Children who die are still children in the other life. They have the same kind of childlike mind, the same innocence in their ignorance, the same total delicateness—they are only in the rudiments of becoming angels; for children are not angels in being but only angels in becoming. Actually everyone who leaves this world stays in the same state of life—a baby is in the state of a baby, a child in the state of a child, an adolescent or adult or senior in the state of an adolescent, an adult, or a senior. However, this state eventually changes. A child’s state is better than the others, though, in regard to innocence, and in regard to the fact that children have not yet let evils take root in them by actually living them. The quality of innocence is such that everything heavenly can be sown in it, because innocence is the vessel of the truths of faith and the good affections of love.
The condition of children in the other life is vastly better than that of children in our world because they are not clothed with an earthly body. Instead, they have an angelic one. An earthly body is inherently heavy. It does not receive its primary sensations and primary impulses from the inner or spiritual world but from the outer or natural one; so children in this world learn by practice to walk, to do things, and to talk—even their senses, such as sight and hearing, are developed by use.
It is different for children in the other life. Because they are spirits, their actions are impelled directly by their inner natures. They walk without practice and even talk, though at first this is just a matter of general affections as yet undifferentiated into mental concepts. However, they are very soon introduced into these latter as well, since their outer natures are in such concord with their inner natures. Then too, angels’ speech flows from their affections, varied by the concepts of their thought, so that their speech is in perfect agreement with the thoughts that arise from their affections (see Sections 234–245 above).
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 330, 331
Sections 234-245: Published 5/3/2018-5/6/2018