3. The Word Can Open The Spiritual Mind And Invert Our Thinking

Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) 790  [4] ​ … every man has two minds, a natural and a spiritual, and the natural mind is opened and formed by such things as are in the world, while the spiritual mind is opened and formed by such things as are in heaven, and as the things that are in heaven are all spiritual, so a man’s spiritual mind must needs be opened and formed by such things as are in the Word, in which all things are spiritual because they are Divine. ​In the Word there are truths that are to be known and thought, and goods that must be willed and done; therefore it is by these goods and these truths that man’s spiritual mind is opened and formed. From this it follows, that unless the spiritual mind is opened and formed by truths and goods from the Word, it remains closed; and when this is closed the natural mind only is opened and formed by such things as are in the world, from which man, indeed, derives a natural lumen, but such as has in it no wisdom from heaven. ​

Doctrine of Sacred Scripture (Potts) 3. ​But the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations to believe that the Word is Divine truth itself wherein are Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he judges it by its style, and in this they do not appear. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however sublime and excellent it may seem, is at all to be compared; for every other style is as darkness is to light. The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven. From the Lord proceed two things: Divine love, and Divine wisdom (or, what is the same, Divine good, and Divine truth, for Divine good is of His Divine love, and Divine truth is of His Divine wisdom), and in its essence the Word is both of these; and as it conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven, it follows that the man who reads it from the Lord, and not from himself alone, is filled by it with the good of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the good of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. In this way man has life by means of the Word.​

Divine Providence (Ager) 318(6)​…. who could see any spiritual truth if it were not taught in the Word? Would there not be merely thick darkness that could be dispelled only by means of the light in which the Word is, and only in him who is willing to be enlightened? What heretic can see his falsities unless he admits the genuine truths of the church? He does not see them before.​

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 6948(5)​ From all this it can now be seen what is the quality of man’s sensuous, viewed in itself, and left to itself; namely, that it is in fallacies, and thence in falsities, thus is against the truths and goods of faith. Hence it is that when man is in the sensuous and in its light, he is in thick darkness in respect to the things of the spiritual world, that is, in respect to those which are in light from the Divine; and that the sensuous light is turned into mere thick darkness when the light from heaven falls into it. The reason is, that the truths which are of the Divine light cannot be together with fallacies and the falsities thence derived; but [the falsities] extinguish [the truths] and thereby induce thick darkness.

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 5477​[2] In regard to natural light and spiritual light the case is this: natural light is from the sun of the world, and spiritual light is from the sun of heaven, which is the Lord. All the truths of faith that man learns from infancy are apprehended by means of such objects and derivative ideas as are from the light of the world, thus all and each are apprehended naturally; for all the ideas of man’s thought, so long as he lives in the world, are founded upon such things as are in the world; and therefore if these were taken away from him, his thought would utterly perish. The man who has not been regenerated is wholly ignorant that there is spiritual light, or even that there is in heaven a light that has nothing in common with the light of the world, still less does he know that it is this light that enlightens the ideas and objects which are from the light of the world, and enables man to think, infer, and reflect. That spiritual light can do this is because this light is the wisdom itself that proceeds from the Lord, and this is presented as light before the sight of the angels in heaven. From this light appear all and each of the things that are below, or that are in man from natural light; but not the converse, unless the man has been regenerated, in which case the things of heaven, that is, of good and truth, by enlightenment from spiritual light appear in the natural as in a representative mirror. From this it is evident that the Lord, who is light itself, sees all things and each that are in the thought and will of man, nay, that are in universal nature, and that nothing whatever is hidden from Him.​

​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 10028(2)​. When a man is being purified, then first of all are learned such truths as can be apprehended by the sensuous man, such as are the truths in the sense of the letter of the Word; afterward are learned more interior truths, such as are collected from the Word by those who are in enlightenment, for these collect its interior sense from various passages where the sense of the letter is unfolded. From these, when known, truths still more interior are afterward drawn forth by those who are enlightened, which truths together with the former serve the church for doctrine, the more interior truths for doctrine to those who are men of the internal church, the less interior for doctrine to those who are men of the external church. Both the former and the latter men, provided they have lived according to these truths, are taken up into heaven among the angels, and are there imbued with angelic wisdom, which is from truths still more interior, and finally is from inmost truths in the third heaven. These truths, together with the former in their order, close in the ultimate truths of the external sensuous, and are all together there. From this it is plain that all interior truths are together in the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, for these truths, as above said, are the ultimate ones.

​​True Christian Religion (Ager) 6(1-2) ​.The entire Holy Scripture, and all the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that there is a God and that He is one. The entire Holy Scripture teaches that there is a God, because in its inmosts it is nothing but God, that is, it is nothing but the Divine that goes forth from God; for it was dictated by God; and from God nothing can go forth except what is God and is called Divine. This the Holy Scripture is in its inmosts. But in its derivatives, which are below and from these inmosts, the Holy Scripture is adapted to the perception of angels and men. The Divine is likewise in these derivatives, but in another form, in which it is called the celestial, spiritual, and natural Divine. These are simply the draperies of God; for God Himself, such as He is in the inmosts of the Word, cannot be seen by any creature. For He said to Moses, when Moses prayed that he might see the glory of Jehovah, that no one can see God and live. This is equally true of the inmosts of the Word, where God is in His very Being and Essence.​ [2] Nevertheless, the Divine, which forms the inmost and is draped by things adapted to the perceptions of angels and men, beams forth like light through crystalline forms, although variously in accordance with the state of mind that man has formed for himself; either from God or from himself. Before everyone who has formed the state of his mind from God the Holy Scripture stands like a mirror wherein he sees God; but everyone in his own way. This mirror is made up of those truths that man learns from the Word, and that he appropriates by living in accordance with them. From all this it is evident, in the first place, that the Holy Scripture is the fullness of God.​

​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 5165​It is similar with the exterior natural; unless this served interior things as a plane in which they see themselves as in a mirror, man could not think at all; and therefore this plane is formed first, even from infancy. But these matters are unknown, because that which comes forth interiorly in man does not come to view except by interior reflection.​ ​[3] The quality of the exterior natural is very manifest in the other life, for the faces of spirits and angels are formed from it and according to it.  In the light of heaven the interiors, and especially the intentions or ends, shine forth through that face. If love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor have formed the interiors, there is a consequent resplendence in the face, and the face itself is love and charity in form;​

​​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 10276(8)​… the very doctrine from the Word must by all means give light and guidance. This very doctrine is taught by the internal sense, and he who knows this doctrine, has the internal sense of the Word.​

​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 9086​. Divine holiness lies hidden in each and all things of the Word, but it consists in the fact that each and all things treat of the Lord, of His kingdom, and His church. These are things most holy, because they are Divine from the Lord, wherein there is thus eternal life, according to the words of the Lord in John:​ The words that I speak unto you are spirit, and are life (John 6:63).​
​But these most holy Divine things stand open before the angels in heaven, because these do not apprehend the Word naturally according to the literal sense; but spiritually according to the internal sense. Men also would apprehend the Word according to this sense if they lived an angelic life, that is, a life of faith and love. The things which are contained in the internal sense of the Word are no other than those which the genuine doctrine of the church teaches. The genuine doctrine of the church teaches the Lord, faith in Him, love to Him, and love of the good which is from Him. This love is charity toward the neighbor (n. 670967108123). They who live this life are enlightened by the Lord, and see the holy things of the Word; as by no means do others (see the pref ace to Genesis 18).​

​ ​Apocalypse Revealed (Whitehead) n. 959​. The Word, which was dictated by the Lord, passed through the heavens of His celestial kingdom, and the heavens of His spiritual kingdom, and thus came to the man through whom it was written; wherefore the Word in its first origin is purely Divine. This Word, as it passed through the heavens of the Lord’s celestial kingdom, was Divine celestial, and as it passed through the heavens of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, was Divine spiritual, and when it came to man, it became Divine natural. Hence it is that the natural sense of the Word contains in itself the spiritual sense, and this the celestial sense, and both a sense purely Divine, which does not appear to any man nor indeed to any angel. The Word that was dictated by the Lord passed across the heavens of His celestial kingdom and the heavens of His  spiritual kingdom, and thus came to the man by means of whom it was written; and therefore the Word in its first origin is  purely Divine. This Word when it passed across the heavens of the Lord’s celestial kingdom was the celestial Divine, and  when it passed across the heavens of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom was the spiritual Divine, and when it came to the man it  became the natural Divine. As the result of this the natural sense of the Word contains in itself the spiritual sense, and this sense contains the celestial sense, and both of them the purely Divine sense which is not open to any man nor indeed to  any angel.​


  1. Simon Mervyn-Jones

    Beautiful, Brilliant (full of Light) , with Powerful guidance for our waking thoughts, feelings and searching….

    • Sarah Walker

      yes… one of my favourites lines in one of the numbers above…. 5477 … From this it is evident that the Lord, who is light itself, sees all things and each that are in the thought and will of man, nay, that are in universal nature, and that nothing whatever is hidden from Him.​

  2. Ruth Duckworth

    I loved the quote from TCR 6 about the draperies of the Divine, it enlightened me as to what the Divine Celestial, Spiritual and Natural are.

    • Sarah Walker

      yes it reminds me of how the celestial angels(goods and truths) are naked but decorated with garlands and the spiritual angels are clothed in shining garments….

Leave a Comment