Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:

Communication with the Spiritual World

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The people of the Most Ancient Church frequently conversed face to face with the Lord and with angels, and were also instructed by visions and dreams (AC 9396, AC 49, AC 125). Through this communication they learned about the truths of faith (AC 125). This communication was perception, an awareness of the spiritual world beyond their sensing of the natural world (AC 920). This perception came from the fact that the people of the Most Ancient Church had internal respiration, a kind of breathing that accorded with and was similar to the breathing of the angels (AC 805, AC 1120). This shared internal respiration joined them to heaven and placed them in the company of angels (AC 1121). All of this was possible because the Most Ancient Church was a celestial church based on love to the Lord, and its members were, therefore, interior people who thought in the spirit, almost separately from the body (AC 784, AC 9396).

However, the Ancient Church, which followed, was a spiritual church, based on faith and charity toward the neighbor (AC 784). Its members did not have internal respiration or perception (AC 805). Because of this, they could not have inward, conscious communication with the angels of heaven (AC 609). Instead, they had an external communication with the spiritual world, and this included, for the first time, communication with hell (AC 784, AC 920). This new type of communication was effected by means of the representatives and significatives given to them by the people of the Most Ancient Church. The people of the Ancient Church communicated with the spiritual world by using these representatives and significatives in their Divine worship (AC 2896, AC 2897). However, since anyone with a knowledge of representatives and significatives could now communicate with the spiritual world, some people chose to communicate with evil spirits. It was from evil spirits that they learned to turn the representatives and significatives into magic (AC 5223, AC 6692).

See also:

Magic, Perception, Representatives, Respiration, Significatives

Passages relating to Communication with the Spiritual World and the Ancient Churches:

AC 49; AC 125; AC 609; AC 781; AC 784; AC 805; AC 920; AC 1119; AC 1120; AC 1121; AC 1463; AC 1990; AC 2179; AC 2895; AC 2896; AC 2897; AC 4264; AC 4442; AC 4448; AC 5223; AC 5265; AC 6516; AC 6692; AC 7361; AC 7802; AC 7996; AC 8249; AC 8891; AC 9396; AE 739; DLW 319; DP 135; EU 49; EU 54; EU 71; EU 87; SE 152; SE 1587; SE 4145; SE 4832; TCR 279; WH 6
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