The Lord Governs the Hells (Continued)

Because hell is differentiated into as many communities as heaven is, there are also as many hells as there are communities of heaven. As each community of heaven is a heaven in smaller form (see Sections 51–58), so each community of hell is a hell in smaller form.

Because there are three heavens overall, there are also three hells overall. There is a deepest hell that is opposite to the inmost or third heaven; there is a middle hell that is opposite to the middle or second heaven; and there is a highest hell that is opposite to the outmost or first heaven.

I need to explain briefly how the hells are governed, though. Overall, the hells are governed by a general impingement of divine good and divine truth from the heavens through which the general effort that flows out of the hells is restrained and controlled. There is also a specific impingement from each heaven and from each community of heaven.

Specifically, the hells are governed by means of angels who are given the ability to look into the hells and check the insanities and riots there. Sometimes angels are sent there, and their very presence brings matters under control.

In general, though, all the people in the hells are governed by their fears, some by fears sown and still in place from the world. However, since these fears are not adequate and gradually weaken, they are governed through fears of punishment, which are the primary means of preventing them from doing evil. There are many kinds of punishment there, milder or more severe depending on the evil [they are restraining]. Most of the time, the relatively malevolent spirits are in power, having gained control by their experience and skill; and they are able to keep the rest in servile obedience by punishments and the fears that these give birth to. These dominant spirits do not dare go beyond fixed limits.

We do need to realize that the only way of controlling the violent rages of people in the hells is through fear of punishment. There are no other means.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 542-543

Notes:

Sections 51-58: Published 2/13/2018-2/15/2018

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Wise and Simple People in Heaven (Continued)

“The ones who justify many” means the ones who are wise. In heaven people are called wise if they are engaged in what is good, and people are engaged in what is good when they involve divine truths directly in their lives, since divine truth becomes good when it becomes a matter of life. Then it truly becomes a matter of intent and love; and anything that belongs to our intent and love is called good. This is why these individuals are called wise, since wisdom is a matter of life. In contrast, people are called intelligent if they do not involve divine truths directly in their lives but consign them first to their memories and then draw them out and apply them to life. The nature and extent of the difference between these two kinds of people in the heavens has been presented in the chapter on heaven’s two kingdoms, the heavenly and the spiritual (Sections 20–28), and in the chapter on the three heavens (Sections 29–40).

People who are in the Lord’s heavenly kingdom, especially the ones in the third or inmost heaven, are called the just because they do not ascribe any justice to themselves, but all justice to the Lord. The Lord’s justice in heaven is the good that comes from the Lord,b so these are the people meant by “those who justify.” They are also the ones the Lord was talking about when he said, “The righteous shall shine like the sun in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 13:43). The reason they shine like the sun is that they are caught up in love for the Lord from the Lord, and this love is what the sun means (see above, Sections 116–125). Further, the light they have is fiery, and their individual thoughts have something flamelike about them because they are receiving the good of love directly from the Lord as the sun in heaven.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 348

Notes:

Sections 20-27: Published 6/27/2017-6/30/2017

Sections 29-39: Published 7/1/2017-7/6/2017

Sections 116-125: Published 11/15/2016-11/21/2016