In their wisdom, angels press on even further. They say that it is not just everything good and true that comes from the Lord, but every bit of life as well. They support this by pointing out that nothing can come into being from itself. Everything presupposes something prior. This means that everything has come into being from a First, which they call the essential reality of the life of everything. Everything endures in the same way, too, because enduring is a constant coming into being. If anything were not kept in constant connection with the First, through intermediate means, it would instantly collapse and disintegrate. They add that there is only one single wellspring of life, with human life as one stream flowing from it. If it were not constantly supplied from its wellspring, it would immediately peter out.
Still further, they say that nothing flows from that unique wellspring of life, the Lord, that is not divinely good and divinely true. These affect every individual according to the way they are accepted. People who accept them into their faith and life are in heaven, while people who reject or stifle them transform them into hell. They actually change what is good into evil and what is true into falsity—life into death.
Angels also support their belief that the Lord is the source of every bit of life by observing that everything in the universe goes back to what is good and true. Our volitional life, the life of our love, goes back to what is good, while our cognitive life, the life of our faith, goes back to what is true. Since everything good and true comes to us from above, it follows that this is the source of all of our life.
Because angels believe this, they decline any thanks offered them for the good they do. In fact they feel hurt and withdraw if anyone gives them credit for anything good. It bewilders them to discover that people can believe they are wise on their own or do good on their own. Doing good for one’s own sake, in their language, cannot be called “good,” because it stems from self. Doing good for its own sake is what they call “good from the Divine.” This, they say, is the kind of good that makes heaven, because this kind of good is the Lord.
from Heaven and Hell, Section 9
Previously Cited: 5/30/2017