Site Map



213. As heaven is divided into societies, and the larger societies consist of some hundreds of thousands of angels (n. 50), and all within a society, although in like good, are not in like wisdom (n. 43), it must needs follow that governments exist there, since order must be observed, and all things of order must be guarded. But the governments in the heavens differ; they are of one sort in societies that constitute the Lord's celestial kingdom, and of another sort in the societies that constitute His spiritual kingdom; they differ also in accordance with the functions of the several societies. Nevertheless, no other government than the government of mutual love is possible in the heavens, and the government of mutual love is heavenly government.

214. Government in the Lord's celestial kingdom is called righteousness because all in that kingdom are in the good of love to the Lord from the Lord, and whatever is from that good is called righteous. Government there belongs to the Lord alone. He leads them and teaches them in the affairs of life. The truths that are called truths of judgment are written on their hearts; everyone knows them, perceives them, and sees them;{1} and in consequence matters of judgment there never come into question, but only matters of righteousness, which belong to the life. About these matters the less wise consult the more wise, and these consult the Lord and receive answers. Their heaven, that is, their inmost joy, is to live rightly from the Lord.

{Footnote 1} The celestial angels do not think and speak from truths, as the spiritual angels do, because they have from the Lord a perception of all things of truth (n. 202, 597, 607, 784, 1121, 1384, 1398, 1442, 1919, 7680, 7877, 8780, 9277, 10336). In respect to truths the celestial angels say, Yea, yea, or Nay, nay; but the spiritual angels reason about them whether they are true or not (n. 2715, 3246, 4448, 9166, 10786, where the Lord's words, Let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay, nay; what is beyond these is from evil (Matt. 5:37). are explained).

215. In the Lord's spiritual kingdom the government is called judgment; because those in that kingdom are in spiritual good, which is the good of charity towards the neighbor, and that good in its essence is truth;{1} and truth pertains to judgment, as good pertains to righteousness.{2} These, too, are led by the Lord, but mediately (n. 208); and in consequence they have governors, few or many according to the need of the society in which they are. They also have laws according to which they live together. The governors administer all things in accordance with the laws, which they understand because they are wise, and in doubtful matters they are enlightened by the Lord.

{Footnote 1} Those in the spiritual kingdom are in truths, and those in the celestial kingdom are in good (n. 863, 875, 927, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256, 4328, 4493, 5113, 9596). The good of the spiritual kingdom is the good of charity towards the neighbor and this good in its essence is truth (n. 8042, 10296).

{Footnote 2} In the Word "righteousness" is predicated of good, and "Judgment" of truth therefore "to do righteousness and judgment" means good and truth (n. 2235, 9857). "Great judgments" means the law of Divine order, thus Divine truths (n. 7206).

216. As government from good, which is the kind of government that exists in the Lord's celestial kingdom, is called righteousness; and government from truth, which is the kind of government that exists in the Lord's spiritual kingdom, is called judgment, so the terms "righteousness and judgment" are used in the Word when heaven and the church are treated of, "righteousness" signifying celestial good, and "judgment" spiritual good, which good, as has been said above, is in its essence truth, as in the following passages:

Of peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David and upon His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it in judgment and in righteousness from henceforth and even to eternity (Isaiah 9:7).

By "David" here the Lord is meant;{1} and by "His kingdom" heaven, as is evident from the following passage:

I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as King, and shall deal intelligently and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land (Jer. 23:5).

Jehovah is exalted, for He dwelleth on high; He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness (Isaiah 33:5). "Zion" also means heaven and the church.{2}

     I, Jehovah, doing judgment and righteousness on the earth,
     for in these things I delight (Jer. 9:24).

     I will betroth thee unto Me forever, and I will betroth
     thee unto Me in righteousness and judgment (Hosea 2:19).

     O Jehovah, in the heavens Thy righteousness is like the
     mountains of God, and Thy judgments are like the great
     deep (Psalm 36:5, 6).

     They ask of Me the judgments of righteousness, they long
     for an approach unto God (Isaiah 58:2). So in other

  {Footnote 1} By "David" in the prophetic parts of the Word, the
  Lord is meant (n. 1888, 9954).

  {Footnote 2} In the Word "Zion" means the church, and
  specifically the celestial church (n. 2362, 9055).

217. In the Lord's spiritual kingdom there are various forms of government, differing in different societies, the variety being in accord with the functions performed by the societies; and the functions of these are in accord with the functions of all things in man to which they correspond. That these are various is well known, the heart having one function, the lungs another, the liver another, the pancreas and spleen another, and each sensory organ another. As in the body these organs perform various services, so there are various services pertaining to the societies in the Greatest Man, which is heaven for the societies there correspond to these organs. That there is a correspondence of all things of heaven with all things of man may be seen in its own chapter above (n. 87-102). But all these forms of government agree in this, that they look to the public good as their end, and in that good to the good of the individual.{1} And this is so because everyone in the whole heaven is under the auspices of the Lord, who loves all, and from Divine love ordains that there shall be a common good, from which each individual shall receive his own good. Each one, moreover, receives good according as he loves the common good; for so far as he loves the common good he loves all and everyone; and as that love is love of the Lord he is to that extent loved by the Lord, and good comes to him.

{Footnote 1} Every man and every community, also one's country and the church and in the universal sense the kingdom of the Lord, is a neighbor, and to do good to these from love of good in accordance with their state is to love the neighbor; that is, the neighbor is the good of these, which is the common good that must be consulted (n. 6818-6824, 8123). Civil good also, which is justice, is a neighbor (n. 2915, 4730, 8120-8123). Therefore charity towards the neighbor extends itself to all things and each thing of the life of man; and loving good and doing good from love of good and truth, and also doing what is just from a love of what is just in every function and in every work, is loving the neighbor (n. 2417, 8121-8124).

218. From all this it can be seen what the governors there are, namely, that they are such as are preeminent in love and wisdom, and therefore desire the good of all, and from wisdom know how to provide for the realization of that good. Such governors do not domineer or dictate, but they minister and serve (to serve meaning to do good to others from a love of the good, and to minister meaning to see to it that the good is done); nor do they make themselves greater than others, but less, for they put the good of society and of the neighbor in the first place, and put their own good last; and whatever is in the first place is greater and what is last is less. Nevertheless, the rulers have honor and glory; they dwell in the midst of the society, in higher position than the rest, and also in magnificent palaces; and this glory and honor they accept not for the sake of themselves but for the sake of obedience; for all there know that they have this honor and glory from the Lord, and on that account should be obeyed. This is what is meant by the Lord's words to His disciples:

Whosoever would become great among you let him be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you let him be your servant; as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister (Matt. 20:27, 28).

He that is greatest among you let him be as the least, and he that is chief as he that doth minister (Luke 22:26).

219. Also in each house there is a like government in a lesser form. In every house there is a master and there are servants; the master loves the servants and the servants love the master, consequently they serve each other from love. The master teaches how they ought to live, and tells what is to be done; the servants obey and perform their duties. To perform use is the delight of everyone's life. This shows that the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of uses.

220. Also in the hells there are governments, for without governments they could not be kept in restraint; but the governments there are opposite to the governments in the heavens; they are governments of the love of self. Everyone there wishes to dictate to others and to be over others. They hate those that do not favor them, and make them objects of their vengeance and fury, for such is the nature of the love of self. Therefore the more malignant are set over them as governors, and these they obey from fear.{1} But of this below, where the hells are treated of.

{Footnote 1} There are two kinds of rule, one from love towards the neighbor the other from love of self (n. 10814). From the rule that is from love towards the neighbor flow all goods and all happinesses (n. 10160, 10814). In heaven no one desires to rule from the love of self, but all desire to minister, which means to rule from love to the neighbor; this is the source of their great power (n. 5732). From rule from the love of self all evils flow in (n. 10038). When the loves of self and the world had begun to prevail men were compelled to subject themselves to governments as a means of security (n. 7364, 10160, 10814).


Divine worship in the heavens is not unlike in externals Divine worship on the earth, but in internals it is different. In the heavens, as on the earth, there are doctrines, preachings, and church edifices. In essentials the doctrines there are everywhere the same; but in the higher heavens they contain more interior wisdom than in the lower. The preachings are in harmony with the doctrines; and as they have houses and palaces (n. 183-190), so they have also church edifices, in which there is preaching. Such things exist in heaven, because the angels are being perfected continually in wisdom and love. For they possess, as men do, understanding and will; and both their understanding and their will are capable of being continually perfected, the understanding by means of truths of intelligence, and the will by means of the goods of love.{1}

{Footnote 1} The understanding is receptive of truth, and the will of good (n. 3623, 6125, 7503, 9300, 9930). As all things have relation to truth and good, so everything of man's life has relation to understanding and will (n. 803, 10122). Angels are perfected to eternity (n. 4803, 6648).

222. But essential Divine worship in the heavens does not consist in going to church and hearing preaching, but in a life of love, charity, and faith, in accordance with doctrine; preachings in churches serve solely as means of instruction in matters of life. I have talked with angels on this subject, and have told them that it is believed in the world that Divine worship consists solely in attending church, listening to the preaching, observing the sacrament of the Supper three or four times a year, and performing other acts of worship according to the requirements of the church; also devoting special times to prayers, and at such times, behaving devoutly. The angels said that these are outward acts that ought to be done, but are of no avail unless there is an internal from which they proceed, which is a life in accordance with the precepts that doctrine teaches.

223. That I might learn about their meeting in places of worship, I have been permitted at times to attend and to hear the preaching. The preacher stands in a pulpit at the east. Those who are in the light of wisdom more than others sit in front of him; those who are in less light sit to the right and left of these. There is a circular arrangement of the seats, so that all are in the preacher's view, no one so sitting at either side as to be out of his view. At the entrance, which is at the east of the building and on the left of the pulpit, those stand who are being initiated. No one is permitted to stand behind the pulpit; when there is any one there the preacher becomes confused. It is the same if any one in the congregation dissents; and for this reason the dissenter must needs turn away his face. The wisdom of the preachings is such as to be above all comparison with the preachings of this world, for those in the heavens are in interior light. The church edifices in the spiritual kingdom are apparently built of stone, and those in the celestial kingdom of wood; because stone corresponds to truth, and those who are in the spiritual kingdom are in truth, while wood corresponds to good, and those in the celestial kingdom are in good.{1} In that kingdom the sacred edifices are not called churches but houses of God. In that kingdom they are without magnificence; but in the spiritual kingdom they are more or less magnificent.

{Footnote 1} "Stone" signifies truth (n. 114, 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10376). "Wood" signifies good (n. 643, 3720, 8354). For this reason the most ancient people, who were in celestial good, had sacred buildings of wood (n. 3720).

224. I have also talked with one of the preachers about the holy state in which those are who listen to the preaching in the churches. He said that everyone is pious, devout, and holy in harmony with his interiors, which pertain to love and faith, for holiness itself is in love and faith, because the Divine of the Lord is in them. He also said that he did not know what outward holiness is apart from love and faith; and when he thought about it he said that perhaps it is something counterfeiting holiness in outward appearance, either conventional or hypocritical; and that such holiness is kindled and sustained by spurious fire from the love of self and the world.

225. All the preachers are from the Lord's spiritual kingdom; none are from the celestial kingdom. They are from the spiritual kingdom because the angels there are in truths from good, and all preaching must be from truths. There are no preachers from the celestial kingdom because those who are there are in the good of love, and they see and perceive truths from good, but do not talk about them. But although the angels in the celestial kingdom perceive and see truths there are preachings there, since by means of preachings they are enlightened in the truths that they already know, and are perfected by many truths that they did not know before. As soon as they hear truths they acknowledge them and thus perceive them; and the truths they perceive they love, and by living in accordance with them they make them to be of their life, declaring that living in accordance with truths is loving the Lord.{1}

{Footnote 1} Loving the Lord and the neighbor is living in accordance with the Lord's commandments (n. 10143, 10153, 10310, 10578, 10645, 10683).

226. All preachers are appointed by the Lord, and have therefrom a gift for preaching. No others are permitted to preach in the churches. They are not called priests, but preachers. They are not called priests because the celestial kingdom is the priesthood of heaven; for priesthood signifies the good of love to the Lord, and those in the celestial kingdom are in that good; while the spiritual kingdom is the kingship of heaven, for kingship signifies truth from good, and those in the spiritual kingdom are in that truth (see above, n. 24).{1}

{Footnote 1} Priests represented the Lord in respect to the Divine good, kings in respect to Divine truth (n. 2015, 6148). Therefore, in the Word a "priest" signifies those who are in the good of love to the Lord, and the priesthood signifies that good (n. 9806, 9809). A "king" in the Word signifies those who are in Divine truth, and therefrom kingship signifies truth from good (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044).

227. The doctrines with which their preachings are in accord all look to life as their end, and none look to faith separate from the life. The doctrine of the inmost heaven is more full of wisdom than the doctrine of the middle heaven, and this more full of intelligence than the doctrine of the outmost heaven; for in each heaven the doctrines are adapted to the perceptions of the angels. The essential of all doctrines is acknowledging the Divine Human of the Lord.


That the angels possess power cannot be comprehended by those who know nothing about the spiritual world and its influx into the natural world. Such think that angels can have no power because they are spiritual and are even so pure and unsubstantial that no eye can see them. But those who look more interiorly into the causes of things take a different view. Such know that all the power that a man has is from his understanding and will (for apart from these he is powerless to move a particle of his body), and his understanding and will are his spiritual man. This moves the body and its members at its pleasure; for whatever it thinks the mouth and tongue speak, and whatever it wills the body does; and it bestows its strength at pleasure. As man's will and understanding are ruled by the Lord through angels and spirits, so also are all things of his body, because these are from the will and understanding; and if you will believe it, without influx from heaven man cannot even move a step. That this is so has been shown me by much experience. Angels have been permitted to move my steps, my actions, and my tongue and speech, as they pleased, and this by influx into my will and thought; and I have learned thereby that of myself I could do nothing. I was afterwards told by them that every man is so ruled, and that he can know this from the doctrine of the church and from the Word, for he prays that God may send His angels to lead him, direct his steps, teach him, and inspire in him what to think and what to say, and other like things; although he says and believes otherwise when he is thinking by himself apart from doctrine. All this has been said to make known what power angels have with man.

229. But so great is the power of angels in the spiritual world that if I should make known all that I have witnessed in regard to it it would exceed belief. Any obstruction there that ought to be removed because it is contrary to Divine order the angels cast down or overthrow merely by an effort of the will and a look. Thus I have seen mountains that were occupied by the evil cast down and overthrown, and sometimes shaken from end to end as in earthquakes; also rocks cleft asunder to their bottoms, and the evil who were upon them swallowed up. I have seen also hundreds of thousands of evil spirits dispersed by angels and cast down into hell. Numbers are of no avail against them; neither are devices, cunning, or combinations; for they see through them all, and disperse them in a moment. (But more may be seen on this subject in the account of The Destruction of Babylon.) Such power do angels have in the spiritual world. It is evident from the Word that they have like power in the natural world also when it is permitted; for instance, that they have given to destruction entire armies; and that they brought on a pestilence from which seventy thousand men died. Of this angel it is said:

The angel stretched out his hand against Jerusalem to destroy it but Jehovah repented Him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough, now stay thy hand. And David saw the angel that smote the people (2 Samuel 24:16, 17);

besides other passages. Because the angels have such power they are called powers; as in David:

Bless Jehovah, ye angels, mighty in power (Psalm 103:20).

230. But it must be understood that the angels have no power whatever from themselves, but that all their power is from the Lord; and that they are powers only so far as they acknowledge this. Whoever of them believes that he has power from himself instantly becomes so weak as not to be able to resist even a single evil spirit. For this reason angels ascribe no merit whatever to themselves, and are averse to all praise and glory on account of any thing they do, ascribing all the praise and glory to the Lord.

231. It is the Divine truth that goes forth from the Lord that has all power in the heavens, for the Lord in heaven is Divine truth united to Divine good (see n. 126-140). To the extent that angels are receptions of this truth they are powers.{1} Moreover each one is his own truth and his own good because each one is such as his understanding and will are. The understanding pertains to truth because everything of it is from truths, and the will pertains to good because everything of it is from goods; for whatever any one understands he calls truth, and whatever he wills he calls good. From this it is that everyone is his own truth and his own good.{2} Therefore so far as an angel is truth from the Divine and good from the Divine he is a power, because to that extent the Lord is in him. And as no one's good and truth are wholly like or the same as another's, since in heaven, as in the world, there is endless variety (n. 20), so the power of one angel is not like the power of another. Those who constitute the arms in the Greatest Man, or heaven, have the greatest power because such are more in truths than others, and into their truths good flows from the entire heaven. Moreover, the power of the whole man passes into the arms, and by means of these the whole body exercises its powers. It is for this reason that in the Word "arms" and "hand" signify powers.{3} Sometimes on this account a naked arm is seen in heaven so powerful as to be able to break in pieces everything in its way, even though it were a great rock on the earth. Once it was moved towards me, and I perceived that it was able to crush my bones to atoms.

{Footnote 1} Angels are called powers and are powers from their reception of Divine truth from the Lord (n. 9639). Angels are recipients of Divine truth from the Lord and on this account are sometimes called "gods" in the Word (n. 4295, 4402, 7268, 7873, 8192, 8301, 9160).

{Footnote 2} A man or an angel is his own good and his own truth, thus his own love and his own faith (n. 10298, 10367). He is his own understanding and his own will, for everything of life is there from; the life of good is from the will, and the life of truth is from the understanding (n. 10076, 10177, 10264, 10284).

{Footnote 3} The correspondence of the hands, arms, and shoulders, with the Greatest man or heaven (n. 4931-4937). In the Word, "arms" and hands signify power (n. 878, 3091, 4932, 4933, 6947, 10019).

232. It has been shown above (n. 137) that the Divine truth that goes forth from the Lord has all power, and that angels have power to the extent that they are receptions of Divine truth from the Lord. But angels are so far receptions of Divine truth as they are receptions of Divine good, for truths have all their power from good, and none apart from good. So, too, good has all its power through truths, and none apart from truths. Power springs from the conjunction of these two. The same is true of faith and love; for it is the same whether you say truth or faith, since everything of faith is truth; also it is the same whether you say good or love, since everything of love is good.{1} The great power that angels have by means of truths from good is shown also from this, that when an evil spirit is merely looked at by the angels he falls into a swoon, and does not appear like a man, and this until the angel turns away his eyes. Such an effect is produced by the look of the eyes of angels, because the sight of angels is from the light of heaven, and the light of heaven is Divine truth (see above, n. 126-132). Moreover, the eyes correspond to truths from good.{2}

{Footnote 1} All power in heaven is the power of truth from good, thus of faith from loves (n. 3091, 3563, 6423, 8304, 9643, 10019, 10182). All power is from the Lord, because from Him is every truth of faith and every good of love (n. 9327, 9410). This power is meant by the keys given to Peter (n. 6344). It is Divine truth going forth from the Lord that has all power (n. 6948, 8200). This power of the lord is what is meant by "sitting at the right hand of Jehovah" (n. 3387, 4592, 4933, 7518, 7673, 8281, 9133). The right had means power (n. 10019).

{Footnote 2} The eyes correspond to truths from good (n. 4403-4421, 4523-4534, 6923).

233. As truths from good have all power, so falsities from evil have no power at all;{1} and as all in hell are in falsities from evil they have no power against truth and good. But what power they have among themselves, and what power evil spirits have before they are cast into hell, will be told hereafter.

{Footnote 1} Falsity from evil has no power, because truth from food has all power (n. 6784, 10481).


Angels talk with each other just as men do in the world, and on various subjects, as on domestic matters, and on matters of the civil state, and of moral, and spiritual life. And there is no difference except that their talk is more intelligent than that of men, because it is from more interior thought. I have been permitted to associate with them frequently, and to talk with them as friend with friend, and sometimes as stranger with stranger; and as I was then in a state like theirs I knew no otherwise than that I was talking with men on the earth.

235. Angelic speech, like human speech, is distinguished into words; it is also audibly uttered and heard; for angels, like men, have mouth, tongue, and ears, and an atmosphere in which the sound of their speech is articulated, although it is a spiritual atmosphere adapted to angels, who are spiritual. In their atmosphere angels breathe and utter words by means of their breath, as men do In their atmosphere.{1}

{Footnote 1} In the heavens there is respiration, but it is of an interior kind (n. 3884, 3885) from experience (n. 3884, 3885, 3891, 3893). There are differing respirations there, varying in accordance with their states (n. 1119, 3886, 3887, 3889, 3892, 3893). The evil are wholly unable to breathe in heaven, and they are suffocated if they go there (n. 3894).

236. In the entire heaven all have the same language, and they all understand one another, to whatever society, near or remote, they belong. Language there is not learned but is instinctive with everyone, for it flows from their very affection and thought, the tones of their speech corresponding to their affections, and the vocal articulations which are words corresponding to the ideas of thought that spring from the affections; and because of this correspondence the speech itself is spiritual, for it is affection sounding and thought speaking. [2] Any one who gives any thought to it can see that all thought is from affection which pertains to love, and that the ideas of thought are the various forms into which the general affection is distributed; for no thought or idea is possible apart from affection-the soul and life of thought is from affection. This enables angels to know, merely from another's speech, what he is-from the tone what his affection is, and from the vocal articulations or words what his mind is. The wiser angels know what the ruling affection is from a single series of words, for that affection is what they chiefly attend to. [3] It is known that each individual has a variety of affections, one affection when in joy, another when in grief, another when in sympathy and compassion, another when in sincerity and truth, another when in love and charity, another when in zeal or in anger, another when in simulation and deceit, another when in quest of honor and glory, and so on. But the ruling affection or love is in all of these; and for this reason the wiser angels, because they perceive that love, know from the speech the whole state of another. [4] This it has been granted me to know from much experience. I have heard angels disclosing the character of another's life merely from hearing him speak. They also said that from any ideas of another's thought they could know all things of his life, because from those ideas they know his ruling love, in which are all things in their order. They know also that man's book of life is nothing else.

237. Angelic language has nothing in common with human languages except certain words that are the sounds of a specific affection; yet this is true not of the words themselves but of their sounds; on which subject something will be said in what follows That angelic language has nothing in common with human languages is evident from the fact that angels are unable to utter a single word of human language. This was tried but they could not do it, because they can utter nothing except what is in entire agreement with their affections; whatever is not in agreement is repugnant to their very life, for life belongs to affection, and their speech is from their life. I have been told that the first language of men on our earth coincided with angelic language because they had it from heaven; and that the Hebrew language coincides with it in some respects.

238. As the speech of angels corresponds to their affection, and their affection belongs to their love, and as the love of heaven is love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor (see above, n. 13-19), it is evident how choice and delightful their talk must be, affecting not the ears only but also the interiors of the mind of those who listen to it. There was a certain hard-hearted spirit with whom an angel spoke. At length he was so affected by what was said that he shed tears, saying that he had never wept before, but he could not refrain, for it was love speaking.

239. The speech of angels is likewise full of wisdom because it proceeds from their interior thoughts, and their interior thought is wisdom, as their interior affection is love, and in their speech their love and wisdom unite. For this reason their speech is so full of wisdom that they can express in a single word what man cannot express in a thousand words also the ideas of their thought include things that are beyond man's comprehension, and still more his power of expression. This is why the things that have been heard and seen in heaven are said to be ineffable, and such as ear hath never heard nor eye seen. [2] That this is true I have also been permitted to learn by experience. At times I have entered into the state in which angels are, and in that state have talked with them, and I then understood everything. But when I was brought back into my former state, and thus into the natural thought proper to man, and wished to recall what I had heard I could not; for there were thousands of things unadapted to the ideas of natural thought, and therefore inexpressible except by variegations of heavenly light, and thus not at all by human words. [3] Also the ideas of thought of the angels from which their words spring are modifications of the light of heaven, and the affections from which the tones of the words spring are variations of the heat of heaven, the light of heaven being Divine truth or wisdom, and the heat of heaven the Divine good or love (see above, n. 126-140); and the angels have their affection from the Divine love, and their thought from the Divine wisdom.{1}

{Footnote 1} The ideas of angels, from which they speak, are expressed by wonderful variegations of the light of heaven (n. 1646, 3343, 3993).

240. Because the speech of angels proceeds directly from their affection, and the ideas of their thought are the various forms into which their general affection is distributed (see above, n. 236), angels can express in a moment what a man cannot express in half an hour; also they can set forth in a few words what has been expressed in writing on many pages; and this, too, has been proved to me by much experience.{1} Thus the angels' ideas of thought and the words of their speech make one, like effecting cause and effect; for what is in the ideas of thought as cause is presented in the words as effect, and this is why every word comprehends in itself so many things. Also all the particulars of angelic thought, and thus of angelic speech, appear when presented to view like a thin wave or circumfluent atmosphere, in which are innumerable things in their order derived from angelic wisdom, and these enter another's thought and affect him. The ideas of thought of everyone, both angel and man, are presented to view in the light of heaven, whenever the Lord pleases.{2}

{Footnote 1} Angels can express by their speech in a moment more than a man can express by his in half an hour; and they can also express things that do not fall into the expressions of human speech (n. 1641-1643, 1645, 4609, 7089).

{Footnote 2} The innumerable things contained in one idea of thought (n. 1008, 1869, 4946, 6613-6618). The ideas of man's thought are opened in the other life, and what they are is presented to view to the life (n. 1869, 3310, 5510). What their appearance is (n. 6601, 8885). The ideas of angels of the inmost heaven present an appearance of flamy light (n. 6615). The ideas of angels of the outmost heaven present an appearance of thin white clouds (n. 6614). An angelic idea seen, from which there was a radiation towards the Lord (n. 6620). Ideas of thought extend themselves widely into the societies of angels round about (n. 6598-6613).

241. The speech of angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom resembles the speech of the angels of His spiritual kingdom, but it is from more interior thought. Celestial angels are in good of love to the Lord, and therefore speak from wisdom; while spiritual angels are in the good of charity towards the neighbor, which in its essence is truth (n. 215), and therefore speak from intelligence, for wisdom is from good, and intelligence is from truth. For this reason the speech of celestial angels is like a gentle stream, soft, and as it were continuous; but the speech of spiritual angels is slightly vibratory and divided. The speech of celestial angels has much of the tones of the vowels u and o; while the speech of spiritual angels has much of the tones of e and i;{1} for the vowels stand for tone, and in the tone there is affection, the tone of the speech of angels corresponding to their affection, as has been said above (n. 236); while the vocal articulations, which are words, correspond to the ideas of thought which spring from affection. As the vowels are not essential to a language, but serve by means of tones to elevate the words to the various affections according to each one's state, so in the Hebrew tongue the vowels are not expressed, and are also variously pronounced. From this a man's quality in respect to his affection and love is known to the angels. Also in the speech of celestial angels there are no hard consonants, and it rarely passes from one consonant to another without the interposition of a word beginning with a vowel. This is why in the Word the particle "and" is so often interposed, as can be seen by those who read the Word in the Hebrew, in which this particle is soft, beginning and ending with a vowel sound. Again, in the Word, in Hebrew, it can in some measure be seen from the words used whether they belong to the celestial class or the spiritual class, that is, whether they involve good or truth. Those involving good partake largely of the sounds of u and o, and also somewhat of a, while those involving truth partake of the sounds of e and i. Because it is especially in tones that affections express themselves, so in human speech, when great subjects are discussed, such as heaven [caelum] and God [Deus], those words are preferred that contain the vowels u and o; and musical tones, whenever such themes are to be expressed, rise to the same fullness; but not when less exalted themes are rendered. By such means musical art is able to express affections of various kinds.

{Footnote 1} [As these vowels are pronounced in European language. — Tr.]

242. In angelic speech there is a kind of symphony that cannot be described;{1} which comes from the pouring forth and diffusion of the thoughts and affections from which speech flows, in accordance with the form of heaven, and all affiliation and all communication in heaven is in accordance with that form. That angels are affiliated in accordance with the form of heaven, and that their thoughts and affections flow in accordance with it may be seen above (n. 200-212).

{Footnote 1} In angelic speech there is a symphony with harmonious cadence (n. 1648, 1649, 7191).

243. Speech like that in the spiritual world is inherent in every man in his interior intellectual part; but man does not know this, because this speech does not with man, as with angels, fall into words analogous to affection; nevertheless this is what causes man, when he enters the other life, to come into the same speech as spirits and angels, and thus to know how to speak without instruction.{1} But more on this subject hereafter.

{Footnote 1} There is spiritual or angelic speech belonging to man, though he does not know it (n. 4104). The ideas of the internal man are spiritual, but during his life in the world man perceives them naturally, because he then thinks in what is natural (n. 10236, 10237, 10551). Man comes after death into his interior ideas (n. 3226, 3342, 3343, 10568, 10604). Those ideas then form his speech (n. 2470-2479).

244. In heaven, as has been said above, all have one speech; but it is varied in this respect, that the speech of the wise is more interior and more full of variations of affections and ideas of thought, while the speech of the less wise is more external and less full; and the speech of the simple is still more external, consisting of words from which the meaning is to be gathered in the same way as when men are talking to one another. There is also speech by the face, terminating in something sonorous modified by ideas. Again, there is speech in which heavenly representatives are mingled with the ideas, and go forth from ideas to sight. There is also speech by gestures that correspond to affections, and represent things like those expressed by their words. There is speech by means of the generals of affections and the generals of thoughts. There is speech like thunder; besides other kinds.

245. The speech of evil and infernal spirits is likewise natural to them because it is from affections; but it is from evil affections and consequent filthy ideas, to which angels are utterly averse. Thus the modes of speaking in hell are opposite to those of heaven; and in consequence evil spirits cannot endure angelic speech, and angels cannot endure infernal speech. To the angels infernal speech is like a bad odor striking the nostrils. The speech of hypocrites, who are such as are able to feign themselves angels of light, resembles in respect to words the speech of angels, but in respect to affections and consequent ideas of thought it is the direct opposite. Consequently, when the inner nature of their speech is perceived as wise angels perceive it, it is heard as the gnashing of teeth, and strikes with horror.


Angels who talk with man do not talk in their own language, nor in any language unknown to man, but in the man's own language, or in some other language with which he is acquainted. This is so because when angels speak with man they turn themselves to him and conjoin themselves with him; and this conjunction of angel with man causes the two to be in like thought; and as man's thought coheres to his memory, and this is the source of his speech, the two have the same language. Moreover, when an angel or a spirit comes to a man, and by turning to him is conjoined to him, he so enters into the entire memory of the man that he is scarcely conscious that he does not himself know whatever the man knows, including his languages. [2] I have talked with angels about this, and have said that perhaps they thought that they were addressing me in my mother tongue, since it is so perceived; and yet it was I and not they that spoke; and that this is evident from the fact that angels cannot utter a single word of human language (see n. 237); furthermore, human language is natural and they are spiritual, and spiritual beings cannot give expression to any thing in a natural way. To this they replied that they are aware that their conjunction with the man with whom they are speaking is with his spiritual thought; but because his spiritual thought flows into his natural thought, and his natural thought coheres to his memory, the language of the man and all his knowledge appear to them to be their own; and that this is so for this reason, that while it is the Lord's pleasure that there should be such a conjunction with and sort of insertion of man into heaven, yet the state of man is now such that there can no longer be such conjunction with angels, but only with spirits who are not in heaven. [3] When I talked about this with spirits also they were unwilling to believe that it is the man that speaks, insisting that they spoke in man, also that man's knowledge is their knowledge and not the man's knowledge, consequently that everything that man knows is from them. I tried to convince them by many proofs that this is not true, but in vain. Who are meant by spirits and who are meant by angels will be told further on when the world of spirits is treated of.

247. There is another reason why angels and spirits conjoin themselves so closely with man as not to know but that what is man's is their own, namely, that there is such conjunction between the spiritual world and the natural world in man that the two are seemingly one. But inasmuch as man has separated himself from heaven the Lord has provided that there should be angels and spirits with each individual, and that man should be ruled by the Lord through these. This is the reason for such close conjunction. It would have been otherwise if man had not separated himself; for in that case he might have been ruled by the Lord through the general influx from heaven, without spirits and angels being adjoined to him. But this subject will be specially considered in what follows when the conjunction of heaven with man is treated of.

248. The speech of an angel or spirit with man is heard by him as audibly as the speech of man with man, yet by himself only, and not by others who stand near; and for the reason that the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into a man's thought, and by an inner way into his organ of hearing, and thus moves it from within; while the speech of man with man flows first into the air and by an outward way into his organ of hearing, and moves it from without. Evidently, then, the speech of an angel or spirit with man is heard within him; but as the organs of hearing are thus equally moved, the speech is equally audible. That the speech of an angel or a spirit flows down from within even into the ear has been made clear to me by the fact that it flows also into the tongue, causing a slight vibration, but without any such motion as when the man himself by means of the tongue forms the sound of speech into words.

249. But at the present day to talk with spirits is rarely granted because it is dangerous;{1} for then the spirits know, what otherwise they do not know, that they are with man; and evil spirits are such that they hold man in deadly hatred, and desire nothing so much as to destroy him both soul and body, and this they do in the case of those who have so indulged themselves in fantasies as to have separated from themselves the enjoyments proper to the natural man. Some also who lead a solitary life sometimes hear spirits talking with them, and without danger; but that the spirits with them may not know that they are with man they are at intervals removed by the Lord; for most spirits are not aware that there is any other world than that in which they live, and therefore are unaware that there are men anywhere else; and this is why man is not permitted to speak with them in return. If he did they would know. Again, those who meditate much on religious subjects, and are so intent upon them as to see them as it were inwardly within themselves, begin to hear spirits speaking with them; for religious persuasions, whatever they are, when man dwells upon them by himself and does not adapt them to the various things of use in the world, penetrate to the interiors and rest there, and occupy the whole spirit of the man, and even enter into the spiritual world and act upon the spirits there. But such persons are visionaries and enthusiasts; and whatever spirit they hear they believe to be the Holy Spirit, when, in fact, such spirits are enthusiastic spirits. Such spirits see falsities as truths, and so seeing them they induce not themselves only but also those they flow into to believe them. Such spirits, however, have been gradually removed, because they began to lure others into evil and to gain control over them. Enthusiastic spirits are distinguished from other spirits by their believing themselves to be the Holy Spirit, and believing what they say to be Divine. As man honors such spirits with Divine worship they do not attempt to harm him. I have sometimes talked with them, and the wicked things they infused into their worshipers were then disclosed. They dwell together towards the left, in a desert place.

{Footnote 1} Man is able to talk with spirits and angels; and the ancient people frequently talked with them (n. 67-69, 784, 1634, 1636, 7802). In some earths angels and spirits appear in human form and talk with the inhabitants (n. 10751, 10752). But on this earth at this day it is dangerous to talk with spirits, unless man is in true faith, and is led by the Lord (n. 784, 9438, 10751).

250. But to speak with the angels of heaven is granted only to those who are in truths from good, especially to those who are in the acknowledgment of the Lord and of the Divine in His Human, because this is the truth in which the heavens are. For, as it has been shown above, the Lord is the God of heaven (n. 2-6); it is the Divine of the Lord that makes heaven (n. 7-12); the Divine of the Lord in heaven is love to Him and charity towards the neighbor from Him (n. 13-19); the whole heaven in one complex reflects a single man; also every society of heaven; and every angel is in complete human form, and this from the Divine Human of the Lord (n. 59-86). All of which makes evident that only those whose interiors are opened by Divine Truths, even to the Lord, are able to speak with the angels of heaven, since it is into these truths with man that the Lord flows, and when the Lord flows in heaven also flows in. Divine truths open the interiors of man because man was so created as to be in respect to his internal man an image of heaven, and in respect to his external an image of the world (n. 57); and the internal man is opened only by means of Divine truth going forth from the Lord, because that is the light of heaven and the life of heaven (n. 126-140).

251. The influx of the Lord Himself into man is into his forehead, and from that into the whole face, because the forehead of man corresponds to love, and the face corresponds to all his interiors.{1} The influx of spiritual angels into man is into his head every where, from the forehead and temples to the whole part that contains the cerebrum, because that region of the head corresponds to intelligence; but the influx of celestial angels is into that part of the head that contains the cerebellum, and is called the occiput, from the ears all around even to the neck, for that region corresponds to wisdom. All the speech of angels with man enters by these ways into his thought; and by this means I have perceived what angels they were that spoke with me.

{Footnote 1} The "forehead" corresponds to heavenly love, and consequently in the Word signifies that love (n. 9936). The "face" corresponds to the interiors of man, which belong to thought and affection (n. 1568, 2988 2989, 3631, 4796, 4797, 4800, 5165, 5168, 5695, 9306). The face is formed to correspondence with the interiors (n. 4791-4805, 5695). Consequently the "face," in the Word, signifies the interiors (n. 1999, 2434, 3527, 4066, 4796).

252. Those who talk with the angels of heaven also see the things that exist in heaven, because they are then seeing in the light of heaven, for their interiors are in that light; also the angels through them see the things that are on the earth,{1} because in them heaven is conjoined to the world and the world is conjoined to heaven. For (as has been said above n. 246), when the angels turn themselves to man they so conjoin themselves to him as to be wholly unaware that what pertains to the man is not theirs—not only what pertains to his speech but also to his sight and hearing; while man, on the other hand, is wholly unaware that the things that flow in through the angels are not his. Such was the conjunction that existed between angels of heaven and the most ancient people on this earth, and for this reason their times were called the Golden Age. Because this race acknowledged the Divine under a human form, that is, the Lord, they talked with the angels of heaven as with their friends, and angels of heaven talked with them as with their friends; and in them heaven and the world made one. But after those times man gradually separated himself from heaven by loving himself more than the Lord and the world more than heaven, and in consequence began to feel the delights of the love of self and the world as separate from the delights of heaven, and finally to such an extent as to be ignorant of any other delight. Then his interiors that had been open into heaven were closed up, while his exteriors were open to the world; and when this takes place man is in light in regard to all things of the world, but in thick darkness in regard to all things of heaven.

{Footnote 1} Spirits are unable to see through man any thing that is in this solar world, but they have seen through my eyes; the reason (n. 1880).

253. Since those times it is only rarely that any one has talked with the angels of heaven; but some have talked with spirits who are not in heaven. This is so because man's interior and exterior faculties are such that they are turned either towards the Lord as their common center (n. 124), or towards self, that is, backwards from the Lord. Those that are turned towards the Lord are also turned towards heaven. But those that are turned towards self, are turned also towards the world. And to elevate these is a difficult matter; nevertheless the Lord elevates them as much as is possible, by turning the love about; which is done by means of truths from the Word.

254. I have been told how the Lord spoke with the prophets through whom the Word was given. He did not speak with them as He did with the ancients, by an influx into their interiors, but through spirits who were sent to them, whom He filled with His look, and thus inspired with the words which they dictated to the prophets; so that it was not influx but dictation. And as the words came forth directly from the Lord, each one of them was filled with the Divine and contains within it an internal sense, which is such that the angels of heaven understand the words in a heavenly and spiritual sense, while men understand them in a natural sense. Thus has the Lord conjoined heaven and the world by means of the Word. How the Lord fills spirits with the Divine by His look has also been made clear. A spirit that has been filled by the Lord with the Divine does not know otherwise than that he is the Lord, and that it is the Divine that is speaking; and this continues until he has finished speaking. After that he perceives and acknowledges that he is a spirit, and that he spoke from the Lord and not from himself. Because this was the state of the spirits who spoke with the prophets they said that it was Jehovah that spoke; the spirits even called themselves Jehovah, as can be seen both from the prophetical and historical parts of the Word.

255. That the nature of the conjunction of angels and spirits with man may be understood I am permitted to mention some notable things by which it may be elucidated and verified. When angels and spirits turn themselves to man they do not know otherwise than that the man's language is their own and that they have no other language; and for the reason that they are there in the man's language, and not in their own, which they have forgotten. But as soon as they turn themselves away from the man they are in their own angelic and spiritual language, and know nothing about the man's language. I have had a like experience when in company with angels and in a state like theirs. I then talked with them in their language and knew nothing of my own, having forgotten it; but as soon as I ceased to be present with them I was in my own language. [2] Another notable fact is that when angels and spirits turn themselves to a man they are able to talk with him at any distance; they have talked with me at a considerable distance as audibly as when they were near. But when they turn themselves away from man and talk with each other man hears nothing at all of what they are saying, even if it be close to his ear. From this it was made clear that all conjunction in the spiritual world is determined by the way they turn. [3] Another notable fact is that many spirits together can talk with a man, and the man with them; for they send one of their number to the man with whom they wish to speak, and the spirit sent turns himself to the man and the rest of them turn to their spirit and thus concentrate their thoughts, which the spirit utters; and the spirit then does not know otherwise than that he is speaking from himself, and they do not know otherwise than that they are speaking. Thus also is the conjunction of many with one effected by turning.{1} But of these emissary spirits, who are also called subjects, and of communication by means of them, more will be said hereafter.

{Footnote 1} Spirits sent from one society of spirits to other societies are called subjects (n. 4403, 5856). Communications in the spiritual world are effected by such emissary spirits (n. 4403, 5856, 5983). A spirit when he is sent forth, and serves as a subject thinks from those by whom he is sent forth and not from himself (n. 5985-5987).

256. An angel or spirit is not permitted to speak with a man from his own memory, but only from the man's memory; for angels and spirits have a memory as well as man. If a spirit were to speak from his own memory with a man the man would not know otherwise than that the thoughts then in his mind were his own, although they were the spirit's thoughts. This would be like the recollection of something which the man had never heard or seen. That this is so has been given me to know from experience. This is the source of the belief held by some of the ancients that after some thousands of years they were to return into their former life, and into everything they had done, and in fact, had returned. This they concluded because at times there came to them a sort of recollection of things that they had never seen or heard. This came from an influx from the memory of spirits into their ideas of thought.

257. There are also spirits called natural and corporeal spirits. When these come to a man they do not conjoin themselves with his thought, like other spirits, but enter into his body, and occupy all his senses, and speak through his mouth, and act through his members, believing at the time that all things of the man are theirs. These are the spirits that obsess man. But such spirits have been cast into hell by the Lord, and thus wholly removed; and in consequence such obsessions are not possible at the present time.{1}

{Footnote 1} External or bodily obsessions are not permitted at the present time, as they were formerly (n. 1983). But at present internal obsessions, which pertain to the mind, are permitted more than formerly (n. 1983, 4793). Man is inwardly obsessed when he has filthy and scandalous thoughts about God and the neighbor, and is withheld from making them known only by external consideration, which are fear of the loss of reputation, honor, gain and fear of the law and of loss of life (n. 5990). Of the devilish spirits who chiefly obsess the interiors of man (n. 4793). Of the devilish spirits who long to obsess the exteriors of man; that such are shut up in hell (n. 2752, 5990).


As the angels have speech, and their speech consists of words, they also have writings; and by writing as well as by speech they give expression to what is in their minds. At times I have had papers sent to me, traced with written words precisely like manuscripts in the world, and others like printed sheets; and I was able to read them in a like way, but was allowed to get from them only an idea here and there; for the reason that it is not in accordance with Divine order for man to be taught by writings from heaven; but he must be taught by means of the Word only; for it is only by means of the Word that there is communication and conjunction of heaven with the world, thus of the Lord with man. That papers written in heaven were seen also by the prophets is shown in Ezekiel:

When I looked, behold a hand was put forth by a spirit unto me, and a roll of a book was therein which he unrolled in my sight; it was written on the front and on the back (2:9, 10).

And in John:

I saw upon the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed up with seven seals (Apoc. 5:1).

259. The existence of writings in the heavens is a provision of the Lord for the sake of the Word; for the Word in its essence is Divine truth, and from it is all heavenly wisdom, both with men and with angels; for the Word was dictated by the Lord, and what is dictated by the Lord passes through all the heavens in order and terminates with man. Thereby it is adapted both to the wisdom of angels and the intelligence of men. Thereby, too, the angels have a Word, and read it the same as men do on the earth, and also draw from it their doctrinals, and preach from it (n. 221). It is the same Word; but its natural sense, which is the sense of the letter with us, does not exist in heaven, but only the spiritual sense, which is its internal sense. What this sense is can be seen in the small treatise on The White Horse spoken of in the Apocalypse.

260. A little paper was at one time sent to me from heaven, on which there were a few words only written in Hebrew letters, and I was told that every letter involved arcana of wisdom, and that these arcana were contained in the inflections and curvatures of the letters, and thus also in the sounds. This made clear to me what is signified by these words of the Lord:

Verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, one iota or one tittle shall not pass away from the law (Matt. 5:18).

That the Word in every tittle of it is Divine is known in the church; but just where the Divine lies hid in every tittle has not been known heretofore, and therefore shall be told. In the inmost heaven the writing consists of various inflected and circumflected forms, and the inflections and circumflections are in accordance with the forms of heaven. By means of these angels express the arcana of their wisdom, and also many things that they are unable to express in spoken words; and what is wonderful, the angels know this writing without training or a teacher, it being implanted in them like their speech (see n. 236); therefore this writing is heavenly writing. It is implanted because all extension of thoughts and affections and consequent communication of intelligence and wisdom of the angels proceeds in accordance with the form of heaven (n. 201); and for the same reason their writing flows into that form. I have been told that the most ancient people on this earth, before letters were invented, had such writing; and that it was transferred into the letters of the Hebrew language, and these letters in ancient times were all inflected, and none of them, as at present, were bounded by straight lines. Thus it is that in the Word Divine things and arcana of heaven are contained even in its iotas, points and tittles.

261. This writing in characters of a heavenly form is in use in the inmost heaven, the angels of which surpass all others in wisdom. By means of these characters they express the affections, from which thoughts flow and follow in order in accordance with the subject treated of. Consequently these writings, which I have also been permitted to see, involve arcana which thought cannot exhaust. But such writings do not exist in the lower heavens. The writings there resemble the writings in the world, having like characters, and yet they are not intelligible to man, because they are in angelic language; and angelic language is such that it has nothing in common with human languages (n. 237), since by the vowels they express affections, and by the consonants the ideas of thought from the affections, and by the words from these the sense of the matter (see above, n. 236, 241). Moreover, in this writing, which I have also seen, more is involved in a few words than a man can express in several pages. In this way they have the Word written in the lower heavens; but in the inmost heaven in heavenly characters.

262. It is a notable fact that the writings in the heavens flow naturally from their very thoughts, and this so easily that the thought puts itself forth, as it were, and the hand never hesitates in the choice of a word, because both the words they speak and those they write correspond to the ideas of their thought; and all correspondence is natural and spontaneous. There are also writings in the heavens that exist without the aid of the hand, from mere correspondence with the thoughts; but these are not permanent.

263. I have also seen writings from heaven made up of mere numbers set down in order and in a series, just as in writings made up of letters and words; and I have been taught that this writing is from the inmost heaven, and that their heavenly writing (spoken of above, n. 260, 261), when the thought from it flows down, is set forth before the angels of the lower heavens in numbers, and that this numerical writing likewise involves arcana, some of which can neither be comprehended by thought nor expressed by words. For all numbers correspond, and have a meaning, the same as words do, in accordance with the correspondence;{1} yet with the difference that in numbers generals are involved, and in words particulars; and as one general involves innumerable particulars, so more arcana are involved in numerical writing than in literal writing. From this I could see that in the Word numbers as well as words signify things. What the simple numbers signify, as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and what the compound numbers, as 20, 30, 50, 70, 100, 144, 1000, 10,000, 12,000, and others, may be seen in the Arcana Celestia, where they are treated of. In this writing in heaven, a number is always prefixed on which those following in a series depend as on their subject; for that number is as it were an index to the matter treated of, and from it is the determination of the numbers that follow to the particular point.

{Footnote 1} All numbers in the Word signify things (n. 482, 487, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 6470, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253). Shown from heaven (n. 4495, 5265). Composite numbers have the same signification as the simple numbers from which they result by multiplication (n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973). The most ancient people possessed heavenly arcana expressed in numbers forming a kind of computation of states of the church (n. 575).

264. Those who know nothing about heaven, and who are unwilling to have any other idea of it than as of something purely atmospherical, in which the angels fly about as intellectual minds, having no sense of hearing or seeing, are unable to conceive that the angels have speech and writing; for they place the existence of everything real in what is material; and yet the writings in heaven have as real an existence as those in the world, and the angels there have everything that is useful for life and useful for wisdom.


The nature of angelic wisdom can scarcely be comprehended, because it so greatly transcends human wisdom that the two cannot be compared; and whatever is thus transcendent does not seem to be any thing. Moreover, some truths that must enter into a description of it are as yet unknown, and until these become known they exist in the mind as shadows, and thus hide the thing as it is in itself. Nevertheless, these truths can be known, and when known be comprehended, provided the mind takes any interest in them; for interest carries light with it because it is from love; and upon those who love the things pertaining to Divine and heavenly wisdom light shines forth from heaven and gives enlightenment.

266. What the wisdom of the angels is can be inferred from the fact that they are in the light of heaven, and the light of heaven in its essence is Divine truth or Divine wisdom; and this light enlightens at the same time their inner sight, or sight of the mind, and their outer sight, or sight of the eyes. (That the light of heaven is Divine truth or Divine wisdom may be seen above, n. 126-133.) The angels are also in heavenly heat, which in its essence is Divine good or Divine love, and from that they have an affection and longing to become wise. (That the heat of heaven is Divine good or Divine love may be seen above, n. 133-140.) That the angels are in wisdom, even to the extent that they may be called wisdoms, follows from the fact that their thoughts and affections all flow in accordance with the heavenly form, and this form is the form of Divine wisdom; also that their interiors, which are recipients of wisdom, are arranged in that form. (That the thoughts and affections of angels flow in accordance with the form of heaven, and consequently their intelligence and wisdom, may be seen above, n. 201-212.) [2] That the angels have supereminent wisdom is shown also by the fact that their speech is the speech of wisdom, for it flows directly and spontaneously from thought, and their thought from their affection, thus their speech is thought from affection in outward form; consequently there is nothing to withdraw them from the Divine influx, and nothing from without such as enters into the speech of man from other thoughts. (That the speech of angels is the speech of their thought and affection may be seen above, n. 234-235.) That the angels have such wisdom is in accord with the fact that all things that they behold with their eyes and perceive by their senses agree with their wisdom, since they are correspondences of it, and thus the objects perceived are representative forms of the things that constitute their wisdom. (That all things seen in the heavens are correspondences with the interiors of angels and representations of their wisdom may be seen above, n. 170-182.) [3] Furthermore, the thoughts of angels are not limited and contracted by ideas from space and time, as human thoughts are, for spaces and times belong to nature, and the things that belong to nature withdraw the mind from spiritual things, and deprive intellectual sight of its proper range. (That the ideas of angels are apart from time and space, and thus less limited than human ideas, may be seen above, n. 162-169 and 191-199.) Again, the thoughts of angels are neither brought down to earthly and material things, nor interrupted by anxieties about the necessities of life; thus they are not withdrawn by such things from the delights of wisdom, as the thoughts of men in the world are; for all things come to them gratuitously from the Lord; they are clothed gratuitously, are fed gratuitously, are housed gratuitously (n. 181-190), and besides this they receive delights and pleasures in the degree of their reception of wisdom from the Lord. These things have been said to make clear why it is that angels have so great wisdom.{1}

{Footnote 1} The wisdom of angels, that it is incomprehensible and ineffable (n. 2795, 2796, 2802, 3314, 3404, 3405, 9094, 9176).

267. Angels are capable of receiving such wisdom because their interiors are open; and wisdom, like every other perfection, increases towards the interiors, thus to the extent that interiors are opened.{1} In every angel there are three degrees of life, corresponding to the three heavens (see n. 29-40)—those in whom the first degree has been opened are in the first or outmost heaven; those in whom the second degree has been opened are in the second or middle heaven; while those in whom the third degree has been opened are in the third or inmost heaven. The wisdom of angels in the heavens is in accordance with these degrees. Therefore the wisdom of the angels of the inmost heaven immeasurably surpasses the wisdom of angels of the middle heaven, and the wisdom of these immeasurably surpasses the wisdom of angels of the outmost heaven (see above, n. 209, 210; and what degrees are, n. 38). There are such differences because the things which are in the higher degree are particulars, and those in the lower degree are generals, and generals are containants of particulars. Particulars compared with generals are as thousands or myriads to one; and such is the wisdom of the angels of a higher heaven compared with the wisdom of the angels of a lower heaven. In like manner the wisdom of the latter surpasses the wisdom of man, for man is in a bodily state and in those things that belong to the bodily senses, and man's bodily sense belongs to the lowest degree. This makes clear what kind of wisdom those possess who think from things of sense, that is, who are called sensual men, namely, that they have no wisdom, but merely knowledge.{2} But it is otherwise with men whose thoughts are raised above the things of sense, and especially with those whose interiors have been opened even into the light of heaven.

{Footnote 1} So far as man is raised up from outward towards inward things he comes into light, that is, into intelligence (n. 6183, 6313). There is an actual elevation (n. 7816, 10330). Elevation from outward to inward things is like elevation out of a mist into light (n. 4598). As outer things in man are farther removed from the Divine they are relatively obscure (n. 6451). Likewise relatively confused (n. 996, 3855). Inner things are more perfect because they are nearer to the Divine (n. 5146, 5147). In what is internal there are thousands and thousands of things that appear in what is external as one general thing (n. 5707). Consequently as thought and perception are more interior they are clearer (n. 5920).

{Footnote 2} The sensual is the outmost of man's life adhering to and inhering in his bodily part (n. 5077, 5767, 9212, 9216, 9331, 9730). He is called a sensual man who judges all things and draws all his conclusions from the bodily senses, and believes nothing except what he sees with his eyes and touches with his hands (n. 5094, 7693). Such a man thinks in externals, and not interiorly in himself (n. 5089, 5094, 6564, 7693). His interiors are so closed up that he sees nothing of spiritual truth in them (n. 6564, 6844, 6845). In a word, he is in gross natural light and thus perceives nothing that is from the light of heaven (n. 6201, 6310, 6564, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6624, 6844, 6845). Interiorly he is antagonistic to the things of heaven and the church (n. 6201, 6316, 6844, 6845, 6948, 6949). The learned who have confirmed themselves against the truths of the church come to be such (n. 6316). Sensual men are more cunning and malicious than others (n. 7693, 10236). They reason keenly and cunningly, but from the bodily memory, in which they place all intelligence (n. 195, 196, 5700, 10236). But they reason from the fallacies of the senses (n. 5084, 6948, 6949, 7693).

268. It can be seen how great the wisdom of angels is from the fact that in the heavens there is a communication of all things; intelligence and wisdom are communicated from one to another, and heaven is a common sharing of all goods; and this for the reason that heavenly love is such that it wishes what is its own to be another's; consequently no one in heaven perceives his own good in himself to be good unless it is also in another; and this is the source of the happiness of heaven. This the angels derive from the Lord, for such is His Divine love. That there is such a communication of all things in the heavens it has been permitted me to know by experience. Certain simple spirits were at one time taken up into heaven, and when there they entered into angelic wisdom, and then understood things that they were never before able to comprehend, and spoke things that they were unable to utter in their former state.

269. The wisdom of the angels is indescribable in words; it can only be illustrated by some general things. Angels can express in a single word what a man cannot express in a thousand words. Again, a single angelic word contains innumerable things that cannot be expressed in the words of human language; for in each of the things uttered by angels there are arcana of wisdom in continuous connection that human knowledges never reach. Again, what the angels fail to express in the words of their speech they make up by the tone, in which there is an affection for the things in their order; for (as has been said above, n. 236, 241) tones express affections, as words express ideas of thought from the affections; and for this reason the things heard in heaven are said to be ineffable. So, too, the angels are able to express in a few words every least thing written in an entire volume, and give to every word meanings that elevate the mind to interior wisdom; for their speech is such as to be in accord with their affections, and each word is in accord with their ideas; and their words are varied in infinite ways in accord with the series of things which in complex are in the thought. [2] Still again, the interior angels are able to perceive from the tone and from a few words the entire life of one speaking; for from the tone as varied by the ideas in the words they perceive his ruling love upon which, as it were, every particular of his life is inscribed.{1} All this makes clear the nature of angelic wisdom. In comparison with human wisdom it is as a myriad to one, or as the moving forces of the whole body, which are numberless, to the activities from them which appear to human sense as a single thing, or as the thousand particulars of an object seen under a perfect microscope to the one obscure thing seen by the naked eye. [3] Let me illustrate the subject by an example. An angel from his wisdom was describing regeneration, and brought forward arcana respecting it in their order even to some hundreds, filling each of them with ideas in which there were interior arcana, and this from beginning to end; for he explained how the spiritual man is conceived anew, is carried as it were in the womb, is born, grows up and is gradually perfected. He said that the number of arcana could be increased even to thousands, and that those told were only about the regeneration of the external man, while there were numberless more about the regeneration of the internal man. From these and other like things heard from the angels it has been made clear to me how great is their wisdom, and how great in comparison is the ignorance of man, who scarcely knows what regeneration is, and is ignorant of every least step of the process when he is being regenerated.

{Footnote 1} That which universally rules or is dominant in man is in every particular of his life, thus in each thing and all things of his thought and affection (n. 4459, 5949, 6159, 6571, 7648, 8067, 8853-8858). A man is such as his ruling love is (n. 917, 1040, 8858); illustrated by examples (n. 8854, 8857). That which rules universally constitutes the life of the spirit of man (n. 7648). It is his very will, his very love, and the end of his life, since that which a man will he loves, and that which he loves he has as an end (n. 1317, 1568, 1571, 1909, 3796, 5949, 6936). Therefore man is such as his will is, or such as his ruling love is, or such as the end of his life is (n. 1568, 1571, 3570, 4054, 6571, 6935, 6938, 8856, 10076, 10109, 10110, 10284).

270. The wisdom of the angels of the third or inmost heaven shall now be described, and also how far it surpasses the wisdom of the angels of the first or outmost heaven. The wisdom of the angels of the third or inmost heaven is incomprehensible even to those who are in the outmost heaven, for the reason that the interiors of the angels of the third heaven have been opened to the third degree, while the interiors of angels of the first heaven have been opened only to the first degree; and all wisdom increases towards interiors and is perfected as these are opened (n. 208, 267). [2] Because the interiors of the angels of the third or inmost heaven have been opened to the third degree, Divine truths are as it were inscribed on them; for the interiors of the third degree are more in the form of heaven than the interiors of the second and first degrees, and the form of heaven is from the Divine truth, thus in accord with the Divine wisdom, and this is why the truth is as it were inscribed on these angels, or are as it were instinctive or inborn in them. Therefore as soon as these angels hear genuine Divine truths they instantly acknowledge and perceive them, and afterwards see them as it were inwardly in themselves. As the angels of that heaven are such they never reason about Divine truths, still less do they dispute about any truth whether it is so or not; nor do they know what it is to believe or to have faith. They say, "What is faith? for I perceive and see that a thing is so." This they illustrate by comparisons; for example, that it would be as when any one with a companion, seeing a house and the various things in it and around it, should say to his companion that he ought to believe that these things exist, and that they are such as he sees them to be; or seeing a garden and trees and fruit in it, should say to his companion that he ought to have faith that there is a garden and trees and fruits, when yet he is seeing them clearly with his eyes. For this reason these angels never mention faith, and have no idea what it is; neither do they reason about Divine truths, still less do they dispute about any truth whether it is so or not.{1} [3] But the angels of the first or outmost heaven do not have Divine truths thus inscribed on their interiors, because with them only the first degree of life is opened; therefore they reason about truths, and those who reason see almost nothing beyond the fact of the matter about which they are reasoning, or go no farther beyond the subject than to confirm it by certain considerations, and having confirmed it they say that it must be a matter of faith and must be believed. [4] I have talked with angels about this, and they said that the difference between the wisdom of the angels of the third heaven and the wisdom of the angels of the first heaven is like that between what is clear and what is obscure; and the former they compared to a magnificent palace full of all things for use, surrounded on all sides by parks, with magnificent things of many kinds round about them; and as these angels are in the truths of wisdom they can enter into the palace and behold all things, and wander about in the parks in every direction and delight in it all. But it is not so with those who reason about truths, especially with those who dispute about them, as such do not see truths from the light of truth, but accept truths either from others or from the sense of the letter of the Word, which they do not interiorly understand, declaring that truths must be believed, or that one must have faith, and are not willing to have any interior sight admitted into these things. The angels said that such are unable to reach the first threshold of the palace of wisdom, still less to enter into it and wander about in its grounds, for they stop at the first step. It is not so with those that are in truths themselves; nothing impedes these from going on and progressing without limit, for the truths they see lead them wherever they go, and into wide fields, for every truth has infinite extension and is in conjunction with manifold others. [5] They said still further that the wisdom of the angels of the inmost heaven consists principally in this, that they see Divine and heavenly things in every single object, and wonderful things in a series of many objects; for everything that appears before their eyes is a correspondent; as when they see palaces and gardens their view does not dwell upon the things that are before their eyes, but they see the interior things from which they spring, that is, to which they correspond, and this with all variety in accordance with the aspect of the objects; thus they see innumerable things at the same time in their order and connection; and this so fills their minds with delight that they seem to be carried away from themselves. That all things that are seen in the heavens correspond to the Divine things that are in the angels from the Lord may be seen above (n. 170-176).

{Footnote 1} The celestial angels know innumerable things, and are immeasurably wiser than the spiritual angels (n. 2718). The celestial angels do not think and talk from faith, as the spiritual angels do, for they have from the Lord a perception of all things that constitute faith (n. 202, 597, 607, 784, 1121, 1384, 1442, 1898, 1919, 7680, 7877, 8780, 9277, 10336). In regard to the truths of faith they say only "Yea, yea, or Nay, nay," while the spiritual angels reason about whether a thing is true (n. 2715, 3246, 4448, 9166, 10786, where the Lord's words, "Let your discourse be Yea, yea, Nay nay" (Matt. 5:37), are explained).

271. Such are the angels of the third heaven because they are in love to the Lord, and that love opens the interiors of the mind to the third degree, and is a receptacle of all things of wisdom. It must be understood also that the angels of the inmost heaven are still being continually perfected in wisdom, and this differently from the angels of the outmost heaven. The angels of the inmost heaven do not store up Divine truths in the memory and thus make out of them a kind of science; but as soon as they hear them they perceive them and apply them to the life. For this reason Divine truths are as permanent with them as if they were inscribed on them, for what is committed in such a way to the life is contained in it. But it is not so with the angels of the outmost heaven. These first store up Divine truths in the memory and stow them away with their knowledge, and draw them out therefrom to perfect their understanding by them, and will them and apply them to the life, but with no interior perception whether they are truths; and in consequence they are in comparative obscurity. It is a notable fact that the angels of the third heaven are perfected in wisdom by hearing and not by seeing. What they hear from preachings does not enter into their memory, but enters directly into their perception and will, and comes to be a matter of life; but what they see with their eyes enters into their memory, and they reason and talk about it; which shows that with them the way of hearing is the way of wisdom. This, too, is from correspondence, for the ear corresponds to obedience, and obedience belongs to the life; while the eye corresponds to intelligence, and intelligence is a matter of doctrine.{1} The state of these angels is described in different parts of the Word, as in Jeremiah:

I will put My law in their mind, and write it on their heart. They shall teach no more everyone his friend and everyone his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them even unto the greatest of them (31:33, 34).

And in Matthew,

Let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay, nay; what is more than these is from evil (5:37).

"What is more than these is from evil" because it is not from the Lord; and inasmuch as the angels of the third heaven are in love to the Lord the truths that are in them are from the Lord. In that heaven love to the Lord is willing and doing Divine truth, for Divine truth is the Lord in heaven.

{Footnote 1} Of the correspondence of the ear and of hearing (n. 4652-4660). The ear corresponds to and therefore signifies perception and obedience (n. 2542, 3869, 4653, 5017, 7216, 8361, 9311, 9397, 10061). The ear signifies the reception of truths (n. 5471, 5475, 9926). The correspondence of the eye and its sight (n. 4403-4421, 4523-4534); from which the sight of the eye signifies the intelligence that belongs to faith, and also faith (n. 2701, 4410, 4526, 6923 9051, 10569).

272. There is a still further reason, and this is in heaven the primary reason, why the angels are able to receive so great wisdom, namely, that they are without the love of self; for to the extent that any one is without the love of self he can become wise in Divine things. It is that love that closes up the interiors against the Lord and heaven, and opens the exteriors and turns them toward itself; and in consequence all in whom that love rules are in thick darkness in respect to the things of heaven, however much light they may have in worldly matters. The angels, on the other hand, are in the light of wisdom because they are without the love of self, for the heavenly loves in which they are, which are love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, open the interiors, because these loves are from the Lord and the Lord Himself is in them. (That these loves constitute heaven in general, and form heaven in each one in particular, may be seen above, n. 13-19). As heavenly loves open the interiors to the Lord so all angels turn their faces towards the Lord (n. 142); because in the spiritual world the love turns the interiors of everyone to itself, and whichever way it turns the interiors it also turns the face, since the face there makes one with the interiors, for it is their outward form. Because the love turns the interiors and the face to itself, it also conjoins itself to them (love being spiritual conjunction), and shares its own with them. From that turning and consequent conjunction and sharing the angels have their wisdom. That all conjunction and all turning in the spiritual world are in accord may be seen above (n. 255).

273. Although the angels are continually perfected in wisdom,{1} their wisdom, even to eternity, cannot become so perfect that there can be any ratio between it and the Lord's Divine wisdom; for the Lord's Divine wisdom is infinite and the wisdom of angels finite; and between what is Infinite and what is finite no ratio is possible.

{Footnote 1} Angels are perfected to eternity (n. 4803, 6648).

274. As it is wisdom that makes the angels perfect and constitutes their life, and as heaven with its goods flows into everyone in accordance with his wisdom, so all in heaven desire and hunger for wisdom much as a hungry man hungers for food. So, too, knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom are spiritual nutriment, as food is natural nutriment; and the one corresponds to the other.

275. The angels in the same heaven, or in the same society of heaven, are not all in like wisdom; their wisdom differs. Those at the center are in the greatest wisdom, and those round about even to the borders are in less wisdom. The decrease of wisdom in accord with the distance from the center is like the decrease of light verging to shade (see n. 43 and 128). Their light is in the same degree as their wisdom, since the light of heaven is the Divine wisdom, and everyone is in light in the measure of his reception of wisdom. Respecting the light of heaven and the varying kinds of reception of it see above (n. 126-132).


What innocence is and its nature few in the world know, and those who are in evil know nothing about it. It is, indeed, visible to the eyes, as seen in the face, speech and movements, particularly of children; and yet what innocence is, and especially that it is that in which heaven is stored up in man is unknown. In making this known let us proceed in order, and consider first the innocence of childhood, then the innocence of wisdom, and lastly the state of heaven in regard to innocence.

277. The innocence of childhood or of children is not genuine innocence, for it is innocence not in internal form but only in external form. Nevertheless one may learn from it what innocence is, since it shines forth from the face of children and from some of their movements and from their first speech, and affects those about them. It can be seen that children have no internal thought, for they do not yet know what is good and what is evil, or what is true and what is false, of which such thought consists. [2] Consequently they have no prudence from what is their own, no purpose or deliberation, thus no end that looks to evil; neither have they anything of their own acquired from love of self and the world; they do not attribute anything to themselves, regarding all that they have as received from their parents; they are content with the few and paltry things presented to them, and find delight in them; they have no solicitude about food and clothing, and none about the future; they do not look to the world and covet many things from it; they love their parents and nurses and their child companions with whom they play in innocence; they suffer themselves to be led; they give heed and obey. [3] And being in this state they receive everything as a matter of life; and therefore, without knowing why, they have becoming manners, and also learn to talk, and have the beginning of memory and thought, their state of innocence serving as a medium whereby these things are received and implanted. But this innocence, as has been said above, is external because it belongs to the body alone, and not to the mind;{1} for their minds are not yet formed, the mind being understanding and will and thought and affection therefrom. [4] I have been told from heaven that children are specially under the Lord's auspices, and that they receive influx from the inmost heaven, where there is a state of innocence that this influx passes through their interiors, and that in its passing through, their interiors are affected solely by the innocence; and for this reason innocence is shown in their faces and in some of their movements and becomes evident; and that it is this innocence by which parents are inmostly affected, and that gives rise to the love that is called storge.

{Footnote 1} The innocence of children is not true innocence, but true innocence has its abode in wisdom (n. 1616, 2305, 2306, 3494, 4563, 4797, 5608, 9301, 10021). The good of childhood is not spiritual good, but it becomes such by the implantation of truth (n. 3504). Nevertheless the good of childhood is a medium whereby intelligence is implanted (n. 1616, 3183, 9301, 10110). Without the good of innocence in childhood man would be a wild man (n. 3494). Whatever the mind is imbued with in childhood appears natural (n. 3494).

278. The innocence of wisdom is genuine innocence, because it is internal, for it belongs to the mind itself, that is, to the will itself and from that to the understanding. And when there is innocence in these there is also wisdom, for wisdom belongs to the will and understanding. This is why it is said in heaven that innocence has its abode in wisdom, and that an angel has just so much of innocence as he has of wisdom. This is confirmed by the fact that those who are in a state of innocence attribute nothing of good to themselves, but regard all things as received and ascribe them to the Lord; that they wish to be led by Him and not by themselves; that they love everything that is good and find delight in everything that is true, because they know and perceive that loving what is good, that is, willing and doing it, is loving the Lord, and loving truth is loving the neighbor; that they live contented with their own, whether it be little or much, because they know that they receive just as much as is good for them-those receiving little for whom a little is useful, and those receiving much for whom much is useful; also that they do not themselves know what is good for them, the Lord alone knowing this, who looks in all things that He provides to what is eternal. [2] Neither are they anxious about the future; anxiety about the future they call care for the morrow, which they define as grief on account of losing or not receiving things that are not necessary for the uses of life. With companions they never act from an evil end but from what is good, just, and sincere. Acting from an evil end they call cunning, which they shun as the poison of a serpent, since it is wholly antagonistic to innocence. As they love nothing so much as to be led of the Lord, attributing all things they receive to Him, they are kept apart from what is their own [proprium]; and to the extent that they are kept apart from what is their own the Lord flows into them; and in consequence of this whatever they hear from the Lord, whether through the Word or by means of preaching, they do not store up in the memory, but instantly obey it, that is, will it and do it, their will being itself their memory. These for the most part outwardly appear simple, but inwardly they are wise and prudent. These are meant by the Lord in the words,

Be ye prudent as serpents and simple as doves (Matt. 10:16).

Such is the innocence that is called the innocence of wisdom. [3] Because innocence attributes nothing of good to itself, but ascribes all good to the Lord, and because it thus loves to be led by the Lord, and is the source of the reception of all good and truth, from which wisdom comes,—because of this man is so created as to be during his childhood in external innocence, and when he becomes old in internal innocence, to the end that he may come by means of the former into the latter, and from the latter return into the former. For the same reason when a man becomes old he dwindles in body and becomes again like a child, but like a wise child, that is, an angel, for a wise child is in an eminent sense an angel. This is why in the Word, "a little child" signifies one who is innocent, and "an old man" signifies one who is wise in whom is innocence.{1}

{Footnote 1} In the Word "little children" signify innocence (n. 5608); likewise "sucklings" (n. 3183). An "old man" signifies one who is wise, and in an abstract sense wisdom (n. 3183, 6524). Man is so created that in proportion as he verges towards old age he may become like a little child, and that innocence may then be in his wisdom, and in that state he may pass into heaven and become an angel (n. 3183, 5608).

279. The same is true of everyone who is being regenerated. Regeneration, as regards the spiritual man, is re-birth. Man is first introduced into the innocence of childhood, which is that one knows no truth and can do no good from himself, but only from the Lord, and desires and seeks truth only because it is truth, and good only because it is good. As man afterwards advances in age good and truth are given him by the Lord. At first he is led into a knowledge of them, then from knowledge into intelligence, and finally from intelligence into wisdom, innocence always accompanying, which consists, as has been said, in his knowing nothing of truth, and being unable to do anything good from himself but only from the Lord. Without such a belief and such a perception of it no one can receive any thing of heaven. Therein does the innocence of wisdom chiefly consist.

280. As innocence consists in being led by the Lord and not by self, so all who are in heaven are in innocence; for all who are there love to be led by the Lord, knowing that to lead themselves is to be led by what is their own, and what is one's own is loving oneself, he that loves himself not permitting himself to be led by any one else. Therefore, so far as an angel is in innocence he is in heaven, in other words, is in Divine good and Divine truth, for to be in these is to be in heaven. Consequently the heavens are distinguished by degrees of innocence-those who are in the outmost or first heaven are in innocence of the first or outmost degree; those who are in the middle or second heaven are in innocence of the second or middle degree; while those who are in the inmost or third heaven are in innocence of the third or inmost degree, and are therefore the veriest innocences of heaven, for more than all others they love to be led by the Lord as little children by their father; and for the same reason the Divine truth that they hear immediately from the Lord or mediately through the Word and preaching they take directly into their will and do it, thus committing it to life. And this is why their wisdom is so superior to that of the angels of the lower heavens (see n. 270, 271). These angels of the inmost heaven, being such are nearest to the Lord from whom they receive innocence, and are so separated from what is their own that they live as it were in the Lord. Externally they appear simple, and before the eyes of the angels of the lower heavens they appear like children, that is, as very small, and not very wise, although they are the wisest of the angels of heaven; since they know that they have nothing of wisdom from themselves, and that acknowledging this is being wise. They know also that what they know is as nothing compared to what they do not know; and they say that knowing, acknowledging, and perceiving this is the first step towards wisdom. These angels have no clothing, because nakedness corresponds to innocence.{1}

{Footnote 1} All in the inmost heaven are innocences (n. 154, 2736, 3887). Therefore they appear to others like children (n. 154). They are also naked (n. 165, 8375, 9960). Nakedness belongs to innocence (n. 165, 8375). Spirits have a custom of exhibiting innocence by laying aside their garments and presenting themselves naked (n. 165, 8375, 9960).

281. I have talked much with angels about innocence, and have been told that innocence is the being [esse] of all good, and that good is therefore so far good as it has innocence in it, consequently that wisdom is so far wisdom as it partakes of innocence; and the same is true of love, charity, and faith;{1} and therefore no one can enter heaven unless he possesses innocence; and this the Lord teaches when He says:

Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of the heavens. Verily I say unto you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of the heavens as a little child, he shall not enter into it (Mark 10:14, 16; Luke 18:16, 17),

Here as elsewhere In the Word "little children" mean those who are innocent. A state of innocence is also described by the Lord in Matthew (6:25-34), but by correspondences only. Good is good so far as it has innocence in it, for the reason that all good is from the Lord, and innocence is a willingness to be led by the Lord. I have also been told that truth can be conjoined to good and good to truth only by means of innocence, and therefore an angel is not an angel of heaven unless he has innocence in him; for heaven is not in any one until good is conjoined to truth in him; and this is why the conjunction of truth and good is called the heavenly marriage, and the heavenly marriage is heaven. Again, I have been told that true marriage love derives its existence from innocence, because it derives its existence from the conjunction of good and truth, and the two minds of husband and wife are in that conjunction, and when that conjunction descends it presents the appearance of marriage love; for consorts are in mutual love, as their minds are. This is why in marriage love there is a playfulness like that of childhood and like that of innocence.{2}

{Footnote 1} Every good of love and truth of faith, to be good and true must have innocence in it (n. 2526, 2780, 3111, 3994, 6013, 7840, 9262, 10134). Innocence is the essential of good and truth (n. 2780, 7840). No one is admitted into heaven unless he possesses something of innocence (4797).

{Footnote 2} True marriage love is innocence (n. 2736). Marriage love consists in willing what the other wills, thus mutually and reciprocally (n. 2731). They who are in marriage love dwell together in the inmosts of life (n. 2732). There is a union of the two minds, and thus from love they are a one (n. 10168, 10169). True marriage love derives its origin and essence from the marriage of good and truth (n. 2728, 2729). About angelic spirits who have a perception from the idea of the conjunction of good and truth whether anything of marriage exists (n. 10756). Marriage love is wholly like the conjunction of good and truth (n. 1904, 2173, 2508, 2729, 3103, 3132, 3155, 3179, 3180, 4358, 5807, 5835, 9206, 9207, 9495, 9637). Therefore in the Word "marriage" means the marriage of good and truth, such as there is in heaven and such as there will be in the church (n. 3132, 4434, 4835).

282. Because innocence With the angels of heaven is the very being [esse] of good, it is evident that the Divine good that goes forth from the Lord is innocence itself, for it is that good that flows into angels, and affects their inmosts, and arranges and fits them for receiving all the good of heaven. It is the same with children, whose interiors are not only formed by means of innocence flowing through them from the Lord, but also are continually being fitted and arranged for receiving the good of heavenly love, since the good of innocence acts from the inmost; for that good, as has been said, is the being [esse] of all good. From all this it can be seen that all innocence is from the Lord. For this reason the Lord is called in the Word a "lamb," a lamb signifying innocence.{1} Because innocence is the inmost in all the good of heaven, it so affects minds that when it is felt by any one-as when an angel of the inmost heaven approaches-he seems to himself to be no longer his own master and is moved and as it were carried away by such a delight that no delight of the world seems to be anything in comparison with it. This I say from having perceived it.

{Footnote 1} In the Word a "lamb" signifies innocence and its good. (n. 3994, 10132).

283. Everyone who is in the good of innocence is affected by innocence, and is affected to the extent that he is in that good; but those who are not in the good of innocence are not affected by innocence. For this reason all who are in hell are wholly antagonistic to innocence; they do not know what it is; their antagonism is such that so far as any one is innocent they burn to do him mischief; therefore they cannot bear to see little children; and as soon as they see them they are inflamed with a cruel desire to do them harm. From this it is clear that what is man's own, and therefore the love of self, is antagonistic to innocence; for all who are in hell are in what is their own, and therefore in the love of self.{1}

{Footnote 1} What is man's own is loving self more than God, and the world more than heaven, and making one's neighbor of no account as compared with oneself; thus it is the love of self and of the world (n. 694, 731, 4317, 5660). The evil are wholly antagonistic to innocence, even to the extent that they cannot endure its presence (n. 2126).

Go to Next Page

Exit Survey

I am interested in:
Law and Government
Visual Arts

I came to the Library:
To write a class paper
To do other research
To read for pleasure

How I got here:
Been here before
Teacher referred me
Search Engine
Someone else referred me

How I feel about the Library:
Will return
Will refer others
Probably won't return
Skip Survey