261. It can be seen from this that if the spiritual mind has been closed, the natural mind continually acts in opposition to matters connected with the spiritual mind, fearing that something may flow in from it to disturb its states. Everything that flows in through the spiritual mind comes from heaven, for the spiritual mind is in its form a heaven; and everything that flows into the natural mind comes from the natural world, for the natural mind is in its form such a world. It follows, therefore, that when the spiritual mind has been closed, the natural mind reacts in opposition to all matters connected with heaven, and does not permit them to enter into it except to the extent that they serve it as means to its acquiring and possessing matters connected with the world. And when matters connected with heaven serve the natural mind as means to its own ends, then even though those means appear heavenly, still they become natural. For the end gives them their quality. Indeed, they become like the forms of knowledge proper to the natural self, which have within them no element of life. Nevertheless, because heavenly matters cannot be joined to natural matters so as to operate in harmony with them, they therefore separate themselves, and heavenly matters in merely natural people place themselves round about in the periphery surrounding the natural matters that lie within. It is owing to this that a merely natural person can speak and preach heavenly things, and also make a pretense of them in his actions, even though he inwardly thinks in opposition to them. He does the latter when he is alone, but the former when he is in the company of others. But more on this subject in subsequent discussions.