1. Five Memorable Relations
The Quality of the Merely Natural Man
Once, from the desire of knowing the quality of the mind of the merely natural man, I looked up into heaven, and besought this knowledge from the Lord. The reason was that I had heard a most distinguished natural man, saying that he could see, understand, and perceive many things just as rationally as they who are called spiritual, and thence angels of heaven; and he added to what he had said, "Has not each one a like rationality? What makes the difference except a frivolous opinion?" Suddenly then a certain satan ascended from the hells. Satans are all merely natural and can ratiocinate skillfully, but from the fallacies of the senses; wherefore they see falsities as truths; for all falsities derive their origin from those fallacies. When he came in sight he appeared at first with a bright and living face, afterwards with a face deathly pale, finally with an infernal black face. I asked why his face underwent those changes. I received answer from heaven, that such are the successive states of the minds [mens] of those who are merely natural, for faces are types of minds [animus]. The inmost of their minds [mens], because they are infernal, are represented by blackness in the face; the intermediates of their minds by the pallor of death, because they have falsified truths; but the outmosts, by a living whiteness, because while they are in externals, which is while they are in company, they can think, confirm, understand, and teach truths. They have this ability, because rationality is human nature itself, for by it man is man, and is distinguished from beasts. But the rationality with satans is in externals alone; they have none, however, in internals; because in internals reigns the cupidity of adulterating the goods, and of falsifying the truths of the church; and this cupidity inflows into their rationality and overshadows its light, and covers it with thick darkness, so that they do not see anything but falsities in place of verities.