Marriages in Heaven

SINCE heaven comes from the human race, which means that there are angels of both sexes there, and since by creation itself woman is for man and man for woman, each for the other, and since this love is inborn in both sexes, it follows that there are marriages in the heavens just as there are on earth. However, the marriages in the heavens are very different from earthly ones. In the following pages I will be explaining how marriages in the heavens do differ from earthly ones and in what respects they agree.

Marriage in the heavens is the union of two people into one mind. First, I need to explain the nature of this union. The mind consists of two parts, one called intellect and the other called volition. When these two parts are acting as one, we call them one mind. In heaven, the husband plays the role labeled intellect and the wife the role called volition. When this union—a union of their deeper natures—comes down into their lower, bodily natures, it is perceived and felt as love. That love is marriage love.

We can see from this that marriage love finds its source in the union of two people in one mind. In heaven, this is called “living together,” and they are not called “two” but “one.” Consequently two spouses in heaven are not called two angels but one angel.

The reason for this kind of union of husband and wife on the deepest levels of their minds goes back to creation itself. The male is born to focus on cognitive processes, and therefore bases his thinking on his intellect. In contrast, the woman is born to focus on intentions, and therefore bases her thinking on her volition. We can see this from the tendency or innate nature of each as well as from their form. As to innate nature, men do act on the basis of reason, while women act on the basis of their feelings. As to form, the man has a rougher and less attractive face, a deeper voice, and a stronger body, while the woman has a softer and more attractive face, a gentler voice, and a softer body. This is like the difference between intellect and volition or between thought and affection. It is also like the difference between what is true and what is good or between faith and love, since truth and faith are matters of intellect, while good and love are matters of volition.

This is why a boy or a man, in the spiritual sense of the Word, means the discernment of truth, while a girl or woman means an affection for what is good. It is also why the church is called a woman or a girl on the basis of its affection for what is good and true and why everyone who is absorbed in an affection for what is good is called a young woman, as in the Book of Revelation 14:4.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 366-368


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