In heaven and in the world we find sequential arrangement and simultaneous arrangement. In sequential arrangement, one thing replaces and follows another, from the highest to the lowest. In simultaneous arrangement, though, one thing adjoins another, from the innermost to the outermost. The sequential arrangement is like a column with steps from top to bottom, while the simultaneous arrangement is like a composite object that forms a series of concentric circles [that radiate] from its center to its outer surfaces.
Next I need to explain how the sequential arrangement comes to be simultaneous arrangement on the outermost level. It comes about like this. The highest elements of the sequential arrangement become the innermost elements of simultaneous arrangement, and the lowest elements of the sequential arrangement become the outermost elements of the simultaneous arrangement. It is as though the column of steps collapsed and became a tightly fitted body on one level.
That is how sequential becomes the simultaneous; and this holds for absolutely everything in the earthly world and absolutely everything in the spiritual world, since there is something first, something intermediate, and something last everywhere, and what is first stretches toward its final form, passing through what is intermediate to reach it.
Now fort the Word. What is heavenly, what is spiritual, and what is earthly emanate from the Lord sequentially, and they exist on the last level in a simultaneous arrangement. This means that now the heavenly and spiritual meanings of the Word are together within its earthly meaning.
Once this is grasped, we can see how the earthly meaning of the Word, which is its literal meaning, is foundation, container, and support of its spiritual and heavenly meanings, and how divine goodness and divine truth are present in their fullness, holiness, and power in the literal meaning of the Word.
from Sacred Scripture: White Horse, Section 38