Husbands Confess Here:
Leon James

This is a portion of the Doctrine of the Wife for Husbands (DOW) available at:
http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch11.htm

This document describes the steps I experienced as a husband from the moment I inwardly accepted the idea that marriage is sacred and is the Divine vehicle for creating Angels out of each of us.  This idea came to me through the Writings of Swedenborg.  Swedenborg himself witnessed heaven and the Angelic inhabitants through a special dispensation from the Lord.  Swedenborg was a famous and respected Swedish scientist and theologian--an unusual combination.  I consider him to be the first dualist scientist, which is the name I give for the science of the future, possibly the near future, that acknowledges God as one of its premises, and investigates the Laws of Divine Providence as a scientific focus.  The Laws of Divine Providence are the methods and mechanisms the Lord uses to manage the world and every single event in it.

In Swedenborg's Work called The Divine Providence, we can find a scientific beginning for investigating and describing, and rationally explaining, the Laws of Divine Providence.  This is the true science that leads us into further methodological developments for the establishment of the new dualist science--and this will be a tremendous boom to humankind on earth, and elsewhere.  The pragmatic power of dualist science in comparison to the science of today, is like the difference between a horse (science today) and a truck (dualist science).

This hardly seems likely to those imbued with the ideas of materialistic science.  I know full well because I was trained as a materialistic scientist and when I was a the height of my career in my thirties,   I was a materialistic scientist hardly different from my colleagues.  And if you check my dozens of scientific articles and books, you will see no trace of God anywhere.  But then, in my early forties, I started searching for still deeper things within, and was led by Divine Providence to the Writings of Swedenborg.

Because I was open, and because I had not cultivated an inner belief in science's materialism, I was able to see the perfect rationality of dualist science as established in the Writings of Swedenborg.  I immediately and spontaneously began to modify the concepts of my science which is Psychology.  This Swedenborg Glossary is my attempt to pull together my various efforts in developing conceptual tools for incorporating dualism within science without destroying its current premises.   I do not wish to create a new science.  I think what we have is just fine.   I've been a scientist for over thirty years now and I wouldn't choose any other profession for myself.  I want to protect science, its future and its glory in the service of humankind.  There is a way of bringing God to science without destroying anything already in place in science and its long history of use to humankind.  This long history proves to me that it is the right science because it is the Lord's science.  Divine Providence is leading and directing the minds of every scientist , all the time in every generation.

Now this article focuses on Conjugial Love--the title of one of Swedenborg's Writings.  By regularly studying this Work in my late forties, and throughout my fifties (I am now 60 years old), I have been able to observe, identify, and write down the developmental steps of becoming a reformed husband.  This means, a husband who acknowledges that marriage is sacred and that it is the vehicle used by God to create an eternal Angel out of him. An Angel is the highest form of human character and life.  At death, within a few hours, husbands who have suffered themselves to undergo the steps of character reformation through the wife, assume their young handsome immortal spiritual body and enter their heavenly mansion where the wife is met or awaited, the two then forming a Unity to eternity, in a life of creative use and fun, in a sumptuous celestial city-garden along with other like minded companions.  Read one of Swedenborg's Memorable Relations from his visits with an angel couple.

Marriage is the completion of a person, for by marriage a person becomes a complete person.
(
Swedenborg, CL 156)

Now why do I use this expression "husbands who have suffered themselves to undergo the steps of character reformation through the wife"?

Swedenborg has described the general process of becoming reformed in one's character, a process that is called "regeneration." After pointing to all the obvious evidence for our "fallen nature," we are told that the Lord wants us to know that a way has been made available to us for reforming our fallen human character.  Thus from being born with harmful, selfish, and cruel loves, our character can be healed or transformed into compassionate, altruistic, and rational human beings.  The character is your will, and your will is made of your affections or loves.  Whatever you love, your will does.  Such as your will is at death, such is your character in eternity.  There is no change of direction possible--only ways of getting deeper and deeper into what you love.  Think about it:  if you don't reform your character, you simply end up being it forever.  And then think about this:  we are all born with an evil character, full of selfish cruelty and stupid compulsions.  Unless we reform this fallen character while in this physical body, we remain it.

An Angel of the Lord  has a reformed and regenerated character that can live, breathe, and exist in heavenly states of mind or spirit, united as one with a spouse.  Swedenborg explains the mechanism of healing.  It is not mystical but scientific and rational.  This he does from the Lord and not from himself as Swedenborg.  But unlike earlier prophets in the Old Testament like Moses or Isaiah, Swedenborg is a modern scientist and therefore he presents what is revealed to him as a rational treatise, exactly in the same academic style as other scientists like Leibniz, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, or VonNeuman.   In other words, only rational considerations and factual observations are used to establish a principle or mechanism of operation.  Personal charisma and subjectivity is given zero weight or a negative value.

Swedenborg presents only what he actually observed in the spiritual world when the Lord opened his inner mind to perceive consciously in both the physical and spiritual world.  Remember that our mind is constructed of spiritual organs that produce and contain the organic substances of which our thoughts and feelings are made of.   This is just like the body which is constructed of physical organs that produce and contain the biochemical substances that make up our sensations and move the muscle fibers for our movements.  Similarly, our mental movements or operations, including thinking and feeling, occur by means of the organs of the mind we call the Cognitive organ and the Affective organ.

So now we are born with a mind, or character, or spirit, that is twisted and backward and upside down.  Imagine what such a sweater or shirt would look like, if its fibers were so twisted--it would not be usable as a sweater or shirt, but would merely be a mass of wool or a ball of cotton.  What must you do, having no other choice of sweater or shirt, and the winter coming on?  You must undo or untie and untwist, reverse, pull out and rethread.  that's why I call it "suffering yourself to be reformed" because it is Ouch! and easy to run away from and refuse and just say stubbornly No!  It's easy to refuse to change, like the road that is broad, but hard to change, like the road that is narrow, and the Lord warns that many are those who take the broad highway, and few are those who take the narrow way.

The existence of temptations is known at the present time, but hardly anyone knows their origin and nature or what good they do. I showed just above their origin and nature, as well as what good they do: namely, that when the internal man wins, the external is brought under control. This control brings about the banishing of lusts and the implanting of affections for good and truth in their stead. These are so disposed that, whatever good and truth a person wills and thinks, he also does and speaks from the heart. Moreover, by his victory over the external man a person becomes spiritual, and is then brought by the Lord into the company of angels in heaven, all of whom are spiritual.  (Swedenborg, TCR 597)

The Bible speaks of sin and repentance, without which there is no heavenly life in eternity.  In Swedenborg we find a detailed and scientific explanation of how this Bible truth works in real life.  Sin is the state of the inherited fallen character (believe it, buster!  Inside you can be a beast sometimes, right?  That's the fallen character.)  The fact that at times you can act like an angel might act, does not make you good at all.  It remains an external and impersonal act so long as you allow the beast to come out at times.   Unless you kill off your beast, you become it forever.  How scary, yes?!

So repentance is the work you have to do to change yourself from beast to Angel.  The Lord gives you the map in your understanding and the power in your will:  you must supply the intention to move them.  This is called intentionality.  The Lord will not do it for you for good reasons that pertain to the Laws of Divine Providence--perhaps you can study that book one day.  The point is that without you supplying the effort of your will in some appropriate intention in your life, it would be worse than useless for the Lord to do it for you, despite the lack of your intention.  This is because only what you love belongs to you spiritually, hence eternally.   Whatever you actually love in your life,  is appropriated to you by the Lord to eternity, never to be taken away from you, and thus all your affections or loves remain with you as your very own self or character, forever--bad loves if you are an angel of hell and good loves if you are an angel of heaven.

Bad=selfish;    good=altruistic.

This equation of Divine Providence is necessary because the Lord creates each human being for the sake of others and not for the sake of self.  Every detail of the universe is compelled to follow this law.  So you can see that the Lord cannot make you be a good husband when you want to be bad.  If this were done to you, you would no longer feel free, but moved by God like an automaton--and that's no heaven...

So when you're going to walk out of this place, you are forced to take the way provided--which is either out and down into hell, or out and up to heaven.  If you get curious about this, read some of Swedenborg's eyewitness descriptions of Heaven and Hell.  These are two spiritual states of our mind, as we were created.  The hell in us is reached by pursuing the selfish road; the heaven in us is reached by pursuing the altruistic road.  This is reality.  This is science.  These are the mechanisms.  And so in this article I am describing to you the mechanisms I've observed in my developmental steps of reformation.  This description can help you overcome in your own life if you are willing to apply them.  That's my purpose in providing it--and I thank the Lord for giving me this labor of love to do and experience.

So you see, it is a simple rational idea:  you are created with heaven and hell in you, and you decide by your daily cumulative life choices which state you end up in when you depart from the shell of your material body.  The seemingly easy way is down; the seemingly hard way is up.

It was not so at the beginning of our race on this earth, but it has become so for many many generations now.  As a husband you have a double responsibility: you and your wife.  She is your dependence.  You honor this dependence by becoming her obedience.   In this way both of you consider the other as more important than self.  This is the very state that transforms you into an Angel.  As witnessed by Swedenborg, a conjugial couple in heaven walking towards him appeared to him as one Angel.  But as the Angel came nearer, Swedenborg suddenly saw two Angels, a husband and his wife.   They talked to him.

This spiritual appearance of a married couple in heavenly state appearing as one magnificent Angel of the Lord, is an appearance due to the fact that a conjugial couple is one in mind or spirit.  This absolute unity is symbolized in the spiritual appearance as one Angel.  In the heavenly states of your mind, which are infinite in number and variety, you are being altruistic, and thus you are aligned in harmony with the the Lord's Divine order.  But in the hell states of your mind, you are selfish, and so in dis-harmony with the Lord's order.  This disharmony is experienced subjectively in yourself as hellish thoughts and emotions, which also vary to an endless and horrendous degree.  Swedenborg has described these anti-human states of selfishness as he witnessed them in the hells he was given to visit for the sake of his Writings.  Hey, friend, stay away from those places!!!!!

So you see, what I have witnessed in myself as a scientist corroborates the evidence presented in Conjugial Love and other Works by Swedenborg.   As I speak to you through these lines, or ideas in them, I will use the warning "do this or else you're going to hell" and similar threats.  Don't let your first reaction turn you away from these ideas.  You may rightly have rejected dogmas of your religion because they are false or irrational, and cruel or harsh.  Your mind protected you from imbibing those harmful ideas that lead to intolerance and rejection--the very opposite of altruism, which is heavenly.  But now do not throw out the baby with the bath water.  The Lord has an existence or presence that is not dependent on people's dogmatic beliefs.  And so, get with that, friend.  The Lord has made you, and  has provided for your healing and reformation, so that you may become an Angel person who can spend eternity in the high places of your mind or spirit.  These high places of the human mind are gathering places, or dwelling places, for individuals from all the planets who suffered themselves to be reformed while still in the material body.

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

Everyone is taught from infancy what evil is, and from childhood what the evil of sin is. All youths learn this from parents and teachers, also from the Decalogue (which is the primary instruction given to all within Christendom), also, in their subsequent progress, from preaching at church and instruction at home, and in fullness from the Word; and furthermore from the civil laws of justice, which teach the same things as are taught in the Decalogue and other parts of the Word. For the evil of sin is no other than evil against the neighbor, and evil against the neighbor is also evil against God, which is sin. But recognition of sin effects nothing until a man examines the actions of his life, and sees whether he has secretly or openly done any such thing. Until then, there is nothing but knowledge, and what the preacher then says is a mere sound going in at the left ear and out at the right, and finally it becomes a mere matter of thought and something devout in the breathing, and with many merely imaginative and chimerical. But it is wholly different if man, according to what he recognizes as sin, examines himself, discovers something in himself, says to himself, "This evil is a sin," and from fear of eternal punishment abstains from it. (Swedenborg TCR 525)

And now, let me start with a summary of my states as a husband, and will then continue with details and explanations that ought to help you wrestle your willfulness down, that is your dragon.

The first decade:  foul, foul

My wife did all the accommodating. She says she had no choice. It was an inner dictate. She 'inhaled' my personality, my knowledge, my lifestyle. Everything I did, she did. Everything I justified, she did. Everything I enjoyed, she did. I remained a god unto myself, enshrined in macho righteousness (self-righteousness). I just accepted her becoming 'me' as natural and spiritual, and as inevitable. After all, I was born male and she was merely female. She did all that she could to please me. She took care of my wants and cared about what I cared about. I ignored her cares. I assumed she owed it to me on account of her being a woman and I a man.  I insisted on not giving up my male prerogatives which she had no choice but to honor--or disappear from my life.

On the surface and from outside, I paid lip service to her rights as my wife and honey, but this was more to maintain my good reputation with her and others, than something real that I took to heart and altered in myself.  I did not do this.  I remained a coward, basking in the status quo, exploiting her, and enjoying the exploitation.   How disgusting!!  And yet so normal, so   universal.

The second decade:

I discovered the New Testament (through my wife's gentle urgings) and was converted instantly to Christianity. Now I viewed my marriage as sacred in the Lord. Shortly thereafter the Lord led me to the Writings (in our university library one day, as if by chance...). I was instantly converted to the New Church mentality and so was my wife (we read the Writings together). Now I realized I must change or else I'm going straight to hell! I was scared. My wife tripled her efforts and her zeal became irresistible. She met me in my hell and extirpated me from there. I knew she was my only chance to straighten myself for I could not do it by myself. I struggled and we struggled. One day she said she cannot go on much longer. I have not shown any real evidence that I was really going to change, she said.

She warned me that she was my only chance and not to blow it. I was scared. I begged the Lord. The Lord opened my eyes one day and I came to formulate THE DOCTRINE OF THE WIFE, which is symbolized by God's words to Abraham, "Hearken unto Sarah." It means that the Lord gives the wife perception of the good and truth in her husband, that is, the evil and the false in her husband, and he ought therefore to take heed because she has this special perception directly from the Lord. In other words, the husband does not receive inner wisdom about himself and about conjugial love directly from the Lord but only indirectly, THROUGH the wife.  Friend, don't give yourself a pain about this idea.  Live with it and it will make life easy and blessed for you.   You yourself will advocate this for your sons and friends because it will be easy for you to see how it is true and how it works as a mechanism of Divine Providence.   The wife receives this special perception from the Lord so she can see what affections and strivings lie buried in his mind or spirit.  She then tells the husband what she sees in him, and he then ought to obey her perceptions.  Thus he stays under the blessed protection of the Secret Stream of the Divine Providence that almost imperceptibly carries him to his place in heaven, with her, like the fish and plants in the Gulf Stream are borne south in the balmy river of ocean.

So this became my bottom line:

I have no access to happiness, to heaven, to the Lord except through my wife!

The third decade:

My wife says she is happy with my progress. She has no major complaints. The main thing is that I now see her happiness as my responsibility. Repeat: I now see her happiness as my job! In fact I now see that it is my main and only job here on earth, and all my other jobs are secondary. She is my neighbor in the first place. There used to be "job division" and "equality" between us, but not any more. Now I just try to do WHATEVER she needs done. That is my intention, my ideal, my effort. I certainly do not succeed all the way. At least in theory, I try to take care of her moment to moment needs. I watch my words so as not to give her a headache (that is, I try this as my goal -- I am devoted to it). I watch my tone of voice so as not to scare her inside. I do not succeed all the time. In the course of a single day there are 'incidents' which reveal my beastly, uncivilized he-man nature. But I try to watch my facial expression so as not to bring a cloud in her sphere. I stop doing something that bothers her and I start doing something she might desire. There is no limit. That's what I'm aiming for!

I delight in her sphere because it puts an end to my sphere which is rough and coarse. This is completely true: I understood nothing real in spiritual terms until I accepted the notion that my way to inner truth is EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH MY WIFE. Why? Because it is a psycho-spiritual law. It is the result of our mental structure.

I urge all of you men to adopt the Doctrine of the Wife. If you feel anger and outrage at my suggestion, it is just more evidence that it is the truth. The unregenerate male proprium hates the sphere of femininity (even if this is subconscious or unconscious). Men want to dominate women. Men want to use women to destroy themselves: by destroying the wife, the man destroys himself -- and that's what he is after. Or rather, that's what the evil spirits are after, who are with the man, who are part of the man's vertical community. According to Swedenborg this is a symptom of spiritual insanity that characterizes the "Fallen humanity" or the unregenerating individual.

Unless evils are removed by repentance, man cannot love his neighbor, still less God; yet on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets, that is, the Word, consequently salvation. If at recurring seasons there is actual repentance, as often, for instance, as a man prepares for the communion of the holy supper, and if he afterward abstains from one or another sin which he then discovers in himself, this is sufficient to initiate him into the actuality [of the repentance], and when he is in that he is on the way to heaven, for he then from being natural begins to be spiritual, and to be born anew from the Lord. (Swedenborg TCR 530)

It is now two years later, this Christmas of 1998.  A very great thing has happened in my life, friends! I have crossed the ennead of weeks of being good! This means that 9 weeks have gone by and I have not made my wife cry, not once! This is not merely a long record...but a PARADIGM SHIFT, a spiritual paradigm shift in my ability to remain receptive to the influx of conjugial love. When do I make her cry? When I harden my heart, focus on the topic or task in a rational or logical or natural way, and hold on to it no matter what, ignoring her increasing discomfort, stress, unhappiness, and frustration.   And panic. Where can she turn for a hearing if I am the supreme ruler of my decisions?? Not to me--for my heart is hardened and I see not her softness, her tenderness, her goodness, and her wisdom.

This shocks me as I review it. My position is so callous. Egotistical.  From hell alone.  And yet, all I'm doing is being a normal male in our society, unconsciously or consciously insisting on my male prerogatives. Too bad for women.  After all, we men did not create this world.  We did not make God into a male Person. So our male supremacy is god-willed, isn't it, etc.--so much drivel from hell, you know.

One clearly new aspect of this New Paradigm I've been basking in is how easy it is to give up the male logic of the task or situation and to junk it for the sake of Peace and conjugial love. She says something that contradicts my understanding and advocates the direction I consider a mistake? Well then I shall junk my logic.  Why not?   Before I was afraid to, or rather, Satan was afraid to (and I only thought it was me). I was afraid to abandon my logic and adopt her logic.  What if I'm right and she is wrong? Shouldn't she submit to my view, as it is superior? etc. etc., which is so much bunk. I can see that clearly now.  It's a matter of trust in her.  We men learn NOT to trust women, their judgment, their intellect, their wisdom, their intelligence.  We naturally trust ourselves more than we trust women, thus our wife.  We rationalize away their insight and we discount their perceptiveness in any situation.  The zeal they show for protecting the union is twisted in our eyes and estimation, and we attribute it to women's hysteria and feminine hormones. How degraded!! I disgust myself.

She had been telling me this:  You don't trust me, Leon.  You don't trust your own doctrine of the wife. Because I'm a woman. I laughed.  I denied. I ridiculed. I got angry and mean. These were the thrashings of hell, the resistance to heaven right in my mental sphere, my spiritual life. But now I trust her because Divine doctrine tells me to.   The Lord said to Abraham, Hearken unto Sarah. Remember that it is the wife's Divinely appointed job to lead in the marriage through her reception of conjugial love from the Lord. She does not lead directly like a general or president; she leads only in the sense that her husband voluntarily elevates her role and maintains it by submitting to it, consciously, as a commandment freely obeyed from the spirit. In this way, the wife's leading is from the husband, for which righteousness is imputed to the husband by the Lord. He wins, she wins. Thus they are conjoined into one personality--the necessary pre-requisite for married life in heaven.

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

From birth everyone has a propensity to evils of every kind, and this makes him long for them and do them so far as he is free to do so. For from birth he longs to control others and possess other people's property, the two things which shatter love toward the neighbour. Then he hates anyone who opposes him, and his hatred breathes revenge, a feeling inwardly nursing thoughts of murder. This too is why he makes light of adultery and cheating, which is secret theft, as well as of blasphemy, which includes false witness. Anyone who pays no heed to all these is an atheist at heart.

That is what a person is like from birth, and it is plain from this that he is a hell on the smallest scale. Now since a person is born, as far as the interiors of his mind are concerned, to be spiritual, as animals are not, and since he is consequently born to go to heaven, yet his natural or external man is, as I have just said, a hell on the smallest scale, it follows that heaven cannot be planted in hell, but this must be removed.  (Swedenborg TCR 612)

The True Rational Husband

In our exchanges, my focus is on pleasing her. This is called Peace. I have at last accepted the responsibility that I am responsible for her happiness.  I can't leave that responsibility up to her. It's mine. And so Peace takes precedence over rationality or understanding, when these two appear to contradict Peace.  Soon thereafter, it becomes clear that it was only the appearance of rationality that contradicted Peace, while true rationality never contradicts Peace.  The true rational husband never, repeat never, gets mad at his wife, and never takes a disagreeing stance, but always an agreeing one.  To disagree with my wife is to disagree with the Lord who directs me through her in matters of conjugial love, therefore, in all matters of feeling, motive, and intention.

Before this New Paradigm state of 9 weeks, it seemed to myself that I had to work super-hard  not to get annoyed or angry with her every day or any day.  Whenever she refused to buckle down to male prerogatives, I would automatically punish her, or else, feel good about myself for not punishing her when she deserved it.  Can you believe it?  And punishing her meant something small and subtle (gone were the days when I could yell or walk off...).  Still, I would show her my displeasure in a small way: by frowning; by not talking for awhile; by not laughing at her jokes; by freezing when she touched me; by staying away; by talking loud in public places to embarrass her; and a thousand other disgusting things like that.

But now the Lord has tricked me. It's easy to care. It's easy to give up one's own. It's easy not to get angry or annoyed.  It's easy to remain loving and overlook things that aren't harmonious and are temporary.  And it's so great to have Peace. Truly, friends, you must try it.  Do so.

This is what I discovered: there is a moment, just a brief moment, when we husbands are given freedom of choice. At that moment I can decide to feel annoyed and to retaliate in some way; or, I can decide to feel accepting. If I choose NOT to accept her behavior or attitude, I condemn myself to feeling annoyed or disapproving. If I choose to accept her behavior or attitude, I am saved by the Lord from annoyance, and I am given Peace instead. Then I can be loving to her. But if I condemn myself to annoyance, I also render myself impotent to care for her and her needs.

This supreme moment of freedom of choice lasts but for a moment. As I recall now, I used to squander these moments of Grace, ignore them, and plunge right into my proprial affections as vested in male prerogatives. I could choose to pout, or to be in a bad mood, or psyche her, or spook her, or brighten her, or torture her in so many little ways until she screams that I'm driving her crazy! How horrible, how insane. But I'm saved from this hell as long as I remain true to the Doctrine of the Wife--which is, that my access to the Lord and heaven is most purely given through the wife as conjugial love from Him through her to me. And this alone is my salvation. There is no other door through which I can climb up or in.

Husbands, monitor and study your annoyances in the presence of your wife or in the sphere of her domain and household, such as the order she keeps or insists on, or doesn't, or the schedule, and the budgeting and planning. There are a thousand little ways we can feel annoyed in these matters and in relation to our wife. Monitor and study these annoyances because they are the clues to your salvation!!

Ask yourself why you are ignoring the freedom of choice the Lord gives you NOT to get annoyed?

Observe your squandering away these moments of Grace and rendering you impotent, sexless. For how can being annoyed be sexy??

Witness the voices in your mind who hate her or despise her because she is a woman, because she is your wife, because of her bird-sized brain, because of her hormones or menstrual cycle or hysterical nature. These are the voices of your inherited friends, the vertical community in your closet, the women-haters, the anti-Christ spirits. Get rid of them, for Christ sake!! Beg Jesus to help you. And this is His Help:

That He has already overcome the world and the hells, and He is eagerly offering you the weapons of deliverance--that moment of supreme freedom of choice that comes in every act of the day, minute by minute, hour by hour. O What Divine Plenitude and Magnificence! Amen. Read selections from the Writings on freedom of choice.

And so from our initial state of damnation the Lord brings us into the second stage of reformation. Hearken unto your Sarah. Cling to her dress and willingly serve her. She will be your guide. The Lord will instruct her and she will relay the message to you. The Lord gives her perception and heat; you have only darkness and cold. So reformation for a husband is the state of thankfulness and excitement in which he is while striving to submit to his wife's perceptions and wisdom, and succeeding. When a husband becomes of a celestial character the Lord opens up new, fresh, and exciting discoveries he makes about his wife, and through his wife, about the female race. A husband becomes celestial to the extent that he is an obedience to the Lord through his wife.

True repentance is examining, not only the actions of one's life, but also the intentions of one's will, for the reason that the acts are done by the understanding and will; for man speaks from his thought, and acts from his will; therefore speech is the thought speaking, and action is the will acting. And this being the source of words and deeds, it follows indubitably that it is will and thought that sin when the body sins. (Swedenborg TCR 532)

At last the Lord brings us into the third and final state called regeneration. This state continues into heaven and eternity.

Why Celestial Husbands Are Called Obediences

Celestial husbands are called obediences. Before a husband opens the celestial mind in himself, or rather, before he allows the Lord to open it, it his impression that he is to obey the Lord. The idea of obeying the wife instead of the Lord is abhorrent to him. And this is right, of course. But it's not the issue. The issue is to obey the Lord through his wife vs. to obey the Lord directly, and independently of his wife. The latter is not possible. That is, for a husband to go to the Lord directly for receiving conjugial love is as illegitimate and as impossible as it is for a Christian to go to Jehovah God the Father directly, and independently of  the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord warns that no one can climb up to heaven by any other way but through Him, since no one knows, hears, or sees the Father, and since all power has been given to Him.  And so it is clear that we must go to the Lord Jesus Christ directly as the  God of Creation.   All this is well understood by those who study the Writings seriously.

But now these very same scholars and students (well I know it from my own biography having been one of those), balk at the idea that there is an exact parallel of this process with regards to conjugial love.  It is clearly taught in the Writings that conjugial love from the Lord does not enter the husband because he does not have the proper receptors from creation. The Lord created the male and the female in such a way that they may reciprocally conjoin endlessly, or with endless variety and novelty, hour by hour, to eternity.  Is that not awesome!!!! So there is not one iota or molecule or vibration produced by the wife that is like any produced by the husband, ever, by Divine Law. This absolute, immortal, and eternal distinction to every part or fiber of their being, insures that husband and wife can conjoin endlessly to eternity. And this endless and perfect union, or acting as one, would not be possible if even one part in a billion would overlap and be the same for husband and wife somewhere in their mind or spirit, that is, their thoughts and feelings.

So it makes rational and scientific sense why the husband does not have the receptors for receiving conjugial love directly from the Lord, but only the wife does.

Now even those who come along this far, and grant the idea that husbands get their conjugial love from the Lord through the wife, even they hesitate and stumble to go to the next step, without which the mere realization is as nothing in effectiveness. This next step is to confess that they reject conjugial love when they reject their wife, that is, when they disagree with her, contradict her, or minimize her in any way whatsoever.   This is a big step for a husband to make--perhaps the biggest so far. New Church husbands will say here that they accept the affectionate nature of their wife and that   the Lord gives wives a  perception over their husbands' character that they themselves are not given.  In other words, a husband might confess that he ought to consult his wife because his wife is given special perception.  Nevertheless he will insist that this is consulting not obeying.  He retains the truth and wisdom of how he ought to act, even if he acts with the benefit of his wife's opinions.

All this will not do, friends.  This is just another roundabout way to helldom.

Nothing short of this will do:  confess that acting from any disagreement of mind between conjugial partners, is acting against the Lord, hence it is a sin.

And the only way to insure that this does not happen is to become an obedience, that is a celestial husband, in other words, a husband who never, repeat never, acts from a disagreement with his wife. If a husband acts from a disagreement with his wife, for any reason under any circumstance, he is acting from disagreement with her.

Wow! Can you believe this????  No.  Husbands will raise an endless series of objections to these ideas, while the truth of these ideas will be instantly obvious to women, but especially married women who have experienced their husband's endless and seemingly hopeless state of fixation with themselves and their prerogatives, rather than with their wife, her mind, her cares, her concerns, her happiness, her preferences and options and conveniences.  The world of woman is revealed to a man when he becomes an obedience to her for the sake of the Lord.  Note well:  those who object to this will say that it's wrong for a man to become a woman's slave.  Of course it is.   But this is not the issue here, and you can't substitute that for this.   The issue here is the idea that a husband voluntarily becomes an obedience to his wife for the sake of becoming celestial, which is another way of saying, for the sake of the Lord, or for the sake of our love to the Lord.

And what am I when I'm not an obedience? I am then a rebellion. When Diane and I first found the Writings in our university library in Hawaii (see story here) we each started reading furiously several hours a day.  After a few weeks, Diane asked me if I'd like to read Conjugial Love, which she had just finished reading for the first time.  I said, No, I'm not ready.  I'm still studying the doctrinal books about faith and science.  The had titles like Divine Love and Wisdom, or The Four Doctrines, or Apocalypse Explained, or The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine.   I even started studying the "earlier" works, the so called "pre-theological" writings of Swedenborg.  They had titles like Rational Psychology, and The Five Senses, and Hieroglyphic Key to Correspondences, and so on.   But I had no time for Conjugial Love.  Can you believe it!

Even after I read it, finally, it did not strike me as important a work as the others.   It seemed more folksy, less professional, less scientific, more ethnic somehow.   Can you believe it?  So I left it again.  Then one day the Lord struck me with a thunderbolt.  After we met Bishop Philip Odhner and his wife Beryl, on a vacation visit they made to Hawaii, they were kind enough to send us a copy of the three-volume De Hemelsche Leer. (De Hemelsche Leer. (1930-38). The Hague, Holland: Swedenborg Genootschap. (Reprinted by the Lord's New Church, Bryn Athyn, PA). This work was a bolt of lightening that led me to formulating the Doctrine of the Wife.

This was the lightening bolt:  wherever the Writings talk about "the Word" substitute in your mind "the Writings."  This practice will help you acquire new meaning from the Writings.  As long as you insist on thinking about the Old Testament or the New Testament when the Writings discuss "the Word" your mind is closed to the lightening bolt.  But as soon as you allow yourself to treat the Writings as the Word PRIMARILY, you begin to loose the delusions that come from the literal of the Writings.  A number of such delusions permeate the New Church, the worst of these being that men are truths while women are affections. This delusional doctrine hides conjugial love. For example, even though the Writings plainly teach that conjugial love is the highest of all loves from the Lord, and that all other loves come from it, the New Church mentality has not assigned a primary role to the book called Conjugial Love.  Instead, it has assigned primacy to Arcana Coelestia.  And yet, these also teach the supremacy of conjugial love, but they are looking away from this, thus do not see it.  Just like me, I did not see it until De Hemelsche Leer exploded it into my ears and eyes and nostrils.  Praise be to the Lord!

And so when you allow yourself to be humbled and accept the secrets revealed in De Hemelsche Leer, the chief of which being, that you need to read "the Writings" wherever it says "the Word," then you can enthrone and enshrine the book called Conjugial Love and you feel yourself freed and liberated from the delusion that we men are truths while our wives are affections, from which we conclude that we decide after they give us their opinion.  In other words, we remain rebellions.  But when we begin to see what the Writings say about themselves wherever it discusses the Word, then we see that we must be obediences to our wife.  Then we are impressed by the fact, so many times mentioned in the Writings that at the celestial plane, that is in heaven, wives represent wisdom and husbands represent love.  Until then, all a man can get from the Writings is the opposite, and he pays no attention to the wisdom/wife connection, but only to the truth/man connection.  By being voluntary obediences to our wife, we are able to read the Writings and apply to the Writings what they say about the Word.  We are then able to claim the Writings as the Word primarily, while resting in the idea that the Old Testament and the New Testament are more distantly the Word to us than the Writings are.  Until then, New Church men have a fear of admitting this.

The more I am a voluntary obedience to my wife, the more I love the Lord, hence, the more I am conjoined to the Lord and the more the Lord reveals to me the endless discoveries of woman.  These discoveries are inside my relationship to her.  By thinking and feeling as an obedience to her, I am transformed by the Lord from the inside where I cannot reach on my own. From this operation by the Lord, there comes a further opening of the upper regions of the mind.  This opening shows itself as the discoveries I am discussing. With each new depth of opening, there is a new perception with its new affection or wonderment.  Perhaps it will be given to me some day to be able to enumerate some of them.  Maybe in the next decade, the fourth decade of my marriage?

There are two anti-conjugial mechanisms we all must witness ourselves performing, and then rejecting its premises, and avoiding doing them. These anti-conjugial operations have the purpose or goal of neutralizing the power of the wife as an inner influence in your thinking and orientation.  Thus, to render her ineffective in your reformation.   Defeating her.  Defeating the marriage.  Defeating yourself. that's what the satans and devils want, who are associated with our mind from birth, sticking us with the anti-conjugial tendencies and lusts. The first evil operation under their influence is to DISCOUNT what she says on account of something that is wrong with her, momentarily, like PMS, or hormones, or bad mood, or being upset about something else, etc.  In that case she is just a nag, immature, prejudiced, lacking understanding and empathy (we insist that she does not understand us). The second evil anti-conjugial operation these satans and devils inflict upon us,  is to DISAGREE with what she says on account of her lack of knowledge, expertise, familiarity with the disputed situation or topic. In that case she just doesn't know what she is talking about, being out of her league, etc.

These two ways of neutralizing our wife, discounting what she says and disagreeing with her logic, are the two principal methods we use to defeat our marriage.  First, by defeating her; then by defeating the marriage; finally, by defeating ourselves--ending up with the societies of satans and devils that were with us at birth and whom we failed to get rid of on account of our self-love and egotism and lust to dominate others, to enslave them, to make ourselves gods over all.  Meanwhile, our wife, or former wife, once freed from the painful liaison in a corrupted marriage, is now free to pursue her own destiny, in heaven or hell. Our self-defeat need not be her defeat.

Quoting from Swedenborg's Writings:

CL 155r.  The second account:

One morning I was awakened by the sound of very sweet singing from some height above me. And being therefore in the first moment of awakening, which is more internal, peaceful and gentle than any other moment of the day, I could be kept for a while in the spirit, as though outside the body, and could attend keenly to the affection which was being expressed in song. (A song in heaven is nothing but an affection of the mind which is expressed vocally as a melody, for it is the sound of one speaking without spoken words, coming from the same affection of love which gives life to speech.) In that state I perceived that it was an affection having to do with the delights of conjugial love, which was turned into song by wives in heaven.

I noticed that this was so from the sound of the singing, in which those delights were variously expressed in marvelous ways. After this I arose and looked out into the spiritual world. And lo, in the east, beneath the sun there, I saw what seemed to be golden rain. It was morning mist, descending in such quantity that, struck by the rays of the sun, it presented to my eyes the appearance of golden rain. Being still more fully awakened on account of it, I went out in spirit, and then, meeting by chance an angel, I asked him whether he saw the golden rain coming down from the sun.

[2] Answering, he replied that he saw it whenever he was thinking about conjugial love and then turned his eyes in that direction. He said further, "That rain falls upon a hall where there are three husbands with their wives, who live at the center of an eastern paradise. This kind of rain seems to be falling from the sun upon that hall, because abiding in those husbands and wives is wisdom concerning conjugial love and its delights - in the husbands, wisdom concerning conjugial love, and in the wives, wisdom concerning its delights. "But since I perceive that you are thinking about the delights of conjugial love, I will take you to that hall and introduce you."

So he led me through areas befitting a paradise to houses which were built with boards of olive wood, with two columns of cedar in front of the entrance; and having introduced me to the husbands, he asked that I be allowed, in their presence, to speak with their wives. They then nodded and called their wives. The wives looked searchingly into my eyes. So I asked, "What are you looking at?" They said, "We can see keenly what attraction you feel and therefore what affection you have, which is where your thought concerning love for the opposite sex comes from. And we see that although you are thinking about it intently, still you are thinking chastely." They then said, "What do you want us to tell you about it?" So I replied, "Please tell me something about the delights of conjugial love." And the husbands nodded, saying, "Reveal to them something about these delights, if you wish. Their ears are chaste."

[3] So they asked, "Who told you that we were the ones to ask about the delights of that love? Why not our husbands?" Then I replied, "This angel who is with me, he told me privately that wives are vessels receptive of and sensitive to those delights, because they are born forms of love, and all delights have to do with love." Smiling at this they answered, "Be discreet, and do not say such a thing unless it can be interpreted in more than one way, because it is a point of wisdom kept deeply hidden in the hearts of our sex, which is not revealed to any husband except to one who is in a state of truly conjugial love. There are many reasons for this, which we conceal within and keep to ourselves."

At that the husbands then said, "Our wives know all the states of our mind, nor is anything hidden from them. They see, perceive and feel whatever comes from our will. And we in turn know nothing of this in our wives. Wives have this gift, because they have very tender loves and feelings of almost blazing zeal for the preservation of the friendship and trust in marriage and thus for the preservation of both partners' happiness of life. This happiness they watch over for their husbands and themselves from a wisdom inherent in their love - wisdom which is so full of discretion that they will not and therefore cannot say that they are the lovers, but that they are the recipients of love."

I then asked why wives will not and so cannot say this. The wives replied that if the least suggestion of anything like this were to slip from their lips, their husbands would be invaded with coldness, which would separate them from their bed, bedroom, and sight. "But this happens," they said, "in the case of people who do not hold marriage sacred, and who therefore do not love their wives with a spiritual love. It is different with those who do. This love in their minds is spiritual, and in the body becomes natural as a result of that. We here in this hall experience the natural love as a result of a spiritual one, and consequently we confide to our husbands secrets about the delights we feel having to do with conjugial love."

[4] At this point, I respectfully asked them to reveal something of these secrets to me as well. And immediately they looked toward the window to the south, where suddenly a white dove appeared. Its wings shone as though with silver, and its head was adorned with a crown seemingly of gold. It was standing on a branch, which had an olive growing out from it. As they saw the dove engaged in an attempt to spread its wings, the wives said, "We will reveal something. When that dove appears, it is a sign to us that we may."

They then said, "Every man has five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. But we have also a sixth sense, which is a sense of all the delights of conjugial love in our husbands. We have this sense in the palms of our hands, whenever we touch our husbands' breasts, arms, hands or cheeks - especially their breasts - and also when we are touched by them. All the happy and pleasant states of the thoughts of their mind, and all the joys and delights of their heart, and the merry and cheerful feelings in their breast - these are then transmitted from them to us, taking form in us and becoming perceptible, discernible, and tangible. Moreover, we discern these things as keenly and as clearly as the ear discerns the melodies of songs, or as the tongue does the flavors of exquisite foods.

"In a word, the spiritual delights of our husbands take on a kind of natural embodiment in us. And for that reason, our husbands call us the sensory organs of chaste conjugial love and therefore of its delights. But this sense in our sex appears, continues, remains, and rises in the measure that our husbands love us for our wisdom and judgment, and in the measure that we love them in return for the same qualities in them. In heaven, this sense in our sex is called the interplay of wisdom with its love and of love with its wisdom."

[5] I was stirred by this with a desire to ask more questions, such as about the variety of the delights. Answering, they said, "The variety is endless. However, we do not wish to say any more, and therefore we cannot, because the dove outside our window, with the olive branch under its feet, has flown away." I then waited for its return, but in vain. Meanwhile, I asked the husbands, "Do you have a similar sense of conjugial love?" And they replied, "We have one in general, but not in particular. We have a general sense of bliss, of delight, and of pleasant contentment, owing to the particular sensations of these in our wives. And this general sense, which we have from them, is like a peaceful serenity."

At these words, suddenly through the window a swan appeared, standing on the branch of a fig tree; and spreading its wings, it flew off. Seeing this, the husbands said, "That is a sign for us to be silent about conjugial love. Come back from time to time, and perhaps more will be disclosed." They then withdrew, and we departed. (CL 155r)

I wasn't doing much headway in my reformation and intention to become an obedience to the Lord through the conjugial love He provides through my wife.  I was repeatedly defeating her efforts. I was too clever for her. It was seemingly hopeless.  A standstill.  And then I discovered a tool that I was able to use to get myself off this useless and evil resistance.  One day she accused me of thinking something that I had confessed to her at another time that I thought that way at times. I felt betrayed. How can she use against me what I gave her in friendship and confidence.  Oh what malarkey (is that the word?). Anyway, it's nonsense.  She doesn't accuse me of anything. Her zeal makes her use whatever she possesses about her husband, so she may knock him off his perch, so she can save him from hell.  So this is the thing for us husbands to do:

You must give your wife whatever weapons you can that will allow her to defeat you.

There.  I wrote it out for you in big blue script so you can engrave your memory engram with it.  Give her all the stuff you're thinking and ruminating about.   Tell her all the stuff you feel soft about, stuff you want to protect because it's about you, you, you.  Give her that so she can use it against you in all the lousy and cruel fights you put up against your poor loyal wife who is desperately working to save your neck from hell.

Listen, you ingrate husband (that is, all husbands, including me). You must act like you are her lawyer assistant in the case against you.  You are the investigator who gathers all the observations needed for her evidence to convict you.  That's your only chance to go to heaven--through this woman the Lord has appointed for the daunting task, bless her soul. And so observe and witness yourself abuse her, disagree with her opinions, discount her perceptions. Make a list and give it to her saying, Here Honey, the list of dastardly behaviors I perform against you:  This page is about my overt acts, this one is about my thoughts, and this one about my emotions.  There.  I stand convicted. Now this list will help us both keep tab on me:

Remember this, and keep it in the forefront of your intentions all day long:

The Lord said  Hearken unto your wife and Cleave to your wife.  What more do you need? Hurry and be her Velcro patch, clinging to her mentality, her sensibility, her directionality. In other words, cling to her mind.  My wife said to me not too long ago:  Leon, when are you going to laugh at my jokes? I had to learn your sense of humor when we met, and I had to learn to laugh at your jokes.  How come you don't know my sense of humor yet?   What are you waiting for?

See what I mean?  I have to cling to her like Velcro, matching her strivings like one horse does with the other when the two are hitched together. If one of them decides to pull in another direction than the other is pulling, the carriage cannot arrive at its destination.  Why should your career, your job, your reputation, and your honor be placed ahead of your wife? Your relationship with your conjugial wife is forever; your career and reputation is temporary. There is not even a competition here. Obviously we want to choose the forever over the temporary.  If we are sane that is.  But husbands are not ordinarily in a sane state of mind. We are sane when we cleave like Velcro to her mind and strivings; we are insane when we cleave to our own, that is, not our own but those of the satans and devils that are with us from birth.

Use this list of male prerogatives to help you keep track. The gross things we do as husbands are the easiest to witness first, like hitting her, yelling at her, walking out on her, refusing to talk to her, ridiculing her in public, criticizing her, threatening her, forbidding her to do something, forcing her to do something, punishing her, leaving her alone, and the like. These are gross in the sense that they hurt her terribly and in the sense that they are easy to see and observe when they're happening. Harder to see are the more subtle, less obvious, things we do to deny her, torture her, and deprive her of what she needs to be happy.

These inner things are the most difficult to get rid of because they are directed by genii in the back who don't wish to show themselves so that we're unaware of their presence and their evil deeds through us. These deeper ways we use to hurt our wife include neglecting her need to feel special in the eyes of her husband. Also, using devious methods to make her feel guilty so that she would be more malleable in your hands, more willing to do what you want. This is an exploitation that is damnable and damning. Don't do it. Instead use your cleverness to empower her, to make her feel invincible in her power over you--because this is not really her power over you but your power willingly given for her use over you. It is a good thing. Resist pushing her down when she feels down already. Don't use your job, your career, your work, your religion, your ideals, your children -- to put her in her place, to keep her from exercising her power over you, that is, don't let these other things and people come between you and your wife.

Don't ever. Your job is temporary. Your contribution of any use to society comes from the Lord, nothing from yourself. Your parents and children are temporary -- they hardly recognize you when you meet up in the other world. Only your wife is permanent, eternal, sacred. She comes first in everything. Tell her that. Repeat it every day to her. And strive to do it. She'll let you know when you succeed by pouring on the sweetness and delight of conjugial love, enveloping you in its strong current, and confirming in your mind that your efforts were well worth it. And thanking the Lord for giving you the means to do what you had to.

Now go to her, and start practicing.

A conjugial husband is an obedience to his wife's urgings and strivings.

Let this be your thought and identification. Of course it could be written this way:

A conjugial husband is a voluntary obedience to his wife's urgings and strivings. But you can see that the word "voluntary" is superfluous since conjugial obedience by definition springs from a desire to be one in mind with the wife, and this desire cannot exist except it be free, that is voluntary. So if you feel like you're being forced, that's OK because you are forcing yourself and the Writings explain that self-compulsion is the essence of inner or spiritual freedom.  Later this negative feeling of being forced totally disappears and instead of it, you feel truly free, integrated, peaceful, secure.

It is not the case that the wife wants control you in order to have dominion. This would mean that the wife feels independent and secure, like a man might. But that's not how it is. Even wile the wife demands your obedience, that is, your voluntary submission for the sake of conjugial love, this submission does not mean that she is independent and secure on her own account. This is very important for us husbands to understand so I shall add another paragraph.

The wife does not have independence and security on her own. If the husband withdraws his assent and consent to her strivings and urgings, she is destroyed and destitute. It's so easy for a man to take that damnable and damning route--but you friend, resist. Instead, provide your wife with full security by proving to her, over and over again and hour by hour of every day, thus always and continuously, that you care about her strivings and urgings.

And there is only one way of really doing that: by making her strivings and urgings as if your own.

This means you must be willing to accept the idea that you are going to hell, except for her, and she will take you to her heaven, if you follow in her way, that is, if you espouse her strivings and urgings as if your own. Now you need to know how to do this, and how to do it effectively, and without driving her crazy in the meantime.

First, remember this: it is the Lord who gives you the power to do this, and in order for this power to be as if your own, you need to acknowledge and believe that it is the Lord's power not your own. So the Lord is giving you the power to overcome your resistance to uniting yourself with her. Left to your own, you would merely be pulled along the infernal current that destroys and leads to hell. So acknowledge that on your own you're going to hell, and it is through her that the Lord is going to save you, that is, give you conjugial love, that is, a life of eternal bliss with her in heaven. You must acknowledge this.

This will not be easy. You will feel resistance to acknowledging this. The spirits you're with are opposed to it because if you accept it, they're history. There is a spiritual re-alignment that happens when you make this acknowledgment. Your resistance is their resistance, and their resistance in you is so violent that you probably don't even remember now what it is you need to acknowledge. S here it is again. Repeat after me:

I, husband, need and must acknowledge that if I'm left on my own, I'm headed to my hell, but if I join up with my wife, the Lord is giving me the choice of going to her heaven. And joining up with her means internally, that is spiritually, that is, by my espousing her strivings and urgings as if my own.

Now: what does this mean--to espouse my wife's strivings and urgings as if my own?

This relates to the Lord's declaration in Genesis that husband and wife shall be "one flesh." Externally and legally "one flesh" means of course physical union, such as is achieved in sexual pro-creation. Internally and spiritually "one flesh" means of one mind, that is, sharing strivings and urgings. By sharing strivings and urgings as if each other's, spiritual union happens.

Conjugial love is inner spiritual union. Husbands will at first balk at this by protesting as follows: Why is it that I have to espouse her strivings and urgings and she doesn't have to espouse my strivings and urgings? This question is a trap. It's part of your resistance. Here is a rule you must follow if you're going to be successful. Break this rule, and you won't be successful. The rule:

You must evaluate yourself in relation to your wife, what you have to do, what the Lord requires of you to do in relation to her. You must think about this obligation of yours without ever, repeat without ever trying to counterbalance it with what she has got to do for you or about you. Never. Repeat, never. You must always consider what your husbandly obligations are without ever demanding equity.

Equity is only for the external level of your marriage. Yes, you must have equity externally: you and your wife are equal before the law and deserve equal rights and privileges regarding jobs, status, and freedom. I support the movements of women that have demanded this equity. I consider this a political necessity, demanded by democracy and justice. I recognize that women have been discriminated against and I recognize that this discrimination is still going on. And I take partial or full blame for participating as a male man in this injustice against women. And I support Affirmative Action for Women.

In addition, we all must go to the internal level of our marriage. At this level are the things that legal equity cannot guarantee and leaves it up the freedom and lifestyle of each couple: how the partners treat each other within the limits of the law and what society considers normal. For instance, you can be friendly towards each other or morose--the law will not intervene either way. Similarly with many things that set the tone in the relationship: how often they annoy each other, how strongly they feel passion for one another, how honest they are in expressing their thoughts, how much they care about one another's concerns, and so on. These are not matters of law--they are internal matters where the law does not enter.

But the spirit does. In fact, that's where the spirit is: where your strivings and urgings are. They are your spirit, or mind. And so, since we are dealing here with husbands, you must, repeat you must suffer yourself to consider your internal role as a husband without invoking or comparing your wife's parallel obligations and performances. Are you ready??

What happens when you don't agree with her on some thing, any thing? Or when you pull back and she has to carry the topic or project on her own? You are expressing your willful refusal to espouse her strivings. You are creating a break between the two of you. A break is a separation, a spiritual distancing, differentiation. Therefore you are oriented smack against conjugial love. You are turning your back to the Lord. That means that you are casting yourself to your hell.

Are you getting the picture yet? If you're feeling enraged at these ideas, then you're getting the point. Remember, it is they who are raging against conjugial love, not you. so you must not identify yourself with them. You must therefore break with them so you don't break with your wife. The Lord has stacked it that way: you must make a choice as if on your own. If you don't make the choice in her favor as if on your own, you won't feel that this is your life, your delight, your bliss, your heaven. Then the idea of going to her heaven will seem unfair to you. Why to her heaven, you will protest. Why is she not coming to your heaven? Or why is it not the heaven of both of you? Why her heaven??

Can you see the resistance in this? Why her heaven? This question is very bad. Well, it's useful in the sense of leading you away from that kind of equity evaluation of your respective positions. Give up equity when it comes to internal union. there is no equity, there, only charity, the charity of conjugial love. Charity does not demand equity: for it is the essence of love, as taught in the Writings, that it wants to give itself to the other, totally. It wants to benefit the other one hundred percent, not fifty-fifty. So if your mind keeps coming back to the idea that it's unfair for you to have to go to her heaven, or it's unfair for you to have to give up all your strivings and obey her strivings, then you're facing your resistance to conjugial love. Get rid of it.

Now what does it mean to espouse your wife's urgings? It means to make them as if your own. For instance, she urges you to do X and you don't want to because you think you should be doing Y. You need to see your not wanting to what she wants as a disagreement--and that's not allowed in a situation where you're espousing her urgings as if they're your own. So instead, you switch. Just like that. You change your mind from favoring Y to favoring X. Just because she urges you. That's what it means to unite yourself to her mind, or as the Lord tells us, to "cleave unto her."

You must consider the fact that your wife has had to accommodate to your personality when she fell in love and made that fateful decision of taking you on as a husband. Her love was conjugial love from the Lord, that is, the intense desire to conjoin herself to you, and the intense desire to conjoin you to her. In these two desires she places her entire strivings and urgings as your wife. And you were the beneficiary of her valiant efforts. Her accommodating to your mind made life easier for you and made you feel secure and manly. And so you built a life together.

But now there comes a time when you the husband has to reciprocate this accommodation process. You have to give her her freedom back, man! Her accommodation of herself to your mind was for your sake, not for her own sake. give her freedom back so she can feel free and love you freely. That's what you want. So you need to overcome your resistances and give your wife her freedom back. How?

You stop insisting on the prerogatives she had to accept until now. Quoting from Swedenborg's Writings:
CL 156r. THE CONJUNCTION OF SOULS AND MINDS BY MARRIAGE

MEANT BY THE LORD'S SAYING THAT THEY ARE NO LONGER TWO BUT ONE FLESH

An inclination and also a capacity for conjunction as though into one was implanted in man and woman from creation, and man and woman still have this inclination and capacity in them. That this is so appears from the book of creation, and at the same time from what the Lord said. In the book of creation, which we call Genesis, we read:

Jehovah God fashioned the rib, which He had taken from the man, into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, "This one, this time, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman ('ishshah), because she was taken from man ('ish). For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and they shall be as one flesh." (Genesis 2:22-24)

The Lord also said something similar in Matthew:

Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning...male and female..., said, "For this reason a man shall leave father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall be as one flesh"? Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. (Matthew 19:4-6)

[2] It is apparent from these verses that woman was created out of man, and that they each have both an inclination and a capacity for reuniting themselves into one. This means into one person, as is also apparent from the book of creation, where the two together are called "man." For we read:

In the day that God created man..., He created them male and female...and called their name Man.... (Genesis 5:1,2)

We find the reading here, "He called their name Adam," but "Adam" and "man" are the same word in the Hebrew. Moreover, both together are called "man" in Genesis 1:27 and 3:22-24. "One flesh" also means "one person," as is apparent from passages in the Word where the term "all flesh" occurs, meaning "every person" (such as in Genesis 6:12,13,17,19;** Isaiah 40:5,6, 49:26, 66:16,23,24; Jeremiah 25:31, 32:27, 45:5; Ezekiel 20:48, 21:4,5; and elsewhere).

[3] But as for the meaning of the rib of the man which was fashioned into a woman, of the flesh which was closed up in its place, and consequently what is meant by "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh," also what is meant by the father and mother which a man is to leave when he marries, and by his clinging to his wife - this we showed in Arcana Coelestia (The Secrets of Heaven), where we explained the two books, Genesis and Exodus, in their spiritual sense. We established there that a rib does not mean a rib, nor flesh flesh, nor a bone bone, nor cling cling, but that they mean spiritual things, to which they correspond and which they therefore symbolize.

They mean the spiritual things which mold one person out of two, and this is evident from the fact that it is conjugial love which joins them together, and this love is spiritual. We have said several times above that a man's love of wisdom is transferred into his wife, and this will be more fully established in the chapters that follow next. We cannot go off and thus digress now from the subject matter before us here, which is the conjunction of two married partners into one flesh by a union of their souls and minds. This union, however, will be made clear according to the following outline:

(1) Each sex has implanted in it from creation a capacity and inclination that gives them the ability and the will to be joined together as though into one.

(2) Conjugial love joins two souls and thus two minds into one.

(3) A wife's will unites itself with her husband's understanding, and the husband's understanding in consequence unites itself with his wife's will.

(4) A desire to unite her husband to her is constant and continual in a wife, but inconstant and intermittent in a husband.

(5) A wife inspires the union in her husband according to her love, and a husband receives it according to his wisdom.

(6) This union takes place gradually from the first days of marriage, and in people who are in a state of truly conjugial love, it becomes deeper and deeper to eternity.

(7) A wife's union with her husband's intellectual wisdom takes place inwardly, but with his moral wisdom outwardly.

(8) In order that this union may be achieved, a wife is given a perception of her husband's affections, and also the highest prudence in knowing how to moderate them.

(9) Wives keep this perception in them hidden and conceal it from their husbands for reasons that are necessary in building conjugial love, friendship and trust, so that they may have bliss in living together and happiness of life.

(10) This perception is a wisdom that the wife has. A man is not capable of it, neither is a wife capable of her husband's intellectual wisdom.

(11) A wife from her love continually thinks about her husband's disposition towards her, with a view to joining him to her. This is not true of a husband.

(12) A wife joins herself to her husband by appeals to his will's desires.

(13) A wife is joined to her husband by the atmosphere of her life emanating from her love.

(14) A wife is joined to her husband by her assimilation of the powers of his manhood, though this depends on the spiritual love they have for each other.

(15) A wife thus receives into herself an image of her husband, and from it perceives, sees and feels his affections.

(16) A husband has duties appropriate to him, and a wife duties appropriate to her, and a wife cannot enter into duties appropriate to her husband or a husband into duties appropriate to his wife and perform them properly.

(17) These duties also join the two into one, and at the same time make a single household, depending on the assistance they render each other.

(18) According as the aforementioned conjunctions are formed, married partners become more and more one person.

(19) Partners who are in a state of truly conjugial love feel themselves to be a united person and as though one flesh.

(20) Truly conjugial love regarded in itself is a union of souls, a conjunction of minds, an effort to conjunction in breasts, and a consequent effort to conjunction in body.

(21) The states produced by this love are innocence, peace, tranquillity, inmost friendship, complete trust, and a mutual desire in mind and heart to do the other every good; also, as a result of all these, bliss, felicity, delight, pleasure, and, owing to an eternal enjoyment of states like this, the happiness of heaven.

(22) These blessings are not at all possible except in a marriage of one man with one wife.

Explanation of these statements now follows. (Swedenborg CL 157ff)

Here's a discovery I made that I can share with you: talk to her sometimes like you talk to your favorite and beloved pet or pet object (if you talk to objects, if not, stick to the live ones). Notice two things: her reaction, and the effect it has on her. These two are different. Her reaction might be anything--it's unpredictable. Or, it's predictable. But the effect your tone of voice has on her is unmistakable. You can see it with your own eyes. It mollifies her. Your tone of voice has very strong effects on your wife. Repeat: your tone is more powerful on her than you at first imagine, or even wish to believe, or accept. Just try it, and you will see.

So now think about this: since she fell in love with you and started striving to unite you to herself, she has had to put up with a lot of your gross masculine shenanigans such as

  1. flatulating at your pleasure without consideration for her feelings or sensibilities,
  2. belching out loud,
  3. sneezing like you're going to bring the roof down,
  4. having bad breath from bad hygiene,
  5. having unpleasant acrid odors from sweating and not washing,
  6. presenting your unshaven face to her,
  7. touching her with dirty finger nails,
  8. letting your nose and ear hair show,
  9. walking around in stinky shorts,
  10. leaving your clothes lying around,
  11. not laundering your dirty linen,
  12. not washing your dirty dishes,
  13. not paying your own bills,
  14. being late and not calling,
  15. refusing to sufficiently express your appreciation for a thousand little kindnesses she does for you all day long,
  16. disrespecting her by how you look at other women when she is with you,
  17. disrespecting her by how you look at other women when she is not with you,
  18. ignoring your promise to do some thing you agreed to do,
  19. failing to give her regular orgasms,
  20. not massaging her body,
  21. criticizing her body parts,
  22. not playing with her hair,
  23. failing to comment on her appearance, clothes, jewelry,
  24. criticizing her looks,
  25. not insisting that you're going to do the dishes,
  26. making her wait when she calls you to the meal table,
  27. making her late when she's anxious to get there on time,
  28. entering a room where she is and not acknowledging her presence,
  29. showing insufficient enthusiasm for her proposals, hints, plans,
  30. lying to her,
  31. letting her believe a lie,
  32. not laughing at her jokes,
  33. acting like you don't want to have sex when she proposes it,
  34. refusing to give her veto power over what you want to wear, then embarrassing her by what you wear as if that decision is yours entirely,
  35. acting disinterested in her aesthetic side so she ends up feeling neglected and needing friends who will give her attention,
  36. showing disinterest when she proposes showering together, or else, taking over and acting obnoxiously when showering with her,
  37. leaving wet towels in the bathroom for her to pick up, like she were your slave, and then not acknowledging her charitable deed on your behalf

and so on--these are the ones I observed in myself.  How about you?  Decide to keep a cumulative list as you notice them one by one....  Think of all these things, like your harsh voice and threatening looks, as so many ways you have used to torture her since the beginning you joined up together despite the fact that  you promised her, in front of witnesses and God, that you will not do these things on account of the promise that you will cherish her. So now, own up to it, man! That's what I realized: I owe her big, BIG! Can you imagine how big? Without her and on my own--hellish life forever in some prison cavern in the spiritual world, or, heavenly life in eternity in the Lord's celestial mansions and cities. There is no ratio of comparison, is there. So I repeat: I owe her big.

And you owe her big!!!!!!!!

So how are you going to own up to what you owe her? All you have to do is suffer yourself to let the Lord reform you and regenerate you through the conjugial love He gives her. This means: you restore to her the freedom she had and has a right to, that you're keeping from her by refusing to give up your male prerogatives. These are the prerogatives she had to accommodate to in order for you to allow her to tie you to her. You made it a condition by the way you acted: you in effect told her that if she does not accommodate to your male shenanigans you will not let her get to your inner parts, the parts she was striving to get to, in order to be able to tie you to her so that you may become a united couple. For that is the relentless and unceasing striving of the conjugial love they have from the Lord.

So now give up all your male prerogatives by no longer insisting on them and by beginning to look at them as evils, that is, as sins against the Lord. I realized that if I refused to oppose and sever my claims to male prerogatives, I was refusing the Lord, refusing my wife who is my neighbor in the first place, according to the Lord's commandment. I was in hell until I espoused the doctrine that male prerogatives are evil and against conjugial love.

Now this is an essential part of the reformation of a husband:

As you give up your male prerogatives, you must not insist that your wife also give up any of hers. Remember: equity kills. While equity on the external aspect of your relationship is necessary and good, it is harmful in the internal aspects of your relationship. If you give up your male prerogatives you must do so from a proper motive or affection, and this proper motive does not depend, must not depend on what your wife does or does not do. Your giving up all your male prerogatives must be unconditional, for the sake of conjugial unity. If you don't see this in your understanding, try harder, beg the Lord to reduce your arrogance for which you shall pay dearly if you don't. I continually fall back into that arrogance in ever novel ways, yet I suffer myself to be reproved, and amended by my wife, God bless her sweet and loyal soul.

When you find yourself coming up against a disagreement between you and your wife, stop short of actual disagreement. If you go beyond due to your foolishness and egotism, pull back as soon as you're aware of it. If she expresses a view you disagree with, suffer yourself to accept her decision anyway. Suffer yourself to espouse her point of view even if your own understanding is against it and contradicts. Stay with your principle of the Doctrine of the Wife. Think about this: who gave you the obligation or the right to disagree with her just because her reasoning is not your reasoning?? NO, you don't have the right to disagree with her just because you think she's wrong. Are you shocked? Doesn't matter. Just do what I say here because it is the Lord who wants it this way. Do it, and you're saved, man!

Let's say she believes X and you know for sure X is wrong and even harmful. Must you not protect her by disagreeing with her? The answer is, Yes you must protect her, and NO you must not disagree with her. If you can't see other alternatives it's because you're resisting being good. As long as you resist in your affections, you will not see anything of truth in the cognitions. So the Writings teach in many places.

At the very center of your becoming an obedience to your wife's strivings and urgings, is your deep understanding of how your wife is a dependence on you.

Repeat:
while you are an obedience to your wife, she is a dependence on you.

This may sound like a contradiction to you, at first. That's part of your wrong orientation--don't worry about it and don't attach importance to it. Just keep going. Your wife is a dependence on you which means that you have enact a certain role that would allow her to be this dependence on the outside as well as on the inside. You enact this by giving her security, all the security she can use. This enactment involves two steps: First, to cease making her insecure; second, to start making her secure.

You cease making her insecure in many many ways in the course of a day or hour. For example, despite appearances by which she appears tough and persistent in a fight, this is only an outside appearance she maintains with great bravery. On the inside, she is terrified and deeply grieved that you are having a fight with her. When she acts tough: she knows it's because of your resistance and foggy incomprehension due to your selfish arrogance and your self-centered preoccupation. How do I know these things? From myself, from the way I am, and I figure you are not different.

The fact is that this a cultural or racial problem all males have on our planet, and maybe on other planets. So we males have got to fix this problem, or rather, we've got to let the Lord fix this problem in us, which means that we have to suffer ourselves to cooperate with the Lord in His work of reformation, or else the Lord cannot do it. His Law requires reciprocation. No reciprocation, no reformation. No reformation, no regeneration. No regeneration, no salvation. No salvation, and you miserable buddy, you are going to hell. Don't. Quick, save yourself. Do as I say because it is from the Lord.

And what it is you are to do? Become an obedience to your wife and let her be a dependence on you. Then you will be united from within first, as a result of that, from without as well. Otherwise you'll be united from without only, and not at all from within, and in that case you do not share a fate together as husband and wife in heaven.

At first I thought, Oh well, if this is not my true wife, the Lord will provide me with another one when I get to the gates of heaven. Surely she is not my true wife because I feel that we are incompatible from within. Everything she wants me to become, I resist with all my fibers. Is this not proof of incompatibility, inner incompatibility?

Oh, how despicable that was! That was a spiritual temptation--very serious life and death stuff! I kept repeating to myself from Doctrine: Leon that's your spiritual temptation, remember? the Writings say that spiritual temptations are such that you doubt your inmost love that you trusted in. So there it is, you're doubting that she is your conjugial wife just so you won't have to become what she is zealously demanding I become--her true husband who gives her security even as he honors her preferences and needs. Because right now I fail to honor her preferences and needs, that is, her strivings and urgings. I fail to honor them by dishonoring them. I dishonor them by disagreeing with them, by finding ways to justify my disagreeing with them--instead of the opposite--which would be honoring her preferences and needs, that is her strivings and urgings.

Often I would say to her, Honey, you're pushing too hard. Way too hard!! Ease up. We've come a long way from where I was before, right? So give me more time to make the next step and the next step. OK? give me some breathing room. Don't be breathing down my neck so hard all the time. You're trying to go too fast. etc. etc. You know what I mean? Do you feel like she's nagging you, or pushing you too hard, or being demanding, or hard assed, or unforgiving, or obsessed, etc.--confess: all of these apply, right? I know.

Well, get rid of these putrid ideas, man, and save your marriage and yourself. Your wife is not these things at all, but the opposite of them. She is loving, sweet, kind, intelligent, bright, beautiful, loyal, and sexy. Yet you see her as opposite to this--that's your bloody fault, man!! That's what I did too, for so many years, so many difficult and tortuous years...

Well you can stop now and you have to stop now. You become an obedience to her urgings: that means you fix your image about her from nagging you to saving your ass; from annoying-enraging to sweet 'n sexy. That's it. All you have to do is voluntarily obey her urging for the sake of the Lord. After all, remember that the Lord has a stake in this and is very heavily involved in this process you must go through: reforming your character, changing your spiritual orientation, thought by thought, affection by affection. The Lord is involved, supervises, permits, forbids, provides, arranges, brings about. The Lord.

Your relationship to your wife is heavily mixed up with the Lord. It's not you and your wife. It's you and your wife and the Lord. Without the Lord we can do nothing. We cannot reform. And it doesn't work from a distance: the Lord must be present and managing every thought and affection, repeat: every thought and affection you have second by second. What do you say now??

So the Lord gives you the idea that you can become an obedience to her urgings, and also gives you the affection to love or accept that idea as good. This is your reciprocation in freedom, and without it, nothing happens except further steps toward hell. So you espouse the idea the Lord gives you, which is that you can suffer yourself to have Him turn you into an obedience to her urgings, urgings that He gives her through the influx of conjugial love. When you espouse this idea, the Lord then gives power, power galore, in full measure, with nothing wanting. You become an obedience and you then at last discover that it's easy, repeat: easy. Just as easy to be an obedience as a rebellion, though the opposite seems the case, in appearance at first.

Meanwhile you must also take care that you act in such a way that she can become a dependence on you. This is possible to the extent that you give her the feeling of reassurance that her needs are your duties and obligations. For example, if you never disagree with her, repeat: never disagree with her, she can evolve the feeling, bit by bit, that you will take care of her needs. But if you disagree with her, even once, you cut deeply into her conjugial flesh, wounding her.

I'm sure you can continue this list, if you want to. We all have the knowledge we need to reform.  Remember this: your wife needs endless reassurances.  Repeat:   endless reassurances from you, her man.  You must supply her with a continuous stream of reassurances about her beauty, her body parts, her intelligence, her decision-making, her ability to turn you on just by being herself. Be sure you keep a cumulative list so you can chart your progress, day by day.  You must continuously express your endless devotion and loyalty to her. This, and this alone, will make her feel like your Queen.  She needs to feel like a Queen to you. So you can see: she depends on you for her every happiness, every breath of life and security. If she has you, she has everything else.  If she has you not, she has nothing for everything else hardly counts for anything in comparison.  This is what it means that she is a dependence on you.

Why is your wife so zealously after you: what you do, what you don't do, keeping at you all the time? Why does she insist you call her as soon as you get somewhere? Why does she get insanely enraged when you show interest in another woman? Why does she nag you about some chore you agreed to do but haven't yet? Why does she insist on cleanliness and orderliness in the house? Why does she hold you to your promises? Why does she get hysterical when you break your promises or betray her?  Because she is doing the work the Lord has given her to do:  to save you from hell.

So when you refuse her and fail to cooperate with her, do you see how deeply it wounds her? How deeply she feels despair and hopelessness?  Her lifeline choked up.  By what?  By whom?  By yourself, chum!  You, her protector and knight who promised to cherish her, then ravished her, and abandoned her.

Is it OK for a husband to show greater loyalty to someone than to his wife? Is it OK to show greater loyalty towards one's own children?  One's own parents?  One's high school lifelong army buddy? The answer is No, No, No. It's not OK because the Lord said we must love our neighbor and God as being the essence of all other commandments, and our wife is the neighbor in the first place.  That's how it actually is said in the Writings, using the expression "in the first place."  So none of those other categories of people can come ahead of your wife: not your parents, not your children, not your best friend or hero. And certainly not any of your projects or activities or involvements. So you can't retain your old relationships in the same way as before. Once you get yourself a wife--that's it, gone are all other priorities.   Repeat: gone are all other priorities--according the Lord's Word.  His commandment.

If your wife is upset about your activities or relationships, she comes first. You cannot continue to give your loyalty to this other person or activity. If you do, you're going to hell.  Because it's against what the Lord wants. And the Lord wants only that which can take you to heaven.  By giving up all other loyalties for the sake of your loyalty to your wife, you are placing yourself in the Secret Current of Divine Providence, pulling you irresistibly to heaven.

Merry Christmas 1998 to you all.  Christmas marks the historical date of God's Incarnation on this planet. This Divine intervention was known to the ancients for millennia and they were expecting it, hoping for it, pining for it.   They called that Divine event, the Advent or Birth of Christ. When it happened two thousand years ago, few individuals were spiritually ready to see and witness the momentous event. Most were skeptical and blind, which means they were holding on to their evils, refusing to have their eyes opened by the Christ who had been long expected and foretold in their Holy Scriptures.  Yet their acceptance, or lack of it, was no factor in stopping the irrevocable evolutionary change that the Incarnation created.

Henceforth a new psycho-biological person became possible. Though we are born fully loaded with evil tendencies in our character, yet now a new method was given us by which to lift ourselves from our spiritual bootstraps, and thus be delivered from our inevitable fate in hell.  Now we can reform our character and be regenerated by the Lord through His new psycho-biological Presence within our mind, a Presence not possible before the Incarnation. By going through the required rituals prescribed by the Lord when He was on this planet, and recorded in His Word, He can be Present and acting in our mind.   Without this immediate or direct Presence, His influence is more distant, less effective.  Hence we fall back into hell--O what a horrible possibility! But with his direct Presence, which only comes when we consciously acknowledge Him, He can be effective, fully effective all the way to saving us and bringing us to heaven and eternal conjugial happiness.

The reformation of the world will occur through two sources: religion and science. The New Church that was established by the Lord through His Second Advent in the Writings of Swedenborg, has already proven its enormous energy and continuity for two centuries.   Thousands of families and hundreds of ministers have built up the rituals and intellectual doctrines of this new religion which the Lord calls the Crown of Churches, being the last and lasting forever. On the science side, dualism in science  has already begun. Swedenborg was the first to develop the concepts science needs to be rational and dualist.  By this I mean, that science acknowledges the reality about nature revealed in Swedenborg's Writings.  This reality is that we are born dual citizens: our physical body is in the natural world, in time and space, but our mental body, or mind, is in the spiritual world, not in time and space. Thus, thoughts and feelings are behaviors in the mind, that is, not in time and space, but in the spiritual world. The Lord's laws see to it that the spiritual entities in the mind (thoughts and feelings) correspond and act together with the physical processes of the brain in time and space.

This is the foundation of dualist science and Swedenborg had it all worked out.  I may possibly be only the second scientist who is a dualist in a modern science like psychology, in which I have been active as a scientist for 40 years.  Today I continue this activity unabated, as you can see from my many articles. While the New Church may increase only slowly over the centuries, dualist science will come upon us with an explosion. It will be the Mother of All Paradigm Shifts in the history of science.  For the first time scientists will be able to be logical and rational all the way:  Since God intervenes in all phenomena, we need to study the mechanisms of Divine Providence by which events in the natural world, and in the spiritual world, are managed and executed by the Lord.  That is dualist science, and all school children will soon learn these new ideas from their science teachers.

The Meaning of Serving Your Wife

I acknowledge that I have been conveniently using, enjoying, and benefiting from these
MALE PREROGATIVES

In return, I shall strive to partially compensate women through
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
such as these

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Not wearing a shirt,| or wearing just a tank top,| in mixed company, when it's hot and sweaty. Meanwhile the women wore shirts, etc.

I will show more appreciation for women's efforts in appearing composed,| pleasing,| and appropriate.

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Not wearing underwear under the baggy shorts, in mixed company, when it's hot,| or leaving around my dirty socks and sneakers | or sit with women while my hands and nails are filthy |and generally act like a savage and not care about women's tender sensibilities

I will stop acting like a wimp | and I will make the effort it takes to appear more appealing in the presence of my wife | and I will keep reminding myself that by myself I tend to sink into savagery | and uncivilized beastiality | and only my wife, and other women, keep me from sliding quickly into that hellish fate for men| and therefore I must constantly show my gratitude to her, and all women, for agreeing to perform this saving function for us men

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Being served by my wife, and other women, | taking it for granted,| insisting on it,| pouting when it's not done in exactly the way I expect it -- in summary, treating women like I think they are my servants

I will start serving my wife principally, and other women by extension, in such a way as | to give her the feeling that I want to please her, | that I care about her comfort, | that I respect her ahead of myself

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Being competitive with my wife,| insisting on a fair-and-square 50/50 deal where I won't do what I don't think I should,| and the tasks I agree to do, I execute them reluctantly,| complainingly,| inefficiently,| and use them as an opportunity to be in a bad mood and make her feel bad

I will stop using equity justice with my wife, and other women by extension,| and I will no longer keep track on a 50/50 basis,| but instead, I will strive to be a helper,| anticipating what she wants and doing it for her sake,| to make it easier on her,| to love her in that way

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Intimidating my wife, and other women, through my male prerogatives,| so that I can have things my way by using male chauvinistic tactics like this:|
Raising my voice | Frowning | Assuming a threatening stance | Making a fist | Insisting over and over | Mental torture --| nagging her to distraction,| confusing her,| misrepresenting things,| faking stuff,| threatening her,| and so on

I will stop being a mental torturer to women who love me, and by extension to all women, by humbling my male megalomaniacal self, and by making sure that when I mistreat my wife again, and other women, I will instantly stop, confess my error to her, then tenderly ask her forgiveness and think of some fun activity to do to take her mind of my slimeball treatment of her

If I said to men, Husbands, you must be a servant to your wife, most would laugh at this as a joke, perhaps even a bad joke. Certainly that used to apply to me as a husband. But I've got news for you, fellow husbands, Good News.

The Lord said, Those who are best at being a servant to their neighbor, they are the ones who are great in heaven. In other words, we need to form our character (Oil in our lamps) so that we can exist as celestial husbands, which always means, so we can willingly have the Lord's Will and the Lord's Wisdom activating every aspect of our mind or spirit. Thus, we learn here on earth to give up our own proprium, or self-love, which essentially is the love of ruling over others and possessing all their wealth and power. By becoming aversive to our own proprial will and disintelligence, we allow the Lord's Proprium to be as if our own. Thus we are angels, and no otherwise. So you can see why the Lord commanded us that we must love our neighbor or else end up in hell.

The Lord is trying to save us from hell, and He is giving us a foolproof method of getting there: give up your proprium, which is corrupt from birth and made more corrupt by one's individual additions to it. As you give up your proprium, the Lord's Proprium becomes active in you. That's how it works, and in no other way can it work. So you know you must love your neighbor as yourself or else you go to hell. That's step 1.

Now Step 2. The Lord said that your wife is your neighbor in the first place (see here for a refresher course). This obviously means that you are to be a servant to your wife in the first place. In other words, to fulfill the Lord's commandments that First, you should love your neighbor as yourself, and second that you should love your wife as your neighbor in the first place, you must be a servant to your wife in the first place. Now what does this actually mean in terms of behavior and relationship?

The Lord teaches that to be a servant to your neighbor means that First, you do no harm to the neighbor, and second, you do good to the neighbor. Therefore, to love your wife as your neighbor in the first place means that First, you ought not to do harm to her, and second, that you ought to do good to her. So that's clear now: to be a servant to your wife you must First, do no harm to her, and second, do good to her. Now examine your behavior to see if you obey or violate these two commandments, for they are the basis of your religion, of your salvation.

In my case, it's obvious how I violate the first commandment. For example, I perform and enjoy my many male prerogatives, thus taking advantage of her and exploiting her, and in addition, I punish my wife by various techniques, including making her cry, making her desperate, withdrawing my love, ignoring her pleadings, scaring her with my harsh voice and mean faces, leaving her alone for hours busy with my own house tasks, and many more that I discussed throughout these chapters, and summarized here.

These are injurious to her happiness and sensibilities. They offend her, and she feels punished, ignored, uncared for, abandoned, treated with indignity, powerless, useless. Everything has thus been taken away from her, all the basis of her life and existence as my wife. So through these acts I am clearly violating the commandment that I do no harm to the neighbor.

The Lord also teaches that you can't start with the second component, but you must start with the first if it's going to work out. In other words, you can't do good to your wife until you stop doing harm to her. Until then, I sort of do a mixture of the two: sometimes I act lovingly towards my wife, and sometimes I act punishingly or degradingly towards her. This mixture is totally evil and there is nothing good in it, says the Lord. The good that I do to the neighbor has evil inside, just like a rotten apple with a worm that looks beautiful on the outside. That's not a good apple! Neither are my good deeds towards my wife for inside there is a worm, or wolf, or bear, or monster man. So I am the monster man who pretends to do good to her even as I turn against her and bite her, should she cross me. This is not love but hatred of the neighbor.

To the extent that I started holding my ways in aversion, to that extent I started doing good to my wife. This mechanism involves the Lord's work in us, in our interior parts of the mind that we hardly are aware of. It feels like temptations, once you start cooperating with the Lord, that is, with what the Lord teaches you through the Word. The same activities are transformed in a visible and obvious manner. For instance, whenever Diane got sick in the past, she could hardly count on me to be a good nurse. I appeared to cooperate and take care of her, but did everything in such a way that she felt irritated or frustrated, and finally, hurt and defeated. This was no way of "taking care" of her!!

Now I notice the difference when she last was ill. As she is expressing her frustration, I find myself listening to her objectively, so that I can see what she is frustrated about. I couldn't before. Instead I discounted her as hysterical and attributed her emotional protestations as part of the stress of the illness. How awful and denigrating!! But now I can see all the things I am unable to do due to my prior lack of shirking my responsibilities under the conveniences of male prerogatives. For instance, I don't know where things are located in the house. I leave the responsibility to her, so when I need something I cry out, Honey, and she comes running and serves me. But I fail to do that to her. So now she is ill, she needs me, and I am incompetent, having to ask her instead of do for her. See what I mean?

She had a shoulder inflammation which gave her a lot of pain every day and on some days, restricted her movement with one arm. I had to start helping her doing things for herself like getting dressed, showering, driving. I blew many opportunities in the past by acting out helplessness and incompetence. This time, I warned myself, I'm going to be a good servant to her, not bad. This resolution helped me see clearly the things I had denied about myself when she tried to tell me. I was acting like a dork, an idiot, a distracted professor, someone who was willing to spend time doing something for you but did it in such a way as to infuriate you. Oh, never mind, let me do it myself--and I was free. What a coward am I, Lord!!

So I discovered I didn't even know

Every husband has his own list. All the ones you see here are mine. Lists overlap to some extent, but no two husbands can have the same list on account of the uniqueness of their mind and developmental stages.

Why is it that she knows where and how to find things and do things for my convenience?? Whereas I do not?????

The answer to which I was blind for all these decades (I'm 60 years old now) is so simple: She had been telling me that all this time and would not believe it or give it any weight at all. Namely, she cared about me, that is loved me, whereas I did not care about her, that is, I did not love her.

She would say, Leon, you do not love me. And I would feel preposterous. Darling, Honey Sweets, Of course I love you, Kiss, kiss, kiss, hug, hug, hug. Now there, See??

Oh what hogwash, ain't? She was right. The Lord has brought me to see this now because I've finally switched sides, switched orientation, from myself and downward to and from hell, all the way to the opposite, that is, my orientation upward to and from heaven. Just like that. Snap. Turnabout.

Oh what a history of neglect it would be to tabulate all the the ways I have neglected my wife since the wedding! Don't think you're necessarily better, man. I think we're all in it the same way and to the same awful extent, but with many individual variations and styles, endlessly repeated by each husband over countless generations. Bu you can break the spell of the ages, friend, Yes you can, just as I have. That's what the Lord is now able to accomplish through His Second Coming in the Writings of Swedenborg. (See my comments on the scientific significance of Christmas here.)

And so to love her I must be a good servant to her and this means learning from her, how she did it. How she became my wife in truth, while I am still to become her husband in truth. And so I am learning how to be a good servant from her perspective, which is the perspective of conjugial love, hence the Lord's perspective. And all the things I cannot yet do for her, I must strive to learn to do, and all the things I already know how to do, I must strive to do them more and better.

Remember this: keeping lists is essential if you're serious. And you must, repeat must, discuss these lists with your wife. She it is who is going to tell you what's true and what's accurate. She alone, and not you. Not you, but she alone. Get it?? Do you feel resistant, enraged, disdainful at these ideas? Well stop it. Reverse yourself and elevate this to its rightful place in your mind: the ideas you must suffer yourself to adopt if you're going to save your marriage, hence your soul. This is from the Lord. Study the Word and you'll see. Do not contradict these ideas without studying the Threefold Word: The Writings of Swedenborg, first; the New Testament, second; the old testament, last. This order is highly recommended, and as you study the Writings more and more, you'll be able to confirm all these things on your own.

For years, I was content in leaving the following items as matters of male prerogatives--how about you?

She sees to it that we...

etc. -- you make your own list!!

I used to have an equity model for our relationship. When we got married, she did whatever I wasn't doing, and I kept doing the things I was already doing. How easy for me. Much harder for her. So I used my male prerogatives not to have to share really, but only by reputation. Like many husbands, I got rewards for doing what I was supposed to do. You know the pattern. Help her, but don't get involved enough to care about the outcome. Let her worry about that and let her slave to put it all together and hold it functional and working.

Many husbands have boasted to me that they go shopping with their wife to make her feel better and to show they care. But when we talk about the details, you know what comes out: a bored and stressed husband hanging around and silently pressuring her to hurry up, or maybe not so silently. This is no victory, man! This is not the way it's supposed to go, if you mean it about showing her you care and wanting to be a friend. OK, so I found out.

I now learned to shop with her and act like I'm a girlfriend--sort of, you know what I mean. I help her search and locate, I don't just hang around and follow like scatter brained puppy dog. So I act like she can consult me and I learned to give the appropriate responses. I had to discover that when she asks me a question about Is this OK, she doesn't mean to get an answer like, Yeah, it's OK. Or, No it's not OK. Instead, she wants to consult. This means talk. And in the talking she needs for me to convince her of that she already suspects or knows, but needs more courage or confirmation to accept.

Now if I go against what she accepts, I introduce stress and chaos in her shopping life. She suddenly gets thrown off her functional perch when I criticize or ambiguate. Sometimes the price is steep but she loves the item. She'll say No, this is wrong with it, or that, Or else, let's go over to that store and look. So I have to make a fateful decision: to agree with her to go somewhere else--which means to her that I too think it costs too much. Or, to talk her into it, freeing her mind to accept the price. And she is grateful. After all, she wants it, and not to have it because of the price is cruel--though an everyday occurrence for all but the few very rich.

So, going shopping with her is not enough. You have to make it good by learning all the required stuff. And you learn all that if you care to. Every wife is wonderful in teaching her husband the required stuff--if only he wants to--and that's rare these days, you hear, rare!! Let's change all that, husbands of the world, you have nothing to lose but your weaknesses and evils.

Next time you throw a party or family event, watch careful what you do that you're not supposed to do, and don't do what you're supposed to. By "supposed to" I mean--according to your wife. If you properly enact being a servant to her, you would not disagree with her on anything she wants. She wants it this way and it seems to you it should be that way? Give up your view, and espouse her view. What have you got to lose? Think about this: you insist on your view not because it's better, but because it's yours!!

Yes, don't reject this idea. It's your love of ruling over her that gets involved in this kind of dispute or disagreement. By giving in to her view every time, you are enacting being good to her, loving her, being the servant to her since she is your neighbor in the first place. You might become hysterical and pretend that it's hard for you to just give in all the time. Maybe you'd prefer equity again? One time her view prevails; next time your view prevails. Reject this idea from hell. It is evil. Instead, let her view prevail every time--this will protect you from your ruling love, it will save you!!

I used to practice humbling myself so I can be a servant to her in an appropriate way, in a celestial way. She used to complain that I don't "make up" after I made her cry or frustrated or demeaned by the way I was behaving toward her, such as raising my voice threateningly or accusing her of enjoying to torture me by not going along with my way, which is either the superior way, or it's the default mode. Poor Diane--she has had to suffer so many years in my various "default mode" which is always some male prerogative that puts her down or out or back. And all she wants and needs is for me to be sweet to her. Beauty and the beast. The wife is always the beauty, and the husband is always the beast. People think that the story Beauty and the Beast is a rare thing to happen in real life. But nothing can be more common because every husband (possibly with a few exceptions, I don’t know) is a beast to start with.

After the first flush of spring passion at the nuptials (or before the wedding, as is true nowadays for many people), after the delight of the honeymoon and its afterglow, there follows the first disagreement, the first fight, the first scary desperate interaction that shakes you to the core and begin to wonder if it's possible that you might have made a mistake in your choice of a partner. Then follow more disagreements, and fights, and deep seated doubts, until they become routine and part of the marriage environment. Conjugial love is then shut up, its doors frozen tight, and the husband is on his way to hell where he already spends so much of his time. He thus turns his back to the Lord and throws himself angrily into hell-city, his mind filled with suspicion, anger, jealousy, self-flagellation, masturbation, self-annihilation. That's it for this husband, all husbands. But wait: No that's too horrible. It's not Christian. There you said it!!

The Christian way is shared with the Noble Way: to love your neighbor at least as much as yourself, and your wife is your closest neighbor, hence you ought to benefit her first--she comes first, before all the others, then all the others like the children, your parents, pets, all neighbors and friends and acquaintances, coworkers, representatives of the clergy, famous people, heroes, strangers, projects, tasks, objects, reputation, and status. She is ahead of all these. That means none of the things mentioned in the previous sentence can come ahead of her. If pitted against her, they each must fall so she can come up ahead of them. Simple concept. And that's because conjugial love is ahead of every other love, and her conjugial love is the Lord's direct influx which you are to receive in obedience to her conjugial love. That is why your wife is your neighbor, or use, in the first place, and no other neighbor or use can be placed by you ahead of her.

Don't resist this, friend. They are your salvation. Study the Word of God and the Lord will open your eyes and instruct you as to these truths. I have many passages you can start studying in this file.

The Kitchen Belongs to the Husband

One of the wonderful discoveries I made is that the kitchen belongs to husbands more than to the wife. I see both natural and spiritual reasons for this. Spiritually, feeding means instructing and so the husband in his external state represents truth and knowledge, while the wife represents this in her internal state. This spiritual psychobiological relationship is diagrammed here. The kitchen and all its activities such as cooking and gathering groceries, represent the cognitive activities of the husband's spirit as well as the affective activities that motivate the choices for these activities. Affectively, the husband in the kitchen provides food and sustenance to the wife and her dependents. Together with this, health and cleanliness, timeliness and prudence for the sake of the family.

I have discovered things about women since I took over as the one responsible for the kitchen. They of course appreciate a husband who cooks and cleans up and shops and plans the meals for the whole family as his own responsibility. But they also find it sweet. I didn't know that. Well, I can understand the appreciation part--the husband lifts a tremendous burden off the wife's shoulder by doing this. So they appreciate it. But why do they also find it sweet? You tell me, Mr. Husband, if you're so smart! Well, let's face it: we don't know why. We may have some hypotheses maybe…Well, I think I know why, friends: Women find a man sweet who takes over the kitchen because husbands do such a tremendous job of it!! I know women are good too, but husbands can be good in a different way, and this to women is sweet. Well, if you don't like my explanation now, you'll like it better later. Keep the faith!

A few more things need to be brought out about why a wife appreciates husbands taking over the kitchen, and why it is really a husband's job not woman's. The fact is that women are not as well suited for the kitchen duties as her husband. Women are more sensitive than their husbands and they suffer a great deal from the neglect and abuse of the people for whom they are forced to cook. Cooking and collecting and storing groceries are labor intensive activities, better suited for husbands than the wife, relatively speaking. So if we had to choose from the point of view of evolution, psychology, and spirituality, men should have the role of taking care of the kitchen, not women. Men can be objective and professional in their kitchen duties, which is why almost all professional chefs have been men, and still are today throughout the world. It is only fear and cowardice that keeps us men out of recognizing this, and owning up to it.

So friend, when you see your wife next, surprise her, and say to her:

Honey, Sweet, please allow me to take over the kitchen from A to Z and I promise I won't bother you with it or do things in a way that annoys you. I'll consult with you at every step only as much as you wish to at the moment. I want your mind to be free from this chore from now on. OK, Sweet Honey Pie?

Or whatever words best fit you, friend. But do it. Do it and you're saved, because on your way to be saved. But do it for the reasons outlined here: namely, because that's what the Lord wants from you so He can save you. Do it for this reason alone, or else it wont' be for real.

See what she says and does.

Husbands in general are afraid to take over the kitchen.  My dear departed step father and his friends of old never stepped into the kitchen.  The result of this male prerogative was that the wife in each case had to become a vile servant to her husband.  Well, vile may be an exaggeration, but think of it man!  The women had no choice, they got no wages, and they got punished if something went wrong.  That's slavery in anyone's book, don't you think?  So admit it, be brave, be noble, be sexy, yes that's something you'll understand later.  Women admire their man when he fesses up to his male prerogatives.  It turns them on to their husband because it is a manly thing to do, to confess for the sake of self-amendment.  That's what noble is.   Yes, I discovered that.  It is from the Lord.  The Lord describes Himself as Meek and Gentle, and in His Word He teaches men to be like Him, like a Lamb, not like a wolf, or bear, or dog, or rat, or weasel, or bull, or viper, or scorpion--I'm choosing animals that represent the history of my own perfidy and betrayal and cruelty as a husband.

But the Lord gives us the power to exit from our beastiality and to enter into humanity.  The wife is the Lord's instrument of transformation for every husband.   Study the Writings of Swedenborg and you will see this for yourself.

When men get married social norms tend to reinforce the concept of "men friends" as an activity husbands can carry out apart from their wife.   Cultural and ethnic and lifestyle variations pick various things through which husbands can express this, according to their male prerogatives:  poker night with the boys; bachelor's party; high school or army buddy; sports and coaching; hobbies; and the like.  Through these activities the husband is taking rights to be separate from his wife.  Husbands are operating on the model that says, My wife comes first, true, but these other things are also important and real.  What a laugh, men!  What this means, in actuality, is that the wife is shoved aside, kicked in the teeth, and told to behave herself.  These activities where the husband excludes the wife are nothing else than evil rebellion against being an obedience to the wife.  I'm not discussing the parallel case for the wife:  given the brutal treatment of women by their husbands (or, brothers, fathers, boy friends, bosses), women have no other relief but each other.

So a wife might need the support of her old girl friend from high school, and granting her that friendship is just an act of kindness by the husband and by society.  But it's different with the husband: his friends will stand in the way of his transformation into a conjugial husband.  The wife already has the strong motivation of becoming a conjugial wife to her husband; her girl friends are there as a temporary solace and comfort while her cruel husband gets it and changes.  But his men friends are there to distract him from his task as husband.  They will try to weaken his wife's hold over him.  They will try to put distance between the husband and the wife.  They are like Pinocchio's gang of newfound friends who plot to destroy the boy and turn him into a donkey.  The only way a husband can have activities with friends and hobbies is he integrates them into his marriage life so that his wife is never excluded.  Remember this:  anything at all that excludes your wife is bad and takes you to hell.

Not just activities, hobbies, people.  But also ideas and talk.  If you have ideas you're ashamed or afraid to share with her, you've got to get rid of those ideas.   You cannot hold on to the ideas and cleave to her at the same time.  The Lord said we cannot have two masters, for if we serve one, we reject the other.  To be an obedience to your wife, she must be your only master.  That is because by voluntarily choosing to be an obedience to your wife you are voluntarily choosing to obey the Lord's Word.  He it is Who has arranged this matter for you, and keeps it going, always faithfully, lovingly, ceaselessly, and ever so gently, bending your thoughts and feelings toward Him, through obedience to her.  Get it?  It's not complicated, but it goes against the grain of our mind, until we're reformed by the Lord who changes the orientation of those grains, away from hell, and towards Himself.  In this way He gives you immortality, and eternity with your wife as one.  Oh, how beautiful.   Amen.

How Husbands Misuse the Mechanism of Closeness

Feeling close is as important to the health and happiness of your wife as air and water is to you. Naturally, and perversely, we husbands pick this most essential mechanism to torture and destroy our wife's happiness and basic security. Why? Because we are born willful to the extreme, and willfulness is the state of being turned toward self. You can see this in children, before we grow up to be adults. There is nothing more cute and engaging and attractive than a young person or animal. We find them irresistible in our warm affections. So children are a source of animated engagement and enthusiasm, warming our spirit and delighting our mind. And yet, a moment or two later, that same child that is so innocent and attractive and good, suddenly becomes willful. That's the end of innocence, its opposite. And while the child is being willful we are not filled with delight but with frustration, stress, aversion, dislike, anger, rage.

So as children we alternate between states of cute innocence and receptivity to adults, and states of rebellion and contrariness. One is heaven; the other is hell. As we grow older we will continue to alternate between these two states. When we meet our wife-to-be the Lord takes us through several states of marriage innocence. We experience these states as romance and its intense involvements with each other. But they are advanced gifts soon to be withdrawn by the Lord. That first quarrel at last arrives, the first fight, the first willful separation, the first expression of hatred and betrayal and cruelty. The post-honeymoon states are such because the honeymoon and pre-honeymoon states are not merited or real, but superadded and temporary. The Lord gives us a taste for what to strive for. Husbands then begin a long, long period of willfulness and self-involvement during which they torture and destroy their wife using all sorts of tricks and ugly weapons. The wife now fights for her very life, the peace and comfort and security she expects and is entitled to, totally gone, taken away by the willful husband.

One of the chief ugly weapons is the misuse of the mechanism of closeness that is so fundamentally the life and existence of the wife. The wife has already overcome her willfulness in the major areas of the relationship. She has succeeded in placing herself second, and her husband first, in her entire inner emotional apparatus and mentality. But the husband has not yet responded in kind. He takes years and decades what she accomplishes in days, weeks, or months. She re-organizes her life and her ideology to suit him. She honors his male prerogatives, willingly becoming a slave, if only she can have him for real later, but when? Oh, Lord, how long? That's what my poor tortured wife used to cry out with in the face of my recalcitrance and willfulness.

By betraying the wife in the area of closeness, the unregenerate and willful (egotistical) husband is attempting to destroy her, so that their marriage would be destroyed, so that the husband could declare failure. What?? Yes, that's what my wife revealed to me that the Lord gave her perception to see. I could hardly believe it or even assign it any weight in my mind. I thought that that's just the way she speaks--thus DISCOUNTING her and her opinion and her perceptions. She was deeply hurt. What recourse does she have? Is it hopeless, Lord?

I could not believe the idea that I am bent on self-destruction. Why don't I know this? What kind of Freudian theory is this? But to her, it was so obvious! And now I too see how obvious it is--in myself, and in other husbands I know and can observe. Here are some examples of self-destructive behaviors of which the husband is unaware or unwilling to admit:

  1. Discounting what she says and perceives, even though she speaks and perceives from the Lord.
  2. Raising your voice above hers to force her to relinquish her demand.
  3. Being task-involved in discussing something with her, and paying no attention to how she feels during the discussion, just ignoring her frustration and suffering.
  4. Ignoring where a discussion was left off, so she gets the feeling it's hopeless because there is no cumulative progress--so she has to start from scratch each time.
  5. Forgetting things that are important to her that she doesn't want you to forget--but you act like you have forgotten anyway. Further, you don't act like your forgetting is a big deal and you act like she is a stickler or nag because she insists on it.
  6. Not knowing what she thinks about many things because you don't make the effort to find out, so that she is left with the destructive feeling that you don't care about her and that you are not interested in her.
  7. Raising your voice at her and intimidating her physically (like throwing, banging, or hitting, etc.) so that she feels fear from you as if you were a stranger.
  8. Criticizing her, which makes her feel that you do not like her.
  9. Not helping her when she needs help, thus letting her figure it out for herself--which is the feeling of not having a friend.
  10. Having sex with her without making up for your prior insults--this makes her feel like a slut, which is your fault, and is very harmful to the conjugial.
  11. Using your male prerogatives to satisfy yourself in sex without wanting to know or making the effort to find out, whether she has been satisfied. Also: acting incompetent in satisfying her due to self-involvement or, self-limitations you show no signs of wanting to get rid of.
  12. Rebelling against her desire to know your every move and not telling her precisely about your schedule so she has to wonder where you are and when you're coming home.  And worse: lying about what you do or covering it up because you want to retain your independence or because you decided it's not her role to keep tabs on your comings and goings.
  13. Resenting her for wanting to micro-manage your time or activities and going along with that resentment instead of fighting it as illegitimate and evil.
  14. Involving yourself with activities that exclude her automatically so she feels like her connection to you is broken:  having lunch with an ex-girl friend; going to a bar with the boys and spending time there instead of coming home to her; spending a lot of time at some hobby in which she cannot participate or in which you don't want her to participate; etc.
  15. Embarrass her in public, or to her friends or company, or to the children; making a scene and spoiling the decorum and mood she wants to set or maintain.
  16. Keeping away from her at parties and gatherings, sticking with the boys or the men, avoiding the women's talk as abhorrent; or, if participating, then taking over and dominating the conversation or focus.
  17. Letting a whole day go by without complementing her or her appearance or her work; taking her for granted, and making her feel that you're taking her for granted instead of treating like you think she is special.
  18. Relentlessly pursuing your topic, insisting on your opinion or judgment, suffocating her with your dominating power and rigidity and selfishness.

OK, do you get the picture? You need to extend this list on your own, chum! Follow a Threestep Program, below.

Husband's Threestep Program for Character Reformation

Step 1: Acknowledge
Step 2: Witness
Step 3: Modify

Step 1: To acknowledge means to confess from a feeling of obedience to the Lord in the conjugial love of your wife. You obey her because you obey the conjugial love she receives from the Lord and in which is the Lord. Thus if you rebel against her, you rebel against the Lord. And if you obey her, you obey the Lord. Note this very important point: you must obey your wife for the right reason or motive or else it doesn't count. And the right motive for obeying your wife is that thereby you are obeying the Lord. No other motivation will do it for you. So keep this in the forefront of everything you do, think, or speak. To acknowledge and to confess what?

That you are unreformed and unregenerate, which means that you are bent on hell, headed for hell, and will end up in hell--unless you suffer yourself to let your wife be the Lord's instrument of your reformation as a husband who is being prepared for heaven. In other words, your only way to salvation and eternal life in heaven, is by becoming an obedience to your wife.

Step 2: To witness yourself being bad to your wife. Without the self-examination the Lord commands us to do, there can be no reformation of the fallen character of every individual. Some people say that the Word says that you need not do this except from time to time, recognize your evils, hold them as sins against the Lord, repent from them, withholding yourself from doing them, and finally holding them in aversion. Indeed this is what the Word says.

But that's not enough, I found, and I so advise you to do as well, though you ought to see this from your own understanding and reasoning, so that you may be convinced in freedom--or else it doesn't count. I don't think you can witness your harmful acts and thoughts against your wife simply by self-examination a few times a year, or, a few times a month. I found that you have to carry on self-witnessing all the time that you're awake, and even in sleep. In other words, there is never a time when you can afford not to witness your interactions with your wife. Never. Not one minute.

This is because our unregenerate character has countless ties and connections and associations and involvements with the hells. We are all born that way. No one, not one, is unfettered by numberless evils in our feelings, motives, thoughts, assumptions, habits, pleasures, etc. We are like a baseball--wound and wound around with poisonous thread; or like a diseased onion from which you can peel away the skins with black stuff until there is nothing left but the little onion knob at the center that can hardly continue to survive if not soon rescued.

The Lord has provided an orderly method for reforming our dead or totally evil character which is diseased from parental inheritance and culture, and gets worse with time from one's own willfully acquired habits. There is no other method provided for you to reform and be saved. "Saved" means that your wife comes before you in all things for the sake of the Lord, that is, that He may unthread your evil threads and may give you new clothes, His clothes, His Proprium or Character--that you may be Perfect like your Father in Heaven--so spoke the Lord.

By taking on the attitude of witnessing your interactions and your thoughts and your emotions with your wife, you are empowering yourself to observe your evils. Without this observing, you are lost, gone. Because you will never, repeat never, believe what you are like when someone else tells you. Therefore to see your evils, you yourself and by yourself must want and desire to see them, and this obviously means to observe them that you might get rid of them. The Lord flows into that effort of getting rid of them and gets rid of them--not you by your own power, but the Lord by His Own Power. Such is the intimate relationship we have with Him.

So you see: you can hardly get away from lists. I had to write things down as Diane pointed them out. I could not, would not, remember them, so she had to constantly repeat and point, repeat and point in the face of my seeming incomprehension or blindness. How convenient for me. So by writing things down, by making lists, by studying them and how they are against the Lord, by listening to her--above all--that's what you will do to save yourself.

Step 3: To modify means to compel yourself to act contrary to your inclinations for the sake of good.  Self-witnessing reveals your evils one by one, and thus you must modify each one, one by one.  The self-witnessing lists will help you identify what you must modify, and your wife is the origin of those lists--it doesn't go on the list till she says it does, and it doesn't get off the list till she says.  It was hard for me to submit myself to this, to her supreme authority in matters dealing with my evils of character.  Thank God I did, and do, and will, with the Lord's help.

The Husband's Diary or Confessional

The title of my own confessional is I'm an Ass:   Autobiographical Observations of a Husband and starts like this:

I'm an ass.   Because of this, I need to confess my sins.  This is Book 3.  The other two I started were attempts to confess without revealing that I was an ass.   Dedicated to my one and only love, my wife.

And it continues: (12-7-1992 entry)

This is to confirm that what she has been saying about me (to me), is all true, all of it, notwithstanding my denials.  And this truth is that I won't be making it to heaven unless I change.  And she, my dear wife, is undergoing the passion of living with me for the sake of showing me the direction I need to change.  She is my beacon and guide, and the Lord will let me know how to change through her, and not by any other means, not by myself.

Today I had the perception that I was a pretty evil man, mean spirited and utterly without respect for anyone.  I place no limits to my own authority in all matters of morality or wisdom.

Lord, I hate me.  Help to get rid of me and become her man and husband.  Amen.

It's so amazing how we can vacillate from days of no perception and days of clarity.  Writing down your perceptions on clear days will be like a light in the besetting darkness of your mind that you can use to return into sanity.

Entry on 12-8-1992:

How could I be such an ass and give her so much grief over all these years?  How could I? She has not left me, though she has had enough reasons to do so.  I terrorize her in so many ways--with my extremism, judgments, loud voice, threatening face and and a willful choleric silence that shatters the quietude of her mind.

Yes that's me, folks.  I injure the bird that loves me, the swan of beauty that graces my conjugial bed and chamber.  I shall stop Lord, I promise to be to her what You command me to be.

Entry on 1-27-1993:

It has taken a long time to get back here.  In the meantime I've been torturing her!  that is, being good for weeks so that she could say as much, deeply grateful for my change of heart and behavior.  then I go and upset her cart, undercut her confidence, to the point where she says to me in desperation:  "I'm scared of you now, Leon."

O how devilish can I get? The worst part:  I don't even see it.  What a spiritual perversion!

I'm enjoying the views she arranges around my chair and desk:  colored glass shot through sunlight--blue, crystal white, brown smoky red.  I feel elevated by her aesthetic loves.  I see flowers she arranged in the corner:  pink ginger.  I see birds of colored porcelain twitting at one another.  I see colored pillows arranged in Gestalt orders:  green, violet, rose, brown.  Pussy willows on tall thin brown stalks.

I love to look at her chair, where she reads and pays the bills, right underneath the skylight in our living room.  Her place represents her presence in the house, like hallowed grounds.   I get to sit in it whenever I want.  The perspective from her chair is entirely different from my chair.  The two together give me feeling of wholeness and completeness.

I've got to be good.  Regain her confidence in me.  Give her peace.  Praise the Lord of Conjugial Love!

Wake up, Leon!! This is your last chance.

(to be continued)

Back to the Doctrine of the Wife for Husbands (DOW):
        http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch11.htm