340. (3) There is a continual influx from the spiritual world into the natural world. If one is unaware of the existence of the spiritual world, and does not know that it is distinct from the natural world as something prior is from something subsequent, or as a cause is from the effect caused, he cannot know anything about this influx. It is owing to this that people who have written about the origin of plants and animals have only been able to trace that origin from nature. Or if they have traced it from God, they have supposed that God imparted to nature from the beginning the power to produce such forms. They have done this in ignorance of the fact that nature has not been endowed with any power; for it is lifeless, and contributes no more to the production of these forms than a tool in the work of a craftsman, which to act must continually be wielded. It is something spiritual, something which takes its origin from the sun where the Lord is and descends to the outmost elements of nature, which produces the forms of plants and animals and creates the marvels that exist in both, filling them with substances from the earth so that those forms remain fixed and constant. Because we now know of the existence of the spiritual world, and know that anything spiritual comes from the sun where the Lord is and which emanates from the Lord, and that it is this which impels nature to act, as something living does something lifeless, moreover that forms of a like character exist in that world as in the natural world, it can be seen that plant and animal forms have sprung and continue perpetually to spring from no other origin than the Lord through that world-thus that there is a continual influx from the spiritual world into the natural world. The reality of this will be attested by a number of evidences of it presented in the next discussion. The production of harmful forms on the earth by an influx from hell is due to the same law of permission that allows the underlying evils themselves to flow in from there in people (a law that we will speak about in Angelic Wisdom Regarding Divine Providence).