588. In regard to the number of the hells, there are as many of them as there are angelic societies in the heavens, since there is for every heavenly society a corresponding infernal society as its opposite. That the heavenly societies are numberless, and are all distinguished in accordance with the goods of love, charity, and faith, may be seen in the chapter that treats of the societies of which the heavens consist (n. 41-50), and in the chapter on the immensity of heaven (n. 415-420). The like is true, therefore, of the infernal societies, which are distinguished in accordance with the evils that are the opposites of those goods.  Every evil, as well as every good, is of infinite variety. That this is true is beyond the comprehension of those who have only a simple idea regarding every evil, such as contempt, enmity, hatred, revenge, deceit, and other like evils. But let them know that each one of these evils contains so many specific differences, and each of these again so many specific or particular differences, that a volume would not suffice to enumerate them. The hells are so distinctly arranged in order in accordance with the differences of every evil that nothing could be more perfectly ordered or more distinct. Evidently, then, the hells are innumerable, near to and remote from one another in accordance with the differences of evils generically, specifically, and particularly.  There are likewise hells beneath hells. Some communicate with others by passages, and more by exhalations, and this in exact accordance with the affinities of one kind or one species of evil with others. How great the number is of the hells I have been permitted to realize from knowing that there are hells under every mountain, hill, and rock, and likewise under every plain and valley, and that they stretch out beneath these in length and in breadth and in depth. In a word, the entire heaven and the entire world of spirits are, as it were, excavated beneath, and under them is a continuous hell. Thus much regarding the number of the hells.