|< Chapter XXIV. The Third Degree of Regeneration.||^ Discrete Degrees ^||PART II. Assumption and Glorification of the Human by the Lord. >|
Z represents the three hells as they appear below the world of spirits. No new degrees are here represented but only the degrees of the natural mind in a state of perversion as they appear when disrobed of every semblance of goodness and truth. The three degrees of the natural mind when in a state of order are in the world of spirits appearing there beneath the heavens, conjoined with the heavens and acting as one with them. They can appear elsewhere only by being brought into a state of inverted order,. which inversion is represented by their appearance at Z without the pale of true order.
Some of the wicked however are more deeply sunken in the evils of one degree and some in the evils of another. The predominant evils and falsities of some are in w, and with them this degree is more operative than the lower degrees. These constitute the first hell, thus
The evils and falsities of others are in x. These constitute the middle hell, thus
And still others are in y. These constitute the lowest hell, thus
The hells then consist of those who are in the perverted rational, scientific, sensual.
"If a man neither acknowledges God, nor worships Him with actual piety, he puts off the image of God and becomes like some animal except that he enjoys the faculty of understanding and thence of speech. If he then closes [against heaven] the highest natural degree [represented by w] he becomes with respect to love like a beast of the earth; but if he closes the middle natural degree [x] he becomes with respect to love like a fox and with respect to the sight of the understanding like a bird of the evening; but if he also closes the ultimate natural degree [y] as to its spiritual, he becomes with respect to love like a wild beast and with respect to the understanding of truth like a fish." -TCR 34.
In the light of this diagram and of Diagram XI we can easily understand Arcana Coelestia AC 6564, 10492, 10429. In this light read The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 33, 36 to 46; True Christian Religion TCR 401, 402; Arcana Coelestia 9701 to 9709, 9128; Divine Love and Wisdom 162, 270; Apocalypse Explained 406 [a], 940, 939, 941, 1145 (Atli.Cr. 44). The internal man of the evil mentioned in Arcana 9128 is the interior of the natural mind. (Diagram XI.)
Inversion of order and therewith the existence of evil cannot occur in the spiritual mind B though this may be closed by the prevalence of evil in the natural mind C. The spiritual mind is formed for the exclusive occupancy of love to the LORD and love to the neighbor; but if those loves are not exercised, this mind shrinks and closes. The natural mind is the abode of self-love and the love of the world. These when submissive to the higher loves and animated by influx from them, are orderly and good, but when rebellious they are disorderly and evil. (Chapters VI and XVIII.)
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