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I would be delighted to know your reactions. For comments please email Leon James: leon@hawaii.edu

Doctrine of the Wife for Husbands:
A Spiritual Practice for Achieving Unity

by Leon James
Date: 1985-2004

Part 2

Go to the other parts:   Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4

Note:  You may want to consult a more recent version of this essay:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/wife.html

CONTENTS

Part 2
1. The Two Steps of Unity: External Mind and Internal Mind (Diagrams 1 and 2)
2. The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)
3. Overcoming WHITE Temptations

4. Overcoming YELLOW Temptations
5. Overcoming GREEN Temptations
6. Overcoming BLUE Temptations
7. Overcoming BROWN Temptations
8. Overcoming BLACK Temptations
9. Why a Male Priesthood?
10. Paradigm Shift and the Issue of Women in the Clergy  by Vera Goodenough DycK (reprint)
 

1. The Two Steps of Unity: External Mind and Internal Mind (Diagrams 1 and 2)

From Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

CL 161 (5) A wife inspires the union in her husband according to her love, and a husband receives it according to his wisdom. The idea that a wife inspires the love and thus the union in her husband is today kept hidden from men. Indeed, they universally deny it. The reason is that their wives persuade them that men alone are the lovers, and themselves recipients, or that men are forms of love, and themselves forms of compliance. They even rejoice at heart when their husbands believe this. Wives persuade their husbands of this for many reasons, all of which have to do with the prudence and circumspect nature of wives (concerning which, something will be said hereafter, and in particular in the chapter on the reasons for states of coldness, separations and divorces between married partners*). We say that it is wives who inspire or insinuate the love in their husbands, because not a particle of conjugial love, not even of love for the opposite sex, is seated in men, but only in wives and women. The fact of this was vividly shown me in the spiritual world:

[2] A conversation on this very subject once occurred there, and some men, having been persuaded by their wives, kept insisting that they were the lovers, and not their wives, but that their wives were recipients of love from them. In order to settle the dispute over this question, all women, including their wives, were removed from the men; and together with them the underlying atmosphere of love for the opposite sex was taken away. When this was taken away, the men came into a state altogether foreign to them and never before felt, at which they complained considerably. Then, while they were in this state, some women were brought to them, and the wives were presented to their husbands; and the women and the wives spoke sweetly to them. But at their blandishments the men became cold, and turning away they said to each other, "What is this? What is a woman?" And when some of the women said that they were their wives, they replied, "What is a wife? We do not know you." However, when the wives began to grieve over this utterly cold indifference on the part of their husbands, and some of them to cry, an atmosphere of love for the feminine sex and of conjugial love (which to this point had been taken away from the men) was restored. And then at once the men returned to their former state - the ones who loved their marriages into their state, and the ones who loved the opposite sex in general into their state. Thus the men were convinced that not a particle of conjugial love, not even of love for the opposite sex, resided in them, but only in wives and women. But still, after that, owing to their prudence, the wives induced the men to believe that the love resided in the men, and that some spark of it might possibly have passed from the men to themselves.

[3] I have presented this experience here in order that it may be known that wives are forms of love, and husbands its receivers. Husbands are receivers of it according to the wisdom in them, especially the wisdom which results from religion, which is that they are to love only their wives. And this is plain from considering that when they love only their wives, their love is concentrated, and being also ennobled, remains in its strength, endures and lasts; and that otherwise it would be like taking wheat from a granary and throwing it to the dogs, resulting in an insufficiency at home. * See nos. 234ff.

CL 162. (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. The first heat in marriage does not join two people together, because it draws its character from a love for the opposite sex, which is a love belonging to the body and on that account to the spirit. And whatever is in the spirit as a result of the body does not last long. But love that is in the body as a result of the spirit does last. Love belonging to the spirit, and to the body as a result of the spirit, is insinuated into the souls and minds of married partners together with friendship and mutual trust. When friendship and mutual trust join together with the first love in marriage, conjugial love results, which opens the partners' hearts and inspires in them the sweet enjoyments of love, and this more and more deeply as friendship and trust are added to the original love, and as that original love enters into this friendship and trust and they into it.

CL 163.  (7) A wife's union with her husband's intellectual wisdom takes place inwardly, but with his moral wisdom outwardly. Wisdom in men is twofold, intellectual and moral, and their intellectual wisdom has to do with their understanding alone, while their moral wisdom has to do with both their understanding and at the same time their life. This can be concluded and seen from simply viewing the matter and examining it. Still, to have it known what we mean by the intellectual wisdom of men, and what we mean by their moral wisdom, we will list some specific examples: Various terms are used to designate those elements which have to do with men's intellectual wisdom. In general, they are called knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. In particular, however, they are rationality, judgment, genius, learning, sagacity. But because everyone has special kinds of knowledge peculiar to him in his occupation, these kinds of knowledge are therefore many and various. For there are special kinds of knowledge peculiar to clergymen, to civil officers, to their various officials, to judges, to physicians and pharmacists, to soldiers and sailors, to craftsmen and workmen, to farmers, and so on. To intellectual wisdom belong also all the fields of study to which adolescents are introduced in schools, and through which they are afterwards led into intelligence; and these studies are also called by various names, such as philosophy, physics, geometry, mechanics, chemistry, astronomy, law, political science, ethics, history, and many more, through which, as through gates, one enters into intellectual pursuits, from which comes intellectual wisdom.

CL 164.  Elements having to do with moral wisdom in men, on the other hand, are all moral virtues which have regard to the way they live and which enter into their manner of life. And they include as well spiritual virtues which spring from love toward God and love for the neighbor, and which flow together into those loves. Virtues which have to do with men's moral wisdom likewise have various names, and they are called temperance, sobriety, integrity, kindliness, friendliness, modesty, honesty, helpfulness, courteousness; also diligence, industriousness, skillfulness, alacrity, generosity, liberality, magnanimity, energy, courage, prudence - not to mention many others. Spiritual virtues in men are love of religion, charity, truthfulness, faith, conscience, innocence, as well as many more. These virtues, both moral and spiritual, can be attributed in general to a man's love and zeal for religion, for the public good, for his country, for his fellow citizens, for his parents, for his wife, and for his children. In all of these justice and judgment prevail. Justice has to do with moral wisdom, and judgment has to do with intellectual wisdom.

CL 165. We say that a wife's union with her husband's intellectual wisdom exists inwardly, because this wisdom is characteristic of the intellect of men, and it ascends into a light in which women are not. That is why women do not speak from it, but in gatherings of men where matters like this are being discussed, they keep silent and only listen. Nevertheless, wives still have these things in them inwardly, as is apparent from the fact that they do listen, inwardly recognizing and concurring with those things which they hear and have heard from their husbands. On the other hand, a wife's union with men's moral wisdom exists outwardly, because the virtues of this wisdom are akin for the most part to similar virtues in women, and they spring from the husband's intellectual will, with which the wife's will unites and forms a marriage. And because a wife recognizes these virtues in her husband better than he recognizes them in himself, we say that a wife's union with them exists outwardly.

CL 166.  (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. This, too, is one of the secrets of conjugial love which wives conceal within and keep to themselves - the fact that wives recognize their husbands' affections and discreetly moderate them. They recognize these affections through the three senses of sight, hearing and touch, and they moderate them without their husbands' being at all aware of it. Now, because these are among things kept secret by wives, it is not appropriate for me to reveal them in their particulars. It is, however, appropriate for wives themselves, and therefore I have included at the end of several chapters four narrative accounts in which wives themselves reveal them. Two of the accounts come from the three wives living in the hall on which I saw what seemed to be golden rain falling.

* And the other two accounts come from seven wives sitting in a rose garden.
** If these accounts are read, this secret will be seen revealed.
* See nos. 155[r] and 208. ** See nos. 293 and 294.

Diagram 1 below shows the spiritual dynamics of conjugial marriages. There are two major steps to be taken, one for achieving unity in the external mind, and the other for achieving unity in the internal mind. The unity in the internal mind develops within the unity achieved in the external mind. In step 1 the Divine influx is into the external portion of the affective mind of the husband and the external portion of the cognitive mind of the wife. In each the influx produces its own gender specific effect due to the construction of the affective and cognitive organs of the husband and the wife. In the husband, the Divine influx activates his love of becoming wise. From this love, as the arrow shows, the husband collects, acquires, and adjoins moral wisdom. This is a masculine form of rationality in the man's external cognitive mind. In the wife, the Divine influx is into the cognitive mind where it activates a perception of moral wisdom. This is a feminine form of rationality in the external cognitive mind of the woman. The wife covers over this moral wisdom from the Divine and adjoins to it her love of the husband's moral wisdom, as the arrow shows. In conclusion, for step 1, there is a unity achieved between the wife and the husband due to the wife becoming the love of her husband's moral wisdom. Note that this unity is only in the external mind. Note also that the unity rests on the wife becoming the love of the husband's wisdom. The husband does not contribute to the union in a direct way as the wife does. As a result the union is not complete. It is one-sided. It is not a reciprocal union, not a full unity.

unity1.gif (10006 bytes)

But in the second step, as diagram 1 above shows, the husband becomes the love of the wife's celestial wisdom. The wife's inner wisdom, that is, the wisdom she has in her internal mind, is called celestial wisdom ("Sarah"). She has this wisdom covered over with her love of the husband's intellectual wisdom. Note that in the external mind (step 1), the husband's wisdom is called moral wisdom, but in his internal mind his wisdom is called intellectual wisdom. The wife, now in her internal mind, becomes the love of the husband's intellectual wisdom, while before in the external mind, she became the love of his moral wisdom. At the same time the husband becomes the love of his wife's celestial wisdom. While before, in the external mind, he had the love of becoming wise, now his love is for the inner wisdom of his wife. As you can see from the arrows, there is now a reciprocal union between husband and wife, while before in the external mind, the husband did not reciprocate. Now the union is reciprocal, complete, in both in the external and the internal portions of the mind of the married partners.

Diagram 2 below shows the two states of attaining internal marriage unity. The internal mind is shown within the external mind, as usual in these diagrams (see other examples in this article on the genes of consciousness). 

unity2.gif (5165 bytes)

Diagram 2 above shows that the external mind is constructed out of sensuous consciousness during the three descending steps (WHITE, YELLOW, GREEN consciousness phases). These three steps in achieving external unity are described in the chart above (matrix 1) and are labeled ROMANCE, DOMINANCE, EQUITY. When these three stages are resolved, fulfilled, and completed, unity between husband and wife has been achieved--IN THE EXTERNAL MIND ONLY. This external unity is based on the love of the sex. After the inversion line is crossed, the three ascending steps proceed to establish unity IN THE INTERNAL MIND as well. Internal unity grow within external unity in three phases which in the chart above (matrix 1) are labeled SURRENDER, SPECIALIZATION, UNITY (color correspondences: BLUE, BROWN, BLACK). At the end of the sixth phase of a regenerating marriage, the conjugial genes of consciousness have been formed in the husband and the wife, and this organic substance is what unites them into "one flesh", that is, one angelic human being. This state can be portrayed as follows:

unity3.gif (10344 bytes)

From Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

170. (12) A wife joins herself to her husband by appeals to his will's desires. As this is a matter of common knowledge, explanation of it is made unnecessary.

171. (13) A wife is joined to her husband by the atmosphere of her life emanating from her love. From every person there emanates, indeed pours, a spiritual atmosphere from the affections of his love, and this atmosphere surrounds him. It also enters into the natural atmosphere arising from the body, and the two atmospheres combine together.

172. (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. That this is so is also something I have gained from the testimony of angels. They said that the seminal fluids expended by husbands are universally received by their wives and added to the life in them, and that the wives in consequence lead a life in harmony and in progressively greater harmony with their husbands. Moreover, that the effect of this is to bring about a union of souls and conjunction of minds. The angels said that this is because a husband's seminal fluid contains his soul, and also his mind in respect to the interior elements of it which have been joined to the soul.

(...)

However, the angels added that occurrences of the utilization and assimilation in wives of the life of their husbands are contingent on their conjugial love, because it is love, which is a spiritual union, which joins two people together. And that this, too, has been provided, for many reasons.

173. (15) A wife thus receives into herself an image of her husband, and from it perceives, sees and feels his affections. From the arguments presented above, it follows, as something already attested, that wives receive into themselves matters that have to do with the wisdom of their husbands, thus matters belonging to their souls and minds, and in this way, from being maidens, they turn themselves into wives.

2. The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

You have now arrived to that part of the Doctrine of the Wife that faces you down in each of the six periods. You now have to look at yourself in a way you didn't have to before. You are now holding up a mirror to yourself as a husband, and this mirror is your wife's consciousness. From now on you will have to step down from the abstract support you might have given to the idea of the Doctrine of the Wife and put it up against your individual particular case history and biography. Here is what you'll be told about yourself. Read the chart first, then we will discuss it.

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE
I

INFANCY

WHITE

CELESTIAL

SENSUOUS

ROMANCE

vs.

REJECTION

** being unfaithful to his wife
** rejecting his wife in any way
** being disloyal to his wife
** being unfriendly to his wife
** fails to support her
** not coming to her rescue
** allowing her to feel abandoned
** etc. etc.
II

CHILDHOOD

YELLOW

SPIRITUAL

SENSUOUS

DOMINANCE

vs.

HURTFULNESS

** complaining about his wife
** dominating or controlling his wife
** neglecting his wife physically or mentally
** annoying his wife and not stopping
** driving her crazy
** criticizing his wife
** pouting to his wife and acting cold
** ignoring her
** lying or keeping information from her
** being secretive and acting on his own
** deliberately confusing her, misleading her
** manipulating her, controlling her
** etc. etc.
III

ADOLESCENCE

GREEN

NATURAL

SENSUOUS

EQUITY

vs.

ABUSIVENESS

** denigrating his wife
** insulting her
** attacking her honor
** causing her to doubt herself
** belittling her
** taking advantage of her, using her
** abusing his wife physically or mentally
** making her feel ashamed, worthless
** bullying his wife through threat or intimidation
** endangering his wife and not caring
** etc. etc.

INVERSION

IV

YOUNG ADULTHOOD

BLUE

NATURAL

RATIONAL

SURRENDER

vs.

PREROGATIVES

** treating his wife severely
** making her feel guilty, sinful
** insisting on male prerogatives
** quotes the Bible to her to justify himself
** likes the philosophy of male chauvinism
** indulges himself and puts himself ahead of his wife
** demanding things from his wife and insisting
** etc. etc.

V

ADULTHOOD

BROWN

SPIRITUAL

RATIONAL

SPECIALIZATION

vs.

INSECURITIES

** feeling disapproval for his wife
** being intolerant of something about his wife
** fears the feminization of religion, wanting gender roles and rules
** puts the Church ahead of the wife
** rejects affirmative action for husbands (like the Doctrine of the Wife or, feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society)
** does not mind using gender biased language like "man" and "he"
** secretly believes in the intellectual inferiority of women
** doesn't mind if the wife feels "closed out" from a portion of his life
** is willing to remain in conjugial cold in his internal mind as long as he feels heat towards her in the external mind
** does not feel responsible for his wife's insecurities stemming from the doctrine of specialization
** does not feel sympathy for the insecurities she has about gender role divisions and how these interfere with conjugial love
** etc. etc.

VI

OLD AGE

BLACK

CELESTIAL

RATIONAL

UNITY

vs.

DISCONNECTION

** expresses impatience to his wife
** discounts in his mind what wife wants or thinks
** does not value something his wife values
** automatically believes himself before he believes his wife
** likes the idea of treating women special, yet is inwardly proud of his maleness
** is inclined to love his own wisdom before his wife's
** says that he puts the wife ahead of the Church, but doesn't
** says he accepts the Doctrine of the Wife, but makes exceptions when he feels like it
** practices the principle of affirmative action for husbands (=feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society), but only on a part time basis
** dedicated to unity and eternity, yet tolerates separation when convenient
** disconnects himself from his wife as soon as she stands up to him, immunizing his emotions so she can't bother him or "get to him"
** feels self-sufficient in his internal mind, untouchable, independent
** enjoys his wife's frustration at not being able to get to him on the inside (influence him or make him back off)
** practices being a countercurrent to his wife, enjoying the sense of power
** etc. etc.

The color code helps you keep track of the characteristics of each period or segment and what it takes to overcome the temptations given in that period. Remember this general rule that holds for all charts:

  1. WHITE are CELESTIAL temptations in the EXTERNAL (sensuous) mind (INFANCY period of marriage)
  2. YELLOW are SPIRITUAL temptations in the EXTERNAL (sensuous) mind (CHILDHOOD period of marriage)
  3. GREEN are NATURAL temptations in the EXTERNAL (sensuous) mind (ADOLESCENCE period of marriage)
  4. BLUE are NATURAL temptations in the INTERNAL (rational) mind (YOUNG ADULTHOOD period of marriage)
  5. BROWN are SPIRITUAL temptations in the INTERNAL (rational) mind (ADULTHOOD period of marriage)
  6. BLACK are CELESTIAL temptations in the INTERNAL (rational) mind (OLD AGE period of marriage)

We can also put the angels together and recall this rule based on the above:

  1. WHITE and BLACK temptations are CELESTIAL (romance and unity VS. rejection and disconnection)
  2. YELLOW and BROWN temptations are SPIRITUAL (dominance and specialization VS. hurtfulness and insecurities)
  3. GREEN and BLUE temptations are NATURAL (equity and surrender VS. abusiveness and prerogatives)

You should be able to reconstruct from memory the main elements of the chart. Only in this way can you use the chart as a basis for keeping track objectively of your married life and your relationship to your wife. This relationship is the most important relationship we are ever going to have. It is this relationship that will determine our lot and fate in the afterlife, hence our happiness or misery to eternity. Surely it is worth the mental effort of acquiring the language of these charts as an aid, a map for navigating the successive states we must undergo.

Now let's focus on the three main conflict themes:

  1. romance and unity VS. rejection and disconnection
  2. dominance and specialization VS. hurtfulness and insecurities
  3. equity and surrender VS. abusiveness and prerogatives

The elements before the VS. represent the normal intended steps in each period, while the elements following the VS. represent the vastated or corrupted steps in each period.

We will now examine the character of the temptations in each of the six periods of our development as regenerating husbands.

3. OVERCOMING THE WHITE TEMPTATIONS

From Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

180. (21) The states produced by this love are innocence, peace, tranquillity, inmost friendship, complete trust, a mutual desire of the 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.

All of these states are inherent in conjugial love and consequently spring from it, and the reason is that conjugial love originates from the marriage between goodness and truth, and this marriage comes from the Lord.

Romance (WHITE) and unity (BLACK) is our end game; more specifically, unity within romance. This is the state that the celestial angels are in. In their internal mind: unity; in their external mind: romance. Romance is part of sensuous consciousness, while unity is part of rational consciousness. We can achieve this state now to the extent we are willing endure changing ourselves by overcoming the six types of temptations. To achieve unity we must overcome our great love for male conveniences (see BLACK temptations below). This is a kind of laziness of our rational consciousness. We want our conveniences (which is sensuous, not rational), but we also want unity (which is a rational consciousness, not sensuous). Unity is not convenient much of the time, and so we want to turn it on and off--at our convenience. That's how we males think and feel before we are regenerated. Obviously we cannot achieve unity and live in heaven as long as we put our personal conveniences ahead of our unity with our wife. What will prevent us from achieving the end game?

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE
I

INFANCY

WHITE

CELESTIAL

SENSUOUS

ROMANCE

vs.

REJECTION

** being unfaithful to his wife
** rejecting his wife in any way
** being disloyal to his wife
** being unfriendly to his wife
** fails to support her
** not coming to her rescue
** allowing her to feel abandoned
** ceasing to talk to her in a tender voice (contrast the voice you're using with a pet or baby)
** ceasing to be solicitous (e.g., when she hurts herself, or sneezes, or sighs)
** ceasing to remember personal celebrations (e.g., where you had your first kiss, or when you got engaged)
** ceasing to provide surprises for her (states of excitement she needs and enjoys)
** etc. etc.

The chart gives the answer. The end of romance in the wife's sensuous consciousness is her husband's acts of rejection, and the end of unity in the wife's rational consciousness is her husband's preference of his convenience over unity with the wife (see BLACK temptations below). To keep romance alive in our wife's heart we must avoid any deeds of rejection. And to keep unity alive in her goals we must avoid choosing our convenience over unity with her. Look at the WHITE list of temptations--they detail the various ways we husbands reject our wife and destroy the romance in her heart.

Discuss the WHITE chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your WHITE temptations.

From Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

189. We say that a woman feels the delights of her warmth in the light of a man; but what we mean is that a woman feels the delights of her warmth in the wisdom of a man, because wisdom is what receives it, and love has its pleasures and delights when it finds this reception in something corresponding to itself. This does not mean, however, that warmth has pleasure with its light apart from forms, but in them. And all the more does spiritual warmth have pleasure with spiritual light in them, because it is from wisdom and love that these forms are alive and thus responsive.

4. OVERCOMING THE YELLOW TEMPTATIONS

Excerpt from an article by Rev. John Odhner:

Does God Really Say That?

We can understand the answer to this question better if we begin at the very beginning. The book of Genesis contains a parable about creation. It says that when God first created people He made them male and female, so that both together were God's image and likeness. At that time He provided that the two should be "one flesh." There is no hint that God intended in the beginning for either male or female to have superiority.

Masculine dominance came later. As time passed people turned away from the Lord, and deliberately disobeyed Him. As a result, they brought suffering upon themselves. Then God said that because they had disobeyed the man would have to labor hard for his food: "Cursed is the ground for your sake... Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,...in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread." For the woman's part, her sorrow would "multiply greatly," and she would have pain in childbirth. And God said to her, "Your husband shall rule over you." (Genesis 3:16-19) The context makes it quite clear that male domination was part of the woman's punishment. It is to be considered a curse when a husband rules, just as much as pain in childbirth and thistles and thorns in the ground were curses. This story shows that male dominance is the result of man's evil, not a part of God's ideal order.

original article continues here

Dominance is a status differential. Husband and wife must have a dominance arrangement that is mutually favorable and beneficial. Dominion and control is an abuse of dominance. Dominance simply means to achieve a mutually agreeable and comfortable status relationship. Specialization (see BROWN consciousness below) means to understand rationally why men and women are created for each other as organic portions that fit into a unity. This specialization entails organic differences from the inmost soul to the outmost body parts. At every level of detail or unit of comparison, the woman's portion will be reciprocal to the man's portion, and no portion between them can be the same but only reciprocal. Hence they require different treatment suitable to its structure. When the husband can recognize this and practices it in daily interactions with his wife, then he has achieved stability in sensuous dominance through rational specialization within it. This will not be fully achieved until the BROWN temptations are overcome (see below).

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE
II

CHILDHOOD

YELLOW

SPIRITUAL

SENSUOUS

DOMINANCE

vs.

HURTFULNESS

** complaining about his wife
** dominating or controlling his wife
** neglecting his wife physically or mentally
** annoying his wife and not stopping
** driving her crazy
** criticizing his wife
** pouting to his wife and acting cold
** ignoring her
** lying or keeping information from her
** being secretive and acting on his own
** deliberately confusing her, misleading her
** manipulating her, controlling her
** etc. etc.

The chart indicates that hurtfulness is the result of not achieving a mutually comfortable dominance pattern in marriage. For the most part this means that the husband is hurtful to his wife. Look at the YELLOW list of temptations. They spell out the various ways you can be hurtful to your wife by failing to work out a mutually comfortable dominance pattern. Each of these acts you do on a daily basis, hurts her. These are evil deeds of hurtfulness, each one of them, and the cumulation of them is devestating to your wife--to her mental nad physical health. And of course it is devastating to you, to your spiritual growth and survival.

Discuss the YELLOW chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your YELLOW temptations.

Excerpt from an article by Rev. John Odhner:

Who Should Be Submissive? In both the creation story and the teachings of Jesus we see that human evil and "hardness of heart" has led to men mistreating their wives. Masculine dominance is not God's ideal, but a sad reality.

Now consider Paul's teaching: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22) A husband with a tendency to look down on women might use this passage as an excuse for continuing to put himself first. But such a person would be completely missing the point of the passage. Paul meant that everyone should be submissive, not just wives. The verse just before says, "Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God," (Ephesians 5:21) e.g., wives submit to husbands, and husbands submit to wives. The Christian way to greatness is through humility and submission, not through pride, rebellion and domination.

Peter, speaking on the same subject, said, Submit yourselves to every human ordinance for the Lord's sake." (1 Peter 2:13) This does not mean that every human ordinance is good. It simply means that we gain more through humility than through rebellion. He goes on to say, "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh...for what credit is it if when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God." (1 Peter 2:18-20)

Peter then asks us to follow the example of Christ, who, "when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, threatened not." (1 Peter 2:23) "Likewise," Peter says, "you wives be submissive to your own husbands." (1 Peter 3:1) The implication is clear: in submitting to their husbands, wives are like Christ when He submitted to His enemies. This does not make it right for the husband to dominate any more than it was right to crucify the Lord.

Never anywhere does the Bible say, "Husbands, rule over your wives!" The message to everyone is to be humble. "All of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5) "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." (Matthew 20:27)

Equal Standing

The Bible shows that neither the man nor the woman has a special advantage in being a Christian. Christ does not choose men in preference to women, or relate to men more directly. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 4:28) It is true that women are dependent upon men, yet it is equally true that men are dependent upon women. "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 11:11) They are "heirs together to the grace of life." (1 Peter 3:7) "God created man in His own image...male and female." (Genesis 1:27) Both of them together are the likeness of God.

original article continues here

5. OVERCOMING THE GREEN TEMPTATIONS

Equity vs. Abusiveness is the theme of the GREEN temptations.

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE
III

ADOLESCENCE

GREEN

NATURAL

SENSUOUS

EQUITY

vs.

ABUSIVENESS

** denigrating his wife
** insulting her
** attacking her honor
** causing her to doubt herself
** belittling her
** taking advantage of her, using her
** abusing his wife physically or mentally
** making her feel ashamed, worthless
** bullying his wife through threat or intimidation
** endangering his wife and not caring
** etc. etc.

INVERSION

Equity refers to the just allocation of rights and privileges in marriage. From the point of view of civil law and moral justice women should have equal rights with men in all things. They should have equal opportunities and equal access to goods and services, including honors and recognition. But this in itself is not sufficient to establish real equity between husband and wife. The norms of society favor men in many different ways and its important to break those habits that hurt the progression to unity. Look at the list of GREEN temptations. They detail the many ways we are abusive to our wife on a daily basis. These acts of abuse are opposite to true equity. The kind of true equity that leads to eventual unity eliminates these.

Discuss the GREEN chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your GREEN temptations.

6. OVERCOMING THE BLUE TEMPTATIONS

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE

INVERSION

IV

YOUNG ADULTHOOD

BLUE

NATURAL

RATIONAL

SURRENDER

vs.

PREROGATIVES

** treating his wife severely
** making her feel guilty, sinful
** insisting on male prerogatives
** quotes the Bible to her to justify himself
** likes the philosophy of male chauvinism
** indulges himself and puts himself ahead of his wife
** demanding things from his wife and insisting
** etc. etc.

BLUE temptations carry the theme of Surrender vs. Prerogatives. "Surrender" here refers to the crossing of the inversion line with respect to our philosophy of life, the basis for our daily operations as an individual. Prior to the inversion all the steps in the development of our mind were "descending" steps. "Descending" in a spiritual sense refers to the order of the angelic heavens.  Our consciousness starts out with the highest celestial angels (Third Heaven) during our Infancy period (celestial, WHITE). They are then removed by the Lord and replaced by the angels of the Second Heaven called Spiritual Angels. This occurs as we take the second descending steps (spiritual, YELLOW). Finally in the third descending step (GREEN, natural) we are with the lowest angels in the First Heaven called Natural Angels). During these three descending steps our sensuous consciousness has reached its full development.

Our rational consciousness has not yet been born (BLUE, BROWN, BLACK). As we complete the third descending step, we hit the inversion line. We can do either of two things. We can avoid crossing to the other side and refuse to undergo the inversion of our mind. In that case we continue to make two more descending steps. These steps are below the inversion line. One is called the sensuous degree of consciousness, and the other which is the lowest,  is called the corporeal degree of consciousness. When the mind is immersed in these degrees and are disconnected from the upper degrees, we exist in hell. We are in company with all those individuals since the beginning of the race who already inhabit these sub-human regions. Swedenborg has described the conditions of life of these people and also what their thinking and emotions are. If you read these descriptions you'll be filled with fear and the desire to avoid joining that monstrous crowd of degraded humans.

And yet when we are born today we are with them in the vertical community. Our thoughts and motives and intentions and preferences--are all their thoughts and motives and intentions and preferences. This is because every single process in our thinking and in our feelings is connected to every single like process they are going through. This connection to them is effected by the Lord in the spiritual world where our mind is. This world is above the hells where they are, and is below the heavens where the angels are. Angels are those of humanity since the beginning who lived a life of regeneration while in the physical body. This means a life of religion in accordance with the commandments of that religion. This life, when lived sincerely rather hypocritically, allows the Lord to regenerate the person's character so that when they leave the physical body they can continue life as angels, that is, as a husband and wife conjugial couple.

The Lord connects us to BOTH the inhabitants of the hells and the inhabitants of the heavens. This is called our vertical community. This two-fold connection creates spiritual freedom within our temptations. Through an experience or an event, the Lord precipitates a temptation for which we are ready and which is suited to our degree of consciousness. We feel our sensuous consciousness being "pulled" this way in terms of a choice, or that way. With each pull there is also an aversion or avoidance. We are thus poised at the cusp of eternity, as it were, for this is a battle for our soul that will gain us eternal heaven or hell forever. The Lord insures that our mind is always in this equal balance between the forces of evil and good whenever we make a conscious spiritual choice. Through these conscious spiritual choices, our character is regenerated.

With every evil choice we are brought into tighter relationship with some particular hellish society to which we had been connected by heredity. With every good choice we are cut off forever from some particular hellish society to which we had been connected by heredity and are reconnected to some angelic society. Progress is a matter of simple numbers in a huge and long battle. Gradually we get disconnected from more and more hellish societies by each choice against them. The choice against them must happen first, then the disconnection by the Lord and the reconnection to a new angelic society. The connection to the angelic society cannot take place until we have rejected and have been cut off from a corresponding hellish society.

You can see that the process of regeneration or character reformation, is like the growth process of a tree or your brain cells and their synaptic nerve extensions throughout the body. The fibrils or spiritual synapses are formed by means of our conscious decisions, and they cumulate in a hierarchy that has consistency and regularity as seen in an individual's habits, philosophy, and appearance.

If you don't cross the inversion line and continue descending, you are forever removing yourself from heavenly life, heavenly thoughts, heavenly appearances. Because heavenly life requires heavenly thoughts, and these must be rational. Without a rational mind that is functioning and operative, heavenly life cannot be supported within us. The Lord can transport us through the intermediary of angels to heavenly cities. When this happens, as witnessed by Swedenborg many times, the individuals immediately sink down to lower levels of consciousness or existence. They complain of terror and swooning and refuse to go near that atmosphere ever again. Thus we cannot live in heaven unless we developed our rational consciousness. And this cannot be done unless we cross the inversion line.

This first ascending step is called crossing the inversion line.

The crossing is achieved through the help of the natural angels who are in our sensuous consciousness at that period (GREEN, Adolescence). We had to go down before we could go up, and the angels who were with us when we were low down (natural) are going to help us make the inversion. They accomplish this through influx into our interior-natural degree which pertains to rational consciousness.

This is our very first experience of as-of-self rational consciousness. Until this period our intelligence was sensuous, not rational. It appeared that we were able to think and speak rationally, but this was an appearance. The reality was that our intelligence which was sensuous, had to be animated or vivified by giving it a "borrowed" rational from the angels. It is because their true rational flowed into our unconscious internal mind that our external sensuous mind could act as if it had its own internal rational intelligence. Without some underlying rational intelligence in the internal mind, the external conscious mind cannot think with intelligence or and apparent rationality. Perhaps an analogy might help you understand this more clearly.

Think of the computer application you are using when word processing or browsing the Web or sending e-mail. Whatever you do on the keyboard or with the mouse is monitored by the computer program and executes an operation in accordance with its program as written by the programmer. What you see on the screen portrays visually what is happening to a file on the computer's memory, as directed by the program lines. What you see and what is marked on the file is the external mind and corresponds to our conscious thinking process moment by moment. The program lines working together in an organized sequence, correspond to our rational internal mind. You can see that the program is inside the operations visible on the screen just like grammar or syntax is inside the operations that create a sentence. Your rational mind is the program that creates your conscious intelligence. You are aware of your conscious intelligence but you are not aware of the rational syntax that create your conscious intelligence.

During our descending steps we develop our sensuous consciousness, thus, our conscious intelligence. We use it to operate, to think, to solve problems, to come to conclusions, to analyze, to memorize and organize and retrieve our memories and knowledges. All this intelligence activity is external, and it is created by something internal. The internal is the rational within the sensuous. But since our rational is not born until after the inversion, the intelligence we develop and use before the inversion must have the support of the angels. Their rational is what is inside our external intelligence. But when we cross the inversion we begin to develop our own rational and gradually we fill our internal mind with our own rational. Then we are fully human beings. SO WE MUST CROSS THE INVERSION LINE.

During our Adolescence period (GREEN consciousness--third descending step) our natural sensuous and abstract intelligences are at their maximum. This is the period of scientific discoveries, engineering inventions, aesthetic crafts, exploration of the earth, athletic excellence and records. But in all this external sensuous achievement there is the borrowed rationality of the natural angels active in our internal mind which is the seat of rationality. This active and underlying rationality supports our outward intelligences, but they are not our own UNTIL WE CROSS THE INVERSION LINE.

We cross the inversion line when we think to ourselves:

Wait, just a minute. Am I accomplishing all this through my own powers? Isn't it true that all this is created and run by God? Well, in that case I have to shift my daily orientation. What can I find out about God and how God runs things, including me and all the details of my life? What do I owe God?

Thinking this way is called "crossing the inversion line."

It is the natural angels active in our interior-natural mind who provide us with the rational ability to ask these questions, but especially, to confirm the answers as-of-self. We MUST confirm the answers as-of-self. This is the life that gives birth to rationality--as-of-self figuring it out. It's the sensuous consciousness of mental effort. It's rational consciousness being vivified within sensuous consciousness already operative. We begin "to see" inward. We begin to perceive rational truths. We begin to have true representations of reality. Before this our representations of reality were distorted, falsified. Before the inversion our mid walks upside down; after inversion our mind walks right side up. Before the inversion we believe and have the delusion that we are acting on our own within ourselves. This is spiritual insanity. After the inversion we believe the truth and perceive the reality that our rational consciousness now reveals: God.

God runs things. God arranges things in our mind and in our body and in our environment. And He is a Human Person, the Divine Human. He creates us immortal being who can never die. And He does all this from His Love for each of us. And He is taking us to eternal life in heaven and saving us from living in hell forever. All we need to do is to cooperate and go along. And now after the inversion this cooperation becomes the center of our daily life. And this more and more, day by day. 

Remember from the chart that as a child (YELLOW consciousness) we were with the spiritual angels during which we learned about God and how we owe Him respect and obedience in life. But this learning from the spiritual angels was in our sensuous consciousness. Our idea of God was never rational--until we cross the inversion and confirm it as-of-self. We could not confirm our beliefs, nor deny them, while we were in childhood and adolescence. Confirmation is a rational activity of the rational mind and is done as-of-self when we approach God as our Lord. We can go though outer confirmations before the rational because these outer confirmations have the angelic rationality within them. But not until we cross the inversion as a young adult do we begin to confirm God from our own rationality. The earlier confirmation of God we made was from tradition, persuasion, imagination, ritual, memory, idealism, etc. But not from rationality, that is, from rational consciousness that perceives rational truths directly.

It is possible, as pointed out, to simulate as-of-self rational intelligence in the descending steps, especially the last descending step (GREEN, adolescence).  But this is a simulation possible due to the furtherance of the angels in our rational that is not yet our own. But once we cross the inversion line, we BEGIN to acquire our own rational. At the end of this first ascending step (BLUE) the natural angels that helped us grow our first rational mind will withdraw and be replaced by the spiritual angels who are higher. This is why it's called an ascending step.

The BLUE consciousness theme is Surrender vs. Prerogatives. This is a conflict inside the husband's mind. It is a life and death struggle in which the natural angels are working to further our positive outcome. When we cross the inversion line we then for the first time acknowledge that we are not master in our own house, in our marriage. We have a master who is in heaven but whose Divine power and presence is with each individual. And so our task as individual is to return this attention and love to God by loving Him and obeying His commandments. This is the theme of Surrender. We surrender our lives to our master who is God.

As long as we are persistent and sincere (but not otherwise!) God will allow us to discover what we need to know to love Him and obey Him. Insincere love of God is actually a love of self, a love of hell and from hell. Swedenborg has interviewed many of those who inhabit the hells and consider themselves pious worshippers of God. They are a Church of Satan. You can claim you believe in God, you can claim you worship and love God, but in actuality you are hating God and loving yourself and your hell IF YOUR LOVE OF GOD IS NOT SINCERE.

God lets you know if your love for Him is sincere or bogus. He does this by showing you what you do in temptations. When God brings you to a temptation He connects you with evil and good spirits in the spiritual world where your mind lives. You are conscious and aware of the choice before you. You see yourself choose and act and think and feel as the temptation takes its course with you. You also see yourself react to your choices, thoughts, emotions, and acts. And in these reactions you can see sincerity or insincerity very clearly. If you chose evil and falsity and if you allow yourself to continue to choose it, your love of God is insincere. If you choose good, or if you choose evil then feel guilty about it, then your love for God is sincere. If sincere, He can save you; if insincere, He cannot. And these temptations or choices are given to us daily by the hundreds if not more.

Crossing the inversion by a sincere return to God is the beginning of your salvation. This new attitude is rational because it now reflects reality, whereas before when we thought we acted from our own power, we were not rational, not correct in our analysis of life and actuality. Now we are rational because our knowledge of reality is real. The idea of Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence is one idea made of three parts. The parts are meaningless by themselves, but together they make a rational idea--the infinity of God, or, that in God infinite things are one. To the extent that we apply this rational idea to our thinking in daily life, to that extent we are learning to become more and more rational.

Rational is therefore closeness to God.

The reason is that God=Truth. The more complex idea is that God=Truth((Love)), which in words means that God is Divine Truth within which is Divine Love. Divine Truth is a spiritual substance of infinite variety that is streaming out of the Spiritual Sun (in the spiritual world). As this spiritual light or substance appears to distance itself from the source, it appears to "descend" and as it descends it "externalizes" itself more and more in an ordered series, until it reaches its most external form called "physical matter, energy, time, and space." How do I know all this? Because these rational details were revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg.

You can see then that as our consciousness reaches its ultimate state of externalization in the form of the external sensuous natural mind (GREEN consciousness), we have gone the furthest out from God or Divine Truth and reality. Our consciousness and understanding of Divine reality is the least in this period when we rely exclusively on physical sensory data and their abstractions. We would not be intelligent at all in such a state, were it not for the borrowed rational of the natural angels working within our sensuous intelligence and constricting it in specific ways so as to keep it on the path of rationality. Without this guidance or directionality we would quickly plunge into irrationality, illogic, superstition, magic, cult, and savagery, all of which are irrational and subhuman.

From an article titled "Some Thoughts on Masculinity   by Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss in New Church Life 1984;109:11-15

(...)

Secondly, we show true masculinity as we use wisdom to understand our wives truly. In many places in the Writings the husband is said to be the understanding of his wife's love. I think we could express it a little differently: A true husband understands his wife's loves.

Reflect on that for a moment, and ask yourself how easy it is for a husband to go through life not understanding his wife's loves. He tells himself he loves her; he is thoughtful and considerate in many ways, but he is not very aware of what her secret hopes and dreams are in life.

You see, a wife does not reveal her loves. From innate modesty and inborn wisdom she shields them from her husband when he is in cold. From wisdom too she knows that if he is to discover them he must do it for himself. He must want to do so; he must inquire into her feelings, spend many of his quiet moments wondering what beautiful feelings are moving her.

I truly think one of the heartbreaks of a world which cares not for conjugial love is that women find their most valuable, their deepest offerings are not even known, let alone loved.

Therefore the true love of marriage is to seek to understand the heart of this person you love. She wants this of her husband more than anything else - an understanding heart, which probes the depth of her being and senses the wondrous things the Lord has put there.

It is a knowledge that is permitted to the husband only. And this is my point: It is only when men strive for this type of understanding that the true beauty of the feminine mind will be seen, and she will be loved for the things which the Lord Himself made her to be loved for.

That is the challenge of the New Church man. Can he reach upward to that kind of masculinity? Can he avoid the pitfalls of shadow-manhood? Will he resist the temptation to judge a woman by standards that belong to the understanding or to this world alone, which will, as all cultures have done, relegate her to a lesser place in society?

Or can he see that the Lord has made woman so beautiful that he must be inspired to seek after true wisdom - to understand the loves of the woman he has chosen, and when he sees them, to bring them forth into use.

The New Church alone can meet that challenge, because the internal form of the feminine mind is now revealed. That is why the Lord can raise up conjugial love anew after His advent, for that love is from Him alone, and is with those who are made spiritual by Him through the Word (see CL 81e). Then, and then only, will men and women walk together on the path to heaven, and men will truly be men.

original article found here

Now notice the list of BLUE temptations for husbands given in this period. Here they are again:

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE

INVERSION

IV

YOUNG ADULTHOOD

BLUE

NATURAL

RATIONAL

SURRENDER

vs.

PREROGATIVES

** treating his wife severely
** making her feel guilty, sinful
** insisting on male prerogatives
** quotes the Bible to her to justify himself
** likes the philosophy of male chauvinism
** indulges himself and puts himself ahead of his wife
** demanding things from his wife and insisting
** etc. etc.

This is the mind of the husband when imbued with religious fundamentalism (BLUE consciousness). It is assailed with temptations that arouse his love of his masculinity, and especially, the prerogatives or perks that come with being a male. By evolution and tradition the societies on earth have developed a man's world, as it is called, because men have higher status than women just because of their gender.  As a result of this higher status given to men, culture has sprung numerous rules, norms, expectations, and practices that have a double standard--one for men, the other for women. Almost always and without fail, the double standard favors men and castigates or discriminates against women. This has been a tremendous tragedy for the human race. Women on this earth are treated with amazing cruelty and ferocious hatred by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and government officials.

The basis of BLUE temptations is the use of religion by the husband to keep his wife subjugated to himself.

This is why the conflict theme is called Surrender vs. Prerogatives. The rational course of action, which will develop the rational mind of the husband, is to look at the male prerogatives he has been enjoying, and acknowledging them as cruel and unloving to his wife, and of course, to all women. This is the rational thing to do, to confirm, and to live. This is the meaning of loving God sincerely. Denigrating women and treating them with hatred and cruelty is the meaning of loving God insincerely. One leads the men of religion to heaven, the other to hell.

But the women they mistreat and kill may easily go to heaven, depending on their sincerity to God even as they were inhumanly treated. The mistreated and abused women still have an inner choice, which is their relationship to God from within. This "from within" is not reachable by the evil men who torture her and make her life miserable. God is with her from within, so that she may talk to God, and honor God, despite what's happening to her, and beg God to liberate her. And God does, and she awakens in a heaven where her soul mate husband is joyously welcoming her, and she enters as a Bride and Queen, no longer mindful of her past on earth.

Look at the list again. They are the things we do to our wife when we want to keep male prerogatives despite our claim of surrender to a higher power. We treat her severely, pointing the finger of God at her, making her feel guilty and sinful because she is rebellious in his judgment and because she doesn't want to toe the line of gender submission. He wants his perks, and she refuses to give them to him, therefore he will demand them, and justify them with his religion. In this way he puts himself ahead of his wife and believes in himself that he is justified, doing the right and holy thing. But this is irrational because he is not doing the right and holy thing. He is actually doing the wrong and evil thing. Thus he is delusional.

But when he gives up gender based prerogatives that are biased against his wife, his eyes are opened, and he can see their injustice and irrationality. He can see that they stand in the way of his regeneration. Now he conquers all his BLUE temptations, or enough of them that his spiritual rational is ready to be developed. The natural angels then leave and the spiritual angels arrive. We are ready for the second ascending step (BROWN consciousness).

Discuss the BLUE chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

The Temptations Husbands Must Overcome (Matrix 2)

ORDERLY SEQUENCE

MAIN CONFLICT SYMPTOMS OF THE TEMPTATIONS THAT
HUSBANDS MUST OVERCOME TO REGENERATE

INVERSION

IV

YOUNG ADULTHOOD

BLUE

NATURAL

RATIONAL

SURRENDER

vs.

PREROGATIVES

** treating his wife severely
** making her feel guilty, sinful
** insisting on male prerogatives
** quotes the Bible to her to justify himself
** likes the philosophy of male chauvinism
** indulges himself and puts himself ahead of his wife
** demanding things from his wife and insisting
** etc. etc.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your BLUE temptations.

7. OVERCOMING THE BROWN TEMPTATIONS

Look at the list of BROWN temptations:

V

ADULTHOOD

BROWN

SPIRITUAL

RATIONAL

SPECIALIZATION

vs.

INSECURITIES

** feeling disapproval for his wife
** being intolerant of something about his wife
** fears the feminization of religion, wanting gender roles and rules
** puts the Church ahead of the wife
** rejects affirmative action for husbands (like the Doctrine of the Wife or, feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society)
** does not mind using gender biased language like "man" and "he"
** secretly believes in the intellectual inferiority of women
** doesn't mind if the wife feels "closed out" from a portion of his life
** is willing to remain in conjugial cold in his internal mind as long as he feels heat towards her in the external mind
** does not feel responsible for his wife's insecurities stemming from the doctrine of specialization
** does not feel sympathy for the insecurities she has about gender role divisions and how these interfere with conjugial love
** etc. etc.

The conflict theme in this period is called Specialization vs. Insecurities. This refers to the insecurities of the wife for which we husbands are responsible because of our unwillingness to give up an irrational belief in our gender superiority. In the previous step of BLUE consciousness, we left behind the irrational idea that male prerogatives are protected and enjoined by religion. This was called the Doctrine of Fundamentalism in an earlier chart above (matrix 1). But now another similar but more virulent anti-rational idea holds our attention and belief system. It is called the Doctrine of the Church, not the true Doctrine of the true Church, but the husband's doctrine of the falsified Church he erects in his imagination and delusion. The true Doctrine of the Church is holy and from the Word, but a right understanding of the Doctrine relating to gender roles only develops later. At first, the doctrine of the Church we create from our self-intelligence is an unholy heresy and serves only to maintain our superiority over our wife.

In the earlier state we gave up the idea that male prerogatives are enjoined by religion and by God's creation (as we had believed in BLUE consciousness). We can give up enjoyment of these prerogatives as unworthy of us. And yet we are still prisoners of a deeper view we hold that was not apparent to us until now because it was deeply hidden and covered over. But now as we are into the development of BROWN consciousness the Divine Therapist brings these hidden inclinations to our new awareness. With this new awareness we can witness our strivings and our justifications whenever the subject of women or the feminine is brought to the fore.

Look at the list again.

These are the ways we create insecurities in our wife's mind and heart.

We do this because her insecurities as wife insure the maintenance of our superiority as husband.

To be healed from these plagues we must identify with her insecurities and see that it is us who create them by not managing them appropriately, with compassion and friendship. And we must confirm by self-examination and self-witnessing how we keep her insecure and when it is that we pull out our masculine guns and threaten her with one of these insecurities. The basis of our attack is to make her feel excluded by Divine Law from some of the husband's Divinely given roles, tasks, and abilities. This excludes her by constitutional authority, and she is rendered powerless to save the husband from himself. Yet this is her God-given task, and this is his only salvation.

I have recommended a technique called "affirmative action for husbands" with respect to the three ascending steps of rational consciousness. This is the idea in the Doctrine of the Wife that we should act as if we take on the responsibility for all of society in terms of its discrimination against women. We must "bend over backwards" and declare ourselves guilty of society's discrimination against women because al along we have been enjoying our special male advantages. We have not rejected these male prerogatives given to us by society. Even if we are not the ones who established them, even though we were born into such a society, nevertheless we are guilty for not rebelling against the discrimination. We went along with it and are still going along with it. We are not breaking down doors, voting politicians out of office, bending over backwards to give women employees an advantage in the workplace. We just quietly go along with it, and even if we protest verbally and philosophically, we still go along with the de facto situation. Therefore we should label ourselves as guilty participants, for then we can change our view of our wife.

By "affirmative action" I mean going overboard in favor of women and without debate finding men automatically at fault, thus in need of amendment and repentance. We must repudiate the superior status with which we are born as males and which our culture gives us permission to enact and enjoy. Instead we must do the opposite of what male superiority enjoins. We must choose to voluntarily act as if we are submissive to our wife, to her inclinations, her wisdom. You can see this article for more details.

When we can support this approach, we can cross into the next period of development, the last ascending step (BLACK consciousness).

V

ADULTHOOD

BROWN

SPIRITUAL

RATIONAL

SPECIALIZATION

vs.

INSECURITIES

** feeling disapproval for his wife
** being intolerant of something about his wife
** fears the feminization of religion, wanting gender roles and rules
** puts the Church ahead of the wife
** rejects affirmative action for husbands (like the Doctrine of the Wife or, feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society)
** does not mind using gender biased language like "man" and "he"
** secretly believes in the intellectual inferiority of women
** doesn't mind if the wife feels "closed out" from a portion of his life
** is willing to remain in conjugial cold in his internal mind as long as he feels heat towards her in the external mind
** does not feel responsible for his wife's insecurities stemming from the doctrine of specialization
** does not feel sympathy for the insecurities she has about gender role divisions and how these interfere with conjugial love
** etc. etc.

Discuss the BROWN chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your BROWN temptations.

8. OVERCOMING THE BLACK TEMPTATIONS

VI

OLD AGE

BLACK

CELESTIAL

RATIONAL

UNITY

vs.

DISCONNECTION

** expresses impatience to his wife
** discounts in his mind what wife wants or thinks
** does not value something his wife values
** automatically believes himself before he believes his wife
** likes the idea of treating women special, yet is inwardly proud of his maleness
** is inclined to love his own wisdom before his wife's
** says that he puts the wife ahead of the Church, but doesn't
** says he accepts the Doctrine of the Wife, but makes exceptions when he feels like it
** practices the principle of affirmative action for husbands (=feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society), but only on a part time basis
** dedicated to unity and eternity, yet tolerates separation when convenient
** disconnects himself from his wife as soon as she stands up to him, immunizing his emotions so she can't bother him or "get to him"
** feels self-sufficient in his internal mind, untouchable, independent
** enjoys his wife's frustration at not being able to get to him on the inside (influence him or make him back off)
** practices being a countercurrent to his wife, enjoying the sense of power
** etc. etc.

BLACK consciousness is the state of our third and last ascending step. This is home coming. This is the fully human state that we will enjoy in one of the three heavens after we exit from the physical body. This is the state we will be growing in to eternity, regenerating more and more, that is, becoming more and more rational. And this means getting closer and closer to the Divine. The closer we can get to the Divine, the more we can understand and love His inner rational truths that are endless. These also reflect the quality of our life and the inner capacities we are able to receive from the Divine. It is the last ascending step because we leave the spiritual angels and are now back with the celestial or highest angels who are guiding the growth of our interior celestial rational mind. We were with the celestial angels in our Infancy period (WHITE consciousness), but their presence in our awareness was in the external mind of sensuous consciousness. But now (BLACK consciousness) we are consciously growing in our rational perceptions, which are in the internal mind.

The chart labels this period by the theme conflict of Unity vs. Disconnection. This refers to the husband's disconnection from his wife's affections. When it comes down to the most basic level, the highest state we can be in as humans, what do we find that keeps us from enjoying it and being in it? They appear on the surface to be little things that disconnect us from the wife in comparison to the big things in earlier periods. In the state immediately before the inversion the theme was Equity vs. Abusiveness (GREEN consciousness). This is big and visible and ugly. Then as we cross the inversion line the conflict theme becomes Sincere Surrender to God's Authority vs. Using God to Retain Male Prerogatives (BLUE consciousness). Insisting on our male prerogatives sounds less serious a crime against women than Abusiveness, Violence, and the Enjoyment of Cruelty. This is true. And yet, seen from the inside, the conflicts and crimes against women in the ascending steps are even more injurious to the development of unity because they are more subtle, more hidden, more virulent in the long run and we need to dig deeper to see them and get rid of them.

On the surface, BLACK temptations appear less serious than the temptations before. Look at the list again.

Note how a lot of these temptations have to do with protecting our conveniences. This is even more subtle than protecting our prerogatives (BLUE consciousness) or protecting our God given superiority (BROWN consciousness). Why do we not value something our wife values when we are committed to unity with her? The answer is because it's inconvenient. We have our own values and plans, and we take these to be rational and good because they are based on our love for religion and revelation.  So we think within ourselves, and so we try to convince our wife. But to her it's plain and simple, and perfectly rational. If the husband really wanted unity he would not discount her ideas and her values and her approach to any single thing or all things taken together. She plainly sees that her husband is reluctant to listen to her wisdom because it's sooooo inconvenient to him.

She sees that the husband is theoretically committed to the Doctrine of the Wife and she sees that he is officially supportive of the affirmative action philosophy. Yet she sees how we fail to live by these ideals on account of our unwillingness to give up the conveniences of our superior position. We have now achieved our regeneration efforts, enough to be at the doorsteps of heaven and ready to enter with our wife at our arms. And yet we won't step over into the actual courtyard. We linger on the outside edges of the celestial property. We loiter there and are in great great  danger of slipping back, slipping away, sliding down, and out into the outer darkness of male chauvinism and hell.

But the celestial angels working within our inmost mind give aid and guidance and we only need to obey from within. At last we can enter the courts of conjugial love and enjoy that state even while we are here on earth, knowing with full guarantee, that we will continue together as a couple, this conjugial life that will be immeasurably aggrandized as soon as we cross the bar and enter the heavens.

In a subsequent section below we will discuss the Scriptural justifications for the Doctrine of the Wife. This is important because to our generation, and from us onward into the future, the Writings of Swedenborg will be the primary and perhaps only source of rational truths that are Divine Truths because they are revelations from God given for our regeneration. So we will adduce various passages and arguments from the Writings to show how the Doctrine of the Wife is a philosophy of doing for regenerating husbands that is clearly indicated by revelation. It is our guide post to conjugial love, and thus to heaven.

I think it is most important for husbands to keep very close track of their temptations in marriage. Most women and a few men will be able to give their assent to the idea of the Doctrine of the Wife when they hear it explained, as in this article. But the majority of men will want "Scriptural" proof, and this I give below in a small way. I believe this is something for husbands to do as they strive to confirm the principle of the Doctrine of the Wife. They would want to use their knowledge of the scientifics of the Writings to confirm the Doctrine of the Wife, and as this literature and research accumulates, more and more proof will be available  to confirm the many details of the Doctrine of the Wife.

The Doctrine of the Wife is the Crown of the rational truths a husband can have with respect to marriage and regeneration. Conjugial love is the love of all loves, which means that all loves are under this one. "All loves" include the love of science, wisdom, and abilities. Conjugial love is ahead of all of them; all loves depend on conjugial love. And conjugial love has the wife at its center and crown. This is repeated many times in the Writings where women represent truths, higher truths, rational truths, inmost truths, and Divine Truths. These truths are called virgins, wives, women, daughters, sisters, and mothers. Women are at the center and crown of conjugial love, which is at the center and crown of all loves in the universe. Hence women are at the center of the universe and deserve our regard and attention and focus. This is the truth for husbands. This is what is contained in the Doctrine of the Wife for Husbands.

You will experience all sorts of resistances and rebellions and explosions as you read more and more things about the Doctrine of the Wife. Keep track of them. They reveal to you your spiritual geography map--who you're with in the vertical community. It is the "they"--the vast hoards carrying torches in the darkness and endeavoring to catch you--it is they who are howling and rebelling against the Doctrine of the Wife that your mind is contemplating. They see and experience this contemplation, they form in their mind what you form in yours, and they howl and protest, because they hate the idea of a wife. This has been revealed in the Writings. And you experience their howling and their insane pain. Now if you attribute these howlings to you--you're a goner. You're finished. They've got you. You will be one of them when you depart from here.

But if you attribute these howlings, not to you, but to them, you will instantly be propelled TO GET AWAY FROM THEM!

They are scary! You would want to get away from them if you saw them coming at you fast. You would be instantly mobilized to get away, to separate, to put distance between you and them. And how do we do this?

By means of rational truths.

There is no other way to get away from them.

The Doctrine of the Wife is a rational truth, or packet of truths, that protect you from those hoards that hate the wife. You come attached to those hoards, mostly unbeknownst to you and to your honey whom you court, sweep off the feet, and marry. But she quickly finds out about the hoards as soon as the honeymoon segment of the marriage is over. She finds out that she has married not one man, but a hoard of men who hate her. And she realizes to her horror that her husband doesn't want to get away from them. And this continues for a long time with most husbands, and with many it goes to their grave from where they rise in their spirit-body and immediately join those hoards in hell. This is the vision she faces. This is the man she married. How utterly tragic.

And now she begins her work of suffering, her passion on the way to crucifixion by her own husband who has sworn to protect her "till death do us part, for good or for worse." It is her work to try to save her husband from those hoards that hate her, hate the conjugial, hate happiness itself. And she puts up with all his phases of childishness, of adolescence, of the inversion to religion and then the continued persecution with the aid of his religion. At last, in a few cases, though it should be in every case, the wife begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Her husband has accepted the Doctrine of the Wife, explicitly, or implicitly, depending on circumstances and genius.

This is the way conjugial love will come back to marriages on this earth as has been promised by God in the Writings of Swedenborg.

VI

OLD AGE

BLACK

CELESTIAL

RATIONAL

UNITY

vs.

DISCONNECTION

** expresses impatience to his wife
** discounts in his mind what wife wants or thinks
** does not value something his wife values
** automatically believes himself before he believes his wife
** likes the idea of treating women special, yet is inwardly proud of his maleness
** is inclined to love his own wisdom before his wife's
** says that he puts the wife ahead of the Church, but doesn't
** says he accepts the Doctrine of the Wife, but makes exceptions when he feels like it
** practices the principle of affirmative action for husbands (=feeling responsible as a male for the abuse of women in society), but only on a part time basis
** dedicated to unity and eternity, yet tolerates separation when convenient
** disconnects himself from his wife as soon as she stands up to him, immunizing his emotions so she can't bother him or "get to him"
** feels self-sufficient in his internal mind, untouchable, independent
** enjoys his wife's frustration at not being able to get to him on the inside (influence him or make him back off)
** practices being a countercurrent to his wife, enjoying the sense of power
** etc. etc.

Discuss the BLACK chart with your wife. Make up a hypothetical scale like this one, and rate every item.

How often do I behave this way in relation to my wife?

never do it only do it as an exception do it from time to time regularly do it am always ready to do it
0 1 2 3 4

Let both of you fill it out independently and then compare. But remember this: your wife will UNDERESTIMATE how often you do these things to her, to spare your feelings, because she loves you, and also so that her honesty doesn't blow you away and then she'll some repairing to do to fix your ego. And you will also UNDERESTIMATE how much you do these bad things to her because we are biased in favor of ourselves and quite blind to ourselves as a result. This is why we need the wife to lead us out of this hellish morass we call our ego and character.

And don't forget to solicit from her to specify more items where the ** etc. etc. line is. Give her plenty of paper!! And of course, you must do that yourself independently of her, and then again after you see what she added. But the responsibility rests on you to ferret out all your BLUE temptations.

From Swedenborg's Conjugial Love

213. (3) In the case of people who are in a state of truly conjugial love, their happiness in living together increases, but with those who are not in a state of conjugial love, it decreases. Their happiness in living together increases in the case of those who are in a state of truly conjugial love, because they love each other with their every power of sensation. The wife sees nothing more lovable than her husband, and the husband nothing more lovable than her. Indeed, neither do they hear, smell or touch anything more lovable than each other. From this comes their happiness in living together and sharing house, bedroom, and bed. You who are married men can confirm for yourselves that this is so from the first delights of marriage, which are then felt in their fullness; because at that time, of all the opposite sex, a husband loves his wife alone. Everyone knows that the reverse is the case with those who do not possess any conjugial love.

9. Why a Male Priesthood?

The July 2001 issue of New Church Life (NCL) carries an article by Rev. Erik Sandstrom, Sr. titled "The Priesthood and the Doctrine of the Church. Why a Male Priesthood?" (pages 297-319). I want to comment on the last three sections, beginning with "Male and Female Minds: the Innate Distinction" (p. 313). Italics are in the original. My reactions and comments are inserted after each selection.

Here are some relevant excerpts from what Rev. Sandstrom writes:

Sandstrom: The distinction is defined in a comprehensive statement in the beginning of CL 33: "a male is born intellect-oriented and that a female is born will-oriented, or in other words, that a male is born with an affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise, while a female is born with a love for joining herself to that affection in the male. " It is tragic that his, and many similar teachings, has been seen as making woman inferior to man. It does mean that the man in human development is prior, but not that he is superior. That he is born intellect-oriented also means that he is born a form of truth, and similarly that woman, being will-oriented, is born a form of good, as the Writings sometimes put it. And truth has to be first in time. (...)

James: It's not enough to say that men are "prior, not superior" if by prior one means that men have truths the women do not have. Then prior implies superior, despite one's denial. The facts are clear: "a male is born intellect-oriented and that a female is born will-oriented." One can draw two types of conclusions from these facts, one false, the other true. The false conclusion is that therefore men are prior in truth, thus prior in terms of who decides what's right (and this in effect makes them superior). The correct conclusion is that therefore the man needs to adjoin the woman's will to his intellect, and the woman needs to adjoin the man's intellect to her will. In this way, together, they make a conjugial whole or unit. Neither of them can be superior to the other, neither of them can be prior to the other if this means priority in decision making. Since the will always decides by conjoining the intellect to itself, it is clear that the woman's will is to decide what's right by using the man's intellect which she appropriates to herself (conjoins it to her will). The man has to let the woman make the decisions in all matters since she is the will that is conjoined to his intellect. When the man makes the decisions his intellect is conjoined to himself, and this leads to hell.

Sandstrom:  We read (CL 125): "the man with his understanding acquires the truth that the church teaches, and the wife acquires it from the man. But if the reverse takes place, it is not according to order. " Why the emphasis? And why the order? Because after the fall of the Most Ancient Church, good could no longer lead in the way of heaven. (...)

James: The facts are clear, namely,  that the wife acquires the man's understanding and not the man who acquires the woman's understanding. One can draw two types of conclusions from these facts, one false, the other true. The false conclusion is that therefore the man is to make the decisions and the woman to follow them. The correct conclusion is that after the woman appropriates to herself the man's understanding, she is then to make the decisions, not the man. If the man makes the decisions, it is not in order.

Sandstrom:  Essentially, the change was a transfer of the field of regeneration from the voluntary proprium to the intellectual propirum. And this change, long in process, is to come into its true fulfillment in the Church of the New Jerusalem, for in this church, for the first time there is the open invitation "to enter intellectually into the arcana of faith" (TCR 508). Here men are to lead, and women to confirm. (...) to this end, men are given an ability to raise their understanding into the light of heaven, even before regeneration; and women are granted the ability to raise their affections into the warmth of heaven. From this his elevation, the man can see rationally, that is, objectively. Woman is by nature subjective. He is sight, she is touch (cf. CL 168). But by elevating her affections into the warmth of heaven, she is able to perceive and secretly guide the affections of the man. This is her particular wisdom, and there is nothing equal to it with man (see CL 166-168; 208:4).

James: The facts are clear, namely that in the New Church one enters intellectually into the arcana of faith. One can draw two types of conclusions from these facts, one false, the other true. The false conclusion is that therefore the man has priority over decisions relating to faith or doctrine. The correct conclusion is that therefore the woman has priority over decisions relating to faith or doctrine. This is because the woman appropriates the man's intellect and conjoins it to her will. Since she is born will-oriented, and the will makes the decisions after it has appropriated to itself the intellect.

Sandstrom:  But this must be added: by virtue of the nature of her perception, the woman is able to conjoin herself with the rational wisdom of the man from within. This means that she can see what he sees. Only, he had first to discover the truth, so that he might bring it to her, for her to add warmth to the light  and so prevent the truth from being merely theoretical and making it also living. (...)

James: The correct conclusion from these facts is that the woman is to make the decisions and the man to follow since her understanding is more interior than his. The truth that the man has is not alive, and neither does it come alive in him. But it does come alive in her, after she appropriates the man's truth to herself. Then he can appropriate to himself this new inner truth which then is alive in him if he loves it.

Sandstrom:  In a decadent world (...) For some inscrutable reason, light seems to be more important than warmth--probably because modern-day hearts are cold (...)  So women, suppressing their innate nature, try to be like men. They contort their inner self, learning to act the part. (...)

James: Light is never more important than warmth. The heart of women is not cold, but the heart of men, is. Women act like men only when they are forced to do so by the men who insist on taking away from women the priority of decision making and wrongly usurping that right themselves over the women.

Sandstrom:  Remember that the New Church is a city, not a garden. We are concerned with structure, order, spiritual discipline, primarily self-discipline. We are not dealing with perceptive feelings with regard to faith and life. Perception before regeneration is not reliable; it leads astray. (...) The New Church is not a garden, not an Eden. This calls for a male priesthood, for the male is born intellect-oriented, to be a form of truth. The female is born will-oriented. Truth must have priority (not superiority) in forming the church, (...) the priesthood must lead to the good of truth, which is Christian good itself. (...)

James: The priesthood leads to the good of truth--this is the fact. But what is the right conclusion? It is incorrect to attribute to women "perceptive feelings" and then using that as a rationale for taking away the intellectual content of these perceptions. Since women have "perceptive feelings with regard to faith and life" and since they are will-oriented, the correct conclusion is that women have priority in making decisions regarding faith and life.

Sandstrom:  And let me add here that the priesthood began after the fall of the Most Ancient Church. There was no organized priesthood with the most ancients, even as there is not in the celestial heaven. (...) The order of the priesthood was not needed in the Most ancient Church, because in that church the will was not corrupt. (...)

James: The conclusion to this is that the priesthood is a temporary and somewhat abnormal state, to be ended as soon as conjugial love has returned to the hearts of people on earth. When this occurs there will be no priesthood. the wrong conclusion is that the priesthood ought to be male and that it is a permanent and normal situation.

Sandstrom:  I wish the church would pay more full attention to teachings in CL 63 and 125 than appears to be the case. These numbers show that the leadership of the male in matters of doctrine does not establish the church. Only when received by the female is the church established with both. We read: "The church is formed by the Lord in the man, and through the man in his wife. And after it has been formed in the two together, the church is complete, for then a full conjunction of good and truth takes place, and the conjunction of good and truth is the church" (CL 63).  Again: "A husband does not represent the Lord and his wife the church, because husbands and their wives both together form the church" (CL 125).  (...)

James: The right conclusion here is that it is the woman that makes the church primarily and the man secondarily.

 

Selections from the Writings with implications:

Those set in authority over the human affairs which have to do with heaven, or over religious affairs, are called priests, and their office is called the priesthood. But those set in authority over the human affairs which have to do with the world, or over secular affairs, are called officers of state; and their head is called the monarch, where that form of government exists. (AC 10,793)
Here I note that there is no gender exclusion in the definition of priest, monarch, or other officers. Note the expression "set in authority." This is not defined. It could be interpreted in the same sense as officers of state are set in authority, like a law enforcement officer or driver's license examiner. Note the expression "heaven or religious affairs" but it doesn't specify what they include--marriage, schooling, career counseling, sports, workplace violence, aggressive driving, etc. It would seem to me that these inclusions and exclusions are determined by ethnic customs and social norms in each location of a church organization. It is not part of the priesthood function to define these limits. Rather, local customs and membership preferences may define these limits. Nor are these limits fixed since whatever rules are made can be unmade or modified as it seems fit to the membership at the time.

As regards priests, it is their duty to teach people the way to heaven and also to guide them. They must instruct them in the teachings of their Church and guide them to lead lives in keeping with those teachings. Priests who teach truths and guide people by means of them to goodness of life and so to the Lord are good shepherds; but those who teach yet do not guide people to goodness of life and so to the Lord are bad shepherds. These the Lord calls 'thieves and robbers' in John 10:7-16. (AC 10,794)

This means that priestly jobs are like other jobs. It doesn't say that bad priests are rare. It's possible that the majority of priests could be bad. There is no guarantee that a priest's decision is better than another person's decision no matter what the topic is. Priests do not have double votes or magnified power in relation to the members of a church organization.

Priests must not claim for themselves any power over people's souls, because they do not know the condition of anyone's inner being. Less still must they claim for themselves the power to open or close heaven, since that power belongs to the Lord alone. (AC 10,795)

This means that priests do not have a Scriptural warrant to excommunicate or exclude someone from church membership or church functions. No warrant is given for withholding normal and expected services of a priest. A priest may not refuse such services to someone on account of doctrinal disagreements or any other reason that represents the priest's personal belief. In terms of the office of the priest, personal belief and preference must not take precedence over the rights and normal expectations of members whom they serve.

Priests must be respected and honored on account of the sacred duties which they perform; but those among them who are wise ascribe such honor to the Lord, the Source of everything sacred, not to themselves. Those among them however who are stupid assign it to themselves; they take it away from the Lord. Those who assign honor to themselves on account of the sacred duties they perform set honor and gain above the salvation of souls, which ought to be their concern, whereas those who ascribe honor to the Lord and not to themselves set the salvation of souls above honor and gain. (AC 10,796)

This means that priests are like other people, sometimes good, sometimes bad, or even, good at one time, bad at another time. To be a priest  means to have a job as a priest. The people whom they serve pay for the cost of the job. This is fair. But it's not fair to give priests the right to evaluate themselves on the job. This is contrary to natural and to spiritual order. Priests should be hired and evaluated by a council representing the members. The members ought to decide all employment issues by a democratic process. Priests can be set in authority over church functions and education, but only in the sense of teachers and principals in public schools. These teachers are hired and evaluated by the school board, not the teacher's union. Priests lead but they do not legislate in matters of ritual, doctrine, curriculum, and promotion. Priests should not promote each other through the hierarchy of levels and should not determine who is to be admitted to the priesthood. These functions belong to the membership and should be decided through a democratic process. The role of priests should be to lead and instruct by facilitating and suggesting, never by punishment or exclusion.

Nothing of the honor belonging to any function is vested in the person who performs it. Rather, it is an adjunct and depends on the importance of the affairs he attends to. As an adjunct it is separate from the person and is also removed from him when the function is removed. The honor that can be vested in a person is the honor that goes with wisdom and fear of the Lord. (AC 10,797)

This means that members should avoid a popularity contest among priests. A Bishop is no more holier than a priest, and a priest is no more holier than a judge or bus driver. We can honor every individual in the same way whether priest or not, namely, our perception of their good will and innocence.

Priests must teach the people and guide them by means of truths to goodness of life; but they must not compel anyone, because no one can be compelled to hold beliefs contrary to what he thinks in his heart to be the truth. Anyone who holds beliefs that are different from the priest's and causes no trouble must be left in peace, but anyone who does cause trouble must be set apart; for this too is a matter of orderliness for the sake of which the priesthood exists. (AC 10,798)

This means that priests must not berate, punish, or exclude anyone from receiving the normal priestly services one desires (worship, sacraments, instruction, education, counseling, support, etc.). It also means that priests must not harass or single out those who hold beliefs contrary to the priest's personal beliefs, or the priest's interpretation of Doctrine. Moreover, priests must not prohibit or stand in the way of the free flow of opinion within the congregation. Priests should not directly contradict or inhibit ideas or practices that some members promote or prefer. Priests, like all others, are free to speak out their views, to instruct their interpretations. But priestly pronouncements or declarations should not be binding or coercive in the least.

Just as priests are set in authority to attend to matters connected with God's law and with worship, so monarchs and officers of state are set in authority to attend to matters connected with secular law and judicial decisions. (AC 10,799)

This means that priests have the authority of their role or job. So do judges and bus drivers. And yet everyone on any job is accountable to laws and expectations that are democratically established and modified. It is not correct to say that priests are accountable to the Lord since they deal with heavenly things relating to the flock. They are indeed accountable to the Lord, but only in the same way as anyone is, not in any special way. But priests are accountable to their employers or corporation members. The law governing the job of priests is not the law of the Word, for this governs everyone the same way. Rather, the law governing the job of priests is the law of the people as exercised within the law of the land.

For all kings, no matter who they are or what they are like, represent the Lord through the kingly office itself residing with them; and in like manner all priests, no matter who they are or what they are like, do so through their priestly office. The kingly office itself and the priestly office itself are sacred, no matter who serves in them. Consequently the Word taught by someone evil is no less sacred; nor is the Sacrament of Baptism, or the Holy Supper, or similar ministrations any less so. From this it may also be seen that no king can possibly claim as his own the sacredness that goes with his kingly office, nor any priest the sacredness that goes with his priestly office. Insofar as he does claim it or attribute it to himself he brands himself with the sign of a spiritual thief, or the mark of spiritual theft. And insofar as he commits what is evil, that is, acts contrary to what is right and fair, and contrary to what is good and true, a king throws off his representation of the sacred kingly office, and a priest his representation of the sacred priestly office, and then represents the reverse of this. This explains why so many laws were laid down in the Jewish representative Church concerning the sacredness which was to be attached in particular to priests when ministering. (AC 3670)

Since man is born destined for everlasting life, and it is the church which brings him to this, the church ought to be loved as neighbor in a higher degree. For the church's teaching is the means leading to and giving entry to everlasting life. It is the truths of its teaching which lead and the good deeds performed which give entry to it. This does not mean that the priesthood is to be loved in a higher degree, and the church because of the priesthood. It is the good and truth of the church which ought to be loved, and the priesthood for their sake. The priesthood only serves as a means, and should be honored to the extent that it so serves. (TCR 415)

This means that what is sacred about  a priest is not the individual but the representatives of his job. It implies that we ought not to honor a priest more than a teacher, nurse, or  secretary. But even the priest's work is not sacred or to be honored but the truth and love the priest has in that work. Some priests have neither love nor truth in their work.

That good loves truth may be illustrated by comparison with a priest, a soldier, a trader, and an artificer. With a priest:--If he is in the good of the priesthood, which is to care for the salvation of souls, to teach the way to heaven, and to lead those whom he teaches, then in proportion as he is in this good (thus from his love and its desire) he acquires the truths which he may teach, and by means of which he may lead. But a priest who is not in the good of the priesthood, but is in the delight of his office from the love of self and of the world, which to him is the only good, he too from his love and its desire acquires those truths in abundance in proportion as he is inspired by the delight  which is his good. (Life 39)

This means that the truths taught by  a priest  varies greatly in validity or genuineness. It is incorrect to say that a priest sees truths of doctrine better than non-priests on account of being a priest and thus being inspired by the Lord. This is not correct. For the Lord inflows with truth in everyone and it is the state of the person that determines the truth that is received. Only the truth that is received can be taught by a priest. And this reception of truth by the priest is entirely dependent on the priest's loves, which can be either good or evil. And so  priests can teach doctrine that is false even while they think it is true. The fact of their priestly office does not give them a superiority or primacy over the truths they teach since this depends on their state of love (good or evil). This is another reason why priests ought not to reject ideas and interpretations from anyone, but ought to let everyone think and act in freedom.

 

 

10. Paradigm Shift and the Issue of Women in the Clergy  by Vera Goodenough DycK (click for original)

Is it clearly stated in the Writings that the priesthood must be male if it is to do its work effectively? If the Writings do not clearly state that the priesthood must be male, then this idea -- even if the whole clergy, or the whole church agrees, and no matter how strongly it is articulated -- is a doctrine derived from the Word by human beings. To date I am unaware of any direct teaching stating this so I conclude that it is a derived doctrine.  (...)

If the Writings included a passage saying that "Women are fully capable of being priests and are in fact sorely needed in this capacity," no one would be able to continue believing otherwise and still claim faithfulness to the literal Writings. But they don't make this statement, and therefore there are many who seem unable or unwilling to seriously consider the possibility of an alternative interpretation. They assume, from culture -- from the convictions of those around them as they grew up, both in and outside of the General Church, from the derived doctrine they were taught, or found for themselves --that women are not able to perform the uses of priesthood effectively. If they do not acknowledge that their assumptions are a lens through which they view the Writings, their assumptions continue to heavily influence their beliefs.  (...)

When no direct statement exists with which to drive a principle home, I believe we would do well to acknowledge that the principle is an opinion, or at best, has been overstated and needs to be toned down if it is our desire to keep it in line with what is actually stated in the Word. I have given above several examples of what I consider predictions, warnings, expectations of perfection and mandate, and extreme assertions, that stray from clear teachings and from these suggested guidelines of Mr. Rose's. These statements taken together seem to me to provide the basis of the argument against women in the clergy. To me they seem to be striking examples of a natural human tendency to derive doctrine in accordance with unconscious biases, such as a cultural bias against women in the ministry.  (...)

A belief in the authority of the Word serves as a requirement for admission into theological school, ordination, and employment as a priest in our organization. But who decides what constitutes "a belief in the authority of the Writings?" To what extent does this mean "a belief in so-and-so's interpretation of the Writings?" I am particularly concerned about the above referenced statement that "Our clergy will continue to be voluntarily all male as long as the Writings are our source of instruction." To me it seems more true to say that as long as the Writings are our source of instruction, no one's derived doctrine will be set in stone as the one truly objective interpretation. Rather, differences in understanding on questions for which written revelation contain no direct answers, will be expected and welcomed.   (...)

One doesn't have to look very far to find differences of understanding. A comparison of some of the basic ideas in the recent letters and papers on this topic by General Church ministers reveals some interesting differences in understanding.

The Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom states that the Lord is male, that therefore only the male can represent Him, and that the focus of the priesthood is to maintain and teach pure doctrine.(p.414, Sept.1994) The Rev. Erik Buss states that the Lord is not male, but that He is almost always represented in the Word as male because truth is the form of good. (NCL p.490, Nov. 1995) In his paper for the clergy he reaches a tentative conclusion that the priesthood is a male role, but that women ought to be encouraged to get involved in lay ministries and administrative jobs that are more on the love/leading-to-the-good-of- life side, and are not inherently "priestly," that is, truth-oriented. (p.21,22)

Steven Cole states that the Lord is not male, and that "never to my knowledge do the Heavenly Doctrines say that [masculine imagery is used for the Lord in the Word] because the masculine is the form of truth." (NCL p.298, July 1995) He believes that the reason the Lord is usually represented in the masculine form in the Word is that masculine love more plainly reflects the Lord's love. Later he says that there are "offices...of the church that carry out the mothering function..." (NCL p. 304, July 1995) but in his paper for the clergy he states that it would be inappropriate to establish any kind of official non-priesthood "ministry" position in which women could perform these mothering, good-oriented jobs (p.41).

Although the arguments of Mr. Buss, Mr. Sandstrom, and Mr.Cole are in conflict with each other at different points, they all end up with the same conclusion: women should not be priests. I hope that among the clergy there will follow a discussion in which attention is called to some of the more glaring inconsistencies between the papers. If the defining function of the priesthood is truth-oriented, why do ministers represent the Lord as to love? If the love of saving souls is the defining quality of the priesthood, why is "the sight of truth" its essential characteristic? If representing the Lord as to love is the main role of priest, why do clergy meetings and employment positions focus mostly on studying and teaching truth, and administration? If the priesthood is supposed to focus on truth-oriented work, who is going to do the good-oriented work? Do they represent the Lord when doing good-oriented work? I hope that these inconsistencies will call into question the conclusion itself, or at least the confidence of those who hold it that they have the right or responsibility to continue presenting it to the church as the clear teaching of the Word.   (...)

The importance of masculine objectivity in the priesthood for obtaining pure doctrine from the Word is not mentioned anywhere that I can see. It seems to me to be intent and life, not gender or method of study, that the doctrines teach are the source of priestly enlightenment and are first in importance for effective priestly leadership.   (...)

People have been asking, "Why can't we have women ministers?" Mary Alden asked, "Why can't a woman like me be trained and hired as a General Church minister?" A response from the priesthood that I would find refreshingly objective would go something like this: "Our historical and current understanding of what the Writings teach is that for this and this and this reason, women can't be effective priests, but we acknowledge our fallibility when it comes to understanding and interpreting the Lord's Word. Help us to expand our understanding! If it is true that women must not be priests, there must be a way to explain it that will make sense, that will produce joy in the clarity of the Lord's Word, that will resonate with experience, that will not leave anyone feeling invalidated, marginalized, hurt or disempowered. Please, help us by explaining what is perceived to be missing in the church that having women ministers would improve. What do women who long to be ministers want to do for the church, and what are some ways they could do this? How can we, as representatives of the Lord, improve the way we teach, minister, and serve? How can we better empower our members, women and men, to serve the Lord and the church according to their unique, God-given loves?"

My yearning for this type of public priestly response to Mary's questions, in juxtaposition to the responses thus far printed in this publication from General Church ministers, left me wondering. Is an all-male clergy actually more objective than a clergy which includes women would be? Is the ability and desire to see truth in the Word in a special way more important in the ministry than a special ability and desire to connect truth from the Word with the real lives of real people? Do the Writings teach that the masculine capacity of raising the understanding into higher light is more essential to priestly uses than the female reception of the conjugial, the love of conjoining good with truth?

Strengths and weaknesses of men What I gather from the Writings is that regardless of his spiritual state, a man has the ability to raise his understanding into the light of heaven in a way that a woman can not. This is a wonderful, important gift from the Lord. I also understand the Writings to say that without being conjoined to a woman, without being influenced by women, a man is prone to being stuck in the love of self-intelligence. He will abstract truth from good, and lack interest in applying it. So an unregenerate man, whose understanding is not yet fully conjoined to a new will, has an ability to elevate his mind and draw truth from the Word in a special way, and he tends to get attached to his own ideas, his own understanding of what the Word says. He also tends to focus on truth for its own sake, rather than for the sake of improving the lives of himself and others. He depends upon women, especially his wife if he is married, to draw him away from this tendency. (see CL 90, 188,194)

This is the way I interpret these and other related passages, and I think it is realistic to assume that most of our ministers are probably not fully regenerate partners in truly conjugial marriages, and therefore they have the tendencies mentioned above. They have a gift from the Lord, and they need to be influenced by women, and if married, conjoined to their wives, in order to make full use of this gift.

Men and women working together--examined from the new paradigm How can women help male ministers be more objective? By leaving them to themselves, or by working in conjunction with them? I hold dear the teaching that men have a special ability to elevate their understandings into a spiritual light which women can't reach without them. I have doubts only that our current system is the best way to empower men to "do their thing."

In his paper for the clergy, Mr. Cole states that the passages in Conjugial Love which emphasize the importance of women's effect on their husbands are speaking only about the influence of wives on their husbands, and should not be generalized to deduce that it is important that women in general have some influence on men in general. He writes that "the feminine influence essential in gatherings of men is simply that men be inspired by the love of their wives to look to the wisdom of life."(p.3)

Suppose we accept this idea that ideally the only woman that would influence a man is his wife. Can we also suppose that marriages in our culture are anything like those in some high heavens, where partners are so united as to appear as one from a distance? We hope that we are working towards truly conjugial marriages, but can we really assume that our General Church culture is one in which love truly conjugial is fully established? Can we base our structure on an assumption that heavenly ideals are operating here and now?

Backing up a bit, I'm not sure I accept the idea that the only woman that should influence a man is his wife. CL 55 teaches that in heaven, the most interior friendships (second only to conjugial marriages) are between chaste women and men who are not married to each other. As I read it, these friendships are especially delightful because the masculine and feminine spheres influence each other, but in a non-sexual way. Still, this passage, too, is talking about people in heaven. What about people on earth?

What CL 331 says to me is that it is no more likely for a married man to cease loving his own intelligence, than it is for a married woman to cease wanting to be thought of as beautiful by all men. Learning to love his wife rather than his own intelligence is a long, painful process that hopefully begins at marriage. It is no "simple" thing that happens like magic when he walks down the aisle. I see no reason to assume that our ministers are so amply inspired by love of their wives that the presence and participation of women in the ministry is rendered unnecessary. Could it be challenging for men who are striving to cease loving their own intelligence to work effectively and chastely with women who are striving to cease wanting to be thought of as beautiful by all men, and vise versa? Certainly, at times. Is it a challenge so great that it should serve to close church leadership and clerical service to women? I tend to think not, but would like to hear what others think. If a concern about sexual attraction among people who are not married but are working together is behind the view that women can't be ministers, I hope it will be discussed openly at some point in the future.

As we discuss the topic of men and women, many of the passages we refer to speak about angels, and we are not angels. But both men and women who are not angels have strengths as well as weaknesses. And it seems to me that the strengths of each gender balance out the weaknesses of the other, making the ordination of humans to serve as God's ministers less of a risky business.

Strengths and weaknesses of women About women, I understand the Writings to say that regardless of their spiritual state, they receive the conjugial. This conjugial includes both the love of conjoining themselves with one of the opposite sex, and a sphere of marriage in all things, a desire to conjoin good and truth. The more regenerate they are, the more they are led by good loves towards embracing higher and higher truths. Like men, they possess a wonderful and important gift from the Lord. Without their counterparts however, they are in spiritual need. Wives need their husbands. Women need to be influenced by men if they are to be led out of lower loves to higher ones. Women need truth seen in the higher light of men to conjoin with their good. And they need to be influenced by men, and conjoined to their husbands if married, in order to make full use of their gift of conjunction. (see CL 122-3,168, 188, 296) Again, these are my interpretations. They lead me to conclude that women have much to offer that is currently --and completely understandably-- somewhat lacking in the clergy.  (...)

Real masculinity and real femininity interweave miraculously with each other. (see CL 32) The heading above CL 100 states that "man and woman were created to be precisely in the image of a marriage between good and truth." I infer from this that the miracle of true marriage originates in the perfect and complete union of the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom in the Lord Himself. (see also CL 62) Intellect predominates in men, while will predominates in women. (CL 159) But in the Divine Human, neither predominates. (see DLW 28-35) They are perfectly united, in a way that the masculine form alone does not image. As far as I can tell, only a marriage of the masculine with the feminine can come close to accurately representing the resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.   (...)

Paradigm Shift and the Issue of Women in the Clergy  by Vera Goodenough DycK (click for original)

This is the end of Part 2

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Note:  You may want to consult a more recent version of this essay:

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Related Articles:

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


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