354. It has been granted me to speak with many of the learned after their departure from the world; with some of distinguished reputation and celebrated in the literary world for their writings, and with some not so celebrated, although endowed with profound wisdom. Those that in heart had denied the Divine, whatever their professions may have been, had become so stupid as to have little comprehension even of anything truly civil, still less of anything spiritual. I perceived and also saw that the interiors of their minds were so closed up as to appear black (for in the spiritual world such things become visible), and in consequence they were unable to endure any heavenly light or admit any influx from heaven. This blackness which their interiors presented was more intense and extended with those that had confirmed themselves against the Divine by the knowledges they had acquired. In the other life such accept all falsity with delight, imbibing it as a sponge does water; and they repel all truth as an elastic bony substance repels what falls upon it. In fact, it is said that the interiors of those that have confirmed themselves against the Divine and in favor of nature become bony, and their heads down to the nose appear callous like ebony, which is a sign that they no longer have any perception. Those of this description are immersed in quagmires that appear like bogs; and there they are harassed by the fantasies into which their falsities are turned. Their infernal fire is a lust for glory and reputation, which prompts them to assail one another, and from an infernal ardor to torment those about them who do not worship them as deities; and this they do one to another in turns. Into such things is all the learning of the world changed that has not received into itself light from heaven through acknowledgment of the Divine.