494. But it must be well understood that the spiritual things of the Word and church which man imbibes from love, and which his understanding confirms are what remain in him, but not so things civil and political; because spiritual things ascend into the highest region of the mind, and there take form. This is because the Lord's entrance into man with Divine truths and goods is there, and that region is like a temple in which He resides. But because things civil and political belong to the world, they occupy the lower regions of the mind, and some of them become there like little buildings around that temple, and some like vestibules through which there is entrance. Another reason why the spiritual things of the church dwell in the highest region of the mind, is that they belong to the soul, and have regard to its eternal life; and the soul is in things highest, and derives its nourishment from no other than spiritual food. This is why the Lord calls Himself "Bread," for He says:
I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever (John 6:51).
That region is also the seat of man's love, which is the source of his happiness after death; and there too his freedom of choice in spiritual things chiefly resides, and from this descends all the freedom that man possesses in natural things; and such being the origin of this freedom it enters into all forms of freedom of choice in natural things, and by means of these the ruling love, which occupies the highest region, takes on whatever is conducive to its own ends. The communication between these is like that between a spring and the waters that flow from it, or like the communication between the prolific principle itself of a seed and each and all parts of the tree, especially the fruit, in which it renews itself. But when anyone denies freedom of choice in spiritual things, and thus rejects it, he makes for himself another fountain, and opens a channel from that; and this changes spiritual freedom into merely natural and finally into infernal, freedom. And infernal freedom becomes like the prolific principle of a seed, freely traversing the trunk and branches to the fruit, which owing to its origin is inwardly rotten.