Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 814

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814. THE HELLS - continued Here, the hells of people who have gone through life hating, desiring revenge, and being cruel.

The kinds of spirits who harbour deadly hatred and as a consequence breathe revenge, breathing nothing less than the murder of another, and are not satisfied until they have done it, are confined in a death-like hell very deep down where the dreadful stench is like that given off by dead bodies. And what is remarkable, the spirits there are so delighted with that stench that they prefer it to the most pleasant odours. Such is their dreadful nature and resulting delusions. This hell really does discharge such a stench; and when this hell is thrown open, which happens rarely and for only brief spaces of time, the stench welling up out of it is so powerful that spirits cannot stay in the vicinity. Certain genii, or rather avenging spirits, were sent from there so that I might know what they were like. They polluted the atmosphere with breath so poisonous and obnoxious that the spirits who were around me could not remain, and at the same time it had the effect on my stomach of making me vomit.

[2] They presented themselves in the form of a small child whose face was not unattractive, with a dagger concealed on him, and whom they sent to me carrying a dish in his hand. From this I was given to understand their intention (animus) to commit murder, either by stabbing or by poisoning, under a cloak of innocence. But they themselves were naked and had very black bodies. Soon however they were thrown back into their own death-like hell, and I was allowed to witness the manner in which they plunged down. They went away to the left on a level with my left temple, for a considerable distance without going downwards, and then they plunged down. First of all they went down through what looked like fire, then through fiery smoke like that of a furnace, and immediately afterwards below that furnace into more forward parts where there were many most gloomy caverns stretching downwards. On their way down they were all the time turning over in their minds and intending evil deeds, especially - and without cause - against the innocent. When they fell through the fire they cried out greatly. So that people may tell where they come from and what they are like, these spirits when sent out hold a kind of ring to which bronze-like spikes are attached. These they press with their hands and brandish about, which serves to indicate what they are like and that they are bound.

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