6221. Behold thy father is sick. That this signifies what is successive of regeneration, is evident from the signification of "dying," as being resurrection into life, and regeneration (see n. 3326, 3498, 3505, 4618, 4621, 6036); hence "to be sick," which precedes, denotes what is progressive toward regeneration, thus what is successive of regeneration. That "dying" denotes regeneration, and "being sick" what is successive of regeneration, cannot but appear too remote to be believed; but he who knows anything about angelic thought and speech will acknowledge that it is so. The angels know nothing of death, nor of sickness, and therefore have no idea of them, but in their place, when man reads of them, they have the idea of the continuation of life and of resurrection; and this because when man dies, he puts off only that which had served him for use in the world, and enters into the life in which he had been with his spirit. This is the idea that presents itself to the angels when "dying" and "being sick" are read of, and likewise the idea of regeneration, because this is resurrection into life; for before this the man had been spiritually dead; but when he has been regenerated he becomes alive and a son of the resurrection. If when he lives in the body, the man himself longs for heaven, he thinks no otherwise of death and the sickness which precedes it than as being resurrection into life; for when he thinks about heaven, he withdraws himself from the idea of the body, especially when he is sick and comes near to death. From this it is plain that the spiritual idea of the death of the body is that of newness of life; therefore when the subject of resurrection or regeneration is considered in heaven, and this idea flows down and is determined into such things as are of the world, it falls only into such as these. Thus is it with the Word, which as to each and all things has descended from the Lord and passed through heaven down into the world; in the descent it has clothed itself with forms adapted to apprehension in the three heavens, and at last with a form adapted to the apprehension of man, which is the literal sense.