The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

There were quite a few spirits around me who were not good. An angel came, and I saw that the spirits could not bear his presence, since the nearer he came, the farther away they went. I was surprised but was able to see that they could not linger in the aura that he carried with him. This too showed me, as other experiences have done, that one angel can drive away tens of thousands of evil spirits, since evil spirits cannot abide an atmosphere of mutual love.

Still, I could tell that his aura was being moderated by his associations with others. If it had not been, all the spirits would immediately have scattered.

This once again shows clearly what kind of perception exists in the other life, and it shows how people join together and separate in response to their perceptions.

All spirits have contact with the inner heaven and the inmost (although they are unaware of it); otherwise they could not live. Their inner nature is recognized by angels, who are awake to deeper dimensions, and the Lord also governs them through angels. So their inner characteristics become common knowledge in heaven, as their outer ones do in the world of spirits.

These inner communications adapt each of them for some useful role, and they are drawn to that role without realizing it.

The situation with people on earth is the same. We too communicate through angels with heaven—in complete ignorance of the fact that we do—because otherwise we could not live. (The influence heaven has on our thinking is merely the outermost effect of that interaction.) Such contact is the source of all our life, and it regulates everything we try to do in life.

from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1398, 1399

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

A certain spirit who wanted to take credit for the deeds he had done and the doctrines he had taught while living in the world went off toward the right and came upon some people who were not like him. In order to attach himself to them, he said that he was a nobody and would like to serve them, but they had been sensing what he was like from the moment he approached them, while he was still far away. Their immediate answer was that he was not the kind of person he said; he wanted to be important and consequently would not be able to get along with them, since they were not. Embarrassed by this, he left, amazed that they could tell from such a distance.

Since their sensitivities are so acute, evil spirits cannot go near any environment or community inhabited by good spirits, who love each other. Let the good spirits just approach and the evil ones begin to suffer, complaining and crying.

A certain evil spirit was brash and bold enough to force his way into a community that lay at the very threshold of heaven. The instant he arrived, he found he could hardly breathe and sensed that he stank like a corpse, so he slipped back down.

from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1396, 1397

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

Another astonishing way happiness spreads is through extraction—a process whose nature cannot be grasped by people on earth. Harsh, disturbing elements are removed in an instant, and in the process, something pleasing and happy is presented, with nothing to block it. Once any hindrances are removed, angels stream in and communicate their joy.

Since perception allows one person to see immediately what kind of love and belief another has, people come together in communities insofar as they harmonize, and separate insofar as they conflict. The process is so precise that not the smallest variation fails either to divide or to unite. As a result, communities in the heavens have distinctive characters—as distinct as anyone could possibly imagine. The differences depend on variations in love for the Lord and faith in him, which are countless. From this comes the form of heaven, which is such that it resembles a single human. That form is constantly being perfected.

A wealth of experience has taught me how this kind of perception works, but recounting all of it would take too long. Many times I have heard swindlers talking and perceived not only the presence of fraud but also its nature and the nature of the malice behind it. It is as if an image of their duplicity dwells in every sound they utter. In addition, I have perceived whether the fraud was invented by the speaker or by others talking through the speaker.

It is the same with people who hate. One can see right away the character of their hatred and the factors that go into it, which are more numerous than you could ever be persuaded to believe. When the victims of their hatred are present in person, it creates a pitiable situation for the haters, since whatever thoughts they had entertained or plots they had hatched against the person stand out in plain view.

from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1393, 1394, 1395

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

It is not only the feelings and thoughts of others that are shared but their knowledge as well. So widely is knowledge shared that each spirit thinks he or she already knows what the next spirit knows, even if the first spirit had previously known nothing about the subject. Everything that others know about accordingly becomes common property. Some spirits retain the knowledge, some do not.

Spirits share these things with each other in conversation and through mental images accompanied by visual representations. The images that compose their thoughts also take visible form, you see, which allows everything to be presented in full detail. Spirits can depict more through a single mental image than they can express in a thousand words. Angels even perceive what lies behind the image, what feeling is connected with it, where that feeling comes from, what the purpose of it is, and many other inner aspects.

It is also common in the other world for one person to communicate pleasure and happiness in a remarkable way by actually passing them on to a number of others, who are as much affected by them as the original person. The communication takes place without any lessening of the feelings in the person who shares them to begin with.

I too was given the opportunity to share my pleasure with others by transferring it to them.

You can imagine, then, what kind of happiness exists in people who love their neighbor more than themselves and want nothing more than to spread their happiness to others. Their attitude traces its origin to the Lord, who communicates happiness to angels in the same way.

When people share happiness, they are constantly passing it along in the way just described, but they do so without reflecting on their active role in the process and without making a conscious, deliberate decision to engage in it.

from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1390, 1391, 1392

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

Souls that had arrived in the other life once expressed their surprise to find that another person’s thoughts are communicated in this way. They were also amazed that they could instantly tell not only what kind of character that other person had but also what the person’s beliefs were.

I told them that spirits receive abilities far superior once they separate from their bodies. During physical life, objects of the senses have an impact on us, as do fantasies built out of the impressions those objects leave on our memory, not to mention worries about the future; various cravings aroused by external stimuli; concern over food, clothes, housing, and children; and so on. People in the other life never think about any of these things. When such thoughts are set aside as obstacles and barriers, together with bodily desires connected to the coarser sensations, people cannot help being in a more ideal condition. Their former abilities remain but become much more perfect, lucid, and free. This is especially true with people who have lived lives of charity and faith in the Lord, and of innocence. Their capacities are heightened tremendously over the ones they had in the body, until finally their gifts match those of angels in the third heaven.

from Secrets of Heaven, Section 1389

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

The second kind of perception, as already mentioned [Section 1383], 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, even if the person says nothing. It reveals itself instantaneously, by a sort of inspiration that is most amazing. Good spirits are recognized not only for the type of goodness they have but also for the type of belief. When they talk, it comes through in every word. Evil spirits are recognized for their wickedness and unbelief, and when they talk, it comes through in every word. The clues are so plain as to be unmistakable.

Something similar can be seen with people on earth. They too can sometimes tell what others are thinking from the gestures, facial expression, and speech of those others, even when their words contradict it. This skill in humans is an earthly one whose origin can be traced to a character trait in spirits that grants them the same ability, and so to an individual’s own spirit and its communication with the world of spirits. This shared perception originates in the Lord’s wish that all blessings spread contagiously and that everyone enjoy mutual love and grow happy as a result. That is why this type of perception also prevails everywhere among spirits.

from Secrets of Heaven, Section 1388

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

Several times I have talked about perception with people in the next life who while they were living in the world had imagined they could investigate and understand any subject. “Angels,” I said, “perceive that they think and speak and that they will and act from the Lord.” The people I was talking to, though, could not comprehend what perception was. They thought that if everything were the result of outside influence like this, it would rob them completely of life, because it would mean never thinking for themselves, never thinking independently—which for them was life. It would mean that someone else was thinking for them and not they themselves. So they would be mere instruments, devoid of life.

“The difference in quality of life between having perception and not having it,” I pointed out, “is like night and day. You first start to live your own life when you receive this perception, because you then live from the Lord. You then enjoy a sense of individuality as well, which comes to you replete with every happiness and joy.”

From plentiful experience, I also illustrated for them how perception works, and they then acknowledged that it was possible. After a while, though, they again forgot, doubted, and denied. This showed me how hard it is for people to grasp what perception is.

from Secrets of Heaven, Section 1387

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life (Continued)

There are spirits belonging to the region of the skin (particularly the squamous layer) who want to argue everything. They do not perceive what is good or true, and in fact the more they argue, the less they perceive it. They identify wisdom with sophistry, which they count on to make them seem wise. I told them that the role of angelic wisdom is to perceive whether a thing is good or true without sophistic reasoning, but they cannot grasp the possibility that this kind of perception exists. They are the same people that used the academic and philosophical disciplines during bodily life to cast confusion over truth and goodness and as a result seemed to themselves to be more knowledgeable than others. (They had not started with any valid assumptions taken from the Word.) Consequently, they do not have much common sense.

As long as spirits imagine that they lead themselves, and that they think for themselves and gain knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom for themselves, they cannot have perception. Instead they consider perception to be stuff and nonsense.

from Secrets of Heaven, Sections 1385, 1386

The Ability of Spirits and Angels to Perceive Things; Auras in the Other Life

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

Light and Warmth in Heaven (Continued)

It should be realized that the divine good and divine truth that come from the Lord as the sun in the heavens are not in the Lord but are from him. All that is in the Lord is divine love, which is the reality from which divine good and truth become manifest. Becoming manifest from reality is what “emanating” means. This too can be illustrated by comparison with our world’s sun. The warmth and light in our world are not in the sun but are from it. In the sun there is nothing but fire, and warmth and light become manifest and emanate from it.

Since the Lord as the sun is divine love, and divine love is the essential divine good, the divine that emanates from him—his divine nature in heaven—is called divine truth for the sake of clarity, even though it is divine good united to divine truth. This divine truth is what is called “the holy” that emanates from him.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 139, 140