Saturday, February 2, 1998

1) The State of Peace in Heaven

284. Anyone who has not experienced heaven's peace cannot know what the peace is that

angels enjoy. As long as we are in our bodies, we cannot accept heaven's peace, so we

cannot perceive it, our perception being on the natural level. In order to perceive it, we

need to be the kind of person who as to thought can be raised and taken out of the body

and brought into the spirit so as to be with angels. Since I have perceived heaven's peace

in this way, I can describe it, but not in words as it really is because human words are

not adequate. Using words, I can only describe what it is like compared to that peace of

mind whhich people have who are content in God.

285. There are two things at the heart of heaven, innocence and peace. We say that they

are at the heart because they come straight from the Lord. From innocence comes all the

good of heaven and from peace comes all the delight of that good. Everything good has its

own delight, and both-the good and the delight-are matters of love. This is because what

is loves is what is called good and also is perceived as delightful. It follows from this

that these two inmost qualities, innocence a nd peace, emanate from the Lord's divine love

and move angels from their very core.

In the previous chapter on the state of innocence of heaven's angels, it was shown that innocence is

the very heart of good. Now we need to explain that peace is the very heart of the delight that comes

from the good of innocence.

286. First, we need to say where peace comes from. Divine peace is within the Lord,

arising from the oneness of his divine and the divine human within Him. The divine quality

of peace in heaven comes from the Lord, arising from his union with heaven's angels, and

specifically from the union of the good and the true within each angel. These are the

sources of peace. We may therefore conclude that peace in the heavens is the divine

intimately affecting everything good there with blessedness. So it is the source of all

the joy of heaven. In its essence, it is the divine joy of the Lord's divine love, arising

from His union with heaven and with every individual there. This joy, perceived by the

Lord in the angels and by the angels from the Lord, is peace. By a process of branching

off, angels receive from this source everything that is blessed and delightful and

happy-what is called "heavenly joy."

287. Because these are the origins of peace, the Lord is called the Prince of Peace and

says that peace comes from Him and that He is peace. So too angels are called angels of

peace nd heaven the dwelling place of peace, as in the following passages:

A boy is born to us, a son is given to us, on whose shoulder the government [shall rest], and his

name shall be called Woncerful, counselor, God, Hero, eternal Father, Prince of Peace; of the increase

of government and peace there shall be no end.

Isaiah 9:5f.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you.

John 14:27

I have told you these things so that you might have peace in Me.

John 16:33

May Jehovah lift his face to you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:16

The angels of peace weep bitterly, the highways are ruined.

Isaiah 33:7f.

The work of justice will be peace, and my people will live in a dwelling place of peace.

Isaiah 33:17f.

We may also gather that "peace" in the Word means divine and heavenly peace from other passages where

it is mentioned, as for example in Isaiay 52:7, 54:10, 59:8, Jeremiah 16:5, 25:37, 29:11, Haggai 11:9m

Zechariah 8:12, Psalm 37:37, and elsewhere.

Because peace means the Lord and heaven and also heaavenly joy and the delight of good, greetings in

ancient times were-and consequently still are-"Peace be with you." The Lord confirmed this, too, when

he sent out his disciples and told them, "When you enter a house, first say Peace be upon this house;

and if a son of peace is there, let your peace rest upon it (Luke 10:5f.). Further, the Lord Himself

said "Peace be with you" when He appeared to the apostles (John 20:19, 21, 26).

A state of peace is meant in the Word when it says that "Jehovah smelled an odor of quietness," as in

Exodus 29:18, 25, 41; Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 6:8, 14; 23:12, 13, 18; Numbers 15:3, 7, 13;

28:6, 8, 13; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36. "an odor of quietness," in the heavenly sense, means a perception of


Since peace means the oneness of the Divine itself and the divine human in the Lord and the union of

the Lord with heaven and with the church and with everyone in heaven, and also with everyone in the

church who accepts Him, the Sabbath was instituted as a reminder of these matters and was named for

quietness and peace. It became the holiest symbol of the church, which is why the Lord called Himself

the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8, Mark 11:27f., Luke 6:5.[2]

288. Since heaven's peace is a divine blessedness that profoundly affects the essential

good within angels, it does not come to their open perception excapt through a heartfelt

delight when they are involved in the good of their life, a pleasure when they hear

something true that is in accord with their good, and gaiety of mind when they perceive

their union. Still, it does flow into all the acts and thoughts of their life and makes

itself known as joy, even in outward form.

Peace varies in quality and quantity in the heavens, though, in proportion to the innocence of the

people in any given location, because innocence and peace walk hand in hand. For as already noted,

innocence is sthe source of everything good in heaven and peace is the source of all the joy of that

good. We may conclude, then, that we can say much the same about the state of peace as has already

been said about the state of innocence in the preceding chapter, since innocence and peace are united

the way anything good and its delight are. Whatever is good is in fact sensed by its delight, and

whatever is delightful is recognized by virtue of its goodness. This being the case, we can see that

angels of the inmost or third heaven are in the third or inmost level of peace because they are in the

third or inmost level of innocence, and that angels of the lower heavens are in lesser levels of peace

because they are in lesser levels of innocence (see abovem ¶ 280).

We can see that innocence and peace occur together like a good and its delight if we look at infants.

Because they are in innocence, they are at peace as well; and because the are at peace, everything

associated with them has a playful quality. However, infanta' peace is an outward peace. Inner peace,

like inner innocence, is found only within wisdom; and since it does dwell in wisdom, it is found in

the union of the good and the true, since this is the origin of wisdom.

Heavenly or angelic peace does occur in mortals who are attuned to wisdom because of the union of the

good and the true and who therefore see themselves as contented in God. However, as long as they are

living in this world, that peace lies hidden in their depths. It is unveiled when they leave their

bodies behind and enter heaven, because then those depths are opened.

289. Since divine peace arises from the Lord's union with heaven-and in particular with

each individual angel by virtue of the union of the true aht the good-when angels are in a

state of love they are in a state of peace, because this is when the good within them is

united to what is true (it has been explained above that angels' states change

periodically, ¶¶ 154-160). Much the same is true of people who are being regenerated when

a union of the good and the true takes place within them. This happens principally after

temptation-trials, since they we come into a state of delight that arises from heavenly


That peace is like the morning time or dawn in spring, when, once the night has passed, all things of

earth begin to take new life from the rising of the sun; the dew that falls from heaven spreads a

leafy fragrance far and wide, and springtime's gentle warmth makes meadows fertile and instils its

charm in human minds as well. This is because morning or dawn in springtime corresponds to the state

of peace of angels in heaven (cf. ¶ 155).[4]

290. I have talked with angels about peace as well, and have told them that on earth they

call it peace when wars and conflicts between nations are over, or enmities and

disagreements between individuals, and that they think inner peace is simply the peace of

mind we have when anxieties are banished, or especially the relief and delight when things

turn out well for us. The angels have responded, though, that this peace of mind, this

relief and delight with anxieties are banished and things turn out well for us, may look

like effects of peace; but they do not come from real peace except in people who are

focused on heavenly good. This is because peace occurs only in that good. Peace actually

flows in from the Lord into the very core of such individuals, and from that core comes

down and spreacds into their lower natures, causing peace of mind, relief of the spirit,

and a consequent joy.

For people engrossed in evil, though, there is no peace.[5] There is an apparent calm, tranquillity,

and pleasure when they get their way, but this is outward only, with no inward substance. Inside there

is raging hostility, hatred, vengefulness, cruelty, and all kinds of evil cravings. Their spirits rush

into these feelings the moment they see anyone who is not on their side, and it bursts forth whenever

there is no fear [to restrain it]. This is why their delight is at home in insanity, while the delight

of people involved in good is at home in wisdom. It is like the difference between hell and heaven.

2) The Union of Heaven with the Human Race

291. It is acknowledged in the church that everything good comes from the Lord and nothing

of it from us, and therefore that we should never take possessive credit for anything

good. It is also recognized that evil comes from the devil. This is why people who talk

from the doctrine of the church describe people who are acting well and who are talking

devoutly and preaching as being led by the God, and say the opposite about people who are

acting maliciously and speaking blasphemously. None of this could happen unless we had a

union with heaven and a union with hell, and unless those unions were with our volition

and our understanding, since it is from these that the body acts and the mouth speaks. We

need now to describe what this union is like.

292. There ae good spirits and evil spirits with every individual. We have our union with

heaven through the good spirits and our union with hell through the evil ones. This

spirits are in the World of Spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell and

will be specifically treated later.<1>

When these spirits come to us, they come into our whole memory and from there into all our thinking,

evil spirits into the matters of memory and thought that are evil and good spirits into the matters of

memory and thought that are good. These spirits are totally unaware that they are with us. Rather, as

long as they are, they believe that all these matters of our memory and thought are actually theirs.

They do not see us, either, because their sight does not extent to things in our subsolar world.[6]

The Lord takes the greatest care to prevent spirits from knowing whom they are with. If they did know,

they would talk with them, and they the evil spirits would destroy them; for evil spirits, being

united to hell, want nothing more than to destroy us not only as to spirit (that is, as to our love

and faith) but as to our bodies as well. It is different when they do not talk with us. Then they do

not know that we are the source of what they are thinking-and what they are saying to each other,

since they talk to each other just the way we do-but believe that these matters are their own. They

value and love whatever is their own, so these spirits are constrained to love and value us, even

though they do not know it.

This kind of union has become so familiar to me through years of constant experience that nothing

could be more familiar.

293. The reason spirits who are in touch with hell are attached to us as well is that we

are born into all kinds of evil, so that our first life is made up of nothing else. Unless

spirits of the same kind were associates with us, then, we could not live or be led out of

our evils and reformed. So we are kept in our life by evil spirits and protected from them

by good spirits. Through the two kinds, we are kept in a balance; and since we are in a

balance we enjoy a measure of freedom and can be led out of our evils and turned toward

good. This can be sown in us as well, which could never happen except in our freedom; and

the freedom could not be granted us unless spirits from hell were acting on the one side

and spirits from heaven on the other, with us in the middle.

I have been shown that to the extent that we exist from our hereditary nature and from ourselves, we

could have no life at all if we were not allowed to engage in evil. We would also have no life if we

were not in some freedom, and we cannot be compelled to good: anything compelled does not become part

of us. I have also been shown that anything good which we accept in freedom is sown in our intentions

and becomes virtually our own.[7] This is why we have a communication with hell and a communication

with heaven.

294. We need then to state what the communication of heaven with good spirits is like and

what the communication of hell with evil spirits is like. All the spirits who are in the

World of Spirits are in communication with heaven or with hell, the evil ones with hell

and the good ones with heaven. Heaven is differentiated into communites, and so is hell.

Every spirit is a member of some community, is sustained by an inflow from it, and

therefore acts in harmony with it. This is why we are united with heaven or hell just as

we are united with spirits. We are actually united to some community there, the community

we belong to in respect to our affection or our love; for all heaven's communities are

differentiated according to their affections for what is good and true and all hell's

communities according to their affections for what is evil and false (On heaven's

communities, see above ¶¶ 41-45 and 148-151).

295. The kind of spirit that is associated with us is determined by the kind of person we

are in respect to affection and love, though good spirits are assigned to us by the Lord

while we ourselves summon the evil ones. The spirits with us change, however, as our own

affections change. This means we have one kind with us in infancy, another kind during our

childhood, another kind as we are growing up and in early adulthood, and still another

kind in old age. During our infance, spirits who are in innocence are with us, that is,

spirits who are in touch with the ultimate or first heaven. As we are growing up, during

our early adulthood, spirits who are responsive to affections for what is true and good

and therefore with intelligence are with us. They are spirits who are in touch with the

second or intermediate heaven. In old age, though, spirits who are in wisdom and innocence

are with us, spirits therefore who are in touch with the inmost or third heaven.

Still, this association is arranged by the Lord for people who can be reformed and regenerated. It is

different for people who cannot be reformed or regenerated. Good spirits are assigned to them as well

in order to restrain them from evil as much as possible, but their direct connection is with the evil

spirits who are in touch with hell. This means that the spirits are of the same nature as the people

they are associated with. Whether they are lovers of self or of money or of revenge or of adultery,

the same kind of spirits are with them and are, so to speak, taking up residence in their evil

affections. To the extent that we cannot be restrained from evil by good spirits, they inflame us, and

to the extent that such an affection is in control, they cling to us and will not back off.

In this way, evil people are united to hell and good people to heaven.

296. The reason we are controlled by the Lord through spirits is that we are not in the

pattern of heaven. We are in fact born into evils which are from hell and therefore

exactly opposite to the divine pattern. This means that we need to be brought back into

the pattern, and we cannot be brought back except throug the abency of spirits. It would

be different if we were born into the good which accords with heaven's pattern. Then we

would not be controlled by the Lord through the agency of spirits but by the pattern

itself and therefore by a general inflow.

We are controlled by this inflow in respect to the way things move from thought and intent into act

and therefore in respect to our speech and actions, since these both do flow according to a natural

pattern. So the spirits who are with us have nothing to do with these processes.

Animals are also controlled by a general inflow from the spiritual world because they are in the

pattern proper to their life, a pattern which they can neither distort nor destroy because they do not

have a rational faculty.[8][9] On the difference between humans and animals, see above, ¶ 39.

297. To continue with the general topic of the union of heaven with the human race, we

need to be aware that the Lord flows into each one of us according to heaven's design,

into our inmost natures as well as into our outmost, and arranges them to accept heaven.

He controls our outmost natures from the inmost and the inmost from the outmost at the

same time, and in this way keeps everything about us in coherent connection. This inflow

from the Lord is called a direct inflow, whild a second infow that happens through the

agency of spirits is called an indirect inflow. The latter is sustained by the former. The

direct inflow, an action of the Lord Himself, is from His divine human, comes into our

intentions, and through our intentions into our understanding. This means it comes into

our good and through that good into our truth, or (which amounts to the same thing) into

our love and through our live into our faith. It does not happen the other way around,

much less into faith apart from love or into truth apart from good or into understanding

apart from volition.

This divine inflow is unceasing and is accepted in what is good in good people, but not in evil ones.

In these it is either rejected of stifled or distorted. So they have an evil life which spiritually

understood is a death.[10]

298. The spirits who are with us-both those united to heaven and those united to

hell-never flow into us from their own memory and consequent thought because if they did

flow into us from their own memory and consequent thought it would seem to us exactly as

though their character was our own (see above, ¶ 256). However, there does flow into us

through them an affection from a love of what is good and true from heaven and an

affection from a love of what is evil and false from hell. So to the extent that our own

affection agrees with what is flowing in, we accept its influence in our thinking. This is

because our more inward thought is in complete accord with our affection or love. To the

extent that our own affection does not agree, we do not accept. We can see from this that

thoughts are not instilled into us by spirits but only an affection for what is good or an

affection for what is evil. This gives us a choice because it gives us a freedom. It means

that in our thought we can accept what is good and reject what is evil, since we know from

the Word what is good and what is evil. What we accept in thought from affection becomes

part of us, while what we do not accept in thought from affection does not become part of

us. This may enable us to determine the nature of the inflow into us of the good from

heaen and of the inflow into us of evil from hell.

299. I have been enabled to learn where we get the anxiety, distress of mind, and inward

sadness called depression.<2> There are spirits who are not yet united with hell because

they are still in their first state (which will be described later when we talk about the

World of Spirits<3>). They love half-digested and noxious substances like the foods that

are becoming excrement in the stomach, so they attach themselves to the same sort of

matter in us because they find delight in it; and they talk with each other there out of

their evil affection. The affect of their conversation flows into us, and since it is

contrary to our affection, it brings about a sadness and an anxious depression, while if

it agrees with our affection, it brings about a sense of happiness and exhilaration. These

spirits can be seen in the neighborhood of the stomach, some on the left and some on the

right, some lower and some higher, variously depending on the affections they are involved

in. A great deal of experience has convinced me that they are the source of our anxiety of

spirit. I have seen them, heard them, felt the anxieties that well up from them. I have

talked with them, they have been driven off and the anxiety has ceased, they have come

back and the anxiety has returned, I have observed its increase and decrease as they drew

near and moved away. It has become clear to me, then, where that anxiety comes from which

is blamed on a stomach ache by people who do not know what conscience is because they do

not have any.[11]

300. Heaven's union with is is not like the union of one person with another, but is a

union with the deeper levels of our minds and therefore with our spiritual or inner

person. There is, though, a union with our natural or outer person by correspondences,

which union will be discussed in the next chapter when we deal with heaven's union with us

by means of the Word.

301. We will also explain in the next chapter that heaven's union with us, and our union

with it, is of such a nature that each relies on the other.

302. I have talked with angels about the union of heaven with the human race and have told

them that church people actually do say that everything good is from the Lord and that

there are angels with us, but few people really believe that angels are so close to us,

much less that they are in our thought and affection. The angels have told me that they

knew this kind of belief and talk occurred in the world, and especially (which astonished

them) in the church, where people have the Word which teaches them about heaven and its

union with them. Yet in fact the union is so vital that we could not think the least

thought apart from the spirits who are with us. Our spiritual life depends on this. They

said that the reason for this belief was that people believe they live on their own,

without any connection with the Ultimate Reality and do not know that there is this

connection through the heavens. Yet if that connection were severed, we would instantly

drop down dead. If we believed the way things really are, that everything good comes from

the Lord and everything evil from hell, then we would not take credit for the good within

us or blame for the evil. Whenever we thought or did anything good, we would focus on the

Lord, and any evil that flowed in we would throw back into the hell in came from. But

since we do not believe in any inflow from heaven or from hell and therefore believe that

everything we think and intend is in us and from us, we make the evil our own and defile

the good with a sense of merit.

3) Heaven's Union with Us through the Word

303. People who think from their deeper rationality can see that there is a connection of

all things, through intermediate ones, with a First, and that anything that is not so

connected will disintegrate. When they think about it, they know that nothing can exist on

its own, but requires something prior to itself, which means that everything goes back to

that First. They know that the connection with what is prior is like that of an effect

with its efficient cause, since whan the effecient cause is removed, the effect comes

apart and collapses. Since this has been the thought of the learned, they both see and say

that existence is a constant becoming, so that all things are constantly coming into

being-that is, existing-from that First from which they originated.

But there is no way to explain briefly the nature of that connection with what is prior and therefore

with the First which is the source of everything, because it is varied and diverse. We can say

generally only that there is a connection of the natural world with the spiritual world which results

in a correspondence between everything in the natural world with everything in the spiritual world (on

this correspondence, se ¶¶ 103-1115, and on the connection and consequent correspondence of everything

in us with everything in heaven, see ¶¶ 87-102).

304. We have been so created that we have a connection and a union with the Lord, while

with angels we have only an association. The reason we have only an association, not a

union, with angels is that we are from creation like angels in respect to the deeper

levels of our minds. We have a similar purposefulness and a similar capacity to

understand. This is why we become angels after death if we have lived according to the

divine pattern, and why we then, like the angels, have wisdom. So when we talk about our

union with heaven, we mean our union with the Lord and our association with angels, since

heaven is not heaven because of anything proper to the angels but because of the divine

[nature] of the Lord (on the fact that the Lord's divine [nature] makes heaven, see ¶¶

7-22 above).

Over and above what angels have, though, there is the fact that we are not simply in a spiritual world

by virtue of our inner natures but are at the same time in a natural world by virtue of our outward

natures. These outward things that are in the natural world are all the contents of our natural or

outer memory and the thinking and imaging we do on that basis. In general, this includes our insights

and information together with their delights and charm to the extent that we are skilled in worldly

matters, and all the pleasures that derive from our physical senses. Then too, there are those senses

themselves and our words and actions. All these are ultimate things in which the Lord's divine inflow

comes to rest, since it does not stop in the middle but goes on to its very limit.

We may gather from this that the ultimate form of the divine pattern is in us, and since it is the

ultimate form, it is the basis and foundation.

Since the Lord's divine inflow does not stop in the middle but goes on to its very limit, as just

stated, and since the intermediate region it crosses in the angelic heaven and the limit is in us, and

since nothing disconnected can exist, it follows that there is such a connection and union of heaven

with the human race that neither can endure without the other. If the human race were cut off from

heaven, it would be like a chain with no hook, and heaaven without the human race would be like a

house without a foundation.[12]

305. However, since we have broken the connection by turning our inward natures away from

heaven and toward the world and ourselves through our self-love and love of the world and

have so pulled away that we no longer serve heaven as its basis and foundation, the Lord

has provided a medium to serve in place of that basis and foundation and for the union of

heaven with humanity. That medium is the Word.

Just how the Word serves as that medium, though, has been shown at length in Arcana Coelestia, with

the pertinent material collected in the booklet, The White Horse Described in the Apocalypse and also

in the Appendix to the Heavenly Doctrine. Some of these references are cited in the footnote


306. I have been told from heaven that the earliest people had direct revelation because

their inner natureswere turned toward heaven, and that this was the source of the Lord's

union with the human race at that time. After those times, though, there was not the same

kind of direct revelation, but an indirect revelation through correspondences. All their

divine worship consisted of these; so the churches of those times were called symbolic

churches. They knew what correspondences and representations were and that everthing on

earth was responsive to spiritual things in heaven and the church (or represented them,

which amounts to the same thing). In this way, the natural elements that constituted their

outward worship served them as means for thinking spiritually and therefore with angels.

Once any knowledge of correspondences had been lost, then a Word was written in which all the words

and the meanings of the words were correspondences and therefore contained that spiritual or inner

meaning in which angels are engaged. So when we read the Word and grasp it in its literal or outward

meaning, angelsgrasp in in its inner or spiritual meaning. In fact, all the thought of angels is

spiritual, while ours is natural. these two kinds of thought do seem different, but they make one

because they correspond.

This is why, after we had moved away from heaven and broken the connection, the Lord provided that

there should be a means of union of heaven with us through the Word.

307. I should like to use a few passages to show how heaven is united with us through the

Word. The New Jerusalem is described in Revelation as follows:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the former heaven and former earth had passed away. And I saw

the holy cityJerusalem doming down from God out of heaven. The city was foursquare, its length equal

to its breadth. And the angel measured the city with the reed at twelve thousand furlongs, the length,

breadth, and height were equal. And he measured its wall, 144 cubits, the measure of the man which was

that of the angel. The construction of the wall was jasper, but the city itself was pure gold and like

pure glass; and the foundation of the wall was decorated with every precious stone. The twelve gates

were twelve pearls, and the streeet of the city were pure gold like transparent glass

Revelation 21:1, 2, 16, 17, 18

People who read this understand it simply according to its literal meaning, namely that this visible

sky and earth are going to perish and that a new heaven is going to be established, that on a new

earth the holy city Jerusalem is going to descend, and that all its measurements will be as described.

But the angels who are with us understand it very differently, understanding spiritually what we take

in a natural sense. For them, the new heaaven and the new earth mean a new church, the citu Jerusalem

descending from God out of heaven means its heavenly doctrine revealed by the Lord, the length,

breadth, and height, which are equal at 12,000 furlongs mean all the good and true elements of that

doctrine grasped as a single whole, the wall means the truths that protect it, the measure of the wall

being 144 cubits which was the measure of the man, that is of the angel, means all those protective

truths grasped as a single whole, and their quality, he twelve gates which were made of pearls mean

the introductory truths (pearls mean that kind of truth), the foundations of the wall which were of

precious stones mean the acknowledgments on which that doctrine is based, and the gold like pure glass

of which the city and its streets were made means the good of love which makes doctrine and its truths

transparent. This is how angels understand all these things, so it is not the way we do. This is how

our natural concepts cross over int o spiritual concepts with angels without their knowing anything

about the literal meaning of the Word-aabout the new heaven and the new earth, for example, or the

holy city Jerusalem, its wall, the foundations of the wall, and its measurements. Still the angels'

thoughts make one with ours because they correspond. They make one almost the way the words of a

speaker and the understanding of those words by a listener who is focused not on the words themselves

but on understanding them. This may enable us to see how heaven is united to us through the Word.

For another example from the Word,

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt and Egypt

into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be a third for Egypt

and Assyria, a blessing in the middle of the land whom Jehovah of hosts will bless, saying, Blessed is

my people Egypt, and the work of my hands Assyria, and my inheritance Israel.

Isaiah 19:23, 24, 25

We can see how mortals think and how angels think when they read this if we look at the literal

meaning of the Word and at its inner meaning. We think, on the basis of its literal meaning, that

Egypt and Assyria are going to be converted to God and received, and that they will become united to

the Israelite nation. The angels, though, think on the basis of its inner meaning about people of the

church, whose spiritual level is Israel, whose natural level is Egypt, and whose rational level, which

is the intermediate level, is Assyria.[14] Still, these two meanings are one because they correspond.

Consequently, when angels are thinking spiritually like this and we are thinking naturally the way we

do, we are united almost like a soul and a body. The inner meaning of the Word is its soul, and the

literal meaning is its body.

The Word is like this throughout; so we can see that it is a means of heaven's union with us and thaat

the literal meaning serves as its basis and foundation.

308. There is also a union of heaven through the Word with people who are outside the

church, where the Word is not found; for the Lord's church is everywhere and exists with

everyone who acknowledges something divine and lives in charity. People like this are

taught by angels after their decease and accept divine truths.[15] There will be more on

this below in its proper chapter, where we discuss the gentiles.

In the Lord's sight, the universal church on earth is like a single individual just as heaven is (as

noted above in ¶¶ 59-72). However, the church where the Word is and the Lord is known through it is

like the heart and lungs of that person. The human race that is outsice the church where the Word is

derives its life in the same way and constitutes the members of that person. Heaven's union through

the Word with people who are at a distance can be compared to light that spreads in all directions

from a center. The divine light is in the Word, and the Lord is present there with His heaven. People

who are far off also receive light from that presence. It would be different if there were no Word,

which can be more fully understood by reference to what has been presented above about the form of

heaven which determines its gatherings and communications.<4>

Still, this arcanum is understandable to people who are in siritual light but not to people who are

only in natural light. People who are in spiritual light, that is, see quite clearly countless things

that people who are in natural light alone either do not see at all or see only as a single vague


309. If there had not been this kind of Word on our earth, the humanity of our earth would

have separated itself from heaven, and once separated from heaven would have had no

rational ability. Our human rational ability in fact arises from an inflow from heaven.

We on this earth are by nature incapable of accepting any direct revelation and being taught about

divine truths through by that means, as the inhabitants of other planets can (which has been dealt

with in its own separate booklet<5>). We more than they are engrossed in worldly concerns and

therefore in superficial matters (externis), while it is the deeper levels that are open to

revelation. If the outer levels were open, they still would not understand the truth.

This nature of ours is clearly visible in members of the church. Even though they know from the Word

about heaven, hell, and life after death, they still deny these things at heart. This includes people

who have made a name for themselves for outstanding learning, who you would think would therefore be

wiser than others.

310. I have talked with angels about the Word on occasion, and have told them that it is

looked down on by some people because of its pedestrian style.<6> They know absolutely

nothing about its deeper meaning and therefore do not believe that this kind of wisdom

lies hidden within. The angels have told me that even though the style of the Word may

appear pedestrian in its literal meaning, it is qualitatively incomparable because divine

wisdom lies hidden not just in the overall meaning but in every word, and that this wisdom

shines out in heaven. They have asked me to declare that because it is divine truth, it is

heaven's light, since divine truth in heaven is radiant (see above, ¶ 132). They have

added tht without this kind of Word there would be no light of heaven among the people of

our earth; for the amount of heaven's light there is among us determins the union and

therefore the extent to which we have any revelation of divine truth through the Word. The

reason people do not know this union exists (through the spiritual meaning of the Word

corresponding to its natural meaning) is that the people of our earth do not know anything

about angels' spiritual thinking and conversation. They do not know that this is different

from our natural thinking and conversation; and anyone who does not know this cannot

possibly know what the inner meaning is and therefore cannot know that it can make this

kind of union possible.

They have also said that if we know that this kind of meaning existed and when we read the Word did

our thinking with any knowledge of it, we would come into a deepre wisdom and be more closely united

to heaven, because in this way we would have access to concepts like those of angels.

4) Heaven and Hell Are from the Human Race

311. People in Christendom are totally unaware that heaven and hell are from the human

race. They actually believe that angels were created in the beginning and constitute

heaven, and that the devil or Satan was an angel of light who became rebellious and was

cast out together with his gang, resulting in hell.

Angels are utterly amazed that there can be this kind of belief in Christendom, and even more so that

people know absolutely nothing about heaven, even though this is a primary doctrine of the church.

Knowing that this kind of ignorance is prevalent, they are profoundly delighted that it has now

pleased the Lord to reveal to us so much about heaven and about hell, and so as much as possible to

dispel the darkness that is rising daily because this church is drawing to a close. So they wanted me

to testify on their behalf that in all heaven there is not a single angels who was created as such in

the beginning, nor is there in all hell a defil who was created an angel of light and cast out.

Rather, all the people in heaven and in hell are from the human race-in heaven, the ones who have

lifed in heavenly love and faith, and in hell the ones who have lived in hellish love and faith. Hell

as a whole is what is called the devil and Satan. The hell at the back, where the people called evil

genii live, is the devil, and the nell that is in front, where the people live who are called evil

spirits, is Satan.[16] We will describe later what one or another hell is like.<7>

They insisted that the reason Christians have adopted this kind of belief about people in heaven and

people in hell is that they have taken a few passages of the Word, understanding them only in their

literal meaning, with no enlightenment or instruction based on genuine doctrine from the Word. Yet the

literal meaning of the Word, without the light of genuine doctrine, leads the mind astray in all

directions, leading to ignorance, heresy, and error.[17]

312 This belief among church folk is also the cause of their belief that no one will

arrive in heaven or hell before the time of the last judgment, which they have come to

believe will be a time when everything they can see perishes and new things come into

being, when sould will return into their bodies and then begin once more to live as people

because of this reunion. This faith implies the other, about angels having been created in

the beginning, for it is not possible to believe that heaven and hell are from the human

race when you believe that no one is going to get there until the end of the world.

So to convince people that this is not the case, I have been allowed to associate with angels and to

talk with people in hell for several years now, sometimes constantly from morning until evening, and

so to learn about heaven and about hell. The purpose of all this is that church folk should not remain

any longer in their mistaken beliefs about a resurrection on judgment day and about the state of their

souls in the meanwhile, or about angels and the devil. Because this faith is a mistaken one, it brings

darkness with it; and for people who think about such things on the basis of their own intellect, it

leads to doubt and eventually to denial. They are actually saying in their hearts, "How can such a

vast heaven and so many stars be destroyed and disappear, along with the sun and the moon? How can

stars which are larger than the earth fall on the earth? How can bodies that have been eaten by worms

and destroyed by decay and scattered to the four winds be brought back together to their souls? Where

have these souls been in the meanwhile, and what have they been like without any of the senses they

had in their bodies?" There are many other questions like these which do not accord with belief

because they are incomprehensible. and for many people they are destroying any belief in a life after

death, in heaven and hell, and along with these the rest of the contents of the faith of the

church.<8> This destruction can be observed in people who say, "Who has come back from heaven and told

us that it exists, or from hell, to say that it exists? What is this business about people being

tortured to eternity? What is thes jusgment day? Haven't we been waiting for it for centuries, all in

vain?" logn with any number of other things that imply a denial of everything. To prevent people who

think like this (as many do who are particularly skilled in worldly affairs) from further disturbing

and misleading people of simple faith and simply heart and bringing on a hellish darkness concerning

God, heaven, eternal life, and the other matters that follow from them, the deeper reaches of my

spirit have been opened by the Lord, enabling me to talk after their death with all the people I have

ever known during their physical lives. I have talked with some for days, with some for months, and

with some for years. I have talked with so many others that it sould not be exaggerating to talk in

terms of a hundred thousand, many in heaven and many in hell. I have talked with some just two days

after their deaths and told them that now their funerals and burial rites were being performed so that

they could be interred; to which they have responded that it was a good thing they had cast off what

had served them as a body for their functions in our world, wanting me to say that they were not dead

at all. They were just as alive and just as human as ever, having simply crossed over from one world

to another. They were not aware of having lost anything, since they were just as much in a body as

before, enjoyed volition and understanding jsut as before, and had similar thoughts and affections,

similar sensation and similar desires to the ones they had in our world.

Many people who have just died, when they see that they are living persons just as they were before,

and in a similar state (for our first state after death is like the one we were in on earth, but this

changes gradually for us either toward heaven or toward hell), they were moved by a newfound joy at

still being alive. They said they would not have believed it. They were amazed that they had been in

such ignorance and blindness about the state of life after death, all the more so that this is true of

people within the church, which could be in more light about such matters than all the rest of the

whole world.


. An odor in the Word means a perception of something pleasant or unpleasant,

depending on the quality of the love and faith of the entity described (3577, 4626,

4628, 4748, 5021, 10292). An odor of quietness, when predicated of Jehovah, means a

perception of peace (925, 10054). So frankincense, various kinds of incense and, the

fragrances in oils and salves, came to be representative (925, 4748, 5621, 10177).

. In the highest sense, the Sabbath means the oneness of the Divine itself with the

divine human in the Lord; and in the inner sense the union of the Lord's divine human

with heaven and the church. In a general sense it means the union of the good and the

true and therefore the heavenly marriage (8495, 10356, 10730). So the rest on the

Sabbath day meant the state of that oneness, because then the Lord has rest, through

which peace and salvation come to the heavens and to earth; and in a relative sense

it means the union of the Lord with us, because then we have peace and salvation

(8494, 8510, 10360, 10367, 10370, 10374, 10668, 10730).

. The union of the good and the true in people who are being regenerated takes place

in a state of peace (3696, 8517).

. The state of peace in heaven is like the state of morning or spring on earth

(1726, 2780, 5662).

. The cravings that arise from love of self and the world totally destroy peace

(3170, 5662). Some people find peace in restlessness and in other such things that

are the opposite of peace (5662). There is no peace until the cravings of evil have

been taken away (5662).

. There are angels and spirits with every individual, and through them we have

communication with the spiritual world (697, 2796, 2886, 2887, 4047, 4048, 5846-5866,

5976-5993). Apart from these spirits with us, we could not live (5993). We are not

visible to the spirits, nor are they to us (5885). Spirits cannot see anything in our

subsolar world of humanity, only things [visible] to the individual they are talking

to (1880).

. All freedom is a matter of love and affection, because what we love, we do freely

(2870, 3158, 8907, 8990, 9585, 9591). Freedom is a matter of love, which is its life

(2873). Nothing seems to be ours unless it comes from our freedom (2880). We need to

have some freedom in order to be reformed (1937, 1947, 2876, 2881, 3145, 3146, 3158,

4031, 8700). Otherwise, the love of what is good and true could not be sown in us and

given to us as though it were ours (2877, 2879, 2880, 2888, 8700). Nothing unites us

that is forced upon us (2875, 8700). If we could be reformed by force, then everyone

would be reformed (2881). The use of force in reformation is harmful (4031). The

state of some people who had been compelled (8392).

. The difference between us and animals is that we can be raised by the Lord to

himself, can think about the Divine and love It, and so can be united to the Lord and

have eternal life, which is not true of animals (4525, 6323, 9231). Animals are in

the pattern proper to their lives and are therefore born into things that are suited

to their natures; but we are not, so we need to be led into the pattern proper to our

lives by intellectual means (637, 5850, 6323). Thought descends into speech and

intention into actions for us according to a general inflow (5862, 5990, 6192, 6211).

On the general inflow of the spiritual world into the lives of animals (1633, 3646).

. The difference between us and animals is that we can be raised by the Lord to

Himself and can think about the Divine, love It, be united to the Lord, and therefore

have eternal life, which is not true of animals (4525, 6323, 9231). Animals are in

the pattern proper to their life and are therefore are born into things suited to

their natures; but we are not, so we need to be led into the pattern proper to our

life by intellectual means (637, 5850, 6323). Thought descends into speech and intent

into actions for us according to a general inflow (5862, 5990, 6192, 6211). On the

general inflow of the spiritual world into the lives of animals (1633, 3646).

. There is a direct inflow from the Lord and also an indirect inflow through the

spiritual world (6063, 6307, 6472, 9682, 9683). The Lord's direct inflow is into the

most minute details of all (6058, 6474-6478), 8717, 8728). The Lord flows into our

first and our last things at the same time, and how this happens (5147, 5150, 6473,

7004, 7007, 7270). The Lord's inflow is into the good within us and through that good

into the truth, and not the reverse (5482, 5649, 6027, 8685, 8701, 10153). The life

that flows in from the Lord varies according to our state and according to our

openness (2069, 5986, 6472, 7343). In evil people, the good that flows in from the

Lord is turned into evil and the truth into falsity, from experience (3643, 4632). We

accept the good and the consequent truth that are unceasingly flowing in from the

Lord to the extent that evil and its consequent falsity do not block the way (2411,

3142, 3147, 5828).

. People who do not have a conscience do not know what a conscience is (7490, 9121).

There are even people who laugh at conscience when they hear that it exists (7217).

Some people believe that conscience is nothing, some that it is a kind of natural,

distressing sadness that arises either from events in the body or events in the

world, and some that it is something common folk get from their religion (950). There

is a true conscience, an imitation conscience, and a false conscience (1033). Pangs

of conscience are an anxiety of mind because of anything unjust, dishonest, and evil

that we believe to be contrary to God and contrary to the welfare of the neighbor

(7217). People who are in love for the Lord and charity toward the neighbor have

conscience, but not people who are not (831, 965, 2380, 7490).

. Nothing arises from itself, but only from something prior to itself; so all things

come from a First, and endure from what they originated from, so that existing is a

constant becoming (2886, 2888, 3627, 3628, 3648, 4523, 4524, 6040, 6056). The divine

pattern does not stop in the middle but keeps on to its limit, and its limit is in

us; so the divine pattern ends in us (634, 2853, 3632, 5897, 6239, 6451, 6465, 9216,

9217, 9824, 9828, 9836, 9905, 10044, 10329, 10335, 10548). The inner elements flow

sequentially into the outer all the way to the end or limit, and there they take form

[existant] and endure (634, 6239, 6465, 9216, 9217). The inner elements take form and

endure in the outer in a simultaneous arrangement, which is described (5897, 6451,

8603, 10099). So all the inner elements are kept connected together from the First to

the ultimate (9828). For this reason, "the First and the Last" mean everthing in

detail, the whole (10044, 10329, 19335), and for this reason, strength and power are

in ultimate things (9836).

. The Word in its literal sense is natural (8783) because the natural is the

ultimate in which spiritual and heavenly things (which are more inward) come to rest,

and on which they rest like a house on its foundation (9430, 9433, 9824, 10044,

10436). In order to be of this nature, the Word was written in pure correspondences

(1404, 1408, 1409, 1540, 1615, 1659, 1709, 1783, 8615 10687). Since the Word is like

this in its literal meaning, it is a vessel for spiritual and heavenly meaning

(9407), and it is adapted to mortals and to angels at the same time (1769-1772, 1887,

2143, 2157, 2275, 2333, 2396, 2540, 2541, 2545, 2553, 7381, 8862, 10322). It is what

unites heaven and earth (2310, 2495, 9212, 9216, 9357, 9396, 10375). The Lord's union

with us through the Word by means of its inner meaning (10375). This union takes

place by means of every detail in the Word, so it is more marvelous than any other

writing (10632, 10633, 10634). Now that the Word has been written, the Lord speaks to

us through it (10290). Relative to people who do not have the Word and know the Lord,

the church where the Word is and where the Lord is known is like the heart and lungs

relative to the other parts of the body, which derive their life from the heart and

lungs as from a wellspring (637, 931, 2054, 2853). The whole church throughout the

world is like a single person in the Lord's sight (7395, 9276). This is why the human

race would perish if there were not a church in our world where the Word was found

and the Lord was known (468, 637, 931, 4545, 10452).

. Egypt and Egyptian in the Word mean the natural, and therefore the informational

(406, 5079, 5080, 5095, 5460, 5799, 6015, 6147, 6252, 7353, 7648, 9230, 9319).

Assyria means the rational (119, 1186). Israel means the spiritual (5414, 5801, 5803,

5806, 5812, 5817, 5819, 5826, 5833, 5879, 5951, 6426, 6637, 6862, 6868, 7035, 7062,

7198, 7201, 7215, 7223, 7956, 8234, 8805, 9340).

. The church in specific is where the Word is and where the Lord is known because of

it, so it is where divine truths from have been revealed from heaven (3857, 10761).

The Lord's church exists throughout the whole world with people who live in good

according to their religions (3263, 6637, 10765). All people who live in good

according to their religions and acknowledge something divine are accepted by the

Lord, wherever they are (2589-2604, 2861, 2863, 3263, 4190, 4197, 6700, 9256, and

especially all infants, wherever they may have been born (2289-2309, 4792).

. The hells as a whole, or hellish people en masse, are called the devil and Satan

(694). People who were devils in the world are devils after death (968).

. The church's doctrine must be derived from the Word (3464, 5402, 6832, 10763,

10765). Without doctrine, the Word is not understood (9021, 9409, 9424, 9430, 10324,

10431, 10582). True doctrine is a lamp for people who read the Word (10401). Genuine

doctrine must be provided by people who have enlightenment from the Lord (2510, 2516,

2519, 9424, 10105). People engaged in the literal meaning apart from any doctrine do

not attain any understanding of divine truths (9409, 9410, 10582), and are carried

off into many errors (10431). The nature of the difference between people who teach

and learn from the doctrine of the church derived from the Word and people who do so

solely from the Word's literal meaning (9025).



. Cf. especially ¶¶ 421-431.

. melancholia.

. Cf. ¶¶ 491-498.

. Cf. ¶¶ 200-212.

. The reference is to "The Earths in Our Solar System Which Are Called Planets and

the Earths in the Starry Heaven and Their Inhabitants; Also the Spirits and Angels

There; from Things Heard and Seen," tr. J. Whitehead, in Miscellaneous Theological

Works (New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1913. Reprints), first published as De

Telluribus in Mundo Nostro Solari, Quae Vocantur Planetae: Et de Telluribus in Coelo

Astrifero: Deque Illarum Incolis; Tum de Spiritibus et Angeli Ibi; Ex Auditis et

Visis (London: (N.p.), 1758), the same year as the Heaven and Hell (see the

translator's preface).

. In eighteenth century Europe, high style was virtually synonymous with ornate.

. Cf. ¶¶ 582-588.

. Both F. C. Oetinger and Friedrich von Schelling lamented this skepticism and

welcomed Swedenborg's rebuttal of it. On Oetinger, see especially Ernst Benz,

Swedenborg in Deutschland: F. C. Oetingers und Immanuel Kants Auseinandersetzung mit

der Person und Lehre Emanuel Swedenborgs. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann,

1947. On Schelling, see Friedemann Horn, Schelling und Swedenborg: Ein Beitrag zur

Problemgeschichte des deutschen Idealismus und zur Geschichte Swedenborgs in

Deutschland, nebst einem Anhang über K. C. F. Krause und Swedenborg sowie Ergänzungen

zu R. Schneiders Forschungen (Zürich: Swedenborg-Verlag, 1954), English version,

Schelling and Swedenborg: Mysticism and German Idealism, George F. Dole, Tr., (West

Chester, Pennsylvania: Swedenborg Foundation, 1997).

contact phil at for any problems or comments