354. When this discourse was concluded, the angels departed. Then came two priests, together with a man who in the world had been a royal ambassador. I told them what I had heard from the angels, and on hearing this, they began a discussion among themselves concerning intelligence and wisdom and prudence therefrom, as to whether these are from God or from man. The discussion was warm. At heart the three believed alike that they are from man because in man, and that the perception and sensation of its being so, confirms this. But the priests, Who were then in theological zeal, said that nothing of intelligence and wisdom, and so nothing of prudence, is from man; and when the ambassador retorted that then neither is there anything of thought, they said, "No, not anything."
But as it was perceived in heaven that the three were of the same belief, it was said to the royal ambassador, "Put on the garments of a priest and believe yourself to be a priest, and then speak." So he put them on and believed. Then, in a loud voice he said, "Nothing of intelligence and wisdom, and hence nothing of prudence, is ever possible except from God"' and this he demonstrated with his customary eloquence, full of rational arguments.
It is peculiar to the spiritual world that a spirit thinks himself to be such as is the garment he wears, and this because, in that World, the understanding clothes every one.
 After this, it was said from heaven to the two priests, "Put off your garments and put on the garments of ministers of state, and believe that you are such." They did so. Then at once they thought from their inner self, and on the basis of arguments which they had inwardly cherished, they spoke in favor of self-intelligence.
At that moment there appeared near the path a tree, and it Was told them: "This is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Take care that you do not eat of it." Nevertheless, the three, infatuated with their own intelligence, burned with a desire to eat of it, and said among themselves. "Why not? is not the fruit good?" And they approached and ate. Then, being of the same belief, the three at once became cordial friends and together they entered on the way of self-intelligence which led to hell; yet I saw them coming back for they were not yet prepared.