Our Second State after Death

OUR second state after death is called a state of our deeper interests because then we are given access to the deeper reaches of our minds, or of our intentions and thoughts, while the more outward interests that engaged us in the first state become dormant.

Anyone who is observant of our life and our words and actions can recognize that we all have more outward and more inward natures, or more outward and more inward thoughts and intentions. We can recognize this from the fact that if we are involved in civic life, we think about other people in terms of their reputation, or of what we have picked up about them when they were the subjects of conversation. However, we do not talk with them the way we think about them, and even if the others are evil people, we still behave courteously toward them. This is particularly noticeable in pretenders and sycophants whose words and deeds are wholly at odds with their thoughts and intentions, and in hypocrites who talk about God, heaven, the salvation of souls, the truths of the church, the welfare of the country, and their neighbor as though they were motivated by faith and love when at heart they believe otherwise and love no one but themselves.

We may gather from this that we have two thought processes, one more outward and one more inward, and that we talk on the basis of our more outward thinking and feel differently on the basis of our more inward thinking. Further, these two thought processes have been separated to prevent the inner from flowing into the outer and becoming somehow visible.

We have been so created that our inner thought may act in unison with our outer by means of correspondence; and it does act as one when we are involved in something constructive, since we do not think anything that is not good, and what we say is good. But if we are involved in something evil, our deeper thought does not act as one with our outer thought, because we are thinking something evil and saying something good. This means that the pattern is inverted, since the good is on the outside for us and the evil lies within. As a result, the evil controls the good and suppresses it like a slave, to make it serve as a means to securing its own ends, the objects of its love. Since this kind of purpose is latent in the good we say and do, we can see that now the good is not really good but is infected with evil, no matter how good it may look in outward form to people who are not aware of deeper matters.

It is different for people who are involved in something good. For them, the pattern is not inverted; rather, the good flows from their deeper thought into their more outward thought and therefore into their words and deeds. This is the pattern into which we were created. In this way, our deeper reaches are in heaven and in the light there, and since heaven’s light is divine truth emanating from the Lord and is in fact the Lord in heaven (see Sections 126–140), the Lord is leading us.

I mention this to show that each of us has a more inward thought and a more outward thought, and that these are distinguishable. When I say “thought,” I mean volition as well, since thought comes from volition. No one can actually think without intent. We can see from this what our states of outer concerns and of inner concerns are.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 499


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