Course: Psychology 459, Spring 2007, Generation 26
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
Introduction to Theistic Psychology  at  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch1.htm
My Home Page:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/459s2007/major/major-home.htm
Class Home Page:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/classhome-g26.htm
Instructions for this Report:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/459-g26-weekly.htm

 

My Introduction to Theistic Psychology

by Mariann Major

Report 1 for Section 1.0 to 1.0.1.2.1

 

Answers to Questions 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6

and

Answers to Questions 4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6

 

Question 3.1

 

(a)    Describe your educational experience regarding the positive and negative bias in science.

(b)    Describe your reaction to what this week’s readings say about science education.

 

Answer 3.1

 

(a) Describe your educational experience regarding the positive and negative bias in science.

 

Weird Science

 

(a)  My educational experience regarding the positive and negative bias in science is very limited.  I have never had “intelligent design” taught in any of my science classes whatsoever, so I have only learned with the negative bias in science.  My classmates and I were always told that because God could not be proven to exist, there was no place for it in the classroom.  Also, there are laws in place about mixing state and church which prohibit teachers from passing their beliefs onto students.  Personally, I am skeptical about the existence of God.  My father is Protestant and my mother is Catholic, so our family didn’t go to church.  Both of my parents are avid believers in God but accept my skepticism due to my lack of “spiritual” education.  I do not know much about God or his teachings except what most people consider common knowledge, in that He created us, He watches over us, and most of all, He loves us, regardless of flaws.  I am unsure of how to study God in the scientific sense, but I hope that this class will show me how to view Him in the positive bias so that I may expand my overall horizons and knowledge on the topic of spirituality.

 

(b) Describe your reaction to what this week’s readings say about science education.

 

 

What’s really real?

 

(b)  I feel a little as if I have missed out in my education by omitting God from my curriculum.  God has had such an impact on so many people that I feel it is probably more beneficial to learn about Him than to be ignorant of His existence.  Also, in the case that perhaps He does exist, I feel as if I would lead a more fulfilling life in the mental world knowing about him and my connection with him, than to be ignorant of that also.  I do not think that science teachers are wrong in leaving out spiritual education, however they may be a bit misguided.  It is hard to learn about God when you believe in something totally different.  Should we then teach about ALL religions?  On the other hand, I always felt as if religion is a personal choice, and the teachings of Theistic Psychology show that God has indeed given us a personal freedom to choose whether or not we believe in Him or not.  However, I always feel a little frightened when faced with the thought that what if I choose not to believe and then in fact, He does exist.  It is really hard for me to grasp because I was brought up with the negative bias.  There is a quote that really sticks out in my mind when thinking about religious matters: “You lose nothing by believing.”  This is true, because you can accept that God is real, and still live your life in a moral manner and your life will be more spiritually fulfilled.  But if you choose not to believe, you don’t get the chance to spiritually enlighten your life.  I guess I will have to see where Theistic Psychology takes me.

Question 3.2

(a) Describe your reaction to discovering that you are a dual citizen.
(b) Is this difficult for you to go along with as part of the positive bias?
(c) Describe the reaction of your friends or family with whom you discussed the     course.

Answer 3.2

(a) Describe your reaction to discovering that you are a dual citizen.

A whole new world

(a)  My first reaction to discovering that I am a dual citizen is one of shock and skepticism.  Then I begin to wonder.  Have there ever been instances in my life in which I thought that perhaps there was more to me than just this physical shell?  This brings me to remember every time in which I have stood in front of a mirror and wondered if the reflection were really a parallel universe in which everything was backwards.  It secretly made sense to me in my mind because it was the only explanation as to, when I put my face at an angle really close to the mirror, I could see opposite ends of the room that were not in the mirrors’ view.  I have come to the conclusion that I am open to new perceptions of my reality, as long as they are plausible and have some form of evidence supporting it.

 

(b) Is this difficult for you to go along with as part of the positive bias?

 

What’s really real?, part II

 

(b)  It seems a little far-fetched to me as a belief, since in my negative-biased education, I was taught that evidence must be able to be replicated by more than one person in order for it to stand as “truth”.  However, since apparently only one person has ever been able to achieve this higher state of mind, it makes sense that there is little evidence from other people to back up these beliefs.  Since I was taught with the negative bias and because I do not really have a strong belief in God, it is a bit difficult for me to full-fledgedly believe that I will exist for eternity in the mental world.  However, I think also because I have been exposed to people who live in the positive bias, I am open to the idea that all of this could be truth.  It is a little difficult for me to grasp, but I can understand the concepts and the theories behind Theistic Psychology.  I think most of what I’ve learned about Theistic Psychology doesn’t interfere with the way I live my life now, but it does ask a lot.  Most of us aren’t conscious of the processes of our minds, or the long lasting repercussions of our thoughts, and it is quite the mental challenge to try to think in a more positive way so that our mental world is as untainted as possible.

 

(c) Describe the reaction of your friends or family with whom you discussed the     course.

 

Surprise…

 

(c)  I have discussed this course with many of my friends and my roommate to see what they thought about it.  Most of them are amazed that this course can even be held at an institution, let alone offered at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  Some of my friends think that there is nothing to it.  They say that since the man lived two hundred years ago, that it was probably just schizophrenia or multiple-personality disorder.  None of them think that they could ever fully believe in it.  Some of them are willing to believe that there is a mental world upon which we all stand, but not willing to believe that we will exist there forever with everyone who has ever existed or everyone who will be in existence.  Overall, it’s a hard faith to pass on to others, and I can appreciate the work that goes into attempting to prove this faith empirically and rationally.

Question 3.3

(a) Give a description of the anatomy of a human being viewed in the positive bias as a dual citizen.
(b) How is this anatomy different from the anatomy you learned before?
(c) Describe your reaction to this new knowledge.

Answer 3.3

 

(a) Give a description of the anatomy of a human being viewed in the positive bias as a dual citizen.

The head bone’s connected to the… affective organ?

 

(a)  The anatomy of a human being in the positive bias as a dual citizen is pretty crazy.  There is a physical body which is trapped in time and space and appears to us on Earth, or on other planets and places that humans exist.  This physical body is victim to physical things like wounds, injuries, illness, or death.  This body can age and can grow from the time of conception until the time of death.  However, there is also a mental body.  The mental body exists for all of eternity in the mental world.  The mental body is just like the physical body except that it doesn’t get injured, get sick, or die.

 

The mental body had three main organs, each corresponding to a set of organs in the physical body:  the affective organ (which relates to the heart and circulatory system), the cognitive organ (which relates to the lungs and respiratory system), and the sensorimotor organ (which relates to the brain the neurons).  These organs control your feelings, thoughts, and sensations with you experience in your physical body, but cannot be explained with the science.  Science says that your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, are the products of electric signals within your body, even though these things are matterless.

 

(b) How is this anatomy different from the anatomy you learned before?

 

Let’s get physical

 

(b)  I have never taken an actual anatomy class, but in biology and in elementary science, we learn that the body is made up of bones, muscles, tissue, blood, organs, skin, nails, and hair.  All of these things are physical.  I have even taken a cognitive psychology class, and also a Biopsychology class, both of which explained that learning occurred through long-term potentiation.  Long-term potentiation is a series of electrical signals traveling through your neurons to create connections that your brain translates into knowledge.

 

(c) Describe your reaction to this new knowledge.

 

I can dig it…

 

(c)  My reaction to this knowledge is surprisingly accepting.  I have always felt that my thoughts and emotions were the product of perhaps something more than just electrical signals coursing throughout my body.  How else could I explain why I felt most of my feelings in my heart area, especially love, or heartbreak?  I am always wondering if this world is the only one out there, or if we are just inhabitants of a cell, drifting in a world much bigger than I have ever imagined.  (At this point my mind thinks back to a scene in the movie Men in Black at the very end where the two aliens are playing a game of marbles with our universe).  However, at the same time, I am wondering if this is a bunch of hooey that a man two hundred years ago invented.  Theistic Psychology tells us that if we accept the positive bias, we have no choice but to see that this information is true.  However, science has explained so much natural phenomena in elemental and physical terms that it seems a little far-fetched to me that there is this last bit of phenomena that remains unexplained.  How does science really tackle God, except through Theistic Psychology?  Are there any other scientific methods of studying God?

Question 3.6

(a) Describe the correspondential relationship between the physical body and the mental body.
(b) How do they work together?
(c) How do you react to learning these facts about yourself?

Answer 3.6

(a) Describe the correspondential relationship between the physical body and the mental body.

It all corresponds

 

(a)  The physical and the mental body are interrelated.  The mental world cannot exist without the physical world and vice versa.  The physical body has three organ systems that correspond to the mental body.  The affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs of the mental body correspond to the heart and circulatory system, the lungs and respiratory system, and the brain and neurons.  The affective organ is responsible for your emotions, the cognitive organ is responsible for your thoughts, and the sensorimotor organ is responsible for your behaviors and movements.

 

(b) How do they work together?

Swing your partner ‘round and ‘round …

 

(b)  The affective system corresponds with the way you feel and your emotions.  That is why they are the counterpart of your heart and circulatory system, because your heart is where you feel most of your emotions at.  The cognitive system is corresponds with your thoughts and the way you think.  The reason this system is paired with your respiratory system is because we physically take in and let out influences.  The sensorimotor system corresponds to the physical brain and neuron system because that is where actions take place for the physical body, through a network of neurons and action potentials.

 

(c) How do you react to learning these facts about yourself?

 

Who would have guessed?

 

(c)  It is really hard to grasp these facts about myself, except for the one about my emotions coming from my heart, because I have always felt that emotions come from that area in the first place.  I don’t like to think that the way I feel and my thoughts are just the figment of a positive neuron or a negative neuron.  To know that there is a mental world in which my thoughts and feelings have a real basis, gives me great comfort in that my life seems to have some sort of meaning or purpose behind it.  If I were to fully accept the positive bias, I would have to accept that my body is simply a physical shell and all of my processes like thoughts and emotions take place elsewhere.  Where exactly is this mental world? because my thoughts FEEL as if they are taking place inside of my skull, and not in my chest or lung area which is where my corresponding cognitive organ is located.  How exactly are we all linked?  Is there a physical or mental bond between our bodies and our mental world?  However, what if there is no such thing as the positive bias, and our emotions really are a result of electro-chemical signals coursing throughout our brains?  Then again, that would be against the point of taking this course.  It is really hard for me to accept the positive bias because I have all of these “what ifs” in my mind.  I would love to believe that everything had a simple explanation and that what we do here on earth is all that there is.  But apparently now I have an entirely other world to worry about.  I’m not sure I can handle the pressure of keeping track of all of my organs and my thoughts in order to secure a truly heavenly place after I die.

 

 

Mental Marriage

by Mariann Major

Continuation of Report 1 for Section 1.0.1.2.2

 

 

Question 4.1

(a)   Describe the mental physiology of men and women. 

(b)   How do you relate to this anatomical difference? Will it make a difference to your life in any way?

 

Answer 4.1

(a)  Describe the mental physiology of men and women. 

 

You are the Yin to my Yang.

(a)  The mental physiology of men and women is completely different.  Men's affective organ is more inward than their cognitive organ, and women's cognitive organ is more inward than their affective organ.  This makes sense in relation to the natural world since it is said that women govern their actions with emotion and act first before thinking, whereas men often judge their actions and consequences and try to put as little emotion into things as possible.  However, it's not to say that women and men don't utilize the other organs too, it's just that since the affective organ in women is outermost in the mind than the cognitive organ, many of the decisions women make seem emotionally based, where as the situation is vice versa with men.  A lot of the reason why men and women are different in the mind is largely related to how men and women are different physically.  There are certain body parts that each have that the other sex doesn’t have.  Because of this difference, men's feelings are based on their thoughts, while women's feelings are based on their emotions.

(b) How do you relate to this anatomical difference? Will it make a difference to your life in any way?

 

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

(b)  The anatomical or physical differences between the minds, or brains, of men and women are very little.  It is said that women utilize both hemispheres of their brains more than men, which is why women are better communicators than men.  They are able to express their thoughts vocally.  Men tend to be more adept spatially, which can be explained through evolution as a means of hunting more efficiently.  I’m not sure if this information about the mental physiology of men and women will make a difference in my life because I have already known that men and women think in those ways.  I can see in myself the ways that I let my emotions run away with me and I make rash decisions, whereas the counterpart males will make decisions regardless of how they are feeling but on what they are thinking.  I relate greatly to this information because, since I am a woman, I will apparently base most of my feelings and thoughts on my emotions and must consciously try harder to base my feelings and emotions on rational thoughts instead. 

I think that there are other signs that males and females are reciprocals of each other.  Male sex organs are outside of their bodies while women sex organs are internal.  Their bodies work much like a plug and socket.  I think that the fact that women and men have different gender roles is another sign that they are reciprocals of each other.  Theistic psychology is just showing that not only are we reciprocals in the physical world, but also in the mental world as well.  This helps me accept the theories that are presented in theistic psychology a little better because I am able to relate to it by comparing it to what I already know.

Question 4.3

(a)   Explain why the mental body of men and women have to be reciprocals of each other in order to achieve conjugial unity.                                                     

(b)   How do you assimilate this piece of knowledge in the positive bias mode?

 

Answer 4.3

(a) Explain why the mental body of men and women have to be reciprocals of each other in order to achieve conjugial unity.                                                     

 

Let’s make music together.

(a)  The mental bodies of men and women must be reciprocals of each other in order to achieve full and total conjunction.  Think of it like puzzle pieces.  What one mind is lacking, the other fulfills.  Anatomically, men and women’s bodies are reciprocals of each other.  This is also so in the spiritual mind, which relates back to the affective vs. cognitive organ within men and women.  This is a big reason why men and women have a lot of miscommunication.  They will both say things with different meanings and goals in mind.  In a mental “marriage”, these meanings conjoin when a woman and a man merge their mental minds and share knowledge from their cognitive and affective organs.  When men and women conjoin in a unity marriage in the mental world, they are seen as a single angel.  As the angel gets closer, you see that it is really two people.  You must have a partner to enter heaven.  The couple is so close that when the husband speaks, the wife has his emotions on her face.  Even before you die, you have achieved a unity marriage when you conjoin with someone who is very similar to you and someone that you have very little conflict with.

(b) How do you assimilate this piece of knowledge in the positive bias mode?

What’s really real?, part IV

(b)  In the positive bias mode, it is easy to assimilate this information because it just goes further to prove the differences in the mental bodies of men and women.  It explains spiritually why and how men and women are so different from their thoughts to their actions.  It is hard for me to be completely engrossed in a relationship here in the physical world, I’m not so sure I would enjoy doing it for as long as my mind exists.  It is also a little bothersome to me that I would have to find someone that shares all of my same interests and that I have no conflict with.  I am very skeptical that that kind of relationship exists.  I have never met any perfect couples, ever.  Also, everyone that I know likes to be alone sometimes, it’s hard to be with someone all the time, and also you would get bored with each other.  However, if I look at this from the positive bias, perhaps it is better to be with someone you get along with extremely well than someone you don’t get along with at all, or no one.  Because if you can’t find someone during your physical life, or within a certain time period after you get to the mental world, you may not get to enter your eternal heaven.  That frightens me.  Now I am confused as to whether I should disregard this information and just wait until I get to the mental world, or start searching for my perfect partner now.  I guess since there is no sense of time really in the mental world, I could take my time finding the perfect partner to join me in heaven, which is nice.

Question 4.5

(a)   Do a google search on marriage. What impressions do you get from this? Summarize the trends and ideas that seem to dominate this topic.       

(b)   How would theistic psychology fit into this?

 

Answer 4.5

(a) Do a google search on marriage. What impressions do you get from this? Summarize the trends and ideas that seem to dominate this topic.  

 

Just Google it!

(a)  My impressions of marriage from my Google search makes it seem as if marriage is just a materialistic custom.  I believe that before, marriage was a deeply spiritual thing, but it has expanded so much that it is just costly and cumbersome.   I found links for:  wedding planners (http:// www.marriagetools.com/) and Christian ministries (http://www.christianitytoday.com/marriage/).  I think it's still nice that a bunch of Christian links pop up for marriage, but what about the other religions?  Is marriage a mostly Christian ideal?  What about Buddhism or Judaism?  Many of the Christian sites dealt with pre-marital sex and marriage advice.  It bothers me that I only saw one site for gay marriage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage) but I guess in the theistic sense there is no gay marriage.  In actuality, it is more because a gay couple does not create the unity partnership that is required in eternity.  In order for two people to become a unity couple, they must be conjugal partners, complete opposites of each other so that they complete each other.  If there are two of the same things, then the partnership remains incomplete.  Therefore, the two people cannot enter heaven in eternity.

(b)  How would theistic psychology fit into this?

You + Me = Us

(b)  Theistic psychology would fit into this somewhat because it is very spiritual.  However, theistic psychology is more of the marriage of minds and values rather than the marriage of physical bodies, a contract which in essence means deep commitment.  Swedenborg says that the mental body must conjoin, the affective organ and the cognitive organs must combine to create a perfect marriage of the minds.  In the mental world, a happy and harmonious married couple appear as a pair of angels.  The husband or wife cannot have thoughts that are disagreeable to the other partner.  In the physical world, when the husband and wife’s minds have reached a unity relationship, they each start thinking less and less of what their partners will disapprove of.  In order to achieve a unity relationship, both partners must be willing and interested in each other’s lives, interests, and values.  Because Theistic Psychology says that Divine Speech is encoded within the Sacred Scriptures, and because many religions have their own Sacred Scriptures, one could say that in essence, a marriage through the church is guided by what is considered a mental marriage.  However, because many people do not know how to decode Sacred Scripture, it is surprising that marriage in the physical world exists at all.  On the other hand, perhaps there are blatant messages in Sacred Scripture that depict marriage as something that one should do if he or she wants to follow in God.

Question 4.6

(a)   Describe the mental physiology of men and women.                   

(b)   Discuss it with a friend or two. What difficulties do you encounter when explaining this to them?                                                                             

(c)    What is your conclusion?

 

Answer 4.6

(a) Describe the mental physiology of men and women.                         

 

Two peas in a pod… almost.

(a)  As I said in a previous answer: The mental physiology of men and women is completely different.  Men's affective organ is more inward than their cognitive organ, and women's cognitive organ is more inward than their affective organ.  This makes sense in relation to the natural world since it is said that women govern their actions with emotion and act first before thinking, whereas men often judge their actions and consequences and try to put as little emotion into things as possible.  However, it's not to say that women and men don't utilize the other organs too, it's just that since the affective organ in women is outermost in the mind than the cognitive organ, many of the decisions women make seem emotionally based, where as the situation is vice versa with men.  A lot of the reason why men and women are different in the mind is largely related to how men and women are different physically.  There are certain body parts that each have that the other sex doesn’t have.  Because of this difference, men's feelings are based on their thoughts, while women's feelings are based on their emotions. 

(b)  Discuss it with a friend or two. What difficulties do you encounter when explaining this to them?                                                                                  

 

What's really real? part V

(b)  My friends fully accept this aspect of the mental body.  It correlates with how life is in the physical world to the point where accepting the whole of theistic psychology becomes that much easier.  The only difficulty I encountered was trying to get the males to see things from a female point of view.  This is not surprising to me because men often think that women are crazy and if they think that women are crazy then they will feel that anything a woman spouts out will be craziness.  However, it was really easy to get my female friends to see things from the positive bias because they too feel as if they are more emotionally charged whereas men are just bland in the emotion area of life.

(c) What is your conclusion?

 

Drum roll please!

(c)  My conclusion is that it is easier to get women to see things from both points of view, male and female, because girls are so used to assimilating into their boyfriends’ and husbands’ lives anyways.  I think it would be easier to convert women to thinking about things with the positive bias than men, because they have the ability to expand their minds and examine their thoughts and feelings more carefully than men, who see things from a mostly facts and numbers way of thinking.  It would probably be just as easy to convert men, it might just take longer.  On the other hand, if men are thinking more cognitively, and women are thinking more affectively, one would assume that men would be quicker to understand what was going on from both sides.  Perhaps it is because women are naturally more empathetic so they pick up information about others easily.  I think that this is probably the most plausible explanation, in the working world you see more women psychologists than men psychologists.