Heaven and Hell #155

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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155. Angels are not constantly in the same state as to love, and consequently they are not in the same state as to wisdom, for all the wisdom they have is from their love and in proportion to it. Sometimes they are in a state of intense love, sometimes in a state of love that is not intense. It decreases gradually from its most to its least intense. When they are in the highest level of love, they are in the light and warmth of their lives, or in their greatest clarity and delight. Conversely, when they are in the lowest level they are in shadow and coolness, or in what is dim and unpleasant. From this latter state they return to the first, and so on. The phases follow each other with constant variety.

These states follow each other like variations of light and shade, warmth and cold, or like the morning, noon, evening, and night of individual days in our world, varying constantly throughout the year. Not only that, they correspond - morning to the state of their love in clarity, noon to the state of their wisdom in clarity, evening to the state of their wisdom in dimness, and night to a state of no love or wisdom. It should be known, though, that there is no correspondence of night with the states of life of people in heaven, but rather a correspondence of the half-light that comes before dawn. The correspondence of night is with people who are in hell. 1

Because of this correspondence, "day" and "year" in the Word mean states of life in general, warmth and light mean love and wisdom, morning the first and highest level of love, noon wisdom in its light, evening wisdom in its shade, and the half-light the dimness that comes just before the morning. Night, though, means the loss of love and wisdom. 2


1. [Swedenborg's footnote] In heaven, there is no state that corresponds to night, but to the half-light that comes before dawn: 6110. The half-light means the state halfway between the last and the first: 10134.

2. [Swedenborg's footnote] The alternations of state as to enlightenment and perception are structured in heaven the way the times of day are in the world: 5672, 5962, 6310 [6110?], 8426, 9213, 10605. Days and years in the Word mean all states in general: 23, 487-488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 4850, 10656. Morning means the beginning of a new state, and a state of love: 7216 [7218?], 8426-8427, 10114, 10134. Evening means a state when light and love are vanishing: 10134-10135. Night means a state without love or faith: 221, 709, 2353, 6000, 6110, 7870, 7947.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.