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

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

A certain spirit from a room in hell that was off to the left side came to me and talked with me. I was allowed to perceive that he was a criminal type.

This is how his misdeeds in the world were exposed: he was sent fairly far down into the underground realm that was in front and a little to the left, and there he began to dig a hole, as people do for burying the dead. This made me suspect that he had committed some fatal deed during bodily life. Next there appeared a bier swathed in black, and soon a man rose off it and approached me. He told me with saintly restraint that he was dead, probably as a result of poisoning by that man. This had been his dying thought, although he did not know whether it was an unfounded suspicion.

When the wicked spirit heard this, he confessed that he had done the deed.  Punishment followed his confession.  Twice he was rolled into the black grave he had dug and became as black himself in face and body as Egyptian mummies.  In this condition, he was lifted up high and carried around in front of spirit and angels, while people shouted, “What a devil!” He also turned cold, so that he belongs among the cold in hell; and he was sent to hell.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 817


Previously Cited: 6/6/2016

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

The different general kinds of hatred and vengefulness are beyond counting, the specific kinds still more so, and the hell for one kind is not the same as the hell for another. So it is impossible to list each in order. For this reason, let me simply report on some examples I have seen.

One spirit who seemed to be a noble came to me. (Spirits have appeared to me as if in clear daylight, and even more clearly than that, but to my inner eye, since the Lord in his divine mercy has let me interact with them.) As soon as he arrived, he pretended, by sly nodding, to show that he had many things he wanted to share with me, asking whether I was a Christian. I answered yes. He said he was, too, and asked to be alone with me so that he could tell me something privately. “In this life,”I answered, “no one can be alone, the way people on earth think they can. Many other spirits are close by.”

He came nearer anyway, stealing up from behind to the back of my head. I could then tell that he was an assassin. While he was there I felt a stab to the heart and then to the brain—the kind a person could easily die from. But because the Lord was keeping me safe, I was unafraid. What trick he was using I cannot say.

Thinking I was dead, he told some other spirits that he had just come from a murder victim of his, one to whom he had dealt a fatal blow from behind. He claimed a skill at keeping people from knowing what was happening until they fell dead, and from suspecting he was anything but innocent. From this I could tell that he had recently departed life, where he had committed the same kind of crime.

The punishment of such spirits is horrible. After enduring ages of hellish torment, they end up with faces so loathsome, so shockingly deformed, that they are not faces but almost like flax, drained of all color. In other words, these spirits strip themselves of everything human; then everyone who sees them shudders at the sight. Consequently they wander in the shadows like wild animals.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 816


Previously Cited: 6/5/2016

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

Some take so much pleasure in hatred and the revenge it inspires that they are not content simply to kill the body but long to destroy the soul as well, although the Lord redeems the soul. They are lowered though a dark hole toward the bowels of the earth, the depth to which they go being determined by the intensity of their hatred and the vengefulness growing out of it. A dreadful terror and horror then strike them, while they are being held in the grip of their lust for revenge. As that desire grows, they slip even farther down.

Later they are sent to a place beneath Gehenna, where big, terrifying, round-bellied snakes appear, as lifelike as if they actually existed. They torture the vengeful spirits with their bites, which the spirits experience just as vividly as they do the snakes. Spirits feel these sensations—corresponding as they do to the spirits’lives—as keenly as people living in the body feel bodily sensation.

Meanwhile they live out their dreadful fantasies, wallowing in them for ages, until they no longer know that they were once human. By no other method can the way of life that they acquired from such acts of hatred and revenge be extinguished.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 815


Previously Cited: 6/4/2016

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

There are people who nurse a murderous hatred and therefore meditate revenge, seeking nothing short of their victim’s death and not resting until they have achieved it. Spirits like this are kept in a deep, cadaverous hell—one that reeks with a stench like that given off by corpses. Strange to say, the people there enjoy the stench so much that they prefer it to the most pleasant smells; such is their horrendous nature and the crazy thinking it spawns. The odor described actually wafts from that hell. When the place yawns open—as it rarely does, and then just briefly—so foul a smell pours out that spirits cannot stay in the vicinity.

Some demons, or rather avenging furies, were let out of that hell in order for me to discover what they were like. They infected the air with such poisonous and pestilential fumes that the spirits around me could not remain. At the same time they affected my stomach in such a way that I threw up.

They presented themselves in the form of a young child with a tolerably attractive face and a concealed dagger, whom they sent to me with a flask in hand. From this I learned that they had a taste for murder, either by dagger or poison, under the guise of innocence. The bodies of the spirits themselves were naked and quite black.

Soon, though, they were sent back into their cadaverous-smelling hell, and then I was able to watch the path of their descent. They headed to the left, keeping level with my left temple and going quite a distance without moving downward. Later they did descend, traveling first into a fire that appeared, then into a cloud of fiery smoke like that from a furnace, and directly afterward to a point below the furnace and in front, where many dark and gloomy caves led farther down. Along the way, they were constantly devising evil plots and schemes. Their intended victims were primarily the innocent, whom they targeted without cause. While passing through the fire, they wailed loud and long.

When released from their hell, they take with them a kind of ring that allows others to identify where they come from and what they are like. The ring is set with spikes which are made of something like bronze and which they grip tightly and twist with their hands—a sign that they are this type of spirit and that they are under restraint.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 1, Section 814

There Are Three Heavens (Continued)

Lastly, let me disclose a particular secret about the angels of the three heavens that people have not been aware of until now because they have not understood levels. It is this, that within every angel—and within every one of us here—there is a central or highest level, or a central and highest something, where the Lord’s divine life flows in first and most intimately. It is from this center that the Lord arranges the other, relatively internal aspects within us that follow in sequence according to the levels of the overall design. This central or highest level can be called the Lord’s gateway to the angels or to us, his essential dwelling within us.

It is this central or highest level that makes us human and distinguishes us from the lower animals, since they do not have it. This is why we, unlike animals, can be raised up by the Lord toward himself, as far as all the deeper levels of our mind and character are concerned. This is why we can believe in him, be moved by love for him, and therefore see him. It is why we can receive intelligence and wisdom, and talk rationally. It is also why we live forever.

However, what is arranged and provided by the Lord at this center does not flow into the open perception of any angel, because it is higher than angelic thought, and surpasses angelic wisdom.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 39


Previously Cited: 7/7/2017

There Are Three Heavens (Continued)

Anyone who does not know how the divine design is arranged in levels cannot grasp how the heavens are distinguished from each other, or for that matter, what the inner person and the outer person are (in an individual). The only idea most people in this world have about inner and outer things is one of continuity, or of a coherence along a continuum from the finer to the coarser. Inner and outer things are not arranged in a continuum, though, but with definite boundaries.

There are two kinds of levels, continuous and noncontinuous. Continuous levels are like decreasing levels of light from a flame, all the way to darkness, or like decreasing amounts of sight from objects in the light to objects in the shade, or like levels of density of the atmosphere from the lowest to the highest. These levels are measured by distance.

Noncontinuous or distinct levels, though, are separated like prior and posterior, cause and effect, producer and product. Anyone who looks closely will discover that there are these kinds of stages of production and composition in everything in the world, no matter what, with one thing arising from another, and a third from that, and so forth.

People who do not acquire a grasp of these levels have no way of knowing how the heavens are arranged or the arrangement of our own deeper and more outward abilities, or the difference between the spiritual world and the natural world, or the difference between our spirit and our body. This also means they cannot understand what correspondences and images are or what inflow is like. People who are attentive only to their physical senses do not grasp these differences, but regard them as instances of increase and decrease on the model of continuous levels. As a result, they cannot think of the spiritual except as a kind of purer natural; so they stand outside, far removed from intelligence.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 38


Previously Cited: 7/6/2017

There Are Three Heavens (Continued)

However, people who live in the same heaven can associate with anyone there, and their delight in getting together is in proportion to the similarity of the values they are devoted to. There will be more about this, though, in later chapters.

Even though the heavens are so distinct from each other that angels of one heaven cannot have regular dealings with angels of another, still the Lord unites all the heavens by means of a direct and an indirect inflow. The direct inflow is from him into all the heavens, and the indirect is through one heaven into another. In this way, the Lord brings about a unity of the three heavens. They are all linked together, from the First to the last, so that nothing exists that is not connected. Anything that is not connected to the First by some intermediary does not endure, but disintegrates and becomes nothing.

from Heaven and Hell, sections 36-37


Previously Cited: 7/5/2017