In a sequential arrangement, the first level is the highest and the third the lowest, while in a simultaneous arrangement, the first level is the center and the third level is the circumference. There is a sequential arrangement and a simultaneous one. The sequential arrangement of these levels is from highest to lowest or from top to bottom. This is the arrangement of the angelic heavens, with the third heaven as the highest, the second in between, and the first as the lowest. These are their relative locations.
The same sequential arrangement applies to states of love and wisdom among angels in heaven, to warmth and light, and to spiritual atmospheres. The same arrangement applies to all the processes of perfection of events and forms there.
When the vertical or distinct levels are in this sequential arrangement, they are like a tower divided into three floors so that one can go up or down. The most perfect and lovely things are on the top floor, less perfect and lovely things on the middle floor, and still less perfect and lovely things on the lowest floor.
In a simultaneous arrangement of the same levels, though, it looks different. Then the highest elements of the sequential arrangement—as I have mentioned, the most perfect and lovely ones—are in the center, the lower ones in an intermediate region, and the lowest on the outside. It is as though there were a solid object made up of these three levels with the finest substances in the middle or center, less fine particles around that, and on the outside, forming a kind of envelope, parts composed of these and therefore coarsest. It is as though the tower we were talking about had settled into a plane, with the top floor becoming the center, the middle floor an intermediate region, and the lowest floor the outside.
Since the highest thing in sequential arrangement is the central thing in simultaneous arrangement and the lowest is the outermost, “higher” in the Word means more internal and “lower” means more external. The same holds for “upward” and “downward” and for “high” and “low.”
In every final form there are distinct levels in simultaneous arrangement. This is the arrangement of the motor fibers in every muscle, the fibers in every nerve, the fibers and tiny vessels in all our viscera and organs. At the heart of each are the simplest and most perfect substances, while the outside is formed from their compounds.
The same arrangement of these levels is found in every seed, every fruit, even in every metal and rock. This is the nature of the parts that constitute their totality. Their central, intermediate, and outermost parts are on these levels, and they themselves are successive compounds, aggregates, or masses of these simple components that are their primary substances and materials.
In short, there are levels like this in every final form and therefore in every effect, since every final form consists of antecedents that in turn consist of things primary to them. Likewise every result comes from a means and every means from a purpose, the purpose being the whole essence of the means and the means the whole essence of the result, as I have just explained. Further, the purpose constitutes the center, the means the intermediate, and the result the final outcome.
The same holds for levels of love and wisdom, warmth and light, and for the organized forms of feelings and thoughts within us. I have discussed the sequence of these levels in sequential and simultaneous arrangements in Sacred Scripture §38 and elsewhere, showing that there are similar levels in all the details of the Word.
from Regeneration, Pages 91-93