The Four Quarters in Heaven

THERE are four quarters in heaven just as there are in the world—east, south, west, and north. These are determined in each world by its sun, in heaven by heaven’s sun, which is the Lord, and on earth by earth’s sun. However, there are major differences. The first is that in our world we call “south” the direction in which the sun reaches its greatest height above the earth, and “north” where it is below the earth, in the opposite direction. East is where the sun rises at the equinoxes, and west is where it sets at that time. So on earth, all the directions are determined on the basis of the south. In heaven, though, they call “east” where the Lord is seen as the sun. West is in the opposite direction, south in heaven on the right, and north on the left. This holds true wherever people turn their faces and their bodies.

So in heaven, all the directions are determined on the basis of the east. The reason they give the name “east” to the direction in which the Lord is seen as the sun is that the whole source of life is from him as the sun. Further, to the extent that warmth and light, or intelligence and wisdom from him, are accepted among angels, they say that the Lord has risen among them. This is also why the Lord is called the east in the Word.

From Heaven and Hell, Section 141

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