Welcome to the Spiritual Mind, Body, and Soul
Psy 409b, Spring 2008, Generation 27
Dr. Leon James, Instructor,
Link to class home page
Section 1: Lecture Contents
By Jennifer Lee
In this week’s lecture notes, we discussed about the spiritual dimension of the unity model and the examples of the Anti Unity Values. We discussed in the beginning of the semester that psychology exists in the negative bias and the positive bias. People with negative bias don’t have an open mind, and needs facts to find a research believable, leading to a non-theistic and materialism psychology. Someone with a positive bias has an open mind, and finds a way to understand what is trying to be taught, leading to the terms, dualism and theistic psychology. The unity model is based on a dualist approach, and therefore people need to have a positive bias when understanding the model.
Emanuel Swedenborg is the discoverer of the Swedenborg reports, which leads to the Unity Model of Marriage that he, created. He claims that if the couples are in the unity phase, they can achieve the greatest love, a conjugial love, in heaven till eternity, which is endless marital happiness and joy. (Conjugial love began to evolve around 1763, the age of enlightenment.) We are born with two different types of body, our physical body, which is our physical features, and our spiritual body, which is our sensations, feelings, and thoughts. The afterlife involves a mental or spiritual world, and our physical body does not enter this world, only our mental body.
In class, we discussed that for us to understand the spiritual dimension, we need to have positive perspectives, which means negative bias needs to be non-existence. When both persons are devoted to each other, they begin to form a bond that consists of their mental organs functioning together, and they become interdependent in their mental organs with the sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective conjunctions. When we enter the spiritual afterlife, we continue to live the immortal life in the mental world with the spiritual body that we were born with, also called heaven in eternity.
Immortality in the minds of heaven or hell
My personal thought:
From reading about what Swedenborg observed, I willingly have an open mind to all of his reports, but there are certain things that I still have questions on. It seems that to determine if one is going to live in the heavenly or hellish world, Swedenborg only pertains it to the husband. One example of a heavenly trait is “loving your wife”. I feel that women should also be the ones who are loving and caring to their partner, not just men. I also thought that this heavenly mental world is only for people that are married. Can there be a way for just “couples,” who follow the unity phase partake in this eternity and afterlife that married people live in?
I know it was stated that to be in a spiritual marriage, they first need to be in a natural marriage, but what if something drastic happens and before they could get married, one person passes? I feel that if both partner agrees to follow what Swedenborg wrote, and commits to the unity model of marriage, then I feel that they should carry on in the afterlife with the greatest and highest point of conjugial love.
Illustration on the Spiritual Sun:
Dr. James drew a diagram that described the Spiritual Sun. The Spiritual Sun starts off at the top, and is divided into two categories, the Good and the Truth. The good side is directed with Heat, while the Truth is directed with Light. Each of the Good and Truth has a branch that targets a mental organ; Good going towards the Affective organs, which evolves into feelings, and Truth going towards the Cognitive organs, which evolves into thoughts. The Affective organs are the receptor of Heat, and the Cognitive organs are the receptor of Light.
Anger vs. Zeal
A key term that we need to understand is zeal. It is described as how the women act towards their husbands to try and fight to work their way to a heavenly life. Women are trying to fight for their husband to reach that unity phase, and it may seem as she is “nagging”, but she isn’t. It’s an altruistic act that the women do to unite with their partner, and it is discouraging when men punish her for doing her job on trying to save his eternal happiness.
It may appear to be that women are angry, but it’s not anger she’s exploiting, but zeal. Anger is a form of a hellish trait, while zeal is a form of a heavenly trait. Women may come off as angry from the way she talks and acts, but this is not anger. The two are very similar on the outside, but on the inside it is two completely opposite feelings. If they men agree to what the women wants, the women instantly acts sweet and caring again, proving men that this is the characteristics of zeal. However, when women are angry, women do not become sweet again instantly, it takes time. Men have damaged the women on the inside, and it takes time for getting over and making up and making it right again.
Men can cooperate in the process of unification by letting the women have more power than him. Communicating to the wife on how he feels and what he thinks should be done, is a start of cognitive intimacy. If he allows her to influence him then it is a step closer to affective intimacy. Women understand that men can’t change their anti – unity values over one night, and they know that it takes time and effort. Women need the comfort that men will try and commit to have a change of heart. Women are willing to wait; women can try if they men will try also.
I understand what Swedenborg explained about the zeal, because I felt I have been in zeal and also anger. In any situation that I get mad about something, I either get really frustrated, I give the silent treatment, or I just basically yell. I try to help out my boyfriend with our relationship, and it may come off as me being “nagging”, but I just want to improve our relationship.
Eventually my boyfriend will agree to what I have to say, because he is tired of it and wants to make amends. When that happens, after he does obliged to what I have said, I instantly show the sweet side of me again. But once in awhile, when I am angry, and he finally agrees to my opinions, I am still angry. I still hold a grudge, because it could be that I have been upset for a long period of time, or how he hurt me mentally, because he doesn’t see things from my views. Instead of me being cheerful again, I still am angry, and tend to still have the angry traits.
For me to calm down and retreat back to a peaceful personality, I need time to get over all the fighting, or I need a lot of making up to feel more comfortable, because I do need a lot of time for my wound to heal.
Report Generation 23 (fall 2005)
By: Susan Ventrucci
Here is the question 2 from the student report.
(a) Contrast the four views of gender relationships expressed by Tannen in Gender Discourse, Schlessinger in The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Coleman in The Lazy Husband, and James in The Unity Model of Marriage.
(b) Your analysis should also include a chart or table that shows the differences between the four books in a systematic way.
(c) As well, give your personal opinion on the elements or entries in your chart.
(d) How do your own views compare to what’s in the chart?
This the chart that the student created on their own based on their understanding of the 4 authors and 3 models of marriage.
Author believes gender relationships are based partly or all on biology
Author believes gender relationships are based partly or all on society
Author believes one partner exerts dominance over the other in some form
“The proper care and feeding of husbands”
“The lazy husband”
“The unity model”
Tannen in The Gender Discourse
Throughout Tannen’s book, she perceived that gender differences in communication are not caused by biological different between sexes but rather by situational and society factor. She works to falsify that males and females are communicate in stereotypical ways because of how they brought up and society expectation.
Tannen views gender as something that we simply are, but it is not the core reason for how we communicate. Although, she admits that gender can lead to different, common ways of communication from a male or a female based on what society expects from them. It is important to note here that she attributes this common form of communication from a gender to environment, not biology. So from the chart that it is not base on biological but society.
Dr. Laura “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”
Dr. Laura Schlessinger has a very set opinion about gender relationships. She bases her ideas strongly on sex, that is, biology of the male versus the female.
Her view is that the male is the dominant one and the female is the submissive one. She believes male and female relationships today should, to a lesser degree, mimic ideas from caveman times, that is, they should play on each gender’s biological predispositions. The man should be the breadwinner and provide for and protect his family while the woman should stay at home and care for the husband, kids, and household. The male should conquer while the female should nurture.
Along with these ideas comes the idea of the dominance of the male with the female submitting to him. In gender relationships according to Dr. Laura, the female needs to be guided by the male and is dependent on him not only to provide financially for the family, but to make the major decisions.
My Personal Opinion
From the chart, the author had to think a little for what to put in the societal influence category and she put yes here because while Dr. Laura does have a lot of ideas that stem from biology, she also does mention what it means to be a “lady” and to feel like a real woman or a real man. My interpretation is that a good husband for Dr. Laura means he is be able to support the family financially and has no affair. A good wife means that she does a good job of taking care of the house, her husband and children. She also refers to gender stereotypes in these situations as set by societal standards.
Dr. Coleman “The Lazy Husband”
In the book the Lazy Husband, Dr. Coleman offers a similar view to Dr. Laura in that he sees the husbands with an overall advantage in a power struggle between him and his wife. However, he does not believe that the husbands’ advantage is based on biology; rather he says it is based on the fact that our society has put women in a submissive role for so long. Being that he sees men as women as essentially equal, he believes women can challenge men and bring themselves up to the same level.
Dr. Coleman says that men and women are equal and therefore both or either should provide an income for the family and they should have an equal say in decision-making. However, he does realize that while men and women are equal, they can still operate in different ways. He believes that men and women communicate very differently and tend to have different ideas of what is appropriate and fair and what is not. The focus of his book thin is an approach for women to better understand men and efforts they can make to relate to their man in a way that he will understand and efforts they can make to get him to change and treat her more equally.
My personal Opinion
Dr. James “The Unity Model of Marriage”
Dr. James offers a unique idea about gender relationships. He offers the Unity Model of Marriage. This model puts men and women as equals and sees them as opposite and reciprocal. That is, innate differences between men and women are recognized and seen as necessary for a relationship to work. However, these differences do not put one gender in a position of power over the other. In the Unity Model, the man aligns himself with the woman not because she is in a position of more power, but because he wants to. He is choosing to be in this kind of relationship.
In the Unity Model, the man and woman care about each other very much and want to try to align their feelings and ideas and support each other. Unlike Dr. Laura that she based biology different in which men have more power rather than reciprocal.
While this is how gender relationships work in Dr. James’ ideal Unity Model, he acknowledges that all relationships start in the dominance model with the male exerting power over the female and the couple works up to the unity model from there.
My Personal Opinion
Lecture Notes 11
Theistic psychology exists in positive bias, which addresses that there is more importance than just life and death in itself, emphasizing on the connection between this life in time-space and the afterlife in eternity.
The dualist approach in the positive bias of science, defines the afterlife of humans exists in the mental world in eternity where we are born with a spiritual body, but at the same time we exist on earth with a physical body.
Interdependence occurs at the sensorimotor (S) and cognitive (C) levels in the male dominance and equity phase of the Unity Model of Marriage. The mental organs in these two phases are not considered heavenly until conjunction occurs at the affective level, which lies in the final stage of marriage, the Unity Phase.
The life of immortality is either in the heavens of our mind or in the hells of our mind. What determines the path we go down depends on the traits that we possess while living in this life. The organic law of creation states that we can choose to let go of our hellish type traits and experience the kind of heaven we can live in with the heavenly traits we have. This type of trait involves loving one’s wife and giving to the community. There is no in between.
The idea of eternal marriage in the unity model gives women the opportunity to achieve three important things:
ü It allows women to see more clearly where and why men are resistant in their relationship.
ü Women can see more clearly how the man’s resistance to mental intimacy affects her own peace and confidence.
Process of Unification—Women’s role Vs. Men roles
Zeal is the passion that a woman has to help her man reach affective intimacy. It is sometimes misunderstood as anger, but the difference between the two is that zeal is from heaven, anger comes from hell. A real man will remain gallant and be considerate of his wife’s feelings during her explosive reactions from zeal. If he cooperates and lets her influence him, it is one step closer to affective intimacy.
Women do not expect men to stop their anti-unity values and habits all at once. What a man needs to do to show her he is cooperating is to show that he is committed to achieving the unity phase. To reach this success, a man must begin self-witnessing acts and use it as a tool for observation and classification.
Lecture Notes 19
Anti-Unity Values (AUVs)
The media exploits couples living together unmarried, which can have its disadvantages. Living together before marriage can make it difficult for a couple to move from the equity to unity in their mental intimacy. A woman is less influential on her man while he resists to reach the unity phase with her since they are already living together.
If you watch couples on television, it often promotes the idea that you should never try to change your partner, rather accept then unconditionally for their faults. This is considered an anti-unity value because both partners should cognitively and affectively influence each other.
In the Unity Model, the wife is always trying to understand her husbands humor, preferences, etc. By doing this it makes her feel attached to him and makes him happy. The husband makes an effort to not do anti-unity acts, instead he cuts out behavior and traits that upset her and lets her influence him into behaviors that she does like.
Section 3: Team Exercises
By Nicole Salviejo
(a) Summarize the main ideas presented by the team.
Class exercise presenters discussed the lecture notes from 16c, which included suggested rules of conjugial conversation for husbands. The rules are as follows:
o Husbands must be reactive and friendly to their partners at all times. As an example, Nacapoy, spoke about his male friends’ interactions with their girlfriends. He mentioned how one of his friends displays disjunctive behavior when he plays videogames during time that should be spent with his girlfriend. Nacapoy suggested how his friend’s relationship was still stuck in the male dominance phase and how much his friend needs to practice this rule of conjugial conversation in order to make his girlfriend happy—thus resulting in a happy relationship.
o Husbands must deny themselves from disagreeing or saying no to their wives. Nacapoy describes this behavior as disjunctive, therefore, unsexy. He even joked how his girlfriend would enjoy practicing this rule of him not being able to disagree with her. When he discussed this rule with his coworkers, Nacapoy’s male coworkers didn’t understand and stated how unfair the unity model of marriage was to men, while his female coworkers wished that their boyfriends enrolled in this class in order to learn how to be better partners.
o The third rule involves husbands needing to create an atmosphere that makes their wives free to discuss whatever they please—even when the wife jumps from topic to topic. According to Nacapoy, for a man to not keep up with the conversation or to act like they don’t know what their wives are talking about is a form of male dominance control.
o The last rule discussed involves, husbands using conversation as mood enhancers for their wives. Nacapoy discussed how husbands need to put rationality behind everything they tell their wives and how they should pour all focus on their wives in a respectful manner.
All in all, Nacapoy felt that the first two rules were doable, but still feels that he needs more time in order to be able to practice the last two rules in his relationship with his girlfriend.
(b) Describe what they did and how they interpreted it.
Team presenters briefly discussed each rule then provided their own input and related the rules to their own personal experiences. They also discussed the lecture notes with family and friends to see what they thought about the four rules of conjugial conversation for husbands. Presenters felt that some of the rules were relevant to their lives while others would be more difficult to practice everyday in their own relationships.
(c) Describe some of the ideas that needed a better justification or greater amplification.
I felt that the exercise presenters did a great job in explaining the rules of conjugial conversation as well as used relevant examples that everyone could relate to. If any changes were to be made, perhaps the group could have provided more general examples of the rules and tips on how men can make their relationships with their girlfriends better and more intimate.
(d) What was the success of the approach they used?
One success I saw was in their use of real-life examples that were relevant to the class material. Their examples were all experiences that we all could relate to.
(e) What improvements are needed in the procedures or in the instructions?
No improvements needed. The presenters did a great job in presenting the exercises.
(f) What are the limitations of these types of exercises?
The only limitation of these types of exercises that I saw was how they all seem to be discussing the same material each week. If anything, perhaps a change in the lecture notes would be great. It just seems like we are discussing the same things over and over, with the only exception being that the title of the topic being changes each week.
(g) Describe what happened when you did some of the steps of the exercises.
When I practiced the exercises myself with my own family and friends, I found that the people I spoke to also agree with the presenter’s own responses to the material. My family and friends found some of the material relevant to their own lives and others not so relevant, especially the last two rules of conjugial conversation, which are a little hard to adhere to day in and day out.
Section 4: Annotated Web Links
1. Positive and Negative Words
This website helps marriage couple work out their differences by communicating in a conjunctive way, rather than an AUV way.
3. Spiritual Beliefs and Marriage: A National Survey Based on ENRICH
This article uses the survey to see the relationship between spiritual beliefs and marriage and how the spiritual beliefs lead to successful marriage.
4. Chris Rock: View on Love & Relationships
Comedian, Chris Rock, shares a comical perspective on love and relationships that relate towards Dr. Swedenborg’s description of men and their refusal to have conjoined intimacy with their female partners. In order to transcend to the next level of unity, a man must be more open and more flexible towards his partner.
5. Nagging Wife
The “Nagging Wife” is a commercial that serves as an example of the first two levels of conjunction as described by Dr. Emanuel Swedenborg, in which the husband displays cognitive disjunction by ignoring his wife and her needs. The husband in the commercial doesn’t wish to be bothered by his wife while he is working on his laptop, so he presses a button on his computer to get “rid” of her.
6. Women and Men : No big differences
This website explains studies show that one's sex has little or no bearing on personality, cognition and leadership
7. Creating a spiritual marriage
This website helps aid people in having a spiritual marriage. It shows 12 different ways on helping your marriage improve and build it to a spiritual level.
8. Guy Ditches Girlfriend in labor to play World of Warcraft
Talk Show host, Tyra Banks, interviews a woman whose fiancée is addicted to playing video games. The wife, like many women described by Dr. Swedenborg, wishes to achieve all level of intimacy with her fiancée, but cannot because he is unwilling to let go of his independence and his own self-interests in order to please his partner.
9. Love and Marriage Survey: Advice Before You Get Married
Do you want to know if marriage is right for you? This website informs its readers about the perfect marriage, the purpose of marriage, the importance of love, etc
Marriage Stress Busters: Don’t Let Stress Tear You
This website relates to the article in the lecture notes about marriage and stress. Here you can find some tips to combat stress and bring you and your partner closer together.