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DIVINE HUMAN >> Greatest Man >> Grand Man >> Heaven >> Angel >> Son of Man


That heaven in its whole complex reflects a single man is an arcanum hitherto unknown in the world, but fully recognized in the heavens.  To know this and the  specific and   particular things relating to it is the chief thing in the intelligence of the angels there, and on it many things depend which without it as their general principle would not enter distinctly and clearly into the ideas of their minds.  Knowing that all the heavens with their societies reflect a single man they call heaven the Greatest Man and the Divine Man;{1}--Divine because it is the Divine of the Lord that makes heaven (see above, n. 7-12). [HH59]    

The correspondence of the two kingdoms of heaven with the heart and lungs is the general correspondence of heaven with man. There is a less general correspondence with each one of his members, organs, and viscera; and what this is shall also be explained. In the Greatest Man, which is heaven, those that are in the head excel all others in every good, being in love, peace, innocence, wisdom, intelligence, and consequent joy and happiness. These flow into the head of man and the things belonging to the head and corresponding thereto. In the Greatest Man, or heaven, those that are in the breast are in the good of charity and of faith, and these flow into the breast of man and correspond to it. In the Greatest Man, or heaven, those that are in the loins and the organs devoted to generation are in marriage love. Those in the feet are in the lowest good of heaven, which is called spiritual natural good. Those in the arms and hands are in the power of truth from good. Those that are in the eyes are in understanding; those in the ears are in attention and obedience; those in the nostrils are in perception; those in the mouth and tongue are in the ability to converse from understanding and perception; those in the kidneys are in truths searching, separating, and correcting; those in the liver, pancreas, and spleen are in various purifications of good and truth; and so with the rest. All these flow into the like things of man and correspond to them. This inflow of heaven is into the functions and uses of the bodily members; and the uses, since they are from the spiritual world, take on a form by means of such things as are in the natural world, and thus present themselves in effect. From this is the correspondence. [HH96] 

  For the same reason these same members, organs, and viscera have a like significance in the Word; for everything there has a meaning in accordance with correspondence. Thus the “head” signifies intelligence and wisdom; the “breast” charity; the “loins” marriage love; the “arms and hands” power of truth; the “feet” what is natural; the “eyes” understanding; the “nostrils” perception; the “ears” obedience, the “kidneys” the scrutiny of truth, and so on.{1} So, too, in the common speech of man it is said of one who is intelligent and wise that he has a good head; of one who is charitable that he is a bosom friend; of one who has clear perception that he is keen scented; of one who is intelligent that he is sharp sighted; of one who is powerful that he is long handed; of one who exercises his will from love that it is done from the heart. These and many other expressions in the speech of men are from correspondence, for they are from the spiritual world, although man is ignorant of it. [HH97]  


human-form8 I have frequently been permitted to see that each society of heaven reflects a single man, and is in the likeness of a man. There was a society into which several had insinuated themselves who knew how to counterfeit angels of light. These were hypocrites. When these were being separated from the angels I saw that the entire society appeared at first like a single indistinct body, then by degrees in a human form, but still indistinctly, and at last clearly as a man.  Those that were in that man and made up the man were such as were in the good of that society; the others who were not in the man and did not make up the man were hypocrites; these were cast out and the former were retained; and thus a separation was effected. Hypocrites are such as talk well and also do well, but have regard to themselves in everything. They talk as angels do about the Lord, heaven, love, and heavenly life, and also act rightly, so that they may appear to be what they profess to be. But their thinking is different; they believe nothing; and they wish good to none but themselves. Their doing good is for the sake of self, or if for the sake of others it is only for the appearance, and thus still for the sake of self. [HH68]

I have also been permitted to see that an entire angelic society, where the Lord is visibly present, appears as a one in the human form. There appeared on high towards the east something like a cloud, from glowing white becoming red, and with little stars round about, which was descending; and as it gradually descended it became brighter, and at last appeared in a perfect human form. The little stars round about the cloud were angels, who so appeared by virtue of light from the Lord. [HH69]    

It must be understood that although all in a heavenly society when seen together as one appear in the likeness of a man; yet no one society is just such a man as another. Societies differ from one another like the faces of different individuals of the same family, for the reason given above (n. 47), that is, they differ in accordance with the varieties of good in which they are and which determines their form. The societies of the inmost or highest heaven, and in the center there, are those that appear in the most perfect and beautiful human form. [HH70]   

It is worthy of mention that the greater the number in any society in heaven and the more these make a one, the more perfect is its human form, for variety arranged in a heavenly form is what constitutes perfection, as has been shown above (n. 56), and number gives variety. Moreover, every society of heaven increases in number daily, and as it increases it becomes more perfect. Thus not only the society becomes more perfect, but also heaven in general, because it is made up of societies. As heaven gains in perfection by increase of numbers, it is evident how mistaken those are who believe that heaven may be closed by becoming full; for the opposite is true, that it will never be closed, but is perfected by greater and greater fullness. Therefore, the angels desire nothing so much as to have new angel guests come to them. [HH71]

Each society, when it appears as one whole is in the form of a man, for the reason that heaven as a whole has that form (as has been shown in the preceding chapter); moreover, in the most perfect form, such as the form of heaven is, there is a likeness of the parts to the whole, and of lesser forms to the greatest. The lesser forms and parts of heaven are the societies of which it consists, which are also heavens in lesser form (see 51-58). This likeness is perpetual because in the heavens the goods of all are from a single love, that is, from a single origin. The single love, which is the origin of the good of all in heaven, is love to the Lord from the Lord. It is from this that the entire heaven in general, each society less generally, and each angel in particular, is a likeness of the Lord, as has been shown above (n. 58).[HH72]    

(v) _The heart of divine providence is to look to what is infinite and eternal by fashioning an angelic heaven for it to be like one human being before the Lord, an image of Him._ See in the work _Heaven and Hell_ (nn. 59-86) that heaven as a whole is like one man in the Lord’s sight; that each society of heaven also is; that as a result each angel is a human being in perfect form; and that this is because God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity, is Man; also (nn. 87-102) that as a result there is a correspondence of all things of heaven with all things in the human being. The entire heaven as one man has not been seen by me, for only the Lord can so behold it; but that an entire society, whether large or small, can appear as one man, I have seen. I was then told that the largest society of all, which is heaven in its entirety, so appears, but to the Lord alone; and that this causes every angel to be in full form a human being. [DP64]      

As all heaven is like one man in the Lord’s view, it is divided into as many general societies as there are organs, viscera and members in man, and each general society into as many less general or particular societies as there are larger divisions in each of the viscera and organs. This makes evident what heaven is. Because the Lord is very Man and heaven is His image, to be in heaven is called “being in the Lord.” See in the work Divine Love and Wisdom that the Lord is very Man (nn. 11-13, 285-289). [DP65]   

From all this the arcanum, well called angelic, can in a measure be seen, that each affection of good and at the same time of truth is human in form. For whatever proceeds from the Lord gets from His divine love that it is an affection of good and from His divine wisdom that it is an affection of truth. An affection of truth proceeding from the Lord appears in angel and man as perception and consequent thought of truth.  For we are aware of perception and thought, but little aware of the affection whence they are, although all come as one from the Lord. [DP66]      

Man, then, is by creation a heaven in least form and hence an image of the Lord; heaven consists of as many affections as there are angels; and each affection in its form is man. It must then be the constant striving of divine providence that a man may become a heaven in form and an image of the Lord, and as this is effected by means of an affection of the good and true, that he may become such an affection. This is therefore the unceasing effort of divine providence. But its inmost aim is that a man may be here or there in heaven or in the divine heavenly man, for so he is in the Lord. But this is accomplished with those whom the Lord can lead to heaven. As He foresees who can be led He also provides continually that a man may become amenable; for thus everyone who suffers himself to be led to heaven is prepared for his own place there. [DP67]         

We have said that heaven is divided into as many societies as there are organs, viscera and members in man; and in these no part can be in any place but its own. As angels are the parts in the divine heavenly man, and none become angels who were not men in the world, the man who suffers himself to be led to heaven is continually prepared by the Lord for his own place there. This is done by the affection of good and truth which corresponds with that place. To this place every angel-man is also assigned on his departure from the world. This is the inmost of divine providence touching heaven. [DP68]  

On the other hand, a man who does not permit himself to be led to heaven and allotted a place there is prepared for his own place in hell.  Of himself a man tends constantly to the depths of hell but is continually withheld by the Lord. He who cannot be withheld is prepared for a given place in hell, to which he is assigned on departure from the world. This place is opposite one in heaven; for hell is the opposite of heaven. So, as the angel-man according to his affection of good and truth is allotted his place in heaven, the devil-man according to his affection of evil and falsity is allotted his in hell. The two opposites, set exactly over against each other, are kept in connection. This is the inmost of divine providence touching hell. [DP69]

regeneration7  Relatively to man, the Grand Man is the Lord's universal heaven; but in the supreme sense the Grand Man is the Lord alone, for heaven is from Him, and all things therein  correspond to Him. Inasmuch as by a life of evil and the consequent persuasions of falsity, the human race had become altogether perverted, and as the lower things with man then began to dominate over the higher, or his natural things over the spiritual, so that Jehovah or the Lord could no longer flow in through the Grand Man, that is heaven, and reduce them into order, there was a consequent necessity for the coming of the Lord into the world, that thereby He might put on the human, and make it Divine, and by it restore order, so that the universal heaven might have relation to Him as the Only Man, and might correspond to Him alone; those who were in evil and thence in falsity being rejected beneath the feet, thus out of the Grand Man. Hence they who are in the heavens are said to be in the Lord, even in His Body; for the Lord is the all of heaven, in whom all and each are assigned their provinces and offices. {AC 3638}

From this it is that in the other life all societies, how many soever they may be, keep their situation constant in respect to the Lord, who appears like a sun to the universal heaven; and what is wonderful, and can scarcely be credited by anyone, because not apprehended, the societies there keep the same situation in respect to each individual, wherever he may be, and however he may turn himself and move about-as for instance, the societies which appear on the right are continually at his right, and those which appear on the left are continually at his left, however he changes his position as to face and body. This also it has been given me frequently to observe in turning the body. Thus it is manifest that the form of heaven is such as to bear a constant relation to a Grand Man relatively to the Lord; and that all the angels are not only with the Lord, but in the Lord; or what is the same, that the Lord is with them, and in them; otherwise this condition would not exist. {AC 3639}

Hence all situations in heaven are determined with respect to the human body, according to their points of direction from it; that is, on the right, on the left, forward, and backward, in whatever position; as also according to planes, as in the plane of the head and of its parts, as of the forehead, the temples, the eyes, and the ears; in the plane of the body, the plane of the shoulders, of the breast, the abdomen, the loins, the knees, the feet, and the soles of the feet; likewise above the head, and beneath the soles of the feet, at every degree of obliquity; at the back also, from the hinder part of the head downward. It is known from the very situation what the societies are, and to what provinces of man's organs and members they belong, and this in all cases infallibly; but more is known from their genius and disposition as to affections. {AC 3640}

The hells, which are very numerous, have also a constant situation, so that from their mere situation it may be known what they are, and of what quality. With their situation the case is similar-all the hells beneath man are in planes in every direction under the soles of the feet. Some spirits from them appear also above the head, and elsewhere scatteredly; but it is not that they have their situation there, for the same is a persuasive phantasy which deceives and counterfeits in respect to their situation. {AC 3641}

All, both they who are in heaven and they who are in hell, appear erect, with the head upward and the feet downward; when nevertheless in themselves, and according to angelic vision, they are in a different position. That is to say, they who are in heaven have their heads toward the Lord, who is the Sun there, and thus is the common center from whom is all position and situation; whereas in the sight of the angels the infernals have their heads downward and their feet upward, thus in a position opposite, and also oblique; for to the infernals that is beneath which to the celestials is above, and that is above which to the celestials is beneath. From this it is in some degree manifest how heaven may as it were make a one with hell; or how they may together present a one in situation and position. {AC 3642}    

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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