Click here to see a List of Swedenborg's Writings

Conjugial Love
& The Psychobiology of Jealousy                     


The Spiritual Psycho-Physiology of Marriage
The Psychobiology of Jealousy
Ten Reasons for the Fall of Marriage
Swedenborgian Marriage Handbook for Husbands
Correspondence on Love
     Love or Lust
     Active Listening in Marriage
     Pellicacy, Sex and Eroticism
Related Topics

The Spiritual Psycho-Physiology of Marriage

Swedenborg describes the spiritual physiology of being married. I have rendered this in two diagrams. Figure 1 shows the mental structure of unmarried men and women and Figure 2 shows the mental structure of married partners.

Ten Reasons for the Fall of Marriage

Here are the indications of The Fall of our Character in today's marriages:

1. When we men reject a higher power than ourselves and have no regard for Divine authority. This makes it impossible for us to listen to our wives' moral wisdom, without which we can only love ourselves. This is the meaning of the Adam and Eve Parable.

2. When we men elevate male feelings above female feelings and above children's feelings. This maintains an inverted (or perverted) order in the world. Female feelings are more interior, more spiritual, more perceptive. The function of this is to give men the motivation, opportunity, and spiritual technology to turn inward. By turning inward through the wife, we men become regenerate husbands -- the old self is inhibited and disarmed, made harmless and inoperative. The new self is the regenerated self. This new husband perceives through his wife, not through himself. He thinks and reasons as if his wife were always present with him, never absent. This is known in correspondences as "one flesh," meaning, one mind-ed-ness.

3. When we men consider the self above all. This forces us into a false reflection of reality. In this state of spiritual insanity, we cannot be regenerated. In other words, we cannot extirpate ourselves from maladaptive interpersonal habits. We continue on a cumulative downward spiral of spiritual insanity called "hell." However, when we acknowledge a higher power than the self, we are faced with the living, saving, redemptive idea of obedience to the Divine. Obedience to the wife's moral integrity and perceptive skills becomes obedience to the Divine. This has been provided from the Divine. It is the Divine Psychotherapy provided for our regeneration from the inherited state of mind called the Fall of Man. This obedience to the wife is our work of character reformation as husbands, that is, our spiritual regeneration -- in other words, our highway to heaven.

4. When we men refuse to care about others' feelings. This keeps us from reforming from within. "We die in our sin", means that our character is not regenerated, but remains evil, or spiritually insane, until death or our passing into the spiritual world. The consequences of entering the spiritual world in an unregenerate state are awful! It brings us to a life composed of the worst kinds of mental states imaginable called "the hells." Swedenborg's eyewitness reports cover many details about hellish mental states. These he called by various terms such as "devils," "satans," "sirens," "evil spirits," "genii," "monsters," "beasts," "wolves," "bats," and many other such negative terms, each of which represents a particular and distinct type of character evil or mental irrationality. These are the miserable states of mind that we choose to remain in forever, compulsed by habit and obsessed with degenerative interests. Swedenborg's observations show that hellish states are on a never ending downward spiral of misery and degeneration. Anyone who takes these observations seriously empower themselves with the mental technology that is powerful enough to motivate them to regenerate!

5. When we men blame women for our own feelings. This maintains us within a male point of view, unable to break out into authenticity and caring. Instead, we can find the manly courage to see our feelings as self-generated rather than wife-generated. As we leave our wife totally blameless, we receive insight from the Divine so that we can perceive how our irrational self brings us to the delusion that we are just reacting to something the wife is doing wrong. This is our delusion: I feel bad because my wife is doing something wrong. When we leave our wife blameless, however, the delusion is lifted and we can correctly and objectively perceive that our bad feelings are self-generated. How? By the way we falsely reason, and by refusing to listen to our wife who is not delusional, who reasons wisely, and loves her husband like herself or more than herself.

6. When we men lack love and caring. This keeps us cold, unable to relate, communicate, empathize and sympathize. Thus, we are incomplete persons. We act like immature children, but much more powerful and wicked. However, we can gain warmth from our wife by loving her and being obedient to her sphere of love and managerial leadership in the partnership. The more we men put ourselves in congruence or harmony with the sphere of our wife, the more we grow warm, hot, passionate, romantic, idealistic, noble -- in short, real men.

7. When we men insist on male dominance. This makes us harsh, cruel, and mean, thus, unattractive and difficult to live with and be liked. Instead, if we let women determine our style of interaction, we men turn attractive, easy to get along with, and fun to be with. As husbands we can become our wife's best friend and lover at the same time!

8. When we men are single-mindedly full of logic-truth as against love-truth. This insures that we remain in an external state unable to rid ourselves of our inherited and acquired evils in our character and mental make-up. However when we adopt and model and love the kind of truth called love-truth, then we come into congruence and harmony with our wife's mental or spiritual sphere.

9. When we men elevate the desire to dominate above all other desires or motives. This shuts off any possibility for reform and change. This desire to dominate, Swedenborg calls "man's ruling love." Though women also inherit this character problem, the mechanism for their reformation is different than ours (to be discussed elsewhere). We men give in to this love of ruling on both a conscious and sub-conscious level. At the conscious level, we feel superior to women in general. At the sub-conscious level, society gives us an automatic advantage by favoring men over women in a multiplicity of ways -- by the way we talk and act all the time. Obeying the wife's desires gives us men the ability to dismantle our inherited desire to dominate women at any cost. To dominate women means things like this: who gets to choose the topic, the focus, and the style of verbal exchanges; or, whose idea gets to be carried out in most of their decisions and activities. If it is the man, then he is ruling over her. If it is the woman, then he is behaving like a true husband.

10. When we men minimize the desire to conjoin ourselves inwardly or mentally with our wife. This prevents the internal marriage, or conjugial, from becoming actual in our lives. Husbands may feel proud and protective of their wife, which is good, but it is not enough. At first we want to protect our wife from others for our own sake, such as out of pride or jealousy. This is an external relationship or conjunction with the wife. And the relationship remains external, with lots of unpleasant and desperate symptoms, until the husband makes it a priority in his mind to to conjoin himself inwardly with his wife. With a desire for inward conjunction, we can acquire the habit of behaving so as never to exit from the wife's sphere of mental or spiritual influence. This means that her thoughts and ways of reasoning, and her affections and styles of acting, are automatically and pleasantly induced upon the husband. Their two spheres now overlap in harmony and produce that wonderful heaven called conjugial love.

Are you ready to see a list of 100 bad behaviors we do to control our wife and suffocate her?  Click here.   Or would you prefer to see my confession story as a husband?  Then click here.


Conjugial Love

CL 360. It shall now be told how love, when attacked, is enkindled and inflamed into zeal, as fire is enkindled into a flame. Love resides in man's will; but it is enkindled, not in the will, but in the understanding. In the will it is like fire, and in the understanding like a flame. In the will, love knows nothing about itself, for there it has no sensation of itself; nor does it there act of itself. Sensation and action are effected in the understanding and its thought. Therefore, when love is attacked, it rouses itself to anger in the understanding, this being done by means of various reasonings. These reasonings are like sticks of wood which the fire kindles and which then burn. Thus they are like so much fuel or so much combustible material from which comes the above-mentioned spiritual flame, of which there is much variety.

CL 361. The reason why a man is on fire when his love is attacked shall now be disclosed. From its creation, the human form in its inmosts is a form of love and wisdom. In man, all affections of love and thence all perceptions of wisdom are arranged in most perfect order so that together they make a unanimous whole and thus a one. These affections and perceptions are substantiate, substances being their subjects. Since, therefore, the human form is composed of them, it is plain that if the love is attacked, then, in an instant or simultaneously, the whole form is attacked together with each and every thing therein. From creation it is implanted in all living things to will to remain in their own form. Therefore the whole structure wills this from its several parts, and the parts from the whole. Hence, when the love is attacked, it defends itself by its understanding, and the understanding by things rational and imaginative whereby it represents to itself the outcome; and, more especially, by those things which make one with the love which is attacked. Were this not done, the whole form would fall asunder because of the loss of that love. [2] Hence then it is, that in order to resist attacks, love hardens the substances of its form and erects them into crests, as it were, being so many pricks; that is to say, it bristles up. Such is that exasperation of love which is called zeal. Therefore, if there is no opportunity to resist, anxiety arises, and grief; for the love foresees the extinction of its interior life together with the delights thereof. On the other hand, if the love is favored and soothed, the form relaxes, softens, dilates; and the substances of the form become smooth, bland, gentle, and alluring.

CL 362. III. THAT A MAN'S ZEAL IS SUCH AS HIS LOVE IS, THUS OF ONE KIND WITH HIM WHOSE LOVE IS GOOD, AND OF ANOTHER WITH HIM WHOSE LOVE IS EVIL. Since zeal is the zeal of love, it follows that it is such as the love is; and since in general there are two loves, the love of good and thence of truth, and the love of evil and thence of falsity, therefore, in general, there is a zeal for good and thence for truth, and a zeal for evil and thence for falsity. It should be known, however, that both loves are of infinite variety. This is manifestly evident from the angels of heaven and the spirits of hell. In the spiritual world, both the latter and the former are forms of their love, and yet there is not a single angel of heaven or a single spirit of hell absolutely like any other as to face, speech, walk, gesture, or manner, nor indeed can there be to all eternity, howsoever many the myriads of myriads into which they may be multiplied. Such being the case with the forms of love, it is evident that the loves themselves are of infinite variety. It is the same with zeal, zeal being the zeal of love; that is to say, the zeal of one cannot be absolutely like or the same as the zeal of another. In general, there is the zeal of good love and the zeal of evil love.

CL 363. IV. THAT IN OUTER MANIFESTATION, THE ZEAL OF A GOOD LOVE AND THE ZEAL OF AN EVIL LOVE ARE ALIKE, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE WHOLLY UNLIKE. With every man, zeal in its outer manifestation appears as anger and wrath; for it is love enkindled and inflamed for the protection of itself against a violator and for the removal of that violator. The reason why the zeal of a good love and the zeal of an evil love appear alike in outer manifestation is because in both cases, when there is love in the zeal, it is in flames; but with a good man, it is in flames only in its outer manifestation, while with an evil man, it is in flames both outwardly and inwardly; and when the internals are not seen, the zeals appear alike in their outer manifestation. That inwardly they are wholly unlike will be seen in the article next following. That in its outer manifestation zeal appears like anger and wrath, can be seen and heard in all cases when men speak and act from zeal. When a priest, for instance, preaches from zeal, the sound of his voice is loud, vehement, sharp, and harsh, he grows hot in the face and perspires, towers up, beats the pulpit, and calls forth fire from hell against evil-doers. Many others act in a similar way.

CL 364. In order to acquire a distinct idea of zeal with the good and with the evil, and of their dissimilarity, it is necessary to form some idea respecting internals and externals with men. That this may be formed, take the idea of the vulgar respecting them, for this is for the common people also. The matter can then be illustrated by nuts or almonds and their kernels. With the good, the internals are like inner kernels, in all their perfection and goodness, enclosed in their usual and natural shell. With the evil it is altogether different. Their internals are like kernels, either inedible because of their bitterness, or rotted or worm-eaten; but their externals are like coverings or shells, either like their natural shells, or reddish like shell-fish, or many-hued like iris stones. Such is their external appearance within which lie concealed the internals mentioned above. It is the same with their zeal.

CL 365. V. THAT INWARDLY IN THE ZEAL OF A GOOD LOVE LIE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, BUT INWARDLY IN THE ZEAL OF AN EVIL LOVE LIE HATRED AND REVENGE. It was said that in outer manifestation zeal appears as anger and wrath, both with those who are in a good love and with those who are in an evil; but because the internals differ, the anger and wrath also differ. The differences are: I. The zeal of a good love is as a heavenly flame which never bursts out against another but only defends itself; and its defense against an evil man is as a defense while the latter is rushing into the fire and being burned. But the zeal of an evil love is like an infernal flame which bursts out of itself and rushes upon another and wills to consume him. 2. The zeal of a good love instantly dies down and becomes mild when the assailant withdraws from the attack; but the zeal of an evil love persists and is not extinguished. 3. The reason is because the internal of him who is in the love of good is in itself mild, bland, friendly, and benevolent. Therefore, while, for the purpose of defending itself, his external is rough, bristles up, and erects itself and so acts with severity, yet it is tempered by means of the good in which is his internal. Not so with the evil. With them the internal is inimical, fierce, hard, breathing hatred and revenge, and it feeds itself on the delights of these passions. Even hen there is reconciliation these passions are still latent, like fire in the embers beneath the ashes; and these fires break out, if not in this world yet after death.

CL 366. Because in outer manifestation zeal with a good man and zeal with an evil appear to be alike; and because the ultimate sense of the word consists of correspondences and appearances; therefore, in the word it is often said of Jehovah, that He is angry, is wrathful, avenges, punishes, casts into hell, besides many other expressions which are the appearances of zeal in its outer manifestation. For the same reason, He is called jealous, when yet in Him is not the least shade of anger, wrath, and vengeance, He being mercy, grace, and clemency itself, thus good itself, in Whom nothing of the kind is possible. But of these matters, see more in the work on HEAVEN AND HELL, nos. 545-50, and in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, nos. 494, 498, 525, 714, 806.

CL 367. VI. THAT THE ZEAL OF CONJUGIAL LOVE IS CALLED JEALOUSY. The zeal for love truly conjugial is the zeal of zeals inasmuch as the love is the love of loves, and its delights, for which also it is zealous, the delights of delights; for, as shown above [no. 64], that love is the chief of all loves. The reason is because that love induces on the wife the form of love, and on the husband the form of wisdom, and from these forms united into a one, nothing else can proceed but what savors of wisdom and at the same time of love. Since the zeal of conjugial love is the zeal of zeals, therefore it is called by a new name, zelotypia,* in that it is the very type of zeal.

CL 368. VII. THAT JEALOUSY IS AS A FIRE BLAZING OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO MOLEST THE LOVE WITH THE PARTNER; AND THAT IT IS A DREADFUL FEAR FOR THE LOSS OF THAT LOVE. Here the jealousy of those who are in spiritual love with their partner is treated of; in the following article, the jealousy of those who are in natural love; and after that, the jealousy of those who are in love truly conjugial. With those who are in spiritual love there are various jealousies because various loves, for there is not a single love, whether spiritual or natural, which is ever the same with any two persons, still less with many. [2] That spiritual jealousy, that is, jealousy with the spiritual, is as a fire blazing out against those who molest their conjugial love, is because with them the principle or beginning of that love is in the internals of each partner, and from its principle, their love follows the principiates to their ultimates; and from these, and at the same time from firsts, the intermediates which are of the mind and body are held in lovely connection. In their marriage, such persons, being spiritual, look to union as an end, and therein to spiritual rest and its amenities. Now because they have rejected disunion from their animus, their jealousy is like a fire stirred up and darting out against those who molest. [3] It is also as a dreadful fear, because the intention of their spiritual love is that they be a one, and if there exists a falling away, or if an appearance of separation occurs, there comes fear--a dreadful fear, as when two parts which are united together are being torn asunder. This description of jealousy was given me from heaven by those who are in spiritual conjugial love; for there is natural conjugial love, spiritual conjugial love, and celestial conjugial love. As to the natural and celestial, and their jealousy, these shall be spoken of in the two articles which now follow.

CL 369. VIII. THAT JEALOUSY IS SPIRITUAL WITH MONOGAMISTS,AND NATURAL WITH POLYGAMISTS. That jealousy is spiritual with monogamists is because they alone can receive spiritual conjugial love, as abundantly shown above. It is said there is spiritual jealousy with monogamists, but what is meant is that it is possible; for in the Christian world, where marriages are monogamous, it exists with very few. Yet, that it is possible there, has also been confirmed above. That with polygamists conjugial love is natural may be seen in the chapter on Polygamy (nos. 345-47); so likewise their jealousy, for this follows their love. [2] As to the nature of the jealousy of polygamists, we learn concerning this from the accounts of men who have witnessed it among orientals. These men relate that wives and concubines are guarded like captives in prisons, and are held back and restrained from all communication with men; that no man is allowed to enter the women's apartments or the rooms wherein they are confined, unless accompanied by a eunuch; that close observation is made as to whether any of the women look at a passing man with lascivious eyes or countenance, and that if this is observed the woman is punished with stripes, and if she practices lewdness with any man introduced into the outer room by stealth, or outside the harem, she is punished with death.

CL 370. The above illustrates the nature of the jealous fire into which polygamous conjugial love breaks out--a fire breaking out into anger and revenge, into anger in the case of the meek, and into revenge in the case of the fierce. This is because their love is natural and does not partake of what is spiritual. This follows from what was demonstrated in the chapter on Polygamy, namely, that polygamy is lasciviousness (no. 345), and that a polygamist, so long as he remains a polygamist, is natural and cannot become spiritual (no. 347). With natural monogamists, the jealous fire is different. Their love is not inflamed in this way against the women but against the violators. Against the latter it becomes anger, and against the former cold. Not so with polygamists. Moreover, the fire of their jealousy burns with vengeful fury. This also is among the reasons why after death the concubines and wives of polygamists are for the most part set free, and are assigned to unguarded women's apartments, there to make various things which pertain to women's work.

CL 371. IX. THAT WITH MARRIED PARTNERS WHO TENDERLY LOVE EACH OTHER, JEALOUSY IS A JUST GRIEF FROM SOUND REASON, LEST THEIR CONJUGIAL LOVE BE DIVIDED AND THUS PERISH. Within all love is fear and grief, fear lest it perish, and grief if it does perish. There is the like fear and grief in conjugial love, but the fear and grief of this love is called zeal or jealousy. That with partners who tenderly love each other this zeal is just and from sound reason, is because it is at the same time fear for the loss of eternal felicity, not only his own but also his partner's; and because it is also a protection against adultery. As regards the first point--that it is a just fear for the loss of his own and his partner's eternal felicity--this follows from all that has hitherto been advanced respecting love truly conjugial, and also from the fact that from that love comes the blessedness of their souls, the happiness of their minds, the delight of their bosoms, and the pleasure of their bodies; and because these remain with them to eternity, there is fear for each other's eternal happiness. [As regards the second point]--that the zeal is a just protection against adulteries--this is evident; therefore it is as a fire blazing out against violation and defending itself against it. From this it is evident that one who tenderly loves his partner is also jealous; but the jealousy is just and sane according to the wisdom of the man.

CL 372. It was said that in conjugial love is implanted fear lest it be divided, and grief lest it perish; and that its zeal is like fire directed against violation. Once, when meditating upon this, I asked certain zealous angels respecting the seat of jealousy. They said: "It is in the understanding of the man who receives the love of his partner and loves her in return, and its quality there is according to his wisdom." They also said that jealousy has something in common with honor, which also is within conjugial love, for he who loves his partner also honors her. [2] As to the reason why with a man zeal resides in his understanding, they said: "Conjugial love protects itself by the understanding, as good protects itself by truth. So a wife protects those things which she has in common with the man by her husband. Therefore, zeal is implanted in men, and through men and on account of men, in women." To the question, in what region of the mind does it reside with men, they answered: "In their souls, because it is also a protection against adulteries, and because these are what principally destroy conjugial love. Therefore, in the presence of attempts at its violation, the man's Understanding hardens and becomes as a horn smiting the adulterer."

CL 373. X. THAT WITH MARRIED PARTNERS WHO DO NOT LOVE EACH OTHER, JEALOUSY IS DUE TO MANY CAUSES, AND WITH SOME TO VARIOUS KINDS OF MENTAL SICKNESS. The reasons why married partners who do not mutually love each other are also jealous are principally, honor from potency, fear of dishonoring one's name and also that of one's wife, and dread lest one's domestic affairs be ruined. That men have honor from potency, that is, that from this they wish to be accounted as great men, is well known; for so long as they have this honor, they are as though raised up in their own mind and not shamefaced among men and women. Moreover, to this honor is attached the attribute of bravery, and therefore military officers have it more than others. As to fear of dishonoring one's name and that of one's wife, this makes one with the preceding reason; added to which is the fact that cohabitation with a harlot, and having a brothel in the home, are infamous. That jealousy exists with some lest their domestic affairs be ruined, is because the husband is so greatly disgraced, and mutual duties and services are done away with. With some, however, this jealousy ceases in time and becomes nonexistent, and with some it turns into a mere simulation of love.

CL 374. That with some, jealousy is from various mental sicknesses is no secret in the world; for there are jealous men who continually think of their wives as unfaithful, believing them to be harlots, and this merely on hearing or seeing that they talk amicably with men or about men. There are mental blemishes which induce this infirmity, the first among which is a suspicious fantasy. If long cherished, this brings the mind into societies of like spirits, from which it can be delivered only with difficulty. Jealousy also gives itself added strength in the body, by the serum and thence the blood becoming viscous, tenacious, thick, sluggish, and acrid. Moreover, it is augmented by lack of the virile powers, this rendering the mind unable to be raised above its suspicion; for their presence elevates, and their absence depresses, this absence causing the mind to droop, collapse and languish. It then immerses itself in that fantasy ever more and more until it becomes insane; and this insanity has its outlet in the delight of upbraiding and, so far as allowed, of reviling.

CL 375. Moreover, in certain regions there are families which labor under the sickness of jealousy more than others. By them Wives are imprisoned, tyrannically withheld from converse with men, shut off from the sight of them by windows provided with lattices stretching [from top] to bottom, and are terrified by threats of death if the husband find reason for the suspicion he nurses; besides other hardships which wives there suffer from their jealous husbands. Of this jealousy there are two causes: One is the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church, the other is an intestine lust for revenge.

[2] As regards the first cause--the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church--its effects can be concluded from what has previously been demonstrated, namely, that every one has conjugial love according to the state of the Church with him; and that this love is from the Lord alone because the Church is from Him (nos. 130, 131). Therefore, When men, living and dead, are approached and invoked in place of the Lord, it follows that there is no state of the Church with which conjugial love can act as one, and the less so when men's minds are terrified into that worship by threats of a frightful prison. Hence it comes to pass that their thoughts, and with them their speech, are violently imprisoned and suffocated, and with these suffocated, things flow in which are contrary to the Church or which, if they favor the Church, are imaginary. From all this, nothing else redounds but burning heat for harlots and icy cold for the consort. It is from these two together in one subject that this ungovernable fire of jealousy comes.

[3] As concerns the second cause, namely, an intestine lust for revenge, this entirely inhibits the influx of conjugial love, absorbs it, swallows it up, and turns its delight which is heavenly into the delight of revenge which is infernal; and the nearest object to which it is determined is the wife. Moreover, it is from appearance that the malignity of the atmosphere there, Which is impregnated with the virulent exhalations of the surrounding region, is a subsidiary cause.

CL 376. XI. THAT WITH SOME THERE IS NO JEALOUSY, AND THIS ALSO FROM VARIOUS CAUSES. There are many causes of an absence of jealousy and of a cessation of jealousy. Those especially have no jealousy who make conjugial love to be of no more account than scortatory love, and who at the same time are inglorious, counting a good reputation as of no value. They are not unlike married pimps. Those also have no jealousy who have put it away from a confirmed belief that it troubles the mind and that it is useless to keep watch on a wife; that if watched she is incited, and that therefore it is preferable to shut one's eyes and not even set them looking through the keyhole lest something be detected by the sight. Some have put it away on account of the stigma attached to the name jealousy, thinking that a man who is a man fears nothing. Some have been driven to put it away lest their domestic affairs be ruined, and also, lest they incur public censure were the wife to be convicted of the lewdness of which she is guilty. Furthermore, With men who, being themselves impotent, grant license to their wives in order to raise up children for the sake of their inheritance; also with men who do this for the sake of gain, and so on, jealousy recedes until it wholly disappears. There are also scortatory marriages in which, by mutual consent, both parties are given license to practice venery; yet they meet each other with a civil countenance.

CL 377. XII. THAT THERE IS JEALOUSY ALSO FOR MISTRESSES, BUT IT IS NOT OF THE SAME NATURE AS FOR WIVES. With man, jealousy for wives springs from inmosts, but jealousy for mistresses from outmosts. Therefore they differ in kind. That jealousy for wives springs from inmosts is because in inmosts resides conjugial love; and it resides there because, by reason of its eternal pact established by covenant, and also by reason of equality of right, in that what belongs to the one partner belongs to the other, marriage unites souls and binds minds together more deeply. This binding and union, once imposed, remains unbroken, whatsoever be the later love between them, whether warm or cold. [2] Thence it is, that invitation to love by a wife chills the whole man from inmosts to ultimates, while invitation to love by a mistress does not thus chill the lover. To jealousy for a wife is added ambition for a good name for the sake of honor, while jealousy for a mistress lacks this accessory. Yet both these jealousies vary according to the seat of the love received from the wife, and of that received from the mistress, and at the same time, according to the state of the judgment of the man receiving it.

CL 378. XIII. THAT THERE IS JEALOUSY ALSO WITH BEASTS AND BIRDS. That it exists with wild beasts, such as lions, tigers, bears, etc., when with their young, is well known; and also with bulls, even when there are no calves with them, and most conspicuously in cocks which fight with rivals for their hens, even to the death. The reason why these latter have such jealousy is because they are vainglorious lovers, and the glory of that kind of love does not brook an equal. That they are vainglorious lovers above every other genus and species of birds is apparent from their carriage, their nod, their gait, and their crowing. That with men, whether lovers or not, the glory of honor induces jealousy and exalts and sharpens it, has been confirmed above.

CL 379. XIV. THAT JEALOUSY WITH MEN AND HUSBANDS IS DIFFERENT FROM JEALOUSY WITH WOMEN AND WIVES. The differences, however, cannot be distinctly set forth; for with married partners, jealousy is of one kind with those who love each other spiritually, of another with those who love each other only naturally, of another with those who are of dissident minds, and of another with one who has subjected the other to the yoke of obedience. Considered in themselves, manly and wifely jealousy are different, being from different origins. The origin of manly jealousy is in the understanding, but that of wifely jealousy is in the will applied to the understanding of their men. Therefore, manly jealousy is as a flame of wrath and anger, but wifely jealousy is as a fire restrained by a variety of fears, a variety of attitudes to the husband, a variety of regards to her own love, and a variety in her prudence in not disclosing this love to the husband by jealousy. These two kinds of jealousy are distinguished, because wives are loves and men are recipients; and to wives it is obnoxious to be prodigal* of their love before their men, but not so to the recipients of that love before their wives. It is different with the spiritual. [2] With these, the man's jealousy is transferred to the wife, just as the wife's love is transferred to the man. Therefore, in both, the jealousy against the attempts of a violator appears to be the same; but the Wife's jealousy against the attempts of a harlot violator is inspired in the man as grief weeping and moving the conscience.

Swedenborgian Marriage Handbook
for Husbands

As seen and understood by Leon James

Afffirmative Action for Husbands || Leon's Case History || Doctrine of the Wife: Part 1 || Doctrine of the Wife: Part 2  || Spiritual Genes and Marriage || Husbands Confess Here || Husband's Voluntary Self-Subordination to Wife in Inner Things || Inventory of Bad Behaviors || Affirmative Action for Husbands || Psychobiology of Marriage || Conjugial Love || Gender Genes || Gender Words || Spiritual Causes of Divorce ||

See also Odhner's article on Sexual Equality in the Bible

I would be delighted to know your reactions. Please e-mail me now.

Correspondence on Love

 Love or Lust?
 Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 07:57:46 -1000
 Subject: "From your leon.html File"
 Dear Mr James,
         I was discussing with a friend the topic of love, which my friend does
 not believe in.  He believes that love is simply a passion that lasts
 longer(or a lust).  He makes the claim that there is no definition,
 therefore love cannot exist.  Also, love is a word and an invention by
 man, therefore, it does not exist.  His main argument is that there is
 no love that isn't just a bigger form of lust or passion.  In other
 words, love does not exist because if it did over 50% of couples
 wouldn't get divorced in the United States and people would not be
         So if you get the time I would truly appreciate your thoughts on love
 and the meaning of it, as well as how we can see it in each other,
 society, and in all things.  And see it not as lust or passion, but as
 love.  Any reply would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you.

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 10:19:09 -1000
 From: Leon James 
 Subject: Love
 Hi Christopher, You asked about how to formulate a counter-argument
 to your friend's denial of the existence of love. Here is what I would
 1) We are not living from ourselves but from God, who is pure Love and who
 has created the universe out of the substance of Love.  This substance is
 the primary substance and contains all other substances and matters.  That
 is, all things are made out of Love.
 2) The source of Love is the Spiritual Sun from which streams forth
 spiritual heat (which is Love) and spiritual light (which is truth).
 These two substances stream forth from the spiritual sun and create and
 animate all things.  The spiritual sun is the sphere that surrounds God
 and is God.
 3) Just as the physical sun (which is from the spiritual sun) enters and
 animates things on earth and make up the matter of all things on earth,
 the spiritual heat (or Love) and the spiritual light (or Truth) stream
 from the spiritual sun into our soul or spirit or mind (as you wish).
 Thus our loves and our true thoughts are made up of these two substances.
 4) Each individual is created a unique receptor of Love and Truth
 streaming into the mind.  Thus each individual personalizes and adapts and
 transforms the Love and Truth, resulting in unique personalities and
 characters.  In other words, we pick and choose and convert and retain
 only what we desire and want and prefer.  This accumulation is our
 character, or our spiritual body, and is what lives after the death of the
 body.  About 30 hours after the body dies, you wake up in your spiritual
 body in the spiritual world where you can see the spiritual sun with your
 eyes.  Your life then is fully determined by your character or spiritual 
 body--what you have gathered to yourself while in the body--all the
 thoughts and feelings you've chosen to be with and conjoin with as your
 5) As Love streams into us (the affective organ, or will), and creates our
 unique feelings, emotions, and passions, so does Truths stream into us
 (the cognitive organ, or understanding), and create our unique thoughts,
 ideas, and reasonings.  Thus each of us has the freedom to alter and
 modify and concentrate on aspects of Love and Truths, as well as CHANGE,
 DEFORM, AND ADULTERATE them, rendering them into their exact opposite
 within us.  Thus, as Loves and Truths stream into our mind from the
 spiritual sun, we have the freedom to change them into their opposites.
 Thus they become hatreds, selfishnesses, vengeances, lusts, cupidities,
 and cruelties; as well as falsities, lies, appearances, contradictions,
 and delusions.


There is Love and Truth, and we all receive it from the Divine every
 second.  But we can pervert and turn them into opposite feelings and
 These points are explained and proven by E. Swedenborg--whom you can study
 from the materials on my Site.  Hope this helps.  Please let me know how
 your friend (and yourself) react to these ideas.  Take care!
 Leon James

Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:03:31 -1000
Subject: For A Successful Marriage, Listen To Your Wife
Leon, here's something from the Reuters news line to support your Doctrine of the Wife. Byron

Friday February 20 6:32 AM EST

For A Successful Marriage, Listen To Your Wife

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Men who want their marriages to succeed should just do what their wives suggest, psychologists say.

John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington, and colleagues said advice to engage in "active listening" and other interactive ways to resolve differences may be on the wrong track.

They said couples who tried to follow such trendy advice did not have fewer divorces.

"This was the biggest revelation we've had about how conflicts are best resolved in successful marriages," Gottman said in a statement.

"Our analysis suggested that active listening occurred very infrequently in marital conflict resolution and its use didn't predict marital success."

Gottman's team followed 130 newlyweds for six years, tracking how they handled disagreement. Many tried the "active listening" model, which calls in part for each person to re-phrase what the other has said and to indicate they are listening with responses such as "I hear what you are saying".

They compared these couples to couples followed in an older study in which successful marriages were followed for 13 years. They found the people who stayed together almost never used such listening techniques.

Gottman said this was because "active listening" was unnatural. "Asking that of couples is like requiring emotional gymnastics," he said.

Instead, the marriages that seemed to work had one thing in common -- the husband was willing to be influenced by his wife.

"We found that only those newlywed men who are accepting of influence from their wives are winding up in happy, stable marriages," Gottman said.

"Getting husbands to share power with their wives by accepting some of the demands she makes is critical to helping to resolve conflict."

The best predictors of divorce were what Gottman called the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 03:15:11 -1000
 To: Leon James 
 Subject: Re: Love
 Dr. James,
         Thank you very much for your thoughts on love, I greatly appreciate it.
 It was weird, because I assumed that everybody had an idea of what love
 was, and for someone to say that there "is no love" was kind of unexpected.
  So I thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my question.

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 06:54:58 -1000
 To: Leon James 
 Subject: Re: Love
 Have a question Doc.
            I wrote to you earlier on the existence of love, to which you gave a
 reply.  Reading your return letter I noticed that you wrote that everybody
 has a spiritual body and how we are when we die is how we will be for all
 eternity.  In other words, life and experiences are important because they
 teach us to live in the afterlife.  My pastor has talked about this many
 times before when "preaching" and I asked him the same question I will ask
            I asked him what happens to young children who die and don't have a chance
 to ever learn about spirituality?  My pastor said that although the death
 is sad, many times it raises the belief systems of many others.  For
 example: last year a young girl died  after being hit by a drunk driver
 around where my church is.  Although her death was very sad and
 unfortunate, the place where she died became kind of a holy spot. All of
 her friends from school would come and hold hands while they prayed, lay
 flowers and gifts, making a little shrine. Now I agree that it showed a lot
 of faith and love for her friends to do that and brought a love greater
 between all of them, but what about her?  This girl wasn't even fifteen
 years old, how will she ever be able to live in an afterlife where growth
 and experience are what counts?  She had no time to live and to learn.  
            My pastor beat around the bush with this question and never actually
 answered me, so I decided I would ask you:)  If a young child dies while
 they are being born what happens to them?  If someone never believes
 because there are so many philosophies and religions, what happens to them?
  If someone never believes because they have never known about it, like a
 young african boy living in the jungle all of his life, what happens to him?
            A lot of people say that if you don't believe you go to
 hell...bang...that's it.  But I don't see a rational being doing that.  I
 see a rational being looking at the life that this person has led and
 seeing the difficulties and heartaches.  How can someone say "you are going
 to hell" because you don't believe?  That doesn't sound like a very loving
 God to me?
            Well, if you get the time I would appreciate an answer. Thank you for your

From Wed Oct 29 14:03:39 1997
 Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 12:07:03 -1000
 From: Leon James 
 Subject: Re: Love
 Hi Christopher!  You asked two questions:  What happens to children
 who die? and why would God condemn people to hell just because they made
 Swedenborg has answers to both of these and they make a lot of sense, so I
 shall transmit them to you.  First, all children who die before the age of
 reason or adulthood (this being a range...), are awakened within 36 hours
 in the spiritual world (as everyone else is), and are taken charge of by
 loving women who live as angels in heaven and desire to nurture children.
 Education and special supervised experiences are given them until they
 grow to adulthood, or around age 17, and are then married to others who
 have also grown up in the spiritual world.  As couples they thus live to
 eternity in their heaven along with others from earth who passed on at all
 ages, but all appear to be young adults in their prime of youth, beauty,
 and wisdom.  This is the reason that I do not feel sad when a child dies,
 knowing its fate which is wonderful!!  Many people who pass on as adults
 betake themselves to hell and live there, only some to heaven.  However,
 ALL children who pass on are led successfully to heaven.  Great, yeah?
 Second, the Lord does not punish and condemn people to hell on account of
 their sins or mistakes.  You need to understand that our moment by moment
 daily life and decisions (what we say, what we think, what we favor, what
 we practice, what we acquiesce to, etc.) create our mind or spirit in a
 gradual growth process, just like the body is created by food and
 exercise.  When you pass on, you are given the opportunity to visit all
 sorts of heavens.  However you need to understand that heaven is a state
 of mind--you breath and live and think and feel heavenly atmospheres.  So
 you can live in heaven only if your mind or spirit has been fashioned (by
 your daily decisions) to breathe that atmosphere, which is an atmosphere
 of love and wisdom and obedience to the Lord's Order, the Lord's Thoughts,
 the Lord's Love. 
 You can see that people who develop a selfish or dishonest way of thinking
 and acting develop a mind or spirit who can live only in atmospheres that
 are made of these selfish things and dishonest things.  Thus when they're
 given the chance to visit heavenly atmoshpheres (or "cities"), they cannot
 breathe and experience extreme torture as if they're going to swoon and
 die (like a fish in the atmosphere, or like a bird caught under water).
 Swedenborg witnessed this many times. Hence, they willingly betake
 themselves to "hellish" atmospheres (or "cities"), where they live their
 eternal life out in company with like-minded people or spirits.  As
 Swedenborg describes them there, they're not to be envied!  Yet it's their
 choice and the Lord cannot change this despite His Omnipoence and His
 Perfect Love, since to remove  their current desires, motives, and
 concepts would be to render them lifeless,  like a statue.  Hence the Lord
 lovingly cares for them in hell, providing angelic Overseers or Governors,
 who have the power the punish and compel people there to withold
 themselves from doing evil to their comapnions.
 So as you can see, it is a perfect and loving universe.  Hope this helps
 and stimulates you to read Swedenborg's Writings further.

Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 07:57:43 -1000
 To: Leon James 
 Subject: Re: Love
 Hi there Dr. James.  I have another question for you if you don't mind.  Do
 you?.....good...I didn't think you would:)
            If we are discussing love and spirituality, obviously one major thing that
 brings people closer or makes them hate each other is sex.  I am currently
 chatting with a friend who claims that sex and oral sex are totally
 different, meaning that intercourse is giving more of yourself then oral
 sex.  I personally disagree, because both acts can show love, affection,
 etc. and both basically achieve the same thing.  And since you seem to know
 everything:) about what I ask about love and spirituality, I was wondering
 what your thoughts are.
 Do you think people just say oral sex isn't as
 "bad" as sex so they have an excuse to fool around with everybody, or do
 you think that actual intercourse is an act seperate and more dangerous(or
 better) spiritually and physically?
                                  A reply would be much appreciated,
 p.s. happy?...summed it up nice and short for you.

From Fri Oct 31 11:00:42 1997
 Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 10:52:55 -1000
 From: Leon James 
 Subject: Re: Love
 Hi Christopher,
 From the spiritual perspective, sexual activity is created by God in
 individuals for the purpose of conjoining the minds of a man and a woman
 so that they as a couple, can constitute a full fledged human being.
 All marriages start as external conjunction and grow into internal
 marriage in which there is an external marriage.  However, this requires
 spiritual work on the part of both partners, especially the subjection of
 the man's roving desires to his wife only.  This can be accomplished only
 if you view marriage in its true and holy function, namely the uniting in
 mind of a man and a woman.
 All sexual activity prior to marriage interferes with this spiritual
 effort to be conjoined as one on the inner plane.  However, pre-marital
 sex is not as grave or damaging as adulterous sex, or sex with a married
 partner not your own.  When people are having pre-marital sex, it is
 better to have imposed limits for the sake of marriage than not to have
 any.  Thus, if people make a rule for themselves, such as you mention,
 that they can have one kind of sex (say, oral sex) but not another kind of
 sex (say, intercourse), and they are doing this because they are motivated
 to maintain marriage as special, then I can see that it is better than to
 make no distinctions.
 In general, damaging spiritual acts or decisions, vary along a scale of
 how damaging they are--just like certain diets or poisons are for the
 body.  In the case of oral sex vs. intercourse, what matters is WHY the
 person is choosing to make a distinction.  If the person is motivated by
 spiritual motives, that is, to reduce possible damage, then it's better
 than making no such distinctions.  It's never the act itself that counts
 in the presence of God, but the motive.  It's the motive that has
 spiritual significance, not the act itself.  This is because the act
 itself is external, and is but a consequence of the motive.  The motive is
 the person.  The motive remains in the person forever, and determines the person's condition and fate in the afterlife. 

Active Listening in Marriage
 Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 11:25:03 -1000
  Subject: Appearances and Generalizations (Re: For A Successful Marriage...)

Dear friends,
What is a successful marriage? Would we KNOW one if we saw it? Always??

We probably have some idea of when a marriage is working and when it is not. But appearances can be deceiving. The Lord, through Swedenborg's book Marriage Love (or Conjugial Love) seems to speak directly to the subject currently under discussion here: "There are hellish marriages in the world in which the partners are inwardly bitter enemies and YET OUTWARDLY SEEM LIKE THE CLOSEST OF FRIENDS. Actually, I am forbidden by wives of this sort in the spiritual world to bring the existence of such marriages to public notice... However, being spurred by men in the same world to make known the reasons for their inner hatred and virtual rage against their wives...


I would like simply to present the following reports." "Now because these men wondered theselves why there arose in them such animosity inwardly and such apparent amiability outwardly, they sought the reasons form women who knew the secret art that caused it; and from what those women told them... they learned that women deeply conceal a knowledge within them by which they are able to skillfully tame men IF THEY WISH and make them subject to their command... For they know that the nature of men makes it altogether imporssible for them to withstand the persistent efforts of their wives, and that once men have yielded they then submit themselves to their wives' wishes. At that point, said the men, once the wives have them under their control, they then show their husbands courteous and amiable treatment." WOW! Stong language (I added the emphasis).


And it sounds like the wives are to blame. But God via Swedenborg) continues... "I have also heard justifications from the aforementioned women in the spiritual world as to why they entered into the practice of this art. They said they would not have entered into it except that they foresaw the supreme contempt, future rejection, and therefore utter ruin that lay ahead for them if they were to be beaten down by their husbands. THUS, they said, OUT OF NECESSITY THEY HAD TAKEN UP THESE WEAPONS OF THEIRS." "To this they added the following warning for men, TO LEAVE TO WIVES THEIR RIGHTS, AND WHEN THEY EXPERIENCE PERIODIC STATES OF COLDNESS, NOT TO REGARD THEIR WIVES AS INFERIOR AND TREAT THEM WORSE THAN THEY WOULD SERVANTS." What I get from this is that it is hard to know when a marriage is good and when it is not. On the surface it could look great, but within, it could be "hellish". And the converse is true. So how does this relate to "active listening"? First, the study that concluded that active listening did not "work" was probably limited in its capacity to discern whether or not the marriages under scrutiny were working spiritually.


More importantly, the study (as reported) may have done people working to build a healthy marriage a great disservice by using a term that has become a buzz phrase in our culture without adequately defining it. (which kind of reminds me about recent discussions of translation!) If the husbands who practiced "active listening" in the unsuccessful marriages were simply patronizing their wives, and merely going through the motions of caring, etc., then it's not surprising that the technique failed to work! But the basic problem lies not with the technique, but with their fundamental lack of commitment. As I understand it, active listening is simply a tool whereby one person strives to understand the heart of another. Leon's address tag quotes a powerful teaching that has direct relevance here: "Thoughts are from affections." Affections are from loves. Love is the life of man. So... to truly know another, we must connect with their loves. Often, our main tool is words -- the end of the love/affection/thought chain. And as we all have experienced countless times in our lives and in the pages of this forum, words are often misunderstood. In most human affairs, and most certainly in marriage, these misunderstandings can lead to all manner of pain, anguish, and destruction.


So much of the time, it seems, we begin reacting to another's words without really understanding 1) the actual words they spoke or wrote and/or 2) the affection underlying the thought underlying the words. As a consequence, a lot of energy is consumed and wasted on tangents. (As I write this I am painfully aware that I may be DOING it!!) A lot of this has to do with perception. "We see the world not so much as it is, but AS WE ARE." So many things enter into and affect our perceptions -- our heredity, our mood, our biochemical state... So what can we do? How can we receive from the Lord a "union of two persons in respect to their interiors, which belong to the thought and the will (in which) one ... loves what the other thinks and what the other wills; thus ... to be united to the other, and to become as one person?" (Heavenly Secrets 10169) Lots could be said about that, but in my mind it would all boil down to this: "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind/strength. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF." In marriage, this translates to "Love your partner with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind/strength. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it. You shall love your partner AS YOURSELF.


No one likes or wants to be misunderstood. It's one of the more frustrating experiences we can have in life, especially when there's a strong emotional charge around the issues under discussion (as is often the case in marriage!). How many marriages, friendships, and other relationships fail to reaach their potential because of the cumulative effects of poor communication and misunderstanding? I believe "active listening" (that is, turning off the noise in my own head long enough to hear what my partner is REALLY saying... checking my perception of what my partner has said by paraphrasing and relecting it back with the respectful, sincere question "This is what I heard -- did I understand you correctly?"... and not reacting or responding until I'm certain I understand what it is that my partner is saying or wants me to do...) is a VITAL TOOL. It enables us to deal with reality, using the God-given tool that separates us from animals -- rationality.


James Taylor, in his song "That Lonesome Road" poignantly expressed the need for such communication: "If I had stopped and listened once or twice/If I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes/If I had cooled my head and warmed my heart/I'd not be on this road tonight..." As a divorced person, I believe my first marriage could only have benefited from more active listening on my part. As a re-married person, I am committed to doing more active listening with my partner, not less. And so, for what it's worth, I pray that I and all humanity will learn to do more active listening, not less. With love and humility, Karl E. Parker

Thank you Byron for the newsclip on new findings by psychologists.  A  comment on these two:  "Many tried the "active listening" model, which calls in part for each person to re-phrase what the other has said and to  indicate they are listening with responses such as "I hear what you are  saying".
...and...  Instead, the marriages that seemed to work had one  thing in common -- the husband was willing to be influenced by his wife.  "We found that only those newlywed men who are accepting of influence from  their wives are winding up in happy, stable marriages," Gottman said.
The so-called "active listening" doesn't work because it just becomes   another tool in the husband's arsenal against his wife.  The reason   "obeying your wife" works when "active listening, etc." does not, is  because, as we know from the Writings, that obeying is compelling oneself   in freedom, and that counts for regeneration, while merely communicating > and arguing ("active listening") is not serviceable for regneration for it  is not from the reformed will, but from the old will.

Conjugial Love Stories--Selected Quotations from Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

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