Course: Psychology 459, Spring 2007, Generation 26
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
Introduction to Theistic Psychology  at
My Home Page: Class Home Page:
Instructions for this Report:


By: Krista Pritchard

Report 1 For Section 1.0 to

I am answering Questions 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.9, 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.6

Study Questions: 1.0 to (Report 1)

I am answering question 3.1




I was raised in a Christian family in which one of the most important things that I remember learning growing up was the ability to make Jesus more than just a part of my life, but instead the foundation that each part of my life depends upon.  This included my education.  My parents were notorious for their favorite quote, “Don’t let school get in the way of your child’s education.”  I truly believe that what I was taught at home was the biggest influence in my life even educationally.  During the discussion about the negative bias I had to stop and think about how it had really influenced me.  I knew that in some way it was inevitable but somehow I knew that in some way it affected me a little differently than the way in which we discussed it in class.




Along with my father being a strong man of God He is also an intellect.  He continually probed us to think critically about everything that we heard in school, from our friends, even in church.  This simple fact changed the way that I was effected by the negative bias.  I believe that in some way I was aware of this bias more than other students around me.  That does not mean that I was not effected by it or that I was at all immune to it, after all I am still a product of the same educational system, but I do think it was different for me.  The most prevalent difference I believe is that I am now more effected by my own faith and the foundation and believes that surround that, when looking at the positive bias, than I am by the negative bias. 




The reason that I say is simply the fact that I will look at this information through the my “faith” filter in the same manner that I would any other educational class.  I believe because of that fact I may have a different bias to break down that may also be called a negative bias, but this was formed in a very different way than through my educational bouts.  My bias was not formed from a text book and a report card, but from my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the many ways that His presence in my life has been confirmed through personal experience.  If I am being instructed to look at this class and this information in the way that I would approach any other science based class then I must use my filter of faith, but I do not believe that you are only asking us to remove the negative bias that may have been created by the educational system, but also any other negative bias that may hinder our objectivity in any way.  In essence I will have to remove I bias that I use to discern and filter every area of my life.  This will be a very difficult feat for me. 




For example the readings initial mention of “sin.”  The reading states that, “And hell, is a Divine punishment or an inevitable negative consequence, of living a life of “sin”, which is contrary to religion. I believe that God created us to live without sinning as he lives in heaven.  When we broke that mold and turned away from his plan for our lives we created a barrier called sin.  I think that the actually word “sin” is the barrier created when we turn our backs on God’s plan for our life and decide to do our own thing.  The symptoms of that sickness are the things we do.  In the end nothing we do can get us to heaven, it is all by the grace of God.  Our eternity is based on an issue of our heart and desire to live according to our plan or God’s plan.  Now that is just the truth for me.  I do not see the point in believing in it if I don’t believe that it is the ultimate truth.  Because of those kinds of beliefs it is going to be very hard for me to say, well maybe this is how it is, but I am going to try. 


Positive Bias


This weeks reading discusses in depth why theistic psychology should be looked at with a positive bias in science.  I do not think that the problem is that people don’t consider theistic psychology a science.  Naming it that will not give these ones whom hold a negative bias any validity that it is more real or true. I understand that in the academic world it would be deemed more credible and studied further if more people understood and took the positive bias.  I am just not sure that this is the most efficient way to help people understand the information.  God will never fit into the “science” box.  He created everything in that box.  If he is all powerful, all knowing, and incomprehensible than we are not supposed to be able to shove him in a 18 week course that students are asked to study just like everything else. 




Christ the Center


God should be at the core of everything your study.  I think he should be more than a part of science, but more the reason for it.  No matter how hard we try to fit this way of thinking into the same model of curriculum and study there are going to be differences.  In fact there have to be differences.  On top of that I do not think that when the educational science system “proves” something intangible disproves or waters it down in any way.  For example the example used in the reading was about thoughts and feelings and science’s ability to show the electrical and chemical activity of them in the brain.  So what.  That does not at all changed the validity or reality that they exist and move people to do tangible and physical things.  Explaining the physiological aspects of the brain during certain thoughts and feelings just means exactly that, there are things going on in the brain during thoughts and feelings.  If anything this just credits a creator that he could use material things to represent truths going on in the spiritual realm.


I am answering question 3.2


Dual citizenship


Again my discovering that I was a dual citizen was something installed in me since I could understand my mother.  She used to read us the Psalms 39, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I as woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” We had many discussions about these words.  So again the hard part for me is not whether I was a dual citizen or not, but in what two “worlds” was I living. 


My belief system


I believe in the physical world or the natural world, and the spiritual realm.  When I heard of the natural world and the mental world I had to decide if those were the same things as my own beliefs and if not than what were they.  My initial reaction was that they were completely different.  The further I looked into the mental world the more I saw definite similarities, but also some very distinct differences.  I had to decide what the important parts of each theology were and try to compare and contrast these truths. 




During my process of fitting this all into my prior knowledge and experience I tried to be very objective.  The problem with that was I always base things on how they fit into my faith, I never try to fit God into things I am learning.  Consequently I had to let my mind release the idea of what I have always known to be true about the spiritual realm change.  The idea of a positive bias specifically within science is actually not difficult for me.  I have always looked at science as just what it is, a way to describe the physical and material things in life.  I never thought that it could explain the things I could not touch or see, but I did not think that it had to. In fact I think that the idea that it is unexplainable and incomprehensible is part of the bigger picture I believe in. 


My analysis


If anything the thing that is hard for me to wrap my brain around is changing my thinking so that I am able to analyze and look at these theistic ideas in the “scientific” way.  The hard part about that to me is that I think that explaining theistic psychology scientifically would be explaining material things, thus leaving out what is most important about it.  And vice a versa, if you could in fact explain those intangibles or incomprehensible things than it would be so much more than science.  If that is the inability to look at it from the positive bias than yes that is difficult for me to do.  As I look the information and these theories than I think I will be more able to look at these things from the positive bias.


My own ideology


Initially I discussed the course with my father.  His father was actually very interested in the writings of Swedenborg.  He is not longer alive or I would have loved to discuss the course with him.  I think the context in which we were examining the course content was very different so it was hard for me to get the “positive bias” from my father.  He was initially introduced to these writings as an addition to the teaching of the Christian faith.  My dad did not think that it was truth at all.  At first when I told him about the class he told me he had heard of Swedenborg and did not believe that it fit into our belief system.  Now my natural process in this situation would be to decide how I thought it fit into my faith, then proceed to take the class, but in the context that it was not ultimate truth.  I tried to explain the positive bias to my father and he told me that when most people’s idea of measuring what is truth is also through a scientific basis, his was through his faith.




Now if the class was looking at this information through the eyes of science I could do that, but that is not my measure of ultimate truth or should I say ultimate understanding.  For me to have a totally positive bias I would have to be able to fit it into my faith.  That was the same response that I received from my family when I shared with them the information.  We have always discussed issues that may challenge are faith and this was just another one of those conversations that is in no way over.  The one thing that my dad did say that I was interested in was that, and that I also found in a book I read by Rob Bell was the idea that Jesus said that “I am the way the truth and the light.”  He further explained to me that any truth that is revealed in this class is of the Lord whether it is introduced in the traditional way that I am used to or not. 





I am answering question 3.3


Mental Anatomy


In the reading we see that the there are mental body organs that correspond in the mental world to the physical body organs in the physical world.  The affective organ, the cognitive organ, and the sensorimotor organ are all parts of the mental body.  Each of these three organs run parallel in the mental world to a organ or organ system in the physical world.  The affective organ corresponds to the heart and the circulatory system in the physical body.  The cognitive organ corresponds to the lungs and the respiratory system in the physical body.  Within this context there are anatomical levels, or states of mind.  These states of mind could relate or be introduced similar to our understanding of conscious and unconscious, although they are not exactly the same the idea of different states of mind runs fairly similar.  The celestial state or level of operation is call the celestial mind. 


Spiritual verse Natural


The spiritual state or level is called the spiritual mind and the natural state is called the natural mind.  Within these states we have different functions that explain what each state can do.  These functions correspond to the actual mental organs motioned above.  The affective organ, the cognitive organ, and the sensorimotor organ each have a specific function that they perform at each level or state of mind.  Hence there are nine categories created by this matrix of operations and levels.  The affective organ produces the will.  The cognitive organ produces the understanding, and the sensorimotor organ produces the sensations in the mental body.  These organs carry out their function at each of the three levels of the mental mind. Just like men and women have differences in the organs within the physical world they also have differences in the mental world.  In the spiritual mind in eternity the man’s affective organ is within his cognitive organ, and the woman’s cognitive organ is within her affective organ.


My understanding


I would say that the biggest difference in this anatomy and the anatomy that I have heard before is that we had a lab.  The biggest tool for me to understand the heart was my ability to dissect one and see it in action, and to see all its layers and levels.  This anatomy is hard for me to grasp just by hearing and seeing it on paper. The other difference that I noticed was the functional correspondence to the actual organ.  In my anatomy classes there are such specific functions to each integral tissue and cell.  The explanation in the mental body organs was actually quite brief especially in its relation to function and the physical body.  In the reading we see that the affective operations are feelings, motivations, impulses, tendencies, affections, and loves; cognitive operations are thoughts, ideas, concepts, images, and reasoning; and sensorimotor operations are sensations, attention focus, and motor determinations or behavioral sets.  This was hard for me to grasp because I could tell you parts of the brain that relate to each one of those functions, and that is just the brain.  Further in the relation of the mental body organs to the physical body organs they are very ambiguous.  The affective organ corresponds to the heart and the entire circulatory system which includes many more organs.  Which organ does it really connect to or is that just a picture of the type of work that it does?  This was a factor in all three of the mental body organs.  I did not know exactly how to connect those to a specific function within the entire system in which the mental body organ was trying to relate. 


Initial reaction


The first reaction that I had to this was a reflection on a portion earlier in the reading.  On the first portion of text it states that, “The negative bias in science denies that anything exists except that which is natural, and constructed out of physical matter in time and space.  For instance, thoughts and feelings are defined as nothing more than electrical and chemical activity in the brain cells and their “emergent” properties.”  I feel like this is a perfect example of the circle I am trying to get out of in my quest to understand this way of thinking.  Theistic psychology wants to be looked at in the scientific world which is of the physical world, but not by the scientific standards of the physical world.  If science is only proving what is in the physical material world, than it is only proving and studying what is material and tangible.  Trying to prove mental body truth to a physical body science does not make much sense to me.  In other words the scientific idea of thoughts and feelings are being explained in the context of the physical world because that is what it studies.  There could be a way to open gates to the science of the mental world which would be bigger and much clearer, than to try and fit this much too complex idea of the mental body organs into a physical body world.


I am answering question 3.9




The idea that I am a dual citizen is all the proof needed to know that I am a dual citizen.  I have always believed in life after physical death, and now I am looking at some new insight to other reasons that might be true. The reading states that the physical body disintegrates, but the mental body is immortal and continues life in the world of eternity.  The reading later states that “God made the physical universe of time for the sake of the human race in eternity.”  There are always phenomena through out life when you get a feeing that there is something more.  People always talk about the true meaning of life.  These two statements in the reading fulfill this idea that there is somehow another realm, and somehow more meaning to our life than just being born, getting a job and dieing.  If there were a logical reason for us being on this earth this would be the reason to fulfill that question. 


God and creation


The reason that God could not create us directly into heaven was because he wanted to give us free will.  Free will is what makes us human, that is our uniqueness within the mental world.  God could not give us free will in the mental world because he could not be in contact with us if we chose things against his will, but he wanted a creation that chose him, not merely one that he made choose him.  Hence God had to give us time in the physical world to choose him then join him in eternity in the mental world. 


Reaction of my Friends


All of the friends that I presented this to had a hard time because they were all Christians.  They tried to relate and contextualize all of the ideas into their own box of beliefs.  Hence it was very hard for me to try and explain to them the difference between what we believed and what the reading was claiming; one because I did not fully understanding of all the material and did not at all do it justice, and two because some of the ideas are very similar and I was not sure which areas to really stress as to show them why the ideas and topics and doctrine are actually quite different.  When I explained to them dual citizenship they took that as our existence in the spiritual realm as it pertains to Christianity.  When I explained to them God’s purpose for creating us they agreed with me.  The only thing they had a hard time with was the heart behind this and the message. 


Belief System


Because I felt I was supposed to be presenting the material in logical and rational way I did not seem it necessary to share with them my gut feeling about what I was learning.  I explained to them the ideas, and logically what that meant in my life and in theirs.  They were open to discussing these ideas but in the end were weighing and contrasting it within their faith or their standard of truth.  They both had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and really believed that the holy spirit lived within them and was guiding them.  They thought that although many of the principles were similar and some of the ideas could relate to what they learned, there were some things that did not add up. 


The first thing was that Jesus was not the main focus and the one most important thing.  The second thing they did not agree with was the sacred scripture.  The only word we claim to be God’s word is the bible, and even that has to be read within the conviction of the holy spirit guiding the thoughts and the intents of our hearts.  Although they could not be initially convinced both of them agreed that it is always good to have to learn new perspectives one because it is good to challenge your own faith and be open to new ideas.  This helps to never put God in a box.  But the most important thing was that this experience challenged them to really look at what they believed and to make sure that they knew what that was.




I believe that they had quite the same experience that I had with the situation.  Although I tried to explain it to them with the mind set of the positive bias, they were still innately forced to look at it through the eyes of their faith.  This is hard because for myself and for many other Christians in school we do not have the same standard of truth.  Although we learn about Darwinian theories, and how the mind works we never claim that to be the truth if it does not fit into what we feel from the conviction within.  We are promised by the creator of the universe that He has come to live inside of us and that he will guide and direct the thoughts and intents of our heart and mind.  I believe that as they heard what I was saying and as I read and continue to study this course that will continue to be the case.  There will be things I can relate to, there may be things I can consider and say, “maybe,” but if the positive bias means that I have to shut off the conviction of the holy spirit in my being.  I don’t know how long that will take to happen.


I am answering question 4.1


Men verse Women


In the mental physiology of men they have the affective and cognitive organ in both the natural mind and the spiritual mind.  Women also have both organs in both levels of the mind.  The natural mind is a mixture or the outer layer of the spiritual world or the mind in eternity.  This is where resuscitation takes place.  In this mind the mind is in the mental world while the body is in the physical world.  The content of the mind is completed in ones senses.  In this world the woman’s cognitive organ is within her affective organ.  Her cognitive organ is her rationality and wisdom.  Alternately the man’s affective organ is within his cognitive organ.  His affective organ is representative of his highest love.  In the spiritual mind or world the world of eternity the organs remain inside their counterpart.




My parents do a relationships seminar every summer for a young adults camp.  During this session one of the most interesting but humorous portions is when they talk about the differences between men and women.  During this time they talk about the physiological differences, and the differences in the wiring of the brain.  These are some of the differences that they mention. Physical: Testosterone – guys have 15 times as much at puberty as girls. = provide and protect. Girls have 8-10 times more estrogen at this time making them more prone to be primary care giver of their children and family, muscle mass, brain – male brain more specialized or compartmentalized.


Tend to lean towards math, science, spatial relations, logic etc. Many become architects, mathematicians and physical scientists. Woman’s brain is more developed in the area of communication and is less compartmentalized. Lends itself more to multi-tasking. Impersonal vs. Personal, guys tend to take things very impersonally, while girls take things much more personal. When guys fight or argue, afterwards they are buddies. When girls fight or argue they can hold a grudge forever. Guys are very competitive in athletics and things that don’t matter. Girls however compete on a very personal level. Language (communication) number of words that guys speak approximately 12,000 words a day vs. 25,000 for women. Think vs. Feel, what is said vs. how it was said.  How they hear and interpret things that are said very differently – literal vs. emotional.


Committed vs. uncommitted. The theme of the bachelor party is “party tonight because tomorrow you die.” Women on the other hand have showers. The magazine is called Bride not Groom. Girls are prone to commitment. Guys are prone to the physical. Women: give sex to get love (commitment). Guys: Give love (commitment) to get sex.  Many of these ideas relate directly to the idea of the afferent organ or wisdom being dominant in the woman’s mental body, while the affective organ or the highest love being inside in the man’s mental body.


The Diversity and dimension


I think knowing that there are not only difference in the physical world of men and women but also in the mental world of men and women is in some ways discouraging in the sense that there is just one more step to understanding relationships.  But it is also exciting to know that this extra dimension of diversity can create such perfect cohesion and compatibility even in the mental world of eternity.  The difference for me now is that because I had learned a lot about differences in men and women on a really applicable level I never related that notion to my faith and spirituality.  I think now it will be interesting to not only listen differently to the way that the male spiritual leaders speak and interpret things within my world of faith and spirituality, but to also look at some issues I thought were completely of this world in a new context.  For example the idea of women being in spiritual authority within the church as Pastors is an issue in many churches in the Christian faith.  I think if we look at this is the spiritual realm and see how even in our mental world we are wired differently if that has any effect on the choices we make in the physical world even as spiritual leaders.


I am answering question 4.2


There are two steps to marriage that everyone has a chance to take part in.  Since everyone is already a dual citizen in the mental and physical world the two part marriage is open and offered to everyone.  Conjugal marriage is the first step.  This is the marriage step that occurs in the natural world.  This is when you are still in the physical or natural world and you find another who has accepted and acknowledged their dual citizenship and will agree to join you in conjugal marriage.  The next step can only occur when both the male and the female are in the mental or spiritual world together.  If one dies before the other there is an external place where one may wait for the other to enter the outer mental world, at which time the couple can join in what is known as conjugial marriage and enter into the eternity of the spiritual world. 


The reading states that during this union the wife with unite her will with the inner will of her husband.  Later it says that the intellectual quality of a man is the inmost quality of the women, as we saw in with the cognitive organ being inside the affective organ.  And the wife will unite herself with her husband’s inner will because this is the connection to her inmost being.  At this point the inner will of the woman becomes untied with the intellectual or will of the man, and their separate will’s become one, thus they become one.


I explained this to my mother and father which of whom are two of my very best friend’s and are two of the wisest people that I know, and who have been married for over 25 years.  I believe so much in their marriage being a perfect example of two becoming one.  I thought that explaining this theory to them could allow insight on their success, provide some ideas for more, and possibly challenge them to look into the spiritual differences mentioned above.  The hard part about this explanation was that they kept watering down the definitions and the ideas to fit what they already believed.  For instance when I told them about the mental body organ differences, they claimed to already know that and explained it back to me in a similar but I think functionally different way.


 It was again hard for me to pin point exactly what the differences were between what they were saying and already knew and claimed and what I was trying to add to that and explain to them.  They believe that they have become one in the same sort of way I explained the union of the wills into one will and thus intellect, but they did not call it conjugal.  Along with not calling it that there were some functional differences in what they were saying.  It was hard for me to decide what the important differences were and if that changed the truth of the union of my parents’ thoughts and intents.





I am answering question 4.5

The first thing that popped up during my google search of marriage was the wikapedia definition which is, “Marriage is a socially, religiously, or legally recognized relationship. The most commonly recognized form in Western culture is between a man and a woman, who become known as husband and wife. However, the concept of marriage is not uniformly culturally or historically defined. Proponents of the traditional marriage movement define marriage strictly as involving only one man and one woman, and oppose usage of the term to define other types of relationships. In many countries, forms of marriage other than those matching this description are illegal. However, in recent years, this has begun to change.”  There was much more but that was the initial description. 

After that there were many links to how to fix your marriage, how to save your marriage, marriage counseling links, and also many statistics on marriage and divorce.  As I was looking through a lot of those links and looking at the divorce rates I realized that the many ideas we have of marriage and the “wikapedia” definition is not working.  The divorce rates are terribly high and the site to fix your marriage are very prevalent showing that there is a huge need for marriages to be fixed.  Another idea that struck me was an article about the legal binding of marriage and how that was all that it was.  After going through the reading about the inner joining of two people and their will and intellect becoming one, the mere agreement to share legal binding seemed so heartless and shallow.  As I read further I continued to see this shallow and superficial trend as the topic of marriage seemed disappear into just another every day thing that people did.  It was no longer a sacred joining of souls, but a mere legal document that could be just as easily destroyed as it was made. It was used and abused and so watered down that some have stopped believing in its power and sanctity.  This was the most disheartening trend that I saw and even more discouraging the most prevalent.

The idea of marriage for theistic psychology do not fit this mold at all.  The way that it fits in is the need for theistic psychology’s idea of marriage and its sanctity to be brought into our culture.  There is obviously something very wrong with the way that we treat and use marriage in our country, perhaps even in our world.  In theistic psychology marriage is a union of the will and mind of two people.  They are forever united.  Even our saying, “till death do us part,” does not fit into the theistic psychology view of marriage because its belief is that even after death you will be together for all eternity.  In the physical world and in our culture marriage is only for the body, for the physical existence here on earth.  But in the reading we find that the sanctity and the union of conjugal marriage only become stronger into conjugial marriage after death of the physical body.  For a couple who claims and accepts and lives in the knowledge of the mental world their physical or natural world marriage is only the beginning of a life together for eternity. There is no need for the idea of divorce because as soon as a man finds a woman with who his will can become one with hers they are untied for all eternity.  The difficulty in this is finding one who can join another in the acceptance of the mental world.  When you do find that one the two will be joined together forever in eternity.

I am answering question 4.6

In the mental physiology of men they have the affective and cognitive organ in both the natural mind and the spiritual mind.  Women also have both organs in both levels of the mind.  The natural mind is a mixture or the outer layer of the spiritual world or the mind in eternity.  This is where resuscitation takes place.  In this mind the mind is in the mental world while the body is in the physical world.  The content of the mind is completed in ones senses.  In this world the woman’s cognitive organ is within her affective organ.  Her cognitive organ is her rationality and wisdom.  Alternately the man’s affective organ is within his cognitive organ.  His affective organ is representative of his highest love.  In the spiritual mind or world the world of eternity the organs remain inside their counterpart.


I discussed this topic with one of my friends in my bible study with whom I often have philosophical and intellectual conversations with.  Many of her ideas and thoughts towards this topic were similar to my own.  She agreed that some of the ideas were very similar to the teachings in the bible and I showed her that some of the explanations were taken directly from the bible which we believe to be true.  This is the biggest difficulty that I ran into while debating these topics myself and sharing them with others who share a similar belief system.  The problem is that there are a lot of logical reasons why much of this could be true, and some of it, rather, a lot of those reasons are coherent and parallel to the things we’ve always believed to be true.  But our spiritual side, our gut feeling, the very feelings and emotions that this talk of mental and spiritual world are claiming to be real and true, are telling us that something about all of this is not quite right. 


Now because I ran into the same difficulties and view points while talking to my friends within my faith circle, I tried to talk to one of my friends that did not share the same spiritual beliefs, in fact claimed to not have any.  When I shared this with him, it was much harder.  Although my first friend may have had stronger beliefs about the topic, at least she really listened to what I was saying and thought about it.  My second friend completely mocked the idea.  I continued to tell him only because I really respected him in the academic world.  He has is a very brilliant guy and likes to analyze and dissect thoughts, ideas, and theologies.  This time he reacted much different than any topic we had discussed before.  He was obviously effected by the negative bias.  He would barely stay quiet long enough for me to explain it to him.  I almost felt as if he were offended that I would even make these claims to him thinking he might accept.  He treated me as if I was insulting his intelligence.


In the end I felt I had two very hard walls to get over, and that they were two very different obstacles.  My first friends would consider it but almost felt as if she was denying her faith if she were to actually consider accepting the things that did not fit within the context of what we knew to be true in our own faith.  Some of these differences were in other areas of the courses content but still in some way related to the idea of men and women and their anatomical differences in the mental world.  My other friend wanted to deny the idea completely and would not even stop to consider what I was saying.  This is hard because I had a hard enough time explaining it to someone who would listen, so when the time came to explain it to him, it was very discouraging.  I think that if he would of actually listened its logic instead of only its extravagant claims, than he would have possibly found it interesting, and wanted to learn more about it.