5470. In that we saw the distress of his soul. That this signifies the state of the internal in the meantime when it was alienated, is evident from the signification of "distress of soul," as being the state in which the internal is when alienated from the external. As regards this state, the Lord continually flows in with man with good, and in good with truth; but man either receives or does not receive; if he receives, it is well with him; but if he does not receive, it is ill with him. If when he does not receive he feels some anxiety (here meant by "distress of soul"), there is hope that be may be reformed; but if he has no feeling of anxiety the hope vanishes. With every man there are two spirits from hell, and two angels from heaven; for man being born in sins cannot possibly live unless on one side he communicates with hell, and on the other with heaven; all his life is thence. When man is grown up and begins to rule himself from himself, that is, when he seems to himself to will and to act from his own judgment, and to think and to conclude concerning the things of faith from his own understanding, if he then betakes himself to evils, the two spirits from hell draw near, and the two angels from heaven withdraw a little; but if he betakes himself to good, the two angels from heaven draw near, and the two spirits from hell are removed.
 If therefore when a man betakes himself to evils, as is the case with many in youth, he feels any anxiety when he reflects upon his having done what is evil, it is a sign that he will still receive influx through the angels from heaven, and it is also a sign that he will afterward suffer himself to be reformed; but if when he reflects upon his having done what is evil, he has no anxious feeling, it is a sign that he is no longer willing to receive influx through the angels from heaven, and it is also a sign that he will not afterward suffer himself to be reformed. Here therefore where the truths of the external church are treated of, which are represented by the ten sons of Jacob, mention is made of the distress of soul in which Joseph was when alienated from his brethren, and also next that Reuben admonished them, whereby is signified that when this state had preceded, reformation or the conjunction of the internal with the external would afterward take place (of which conjunction in the following pages); for with those who are then in anxiety there is an internal acknowledgment of evil, which when recalled by the Lord becomes confession, and finally repentance.