True Christianity #769

Door Emanuel Swedenborg

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769. As for the state of human souls after death, there are some universally held opinions and some more narrowly held opinions today. They are as follows.

People think that human souls after death are breaths; they like to think of these breaths as puffs of wind. These puffs of wind that are awaiting the day of the Last Judgment are kept either in the middle of the earth, where their somewhere-or-other is, or in the limbo mentioned by the church fathers; but there is a difference of opinion on this point. Some think that breaths are forms made of ether or air, and are therefore like ghosts or phantoms; some of them live in the air, some in the woods, some in lakes and streams. Other people think that the souls of the dead are transferred to other planets or stars, and are given places to live there. Some think that souls return to their bodies after a thousand years. Most people think that souls are kept in some kind of storage until the time when the entire firmament and the whole planet are going to be destroyed by fire - either by fire erupting from the center of the earth or by fire in the form of an all-encompassing thunderbolt cast down from the sky. Then the graves will be opened, and the stored souls will be put back into their bodies and taken to the holy city Jerusalem. On another planet, then, they will live together in enlightened bodies. Some there will live lower down, some higher up, since the city is going to be twelve thousand stadia high - as high as it is wide and long (Revelation 21:16).

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