Icon by Chantal Heinegg



When we are being faced with our deeds after death, angels who have been given the task of examining look searchingly into the face and continue their examination through the whole body, beginning with the fingers first of one hand and then of the other and continuing through the whole... just as the details of our thought and intention are inscribed on our brains... so they are inscribed on the whole body as well, since all the elements of our thought and intention move out into the body... and take definition there in their outmost forms.

This is why the things that are inscribed on our memory from our intention and consequent thought are inscribed not only on the brain but also on the whole person, where they take form in a pattern that follows the pattern of the parts of the body... our overall nature depends on the nature of our intention and thought, so that evil people are their own evil and good people are their own good.

We may also gather from this what is meant by our book of life... it is fact that all our deeds and all our thoughts are written on our whole person, and seem as though they are read from a book when they are called out of our memory.

I should like to add to this something noteworthy about the memory that we keep after death... not just the general contents but even the smallest details that have entered our memory do last and are never erased.

...we have an outer and an inner memory, the outer proper to our natural person and the inner proper to our spiritual person. The details of what we have thought, intended, said, and done, even what we have heard and seen, are inscribed on our inner or spiritual memory. There is no way to erase anything there, since everything is written at once on our spirit itself and on the members of our body, as noted above... our spirit is formed in accord with what we have thought and what we have done intentionally.

Let no one believe, then, that there is anything we have thought or done in secret that will remain hidden after death. Believe rather that absolutely everything will come out into broad daylight.


  Heaven and Hell,  Emanuel Swedenborg, section 463, as published by the Swedenborg foundation




Portrait of Swedenborg by Carl Frederick von Breda