There are spirits who do not desire to hear anything about the interior things of the Word; and even should they understand them, they are still unwilling. They are chiefly those who have placed merit in works, and who therefore have done goods from the love of self and of the world, or for the sake of the rank or wealth to be gained for themselves, and the consequent reputation, thus not for the sake of the Lord’s kingdom. In the other life such desire more than others to enter heaven; but they remain outside of it; for they are unwilling to be imbued with the knowledges of truth, and thereby to be affected with good. They interpret the meaning of the Word from the letter according to their fancies, and by advancing whatever favors their cupidities with its approval.
Such were represented by an old woman who had a face not comely, but of even snowy paleness, with irregular features [cui inerant inordinata], which made her ugly. But those who admit and love the interior things of the Word, were represented by a girl in early maidenhood, or in the flower of youth, handsomely dressed, and adorned with garlands and heavenly ornaments.
I have conversed with certain spirits concerning the Word, saying that it has been necessary that of the Lord’s Divine Providence some revelation should come into existence, for a revelation or Word is the general recipient vessel of spiritual and celestial things, thus conjoining heaven and earth; and that without it they would have been disjoined, and the human race would have perished. And besides it is necessary that there should be heavenly truths somewhere, by which man may be instructed, because he was born for heavenly things, and, after the life of the body, ought to come among those who are heavenly; for the truths of faith are the laws of order in the kingdom in which he is to live forever.
from Arcana Coelestia, Sections 1774-1775