Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1642

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1642. Such then is the speech used by spirits; but the speech of angelic spirits is more universal and perfect still, while that of angels is even more universal and perfect than that; for, as stated already, there are three heavens, the first where good spirits are, the second where angelic spirits are, and the third where angels are. The degrees of perfection rise one above another in this way, as things that are more exterior do in relation to more interior, almost - to use a comparison that will enable this point to be seen - as hearing stands in relation to sight, and sight to thought. For that which hearing is able to take in through an hour of speech may be presented to the sight within a minute, such as for example, views of plains, palaces, and cities. And what may be beheld by the eye over many hours may be comprehended by thought within a minute. Such is the measure of difference between the speech of spirits and that of angelic spirits, and between the latter's speech and that of angels. For angelic spirits acquire a clearer understanding from one single idea comprising speech or thought than spirits do by means of several thousand; and the understanding of angels is similarly greater compared to that of angelic spirits. How must it be then with the Lord, who is the source of all the life of affection, thought, and speech, and who alone is Speech and the Word?

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