For the last twenty-five years of his studious life, the eminent philosopher and man of science Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772,) resided in London. But as the English are not very talkative, he fell into the habit of conversing with devils and angels. God granted him the privilege of visiting the Other World and of entering into the lives of its inhabitants.

Christ had said that souls, in order to be admitted into Heaven, must be righteous. Swedenborg added that they must also be intelligent; later on Blake stipulated that they should be artists and poets. Swedenborg's Angels are those souls who have chosen Heaven. They need no words, it is enough that an Angel only think of another in order to have him at his side. Two people who have loved each other on earth become a single Angel. Their world is ruled by love; every Angel is a Heaven. Their shape is that of a perfect human being; Heaven's shape is the same.

The Angels, in whatever direction they look --- north, east, south, or west --- are always face to face with God. They are, above all, divines; their chief delight lies in prayer and in the unraveling of theological problems. Earthly things are but emblems of heavenly things. The sun stands for the godhead. In Heaven there is no time; the appearance of things changes according to moods. The Angels' garments shine according to their intelligence. The souls of the rich are richer than the souls of the poor, since the rich are accustomed to wealth.

In Heaven, all objects, furniture, and cities are more physical and more complex than those of our earth; colors are more varied and splendid. Angels of English stock show a tendency to politics; Jews to the sale of trinkets; Germans tote bulky volumes which they consult before venturing an answer. Since Moslems venerate Mohammed, God has provided them with an Angel who impersonates the Prophet. The poor in spirit and hermits are denied the pleasures of Heaven, for they would be unable to enjoy them.

--- Manual de Zoología Fantástica
(Handbook of Fantastic Zoology)

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