Afterlife, finding one's place in


[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, finding one's place in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.10": detail "Section 8945"
It is not granted anyone in the other life to be raised higher into heaven than to the degree of good in which he is; for if he were raised higher, his defilements, that is, the evils of his loves and the falsities thence, are then made manifest. For the more interior a thing is, the more pure and holy is it in heaven. Those who are in a more impure state are kept in a lower sphere, where impurities are not perceived and do not appear, for they are in grosser good, and in more obscure truth. It sometimes happens that they who come into heaven eagerly desire to come into a more interior heaven. They believe that thus they will enjoy greater joy. In order that this cupidity which cleaves to them may be removed, they are also raised into a more interior heaven; but when they come thither, they begin to be in anguish from the evils of their loves, which evils then come to their perception, and they also become deformed from the falsities which are from the evils with them. On perceiving these things, they cast themselves down from the more interior heaven, and do not come into a tranquil and peaceful state until they return into their former station.
 The case is similar with those who are beneath heaven. If these eagerly desire to ascend into heaven before they are prepared, when they are raised thither they feel a torment almost infernal, and appear to themselves like corpses. The life itself with them labours, like the life of those who are in the agony of death; wherefore they cast themselves down headlong, and afterwards are no longer desirous to ascend above the state of life in which they are. It is to be known that in the other life heaven is denied by the Lord to no one, and that as many as wish can be admitted. (Heaven consists of societies of angels who are in the good of love toward the neighbour and of love to the Lord.) When in heaven, they are intromitted into the societies of such. But when the sphere of their life, that is, when the life of their love, is not in agreement, then conflict arises, hence their anguish and casting down. In this way they are instructed concerning the life of heaven, and the state of their own life in comparison, also concerning the fact that no one has heaven merely by being received or admitted, as is the common opinion in the world; also that by his life in the world a man must become such that he can be with those who are in heaven.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, finding one's place in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.4": detail "Section 6058"
Certain ones asked why it is that evil spirits, thus those who deny God, who are silent, cannot be in an angelic society. They received the reply that all spirits ultimately come to the place where they are as it were in their own center, for those who are above him, who are below him, and who are around him on every side result in his being in that place, because there is a communication and inflow of affections, for which reason in the end no one can be in another place than in his own position, and as it were in his own center. All angels and all spirits are also centers, for the heavenly form is made up of continuous centers.