168. When angels speak with men they never express themselves in natural ideas proper to man, all of which are from time, space, matter, and things analogous thereto, but in spiritual ideas, all of which are from states and their various changes within the angels and outside of them. Nevertheless, when these angelic ideas, which are spiritual, flow into men, they are turned in a moment and of themselves into natural ideas proper to man, that correspond perfectly to the spiritual ideas. Neither angels nor men know that this takes place; but such is all influx of heaven into man. Certain angels were permitted to enter more nearly into my thoughts, even into the natural thoughts in which there were many things from time and space; but as they then understood nothing they suddenly withdrew; and after they had withdrawn I heard them talking, and saying that they had been in darkness.  It has been granted me to know by experience how ignorant the angels are about time. There was a certain one from heaven who was able to enter into natural ideas, such as man has; and after he had done this I talked with him as man with man. At first he did not know what it was that I called time, and I was therefore obliged to tell him all about it, how the sun appears to be carried about our earth, and to produce years and days, and how years are thereby divided into four seasons, and also into months and weeks, and days into twenty-four hours; and how these times recur by fixed alternations, and how this is the source of times. On hearing this he was surprised, saying that he knew nothing about such things, but only what states are.  In speaking with him I added that it is known in the world, for men speak as if they knew that there is no time in heaven, saying of those who die that they "leave the things of time," and that they "pass out of time," meaning by this out of the world. I said also that some know that times in their origin are states, for they know that times are in exact accord with the states of their affections, short to those who are in pleasant and joyous states, long to those who are in unpleasant and sorrowful states, and various in a state of hope and expectation; and this therefore leads learned men to inquire what time and space are, and some know that time belongs to the natural man.