196. FROM THE ARCANA COELESTIA.
Before a summary is given of what is written in the Arcana Coelestia, respecting temptations, something shall first be said concerning them, in order that it may be known still more clearly from whence they proceed. It is called spiritual temptation when the truths of faith which a man believes in his heart, and according to which he loves to live, are assaulted within him, especially when the good of love, in which he places his spiritual life, is assaulted. Those assaults take place in various ways; as by influx of scandals against truths and goods into the thoughts and the will; also by a continual drawing forth, and bringing to remembrance, of the evils which one has committed, and of the falsities which he has thought, thus by inundation of such things; and at the same time by an apparent shutting up of the interiors of the mind, and, consequently, of communication with heaven, by which the capacity of thinking from his own faith, and of willing from his own love, are intercepted. These things are effected by the evil spirits who are present with man; and when they take place, they appear under the form of interior anxieties and pains of conscience; for they affect and torment man's spiritual life, because he supposes that they proceed, not from evil spirits, but from his own interiors. Man does not know that such assaults are 1
from evil spirits because he does not know that spirits are present with him, evil spirits in his evils, and good spirits in his goods; and that they are in his thoughts and affections. These temptations are most grievous when they are accompanied with bodily pains; and still more so, when those pains are of long continuance, and no deliverance is granted, even although the Divine mercy is implored; hence results despair, which is the end.
Some particulars shall first be adduced from the Arcana Coelestia, concerning the spirits that are with man, because temptations proceed from them.
Spirits and angels are with every man (n. 697, 5846-5866). They are in his thoughts and affections (n. 2888, 5846, 5848). If spirits and angels were taken away, man could not live (n. 2887, 5849, 5854, 5993, 6321). Because by spirits and angels man has communication and conjunction with the spiritual world, without which he would have no life (n. 697, 2796, 2886, 2887, 40 47, 4048, 5846-5866, 5976-5993). The spirits with man are changed according to the affections of his love (n. 5851). Spirits from hell are in the loves of man's proprium (n. 5852, 5979-5993). Spirits enter into all things of man's memory (n. 5853, 5857, 5859, 5860, 6192, 6193, 6198, 6199). Angels are in the ends from which and for the sake of which man thinks, wills, and acts thus and not otherwise (n. 1317, 1645, 5844). Man does not appear to spirits, nor spirits to man (n. 5885). Thence spirits cannot see what is in our solar world through man (n. 1880). Although spirits and angels are with man, in his thoughts and affections, yet still he is in freedom of thinking, willing, and acting (n. 5982, 6477, 8209, 8307, 10777); and in the work on Heaven and Hell, where the Conjunction of Heaven with the Human Race is treated of (n. 291-302).
1. In the original Latin "non" occurs twice in the sentence.