You must be joking! ‘Heaven and Hell,’ what images do they conjure up in
today’s world. Heaven- cute little cherubs with wings, sitting on fluffy
clouds, playing harps or feasting in paradise without ‘Weight watchers’;
Hell- mediaeval tortures, spooky red devils with horns and tails,
furnaces, fire and brimstone (whatever that is.) Either way count me
And yet do you, like me, have a sneaky suspicion that there must be
something more to this life. Do you ever wonder whether life carries on
in another dimension and if so what it could be like? Do you ever think
that there just might be some grain of truth in these out dated concepts
of heaven and hell?
often use words like heaven and hell to describe our own
inner feelings. If everything goes wrong at work and the things that we
attempt are thwarted and leave us frustrated we might feel that we have
had a ‘hell of a day.’ If things go right and we feel pleased and happy
we talk about ‘being in heaven.’ We can see from this that there is a
relationship between how we feel and heaven and hell. Heaven and hell
essentially are states of our mind or inner being and not physical places of either bliss or torment. Our actions and reactions,
our thoughts and deeds, our loves and desires build heaven or hell
Emanuel Swedenborg tells us that when our physical body dies the
essential person, the spirit or soul passes into the spiritual world.
Although the spiritual world may appear insubstantial to us on earth it
is ultimate reality.
the spiritual world there are communities where groups of people
live and work together as in this natural world. We ultimately find
ourselves living with communities with whom we feel at ‘home’ and who
have similar natures to our own. If, whilst on earth, we have tried to
think of others before ourselves, have had a belief in an entity greater
than ourselves and tried to live according to principles then we should
find ourselves living in a heavenly society. We really should be ‘in
If, on the other hand, we have spent our lives being awkward, miserable,
intolerant, selfish and dare we say plain ‘evil,’ then it is easy to see
that being in a community of ‘angelic’ people would be anathema to us.
We would be happier being in a company of like- minded people where we
could continue to ‘make life hell.’
The choice is ours.
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by Emanuel Swedenborg from the Bookshop click on this image:
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