The Unity Model of Marriage

Psychology 409b / Spring 2008 / Generation 27

Dr.Leon James, Instructor, University of Hawaii

Ling to class homepage:


Sumiyo Ishikawa

Sumiyo Ishikawa / Chloe Yogi / Angela Washington


Conjugial Love For The Unity Marriage - Happy Married Couples -


Section 1. Lecture content

By Sumiyo Ishikawa


         11. The spiritual dimension to the unity model


- The negative bias – Materialism and non-theistic psychology. Physical world.


         The negative bias only exists physical body in the natural world of time so marriage has to be part of the physical world.


         Thoughts and feelings are not real but subjective phenomena. They emerge from the electro-chemical activity of the physical brain.


- The positive bias – Dualism and theistic psychology. Mental & physical world.


The positive bias exists spiritual body in the mental world of eternity and physical body in the natural world of time. The mental anatomy is mental life and true life. Marriage has to be part of the mental and physical world.


         Thoughts and feelings are real objective phenomena, they are not material (physical anatomy, but subjective phenomena (mental anatomy).


If we simply reduce the negative bias, it does not have anything. If we consider the positive bias, it has something. We must consider positive bias to make conjugial love in the spiritual dimension of the unity model.



         19-2. Spiritual marriage (or Eternal marriage) Anatomical conjunction of mental organ of husband and wife



According to Dr. James, we take on the positive bias why we consider the unity model and we are going to respect because we believe that the positive bias is possible and Swedenborg reports it could be true.


Swedenborg described that this life of immortality continues mental organ in the spiritual body because he consciously became in the spiritual mind when he was 57 years old.


Swedenborg observed that resuscitation process occurred after people died and physical body completely did not connect without function within 30 hours in the experimental empirical report. After resuscitation from death, we are consciously in our spiritual mind and unconsciously in our natural mind. We continue life of immortality in eternity through spiritual mind.


The unity model of marriage based on the Swendenborg’s book Conjugial love (1763).


CL 321. (4) People who before had lived with their partners in a state of truly conjugial love [= unity model] do not marry again, except for reasons dissociated from conjugial love. 


If we have a spiritual marriage, we are in conjugial love, we have a unity marriage, and we have a conjoint self. When one of the partners passes on, we do not die and physical body is dissociated from spiritual body. At the death, there is togetherness between spiritual body which is mental world eternity.


Why do couples who lose a spouse not want to remarry? People who had lived with their partners in a state of truly conjugial love [=unity model] do not wish to marry again, after partner dies.

Because they have been united in respect to their souls [=affective conjunction] and in respect to their minds [=cognitive conjunction] and this unions, being a spiritual one [spiritual marriage], is an actual coupling [=anatomical conjunction] of soul and mind of the other, which dissolved [=spiritual or eternal]. 


Male and female have reciprocal arrangement of their mental organs. Soul is affective conjunction and mind is cognitive conjunction. There are 2 stages of conjunction; natural marriage is called an external conjunction and spiritual marriage is called an internal conjunction. Women are made of feminine intelligence [=cognitive organ] on the inside and feminine love [=affective organ] on the outside. Men are made of masculine intelligence [=cognitive organ] on the outside and masculine love on the inside [=affective organ] on the inside.


-Natural marriages are involved in the male dominance model and in the equality mode.


1.   Woman and wife conjoins herself to husband. Husband does not do anything. How does she conjoin herself to husband ? She loves [=affective conjunction] his idea [=cognitive conjunction]. She loves his idea, conjoins herself to him, and becomes together with him.


-Spiritual marriages are involved in the unity model. 


2. He has to conjoin himself to her. How can we do that ? We can do the only way

of conjunction. We can only conjoin affective organ with cognitive organ. Conjunction is 2 bodies joint together physically by anatomical conjunction.


Sensorimotor association physically gets together a man and woman. Sensorimotor conjunction close to physically but it cannot give conjunction all the united physical. Sensorimotor association can give relative position each other. Sensorimotor cannot conjoin but affective and cognitive can conjoin.


Where is this conjunction coming from?  Swendenborg’s report explained we become conscious mental world in eternity at the resuscitation. We are able to see spiritual sun. Spiritual sun has spiritual heat and light. Affective organ receives spiritual heat and cognitive organ receives spiritual light. Good substance has spiritual heat and enters the skin. Good enters affective organ. Truth substance has spiritual light enters the eyes. Truth enters cognitive organ.


Physical body has matter and energy. Spiritual body has good and truth. Good and truth are called divined marriage. Also they are called celestial or heavenly marriage. Love is affective and idea is cognitive. Affective and cognitive want to marry each other, make conjoint self, they are called anatomical conjunction or mental conjunction.


The unity model based on conjugial love, we know why conjugial love is possible ?

Conjoint self is possible because two individual reunite them into the divined marriage which is irresistible force to make one.


True love is irresistible conjunction to unite them and to make one into creation. We must conjoin affective and cognitive organ in the spiritual dimension to the unity model.


Irresistible conjunction: 1. Women’s heart and men’s mind – Male dominance and equity model. There is no conjunction. 2. Men’s heart with women’s mind – The unity model.

Women have to do all work and women constantly move, motivate, pull, and push to conjoin. She has no choice. Women have cognitive organ on the inside and affective on the outside by spiritual heat and light and come into the spiritual body.


Personal comment


From the lecture, I learned that there is a different style of mental anatomy between men and women; men have cognitive organ on the outside and affective organ on the inside, women have cognitive organ on the inside and affective organ on the outside to be able to conjoin mental intimacy. Although it takes time to conjoin cognitive and affective organ each other, we should create the unity with partner in the marriage relationship. I believe that we can ultimately achieve our goal to share, to understand, to interact each other in the unity marriage. In the near future, I would like to create the conjugial love with partner to be able to achieve affective and cognitive intimacy in the marriage relationship.



Section 2. Team presentation on readings

By Chloe Yogi


         Lecture notes N11


Link to 11. The Spiritual Dimension of the Unity Model by Dr. Leon James


Sweedenborg’s Approach on Spiritual Couples


         The team began their presentation with lecture 11, The Spiritual Dimension to the Unity Model.  They began discussing Sweedenborg’s findings when he had his many interviews with “celestial” couples in the spirit world that have been there for thousands of years.  He reports that they have conjugial unity in heaven and that the marital happiness and joy is constantly increasing.  It is quite interesting to know that couples in the afterlife love each other way more than they do in the natural world.  In the natural world, there are so many divorces and bitter marriages.  It’s nice to know that there are couples who make things work and love each other so much. 

         They then went on about Sweedenborg’s visits to the mental heavens and hells of the human mind.  There is an individual mental reality and a communal heaven or hell group of the mind.  Also, the mental world and the physical world are two different things. A human is simultaneously born in the mental and physical (natural) world at the same time.  Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not physical things, therefore they don’t exist in the physical body.  Those things exist in the spiritual body that is already in the afterlife.  Therefore, we’re immortal.  They group thought that this concept was interesting because if we are immortal, why is it so sad when people die?

         The team then discussed that if someone does not go on into the spiritual world without a soulmate, they have a chance to find one in the afterlife.  They are conjoined with the spiritual love they have for each other.  This is a definition of an angel.  Sweedenborg interviewed many angel couples and he said when they spoke it was like they were speaking in unity, they appeared as one angel, they were always together, and they have their own private mental zone. 


Spiritual Soul on the Internet


         Dr. James discusses in his lecture notes that there are websites and virtual communities where one can exist until eternity.  Websites like Myspace, Facebook, or Youtube.  People can post a persona of themselves and even when the person dies, the webpage will still be there and the person can still be present, but not in the natural world. Only the spirit world.  Internet can be a place to put up memorabilia for one that has passed.


Heaven and Hell


         The team then discussed that if we don’t let go of our hellish traits, we don’t have the ticket to get into heaven.  Also, if you are not totally satisfied with the heavenly traits, you don’t go to heaven either.  The team did not entirely agree to the harshness of  “if you don’t like this, then you won’t go to heaven” rule.  Dr. James then explained that if there is negative feelings towards your partner on the way to heaven, then the place you are going to would not be called “heaven”.  Heaven is a place of good, relaxation, and positive vibes.  It does not need room for hostility.  I agree with Dr. James in that sense.  Heaven is called heaven for a reason.  Hell is called hell for a reason.


Field Observations


         The team spoke of the roles of men and women.  According to the lecture notes, they stated that: (1) the man’s role is not to weaken the woman’s self confidence and the woman’s role is central and needs to be understood by the man to be able to cooperate with her; and (2) the man needs to soften up to the woman and have no resistance to what she wants.  The man at the cognitive level needs to pay attention to her affective interventions.  

         The team mentioned that sometimes the woman may look angry, but she is not angry.  She is zealous.  When a woman is zealous, she is trying to help the man be a better partner and move him closer to the unity level.  Anger is from hell and zeal is from heaven.  Despite her showing her zeal to a man, the man must keep is composure and be considerate of her feelings and obey.  That would make him a true man.  I feel this is a good technique because the woman will only get worse if he yells back at her.  She is already full of zeal and she will be overloaded with zeal that probably the man will not like.


Sexless Marriage is the Best Marriage


“Spiritual marriage comes from the idea of ‘love without sex’”.


         So would it defeat the purpose of the unity level if spiritual marriage has no sex?  Is it the opposite of unity?  This is where the two minds come into play.  Sex is an act in the physical mind, so once a couple goes on into the spiritual world, sex is obsolete and there are things comparable to sex, but is not sex.  The team thought this was very interesting because they (as well as I) never thought about sex in that way.  Yes, sex is something that feels good, but you don’t necessarily have to love someone to have sex with him/her.  Same thing goes with marriage.  You don’t have to love someone to marry them.  Marriage and sex are just actions of probable or potential love.  Not necessarily ACTUAL love.   



         Lecture notes N19


Link to Lecture 19 Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUV’s) by Dr. Leon James      


         The team gave some examples of Anti-Unity Values couples sometimes face, which holds them back from reaching the unity level.  Here were a few brought up by the team:


1.   Living together unmarried.

2.   Having children together without getting married.

3.   Making each other jealous on purpose.

4.   Accepting the idea that it’s OK to “agree to disagree” about some things.

5.   Dressing up sexy to be noticed by men other than one’s partner (“slutty”).


The group didn’t agree with the fact that a relationship would not be able to reach the unity level because an unmarried couple is living together or that it won’t be ok to “agree to disagree”.  I personally feel that there will be disagreements in all relationships, but it is usually minor ones.  Ones that can be looked over and not thought about again.  But some decisions for parents to work out for their kids may be a big decision and as a couple, they should know how to work it out rationally.  Disagreements don’t necessarily make the relationship bad.  Sometimes I think it makes it stronger.  Dr. James made a good point though saying that disagreements are hellish and should be avoided.    



         Generation curriculum C23


Link to C23: My Understanding of the Unity Model of Marriage by Susan Ventrucci


         The team then moved onto the Generational Curriculum C23 on a report by Susan Ventrucci.  There is a comparing and contrasting to three books: Gender Issues by Deborah Tannen, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger, and The Lazy Husband by Joshua Coleman.  It begins by discussing which gender is more dominant.  Tannen felt that women were more agreeable and submissive to things – male dominance.  Schlessinger felt the same way, but is more on a male dominance level as we all know.  She feels the men should conquer, while women nurture.  Coleman felt that the sexes are equal and should be equal.  The team felt it was ironic how the only man out of these three authors, brought up the point that the sexes should be equal.

         The team mentioned that when a man is not devoted to the unity model of marriage he is most likely going to revert back to the male dominance phase by yelling and screaming at the woman (verbal abuse).  This is a bad move on his part bringing in hostility.  A member from the team compared her marriage to this and she said that occasionally her husband does argue with her and he still believes in the equity phase.  I also feel the equity phase would be enough for me.  The unity phase may seem a little too much for me and I might get irritable if he complies too much.

         Susan brought up sexual blackmail and that it can damage a relationship.  The man demands sex and the woman does not want to have sex.  The man will make the woman feel guilty by saying things like “if you love me, you will sleep with me”.  She mentions that some women are not entirely affected by it, but some are.  The team felt that sexual blackmail is wrong.  No means no.  Leave it as that.

         There were dialogues Susan created to express the 3 models of marriage.  Here are excerpts from the dialogues:


Dialogue 1: Dominance Model

Husband: Hi.  Where are you?

Wife:  Oh, I’m out at the store.  My friend told me about this great dessert and I wanted to pick up the ingredients to make it for dinner tonight.  Then I thought we could-

Husband: (interrupting) So you made dinner for tonight?  What are we having?

Wife:  Pork chops.

Husband: Again?  Why don’t you ever make anything I like? 

Wife:  The kids asked for them.  They love pork chops.

Husband: Okay fine.  Maybe you can actually make something I like tomorrow. 

Wife: I’ll see what I can do.

Husband:  You know, Jim’s wife makes whatever he asks for every night for dinner.

Wife: (sarcastically) How fortunate for Jim.

Husband: (also sarcastic) Yeah, that sure must be nice.

Wife: So what I was trying to tell you earlier, I was thinking that tonight maybe we could go catch a movie after dinner.  The kids don’t have much homework, they could go to my sister’s house for a few hours. 

Husband: Yeah, sure.  There’s a new action movie coming out that I want to see.  Let’s go to that one.

Wife:  Okay, I guess.

Husband: Listen, can you please hurry up and get home.  The kids are going to be home from soccer soon and I don’t want to have to take care of them.  I had a long day at work.  Besides, I’m starving.  I want some dinner.


Dialogue 2: Equity Model

Wife: There’s this new Japanese restaurant I want to try.

Husband: Well, actually, I was hoping we could eat in.  We both agreed that we need to watch our spending this month.  I don’t think eating out all the time is necessary.

Wife:  You’re right.  We do need to watch our spending.  But we don’t eat out every night.  You know that.  What were you expecting, that I would come home after a horrible day at work and make a gourmet meal?

Husband:  Don’t be so defensive.  You know that’s not what I meant.  All I’m saying is that I do a lot of the cooking, maybe tonight it should be your turn.  Besides, my work is just as hard as yours is, that should not have anything to do with it.

Wife: Okay, fine.  I will make dinner.  Just don’t complain about what I make.

Husband: Thank you. 


Dialogue 3: Unity Model

Husband: I can wash those up if you need time to go get ready. 

Wife: Thanks for offering, but I think I will just do it real quick.

Husband: Why don’t you let me do it?

Wife: Well, sometimes you don’t get all of the food specks off of the plates and you leave water spots on the glasses.

Husband: (takes the dishes from the wife) I will be very careful not to do that anymore.  Go ahead and get ready.  Don’t worry about the dishes.

Wife: (Looks at husband with loving and appreciative eyes) Thank you, honey.  I love you.  I will be ready in twenty minutes.

Husband: I love you too.  I will be ready to go when you are.

Wife: Well, I finally called my sister this morning and gave her an answer about that loan she had been asking for.  I told her I didn’t think it was a good idea for us to loan her money.  I told her all the reasons why just like you and I had discussed.

Husband: Good for you Honey.  I know that was hard for you, but I really feel like you did the right thing. 

Wife: I think so too.  I knew all along it was never a good idea to loan her money, I just felt badly saying no.

Husband: I know it is hard to say no, but I really felt the same way about the situation.  You definitely did the right thing.


These excerpts are good examples of the different phases in marriage. As you can see, the unity dialogue is so nice and perfect.  The team felt it was too good to be true, but it is possible.  If only I could find me a man like that!



Section 3. Team exercise on readings

By Angela Washington


(a) Summarize the main ideas presented by the team. 


The main points consisted of The first rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to be reactive and friendly whenever his wife is talking to him. The second rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to deny himself the right to express disagreement with her.

The third rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is create a conversational atmosphere in which his wife feels unoppressed, free, and safe because he shows that he cherishes everything about her. The fourth rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to use the conversation as a method of enhancing her mood, of making her feel young in heart and stimulated in mind. The team for exercises consisted of: Brandon Nacapoy and Xuying Zhang. One group member was not available for the presentation.They explained the four rules of conjujial conversation, with specific focus on the wants of women and the strategy that men have to take to achieve and meet the needs of women. Each member discussed the topic with their friends, and decided if what thier friends thought, coincided with this perspective of conjujial conversation. Since the video was unavailabe to view at that time, the group opted to answer the questions only. For your reference however, I have provided the link to the video on you tube,


(b) Describe what they did and how they interpreted it. 


Well, the group members both consulted with their significant others, to get there opinion about the topic of conjujial conversation. Brandon, focused his discussion on the way he disagrees with his girlfriend at times, and instead of confronting her, he is realizing how to "hold back" and "suck it up" so that he spare his girlfriends feelings, which will inturn make him feel good that he did it. Dr James interjected a few times to ask Brandon why he felt tat he should "suck it up"? At first, Brandon said that he used to feel that he had to get his point across regardless, but he has bee growing and trying to achieve the unity phase. Brandins solution was to actually allow himself to lose that feeling of anger and torment every time he had to "suck it up" and by doing so, he has now realized that he feels better knowing that he is pleasing his girlfriend by not disagreeing with her. Xiang, discussed the questions with her close friends, both make and female. She described her girlfriends wished that they could have conjujial access with their mates and that the material she presented to them in 16c.1, really hit close to home. She mentioned that one of her girlfriends really wanted to conjoin with her mate, but he was very reluctant to keep his independence.


(c) Describe some of the ideas that needed a better justification or greater amplification. 


Even with just two group members, they managed to cover all bases of the concepts in 16c.1. Each rule was interpreted and followed up with an example from their friends and mates. We can always use more comparisons to the Unity Model of Marriage and the attempts that each group member has progressed to, this far in the semester.


(d) What was the success of the approach they used?


I really enjoyed the way they connected their personal stories with the material. That enabled the audience to picture the experience that they were having has they explained the ideas to their boyfriend/girlfriends. This approach always allows the audience to grasps the concept and also relate to what they have experienced while doing the exercise themselves.


(e) What improvements are needed in the procedures or in the instructions? 


The instructions were quite clear and no room was left for error. The only problem was that the web link provided, was not working or had been deleted prior to the team doing the exercise. Other than that minor issue, I cannot se any flaws or discrepancy in the instructions.


(f) What are the limitations of these types of exercises?


The only limitation that I can think of is the fact that we are running out of people to discus or exercise topics with. Most of us have exhausted our family and friends, not including or significant other, with these exercises. True enough, they are interesting topics that we are sharing with them, however, they are constantly ready fro battle every week, when we try to explain to them the ideas being presented.


(g) Describe what happened when you did some of the steps of the exercises. 


Well, as I mentioned above, when I presented my boyfriend with this information, he immediately said "what now Angela?" Hearing that straight off of the bat is somewhat disheartening and not to mention disjunctive. So it is safe to say that we have been in multiple phases in our relationship throughout this semester. One moment my boyfriend is being to total package and potential candidate for the unity phase. Then the next minute, he reverts back to his old ways. This applies significantly to this week exercises in 16c.1. His language and attitude towards me this week, showed signs of male dominance. In doing so, he is exercising his independence and doing things "as usual" or the way that he wants to do things. He clearly does not deny himself the right to express disagreement with me non whatsoever. He was being totally unsexy this weak!!! One discussion that we had this week, turned into an argument. His disjunctive behavior created a public scene and caused me to feel guilty and sad the rest of the night. I can truly say that he made it quite hard for me to conjoin myself to his wisdom and rationality and intelligence, when he handled the situation as he did, with anger and clear male dominance phase behavior.



Section 4. Annotated web link


1. Mental challenge -‘What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and marriage’


         This web site presented that author Amy Suthreland who is an animal trainer and she uses the same training technique for her husband how animal studying works for human being. She emphasized what behavior did I like and encourage from her husband.  She also focuses that human behavior progressive so we do not need to expect completely big change but we should pick up one thing to change behavior. She finally stressed that everybody try to change our behavior and she really wants to keep animal training to be more productive and effective ways. I think that women’s intelligence of cognitive organ on the inside conjoins to men’s love of affective organ on the outside from her husband training. I believe that we can achieve the mental conjunction of affective and cognitive organ what she / he is thinking and feeling at every interaction to improve the unity model of marriage relationship.


2. Conjugial love – Romance in marriage


         This web site represented that romance is how partners maintain love in their marriage relationship. I think that romance is a helpful way to communicate and to understand affective conjunction what she / he is feeling and cognitive organ what she / he is thinking each other. I agree that we should show attention, appreciation, and acknowledgement to make conjugial love each other. Especially, we would like to express appreciation for partner in order to achieve mental intimacy in the unity model. I believe that romance is an important way to improve sensorimotor, affective, and cognitive conjunction each other in the marriage relationship.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


3. Marriage: The spiritual dimension


         This web site talked about the spiritual dimension of marriage. We studied when we are born we have physical and spiritual world. We also studied that we lose physical body when we die and spiritual body continue through the spiritual world of the afterlife. We unconsciously lose our physical body and consciously exist our spiritual body in the after life of the eternity by Swendenborg. Before I studied the marriage behavior this class, I did not know that we become conscious in our spiritual mind. I believe that spiritual marriage continues in the unity model and our affective and cognitive organ interact with partner in the afterlife.


4. How to Have a Perfect Marriage


         This is a good “How to” guide for a “perfect” marriage.  There are cute guidelines like needing to kiss your spouse every 5 seconds, complimenting each other for everything, constant touching like holding hands, do a lot of things together, respect each other, and try your hardest not to argue.  These are things that all couples should look at.  Not all marriages can be perfect, but you can have one pretty close to it!



5. Obstacles to a Perfect Marriage


         Sometimes when stress takes it toll on you, there is a chance that one can blame their problems on their marriage, even when marriage has nothing to do with it.  This could be what psychologists call “transference”, where they take their problems out on something that has nothing to do with the problem.  I think it could be that, since the marriage is fine, they feel pessimistic and, in the heat of the negativity, they want to ruin something else in their lives.  Couples can work through problems like this.  It will just take time.



6. For The Perfect Marriage


         This is a Budlight commercial about a bride asking her mother how her marriage worked with her father.  The mother tells her “communication, understanding, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, change the oil, etc.”.  This is a humorous way to show what guys may want in a relationship – to do nothing and make the woman do everything.  It may be touching for some men, but degrading to women.



7. The Perfect “Almost” Marriage


            This seems to be the most agreeable and perfect husband any woman could dream of.  He’ll let her buy a $1,000 coat, a new Mercedes, and a $1.5 million house!  He is so subtle and so compliant with her, practically telling her to get everything she wants.  But this one has a surprise ending.  There are some guys out there I know that would do that for a woman.  My aunty is actually like this.  She spends all her husband’s money and does not work.  She does not even clean the house and cook. What a life!



8. Red Skelton’s Recipe for the Perfect Marriage


            This is a humorous list of how to have a perfect marriage by comedian, Red Skelton.  He starts off by saying that he takes his wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back; he hasn’t spoken to his wife in 18 months because he doesn’t like to interrupt her; and he blames the last fight on him.  She asked him what was on TV and he said “Dust!”  This is a humorous and definitely not a recipe for a perfect marriage!  I enjoy these funny things that make fun of perfect marriages because not much people can maintain such a good marriage today.    



9. Marriage


The website leads to this blog question: “In the perfect marriage ladies, what would you want your man to consistently do to make your life with him special and a lot easier?”  Some answers were “buy my tampons when needed, compliment me everyday, don’t throw socks on the floor, tell me goodnight every night, be yourself, saying ‘I love you’, comfort me when I pout, pay my bills and gas, make me feel like a queen, etc.”  These are all really good answers.  Pay for my bills is the best one!  I need to find me one that would do that for me.  But most definitely, treating me good and making me feel like a queen are good too.



10. Romantic Marriage Story


            This story is about a couple in the heat of the moment.  They have been married for a years and the husband said that their sex life has been slowly deteriorating.  He then saw an article on how to say no in a sexy way.  She did this withholding of sex to keep her husband wanting more and waiting to get what he wants.  She was making it exciting for him.  This is a good strategy because guys like to be enticed and then given the treat later.  All that build up is mysterious for the man and men like mystery sometimes.  Maybe withholding sex is not so bad after all.