The Wisdom of Heaven’s Angels (Continued)

There is still another reason, beyond the ones already given, why angels can accept so much wisdom, a reason that in heaven is actually the primary one. It is that they are free of any selfishness; for to the extent that people are free of selfishness they can be wise in divine matters. Selfishness is what closes off our deeper natures from the Lord and heaven and opens our outer natures and turns them toward ourselves. So all people in whom that selfish love predominates are in the depths of darkness as far as heavenly realities are concerned, no matter how much light they may enjoy in regard to worldly matters. In contrast, since angels are free of that love, they enjoy the light of wisdom. The heavenly loves in which they are centered—love for the Lord and love for their neighbor—open the deeper levels because these loves come from the Lord and the Lord himself is within them. (These loves constitute heaven in general and form heaven in individuals in particular: Sections 13–19.)

Since heavenly loves open our deeper levels toward the Lord, all the angels turn their faces toward the Lord (Section 142): in the spiritual world love is what turns the deeper levels of every individual toward itself, and what turns the deeper levels turns the face, since the face there acts in unison with the deeper levels and is actually their outward form. Further, because love does turn the deeper levels and the face toward itself, it also unites itself to them, since love is spiritual union. Therefore it also shares what it has with them. It is from this turning and the consequent union and sharing that angels get their wisdom (all union in the spiritual world takes place according to the way people are facing, Section 255).

Angels are constantly being perfected in wisdom, but still they cannot to eternity be so perfected that there is any ratio between their wisdom and the Lord’s divine wisdom. For the Lord’s divine wisdom is infinite and the angels’ is finite, and there is no ratio between the infinite and the finite.

Since wisdom perfects angels and makes their life, and since heaven with its blessings flows into individuals according to their wisdom, all the people there long for it and seek it, much the way a hungry person seeks food. In fact, information, intelligence, and wisdom are spiritual nourishment the way food is natural nourishment. They correspond to each other.

The angels in any given heaven—even the angels in any given community—do not enjoy the same wisdom, but differ. Those in the center have the most wisdom, while those who have less are around them all the way to the borders. The decrease of wisdom according to the distance from the center is like the decrease in light as it tends toward darkness (see Sections 43, 128). Further, the light for them is on a consistent level, since heaven’s light is divine wisdom and each individual is in light in proportion to his or her acceptance of it. (On heaven’s light and the different ways it is accepted, see Sections 126–132.)

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 272-275


Previously Cited: 10/24/2017

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

Section 142: Published 7/9/2017

Section 255: Published 7/22/2019

Section 43: Published 6/7/2019

Sections 126-132: Published 7/2/2019-7/7/2019