1860. And there was thick darkness. That this signifies when hatred was in the place of charity, is evident from the signification of "thick darkness." In the Word "darkness" signifies falsities, and "thick darkness" evils (as shown just below). There is "darkness" when falsity is in the place of truth; and there is "thick darkness" when evil is in the place of good, or what is precisely the same, when hatred is in the place of charity. When hatred is in the place of charity, the thick darkness is so great that the man is quite unaware that it is evil, still less that it is so great an evil as in the other life to thrust him down to hell, for they who are in hatred perceive a kind of delight and as it were a kind of life in it, and this delight and life themselves cause him scarcely to know but that it is good, for whatever favors a man's pleasure and cupidity, because it favors his love, he feels as good, and this to such a degree that when he is told that it is infernal he can scarcely believe it, still less when he is told that such delight and life are in the other life turned the stench of excrement and cadavers. And still less does he believe that he is becoming a devil and a horrible image of hell; for hell consists of nothing but hatreds and such diabolical forms.
 Yet anyone might know this who possesses any faculty for thinking, for if he should describe or represent, or if he could in any manner picture, hatred, he would do it no otherwise than by diabolical forms, such as those who are in hatred also become after death, and, wonderful to say, such men are capable of declaring that in the other life they shall come into heaven; some merely for saying that they have faith, when yet there are in heaven none but forms of charity, and what these are may be seen from experience (n. 553). Let all such therefore consider how these two forms, of hatred and of charity, can agree together in one place.
 That "darkness" signifies falsity, and "thick darkness" evil, may be seen from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:
Behold, darkness covereth the earth, and thick darkness the peoples (Isa. 60:2).
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Jehovah cometh, a day of darkness and thick darkness (Joel 2:1-2).
That day is a day of wrath, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and thick darkness (Zeph. 1:15).
Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness and not light, and thick darkness and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:20).
In these passages "the day of Jehovah" denotes the last time of the church, which is here treated of; "darkness" denotes falsities, "thick darkness" evils; both therefore are mentioned; otherwise it would be a repetition of the same thing, or an unmeaning amplification. But the word in the original language that in this verse is rendered "thick darkness" involves falsity as well as evil, that is, dense falsity from which is evil, and also dense evil from which is falsity.