Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1106

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There are many people who, when they were in the world, out of simplicity and ignorance absorbed falsities in respect to religious faith, but who possessed a kind of conscience that was in keeping with the basic assumptions of their faith. They did not live as others - hating, getting revenge, and committing adultery. In the next life those people cannot be admitted into heavenly communities as long as they are under the influence of falsity, for in that condition they would pollute those communities. They are detained therefore on the lower earth for a considerable length of time so as to get rid of those false assumptions. The length of time they stay there, long or short, depends on the nature of the falsity and of the life acquired from it, and on the extent to which those assumptions have been confirmed with them. Some there suffer quite severely, others not so. The experiences they undergo are called vastations, which receive considerable mention in the Word. When the period of vastation is completed they are carried into heaven and as newcomers receive instruction in the truths of faith, which is given by the angels who receive them.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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