In each heaven, this is the form that determines communication and the outreach of thoughts and affections for angels and therefore determines their intelligence and wisdom. The communication of one heaven with another, though, is different—that of the third or inmost heaven with the second or intermediate, and of these two with the first or outmost. In fact, the communication between heavens should not be called “communication” but “inflow,” which we now need to say something about. On the three heavens and their differentiation, see the appropriate chapter above (Sections 29–40).
We may conclude from the way the heavens are situated in relation to each other that there is not a communication of one heaven with another but an inflow. The third or inmost heaven is above, the second or intermediate is lower, and the first or outmost is still lower. It is much the same for all the communities of each heaven: for example there are some in lofty places that look like mountains (see Section 188), with people from the inmost heavens living on their summits, people from the second heaven below them, and below them again people from the outmost heaven. It is like this everywhere, whether in lofty areas or in lowly ones. A community of a higher heaven does not have any communication with a community of a lower heaven except by means of correspondences (see above, Section 100), and communication by correspondences is what is called inflow.
One heaven is united to another (or a community of one heaven with a community of another) by the Lord alone, through a direct and an indirect inflow. The direct is from himself, and the indirect is sequential through the higher heavens into the lower ones.
Since the union of the heavens through inflow is accomplished by the Lord alone, the greatest possible precautions are taken to prevent any angel from a higher heaven from looking down into a community of a lower one and talking with anyone there. The moment this happens, the angel will lose intelligence and wisdom. The reason needs to be stated. Every angel has three levels of life, like the three levels of heaven. For the ones in the inmost heaven, the third or inmost level is opened and the second and first are closed. For people in the intermediate heaven the second level is opened and the first and third are closed; and for people in the outermost heaven the first level is opened and the second and third are closed. The moment an angel of the third heaven, then, looks down into a community of the second and talks with anyone there, the third level of that angel is closed; and when it is closed the angel is deprived of wisdom because her or his wisdom dwells on the third level, with none on the second and first.
This is the meaning of the Lord’s words in Matthew:
Let those who are on the roof not come down to take what is in the house; and let those who are in the field not turn back to take their garments. (Matthew 24:17–18)
And in Luke:
Let those who are on the roof on that day while their belongings are in the house not go down to get them, and let those who are in the field not turn back to what is behind them: remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:31–32)
from Heaven and Hell, Sections 206-208
Section 29-40: Published 7/1/2017-7/7/2017
Section 188: Published 4/28/2017
Section 100: Published 6/11/2017