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/lastname/lastname-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
By: Krista Pritchard
Report 2 For Section 188.8.131.52 to 1.0.7
I am answering Questions 5.2, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 6.1, 6.3, 6.6, 6.7
I am answering question 5.2
(a) Describe the infrastructure of physical things from the perspective of substantive dualism.
What is infrastructure?
The infrastructure of the physical things lies in the premise that something cannot be the reason that it exists. For example the reason that a coat exists in the physical world, “to keep someone warm,” is not equal to the actual coat itself. And further the physical object is nothing without the reason for it existing. Now in the framework of substantive dualism we see that there are correspondential meanings in the mental world to every physical thing in the physical or natural world.
An example of dualism.
A good example to illustrate this point is the ideology of thoughts, feelings, and emotions in the mental world and their correspondence of neuron synapses in the brain in the physical world. Now many people have deemed this a dualism phenomenon, but the specificity of Theistic psychology gives these intangible thoughts and feelings substance in the mental world by explaining their correspondence.
(b) Show that the inmost of any object is the mental world of humanity.
This can be shown further by explaining that the essence of any physical object is represented in the mental world. When we think about anything physical that thought and its representation in our mind is very tangible and substantive in the world of eternity even though we may not be aware of that correspondence.
(c) How does this change the way you look at objects around you?
God is in control
This changes how I look at things especially when I connect this reality to the reality that God is in complete control of all of the physical things that I see, touch, and think about. This connection really hit me because I thought that I needed to pay close attention to the small things that I may not notice otherwise. I may be unaware that God is bringing certain things to my attention in my natural mind to stimulate my higher mind in the mental world. I was never aware or attentive to this reality. Now that I know this I am more aware of my surroundings and I am more able to appreciate the small things in life that I did not before, like seeing a butterfly.
Connection to life
Another thing I connected it to was when I broke my computer. Initially I just thought I broke my computer later I tried to think about what that meant or what God was trying to show me. Through breaking my computer I had to have a friend upload my writing. During this exchange I was able to speak to him about God and this class. I believe that possibly God was using that to expose him to this information.
(d) Are you able to explain this to a friend and be heard?
While I was trying to explain this concept to my friend that I always share thoughts with about this class she was interested but could not completely grasp the concept of substantive dualism. She tried to connect it to natural world concepts and could not really get anywhere beyond that point.
I am answering question 5.4.
(a) Describe how Divine Speech operates our mental life.
Divine Speech is spiritual substance which comes from God. This speech is not audible or even comprehensible to the nature mind in the physical world, hence it is represented by the Sacred Scripture. This divine speech flows into our cognitive and affective organ by way of spiritual substance that flows from the spiritual sun. This substance permeates our mind and enters these organs in the form or good and truth or heat and light. Each organ receives one type of substance respectively. Our mental life is operated by Divine Speech because it is nourished or powered by this spiritual substance.
(b) Why does God not operate the minds of psychologists towards the positive bias in science?
The topic of free will
God wants us to find and choose the positive bias. I believe that in the mental world of course he wants our minds to be flooded with the positive bias but on the conscious level he wants us to choose it for ourselves. I believe the question of God being in control yet enabling us to have free will is a hard one and a simple one. He is able to do it because he is God. Obviously that is not a logical and rational answer, but that does not change the truth of it. To further explain this point I look at the notion that none of God’s ways are like ours. In the bible God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways.”
An example of this ideology
I read C.S. Lewis’s explanation of this once and he uses the analogy of a child drawing a circle. Our understanding of anything is not like that of God’s. He says that although the circle is not a perfect one it is still in some form the child’s understanding of what a circle is supposed to be. God is the only one who can draw a perfect circle. That does not mean that our thoughts are compared to his as opposites such as black and white, it only means that we will not fully understand no matter how logical and how rational we may be. This does not at all give us the excuse to keep trying to draw and more perfect circle or use rational or logic, it only encourages us to keep going because God is the only one who can draw a perfect circle.
(c) How does this change your view of God and His relationship to people?
My relationship with God
This does not really change my view of God and His relationship with me or anyone for that matter. I know that I have a relationship with God. I know that he is working on my hellish traits everyday and revealing temptations to me and things in my life that I need to work on. I also know that he is so gracious and loving and merciful. God has been such a huge part of my life and I attribute everything to him, even before I knew the technical names for much of how I have lived my life. I knew the meaning of it in my heart.
I am answering question 5.5.
(a) Where is heaven and hell?
Heaven and Hell
Heaven and hell are places in your mind. When you are living in your heavenly traits and you are denying temptations and overcoming them you are living in your heaven. Hell is the level of your mind when you are living in your hellish traits and not able to deny them. When you are living in your heavenly traits and you are denying your hellish traits you are living in your heaven which is where you are able to be in the presence of God. To do this you much be aware not only of living heavenly, but also of not sinning or doing wrong towards others.
(b) Describe its anatomy.
Levels of the mind
The anatomy of this is in the levels of your mind. Your ability to be conscious of God is in your heavenly level which can only be reached by controlling not only your actions but also your thoughts so that they only reflect heavenly traits and they deny hellish traits. When you are in this level or your mind you are completely rational. When you are in your hell you are irrational and you are operating outside your own consciousness of God. God cannot be present in that area of your mind.
(c) Why do they both exist in everybody's mind?
The split brain human
Both of these places exist in everyone’s mind because everyone has hellish traits and heavenly traits. Even if you are practicing more heavenly traits than hellish traits you are succumb to having the ability to have hellish traits because of the fall of man, and because of God giving us free will to do so, and because of generational sin that is passed down no matter what you do. Each person has to have the ability to have a heaven and a hell that is what makes us human.
(d) If you came to accept this, how would it affect your lifestyle or character?
Heavenly or Hellish
I think that I accept most of this except the issue of putting so much emphasis on not doing bad. I think God would want us to put the emphasis on doing his work, instead of not doing our own. Of course they run hand in hand it just seems that stating what we should do would make more sense. For instance God greatest commandment is love the lord your God will all your heart and mind, and his second was love your neighbor as yourself. I find this very interesting that that would be interpreted as don’t do bad to your neighbor instead of pray for your neighbor, love them, and treat them with the grace, mercy and kindness that Jesus would have.
Application to life
So the fact that I do believe in all of this solidifies that fact that I do try to live in my heavenly traits and deny my hellish ones. My focus has always been on trying to improve and increase my heavenly traits instead of trying to decrease my hellish ones, and my logic being that if I am doing heavenly ones I must not be doing hellish ones. Further it is such a better focus to enjoy and look forward to praising God and loving him with the things that I do do instead of trying not to disappoint him by not doing certain things.
I am answering question 5.7.
(a) Explain why this is a perfect world despite the appearances of imperfection. Define what is perfection in the created world. Include the idea that the world was created for human beings to help them evolve to their eternal heavens.
God is Perfect
The most logical and basic reasoning that I can think of to prove that the world is perfect is that God is perfect. The definition of perfection would elicit the immediate response that all of his creation is also perfect. There are also other logical reasons that follow other characteristics of God. If He is all-knowing and omnipotent, than He would know how to create something exactly how it was intended to be created. He would not make any mistakes. A world where the created had not made any mistakes would be a perfect world.
From those basic understandings of God, we also understand that the way we perceive many things are not the same way he perceives them. Earlier in this paper I referenced the Bible where it says that, “His ways are not our ways.” This leads us to the understanding that the way we understand or define perfect is not the same as He may have intended it to be understood. One Sunday my pastor was teaching on the a verse that used the word perfect, in a verse stating, “His good and perfect will.” During the breakdown of this verse our Pastor talked about the translation. He told us that in this case the Hebrew word that “perfect” came from really meant fulfilled its purpose. This was an interesting realization for me while I processed what I originally believed perfect to mean, and what I was accommodating it to mean on this Sunday.
If we apply this same meaning of perfect to our perception of the world being perfect, than we find that it makes sense. The text states that our life in the natural world prepares us for eternity in the mental world. In this sense we understand that God created a perfect “practice” or “preparation” if you will for our life in eternity.
(b) How do you answer some of the arguments people make when they insist that this is far from being a perfect world today. How do you counter their facts?
The biggest argument I hear all the time that has to do with this subject is, Why do good things happen to bad people or the other way around is why do bad things happen to good people. I hear people asking why bad things happen if God is in complete control and could stop them from happening. God created this world to perfectly complete its purpose in our lives to prepare teach and prepare us for our eternity when we are resuscitated and able to consciously enter the mental world. The best argument to show that although we see imperfection in the small details of the world, if we could see the big picture and the purpose and destiny of all of those details amalgamated, we would be able to understand why this world is perfect.
I am answering question 6.1.
(a) Explain the Swedenborg reports in relation to the positive bias in science.
While studying the Swedenborg reports in Theistic Psychology we are asked to analyze and study the information in the positive bias in science. This means that we are to come into the class with the open mindedness that the information could be ultimate truth. To break all of this down we have to look at the definitions of a few of the words that comprise this ideology. We must decided what bias and neutral means, what that means in the context of science, and if it is even possible to really study information with out a bias. Positive bias leaves the option that the information could be true. The specificity of that within science means that the information would be deemed scientific fact instead of just some religious belief.
Logic and Rational
Next we must be able to think about the initial information that we learn and as we understand more of Swedenborgs findings we must neither just take them as truth, nor deny them a possibility for logic and rational analysis. Instead we must use the methodology and analysis that we use in other areas of academia to evaluate all the levels of information of Swedenborgs reports and other forms of sacred scripture.
(b) Describe what happened to him? What did he discover?
Swedenborg was the only human being that was able to be a conscious dual
citizen in both the physical and the mental world at the same time. Now we are all currently dual citizens
capable of someday being resuscitated and then conscious in the mental world of
eternity, but Swedenborg was able to travel freely and consciously between both
of these worlds. Through these travels Swedenborg
was able to find out about the mental world, the anatomy of our mind, and
substantative dualism. He used these
findings to create numerous Sacred Scripture and the correspondences for his
and other sacred. He discovered many
things in the mental world, like conjugial marriage, the different levels of
heaven and hell in the mind, mental anatomy, spiritual substance of heat and
light from the sun, and the way that all of that information works together
logically and rationally to explain human life and eternity.
(c) Describe how you manage to take on the positive bias in science regarding the Swedenborg reports. Are you succeeding? What conflicts are you having to contend with in your mind?
I think that I am able to take the positive bias in science because I am
able to look at the information and analyze if it makes sense with in
itself. It does not have to make sense
in the context of what I belief, only if it makes sense in the context of those
who believe in its truths. It took me a while
to come to the realization that I was not trying to fit these truths into my
belief system I was only trying to make sense of a belief system that was
already established and to then look at that system rationally. From that point my job was to decided if the
information made sense, fit together, and was coherent within its own
standards. My biggest conflict initially
was being able to look at something with methodology and analysis when I did
not yet believe that it was truth. I had
done that before in other classes but I had just wrote it off as something I
had to do in school. This information
seemed to cut into my belief system so it was much harder for me to separate
(d) Compare your adaptation efforts at the positive bias in science with those of your friends with whom you discussed it so far.
I think the difference is exactly what I stated above. My friends like me have grown up in the educational system that not only teaches us to think in the negative bias but also teaches us that religion and academia can never be in the same sentence, this is an oxymoron for us. I was able to come to the realization that analyzing any information scientifically is science whether you know the information to be true or not. In math there are times that we do proofs and work with equations that we know are not possible just to understand the methodology and the why. I think that this idea of logic and critically thinking about all my education is something and possible one of the greatest things I have taken from this class.
I am answering question 6.3.
(a) Explain the two senses we can find in Sacred Scripture.
In all sacred scripture there are two different ways in which you can read the scripture in the literal sense and in the correspondential sense. The literal sense is exactly what it is. You take each scripture literally. This sense is true and is our way of reading sacred scripture or divine speech, in the natural world in our natural mind.
The next sense is called the correspondential sense. This is the way in which we are able to read the Sacred Scripture in it spiritual form. It is the true meaning behind the literal meaning. There are different ways to understand the correspondential meaning. One of those ways is the way in which you consciously extract the correspondential meaning is by using the correspondences. Swedenborg wrote the correspondences so that readers would be able to find the spiritual correspondential meaning behind the literal meaning.
(b) Give several illustrations from this Section.
I am answering question 6.6.
(a) Explain why substantive dualism is called substantive.
Dualism verse Monism
To answer this answer this question we must first be able to define dualism. Monism is when the mind and body are one. Everything that is real is physical time, space and matter. Dualism is based on Swedenborgs reports about his ability to be a conscious dual citizen in the natural and spiritual world. In this ideology the mind is made up of different substance than the physical body and exists in the spiritual world. The mind and body in their respective worlds interact through correspondences. For example our physical representation of feelings and thoughts are neuron synapses in the brain. Although that is what we see in the natural world we know that in the mental world these are much more than just synapse.
(b) How does substance differ from matter?
I looked up the definition of matter in the dictionary and there are actually two different meanings of matter so I will start with defining that. If we initially look at the word matter things that come to mind are physical, material, and something that has occupies space and in time. The modern definition is actually very similar to that notion. Matter is physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence. Matter is of that which has particular or definite chemistry and or constitution. The traditional definition is slightly different that actually ties is more correspondetially to the world dualist word of substance. The traditional definition comprises essential nature, or the ultimate reality that underlies all outward change.
This leads us into our definition of substance which is equivalent to
natural world matter. The reason that
the traditional definition of matter is more interconnected with the spiritual
word substance is because is connects all physical things with their spiritual
world meaning giving them reality and logic.
The reading states that something can not be its underlying
reality. This very statement relates
these words where before they were not even separated. The reading also gives an example of a
shoe. The physical representation of a
shoe is in no way the same as the purpose for that shoe. They are in fact very different, and the
reality that both of these separate representations have matter and substance
is a new notion for me.
(c) Search google for "dualism" and explain how what you found is different from substantive dualism in theistic psychology.
When I looked up dualism on the internet I found that there are many different ideas regarding this term. I found that many different places have definition having to do with things even other than the basic mind and body definition. For example the catholic dictionary uses the word dualism to explain good verses evil. Other than that there was the Stanford dictionary which encompassed the philosophy of the mind verses the body. The last definition that I looked at was in the wikipedia dictionary online. This definition actually had a sub term which was substantative dualism and directly sited Swedenborg’s coining of this term.
I am answering question 6.7.
(a) What is the most exciting piece of news or fact you have heard so far in theistic psychology?
The most exciting thing that I heard so far in this class is the idea that
it is challenging the very idea that I have always been taught to think about,
the positive verse the negative bias. I
have not always known the specific terms that go along with these ideas but
there have always been times when my faith was challenged by information that I
studied in different classes throughout my entire academic career. The reason that this is the most exciting is
because it is never addressed. For
example the law that bands religion from being taught in the academic arena
really only bands certain beliefs. If
schools are supposed to be neutral than they should be forced to offer creation
and evolution at the same level with room to analyze and think through. Too many times in an effort to not teach God,
we teach anti-God and that issue is never address.
(b) Share this exciting fact with your friends and family. What do you conclude from their reaction?
This was most exciting for my parents because they have always taught us that the educational system may push information down my throat that may not be truth. My parents had mixed emotions about this idea though. They really liked the idea that God was being put into a science, but because they did not fully understand the positive bias and the information being presented, they did not like the idea that he was being reduced to science. We also believe in having a relationship with Jesus Christ, and often times if you put God into a scientific box, with rules, regulations, and boundaries, you loose sight of the most important part of Jesus.
I think that my parents reacted the way that they did because one they do not totally understand Swedenborg, and two they do not completely understand what it means to be in the positive bias. When I first heard about the positive bias I do not think I really understood what it meant either, but now that I do understand it I think you have to try to really comprehend new information within the positive bias in science in order to understand what it means to think that way. The second thing is that they have not studied and read everything that I have about Swedenborg. The general consensus and widely known conception about Swedenborg is mostly what they know, and my perception of his writings is purely educational right now. I believe if they were able to also think in the positive bias and study Swedenborg they might think differently about my exciting fact.