201. (iv) THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD HAS UP TO THE PRESENT BEEN UNKNOWN.
I showed in my book HEAVEN AND HELL (87-105), that every single thing to be found in nature corresponds to something spiritual, and likewise every single part of the human body. But up to the present it has remained unknown what correspondence is. Yet in the most ancient times it was very well known; for those who lived at that period regarded the knowledge of correspondences as the outstanding science, and it was so universally known that all their documents and books were written by means of correspondences. The book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient Church, is full of correspondences The hieroglyphic writings of the Egyptians, as well as the myths of the most ancient peoples, were nothing else. All the ancient churches served to represent spiritual ideas; their rites and the rules which governed the establishment of their modes of worship were made up of nothing but correspondences. The same is true of all the details of the church among the Children of Israel. Their burnt offerings, sacrifices, sacrificial cakes and libations in all their particulars had meaning as correspondences; likewise the tabernacle and all its contents, as well as their festivals, such as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles and the feast of first-fruits, and also the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, together with their holy vestments. I have shown in ARCANA CAELESTIA (published in London) what were the spiritual ideas to which all these things correspond. In addition to these, all the laws and judgments governing their worship and way of life had meaning as correspondences. Now since Divine ideas are presented in the world as correspondences, this and no other is the way the Word was written. Therefore the Lord, since He spoke from the Divine, spoke in correspondences. For whatever is Divine descends at the natural level into the kind of things which correspond to Divine ones, and then contain in their inmost the Divine things called celestial and spiritual.