No One Can Do Anything Genuinely Good on His or Her Own (Continued)

You can see from what it says in Sections 27, 28, and 38 of Teachings on Sacred Scripture that what is first, what is intermediate, and what is last make a single entity like a purpose, a means, and a result; and because they do make a single entity, the purpose itself is called the primary purpose, the means is an intermediate purpose, and the result is the final purpose. So you must see that for us, if we have spiritual goodness, our moral goodness is spiritual on the intermediate level, and our civic goodness is spiritual on the lowest level.

That is why, as already noted, if we have spiritual goodness we are moral and civic individuals as well; but if we do not have spiritual goodness we are neither moral nor civic but only seem to be. We seem to be to ourselves and to others as well.

The reason we can still think and therefore talk rationally, like spiritual people, even when we ourselves are not spiritual is that our understanding can be raised into heaven’s light, which is truth, and can see things on that basis. However, our will cannot in the same way be lifted into heaven’s warmth, which is love, and act on that basis.

That is why truth and love are not united in us unless we are spiritual. It is also why we possess the power of speech. This actually is what differentiates us from animals. It is because our understanding can be raised into heaven when our will has not yet been raised that we can be reformed and can become spiritual. We are not reformed and do not become spiritual, though, until our will has been raised.

Because at first our understanding has more of this ability than our will does, we are able to think and therefore talk rationally like spiritual people no matter what our nature, even if we are evil. However, the reason we are not rational is that our understanding does not lead our will. Rather, our will leads our understanding, as noted in Section 115 of Teachings on Sacred Scripture. All understanding does is teach us and show us the way; and as long as our will is not one with our understanding in heaven, we are not spiritual and therefore are not rational. You see, when we are left to our will or love, then we toss out our rational thinking about God, heaven, and eternal life and instead pick up whatever agrees with our will or love and call this “rational.” But this will be given further attention in the works on angelic wisdom.

from Life/Faith, Sections 14, 15


The Four Quarters in Heaven (Continued)

We can see from this what the Lord’s presence is like in the heavens: it is everywhere, with every individual in the good and true qualities that emanate from the Lord. So he is in angels in what is actually his own (as noted in Section 12).

Their sense of the Lord’s presence is in their deeper reaches. It is from these that their eyes see, so he seems to be outside them because there is a continuum. This enables us to see how we should understand the Lord’s being in them and their being in the Lord, according to the Lord’s words,

Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4), and Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them. (John 6:56)

“The Lord’s flesh” means what is divine and good, and his “blood” means what is divine and true.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 147

Heaven Is Divided into Two Kingdoms

SINCE there are infinite varieties in heaven—since no community and in fact no individual is just like any other—heaven is therefore divided overall, more specifically, and in detail. Overall, it is divided into two kingdoms, more specifically into three heavens, and in detail into countless communities. We will now discuss the details. They are called “kingdoms” because heaven is called “the kingdom of God.”

There are angels who accept the divine nature that emanates from the Lord on a deeper level and angels who accept it less deeply. The ones who accept it more deeply are called heavenly angels, and the ones who accept it less deeply are called spiritual angels. Heaven is therefore divided into two kingdoms, one called the heavenly kingdom and the other called the spiritual kingdom.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 20, 21

Notes: Sections 20 and 21 were published April 22, 2016.

Religion Is All about How We Live, and the Religious Way to Live Is to Do Good (Continued)

Even so, there are many people in Christian churches who teach that it is faith alone that saves, and living a good life or doing what is good has nothing to do with it. They even go so far as to teach that living an evil life or doing what is evil does not damn those who have been justified by faith alone, because they are in God and in grace. Strange as it may seem, though, despite the fact that this is what they teach, they still have an acknowledgment (which comes from that widespread perception bestowed by heaven) that people are saved if they live a good life and damned if they live an evil life. We can see this acknowledgment in the prayer that is read to people who are taking the Holy Supper in churches in Britain and in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. It is common knowledge that there are people in these countries who teach faith alone. The prayer that is read in Britain to people taking the sacrament of the Supper is the following.

The way and means to be received as worthy partakers of that Holy Table [the Holy Supper] is, first, to examine your lives and conversations [dealings with others] by the rule of God’s commandments, and wherever you shall perceive yourselves to have offended either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life; and if you shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbors, then you shall reconcile yourselves to them, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction according to the utmost of your power, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other, and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your offences from God’s hand; for otherwise the receiving of the Holy Communion does nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, or a hinderer or slanderer of his Word, or an adulterer, or be in malice or envy or in any other grievous crime, repent of your sins, or else do not come to the Holy Table; lest after the taking of that Holy Sacrament the Devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction of both body and soul.

from Life/Faith, Sections 4-5

There Is a Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being (Continued)

Now, without some grasp of what correspondence is, nothing can be known in clear light about the spiritual world or about its inflow into the natural world, nothing at all about what the spiritual is relative to the natural, nothing in clear light about the human spirit that is called “the soul” and how it affects the body inwardly, nothing about our state after death. Because of all this, I need to define it and explain what it is like. This will also pave the way for matters that are to follow.

irst, I need to state what correspondence is. The whole natural world is responsive to the spiritual world—the natural world not just in general, but in detail. So whatever arises in the natural world out of the spiritual one is called “something that corresponds.” It needs to be realized that the natural world arises from and is sustained in being by the spiritual world, exactly the way an effect relates to its efficient cause.

By “the natural world,” I mean all that extended reality that is under our sun and that receives its light and warmth from it. All the things that are sustained in being from that source belong to that world. The spiritual world, in contrast, is heaven, and to that world belong all the things that are in the heavens.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 88, 89

My Brother’s Last Days

On January 12, 2017, I got a message from Korea that my oldest brother died. I was in the plane on the 13th and arrived at the funeral home at Jeonpuk University hospital in Jeonju on the 14th.

On the 15th of January, they brought my brother’s body for cremation. I saw the casket go into a cubical oven and they shut door. We could see the process on the screen. Two hours later, they informed us that cremation was done. They bought his bones out in a pail before they ground them into powdery. My nephew (my brother’s son) selected an urn from among many and they brought the urn with my brother’s ashes.

My nephew’s car carried the ashes and all the family members and relatives and guests rode the bus following the car to the family mountain where my great grandfather, grandfather and my parents are buried. The funeral workers already prepared the burial ground for my brother. My nephew placed the urn into a hole which was prepared and each person covered the urn with a fistful soil.
All the learning I have gotten through Swedenborg has made me very peaceful and calm through the process of sending off my brother to the spiritual world. I was reassured that I should continue sharing what Swedenborg left us with this blog, Secrets of Heaven.

During last 12 days I have rested from my blogging, Secrets of Heaven, and I will continue tomorrow.


The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There are also various other ways of punishing the evil severely in the next world, and they incur these penalties when they return to their vile obsessions. The punishment inflicts shame, terror, and revulsion for their evil on them, until eventually they abstain.

The penalties come in different forms. In general they entail being humiliated, ripped in pieces, placed under shrouds, and so on.

Some people are tenaciously vindictive and consider themselves more important than anyone else, judging all others worthless compared to themselves. Their punishment is to be humiliated, and this is what it is like: Their bodies and faces are disfigured, so that there is hardly anything human-looking left of them. Their faces end up looking like big rounds of flatbread; their arms, like rags. With these stretched out, they spin around, high in the air, always rising toward heaven, and someone shouts out a description of their character for all to hear. Eventually they are struck to the depths with shame. So they are driven to beg humbly for mercy, and the words are dictated to them. Afterward they are taken to a pool of muck near the foul Jerusalem and are rolled and dipped in it until they look as though they have turned into mud. They go through this process several times, until they lose all desire for vengeance and superiority.

In the pool of muck are malicious women from the area of the bladder.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 955, 956

3. As a result, every nation in the whole world that possesses religion and sound reason acknowledges that God exists and that there is one God

From the divine inflow into human souls, discussed just above, it follows that in everyone there is an inner voice saying that God exists and that there is one God. Nevertheless there are people who deny God, people who worship nature as God, people who worship many gods, and people who worship idols as gods.

The reason for this is that they have let worldly and bodily perspectives block off the inner reaches of their reason or intellect and obliterate their first childhood idea of God; they have rejected religion from their heart and have put it behind them.

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Page 10

There are atmospheres, liquids, and solids in the spiritual world just as there are in the physical world, but they are spiritual, while ours are physical (Continued)

As for the atmospheres that we refer to as “ethers”and “airs,”there are similar forms in each world, the spiritual and the physical, the difference being that in the spiritual world they are spiritual, while in the physical world they are physical. They are spiritual because they come from a sun that is the first emanation of the Lord’s divine love and wisdom and accept into themselves the divine fire from him that is love and the divine light from him that is wisdom, bringing each down to the heavens where angels live. They bring about the presence of that sun in everything there, from the largest things to the smallest.

The spiritual atmospheres are distinct substances or elemental forms that arise from the sun. Since they accept the sun individually, the sun’s fire becomes a warmth that is ultimately adapted to the love of angels in heaven and spirits under heaven by being separated into a corresponding number of substances, enfolded in them, and tempered by being enfolded. The same holds true for the sun’s light.

In this respect, our physical atmospheres are like the spiritual ones. They too are distinct substances and elemental forms, arising from the physical world’s sun. They too accept the sun individually and conceal its fire within themselves, temper it, and bring it down as warmth to earth where we are; and the same holds true for light.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 174

Doing Good as Religious Practice (Continued)

People who, as a religious practice, do good actions that have to do with goodwill and, as part of that same practice, do not do evil things, but who have not yet accepted the teaching of the new church about the Lord, can be compared to trees that bear good fruit, but only a few pieces of it. Such people are also like trees that bear pieces of fruit that are fine but small; the trees are nevertheless kept and taken care of in gardens. They can also be compared to olive trees and fig trees that grow wild in the forest, and to fragrant herbs and balsam bushes that grow wild on hills.

They are like little buildings that are houses of God in which devout worship occurs. They are the sheep on the right [Matthew 25:33], and are examples of the ram that was attacked by a goat in Daniel 8:2–14. In heaven their clothes are red. After they have been initiated into the good actions and attitudes taught by the new church, however, their clothes become purple and (if they also accept the truths of the new church) more and more beautifully radiant.

from Regeneration, Page 38