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

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