Some people have been rich during bodily life and lived in stately mansions, identifying their heaven with these advantages and cheating others out of their possessions by various ruses, without conscience and without compassion. When they come into the other life, they are first introduced into exactly the same kind of life they had lived in the world (as noted before section 943.) Sometimes they are even allowed at this point to live in mansions, just as they had in the world, since at first everyone in the other life is welcomed as a guest and a newcomer. In order to avoid exposing the inner depths and life goals of these people as yet, angels show them every favor and kindness, on behalf of the Lord. But the scene changes. The mansions gradually fade and turn into huts, which degenerate further and further until they finally disappear. Then the owners wander around like beggars and ask to be taken in, but because they are what they are, society rejects them. In the end they come to resemble excrement, and a cloud smelling like [rotten] teeth wafts from them.
With angels I have discussed representations and the fact that nothing in the plant kingdom on earth fails to represent the Lord’s kingdom in some way. They have said that every pretty and attractive specimen of the plant kingdom comes from the Lord by way of heaven; and since the Lord’s heavenly and spiritual forces act on the physical world, they actually take on a visible form. That is where the soul or life of plants comes from, and it is the reason that they represent something. As this is unknown in the world, it is called a heavenly secret.
I also learned in depth about the nature of the inflow into the life force of animals, a force that dissipates entirely after they die. This will be discussed later, with the Lord’s divine mercy.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1631-1633