The Appearance, Location, and Number of the Hells (Continued)

As to the location of specific hells, no one can know this, not even an angel in heaven—only the Lord. Roughly, though, their location is recognized by the quarter where they are found. Like the heavens, the hells are differentiated into regions; and in the spiritual world, regions are marked off according to loves because all regions in heaven start from the Lord as the sun, who is the east. So since the hells are the opposite of the heavens, their regions start from the opposite direction, the west. On this subject, see the chapter on the four quarters in heaven (Sections 141–153).

This is why the hells in the western quarter are the worst and most fearful of all, worse and more fearful incrementally the farther they are from the east. The people in these hells are people who were absorbed in self-love in the world and therefore in contempt for others, hostility toward people who did not support them, and hatred and vengefulness against people who did not admire and revere them. In the farthest regions live people from the so-called Catholic religion who wanted to be worshiped as gods and who therefore burned with hatred against anyone who did not acknowledge their power over human souls and over heaven. They have the same kind of animus—the same kind of hatred and vengefulness—toward people who oppose them, as they did in the world. They take particular delight in cruelty, but in the other life this is turned against them; for in their hells (and the western quarter is full of them) they rage against each other because everyone is claiming divine power. There is more about this, though, in my booklet on The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed.

Still, we cannot know how the hells are arranged in this region, only that the most horrifying are off to the side toward the northern quarter and the less horrifying toward the southern quarter. That is, the horror of the hells decreases between the northern region and the southern, and also, successively, toward the east. The people toward the east there are the ones who were foolish and did not believe in the Divine, but still were not given to the same kind of hatred and vengefulness or trickery as the people who are deeper in the western quarter.

At present, there are no hells in the eastern region. The people who were there have been transferred to the front of the western quarter. There are a good many hells in the northern and southern regions. The people there were absorbed in love of the world during their lives and therefore in various kinds of evil such as enmity, hostility, thievery, robbery, fraud, avarice, and callousness. The worst hells of this sort are in the northern quarter and the milder ones in the south. Their dreadfulness increases the nearer they are to the western region and the farther they are from the south, and decreases toward the east and also toward the south.

Behind the hells in the western region lie dense forests where malevolent spirits roam like wild animals, and much the same is true of the hells in the northern quarter. Behind the hells in the southern quarter, though, lie the deserts just described. So much for the location of the hells.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 587


Sections 141-153: Published 7/8/2017-7/15/2017

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