Will we have to endure practical jokes in Heaven?

Yes and no. It depends on what we believe constitutes true happiness in heaven.

According to scientists/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, who claimed to have been given the special ability (by the Lord) to observe people in the “other” world, he saw angels play pranks on newcomers. He admitted to personally witnessing some hilarious scenarios.

He observed that certain individuals, upon entering the spiritual world after the death of the physical body, were allowed to experience what they believed to represent true heavenly happiness. So, special “staged” events were set up for these individuals – always with the specific purpose of driving home some important point about heavenly realities.

A particularly comical event that Swedenborg describes watching in the spiritual world involved a small group of clergymen. In his book, Conjugial Love, he describes this particular group of clergymen as believing that eternal happiness consisted of having dominion over others, boundless wealth, living in regal magnificence and splendor, reigning with Christ forever, and being personally administered to by a continuous flow of attendant angels.

Swedenborg records watching the clergymen being led by angelic spirits to a special portico where they were then told to prepare themselves as princes and kings. Thrones suddenly appeared in the portico next to each clergyman. Upon these thrones were silken robes, scepters, and crowns that they were to adorn themselves with.

After they put on their regal attire they were told to take their seats upon the thrones. Then they were told to wait.

Soon after, Swedenborg observed a strange mist rising up from below the portico. As the clergymen sitting in their thrones inhaled this mist, their heads began to swell and their chests puffed-out. With each breath of the mist the clergymen seemed to be filling themselves with the intoxicating belief and confidence that they were now truly kings and princes.

Having observed the dynamics of the spiritual world for many years, Swedenborg knew that everything in the spiritual environment reflected some inner quality and state of mind of its inhabitants (correspondence). So he was able to determine that the strange mist, which came up from the portico, represented the “aura of fantasy” that was inspiring these misdirected souls. In the spiritual world, mists appear among those who suffer from some cognitive obscurity that leads to self-delusion.

From time to time angelic spirits would come by to visit the portico and issue various proclamations to assure those sitting on the thrones that they were indeed royalty, and that if they wait just a little longer, courtiers would soon come and deliver them to their heavenly palaces.

They waited and waited. But no one came.

They had been kept in such an extreme state of expectation by their angelic visitors that after a few hours of this ego stroking and flattery, the clergymen became utterly exhausted from the intensity of their desire.

Eventually a voice was heard coming from above the clergymen, chiding them. To paraphrase, the voice said, “You knuckleheads! Why do you sit on your butts and think you deserve to be treated specially? Have you forgotten the Lord’s words that he who wishes to become great in heaven becomes a servant?”

If you believe that heaven is buzzing with activity because everyone there is using their God-given talents to unselfishly love and serve others, you will be safe from such practical jokes.

Even if you are skeptical that Swedenborg observed such outrageous scenarios playing out in the spiritual world, you will have to admit he successfully exposed true aspects of our human nature. In fact, he reveals deep psychological insights to human nature in all his amazing accounts of life in the spiritual world.

What do you believe heavenly happiness is?



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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2 Responses to Will we have to endure practical jokes in Heaven?

  1. Vaishali says:

    I am a very big fan of Swedenborg’s, I even stole the title of my first book after his wisdom “You Are What You Love.” What I most appreciate about his writings is that we are finally offered an understanding and perspective on Spirituality and Divine Love and Wisdom that actually makes sense. God is not mad at us. God does not judge us. God respects our free will, without punishment. We choose whether we will in Heaven or in hell depending on what we give our attention to. God did not create hell to punish us, we created hell, when we refused to give our attention to things that live in a Heavenly place.

    I find that my personal experience of Heaven on Earth, matches exactly what Swedenborg describes as the affections of Heaven. When I am sharing more love, truth, wisdom and inspiration with others. When I am engage in being of meaningful service to others. These are all the sources of deep and lasting happiness on Earth as they are in Heaven. And I am sure that when I arrive in the non-physical version of Heaven, I will find Emmanuel Swedenborg there, and we will share that happiness with the entire Heavenly community and it will be glorious!

  2. thegodguy says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    Yes! Heaven is not some place you go to. It is something you become.

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