311. From this description of one's own prudence, and of those who are in it, may be seen what is the nature of prudence that is not one's own, and what is the nature of those who are in it; namely, that prudence not one's own is the prudence with those who do not confirm in themselves the idea that intelligence and wisdom are from man, but who say, How can one be wise from himself, and how can one do good from himself? When they say this they see in themselves that it is so, for they think interiorly; and they also believe that others think in the same way, especially the learned, because they do not know that it is possible for anyone to think only exteriorly.  They are not in fallacies resulting from any confirmation of appearances, and therefore they know and perceive that murder, adultery, theft and false witness are sins, and they shun them accordingly. They also know that wickedness is not wisdom, and that craftiness is not intelligence; and when they hear ingenious reasoning from fallacies they wonder and smile to themselves. This is because with them there is no veil between interiors and exteriors, or between the spiritual and the natural things of the mind, as there is with the sensual; and therefore they receive influx from heaven by which they see these things.
 They speak with more simplicity and sincerity than others, and place wisdom in the life and not in mere talk. They are, to use the language of comparison, like lambs and sheep, while those who are in their own prudence are like wolves and foxes; and they are like those who live in a house and view the sky through the windows, while those who are in their own prudence are like those who live in the basement of a house and through their windows see nothing but what is below the ground level; and they are like those who stand upon a mountain and see those who are in their own prudence like persons wandering in the valleys and forests.
 Hence it may be evident that prudence which is not one's own is prudence from the Lord, having in externals an appearance similar to one's own prudence but in internals an appearance totally different. In internals prudence which is not one's own appears in the spiritual world as a man, while prudence which is one's own appears as an effigy, appearing to be alive from this circumstance only, that those who are in it still have rationality and liberty, or the faculty of understanding and willing, and consequently of speaking and acting, and that by means of these faculties they can assume the appearance of being men. They are such effigies because evils and falsities have no life, goods and truths only having life; and because they know this from their rationality, for if they did not know it they would not counterfeit them; therefore in their semblances they still possess the human life principle.  Everyone may know that the character of a man is determined by what he is interiorly; and consequently that he is a man who is interiorly what he wishes to appear to be exteriorly, while he is an effigy who is a man only exteriorly and not interiorly. If you think, as you speak, in favour of God and of religion, of righteousness and of sincerity, you will be a man, and the Divine Providence will then be your prudence, and you will see in others that one's own prudence is insanity.