Heaven’s Form, Which Determines How People Associate and Communicate There

TO some extent, we can determine what heaven’s form is like on the basis of what has been presented in the preceding chapters—that heaven has a basic similarity in its greatest and its smallest instances (Section 72); that therefore each community is a heaven in lesser form, and each angel in least form (Sections 51–58); that as heaven as a whole resembles a single person, so every community of heaven resembles a person in lesser form and every individual angel in least form (Sections 59–77); that the wisest people are at the center, with the less wise around them all the way to the borders, and that the same holds true for each community (Section 43); and that people who are engaged in the good of love live along the east-west axis and people who are engaged in truths that derive from the good along the south-north axis, which also holds true for each community (Sections 148–149). All these things are determined by heaven’s form, so we can figure out what that form is like in a general sense.

We need to know what heaven’s form is like because it determines not only how angels associate with each other but also how all their communication takes place; and since all their communication is also an outreach of their thoughts and affections, this means all their intelligence and wisdom. This is why the extent to which we are in heaven’s form (are forms of heaven) determines how wise we are. It amounts to the same thing whether you say “in heaven’s form” or “in heaven’s design,” since the form of any entity comes from its design and is determined by it.

One thing needs to be said first, namely what it is to be in heaven’s form. We have been created in the image of heaven and in the image of this world, our inner being in the image of heaven and our outer in the image of this world (see above, Section 57). Whether you say “in the image” or “according to the form,” it amounts to the same thing. However, since by the evils of our intention and the distortions of our thinking we have destroyed the image and therefore the form of heaven within us, and in its place have imported the image and form of hell, our inner being is closed from the time of birth. This is why we, unlike all other kinds of animal, are born into utter ignorance.

However, for the image or form of heaven to be restored for us, we need to be educated in the principles of the design; for the form, as explained above, depends on the design. The Word contains all the laws of the divine design, for the laws of the divine design are the precepts we find there. To the extent that we know them and live by them, our inner being is opened, and in it the design or form of heaven is formed anew. We can see from this what it is to be in heaven’s form—namely, it is living according to what is in the Word.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 200-202

Notes:

Section 72: Published 3/8/2018

Sections 51-58: Published 2/13/2018-2/15/2018

Sections 59-77: Published 3/3/2018-3/10/2018

Section 43: Published 5/7/2017

Sections 148-149: Published 7/13/2017-7/14/2017