We can tell from this sample that people who know nothing about distinct or vertical levels cannot know anything about our state when it comes to reformation and regeneration, processes that are effected by our acceptance of love and wisdom from the Lord and a consequent opening of the deeper levels of our minds in due sequence. They cannot know, either, about the inflow through the heavens from the Lord or about the design into which they themselves were created. Anyone who ponders these subjects on the basis of gradual or horizontal levels rather than distinct or vertical ones can see them only in terms of effects and not at all in terms of causes. Seeing things solely in terms of effects is basing thought on illusions, which leads to one error after another. By inductive reasoning we can multiply these errors so much that ultimately grotesque distortions are labeled truths.
I am not aware that anything about distinct or vertical levels has yet come to people’s attention—only things about gradual or horizontal levels. Yet nothing about causes can come to light in truth without familiarity with both kinds of level. That is why this whole part is devoted to this subject. After all, the purpose of this modest work is to uncover causes and to see effects on that basis, thereby dispelling the darkness that envelops people in the church concerning God, the Lord, and the divine matters in general that we refer to as “spiritual.”
This I can relate, that angels are struck with sorrow at the darkness on earth. They say that they hardly see any light anywhere and that people are latching onto illusions and “proving”them so that they pile distortion on distortion. In order to prove their distortions, they use reasoning based on illusions and on distorted truths to investigate things that cannot be cleared up because of the darkness that surrounds causes and because of their ignorance of truths. Angels expressed the greatest grief over their “proof”of faith separated from charity and over justification by faith, as well as over [mistaken] concepts of God, angels, and spirits, and over ignorance of the nature of love and wisdom.
from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 187, 188