What is the essence of spiritual life? Spiritual life is a simple spiritual Christianity at the core of the teachings in the revelations of Emanuel Swedenborg, from extracts of his larger work Apocalypse Explained. It is annotated with references to his other works. This work sums up the majority of the core of the teachings of Swedenborg's many theological works that is easy for anyone to understand, follow, and apply to one's life. It is a simple life of following the commandments to become a spiritual being:
"Spiritual life is acquired solely by a life according to the commandments in the Word."
"Man's interior is purified only as he refrains from evils, in accordance with the commandments of the Decalogue."
"Man is placed in the middle between heaven and hell. Out of heaven goods unceasingly flow in, and out of hell evils unceasingly flow in; and as man is between he has freedom to think what is good or to think what is evil. This freedom the Lord never takes away from anyone, for it belongs to his life, and is the means of his reformation."
"There are two internals in man, one beneath and the other above. While man lives in the world he is in the internal which is beneath and from which he thinks, for it is natural. This may be called for the sake of distinction the interior. But the internal that is above is that into which man comes after death when he enters heaven."
One is guided into the spiritual life from the Word:
"That the Word is Divine truth itself, which gives wisdom to angels and enlightens men, can be perceived or seen only by a man enlightened. For to a worldly man, whose mind has not been raised above the sensual sphere, the Word in the sense of the letter appears so simple that scarcely anything could be more simple; and yet Divine truth, such as it is in the heavens and from which angels have their wisdom, lies concealed in it as in its sanctuary."
"That the Word is holy and Divine from inmosts to outermosts is not evident to the man who leads himself, but is evident to the man whom the Lord leads. For the man who leads himself sees only the external of the Word, and forms his opinion of it from its style; but the man whom the Lord leads forms his opinion of the external of the Word from the holiness that is in it."