Our Third State after Death, Which Is a State of Instruction for People Who Are Entering Heaven (Continued)

The people who are at these instructional sites live in different places. As individuals, they are inwardly in touch with the communities of heaven they are headed for; so since heaven’s communities are arranged in a heavenly form (see above, Sections 200–212), so too are the places where the teaching takes place. As a result, when you look at these sites from heaven, they look like a heaven in lesser form. In length they stretch from east to west, and in breadth from south to north; but the breadth seems to be less than the length.

The general arrangement is like this. Toward the front are people who have died in childhood and are being educated in heaven up to the age of early adolescence. After having spent their infancy with women educators, they are brought to this location by the Lord and taught.

Behind them are the places where people are taught who died as adults and who in the world were drawn to truth because of the goodness of their lives.

Behind these again are people who were devoted to Islam and had led a moral life in the world, acknowledged one God, and recognized the Lord as the essential prophet. When they let go of Muhammad because he cannot do anything for them, they turn to the Lord and worship him, recognizing his divine nature; and then they receive instruction in the Christian religion.

Behind these, and farther to the north, there are sites for the instruction of various non-Christian people who in the world lived good lives in accord with their own religion, acquired a kind of conscience, and behaved fairly and honestly not because of the laws of their nation but because of the laws of their religion, believing these laws to be holy and not to be violated by their actions in any way. All of them are readily led to recognize the Lord when they have been taught, because at heart they have held that God is not invisible but visible in human form. There are more of these than of any other kind, and the best of them are from Africa.

Not everyone is taught in the same way or by the same communities of heaven. People who have been raised in heaven from infancy are taught by angels of the inner heavens because they have not absorbed false notions from distortions of religion or befouled their spiritual life with impurities drawn from rank and wealth in the world.

Most people who have died as adults are taught by angels of the outmost heaven because these angels are better adapted to them than are angels of the more inward heavens. These latter focus on a deeper wisdom that the deceased cannot yet accept.

Muslims, though, are taught by angels who once adhered to that religion but have turned to Christianity. Other non-Christians too are taught by their own angels.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 514, 515

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