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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
-- 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
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
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