99. It was stated that liberty itself and rationality itself cannot be given to those who have denied the Divinity of the Lord and the sanctity of the Word; or to those who have confirmed themselves in favour of nature against the Divine; and that it can with difficulty be given to those who have by much reasoning confirmed themselves in falsities of religion; but still they have not all lost these faculties themselves. I have heard that atheists who had become devils and satans understood interior truths (arcana) of wisdom as well as angels, but only while they heard them from others. When they returned into their own thoughts they did not understand them, because they had no desire to understand. They were shown that they could desire to understand these truths if the love and consequent delight of evil did not mislead them. This also they understood when they heard it, and they even asserted that they could have the power, but that they had no desire to have it, for they would in that case be unable to desire the present object of their desire, which was evil from the delight of its lust.
Such strange things I have often heard in the spiritual world; and from them I was fully convinced that every man has liberty and rationality; and that everyone can attain to liberty itself and rationality itself if he shuns evils as sins. But a man who has reached maturity and who has not attained to liberty itself and rationality itself while in this world can in no wise enter into these faculties after death; for then the state of his life remains to eternity such as it had been in the world.