Course: Psychology 459, Spring 2007, Generation 26
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
Introduction to Theistic Psychology at http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch1.htm
Class Home Page: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/classhome-g26.htm
Instructions for this Report: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/459-g26-weekly.htm
Conjoining with God
Dr. Leon James
I am answering Questions 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.8 and 6.1, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8
Question 5.2.a) Describe the infrastructure of physical things from the perspective of substantive dualism.
The main aspect that you need to know about substantive dualism is that it is the base of theistic psychology. Substantive dualism is what makes theistic psychology possible to be even taught to students today. It is not a theoretical supposition or a hypothesis. And believe it or not, it is very familiar to us humans even though we do not know what the term itself. As I grew up, I never heard of the term “Substantive Dualism” before. Substantive dualism is highly correlated with the afterlife for us humans. We are all born into eternity and that means that we are all immortal spiritually and not physically. Substantive dualism is very important to remember because it will make it easier for you to understand the concepts and meaning in theistic psychology.
The Physical Matter
As we live our lives on this world, we make decisions in life on how to survive and how to go to heaven after we die. Our thoughts and feelings, for example, hate, love, thinking and being sad are great examples about what is located in our mental organs. We think with our brain which is a part of the physical matter, and the way we think comes from our mental organs. This is a unique characteristic in theistic psychology. There are a lot of people in this world who think that our feelings and thoughts come from our brain. The brain is a part of our body and is separate from the mental organs. We live on earth for a certain amount of time, which is called “time spaced” as I have mentioned in report 1. Our mental objects are eternal and not for an infinite. Infinite has no beginning nor end, while eternity does have a beginning and no end.
Question 5.2.b) Show that the inmost of any object is the mental world of humanity.
The Mental World of Humanity
We are born with two major characteristics that are important in theistic psychology. We live in a physical world and we have a mental world of humanity. This world consists of what we think and what we believe in. This world is eternal and whatever we decide to do on the physical world will determine what mental world we will go to for eternity. The mental world of humanity makes us who we are in the physical world. After we die, we will either go to a heaven or a hell according to the theistic aspect. The mental world of humanity is spiritual and it is up to us on how we use our mental world. This world is eternal and it is important for people to live the right life if they want to go into a pleasant afterlife.
Physical objects are created by the spiritual sun. While the spiritual sun created these objects, the sun is a part of that matter. Physical matter on earth is made higher in a physical matter not in time, but is mainly made spiritually eternal. Physical objects also have two sides to them. There is the physical matter which is from the natural sun and the spiritual side which is from the spiritual sun. There are no physical objects in the spiritual mind but they appear in your mental world mentally. For example, if a man never pays his bills throughout his life, his afterlife will contain that characteristic about him. Whatever is surrounded around you in the physical world, will be there in the mental world. We choose how to live and how our mental world is going to be after we die. There is a place in the mental world for physical objects spiritually but not physically.
Question 5.2.c) How does this change the way you look at objects around you?
about how the kingdom of heaven is within me, I was excited and happy that I
could live eternal life in Heaven! I am a Christian and I do believe that the
Does this change me at all?
I actually looked at random objects in my room and I tried to see if anything changed in the way I looked at them. I realized that theistic psychology has a unique way of explaining our afterlife and how the physical objects around us has a place in our mental world. I think that the only way this has changed me is that when I look at objects at a random time, theistic psychology pops into my head! I like this because theistic psychology is showing me how great God is. It is awesome to have a class that is based on God. This class has definitely got me thinking in the past couple of weeks. The class requires us students to think in a positive bias aspect and I respect that. I am looking forward to reading more of Swedenborg’s reports and comparing them to what I believe in so that I can broaden my horizons about God.
Question 5.2.d) Are you able to explain this to a friend and be heard?
I have many different friends that I hang out with. I have friends that are Christians and friends that do not believe in God at all. It is hard for me to talk to some friends about God not because I am embarrassed, but because I know that they do not care about Him. I live as a Christian and it is not an easy life. Even though my non Christian friends do not believe in God, they expect me to live as one. Whenever I do something bad, they are in shock and cannot believe that I actually make mistakes in life. For theistic psychology topics, I like to talk to my Christian friends because they believe in a God and it is easier for me to talk to them. I am more comfortable with them because they have the same beliefs as me.
My Friends Reaction
I decided to talk to my Christian friend Kaiser Nonales. Surprisingly, the conversation was not that interesting. He had the same reactions as I did after I read about the topic on how physical objects are eternal. He did not believe that it was possible and had the same answers as I did. It was hard for me to be heard because he did not believe in it at all. So I decided to talk to a non Christian friend named Keone Zirkle. When I told him about what I was reading, he did not believe that I was actually learning about God. He thought that I was kidding around with him and he never knew that there was a class about God. He did not open up about the topic and did not care for it. It was hard for me to be heard from a Christian and a non Christian friend.
Question 5.3.a) Explain why God hides from people. Include the concept of sensuous vs. rational spirituality.
Why does He hide?
If God is real, why does He hide from all of us? The reason why He does not show His actual self is because He is a Divine Human Person. This means that He is located inside of our mental body. He controls the mental body and that allows you to have a spiritual relationship with Him. You cannot talk to Him or see him physically, but by being rational you can still have a close relationship with Him. According to the readings, the only way you can communicate with God physically is through Sacred Scripture. This is important to do because if you do not read and follow the Sacred Scripture, your relationship with God will diminish. Sacred Scripture is known as the literal meaning and not a spiritual meaning to us Humans.
Sensuous vs. rational spirituality
Sensuous and rational spirituality are two characteristics that will get you closer to God spiritually. Sensuous spirituality involves divine methods such as speaking in tongues, yoga, visions and raising the dead. All of these methods are considered to be non-duality. Doing these religious acts gives us the opportunity to get closer with God and to get a higher chance to go to His heavenly place. Being rational is living for God and having a relationship with Him spiritually. To be rational, you have to do divine methods which are spiritual and do that in the physical world. We have to do this daily so that our relationship with God will get stronger and we will be able to see Him in our mental minds.
Question 5.3.b) What would happen if God showed Himself to your friends?
My non Christian friend’s reactions to His return
I think that if God were to return back on earth, my non Christian friends will either be in shock or still not believe in Him. The reason why I say that my non Christian friends will still not believe that He is real is because He will be in a physical state and people are just going to think He is just another person. It is hard to say how my friends will act because God is everything and He created us. I feel that my friends who do not believe in Him will realize that He is real if He comes back on this earth. It just only depends on how God will show Himself. Will He look like a normal man or an eight foot giant? I think that it depends on how He presents Himself to us Humans on this world.
My Christian friend’s reactions
My Christian friends will definitely have a different reaction than my non Christian friends. They will all tremble and fear God because He is so powerful. They will also cry and rejoice that our King came back to save us. This day will be the greatest day of their lives because nothing can be better than having God come back. As a Christian, reading the bible allows me to see how important it is to realize that He will be coming on this world one day. My friends at church really want to seek God more in life and have a better relationship with Him. I think that if God came back, they would be so happy to see Him in person because they would be able to show non Christians that He is real.
If God were to come back to this world, I would be excited and happy that my God can show Himself to other non believers. I am looking forward to the day when He comes back because I live for Him and I want to see my creator. The main reason why I would want Him to come back is because He can get non believers to go to heaven and not hell. Being a witness on this world is hard because there are people who do not want to even talk to God. If He were to show Himself, these people will realize that they need Him. God is everything and not everyone knows that. He is so powerful that He does not need to show Himself but one day He will come back to show Himself.
Question 5.5.a) Where is heaven and hell?
Heaven and Hell
For many of us, heaven and hell can be a big issue to talk about. There are so many different types of heaven and hells when it comes to different religion and beliefs. The big question is where is heaven and hell? We cannot see it nor feel it, so how do we know where it is? This is actually simple to understand in the theistic approach. According to Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” The scripture is straight forward and it simply says that our heaven and hell is inside of us. Heaven of eternity is in our affective organ. The way we live our lives on the physical world, will be our afterlife. Basically, it is our decision to either go to a heaven or a hell. Our mental organs create our afterlife after we die.
Is it real?
Is heaven and hell real? People always ask this question to me since I am a Christian. It is a question that I always face with my non Christian friends. Other religions believe in their own heaven and I believe in mine. I believe that there is a heaven for me because God has done many miracles in my life. For me I believe that heaven and hell is located in a spiritual aspect. It is not physical but you will live in heaven or hell as if you were on earth. The only thing that is different between the heaven and hell from a Christianity perspective than a theistic perspective is that Christians believe that if you go to heaven you will meet God and spend the rest of eternity with Him. If you go to hell, you will live in eternal torment with the devil.
Question 5.5.b) Describe its anatomy.
Theistic psychology explains how heaven is how we lived our good lives on the physical world. For example, if you are a good person and help others and not only care for yourself, you will live an afterlife of loving and caring others. Whatever decisions we make in life will create our heaven in the afterlife. It is impossible to live a perfect life because everyone sins. How is it possible to get to heaven if you sin? God is a forgiving God and knows that it is hard to live a perfect life on this corrupt world. There are drugs, sex and alcohol everywhere in this world which can easily take over our lives. We have to be careful on our living styles because if we continue living in sin, we will live our afterlife in hell.
Hell is described by most people as a firing dungeon where you will burn for eternity and demons are grabbing at you and there is no way out. In the theistic approach, hell is the afterlife of your bad habits. If you live a life of sin, your afterlife will contain that sin and that will be your life for eternity. For example, Dr. James had a great point about if a man was always late to an activity throughout his life, his afterlife will be just like that. If someone deliberately picks on someone for fun, he will pick on those people in his afterlife and they will pick on him in return. It is up to a person to live a life with sin because there is nothing stopping them from doing wrong. Our lifestyle of sin creates our afterlife and that is something we probably do not want to go through in eternity.
Question 5.5.c) Why do they both exist in everybody’s mind?
Heaven and hell traits
In our afterlife, we either go to a heaven or a hell. Why do these two places always cross our mind? The reason why we have both heaven and hell in our mind is because God created heaven and hell traits for us to decide where we want to go. We just cannot go to heaven or hell if we wanted to; you have to live a lifestyle that will get you there. If you live a life of joy and happiness, you will go to heaven and if you live a life of sin, you will go to hell. We make these decisions and life and it is not easy to live a life of happiness. We go through problems and temptations that can ruin our lives. Why is there so much temptation out there in the world today? This is called free will and God is the one who created it.
Free will and spiritual combat
God grants us free will in life. Free will is the privilege to do anything in life. We can live a life for Him or ourselves. God has all of the power and we have none. He wants us to be happy and be able to conjoin with Him in the afterlife. Even though he is omnipotent, our immortality belongs to Him. He gives us the challenge of spiritual combat as we live in the time space era. This combat is a battle with living for God or not living for Him at all. Everyone goes through this battle even me. I love God and I try my best to live for Him but it is hard being a Christian because there is so much sin in this world. I am not perfect and sometimes I do things on my own and forget about God. This needs to change in my life and I need to win this spiritual combat to get closer with Him.
Having heaven and hell both exist in my mind is a spiritual combat in itself. I try to live my life for God, but there is always something down that path that I always fall for. It is not easy to live a life without sin and that is how God created it for us. God wants us to be happy and be able to go through the right path in life. I go through spiritual combat almost every single day of my life because being a college student is probably one of the most difficult stages in a person’s life. God gives us this challenge to live for Him or us because he wants us to know that He has all the power and that he wants victory over us. He is a powerful God and nothing can compare to Him because He created this earth and us Humans.
Question 5.5.d) If you came to accept this, how would it affect your lifestyle or character?
I somewhat have accepted that there is a heaven and a hell because I live my life as a Christian. I just believe that heaven and hell are different from a Christian standpoint than the theistic standpoint. But if I did accept it through the theistic perspective, I think that my life would be a little different in a way because I would have a different belief in heaven and hell. I think that I would not pick on my friends as much and be late for class as often! My lifestyle will definitely change in a way but I do not think that my character would change because I am who I am. No one can change that except for God. God is the only one who can change me because He has the power to do it.
My lifestyle and character now
My lifestyle is busy and hectic. I am a fulltime student and I work at a restaurant late at night. Through all of this I still have the time to spend time with God. I am a youth leader at my church and I use that to get me closer with God. My character is somewhat wacky and straight up sarcastic and no one can change that and I think that it will always be like that. I live my life for God and everything I do is for Him. I try to live a clean lifestyle as much as I can but everyone has their ups and downs. Having heaven and hell in my mind has definitely kept my life in a steady path. I have never gotten into serious trouble and I am not looking forward to that. I live a life to strive for heaven and not hell.
Question 5.8.a) Why does spirituality, or relationship to God, have to be rational?
Our relationship with God
Our relationship with God is important in many different ways. We have a physical world and a mental world which is eternal. In order for us to have a pleasant afterlife, we have to have a good relationship with God mentally and spiritually. Our lives are based on what decisions we make with our mental organs. If we do not have a relationship with Him, we will not be able to spend eternity in heaven but in hell. Having a relationship with God is very important for me because I depend on Him to help me out in life. It is hard to maintain that relationship and that is how life was created for us. Having a relationship with God shows Him that you believe that He has all of the power and that you need Him. God is our provider and wants us to know that.
Our relationship with God needs to be rational because it allows us to get closer to Him. Being rational enables us to get closer to Gods Divine through sacred scripture. The more rational we are with God; there is a higher chance of heavenly potential. If we do not be rational with Him and not have a relationship, we will not be able to get that opportunity of having that heavenly position. Being rational involves us living for God daily. We need to show others that we live for Him and not just think it mentally. You cannot just say that you have a relationship with Him if you do not even live for Him. A lot of people say that they have a relationship but do not live it in today’s society. Being rational is a big part of getting closer with God and going to heaven after you die.
Question 5.8.b) What happens with “sensuous spirituality’—discuss what happens in the afterlife.
Sensuous spirituality is the mental ability to be able to communicate with God and people who are already in the afterlife. Sensuous spirituality is something that does not work for us humans. We need to get closer to God rationally because this allows us to be able to conjoin with Him after we die and have a better relationship with Him now. Swedenborg was actually able to talk to people in the afterlife because he was a fascinating person that had the blessing to do this. He said that the people did not believe that they had to accept God rationally because they thought that sensuous spirituality was the proof that He existed. It is important for us to be rational with God so that we can live eternal life in heaven.
We live our lives on this earth in what is called a time-spaced. We live on this world for a certain amount of time and we are not immortal physically but mentally. After we die, we go into a thirty hour resuscitation and transition into the afterlife. The afterlife is not for infinite but eternal. Infinite has no beginning and no end while eternity has a beginning but no end. Our afterlife depends on how we live our lives on this physical world. If we live a life of caring and loving, this will be our afterlife. The more we practice rational and sensuous spirituality, the higher the chance we will have to get to heaven. Our afterlife all belongs to God because He controls our mental body. We can either go to heaven or hell.
Question 5.8.c) How do you react to or assimilate these ideas about your own future?
My reaction to “sensuous and rational spirituality”
I believe in getting closer with God spiritually and I practice sensuous activities in a way because I am a Christian. I pray for people and I pray to God. I do not do the extreme and sacrifice animals because that is a little crazy for me. I am also rational in a Christian way because I practice what I preach and I do not let anyone take that away from me. My reaction to the readings about how we are God is something I do not believe in but it was interesting reading about it. After I read that sentence, I actually felt a little powerful hearing that I was God. It was actually pretty funny to me and I enjoy readings that give me a laugh here and there. But most importantly, the readings keep me attached and thinking a lot about God.
How do I assimilate this in the future?
My future is everything to me because whatever I do now will affect me in the long run. I want to get closer to God and I will keep on practicing my religion as a Christian because that is what I believe in. I grew up as a Christian and I am a strong believer in God no matter what happens in my life. Theistic psychology has a lot of the same characteristics but some aspects are a little out of the ordinary for me. That is just my own opinion and I am actually excited to learn more in this class because I love things out of the ordinary. This class is definitely interesting and I am proud that I can speak my religion in class. There is no other class that allows me to speak about Christianity. I cannot take this class for granted.
Question 6.1.a) Explain the Swedenborg reports in relation to the positive bias in science.
The Swedenborg reports
Swedenborg has written over thirty volumes of notes about theistic psychology. Swedenborg is the person who made theistic psychology noticed by people all over the world. His reports are unique in a way because he is not ashamed to talk about God in his writings. There are scientists who are Christians today and do not even mention God in any of their writings. His reports contain how there are possibilities that God is real. It was not hard for Swedenborg to write about God back in his time because he put everything into a scientific aspect. The reports from Swedenborg have opened up peoples minds about how God can be real. The great aspect about his reports is that you do not have to believe it; you just have to see the possibilities.
Relation to the positive bias
Swedenborg was a person who was all about the positive bias. In order for someone to understand his reports, they have to think with the positive bias approach. By doing this, you do not believe in his writings, but see the possibilities of how it can work. If a person is in the negative bias approach, they will not understand the Swedenborg reports, instead they will reject it. Being in the positive bias approach can help you understand where Swedenborg is coming from with his understanding with God. There are not that many classes today that talk about just God. It is important for you to be in the positive bias because you will see how different Swedenborg was from any other human being.
Question 6.1.b) Describe what happened to him? What did he discover?
Swedenborg’s amazing life story
Swedenborg went through something in life that no other human being has ever gone through. He was actually going through his normal routine one day in his mining job and was able to be in the spiritual world and physical at the same time. This is something that made Swedenborg write about theistic psychology and how God can be real to us humans in a scientific way. This incident happened when he was about fifty seven years old. He was able to have this life of dual existence for twenty seven years. He wrote about his experiences and was very honest about them because he was actually known to be one of the most honest scientists back in that time. This incident that happened in his life showed many people in the world how he might be right about theistic psychology.
What did he discover?
Swedenborg discovered a lot while he was in this dual existence state. He was able to see that there was a spiritual mind and a physical mind. He saw the mental world and physical world and was able to live in both of them for twenty seven years. Swedenborg discovered about how our afterlife would be like. Swedenborg explained how our afterlife is how we live our life in the time-space era. This was probably the most important discovery that Swedenborg found because there were a lot of people back than and even now who wanted to know what happens to them after they die. He also discovered how we can have a relationship with God and how we can get closer to Him through rationality. Swedenborg is a man that has went through a thing that no other human being has and that is what makes Swedenborg important.
Question 6.1.c) Describe how you manage to take on the positive bias regarding the Swedenborg reports. Are you succeeding? What conflicts are you having to contend with in your mind?
How I manage the positive bias
I am a Christian and that makes it easier for me to be in the positive bias. I believe that there is a God and I do not see why there is not a God because He has done so much for me. A lot of people ask me why I believe in God and I tell them that He created us and He helps us when we are down. It is hard to tell some people about God because they are in the negative bias and do not want to believe in Him. Being in the positive bias helps me overcome this and allows me to speak from my spiritual aspect. I am not ashamed to talk about God because I believe in Him and I know He is real. It is easy for me to be in the positive bias and I am thankful that I am able to be in the positive bias for this class.
Am I succeeding with these conflicts?
As I take theistic psychology, I get more interested but at the same time I still have my beliefs. I know that I do not have to believe in this but by being a Christian; I have to guard my heart and watch out what I am accepting in this class. I think that this conflict is a big test for me. I enjoy learning about theistic psychology but at the same time I do not accept it. I am actually succeeding in the positive bias regarding to Swedenborg because I try to see the possibilities of his works. I find it to be fun at times because I can see what Swedenborg believes in and what I believe in. I am a strong believer in God but in a Christian way and not in a theistic way. I still enjoy learning about theistic psychology because it allows me to see what other people believe in.
Question 6.1.d) Compare your adaptation efforts at the positive bias with those of your friends with whom you discussed it so far.
My Christian friend’s reactions
I actually talked about adapting to the positive bias with my Christian friends after the first week of taking theistic psychology. I talked to some of my friends from church and they were interested in this term. They had the same thoughts that I did about the positive bias since we are Christians. They just thought that I had to be aware that theistic psychology is not Christianity and that I have to guard my heart and be careful what I accept in this class. They were actually interested in the class because I was able to talk about God. They did not know of any other class that was viewed in the positive bias. My Christian friends thought that it was great to just talk about God because you do not get this opportunity a lot in other classes.
My non Christian friend’s reactions
I had many different reactions from my non Christian friends about adapting to the positive bias. Some of my friends thought that it was interesting to adapt to the positive bias because they thought that it would be a great learning experience. I had other friends think that it was ridiculous because they did not believe in God and they did not see why I should be learning about Him in a class. Overall, most of my non Christian friends thought that it was interesting to adapt to the positive bias. I was surprised that most of my non Christian friends had this reaction because they do not believe in God. I actually think that this class is allowing me to talk to my friends about God more than I did before I started taking theistic psychology.
Question 6.6.a) Explain why substantive dualism is called substantive.
Substantive dualism is a theoretical supposition that is very familiar to us. Substantive dualism explains how our mental world is eternal and how the physical objects around us are also eternal because they give sensations to our mental body for example eating. We live in a time-space and during that time we live our lives to see where we will go for eternity. Substantive dualism cannot be alive without the rational ether. This is where our thoughts and feelings are located and we need that to survive. We have a physical body and a mental body. Scientists do not believe that we have a mental body because they are in the negative bias. Instead, they think that everything we do is physical and our mind is unreal.
To be substantive means to express substance. We do this in life in order show what we believe in. In a theistic approach, this “substance” is spiritual. The main reason why substantive dualism is called substantive is because we have a mental body which is spiritual and a physical body. We use these two bodies together which is called the “laws of correspondence”. Therefore, as we use these two bodies together, it creates what is called “substantive dualism”. Substantive dualism is the base of theistic psychology and is the most important concept to understand because it explains how it works. We are born as dual citizens and it is important for us to realize that we have a mental body and a physical body that is a part of the substantive dualism.
Question 6.6.b) How does substance differ from matter?
Substance is spiritual and that is what makes us who we are. We make decisions in life with our mental body and that allows us to either go to a heaven or a hell. Substance has no time and is basically non-material. Substance cannot be seen physically and comes from the Spiritual Sun. Our mental body is made up of substance and is a real spiritual organ. There are a lot of people today who do not believe in this “substance” because they are in the negative bias approach. If you open up your mind in a positive bias approach, you will see that this “substance” is real because we use it everyday in life. You cannot see it physically, but in a positive bias approach, you can see it mentally.
Matter is the total opposite of substance. Matter is physical and is a part of the time-space. We are a physical matter with a mental body. Our physical matter is on this earth for a certain amount of time and it is not eternal. Our mental body is eternal and that makes us immortal. Whatever we do with our physical body in the time-space, will lead us to where we will go for our afterlife. The physical matter on this earth is created from the Spiritual Sun and is made spiritually eternal. Our physical matter has a beginning and an end while our substance matter has a beginning and no end. This allows us to be immortal spiritually and not physically.
Question 6.6.c) Search google for "dualism" and explain how what you found is different from substantive dualism in theistic psychology.
I did a
search on google and the first thing that popped up
was a site from
looked through the site from
Question 6.7.a) What is the most exciting piece of news or fact you have heard so far in theistic psychology?
I would have to say that the most exciting news that I found out about in theistic psychology, was I did not have to believe in what was taught, but only see the possibilities. Before I took this class, I thought that I had to actually believe in some of the aspects being taught to understand it. But all I had to do was be a part of the positive bias and open up my mind and see what Swedenborg is trying to come across. It is hard for me to believe in theistic psychology since I am a Christian. I gave it some time and realized that theistic psychology is interesting and fun to learn. I have never taken a class like this before and I am looking forward to learning more because I can talk about what I believe in and I do not get that opportunity in my other classes.
The most exciting fact that I learned in theistic psychology, is that we are all immortal! I believe that I will go to heaven after I die, but I never thought that I was immortal. It just never popped into my head and I think that finding out that I am immortal makes me happy. I know that I will live on earth for a certain amount of time with my physical body and that is why I am living my life to the fullest. My physical body is not immortal and that is why I am trying to do as much as I can to live a great life. After reading about how we are immortal mentally and not physically, I realized that life is short and that we should not take anything for granted. I learned to appreciate life a little more and that is something I learned in theistic psychology.
Question 6.7.b) Share this exciting fact with your friends and family. What do you conclude form their reaction?
My friends and family
I shared the exciting fact that we are all immortal with my friends and family from church. At first, they all thought that I was crazy because they did not know what I was actually trying to say. I realized that I had to explain myself a little more about how our physical body dies and our mental body is eternal. After I explained to them about it, they agreed that our spirit is immortal and that we will either go to heaven or hell after we die. My friends actually thought about Hercules the whole time I was explaining about immortality. My friends do not really take things seriously until they feel like it. I think that these interviews actually got me closer to my friends and family because I get to talk to them about life and that is something worth talking about.
I thought that my friends and families reactions were not serious at first, but than they realized how important this topic was. Where we spend eternity is everything to us. My friends and family believe in a different heaven and hell than theistic psychology, but they want to make it to heaven! They try to live their lives with pure acts and try not to live a bad lifestyle. I was able to get better reactions with them after I talked about heaven and hell. My conversation with them got more serious and that made me realize how important the afterlife is to my friends and family. I thought that this was probably one of the deepest conversations I have ever been in and I appreciate it.
Question 6.8.a) List some objections you or your friends can come up with against the Swedenborg reports
Objection against the Swedenborg reports
One objection that I had about the Swedenborg reports was about how he was able to live in the physical and mental world at the same time. We live in both of these worlds but he was actually able to communicate with people in the afterlife. This was hard for me to believe because how is it possible that a normal human being is able to communicate with people that died? This is something that I will try to figure out for a very long time. Swedenborg did this at the age of 57 and I think that it is hard to believe that he was able to do these acts. I think that this will be hard for me to understand but I will open my mind a little more and see the possibilities in this situation. Swedenborg has made theistic psychology a great source of learning for many students including me. I would not mind learning more about him.
The doubt and current position
My doubt about Swedenborg was very negative for the past couple of days and I thought about the possibilities about this situation. I thought that maybe God anointed him just like how God anointed people from the bible. I am looking forward to learning more about Swedenborg because I am new to theistic psychology. I might see how this is possible towards the end of the semester and I hope that I do. Theistic psychology has gotten me more interested in Swedenborg everyday because it is amazing how he was able to live in the mental and physical world. Swedenborg is somewhat like a bible character to me! He wrote about his experiences with God and people with the afterlife and I think that is a gift from God. Hopefully I will be able to see the possibilities of Swedenborg’s reports.
Question 6.8.b) against the positive bias in science
The positive bias in science
I had a discussion with one of my non Christian friends about the positive bias. I thought that this conversation was one of the most interesting because my friend did not believe in God. He had a doubt about the positive bias because he did not see why there was a class about God if He is not real. He was very straight forward and gave me every detail why he did not believe in God. I realized how hard it was to get a non Christian friend to look in the positive bias. He did not only have doubts about the positive bias, but about God in general. He considered himself to be atheist and told me that God was not real to him. I asked him if he would look into being a part of the positive bias if he was in the class, and he told me if he had to he would.
The current position
I was able to talk to my friend again about the positive bias, and he was actually a little more interested in it. At first he had a lot of doubts but I explained to him that he did not have to believe in it, but to just see the possibilities. He took it the wrong way the first time I talked to him about it and he understood that he did not have to believe in God to understand theistic psychology. This changed everything and allowed him to be a little more open about everything. He realized that being in the positive bias would actually be fun and that he would not mind taking theistic psychology. It was amazing seeing my friend totally change his opinion after he understood my point.
Question 6.8.c) against the inclusion of God in science
The inclusion of God
I had a discussion with another atheist friend and he had a couple of doubts about how God is being included in science. He actually had a great point about this topic and it was interesting having this discussion with my friend. He told me that since God is not real to Him, why is He a part of science? I told him about the positive bias and he thought that it would make it easier for him but just could not see why God would be included in science. He did not believe in God and did not believe that He created the universe. He had a big doubt about God just like my other friend and just could not understand seeing God in science.
My current position
My current position on this topic is that I believe that God should be included in science. I have no doubts that God is real and I think that it is awesome to talk about Him in class. I am taking this opportunity to talk about God with other people in my class. I appreciate how Psychology 459 allows me to talk about what I believe in. I think that having God included in science helps me understand a lot more because I believe that God created everything. I understand that there are people who do not believe in Him, but it should be fun for them to open up there minds and think in the positive bias. I am only taking this class once and I am mot going to take it for granted because there is no other class like it.
Question 6.8.d) against one other issue of your choice. Be sure you comment for each issue you list -- (i) what the doubt is and (ii) what your current position is on it.
One issue that I had an objection was on, was the afterlife in theistic psychology. I believe that we live on this earth with our physical bodies and than we die and enter into eternal life. I just believe in a heaven and hell that is different from theistic psychology. I believe that when I die, I will reach the pearly gates of heaven and see Jesus Christ my Savior. According to theistic psychology, however we live our lives on this earth, will be our afterlife. Theistic psychology has a different approach to the afterlife than Christianity. This is a big issue for me because the afterlife is for eternity! Theistic psychology is interesting but a little different for me because I am a Christian. I just have my own values and beliefs that I follow.
My current position
I know that we do not have to believe in theistic psychology but just see the possibilities about it. I have my own beliefs but at the same time I am not obligated to learn abut theistic psychology. Don’t get me wrong, theistic psychology is interesting to me but just sometimes out of the ordinary. I love learning about different topics and that allows me to see how other people think in this world. Theistic psychology has not only taught me about the positive bias and the Swedenborg reports, it also taught me how to open up my mind and just have fun learning. I am enjoying this class so far and I am looking forward to learn more.