Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) n. 982

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982. And it was given him to scorch men with fire, signifies the cupidity of falsifying the truths arising from the evils of the loves of self and of the world. This is evident from the signification of "heat," as being the lust of falsity and for falsity (see n. 481); also from the signification of "fire," as being love in both senses, namely, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, and in the contrary sense love of self and love of the world, and thus a cupidity for evils of every kind. That the loves of self and of the world are the origins of all evils may be seen above (n. 162, 171, 506, 510, 512, 517, 650, 653, 950, 951). And as these loves are the origins of all evils, and in their continuation are called cupidities and also lusts, so "to scorch men with fire" signifies the cupidity or lust for falsities from evils of every kind, and thus for evil or for doing harm to others; for this is the delight of life of those who are in the love of self and in the love of the world. It is from this delight that the continuation of these loves are called cupidities and lusts. [2] In the world it is scarcely known that all who are in the love of self, according to the delight of that love, are in the delight of injuring others who do not make one with them. That this is so is clearly evident from the same persons after death; then it is the delight of their life to do harm and to do evil to others in any way whatever, especially to the good. This delight of theirs is the delight of hatred; for they hate, and from hatred persecute, all who worship the Lord. This hatred is not manifested with them in the world because they are held back and checked by external restraints, which are fears of punishments from the civil law, and of loss of reputation, honor, gain, employments, pleasures, and of life, and injuries to it, so that this hatred does not come forth to the sight of others; nevertheless it lies hidden in their spirit; and consequently after death, when man becomes a spirit and external restraints are taken away from him it breaks forth even into destruction so far as the reins are loosened. Such is the signification of "scorching men with fire." [3] It is said that "the angel poured out his vial into the sun," and that "it was given him to scorch men with fire," and that the "sun" signifies love to God, and "heat" and "fire" signify the cupidity for falsity and for doing evil, and this is said because the loves and the cupidities of falsity and evil are brought forth and made evident with the evil by means of the influx of love or the affection of good and truth from heaven. For so far as heavenly loves and affections flow into the evil there is kindled in them a frenzy and cupidity for doing evil and speaking falsity; and for the reason that every good of heaven with them is turned into evil, and every truth of heaven into falsity. For their interiors, which belong to the will and consequent thought, are turned directly contrary to heavenly things, and whatever flows into a contrary form is turned into what is contrary. And when that which flows in becomes powerful it is turned into fury, and when very powerful into torment; as when good flows strongly into the evil, the evil come either into a state of fury or of infernal torment. But when evil flows powerfully into the good, the good come into a state of anguish, and also into a certain torment of conscience. [4] The inmost cause of these effects is that the life of the affections and consequent thoughts of all in the entire world, both the spiritual and the natural worlds, proceed from a single fountain of life, which is the Lord, and this life is received by each one according to the quality of his life, thus according to the quality of his love; therefore those who have turned heavenly love with themselves into infernal love cannot help turning into their own love the love that flows in out of heaven; the same as the heat and light of the sun always do when they flow into objects on the earth, some of these from that influx giving forth a sweet odor, and some a foul odor, and yet the heat and light are the same in themselves and are from a single fountain, namely, the sun.

(Continuation respecting the Sixth Commandment)

[5] Since adultery is hell with man and marriage is heaven with him, it follows that so far as a man loves adultery he removes himself from heaven; consequently adulteries close heaven and open hell, and this they do so far as they are believed to be allowable and are perceived to be more delightful than marriages. The man, therefore, who confirms himself in adulteries and commits them from the favor and consent of his will, and turns away from marriage, closes heaven to himself, until finally he ceases to believe anything of the church or of the Word, and becomes a wholly sensual man, and after death an infernal spirit; for, as has been said above, adultery is hell, and thus an adulterer is a form of hell. And since adultery is hell it follows that unless a man abstains from adulteries and shuns them and turns away from them as infernal he shuts up heaven to himself, and does not receive the least influx therefrom. Afterwards he reasons that marriages and adulteries are alike, but that marriages must be maintained in kingdoms for the sake of order and on account of the education of offspring; also that adulteries are not criminal, since offspring are equally born from them; and they are not harmful to women, since they can endure them, and by them the procreation of the human race is promoted. He does not know that these and other like reasonings in favor of adulteries ascend from the Stygian waters of hell, and that the lustful and bestial nature of man which inheres in him from birth attracts them and sucks them in with delight, as a swine does excrement. That such reasonings, which at this day possess the minds of most men in the Christian world, are Stygian, will be seen in what follows.

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