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Death and the Resurrection
"I laid me down and slept:
I awaked: for the Lord sustained me."
-- Psalm, III, 5
"Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed
at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob:
for He is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for
to Him all are living."
-- Luke, XX, 37, 38
Immortal by Endowment
Man has been so created that as to his
inward being he cannot die; for he can
believe in God, and also love God, and
thus be united to God in faith and love; and to
be united to God is to live to eternity.
-- Heavenly Doctrine, n. 223
From World to World
When the body is no longer able to perform
its functions in the natural world,
a man is said to die. Still the man does
not die; he is only separated from the bodily
part which was of use to him in the world.
The man himself lives. He lives, because he
is man by virtue, not of the body, but of the
spirit; for it is the spirit in man which thinks;
and thought together with affection makes the
man. It is plain, then, that when a man dies,
he only passes from one world into the other.... The
spirit of man after separation remains
awhile in the body, but not after the
motion of the heart has entirely ceased. This
takes place with a variation according to the
diseased condition of which the man dies. As
soon as the motion ceases, the man is resuscitated.
This is done by the Lord alone.
-- Heaven and Hell, nn. 445, 447
Unhurt by Death
When a man passes from the natural
world into the spiritual, he takes with
him everything that belongs to him as
a man except his earthly body. (This he leaves
when he dies, nor does he ever resume it.[A])
He is in a body as he was in the natural world;
and to all appearance there is no difference.
But his body is spiritual, and is therefore separated
or purified from things terrestrial. And
when what is spiritual touches and sees what is
spiritual, it is just the same as when what is
natural touches and sees what is natural.... A
human spirit also enjoys every sense, external
and internal, which he enjoyed in the
world. He sees as before, hears and speaks
as before, smells and tastes as before, and feels
when he is touched. He also longs, desires,
craves, thinks, reflects, is stirred, loves, wills,
as he did previously.... In a word, when
a man passes from the one life into the other,
or from the one world into the other, it is as
though he had passed from one place to another;
and he carries with him all that he possesses
in himself as a man. It cannot, then, be
said, that after death a man has lost anything
that really belonged to him. He carries his
natural memory with him, too; for he retains
all things whatsoever which he has heard, seen,
read, learned and thought in the world, from
earliest infancy even to the last of life.
-- Heaven and Hell, n. 461
The World of Spirits
Every man at death comes first into the
world of spirits, which is midway between
heaven and hell; and there he passes
through his own states, and is prepared either
for heaven or for hell according to his life.... It
is to be observed that the world of
spirits is one thing, and the spiritual world
another. The spiritual world embraces the
world of spirits and heaven and hell.
-- Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 140
The Way of One's Own Love
After death every one goes the way of
his love -- he who is in a good love, to
heaven, and he who is in a wicked love,
to hell. Nor does he rest until he is in that
society where his ruling love is. What is
wonderful, every one knows the way.
Every one's state after death is spiritual,
which is such that he cannot be anywhere but
in the delight of his own love, which he has
acquired for himself by his life in the natural
world. From this it appears plainly that no
one can be let into the delight of heaven who
is in the delight of hell.... This may be
still more certainly concluded from the fact
that no one is forbidden after death to ascend
to heaven. The way is shown him, opportunity
is given him, and he is let in. But when one
who is in the delight of evil comes into heaven,
and breathes in its delight, he begins to be
oppressed, and racked at heart, and to feel
in a swoon, in which he writhes like a snake
put near a fire; and with his face turned away
from heaven and toward hell, he flees headlong,
nor does he rest until he is in the society of
his own love.
-- Divine Providence, nn. 319, 338
It is an abiding truth that every man rises
again after death into another life, and presents
himself for judgment. This judgment,
however, is circumstanced as follows: As
soon as his bodily parts grow cold, which takes
place after a few days, he is raised by the Lord
at the hands of celestial angels who first are
with him. If he is such that he cannot be with
them, he is received by spiritual angels, and
in turn afterwards by good spirits. For all
who come into the other life, whoever they
may be, are grateful and welcome new-comers.
But as every one's desires follow him, he who
has led a bad life cannot remain long with
angels or good spirits, but in turn separates
himself from them, until at length he comes to
spirits of a life conforming with the life he
had in the world. Then it seems to him as if
he were back in the life of the body; his present
life being, in fact, a continuation of his past
life. With this life his judgment commences.
They who have led a bad life in process of time
descend into hell; they who have led a good
life, are by degrees raised by the Lord
-- Arcana Coelestia, n. 2119
Links to Additional Media for Spirit of Swedenborg by Emanuel Swedenborg such as audio and ebooks are located at the bottom of this web page.