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The Word Has a Spiritual Meaning That Has Not Been Known until Now

Because the Word is divine, it has a spiritual core. When we are told this, surely we all acknowledge it and agree. Up until now, though, has anyone known what that spiritual core is and where it is hidden in the Word? What the spiritual core is, I will show in a memorable occurrence at the end of this chapter.434 Where it lies hidden in the Word, I will explain now.

The Word has a spiritual core because it came down from the Lord Jehovah and passed through the angelic heavens. As the Word came down, the divinity itself, which was originally inexpressible and imperceptible, became adapted to the awareness of angels and, further on, to the awareness of human beings. As a result, the Word has a spiritual meaning that is present within its earthly meaning much the way our soul is present in us, the thoughts of our intellect are present in what we say, and the feelings of our will are present in what we do.

If I may make comparisons with things that appear before our eyes in the physical world, the spiritual meaning is contained in the earthly meaning the way the whole brain is wrapped in its meninges or membranes; or the way the branch of a tree is wrapped in its inner and outer bark; or the way everything necessary for a chick's development is contained within the shell of its egg; and so on.

Until now no one has divined that this type of relationship exists between the Word's spiritual meaning and its earthly meaning. Therefore this secret needs to be made clear to the intellect, because it takes fundamental precedence over all the other secrets I have disclosed until now. It will become clear if it is laid out in the following order:

1. What the spiritual meaning is.

2. There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in every part of it.

3. It is the spiritual meaning that makes the Word divinely inspired and holy in every word.

4. The spiritual meaning has been unknown until now.

5. From this point on, the spiritual meaning will be given only to people who have genuine truths from the Lord.

6. The Word has amazing qualities because of its spiritual meaning.

These points will now be unfolded one by one.

1. What the spiritual meaning is. The spiritual meaning is not the meaning that comes to light from the Word's literal meaning when someone examines and explains the Word in order to support some dogma of the church. That meaning could be called "the literal and ecclesiastical" meaning of the Word. The spiritual meaning is not apparent in the literal meaning. It lies inside it the way our soul is in our body, or our intellect's thoughts are in our eyes, or our feelings of love are in our face.

The spiritual meaning is the primary thing that makes the Word spiritual, not only for people but also for angels. The Word communicates with the heavens through that meaning. Because the Word is inwardly spiritual, it was written entirely in correspondences. Anything that is written in correspondences has an outermost meaning that is written in a style like the one used by the prophets, by the Gospel writers, and in the Book of Revelation. Although that style appears poor, nevertheless it conceals within itself divine wisdom and all angelic wisdom.

For an explanation of correspondence, go to the work Heaven and Hell, published in London in 1758, and look at the treatment of the correspondence of everything in heaven with everything in the human being (§§87-102) and the correspondence of heaven with everything earthly (§§103-115). You will also be able to look more extensively at correspondences in the examples from the Word I am going to present below [§§196-199].

There is a heavenly divine influence, a spiritual divine influence, and an earthly divine influence that emanate from the Lord, one after the other. Whatever emanates from the Lord's divine love is called heavenly divine influence; all of it is good. Whatever emanates from his divine wisdom is called spiritual divine influence; all of it is true. His earthly divine influence comes from the other two influences; it is a combination of them on the lowest level.

The angels of the [Lord's] heavenly kingdom, who constitute the third or highest heaven, are bathed in the divine influence emanating from the Lord that is called heavenly, for they have a love for what is good from the Lord. The angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, who constitute the second or middle heaven, are in the divine influence

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