Charity and Good Works (pt. 48)
v Doctrinal Series v
CONTRACTED WITH A MAN
WITHOUT REGARD TO HIS SPIRITUAL QUALITY,
IS DETRIMENTAL AFTER DEATH
Friendship of love is detrimental after death, can be seen from the state of heaven, of hell, and of man’s spirit in relation to them.
As to the state of heaven, it is divided into innumerable societies according to all the varieties of affections of the love of good; while hell, on the other hand, is divided according to all the varieties of affections of the love of evil; and after death, man, who is then a spirit, is at once adjudged, according to his life in the world, to the society where his ruling love prevails – to some heavenly society, if love to God and love towards the neighbor has formed the head of his loves, and to some infernal society, if love of self and the world has formed the head of his loves.
Immediately after his entrance into the spiritual world, which is effected through the death of the material body and its rejection to the sepulchre, man for some time undergoes a preparation for the society to which he has been adjudged, which preparation is effected by the rejection of such loves as are not in accord with his chief love. Thus one is then separated from another, friend from friend, dependent from patron, also parent from children, and brother from brother; and each one of these is connected with those interiorly like himself, with whom he is to live to eternity a life in common with them and yet properly his own. Nevertheless, during the first period of the preparation they all come together, and converse in a friendly way, as in the world. But little by little they are separated, and in ways they are not sensible of.
But those who in the world have contracted with each other friendships of love cannot be separated like others in accordance with order, and adjudged to societies correspondent to their lives — for they are bound together interiorly as to the spirit, nor can they be torn apart, because they are like scions ingrafted into branches. Consequently, if one as to his interiors is in heaven, and the other as to his interiors in hell, they stick together much as a sheep tied to a wolf, or a goose to a fox, or a dove to a hawk; and he whose interiors are in hell breathes his infernalism into the other whose interiors are in heaven. For among the things well known in heaven is this, that evils may be breathed into the good, but not goods into the evil; and for this reason that everyone is in evils by birth; and in consequence, the interiors of the good, who are thus joined fast to the evil, are closed, and both are thrust down to hell, where the good spirit suffers severely, but finally, after a lapse of time, he is released, and only then begins his preparation for heaven.
It has been granted me to see spirits so bound together, especially brothers and relatives, also patrons and their dependents, and many with flatterers, the two having contrary affections and diverse inclinations. I have seen some who were like kids with leopards, who were kissing each other and swearing to maintain their former friendship; and I then perceived that the good were absorbing the delights of the evil, holding each other by the hand and entering caves where crowds of the evil appeared in their hideous forms, although to themselves, owing to the illusions of phantasy, they seemed lovely. But after a while I heard from the good cries of fear, as if they were in snares, and from the evil rejoicings, like those of enemies over spoils; besides other sad scenes; and I was told that when the good had been released they were prepared for heaven by means of reformation, but not so easily as others.
To be continued . . .