266. (1) A bad man, equally with a good man enjoys these two capacities. It was shown in the preceding chapter that the natural mind, as regards the understanding, can be elevated even to the light in which angels of the third heaven are, and can see truths, acknowledge them, and then give expression to them. From this it is plain that since the natural mind can be elevated, a bad man equally with a good man enjoys the capacity called rationality; and because the natural mind can be elevated to such an extent, it follows that a bad man can also think and speak about heavenly truths. Moreover, that he is able to will and to do them, even though he does not will and do them, both reason and experience affirm. Reason affirms it: for who cannot will and do what he thinks? His not willing and doing it is because he does not love to will and do it. This ability to will and to do is the freedom which every man has from the Lord; but his not willing and doing good when he can, is from a love of evil, which opposes; but this love he is able to resist, and many do resist it. Experience in the spiritual world has often corroborated this. I have listened to evil spirits who inwardly were devils, and who in the world had rejected the truths of heaven and the church. When the affection for knowing, in which every man is from childhood, was excited in them by the glory that, like the brightness of fire, surrounds each love, they perceived the arcana of angelic wisdom just as clearly as good spirits do who inwardly were angels. Those diabolical spirits even declared that they were able to will and act according to those arcana, but did not wish to. When told that they might will them, if only they would flee from evils as sins, they said that they could even do that, but did not wish to. From this it was evident that the wicked equally with the good have the capacity called freedom. Let any one look within himself, and he will observe that it is so. Man has the power to will, because the Lord, from whom that capacity comes, continually gives the power; for, as was said above, the Lord dwells in every man in both of these capacities, and therefore in the capacity, that is, in the power, of being able to will. As to the capacity to understand, called rationality, this man does not have until his natural mind reaches maturity; until then it is like seed in unripe fruit, which cannot be opened in the soil and grow up into a shrub. Neither does this capacity exist in those mentioned above (n. 259).