Our Second State after Death (Continued)

All of us, without exception, are brought into this state after death because it is the proper state of our spirits. The earlier state was characteristic of our spirit when we were in public, and that is not its very own state. As for the latter state, which is the state of the outer concerns that we find ourselves in immediately after death (as described in the previous chapter), there are many reasons to conclude that it is not the proper state of our spirits. For example, spirits not only think but even talk from their own affection, since that is the source of their language, as is implied in what was presented in the chapter on the language of angels (Sections 234–245). We thought the same way in the world when we were turned inward, because at such times we did not think on the basis of our physical language but simply surveyed it, and could think more things in a minute than we could say in half an hour. We can also see that this state of relatively outward concerns is not the proper state of ourselves or our spirits from the fact that when we were in public in the world, we talked in keeping with the laws of moral and civic life. Then our deeper thought controlled our outer thought the way one person controls another, to see that it did not cross the bounds of propriety and decency. It is also evidenced by the fact that when we do think privately, we think about what we will say and do in order to please people and to gain friendship, good will, and gratitude by devious means—that is, differently than if we were acting from our actual intent.

We can see from all this that the state of more inward concerns that spirits are led into is their proper state, which means that it was also the proper state of the individuals when they were living in the world.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 504

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