Representations and Appearances in Heaven

ANYONE who thinks solely from natural light cannot understand that anything in heaven is like anything in our world. This is because such people, on the basis of this light, have both thought and decided that angels are nothing but minds, and that minds are like ethereal breath. This would mean that angels did not have the senses we do, so they would not have eyes; and if they did not have eyes there would be no objects [of sight]. However, angels do have all the senses we do—far more delicate ones, in fact—and the light in which they see is far brighter than the light in which we see.

On angels being people in a most perfect form with the use of all their senses, see Sections 73–77 above; and on light in heaven being far brighter than the light in our world, see Sections 126–132.

There is no way to describe briefly how things look to angels in the heavens. To a considerable extent, they look like the things we see on earth, but they are more perfect in form and also more abundant.

We may conclude that there are things like this in the heavens because of what the prophets saw—for example what Ezekiel saw of the new temple and the new earth as described in chapters 40 to 48 [of his book], what Daniel describes in his chapters 7–12, what John saw as described from the first through the last chapter of Revelation, along with other visions presented in both the historical and the prophetic books of the Word.121 They saw things like this when heaven was opened to them, and heaven is said to be opened when our inner sight, the sight of our spirit, is opened. For the things that exist in heaven cannot be seen with our physical eyes, but only with the eyes of our spirit; and when it pleases the Lord, these are opened. At such times we are led out of the natural light that our physical senses are in and raised into the spiritual light in which we dwell because of our spirit. This is the light in which I have seen the things that exist in the heavens.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 170, 171

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