Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 537

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537. HEAVEN AND HEAVENLY JOY - continued A certain spirit once positioned himself on my left side and asked whether I knew how he could get into heaven. I was allowed to reply that admission into heaven belongs to the Lord alone, for He alone knows a person's character. Many people coming from the world are like this spirit; their one request is that they may enter heaven, without knowing at all what heaven is and what heavenly joy is. They do not know that heaven is mutual love, and heavenly joy the joy resulting from this. Consequently those who do not know this are first of all acquainted with what heaven is and what heavenly joy is, even by actual experience. This was also the case with a certain spirit who had recently come from the world and who had a similar desire for heaven. So that he might perceive the nature of heaven, the interiors of his being were opened so as to give him some feeling of heavenly joy. Once he had felt it he began to moan and to writhe about, pleading that he be set free and saying that he could not live in such agony. So the interiors of his being that had been turned in heaven's direction were closed again, and in this way he was restored. This shows the nature of the pangs of conscience and of the agony that afflict those who, when admitted for only a short while, do not really belong in that place.

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