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

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

Since a human being is a heaven and a world in least form in the image of the greatest (see Section 57), there is a spiritual world and a natural world within each of us. The deeper elements, which belong to our minds and relate to our intelligence and volition, constitute our spiritual world, while the outer elements, which belong to our bodies and relate to our senses and actions, constitute our natural world. Anything that occurs in our natural world (that is, in our bodies and their senses and actions) because of our spiritual world (that is, because of our minds and their intelligence and volition) is called something that corresponds.

We can see in the human face what correspondence is like. In a face that has not been taught to dissimulate, all the affections of the mind manifest themselves visibly in a natural form, as though in their very imprint, which is why we refer to the face as “the index of the mind.” This is our spiritual world within our natural world. Similarly, elements of our understanding are manifest in our speech, and matters of our volition in our physical behavior. So things that occur in the body, whether in our faces or in our speech or in our behavior, are called correspondences.

We can also see from this what the inner person is and what the outer person is, namely, that the inner is the one that is called the spiritual person, and the outer the natural person. We can also see that they are as distinct from each other as heaven and earth, and that everything that happens and comes forth in the outer or natural person does so from the inner or spiritual one.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 90-92

Notes:

Previously cited: 6/6/2017

Section 57: Published 2/15/2018

Our Freedom Depends on the Balance between Heaven and Hell (Continued)

The reason we cannot be reformed unless we have some freedom is that we are born into evils of all kinds, evils which need to be taken away if we are to be saved. They cannot be taken away unless we see them within ourselves, admit that they are there, then refuse them and ultimately turn away from them. Only then are they taken away. This cannot happen unless we are exposed to both good and evil, since it is from good that we can see evils, though we cannot see what is good from evil. We learn the good spiritual things we can think from infancy from the reading of the Word and from sermons. We learn the moral and civic values from our life in the world. This is the primary reason we need to be in freedom.

The second reason is that nothing becomes part of us except as a result of some affection of love. True, other things can enter us, but no deeper than into our thought, not into our volition; and anything that does not enter our volition is not ours. This is because thinking is derived from our memory, while volition is derived from our life itself. Nothing is ever free unless it comes from our volition, or what amounts to the same thing, from a particular affection that stems from our love. Whatever we intend or love, we do freely. This is why our freedom and the affection of our love or intentions are one. So we also have freedom in order to be able to be moved by what is true and good, or to love them, so that they do become part of us.

In a word, anything that does not enter us in freedom does not stay with us, because it does not belong to our love or intentions; and anything that does not belong to our love or intentions does not belong to our spirit. The actual reality of our spirit is love or volition—using the phrase “love or volition” because whatever we love, we intend.

This is why we cannot be reformed except in a state of freedom. But there is more on our freedom in the extracts from Secrets of Heaven below.

So that we can be in freedom for the sake of our reformation, we are united in spirit with heaven and with hell. With each of us there are spirits from hell and angels from heaven. By means of the spirits from hell we encounter our evil, and by means of the angels from heaven we encounter the good we have from the Lord. As a result, we are in a spiritual equilibrium—that is, in a freedom.

On the presence with us of angels from heaven and spirits from hell, see the chapter on the union of heaven with the human race (Sections 291–302).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 598-599

Notes:

Sections 291-302: Published 6/22/2018-6/27/2018

The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell

FOR anything to happen, there needs to be an equilibrium of everything involved. If there is no equilibrium, there is no action and reaction because the equilibrium occurs between two forces, one acting and the other reacting. The state of rest arising from equal agents and reagents is called an equilibrium.

In the natural world there is equilibrium throughout, in general in the atmospheres, with the lower layers reacting and resisting to the extent that the upper layers act and bear down. In the natural world there are also states of equilibrium between warmth and cold, light and darkness, dry and wet. Their median blend is the balance point. There is also an equilibrium in the members of all three of earth’s kingdoms—mineral, vegetable, and animal; for nothing would occur in those kingdoms if it were not for the equilibrium. Everywhere, there is a kind of effort acting from one side and another reacting from the other.

Every event, or every result, happens in an equilibrium, or happens by one force acting and another allowing itself to be acted upon, or by one force actively flowing in and the other accepting and yielding appropriately.

In the natural world, what acts and reacts is called force or energy, but in the spiritual world what acts and reacts is called life and volition. Life there is a living force and volition is a living energy, and the actual equilibrium is called a state of freedom. This spiritual balance or freedom occurs, then, between the good acting from the one side and the evil reacting from the other, or from the evil acting on the one side and the good reacting from the other.

The balance between active good and reactive evil applies to good people, and the balance between active evil and reactive good applies to evil people. The reason the spiritual balance is between good and evil is that all human life has to do with good and evil, and our volition is their recipient vessel.

There is also a balance between what is true and what is false, but this is secondary to the balance between good and evil. The balance between the true and the false is like the balance between light and darkness, whose effect on members of the vegetable kingdom depends on the amount of warmth or cold there is in the light or darkness. You can tell that the light and shade themselves do not accomplish anything, only the warmth they bring, from looking at like amounts of light and darkness in winter and in spring.

The comparison of truth and falsity to light and darkness rests in their correspondence, since truth corresponds to light and falsity to darkness, and warmth corresponds to the goodness of love. Further, spiritual light is truth, spiritual darkness is falsity, and spiritual warmth is the goodness of love (on this, see the chapter on light and warmth in heaven, (Sections 126–140).

from Heaven and Hell, Section 589

Sections 126-140: Published 11/22/2016-12/2/2016

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

The Lord Does Not Cast Anyone into Hell: Spirits Cast Themselves In (Continued)

Enlightened people also see that good and evil are two opposite things, as opposite as heaven and hell, and that everything good is from heaven and everything evil from hell. Further, since the Lord’s divine nature constitutes heaven (see Sections 7–12), nothing flows into us from the Lord but what is good, and nothing from hell but what is evil. So the Lord is constantly leading us out of evil and toward good, while hell is constantly leading us into evil. Unless we were in between, we would have neither thought nor intention, much less any freedom or choice. We have all these gifts because of the balance between good and evil. So if the Lord were to turn away and we were left to our own evil, we would no longer be human.

We can see from this that the Lord is constantly flowing into every individual with good, just as much into the evil person as into the good. The difference is that he is constantly leading evil people away from evil, while he is constantly leading good people toward the good. The reason for this difference lies in us, since we are the ones who accept.

We can gather from this that we do evil from hell and good from the Lord. However, since we believe that whatever we do comes from ourselves, the evil we do clings to us as though it were our own. This is why we are at fault for our evil, never the Lord. The evil within us is hell within us, for it makes no difference whether you say “evil” or “hell.” Since we are at fault for our evil, it is we, not the Lord, who lead ourselves into hell. Far from leading us into hell, the Lord frees us from hell to the extent that we do not intend and love to be absorbed in our evil. Our whole volition and love stays with us after death (see Sections 470–484). People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is. So after death, it is we, not the Lord, who cast ourselves into hell.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 546-547

Notes:

Sections 7-12: Published 5/29/2017-5/31/2017

Sections 470-484: Published 8/14/2018-8/24/2018

Our Nature after Death Depends on the Kind of Life We Led in the World (Continued)

Works and deeds,” though, does not mean works and deeds solely the way they look in outward form. It also includes their deeper nature. Everyone knows, really, that all our deeds and works come from our intention and thought, for if they did not come from there they would be no more than motions like those of machines or robots. So a deed or work in its own right is simply an effect that derives its soul and life from our volition and thought, even to the point that it is volition and thought in effect, volition and thought in an outward form. It follows, then, that the quality of the volition and thought that cause the deed or work determines the quality of the deed or work. If the thought and intent are good, then the deeds and works are good; but if the thought and intent are evil, then the deeds and works are evil, even though they may look alike in outward form. A thousand people can behave alike—that is, can do the same thing, so much alike that in outward form one can hardly tell the difference. Yet each deed in its own right is unique because it comes from a different intent.

Take for example behaving honestly and fairly with an associate. One person can behave honestly and fairly with someone else in order to seem honest and fair for the sake of self and to gain respect; another person can do the same for the sake of worldly profit; a third for reward and credit; a fourth to curry friendship; a fifth out of fear of the law and loss of reputation and office; a sixth to enlist people in his or her cause, even if it is an evil one; a seventh in order to mislead; and others for still other reasons. But even though all of their deeds look good (for behaving honestly and fairly toward a colleague is good), still they are evil because they are not done for the sake of honesty and fairness, not because these qualities are loved, but for the sake of oneself and the world, because these are loved. The honesty and fairness are servants of this love, like the servants of a household whom their lord demeans and dismisses when they do not serve.

People behave honestly and fairly toward their colleagues in a similar outward form when they are acting from a love of what is honest and fair. Some of them do it because of the truth of faith, or obedience, because it is enjoined in the Word. Some of them do it for the sake of the goodness of faith or conscience, because they are moved by religious feeling. Some of them do it out of the good of thoughtfulness toward their neighbor, because one’s neighbor’s welfare is to be valued. Some of them do it out of the goodness of love for the Lord, because what is good should be done for its own sake; so too what is honest and fair should be done for the sake of honesty and fairness. They love these qualities because they come from the Lord, and because the divine nature that emanates from the Lord is within them. So if we see them in their true essence, they are divine. The deeds or works of these people are inwardly good, so they are outwardly good as well; for as already noted, the nature of deeds and works is entirely determined by the nature of the thought and intent from which they stem, and apart from such thought and intent they are not deeds and works but only lifeless motions.

We may gather from this what is meant by works and deeds in the Word.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 472

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