The Hells: The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery and Lechery; in Addition, the Hells of Deceivers and Witches (Continued)

There are some men who hide behind a love for marriage and a love for children in order to commit treacherous deeds. Their behavior prevents any suspicion on a husband’s part that they as his guests are anything but chaste, innocent friends. Under such appearances and many others, they commit adultery in relative safety. These people live in a hell under the buttocks and in the filthiest excrement where, because they are among the deceitful, they undergo such devastation that they finally seem to turn into skeletons.

People like this do not even know what conscience is. I talked to them, and they were surprised that anyone might have a conscience or claim that adultery violates it. I told them that for adulterers of their type, who have no compunction, it is as impossible to come into heaven as it is for a fish to rise into the air or for a bird to fly up into the ether. Let them only edge close to heaven and they feel as though they would suffocate. The pleasure they feel turns into a stinking smell. They can only be thrust down into hell. Eventually they come to appear skeletal, with little life left, because this is the kind of life they have obtained for themselves, and when they lose it, only a tiny amount of truly human life remains.

There are men who like nothing better than deflowering virgins—that is, who take the greatest pleasure in virgins and in robbing them of their virginity without any thought of marriage or children. When they have stolen the bloom of their virginity, they abandon them in disgust or prostitute them.

Men who have lived this kind of life have contravened the order of nature, of the spirit, and of heaven. They violate not only marriage love, a love held very sacred in heaven, but also innocence, which they wound and murder when they take innocent girls, who could have had the love of marriage instilled in them, and introduce them instead to the life of a whore. (People know that the first blossoming of love is what introduces young women to the chaste love in marriage and unites the minds of married partners.)

Because heaven’s holiness is founded on marriage love and innocence, and these men are inward murderers (as described), in the other life they suffer punishment of the most severe kind. They seem to themselves to be riding a frenzied horse that bucks them up into the air, throwing them off, apparently in danger of their lives; such is the terror that strikes them. Later they see themselves under the belly of the maddened horse and soon seem to go up through the horse’s rump into its stomach. Then suddenly it appears to them as if they are in the belly of a woman, a foul slut, who changes into a huge dragon. There they remain hidden and in pain. This punishment recurs many times over hundreds and thousands of years, until the offenders gain a horror for such desires.

I have heard that their children are worse than others, since they inherit this quality from their fathers. Accordingly, when people of this kind engage in sexual intercourse, it rarely produces offspring, and such babies as are born do not live long.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 827-828

The Hells: The Hells of those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery and Lechery; in Additon, the Hells of Deceivers and Witches (Continued)

Level with the soles of the feet, in front and fairly far away, is a hell called Gehenna containing shameless women who centered all their pleasure on committing adultery. They regarded adultery as not just acceptable but honorable and lured the unblemished and innocent into it under various high-minded guises.

A sort of fiery glow appears there, like the one that a large conflagration would cast in the air. There is also a blast of heat, which I was able to feel through the warmth that spread from there to my face. And an odor drifts out that resembles the smell of singed bones and hair.

Sometimes this hell turns into a mass of loathsome snakes that bite the inhabitants. Once bitten they long for death, but they cannot die.

Some women released from the place came to me and said it was hot there. They reported that when they are allowed to approach a certain community of good spirits, the heat turns into intense cold. The temperature, they said, then fluctuates between extremes of blazing heat and freezing cold, which also tormented them miserably.

They have intervals during which they are aroused and aflame with lust; but conditions change for them, as noted.

There were some of each sex from the so-called Christian world who during bodily life considered their adulteries not only allowable but even sacred and for this reason contracted group “marriages” (as they so profanely called them) under the appearance of sanctity.

As I watched, they were sent to Gehenna, but when they arrived there, a change occurred. Gehenna’s fiery glimmer, which is red-hot, became white-hot at their approach, and their inability to get along together became perceptible. As a result, that iniquitous troupe of theirs was removed and transferred to an area behind the back—to another world, I heard, where they would sink into the water and then move on to a new Gehenna created for them.

An indescribable sort of hiss could be heard in [the first] Gehenna, but the hissing or whispering there was duller than the sound made by these people who polluted what is holy with their adulteries.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 825-826

The Hells: The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Adultery and Lechery; in Addition, the Hells of Deceivers and Witches

Under the heel of the right foot is the hell of those who enjoyed cruelty and also adultery and felt the greatest pleasure of their lives in those two things. It is remarkable that people who were cruel while living in the body also practiced adultery more than any others. Such people live in this hell.

There they inflict cruelties in unspeakable ways. In their imaginations they create [giant] mortarlike vessels (similar to those used for grinding herbs) and pestles, which they use to crush and torture everyone they can. They also conjure up executioners’ broadaxes, or something like them, as well as trephines with which they viciously maul each other—and other grim devices besides.

In that hell are a number of Jews who once treated gentiles in the same cruel ways. Today the hell is still growing, the main additions coming from the so-called Christian world. These “Christians” obtained all the joy of their lives from adultery, and most of them were also abusive.

Sometimes their delight is transformed into the reek of human dung, an odor that pours out copiously when the hell opens. I sensed the smell in the world of spirits and almost passed out. This fecal stench comes and goes in hell. It consists of the inhabitants’ pleasure in adultery, converted into a horrible aroma.

As time passes and they finish a certain amount of time living in such scenes, they are left alone, sitting in pain, and seem to turn into misshapen skeletons, although they remain alive.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 824

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

The reason the Lord’s divine nature in heaven is love is that love is what is receptive of every heavenly quality—that is, of peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. Love is receptive of everything that is in harmony with it. It longs for such things, it seeks them out, it absorbs them spontaneously because it has the constant purpose of uniting itself with them and being enriched by them. People actually recognize this fact, since the love within them surveys memory, so to speak, and draws out from it the items that agree with it. It gathers these together and arranges them within and beneath itself—within itself so that it may possess them and beneath itself so that they may serve it. It discards and eradicates, though, the items that do not agree with it.

I have been able to see very clearly that love has a full, intrinsic ability to accept elements of truth that suit it and has also a desire of uniting them to itself. This has become clear from observing people who have been transported into heaven. Even people who were simple folk in this world have arrived at angelic wisdom and heavenly happiness in the company of angels. This was because they loved what is good and true for the sake of what is good and true. They had grafted these qualities into their lives and had thereby become capable of accepting heaven and all its indescribable riches.

People caught up in love for themselves and for the world, however, have no such receptive ability. They turn away from such things, discard them, and at their first touch or inflow try to escape them. They ally themselves with people in hell who are caught up in loves like their own.

There were some spirits who doubted that love was so full and wanted to know whether this was really true. In order that they might find out, they were let into a state of heavenly love with all obstacles removed and were brought forward a considerable distance to an angelic heaven. They talked with me from there and told me that they felt deeper happiness than words could express, sorrowing that they would have to return to their former state. Other people as well have been raised into heaven, and the deeper or higher they have been taken, the deeper and higher they have penetrated into intelligence and wisdom, becoming able to grasp things that were incomprehensible to them before. We can see from this that the love that emanates from the Lord is open to heaven and all its riches.

We can conclude that love for the Lord and love for our neighbor embrace within themselves everything that is true from the Divine because this follows from what the Lord himself said about these two loves: “You shall love your God with all your heart and with all your soul: this is the greatest and first commandment. The second, which is like it, is that you should love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40). The Law and the Prophets are the whole Word, which means all divine truth.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 18-19


Previously Cited: 11/13/2017

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and thoughtfulness to ward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

All my experience in heaven bears witness to the fact that the divine nature that comes from the Lord, affects angels, and constitutes heaven, is love. In fact, all the people there are forms of love and thoughtfulness. They look indescribably beautiful. Love radiates from their faces, from their speech, from every detail of their behavior.

Further, there are surrounding auras of spiritual life that emanate from every angel and from every spirit and envelop them. By means of these auras one can recognize even from a distance the quality of the affections of their loves, since these auras flow out from the life of their affection and consequent thought—that is, from the life of their love and consequent faith. The auras that emanate from angels are so full of love that they touch the deepest reaches of life of the people they meet. I have been aware of them a number of times, and they have moved me deeply.

I have been able to see that love was the source of angels’ life because all the people in the other life turn in a direction determined by their own love. People engaged in a love for the Lord and a love for their neighbor are constantly turning toward the Lord, while people who are engaged in self-love are constantly turning their backs to the Lord. This holds true no matter which way they turn, since in the other life spatial relationships are determined by people’s inner natures. These also determine geographical regions, whose boundaries are not drawn the way they are in the physical world but depend on which way people are facing. Actually, it is not angels who turn to the Lord but the Lord who turns toward himself the people who love to do whatever has its source in him. But there will be more on this subject below, when we discuss geographical regions in the other life.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 17


Previously Cited: 11/12/2017

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness toward One’s Neighbor (Continued)

There are two quite distinguishable loves in heaven—love for the Lord and love for our neighbor. Love for the Lord is characteristic of the third or central heaven, while love for our neighbor is characteristic of the second or intermediate heaven. Both come from the Lord, and each one makes a heaven.

In heaven’s light, it is easy to see how these two loves differ and how they unite, but this can be seen only dimly in our world. In heaven, “loving the Lord” does not mean loving him for the image he projects but loving the good that comes from him. Loving the good is intending and doing it from love. Further, “loving one’s neighbor” does not mean loving companions for the images they project but loving the truth that comes from the Word. Loving the truth is intending and doing it. We can therefore see that these two loves differ the way “good” and “true” differ and unite the way these two unite.

All this, though, will not conform to the notions of anyone who does not know what love is, what the good is, and what the neighbor is.

I have talked with angels about this on a number of occasions. They have expressed their astonishment that church people do not know that to love the Lord and to love one’s neighbor is to love what is good and true and to do them intentionally. They should realize, though, that we demonstrate our love by intending and doing what someone else wants. This is how we become loved in return—not by “loving the other” and not doing what that other wants; in essence, that is not loving at all.

They should also realize that the good that comes from the Lord is the Lord’s own likeness because he is within it. We become likenesses of him and are united to him when we make what is good and what is true matters of our lives by doing them intentionally, since intending something is loving to do it. The Lord teaches that this is true when he says, “Those who have my commandments and do them are the ones who love me, and I will love them and make my dwelling with them” (John 14:21, 23); and again, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:10, 12).

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 15-16


Previously Cited: 11/11/2017

The Lord’s Divine Nature in Heaven Is Love for Him and Thoughtfulness Toward One’s Neighbor

IN heaven, the divine nature that emanates from the Lord is called divine truth, for reasons that will be given below. This divine truth flows into heaven from the Lord, out of his divine love. Divine love and the divine truth that derives from it are like the sun’s fire and the light that comes from it in our world. The love is like the sun’s fire, and the derivative truth is like the light from the sun. By reason of correspondence, fire means love and light means the truth that flows from it.

This enables us to determine the character of the divine truth that emanates from divine love: in its essence, it is divine good united to divine truth, and because it is united, it gives life to everything in heaven the way the warmth of the sun, united to its light, makes everything fruitful on earth in spring and summer. It is different when the warmth is not united to light, when the light is therefore cold. Then everything slows down and lies there, snuffed out.

The divine good we have compared to warmth is the good of love within and among angels, and the divine truth we have compared to light is the means and the source of this good of love.

The reason the Divine in heaven (which in fact makes heaven) is love is that love is spiritual union. It unites angels to the Lord and unites them with each other. It does this so thoroughly that in the Lord’s sight they are like a single being. Further, love is the essential reality of every individual life. It is therefore the source of the life of angels and the life of people here. Anyone who weighs the matter will discover that love is our vital core. We grow warm because of its presence and cold because of its absence, and when it is completely gone, we die. We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 13-14


Previously Cited: 11/10/2017

The Hells: The Hells of Those Who Spent Their lives in Hatred, Revenge, and Cruelty (Continued)

There is a type of hatred toward others that prompts people to enjoy injuring and abusing everyone. The more damage they can inflict, the greater their pleasure. Many of them are from the lowest social strata. However, there are others not of that class who have the same visceral reactions but better superficial manners, having been brought up to live in polite society, and holding legal penalties in due regard.

After death they appear unclothed from the waist up, their hair unkempt. One will rush at another, grab the other’s shoulders in a violent grip, tumble over the person’s head, circle briefly, return, and slug away relentlessly.

Those whom I described as better behaved act similarly but first exchange courtesies, then go around behind the other’s back to attack with their fists. When they see each other face to face, they greet each other and then circle behind again to strike their blows. In this way they preserve appearances.

These spirits are seen on the left at a middling height, some distance away.

Whatever we have done during bodily life, and even whatever we have thought, gradually comes back in the other life. When the hostile, spiteful, underhanded actions we have taken return, the individuals we hated and secretly plotted against also appear before us, and appear in an instant. That is how things operate in the next life. (Later sections [Sections 6893, 7498], by the Lord’s divine mercy, will deal with this kind of presence.) The negative thoughts we have had about the people are also plain to see, since everyone’s thoughts are perceptible. Miserable states result; hidden hatreds erupt openly.

Bad people find that all their misdeeds and thoughts come back with vivid realism in this way, but good people do not. With them, all states of goodness, friendship, and love return, bringing with them the highest pleasure and happiness.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 822-823


Previously Cited: 6/9/2016

The Hells: The Hells of Those Who Spent Lives in Hatred, Revenge, and Cruelty (Continued)

Those who engaged in robbery or piracy during physical life, love stinking, reeking urine above every other kind of fluid. They also seem to themselves to live among sewage of this kind and in bad-smelling ponds. One outlaw approached me grinding his teeth. To my surprise I could hear the sound of the grinding as clearly as from a person on earth, even though these criminals do not have teeth. He admitted that he would much rather live in malodorous, urinous dampness than among the purest waters and that the stench of urine was what pleased him. He said that he preferred spending time in vats of urinous liquid to any other kind and that he wanted to make his home there.

There are some who maintain an outwardly honest face and honest life to avoid arousing suspicion that they are anything but upright. They eagerly pursue every method of so appearing in order to rise to prominent positions and to get rich without risking their reputation. For this reason they do not act openly. Instead they use agents to strip others of their goods by devious stratagems, not caring in the least whether the families they plunder die of starvation. If it could remain out of sight to the world, they would do the job themselves without a pang of conscience. Still, their character is the same as if they had committed the act themselves. They are covert thieves, and their particular type of hatred involves pride, greed, ruthlessness, and deceit.

When people like this arrive in the other world, they claim to be innocent, saying they have done nothing wrong, since they have never been caught. To demonstrate their blamelessness, they take off their clothes and stand naked, giving witness to their purity. When they are questioned, others perceive exactly what they are like from every word they speak and every thought they think, although they themselves do not realize this is happening.

Every acquaintance they come across in the next life they desire to kill, untroubled by remorse. In their hands they hold an axe and a hammer, while at their feet they seem to have another spirit lying face up, whom they strike. They do not go so far as to spill blood, however, being fearful of death. What is more, they are unable to toss their weapons from their hands, although they try with all their might, in order to keep from being seen for what they are. They do not want the fierceness of their disposition to show in front of spirits and angels. They occupy a place in the middle distance, under the feet and toward the front.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 820-821


Previously Cited: 6/8/2016

The Hells: The Hells of Those Who Spent Their Lives in Hatred, Revenge, and Cruelty (Continued)

Under the buttocks is a fearsome hell where the inhabitants seem to attack each other with knives. Like furies they thrust their knives at the chests of others, but the moment they strike, the knife is always taken from them. They are individuals who hated others so much that they burned to murder them viciously. From this they drew their appalling nature. The hell was opened up (but only slightly, because of their terrible cruelties) for me to see what their savage hatred was like.

There is a large, oblong lake to the left, level with the lower parts of the body. Along the front bank, the residents see grotesque snakes of the types that live in standing water, spreading disease on their breath. On the left bank and farther away are seen cannibals eating one another, sinking their teeth into each other’s shoulders. Even farther away on the left appear huge fish, monstrous whales that swallow people down and then spit them out. At the farthest end, on the opposite bank, can be seen the most horribly deformed faces, especially those of old hags, so disfigured that they cannot be described, the owners of the faces running every which way as if insane. On the right-hand bank are people who try to kill each other with instruments of torture, the instruments varying with the different kinds of villainy they have at heart. The middle of the lake is uniformly black, like a stagnant pond.

Several times I saw people being led to this lake, which surprised me. But I learned about the situation from several others who were leaving. They said that the ones arriving were people who cherished against their neighbor a deep-seated hatred that erupted at every opportunity, affording them supreme pleasure. Nothing had delighted them more, I heard, than hauling their fellow creatures up before a judge and having them sentenced to punishment and—if the penalties of law did not prevent it—to execution. Into such horrors are people’s hatreds and cruelties transformed after life in the body. The fantasies that result seem absolutely real to those people.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Sections 818-819


Previously Cited: 6/7/2016