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366. As heaven is from the human race, and angels therefore are of both sexes, and from creation woman is for man and man is for woman, thus the one belongs to the other, and this love is innate in both, it follows that there are marriages in heaven as well as on the earth. But marriages in heaven differ widely from marriages on the earth. Therefore what marriages in heaven are, and how they differ from marriages on the earth and wherein they are like them, shall now be told.

367. Marriage in heaven is a conjunction of two into one mind. It must first be explained what this conjunction is. The mind consists of two parts, one called the understanding and the other the will. When these two parts act as one they are called one mind. In heaven the husband acts the part called the understanding and the wife acts the part called the will. When this conjunction, which belongs to man's interiors, descends into the lower parts pertaining to the body, it is perceived and felt as love, and this love is marriage love. This shows that marriage love has its origin in the conjunction of two into one mind. This in heaven is called cohabitation; and the two are not called two but one. So in heaven a married pair is spoken of, not as two, but as one angel.{1}

{Footnote 1} It is not known at this day what marriage love is, or whence it is (n. 2727). Marriage love is willing what another wills, thus willing mutually and reciprocally (n. 2731). Those that are in marriage love dwell together in the inmosts of life (n. 2732). It is such a union of two minds that from love they are one (n. 10168, 10169). For the love of minds, which is spiritual love, is a union (n. 1594, 2057, 3939, 4018, 5807, 6195, 7081-7086, 7501, 10130).

368. Moreover, such a conjunction of husband and wife in the inmosts of their minds comes from their very creation; for man is born to be intellectual, that is, to think from the understanding, while woman is born to be affectional, that is, to think from her will; and this is evident from the inclination or natural disposition of each, also from their form; from the disposition, in that man acts from reason and woman from affection; from the form in that man has a rougher and less beautiful face, a deeper voice and a harder body; while woman has a smoother and more beautiful face, a softer voice, and a more tender body. There is a like difference between understanding and will, or between thought and affection; so, too, between truth and good and between faith and love; for truth and faith belong to the understanding, and good and love to the will. From this it is that in the Word "youth" or "man" means in the spiritual sense the understanding of truth, and "virgin" or "woman" affection for good; also that the church, on account of its affection for good and truth, is called a "woman" and a "virgin;" also that all those that are in affection for good are called "virgins" (as in Apoc. 14:4).{1}

{Footnote 1} In the Word "young men" signify understanding of truth, or the intelligent (n. 7668). "Men" have the same signification (n. 158, 265, 749, 915, 1007, 2517, 3134, 3236, 4823, 9007). "Woman" signifies affection for good and truth (n. 568, 3160, 6014, 7337, 8994); likewise the church (n. 252, 253, 749, 770); "wife" has the same signification (n. 252, 253, 409, 749, 770); with what difference (n. 915, 2517, 3236, 4510, 4823). In the highest sense "husband and wife" are predicated of the Lord and of His conjunction with heaven and the church (n. 7022). A "virgin" signifies affection for good (n. 3067, 3110, 3179, 3189, 6729, 6742); likewise the church (n. 2362, 3081, 3963, 4638, 6729, 6775, 6788).

369. Everyone, whether man or woman, possesses understanding and will; but with the man the understanding predominates, and with the woman the will predominates, and the character is determined by that which predominates. Yet in heavenly marriages there is no predominance; for the will of the wife is also the husband's will, and the understanding of the husband is also the wife's understanding, since each loves to will and to think like the other, that is mutually and reciprocally. Thus are they conjoined into one. This conjunction is actual conjunction, for the will of the wife enters into the understanding of the husband, and the understanding of the husband into the will of the wife, and this especially when they look into one another's faces; for, as has been repeatedly said above, there is in the heavens a sharing of thoughts and affections, more especially with husband and wife, because they reciprocally love each other. This makes clear what the conjunction of minds is that makes marriage and produces marriage love in the heavens, namely, that one wishes what is his own to be the others, and this reciprocally.

370. I have been told by angels that so far as a married pair are so conjoined they are in marriage love, and also to the same extent in intelligence, wisdom and happiness, because Divine truth and Divine good which are the source of all intelligence, wisdom, and happiness, flow chiefly into marriage love; consequently marriage love, since it is also the marriage of good and truth, is the very plane of Divine influx. For that love, as it is a conjunction of the understanding and will, is also a conjunction of truth and good, since the understanding receives Divine truth and is formed out of truths, and the will receives Divine good and is formed out of goods. For what a man wills is good to him, and what he understands is truth to him; therefore it is the same whether you say conjunction of understanding and will or conjunction of truth and good. Conjunction of truth and good is what makes an angel; it makes his intelligence, wisdom, and happiness; for an angel is an angel accordingly as good in him is conjoined with truth and truth with good; or what is the same, accordingly as love in him is conjoined with faith and faith with love.

371. The Divine that goes forth from the Lord flows chiefly into marriage love because marriage love descends from a conjunction of good and truth; for it is the same thing as has been said above, whether you say conjunction of understanding and will or conjunction of good and truth. Conjunction of good and truth has its origin in the Lord's Divine love towards all who are in heaven and on earth. From Divine love Divine good goes forth, and Divine good is received by angels and men in Divine truths. As truth is the sole receptacle of good nothing can be received from the Lord and from heaven by any one who is not in truths; therefore just to the extent that the truths in man are conjoined to good is man conjoined to the Lord and to heaven. This, then, is the very origin of marriage love, and for this reason that love is the very plane of Divine influx. This shows why the conjunction of good and truth in heaven is called the heavenly marriage, and heaven is likened in the Word to a marriage, and is called a marriage; and the Lord is called the "Bridegroom" and "Husband," and heaven and also the church are called the "bride" and the "wife."{1}

{Footnote 1} The origin, cause, and essence of true marriage love is the marriage of good and truth; thus it is from heaven (n. 2728, 2729). Respecting angelic spirit, who have a perception whether there is anything of marriage from the idea of a conjunction of good and truth (n. 10756). It is with marriage love in every respect the same as it is with the conjunction of good and truth (n. 1904, 2173, 2429, 2508, 3101, 3102, 3155, 3179, 3180, 4358, 5807, 5835, 9206, 9495, 9637). How and with whom the conjunction of good and truth is effected (n. 3834, 4096, 4097, 4301, 4345, 4353, 4364, 4368, 5365, 7623-7627, 9258). Only those that are in good and truth from the Lord know what true marriage love is (n. 10171). In the Word "marriage" signifies the marriage of good and truth (n. 3132, 4434, 4835). The kingdom of the Lord and heaven are in true marriage love (n. 2737).

372. Good and truth conjoined in an angel or a man are not two but one, since good is then good of truth and truth is truth of good. This conjunction may be likened to a man's thinking what he wills and willing what he thinks, when the thought and will make one, that is, one mind; for thought forms, that is, presents in form that which the will wills, and the will gives delight to it; and this is why a married pair in heaven are not called two, but one angel. This also is what is meant by the Lord's words:

Have ye not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall become one flesh? Therefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together let not man put asunder. Not all can receive this word but they to whom it is given (Matt. 19:4-6, 11; Mark 10:6-9; Gen. 2:24).

This is a description both of the heavenly marriage in which the angels are and of the marriage of good and truth, "man's not putting asunder what God has joined together" meaning that good is not to be separated from truth.

373. From all this the origin of true marriage love is made clear, namely, that it is formed first in the minds of those who are in marriage, and descends therefrom and is derived into the body, where it is perceived and felt as love; for whatever is felt and perceived in the body has its origin in the spiritual, because it is from the understanding and the will. The understanding and the will constitute the spiritual man. Whatever descends from the spiritual man into the body presents itself there under another aspect, although it is similar and accordant, like soul and body, and like cause and effect; as can be seen from what has been said and shown in the two chapters on Correspondences.

374. I heard an angel describing true marriage love and its heavenly delights in this manner: That it is the Lord's Divine in the heavens, which is Divine good and Divine truth so united in two persons, that they are not as two but as one. He said that in heaven the two consorts are marriage love, since everyone is his own good and his own truth in respect both to mind and to body, the body being an image of the mind because it is formed after its likeness. From this he drew the conclusion that the Divine is imaged in the two that are in true marriage love; and as the Divine is so imaged so is heaven, because the entire heaven is Divine good and Divine truth going forth from the Lord; and this is why all things of heaven are inscribed on marriage love with more blessings and delights than it is possible to number. He expressed the number by a term that involved myriads of myriads. He wondered that the man of the church should know nothing about this, seeing that the church is the Lord's heaven on the earth, and heaven is a marriage of good and truth. He said he was astounded to think that within the church, even more than outside of it, adulteries are committed and even justified; the delight of which in itself is nothing else in a spiritual sense, and consequently in the spiritual world, than the delight of the love of falsity conjoined to evil, which delight is infernal delight, because it is the direct opposite of the delight of heaven, which is the delight of the love of truth conjoined with good.

375. Everyone knows that a married pair who love each other are interiorly united, and that the essential of marriage is the union of dispositions and minds. And from this it can be seen that such as their essential dispositions or minds are, such is their union and such their love for each other. The mind is formed solely out of truths and goods, for all things in the universe have relation to good and truth and to their conjunction; consequently such as the truths and goods are out of which the minds are formed, exactly such is the union of minds; and consequently the most perfect union is the union of minds that are formed out of genuine truths and goods. Let it be known that no two things mutually love each other more than truth and good do; and therefore it is from that love that true marriage love descends.{1} Falsity and evil also love each other, but this love is afterwards changed into hell.

{Footnote 1} All things in the universe, both in heaven and in the world, have relation to good and truth (n. 2452, 3166, 4390, 4409, 5232, 7256, 10122). And to the conjunction of these (n. 10555). Between good and truth there is marriage (n. 1904, 2173, 2508). Good loves truth, and from love longs for truth and for the conjunction of truth with itself, and from this they are in a perpetual endeavor to be conjoined (n. 9206, 9207, 9495). The life of truth is from good (n. 1589, 1997, 2572, 4070, 4096, 4097, 4736, 4757, 4884, 5147, 9667). Truth is the form of good (n. 3049, 3180, 4574, 9154). Truth is to good as water is to bread (n. 4976).

376. From what has now been said about the origin of marriage love one may conclude who are in that love and who are not; namely, that those are in marriage love who are in Divine good from Divine truths; and that marriage love is genuine just to the extent that the truths are genuine with which the good is conjoined. And as all the good that is conjoined with truths is from the Lord, it follows that no one can be in true marriage love unless he acknowledges the Lord and His Divine; for without that acknowledgment the Lord cannot flow in and be conjoined with the truths that are in man.

377. Evidently, then, those that are in falsities, and especially those that are in falsities from evil, are not in marriage love. Moreover, those that are in evil and in falsities therefrom have the interiors of their minds closed up; and in such, therefore, there can be no source of marriage love; but below those interiors, in the external or natural man separated from the internal, there can be a conjunction of falsity and evil, which is called infernal marriage. I have been permitted to see what this marriage is between those that are in the falsities of evil, which is called infernal marriage. Such converse together, and are united by a lustful desire, but inwardly they burn with a deadly hatred towards each other, too intense to be described.

378. Nor can marriage love exist between two partners belonging to different religions, because the truth of the one does not agree with the good of the other; and two unlike and discordant kinds of good and truth cannot make one mind out of two; and in consequence the love of such does not have its origin in any thing spiritual. If they live together in harmony it is solely on natural grounds.{1} And this is why in the heavens marriages are found only with those who are in the same society, because such are in like good and truth and not with those outside of the society. It may be seen above (n. 41, seq.) that all there in a society are in like good and truth, and differ from those outside the society. This was represented in the Israelitish nation by marriages being contracted within tribes, and particularly within families, and not outside of them.

{Footnote 1} Marriages between those of different religions are not permissible, because there can be no conjunction of like good and truth in the interiors (n. 8998).

379. Nor is true marriage love possible between one husband and several wives; for its spiritual origin, which is the formation of one mind out of two, is thus destroyed; and in consequence interior conjunction, which is the conjunction of good and truth, from which is the very essence of that love, is also destroyed. Marriage with more than one is like an understanding divided among several wills; or it is like a man attached not to one but to several churches, since his faith is so distracted thereby as to come to naught. The angels declare that marrying several wives is wholly contrary to Divine order, and that they know this from several reasons, one of which is that as soon as they think of marriage with more than one they are alienated from internal blessedness and heavenly happiness, and become like drunken men, because good is separated from its truth in them. And as the interiors of their mind are brought into such a state merely by thinking about it with some intention, they see clearly that marriage with more than one would close up their internal mind, and cause marriage to be displaced by lustful love, which love withdraws from heaven.{1} [2] They declare further that this is not easily comprehended by men because there are few who are in genuine marriage love, and those who are not in it know nothing whatever of the interior delight that is in that love, knowing only the delight of lust, and this delight is changed into what is undelightful after living together a short time; while the delight of true marriage love not only endures to old age in the world, but after death becomes the delight of heaven and is there filled with an interior delight that grows more and more perfect to eternity. They said also that the varieties of blessedness of true marriage love could be enumerated even to many thousands, not even one of which is known to man, or could enter into the comprehension of any one who is not in the marriage of good and truth from the Lord.

{Footnote 1} As husband and wife should be one, and should live together in the inmost of life, and as they together make one angel in heaven, so true marriage love is impossible between one husband and several wives (n. 1907, 2740). To marry several wives at the same time is contrary to Divine order (n. 10837). That there is no marriage except between one husband and one wife is clearly perceived by those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom (n. 865, 3246, 9002, 10172). For the reason that the angels there are in the marriage of good and truth (n. 3246). The Israelitish nation were permitted to marry several wives, and to add concubines to wives, but not Christians, for the reason that that nation was in externals separate from internals, while Christians are able to enter into internals, thus into the marriage of good and truth (n. 3246, 4837, 8809.)

380. The love of dominion of one over the other entirely takes away marriage love and its heavenly delight, for as has been said above, marriage love and its delight consists in the will of one being that of the other, and this mutually and reciprocally. This is destroyed by love of dominion in marriage, since he that domineers wishes his will alone to be in the other, and nothing of the other's will to be reciprocally in himself, which destroys all mutuality, and thus all sharing of any love and its delight one with the other. And yet this sharing and consequent conjunction are the interior delight itself that is called blessedness in marriage. This blessedness, with everything that is heavenly and spiritual in marriage love, is so completely extinguished by love of dominion as to destroy even all knowledge of it; and if that love were referred to it would be held in such contempt that any mention of blessedness from that source would excite either laughter or anger. [2] When one wills or loves what the other wills or loves each has freedom, since all freedom is from love; but where there is dominion no one has freedom; one is a servant, and the other who rules is also a servant, for he is led as a servant by the lust of ruling. But all this is wholly beyond the comprehension of one who does not know what the freedom of heavenly love is. Nevertheless from what has been said above about the origin and essence of marriage love it can be seen that so far as dominion enters, minds are not united but divided. Dominion subjugates, and a subjugated mind has either no will or an opposing will. If it has no will it has also no love; and if it has an opposing will there is hatred in place of love. [3] The interiors of those who live in such marriage are in mutual collision and strife, as two opposites are wont to be, however their exteriors may be restrained and kept quiet for the sake of tranquillity. The collision and antagonism of the interiors of such are disclosed after their death, when commonly they come together and fight like enemies and tear each other; for they then act in accordance with the state of the interiors. Frequently I have been permitted to see them fighting and tearing one another, sometimes with great vengeance and cruelty. For in the other life everyone's interiors are set at liberty; and they are no longer restrained by outward bounds or by worldly considerations, everyone then being just such as he is interiorly.

381. To some a likeness of marriage love is granted. Yet unless they are in the love of good and truth there is no marriage love, but only a love which from several causes appears like marriage love, namely, that they may secure good service at home; that they may be free from care, or at peace, or at ease; that they may be cared for in sickness or in old age; or that the children whom they love may be attended to. Some are constrained by fear of the other consort, or by fear of the loss of reputation, or other evil consequences, and some by a controlling lust. Moreover, in the two consorts marriage love may differ, in one there may be more or less of it, in the other little or none; and because of this difference heaven may be the portion of one and hell the portion of the other.

382. [a.] In the inmost heaven there is genuine marriage love because the angels there are in the marriage of good and truth, and also in innocence. The angels of the lower heavens are also in marriage love, but only so far as they are in innocence; for marriage love viewed in itself is a state of innocence; and this is why consorts who are in the marriage love enjoy heavenly delights together, which appear before their minds almost like the sports of innocence, as between little children; for everything delights their minds, since heaven with its joy flows into every particular of their lives. For the same reason marriage love is represented in heaven by the most beautiful objects. I have seen it represented by a maiden of indescribable beauty encompassed with a bright white cloud. It is said that the angels in heaven have all their beauty from marriage love. Affections and thought flowing from that love are represented by diamond-like auras with scintillations as if from carbuncles and rubies, which are attended by delights that affect the interiors of the mind. In a word, heaven itself is represented in marriage love, because heaven with the angels is the conjunction of good and truth, and it is this conjunction that makes marriage love.

382. [b.] Marriages in heaven differ from marriages on the earth in that the procreation of offspring is another purpose of marriages on the earth, but not of marriages in heaven, since in heaven the procreation of good and truth takes the place of procreation of offspring. The former takes the place of the latter because marriage in heaven is a marriage of good and truth (as has been shown above); and as in that marriage good and truth and their conjunction are loved above all things so these are what are propagated by marriages in heaven. And because of this, in the Word births and generations signify spiritual births and generations, which are births and generations of good and truth; mother and father signify truth conjoined to good, which is what procreates; sons and daughters signify the truths and goods that are procreated; and sons-in-law and daughters-in-law conjunction of these, and so on.{1} All this makes clear that marriages in heaven are not like marriages on earth. In heaven marryings are spiritual, and cannot properly be called marryings, but conjunctions of minds from the conjunction of good and truth. But on earth there are marryings, because these are not of the spirit alone but also of the flesh. And as there are no marryings in heaven, consorts there are not called husband and wife; but from the angelic idea of the joining of two minds into one, each consort designates the other by a name signifying one's own, mutually and reciprocally. This shows how the Lord's words in regard to marrying and giving in marriage (Luke 20:35, 36), are to be understood.

{Footnote 1} Conceptions, pregnancies, births, and generations signify those that are spiritual, that is, such as pertain to good and truth, or to love and faith (n. 613, 1145, 1255, 2020, 2584, 3860, 3868, 4070, 4668, 6239, 8042, 9325, 10249). Therefore generation and birth signify regeneration and rebirth through faith and love (n. 5160, 5598, 9042, 9845). Mother signifies the church in respect to truth, and thus the truth of the church; father the church in respect to good, and thus the good of the church (n. 2691, 2717, 3703, 5581, 8897). Sons signify affections for truth, and thus truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 2623, 3373, 4257, 8649, 9807). Daughters signify affections for good, and the goods (n. 489-491, 2362, 3963, 6729, 6775, 6778, 9055). Son-in-law signifies truth associated with affection for good (n. 2389). Daughter-in-law signifies good associated with its truth (n. 4843).

383. I have also been permitted to see how marriages are contracted in the heavens. As everywhere in heaven those who are alike are united and those who are unlike are separated, so every society in heaven consists of those who are alike. Like are brought to like not by themselves but by the Lord (see above, n. 41, 43, 44, seq.); and equally consort to consort whose minds can be joined into one are drawn together; and consequently at first sight they inmostly love each other, and see themselves to be consorts, and enter into marriage. For this reason all marriages in heaven are from the Lord alone. They have also marriage feasts; and these are attended by many; but the festivities differ in different societies.

384. Marriages on the earth are most holy in the sight of the angels of heaven because they are seminaries of the human race, and also of the angels of heaven (heaven being from the human race, as already shown under that head), also because these marriages are from a spiritual origin, namely, from the marriage of good and truth, and because the Lord's Divine flows especially into marriage love. Adulteries on the other hand are regarded by the angels as profane because they are contrary to marriage love; for as in marriages the angels behold the marriage of good and truth, which is heaven, so in adulteries they behold the marriage of falsity and evil, which is hell. If, then, they but hear adulteries mentioned they turn away. And this is why heaven is closed up to man when he commits adultery from delight; and when heaven is closed man no longer acknowledges the Divine nor any thing of the faith of church.{1} That all who are in hell are antagonistic to marriage love I have been permitted to perceive from the sphere exhaling from hell, which was like an unceasing endeavor to dissolve and violate marriages; which shows that the reigning delight in hell is the delight of adultery, and the delight of adultery is a delight in destroying the conjunction of good and truth, which conjunction makes heaven. From this it follows that the delight of adultery is an infernal delight directly opposed to the delight of marriage, which is a heavenly delight.

{Footnote 1} Adulteries are profane (n. 9961, 10174). Heaven is closed to adulterers (n. 2750). Those that have experienced delight in adulteries cannot come into heaven (n. 539, 2733, 2747-2749, 2751, 10175). Adulterers are unmerciful and destitute of religion (n. 824, 2747, 2748). The ideas of adulterers are filthy (n. 2747, 2748). In the other life they love filth and are in filthy hells (n. 2755, 5394, 5722). In the Word adulteries signify adulterations of good, and whoredoms perversions of truth (n. 2466, 2729, 3399, 4865, 8904, 10648).

385. There were certain spirits who, from a practice acquired in the life of the body, infested me with peculiar craftiness, and this by a very gentle wave-like influx like the usual influx of well disposed spirits; but I perceived that there was craftiness and other like evils in them prompting them to ensnare and deceive. Finally, I talked with one of them who, I was told, had been when he lived in the world the leader of an army; and perceiving that there was a lustfulness in the ideas of his thought I talked with him about marriage, using spiritual speech with representatives, which fully expresses all that is meant and many things in a moment. He said that in the life of the body he had regarded adulteries as of no account. But I was permitted to tell him that adulteries are heinous, although to those like himself they do not appear to be such, and even appear permissible, on account of their seductive and enticing delights. That they are heinous he might know from the fact that marriages are the seminaries of the human race, and thus also the seminaries of the heavenly kingdom; consequently they must on no account be violated, but must be esteemed holy. This he might know from the fact, which he ought to know because of his being in the other life and in a state of perception, that marriage love descends from the Lord through heaven, and from that love, as from a parent, mutual love, which is the foundation of heaven is derived; and again from this, that if adulterers merely draw near to heavenly societies they perceive their own stench and cast themselves down therefrom towards hell. At least he must have known that to violate marriages is contrary to Divine laws, and contrary to the civil laws of all kingdoms, also contrary to the genuine light of reason, because it is contrary to both Divine and human order; not to mention other considerations. But he replied that he had not so thought in the life of the body. He wished to reason about whether it were so, but was told that truth does not admit of such reasonings; for reasonings defend what one delights in, and thus one's evils and falsities; that he ought first to think about the things that had been said because they are truths; or at least think about them from the principle well known in the world, that no one should do to another what he is unwilling that another should do to him; thus he should consider whether he himself would not have detested adulteries if any one had in that way deceived his wife, whom he had loved as everyone loves in the first period of marriage, and if in his state of wrath he had expressed himself on the subject; also whether being a man of talent he would not in that case have confirmed himself more decidedly than others against adulteries, even condemning them to hell.

386. I have been shown how the delights of marriage love advance towards heaven, and the delights of adultery towards hell. The advance of the delights of marriage love towards heaven is into states of blessedness and happiness continually increasing until they become innumerable and ineffable, and the more interiorly they advance the more innumerable and more ineffable they become, until they reach the very states of blessedness and happiness of the inmost heaven, or of the heaven of innocence, and this through the most perfect freedom; for all freedom is from love, thus the most perfect freedom is from marriage love, which is heavenly love itself. On the other hand, the advance of adultery is towards hell, and by degrees to the lowest hell, where there is nothing but what is direful and horrible. Such a lot awaits adulterers after their life in the world, those being meant by adulterers who feel a delight in adulteries, and no delight in marriages.


It is impossible to enumerate the employments in the heavens, still less to describe them in detail, but something may be said about them in a general way; for they are numberless, and vary in accordance with the functions of the societies. Each society has its peculiar function, for as societies are distinct in accordance with goods (see above, n. 41), so they are distinct in accordance with uses, because with all in the heavens goods are goods in act, which are uses. Everyone there performs a use, for the Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of uses.{1}

{Footnote 1} The Lord's kingdom is a kingdom of uses (n. 454, 696, 1103, 3645, 4054, 7038). Performing uses is serving the Lord (n. 7038). In the other life all must perform uses (n. 1103); even the wicked and infernal, but in what manner (n. 696). All are such as are the uses they perform (n. 4054, 6815); illustrated (n. 7038). Angelic blessedness consists in the goods of charity, that is, in performing uses (n. 454).

388. In the heavens as on the earth there are many forms of service, for there are ecclesiastical affairs, there are civil affairs, and there are domestic affairs. That there are ecclesiastical affairs is evident from what has been said and shown above, where Divine worship is treated of (n. 221-227); civil affairs, where governments in heaven are treated of (n. 213-220); and domestic affairs, where the dwellings and homes of angels are treated of (n. 183-190); and marriages in heaven (n. 366-368); all of which show that in every heavenly society there are many employments and services.

389. All things in the heavens are organized in accordance with Divine order, which is everywhere guarded by the services performed by angels, those things that pertain to the general good or use by the wiser angels, those that pertain to particular uses by the less wise, and so on. They are subordinated just as uses are subordinated in the Divine order; and for this reason a dignity is connected with every function according to the dignity of the use. Nevertheless, an angel does not claim dignity to himself, but ascribes all dignity to the use; and as the use is the good that he accomplishes, and all good is from the Lord, so he ascribes all dignity to the Lord. Therefore he that thinks of honor for himself and subsequently for the use, and not for the use and subsequently for himself, can perform no function in heaven, because this is looking away backwards from the Lord, and putting self in the first place and use in the second. When use is spoken of the Lord also is meant, because, as has just been said, use is good, and good is from the Lord.

390. From this it may be inferred what subordinations in the heavens are, namely, that as any one loves, esteems, and honors the use he also loves, esteems, and honors the person with whom the use is connected; also that the person is loved, esteemed and honored in the measure in which he ascribes the use to the Lord and not to himself; for to that extent he is wise, and the uses he performs he performs from good. Spiritual love, esteem, and honor are nothing else than the love, esteem, and honor of the use in the person, together with the honor to the person because of the use, and not honor to the use because of the person. This is the way, moreover, in which men are regarded when they are regarded from spiritual truth, for one man is then seen to be like another, whether he be in great or in little dignity, the only perceptible difference being a difference in wisdom; and wisdom is loving use, that is, loving the good of a fellow citizen, of society, of one's country, and of the church. It is this that constitutes love to the Lord, because every good that is a good of use is from the Lord; and it constitutes also love towards the neighbor, because the neighbor means the good that is to be loved in a fellow citizen, in society, in one's country, and in the church, and that is to be done in their behalf.{1}

{Footnote 1} Loving the neighbor is not loving the person, but loving that which is in him and which constitutes him (n. 5025, 10336). Those who love the person, and not that which is in him, and which constitutes him, love equally an evil man and a good man (n. 3820); and do good alike to the evil and to the good; and yet to do good to the evil is to do evil to the good and that is not loving the neighbor (n. 3820, 6703, 8120). The judge who punishes the evil that they may be reformed, and may not contaminate or injure the good, loves his neighbor (n. 3820, 8120, 8121). Every individual and every community also one's country and the church, and in the most general sense the kingdom of the Lord, are the neighbor, and to do good to these from a love of good in accord with the quality of their state, is loving the neighbor; that is, the neighbor is their good, which is to be consulted (n. 6818-6824, 8123).

391. As all the societies in the heavens are distinct in accordance with their goods (as said above, n. 41, seq.) so they are distinct in accordance with their uses, goods being goods in act, that is, goods of charity which are uses. Some societies are employed in taking care of little children; others in teaching and training them as they grow up; others in teaching and training in like manner the boys and girls that have acquired a good disposition from their education in the world, and in consequence have come into heaven. There are other societies that teach the simple good from the Christian world, and lead them into the way to heaven; there are others that in like manner teach and lead the various heathen nations. There are some societies that defend from infestations by evil spirits the newly arrived spirits that have just come from the world; there are some that attend upon the spirits that are in the lower earth; also some that attend upon spirits that are in the hells, and restrain them from tormenting each other beyond prescribed limits; and there are some that attend upon those who are being raised from the dead. In general, angels from each society are sent to men to watch over them and to lead them away from evil affections and consequent thoughts, and to inspire them with good affections so far as they will receive them in freedom; and by means of these they also direct the deeds or works of men by removing as far as possible evil intentions. When angels are with men they dwell as it were in their affections; and they are near to man just in the degree in which he is in good from truths, and are distant from him just in the degree in which his life is distant from good.{1} But all these employments of angels are employments of the Lord through the angels, for the angels perform them from the Lord and not from themselves. For this reason, in the Word in its internal sense "angels" mean, not angels, but something belonging to the Lord; and for the same reason angels are called "gods" in the Word.{2}

{Footnote 1} Of the angels that are with little children and afterwards with boys, and thus in succession (n. 2303). Man is raised from the dead by means of angels; from experiences (n. 168-189). Angels are sent to those who are in hell to prevent their tormenting each other beyond measure (n. 967). Of the services rendered by the angels to men on their coming into the other life (n. 2131). There are spirits and angels with all men and man is led by the Lord by means of spirits and angels (n. 50, 697, 2796, 2887, 2888, 5846-5866, 5976-5993, 6209). Angels have dominion over evil spirits (n. 1755).

{Footnote 2} In the Word by angels something Divine from the Lord is signified (n. 1925, 2821, 3039, 4085, 6280, 8192). In the Word angels are called "gods," because of their reception of Divine truth and good from the Lord (n. 4295, 4402, 8192, 8301).

392. These employments of the angels are their general employments; but each one has his particular charge; for every general use is composed of innumerable uses which are called mediate, ministering, and subservient uses, all and each coordinated and subordinated in accordance with Divine order, and taken together constituting and perfecting the general use, which is the general good.

393. Those are concerned with ecclesiastical affairs in heaven who in the world loved the Word and eagerly sought in it for truths, not with honor or gain as an end, but uses of life both for themselves and for others. These in heaven are in enlightenment and in the light of wisdom in the measure of their love and desire for use; and this light of wisdom they receive from the Word in heaven, which is not a natural Word, as it is in the world, but a spiritual Word (see above, n. 259.) These minister in the preaching office; and in accordance with Divine order those are in higher positions who from enlightenment excel others in wisdom. [2] Those are concerned with civil affairs who in the world loved their country, and loved its general good more than their own, and did what is just and right from a love for what is just and right. So far as these from the eagerness of love have investigated the laws of justice and have thereby become intelligent, they have the ability to perform such functions in heaven, and they perform these in that position or degree that accords with their intelligence, their intelligence being in equal degree with their love of use for the general good. [3] Furthermore, there are in heaven more functions and services and occupations than can be enumerated; while in the world there are few in comparison. But however many there may be that are so employed, they are all in the delight of their work and labor from a love of use, and no one from a love of self or of gain; and as all the necessaries of life are furnished them gratuitously they have no love of gain for the sake of a living. They are housed gratuitously, clothed gratuitously, and fed gratuitously. Evidently, then, those that have loved themselves and the world more than use have no lot in heaven; for his love or affection remains with everyone after his life in the world, and is not extirpated to eternity (see above, n. 563).

394. In heaven everyone comes into his own occupation in accordance with correspondence, and the correspondence is not with the occupation but with the use of each occupation (see above, n. 112); for there is a correspondence of all things (see n. 106). He that in heaven comes into the employment or occupation corresponding to his use is in much the same condition of life as when he was in the world; since what is spiritual and what is natural make one by correspondences; yet there is this difference, that he then comes into an interior delight, because into spiritual life, which is an interior life, and therefore more receptive of heavenly blessedness.


Hardly any one at present knows what heaven is or what heavenly joy is. Those who have given any thought to these subjects have had so general and so gross an idea about them as scarcely to amount to anything. From spirits that have come from the world into the other life I have been able to learn fully what idea they had of heaven and heavenly joy; for when left to themselves, as they were in the world, they think as they then did. There is this ignorance about heavenly joy for the reason that those who have thought about it have formed their opinion from the outward joys pertaining to the natural man, and have not known what the inner and spiritual man is, nor in consequence the nature of his delight and blessedness; and therefore even if they had been told by those who are in spiritual or inward delight what heavenly joy is, would have had no comprehension of it, for it could have fallen only into an idea not yet recognized, thus into no perception; and would therefore have been among the things that the natural man rejects. Yet everyone can understand that when a man leaves his outer or natural man he comes into the inner or spiritual man, and consequently can see that heavenly delight is internal and spiritual, not external and natural; and being internal and spiritual, it is more pure and exquisite, and affects the interiors of man which pertain to his soul or spirit. From these things alone everyone may conclude that his delight is such as the delight of his spirit has previously been and that the delight of the body, which is called the delight of the flesh, is in comparison not heavenly; also that whatever is in the spirit of man when he leaves the body remains after death, since he then lives a man-spirit.

396. All delights flow forth from love, for that which a man loves he feels to be delightful. No one has any delight from any other source. From this it follows that such as the love is such is the delight. The delights of the body or of the flesh all flow forth from the love of self and love of the world; consequently they are lusts and their pleasures; while the delights of the soul or spirit all flow forth from love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, consequently they are affections for good and truth and interior satisfactions. These loves with their delights flow in out of heaven from the Lord by an inner way, that is, from above, and affect the interiors; while the former loves with their delights flow in from the flesh and from the world by an external way, that is, from beneath, and affect the exteriors. Therefore as far as the two loves of heaven are received and make themselves felt, the interiors of man, which belong to his soul or spirit and which look from the world heavenwards, are opened, while so far as the two loves of the world are received and make themselves felt, his exteriors, which belong to the body or flesh and look away from heaven towards the world, are opened. As loves flow in and are received their delights also flow in, the delights of heaven into the interiors and the delights of the world into the exteriors, since all delight, as has just been said above, belongs to love.

397. Heaven in itself is so full of delights that viewed in itself it is nothing else than blessedness and delight; for the Divine good that flows forth from the Lord's Divine love is what makes heaven in general and in particular with everyone there, and the Divine love is a longing for the salvation of all and the happiness of all from inmosts and in fullness. Thus whether you say heaven or heavenly joy it is the same thing.

398. The delights of heaven are both ineffable and innumerable; but he that is in the mere delight of the body or of the flesh can have no knowledge of or belief in a single one of these innumerable delights; for his interiors, as has just been said, look away from heaven towards the world, thus backwards. For he that is wholly in the delight of the body or of the flesh, or what is the same, in the love of self and of the world, has no sense of delight except in honor, in gain, and in the pleasures of the body and the senses; and these so extinguish and suffocate the interior delights that belong to heaven as to destroy all belief in them; consequently he would be greatly astonished if he were told that when the delights of honor and of gain are set aside other delights are given, and still more if he were told that the delights of heaven that take the place of these are innumerable, and are such as cannot be compared with the delights of the body and the flesh, which are chiefly the delights of honor and of gain. All this makes clear why it is not known what heavenly joy is.

399. One can see how great the delight of heaven must be from the fact that it is the delight of everyone in heaven to share his delights and blessings with others; and as such is the character of all that are in the heavens it is clear how immeasurable is the delight of heaven. It has been shown above (n. 268), that in the heavens there is a sharing of all with each and of each with all. Such sharing goes forth from the two loves of heaven, which are, as has been said, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor; and to share their delights is the very nature of these loves. Love to the Lord is such because the Lord's love is a love of sharing everything it has with all, since it wills the happiness of all. There is a like love in everyone of those who love the Lord, because the Lord is in them; and from this comes the mutual sharing of the delights of angels with one another. Love towards the neighbor is of such a nature, as will be seen in what follows. All this shows that it is the nature of these loves to share their delights. It is otherwise with the loves of self and of the world. The love of self takes away from others and robs others of all delight, and directs it to itself, for it wishes well to itself alone; while the love of the world wishes to have as its own what belongs to the neighbor. Therefore these loves are destructive of the delights of others; or if there is any disposition to share, it is for the sake of themselves and not for the sake of others. Thus in respect to others it is the nature of those loves not to share but to take away, except so far as the delights of others have some relation to self. That the loves of self and of the world, when they rule, are such I have often been permitted to perceive by living experience. Whenever the spirits that were in these loves during their life as men in the world drew near, my delight receded and vanished; and I was told that at the mere approach of such to any heavenly society the delight of those in the society diminished just in the degree of their proximity; and what is wonderful, the evil spirits are then in their delight. All this indicates the state of the spirit of such a man while he is in the body, since it is the same as it is after it is separated from the body, namely, that it longs for or lusts after the delights or goods of another, and finds delight so far as it secures them. All this makes clear that the loves of self and of the world tend to destroy the joys of heaven, and are thus direct opposites of heavenly loves, which desire to share.

400. But it must be understood that the delight of those who are in the loves of self and of the world, when they draw near to any heavenly society, is the delight of their lust, and thus is directly opposite to the delight of heaven. And such enter into this delight of their lust in consequence of their taking away and dispelling heavenly delight in those that are in such delight. When the heavenly delight is not taken away or dispelled it is different, for they are then unable to draw near; for so far as they draw near they bring upon themselves anguish and pain; and for this reason they do not often venture to come near. This also I have been permitted to learn by repeated experience, something of which I would like to add. [2] Spirits who go from this world into the other life desire more than any thing else to get into heaven. Nearly all seek to enter, supposing that heaven consists solely in being admitted and received. Because of this desire they are brought to some society of the lowest heaven. But as soon as those who are in the love of self and of the world draw near the first threshold of that heaven they begin to be distressed and so tortured inwardly as to feel hell rather than heaven to be in them; and in consequence they cast themselves down headlong therefrom, and do not rest until they come into the hells among their like. [3] It has also frequently occurred that such spirits have wished to know what heavenly joy is, and having heard that it is in the interiors of angels, they have wished to share in it. This therefore was granted; for whatever a spirit who is not yet in heaven or hell wishes is granted if it will benefit him. But as soon as that joy was communicated they began to be so tortured as not to know how to twist or turn because of the pain. I saw them thrust their heads down to their feet and cast themselves upon the ground, and there writhe into coils like serpents, and this in consequence of their interior agony. Such was the effect produced by heavenly delight upon those who are in the delights of the love of self and of the world; and for the reason that these loves are directly opposite to heavenly loves, and when opposite acts against opposite such pain results. And since heavenly delight enters by an inward way and flows into the contrary delight, the interiors which are in the contrary delight are twisted backwards, thus into the opposite direction, and the result is such tortures. [4] They are opposite for the reason given above, that love to the Lord and love to the neighbor wish to share with others all that is their own, for this is their delight, while the loves of self and of the world wish to take away from others what they have, and take it to themselves; and just to the extent that they are able to do this they are in their delight. From this, too, one can see what it is that separates hell from heaven; for all that are in hell were, while they were living in the world, in the mere delights of the body and of the flesh from the love of self and of the world; while all that are in the heavens were, while they lived in the world, in the delights of the soul and spirit from love to the Lord and love to the neighbor; and as these are opposite loves, so the hells and the heavens are entirely separated, and indeed so separated that a spirit in hell does not venture even to put forth a finger from it or raise the crown of his head, for if he does this in the least he is racked with pain and tormented. This, too, I have frequently seen.

401. One who is in the love of self and love of the world perceives while he lives in the body a sense of delight from these loves and also in the particular pleasures derived from these loves. But one who is in love to God and in love towards the neighbor does not perceive while he lives in the body any distinct sense of delight from these loves or from the good affections derived from them, but only a blessedness that is hardly perceptible, because it is hidden away in his interiors and veiled by the exteriors pertaining to the body and dulled by the cares of the world. But after death these states are entirely changed. The delights of love of self and of the world are then turned into what is painful and direful, because into such things as are called infernal fire, and by turns into things defiled and filthy corresponding to their unclean pleasures, and these, wonderful to tell, are then delightful to them. But the obscure delight and almost imperceptible blessedness of those that had been while in the world in love to God and in love to the neighbor are then turned into the delight of heaven, and become in every way perceived and felt, for the blessedness that lay hidden and unrecognized in their interiors while they lived in the world is then revealed and brought forth into evident sensation, because such had been the delight of their spirit, and they are then in the spirit.

402. In uses all the delights of heaven are brought together and are present, because uses are the goods of love and charity in which angels are; therefore everyone has delights that are in accord with his uses, and in the degree of his affection for use. That all the delights of heaven are delights of use can be seen by a comparison with the five bodily senses of man. There is given to each sense a delight in accordance with its use; to the sight, the hearing, the smell, the taste, and the touch, each its own delight; to the sight a delight from beauty and from forms, to the hearing from harmonious sounds, to the smell from pleasing odors, to taste from fine flavors. These uses which the senses severally perform are known to those who study them, and more fully to those who are acquainted with correspondences. Sight has such a delight because of the use it performs to the understanding, which is the inner sight; the hearing has such a delight because of the use it performs both to the understanding and to the will through giving attention; the smell has such a delight because of the use it performs to the brain, and also to the lungs; the taste has such a delight because of the use it performs to the stomach, and thus to the whole body by nourishing it. The delight of marriage, which is a purer and more exquisite delight of touch, transcends all the rest because of its use, which is the procreation of the human race and thereby of angels of heaven. These delights are in these sensories by an influx of heaven, where every delight pertains to use and is in accordance with use.

403. There were some spirits who believed from an opinion adopted in the world that heavenly happiness consists in an idle life in which they would be served by others; but they were told that happiness never consists in abstaining from work and getting satisfaction therefrom. This would mean everyone's desiring the happiness of others for himself, and what everyone wished for no one would have. Such a life would be an idle not an active life, and would stupefy all the powers of life; and everyone ought to know that without activity of life there can be no happiness of life, and that rest from this activity should be only for the sake of recreation, that one may return with more vigor to the activity of his life. They were then shown by many evidences that angelic life consists in performing the good works of charity, which are uses, and that the angels find all their happiness in use, from use, and in accordance with use. To those that held the opinion that heavenly joy consists in living an idle life and drawing breaths of eternal joy in idleness, a perception was given of what such a life is, that they might become ashamed of the idea; and they saw that such a life is extremely sad, and that all joy thus perishing they would in a little while feel only loathing and disgust for it.

404. There were some spirits who thought themselves better instructed than others, and who said that they had believed in the world that heavenly joy would consist solely in praising and giving glory to God, and that this would be an active life. But these were told that praising and giving glory to God is not a proper active life, also that God has no need of praises and glorification, but it is His will that they should perform uses, and thus the good works that are called goods of charity. But they were unable to associate with goods of charity any idea of heavenly joy, but only of servitude, although the angels testified that this joy is most free because it comes from an interior affection and is conjoined with ineffable delight.

405. Almost all who enter the other life think that hell is the same to everyone, and heaven the same; and yet in both there are infinite varieties and diversities, and in no case is hell or heaven wholly the same to one as to another; as it is impossible that any one man, spirit or angel should ever be wholly like another even as to the face. At my mere thought of two being just alike or equal the angels expressed horror, saying that everyone thing is formed out of the harmonious concurrence of many things, and that the one thing is such as that concurrence is; and that it is thus that a whole society in heaven becomes a one, and that all the societies of heaven together become a one, and this from the Lord alone by means of love.{1} Uses in the heavens are likewise in all variety and diversity, and in no case is the use of one wholly the same as and identical with the use of another; so neither is the happiness of one the same as and identical with the happiness of another. Furthermore, the delights of each use are innumerable, and these innumerable delights are likewise various, and yet conjoined in such order that they mutually regard each other, like the uses of each member, organ, and viscus, in the body, and still more like the uses of each vessel and fiber in each member, organ and viscus; each and all of which are so affiliated as to have regard to another's good in their own good, and thus each in all, and all in each. From this universal and individual aspect they act as one.

{Footnote 1} One thing consists of various things, and receives thereby its form and quality and perfection in accordance with the quality of the harmony and concurrence (n. 457, 3241, 8003). There is an infinite variety and never any one thing the same as another (n. 7236, 9002). It is the same in the heavens (n. 3744, 4005, 7236, 7833, 7836, 9002). In consequence all the societies in the heavens and all the angels in a society are distinct from each other because they are in different goods and uses (n. 690, 3241, 3519, 3804, 3986, 4067, 4149, 4263, 7236, 7833). The Lord's Divine love arranges all into a heavenly form, and so conjoins them that they are as a single man (n. 457, 3986, 5598).

406. I have talked at times with spirits that had recently come from the world about the state of eternal life, saying that it is important to know who the Lord of the kingdom is, and what kind and what form of government it has. As nothing is more important for those entering another kingdom in the world than to know who and what the king is, and what the government is, and other particulars in regard to the kingdom, so is it of still greater consequence in regard to this kingdom in which they are to live to eternity. Therefore they should know that it is the Lord who governs both heaven and the universe, for He who governs the one governs the other; thus that the kingdom in which they now are is the Lord's; and that the laws of this kingdom are eternal truths, all of which rest upon the law that the Lord must be loved above all things and the neighbor as themselves; and even more than this, if they would be like the angels they must love the neighbor more than themselves. On hearing this they could make no reply, for the reason that although they had heard in the life of the body something like this they had not believed it, wondering how there could be such love in heaven, and how it could be possible for any one to love his neighbor more than himself. But they were told that every good increases immeasurably in the other life, and that while they cannot go further in the life of the body than to love the neighbor as themselves, because they are immersed in what concerns the body, yet when this is set aside their love becomes more pure, and finally becomes angelic, which is to love the neighbor more than themselves. For in the heavens there is joy in doing good to another, but no joy in doing good to self unless with a view to its becoming another's, and thus for another's sake. This is loving the neighbor more than oneself. They were told that the possibility of such a love is shown in the world in the marriage love of some who have suffered death to protect a consort from injury, in the love of parents for their children, as in a mother's preferring to go hungry rather than see her child go hungry; in sincere friendship, in which one friend will expose himself to danger for another; and even in polite and pretended friendship that wishes to emulate sincere friendship, in offering the better things to those to whom it professes to wish well, and bearing such good will on the lips though not in the heart; finally, in the nature of love, which is such that its joy is to serve others, not for its own sake but for theirs. But all this was incomprehensible to those who loved themselves more than others, and in the life of the body had been greedy of gain; most of all to the avaricious.

407. There was one who in the life of the body had exercised power over others, and who had retained in the other life the desire to rule; but he was told that he was now in another kingdom, which is eternal, and that his rule on earth had perished, and that he was now where no one is esteemed except in accordance with his goodness and truth, and that measure of the Lord's mercy which he enjoyed by virtue of his life in the world; also that the same is true in this kingdom as on the earth, where men are esteemed for their wealth and for their favor with the prince, wealth here being good and truth, and favor with the prince the mercy bestowed on man by the Lord in accordance with his life in the world. Any wish to rule otherwise would make him a rebel, since he is in another's kingdom. On hearing these things he was ashamed.

408. I have talked with spirits who believed heaven and heavenly joy to consist in their being great; but such were told that in heaven he that is least is greatest, since he is called least who has, and wishes to have, no power or wisdom from himself, but only from the Lord, he that is least in that sense having the greatest happiness, and as he has the greatest happiness, it follows that he is greatest; for he has thereby from the Lord all power and excels all in wisdom. What is it to be the greatest unless to be the most happy? For to be the most happy is what the powerful seek through power and the rich through riches. It was further said that heaven does not consist in a desire to be least for the purpose of being greatest, for that would be aspiring and longing to be the greatest; but it consists in desiring from the heart the good of others more than one's own, and in serving others with a view to their happiness, not with recompense as an end, but from love.

409. Heavenly joy itself, such as it is in its essence, cannot be described, because it is in the inmost of the life of angels and therefrom in everything of their thought and affection, and from this in every particular of their speech and action. It is as if the interiors were fully opened and unloosed to receive delight and blessedness, which are distributed to every least fiber and thus through the whole. Thus the perception and sensation of this joy is so great as to be beyond description, for that which starts from the inmosts flows into every particular derived from the inmosts, propagating itself away with increase towards the exteriors. Good spirits who are not yet in that joy, because not yet raised up into heaven, when they perceive a sense of that joy from an angel from the sphere of his love, are filled with such delight that they come as it were into a delicious trance. This sometimes happens with those who desire to know what heavenly joy is.

410. When certain spirits wished to know what heavenly joy is they were allowed to feel it to such a degree that they could no longer bear it; and yet it was not angelic joy; it was scarcely in the least degree angelic, as I was permitted to perceive by sharing it, but was so slight as to be almost frigid; nevertheless they called it most heavenly, because to them it was an inmost joy. From this it was evident, not only that there are degrees of the joys of heaven, but also that the inmost joy of one scarcely reaches to the outmost or middle joy of another; also that when any one receives his own inmost joy he is in his heavenly joy, and cannot endure what is still more interior, for such a joy becomes painful to him.

411. Certain spirits, not evil, sinking into a quiescence like sleep, were taken up into heaven in respect to the interiors of their minds; for before their interiors are opened spirits can be taken up into heaven and be taught about the happiness of those there. I saw them in the quiescent state for about half an hour, and afterwards they relapsed into their exteriors in which they were before, and also into a recollection of what they had seen. They said that they had been among the angels in heaven, and had there seen and perceived amazing things, all of which were resplendent as if made of gold, silver, and precious stones, in exquisite forms and in wonderful variety; also that angels are not delighted with the outward things themselves, but with the things they represented, which were Divine, ineffable, and of infinite wisdom, and that these were their joy; with innumerable other things that could not be described in human language even as to a ten-thousandth part, or fall into ideas which partake of any thing material.

412. Scarcely any who enter the other life know what heavenly blessedness and happiness are, because they do not know what internal joy is, deriving their perception of it solely from bodily and worldly gladness and joy; and in consequence what they are ignorant of they suppose to be nothing, when in fact bodily and worldly joys are of no account in comparison. In order, therefore, that the well disposed, who do not know what heavenly joy is, may know and realize what it is, they are taken first to paradisal scenes that transcend every conception of the imagination. They then think that they have come into the heavenly paradise; but they are taught that this is not true heavenly happiness; and they are permitted to realize such interior states of joy as are perceptible to their inmost. They are then brought into a state of peace even to their inmost, when they confess that nothing of it is in the least expressible or conceivable. Finally they are brought into a state of innocence even to their inmost sense. Thus they are permitted to learn what true spiritual and heavenly good is.

413. But that I might learn the nature of heaven and heavenly joy I have frequently and for a long time been permitted by the Lord to perceive the delights of heavenly joys; but while I have been enabled to know by living experience what they are I am not at all able to describe them. Nevertheless, that some idea of them may be formed, something shall be said about them. Heavenly joy is an affection of innumerable delights and joys, which together present something general, and in this general, that is, this general affection, are harmonies of innumerable affections that come to perception obscurely, and not distinctly, because the perception is most general. Nevertheless I was permitted to perceive that there are innumerable things in it, in such order as cannot be at all described, those innumerable things being such as flow from the order of heaven. The order in the particulars of the affection even to the least, is such that these particulars are presented and perceived only as a most general whole, in accordance with the capacity of him who is the subject. In a word, each general affection contains infinite affections arranged in a most orderly form, with nothing therein that is not alive, and that does not affect all of them from the inmosts; for heavenly joys go forth from inmosts. I perceived also that the joy and ecstasy came as from the heart, diffusing most softly through all the inmost fibers, and from these into the bundles of fibers, with such an inmost sense of delight that the fiber seemed to be nothing but joy and ecstasy, and everything perceptive and sensitive therefrom seemed in like manner to be alive with happiness. Compared with these joys the joy of bodily pleasures is like a gross and pungent dust compared with a pure and most gentle aura. I have noticed that when I wished to transfer all my delight to another, a more interior and fuller delight continually flowed in in its place, and the more I wished this, the more flowed in; and this was perceived to be from the Lord.

414. Those that are in heaven are continually advancing towards the spring of life, with a greater advance towards a more joyful and happy spring the more thousands of years they live; and this to eternity, with increase according to the growth and degree of their love, charity, and faith. Women who have died old and worn out with age, if they have lived in faith in the Lord, in charity to the neighbor, and in happy marriage love with a husband, advance with the succession of years more and more into the flower of youth and early womanhood, and into a beauty that transcends every conception of any such beauty as is seen on the earth. Goodness and charity are what give this form and thus manifest their own likeness, causing the joy and beauty of charity to shine forth from every least particular of the face, and causing them to be the very forms of charity. Some who beheld this were struck with amazement. The form of charity that is seen in a living way in heaven, is such that it is charity itself that both forms and is formed; and this in such a manner that the whole angel is a charity, as it were, especially the face; and this is both clearly seen and felt. When this form is beheld it is beauty unspeakable, affecting with charity the very inmost life of the mind. In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young. Such forms or such beauties do those become in the other life who have lived in love to the Lord and in charity towards the neighbor. All angels are such forms in endless variety; and of these heaven is constituted.


The immensity of the heaven of the Lord is evident from many things that have been said and shown in the foregoing chapters, especially from this, that heaven is from the human race (n. 311-317), both from those born within the church and from those born out of it (n. 318-328); thus it consists of all from the beginning of this earth that have lived a good life. How great a multitude of men there is in this entire world any one who knows anything about the divisions, the regions, and kingdoms of the earth may conclude. Whoever goes into a calculation will find that several thousands of men die every day, that is, some myriads of millions every year; and this from the earliest times, since which several thousands of years have elapsed. All of these after death have gone into the other world, which is called the spiritual world, and they are constantly going into it. But how many of these have become or are becoming angels of heaven cannot be told. This I have been told, that in ancient times the number was very great, because men then thought more interiorly and spiritually, and from such thought were in heavenly affection; but in the following ages not so many, because in the process of time man became more external and began to think more naturally, and from such thought to be in earthly affection. All of this shows how great heaven is even from the inhabitants of this earth alone.

416. The immensity of the heaven of the Lord is shown also by this, that all children, whether born within the church or out of it, are adopted by the Lord and become angels; and the number of these amounts to a fourth or fifth part of the whole human race on the earth. That every child, wherever born, whether within the church or out of it, whether of pious or impious parents, is received by the Lord when it dies, and is brought up in heaven, and is taught and imbued with affections for good, and through these with knowledges of truth, in accordance with Divine order, and as he becomes perfected in intelligence and wisdom is brought into heaven and becomes an angel, can be seen above (n. 329-345). From all this a conclusion may be formed of the multitude of angels of heaven, derived from this source alone, from the first creation to the present time.

417. Again, how immense the heaven of the Lord is can be seen from this, that all the planets visible to the eye in our solar system are earths, and moreover, that in the whole universe there are innumerable earths, all of them full of inhabitants. These have been treated of particularly in a small work on those earths from which I will quote the following passage:

It is fully known in the other life that there are many earths inhabited by men from which spirits and angels come; for everyone there who desires from a love of truth and of use to do so is permitted to talk with spirits of other earths, and thus be assured that there is a plurality of worlds, and learn that the human race is not from one earth alone, but from innumerable earths. I have frequently talked about this with spirits of our earth, and was told that any intelligent person ought to know from many things that he does know that there are many earths inhabited by men; for it may be reasonably inferred that immense bodies like the planets, some of which exceed this earth in magnitude, are not empty masses created merely to be borne through space and to be carried around the sun, and to shine with their scanty light for the benefit of a single earth, but must have a more important use. He that believes, as everyone must believe, that the Divine created the universe for no other end than that the human race might exist, and heaven therefrom, for the human race is a seminary of heaven, must needs believe that wherever there is an earth there are men. That the planets visible to us because they are within the limits of our solar system are earths is evident from their being bodies of earthy matters, which is known from their reflecting the sun's light, and from their not appearing, when viewed through telescopes, like stars, sparkling with flame, but like earths varied with darker portions; also from their passing like our earth around the sun and following in the path of the zodiac, thus making years and seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, also revolving on their axes like our earth, making days and times of the day, morning, mid-day, evening, and night; also from some of them having moons, called satellites, that revolve around their earth at stated times, as the moon does around ours; while the planet Saturn, being at a greater distance from the sun, has also a large luminous belt which gives much light, though reflected, to that earth. Who that knows all this and thinks rationally can ever say that the planets are empty bodies? Moreover, I have said to spirits that man might believe that there are more earths in the universe than one, from the fact that the starry heaven is so immense, and the stars there so innumerable, and each of them in its place or in its system a sun, resembling our sun, although of a varying magnitude. Any one who duly weighs the subject must conclude that such an immense whole must needs be a means to an end that is the final end of creation; and this end is a heavenly kingdom in which the Divine may dwell with angels and men. For the visible universe or the heaven illumined by stars so numberless, which are so many suns, is simply a means for the existence of earths with men upon them from whom the heavenly kingdom is derived. From all this a rational man must needs conclude that so immense a means to so great an end could not have been provided merely for the human race on a single earth. What would this be for a Divine that is infinite, to which thousands and even myriads of earths, all of them full of inhabitants, would be little and scarcely anything? There are spirits whose sole pursuit is the acquisition of knowledges, because their delight is in this alone; and for this reason they are permitted to wander about, and even to pass out of our solar system into others, in acquiring knowledge. These spirits, who are from the planet Mercury, have told me that there are earths with men upon them not only in this solar system but also beyond it in the starry heaven in immense numbers. It was calculated that with a million earths in the universe, and on each earth three hundred millions of men, and two hundred generations in six thousand years, and a space of three cubic ells allowed to each man or spirit, the total number of so many men or spirits would not fill the space of this earth, and scarcely more than the space of one of the satellites about one of the planets—a space in the universe so small as to be almost invisible, since a satellite can scarcely be seen by the naked eye. What is this for the Creator of the universe, to whom it would not be sufficient if the whole universe were filled, since He is infinite? I have talked with angels about this, and they said that they had a similar idea of the fewness of the human race compared with the infinity of the Creator, although their thought is from states, not from spaces, and that in their thought earths amounting to as many myriads as could possibly be conceived of would still be nothing at all to the Lord.

The earths in the universe, with their inhabitants, and the spirits and angels from them, are treated of in the above mentioned work. What is there related has been revealed and shown to me to the intent that it may be known that the heaven of the Lord is immense, and that it is all from the human race; also that our Lord is every where acknowledged as the God of heaven and earth.

418. Again, the immensity of the heaven of the Lord is shown in this, that heaven in its entire complex reflects a single Man, and corresponds to all things and each thing in man, and that this correspondence can never be filled out, since it is a correspondence not only with each of the members, organs, and viscera of the body in general, but also with all and each of the little viscera and little organs contained in these in every minutest particular, and even with each vessel and fiber; and not only with these but also with the organic substances that receive interiorly the influx of heaven, from which come man's interior activities that are serviceable to the operations of his mind; since everything that exists interiorly in man exists in forms which are substances, for anything that does not exist in a substance as its subject is nothing. There is a correspondence of all these things with heaven, as can be seen from the chapter treating of the correspondence of all things of heaven with all things of man (n. 87-102). This correspondence can never be filled out because the more numerous the angelic affiliations are that correspond to each member the more perfect heaven becomes; for every perfection in the heavens increases with increase of number; and this for the reason that all there have the same end, and look with one accord to that end. That end is the common good; and when that reigns there is, from the common good, good to each individual, and from the good of each individual there is good to the whole community. This is so for the reason that the Lord turns all in heaven to Himself (see above, n. 123), and thereby makes them to be one in Himself. That the unanimity and concord of many, especially from such an origin and held together by such a bond, produces perfection, everyone with a reason at all enlightened can see clearly.

419. I have also been permitted to see the extent of the inhabited and also of the uninhabited heaven; and the extent of the uninhabited heaven was seen to be so great that it could not be filled to eternity even if there were many myriads of earths, and as great a multitude of men on each earth as on ours. (On this also see the treatise on The Earths in the Universe, n. 168.)

420. That heaven is not immense, but it is of limited extent, is a conclusion that some have derived from certain passages in the Word understood according to the sense of its letter; for example, where it is said that only the poor are received into heaven, or only the elect, or only those within the church, and not those outside of it, or only those for whom the Lord intercedes; that heaven is closed when it is filled, and that this time is predetermined. But such are unaware that heaven is never closed, and that there is no time predetermined, or any limit of number; and that those are called the "elect" who are in a life of good and truth;{1} and those are called "poor" who are lacking in knowledges of good and truth and yet desire them; and such from that desire are also called hungry.{2} Those that have conceived an idea of the small extent of heaven from the Word not understood believe it to be in one place, where all are gathered together; when, in fact, heaven consists of innumerable societies (see above, n. 41-50). Such also have no other idea than that heaven is granted to everyone from mercy apart from means, and thus that there is admission and reception from mere favor; and they fail to understand that the Lord from mercy leads everyone who accepts Him, and that he accepts Him who lives in accordance with the laws of divine order, which are the precepts of love and of faith, and that the mercy that is meant is to be thus led by the Lord from infancy to the last period of life in the world and afterwards to eternity. Let them know, therefore, that every man is born for heaven, and that he is received that receives heaven in himself in the world, and he that does not receive it is shut out.

{Footnote 1} Those are the elect who are in a life of good and truth (n. 3755, 3900). Election and reception into heaven are not from mercy, as that term is understood, but are in accordance with the life (n. 5057, 5058). There is no mercy of the Lord apart from means, but only through means, that is, to those that live in accordance with His precepts; such the Lord from His mercy leads continually in the world, and afterwards to eternity (n. 8700, 10659).

{Footnote 2} By the "poor," in the Word, those are meant who are spiritually poor, that is, who are ignorant of truth and yet wish to be taught (n. 9209, 9253, 10227). Such are said to hunger and thirst, which is to desire knowledges of good and of truth, by which there is introduction into the church and into heaven (n. 4958, 10227).


The world of spirits is not heaven, nor is it hell, but it is the intermediate place or state between the two; for it is the place that man first enters after death; and from which after a suitable time he is either raised up into heaven or cast down into hell in accord with his life in the world.

422. The world of spirits is an intermediate place between heaven and hell and also an intermediate state of the man after death. It has been shown to me not only that it is an intermediate place, having the hells below it and the heavens above it, but also that it is in an intermediate state, since so long as man is in it he is not yet either in heaven or in hell. The state of heaven in man is the conjunction of good and truth in him; and the state of hell is the conjunction of evil and falsity in him. Whenever good in a man-spirit is conjoined to truth he comes into heaven, because that conjunction, as just said, is heaven in him; but whenever evil in a man-spirit is conjoined with falsity he comes into hell, because that conjunction is hell in him. That conjunction is effected in the world of spirits, man then being in an intermediate state. It is the same thing whether you say the conjunction of the understanding and the will, or the conjunction of good and truth.

423. Let something first be said about the conjunction of the understanding and the will, and its being the same thing as the conjunction of good and truth, that being the conjunction that is effected in the world of spirits. Man has an understanding and a will. The understanding receives truths and is formed out of them, and the will receives goods and is formed out of them; therefore whatever a man understands and thinks from his understanding he calls true, and whatever a man wills and thinks from his will he calls good. From his understanding man can think and thus perceive both what is true and what is good; and yet he thinks what is true and good from the will only when he wills it and does it. When he wills it and from willing does it, it is both in his understanding and in his will, consequently in the man. For neither the understanding alone nor the will alone makes the man, but the understanding and will together; therefore whatever is in both is in the man, and is appropriated to him. That which is in the understanding alone is in man, and yet not really in him; it is only a thing of his memory, or a matter of knowledge in his memory about which he can think when in company with others and outside of himself, but not in himself; that is, about which he can speak and reason, and can simulate affections and gestures that are in accord with it.

424. This ability to think from the understanding and not at the same time from the will is provided that man may be capable of being reformed; for reformation is effected by means of truths, and truths pertain to the understanding, as just said. For in respect to his will man is born into every evil, and therefore of himself wills good to no one but himself; and one who wills good to himself alone delights in the misfortunes that befall another, especially when they tend to his own advantage; for his wish is to divert to himself the goods of all others, whether honors or riches, and so far as he succeeds in this he inwardly rejoices. To the end that this will of man may be corrected and reformed, an ability to understand truths, and an ability to subdue by means of truths the affections of evil that spring from the will, are given to man. This is why man has this ability to think truths with his understanding, and to speak them and do them. But until man is such that he wills truths and does them from himself, that is, from the heart, he is not able to think truths from his will. When he becomes such, whatever he thinks from his understanding belongs to his faith, and whatever he thinks from his will belongs to his love; and in consequence his faith and his love, like his understanding and his will, are conjoined in him.

425. To the extent, therefore, that the truths of the understanding and the goods of the will are conjoined, that is, to the extent that a man wills truths and does them from his will, he has heaven in himself, since the conjunction of good and truth, as just said, is heaven. And on the other hand, just to the extent that the falsities of the understanding and the evils of the will are conjoined man has hell in himself, since the conjunction of falsity and evil is hell. But so long as the truths of the understanding and the goods of the will are not conjoined man is in an intermediate state. At the present time nearly everyone is in such a state that he has some knowledge of truths, and from his knowledge and understanding gives some thought to them, and conforms to them either much or little or not at all, or acts contrary to them from a love of evil and consequent false belief. In order, therefore, that man may have in him either heaven or hell, he is first brought after death into the world of spirits, and there with those who are to be raised up into heaven good and truth are conjoined, and with those who are to be cast down into hell evil and falsity are conjoined. For neither in heaven nor in hell is any one permitted to have a divided mind, that is, to understand one thing and to will another; but everyone must understand what he wills, and will what he understands. Therefore in heaven he who wills good understands truth, while in hell he who wills evil understands falsity. So in the intermediate state the falsities that the good have are put away, and truths that agree and harmonize with their good are given them; while the truths that the evil have are put away, and falsities that agree and harmonize with their evil are given them. This shows what the world of spirits is.

426. In the world of spirits there are vast numbers, because the first meeting of all is there, and all are there explored and prepared. The time of their stay in that world is not fixed; some merely enter it, and are soon either taken into heaven or are cast down into hell; some remain only a few weeks, some several years, but not more than thirty. These differences in the time they remain depend on the correspondence or lack of correspondence of man's interiors with his exteriors. How man is led in that world from one state into another and prepared shall now be told.

427. As soon as men after death enter the world of spirits the Lord clearly discriminates between them; and the evil are at once attached to the infernal society in which they were, as to their ruling love while in the world; and the good are at once attached to the heavenly society in which they were as to their love, charity and faith while in the world. But although they are thus divided, all that have been friends and acquaintances in the life of the body, especially wives and husbands, and also brothers and sisters, meet and converse together whenever they so desire. I have seen a father talking with six sons, whom he recognized, and have seen many others with their relatives and friends; but having from their life in the world diverse dispositions, after a short time they separate. But those who have passed from the world of spirits into heaven or into hell, unless they have a like disposition from a like love, no longer see or know each other. The reason that they see each other in the world of spirits, but not in heaven or in hell, is that those who are in the world of spirits are brought into one state after another, like those they experienced in the life of the body; but afterwards all are brought into a permanent state in accord with their ruling love, and in that state one recognizes another only by similarity of love; for then similarity joins and dissimilarity disjoins (see above, n. 41-50).

428. As the world of spirits is an intermediate state between heaven and hell with man, so it is an intermediate place with the hells below and the heavens above. All the hells are shut towards that world, being open only through holes and clefts like those in rocks and through wide openings that are so guarded that no one can come out except by permission, which is granted in cases of urgent necessity (of which hereafter). Heaven, too, is enclosed on all sides; and there is no passage open to any heavenly society except by a narrow way, the entrance to which is also guarded. These outlets and entrances are what are called in the Word the gates and doors of hell and of heaven.

429. The world of spirits appears like a valley between mountains and rocks, with windings and elevations here and there. The gates and doors of the heavenly societies are visible to those only who are prepared for heaven; others cannot find them. There is one entrance from the world of spirits to each heavenly society, opening through a single path which branches out in its ascent into several. The gates and doors of the hells also are visible only to those who are about to enter, to whom they are then opened. When these are opened gloomy and seemingly sooty caverns are seen tending obliquely downwards to the abyss, where again there are many doors. Through these caverns nauseous and fetid stenches exhale, which good spirits flee from because they abominate them, but evil spirits seek for them because they delight in them. For as everyone in the world has been delighted with his own evil, so after death he is delighted with the stench to which his evil corresponds. In this respect the evil may be likened to rapacious birds and beasts, like ravens, wolves, and swine, which fly or run to carrion or dunghills when they scent their stench. I heard a certain spirit crying out loudly as if from inward torture when struck by a breath flowing forth from heaven; but he became tranquil and glad as soon as a breath flowing forth from hell reached him.

430. With every man there are two gates; one that leads to hell and that is open to evils and their falsities; while the other leads to heaven and is open to goods and their truths. Those that are in evil and its falsity have the gate to hell opened in them, and only through chinks from above does something of light from heaven flow into them, and by that inflowing they are able to think, to reason, and to speak; but the gate to heaven is opened in those that are in good and its truth. For there are two ways that lead to the rational mind of man; a higher or internal way through which good and truth from the Lord enter, and a lower or external way through which evil and falsity enter from hell. The rational mind itself is at the middle point to which the ways tend. Consequently, so far as light from heaven is admitted man is rational; but so far as it is not admitted he is not rational, however rational he may seem to himself to be. This has been said to make known the nature of the correspondence of man with heaven and with hell. While man's rational mind is being formed it corresponds to the world of spirits, what is above it corresponding to heaven and what is below to hell. With those preparing for heaven the regions above the rational mind are opened, but those below are closed to the influx of evil and falsity; while with those preparing for hell the parts below it are opened, and the parts above it are closed to the influx of good and truth. Thus the latter can look only to what is below themselves, that is, to hell; while the former can look only to what is above themselves, that is, to heaven. To look above themselves is to look to the Lord, because He is the common center to which all things of heaven look; while to look below themselves is to look backwards from the Lord to the opposite center, to which all things of hell look and tend (see above, n. 123, 124).

431. In the preceding pages whenever spirits are mentioned those that are in the world of spirits are meant; but when angels are mentioned those that are in heaven are meant.


Whoever duly considers the subject can see that as the body is material it is not the body that thinks, but the soul, which is spiritual. The soul of man, upon the immortality of which many have written, is his spirit, for this as to everything belonging to it is immortal. This also is what thinks in the body, for it is spiritual, and what is spiritual receives what is spiritual and lives spiritually, which is to think and to will. Therefore, all rational life that appears in the body belongs to the soul, and nothing of it to the body; for the body, as just said, is material, and the material, which is the property of the body, is added to and apparently almost joined to the spirit, in order that the spirit of man may be able to live and perform uses in the natural world, all things of which are material and in themselves devoid of life. And as it is the spiritual only that lives and not the material, it can be seen that whatever lives in man is his spirit, and that the body merely serves it, just as what is instrumental serves a moving living force. An instrument is said indeed to act, to move, or to strike; but to believe that these are acts of the instrument, and not of him who acts, moves, or strikes by means of the instrument, is a fallacy.

433. As everything in the body that lives, and that acts and feels from that life, belongs exclusively to the spirit, and nothing of it to the body, it follows that the spirit is the man himself; or what is the same thing, that a man viewed in himself is a spirit possessing a like form; for whatever lives and feels in man belongs to his spirit and everything in man, from his head to the sole of his foot, lives and feels; and in consequence when the body is separated from its spirit, which is what is called dying, man continues to be a man and to live. I have heard from heaven that some who die, while they are lying upon the bier, before they are resuscitated, continue to think even in their cold body, and do not know that they are not still alive, except that they are unable to move a particle of matter belonging to the body.

434. Unless man were a subject which is a substance that can serve a source and containant he would be unable to think and will. Any thing that is supposed to exist apart from a substantial subject is nothing. This can be seen from the fact that a man is unable to see without an organ which is the subject of his sight, or to hear without an organ which is the subject of his hearing. Apart from these organs, sight and hearing are nothing and have no existence. The same is true of thought, which is inner sight, and of perception, which is inner hearing; unless these were in substances and from substances which are organic forms and subjects, they would have no existence at all. All this shows that man's spirit as well as his body is in a form, and that it is in a human form, and enjoys sensories and senses when separated from the body the same as when it was in it, and that all the life of the eye and all the life of the ear, in a word, all the life of sense that man has, belongs not to his body but to his spirit, which dwells in these organs and in their minutest particulars. This is why spirits see, hear, and feel, as well as men. But when the spirit has been loosed from the body, these senses are exercised in the spiritual world, not in the natural world. The natural sensation that the spirit had when it was in the body it had by means of the material part that was added to it; but it then had also spiritual sensations in its thinking and willing.

435. All this has been said to convince the rational man that viewed in himself man is a spirit, and that the corporeal part that is added to the spirit to enable it to perform its functions in the natural and material world is not the man, but only an instrument of his spirit. But evidences from experience are preferable, because there are many that fail to comprehend rational deductions; and those that have established themselves in the opposite view turn such deductions into grounds of doubt by means of reasonings from the fallacies of the senses. Those that have established themselves in the opposite view are accustomed to think that beasts likewise have life and sensations and thus have a spiritual part, the same as man has, and yet that part dies with the body. But the spiritual of beasts is not the same as the spiritual of man is; for man has what beasts have not, an inmost, into which the Divine flows, raising man up to Itself, and thereby conjoining man to Itself. Because of this, man, in contrast with beasts, has the ability to think about God and about the Divine things of heaven and the church, and to love God from these and in these, and thus be conjoined to Him; and whatever can be conjoined to the Divine cannot be dissipated, but whatever cannot be conjoined is dissipated. The inmost that man has, in contrast with beasts, has been treated of above (n. 39), and what was there said will here be repeated, since it is important to have the fallacies dispelled that have been engendered in the minds of many who from lack of knowledge and trained intellect are unable to form rational conclusions on the subject. The words are these:

I will mention a certain arcanum respecting the angels of the three heavens, which has not hitherto come into any one's mind, because degrees have not been understood. In every angel and in every man there is an inmost or highest degree, or an inmost or highest something, into which the Divine of the Lord first or most directly flows, and from which it disposes the other interiors in him that succeed in accordance with the degrees of order. This inmost or highest degree may be called the entrance of the Lord to the angel or man, and His veriest dwelling-place in them. It is by virtue of this inmost or highest that a man is a man, and distinguished from the animals, which do not have it. From this it is that man, unlike the animals, is capable, in respect to all his interiors which pertain to his mind and disposition, of being raised up by the Lord to Himself, of believing in the Lord, of being moved by love to the Lord, and thereby beholding Him, and of receiving intelligence and wisdom, and speaking from reason. Also it is by virtue of this that he lives to eternity. But what is arranged and provided by the Lord in this inmost does not distinctly fall into the perception of any angel, because it is above his thought and transcends his wisdom.

436. That in respect to his interiors man is a spirit I have been permitted to learn from much experience, which, to employ a common saying, would fill volumes if I were to describe it all. I have talked with spirits as a spirit, and I have talked with them as a man in the body; and when I talked with them as a spirit they knew no otherwise than that I myself was a spirit and in a human form as they were. Thus did my interiors appear before them, for when talking with them as a spirit my material body was not seen.

437. That in respect to his interiors man is a spirit can be seen from the fact that after his separation from the body, which takes place when he dies, man goes on living as a man just as before. That I might be convinced of this I have been permitted to talk with nearly everyone I had ever known in their life in the body; with some for hours, with some for weeks and months, and with some for years, and this chiefly that I might be sure of it and might testify to it.

438. To this may be added that every man in respect to his spirit, even while he is living in the body, is in some society with spirits, although he does not know it; if a good man he is by means of spirits in some angelic society; if an evil man in some infernal society; and after death he comes into that same society. This has been often told and shown to those who after death have come among spirits. Man, to be sure, does not appear in that society as a spirit while he is living in the world, for the reason that he then thinks naturally; but when one is thinking abstractly from the body, because he is then in the spirit, he sometimes appears in his society; and when seen he is easily distinguished from the spirits there, for he goes about meditating and in silence, not looking at others, and apparently not seeing them; and as soon as any spirit speaks to him he vanishes.

439. To make clear that man in respect to his interiors is a spirit I will relate from experience what happens when man is withdrawn from the body, and what it is to be carried away by the spirit to another place.

440. First, as to withdrawal from the body, it happens thus. Man is brought into a certain state that is midway between sleeping and waking, and when in that state he seems to himself to be wide awake; all the senses are as perfectly awake as in the completest bodily wakefulness, not only the sight and the hearing, but what is wonderful, the sense of touch also, which is then more exquisite than is ever possible when the body is awake. In this state spirits and angels have been seen to the very life, and have been heard, and what is wonderful, have been touched, with almost nothing of the body intervening. This is the state that is called being withdrawn from the body, and not knowing whether one is in the body or out of it. I have been admitted into this state only three or four times, that I might learn what it is, and might know that spirits and angels enjoy every sense, and that man does also in respect to his spirit when he is withdrawn from the body.

441. As to being carried away by the spirit to another place, I have been shown by living experience what it is, and how it is done, but only two or three times. I will relate a single instance. Walking through the streets of a city and through fields, talking at the same time with spirits, I knew no otherwise than that I was fully awake, and in possession of my usual sight. Thus I walked on without going astray, and all the while with clear vision, seeing groves, rivers, palaces, houses, men, and other objects. But after walking thus for some hours, suddenly I saw with my bodily eyes, and noted that I was in another place. Being greatly astonished I perceived that I had been in the same state as those who were said to have been led away by the spirit into another place. For in this state the distance, even though it be many miles, and the time, though it be many hours or days, are not thought of; neither is there any feeling of fatigue; and one is led unerringly through ways of which he himself is ignorant, even to the destined place.

442. But these two states of man, which are his states when he is in his interiors, or what is the same, when he is in the spirit, are extraordinary; but as they are states known about in the church, they were exhibited to me only that I might know what they are. But it has been granted to me now for many years to speak with spirits and to be with them as one of them, even in full wakefulness of the body.

443. That in respect to his interiors man is a spirit there are further evidences in what has been said and shown above (n. 311-317), where it is explained that heaven and hell are from the human race.

444. That man is a spirit in respect to his interiors means in respect to the things pertaining to his thought and will, for these are the interiors themselves that make man to be man, and such a man as he is in respect to these interiors.


When the body is no longer able to perform the bodily functions in the natural world that correspond to the spirit's thoughts and affections, which the spirit has from the spiritual world, man is said to die. This takes place when the respiration of the lungs and the beatings of the heart cease. But the man does not die; he is merely separated from the bodily part that was of use to him in the world, while the man himself continues to live. It is said that the man himself continues to live since man is not a man because of his body but because of his spirit, for it is the spirit that thinks in man, and thought with affection is what constitutes man. Evidently, then, the death of man is merely his passing from one world into another. And this is why in the Word in its internal sense "death" signifies resurrection and continuation of life.{1}

{Footnote 1} In the Word "death" signifies resurrection, for when man dies his life still goes on (n. 3498, 3505, 4618, 4621, 6036, 6221).

446. There is an inmost communication of the spirit with the breathing and with the beating of the heart, the spirit's thought communicating with the breathing, and its affection, which is of love, with the heart;{1} consequently when these two motions cease in the body there is at once a separation. These two motions, the respiration of the lungs and the beating of heart, are the very bond on the sundering of which the spirit is left to itself; and the body being then deprived of the life of its spirit grows cold and begins to decay. This inmost communication of the spirit of man is with the respiration and with the heart, because on these all vital motions depend, not only in general but in every particular.{2}

{Footnote 1} The heart corresponds to the will, thus to the affection which belongs to the love, while the respiration of the lungs corresponds to the understanding, thus to the thought (n. 3888). From this the "heart" in the Word signifies the will and love (n. 7542, 9050, 10336). The "soul" signifies understanding, faith, and truth; therefore "from the soul and from the heart" signifies what is from the understanding, faith, and truth, and what is from the will, love, and good (n. 2930, 9050). The correspondence of the heart and lungs with the Greatest Man, or heaven (n. 3883-3895).

{Footnote 2} The beating of the heart and the respiration of the lungs reign in the body throughout, and flow mutually into every part (n. 3887, 3889, 3890).

447. After the separation the spirit of man continues in the body for a short time, but only until the heart's action has wholly ceased, which happens variously in accord with the diseased condition that causes death, with some the motion of the heart continuing for some time, with others not so long. As soon as this motion ceases the man is resuscitated; but this is done by the Lord alone. Resuscitation means the drawing forth of the spirit from the body, and its introduction into the spiritual world; this is commonly called the resurrection. The spirit is not separated from the body until the motion of the heart has ceased, for the reason that the heart corresponds to the affection of love, which is the very life of man, for it is from love that everyone has vital heat;{1} consequently as long as this conjunction continues correspondence continues, and thereby the life of the spirit in the body.

{Footnote 1} Love is the being [esse] of the life of man (n. 5002). Love is spiritual heat, and therefore the very vital itself of man (n. 1589, 2146, 3338, 4906, 7081-7086, 9954, 10740). Affection is a continuation of love (n. 3938).

448. How this resuscitation is effected has both been told to me and shown to me in living experience. The actual experience was granted to me that I might have a complete knowledge of the process.

449. As to the senses of the body I was brought into a state of insensibility, thus nearly into the state of the dying; but with the interior life and thought remaining unimpaired, in order that I might perceive and retain in the memory the things that happened to me, and that happen to those that are resuscitated from the dead. I perceived that the respiration of the body was almost wholly taken away; but the interior respiration of the spirit went on in connection with a slight and tacit respiration of the body. Then at first a communication of the pulse of the heart with the celestial kingdom was established, because that kingdom corresponds to the heart in man.{1} Angels from that kingdom were seen, some at a distance, and two sitting near my head. Thus all my own affection was taken away although thought and perception continued. [2] I was in this state for some hours. Then the spirits that were around me withdrew, thinking that I was dead; and an aromatic odor like that of an embalmed body was perceived, for when the celestial angels are present everything pertaining to the corpse is perceived as aromatic, and when spirits perceive this they cannot approach; and in this way evil spirits are kept away from man's spirit when he is being introduced into eternal life. The angels seated at my head were silent, merely sharing their thoughts with mine; and when their thoughts are received the angels know that the spirit of man is in a state in which it can be drawn forth from the body. This sharing of their thoughts was effected by looking into my face, for in this way in heaven thoughts are shared. [3] As my thought and perception continued, that I might know and remember how resuscitation is effected, I perceived the angels first tried to ascertain what my thought was, whether it was like the thought of those who are dying, which is usually about eternal life; also that they wished to keep my mind in that thought. Afterwards I was told that the spirit of man is held in its last thought when the body expires, until it returns to the thoughts that are from its general or ruling affection in the world. Especially was I permitted to see and feel that there was a pulling and drawing forth, as it were, of the interiors of my mind, thus of my spirit, from the body; and I was told that this is from the Lord, and that the resurrection is thus effected.

{Footnote 1} The heart corresponds to the Lord's celestial kingdom, the lungs to His spiritual kingdom (n. 3635, 3886, 3887).

450. The celestial angels who are with the one that is resuscitated do not withdraw from him, because they love everyone; but when the spirit comes into such a state that he can no longer be affiliated with celestial angels, he longs to get away from them. When this takes place angels from the Lord's spiritual kingdom come, through whom is given the use of light; for before this he saw nothing, but merely thought. I was shown how this is done. The angels appeared to roll off, as it were, a coat from the left eye towards the bridge of the nose, that the eye might be opened and be enabled to see. This is only an appearance, but to the spirit it seemed to be really done. When the coat thus seems to have been rolled off there is a slight sense of light, but very dim, like what is seen through the eyelids on first awakening from sleep. To me this dim light took on a heavenly hue, but I was told afterwards that the color varies. Then something is felt to be gently rolled off from the face, and when this is done spiritual thought is awakened. This rolling off from the face is also an appearance, which represents the spirit's passing from natural thought into spiritual thought. The angels are extremely careful that only such ideas as savor of love shall proceed from the one resuscitated. They now tell him that he is a spirit. When he has come into the enjoyment of light the spiritual angels render to the new spirit every service he can possibly desire in that state; and teach him about the things of the other life so far as he can comprehend them. But if he has no wish to be taught the spirit longs to get away from the company of the angels. Nevertheless, the angels do not withdraw from him, but he separates himself from them; for the angels love everyone, and desire nothing so much as to render service, to teach, and to lead into heaven; this constitutes their highest delight. When the spirit has thus withdrawn he is received by good spirits, and as long as he continues in their company everything possible is done for him. But if he had lived such a life in the world as would prevent his enjoying the company of the good he longs to get away from the good, and this experience is repeated until he comes into association with such as are in entire harmony with his life in the world; and with such he finds his own life, and what is surprising, he then leads a life like that which he led in the world.

451. This opening state of man's life after death lasts only a few days. How he is afterwards led from one state to another, and finally either into heaven or into hell, will be told in what follows. This, too, I have been permitted to learn by much experience.

452. I have talked with some on the third day after their decease, when the process described above (n. 449, 450) had been completed, especially with three whom I had known in the world, to whom I mentioned that arrangements were now being made for burying their bodies; I said, for burying them; on hearing which they were smitten with a kind of surprise, saying that they were alive, and that the thing that had served them in the world was what was being buried. Afterwards they wondered greatly that they had not believed in such a life after death while they lived in the body, and especially that scarcely any within the church so believed. Those that have not believed in the world in any life of the soul after the life of the body are greatly ashamed when they find themselves to be alive. But those that have confirmed themselves in that disbelief seek affiliation with their like, and are separated from those that have had faith. Such are for the most part attached to some infernal society, because they have also denied the divine and have despised the truths of the church; for so far as any one confirms himself against the eternal life of his soul he confirms himself also against whatever pertains to heaven and the church.


It has already been shown in several previous chapters that the form of the spirit of man is the human form, that is, that the spirit is a man even in form, especially where it is shown that every angel has a complete human form (n. 73-77) that in respect to his interiors every man is a spirit (n. 432-444); and that the angels in heaven are from the human race (n. 311-317). [2] This can be seen still more clearly from the fact that it is by virtue of his spirit, and not by virtue of his body that man is a man, and that the bodily form is added to the spirit in accordance with the spirit's form, and not the reverse, for it is in accordance with its own form that the spirit is clothed with a body. Consequently the spirit of man acts into every part of the body, even the minutest, insomuch that if any part is not actuated by the spirit, or the spirit is not active in it, it does not live. Any one can see that this is true from this fact alone, that thought and will actuate all things and each thing of the body with such entire command that everything concurs, and any thing that does not concur is not a part of the body, but is cast out as something without life; and thought and will belong, not to the body, but to the spirit of man. [3] A spirit that has been loosed from the body or the spirit in another man, is not visible in the human form to man, because the body's organ of sight, or its eye, so far as it sees in the world, is a material organ, and what is material can see only what is material, while what is spiritual sees what is spiritual. When, therefore, the material part of the eye becomes darkened and is deprived of its cooperation with the spiritual, the eye sees spirits in their own form, which is the human form, not only the spirits that are in the spiritual world, but also the spirit of another man while it is yet in its body.

454. The form of the spirit is the human form because man is created in respect to his spirit in the form of heaven, for all things of heaven and of the order of heaven are brought together in the things that constitute the mind of man;{1} and from this comes his capacity to receive intelligence and wisdom. Whether you say the capacity to receive intelligence and wisdom or the capacity to receive heaven it is the same thing, as can be seen from what has been shown about the light and heat of heaven (n. 126-140); the form of heaven (n. 200-212); the wisdom of angels (n. 265-275); and in the chapter that the form of heaven as a whole and in part reflects a single man (n. 59-77); and this by virtue of the Divine Human of the Lord, which is the source of heaven and its form (n. 78-86).

{Footnote 1} Man is the being into whom are brought together all things of Divine order, and by creation he is Divine order in form (n. 4219, 4222, 4223, 4523, 4524, 5114, 6013, 6057, 6605, 6626, 9706, 10156, 10472). So far as a man lives in accordance with Divine order he is seen in the other life as a man, complete and beautiful (n. 4839, 6605, 6626).

455. That which has now been said can be understood by the rational man, for he can see it from the connection of causes and from truths in their order; but it is not understood by a man who is not rational, and for several reasons, the chief of which is that he has no desire to understand it because it is opposed to the falsities that he has made his truths; and he that is unwilling to understand for this reason has closed to his rational faculty the way to heaven, although that way can still be opened whenever the will's resistance ceases (see above, n. 424). That man is able to understand truths and be rational whenever he so wishes has been made clear to me by much experience. Evil spirits that have become irrational in the world by rejecting the Divine and the truths of the church, and confirming themselves against them, have frequently been turned by Divine power towards those who were in the light of truth, and they then comprehended all things as the angels did, and acknowledged them to be true, and also that they comprehended them all. But the moment these spirits relapsed into themselves, and turned back to the love of their will, they had no comprehension of truths and affirmed the opposite. [2] I have also heard certain dwellers in hell saying that they knew and perceived that which they did to be evil and that which they thought to be false; but that they were unable to resist the delight of their love, that is, their will, and that it is their will that drives their thought to see evil as good and falsity as truth. Evidently, then, those that are in falsity from evil have the ability to understand and be rational, but have no wish to; and they have no wish to for the reason that they have loved falsities more than truths, because these agree with the evils in which they are. To love and to will is the same thing, for what a man wills he loves, and what he loves he wills. [3] Because the state of men is such that they are able to understand truths if they wish to, I have been permitted to confirm spiritual truths, which are truths of heaven and the church, even by reasonings, and this in order that the falsities by which the rational mind in many has been closed up may be dispersed by reasonings, and thus the eye may perhaps in some degree be opened; for to confirm spiritual goods by reasonings is permitted to all that are in truths. Who could ever understand the Word from the sense of its letter, unless he saw from an enlightened reason the truths it contains? Is not this the source of so many heresies from the same Word?{1}

{Footnote 1} The truths of doctrine of the church derived from the Word must be the starting-point, and these must first be acknowledged, and afterwards it is permissible to consult knowledges (n. 6047). Thus it is permissible for those that are in an affirmative state towards the truths of faith to confirm them rationally by knowledges, but it is not permissible for those who are in a negative state (n. 2568, 2588, 4760, 6047). It is in accordance with Divine order to enter rationally from spiritual truths into knowledges, which are natural truths, but not to enter from the latter into the former, because spiritual influx into natural things is possible, but not natural or physical influx into spiritual things (n. 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427, 5428, 5478, 6322, 9109, 9110).

456. That the spirit of man, when it has been loosed from the body, is still a man and in a like form, has been proved to me by the daily experience of many years; for I have seen such and have listened to them a thousand times, and have talked with them about this fact, that men in the world do not believe them to be men, and that those that do believe this are regarded by the learned as simple. Spirits are grieved at heart that such ignorance still continues in the world, and above all within the church. [2] But this belief they said had emanated chiefly from the learned, who had thought about the soul from ideas derived from bodily sense; and from such ideas the only conception they formed of the soul was as being mere thought; and when this is regarded apart from any subject as its containant and source it is merely a fleeting breath of pure ether that must needs be dissipated when the body dies. But as the church believes from the Word in the immortality of the soul they are compelled to ascribe to it something vital, such as pertains to thought, but they deny to it any thing of sense, such as man possesses, until it has again been joined to the body. On this opinion the doctrine in regard to the resurrection is based, with the belief that the soul and body will be joined again at the time of the final judgment. For this reason when any one thinks about the soul in accordance with this doctrine and these conjectures, he has no conception that it is a spirit, and in a human form. And still further, scarcely any one at this day knows what the spiritual is, and still less that spiritual beings, as all spirits and angels are, have any human form. [3] Consequently, nearly all that go from this world are greatly surprised to find that they are alive, and are as much men as before, that they see, hear, and speak, and that their body enjoys the sense of touch as before, with no difference whatever (see above, n. 74). And when they cease to be astonished at themselves they are astonished that the church should know nothing about this state of men after death, thus nothing about heaven or hell, when in fact all that have ever lived in the world are in the other life and live as men. And as they wondered also why this had not been disclosed to man by visions, being an essential of the faith of the church, they were told from heaven that although this might have been done, since nothing is easier when it is the Lord's good pleasure, yet those that have confirmed themselves in the opposite falsities would not believe even if they themselves should behold it; also that there is danger in confirming any thing by visions when men are in falsities, for they would then first believe and afterwards deny, and thus would profane the truth itself, since to believe and afterwards deny is to profane; and those who profane truths are cast down into the lowest and most grievous of all the hells.{1} [4] This danger is what is meant by the Lord's words:

He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts lest they should see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and should turn and I should heal them (John 12:40).

And that those that are in falsities would not believe [even if visions were given] is meant by these words:

Abraham said to the rich man in hell, They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them. But he said, Nay, father Abraham, but if one came to them from the dead they would be converted. But Abraham said to him, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe though one should rise from the dead (Luke 16:29-31).

{Footnote 1} Profanation is the mixing of good and evil and of truth and falsity in man (n. 6348). Only those can profane truth and good, or the holy things of the Word and the church, who first acknowledge them, and still more who live according to them, and who afterwards recede from the belief and reject it, and live for themselves and the world (n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 3398, 3399, 3898, 4289, 4601, 10284, 10287). If man after repentance of heart relapses to former evils he profanes, and his latter state is then worse than his former (n. 8394). Those that have not acknowledged holy things, still less those that have no knowledge of them, cannot profane them (n. 1008, 1010, 1059, 9188, 10284). The heathen who are out of the church and do not have the Word cannot profane it (n. 1327, 1328, 2051, 2284). On this account interior truths were not disclosed to the Jews, for if they had been disclosed and acknowledged that people would have profaned them (n. 3398, 4289, 6963). The lot of profaners in the other life is the worst of all, because not only the good and truth they have acknowledged, but also their evil and falsity remain, and as these cling together, the life is rent asunder (n. 571, 582, 6348). Consequently most careful provision is made by the Lord to prevent profanation (n. 2426, 10287).

457. When the spirit of man first enters the world of spirits, which takes place shortly after his resuscitation, as described above, his face and his tone of voice resemble those he had in the world, because he is then in the state of his exteriors, and his interiors are not as yet uncovered. This is man's first state after death. But subsequently his face is changed, and becomes entirely different, resembling his ruling affection or ruling love, in conformity with which the interiors of his mind had been while he was in the world and his spirit while it was in the body. For the face of a man's spirit differs greatly from the face of his body. The face of his body is from his parents, but the face of his spirit is from his affection, and is an image of it. When the life of the spirit in the body is ended, and its exteriors are laid aside and its interiors disclosed, it comes into this affection. This is man's second state. I have seen some that have recently arrived from the world, and have recognized them from their face and speech; but seeing them afterwards I did not recognize them. Those that had been in good affections appeared with beautiful faces; but those that had been in evil affections with misshapen faces; for man's spirit, viewed in itself, is nothing but his affection; and the face is its outward form. Another reason why faces are changed is that in the other life no one is permitted to counterfeit affections that are not his own, and thus assume looks that are contrary to his love. All in the other life are brought into such a state as to speak as they think, and to manifest in their looks and gestures the inclinations of their will. And because of this the faces of all become forms and images of their affections; and in consequence all that have known each other in the world know each other in the world of spirits, but not in heaven nor in hell (as has been said above, n. 427).{1}

{Footnote 1} The face is so formed as to correspond with the interiors (n. 4791-4805, 5695). The correspondence of the face and its expressions with the affections of the mind (n. 1568, 2988, 2989, 3631, 4796, 4797, 4800, 5165, 5168, 5695, 9306). With the angels of heaven the face makes one with the interiors that belong to the mind (n. 4796-4799, 5695, 8250). Therefore in the Word the face signifies the interiors that belong to the mind, that is, to the affection and thought (n. 1999, 2434, 3527, 4066, 4796, 5102, 9306, 9546). In what manner the influx from the brain into the face has been changed in process of time and with it the face itself as regards its correspondence with the interiors (n. 4326, 8250).

458. The faces of hypocrites are changed more slowly than those of others, because by practice they had formed a habit of so managing their interiors as to imitate good affections; consequently for a long time they appear not unbeautiful. But as that which they had assumed is gradually put off, and the interiors of the mind are brought into accord with the form of their affections, they become after awhile more misshapen than others. Hypocrites are such as have been accustomed to talk like angels, but interiorly have acknowledged nature alone and not the Divine, and have therefore denied what pertains to heaven and the church.

459. It should be known that everyone's human form after death is the more beautiful in proportion as he has more interiorly loved Divine truths and lived according to them; for everyone's interiors are opened and formed in accordance with his love and life; therefore the more interior the affection is the more like heaven it is, and in consequence the more beautiful the face is. This is why the angels in the inmost heaven are the most beautiful, for they are forms of celestial love. But those that have loved Divine truths more exteriorly, and thus have lived in accordance with them in a more external way, are less beautiful; for exterior affections only shine forth from their faces; and through these no interior heavenly love shines, consequently nothing of the form of heaven as it is in itself. There is seen in the faces of such something comparatively obscure, not vivified by any thing of interior life shining through it. In a word, all perfection increases toward interiors and decreases toward exteriors, and as perfection increases and decreases so does beauty. I have seen angelic faces of the third heaven of such radiance that no painter with all his art could possibly give any such light to his colors as to equal a thousandth part of the brightness and life that shone forth from their countenances. But the faces of the angels of the lowest heaven may in some measure be equalled.

460. In conclusion I will mention a certain arcanum hitherto unknown to any one, namely, that every good and truth that goes forth from the Lord and makes heaven is in the human form; and this not only as a whole and in what is greatest, but also in every part and what is least; also that this form affects everyone who receives good and truth from the Lord, and causes everyone who is in heaven to be in the human form in accordance with his reception of good and truth. It is in consequence of this that heaven is like itself in general and in particular, and that the human form is the form of the whole, of every society, and of every angel (as has been shown in the four chapters from n. 59 to 86); to which let it be added that it is the form of the least things of thought derived from heavenly love with the angels. No man, however, can easily comprehend this arcanum; but it is clearly comprehended by the angels, because they are in the light of heaven.

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