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

HH 534

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534. The way that leads to heaven, and the way that leads to hell were once represented to me. There was a broad way tending towards the left or the north, and many spirits were seen going in it; but at a distance a large stone was seen where the broad way came to an end. From that stone two ways branched off, one to the left and one in the opposite direction to the right. The way that went to the left was narrow or straitened, leading through the west to the south, and thus into the light of heaven; the way that went to the right was broad and spacious, leading obliquely downwards towards hell. All at first seemed to be going the same way until they came to the large stone at the head of the two ways. When they reached that point they divided; the good turned to the left and entered the straitened way that led to heaven; while the evil, not seeing the stone at the fork of the ways fell upon it and were hurt; and when they rose up they ran on in the broad way to the right which went towards hell. [2] What all this meant was afterwards explained to me. The first way that was broad, wherein many both good and evil went together and talked with each other as friends, because there was no visible difference between them, represented those who externally live alike honestly and justly, and between whom seemingly there is no difference. The stone at the head of the two ways or at the corner, upon which the evil fell and from which they ran into the way leading to hell, represented the Divine truth, which is rejected by those who look towards hell; and in the highest sense this stone signified the Lord's Divine Human. But those who acknowledged the Divine truth and also the Divine of the Lord went by the way that led to heaven. By this again it was shown that in externals the evil lead the same kind of life as the good, or go the same way, that is, one as readily as the other; and yet those who from the heart acknowledge the Divine, especially those within the church who acknowledge the Divine of the Lord, are led to heaven; while those who do not are led to hell. [3] The thoughts of man that proceed from his intention or will are represented in the other life by ways; and ways are visibly presented there in exact accord with those thoughts of intention; and in accord with his thoughts that proceed from intention everyone walks. For this reason the character of spirits and their thoughts are known from their ways. This also makes clear what is meant by the Lord's words:

Enter ye in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many be they that enter in thereby; for straitened is the way and narrow the gate that leadeth to life, and few be they who find it (Matt. 7:13, 14).

The way that leads to life is straitened not because it is difficult but because there are few who find it, as is said here. The stone seen at the corner where the broad and common way ended, and from which two ways were seen to lead in opposite directions, illustrated what is signified by these words of the Lord:

Have ye not read what is written? The stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken (Luke. 20:17, 18).

"Stone" signifies Divine truth, and "the stone of Israel" the Lord in respect to His Divine Human; the "builders" mean those who are of the church; "the head of the corner" is where the two ways are; "to fall" and "to be broken" is to deny and perish.#
# "Stone" signifies truth (n. 114, 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10376).
For this reason the law was inscribed on tables of stone (n. 10376).
"The stone of Israel" means the Lord in respect to the Divine truth and His Divine Human (n. 6426).


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