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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.

Footnotes:

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

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Heaven and Hell#457

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457. When the spirit of man first enters the world of spirits, which takes place shortly after his resuscitation, as described above, his face and his tone of voice resemble those he had in the world, because he is then in the state of his exteriors, and his interiors are not as yet uncovered. This is man's first state after death. But subsequently his face is changed, and becomes entirely different, resembling his ruling affection or ruling love, in conformity with which the interiors of his mind had been while he was in the world and his spirit while it was in the body. For the face of a man's spirit differs greatly from the face of his body. The face of his body is from his parents, but the face of his spirit is from his affection, and is an image of it. The spirit comes into this affection after life in the body, and then exterior things are done away with and interior things are uncovered. This is man's second 1 state. I have seen some who have recently arrived from the world, and have recognized them from their face and speech; but seeing them afterwards I did not recognize them. Those who had been in good affections appeared with beautiful faces; but those who had been in evil affections with misshapen faces; for man's spirit, viewed in itself, is nothing but his affection; and the face is its outward form. Another reason why faces are changed is that in the other life no one is permitted to counterfeit affections that are not his own, and thus assume looks that are contrary to his love. All in the other life are brought into such a state as to speak as they think, and to manifest in their looks and gestures the inclinations of their will. And because of this the faces of all become forms and images of their affections; and in consequence all who have known each other in the world know each other in the world of spirits, but not in heaven nor in hell (as has been said above, 427). 2

Footnotes:

1. 1st Latin Edition: Tertius. Standard Edition 1920 reads "third". American Standard Edition 1946 reads "second". Editor.

2. The face is so formed as to correspond with the interiors (Arcana Coelestia 4791-4805, 5695).

The correspondence of the face and its expressions with the affections of the mind (Arcana Coelestia 1568, 2988-2989, 3631, 4796-4797, 4800, 5165, 5168, 5695, 9306).

With the angels of heaven the face makes one with the interiors that belong to the mind (Arcana Coelestia 4796-4799, 5695, 8250).

Therefore in the Word the face signifies the interiors that belong to the mind, that is, to the affection and thought (Arcana Coelestia 1999, 2434, 3527, 4066, 4796, 5102, 9306, 9546).

In what manner the influx from the brain into the face has been changed in process of time and with it the face itself as regards its correspondence with the interiors (Arcana Coelestia 4326, 8250).

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