38. There are in heaven and in this world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another from highest to lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another from inmost to outmost. Successive order is like a column with successive parts from the top to the bottom; but simultaneous order is like a connected structure with successive circumferences from center to surface. It shall now be told how successive order becomes simultaneous order in the ultimate. It is in this way: The highest things of successive order become the inmost ones of simultaneous order, and the lowest things of successive order become the outermost ones of simultaneous order. Comparatively speaking it is as if the column of successive parts were to sink down and become a connected body in a plane.
 Thus is the simultaneous formed from the successive, and this in all things both in general and in particular of the natural world, and also of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a middle, and an ultimate, and the first aims at and goes through the middle to its ultimate. Apply this to the Word. The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the ultimate are in simultaneous order; and it is in this way that the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word are simultaneous in its natural sense. When this is comprehended, it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, is the basis, containant, and support of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how in the sense of the letter of the Word Divine good and Divine truth are in their fullness, in their holiness, and in their power.