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

HH 269

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269. The wisdom of the angels is indescribable in words; it can only be illustrated by some general things. Angels can express in a single word what a man cannot express in a thousand words. Again, a single angelic word contains innumerable things that cannot be expressed in the words of human language; for in each of the things uttered by angels there are arcana of wisdom in continuous connection that human knowledges never reach. Again, what the angels fail to express in the words of their speech they make up by the tone, in which there is an affection for the things in their order; for (as has been said above, n. 236, 241) tones express affections, as words express ideas of thought from the affections; and for this reason the things heard in heaven are said to be ineffable. So, too, the angels are able to express in a few words every least thing written in an entire volume, and give to every word meanings that elevate the mind to interior wisdom; for their speech is such as to be in accord with their affections, and each word is in accord with their ideas; and their words are varied in infinite ways in accord with the series of things which in complex are in the thought. [2] Still again, the interior angels are able to perceive from the tone and from a few words the entire life of one speaking; for from the tone as varied by the ideas in the words they perceive his ruling love upon which, as it were, every particular of his life is inscribed.# All this makes clear the nature of angelic wisdom. In comparison with human wisdom it is as a myriad to one, or as the moving forces of the whole body, which are numberless, to the activities from them which appear to human sense as a single thing, or as the thousand particulars of an object seen under a perfect microscope to the one obscure thing seen by the naked eye. [3] Let me illustrate the subject by an example. An angel from his wisdom was describing regeneration, and brought forward arcana respecting it in their order even to some hundreds, filling each of them with ideas in which there were interior arcana, and this from beginning to end; for he explained how the spiritual man is conceived anew, is carried as it were in the womb, is born, grows up and is gradually perfected. He said that the number of arcana could be increased even to thousands, and that those told were only about the regeneration of the external man, while there were numberless more about the regeneration of the internal man. From these and other like things heard from the angels it has been made clear to me how great is their wisdom, and how great in comparison is the ignorance of man, who scarcely knows what regeneration is, and is ignorant of every least step of the process when he is being regenerated.
# That which universally rules or is dominant in man is in every particular of his life, thus in each thing and all things of his thought and affection (n. 4459, 5949, 6159, 6571, 7648, 8067, 8853-8858).
A man is such as his ruling love is (n. 917, 1040, 8858); illustrated by examples (n. 8854, 8857).
That which rules universally constitutes the life of the spirit of man (n. 7648).
It is his very will, his very love, and the end of his life, since that which a man will he loves, and that which he loves he has as an end (n. 1317, 1568, 1571, 1909, 3796, 5949, 6936).
Therefore man is such as his will is, or such as his ruling love is, or such as the end of his life is (n. 1568, 1571, 3570, 4054, 6571, 6935, 6938, 8856, 10076, 10109, 10110, 10284).


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