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Spirit of Swedenborg Emanuel Swedenborg

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Spirit of Swedenborg

by Emanuel Swedenborg

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The First Three States After Death

"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

-- Rev., XXII, 11

Continuation of the Outward Life

There are three states through which a man passes after death, before he enters either heaven or hell. The first state is that of his outward nature and life; the second, that of his inward nature and life; and the third, one of preparation. A man passes through these states in the world of spirits.

The first state of a man after death is like his state in the world, because he is then similarly in things outward. His appearance is similar, and so are his speech, his mental habit, and his moral and civil life. As a result he does not know but that he is still in the world, unless he pays attention to things that meet his eye, and to what the angels told him at his resuscitation, that now he is a spirit. Thus one life is carried on into the other, and death is only the transition.

-- Heaven and Hell, nn. 491, 493

Revelation of the Inner Life

After the first state is past, which is the state of the outward nature and life, a spirit is admitted into the state of his inward will and thought, in which, on being left to himself to think freely and unchecked, he had been in the world. He slips unawares into this state, just as he did in the world. When he is in this state, he is in himself, and in his very life; for to think freely from the affection properly one's own, is the very life of man, and is the man.

When a spirit is in the state of his inward nature and life, it appears plainly what manner of man he was in the world; for then he acts from his very self. A man who was inwardly in good in the world, then acts rationally and wisely -- more wisely, in fact, than he did in the world; for he has been loosed from connection with the body, and so with worldly things, which caused obscurity and, as it were, interposed a cloud. But a man who was in evil in the world, then acts foolishly and insanely -- more insanely, in fact, than he did in the world, for now he is in freedom and not coerced. For when he lived in the world, he was sane in his outward life, for so he assumed the appearance of a rational man. When, therefore, his outward life is laid off, his insanities reveal themselves.

-- Heaven and Hell, nn. 502, 505

Instructed for Heaven

The third state of a man after death is a state of instruction. This is a state in the experience of those who enter heaven and become angels.

Instruction in heaven differs from instruction on earth, in that knowledge is not committed to memory, but to life; for the memory of spirits is in their life, inasmuch as they receive and become imbued with everything that agrees with their life, and they do not receive, still less do they become imbued with, anything that disagrees with it; for spirits are affections, and are in a human form like their affections. Being such, they have inspired in them continually an affection for truth for the sake of the uses of life; for the Lord provides that every one may love the uses which suit his genius, a love that is exalted, too, by the hope of becoming an angel.... With every one, therefore, the affection of truth is united to the affection of use, so fully that they act as one. Thereby truth is planted in service, so much so that the truths which angelic spirits learn, are truths of use. Thus are they instructed and prepared for heaven.

-- Heaven and Hell, nn. 512, 517 New Thought events are fun to share

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