Extracts

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Afterlife

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[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.10": detail "Section 8939"
But I can positively assert that as soon as a man dies he is in the other life, and lives a spirit among spirits, and that he then appears to himself and to others there altogether like a man in the world, endowed with every sense, internal and external; consequently that the death of the body is only the casting off of such things as had served for use and function in the world, and moreover, that death itself is a continuation of life, but in another world, which is unseen by the eyes of the earthly body, but is there seen in a light exceeding a thousand times the midday light of the world. Because I know this from the living experience of so many years — which is still continued — I assert it positively. I still speak, and I have spoken, with almost all with whom I had been acquainted in the world and who are dead, with some two or three days after their decease. Very many of them were exceedingly vexed that they had not believed at all in a life which was to continue after death. I have spoken with them not merely for a day, but for months and years; and it has also been given me to see their states of life in succession, or in progress, either to hell or to heaven. Wherefore let him who wishes to be eternally happy, know and believe that he will live after death. Let him think of this and keep it in mind, for it is the truth. Let him also know and believe that the Word [Bible] is the one only doctrine which teaches how a man must live in the world in order to be happy to eternity.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 312[4]"
Lest the ‘learned’ should any longer confound and mislead the simple in faith and heart, and induce infernal darkness respecting God and heaven and eternal life, and all else that depends on these, the interiors of my spirit have been opened by the Lord, and I have thus been permitted to talk with all after their decease with whom I was ever acquainted in the life of the body—with some for days, with some for months, and with some for a year, and also with so many others that I should not exaggerate if I should say a hundred thousand; many of whom were in heaven, and many in hell. I have also talked with some two days after their decease, and have told them that their funeral services and obsequies were then being held in preparation for their interment; to which they replied that it was well to cast aside that which had served them as a body and for bodily functions in the world; and they wished me to say that they were not dead, but were living as men the same as before, and had merely migrated from one world into the other, and were not aware of having lost anything, since they had a body and its senses just as before, also understanding and will just as before, with thoughts and affections, sensations and desires, like those they had in the world.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 312[5]"
Most of those who had recently died, when they saw themselves to be living men as before, and in a like state (for after death everyone's state of life is at first such as it was in the world, but there is a gradual change in it either into heaven or into hell), were moved by new joy at being alive, saying that they had not believed that it would be so. But they greatly wondered that they should have lived in such ignorance and blindness about the state of their life after death; and especially that the man of the church should be in such ignorance and blindness, when above all others in the whole world he might be clearly enlightened in regard to these things. Then they began to see the cause of that blindness and ignorance, which is, that external things, which are things relating to the world and the body, had so occupied and filled their minds that they could not be raised into the light of heaven and look into the things of the church beyond its doctrinals; for when matters relating to the body and the world are loved, as they are at the present day, nothing but darkness flows into the mind when men go beyond those doctrines.