THIS diagram presents the three degrees of the natural mind in certain relations to the three degrees of the spiritual mind, and the three degrees or planes of the world of spirits in relation to the three angelic heavens. (AC 4154, DLW 275, 66, 67.)
Below the natural or external mind C is drawn the spiritual body D, consisting of the spiritual-sensual and spiritual-corporeal g and h. These are called the spiritual sensual and corporeal in distinction to the natural sensual and corporeal organized of material substances. The sensual degree of the external mind f just above the spiritual-sensual, is the lowest degree of that mind and closely adheres to the spiritual body D.
The celestial degree a is drawn in red because red corresponds to love or the will, the dominant characteristic of this degree, and because red is the distinguishing Colour of the celestial heaven.
The spiritual degree b characterized by what is intellectual, is drawn in white because white corresponds to truth, the dominant characteristic of this degree, and white is a distinguishing Colour of the spiritual heaven.
The natural degree c is drawn in green because green corresponds to the ultimates of celestial love and spiritual truth in the lowest plane of the internal mind, and green is the distinguishing Colour of the natural heaven which is the lowest heaven.
The three degrees of the natural mind are drawn in darker shades of the same Colours but in reverse order, the highest green, the lowest red; this is to indicate the relation of each degree in the natural to its corresponding degree in the spiritual. The whole natural mind as one is an ultimate and base of the whole spiritual as one, but the lowest degree f (the red in the natural) is the special ultimate of the highest degree a in the spiritual, and the highest in the natural d of the lowest in the spiritual e; that is, a ultimates in f, c in d, and b in e, according to the universal law that the LORD works from the highest or inmost forms and at the same time from the lowest or outmost, developing, arranging, binding and thus preserving the intermediates. (D. W. in AE VIII, DP 124, 125.)
The celestial a passes indeed centrally through d and e in the natural mind to reach its appropriate f, as it had passed through b and c in the spiritual mind, and is the essential principle in them all, that is in b c d e; a being first and therefore universal must go to the last where it binds and preserves all. This descent of a is illustrated by the descent of nerves from the brain through intermediates into the skin whence they return again to the brain, binding and preserving all things of the body.
This relation of these degrees further appears where we show that the lowest degree in the spiritual mind when by regeneration it is opened and man is raised into it, rests as a heaven on the degree d, the highest in the natural mind, as its appropriate earth or base, b resting on e, and a on f. See Diagrams XXII, XXIII, XXIV. The same relation is seen from this that the lowest degree of the natural mind is the last regenerated and the highest degree of the spiritual mind is the last opened and entered. (Read AC 9216, 4353) Confirmation of the above relation lies also in the fact that the lowest or deepest hell which is in the lowest natural degree f, when this degree is perverted, is opposite to the highest heaven a. (DLW 275, HH 542, AE 1133.)
Below the natural mind are drawn the spiritual sensual and corporeal g and h. g is drawn in lightish Colour because the senses are the higher life of the body, the corporeal h, having in itself only insensate life, is drawn in dark. (AC 5077.)
The spiritual sensual and corporeal are composed of spiritual substances and are the lowest seat of the paternal proprium.
The natural body E being material is drawn in dark in contrast with the planes above.
Each integral part, namely, the spiritual-corporeal, the spiritual-sensual, each degree of the natural mind, and each of the spiritual is in itself a lesser human because the whole man is composed of parts which are images of the whole. This may be illustrated by the natural body, in which are several systems combined; for each system, the nervous, the sanguineous, the osseous, the muscular, the cutaneous, is, in a sense, a human system, and so a human in a lesser form. Thus man in spirit as in body is composed of many humans one above or within another from the foot of “Jacob’s ladder” to the top, that mystic ladder being the whole human and each step in it a lesser human.
This diagram is a key to many passages.
In The True Christian Religion we read, –
“The human mind from which and according to which man is man, is formed into three regions, according to three degrees; in the first degree it is celestial, in which also are the angels of the highest heaven; in the second degree it is spiritual, in which also are the angels of the middle heaven; and in the third degree it is natural, in which also are the angels of the lowest heaven. The human mind, organized according to these three degrees, is a receptacle of Divine influx; but still the Divine flows in no farther than man prepares the way, or opens the door; if he does this even to the highest or celestial degree, then man becomes truly an image of God, and after death he becomes an angel of the highest heaven; but if he prepares the way, or opens the door, only to the middle or spiritual degree, then indeed, man becomes an image of God, but not in that perfection, and after death he becomes an angel of the middle heaven ; but if he prepares the way, or opens the door, only to the lowest or natural degree, then man, if he acknowledges God and worships Him with actual piety, becomes an image of God in the lowest degree, and after death he becomes an angel of the lowest heaven. But if he does not acknowledge God and does not worship Him with actual piety, he puts off the image of God, and becomes like some animal, except that he enjoys the faculty of understanding and thence of speech. If he then closes up the highest natural degree, which corresponds to the highest celestial, he becomes as to love, like a beast of the earth; but if he closes the middle natural degree which corresponds to the middle spiritual, he becomes as to love like a fox, and as to sight of the understanding like a bird of the evening; but if he also closes the lowest natural degree as to its spiritual, he becomes as to love like a wild beast, and as to the understanding of truth like a fish”-TCR 34.
The human mind from which and according to which man is man,” in this passage obviously means the actual mind which in itself is human, in distinction from the natural mind below, which is humanized only from the spiritual. The first or celestial degree, mentioned in the same passage, is a the highest plane of the internal mind, the second or spiritual is b, the third or natural, c. “The beast of the earth” is in d, “the fox” in e and “the wild beast” in f.
The statement that the highest natural d corresponds to the highest or celestial a does not conflict with what is elsewhere said – that the highest degree of the natural d is the degree of the natural in which the lowest degree of the spiritual c especially ultimates, and that when d by perversion becomes a form of hell it is opposite to the lowest heaven c. The statement means only that d is the highest in the natural mind as a is in the spiritual mind
Upon first reading, this number may seem obscure, owing to the omission of a distinct statement that there are three degrees in the natural mind, below the three degrees of the spiritual mind. The highest natural, the middle natural and the ultimate natural in the passage, are represented by d e and f.
The order of the opening of the three degrees of the internal mind during regeneration, will be presented in Diagrams XXII, XXIII and XXIV. The closed state of the degrees of the natural mind, in the case of the wicked, will be presented in Diagram XXV.
The spiritual mind, here drawn in three degrees is the same that is drawn in two degrees in Diagram XII. When this mind is drawn in two degrees, the lowest c in this diagram is included in the two; as will appear more plainly in what follows.