6977. And the waters which thou hast taken out of the river. That this signifies inversion of state, is evident from what presently follows, for it is said that "they shall become blood in the dry [land]," whereby is signified the falsification of all truth, and the privation of it in the natural. When this takes place the state is completely inverted; and hence these words, as they involve an inversion of state, are also said to signify it. There is also a total inversion of state in the natural when it is entirely occupied by falsities. This rarely happens with man while he lives in the world, but in the other life it takes place with all who are cast into hell. That it rarely happens with man while he lives in the world is because he is then continually kept in a state capable of being reformed, provided that he desists from evils in freedom. But after death his life follows him, and he remains in the state which he had acquired by the whole course of his life in the world.
 Then he who is in evil is no longer capable of being reformed; and lest he should have communication with any society of heaven, all truth and good are taken away from him; so that he remains in evil and falsity, which grow there in accordance with the capacity to receive them that he has acquired in the world. Nevertheless he is not allowed to pass beyond the acquired bounds. This inversion of state is what is here meant, which is such that he can no longer be amended as to the interiors, but only as to the exteriors, namely, by fear of punishments. After enduring these many times, he at last abstains from evil, not in freedom, but by compulsion, the cupidity of doing evil still remaining. This cupidity, as before said, is kept in check by fears, which are external and compulsory means of amendment. This is the state of the evil in the other life.