266. (1) An evil person possesses these two faculties just as much as a good one. We showed in a previous discussion that the natural mind can be elevated in respect to the intellect even to the light in which angels of the third heaven dwell, and can see truths, acknowledge them, and afterward express them in speech. It is apparent from this that because the natural mind can be thus elevated, an evil person possesses that faculty which is called rationality just as much as a good person. And because his natural mind can be elevated to such a point, it follows that an evil person can also think and speak truths. The fact that an evil person can moreover will and do those truths, even though he does not will and do them, is attested by reason and experience. Reason sees that anyone can will and do what he thinks. Who cannot? The fact that he does not will and do it is because he has no love to will and do it. This ability to will and do is freedom, which every person has from the Lord. But a person's not willing and doing good when he can is owing to a love of evil that fights against it-a love which he can nevertheless resist, and which many also do resist.  Experience in the spiritual world has several times confirmed this. I have listened to evil spirits who inwardly were devils, and who in the world had rejected the truths of heaven and the church. When the glory that surrounds their every love like the blaze of a fire stirred their affection to know, an affection which every person has from childhood, they then perceived secrets of angelic wisdom just as well as good spirits did who inwardly were angels. In fact, those diabolical spirits said that they could even will and do in accordance with what they perceived, but that they did not want to. When I told them that they might will those things if they would only refrain from evils as being sins, they said that they could do this, too, but that they did not want to. It was apparent from this that evil people possess the faculty which is called freedom just as much as good people. Let everyone consider it in his own case, and he will observe that it is so. A person has the ability to will because the Lord from whom that faculty comes continually gives him the ability to. For, as we said above, the Lord dwells in every person in these two faculties, thus in the faculty or power of being able to will. As regards the faculty of understanding called rationality, this is not possible in a person before his natural mind reaches maturity. In the meantime it is like a seed in unripe fruit, which cannot open in the earth and grow into a bush. Neither is this faculty possible in the sort of people mentioned above in no. 259.