Light and Warmth in Heaven (Continued)

Like people on earth, angels have discernment and volition. Heaven’s light produces their cognitive life because heaven’s light is divine truth and the divine wisdom that comes from it; while heaven’s warmth produces their volitional life because heaven’s warmth is the divine good and the divine love that comes from it. The quintessential life of angels is from the warmth, but not from the light except to the extent that there is warmth in it. We can see that life comes from the warmth because when the warmth is taken away life dies. It is the same for faith without love or for truth without goodness, since the truth that is attributed to faith is light and the goodness that is attributed to love is warmth.

All this becomes even clearer from the warmth and light of our world, to which heaven’s warmth and light correspond. From the warmth of our world, united to its light, all things on earth come to life and blossom. They are united in spring and summer. However, nothing comes to life or blooms from light separated from warmth—everything languishes and dies. They are disunited in winter, when the warmth is gone but the light remains. It is from this correspondence that heaven is called a paradise, because there the true is united to the good, or faith to love, as light is united to warmth in springtime on earth.

This gives even clearer support to the truth discussed above in Sections 13-19, that the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love for him and thoughtfulness to ward one’s neighbor.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 136

Notes:

Previously Cited: 11/30/2019

Sections 13-19: Published 11/10/2017-11/13/2017

Light and Warmth in Heaven (Continued)

The reason divine truth is light for angels is that angels are spiritual and not natural. Spiritual people see things from their sun, and natural people see from theirs. Divine truth is what provides angels with discernment; and discernment is their inner sight, which flows into their outer sight and produces it. So whatever is seen in heaven from the Lord as the sun is seen in the light. Since this is the source of light in heaven, it varies depending on the acceptance of divine truth from the Lord or (which amounts to the same thing) depending on the intelligence and wisdom angels participate in. This means that it is different in the heavenly kingdom than in the spiritual kingdom, and different in each community. The light in the heavenly kingdom looks fiery because the angels who are there accept light from the Lord as the sun. The light in the spiritual kingdom, though, is white because the angels who are there accept light from the Lord as the moon (see above, Section 118). Further, the light is not the same in one community as in another. It even differs within each community. People in the middle are in more light, and people round about are in less (see Section 43).

In short, to the extend to which angels are open to divine truth (that is, participate in intelligence and wisdom from the Lord), they have light. This is why heaven’s angels are called angels of light.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 128

Notes:

Previously Cited: 11/23/2016

Section 118: Published 11/16/2016 and 6/26/2019

Section 42-43: Pubished 5/7/2017

Everything in the deeper reaches of angels’ minds and bodies alike is turned toward the Lord as the sun

Angels have discernment and volition, and they have faces and bodies. Further, there are deeper levels of discernment and volition and deeper contents of their faces and bodies. The deeper levels of their discernment and volition are activities of their deeper feeling and thought. The deeper contents of their faces are their brains, and the contents of their bodies are their viscera, headed by heart and lungs. In a word, angels have everything we on earth have. This is what makes them human. An outward form apart from these inner elements would not make them human; only an outward form with its inner elements and even constituted by them would do so. Otherwise they would be only images of people with no life in them because there was no form of life within.

It is recognized that volition and discernment control the body completely. The mouth says what discernment thinks and the body does what volition intends. We can see from this that the body is a form responsive to discernment and volition. Further, since we attribute form to discernment and volition, we can say that the body’s form is responsive to the form of discernment and volition. This is not the place, however, to describe the nature of either form. There are countless components in each, and those countless components act in unison in each because they are responsive to each other. This is why the mind (or volition and discernment) controls the body completely, just as though it were controlling itself.

It follows from this that the deeper levels of the mind act in unison with the deeper levels of the body, and that the outer levels of the mind act in unison with the outer levels of the body. I need to discuss the deeper levels of the mind later, when we deal first with levels of life, and then in the same vein with the deeper levels of the body [Sections 236–241 and 277–281].

Given the fact that the deeper levels of the mind act in unison with the deeper levels of the body, it follows that when the deeper levels of the mind turn toward the Lord as the sun, the deeper levels of the body do the same. Further, since the outer levels of both body and mind depend on their inner levels, they behave in the same way. The outer does what it does at the prompting of the inner, since a collective body derives its whole nature from its specific components. We can see from this that because an angel is turning face and body toward the Lord as the sun, the inner levels of that angel’s mind and body have been turned in that direction as well.

It is the same with us. If we constantly keep the Lord before our eyes (which happens if we are engaged in love and wisdom), then it is not only our eyes and face that turn to him, it is our whole mind and our whole heart. That is, it is everything in our intention and mind and everything in our body at the same time.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 135-137

The Image of God and The Likeness of God

The Lord has created and formed within us two vessels and dwellings for himself called volition and discernment. Volition is for his divine love and discernment for his divine wisdom. I have already discussed the divine love and wisdom of God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity, and I have discussed the creation of the universe. Now I need to say something about our own creation. We read that we were created in the image of God and according to his likeness (Genesis 1:26). In this passage “the image of God” means divine wisdom and “the likeness of God” means divine love, since wisdom is nothing more than the image of love. Love actually presents itself to view and to recognition in wisdom, and since that is where we see and recognize it, wisdom is its image. Then too, love is the reality of life and wisdom is its consequent manifestation. This “image and likeness” of God is strikingly visible in angels. Love shining from within is in their faces and wisdom in their beauty, with beauty as the form of their love. I have seen this, and I have come to know it.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 358

That sun is not God. Rather, it is an emanation from the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One. The same is true of warmth and light from that sun (Continued)

If you observe carefully the thoughts of your own mind, you can recognize that there is a spiritual light completely distinct from physical light. When a mind is thinking, it sees its objects in light, and people who think spiritually see truths as readily at midnight as in daytime. This is why we attribute light to our discernment and talk about “seeing.” One person may hear what someone else says and say, “I see that this is true,” meaning “I understand.” Since this understanding is spiritual, it cannot see by physical light. Physical light does not last, but departs with the sun. We can see from this that our discernment enjoys a light other than that of our eyes, and that this light comes from a different source.

Take care not to think that the spiritual world’s sun is actually God. The real God is a person. The first emanation from his love and wisdom is something fiery and spiritual that looks like a sun to angels. When the Lord makes himself visible to angels in person, then, he does so in human form, sometimes within the sun, sometimes outside it.

It is because of this correspondence that in the Word the Lord is called not only the sun but also fire and light. “The sun” refers to him as divine love and wisdom together; “the fire” refers to him as divine love, and “the light” refers to him as divine wisdom.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 96-98

The True Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom

If you gather together everything you know, focus your mind’s insight on it, and look through it carefully from some spiritual height to discover what is common to everything, the only conclusion you can draw is that it is love and wisdom. These two are essential to every aspect of our life. Everything we deal with that is civic, everything moral, and everything spiritual depends on these two things. Apart from them, there is nothing. The same holds true for everything in the life of that composite person who is (as already noted [Section 24]) our larger and smaller community, our monarchy or empire, the church, and also the angelic heaven. Take love and wisdom away from these collective bodies and ask whether there is anything left, and you will be struck by the fact that without love and wisdom as their source, they are nothing.

No one can deny that in God we find love and wisdom together in their very essence. He loves us all out of the love that is within him, and he guides us all out of the wisdom that is within him. Further, if you look at the created universe with an eye to its design, it is so full of wisdom from love that you might say everything taken all together is wisdom itself. There are things without measure in such a pattern, both sequential and simultaneous, that taken all together they constitute a single entity. This is the only reason they can be held together and sustained forever.

It is because the very essence of the Divine is love and wisdom that we have two abilities of life. From the one we get our discernment, and from the other volition. Our discernment is supplied entirely by an inflow of wisdom from God, while our volition is supplied entirely by an inflow of love from God. Our failures to be appropriately wise and appropriately loving do not take these abilities away from us. They only close them off; and as long as they do, while we may call our discernment “discernment” and our volition “volition,” essentially they are not. So if these abilities really were taken away from us, everything human about us would be destroyed—our thinking and the speech that results from thought, and our purposing and the actions that result from purpose.

We can see from this that the divine nature within us dwells in these two abilities, in our ability to be wise and our ability to love. That is, it dwells in the fact that we are capable of being wise and loving. I have discovered from an abundance of experience that we have the ability to love even though we are not wise and do not love as we could. You will find this experience described in abundance elsewhere.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 28-30

Notes:

Section 24: Published 4/17/2018

Today’s Publication of Sections 28-30: Published 4/12/2016, 4/16/2016

There is one human God who is the source of everything (Continued)

It would be the same in the church that is spread throughout the world, which is called a communion because it is like a single body under a single head. It is recognized that the head governs the body beneath itself at will. The head is after all the locus of our discernment and our volition, and the body acts at the behest of our discernment and volition to the point that the body is pure obedience. The body is incapable of doing anything except at the behest of the discernment and volition in the head; and in similar fashion we of the church can do nothing apart from God. It does seem as though the body acts on its own—as though hands and feet move of their own accord when we do something, as though mouth and tongue vibrate of their own accord when we say something—and yet nothing whatever is done “on its own.” It is prompted by the stimulus of our volition and the consequent thinking of the discernment in the head.

Just think. If one body had many heads, and each head had its own agenda based on its mind and its volition, could the body survive? There could be no unanimity among them the way there is with a single head.

It is the same in the heavens, which consist of millions of angels, as it is in the church. Unless every single angel focused on one God, one angel would move away from another and heaven would fall apart. So an angel who even thinks about many gods instantly disappears, exiled to the very edge of heaven, and collapses.

Since the whole heaven and everything in it depend on a single God, it is the nature of angelic speech to come to a close in a particular harmony that flows from heaven’s own harmony. This is a sign that it is impossible for angels to think of more than one God. Their speech follows from their thought.

Surely everyone of sound reason perceives the fact that Divinity is not divisible, that there is not a multiplicity of infinite, uncreated, omnipotent beings, or gods. Suppose some irrational soul were to say that there could be a multiplicity of infinite, uncreated, omnipotent beings, or gods, if only they had a single “same essence,” and that this would result in one being who was infinite, uncreated, omnipotent, and god. Would not that single same essence have one “same identity”? And it is not possible for many beings to have the same identity. If this individual were to say that one is derived from the other, then the one that is derived from the other is not God in and of himself; yet God in and of himself is the source of all (see Section 16 above).

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 25-27

Notes

Section 16: Published 4/14/2018

The Power of Heaven’s Angels

PEOPLE who do not know anything about the spiritual world and its inflow into the natural world cannot grasp the fact that angels have power. They think that angels cannot have power because they are spiritual and so pure and insubstantial that they cannot even be seen by our eyes. People who probe more deeply into the causes of things, though, feel otherwise about it. They are aware that all the power we ourselves have comes from our intellect and volition, since without these we cannot move the slightest part of our bodies. Intellect and volition are our spiritual person. This person is what animates the body and its members at will, for the mouth and tongue say what it thinks and the body does what it intends. It even bestows energy at will. Our intention and discernment are governed by the Lord through angels and spirits; and since this is true of our intention and discernment, it is true of all aspects of our bodies because these latter come from the former. Believe it or not, we cannot move a step without the inflow of heaven.

I have been shown that this is true by a great deal of experience. Angels have been allowed to activate my walking, my actions, my tongue, and my conversation as they wished, by flowing into my intention and thinking, and I learned at first hand that I could do nothing on my own. They told me later that everyone is governed in this way, and that we might learn this from the doctrine of the church and from the Word. We actually pray that God will send his angels who may lead us, guide our steps, teach us, and inspire us as to what we should think and say, and so on—this even though we talk and believe quite differently in our private thoughts apart from doctrine.

These things have been mentioned to illustrate the kind of power angels have with us.

In the spiritual world angels have so much power that if I were to highlight everything I have seen, it would strain credulity. If anything there is in the way and needs to be removed because it is opposed to the divine design, they raze and overturn it simply by an effort of will and a look. So I have seen mountains that were the abode of evil people leveled and overturned, sometimes shaken from end to end as happens in our earthquakes. I have seen cliffs split down the middle right to the bottom and the evil people on them swallowed up. I have also seen angels scatter some hundreds of thousands of evil spirits and cast them into hell. A vast multitude is powerless against them. The skills and wiles and alliances of evil spirits amount to nothing. Angels see everything and dispel it instantly. But there is more about this in the story of Babylon destroyed. They do have this kind of power in the spiritual world.

The Word, too, shows that angels have power like this in the natural world when it is granted them. For example, they are said to have brought death upon whole armies, to have brought about a plague that killed seventy thousand people. We read of this latter angel:

The angel stretched out a hand against Jerusalem to destroy it; but Jehovah, repenting of his evil, said to the angel who was destroying the people, It is enough, now hold back your hand: and David saw the angel who was striking the people. (2 Samuel 24:15, 16, 17)

among other passages.

Because angels do have this kind of power they are called powers. It also says in David,

“Bless Jehovah, you angels most powerful in strength” (Psalms 103:20).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 228, 229