"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare to them; they became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen. 6:4-5). Such were the descendants of the fallen Celestial Church, each succeeding generation becoming more and more wicked, until the last posterity became so monstrous that the world has never since looked upon the like of them, nor ever will again.
The fall of mankind was gradual: the first states were by no means so bad as the last. The first posterity of Ouranos and Gaea were twelve proud and powerful beings called Titans, (a name which, according to some, signifies "earth-born;" according to others "strivings," "those who were stretching out,"—to do violence). Some of these Titans, such as Oceanos, Themis, Mnemosyne, and Japetos with his son Prometheus, were relatively good, as were also the first posterities of the Most Ancient Church, and these afterwards made common cause with the Olympian gods in the war against Chronos. This seems to indicate that there were side-lines, descended from the first posterities of the Most Ancient Church, tribes or nations which remained in a relatively good state and which afterwards united with the subsequent Ancient Church, represented by Zeus and his associates.
But the later-born Titans were of a more and more sinister and over-bearing nature, and Ouranos, ashamed and fearful of his wicked offspring, thrust them out of sight in a cavern of the earth. This suggests the feelings of guilty shame of Adam and Eve, when after the fall they sought to cover up their nakedness. The sinner is unwilling to look his evils in the face, but tries to cover them up with the excusatory reasonings of merely natural and apparent truths. At first, also, there is some effort to control and restrain the brood of hellish "strivings,"—new-born Titans,—awakened by the indulgence in sin.
But the decline goes on. In the subterranean cavern the Titans are joined by the later and still more terrible offspring of Ouranos and Gaea,—the Cyclops and the Hundred-handed, who represent the later posterities of the Most Ancient Church, —the monstrous "Antediluvians."
The Cyclops were terrible giants having but one round eye, (cyclos—round, ops—eye),—a most graphic representation of the Antediluvians who, descended from celestial ancestors, were still spiritually "one-eyed." Their will and their understanding were still but one faculty, as was the case with their celestial ancestors, but now both will and understanding were evil. The understanding, filled with perversions of truth, at once excused and confirmed every vile lust arising from the evil will, and the will at once assented to every profane persuasion of the understanding.
The "Hundred-handed," (Centimani, Hekatoncheires), were monsters surpassing the wildest imagination. They each possessed a hundred hands, and their legs were in the form of enormous serpents,—a fearful picture of the power of evil unrestrained. Each evil love, at first apparently harmless and respectable like the earlier Titans, after a while grows into a Cyclops, one-eyed, seeing nothing but its own fell purpose, which it excuses and confirms by every imaginable reasoning; and later on, thus nourished and comforted, it takes possession of the whole man with a hundred hands, progressing quickly by the aid of direful persuasions.
These correspondences of the Titans, the Cyclops, and the Centimani are no vain imaginations of our own but are firmly established by the following account of the Antediluvian hells, described by Swedenborg in the work called Coronis, no. 38:
This identification of the Cyclops and the Giants with the Antediluvian Nephilim, is of the utmost importance to the correct interpretation of the Greek Mythology. We have here a definite statement by Divine Revelation, from which we are able to determine beyond peradventure that Ouranos and his children represent the Most Ancient Church, while Jupiter and his generation refer to the Ancient Church after the Flood. Or, as Ovid testifies: "After Saturn was cast down to dark Tartarus, the world was under Jupiter, and the silver race succeeded." Without this definite clew it would be impossible to establish any systematic spiritual interpretation of the bewildering and often contradictory legends and genealogies of the Greek Pantheon.
We may now return to the history of Ouranos and the Titans, of whom the youngest and most wicked and cunning was named Chronos or Saturn.