How Life In Heaven Functions – Part 1 Of 3

Our fascination with angels goes back to the very roots of the recorded history of religion, from Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Islam to modern-day Christianity, from ancient philosophers such as Aristotle to contemporary authors such as Doreen Virtue, Jacky Newcomb, Anthony DeStephano, and even the renowned preacher and spiritual leader Billy Graham.

What fascinates us about angels? What makes us want to learn more and imagine more about them, to feel more connected to these supernatural beings?

—Grant Schnarr

1.Space in Heaven

Even though everything in heaven appears to be located in space just like things in our world, still angels have no notion or concept of location and space.

All motion in the spiritual world is the effect of changes of inner states, to the point that motion is nothing but change of state.

This is how all angels move about, which means they do not have distances; and if they do not have distances, they do not have space. Instead they have states and their changes.

It is also why the hells are completely separate from the heavens: they are in an opposite state.

Whenever people move from one place to another, […] they get there more quickly if they are eager to and more slowly if they are not. The path itself is lengthened or shortened depending on their desire, even though it is the same path.

We can see from all this again that distance and space itself depend wholly on the inner state of angels; and since this is the case, no notion or concept of space can enter their minds even though they have space just the way we do in our world.

This is even more the case for angels because their sight acts in unison with their thought, and their thought in unison with their affection, and also because things seem near or remote, and things change, in response to the states of their deeper natures, as already noted. . . . We can see from this that even though there is space in heaven as there is in our world, nothing there is evaluated on the basis of space, but only on the basis of state. Also spaces there cannot be measured the way they can in our world, but only seen out of and in accordance with the state of their deeper natures.

This is what gives angels wisdom, since it provides them with an outreach of thoughts, which in turn affords them communication with everyone in the heavens. In a word, this is what enables them to think spiritually and not naturally, the way we do.

2. Time in Heaven

Even though things keep happening in sequence and progressing in heaven the way they do in the world, still angels have no notion or concept of time and space. The lack is so complete that they simply do not know what time and space are.

The reason angels do not know what time is (even though everything for them moves along in sequence just the way it does in our world, so much so that there is no difference) is that in heaven there are no years or days, but only changes of state. Where there are years and days there are times, and where there are changes of state, there are states.

Since angels have no concept derived from time, as we in our world do, they have no concept of time or of the things that depend on time. They do not even know what all these temporal things are, like a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, today, tomorrow, or yesterday.

The angels who talk with us never use the natural concepts that are proper to us, all of which derive from time, space, matter, and the like. They use spiritual concepts, all of which derive from states and their various changes in and around angels. However, when the angelic concepts, which are spiritual, flow into us, they change instantly and spontaneously into those natural concepts proper to us which exactly correspond to the spiritual ones. Neither the angels nor we are aware of this; but still, this is how all inflow of heaven occurs for us.

3. The Language of Angels

Angels talk with each other just the way we do in this world. They talk about various things—domestic matters, community concerns, issues of moral life, and issues of spiritual life. There is no difference except that they talk with each other more intelligently than we do because they talk from a deeper level of thought.

Angelic language, like human language, is differentiated into words. It is similarly uttered audibly and heard audibly. Angels have mouths and tongues and ears just as we do; and they also have an atmosphere in which the sound of their language is articulated. However, it is a spiritual atmosphere that is adapted to angels, who are spiritual. Angels breathe in their atmosphere and use their breath to utter words just the way we do in ours.

All people in heaven have the same language. They all understand each other, no matter what community they come from, 116 the lives of angels whether nearby or remote. This language is not learned but is innate; it flows from their very affection and thought.

Angelic language has nothing in common with human language except with a few of our words whose sound reflects some feeling, and in this case not with the words themselves but with their sound, which will be further dealt with later. The fact that angelic language has nothing in common with human language is evidenced by angels’ inability to pronounce a single word of a human language.

The speech of heavenly angels is like a gentle stream, soft and virtually unbroken, while the speech of spiritual angels is a little more resonant and crisp. Then too, the vowels U and O tend to predominate in the speech of heavenly angels, while in the speech of spiritual angels it is the vowels E and I.

Excerpt from the book “The Lives Of Angels” by Emanuel Swedenborg.


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