BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


Heaven and hell

by Emanuel Swedenborg

Excerpt:

15. There are two distinct loves in heaven, love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor. In the inmost or third heaven is love to the Lord, and in the second or middle heaven is love toward the neighbor. 3'.oth proceed from the Lord and both make heaven. How the two loves are distinguished and how they are conjoined, is seen in clear light in heaven, but •mly obscurely in the world. In heaven, loving the I-ord does not mean loving Him as to person, but loving good that is from Him; and loving good is willing and doing it from love. So, too, loving the neighbor does not mean loving a companion as to person, but loving truth that is from the Word; and loving truth is willing and doing it. From this it is plain that those two loves are distinct as good and truth, and that they are conjoined as good with truth. But these things are not easily conceived by man, who does not know what love is, what good is, and what the neighbor is.

16. I have several times spoken with angels on this subject, and they said they wondered that men of the Church do not know that to love the Lord and the neighbor is to love good and truth, and, from willing, to do them; when yet they might know that one testifies love by willing and doing what another wills, and is by this means loved in turn and conjoined with the one he loves — not by loving him without doing his will, which in itself is not loving. They said also that men might know that good proceeding from the Lord is a likeness of Him, since He is in it; and that they become likenesses of Him and are conjoined to Him who make good and truth to be of their life, by willing and doing them. To will is also to love to do. That it is so, the Lord also teaches in the Word, saying. He who hath My precepts and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me, and I toill lore him and will make My abode with him (John xiv. 21, 23). And again: If ye tlo My commandments, ye shall abide in My love (John xv. 10, 12).

17. That the Divine proceeding from the Lord,

which affects angels and makes heaven, is love, all experience in heaven attests. For all who are there are forms of love and charity, and are seen in ineffable beauty, with love shining forth from their face, their speech, and every particular of their life. Moreover from every angel and every spirit, spiritual spheres of life go forth and encompass them, by which they are known, sometimes at a great distance, as to the quality of the affections of their love; for these spheres flow forth from the life of one's affection and its thought, or from the life of his love and its faith. The spheres going forth from the angels are so full of love as to affect the inmosts of the life of those with whom they are present. They have at times been perceived by me and have so affected me. That it is love from which angels have their life, is manifest also from this, that every one in the other life turns himself according to his love. They who are in love to the Lord and in love toward the neighbor, turn themselves constantly to the Lord; but they who are in the love of self, turn themselves constantly backward from the Lord. This takes place in every turning of their body, since spaces there are according to the states of their interiors; and likewise the quarters, which are not fixed as in the world, but determined according to the look of their faces. Yet it is not the angels who turn themselves to the Lord, but the Lord Who turns to Himself those who love to do whatever is from Him. But of these things more will be said hereafter, in the chapter on The Four Quarters in Heaven.

18. That the Lord's Divine in heaven is love, is because love is the receptacle of all things of heaven, which are peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. For love receives the things one and all that are suited to itself, desiring them, seeking them, and imbibing them as it were spontaneously, because it wishes continually to be enriched and perfected by them. This is known nlso to man. for with him love as it were looks into his memory and draws forth from its stores all things that are in agreement, collecting them and placing them in order in itself and under itself—in itself that they may be its own, and under itself that they may be its servants; but the rest, which are not in agreement, it rejects and exterminates. That in love there is all capacity for receiving truths suitable to itself, and desire for conjoining them to itself, was made evident to me from those taken up into heaven who, though simple in the world, yet came into angelic wisdom and into the blessings of heaven when among angels. The reason was that they loved good and truth for the sake of good and truth, and implanted them in their life, and thereby became capacities for receiving heaven with all its inexpressible blessedness. Those, however, who are in the love of self and the world, have no capacity for receiving these things, are averse to them, reject them, and on their first touch and entrance flee away, and associate themselves with those in hell who are in loves like their own. There were spirits who doubted there being such blessedness in heavenly love, and longed to know whether it were so; wherenpon they were let into a state of heavenly love — whatever opposed being the while removed — and were carried forward to some distance, where they found the angelic heaven. From this heaven they spoke with me, saying that they perceived more interior happiness than they could express with words, and lamenting much that they must return into their former state. Others, too, were taken up into heaven and according as they were taken up higher, or more deeply, they entered into such intelligence and wisdom that they could perceive things which before had been incomprehensible to them. From this it is plain that love proceeding from the Lord is the receptacle of heaven and of all things therein. 19. That love to the Lord and love toward the

neighbor comprehend in themselves all Divine truths, may be evident from what the Lord Himself said of these two loves: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second like unto it is, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang the whole law and the prophets (Matt. xxii. 37-40). The law and the prophets are the whole Word, thus all Divine truth.

HEAVEN IS DISTINGUISHED INTO TWO KINGDOMS.


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