261. From this it is obvious that when the spiritual mind is closed the natural mind continually acts against the things of the spiritual mind, fearing lest anything should flow in therefrom to disturb its own states. Everything that flows in through the spiritual mind is from heaven, for the spiritual mind in its form is a heaven; while everything that flows into the natural mind is from the world, for the natural mind in its form is a world. From which it follows that when the spiritual mind is closed, the natural mind reacts against all things of heaven, giving them no admission except so far as they are serviceable to it as means for acquiring and possessing the things of the world. And when the things of heaven are made to serve the natural mind as means to its own ends, then those means, though they seem to be heavenly, are made natural; for the end qualifies them, and they become like the knowledges of the natural man, in which interiorly there is nothing of life. But as things heavenly cannot be so joined to things natural that the two act as one, they separate, and, with men merely natural, things heavenly arrange themselves from without, in a circuit about the natural things which are within. From this it is that a merely natural man can speak and preach about heavenly things, and even simulate them in his actions, though inwardly he thinks against them; the latter he does when alone, the former when in company. But of these things more in what follows.