289. It has frequently been made manifest to me that in hell no one thinks from* himself but he thinks from others around him, nor do these think from themselves, but they also think from others; and thoughts and affections pass in order from one society to another and no one is aware that they do not originate from himself. Some who believed that they thought and willed from themselves were sent into a society and there detained, and communication with the neighbouring societies to which their thoughts were usually extended was cut off. They were then told to think differently from the spirits of this society, and to compel themselves to think contrary to it; but they confessed that they found this impossible.
 This was done with many, including Leibnitz, who was also convinced that no one thinks from himself but from others; nor do these from themselves think, but that all think from influx out of heaven and heaven from influx originating from the Lord. When some had given careful consideration to this, they declared it to be amazing, saying that scarcely anyone could be induced to believe it, because it is quite contrary to appearance; but still that they could not deny it because it was fully proved. Nevertheless, while they were astonished they declared,
1. That in this case they are not in fault for thinking evil;
2. also that it thus seems as if evil were from the Lord;
3. and also that they do not understand how the Lord can cause all to think so differently.
But these three points must be explained in what follows.
* from himself (a se), . . . from others (ex aliis). The prepositions a and ex, both here translated 'from', are used in contrast, a indicating the responsible agent or originating source, and ex an instrumental agent, contributing to the performance of an action. This distinction may be noted by translating a of an ex from, as: no one of himself thinks, but he thinks from others.