The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven (Continued)

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

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The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven (Continued)

I have talked a lot with angels about innocence and have been told that innocence is the inner reality of everything good and that therefore anything good is good to the extent that there is innocence within it. Consequently wisdom is wisdom to the extent that it derives from innocence, and the same is true of love, thoughtfulness, and faith. This is why no one can enter heaven unless he or she has innocence. This is what the Lord meant by saying,

Let the little ones come to me, do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens. I tell you in truth, whoever will not accept the kingdom of the heavens like a little child will not enter into it. (Mark 10:14–15; Luke 18:16–17)

Little ones in this passage, as elsewhere in the Word, mean the innocent.e The state of innocence is described by the Lord in Matthew 6:24–25 [25–34], but in pure correspondences. The reason good is good to the extent that there is innocence in it is that all good comes from the Lord, and innocence is being willing to be led by the Lord.

I have also been told that truth cannot be united to good or good to truth except by means of innocence. This is also why angels are not angels of heaven unless there is innocence in them, since heaven is not within anyone until the truth has been united with the good within. So the union of the true and the good is called the heavenly marriage, and the heavenly marriage is heaven.

I have also been told that true marriage love derives its origin from innocence because it comes from the union of the good and the true that engages the two minds, the minds of husband and wife. When this union descends, it takes on the appearance of marriage love because the spouses, like their minds, love each other. This is the source of the childlike and innocent play in marriage love.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 281

The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven (Continued)

It is much the same for everyone who is being regenerated. Regeneration is rebirth as a spiritual person. [When we are being regenerated,] we are brought first into the innocence of infancy, which is realizing that we know nothing of truth and are capable of nothing of good on our own, but only from the Lord, and that we long for and seek what is true and good simply because it is true and good. These gifts are granted by the Lord as we advance in age. We are led first into knowledge about them, then from knowledge into intelligence, and finally from intelligence into wisdom, always hand in hand with innocence, which is, as already noted, the recognition that we know nothing of truth and are capable of nothing of good on our own, but only from the Lord. No one can accept heaven without this belief and this perception. It is the prime component of the innocence of wisdom.

Since innocence is being led by the Lord and not by ourselves, all the people who are in heaven are in innocence, since all the people who are there love to be led by the Lord. They know that to be led by oneself is to be led by one’s self-centeredness, and self-centeredness is loving oneself. People who are in love with themselves are not willing to be led by anyone else. This is why angels are in heaven to the extent that they are in innocence; that is, to that extent they are absorbed in divine good and divine truth, for being absorbed in these is being in heaven. Consequently, the heavens are differentiated according to their innocence. People who are in the outmost or first heaven are in innocence of the first or outmost level. People who are in the intermediate or second heaven are in innocence of the second or intermediate level. People who are in the inmost or third heaven, though, are in innocence of the third or inmost level; so they are the very innocent of heaven, since they above all others want to be led by the Lord the way infants are led by their father. This is why they accept divine truth directly into their intent and do it, making it a matter of life, whether they receive it directly from the Lord or mediately through the Word and sermons. This is why they have so much more wisdom than angels of the lower heavens (see Sections 270–271).

Because this is the nature of these angels, they are closest to the Lord, who is the source of their innocence, and they are also distanced from their self-centeredness so much that they seem to live in the Lord. In outward form they look simple—even like infants or little children in the eyes of angels of the lower heavens. They look like people who do not know very much, even though they are the wisest of angels. They are in fact aware that they have no trace of wisdom on their own and that to be wise is to admit this and to admit that what they do know is nothing compared to what they do not know. Knowing, recognizing, and perceiving this is what they call the first step toward wisdom. These angels are also naked, because nakedness corresponds to innocence.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 279, 280

Notes:

Sections 270-271: Published 10/22/2017-10/23/2017

The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven (Continued)

The innocence of wisdom is real innocence because it is internal, being a property of the mind itself and therefore of our volition itself and our consequent understanding. When there is innocence in these, then there is wisdom as well, because wisdom is a property of volition and understanding. That is why they say in heaven that innocence dwells in wisdom and why angels have as much wisdom as they do innocence. They support the truth of this by observing that people in a state of innocence do not take credit for anything good, but ascribe and attribute everything to the Lord. They want to be led by him and not by themselves, they love everything that is good and delight in everything that is true because they know and perceive that loving what is good—that is, intending and doing good—is loving the Lord, and loving what is true is loving their neighbor. They live content with what they have, whether it is little or much, because they know that they receive as much as is useful—little if little is good for them and much if much is good for them. They do not know what is best for themselves—only the Lord knows; and in his sight everything he supplies is eternal.

So they have no anxiety about the future, but refer to anxiety about the future as “care for the morrow,” which they say is pain at losing or not getting things that are not needed for their life’s useful activities. They never collaborate with friends from evil intent, but only from good, fair, and honest intent. To act from evil intent, they say, is guile, which they avoid like the poison of a snake because it is diametrically opposed to innocence. Since their greatest love is to be led by the Lord, and since they ascribe everything to him, they are kept away from their self-centeredness, and to the extent that they are kept away from their self-centeredness, the Lord flows in. This is why they do not store in their memory what they hear from him, whether through the Word or through preaching, but immediately heed it, that is, intend and do it. Their intention itself is their memory. They appear extraordinarily simple in outward form, but they are wise and provident inwardly. They are the ones the Lord was referring to when he said, “Be wise as serpents and simple as doves” (Matthew 10:16). This is the nature of the innocence called the innocence of wisdom.

Since innocence does not take credit for anything good but ascribes it all to the Lord, and since innocence loves to be led by the Lord, giving rise to that acceptance of everything good and true that leads to wisdom, we have been so created as to be in an outward innocence when we are little, but in an inward innocence in old age, to come to the latter through the former. So when we do get old, our bodies deteriorate and we become like little children again—but like wise little children or angels, for in the highest sense, a wise infant is an angel. This is why “infant” in the Word means one who is innocent, and “elderly one” means a wise person full of innocence.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 278

The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven

NOT many people in our world know what innocence is or what its quality is, and people involved in evil do not know at all. It is, of course, visible to our eyes—something about the face and the voice and the gestures, especially of infants—but still we do not know what it is, much less that it is where heaven lies concealed within us. To make it known, I should like to proceed in order and talk first about the innocence of infancy, and then about the innocence of wisdom, and finally about the state of heaven in respect to innocence.

The innocence of infancy, or of little ones, is not real innocence, since it is solely a matter of outward form and not internal. Still, we can learn from it what innocence is like, since it does radiate from their faces and from some of their gestures and from their first efforts at speech and affects [the people around them. The reason it is not real innocence is] that they do not have any internal thought—they do not yet know what good and evil are, or what true and false are, and this knowledge is the basis of our thinking.

As a result, they do not have any foresight of their own, no premeditation, and therefore no intent of evil. They have no self-image acquired through love for themselves and the world. They do not claim credit for anything, but attribute everything they receive to their parents. They are content with the few little things given them as gifts and enjoy them. They are not anxious about food and clothing or about the future. They do not focus on the world and covet much from it. They love their parents, their nurse, and their little friends and play innocently with them. They are willing to be led, they listen and obey; and since they are in this state, they accept everything as a matter of life. So they have suitable habits, language, and the beginnings of memory and thought without knowing where these gifts come from; and their state of innocence serves as a means of accepting and absorbing them. However, since this innocence is strictly a matter of the body and not of the mind,a as already noted, it is external. Their mind is not yet formed, since the mind is our discernment and volition and the thought and affection that come from them.

I have been told from heaven that infants are especially in the Lord’s care, and that there is an inflow from the central heaven, where the state is one of innocence, that passes through infants’ deeper natures, affecting those natures in its passage only through innocence. This is the source of the innocence they present to our view in their faces and in some of their gestures. It is what deeply affects their parents and creates the love called storge.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 276, 277

Written Materials in Heaven (Continued)

It is worth knowing that in the heavens, writing flows spontaneously from thoughts. It is done with such ease that it is as though the thought projected itself. The hand does not pause over the choice of some particular word, because the words—both the spoken and the written ones—are responsive to their individual thoughts, and anything that is so responsive is natural and spontaneous. There are also things written in the heavens without the use of hands, simply in response to thoughts; but these do not last.

I have also seen written materials in heaven comprising nothing but numbers arranged in a pattern and series, just like the writing of letters and words; and I have been told that these writings come from the inmost heaven, whose heavenly writing (described above in Sections 260–261) comes out as numbers for angels in the lower heavens when thought from the higher heaven flows down. I have also been told that this numerical writing enfolds mysteries, some of which cannot be grasped by thought or expressed in words. All numbers do in fact correspond and have meaning depending on their correspondence, just as words do, but with the difference that numbers represent general entities and words specific ones. Since one general entity involves countless specific ones, numeric writing enfolds more mysteries than alphabetic writing does.

I could see from this that numbers in the Word mean things just the way words do. What the simple numbers mean, like 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 10, and 12, and what the composite ones mean, like 20, 30, 50, 70, 100, 144, 1000, 10,000, and 12,000 and others, may be seen in Secrets of Heaven, where such matters are dealt with.164 In this kind of writing in heaven the number on which the following numbers depend in sequence is always put first, as though it set their theme; for this number is a kind of title of the matter under consideration, and the numbers that follow serve to delimit the matter more specifically.

If people have no concept of heaven and do not want any concept of it other than one of some insubstantial atmosphere in which angels fly around like intellectual minds without the senses of hearing and sight, they cannot believe that angels have language and writing. They locate the entire presence of everything in matter. Yet the things that one finds in heaven occur with just as much reality as those in our world, and the angels who are there have everything they need for life, and everything they need for wisdom.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 262-264

Notes:

Sections 260-261: Published 6/15/2018

Written Materials in Heaven (Continued)

Another time I was sent a small page from heaven with only a few words written on it in Hebrew letters. I was told that each letter enfolded treasures of wisdom, and that these were contained in the bends and curves of the letters and therefore in the sounds as well. I could see from this the meaning of the Lord’s words, “I tell you in truth, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall pass away from the Law” (Matthew 5:18) It is acknowledged in the church that the Word is divine right down to the smallest point, but where in each point the Divine lies hidden—that is not known as yet, so it needs to be explained. In the inmost heaven, the writing consists of various curving and bending forms, and these curves and bends are in keeping with the form of heaven. Through them, angels express the treasures of their wisdom, including many things that they cannot say in words. Believe it or not, the angels know this writing without practice or teachers. They are inwardly gifted with it as they are with the language itself (Section 236), so this writing is heavenly writing. The reason they are inwardly gifted with it is that all the outreach of angels’ thoughts and affections and therefore all communication of their intelligence and wisdom takes place in keeping with heaven’s form (Section 201). This is why their writing flows into that same form.

I have been told that before letters were invented, the earliest humans on our planet had this kind of writing, and that it was transferred into the Hebrew letters, which in early times were all curved, with none marked off by straight lines the way they are now. This is why there are divine things and treasures of heaven in the Word even in its jots and points and little horns.

This writing, which uses symbols of the heavenly form, is in use in the inmost heaven, whose inhabitants enjoy greater wisdom than others. It expresses the affections from which their thoughts flow and which follow in sequence according to the substance of the matter under consideration. This is why these writings enfold treasures that cannot be completely drawn out by thought. I have also been allowed to see these writings.

In the lower heavens, though, there are no written materials of this sort. The written materials there are much like those in our world, with similar letters. However, they are still not intelligible to people on earth because they are written in an angelic language, and angelic language by nature has nothing in common with our languages (Section 237). They express affections through the vowels; with the consonants they express the particular concepts that derive from the affections, and with the words they express the meaning of the matter (Sections 236, 241).

Further, this writing enfolds in a few words more than we can describe in several pages. I have seen these written materials as well. This means that they have a written Word in the lower heavens, and one expressed through heavenly forms in the inmost heaven.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 260, 261

Notes:

Section 236: Published 5/3/2018

Section 237: Published 5/4/2018

Section 241: Published 5/5/2018

Written Materials in Heaven

SINCE angels do have language and their language is one of words, they also have written materials; and through those written materials just as through their conversation, they express what their minds are sensing. I have sometimes been sent pages covered with writing, just like pages handwritten or printed and published in our world. I could even read them in much the same way, but I was not allowed to get more out of them than a bit of meaning here and there. This was because it is not in keeping with the divine design to be taught by written materials from heaven, but [only] by the Word, since this is the sole means of communication and union between heaven and earth, and therefore between the Lord and humanity.

We gather from Ezekiel that pages written in heaven appeared to the prophets as well:

When I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me by the spirit, and in it the scroll of a book that he unrolled in my sight. It was written on the front and on the back. (Ezekiel 2:9–10)

And in John,

I saw in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. (Revelation 5:1)

The occurrence of written materials in the heavens is provided by the Lord for the sake of the Word, for in its essence the Word is the divine truth from which both angels and people on earth get all their wisdom. It has in fact been spoken by the Lord, and what is spoken by the Lord passes through all the heavens in sequence and comes to rest with us. In this way it is adapted both to the wisdom that angels enjoy and to the intelligence that we do. As a result, angels have a Word that they read just as much as we do ours. They draw their doctrinal principles from it, and their sermons come from it (Section 221). It is the same Word; but its natural meaning, which to us is its literal meaning, does not exist in heaven. There is a spiritual meaning there instead, which is its inner meaning. The nature of this meaning may be seen in the booklet The White Horse Described in the Book of Revelation.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 258, 259

Notes:

Section 221: Published 12/16/2016

The sun of the spiritual world is seen at a middle elevation, as far from angels as our physical world’s sun is from us

The following are the primary reasons why the sun of the spiritual world is seen at a middle elevation. First, this means that the warmth and light that emanate from that sun are at their median level—they are of equal proportions, therefore, and appropriately moderate. That is, if the sun appeared above that middle elevation, angels would perceive more warmth than light, while if it appeared lower, they would perceive more light than warmth, as happens on earth when the sun is above or below the middle of the sky. When it is above, the warmth increases more than the light; and when it is below, the light increases more than the warmth. The light actually stays the same in summer and winter, but the warmth increases or decreases depending on the degree of the sun’s height.

A second reason that the spiritual world’s sun appears at a middle height above the angelic heaven is that this results in a constant springtime for all the angelic heavens. Consequently, angels are in a state of peace, for this state corresponds to springtime on earth. A third reason is that it enables angels to turn their faces toward the Lord constantly and to see him with their eyes. For angels, the east—and therefore the Lord—is in front of them no matter which way they turn their bodies, which is a unique feature of their world. This would not happen if the sun of their world were above or below middle height, and it would be absolutely impossible if it were directly overhead.

If the spiritual world’s sun did not seem to be as far from angels as the physical world’s sun is from us, the whole angelic heaven, the hell underneath it, and our globe of lands and seas below them could not be under the Lord’s watchful guidance, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and providence. In the same way, if our world’s sun were not at the distance from the earth where we see it to be, it could not be present and effective with its warmth and light in all our lands, so it could not provide its subsidiary resources to the spiritual world’s sun.

It is of critical importance to realize that there are two suns, a spiritual one and a physical one, the spiritual sun for people who are in the spiritual world and the physical sun for people who are in the physical world. Unless this is recognized, there can be no real comprehension of creation or of humanity, subjects we are about to deal with. True, some effects can be seen, but unless the causes behind the effects are seen at the same time, it is like looking at the effects in the night.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 105-107

The spiritual warmth and light that result from the emanation from the Lord as the sun form a single whole just as his divine love and wisdom do.

Part 1 (Sections 1-82) explains how divine love and wisdom form a single whole in the Lord. Warmth and light form a similar whole because they are emanations, and emanations constitute a whole by reason of their correspondence. The warmth answers to love, and the light to wisdom.

It therefore follows that since divine love is the divine reality and divine wisdom is the divine manifestation (see Sections 14–16 above), spiritual warmth is Divinity emanating from the divine reality and spiritual light is Divinity emanating from the divine manifestation. This means that just as divine love is a property of divine wisdom and divine wisdom is a property of divine love because of this union (see Sections 34–39 above), spiritual warmth is a property of spiritual light and spiritual light is a property of spiritual warmth. As a result of this kind of oneness, it follows that warmth and light are a single whole as they emanate from the Lord as the sun.

We will see later, though [Section 125], that they are not accepted as a single whole by angels or by us.

The warmth and light that emanate from the Lord as the sun are what we call “spiritual”; and they are referred to as spiritual in the singular because they are a single whole. In the following pages, therefore, when it says “spiritual” it will mean both as a single whole. It is because of this spiritual [energy] that the whole other world is called “spiritual.” Everything in that world has its source in that spiritual [energy] and takes its name from it as well.

The reason the warmth and light are called “spiritual” is that God is called “the Spirit,” and God as the Spirit is that emanation. As to his very essence, God is called Jehovah; but he enlightens and gives life to heaven’s angels and to us of the church through that emanation. This is why it is said that giving life and bringing about enlightenment are acts performed by the spirit of Jehovah.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 99, 100 (Originally scheduled for publication 6/10/2018)

Notes:

Sections 14-16: Published 4/14/2018

Sections 34-39: Published 4/21/2018-4/22/2018