Wise and Simple People in Heaven

PEOPLE think that wise individuals will have more glory and renown in heaven than simple people because it says in Daniel, “The intelligent will shine like the radiance of the firmament, and those who have justified many, like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3). However, not many people know who are meant by “the intelligent” and “those who justify.” The common opinion is that these are the people we call scholarly and learned, especially the ones who have had teaching roles in the church and have surpassed others in doctrine and in preaching—even more so if they are among those who have converted many to the faith. People like this are all considered “intelligent” in the world; but still, the people this verse is about are not intelligent in heaven unless their intelligence is the heavenly intelligence that we are about to describe.

Heavenly intelligence is a deeper intelligence arising from a love of what is true—not for the sake of any praise in the world or any praise in heaven, but simply for the sake of the truth itself, because it is profoundly moving and delightful. People who are moved and delighted by the truth itself are moved and delighted by heaven’s light; and if so, then they are also moved and delighted by divine truth and actually by the Lord himself, since heaven’s light is divine truth, and divine truth is the Lord in heaven (see above, Sections 126–140).

This light enters the deeper levels of the mind only, since the deeper levels of the mind are formed to accept it; and to the extent that it enters, it moves and delights because anything that flows in from heaven and is accepted has delight and pleasure within it. This is the source of a genuine affection for what is true—an affection for what is true for its own sake. People who are caught up in this affection (or in this love, which amounts to the same thing), enjoy heavenly intelligence and shine in heaven like the radiance of the firmament. The reason they shine is that wherever divine truth occurs in heaven, it shines (see above, Section 132); and by reason of correspondence, the firmament of heaven means the deeper intelligence, both in angels and in us, that is in heaven’s light.

However, people who are engaged in a love for what is true for the sake of praise in this world or praise in heaven cannot possibly shine in heaven, because they are not delighted and moved by heaven’s light, only by the world’s light; and this latter light without the heavenly one is pure darkness.a Their own praise is actually in control because it is the goal they have in view, and when that praise is our goal, then we are focused primarily on ourselves; and the truths that are useful as means to our praise are regarded solely as means to an end and as slaves. This is because whenever we love divine truths for the sake of our own praise, we are focusing on ourselves in the divine truths and not on the Lord. This switches our sight (which is an activity of our understanding and faith) from heaven to the world and from the Lord to ourselves. This is why we are in the world’s light and not in heaven’s light.

Outwardly, in each other’s sight, they look just as intelligent and wise as people who are in heaven’s light, because they talk in much the same way. They may even seem wiser outwardly, because they are energized by their self-love and have learned to imitate heavenly affections. Inwardly, though, as angels see them, they are totally different. We may gather in some measure from this just who are meant by “the intelligent, who will shine like the radiance of the firmament.” Now we need to explain who are meant by “the ones who justify many, who will shine like stars.”

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 346, 347

Notes:

Sections 126-140: Published 11/22/2016-12/2/2016

Section 132: Published 11/27/2016

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