In the Literal Sense of the Word Divine Truth is in its Fullness, in its Holiness, and in its Power

In the Literal Sense of the Word Divine Truth is in its Fullness, in its Holiness, and in its Power

That in the sense of the letter the Word is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power, is 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. But how they are simultaneously in that sense shall be further explained. There is in heaven and in the world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another, from the highest down to the lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another, from the inmost things to the outermost. Successive order is like a column with degrees from the summit to the base; and simultaneous order is like a work coherent with the periphery, from the centre to the outermost surface. It shall now be explained how successive order, in the ultimate becomes simultaneous order. It comes to pass in this manner: The highest [degrees] of successive order become the inmost of simultaneous order; and the lowest [degrees] of successive order become the outermost of simultaneous order; comparatively as a column of degrees subsiding becomes a body coherent in a plain. Thus the simultaneous is formed from the successive, and this in each and all things of the natural world, and in each and all things of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a mediate, and an ultimate; and the first tends and passes through the mediate to its ultimate. But it should be well understood that there are degrees of purity, according to which each order is produced. Now to the Word:—The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the last or ulti­mate they exist in simultaneous order; so then the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word exist simultaneously in its natural sense. When this is comprehended it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word is the containant, the basis, and the foundation of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how Divine good and Divine Truth in the literal sense of the Word are in their fullness, in their holiness, and in their power. It may be seen from all this that the Word is the very Word in its literal sense; for in this interiorly there is spirit and life. This is what the Lord says in John: “The words that I speak unto you are spirit and life” (vi. 63); for the Lord spoke His words in the natural sense. The celestial and the spiritual senses are not the Word without the natural sense; for they are like spirit and life without a body; and are as a palace which has no foundation. (TCR n. 214)

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