Report 2:

My Understanding of Theistic Psychology

By Lynnette Laimana

Instructions for this report are at:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/leonj/leonpsy22/459-g22-report2.htm

I am answering Questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6

 

The Question I am answering is Question 1

 

People sometimes refer to the negative aspects of religion---religious wars, persecutions, intolerance.  How can theistic psychology reduce this negative aspect of religion?  What makes theistic psychology different from religion?  How do they compare in explaining the idea of “salvation”?  Can theistic psychology be universal if it relies on Sacred Scripture of Western religions and traditions?  What is “religious behaviorism?”

 

Section A:  My Own Summary of the Selections

 

Q:  People sometimes refer to the negative aspects of religion---religious wars, persecutions, intolerance.  How can theistic psychology reduce this negative aspect of religion?  

            I read section 10.1.1 which speaks about negative emotion and where it comes from.  It revealed how those in the spirit world are bombarding our mind with these evil loves for the negative emotions.  God balances us to choose but when our loves take over us all those in the spirit world have access into our thoughts by filling them with negative feedback.  Theistic psychology helps you to recognize what is happening and why, this is the scientific approach, God and you are striving to attain the celestial heaven.  Once we can comprehend this we can overcome the hang ups instead of allowing them free reign.  We don’t need creative titles to explain why this is happening or blame it on something beyond our control such as: stress, depression, failed relationship or false belief system.

 

Q:  What makes theistic psychology different from religion?  How do they compare in explaining the idea of “salvation”?

            Salvation in dictionary terms means saving of a person from sin or danger.  Theistic psychology eliminates the why’s and replaces them with what to do’s.  In section 1.0 we first have to learn about positive bias.  In 2.1 we differentiate between religion and theistic psychology and how Swedenborg’s work evaluates the two.  You learn that mystical systems depend on blind faith...  Theistic psychology is not a religion but a science.  Mystical part excludes God but theistic psychology includes him and his guidance is revealed in Sacred Scripture.  They both can introduce us to a Divine being but for further definition on Theistic psychology can reveal who he is and his purpose for us.  We learn now which heaven or hell we are in and how to change it should we choose to. 

 

Q:  Can theistic psychology be universal if it relies on Sacred Scripture of Western religions and traditions?

            If we conclude as in Section 2.1 that theistic psychology is a science then it removes all barriers.  There is no declared membership or affirmations required so no one is eliminated or segregated.

We also learn that god is a concept in all explanations.  His revelations through Sacred Scripture allows all to read the truth if they are earnestly seeking it.  That it is considered divine speech which has been changed into a natural language.  So if we conclude that Writings of Swedenborg are a scientific revelation then we further substantiate that this is a rational method for discovering what God is telling us.

 

Q:  What is “religious behaviorism?

            In section 13.0.1 we learn that two differences exist.  Atheistic psychology known as psychology of religion and theistic psychology known as religious behaviorism.  Atheistic psychology and its branches are compared to those looking in from the outside.  They have no concept of religious ideas because they do not grant that it is real.  In complete opposite Theistic psychology knows of God’s existence and so on.  This is the main differences of each. 

 

We are born into a family whose religious beliefs have been handed down from generation to generation.  We may not understand why it is true to us but we do know that generations have come to believe in it.  It is now a behavior which takes on a life of its own.  We do it because that’s they way it has been from generations past.  You don’t question why you just accept it as it is.  I’d bet a majority of devout believers fall into this category.  We look at God as a supreme being who is all encompassing.  We accept him without question. 

 

In section 1.6.1 we read of three levels of controlling human behavior: the will, the understanding, and finally the uses.  The will controls our origin of affections, the understanding encompasses all forms of intellectual activity and the uses are the vehicle.  Swedenborg states that it is the attainment of the goal for getting satisfied.  We are satisfied with complacency of generational validations instead of individual truth.

 

Section B:  My Commentary

 

(i)                 The Importance of the Topic in Question 1 to you and explain why:

 

When we think about Religion many of us come with biases about our personal beliefs and our limited knowledge on this topic.  I felt this same desire to protect my religious beliefs.  Learning about theistic psychology eliminates the barriers and I no longer go into religion on “blind faith”.  Theistic psychology and Religion are extreme opposites.  One deal in science and the other is based on mysticism.  No one is excluded or segregated from theistic psychology and learning is only limited by the individual’s laziness.

 

(ii)               Discuss this perspective helps you to understand things about yourself and society:

 

We have been engrained since childhood that God is everywhere and knows all.  We pray to this divine being to enlighten, help or encourage us when we feel depressed or mislead.  We willingly accept this concept because we have been weaned upon this knowledge.  This may not be total truth or total love yet we still accept with our heart, might, mind and strength.  My outlook has since changed after learning about theistic psychology.  I learned that the emotional side of my nature was allowed free reign without questioning why.  I would never go into a business deal on blind faith thinking that the one I am dealing with is truthful and honest.  In this case that’s exactly what I have done. 

 

I look at Society and see the same willing faces that are engaged in the emotional side without adding truth to the equation.  We have become complacent in our search for God and truth.  If everyone thinks it then it must be and that’s wrong.  That’s what blind faith creates – robots doing what they are told and not what they know to be true.  So if one semester could enlighten me imagine how society would fare if this knowledge got out.  We could answer our own questions dealing with life after death and so on.

 

(iii)             Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why:

 

I asked Dr. James during one of our class discussions what would happen if he were to stop teaching this course.  I then asked how world wide this knowledge of Swedenborg is and his beliefs on theistic psychology.  The scary part about this discussion is that I learned the knowledge could end here and now if no one carried on.  I found this alarming because that knowledge is so precariously situated.  In all this time of attending college this is the first course that has challenged me to seek out more.  I believe that theistic psychology could truly universally enlighten the world with “truth and love”.

 

Section C:  My Analysis of Prior Generations:   On Josh Cooper http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/459s2004/cooper/report3.htm

 

(i)                 How he felt:

There is a quote by Dostoevsky 38-39 which states: “…if somebody ever proved to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if it were a fact that the truth excludes Christ, I would rather remain with Christ than with the truth.”  His response to this quote was reflected upon his deep sense of truth as an abiding correlation with Christ.  The thought of Christ establishes a sense of peace and contentment and so does the truth but if one should contradict the other then how it can be true.  The two must co-exist according to Josh for it to be right.

 

(ii)               What he thought:

Josh states that he reflected heavily on this topic and many times he had to pause midstream in his thoughts.  He states that his “passion and belief in Christ stems from the idea that Christ is the embodiment of love and truth itself.”  He further states that Dostoevsky comments have “caused him to hold rational faith in the utmost importance.” And that any faith acquired from an emotional state is not true. 

 

(iii)             What he concluded:

“As long as one focuses only on the subjectivism and experience of God, without referring to the rational nature of God, then one treads the line of Mysticism.”  Josh accounts for this statement in the reaction people have toward Swedenborg and Theistic Psychology.  He contemplates that “if” Swedenborg was allowed to present theistic psychology in a non-biased type atmosphere people’s attitude would adjust accordingly.  The desire to seek truth and love would eliminate the bias attitude and emotion when deciding what is right or wrong.

 

(iv)             How his insights apply to you:

After my first few weeks in class I have to agree that my emotional state controlled my actions and attitude.  I needed to learn about eliminating my negative biases and accepting the positive one with a “what if attitude”.  Only then could I be receptive to Swedenborg’s words and work and further seek out for myself the truth.  Josh has allowed me to put into words what it is I am seeking.

 

Section D:  My Report on the Current Generation:

 

Leticia Valle: Jan 20, 2005 she spoke on section 1.0-1.0.2

Her outlook on the negative and positive bias reflects the attitude I am trying to promote.  We need to reflect on the positive bias of “what if”; this allows us to open our minds to the possibility that it is truth we are hearing.  For many such as me it is the first time the name Swedenborg and Theistic Psychology have ever crossed our paths.  The only requirement is to consider the man and his words and then validate it for you.  That is all Ms Valle was trying to say, it was to consider the possibility, once you do that you have removed the emotional obstacle.

 

Vanessa Rodriguez:  Jan 20, 2005 she spoke on section 1.1-1.1.3

Ms Rodriguez identified in her talk about Mystical Religion.  She concluded that religion is important but with various religions contradicting one another how can you know for sure which is true.  She further talked on Theistic Psychology on how revelations come about.  She additionally added Choice to the criteria of decision making.  Her talk correlated with my thoughts on defining the truth from emotional acceptance.

 

Patrick Greer:  Jan 20, 2005 he spoke on section 1.2-1.2.1

Mr. Greer explained our dual citizenship, heaven and hell and Swedenborg.  He established that rational thought takes us to a higher existence in heaven.  We remove the mystery of God and re-connect with the truthfulness of who he is.  I believe that the speakers I have chosen have established my current thoughts and views on this topic.

 

Section E:  My Advice to Future Generations

 

            If your desire in taking this course was to eliminate your religious enemies then you are in the wrong class.  If your goal is to sit ideally by without giving your honest opinions then again you are in the wrong class.  This course is based more on seeking the truth but in order for that to happen you must be willing to leave all emotional baggage at the door when you enter.  Only then can you comprehend who Swedenborg is and what he was trying to convey as a legacy for future generations.  My advice is to be open-minded and listen before jumping to conclusions or judgments.  I have made the same mistakes that I mentioned and am no expert but after taking this course I can honestly say that it has opened my eyes to the possibilities.

 

The Question I am answering is Question 2

 

What are the consequences for society of “materialism” which excludes God from science?  What are “scientific revelations” and what motivates scientists to exclude them?  Discuss whether this motivation is justified and how theistic psychology proposes to overcome this objection.

 

Section A:  My Own Summary of the Selections

 

Q:   What are the consequences for society of “materialism” which excludes God from science?

            As in section 1.1.1 it states that materialistic science assumes discoveries are to be discovered or identified by physical measurements.  God is rejected as a possible explanation in conjunction to science because it’s not physical.  This means that human emotions such as feelings and thinking are just electrical impulses – comparing us to robots.  If society were to function on this idea then our connection with God as a Divine person would be meaningless.  We exist in the here and now with no thought of an afterlife.  Then why is there an innate compulsion to want more then just the here and now.  Why do we strive to be enlighten, the answer is simple --- because we know from Sacred Scripture that God has a plan for us.  We know from prophets before that this is not the end but a beginning.

 

Q:   What are “scientific revelations” and what motivates scientists to exclude them?

            As stated in section 1.0 which speaks of Swedenborg we gather that science and god are establishing a unifying entity in seeking the truth.  God is no longer a mystery should we choose to learn more about him.  Scientists have separated God and truth because they didn’t understand what truth is.  Swedenborg is the only person to co-exist a have the ability to reveal Gods true nature.  If we don’t remove this veil of concealment then we dwell in mysticism and that’s when conflicts in religious beliefs exist.

 

Q:   Discuss whether this motivation is justified and how theistic psychology proposes to overcome this objection.

            In section 1.6.8.1 and 2.5 you learn how a science validates their theory and in this case that’s exactly what Swedenborg does.  In a straight forward manner he eliminates the doubt and questions by allowing you to do the calculations for yourself.  This is the most important factor in understanding because you don’t have to rely on someone else to do the work and enter blindly.  You learn to think and evaluate for yourself what is right or wrong and once that conclusion is made no doubts can remain.

 

Section B:  My Commentary

 

(i)                 The importance of the Topic in Question 2 to you and explain why:

 

I felt these questions correspond with my earlier choice in question one.  We had to ask ourselves how Swedenborg affects our future and in question two we ask how it affects society.  Blindly following does not excuse us from ignorance.  We are a product of society and without seeking truth and knowledge we allow evil to enter.  Greed, corruption has run ramped due to this” not knowing” and we aren’t happy with the outcome.  Now we have the tools to change it. 

 

(ii)               Discuss this perspective helps you to understand things about yourself and society:

 

As stated earlier, I am a product of society; if I wish to embrace the true essence of God then I must feel concern for my fellow human beings and later generations.  I would not like to be one of those who allowed my laziness to out vote what I know to be true.

 

(iii)             Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why:

 

I can honestly say I agree.  I could never stomach the idea that my religion was the only true religion.  How can that be?  I further hated the idea that religions are like a mirror that has shattered, each having a bit of truth.  Then again I ask why is mine the only true one if we all have truth.  This theistic psychology removes the barriers that separate religions and raises it to a scientific level that removes the petty attitudes.  Isn’t this our ultimate goal and the only difficulty comes down to – choice.  What we do does affect us; it can alter our heavenly pursuits or drop us into hellish ones.  We have that power to make changes, we have the tools, and all we need now is a positive bias of “what if” and then do it.

 

Section C:   My Analysis of Prior Generations:  On Heather Piper http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/459s2004/piper/report1.htm

 

(i)                 How she felt:

Heather sees this learning process as a great opportunity for she has been pursuing God her whole life and has established him as part of her foundation in life.  Not in the way we think however.  She wants God and Science to be kept separate.

 

(ii)               What she thought:

She’s afraid of the repercussions involved in allowing God and School to join.  What kind of changes will follow?  Her fear often overrides and contradicts her motivation.  She likes having a choice in deciding her future and often states why she fears it so.  I have read her thoughts in her writing and in doing so have found inconsistencies.  She wants to know more and is excited but worries that she may be considered a hypocrite. 

 

(iii)             What she concluded:

She is not against Theistic Psychology and finds it fascinating but had she figured out where her doubts and fears really stem from she could have changed her view point dramatically.  In Swedenborg’s writings he speaks of negative emotion coming to us through our minds by those in the Spirit world.  Her fear of being manipulated has actually come to pass.  Those who ignite the fear are satisfied because she is doing exactly what they want.  If God and Science were to unite in a classroom atmosphere what would be the worst thing to happen?  Isn’t Theistic Psychology doing exactly that?  What’s happening in the class ---- people are awakening to the possibility of something more. 

 

(iv)             How her insights apply to you:

I choose Heather as my example because I wanted to see the confusion which emanates from her.  Her words in her discussion are so profound and yet she harbors on her fears instead of her first instinct of excitement in learning something new.  I could have chosen some other person whose ideals coincide with mine but then those are easy to find.  I wanted another view which contradicts my own and ask the question why.  She asks her father for advice and when she got it she double checked to see if he was right --- he was right.  I got the impression that she isn’t really working with a positive bias and if she understood Swedenborg as she originally claims then why all this contradiction.  It again comes to choice and now you have another opinion on the subject.

 

Section D:   My Report on the Current Generation:

 

Malia Tarayao:  Jan 20, 2005 she spoke on section 1.5

In her section Ms Tarayao speaks about Object Reality.  That the main criteria are that the idea or information must be unbiased and factual.  She uses these criteria in proving Swedenborg’s experiences by having his fellow colleagues validate them.

 

Laina Baird:  Jan 27, 2005 she spoke on section 1.6.8-1.6.8.1

Ms Baird identified the levels of the mind and how Sacred Scripture relates to it.  Now we have a true picture of each level and its corresponding factors.  We are given the ability to choose but the motivation behind those choices could hinder or accelerate our learning.  It’s a matter of knowing what loves control us and allowing the evil ones to disappear.  By learning to recognize these differences we know what is required to attain a higher level of consciousness.

 

David Messing:  Feb. 10, 2005 spoke on section 2.4-2.6

I enjoyed Mr. Messing’s report because he educated us on knowing how to judge a theory as scientific.  He also gave examples using Darwin, Big Bang and Einstein’s theory of relativity as examples.  He further stated how the spiritual world and afterlife can be researched using the scientific laws of correspondence.  It was Theistic Psychology 101 for the unknowledgeable. He concluded his section by educating us on objects around us that have relevance to the spiritual world.

 

Section E:  My Advice to Future Generations:

           

            Heather Piper wrote about her convictions in dealing with change yet she did not see or grasp Swedenborg’s works if she did not realize where doubt comes from.  I liked the idea that she willingly shared her ideas even if they did not coincide with popular belief.  This is good to question why.  It was the end result that troubled me most of all because when faced with truth and facts she clung tighter to her misgivings and fears.  If truth and love is what we are seeking and it happens to encounter God then why would you strive to keep the two divided?  What motivates you to cling to half truths instead of trusting your instincts?  That is a God given trait – instinct – having that ability to decipher what is fact and what is not.

 

The Question I am answering is Question 3

 

How does theistic psychology view “mystical spirituality”?  Why is it called “mystical”?  Include a discussion on “sensuous vs. rational consciousness” of God.  What evolutionary significance does this difference imply?  How do readers of Swedenborg interpret his Writings? 

 

Section A:  My Own Summary of the Selections

 

Q:   How does theistic psychology view “mystical spirituality”?  Why is it called “mystical”?

            In section 2.1 we learn that “mystical” relies on blind faith or credulity.  Many religions require their patrons to be baptized into the faith swearing allegiance to their God.  In Theistic Psychology it is based on science and not blind faith.  No one is required to be segregated in a form or manner showing their allegiance.  This also means that no one is denied access because of race, ethnicity or belief.  Religion depends on creed and faith, theistic psychology relies on rational thought and scientific explanations.  In section 2.5 we look at the concept of identifying a scientific pre-requisite.  It has three parts:  First is the ability of others to understand and corroborate each explanation based on theory, second is that the theory must be rational and coherent – each fitting with the other and third is that it must lead to an accurate and verifiable prediction about human behavior.  This is what Swedenborg has done for us, fulfilled our three requisite, allowing God and Science to co-exist for the 1st time.  Taking blind faith out of the equation and answering the questions with truths and facts.

 

Q:   Include a discussion on “sensuous vs. rational consciousness” of God.  What evolutionary significance does this difference imply?

            In section 1.2 we clearly identify the distinction between sensuous and rational consciousness.  The mystical approach is based on seeking sensuous consciousness of the Divine.  It is often referred to by adherents as sensing oneness with God.  You can think of it as a corporeal-sensuous portion of the mind.  Like the natural order of the physical body.  In the rational consciousness it relates to direct experience of God and is called a corporeal spirituality.  In layman terms we look at sensuous in reference to God as a spirit or entity that floats around us.  In rational consciousness we reference God as a human, person or being with substance and matter.  This approach defines in simple terms that God is much more tangible then a puff of smoke.

 

Q:   How do readers of Swedenborg interpret his Writings?

            Those readers listed in section 1.5 have shown that Swedenborg’s Theistic Psychology is revolutionary in the type of change it could evoke.  They believe him to be a scientist and great mystic with genius qualities.  Those who wrote excerpts are well known in their field of expertise.

 

Section B:  My Commentary

 

(i)                 The importance of the Topic in Question 3 to you and explain why:

 

We have clearly established the difference in Mystical Spirituality and Theistic Psychology.  Many modern leaders have shared their ideas about theistic psychology but to what effect.  So they thought Swedenborg was a genius but what have they done to educate the masses.  It seems that we look for answers to our personal questions but we read only excerpts and leave out important facts. 

If we take theistic psychology as a truth then we are accountable for where we are and end up in the after life.

We are also responsible for future generations that may one day stumble upon our words on the World Wide Web and if one should wonder and investigate more then are we not awakening them as ourselves.  I like simplicity and one thing about theistic psychology is important is how simple things are. 

 

(ii)                Discuss this perspective helps you to understand things about yourself and society:

 

It clarifies why we are on earth and eliminates the questions of how we can return and into which heavenly realm.  By recognizing this we could rid ourselves of selfish delights or the infliction of pain on others in the name of God.

 

(iii)             Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why:

 

I like this analysis and clarity of simple terms.  No room for arguments when faced with facts.

 

Section C:   My Analysis of Prior Generations:  On Tricia Castro http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/459s2004/castro/contents1.htm

 

(i)                 How she felt:

Her participation has opened her mind to possibilities.  Her thoughts and views have changed her and she eagerly engages herself in learning more.

 

(ii)               What she thought:

She states that the assignment has opened her eyes to understanding God and science and the various view points.  She believes that the two are need to exist.  That science can prove or disprove a specific phenomena and that religion helps society prepare them for the afterlife.

 

(iii)             What she concluded:

She spoke about how tragic events encourage individuals to seeks out God for support, guidance, and hope.  That science can validate with facts if truth exists.  She is in awe of Swedenborg and his volumes of work he had accomplished in his life time.  Theistic Psychology in her words is a “new wave of thinking that encompasses God in all of its explanations”.

 

(iv)             How her insights apply to you:

I feel that same exhilaration and thrill when speaking of Theistic Psychology and of Swedenborg.  It has the ability to change drastically what we took for granted – God.

 

Section D:   My Report on the Current Generation:

 

Malia Tarayao:  March 3, 2005 spoke on section 8.0-8.3

She explains the different levels of heaven and to recognize God is Human.  She clarifies with her topic about the dual citizenship and how the physical and spiritual world exists.  We may not be conscious in the spiritual realm but physically we know what is happening around us. 

 

Leticia Valle:  Jan 20, 2005 she spoke on section 1.0-1.0.2

I rely heavily on these earlier sections because it helped me build the connection in overcoming my negative biases.  I am introduced to Swedenborg whose name I have never heard before.  She asked us to think of the possibility of what he wrote and to allow ourselves the luxury of contemplating if what he is saying is true.  That is when it hit me, that a man who his peers considered genius would dedicate his life to writing on a topic he had no connection with.  That thought is illogical especially when faced with the volume his wrote.  This is when my barriers began to fall and I could accept the idea of “what if”.

 

Tsuyoshi Ito:  Jan 27, 2005 he spoke on section 1.7 

Learning about dual consciousness, angels and the second death we are again made aware of our purpose in life.  Mr. Ito further establishes our role and societies involvement and vice versa.  Mr. Ito’s thoughts provoke a desire to learn more about the afterlife and to be unafraid of what is learned.

 

 

Section E:   My Advice to Future Generations:

 

Be aware of your surroundings and purpose.  When you develop this sense you find it much easier each time you encounter a new concept or thought.  I told a friend of mine how arrogant students have become in achieving their Bachelor’s degree and expecting their pursuit in law or medical school to fall over with wanting them.  Only to find out that they may have flunked the test and they ask themselves why?  It’s that same arrogance that makes assumptions that we are superior in thinking than those who never pursued a higher education.  It’s the same when we believe God exist because my family has believed for generations that our church is true.  Will we ever learn to come as a child with open mind and heart and no preconceived idea that we are owed anything.

 

The Question I am answering is Question 5

 

Why is the topic of “regeneration” so basic in theistic psychology?  What are the “character reformation” steps of building a “new will”?  What is the difference between the “old will” and the new will?  What are “heavenly” vs. “hellish” traits?  How does this relate to personality theory in psychology as you know it?

 

Section A:  My Own Summary of the Selections

 

Q:        Why is the topic of “regeneration” so basic in theistic psychology? 

            In section 12.0.8 we learn that each of the three organic minds needs to be regenerated.  Able to match the spiritual order that is revealed by Sacred Scripture. 

Our natural mind is unregenerate from birth and with moral and spiritual rules is regenerated.  As we develop from one phase to the other we move up the hierarchy of heavenly levels.  We learn to leave our natural mind in pursuit of a moral rule and then to and again when we develop our spiritual rule which is done through the Divine Commandments.  This has a direct correlation on our afterlife and where we end up.

 

Q:        What are the “character reformation” steps of building a “new will”?  What is the difference between the “old will” and the new will?

            Our old will is discussed in the same section which compares our old will with birth and what we are born with.  Our old will encompass or inherited evil behaviors and it is only through recognizing our old loves that we can create new will.  We learn that character reformation is based on our willingness to leave temptations God has given and to allow us freedom of choice.

 

Q:        What are “heavenly” vs. “hellish “traits?  How does this relate to personality theory in psychology as you know it?

            In section 12.0 we should know that these are actual truths about heaven and hellish traits.  We learn the equation of spiritual world = mental world = immortality = eternity in heaven or hell.  In section 12.0.2 we learn that these traits exist in our mind.  Our hellish traits our selfish, greedy and arrogant we dwell on self-fulfillment.  This attitude prevents us from rising to a higher level.  If we can recognize this a relinquish these evil loves then we have succeed in over-coming the hellish traits the bind is to hell.

 

Section B:  My Commentary

 

(i)                 The importance of the Topic in Question 5 to you and explain why:

 

Isn’t this basic and simple to comprehend.  We have been given a diagram that maps out our afterlife if we change our evil habits in this life.  We also learn that God does not tempt us with more then we can handle but we must have the ability or develop the ability to recognize these habits now.  This is why the stepping stone to success is simple to handle if we take the time to learn and recognize the hazards along the way.  We first must learn that in our natural state at birth we have already inherited from our ancestor’s evil traits and need to relinquish them.

 

(ii)               Discuss this perspective helps you to understand things about yourself and society:

 

I know what my natural state encompasses and I know that our Divine Commandment is there to guide me along.  I can better handle those around me who try to antagonize or criticize and learn that they have yet to recognize and relinquish their hellish traits.  I can allow them to hold me back or look at is another step in the right direction.  Becoming more in tune with our Divine Spirit.

 

(iii)             Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why:

 

I agree to this line of revelations because my reading has taken me this far and it feels right.  If I did not think so then it would be difficult to hide my anxiety with half truths and I would be the greatest loser.

 

Section C: My Analysis of Prior Generations: On Leticia Valle www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/459s2004/valle/report1.htm

 

(i)                 How she felt:

She expressed her thoughts with compelling revelations she personally discovered while learning about Swedenborg which has changed her view point drastically.

 

(ii)               What she thought:

That this is a journey each must make into realizing for oneself if it is true or not.  Only you can decide to change that is your choice.

 

(iii)             What she concluded:

To be open minded to the possibilities.

 

(iv)             How her insights apply to you:

I was able to read about her past experience and have her in my current class 459.  In each she has inspired a desire to learn and it was she who helped me to lower my barriers and prejudices about religion – especially my own.  That if it is true then we should not be offended.

 

Section D:   My Report on the Current Generation:

 

Tsuyoshi Ito:  April 28, 2005 spoke on section 3.7.2

He did a Google search of how often people have looked up God, Theistic Psychology and Dr. James.  It revealed that God was Googled 125,000.000 but in the last month only 121,733 searches had been done.  Theistic Psychology in the last month had zero people interested.  This is sad when we realize had Sex or Money been included the numbers would be staggering.  Is that all we are consumed with and no thought of the afterlife.  We are becoming immune to God which means evil loves have become stronger and harder to resist.

 

Neil Tsukiyama:  April 21, 2005 spoke on section 3.7.2.1

H wanted to elevate our level of understanding Correspondences and the existence of God.  We have Sacred Scripture which encompasses the Old and New Testament in conjunction with Swedenborg.  They discuss human culture and religion in simple terms and that with continued efforts we can raise our level of consciousness

 

Malia Tarayao:  April 21, 2005 she spoke on section 6.0.3-6.0.5

She spoke about the Fallen Proprium and described it as “evil itself”.  She further described it as the external self, which is selfish and irrational.  This mentality creates a hell on earth.

 

Section E:   My Advice to Future Generations:

 

I cannot express more strenuously our need for a childlike attitude.  In relation to us being moldable and pliable to learn.  We have no preconceived notions or prejudices that hinder us in any way.

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 6

 

What is the perspective of theistic psychology provides on Sacred Scripture?  How is it related to Divine Speech?  What are correspondences in Sacred Scripture?  Give some illustrations of Sacred Scripture and show how they are to be interpreted from the perspective of theistic psychology.

 

Section A:  My Own Summary of the Selections

 

Q:        What is the perspective of theistic psychology provides on Sacred Scripture?  How is it related to Divine Speech? 

                        First of all in section 9.1 Swedenborg states that all Sacred Scripture is written in natural correspondences of Divine Speech.  The basis of theistic psychology is to learn how to extrapolate using enlightenment as a method toward higher-order correspondence.  He further states that each collection of Sacred Scripture was given in a manner they could understand and comprehend.

 

Q:        What are correspondences in Sacred Scripture?  Give some illustrations of Sacred Scripture and show how they are to be interpreted from the perspective of theistic psychology.

            Again in section 9.1 we learn that the Old Testament is written in natural-corporeal correspondences.  The New Testament is written in natural-sensuous correspondences and the Writings in Sacred Scripture are written in natural-rational correspondences.  That who read, worshipped and protected it was able to understand it.  As comprehension continues higher level of learning was revealed only because prior to this they were unable to understand.  In section 9.1.1 we learn that to “extract meaning from the literal sentences of Sacred Scripture is like making the unconscious mind conscious.  We then learn that the literal meaning of sacred scripture is called natural and the extracted part called spiritual.  We must be mentally prepared in order to comprehend a higher learning from sacred scripture

 

Section B:  My Commentary

 

(i)                 The importance of the Topic in Question 6 to you and explain why:

 

It solidifies in my mind how Swedenborg was able to comprehend and relay this important information in a manner that the masses could comprehend.  As our learning increases so does our comprehension of sacred scripture.

 

(ii)               Discuss this perspective helps you to understand things about yourself and society:

 

I know that I inherited evils from previous ancestors and that I have the ability to control them if I choose to.  I have the power within myself for change but it has to be something I am willing to pursue.

 

(iii)             Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why:

 

I agree with this concept because it is a pattern we see in our everyday life. 

Our choices can help or hinder us and it’s the same when dealing with the after life.

 

Section C:   My Analysis of Prior Generations: Compilation from Josh Cooper, Heather Piper, Tricia Castro and Leticia Valle

 

(i)                 How they felt:

Each one had sound advice and each one was on a different level of learning.  This is what Swedenborg is trying to convey to us and make us aware that some are happy to be where they are.

 

(ii)               What they thought:

One complete agreement was the new information they attained while studying with Dr. James and learning about theistic psychology.  Each one agreed that is was wonderful learning something different that they were not familiar with.

 

(iii)             What they concluded:

Even with there agreement on learning a new subject some still held tight to old wills.  This is to be expected since we are told it takes a life time to overcome old wills and create new wills.  Yet with that not one felt there semester of learning was a waste of time.  They relied on their individual choices and stuck with those decisions.

 

(iv)             How there insights apply to you:

So revealing when you look back at the previous generation and just those I choose to write about and see the differences amongst them.  I can tell from meeting Ms Valle that she has gained much insight and that sense of awe in learning has never diminished.

It’s a wonderful sight to behold for me and one I would like to emulate.

 

Section D:   My Report on the Current Generation:

 

Jared Watai:   March 17, 2005 spoke on section 9.1-9.1.1

He felt importance should be given on Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech.  He further stated that Sacred Scripture is not literally Divine Speech.  It was written in natural correspondence to make it easier for the people to comprehend.

 

Seon-Hee Cheon:  April 7, 2005 spoke on section 10.1.11-10.1.13

She educated us on the Blue Bridge and the Red Bridge.  How we can learn to handle any emotion that comes our way and to focus on the positive self instead of dwelling on the negative self.  How we have the power to affect others and ourselves for good or bad and to identify what pursuits we are striving towards (evil or heavenly)

 

Karina Swenson:  April 7, 2005 spoke on section 10.1.1.4-10.1.1.6

Along with Cheon, Ms Swenson spoke about depression.  We may not consciously be aware that this emotion exists at times but it is still detrimental to our well being.  A good factor in judging is the reaction you body reveals, if you feel lazy and doubtful then it is a negative emotion.  If you feel excited and exhilarated then this is a positive emotion.   Our personal barometer notifies us when something is wrong.

 

Section E:   My Advice to Future Generations:

 

The last piece of advice to share is to trust your instincts.  Your body reveals the rest in how you respond or react.  You have read all that I can share and are probably tired of the repetition but if it inspires you to learn then it’s a good thing.  Maybe your piece of advice for others who read what you have so far learned and inspires them to take it a step further.

 

Class Home Page:        www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonpsy22/classhome-g22.htm

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