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

Dualism

By: Krista Pritchard

Report 3 For Section 1.1 to 1.1.4.3.1

I am answering Questions 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.5, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4

Study Questions: 1.1 to 1.1.4.3.1 (Report 3)

I am answering question 7.1.

The lowest level of thinking is “Materialistic science, monism, the negative bias is science.”  Part a addresses two different issues.  The first issue deals with the way that I think about God and creation.  I do not remember knowing anything other than God being the sole creator of the universe.  I believe with my whole heart that God was and is in total control of the universe and all that is in it.  The next topic that it addresses is “explanations accepted in science that refers to God.”  This is different because in most cases what I believe is very different from popular belief in general.  This is not always true but from my experience in the public education arena I am usually the one standing alone. 

The second part of this level declares again two separate parts.  The first addresses belief systems about heaven and hell.  I believe that I am going to heaven.  I believe that Jesus Christ died to save me from eternal separation from him.  I believe that with my entire heart only because I believe that it is the ultimate truth.  When people claim that these ideologies are only an outcome of your religion and personal belief I have to question if they truly believe in what they are claiming.  I just do not understand why you would give up your life for something and live completely and entirely based on a truth that you did not believe was ultimately true for everyone.  So if “science” in this case is the claim that no matter what you believe it is true than I definitely believe that it is a scientific issue. 

The second statement addresses people being “unfit” if they have claimed to have seen God.  I have heard the statement so many times that, “Nothing is impossible with God.”  I believe that with my entire heart.  I would never doubt another’s experience with their personal relationship with God, but I also know that although God may use other’s experiences to minister or nurture my faith He will always confirm in me what he wants me to know through my own conviction and reading of the bible.  Thus I can take those situations and events and filter them through my own relationship with God.

The last part of this level is about judging human behavior.  I believe that morality and innate good and evil in the human race is a very logical and rational idea that can only be described with the notion of some supreme being and ultimate truth.  I read a book by C.S. Lewis called, “Mere Christianity  He addressed this topic much better than I will be able to but somehow explained how our ideas of good and evil even today had to come from somewhere.  My belief about religion in schools is so hard only because I hate to see faith reduced to “Faith 101.” I believe that if it were in schools it shouldn’t be a class but it should be the heart and essence of every class, and the reason that every student is in class.

The next level is called mystical religion.  After just reading the title I thought that this would be where I would be, but when reading further I thought it was very reduced and simplified to only the superficial understanding of what I believe.  For one I do not like the word religion.  I think that religion is something man has created here in the physical world to try and act out this thing we call faith.  I like to say that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and my religion is something that nurtures and helps me to learn, grow, and develop that relationship, but it is something that I do not who or what I am.

In part a I would say the only thing that differs for me is the notion of heaven or hell being a mere reward to being faithful to my religion.  John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  I am going to heaven because my belief that Christ died so I can spend eternity with him, and I am going because I have the knowledge that believe requires action.  The next part is so superficial.  I believe in prayer.  I have issues with what I believe about it but as of right now I am at the point where God says to do it, I know it strengthens my relationship with him, and that is why I pray.  I know that God is in control.  I often just pray for God’s will in situations not actually trying to convince him of anything.  God is going to do what he wants with or with out our prayers.  He does not need them.  I do not exactly know what I think about the function of prayer, but I know that God says to do it in the bible, and I know that when I am constantly in prayer I can feel God’s presence.  One of my favorite verses is, “Do not be anxious in anything but in everything through prayer and petition present your requests to God...”  I know that Faith is not a feeling, it’s a life style and much more than a mystical union.

The last part of this level talks about members of the clergy needed to restore your relationship with God.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away the barrier of sin and enable us to choose God’s will for our life.  I do not know exactly how that occurs, if in fact it has to do with mental anatomy in the mental world it very well may, all I know is that God is in control, he tells me what I need to get to heaven, and knowing exactly how I get there is not something I need to know.  What is important is that I believe with all my heart that God could have sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to start the new mental anatomy for the human race so that we are able to be in relation with God, and that is what God wants for me to believe that he could have done it how ever he wanted to do it.

The final level talks about Swedenborg’s writings.  The only reason that I don’t believe I am here yet is because I do not think to believe this statement, “Therefore all explanations about causes of events and of behavior must include God and the mechanisms by which God intervenes and manages the details of all events from beginning to end.”  I have to know the prior, which are the actual scientific findings.  Again what is important is that I believe with all my heart that God is omnipotent and all powerful and the creator of the universe and that he could have done all that any way he wanted to.  I believe he could have just blinked and all of this could have came to be or he could have very well done it the way that Swedenborg says, and as I continue to study theistic psychology I may adopt some of these understandings.  What is important and what I believe will not change about my faith is that I am going to live according to the fact that I have a relationship with God, and whether I call my decisions heavenly traits, or God’s will is not what is most important to God.  He is interested in my heart and how well I am living out what I believe and that is never going to change.   


I am answering question 7.2.

There is one statement that I have heard many times from my dad.  A lot of times when he is talking very logically about faith when trying to convince some one to at least look into it he always says that there are four outcomes.  One, you believe in God and live your life accordingly and in the end there is no God and you are just dead, life was nothing more.  Two, you believe in God and live your life accordingly and in the end there is a God and you enter eternity in heaven.  Three, you don’t believe in God and live your own way, and in the end there is no God again you are just dead, life was nothing more.  Last situation is that, again you don’t believe in God and live your life your own way, and in the end there is a God now you end up spending eternity in hell. 

To further explain what that means situation one is that you believe in God and live your life accordingly and in the end there is no God and you are just dead, life was nothing more.  So you go through life with good morals, being happier because you are a good person, many humanistic studies that have nothing to do with religion say that people who live for something greater than themselves are happier and healthier through out their life.  So at the end or your life you die and there is not God you have lost nothing.  You lived a happy life, where you were a positive influence on the society and when you die you don’t regret having believed what you’d believed because you are through with your existence.

Situation two you believe in God and live your life accordingly and in the end there is a God and you enter eternity in heaven.  Is what will happen to me.  I am going to live my live as a follower of Christ.  I make my every decision based on what I know to be good and true.  In the end I get to spend eternity with my heavenly father. 

The third situation is you don’t believe in God and live your own way, and in the end there is no God again you are just dead, life was nothing more.  Again at the end of this nothing happens you are no longer in existence, but you did not at all leave a positive legacy in the world or for your posterity. 

The final situation is the most depressing; again you don’t believe in God and live your life your own way, and in the end there is a God now you end up spending eternity in hell.  This way is the saddest because it has such terrible consequences.

The way I see it if you believe I in God and live your life accordingly than you have nothing to loose in the end and everything to gain.  If you do not believe in God and choose to take your life into your own hands you have everything to loose and nothing to gain in the end.  I think the hardest thing about this concept is the idea of delayed gratification.  It is such a problem in our society today especially with college students and young adults.  Often people at this age do not have enough self control in many areas of their life to make the decisions now that they know they have to make to ultimately get what they want in the future.  If everyone was living today and making choices today that would be beneficial in the long run, or in eternity, we as a people would be living a lot differently. 


 

I am answering question 7.3.

First of all and most important for everyone to understand is that God loves all of us equally.  He loves the most enlightened person who has the most positive bias exactly the same amount as he loves the evil person who lives in their hellish traits and is completely in the negative bias.  I think that this point is important because we often think of God in our own understanding, thus having a very warped view of his ability to love us unconditionally.  C.S. Lewis uses the analogy of a child drawing a circle to explain God’s ideas verses our ideas about love.  He says that everyone knows that a perfectly spherical circle is possible, yet no one can draw that exactly.  He illustrates that our ideas are much like a child’s drawing of a circle.  It is on the right track, but God’s love is the perfect circle.  I think that this concept is important so that we know that while looking at this notion of God allowing people to survive in the positive and negative bias we have to understand that we are not able to quite comprehend him.

Secondly, God allows us to think however we want to think.  Part of our ability to choose his way for our life is our alternate ability to not.  Hence he allows us to be in the negative or positive bias because he wants us to have the ability to choose the positive bias.  If he were to force the positive bias on us than, taking away our free will, he would be stripping us of the very thing that makes us human; our ability to choose. 

This notion is always a very hard one to grasp only because the notion of God being in complete control over our thoughts and our decisions, yet we are able to decide.  I think one reason why this is hard for us to understand is because our concept of time.  In our earthly understanding we see God as watching a continuum of our life, knowing what will happen in the end yet still just watching us make the choice we make everyday to effect that final outcome.  But I think one must consider the fact that time for God is always present.  He has not past or future.  He does not sit by and watch you make decisions that will effect your eternity, as soon as you were created those decisions were already made in his understanding.  I do not completely understand this, but I do know that we have free will just as much as God has control over the universe.

So God allows people to be in the positive or negative bias in science because he wants people to have the free will and the ability to choose.  This makes total sense to me because if we did not have the free will to do so, there would be no such thing as the word bias.  We would not be persuaded or talked into anything because we would not be able to choose one or the other.  The mere fact that God created the word “bias” supports the notion that he wanted us to be able to look at the facts, look into ourselves, study this information, and then make a decision.  

I am answering question 7.5.

The ten conclusions that follow logically from the positive bias are; One God is 100 percent human and 100 percent God all at the same time. Two is because the definition of God is omnipotent than God must be in total control of every aspect of the universe.  Three is that God is perfect in love and rationality so everything that happens in the universe is not only controlled by God but in some way is in perfect harmony with his ultimate good, perfect, and wise plan for our lives.  Fourth concept is that there are two worlds a mental and a physical world.  This notion is solidified knowing that God can not be inside the physical world he created as he created it.  He had to be somehow outside of his creation hence there must be another realm or world that God resides in.

Fifth is that we are born dual citizens of the spiritual and natural world.  Six is that since we are immediately born into both of these worlds than our world of eternity is in our mind right now, we are just not conscious of it, but we will become conscious of it when we are resuscitated after the death or separation from our physical body.  The seventh conclusion relates this message further.  If we are able to access this heavenly afterlife in our minds right now, than consequently we are also able to access the hellish afterlife.  This means that depending on the decisions we make everyday to “Love the lord your God with all our heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Will determine the place we are in our mental state. 

The eighth is that Heaven is a state of marriage between soul mates.  In the bible God often uses the analogy of marriage to illustrate his relationship with the church.  Since this union called marriage is strong and deep enough for God to use in his relationship with us, than it is obviously part of our heavenly state.  The ninth statement says that sacred scripture and divine speech produces consciousness and enlightenment.  This means that all of God’s thoughts that have been recorded down through profits and the correspondent meanings of those thoughts will enable you to access heaven through your mental anatomy.  The last is that salvation, liberation and peace are attained by spiritual discipline.  This means that by making conscious choices to live in your heavenly traits and not your hellish traits you will attain your entrance into the spiritual world of eternity.

I accept as a proof that God is real, that my name is written in his book of life, that he knew that from the moment I was born, and that I have to make decisions everyday to sure that I am choosing God’s will for my life, which means I am giving up my own ability to do it alone.  I do not think that with my own strength I can live in my heavenly traits perfectly all of the time and not my hellish traits.  But I do believe that, “His grace is sufficient, and that His power is made perfect in my weakness.”  Everything that I accept fits into this proof even if I do not claim the actual names for each event, but what is important is that, “The Lord weighs the heart.”  God knows exactly how this all works, I have a personal relationship with him and he is slowly revealing to me what he wants me to know.  I accept that the outcome of this proof is true.

 

I am answering question 8.1.

Becoming spiritually enlightened is when we accommodate our natural thinking to align with our rational thinking.  Piaget uses terms called scheme, assimilation, and accommodation.  Using these terms as a guide we have natural mind schemes prior to reading into theistic psychology.  During the learning process at the novice or beginner levels we are only able to assimilate ideas from our natural mind and try to connect them to rational thinking, through the literal reading or sacred scripture.  If we go further, and become students of theistic psychology and all off the correspondential meanings of sacred scripture we will be able to accommodate our natural thinking to fit our rational thinking, thus becoming spiritually enlightened and developing a new rational scheme.

To speak of the difference between natural and spiritual enlightenment we must first define enlightenment, which refers to the elevation of operations in the cognitive organ of the mind.  This means that you become more knowledgeable about a specific topic or idea of any kind.  For example as you learn about math and learn new ways to solve problems you become enlightened in this subject.   Enlightenment can be achieved in the natural and in the spiritual and is very different because of the sources and mechanisms of these two types of enlightenment. 

Natural enlightenment is something that attains its source from the natural mind through the physical body.  Some examples of this are experts or professionals in different academic fields like doctors or professors.  All of this information is through the natural mind and the physical body yet it is still enlightenment because of the ability to understand and think critically and systematically about the specified topic.  One is able to understand why things happen the way that they do and how to control and manipulate these networks of understanding.  This type of enlightenment is also more superficial not in reality because it is only an understanding in the literal and physical world sense of the mind.

Spiritual enlightenment is something that is attained in spiritual mind through the spiritual body.  “It is the elevation of consciousness to the level of operation in our mind called heaven.”  This means that we are able to access the higher working levels of the mind so that we are aware of our heaven as we are still in connection with our physical body.  So this consciousness is our ability to understand truth and from that understanding of ultimate truth and the only truth we are able to construct the only reality.  This is done through the only truth which is God, and from him flows divine speech which is an actual substance created from the outflow of truth and love from the spiritual sun.  This substance then forms our reality that we are able to gain consciousness of through spiritual enlightenment

I believe that from what I know Professor James is spiritually enlightened.  Other than that I believe that my parents are spiritually enlightened.  They live every day to help other people, they have been married for 25 years, they have eight children and have devoted their lives to sharing Jesus with young people.  I know that they are spiritually enlightened because of the way that they live out what they believe.

I am answering question 8.2.

There are two kinds of temptations.  There are natural temptations and spiritual temptations.  Natural temptations are those that we are all aware of throughout our life.  These are things in our life that some how through culturally constructed ideology or religious beliefs, family values, or just personal moral conduct we know not to do.  For example the knowledge that we are should not cheat on an exam, but the temptation to do so anyway is a natural temptation that we have conscious control over.  We are able to make the choice to give into that temptation or to not give into that temptation. 

Unlike natural temptations spiritual temptations only start in adulthood, we have become enlightened by the reality and reformation of our natural mind into truth and rational thinking.  This is because these spiritual temptations are not of the natural mind or conscious world.  To understand and articulate these spiritual temptations we must become enlightened and then these are brought into our conscious. If we are unwilling to first obey and fight natural temptations, which bring us to the understanding that we must become enlightened through the study and understanding of divine speech and correspondential meaning of sacred scripture, than we will not be able to even articulate our spiritual temptations which makes it impossible to fight them.  If we are not able to fight these spiritual temptations then we will not be able to change our character or our hellish traits into heavenly traits.  We must first become enlightened in order to fight these spiritual temptations which are very rational because if we do not understand the inner workings of the spiritual world then how would we know if we are being tempted in that world or at that level of our mind.

This is also rational because of the notion that these spiritual temptation must be brought to our attention by the Divine Psychologist who chooses the timing on the basis of what we are willing to obey.  If we are not able to access the connection to the divine human through the process of enlightenment than it would be impossible for him to show us our spiritual temptations.

Spiritual victory is when we love God, with real truth and love that flows from the spiritual sun.  By this we are able to tap into our own individual unique reciprocation to God’s activity in our mind.  God uses that connection to instantly clean our mind of our hells.  This is also called “being delivered.”  We were born with a connection to the hells of our mind or our hellish traits, through strength of love for God only accessible after enlightenment we are able to connect with God in a way that he can break this inherent connection to our hells.  Then it is finished.  This reminds me of when Jesus was on the cross and he broke the sin barrier with the shedding of his blood, he also said, “It is finished.”  From that point on we had the opportunity to claim that victory.  

In my own life I am not sure where this distinction happened from natural to spiritual temptations.  I have always believed that behind every natural temptation there was some deeper temptation that I had to deal with in my faith.  I never articulated the moment when I became “enlightened” but I know that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that he is never going to be finished enlightening me, and that I am constantly fighting internal temptations.  I do know that with each superficial temptation I conquer God reveals more ways I can improve.  I do believe that I need God at every level and that he does help me no matter how little or superficial the temptation is; whether it is the temptation to buy something I can not afford, or it is fighting rational truth.  God reveals to me everyday temptations I have to overcome and I remember two verses in the bible; “God will never give me more than I can handle.” And “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I am answering question 8.3.

Thousands of years ago when God sent Jesus to become human and walk the earth it is recorded in the new testament that he said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, Lo there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21).”  In this statement the sacred scripture records Jesus stating that heaven is available within you now.  This is only one example of this claim of the many within sacred scripture.

To further explain this statement we must break apart each part of the quote.  When Jesus says “cometh not with observation,” he is saying that what we can observe in the physical world or that which has physical content, cannot be that of heaven.  They are two separate worlds or represent the separation of our dual citizenship in the physical world and the mental world.  This even in its literal form tells us that heaven is a constraint not of the physical world but is our mental, spiritual world. 

The next portion states that, “the kingdom of God is within you,” this is referring to something not of the physical world.  Again even in the literal sense we understand that they are not talking about something within the physical body, but within the essence of the being, within the mind.  We then conclude that this statement, “within you” is not only claiming the reality of the existence of heaven but also contradicting the prior understanding that heaven was somehow a parallel construction of the physical world and observable through the natural mind. 

The most obvious reason that this information is not believed or claimed is because many do not believe in sacred scripture.  That is the easy answer.  Even further those who do may not study or read this sacred scripture enough or at all.  This may also be a reason for this notion to be unknown.  There are also a portion of people who have read this verse and believe in sacred scripture, but have not interpreted it or took the literal sense in the way that it was described.  If one had no prior knowledge of Theistic psychology and had to try and comprehend only this verse under the constraints of Theistic psychology without the knowledge of its background information of course they would have reservations. 

I think that it is possible to believe that heaven is not of the physical world but is of the mental world and accessible through the mental anatomy of the mind, with out knowing those terms and articulating each step of that process.  For example one of my favorite writers Rob Bell is a Pastor at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids Michigan.  He wrote a book called, “Velvet Elvis.”  In this book he talks about bringing heaven to earth by the way that we live, based on this verse that heaven is within us.  Although he uses different terminology and does not articulate the actually process and anatomy of the mind I believe that the heart of what he is saying is true and very similar.  If one does not need that explanation to believe it, and if in fact, “the Lord weighs the heart.” Than I do not believe that in all cases just because the exact terminology and technical mechanics of this theory are known necessarily means that this information about heaven in the mind is not known.  

I am answering question 8.4.

I think that this was very well stated when it was said that knowing the evolution of the mental anatomy brought about by the fall, and then the death and resurrection of Christ we are able to better understand out internal battles and desires.  We can use this information not only to better understand things that have happened in our past but also use this new information to improve our future.

 

For example if we understand chart three and the ways that our mental anatomy is directly effected by the spiritual sun’s outpour of light and heat, or good and truth we can understand how that in turn effects our natural body in the physical world.  This can be further understood when you put these processes into effect while looking at substantative dualism, and the notion that everything that happens in your physical world and everything that had already happened in your physical world had a correspondential meaning in the mental world.  This is important in the principle because it is part of the way we can understand how knowing this anatomy can effect our lives today. 

 

I have always seen myself as a three part being.  I am a spirit, I possess a soul, and I live in a physical body.  My spirit is God conscious, my soul is self conscious and my body is physical world conscious.  That is what I have always heard.  This notion solidifies that in some aspects but also contradicts it in others.  My spirit verses my body is parallel with the notion that we are dual citizens in the mental and physical world.  I just do not understand where my soul fits it.  During my study of this course the only reference to my soul I remember is that I have a soul mate which is my celestial angle marriage partner. 

 

This notion of the soul being separate from the spirit I do not quite see where it fits into Theistic psychology, hence this is where I will have to say that I may have some changes about how I see myself.  Other than that I believe that I have always viewed myself in essence as a dual citizen I have just never known the terminology.