The Sun in Heaven (Continued)

As for the Lord’s actually appearing in heaven as the sun, this is something I have not simply been told by angels but have also been allowed to see a number of times; so I should like at this point to describe briefly what I have heard and seen concerning the Lord as the sun.

The Lord does not appear as a sun in the heavens, but high above them, and not directly overhead but in front of angels at a middle elevation. He appears in two places, in one for the right eye and in another for the left, noticeably far apart. For the right eye he looks just like a sun, with much the same fire and size as our world’s sun. For the left eye, though, he does not look like a sun but like a moon, with similar brilliance but more sparkling, and with much the same size as our earth’s moon; but he seems to be surrounded by many apparent lesser moonlets, each similarly brilliant and sparkling.

The reason the Lord appears in two places, so differently, is that he appears to people according to their receptiveness. So he looks one way to people who accept him through the good of love and another way to people who accept him through the good of faith. To people who accept him through the good of love, he looks like a sun, fiery and flaming in response to their receptivity. These people are in his heavenly kingdom. To people who accept him through the good of faith, though, he looks like a moon, brilliant and sparkling in response to their receptivity. These people are in his spiritual kingdom. This is because the good of love corresponds to fire, so that fire, in its spiritual meaning, is love; while the good of faith corresponds to light, so that light, in its spiritual meaning, is faith.

The reason he appears to the eyes is that the deeper levels of the mind see through the eyes, looking from the good of love through the right eye and from the good of faith through the left eye. You see, everything on the right side of an angel or one of us corresponds to what is good and yields truth, while everything on the left side corresponds to that truth that comes from what is good. “The good of faith” is, essentially, truth that comes from what is good.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 118


Previously Cited: 11/16/2016


The Sun in Heaven

Our world’s sun is not visible in heaven, and neither is anything that is derived from it, since all that is natural. Nature, in fact, begins with that sun, and whatever is produced by it is called natural. The spiritual reality in which heaven exists, though, is above nature and completely distinct from anything natural. They communicate with each other only through correspondences.

The nature of the distinction can be gathered from what was said above about levels in Section 38, and the nature of the communication from the last two chapters about correspondences.

However, even though neither this world’s sun nor anything derived from it is visible in heaven, there is a sun there; there is light and warmth, there are all the things we have in our world and many more—not from the same origin, though, since things in heaven are spiritual while things in our world are natural.

Heaven’s sun is the Lord; light there is the divine truth and warmth the divine good that radiate from the Lord as the sun. Everything that comes into being and manifests itself in the heavens is from this source. We will discuss the light and warmth and the things that arise from them in subsequent chapters; here we restrict ourselves to the sun.

The reason the Lord in heaven appears as the sun is that he is the divine love from which all spiritual things come into being—and, through the agency of our world’s sun, all natural things as well. That love is what shines like a sun.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 116-117


Previously Cited: 11/15/2016

Section 38: Published 7/6/2017

Space in Heaven (Continued)

We can see from this that even though there is space in heaven as there is in our world, nothing is evaluated on the basis of space, but only on the basis of state. Also spaces there cannot be measured the way they can in our world, but only seen out of and in accordance with the state of their deeper natures.

The essential first cause of all this is that the Lord is present to each individual according to that individual’s love and faith, and that everything looks near or remote depending on his presence, since this is what defines everything that exists in the heavens. This is what gives angels wisdom, since it provides them with an outreach of thoughts, which in turn affords them communication with everyone in the heavens. In a word, this is what enables them to think spiritually and not naturally, the way we do.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 198-199

Space in Heaven (continued)

This is why places and spaces in the Word (and everything that involves space) mean matters that involves state–distances, for instance, and nearness and remoteness, paths, journeys, emigrations, miles, stadia*, plains, fields, gardens, cities, streets, motion, various kinds of measurement, length, breadth, height, and depth, and countless other things–for so many things that enter out thought from our world derive something from space and time.

I should like only to highlight what length, breadth, and height mean in the Word. In this world we call something long and broad if it is long and broad spatially, and the same holds true for “high.” In heaven, though, where thinking does not involve space, people understand length as a state of good and breadth as a state of truth, while height is their difference in regard to level (discussed above in section 38). The reason these three dimensions are understood in this way is that length in heaven is from east to west, which is where people live who are in the good of love. Breadth in heaven is from south to north, where people live who are in truth because of what is good (see above section 148); and height in heaven applies to both in regard to their level. This is why qualities of this sort are meant in the Word by length and breadth and height as in Ezekiel 40-48, where the measurements are given of the new temple and the new earth, with its courts, rooms, doors, gates, windows, and surroundings, referring to the new church and the good and true things that are in it. So too all the measurements elsewhere.

The New Jerusalem is similarly described in revelations, as follows:

The city was laid out foursquare, its length the same as its breadth; and [the angel] measured the city with the reed at twelve thousand stadia; the length and breadth and height were equal. (Revelation 21:6)

Here the New Jerusalem means a new church, so its measurements mean attributes of that church, length referring to the good of its love, breadth to the truth that derives from that good, and height to the both the good and the true in respect to their level. Twelve thousand stadis means everything good and true taken together. Otherwise, what would be the point of having its height be twelve thousand stadia like its length and its breadth?

We can see in Davis that breadth in the Word means truth:

Jehovah, you have not left me in the grasp of my enemy’s hand; you have made my feet stand in a broad place. (Psalms 31:8)

I called on Jah from my constraint; he answered me in a broad place. (Psalms 118:5)

There are other passages as well; for example. Isaiah 8:8 and Habakkuk 1:6. It also holds true elsewhere.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 197


*Stadia: For the unit of measure called a stadium. A distance of 12,000 stadia is approximately 2220 kilometers, or 1380 miles.

Section 38: Published 7/6/2017

Section 148: Published 7/13/2017

Space in Heaven (Continued)

This is also why in the spiritual world one individual is present to another if only that presence is intensely desired. This is because one person sees another in thought in this way and identifies with that individual’s state. Conversely, one person moves away from another to the extent that there is any sense of reluctance; and since all reluctance comes from an opposition of affections and disagreement of thoughts, there can be many people appearing together in one place as long as they agree, but as soon as they disagree, they vanish.

Whenever people move from one place to another, whether it is within their town, in their courtyards, in their gardens, or to people outside their own community, they get there more quickly if they are eager to and more slowly if they are not. The path itself is lengthened or shortened depending on their desire, even though it is the same path. I have often seen this, much to my surprise.

We can see from all this again that distance and space itself depend wholly on the inner state of angels; and since this is the case, no notion or concept of space can enter their minds even though they have space just the way we do in our world.

We can illustrate this by our own thoughts, which are also devoid of space; for whatever we focus on intently in our thought is seemingly present. Then too, anyone who reflects on it realizes that our eyesight registers space only through the intermediate objects on earth that we see at the same time, or from our knowing from experience that things are a certain distance away.

This is because we are dealing with a continuum, and in a continuum there is no apparent distance except by means of discontinuities. This is even more the case for angels because their sight acts in unison with their thought, and their thought in unison with their affection, and also because things seem near or remote, and things change, in response to the states of their deeper natures, as already noted.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 194-196


Previously Cited: 10/2/2016

Space in Heaven

EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING in heaven appears to be located in space just like things in our world, still angels have no notion or concept of location and space. Since this can only seem like a paradox, and since it is highly significant, I should like to shed some light on it.

All motion in the spiritual world is the effect of changes of inner states, to the point that motion is nothing but change of state. This is how I have been led by the Lord into the heavens and also to other planets in the universe. This happened to my spirit, while my body remained in the same place. This is how all angels move about, which means they do not have distances; and if they do not have distances, they do not have space. Instead they have states and their changes.

This being the nature of motion, we can see that drawing near is likeness of inner state and moving away is dissimilarity. This is why the people who are nearby are the ones in a similar state and the ones who are far away are in dissimilar states. It is why space in heaven is nothing but the outward states that correspond to the inner ones.

This is the only reason the heavens are differentiated from each other, as are the communities of each heaven and the individuals in each community. It is also why the hells are completely separate from the heavens: they are in an opposite state.

from Heaven ans Hell, Sections 191-193

Notes: Previously cited: 10/1/2016

Time in Heaven (Continued)

Since angels have no notion of time, they have a different concept of eternity than we earthly people do. By “eternity,” angels perceive an infinite state, not an infinite time.

I was thinking about eternity once, and using a concept of time I could grasp what “to eternity” entailed—namely, without end—but not what “from eternity” entailed and therefore not what God did before creation, from eternity. As my anxiety mounted because of this, I was raised into the sphere of heaven and therefore into the perception of eternity shared by angels. This shed light for me on the fact that we ought not to think about eternity in temporal terms but in terms of state, and that when we do, we can grasp what “from eternity” entails, which was actually done for me.

The angels who talk with us never use the natural concepts that are proper to us, all of which derive from time, space, matter, and the like. They use spiritual concepts, all of which derive from states and their various changes in and around angels. However, when the angelic concepts, which are spiritual, flow into us, they change instantly and spontaneously into those natural concepts proper to us which exactly correspond to the spiritual ones. Neither the angels nor we are aware of this; but still, this is how all inflow of heaven occurs for us.

There were some angels who were let very intimately into my thoughts, all the way into natural ones that contained a mass of material from time and space. However, since at that point they could not understand anything at all, they promptly withdrew; and after they had withdrawn I heard them talking, saying that they had been in darkness.

I have been allowed to know from experience what angels’ ignorance of time is like. There was a particular individual from heaven whose nature did allow him to be let into natural concepts such as we have. I talked with him afterward, person to person, and at first he did not know what it was that I was calling “time.” So I actually had to tell him how the sun seems to travel around our earth and make years and days, and that as a result, years are divided into four seasons and into months and weeks, and days into twenty-four hours, and that these times recur at fixed intervals. This gives rise to our expressions for time. He was astonished when he heard this, and said that he had not known that kind of thing, but only what states were.

In the course of our conversation I mentioned that it was known in our world that there is no time in heaven. We do actually talk as though we knew, since when people die, we say that they have left temporal things and have passed beyond time, meaning that they have left our world. I also said that it is known by some that times are states in origin because they recognize that times are experienced in precise accord with the states of affection we are caught up in. They are short for us when we are engaged in pleasant and cheerful pursuits and long when we are engaged in distasteful and depressing ones, and variable when we are in hope or expectation. As a result, scholars are asking what time and space are, and some of them even recognize that time is an attribute of the natural person.

A natural person may believe that we would have no thought if concepts of time, space, and matter were taken away from us, that all our thought is based on these foundations.c Let such people know, though, that thoughts are limited and constrained to the extent that they derive from time, space, and matter, and that they are freed and expanded to the extent that they do not derive from such things, because to that same extent the mind is raised above bodily and worldly considerations. This is the source of angels’ wisdom, which is so great that we must call it incomprehensible, since it does not fit into ideas that are formed merely from these [lower] concerns.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 167-169


Previously cited: 5/2/2017

Time in Heaven (Continued)

Since angels have no concept derived from time, as we in our world do, they have no concept of time or of the things that depend on time. They do not even know what all these temporal things are, like a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, today, tomorrow, or yesterday. When angels hear these expressions from one of us (angels are always kept in contact with us by the Lord), they perceive states instead, and things that have to do with state. So our natural concept is changed into a spiritual concept with the angels. This is why expressions of time in the Word mean states, and why things proper to time like the ones listed above mean the spiritual things that correspond to them.

It is much the same for all the things that occur as a result of time, such as the four seasons of the year called spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the four times of day called morning, noon, evening, and night; our own four ages called infancy, youth, maturity, and old age; and with the other things that either occur as a result of time or happen in temporal sequence. When we think about them, it is from a temporal standpoint; but an angel thinks about them from the standpoint of state. Consequently, anything in them that is temporal for us changes into an idea of state for the angel. Spring and morning change into an idea of love and wisdom the way they are for angels in their first state; summer and noon change into an idea of love and wisdom as they are in the second state; autumn and evening, as they are in the third state; and night and winter into a concept of the kind of state that is characteristic in hell. This is why similar things are meant by these times in the Word (see above, Section 155). We can see from this how the natural concepts that occur in our thought become spiritual for the angels who are with us.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 165-166


Previously Cited: 5/1/2017

Section 154-155: Published 4/27/2017

Time in Heaven

EVEN though things keep happening in sequence and progressing in heaven the way they do in the world, still angels have no notion or concept of time and space. The lack is so complete that they simply do not know what time and space are. Here we will discuss time in heaven, leaving space to be discussed in its own chapter.

The reason angels do not know what time is (even though everything for them moves along in sequence just the way it does in our world, so much so that there is no difference) is that in heaven there are no years or days, but only changes of state. Where there are years and days there are times, and where there are changes of state, there are states.

The reason we have times in our world is that the sun seems to move sequentially from one zone to another and to make the times we call the seasons of the year. It also moves around the earth and makes the times we call times of day, and it does these by fixed periods. It is different for heaven’s sun. It does not make years and days by sequential motions and rotations, but makes apparent changes of state; and it does not make these by fixed periods, as explained in the preceding chapter. This is why angels are incapable of having any concept of time, but have a concept of state instead. What “state” is may be seen above in Section 154.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 162-164


Previously Cited: 4/30/2017

Section 154-155: Published 4/27/2017

The Clothes Angles Appear In (Continued)

We can tell that angels’ clothes do not merely look like clothes but really are because they not only see them, they feel them as well. Further, they have many garments that they take off and put on, and they put away the ones they are not using and put back on the ones they are. I have seen thousands of times that they wear different clothes.

I have asked them where they got their clothes, and they have told me that their clothes come from the Lord and are given to them, and that sometimes they are clothed without noticing it. They have also said that their clothes change depending on the changes of their state, that their clothes are radiant and gleaming white in their first and second state, while in the third and fourth states they are somewhat dimmer. This too is because of correspondences, because these changes of state have to do with their intelligence and wisdom, discussed above in sections 154–161.

For everyone in the spiritual world, clothing depends on intelligence and therefore on the truths that constitute intelligence. Although people in the hells do seem to be clothed, because they lack truths their clothes are nothing but rags, dirty and foul, each individual in keeping with his or her own insanity. They cannot be clothed in any other way, either. The Lord allows them to wear clothes so that they will not appear naked.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 181-182


Previously Cited: 1/1/2017

Sections 154-161: Published 4/27/2017-4/29/2017