256. The Word is not understood except by those who are enlightened.
The human rational cannot apprehend Divine things, nor even spiritual things, unless it is enlightened by the Lord (n. 2196, 2203, 2209, 2654). Thus only they who are enlightened apprehend the Word (n. 10323). The Lord enables those who are enlightened to understand truth, and to see how to reconcile those things in the Word which may appear to contradict each other (n. 9382, 10659). The Word in the sense of the letter is not consistent with itself, and sometimes it appears contradictory (n. 9025). And therefore it may be explained and strained by those who are not enlightened, to confirm any opinion or heresy whatever, and to patronize any worldly and corporeal love (n. 4783, 10399, 10400).
They who read the Word from the love of truth and good, are enlightened from it, but not they who read it from the love of fame, gain, or honor, thus from the love of self (n. 9382, 10548-10550). They who are in the good of life, and thereby in the affection of truth, are enlightened (n. 8694). They whose internal is open, and who thus as to their internal man are capable of being elevated into the light of heaven, are enlightened (n. 10400, 10402, 10691, 10694). Enlightenment is an actual opening of the interiors of the mind, and elevation of them into the light of heaven (n. 10330). Holiness from the internal, that is, through the internal from the Lord, inflows with those who esteem the Word to be holy, though they themselves do not know it (n. 6789). They who are led by the Lord are enlightened, and see truths in the Word, but not they who are led by self (n. 10638). They who love truth because it is truth, that is, who love to live according to Divine truths, are led by the Lord (n. 10578, 10645, 10829). The Word is vivified with man, according to his life of love and faith (n. 1776). Those things which are from one's own intelligence have no life in them, since nothing good proceeds from man's proprium (n. 8491, 8944). They who have much confirmed themselves in false doctrine cannot be enlightened (n. 10640).
It is the understanding that is enlightened (n. 6608, 9300). Because the understanding is recipient of truth (n. 6222, 6608, 10659). There are ideas concerning every doctrinal of the church, according to which is the understanding of the subject (n. 3310, 3825). A man's ideas, so long as he lives in the world, are natural, because he then thinks in the natural, but nevertheless spiritual ideas lie concealed therein with those who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth (n. 10237, 10240, 10551). There is no perception of any subject without ideas (n. 3825). The ideas concerning the things of faith are opened in the other life, and their quality is then seen by the angels (n. 1869, 3310, 5510, 6200, 8885). Therefore the Word is not understood except by a rational man; for to believe anything without having an idea of the subject, and without a rational view of it, is only to retain words in the memory, destitute of all the life of perception and affection, which is not believing (n. 2553). The literal sense of the Word is what is enlightened (n. 34, 36, 9824, 9905, 10548).