(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 508

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508. The nature of the wicked in this state cannot be described in a few words, for each one is insane in accord with his own lusts, and these are various; therefore I will merely mention some special instances from which conclusions may be formed respecting the rest. Those that have loved themselves above everything, and in their occupations and employments have looked to their own honor, and have performed uses and found delight in them not for the use's sake but for the sake of reputation, that they might because of them be esteemed more worthy than others, and have thus been fascinated by their reputation for honor, are more stupid in this second state than others; for so far as one loves himself he is separated from heaven, and so far as he is separated from heaven he is separated from wisdom. [2] But those that have not only been in self-love but have been crafty also, and have raised themselves to honors by means of crafty practices, affiliate themselves with the worst of spirits, and learn magic arts, which are abuses of Divine order, and by means of these they assail and infest all who do not honor them, laying snares, fomenting hatred, burning with revenge, and are eager to vent their rage on all who do not yield to them; and they rush into all these enormities so far as their fiendish companions favor them; and at length they meditate upon how they can climb up into heaven to destroy it, or be worshiped there as gods. To such length does their madness carry them. [3] Papists of this character are more insane than the rest, for they cherish the notion that heaven and hell are subject to their power, and that they can remit sins at pleasure, claiming to themselves all that is Divine, and calling themselves Christ. This persuasion is such with them that wherever it flows in it disturbs the mind and induces darkness even to pain. Such are nearly the same in both the first and the second state; but in the second they are without rationality. Of their insanities and their lot after this state some particulars will be given in the treatise on The Last Judgement and the Destruction of Babylon. [4] Those that have attributed creation to nature, and have therefore in heart if not with the lips denied the Divine, and thus all things of the church and of heaven, affiliate with their like in this second state, and call everyone a god who excels in craftiness, worshiping him even with Divine honors. I have seen such in an assembly adoring a magician, debating about nature, and behaving like fools, as if they were beasts under a human form, while among them there were some who in the world had been in stations of dignity, and some who had been esteemed learned and wise. So with others in other states. [5] From these few instances it may be inferred what those are who have the interiors of their minds closed heaven- wards, as is the case with all who have received no influx out of heaven through acknowledgment of the Divine and a life of faith. Everyone can judge from himself how he would act if, being such, he were left free to act with no fear of the law and no fear in regard to his life, and with no outward restraints, such as fear of injury to one's reputation or of loss of honor and gain and consequent pleasures. [6] Nevertheless, the insanity of such is restrained by the Lord that it may not rush beyond the limits of use; for even such spirits perform some use. In them good spirits see what evil is and its nature, and what man is when he is not led by the Lord. Another of their uses is their collecting together evil spirits like themselves and separating them from the good; and another, that the truths and goods that the evil had outwardly professed and feigned are taken away from them, and they are brought into the evils of their life and the falsities of their evil, and are thus prepared for hell. [7] For no one enters hell until he is in his own evil and the falsities of evil, since no one is permitted there to have a divided mind, that is, to think and speak one thing and to will another. Every evil spirit there must think what is false from evil, and speak from the falsity of evil, in both respects from the will, thus from his own essential love and its delight and pleasure, in the same way that he thought while in the world when he was in his spirit, that is, in the same way as he thought in himself when he thought from interior affection. The reason is that the will is the man himself, and not the thought except so far as it partakes of the will, the will being the very nature itself or disposition of the man. Therefore man's being let into his will is being let into his nature or disposition, and likewise into his life; for by his life man puts on a nature; and after death he continues to be such as the nature is that he has acquired by his life in the world; and with the evil this nature can no longer be amended and changed by means of the thought or by the understanding of truth.


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