The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned ( Continued)

It needs to be noted that we never undergo punishment or torment in the next life on account of evil we have inherited, only on account of evil that we ourselves have actually committed.

When the evil are being punished, angels are always present, tempering the punishment and easing the anguish of the wretched. They cannot eliminate the pain, though, because everything in the other world is balanced in such a way that evil punishes itself. Unless wickedness was removed from wicked people by punishment, they would have to be kept in some hell forever. Otherwise they would infest communities of good people and inflict violence on the system of order established by the Lord, which ensures the welfare of the universe.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 966, 967

Advertisements

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There is another kind of shroud, too—a piece of cloth, it seems, that is wound around people, so that they appear to themselves to be bound hand, foot, and body, while a desperate desire to unwrap themselves is inspired in them. Since it is wrapped just once around them, they figure it must be easy to undo; but when they start unwinding, the cloth grows longer and longer and the unwinding continues endlessly, until they reach the point of despair.

These are the facts concerning the hells and different forms of punishment. The tortures of hell are not pangs of conscience, as some suppose, because the inhabitants of hell have no conscience and therefore cannot feel the torment of one. People who have had a conscience are among the happy.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 964, 965

 

 

 

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There is also a punishment in which spirits’ thoughts are torn apart, so that their inner thinking clashes with their outer thinking. This is accompanied by deep pain.

One of the more common penalties involves throwing a shroud over a spirit. In it, spirits gain the impression, from delusions they have brought on themselves, that they are under a shroud stretching far out around them. It is like a blanket of fog that thickens as they fantasize about it. Ablaze with the desire to break loose, they run back and forth under it at varying speeds until they grow exhausted. The experience usually lasts an hour, more or less, and entails pain of different kinds, depending on the intensity of their eagerness to free themselves.

The shroud is the lot of those who see the truth but still do not want to admit to it, because they love themselves, and who take constant offense that the truth should be what it is.

Some of the people under the shroud feel such anxiety and terror that they lose hope of ever gaining their freedom, as one who escaped once told me.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 962, 963

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There is also a punishment in which spirits’ thoughts are torn apart, so that their inner thinking clashes with their outer thinking. This is accompanied by deep pain.

One of the more common penalties involves throwing a shroud over a spirit. In it, spirits gain the impression, from delusions they have brought on themselves, that they are under a shroud stretching far out around them. It is like a blanket of fog that thickens as they fantasize about it. Ablaze with the desire to break loose, they run back and forth under it at varying speeds until they grow exhausted. The experience usually lasts an hour, more or less, and entails pain of different kinds, depending on the intensity of their eagerness to free themselves.

The shroud is the lot of those who see the truth but still do not want to admit to it, because they love themselves, and who take constant offense that the truth should be what it is.

Some of the people under the shroud feel such anxiety and terror that they lose hope of ever gaining their freedom, as one who escaped once told me.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 962, 963

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There are certain deceptive spirits who secretly committed fraud while they were living in the body. Some of them had been fiendishly clever at projecting an angelic image of themselves in order to dupe people. In the next life they learn how to disappear into a less substantial mode of existence and escape the gaze of others, so they consider themselves safe from all retribution. Like others, however, not only do they suffer different kinds of punishment by the rack (depending on the nature and malevolence of their fraud), they are also glued to each other. When this happens, the more they long to free themselves, or split apart, the more tightly they are bound together. This punishment entails fairly intense pain, as it comes in response to their rather well concealed deceits.

There are people who in casual conversation make trivial and derisive comments using phrases from Sacred Scripture—some out of habit and some out of contempt. They believe they are being sophisticated, with their jokes and ridicule. But thoughts and words of this kind cling to the base, unclean notions of such an individual and inflict much damage in the other life, because they come back to the individual with profane ideas attached. Such people too undergo racking punishments, until finally they give up the practice.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 960, 961

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There are gangs of roving spirits of whom other spirits are intensely afraid. They attach themselves to the lower part of the back and cause pain by a rapid, audible, back-and-forth motion that no one is able to block. It is a pressing, squeezing motion, which they channel upward into the point of a conical shape. Any who are sent inside the cone, especially those near the tip, are wretchedly ripped apart at every joint.

It is the imposters who are sent in there and punished in this way.

One night I awoke from sleep and heard around me spirits who had wanted to ambush me while I lay asleep. Soon drifting off, I had a nightmare but then woke up again, and suddenly, to my surprise, found some scourging spirits at hand. They inflicted bitter punishment on the spirits who had plotted against me in my sleep, by giving them a kind of body—a visible one—and physical sensation and then torturing them by violently knocking their limbs back and forth. They also enhanced the pain by inducing resistance. The scourgers fully intended to kill the spirits, if they could, so they used extreme violence.

Most of them were sirens, who are described in Section 831. The punishment lasted a long time and spread out around me to include many other gangs. What amazed me was that all of the spirits who had ambushed me were tracked down, even though they wanted to hide.

Because they were sirens, they tried many tricks for escaping punishment, although they failed at the attempt. First they wanted to slip away to a more hidden plane of existence. Then they wanted to pretend they were someone else. Then they tried to divert the punishment to others by projecting their thoughts. Then they created the illusion that they were babies, whom the castigators were punishing, then good spirits, then angels. They attempted many other ruses too, but all in vain.

Although I was surprised to see how severely they were disciplined, I perceived that this kind of behavior is intolerable because of our need to sleep in safety, since if we could not sleep safely, the human race would die out. That was why the penalty simply had to be so harsh.

I sensed that the same events also occur in the vicinity of other people whom spirits endeavor to attack by stealth in their sleep, although the people themselves are unaware of it. If they are unable to talk with spirits and be present with them by way of an inner perception, they cannot hear, still less see, any such thing, despite the fact that similar occurrences are taking place around them.

The Lord guards us with utmost care when we sleep.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 958, 959

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There are individuals who acquired for themselves in bodily life the habit of talking one way and thinking another. These people, especially the ones who pined after others’ wealth under cover of friendship, wander around and ask to stay with people wherever they go, claiming to be impoverished. Once they are admitted, an inborn craving leads them to covet everything they see.

When their true nature is discovered, they are fined and banished and sometimes racked most painfully—in different ways, depending on the nature of the facade they adopted in order to delude. In some cases the whole body is ripped apart; in others it is the lower legs, or the lower torso, the upper torso, the head, or just the part around the mouth. They are jostled back and forth in indescribable ways. Their body parts are violently smashed together and torn off in the process, so that they imagine they have been shredded into tiny pieces. Resistance is also induced in them so as to increase the pain.

Such are the ways—with a great deal of variety—in which people are punished by racking. The punishments are repeated at intervals enough times to instill in them a terror and horror for false, deceptive speech. Each repetition takes away a little more of their desire.

Those doing the shredding said they enjoy inflicting punishment so much that not in all eternity would they want to leave off.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Section 957

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There are also various other ways of punishing the evil severely in the next world, and they incur these penalties when they return to their vile obsessions. The punishment inflicts shame, terror, and revulsion for their evil on them, until eventually they abstain.

The penalties come in different forms. In general they entail being humiliated, ripped in pieces, placed under shrouds, and so on.

Some people are tenaciously vindictive and consider themselves more important than anyone else, judging all others worthless compared to themselves. Their punishment is to be humiliated, and this is what it is like: Their bodies and faces are disfigured, so that there is hardly anything human-looking left of them. Their faces end up looking like big rounds of flatbread; their arms, like rags. With these stretched out, they spin around, high in the air, always rising toward heaven, and someone shouts out a description of their character for all to hear. Eventually they are struck to the depths with shame. So they are driven to beg humbly for mercy, and the words are dictated to them. Afterward they are taken to a pool of muck near the foul Jerusalem and are rolled and dipped in it until they look as though they have turned into mud. They go through this process several times, until they lose all desire for vengeance and superiority.

In the pool of muck are malicious women from the area of the bladder.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 955, 956

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

People who considered themselves saintly during bodily life are in an underground region in front of the left foot. There it sometimes seems to them that they have shining faces—an effect that stems from their picture of sainthood. The outcome for them, however, is that they remain there in the grip of a strong urge to climb to heaven, which they think is up high. Their desire swells and is gradually transformed into anxiety, which increases beyond all measure, until at last they acknowledge that they are not saints.

When released from there, they are allowed to smell their own stench, which is disgusting.

One individual felt he had lived a holy life in the world, his purpose being to win public admiration for his piety and in this way earn heaven. He said he had led a devout life and made time for prayer, believing that it was enough for us each to take care of ourselves and our own welfare. He added that he was a sinner and wanted to suffer, even to the point of being trampled underfoot by others (which he called Christian patience), and that he wanted to be the humblest person there was, in order to be the greatest in heaven.

Questioned as to whether he had done or wished to do anyone any good—to perform works of charity, in other words—he declared that he had no idea what these were, that he had simply lived a holy life. Because this man’s goal was to be better than others, whom he consequently deemed his inferiors, and most of all because he viewed himself as a saint, he appeared at first in a shining white human form that was visible down to the pelvis. Then he turned a dusky shade of blue and finally black. Since he wished to domineer over other people and held them in contempt, he ended up blacker than others.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 951, 952

The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

There was a troop of spirits surging out on one side of Gehenna, rising high up in front. From their aura I could tell that they held the Lord in contempt and despised all worship of God. (At the first approach of spirits, one can sense their character just from their aura.) Their speech rose and fell. One of them made scandalous charges against the Lord and was immediately tossed down to one side of Gehenna.

From in front they moved back over my head, intent on finding kindred souls they could band together with in order to dominate others. They were slowed down along the way, though, and told that they should give up their plan because it would turn out badly for them. So they came to a halt. I then had a look at them. Their faces were black, and around their heads each wore a white headband, meaning that they saw the worship of God—and the Lord’s Word too—as something black, useful only for binding the fetters of conscience on the great mass of people.

Their residence is near Gehenna, and nonpoisonous flying snakes live there, which is why it is called a snakes’ nest. But since they are not charlatans, their hell is not very oppressive.

People like this ascribe everything to themselves and their own shrewdness and boast that they fear nothing, but they were shown that a mere hiss can drive them to terrified flight. Hearing one once, they assumed in their fright that all hell was rising up to carry them off, and from being heroes they suddenly became like women.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Section 950