Course: Psychology 459, Spring 2007, Generation 26

Instructor: Dr. Leon James

Introduction to Theistic Psychology at

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Instructions for this Report:



Spiritually Enlightened

By Danny Sepkowski

Report 3 Sections 1.1 to

I am answering questions 7.1, 7.3, 7.4, 7.6 and 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4

Question 7.1.a) Study the Table that begins Section 1.1 "Three Levels of Thinking About God." Explain the history of your own development regarding the idea of God.

See table in Section 1.1

The three levels of thinking about God

The third level of thinking about God is theistic psychology. Theistic psychology explains how God is the cause of every natural event including the thoughts we have and the events that happen around us. Theistic psychology also states that God has created the universe and that all humans have heaven and hell in their minds. I am still very new to Theistic Psychology and I have learned a lot about God in this level of thinking. I think that this level of thinking has helped me get closer to God because I now understand more about how He works in many different ways. Thinking in the Theistic Psychology perspective has also helped me to become a better person in general because I now want to conjoin with God even more after learning things I have never learned before.

The second level is mystical religion. Mystical religion is basically when God oversees our whole life from birth until death. Mystical religion states that the more closely we get to God, we will go to heaven with Him, and if not, we will go to hell. I am a Christian and I think in the mystical religion aspect because I believe that He can see everything that I do and this makes me strive to be a better Christian so that I can conjoin with Him after I die. The first level is monism, better known as the negative bias. People who are a part of monism believe that the afterlife is not judged religiously but scientifically. Monism also excludes good and bad from science.

My history

I was raised as a Christian for my entire life. After reading this table, I realized that I have had thoughts in all three of these categories now because I just started taking theistic psychology. I know that I have thought in all three of these categories before because I think about God everyday. Even though I am a Christian, I think in the negative bias approach in school. I take science classes that exclude God from science. For me personally, I think more on the mystical religion approach because I pray to God everyday and I believe that He always looks over me in whatever I do. And for the theistic psychology approach, I am still new to this subject but I think in this aspect a lot more because it allows me to see many different ways about how other people view God. I still have a lot more to learn and I am looking forward to it.

Question 7.1.b) Use the Table to describe your own thinking today at each level.

My own thinking today

I think that my own thinking today is similar to my thinking in the past. The only difference that I see in my think today is that my knowledge in theistic psychology is improving because I am beginning to understand how it works. This is also happening for my thinking as a Christian as I try to get closer to Him everyday. My level of thinking in the negative bias is limited to only when I take a science class that is a part of it. I like to think in the right approach so that I can understand what the subject is trying to teach. The three levelís of thinking also help me out in life as I have to make decisions everyday. I do not use the three levels of thinking at the same time because they will contradict with each other. So I use the appropriate level to get me through whatever situation I am in.


All of us have to make decisions in order to survive. The three levels of thinking can help us make these decisions. We may not know it, but we can use all three of these levels of thinking without knowing it. I never knew that I actually thought in terms of theistic psychology throughout my whole life. Theistic psychology has broadened my mind about God and the society that I live in today. I realized that my thinking is so much more important to me now because I want to get closer to God. I think that theistic psychology has actually helped me get closer to God because I pray to Him to help me get through the class and let me speak about what I believe in. This class is making a big impact in my life because I now want to tell other people about God.

Question 7.1.c) Can you guess about where will your thinking take you in the future?

My daily thinking

As I live my life, I try to think as pure as I can so that I can have a better relationship with God. It can be hard at times but I am willing to do whatever it takes to get closer with God. Theistic psychology has taught me a lot about God in a different way and I enjoy learning from other peopleís perspective. It is amazing to hear other people in class talk about their perspective about God. I appreciate this because this allows me to see where my relationship with God is. I think about God everyday and I try to live for Him as best as I can. Theistic psychology has showed me different views about God and I think that it helps me see how important God is to science.

My thinking in the future

My thinking in the future can change in a way because I will go through different obstacles in my life. As I go through these obstacles, I will think in different ways to get through them. My thinking of God will not change, but improve in knowledge because I am seeking Him everyday. He helps me everyday and I love Him for that. There will be times where I will be thinking in all three levels and some days where I will only be using one. My thinking in the future all depends on what will happen to me physically and mentally. God has a plan for me and He creates the choices I will have to make. I now realize that the three levels of thinking will help me out in the future and I am looking forward to using these levels to help me in life.

Question 7.3.a) Why does God allow people to be in the negative bias in science and survive as well as those who are in the positive bias in science?


People in the negative and positive bias

People who are in the negative bias deny the existence of God in science while people who are in the positive bias include Him. These two different aspects are different from each other but are both very important to science today. The reason why they are both important is because they both have their own parts to fulfill in science. While the people in the positive bias study religion and God, people in the negative bias study the nature of science. We as learning students can learn from both perspectives and see how we can relate to them. It is important for people to see science through a perspective that includes God because there are believers who want to know more about Him and there are people who want to learn about Him. And for people, who do not want to talk about God, can refer to the negative bias science.

Why does God allow this?

The reason why God allows people to be in the negative bias perspective is because He gives us the free will to make decisions in our life. God does not create our choices but we make our choices while God creates decisions in our life to make. We can either decide to cooperate with God or not cooperate. He does not force us to believe in Him, but wants us to see that He has all of the power. Another main aspect about the positive and negative bias is that they are both a part of science. It is important to know that the positive bias does not literally mean to believe in God. Dr. James mentioned this in the first week of theistic psychology and it is the most important characteristic to remember while taking theistic psychology. You do not have to believe in theistic psychology, but simply see the possibilities in it.

Question 7.3.b) Comment on this situation. Do you understand it? Do you see problems with it?

My understanding of this situation

I did not have a great understanding of the negative and positive bias before I started taking theistic psychology. I now understand that these two different biases are all about science. I respect that because I like to learn from different aspects in science. I think that God gave us lives to live with free will and that is a gift that we should not take for granted. It is impossible to live a perfect life and life is not easy. We have decisions to make in life and it is up to us to follow God. I think that God treats everyone in the world equally and loves them. He gave us these decisions in life to make and we have the free will to do what we want to do. After reading about the positive and negative bias in the Swedenborg reports, I now have a better understanding about how science works.

Do I have problems with it?

I do not have a problem about the negative and positive bias because they are just a part of science. I know where I am going after I die and I think that God gives everyone that chance to be with Him after they die. I respect people in the negative bias because they are human just like me. I have a lot of friends that are a part of the negative bias and I treat them the same as I do to my friends who are in the positive bias. If God did not treat the people in the negative bias equally as the people in the positive bias, it would not make sense why God created these people. God would not put people on this world just to treat them differently from other people. God loves everyone and He wants victory over us. It is up to us to follow in His footsteps and live a great life and go to heaven after we die.

Question 7.4.a) Explain the difference between religion as a mystical view of God and Sacred Scripture vs. theistic psychology as scientific view of God and Sacred Scripture.

Religion as a mystical view of God and Sacred Scripture

In the mystical view, everything in the Sacred Scripture is taken literally. In mystical religion, God is watching over us and seeís what we do everyday. The main aspect that mystic religion points out is that God created the universe and all of us. He made this world for us humans to see that He has all of the power and wants us to get closer to Him. In mystical religion, we can both follow Godís path and go to heaven with Him after we die, or we can live our own life and go to hell after we die. Mystical religion also involves speaking in tongues. Mystic believers use this language to get instructions from God. According to mystic believers, anyone can speak this language.

Theistic psychology as a scientific view

Theistic psychology is a lot different from mystical religion. Theistic psychology states that heaven and hell are already in our mind and that we make the choice where we will go after we die. In the theistic psychology approach, we are able to get into great detail of the sacred scripture. This allows us to see what is right and wrong and how we can get closer to God. In theistic psychology, God is the cause of our destiny and creates obstacles for us to go through in life. He guides us and helps us see the light that He created for us. He gave us free will so that we can take that step in life to get closer to Him. Theistic psychology is a unique type of science and should not be forgotten. Swedenborg has definitely mad an impact in this world through theistic psychology.

Question 7.4.b) Is knowing about this difference important to you? Explain.

The difference

I believe that this difference is very important to me. Being a Christian is something that is important for me to keep strong. I believe in God and that He created us and the universe. To me theistic psychology is just another form of seeing how God works. Theistic psychology is interesting and I enjoy learning it, while Christianity is a learning experience in itself. It is important for me to keep my faith strong for God and make sure that I keep on trying to get closer to Him. For me, I believe that both the mystic view and theistic psychology are important for us to learn. We need to realize that God is everything and that He is the cause of our destiny. If we do not accept this, we are in big trouble!

Question 7.6.a) Prove rationally that our mental world is the world of eternity.

Our two worlds

We as humans live in two different worlds. We live in the physical world which is the time space and the mental world which is eternal. God created the universe and these two worlds. God is not in the universe physically because He cannot be a part of something that He created. In order for Him to create something, He needs to be outside of it. We use our mental body to make decisions in life and to also determine where we will go after we die. Our mental world is everything to us because without it, we will not be here today. We live on this world for only a certain amount of time and we should not take it for granted. It is up to us to either go heaven or hell.

Rationally speaking

Rationally, there are two universes, outer time space and inner time space. Both of these universes are known as dualism. Everything that belongs to God has no beginning and end but everything He creates has a beginning in time and eternity. It was Gods decision to let us live forever. He gave us this gift because it is pointless to create something that will soon die. For example, why would we be created to live on the world to just end up dying? This is important to realize that there is more to life because we are all immortal. We are all born as dual citizens and this allows us to be immortal. Spiritual is equal to the existence of eternity. Everything we do on this earth will determine where we will go for eternity. It is important to remember this because we will either live a great after life in heaven or an afterlife of death in hell.

Question 7.6.b) What will be the consequences for society when this knowledge becomes known?

Our Society

Our society is made up of a lot of different people. There are people who do not know who God is and some people who do not want to believe in Him. God is such a great God and there are people who are lost and never even heard of Him. There are so many different religions and views of God. I am proud to be a Christian and I am not ashamed to talk about God. That is why I enjoy taking this class on theistic psychology. I get to talk about God and how He can help our society. I wish that everyone in the world can realize how important God is. Theistic psychology is actually helping me tell other people about God because a requirement in some of the questions is to interview a friend of mine. I am looking forward to doing more of these interviews and hopefully tell God not only to my friends, but people I do not know.

The consequences

When we do not follow God, we will not conjoin with Him after we die. Instead, we will go to hell and live an afterlife of death. This is a consequence that a lot of people will have to face after they die. It is important for people to realize that they need God. God is everything and we cannot live our lives on our own. Hell is not a place where you want to be. It is my goal in life to get closer to God everyday. There are people in our society that do not realize that God created them and is allowing them to live today. It is our job to tell others about how wonderful God is. Theistic psychology is a unique way to tell others about God because it is scientific and very interesting. Theistic psychology is definitely one of the best science classes I have ever taken so far!

Question 7.6.c) Check it out with your friends. Are they jumping up and down with joy when they hear you describe it?

My non Christian friendís reactions

I was very surprised about one of my non Christian friendís reactions. My friend Crystal is a person who is not religious but is very open minded. I told her about how our mental body is immortal and that we will either go to heaven or hell after we die. To my surprise, she kept on asking questions about God and how He works. This was a great opportunity for me to tell her how wonderful He is. She was very interested in this topic and realized that there might be a God. She never really thought about God before but now is interested and wants to learn more about Him. I am continuing to talk to her and my next step is to bring her to church so that she can experience how God works. Theistic psychology has helped witness to a non believer of God and that is something I will enjoy.

My Christian friendís reactions

I had a discussion with my non Christian friends and they actually saw the similarity with theistic psychology and Christianity. They all saw that our mental bodies are immortal and that it is important to get closer to God spiritually. The best part about this discussion was about the afterlife. They thought that the afterlife in theistic psychology was interesting and similar to Christianity. It is amazing how I can speak about God with all of my friends and classmates. It seems as if theistic psychology is making my relationship with Him better because I pray to Him everyday to help get through the day and to understand the class. I love talking about God and that is why I am not going to take theistic psychology for granted.


Question 8.1.a) Explain how we become spiritually enlightened by studying theistic psychology.

See Section

Spiritual enlightened

Spiritual enlightenment can be obtained by the constant studying of Sacred Scripture. By doing this, you can get closer to God and become spiritually enlightened. Another way to become closer to God is to be rational with Him. Sacred Scripture is very important to know because God created this text so that it can help guide us through our obstacles in life. Our consciousness is also very important when it comes to becoming spiritually enlightened. Our consciousness is our perception of truth and we should keep this pure so that we can get closer to God. If our consciousness is reaching towards God everyday, we will have a greater chance of being spiritually enlightened.

Our daily actions

It is important to follow God in everyday life. It can be hard at times with temptation but God created obstacles to show us that He can help us through it. If we do not follow the path of temptation, we can reach the second level of enlightenment. As we live on this earth for a limited amount of time, we should learn the Sacred Scripture as much as possible and elevate our consciousness of truth. The more we read the Sacred Scripture; there will be a greater chance for us to meet our God in heaven. The Sacred Scripture is more than just text that is religious; it is the way of life. Sacred Scripture helps us survive in todayís society and gives us an understanding of how God can work in peoples lives.

Question 8.1.b) What is the difference between natural and spiritual enlightenment?

Natural enlightenment

Natural enlightenment is a unique characteristic that we can hold in our life. Natural enlightenment is when your cognitive organ is elevated in your mind. After this happens, there are activities that you do in life, that become natural. For example, when you drive a car that has a manual transmission you cannot even go past the first gear because you will always stall. After a while you get the hang of getting past the first gear and than start going on the main road. After you drive the car a couple of times, you become comfortable and the next thing you know it, you donít even know that you are driving a car that has a manual transmission.

Spiritual enlightenment

Spiritual enlightenment is a little different from natural enlightenment. In order to fulfill spiritual enlightenment, we must understand sacred scripture and practice it in daily life. The more rational we are with this, the greater the chance is for us to become spiritually enlightened. Becoming spiritually enlightened is a gift from God and we should all strive to become spiritually enlightened. Spiritual enlightenment comes from our mental and spiritual mind; therefore, we should keep this mind pure so that we can get closer to God in a whole different level. Having a relationship with God is very important, and knowing the sacred scripture can help us achieve that. It is extremely important for us to strive to become spiritually enlightened so that we can conjoin with God after we die.

Question 8.1.c) Who do you know that is enlightened?

The enlightened ones

I know a lot of people that are spiritually enlightened. You will be surprised at the amount of spiritually enlightened friends that I have. First of all, my parents are spiritually enlightened because they read the Bible everyday and go to church to seek God. My friends at church are also spiritually enlightened because they are the same as my parents and want to get closer to God everyday. My pastor at church is also spiritually enlightened because he preaches from the Bible and prays to God everyday. My pastor also has a great relationship with God and this allows him to become spiritually enlightened.

Heís the man!

We canít forget about Dr. James now! He has so much knowledge about sacred scripture and God. Dr. James is such a great teacher of theistic psychology. He knows so much about it that it blows my mind at times. Dr. James has definitely taught me a lot about theistic psychology and I enjoy that because everything he teaches is very interesting. I have never taken a class like this before and I am going to soak up as much information as I can so that I can see what other people think of God. This is the first class and maybe the last that I will be able to talk about God with other students. This class is definitely one of the best classes I have ever taken so far. We are not even done with the semester, but I have learned so much about theistic psychology that I am looking forward to learning more.

Question 8.2.a) What are temptations? Explain how our spiritual development depends on our willingness to fight our temptations.

See Section

Natural temptations

We are faced with temptation after we are spiritually enlightened. There are two types of temptations that we face in life. There is natural temptation and spiritual temptation. Natural temptation is the temptations that we face on the physical world. Some acts may include cheating, stealing, fighting and lying. We faced all of these temptations ever since we were a little kid. We still go through these temptations and will be going through them in the future. It can be hard at times but God created these temptations for a reason and that reason is for us to get closer with Him spiritually. God is a powerful God and has a plan for everyone, and that is why He created temptations for us to face so that we can seek Him for help.

Spiritual temptations and our spiritual development

We do not face spiritual temptation until we are spiritually prepared. It is important for us to read sacred scripture as much as possible and continue that relationship with God. When we are spiritually prepared, we face spiritual temptations. Spiritual temptations are temptations that make us doubt about sacred scripture. That is why it is important for us to understand and live by the sacred scripture. We need to have that power to overcome this temptation and see that God is real and that sacred scripture is the guide to help us in life. Spiritual temptation is the true test of our faith in God. We need to realize that even through both of these temptations; God is there to help us through them.

Question 8.2.b) What happens after we are victorious in a temptation?

See Section

Sphere of heaven

When we are victorious in a temptation, we have this great feeling called rational ecstasy. This is probably one of the best feelings you will ever get because you have just overcame a temptation that could have ruined your life. During this rational ecstasy, you will also go through what is called the sphere of heaven. The sphere of heaven allows us to communicate with God and the heavens. This is a gift from God that we should not take for granted because this is an experience that is worth going through. Communicating with God is so awesome and we should take the opportunity to do this so that we can go to heaven after we die. Overcoming temptation is the best thing you can do in life. There is no greater joy when you experience rational ecstasy.

Godís purpose

God has a plan for all of us and we should understand that we will all go through temptation in our lives. It is impossible to be perfect and that is something we cannot help. We need to try our best to get closer with God and overcome the temptations that come into our path. It is important for us to seek God in all of the temptations that we face. God is an awesome God and can help us through anything. He gives us the free will to do anything because He wants to test our spiritual faith. We need to read sacred scripture as much as possible and understand how it works. Experiencing rational ecstasy is something that everyone should face because it is the greatest feeling that anyone can have.

Question 8.2.c) What have you observed about your own temptations in the past?

My temptations in the past

I have gone through a lot of natural and spiritual temptations in the past. It was hard for me at times in school when people would ask me why I believe in God. I overcame those spiritual temptations and realized that God helped through it. It was hard for me to overcome natural temptations because some of them were hard not to do. I was not a bad and rebellious kid back then, but I still went through temptations that every kid goes through. As I grew up, I realized that I canít fall for these temptations because they can ruin my life spiritually. I just prayed to God to help me and let me live a pure life. I still go through temptations today and that is something I will have to face throughout my whole life.

My temptations today

I still go through temptations today and it is not easy at times. It is not easy being a Christian because all of my friends expect me to be perfect and not mistakes at all. They donít realize that I have to go through the same temptations that they do in life. I know that I do fall for temptations every once in a while, but it is a part of life. I believe that God can help me through everything and I love Him for that. He has made an impact in my life so many times and He still is today. I want to get closer to Him everyday and I am not going to let temptations in my life ruin the chances for me to have that relationship with Him. Temptations are a part of life and I am willing to fight that battle and overcome them.

Question 8.3.a) When and how did Sacred Scripture reveal that heaven in eternity is the mental world?

The kingdom of God is within you

When was the fact that heaven in eternity is the mental world revealed to the world? This is a very good question that got me very interested in trying to answer. At first I thought that Swedenborg was the one who discovered this, but it was actually discovered way before Swedenborg was even born. It was actually discovered thousands of years ago when the bible was being written. There is a scripture in the bible that states that heaven is within us. The scripture is Luke 17:20-21 and it says "ÖThe 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." It is fascinating that this information was discovered so long ago but there are still people in our society that do not know this. This is probably the greatest news a person can find out about themselves.


Swedenborg was such a unique individual because he was able to live in the natural and spiritual world at the same time. This is something that no other human has ever done before. After Swedenborg did more research on sacred scripture, he brought a great view of God to our society. He has definitely made an impact on peoples lives because now a lot of people know that God is real through theistic psychology. There are still people who have not heard about theistic psychology but when they do, it will change their life. After I started taking theistic psychology, I realized that God is so powerful and can help us in any situation that we go through. Swedenborg had created a type of science that can change peopleís lives and I respect that.

Question 8.3.b) Why do you think that this knowledge remains unknown or disbelieved?

The unknown

It is easy to explain why this information is unknown to a lot of people in our society. The reason why it is unknown is because of us. We do not take that step to go out and tell people about God and that He can help them in life. It can be hard talking about God to strangers but it needs to be done. There are so many lost people in the society and we need to reach out to them and save them with Godís grace. I am not perfect and I have to admit that I am doing a horrible job at witnessing about God. Theistic psychology has changed that for me and I am going to step it up and tell people about God. The afterlife is a big issue because you will either go live a happy life in heaven, or spend eternity in pain in hell.

The disbelief

The reason why that a lot of people do not believe that heaven is within us is because they cannot see it. They do not believe in a God because they have never seen Him and do not want to spend the time to try to have a relationship. There are so many different religions out there that make it easier for them to believe in because they have actual statues of their gods and they can believe in them because the god is visible. It can be hard to tell other people about God because they do not want to hear about Him. I have met people that hated God because they thought that God ruined their lives in the past. The main reason why people do not believe that heaven is within us is because they do not want to give up their hellish traits. They enjoy this so much that they do not want to believe in God. We cannot help this because people have the free will to believe in something else.

Question 8.3.c) Search the Web to see if anything about this is known. What is your conclusion?

Google search

It was quite exciting trying to search for information about heaven on Google. I typed in "heaven within you" for my first search and I actually got a lot of feedback. For some reason, I was not able to find anything on theistic psychology by typing this. I was able to find a lot of Christian sites and other sites that talked about this verse in sacred scripture. It was interesting seeing people write about this scripture and showing it to the public to read. I respect that because they are not ashamed to show the public what they believe in. Majority of the sites that I found were created by Christians. I also typed in eternal life and I got the same feedback from other Christians. And just for fun, I typed in theistic psychology and the first site that popped up was made by Dr. James! I have to admit, he is an intelligent man that has so much knowledge about theistic psychology.

Check it out here

My conclusion

After browsing the internet, I realized that a lot of Christians are trying to make it known to nonbelievers that we do have heaven within us. I still think it is unknown for a lot of people in our society because they never heard of God before. It is up to us to tell others about our powerful God. I think that these sites that the Christians are making are good, but it might be a little hard for nonbelievers to find it because some people do not even know what eternal life is. I enjoyed reading Dr. James site because it was well organized and very detailed unlike the other sites that I found. He also had references and a great amount of information to learn from. His site was definitely the one that caught my attention the most. In conclusion, I thought that there were a good amount of sites that talked about heaven being within us, but there are still people out there that need to know this.

Question 8.4.a) Explain the principle that "individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history."

Individual biography

Our individual biography is basically our life story. We live our lives on this earth in the time space era and during that time; it is somewhat like a story. We go through obstacles and strive to survive in this crazy world. God creates choices for us to make and we have to make sure that we go down the right path. Recapitulate means to develop a process while you grow up as a human. In this case, it is human evolution and history. To break it down, by having our individual biography recapitulate human evolution and history means that the story of our development is following the same way as humans did long ago. This is an important fact to remember because our individual biography is short and we should not take anything for granted.

My individual biography

I love life and I want to keep my individual biography exciting and fun. After I die and go to heaven, I want to reflect on how my life was so wonderful. I go through trials and temptations but it is all a part of life and I can overcome them with the help of God. I canít wait to meet God in heaven because He is the most important part of my life. Theistic psychology has shown me that God is powerful and that we need Him to live a pure life. I am enjoying theistic psychology and I am happy that it is now a part of my individual biography. I was able to do something in this class that I was not able to in any of my other classes in the past, and that is being able to talk about God and what I believe in. Nothing can get better that.

Question 8.4.b) How does this influence the way you see yourself?

My influence

When I go through temptation, I try to act as if God was there watching me physically because that keeps me accountable from doing bad. After reading about this topic, I realized that people in the past, present, and future goes through problems and temptations just like I do. It is great to know that God is there to help me and let me learn more about Him through theistic psychology. I think that the individual biography topic is one of my favorite topics because it gives me a heads up on how I am growing up like other humans and that it will be like this for a long time. I also learned that I should not only think about myself, but others also because they are living a life just like me. Theistic psychology has made me appreciate life a lot more than I did in the beginning of the semester.

Theistic psychology helps

Theistic psychology has helped me a lot in the past couple of weeks. At first, I did not want to accept anything from this class and the great aspect about this class, is that I donít have to. I get to talk about life with other students and more importantly, I get to talk about God. I also like talking about theistic psychology with my friends and family because it has seriously brought me closer to them. This class is different from any other class that I have ever taken. I am looking forward to learning more and seeing how I can apply theistic psychology in life. Dr. James is one of the most knowledgeable professors you can learn from and that is something I respect. I think that the second half of this semester will be even more exciting than the first.