Because we are born into merely natural life by our parents, we need to be born again into spiritual life by the Lord. The process of regeneration is the series of steps used by the Lord to recreate us as angels. This is accomplished by inverting the structure of our minds from hellish disarrangement to heavenly order. Since our spiritual inheritance is nothing but evil, we all start out with our external self dominating our internal self and with the loves of self and the world ruling over our life. The end of regeneration is to compel the external self to serve the internal self and to install love to the Lord and charity as ruling loves.
From our point of view, regeneration is about four steps: learning truth, thinking truth, willing truth, and living truth. But this is only how regeneration appears to proceed to people who have not yet been regenerated. In reality, the Lord regenerates people by means of good, not truth. Though truth appears to be necessarily prior to good because it acts as a container for good, truth can only be possessed when it is implanted into good in the first place. In this way, good is the first and last of regeneration.
Also from our point of view, the focus of regeneration is the external and natural self. This perspective come from the fact that we are conscious in the external self and rarely have the opportunity to notice spiritual things. And though in reality regeneration takes place from the top down, starting with the internal self and only regenerating the external self by means of the internal self, this perspective is useful because it allows us to freely choose to be regenerated by the Lord by choosing to do the work of repentance. This perspective was taught by the Lord when He washed the disciples feet, saying in John 13:9 “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean.”