When we gain access to inward sight (the sight of our spirit), we see the objects of the other world, which could never be presented to the sight of our physical eyes. This is exactly what the visions of the prophets were.
In heaven, as noted [Section 1532], there are constant symbolic representations of the Lord and his kingdom. In fact every single thing the angels see represents and symbolizes something. This is the source of representation and symbolism in the Word, because the Word comes by way of heaven from the Lord.
There are more objects to be seen in the world of spirits and heaven than can be listed. As the present subject is light, let me tell about the things that arise directly out of the light, such as atmospheres, parks, rainbows, palaces, and houses. With their outward eyes, spirits and angels see these items as being so radiant and alive, so perceptible to all their senses, that they declare them to be real and the objects of the world to be unreal by comparison.
I start with the atmospheres that the blessed live in, which are made of light, because they rise out of the light there. The number of different kinds cannot be counted, and they are so beautiful and pleasant that they cannot be described. There are diamondlike atmospheres that flash in all their most minuscule elements, as if they were made of diamond pellets. There are atmospheres that resemble the gleam of all kinds of gems. There are atmospheres seemingly made of translucent pearls glowing from within, streaking the air with the most brilliant colors. There are atmospheres afire with gold, it seems, or with silver, or with diamondlike gold and silver. There are atmospheres composed of multicolored flowers so small they cannot be seen; countless variations on this type of atmosphere fill the heaven where small children live. In fact one even sees atmospheres composed of what seem to be children at play, again at a size that is too small to see but that can be perceived, although only by the deepest power of thought. This gives young children the idea that everything around them is alive and is part of the Lord’s stream of life—a thought that gladdens them to the core.
There are many other kinds of atmosphere besides, because the variations are beyond number and also beyond description.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1619-1621