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

HH 241

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241. The speech of angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom resembles the speech of the angels of His spiritual kingdom, but it is from more interior thought. Celestial angels are in good of love to the Lord, and therefore speak from wisdom; while spiritual angels are in the good of charity towards the neighbor, which in its essence is truth (n. 215), and therefore speak from intelligence, for wisdom is from good, and intelligence is from truth. For this reason the speech of celestial angels is like a gentle stream, soft, and as it were continuous; but the speech of spiritual angels is slightly vibratory and divided. The speech of celestial angels has much of the tones of the vowels u and o; while the speech of spiritual angels has much of the tones of e and i*; for the vowels stand for tone, and in the tone there is affection, the tone of the speech of angels corresponding to their affection, as has been said above (n. 236); while the vocal articulations, which are words, correspond to the ideas of thought which spring from affection. As the vowels are not essential to a language, but serve by means of tones to elevate the words to the various affections according to each one's state, so in the Hebrew tongue the vowels are not expressed, and are also variously pronounced. From this a man's quality in respect to his affection and love is known to the angels. Also in the speech of celestial angels there are no hard consonants, and it rarely passes from one consonant to another without the interposition of a word beginning with a vowel. This is why in the Word the particle "and" is so often interposed, as can be seen by those who read the Word in the Hebrew, in which this particle is soft, beginning and ending with a vowel sound. Again, in the Word, in Hebrew, it can in some measure be seen from the words used whether they belong to the celestial class or the spiritual class, that is, whether they involve good or truth. Those involving good partake largely of the sounds of u and o, and also somewhat of a, while those involving truth partake of the sounds of e and i. Because it is especially in tones that affections express themselves, so in human speech, when great subjects are discussed, such as heaven [caelum] and God [Deus], those words are preferred that contain the vowels u and o; and musical tones, whenever such themes are to be expressed, rise to the same fullness; but not when less exalted themes are rendered. By such means musical art is able to express affections of various kinds.
* [As these vowels are pronounced in European language. - Tr.]


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