Heaven is Divided into Two Kingdoms (Continued)

Because the angels who make up the heavenly kingdom accept the Lord’s divine nature on a deeper level, they are called more inward or higher angels. The heavens they constitute are therefore called more inward or higher heavens. We use the words “higher” and “lower” as a way of referring to more inward things and more outward things.

The love that envelops people in the heavenly kingdom is called heavenly love, and the love that envelops people in the spiritual kingdom is called spiritual love. Heavenly love is love for the Lord, and spiritual love is thoughtfulness toward one’s neighbor. Further, since all “good” is a matter of love (since whatever we love is good in our estimation), the good of the one kingdom is called heavenly and the good of the other, spiritual. We can see from this the way in which these two kingdoms are distinguished from each other: namely, that it is like the way the good of love for the Lord is distinguished from the good of thoughtfulness toward our neighbor. Since the former good is a deeper good and the former love is a deeper love, heavenly angels are more inward angels, and are called “higher.”

The heavenly kingdom is also called the Lord’s priestly kingdom—in the Word, “his dwelling”; and the spiritual kingdom is called his royal kingdom—in the Word, “his throne.” The Lord in the world was called “Jesus” because of his heavenly divine nature, and “the Christ” because of his spiritual divine nature.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 22-24


Previously Cited: 6/28/2017

Heaven is Divided into Two Kingdoms

SINCE there are infinite varieties in heaven—since no community and in fact no individual is just like any other—heaven is therefore divided overall, more specifically, and in detail. Overall, it is divided into two kingdoms, more specifically into three heavens, and in detail into countless communities. We will now discuss the details. They are called “kingdoms” because heaven is called “the kingdom of God.”

There are angels who accept the divine nature that emanates from the Lord on a deeper level and angels who accept it less deeply. The ones who accept it more deeply are called heavenly angels, and the ones who accept it less deeply are called spiritual angels. Heaven is therefore divided into two kingdoms, one called the heavenly kingdom and the other called the spiritual kingdom.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 20-21


Previously Cited: 6/27/2017

The Lord is God of Heaven (Continued)

All little children (and these make up a third part of heaven) are led first into an acknowledgment and belief that the Lord is their father. Later they are brought into an acknowledgment and belief that he is Lord of all, which means God of heaven and earth. It will be made clear below that little children mature in heaven and by means of insights are brought into full angelic intelligence and wisdom.

There can be no doubt among church people that the Lord is God of heaven, because he himself teaches that everything of the Father’s belongs to him (Matthew 11:27; John 16:15; 17:2) and that he has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). It says “in heaven and on earth” because the ruler of heaven rules earth as well, the one actually depending on the other. His “ruling heaven and earth” means our accepting from him everything good that is intrinsic to love and everything true that is intrinsic to faith. It therefore means accepting all intelligence and wisdom, and thus all happiness—in short, eternal life. This too the Lord teaches when he says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; but whoever does not trust the Son will not see life” (John 3:36). Or again, he says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, will be alive, and whoever lives and believes in me will not die to eternity” (John 11:25–26). Or again, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

There were some spirits who had acknowledged the Father but whose only concept of the Lord had been that he was a human being like everyone else. This meant they did not believe that he was the God of heaven. As a result, they were allowed to travel here and there and to ask at will whether there was a heaven that did not belong to the Lord. They asked around for some days without finding any.

They were people who placed happiness in glory and in being in control, and since they could not get what they craved and were told that such feelings were not part of heaven, they felt insulted. They wanted a heaven where they could lord it over others and excel in the kind of glory they had had in this world.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 4-6


Previously Cited: 6/3/2019

The Lord is God of Heaven (Continued)

If people within the church have ignored the Lord and recognized only the Father and have closed their minds to other thoughts, they are outside heaven. Since they do not receive any inflow from heaven, where the Lord alone is worshiped, they gradually lose their ability to ponder the truth of one thing after another. Eventually they either become speechless or inarticulate. They walk around aimlessly with their arms hanging down loosely as though all the strength had gone from their joints.

On the other hand, people who have denied the Lord’s divine nature and have recognized only his human nature (like the Socinians) are also excluded from heaven. They are taken a little way forward to the right and are let down into the depths, which completely separates them from the Christian realm. Then too, there are people who claim to believe in an invisible Divine called the Being of the Universe and reject any faith in the Lord. When they are examined, it turns out that they do not believe in any god at all, since this invisible Divine of theirs is actually like the first principles of nature. This is incompatible with faith and love, because it eludes [actual] thought. These people are banished to the company of those called materialists.

Things happen differently for people who are born outside the church, the ones we call non-Christians. We will discuss them later.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 3


Previously Cited: 6/1/2017

The Lord Is God of Heaven

FIRST and foremost, we need to know who the God of heaven is, since everything else depends on this. Throughout the whole of heaven, no one is acknowledged as God of heaven except the Lord. Angels say what he himself taught, namely that he is one with the Father, that the Father is in him and he in the Father, that anyone who sees him sees the Father, and that everything holy emanates from him (John 10:30, 38; 14:9–11; 16:13–15).

I have often talked with angels about this, and their consistent testimony has been that in heaven they cannot divide the Divine into three because they both know and perceive that the Divine is one and that this “one” is in the Lord. They have also told me that when people arrive from earth with the idea of three divine beings they cannot be admitted to heaven. This is because their thinking vacillates between one opinion and the other, and in heaven they are not allowed to think “three” and say “one.”

In heaven people actually speak directly from their thought, so that we have there a kind of thoughtful speech or audible thought. This means that if people have divided the Divine into three in the world and held a separate image of each one without gathering and focusing these three into one, they cannot be accepted. In heaven, there is a communication of all thoughts, so if people arrive who think “three” and say “one,” they are recognized immediately for what they are and are sent away.

Still, it needs to be realized that in the other life any people who have not put “good” in one compartment and “true” in another—who have not separated faith from love—accept the heavenly concept of the Lord as God of the universe once they have been taught. It is different, though, with people who have separated their faith from their lives, that is, who have not lived by the guiding principles of true faith.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 2


Previously cited: 6/1/2017

Conscience of What is Good, and Conscience of What is Just

Man has a Conscience of what is good, and a Conscience of what is just. The Conscience of what is good is the Conscience of the internal man; and the Conscience of what is just is the Conscience of the external man. The Conscience of what is good consists in acting according to the precepts of faith from internal affection; while the Conscience of what is just consists in acting according to civil and moral laws from external affection. They who have a Conscience of what is good, have also a Conscience of what is just; but they who have only a Conscience of what is just, have the capacity of receiving a Conscience of what is good, and moreover do receive it when they are instructed.

from Arcana Coelestia , Section 9119

Heavenly Joy and Happiness (Continued)

People in heaven are continually progressing toward the springtime of life. The more thousands of years they live, the more pleasant and happy is their springtime. This continues forever, increasing according to the growth and level of their love, thoughtfulness, and faith.

As the years pass, elderly women who have died of old age—women who have lived in faith in the Lord, thoughtfulness toward their neighbor, and in contented marriage love with their husbands—come more and more into the flower of growing youth and into a beauty that surpasses any notion of beauty accessible to our sight. Their goodness and thoughtfulness is what gives them their form and gives them its own likeness, making the pleasure and beauty of thoughtfulness radiate from every least corner of their faces so that they become actual forms of thoughtfulness. Some people have seen them and have been stunned. The form of thoughtfulness that is open to view in heaven is like this because it is thoughtfulness itself that both gives and is given visible form.

In fact, it does this in such a way that the whole angel, especially her face, is virtually thoughtfulness itself appearing to open perception. When people look at this form, its beauty is unutterable, affecting the very inmost life of the mind with thoughtfulness. In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young. People who have lived in love for the Lord and in thoughtfulness toward their neighbor are forms like this, or beauties like this, in the other life. All angels are forms like this, in infinite variety. This is what makes heaven.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 414


Previously Cited: 2/8/2017

Heavenly Joy and Happiness (Continued)

To enable me to know what heaven and heavenly joy are and what their quality is, though, the Lord has allowed me to feel the pleasures of heavenly joy often and at length. Because this was living experience, I may indeed know about them, but there is no way to describe them. Still, something should be said in order to provide at least some notion about them. There is an effect of countless pleasures and joys that unite to present a single something, a unity or united affection that contains a harmony of countless affections that do not come through to consciousness individually, only vaguely, because the consciousness is so very general. It was still possible to perceive that there were countless elements within it, so beautifully arranged as to defy description. The qualities of those countless elements flow from the very design of heaven; and this kind of design is resident in the very least affections, affections that are manifest and perceived only as a very general unity, depending on the perceptive ability of the subject. In a word, there are infinite elements in a most intricate form in every general entity, and there is nothing that is not alive and does not affect everything even at the very center, since heavenly joys emanate from the very center.

I have also noticed that heavenly joy and delight seemed to be coming from my heart, spreading very subtly through all my inner fibers and from there into the gatherings of fibers with such a profound sense of pleasure that my fibers seemed to be nothing but joy and delight, and everything I perceived and felt was alive with bliss. Next to these joys, the joy of physical pleasures is like crude and irritating dust compared to a pure and gentle breeze.

I noticed that when I wanted to convey all my pleasure to someone else, a deeper and fuller pleasure flowed in ceaselessly in its place. The more I wanted to convey it, the more it flowed in; and I perceived that this was from the Lord.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 413


Previously Cited: 2/7/2017

Heavenly Joy and Happiness (Continued)

Almost all the people who arrive in the other life are ignorant of the nature of heavenly bliss and happiness. This is because they do not know what inner joy is or what its quality is except on the basis of their grasp of physical and worldly good cheer and pleasure. Since they do not know about it they think it is not real, when in fact physical and earthly pleasures are nothing in comparison. So in order that they may know and recognize it, honest people who do not know what heavenly joy is are first taken to parks that surpass every image of their imagination. Just when they think that this is a heavenly paradise, they are told that this is not real heavenly happiness. So they are allowed to recognize deeper states of joy as these are perceptible to their deepest natures; and then they are transported into a state of peace that reaches their very inmost nature. They confess that no part of this can be expressed or even comprehended. Then they are taken into a state of innocence, again all the way to their own deepest feeling. In this way they are enabled to realize what real spiritual and heavenly goodness are.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 412

Previously Cited: 2/6/2017

Heavenly Joy and Happiness (Continued)

Some spirits wanted to know what heavenly joy was, so they were allowed to feel it to the point that they could not bear any more. Still, this was not angelic joy, but only the slightest trace of the angelic quality that they were allowed to observe and share. It was so slight that it was almost cool, yet they called it most heavenly because it was so deep within them. I could tell from this not only that there are levels of heavenly joy, but also that the deepest level of one individual barely touches the outmost or some median level of another. I could also see that when we do reach our own deepest level we are in our own heavenly joy and that we could not bear anything deeper because it would become painful for us.

Some spirits who were not evil settled down into a peaceful state, rather like sleep, and in this way were taken into heaven in respect to the deeper levels of their minds; for before the deeper levels of their minds are opened, spirits can be taken into heaven and taught about the happiness of the people who live there. I saw them rest quietly for half an hour and then return to the outer consciousness they had been in before, but with a memory of what they had seen. They said that they had been with angels in heaven and had seen and perceived stunning things all gleaming like gold and silver and precious gems, in amazing forms that varied bewilderingly. They said that the angels took no particular delight in these outward things but in what they represented—unutterable, divine things of infinite wisdom; these were their real joy. There were countless other things that human language could not describe, not a ten-thousandth part, things that would not fit into any concepts that had anything material about them.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 410-411


Previously Cited: 2/5/2017