537. CONTINUATION CONCERNING HEAVEN AND HEAVENLY JOY.
A certain spirit attached himself to my left side, and asked me whether I knew how he could get into heaven. I was permitted to tell him that admission into heaven belongs solely to the Lord, who alone knows what a man's quality is. Very many arrive from the world who make it their sole pursuit to get into heaven, being quite ignorant of what heaven is, and of what heavenly joy is, that heaven is mutual love, and that heavenly joy is the derivative joy. Therefore those who do not know this are first instructed about it by actual experience. For example, there was a certain spirit, newly arrived from the world, who in like manner longed for heaven, and in order that he might perceive what the nature of heaven is, his interiors were opened so that he should feel something of heavenly joy. But as soon as he felt it he began to lament and to writhe, and begged to be delivered, saying that he could not live on account of the anguish; and therefore his interiors were closed toward heaven, and in this way he was restored. From this instance we may see with what pangs of conscience and with what anguish those are tortured who not being prepared for it are admitted even but a little way.