7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence : The Second Memorable Occurrence (Continued)

The next day some people from the main group came to me—the group that believed in predestination and God’s assigning of spiritual credit or blame. They said, “We are drunk in a way, not on wine but on the things that man said yesterday. He spoke about omnipotence and also about the divine design. He concluded that the design is as divine as omnipotence is. He even said that God himself is the divine design. He said that there are as many laws of the divine design as there are truths in the Word—not just thousands but millions—and that God is bound by his laws in the Word as we are bound by ours. But what does that make divine omnipotence, if it is restricted by laws? It takes all the absoluteness out of omnipotence. Isn’t God’s power then less than the power of a monarch on a worldly throne? Monarchs can turn the laws of justice in another direction as easily as they turn the palms of their hands. They can have the absolute power of an Octavian Augustus; they can also have the absolute power of a Nero. After we thought for a while about omnipotence bound by laws, we felt drunk and likely to lose consciousness if we didn’t find some remedy very quickly.

“Our prayers have been said on the basis of our faith. We have prayed for God our Father to have mercy for the sake of his Son, believing that he could have mercy on whomever he wished, forgive the sins of whomever he pleased, and save whomever he wanted to. We wouldn’t have dared take away in the least from his omnipotence. Therefore binding God with the chains of some of his own laws seems unspeakable to us, because it goes against his omnipotence.”

When they finished they looked at me and I looked at them. They appeared thunderstruck. I said, “I will take an appeal to the Lord and bring back a remedy to enlighten the issue. In the meanwhile, though, I’ll resort to some examples.

“God Almighty created the world from the design in himself,” I said. “The divine design in which he is and which he follows as he rules is something he built into the world. He endowed the universe and everything in it with its own design. Human beings have theirs, animals theirs, birds and fish theirs, insects theirs; every species of tree, even every type of grass has its own design.

“As examples to provide enlightenment, I’ll briefly give the following. There are laws of the divine design imposed on human beings that indicate that we are to acquire truths from the Word for ourselves and that we are to base our thinking on them in an earthly way and, as much as we can, in a rational way. This is how we develop an earthly faith for ourselves. On God’s side, there are laws of the divine design dictating that he is to come closer, fill those truths with his own divine light, take our earthly faith, which is only knowledge and persuasion, and fill it with a divine essence. This is the only way for faith to become capable of saving. There is a similar process for developing goodwill.

“Let’s list some other points briefly. According to God’s laws, he can forgive us our sins only to the extent that we follow our laws and stop doing them. God cannot regenerate us spiritually beyond the point to which we, following our laws, have regenerated ourselves in an earthly way. God makes an unceasing effort to regenerate us and save us, but he cannot do it unless we prepare ourselves as a vessel, leveling a pathway for God [Isaiah 40:3–4] and opening the door [Revelation 3:20]. A suitor cannot enter his beloved’s bedroom before she becomes his bride—she locks the door and keeps the key with her. After she has become a bride, though, she gives her bridegroom the key.

Even for all God’s omnipotence, he could not have redeemed humankind unless he had become human. He could not have made his human nature divine unless it was first like a human being as an infant and then like a human being as a child. Later his human nature also needed to form itself into a vessel and a dwelling place for his Father to enter, which he did by fulfilling everything in the Word, meaning all the laws of the divine design in it. The more he completed this process, the more he united himself to the Father and the Father united himself to him.

“However, these are just a few points I bring up for the sake of illustration, so that you can see that divine omnipotence exists within the divine design and follows that design in its governing called providence. Constantly and to eternity divine omnipotence acts in accordance with the laws of its own design. God cannot act against them or change even the tip of one letter of them, because he is the divine design along with all its laws.”

After I finished speaking, a bright, golden-colored light flowed in through the roof and formed angel guardians flying in the air. The redness in the light lit up the temples of some of the people, but only toward the backs of their heads, not yet near their foreheads, because they were muttering, “We still don’t know what omnipotence is.” “It will be revealed,” I said, “but only after the things I have already said gain more light in you.”

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 73


7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence. (Continued): The Second Memorable Occurance

Once I heard a strange murmur from far away. In my spirit I followed the path of the sound and moved closer to its source. When I reached it, to my surprise it was a group of spirits debating predestination and the [divine] assignment of spiritual credit or blame. They were Dutch and English, with a few spirits from other countries. At the end of each piece of reasoning they were shouting, “We’re amazed! We’re amazed!”

The topic of the debate was this: “Why doesn’t God assign his Son’s merit and justice to all the people he has created and treat them all as redeemed? He is omnipotent. If he wants, can’t he make Lucifer, the dragon, and all the goats into archangels? He is omnipotent. Why does he let the Devil’s injustice and ungodliness triumph over his Son’s justice and the piety of those who worship God? It would be very easy for God to see all people as worthy of faith and therefore salvation. What would it take except a little word to that effect? If he doesn’t do this, isn’t he acting against his own words, which are that he wants the salvation of all and the death of none [Ezekiel 33:11]? Tell us, then: Where and what is the cause of damnation for those who perish?”

Then some Dutch person who believed in predestination, including the predestination of the fall of Adam [Genesis 3], said, “That decision is simply up to the Omnipotent One. Does the clay complain to the potter when he makes a chamber pot out of it?”

Another one said, “The decision regarding everyone’s salvation is in God’s hand, as a pair of scales is in the hand of someone weighing something.”

At the sides stood a number of people who were simple in faith and upright at heart. Some of these bystanders had bloodshot eyes, some seemed stunned, some seemed drunk, and some seemed to be suffocating. They were muttering to each other, “What have we to do with all this deliriousness? They believe that God the Father attributes his Son’s justice to whomever he wants, whenever he wants, and sends his Holy Spirit to give the rewards of that justice. This belief has made them stupid. To them it seems that in order to avoid claiming for ourselves even a speck of contribution to our own salvation, we must act in every way like a stone when we undertake to become justified, and like a piece of dead wood in matters spiritual.”

Then one of these bystanders pushed his way into the group and said in a loud voice, “Oh, you demented people! You are debating about goat’s wool! Obviously you don’t realize that God Almighty is the divine design itself and that the laws of the divine design are countless. Their number, of course, is the number of truths in the Word. God cannot act against those laws, because acting against them would be acting against himself. It would be acting not only against justice but also against his own omnipotence.”

The bystander looked over to the right and saw in the distance what looked like a sheep and a lamb, as well as a dove in flight. To the left he saw a goat, a wolf, and a vulture. He said, “You believe that God in his omnipotence could turn that goat into a sheep, that wolf into a lamb, and that vulture into a dove, or the reverse. Not so. Doing that is against the laws of his divine design, of which not even the tip of one letter can fall to the ground, according to his own words [Luke 16:17]. How then could God put the justice of his Son’s redemption into someone who is rebelling against the laws of his justice? How can justice itself commit the injustice of predestining anyone to hell, and throwing anyone into the fire beside which the Devil stands, lighting the torches that he holds? Oh, you demented people, empty of spirit! Your faith has led you astray. In your hands faith is like a trap for catching doves.”

When he finished saying this, some sorcerer of the opposite belief made a kind of trap. He hung it in a tree and said, “Watch me catch that dove!” Soon a hawk flew to the trap, stuck its neck in, and hung limp. The dove saw the hawk and flew away. The bystanders were amazed and shouted, “That is impressive—a just reward!”

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 72

7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence. (Continued):The first Memorable Occurrence

Once I heard beneath me the sound of ocean waves. I asked what it was. Someone told me it was a riot that had broken out among the people gathered in the lower earth, a place just above hell. Soon the ground under our feet, which served as a roof over the people there, began to yawn wide. Then I was stunned to see huge flocks of night birds soaring out of the chasm. As they flew on they fanned out to the left. Immediately after them, locusts sprang up onto the grass and turned it all into a desert. A little later I began to hear night birds screeching back and forth to one another, and over to the side an incoherent wailing as if there were ghosts in the woods.

Afterward I saw beautiful birds from heaven fanning out to the right. The distinguishing features of those birds were their golden wings, which were irregularly streaked and spotted with something like silver. On the heads of some were crown-shaped crests. As I was watching all this with amazement, suddenly a spirit flew up from the lower earth where the riot was going on. He possessed the power to change his form into that of an angel of light. He was shouting, “Where is the person who is talking and writing about the design God Almighty restricted himself to in relation to humankind? Down below we heard these things through the roof.”

When he reached the ground he hurried along a paved road. As at last he drew near me, he suddenly disguised himself as an angel of heaven.

Addressing me in a tone that was not his own he said, “Are you the one who is thinking and talking about the divine design? Tell me briefly what the divine design is, and say a few things about it.”

“I’ll give you a summary,” I answered, “but I won’t go into details, because you wouldn’t understand.”

Then I said, “One: God is the divine design itself. Two: He created humankind on the basis of his design and in keeping with it, and built that design into us. Three: He created our rational minds in imitation of the divine design in the whole spiritual world, and our bodies in imitation of the divine design in the whole physical world. This is why the ancients called a person both a heaven in miniature and a world in miniature. Four: As a result, it is a law of the divine design that we are to rule our microcosm or physical-world-in-miniature from our microheaven or spiritual-world-in-miniature, just as God rules everything about the macrocosm or physical world from his macroheaven or spiritual world. Five: A law of the divine design following from this is that we are to bring ourselves into a state of faith by means of truths from the Word and bring ourselves into a state of goodwill by means of good actions; and this is how we reform and regenerate ourselves. Six: It is a law of the divine design that we are to use our own power and do our own work to purify ourselves from sins; we do not stand in impotent faith and wait for God miraculously to wipe them away. Seven: It is also a law of the divine design that we are to love God with all our soul and with all our heart, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are not to hang around and wait for God miraculously to put each love into our minds and hearts like putting bread from the baker in our mouths.” I said other things like that as well.

To this the satan replied in a soothing voice that had pride behind it, “What are you saying? That on the basis of our own power we need to bring ourselves into the divine design by practicing its rules? Don’t you know that we are not under the law but under grace? All things are given for free. We cannot take anything for ourselves unless it is given to us from heaven. In the spiritual arena we have no more ability to act on our own than Lot’s wife, the statue; or Dagon, the idol of the Philistines in Ekron. It is impossible for us to grant ourselves justification; justification can be achieved only through faith and goodwill.”

To the things he said I made only this one reply: “It is also a law of the divine design that by our own work and power we are to gain faith for ourselves by means of truths from the Word, yet we are to believe that our faith comes from God and not a grain of it from ourselves. Likewise, by our own work and power we are to become justified, yet we are to believe that our justification comes from God and not even a jot of it from ourselves. We have been commanded to believe in God, to love God with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Think about it and tell me how God could command these things if we had no ability to obey and do them?”

At that the satan’s face changed. It went from white to a sickly yellow; then it soon turned completely black, and with a pitch-black mouth he said, “You’re speaking paradoxes against our paradoxes!”

Then he immediately sank down toward his own people and disappeared. The birds on the left and the ghosts made strange sounds and then threw themselves into the sea that people there call the Reed Sea. The locusts hopped along after them. The air and the land were cleansed of those wild things, and the riot below came to a stop. All became calm and serene.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 70

Our Freedom Depends on the Balance between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

We need to be aware that our union with heaven and with hell is not directly with them but is mediated by spirits who are in the world of spirits. These spirits are with us, none from hell itself or heaven itself. We are united to hell through evil spirits in the world of spirits and with heaven through the good spirits there. Because of this arrangement, the world of spirits is halfway between heaven and hell and is at the point of balance.

On the location of the world of spirits halfway between heaven and hell, see the chapter on the world of spirits (Sections 421–431); and on its being at the point of balance between heaven and hell, see the last chapter (Sections 589–596).

We can see from this where we get our freedom.

I need to say something else about the spirits associated with us. A whole community can establish communication with another community or with another individual in any location through a spirit emissary. This spirit is called the “agent” of the group. Much the same holds true for our union with communities in heaven and with communities in hell, through spirits associated with us in the world of spirits. On this matter too, see the references to Secrets of Heaven at the close of the chapter.

One last note, about our instinct concerning life after death that results from heaven’s inflow into us. There were some common people who had lived in the virtues of their faith in the world. They were brought back into a state like the one they had in the world (which can happen to anyone when the Lord allows it), and then shown what kind of notion they had had about our state after death. They said that in the world, some intelligent people had asked them what they thought about their soul after their life in the world, and they said they did not know what a soul was. Then the questioners asked them what they believed about their state after death, and they said they believed they would live as spirits. Next they were asked what kind of belief they had about spirits, and they said that spirits were people. Their questioners kept asking how they knew this, and they kept saying that they knew it because it was true. The intelligent people were amazed that simple people had this kind of faith when they themselves did not.

I could see from this that everyone who is united to heaven has an instinctive notion about life after death. The sole source of this instinctive notion is the inflow from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, by means of spirits who are assigned to us from the world of spirits. This instinctive notion is possessed by people who have not stifled their freedom of thought by assumptions about the human soul that they have seized on and confirmed by various means, assumptions that the soul is either pure thought or some animate principle whose seat they seek in the body. However, the soul is nothing more nor less than our life, while the spirit is the actual person, and the body is an earthly thing we carry around in the world. It is only an agent through which our spirit, the actual person, acts in a way that is adapted to the natural world.

What I have been saying in this book about heaven, the world of spirits, and hell will be obscure to people who find no delight in knowing about spiritual truths; but it will be clear to people who do have this delight, especially to people involved in an affection for truth for its own sake—that is, people who love truth because it is true. Anything that is loved enters into the concepts of our minds with light, especially when what is loved is true, because all truth is in the light.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 600-603


Sections 421-431: Published 5/22/2017-5/28/2017

Sections 589-596: Published 3/17/2019-3/20/2019

Our Freedom Depends on the Balance between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

The reason we cannot be reformed unless we have some freedom is that we are born into evils of all kinds, evils which need to be taken away if we are to be saved. They cannot be taken away unless we see them within ourselves, admit that they are there, then refuse them and ultimately turn away from them. Only then are they taken away. This cannot happen unless we are exposed to both good and evil, since it is from good that we can see evils, though we cannot see what is good from evil. We learn the good spiritual things we can think from infancy from the reading of the Word and from sermons. We learn the moral and civic values from our life in the world. This is the primary reason we need to be in freedom.

The second reason is that nothing becomes part of us except as a result of some affection of love. True, other things can enter us, but no deeper than into our thought, not into our volition; and anything that does not enter our volition is not ours. This is because thinking is derived from our memory, while volition is derived from our life itself. Nothing is ever free unless it comes from our volition, or what amounts to the same thing, from a particular affection that stems from our love. Whatever we intend or love, we do freely. This is why our freedom and the affection of our love or intentions are one. So we also have freedom in order to be able to be moved by what is true and good, or to love them, so that they do become part of us.

In a word, anything that does not enter us in freedom does not stay with us, because it does not belong to our love or intentions; and anything that does not belong to our love or intentions does not belong to our spirit. The actual reality of our spirit is love or volition—using the phrase “love or volition” because whatever we love, we intend.

This is why we cannot be reformed except in a state of freedom. But there is more on our freedom in the extracts from Secrets of Heaven below.

So that we can be in freedom for the sake of our reformation, we are united in spirit with heaven and with hell. With each of us there are spirits from hell and angels from heaven. By means of the spirits from hell we encounter our evil, and by means of the angels from heaven we encounter the good we have from the Lord. As a result, we are in a spiritual equilibrium—that is, in a freedom.

On the presence with us of angels from heaven and spirits from hell, see the chapter on the union of heaven with the human race (Sections 291–302).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 598-599


Sections 291-302: Published 6/22/2018-6/27/2018

Our Freedom Depends on the Balance between Heaven and Hell

I have just described the balance between heaven and hell and have shown that the balance is between what is good from heaven and what is evil from hell, which means that it is a spiritual balance that in essence is a freedom.

The reason this spiritual balance is essentially a freedom is that it exists between what is good and what is evil and between what is true and what is false, and these are spiritual realities. So the ability to intend either good or evil and to think either truth or falsity, the ability to choose one instead of the other, is the freedom I am dealing with here.

The Lord grants this freedom to every individual, and it is never taken away. By virtue of its source it in fact belongs to the Lord and not to us because it comes from the Lord; yet still it is given us along with our life as though it were ours. This is so that we can be reformed and saved, for without freedom there can be no reformation or salvation.

Anyone who uses a little rational insight can see that we have a freedom to think well or badly, honestly or dishonestly, fairly or unfairly, and that we can talk and act well, honestly, and fairly but not badly, dishonestly, and unfairly because of the spiritual, moral, and civil laws that keep our outward nature in restraint.

We can see from this that the freedom applies to our spirit, which does our thinking and intending, but not to our outer nature, which does our talking and acting, except as this follows the aforementioned laws.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 597

The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

It needs to be realized that the hells are constantly attacking heaven and trying to destroy it and that the Lord is constantly protecting the heavens by restraining the people there from the evils that arise from their self-concern and by keeping them involved in the good that comes from him. I have often been granted a sense of the aura that radiates from the hells—an aura of nothing but efforts to destroy the divine nature of the Lord and therefore heaven as well. At times I have also perceived forces boiling up from certain hells, made up of efforts to break free and wreak destruction. On the other hand, the heavens never attack the hells, since the divine aura that emanates from the Lord is a constant effort to save everyone. Since the people in the hells cannot be saved (all the people there being engrossed in evil and opposed to the Lord’s divine nature), the attacks within the hells are kept as subdued as possible, and mutual viciousness is held within bounds. This too is accomplished by countless exercises of divine power.

The heavens are differentiated into two kingdoms, the heavenly kingdom and the spiritual kingdom (see above, Sections 20–28). Similarly, the hells are differentiated into two kingdoms, one opposite to the heavenly kingdom and one opposite the spiritual kingdom. The one opposite to the heavenly kingdom is in the western quarter, and the people who live there are called demons; while the one that is opposite to the spiritual kingdom is in the northern and southern quarter, and the people who live there are called spirits.

All the people in the heavenly kingdom are involved in a love for the Lord, and all the people in the hells opposite to that kingdom are involved in love for themselves. All the people who are in the spiritual kingdom are involved in love for their neighbor, and all the people who are in the hells opposite to that kingdom are involved in love of the world. This has enabled me to see that love for the Lord and love for oneself are opposites, as are love for our neighbor and love of the world.

The Lord is constantly taking care that nothing should flow out from the hells opposite to the Lord’s heavenly kingdom toward the people who are in the spiritual kingdom. If this were to happen, the spiritual kingdom would be destroyed, for the reasons given in Sections 578–579 above. These are the two general balances that the Lord is constantly keeping intact.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 595-596


Sections 20-28: Published 6/27/2017-6/30/2017

Sections 578-579: Published 3/10/2019

The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

If the Lord were not in control of both the heavens and the hells, there would be no equilibrium; and if there were no equilibrium, there would be no heaven or hell. Absolutely everything in the universe, everything in both the natural world and the spiritual world, is constituted by an equilibrium. Any rational person can grasp this. Let one side outweigh the other, with no resistance offered, and will not both be destroyed? This is what would happen in the spiritual world if the good did not react against the evil and constantly suppress its rebellions. Unless the divine power, and nothing else, did this, heaven and hell would perish, and the whole human race along with them. I refer to the “divine power and nothing else” because the selfhood of every angel, every spirit, and every one of us is nothing but evil (see above, Section 591). This means that no angel or spirit can ever resist the evil influences that are constantly breathed out of the hells since we all incline toward hell because of our self-concern. We can see from this that if the Lord alone were not in control of both the heavens and the hells, there would be no salvation for anyone.

Not only that, all the hells act in unison because the evil energies of the hells are all interconnected the way the good energies are in the heavens; and nothing but the only divine power can resist all the countless hells acting in concert against heaven and everyone there. That one divine power emanates from the Lord.

The balance point between the heavens and the hells shifts down and up depending on the number of people entering heaven and entering hell, which amounts to thousands every day. Knowing and grasping this, adjusting and centering the pointer of the scales, is something no angel can do, only the Lord, since the emanating divine nature is everywhere present and is everywhere watching every deviation. Angels see only what is around them, and do not even sense within themselves what is happening in their own community.

Everything in the heavens and the hells is so arranged that each individual there is in a personal equilibrium. We can to some extent gather this from what has already been presented concerning the heavens and the hells. That is, all the communities of heaven are very precisely differentiated according to the genera and species of their goodness, and all the communities of hell according to the genera and species of their evils. Further, there is a corresponding community of hell underneath every community of heaven, and this opposing correspondence yields an equilibrium. So the Lord is constantly making sure that the hellish community under any heavenly one does not get too strong. To the extent that one begins to get too strong, it is brought under control by various means and returned to its proper balanced relationship. I shall mention only a few of the many means. Some involve a stronger presence of the Lord. Some involve closer communication and union of one or more communities with others. Some involve the exile of extra hellish spirits into desert places, some the transfer from one hell to another, some the reorganization of the people in the hells, which also is accomplished in various ways. Some involve concealing some of the hells under thicker and heavier coverings, some sending them down deeper. Then there are other means, some involving the heavens overhead.

I mention this so that there may be some grasp of the fact that only the Lord provides that there shall be a balance between good and evil everywhere, and therefore between heaven and hell. On this kind of equilibrium depends the salvation of everyone in the heavens and everyone on earth.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 592-594


Section 591: Published 3/18/2019

The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

There is a constant balance between heaven and hell. An effort to do evil is constantly emanating upward from hell, and an effort to do good is constantly emanating down from heaven. The world of spirits is in this equilibrium (on its location halfway between heaven and hell, see Sections 421–431 above).

The reason the world of spirits is in this equilibrium is that after death we first enter the world of spirits and are kept in the same state we were in in the world. This could not happen unless there were a perfect balance there. This allows everyone to be examined there as to quality, since we keep the same kind of freedom we had in the world. Spiritual equilibrium is a state of freedom for us and for spirits, as just noted (Section 589).

Angels in heaven can tell the kind of freedom people have by a communication of affections and consequent thoughts. It also becomes visible to angelic spirits from the paths people follow, with good spirits following paths that lead to heaven and evil spirits following paths that lead to hell. These paths are actually visible in that world, which is why paths in the Word mean truths that lead to what is good, or in an opposite sense, falsities that lead to what is evil. This is also why going, walking, and traveling in the Word mean processes of life. I have often been allowed to see paths like these, with spirits walking along on them freely, in accord with their own affections and consequent thoughts.

The reason evil is constantly emanating up from hell and good emanating down from heaven is that everyone is surrounded by a spiritual aura, an aura that flows out in waves from the life of our affections and their thoughts. Further, since this kind of aura flows out from every individual, it also flows out from every heavenly community and every hellish community, therefore from everyone at once, or from all heaven and all hell. The reason good flows out from heaven is that everyone there is involved in what is good, and the reason evil flows out from hell is that everyone there is involved in what is evil. All the good that comes from heaven is from the Lord, since the angels who are in the heavens are all kept out of their self-image and kept in the Lord’s image, which is goodness itself. On the other hand, all the spirits who are in the hells are in their own self-image and everyone’s own self-image is nothing but evil; and since it is nothing but evil, it is hell.

We may gather from this that the equilibrium angels in the heavens and spirits in the hells are kept in is not like the balance that obtains in the world of spirits. The equilibrium of angels in the heavens depends on how much they had wanted to be involved in good or had lived in goodness in the world—how opposed they were to evil; while the equilibrium of spirits in hell depends on how much they had wanted to be involved in evil or had lived in evil in the world—that is, how resistant they had been to the good, in heart and in spirit.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 590-591

Sections 421-431: Published 5/22/2017-5/28/2017

Section 589: Published 3/17/2019

The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell

FOR anything to happen, there needs to be an equilibrium of everything involved. If there is no equilibrium, there is no action and reaction because the equilibrium occurs between two forces, one acting and the other reacting. The state of rest arising from equal agents and reagents is called an equilibrium.

In the natural world there is equilibrium throughout, in general in the atmospheres, with the lower layers reacting and resisting to the extent that the upper layers act and bear down. In the natural world there are also states of equilibrium between warmth and cold, light and darkness, dry and wet. Their median blend is the balance point. There is also an equilibrium in the members of all three of earth’s kingdoms—mineral, vegetable, and animal; for nothing would occur in those kingdoms if it were not for the equilibrium. Everywhere, there is a kind of effort acting from one side and another reacting from the other.

Every event, or every result, happens in an equilibrium, or happens by one force acting and another allowing itself to be acted upon, or by one force actively flowing in and the other accepting and yielding appropriately.

In the natural world, what acts and reacts is called force or energy, but in the spiritual world what acts and reacts is called life and volition. Life there is a living force and volition is a living energy, and the actual equilibrium is called a state of freedom. This spiritual balance or freedom occurs, then, between the good acting from the one side and the evil reacting from the other, or from the evil acting on the one side and the good reacting from the other.

The balance between active good and reactive evil applies to good people, and the balance between active evil and reactive good applies to evil people. The reason the spiritual balance is between good and evil is that all human life has to do with good and evil, and our volition is their recipient vessel.

There is also a balance between what is true and what is false, but this is secondary to the balance between good and evil. The balance between the true and the false is like the balance between light and darkness, whose effect on members of the vegetable kingdom depends on the amount of warmth or cold there is in the light or darkness. You can tell that the light and shade themselves do not accomplish anything, only the warmth they bring, from looking at like amounts of light and darkness in winter and in spring.

The comparison of truth and falsity to light and darkness rests in their correspondence, since truth corresponds to light and falsity to darkness, and warmth corresponds to the goodness of love. Further, spiritual light is truth, spiritual darkness is falsity, and spiritual warmth is the goodness of love (on this, see the chapter on light and warmth in heaven, (Sections 126–140).

from Heaven and Hell, Section 589

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