I was brought into a state in which my physical senses were inoperativevery much, then, like the state of people who are dying. However, my deeper life and thought remained intact so that I could perceive and retain what was happening to me and what happens to people who are being awakened from death. I noticed that my physical breathing was almost suspended, and a deeper breathing, a breathing of the spirit, continued along with a very slight and silent physical one.
At first a connection was established between my heartbeat and the heavenly kingdom, because that kingdom corresponds to the human heart. I also saw angels from that kingdom, some at a distance, but two sitting close to my head. The effect was to take away all my own emotions, but to leave me still in possession of thought and higher perception. I remained in this state for several hours.
Then the spirits who were around me gradually drew away, thinking that I was dead. I sensed a sweet odor like that of an embalmed body, because when heavenly angels are present anything having to do with a corpse smells sweet. When spirits sense this, they cannot come near. This is also how evil spirits are kept away from our spirit when we are being admitted into eternal life.
The angels who were sitting beside my head were silent, simply sharing their thoughts with mine. When the deceased accepts those thoughts, the angels know that the person’s spirit is ready to be led out of the body. They accomplished this sharing of thoughts by looking into my face. This is actually how thoughts are shared in heaven.
Since I had been left in possession of thought and higher perception so that I could learn and remember how awakening happens, I noticed that at first the angels were examining my thoughts to see whether they were like those of dying individuals, who are normally thinking about eternal life. They wanted to keep my mind in these thoughts. I was later told that as the body is breathing its last, our spirit is kept in its final thought until eventually it comes back to the thoughts that flowed from our basic or ruling love in the world.
I was in particular allowed to perceive and even to feel that there was a pull, a kind of drawing out of the deeper levels of my mind and therefore of my spirit from my body; and I was told that this was being done by the Lord and that it is what brings about our resurrection.
When heavenly angels are with people who have been awakened they do not leave them, because they love everyone. But some spirits are simply unable to be in the company of heavenly angels very long and want them to leave. When this happens, angels from the Lord’s spiritual kingdom arrive, through whom we are granted the use of light, since before this we could not see anything but could only think.
I was also shown how this is done. It seemed as though the angels rolled back a covering from my left eye toward the bridge of my nose so that my eye was opened and able to see. To the spirit, it seems as though this were actually happening, but it is only apparently so. As this covering seemed to be rolled back, I could see a kind of bright but diffused light like the light we see through our eyelids when we are first waking up. It seemed to me as though this bright, diffused light had a heavenly color to it, but I was later told that this varies. After that, it felt as though something were being rolled gently off my face, and once this was done I had access to spiritual thought. This rolling of something off the face is an appearance, and it represents the fact that we are moving from physical thinking to spiritual thinking. Angels take the greatest care to shield the awakening person from any concept that does not have love in it. Then they tell the individual that she or he is a spirit.