1106. CONCERNING VASTATIONS
There are many persons who during their life in this world from simplicity and ignorance have imbibed falsities of religious belief, and yet have had a kind of conscience in accordance with the principles of their faith, and have not like others lived in hatred, revenge, and adultery. In the other life these persons cannot be introduced into heavenly societies so long as they remain in these falsities, for they would contaminate them; and they are therefore kept for a time in the lower earth, in order that they may get rid of their false principles. The time that they remain there is longer or shorter according to the nature of the falsity, and the life contracted thereby, and according to the degree in which they have confirmed themselves in their principles. Some suffer there severely, others not severely. These sufferings are what are called Vastations, of which there is frequent mention in the Word.* When the period of vastation is completed, they are taken up into heaven, and as newcomers are instructed in the truths of faith, and this by the angels by whom they are received.
* Vastation in the Latin is the same word as wasting or laying waste. [Reviser.]