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Life after Death
Time and Space spiritual wisdom logo

time and spaceWhere is heaven? How long is eternity?  How big is heaven?  Is there enough room for everybody?  Questions like this have troubled theologians for centuries and space and time in heaven have remained a mystery.

In his theological writings, Emanuel Swedenborg explains why, in heaven, angels have no concept of clock time.  However, everything progresses in sequence in heaven just as it does on earth, and angels view this progression as changes of mental and spiritual state rather than advance of objective measurable time.  Changes of state affect each angel’s love and wisdom, which they receive from God.  Sometimes, angels are in a state of intense love which we may think of as the warmth of the rising sun in the morning.  Sometimes they are in a state of intense wisdom which we may think of as the bright light of the noonday sun.  Sometimes they are in a state of veiled love and wisdom that corresponds to the fading warmth and light of the evening sun, and finally they may be in a state of no love or wisdom, and this corresponds to daybreak, when the sun is just starting to rise.  So the experience of time in the spiritual world can be said to be subjective only – not objective as on earth. There is no night in heaven, as night corresponds with people in hell.

Since angels have this totally different concept of the progression of events as sequential changes in their inner state, their understanding of eternity is of an infinite state rather than an infinite time.  They therefore look forward to being in a succession of changing states of love and wisdom, just as we look forward to time progressing throughout the days, weeks, months and years of our lives on earth.

Swedenborg also writes that angels have no concept of objective place or space.  To us with physical bodies and a concept of three quantitatively measurable dimensions – length, breadth and height - this seems paradoxical.  He goes on to explain that “place” to an angel is a direct result of the state which currently exists with them.  Every angel is amongst other angels who are in very similar states of love and wisdom, and is remote from angels that are in dissimilar states.  Their surroundings – splendid houses, magnificent gardens, stately palaces, beautiful places of worship – also match their state.  As their loves and wishes change, so their companion angels, and their surroundings change, too.  A journey to visit another angel occurs when each party really wishes to see the other, and takes place very quickly as they change states to match each other.

It follows from this that heaven is not a place that is somewhere in fixed space, so the question - "Where is heaven?" doesn't really have any meaning. Heaven and hell are all around us and within us, and is consequently limitless.  This means that there is room for everybody that wishes to go “there”, as God will turn nobody away from entering heavenly states and their correspondingly appearing environments in the spiritual world.

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