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258. As the angels have speech, and their speech consists of words, they also have writings; and by writing as well as by speech they give expression to what is in their minds. At times I have had papers sent to me, traced with written words precisely like manuscripts in the world, and others like printed sheets; and I was able to read them in a like way, but was allowed to get from them only an idea here and there; for the reason that it is not in accordance with Divine order for man to be taught by writings from heaven; but he must be taught by means of the Word only; for it is only by means of the Word that there is communication and conjunction of heaven with the world, thus of the Lord with man. That papers written in heaven were seen also by the prophets is shown in Ezekiel:--
When I looked, behold a hand was put forth by a spirit unto me, and a roll of a book was therein which he unrolled in my sight; it was written on the front and on the back (ii. 9, 10).And in John.--
I saw upon the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, sealed up with seven seals (Apoc. v. 1).
259. The existence of writings in the heavens is a provision of the Lord for the sake of the Word; for the Word in its essence is Divine truth, and from it is all heavenly wisdom, both with men and with angels; for the Word was dictated by the Lord, and what is dictated by the Lord passes through all the heavens in order and terminates with man. Thereby it is adapted both to the wisdom of angels and the intelligence of men. Thereby, too, the angels have a Word, and read it the same as men do on the earth, and also draw from it their doctrinals, and preach from it (n. 221). It is the same Word; but its natural sense, which is the sense of the letter with us, does not exist in heaven, but only the spiritual sense, which is its internal sense. What this sense is can be seen in the small treatise on The White Horse spoken of in the Apocalypse.
260. A little paper was at one time sent to me from heaven, on which there were a few words only written in Hebrew letters, and I was told that every letter involved arcana of wisdom, and that these arcana were contained in the inflections and curvatures of the letters, and thus also in the sounds. This made clear to me what is signified by these words of the Lord:-
Verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, one iota or one tittle shall not pass away from the law (Matt. v. 18).That the Word in every tittle of it is Divine is known in the church; but just where the Divine lies hid in every tittle has not been known heretofore, and therefore shall be told. In the inmost heaven the writing consists of various inflected and circumflected forms, and the inflections and circumflections are in accordance with the forms of heaven. By means of these angels express the arcana of their wisdom, and also many things that they are unable to express in spoken words; and what is wonderful, the angels know this writing without training or a teacher, it being implanted in them like their speech (see n. 236); therefore this writing is heavenly writing. It is implanted because all extension of thoughts and affections and consequent communication of Intelligence and wisdom of the angels proceeds in accordance with the form of heaven (n. 201); and for the same reason their writing flows into that form. I have been told that the most ancient people on this earth, before letters were invented, had such writing; and that it was transferred into the letters of the Hebrew language, and these letters in ancient times were all inflected, and none of them, as at present, were bounded by straight lines. Thus it is that in the Word Divine things and arcana of heaven are contained even in its iotas, points and tittles.
261. This writing in characters of a heavenly form is in use in the inmost heaven, the angels of which surpass all others in wisdom. By means of these characters they express the affections, from which thoughts flow and follow in order in accordance with the subject treated of. Consequently these writings, which I have also been permitted to see, involve arcana which thought cannot exhaust. But such writings do not exist in the lower heavens. The writings there resemble the writings in the world, having like characters, and yet they are not intelligible to man, because they are in angelic language; and angelic language is such that it has nothing in common with human languages (n. 237), since by the vowels they express affections, and by the consonants the ideas of thought from the affections, and by the words from these the sense of the matter (see above, n. 236, 241). Moreover, in this writing, which I have also seen, more is involved in a few words than a man can express in several pages. In this way they have the Word written in the lower heavens; but in the inmost heaven in heavenly characters.
262. It is a notable fact that the writings in the heavens flow naturally from their very thoughts, and this so easily that the thought puts itself forth, as it were, and the hand never hesitates in the choice of a word, because both the words they speak and those they write correspond to the ideas of their thought; and all correspondence is natural and spontaneous. There are also writings in the heavens that exist without the aid of the hand, from mere correspondence with the thoughts; but these are not permanent.
263. I have also seen writings from heaven made up of mere numbers set down in order and in a series, just as in writings made up of letters and words; and I have been taught that this writing is from the inmost heaven, and that their heavenly writing (spoken of above, n. 260, 261), when the thought from it flows down, is set forth before the angels of the lower heavens in numbers, and that this numerical writing likewise involves arcana, some of which can neither be comprehended by thought nor expressed by words. For all numbers correspond, and have a meaning, the same as words do, in accordance with the [29.1]correspondence; yet with the difference that in numbers generals are involved, and in words particulars; and as one general involves innumerable particulars, so more arcana are involved in numerical writing than in literal writing. From this I could see that in the Word numbers as well as words signify things. What the simple numbers signify, as [29.2], [29.3], [29.4], [29.5], [29.6], [29.7], [29.8], [29.9], [29.10], [29.11], and what the compound numbers, as [29.12], [29.13], [29.14], [29.15], [29.16], [29.17], [29.18], [29.19] [29.20],, [29.21] [29.22],, and others, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, where they are treated of. In this writing in heaven, a number is always prefixed on which those following in a series depend as on their subject; for that number is as it were an index to the matter treated of, and from it is the determination of the numbers that follow to the particular point.
264. Those who know nothing about heaven, and who are unwilling to have any other idea of it than as of something purely atmospherical, in which the angels fly about as intellectual minds, having no sense of hearing or seeing, are unable to conceive that the angels have speech and writing; for they place the existence of every thing real in what is material; and yet the writings in heaven have as real an existence as those in the world, and the angels there have every thing that is useful for life and useful for wisdom.
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[29.1] All numbers in the Word signify things (n. 482, 487, 647, 648, 755, 813, 1963, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 6470, 6175, 9488, 9659, 10217, 10253).
Shown from heaven (n. 4495, 5265). Composite numbers have the same signification as the simple numbers from which they result by multiplication (n. 5291, 5335, 5708, 7973).
The most ancient people possessed heavenly arcana expressed in numbers forming a kind of computation of states of the church (n. 575).
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