5302. And the land shall not be cut off in the famine. That this signifies lest the man should perish, namely, by the lack of truth, is evident from the signification of "being cut off," as being to perish; and from the signification of "land," here the land of Egypt, as being the natural mind (of which just above, n. 5301); and because it is the natural mind, it is the man himself, for man is man from his mind; for the mind itself constitutes the man, and such as the mind is, such is the man. By the "mind" is meant man's intellect and will, and consequently his veriest life. Stupid people suppose that man is man from his outward form, in that he has a face like a man's; those less stupid say man is man because he can speak; and those still less stupid, that man is man because he can think. But man is not man from these things, but from the fact that he can think what is true and will what is good, and that when he thinks truth and wills good he can look up to the Divine and perceptibly receive it. It is in this that man is distinguished from the brute animals.
 But his seeming like a man, and his ability to speak and to think, do not make him a man; for if he thinks what is false and wills what is evil, this makes him not merely like a brute animal, but worse; for by means of these very faculties he destroys what is human in himself, and makes himself a wild beast. This is especially evident from such persons in the other life, who when seen in the light of heaven and looked at by angels, appear as monsters, and some of them as wild beasts, the deceitful as serpents, and others in other forms. But when they are removed from that light and are let back into their own light which they have in hell, they seem to one another like men. But how the case stands that man would perish when the truth fails him, had he not goods and truths stored up by the Lord in the interiors (signified by the "food for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, that the land shall not be cut off in the famine") will be told in the following verses of this chapter.