Wise and Simple People in Heaven (continued)

By false intelligence and wisdom we mean any intelligence and wisdom that is devoid of acknowledgment of the Divine. In fact, people who do not acknowledge the Divine Being but put nature in place of the Divine all think on the basis of their physical bodies. They are merely sense-centered, no matter how scholarly and learned they are considered in this world. Their learning, though, does not rise any higher than the things in front of their eyes in this world, things that they keep in their memory and inspect almost physically. This is the case even though the very same branches of knowledge serve truly intelligent people as a means of forming their understanding. By “branches of knowledge” we mean the various experimental disciplines such as physics, astronomy, chemistry, mechanics, geometry, anatomy, psychology, philosophy, and political history, as well as the realms of literature and criticism and language study.

There are church dignitaries who deny the Divine. They do not raise their thoughts any higher than the sensory concerns of the outer person. They look on the contents of the Word as no different from knowledge about anything else; they do not treat those contents as subjects of thought or of any thorough consideration by an enlightened rational mind. This is because their own deeper levels are closed off, and along with them, the more outward levels that are next to these deeper ones. The reason they are closed is that they have turned their backs on heaven and reversed the things that they could see there, things that are proper to the deeper levels of the human mind, as we have noted before. This is why they cannot see what is true and good—because these matters are in darkness for them, while what is false and evil is in the light.

Nevertheless, sense-centered people can think logically, some of them actually with more skill and penetration than other people. However, they rely on deceptive sensory appearances bolstered by their own learning, and since they can think logically in this fashion, they think they are wiser than other people.e The fire that fuels their reasoning is the fire of love for themselves and the world.

These are the people who are devoted to false intelligence and wisdom, the ones meant by the Lord in Matthew: “Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13–15); and again, “Things are hidden from the intelligent and wise and revealed to children” (Matthew 11:25–26).

from Heaven and Hell,Section 353

After Death, We Enjoy Every Sense, Memory, Thought, and Affection We Had in the World: We Leave Nothing Behind except Our Earthly Body

REPEATED experience has witnessed to me that when we move from the natural world into the spiritual, which happens when we die, we take with us everything that pertains to our character except our earthly body. In fact, when we enter the spiritual world or our life after death, we are in a body as we were in this world. There seems to be no difference, since we do not feel or see any difference. This body is spiritual, though, so it has been separated or purified from earthly matter. Further, when anything spiritual touches and sees something spiritual, it is just like something natural touching and seeing something natural. So when we have become a spirit, we have no sense that we are not in the body we inhabited in the world, and therefore do not realize that we have died.

As “spirit-people,” we enjoy every outer and inner sense we enjoyed in the world. We see the way we used to, we hear and talk the way we used to; we smell and taste and feel things when we touch them the way we used to; we want, wish, crave, think, ponder, are moved, love, and intend the way we used to. Studious types still read and write as before. In a word, when we move from the one life into the other, or from the one world into the other, it is like moving from one [physical] place to another; and we take with us everything we owned as persons to the point that it would be unfair to say that we have lost anything of our own after death, which is only a death of the earthly body.

We even take with us our natural memory, since we retain everything we have heard, seen, read, learned, or thought in the world from earliest infancy to the very end of life. However, since the natural objects that reside in our memory cannot be reproduced in a spiritual world, they become dormant the way they do when we are not thinking about them. Even so, they can be reproduced when it so pleases the Lord. I will have more to say soon, though, about this memory and its condition after death.

Sense-centered people are quite incapable of believing that our state after death is like this because they do not grasp it. Sense-centered people can think only on the natural level, even about spiritual matters. This means that anything they do not sense—that is, see with their physical eyes and touch with their hands—they say does not exist, as we read of Thomas in John 20:25, 27, 29. The quality of sense-centered people has been described above in Section 267, and in note c there.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 461


Section 267: Published 10/20/2017