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Jesus Lives! - The Lord God Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth

CL, sections 1 ff
CL, sections 27 ff
CL, sections 45 ff
CL, sections 57 ff
CL, sections 83 ff
CL, sections 116 ff
CL, sections 138 ff
CL, sections 157 ff
CL, sections 184 ff
CL, sections 209 ff
CL, sections 234 ff
CL, sections 271 ff
CL, sections 295 ff
CL, sections 317 ff
CL sections 332 ff
CL, sections 357 ff
CL, sections 385ff
CL, sections 423 ff
CL, sections 445 ff
CL, sections 462 ff
CL, sections 478 ff
CL, sections 501 ff
CL, sections 506 ff
CL, sections 511 ff
CL, sections 513 ff
CL, sections 515 ff
CL, sections 523 ff
CL, sections 536 ff


www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 27 ff previous  ·  next


CL 27. That there are marriages in heaven cannot enter into the faith of those who believe that after death man is a soul or spirit, and cherish an idea of the soul and spirit as of a tenuous ether or breath; and who believe that man will not live as a man until after the day of the Last Judgment; in general, who know nothing about the spiritual world wherein are angels and spirits, and, consequently, wherein are the heavens and the hells. Because that world has been hitherto unknown, and because it has been entirely unknown that the angels of heaven are men in perfect human form--and infernal spirits also, but in imperfect form--therefore, nothing could be revealed concerning marriages there; for men would have said, How can a soul be conjoined with a soul, or a breath with a breath, as one married partner with the other on earth? besides much else which, the moment it was said, would take away faith concerning marriages there and dissipate it. But now, because many things have been revealed concerning that world, and because its nature has been described, which was done in the work HEAVEN AND HELL and also in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, marriages there can be set forth before the reason also, and this by the following propositions:

1. That man lives as a man after death.

2. That the male is then a male, and the female a female.

3. That his own love remains with everyone after death.

4. That especially does love of the sex remain, and with those who come into heaven, being those who become spiritual on earth, conjugial love.

5. These statements fully confirmed by ocular experience.

6. That consequently there are marriages in the heavens.

7. That spiritual nuptials are meant by the Lord's words, that after the resurrection they are not given in marriage.

Now follows the explanation of these propositions in their order.

CL 28. I. That man lives as a man after death. That man lives as a man after death has been hitherto unknown in the world for the reasons given just above; and, what is remarkable, it is unknown even in the Christian world where is the Word, and from it enlightenment respecting eternal life, and where the Lord himself teaches that all the dead rise again, and that God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matt. 22:31-32; Luke 20:37-38). Moreover, as to the affections and thoughts of his mind, man is in the midst of angels and spirits, and is so consociated with them that if torn away from them he would die. That it is unknown is still more remarkable, when yet, after his decease, every man who has died from first creation, has come and does come or, as it is said in the Word, has been gathered and is gathered to his own. Besides this, man has common perception, and this is one with that influx from heaven into the interiors of his mind from which, inwardly in himself, he perceives truths and sees them, as it were; and especially this truth, that he lives as a man after death, happy if he has lived well, unhappy if he has lived ill; for who does not think this, when he elevates his mind a little above the body and above the thought next to his senses? as is the case when he is inwardly in Divine worship, and when he lies upon his bed about to die and awaits the end; likewise when he hears about the deceased and their lot. I have related a thousand things about them, such as, what was the lot of the brothers of certain persons, of their married partners and friends; I have also written about the lot of Englishmen, Dutchmen, Papists, Jews, Gentiles, and also about the lot of Luther, Calvin, and Melancthon; and as yet I have never heard anyone say: "How can their lot be such when they have not yet risen from their graves, seeing that the Last Judgment has not yet taken place? are they not in the meantime souls, which are breaths? and in some Pu or Ubi?" By no one have I yet heard such things said; and from this, I can conclude that everyone perceives within himself that he lives as a man after death. What man who has loved his wife and his infants and children, if in thought he is elevated above the sensual things of the body, does not say within himself when they are dying or have died, that they are in God's hand, and that he will see them again after his own death, and will again be conjoined with them in a life of love and joy!

CL 29. Who cannot see from reason, if he is willing to see, that man after death is not a breath? of which there is no other idea than as of a puff of wind or as of air or ether; a breath, namely, which or in which is a man's soul, desiring and awaiting conjunction with its body that it may have the enjoyment of its senses and the delights thereof, as before in the world. Who cannot see that if such were the case with man after death, his state would be worse than that of fishes and birds and of animals of the earth, whose souls do not live, and who therefore are not in such anxiety from desire and expectation. If, after death, man were such a breath and puff of wind, then he must either be flitting about in the universe or, according to the traditions of some, be reserved in some Pu, or, according to the Fathers, in limbo, until the Last Judgment. Who cannot thence conclude from reason, that those who have lived since first creation--a period computed to be six thousand years--would still be in a like anxious state, and progressively more anxious; for all expectation from desire causes anxiety and from time to time increases it. They would then either be still flitting about in the universe or be kept shut up in Pu, and so would be in extreme misery. Such would be the case with Adam and his wife; with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and likewise with all others since that time. Hence it would follow that nothing would be more lamentable than to be born a man. On the contrary, it is provided by the Lord, who is Jehovah from eternity and the Creator of the universe, that the state of the man who conjoins himself with Him by a life according to His Commandments, is more blessed and happy after death than before it in the world; and that it is the more blessed and happy from the fact that the man is then spiritual, and the spiritual man sensates and perceives spiritual delight, which is pre-eminently above natural delight, exceeding it a thousandfold.

CL 30. That angels and spirits are men is evident from those seen by Abraham, Gideon, Daniel, and the prophets; and especially from those seen by John when he wrote the Apocalypse, and also by the women at the Lord's sepulchre; yea, after His resurrection, the Lord Himself was seen by the disciples. They were seen because the eyes of the spirit of the one who saw them were then opened, and when these are opened, angels appear in their own form, which is the human form. But when those eyes are closed, that is, are veiled over by the sight of the eyes which derive their all from the material world, they are not seen.

CL 31. It should be known, however, that after death, man is not a natural but a spiritual man; and yet that to himself he seems exactly the same as before, and so much so that he knows no other than that he is still in the natural world; for he has a like body, a like face, a like speech and like senses--because a like affection and thought, or a like will and understanding. Actually indeed, he is not the same because he is a spiritual and hence an interior man; but the difference does not appear to him because he cannot compare his state with his previous natural state, having put off the latter and being in the former. Therefore, I have often heard them say that they know no other than that they are in the former world, with the sole distinction that they no longer see those whom they had left in that world, but see those who have departed from that world, that is, have died. The reason why they now see the latter and not the former, is because they are not natural but spiritual or substantial men, and the spiritual or substantial man sees the spiritual or substantial man, as the natural or material man sees the natural or material man. The spiritual man does not see the natural man, on account of the distinction between the substantial and the material, which is as the distinction between the prior and the posterior; and the prior, being in itself purer, cannot appear to the posterior which in itself is grosser; nor can the posterior, being grosser, appear to the prior which in itself is purer. Consequently, an angel cannot appear to a man of this world, nor a man of this world to an angel. The reason why man after death is a spiritual or substantial man, is because the latter lay inwardly concealed within the natural or material man. To him, the natural was as a garment or as exuviae, by the casting off of which he comes forth a spiritual or substantial, thus a purer, more interior, and more perfect man. Though the spiritual man does not appear to the natural, yet that he is a perfect man, is clearly manifest from the fact that the Lord was seen by the Apostles after the resurrection; that He appeared and presently did not appear; and yet, both when seen and when not seen, He was a man like unto Himself. They also said that when they saw Him their eyes were opened.

CL 32. II. That the male is then a male, and the female a female. Since man lives as a man after death, and man is male and female, and the masculine is one thing and the feminine another, being so different that the one cannot be changed into the other, it follows that after death the male lives as a male, and the female as a female, each being a spiritual man. It is said that the masculine cannot be changed into the feminine, nor the feminine into the masculine, and that therefore after death the male is a male and the female a female; but because it is not known in what the masculine essentially consists, and in what the feminine, it shall here be told in a few words. The distinction essentially consists in the fact that in the male, the inmost is love and its clothing wisdom, or, what is the same thing, he is love veiled over with wisdom; and that in the female, the inmost is that wisdom of the male, and its clothing, the love therefrom. This love, however, is feminine love, and is given by the Lord to the wife through the wisdom of her husband, while the former love is masculine love, being the love of growing wise, and this is given by the Lord to the husband according to his reception of wisdom. It is from this that the male is the wisdom of love, and the female the love of that wisdom. Therefore, from creation there is implanted in each the love of conjunction into a one. But of this, more will be said in the following pages. That the feminine is from the masculine, or that woman was taken out of man, is evident from these words in Genesis:

Jehovah God... took one of the ribs of the man and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and he builded the rib which he had taken out of the man into a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said, This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; hence she shall be called woman (Ishah) because she was taken out of man (Ish) (Gen. 2:21-23).

As to what is signified by rib, and what by flesh, this will be told elsewhere.

CL 33. From this primitive formation it follows, that the male is born intellectual and the female voluntary; or, what is the same thing, that the male is born into the affection of knowing, understanding, and being wise, and the female into the love of conjoining herself with that affection in the male. And because interiors form exteriors after their own likeness, and the masculine form is the form of the understanding, and the feminine the form of the love of that understanding, it follows that the male has a face, voice, and body different from the female; that is, a harder face, a harsher voice, and a stronger body, and, moreover, a bearded chin--in general, a form less beautiful than the female. They differ also in their attitudes and their ways. In a word, nothing whatever in them is alike; and yet, in their single parts, there is what is conjunctive; yea, in the male, the masculine is masculine in every part of his body even the most minute, and also in every idea of his thought, and in every grain of his affection; and so likewise, the feminine in the female. And since the one cannot be changed into the other, it follows that after death the male is a male and the female a female.

CL 34. III. That his own love remains with everyone after death. Man knows that love is, but does not know what it is. He knows that love is, from common speech, such as the expressions, he loves me; a king loves his subjects, and the subjects love their king; a husband loves his wife, and a mother her children, and vice versa; also this or that man loves his country, his fellow citizens, his neighbour. Love is likewise said of things apart from person, as that one loves this thing or that. But although love is so universal in speech, yet scarcely anyone knows what love is. When he reflects upon it, being unable to form any idea of thought about it, and so to set it in the light of the understanding (for the reason that it is not a thing of light but of heat), he says either that it is not anything or that it is merely something flowing in from sight, hearing, and conversation, and thus affecting. It is entirely unknown to him that it is his very life, not only the general life of his whole body and the general life of all his thoughts, but also the life of all the single parts thereof. A wise man can perceive this from the following: If you take away the affection of love, can you think anything? can you do anything? Is it not a fact that, so far as affection, which is of the love, grows cold, the thought, speech, and action also grow cold? and that, so far as it grows warm, these grow warm? Love then, is the heat of man's life, that is, his vital heat; the heat of the blood and its redness are from no other source. What makes all this, is the fire of the angelic sun, which is pure love.

CL 35. That everyone has his own love, or a love distinct from another's love, that is, that the love of one man is not the same as that of another, is evident from the infinite variety of faces. Faces are the types of loves; for it is well known that countenances change and vary according to the affections of the love. Moreover, desires, which are desires of the love, and also the love's joys and sorrows, shine forth from the face. It is clear from this that a man is his love, yea, the form of his love. But it should be known that the form of man's love is the inner man, being the same as his spirit which lives after death, and not in the same way the outer man (which lives) in the world; for the latter has learned from infancy to conceal the desires of his love, yea, to simulate and make a show of desires other than his own.

CL 36. The reason why his own love remains with every man after death is because, as said above (n. 34), love is man's life, and hence is the man himself. A man is also his own thought, and so his own intelligence and wisdom, but these make one with his love; for man thinks from his love and according to it, yea, if in freedom, he speaks and acts from it and according to it. From this it can be seen, that love is the esse or essence of a man's life, and that thought is the existere or existence of his life therefrom. Therefore the speech and action, which flow forth from thought, flow not from the thought but from the love by means of the thought. It has been given me to know from much experience, that after death man is not his thought but his affection and the thought therefrom, or that he is his love and his intelligence therefrom; and that after death he puts off everything that is not concordant with his love; yea, that he successively puts on the face, tone, speech, gestures, and manners of his life's love. Hence it is that the entire heaven is ordinated according to all the varieties of the affections of the love of good; and the entire hell according to all the (varieties of the) affections of the love of evil.

CL 37. IV. That especially does love of the sex remain, and with those who come into heaven, being those who become spiritual on earth, conjugial love. The reason why love of the sex remains with man after death is because the male is then a male, and the female a female; and the masculine in the male is masculine in the whole and in every part of him, likewise the feminine in the female; and the conjunctive is present in their single parts, yea, in their most single. Now because this conjunctive was implanted in them from creation and thence is within them perpetually, it follows that the one desires and yearns for conjunction with the other. Regarded in itself, love is nothing but a desire and thence a striving for conjunction, and conjugial love for conjunction into a one; for the male man and the female man were so created that from two they may become as one man or one flesh; and when they become one, then, taken together, they are man in his fullness. Without this conjunction they are two, and each, as it were, is a divided or half man. Now since the conjunctive is inmostly latent in the single parts of the male, and in the single parts of the female; and since the faculty and desire for conjunction into a one lies within their single parts; it follows that the mutual and reciprocal love of the sex remains with men after death.

CL 38. It is said love of the sex and conjugial love, because love of the sex is different from conjugial love. Love of the sex dwells with the natural man, but conjugial love with the spiritual. The natural man loves and desires only external conjunctions, and from these, the pleasures of the body; but the spiritual man loves and desires internal conjunction and from this, the happiness of the spirit. Moreover, he perceives that this happiness is possible (only) with one wife, with whom he can be perpetually more and more conjoined into a one. And the more he is thus conjoined, the more he perceives his happiness ascending in like degree and remaining constant to eternity; but of this, the natural man has no thought. Hence it is said that conjugial love remains after death with those who come into heaven, being those who become spiritual on earth.

CL 39. V. These statements fully confirmed by ocular experience. That man lives as a man after death, that the male is then a male and the female a female, and that with everyone his own love remains and especially love of the sex and conjugial love, are propositions which I have thus far sought to confirm by considerations such as belong to the understanding and are called rational. But because in childhood, from his parents and masters, and in later years from the learned and the clergy, man has acquired the belief that after death he will not live as a man until after the day of the Last Judgment, in expectation whereof men have now been for six thousand years; and because many have placed this matter among things which must be received by faith and not by the understanding; it has been necessary to confirm them by the testimony of experience. Otherwise, the man who believes only in the senses would say from the faith impressed upon him: "If men were living as men after death, I would see and hear them"; and also, "Who has come down from heaven or risen up from hell and told us this?" But because it could not and cannot be that any angel of heaven should descend, or any spirit of hell ascend, and talk with a man, save with those, the interiors of whose mind which are those of his spirit have been opened by the Lord; and because this cannot be done to the full save with those who have been prepared by the Lord for the reception of the things of spiritual wisdom; therefore, it has pleased the Lord to do this with me, to the end that the state of heaven and of hell, and the state of the life of men after death, may not be unknown and be put to sleep in ignorance, and finally buried in denial. But the testimonies of experience with respect to the above-mentioned propositions cannot be adduced here on account of their abundance. They have been adduced, however, in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, and afterwards in the CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, and later in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED. Moreover, as specifically regards marriages, they will be given in the present work, in the Memorable Relations which follow the paragraphs or chapters.

CL 40. VI. That consequently there are marriages in heaven. Since this has now been confirmed by reason and also by experience, it needs no further demonstration.

CL 41. VII. That spiritual nuptials are meant by the Lord's words, that after the resurrection they are not given in marriage. In the Gospels are found these words:

Certain of the Sadducees who deny the resurrection, asked Jesus, saying, Master, Moses wrote, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he be childless, his brother shall take his wife and raise up seed unto his brother. There were seven brethren, one after the other of whom took the wife; but they died childless. At last the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of them shall she be? But Jesus, answering, said unto them, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to attain to another age, and the resurrection from the dead, shall neither marry nor be given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are like unto angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead rise again, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him. (Luke 20:27-38; Matt. 22:23-32; Mark 12:18-27).

There are two things which the Lord taught by these words: First, that man rises again after death; and second, that in heaven they are not given in marriage. That man rises again after death, He taught by saying, that God is not the God of the dead but of the living, and that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are living. He also taught the same in the parable of the rich man in hell and Lazarus in heaven (Luke 16:22-31).

[2] The second point, that in heaven they are not given in marriage, He taught by the statement, that those who are accounted worthy to attain to another age neither marry nor are given in marriage. That here no other nuptials are meant than spiritual nuptials is very evident from the words which immediately follow: that they cannot die any more because they are like unto angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. By spiritual nuptials is meant conjunction with the Lord. This is effected on earth, and when effected on earth, it is effected in heaven also. Therefore, in the heavens they are not again married and given in marriage. This is also meant by the words, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but they which are accounted worthy to attain to another age, neither marry nor are given in marriage. They are also called by the Lord sons of the nuptials (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19); and, in the present passage, angels, sons of God, and sons of the resurrection.

[3] That marrying means being conjoined with the Lord, and that entering into marriage means being received into heaven by the Lord, is clear from the following passages:--

The kingdom of the heavens is like unto a man, a king, who made a wedding for his son, and sent forth servants and invited to the wedding. (Matt. 22:1-14.)

The kingdom of heaven is like unto ten virgins, who went forth to meet the bridegroom; of whom five, being prepared, went in to the wedding (Matt. 25:1).

From verse 13 in that chapter, where it is said, Watch, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh, it is evident that by the bridegroom, the Lord meant himself. Also from the Apocalypse:

The time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Apocalypse 19:7, 9).

That there is a spiritual meaning in each and every word which the Lord spoke, is fully shown in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, published in Amsterdam in the year 1763.

CL 42. To the above, I will subjoin two Memorable Relations from the spiritual world. First:

One morning, looking up to heaven, I beheld above me expanse upon expanse. And I saw that the first expanse, which was nearby, opened, and presently the second, which was higher, and lastly the third, which was the highest; and by enlightenment therefrom, I perceived that upon the first expanse were angels who form the first or lowest heaven; upon the second expanse, angels who form the second or middle heaven; and upon the third expanse, angels who form the third or highest heaven. At first I wondered what this was and why; and presently a voice as of a trumpet was heard from heaven, saying: "We have perceived and do now see that you are meditating on Conjugial Love; and we know that, as yet, no one on earth knows what love truly conjugial is in its origin and in its essence, yet it is important that this be known. Therefore it has pleased the Lord to open the heavens to you, that enlightening light and thence perception may flow into the interiors of your mind. With us in the heavens, especially in the third heaven, our heavenly delights are chiefly from conjugial love. Therefore, by leave given us, we will send down to you a married pair that you may see."

[2] And lo, a chariot was then seen descending from the highest or third heaven, and in it was seen a single angel, but as it drew near, two were seen. At a distance, the chariot glittered before my eyes like a diamond. Harnessed to it were young horses, white as snow; and they that sat in the chariot held two turtle-doves in their hands. They then called to me, saying: "You wish us to come nearer, but take heed that the scintillation from our heaven whence we have descended, and which is a flamy scintillation, do not penetrate interiorly. By its influx, the higher ideas of your understanding, which in themselves are celestial, are indeed illumined, but in the world in which you are, these ideas are inexpressible. Therefore, receive rationally what you are about to hear, and in the same way present it to the understanding."

I answered, "I will take heed; come nearer." They then drew near, and lo! it was a husband and his wife; and they said: "We are married partners. From the first age, called by you the Golden Age, we have lived happily in heaven and always in the same flower of youth in which you now see us."

[3] I observed them both attentively, for I perceived that they represented conjugial love in its life and in its adornment--in its life in their faces, and in its adornment in their apparel. All angels are affections of love in human form. Their ruling affection shines forth from their faces; and from their affection and in harmony with it are their garments appointed. Therefore it is said in heaven that everyone is clothed with his own affection. The husband appeared to be of an age midway between adolescence and early manhood. From his eyes beamed a light sparkling from the wisdom of love, from which light his face was as though inmostly radiant, and by this radiation, the surface of his skin was as though refulgent. Thus his whole face was one resplendent comeliness. He was clothed in a long robe reaching to his ankles, and under the robe was a vestment of blue, girded with a golden girdle on which were three precious stones, two sapphires at the sides and a ruby in the middle. His stockings were of shining linen interwoven with threads of silver, and his shoes were of silk. Such was the representative form of conjugial love with the husband.

[4] As to the wife, her appearance was as follows: To me, her face was both visible and not visible--visible as beauty itself, and not visible because such beauty is inexpressible; for in her face was a splendour of flaming light like the light with angels of the third heaven, and this light so dulled my sight that I became merely stupified with amazement. Observing this, she spoke to me, saying: "What do you see?" I answered: "I see only conjugial love and its form; but I see and do not see." At this, she turned partly away from her husband, and then I was able to observe her more intently. Her eyes sparkled with the light of her heaven which, as was said, is flamy and therefore partakes of the love of wisdom; for in that heaven, wives love their husbands from their husband's wisdom and in that wisdom; and husbands love their wives from that love towards themselves and in it. Thus they are united. Hence her beauty--a beauty which no painter can emulate and portray in its form, there being no such sparkle in his colours; nor is such beauty expressible by his art. Her hair was gracefully arranged in correspondence with her beauty, and in it were inserted flowers consisting of diamonds. She wore a necklace of carbuncles, from which hung a rosary of chrysolites; and she had bracelets of pearls. She was arrayed in a flowing robe of scarlet, under which was a stomacher of purple clasped in front with rubies. But what I marvelled at, the colours varied according to her aspect towards her husband. According to this aspect, they also sparkled now more, now less, more When they faced each other directly, and less when their glance was somewhat aslant.

[5] When I had seen all this, they again spoke with me; and when the husband was speaking, he spoke at the same time as though from his wife, and when the wife, she spoke at the same time as though from her husband, such being the union of the minds from which the speech flowed; and then also I heard the sound of conjugial love, that it was inwardly simultaneous and, moreover, was a sound proceeding from the delights of a state of peace and innocence.

At last they said, "We are recalled; we must depart." And then, as before, they again appeared to be conveyed in a chariot, being conveyed along a road laid out between flower beds, from the borders of which rose olive trees and trees laden with oranges. And as they drew near their heaven, maidens came out to meet them and received them and led them in.

CL 43. After this, an angel of that heaven appeared to me, holding in his hand a parchment which he unrolled, saying: "I saw that you were meditating on conjugial love. In this parchment are arcana of wisdom concerning it, not as yet made known in the world. They are now disclosed because it is a matter of importance. In our heaven there are more such arcana than in other heavens because we are in the marriage of love and wisdom. But I predict that none will appropriate that love to themselves save those who are received by the Lord into the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem."

Saying this, the angel let down the unrolled parchment; and an angelic spirit took it up and laid it on a table in a room which he immediately shut up. Then, handing me the key, he said, "Write."

CL 44. The Second Memorable Relation:

I once saw three spirits newly arrived from the world, who were wandering about, observing and inquiring. They were in wonderment at the fact that they were living as men, just as before, and that they saw the same things as before; for they knew that they had departed from the former or natural world, and that there they had thought they would not live as men until after the day of the Last Judgment, when they would be clothed with the flesh and bones which had been laid in their graves. Therefore, to free themselves of all doubt whether they really were men, they now and again inspected and touched themselves and others. Moreover, they felt objects, and by a thousand proofs convinced themselves that they were now men as in the former world, except that they saw each other in brighter light, and saw objects in greater splendour and thus more perfectly.

[2] Just then, two angelic spirits chanced to meet them and, stopping, they asked them: "Whence are you?" They answered: "We have departed from a world, and are again living in a world; thus we have migrated from one world to another. We are now wondering at this."

The three novitiates then questioned the two angelic spirits about heaven; and because two of the novitiates were adolescents, and from their eyes gleamed a fire as though of lust for the sex, the angelic spirits said: "Perchance you have seen women?" and they replied, "We have."

Since they had inquired about heaven, the angelic spirits spoke as follows: "In heaven all things are magnificent and splendid such as eye has never seen. There are there maidens and young men, maidens of such beauty that they may be called beauty in its very form, and young men of such morality that they may be called morality in its very form; and the beauty of the maidens and the morality of the young men correspond to each other as reciprocal and mutually adaptable forms."

The two novitiates then asked whether human forms in heaven were exactly the same as those in the natural world, and they were answered: "They are exactly the same; nothing is taken from man and nothing from woman. In a word, a man is a man and a woman a woman, in all the perfection of form in which they were created. If you like, step aside and examine yourselves and see whether anything whatever is lacking, and whether you are not men just as before."

[3] The novitiates further said: "In the world from whence we have departed, we heard that in heaven they are not given in marriage because they are angels. Is there then no love of the sex?" The angelic spirits replied: "Not your love of the sex but angelic love of the sex which is chaste, being devoid of all the allurement of lust.

To this the novitiates said: "If it is love of the sex without allurement, what then is love of the sex?" And, thinking of this love, they sighed and exclaimed: "Oh, how dry is the joy of heaven. What young man can then wish for heaven? Is not such a love barren and void of life?

The angelic spirits, laughing, made answer: "Yet the angelic love of the sex, being that love as it is in heaven, is full of inmost delights. It is a most pleasing expansion of all things of the mind, and thence of all things of the breast; and within the breast it is like the heart sporting with the lungs, from which sport comes respiration, sound, and speech. These delights make the companionship between the sexes, that is, between young men and women, to be heavenly sweetness itself, which is pure.

[4] All novitiates ascending into heaven are explored as to their chastity; for they are admitted into the companionship of maidens, the beauties of heaven, and from their tone, their speech, their face, their eyes, their gestures, and the sphere emanating from them, these maidens perceive what their nature is in respect to love of the sex. If it is unchaste, they flee away and tell their companions that they have seen satyrs or priapi. Moreover, before the eyes of angels, such newcomers actually undergo a change, appearing hairy, and as to their feet like calves or leopards; and soon they are cast down, lest with their lust they pollute the aura of heaven.

Hearing this, the two novitiates again said: "Then there is no love of the sex in heaven. What is a chaste love of the sex but a love emptied of the essence of its life? Are not then the companionships of young men and women there dry joys? We are not stones and stocks but perceptions and affections of life."

[5] Hearing this, the two angelic spirits indignantly replied: "Because you are not yet chaste, you are entirely ignorant of what chaste love of the sex is. That love is the very delight of the mind, and thence of the heart, but not at the same time of the flesh below the heart. Angelic chastity, which is common to both sexes, prevents the passing of that love below the barrier of the heart; but within that barrier and above it, the morality of the youth is delighted with the beauty of the maid, being delighted with the delights of a chaste love of the sex, delights which are too interior and too rich in pleasantness to be described in words. Angels have this love of the sex because they have conjugial love, and this is not possible simultaneously with an unchaste love of the sex. Love truly conjugial is a chaste love and has nothing in common with unchaste love. It is with one only of the sex, all others being removed; for it is a love of the spirit and thence of the body, and not of the body and thence of the spirit, that is, not a love that infests the spirit.

[6] The two novitiate adolescents rejoiced at hearing this and said: "Then there is love of the sex there; what else is conjugial love?" But to this the angelic spirits replied: "Think more deeply, reflect, and you will perceive that your love of the sex is an extra-conjugial love, and that conjugial love is wholly different being as distinct from the other love as wheat from chaff, or rather as the human from the bestial. Ask women in heaven what extra-conjugial love is, and I assure you they will answer, `What thing is that? what are you speaking of? How can such an expression which so offends the ears come from your mouth? How can a love not created, be generated in man?' And if you were to ask them what love truly conjugial is, I know they would answer that it is not love of the sex but love of one of the sex. This exists only when a young man sees the virgin provided by the Lord, and the virgin the young man, and both feel the conjugial to be enkindled in their hearts, and perceive, he that she is his, and she that he is hers; for when love meets love, it meets itself, and causes it to recognize itself and at once conjoins their souls and then their minds; and from there it enters into their bosoms, and after the nuptials still farther, and so becomes plenary love; and from day to day this grows into conjunction until they are no more two but as though one.

[7] I know also that they would swear that they know no other love of the sex; for they say, `How can there be love of the sex unless it be so mutual and reciprocal that it breathes eternal union, a union which makes the two to be one flesh?'

To this, the angelic spirits added: "In heaven, they are entirely ignorant of what whoredom is, not knowing that it exists or that it is possible. Angels are cold in their whole body to an unchaste or extra-conjugial love, and, on the other hand, are warm in their whole body from chaste or conjugial love. With men there, all the nerves collapse at sight of a harlot, and recover their tension at sight of the wife."

[8] Hearing this, the three novitiates asked whether there is the same love between married partners in heaven as on earth, and the two angelic spirits answered that it is the same in every respect. Then, perceiving that they wished to know whether there were the same ultimate delights there, they said: "They are the same in every respect, but far more blessed, inasmuch as angelic perception and sensation is far more exquisite than human perception and sensation. And what is the life of that love if not from a vein of potency. If this fails, does not the love fail and grow cold? and is not that vigour the very measure, degree, and basis of the love? is it not its beginning, its foundation, and its completion? It is a universal law, that primes exist, subsist, and persist from ultimates. So is it also with this love. Therefore, unless there were ultimate delights, there would not be any delights of conjugial love.:

[9] The novitiates then asked whether offspring are born there from the ultimate delights of that love? and if offspring are not born, of what use are those delights? The angelic spirits replied that there are no natural offspring but spiritual offspring.

The novitiates then asked, "What are spiritual offspring?" They answered: "By means of ultimate delights, married partners become more united in the marriage of good and truth, and the marriage of good and truth is the marriage of love and wisdom. It is love and wisdom that are the offspring born of that marriage; and because the husband there is wisdom, and the wife the love of that wisdom, and because both are spiritual, therefore no other than spiritual offspring can be conceived and born there. Hence it is, that angels do not become sad after the delights, as some do on earth, but cheerful. This comes from the continual influx of fresh powers which succeed the former and at the same time bring renovation and enlightenment; for all who come into heaven return into their vernal youth and into the vigour of that age, and remain so to eternity."

[10] Hearing this, the three novitiates said, "Do we not read in the Word that in heaven there are no nuptials because they are angels?" To this the angelic spirits replied, "Look up into heaven and you will be answered." And they asked, "Why look up into heaven?" They said, "Because it is from thence that we have all interpretations of the Word. The Word within is spiritual, and angels, being spiritual, will teach its spiritual meaning."

Then, after some delay, heaven was opened above their head and two angels came into sight; and they said: "There are nuptials in heaven as on earth; but for none save those who are in the marriage of good and truth, nor are any others angels. Thus it is spiritual nuptials that are there meant, being the nuptials of the marriage of good and truth. These nuptials take place on earth and not after death, thus not in the heavens. Therefore it is said of the five foolish virgins who also were invited to the wedding, that they could not enter because there was in them no marriage of good and truth, for they had no oil but only lamps, by oil being meant good, and by lamps truth; and to be given in marriage is to enter into heaven where the marriage of good and truth is."

On hearing this, the three novitiates were made glad; and, filled with desire for heaven and with the hope of nuptials there, they said, "We will strive eagerly after morality and a virtuous life, that we may realize our desires."

Conjugial Love previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.biblemeanings.info