|Chapter 2||From Hell to Heaven, Book 1|
First impressions of the executed in the beyond. Awareness of feeling alive.
1. Now it will be asked: how did his soul and spirit arrive in the eternal world of spirits?
2. Here it has to be remarked that all who lost their lives through violent execution, arrive in the world of spirits in greatest rage and thirst for vengeance against their executioners, staggering about like the raving. Wherefore, if they are true criminals against God’s commandments, and hence wicked, they are immediately driven to hell – their actual element, to take their revenge there. From there, once their vengeance is cooled somewhat, they are returned to the actual world of spirits, where they begin once again to undergo their liberty test, of course along much more restrictive paths.
3. But spirits like our man, executed for transgressing merely against worldly laws are initially placed into a state of lightlessness. There they fare like the blind, and will not see any beings upon whom they might exercise their blind vengeance. – Even in this physical world, great rage and vengeance often produce actual blindness, from rage and hot vengeance. Yet much more so do these evil vices produce, in soul and spirit, a condition of total blindness. Such spirits are left in this state until their vengeance turns into a sense of complete impotence. Their deeply hurt and offended soul, out of such helplessness begins to cry, which actually also originates in rage, which however is diverted and weakened therewith.
4. On this side of things, our man could of course do no more than save his manly honour; wherefore at his execution he showed himself resolute and scornful of death – which was nonetheless not so in reality. For he was exceedingly conscious of the fear of death, and that much more since, as a ‘New Catholic’, he did not believe at all in a life after physical death.
5. About seven hours after his execution, when his soul had, so-to-say, gathered itself up, he quickly convinced himself of his baseless worldly belief, and soon discerned that he continued to live. But then his persuasion of life’s continuation turned into another unbelief: he now suspected that he had been indeed led out to the place of execution, but only ‘apparently’ shot, in order to undergo the fear of death. He had only collapsed, stunned from fear, because the officer had bound his eyes so that he would not see the ‘dummy’ shot. From there he would have been taken unconscious to a dark dungeon, from where a complaint of Germany’s populace would soon set him free.
6. Only the heavy darkness is disturbing him. His location seems a dark hole, which however does not seem moist or foul-smelling. He also touches his feet and hands and finds no shackles. He gauges the size of his prison and the type of floor, and checks for some nearby, secret ‘instruments of execution’.
7. But he is not a little surprised at the lack of any floor at all, nor of any prison wall, nor does he detect a hammock in which he could be suspended in a dungeon.
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