DEVILS >> Hatreds >> Revenge >> Fierce Passions >> Wrath >> Cruelty
>> Fierce Animals >> Satans >> Genii >> Hells >> Evil >> Falsity


d938 In the Christian world it is wholly unknown that heaven and hell are from the human race, for it is believed that in the beginning angels were created and heaven was thus  formed; also that the devil or Satan was an angel of light, but having rebelled he was cast down with his crew, and thus hell was formed. The angels never cease to wonder at such a belief in the Christian world, and still more that nothing is really known about heaven, when in fact that is the primary principle of all doctrine in the church. But since such ignorance prevails they rejoice in heart that it has pleased the Lord to reveal to mankind at this time many things about heaven and about hell, thereby dispelling as far as possible the darkness that has been daily increasing because the church has come to its end.

[2] They wish for this reason that I should declare from their lips that in the entire heaven there is not a single angel who was created such from the beginning, nor in hell any devil who was created an angel of light and cast down; but that all, both in heaven and in hell, are from the human race; in heaven those who lived in the world in heavenly love and belief, in hell those who lived in infernal love and belief, also that it is hell taken as a whole that is called the Devil and Satan-the name Devil being given to the hell that is behind, where those are that are called evil genii, and the name Satan being given to the hell that is in front, where those are that are called evil spirits.{1} The character of these hells will be described in the following pages.

[3] The angels said that the Christian world had gathered such a belief about those in heaven and those in hell from some passages in the Word understood according to the mere sense of the letter not illustrated and explained by genuine doctrine from the Word; although the sense of the letter of the Word until illuminated by genuine doctrine, draws the mind in different directions, and this begets ignorance, heresies, and errors.{2} [HH 311]

The nature of man’s internal, unless it is reformed by the Lord, has been made evident to me from seeing the devils and satans in hell; for they have it constantly in mind to kill the Lord; and as they cannot do this they are in the endeavor to kill those who are devoted to the Lord; but not being able, as men are in the world, to do this, they make every effort to destroy their souls, that is, to destroy faith and charity in them. With such, essential hatred and revenge appear like lurid and glowing fires-hatred like a lurid fire, and revenge like a glowing fire-yet these are not fires, but appearances. The cruelties of their hearts sometimes appear above them in the air like contests with angels and their slaughter and overthrow. Such direful mockeries arise from their wrath and hatred against heaven. Moreover, at a distance, these same spirits appear like wild beasts of every kind, as tigers, leopards, wolves, foxes, dogs, crocodiles, and all kinds of serpents; and when they see gentle animals in representative forms, they rush upon them in fantasy and strive to tear them in pieces. They came to my sight like dragons standing near women with whom there were little children, whom they were endeavoring, as it were, to devour (according to what is recorded in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse) but these were nothing else than representations of hatred against the Lord and His New Church. That men in the world who wish to destroy the Lord‘s church are like these spirits is not evident to their companions; and for the reason that their bodies, through which they practise the moralities, absorb and conceal these things. But to the angels, who behold their spirits and not their bodies, they appear in forms like those of the devils above described. Who could have known such things had not the Lord opened the sight of some one, and given him the ability to look into the spiritual world? Otherwise, would not these, together with other most important matters, have lain concealed from man forever? [TCR 312]

By much experience in the spiritual world it has been granted me to know that man possesses in himself the faculty of understanding the inner truths (arcana) of wisdom like the angels themselves. For I have seen fiery devils who, while they were listening to inner truths of wisdom, not only understood them but also spoke of them from their own rationality. But as soon as they returned to their own diabolical love they ceased to understand them, and in place of them they uttered things contrary to them. These things were examples of spiritual insanity, and this they called wisdom. It has been granted me to hear them laughing at their own insanity when in a state of wisdom, and at wisdom when in a state of insanity.

[2] A man who has been of this character in the world, when after death he becomes a spirit, is usually admitted into alternate states of wisdom and insanity that he may distinguish the one from the other. But although such men from wisdom see that they are insane, yet when the choice is given them, as is done in the case of everyone, they introduce themselves into the state of insanity and love it; and then they regard with hatred the state of wisdom. This is because their internal has been diabolical and their external as if it were Divine. Such are meant by devils who pretend to be angels of light; and also by him who at the wedding was not clothed in a wedding garment and was cast into outer darkness (Matt. xxii. 11-13). [DP223]

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, signifies that  the wicked at heart, who in themselves were devils and satans, and yet in externals like men of the church, were cast into hell among those who were in the love of evil, and thence in the love of falsity agreeing with evil. By "death and hell" are signified the wicked at heart, who interiorly in themselves were devils and satans, and yet in externals like men of the church, as above (n. 870). By "the lake of fire" is signified hell, where they are who are in the love of evil, and thus in the love of the falsity agreeing with evil, thus who love evil, and confirm it by reasonings from the natural man, and still more they who confirm it by the sense of the letter of the Word. These cannot interiorly in themselves do otherwise than deny God, for such denial lies concealed in evil of life confirmed by falsities. "A lake" signifies where falsity abounds, and "fire" signifies the love of evil, as above (n. 835, 864). Its being said that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire," is according to angelic speech, in which the person is not named, but that which is in the person, and makes him; here that in the person which makes his death and hell; that this is the case, may be seen from this that hell cannot be cast into hell. [AR872].

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

site search by freefind advanced


Copyright © 2007-2013 A. J. Coriat All rights reserved.