Heaven and Hell #56

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56. Again, heaven is where the Lord is acknowledged, believed in and loved. Variety in worship of the Lord resulting from the variety of good in one society and another is not harmful but beneficial, for the perfection of heaven is therefrom. It can scarcely be made clear to the comprehension that the perfection of heaven is the result of variety, without employing terms in common use in the learned world and by them showing how unity, to be perfect, is formed from various parts. Every unity has its existence from diversity, for a unity that is not the result of diversity is not anything; it has no form and therefore no quality. When, on the other hand, a unity comes into existence from various parts, and these various parts are in a perfect form in which each attaches itself in series, like a congenial friend to another, then the quality is perfect. So heaven is a unity resulting from the arrangements of various parts in the most perfect form, for the heavenly form is the most perfect of all forms. That this is the origin of all perfection is evident from all the beauty, pleasantness and delight that affect the senses as well as the mind (animus). For these exist and flow from no other source than the concert and harmony of many concordant and harmonious parts, either co-existing in order or following in order, and not from a unity apart from plurality. From this comes the saying that variety gives delight, and it is known that it is the nature of the variety which determines the delight. From all this it can be seen, as in a mirror, how perfection comes from variety even in heaven. For the things that are in the spiritual world can be seen as in a mirror 1 from those that come into existence in the natural world.


1. Every unity is from the harmony and agreement of many parts. Otherwise it has no quality (457).

From this the entire heaven is a unity (457).

And for the reason that all there have regard to one end, which is the Lord (Arcana Coelestia 9828).


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Divine Love and Wisdom 19, 186, 273

Divine Providence 4, 31, 306

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 107

Heaven and Hell 71, 72, 149, 200, 542

The Last Judgement 12

True Christian Religion 269

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 2, 51

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 12, 199, 269, 304, 313, 430, 490, 555, 751, 837, 955

De Verbo (The Word) 17

   Swedenborg Research Tools

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Videos from the Swedenborg Foundation

The videos shown here are provided courtesy of our friends at the Swedenborg Foundation. You can find out more about them here: swedenborg.com.

Perfection Stems From Variety

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