2121. That a Last Judgment is at hand,* cannot be so evident on the earth and within the church as in the other life, whither all souls arrive, and flock together. At this day the world of spirits is full of evil genii and evil spirits, mostly from the Christian world, among whom there reign nothing but hatreds, revenges, cruelties, obscenities, and deceitful machinations. Nor is this the case only with the world of spirits, where souls fresh from the world first arrive, but also with the interior sphere of that world, where those are who have been interiorly evil in respect to their intentions and ends. This likewise is at the present day so crowded that I have wondered there ever could be so great an abundance. For all are not instantly cast down into the hells, because it is according to the laws of order that every such person should return into his life which he had had in the body, and should in this way be brought down by degrees into hell. The Lord casts no one into hell, but everyone casts himself there. The result is that these Worlds of spirits are thronged with a crowd of such spirits, who gather and stay there for a time. By their means the souls who come from the world are frightfully infested. Moreover the spirits who are with man (for every man is governed by the Lord through spirits and angels) are more stirred up than heretofore to bring malign influences to bear upon man, and this to such a degree that the angels who are with him can scarcely avert them, but are compelled to inflow into man from a greater distance. In the other life it is from all this very evident that the last time is at hand.
* This was first published in 1750.