Messiah. About this fact I spoke with them today, but they were very indignant - and so, it was proven to them by an actual experience.