Heaven and Hell/4

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Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg
Chapter IV, Heaven is Divided into Two Kingdoms

IV
Heaven is Divided into Two Kingdoms[edit]

20. As there are infinite varieties in heaven, and no one society nor any one angel is exactly like any other,[1] there are in heaven general, specific, and particular divisions. The general division is into two kingdoms, the specific into three heavens, and the particular into innumerable societies. Each of these will be treated of in what follows. The general division is said to be into kingdoms, because heaven is called "the kingdom of God."


21. There are angels that receive more interiorly the Divine that goes forth from the Lord, and others that receive it less interiorly; the former are called celestial angels, and the latter spiritual angels. Because of this difference heaven is divided into two kingdoms, one called the Celestial Kingdom, the other the Spiritual Kingdom.[2]


22. As the angels that constitute the celestial kingdom receive the Divine of the Lord more interiorly they are called interior and also higher angels; and for the same reason the heavens that they constitute are called interior and higher heavens.[3] They are called higher and lower, because these terms designate what is interior and what is exterior.[4]


23. The love in which those are, who are in the celestial kingdom is called celestial love, and the love in which those are who are in the spiritual kingdom is called spiritual love. Celestial love is love to the Lord, and spiritual love is love towards the neighbor. And as all good pertains to love (for good to any one is what he loves) the good also of the other kingdom is called celestial, and the good of the other spiritual. Evidently, then, the two kingdoms are distinguished from each other in the same way as good of love to the Lord is distinguished from good of love towards the neighbor.[5] And as the good of love to the Lord is an interior good, and that love is interior love, so the celestial angels are interior angels, and are called higher angels.


24. The celestial kingdom is called also the Lord's priestly kingdom, and in the Word "His dwelling-place;" while the spiritual kingdom is called His royal kingdom, and in the Word "His throne." And from the celestial Divine the Lord in the world was called "Jesus," while from the spiritual Divine He was called "Christ."


25. The angels in the Lord's celestial kingdom, from their more interior reception of the Divine of the Lord, far excel in wisdom and glory the angels that are in His spiritual kingdom; for they are in love to the Lord, and consequently are nearer and more closely conjoined to Him.[6] These angels are such because they have received and continue to receive Divine truths at once in their life, and not first in memory and thought, as the spiritual angels do. Consequently they have Divine truths written in their hearts, and they perceive them, and as it were see them, in themselves; nor do they ever reason about them whether they are true or not.[7] They are such as are described in Jeremiah:

I will put my law in their mind, and will write it in their heart. They shall teach no more everyone his friend and everyone his brother, saying, Know ye Jehovah. They shall know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them (31:33, 34).

And they are called in Isaiah:

Taught of Jehovah (54:13).

That the "taught of Jehovah" are those who are taught by the Lord He Himself teaches in John (6:45, 46).


26. It has been said that these angels have wisdom and glory above others for the reason that they have received and continue to receive Divine truths at once in their life. For as soon as they hear Divine truths, they will and do them, instead of storing them up in the memory and afterwards considering whether they are true. They know at once by influx from the Lord whether the truth they hear is true; for the Lord flows directly into man's willing, but mediately through his willing into his thinking. Or what is the same, the Lord flows directly into good, but mediately through good into truth.[8] That is called good which belongs to the will and action therefrom, while that is called truth that belongs to the memory and to the thought therefrom. Moreover, every truth is turned into good and implanted in love as soon as it enters into the will; but so long as truth remains in the memory and in the thought therefrom it does not become good, nor does it live, nor is it appropriated to man, since man is a man from his will and understanding therefrom, and not from his understanding separated from his will.[9]


27. Because of this difference between the angels of the celestial kingdom and the angels of the spiritual kingdom they are not together, and have no interaction with each other. They are able to communicate only through intermediate angelic societies, which are called celestial-spiritual. Through these the celestial kingdom flows into the spiritual;[10] and from this it comes to pass that although heaven is divided into two kingdoms it nevertheless makes one. The Lord always provides such intermediate angels through whom there is communication and conjunction.


28. As the angels of these two kingdoms will be fully treated of in what follows, particulars are here omitted.


  1. There is infinite variety, and nowhere any thing the same as another (n. 7236, 9002). Also in the heavens there is infinite variety (n. 684, 690, 3744, 5598, 7236). Varieties in heaven are varieties of good (n. 3744, 4005, 7236, 7833, 7836, 9002). All societies in the heavens, and all angels in a society, are thereby distinguished from each other (n. 690, 3241, 3519, 3804, 3986, 4067, 4149, 4263, 7236, 7833, 7836). Nevertheless they are all made one by love from the Lord (n. 457, 3986).
  2. Heaven as a whole is divided into two kingdoms, a celestial kingdom and a spiritual kingdom (n. 3887, 4138). The angels of the celestial kingdom receive the Divine of the lord in their voluntary part, thus more interiorly than the spiritual angels, who receive it in their intellectual part (n. 5113, 6367, 8521, 9936, 9995, 10124).
  3. The heavens that constitute the celestial kingdom are called higher while those that constitute the spiritual kingdom are called lower (n. 10068).
  4. Interior things are portrayed by higher things, and higher things signify interior things (n. 2148, 3084, 4599, 5146, 8325).
  5. The good of the celestial kingdom is good of love to the Lord, and the good of the spiritual kingdom is good of charity towards the neighbor (n. 3691, 6435, 9468, 9680, 9683, 9780).
  6. The celestial angels immeasurably surpass in wisdom the spiritual angels (n. 2718, 9995). The nature of the distinction between celestial angels and spiritual angels (n. 2088, 2669, 2708, 2715, 3235, 3240, 4788, 7068, 8521, 9277, 10295).
  7. The celestial angels do not reason about truths of faith, because they perceive them in themselves; but the spiritual angels reason about them whether they are true or not (n. 202, 337, 597, 607, 784, 1121, 1384, 1898, 1919, 3246, 4448, 7680, 7877, 8780, 9277, 10786).
  8. The Lord's influx is into good and through good into truth, and not the reverse; thus into the will and through that into the understanding, and not the reverse (n. 5482, 5649, 6027, 8685, 8701, 10153).
  9. The will of man is the very being [esse] of his life, and the receptacle of the good of love, while his understanding is the outgo [existere] of his life therefrom, and the receptacle of the truth and good of faith (n. 3619, 5002, 9282). Thus the will's life is the chief life of man, and the life of the understanding goes forth therefrom (n. 585, 590, 3619, 7342, 8885, 9282, 10076, 10109, 10110). Whatever is received by the will comes to be the life, and is appropriated to man (n. 3161, 9386, 9393). Man is a man from his will and his understanding therefrom (n. 8911, 9069, 9071, 10076, 10109, 10110). Moreover, everyone who wills and understands rightly is loved and valued by others, while he that understands rightly and does not will rightly is rejected and despised (n. 8911, 10076). Also, after death man remains such as his will and his understanding therefrom have been, while the things that pertain to the understanding and not also to the will then vanish, because they are not in the man (n. 9069, 9071, 9282, 9386, 10153).
  10. Between the two kingdoms there is communication and conjunction by mean's of angelic societies which are called celestial-spiritual (n. 4047, 6435, 8796, 8802). The influx of the Lord through the celestial kingdom into the spiritual (n. 3969, 6366).