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Words of Wisdom

Heaven and Angels: From “Divine Providence” by Emanuel Swedenborg (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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In the 18th century, a great Swedish scientist and inventor, at the height of his career, began to see visions of Heaven, spirits, saints, and angels. He saw Lord Jesus come to open his inner eye, which allowed him to travel in the celestial sphere and talk with different spiritual beings. This mystical experience transformed the scientist into an enlightened spiritual leader with a new understanding of Christianity. His name is Emanuel Swedenborg. Today, it is a delight to present selections from “Divine Providence,” where Emanuel Swedenborg expounds on the relationship between the Lord and the angels in Heaven.

“Heaven is not Heaven because of angels but because of the Lord. The reason for this is that the love and wisdom that angels enjoy and that make Heaven do not come from them but from the Lord – love and wisdom actually are the Lord within the angels. Since love and wisdom belong to the Lord and are the Lord in Heaven, and since love and wisdom make up the life of angels, we can see as well that their life belongs to the Lord and that in fact their life is the Lord. The angels themselves insist that they are living from the Lord. We can therefore conclude that Heaven is union with the Lord.”

“Love unites itself to wisdom, specifically through a desire for knowing that gives rise to a desire for what is true, a desire for discerning that gives rise to a desire to grasp what is true, and a desire to see what we know and discern that gives rise to thought. The Lord flows into these desires, which are branches of the love of every individual’s life; and angels accept that inflow in their perception of what is true and in their thinking.”

“All the angels turn their faces toward the Lord. The Lord looks at them in the forehead, while the angels look at the Lord with their eyes. This is because the forehead corresponds to love and its desires, and the eyes correspond to wisdom and its perceptions. Still, angels are not turning their faces toward the Lord on their own; the Lord is turning them toward Himself, and doing so by flowing into the love of their lives. He comes through this into their perceptions and thoughts; and that is how he turns them.”

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