135. Since I am aware that people will doubt the possibility of a person ever being able to see with the eyes of his spirit anything in a world so remote, I should like to explain how this can happen. Distance in the next life is unlike distance in this world, because in the next life it depends entirely on a person's inward state. Those who share a like state are together in one community and in one place. Presence there is always the result of likeness of state, distance the result of unlikeness of state. This is how it was that I was in the vicinity of that world, when the Lord brought me into a state resembling that of its spirits and inhabitants, so that I could then be present and talk with them. This shows plainly that in the spiritual world inhabited planets are not spatially remote as in the natural world, but only appear to be so, depending on the state of life of their spirits and inhabitants. By state of life I mean the state of their affections as regards love and faith. I should also like to explain how it is that a spirit, or what is the same, a person in his spirit, can see things on a planet.
 Neither spirits nor angels can see anything in the world by using their own sight; for to them the world's light, that is, sunlight, is like thick darkness. In the same way neither can a person with his bodily sight see anything in the next life, for to him the light of heaven is like thick darkness. But still spirits and angels can, at the Lord's good pleasure, see things in the world through a person's eyes. The Lord, however, only permits this in the case of those whom He allows to talk with spirits and angels and be present with them. They were allowed to see things in this world, and as clearly as I do, by using my eyes. They could also hear people talking with me. It has sometimes happened that spirits have through me seen friends, whom they had known while living in the body, as vividly present as previously, and have been astonished. They have even seen their husbands and children, and wanted to tell them they were there and could see them, asking me to tell them how they were in the next life. But I was forbidden to tell them this and to disclose that they had been seen, especially because they would have called me mad, or at least thought these were mental delusions, as I was well aware that despite their verbal professions they did not at heart believe in the existence of spirits, that the dead have risen again, and are present among spirits; nor in the possibility of their seeing and hearing by means of a person.
 When my inner sight was first opened and those in the next life saw the world and things in it through my eyes, they were so astonished that they called it the greatest of miracles, and felt a new joy at the possibility of earth communicating with heaven and heaven with earth. Although this joy lasted for months, it has now become so familiar to them that they are no longer surprised at it. I was informed that the spirits and angels with other people do not see anything at all in the world, but only perceive the thoughts and affections of those with whom they are.
 From these facts it can be established that man was so created that, while living among people in the world, he would at the same time live in heaven among angels, and conversely. He was likewise so created that heaven and the world could be simultaneously present with him and act together, and so that people should know what happens in heaven, and angels should know what happens in the world. When people die, they are thus able to pass from the Lord's kingdom on earth to His kingdom in the heavens, not as if entering a new one, but the same one that they lived in while in the body. But by becoming immersed in bodily matters man has shut himself off from heaven.