(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 319

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319. That the heathen equally with Christians are saved any one can see who knows what it is that makes heaven in man; for heaven is within man, and those that have heaven within them come into heaven. Heaven with man is acknowledging the Divine and being led by the Divine. The first and chief thing of every religion is to acknowledge the Divine. A religion that does not acknowledge the Divine is no religion. The precepts of every religion look to worship; thus to the way in which the Divine is to be worshiped that the worship may be acceptable to Him; and when this has been settled in one's mind, that is, so far as one wills this or so far as he loves it, he is led by the Lord. Everyone knows that the heathen as well as Christians live a moral life, and many of them a better life than Christians. Moral life may be lived either out of regard to the Divine or out of regard to men in the world; and a moral life that is lived out of regard to the Divine is a spiritual life. In outward form the two appear alike, but in inward form they are wholly different; the one saves man, the other does not. For he who lives a moral life out of regard to the Divine is led by the Divine; while he who leads a moral life out of regard to men in the world is led by himself. [2] But this may be illustrated by an example. He that refrains from doing evil to his neighbor because it is antagonistic to religion, that is, antagonistic to the Divine, refrains from doing evil from a spiritual motive; but he that refrains from doing evil to another merely from fear of the law, or the loss of reputation, of honor, or gain, that is, from regard to self and the world, refrains from doing evil from a natural motive, and is led by himself. The life of the latter is natural, that of the former is spiritual. A man whose moral life is spiritual has heaven within him; but he whose moral life is merely natural does not have heaven within him; and for the reason that heaven flows in from above and opens man's interiors, and through his interiors flows into his exteriors; while the world flows in from beneath and opens the exteriors but not the interiors. For there can be no flowing in from the natural world into the spiritual, but only from the spiritual world into the natural; therefore if heaven is not also received, the interiors remain closed. All this makes clear who those are that receive heaven within them, and who do not. [3] And yet heaven is not the same in one as in another. It differs in each one in accordance with his affection for good and its truth. Those that are in an affection for good out of regard to the Divine, love Divine truth, since good and truth love each other and desire to be conjoined.# This explains why the heathen, although they are not in genuine truths in the world, yet because of their love receive truths in the other life.
# Between good and truth there is a kind of marriage (n. 1904, 2173, 2508).
Good and truth are in a perpetual endeavor to be conjoined, and good longs for truth and for conjunction with it (n. 9206, 9207, 9495).
How the conjunction of good and truth takes place, and in whom (n. 3834, 3843, 4096, 4097, 4301, 4345, 4353, 4364, 4368, 5365, 7623-7627, 9258).


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