The Whole Heaven, Grasped as a Single Entity, Reflects a Single Individual (Continued)

This is the angelic concept of person, so angels never pay attention to what someone’s body is doing, but rather to the intent from which the body is acting. They call this the essential person, together with the intellect to the extent that it is acting in unison with the intent.

Actually, angels do not see heaven in a single overview in this kind of form, since the entire heaven does not lie within the scope of any angel’s sight. However, they do consistently see particular communities that are made up of many thousands of angels as single units in this kind of form; and from the community as a sample they draw their inference about the totality that is heaven. This is because in the most perfect form the greater elements are arranged like the parts, and the parts like the greater elements. The only distinction is between what is greater and what is lesser. Therefore they say that the entire heaven looks like this in the Lord’s sight, because the Divine sees everything from the very center and summit.

Since heaven is of this nature, it is also governed by the Lord as though it were a single individual and therefore a single unit. We ourselves consist of countless different things, both overall and in our parts. We are made up overall of our limbs, organs, and viscera, and in our parts of series of nerves, fibers, and blood vessels—made up of members within members, then, and parts within parts. Still, we do of course recognize that when we do anything, we do it as whole individuals. This is what heaven is like, too, under the Lord’s guardianship and guidance.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 61-63


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