(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 565

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565. There shall now be given a brief description of the merely natural-rational and moral man, who viewed in himself is sensual, and if he goes on, becomes corporeal or fleshly; but the description shall be sketched in separate statements.
The sensual is the outmost of the life of man's mind, adherent to and coherent with his five bodily senses.
He is called a sensual man who judges of everything from the bodily senses, and believes nothing but what he can see with his eyes and touch with his hands, calling that something real, and rejecting everything else.
The interiors of his mind, which have their vision from the light of heaven, are closed, so that he sees nothing of the truth that relates to heaven and the church.
Such a man thinks in outermosts, and not interiorly from any spiritual light, because he is in gross natural light; therefore he is interiorly opposed to the things that pertain to heaven and the church, although outwardly he can speak in favor of them, even zealously, in proportion to his hope of gaining power and wealth by means of them.
Men of learning and erudition, who have confirmed themselves deeply in falsities, and still more those who have confirmed themselves against the truths of the Word, are more sensual than others.
[2] Sensual men reason acutely and skillfully, because their thought is so near to speech as to be almost in it, as it were, on the lips; also because they ascribe all intelligence to the speech that is from memory alone. Moreover, they can dexterously confirm falsities, and after confirming them they believe them to be true; but their reasoning and confirmation are from the fallacies of the senses, which captivate and persuade the common people.
Sensual men are more cunning and malicious than others.
The avaricious, adulterous, and crafty are especially sensual, although to the world they seem talented.
The interiors of their minds are vile and filthy; by these they communicate with the hells; in the Word they are called dead.
Those who are in the hells are sensual, and more so the more deeply they are in them; and the sphere of infernal spirits conjoins itself from behind with man's sensual. In the light of heaven their occiput seems hollow.
Those who reasoned from sensual things only, were called by the ancients serpents of the tree of knowledge.
[3] Sensual things ought to occupy the last place, not the first; and in a wise and intelligent man they do occupy the last place, and are subordinate to things interior; but in a foolish man they occupy the first place, and are predominant.
When things sensual occupy the last place, a way is opened by means of them to the understanding, and truths are perfected by the method of extraction.
Such sensual things stand most near to the world, and admit what flows to them from the world, and, as it were, sift it.
By means of sensual things man communicates with the world, and by means of rational things with heaven.
Sensual things supply what is of service to the interiors of the mind.
There are sensual things that supply what is serviceable both to the intellectual and to the voluntary part.
Unless thought is raised above sensual things man has but little wisdom. When man's thought is raised above sensual things, he comes into a clearer light, and at length into heavenly light, and then he has a perception of such things as flow down from heaven.
The outmost of the understanding is the natural knowing faculty, and the outmost of the will is sensual delight.


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