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

HH 479

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479. (i) Man after death is his own love or his own will. This has been proved to me by manifold experience. The entire heaven is divided into societies according to differences of good of love; and every spirit who is taken up into heaven and becomes an angel is taken to the society where his love is; and when he arrives there he is, as it were, at home, and in the house where he was born; this the angel perceives, and is affiliated with those there that are like himself. When he goes away to another place he feels constantly a kind of resistance, and a longing to return to his like, thus to his ruling love. Thus are affiliations brought about in heaven; and in a like manner in hell, where all are affiliated in accordance with loves that are the opposites of heavenly loves. It has been shown above (n. 41-50 and 200-212) that both heaven and hell are composed of societies, and that they are all distinguished according to differences of love. [2] That man after death is his own love might also be seen from the fact that whatever does not make one with his ruling love is then separated and as it were taken away from him. From one who is good everything discordant or inharmonious is separated and as it were taken away, and he is thus let into his own love. It is the same with an evil spirit, with the difference that from the evil truths are taken away, and from the good falsities are taken away, and this goes on until each becomes his own love. This is effected when the man-spirit is brought into the third state, which will be described hereafter. When this has been done he turns his face constantly to his own love, and this he has continually before his eyes, in whatever direction he turns (see above, n. 123, 124). [3] All spirits, provided they are kept in their ruling love, can be led wherever one pleases, and are incapable of resistance, however clearly they may see that this is being done, and however much they may think that they will resist. They have often been permitted to try whether they could do anything contrary to their ruling love, but in vain. Their love is like a bond or a rope tied around them, by which they may be led and from which they cannot loose themselves. It is the same with men in the world who are also led by their love, or are led by others by means of their love; but this is more the case when they have become spirits, because they are not then permitted to make a display of any other love, or to counterfeit what is not their own. [4] All interaction in the other life proves that the spirit of man is his ruling love, for so far any one is acting or speaking in accord with the love of another, to the same extent is the other plainly present, with full, joyous, and lively countenance; but when one is speaking or acting contrary to another's love, to that extent the other's countenance begins to be changed, to be obscured and undiscernible, until at length he wholly disappears as if he had not been there. I have often wondered how this could be, for nothing of the kind can occur in the world; but I have been told that it is the same with the spirit in man, which when it turns itself away from another ceases to be within his view. [5] Another proof that a spirit is his ruling love is that every spirit seizes and appropriates all things that are in harmony with his love, and rejects and repudiates all that are not. Everyone's love is like a spongy or porous wood, which imbibes such fluids as promote its growth, and repels others. It is also like animals of every kind, which know their proper food and seek the things that agree with their nature, and avoid what disagrees; for every love wishes to be nourished on what belongs to it, evil love by falsities and good love by truths. I have sometimes been permitted to see certain simple good spirits desiring to instruct the evil in truths and goods; but when the instruction was offered them they fled far away, and when they came to their own they seized with great pleasure upon the falsities that were in agreement with their love. I have also seen good spirits talking together about truths, and the good who were present listened eagerly to the conversation, but the evil who were present paid no attention to it, as if they did not hear it. In the world of spirits ways are seen, some leading to heaven, some to hell, and each to some particular society. Good spirits go only in the ways that lead to heaven, and to the society there that is in the good of their love; and do not see the ways that lead elsewhere; while evil spirits go only in the ways that lead to hell, and to the society there that is in the evil of their love; and do not see the ways that lead elsewhere; or if they see them have no wish to enter them. In the spiritual world these ways are real appearances, which correspond to truths or falsities; and this is why ways have this signification in the Word.# By this evidence from experience what has previously been affirmed on the ground of reason is made more certain, namely, that every man after death is his own love and his own will. It is said one's own will because everyone's will is his love.
# A "way," a "path," a "road," a "street," and a "broad street," signify truths leading to good, or falsities leading to evil (n. 627, 2333, 10422).
"To sweep [or prepare] a way" means to prepare for the reception of truths (n. 3142).
"To make known the way" means, in respect to the Lord, to instruct in truths that lead to good (n. 10565).


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