The Third Round: What does the natural, spiritual and celestial sense of the Word look like for us?

The Natural Sense is the Container

Doctrine of Sacred Scripture 28… every Divine work is complete and perfect in its last; and also that the whole is in the last, which is a trine, because the prior things are simultaneously therein.

27. III. The sense of the Letter of the Word is the basis, the containant and the support of the spiritual and celestial senses.In every Divine work there is a first, a middle and a last; the first passes through the middle to the last, and so exists and subsists; consequently, the last is the basis. Again, the first is in the middle, and by means of the middle in the last, and thus the last is the containant; and because the last is the containant and the basis, it is also the support.

The Three Senses

37 …The Word, in its sense of the Letter, is in its fulness, its sanctity, and its power, because the two prior or interior senses, called the spiritual and the celestial, are simultaneously in the natural sense, which is the sense of the Letter

31… there are three senses in the Word; also, that the celestial sense is its first sense, the spiritual its middle sense, and the natural its last or lowest sense. Hence, the rational man may conclude that the first of the Word or the celestial, passes through its middle or the spiritual, to its last or the natural; and that thus its last is the basis. Also, that its first or the celestial is in its middle or the spiritual, and by means of this is in its last or the natural; and consequently that its last or the natural, which is the sense of the Letter of the Word, is the containant; and because it is the containant and the basis, it is also the support.

32…the Word, which is an essentially Divine Work designed for the salvation of the human race, as to its lowest or natural sense, called the sense of the Letter, is the basis, the containant and the support of the two interior senses.

Like a palace without a foundation (or temple, tabernacle, human body, heart & lungs without …)

33. From this it follows that the Word without the sense of its Letter would be like a palace without a foundation, a palace in the air instead of on the ground, a mere shadow which would vanish away. Again, it would be like a temple, containing many sacred things, whose central shrine had no protecting roof or dividing wall, which are its containants. If these were wanting, or were taken away, its holy things would be carried off by robbers, and violated by the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air, and thus destroyed. It would be like the tabernacle (in the inmost of which was the Ark of the Covenant, and in the centre the golden lampstand, the golden altar upon which was the incense, and the table upon which was the shewbread, which were its holy things) without its outermost things, namely, the curtains and the veils. Indeed, the Word without the sense of its Letter would be like the human body without its coverings, called skins, and without the support of its bones: without these all the inward parts would fall asunder. It would also be like the heart and lungs in the thorax without their covering, called the pleura, and their supports, called the ribs; and like the brain without its covering, called the dura mater, and without its general covering, containant, and support called the skull. Thus would it be with the Word without the sense of its Letter. Therefore, it is said in Isaiah that Jehovah will create upon all the glory a covering. Isaiah 4:5.

Unveiled or naked goods and truths

40. The truths of the sense of the Letter of the Word are, in some cases, not naked truths, but appearances of truth, being, as it were, similitudes and comparisons taken from such things as are in nature, accommodated and adequate to the apprehension of simple people and children; but because they are correspondences, they are the receptacles and abodes of genuine truth. They are like vessels which enclose and contain, as a crystal cup holds noble wine, or a silver dish nourishing food. They are like garments which serve as clothing, like swaddling clothes for an infant, and comely robes for a maiden. They are also like the knowledge of the natural man, which comprises the perceptions and affections of truth of the spiritual man. The truths themselves unveiled, which are included, contained, clothed and comprised, are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and goods unveiled are in its celestial sense.

The basis for which enlightenment is possible

41…those who believe that the Word is of this nature by virtue of its spiritual and celestial senses, see Divine truths in natural light, while they read the Word in a state of enlightenment from the Lord. For the light of heaven, in which is the spiritual sense of the Word, flows into the natural light in which is the sense of the Letter of the Word, and enlightens man’s intellectual faculty, called the rational, enabling him to see and acknowledge Divine truths, both when they are manifest and when they are concealed.

42. Our Word in its inmost depths is from its celestial sense like a gentle flame which burns, and in its middle recesses is from its spiritual sense like a light which illumines; consequently the Word in its ultimate form from its natural sense, within which are the two interior senses, is like a ruby and a diamond; from its celestial flame like a ruby, and from its spiritual light like a diamond. Since this is the nature of the Word in the sense of the Letter from its transparency, therefore, the Word in this sense is meant by the following:

(1) The foundations of the wall of Jerusalem.

(2) The Urim and Thummim on Aaron’s ephod.

(3) The Garden of Eden, in which the king of Tyre had been.

(4) Also the curtains and veils of the Tabernacle.

(5) And the external things of the Temple at Jerusalem.

(6) But in its glory, the Lord when He was transfigured.

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.
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