Everything in the universe that is in harmony with the divine plan relates to goodness and truth. Goodness and truth come from the divine, which is the source of everything. This means there cannot be anything in heaven or on earth that does not relate to these two things.
With this in mind, we can see that nothing is more important than knowing, what is good and what is true, and how the two are attracted to each other and united. Religious people especially should understand these things, since just as everything in heaven relates to goodness and truth, so does everything in religion. What is good and true in heaven is also good and true in religion. So I will begin with goodness and truth.
To be in harmony with the divine plan, goodness and truth should be united as one thing, not separated into two. They come from the divine together, they are together in heaven, and they should be together in religion, too. In heaven, the relationship between goodness and truth is called heavenly marriage. All the angels there have this kind of marriage inside them. That is why heaven is compared to a marriage in the Bible. The Lord is called the bridegroom and husband, and heaven and religion are called the bride and wife. Heaven and religion are called this because the people in them accept divine goodness according to true ideas.
All the understanding and wisdom of the angels comes from this marriage. None of it comes from goodness separated from truth or truth separated from goodness. It is the same for religious people.
Since the relationship between goodness and truth takes the form of a marriage, we can see that goodness loves truth, and truth loves goodness. They want to be together. If we are religious but do not have this kind of love and desire, we do not have a heavenly marriage inside ourselves. This means religion is not yet inside us, since the relationship between goodness and truth makes religion.
There are many different kinds of goodness. In general, there is spiritual goodness, material-level goodness, and both together in genuine ethical goodness. There are the same kinds of truth as there are of goodness, because truth goes with goodness. It is the form goodness takes.
It is the same with evil and falsity as with goodness and truth, except that they are opposites. Everything in the universe that is in harmony with the divine plan relates to goodness and truth, but everything that is opposed to the divine plan relates to evil and falsity. Goodness and truth love to be together, and evil and falsity love to be together. And all understanding and wisdom grow out of the relationship between goodness and truth, but all irrationality and foolishness grow out of the relationship between evil and falsity. The relationship between evil and falsity is called hellish marriage.
Evil and falsity are the opposite of goodness and truth. So we can see that we cannot combine truth with evil, or goodness with falsity that comes from evil. If we connect truth to evil, it is no longer true, but false, because it becomes distorted. If we connect goodness to falsity that comes from evil, it is no longer good, but evil, because it becomes corrupted. However, falsity that does not come from evil can be combined with goodness.
When we rationalize and live out our bad traits and the false ideas we get from them, we cannot see what is good and true, since evil thinks of itself as good, and falsity thinks of itself as true. But if we strengthen and live out our good qualities and the true ideas we get from them, we can see what is evil and false. This is why: all our good qualities and the true ideas that go with them are heavenly in essence—or if they are not, they still come from a heavenly source. But all our bad traits and the false ideas that go with them are hellish in essence—or if they are not, they still come from a hellish source. And everything heavenly is brightly lit, but everything hellish is in the dark.
from The Heavenly City, Chapter 1