42. To this I will append two narrative accounts from the spiritual world. Here is the first:
One morning I looked up into the sky, and I saw above me expanse upon expanse. And as I looked, the first or nearest expanse was opened, and shortly the second, which was above it, and finally the third, which was the highest of all. By the light coming from them I perceived that on the first expanse were angels of the first or lowest heaven, on the second expanse were angels of the second or middle heaven, and on the third expanse were angels of the third or highest heaven. I wondered at first what was happening and why. But shortly I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of a trumpet, saying, "We have perceived, and now see, that you are meditating on conjugial love. Moreover, we know that so far no one on earth knows what true conjugial love is in its origin or in its essence, and yet it is important for them to know. Therefore it has pleased the Lord to open the heavens to you, that the inner faculties of your mind may receive an influx of illuminating light and thus perception. "Among us in heaven, especially in the third heaven, our heavenly delights come principally from conjugial love. Consequently, by permission granted us, we will send a married couple down to you, in order that you may see."  And suddenly, then, a carriage appeared, coming down from the highest or third heaven, in which I saw a single angel. But as it drew near, I saw that it held two. The carriage shone before my eyes in the distance like a diamond, and harnessed to it were young horses as white as snow. And the couple sitting in the carriage held in their hands a pair of turtledoves. And the couple called out to me, "You want us to come closer. But beware, then, of the flashing light coming from our heaven, the heaven we descended from. It is a blazing light, and you must take care that it does not penetrate interiorly. By its influx, indeed, the higher ideas of your understanding are enlightened, ideas that, in themselves, are heavenly. But these same ideas are inexpressible in the world in which you live. Receive the things you are about to hear, therefore, in rational terms and so explain them to the understanding." I replied, "I will take care. Come closer." So they came, and behold, it was a husband and his wife. And they said, "We are married. We have lived a blessed life in heaven from the earliest time, which you call the golden age, remaining forever in the same flower of youth that you see us in today."  I looked at the two of them closely, because I perceived that they represented conjugial love in their life and in their adornment - in their life as shown in their faces, and in their adornment as shown in the garments they wore. For all angels are affections of love in human form. The essential, dominant affection shines out from their faces, and they are given clothing on the basis of their affection and in accordance with it. Consequently, in heaven they say that everyone is clothed in his own affection. The husband appeared to be between adolescence and early manhood in age. From his eyes flashed a light sparkling with the wisdom of love. His face seemed to be inmostly radiant with this light, and because of the radiance from within, outwardly his skin virtually shone. As a result, his whole facial appearance was singularly one of dazzling good looks. He was dressed in a full-length robe, and under the robe he wore a blue-colored garment, which was tied about the waist with a golden girdle bearing three precious stones, two of them sapphires, one on each side, and a garnet in the middle. His stockings were of shining linen, into which had been woven threads of silver; and his shoes were made entirely of silk. This was the representational form that conjugial love took in the case of the husband.  In the case of the wife, however, it took the following form. I saw her face, and did not see it. I saw it as the very essence of beauty, and did not see it because the beauty was beyond expression. For there was in her face the bright glow of a blazing light, like the light possessed by angels in the third heaven, and this light dimmed my vision, so that I was simply stupefied by it. Noticing this, the wife spoke to me, saying, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see only conjugial love and a picture of it. But I see and do not see." At this she turned at an angle away from her husband, and then I could look more intently. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, which is blazing, as I said, and so takes its quality from the love of wisdom. For wives in the third heaven love their husbands on account of their husbands' wisdom and in response to it, and the husbands love their wives on account of and in response to that love directed towards them, and so they are united. The wife had her beauty as a result of this, such beauty that no artist could reproduce it or portray it in its true form, for a flashing of light like that is not possible in the painter's colors, nor is such loveliness expressible in his art. Her hair was attractively arranged in a style to match her beauty, with jewels in the form of flowers inserted into it. She had a necklace of garnets, from which hung a rosette of peridots. And she had bracelets of pearls. She was dressed in a scarlet gown, and under it a purple bodice fastened in front with rubies. But what surprised me, the colors kept changing depending on which way she was facing in relation to her husband, and their sparkle also kept changing accordingly, being now more, now less - more when they faced each other, and less when she faced away at an angle.  When I had seen these things, they spoke with me again. And when the husband spoke, he spoke as though he spoke at the same time on behalf of his wife, and when the wife spoke, she spoke as though she spoke at the same time on behalf of her husband. For such was the union of their minds, from which comes their speech. It was then that I heard as well the way conjugial love sounds, how it was inwardly together with, and also the result of, the delights of a state of peace and innocence. Finally they said, "They are calling us back. We have to go." They then appeared to be again riding in a carriage, as before, and they were borne off along a road stretching out between flower gardens, from whose beds rose olive trees and trees full of oranges. And as they drew near their heaven, young women came to meet them and welcome them and take them in.