What is the essential ingredient for peace. It might surprise you. We explore how love unites everyone in this life and the next, and what it means to be connected to our ancestors right now in the NCE Spotlight - your home for fresh insights from the ongoing translation of the New Century Edition of Swedenborg’s Theological Works.
Featured quotations from Emanuel Swedenborg's Secrets of Heaven:
Then I heard numerous choirs putting forth various representations, and even though there were many choirs and many in each choir, they acted as one. The forms of the various contributions combined into a single whole filled with heavenly beauty.
The same effect can be produced by the entirety of heaven, populated as it is by millions and millions, who act in unison because they love each other, since as a result they allow the Lord to lead them. Amazingly, the more there are—the more millions there are—to populate heaven, the more distinct and perfect everything becomes.
Peaceful conditions in the heavens resemble the mood of dawn on the earth. Everything heavenly and spiritual in the heavens exists in a state of peace, which is what gives all of it its charm, blessing, and happiness. In the same way, at the time of dawn on earth, everything displays itself to us as pleasant and cheerful. Individual details draw their character from the general mood. . . . The case is the same with a state of innocence. It emerges under peaceful conditions and is a general mood affecting everything involved in love and faith. Unless the various facets of love and faith have innocence within them, they lack their essential ingredient. That is why no one can go to heaven without possessing some innocence (Mark 10:15).
When people died, the ancients customarily said they were gathered to their ancestors, or to their people, by which they meant that they literally went to their parents and other close and distant relations in the other world. This saying was one they received from the earliest people, who were a heavenly race. While the earliest people were living on earth, they were also present with angels in heaven, so they knew how matters stood. They knew that everyone who shares the same kind of goodness meets in the other life and lives together, as does everyone who shares the same truth. The former they would describe as being gathered to their ancestors. . . , but the latter, to their people.