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 3 for 1.1 to 1.1.4.1

 

Answers to questions 7.2, 7.3, 7.6, 7.8

And

Answers to Questions 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4

 

Question 7.2

 

(a)    Make up a gain-loss sheet that lists and briefly explains what you could gain or lose by adopting the negative vs. positive bias regarding God’s existence as a scientific reality.

(b)    Read the list.  Comment on it from an objective point of view.

 

Answer 7.2

 

(a)  Make up a gain-loss sheet that lists and briefly explains what you could gain or lose by adopting the negative vs. positive bias regarding God’s existence as a scientific reality.

(b) Read the list.  Comment on it from an objective point of view.

 

[I have combined the two parts of the question into four separate paragraph answers.]

 

The Pros:  Negative Bias

 

There are many pros to adopting the negative bias.  You will never get into any conflict in a science class regarding not believing the material.  You will never worry about whether or not your actions on Earth will affect you after you die.  You won’t have to worry about finding the perfect partner to be your soul mate in eternity.  You don’t have any particular moral rules to follow.  Also, you won’t really have a problem when it comes to religious conflicts because you won’t really have an opinion on the matter.  You will probably think that people who are religious are wrong and crazy for thinking the way that they do, but that is simply because you are in the negative bias in which what they believe doesn’t exist at all.  All in all, the negative bias seems pretty nice if you don’t really care about where you end up after your life is over.

 

The Cons: Negative Bias

 

You leave yourself closed to the possibility that there are other explanations out there for why we exist and how we came about.  Also, since you don’t know anything about correspondences and how the road to an eternity in heaven works, you will probably not lead your life in the most heavenly way possible.  You won’t understand that there is an internal and external side to the unity marriage and will probably only engage in the external side of marriage, which will be mentally and emotionally unfufilling.

 

The Pros:  Positive Bias

 

You can prepare yourself for an eternity of living in the spiritual world.  You discover that you will live forever in the spiritual world.  You are able to think rationally and know God through the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture.  If everyone adopted the positive bias, everyone could unite under one belief and many religious conflicts that are based on the literal sense of the scripture would cease to exist because everyone would just look at the correspondences and understand what God was really trying to tell people.  You will be conscious of God’s existence and will be able to live your life by His guidelines in order to create the best heaven possible for your life after your physical death.

 

The Cons:  Positive Bias

 

If you are not a religious person, the positive bias can mean a complete turn around in your beliefs and the way you live.  It could potentially be really hard to adjust to a new way of living and looking at things.  You may become afraid of “knowing” God in a way and could possibly get desperate when trying to find your unity marriage partner. 

 

If you are already religious, adopting the positive bias shouldn’t be too difficult since you already believe in a higher spiritual being.  However, if your mind isn’t use to the ways of theistic psychology, you would have to study up on it in order to learn how to live your life in a heavenly way.  This could take time away from your original religion and you may be shunned in your religious group for taking a different path from the norm.

 

Question 7.3

 

(a)    Why does God allow people to be in the negative bias and survive as well as those who are in the positive bias?

(b)    Comment on this situation.  Do you understand it?  Do you see problems with it?

 

Answer 7.3

 

(a)  Why does God allow people to be in the negative bias and survive as well as those who are in the positive bias?

 

 

Living a lie

 

(a)  Before Jesus came to give us the spiritual-natural organ, humans only had one whole brain that couldn’t comprehend anything but the positive bias.  Then, God sent Jesus to Earth to give us split brains and to embed us with the spiritual-natural organ which gave us our conscious, which is our constant internal reminder to live a heavenly life. 

 

When God gave us a conscience, He also gave us the power to make our own choices and have free will.  Now, if God interferes with our free will, our mental heavens will not essentially be our own.  It is only if we create it ourselves by living a heavenly life without His interference that we can truly become heavenly in our minds. 

 

God allows people to live in the negative bias because he wants people to have the freedom to choose whether or not to believe in Him or not.  It is possible for someone to still live a heavenly life even in the negative bias because everyone still has a God-driven conscience.  However, it is a little harder for those in the negative bias to truly understand how the road to a heaven in eternity really works.

 

However, even if one is in the negative bias, it is still possible for that person to reach eternity after resuscitation and accept the Sacred Scripture and correspondences then, instead of during physical life.  If one accepts the correspondences and Theistic Psychology, then one is able to find their unity marriage partner and thus enter heaven.

 

(b)  Comment on this situation.  Do you understand it?  Do you see problems with it?

 

My take on it all

 

(b)  I think that it’s really cool that even if you’re in the negative bias that you still have a chance to enter heaven later.  I was brought up with the negative bias, so it’s really hard for me to understand a lot of what religions and theistic psychology are telling me.  Even though I have a conscience, I don’t read Sacred Scripture, and therefore do not understand much of the correspondences hidden within.  This means that I do not have a hard copy of the guidelines for living that God has given us.  However, I utilize my conscience a lot and hopefully, with time, I will come to accept theistic psychology in order to find my unity partner and enter heaven.  I think it’s good that God has given everyone a chance, even if they don’t believe in him, because it’s only fair to let people go on their own path.  It shows that God really does “love” humans; it is like the saying, “Let it go, and if it comes back, it truly loved you.”  God let’s humans choose to believe or not, and if they believe then it is a true showing of love, and they get to enter heaven, which is, in my mind, God’s gift to those who believe and who dedicated themselves to living a heavenly life.  If you live a heavenly life, regardless of whether or not you believe, then you deserve to live a heavenly afterlife in eternity. 

 

Question 7.6

 

(a)    Describe what the two worlds are that God created and maintains in rational order.

(b)    How does this affect your self-image as a human being?

 

Answer 7.6

 

(a)  Describe what the two worlds are that God created and maintains in rational order.

 

Keeping it all together

 

(a)  God has created the Spiritual-Mental world and the Physical-Natural world. 

 

The physical-natural world is the world in which we exist right now in the time and space plane.  It is maintained with the rational assumption that God is omnipotent.  All of the natural laws of science are in place because God created them and God is the ultimate law of science.  This world is also maintained through rational order, which means that the physical-natural world is always connected, or corresponding, to the spiritual-mental world.  The reason we don’t see God in the physical-natural world is because he cannot be in the world while he is continuously creating it (i.e. humans, animals, seasons, etc).  God lets the physical-natural world to exist in a routine manner for our benefit.

 

The Spiritual-Mental world is also known as the eternal world.  It is where our minds reside.  Anything we think and anything we feel is in the spiritual-mental world.  That is why we cannot locate our feelings, emotions, and thoughts physically and anatomically.  God thinks of things and they exist. 

 

The reason our bodies live in the physical plane is because God wants to give us a chance to earn our place in Heaven after we expire.  Our physical forms must learn to give up our hellish loves in order to accept a more heavenly life.  If we don’t give them up then we are doomed to be tortured in our hellish minds once we reach eternity. 

 

(b)  How does this affect your self-image as a human being?

 

What this means to me

 

(b)  This knowledge has a very profound effect on me.  Before I knew about Theistic Psychology, I suspected that perhaps there was more than a scientific explanation for how people feel and think.  The fact that electro-chemical signals surged throughout my brain created my thoughts and emotions didn’t really make sense to me.  However, upon learning that I also exist in a mental world, I am coming to understand my thoughts and emotions more fully.  I can also see how everything that I do now will directly affect my life in eternity.  I appreciate the freedom that God has given us in the physical world, and the will to choose to believe or not believe in Him.

 

Something that still boggles my mind however, is the fact that even though we have free will and can choose to do whatever we want to do, everything we do is still somewhat under God’s constraints whether we know it or not since He already knows our story and what we’ll do.  I like to look at is as a “choose your own adventure” novel.  God’s got your entire book with all your choices written in it, now you just have to read the book.  This is how we navigate through the physical plane, making decisions to hopefully get rid of our hellish traits and to embrace our heavenly traits using our conscience which is located in the mental world.  We navigate life through the correspondences between the mental world and the physical world.

 

Question 7.8

 

(a)    How are humans different from animals?

(b)    What makes us human?  Justify the statement that we are human because we are rational.

(c)     Explain why animals are not immortal.

(d)    How do you react to this knowledge?

 

Answer 7.8

 

(a)  How are humans different from animals?

 

You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals…

 

(a)  Humans can be scientifically classified as animals, however, our brains are extremely different from what we normally deem as animals.  We have a level of higher functioning that enables us to use tools and language to coexist with the world around us and to become the top of the food chain.  Our brains enable us to be the fittest for survival in the physical plane.

 

(b)  What makes us human?  Justify the statement that we are human because we are rational.

 

The key factor

 

(b)  One feature that makes us different from animals is our ability to think rationally.  Natural man, which is when men are animal-like in the way they lust or fantasize, is the lowest level of thinking.  The next level is internal-rational, where humans consider themselves to be above animals due to their rational mind.  When a man thinks with a rational mind, he is able to reject or resist lust by thinking within himself and finding heavenly thoughts instead.  The third level of thinking is the least known to humans in the physical plane.  To reach this third level, you must recognize God’s role in our existence.  God constantly shuttles Good and Truth and Love towards us to keep our bodies and minds going, but we are conscious of it.  Therefore, most people stay in the first two levels of thinking, and the really enlightened have reached the third level of thinking. 

 

(c)  Explain why animals are not immortal.

 

All dogs do NOT go to heaven

 

(c)  Animals are not immortal.  After their physical death, they do not continue to exist in the mental world.  The reason for this is because animals cannot think rationally.  Because they cannot think rationally, they never recognize God or the Good and Truth that keeps them alive.  They do not have a conscience in order to live life heavenly.  They cannot read and will not understand the correspondences inside Sacred Scripture. 

 

(d)  How do you react to this knowledge?

 

What this means to me

 

(d)  This kind of makes me sad that animals cannot enter their own heaven.  I love puppies and kittens and all sorts of other animals like butterflies and things like that, but the fact that they cannot enter the mental world means that after they die in the physical plane, that’s it.  However, in Theistic Psychology, we are taught that in our heavens we can think of whatever we want and it will appear.  So if I really wanted to see a puppy, I would just think it into my world and I could play with the puppy forever.

 

I can understand why animals can’t enter the mental world but to me it doesn’t seem fair.  It’s as if I don’t even see the point of having animals exist if they don’t have a chance, unless God created them for our food and our amusement.  That makes me feel bad for animals and I feel too privileged because I happened to have a split brain with rational thoughts.  It makes me wonder what made me so special that I got to be created as a human and not as an animal.  It also makes me wonder why certain animals even exist, like the mosquito, when their purpose is so insignificant anyways.  I know theistic psychology says that animals exist because of thoughts in the mental world, but what kind of thoughts created the mosquito!  Or the cockroach!

 

Part Two:  Section 1.1.4.2 to 1.1.4.3.1

 

Question 8.1

 

(a)    Explain how we become spiritually enlightened by studying theistic psychology.

(b)    What is the difference between natural and spiritual enlightenment?

(c)     Who do you know that is enlightened?

 

Answer 8.1

 

(a)  Explain how we become spiritually enlightened by studying theistic psychology.

 

At first I was blind but now I see

 

(a)  The lecture notes tell us that we become spiritually enlightened when your cognitive functioning has reached a level far beyond what normal people reach.  An enlightened person is considered an authority on something.  One generally becomes spiritually enlightened by thoroughly understanding the correspondences in Sacred Scripture.  This opens our spiritual mind so that we can reach that third, highest level of thinking.  Another way is by studying theistic psychology.  If we study theistic psychology, we are already thinking in the highest level and are therefore utilizing the Truth and Good from God and can become spiritually enlightened.  Theistic psychology is a guide for how to live in accordance with the Good and Truth, therefore, studying theistic psychology enables us to become spiritually enlightened.

 

(b)  What is the difference between natural and spiritual enlightenment?

 

There are two types of expertise

 

(b)  Spiritual enlightenment is when one’s spiritual-natural mind is elevated.  If you have elevated your spiritual-natural mind, you will be able to live in your heaven.  Your mental heaven is the mental body’s equivalent to being enlightened.  You can only live in your mental heaven if your natural mind corresponds with your spiritual mind, and you have reached the highest, or third, level of rational thought, which means you must recognize God’s role in existence.

 

Natural enlightenment is when someone’s natural-rational mind is elevated.  If you become an expert in something, you are naturally enlightened in that area, like a violinist.  Someone may practice for many years at the violin until he or she is considered an expert at the violin.  Then, the person is naturally enlightened in the playing of the violin.  The difference between natural enlightenment and spiritual enlightenment is natural enlightenment is achieved through something you experience physically and in the natural world, whereas spiritual enlightenment is something you achieve through your mind.

 

(c)  Who do you know that is enlightened?

 

Who’s at that level?

 

(c)  I can only think of three people who I consider spiritually enlightened: Swedenborg, Dr. James, and Dr. James’s wife.  Unfortunately, I don’t personally know Swedenborg or Dr. James’s wife, but I have the opportunity to listen to Dr. James once a week for the entire semester.  Dr. James is really knowledgeable on the topic of theistic psychology, so much so that I would consider him an expert on the topic.  However, Dr. James has been blessed with the ability to think on the third level, and truly understand God’s role in existence.  He has studied theistic psychology for so long and he lives and teaches in rational thought.  He understands the correspondences in Sacred Scripture and also is very knowledgeable about what the mental world is like.  Granted, he is simply reteaching what Swedenborg wrote, but the fact that he has gone into Swedenborg’s literature and brought back the meaning to spread to other people gives him an “A for effort” in my book.  I think what I like best is that not only is Dr. James spiritually enlightened, but his wife is enlightened too, which means that if they are unity marriage partners, they can already begin preparing for the mental world in which they will become a pair of angels together, which means they will be able to enter heaven faster than having to wait to find a partner.

 

Question 8.2

 

(a)    What are temptations?  Explain how our spiritual development depends on our willingness to fight our temptations.

(b)    What happens after we are victorious in a temptation?

(c)     What have you observed about your own temptations in the past?

 

Answer 8.2

 

(a)  What are temptations?  Explain how our spiritual development depends on our willingness to fight our temptations.

 

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it

 

(a)  According to theistic psychology, there are two types of temptations.  The first of the two types is a natural temptation.  Natural temptations are things that attempt to trick our conscious to keep us from being morally correct in our behavior as citizens, parents, spouses, or as an individual.  You do not have to be enlightened to develop in this moral area. 

 

The other type of temptation is a spiritual temptation.  You do have to be enlightened to develop in this area because if you aren’t enlightened you won’t experience spiritual temptations in the first place.  After you become enlightened, your adult body will have a sort of awakening in which it will desire to become spiritually enlightened.  The Divine Psychologist, or God, will choose a time and a spiritual temptation which He knows you are able to triumph over.  At the chosen time, the spiritual temptation is brought to your conscious awareness.  The time that is chosen to present us with the temptation depends on whether or not you yourself are aware of the Truths that you’ve acquired that you can fight temptation with.

 

This means that first you must become enlightened in that you are thinking in the third level and understand theistic psychology.  It also means that you must understand and follow the correspondences found in sacred scripture.  Then you must want to be spiritually enlightened, and at that point God will challenge you with spiritual temptations.

 

(b)  What happens after we are victorious in a temptation?

 

Victory is mine!

 

(b)  God gives us a conscience to determine what is morally right or wrong.  Humans most often do wrong because most of the time they receive instant gratification after a wrongdoing.  However, once we commit a “wrong”, we feel guilty.  Natural temptations are things like wanting to exploit someone, wanting to cheat at something, or other things like that.  A spiritual temptation is when God arms us with the Truths, but then plants in our minds doubt about the Spiritual Truths and our minds try to modify it.  But, if one can be successful and overcome the temptations, you become spiritually empowered.

 

(c)  What have you observed about your own temptations in the past?

 

My own temptations

 

(c)  I have been a victim to my temptations many times.  A prime example would be when I was fifteen and got arrested for shoplifting.  I knew it was wrong, my conscience told me it was wrong, and I felt guilty and worried and scared the entire time I was committing the act.  However, I really wanted the item that I lifted and felt that it was worth the risk.  Boy was I wrong.  Fortunately for me, I learned my lesson.  I find that it is that way with most of the things that I am tempted with.  Once I have reveled in the gratification, either there is a punishment period or I am simply too scared to give into temptation again.  I generally learn from my mistakes.  My temptations in previous years have been to indulge myself in material things like purchasing swimwear that I know I can’t afford, and then only eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the weeks after because I didn’t have any money for real food.  My temptations recently have been more emotional lately, like seeing an ex-boyfriend who I know is no good for me.  I sometimes feel as if I am not strong enough to resist temptation, or that maybe this time things will be different, but now I can see that it is just a natural temptation test.  Since I’m not enlightened I haven’t received any spiritual temptations.

 

Question 8.3

 

(a)    When and how did Sacred Scripture reveal that heaven in eternity is the mental world?

(b)    Why do you think that this knowledge remains unknown or disbelieved?

(c)     Search the web to see if anything about this is known.  What is your conclusion?

 

Answer 8.3

 

(a)  When and how did Sacred Scripture reveal that heaven in eternity is the mental world?

 

So this is heaven…

 

(a)  Sacred Scripture has told us that heaven in eternity is the mental world.  The Old Testament states: “God created the heaven and the earth.”  If we look at this line past the literal meaning and use our correspondential sense, we can see that God created the physical/time-space and mental-spiritual planes.  There is a line in the New Testament that says: “the kingdom of God is within you.”  This means that our mental or spiritual world is actually the eternity in which we will exist after our death on the physical plane.  Literally, none of this would make sense since it wouldn’t be possible to contain an entire kingdom inside your body, but from the correspondential sense, we see that it really means your mental world within you is equivalent to the spiritual world of eternity. 

 

(b)  Why do you think that this knowledge remains unknown or disbelieved?

 

And I said: “it’s true!”, and she said: “no way!”

 

(b)  A lot of this knowledge remains unknown or disbelieved because many people have not been exposed to theistic psychology.  If you haven’t been exposed to theistic psychology, then you do not understand how to read Sacred Scripture by decoding the correspondences within, and are only getting the literal sense of the scripture.  Another reason why this could be is because many people are in the negative bias.  Those that are in the negative bias do not generally give room for a heaven or a mental world at all.  They most likely do not read Sacred Scripture and therefore have no exposure to the correspondences at all. 

 

However, theistic psychology isn’t really tied by religion, since it is the scientific study of God with the positive bias in science.  Unfortunately, many people only associate God with religion, and those in the negative bias will most likely never study up on theistic psychology since they do not believe in a God anyways.  Also, most people with a negative bias generally accept whatever they learn in a science class as fact, and leave no room for another explanation.  This means that they believe that their thoughts and feelings are products of electro-chemical signals carousing through your brain and not as the products of Good and Truth through your cognitive and affective organs.  Even if you are in the positive bias and believe in a God, it doesn’t meant that you will be exposed to theistic psychology and you will never fully understand the correspondences within Sacred Scripture at all. 

 

(c)  Search the web to see if anything about this is known.  What is your conclusion?

 

And Google says…

 

(c)  The only other website that dealt with this knowledge was another theistic psychology website (http://www.theisticpsychology.org).  This doesn’t surprise me because theistic psychology is a method of study anyways.  To me that means that people who study theistic psychology look at Sacred Scripture in certain ways those other types of study do not.  If you don’t study theistic psychology, you do not understand the correspondences.  This means that you cannot interpret what certain lines of the bible are really trying to teach.  For instance: when someone says “kingdom within you” it should be taken to mean the mental world and not as an actual kingdom inside of your body.

 

Question 8.4

 

(a)    Explain the principle that “individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history.”

(b)    How does this influence the way you see yourself?

 

Answer 8.4

 

(a)  Explain the principle that “individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history.”

 

History always repeats itself

 

(a)  By saying “individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history,” you are saying that one is able to study things that have happened in the past in regards to the human race’s mental evolution.  This means that we can understand our mental states and how they interact with our nature, our behavior, and our characteristics.  We can recognize our levels of thinking because we can look back at other historical events in which someone else experienced the same behavior.

After Swedenborg discovered how to decode Sacred Scripture through correspondences, it became easier for people to look at events that happened historically (in the scripture) and relate it to their own lives to see where they are mentally and spiritually.

There are three levels of mental states that one can experience.  The first level is called “Level Three: Materialistic, Science, Monism, or Negative Bias.”  This is the lowest mental state.  In this level, religions, God, heaven, or hell are all rejected.  The second level is called: “Level Two: Mystical Religion.”  At this level, one is able to believe in  literalism, visions, voices, superstitions, or miracles.  The highest level is called “Level One: Theistic Psychology.”  At this level, we use rational thinking and recognize God’s role in existence, and the fact that there is no connection to religion or material things that exist in the physical world.

Most people remain in the first two states: level three and two.  Only the enlightened have reached the third and highest state.  We can see a sort of evolution of mental states if we look at the fact that humans started off at level three.  One or two perhaps recognized a higher presence in the world and probably moved up to level two in which mystical religions were formed.  Many years later, the ability to think rationally about God was developed.  Unfortunately, most people today are stuck on level two.  They have not learned to think rationally about God and do not fully understand the correspondences located within Sacred Scripture.

(b) How does this influence the way you see yourself?

Where does that leave me?

(b)  I think that I am stuck between level three and two.  I am not religious in the first place so I am not sure if I believe in God.  This means that I am mostly in the negative bias.  However, since I have accepted the positive bias in science, I have begun to accept that perhaps God does exist.  Luckily for me, even if I do not reach Level One of thinking, I still have a chance to enter eternity by accepting God’s role in existence later.  However, I think that it might be a good idea for me to start thinking about God in my life sooner rather than later because otherwise I may end up in a mental hell for all of eternity.  I generally follow my conscience and try to be a morally correct person, however now that I know about the three levels of thinking, I want to try to reach the highest level before I die so that I won’t have to waste time in eternity, or end up in a hell rather than a heaven.