Afterlife, stages in


[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, stages in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 48*"
Every one after death is first introduced into the world which is called the world of spirits, and which is intermediate between heaven and hell; and in that world he is prepared, for heaven if he is good, and for hell if he is evil. The end or design of this preparation is that the internal and external may agree together and make a one, and not disagree and make two: in the natural world they frequently make two, and only make a one with those who are sincere in heart. That they make two is evident from the deceitful and the cunning; especially from hypocrites, flatterers, dissemblers, and liars: but in the spiritual world it is not allowable thus to have a divided mind; for whoever has been internally wicked must also be externally wicked; in like manner, whoever has been good, must be good in each principle: for every man after death becomes of such a quality as he had been interiorly, and not such as he had been exteriorly.
 For this end, after his decease, he is let alternately into his external and his internal; and every one, while he is in his external, is wise, that is, he wishes to appear wise, even though he be wicked; but a wicked person internally is insane. By those changes he is enabled to see his follies, and to repent of them: but if he had not repented in the world, he cannot afterwards; for he loves his follies, and wishes to remain in them: therefore he forces his external also to be equally insane; thus his internal and his external become a one; and when this is effected, he is prepared for hell. But it is otherwise with a good spirit: such a one, as in the world he had looked unto God and had repented, was more wise in his internal than in his external: in his external also, through the allurements and vanities of the world, he was sometimes led astray; therefore his external is likewise reduced to agreement with his internal, which, as was said, is wise; and when this is effected he is prepared for heaven. From these considerations it may plainly appear, how the case is in regard to putting off the external and putting on the internal after death.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, stages in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 4484 - 4487"
It was given me to realize that in the other life all associations are according to the ruling feelings of goodness in the heavens, and according to the passions for evil in the hells, and that they are in opposition, resulting in equilibrium.
 Souls after death do not come immediately into their societies, for the reason that they have fantasies that do not come from passions, or appearances that do not come from good feelings. As long as there are fantasies not coming from passions, and appearances not coming from good feelings, for that long they are carried hither and thither, and this according to fantasies and appearances apart from passions and good feelings. This is the reason why souls pass a long time in the lower earth, then in the world of spirits, before they come to their own place. This is also the reason why those who have made associations are carried away, upward and downward, sometimes hither and thither, because the evil fall into fantasies, or the good come into appearances, which do not agree with their fantasies and appearances, respectively.
 In short, properties of the will and thoughts must act in unity, so because they do not act in unity in the Christian world, due to familiar pretenses that cause something different to be shown on the face than one is thinking, therefore they must be kept longer than others in the world of spirits, and they wander about longer than others, and are snatched away more easily into other societies, even though they slip back into their own.
 The life of those who cast themselves into hell has primarily no other purpose than that passions may reign and the fantasies they engender, not the reverse. And the life of those who are lifted up into heaven has primarily no other purpose than that feelings of goodness may reign and the appearances of truth they engender—or goodness, and truth therefrom.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, stages in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 491"
There are three states that man passes through after death before he enters either heaven or hell. The first state is the state of his exteriors, the second state the state of his interiors, and the third his state of preparation. These states man passes through in the world of spirits. There are some, however, that do not pass through them; but immediately after death are either taken up into heaven or cast into hell.