Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 8232

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8232. 'Not so much as one of them remained' means every single one. This is clear without explanation.

The subject in this verse has been the plunging or casting into hell of those who were steeped in falsities arising from evil. But few know what being plunged and cast into hell may be. They imagine that it is being cast down into some place where the devil and his crew are, and that these torment people there. But that is not the situation. When people there are cast into hell, it is nothing other than their being completely choked by utter falsities arising from the evil which ruled them when they were in the world. When they are completely choked by them there they are in hell. The actual evils and falsities in which those people are now immersed are what torment them. But the torment is not due to any grief they feel because they have done evil in the past but because - since doing evil is the delight of their life - they cannot do it in the present; for when they do evil there they suffer punishment and torment at the hands of those to whom they do it. What motivates them chiefly when they do evil to one another is a desire to exercise control, in order to place others in subjection to themselves, which, if others do not allow themselves to be placed in subjection, they accomplish by a thousand methods of punishment and torment. But control there, which they constantly strive to possess, passes by turns from one to another, which means that those who have punished and tormented others are then themselves punished and tormented by others. And this goes on until at length the fear of punishment serves to cool their ardour. From all this one may now see where hell originates and what hell is. Nor is hell fire anything other than the cravings of self-love, which inflame and torment, 6314, 7324, 7575.

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