The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

The reason the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love is that love is what is receptive of every heavenly quality—that is, of peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. Love is receptive of everything that is in harmony with it. It longs for such things, it seeks them out, it absorbs them spontaneously because it has the constant purpose of uniting itself with them and being enriched by them. People actually recognize this fact, since the love within them surveys memory, so to speak, and draws out from it the items that agree with it. It gathers these together and arranges them within and beneath itself—within itself so that it may possess them and beneath itself so that they may serve it. It discards and eradicates, though, the items that do not agree with it.

I have been able to see very clearly that love has a full, intrinsic ability to accept elements of truth that suit it and has also a desire of uniting them to itself. This has become clear from observing people who have been transported into heaven. Even people who were simple folk in this world have arrived at angelic wisdom and heavenly happiness in the company of angels. This was because they loved what is good and true for the sake of what is good and true. They had grafted these qualities into their lives and had thereby become capable of accepting heaven and all its indescribable riches.

People caught up in love for themselves and for the world, however, have no such receptive ability. They turn away from such things, discard them, and at their first touch or inflow try to escape them. They ally themselves with people in hell who are caught up in loves like their own.

There were some spirits who doubted that love was so full and wanted to know whether this was really true. In order that they might find out, they were let into a state of heavenly love with all obstacles removed and were brought forward a considerable distance to an angelic heaven. They talked with me from there and told me that they felt deeper happiness than words could express, sorrowing that they would have to return to their former state. Other people as well have been raised into heaven, and the deeper or higher they have been taken, the deeper and higher they have penetrated into intelligence and wisdom, becoming able to grasp things that were incomprehensible to them before. We can see from this that the love that emanates from the Lord is open to heaven and all its riches.

We can conclude that love for the Lord and love for our neighbor embrace within themselves everything that is true from the Divine because this follows from what the Lord himself said about these two loves: “You shall love your God with all your heart and with all your soul: this is the greatest and first commandment. The second, which is like it, is that you should love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40). The Law and the Prophets are the whole Word, which means all divine truth.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 18, 19

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