(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 429

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429. The world of spirits appears like a valley between mountains and rocks, with windings and elevations here and there. The gates and doors of the heavenly societies are visible to those only who are prepared for heaven; others cannot find them. There is one entrance from the world of spirits to each heavenly society, opening through a single path which branches out in its ascent into several. The gates and doors of the hells also are visible only to those who are about to enter, to whom they are then opened. When these are opened gloomy and seemingly sooty caverns are seen tending obliquely downwards to the abyss, where again there are many doors. Through these caverns nauseous and fetid stenches exhale, which good spirits flee from because they abominate them, but evil spirits seek for them because they delight in them. For as everyone in the world has been delighted with his own evil, so after death he is delighted with the stench to which his evil corresponds. In this respect the evil may be likened to rapacious birds and beasts, like ravens, wolves, and swine, which fly or run to carrion or dunghills when they scent their stench. I heard a certain spirit crying out loudly as if from inward torture when struck by a breath flowing forth from heaven; but he became tranquil and glad as soon as a breath flowing forth from hell reached him.


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