5477. And they knew not that Joseph heard them. That this signifies that from the natural light in which those truths are, it is not believed that all things appear from spiritual light, is evident from the representation of the sons of Jacob, who "knew not," as being the truths of the external church, thus truths in the natural (of which often before), whence follows the signification that from the natural light in which these truths are it is not believed; and from the representation of Joseph, as being the celestial of the spiritual, which is in spiritual light. That from this light appear the truths in the natural, is signified by "Joseph's hearing them;" for "to hear" signifies both to obey and to perceive (see n. 5017), thus that the truths in the natural appeared from spiritual light, but not the converse.
 In regard to natural light and spiritual light the case is this: natural light is from the sun of the world, and spiritual light is from the sun of heaven, which is the Lord. All the truths of faith that man learns from infancy are apprehended by means of such objects and derivative ideas as are from the light of the world, thus all and each are apprehended naturally; for all the ideas of man's thought, so long as he lives in the world, are founded upon such things as are in the world; and therefore if these were taken away from him, his thought would utterly perish. The man who has not been regenerated is wholly ignorant that there is spiritual light, or even that there is in heaven a light that has nothing in common with the light of the world, still less does he know that it is this light that enlightens the ideas and objects which are from the light of the world, and enables man to think, infer, and reflect. That spiritual light can do this is because this light is the wisdom itself that proceeds from the Lord, and this is presented as light before the sight of the angels in heaven. From this light appear all and each of the things that are below, or that are in man from natural light; but not the converse, unless the man has been regenerated, in which case the things of heaven, that is, of good and truth, by enlightenment from spiritual light appear in the natural as in a representative mirror. From this it is evident that the Lord, who is light itself, sees all things and each that are in the thought and will of man, nay, that are in universal nature, and that nothing whatever is hidden from Him.
 From all this it is now evident how the case herein is, namely, that from the natural light in which these truths are, it is not believed that all things appear from spiritual light, as is signified by their "not knowing that Joseph heard them." Joseph's knowing his brethren, and their not knowing him (verse 8 above), involves a similar meaning; for thereby is signified that these truths of the church appeared to the celestial of the spiritual from its light, and that truth from the Divine did not appear in natural light not yet illumined by heavenly light (see n. 5427-5428).