(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 570

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570. Fourth Memorable Relation:
I once talked with a novitiate spirit who, when in the world, had meditated much upon heaven and hell. By novitiate spirits are meant men who have recently died, and who are called spirits because they are then spiritual men. As soon as this spirit entered the spiritual world, he began to meditate in the same manner on heaven and hell, and when thinking about heaven seemed to himself to be glad, and when thinking about hell to be sad. As soon as he recognized that he was in the spiritual world he asked where heaven and hell were, what they were, and what was the nature of each.
They answered, "Heaven is over your head, and hell beneath your feet; for you are now in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell; but what they are, and what the nature of each is, we cannot describe in few words."
Then, as he ardently wished to know, he threw himself upon his knees and devoutly prayed to God that he might be instructed.
And lo, an angel appeared at his right hand and raised him up, and said, "You have prayed to be instructed about heaven and hell; inquire and learn what delight is, and you will know." As soon as the angel had said this, he was taken up.
[2] The novitiate spirit then said to himself, "What does this mean? 'Inquire and learn what delight is, and you will know what heaven and hell are, and their nature.'" Leaving that place immediately, he wandered around, and asked those he met, "Pray, tell me, if you please, what delight is."
And some said, "What sort of a question is that? Who does not know what delight is? Is it not joy and gladness? Delight is delight. One is the same as the other. We know no difference."
Others said, "Delight is the mind's laughter; for when the mind laughs the countenance is merry, the speech is jocular, the gestures are playful, and the whole man is in delight."
Others said, "Delight is nothing but feasting and eating rich things, drinking generous wine and getting drunk, and then chatting about various things, especially the sports of Venus and Cupid."
[3] Hearing these remarks, the novitiate spirit being indignant, said to himself, "These answers are boorish, not those of well-bred persons. Such delights are neither heaven nor hell. Would that I could find some wise men."
And he went away from these persons and asked, "Where are the wise men?"
He was then seen by an angelic spirit, who said, "I perceive that you have an ardent desire to know what the universal of heaven is, and what the universal of hell is; and as this is delight, I will conduct you to a hill where there is a daily meeting of those who inquire into effects, of those who investigate causes, and of those who search out ends. Those who inquire into effects are there called spirits of knowledge, abstractly, knowledges; those who investigate causes, are called spirits of intelligence, abstractly, intelligences, and those who search out ends, are called spirits of wisdom, abstractly, wisdoms. Directly above these in heaven are angels who from ends see causes, and from causes see effects; from these angels those three companies have enlightenment."
[4] Then taking the novitiate spirit by the hand, he led him to the top of the hill, and to the assembly that was composed of those who search out ends and are called wisdoms. The novitiate spirit said to them, "Pardon my coming up to you; I did so, because from my childhood I have meditated about heaven and hell. I have lately come to this world; and some who were then associated with me said that heaven is here above my head, and hell beneath my feet; but they did not say what either one or the other is or the nature of it; therefore, becoming anxious from constantly thinking about them, I prayed to God; and then an angel came to me and said, 'Inquire and learn what delight is, and you will know.' I have inquired, but thus far in vain. I therefore beg that you will teach me, if it please you, what delight is."
[5] To this the wisdoms replied, "Delight is the all of life, to all in heaven, and to all in hell. To those in heaven, it is the delight of good and truth, but to those in hell, it is the delight of evil and falsity; for all delight belongs to love, and love is the being [esse] of man's life. Therefore, as man is man in accord with what his love is, so is he man in accord with what his delight is. The activity of love is what gives the sense delight; in heaven its activity is with wisdom, and in hell with insanity, but in both cases the activity produces the delight in its subjects. But the heavens and hells are opposite delights; the heavens are in love of good, and the consequent delight of doing good; but the hells are in the love of evil, and in the consequent delight of doing evil. If, therefore, you know what delight is, you know what heaven and hell are, and their nature.
[6] "But inquire and learn still further what delight is from those who investigate causes, and are called intelligences. They are off toward the right."
And he left them and drew near to that assembly, and told them the reason of his coming, and begged them to teach him what delight is.
And pleased with the question, they said, "It is true that he who knows what delight is knows what heaven and hell are and their nature. The will, from which man is man, is not moved in the slightest degree except by delight; for the will, viewed in itself, is nothing but the affection of some love, thus some delight; for it is some pleasure and consequent satisfaction that causes volition. And since the will moves the understanding to think, not the least thought is possible except from an influent delight of the will. This is so for the reason that the Lord by influx from Himself actuates all things of the soul, and all things of the mind, in angels, spirits, and men, and in these He actuates by an influx of love and wisdom; and this influx is the activity itself from which comes all delight. In its origin this is called bliss, happiness, and felicity, and in its derivation, delight, pleasantness, and pleasure, and in a universal sense, Good. But infernal spirits invert everything in themselves, thus turning good into evil, and truth into falsehood, the delight remaining without interruption; for without permanence of delight they would have no will, no sensation, and thus no life. This makes clear what the delight of hell is, and its nature and source; also what the delight of heaven is, and its nature and source."
[7] Having heard this, he was conducted to the third assembly, where those were who inquire into effects and are called knowledges; and they said, "Descend to the lower earth, and ascend to the higher; you will there perceive and feel the delights of both heaven and hell."
And lo, at that moment the earth opened at a distance, and through the chasm three devils came up, who seemed to be on fire with their love's delight; and as the angels accompanying the novitiate spirit perceived that these three had come up out of hell providentially, they called out to the devils, "Do not come nearer, but from where you are tell us something about your delights. "
They replied, "Know this, that everyone, whether he is called good or evil, is in his own delight, the so-called good man in his, and the so-called evil man in his."
The angels asked, "What is your delight?"
They said that it was delight in whoredom, revenge, fraud, and blasphemy.
Again the angels asked, "What is the nature of those delights with you?"
They said that they were felt by others like the fetid smells from dung, the putrid smells from dead bodies, and the pungent smells from stagnant urine.
The angels then asked, "Are these things delightful to you?"
They answered, "Most delightful."
"Then," said the angels, "you are like the unclean beasts that live in such things."
They replied, "If we are, we are; but such things are grateful to our nostrils."
The angels then asked, "What more?"
They answered, "Everyone is allowed to be in his own delight, even the most unclean, as they call it, provided he does not infest good spirits and angels; but as on account of our delight, we cannot help infesting them, we are cast into work-houses where we suffer terribly. The prohibition and withdrawal of our delights there is what is called the torment of hell; it is also interior pain."
The angels asked, "Why did you infest the good?"
They answered, "We could not help it; it is as if a fury seized us whenever we see an angel, and feel the Lord's Divine sphere about him." To this we said, "Then you also are like wild beasts."
Then, as soon as they saw the novitiate spirit with the angels, fury came upon them, which appeared like the fire of hatred; so to prevent their doing harm they were cast back to hell.
After this the angels appeared who from ends saw causes, and through causes effects, and who were in a heaven above those three assemblies; these angels appeared in a shining white light, which rolling down in spiral curves brought with it a circular wreath of flowers, and placed it upon the head of the novitiate spirit. And then a voice issued therefrom, saying to him, "This laurel wreath is given you because you have from childhood meditated upon heaven and hell."


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