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

Heaven and Hell


ALL WHO ARE IN THE HELLS ARE IN EVILS AND IN FALSITIES THEREFROM DERIVED FROM THE LOVES OF SELF AND OF THE WORLD. All who are in the hells are in evils and in falsities therefrom, and no one there is in evils and at the same time in truths. In the world evil men for the most part have some knowledge of spiritual truths, which are the truths of the church, having been taught them from childhood and later by preaching and by reading the Word; and afterwards they have talked about them. Some have even led others to believe that they are Christians at heart because of their knowing how to talk with pretended affection in harmony with the truth, also how to act uprightly as if from spiritual faith. But those of this class whose interior thoughts have been hostile to these truths, and who have refrained from doing the evils that were in harmony with their thoughts only because of the civil laws, or with a view to reputation, honors, and gain, are all of them evil in heart, and are in truths and goods not in respect to their spirit but only in respect to their body; and consequently, when their externals are taken away from them in the other life, and their internals which pertain to their spirit are revealed, they are wholly in evils and falsities, and not at all in truths and goods; and it is thus made clear that truths and goods resided only in their memory merely as things known about, and that they brought them forth therefrom when talking, putting on a semblance of good seemingly from spiritual love and faith. When such are let into their internals and thus into their evils they are no longer able to speak what is true, but only what is false; since they speak from evils; for to speak what is true from evils is then impossible, since the spirit is nothing but his own evil, and from evil what is false goes forth. Every evil spirit is reduced to this state before he is cast into hell (see above, n. 499-512). This is called being vastated in respect to truths and goods. 551-1 Vastation is simply being let into one's internals, that is, into what is the spirit's own, or into the spirit itself (see above, n. 425).


When man after death comes into this state he is no longer a man-spirit, as he was in his first state (of which above, n. 491-498), but is truly a spirit; for he is truly a spirit who has a face and body that correspond to his internals which pertain to his mind, that is, has an external form that is a type or effigy of his internals. A spirit is such after he has passed through the first and second states spoken of above; consequently when he is looked upon his character is at once known, not only from his face and from his body, but also from his speech and movements; and as he is then in himself he can be nowhere else than where his like are. [2] For in the spiritual world there is a complete sharing of affections and their thoughts, and in consequence a spirit is conveyed to his like as if of himself, since it is done from his affection and its delight. In fact, he turns himself in that direction; for thus he inhales his own life or draws his breath freely, which he cannot do when he turns another way. It must be understood that this sharing with others in the spiritual world is effected in accordance with the turning of the face, and that each one has constantly before his face those who are in a love like his own, and this in every turning of the body (see above, n. 151) [3] In consequence of this all infernal spirits turn themselves away from the Lord toward the densely dark body and the dark body that are there in place of the sun and moon of this world, while all the angels of heaven turn themselves to the Lord as the sun of heaven and as the moon of heaven (see above, n. 123, 143, 144, 151). From all this it is clear that all who are in the hells are in evils and in falsities therefrom; also that they are turned to their own loves.


All spirits in the hells, when seen in any light of heaven, appear in the form of their evil; for everyone there is an image of his evil, since his interiors and his exteriors act as a one, the interiors making themselves visible in the exteriors, which are the face, body, speech and movements; thus the character of the spirit is known as soon as he is seen. In general evil spirits are forms of contempt of others and of menaces against those who do not pay them respect; they are forms of hatreds of various kinds, also of various kinds of revenge. Fierceness and cruelty from their interiors show through these forms. But when they are commended, venerated, and worshiped by others their faces are restrained and take on an expression of gladness from delight. [2] It is impossible to describe in a few words how all these forms appear, for no one is like another, although there is a general likeness among those who are in the same evil, and thus in the same infernal society, from which, as from a plane of derivation, the faces of all are seen to have a certain resemblance. In general their faces are hideous, and void of life like those of corpses; the faces of some are black, others fiery like torches, others disfigured with pimples, warts, and ulcers; some seem to have no face, but in its stead something hairy or bony; and with some only the teeth are seen; their bodies also are monstrous; and their speech is like the speech of anger or of hatred or of revenge; for what everyone speaks is from his falsity, while his tone is from his evil. In a word, they are all images of their own hell. [3] I have not been permitted to see what the form of hell itself in general is; I have only been told that as the entire heaven in one complex reflects a single man (n. 59-67), so the entire hell in one complex reflects a single devil, and might be exhibited in an image of a single devil (see above, n. 544). But the forms of particular hells or infernal societies I have often been permitted to see; for at their entrances, which are called the gates of hell, a monster commonly appears that represents in a general way the form of those within. The fierce passions of those who dwell there are represented at the same time in horrible and hideous ways that I forbear to describe. [4] But it must be understood that this is the way infernal spirits appear in the light of heaven, while among themselves they appear as men. This is of the Lord's mercy, that they may not appear as loathsome to one another as they appear before the angels. But this appearance is a fallacy, for as soon as any ray of light from heaven is let in, their human forms appear changed into monstrous forms, such as they are in themselves (as has been described above). For in the light of heaven everything appears as it is in itself. For this reason they shun the light of heaven and cast themselves down into their own light, which is like that from lighted coals, and in some cases like that from burning sulphur; but this light also is turned into mere thick darkness when any light from heaven flows in upon it. This is why the hells are said to be in thick darkness and in darkness; and why "thick darkness" and "darkness" signify falsities derived from evil, such as are in hell.


From an inspection of these monstrous forms of spirits in the hells (which, as I have said, are all forms of contempt of others and of menaces against those who do not pay them honor and respect, also forms of hatred and revenge against those who do not favor them), it became evident that in general they were all forms of the love of self and the love of the world; and that the evils of which these are the specific forms have their origin in these two loves. Moreover, I have been told from heaven, and it has been proved to me by much experience, that these two loves, the love of self and the love of the world, rule in the hells and constitute the hells as love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor rule in the heavens and constitute the heavens; also that the two loves that are the loves of hell and the two loves that are the loves of heaven are diametrically opposite to each other.


At first I wondered how it is that love of self and love of the world could be so diabolical, and how those who are in these loves could be such monsters in appearance; for in the world not much thought is given to love of self, but only to that elated state of mind in external matters which is called haughtiness, and that alone, being so apparent to the sight, is regarded as love of self. Furthermore, love of self, when it is not so displayed, is believed in the world to be the very fire of life by which man is stimulated to seek employment and to perform uses, and if he found no honor or glory in these his mind would grow torpid. It is asked, Who has ever done any worthy, useful, and distinguished deed except for the sake of being praised and honored by others, or regarded with esteem and honor by others? And can this be from any other source than the fire of love for glory and honor, consequently for self. For this reason, it is unknown in the world that love of self, regarded in itself, is the love that rules in hell and constitutes hell in man. This being so I will first describe what the love of self is, and then will show that all evils and their falsities spring from that love as their fountain.


The love of self is wishing well to oneself alone, and to others only for the sake of self, even to the church, one's country, or any human society. It consists also in doing good to all these solely for the sake of one's own reputation, honor, and glory; and unless these are seen in the uses he performs in behalf of others he says in his heart, How does it concern me? Why should I do this? What shall I get from it? and therefore he does not do it. Evidently, then, he who is in the love of self does not love the church or his country or society, nor any use, but himself alone. His delight is solely the delight of the love of self; and as the delight that comes forth from his love is what constitutes the life of man, his life is a life of self; and a life of self is a life from what is man's own, and what is man's own, regarded in itself, is nothing but evil. He who loves himself loves also those who belong to him, that is, in particular, his children and grandchildren, and in general, all who are at one with him, whom he calls his. To love these is to love himself, for he regards them as it were in himself, and himself in them. Among those whom he calls his are also all who commend, honor, and pay their court to him.


What love of self is can be seen by comparing it with heavenly love. Heavenly love consists in loving uses for the sake of uses, or goods for the sake of goods, which are done by man in behalf of the church, his country, human society, and a fellow-citizen; for this is loving God and loving the neighbor, since all uses and all goods are from God, and are the neighbor who is to be loved. But he who loves these for the sake of himself loves them merely as servants, because they are serviceable to him; consequently it is the will of one who is in self-love that the church, his country, human societies, and his fellow citizens, should serve him, and not he them, for he places himself above them and places them beneath himself. Therefore so far as any one is in love of self he separates himself from heaven, because he separates himself from heavenly love.


[a.] Furthermore, so far as any one is in heavenly love, which consists in loving uses and goods and being moved by delight of heart when doing them for the sake of the church, country, human society, and ones fellow-citizens, he is so far led by the Lord, because that love is the love in which the Lord is, and which is from Him. But so far as any one is in the love of self, which consists in performing uses and goods for the sake of himself, so far he is led by himself; and so far as any one is led by himself he is not led by the Lord. And from this it also follows that so far as any one loves himself he separates himself from the Divine, thus also from heaven. To be led by one's self is to be led by what is one's own; and what is man's own is nothing but evil; for man's inherited evil consists in loving self more than God, and the world more than heaven. 558-1 Whenever man looks to himself in the good that he does he is let into what is his own, that is, into his inherited evils for he then looks from good to himself and from himself to good, and therefore he presents an image of himself in his good, and not an image of the Divine. That this is so has also been proved to me by experience. There are evil spirits whose dwelling places are in the middle quarter between the north and the west, beneath the heavens, who are skilled in the art of leading well-disposed spirits into their nature [proprium] and thus into evils of various kinds. This they do by leading them into thoughts about themselves, either openly by praises and honors, or secretly by directing their affections to themselves; and so far as this is done they turn the faces of the well-disposed spirits away from heaven, and to the same extent they obscure their understanding and call forth evils from what is their own.  558-2 Man's own, which he derives by inheritance from his parents, is nothing but dense evil (n. 210, 215, 731, 876, 987, 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 3701, 3812, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10731). Man's own is loving self more than God, and the world more than heaven, and making nothing of one's neighbor in comparison with oneself, except for the sake of self, that is one's own self; thus it consists in love of self and of the world (n. 694, 731, 4317, 5660). All evils flow from the love of self and the love of the world when these predominate (n. 1307, 1308, 1321, 1594, 1691, 3413, 7255, 7376, 7488, 7489, 8318, 9335, 9348, 10038, 10742). These evils are contempt of others, enmity, hatred, revenge, cruelty, deceit (n. 6667, 7370, 7374, 9348, 10038, 10742). From these evils all falsity flows (n. 1047, 10283, 10284, 10286). 558. [b.] That the love of self is the opposite of love to the neighbor can be seen from the origin and essence of both. The love of the neighbor of one who is in the love of self begins with oneself, for he claims that everyone is neighbor to himself; and it goes forth from him as its center to all who make one with him, diminishing in accordance with the degree of their conjunction with him by love. All outside of this circle are regarded as of no account; and those who are opposed to those in the circle and to their evils are accounted as enemies, whatever their character may be, however wise, upright, honest, or just. But spiritual love to the neighbor begins with the Lord, and goes forth from Him as its center to all who are conjoined to Him by love and faith, going forth in accordance with the quality of their love and faith.


Again, love of self is such that so far as the reins are given it, that is, so far as external bonds are removed, which are fears of the law and its penalties, and of the loss of reputation, honor, gain, employment, and life, so far it rushes on until it finally longs to rule not only over the entire world but also over the entire heaven, and over the Divine Himself, knowing no limit or end. This propensity lurks hidden in everyone who is in love of self, although it is not manifest to the world, where it is held in check by such bonds as have been mentioned. Everyone can see examples of this in potentates and kings who are subject to no such restraints and bonds, but rush on and subjugate provinces and kingdoms so far as they are successful, and aspire to power and glory without limit; and still more strikingly in the Babylon of this day, which has extended its dominion into heaven, and has transferred to itself all the Divine power of the Lord, and continually lusts for more. That such men, when they have entered after death the other life, are directly opposed to the Divine and to heaven, and are on the side of hell, can be seen in the little work on The Last Judgment and the Destruction of Babylon.


Picture to yourself a society of such persons, all of whom love themselves alone and love others only so far as they make one with themselves, and you will see that their love is precisely like the love of thieves for each other, who embrace and call one another friends so long as they are acting together; but when they cease to act together and discard their subordination to one another, they rise up against and murder one another. When the interiors or the minds of such are explored they will be seen to be full of bitter hatred one against another, and at heart will laugh at all justice and honesty, and likewise at the Divine, which they reject as of no account. This is still more evident in the societies of such in the hells treated of below.


The interiors pertaining to the thoughts and affections of those who love themselves above all things are turned towards themselves and the world, and thus are turned away from the Lord and from heaven; and consequently they are obsessed with evils of every kind, and the Divine cannot flow in; for if it does flow in it is instantly submerged in thoughts of self, and is defiled, and is also mingled with the evils that flow from what is their own. This is why all such in the other life look backwards away from the Lord, and towards the densely dark body that is there in the place of the sun of the world, and is diametrically opposite to the sun of heaven, which is the Lord (see above, n. 123). "Thick darkness" signifies evil, and the "sun of the world" the love of self. 561-1


The evils of those who are in the love of self are, in general, contempt of others, envy, enmity against all who do not favor them, and consequent hostility, hatred of various kinds, revenge, cunning, deceit, unmercifulness, and cruelty; and in respect to religious matters there is not merely a contempt for the Divine and for Divine things, which are the truths and goods of the church, but also hostility to them. When man becomes a spirit this hostility is turned into hatred; and then he not only cannot endure to hear these truths and goods mentioned, he even burns with hatred against all who acknowledge and worship the Divine. I once talked with a certain spirit who in the world had been a man in authority, and had loved self to an unusual degree; and when he simply heard some one mention the Divine, and especially when he heard him mention the Lord, he was so excited by hatred arising from anger as to burn with the desire to kill; and when the reins of his love were loosened he wished to be the devil himself, that from his love of self he might continually infest heaven. This is the desire also of some of the Papist religion when they perceive in the other life that the Lord has all power and they have none.


Certain spirits were seen by me in the western quarter towards the south, who said that they had been in positions of great dignity in the world, and that they deserved to be more highly esteemed than others and to rule over others. Their interior character was explored by angels, and it was found that in their offices in the world they had not looked to uses but to themselves, and thus that they had set themselves before uses. But as they were very eager and importunate to be set over others they were allowed to associate with those who were consulting about matters of great importance; but it was perceived that they were unable to give any thought to the business under discussion, or to see matters as they are in themselves, or to speak with reference to the use of the thing, but were able to speak only with reference to self, and that they wished to act from what is pleasing on the ground of favor. They were therefore dismissed from that duty, and left to seek employment for themselves elsewhere. Therefore they went further into the western quarter, where they were received here and there, but everywhere were told that they thought only of themselves, and of no business except with reference to self, and for this reason were stupid and like merely sensual corporeal spirits. On this account wheresoever they went they were sent away. Some time afterwards they were seen reduced to a destitute state and asking alms. Thus it was made clear that those who are in the love of self, however from the fire of that love they may seem to speak in the world wisely, speak merely from the memory, and not from any rational light. Therefore in the other life, when they are no longer permitted to bring forth the things of the natural memory, they are more stupid than others, and for the reason that they are separated from the Divine.


There are two kinds of dominion, one of love towards the neighbor and the other of love of self. These two dominions in their essence are direct opposites. One who rules from love towards the neighbor wills good to all, and loves nothing so much as uses, that is, serving others; which is willing good to others and performing uses, either to the church, or to the country, or to society, or to a fellow citizen. This is his love and the delight of his heart. Moreover, so far as he is exalted to dignities above others he rejoices, not for the sake of the dignities but for the sake of the uses he is then able to perform in greater abundance and of a higher order. Such dominion exists in the heavens. [2] But one who rules from the love of self wills good to no one except himself; the uses he performs are for the sake of his own honor and glory, which to him are the only uses; his end in serving others is that he may himself be served, honored, and permitted to rule; he seeks dignities not for the sake of the good offices he may render to his country and the church, but that he may gain eminence and glory and thereby the delight of his heart. [3] Moreover this love of dominion continues with everyone after his life in the world. Those that have ruled from love towards the neighbor are entrusted with authority in the heavens; but then it is not they who rule, but the uses which they love; and when uses rule the Lord rules. But those who have ruled while in the world are in hell, and are there vile slaves. I have seen those who had power in the world, but who exercised dominion from love of self, cast out among the most vile, and some among those who are in excrementitious places.


But in respect to the love of the world: it is a love opposed to heavenly love in a less degree than love of self, because the evils hidden within it are lesser evils. The love of the world consists in one's desiring to secure to himself, by any kind of artifice, the wealth of others, and in setting his heart upon riches, and permitting the world to draw him and lead him away from spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor, and thus from heaven and from the Divine. But this love is manifold. There is a love of wealth for the sake of being exalted to honors, when these alone are loved. There is a love of honors and dignities with a view to the increase of wealth. There is a love of wealth for the sake of various uses that give delight in the world. There is a love of wealth merely for the sake of wealth, which is a miserly love; and so on. The end for the sake of which wealth is sought is called its use; and it is the end or use that gives to love its quality; for the love is such as is the end in view, and all other things merely serve it as means.


WHAT HELL FIRE IS AND WHAT THE GNASHING OF TEETH IS. What eternal fire is, and what the gnashing of teeth is, which are mentioned in the Word in reference to those who are in hell, scarcely any one as yet has known, because the contents of the Word have been thought about only in a material way, and nothing has been known about its spiritual sense. So fire has been understood by some to mean material fire, by others to mean torment in general, by others remorse of conscience, and others have held that it is mentioned merely to excite terror in the wicked. Likewise some have supposed the gnashing of teeth to mean actual gnashing, and some only a horror, such as is excited when such a collision of teeth is heard. But any one who is acquainted with the spiritual meaning of the Word may know what eternal fire is, and what the gnashing of teeth is; for every expression and every meaning of the expressions in the Word contains a spiritual meaning, since the Word in its bosom is spiritual; and what is spiritual can be set before man only in natural forms of expression, because man is in the natural world and thinks from the things of that world. Therefore it shall now be told what is meant by "eternal fire" and "the gnashing of teeth" into which the spirits of evil men enter after death, or which their spirits, then in the spiritual world, endure.


There are two origins of heat, one the sun of heaven which is the Lord, and the other the sun of the world. The heat that is from the sun of heaven, that is, the Lord, is spiritual heat; and this in its essence is love (see above, n. 126-140); but the heat from the sun of the world is natural heat, and this in its essence is not love, but serves spiritual heat or love as a receptacle. Evidently love in its essence is heat, since it is love, in accord with its degree and quality, that gives heat to the mind, and thence to the body; and this man experiences as well in the winter as in the summer. The heating of the blood is from the same source. That the natural heat that springs from the sun of the world serves spiritual heat as a receptacle is evident from the heat of the body, which is excited by the heat of its spirit, and is a kind of substitute for that heat in the body. It is especially evident from the spring and summer heat in animals of every kind which then annually renew their loves. [2] It is not the natural heat that produces this effect, but it disposes their bodies to receive the heat that flows into them from the spiritual world; for the spiritual world flows into the natural as cause into effect. Whoever believes that natural heat produces these loves is much deceived, for influx is from the spiritual world into the natural world, and not from the natural world into the spiritual; and as all love belongs to the life itself it is spiritual. [3] Again, he who believes that any thing comes forth in the natural world without influx from the spiritual world is deceived, for what is natural comes forth and continues to exist only from what is spiritual. Furthermore, the subjects of the vegetable kingdom derive their germinations from influx out of the spiritual world. The natural heat of spring time and summer merely disposes the seeds into their natural forms by expanding and opening them so that influx from the spiritual world can there act as a cause. These things are mentioned to make clear that there are two kinds of heat, spiritual heat and natural heat; and that spiritual heat is from the sun of heaven and natural heat from the sun of the world, and that influx and consequent cooperation produce the effects that appear before the eyes in the world. 567-1


Spiritual heat in man is the heat of his life, because, as was said above, it is in its essence love. This heat is what is meant in the Word by "fire," love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor by "heavenly fire," and love of self and love of the world by "infernal fire."


Infernal fire or love springs from a like origin as heavenly fire or love, namely, the sun of heaven, or the Lord; but it is made infernal by those who receive it. For all influx from the spiritual world varies in accordance with reception, that is, in accordance with the forms into which it flows, just as it is with the heat and light from the sun of the world. The heat from that sun flowing into shrubberies and beds of flowers produces vegetation, and draws forth grateful and sweet odors; but the same heat flowing into excrementitious and decaying substances produces putrefactions, and draws forth rank and disgusting stenches. In like manner the light from the same sun produces in one subject beautiful and pleasing colors, in another unbeautiful and disagreeable colors. The same is true of the heat and light from the sun of heaven, which is love. When the heat, or love, from that sun flows into good, as it does in good men and angels, it makes their good fruitful; but when it flows into the evil it produces a contrary effect, for their evils either suffocate it or pervert it. In like manner when the light of heaven flows into the truths of good it imparts intelligence and wisdom; but when it flows into the falsities of evil it is turned into insanities and phantasies of various kinds. Thus in every instance the result is in accordance with reception.


As infernal fire is the love of self and of the world it is also every lust of these loves, since lust is love in its continuity, for what a man loves he continually lusts after. Infernal fire is also delight, since what a man loves and lusts after he perceives, when he obtains it, to be delightful. Man's delight of heart is from no other source. Infernal fire, therefore, is the lust and delight that spring from these two loves as their origins. The evils flowing from these loves are contempt of others, enmity, and hostility against those who do not favor them, envy, hatred, and revenge, and from these fierceness and cruelty; and in respect to the Divine they are denial and consequent contempt, derision, and detraction of the holy things of the church; and after death, when man becomes a spirit, these evils are changed to anger and hatred against these holy things (see above, n. 562). And as these evils breathe forth continually the destruction and murder of those whom they account as enemies, and against whom they burn with hatred and revenge, so it is the delight of their life to will to destroy and kill, and so far as they are unable to do this, to will to do mischief, to injure, and to exercise cruelty. [2] Such is the meaning of "fire" in the Word, where the evil and the hells are treated of, some passages from which I will here quote in the way of proof: Everyone is a hypocrite and an evil doer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For wickedness burneth as the fire; it devoureth the briers and thorns, and kindleth in the thickets of the forests, and they roll upward in the rising of smoke; and the people is become like food for fire; no man spareth his brother (Isa. 9:17-19). I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth blood and fire, and pillars of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness (Joel 2:30, 31). The land shall become burning pitch; it shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever (Isa. 34:9, 10). Behold the day cometh burning as a furnace, and all the proud and every worker of wickedness shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall set them on fire (Mal. 4:1). Babylon is become a habitation of demons. They cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning. Her smoke goeth up unto the ages of the ages (Apoc. 18:2, 18; 19:3). He opened the pit of the abyss, and there went up a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun was darkened, and the air, by the smoke of the pit (Apoc. 9:2). Out of the mouth of the horses went forth fire and smoke and brimstone; by these was the third part of men killed, by the fire and by the smoke and by the brimstone (Apoc. 4:17, 18). If any one adores the beast he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God mixed with unmixed wine in the cup of His anger, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone (Apoc. 16:9, 10). The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given unto it to scorch men with fire; therefore men were scorched with great heat (Apoc. 16:8, 9). They were cast into a lake burning with fire and brimstone (Apoc. 19:20; 20:14, 15; 21:8). Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire (Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9). The Son of man shall send His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that cause stumbling and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire (Matt. 13:41, 42, 50). The King shall say to them that are on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). They shall be sent into everlasting fire, into the hell of fire, where their worm shall not die, and the fire shall not be quenched (Matt. 18:8, 9; Mark 9:43-49). The rich man in hell said to Abraham that he was tormented in flame (Luke 16:24). In these and in many other passages "fire" means the lust pertaining to love of self and love of the world, and the "smoke" therefrom means falsity from evil.


As the lust of doing the evils that are from the love of self and of the world is meant by "infernal fire," and as such is the lust of all in the hells (as shown in the foregoing chapter) so when the hells are opened there is an appearance of fire with smoke, such as is seen in conflagrations, a dense fire from the hells where the love of self prevails, and a flaming fire from the hells where love of the world prevails. But when the hells are closed this fiery appearance is not seen, but in its place there is a kind of obscurity like a condensation of smoke; although the fire still rages within, as can be seen by the heat exhaling therefrom, which is like the heat from the burnt ruins after a fire, and in some places like the heat from a heated furnace, in others like the heat from a hot bath. When this heat flows into man it excites lusts in him, and in evil men hatred and revenge, and in the sick insanities. Such is the fire or such the heat that affects those who are in the above-mentioned loves, because in respect to their spirit they are attached to those hells, even while living in the body. But it must be understood that those who are in the hells are not in fire; the fire is an appearance; those there are conscious of no burning, but only of a warmth like that which they had felt when in the world. This appearance of fire is from correspondence, since love corresponds to fire, and all things seen in the spiritual world are seen in accordance with correspondences.


It must be noted that this infernal fire or heat is changed into intense cold when heat from heaven flows in; and those who are in it then shiver like those seized with chills and fever, and are inwardly distressed; and for the reason that they are in direct opposition to the Divine; and the heat of heaven (which is Divine love) extinguishes the heat of hell (which is the love of self), and with it the fire of their life; and this is the cause of such cold and consequent shivering and distress. This is accompanied by thick darkness and by infatuation and mutual blindness therefrom. But this rarely happens, and only when outbreaks that have increased beyond measure need to be repressed.


Since infernal fire means every lust for doing evil that flows forth from the love of self, this fire means also such torment as exists in the hells. For the lust from that love is a lust for injuring others who do not honor, venerate and worship oneself; and in proportion to the anger thereby excited, and the hatred and revenge from that anger, is there a lust for venting one's rage upon them. When such lust is active in everyone in a society, and is restrained by no external bond, such as the fear of the law, and of the loss of reputation, honor, gain, and life, everyone from the impulse of his own evil rushes upon another; and so far as he prevails subjugates the rest and subjects them to his dominion, and vents his rage with delight upon those who do not submit themselves. This delight is so intimately united with the delight of bearing rule that they exist in the same measure, since the delight of doing harm is contained in all enmity, envy, hatred, and revenge, which as said above, are the evils of that love. All the hells are such societies, and in consequence everyone there bears hatred in his heart against others, and from hatred bursts forth into cruelty so far as he has power. These cruelties and their torments are also meant by infernal fire, since they are the effects of lusts.


It has been shown above (n. 548) that an evil spirit casts himself into hell of his own accord. It shall now be told in a few words how this comes about, when yet there are in hell such torments. From every hell there exhales a sphere of the lusts of those who are in it. Whenever this sphere is perceived by one who is in a like lust he is affected at heart and filled with delight, for lust and its delight make one, since whatever one lusts after is delightful to him; and because of this a spirit turns himself hellwards, and from delight of heart lusts to go thither, since he does not yet know that such torments exist there, although he who knows it still lusts to go there. For no one in the spiritual world can resist his lust, because his lust belongs to his love, and his love belongs to his will, and his will belongs to his nature, and everyone there acts from his nature. [2] When, therefore, a spirit of his own accord and from his freedom drifts towards his hell and enters it, he is received at first in a friendly manner, which makes him believe that he has come among friends. But this continues for a few hours only. In the meanwhile he is explored in respect to his astuteness and consequent ability; and when this has been done they begin to infest him, and this by various methods, and with gradually greater severity and vehemence. This is accomplished by introducing him more interiorly and deeply into hell; for the more interior and deeper the hell the more malignant are the spirits. After these infestations they begin to treat him cruelly by punishments, and this goes on until he is reduced to the condition of a slave. [3] But rebellious movements are continually springing up there, since everyone wishes to be greatest, and burns with hatred against the others; and in consequence new uprisings occur, and thus one scene is changed into another, and those who are made slaves are delivered that they may assist some new devil to subjugate others; and again those who refuse to submit and render implicit obedience are tormented in various ways; and so on continually. Such torments are the torments of hell, which are called hell fire.


Gnashing of teeth is the continual contention and combat of falsities with each other, consequently of those who are in falsities, joined with contempt of others, with enmity, mockery, ridicule, blaspheming; and these evils burst forth into lacerations of various kinds; since everyone fights for his own falsity and calls it truth. These contentions and combats are heard outside of these hells like the gnashings of teeth; and are also turned into gnashings of teeth when truths from heaven flow in among them. In these hells are all who have acknowledged nature and have denied the Divine. In the deeper of these hells are those that have confirmed themselves in such denials. As such are unable to receive any thing of light from heaven, and are thus unable to see any thing inwardly in themselves, they are for the most part corporeal sensual spirits, who believe nothing except what they see with their eyes and touch with their hands. Therefore all the fallacies of the senses are truths to them; and it is from these that they dispute. This is why their contentions are heard as gnashings of teeth; for in the spiritual world all falsities give a grating sound, and the teeth correspond to the outmost things in nature and to the outmost things in man, which are corporeal sensual. 575-1 (That there is gnashing of teeth in the hells may be seen in Matthew 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28.)


THE MALICE AND HEINOUS ARTIFICES OF INFERNAL SPIRITS In what way spirits are superior to men everyone can see and comprehend who thinks interiorly and knows any thing of the operation of his own mind; for in his mind he can consider, evolve, and form conclusions upon more subjects in a single moment than he can utter or express in writing in half an hour. This shows the superiority of man when he is in his spirit, and therefore when he becomes a spirit. For it is the spirit that thinks, and it is the body by which the spirit expresses its thoughts in speech or writing. In consequence of this, when man after death becomes an angel he is in intelligence and wisdom ineffable in comparison with his intelligence and wisdom while he lived in the world; for while he lived in the world his spirit was bound to his body, and was thereby in the natural world; and therefore whatever he thought spiritually flowed into natural ideas, which are comparatively general, gross, and obscure, and which are incapable of receiving innumerable things that pertain to spiritual thought; and which infold spiritual thought in the obscurities that arise from worldly cares. It is otherwise when the spirit is released from the body and comes into its spiritual state, which takes place when it passes out of the natural world into the spiritual world to which it belongs. From what has already been said it is evident that the state of its thoughts and affections is then immeasurably superior to its former state. Because of this the thoughts of angels are ineffable and inexpressible, and are therefore incapable of entering into the natural thoughts of man; and yet every angel was born a man, and has lived as a man, and he then seemed to himself to be no wiser than any other like man.


In the same degree in which angels have wisdom and intelligence infernal spirits have malice and cunning; for the case is the same, since the spirit of man when released from the body is in his good or in his evil - if an angelic spirit in his good, and if an infernal spirit in his evil. Every spirit is his own good or his own evil because he is his own love, as has been often said and shown above. Therefore as an angelic spirit thinks, wills, speaks, and acts, from his good, an infernal spirit does this from his evil; and to think, will, speak, and act from evil itself, is to think, will, speak, and act from all things included in the evil. [2] So long as man lived in the body it was different, since the evil of the spirit was then under the restraints that every man feels from the law, from hope of gain, from honor, from reputation, and from the fear of losing these; and therefore the evil of his spirit could not then burst forth and show what it was in itself. Moreover, the evil of the spirit of man then lay wrapped up and veiled in outward probity, honesty, justice, and affection for truth and good, which such a man professes and counterfeits for the sake of the world; and under these semblances the evil has lain so concealed and obscured that he himself scarcely knew that his spirit contained so much malice and craftiness, that is, that in himself he was such a devil as he becomes after death, when his spirit comes into itself and into its own nature. [3] Such malice then manifests itself as exceeds all belief. There are thousands of evils that then burst forth from evil itself, among which are such as cannot be described in the words of any language. What they are has been granted me to know and also to perceive by much experience, since it has been granted me by the Lord to be in the spiritual world in respect to my spirit and at the same time in the natural world in respect to my body. This I can testify, that their malice is so great that it is hardly possible to describe even a thousandth part of it; and so great that if man were not protected by the Lord he could never be rescued from hell; for with every man there are spirits from hell as well as angels from heaven (see above, n. 292, 293); and yet the Lord cannot protect man unless he acknowledges the Divine and lives a life of faith and charity; for otherwise man turns himself away from the Lord and turns himself to infernal spirits, and thus his spirit becomes imbued with a malice like theirs. [4] Nevertheless, man is continually withdrawn by the Lord from the evils that he attaches and as it were attracts to himself by his affiliation with infernal spirits. If he is not withdrawn by the internal bonds of conscience, which he fails to receive if he denies a Divine, he is nevertheless withdrawn by external bonds, which are, as said above, fears in respect to the law and its penalties, and fears of the loss of gain and the deprivation of honor and reputation. In fact, such a man may be withdrawn from evils by means of the delights of his love and through fear of the loss or deprivation of those delights; but he cannot be led thereby into spiritual goods. For as soon as such a man is led into these he begins to give his thought to pretenses and devices by simulating or counterfeiting what is good, honest, and just, for the purpose of persuading and thus deceiving. Such cunning adjoins itself to the evil of his spirit and gives form to it, causing his evil to be of the same nature as itself.


Those are the worst of all who have been in evils from love of self and at the same time inwardly in themselves have acted from deceit; for deceit penetrates more deeply into the thoughts and intentions than other evils, and infects them with poison and thus wholly destroys the spiritual life of man. Most of these spirits are in the hells behind the back, and are called genii; and there they delight to make themselves invisible, and to flutter about others like phantoms secretly infusing evil into them, which they spread around like the poison of a viper. These are more direfully tormented than others. But those who are not deceitful, and who have not been so filled with malignant craftiness, and yet are in the evils derived from the love of self, are also in the hells behind, but in those less deep. On the other hand, those that have been in evils from the love of the world are in the hells in front, and are called spirits. These spirits are not such forms of evil, that is, of hatred and revenge, as those are who are in evils from the love of self; and therefore do not have such malice and cunning; and in consequence their hells are milder.


I have been permitted to learn by experience what kind of malice those possess who are called genii. Genii act upon and flow into the affections, and not the thoughts. They perceive and smell out the affections as dogs do wild beasts in the forest. Good affections, when they perceive them in another, they turn instantly into evil affections, leading and bending them in a wonderful manner by means of the other's delights; and this so secretly and with such malignant skill that the other knows nothing of it, for they most carefully guard against anything entering into the thought, as thereby they would be manifested. The seat of these in man is beneath the back part of the head. In the world they were such as deceitfully captivated the minds of others, leading and persuading them by the delights of their affections or lusts. But such spirits are not permitted by the Lord to come near to any man of whose reformation there is any hope; for they have the ability not only to destroy the conscience, but also to stir up in man his inherited evils, which otherwise lie hidden. Therefore to prevent man's being led into these evils, these hells, by the Lord's provision, are entirely closed up; and when any man of such a character comes after death into the other life, he is at once cast into their hell. When the deceit and craftiness of these spirits are clearly seen they appear as vipers.


The kind of malice infernal spirits possess is evident from their nefarious arts, which are so many that to enumerate them would fill a volume, and to describe them would fill many volumes. These arts are mostly unknown in the world. One kind relates to abuses of correspondences; a second to abuses of the outmosts of Divine order; a third to the communication and influx of thoughts and affections by means of turning towards another, fixing the sight upon another, and by the instrumentality of other spirits apart from themselves, and spirits sent out by themselves; a fourth to operations by phantasies; a fifth to a kind of casting themselves out beyond themselves and consequent presence elsewhere than where they are in the body; a sixth to pretenses, persuasion, and lies. The spirit of an evil man enters of itself into these arts when he is released from his body, for they are inherent in the nature of the evil in which he then is. By these arts they torment each other in the hells. But as all of these arts, except those that are effected by pretenses, persuasions, and lies, are unknown in the world, I will not here describe them in detail, both because they would not be comprehended, and because they are too abominable to be told.


The Lord permits torments in the hells because in no other way can evils be restrained and subdued. The only means of restraining and subduing evils and of keeping the infernal crew in bonds is the fear of punishment. It can be done in no other way; for without the fear of punishment and torment evil would burst forth into madness, and everything would go to pieces, like a kingdom on earth where there is no law and there are no penalties.


THE APPEARANCE, SITUATION, AND NUMBER OF THE HELLS. In the spiritual world, that is, in the world where spirits and angels are, the same objects appear as in the natural world, that is, where men are. In external appearance there is no difference. In that world plains and mountains, hills and rocks, and valleys between them are seen; also waters, and many other things that are seen on earth. And yet all these things are from a spiritual origin, and all are therefore seen by the eyes of spirits and angels, and not by the eyes of men, because men are in the natural world. Spiritual beings see such things as are from a spiritual origin, and natural beings such things as are from a natural origin. Consequently man with his eyes can in no way see the objects that are in the spiritual world unless he is permitted to be in the spirit, or after death when he becomes a spirit. On the other hand, an angel or a spirit is unable to see any thing at all in the natural world unless he is with a man who is permitted to speak with him. For the eyes of man are fitted to receive the light of the natural world, and the eyes of angels and spirits are fitted to receive the light of the spiritual world; although the eyes of the two are exactly alike in appearance. That the spiritual world is such the natural man cannot comprehend, and least of all the sensual man, who believes nothing except what he sees with his bodily eyes and touches with his hands, and therefore takes in by sight and touch. As his thought is from such things it is material and not spiritual. Such being the likeness between the spiritual world and the natural world, man can hardly believe after death that he is not in the world where he was born, and from which he has departed. For this reason death is called simply a translation from one world into another like it. (That the two worlds are thus alike can be seen above, where representatives and appearances in heaven have been treated of, n. 170-176.)


The heavens are in the higher parts of the spiritual world, the world of spirits in the lower parts, and under both are the hells. The heavens are visible to spirits in the world of spirits only when their interior sight is opened; although they sometimes see them as mists or as bright clouds. This is because the angels of heaven are in an interior state in respect to intelligence and wisdom; and for this reason they are above the sight of those who are in the world of spirits. But spirits who dwell in the plains and valleys see one another; and yet when they are separated there, which takes place when they are let into their interiors, the evil spirits do not see the good spirits; but the good spirits can see the evil spirits. Nevertheless, the good spirits turn themselves away from the evil spirits; and when spirits turn themselves away they become invisible. But the hells are not seen because they are closed up. Only the entrances, which are called gates, are seen when they are opened to let in other like spirits. All the gates to the hells open from the world of spirits, and none of them from heaven.


The hells are everywhere, both under the mountains, hills, and rocks, and under the plains and valleys. The openings or gates to the hells that are under the mountains, hills, and rocks, appear to the sight like holes and clefts in the rocks, some extended and wide, and some straitened and narrow, and many of them rugged. They all, when looked into, appear dark and dusky; but the infernal spirits that are in them are in such a luminosity as arises from burning coals. Their eyes are adapted to the reception of that light, and for the reason that while they lived in the world they were in thick darkness in respect to Divine truths, because of their denying them, and were in a sort of light in respect to falsities because of their affirming them. In this way did the sight of their eyes become so formed. And for the same reason the light of heaven is thick darkness to them, and therefore when they go out of their dens they see nothing. All this makes it abundantly clear that man comes into the light of heaven just to the extent that he acknowledges the Divine, and establishes in himself the things of heaven and the church; and that he comes into the thick darkness of hell just to the extent that he denies the Divine, and establishes in himself what is contrary to the truths of heaven and the church.


The openings or gates to the hells that are beneath the plains and valleys present to the sight different appearances. Some resemble those that are beneath the mountains, hills and rocks; some resemble dens and caverns, some great chasms and whirlpools; some resemble bogs, and some standing water. They are all covered, and are opened only when evil spirits from the world of spirits are cast in; and when they are opened there bursts forth from them either something like the fire and smoke that is seen in the air from burning buildings, or like a flame without smoke, or like soot such as comes from a burning chimney, or like a mist and thick cloud. I have heard that the infernal spirits neither see nor feel these things, because when they are in them they are as in their own atmosphere, and thus in the delight of their life; and this for the reason that these things correspond to the evils and falsities in which they are, fire corresponding to hatred and revenge, smoke and soot to the falsities therefrom, flame to the evils of the love of self, and a mist or thick cloud to falsities from that love.


I have also been permitted to look into the hells and to see what they are within; for when the Lord wills, the sight of a spirit or angel from above may penetrate into the lowest depths beneath and explore their character, notwithstanding the coverings. In this way I have been permitted to look into them. Some of the hells appeared to the view like caverns and dens in rocks extending inward and then downward into an abyss, either obliquely or vertically. Some of the hells appeared to the view like the dens and caves of wild beasts in forests; some like the hollow caverns and passages that are seen in mines, with caverns extending towards the lower regions. Most of the hells are threefold, the upper one appearing within to be in dense darkness, because inhabited by those who are in the falsities of evil; while the lower ones appear fiery, because inhabited by those who are in evils themselves, dense darkness corresponding to the falsities of evil, and fire to evils themselves. Those that have acted interiorly from evil are in the deeper hells, and those that have acted exteriorly from evil, that is, from the falsities of evil, are in the hells that are less deep. Some hells present an appearance like the ruins of houses and cities after conflagrations, in which infernal spirits dwell and hide themselves. In the milder hells there is an appearance of rude huts, in some cases contiguous in the form of a city with lanes and streets, and within the houses are infernal spirits engaged in unceasing quarrels, enmities, fightings, and brutalities; while in the streets and lanes robberies and depredations are committed. In some of the hells there are nothing but brothels, disgusting to the sight and filled with every kind of filth and excrement. Again, there are dark forests, in which infernal spirits roam like wild beasts and where, too, there are underground dens into which those flee who are pursued by others. There are also deserts, where all is barren and sandy, and where in some places there are ragged rocks in which there are caverns, and in some places huts. Into these desert places those are cast out from the hells who have suffered every extremity of punishment, especially those who in the world have been more cunning than others in undertaking and contriving intrigues and deceits. Such a life is their final lot.


As to the positions of the hells in detail, it is something wholly unknown even to the angels in heaven; it is known to the Lord alone. But their position in general is known from the quarters in which they are. For the hells, like the heavens, are distinguished by their quarters; and in the spiritual world quarters are determined in accordance with loves; for in heaven all the quarters begin from the Lord as the sun, who is the East; and as the hells are opposite to the heavens their quarters begin from the opposite point, that is, from the west. (On this see the chapter on the four quarters in heaven, n. 141-153.) [2] For this reason the hells in the western quarter are the worst of all, and the most horrible, becoming gradually worse and more horrible by degrees the more remote they are from the east. In the western hells are those who in the world were in the love of self, and in consequent contempt of others, and in enmity against those who did not favor them, also in hatred and revenge against those who did not render them respect and homage. In the most remote hells in that quarter are those that had belonged to the Catholic religion, so called, and that had wished to be worshiped as gods, and consequently had burned with hatred and revenge against all who did not acknowledge their power over the souls of men and over heaven. These continue to have the same disposition, that is, the same hatred and revenge against those who oppose them, that they had in the world. Their greatest delight is to practice cruelties; but in the other life this delight is turned against themselves; for in their hells, with which the western quarter is filled, one rages against everyone who detracts from his Divine power. (But more will be said about this in the treatise on The Last Judgment and the Destruction of Babylon.) [3] Nevertheless, no one can know how the hells in that quarter are arranged, except that the most dreadful hells of that kind are at the sides towards the northern quarter, and the less dreadful towards the southern quarter; thus the dreadfulness of the hells decreases from the northern quarter to the southern, and likewise by degrees towards the east. Towards the east are the dwelling places of the haughty, who have not believed in the Divine, and yet have not been in such hatred and revenge, or in such deceit, as those have who are in a greater depth in the western quarter. [4] In the eastern quarter there are at present no hells, those that were there having been transferred to the western quarter in front. In the northern and southern quarters there are many hells; and in them are those who while in the world were in love of the world, and in various kinds of evil therefrom, such as enmity, hostility, theft, robbery, cunning, avarice, and unmercifulness. The worst hells of this kind are in the northern quarter, the milder in the southern. Their dreadfulness increases as they are nearer to the western quarter, and also as they are farther away from the southern quarter, and decreases towards the eastern quarter and towards the southern quarter. Behind the hells that are in the western quarter there are dark forests, in which malignant spirits roam like wild beasts; and it is the same behind the hells in the northern quarter. But behind the hells in the southern quarter there are deserts, which have been described just above. This much respecting the situation of the hells.


In regard to the number of the hells, there are as many of them as there are angelic societies in the heavens, since there is for every heavenly society a corresponding infernal society as its opposite. That the heavenly societies are numberless, and are all distinguished in accordance with the goods of love, charity, and faith, may be seen in the chapter that treats of the societies of which the heavens consist (n. 41-50), and in the chapter on the immensity of heaven (n. 415-420). The like is true, therefore, of the infernal societies, which are distinguished in accordance with the evils that are the opposites of those goods. [2] Every evil, as well as every good, is of infinite variety. That this is true is beyond the comprehension of those who have only a simple idea regarding every evil, such as contempt, enmity, hatred, revenge, deceit, and other like evils. But let them know that each one of these evils contains so many specific differences, and each of these again so many specific or particular differences, that a volume would not suffice to enumerate them. The hells are so distinctly arranged in order in accordance with the differences of every evil that nothing could be more perfectly ordered or more distinct. Evidently, then, the hells are innumerable, near to and remote from one another in accordance with the differences of evils generically, specifically, and particularly. [3] There are likewise hells beneath hells. Some communicate with others by passages, and more by exhalations, and this in exact accordance with the affinities of one kind or one species of evil with others. How great the number is of the hells I have been permitted to realize from knowing that there are hells under every mountain, hill, and rock, and likewise under every plain and valley, and that they stretch out beneath these in length and in breadth and in depth. In a word, the entire heaven and the entire world of spirits are, as it were, excavated beneath, and under them is a continuous hell. Thus much regarding the number of the hells.


THE EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL. For any thing to have existence there must be an equilibrium of all things. Without equilibrium is no action and reaction; for equilibrium is between two forces, one acting and the other reacting, and the state of rest resulting from like action and reaction is called equilibrium. In the natural world there is an equilibrium in all things and in each thing. It exists in a general way even in the atmosphere, wherein the lower parts react and resist in proportion as the higher parts act and press down. Again, in the natural world there is an equilibrium between heat and cold, between light and shade, and between dryness and moisture, the middle condition being the equilibrium. There is also an equilibrium in all the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature, the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal; for without equilibrium in them nothing can come forth and have permanent existence. Everywhere there is a sort of effort acting on the one side and reacting on the other. [2] All existence or all effect is produced in equilibrium, that is, by one force acting and another suffering itself to be acted upon, or when one force by acting flows in, the other receives and harmoniously submits. In the natural world that which acts and reacts is called force, and also endeavor [or effort]; but in the spiritual world that which acts and reacts is called life and will. Life in that world is living force, and will is living effort; and the equilibrium itself is called freedom. Thus spiritual equilibrium or freedom has its outcome and permanence in the balance between good acting on the one side and evil reacting on the other side; or between evil acting on the one side and good reacting on the other side. [3] With the good the equilibrium is between good acting and evil reacting; but with the evil the equilibrium is between evil acting and good reacting. Spiritual equilibrium is between good and evil, because the whole life of man has reference to good and to evil, and the will is the receptacle. There is also an equilibrium between truth and falsity, but this depends on the equilibrium between good and evil. The equilibrium between truth and falsity is like that between light and shade, in that light and shade affect the objects of the vegetable kingdom only so far as heat and cold are in them. That light and shade themselves have no effect, but only the heat that acts through them, is evident from the fact that light and shade are the same in winter time and in spring time. This comparison of truth and falsity with light and shade is from correspondence, for truth corresponds to light, falsity to shade, and heat to the good of love; in fact, spiritual light is truth, spiritual shade is falsity, and spiritual heat is good of love (see the chapter where light and heat in heaven are treated of, n. 126-140).


There is a perpetual equilibrium between heaven and hell. From hell there continually breathes forth and ascends an endeavor to do evil, and from heaven there continually breathes forth and descends an endeavor to do good. In this equilibrium is the world of spirits; which world is intermediate between heaven and hell (see above, n. 421-431). The world of spirits is in this equilibrium because every man after death enters first the world of spirits, and is kept there in a state like that which he was in while in the world, and this would be impossible if there were not a perfect equilibrium there; for by means of this the character of everyone is explored, since they then remain in the same freedom as they had in the world. Spiritual equilibrium is freedom in man and spirit (as has been said just above, n. 589). What each one's freedom is the angels recognize by a communication of affections and thoughts therefrom; and it becomes visible to the sight of angelic spirits by the ways in which the spirits go. Good spirits there travel in the ways that go towards heaven, but evil spirits in the ways that go towards hell. Ways actually appear in that world; and that is the reason why ways in the Word signify the truths that lead to good, or in the opposite sense the falsities that lead to evil; and for the same reason going, walking, and journeying in the Word signify progressions of life. 590-1 Such ways I have often been permitted to see, also spirits going and walking in them freely, in accord with their affections and thoughts.


Evil continually breathes forth and ascends out of hell, and good continually breathes forth and descends out of heaven, because everyone is encompassed by a spiritual sphere; and that sphere flows forth and pours out from the life of the affections and the thoughts therefrom. 591-1 And as such a sphere flows forth from every individual, it flows forth also from every heavenly society and from every infernal society, consequently from all together, that is, from the entire heaven and from the entire hell. Good flows forth from heaven because all there are in good; and evil flows forth from hell because all there are in evil. The good that is from heaven is all from the Lord; for the angels in the heavens are all withheld from what is their own, and are kept in what is the Lord's own, which is good itself. But the spirits in the hells are all in what is their own, and everyone's own is nothing but evil; and because it is nothing but evil it is hell. 591-2 Evidently, then, the equilibrium in which angels are kept in the heavens and spirits in the hells is not like the equilibrium in the world of spirits. The equilibrium of angels in the heavens exists in the degree in which they have been willing to be in good, or in the degree in which they have lived in good in the world, and thus also in the degree in which they have held evil in aversion; but the equilibrium of spirits in hell exists in the degree in which they have been willing to be in evil, or have lived in evil in the world, and thus in heart and spirit have been opposed to good.


Unless the Lord ruled both the heavens and the hells there would be no equilibrium; and if there were no equilibrium there would be no heaven or hell; for all things and each thing in the universe, that is, both in the natural world and in the spiritual world, endure by means of equilibrium. Every rational man can see that this is true. If there were a preponderance on one part and no resistance on the other would not both perish? So would it be in the spiritual world if good did not react against evil and continually restrain its uprising; and unless this were done by the Divine Itself both heaven and hell would perish, and with them the whole human race. It is said unless the Divine Itself did this, because the self of everyone, whether angel, spirit, or man, is nothing but evil (see above, n. 591); consequently neither angels nor spirits are able in the least to resist the evils continually exhaling from the hells, since from self they all tend towards hell. It is evident, then, that unless the Lord alone ruled both the heavens and the hells no one could ever be saved. Moreover, all the hells act as one; for evils in the hells are connected as goods are in the heavens; and the Divine alone, which goes forth solely from the Lord, is able to resist all the hells, which are innumerable, and which act together against heaven and against all who are in heaven.


The equilibrium between the heavens and the hells is diminished or increased in accordance with the number of those who enter heaven and who enter hell; and this amounts to several thousands daily. The Lord alone, and no angel, can know and perceive this, and regulate and equalize it with precision; for the Divine that goes forth from the Lord is omnipresent, and sees everywhere whether there is any wavering, while an angel sees only what is near himself, and has no perception in himself of what is taking place even in his own society.


How all things are so arranged in the heavens and in the hells that each and all of those who are there may be in their equilibrium, can in some measure be seen from what has been said and shown above respecting the heavens and the hells, namely, that all the societies of heaven are distinctly arranged in accordance with goods and their kinds and varieties, and all the societies of hell in accordance with evils, and their kinds and varieties; and that beneath each society of heaven there is a society of hell corresponding to it from opposition, and from this opposing correspondence equilibrium results; and in consequence of this the Lord unceasingly provides that no infernal society beneath a heavenly society shall gain any preponderance, and as soon as it begins to do so it is restrained by various means, and is reduced to an exact measure of equilibrium. These means are many, only a few of which I will mention. Some of these means have reference to the stronger presence of the Lord; some to the closer communication and conjunction of one or more societies with others; some to the casting out of superabundant infernal spirits into deserts; some to the transference of certain spirits from one hell to another; some to the reducing of those in the hells to order, and this also is effected in various ways; some to the screening of certain hells under denser and thicker coverings, also letting them down to greater depths; besides other means; and still others that are employed in the heavens above the hells. All this has been said that it may in some measure be perceived that the Lord alone provides that there shall be an equilibrium everywhere between good and evil, thus between heaven and hell; for on such equilibrium the safety of all in the heavens and of all on the earth rests.


It should be known that the hells are continually assaulting heaven and endeavoring to destroy it, and that the Lord continually protects the heavens by withholding those who are in it from the evils derived from their self, and by holding them in the good that is from Himself. I have often been permitted to perceive the sphere that flows forth from the hells, which was wholly a sphere of effort to destroy the Divine of the Lord, and thus heaven. The ebullitions of some hells have also at times been perceived, which were efforts to break forth and to destroy. But on the other hand the heavens never assault the hells, for the Divine sphere that goes forth from the Lord is a perpetual effort to save all; and as those who are in the hells cannot be saved, (since all who are there are in evil and are antagonistic to the Divine of the Lord,) so as far as possible outrages in the hells are subdued and cruelties are restrained to prevent their breaking out beyond measure one against another. This also is effected by innumerable ways in which the Divine power is exercised.


There are two kingdoms into which the heavens are divided, the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom (of which see above, n. 20-28). In like manner the hells are divided into two kingdoms, one of which is opposite to the celestial kingdom and the other opposite to the spiritual kingdom. That which is opposite to the celestial kingdom is in the western quarter, and those who are in it are called genii; and that which is opposite to the spiritual kingdom is in the northern and southern quarters, and those which are in it are called spirits. All who are in the celestial kingdom are in love to the Lord, and all who are in the hells opposite to that kingdom are in the love of self; while all who are in the spiritual kingdom are in love towards the neighbor, and all who are in the hells opposite to that kingdom are in love of the world. Evidently, then, love to the Lord and the love of self are opposites; and in like manner love towards the neighbor and love of the world are opposites. The Lord continually provides that there shall be no outflowing from the hells that are opposite the Lord's celestial kingdom towards those who are in the spiritual kingdom; for if this were done the spiritual kingdom would perish (for the reason given above, n. 678, 579). These are the two general equilibriums that are unceasingly maintained by the Lord.


BY MEANS OF THE EQUILIBRIUM BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL MAN IS IN FREEDOM. The equilibrium between heaven and hell has now been described, and it has been shown that it is an equilibrium between the good that is from heaven and the evil that is from hell, thus that it is a spiritual equilibrium, which in its essence is freedom. A spiritual equilibrium in its essence is freedom because it is an equilibrium between good and evil, and between truth and falsity, and these are spiritual. Therefore to be able to will either what is good or what is evil and to think either what is true or what is false, and to choose one in preference to the other, is the freedom which is here treated of. This freedom is given to every man by the Lord, and is never taken away; in fact, by virtue of its origin it is not man's but the Lord's, since it is from the Lord. Nevertheless, it is given to man with his life as if it were his; and this is done that man may have the ability to be reformed and saved; for without freedom there can be no reformation or salvation. With any rational intuition any one can see that it is a part of man's freedom to be able to think wrongly or rightly, sincerely or insincerely, justly or unjustly; also that he is free to speak and act rightly, honestly, and justly; but not to speak and act wrongly, insincerely, and unjustly, because of the spiritual, moral, and civil laws whereby his external is held in restraint. Evidently, then, it is man's spirit, which thinks and wills, that is in freedom, and not his external which speaks and acts, except in agreement with the above mentioned laws.


Man cannot be reformed unless he has freedom, for the reason that he is born into evils of every kind; and these must be removed in order that he may be saved; and they cannot be removed unless he sees them in himself and acknowledges them, and afterwards ceases to will them, and finally holds them in aversion. Not until then are they removed. And this cannot be done unless man is in good as well as in evil, since it is from good that he is able to see evils, while from evil he cannot see good. The spiritual goods that man is capable of thinking he learns from childhood by reading the Word and from preaching; and he learns moral and civil good from his life in the world. This is the first reason why man ought to be in freedom. [2] Another reason is that nothing is appropriated to man except what is done from an affection of his love. Other things may gain entrance, but no farther than the thought, not reaching the will; and whatever does not gain entrance into the will of man does not become his, for thought derives what pertains to it from memory, while the will derives what pertains to it from the life itself. Only what is from the will, or what is the same, from the affection of love, can be called free, for whatever a man wills or loves that he does freely; consequently man's freedom and the affection of his love or of his will are a one. It is for this reason that man has freedom, in order that he may be affected by truth and good or may love them, and that they may thus become as if they were his own [3] In a word, whatever does not enter into man's freedom has no permanence, because it does not belong to his love or will, and what does not belong to man's love or will does not belong to his spirit; for the very being [esse] of the spirit of man is love or will. It is said love or will, since a man wills what he loves. This, then, is why man can be reformed only in freedom. But more on the subject of man's freedom may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia in the passages referred to below.


In order that man may be in freedom, to the end that he may be reformed, he is conjoined in respect to his spirit both with heaven and with hell. For with every man there are spirits from hell and angels from heaven. It is by means of hell that man is in his own evil, while it is by means of angels from heaven that man is in good from the Lord; thus is he in spiritual equilibrium, that is, in freedom. That angels from heaven and spirits from hell are joined to every man may be seen in the chapter on the conjunction of heaven with the human race (n. 291-302).


It must be understood that the conjunction of man with heaven and with hell is not a direct conjunction with them, but a mediate conjunction by means of spirits who are in the world of spirits. These spirits, and none from hell itself or from heaven itself, are with man. By means of evil spirits in the world of spirits man is conjoined with hell, and by means of good spirits there he is conjoined with heaven. Because of this the world of spirits is intermediate between heaven and hell, and in that world is equilibrium itself. (That the world of spirits is intermediate between heaven and hell may be seen in the chapter on the world of spirits, n. 421-431; and that the essential equilibrium between heaven and hell is there may be seen in the preceding chapter, n. 589-596.) From all this the source of man's freedom is evident.


551-1 Before the evil are cast down into hell they are devastated of truths and goods, and when these have been taken away they are of themselves carried into hell (n. 6977, 7039, 7795, 8210, 8232, 9330). The Lord does not devastate them, but they devastate themselves (n. 7643, 7926). Every evil has in it what is false; therefore those who are in evil are also in falsity, although some do not know it (n. 7577, 8094). Those who are in evil must needs think what is false when they think from themselves (n. 7437). All who are in hell speak falsities from hell (n. 1695, 7351, 7352, 7357, 7392, 7689).

558-1 Evidently, then, the love of the neighbor that has its beginning in man is the opposite of the love to the neighbor that has its beginning in the Lord; and the former proceeds from evil because it proceeds from what is man's own, while the latter proceeds from good because it proceeds from the Lord, who is good itself. Evidently, also, the love of the neighbor that proceeds from man and from what is his own is corporeal, while the love to the neighbor that proceeds from the Lord is heavenly. In a word, in the man in whom love of self prevails that love constitutes the head, and heavenly love constitutes the feet. On that love he stands; and if it does not serve him he tramples it under foot. This is the cause of the appearance that those who are cast down into hell fall with the head downward towards hell, and with the feet upwards towards heaven (see above, n. 548).

558-2 Those who do not know what it is to love the neighbor imagine every man to be a neighbor, and that good is to be done to everyone who is in need of help (n. 6704). They also believe that everyone is neighbor to himself, and thus that love to the neighbor begins with self (n. 6933). Those who love themselves above all things, that is, with whom self-love prevails, also make love to the neighbor to begin with themselves (n. 6710). In what manner everyone is neighbor to himself, explained (n. 6933-6938). But those who are Christians and who love God above all things make love to the neighbor to begin with the Lord, because He is to be loved above all things (n. 6706, 6711, 6819, 6824). The distinctions of neighbor are as many as the distinctions of good from the Lord, and there should be distinction in doing good to everyone in accordance with the quality of his state, and this is a matter of Christian prudence (n. 6707, 6709, 6711, 6818). These distinctions are innumerable, and for this reason the ancients, who knew what is meant by the neighbor, reduced the exercises of charity into classes, which they denoted by suitable names, and from this knew in what respect everyone was a neighbor, and in what manner good was to be done to everyone with prudence (n. 2417, 6628, 6705, 7259-7262). The doctrine in the ancient churches was the doctrine of charity towards the neighbor, and from this they had wisdom (n. 2417, 2385, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628).

561-1 "The sun of the world" signifies the love of self (n. 2441). In this sense "to worship the sun" signifies to worship those things that are antagonistic to heavenly love and to the Lord (n. 2441, 10584). "The sun's growing hot" means an increasing lust of evil (n. 8487).

567-1 There is an influx from the spiritual world into the natural world (n. 6053-6058, 6189-6215, 6307-6327, 6466-6495, 6598-6626). There is also an influx into the lives of animals (n. 5850). And into the subjects of the vegetable kingdom (n. 3648). This influx is a continual endeavor to act in accordance with the Divine order (n. 6211 at the end).

575-1 The correspondence of the teeth (n. 5565-5568). Those who are purely sensual and have scarcely anything of spiritual light correspond to the teeth (n. 5565). In the Word a tooth signifies the sensual, which is the outmost of the life of man (n. 9052, 9062). Gnashing of teeth in the other life comes from those who believe that nature is everything and the Divine nothing (n. 5568).

590-1 In the word "to journey," as well as "to go," signifies progression of life (n. 3335, 4375, 4554, 4585, 4882, 5493, 5605, 5996, 8181, 8345, 8397, 8417, 8420, 8557). "To go (and to walk) with the Lord" means to receive spiritual life, and to live with Him (n. 10567). "To walk" means to live (n. 519, 1794, 8417, 8420).

591-1 A spiritual sphere, which is a sphere of life, flows forth and pours forth from every man, spirit, and angel, and encompasses him (n. 4464, 5179, 7454, 8630). It flows forth from the life of their affections and thoughts (n. 2489, 4464, 6206). The quality of spirits is recognized at a distance from their spheres (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504). Spheres from the evil are the opposites of spheres from the good (n. 1695, 10187, 10312). Such spheres extend far into angelic societies in accordance with the quality and quantity of good (n. 6598-6613, 8063, 8794, 8797). And into infernal societies in accordance with the quality and quantity of evil (n. 8794).

591-2 Man's self is nothing but evil (n. 210, 215, 731, 874-876, 987, 1047, 2307, 2308, 3518, 3701, 3812, 8480, 8550, 10283, 10284, 10286, 10732). Man's self is hell in him (n. 684, 8480).

Next: 601-603