6686. And they have brought forth before the midwife comes unto them. That this signifies that the natural has no knowledge before they have life, that is, the true memory-knowledges which are of the church, is evident from the signification of "midwife," as being the natural in which are the true memory-knowledges of the church (see n. 6681); and from the signification of "bringing forth," as being what is of faith and charity (n. 3860, 3868, 3905, 3915); thus what is of spiritual life. That the natural has no knowledge, is signified by "before the midwife comes unto them." In regard to the natural having no knowledge before the true memory-knowledges have life, the case is this. The true memory-knowledges in the natural have all their life from the good which flows in through the internal; when good flows in, the natural knows nothing of it, because the natural is relatively in obscurity. That it is in obscurity is because it is in the light of the world, and hence at the same time in worldly things, into which there comes obscure perception when the light of heaven flows in; and also because in the natural there are general things which are not capable of perceiving singulars, for the more general anything is, the less it perceives singulars, and hence the less it perceives the happenings that come forth in itself; and moreover in the natural there are not goods and truths themselves, but their representatives. Hence then it is that the natural does not know when true memory-knowledges have life, consequently when or how regeneration goes on, according to the Lord's words in John:
The wind bloweth where it willeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so it is with everyone that is born again of the spirit (John 3:8).
By "the natural" is meant the external man, which is also called "the natural man."