254. (4) The character of the natural man in whom the spiritual degree is entirely closed. The spiritual degree is closed in those who are in evils as to life, and still more in those who from evils are in falsities. It is the same as with the fibril of a nerve, which contracts at the slightest touch of any thing heterogeneous; so every motive fiber of a muscle, yea, the muscle itself, and even the whole body shrinks from the touch of whatever is hard or cold. So also the substances or forms of the spiritual degree in man shrink from evils and their falsities, because these are heterogeneous. For the spiritual degree, being in the form of heaven, admits nothing but goods, and truths that are from good; these are homogeneous to it; but evils, and falsities that are from evil, are heterogeneous to it. This degree is contracted, and by contraction closed, especially in those who in the world are in love of ruling from love of self, because this love is opposed to love to the Lord. It is also closed, but not so much, in those who from love of the world are in the insane greed of possessing the goods of others. These loves shut the spiritual degree, because they are the origins of evils. The contraction or closing of this degree is like the twisting back of a spiral in the opposite direction; for which reason, that degree after it is closed, turns back the light of heaven; consequently there is thick darkness there instead of heavenly light, and truth which is in the light of heaven, becomes nauseous. In such persons, not only does the spiritual degree itself become closed, but also the higher region of the natural degree which is called the rational, until at last the lowest region of the natural degree, which is called the sensual, alone stands open; this being nearest to the world and to the outward senses of the body, from which such a man afterwards thinks, speaks, and reasons. The natural man who has become sensual through evils and their falsities, in the spiritual world in the light of heaven does not appear as a man but as a monster, even with nose drawn back (the nose is drawn in because the nose corresponds to the perception of truth); moreover, he cannot bear a ray of heavenly light. Such have in their caverns no other light than what resembles the light from live coals or from burning charcoal. From all this it is evident who and of what character are those in whom the spiritual degree is closed.