When I speak of volition and thought, “volition” means affection and love as well as every delight and pleasure that derives from affection and love, since these go back to volition as their basis. Whatever we intend, we love, and it feels delightful and pleasant to us; and in turn, whatever we love and find pleasant and delightful, we intend. Thought, though, also means everything we use to support our affection or love, for thought is nothing but the form of our intention or the means by which what we intend comes to light. This form is constructed by various rational analyses that have their source in the spiritual world and are integral functions of our spirit.
We need to know that our basic quality is determined entirely by the quality of our inner natures, not by what we are like outwardly apart from that inner nature. This is because our inner reaches are our spirit, and since it is from the spirit that the body lives, our life is the life of our spirit. Consequently, whatever we are like in our inward natures, that is what we are like to eternity. Since our more outward natures belong to the body they are separated after death, and any elements of them that cling to the spirit become dormant, serving only as a plane for deeper concerns, as I explained above in describing the memory that we retain after death.
We can see from this what really belongs to us and what does not. For evil people the contents of the outer thought that gives rise to their words and the outer intent that gives rise to their actions do not really belong to them. What belongs to them is the contents of their deeper thought and intentions.
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 500, 501