Heaven and Hell #511

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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511. The separation of evil spirits from good spirits takes place in this second state, since in the first state they were all together. The reason is that as long as spirits are focused on their outward concerns it is like the situation in the world - evil people together with good ones and good ones with evil ones. It is different when people have been brought into their inner natures and are left to their own nature or intentions.

There are various means used for this separation of good people from evil ones. Often it is by having them led around to the communities they had been in touch with through their good thoughts and affections during the first state. This brings them to communities they had misled by outward appearance into believing that they were not evil. Often they are led around through a great arc, and their intrinsic quality is displayed to good spirits everywhere. The good spirits turn away as soon as they see them; and as they turn away, so the evil spirits who are being led around turn away as well, facing the hellish community that is their destination. I forbear to mention other modes of separation; there are many of them.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.