First I need to define “angel” and “spirit.” Immediately after death we come into a world of spirits that is halfway between heaven and hell. There we work through our stretches of time, or our states, and are prepared either for heaven or for hell, depending on the way we have lived. As long as we stay in this world, we are called “spirits.” Anyone who has been brought up from this world into heaven is called an angel, and anyone who has been cast into hell is called a satan or a devil. As long as we are in the world of spirits, people who are being readied for heaven are called angelic spirits, and people who are being readied for hell are called hellish spirits.
All the while, angelic spirits are united to heaven and hellish spirits to hell. All the spirits who are in the world of spirits are together with us because we are similarly between heaven and hell as to the deeper levels of our minds. Through these spirits we are in touch with either heaven or hell, depending on the way we are living.
It should be clear that “the world of spirits” is not the same thing as “the spiritual world.” The world of spirits is the one I have just been talking about, while the spiritual world includes that world, heaven, and hell.
Something also needs to be said about loves, since we are talking about how angels and spirits turn toward their loves because of their loves.
Heaven as a whole is laid out in communities depending on all the differences in loves. So is hell, and so is the world of spirits. Heaven, though, is laid out in communities according to differences in heavenly loves, while hell is laid out in communities according to differences in hellish loves, and the world of spirits is laid out in communities according to differences in both heavenly and hellish loves.
There are two loves that are at the head of all the rest, and two loves that lie behind all the rest. The head of all heavenly loves, the love basic to them all, is love for the Lord. The head of all hellish loves, or the love that underlies them all, is a love of controlling prompted by self-love. These two loves are absolute opposites.
from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 140-141