True Christian Religion (Ager) n. 214

214. IV. IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD DIVINE TRUTH IS IN ITS FULNESS, ITS HOLINESS, AND ITS POWER. In the sense of the letter the Word is in its fullness, its holiness, and its power, because the two prior or interior senses, which are called spiritual and celestial, exist simultaneously in the natural sense which is the sense of the letter (as stated above, n. 210, 212). How they exist simultaneously shall be further explained. In heaven and in the world there is successive order and there is simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another from the highest down to the lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing stands next to another from inmosts even to outermosts. Successive order is like a column arranged in steps from summit to base; while simultaneous order is like a work coherent with the circumferences from the center even to the outmost surface. I will now explain how successive order becomes simultaneous order in the outmost. It is done as follows: the highest things of successive order become the inmost things of simultaneous order; and the lowest things of successive order become the outermost things of simultaneous order; comparatively as a column arranged in steps when it subsides becomes a body coherent in a plane. Thus is the simultaneous formed from the successive, and this in each and all things both of the natural world and of the spiritual world; for there is everywhere a first, a middle, and a last, and the first tends and passes through the middle to its last. But it must be clearly understood that there are degrees of purity in accordance with which both of these orders are determined. [2] Now in respect to the Word: the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural go forth from the Lord in successive order; and in the outmost they exist in simultaneous order; and thus the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word exist simultaneously in its natural sense. When this is comprehended it can be seen how the natural sense of the Word is the containant, the basis, and the support of its spiritual and celestial senses; also how the Divine good and truth are in the sense of the letter of the Word in their fullness, their holiness and their power. From all this it is clear that the Word is the real Word in the sense of the letter, for inwardly in this there is spirit and life. This is what the Lord says:
The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63);
for the words of the Lord were spoken in the natural sense. The celestial and spiritual senses separated from the natural sense are not the Word; for they are like spirit and life without a body, and are like a palace without a foundation (as said above, n. 213).

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