Work also done in hell


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, activities, work, uses in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Apocalypse Explained, vol.6": detail "Section 1226"
But on the other hand, those who perform no use are banished to the hells, where they are compelled by a judge to do various kinds of work. If there they refuse, no food is given them, or clothing, or any other bed than the ground, and they are mocked and insulted by their companions as slaves are by their masters. The judge even allows them to be made the slaves of their companions; and if they entice others from their work, they are severely punished. Both kinds of treatment are adopted towards them, until they are compelled to yield. But those who cannot be made to yield are cast out into deserts, where they have a morsel of bread given them daily, with water to drink, and pass a solitary existence in huts or in caverns. Because they perform no uses, so barren are the lands where they are that fields with grass upon them are but rarely seen. I have seen in these deserts and hells many men of noble descent, who in the world gave themselves up to idleness, or sought for office, the duties of which they discharged not for the sake of uses, but for the sake of honor or gain, the only uses which they had in view. The uses which those in the heavens perform, and the different kinds of work which those who are in the hells do, are, in some measure, similar to those which exist in the world. Most of the uses, however, are spiritual, and cannot be described in natural language; they do not even fall within the ideas of natural thought — a circumstance at which I have often wondered; but such is the nature of that which is spiritual in very many cases. The creation of the whole world with its planets may be seen as in a figure, from the continual and instantaneous creation of all things in the heavens, there being nothing created in the latter but for use. Taken generally, one kingdom of nature was created for the sake of another; the mineral kingdom for the sake of the vegetable, the vegetable for the sake of the animal, and both the latter kingdoms for the sake of the human race, that its members might serve the Lord by performing uses to the neighbor.