Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2473

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2473. The interior memory is immensely superior to the exterior, as several myriads are to one, or as light is to darkness; for myriads of ideas belonging to the interior memory flow into just one belonging to the exterior memory where they manifest something general and obscure. Consequently all the capabilities which spirits possess, more so which angels possess, are present with them to a more perfect degree, that is to say, both their feelings and also their thoughts and perceptions. Just how superior the character of the interior memory is to the exterior may become clear from examples: When any individual calls somebody else to mind, friend or foe, whose character he has come to know from associating with him over the years, his thought of that person presents itself as one obscure image, the reason being that this is formed from the exterior memory. But when the same individual has become a spirit and calls that person to mind his thought of him presents itself as to all the ideas he has ever gained concerning him, the reason being that this image is formed from the interior memory. So it is with everything else; the thing itself about which someone knows much presents itself in the exterior memory as one general whole, but in the interior memory as to the individual details of which he has ever gained some idea concerning that thing, and these present themselves in wonderful array.

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