Divine Love and Wisdom (Rogers) n. 339

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

339. (2) All forms that are evil forms of use are found in hell, and those that are good forms of use are found in heaven. Before it can be seen that all evil forms of use that exist on the earth come not from the Lord but from hell, we must preface something about heaven and hell. Unless this is known, a person may attribute to the Lord evil forms of use as well as good ones, and suppose that the two originated together from creation; or he may attribute them to nature, and their origin to its sun. A person cannot be led away from these two errors unless he knows that nothing whatever exists in the natural world that does not take its cause and so its origin from the spiritual world, and unless he knows that good comes from the Lord, and evil from the devil, that is to say, from hell. By the spiritual world we mean both heaven and hell. [2] Appearing in heaven are all those forms which are good forms of use, as described in the preceding discussion.* Appearing in hell, on the other hand, are all those forms which are evil forms of use, as described just above in no. 338, where we listed them. The latter include wild animals of every kind, such as snakes, scorpions, dragons,** crocodiles, tigers, wolves, foxes, wild boar, eagle owls, barn owls, screech owls, bats, mice and rats, frogs, locusts, spiders, and noxious insects of many kinds. Appearing there also are toxicants and hemlocks of every kind, and deadly poisons in both plants and substances of the earth. In a word, they are all those forms which do harm and kill people. These forms appear just as real in the hells as they do in and on the earth. We say that these forms appear in the hells, but still they do not exist there in the same way that they do on earth, for they are merely correspondent forms of the lusts which pour from the inhabitants' evil loves and which become visible in such forms to others. [3] Because these are the kinds of things found in the hells, therefore the hells are also filled with foul stenches, such as those of dead bodies, excrement, urine, and putrefaction, which diabolical spirits there find delightful, as animals do things which have an offensive odor. It can be seen from this that forms of a like character in the natural world do not take their origin from the Lord, and were not created from the beginning, and that neither did they arise from nature by means of its sun, but that they originated from hell. That these forms did not arise from nature by means of its sun is clearly apparent from the fact that a spiritual phenomenon flows into the natural one, and not the reverse. And that they do not originate from the Lord is clearly apparent from the fact that hell does not originate from Him, and so neither anything in hell which corresponds to the inhabitants' evils. * Nos. 327-335. ** A reference perhaps to great nonvenomous constrictor snakes, such as the python. Cf. John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667), X:529: "Hee..Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the Sun Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime, Huge Python."

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church