Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 947

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THE HELLS - continued

In this section other hells that are different from those mentioned already.

People who are given to deceit, who imagine that they can get everything by the use of deceitful practices, and who during their lifetime have confirmed themselves in this notion from the fact that they have been successful in these matters, seem to themselves to be living on the left in a kind of tun, called 'the hellish tun', with a covering over it, and a small globe standing on a pyramid-shaped base outside of it, which they imagine to be the whole universe under their supervision and control. This is exactly how it appears to them. Those of them who have persecuted innocent people by the use of deceit are in that place for ages, and I have been told that some have already been there for twenty ages (saecula).a When they are let out they have this kind of delusion in which they imagine that the whole universe is a globe which they walk around and tread under their feet, believing that they are the gods of the universe. I have seen them frequently and have talked to them about this delusion of theirs. but because they had been of such a nature in the world they could not be wrested from it. I have also noticed several times how they could corrupt people's thoughts by cunning deception, and instantly divert their attention elsewhere and replace them with other ideas, doing so in such a way that one scarcely realized they were doing it. And they acted in an unbelievably natural way. Such being their nature, they are never allowed near men, for they inject their poison in so secret and hidden a fashion as to escape notice.


a Although saeculum is defined here as a decade it may also be used to mean a century or other longer period.

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