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

HH 506

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506. All that have lived a good life in the world and have acted from conscience, who are such as have acknowledged the Divine and have loved Divine truths, especially such as have applied those truths to life, seem to themselves, when let into the state of their interiors, like one aroused from sleep into full wakefulness, or like one passing from darkness into light. They then think from the light of heaven, thus from an interior wisdom, and they act from good, thus from an interior affection. Heaven flows into their thoughts and affections with an interior blessedness and delight that they had previously had no knowledge of; for they have communication with the angels of heaven. They then acknowledge the Lord and worship Him from their very life, for being in the state of their interiors they are in their proper life (as has been said just above, n. 505); and as freedom pertains to interior affection they then acknowledge and worship the Lord from freedom. Thus, too, they withdraw from external sanctity and come into that internal sanctity in which worship itself truly consists. Such is the state of those that have lived a Christian life in accordance with the commandments in the Word. [2] But the state of those that have lived an evil life in the world and who have had no conscience, and have in consequence denied the Divine, is the direct opposite of this. For everyone who lives an evil life, inwardly in himself denies the Divine, however much he may suppose when in external thought that he acknowledges the Lord and does not deny Him; for acknowledging the Divine and living an evil life are opposites. When such in the other life enter into the state of their interiors, and are heard speaking and seen acting, they appear foolish; for from their evil lusts they burst forth into all sorts of abominations, into contempt of others, ridicule and blasphemy, hatred and revenge; they plot intrigues, some with a cunning and malice that can scarcely be believed to be possible in any man. For they are then in a state of freedom to act in harmony with the thoughts of their will, since they are separated from the outward conditions that restrained and checked them in the world. In a word, they are deprived of their rationality, because their reason while they were in the world did not have its seat in their interiors, but in their exteriors; and yet they seemed to themselves to be wiser than others. [3] This being their character, while in the second state they are let down by short intervals into the state of their exteriors, and into a recollection of their actions when they were in the state of their interiors; and some of them then feel ashamed, and confess that they have been insane; some do not feel ashamed; and some are angry because they are not permitted to remain permanently in the state of their exteriors. But these are shown what they would be if they were to continue in that state, namely, that they would attempt to accomplish in secret ways the same evil ends, and by semblances of goodness, honesty, and justice, would mislead the simple in heart and faith, and would utterly destroy themselves; for their exteriors would at length burn with the same fire as their interiors, and their whole life would be consumed.


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