(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 5126

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5126. And thou shalt give Pharaoh's cup into his hand. That this signifies that thereby they may serve the interior natural, is evident from the signification of "giving a cup to drink," as being to appropriate (n. 5120); that it is also to serve is plain; and from the representation of Pharaoh, as being the interior natural (n. 5080, 5095, 5118). That there is an interior natural and also an exterior natural, and that the exterior natural is constituted of what enters immediately through the senses from the world into the natural mind, namely, into its memory and thence into the imagination, may be seen above (n. 5118).
[2] In order that it may be known what is the exterior and what the interior natural, which are of the exterior man; and hence what is the rational, which is of the interior man, this must be briefly told. A man from his infancy even to childhood is merely sensuous, for he then receives only earthly, bodily and worldly things through the senses of the body, and from these things his ideas and thoughts are then formed - the communication with the interior man not being as yet open, or only so far that he can comprehend and retain these worldly things. The innocence which he then has is only external, and not internal; for true innocence dwells in wisdom. By external innocence the Lord reduces into order what enters through the senses; and without an influx of innocence from the Lord in that first age, there would never be any foundation upon which the intellectual or rational faculty which is proper to man, could be built.
[3] From childhood to early youth communication is opened with the interior natural by learning what is becoming, what the civil laws require, and what is honorable, both by instructions from parents and teachers and by studies. And from youth to early manhood communication is opened between the natural and the rational by learning the truths and goods of civil and moral life, and especially the truths and goods of spiritual life, through the hearing and reading of the Word; but insofar as the youth then becomes imbued with goods by means of truths, that is, insofar as he does the truths which he learns, so far the rational is opened; whereas insofar as he does not become imbued with goods by means of truths, or insofar as he does not do truths, so far the rational is not opened, and yet the knowledges still remain in the natural, namely, in its memory, and thus as it were on the threshold outside the house.
[4] Insofar, however, as he then and in subsequent years disregards goods and truths, and denies and acts contrary to them, that is, instead of them believes falsities and does evils, so far the rational is closed, and also the interior natural; nevertheless of the Lord's Divine providence so much of communication still remains as to enable him to apprehend goods and truths with some degree of understanding, yet not to make them his own unless he performs serious repentance and for a long while afterward struggles with falsities and evils. With those, however, who suffer themselves to be regenerated, the contrary comes to pass; for by degrees or successively the rational is opened in them, and to this the interior natural is made subordinate, and to this the exterior natural. This takes place especially in youth up to adult age, and progressively to the last years of their life, and afterward in heaven to eternity. From all this it may be known what is the interior and what the exterior natural in man.


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