Angels always face the Lord as the sun, so south is on their right, north on their left, and west behind them (Continued)

Angels’ turning toward the Lord is like this: no matter which way they turn their bodies, they are looking at the Lord as the sun in front of themselves. Angels can turn this way and that and can thus see the various things that surround them, but still the Lord as the sun seems to be constantly in front of them.

This may seem remarkable, but it is the truth. I too have been allowed to see the Lord as the sun like this. I have been seeing him in front of me for a number of years; whatever direction I turned to, I saw him like this.

Since the Lord as the sun and therefore the east is in front of all heaven’s angels, it follows that the south is to their right, the north to their left, and the west behind them, again no matter which way they turn their bodies. That is, all the regions in the spiritual world are based on the east, as already stated [Section 120]. This means that people who have the east before their eyes are in those very regions and actually set their boundaries; since, as I have just explained in Sections 124–128, the regions are not caused by the Lord as the sun but by the angels, according to their receptivity.

Now, since heaven is made up of angels, and since this is what angels are like, it follows that the whole heaven faces the Lord and that because it does, heaven is governed by the Lord as though it were a single individual—which is what heaven looks like in the Lord’s sight. On heaven looking like a single individual in the Lord’s sight, see Heaven and Hell 59–87 [59–86]. This is the cause of heaven’s regions as well.

Since these regions are virtually written on each angel and on all of heaven, angels, unlike us in our world, know their homes and houses no matter where they travel. The reason we do not know our homes and houses instinctively, from their regions, is that we are thinking in terms of space and therefore in terms of this physical world’s geography, which has nothing in common with the geography of the spiritual world.

However, birds and animals have this kind of knowledge by instinct. They know their homes and dwellings instinctively, as much experience testifies. This is a clue to the nature of the spiritual world, since everything that happens in the physical world is an effect and everything that happens in the spiritual world is a cause of such effects. Nothing happens in nature that does not have its cause in the spiritual realm.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 131-134

Notes:

Section 120: Published 2/23/2019

Sections 124-128: Published 2/25/2019-2/26/2019

Sections 59-76 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/3/2018-3/10/2018

Sections 77-86 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/28/2018-3/30/2018

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Angels always face the Lord as the sun, so south is on their right, north on their left, and west behind them

All these statements about angels and the way they face the Lord as the sun should also be understood as applying to us spiritually, since we are spirits as to our minds, and angels if we are engaged in love and wisdom. So after death, when we shed the outer forms we have derived from the physical world, we become spirits or angels. Since angels do constantly face the sunrise (the Lord), we say of people who are engaged in love and wisdom from the Lord that they see God, that they look to God, and that they have God before their eyes, meaning that they are living like angels. We say these things in this world both because that is what is really happening in heaven and because that is what is actually happening in our spirits. Do we not all look straight ahead at God when we pray, no matter which way we are facing?

The reason angels constantly face the Lord as the sun is that angels are in the Lord and the Lord is in them. The Lord exercises an inner guidance of their feelings and thoughts and constantly turns them toward himself. This means that they cannot help but look toward the east where they see the Lord as the sun. We can see from this that angels do not turn themselves toward the Lord—the Lord turns them toward himself. When angels are thinking about the Lord inwardly, they think of him simply as in themselves. This deeper thought itself does not create any distance, while more outward thought does, the thought that acts in unison with eyesight. The reason is that the outward thought is in space, while the inward thought is not, though even when it is not in space (as in the spiritual world) it is still in an appearance of space.

It is hard for people to understand this, though, if they think spatially about God. God is actually everywhere and yet not in space. So he is both within and outside angels, which enables them to see him both inside and outside themselves—inside themselves when they are thinking from love and wisdom, and outside themselves when they are thinking about love and wisdom. This topic will be discussed in greater detail, though, in works on the Lord’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.

Everyone should beware not to slip into the terrible heresy that God pours himself into us and is in us and no longer in himself. God is everywhere, within us and outside us, being in all space nonspatially, as I have already explained in Sections 7–10 and 69–72. That is, if he were in us he would be not only divided up but enclosed in space, and we could then even think that we were God. This heresy is so loathsome that in the spiritual world it stinks like a corpse.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 129-130

Notes:

Sections 7-10: Published 4/10/2018-4/11/2018

Sections 69-72: Published 5/28/2018-5/29/2018

The regions in the spiritual world are not caused by the Lord as the sun but by the angels, depending on their receptivity (Continued)

It makes sense that a particular openness to love and wisdom establishes a region in the spiritual world, given the fact that angels change their location in response to any increase or decrease of love in them. We can see from this that the location is not caused by the Lord as the sun but by angels, according to their receptivity.

The same holds true for us as far as our spirits are concerned. In spirit, each of us is in some particular region of the spiritual world no matter where we may be in the physical world. That is, the regions of the spiritual world have nothing in common with those of the physical world, as already stated [Section 120]. We are in the one as to body and in the other as to spirit.

For love and wisdom to be a single whole in angels and in us, there are pairs throughout our bodies. Our eyes, ears, and nostrils are paired, our hands, sides, and feet are paired, our brains are divided into two hemispheres, our heart into two chambers, our lungs into two lobes, and so on. So for both angels and for us there is a right side and a left side; and all the right side parts have to do with the love that gives rise to wisdom, while all the left side parts have to do with the wisdom of that love. We could also say, which amounts to the same thing, that all the right side parts have to do with the good that gives rise to the true and all the left side parts with what is true because of that goodness.

Both we and angels have these pairs so that love and wisdom, or what is good and what is true, may act in unison and focus on the Lord in unison—but there will be more on this later [Sections 384, 409].

We can see from this how caught up in illusion and consequent distortion people are if they think that the Lord parcels heaven out arbitrarily, or arbitrarily enables one person to be wiser and more loving than another. No, the Lord intends that one person should be just as wise and just as saved as another. He offers all of us the means. To the extent that we accept them and live by them, we are wise and we are saved, because the Lord is the same with one person as with another. The receivers, though, the angels and the people on earth, are different because of their differing receptivity and life.

This fits with what has already been said [Section 124] about the regions and about the way angels’ locations depend on them, namely that the differences stem from the recipients and not from the Lord.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 126-128

Notes:

Section 120: Published 2/23/2019

Section 124: Published 2/25/2019

The regions in the spiritual world are not caused by the Lord as the sun but by the angels, depending on their receptivity

I have stated that angels live in distinct regions, some in the east, some in the west, some in the south, and some in the north. I have also stated that the ones who live in the east are engaged in a higher level of love, those in the west in a lower level of love, those in the south in the light of wisdom, and those in the north in the shadow of wisdom.

This variation of place seems to be caused by the Lord as the sun, yet it is actually caused by the angels. The Lord is not at a greater or lesser degree of love and wisdom; as the sun, he is not at a greater or lesser level of warmth and light for one person than for another. He is everywhere the same. However, he is not accepted at the same level by one person as by another, and this makes it seem as though they are more or less distant from each other, in a variety of regions. It follows from this that the regions in the spiritual world are simply variations in the receptivity of love and wisdom and therefore of the warmth and light of the Lord as the sun. If you look at what was explained in Sections 108–112 about distances in the spiritual world being apparent only, you will see that this is true.

Since the regions are variations in the way angels accept love and wisdom, I need to say something about the variety that gives rise to the appearance.

As I explained in the preceding section, the Lord is in each angel, and each angel is in the Lord. However, since it looks as though the Lord as the sun were outside angels, it also looks as though the Lord is seeing them from the sun and that they are seeing the Lord in the sun. This is much like seeing an image in a mirror. So if we talk on the basis of the way things seem, that is how it is. The Lord sees and examines angels face to face, but angels do not see the Lord in the same way. When they are engaged in the love for him that comes from him, they do see him straight ahead, so they are in the east or the west. When they are more engaged in wisdom, though, they see the Lord off to the right, and when they are less engaged in wisdom they see him off to the left, so they are in the north or the south.

The reason they have an oblique view is that love and wisdom emanate from the Lord as a single whole, but they are not accepted that way by angels, as I have already noted [Section 99]. Any wisdom that goes beyond love may look like wisdom, but it is not, since there is no life from love in that excess wisdom. We can see from this where the differences in receptivity come from, the differences that cause the appearance that angels live in the different regions in the spiritual world.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 124-125

Notes:

Sections 108-112: Published 2/17/2019-2/18/2019

Section 99: Published 6/12/2018

The east in the spiritual world is where the Lord is seen as the sun, and the other directions follow from that (Continued)

Since these regions are spiritual because of their source (the Lord as the sun), the places where angels and spirits live are spiritual as well, since the places all depend on these regions. The places are spiritual because their locations depend on the angels’ acceptance of love and wisdom from the Lord. People who are at a higher level of love live in the east, while people who are at a lower level of love live in the west. People who are at a higher level of wisdom live in the south, while people who are at a lower level of wisdom live in the north.

This is why “the east” in the Word, in its highest sense, means the Lord, while in a secondary sense it means a love for him, while “the west” means a waning love for him. “The south” means wisdom in the light and “the north” wisdom beclouded. There are some variations of these meanings as they relate to the state of the people under discussion.

Since the east is the basis on which all the regions in the spiritual world are laid out, and since the east in the highest sense means the Lord and divine love, we can see that the Lord and love for him is the source of everything. We can also see that to the extent that people do not share in that love, they are far from him and live either in the west or in the south or in the north, with the distance depending on their openness to love.

Since the Lord as the sun is always in the east, early people—for whom all the elements of worship were symbolic of spiritual realities—faced the east when they worshiped. Further, to be sure that they did this in all their rituals, they faced their temples in the same direction. This is the reason churches are built in the same way at present.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 121-123

The east in the spiritual world is where the Lord is seen as the sun, and the other directions follow from that (Continued)

At this point, then, we need to discuss the regions in the spiritual world. There are regions there just as there are in the physical world; but the regions of the spiritual world, like that world itself, are spiritual, while the regions of the physical world, like this world itself, are physical. This means that they are so different that they have nothing in common. There are four regions in each world, called the east, the west, the south, and the north. In the physical world, these four regions are static, determined by the sun in the south. The north is behind, with the east on one side and the west on the other. These regions are determined by the south wherever you go, since the sun’s position at noon is always the same and therefore static.

It is different in the spiritual world. There the regions are determined by the sun, which always appears in its own place; and where it appears is the east. So the assignment of regions in that world is not from the south as it is in the physical world but from the east. The west is behind, with the south on one side and the north on the other. We will see below, however, that the regions are not caused by its sun but by the inhabitants of that world, the angels and spirits.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 120

The east in the spiritual world is where the Lord is seen as the sun, and the other directions follow from that

Now that I have discussed the spiritual world’s sun and its essence, its warmth and light, and the Lord’s consequent presence, I need to talk as well about the regions of that world. The reason for talking about the sun and that world is that our subject is God, and love and wisdom. To discuss these apart from their origin would be to start from effects and not from their causes. Yet effects teach us nothing but effects. When only they are highlighted, they do not show us any cause; rather, causes show us effects. Knowing about effects on the basis of their cause is being wise, but exploring causes on the basis of their effects is not being wise; because when we do, various illusions present themselves that we as investigators identify as causes. To do this is to make foolishness of wisdom. Causes precede and effects follow. We cannot see preceding things from following things, but we can see following things from preceding things. That is the pattern.

This is why we are dealing with the spiritual world first here. That world is where all the causes are. Later [Sections 134, 154] we will discuss the physical world, where everything we see is an effect.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 119

The Image of God and The Likeness of God

The Lord has created and formed within us two vessels and dwellings for himself called volition and discernment. Volition is for his divine love and discernment for his divine wisdom. I have already discussed the divine love and wisdom of God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity, and I have discussed the creation of the universe. Now I need to say something about our own creation. We read that we were created in the image of God and according to his likeness (Genesis 1:26). In this passage “the image of God” means divine wisdom and “the likeness of God” means divine love, since wisdom is nothing more than the image of love. Love actually presents itself to view and to recognition in wisdom, and since that is where we see and recognize it, wisdom is its image. Then too, love is the reality of life and wisdom is its consequent manifestation. This “image and likeness” of God is strikingly visible in angels. Love shining from within is in their faces and wisdom in their beauty, with beauty as the form of their love. I have seen this, and I have come to know it.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 358

Angels are in the Lord and the Lord is in them; and since angels are vessels, the Lord alone is heaven (Continued)

However, this calls for an explanation of how angels can feel and sense this as their own and so accept and retain it when in fact it is not theirs, given the statement that angels are not angels on their own but by virtue of what is within them from the Lord. The essence of the matter is this. There is freedom and rationality in every angel. These two qualities are there so that angels can be open to love and wisdom from the Lord. Neither of these, though—neither the freedom nor the rationality—belongs to the angels. They are in them but belong to the Lord. However, since these two elements are intimately united to angels’ life, so intimately united that you could call them linked to their life, it seems as though they belong to the angels. Freedom and rationality enable them to think and intend and to speak and act; and what they think, intend, speak, and act as a result seems to be done on their own. This gives rise to the reciprocal element that is the means to union.

Still, the more that angels believe that love and wisdom are within them and claim them for themselves as their own, the more there is nothing angelic within them. To the same extent, then, there is no union with the Lord for them. They are outside the truth; and since truth is identical with heaven’s light, they are correspondingly unable to be in heaven. This leads to a denial that they live from the Lord and a belief that they live on their own and therefore that they possess some divine essence. The life called angelic and human consists of these two elements—freedom and rationality.

This leads to the conclusion that angels have a reciprocal ability for the sake of their union with the Lord, but that the reciprocal element, seen as an ability, is the Lord’s and not theirs. As a result, angels fall from angelhood if they abuse this reciprocal element that enables them to feel and sense what is the Lord’s as their own by actually claiming it for themselves. The Lord himself teaches us in John 14:20–24 and 15:4, 5, 6 that union is reciprocal, and in John 15:7 that the Lord’s union with us and ours with him occurs in things that belong to him, things called “his words.”

There are people who think that Adam had a kind of freedom or ability to choose that enabled him to love God and be wise on his own, and that this freedom to choose was lost in his descendants. This, however, is wrong. We are not life, but life-receivers (see Sections 4–6 and 55–60 above); and people who are life-receivers cannot love and be wise from their own resources. So when Adam wanted to love and be wise from his own resources, he fell from wisdom and love and was cast out of the garden.

We can say much the same about the heaven that is made up of angels as we have said about individual angels, since Divinity is the same in the largest and smallest things (see Sections 77–82 above). What we have said about angels and heaven needs to be said about us and the church as well, since angels of heaven and we of the church act in consort because of our union. Further, as to the inner reaches of our minds, we of the church are angels—but “we of the church” means people who have the church within themselves.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 116-118

Notes:

Sections 4: Published 4/14/2016

Section 5-6: Published 4/9/2018

Sections 55-60: Published 5/23/2018-5/24/2018

Sections 77-82: Published 6/1/2018-6/2/2018

Angels are in the Lord and the Lord is in them; and since angels are vessels, the Lord alone is heaven

Heaven is called God’s dwelling and God’s throne, so people think that God lives there like a monarch in a realm. However, God—that is, the Lord—is in the sun above the heavens and is in the heavens by means of his presence in warmth and light, as I have explained in the last two sections. Further, even though the Lord is present in heaven in this apparently distant way, he is still also intrinsically present there, so to speak, since as I have just explained in Sections 103–112 the distance between the sun and heaven is not a distance but a virtual distance. Given the fact that this distance is only apparent, then, it follows that the Lord himself is in heaven. He is in the love and wisdom of heaven’s angels; and since he is in the love and wisdom of all the angels and the angels make up heaven, he is in all of heaven.

The reason the Lord is not only in heaven but actually is heaven itself is that love and wisdom make an angel, and these two are properties of the Lord in the angels. It therefore follows that the Lord is heaven.

Angels are not angels because of anything that belongs to them. What belongs to them is just like what belongs to us—evil. The reason this is what belongs to angels is that all angels were once earthly people, and this attribute clings to them from their birth. It is simply moved aside, and to the extent that it is, they accept love and wisdom, or the Lord, into themselves.

With a little elevation of understanding, everyone can see that it is quite impossible for the Lord to dwell with angels in anything but what is his, that is, what belongs to him, which is love and wisdom. He cannot dwell in anything that belongs to the angels, which is evil. This is why the Lord is in them, and they are angels, to the extent that evil is moved aside. The actual angelic essence of heaven is divine love and wisdom. This divine reality is called “angelic” when it is in angels; so again we can see that angels are angels because of the Lord and not on their own. The same therefore holds true for heaven as well.

Still, there is no understanding how the Lord is in an angel and an angel is in the Lord except through knowing what kind of union is involved. It is a union of the Lord with the angel and of the angel with the Lord, so it is a reciprocal union. On the angel’s side, it is like this. Angels, like us, simply feel as though they participate in love and wisdom on their own, and therefore that love and wisdom are theirs, their very own. If they did not feel this way there would be no union, so the Lord would not be in them, nor they in the Lord. It cannot happen that the Lord is in any angels or people unless they, as subjects of his presence in love and wisdom, sense and feel this as their own. This enables them not only to accept but also to retain what they have accepted, and to love in response. This, then, is how angels become wise and remain wise. Can people decide to love God and their neighbor, can people decide to gain wisdom, unless they feel and sense that what they love, learn, and gain is their own? Can they retain anything in themselves otherwise? If it were not for this, then the inflowing love and wisdom would have no seat. They would flow right through without making any difference; and as a result angels would not be angels and people would not be human. They would be virtually lifeless.

It makes sense, then, that if there is to be union, there must be reciprocity.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 113-115