Seeing spirit as substantial and structured, Swedenborg sees people as essentially spiritual beings whose bodies are primarily means of usefulness in a physical environment. For him, it is in fact preoccupation with the physical that blinds us to the reality of spirit. So on the one hand, progress toward oneness entails growing spiritual awareness, and on the other, death results primarily in a shift in the level of consciousness.
The choice after death is not necessarily instantaneous. Swedenborg describes a “World of Spirits” between heaven and hell, where the newly deceased gradually lose their ability to dissemble, and resolve any remaining indecisions. The only “judgment” we experience is our own—our free choice to care for each other, which is heaven, or to care only for ourselves, which is hell.
from A SCIENTIST EXPLORES SPIRIT