The reason spirits who are in touch with hell are attached to us as well is that we are born into all kinds of evil, so that our first life is made up of nothing else. Unless spirits of the same kind were associated with us, then, we could not live or be led out of our evils and reformed. So we are kept in our own life by evil spirits and restrained from it by good spirits. Through the two kinds, we are kept in a balance; and since we are in a balance we enjoy an appropriate measure of freedom and can be led out of our evils and turned toward good.185 This good can be sown in us as well, which could never happen except in our freedom; and the freedom could not be granted us unless spirits from hell were acting on the one side and spirits from heaven on the other, with us in the middle.
I have been shown that to the extent that we exist from our hereditary nature and from ourselves, we could have no life at all if we were not allowed to engage in evil. We would also have no life if we were not in some freedom, and we cannot be compelled to good: anything compelled does not become part of us. I have also been shown that anything good that we accept in freedom is sown in our intentions and becomes virtually our own. This is why we have a communication with hell and a communication with heaven.
I also need to describe the nature of the communication of heaven with good spirits, the nature of the communication of hell with evil spirits, and the nature of the consequent union of heaven and hell with us. All the spirits who are in the world of spirits are in communication with heaven or with hell, the evil ones with hell and the good ones with heaven. Heaven is differentiated into communities, and so is hell. Every spirit is a member of some community, is sustained by an inflow from it, and therefore acts in harmony with it. This is why we are united with heaven or hell just as we are united with spirits. We are actually united to some community there, the community we belong to in respect to our affection or our love; for all heaven’s communities are differentiated according to their affections for what is good and true and all hell’s communities according to their affections for what is evil and false (on heaven’s communities, see above, §§41–45 and 148–151).
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 293, 294
Sections 41-45: Published 5/7/2017-5/8/2017
Sections 148-151: Published 7/13/2017-7/14/2017