5893. 'There have been two years of famine in the midst of the land' means statesa when there is a lack of good in the natural mind. This is clear from the meaning of 'years' as states, dealt with in 487, 488, 493, 893; from the meaning of 'famine' as a lack of good (for 'bread' in the spiritual sense is the good of love, and 'food' is the good of truth, so that 'famine' or 'hunger' is a lack of good, while 'thirst' is a lack of truth); and from the meaning of 'in the midst of the land' - the land of Egypt - as the natural mind, dealt with in 5276, 5278, 5280, 5288, 5301. The expression 'in the midst' is used because the midst or middle is the inmost part, 1074, 2940, 2973. Where good resides. 'Two years' are states when good and truth exist joined together, since 'two' means a joining together, 5194; but in the present use of the expression a joining together that has not yet been effected is meant since they are 'two years of famine'.
 The implications of this are as follows: Truths must be present in the natural mind if good is to do its work, and those truths must be brought into it through an affection belonging to genuine love. Everything without exception in a person's memory has been brought into it through some love, and having become joined to that love remains in the memory. This also applies to the truths of faith; if they have been brought in through a love of truth, those truths become joined to and remain there with that love. Once they have become joined to it the following is then the situation: If the affection is evoked again, the truths that have been joined to it reappear at the same time; and if the truths are evoked again, the affection to which they have been joined reappears at the same time. This being so, when a person is being regenerated - which happens in adult life because he is unable before this to think for himself about the truths of faith - he is governed by angels sent by the Lord. They govern him by maintaining in him the truths which he has become convinced are truths, and by maintaining in him through those truths the affection to which they have been joined. And because that affection - an affection for truth - has its origin in good, he is then led step by step towards good.
 A considerable amount of experience has proved the truth of this to me. For I have noticed that when evil spirits have thrust evils and falsities at me, the angels from the Lord present at the time have maintained in me the truths implanted in me previously and have thereby withheld me from those evils and falsities. From this it has also been evident that the truths of faith which, through an affection for truth, have become rooted in me serve as a level into which angels can operate, so that people who do not have this level laid down in them cannot be led by angels but allow themselves to be led by hell. For without it the operation of the angels cannot become established anywhere and so passes away from them. That level for angels to operate into cannot however be acquired unless the truths of faith have been put into service and thus have been implanted in the person's will and through this in his life. It is also worth mentioning that when the operation of the angels into the truths of faith present with a person takes place, it is rarely plain to see, that is to say, so plain that thought about the truth operated into is aroused. Rather, a general notion of things in keeping with that truth, and the affection that goes with it, is produced. For that operation by the angels is effected by means of an imperceptible inflowing which, when a visual presentation of it is made, looks like an inflowing beam of light. That light is made up of countless truths present within good which focus on one particular truth known by a person and which, while they sustain the truth in him, also sustain the love that belongs to that truth. This is the way the angels raise a person's mind above falsities and protect it from evils. Yet the person is totally unaware of any of this.