From Swedenborg's Works


Heaven and Hell #438

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438. I may add here that even while we are living in our bodies, each one of us is in a community with spirits as to our own spirits even though we are unaware of it. Good people are in angelic communities by means of [their spirits] and evil people are in hellish communities. Further, we come into those same communities when we die. People who are coming into the company of spirits after death are often told and shown this.

Actually, we are not visible as spirits in our [spiritual] communities while we are living in the world because we are thinking on the natural level. However, if our thinking is withdrawn from the body we are sometimes visible in our communities because we are then in the spirit. When we are visible, it is easy to tell us from the spirits who live there because we walk along deep in thought, silent, without looking at others, as though we did not see them; and the moment any spirit addresses us, we disappear.

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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 552

Divine Providence 307

Heaven and Hell 453, 510

The Last Judgement 22, 32, 69

True Christian Religion 475

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 46, 229

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 53, 121

   Swedenborg Research Tools

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

From Swedenborg's Works


Apocalypse Revealed #552

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552. It was cast to the earth, and its angels were cast out with it. This symbolically means that they were cast into the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell, from which a direct conjunction is formed with people on earth.

The earth to which the dragon is said to have been cast means the world of spirits, because this world lies directly under the heavens, and when anyone is cast out of heaven, he does not sink immediately into hell, but onto the land in this world that is the nearest one beneath. For this world is midway between heaven and hell, being situated below the heavens and above the hells. More on this world may be seen in the book Heaven and Hell (London, 1758), nos. 421-535.

The people in this world all communicate directly with people on earth. The dragon and its angels consequently communicate with people caught up in falsities and their accompanying evils, owing to the heresy they have accepted regarding faith alone. The text accordingly says later in verse 12 of this chapter,

Therefore rejoice, O heavens...! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has a short time." (Revelation 12:12)

We are also told in verses 13-17 that the dragon pursued the woman into the wilderness, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring.

It should be known that in respect to his affections and consequent thoughts, everyone is present in a society with people in the world of spirits, and indirectly through them with people either in heaven or in hell. Everyone's life depends on that conjunction.

(References: Revelation 12:9, 12:12-17)

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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation.