Do angels “yuck it up” in heaven?

According to scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg, the answer is no!

How would he know about such arcane things? Swedenborg claimed that the Lord had opened his spiritual eyes so that he could see into the Spiritual World while still living in the physical body. He enjoyed this spiritual perception for almost three decades and wrote a shelf-full of books describing his rarefied experiences—not the least of which was a completely new systematic overhaul of Christian theology.

While he recorded that angels enjoyed unimaginable happiness in heaven, they never laughed. In fact, they were not even capable of laughter or telling jokes.

Swedenborg described laughter as inwardly consisting of an affection for truth. People on earth laugh because they recognize and appreciate a certain kind of “truth” or its opposite being communicated within a funny situation or joke. For instance, when someone slips on a banana peel it presents to us a logical and rational outcome of stepping on a slippery material and letting gravity do the rest.

However, laughter also includes a certain negative factor and element of contempt as well—like a person falling on his or her ass and getting hurt and humiliated. The mixture of both a perceived “truth” with a negative corporeal consequence is needed to produce worldly laughter. It is the second, negative element and disregard within human laughter that angels never experience. In the spiritual world people slip only because of making bad choices and decisions—there is no physical/corporeal element involved in such a slip (like a banana peel). So instead of laughter, angels can only show empathy and concern.

Simply put, angels lack the corporeal element and disdain arising from self-love that is needed to produce worldly laughter.

If you have any doubts about this I invite you to ponder what things have made you laugh in the past. You will find they contain an odd mixture of both truth and disdain. Jokes about politicians quickly come to mind…

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
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8 Responses to Do angels “yuck it up” in heaven?

  1. Jonathan Simons says:

    Bah Humbug!

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Jonathan,

    Rejoice – we can still yuck it up on earth!

    Spiritually yours,

  3. Susan says:

    I’ve heard that before. And I do believe it.
    However, here I am looking for a blog about Swedenborg that is not so serious. Lighthearted. Chatty. Colloquial. Not preachy – geeze why is all of religious thought so preachy? I don’t want to be lectured. I want to be entertained by the delight of Swedenborg. I think your blog might just be THE ONE!
    I even once tried to write my own Swedenborg blog – I called it Swedenblogian (how cool is that?). It was funny and meaningful, I think. Hmmm .. someday I’ll begin it again.
    I have wayyyyy too much to say on this subject. Would you like me to guest post for you sometime? Ooops, sorry, … really, now I’ll read your blog for a while. Even though the angels don’t laugh in heaven, we can still laugh here – I hope you write something funny!

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Susan,

    Sorry to disappoint you.

    I sense you are Swedenborgian. However, this blog is mostly directed at non-Swedenborgians. I have made a career in trying to spread Swedenborg’s ideas out into the rest of the world.

    To date I have published about 350 post topics on this blog (I am sure they cover things that even you have not heard before). And I have used humor in some of them. My posts entitled “Keep those arms up, Moses!” and “Ideas for new lie-detector technologies” come to mind as being humorous.

    One big reason for my seriousness is that I am also using this blog to promote my new book “Proving God” which unifies science and theology through Swedenborg’s unique insights. This blog is not intended for light reading.

    If you wish to write a quest post send me something at

    Spiritually yours,

  5. Sue says:

    You sense I am Swedenborgian? Ooooh, I’m honored! Actually I live in the middle of Iowa and have never seen a real, live Swedenborgian in my life. I read him though.
    I sense that your blog IS intended for light reading because I just started browsing and I love it. “Light” reading – get it?

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    I personally know of at least one Swedenborgian (and his family) in Iowa. Buy if I am the first real, live Swedenborgian you have come across in your life that’s very funny indeed.

    I am considered a renegade among other Swedenborgians and am not a product of their culture or community. Hopefully that will allow me to keep my blog fresh and innovative.

    Spiritually yours,

  7. Sue says:

    Thanks to the Internet, I have come across some Swedenborgians: many that are churched and a couple that, like me, love him from afar. But, I have never seen one in real life.
    Mr. Swedenborg himself was able to keep up a lively conversation from what I’ve gathered. He liked people. And now, I really will conclude my “guest post” and become a patient reader of your blog … you are keepin it real and that’s what I meant by “funny”.

  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    I welcome your future comments and interest. Tomorrow’s blog post “Creation, Evolution and Influx” will challenge even the best Swedenborgian minds.

    Spiritually yours,

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