After Death, the Pleasures of Everyone’s Life Are Turned into Things That Correspond

I explained in the last chapter that our dominant affection or predominant love stays with us forever. Now, though, I need to explain that the pleasures of that affection or love change into things that correspond. “Changing into things that correspond” means changing into spiritual things that answer to the natural ones. We may gather that they change into spiritual things from the fact that as long as we are in our earthly bodies we are in the natural world; but once we leave that body behind, we arrive in the spiritual world and put on a spiritual body. (On angels having perfect human forms and being people after death, and on the bodies they wear being spiritual, see above, Sections 73–77 and 453–460; and for a description of the correspondence of spiritual things with natural ones, see Sections 87–115.)

All our pleasures stem from our dominant love, for the only things that feel pleasant to us are the ones that we love; so the most pleasant of all is what we love above all. Whether you say “our dominant love” or “what we love above all,” it amounts to the same thing.

There are different pleasures—as many, generally speaking, as there are different dominant loves, which means as many as there are of us, and of spirits and angels, since no one’s dominant love is entirely like that of anyone else. This is why no one’s face is exactly like that of anyone else, since the face is the image of the mind, and in the spiritual world is an image of the dominant love. The pleasures of any specific individual are infinitely varied as well, with no pleasure ever entirely like any other. This applies both to the pleasures that come in sequence and to the ones that occur simultaneously. No two are ever alike. However, the specific pleasures of any given individual go back to that single love which is that individual’s dominant love. In fact, they constitute it and therefore become one with it. In much the same way, all pleasures overall go back to one love that is universally dominant—in heaven, a love for the Lord, and in hell, a love for oneself.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 485-486


Sections 73-77: Published 3/9/2018-3/10/2018

Sections 453-460: Published 5/16/2017-5/21/2017

Sections 87-102: Published 6/4/2017-6/12/2017

Sections 103-115: Published 6/17/2017-6/26/2017

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