847. And the waters receded from off the earth, going and returning. That this signifies fluctuations between what is true and what is false, is evident from what has been said: that the waters of the flood, or inundations, with respect to Noah, signified temptations; for as the subject is here the first state after temptation, the "waters receding, going and returning" can signify nothing else than fluctuation between truths and falsities. The nature of this fluctuation, however, cannot be known unless it is known what temptation is, for such as is the temptation, such is the fluctuation after it. When the temptation is celestial, then the fluctuation is between good and evil; when it is spiritual, the fluctuation is between what is true and what is false; and when it is natural, the fluctuation is between the things that belong to and those which are contrary to the cupidities.
 There are many kinds of temptations, which are in general the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural; and these ought never to be confounded. Celestial temptations can exist only with those who are in love to the Lord, and spiritual ones with those only who are in charity toward the neighbor. Natural temptations are altogether distinct from these, and indeed are not temptations, but merely anxieties arising from natural loves being assailed by misfortunes, diseases, or a depraved condition of the blood and other fluids of the body. From this brief account it may in some degree be known what temptation is, namely, anguish and anxiety occasioned by whatever opposes one's loves. Thus with those who are in love to the Lord, whatever assails this love produces an inmost torture, which is celestial temptation; with those who are in love toward the neighbor, or charity, whatever assails this love occasions torment of conscience, and this is spiritual temptation.
 But with those who are natural, what they frequently call temptations and the pangs of conscience, are not temptations, but only anxieties arising from their loves being assailed, as when they foresee and are sensible of the loss of honor, of the good things of the world, of reputation, pleasures, bodily life, and the like; nevertheless these troubles are wont to be productive of some good. Temptations are moreover experienced by those who are in natural charity, and consequently by all kinds of heretics, Gentiles, and idolaters, arising from assaults on the life of their faith which they cherish. But these are distresses that merely emulate spiritual temptations.