When angels and spirits talk with us, it sounds just as audible as when we talk with each other, but it is not audible to people who are nearby, only to ourselves. This is because the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into our thought and then by an inner route into our organ of hearing so that it activates it from within. Our speech with each other flows first into the air and comes to our organ of hearing and activates it by an outward route. We can see from this that the speech of an angel or spirit with us is heard within us, and that since it activates our hearing mechanism just as much [as our speech with each other does], it is just as audible.
The fact that the speech of an angel or spirit flows down into the ear from within has been made clear to me from the way it flowed into my tongue as well and made it tremble slightly, though not with the actual motion involved when we are articulating the sounds of speech in the formation of words. . . .
Conversation with angels is not granted, though, except to people who are focused on truths that flow from good intent, especially people who acknowledge the Lord and the divine nature within his human nature, because this is the truth in which heaven exists. For [as discussed in my work Heaven and Hell] the Lord is heaven’s God; the Lord’s divine nature makes heaven; the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love for him and thoughtfulness from him toward one’s neighbor; and the whole heaven, grasped as a single entity, reflects a single individual, as does each community of heaven; and each individual angel has a perfect human form because of the Lord’s divine human nature. We can see from this that conversation with angels is not granted except to people whose deeper levels have been opened by divine truths all the way to the Lord, since it is into these that the Lord flows within us, and when the Lord flows in, so does heaven.
The reason divine truths open our deeper levels is that we have been so created that our inner person is an image of heaven and our outer an image of the world; and our inner person is opened only by the divine truth that emanates from the Lord, because this is the light and the life of heaven.
The inflow of the Lord himself into us is into the forehead and from there into the whole face. The inflow of the spiritual angels who are with us is into our head overall, from the forehead and temples to the whole region that covers the cerebrum, because this area corresponds to our intelligence. In contrast, the inflow of heavenly angels is into the part of the head that covers the cerebellum and is called the occiput, from one ear to the other and down to the neck, since this area corresponds to our wisdom.
All the speech of angels comes into our thoughts by these two paths. This has enabled me to notice just which angels were talking with me.
People who talk with heaven’s angels also see the things that are in heaven because they are seeing in that light of heaven that surrounds their inner levels. Not only that, through them angels see things that are on our earth. For people who talk with angels, heaven is actually united to our world and our world to heaven; for as already noted, when angels turn toward us they unite themselves with us so completely that it seems to them exactly as though whatever is ours is actually theirs. This applies not only to elements of our language but to what is involved in our sight and hearing. In addition, it seems to us exactly as though the things that are flowing in through the angels are really ours.
The earliest humans on our planet enjoyed this kind of union with heaven’s angels, which is why their times are called the Golden Age. Because they acknowledged the Divine in human form and therefore were acknowledging the Lord, they talked with heaven’s angels as they did with members of their own family, and heaven’s angels talked with them in the same way; and in them heaven and this world were a single whole.
But after those times, people moved step by step away from heaven by loving themselves more than the Lord and the world more than heaven. So they began to feel the pleasures of self-love and love of the world separately from the pleasures of heaven, ultimately to the point where they did not know there was any other kind of pleasure. Then their deeper levels were closed, the levels that open into heaven, while their outer levels were open to the world. Once this has happened, we are in the light in respect to everything in this world and in darkness in respect to everything in heaven.