6040. And Joseph said unto his brethren. That this signifies the perception of truths in the natural, is evident from the signification of "saying," as being perception (of which often above); from the representation of the sons of Israel, as being spiritual truths in the natural (n. 5414, 5879); and from the representation of Joseph, as being the internal celestial (n. 5869, 5877). Hence it is evident that by "Joseph said unto his brethren" is signified the perception of truths in the natural from the internal celestial. That by "Joseph said," is not signified his perception, is because Joseph is the internal, and all perception flows in through the internal into the external or natural. For of itself the natural perceives nothing whatever, but its perceiving is from what is prior to itself; nay, neither does the prior perceive from itself, but from what is still prior to itself, thus finally from the Lord, who Is of Himself. Such is the nature of influx, and therefore such is the nature of perception. It is with influx as it is with coming forth (exsistentia) and subsistence.
Nothing comes forth (exsistit) of itself, but from what is prior to itself, thus finally all things from the First, that is, from the Esse and the Existere of Itself. And also from the same all things subsist, for it is with subsistence as with coming forth, for to subsist is perpetually to come forth. The reason why it is said "the perception of truths in the natural," but not "the perception of those who are in these truths," is that such is the nature of spiritual speech. For in this way ideas of thought are abstracted from persons, and are determined to things; and things, that is, truths and goods, are what live with man and cause man to live, for they are from the Lord, from whom is everything of life. In this way also the thought is withdrawn from attributing truths and goods to the person. By such speech also a general idea is had, which extends itself more widely than if the idea of person is adjoined to it; as for instance if it is said "the perception of those who are in these truths," the ideas are at once determined to such persons, as is usually the case, and thus they are withdrawn from the general idea; and in this way the enlightenment from the light of truth is diminished. Moreover in the other life thought about persons excites those who are being thought of; for in the other life all thought is communicated. These are the reasons why an abstract form of speech is used, as here: "the perception of truths in the natural."