The Way Spirits and Angels Talk (Continued)

There are many evil spirits who are not wholly superficial. They too do not talk the way [good] spirits do but likewise focus on the fundamental assumption behind an idea, so they are more subtle than [good] spirits. Their numbers are large. They are completely separate from angelic spirits, whom they cannot even begin to approach. These evil, subtler spirits also link their own ideas in an abstract way to objects [of the senses] and to subjects [of discussion], but only to impure ones. Within those objects and subjects, they create for themselves a variety of images, uniformly foul, in which they wrap their ideas. They resemble idiots.

Their manner of speech was described to me, and also represented as a heap of filthy garbage overflowing its container. The intellectual element of it was presented as the backside of a horse whose forequarters could not be seen. (In the world of spirits a horse represents the intellect.)

The speech of angelic spirits, in contrast, was represented by a virgin tastefully clothed, charmingly dressed, wearing a beautiful whitish garment neatly gathered to a kind of bodice.

Angels’ speech, however, defies description. It is far superior to the speech of spirits, since it surpasses that of angelic spirits, and is positively unintelligible to us in every way as long as we are living in the body. Spirits in the world of spirits cannot even form a notion of it for themselves, since it lies beyond the reach of their thoughts.

The speech of angels does not involve mental images representing the subject matter, as with spirits and angelic spirits. Instead, angels speak in terms of purpose and therefore of usefulness, which are the first and most important elements of any subject. Into these they weave their angelic thoughts, which take on endlessly new and different forms. A mutually loving goodness from the Lord touches each and every word with an inner delight and happiness, while the truth of a faith inspired by mutual love gives it beauty and tremendous appeal. Purpose and consequent use are like containers that are extraordinarily pliable, subject in the most pleasurable way to unending variation, manifested in heavenly and spiritual forms we cannot possibly comprehend. The Lord holds angels in these thoughts because his kingdom is exclusively a kingdom of purpose and usefulness.

As a result, the angels present with us pay no attention to anything but purpose and use, and they elicit nothing else from our thoughts. Nothing else matters to them—whether it belongs to the mental or material world—because it is far beneath their sphere of interest.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1644, 1645

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