8678. For the reason that they dealt proudly over them. That this signifies by reason of the endeavor and the force used to rule over those who are of the church, is evident from the signification of "dealing proudly," as being the endeavor and the force used to rule (of which below); and from the representation of the sons of Israel, who are they over whom they dealt proudly, as being those who are of the spiritual church (see above, n. 8645). That "to deal proudly" denotes the endeavor and the force used to rule, is because this endeavor and the consequent force are in all pride, for pride is to love self more than others, and to set self above them, and to wish to exercise command over others; and they who wish this also despise others in comparison with self, and also persecute from hatred and revenge those who set themselves above them, or do not pay them respect. The love of self, which is pride, is of such a quality that so far as the rein is given it, it rushes on, growing step by step to the utmost of the ability that is granted to it, until at last it lifts itself to the very throne of God with the desire to be in His stead. Such are all who are in hell. That they are such is perceived from their endeavor from there, and also from their dangerous hatreds and direful revenges one against another for the sake of rule. This endeavor is what is restrained by the Lord, and is meant by "the head of the serpent which the seed of the woman shall trample on" (n. 257). Such are also meant by "Lucifer" in Isaiah:
How hast thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawn! thou hast been cut off to the earth, thou hath been weakened beneath the nations; yet thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will become like the Most High. Yet verily thou hast been let down to hell, to the sides of the pit, thou hast been cast forth out of thy sepulcher like an abominable shoot, the raiment of the slain, thrust through with the sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, like a carcass that is trampled on (Isa. 14:2-15, 19).
 That pride of heart, which is the love of self, repels from itself the Divine, and removes heaven from itself, can be plainly seen from the state of reception of the Divine and of heaven, which is a state of love toward the neighbor, and a state of humiliation toward God. So far as a man can humble himself before the Lord, and so far as he can love his neighbor as himself, and, as in heaven, above himself, so far he receives the Divine, and consequently is so far in heaven. From all this it is evident in what state are those who love themselves more than the neighbor, and who "deal proudly over him," that is, who are in the love of self; namely, that they are in a state opposite to heaven and to the Divine, consequently in the state in which the infernals are. (See what has been already said and shown about the love of self, n. 2041, 2045, 2051, 2057, 2219, 2363, 2364, 2444, 3413, 3610, 4225, 4750, 4776, 4947, 5721, 6667, 7178, 7255, 7364, 7366-7377, 7488-7492, 7494, 7643, 7819, 7820, 8318, 8487.)