The scientific knowledge of God extracted from Sacred Scriptures. The immortality of human beings. Mental anatomy. Spiritual biology. Conjugial love. Heaven and hell. The unity model of marriage. The spiritual meaning of pop songs. The Writings of Swedenborg.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
by Leon James
The Scientific Meaning of Christmas
188.8.131.52.1 The Incarnation Event: God Enters the World of History and Science
About two thousand years ago an extraordinary and totally unique event took place that altered the course of human evolution in a fundamental way that is only now being discovered by science. The Universal God the Divine Human, Creator and Manager of the universe, entered history and science by the Incarnation Event (see entry for Incarnation Event in the Subject Index in Volume 18).
This event had been foretold in the most ancient Sacred Scriptures (see Section xx).
The ancient prophecy was given at the beginning of a phase of human evolution called The Fall (see Section xx). Before this, the celestial human race existed on this earth (see Section xx). At the end of this phase called the Golden Period, the new spiritual phase began on this earth. We are of this race. We are called spiritual in contradistinction to the earlier race called celestial. The human mind was created in three discrete layers -- celestial, spiritual, natural (see Section xx). Hence the evolution of the race must follow the anatomical composition of the human mind. The celestial layer of the human race was evolved, developed, and completed through the lives of the individuals that lived in the early generations on this earth. When the celestial anatomical layer was complete, the celestial race was "consummated" or extinguished. A few "remnants" whose anatomical structures deviated from the norm were the carriers that insured the connection between the extinguished celestial race and the newly beginning spiritual race.
As we are part of the spiritual race we possess a functioning operational celestial layer of our mind even though nothing of its operations is conscious to us. Our celestial mind is above our spiritual mind, a discrete degree within it, and whatever is within or above, is far superior all that is below it. Our celestial mind is far superior to our spiritual mind. But even so, we only become conscious of our spiritual mind after resuscitation (see Section xx). This happens just a few hours after physical death. When we are resuscitated we at first are conscious in our natural mind, which is the layer we know ourselves in everyday life here on earth. This natural layer forms the content of who we know ourselves to be. But shortly thereafter our natural mind begins to fade like a distant memory -- our identity, profession, hobbies, knowledge of history and science -- all of this that is stored up in our natural mind, slowly begins to fade like a distant memory from childhood or some land we once visited.
This happens because the natural mind is totally unsuited for life in eternity which is a mental world without time, space, matter, or sickness and death. Everything now depends on our rational feeling and thinking. What kind of people we are with and what the environment and situation is like, depends entirely on our ruling loves. Not like before on earth out of which the content of the natural mind was formed. Now in eternity the laws that govern reality are purely rational laws. To try to operate with the natural mind after resuscitation doesn't get you anywhere. You have to disregard your identity, your culture, your nominal religion, your citizenship awards, your achievements and reputation -- all of these things are formed in your natural mind and are part of the natural mind. But after resuscitation you are existing in your spiritual mind.
Swedenborg reports that some people he talked to after resuscitation insisted on not letting go of the natural mind. The only way this is possible is to act insane in the spiritual mind, pretending by fantasy that you are still in your natural mind and in your physical body on earth. The result of this spiritual insanity is very sad and frightening. People in this mental state are victims of their own emotions and feelings. In the spiritual mind the environment around you is created by correspondences of your emotions and thoughts. So if you have insane thoughts and emotions in the spiritual world, the things in the environment that you exist in are correspondences to them in the natural world. For instance the intention to rob someone in the spiritual world where you are by misleading them and posing as a friend, immediately causes changes in the environment -- deadly scorpions and poisonous flying snakes appear around you with an ominous darkening of the skies.
However, this direct connection does not occur while you are still in the physical world. But in the spiritual world, the intended victim can immediately recognize the stranger's evil intentions. Nevertheless, some victims in the spiritual world who are also spiritually insane, fantasize something totally different that is going on. And so they fall victim to the machinations of others. And Swedenborg reports that no matter how clever someone is, there is one who is more clever in and endless series of the layer of the human mind called the hells.
Everyone is born into eternity with a permanent and immortal mental body and temporary physical body (see Section xx). After the celestial race was extinguished, as discussed above, what happened to those people who had been celestial and had lived on earth all those generations? Well, they were in the immortal heavens of their mind called the celestial heavens of the most ancient peoples (see Section xx). Swedenborg visited with them in their mental states, seeing the habitations they lived in that corresponded to their feelings and thoughts. So even though the celestial race died out on earth, the people of that race continued to evolve in their celestial heavens.
This fact is of greatest importance for us to understand because our unconscious celestial mind is made up of their celestial heavens. Whatever the mental operations they experience, these are the causes of the operations in our unconscious spiritual mind. And whatever we experience here in our conscious natural mind is a consequence of the operations going on in our spiritual mind, which are connected by correspondence to the celestial mind of those who are in that state. Hence it is that the various distinct layers of the human mind are connected by the laws and operations of correspondence (see Section xx).
The Universal God the Divine Human manages the layers of the human mind through the laws of correspondences. Divine Speech or Divine Truth issues forth from God's mind into the layers of the human mind, first into the inmost or highest layer called celestial heavens, and from there in descends or externalizes by correspondence into the spiritual layer of our mind, and from there by correspondence into the conscious natural layer of our mind where it presents itself as Sacred Scripture in a natural historical language. This process of the sequence of correspondences initiated by Divine Speech is the continuous and permanent method by which God rules the universe (see Section xx).
Until two thousand years ago the long history of evolution of the race on earth was managed by God the Divine Human in this way through correspondences. But there was a creeping mentality of materialism that came about as the natural mind of the human race on earth was becoming more scientific and more rational in consciousness, mentality, and civilization. In order to allow for democratic modernism to evolve on this planet it was necessary to develop the sensuous sub-layer of the natural mind as opposed to its rational layer. The sensuous layer of the natural mind tends to be submerged into materialism to such an extent that we start denying the existence of God or the afterlife of eternity. These concepts require a rational understanding and when people reject rational understanding as not important to them, they lose the ability to comprehend spiritual things like theistic psychology.
So materialism was strengthened while religious ideas and practices became cultural and national expressions rather than spiritual. Once people lost their rational ability to see spiritual truths and realities, they could no longer be conscious or aware of the existence of God and the afterlife. Even those who had religious ideas and practices could not understand Sacred Scripture in a universal scientific or rational sense.
What was God going to do about this? This was a serious situation where the human race could die out so that those who were already in their eternity could also be destroyed since the created order no longer worked to keep all things into one synergistic unit. Of course God had already provided for the solution since the beginning of creation, since to God all things are united into one -- past, present, and all future. The solution had to be such that the natural mind could once more recognize that God exists.
God cannot exist for us in full strength or conjunction unless each individual reciprocates God's love for the individual. We must acknowledge God's love for us or else we cannot closely be conjoined to God. And without this there are consequences. God manages molecules, planets, animals, and all things directly by correspondences which provide for the cause-effect relation between adjacent layers of discrete degrees (see Section xx). God manages human beings in two ways. One is immediately and unconsciously across the layers of the mind. The second is mediately and consciously through the conscious layers of the mind. The celestial race is conscious at the celestial level. The spiritual race is conscious at the natural level prior to resuscitation, and afterwards at the spiritual level. When materialism took hold of the natural mind on earth, God disappeared from conscious awareness of people on earth.
The prior conscious awareness of God was replaced by a blind faith in God.
But a blind faith is not the same as a rational faith based on conscious understanding of God such as we have in theistic psychology. Blind faith only enters the natural layer of the mind. The spiritual layer requires rational faith. So while people on earth had a rational faith in their unconscious celestial and spiritual mind, they only had a blind faith at the conscious natural level.
The only way God could remedy this situation is by entering history and science.
God made Himself be born as a Divine Human Child. This Child was at first not conscious of who He was, namely the Incarnated God in the natural or physical world. God the Divine Human was always both Divine and Human. This is why He created human beings who are in His Image as the Divine Human. So God has always been in the Human Form. However, God's Human Form was a mental body that consisted of a celestial affective organ and a spiritual cognitive organ. The affective organ is in the Human Form and the cognitive organ is in the Human Form. This is therefore also true of us. Our affective and cognitive organs are both in the human form.
However, God did not have a physical body. This was completely unnecessary in the prior generations because people could see spiritually, and therefore they could see God's Human Form replicated in their own mental body. People were able to look upon the human form they had and see God's Human Form. But after the Fall, the spiritual race was no longer able to see God's Human Form in their own body and mind. Whenever God wanted people to have a communicative exchange with Him He would "possess" or take over the conscious mind of an individual in the celestial or spiritual race in their heavens. They were called "angels" when they appeared to people's natural consciousness. God spoke through the angels and everyone could see and hear that.
But once materialism crept into the mind, people were no longer able to even believe that there are angels, let alone see and hear them through their internal mind. In the past God could communicate with people's internal mind and thereby influence them and protect them. But this path of communications was destroyed by materialistic thinking which denied God and taught the negative bias in science. This is what you and I were taught in our generation. Hence we no longer had the ability to hear God, to recognize Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture.
But when God entered the physical world, this suddenly changed. The Divine Child grew into an adult male and He declared Himself to be Divine. God's life on earth as a citizen of a small mid-eastern nation created a historical biography, which makes God's presence on earth a historical fact. This was His mission, to make Himself once more visible to humankind on earth. Now people had a choice as to whether to acknowledge God or not. People did not have that choice before God's Incarnation.
Furthermore, by entering history, God entered science.
It is true that the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture is used as a religion by various groups who disagree with each other on almost everything about God and the afterlife. It is the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture that gives the historical account of God's Incarnation and its details.
Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:
AC 2803. (...) But the Divine Human which was born from eternity was also born
in time; and what was born in time, and glorified, is the same. Hence it is that
the Lord so often said that He was going to the Father who sent Him; that is,
that He was returning to the Father. And in John: [New Testament Sacred
In the beginning was the Word (the "Word" is the Divine Truth
itself), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the
beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not
anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth (John 1:1-3, 14; see also John 3:13; 6:62). (AC 2803)
Doc. Lord 1. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His
glory, the glory as of the
Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and
truth (John 1:14). The light is come into the world and men loved the darkness
rather than the light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). While ye have
the light, believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light. I am come a light
into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in the darkness
(John 12:36, 46).
From these passages [in the New Testament Sacred Scripture] it is evident that the Lord is God from eternity, and that this God is the selfsame Lord who was born in the world; for it is said that the Word was with God, and God was the Word, and also that without Him was not anything made that was made; and it is added that the Word was made flesh, and they beheld Him. (Lord 1)
Here there is an explanation about the New Testament Sacred Scripture saying that "the Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh." The Word" = Divine Truth or Divine Speech = God the Divine Human. "Was made flesh" = incarnation in a physical body on earth. That this was God who incarnated is clear from the statement that "the Word was God' and that the Word was made flesh. Hence it was God who incarnated in a physical body on earth. This is the Divine Child (see Section xx).
TCR 3. (...) Jehovah God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or Good itself and
Truth itself. He came down in the form of Divine Truth, which is the Word and
which was God with God, and took upon Himself human form, so as to reduce to
order everything in heaven, in hell and in the church. For at that time the
power of hell was stronger than the power of heaven, and on earth the power of
evil was stronger than the power of good, so that utter damnation stood
threatening at the gates. This impending damnation was removed by Jehovah God by
means of His Human, which was Divine Truth, and thus angels and men were
redeemed. Afterwards He united in His Human Divine Truth with Divine Good, or
Divine Wisdom with Divine Love, and so returned into the Divinity which was His
from eternity, together with and in His glorified Human. This is the meaning of
the passage in John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
The Word was with God
and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh. John 1:1, 14.
The literal sense of Sacred Scripture is always used by religion, not science. Hence there are disagreements according to culture and interpretation. But the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture reveals its scientific sense, which is universal because it does not mention culture or anything in the natural mind, but only the spiritual and celestial mind. Theistic psychology is based only on the correspondential sense and hence cannot be identified with any religion. The Incarnation Event is therefore not only an religious event but an evolutionary scientific event.
The correspondential sense of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture reveals that the Divine Child created a new layer in His Natural mind that did not exist before in the human race. This new layer is called the spiritual-natural layer or the interior-natural layer. Once this layer was created in the Divine Child's mind, it became available to every human being, past, present, and future. This was the momentous new evolutionary step that was taken by the human race about two thousand years (see Section xx).
From then on we would be able to be consciously aware of spiritual truths. This fact then restored the race to its celestial level, though in a totally different way. Now we would be able to receive a new mind that was not contaminated by inherited evils. This new mind then could form the basis for our heavenly eternity. This new mind was constructed within our natural mind, so that we could be conscious of it. But this ability would be dependent on our regeneration. Only when we are willing to undergo character reformation, can we see anything with this new spiritual-natural capacity (see Section xx). This requires the positive bias and theistic psychology.
There remains a logical puzzle about the Incarnation Event. The New Testament Sacred Scripture records few biographical facts about God's life on earth as a citizen of the Ancient Holy Land. Almost all the facts reported about Him are external, belonging to His social and political life. Almost nothing is recorded about His state of mind, what He thought of as a Divine Man on earth, or what He was busy doing in the universe while He was growing up as a Divine Child. But these biographical facts about God's inner life while on earth are revealed in the correspondential sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, written hundreds of years prior to the Incarnation Event! For instance, the Psalms of David, one of the Books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, records the thoughts and feelings that King David had when he was stressed under attack from his political enemies from whom he was forced to flee for awhile.
By Divine Providence David was allowed to think, compose, and write down only those thoughts and emotions, that corresponded to what the Divine Child would undergo mentally when stressed under the attack of the hells. And similarly with the histories of the the patriarchs and their families that make up a large portion of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. Every recorded detail fits by correspondence all the developmental stages that the Divine Child went through in order to create the new human organ called the interior-natural organ within the conscious natural mind (see Section xx). This new creation was one of the central purposes for God's Incarnation, as explained above.
So we have all these biographical details of the thoughts and feelings of the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event. So the puzzle is this: What explains the strange history of God, portrayed as a political problem to the authorities of the land and was put to death by them at age 33? What happened to God on earth so that these events could befall Him? After all He was God, and so He was still omnipotent and running all things in the universe. He was of course running the details of His Own Incarnation. He was running the minds of the authorities who tried and condemned Him, and He was running the Roman soldiers who executed Him.
After the execution and His death, He caused Himself to be resuscitated in His physical or natural body.
This was a unique event in the history of the human race. God the Divine Human was now equipped with a Natural Body, born and grown on earth in time-space, in history and science. God's relationship to the human race took a whole new turn, that was not possible before. Now God could be seen in the conscious awareness of the natural mind. It is easy to picture and see in one's mind the event of God as a Man with a Natural Body, a Face, Hands, Feet, Heart, Lungs, Liver, etc. God was always in the Human Form, as explained above, but now in addition to the mental human form, God acquired the natural human form.
Note carefully this detail: human beings do not resuscitate in the physical body.
We resuscitate in the mental body in the afterlife of eternity (see Section xx). The physical body or corpse, disintegrates. But with Himself, God caused His resuscitation with the physical body. Swedenborg confirms that He often saw God's Natural Body in eternity , and in fact, we will all be able to confirm this with our own observation when we are resuscitated. All those who were in their heaven in eternity could also see God's Natural Body there.
God's Natural Body in eternity is not physical but substantial. This is described and explained under the topic of "glorification" (see Section xx).
Note that without the idea of God's Natural Body born on this earth it is not possible to picture God in any way since He is infinite and we cannot picture something that is not in the human form. The religions based on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, including the Koran Sacred Scripture, created the rule that it is not permitted to picture God in human form. And this is understandable for it is not possible to picture an infinite God who is not in the human form. Now if you allow the Incarnation Event as part of theistic psychology, it is permitted to picture God in the human form. Now we know what God looks like in the Natural Form, namely like we do. And this is why it is said in Sacred Scripture that we were created in God's Image and Likeness.
So by creating a Natural Body for Himself God changed His relationship to the human race. In this way He repaired the loss suffered by the race called the Fall (see above). The race had already completed the celestial and spiritual layers of the mental world of eternity, and now it was necessary to complete the last layer called the spiritual-natural or interior-natural layer of the mental world. This required that God obtain for Himself a Natural Body on earth.
The sad and ignominious details of God's short life on earth was constructed by God for the sake of correspondences. In Sacred Scripture God's incarnation is called "the Word made flesh" (as discussed above). He is Divine Speech, He is Divine Truth, He is Sacred Scripture or "the Word." Written Sacred Scripture had been given to people since the Fall, but with the rise of materialistic thinking people lost the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture and interpreted all its meanings with materialistic ideas. For instance, they pictured the afterlife as happening here in the physical world. They rejected the idea of an afterlife in mental eternity. They could not comprehend such a thing.
As a result, they reinterpreted Sacred Scripture to suit their pet philosophies and political lifestyles. Hence Sacred Scripture lost all its spiritual value and it became useless for the purpose of preparing oneself for a life in eternity. In other words, they "killed the Word." Since God was "the Word" or Sacred Scripture, He enacted in physical life by correspondence, what people had done to Sacred Scripture over the generations. They perverted Sacred Scripture for their political gain, thus killing God in their own mind. When God incarnated, He created those details in His biography on earth that corresponded and represented the details of how Sacred Scripture was killed in the minds of people.
Henceforth people would no longer be able to kill Sacred Scripture in their mind because it is now known in history and science that God is a Man, and that His Divine Speech is Sacred Scripture. The human race is now on a permanent rise in evolution so that any individual regardless of cultural or religious background, can have a living relationship with God the Divine Human born on this earth. In theistic psychology this living relationship is called the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx).
It is important to have a rational understanding of God (see Section xx). This understanding requires knowing about correspondences, that is, knowing how God has formed all things in discrete non-overlapping layers of existence. The only connection between the layers is that they operate together by correspondences. The layers have no independent existence of functioning. It is that the human mind, or the world of eternity, was created by God in corresponding layers so that all the layers react to each other as cause and effect. In this way the entire creation is held together as one in God's Mind.
Further, you need to remember the distinction between "God as He is in Himself" and "God as He is Outside of Himself" (see Section xx). God as He is in Himself is changeless from eternity to eternity, is infinite, incomprehensible, and cannot be approached directly. Because of this, God created the mental world of eternity, and then the physical world of time linked to it by correspondences. God's creative activities are rational and developmental. When the human mental world evolved sufficiently in the course of numerous generations, it reached a phase where God could reveal Himself in a Natural Body taken up from earth. So God made Himself be born a Divine Child in the land that had been entrusted by Him centuries before, to study and protect the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. This Sacred Scripture was a theistic psychology textbook on what the Divine Child is going to do, what thoughts He is going to have, and how He is going to change the psychobiology of the mental world in eternity. Every human being past, present, and future will therefore be directly affected by this change.
God's Natural Body is Divine because it is made of Divine substances. All the substances of earth or matter that formed His inherited physical body had been replaced by the death and resurrection process. Now God had a Divine Natural Body along with His Divine Natural Mind He constructed for Himself on earth. This is the Body that can now be seen by anyone from the spiritual and celestial layers of their mind (see Section xx).
But it is necessary to think of this Natural Body as Divine, and therefore infinite. This is a difficult idea to comprehend rationally and without the idea of space, time, or place (see Section xx).
God's Natural Body can be seen by anyone, regardless of where they are or which way they turn. Swedenborg confirmed this amazing phenomenon. He observed with the people who live in the third heaven or celestial mind, that whichever way they turn or face, the Spiritual Sun in which God's Natural Body appears, remains in front of them at the same altitude of height on the horizon, and, equally brilliant in light. God can now appear in this Natural Body in every individual's mind. This is why the Incarnation Event had to happen. This Divine Human Natural Body is in every place but apart from space (see Section xx). It is therefore omnipresent. That is, God the Divine Human is omnipresent and omnipotent in this Divine Human Natural Body.
184.108.40.206.1.1 Completion of the Creation of the Human Race
The Writings Sacred Scripture reveal many historical and scientific details about the earlier stage of evolution of the human race called the celestial race (or "Most Ancient Church"). We are part of the subsequent phase of evolution called the spiritual race, that started with "the Fall." Compared to the celestial human race we are called a "fall" because the spiritual character is lower than the celestial character in the human mind. When our consciousness is in the celestial mind, our human potentials are incomparably greater and more wonderful, than the potentials we have in the spiritual layer of our mind. Right now, in the consciousness of our natural mind here on earth, we function incomparably lower in potential than we do in our spiritual mind.
Nevertheless there is an immense difference between the natural mind when it is ordered by the celestial mind, in comparison to the natural mind when it is ordered by the spiritual mind.
With the generations of the celestial race on earth, the natural mind was the foundation and basis for the celestial mind. When this is the case, the natural mind is angelic and the physical environment on earth is a paradise, since the physical is a reflection of the mental. In the course of time and further evolutionary changes, this celestial human race died out on earth, though not of course in their eternal habitations in heaven, where they were visited by Swedenborg in the eighteenth century. But after the Fall, the spiritual race began out of a few transitional people from the celestial race.
With the Fall, paradise earth started changing to reflect the mental character of the spiritual race. You know what that character is, since we are part of that spiritual race of humanity. We are a mixture of heaven and hell so that we alternate between heavenly traits and hellish traits. For instance, one minute we are happy and having a good time, the next minute someone insults us, and we feel like hell. Or, one minute two people are happy and nice with each other, and the next minute they start disagreeing, fighting, and injuring each other. One minute we steal something when no one is looking, the next minute we buy someone a birthday present. One minute a child is happy, agreeable, cooperative, and the next minute the child is throwing a temper tantrum and breaking things.
So we are a mixture of heaven and hell in our mind while we are here on earth. So now the question arises: How is the spiritual race being regenerated by God so that we can prepare for heaven in eternity? Since we are a mixture of heaven and hell, how do we make sure that heaven prevails, and not hell, when we are resuscitated? This is where the Incarnation Event comes in.
In the era of the celestial race on earth, the environment was a paradise in reflection of the peaceful and spiritual love they all felt for each other as human beings. After the Fall, the spiritual race had a ferocious character when hellish, and a peaceful character when heavenly. To reflect this ambivalence, the physical environment split into diverse zones and climates, some extreme, harsh, and inimical to survival, reflecting the hellish traits, and some favorable and moderate, reflecting the heavenly traits. Poisonous species of animals and plants, and natural disasters reflect the spiritual race's hellish traits. Useful animals and plants, and the beauty of nature, reflect their heavenly traits.
God manages the spiritual race's regeneration on earth by means of Sacred Scripture. Every civilization and tribe in the spiritual race has received some form of oral or written revelation. These revelations contain spiritual truths. When these are memorized and rationally understood, it elevates the mentality and consciousness of the individual. With the reasoning process based on truths from revelation, people of the spiritual race are able to look objectively at their hellish traits, to identify them, to condemn them, to resist them, and finally, to get rid of them so that the hellish traits are no longer loved and enjoyed, but the opposite. This is the sole method by which God regenerates the spiritual race.
This process worked for many generations until people began to deliberately falsify the truths in revelation. They taught the people to acquire a form of relationship to God called blind faith. Instead of studying the sacred texts of revelation, the people turned to interpretations of revelation written by various people who wanted to exploit them for their own gain. As a result, a diverse religious culture of blind faith evolved throughout earth and the rational understanding of God was no longer honored or valued. This brought about an evolutionary crisis in the spiritual race on earth. Because the truths of Sacred Scripture were cut off from the people, they were no longer able to be regenerated by God.
At that point in time, God entered the physical world. The instant that God was born as s Divine Child and citizen of a country on earth, everything about the universe and the human race was forever altered in a most profound way.
Until that instant, no one of the human race, either in eternity or on any of the countless earths in the universe, was able to form a direct substantive idea of God, but only an indirect abstract idea. The instant that the Divine Child was born, everyone in the human race, past and future, would be able to form a direct and substantive idea of God.
The immensity of this difference, achieved in one instant of existence, is somewhat like the difference between a paradisal garden and a burning inferno, or like the difference between a fleet of new cars in perfect running condition and a heap of rusted metals in a cemetery for discarded cars. This immense and incomparable difference is reflected by the human race before the Incarnation Event and the after. It is the difference caused by an indirect abstract idea of God versus a direct substantive idea of God.
How can this be explained?
In its literal sense the Old Testament Sacred Scripture presents an indirect abstract revelation of God, while the New Testament Sacred Scripture presents a direct substantive revelation of God. The collection of sacred books that make up the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were all written hundred of years prior to the Incarnation Event. The collection of sacred books that make up the New Testament Sacred Scripture was written after the Incarnation Event. So you can see why the Old Testament Sacred Scripture must necessarily present an indirect abstract understanding of God, while the New Testament Sacred Scripture is able to present a direct and substantive relationship with God. Even more so, the Writings Sacred Scripture are able to give a substantive view of God because it is written through the mind of Swedenborg, a modern scientist with a modern perspective on the universe. The most advanced and substantive definition of God is possible in theistic psychology, which is based on the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture.
A scientific or rational definition and explanation of God is the most concrete and substantive relationship human beings can have with God.
It took the Incarnation Event 18 centuries to complete itself -- from 1 AD to 1771 AD when the last book of the Writings Sacred Scripture was published by Swedenborg.
It takes some knowledge of mental anatomy and physiology to be able to explain rationally the evolutionary difference between BC and AD dates. The Incarnation Event marks the switch in calendar from "BC" ("Before the Christian Era") to "AD" ("After the Christian Era"). Historically, in the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture, the Incarnation Event is contextualized as a Christian religious event that occurred within the Jewish religion, which for many centuries had had historical possession of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture.
But the Writings Sacred Scripture prove that the correspondential sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture is theistic psychology, and likewise, that the correspondential sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture is the same theistic psychology, continued where the other left off.
By studying theistic psychology you are in fact studying the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture given in prior centuries of revelation.
When the truths of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were falsified, and thus rendered inoperative for regeneration, the New Testament Sacred Scripture was given. Now God was revealed in a different relationship to the human race. Prior to God's embodiment or incarnation, God did not exist on the plane of the natural world, and hence, the natural mind where we are conscious here on earth. This was equally true in the heavenly layers of eternity were countless number of humanity had congregated from the endless earths in the universe (see Section xx). No one in heaven was able to see God!
God did not exist for humanity at the sensorimotor level of perception or visualization. The closest human beings were able to imagine God is to think of God like themselves. Some people imagined that God was an immense giant. Others imagined that God was not localized in one place, so could not be a person like we are. Others were afraid to imagine God because their religious beliefs made it a taboo to try to picture God. All these imagined ideas about God are called abstract because they are not real. They are made up constructions with one's imagination.
What happens when it comes to fighting our hellish traits using as a crutch this abstract, empty conception of God?
For many generations the answer was believed to be offering animal sacrifices to this abstract God, to appease the forces of vengeance for braking the commandments. This was accompanied later with the performance of elaborate worship rituals. Sacrifices and rituals were two ways in which people tried to strengthen their idea and relationship to a silent indivisible God. This was a dangerous God, sometimes vengeful and always scary and unknown and unknowable, hence inapproachable. This was the abstract idea people have of God when it is based solely on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture in its literal sense.
In contrast, the New Testament Sacred Scripture no longer presents an abstract or general idea of an invisible and incomprehensible God, but points the fingerprints and birth certificate of a man, saying this is God. This is the furthest you can be from an abstract idea of God. This is a new reality, a new condition. God has entered history, and therefore science. That God entered history was acknowledged immediately by many h people, but that God entered science had to await the revelations of the Writings Sacred Scripture 18 centuries later. The New Testament Sacred Scripture could not exist without the Incarnation Event since it is the story and explanation of it. The Writings Sacred Scripture could not exist without the New Testament Sacred Scripture and the Old Testament Sacred Scripture since the Writings derive all their topics from the earlier two revelations. The three together, in their correspondential sense, constitute one coherent rational series called theistic psychology.
When we have a substantive idea of God as a real person in history and science, we are prepared to undergo regeneration, thus, preparation for our eternal life in conjugial heaven. God can regenerate us and prepare us for heaven only to the extent that we are willing to cooperate. The psychology of cooperation with God is the most important and critical reason for studying theistic psychology (see Section xx).
God regenerates our character from hellish to heavenly, by arranging our daily life to present particular challenges that we are to handle and overcome. In these challenges we are faced with temptations (see Section xx). People believe that God "tests" them with calamities to strengthen their character and their faith in God. This theme recurs in the literal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. However, in the correspondential sense of these themes, we are actually being informed about how temptations work.
The first step in the process is for God to bring spiritual truths to your attention, expecting you to memorize them, reflect on them, understand them, make them the basis of your thinking and reasoning. This first step is called reformation of your thinking and reasoning with regards to God's role in your daily life. Now you are equipped with spiritual truths that are in your thinking and reasoning.
The second step is for God to bring things to your attention in your willing, thinking, and doing. For instance, you may lose something you are attached to. This suddenly exposes you to the temptation of enjoying and expressing hellish traits: e.g., blaming somebody, breaking something in anger, being in a bad mood and making friends suffer, etc. These are inherited hellish traits that are called forth from your character. God arranges for these types of experiential challenges on a minute by minute basis, or a second by second basis, from your birth to your endless eternity.
The third step is for you to face the temptation with the spiritual truths already in your understanding and reasoning process from step 1. You have to talk yourself so that you are willing to inhibit the hellish reactions because they are contrary to your heaven in eternity.
The fourth step is for God to immediately remove the challenge. You suddenly realize that you have victory in your spiritual combat. God gives you a feeling of heavenly peace and closeness to Him. You are now prepared to repeat step 1. After victory God enlightens you so that now you can see deeper spiritual truths. As a result, God can now bring you to face still more spiritual and even celestial temptations. When you are resuscitated, your are immediately ready for the second death, during which you shed all contact with any remaining hellish traits. This elevates you to your conjugial heaven.
These four steps of regeneration can best work when people have a direct and substantive idea of God. In contrast, abstract or indirect ideas of God allow types of reasonings about God that are not spiritual, but natural. Our relationship to God, instead of being based on rational understanding, is based on blind faith. This means that they accept the literal sense of Sacred Scripture without inquiring into its correspondential sense. The problem with this is that various people at various times present their imaginative ideas and interpretations of what the literal sense means. This kind of confusion is possible because of the abstract idea of God. This kind of idea limits God's ability to enlighten the person. Hence there are limits to how much God can regenerate that person. But when one's idea of God is direct and substantive, that is, historical and scientific, then God's ability to regenerate us is effective and thorough.
Swedenborg reports that after resuscitation every human being is instructed in various ways about the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. People are are then either willing or unwilling, to receive this instruction, to examine it and understand it rationally. Those who are willing, are enlightened and they are able to see spiritual truths. Now God can elevate them to heavenly life. But those who are unwilling to examine and receive the instruction, are at liberty to go off and live their new life. Through a series of experiences they are stripped from their social and philosophical pretenses, and nothing is left except what is fully compatible to their ruling love and willing to be in its service. The person now becomes a caricature of the former self, since anything that is heavenly is gone, and what's left is something partly human and insane.
An abstract idea of God is not real. It is empty or spurious. It does not last in eternity.
The recognition is now beginning in twenty-first century science that a substantive definition of God makes it into a scientific concept (see substantive dualism, Section xx).
Back to Theistic Psychology:www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/
America's Passion for Cars and The American Philosophy of Cars -- Expressed in Songs About Driving Cars on Roads and Highways -- Spiritually Understood
by Dr. Leon James 2007
To Introduction: Part 2
Introduction: Part 1
The following song lyrics are selections from a library of Road Songs collected by Richard F. Weingroff at the Federal Highway Administration Web site. These selections reflect my interest in driving psychology and theistic psychology.
Songs are both descriptive of outer life and symbolic of spiritual feelings and insights. The lyrics reflect this dual aspect of the poetry and wisdom in songs. The outer life gives physical content to spiritual longings and perceptions. Cars driven on roads connecting departure point and destination are physical objects that serve our mental intentions and desires.
There is a two-fold message or dual meaning in all the song lyrics about cars and roads. Our mental stream is our life and we use cars to search for relief from mental streams that are disturbing. We use cars to escape feeling imprisoned. The prison is not physical; it is our own mental prison. Thoughts and passions drive our mental life, in correspondence to cars and roads that we drive to satisfy our mental condition. The song lyrics about driving cars on roads express the writer's meaning at two levels, literal and spiritual.
The literal meaning of each verse expresses the writer's philosophy of life and its physical expression through cars or trucks ("vehicles") driven by people who are in various mental states that are often gripping, but sometimes just ordinary in its recurrence in everyone's experience. For instance, someone is running away from something using a car or hitchhiking; or, someone is hitting the open road finally relieved and feeling free; or someone is watching the lights of 18-wheelers in the night; or, someone is speeding down the road to meet a sweetheart; and so on. Through these physical and social events with cars the song writers express a philosophy of life that is either depressing or exhilarating, but always worth reflecting on. But at a deeper level of meaning of each verse the song writers express a universal truth about the human mind, thus about each of us. The philosophical and social meaning expressed in the literal verses do not apply universally, but only to restricted socio-cultural experiences, like being a truck driver, or stopping at a truck stop when you're not, or, running away from your parents. On the other hand, the deeper spiritual meaning applies unconditionally to every human being.
What are deeper level meanings?
The human mind has natural mind and a spiritual mind. The natural mind contains incoming information from the senses of the physical body, like the places around us, the objects, and people. Our conscious thinking in daily life and activities is carried out by mental operations in the natural mind. Everything we know in this world resides in the natural mind. The spiritual mind contains incoming information from the senses of the spiritual body of which we are unconscious until after death. The content of the natural mind and the content of the spiritual mind are connected to each other by cause-effect laws called the laws of correspondences, to be discussed below.
Song writers are often inspired from a deeper level of perception or knowing, and they express this higher or inner perception in literal terms of physical and social events that correspond to the spiritual meaning and insight. It is valuable therefore for us to try to analyze the lyrics to see if its spiritual meaning can be extracted from it in order to accurately represent the deeper insight of the song writers and other inspired writers. Once we get hold of their spiritual insights or perceptions and convert them into our words, these insights become serviceable and useful to all of us since they are about the human mind, thus, every human being's mind. By extracting the spiritual meaning we are simply mining the spiritual depths of the song writer's enlightenment or vision of the human mind.
Remember: the literal content of the song (driving cars on roads) voices a certain philosophy of community life, a social and psychological outlook, but the spiritual content hidden within this expresses a universal truth or reality that applies to every mind, to us. The spiritual content being "deeper" is also "higher," which means it comes first, like the head comes before other parts of the body when it comes to identity and reputation. The higher or deeper is also primary. The spiritual is primary, the natural is secondary. This means that the spiritual content comes first and is the cause of what comes next, which is the effect or natural content (literal meaning of the verse).
The spiritual content involves the principles that govern the mental world of the human race. There is only one universal mental world for the human race, just as there is only universal physical space for all the stars, planets, objects, and atoms. Every individual's mind is therefore located in the same mental world. There is no individual anywhere whose thoughts and feelings are not located in the mental world of the human race, just as there is no planet or atom that is not located in the universal space of the physical universe. This means that the same laws of the mental world, sometimes called spiritual laws, apply to every human mind or individual. Your thoughts and feelings, and my thoughts and feelings, are located in the same mental world and are subject to the same mental laws.
To summarize: the literal meaning of verses contain words about the physical and social world as these reflect our thoughts in the conscious natural mind. These words and ideas are effects. They are produced by deeper level words and ideas called spiritual meanings. These spiritual meanings are rational insights about the mental world of humanity in which we all are and whose laws govern our thoughts and feelings. Our happiness and intelligence are consequences of how we apply these higher mental principles (causes of things) to the lower or more external and restricted experiences we have at the physical level.
Viewed spiritually driving cars on roads represents what people do in the mental world of human minds.
To travel or to transport something correspond to the thinking process in which a thought or idea ( = car) is processed or examined by various reasoning procedures ( = transportation) that are connected together in a logical or semi-logical sequence ( = roads, streets, paths). "To floor the gas pedal" ( = natural meaning) corresponds to a harsh and selfish intention that can harm others ( = spiritual meaning). The vehicle maneuvers of aggressive drivers ( = natural meaning) corresponds to selfish and hostile intentions against people ( = spiritual meaning).
Note that when we analyze the lyrics we go in reverse cause-effect order from how the lyrics were written. The physical event and its details about cars and roads ( = natural meaning), are the result of prior mental thoughts about mental events and their details about selfishness and harming others (= spiritual meaning). When we analyze the song we go in reverse order. First we have the natural content of cars on roads, then we extract the spiritual content of character and intention.
A car represents our knowledge and beliefs by which we can reason and have common sense in daily life here on earth in the physical world. The networks of roads and highways represent the mental semantic networks of concepts and ideas that make up our knowledge and beliefs. What we do with cars on roads are physical events described in the literal meaning of the verses. But the song writer was also motivated by a spiritual significance of these events with cars on roads. The song writers may not be conscious of the correspondences between driving events and mental events. But when they are writing under artistic inspiration from a love of truth, they spontaneously express events with cars (vehicles) that correspond to the mental feelings that they accessed and which they desire to share with others.
"Little Red Corvette" - Prince
Move over baby (move over baby)
Gimme the keys (gimme the keys)
Im gonna try 2 tame your little red love machine (Im gonna try 2 tame your
little red love machine)…
Of course the Purple One goes straight for the jugular with innuendo up the
wazoo, never being quite clear as to whether he's talking about an actual car or
a red hot mamma. It's up to you to decide, but we're pretty sure what the end
result is (tachometer in the red, in case you're clueless).
The above points to two ways of interpreting "little red corvette." The literal meaning is about a certain car. The representational meaning is about his girlfriend or date. There is also a third meaning which I call the correspondential meaning that involves his spiritual mind. "Baby move over" corresponds to giving in to a fantasy. "Gimme the keys" corresponds to his desire to explore his fantasies. "Im gonna try 2 tame your little red love machine" corresponds to being happy living in a fantasy world.
In general we have the following natural-spiritual correspondences in relation to vehicles:
Natural Content-----Correspondential or Spiritual Content
cars, automobiles, trucks -----principles of life that teach us how to live and what to do
traveling on roads, streets, highways, autobahns, alleys-----searching for truths of life, for the right way to think
wheels, hubcap, wheels turning-----to reason about truths and goods, either correctly or falsely
driving somewhere, driver, motorist-----reasoning about what's right and wrong, trying to figure it out
honking, yelling, gesturing-----to be confused or uncertain about what's right to do
car windows, windshield, turning windshield wipers on or off-----the things we know and understand
driving at night, in a storm, in the winter-----unable to figure out whether something is true or no
driving during the day, driving at dawn, driving in sunny weather-----gathering knowledge to help us reason better
turning headlights on and off-----knowing that there is a higher power
car doors, door handles, locking and opening car doors, remote key -----ideas that help us be better persons
driving fast for thrill -----false self-confidence due to wrong ideas
passengers-----examining our own ideas and feelings
engine, motor, motor parts, motor oil-----our motives, intentions, passions
gas pedal, brakes, hand brake-----focusing on one's needs or goals
gasoline, fuel-----giving in to temptation, choosing to act against one's principles
seat belt, air bag, safety features, child restraint-----protection against false beliefs and ideas by relying on rationality or God's order and truth
roof of the car-----escapist attitude about self, not focusing on facts and realities
road side, road crossing, highway overpass, bridge-----rebellious attitude against order, doing and saying what is unreasonable
bumper to bumper traffic-----lazy attitude toward self-improvement, insufficient commitment to being good
police car, law enforcement, photo radar, traffic stop, getting ticketed-----feeling compelled, weak, unable to resist the enjoyment of what's bad -----aggressive vs. peaceful driving style
You can notice this very interesting fact: When we are saying something about our mental operations or states we use physical content to describe them. For instance, we say the "I was their target" (physical meaning) when we mean that we felt it was unfair to make us responsible for what happened (mental meaning). We say that we were "singled out" (physical meaning), when we mean that they treated us unfairly (mental meaning). We say that "they are trying to take me down" (physical meaning), when we mean that they are trying to hurt your reputation (mental meaning).
In other words, in everyday life we like to talk and think in terms of correspondences.
Mental meaning corresponds to physical meaning in ways that make sense to us. We say "higher" for noble human feelings and thoughts, and we say "lower" when discussing ignoble or barbaric feelings and thoughts. Clearly this is not coincidence, nor is it arbitrary. We "raise our eyes" to God and heaven, and we lower them to our feet and hell. We talk about "deep seated fears" ( = affects us in many situations) and about "surface involvement" ( = lack of interest or motivation). The expression "having a rough time" (physical meaning) corresponds to "being disturbed emotionally" (mental meaning). A person who acts untrustworthy and is "dishonest in character" (mental meaning) is referred to as a "snake" (physical meaning). A man who is referred to as "wolf" (physical meaning) is a predator who feigns thoughts and emotions (mental meaning) to catch a victim. When we experience concern and anxiety (mental meaning) about an issue we say that "This thing is weighing me down" (mental meaning). When we understand something being said to us (mental meaning) we say "I see." (physical meaning).
The physical meaning is also called natural meaning and content in the natural mind. The mental meaning is also called spiritual meaning and content in the spiritual mind. The two are linked by correspondence so that one (spiritual) is the cause of the other (natural).
The content in the spiritual mind (e.g., realizing that someone intends to victimize the innocent) causes the natural mind to react with natural content (e.g., "He is a dangerous wolf, a snake, a scorpion."). Swedenborg's dual consciousness allowed him to confirm these correspondences empirically. When he was conscious in the spiritual mind, thus in the mental world of the afterlife in eternity, he was conversing with some people there about predators who enjoy victimizing innocent people. He saw packs of wolves and other dangerous and noxious animal species that showed up in the surrounding area. The light around him darkened as if there was an ongoing storm. When he stopped discussing these subjects, the environment was back to normal.
While he was talking about how some people are depraved and evil, there appeared in the environment bats, vultures, scorpions, and overpowering stenches. These sensuous appearances in the mental world were evoked by correspondence that exists between evil things in the mind (spiritual content) and poisonous or noxious animals in a desert (seemingly physical content).
Correspondences are built into the fabric of reality that ties the dual universe together, the one in time and space (physical), the other in mental eternity (spiritual).
There is a relationship between correspondences and metaphors, similes, synecdoche, or other type of figures of speech, including allegories, parables, riddles. You can look up an encyclopedia online to examine what these things are. Examples of some metaphors that are listed are:
Many metaphors and figurative speech derive their root from correspondences between the natural and spiritual mind, or between the physical world and the mental world. For instance the expression listed above "That throws some light on the question." uses the correspondence between "light" (physical meaning) and "clarity of understanding" (spiritual meaning). This correspondence was confirmed by Swedenborg when he observed that the surrounding light became dimmer or more bright depending on the intelligence and understanding of the people he was talking to in his spiritual mind. Similarly, the spiritual correspondence of the expression "Cool it!" (physical meaning) was confirmed by Swedenborg's observations that when someone gets angry in the spiritual mind of eternity, flames and heat issue from his mental body into the surrounding area or sphere.
Metaphors are semantic innovations based on noticing comparable elements in two objects or events. It's only when you relate the natural to the spiritual that you obtain correspondences. Correspondences are produced spontaneously by all speakers and thinkers and no special linguistic or poetic talent is required. Metaphors are sometimes merely subjective, saying something about the person's semantic inventiveness. Correspondences are objective and universal, saying something about cause-effect reality.
The study of correspondences is therefore the study of cause-effect reality in a dual universe.
This essay continues below: Introduction: Part 2 Introduction: Part 3 Introduction: Part 4
Song Lyrics (1)-----Spiritual Meaning(correspondences)
If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says15 miles to the... love shack!
love shack yeah
I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway, lookin' for the love getaway
Heading for the love getaway, love getaway,
I got me a car, it's as bigas a whale and we're headin' on downTo the love shack.
I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway lookin' for the love getaway
I'm running away from my commitments
I'm giving in to my baser motives.
Marcia Ball"Down the Road"
Good times down the road
Mama won't let me go
Sneaking off in my daddy's car
Park behind the B&B bar
Thinking I'll go crazy if I don't get out
I'm on a dead end street in a ten block town
Every day I say I'm gone and then
Every night I'm in a joints again
Down the road.
Good times down the road
Sneaking off in my daddy's car
Thinking I'll go crazy if I don't get out
Feeling trapped by conscience and longing to be free of conventional rules.
Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash "440 Horses"
440 horses drive the wheels of this chrome and steel
Like a freight train through the night,
My foot is lead and my eyes blood red,
And my knuckles showing white,
My hair is slicked with oil,and my breathe flows gasoline.
Well I'm a smoking' flamin' death machineAnd the lonely lights of another lonely town
Lonely highway I keep rushing downAnd there's a 100 miles till I sleep tonight
Well I've got to put the hammer down.
Lonely highway I keep rushing downAnd there's a 100 miles till I sleep tonight
I'm obsessing over the same thoughts over and over again. I long for relief, but I know it won't happen for awhile.
Continued here: http://drdriving.org/travel/songs.htm
Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
1. Introduction: Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?
There are two views on marriage. One may be called the "materialistic" view of marriage, while the other is the "spiritual" view of marriage.
The materialistic view on marriage is the socio-legal definition by community and government, namely that marriage ends at the death of one of the partners. This type of outlook on marriage creates what may be called "natural marriages."
"Spiritual marriages" are those in which the partners see themselves as bound together after death. Hence, when one of the two partners dies, the other does not think that the marriage is over. Death is just a temporary separation until the other can catch up, whereupon they are reunited as husband and wife to continue forever.
The materialistic view on death is that it is the end. The spiritual view on death is that it is the end of life in the physical world of time, and the beginning of life in the spiritual world of eternity.
In the history of modern scientific psychology the adoption of materialism was a necessary step in separating psychology from philosophy and religion, with which it was tied before for centuries, since Aristotle. The new materialistic psychology views marriage in the socio-legal track so that marriage counseling does not involve discussion of the marriage continuing in the afterlife. It merely assumes the end of it at death.
In the past few years the American Psychological Association, which sets standards for science and practice, has encouraged licenses therapists to become knowledgeable in "theistic psychotherapy" which refers to the inclusion into the therapy of spiritual ideas that clients may have. In other words clinicians in the future will be expected to be able to deal with relevantly spiritual marriages as well as natural marriages.
Note well: This does not mean that the therapist is expected to believe that the marriage continues after death. In other words, the therapist's view on marriage can be called a "materialistic view of spiritual marriages." Of course this is different from a "spiritual view of spiritual marriages."
The difference between materialistic and spiritual is easy to remember:
Materialistic view on marriage = 'Till death do us part
Spiritual view on marriage = Forever in the afterlife
It's understandable that materialistic psychology takes the socio-legal view on marriage when we realize that psychologists do not have any details about the human body and mind after death. Until such knowledge is developed psychology must remain materialistic about marriage and the human mind.
Fortunately, in 1981 I discovered the Swedenborg Reports which were written in the 18th century by the Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). I will present his discoveries throughout the course, especially in relation to his observations about marriages in the afterlife of the spiritual world. At the age of 57 he suddenly became conscious in his spiritual mind. As a result of this he was in the unique historical position of recording his observations of what happens to people after death. The unity model of marriage in this course is based on his reports and observations.
The Swedenborg Reports at last gives psychology the knowledge of mental anatomy. It therefore gives psychology a basis for a new view on marriage which is spiritual rather than materialistic. In other words, the new view takes into account the dynamics of marriage as progressive from this life to the afterlife. The anatomy and physiology of a human being will now be dualist rather than monist. In other words every human being is born simultaneously into two worlds through a physical body in the physical world and a spiritual body through the spiritual world of the afterlife. At death we lose connection with the physical body and continue life in the spiritual body. When Swedenborg at age 57 became conscious in his spiritual body while still connected to his physical body, he was able to observe how the two worlds work together in one function.
This will help you with the new ideas introduced in this course: Remember that in this new view, our thoughts and feelings do not reside in the brain of the physical body, but in the brain of the spiritual body.
The reason is that sensations, thoughts, and feelings are psychological entities or substances, not physical or electro-chemical, like the neurons of the brain and their activity. Materialistic psychology is forced to put sensations and thoughts in the physical brain since it knows nothing about the spiritual body and its spiritual brain, spiritual heart, spiritual skin, spiritual liver, spiritual uterus, spiritual hands and legs, and so on. But in this course we are going to assume that we have valid knowledge from the Swedenborg Reports about the spiritual body and its organs.
This new approach will allow psychology to avoid the trap of "reductionism" which many critics of psychology have pointed out. Reductionism is to reduce the mind as the same as the body. Instead of talking about some hypothetical mind, psychology prefers reductionism, namely, our thoughts and feelings are "epiphenomena" of the physical brain of neuronal activity. When the neuronal activity in the physical brain dies, the thoughts and feelings disappear from existence. The self or person is no more.
Again this is a forced reductionist position for psychology since it knows nothing about the spiritual body. It is the activity of the spiritual body that constitutes what we call "the mind." This makes sense because the spiritual body is not born in physical time and matter, but in the spiritual world. Swedenborg gives many geographic details about the spiritual world of the afterlife. He observed the process of "resuscitation" with hundreds of people he knew in Sweden and elsewhere, and hundreds of strangers from all parts of the world. It happens as follows.
Our conscious life of self and personality is the collection of sensations, thoughts, and feelings we experience from birth onward. Our conscious life exists therefore because of the activity in the layers of our spiritual body which is houses the mind and its sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The mental layers or levels of conscious life in human beings falls into two major categories called the natural mind and the spiritual mind.
Swedenborg discovered that from birth to death we are conscious in our natural mind and unconscious in our spiritual mind. At resuscitation, which occurs a few hours after death, we become conscious in our spiritual mind and gradually lose consciousness in our natural mind.
In our daily life consciousness of the natural mind we are not aware that we are connected to our spiritual mind. And yet, Swedenborg shows that the two layers of the mind are interconnected and function together. Neither could function without the other. People are therefore unaware that their choices moment to moment all day long operate at two levels, one in the natural mind, connected to the physical body, and the other in the spiritual mind connected to the spiritual body.
In a natural marriage the husband and wife interact without realizing that each interaction has a determinative effect on their spiritual mind and body. But when they decide to have a spiritual marriage, they become aware of how their current interaction through the natural mind is going to affect their future together in eternity through their spiritual body and mind.
More on these anatomical details will be discussed as we progress through the course. For now you need to realize that you are not being asked to believe in the afterlife or in the scientific validity of the Swedenborg Reports, or in the unity model of marriage. You are only given these ideas as things to learn about and analyze from a rational, objective, and scientific perspective. You will learn various facts and interpretations in relation to the unity model of marriage. You don't have to believe these facts and interpretations, only to know what they are as presented in this research seminar.
The Unity Model of Marriage as I present it here has two components -- the theoretical context and the empirical confirmation. The theory is based on the mental anatomy discovered by Swedenborg through his life in a dual consciousness state for 27 years. This mental anatomy shows that we are born with a physical body in time and
a spiritual body in eternity. Marriage involves a conjunction between the partners' physical bodies (which is temporary) and their spiritual bodies (which is permanent in eternity).
If we assume the positive bias in science on the Swedenborg Reports then we can examine whether this theoretical context helps us in our modern context to understand the marriage relationship as it is today. This is the second component of the Unity Model of Marriage. Since 1981 I have made an intense study of my own marriage within this theoretical context. In 1985, I articulated my initial observations in the Doctrine of the Wife. Since then I continued my self-study on a daily basis and tried to express the theoretical context in modern scientific terms suitable for psychology as we know it today. I applied the theoretical principles to my observations of my thoughts and feelings throughout the day, especially in relation to my interactions with my wife. We discussed our insights together on a daily basis so that she is as much a co-creator of the model as I am. Her feminine intelligence is the centre of this model as expressed through my masculine intelligence.
This seminar on the Unity Model of Marriage will give you the opportunity to examine gender behavior in the context of marriage and of exclusive romantic relationships.
We will identify the sub-components of gender habits in men and women within the three domains of behavior: affective (A), cognitive (C), and sensorimotor (S). We will use the phrase "threefold self" to refer to these three levels of human activity. This three-way subdivision of human behavior is traditional and very useful. However these three components have been studied separately, each in their own context. In this course we will make sure that we always keep track of interactions in terms of these three components together. In real life nothing happens unless all three operate in synergy.
For instance, as you read this you are thinking (cognitive, C). But you are also looking (sensorimotor, S). And you couldn't be looking and thinking unless you are motivated (affective, A) to do that by some goal you have (e.g., performing an assignment, interested in the subject, etc.). So the threefold self (A, C, S) must be involved in every interaction and behavior we do all day long. Start observing things around when you can take a moment, and think about which is the affective (A) -- or why they're doing it, and which is the cognitive (C) -- or what they're thinking while doing it, and which is the sensorimotor (S) -- or what they are doing that you observe. Often it is easier to start in reverse order with what they are doing that you can see (S), what they must be thinking (C), and why they are doing it (A).
This self-witnessing exercise is also very helpful to apply to yourself in various situations throughout the day:
What I am doing or saying or showing that someone can see (S)
What I am thinking, planning, interpreting, appraising, figuring (C)
What I am intending, striving for, hoping for, wanting, desiring (A)
Our focus will be on identifying the differences in the mental structure of men and women so that we may gain a rational understanding of how they manage to actually form a pair or a unit. In order to form a perfect functioning and fulfilling pair or unit, women and men must have reciprocal mental traits to allow them to conjoin mentally, and thus to reach mental intimacy or conjunction.
There are different types of intimacy, like the intimacy of family members, the intimacy of good friends, the intimacy of lovers who have just met, the intimacy we have with various others like doctors, lawyers, therapists. These types of intimacy are different from the intimacy between married partners or couples who intend to be together for life. People recognize that when they are in love they are in heaven. And sometimes they feel like they are in heaven and hell alternately, when there are threats they perceive to that love (e.g., when having a fight or disagreement). It is recognized that being in love with one's spouse or one's committed partner provides a delightful, heavenly, and fulfilling life. But this reality is known more from romantic songs and novels than from real life because of a lack of understanding of how unity is achieved.
There are couples who are mentally tied to each other on a permanent basis, and yet don't feel fulfilled to the extent of calling their life delightful and heavenly (sometimes we observe this with our parents or uncles and aunts). There are couples who are tied to each other by tradition and family in social circles where women don't have the same rights as men to decide on things. This applies as well to dating couples and couples who live together unmarried. Inequality of status and of rights can lead to male dominance and suppression of women's inner feminine traits. Without free expression and trust, women cannot feel that they are in heaven. And the freedom that men feel in male dominated relationships is not truly a freedom that can lead them to feel that they are in heaven.
The heavenly happiness and fulfillment of both wife and husband depend on the attainment between them of physical intimacy within the shared context of mental intimacy. To be mentally intimate means that they are best friends to each other in the context of a romantic and sexual relationship. This relationship is also called being "soul mates."
We will use the expression "conjoint self" to refer to the reciprocal union of the marriage relationship, when it is based on the unity model.
We will use the concept of "model" to refer to the principles, beliefs, and attitudes that husbands and wives use or practice to govern their behavior in the marriage relationship.
This covers both the principles and attitudes they are aware of, as well as those they acquired and perform without awareness. Both types govern the values (A), emotions (A), thoughts (C), and actions (S) during their interactions.
Note that this definition of model is a different use of the term than the one you ordinarily encounter through other courses. A "scientific model" usually refers to a theory constructed by a scientist to explain a complex set of phenomena or observations. In psychology we can contrast the "behavioral model" with the "psychodynamic model" or the "Gestalt model." In economics there are mathematical models to account for data trends such as the stock market. The Stanislavski method of teaching professional actors is also called a model. You can find two dozen definitions with this link: http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&rls=GGLJ,GGLJ:2006-24,GGLJ:en&defl=en&q=define:model&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title
The way we use the word model in the "unity model of marriage" is to represent the mentality, or type of mental states, that men and women have when interacting with each other. For example, if a man has the "male dominance model" in his principles and motivations, he will express attitudes that indicate the principle that women have a lower status than men and should be obedient to their husband or boyfriend. This attitude or "ruling motive" enters into every interaction with a woman that such a man has. It may only be visible in some interactions, but it is present in all interactions. In contrast a man who thinks and reasons from the "equity model" will be motivated to achieve parity, equity, or fairness between men and women in all situations.
Other terms that are related to the term "model" in the sense we are using it, include script, schema, expectancy, philosophy, or principle.
Part of the purpose of the course is to give you skills in recognizing what relationship phase that two partners are in at any particular time or in any specific situation or issue that confronts them.
This is not always clear to the participants themselves. A man may think and claim that he is in the equity phase of equal sharing in all tasks in the marriage. But in actuality, observation would show that he is acting and thinking more according to the male dominance model which gives a man privileges over women and considers women less capable or worthy than men. You will also learn of the unity model which prompts a man to treat women in a special way such as is done by men who are chivalrous or gallant and respectful of women. In this mental unity phase husbands are capable of becoming best friends and soul mates with their wife.
The overall approach we will focus on is the idea that a man and a woman can form a special and unique relationship in marriage in which they can become unified at all three levels of the threefold self -- in sensory and motor behavior (sensorimotor self, S), in thinking operations (cognitive self, C), and in feeling states (affective self, A).
When they are unified at all three levels of self, husband and wife are best friends to each other and can be called soul mates functioning with a conjoint self (instead of each with his and her independent selves).
In the male dominance and equity models there is no motivation for achieving a conjoint self. In those mental states men would feel like they are abnormally losing their freedom and personality when they consider becoming a conjoint self with their woman. But in the unity phase of thinking men desire to achieve that state and are willing to give up their independent self for the sake of the conjoint self. In general you will find that women are more attracted to the unity model than men.
The unity model of marriage actually describes a progression of three phases. The first phase is called the male dominance phase because society gives men privileges over women in many ways. Most men are raised to exercise these male prerogatives, and they do so during dating and afterward in marriage. For example, men interrupt women, and often feel it's all right to ignore what a woman wants or says. Men pressure women to do things the women don't want to do. Men expect women to serve them and take care of their personal things. Men go out with each other and do things and say things that are disrespectful to women. Men get mad and threaten women. Etc. These are all the ways in which husbands or boyfriends treat their wife or girlfriend during the first phase of their intimate relationship called the male dominance phase.
Following this phase, many men are forced to admit to themselves that their wife also has the right to expect him to share in the tasks of living and having a life together. Some men eventually get the idea that they can't just continue to dominate their wife or girlfriend and expect the two of them to be in heavenly happiness. Hence they enter more an more into the equity phase of marriage. This is the middle phase during which a man will spend more and more time acting and thinking according to the equity or parity model, and less and less time acting and thinking in the male dominance mode.
Some men are spiritually enlightened by accepting in their mind the reality of the afterlife and the ability of being together with this one woman for eternity. Once men accept this idea as real, they are called spiritually enlightened. The word "spiritual" as used in this course is defined as that which has to do with eternity. Once a man is spiritually enlightened he begins to see intuitively and rationally that equity is not bringing their wife true heavenly happiness.
Equity or parity between woman and man puts them theoretically at the same level. This relationship is better for the woman than the male dominance relationship phase -- far better. But it is not enough for a woman to feel completely free, totally her feminine, hence really happy and flourishing. A woman instinctively, or spiritually and rationally, feels and knows that she deserves a higher place in a man's estimation than just parity because women are outwardly more delicate and heavenly beings than men, and it is this heavenly nature of women that allows a man to become heavenly by conjunction with her. This is not parity or equity, but unity.
Inwardly, both men and women are equally heavenly and celestial, but outwardly a man is less heavenly than a woman. This is because the male function on this planet is to face the harshness of the outside world while the female function is to provide man with the motivation for it. She provides a softer context for his harsher exterior so that he may be mollified and acquire the capacity of be more celestial, more peaceful, more altruistic, more human. Masculine intelligence alone is harsh, competitive, and task-focused; hence it neglects the higher aspects of life that he can enjoy, such as love, conjunction, unity, peacefulness, altruism, romance, children, self-sacrifice, community, communication, intimacy, compassion, receptiveness, cooperation. These are called "heavenly" or "celestial" traits and are supplied and sustained by feminine intelligence.
Hence by making himself conjoin to his wife, a man becomes heavenly in his outward life as well. He can achieve this conjunction with his wife by following the unity model in his mind.
There are barriers or resistances to overcome with each level of the relationship process -- from male dominance to equity, and from equity to unity. We need to examine these barriers, and especially, the inherent and cultural resistance men have to the unification process. Men would outwardly prefer to remain in the male dominance phase. This is what they find most comfortable. But women desire and long for the conjoint self of soul mates, lovers and best friends, as the ultimate happiness, the ultimate fulfillment, thus, heaven itself.
Men do not at first see the conjoint self as a heaven, but as a kind of hell in which the wife is always encroaching on their mental space of freedom and comfort.
So husbands and boyfriends frequently oppose the unification process to more intimate levels, while wives and girlfriends constantly fight for pulling the man into such mental intimacy.
We will examine this classic and traditional relationship dynamic or fight by observing and monitoring the behavior of boyfriends and husbands, or those portrayed on TV, in song lyrics, and in novels. You will read the reports of prior generation students in this course in which they present some of this evidence, Your reports will be similarly studied by future generations of students. You can access the reports from the links given in the Readings section at the end of these lecture notes.
The first level of unity may be referred to as sensorimotor consociation (S) and involves what the couple do together externally or socially.
The second level may be called cognitive affiliation (C), involving how they each think and to what extent they agree in definitions and beliefs.
The third and deepest level may be called affective conjunction (A), and involves what they feel for each other, whether they have compatible intentions, whether they enjoy compatible things, and whether they are striving for compatible and mutual goals.
This includes what they are motivated to achieve, whether for instance, they are willing to make their unification as the most important element in their life, more important than anything else. For instance, it is common for husbands to devote more time, attention and importance to other activities like children, career, parents, old friends, sports, etc. This means that achieving affective conjunction or intimacy is judged less important to the husband or boyfriend than to the wife or girlfriend. This basic opposition forms the psychological dynamics of the marriage relationship -- its healthy progression or its gradual degradation into abuse or failure.
The hypothesis to be examined throughout the course is that the marriage relationship between husband and wife begins at a natural level ("natural marriages") and can add a spiritual level of relationship ("spiritual marriages"), once the natural level is well established.
We shall introduce the new concept of spiritual marriages which is based on what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) called conjugial love. He made a distinction between the two words -- conjugal and conjugial. Conjugal is the ordinary word that refers to natural marriages while conjugial is a new word he coined to refer to spiritual marriages. Natural marriages follow the motto "Till Death Do Us Part" while spiritual marriages follow the motto "Till Endless Eternity."
Definition:The expression "spiritual marriage" will be used in this course to refer to the marriage of partners who define their marriage as continuing in the afterlife. The unity model of marriage is possible only with spiritual marriages. Hence "spiritual" = marriage in the afterlife of eternity. Swedenborg interviewed many couples who are living in the afterlife of eternity in what they call their "heaven."
The expression "soul mates" also implies that the relationship continues forever. Partners who see themselves as "soul mates" united forever are willing to give up their independent self for the conjoint self.
Couples who are soul mates to each other, and have achieved a relationship of mental intimacy at all three levels of the threefold self, are able to sense by inner rational insight, that death cannot separate them.
Hence they see themselves as together forever, united to endless eternity.
Until the Writings of Swedenborg (1688-1772), scientists were not able to introduce the concept of spiritual marriages and the concept of the afterlife of eternity because there was no scientific proof of the existence of an afterlife that takes place in a world of eternity, outside time and space, also called "the spiritual world" and "heaven and hell." Scientists relegate these ideas to religion, belief, or folklore. But this changed with the Swedenborg Reports, written and published in the 18th century, when it was discovered that we are born with a physical body in time and a spiritual body in eternity.
The Swedenborg Reports (or the Writings of Swedenborg) present empirical proof of the existence of the afterlife in the spiritual world of heaven and hell. The unity model of marriage is based on Swedenborg's detailed empirical data which he gathered in the spiritual world of eternity. These data include the many interviews he conducted with married couples in the mental zones of eternity called "heaven" and "hell." It may at first surprise you that we are talking about heaven and hell in a psychology course! Nevertheless you will see that it is now possible to do so, due to the Swedenborg Reports and the methodological approach called the positive bias in science.
More will be said on this as we progress, including how you can examine these reports yourself. Nothing here is based on religion or belief. Everything is based only on the objective evidence to be found in the Swedenborg Reports.
In this psychology course you are not asked to believe anything.
You are asked to evaluate rationally and scientifically the evidence presented. This means examining it, before you reject it. To reject it before you examine it, will be discussed below as the negative bias in science, while to examine it before you reject it, will be discussed as the positive bias in science.
That marriages continue in the afterlife is good news because true love strives to be eternal, and not to die at some point in the future. Swedenborg shows that what is truly human with us must be immortal and that to think of ourselves as mortal, is to remain below our true potential. If you love someone as much as you love yourself, the thought of losing this person is like death, and actually losing the person is like dying. Love dies when it loses its object of love. This is why it's such good news that love never dies. This idea exists in romance and in first loves. Often people adopt a cynical view, thinking that these are just ideas, ideals, songs, fantasy. But now with the new empirical and observational evidence presented by Swedenborg, scientists like myself can examine the facts, the explanations, the consequences.
As scientists in training in this Research Seminar on the unity model of marriage you are asked to examine this evidence and the rationality of its theory, and to see if you can usefully apply it to your current cultural and intellectual context relating to relationships and marriage.
Some marriages remain what they started out to be, namely an external socio-legal bond that is legally and socially recognized. It is also a psychological bond because married and live in partners rely on each other and support each other in joint pursuits like parenting, financial resources, lifestyle, retirement, and so on. But note also that this external bond -- legal, social, psychological -- is not sufficient to stabilize the marriage and insure unending growth. Instead, half of the marriages fail in divorce and separation, and much of the other half fails to supply the intimacy, friendship, and romance, that women crave for from their husbands or committed boyfriends.
After examining the evidence for this situation, our conclusion will be that external "natural" marriages are necessary but not sufficient for achieving true affective conjunction or intimacy, and hence not sufficient for human fulfillment and endless growth together.
We will follow this up with the concept of "spiritual marriages" which is based on Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings (see Reading List). We will examine the hypothesis that the bond between the wife and the husband can become spiritual (or eternal), in addition to natural (or temporary).
The difference is illustrated by the marriage vows. Our socio-legal-psychological context involves the idea that marriage is dissolved at the death of one of the spouses. This is correct of course -- from the legal point of view, and also from the religious point of view for most people. It is a common belief which we acquire in our socialization that marriage ends at death, hence the familiar phrase in the vows: "Until death do us part." But according to the hypothesis we are examining, the marriage bond need not end at death, but can go on forever with our spiritual bodies in the mental regions of the mind called "heaven."
Some couples who know nothing about the "afterlife of mental eternity" nevertheless have the instinctive feeling that they are "soul-mates" and can never be separated, even by death. Some spouses are so "close" that when one of them dies, the one remaining insists that that their spouse is "with them" mentally, psychologically, spiritually.
So this is not a new notion.
Although they may be in a cultural minority right now, some couples seem to have an inner bond of mental intimacy that seems to go beyond the physical body and the socio-legal-psychological bond of "natural" marriages. We will call this type of inner marriage bond "spiritual" in the specific sense that the bond survives the physical separation of the spouses by death. Marriages that are external and limited to the natural world and the physical body will be called "natural marriage" or external marriage.
A natural marriage becomes a "spiritual marriage" when the married couple's idea of their bond changes from "until death do us part" to "until endless eternity."
Of course to take this step, the partners have to know or assume that there is an afterlife of eternity, that they are both immortal human beings, and that they will be fully equipped with an eternal or spiritual body through which they can once again be together, be intimate sexually, live in a house, have a social life, and continue an endless heavenly existence in their immortality.
This detailed knowledge of the afterlife is not available to most people today.
It is flatly denied by materialistic science in the negative bias mode, and many religious dogmas are taught that deny marriages in the afterlife. Yet our culture supports many widespread activities around the idea that there is a spiritual world (or "heaven"), though nothing substantial is known about it, only wildly differing speculations. No wonder therefore that science cannot rely on this folklore about the afterlife.
As a result, psychology does not acknowledge or know about spiritual marriages that occur right here on earth. Some couples have entered the spiritual dimension of their mental intimacy, but when they are studied by scientists operating from the negative bias, the spiritual dimension is neutralized, reduced, or eliminated from focus. Hence the research literature on marriage in psychology does not mention spiritual marriages and the afterlife. Nevertheless as more people begin to accept the possibility of spiritual marriage there will be more data to study detailing the benefits of spiritual marriages to the happiness, productivity, and fulfillment of the partners here on earth.
This was the negative bias intellectual climate in which I was immersed when I started studying the marriage relationship in 1962 when I received my Ph.D. in psychology. But in 1981 my wife and I were browsing together the shelves in Hamilton Library here on the University of Hawaii campus, and we happened to come across a shelf containing a collection of around 30 volumes, all by the same author: Emanuel Swedenborg. This really intrigued us since we never saw so many volumes by one author. We each checked out one volume and started reading. We could not stop at one volume but went on to read the entire collection. What we found was amazingly stupendous!
You can read about Swedenborg's Writings in detail by consulting the Theistic Psychology Lecture Notes for Psych 459, G27, along with the student reports at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/mental-anatomy.htm
A thorough compilation of articles and links about Swedenborg is available from Answers.com at:
As you explore what people say about Swedenborg you will note that almost all of it has to do with interpreting his Writings as theological and religious, rather than scientific. I am among a few current scientists who see Swedenborg's Writings as science rather than religion.
To me the most amazing aspect of Swedenborg's discovery is that the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity is the same thing as our mental world.
In other words we are born into eternity with a spiritual body and into time-place with a physical body. The two are connected by the laws of correspondence. All our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are stored and felt in the spiritual body, not in the physical body whose brain activity consists of merely chemical and electrical activity. In contrast, the activity in the spiritual body is mental and is a reaction by correspondence to the activity in the physical body. When the physical body dies or disintegrates, the spiritual body is free from the prior connection and continues life where it has been since birth, namely the mental world of eternity. The details of how this phenomenon occurs are totally unknown in psychology so it's understandable that it is not considered scientific.
This may not be an easy concept to understand right away. The positive bias in science assumes that there are two worlds of reality, one world in time-space-matter, and the other world outside time-space-matter called the mental world of eternity.
After some reflection you will come to realize that sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not material (electrical or chemical). They don't have mass and don't weigh anything in the material world. Thoughts and feelings cannot exist in the material world since they are not electrical or chemical. In the negative bias mode it is concluded that thoughts and feelings are not real but subjective illusions that "emerge from" the electro-chemical activity of the physical brain. This type of materialistic interpretation or bias is called reductionism.
But in the positive bias mode of scientific thinking it is concluded that thoughts and feelings are real objective phenomena. They are not material (physical anatomy), but substantive (mental anatomy). This is called "substantive dualism" in science. In other words, there exist mental substances and organs of the threefold self in our spiritual body, and our thoughts and feelings are constructed out of these mental substances in our spiritual body.
Swedenborg was able to confirm that the people he encountered in his spiritual travels were the same people he had known as friends and neighbors in Sweden. Swedenborg at age 57 suddenly found himself conscious in both worlds simultaneously. Until age 82 when he passed on, he took daily notes of his observations and experiments, amassing a collection of about 30 volumes called the "Writings of Swedenborg." They have been studied by Swedenborgian scholars who translated his works into various languages. Consult Google to see what Swedenborg's stature is today.
So the spiritual world of the afterlife is nothing else than the mental world in which we are conscious right now.
The reason we are not aware of those who live in the afterlife of mental eternity is that we must be conscious in our spiritual mind in order to be aware of the mental world of eternity in which we are now. Instead, our conscious awareness is restricted to the natural mind and this part of the mind gets all its input from the physical body. But once we are cut off from the physical body by the dying process, we are resuscitated a few hours later in our spiritual mind. At that instant we become aware of all those who are there and the cities and gardens they dwell in. Swedenborg observed hundreds of people undergo this resuscitation process, talking to them on earth before death, and then talking to them a few hours later in the mental world of the afterlife.
Once we are resuscitated in the spiritual body we appear exactly like before and we discover that our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are much more intense and pure when the physical body is no longer connected to our spiritual body. Swedenborg interviewed many couples who live in their "heavens," even some who have been there together for thousands of years. They all looked like they were in the "flower of youth" or late adolescence and early adulthood. You can check out many more details if you consult the Lecture Notes for Theistic Psychology (Psychology 459, G27).
This is truly wonderful and amazing news! We live our immortality in eternity, which is our mental world, not as a disembodied soul, dream specter, or ghost, but as a full fledged bodily human being.
Swedenborg was conscious in the world of the afterlife continuously without interruption for 27 years, from age 57 to 82 in the years 1745 to 1772, while at the same time he maintained his busy schedule as scientist, government engineer, legislator, traveler, international publisher, and frequent invited guest at the Swedish Royal table where his amazing stories of the afterlife were greatly appreciated and admired. This man of impeccable reputation all his life, a greatly admired genius in science and philosophy, wrote that he had been prepared by God from earliest childhood to be the vehicle for what God wanted the human race to know regarding marriage and the afterlife, and how women and men are to achieve their highest potential through an eternal marriage as soul mates.
At first this sounds to most of us as a kind of fantastic child-like story, introjected right in the middle of a research seminar in psychology by a professor who must be terribly naive, or worse.
I am attributing these words to you so that you may gain some perspective on the content of this course. I am trying to show that I am aware of the "fantastic" quality of my proposal. But this is only an appearance that you are experiencing because of your past training in the negative bias mode of thinking, and also because you've been taught that God and science don't mix. Also because there are lots of mentally questionable individuals who have claimed to talk to God or to see angels, etc.
Given all this background with the negative bias mode of thinking, it's not a surprise that you might think that this is a fantasy subject, not science.
Nevertheless, please hear me out until the end and continue your examination and study of the facts and theory being presented in this course. Even if, in the end, you will reject the eternity feature of the unity model, there will remain several very useful concepts that you can use in your life and philosophy, such as the threefold self, the three models of marriage, and the use of these models in measuring and analyzing elements of popular culture and couples' relationships.
To think that some aspects of this proposal are fantastic, is a common reaction for most people. To me, this common widespread negative reaction, shows that it is a group practice that we all learn, and that later when we are exposed to this kind of a proposal, a trained reasoning process is set in motion in each of our individual minds, and we react as expected by thinking that this is fantastic -- science fiction, rather than science.
And it is pretty easy to start listing all the reasons why we think that it is fantastic and not science. And if we compare all these reasons, we will find that almost everybody has given the same reasons. Again, this fits with what I am saying, namely that the resistance we all feel is a built in learned reaction against any proposal in science that makes mention of the afterlife, of heaven and hell, or of how God is managing events, and especially, that God appeared to Swedenborg at age 57 and prepared him to be conscious simultaneously in both worlds, and also that he talked to the people there, including Aristotle and Newton, and other historical figures we read about in the literature. All this kind of thinking strikes us at first as being fantastic due to our socialization and education in the negative bias mode of thinking.
But note this: Although we are supposed to think from science education that this proposal is fantastic and impossible, we are not able to prove that it is false and fantastic, or even, that it is not science. I have examined the explanations and arguments of various scientists writing from the negative bias mode. It is clear that they too are unable to prove that there is no God, unable to prove that this world is self-born or produced, unable to prove that our spiritual body does not exist, unable to prove that thoughts and feelings are electrical activity rather than eternal mental substances, unable to prove that marriage ends at death and does not continue. Etc. Etc. You can see from these considerations why I call the materialistic view as the negative bias in science.
A bias means that they assume something as valid which they cannot prove scientifically to be true or accurate.
For further discussion along this line, please consult Volume 1 of Textbook of Theistic Psychology at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch1.htm
Let's examine Swedenborg's language and style, as translated from Latin into English. Quoting from Swedenborg's book Conjugial Love (1768):
In some places I insert italicized explanations in square brackets in order to fill in some of the context that is not presented here.
CL 27. II MARRIAGES IN HEAVEN The existence of marriages in the heavens is
incredible to those who believe that after death a person becomes a soul or
spirit, if their concept of a soul or spirit is that of a tenuous ether or
breath. So too it is to those who do not believe that a person can live as a
person again until after the day of the Last Judgment, and generally speaking to
those who know nothing about the spiritual world, where angels and spirits live,
and where the heavens and hells are.
Since this world has so far
remained unknown, and there is utter ignorance of the fact that the angels of
heaven are completely human in form, and likewise the spirits of hell, though
less completely human, any revelation about marriages has been impossible. For
people would say, 'How can a soul be united with a soul?, or a breath with a
breath, as husband and wife are united on earth?' And many more things which,
the moment they were uttered, would destroy and scatter belief in marriages
there. [ Note: angels = people who have passed into the afterlife and are living
in their heavens; spirits = general word for people in the afterlife ]Now,
however, that many revelations have been made about the spiritual world, and its
nature has been described in my books HEAVEN AND HELL and THE APOCALYPSE
REVEALED, it is possible to present also arguments in confirmation of the
existence of marriage there, even for reason to grasp, as follows:
person lives on as a person after death. (ii) A male is then male and a female
is female. (iii) Each person retains his own love after death. (iv) The chief
love is sexual love; and in the case of those who reach heaven, that is, those
who become spiritual on earth, it is conjugial love. (v) These facts have been
fully confirmed by eye-witness. (vi) Consequently there are marriages in the
heavens. (vii) The Lord's statement that after the resurrection people are not
given in marriage refers to spiritual weddings. These arguments will now be
developed in sequence. (CL 27)
CL 28. (i) A person lives on as a person after death.
It has not so far
been known that a person lives on as a person after death for the reasons which
have just been mentioned. It is surprising that this is even true in
Christendom, where the Word is known to give enlightenment about everlasting
life, and where the Lord Himself teaches that all the dead rise again, and God
is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matt. 22:31, 32; Luke 20:37, 38).
Moreover, as far as the affections and thoughts of a person's mind are
concerned, he is in the company of angels and spirits, and so closely associated
with them that he cannot be torn away from them except by dying. This ignorance
is all the more surprising, when everyone who has died from the beginning of
creation has come or is coming to his own people, or, as the Word has it, he has
been or is being gathered to them. In addition, people have a general
impression, which is none other than the influence of heaven on the inner levels
of the mind, which causes him to have an inward perception of truths, and so to
speak to see them. This allows him to grasp this truth in particular, that a
person continues to live as a person after death, happily if he has led a good
life, unhappily if not. Surely everyone has this thought, if he lifts his mind a
little above the body and thinks beyond the immediate level of the senses, as
happens when he is deep in the worship of God, or when he lies on his death-bed
awaiting his last breath, and similarly when he hears people speaking about the
departed and their fate. I have related thousands of facts about the departed,
telling their brothers, wives and friends the fate of some of them. I have also
written about the fate of the British, the Dutch, the Roman Catholics, the Jews,
and the heathen, and about the fate of Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon. But up to
the present I have never heard anyone remark, 'How can that be their fate, when
they have not yet been resurrected from their graves, since the Last Judgment
has not yet taken place? Surely they are in the meantime souls, mere puffs of
wind, in some limbo called Pu*?' I have never heard anyone say such things, and
this has allowed me to draw the conclusion that each person has a private
perception that he lives on as such after death. Does not any husband who loves
his wife, his young or older children, say to himself when they are dying or
dead, that they are in God's hands, and he will see them again after his own
death, and he will again share with them a life of love and joy? (CL 28)
CL 31. It needs to be known that after death a person ceases to be a
natural man and becomes a spiritual man [ man = generic male or female ], but he
looks to himself exactly the same, and is so much the same that he is unaware
that he is no longer in the natural world. He has the same kind of body, face,
speech and senses, because in affection and thought, or in will and intellect,
he remains the same. He is in fact not really the same, because he is then
spiritual, and so his inner man. But he cannot see the difference, because he is
unable to compare his present state with his earlier, natural, one, since he has
put that off and has put on his other state. I have therefore often heard people
say that they are quite unaware of not being in their former world, but for the
fact that they can no longer see those whom they left in that world, and they do
see those who have departed from it, that is, who have died.
however, why they see the latter but not the former is that they are not
natural, but spiritual or substantial people. A spiritual or substantial person
can see a spiritual or substantial person, just as a natural or material person
can see another natural or material person. But they cannot see each other
because of the difference between the substantial and the material, which is
similar to the difference between what is prior and what is posterior. The prior
being inherently more pure is invisible to the posterior, which is inherently
more gross, nor can the posterior, being more gross, be seen by the prior, which
is inherently more pure. It follows that an angel is invisible to a person in
this world, and such a person is invisible to an angel. The reason why a person
after death is spiritual or substantial is because this lay hidden within the
natural or material person. This served him as a covering, like an outer skin,
which on being shed allows the spiritual or substantial person to emerge, so
that he is more pure, more inward and more complete. A spiritual person is still
a complete person, although invisible to a natural person, as was made plain by
the Lord's appearing to the Apostles after His resurrection. He was seen and
then later was not seen, and yet He was a man like Himself, when He was seen and
then disappeared. They said too that, when they saw Him, their eyes were opened.
CL 32. (ii) A male is then male and a female is female.
Since a person lives on after death, and a person may be male or female,
and the male and the female are so different that one cannot change into the
other, it follows that after death a male lives on as a male and a female as a
female, each of them being spiritual. We say that the male cannot change into
the female, nor the female into the male, so that in consequence after death a
male is a male and a female is a female, but because it is not known in what
masculinity and femininity essentially consist, I must state this briefly here.
The essential difference is that the inmost core of the male is love,
and its envelope is wisdom, or what is the same thing, it is love enveloped in
wisdom. The inmost core of the female is the wisdom of the male, and its
envelope is the love from it. But this is a feminine love, which the Lord gives
a wife by means of her husband's wisdom. The other love is a masculine love, a
love of being wise, given by the Lord to the husband to the extent that he
acquires wisdom. Thus it is that the male is the wisdom of love and the female
the love of that wisdom. There is therefore implanted in each from creation a
love of being joined into one. But I shall have more to say about these matters
in what follows. The female comes from the male, that is, the woman was taken
out of man, as is clear from the following passage of Genesis:
took one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh in its place, and he built up
the rib he had taken from the man to make a woman. And he brought her to the
man, and the man said, She is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, so it
shall be called Ishshah, because it was taken from man. Gen. 2:21-23.
meaning of rib and flesh will be given elsewhere. (CL 32)
CL 33. The
result of being so formed in the beginning is that the male is by birth a
creature of the intellect, the female a creature of the will, or to put the same
thing another way, the male acquires from birth an affection for knowing,
understanding and being wise, and the female acquires from birth a love of
joining herself with that affection in the male. [ this does not mean that men
are more intelligent than women -- see our class discussions and later in these
Since what is within forms the outside so as to resemble itself,
and the form of the male is that of the intellect, and the form of the female is
that of love for it, this is why the male differs from the female in face,
voice, and the rest of the body. He has a sterner face, a rougher voice and a
stronger body, not to mention a bearded chin, so generally speaking a less
beautiful form than the female. There are also differences in their gestures and
behavior. In short, they have no similarity, and yet every detail has the
impulse towards union.
In fact, there is masculinity in every part of
the male, down to the smallest part of his body, and also in every idea he
thinks of and every spark of affection he feels; and the same is true of the
femininity of the female. Since therefore one cannot change into the other, it
follows that after death the male is male and the female is female. (CL 33)
CL 34. (ii) Each person retains his own love after death.
about the existence of love, but not what it is. Our common forms of speech tell
us that love exists, as when we say that he loves me, the king loves his
subjects, the subjects love their king, the husband loves his wife, the mother
her children, and they love her. We also talk of one or another as loving his
country, his fellow citizens, his neighbour, and the same expression is used of
non-personal objects, as in he loves this or that.
But in spite of the
universal mention of love in speech, still hardly anyone knows what love is.
Since meditation about it cannot form any concept of it in a person's
thinking, or bring it into the light of the intellect, because it is not a
matter of light, but of heat, he asserts that it is either non-existent, or some
influence produced by seeing, hearing and being in a person's company, and so
impelling him. He is quite unaware that it is his very life, not just the
general vital principle of the whole of his body and of all his thoughts, but
the life in every single detail of these.
A wise person can grasp this
in this way. Suppose we say, 'If you take away the affection of love, can you
think of anything? Can you do anything?' Surely to the extent that affection, a
part of love, grows cold, so do thought, speech and action, and to the extent
that affection grows warm, so do they. Love then is the heat of a person's life,
his vital heat, and this alone is the reason blood is hot and also that it is
red. These effects arise from the fire of the sun of the heaven [ = Spiritual
Sun in the mental world of eternity ] of angels [ = people after death who live
in the heavens of their mind ], which is unadulterated love. (CL 34)
= operations in our affective organ = life or heat of our affections, feelings,
emotions, sensations, intentions, motivation ]
CL 35. The infinite
variety of people's faces is an indication that everyone has his own love, to be
distinguished from anyone else's, that is to say, no one has the same love [ =
operations in the affective organ ] as another.
Faces are the expression
of loves, for it is well known that faces change and look different, depending
on the affections of a person's love. Desires too which are part of love, as
well as its joys and sorrows, shine out from the face. This shows plainly that a
person is his own love, or rather a form [ = exterior visible portion in body
and speech ] taken by his love.
But it ought to be known that the inner
man [ = our spiritual mind in the spiritual body which becomes conscious after
death and resuscitation in eternity ], which is one and the same as his spirit
which lives on after death, is a form taken by his love [ = our face in the
spiritual body looks similar to our face in the physical body ]. But the outer
man in the world [ = physical body ] is not, because this has learned from
childhood up to hide the desires of his love, or rather to pretend and make a
show of something other than his true feelings. (CL 35)
CL 36. The
reason why each person retains his love after death is that love is a person's
life (as stated in 34 above), and in consequence is the person himself. A person
is also his thought, and so his intelligence and wisdom [ = operations in the
cognitive organ that are directed by the operations in the affective organ ];
but these make one with his love. For it is love which is the origin and
determinant of a person's thought; in fact, if he has freedom, of his speech and
From this it may be seen that love is the being or essence
of a person's life, and thought is the resultant coming-into-being or arising of
his life. Speech therefore and actions, which derive from thought, are not so
much from thought as from love by means of thought. [ = in the threefold self,
the sensorimotor actions (S) are directed by the cognitive operations (C) that
are directed by the affective operations (A): thus: A --> C --> S ]
Much experience has allowed me to know that after death a person is not
his thought, but his affection and the thought which comes from it; or he is his
love and the intelligence which comes from it. Also, a person after death puts
off everything not in harmony with his love; in fact, he successively puts on
the face, voice, speech, gestures and behaviour which fit the love of his life.
Thus it is that the whole of heaven is arranged in accordance with all
the different kinds of affection of the love for good, and the whole of hell in
accordance with all the kinds of affection of the love for evil. (CL 36)
CL 37. (iv) The chief love is sexual love; and in the case of those who
reach heaven, that is, those who become spiritual on earth, it is conjugial
love. [ Note: this is really good news, don't you think?! How can we feel that
we are in heaven if we can't have conjugial love with sexual love? The
sensations we experience in our spiritual body after death are far more intense
and pure than the sensations we experience in the physical body now. Swedenborg
was able to confirm this many times during his 27 years of dual citizenship ]
The reason why a person's sexual love remains after death is that a male
remains a male and a female remains a female, and the male's masculinity
pervades the whole and every part of him, and likewise a female's femininity;
and the impulse to be joined is present in every detail down to the smallest.
Since that impulse to be joined was implanted from creation and is
therefore continually present, it follows that the one desires the other and
longs to be joined to the other.
Love taken by itself is nothing but a
desire and hence an impulse to be joined; conjugial love is an impulse to be
joined into one.
For the male and the female of the human species are so
created as to be able to become like a single individual [ = the conjoint self
in the unity model of marriage ], that is, one flesh; and when united, then they
are, taken together, the full expression of humanity. [ = the conjoint self is a
higher form of human potential than the self ]
If not so joined, they
are two, each being as it were a divided person or half a person.
that impulse to be joined lies deeply hidden in every part of both male and
female, and every part has the ability and desire to be joined into one, it
follows that people retain mutual and reciprocal sexual love after death. (CL
CL 38. Sexual and conjugial love are both mentioned, because sexual love is
not the same as conjugial love. Sexual love belongs to the natural man [ = our
natural mind and physical body ], conjugial love to the spiritual man [ = our
spiritual mind and spiritual body ]. The natural man loves and desires only
outward union [ = social and legal ] and the bodily pleasures [ = of the
physical body ] it gives [ = to our natural mind ].
But the spiritual
man loves and desires inner union [ = mental intimacy at the affective level of
the threefold self ] and the delights of the spirit it gives [ = the pleasures
experienced with the spiritual body which are more intense and pure than is
possible with the physical body ], and he perceives that these are only possible
with one wife [ = exclusive sexual relationship ], with whom the degree of union
can perpetually [ = after death ] increase. The more the union increases, the
more he feels delights rising in the same scale, and lasting for ever. But the
natural man [ = materialistic outlook or mentality ] never thinks of this.
This is how it is that we say that conjugial love remains after death
with those who reach heaven, those, that is, who become spiritual on earth [ =
undergo the process of character reformation and regeneration of our inherited
selfish or evil traits ]. (CL 38)
CL 39. (v) These facts have been fully
confirmed by eye-witness.
I have so far considered it enough to confirm
these propositions by intellectual, what are called rational, arguments: that a
person lives on as a person after death, that a male is then a male and a female
a female, that each person retains his own love after death, and his chief loves
are sexual and conjugial. But people have from childhood been given by parents
and teachers, and later by learned men and clergy, a firm belief that they will
not live on as people after death, except on the day of the Last Judgment, and
some have now spent six thousand years waiting for it.
have placed this belief in the category of things which must be taken on trust
and not understood. For these reasons it has been necessary to confirm the same
propositions also by eye-witness accounts. If this is not done, the person who
trusts only his senses will be led by the belief forced on him to say, 'If
people lived on as people after death, I could see and hear them' and 'Who has
come down from heaven, or up from hell, to tell us?' But it has not been and
still is not possible for an angel of heaven to come down, or for a spirit of
hell to come up, and talk with a person, unless the inner levels of his mind,
that is, of his spirit, have been opened by the Lord. This can only happen fully
with those whom the Lord has prepared to receive the truths of spiritual wisdom.
It has therefore pleased the Lord to do this with me, in order to ensure that
conditions in heaven and hell, and how people live after death, should not
remain unknown, be sunk in ignorance and finally buried in denial.
eye-witness proofs of the propositions mentioned above are too numerous to
relate here; but they can be seen in my book Heaven and Hell, also in the
Continuation About the Spiritual World; and later in my Apocalypse Revealed. But
in so far as particularly concerns marriage, they will be found in the account
of experiences subjoined to sections or chapters of this book. (CL 39)
can read these books online at http://www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/index1a.html#can
]CL 40. (vi) Consequently there are marriages in heaven.
Since this has now
been confirmed both by argument and by experience [ = as reported in his books,
see just above for links ], it requires no further proof. (CL 40)
(vii) The Lord's statement that after the resurrection people are not given in
marriage refers to spiritual weddings.
We read in the Gospels: [ = New
Testament Sacred Scripture ]
Some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a
resurrection, asked Jesus, saying, Master, Moses wrote, 'If a man's brother who
has a wife dies, and he is childless, his brother is to marry his wife, and
raise up seed to his brother.' There were seven brothers each of whom, one after
the other married a wife, but they died childless. At length the woman too died.
In the resurrection then, whose wife will she be? But Jesus in reply told them,
The children of this world marry and are given in marriage. But those who will
be judged worthy of reaching the other world and rising again from the dead will
neither marry nor be given in marriage. For they can no longer die, for they are
like angels and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But the
resurrection of the dead was proved by Moses calling the Lord the God of Abraham
and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. But God is not the God of the dead,
but of the living; for him all are alive. Luke 20:27-38; Matt. 22:23-32; Mark
The Lord made two points in this teaching; first that people rise
again after death, and secondly, that they are not given in marriage in heaven.
Resurrection after death was proved [ = in quoted passages from the Old and New
Testament Sacred Scriptures ] by God being not the God of the dead, but of the
living, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive; and further by the parable of
the rich man in hell and Lazarus in heaven (Luke 16:22-31).  The second
point, that people are not given in marriage in heaven, was proved by the words
[ = in the New Testament ] 'those judged worthy of reaching the other world do
not marry or are given in marriage.'
It is plain this means spiritual
weddings because of the immediately following words, 'they can no longer die,
because they are like angels and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.' A
spiritual wedding means being linked with the Lord [ = through reformation and
regeneration of our inherited evil character traits ], something that happens on
earth, and if it has taken place on earth, it has also taken place in heaven.
The [ spiritual ] wedding [ = regeneration of character ] therefore cannot be
repeated in heaven, nor can they be given in marriage again. This is the meaning
of these words, 'The sons of this world marry and are given in marriage. But
those judged worthy of reaching the other world neither marry nor are given in
marriage.' These people are also called by the Lord 'the sons of the wedding'
(Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19*); and in this passage 'angels,' 'sons of God' and 'sons
of the resurrection.'  Marrying [ = spiritual wedding ] is being linked with
the Lord, and going in to a wedding is being received into heaven by the Lord.
This is plain from these passages. [ = New Testament Sacred Scripture ]
kingdom of the heavens is like a royal personage who made a wedding for his son,
and sent out his servants with invitations to the wedding (Matt. 22:1-14).
The kingdom of the heavens is like the ten maidens who went out to meet
the bridegroom, five of whom were ready and went in to the wedding (Matt.
It is clear that the Lord here meant Himself from verse 13 of
this chapter, which says, 'Keep awake, because you do not know the day or the
hour at which the Son of Man will come.' Also from the Book of Revelation: [ =
New Testament Sacred Scripture ]
The time of the wedding of the Lamb has
come, and his wife has made herself ready. Blessed are they who are summoned to
the wedding feast of the Lamb. Rev. 19:7, 9.
There is a spiritual meaning in
everything the Lord said, as was shown fully in THE TEACHING OF THE NEW
JERUSALEM ABOUT THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, published at Amsterdam in 1763. (CL 41)CL
42. I shall append here accounts of two experiences from the spiritual world, of
which this is the first.
One morning I looked up into heaven and saw
above me one broad level above another, and as I watched, the first level near
to me was opened up, and then the second above, and finally the third, which was
the highest. I was enlightened by this so as to grasp that the angels forming
the first or lowest heaven were on the first level, those forming the second or
middle heaven on the second level, and those forming the third or highest heaven
on the third level. At first I wondered what this meant and why it so appeared;
and then I heard a voice like the sound of a trumpet coming out of heaven, which
said, 'We have noticed and now see that you are meditating about conjugial love.
We know that so far no one on earth knows what truly conjugial love is in its
origin and essence, important though it is to know this. It has therefore
pleased the Lord to open up the heavens to you, so that the light which
enlightens may flow into the inner levels of your mind and allow you to perceive
it. Our celestial delights in the heavens, especially the third, are chiefly
from conjugial love. We have therefore been given permission to send down a
married couple for you to see.'
 Then suddenly there was to be seen a chariot
coming down from the highest or third heaven, containing what seemed to be one
angel. But as it approached, it seemed to have two angels in it. The chariot
seen from afar sparkled like a diamond, and had harnessed to it foals as white
as snow. The travelers riding in the chariot held in their hands two
turtle-doves, and they called out to me, 'You would like us to come closer, but
be careful then that the fiery radiance, which is from the heaven we come down
from, does not strike too deep. It will certainly enlighten the higher concepts
in your intellect, which are in themselves heavenly. But these are inexpressible
in the world where you now are. So understand rationally what you are about to
hear, and so explain this to your intellect.' 'I will be careful,' I replied,
'come closer.' They did so, and turned out to be a husband and wife. 'We are a
married couple,' they said. 'We have led a blessed life in heaven from the
earliest time, which you call the Golden Age. We have been perpetually in the
bloom of youth, in which you see us today.'
 I gazed at them both, because I
realized that in their life and their adornment they were a picture of conjugial
love. Their lives were to be seen from their faces, their adornment from their
dress. For all angels are affections of love in human form. Their ruling
affection shines out from their faces, and it is their affection which provides
and determines what they wear. So in heaven there is a saying, everyone is
dressed by his affection. The husband looked to be of an age half way between an
adolescent and a young adult. Sparkling light glittered from his eyes, an effect
of the wisdom of love; this light made his face shine with a kind of internal
radiance, and this radiation made his skin shine on the outside, so that his
whole face was a single lovely splendour. He was dressed in an ankle-length
robe, over a blue garment with a gold belt, decorated with three gems, a
sapphire at either side and a carbuncle at the centre. He wore stockings of
shining linen with silver threads in the weave, and pure silk shoes. This was
the picture presented by conjugial love in the husband.
 In the wife it
appeared like this. I saw her face and at the same time I did not see it. It
looked like Beauty itself, but I could not see it because this is inexpressible.
Her face shone with fiery light, the light the angels in the third heaven enjoy,
and this dazzled my sight, so that I was simply amazed. When she noticed this,
she spoke to me. 'What can you see?' she asked. 'I can see nothing but conjugial
love and the form it takes,' I answered. 'But I both see and don't see.' At this
she turned sideways on to her husband, and then I could gaze at her more
fixedly. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, a fiery light, as I have
said, which derives from the love of wisdom. For the love wives have for their
husbands in that heaven comes from and is focussed on their wisdom, and the love
husbands have for their wives comes from and is focussed on that love for
themselves, so that it unites them. As a result her beauty was such that no
painter could ever rival it or render it in its true appearance, for his colours
lack radiance and his art has no means to express her loveliness. Her hair was
beautifully dressed in an arrangement which had a meaning by correspondence, and
it had flowers in it made of jewelled settings. Her necklace was of carbuncles,
and from it hung a rosary of gold-coloured gems, and she had pearl bracelets.
She was dressed in a red gown over a purple blouse, fastened at the front with
rubies. But I was surprised to see that the colours changed as she turned
towards or away from her husband, and this too made them sparkle more or less,
more when they looked at each other, less when not directly facing.
 When I
had seen this, they spoke with me again; and when the husband spoke, it was as
if what he said came at the same time from the wife, and when the wife spoke, it
was as if it came at the same time from her husband, so closely united were
their minds, from which their utterances flowed. [ =the conjoint self ] And I
could also then hear the sound of conjugial love, which was in inward unison
within their speech, and arose from the delights of a state of peace and
innocence. At length they said, 'We are being called back, we must go.' Then
they were seen again riding in a chariot, as before. They drove along a paved
road between flower-beds with olive-trees and trees laden with orange fruit
springing from them. When they approached their own heaven, maidens came out to
welcome them and escort them in. (CL 42)
CL 45. THE STATE OF MARRIED PARTNERS AFTER DEATH
That there are
marriages in the heavens has been shown just above. It is now to be shown
whether or not the conjugial covenant entered into in the world will continue
after death and be enduring.
This is not a matter of judgment but of
experience, and since this experience has been granted me through consociation
with angels and spirits, the question may be answered by me, but yet in such
wise that reason also will assent.
Moreover, it is among the wishes and
desires of married partners to have this knowledge; for men who have loved their
wives, and wives who have loved their husbands, desire to know whether it is
well with them after their death, and whether they will meet again. Furthermore
many married partners desire to know beforehand whether after death they will be
separated or will live together - those who are of discordant dispositions,
whether they will be separated, and those who are of concordant dispositions,
whether they will live together. This information, being desired, shall be
given, and this in the following order:
I. That after death, love of the
sex remains with every man such as it had been interiorly, that is, in his
interior will and thought, in the world.
II. That the same is true of
III. That after death, two married partners, for the most
part, meet, recognize each other, again consociate, and for some time live
together; which takes place in the first state, that is, while they are in
externals as in the world.
IV. But that successively, as they put off their
externals and come into their internals, they perceive the nature of the love
and inclination which they had for each other, and hence whether they can live
together or not.
V. That if they can live together, they remain married
partners; but if they cannot, they separate, sometimes the man from the wife,
sometimes the wife from the man, and sometimes each from the other.
that then a suitable wife is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the
VII. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse with each other
as in the world, but more delightful and blessed, yet without prolification; for
which, or in place of it, they have spiritual prolification, which is that of
love and wisdom.
VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven;
but not so with those who go to hell [ = this is determined by personal choice
according to our ruling love after resuscitation from death ]. The explanation
now follows whereby these articles are illustrated and confirmed. [ not
reproduced here due to its length, but see the original book Conjugial
1. Part B
We cannot disprove the scientific validity of the Swedenborg reports. Nor can we prove them to be scientifically valid. And that is why I call this model "the positive bias in psychology." So, for the purpose of this course let us adopt the positive bias instead of the usual negative bias. This means that we grant the possibility that the Swedenborg reports are scientifically valid. This attitude allows us to examine the unity model of marriage which is based on the positive bias regarding the Swedenborg reports.
The unity model of marriage says that men and women are created reciprocals of each other so that they can conjoin into a unity. This means that the two become as-if one person with interdependent thoughts and feelings. What keeps them in this state of heavenly union or conjoint self, is their mutual love and inmost friendship for each other.
(1) They are lovers and best friends at the same time.
(2) They are strongly motivated not to hurt each other out of neglect, impatience, anger, disagreement, or resentment.
(3) They are committed to never contradict each other.
(4) They remain loyal to each other before anybody else, including children, family, friends, career, hobby.
(5) They are happy, fulfilled, and constantly passionately in love with each other.
How did they get to this state of unity?
Remember that the unity model consists of three phases of attainment in marriage and intimate exclusive romantic relationships:
Phase 1: male dominance model (natural marriage, traditional)Phase 2: equity model (natural marriage, modern)Phase 3: unity model (spiritual marriage)
These three phases of the marriage relationship will be further defined and discussed in detail as you progress through the course.
Every couple has to leave the male dominance phase behind them for the equity phase, but then some couples can come to realize that the equity phase is inherently unfair to women. It appears that the equity phase empowers women to leave behind the oppressiveness of the male dominance phase, but it turns out that this is an illusion or legend. Yes, the wife can now negotiate with the husband: "Honey, you take out the garbage and I'll take the kids to school." Later, she finds out he didn't do it. She reminds him a couple of times, which she finds denigrating because he puts her down for it, telling her to stop nagging him. So what has she gained in the equity model? Or take this example:
He says: "No, I don't think it's a good idea for you to work." She pleads with him: "But you said before we got married that it was all right with you." He says: "Well, I changed my mind."
And that's the problem, isn't it? The woman has no guarantee about anything in the equity phase. Men are given the advantage over women in many ways, both in free democracies like ours, and even more so in less free societies. The equity phase does not come with a guarantee or a method for enforcing broken promises and contracts by the husband. A woman can make herself less sexually available in order to fight the man's injustice when he breaks his promises and does not follow the equity phase fairly. This solution is often described in history and literature, and in the media today. Even if a man wants to be fair at a certain level of consciousness, he is subconsciously biased in favor of himself because men's male dominance interferes with accurate perception of their interactions with women.
This is why men need a more powerful model by which to operate in the relationship. Both the traditional male dominance phase and the popular equity phase, are not sufficient to give many men the motivational capacity to change. But there is one guarantee for success: the man can switch over to the unity model.
In order for the husband or boyfriend to adopt the unity model he must first be spiritually enlightened. This means that he is willing to think of his relationship with his wife as being eternal, not ending at death.
Their love relationship will continue in the afterlife. They started their marriage with the vow "Until death do us part" and this led them into the male dominance phase and the equity phase. But now he is willing to go further and take the last and ultimate step, which is the vow "Until endless eternity." There is no parting, ever. If a man runs away from that thought with one woman, he will not adopt the unity model. But if he loves the idea of his wife as eternal soul mate, then he can find the motivational power to declare himself for the unity model, and to keep striving to achieve it in the ensuing years.
The adoption of the unity model is all at once, like an acknowledgement and commitment, but the attaining of it in daily practice is progressive and developmental.
Nevertheless, the husband's declaration of his commitment to the unity model makes a huge difference to the wife, even if it becomes actual only gradually, and not full and complete for years and even decades. Why?
Because now the wife or girlfriend possesses spiritual leverage over him when he falls back on the equity phase and the male dominance phase.
Wife: Honey, I want you stop sending birthday cards to your ex-girlfriends.
Husband: Why all of a sudden? It's just a nice habit to keep up with people you know.
Wife: You said you are committed to the unity model. Are you giving that up now?
Husband: OK, I see your point. I don't like it, but I see it.
Wife: It doesn't matter if you like it or not. But you should learn to like it because it is our conjugial heaven.
Husband: You are right.
Wife: Well, are you going to stop?
Husband: Yes. Thanks for reminding me, sweetheart.
What do you think of this kind of exchange?
You can see that the husband feels spiritually bound to his commitment. His wife has to be strongly motivated to keep bringing this point up to him, to keep facing him with his spiritual commitment. She has to put motivational pressure on him by using the force that he provides her, since she herself has almost no power over the man in a man's world. In the male dominance phase the husband did not allow her to put this kind of psychological pressure on him. He would oppose it, reject it, and blame her for it. But now that he has declared himself for the unity model, these separative strategies suddenly no longer work for him. He cannot both engage in separative behaviors and continue to hold on to the unity model. He has to choose because these are opposites.
The commitment he has to the unity model is grounded in his idea that his marriage is continuing in the afterlife as a conjugial heaven between lovers who are best friends to each other.
Settling into this idea as a certainty acts as a receptor of spiritual power. This spiritual power transfers by correspondence into psychological ability to remain motivated to continue the gradual changeover process from the earlier dominant-equity relationship to the eternal conjugial unity model.
This new ability flows into the conscious mind of the husband from his unconscious spiritual mind. This new ability involves enlightenment in the cognitive organ and empowerment in the affective organ. The husband or boyfriend can now compel himself to think and act from the unity model even when he is tempted to act from the equity or dominance phases of the past.
Without the idea that he and his wife will be together in heaven as lovers and best friends forever, a man does not have the affective power to prevent himself from sliding back into the equity or dominance way of interacting with his wife or girlfriend whenever he feels like it, or whenever he is being challenged. Hence he cannot stick it out with the unity model long enough to discover that he actually much prefers it.
When a man discovers that he actually prefers the unity model to anything else, he has become an angel on earth, and he and his wife will be an angel in the heaven of their conjugial eternity.
And yet, even such an angel on earth is not yet like an angel in heaven, such as a man becomes in his full human potential in eternity when he loves conjugial unity. The wife is then most fulfilled from within in a way she could not experience before. Later we will discuss what kind of behaviors express a man's commitment to the unity relationship.
So here we are. With respect to the reality of eternal or spiritual marriages observed by Swedenborg, we have a choice of rejecting its possibility, without actual proof (negative bias in science), or accepting the possibility, without proof (positive bias in science).
Remember, the positive bias is to accept the possibility that the reports may be valid. You may decide they are not valid after you examine the evidence. Or, you may decide they are valid.
The positive bias merely says that it's possible that they are valid. The negative bias says that it's useless or ridiculous to examine it because it can't possibly be valid. Either way you choose, you are accepting something that has no proof.
Either way we go -- negative bias or positive bias in science -- we must adopt a bias.
In this proposal you are given the opportunity to adopt the positive bias in science, and to hold the negative bias tucked away in abeyance, so to speak, until the end of the course, at which time you can bring it back, should you still want to.
By adopting the positive bias approach now, you are giving yourself the opportunity to examine the evidence in seriousness (positive bias) rather than in mockery (negative bias).
In order to examine what I am presenting in seriousness, you need to act like in your mind, that you are adopting for the moment, the positive bias approach in science for the sake of the potential benefits being claimed for learning this new knowledge.
We also want to realize in clear awareness, that our initial preference for the negative bias position in science, is not due to our own thinking, but to the accepted or approved way of thinking that we do by habit regarding scientific subjects. We think about the "scientific method" with borrowed attitudes from our socialization, and especially definitions in our science education in high school and in college. We are told over and over again that ideas about the spiritual world of eternity and science don't mix because you can't investigate the world of the afterlife by observation and experiment. Hence these topics are outside the realms of science. We all received this notion from our education by teachers who themselves received this negative bias in science and are passing it on to the next generation.
But notice this significant fact: teachers don't tell students that they are transmitting the tradition of the negative bias in science. Instead students are told that to reject the idea of eternal marriages is "science." Students are not told that to reject the afterlife is the "negative bias in science". Why, do you think this is? Why don't teachers tell students that to reject eternity is the negative bias in science, instead of saying that it is science? Why do they do that? Think about it for awhile.
When I think about it, my answer is that those who hold the negative bias in science cannot see that it is a bias, since a bias by definition, blinds you to reality and truth. Instead, they see the "positive bias in science" as a bias, and not as science.
So the negative bias in science creates a knowledge culture that is dead set against anything that is not definable by physical measurements and abstract derivations thereof.
Anything having to do with eternity or the spiritual world is simply ruled out. Since eternity is ruled out, so are eternal marriages.
So the unity model of marriage is not comprehensible or meaningful within the negative bias. The idea of marriage as a binding relationship "until death do us part" comes to you from the negative bias in science as applied to marriage. In contrast, the positive bias in science leads you to the idea of marriage as a permanent or eternal relationship with your soul mate. The difference is whether you think of yourself as the temporary brain in the physical world, or as the immortal mind in the spiritual world.
In this proposal I am saying that it is possible to examine the Swedenborg reports rationally and impartially, in order to decide whether they are scientifically valid and rationally meaningful, or not.
I have done so myself for the past thirty years and found these reports rational, empirical, valid, scientific, and highly useful to know about. As a result I set out in this research seminar, to present to you the content of these reports regarding eternal marriages.
In this seminar on the unity model of marriage we will discuss Swedenborg's unique experience so that you may gain a rational and scientific idea of marriages in the afterlife. However the religious view on the afterlife will not be examined in this course.
Swedenborg was a respected and well known Swedish engineer, scientist, and legislator (1688-1772), admired for his wide ranging set of discoveries in mining engineering, crystallography, chemistry, physics, brain anatomy, physiology. His science was unusual in that he always tried to include God as the creator and manager of all phenomena, while other well known scientists and mathematicians like Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Darwin, only mentioned God in the Preface of their book, acknowledging Him as the Creator of Nature. But then they never mentioned God again in the rest of the book that contained their scientific theory. Swedenborg on the other hand kept bringing God into all of his scientific theories.
This is because Swedenborg had a passion for the full rational account in which he tried to take into account the idea that if God is omnipotent He cannot give away His power to nature or to natural laws. It is God who must be activating all the forces of nature. And further, since God had a definite purpose and goal to bring about, it was obvious to him that God had to manage all the details of nature that added up to the whole. Hence it made sense to him to bring God into science, trying to see how every phenomenon contributed to God's overall goal. He was especially aversive to the idea of keeping explanations restricted to a small area without worrying about how they fit in with the whole.
It is clear to me as I read all of Swedenborg's works and Writings that he succeeded in establishing God as a scientific concept. This is totally unique to Swedenborg's Writings. He established the reality of God in science (not religion). Hence Swedenborg's science can be called "theistic science" to indicate that God has a conceptual status in that approach to science. You may be interested in how I translate Swedenborg's Writings into theistic psychology -- see my online textbook here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/
At age 57, Swedenborg had a vision experience in which God as the Divine Human Man appeared to him and told him that Swedenborg had been unconsciously prepared since early childhood to become a theistic scientist and to build up the scientific knowledge and theory in which God could be incorporated as an objective concept and thus, at last, made part of the scientific explanation of events. Now that Swedenborg had formed the natural basis for a theistic science (prior to age 57), he was ready for the spiritual laboratory he needed to provide the objective evidence for dualism in science. Swedenborg's substantive dualism refers to the philosophical and scientific theory that human beings are born into two worlds simultaneously -- with a temporary physical body in the natural world of time and space, and a permanent or eternal spiritual body in the spiritual world not in time and space (called "eternity" and "afterlife").
The positive bias in science was not possible until Swedenborg published his reports about the spiritual world of eternity. He was the only modern scientist who had access to the observations he presents. This was made possible when he suddenly at age 57, became conscious simultaneously in both worlds, whereas every other scientist only becomes conscious of the spiritual world after resuscitation at death. Now that we have Swedenborg's reports we are able to adopt the positive bias in science -- long enough to be able to examine his evidence. These findings about eternity cannot be examined in the negative bias mode, because it rejects them in advance without proof.
Swedenborg has proven by repeated daily observations over 27 years that human beings are born into eternity as immortal beings and are only temporarily connected to this world of time through the physical body. This proof forms the empirical basis of the unity model of marriage -- thus making marriage into a permanent immortal relationship, not "until death do us part", but "until endless eternity".
The physical body with which we are born in the physical world of time-space and the mental-spiritual body we are born with in eternity outside time, are functionally inter-connected so that our sensations, thoughts, and feelings occur in our mental-spiritual body and organs, while the physical body exists and moves around in the natural world. For example, the facial expression on our physical body corresponds or is connected to, the mental emotions and mood in our affective organ which is located in the mental-spiritual body. As a result, the face can sometimes be used as an index to the emotions. The physical operations of the facial muscles and the sensorimotor brain correspond to the mental-spiritual operations in our affective organ located in the spiritual body.
Note well: The facial muscles and their correlated brain operations exist in time and space in the physical world, but the emotions and feelings to which they correspond, exist outside time and space in the mental world of eternity.
Our mental-spiritual body exists in eternity since birth and remains there after the death of the physical body.
Death is therefore a continuation of life, as our conscious awareness shifts from the natural mind and its connection with the physical body, to the spiritual mind and its connection to the mental-spiritual body which exists in eternity. All this will appear more real to you if you remember that your thoughts and feelings are not the same as the electro-chemical operations of the neurons in your brain. If you would like more information on this, you can check out the lectures notes for G27, Psych 459, Theistic Psychology, Part 1: Mental Anatomy.
Proof:The thoughts and feelings of human beings are constructed out of spiritual substances not physical matter, like that of the physical brain. These spiritual substances are by definition immortal or eternal since death applies only to what is in time-space. Death does not apply to what is in eternity, and our thoughts and feelings are born in eternity in our spiritual body, which remains there forever. This means that the self, which is made up of our thoughts and feelings, is immortal. The spiritual substances originate from the Spiritual Sun just like natural matter for our physical body originates from the physical sun and stars. Remember this proof. Try it out on your friends.
At the death of the physical body, the spiritual body with its organs of sensing (S), thinking (C), and feeling (A), is freed from any connection with the world of time and space. We then continue our life of immortality in the mental world of eternity into which we were born to begin with. This mental world of eternity is also called the afterlife and the spiritual world. Swedenborg was able to confirm this by direct observation, when at age 57 his encounter with God left him conscious simultaneously in both worlds. We are all dual citizens, like Swedenborg, but we don't get to be conscious in our spiritual mind until the death of the physical body. Until then we are conscious only in our natural mind which is connected by correspondence to our physical body.
Swedenborg observed thousands of people being "resuscitated," which occurs about 30 hours after the death of the physical body. He talked to many people immediately after their resuscitation. Most of them were extremely surprised to find themselves alive in the spiritual world of eternity.
Swedenborg visited the people who had been in the world of eternity for untold ages. He described their cities and lifestyles. He talked to people whom he personally had known and then passed on. He talked to people he had read about in literature like Aristotle, Newton, King David, Mary, or Luther. He described the lifestyle in the "heavenly" and "hellish" cities and societies that he observed in the afterlife world of eternity. His dual citizenship lasted for 27 years until age 84 when he passed permanently into the afterlife. During those 27 years he published nearly 30 volumes of observational and theoretical reports on the spiritual world.
One of the most amazing is his discovery that people in the afterlife are in a spiritual body that is permanently youthful (around age 20), and that in the heavenly regions of the mental world of eternity, everyone lives as a married couple. His book Conjugial Love (1763) is a detailed description of the relationship he observed between husbands and wives in the eternity of their heaven. Each couple is called "an angel" because from a distance they appear as one angel, but close up they are seen as a husband and wife.
The unity model of marriage in this course is based on the empirical descriptions that Swedenborg gives of the "angel couple," which is what married partners are called in the afterlife of their heaven. But Swedenborg also described the "infernal marriages" of people who are in the hells of their mind -- and that is pretty ugly and awful! Swedenborg also describes and explains why people choose to be in the heavens or in the hells of their mind -- for he found that in the afterlife, everyone chooses their own preference of life.
What Swedenborg discovered empirically by direct observation, multiple times in the course of daily observations for 27 years, is that when people are resuscitated in the world of spirits a few hours after the death of the physical body, they appear not as filmy gaseous spirit ghosts, but exactly the same as in their physical body!
They have solid bodies that he could touch and shake hands with. He ate with them. He slept and had dreams. He talked to couples who had been husband and wife for untold ages, who told him that they were doing with their mental-spiritual body in their heaven everything they did on earth with their physical bodies, except that here, their sensations were much keener and stronger than what they had in their physical bodies.
In other words, what Swedenborg saw and confirmed many times in different ways, is that our afterlife of eternity is spent in a real substantial non-material body that is immortal and cannot die.
This real body of immortality is what I call "the spiritual body" or "the mental body." We could also call it "the rational ether body" because it is a body constructed out of rational ether, which is the substance out of which all things are made of in the world of eternity, which is the mental world of the human race . This spiritual substance of rational ether emanates from the Spiritual Sun in the midst of which God can be seen visibly by those who live in the highest heavens of their mind.
This makes sense since the world of eternity = the mental world of the human race = individual self and conscious life within that world.
All of this may sound like a naive fairy tale, not science! If you want to find our more how this is indeed science, and not a fairy tale or religion, I invite you to read a little further on "the negative and positive bias in science" available at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/where you can also read the generational reports of the students who have studied theistic psychology.
(a) Read the above Introductory Section once through, then again while taking notes. (b) Note some of your reactions to this unusual treatment of a subject normally associated with religion or spirituality, rather than psychology. (c) Note your reactions to the positive bias proposal, namely that it's possible that the Swedenborg reports are scientifically valid. Note your reactions to the content of the Swedenborg reports, such as our immortality and the state of being married to one's soul mate forever in the mental world of eternity of the afterlife.
Now discuss your notes and observations with friends and class teams.
1. Introduction: Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?
2. Mental Anatomy and the Individual's Threefold Self2.1 Mental Anatomy of Women and Men2.2 Masculine Intelligence and Feminine Intelligence
3. Three Levels of Unity in the Marriage Relationship
4. Unity Through Reciprocity and Differentiation
5. Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction 5.1 Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex6. Unity Model in Marriage: Ennead Chart of Growth Steps
7. Threefold Degrees of Conjunction
8. Male Dominance Phase of Marriage
9. Sexual Blackmail
10. Developing mental intimacy with one's wife
11. The Spiritual Dimension to the Unity Model
12. Making Field Observations
13. Dynamic Elements of the Ennead Chart
14. Areas of Observations for Equity
15. Behavioral Indicators of One's Relationship Phase
16. Gender Discourse Within the Three Phases
16a. Sexy vs. Unsexy Conversational Style of Husbands
16b. Spiritual Dynamics Between Husband and Wife
16c. Conversational Rules for Husbands in Conjugial Interactions
16d. Characteristics of Husband's Threefold Self During Discourse
16e. Field Activity: Monitoring Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse
17. Happiness and Unhappiness on the Ennead Chart
18. Contrasting the Three Phases
19. Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUVs) 20. Examples of Unity Values (UVs) -- Sweetheart Rituals
21. Giving Objective Feedback
Continues at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy27/409b-g27-lecture-notes.htm#threefold-self