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

HH 462

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462. [a.] And yet there is a great difference between man's life in the spiritual world and his life in the natural world, in regard both to his outer senses and their affections and his inner senses and their affections. Those that are in heaven have more exquisite senses, that is, a keener sight and hearing, and also think more wisely than when they were in the world; for they see in the light of heaven, which surpasses by many degrees the light of the world (see above, n. 126); and they hear by means of a spiritual atmosphere, which likewise surpasses by many degrees the earthly atmosphere (n. 235). This difference in respect to the outward senses is like the difference between clear sunshine and dark cloudiness in the world, or between noonday light and evening shade. For the light of heaven, since it is Divine truth, enables the eyes of angels to perceive and distinguish most minute things. [2] Moreover, their outer sight corresponds to their inner sight or understanding; for with angels one sight so flows into the other as to act as one with it; and this gives them their great keenness of vision. In like manner, their hearing corresponds to their perception, which pertains both to the understanding and to the will, and in consequence they perceive in the tone and words of one speaking the most minute things of his affection and thought; in the tone what pertains to his affection, and in the words what pertains to his thought (see above, n. 234-245). But the rest of the senses with the angels are less exquisite than the senses of seeing and hearing, for the reason that seeing and hearing serve their intelligence and wisdom, and the rest do not; and if the other senses were equally exquisite they would detract from the light and joy of their wisdom, and would let in the delight of pleasures pertaining to various appetites and to the body; and so far as these prevail they obscure and weaken the understanding. This takes place in the world, where men become gross and stupid in regard to spiritual truths so far as they indulge the sense of taste and yield to the allurements of the sense of touch. [3] From what has already been said and shown in the chapter on the wisdom of the angels of heaven (n. 265-275), it can be seen that the inner senses also of the angels of heaven, which pertain to their thought and affection, are more exquisite and perfect than the senses they had in the world. But as regards the state of those that are in hell as compared with the state of those in the world there is also a great difference, for as great as is the perfection and excellence of the outer and inner senses of the angels in heaven, with those who are in hell the imperfection is equally great. But the state of these will be treated of hereafter.

462. [b.] That when a man leaves the world he takes with him all his memory has been shown to me in many ways, and many of the things I have seen and heard are worthy of mention, some of which I will relate in order. There were some who denied their crimes and villainies which they had perpetrated in the world; and in consequence, that they might not be believed innocent, all their deeds were disclosed and reviewed from their memory in order, from their earliest to their latest years; these were chiefly adulteries and whoredoms. [2] There were some who had deceived others by wicked arts and had committed thefts. The deceits and thefts of these were also enumerated in detail, many of which were known to scarcely any in the world except themselves. These deeds they confessed, because they were plainly set forth, with every thought, intention, pleasure, and fear which occupied their minds at the time. [3] There were others who had accepted bribes, and had rendered venal judgments, who were similarly explored from their memory and from it everything they had done from the beginning to the end of their office was reviewed. Every detail in regard to what and how much they had received, as well as the time, and their state of mind and intention, were brought to their recollection and made visibly clear to the number of many hundreds. This was done with several and what is wonderful, in some cases their memorandum-books, in which they had recorded these things, were opened and read before them page by page. [4] Others who had enticed maidens to shame or had violated chastity were called to a like judgment; and the details of their crimes were drawn forth from their memory and reviewed. The very faces of the maidens and women were also exhibited as if present, with the places, words and intentions, and this as suddenly as when a scene is presented to the sight, the exhibitions continuing sometimes for hours. [5] There was one who had made light of slandering others; and I heard his slanders recounted in order, and his defamations, with the very words, and the persons about whom and before whom they were uttered; all of which were produced and presented to the very life, although while he lived in the world he had most carefully concealed everything. [6] There was one who had deprived a relative of his inheritance under a fraudulent pretext; and he was in like manner convicted and judged; and what is wonderful, the letters and papers that passed between them were read in my hearing, and it was said that not a word was lacking. [7] The same person shortly before his death had also secretly poisoned his neighbor. This was disclosed in this way. He appeared to be digging a trench under his feet, from which a man came forth as out of a grave, and cried out to him, "What have you done to me?" Then everything was revealed, how the poisoner had talked with him in a friendly manner, and had held out the cup, also what he thought beforehand, and what happened afterwards. When all this had been disclosed he was sentenced to hell. [8] In a word, to each evil spirit all his evils, villainies, robberies, artifices, and deceits are made clear, and are brought forth from his very memory, and his guilt is fully established; nor is there any possible room for denial, because all the circumstances are exhibited together. Moreover, I have learned from a man's memory, when it was seen and inspected by angels, what his thoughts had been for a month, one day after another, and this without mistake, the thoughts being recalled just as they arose from day to day. [9] From these examples it can be seen that man carries with him all of his memory, and that nothing can be so concealed in the world as not to be disclosed after death, which is done in the presence of many, according to the Lord's words:

There is nothing concealed that shall not be uncovered, and nothing secret that shall not be known; therefore what ye have spoken in the dark shall be heard in the light and what ye have spoken in the ear shall be proclaimed on the housetops (Luke 12:2, 3).


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