Continuing with Dushan Jovanovich’s “Vision of Heaven and Hell’ part 5
The scene which raged before our eyes suddenly blurred my senses; my limbs, paralyzed from earlier fear, became completely numb. My eyes shut, and a cold shiver was the only sign that I was still alive. When I opened my eyes and looked again, I saw before us, like a crater of a raging volcano, boiling, foul smelling, sulfurated water and a horrible, gushing flame. “This sea is not equally deep. There, where the flame is fifty yards high, the sea is deepest,” said my angel.
In this indescribably horrible scene I saw countless, most terrifying animals created to serve as horrible torturers. Giant snakes, with one or several wiggling heads, raised themselves and took sinners into the terrible depths of the firey sea, embracing them with a steellike grip. I saw some other animals which looked even more terrifying. From their bloody mouths, legs, arms and other parts of human bodies stuck out. Among them, as in a hornet’s nest, worms, scorpions and other disgusting pests, stimulated by an eruptive energy, constantly and madly, jumped, throwing themselves upon the sinful souls.
Screams, shrieks, and cries of longing came from many human voices. In this burning sea human souls were as helpless as fish in shallow water. From all directions they were attacked by countless swarms of these monsters which bit and tore them apart. The torn and disfigured bodies were then again assembled into complete human bodies.
I almost fell from fear into this flame, but my angel caught me and said, “Do not be afraid, Dushan! We are now in hell. These snakes and other pests here were created by God in such a way that flame and hot water cannot hurt them. They will, as you can see, always bite and suck the blood of sinners. Everybody in this fire will be cooked and baked forever.”
The spectacle of these sinners’ torture was unbearable, and several times I closed my eyes. Once, when I could not stand the sight anymore, I turned my head into the darkness, but there horrible black monsters with firey eyes and wide open jaws were waiting. Roaring, they flew around us with bewildering speed, and their hellish shouts sounded like terrible thunder. The angel sensed that I was at the limit of my endurance and said to me, “Do not be afraid! These are demons, and we are disturbing them. They are irritated by our presence, but dare not come closer.” The angel continued to talk, You saw, Dushan, how mortals who do not believe in God are tortured. They are not the only ones who are to be tortured in this way forever. This also will happen to those who renounce God, who pray to a false or fictitious god, and to those who cherish and see their god in their check books, houses, summer homes, cards, jewels, unruly life, or in their bellies. With them will be tortured those who do believe in God, but are afraid to acknowledge Him publicly. To eternal torture will be sentenced those who do not respect their fathers, mothers or relatives. In addition to these sinners, those who preferred sin to the honest life will be thrown into this fire—liars, purjurers, swindlers, adulterers, the greedy, those who laughed at others, who were mallicious, who were envious, who were evil, and many others like them. If you do not want that to happen to you, repent and confess your sins when you return to earth.”
After these words, the angel took my hand and with dashing speed led me out of hell. At the exit the cloud again waited for us. It took us near to where I had watched the resurrection of the dead, but this time we were closer to the earth.
All the resurrected people I saw earlier were now gathered into three large groups. In the first group, on the right, were people with bright and smiling faces. To their left, in a second group, stood a much larger group of people with sad and dark faces. To the far left, in the third group, were countless people with very dark and evil faces. After I saw these people, the angel explained, “These, on the right with bright and happy faces are righteous people. A divine reward awaits them, because they earned it with their honest earthly lives. These in the middle group, with darker faces, are naive sinners—those with small sins. One should pray to the Lord for them, and in their names do good deeds so that their sins will be forgiven. Such prayers and good deeds are most beloved by God. These on the far left are grave sinners. They are disfigured according to their sins and they will be thrown into the eternal flame.”
The grave sinners looked horrible. Their bodies were swollen and wound-covered; filthy pus dripped from their wounds while broods of snakes and worms ate their decomposing bodies. Their swollen tongues hung from their mouths, unable to be pulled back inside. Each sinner held something to denote his earthly profession. Bakers held breads, butchers held cleavers, criminals held bloody knives and revolvers. Millers and merchants held scales and other measuring tools which showed how they had cheated. One could see that some short-weighed goods and became rich that way. There were physicians who asked for bribes before treating patients and left to die in pain those who could not afford to pay. I saw sorcerers and fortune-tellers as they prepared their magic, extinguished coal, read coffee cups, palms, or cards with the intent of breaking up marriages, separating loved ones or joining those who did not love each other. They acted for money, so in addition to their magic paraphernalia were piles of money. Punishment fell upon those who asked for money in return for employment or blackmailed some women or girls into living promiscuously with them in return for a job or better position. I saw rakes, promiscuous women, and women who killed their own children so they might live promiscuously with other men. Here, too, were cases of grave incest where fathers led promiscuous lives with daughters, mothers with sons, and brothers with sisters. The promiscuous, like other sinners, were disfigured with large swellings and open wounds. Their enlarged sex organs reached the ground and upon them, in the pus, crawled snakes and worms. These were most horrible scenes! (to be continued…)