Your Place in Heaven

I’ve posted before about angels who go to the lower levels of heaven being content with their place, since they are as happy as they can be and don’t wish to be in the higher heavens.  I was having a conversation about this recently, and another thought struck me that helped me picture the attitude these angels probably have.

Imagine if someone told you that your children would be happier, stronger, more loving people than you.  Imagine if they told you that your children would be closer to the Lord than you were able to be in your life.  How would you feel about that?  Disappointed?  Cheated?  I doubt it.  You’d probably be immensely grateful.  If we’re told that our children will go to a higher heaven than we will, it does not seem unfair – we just feel honored that we were able to play some small part in helping them there (or at least that’s how I think I would feel, realizing that I don’t actually know what it’s like to have kids).  (And leaving aside any disappointment over not living in the same place – there are passages in the Writings about friends from different heavens meeting and embracing each other, but that’s a whole nother discussion.)

If we were truly angelic, we’d have that same sort of love for EVERYONE that a parent has for a child.  I’ve realized that I’m actually pretty bad at picturing what it would feel like to REALLY love others more than myself all the time.  When I think in those terms, it makes sense in my mind that lower angels would be happy for the higher angels, but I have a hard time actually relating to that as a real feeling.  Picturing it in terms of a parent with a child, though, it makes sense emotionally as well as intellectually.


About Coleman Glenn

I'm a New Church (Swedenborgian) minister and Patheos blogger (
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3 Responses to Your Place in Heaven

  1. Rob Beiswenger says:


    Do you think people are aware that others are in a “higher Heaven”?? I just figured it happened without much thought. People naturally associate with those like them, so in time people would leave for the place they are destined for, so to speak.

    Even though the Writings talk about higher and lower, I’m not sure there are elevators or stairs separating them. If it’s like Earth, they’re around each other in towns, neighborhoods, just they are more properly sorted according to their desires.

    So, I’m just wondering if the higher/lower thing is a state of mind and people aren’t so separate as it seems in the Writings sometimes?

    Lastly, in terms of people’s spiritual success, I think it’s helpful to look how someone did in comparison to their parents. There are some people, who will remain nameless, who I was quite frustrated with, but if you look at them in comparison to the previous generation they seem to have made a giant leap forward. Anyway, that has given me some peace of mind in.

  2. Mom says:

    I think this is a good explanation for people who feel they’ll be cheated if they go to a lower heaven, although I myself will just be happy to get there at all.

    Once someone gets to heaven, I agree with Robbie in that probably if you’re an angel you don’t consciously think about being in higher or lower heavens, you just go about your business.

  3. Mom says:

    oops, I mean Rob.

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