239. The affiliation of man with angels is effected by the natural or literal sense of the Word for the further reason that in every man by creation there are three degrees of life, a celestial, a spiritual, and a natural; but so long as man is in the world he is in the natural degree; yet at the same time he is also in the angelic spiritual degree so far as he is in genuine truths, and he is in the celestial degree so far as he is in a life according to those truths. Nevertheless he does not enter the spiritual and celestial itself until after death, because these two are enclosed and stored up within his natural ideas; so when the natural passes away by death, the spiritual and celestial remain, and from these the ideas of his thoughts then come. All this makes clear that in the Word alone there is spirit and life, as the Lord says:
The words that I speak unto you, are spirit and are life (John 6:63);
The water that I shall give you shall become a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:14);
Man liveth not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4);
Work for that meat which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).