212. There are three heavens a highest, a middle, and a lowest. The highest heaven forms the Lord's celestial kingdom, the middle His spiritual kingdom, and the lowest heaven His natural kingdom. As there are three heavens so there are three senses of the Word, a celestial, a spiritual, and a natural; and this agrees with what has been said above (n. 210), namely, that the first is in the middle and through the middle in the last, precisely as the end is in the cause and through the cause in the effect. This makes clear the nature of the Word, namely, that in the sense of its letter, which is natural, there is an inner sense which is spiritual, and in this an inmost sense which is celestial; and thus that the outmost sense, which is natural and is called the sense of the letter, is the containant, and thus the basis and support of the two interior senses.