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

 

Theistic Psychology

By Danny Sepkowski

Section 1.5.1 to 1.7

Report 5

 

I am answering questions 11.2, 11.5, 11.8, 11.9 and 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.9

 

Question 11.2.a)   Section 1.5.1.2 "The Negative Bias in Science" presents an extensive quote by a negative bias mode psychologist (Bering). Analyze what he says.

“The Negative Bias in Science”

Bering states in the readings that we have a cognitive bias about our thoughts on a soul. He also mentions how we tend to differentiate between our physical self from our spiritual self. He considers spiritual beliefs, however, to be illusory beliefs that developed in response to social pressures. These illusory beliefs include psychological immortality and intelligent design of the self. Bering explains how it is possible that these beliefs are passed down through culture, somewhat like a virus that spreads rapidly. Bering also states how our current behavior is a big factor for our afterlife. Whatever we do on this world, will determine where we will go after we die. It is also important to remember that genetic fitness is a big part of the “cognitive illusion”, and that it is also increased by prosocial behavior.

Culture

            Culture is a big factor for a lot of people’s beliefs. There are families today that actually make their child believe in what the family believes in. I have been going to church ever since I was inside of my mom’s stomach. It can be good to make your child go to church to seek God, but it can also draw them away from Him because they feel that they are being pressured. The pressure can also help in a way because they can see that their parents want them to follow their path. God is an amazing God and I appreciate my mom making me go to church almost every Sunday of my life. I do not regret anything about it and I will always love her for her helping me out by showing me who God is.

Question 11.2.b)   Make a conclusion in the light of what you already know from the positive bias perspective in theistic psychology.

My Conclusion in the Positive bias

            I have learned so much this past semester and I appreciate it because I was not expecting to learn as much as I did. I would have to agree with Bering that culture is a big factor in our spirituality and that our behavior is a big factor in where we go after we die. I will not take this class for granted because it has taught me how to be a better person by reading articles from different people like Swedenborg and Bering. I was always in the positive bias and now that I was able to use that perspective in this class, it will always be in my heart that I am a part of the positive bias. Science is everywhere and it can be hard at times to learn in a class that is negative bias based. I believe that God helps me through it and I am happy that I took a class that was based on the positive bias.

Appreciation

            It is common in today’s society that we take things in life for granted. These “things” can be food, school, and even money. I have taken materials in life for granted and sometimes even God. There are times where I just don’t think about Him and forget about what He has done for me. After taking theistic psychology, I realized how important God is to me. I am not going to take this class for granted and I believe that this class has taught me so much about how God is so awesome. I have learned some materials that I have never even heard of before. It was amazing how I was always in the positive bias, but I just never new that there was a term for that. Theistic psychology is a class that has made an impact in my life spiritually and physically because my hands are always hurting from typing all of these reports!

Question 11.2.c)    How would your other professors this semester relate to the idea presented in this class that non-theistic psychology assumes the negative bias in science? Would you predict that they agree that it is a bias or not?

Professa!!

            I believe that a lot of my professors would definitely think that the positive and negative bias is considered a bias. The reason why they would think that it is a bias is because I have a couple of professors that are actually religious. They are not able to teach their religion in their class because they are only allowed to teach what they are designated to teach. I talked to my Korean professor and she is a Christian. She believes that the negative bias is bad because it excludes God and that is why she considers it to be a bias. She also told me that learning in the negative bias is interesting and that is just the way how people are taught in today’s society. I am excited to hear my professors talk about God because maybe they can teach theistic psychology one day!

Question 11.5a)    Summarize what is said in section 1.6 “Spiritual Psychobiology.”

“Spiritual Psychobiology”

            The main aspect that should be remembered in the spiritual psychobiology aspect is that we take actions with our cognitive organs as well as our affective organs. The cognitive and affective organs correspond with our physical body but are still separated spiritually. Swedenborg explains how the affective organ is considered the will, and the cognitive organ is considered to be the understanding. These two organs correspond with our body but take place in our mental body. The affective and cognitive organs make us who we are today. We make many decisions in everyday life and it is important to realize that we need to live a pure life so that we can conjoin with God after we die.

The Mental World

            The mental world is what we are basically striving to make better throughout our life. It can be hard at times because we fail at times with the temptations of the world. It is important to realize that we need to live for God and be able to see that He has all of the power in the Universe and that we cannot do anything without Him. God gives us challenges in life so that we can show Him that we need his help. I am not perfect and I know how it feels to go through temptation and sin. Life is not easy and that is why God is there for us. You might not understand this or care for it, but God can help you through anything. We have two choices, live for God and have a heavenly afterlife or not follow Him and live an afterlife of pain and death. It is all up to you where your mental world will be.

Question 11.5.b)    How does this relate to what you already know about the field of psychology?

The field of Psychology

            I have never really learned about spiritual psychobiology but I will be taking psychobiology next semester and I think that I will have more knowledge about how our body works psychologically. I have taken cognitive psychology and I cannot remember if I learned about the affective and cognitive organ, but I am pretty sure that I did. I have a lot more to learn in psychology and I am looking forward to learning about this field. Theistic psychology is definitely one of the best psychology classes I have taken because I was able to speak my mind and talk about me creator. God is not taught in a lot of classes and I am honored to be able to take this class. Theistic psychology has opened up my mind spiritually and gave me a different view in psychology.

 

Question 11.8.a)    Discuss the "transmissive model" (or "transmission theory") of the mind by William James in Section 2.3. He was familiar with Swedenborg's Writings from his father, who wrote a book about Swedenborg's Writings.

“Transmission theory”

            William James explains in the transmission theory that there are two aspects in respect to the human brain and mind. The first aspect is that the human brain is not spiritual but simply a transmitter for the physical body. In this perspective, the brain is made up of physical matter and only thoughts and feelings are transmitted through it. It is amazing to read about what William James has to say about the brain. It may be hard to think of the brain as a transmitter because ever since you were a young child, you thought that every thought was created from the brain. But in this perspective, it is a little different; the brain acts as a transmitter for these thoughts and does not create these thoughts or feelings.

“Productive Model”

            The second aspect that James mentioned is called the productive model. It is important to remember that this model is the total opposite of the transmission theory. In this model, thoughts and feelings are created by the brain unlike the transmission model; the brain is just like a transmitter. This model is followed by majority of scientists and psychologists today. There are also a lot of people in the world that follow this model as well. I explained earlier how when we were kids we thought that everything was created from the brain. We were actually thinking in the productive model perspective this whole time!

Question 11.8.b)    Do you see a connection between substantive dualism and the model of William James?

Substantive dualism

            I do see a little connection between substantive dualism and the model of William James in a way. Substantive dualism talks about how the mental body is separate from the physical body. This is sometimes confusing to people because they think that the mental body is just an illusion to us just how Bering explained how we have those “illusory” beliefs. William James writing on the transmission model did agree with substantive dualism which was written by Swedenborg. It is amazing to actually learn that William James had a dad that actually wrote a book on Swedenborg. This is something that should be remembered because this shows how incredible Swedenborg’s works is.

My thoughts

            I think that James was a unique person because he made sure that everyone knew what he believed in and did not want everyone to see that he was following his dad’s belief of Swedenborg. There are some similarities but James did not fully believe in Swedenborg’s writings. He stuck with his own beliefs and I respect that. I also think that the subject on substantive dualism is probably one of my favorite subjects to read because the mind is so much more that you think. The mind creates thoughts for us to make decisions in everyday life. We are using our mind every second of our lives and I thought it was fun learning about how our brain works spiritually and physically. This is a topic that I will definitely be telling my friends about in the future.

Question 11.9.a)     Discuss your perceptions of how other students in this class (G26) are adjusting intellectually to the positive bias perspective.

Class Web Folder

G 26! Cheeeee!

            I can definitely see the differences in each student’s reports about how they were first skeptical about taking this class in the beginning and did not know what they were getting themselves into. I can see the transformation of people being a part of the negative bias in report one, and than seeing them start seeing that the positive bias would actually help them get through this class. It was amazing seeing students putting feedback in what they believe in spiritually because this allows me to see where I am with God. I enjoyed reading the other students reports because it actually gave me a better perspective about how theistic psychology works. To be honest with you, I don’t think I would be this far in the class if it was not for the students because they have helped me outside of class with my reports. That is something I will never take for granted.

My army

            It was great to see that there were other Christians in this class. I am not ashamed of God, but I think that having the other Christians in the class made me a little more comfortable with taking the class. I was not afraid to do my oral presentations and I enjoyed doing them. I appreciated having other Christians in the class because we can all relate with each other and we all worship the same God. Theistic psychology did not only get me closer to these Christians, but the Christians at my church. I had discussions with my friends about theistic psychology and I enjoyed hearing what they all had to say about theistic psychology.

Question 11.9.b)    Read some of their reports.  Do the reports show the same thing as the class discussions?

Class discussions

            I believe that the class discussions were great and they all definitely had relations with the reports that were posted online. I enjoyed hearing what all of the students had to say about theistic psychology and I think that these discussions allowed everyone get comfortable with talking to other students that they did not know. It was fun having these discussions because there were no rules in what you can say. We were talking about aliens one day and than prostitutes the next. Dr. James allowed this because this is what makes theistic psychology fun, talking about life. I enjoyed talking about my life with others because it made me more comfortable with the class. I am definitely prepared for any oral presentation in the future after taking theistic psychology 459.

Question 11.9.c)    How do you stand relative to others?

Where I stand

            I have to admit, I was like the other students in the beginning of the semester. I was not sure what bias I should be a part of even though I was a Christian and I was not sure what I was going to learn this whole semester. I talked to my parents about theistic psychology and they wondered why I decided to take the class. Now, I am glad that I decided to take the class because I have learned so much about God and now I have a better relationship with Him. I also feel like I accomplished something that I have never done in my life, and that was writing over eighty pages in one semester! I’m not going to lie; this class showed me some great discipline on how to stay on a computer for over four hours at a time. That is something that I have never done in my life!

 

Part Two, Section 1.6.3 to 1.7

Question 13.1.a)     List between 3 and 5 criteria that theistic psychology should have if it is going to make it as a science in the future.

Requirements for the future

Usefulness, Organicity, Operational Definition, Empiricism,

Question 13.1.b)    Briefly explain each.

See Section 1.6.3

The meaning

            Usefulness is the theory that must be applied to all people in the society and should also be beneficial for every individual. This is important for you to remember because the theory should be able to be used by everyone, not just certain people. Organicity is the theory that is based on a biological perspective. It should be able to be biologically grounded, in other words, there is no function without the structure, medium, and substance. The Operational Definition is the theory that must offer concrete measurement procedures for applying the magnitude of effects which are indexed by dependent measures under various known independent conditions. Empiricism is every step of the theory must be understood by the person’s own experience or observations.

Question 13.1.c)  Then give your assessment as to how theistic psychology as you know it stacks up against these criteria.

 

 My assessment

            Oranicity is basically what we are made up of. For example, our mind and spiritual organs are a part of the organicity in our body. If this is viewed in the theistic psychology perspective, in other words the positive bias. We will be able to see that our mind and spiritual world is made up of substance. It is amazing to see how Swedenborg explains how our mental world corresponds with our physical world. Through this, we can see that there is a relation to this theory. Since Swedenborg has written data such as this, we are able to see that theistic psychology is a part of the empirical science. Swedenborg was a self-witness to all of the data that he has written and has experienced them in real life.

            It can be difficult for people to see the objective reality in theistic psychology because Swedenborg was the only person who was able to experience to see the physical world and mental world at the same time. Swedenborg was blessed with this opportunity, but unfortunately there are people that do not accept theistic psychology because they have not experienced what Swedenborg did. For the operational definition, Swedenborg was able to make data of all of the experiences he had while he resuscitated. The documents that he has written has helped a lot of people in today’s society and it is important to remember that he was a unique individual and did things in life that no other human has ever done. 

 Question 13.2.a)    What is the method of psychobiological correspondence?

Psychobiological correspondence

            Psychobiological correspondence is something very important that we humans should realize in life. In psychobiological correspondence, love and wisdom are conjoined together as well as will is conjoined with understanding. Our mental world is separated from the physical body in a spiritual aspect. But biologically, our affective organ is connected with our heart and the cognitive organ is connected with our lungs and our respiratory system. This allows our thoughts and feelings to be connected with the physical and mental word. We live our lives with the mental and physical body interconnected. We live our lives in the time space and during this time, our afterlife will be determined on how our lifestyle is lived.

Love and Wisdom

            Love and wisdom are two words that make up our society today. Without love, there would be no families today and the world will be a hateful place. Wisdom is what keeps us alive because it allows us to make the right decisions in life. Wisdom is something that all of us should use towards others in today’s society because our world is becoming a world of hatred. There are people getting killed for no reason and I think that we need to love on these people. It is hard for me to watch the news today because there is never good news. Just yesterday, 32 students were killed at Virginia Tech University. This is devastating to me because God has a purpose for every one of us but there are people out there that do not want to follow Him.

Question 13.2.b)     How can it be applied in theistic psychology?

Applying it to theistic psychology

            The psychobiological correspondence can be applied to theistic psychology by using it in life. We need to love one another in this world and that is important in today’s society because there are many kids out there that are not being loved. I know that I am talking about this in a spiritual perspective, but our affective and cognitive organs create these feelings. I think that psychobiological correspondences are already being applied to theistic psychology scientifically because I have learned about our affective and cognitive organs many times. I enjoy learning about how our spiritual body interconnects with our physical body. I have never learned about the affective and cognitive organ before and I think that it was interesting learning about how they function.

Question 13.3.a)    What is the organic basis of human thoughts, emotions, and feelings?

See Section 1.6.4

The spiritual world

There are two worlds according to Swedenborg’s writings. There is the mental world (spiritual) and the physical world (time-space). In the spiritual world, we try our hardest to live a pure life and to get closer with God. The spiritual word is separate from the physical world but it is important that our behavior on this world will determine where go after we die. The spiritual world is made up of Good and Truth and spiritual substances. Spiritual substances are similar to natural substances but are made up of spirits. The spiritual world is a world that people do not believe in today’s society. Some people believe that we live a life on the physical world for a certain amount of time, and than we just disappear after we die. We are going to have to change that.

The physical world

            The physical world is the where we live now. The time era that we live in right now is called the time space. It is up to us to live a pure life for God or just live on ourselves and not conjoin with Him after we die. The physical world can either make us stronger by getting closer with God, or it can ruin our lives because we decided to follow things of the world. It is important for us to tell others about how God can help them no matter what they are going through. This is what theistic psychology is for. Theistic psychology helps us discuss the topic of God to others. We live in a free country so we should not take that for granted and begin to tell others that God has all of the power and can help us through any problems that we might have.

Question 13.3.b)   Contrast this with the negative bias psychology which “reduces” thoughts and feelings to electricity and chemistry in the neurons of the brain.

Reduction

            Majority of the scientists today are a part of the negative bias. They believe that human feelings are a part of the electricity and chemistry in the neurons of the brain. They also exclude God from science because they do not think that it is possible for God to exist if He is not visible. In theistic psychology, we are taught about how we can be a part of the positive bias. The positive bias simply includes God into science and it opens up the students minds a lot more than it would in a negative bias perspective. Majority of science classes today are taught in the negative bias perspective. This can be good at times because it is interesting learning in the negative bias perspective. But in the positive bias, you can talk about what you believe in with others and speak your mind.

Question 13.3.c)   What is your view on this controversy?

Scandalous

            I do not really mind that there are science classes that are a part of the negative bias because I know where I stand spiritually with God. It would be awesome if there were more classes that were a part of the positive bias because I can talk about God all day if I wanted to. Theistic psychology was worth taking and I enjoyed being in the positive bias because I was never able to do that in any other class before. I hope to see more classes like this because this can be a tool to bring people to God so that they can conjoin with them after they die. At the same time, learning in the negative bias is necessary at times because that is just the way the world works today. I am glad that I was a part of a class that was based on the positive bias. Who knows, I might not have an opportunity like this again in my lifetime.

Question 13.9.a) Why is it important for God to talk to or communicate with human beings?

Help me!

            God has many reasons why He communicates with us humans. One of the reasons is that He wants to show us that He has all of the power and that He can help us through any problems that we might be going through. God also communicates with us because He wants us to conjoin with Him after we die in the time space. God wants us to have a relationship with Him so that we can tell others about His great works. God is an awesome God and there are people in today’s society that do not even know who He is. It is up to us to tell others about what God can do for all of us. Another reason why He communicates with us is that He helps us make the right decisions in life. It is our responsibility to pray to Him and ask for guidance. If we do not do this, we are in big trouble!

My communication with God

            I have to admit, I am not the greatest at keeping in touch with God daily. I go to church twice a week and sometimes that is the only time that I will actually try to get touched from Him. It is hard for me because I am always busy with school, work, and even church leadership. It is not easy being a Christian because you want to do things of the world but you know it’s wrong. This is the major test that God gives us in life. After taking theistic psychology, I have gotten closer with God because I would actually pray about what I should say in my oral presentations and to be a good example towards other. Communicating with God is the best thing you can do in life because He helps you in any situation no matter what.

Question 13.9.b)   What does God intend to talk to us about?  Why?

The message

            The main message that God is trying to tell us in life is that we need to follow Him in order to conjoin with Him after we die. He wants us to live a life of pure behavior so that we will not spend an eternity in Hell. God does not like watching people go to hell because they will be going through pain and death for eternity. He is heart broken by this and wants everyone to see that He is the light. He is a God like no other. He is not a god that is made out of gold and has to have food presented towards it; He is a God that has all of the power in the universe. He created the universe and every single one of us. He has a plan for us and we have to listen to God for what that plan is and than follow His path so that we can fulfill it.

My message

            I know that God has a plan for me and I am willing to follow it. God has provided so much for me in my life. I have always wanted to play drums ever since I was a young child, and I can never stop playing thanks to God. He has blessed me with a scholarship at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The requirement for my scholarship is to do what I love, and that is playing drums. Words cannot explain how great God is to me. I would not be here if it wasn’t for Him. I am still following God stronger than ever even though I might stumble at times, He picks me up and shows me that I can get through anything with His help.

Question 13.9.c)   How does God talk to us or communicate with us?

How does He do that?

            There are two ways that God can communicate with us. The first way is from Sacred Scripture. Sacred Scripture is a text that is sort of like a guideline for us in life. It is important for us to read Sacred Scripture daily so that we can understand what God wants us to do. It may be challenging at times to understand because it was written so long ago that the stories were based in that time era. Sacred Scripture has so many hidden meaning in it that we can get something new from it everyday. Christians use the Bible as their Sacred Scripture. Christians read this daily and use it in church so that everyone can learn what the main point in the message is all about.

Plan B

            The second way God can communicate with us is through our conscience. God tells us what is good from bad and makes sure that we know that through our feelings. God speaks to us through Divine Speech and that is important to remember because there are people in today’s society that are just ignoring God’s plan. He is trying so hard to communicate with us through our conscience and Sacred Scripture, but we are too busy doing our own things in life. God wants us to know that He loves us and that He wants us to conjoin with Him after we die, but some of us just do not listen and ignore what He has to say.

Question 13.9.d)  Is there anything relevant you’d like to say about your relationship to your conscience and to sacred scripture?

Where I stand

            I have to admit, I am not a perfect person and it is hard for me to pray everyday and to read the bible. But I try my hardest and I make sure that I do not get caught up with what is in the world. I know that God has all of the power and that He has a plan for me in life. I go through struggle in life but that is reality to me and I look towards God when I need help through that struggle. Theistic psychology has taught a lot about God and I appreciated this class so much because I have never taken a college course that was based on God! I will never take this class for granted and I am looking forward to telling others about how God can save them and that He has a plan for every one of them no matter what they are going through. I am glad that I took this course and I hope that it will be worth it for you too.