Since innocence, for heaven’s angels, is the very essence of what is good, we can see that the divine good emanating from the Lord is innocence itself, inasmuch as it is this good that flows into angels, moves their deepest natures, and aligns and adapts them to accept all the blessings of heaven. Much the same happens with infants, whose deeper natures are not only formed by the passage of innocence from the Lord but are also constantly adapted and aligned to accept the good of heavenly love, because the good of innocence acts from deep within, being, as already noted, the very essence of all good. This shows that all innocence is from the Lord, which is why the Lord is called the Lamb in the Word, since a lamb means innocence.
Because innocence is the very heart of all the good of heaven, it also affects minds so strongly that people who feel it—which happens at the approach of an angel of the inmost heaven—feel as though they are not under their own control. They are moved by such a joy, so taken out of themselves, so to speak, that it seems as though all the pleasure of the world is nothing by comparison. I speak of this from having experienced it.
Anyone who is in the goodness of innocence is moved by innocence, and is moved by innocence to the extent that she or he is in that good. However, people who are not in the good of innocence are not moved by it. Consequently, all the people in hell are absolutely opposed to innocence. They do not know what innocence is. Their nature is such that the more innocent people are, the more they burn with desire to cause them harm.
This is why they cannot stand to see little children. The moment they do, they are consumed with a vicious desire to inflict harm. This has shown me that our self-image and the self-love it fosters are opposed to innocence, for all the people who are in hell are caught up in their own self-image and therefore in self-love.
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 282-283
Previously Cited: 6/21/2018