The Language of Angels (Continued)

Since angels’ language corresponds to the affections of their love, and since heaven’s love is love for the Lord and love for our neighbor (Sections 13–19), we can see how elegant and delightful their conversation is. It affects not only the ears but also the deeper levels of the minds of those who hear it. There was one particular hard-hearted spirit with whom an angel talked, and eventually he was so moved by what the angel was saying that he burst into tears, saying that he couldn’t help it, love was talking, and he had never cried before.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 238


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

The Language of Angels (Continued)

Angelic language has nothing in common with human language except with a few of our words whose sound reflects some feeling, and in this case not with the words themselves but with their sound, which will be further dealt with later.

The fact that angelic language has nothing in common with human language is evidenced by angels’ inability to pronounce a single word of a human language. It has been tried, and they could not. The only things they can utter are the ones that are in complete accord with their own affection. Anything that does not agree offends their very life, since their life is a matter of affection and their language flows from it.

I have been told that the first language of people on our earth shared this nature because it was given them from heaven, and that Hebrew resembles it in some respects.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 237

The Language of Angels (Continued)

All people in heaven have the same language. They all understand each other, no matter what community they come from, whether nearby or remote. This language is not learned but is innate; it flows from their very affection and thought. The sound of the language corresponds to their affection and the articulations of the sound—the words, that is—correspond to the mental constructs that arise from their affections. Since their language corresponds to these [inner events], it too is spiritual, for it is audible affection and vocal thinking.

Anyone who reflects may realize that all thought comes from affection, which is a function of love, and that mental constructs are various forms into which the general affection is apportioned; for no thoughts or concepts whatever occur apart from affection. This is the source of their soul and life. This is why angels know simply from speech what kind of person someone is—they know the quality of the affection from the sound and the quality of the mind from the articulations of the sound, or words. Wiser angels know from a single series of statements what someone’s ruling affection is, since this is what they are primarily attentive to.

It is recognized that all people have various affections or moods—one in times of happiness, another in times of sorrow, another in times of tenderness and compassion, another in times of honesty and truth, another in times of love and thoughtfulness, another in times of zeal or anger, another in times of pretense and guile, another in times of ambition for respect and adulation, and so on; but there is a dominant affection or love within all of these, so since the wiser angels perceive this, they know from conversation the whole state of another person.

I have been granted knowledge of this through an abundance of experience. I have heard angels discover a person’s life simply by listening. They have told me that they know everything about another person’s life from a few individual ideas because these enable them to know the person’s ruling love, which contains everything in a pattern. This is all that our “book of life” is.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 236

The Language of Angels (Continued)

Angelic language, like human language, is differentiated into words. It is similarly uttered audibly and heard audibly. Angels have mouths and tongues and ears just as we do; and they also have an atmosphere in which the sound of their language is articulated. However, it is a spiritual atmosphere that is adapted to angels, who are spiritual. Angels breathe in their atmosphere and use their breath to utter words just the way we do in ours.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 235

The Language of Angels

ANGELS talk with each other just the way we do in this world. They talk about various things—domestic matters, community concerns, issues of moral life, and issues of spiritual life. There is no difference except that they talk with each other more intelligently than we do because they talk from a deeper level of thought.

I have often been allowed to be in their company and talk with them like one friend with another, or sometimes like one stranger with another; and since at such times I was in a state like theirs, it seemed exactly as though I were talking with people on earth.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 234

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

For everyone in the spiritual world, clothing depends on intelligence and therefore on the truths that constitute intelligence. Although people in the hells do seem to be clothed, because they lack truths their clothes are nothing but rags, dirty and foul, each individual in keeping with his or her own insanity. They cannot be clothed in any other way, either. The Lord allows them to wear clothes so that they will not appear naked.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 182

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

We can tell that angels’ clothes do not merely look like clothes but really are because they not only see them, they feel them as well. Further, they have many garments that they take off and put on, and they put away the ones they are not using and put back on the ones they are. I have seen thousands of times that they wear different clothes.

I have asked them where they got their clothes, and they have told me that their clothes come from the Lord and are given to them, and that sometimes they are clothed without noticing it. They have also said that their clothes change depending on the changes of their state, that their clothes are radiant and gleaming white in their first and second state, while in the third and fourth states they are somewhat dimmer. This too is because of correspondences, because these changes of state have to do with their intelligence and wisdom, discussed above in Sections 154–161.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 181


Sections 154-161: Published 4/27/2017-4/29/2017

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

Since angels wear clothes in heaven, they have appeared clothed when they were seen in our world, like the ones seen by the prophets and the ones by the Lord’s tomb, whose “appearance was like lightning and whose clothes were gleaming and white” (Matthew 28:3; Mark 16:5; Luke 22:4 [24:4]; John 20:11, 13 [20:12]) and the ones seen in heaven by John whose “garments were of linen and white” (Revelation 4:4; 19:11, 13). And since intelligence comes from divine truth, the Lord’s garments, when he was transfigured, were “gleaming and white as light” (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:3; Luke 9:29: on light as divine truth emanating from the Lord, see Section 129). This is why garments in the Word mean things true and the intelligence that results from them, as in John: “Those who have not defiled their garments will walk with me in white, because they are worthy; whoever overcomes will be clothed with white garments” (Revelation 3:4, 5); and “Blessed are those who are watchful and take care of their garments” (Revelation 16:15).

Concerning Jerusalem, meaning the church as it is focused on what is true, it says in Isaiah, “Rise up, put on your strength, O Zion; put on the garments of your beauty, O Jerusalem” (Isaiah 52:1); and in Ezekiel, “O Jerusalem, I have clothed you with linen, I have veiled you with silk, your garments are linen and silk” (Ezekiel 16:10, 13); and many other passages.

In contrast, someone who is not engaged with truths is said not to be wearing a wedding garment, as in Matthew: “When the king came in, he saw the one not wearing a wedding garment and said, ‘Friend, how have you come in here without a wedding garment?’ So that one was cast out into the outer darkness” (Matthew 22:12–13 [11–13]). The wedding house means heaven and the church by virtue of the Lord’s union with them through his divine truth. This is why in the Word the Lord is called the Bridegroom and Husband, and heaven and the church the bride and wife.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 180


Section 129: Published 7/4/2019

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

Because angels’ clothes correspond to their intelligence they also correspond to what is true, since all intelligence comes from divine truth. So it amounts to the same thing whether you say that angels are dressed according to their intelligence or according to divine truth. The reason the garments of some angels gleam as though aflame, while the garments of others shine as though alight, is that flame corresponds to what is good, and light to what is true because of that good.  The reason some garments are pure white and soft white and do not shine, while others are of various colors, is that divine good and truth are less dazzling and are also differently accepted among less intelligent people. Pure white and soft white correspond to what is true,  and colors correspond to different shadings of truth.  The reason angels in the inmost heaven are naked is that they are in innocence, and innocence corresponds to nudity.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 179

The Clothes Angels Appear In (Continued)

Like everything else, the clothes angels wear correspond, and since they do correspond they truly exist (see above, Section 175). Their clothes reflect their intelligence, so all the people in heaven are dressed according to their intelligence; and since one will surpass another in intelligence (see Sections 43 and 128), one will have better quality clothing than another. The most intelligent wear clothes that gleam as though aflame, some radiant as though alight. The less intelligent wear pure white and soft white clothes that do not shine, and those still less intelligent wear clothes of various colors. The angels of the inmost heaven, though, are naked.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 178


Section 175: Published 12/11/2019

Section 43: Published 6/7/2019

Section 128: Published 7/3/2019