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
My Home Page: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/459s2007/sepkowski/sepkowski-home.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
Energy, Person, Truth from Good
Dr. Leon James
Section 18.104.22.168.2 to 1.5
I am answering questions 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 9.5 and 10.1, 10.2, 10.4, 10.5
Question 9.2.a) Explain correspondences in relation to Sacred Scripture.
If we do not understand correspondences, we will not be able to understand Sacred Scripture. It is important for us humans to take the time to learn correspondences. When you take the time to understand the existence of correspondences, there are two principles that you will be able to understand. The first principle states that God manages the universe by rational laws that are natural and spiritual. The second principle states that our mind is made up of discrete but corresponding layers from the lowest to the highest human potentials. The existence of correspondences also states how we have a physical body that is a part of the time matter and the spiritual body is made up in the substance in eternity. The time space is not eternal; we live on the physical planet for a limited amount of time and than transition into the mental world after we die.
Correspondences in relation to Sacred Scripture
Correspondences are in relation to Sacred Scripture because Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech that is actually transformed by different layers of correspondences. Here is the list of the different layers of correspondences.
These layers are important to understand because this is how our mind works in different situations. Correspondences explain how we live our lives in the physical world and than the mental world. This is related to Sacred Scripture because Sacred Scripture is a guide for us to live our lives. Sacred Scripture shows us how we should live our lives while we live in the time space so that we can go to heaven for eternity. Sacred Scripture uses correspondences so that we can get a better understanding on how to live life for good.
Question 9.2.b) What is your reaction to this new knowledge?
I thought that it was interesting to see the different layers of correspondences because now I have a better understanding on how I think. It is always exciting learning about how you think because you really donít know much about the way think until you start reading theistic psychology. Theistic psychology has taught me so much about my mind and I enjoy that because this allows me to think with a lot more knowledge than before. Theistic psychology is not just a class where you learn about a unique characteristic of God, but also a class that helps you in life. I have never known any of the levels of thinking before I took this class. My knowledge in life is a lot more sufficient than it was a couple of years ago. I now try my hardest to be a better person so that I can go to heaven after I die. I am taking little steps in my life to be a better person and example to others.
I just wanted to take time to write about what I think about theistic psychology at this point in the semester. At first, I did not know what to expect because the class seemed a little skeptical for me. It was hard for me to want to learn about theistic psychology because I am a Christian and I have my own beliefs about God. As I began to open up my mind a little more, I realized that theistic psychology is similar to psychology and it has helped me out a lot in life. This class is amazing and I will not take it for granted because there is no other class that has helped me in life like theistic psychology has. I have learned so much and I am looking forward to learning more about God and my mind. Theistic psychology has definitely been worth my time for the past three months.
Question 9.3.a) Show how correspondences influence the way we think in daily life.
Thinking in daily life
Correspondences influence the way we think in daily life in many different ways. Correspondences help us understand how life works and what we have to do to get closer to God. Correspondences begin with the influx of light and heat through the higher levels of our minds. If we think about something that is not pure, that will damage a part of our heaven forever. It is important for us to keep our mental world pure and not damage it with impure thoughts. Sacred Scripture is made up of correspondences and this can help us with our walk with God spiritually. Sacred scripture is a guide for us to live our lives pure for God so that we can conjoin with Him after we die. Correspondences are a way of life and we need to make sure that we have pure thoughts and practice Sacred Scripture daily.
My daily thinking
As you can see, I am a typical college student that is taking theistic psychology, which is a part of my prerequisites to graduate since I am a psychology major. When I first started taking theistic psychology, I thought that I would just learn about God. After a couple of weeks, I realized that theistic psychology was not only teaching me about God, but showing me how I should think and live life. My thinking today is different from before I started taking theistic psychology. Today, I tend to think more about others than myself and I appreciate that. I also think with more knowledge in a way because before I started taking theistic psychology, I never really took anything seriously. Now, I appreciate everything around me and strive to have a closer relationship with God.
Question 9.3.b) Search the Web for what people know about correspondences and explain what you found.
Peopleís knowledge on the web
I searched Google for correspondences and I actually had great results. The first site that caught my eye was wikipedia.org because the site explained everything about correspondences. Wikipedia even talked about Swedenborg and I thought that was great because they showed the history behind how correspondences were introduced to the world. This encyclopedia had a great source about correspondences and it helped me understand it a little more than I did before. I was surprised that Dr. Leon Jamesís site was not the first link this time! After reading about correspondences from the Wikipedia website, I had a better understanding about how it works and the history behind it. It was quite interesting to read about correspondences from a different source.
My opinion on correspondences
I think that correspondences are probably one of my favorite topics to learn about in theistic psychology. The reason why I like to learn about correspondences is because it talks about life and death. After learning about this in theistic psychology, I realized that I should not take anything for granted because life is short and we should love every moment of it. God created us because He has a plan for us and He wants us to conjoin with Him after we die. Our whole life is a test and it is important for us to follow the laws of correspondences in order to get closer to God and survive in this crazy world. Correspondences have helped me think about everything twice and make sure that I do things in life that will please God.
Question 9.4.a) Many people uncritically repeat the idea that "God is energy." Give a rational proof that this belief is illogical.
God is energy?
God is not energy according to theistic psychology because He is the Divine Human of truth and good. In the naturalistic approach, God is known to be a source of energy of some type. God is so much more than that, He is the creator of the universe and He controls everything inside and outside of it. Sacred Scripture states that God is the Divine Human and that He is not some type of "energy". Theistic psychology has a great point about this and everyone should realize that this is true. Energy comes from electricity, humans, and other activities that take place in the world. God is powerful and nothing can reach to His level. We should think rationally so that we can get closer to God and have a better relationship with Him.
God is so much more than energy to me. He is what makes me wake up everyday to enjoy life. I love having a relationship with God because it allows me to succeed in life in many different ways. I am not saying that my life is perfect, but it is sure great! God has helped me through a lot of trials and tribulations in life and I thank Him for that. I am happy that theistic psychology points out that God is not energy because He is definitely more than that. He is a powerful God and He controls the whole universe, which we live in. He has given us the gift of free will and we should take that step to follow Him so that we can conjoin with him after we die. Words cannot describe how awesome God is and I appreciate theistic psychology mentioning how god is not energy.
Question 9.4.b) Then compare the logic of the opposite idea that "God is a Person."
God as a person
God created the universe by being outside of it. You cannot be a part of something that you have created. For example, when you make a meal to eat, you must be outside of it for it to be created. To view God as a person is unique in a way because it can be hard for people to accept this knowledge. Sacred Scripture states that God created man in the image of Himself. By reading this, you can see that we can somewhat look like the Divine Human in a way. This is proof that God is human and that He is His own creation. He is the creator of the universe and controls everything around us. God is the source of good and truth and we should remember that and take that to consideration in our everyday life.
Hanging out with God
After reading about this topic of God being a person, I took time to see what would happen if God was human just like us on this physical world. I know that we cannot see god and that He is omnipotent. I think that it would be awesome to see God in real life because we would be able to talk to Him and hang out with Him. I know that I will meet Him one day and I canít wait for that time to see me conjoin with Him. Even though it would be awesome to see God in the physical aspect, it probably would not work out for the world because people will not listen to Him as much because He is just another human. That is why I enjoy having God being omnipotent, because this builds up my faith and relationship for God.
Question 9.4.c) In your opinion, why is there opposition to the view that God is a Person?
The reason why there is so much opposition of God being viewed as a person is because people do not view Him as the Divine Human. This is important to remember because He is so much more than just a person, He is our God and He controls everything. People just assume that God is energy and that He is just another god. God is so much more than energy and a lot of people still do not realize that today. People need to realize that He is also more than just a human; He is the Divine Human and the creator of the universe. He is so powerful that He can help us through anything in life and do things that no other human can do. No matter how nice your friend is, they will never match up to the power of what God can do.
Question 9.5.a) The highest idea of God is also the most rational. What is this celestial view of God in relation to the substances of good and truth?
God is the most rational
When we think in the aspect of the spiritual-rational mind, we allow ourselves to see God as the Divine Human. This level of thinking is higher than thinking of Him as energy. To think in the celestial-rational mind, we view God as the spiritual substances of good and truth. This happens after we enter the third heaven of our mind. When we think in the celestial-rational mind, we are able to see God more clearly than before and also realize that He gives us truth from good. It is important to remember that God created this universe and cannot be a part of something that He created. Theistic psychology clearly shows through Sacred Scripture that God is not energy but the Divine Human that shows us truth from good.
Do you love your neighbors?
It is stated in the Bible that everyone should love his or her neighbors. There is an important aspect about this that theistic psychology pointed out for us to learn. If we love all of our neighbors literally, we also love the evil that they do. According to Sacred Scripture, we need to only love the good that our neighbors do and not their hellish traits. This is accomplished in the celestial-rational mind. It is important for us to realize that we should not love our neighbors hell traits because that could bring us down spiritually and can also ruin our relationship with God. God wants us to love one another and care for others, but we need to be careful about loving someone elseís hellish traits. God is a loving God and He loves every one of us, but not our hellish traits.
Question 9.5.b) Can you imagine having this view?
I can definitely see myself in this view because I do not enjoy other peopleís hellish traits. I love my neighbors for being nice and considerate but I do not like it when they make noise in the middle of the night when I am trying to sleep. I do not hate people because that is the worst thing you can do in life. God wants us to love one another no matter what. When I say that I do not like someoneís hellish traits, I do not hate them literally, but just their hellish traits. I am not perfect and there is no other human in this world that is perfect. I respect everyone around me and I show them that respect by loving them. God is an awesome God and He gives me the patience to overcome someoneís hellish traits.
Now that I read about loving one another in the readings of Swedenborg, it makes me want to be a better person. I enjoy learning about theistic psychology because it is helping me in life and I appreciate that. I am now more motivated to go out to the world and show my love for one another. When I work, I am usually in a bad mood because I have to deal with a lot of customers, but for some reason this past week was great. I was happy throughout the whole shift and was excited to talk to the customers. Theistic psychology is showing me how to live life the right way and I respect that. I have never taken a class that has taught me so much about life and how we should not take it for granted.
Question 10.1.a) Explain the concept of "discrete layers of substances" in the mental world. What is the role of correspondences in maintaining these discrete layers?
Discrete layers of substances
All of us humans have these discrete layers that do not touch or overlap with each other. The natural substances are a part of the time-space and are located from the outer circle to the inner section. The outer circle creates our feelings and thoughts that we use in daily life. The inner part of the circle is created from the Spiritual Sun and this is made up of good and truth. God is in the innermost of the circle because He is in all created things. Whatever God has thought, we are a part of it physically in the time space. The more inward we go into the circle, the greater use of mental characteristics is shown. In this mental world there are seven different layers as I mentioned earlier. It is important to remember that God is a Divine Human and that He is the creator.
Correspondences interact with the physical world as well as the mental world. Our mental world is actually shared with everyone. God created the mental world in correspondence with His thoughts. We have two different bodies that we live in. We have a physical body and a mental body. We do not become conscious of the mental world until after we die. We go through a thirty-hour resuscitation period that transitions us to the mental world. Swedenborg experienced this while he lived in the physical world. He had a gift that no other human had, and that was being able to communicate with the people in the afterlife and to live in the physical world at the same time. Our physical body interacts with our physical body and the utmost layer is God. Since He is the highest layer, everything is caused by Him.
Question 10.2.a) Explain the meaning of "space" in the mental world of eternity.
Space can be viewed in two different aspects in life. You can view space with your mental body and you can also use your physical body to view space in a different perspective. In the mental world, space does not exist and does not really have any meaning like it does in the physical sense. In the physical sense, we take up space and realize that there are other physical objects filling in that space also. We are comfortable with this because this is how we grew up and learned throughout our entire life. Understanding the concept of space in the physical world is easy for us to understand, but in the mental perspective, it can be hard to accept since you cannot see the mental world with your own eyes.
I think that this subject is unique in a way because it really gets you thinking about where we are physically and mentally. "Space" is so much more than the amount of room we take in this world; it is where and how we live our lives. It is important that we live our lives to the fullest and for God while we live in the time space. We have a limited time on this earth and we should do everything we can to get closer with God. We use our mental body to make decisions in life so that we can survive in the crazy world we live in. Swedenborg was able to see the mental and physical world at the same time and that is something that should never be forgotten. Imagine if you were able to enter into the mental world while you were still alive. You can go anywhere you want to go in a split second!
Question 10.2.b) What is there in your own experience that gives you a sense of space in the mental world?
An important characteristic that should be remembered in theistic psychology is that space does not exist in the mental world. The mental world is made up from good and truth and is not a part of time-space. We have to also remember that God does not take up space in the physical world because He cannot be a part of something He created. I donít know if I could say that I have a little experience of having a sense of space in the mental world but by being a Christian, I try to pray to God as much as I can and try to make my relationship with Him stronger everyday. I communicate with him spiritually and I believe that He answers my prayers and provides help for me when I need it. I never really thought about space in the mental world before.
This is the first time that I actually thought about the subject on space in the mental world. This topic got me thinking a lot and I thought that it was very interesting to learn about this. Theistic psychology has opened up my mind so much in the past couple of months and I have learned so many different aspects about God that I have never even heard of throughout me whole life. I have to admit; theistic psychology did not only improve my knowledge in God, but in life. After I read a couple of chapters from the Swedenborg reports, I tried to be a better person to others. I am a Christian and I believe that God is real and that He helps me through all of the troubles that I go through. Theistic psychology has helped me improve my relationship with God and other people.
Question 10.2.c) What creates this appearance of space where there is none?
Is it real?
The reason why we see the image of space in our mental world is because we are so used to seeing space in the physical world that we think that it is real in the mental world. Space is all a part of what we think is real. We see space around us everyday and we think that it will be a part of our mental world after we die. It can be hard for some people to accept that there is no space in the mental world because they are so used to seeing space around them that they do not doubt that there will be a space in the mental world. Space in the mental world is somewhat like an illusion because you have seen it so much in the physical world that you might think that it is real in the mental world. This is a topic that got me thinking for a really long time and I have definitely learned a lot from it.
Question 10.4.a) What is your idea of a vacuum as you learned it from science classes?
Whoa! Look at the vacuum!
I canít really remember learning about what a vacuum was. I think that I learned about the black whole a couple of times in elementary and middle school. I still wonder how a black whole is possible because it so fascinating but so deadly! I remember that I was always interested in astronomy because it was out of the ordinary and topics that is out of the ordinary interest me the most. I still have a lot of books on space and I read them occasionally but I do not have as much interest as I used to. I wish that I could remember when I learned about a vacuum so that I could put more input into this question but it has seriously been a long time since I was in elementary school. I have to admit, I have the desire to actually look at my astronomy books tonight for some reason.
My thoughts on a vacuum
As I read about Newton and Swedenborg having a discussion about the existence of vacuums I was immediately interested in this topic. Just think about it, a huge black whole sucking everything around it to misery. The black whole always amazed me and I am glad that theistic psychology had brought this up because my love for astronomy is finally getting back to me. I am now more interested in astronomy than I was when I was a young child. Theistic psychology did not only improve my relationship with God, but it also helped me realize what I love in life. In the past I used to love astronomy and I even took a couple of classes in college. My love for astronomy faded away for a couple of years and theistic psychology brought it back!
Question 10.4.b) Describe the encounter between Swedenborg and Newton where they discussed the meaning of a vacuum.
Swedenborg was able to actually have a discussion with Newton in the mental world. Swedenborg asked Newton about vacuums and if they were real. Newton explained to Swedenborg in two different perspectives, and those two perspectives are the mental and physical perspective. Newton explained how people in the physical time space believed in these "vacuums" because everyone thought that they were real. In the mental perspective, Newton explained how the vacuums were rejected from the angels in the mental world because they believed that the vacuums were nothing and could not exist. The angels believed that if something has the idea of nothing, everything would be perished.
Godís truth and good
Everything that is created from God is created with His truth and good and this is important for us to remember because He controls the universe we live in. Nothingness does not exist, for example the vacuums. If we believe in these vacuums, we are denying God and His creations. It is important for us to remember that God created everything with some spiritual substance and did not create nothingness. Nothingness does not exist in the world of God and we should be able to see that God has created everything with meaning. Newton told Swedenborg that when people started to enter the mental world, they realized that this nothingness was not real and they did not believe in vacuums anymore.
Question 10.4.c) What is your reaction?
I think that it is amazing that Swedenborg was able to talk to Newton because no one else in this world is able to do that. I wish I could be able to talk to other people in the mental world because I have so many questions in life that I have had since I was a young child. I think that it would be amazing to talk to Newton because he was a man that has made history and we use his research methods in todayís society. I think that Swedenborg was a lucky guy and had a great gift that no one will probably have. If I were to be able to talk to anyone in the past, it would have to be George Washington because I always wondered how it felt to wear a wig and tight pants everyday! I could go on forever with which people I would want to talk to, but George Washington interests me the most. But you know what? I will see George Washington when I resuscitate. I am going to have to be patient in order to talk to him!
Question 10.5.a) Explain the difference between the concept "God as He is in Himself" vs. the concept "God as He is outside of Himself." What's the importance of making this distinction?
God as He is in Himself
To view "God as He is in Himself" is based on the view that God is omnipotent. When God is omnipotent, we cannot see Him and He sees every action that we do and oversees the whole and controls what goes on in the universe. God created the world for us to live a life of free will so that we can pass that test to follow Him. He loves us so much that He created an afterlife for us so that we can live eternal life with Him in heaven. God is the Divine Human and is made up of good and truth. It is important for us to not take God for granted because He put us on this world for a reason. We all have a purpose in life and I appreciate that God gave me the gift of life and being able to learn theistic psychology of course!
God as He is outside of Himself
The perspective of "God as He is outside of Himself" is a little different from the perspective of "God as He is in Himself". To view "God as He is outside of Himself means that God is a part of everything that He is created and has a relationship with it. This perspective is the total opposite of having "God as He is in Himself". The main aspect of "God as He is in Himself" is that He is made of good and truth and that He is literally inside of everything that He has created. This view is unique because God is a part of everything that He created and that is something that comforts me because now I fell that God is all around me. In this perspective, Christians call God the "Holy Spirit" and this allows us to have a closer relationship with Him and be able to have a greater chance at conjoining with Him after we die.
Question 10.5.b) How does this increase or change your understanding of God?
My understanding of God
I thought that both of these perspectives apply to me because I believe in the "Holy Spirit" and that God is watching over me. He controls everything around me and I look to Him when I need help. Both of these perspectives improve my walk with God because now I want to get closer to Him now realizing that He is everywhere. God is omnipotent and it can be hard to believe in Him, but I believe that His omnipotence builds my faith for Him Our God is an awesome God and theistic psychology has reminded me that we should not forget about Him no matter what. After I read about these two perspectives, I look at everything around me and appreciate what God has given me.