How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

People who talk with heaven’s angels also see the things that are in heaven because they are seeing in that light of heaven that surrounds their inner levels. Not only that, through them angels see things that are on our earth. For people who talk with angels, heaven is actually united to our world and our world to heaven; for as already noted (Section 246), when angels turn toward us they unite themselves with us so completely that it seems to them exactly as though whatever is ours is actually theirs. This applies not only to elements of our language but to what is involved in our sight and hearing. In addition, it seems to us exactly as though the things that are flowing in through the angels are really ours.

The earliest humans on our planet enjoyed this kind of union with heaven’s angels, which is why their times are called the Golden Age. Because they acknowledged the Divine in human form and therefore were acknowledging the Lord, they talked with heaven’s angels as they did with members of their own family, and heaven’s angels talked with them in the same way; and in them heaven and this world were a single whole.

But after those times, people moved step by step away from heaven by loving themselves more than the Lord and the world more than heaven. So they began to feel the pleasures of self-love and love of the world separately from the pleasures of heaven, ultimately to the point where they did not know there was any other kind of pleasure. Then their deeper levels were closed, the levels that open into heaven, while their outer levels were open to the world. Once this has happened, we are in the light in respect to everything in this world and in darkness in respect to everything in heaven.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 252


Section 246: Published 5/8/2021

How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

The inflow of the Lord himself into us is into the forehead and from there into the whole face. The inflow of the spiritual angels who are with us is into our head overall, from the forehead and temples to the whole region that covers the cerebrum, because this area corresponds to our intelligence. In contrast, the inflow of heavenly angels is into the part of the head that covers the cerebellum and is called the occiput, from one ear to the other and down to the neck, since this area corresponds to our wisdom.

All the speech of angels comes into our thoughts by these two paths. This has enabled me to notice just which angels were talking with me.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 251

How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

Conversation with angels is not granted, though, except to people who are focused on truths that flow from good intent, especially people who acknowledge the Lord and the divine nature within his human nature, because this is the truth in which heaven exists. For as already noted, the Lord is heaven’s God (Sections 2–6); the Lord’s divine nature makes heaven (Sections 7–12); the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love for him and thoughtfulness from him toward one’s neighbor (Sections 13–19); and the whole heaven, grasped as a single entity, reflects a single individual, as does each community of heaven; and each individual angel has a perfect human form because of the Lord’s divine human nature (Sections 59–86). We can see from this that conversation with angels is not granted except to people whose deeper levels have been opened by divine truths all the way to the Lord, since it is into these that the Lord flows within us, and when the Lord flows in, so does heaven.

The reason divine truths open our deeper levels is that we have been so created that our inner person is an image of heaven and our outer an image of the world (Section 57); and our inner person is opened only by the divine truth that emanates from the Lord, because this is the light and the life of heaven (Sections 126–140).

from Heaven and Hell, Section 250


Sections 2-6: Published 8/27/2019-8/29/2019

Sections 7-12: Published 10/4/2019-10/6/2019

Sections 13-19: Published 11/1/2019-11/4/2019

Sections 59-72: Published 2/20/2020-2/25/2020

Sections 73-77: Published 12/27/2019-12/28/2019

Sections 78-86: Published 2/26/2020-2/28/2020

Section 57: Published 6/13/2019

Sections 126-140: Published 7/2/2019-7/12/2019

How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

Talking with spirits is rarely allowed nowadays, though, because it is dangerous. The spirits then actually know that they are with us, which otherwise they would not; and evil spirits by nature harbor a murderous hatred for us and crave nothing less than our total destruction, body and soul. This is what actually goes on in people who regularly lose themselves in delusions, even to the point that they lose touch with the pleasures appropriate to their natural person.

There are some people who lead solitary lives who sometimes hear spirits talking with them without risk; but the Lord keeps these spirits a little space away so that they do not know they are with these individuals. Most spirits, you see, are not aware that there is any other world than the one they are living in or therefore that there are people anywhere else. So we are not allowed to talk back to them, since if we did, they would know.

People who are constantly thinking about religious matters, so wrapped up in them that they practically see them within themselves, also begin to hear spirits talking with them. This is because when we voluntarily get wrapped up in religious matters, no matter what kind, without the interruption of various useful activities in the [external] world, these matters enter into us very deeply and take substance there so that they occupy our whole spirit, move into the spiritual world, and affect spirits there. However, people like this are visionaries or fanatics, and no matter what spirit they hear, they believe it is the Holy Spirit, even though the spirits they hear are fanatical. Spirits like this see false things as true; and because they see them as true they convince themselves and also convince the people into whom they flow. Further, since spirits like this who command obedience have also begun to urge people to do evil things, they have gradually been moved away. Fanatical spirits can be differentiated from other spirits by the fact that they believe they are the Holy Spirit and that what they are saying is divine. They do not harm us, because we offer them divine worship.

I have talked with them on occasion and the unspeakable things they instill into their worshipers have come to light. They live all together toward the left, in a desert area.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 249

How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

When angels and spirits talk with us, it sounds just as audible as when we talk with each other, but it is not audible to people who are nearby, only to ourselves. This is because the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into our thought and then by an inner route into our organ of hearing so that it activates it from within. Our speech with each other flows first into the air and comes to our organ of hearing and activates it by an outward route. We can see from this that the speech of an angel or spirit with us is heard within us, and that since it activates our hearing mechanism just as much [as our speech with each other does], it is just as audible.

The fact that the speech of an angel or spirit flows down into the ear from within has been made clear to me from the way it flowed into my tongue as well and made it tremble slightly, though not with the actual motion involved when we are articulating the sounds of speech in the formation of words.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 248

How Angels Talk with Us (Continued)

The reason angels and spirits are so intimately united to us that it seems to them as though our characteristics were their own is that there is such an intimate union within us of the spiritual and the natural worlds that they are virtually one. However, because we have separated ourselves from heaven, the Lord has provided that there should be angels and spirits with each of us and that we should be governed by the Lord through them. This is the reason there is such an intimate union.

It would have been different if we had not separated ourselves, because then we could have been governed by the Lord through a general inflow from heaven without having spirits and angels assigned to us. There will be more on this later, though, where we describe how heaven is united to us.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 247

How Angels Talk with Us

ANGELS who talk with us do not talk in their own language but in ours, or in other languages in which we may be fluent—not in languages of which we have no knowledge. The reason for this is that when angels talk with us they turn toward us and unite with us; and one consequence of this union is that the two parties have much the same thought processes. Since our thinking is closely allied with our memory, and our language flows from it, the two parties share the same language. Further, when angels or spirits come to us and unite with us by turning toward us, they enter into our whole memory so completely that it seems exactly as though they themselves know everything we know, including our languages.

I have talked with angels about this and said that they might suppose they were talking with me in my own mother tongue simply because it seemed that way, when in fact it was not they talking but I. This follows from the fact that angels cannot utter a single word of our human language (Section 237). Then too, human language is natural and they are spiritual, and spiritual beings cannot produce anything natural. They have answered that they knew that when they were talking with us their union with us was with our spiritual thinking, but since this spiritual thinking flowed into our natural thought, and this natural thinking is so closely allied with our memory, it seemed to them as though our language were their own, along with all our acquired knowledge. This is because it has pleased the Lord that there should be this kind of union and inner presence of heaven with us. However, they said, the state of humanity is now such that this kind of union is no longer with angels but with spirits who are not in heaven.

I have talked with spirits about this matter, too; but they wanted to believe not that we were talking but that they were talking within us, so that we did not really know what we know, but they did, which meant that everything we knew came from them. I wanted to convince them by many arguments that this was not the case but failed.

We will explain later just who are meant by “angels” and who by “spirits,” when we come to our description of the world of spirits.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 246

The Language of Angels (Continued)

The language of evil and hellish spirits is much the same, because it too stems from their affections, but it comes from evil affections and their foul concepts, which are utterly repugnant to angels. This means that the languages of hell are opposite to the languages of heaven. Evil people cannot stand angelic speech, and angels cannot stand hellish speech. To angels, hellish speech is like a rank odor that assaults the nostrils.

The language of hypocrites—people who can imitate angels of light—is like that of angels as far as its words are concerned, but exactly opposite in respect to its affections and their individual thoughts. So when the inner quality of their speech is perceived, as it is by wise angels, it sounds like a grinding of teeth and strikes horror into them.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 245

The Language of Angels (Continued)

There is, as already noted, a single language for everyone in heaven; but it does vary, in that the language of wiser people is more profound and more full of shades of affections and specific concepts. The language of less wise individuals is less profound and not so full, and the language of simple people is still less profound, actually consisting of words that yield meaning only the way they do when we on earth talk with each other.

There is also a language of facial expressions that switch over to a sound modified by ideas, and a language in which images of heaven are combined with concepts and the concepts are presented visually. There is also a language of bodily movements responsive to affections and portraying the same things that their verbal expressions do. There is a language of shared affections and of shared thoughts; there is a thunderous language; and there are other languages as well.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 244

The Language of Angels (Continued)

The same kind of speech we find in the spiritual world is innate in all of us, but in the deeper part of our intellect. However, since for us it does not come down into words that parallel our affections the way it does for angels, we are unaware that we possess it. Yet this is why we have access to the same language as spirits and angels when we arrive in the other life and know how to talk with them without being taught. But more on this below.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 243