9763. And for the gate of the court a covering. That this signifies introduction into this heaven, and a guard lest it should be entered by any except those who are prepared, is evident from the signification of a "gate," as being communication and introduction (see n. 8989); from the signification of "the court," as being the ultimate heaven (n. 9741); and from the signification of "the covering," as being a guard lest it be entered; for the gate was guarded by the covering. That it denotes a guard lest it should be entered by any except those who are prepared, is because no one is introduced into heaven unless he is prepared. The case herein is this. Those who come from the world into the other life, which takes place immediately after their decease, bring with them worldly and earthly things which do not agree with the spiritual and celestial things in which the angels are; and therefore those who are to be raised into heaven are first prepared, which is effected by the separation of the worldly and earthly things which they have brought with them; for if they were taken up into heaven sooner, they could not possibly remain in the societies there, because they have a taste and love for grosser things than are suited to the purity in which the angels are. But after they have been prepared, they are taken up and introduced by the Lord into heaven, and are admitted into those angelic societies with which they are in agreement in respect to the truths and goods of faith and of love. From all this it can be seen what is meant by a guard lest heaven should be entered by any except those who are prepared.