Among the amazing things in the other life are perceptions, of which there are two kinds. One exists with angels: they perceive what is true and good, what comes from the Lord and what from themselves, and what the source and nature of their thoughts, words, and deeds is, when these come from themselves. The other kind is one that is common to everyone—to angels at the peak of perfection and to spirits according to their quality: as soon as another person approaches, they know what that person is like.
Let us turn to the first kind, the kind angels have—their ability to tell what is true and good, what comes from the Lord, what comes from themselves, and what the source and nature of their thoughts, words, and deeds is, when these come from themselves.
I was allowed to talk with the descendants of the earliest church about their ability to perceive. They said they did not and could not think anything on their own or will anything on their own. With each and every thought or impulse, they said, they can tell what comes from the Lord and what comes from somewhere else. They perceive not only how much is from the Lord and how much is seemingly from themselves but also (when it does seem to originate in themselves) where it comes from. That is, they perceive which angels it comes from, what those angels are like, what all their different thoughts are, and so what the various influences are, along with countless other factors.
Perceptions of this kind come in many varieties. Heavenly angels, who love the Lord, perceive goodness, and this enables them to perceive everything that is a matter of truth. Since they perceive truth from the standpoint of what is good, they do not allow any discussion of truth (let alone argument about it) but say yes or no. Spiritual angels, on the other hand, who also have perception (though not the kind heavenly angels have), do talk about truth and goodness. They still perceive things, but they perceive them in many different ways, because this kind of perception has countless variations. The variations have to do with perceiving whether the Lord wills a thing or accepts it or tolerates it—which are quite different from each other.
from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1383, 1384