248. UNLESS THE HIGHER DEGREE WHICH IS THE SPIRITUAL IS OPENED IN MAN, HE BECOMES NATURAL AND SENSUAL.
It was shown above that there are three degrees of the human mind, called natural, spiritual, and celestial, and that these degrees may be opened successively in man; also, that the natural degree is first opened; afterwards, if man flees from evil as sins and looks to the Lord, the spiritual degree is opened; and lastly, the celestial. Since these degrees are opened successively according to man's life, it follows that the two higher degrees may remain unopened, and man then continues in the natural degree, which is the outmost. Moreover, it is known in the world that there is a natural and a spiritual man, or an external and an internal man; but it is not known that a natural man becomes spiritual by the opening of some higher degree in him, and that such opening is effected by a spiritual life, which is a life conformed to the Divine precepts; and that without a life conformed to these man remains natural.