The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery (Continued)

Some during their bodily life think lewdly and turn whatever others say into something indecent, even if the subject is holy, and they continue to do so even into adulthood and old age, when nothing of earthly lust remains to goad them. Neither do they stop thinking and speaking this way in the other world. Since in that world their thoughts are shared generally, and sometimes present themselves in obscene form to the eyes of other spirits, they cause offense.

Their punishment consists in being laid out flat before the spirits they have hurt and spun quickly from left to right like a scroll. Then they are spun crosswise in another position, and then in yet another, stripped naked in the sight of all, or else half-naked (depending on the nature of their debauchery). All the while they suffer shame. Next they are twirled horizontally by their head and feet as if around an axis. Resistance is triggered in them, together with pain, since two forces are acting, one spinning one direction and the other pushing back. So the procedure tears them apart in an agonizing way.

At the end of all this, the individuals have a chance to remove themselves from the gaze of other spirits, and they are filled with shame. Still there are some spirits who test them to see whether they will persist in such behavior. But as long as they continue to feel humiliation and pain, they shy away from it. So they hide, despite the fact that others know just where they are.

This punishment appeared in front, some distance away. There are also boys, adolescents, and young men who in their youthful folly and lust have taken it as a principle (a horrendous one) that a wife—especially one who is young and beautiful—should not belong to her husband but to themselves and others like them. The only role they leave to the husband is as head of household and educator of the children. In the other life they are distinguished by the childish sound of their voices. They are at the back and fairly high up.

The ones who have hardened themselves in these principles and in actually living their lives by them undergo wretched punishment in the other life. They suffer dislocation and rearticulation of their joints, or having their limbs wrenched in one direction and then the other. The spirits who administer the punishment know how to create the illusion of a body and along with it the physical sensation of pain. The back-and-forth motion and the resistance to it induced in them at the same time tear at them so violently that they seem to themselves to be ripped into minute shreds, with excruciating pain. The process repeats until, struck with horror for a life based on such principles, they abandon their former way of thinking.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 829

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