Heaven and Hell/14

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Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg
Chapter XIV, The Sun in Heaven


XIV
The Sun in Heaven[edit]

116. In heaven neither the sun of the world, nor anything from that sun, is seen, because it is wholly natural. For nature has its beginning from that sun, and whatever is produced by means of it is called natural. But the spiritual, to which heaven belongs, is above nature and wholly distinct from what is natural; and there is no communication between the two except by correspondences. What the distinction between them is may be understood from what has been already said about degrees (n. 38), and what the communication is from what has been said in the two preceding chapters about correspondences.


117. Although the sun of the world is not seen in heaven, nor anything from that sun, there is nevertheless a sun there, and light and heat, and all things that are in the world, with innumerable others, but not from a like origin; since the things in heaven are spiritual, and those in the world are natural. The sun of heaven is the Lord; the light there is the Divine truth and the heat the Divine good that go forth from the Lord as a sun. From this origin are all things that spring forth and are seen in the heavens. This light and heat and things existing therefrom in heaven will be treated of in the following chapters; in this chapter we will speak only of the sun there. In heaven the Lord is seen as a sun, for the reason that He is Divine love, from which all spiritual things, and by means of the sun of the world all natural things, have their existence. That love is what shines as a sun.


118. That the Lord is actually seen in heaven as a sun I have not only been told by angels, but it has occasionally been granted me to see it; and therefore what I have heard and seen respecting the Lord as a sun I shall be glad to tell in a few words. The Lord is seen as a sun, not in heaven, but high above the heavens; and not directly overhead or in the zenith, but before the faces of the angels at a middle height. He is seen at a considerable distance, in two places, one before the right eye and the other before the left eye. Before the right eye He is seen exactly like a sun, as it were, with a glow and size like that of the sun of the world. But before the left eye He is not seen as a sun, but as a moon, glowing white like the moon of our earth, and of like size, but more brilliant, and surrounded with many little moons, as it were, each of them of similar whiteness and splendor. The Lord is seen so differently in two places because every person sees the Lord in accordance with the quality of his reception of the Lord, thus He is seen in one way by those that receive Him with the good of love, and in another by those that receive Him with the good of faith. Those that receive Him with the good of love see Him as a sun, fiery and flaming, in accordance with their reception of Him; these are in His celestial kingdom; while those that receive Him with the good of faith see Him as a moon, white and brilliant in accordance with their reception of Him, and these are in His spiritual kingdom.[1] This is so because good of love corresponds to fire; therefore in the spiritual sense fire is love; and the good of faith corresponds to light, and in the spiritual sense light is faith.[2] And the Lord appears before the eyes because the interiors, which belong to the mind, see through the eyes, from good of love through the right eye, and from good of faith through the left eye;[3] since with angels and also with men all things at the right correspond to good from which truth is derived, and all at the left to truth that is from good.[4] Good of faith is in its essence truth from good.


119. This is why in the Word the Lord in respect to love is likened to the sun, and in respect to faith to the moon; also that the "sun" signifies love from the Lord to the Lord, and the "moon" signifies faith from the Lord in the Lord, as in the following passages:

The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days (Isa. 30:26).

And when I shall extinguish thee I will cover the heavens and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not make her light to shine. All luminaries of light in the heavens will I make dark over thee, and I will set darkness upon thy land (Ezek. 32:7, 8).

I will darken the sun in his going forth, and the moon shall not make her light to shine (Isa. 13:10)

The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood (Joel 2:2, 10, 31; 3:16).

The sun became black as sackcloth and hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars fell unto the earth (Apoc. 6:12, 13).

Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matt. 24:29).

And elsewhere. In these passages the "sun" signifies love, and the "moon" faith, and the "stars" knowledges of good and truth.[5] These are said to be darkened, to lose their light, and to fall from heaven, when they are no more. That the Lord is seen as a sun in heaven is evident also from His appearance when transfigured before Peter, James, and John,

That His face did shine as the sun (Matt. 17:2).

These disciples thus saw the Lord when they were withdrawn from the body, and were in the light of heaven. It was because of this correspondence that the ancient people, with whom was a representative church, turned the face to the sun in the east when they were in Divine worship; and for the same reason they gave to their temples an eastern aspect.


120. How great the Divine love is and what it is can be seen by comparison with the sun of the world, that it is most ardent, if you will believe it, much more ardent than that sun. For this reason the Lord as a sun does not flow without mediums into the heavens, but the ardor of His love is gradually tempered on the way. These temperings appear as radiant belts about the sun; furthermore, the angels are veiled with a thin adapting cloud to prevent their being harmed by the influx.[6] For this reason the heavens are more or less near in accordance with reception. As the higher heavens are in good of love they are nearest to the Lord as the sun; and as the lower heavens are in good of faith they are farther away from Him. But those that are in no good, like those in hell, are farthest away, at different distances in accordance with their opposition to good.[7]


121. When, however, the Lord appears in heaven, which often occurs, He does not appear encompassed with a sun, but in the form of an angel, yet distinguished from angels by the Divine shining through from His face, since He is not there in person, for in person the Lord is constantly encompassed by the sun, but He is present by look. For it is a common occurrence in heaven for persons to appear to be present in a place where their look is fixed or is terminated, even when this place is far away from where they really are. This presence is called the presence of internal sight, which will be treated of further on. I have also seen the Lord out of the sun in an angelic form, at a height a little below the sun; also near by in a like form, with shining face, and once in the midst of angels as a flame-like radiance.


122. To the angels the sun of the world appears like a dense darkness opposite to the sun of heaven, and the moon like a darkness opposite to the moon of heaven, and this constantly; and for the reason that the world's fieriness corresponds to the love of self, and the light from it corresponds to what is false from that love; and the love of self is the direct opposite of the Divine love; and what is false from that love is the direct opposite of the Divine truth; and the opposite of the Divine love and the Divine truth is to the angels thick darkness. Therefore, in the Word, to worship the sun and moon of this world and bow down to them, signifies to love self and the falsities that spring from the love of self, and it is said that such would be cut off. (Deut. 4:19; 16:3-5; Jer. 8:1, 2; Ezek. 8:15, 16, 18; Apoc. 16:8; Matt. 13:6).[8]


123. As it is from the Divine love that is in and from Him that the Lord appears in heaven like a sun, so all in the heavens are turned constantly to Him those in the celestial kingdom to Him as a sun and those in the spiritual kingdom to Him as a moon. But those that are in hell turn themselves to an opposite darkness and dense darkness, that is, they turn backwards, away from the Lord; and for the reason that all in the hells are in love of self and the world, thus antagonistic to the Lord. Those who turn themselves to the dense darkness that is in the place where this world's sun is are in the hells behind, and are called genii; while those that turn themselves to the darkness that is in the place of the moon are in the hells more in front, and are called spirits. This is why those in the hells are said to be in darkness, and those in the heavens in light, "darkness" signifying falsity from evil, and "light" truth from good. They so turn themselves because all in the other life look towards what rules in their interiors, thus to their loves; and with angels and spirits the interiors determine the face; and in the spiritual world quarters are not fixed, as in the natural world, but are determined by the face. In respect to his spirit man turns himself in like manner as a spirit does, backwards from the Lord if he is in love of self and the world, and towards the Lord if he is in love to the Lord and the neighbor. But of this man is ignorant, because he is in the natural world where quarters are determined by the rising and setting of the sun. But as this cannot be easily comprehended by men it will be elucidated hereafter when Quarters, Space, and Time in Heaven are treated of.


124. Because the Lord is the sun of heaven and everything that is from Him looks to Him, He is also the common center, the source of all direction and determination.[9] So, too, all things beneath are in His presence and under His auspices, both in the heavens and on the earths.


125. From all this what has been said and shown in previous chapters about the Lord may now be seen in clearer light, namely:

  • That He is the God of heaven (n. 2-6).
  • That it is His Divine that makes heaven (n. 7-12).
  • That the Lord's Divine in heaven is love to Him and charity towards the neighbor (n. 13-19).
  • That there is a correspondence of all things of the world with heaven, and through heaven with the ord (n. 87-115).
  • Also that the sun and moon of the world are correspondences (n. 105).

  1. The Lord is seen in heaven as a sun, and is the sun of heaven (n. 1053, 3636, 3643, 4060). The Lord is seen as a sun by those who are in His celestial kingdom, where love to Him reigns, and as a moon by those who are in His spiritual kingdom, where charity to the neighbor and faith reign (n. 1521, 1529-1531, 1837, 4696). The Lord is seen as a sun at a middle height before the right eye, and an a moon before the left eye (n. 1053, 1521, 1529-1531, 3636, 3643, 4321, 5097, 7078, 7083, 7173, 7270, 8812, 10809). The Lord is seen as a sun and as a moon (n. 1531, 7173). The Lord's Divine Itself is far above His Divine in heaven (n. 7270, 8760).
  2. "Fire" in the Word signifies love, both in a good sense and in a bad sense (n. 934, 4906, 5215). Holy or heavenly fire signifies the Divine Love (n. 934, 6314, 6832). Infernal fire signifies love of self and of the world and every lust of those loves (n. 1861, 5071, 6314, 6832, 7575, 10747). Love is the fire of life and life itself is really from it (n. 4906, 5071, 6032, 6314). "Light" signifies the truth of faith (n. 3195, 3485, 3636, 3643, 3993, 4302, 4413, 4415, 9548, 9684).
  3. The sight of the left eye corresponds to truths of faith, and the sight of the right eye to their goods (n. 4410, 6923).
  4. The things on man's right have relation to good from which is truth, and those on his left to truth from good (n. 9495, 9604).
  5. "Stars" and "constellations" in the Word signify knowledges of good and truth (n. 2495, 2849, 4697).
  6. What the Lord's Divine love is, and how great it is, illustrated by comparison with the fire of this world's sun (n. 6834, 6849, 8644). The Lord's Divine love is love toward the whole human race to save it (n. 1820, 1865, 2253, 6872). The love that first goes forth from the fire of the Lord's love does not enter heaven, but is seen as radiant belts about the sun (n. 7270). The angels are veiled with a corresponding thin cloud, to prevent their being harmed by the glow of burning love (n. 6849).
  7. The Lord's presence with the angels is in proportion to their reception of good of love and faith from Him (n. 904, 4198, 4320, 6280, 6832, 7042, 8819, 9680, 9682, 9683, 10106, 10811). The Lord appears to each one in accordance with what he is (n. 1861, 3235, 4198, 4206). The hells are at a distance from the heavens because they cannot bear the presence of Divine love from the Lord (n. 4299, 7519, 7738, 7989, 8137, 8265, 9327). For this reason the hells are very far away from the heavens, and this is the "great gulf" (n. 9346, 10187).
  8. The sun of the world is not seen by the angels, but in its place something dark behind, opposite to the sun of heaven or the Lord (n. 7078, 9755). In the opposite sense the sun signifies the love of self (n. 2441); and in this sense "to worship the sun" signifies to worship what is contrary to heavenly love or to the Lord (n. 2441, 10584). To those in the hells the sun of heaven is thick darkness (n. 2441).
  9. The Lord is the common center to which all things of heaven turn (n. 3633, 3641).