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Heaven and Hell #430

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430. There are two doors in each of us as well, one facing hell and open to evil and false things from hell, the other facing heaven and open to good and true things from heaven. The door of hell is opened for people who are involved in what is evil and its consequent falsity, though just a little light from heaven flows in through the cracks, which enables us to think, reason, and talk. On the other hand, the door of heaven is opened for people who are focused on what is good and therefore on what is true. There are actually two paths that lead to our rational mind, one from above or within, through which the good and the true enter from the Lord, and one from below or outside through which the evil and the false infiltrate from hell. The rational mind itself is at the intersection of these two paths, so to the extent that light from heaven is let in, we are rational; but to the extent that it is not let in, we are not rational even though we seem so to ourselves.

I have mentioned these things so that our correspondence with heaven and with hell may be known. While our rational mind is in the process of being formed, it is responsive to the world of spirits. What is above it belongs to heaven, and what is beneath it belongs to hell. The higher things open, and the lower close against the inflow of evil and falsity, for people who are being readied for heaven; while the lower things open, and the higher close against the inflow of goodness and truth, for people who are being readied for hell. As a result, these latter can only look downward, toward hell, and the former can only look upward, toward heaven. Looking upward is looking toward the Lord, because he is the common center that everything in heaven faces. Looking downward, though, is looking away from the Lord toward the opposite center, the center toward which everything in hell faces and gravitates (see above, 123, 124).

(References: Heaven and Hell 123-124)

  
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Table of Contents
The Lord is God of Heaven 2-6 It Is the Lord's Divine Nature That Makes Heaven 7-12 The Lord's Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One's Neighbor 13-19 Heaven Is Divided into Two Kingdoms 20-28 There Are Three Heavens 29-40 The Heavens Are Made Up of Countless Communities 41-50 Each Community Is a Heaven in Smaller Form and Each Angel a Heaven in Smallest Form 51-58 The Whole Heaven, Grasped as a Single Entity, Reflects a Single Individual 59-67 Each Community in the Heavens Reflects a Single Individual 68-72 Therefore Every Angel Is in Perfect Human Form 73-77 It Is Owing to the Lord's Divine Human That Heaven, in Its Entirety and in Its Parts, Reflects a Person 78-86 There Is a Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being 87-102 There Is a Correspondence of Heaven with Everything Earthly 103-115 The Sun in Heaven 116-125 Light and Warmth in Heaven 126-140 The Four Quarters in Heaven 141-153 How the States of Angels in Heaven Change 154-161 Time in Heaven 162-169 Representations and Appearances in Heaven 170-176 The Clothes Angels Appear In 177-182 Angels' Homes and Houses 183-190 Space in Heaven 191-199 Heaven's Form, Which Determines How People Associate and Communicate There 200-212 Forms of Government in Heaven 213-220 Divine Worship in Heaven 221-227 The Power of Heaven's Angels 228-233 The Language of Angels 234-245 How Angels Talk with Us 246-257 Written Materials in Heaven 258-264 The Wisdom of Heaven's Angels 265-275 The State of Innocence of Angels in Heaven 276-283 The State of Peace in Heaven 284-290 The Union of Heaven with the Human Race 291-302 Heaven's Union with Us through the Word 303-310 Heaven and Hell Come from the Human Race 311-317 Non-Christians, or People outside the Church, in Heaven 318-328 Children in Heaven 329-345 Wise and Simple People in Heaven 346-356 Rich and Poor People in Heaven 357-365 Marriages in Heaven 366-386 What Angels Do in Heaven 387-394 Heavenly Joy and Happiness 395-414 The Vastness of Heaven 415-420 The World of Spirits and Our State After Death 421-431 Each of Us Is Inwardly a Spirit 432-444 Our Revival from the Dead and Entry into Eternal Life 445-452 After Death, We Are in a Complete Human Form 453-460 After Death, We Enjoy Every Sense, Memory, Thought, and Affection We Had in the World: We Leave Nothing Behind except Our Earthly Body 461-469 Our Nature after Death Depends on the Kind of Life We Led in the World 470-484 After Death, the Pleasures of Everyone's Life Are Turned into Things That Correspond 485-490 Our First State after Death 491-498 Our Second State after Death 499-511 Our Third State after Death, Which Is a State of Instruction for People Who Are Entering Heaven 512-520 No One Enters Heaven on the Basis of Mercy Alone 521-527 It Is Not So Hard to Lead a Heaven-Bound Life as People Think It Is 528-535 Hell 536-544 The Lord Does Not Cast Anyone into Hell: Spirits Cast Themselves In 545-550 All the People Who Are in the Hells Are Absorbed in Evils and Consequent Falsities because of Their Love for Themselves and the World 551-565 Hellfire and Gnashing of Teeth 566-575 The Malice and Unspeakable Skills of Hellish Spirits 576-581 The Appearance, Location, and Number of the Hells 582-588 The Equilibrium between Heaven and Hell 589-596 Our Freedom Depends on the Balance between Heaven and Hell 597-603
From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Apocalypse Revealed 176, 552

Divine Providence 307

Heaven and Hell 590, 600

The Last Judgement 32, 69

True Christian Religion 475


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 121, 537, 630


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Resources for parents and teachers

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 Map the Spiritual World
The story of Lazarus and the rich man gives insight into the structure of the spiritual world. New Church teachings give a much more complete picture of heaven, hell and the world of spirits.
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From Swedenborg's Works

 

Divine Providence #307

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307. We may turn now to the basic proposition that the Lord controls the hells by means of opposites, and that with evil people who are still in this world, he controls them in hell as to their deeper natures, but not as to their more outward natures.

As to the first, that the Lord controls the hells by means of opposites, I explained in 288-289 that heaven's angels do not get their love and wisdom, or desire for what is good and resultant thought about what is true, from themselves, but from the Lord. I noted that the goodness and truth flow from heaven into hell, and that the goodness there is turned into evil and the truth into falsity because the inner reaches of people's minds there are turned in the opposite direction. Since everything in hell is the opposite of everything in heaven, it follows that the Lord is controlling the hells by means of these opposites.

[2] Second, the reason that with evil people who are still in this world, the Lord controls them in hell is that as to our spirits we are in the spiritual world, each in some community. We are in a hellish community if we are evil, and in a heavenly community if we are good. Since our minds are inherently spiritual, they can be with spiritual people only, people we will join after death. I have also mentioned and explained this above [298, 299].

We are not located there the way spirits are who have been enrolled in a community, though. We are in a constant state of reforming, so depending on our life and the way it changes, the Lord moves us from one community in hell to another if we are evil, while if we are allowing ourselves to be reformed, he leads us out of hell and up into heaven. There too, we are moved from one community to another. This goes on until we die, at which point we are no longer transferred from community to community, because we are no longer in a state of reforming. Instead, we settle in the one where our life places us; so when we die, we are enrolled in our own location.

[3] Third, the Lord controls evil people in this world one way as to their inner natures and another way as to their outer natures. The Lord controls the inner levels of the mind as just described, but he controls the outer levels in the world of spirits that is halfway between heaven and hell. This is because most of us are not the same outwardly as we are inwardly. Outwardly we can impersonate angels of light even though inwardly we may be spirits of darkness. As a result, our outer and inner natures are controlled differently; the outer are controlled in the world of spirits and the inner are controlled either in heaven or in hell as long as we are in this world. Consequently, when we die we arrive first in the world of spirits and are conscious in our outer nature. We lay that nature aside in the world of spirits, and once we have done so we are taken to the place where we are enrolled.

On the world of spirits and its nature, see Heaven and Hell 421-535 (published in London in 1758).

  
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Table of Contents
Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence 1-26 The Lord's Divine Providence Has as Its Goal a Heaven from the Human Race 27-45 In Everything That It Does, the Lord's Divine Providence Is Focusing on What Is Infinite and Eternal 46-69 There Are Laws of Divine Providence That People Do Not Know 70 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Act in Freedom and in Accord with Reason 71-99 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Put Aside Evils in Our Outer Nature, Regarding Them as Sins and Doing So in Apparent Autonomy, and That This Is the Only Way the Lord Can Put Aside the Evils in Our Inner Nature and in Our Outer Nature Alike 100-128 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Be Compelled by Outside Forces to Think and Intend and So to Believe and Love in Matters of Our Religion, but That We Should Guide Ourselves and Sometimes Compel Ourselves 129-153 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Be Led and Taught by the Lord, from Heaven, by Means of the Word, and Teaching and Preaching from the Word, and That This Should Happen While to All Appearances We Are Acting Independently 154-174 It Is a Law of Divine Providence That We Should Not Sense or Feel Anything of the Working of Divine Providence, but That We Should Still Know about It and Acknowledge It 175-190 Our Own Prudence Is Nothing--It Only Seems to Be Something, As It Should. Rather, Divine Providence Is All-Inclusive Because It Extends to the Smallest Details 191-213 Divine Providence Focuses on Eternal Matters, and Focuses on Temporal Matters Only As They Coincide with Eternal Ones 214-220 We Are Not Granted Inner Access to the Truths That Our Faith Discloses and the Good Effects of Our Caring Except As We Can Be Kept in Them to the End of Our Life 221-233 Laws of Permission Are Also Laws of Divine Providence 234-274 Evils Are Permitted for a Purpose: Salvation 275-284 Divine Providence Is for Evil People and Good People Alike 285-307 Divine Providence Does Not Charge Us with Anything Evil or Credit Us with Anything Good; Rather, Our Own Prudence Claims Both 308-321 Everyone Can Be Reformed, and There Is No Such Thing as Predestination 322-330 The Lord Cannot Act Contrary to the Laws of Divine Providence, Because to Do So Would Be to Act Contrary to His Own Divine Love and His Own Divine Wisdom, and Therefore Contrary to Himself 331-340
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