Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 

Heaven and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by John C. Ager [1900] at

Heaven and Hell


Let it be understood that man is wholly such as his interiors are, and not such as his exteriors are separate from his interiors. This is because his interiors belong to his spirit, and the life of his spirit is the life of man, for from it his body lives; and because of this such as a man's interiors are such he continues to be to eternity. But as the exteriors pertain to the body they are separated after death, and those of them that adhere to the spirit are laid asleep, and serve purely as a plane for the interiors, as has been shown above in treating of the memory of man which continues after death. This makes evident what is man's own and what is not his own, namely, that with the evil man nothing that belongs to his exterior thought from which he speaks, or to the exterior will from which he acts, is his own, but only that which belongs to his interior thought and will.


When the first state, which is the state of the exteriors treated of in the preceding chapter, has been passed through, the man-spirit is let into the state of his interiors, or into the state of his interior will and its thought, in which he had been in the world when left to himself to think freely and without restraint. Into this state he unconsciously glides, just as when in the world he withdraws the thought nearest to his speech, that is, from which he speaks, towards his interior thought and abides in the latter. Therefore in this state of his interiors the man-spirit is in himself and in his very life; for to think freely from his own affection is the very life of man, and is himself.


In this state the spirit thinks from his very will, thus from his very affection, or from his very love; and thought and will then make one, and one in such a manner that he seems scarcely to think but only to will. It is nearly the same when he speaks, yet with the difference that he speaks with a kind of fear that the thoughts of the will may go forth naked, since by his social life in the world this has come to be a part of his will.


All men without exception are let into this state after death, because it is their spirit's own state. The former state is such as the man was in regard to his spirit when in company; and that is not his own state. That this state, namely, the state of the exteriors into which man first comes after death (as shown in the preceding chapter) is not his own state, many things show, for example, that spirits not only think but also speak from their affection, since their speech is from their affection (as has been said and shown in the chapter on the speech of angels, n. 234-245). It was in this way that man had thought while in the world when he was thinking within himself, for at such times his thought was not from his bodily words, but he [mentally] saw the things, and in a minute of time saw more than he could afterwards utter in half an hour. Again that the state of the exteriors is not man's own state or the state of his spirit is evident from the fact that when he is in company in the world he speaks in accord with the laws of moral and civil life, and at such times interior thought rules the exterior thought, as one person rules another, to keep him from transgressing the limits of decorum and good manners. It is evident also from the fact that when a man thinks within himself, he thinks how he must speak and act in order to please and to secure friendship, good will, and favor, and this in extraneous ways, that is, otherwise than he would do if he acted in accordance with his own will. All this shows that the state of the interiors that the spirit is let into is his own state, and was his own state when he was living in the world as a man.


When the spirit is in the state of his interiors it becomes clearly evident what the man was in himself when he was in the world, for at such times he acts from what is his own. He that had been in the world interiorly in good then acts rationally and wisely, and even more wisely than in the world, because he is released from connection with the body, and thus from those earthly things that caused obscurity and interposed as it were a cloud. But he that was in evil in the world then acts foolishly and insanely, and even more insanely than in the world, because he is free and under no restraint. For while he lived in the world he was sane in outward appearance, since by means of externals he made himself appear to be a rational man; but when he has been stripped of his externals his insanities are revealed. An evil man who in externals takes on the semblance of a good man may be likened to a vessel shining and polished on the outside and covered with a lid, within which filth of all kinds is hidden, in accordance with the Lord's saying: Ye are like whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).


All that have lived a good life in the world and have acted from conscience, who are such as have acknowledged the Divine and have loved Divine truths, especially such as have applied those truths to life, seem to themselves, when let into the state of their interiors, like one aroused from sleep into full wakefulness, or like one passing from darkness into light. They then think from the light of heaven, thus from an interior wisdom, and they act from good, thus from an interior affection. Heaven flows into their thoughts and affections with an interior blessedness and delight that they had previously had no knowledge of; for they have communication with the angels of heaven. They then acknowledge the Lord and worship Him from their very life, for being in the state of their interiors they are in their proper life (as has been said just above, n. 505); and as freedom pertains to interior affection they then acknowledge and worship the Lord from freedom. Thus, too, they withdraw from external sanctity and come into that internal sanctity in which worship itself truly consists. Such is the state of those that have lived a Christian life in accordance with the commandments in the Word. [2] But the state of those that have lived an evil life in the world and who have had no conscience, and have in consequence denied the Divine, is the direct opposite of this. For everyone who lives an evil life, inwardly in himself denies the Divine, however much he may suppose when in external thought that he acknowledges the Lord and does not deny Him; for acknowledging the Divine and living an evil life are opposites. When such in the other life enter into the state of their interiors, and are heard speaking and seen acting, they appear foolish; for from their evil lusts they burst forth into all sorts of abominations, into contempt of others, ridicule and blasphemy, hatred and revenge; they plot intrigues, some with a cunning and malice that can scarcely be believed to be possible in any man. For they are then in a state of freedom to act in harmony with the thoughts of their will, since they are separated from the outward conditions that restrained and checked them in the world. In a word, they are deprived of their rationality, because their reason while they were in the world did not have its seat in their interiors, but in their exteriors; and yet they seemed to themselves to be wiser than others. [3] This being their character, while in the second state they are let down by short intervals into the state of their exteriors, and into a recollection of their actions when they were in the state of their interiors; and some of them then feel ashamed, and confess that they have been insane; some do not feel ashamed; and some are angry because they are not permitted to remain permanently in the state of their exteriors. But these are shown what they would be if they were to continue in that state, namely, that they would attempt to accomplish in secret ways the same evil ends, and by semblances of goodness, honesty, and justice, would mislead the simple in heart and faith, and would utterly destroy themselves; for their exteriors would at length burn with the same fire as their interiors, and their whole life would be consumed.


When in this second state spirits become visibly just what they had been in themselves while in the world, what they then did and said secretly being now made manifest; for they are now restrained by no outward considerations, and therefore what they have said and done secretly they now say and endeavor to do openly, having no longer any fear of loss of reputation, such as they had in the world. They are also brought into many states of their evils, that what they are may be evident to angels and good spirits. Thus are hidden things laid open and secret things uncovered, in accordance with the Lord's words: There is nothing covered up that shall not be revealed, and hid that shall not be known. Whatsoever ye have said in the darkness shall be heard in the light, and what ye have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers shall be proclaimed on the housetops (Luke 12:2, 3). And elsewhere: I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt. 12:36).


The nature of the wicked in this state cannot be described in a few words, for each one is insane in accord with his own lusts, and these are various; therefore I will merely mention some special instances from which conclusions may be formed respecting the rest. Those that have loved themselves above everything, and in their occupations and employments have looked to their own honor, and have performed uses and found delight in them not for the use's sake but for the sake of reputation, that they might because of them be esteemed more worthy than others, and have thus been fascinated by their reputation for honor, are more stupid in this second state than others; for so far as one loves himself he is separated from heaven, and so far as he is separated from heaven he is separated from wisdom. [2] But those that have not only been in self-love but have been crafty also, and have raised themselves to honors by means of crafty practices, affiliate themselves with the worst of spirits, and learn magic arts, which are abuses of Divine order, and by means of these they assail and infest all who do not honor them, laying snares, fomenting hatred, burning with revenge, and are eager to vent their rage on all who do not yield to them; and they rush into all these enormities so far as their fiendish companions favor them; and at length they meditate upon how they can climb up into heaven to destroy it, or be worshiped there as gods. To such length does their madness carry them. [3] Papists of this character are more insane than the rest, for they cherish the notion that heaven and hell are subject to their power, and that they can remit sins at pleasure, claiming to themselves all that is Divine, and calling themselves Christ. This persuasion is such with them that wherever it flows in it disturbs the mind and induces darkness even to pain. Such are nearly the same in both the first and the second state; but in the second they are without rationality. Of their insanities and their lot after this state some particulars will be given in the treatise on The Last Judgement and the Destruction of Babylon. [4] Those that have attributed creation to nature, and have therefore in heart if not with the lips denied the Divine, and thus all things of the church and of heaven, affiliate with their like in this second state, and call everyone a god who excels in craftiness, worshiping him even with Divine honors. I have seen such in an assembly adoring a magician, debating about nature, and behaving like fools, as if they were beasts under a human form, while among them there were some who in the world had been in stations of dignity, and some who had been esteemed learned and wise. So with others in other states. [5] From these few instances it may be inferred what those are who have the interiors of their minds closed heaven- wards, as is the case with all who have received no influx out of heaven through acknowledgment of the Divine and a life of faith. Everyone can judge from himself how he would act if, being such, he were left free to act with no fear of the law and no fear in regard to his life, and with no outward restraints, such as fear of injury to one's reputation or of loss of honor and gain and consequent pleasures. [6] Nevertheless, the insanity of such is restrained by the Lord that it may not rush beyond the limits of use; for even such spirits perform some use. In them good spirits see what evil is and its nature, and what man is when he is not led by the Lord. Another of their uses is their collecting together evil spirits like themselves and separating them from the good; and another, that the truths and goods that the evil had outwardly professed and feigned are taken away from them, and they are brought into the evils of their life and the falsities of their evil, and are thus prepared for hell. [7] For no one enters hell until he is in his own evil and the falsities of evil, since no one is permitted there to have a divided mind, that is, to think and speak one thing and to will another. Every evil spirit there must think what is false from evil, and speak from the falsity of evil, in both respects from the will, thus from his own essential love and its delight and pleasure, in the same way that he thought while in the world when he was in his spirit, that is, in the same way as he thought in himself when he thought from interior affection. The reason is that the will is the man himself, and not the thought except so far as it partakes of the will, the will being the very nature itself or disposition of the man. Therefore man's being let into his will is being let into his nature or disposition, and likewise into his life; for by his life man puts on a nature; and after death he continues to be such as the nature is that he has acquired by his life in the world; and with the evil this nature can no longer be amended and changed by means of the thought or by the understanding of truth.


When evil spirits are in this second state, as they rush into evils of every kind they are subjected to frequent and grievous punishments. In the world of spirits there are many kinds of punishment; and there is no regard for person, whether one had been in the world a king or a servant. Every evil carries its punishment with it, the two making one; therefore whoever is in evil is also in the punishment of evil. And yet no one in the other world suffers punishment on account of the evils that he had done in this world, but only on account of the evils that he then does; although it amounts to the same and is the same thing whether it be said that men suffer punishment on account of their evils in the world or that they suffer punishment on account of the evils they do in the other life, since everyone after death returns into his own life and thus into like evils; and the man continues the same as he had been in the life of the body (n. 470-484). Men are punished for the reason that the fear of punishment is the sole means of subduing evils in this state. Exhortation is no longer of any avail, neither is instruction or fear of the law and of the loss of reputation, since everyone then acts from his nature; and that nature can be restrained and broken only by punishments. But good spirits, although they had done evils in the world, are never punished, because their evils do not return. Moreover, I have learned that the evils they did were of a different kind or nature, not being done purposely in opposition to the truth, or from any other badness of heart than that which they received by inheritance from their parents, and that they were borne into this by a blind delight when they were in externals separate from internals.


Everyone goes to his own society in which his spirit had been in the world; for every man, as regards his spirit, is conjoined to some society, either infernal or heavenly, the evil man to an infernal society and the good man to a heavenly society, and to that society he is brought after death (see n. 438). The spirit is led to his society gradually, and at length enters it. When an evil spirit is in the state of his interiors he is turned by degrees toward his own society, and at length, before that state is ended, directly to it; and when that state is ended he himself casts himself into the hell where those are who are like himself. This act of casting down appears to the sight like one falling headlong with the head downwards and the feet upwards. The cause of this appearance is that the spirit himself is in an inverted order, having loved infernal things and rejected heavenly things. In this second state some evil spirits enter the hells and come out again by turns; but these do not appear to fall headlong as those do that are fully vastated. Moreover, the society itself in which they had been as regards their spirit while in the world is shown to them when they are in the state of their exteriors, that they may thus learn that even while in the life of the body they were in hell, although not in the same state as those that are in hell itself, but in the same state as those who are in the world of spirits. Of this state, as compared with those that are in hell, more will be said hereafter.


In this second state the separation of evil spirits from good spirits takes place. For in the first state they are together, since while a spirit is in his exteriors he is as he was in the world, thus the evil with the good and the good with the evil; but it is otherwise when he has been brought into his interiors and left to his own nature or will. The separation of evil spirits from good spirits is effected by various means; in general by their being taken about to those societies with which in their first state they had communication by means of their good thoughts and affections, thus to those societies that they had induced to believe by outward appearances that they were not evil. Usually they are led about through a wide circle, and everywhere what they really are is made manifest to good spirits. At the sight of them the good spirits turn away; and at the same time the evil spirits who are being led about turn their faces away from the good towards that quarter where their infernal society is, into which they are about to come. Other methods of separation, which are many, will not now be mentioned.


LIII. THIRD STATE OF MAN AFTER DEATH, WHICH IS A STATE OF INSTRUCTION FOR THOSE WHO ENTER HEAVEN. The third state of man after death, that is, of his spirit, is a state of instruction. This state is for those who enter heaven and become angels. It is not for those who enter hell, because such are incapable of being taught, and therefore their second state is also their third, ending in this, that they are wholly turned to their own love, thus to that infernal society which is in a like love. When this has been done they will and think from that love and as that love is infernal they will nothing but what is evil and think nothing but what is false; and in such thinking and willing they find their delights, because these belong to their love; and in consequence of this they reject everything good and true which they had previously adopted as serviceable to their love as means. [2] Good spirits, on the other hand, are led from the second state into the third, which is the state of their preparation for heaven by means of instruction. For one can be prepared for heaven only by means of knowledges of good and truth, that is, only by means of instruction, since one can know what spiritual good and truth are, and what evil and falsity are, which are their opposites, only by being taught. One can learn in the world what civil and moral good and truth are, which are called justice and honesty, because there are civil laws in the world that teach what is just, and there is interaction with others whereby man learns to live in accordance with moral laws, all of which have relation to what is honest and right. But spiritual good and truth are learned from heaven, not from the world. They can be learned from the Word and from the doctrine of the church that is drawn from the Word and yet unless man in respect to his interiors which belong to his mind is in heaven spiritual good and truth cannot flow into his life; and man is in heaven when he both acknowledges the Divine and acts justly and honestly for the reason that he ought so to act because it is commanded in the Word. This is living justly and honestly for the sake of the Divine, and not for the sake of self and the world, as ends. [3] But no one can so act until he has been taught, for example, that there is a God, that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is a life after death, that God ought to be loved supremely, and the neighbor as oneself, and that what is taught in the Word, ought to be believed because the Word is Divine. Without a knowledge and acknowledgment of these things man is unable to think spiritually; and if he has no thought about them he does not will them; for what a man does not know he cannot think, and what he does not think he cannot will. So it is when man wills these things that heaven flows into his life, that is, the Lord through heaven, for the Lord flows into the will and through the will into the thought, and through both into the life, and the whole life of man is from these. All this makes clear that spiritual good and truth are learned not from the world but from heaven, and that one can be prepared for heaven only by means of instruction. [4] Moreover, so far as the Lord flows into the life of any one He instructs him, for so far He kindles the will with the love of knowing truths and enlightens the thought to know them; and so far as this is done the interiors of man are opened and heaven is implanted in them; and furthermore, what is Divine and heavenly flows into the honest things pertaining to moral life and into the just things pertaining to civil life in man, and makes them spiritual, since man then does these things from the Divine, which is doing them for the sake of the Divine. For the things honest and just pertaining to moral and civil life which a man does from that source are the essential effects of spiritual life; and the effect derives its all from the effecting cause, since such as the cause is such is the effect.


Instruction is given by the angels of many societies, especially those in the northern and southern quarters, because those angelic societies are in intelligence and wisdom from a knowledge of good and truth. The places of instruction are towards the north and are various, arranged and distinguished according to the kinds and varieties of heavenly goods, that all and each may be instructed there according to their disposition and ability to receive; the places extending round about to a great distance. The good spirits who are to be instructed are brought by the Lord to these places when they have completed their second state in the world of spirits, and yet not all; for there are some that have been instructed in the world, and have been prepared there by the Lord for heaven, and these are taken up into heaven by another way-some immediately after death, some after a short stay with good spirits, where the grosser things of their thoughts and affections which they had contracted from honors and riches in the world are removed, and in that way they are purified. Some first endure vastations, which is effected in places under the soles of the feet, called the lower earth, where some suffer severely. These are such as had confirmed themselves in falsities and yet had led good lives, for when falsities have been confirmed they inhere with much force, and until they have been dispersed truths cannot be seen, and thus cannot be accepted. But vastations and how they are effected have been treated of in the Arcana Coelestia, from which the notes below have been collected. 513-1


All who are in places of instruction dwell apart; for each one is connected in regard to his interiors with that society of heaven which he is about to enter; thus as the societies of heaven are arranged in accord with the heavenly form (see above, n. 200-212), so are the places there where instruction is given; and for this reason when those places are viewed from heaven something like a heaven in a smaller form is seen. They are spread out in length from east to west, and in breadth from south to north; but the breadth appears to be less than the length. The arrangement in general is as follows. In front are those who died in childhood and have been brought up in heaven to the age of early youth; these after passing the state of their infancy with those having charge of them, are brought hither by the Lord and instructed. Behind these are the places where those are taught who died in adult age, and who in the world had an affection for truth derived from good of life. Again, behind these are those who in the world were connected with the Mohammedan religion, and lived a moral life and acknowledged one Divine, and the Lord as the very Prophet. When these withdraw from Mohammed, because he can give them no help, they approach the Lord and worship Him and acknowledge His Divinity, and they are then instructed in the Christian religion. Behind these more to the north are the places of instruction of various heathen nations who in the world have lived a good life in conformity with their religion, and have thereby acquired a kind of conscience, and have done what is just and right not so much from a regard to the laws of their government, as from a regard to the laws of religion, which they believed ought to be sacredly observed, and in no way violated by their doings. When these have been taught they are all easily led to acknowledge the Lord, because it is impressed on their hearts that God is not invisible, but is visible under a human form. These in number exceed all the rest, and the best of them are from Africa.


But all are not taught in the same way, nor by the same societies of heaven. Those that have been brought up from childhood in heaven, not having imbibed falsities from the falsities of religion or defiled their spiritual life with the dregs pertaining to honors and riches in the world, receive instruction from the angels of the interior heavens; while those that have died in adult age receive instruction mainly from angels of the lowest heaven, because these angels are better suited to them than the angels of the interior heavens, who are in interior wisdom which is not yet acceptable to them. But the Mohammedans receive instruction from angels who had been previously in the same religion and had been converted to Christianity. The heathen, too, are taught by their angels.


All teaching there is from doctrine drawn from the Word, and not from the Word apart from doctrine. Christians are taught from heavenly doctrine, which is in entire agreement with the internal sense of the Word. All others, as the Mohammedans and heathen, are taught from doctrines suited to their apprehension, which differ from heavenly doctrine only in this, that spiritual life is taught by means of moral life in harmony with the good tenets of their religion from which they had derived their life in the world.


Instruction in the heavens differs from instruction on earth in that knowledges are not committed to memory, but to life; for the memory of spirits is in their life, for they receive and imbibe everything that is in harmony with their life, and do not receive, still less imbibe, what is not in harmony with it; for spirits are affections, and are therefore in a human form that is similar to their affections. [2] Being such they are constantly animated by an affection for truth that looks to the uses of life; for the Lord provides for everyone's loving the uses suited to his genius; and that love is exalted by the hope of becoming an angel. And as all the uses of heaven have relation to the general use, which is the good of the Lord's kingdom, which in heaven is the fatherland, and as all special and particular uses are to be valued in proportion as they more closely and fully have regard to that general use, so all of these special and particular uses, which are innumerable, are good and heavenly; therefore in everyone an affection for truth is so conjoined with an affection for use that the two make one; and thereby truth is so implanted in use that the truths they acquire are truths of use. In this way are angelic spirits taught and prepared for heaven. [3] An affection for truth that is suited to the use is insinuated by various means, most of which are unknown in the world; chiefly by representatives of uses which in the spiritual world are exhibited in a thousand ways, and with such delights and pleasures that they permeate the spirit from the interiors of its mind to the exteriors of its body, and thus affect the whole; and in consequence the spirit becomes as it were his use; and therefore when he comes into his society, into which he is initiated by instruction, he is in his life by being in his use. 517-1 From all this it is clear that knowledges, which are external truths, do not bring any one into heaven; but the life itself, which is a life of uses implanted by means of knowledges.


There were some spirits who had convinced themselves, by thinking about it in the world, that they would go to heaven and be received before others because of their learning and their great knowledge of the Word and of the doctrines of their churches, believing that they were wise in consequence, and were such as are meant by those of whom it is said that They shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars (Daniel 12:3). But these were examined to see whether their knowledges resided in the memory or in the life. Such of them as had a genuine affection of truth, that is, who had uses separated from what pertains to the body and the world as their end, which are essentially spiritual uses--these, when they had been instructed, were received into heaven; and it was then given them to know what it is that shines in heaven, namely, Divine truth (which is the light of heaven) in use, which is a plane that receives the rays of that light and turns them into various splendors. But those in whom knowledges resided merely in the memory, and who had acquired therefrom an ability to reason about truths and to prove what they had already accepted as principles, seeing such principles, after they had confirmed them, as truths, although they were falsities, these, as they were in no heavenly light, and yet were in a belief derived from the conceit that usually adheres to such intelligence that they were more learned than others, and would for that reason enter heaven and be served by the angels, in order that they might be withdrawn from their delusive faith, were taken up to the first or outmost heaven to be introduced into an angelic society. But at the very threshold their eyes began to be darkened by the inflowing of the light of heaven, and their understanding to be disturbed, and at length they began to gasp as if at the point of death; and as soon as they felt the heat of heaven, which is heavenly love, they began to be inwardly tormented. They were therefore cast down, and afterwards were taught that knowledges do not make an angel, but the life itself, which is gained by means of knowledges, for knowledges regarded in themselves are outside of heaven; but life acquired by means of knowledges is within heaven.


When spirits have been prepared for heaven by instruction in the places above described, which is effected in a short time on account of their being in spiritual ideas that comprehend many particulars together, they are clothed with angelic garments, which are mostly glowing white as if made of fine linen; and they are thus brought to the way that leads upwards towards heaven, and are delivered there to angel guards, and afterwards are received by other angels and introduced into societies and into many blessednesses there. After this each one is led by the Lord into his own society, which is also effected by various ways, sometimes by winding paths. The ways by which they are led are not known to any angel, but are known to the Lord alone. When they come to their own society their interiors are opened; and as these are in conformity with the interiors of the angels who are in that society they are immediately recognized and received with joy.


To this I will add a memorable fact respecting the ways that lead from these places to heaven, by which the newly arrived angels are introduced. There are eight ways, two from each place of instruction, one going up in an eastern direction the other towards the west. Those that enter the Lord's celestial kingdom are introduced by the eastern way, while those that enter the spiritual kingdom are introduced by the western way. The four ways that lead to the Lord's celestial kingdom appear adorned with olive trees and fruit trees of various kinds; but those that lead to the Lord's spiritual kingdom appear adorned with vines and laurels. This is from correspondence, because vines and laurels correspond to affection for truth and its uses, while olives and fruits correspond to affection for good and its uses.


NO ONE ENTERS HEAVEN BY MERCY APART FROM MEANS. Those that have not been instructed about heaven and the way to heaven, and about the life of heaven in man, suppose that being received into heaven is a mere matter of mercy, and is granted to those that have faith, and for whom the Lord intercedes; thus that it is an admission from mere favor; consequently that all men without exception might be saved if the Lord so pleased, and some even believe that all in hell might be so saved. But those who so think know nothing about man, that he is just such as his life is, and that his life is such as his love is, both in respect to the interiors pertaining to his will and understanding and in respect to the exteriors pertaining to his body; also that his bodily form is merely the external form in which the interiors exhibit themselves in effect; consequently that one's love is the whole man (see above, n. 363). Nor do they know that the body lives not from itself, but from its spirit, and that a man's spirit is his essential affection, and his spiritual body is nothing else than his affection in human form, and in such a form it appears after death (see above, n. 453-460). So long as man remains ignorant of all this he may be induced to believe that salvation involves nothing but the Divine good pleasure, which is called mercy and grace.


But first let us consider what the Divine mercy is. The divine mercy is pure mercy towards the whole human race, to save it; and it is also unceasing towards every man, and is never withdrawn from any one; so that everyone is saved who can be saved. And yet no one can be saved except by Divine means, which means the Lord reveals in the Word. The Divine means are what are called Divine truths, which teach how man must live in order to be saved. By these truths the Lord leads man to heaven, and by them He implants in man the life of heaven. This the Lord does for all. But the life of heaven can be implanted in no one unless he abstains from evil, for evil obstructs. So far, therefore, as man abstains from evil he is led by the Lord out of pure mercy by His Divine means, and this from infancy to the end of his life in the world and afterwards to eternity. This is what is meant by the Divine mercy. And from this it is evident that the mercy of the Lord is pure mercy, but not apart from means, that is, it does not look to saving all out of mere good pleasure, however they may have lived.


The Lord never does anything contrary to order, because He Himself is Order. The Divine truth that goes forth from the Lord is what constitutes order; and Divine truths are the laws of order. It is in accord with these laws that the Lord leads man. Consequently to save man by mercy apart from means would be contrary to Divine order, and what is contrary to Divine order is contrary to the Divine. Divine order is heaven in man, and man has perverted this in himself by a life contrary to the laws of order, which are Divine truths. Into this order man is brought back by the Lord out of pure mercy by means of the laws of order; and so far as he is brought back into this order he receives heaven in himself; and he that receives heaven in himself enters heaven. This again makes evident that the Lord's Divine mercy is pure mercy, and not mercy apart from means. 523-1


If men could be saved by mercy apart from means all would be saved, even those in hell; in fact, there would be no hell, because the Lord is mercy itself, love itself, and goodness itself. Therefore it is inconsistent with His Divine to say that He is able to save all apart from means and does not save them. It is known from the Word that the Lord wills the salvation of all, and the damnation of no one.


Most of those who enter the other life from the Christian world bring with them this belief that they can be saved by mercy apart from means, and pray for that mercy; but when examined they are found to believe that entering heaven is merely gaining admission, and that those who are let in are in heavenly joy. They are wholly ignorant of what heaven is and what heavenly joy is, and consequently are told that the Lord denies heaven to no one, and that they can be admitted and can stay there if they desire it. Those who so desired were admitted; but as soon as they reached the first threshold they were seized with such anguish of heart from a draught of heavenly heat, which is the love in which angels are, and from an inflow of heavenly light, which is Divine truth, that they felt in themselves infernal torment instead of heavenly joy, and struck with dismay they cast themselves down headlong. Thus they were taught by living experience that it is impossible to grant heaven to any one from mercy apart from means.


I have occasionally talked with angels about this, and have told them that most of those in the world who live in evil, when they talk with others about heaven and eternal life, express no other idea than that entering heaven is merely being admitted from mercy alone. And this is believed by those especially who make faith the only medium of salvation. For such from the principles of their religion have no regard to the life and the deeds of love that make life, and thus to none of the other means by which the Lord implants heaven in man and renders him receptive of heavenly joy; and as they thus reject every actual mediation they conclude, as a necessary consequence of the principle, that man enters heaven from mercy alone, to which mercy God the Father is believed to be moved by the intercession of the Son. [2] To all this the angels said that they knew such a tenet follows of necessity from the assumption that man is saved by faith alone, and since that tenet is the head of all the rest, and since into it, because it is not true, no light from heaven can flow, this is the source of the ignorance that prevails in the church at this day in regard to the Lord, heaven, the life after death, heavenly joy, the essence of love and charity, and in general, in regard to good and its conjunction with truth, consequently in regard to the life of man, whence it is and what it is; when it should be known that thought never constitutes any one's life, but the will and the consequent deeds; and that the life is from the thought only to the extent that the thought is derived from the will; neither is life from the faith except so far as the faith is derived from love. Angels are grieved that these persons do not know that faith alone is impossible in any one, since faith apart from its origin, which is love, is nothing but knowledge, and in some is merely a sort of persuasion that has the semblance of faith (see above, n. 482). Such a persuasion is not in the life of man, but outside of it, since it is separated from man unless it coheres with his love. [3] The angels said further that those who hold to this principle concerning the essential means of salvation in man must needs believe in mercy apart from means, for they perceive both from natural light and from the experience of sight that faith separate does not constitute the life of man, since those who lead an evil life are able to think and to be persuaded the same as others; and from this comes the belief that the evil as well as the good can be saved, provided that at the hour of death they talk with confidence about intercession, and about the mercy that is granted through that intercession. The angels declared that they had never yet seen any one who had lived an evil life received into heaven from mercy apart from means, whatever trust or confidence (which is preeminently meant by faith) he had exhibited in his talk in the world. [4] When asked about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the apostles, whether they were not received into heaven from mercy apart from means, the angels replied that not one of them was so received, but everyone in accordance with his life in the world; that they knew where these were, and that they were no more esteemed there than others. They said that these persons are mentioned with honor in the Word for the reason that in the internal sense the Lord is meant by them - by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord in respect to the Divine and the Divine Human; by David the Lord in respect to the Divine royalty; and by the apostles the Lord in respect to Divine truths; also that when the Word is read by man the angels have no perception whatever of these men, for their names do not enter heaven; but they have instead a perception of the Lord as He has just been described; consequently in the Word that is in heaven (see above, n. 259) there are no such names mentioned, since that Word is the internal sense of the Word that is in the world. 526-1


I can testify from much experience that it is impossible to implant the life of heaven in those who in the world have lived a life opposite to the life of heaven. There were some who had believed that when after death they should hear Divine truths from the angels they would readily accept them and believe them, and consequently live a different life, and could thus be received into heaven. But this was tried with very many, although it was confined to those who held this belief, and was permitted in their case to teach them that repentance is not possible after death. Some of those with whom the experiment was made understood truths and seemed to accept them; but as soon as they turned to the life of their love they rejected them, and even spoke against them. Others were unwilling to hear them, and at once rejected them. Others wished to have the life of love that they had contracted from the world taken away from them, and to have the angelic life, or the life of heaven, infused in its place. This, too, was permitted to be done; but as soon as the life of their love was taken away they lay as if dead, with their powers gone. By these and other experiments the simple good were taught that no one's life can by any means be changed after death; and that an evil life can in no way be converted into a good life, or an infernal life into an angelic life, for every spirit from head to heel is such as his love is, and therefore such as his life is; and to convert his life into its opposite is to destroy the spirit completely. The angels declare that it would be easier to change a night-owl into a dove, or a horned-owl into a bird of paradise, than to change an infernal spirit into an angel of heaven. That man after death continues to be such as his life had been in the world can be seen above in its own chapter (n. 470-484). From all this it is evident that no one can be received into heaven from mercy apart from means.


IT IS NOT SO DIFFICULT TO LIVE THE LIFE THAT LEADS TO HEAVEN AS IS BELIEVED. There are some who believe that to live the life that leads to heaven, which is called the spiritual life, is difficult, because they have been told that man must renounce the world, must divest himself of the lusts called the lusts of the body and the flesh, and must live spiritually; and they understand this to mean that they must discard worldly things, which consist chiefly in riches and honors; that they must walk continually in pious meditation on God, salvation, and eternal life; and must spend their life in prayers and in reading the Word and pious books. Such is their idea of renouncing the world, and living in the spirit and not in the flesh. But that this is not at all true it has been given me to know by much experience and from conversation with the angels. I have learned, in fact, that those who renounce the world and live in the spirit in this manner acquire a sorrowful life that is not receptive of heavenly joy, since everyone's life continues the same after death. On the contrary, to receive the life of heaven a man must needs live in the world and engage in its business and employments, and by means of a moral and civil life there receive the spiritual life. In no other way can the spiritual life be formed in man, or his spirit prepared for heaven; for to live an internal life and not at the same time an external life is like dwelling in a house that has no foundation, that gradually sinks or becomes cracked and rent asunder, or totters till it falls.


When the life of man is scanned and explored by rational insight it is found to be threefold, namely, spiritual, moral, and civil, with these three lives distinct from each other. For there are men who live a civil life and not as yet a moral and spiritual life; and there are men who live a moral life and not as yet a spiritual life; and there are those who live a civil life, a moral life, and a spiritual life at the same time. These live the life of heaven; but the former live the life of the world separated from the life of heaven. This shows, in the first place, that the spiritual life is not a life separated from natural life or the life of the world, but is joined with it as the soul is joined with its body, and if it were separated it would be, as was said, like living in a house that has no foundation. For moral and civil life is the active plane of the spiritual life, since to will well is the province of the spiritual life, and to act well of the moral and civil life, and if the latter is separated from the former the spiritual life consists solely of thought and speech, and the will, left with no support, recedes; and yet the will is the very spiritual part of man.


That it is not so difficult as some believe to live the life that leads to heaven will now be shown. Who cannot live a civil and moral life? For everyone from his childhood is initiated into that life, and learns what it is by living in the world. Moreover, everyone, whether evil or good, lives that life; for who does not wish to be called honest, and who does not wish to be called just? Almost everyone practices honesty and justice outwardly, so far as to seem to be honest and just at heart, or to seem to act from real honesty and justice. The spiritual man ought to live in like manner, and can do so as easily as the natural man can, with this difference only, that the spiritual man believes in the Divine, and acts honestly and justly, not solely because to so act is in accord with civil and moral laws, but also because it is in accord with Divine laws. As the spiritual man, in whatever he is doing, thinks about Divine things, he has communication with the angels of heaven; and so far as this takes place he is conjoined with them; and thereby his internal man, which regarded in itself is the spiritual man, is opened. When man comes into this state he is adopted and led by the Lord, although himself unconscious of it, and then whatever he does that is honest and just pertaining to moral and civil life, is done from a spiritual motive; and doing what is honest and just from a spiritual motive is doing it from honesty and justice itself, or doing it from the heart. [2] His justice and honesty appear outwardly precisely the same as the justice and honesty of natural men and even of evil and infernal men; but in inward form they are wholly unlike. For evil men act justly and honestly solely for the sake of themselves and the world; and therefore if they had no fear of laws and penalties, or the loss of reputation, of honor, of gain, and of life, they would act in every respect dishonestly and unjustly, since they neither fear God nor any Divine law, and therefore are not restrained by any internal bond; consequently they would use every opportunity to defraud, plunder, and spoil others, and this from delight. That inwardly they are such can be clearly seen from those of the same character in the other life, while everyone's externals are taken away, and his internals in which he at last lives to eternity are opened (see above, n. 499-511). As such then act without external restraints, which are, as just said, fear of the law, of the loss of reputation, of honor, of gain, and of life, they act insanely, and laugh at honesty and justice. [3] But those who have acted honestly and justly from regard to Divine laws, when their externals are taken away and they are left to their internals, act wisely, because they are conjoined to the angels of heaven, from whom wisdom is communicated to them. From all this it can now be seen, in the first place, that when the internal man, that is, the will and thought, are conjoined to the Divine, the civil and moral life of the spiritual man may be wholly like the civil and moral life of the natural man (see above, n. 358-360).


Furthermore, the laws of spiritual life, the laws of civil life, and the laws of moral life are set forth in the ten commandments of the Decalogue; in the first three the laws of spiritual life, in the four that follow the laws of civil life, and in the last three the laws of moral life. Outwardly the merely natural man lives in accordance with the same commandments in the same way as the spiritual man does, for in like manner he worships the Divine, goes to church, listens to preachings, and assumes a devout countenance, refrains from committing murder, adultery, and theft, from bearing false witness, and from defrauding his companions of their goods. But all this he does merely for the sake of himself and the world, to keep up appearances; while inwardly such a person is the direct opposite of what he appears outwardly, since in heart he denies the Divine, in worship acts the hypocrite, and when left to himself and his own thoughts laughs at the holy things of the church, believing that they merely serve as a restraint for the simple multitude. [2] Consequently he is wholly disjoined from heaven, and not being a spiritual man he is neither a moral man nor a civil man. For although he refrains from committing murder he hates everyone who opposes him, and from his hatred burns with revenge, and would therefore commit murder if he were not restrained by civil laws and external bonds, which he fears; and as he longs to do so it follows that he is continually committing murder. Although he does not commit adultery, yet as he believes it to be allowable he is all the while an adulterer, since he commits adultery to the extent that he has the ability and as often as he has opportunity. Although he does not steal, yet as he covets the goods of others and does not regard fraud and wicked devices as opposed to what is lawful, in intent he is continually acting the thief. The same is true of the commandments relating to moral life, which forbid false witness and coveting the goods of others. Such is every man who denies the Divine, and who has no conscience derived from religion. That he is such is clearly evident from those of like character in the other life when their externals have been removed and they are let into their internals. As they are then separated from heaven they act in unity with hell, and in consequence are affiliated with those who are in hell. [3] It is not so with those who in heart have acknowledged the Divine, and in the actions of their lives have had respect to Divine laws, and have lived as fully in accord with the first three commandments of the Decalogue as they have in accordance with the others. When the externals of such are removed and they are let into their internals they are wiser than they were in the world; for entering into their internals is like entering from darkness into light, from ignorance into wisdom, and from a sorrowful life into a happy life, because they are in the Divine, thus in heaven. This has been said to make known what the one kind of man is and what the other is, although they have both lived the same external life.


Everyone may know that thoughts are led or tend in accord with the intentions, that is, in the directions that one intends; for thought is man's internal sight, and resembles the external sight in this, that to whatever point it is directed or aimed, thither it turns and there it rests. Therefore when the internal sight or the thought is turned towards the world and rests there, the thought in consequence becomes worldly; when it turns to self and self-honor it becomes corporeal; but when it is turned heavenwards it becomes heavenly. So, too, when turned heavenwards it is elevated; but when turned selfward it is drawn down from heaven and immersed in what is corporeal; and when turned towards the world it is also turned down-wards from heaven, and is spent upon those objects that are presented to the natural sight. [2] Man's love is what constitutes his intention and determines his internal sight or thought to its objects; thus the love of self fixes it upon self and its objects, the love of the world upon worldly objects, and the love of heaven upon heavenly objects; and when the love is known the state of the interiors which constitute the mind can be known, that is, the interiors of one who loves heaven are raised towards heaven and are opened above; while the interiors of one who loves the world or who loves himself are closed above and are opened outwardly. From this the conclusion follows that when the higher regions of the mind are closed above, man can no longer see the objects pertaining to heaven and the church, but those objects are in thick darkness to him; and what is in thick darkness is either denied or not understood. And this is why those that love themselves and the world above all things since the higher regions of their minds are closed, in heart deny Divine truths; and if from their memory they say anything about them they nevertheless do not understand them. Moreover, they regard them in the same way as they regard worldly and corporeal things. And being such they are able to direct the mind to those things only that enter through the senses of the body, and in these alone do they find delight. Among these are also many things that are filthy, obscene, profane and wicked; and these cannot be removed, because into the minds of such no influx from heaven is possible, since their minds, as just now said, are closed above. [3] Man's intention, by which his internal sight or thought is determined, is his will; for what a man wills he intends, and what he intends he thinks. Therefore when his intention is heavenward his thought is determined heavenward, and with it his whole mind, which is thus in heaven; and from heaven he beholds the things of the world beneath him like one looking down from the roof of a house. So the man that has the interiors of his mind open can see the evils and falsities that are in him, for these are beneath the spiritual mind. On the other hand, the man whose interiors are not open is unable to see his evils and falsities, because he is not above them but in them. From all this one may conclude whence man has wisdom and whence insanity, also what a man will be after death when he is left to will and think and to act and speak in accordance with his interiors. All this also has been said in order to make clear what constitutes a man's interior character, however he may seem outwardly to resemble others.


That it is not so difficult to live the life of heaven as some believe can now be seen from this, that when any thing presents itself to a man that he knows to be dishonest and unjust, but to which his mind is borne, it is simply necessary for him to think that it ought not to be done because it is opposed to the Divine precepts. If a man accustoms himself so to think, and from so doing establishes a habit of so thinking, he is gradually conjoined to heaven; and so far as he is conjoined to heaven the higher regions of his mind are opened; and so far as these are opened he sees whatever is dishonest and unjust, and so far as he sees these evils they can be dispersed, for no evil can be dispersed until it is seen. Into this state man is able to enter because of his freedom, for is not any one able from his freedom to so think? And when man has made a beginning the Lord quickens all that is good in him, and causes him not only to see evils to be evils, but also to refrain from willing them, and finally to turn away from them. This is meant by the Lord's words, My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matt. 11:30). But it must be understood that the difficulty of so thinking and of resisting evils increases so far as man from his will does evils, for in the same measure he becomes accustomed to them until he no longer sees them, and at length loves them and from the delight of his love excuses them, and confirms them by every kind of fallacy, and declares them to be allowable and good. This is the fate of those who in early youth plunge into evils without restraint, and also reject Divine things from the heart.


The way that leads to heaven, and the way that leads to hell were once represented to me. There was a broad way tending towards the left or the north, and many spirits were seen going in it; but at a distance a large stone was seen where the broad way came to an end. From that stone two ways branched off, one to the left and one in the opposite direction to the right. The way that went to the left was narrow or straitened, leading through the west to the south, and thus into the light of heaven; the way that went to the right was broad and spacious, leading obliquely downwards towards hell. All at first seemed to be going the same way until they came to the large stone at the head of the two ways. When they reached that point they divided; the good turned to the left and entered the straitened way that led to heaven; while the evil, not seeing the stone at the fork of the ways fell upon it and were hurt; and when they rose up they ran on in the broad way to the right which went towards hell. [2] What all this meant was afterwards explained to me. The first way that was broad, wherein many both good and evil went together and talked with each other as friends, because there was no visible difference between them, represented those who externally live alike honestly and justly, and between whom seemingly there is no difference. The stone at the head of the two ways or at the corner, upon which the evil fell and from which they ran into the way leading to hell, represented the Divine truth, which is rejected by those who look towards hell; and in the highest sense this stone signified the Lord's Divine Human. But those who acknowledged the Divine truth and also the Divine of the Lord went by the way that led to heaven. By this again it was shown that in externals the evil lead the same kind of life as the good, or go the same way, that is, one as readily as the other; and yet those who from the heart acknowledge the Divine, especially those within the church who acknowledge the Divine of the Lord, are led to heaven; while those who do not are led to hell. [3] The thoughts of man that proceed from his intention or will are represented in the other life by ways; and ways are visibly presented there in exact accord with those thoughts of intention; and in accord with his thoughts that proceed from intention everyone walks. For this reason the character of spirits and their thoughts are known from their ways. This also makes clear what is meant by the Lord's words: Enter ye in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many be they that enter in thereby; for straitened is the way and narrow the gate that leadeth to life, and few be they who find it (Matt. 7:13, 14). The way that leads to life is straitened not because it is difficult but because there are few who find it, as is said here. The stone seen at the corner where the broad and common way ended, and from which two ways were seen to lead in opposite directions, illustrated what is signified by these words of the Lord: Have ye not read what is written? The stone which the builders rejected was made the head of the corner. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken (Luke. 20:17, 18). "Stone" signifies Divine truth, and "the stone of Israel" the Lord in respect to His Divine Human; the "builders" mean those who are of the church; "the head of the corner" is where the two ways are; "to fall" and "to be broken" is to deny and perish. 534-1


I have been permitted to talk with some in the other life who had withdrawn from worldly affairs that they might live in a pious and holy manner, also with some who had afflicted themselves in various ways, believing that they were thereby renouncing the world and subduing the lusts of the flesh. But as most of these have thus acquired a sorrowful life and had withdrawn from the life of charity, which life can be lived only in the midst of the world, they are incapable of being affiliated with angels, because the life of angels is a life of joy resulting from a state of blessedness, and consists in performing good deeds, which are works of charity. Moreover, those who have lived a life withdrawn from worldly employments are inflamed with the idea of their own merit, and are continually desiring heaven on that account, and thinking of heavenly joy as a reward, utterly ignorant of what heavenly joy is. When such are admitted into the company of angels and into their joy, which discards merit and consists in active labors and practical services, and in a blessedness resulting from the good thereby accomplished, they are astonished like one who has found out something quite foreign to his belief; and since they are not receptive of that joy they go away and ally themselves with spirits of their own kind that have lived in the world a life like their own. [2] But those who have lived an outwardly holy life, constantly attending church and praying and afflicting their souls, and at the same time have thought constantly of themselves that they would be esteemed and honored for all this above others, and finally after death would be accounted saints - such in the other life are not in heaven because they have done all this for the sake of themselves. And as they have defiled Divine truths by the self-love in which they have immersed them, some of them are so insane as to think themselves gods; and are consequently in hell among those like themselves. Some are cunning and deceitful, and are in the hells of the deceitful. These are such as by means of cunning arts and devices have maintained such pious conduct as induced the common people to believe that they possessed a Divine sanctity. [3] Of this character are many of the Roman Catholic saints. I have been permitted to talk with some of them, and their life was then plainly disclosed, such as it had been in the world and as it was afterwards. All this has been said to make known that the life that leads to heaven is not a life withdrawn from the world, but a life in the world; and that a life of piety separated from a life of charity, which is possible only in the world, does not lead to heaven; but a life of charity does; and a life of charity consists in acting honestly and justly in every employment, in every business, and in every work, from an interior, that is, from a heavenly, motive; and this motive is in that life whenever man acts honestly and justly because doing so is in accord with the Divine laws. Such a life is not difficult. But a life of piety separate from a life of charity is difficult; and as much as such a life is believed to lead towards heaven so much it leads away from heaven. 535-1


THE LORD RULES THE HELLS. Above, in treating of heaven it has been everywhere shown (especially in n. 2-6) that the God of heaven is the Lord, thus that the whole government of the heavens is the Lord's government. And as the relation of heaven to hell and of hell to heaven is like the relation between two opposites which mutually act contrary to each other, and from the action and re-action of which an equilibrium results, which gives permanence to all things of their action and reaction, so in order that all things and each thing may be kept in equilibrium it is necessary that He who rules the one should rule the other; for unless the same Lord restrained the uprisings from the hells and checked insanities there the equilibrium would perish and everything with it.


But something about that equilibrium shall first be told. It is acknowledged that when two things mutually act against each other, and as much as one reacts and resists the other acts and impels, since there is equal power on either side, neither has any effect, and both can then be acted upon freely by a third. For when the force of the two is neutralized by equal opposition the force of a third has full effect, and acts as easily as if there were no opposition. [2] Such is the equilibrium between heaven and hell. Yet it is not an equilibrium like that between two bodily combatants whose strength is equal; but it is a spiritual equilibrium, that is, an equilibrium of falsity against truth and of evil against good. From hell falsity from evil continually exhales, and from heaven truth from good. It is this spiritual equilibrium that causes man to think and will in freedom; for whatever a man thinks and wills has reference either to evil and falsity therefrom or to good and truth therefrom. [3] Therefore when he is in that equilibrium he is in freedom either to admit or accept evil and its falsity from hell or to admit or accept good and its truth from heaven. Every man is held in this equilibrium by the Lord, because the Lord rules both heaven and hell. But why man is held in this freedom by such an equilibrium, and why evil and falsity are not taken away from him and good and truth implanted in him by Divine power will be told hereafter in its own chapter.


A perception of the sphere of falsity from evil that flows forth from hell has often been granted me. It was like a perpetual effort to destroy all that is good and true, combined with anger and a kind of fury at not being able to do so, especially an effort to annihilate and destroy the Divine of the Lord, and this because all good and truth are from Him. But out of heaven a sphere of truth from good was perceived, whereby the fury of the effort ascending from hell was restrained. The result of this was an equilibrium. This sphere from heaven was perceived to come from the Lord alone, although it appeared to come from the angels in heaven. It is from the Lord alone, and not from the angels, because every angel in heaven acknowledges that nothing of good and of truth is from himself, but all is from the Lord.


In the spiritual world truth from good is the source of all power, and falsity from evil has no power whatever. This is because the Divine Itself in heaven is Divine good and Divine truth, and all power belongs to the Divine. Falsity from evil is powerless because truth from good is the source of all power, and in falsity from evil there is nothing of truth from good. Consequently in heaven there is all power, and none in hell; for everyone in heaven is in truths from good, and everyone in hell is in falsities from evil. For no one is admitted into heaven until he is in truths from good, neither is any one cast down into hell until he is in falsities from evil, (That this is so can be seen in the chapters treating of the first, second, and third states of man after death, n. 491-520; and that all power belongs to truth from good can be seen in the chapter on the power of angels in heaven, n. 228-233.)


Such, then, is the equilibrium between heaven and hell. Those who are in the world of spirits are in that equilibrium, for the world of spirits is midway between heaven and hell. From the same source all men in the world are kept in a like equilibrium, since men in the world are ruled by the Lord by means of spirits in the world of spirits, as will be shown hereafter in its own chapter. No such equilibrium would be possible unless the Lord ruled both heaven and hell and regulated both sides. Otherwise falsities from evil would preponderate, and would affect the simple good who are in the outmosts regions of heaven, and who can be more easily perverted than the angels themselves; and thereby equilibrium would perish, and with it freedom in men.


Hell, like heaven, is divided into societies, and into as many societies as there are in heaven; for every society in heaven has a society opposite to it in hell, and this for the sake of equilibrium. But evils and falsities therefrom are what distinguish the societies in hell, as goods and truths therefrom are what distinguish the societies in heaven. That for every good there is an opposite evil, and for every truth an opposite falsity may be known from this, that nothing can exist without relation to its opposite, and what anything is in kind and degree can be known from its opposite, and from this all perception and sensation is derived. For this reason the Lord continually provides that every society in heaven shall have an opposite in some society of hell, and that there shall be an equilibrium between the two.


As hell is divided into the same number of societies as heaven, there are as many hells as there are societies of heaven; for as each society of heaven is a heaven in smaller form (see above, n. 51-58), so each society in hell is a hell in smaller form. As in general there are three heavens, so in general there are three hells, a lowest, which is opposite to the inmost or third heaven, a middle, which is opposite to the middle or second heaven, and a higher, which is opposite to the outmost or first heaven.


How the hells are ruled by the Lord shall be briefly explained. In general the hells are ruled by a general outflow from the heavens of Divine good and Divine truth whereby the general endeavor flowing forth from the hells is checked and restrained; also by a particular outflow from each heaven and from each society of heaven. The hells are ruled in particular by means of the angels, to whom it is granted to look into the hells and to restrain insanities and disturbances there; and sometimes angels are sent to them who moderate these insanities and disturbances by their presence. But in general all in the hells are ruled by means of their fears. Some are ruled by fears implanted in the world and still inherent in them; but as these fears are not sufficient, and gradually subside, they are ruled by fears of punishments; and it is especially by these that they are deterred from doing evil. The punishments in hell are manifold, lighter or more severe in accordance with the evils. For the most part the more wicked, who excel in cunning and in artifices, and who are able to hold the rest in subjection and servitude by means of punishments and consequent terror, are set over them; but these governors dare not pass beyond the limits prescribed to them. It must be understood that the sole means of restraining the violence and fury of those who are in the hells is the fear of punishment. There is no other way.


It has been believed heretofore in the world that there is one devil that presides over the hells; that he was created an angel of light; but having become rebellious he was cast down with his crew into hell. This belief has prevailed because the Devil and Satan, and also Lucifer, are mentioned by name in the Word, and the Word in those places has been understood according to the sense of the letter. But by "the devil" and "Satan" there hell is meant, "devil" meaning the hell that is behind, where the worst dwell, who are called evil genii; and "Satan" the hell that is in front, where the less wicked dwell, who are called evil spirits; and "Lucifer" those that belong to Babel, or Babylon, who would extend their dominion even into heaven. That there is no one devil to whom the hells are subject is evident also from this, that all who are in the hells, like all who are in the heavens, are from the human race (see n. 311-317); and that those who have gone there from the beginning of creation to this time amount to myriads of myriads, and everyone of them is a devil in accord with his opposition to the Divine while he lived in the world (see above, n. 311, 312).


THE LORD CASTS NO ONE INTO HELL; THE SPIRIT CASTS HIMSELF DOWN. An opinion has prevailed with some that God turns away His face from man, casts man away from Himself, and casts him into hell, and is angry with him on account of his evil; and some believe also that God punishes man and does evil to him. In this opinion they establish themselves by the sense of the letter of the Word, where such things are declared, not knowing that the spiritual sense of the Word, by which the sense of the letter is made clear, is wholly different; and consequently that the genuine doctrine of the church, which is from the spiritual sense of the Word, teaches otherwise, namely, that God never turns away His face from man, and never casts man away from Himself, that He casts no one into hell and is angry with no one. 545-1 Everyone, moreover, whose mind is enlightened perceives this to be true when he reads the Word, from the simple truth that God is good itself, love itself, and mercy itself; and that good itself cannot do evil to any one, and love itself and mercy itself can not cast man away from itself, because this is contrary to the very essence of mercy and love, thus contrary to the Divine Itself. Therefore those who think from an enlightened mind clearly perceive, when they read the Word, that God never turns Himself away from man; and as He never turns Himself away from him He deals with him from goodness, love, and mercy, that is, wills good to him, loves him, and is merciful to him. And from this they see that the sense of the letter of the Word, in which such things are declared, has stored up within itself a spiritual sense, and that these expressions that are used in the sense of the letter in accommodation to man's apprehension and according to his first and general ideas are to be explained in accordance with the spiritual sense.


Those who are enlightened see further that good and evil are two opposites, and are therefore opposed as heaven and hell are, and that all good is from heaven and all evil from hell; and as it is the Divine of the Lord that makes heaven (n. 7-12), nothing but good flows into man from the Lord, and nothing but evil from hell; thus the Lord is continually withdrawing man from evil and leading him to good, while hell is continually leading man into evil. Unless man were between these two, he could have no thought nor any will, still less any freedom or any choice; for all these man has by virtue of the equilibrium between good and evil; consequently if the Lord should turn Himself away, leaving man to evil alone, man would cease to be man. All this shows that the Lord flows into every man with good, into the evil man as well as the good; but with the difference that the Lord is continually withdrawing the evil man from evil and is continually leading the good man to good; and this difference lies in the man himself, because he is the recipient.


From this it is clear that it is from hell that man does evil, and from the Lord that he does good. But man believes that whatever he does he does from himself, and in consequence of this the evil that he does sticks to him as his own; and for this reason man is the cause of his own evil, and in no way the Lord. Evil in man is hell in him, for it is the same thing whether you say evil or hell. And since man is the cause of his own evil he is led into hell, not by the Lord but by himself. For so far is the Lord from leading man into hell that it is He who delivers man from hell, and this He does so far as man does not will and love to be in his own evil. All of man's will and love continues with him after death (n. 470-484). He who wills and loves evil in the world wills and loves the same evil in the other life, but he no longer suffers himself to be withdrawn from it. If, therefore, a man is in evil he is tied to hell, and in respect to his spirit is actually there, and after death desires nothing so much as to be where his evil is; consequently it is man who casts himself into hell after death, and not the Lord.


How this comes about shall also be explained. When man enters the other life he is received first by angels, who perform for him all good offices, and talk with him about the Lord, heaven, and the angelic life, and instruct him in things that are true and good. But if the man, now a spirit, be one who knew about these things in the world, but in heart denied or despised them, after some conversation he desires and seeks to get away from these angels. As soon as the angels perceive this they leave him. After some interaction with others he at length unites himself with those who are in evil like his own (see above, n. 445-452). When this takes place he turns himself away from the Lord and turns his face towards the hell to which he had been joined in the world, in which those abide who are in a like love of evil. All this makes clear that the Lord draws every spirit to Himself by means of angels and by means of influx from heaven; but those spirits that are in evil completely resist, and as it were tear themselves away from the Lord, and are drawn by their own evil, thus by hell, as if by a rope. And as they are so drawn, and by reason of their love of evil are eager to follow, it is evident that they themselves cast themselves into hell by their own free choice. Men in the world because of their idea of hell are unable to believe that this is so. In fact, in the other life before the eyes of those who are outside of hell it does not so appear; but only so to those who cast themselves into hell, for such enter of their own accord. Those who enter from a burning love of evil appear to be cast headlong, with the head downwards and the feet upwards. It is because of this appearance that they seem to be cast into hell by Divine power. (But about this more will be said below, n. 574.) From all this it can be seen that the Lord casts no one into hell, but everyone casts himself into hell, both while he is living in the world and also after death when he comes among spirits.


The Lord from His Divine Essence, which is goodness, love, and mercy, is unable to deal in the same way with every man, because evils and their falsities prevent, and not only quench His Divine influx but even reject it. Evils and their falsities are like black clouds which interpose between the sun and the eye, and take away the sunshine and the serenity of its light; although the unceasing endeavor of the sun to dissipate the opposing clouds continues, for it is operating behind them; and in the meantime transmits something of obscure light into the eye of man by various roundabout ways. It is the same in the spiritual world. The sun there is the Lord and the Divine love (n. 116-140); and the light there is the Divine truth (n. 126-140); black clouds there are falsities from evil; the eye there is the understanding. So far as any one in that world is in falsities from evil he is encompassed by such a cloud, which is black and dense according to the degree of his evil. From this comparison it can be seen that the Lord is unceasingly present with everyone, but that He is received variously.


Evil spirits are severely punished in the world of spirits in order that by means of punishments they may be deterred from doing evil. This also appears to be from the Lord; and yet nothing of punishment there is from the Lord, but is from the evil itself; since evil is so joined with its own punishment that the two cannot be separated. For the infernal crew desire and love nothing so much as doing evil, especially inflicting punishments and torment upon others; and they maltreat and inflict punishments upon everyone who is not protected by the Lord. When, therefore, evil is done from an evil heart, because it thereby discards all protection from the Lord, infernal spirits rush upon the one who does the evil, and inflict punishment. This may be partly illustrated by evils and their punishments in the world, where the two are also joined. For laws in the world prescribe a penalty for every evil; therefore he that rushes into evil rushes also into the penalty of evil. The only difference is that in the world the evil may be concealed; but in the other life it cannot be concealed. All this makes clear that the Lord does evil to no one; and that it is the same as it is in the world, where it is not the king nor the judge nor the law that is the cause of punishment to the guilty, because these are not the cause of the evil in the evil doer.


513-1 Vastations are effected in the other life, that is, those that pass into the other life from the world are vastated (n. 698, 7122, 7474, 9763). The well disposed are vastated in respect to falsities, while the evil are vastated in respect to truths (n, 7474, 7541, 7542). The well disposed undergo vastations that they also may be divested of what pertains to the earth and the world, which they had contracted while living in the world (n. 7186, 9763). Also that evils and falsities may be removed, and thus there may be room for the influx of goods and truths out of heaven from the Lord, and ability to accept these (n. 7122, 9330). Elevation into heaven is impossible until such things have been removed, because they obstruct heavenly things and are not in harmony with them (n. 6928, 7122, 7186, 7541, 7542, 9763). Those who are to be raised up into heaven are thus prepared for it (n. 4728, 7090). It is dangerous to come into heaven before being prepared (n. 537, 538). The state of enlightenment and the joy of those who come out of vastation and are raised up into heaven, and their reception there (n. 2699, 2701, 2704). The region where those vastations are effected is called the lower earth (n. 4728, 7090). That region is under the soles of the feet surrounded by the hells; its nature described (n. 4940-4951, 7090); from experience (n. 699). What the hells are which more than others infest and vastate (n. 7317, 7502, 7545). Those that have infested and vastated the well disposed are afterwards afraid of them, shun them, and turn away from them (n. 7768). These infestations and vastations are effected in different ways in accordance with the adhesion of evils and falsities, and they continue in accordance with their quality and quantity (n. 1106-1113). Some are quite willing to be vastated (n. 1107). Some are vastated by fears (n. 4942). Some by being infested with the evils they have done in the world, and with the falsities they have thought in the world, from which they have anxieties and pangs of conscience (n. 1106). Some by spiritual captivity, which is ignorance of truth and interception of truth, combined with a longing to know truths (n. 1109, 2694). Some by sleep; some by a middle state between wakefulness and sleep (n. 1108). Those that have placed merit in works seem to themselves to be cutting wood (n. 1110). Others in other ways, with great variety (n. 699).

517-1 Every good has both its delight and its quality from uses and in accordance with uses; therefore such as the good is such the use is (n. 3049, 4984, 7038). Angelic life consists in the goods of love and charity, thus in performing uses (n. 454). The Lord and therefore the angels, have regard to nothing in man but ends which are uses (n. 1317, 1645, 5854). The kingdom of the Lord is a kingdom of uses (n. 454, 696, 1103, 3645, 4054, 7038). Serving the Lord is performing uses (n. 7038). What man is, such are his uses (n. 1568, 3570, 4054, 6571, 6935, 6938, 10284).

523-1 Divine truth going forth from the Lord is the source of order, and Divine good is the essential of order (n. 1728, 2258, 8700, 8988). Thus the Lord is order (n. 1919, 2011, 5110, 5703, 10336, 10619). Divine truths are the laws of order (n. 2447, 7995). The whole heaven is arranged by the Lord in accordance with His Divine order (n. 3038, 7211, 9128, 9338, 10125, 10151, 10157). Therefore the form of heaven is a form in accord with the Divine order (n. 4040-4043, 6607, 9877). So far as a man is living in accordance with order, that is, so far as he is living in good in accordance with Divine truths, he is receiving heaven in himself (n. 4839). Man is the being in whom are brought together all things of Divine order, and by creation he is Divine order in form, because he is a recipient of Divine order (n. 3628, 4219, 4220, 4223, 4523, 4524, 5214, 6013, 6057, 6605, 6626, 9706, 10156, 10472). Man is not born into good and truth but into evil and falsity, thus not into Divine order but into the opposite of order, and for this reason he is born into pure ignorance; consequently it is necessary for him to be born anew, that is, to be regenerated, which is effected by the Lord by means of Divine truths, that be may be brought back into order (n. 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10731). When the Lord forms man anew, that is, regenerates him, He arranges all things in him in harmony with order, that is, in the form of heaven (n. 5700, 6690, 9931, 10303). Evils and falsities are contrary to order; nevertheless those who are in them are ruled by the Lord not in accordance with order but from order (n. 4839, 7877, 10777). It is impossible for a man who lives in evil to be saved by mercy alone, for that would be contrary to Divine order (n. 8700).

526-1 In the internal sense of the Word by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord in respect to the Divine itself and the Divine Human is meant (n. 1893, 4615, 6098, 6185, 6276, 6804, 6847). In heaven Abraham is unknown (n. 1834, 1876, 3229). By David the Lord in respect to the Divine royalty is meant (n. 1888, 9954). The twelve apostles represented the Lord in respect to all things of the church, that is, all things pertaining to faith and love (n. 2129, 3354, 3488, 3858, 6397). Peter represented the lord in respect to faith, James in respect to charity, and John in respect to the works of charity (n. 3750, 10087). The twelve apostles sitting on twelve thrones and judging the twelve tribes of Israel, signified that the Lord will judge in accord with the truths and goods of faith and love (n. 2129, 6397). The names of persons and of places in the Word do not enter heaven, but are changed into things and states; and in heaven these names cannot even be uttered (n. 1876, 5225, 6516, 10216, 10282, 10432). Moreover, the angels think abstractedly from persons (n. 8343, 8985, 9907).

534-1 "Stone" signifies truth (n. 114, 643, 1298, 3720, 6426, 8609, 10376). For this reason the law was inscribed on tables of stone (n. 10376). "The stone of Israel" means the Lord in respect to the Divine truth and His Divine Human (n. 6426).

535-1 A life of piety separated from a life of charity is of no avail, but united with charity it is profitable for all things (n. 8252, 8253). Charity to the neighbor consists in doing what is good, just, and right in every work and in every employment (n. 8120-8122). Charity to the neighbor takes in all things and each thing that a man thinks, wills, and does (n. 8124). A life of charity is a life in accordance with the Lord's commandments (n. 3249). Living in accordance with the Lord's commandments is loving the Lord (n. 10143, 10153, 10310, 10578, 10645). Genuine charity claims no merit, because it is from interior affection and consequent delight (n. 2371, 2380, 2400, 3816, 3887, 6388-6393). Man continues to be after death such as was his life of charity in the world (n. 8256). Heavenly blessedness flows in from the Lord into a life of charity (n. 2363). Mere thinking admits no one into heaven; it must be accompanied by willing and doing good (n. 2401, 3459). Unless doing good is joined with willing good and thinking good there is no salvation nor any conjunction of the internal man with the external (n. 3987).

545-1 In the Word anger and wrath are attributed to the Lord, but they are in man, and it is so expressed because such is the appearance to man when he is punished and damned (n. 798, 5798, 6997, 8284, 8483, 8875, 9306, 10431). Evil also is attributed to the Lord, although nothing but good is from Him (n. 2447, 6071, 6991, 6997, 7533, 7632, 7679, 7926, 8227, 8228, 8632, 9306). Why it is so expressed in the Word (n. 6071, 6991, 6997, 7632, 7643, 7679, 7710, 7926, 8282, 9010, 9128). The Lord is pure mercy and clemency (n. 6997, 8875).

Next: 551-600