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DOCTRINE OF THE WIFE NOTES

Date: 1985-2004

Part 2--Spiritual Genes and Marriage

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3

Related Articles:

Doctrine of the Wife  || Spiritual Geography--Part 2: Jacob's Ladder and Other Psycho-Dynamic Applications|| Spiritual Geography--Part 1-- Graphic Maps of Consciousness for Regeneration || Dual Citizenship || Spiritual Psychology  || Spiritual Time and Space || De Hemelsche Leer Article || Theistic Science || Religious Psychology || Discrete Degrees: A Top Down Presentation (Ian Thompson)

CONTENTS

Spiritual Genes
Husband's Voluntary Self-Subordination to Wife in Inner Things
Internal and External Marriage

 

Date: Thu., 14 Mar 1996 02:16:00 -1000
To: leon@hawaii.edu

Subject: Doctrine of the Wife

Hi Leon:
One of the problems I have had with the Writings of Swedenborg is the strict division of the male/female natures which at first glance seems to subjugate women to a lesser role both academically and vocationally. One would be that single women would seem to be "incomplete" in their logical abilities, and men incomplete in their ability to love, and interpret lovingly, life seen from this "logic/academic" stance. Can you further enlighten me (with references) if these issues were addressed in the Writings? Also, what implications are there in your Doctrine of the Wife if the married partners divorce?


Hi, Ruth!

Thanks for writing. I am dividing the answer into sections:

Spiritual Genes:

Are they incomplete mentally and spiritually? Yes. Because we reach our full self only as a couple, which is the unit of life in heavenly states. I tell my daughter and son (now in their 20s) that single men and women ought to aspire to the heavenly state and look forward to it, and prepare for it. In the meantime, they ought to relate to the opposite sex (dates, siblings, parent, extended family, boss, etc.) in a way that helps them prepare or anticipate for the conjugial relationship. In this way those who pass on unmarried will thus be ready to meet and unite with their soul-mate in heaven.

If you look at the psycho-spiritual genes of women and men, you can see that they are mutualities or reciprocities. Men on their own lack inner wisdom and external love. Women on their own lack inner love and outer wisdom. Only as a unit do men and women find what they lack on their own. Swedenborg uses the expression "forensics" to refer to men's inborn tendency to put truth or logic ahead of love, and "domestic" to refer to women's inborn tendency to put love ahead of truth or logic. This corresponds to the diagram.

Does this means that men are logical/rational while women are intuitive/affectional? This is a popular argument for discriminating against women in the workplace, the military, the church, and elsewhere. But it is not accurate or valid. It is motivated by the desire to rule over women, to dominate them, to injure them, and so on. Look at the diagram and you'll see that men and women are both and equally made of the logical/rational (truth) and the intuitive/affectional (good).

Externally women and men can do whatever the other gender can do. A man can be motherly; a woman can be fatherly. A man can be domestic; a woman can be forensic. Equal pay for equal work and equal rights for all. That's the external world of society.

Internally women and men can do nothing whatever which the other gender can do! Internally, meaning spiritually, women are wisdoms covered over with loves, while men are loves covered over with wisdoms, as the diagram clearly shows. Every single thing a woman does internally (spiritually), that is, every decision she makes, every desire she has, every thought she has -- contains this genetic blueprint: inner truth packaged as outer love. Similarly, every single thing a man does internally (spiritually), that is, every decision he makes, every desire he has, every thought he has -- contains this genetic blueprint: inner love packaged as outer wisdom.

Summary: Externally, in the world of society and the law, (A) women and men should have equal rights, and (B) women and men overlap in range of abilities and competence. Internally or Spiritually, women and men are the inverse of each other in every feeling, thought, sensation, and action. The overlap is zero. Women appear as loves within which is inner wisdom, while men appear as wisdoms within which is inner love.

What are consequences of this inner difference between men and women? This topic needs further treatment. To anticipate:

Husband's Voluntary Self-Subordination to Wife in Inner Things:

Husbands ought to comply or go along with their wife in every inner matter between them because wives operate with inner spiritual perception, while husbands are not given this perception. Why? Because otherwise it would never work! Men need this form of control or else they go astray since they have no perception of relationship things: how they affect the wife, how they appear, what goes on inside their motivational structure, and the like. This follows from their spiritual genetic structures, as discussed in the section on Spiritual Genes. Recall from there that women are inner complexities and wisdoms far surpassing that of the husband whose wisdom is relatively external. The inner always surpasses the outer. By this same token, men's loves are stronger, more universal, and deeper than women's loves which are relatively external.

As a result of this spiritual genetic difference, only the wife has clear inner perception of the husband's psycho-dynamics -- how he really feels, what really makes him comfortable or happy, what he is actually ignoring or fearful of, and so on. The wife is a greater expert on the husband than the husband himself! This is the inner meaning of the Adam and Eve story: Adam was lost alone in the Garden (had no perception of relationship things) and God had to give him" an helpmate," meaning a wife who would be given this perception. Adam would now have his happiness, but only in a state of mind where he accepts and loves his wife's sacred leadership role. These gender differences are created and maintained by the Divine for the sake of building and preserving conjugial love.

Men receive plenty of external logic and wisdom ("forensics") so as to combat the forces of earth. Women are given to be spiritual grand-masters by the Divine. The fact that this secret has been unknown or denied by men (gurus, coaches, trainers, saints, leaders, scientists), only proves how delusional men become ("spiritually insane" according to Swedenborg), when they don't agree to have women guide them, but instead, try themselves to rule over women and dominate them.

Everyone is given to learn these things from the Divine through illustration of one's own experience in relationship with women (mothers, sisters, dates, spouses, coworkers). In my case, Diane has been my faithful helpmate for the past 21 years, and it is only the past two years that she has been able to come out of the tortured state I've kept her in, through my refusal to listen to her or let her guide me. (See my confession.) Now at least she can breathe. For years I used to make her cry at least once a day, every day -- through my rigid, male, self-centered, overbearing behaviors. Diane kept wailing: "You have to love me, Leon!" and I kept repeating like a robot: "But I do love you honey! What's wrong with you?" This was her hell for the first two decades of her life with me -- the man whom she adored and adulated to the highest of her strength (that's what I demanded, she says, so she complied!), and for whom she had given up everything, and with whom she was willing to live in hell till God takes her out of it! Talk about one lucky guy -- yet every wife, from her inner core, is prepared to subjugate herself in this way to "her man." It is an inner compulsion.

Internal and External Marriage

Every couple starts as an external union and then moves inward up to the point of resistance. External unions can be happy and civil in appearance and overt style. Couples can agree not to disagree by avoiding or postponing conflictual decisions or activities. These unions can remain external for the duration of the marriage, up to the death of one of them. Or else, they can move inward, in which case conflict is engendered. The conflict can be resolved if the husband voluntarily subordinates himself to the wife's guidance. With the wife's guidance, the marriage then becomes more and more inward and spiritual. The two then become mentally one. (Note: More on this later.)

Couples who have an internal as well as an external marriage will be together in eternity, according to Swedenborg's eyewitness testimony of heaven. They are being regenerated here. However other possibilities occur: marriages in which one is in conjugial love (almost always the wife) but the other is not. In this case the wife will be united to a soul-mate in heaven (not this husband), while the husband...who knows. It depends if he has suffered the Divine to regenerate him in his life here. These factors imply that divorce is always to be avoided unless there are physical or emotional incompatibilities which one cannot stand, or if there is physical abuse or mental torture. Otherwise, one should continue in the marriage and keep on trying. Even if the marriage fails at the end, those who never give up continue their regeneration here, and enter the heavenly state prepared and ready to be conjoined to their true soul mate. Thus, no time or effort is ever lost!


Response from Ruth:
Hi Leon:

What an enlightening message! Having marriage explained that way and especially the woman's role in it MADE MY DAY! I can relate strongly to your own and Diane's struggles with the tendency of males to feel "superior" both in intellect and "decision-making" within a marriage - so I take off my hat to YOU who are one of the real pioneers in acknowledging, but more importantly, APPRECIATING the "wisdom" of love in relationships which a woman has as God-given. In my own case, it was hard to make headway with this concept when married to a man who embraced (at least in the last l0 years of our marriage) an egalitarian role for women and even championed that cause intellectually, but could never have done the about-face which you have accomplished in your marriage. Congratulations, Leon - your wife may also be justly proud of that accomplishment, and I'm sure your marriage has been enriched TREMENDOUSLY.


Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 15:41:43 -1000
To: leon@hawaii.edu

Subject: Doctrine of the Wife

Dear Leon

Just finished reading your article, " Why the Husband Should Be Servant
to the Wife". I must admit, not only was and is my mind blown, by what you
advocate, but no other writing, other than Swedenborg's, Writings, have left such a deep
sense of conviction in my heart and mind, as this.  Thank You!.

I, intend to read and study the remainder of this material and will  I become more at ease with responding, I hope to become more frank, in sharing my own personal, shortcomings, as a failed, husband.

Grateful in Florida,

Gehard

 

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3


Click here to see a List of Swedenborg's Writings

I would be delighted to know your reactions. Please email Leon James

Related Articles:

Doctrine of the Wife ||  Leon's Story of Conjugial Love || Swedenborgian Marriage Handbook for Husbands || Spiritual Geography--Part 2: Jacob's Ladder and Other Psycho-Dynamic Applications|| Spiritual Geography--Part 1-- Graphic Maps of Consciousness for Regeneration || Dual Citizenship || Spiritual Psychology  || Spiritual Time and Space || De Hemelsche Leer Article || Theistic Science || Religious Psychology || Discrete Degrees: A Top Down Presentation (Ian Thompson)


I would be delighted to know your reactions. Please email Leon James

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