and not in the life of love; and that when they become spirits they retain it. These are they who were specially signified by the bird of stone; for to produce a speech by alterations of the face and motions of the lips, with a removal of the affections and a withdrawal of the thoughts from others, is to deprive speech of life and make it like an image, and by degrees to produce the same effect on themselves. But although they imagine that what they speak among themselves is not understood by others, angelic spirits nevertheless perceive each and all of the things they say, the reason being that no thought can be withdrawn from them. This was also shown them by actual experience. I was thinking of the fact that the evil spirits of our Earth are not affected with shame when they infest others. This [thought] inflowed with me from some angelic spirits who perceived their speech. Those spirits of Mars then acknowledged that this was the subject they were speaking of among themselves, and they were astonished. Besides this, more things, both of their conversation and thought, were disclosed by an angelic spirit, notwithstanding all their endeavours to hide away their thoughts from him. Afterwards those spirits inflowed from above into my face. The influx was felt like fine striated rain, which was a sign that they were not in the affection of truth and of good, for this is represented by what is striated. They then spoke plainly with me, saying, that the inhabitants of their earth speak in the same way among themselves. They were then told that this is evil, as by so doing they block up the internals, and recede from them to the externals, which also they deprive of their life; and especially because it is not sincere to speak in this manner. For they who are sincere do not wish to speak or even to think anything but what others, yea, what all, even the whole heaven, might know. But those who are unwilling that others should know what they say, pass judgment on others, and think ill of others and well of themselves, and at length are led by habit so far as to think and speak ill of the church, and of heaven, yea, of the Lord Himself. I have been told that those who love knowledges, and not so much a life according to them, have relation, in the Grand Man, to the inner membrane of the skull; but that those who accustom themselves to speak without affection, and to draw the thought to themselves and withdraw it from others, have relation to that membrane, when it has become ossified, because, from having some spiritual life, they come at length to have none.
[Footnote ll: Communications are effected by means of spirits sent forth from societies of spirits and angels to other societies, and these emissary spirits are called Subjects, nos. 4403, 5856, 5983, 5985-5989.]