A spirit came to me not long after he had left his body. (This I could tell from the fact that he did not yet realize he was in the other life but believed he was still living in the world.) I sensed that he had devoted his time to intellectual pursuits, which I discussed with him, but then to my amazement he suddenly soared into the air. I decided he was the type of person whose ambitions had been lofty (since people like this usually rise into the air) or that he thought heaven was at the top of the sky. (This kind of person too is usually raised aloft, in order to learn that heaven is not up high but deep within.)
I soon perceived, though, that he had been lifted up to a group of angelic spirits positioned a little out in front and to the right, on the first threshold of heaven. He then spoke to me from there, saying that he was seeing sights grander than the human mind could ever conceive. While this was happening, I was reading in the first chapter of Deuteronomy about the Jewish people, specifically the ones sent to scout out the land of Canaan and all that it held. As I was reading it, he said that he caught none of the contents of the literal meaning but only those of the spiritual meaning, which were too astounding to describe.
This occurred on the very threshold of the angelic spirits’ heaven. What would it be like in their heaven proper, or in the heaven of true angels?
Then certain spirits present with me, who had previously doubted that the Lord’s Word was like this, began to regret their disbelief. In their present state, they said they believed, because they had heard from the spirit that he heard, saw, and perceived it to be so.
Other spirits, however, stood by their disbelief and kept saying it was not true, it was all imagination. So they too were suddenly swept up high. They talked to me from there and confessed that it was anything but imagination, because they really perceived that it was true. In fact they perceived it more keenly than would ever be possible with any of the senses available during physical life.
Soon others too were raised into the same heaven, including someone known to me in bodily life. He gave the same testimony, saying among other things that he was too dumbfounded to describe the glory of the Word in its inner sense. Speaking with a kind of pity, he expressed astonishment that humans were completely unaware of such things.
What is more, he said that from there he could peer deeply into my thoughts and feelings. In them he saw more than he could tell—what caused them, how they interacted, where they came from, who inspired them, how the mental images mingled with earthly sediment, the need to separate the two completely, and so on.
On two later occasions I saw yet others raised into the second heaven to be with angelic spirits, and they talked to me from there while I read Deuteronomy 3 from start to finish. They said they focused only on the deeper sense of the Word and stated positively that not one tip of a letter in it failed to contain a spiritual meaning that harmonized in the most beautiful way with all the other parts. They added that the names symbolize something deeper. This proved to them as well that each and every particular in the Word had been inspired by the Lord, which they had not believed earlier. They also wanted to swear to the truth of this in the presence of others but were not allowed.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1769, 1770