I have been shown how the Lord as the sun looks to angels in the heavenly kingdom in their first state, in their second state, and in their third. I saw the Lord as the sun, at first reddish and gleaming, so brilliant as to be beyond description. I was told that the Lord as the sun looks like this to angels in their first state. Later I saw a great, dim halo around the sun, because of which the reddish, gleaming quality that made the sun so brilliant began to dim. I was told that the sun looks like this to them in their second state. Then I saw the halo become darker so that the sun seemed less ruddy, step by step, until finally it looked quite pale. I was told that the sun looks like this to them in their third state. After this, I saw that pale [disk] move to the left toward heaven’s moon and add its light to the light of the moon so that the moon shone exceptionally brightly. I was told that this was the fourth state of people in the heavenly kingdom and the first state of people in the spiritual kingdom. I was also told that the changes of state in each kingdom proceed alternately, not throughout, but in one community after another. I was also told that these alternations are not fixed, but happen more or less swiftly without people being aware of it.
Angels went on to say that the sun in and of itself neither changes nor moves, but that things look the way they do because of the ongoing progressions of state in themselves, since the Lord appears to each individual in keeping with that individual’s state—reddish to people when they are in an intense love, less ruddy and ultimately pale as their love wanes. The quality of their state is pictured by the dim halo that imposes the apparent changes of flame and light on the sun.
When angels are in this last state, which is when they are involved in their sense of self, they begin to feel depressed. I have talked with them when they were in this state and witnessed their depression. They kept saying, though, that they lived in hope that they would soon return to their earlier state and be in heaven again, so to speak, since heaven for them is being kept free from their sense of self.
There are also changes of state in the hells, but these will be described later, when I deal with hell.
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 159-161