771. It has been shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture that the Word in the letter was written by appearances and correspondences, consequently in all its particulars there is a spiritual sense, and in that sense the truth is in its own light while the sense of the letter is in shade. In order therefore that the man of the New Church may not wander about, like the man of the old, in the shade that obscures the sense of the letter of the Word, especially in respect to heaven and hell and man's life after death, and here in respect to the Lord's coming, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and thus introduce me into the spiritual world, and permit me not only to talk with spirits and angels, relatives and friends, and even with kings and princes who have finished their course in the natural world, but also to see the wonders of heaven and the miseries of hell, and thus to learn that man does not abide in some indefinite place in the earth, nor fly about blind and dumb in the air or in vacancy, but lives as a man in a substantial body in a much more perfect state (if he is among the blessed), than that in which he formerly lived when in the material body. In order therefore, that man from ignorance may not immerse himself still more deeply in this opinion respecting the destruction of the visible heaven and habitable earth, and in respect also to the spiritual world (because of which ignorance naturalism together with atheism, which among the learned has begun to take root in the interior rational mind, is spreading more widely, like mortification in the flesh, even extending to the external mind from which man speaks), I have been commanded by the Lord to make known various things that I have seen and heard respecting Heaven and Hell and respecting the Last judgment, and also to explain the Apocalypse, which treats of the Lord's coming the former heaven, the new heaven, and the holy Jerusalem. From these, when they have been read and understood, anyone can see what is meant by the Lord's coming, the new heaven, and the New Jerusalem.