(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 50

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50. Since angels and spirits are affections of love and thoughts thence derived, they are consequently not in space and time, but only in the appearance of them. To them there is an appearance of space and time according to the states of their affections and of the thoughts arising from these. When anyone therefore thinks of another from affection, intently desiring to see him or to speak with him, he instantly appears in his presence.
[2] Hence it is, that there are present with every man spirits who are in like affection with himself, evil spirits with one who is in the affection of similar evil, and good spirits with one who is in the affection of similar good; and they are as really present as if the man were included in their society. Space and time contribute nothing to presence, because affection and thought thence derived are not in space and time, and spirits and angels are affections and thoughts derived from these.
[3] That this is so has been granted me to know from actual experience of many years, and also from having conversed with many after their death, with some who have been in various kingdoms in Europe, as well as with some who have been in various kingdoms in Asia and in Africa; and they were all near me; whereas if there were space and time with them, a journey and time to make it must have intervened.
[4] Indeed, everyone knows this to be the case from an innate perception within him, or by thinking it out in his own mind. I have been convinced of this by the circumstance that no one thought of any distance in space when I said I had spoken with someone who died in Asia, Africa or Europe; as, for example, with Calvin, Luther, Melanchthon, or with some king, ruler or priest in a distant country; nor did the thought even occur to any, How could he converse with those who had lived in that place, and how could they come and be present with him when lands and seas lie between? From this it has also been made clear to me that no one thinks from space and time when thinking of those who are in the spiritual world. Nevertheless, that there is with them the appearance of space and time may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL (n. 162-169, 191-199).


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