Please note:

This is the Fall 2006 version.
The corrected, updated, and expanded Spring 2007 version is here:

    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/409b-g26-lecture-notes.htm

 

 

 


 

University of Hawaii, Fall 2006, G25, Psychology 409b

Seminar on The Unity Model of Marriage

Dr. Leon James, Instructor

The web address of this document is:
    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/409b-g25-lecture-notes.htm

 

TOGETHER IN ETERNITY

The Unity Model of Marriage

Every Day I'm Yours More and More

Lecture Notes Version 14a

 

By Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology

University of Hawaii
2006

 

Sections

 

1.    Introduction: Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?

2.    Mental Anatomy and the Individual's Threefold Self
2.1    Mental Anatomy of Women and Men

3.    Three Levels of Unity in the Marriage Relationship

4.    Unity Through Reciprocity and Differentiation

5.     Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction
        5.1    Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex
6.    Unity Model in Marriage: Ennead Chart of Growth Steps

7.    Threefold Degrees of Conjunction -- Tables 1b and 1c:

8.    Threefold Degrees of Conjunction -- Table 1d

9.    Male Dominance Model of Marriage

10.    Sexual Blackmail

11.    Mental Abuse

12.    Developing mental intimacy with one's wife

13.    The Spiritual Dimension to the Unity Model

14.    Making Field Observations (Tables 2 and 3)

15.    Dynamic Elements of the Ennead Chart -- Table 4

16.    Areas of Observations for Equity --- Table 5

17.    Behavioral Indicators of One's Relationship Model -- Table 7

17a.  Gender Discourse Within the Three Models

            17a    Part 1: Sexy vs. Unsexy Conversational Style of Husbands

            17a    Part 2: Spiritual Dynamics Between Husband and Wife

            17a    Part 3: Conversational Rules for Husbands in Conjugial Interactions

            17a    Part 4: Characteristics of Husband's Threefold Self During Discourse -- Table 7aa

            17a    Part 5: Field Exercise: Monitoring Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse

18.    Happiness and Unhappiness on the Ennead Chart -- Table 7b

19.    Contrasting the Three Models -- Table 8

20.    Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUVs) -- Table 9
21.    Examples of Unity Values

Reading List and References
Student Reports

 

Please Note:

For additional material not included in these Lecture Notes, consult

Volume 18 The Marriage Relationship in the Theistic Psychology series at:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch11.htm

 


 

 1.  Introduction:
Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?

 

Section 1

 

1. Part A

 

This seminar on the unity model in marriage will give you the opportunity to examine gender behavior in the context of marriage by identifying the sub-components of gender habits in men and women within the three domains of behavior: affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. We will use the phrase "threefold self" to refer to these three levels of human activity. Our focus will be on identifying the differences in the mental structure of husbands and wives so that we may gain a rational understanding of how they manage to actually form a pair or a unit. In order to form a perfect functioning and fulfilling pair or unit, women and men must have reciprocal mental traits to allow them to conjoin mentally, and thus to reach mental intimacy or conjunction.

 

The happiness and fulfillment of both wife and husband depend on the attainment of physical and mental intimacy in which they are best friends to each other. This is also called being "soul mates." We will use the expression "conjoint self" to refer to the reciprocal union of the marriage relationship, when it is based on the unity model. We will use the concept of "model" to refer to the principles, beliefs, and attitudes that husbands and wives use to govern their behavior in the marriage relationship.

 

Part of the purpose of the course is to give you skills in recognizing what model partners are using in their relationship. This is not always clear to the participants themselves. A man may think and claim that he is following the equity model of equal sharing in all tasks in the marriage. But in actuality, observation would show that he is acting and thinking more according to the dominance model which gives a man privileges over women and considers women less capable or worthy than men. You will also learn of the unity model which prompts a man to elevate women to a higher status than men such as is done by men who are chivalrous and respectful of women.

 

The overall model we will focus on is the idea that a man and a woman can form a special and unique relationship in marriage in which they can become unified at all three levels of the threefold self--in sensory and motor behavior (sensorimotor self), in thinking operations (cognitive self), and in feeling states (affective self). When they are unified at all three levels, husband wife are best friends to each other and can be called soul mates functioning with a conjoint self (instead of each with his and her independent selves).

 

The unity model of marriage actually describes a progression of three phases in all marriages. The first phase is called the dominance model because society gives men privileges over women in many ways. Most men are raised to exercise these male prerogatives, and they do so during dating and afterward in marriage. For example, men interrupt women, and often feel it's all right to ignore what a woman wants or says. Men pressure women to do things they don't want to. Men expect women to serve them and take care of their personal things. Men go out with each other and do things and say things that are disrespectful to women. Men get mad and threaten women. Etc. These are all the ways in which husbands treat their wife during the first phase of marriage called the male dominance phase.

 

Following this phase, many men are forced to admit to themselves that their wife also has the right to expect him to share in the tasks of living and having a life together. Men get the idea that they can't just continue to dominate their wife and expect the two of them to be happy. Hence they enter more an more into the equity phase of marriage. This is the middle phase during which a man will spend more and more time in the equity phase, and less and less time in the male dominance phase.

 

Some men are spiritually enlightened and begin to see intuitively that equity is not bringing their wife real happiness. A woman deserves a higher place in a man's estimation because women are outwardly more delicate and heavenly beings than men, and it is this heavenly nature of women that allows a man to become heavenly by conjunction with her. Inwardly, both men and women are equally heavenly and celestial, but outwardly a man is less heavenly than a woman. Hence by making himself conjoin to his wife, a man becomes heavenly in his outward life as well. He can achieve this conjunction with his wife by following the unity model in his mind.

 

There are barriers or resistances to overcome with each level of the unification or conjoining process -- from male dominance to equity, and from equity to unity. We need to examine these barriers, and especially, the inherent and cultural resistance men have to the unification process. Men would outwardly prefer to remain in the male dominance model. This is what they find most comfortable. But women desire and long for the conjoint self of soul mates and best friends, as the ultimate happiness, the ultimate fulfillment, thus, heaven itself.

 

Men do not at first see the conjoint self as a heaven, but as a kind of hell in which the wife is always encroaching on their mental space of freedom and comfort. So husbands frequently oppose the unification process of proceeding to more intimate levels, while wives constantly fight for pulling the husband into such intimacy.

 

We will examine this classic and traditional relationship fight by observing and monitoring the behavior of boyfriends, husbands, TV characters, song lyrics, and books. You will read the reports of prior generation students in this course in which they present some of this evidence, Your reports will be similarly studied by future generations of students. You can access the reports from the links given in the Readings section at the end of these lecture notes.

 

The first level of unity may be referred to as sensorimotor consociation and involves what the couple do together externally or socially. The second level may be called cognitive affiliation, involving how they each think and to what extent they agree in definitions and beliefs. The third and deepest level may be called affective conjunction, and involves what they feel for each other and whether they are striving for the same goals. This includes what they are motivated to achieve, whether for instance, they are willing to make their unification as the most important element in their life, more important than anything else. For instance, it is common for husbands to devote more time, attention and importance to other activities like children, career, parents, old friends, activities, etc. This means that achieving affective conjunction or intimacy is judged less important to the husband than to the wife. This basic opposition forms the psychological dynamics of the marriage relationship -- its healthy progression or its gradual degradation into abuse and failure.

 

The hypothesis to be examined throughout the course is that the marriage relationship between husband and wife begins at a natural level and can add a spiritual level of relationship once the natural level is well established. We shall introduce the new concept of spiritual marriages which is based on what Swedenborg called conjugial love. He made a distinction between the two words -- conjugal and conjugial. Conjugal is the ordinary word that refers to natural marriages while conjugial is a new word he coined to refer to spiritual marriages. Natural marriages follow the model "Till Death Do Us Part" while spiritual marriages follow the model "Till Endless Eternity."

 

In other words, the word "spiritual" will be used in this course to refer to the afterlife. Couples who are soul mates to each other, and have achieved a relationship of mental intimacy at all three levels of the threefold self,

are able to sense by inner rational insight, that death cannot separate them. Hence they are united to endless eternity. Until the Swedenborg Reports, scientists were not able to introduce the concept of spiritual marriages and the concept of the afterlife. There was no scientific proof of the existence of the afterlife that takes place in a world of eternity, outside time and space, also called "the spiritual world" and "heaven and hell." These ideas were relegated to religion or folklore.  But this changed with the Swedenborg Reports written and published in the 18th century, as will be explained and discussed below.

 

The Swedenborg Reports present empirical proof of the existence of the afterlife in the spiritual world of heaven and hell. The unity model of marriage is based on Swedenborg's detailed empirical data which he gathered in the spiritual world. These data include the many interviews he conducted with married couples in heaven and hell. It may at first surprise you that we are talking about heaven and hell in a psychology course! Nevertheless you will see that it is possible, due to the Swedenborg Reports. More will be said on this as we progress, including how you can examine these reports yourself. Nothing here is based on religion or belief. Everything is based only on the objective evidence to be found in the Swedenborg Reports.

 

You are not asked to believe anything. You are asked to evaluate rationally and scientifically the evidence presented. This means examining it, before you reject it. To reject it before you examine it, will be discussed below as the negative bias in science, while to examine it before you reject, in order to see if you should reject it or accept it, will be discussed as the positive bias in science.

 

That marriages continue in the afterlife is good news because true love strives to be eternal, and not to die at some point in the future. Swedenborg shows that the truly human must be immortal and that to think of ourselves as mortal, is to remain below our true potential.

 

Some marriages remain what they started out to be, namely an external bond that is legally and socially recognized. It is also a psychological bond because married partners rely on each other and support each other in joint pursuits like parenting, financial resources, lifestyle, retirement, and so on. But note also that this external bond -- legal, social, psychological -- is not sufficient to stabilize the marriage and insure unending growth. Instead, half of the marriages fail in divorce and separation, and much of the other half fails to supply the intimacy, friendship, and romance, that wives crave for from their husbands. After examining the evidence for this situation, our conclusion will be that external "natural" marriages are necessary but not sufficient for achieving true affective conjunction or intimacy, and hence not sufficient for fulfillment and endless growth together.

 

We will follow this up with the concept of "spiritual marriages" which is based on Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings (see Reading List). We will examine the hypothesis that the bond between the wife and the husband can become spiritual, in addition to natural. The difference is illustrated by the marriage vows. Our culture involves the idea that marriage is dissolved at the death of one of the spouses. This is correct of course -- from the legal point of view, and also from the religious point of view for most people. It is a common belief we acquire in our socialization that marriage ends at death, hence the familiar phrase in the vows: "Until death do us part." But according to the hypothesis we are examining, the marriage bond need not end at death, but can go on forever in "heaven." Some couples who know nothing about the "afterlife" nevertheless have the instinctive feeling that they are "soul-mates" and can never be separated, even by death. Some spouses are so "close" that when one of them dies, the one remaining insists that that their spouse is "with them" mentally, psychologically, spiritually.

 

So this is not a new notion. Though in a minority, some couples seem to have a bond of mental intimacy that seems to go beyond the physical body and the socio-legal-psychological bond of "natural" marriages. We will call this type of marriage bond "spiritual" in the specific sense that the bond survives the physical separation of the spouses by death. Marriages that are external and limited to the natural world and the physical body will be called "natural marriage" or "external marriage." A natural marriage becomes a "spiritual marriage" when the married couple's idea of their bond changes from "until death do us part" to "until endless eternity."

 

Of course to take this step the partners have to know or assume that there is an afterlife, that they are both immortal human beings, and that they will be fully equipped with an eternal or spiritual body through which they can once again be together, be intimate sexually, live in a house, have a social life, and continue an endless heavenly existence in their immortality.

 

This knowledge of the afterlife is not available to most people today. It is flatly denied by materialistic science, and many religious dogmas are taught that deny marriages in the afterlife. Yet our culture supports many widespread activities around the idea that there is a spiritual world (or "heaven"), though nothing substantial is known about it, only wildly differing speculations. No wonder therefore that science cannot rely on this folklore about the afterlife. As a result, psychology does not know about spiritual marriages that occur right here on earth. Some couples have entered the spiritual dimension of their mental intimacy, but when they are studied by scientists, the spiritual dimension is neutralized or eliminated from focus. Hence the  research literature on marriage in psychology does not mention spiritual marriages and the afterlife. The negative bias in science acts as an intellectual barrier for researchers to investigate the mental intimacy that is real, but not detectable in interviews and videotapes of the couple's interactions.

 

This was the intellectual climate I was immersed in when I started studying the marriage relationship. But in 1981 my wife and I were browsing together the shelves in Hamilton Library, and we happened to come across a shelf containing a collection of around 30 volumes, all by the same author: Emanuel Swedenborg. This really intrigued us since we never saw so many volumes by one author. We each checked out one volume and started reading. We could not stop at one volume but went on to read the entire collection. What we found was amazingly stupendous!

 

You can read about Swedenborg's Writings in detail by consulting the Theistic Psychology textbook for Psych 459 at:
    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ 

 

This is truly wonderful and amazing news! We live our immortality in eternity, which is our mental world, not as a dream specter or ghost, but as a full fledged bodily human being. Swedenborg lived in this world of spirits constantly for 27 years, from age 57 to 82 in the years 1745 to 1772, while at the same time he maintained his busy schedule as scientist, government engineer, legislator, traveler, international publisher, and frequent invited guest at the Swedish Royal table where his amazing stories were greatly appreciated and admired. This man of impeccable reputation all his life, a greatly admired genius in science and philosophy, wrote that he had been prepared by God from earliest childhood to be the vehicle for what God wanted the human race to know regarding marriage, and how women and men are to achieve their highest potential through an eternal marriage as soul mates.

 

At first this sounds to most of us as a kind of fantastic child-like story, introjected right in the middle of a research seminar in psychology by a professor who must be terribly naive, or worse. I am attributing these words to you so that you may gain some perspective on the content of this course. I am trying to show that I am aware of the fantastic quality of my proposal.

 

Nevertheless, please hear me out and continue your examination and study of the facts being presented. To think that this proposal is fantastic, is a common reaction for most people. To me, this common widespread negative reaction, shows that it is a group practice that we all learn, and that when we are exposed to this kind of a proposal, a trained reasoning process is set in motion in each of our individual minds, and we react as expected by thinking that this is fantastic science fiction, rather than science. And it is pretty easy to start listing all the reasons why we think that it is fantastic and not science. And if we compare all these reasons, we will find that almost everybody has given the same reasons. Again, this fits with what I am saying, namely that the resistance is a built in learned reaction against any proposal in science that makes mention of the afterlife, heaven and hell, or how God is managing events, and especially, that God appeared to Swedenborg at age 57 and prepared him to be conscious simultaneously in both worlds, and also that he talked to the people there, including Aristotle and Newton, and other historical figures we read about in the literature.  All this kind of thinking strikes us at first as being fantastic due to our socialization and education in the negative bias mode of thinking.

 

But note this: although we are thinking that this Swedenborg's proposal is fantastic and impossible, we are not able to prove that it is false and fantastic, or even, that it is not science. This is why I call it the negative bias in science -- Swedenborg's dualist proposal is rejected automatically without a need to examine it. For further discussion along this line, please consult Volume 1 of Textbook of Theistic Psychology at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/

 

Quoting from Swedenborg's book Conjugial Love (1768):

CL 27. II MARRIAGES IN HEAVEN

The existence of marriages in the heavens is incredible to those who believe that after death a person becomes a soul or spirit, if their concept of a soul or spirit is that of a tenuous ether or breath. So too it is to those who do not believe that a person can live as a person again until after the day of the Last Judgment, and generally speaking to those who know nothing about the spiritual world, where angels and spirits live, and where the heavens and hells are. Since this world has so far remained unknown, and there is utter ignorance of the fact that the angels of heaven are completely human in form, and likewise the spirits of hell, though less completely human, any revelation about marriages has been impossible. For people would say, 'How can a soul be united with a soul?, or a breath with a breath, as husband and wife are united on earth?' And many more things which, the moment they were uttered, would destroy and scatter belief in marriages there.

Now, however, that many revelations have been made about the spiritual world, and its nature has been described in my books HEAVEN AND HELL and THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, it is possible to present also arguments in confirmation of the existence of marriage there, even for reason to grasp, as follows:

 

(i) A person lives on as a person after death.
(ii) A male is then male and a female is female.
(iii) Each person retains his own love after death.
(iv) The chief love is sexual love; and in the case of those who reach heaven, that is, those who become spiritual on earth, it is conjugial love.
(v) These facts have been fully confirmed by eye-witness.
(vi) Consequently there are marriages in the heavens.
(vii) God's statement that after the resurrection people are not given in marriage refers to spiritual weddings.

These arguments will now be developed in sequence. (CL 27)

 

CL 28. (i) A person lives on as a person after death.

 

It has not so far been known that a person lives on as a person after death for the reasons which have just been mentioned. It is surprising that this is even true in Christendom, where the Word is known to give enlightenment about everlasting life, and where God Himself teaches that all the dead rise again, and God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matt. 22:31, 32; Luke 20:37, 38). Moreover, as far as the affections and thoughts of a person's mind are concerned, he is in the company of angels and spirits, and so closely associated with them that he cannot be torn away from them except by dying. This ignorance is all the more surprising, when everyone who has died from the beginning of creation has come or is coming to his own people, or, as the Word has it, he has been or is being gathered to them.

In addition, people have a general impression, which is none other than the influence of heaven on the inner levels of the mind, which causes him to have an inward perception of truths, and so to speak to see them. This allows him to grasp this truth in particular, that a person continues to live as a person after death, happily if he has led a good life, unhappily if not. Surely everyone has this thought, if he lifts his mind a little above the body and thinks beyond the immediate level of the senses, as happens when he is deep in the worship of God, or when he lies on his death-bed awaiting his last breath, and similarly when he hears people speaking about the departed and their fate.

I have related thousands of facts about the departed, telling their brothers, wives and friends the fate of some of them. I have also written about the fate of the British, the Dutch, the Roman Catholics, the Jews, and the heathen, and about the fate of Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon. But up to the present I have never heard anyone remark, 'How can that be their fate, when they have not yet been resurrected from their graves, since the Last Judgment has not yet taken place? Surely they are in the meantime souls, mere puffs of wind, in some limbo called Pu*?' I have never heard anyone say such things, and this has allowed me to draw the conclusion that each person has a private perception that he lives on as such after death. Does not any husband who loves his wife, his young or older children, say to himself when they are dying or dead, that they are in God's hands, and he will see them again after his own death, and he will again share with them a life of love and joy? (CL 28)

 

CL 31. It needs to be known that after death a person ceases to be a natural man and becomes a spiritual man, but he looks to himself exactly the same, and is so much the same that he is unaware that he is no longer in the natural world. He has the same kind of body, face, speech and senses, because in affection and thought, or in will and intellect, he remains the same. He is in fact not really the same, because he is then spiritual, and so his inner man. But he cannot see the difference, because he is unable to compare his present state with his earlier, natural, one, since he has put that off and has put on his other state. I have therefore often heard people say that they are quite unaware of not being in their former world, but for the fact that they can no longer see those whom they left in that world, and they do see those who have departed from it, that is, who have died.

 

The reason, however, why they see the latter but not the former is that they are not natural, but spiritual or substantial* people. A spiritual or substantial person can see a spiritual or substantial person, just as a natural or material person can see another natural or material person. But they cannot see each other because of the difference between the substantial and the material, which is similar to the difference between what is prior and what is posterior. The prior being inherently more pure is invisible to the posterior, which is inherently more gross, nor can the posterior, being more gross, be seen by the prior, which is inherently more pure. It follows that an angel is invisible to a person in this world, and such a person is invisible to an angel.

The reason why a person after death is spiritual or substantial is because this lay hidden within the natural or material person. This served him as a covering, like an outer skin, which on being shed allows the spiritual or substantial person to emerge, so that he is more pure, more inward and more complete. A spiritual person is still a complete person, although invisible to a natural person, as was made plain by God's appearing to the Apostles after His resurrection. He was seen and then later was not seen, and yet He was a man like Himself, when He was seen and then disappeared. They said too that, when they saw Him, their eyes were opened. (CL 31)

 

CL 32. (ii) A male is then male and a female is female.

 

Since a person lives on after death, and a person may be male or female, and the male and the female are so different that one cannot change into the other, it follows that after death a male lives on as a male and a female as a female, each of them being spiritual. We say that the male cannot change into the female, nor the female into the male, so that in consequence after death a male is a male and a female is a female, but because it is not known in what masculinity and femininity essentially consist, I must state this briefly here.

 

The essential difference is that the inmost core of the male is love, and its envelope is wisdom, or what is the same thing, it is love enveloped in wisdom. The inmost core of the female is the wisdom of the male, and its envelope is the love from it. But this is a feminine love, which God gives a wife by means of her husband's wisdom. The other love is a masculine love, a love of being wise, given by God to the husband to the extent that he acquires wisdom. Thus it is that the male is the wisdom of love and the female the love of that wisdom. There is therefore implanted in each from creation a love of being joined into one. But I shall have more to say about these matters in what follows. The female comes from the male, that is, the woman was taken out of man, as is clear from the following passage of Genesis:

Jehovah God took one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh in its place, and he built up the rib he had taken from the man to make a woman. And he brought her to the man, and the man said, She is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, so it shall be called Ishshah,* because it was taken from man. Gen. 2:21-23.

The meaning of rib and flesh will be given elsewhere. (CL 32)

 

CL 33. The result of being so formed in the beginning is that the male is by birth a creature of the intellect, the female a creature of the will, or to put the same thing another way, the male acquires from birth an affection for knowing, understanding and being wise, and the female acquires from birth a love of joining herself with that affection in the male. Since what is within forms the outside so as to resemble itself, and the form of the male is that of the intellect, and the form of the female is that of love for it, this is why the male differs from the female in face, voice, and the rest of the body. He has a sterner face, a rougher voice and a stronger body, not to mention a bearded chin, so generally speaking a less beautiful form than the female. There are also differences in their gestures and behaviour. In short, they have no similarity, and yet every detail has the impulse towards union. In fact, there is masculinity in every part of the male, down to the smallest part of his body, and also in every idea he thinks of and every spark of affection he feels; and the same is true of the femininity of the female. Since therefore one cannot change into the other, it follows that after death the male is male and the female is female. (CL 33)

 

CL 34. (ii) Each person retains his own love after death.

 

People know about the existence of love, but not what it is. Our common forms of speech tell us that love exists, as when we say that he loves me, the king loves his subjects, the subjects love their king, the husband loves his wife, the mother her children, and they love her. We also talk of one or another as loving his country, his fellow citizens, his neighbour, and the same expression is used of non-personal objects, as in he loves this or that.

 

But in spite of the universal mention of love in speech, still hardly anyone knows what love is. Since meditation about it cannot form any concept of it in a person's thinking, or bring it into the light of the intellect, because it is not a matter of light, but of heat, he asserts that it is either non-existent, or some influence produced by seeing, hearing and being in a person's company, and so impelling him. He is quite unaware that it is his very life, not just the general vital principle of the whole of his body and of all his thoughts, but the life in every single detail of these. A wise person can grasp this in this way. Suppose we say, 'If you take away the affection of love, can you think of anything? Can you do anything?' Surely to the extent that affection, a part of love, grows cold, so do thought, speech and action, and to the extent that affection grows warm, so do they. Love then is the heat of a person's life, his vital heat, and this alone is the reason blood is hot and also that it is red. These effects arise from the fire of the sun of the heaven of angels, which is unadulterated love. (CL 34)

 

CL 35. The infinite variety of people's faces is an indication that everyone has his own love, to be distinguished from anyone else's, that is to say, no one has the same love as another. Faces are the expression of loves, for it is well known that faces change and look different, depending on the affections of a person's love. Desires too which are part of love, as well as its joys and sorrows, shine out from the face. This shows plainly that a person is his own love, or rather a form taken by his love. But it ought to be known that the inner man, which is one and the same as his spirit which lives on after death, is a form taken by his love. But the outer man in the world is not, because this has learned from childhood up to hide the desires of his love, or rather to pretend and make a show of something other than his true feelings. (CL 35)

 

CL 36. The reason why each person retains his love after death is that love is a person's life (as stated in 34 above), and in consequence is the person himself. A person is also his thought, and so his intelligence and wisdom; but these make one with his love. For it is love which is the origin and determinant of a person's thought; in fact, if he has freedom, of his speech and actions too. From this it may be seen that love is the being or essence of a person's life, and thought is the resultant coming-into-being or arising of his life. Speech therefore and actions, which derive from thought, are not so much from thought as from love by means of thought. Much experience has allowed me to know that after death a person is not his thought, but his affection and the thought which comes from it; or he is his love and the intelligence which comes from it. Also, a person after death puts off everything not in harmony with his love; in fact, he successively puts on the face, voice, speech, gestures and behaviour which fit the love of his life. Thus it is that the whole of heaven is arranged in accordance with all the different kinds of affection of the love for good, and the whole of hell in accordance with all the kinds of affection of the love for evil. (CL 36)

 

CL 37. (iv) The chief love is sexual love; and in the case of those who reach heaven, that is, those who become spiritual on earth, it is conjugial love.

 

The reason why a person's sexual love remains after death is that a male remains a male and a female remains a female, and the male's masculinity pervades the whole and every part of him, and likewise a female's femininity; and the impulse to be joined is present in every detail down to the smallest. Since that impulse to be joined was implanted from creation and is therefore continually present, it follows that the one desires the other and longs to be joined to the other. Love taken by itself is nothing but a desire and hence an impulse to be joined; conjugial love is an impulse to be joined into one. For the male and the female of the human species are so created as to be able to become like a single individual, that is, one flesh; and when united, then they are, taken together, the full expression of humanity. If not so joined, they are two, each being as it were a divided person or half a person. Since that impulse to be joined lies deeply hidden in every part of both male and female, and every part has the ability and desire to be joined into one, it follows that people retain mutual and reciprocal sexual love after death. (CL 37)

 

CL 38.  Sexual and conjugial love are both mentioned, because sexual love is not the same as conjugial love. Sexual love belongs to the natural man, conjugial love to the spiritual man. The natural man loves and desires only outward union and the bodily pleasures it gives. But the spiritual man loves and desires inner union and the delights of the spirit it gives, and he perceives that these are only possible with one wife, with whom the degree of union can perpetually increase. The more the union increases, the more he feels delights rising in the same scale, and lasting for ever. But the natural man never thinks of this. This is how it is that we say that conjugial love remains after death with those who reach heaven, those, that is, who become spiritual on earth. (CL 38)

 

CL 39. (v) These facts have been fully confirmed by eye-witness.
I have so far considered it enough to confirm these propositions by intellectual, what are called rational, arguments: that a person lives on as a person after death, that a male is then a male and a female a female, that each person retains his own love after death, and his chief loves are sexual and conjugial. But people have from childhood been given by parents and teachers, and later by learned men and clergy, a firm belief that they will not live on as people after death, except on the day of the Last Judgment, and some have now spent six thousand years waiting for it. Moreover, many have placed this belief in the category of things which must be taken on trust and not understood. For these reasons it has been necessary to confirm the same propositions also by eye-witness accounts. If this is not done, the person who trusts only his senses will be led by the belief forced on him to say, 'If people lived on as people after death, I could see and hear them' and 'Who has come down from heaven, or up from hell, to tell us?'

But it has not been and still is not possible for an angel of heaven to come down, or for a spirit of hell to come up, and talk with a person, unless the inner levels of his mind, that is, of his spirit, have been opened by God. This can only happen fully with those whom God has prepared to receive the truths of spiritual wisdom. It has therefore pleased God to do this with me, in order to ensure that conditions in heaven and hell, and how people live after death, should not remain unknown, be sunk in ignorance and finally buried in denial. The eye-witness proofs of the propositions mentioned above are too numerous to relate here; but they can be seen in my book Heaven and Hell, also in the Continuation About the Spiritual World; and later in my Apocalypse Revealed. But in so far as particularly concerns marriage, they will be found in the account of experiences subjoined to sections or chapters of this book. (CL 39)

CL 40. (vi) Consequently there are marriages in heaven.
Since this has now been confirmed both by argument and by experience, it requires no further proof. (CL 40)

 

CL 41. (vii) God's statement that after the resurrection people are not given in marriage refers to spiritual weddings.

 

We read in the Gospels:

Some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, asked Jesus, saying, Master, Moses wrote, 'If a man's brother who has a wife dies, and he is childless, his brother is to marry his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.' There were seven brothers each of whom, one after the other married a wife, but they died childless. At length the woman too died. In the resurrection then, whose wife will she be? But Jesus in reply told them, The children of this world marry and are given in marriage. But those who will be judged worthy of reaching the other world and rising again from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. For they can no longer die, for they are like angels and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But the resurrection of the dead was proved by Moses calling God the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. But God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for him all are alive. Luke 20:27-38; Matt. 22:23-32; Mark 12:18-27.

God made two points in this teaching; first that people rise again after death, and secondly, that they are not given in marriage in heaven. Resurrection after death was proved by God being not the God of the dead, but of the living, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive; and further by the parable of the rich man in hell and Lazarus in heaven (Luke 16:22-31).

[2] The second point, that people are not given in marriage in heaven, was proved by the words 'those judged worthy of reaching the other world do not marry or are given in marriage.' It is plain this means spiritual weddings because of the immediately following words, 'they can no longer die, because they are like angels and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.' A spiritual wedding means being linked with God, something that happens on earth, and if it has taken place on earth, it has also taken place in heaven. The wedding therefore cannot be repeated in heaven, nor can they be given in marriage again. This is the meaning of these words, 'The sons of this world marry and are given in marriage. But those judged worthy of reaching the other world neither marry nor are given in marriage.' These people are also called by God 'the sons of the wedding' (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19*); and in this passage 'angels,' 'sons of God' and 'sons of the resurrection.'

[3] Marrying is being linked with God, and going in to a wedding is being received into heaven by God. This is plain from these passages. The kingdom of the heavens is like a royal personage who made a wedding for his son, and sent out his servants with invitations to the wedding (Matt. 22:1-14). The kingdom of the heavens is like the ten maidens who went out to meet the bridegroom, five of whom were ready and went in to the wedding (Matt. 25:1ff). It is clear that God here meant Himself from verse 13 of this chapter, which says, 'Keep awake, because you do not know the day or the hour at which the Son of Man will come.' Also from the Book of Revelation:

The time of the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. Blessed are they who are summoned to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Rev. 19:7, 9.

There is a spiritual meaning in everything God said, as was shown fully in THE TEACHING OF THE NEW JERUSALEM ABOUT THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, published at Amsterdam in 1763.
* The original Greek says 'sons of the bride-chamber.' (CL 41)

CL 42. I shall append here accounts of two experiences from the spiritual world, of which this is the first.
One morning I looked up into heaven and saw above me one broad level above another, and as I watched, the first level near to me was opened up, and then the second above, and finally the third, which was the highest. I was enlightened by this so as to grasp that the angels forming the first or lowest heaven were on the first level, those forming the second or middle heaven on the second level, and those forming the third or highest heaven on the third level.

At first I wondered what this meant and why it so appeared; and then I heard a voice like the sound of a trumpet coming out of heaven, which said, 'We have noticed and now see that you are meditating about conjugial love. We know that so far no one on earth knows what truly conjugial love is in its origin and essence, important though it is to know this. It has therefore pleased God to open up the heavens to you, so that the light which enlightens may flow into the inner levels of your mind and allow you to perceive it. Our celestial delights in the heavens, especially the third, are chiefly from conjugial love. We have therefore been given permission to send down a married couple for you to see.'

[2] Then suddenly there was to be seen a chariot coming down from the highest or third heaven, containing what seemed to be one angel. But as it approached, it seemed to have two angels in it. The chariot seen from afar sparkled like a diamond, and had harnessed to it foals as white as snow. The travellers riding in the chariot held in their hands two turtle-doves, and they called out to me, 'You would like us to come closer, but be careful then that the fiery radiance, which is from the heaven we come down from, does not strike too deep. It will certainly enlighten the higher concepts in your intellect, which are in themselves heavenly. But these are inexpressible in the world where you now are. So understand rationally what you are about to hear, and so explain this to your intellect.'

'I will be careful,' I replied, 'come closer.' They did so, and turned out to be a husband and wife. 'We are a married couple,' they said. 'We have led a blessed life in heaven from the earliest time, which you call the Golden Age. We have been perpetually in the bloom of youth, in which you see us today.'

[3] I gazed at them both, because I realised that in their life and their adornment they were a picture of conjugial love. Their lives were to be seen from their faces, their adornment from their dress. For all angels are affections of love in human form. Their ruling affection shines out from their faces, and it is their affection which provides and determines what they wear. So in heaven there is a saying, everyone is dressed by his affection. The husband looked to be of an age half way between an adolescent and a young adult. Sparkling light glittered from his eyes, an effect of the wisdom of love; this light made his face shine with a kind of internal radiance, and this radiation made his skin shine on the outside, so that his whole face was a single lovely splendour. He was dressed in an ankle-length robe, over a blue garment with a gold belt, decorated with three gems, a sapphire at either side and a carbuncle at the centre. He wore stockings of shining linen with silver threads in the weave, and pure silk shoes. This was the picture presented by conjugial love in the husband.

[4] In the wife it appeared like this. I saw her face and at the same time I did not see it. It looked like Beauty itself, but I could not see it because this is inexpressible. Her face shone with fiery light, the light the angels in the third heaven enjoy, and this dazzled my sight, so that I was simply amazed. When she noticed this, she spoke to me. 'What can you see?' she asked. 'I can see nothing but conjugial love and the form it takes,' I answered. 'But I both see and don't see.'

At this she turned sideways on to her husband, and then I could gaze at her more fixedly. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, a fiery light, as I have said, which derives from the love of wisdom. For the love wives have for their husbands in that heaven comes from and is focussed on their wisdom, and the love husbands have for their wives comes from and is focussed on that love for themselves, so that it unites them. As a result her beauty was such that no painter could ever rival it or render it in its true appearance, for his colours lack radiance and his art has no means to express her loveliness. Her hair was beautifully dressed in an arrangement which had a meaning by correspondence, and it had flowers in it made of jewelled settings. Her necklace was of carbuncles, and from it hung a rosary of gold-coloured gems, and she had pearl bracelets. She was dressed in a red gown over a purple blouse, fastened at the front with rubies. But I was surprised to see that the colours changed as she turned towards or away from her husband, and this too made them sparkle more or less, more when they looked at each other, less when not directly facing.

[5] When I had seen this, they spoke with me again; and when the husband spoke, it was as if what he said came at the same time from the wife, and when the wife spoke, it was as if it came at the same time from her husband, so closely united were their minds, from which their utterances flowed. And I could also then hear the sound of conjugial love, which was in inward unison within their speech, and arose from the delights of a state of peace and innocence.

At length they said, 'We are being called back, we must go.' Then they were seen again riding in a chariot, as before. They drove along a paved road between flower-beds with olive-trees and trees laden with orange fruit springing from them. When they approached their own heaven, maidens came out to welcome them and escort them in. (CL 42)

CL 43. After this I saw an angel from that heaven. He held in his hand a parchment, which he unrolled with the words, 'I have seen that you are meditating about conjugial love. This parchment contains treasures of wisdom on that subject, which have not yet been revealed in the world. They must now be revealed, because this is important. We have in our heaven more of these treasures than elsewhere, because we enjoy the marriage of love and wisdom. But I prophesy that the only people who will make that love their own are those whom God receives into the new Church, which is the New Jerusalem.' With these words the angel let go of the unrolled parchment, which a certain angelic spirit took and placed on a table in a room; this he at once locked up and handed me the key, with the instruction, 'Write about it.' (CL 43)

 

CL 45. THE STATE OF MARRIED PARTNERS AFTER DEATH

That there are marriages in the heavens has been shown just above. It is now to be shown whether or not the conjugial covenant entered into in the world will continue after death and be enduring. This is not a matter of judgment but of experience, and since this experience has been granted me through consociation with angels and spirits, the question may be answered by me, but yet in such wise that reason also will assent. Moreover, it is among the wishes and desires of married partners to have this knowledge; for men who have loved their wives, and wives who have loved their husbands, desire to know whether it is well with them after their death, and whether they will meet again. Furthermore many married partners desire to know beforehand whether after death they will be separated or will live together - those who are of discordant dispositions, whether they will be separated, and those who are of concordant dispositions, whether they will live together. This information, being desired, shall be given, and this in the following order:

 

I. That after death, love of the sex remains with every man such as it had been interiorly, that is, in his interior will and thought, in the world.

II. That the same is true of conjugial love.

III. That after death, two married partners, for the most part, meet, recognize each other, again consociate, and for some time live together; which takes place in the first state, that is, while they are in externals as in the world.

IV. But that successively, as they put off their externals and come into their internals, they perceive the nature of the love and inclination which they had for each other, and hence whether they can live together or not.

V. That if they can live together, they remain married partners; but if they cannot, they separate, sometimes the man from the wife, sometimes the wife from the man, and sometimes each from the other.

VI. And that then a suitable wife is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the woman.

VII. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse with each other as in the world, but more delightful and blessed, yet without prolification; for which, or in place of it, they have spiritual prolification, which is that of love and wisdom.

VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; but not so with those who go to hell.
The explanation now follows whereby these articles are illustrated and confirmed.

CL 42. To this I will append two narrative accounts from the spiritual world. Here is the first:

One morning I looked up into the sky, and I saw above me expanse upon expanse. And as I looked, the first or nearest expanse was opened, and shortly the second, which was above it, and finally the third, which was the highest of all. By the light coming from them I perceived that on the first expanse were angels of the first or lowest heaven, on the second expanse were angels of the second or middle heaven, and on the third expanse were angels of the third or highest heaven. I wondered at first what was happening and why. But shortly I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of a trumpet, saying, "We have perceived, and now see, that you are meditating on conjugial love. Moreover, we know that so far no one on earth knows what true conjugial love is in its origin or in its essence, and yet it is important for them to know. Therefore it has pleased God to open the heavens to you, that the inner faculties of your mind may receive an influx of illuminating light and thus perception. "Among us in heaven, especially in the third heaven, our heavenly delights come principally from conjugial love. Consequently, by permission granted us, we will send a married couple down to you, in order that you may see."

[2] And suddenly, then, a carriage appeared, coming down from the highest or third heaven, in which I saw a single angel. But as it drew near, I saw that it held two. The carriage shone before my eyes in the distance like a diamond, and harnessed to it were young horses as white as snow. And the couple sitting in the carriage held in their hands a pair of turtledoves. And the couple called out to me, "You want us to come closer. But beware, then, of the flashing light coming from our heaven, the heaven we descended from. It is a blazing light, and you must take care that it does not penetrate interiorly. By its influx, indeed, the higher ideas of your understanding are enlightened, ideas that, in themselves, are heavenly. But these same ideas are inexpressible in the world in which you live. Receive the things you are about to hear, therefore, in rational terms and so explain them to the understanding." I replied, "I will take care. Come closer." So they came, and behold, it was a husband and his wife. And they said, "We are married. We have lived a blessed life in heaven from the earliest time, which you call the golden age, remaining forever in the same flower of youth that you see us in today."

[3] I looked at the two of them closely, because I perceived that they represented conjugial love in their life and in their adornment - in their life as shown in their faces, and in their adornment as shown in the garments they wore. For all angels are affections of love in human form. The essential, dominant affection shines out from their faces, and they are given clothing on the basis of their affection and in accordance with it. Consequently, in heaven they say that everyone is clothed in his own affection. The husband appeared to be between adolescence and early manhood in age. From his eyes flashed a light sparkling with the wisdom of love. His face seemed to be inmostly radiant with this light, and because of the radiance from within, outwardly his skin virtually shone. As a result, his whole facial appearance was singularly one of dazzling good looks. He was dressed in a full-length robe, and under the robe he wore a blue-colored garment, which was tied about the waist with a golden girdle bearing three precious stones, two of them sapphires, one on each side, and a garnet in the middle. His stockings were of shining linen, into which had been woven threads of silver; and his shoes were made entirely of silk. This was the representational form that conjugial love took in the case of the husband.

[4] In the case of the wife, however, it took the following form. I saw her face, and did not see it. I saw it as the very essence of beauty, and did not see it because the beauty was beyond expression. For there was in her face the bright glow of a blazing light, like the light possessed by angels in the third heaven, and this light dimmed my vision, so that I was simply stupefied by it. Noticing this, the wife spoke to me, saying, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see only conjugial love and a picture of it. But I see and do not see." At this she turned at an angle away from her husband, and then I could look more intently. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, which is blazing, as I said, and so takes its quality from the love of wisdom. For wives in the third heaven love their husbands on account of their husbands' wisdom and in response to it, and the husbands love their wives on account of and in response to that love directed towards them, and so they are united.

The wife had her beauty as a result of this, such beauty that no artist could reproduce it or portray it in its true form, for a flashing of light like that is not possible in the painter's colors, nor is such loveliness expressible in his art. Her hair was attractively arranged in a style to match her beauty, with jewels in the form of flowers inserted into it. She had a necklace of garnets, from which hung a rosette of peridots. And she had bracelets of pearls. She was dressed in a scarlet gown, and under it a purple bodice fastened in front with rubies. But what surprised me, the colors kept changing depending on which way she was facing in relation to her husband, and their sparkle also kept changing accordingly, being now more, now less - more when they faced each other, and less when she faced away at an angle.

[5] When I had seen these things, they spoke with me again. And when the husband spoke, he spoke as though he spoke at the same time on behalf of his wife, and when the wife spoke, she spoke as though she spoke at the same time on behalf of her husband. For such was the union of their minds, from which comes their speech. It was then that I heard as well the way conjugial love sounds, how it was inwardly together with, and also the result of, the delights of a state of peace and innocence. Finally they said, "They are calling us back. We have to go." They then appeared to be again riding in a carriage, as before, and they were borne off along a road stretching out between flower gardens, from whose beds rose olive trees and trees full of oranges. And as they drew near their heaven, young women came to meet them and welcome them and take them in. (CL 42)

CL 43. After this, an angel from that heaven appeared to me, holding in his hand a sheet of paper, which he unrolled, saying, "I saw that you were meditating on conjugial love. This sheet of paper contains secrets of wisdom hitherto undiscovered in the world. They are disclosed now, because it is important. In our heaven there are more of these secrets than in the rest of the heavens, because we live in a marriage of love and wisdom. But I predict that none will make that love their own except those who are received by God into the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem." Saying this, the angel sent the unrolled sheet of paper down, and one angelic spirit took it and placed it on a table in a particular room, which he immediately locked. And handing me the key he said, "Write." (CL 43)

(if you want to see the continuation, check the book here: www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/contets/cltc.html   )


 

1.  Part B

 

We cannot disprove the scientific validity of the Swedenborg reports. Nor can we prove them to be scientifically valid. And that is why I call this proposal "the positive bias in psychology." So, for the purpose of this course let us adopt the positive bias instead of the usual negative bias. This means that we grant the possibility that the Swedenborg reports are scientifically valid. This attitude allows us to examine the unity model of marriage which is based on the positive bias regarding the Swedenborg reports.

 

The unity model of marriage says that men and women are created reciprocals of each other so that they can conjoin into a unity. This means that the two become as-if one person with interdependent parts. What keeps them in this state of heavenly union is their mutual love and inmost friendship for each other. They are lovers and best friends at the same time. They are strongly motivated not to hurt each other out of neglect, impatience, anger, disagreement, or resentment. They try hard not to contradict each other. They remain loyal to each other before anybody else, including children, family, friends, career, hobby. They are happy, fulfilled, and constantly passionately in love with each other.

 

How did they get to that state of unity?

 

They first had to leave the male dominance model behind them, then they both had to realize that the equity model is inherently unfair to women. It appears that the equity model empowers women to leave behind the oppressiveness of the male dominance model, but it turns out that his is an illusion or legend. Yes, the wife can now negotiate with the husband: Honey, you take out the garbage and I'll take the kids to school. Later, she finds out he didn't do it. She reminds him a couple of times, which she finds denigrating because he puts her down for it, telling her to stop nagging him. So what has she gained?

 

He says: No, I don't think it's a good idea for you to work. She pleads with him: But you said before we got married that it was all right with you. He says: Well, I changed my mind. And that's the problem, isn't it? The woman has no guarantee about anything in the equity model. Men are given the advantage over women in many ways, both in free democracies like ours, and even more so in less free societies. The equity model does not come with a guarantee or a method for enforcing broken promises and contracts by the husband. A woman can make herself less sexually available in order to fight the man's injustice when he breaks his promises and does not follow the equity model fairly. This solution is often described in history and literature, and in the media today. Even if a man wants to be fair, his middle line is subconsciously biased in favor of himself because men's male dominance interferes with accurate perception of their interactions with women.

 

This is why men need a more powerful model by which to operate in the relationship. Both the traditional male dominance model and the popular equity model, are not sufficient to give men the motivational capacity to change. But there is one possibility for success: the man can switch over to the unity model.

 

In order for the husband to adopt the unity model he must first be spiritually enlightened. This means that he is willing to think of his relationship with his wife as eternal. Their love relationship will continue in the afterlife. They started their marriage with the vow "Until death do us part" and this led them into the male dominance model and the equity model. But now he is willing to go further and take the last and ultimate step, which is the vow "Until endless eternity." There is no parting, ever. If a man runs away from that thought with one woman, he will not adopt the unity model. But if he loves the idea of his wife as eternal soul mate, then he can find the motivational power to declare himself for the unity model, and to keep striving to achieve it in the ensuing years.

 

The adoption of the unity model is all at once, like an acknowledgement and commitment, but the attaining of it in daily practice is progressive and developmental. Nevertheless, the husband's declaration of his commitment to the unity model makes a huge difference to the wife even if it becomes actual only gradually. Why?

 

Because now the wife possesses moral leverage over him when he falls back on the equity model and the male dominance model. For example:

 

Wife:              I want you stop sending birthday cards to your ex-girlfriends.

Husband:      Why all of a sudden? It's just a nice habit to keep up with people you know.

Wife:              You said you are committed to the unity model. Are you giving that up now?

Husband:       OK, I see your point. I don't like it, but I see it.

Wife:               Well are you going to stop?

Husband:        Yes.

Wife:               Thank you.

 

What do you think of this kind of exchange? You can see that the husband feels morally bound to his commitment. His wife has to be strongly motivated to keep bringing this point up to him, to keep facing him with his official commitment. She has to put pressure on him using the force that he provides her. This is how the unity model works. In the phase of the equity model the husband did not allow her to put this kind of pressure on him. He would oppose it, reject it, and blame her for it. All these separative strategies suddenly no longer work for him. He cannot both engage in separative behaviors and continue to hold the unity model. He has to choose because these are opposites.

 

The commitment he has to the unity model is grounded in his idea that his marriage is continuing in the afterlife as a conjugial heaven between lovers who are best friends to each other. Settling into this idea as a certainty acts as a receptor of spiritual power. This new ability flows into the conscious mind of the husband from his unconscious spiritual mind. This new ability involves enlightenment in the cognitive organ and empowerment in the affective organ. The husband can compel himself to think and act from the unity model even when he is tempted to act from the equity or dominance models. Without the idea that he and his wife will be together in heaven as lovers and best friends forever, a man does not have the affective power to prevent himself from sliding back into the equity or dominance way of interacting with his wife or girlfriend whenever he feels like it, or whenever he is being challenged. Hence he cannot stick it out with unity model long enough to discover that he actually much prefers it.

 

When a man discovers that the actually prefers the unity model to anything else, he has become an angel on earth, and he and his wife will be an angel in the heaven of their conjugial eternity. And yet, even such an angel on earth is not yet like an angel in heaven, such as a man becomes in his full human potential in eternity when he loves conjugial unity. The wife is then most fulfilled in a way she could not experience before. Later we will discuss what kind of behaviors express a man's commitment to the unity relationship.

 

So here we are. With respect to the reality of eternal or spiritual marriages observed by Swedenborg, we have a choice regarding to reject its possibility without proof, or accept the possibility without proof. Remember, the positive bias is to accept the possibility that the reports may be valid. You may decide they are not valid after you examine the evidence. Or, you may decide they are valid. The positive bias merely says that it's possible that they are valid.

 

Either way we go -- negative bias or positive bias in science -- we must adopt a bias.

 

In this proposal you are given the opportunity to adopt the positive bias in science, and to hold the negative bias tucked away in abeyance, so to speak, until the end of the course, at which time you can bring it back, should you still want to. By adopting the positive bias science now, you are giving yourself the opportunity to examine the evidence in seriousness rather than in mockery. In order to examine what I am presenting in seriousness, you need to act like in your mind, that you are adopting for the moment, the positive bias in science for the sake of the potential benefits being claimed for learning this new knowledge.

 

 We also want to realize in clear awareness, that our initial preference for the negative bias position in science, is not due to our own thinking, but to the accepted thinking that we do by habit about science. We think about the "scientific method" with borrowed attitudes from our socialization, and especially definitions in our science education in high school and in college. We are told over and over again that ideas about the spiritual world of eternity and science don't mix because you can't investigate the world of the afterlife by observation and experiment. Hence these topics are outside the realms of science. We all received this notion from our education by teachers who themselves received this negative bias in science and are passing it on the next generation. But notice that teachers don't tell students that they are transmitting the tradition of the negative bias in science. Instead students are told that rejecting eternal marriages is "science" -- not "negative bias in science". Why, do you think this is?

 

My answer is that those who hold the negative bias in science cannot see that it is a bias, since a bias by definition, blinds you to reality and truth. They see the "positive bias science" as a bias, and not as science. So the negative bias in science creates a knowledge culture that is dead set against anything that is not definable by physical measurements and abstract derivations thereof. Anything having to do with eternity or the spiritual world is simply ruled out. Since eternity is ruled out, so are eternal marriages. So the unity model of marriage is not comprehensible or meaningful within the negative bias. The idea of marriage  as a binding relationship "until death do us part" comes to you from the negative bias in science and as you are applying it to your marriage. While the positive bias in science leads you to the idea of marriage as a permanent or eternal relationship with your soul mate. The difference is whether you think of yourself as the temporary brain in the physical world, or as the immortal mind in the spiritual world.

 

In this proposal I am saying that it is possible to examine the Swedenborg reports rationally and impartially, in order to decide whether they are scientifically valid and rationally meaningful, or not. I have done so myself for the past thirty years and found these reports rational, empirical, valid, scientific, and highly useful to know about. As a result I set out to present to you the content of these reports regarding eternal marriages.

 

In this seminar on the unity model of marriage we will discuss Swedenborg's unique experience so that you may gain a rational and scientific idea of marriages in the afterlife. The religious view on the afterlife will not be examined in this course. Swedenborg was a respected and well known Swedish engineer, scientist, and legislator (1688-1772), known for his wide ranging set of discoveries in mining engineering, crystallography, chemistry, physics, anatomy. His science was unusual in that he always tried to include God as the creator and manager of all phenomena, while other well known scientists and mathematicians like Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Darwin, only mentioned God in the Preface of their book, acknowledging Him as the Creator of Nature. But then they never mentioned God again in the rest of the book that contained their scientific theory. Swedenborg on the other hand kept bringing God into all of his scientific theories.

 

It is clear to me as I read all of Swedenborg's works and Writings that he succeeded in establishing God as a scientific concept. This is totally unique to Swedenborg's Writings. He established the reality of God in science (not religion). Hence Swedenborg's science can be called "theistic science" to indicate that God has a conceptual status in that approach to science. You may be interested in how I translate Swedenborg's Writings into theistic psychology -- see my online textbook here:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/

 

At age 57, Swedenborg had a vision experience in which God as the Divine Human Man appeared to him and told him that Swedenborg had been unconsciously prepared since early childhood to become a theistic scientist and to build up the scientific knowledge and theory in which God could be incorporated as an objective concept and thus, at last, made part of the scientific explanation of events. Now that Swedenborg had formed the natural basis for a theistic science, he was ready for the spiritual laboratory he needed to provide the objective evidence for dualism in science. Swedenborg's "substantive dualism" refers to the philosophical and scientific theory that human beings are born into two worlds simultaneously -- with a temporary physical body in the natural world of time and space, and a permanent or eternal spiritual body in the spiritual world not in time and space (called "eternity").

 

The positive bias in science was not possible until Swedenborg published his reports about the spiritual world. He was the only modern scientist who had access to the observations he presents. This was made possible when he suddenly at age 57, became conscious simultaneously in both worlds, whereas every other scientist only becomes conscious of the spiritual world after resuscitation at death. Now that we have Swedenborg's reports we are able to adopt the positive bias in science -- long enough to be able to examine his reports. These findings about eternity cannot be examined in the negative bias mode, because it rejects them in advance without proof.

 

Swedenborg has proven by repeated daily observations over 27 years that human beings are born into eternity as immortal beings and are only temporarily connected to this world of time through the physical body. This proof forms the empirical basis of the unity model of marriage -- thus making marriage into an permanent relationship, not "until death do us part", but "until endless eternity".

 

The physical body with which we are born in the natural world and the mental-spiritual body we are born with in eternity outside time, are functionally inter-connected so that our sensations, thoughts, and feelings occur in our mental-spiritual organs, while the physical body exists and moves around in the natural world. For example, the facial expression on our physical body corresponds or is connected to, the mental emotions and mood in our affective organ which is located in the mental-spiritual body. As a result, the face can be used as an index to the emotions. The physical operations of the facial muscles and the sensorimotor brain correspond to the mental-spiritual operations in our affective organ. The facial muscles and their correlated brain operations exist in time and space called the physical world, but the emotions and feelings to which they correspond, exist outside time and space called eternity.

 

Our mental-spiritual body exists in eternity since birth and remains there after the death of the physical body. Death is therefore a continuation of life, as our conscious awareness shifts from the natural mind and its connection with the physical body, to the spiritual mind and its connection to the mental-spiritual body which exists in eternity. All this will appear more real to you if you remember that your thoughts and feelings are not the same as the electro-chemical operations of the neurons in your brain.

 

The thoughts and feelings of human beings are constructed out of spiritual substances not physical matter, like the physical brain. These spiritual substances are by definition immortal or eternal since death applies only to what is in time-space. Death does not apply to what is in eternity, and our thoughts and feelings are born in eternity and remain there forever. This means that the self, which is made up of our thoughts and feelings, is immortal. Remember this proof. Try it out on your friends.

 

At the death of the physical body, the mental body with its organs of sensing, thinking, and feeling, is freed from any connection with the world of time and space. We then continue our life of immortality in the mental world of eternity into which we were born to begin with. This mental world of eternity is also called the afterlife and the spiritual world. Swedenborg was able to confirm this by direct observation, when at age 57 his encounter with God left him conscious simultaneously in both worlds. We are all dual citizens, like Swedenborg, but we don't get to be conscious in our spiritual mind until the death of the physical body. Until then we are conscious only in our natural mind which is connected by correspondence to our physical body.

 

Swedenborg observed thousands of people being "resuscitated," which occurs about 36 hours after the death of the physical body. He talked to many people immediately after their resuscitation. Most of them were extremely surprised to find themselves alive in the spiritual world.

 

Swedenborg visited the people who had been in the world of spirits for untold ages. He described their cities and lifestyles. He talked to people whom he personally had known and then passed on. He talked to people he had read about in literature like Aristotle, Newton, King David, Mary, or Luther. He described the lifestyle in the "heavenly" and "hellish" cities and societies that he observed in the afterlife world of eternity. His dual citizenship lasted for 27 years until age 84 when he passed permanently into the afterlife. During those 27 years he published nearly 30 volumes of reports on the spiritual world. One of the most amazing is his discovery that people in the afterlife are in a spiritual body that is permanently youthful (around age 20) and that in the heavenly regions of the mental world of eternity, everyone lives as a married couple. His book Conjugial Love (1763) is a detailed description of the relationship he observed between husbands and wives in the eternity of their heaven. Each couple is called "an angel" because from a distance they appear as one angel, but close up they are seen as a husband and wife.

 

The unity model of marriage in this course is based on the empirical descriptions that Swedenborg gives of the "angel couple" which is what married partners are called in the afterlife of their heaven. But Swedenborg also described the "infernal marriages" of people who are in the hells of their mind -- and that is pretty ugly and awful! Swedenborg also describes and explains why people choose to be in the heavens or in the hells of their mind -- for he found that in the afterlife, everyone chooses their own preference of life.

 

What Swedenborg discovered empirically by direct observation, multiple times in the course of daily observations for 27 years, is that when people are resuscitated in the world of spirits a few hours after the death of the physical body, they appear not as filmy gaseous spirit ghosts, but exactly the same as in their physical body!

 

They have solid bodies that he could touch and shake hands with. He ate with them. He slept and had dreams. He talked to couples who had been husband and wife for untold ages, who told him that they were doing with their mental-spiritual body in their heaven everything they did on earth with their physical bodies, except that here, their sensations were much keener and stronger than what they had in their physical bodies. In other words what Swedenborg saw and confirmed many times in different ways, is that our afterlife of eternity is spent in a real substantial non-material body that is immortal and cannot die. This real body of immortality is what I call "the spiritual body" or "the mental body." We could also call it "the rational ether body" because it is a body constructed out of rational ether, which is the substance out of which all things are made of in the world of eternity, which is the mental world of the human race .

 

This makes sense since the world of eternity
= the mental world of the human race
= individual self and conscious life within that world.

 

All of this may sound like a naive fairy tale, not science! If you want to find our more how this is indeed science, and not a fairy tale or religion, I invite you to read a little further on "the negative and positive bias in science" available at:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/


 

 

2.  Mental Anatomy and the Individual's Threefold Self

 

Section 2

 

2.  Part A

 

The immortal spiritual body with which we are born, contains our mind, that is, our mental organs, which are called the affective organ, the cognitive organ, and the sensorimotor organ. These three mental organs are in the spiritual-mental body in the same way that the physical body contains the circulatory system, the respiratory system, and the nervous system. The circulatory system includes the heart and all its veins and capillaries reaching and permeating every organ and cell of the body.

 

The circulatory system in the physical body corresponds to the affective organ in the mental body, whose operations give us the subjective experience of feeling and willing. Feelings in the spiritual body, or the mind, correspond to the circulatory system in the physical body, because feelings nourish the life of experience. Feeling and willing give us

  • an affective consummatory life such as needs, wants, desires, satisfactions, pleasures, interests, attractions, etc. (as well as their opposites),
    and

  • an affective conative life such as intentions, motives, purposes, endeavors, resolve, compassion, love, etc. (as well as their opposites)

 

The respiratory system corresponds to the cognitive organ whose operations give us the subjective life of thinking, reasoning, and intelligence. Thoughts in the spiritual body, that is, the operations of the cognitive organ, correspond to the respiratory system in the physical body, because thoughts guide our feelings and clarifies them, just as oxygen cleans and purifies the blood. Thoughts give us

  • a cognitive appraising life through memory, imagination, words, meaning, concepts, topics, knowledge, logic, common sense, conversation, etc.
    and

  • a cognitive planning life through rational reasoning, inventiveness, predictions, hypotheses, fantasies, schedules, blueprints, management policies, etc.

 

The nervous system corresponds to the sensorimotor organ whose operations give us the subjective life of sensing the environment outside the body and of acting upon that environment through motor determinations.  Sensations and motor determinations in the spiritual body, or the mind, are like the nervous system in the physical body, because sensations give us the life of experiencing the world outside of us and motor determinations give us the ability to make our bodies move and interact with the environment. Sensations and motor determinations give us

  • a sensory noticing life such as seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, pleasure, pain, heat, cold, etc.
    and

  • a motor execution life such as moving, pushing, pulling, dancing, chewing, verbalizing, writing, drawing, etc.

 

Here is then a summary of the exact correspondence between mental anatomy and physical anatomy (try to memorize this after you studied the details given above):

  • an affective consummatory life in the spiritual body (= circulatory veins in the physical body)

  • an affective optimizing life in the spiritual body (= circulatory arteries in the physical body)
     

  • a cognitive appraising life in the spiritual body (= respiratory inhaling in the physical body)

  • a cognitive planning life in the spiritual body (= respiratory exhaling in the physical body)
     

  • a sensory noticing life in the spiritual body (= nervous afferent input in the physical body)

  • a motor execution life in the spiritual body (= nervous efferent output in the physical body)

 

The affective life of feelings cohere together as a cumulative whole called the affective self.

The cognitive life of thoughts cohere together as a cumulative whole called the cognitive self.

The sensorimotor life of sensations and motor determinations cohere together as a cumulative whole called the sensorimotor self.

 

Every person can therefore be studied, described, and understood as a threefold self.


 

2.  Part B

 

Gender behavior in marriage is defined in this course along all three interacting domains of the individual's threefold self. The individual's affective self operates the feelings and motivations we maintain in dating or in marriage relationships. The individual's cognitive self operates the thinking and reasoning we do in these relationships. The individual's sensorimotor self operates the sensations, perceptions, and motor acts we perform in gender relationships. The category of "motor acts" includes overt verbal behavior (discourse, talk) and non-linguistic behaviors (expressions, appearance, style). Be aware however that motor acts and talking occur not from themselves but from cognitive acts (our thinking and lifestyle philosophy), and these in turn occur from our affective acts, which are motivations and needs that guide our thinking towards goals. Sensorimotor acts, cognitive acts, and affective acts form a perfect synergy between feelings, thoughts, and actions. This is called the threefold self or person.

 

In other words, each of us is involved in gender relationships in which we operate along three interconnected domains of behavior. The deepest and most influential is the affective operation in which we maintain selected motivations and desires in accordance with our primary needs and satisfactions. These affective operations in our mind are the most influential or determinative because they select and guide the other two domains. Affective operations guide and influence the direction of operations in the cognitive self, so that what we think or how we justify things cognitively, is selective and responsive to our affective motives. We entertain and prefer a way of thinking that will support and promote our motivations and feelings. In other words, our cognitive behavior adjusts itself to support our affective behavior. The affective and the cognitive domains together select and determine the sensorimotor behavior that eventuate in our overt actions, appearance, words, and styles. What we do and say amounts to our overt gender behavior, which is the result of what we think, and that is the result of how we feel and what motivates us.

 

Note that we are often more aware of what we think than of how we feel (or what motivates us). In relationships between a man and a woman, women get more practice in becoming aware of their own feelings and motivations than men, who in comparison, tend to be less aware of their own feelings and motivations. This is because women are more motivated to spend time and focus to figure out how they really feel or what they really want. Women tend also to be more aware of the man's feelings and motivations than the men are of their own feelings and motivations. This is because women are motivated to form a united couple, while men tend to be more motivated to maintain their independence and options. However, this does not mean that men have less feelings than women, as it is sometimes misrepresented in gender stereotyped thinking. It means that men are less motivated to discover their feelings and the feelings of women. However, as we shall see, men can learn to acquire this interest, habit and practice.

 

Note well this principle: Both men and women have the same amount of feelings and emotions. This fact can be observed when you analyze how men behave and react to things moment by moment--with surprise, or with anger, or being pleased or displeased, feeling like talking or feeling like keeping quiet, being in a good mood or bad, getting excited when telling a story, picking a fight, feeling resentful, liking something, appreciating something, feeling happy about something, walking out on an exchange, being terrified to commit, being worried about their success, lacking confidence or feeling very confident, getting excited in games, etc. These observations prove that men equally with women have feelings and react with emotions all the time. Living means having emotions and feelings. Hence it is invalid to say that men have less feelings than women, or that men are less emotional then women. Instead, we need to think that men express their feelings and emotions differently than women, and we shall study these differences.

 

Emotional reactions and feeling motivations are a necessary part of all thinking and acting. It is not possible to act and react in a conversation or interaction without feelings and motivations being present all the time, at every instant. Nevertheless there are differences between men and women as to how aware or conscious they are of their own feelings and emotions from moment to moment, or of the emotions of their partner. Women tend to specialize in becoming aware of feelings and emotions of their partner. They are motivated to practice more than men in focusing consciously on feelings in gender relationships. This is because women are motivated to conjoin to the man of their choice as intimately as possible, while men are motivated to keep their independence emotionally and in their feeling life.

 

This difference in the skill of gender perceptiveness between a man and a woman creates an active gender dynamic in which the woman is motivated to prod her man to become more aware of his and her feelings and motivations. The man tends to resist this "affective prodding" and finds it unpleasant and objectionable. This creates a constant strain on the developing relationship. The woman feels that the man doesn't want to "commit" and is resisting the process of conjunction and wanting to maintain independence and distance, thereby keeping the couple in a state of division and conflict which is not totally satisfying to the woman. Nevertheless, all men can learn to be motivated to understand and recognize their feelings and those of their partners. We will examine the methods men can use to be successful in this fundamental change in their gender character.

 

Both men and women can gain understanding of the initial oppositeness between the sexes--women striving to conjoin, men resisting the process. The analysis of how men and women talk to each other reveals this dynamic opposition between men and women, as exemplified in the studies reported in our text by Deborah Tannen--Gender and Discourse. Analyzing verbal interactions between men and women is a powerful method for bringing out the differences between how they use talk to either oppose each other or to gain deeper intimacy and mutual support. Some of your activities in this course will include observing the talk and interaction of men and women in real life and on television (see Instructions for Report 1).

 

The views of "Dr. Laura" in her book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands presents the point of view that men are in general "simpler creatures" than women, and that a wife needs to treat her husband in a certain way in order to keep him happy and well functioning. This is a different model of marriage than the unity model because it establishes an unequal status between men and women. This point of view puts less of responsibility on the men to change and more responsibility on the women to learn to live with it. The wife is told to adjust to this unequal status rather than to seek equality or unity.

 

The individual's threefold self in gender relationships is a joint product of biology, socialization, culture, and spiritual make up. As children we acquire the relationship style of our parents, other adults, and the media (TV, movies, songs, magazines, cartoons, commercials). By the time we begin adolescent or adult relationships, men have been exposed to years of stereotyped gender behaviors in all three domains of the threefold self:

  • (a) exploitative feelings and intentions (affective self) towards girls and women, whom they view as the "opposite" sex

  • (b) sexist thoughts (cognitive self) that stereotype women in a negative content

  • (c) injurious or hostile actions and words (sensorimotor self) against women

These affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor patterns of negative gender behavior by men create an atmosphere of discord and conflict in dating and marriage, even as the partners strive to love each other and become a functioning and satisfying unit.


2.1  Mental Anatomy of Women and Men

Section 2.1

 

2.1  Part A

 

The expression "mental anatomy" at first sounds like a metaphor about the mind. We are used to hearing about the anatomy of the physical body. But regarding the mind, it is common for us to imagine that it either doesn't exist, or if it does exist, it is something gaseous or transparent, not solid, just as "a spirit" or "departed person," is often portrayed in literature or television. But we are also familiar with the portrayal of angels who appear on earth and have physical bodies while they are here. But we imagine that after they return to "heaven," they no longer have a real body for being married. We all have been exposed to the various fantasies or imaginings that people have about the afterlife, including our own. This is why it is essential that we stick with the facts and the actual observations. Swedenborg was the only scientist in history who was allowed by God to be conscious in his spiritual mind before resuscitation, and therefore he is the only scientist in the history of the world who can give us factual information about the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity. This is looking at the Swedenborg Reports with the positive bias in science perspective.

 

It is fascinating to discover what married couples are like when they reach the heavens in the mental eternity of their afterlife. Swedenborg's observations of the relationship between husbands and wives in heaven and hell give us factual information about the future we can have in our immortality after we are no longer connected to the physical world. People who find their way into the heavens of their mind, are married, which symbolizes and reflects their mental unity. Amazingly, when Swedenborg saw a conjugial couple from a distance, he saw but one person walking or standing. But when he came nearer to the couple, they were a husband and wife. The fact that they appear as one person is an outward representation of their inward mental unity.

 

From Swedenborg's description of the difference between men and women, I constructed various visual charts to picture their mental anatomy. By studying the details pictured in somewhat different way, it might be easier for you to gain a more detailed knowledge and understanding of how men and women differ in their spiritual or mental anatomy. Remember: spiritual = afterlife of eternity. So the anatomical difference between the threefold mind of men and women remains forever to distinguish them from birth to eternity.

 

This diagram is from an article  I wrote on "spiritual genes in marriage" and is available here:   www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/dow2.html

 

Spiritual Gender Genes

 

dowfig1.gif (5308 bytes)

 

dowfig2.gif (8222 bytes)

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

CL 195. X. THAT THIS FORMATION BY THE WIFE IS EFFECTED BY THE CONJUNCTION OF HER WILL WITH THE INTERNAL WILL OF THE MAN.

That with the man are rational wisdom and moral wisdom, and that the wife conjoins herself with those things with the man which pertain to his moral wisdom, has been shown above (nos. 163-65). All things pertaining to rational wisdom make his understanding, and all things pertaining to moral wisdom make his will. It is with these latter, being those which form the man's will, that the wife conjoins herself. It is the same whether it be said that the wife conjoins herself or that she conjoins her will to the man's will; for a wife is born voluntary and hence does what she does from the will. It is said with the man's internal will because man's will has its seat in his intellect, and the intellectual of man is the inmost of woman, according to what was said above (no. 32) and frequently thereafter respecting the formation of woman from man. Men have also an external will, but this often partakes of simulation and dissimulation. A wife sees this will clearly but does not conjoin herself with it except in pretence or playfully. (CL 195)

CL 222. (13) There is a conjugial atmosphere which flows in from God through heaven into each and every thing of the universe, extending even to its lowest forms. We showed above in its own chapter* that love and wisdom, or to say the same thing, good and truth, emanate from God. A marriage of these two elements continually emanates from God, because they are Him, and from Him come all things. Moreover, whatever emanates from Him fills the universe; for without this, nothing that came into existence would continue to exist.

[2] There are several atmospheres which emanate from God. For example, an atmosphere of conservation for conserving the created universe; an atmosphere of protection for protecting good and truth against evil and falsity; an atmosphere of reformation and regeneration; an atmosphere of innocence and peace; an atmosphere of mercy and grace; besides others. But the universal one of all is a conjugial atmosphere, because it is at the same time an atmosphere of propagation and is thus the supreme atmosphere in conserving the created universe by successive generations.

[3] This conjugial atmosphere fills the universe and pervades it from the firsts to the lasts of it. That this is so is apparent from observations made above,** where we showed that there are marriages in heaven, and most perfect marriages in the third or highest heaven; also, that besides being in human beings, this atmosphere exists in all members of the animal kingdom on earth, extending even to worms, and furthermore in all members of the vegetable kingdom, from olive trees and palms to the smallest grasses.

[4] This atmosphere is more universal than that of the heat and light which emanate from the sun of our world; and reason can be convinced of this from the fact that the conjugial atmosphere operates even when the sun's warmth is absent, such as in winter, and when the sun's light is absent, such as at night. Especially is this so in the case of human beings. It continues to operate because it originates from the sun of the angelic heaven, and that sun produces a constant balance of heat and light, that is, a constant union of good and truth. For heaven is in a state of perpetual spring. Variations in goodness and truth in heaven or in its warmth and light do not result from changes of the sun, as changes on earth do from variations in the heat and light coming from the sun there; but they occur as a result of the way recipient vessels receive them.  (CL 222)


 

2.1  Part B

 

The following diagram is from an article on "The Spiritual Psychobiology of Marriage" and is available here:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/dow1.html#biology

marriage.jpg (43770 bytes)

The diagram immediately above shows the two phases or stages of marriage. Initially, the man's consciousness of externalizing truth, which is the truth he knows, conjoins itself with the wife's externalizing good. That is the wife's externalizing affections conjoin with the husband's externalizing cognitions. Thus they form an externalizing marriage or bond. It is externalizing because the man's truth and the wife's affections are both in the externalizing or lower degrees of their consciousness. However, if the two partners continue to grow together and conjoin more deeply within, then they enter phase 2 which is an internal union or conjunction. Now their internalizing parts are conjoined or united--the man's internalizing good and the woman's internalizing truth. Now for the first time the man becomes truly a husband and the woman truly a wife.

In the diagram below, the same process is portrayed. The externalizing union in stage 1 is shown to bond the man's externalizing truth to the wife's externalizing good. This is not so much a true union as a partnership since it resides in externalizing (or lower) parts of the consciousness. Husband and wife as partners are adjoined to each other by externalizing natural life and family, but they are not yet conjoined from within by inner or spiritual life. But in stage 2, the husband's internalizing good is conjoined to the wife's internalizing truth. Now the marriage consists of his affections covered over with her truths. This is a true conjunction or union because it resides in the higher or internalizing regions of their consciousness and life. Only when this stage of internal conjunction is achieved can they be regenerated into a heavenly marriage and live together in eternity.

marriage2.jpg (51046 bytes)

Couples who do not progress to an internal union of minds or spirits remain separated in their internals, and when they meet again in the other life, they live with one another again for a brief period. They then can become aware of each other's internal character and disposition, and these separate them. Each then looks for another partner with whom they can enter into an internal marriage in heaven. But this happens only when both have been regenerated while still in the physical body. To be regenerated means to learn to give up inherited hellish traits and to acquire heavenly traits in one's threefold self. If they decide that they are unsuitable for each other by internal disposition, they separate. The one who is regenerate goes to heaven with the newly found conjugial partner or soul mate, while the other who is not regenerated goes to hell where they enter into a series of relationships, which are called infernal concubinage. These infernal marriages are purely externalizing and both partners are "devils" who hate each other's guts yet are forced to endure each other in a marriage made in hell.

Quoting from Swedenborg's Conjugial Love:

CL 32. (ii) A male is then male and a female is female.
Since a person lives on after death, and a person may be male or female, and the male and the female are so different that one cannot change into the other, it follows that after death a male lives on as a male and a female as a female, each of them being spiritual. We say that the male cannot change into the female, nor the female into the male, so that in consequence after death a male is a male and a female is a female, but because it is not known in what masculinity and femininity essentially consist, I must state this briefly here.

The essential difference is that the inmost core of the male is love, and its envelope is wisdom, or what is the same thing, it is love enveloped in wisdom. The inmost core of the female is the wisdom of the male, and its envelope is the love from it. But this is a feminine love, which God gives a wife by means of her husband's wisdom. The other love is a masculine love, a love of being wise, given by God to the husband to the extent that he acquires wisdom.

Thus it is that the male is the wisdom of love and the female the love of that wisdom.

There is therefore implanted in each from creation a love of being joined into one. (CL 32)

CL 33. The result of being so formed in the beginning is that the male is by birth a creature of the intellect, the female a creature of the will, or to put the same thing another way, the male acquires from birth an affection for knowing, understanding and being wise, and the female acquires from birth a love of joining herself with that affection in the male.

Since what is within forms the outside so as to resemble itself, and the form of the male is that of the intellect, and the form of the female is that of love for it, this is why the male differs from the female in face, voice, and the rest of the body. He has a sterner face, a rougher voice and a stronger body, not to mention a bearded chin, so generally speaking a less beautiful form than the female.

There are also differences in their gestures and behaviour. In short, they have no similarity, and yet every detail has the impulse towards union. In fact, there is masculinity in every part of the male, down to the smallest part of his body, and also in every idea he thinks of and every spark of affection he feels; and the same is true of the femininity of the female. Since therefore one cannot change into the other, it follows that after death the male is male and the female is female. (CL 33)

CL 88. (iii) There is the truth of good, and from this the good of truth, that is to say, truth coming from good and good from that truth; both of them have a tendency implanted from creation to join themselves into one.

Some idea of the distinction between these two must be gained, because knowledge of the essential source of conjugial love depends upon it. For the truth of good, that is, truth from good, is, as will be shown in what follows [90, 91], male; and the good of truth, that is the good from that truth, is female. But the distinction can be better grasped, if love is substituted for good and wisdom for truth. These are one and the same (see 84 above). The only way wisdom can come into existence for a person is by means of the love of being wise. If this love is taken away, there is no way the person can be wise. It is wisdom arising from this love which is meant by the truth of good, or truth coming from good. But when a person has as a result of that love acquired wisdom, and loves wisdom in himself, that is, loves himself for his wisdom, then he forms a love, which is the love of wisdom and is meant by the good of truth, or good coming from that truth.

[2] A man therefore possesses two loves. One, which comes first, is the love of being wise, and the other, which comes later, is the love of wisdom. But if this second love remains with a man, it is a wicked love, called pride in or love of one's own intelligence. It will be proved in the following pages that it has been provided from creation that, to prevent this love being his ruin, it was taken from the man and copied into the woman, so becoming conjugial love which makes him whole again. Some remarks about these two loves and the copying of the latter one into the woman may be seen in 32, 33 above, and in the Preliminaries, 20. If therefore we understand for love good and for wisdom truth, then it is proved by what has been said that there is truth of good, that is, truth coming from good, and from this the good of truth, that is good coming from that truth. (CL 88)

Here is a diagram that attempts to portray what the passages above describe:

 


 

 

 3.  Three Levels of Unity in the Marriage Relationship

 

Section 3

 

3.  Part A

 

Research and personal observation confirm that most couples report experiencing oppositional or negative feelings, and at times acting upon them by retaliating, exploiting, abusing, or injuring their partner. When couples have a disagreement or fight, physical and mental abuse is practiced by men more than by women in the majority of societies and cultures. When men reason under the influence of exploitative motivations, they tend to misinterpret the intentions of their partner and tend to use stereotyped, inaccurate, and prejudiced thinking. Our verbal behavior will reflect this style of biased thinking. So will our other actions.

 

There is an advantage in gaining control over our gender behavior in the three domains--affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. We can avoid those cultural and psychological traits and habits that interfere with adaptive, successful long term marriage relationships. The benefits of a stable successful long term partnership are extremely attractive.

 

We will explore a particular principle in marriage relationship called the conjoint self.

According to the "unity" model of marriage, the perfection of unity in a marriage increases through differentiation (the two are mentally different), and reciprocity (all their differences fit together).

Mental interdependence between husband and wife becomes total, just as if their two physical bodies were anatomically joined so that the chirculatory system of the woman connects with the respiratory system of the man. Mentally, the woman's affective organ is conjoined to the man's cognitive organ, and his cognitive organ is conjoined to her affective organ. This conjoint self therefore proceeds with her will joined to his understanding. Before the conjoint self is born, his understanding is joined to his will, but after the conjoint self is born, his understanding is joined to her will.

 

This means that the husband learns to love to act from his wife's will more than he loves to act from self.

 

This means that he won't allow himself to disagree with her on anything whatsoever. He is committed to listen to her, to value what she says, and to honor what she wants. This is the husband's side of the conjoint self. On the wife's side of the conjoint self, she is committed to lead her husband through her feelings, intentions, and perceptions for the purpose of making him part of herself, and thereby making him happy from herself and all that she can give him. The more he listens to her and agrees with her on all that she wants, the more he can receive from her the happiness and peace he craves for.

 

The conjoint self is the result of a spiritual union that lasts to eternity. In a unity marriage, the husband and wife develop a conjoint self, while their former individual self recedes into the background and no longer operates.

The unity marriage is not achieved by promise or desire alone. There are developmental levels of unity that married partners must go through with each other, like a growth process that takes many years of dedicated effort.

 

The "conjoint self" refers to a husband and wife who have achieved unity at all levels of the threefold self -- affective (feelings, intentions), cognitive (thoughts and reasoning), and sensorimotor (sensations and responses). Each individual has been changed, dropping off some traits and acquiring new ones that can fit together. This is called growing together through differentiation in reciprocity. The husband has to abandon some traits he cherished since childhood because these habits cause opposition and disunity. The wife has to abandon some of her traits, those that she perceives do not fit with her husband's personality. Both have to acquire new traits which create a new character and personality that can fit together as a differentiated reciprocal unit. The old traits that were abandoned and the new traits that were acquired consist of sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective traits in the threefold self. These are made of: habits of external activities, habits of thinking, and habits of internal feeling and intending.

 

The conjoint self operates as a synergistic unit. The husband guides his thinking and reasoning into directions that he knows his wife would approve. If he thinks something that he he knows his wife would not like or approve, he tries to reject that idea or way of thinking about something. The wife learns the style of her husband's thinking in order to better guide him in his attempts to avoid thinking what she disapproves of. The wife's continuous and unfailing motive and intention is to find ways of conjoining her husband to herself. The more he lets her guide his thinking, the more she is able to be successful. She is totally dependent on her husband to cooperate. She does not have the power to coerce him or even to convince him of anything he doesn't want to accept. Hence her success is entirely dependent on the husband's response to her attempts -- whether he responds through the unity model, or through the equity and dominance models.

 

Levels of conjunction in marriage are ordered from relatively less to more and more interior conjunction, as will be explained below. For instance, the initial or first level of conjunction between married partners involves the sensorimotor portion of their threefold self. They like and enjoy to do things together like dancing, touching each other, partying, camping, watching movies, eating out, driving, talking about their favorite topics, and so on. These overt "external" activities involve sensory and motor interactions, including verbal, which is an overt motor activity. Of course every sensorimotor activity involves thinking and feeling but these cognitive and affective operations are not yet known or visible to each other. Their focus at this stage is on the external activity of the other. There is less focus or concern on what the other is thinking or feeling.

 

Note that these joint external activities do not necessarily mean that the two partners are in agreement with each other's way of thinking, each other's attitudes, or feelings and motivations. The cognitive and affective self of each partner may not be in agreement with the other, and they may even be competitive or hostile to the other. What is on the inside that is not visible (affective and cognitive self) may be in opposition and even hatred against the partner, while what shows on the outside--the sensory-motor activity, may appear cooperative and compatible. This underlying non-visible disagreement or dislike they have for each other becomes suddenly visible when there is an overt fight during which the two partners show their anger, resentment, and disrespect for one other. Afterwards they make up, and the cognitive disrespect and affective dislike recede again into the underlying invisible state, lurking there, until the next fight at which time the abuse and disrespect come out again.

 

Women, more than men, tend to experience this external phase of the relationship as unsatisfactory, painful, and injurious. Women often have to bond with other women to support and reassure each other during this phase of disharmony with their husband or partner. During this initial phase of external sensorimotor conjunction, men refuse to accept the idea that they would be happier and freer if they got rid of the traits that their wife wants banished or extinguished from their personality and character.

 

During this initial phase of conjunction, the men and the women each bond with same-sex friends outside the marriage. Women use each other as a source of support for the painful labor involved in getting a man to listen to a woman. On the other hand men tend to bond with other men by complaining about women and speaking about them with disrespect. Men also keep secrets from their women and do things they want to hide from their wife or girlfriend. So while the men are willing to pursue sensorimotor conjunction, they are not willing to cooperate in cognitive and affective intimacy. They want to retain their cognitive and affective independence.

 

At this external level of conjunction, men feel more comfortable than women because they exercise more control in the relationship. Men tend to resist closer, more intimate relationship phases, in order to maintain their cognitive and affective independence. A man ordinarily dislikes giving up independence in his private thinking, feeling, and intending (plans), while a woman is generally motivated to conjoin her thinking and feeling with her man--if only he cooperates with her. A woman strives to achieve mutual and reciprocal dependence, while a man strives to retain independence. This creates a conflict dynamic between them, especially in the first level of conjunction which is external, involving mainly the sensorimotor self.

 

This intrinsic difference between women and men occurs at all levels of their humanity: biological, social, psychological, and spiritual. Biologically and socially, women make themselves dependent on men for reproduction, parenting, and lifestyle habits. Psychologically, women love and enjoy the man's intelligence and inventiveness, and they adopt the husband's ideas and philosophies as their own. Spiritually, women are made of feminine intelligence on the inside and feminine conjunctive love on the outside. Men are made of masculine intelligence on the outside and male conjunctive love on the inside. So a man is spiritual love covered over with spiritual intelligence while a woman is spiritual intelligence covered over with spiritual love.

 

What is on the inside is superior or more advanced in spiritual human potential than what is on the outside. So a woman's spiritual intelligence is superior to a man's, while a man's spiritual love is superior to a woman's. This difference is due to their spiritual anatomy (see Section xx). In this way they fit together to achieve total spiritual unity in eternity. The woman's superior spiritual intelligence conjoins with the man's superior spiritual love. According to Swedenborg, conjugial conjunction in the unity model is possible only between intelligence (cognitive organ) and love (affective organ). It is not possible between intelligence and intelligence (cognitive organ with cognitive organ) or between love and love (affective organ and affective organ).

 

If women and men were similar in these fundamental traits, they could only form temporary external relationships in the physical world, and could never achieve eternal conjunction as the conjoint self. Their selves would remain separate because like cannot conjoin with like but only associate with it. Like can be adjoined to like, but only reciprocals can conjoin. For example, think of the shape of reciprocals and how they would not be able to fit together if they were similar instead of reciprocal: pot and handle; key and key hole; shoe and lace; button and button hole, window and window sill, picture and frame, etc.

 

Sensorimotor disjunction refers to interactions whose motive is the opposite of intimacy and conjunction. For instance, when a woman asks questions about what the man did, or why he did not do something, he typically uses this occasion to attack her or to act in an unfriendly and unsexy way towards her. For example, he might raise his voice threateningly and say, "There is nothing wrong with the way I did it, OK?"  Or things like that which he says in a rough voice intended to intimidate or scare her away from asking any more questions.

 

Speaking in a rough voice, or a loud voice, or an unpleasant voice to one's woman is a sensorimotor disjunctive act. The message she is getting from this performance is that he does not want to progress to true intimacy with her. This would mean that he retains her in his focus when he talks to her, and she is the center of the purpose of his talking. He wants to show her his love by softening his voice, by inhibiting any gesture or expression that she finds intimidating or threatening. If a woman has sex with her husband or boyfriend while she is still remembering and feeling her intimidation of his threatening behavior, then she injures her conjugial, that is, her motivation for unity with that man. She feels forced to have sex by thinking that otherwise she would be accused of not being a good wife, of not loving him, of being mentally imbalanced, or of having the man walk out on her. Sexual blackmail. Date rape.

 

When a man swears at a woman or calls her by insulting names or words, he is performing sensorimotor disjunctive behavior. Also, when the man refuses to answer when she talks to him. When a man lets a woman carry the load (packages, child) when they walk together,  he is performing sensorimotor disjunctive behavior. Similarly, when a man does not call her on the phone when she wants him to, as for instance when she is wondering where he is, he is performing sensorimotor disjunctive behavior. When a man forgets to mention things she wants him to remember, like anniversaries or details about her life, he is performing sensorimotor disjunctive behavior.

 

As discussed above, couples begin their relationship together by external sensorimotor conjunction and disjunction -- talking to each other, eating, dancing, driving, doing fun things, etc., and also, arguing, fighting, yelling, walking away. This is the sensorimotor level of their road to conjunction. The sensorimotor level continues and deepens while things are beginning to happen with the other two selves.


 

3.  Part B

 

The second level of conjunction is deeper in that it involves the cognitive self of the two partners. This includes how they think, how they reason, how they justify things, what they consider acceptable or unacceptable, what information or knowledge they have, what philosophy of life and religious beliefs. These cognitive behaviors and habits are more resistant to mutual adaptation for achieving reciprocity in the relationship. For instance, a man and a woman can be married for years and yet maintain contradictory attitudes, beliefs, and judgments. The external sensorimotor level of conjunction does not necessarily lead to a more interior conjunction of thinking and reasoning (cognitive habits). Yet many couples achieve a cognitive level unity by joint involvement in running a home and raising children together. They see 'eye to eye' on many things and enrich each other's thinking process by mutual stimulation and interest. When a man and a woman achieve this second level conjunction, they can love each other more deeply and the relationship continues to grow and become more satisfying and enriching.

 

Achieving cognitive conjunction is often easier for women because they are spiritually oriented towards conjunction. They desire to become a conjoint self more than they desire to retain their own ideas and philosophy. But men generally are infatuated with their own ideas, and resist change for the sake of the conjoint self. Men see the conjoint self as giving up selfhood, while women see it as gaining togetherness.

 

However, when a wife perceives that her husband's thinking is disjunctive, she tries to change the man's thinking rather than adopting it for herself. A wife has an spiritual perception of what is her husband's disjunctive thinking, even while he himself is blind to it. She can sense the man's areas of resistance to conjunction while the man cannot and is not as aware of himself as she is of him. This is because spiritually, a woman is spiritual intelligence covered over with spiritual love, while a man is spiritual love covered over with spiritual intelligence. So a woman perceives more with her feminine spiritual intelligence than a man can perceive with his masculine spiritual intelligence.

 

The reason for this difference is that they have a contrastive cognitive focus -- the woman feminine intelligence focuses on the interactional methods of conjunction with her man, while the man's masculine intelligence focuses on the methods of achieving control over the environment, which includes his woman. As a result of this difference in focus, the process of conjunction in love relationships is slow and tortuous, especially for the woman.

 

Cognitive intimacy is what builds cognitive conjunction. As a method of resistance to conjunction men exercise a technique we can call information flow control in their own favor. In other words, they keep secrets so they won't have to face their woman's interference or "meddling" as they think of it. This of course is a disjunctive behavior that prevents the build up of cognitive intimacy.

 

For a woman to have cognitive intimacy with her man (friend and lover), she needs to know what her man is thinking.

 

 A man who is not telling his woman what he is thinking, when she wants to know that, or when she is asking him about it, is showing her that he does not want to work for cognitive conjunction with her.

 

He has to face it and make up his mind. Does he want mental intimacy with her? If yes, this means cognitive intimacy, which means he has to tell her what he is thinking when she wants to know that. The normal way for a man is to hide from her what he is thinking. This is the way their relationship starts -- they each have their own cognitive life, unknown to one another. But then they become lovers and fall in love and are also best friends. Now they want to progress in their relationship experience, they long for fulfilling their relationship potential. This is especially true of women because their focus is on conjunction while the men can be distracted for years with outside tasks and efforts. Meanwhile the woman has to wait and keep her love going for him.

 

Understanding and supporting the unity model in their mind gives men motivational power to stop the distraction and perform a turnabout in life -- to focus on his wife as his eternal partner. Now he can start building his eternal heaven with her. The tool for building this new conjoint self is cognitive intimacy.

 

This means that he begins to share with her a greater and greater proportion of his thinking. His goal is to have her know everything, or everything she wants to know. When a woman asks a man a series of questions about what he did or why he thinks in a certain way, the man starts accusing the woman that she is prodding, or not trusting him, or being pushy, and tells her to back off. This is extremely unfriendly and unsexy, thus contrary to his role with her, which is to be a friend and a lover. That means he has to love her as a friend by being decent and encouraging.

 

Why does the man want to hide his thoughts from her?

 

Because he wants to retain independence in his thinking and in his planning. He is not ready to be intimate with her. From her perspective, if he loves her, he wants to be intimate with her, which means allowing her to comment on his thinking.

 

That's why the men resist intimacy -- because they don't want the woman to comment on what they are thinking.

 

There are various reasons and situations why a husband or boyfriend doesn't want his woman to know what he is thinking. He may think that she disapproves of what he is thinking, and then he would have to face the consequences of her disapproval. He takes the disjunctive solution to the problem -- he just doesn't tell her, so she doesn't know. He cares less about the fact that this prevents cognitive intimacy and conjunction. Perhaps he irrationally thinks that he can achieve a different kind of intimacy where he doesn't have to be honest about his conversations with her.

 

The unity model helps him to see that even though achieving cognitive intimacy is a very painful process, he can get through it, and then he will truly be happy and in an elevated mode of thinking and feeling as a human being. Then his woman will be truly happy because she is fully conjoined with him, for her life and passion exist in this conjunction. Take away this conjunction and her life dies because her love is unattainable.

 

A man can practice being more and more informative to his woman about what he is thinking and why. This means that he must allow her to have her reaction to this information. This is her basic human right that he must honor. So if she gets emotional and passionate about it, he must not injure her. He must allow her to say what she wants, how she thinks and feels. And he must take that into account. He cannot dismiss it by saying, Thank you for your thoughts. This would be an insult. He must do something about it. He must change the way he is thinking about whatever it is they are talking about. Or he must keep talking to her until they reach full satisfaction of each other. Then they are getting cognitively intimate. Their future for heavenly happiness with each other is full of promise.

 

The third level of conjunction involves the partners' affective self -- their feelings, motivations, and goals of happiness and togetherness. Affective conjunction is the basis of the inmost level of intimacy between husband and wife. Only conjoint feelings, loves, desires, or goals remain operational in their mind. This is achieved by a systematic and long term effort in reciprocal growth. The partners give up former feelings, loyalties, goals, or involvements that are not conjoint and tend to exclude the other partner in some way. Affective conjunction is weakened if one partner reserves an area of their mind or involvement that excludes the other partner.

 

For example, some husbands spend socializing time with male friends. The activity is such that they don't want wives or girl friends around, even if they are not cheating on them or doing something bad. But the fact that a husband's wife is excluded, not wanted there, means that the man intends to retain independent involvements and loves that exclude his wife. These affective habits and enjoyments are not reciprocal. They do not contribute to conjunction in marriage, but slow the process down or act against it. Still, this does not apply the same way to every man or group of friends. It's possible for there to be healthy same sex relationships that do not exclude the other partner in principle, just in interest or involvement. Hence men friends can be a positive asset as well.

 

Women have loyalties and friendships with each other for different goals and feelings than men have friendships with each other. The involvements that married women have with other women is for supporting the marriage, not resisting it. Men have an inborn resistance to marital conjunction, a negative feeling which they have to fight against most of their life. Their male friendships, when they exclude the wife, serves their desire to escape total conjunction with their wife. This is not so with married women since they have an inborn desire and need for total unity with their husband.

 

Women who are neglected, treated bad, abused, or not loved by their husbands, gradually lose the desire and motivation for conjunction with that man.

 

The following diagram summarizes the three levels or phases of marriage:

 

Study the diagram. Imagine you're explaining it to your friend. Memorize the diagram. Notice its various elements and how they fit together. It's a diagram about the three phases of marriage that most, if not all, married couples go through, or live through, but each couple in a unique way. Knowing the general principle of the three models can help you understand and manage your own relationships. It's important to stress that all three phases occur simultaneously, but in different degrees.

 

The diagram pictures the threefold self of the two partners and whether or not they are conjoined or united. Conjunction requires intimacy and harmony or agreement. When a husband models his behavior according to the traditional male dominance principle, the marriage is in phase 1 of development. As the diagram portrays, this phase conjoins the couple at the sensorimotor level, but not at the cognitive and affective levels. The husband's thinking and way reasoning towards his wife is governed by tradition and social norms. The wife is required and expected to submit her thinking to this traditional mode so that she thinks of herself as lower in status, authority, and freedom than men (husband, brother, uncle, stranger). Later we will study how men act when they behave from the traditional male dominance model.

 

Young couples tend to spend time in both phases 1 and 2. The more they see themselves in modernistic terms, the more situations in marriage that they will handle according to the equity model. This means that they do not follow the traditional norms in many areas of interaction but negotiate with each other on who does what when. This is when husbands share the domestic work load and parenting, and consult their wife regarding financial and career decisions. Most couples will alternate between dominance and equity models depending on the situation.

 

The diagram shows that sensorimotor intimacy is present in both the dominance and equity phases of marriage. But cognitive intimacy or conjunction only begins with the equity model. This is because the husband's thinking in many areas of their interaction is now influenced by his wife's thinking more than by tradition.

 

What is the difference between sensorimotor conjunction without cognitive conjunction (phase 1) and sensorimotor conjunction with cognitive conjunction (phase 2)? This will be studied in detail later on.

 

If the husband is spiritually enlightened and looks upon his marriage as eternal, then the couple can start performing more and more of their interactions through the unity model. This means that he allows affective interdependence and gives up the idea of his own emotional independence as a person. He begins to see marriage as a physiological process of growing together to achieve a conjoint self -- no longer a single whole individual, but part of a unit. This is a long process of maturation while the couple is growing in mental intimacy at all levels of the threefold self. During this time the husband will regress towards the dominance model many many times, which will make his wife suffer mental agony. But at the same time she now knows with certainty that they are going to stay an eternal couple in eternity, and this gives her strength to endure the husband's faltering episodes.


 

 

4.  Unity Through Reciprocity and Differentiation

 

Section 4

 

There are three principles in the unity model of "conjugial love" described by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).

  • First Principle--Differentiation:  No spiritual or mental part of a woman is like any part of a man and vice versa.
  • Second Principle--Reciprocity:  The perfection of unity in marriage increases with the diversity of its composing elements when integrated into a conjoint self.
  • Third Principle--Eternity: The unity marriage relationship is eternal, continuing in the afterlife of heaven.

According to the first principle of marital unification the threefold self of men and women are biologically and spiritually different. This amounts to maximum differentiation or diversity in every part of the uniting components.

 

According to the second principle, the diversity becomes unified through reciprocity by which the traits of a woman can harmonize or fit together with the traits of a man, and vice versa.

 

According to the third principle, marriage is a spiritual union of mind and spirit that is not just for this world -- "till death do us part," but is eternal, since the spirit or mental self of a person is immortal (for more on this topic see the Psych 459 Lecture Notes on Theistic Psychology:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic ). 

 

Here are some illustrations of these two principles acting together. Consider where we are familiar with unity through differentiation and reciprocity (though not with eternity). At the physical level we can see how a bolt, nut, and washer work together structurally to achieve a tight grip on some object. The form of the nut must fit exactly the form of the bolt. The bolt is different in form from the nut, and it is the particular way they are different that makes them work together, reciprocally. They would not work together as a unit if there was no differentiation and reciprocity between them.

 

Consider the same principle operating in other functionally related objects like a hammer and nail, or like a purse and its strap, or a fork and knife, or glove and hand, shoe and foot, etc. When you dance, your partner must make the reciprocal steps -- not the same steps, as you are making, or else you step on each other. In a four-part harmony with men and women, in a quartet or other choir, the singers are differentiated into soprano, alto, tenor, and base. This differentiation is combined into a unity when they sing reciprocally according to the arrangement prescribed for each part. The result is a harmony that is rich and attractive but which cannot be achieved in any other way.

 

Recently in the news:

Stressed Out?
Grab Hubby's Hand

FRIDAY, Dec. 22, 2006  (HealthDay News) -- If you're a woman stressed out from work, holiday shopping, the kids or even too much traffic, grab your husband's hand for instant relief. And if you're spouse-less? Holding any male's hand is better than none.

That's the conclusion of a study published in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science.

"Hand-holding is second nature for kids" when they're under stress, said James A. Coan, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Virginia, who led the study. "This can also work for adults."

The happier the marriage, the greater the stress-reducing benefit, Coan found. But even a stranger's hand can help reduce stress, he said.

For the study, Coan recruited 16 married women who scored high on his marriage satisfaction quiz and gave them magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brain when confronted with stress. He subjected them to a very mild electric shock in three situations: by themselves not holding anyone's hand; holding their husband's hand; and holding the hand of a male stranger.

"First, we wanted to know what the brain is doing when the women were completely alone," he said. "We got a baseline of how the brain responds to stress."

Then, the researchers looked at the MRI images of the brain when the women held their husband's hand or the stranger's hand. "When your brain is under stress, it has to work hard, it has all these different problems to solve," Coan said.

"We found when you are holding a hand, any hand, the parts of your brain responsible for mobilizing your body into action calm down," Coan said. "It doesn't matter whose hand it is. "

But a husband's hand provided the greatest benefits. "Both hands calmed the bodily reaction to stress," Coan said, "but only the spousal hand can calm the mind, only a husband's hand calmed down the region of the brain that keeps your emotions in check."

And the happier the marriage, the greater the benefits. Among couples in the study who scored the highest on marital satisfaction -- pairs that Coan termed "super couples" -- the women got even more benefit from spousal hand-holding than did the other women.

Coan found that the region of the brain thought to be associated with experience of pain quieted down even more in those women. "If you are in a 'super couple,' hand-holding serves as a kind of analgesic," he said.

Whatever the amount of benefit, Coan said he believes "the brain works a lot less hard when there is someone else helping us cope. One of my students said, 'It's like the brain is contracting out some of the work,' keeping our brain less stressed."

Dr. Charles Goodstein, a psychoanalyst at New York University Medical Center and a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, said the study gives scientific credence to long-time observations. "Interaction between members of a species can have a momentous impact on emotion, and emotion can have a profound impact on bodily functioning," he said.

Often, Goodstein noted, medications are used to provide relief from anxiety and anticipated anxiety. "This study shows that there is a better way."
From:   www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2006/12/22/hscout600407.html

In the sensorimotor domain of gender interactions we can see how a woman's body is differentiated from a man's body, and how the parts of the man are shaped to fit the parts of the woman. No doubt this is the analogy upon which electrical objects are designated, as for  instance the wall receptacle is called the female and the plug is called the male. They act together to form a unit through differentiation and reciprocity of physical form or shape. When you consider sports teams, government departments, or armies, you notice a similar reciprocity of different role behaviors, so that they can achieve joint action, unity, or several acting as one. In fact throughout nature, and even the universe, you will find a unified whole made of differentiated parts acting in synergy. It makes sense therefore to have a model of gender unity that is based on the two acting as one through differentiation and reciprocity.

 

A well known symbolic representation of sensorimotor unity is the familiar Ying/Yang emblem. According to ancient tradition, it  "demonstrates the perfectly balanced interchange of the two dynamically opposed forces of the Universe, the dot represents integration." In Tai Chi and I Ching traditions, the white area of the emblem represents heaven, the dark area earth and the curvy line between them represents the Law or reality. In Feng Shui the Yin/Yang represents the integration of Female/Male duality: "Yin and Yang are dependent opposites that must always be in balance." And: "It is a duality that cannot exist without both parts." (See for example this Web site:  www.168fengshui.com/Articles/Article_yinyang.htm

 

In other words, it is the differentiation that makes the unity out of reciprocity.

 

The man and the woman as a couple can be totally integrated, or form a unity, because they are completely different but in a way that is reciprocal. Nothing of the male can be like anything of the female (Yin/Yang diagram shows all white vs. all black for the two). But they curve around into each other, in a perfect fit of reciprocal union, the perfect circle. This is the principle of "synergy" which is defined as "combined action or operation." It comes from the Greek "synergos" or  working together. In business "synergism" refers to "a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (as resources or efforts)" (Merriam-Webster Online). The principle of synergy operates universally where separate elements interact to produce a joint goal.

 

Synergy is obvious in the physical body where thousands of separate and differentiated parts work together to produce the functions of a normal human body. How many parts does a computer need to function -- one million? To function means to operate as a synergistic unit. The more there are parts that make a unit, the more perfect the unit is.

 

The human brain contains billions of cells, and Swedenborg says that each cell is like a little brain that is made of billions of other things that exist in a cell. To make up the unit of a human being many billions and trillions of components had to be created to operate in a synergistic unit. The physical world of endless space and expanding galaxies of stars and planets, is the most perfect natural thing created. Think of the numberless elements the physical world must contain if just one cell of one plant contains billions of parts acting as one cell. Through the positive bias in science it is known that to God infinite things make a unit and function as one.

 

You can comprehend a little better now the rational principle that the perfection of a unit increases with the number of parts that operate in unison.

 

Our mental organs are made of substantial elements from the Mental Sun of eternity. This Mental Sun is the source of infinite substantial elements that enter and enrich the mental world of humanity called eternity.

 

What is difficult to comprehend with natural ideas of time and place it is difficult to understand the difference between the Mental Sun which is substantial, and the physical sun which is of material elements in time-space. How would you describe the difference to your friends if you wanted them to consider the issue from a scientific perspective -- remember: not negative bias scientific, but positive bias scientific (and this you will have to keep remembering yourself, and to keep reminding your friends. Then both of you may have the opportunity to examine this rationally and with coherent explanations.

 

Think of your dreams and day dreams. You are creating scenes with things and people in them. You are recreating elements not only in your memory -- which is in the cognitive organ, but in your affective organ of emotions and motives. Your hopes, fears, and enjoyments are powerful operations in your affective organ. They possess the power to influence, even control, the operations in your cognitive organ -- hence what your thoughts and dreams are. So the source of dreams or other things you can think of or imagine, is the heart, that is, the love and its affections, which operate in the affective organ.

 

Every thought or daydream you ever had, every sensation you ever had, moment by moment all your life, and every emotion or feeling or desire you ever experienced, are all permanently recorded in your mental organs -- affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.

 

Swedenborg confirmed by observation and experiment that this is true. He had the opportunity to interview and experiment with thousands of people in their afterlife of eternity. No operation in our mental organs, once it occurs, can be erased, changed, or forgotten. People who had already been settled in eternity for untold ages were easily able to recall any detail of their life on earth, which was thousands of years ago relative to our generation in the year 2006 A.D. In order to have access to earth memories they had to exit from their celestial consciousness in which they were, and lower it all the way to the external level called the natural mind. This is the mind that you are conscious in now, as you read this and do your daily activities.

 

After we are resuscitated, we are given the opportunity, actually the necessity, to make a critical life changing choice. Is there any hellish trait we are unwilling to part with?

 

If there is just one trait you don't' want to give up no matter what, your powerful affective organ will activate this one trait to greater and greater intensity, until it reaches paroxysms of excess, and the individual enters a mental state called eternal spiritual insanity. This means they prefer to suffer the mental torments and inconveniences of a hellish mental life to a heavenly mental life. Every person makes their own choice, in fact, every person feels compelled to make the choice they love the most.

 

This is because in the mental world of the afterlife there is no external limit or restraint to hold someone i n check, as there is here on earth. All actions here on earth have their consequences -- physical, social, and legal. But all this disappears from our focus after resuscitation, since we no longer have a connection to the physical body and the world it is in. So once you are resuscitated nothing can stop you from what you want to do. Except of course -- other people. Whatever hellish trait you desire to hold on to, you will live with forever in eternity.

 

Heavenly traits you love and want to hold on to in eternity create a beautiful world of appearances in your consciousness. To you and to your partner, your life in the heaven of your eternity is populated with others who desire and enjoy what you do, but they have also a way of enriching your experience endlessly, every day of eternity. This is the conjugial heaven every individual has in the mental organs. All we need to do is to acquire the love for this heaven more intensely than any other love that we can have.

 

The unity model of marriage is a method that helps us build such a marriage in the course of our lifetime here, and continue it in eternity.

 

Society is viewed as made up of separate and unique family units forming themselves into a community and abiding by mutual norms, laws, and expectations. The same reasoning applies to the marriage relationship which society officially sanctions and licenses. Society recognizes that a married couple forms a new unit that acts together for common goals and that the partners are united by positive feelings and loyalties. Married couples who live according to the unity model represent the most perfect unit or a "one" that a man and a woman can form together. Affective unity is the most essential, and it influences the cognitive and sensorimotor unity that is possible for that couple. Unity is achieved through the synergy of the threefold self of each partner acting together. There is no independence in any area or under any circumstance. All points of independence have been transformed into points of interdependence. Even when the two are in physically in different locations (e.g., at home vs. at work), they remain united because each partner acts and thinks when alone as if the other were present.

 

In order for this to be a reality, the husband has to learn his wife's preferences in all things, just as his wife does that for him. He has to internalize his wife's thinking and reasoning, just as she has done that in her mind. When she realized that she was in love with the man, she felt compelled by her love for him, to conjoin his attitude, humor, and style of thinking to her own thinking. It's as if she has a little version or model of her husband in her mind, and she is therefore able to interpret things according to his interpretation. Sometimes women are so attached and so influenced in this process of cognitive conjunction with their man, that they seem to their girl friends to have changed personality.

 

But the man lags behind this active process of unifying his mind to the woman's mind. It's natural for a boyfriend or a husband to express resistance to doing the same thing in his mind about her, as she has done about him in her mind. Men spontaneously resist the process of unification. They experience it as a threat to their comforts and status of independence and superiority or dominance. However if a man becomes spiritually enlightened, knowing the permanence of the relationship to eternity, then he is powerfully motivated to unifying his mind to hers. He will then inhibit the instinctive resistance he feels for giving up his cognitive and affective independence.

 

Under this powerful motivation he can compel himself to learn his wife's way of thinking and reasoning. He can compel himself to listen to her, to actually listen, not just pretend. Men by instinct and socialization, normally dismiss what a woman says or thinks. He will deny this and he will pretend otherwise, but careful observation by the girlfriend or wife will reveal whether he is willing to internalize her way of thinking and reasoning, or whether he will continue to fight it and dismiss it.

 

A woman in the effort of conjunction, wants the man to think like her and to understand how she thinks, first of all, and second, she wants him to like it, to love it.

 

She knows whether he loves her way of thinking by the way he acts and talks. Every statement, gesture, or facial expression of the man is an index the woman can read. Her motivation to conjoin gives her perception of the man's inner resistance to her and her effort to conjoin him to herself, to her bosom, so that she may be his love as he has become her love. Through this mutual romantic love between best friends and lovers, they can be a unity in eternity. In this state of conjugial unity both he and she are magnified to their highest human potential for which they were created to achieve in eternity.

 

Our culture gives us the expectation that spiritual and sexual are opposed to each other. This false legend is most harmful to people who adopt it as a justification for their life philosophy and base their character and life on this opposition. The positive bias regarding the Swedenborg reports clearly demonstrate to us that our life in eternity is founded upon conjugial love. Swedenborg was told by both husbands and wives that sexual pleasures among heavenly partners is experienced in their celestial and spiritual organs, and that is sensation is far superior to sexual sensations experienced in the natural mind through the physical body. The physical body actually acts as gross material filter that far diminishes the sensation in our natural mind. After the loss of the physical body and consequent resuscitation of the immortal spiritual body in eternity, the natural mind becomes so weak and unimportant that it loses all functionality and goes into a state of shut down or hibernation. We then have our conscious awareness in the spiritual mind and the celestial mind, which are suited for life in eternity.

 

The unity model as method of practice for married partners helps them to achieve spiritual unity in eternity. The experience of married partners still here on earth, who are working within the unity model, is a foretaste of the spiritual and celestial life they are going to have in eternity. This heavenly life in eternity is possible for any married couple. The couple reaches this virtual marriage heaven on earth when the husband is fully committed in philosophy and attitude to act from the image of his wife within himself.

 

Before this landmark, he acts from himself whenever he wants to, and also, whenever he wants to, he can act according to his wife's preferences, whenever he wants to. He remains independent. He decides when he listens to his wife, and when he listens to himself. This attitude, and the philosophy behind it, is ant-unity rather than for unity.

 

Once the husband switches commitment to the unity model of eternal union, his main problem is not to lapse into his anti-unity mode of interacting. He throws a temper tantrum and stamps his foot and refuses to budge. His strategy is to keep arguing with her until she is exhausted and emotionally drained. Then she has to quit, and he wins the argument. Or, else, he walks out and deprives her of any further input to his mind. Hence nothing gets resolved in her mind, and she suffers abandon by her friend-lover. Seduced and abandoned. When he returns, he does not want to spend the effort of making things right again between them. Instead he wants to express his emotions by having sex with her. Sexual blackmail. If she says, "NO, you must make up for what you did", he acts like he lapses back into the hostile mode.

 

This and many other things like this, have to be overcome by the husband or boyfriend, with the strength and clarity provided by the wife or girlfriend.

 

This is how unification is possible and in no other way, given the spiritual anatomy of men and women, and the developmental psychobiology of the conjugial conjunction process. Unification is a process of anatomical symbiosis and physiological cooperation through interdependent cognitive and affective operations. The man is absolutely unwilling to think or act from himself, as he so often did before, and feels guilt and intense anxiety when he acts against his wife's way of thinking. But he feels peace, security, and empowerment when he acts and thinks from the image of his wife that he has incorporated within himself.

 

 The husband's approach is different when he acts from the "equity model" in his mind. This idea of sharing the burden and the benefits, is also transmitted in our socialization process and is part of our modern culture so that everyone follows some norms of equity in various areas of living. This is a good thing in public life because it acts to reduce discrimination against women, which has been the traditional practice and still is for the most part. Gender relationships in dating or marriage may start with men assuming traditional dominant roles and women being submissive. But the relationship can then move on to the equity model which helps the two partners by reducing the traditional heavy load of expected work on women, and can make their relationship more intimate at the cognitive level. But the equity model need not be the last phase. The couple can then move into the unity model which affords still more intimacy at the affective level (see diagram above).

 

Ask yourself this question: If equity is given up for unity, which of the two partners should be giving up their equal power which they had under equity?

 

If the woman gives up equal power or equity, then the couple falls back into the traditional dominance model that they started with, in which the man dominates the woman in socially prescribed ways. On the other hand if the man gives up equity power in decision making, then they move forward into the unity model, which leads to still greater intimacy, growth, and mutual love as best friends and lovers to eternity. This conclusion will be reviewed in detail in our class discussions throughout the semester.

 

Why should the man be the one to give up power sharing? Why should the woman end up with all the power in the relationship?

 

The answer is that it's not about giving up power but about cooperating.

 

The husband intrinsically has all the power and retains all the power, even under the unity model. This is a fact of life and society. The husband compels himself not to use the power he has over his wife. The wife never acquires power, but the husband cooperates by not using the power he could use. So to observers, it may look like the wife is dominant and powerful in the relationship because the husband is always doing things the way she wants it done. The wife instinctively takes charge of him in all the details of life, and manages them. She tells him do this, don't do that, and, do it this way not that way. And he says, "Yes, Sweetheart." and does what she wants. So to his unenlightened friends it may appear that he is being dominated by his wife. But to himself he appears enlightened, and he feels the happiness and peace of conjunction. And he also sees that his wife is effective and intelligent in the things she takes charge of and manages. But this is a process of gradual maturation and the husband will regress back many times into the dominance mode of interacting. Nevertheless, each time he is able to recover, and to continue with the maturation process.

 


 

 

5,  Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction

 

Section 5

 

5.  Part A

 

Consider the cognitive and affective domains of gender interaction in marriage. For instance, a wife's depth of perception of a situation (her affective self) contrasts with that of a man's, but the difference is such as to be reciprocal with it. But if the man feels competitive with her, as in the dominance and equity models, their difference in perception is then nonreciprocal, incompatible, or opposite. Similarly, a woman's cognitive self complements that of a man, which is why they find each other's ideas interesting and stimulating.

 

A man ordinarily resists the idea that the woman who loves him has a deeper perception of his own feelings and motivations than he has himself. Women in relationship have this greater awareness of feelings than men due to the confluence of biology, gender socialization, personal experience, and spiritual anatomy.  Hence the unity model helps the man give up dominance and equity power that he already has in the relationship due to external factors of society and culture. To give up power and advantage in the relationship means that the man voluntarily agrees to let the woman play the lead role in decision making when it comes to their relationship areas. He always retains the power to disagree and to do what he wants anyway, but he refrains from using this power because he is now enlightened and can see that unity in eternity is possible.

 

He thereby gains new power over himself that he did not have before. Now he is more of a man than before, and she can love him for that even deeper than before.

 

For example, a wife might request that her husband no longer talk to an old girl friend of his. She feels very strongly about it. She perceives it  from within, as if it was instinct. In other words, she may not be able to give a rational explanation of where it comes from or why she feels so strongly about it. She tells her husband all this, yet he rejects it because he thinks differently about it. He feels a certain loyalty to many of his old friends and doesn't want to give that up, especially since she can't explain her demand in a way that makes sense to him. He and his old girl friend do not have any romantic feelings for each other, so his wife (or current girl friend) should not be jealous. So they argue with the wife or girlfriend, instead of trusting her judgment.

 

Arguing and refusing is part of the equity model. It is a power play by the man, to make sure he can do what he wants, despite what the wife or girlfriend wants. The message she is getting through this is that he is refusing to work for affective intimacy between them. This can be hard and stressful on the woman as it puts her in a double bind -- the man whom she loves, the man who says he loves her, flatly refuses to share affective intimacy with her. His goal in the relationship is to remain affectively independent, his own man, doing what he thinks is right or wrong, regardless of what she thinks.

 

The same applies to his men friends. If the girlfriend or wife wants him to quit doing certain activities, and he keeps insisting that she doesn't make sense or that she is not being reasonable, then he is refusing to become affectively intimate with her. No matter what she says, how she argues and pleads, he defeats her and refuses. He can get away with this affective disjunction because he has all the power in the relationship, given to him by society and its norms.

 

This disjunctive stand adopted by the man puts a hold on the inward (affective) growth of the relationship.

 

She may not say this to him, and sometimes she may not be clearly aware of it, but within herself she knows that the relationship is not growing deeper. She hopes that it can be amended but for now it's like a broken leg you can't use for walking. She feels neutralized by his stance of independence. He has excluded her and taken away her right or opportunity to make him change his stand, from equity-dominance to reciprocity, conjunction, unity, oneness in mind to eternity. He is keeping an area of his love sealed off to her. He reserves his affectional territory for something in which she has no direct input. She feels herself kept on the outside of his true love. This brings her emotional stress, lack of mental peace, hesitation in the relationship, and confusion as to what is truly going on between them.

 

Consider some other common examples where the girlfriend or wife is anxious for the man to change his manners and talking style. He knows she wants him to stop using crude language. He knows she wants him to get rid of some of his manners and habits that she finds objectionable and beneath the style of life she wants for them. Her motivation is that they be able to reach a deeper and higher human level of living together. Her goal is eternal conjunction -- as long as the man wants to be her best friend as well as romantic lover forever.

 

So she does everything rational a manager can do to facilitate the process and to reach success with him, which is unity in eternity. She knows from her insights in spiritual biology that in the state of unity with her, he is elevated to his happiness, bliss, and full potential. She loves him, so she wants him to reach this highest level of himself with her.

 

But the normal response for the man to her attempts at unity in eternity is to resist and to retaliate against her for even trying. He is dead set or hell bent to fight to retain his inmost independence as a free person. He does not yet see what she sees, so the fight between conjunction and disjunction goes on, and on. This makes both men and women unhappy and unable to reach their potential.

 

The battle does not stop until either she gives up on him or on heaven with him, or, he gives up on his independent personality and self. He has to give up his habit of rejecting her interdependent desires for the two of them, in favor of his independent desires for himself. In other words, what is it that prevents their affective conjunction and intimacy? Why can't they be best friends as well as married lovers? Best friends don't treat each other the way he treats her when he decides it's all right to step on her feelings, to disregard her opinion, to refuse to do something she asks him to do. As long as the man insists on acting this disjunctive way with her, he is refusing greater affective intimacy. The path to their unity must therefore be postponed as long as he refuses her.

 

Now if we read the above paragraphs from the equity or dominance model in our mind, the first thing we think of is "What about the woman? Does she has the right to refuse what he wants?"

 

This question is motivated by the desire to reject the unity model. Some people want to reject it because it depends on the existence of eternity and on adopting the positive bias regarding the Swedenborg reports (as discussed above). Others want to reject the unity model because it seems too idealistic, or perhaps, unrealistic in real life with real people. Still others want to reject the unity model because they are attached to the idea of inner independence, even if they love a girlfriend or wife. So one way of rejecting the unity model is to think that it is not balanced, that it doesn't give equal responsibility and effort to both sides, laying most of the blame on the men.

 

But once these objections in one's mind are put aside through the positive bias, one can examine the unity model in its own perspective, as presented in these lecture notes. As you go along you will be able to judge whether your understanding of it is growing and whether it is rational in your own thinking. Finally, you will be able to test out the model through empirical observations of the threefold self of couples. At that point you will have developed an educated perspective on the unity model. You can then take it with you, or leave it behind.

 

This situation can be better understood if we look at it in more detail as to what's going on. In their relationship the man and the woman are interacting at the three levels of the self: sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective. The process of forming a marital unity involves the successive conjunction of the threefold self of each partner to that of the other. The sensorimotor self of the man and the woman are conjoined first as shown by the activities they enjoy doing together--eating, playing, embracing, talking. These activities involve mostly the "external" physical and mental self of the partners. It is called external because it is easily visible to them and to others like their friends, parents, and neighbors. We can call this phase sensorimotor conjunction. In this phase the man often takes the lead and exerts a dominant role. The woman follows along with his dominance in order to keep the relationship going. Her motive is higher than the man's. His motive is to please himself; her motive is to help the relationship to go to a deeper level (cognitive and affective intimacy -- see diagram above).

 

At the same time that they are being intimate at the sensorimotor level, the two partners are also interacting at the cognitive level, though this level of intimacy may be only slight. At this cognitive level of the interaction, the woman takes the lead. She strives to take the man's perspective, to learn his sense of humor, to memorize the details of his life that he reveals, to acquire the reasoning style he uses. Her motive in all this effort at cognitive intimacy is to harmonize with the man and to please him. She understands instinctively, and sometimes explicitly or consciously, that by making him laugh and pleasing him by how she thinks, she will better succeed in conjoining the man to herself. This will also help him feel that this is "his woman", or at least, "his kind of a woman."

 

The man is normally focused on himself, on his ideas, his plans, his goals, and he is pleased when she shows interest in him and demonstrates that she remembers and knows his ideas and his past. He is not thinking of her perspective, while she is constantly trying to analyze his perspective. Obviously, this differential effort and focus gives the woman a superior perception and understanding of the relationship, that is, of the process of conjoining. This cognitive communication of ideas between them can be called cognitive conjunction or cognitive intimacy.

 

Cognitive conjunction is more visible than affective conjunction because it comes out in their verbal discussions, their agreements or disagreements. Long after sensorimotor conjunction has been established, and after cognitive conjunction has been operating for awhile in the relationship, the woman strives even more intensely to conjoin the man to herself at the affective level. She understands from instinct, and sometimes explicitly or consciously, that the relationship won't be perfect until they achieve affective conjunction. This doesn't just mean saying "I love you" even if it is meant sincerely. Affective conjunction means that the man has aligned his feelings with his woman. In other words he has given up his male prerogatives left to him by society and tradition. Society allows a man to retain affective independence from the woman he is married to. He is expected to provide for her needs, to support her in her endeavors, and to be decent to her. But he is not expected to become dependent on her for his feelings, motives, ambitions. He is expected to love her and be loyal to her, but not to give up his own independent feelings and strivings. Affective independence is the norm for a man in most societies.

 

In contrast, social and cultural norms require a woman not only to love her mate but to be dependent on him for her feelings and emotions. For example, if she loves Italian food and he hates it, she is expected to give up her old loves and adopt his loves. He expects it and sees it as a sign of loyalty to him. If she complies with this expectation, he feels bonding with her. Note that a man feels bonding or conjunction when the woman becomes dependent on him in her threefold self. But this kind of bonding is not true conjunction and cannot lead to unity. That's because it's not what she ultimately and truly wants. She wants to be the center of his affective life. This means that whatever he is planning or doing should relate to her. Nothing he ever does should be independent of her. This is affective intimacy and conjunction. This is what the woman wants and craves for. This is what truly and finally fulfills her as a woman, and allows her to reach her innate potential. This is how she wants their love to become.

 

5.  Part B

 

In the region of "the heart", or spiritual love, woman rises far above the man in perception, understanding, and consciousness. This is the result of her biological, psychological, and spiritual nature. Therefore the gender syntax that produces unity involves the husband becoming affectively dependent on the wife. This runs contrary to his socialization and philosophy, so he puts up enormous resistance--that the woman has to overcome if they are going to achieve unity.

 

Both men and women have three natures or levels of operation of life:

  • a biological nature or sensorimotor self (sensations, movements)

  • a rational nature or cognitive self (thoughts, intelligence)

  • a spiritual nature or affective self (feelings, motives)

 

By the principle of differentiation and reciprocity it is clear that men and women differ in their biological nature, they differ in their rational nature, and they differ in their spiritual nature. Biological differences between them are obvious in the anatomy and appearance of their physical body and in how they enjoy things. Rational differences between men and women result in the reciprocal orientation and focus they each have.  When a man's cognitive focus is reciprocal to the woman's cognitive focus, they can conjoin and reach cognitive intimacy. To conjoin means that they allow influence each other. To resist influence on each other is called disjunctive behavior.

 

A man and a woman have different functions for their thinking, that is they think differently using different procedures. A woman might say or think X and a man might say or think X yet they are not thinking the identical thing. A woman uses thinking in the relationship for the purpose of achieving intimacy because that's the way she defines herself, while a man uses his thinking for the purpose of retaining independence because that's the way he defines himself.

 

He wants her to give up her feminine thinking and think like him instead. This is impossible for nothing in a man can be like anything in a woman, and vice versa. On the other hand, he can give up his affective independence so that his thinking now responds not just to his own preferences and purposes, but to her preferences and purposes as well. In this way the man's thinking is elevated to a new level of consciousness, intelligence, and wisdom. But when he refuses to give up his affective independence, his thinking remains where it has always been, unable to achieve the higher levels of his own humanity. It's obvious therefore that "giving up" affective independence is not losing something but gaining a whole new level of life for a man.

 

When a husband is committed to giving up affective independence, he is conjoined to his wife at the inmost or affective level of intimacy. This is a spiritual conjunction that lasts forever. It has a built in dynamic for dissolving disagreements. Not a single disagreement can arise between them no matter what -- and if it does arise, as soon as it has arisen, and they notice it, it is put away. This is because they have learned a reciprocal unity style of interacting at all three levels of the self.

 

But remember, this describes the state they achieve after many years of practice and effort with the unity model. Still, unless the man commits himself to following this model, no matter how many years it takes, he cannot attain unity with his wife.

 

Sensorimotor conjunction or intimacy is the mental state of husband and wife in which their sensations and physical actions are mutually and reciprocally interdependent. The pleasures they enjoy are centered around making the partner happy. For instance, what the husband enjoys most is to keep his wife feeling comfortable, and her desires or preferences satisfied. He talks to her softly in a pleasant voice with a smile or happy appearance. He keeps himself clean and groomed, wearing the kind of apparel that she approves of.

 

Sensorimotor disjunction or independence exists when the husband insists on his own comforts and pleasures. His focus is then on himself, not his wife. If he is in a bad mood, he scowls and makes gruff sounds and noises. He neglects his appearance in front of her, he acts like he acts when he is alone. This is sensorimotor disjunctive behavior. It is negative intimacy -- unfriendly and unsexy. The wife feels frustrated, disturbed, defeated.

 

It's common to observe in public couples walking together. More often than not you will see the woman carrying a greater load than the man. Maybe a child and a big bag, while the man has his hands free. Or at airports you see the woman carry two big bags and the man she is with is carrying one bag. These interactions result from the man's sensorimotor independence or disjunction. He is not focused on his wife or their relationship. He relegates her to second class citizenship. He takes her for granted. He considers her an object of possession.

 

Another area of sensorimotor disjunction is in the fact that often husbands in the dominance model will satisfy their sexual appetites for years and make hardly any effort to discover anything about their wife's appetites or satisfactions. This is because the man's focus is mostly on himself, even during "love making". This is different when the man operates from the equity model, in which case he is motivated to alternate between focus on himself and focus on his woman. This again changes when the man commits himself to the unity model, in which case he is strongly motivated not to alternate, but to keep his focus always on the wife.

 

It helps to contrast clearly the differences between the affective and sensorimotor parts of the threefold self. Often people use the word "feeling" when they mean thinking (cognitive self), and vice versa. For example, people say, "I feel that we should wait longer" when they are discussing what they think. Sometimes feelings (affective) are confused with sensations (sensorimotor). For example, "I feel hot flashes coming on" or "I feel so tired." In both cases it is not the feelings (affective) that are discussed but the sensations (sensorimotor). When we say "It feels so good" we are talking about a sensation (sensorimotor). When we say "I feel good today" we are talking about an affective experience. The expression "I can't stand it" refers either to a sensation (e.g., being tickled) (sensorimotor), or to a feeling (e.g., feeling bad about the situation).

 

The sensorimotor area of the threefold self includes these primary features of our everyday life:

  • sensing physical pleasures, or pain

  • enjoying mental delights and experiences, or scary ones

  • experiencing a healthy well being, or being sick

  • sensing physical attraction to someone, or the opposite (vibes, chemistry)

  • coordinating one's movements with partner, or acting independently

  • expressing positive or negative emotions through the tone of the voice, gesture, and face

  • performing any activity with the body

  • the appearance we have (clothes, lifestyle)

  • all our possessions are extensions of our body and sensorimotor sphere

  • etc.

 

The affective area of the threefold self includes these primary features of our everyday life:

  • feeling good and hopeful, or depressed

  • feeling hesitant or eager

  • feeling afraid and agitated, or calm

  • feeling resistant or cooperative

  • feeling excited or inert

  • feeling connected or alienated

  • striving to reach a goal or having no motivation

  • accepting someone or thing, or rejecting them

  • perceiving from within that something is right and good, or not (conscience, insight)

  • feeling guilty, embarrassed, ashamed, regretful, or not

  • feeling calm, cool, and collected, or the opposite

  • etc.

 

Do you get the difference? Note that the affective always comes first in the sequence of our behavior. We do something because we are motivated to do it or we have a desire to do it (affective). We are motivated to do something to achieve a particular goal (affective). Every goal is defined by what we want or desire or prefer to happen (affective). Therefore all human action starts from a feeling -- what we want to happen, together with a goal that satisfies what we want.

 

The sequence of execution is always:

affective (wanting to do something)  ------> cognitive (planning) ------> sensorimotor (executing or performing)

Once we have a feeling, motive, or particular goal that we desire to happen (affective), the next behavior in sequence is the cognitive self. Our thinking operations (cognitive) suddenly begin to figure out a plan or method of proceeding that will bring about the desired goal, and thereby satisfy the feeling. It is the feeling (affective) that motivates, guides, and directs the thinking and planning (cognitive). It is the feeling for the goal (affective) that keeps the sequence of mental operations (cognitive) focused in a coherent way to lead to the desired goal state.

 

For example, we become aware that we are thinking about the candy bar in our pocket or purse. What made our thoughts go in that direction? It had to be some kind of feeling. When we sense hunger in the stomach (sensorimotor), the sensation becomes the occasion for a new motive, namely, the desire to satisfy the hunger (affective). This desire or feeling then awakened our thoughts and memories to think about the candy bar (cognitive). Another feeling or motive can take over, namely, the desire to control one's weight. This new feeling now directs the cognitive to plan a substitute for eating, or a way not to eat, and the sensorimotor then carries it out (e.g., inhibits hands from reaching for the candy bar). Either way, the sequence of execution is always the same: affective, cognitive, sensorimotor.

 

It is the reverse with the sequence of reception:

noticing something (sensorimotor) ----> appraising it (cognitive) ----> evaluating it (affective)

Once the feeling or desire (affective) and the thinking about the candy bar in pocket or purse (cognitive), are placed together or conjoined, the hand starts reaching for the candy bar or the legs start waking to the kitchen (sensorimotor).

 

But then you stop the hand or the legs from going further. "Wait. I'm on a diet and I want to lose weight. Remember?" What's happening here? It's another feeling (desire, motive) that takes over and this new feeling now directs the thinking and the moving in another direction.

 

So whatever we do all day long minute by minute, has to do with sequences and loops of feelings, thoughts, and sensorimotor executions of them. By self-witnessing or self-monitoring ourselves in a systematic and persistent way, we gradually learn to distinguish between the actions of the threefold self and how the affective hierarchy of our feelings dominates and rules our thinking and doing.

 

Most people prior to self-witnessing are not fully aware of the feelings they have and their relative hierarchy of power over the threefold self. What we don't know about ourselves, we cannot control or modify even if they are maladaptive and are the source of negative consequences. It is to everyone's advantage to get to know the hierarchy of feelings they have in the course of their day.

 

Here is a summary table to memorize: (read Table from bottom up)

 

PRINCIPLES BY WHICH HUSBAND
GOVERNS HIS BEHAVIOR
TOWARDS HIS WIFE

HOW THEY BEHAVE TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER AND CONSEQUENCES ON WIFE

Phase 3
UNITY
MODEL

spiritual marriages
("Till endless eternity in afterlife")

husband chooses to act from his wife’s preference, rather than from his own, thereby unifying the two into one conjoint self in eternity

Phase 2
EQUITY
MODEL

natural progressive
marriages

(“Till death do us part”)

the two negotiate consensual arrangements, based on equal rights principles, so husband agrees to help in domestic activities,
but reverts to dominance when he chooses

Phase 1
DOMINANCE
MODEL

natural traditional
marriages

(“Till the husband decides to divorce his wife”)

wife is submissive and obedient to husband and his family, and must endure societal sanctioned abuse of women by men

 

See if you can follow the themes in each cell in the above Table. Try to see how these names and descriptions apply to your experience with couples, partnerships, and marriages:

  • yourself

  • parents

  • friends

  • movies

  • song lyrics

  • jokes

  • group practices, norms, and expectations.

 

Review what you know about each of these. Are the Table cells helpful in organizing and characterizing what you are observing when you examine these areas of daily life?

 

As you continue studying the following Sections, be sure to integrate them in your mind with this Table. You actually need to integrate all the Tables in these Lecture Notes, and then you will see clearly how this perspective can give you a rational understanding of marriage. You might want to print out just the Tables, and study them together, trying to integrate them into your understanding. A good method is to try to explain the Table to someone.


 

 

5.1  Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex


Section 5.1
 

Selections from :  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch6.htm#sex

 

5.1  Part A

 

6.8  Sexuality: Love of the Sex vs. Love of One of the Sex

Sexuality is a key issue in most people's lives and is an important topic in any society. For example, the word "sex" is the most frequently looked up word in Web search engines. If you look up the word sex in the top ranked Web search engine, www.google.com , you get an astonishing 250 million registered Web pages that use this word. The word "God" receives 61 million hits, which is pretty impressive to me, compared to "food" which receives 100 million hits. Just to get a real contrast the word "psychology" receives 14 million hits, the word "mother" receives 38 million, and "money" is listed on 106 million Web site. "Patriotism" has less then one million, and "morality" has over 2 million. "Rationality" has about half of one million and "Swedenborg" receives a little over 100,000 hits.

Why does the topic of sex arouse so much passionate interest everywhere? The topical frequency of occurrence on the Web is a measure that reflects the mental frequency of occurrence of this topic. A hot issue in society is a hot issue in the minds of the majority of people in a community or nation. The hot issue in our mind about sex is caused by the non-exclusive love of the sex that is built into the affective organ of every mind, but in a different way for men than for women.

The unity model distinguishes two forms of sexuality, one that belongs to our heavenly mind or higher nature, the other to our hellish mind or lower nature. People start with the indiscriminate enjoyment of sex. When people dance at a party with multiple partners they are capable of being sexually aroused by many individuals. They are able to enjoy pleasure by being touched by various people, not just one person. We share this sensuous pleasure with pets like cats and dogs, who can enjoy being petted by many people. At the sensorimotor level, humans have the capacity to enjoy physical pleasure from multiple sex partners. But this is more difficult to do at the cognitive level, and almost impossible to do at the affective level.

Sex with human being always involves the threefold self -- sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective.

Look again at the diagram that was discussed above:

Phase 0 Sexual Activity: Sex Without Intimacy (not on the diagram above)
Non-exclusive or indiscriminate sexual activity with a succession of partners at different times.

 Phase 1 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor Intimacy Only (Dominance model)
Exclusive sexual activity in the male dominance phase of marriage or dating.

 Phase 2 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor and Cognitive Intimacy (Equity model)
Exclusive sexual activity in the equity phase of marriage or dating.

 Phase 3 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Intimacy
Exclusive sexual activity in the unity phase of marriage or dating.

Most people start sexual life at Level 0 and move on, though some stay at this level forever. This means that they are not working to achieve marital unity. Many people come to realize that non-exclusive love of the sex, which is lacking in mental intimacy, is a trait that human beings share with most other animal species, and that in order to raise ourselves above the level of animals, we need to cultivate a love for an exclusive and intimate sexual relationship with one person. This is the meaning of "spiritual marriage." Psychologists who reject life after death cannot see the difference between natural marriage ("till death do is part") and spiritual marriage ("till eternity"). They do not see spiritual marriage as real so they cannot study it or advise people about it. It is not possible to do research on something that they define as non-existent.

Exclusive sexual activity occurs at progressively higher levels of intimacy. Phase1 sexuality involves the sensorimotor system of the two partners as the central feature, with less importance attached to cognitive and affective intimacy. In other words, when a couple's dating becomes exclusive they enter a phase of sensorimotor intimacy in which they are physically intimate with each other to various degrees, depending on the couple and the situation. During this phase they are not yet cognitively intimate, and not yet affectively intimate. They each think their own thoughts, have their own emotions and feelings. They are not cognitively intimate since they do not share their thoughts and plans. They are not affectively intimate since they each feel responsible for their own emotions and feelings.

But if they continue dating as an exclusive couple, or if they get married, their sexual activity is going to change to Phase 2, which involves both the cognitive as well as the sensorimotor phases of conjunction. Now their sensorimotor sexual activity is different from their previous sensorimotor activity in Phase 1 sexuality. The sensorimotor sexual activity is more intimate than before because it is intertwined with the cognitive intimacy of knowing each other's attitudes and values, being familiar with each other's sense of humor, being able to talk about various things and understand each other, etc.

Finally, Phase 3 sexuality involves the affective phase of intimacy along with the cognitive and sensorimotor intimacies. Sexual pleasure is far more personal and satisfying and meaningful when it is in the context of cognitive and affective intimacy. The partners feel for each other and their sexual emotions are greatly intensified due to this mutual feeling of sympathy and friendship. 

Notice that the non-exclusive love of the sex with many is natural, shared with animals,  while the exclusive love of one of the sex is spiritual, thus specially human. Sex without intimacy is a lower form of human pleasure and satisfaction than intimate sex. The highest and most satisfying form of sexual activity and pleasure is achieved in the unity phase of the relationship (Phase 3 sexuality).

To understand the precise difference we need to focus on "non-exclusive" vs. "exclusive." To love non-exclusive sex is to love one's own pleasure in the activity with whomever is available or suitable, making the partner unimportant relative to self,  while the exclusive love of one of the sex, is to love a particular person sexually. Quite a difference!

The non-exclusive love of the sex apart from the person, is a mental operation in the affective organ of the corporeal mind, which is the lowest part of the natural mind, a natural part which we also share with animals. The non-exclusive love of the sex by humans is very similar to the love of copulation by animals. Non-theistic biology and medicine view all sexual response in these terms. But theistic psychology cannot view all of sexuality as limited to the lowest levels of the mind, since the operations of the affective organ are ranked in a hierarchy of distinct degrees--lowest natural, higher natural, rational,  spiritual, and celestial. In the lowest portion of the natural mind sexuality is indiscriminate, non-exclusive, and temporary because it is determined by the love of one's own pleasure in sex, which is the love of indiscriminate sex regardless of person, situation, or condition. The interpersonal attitude behind the non-exclusive love of the sex is exploitative, selfish, or abusive because it is tied to the love of self for the sake of self. There is no love of the sexual partner for the sake of the partner--which may be called altruistic sex (mutual, exclusive, and personal).

We have an innate biological capacity to enjoy non-exclusive sex with many others and without mental intimacy or mutual caring. We also have a higher human capacity to enjoy exclusive sex with one person with whom we are mentally intimate. As we progress with our character development we become more and more attracted to the mental intimacy that is the result of mutual exclusive sexual love of friendship. When this phase progresses further through the unity model, the couple attains the state called conjoint self . This is the deepest and highest form of sexual mental intimacy between partners and therefore it is accompanied by the most satisfying physical experiences.

The biological capacity for physical pleasure though sex has two modalities for human beings -- either with or without mental intimacy. Sex without mental intimacy can be enjoyed by both men and women of all ages and races. But this physical pleasure is greatly enhanced in satisfaction when it is produced from mental intimacy. If there is mental intimacy, and this produces sexual activity among friends who love each other, the human sexual experience reaches its full potential. This full potential is given up when we attempt to enjoy sex without intimacy and friendship between the partners.

Mental intimacy varies like a barometer depending on the emotional climate of the two partners. When a husband  or exclusive boyfriend requests or pressures his woman to engage in sexual activity with him, her reaction or responsiveness will reflect the barometer reading on their state of mental intimacy. A woman normally desires conjunction and intimacy with her husband or exclusive boyfriend. Her barometer is always ahead of his. There is stress on the relationship due to this imbalance. She cannot restore the balance by reducing her desire for conjunction, for this is innate in her personality and spiritual character. Therefore the man has to restore the balance by increasing his motivation and commitment towards conjunction and unity. The extent that he does this is a reflection of his true love for her.

Increased motivation for conjunction is achieved by the man when he restores mental intimacy between them to a higher barometer reading prior to his proposal for sex.

When a wife or girlfriend engages in sexual activity due to physical or psychoilogical pressure by the husband or boyfriend, thus without mental intimacy, it is called sexual blackmail .

When a husband has a mental attitude that encourages fantasizing about non-exclusive sex, he performs biological coupling with his wife, but this is not conjunctive or mentally intimate. It is a depersonalized experience that does not go deeper than his physical pleasure isolated from friendship or caring. This kind of sexual attitude by a husband or boyfriend is not personal, indiscriminate, mentally promiscuous, pornographic, and unchaste to the marriage vow of exclusivity with one woman for life. His sexuality is not personal with his wife. Sex therapists in non-theistic psychology prescribe or approve of fantasizing that you are with someone else while making love to your spouse. Some even recommend that the couple watch pornographic videos to stimulate and "revitalize" their passion for each other. This kind of therapy or advice ignores the spiritual consequences when a partner encourages the habit of having non-exclusive sex thoughts.

Sex that has no spiritual context within it is not personal, not intimate, not lasting in interest or passion. When sex is practiced in a context of friendship and intimacy, the relationship becomes personal and eternal. That marriage enters the spiritual phase of conjunction, which is eternal and unbreakable by death. In the afterlife of heaven, the two soul mates live in conjugial unity forever .

Non-theistic sex therapy does not recognize that allowing mental non-exclusivity hurts affective closeness and intimacy, thus hurts conjunction between husband and wife at the inner level of their relationship, that level that is spiritual or eternal in significance for their marriage. The spiritual level of marriage is that part that continues in the afterlife . It strongly influences the degree of mental intimacy and affinity the couple can have for each other. This is why a husband's encouragement of the habit of using pornography or mental non-exclusivity in marriage, hurts the mental intimacy that he and his wife can achieve together.

The media often depict men wanting the woman to act like a slut towards them. They call that "being sexy." But they don't mean sexy; they really mean slutty. This adjective refers to a woman who acts like she approves of or encourages non-exclusive sex. Men go to bars or look at X rated movies and begin to confuse or associate non-exclusive sexual exploitation with sexual pleasure. Men act like they want their girl friend or wife to act that way for them. This leads to the loss of their ability to feel sexually aroused in the context of personal friendship and intimacy with one woman. When they are in a situation of sexual exclusivity with one woman, they begin to lose sexual interest in her. This is destructive and wasteful of human potential.

On the other hand, sexual activity within the context of mental exclusivity and friendship leads the partners into a spiritual-sensual sexuality which corresponds to the celestial marriage they are going to enjoy together as soul mates in heaven in eternity. The delights and pleasures of exclusive and chaste conjugial love, here and in heaven, are immeasurably greater and more passionate than the pleasures of natural-sensuous non-exclusive sexuality. Swedenborg conversed about this with both husbands and wives in the heavens of eternity and it is they themselves who reported this wonderful intensity of their sexuality. This is not something Swedenborg invented or theorized about.

In the spiritual-sensuous portion of our mind, sexuality is entirely different from that in our natural-sensuous mind..

At the spiritual level of rational consciousness, sexuality consists of the exclusive love of one of the sex and is closely tied to the love of others for the sake of others. The exclusive love of one of the sex in the affective organs of the spiritual and celestial mind is exclusive with just one person, is monogamous in marriage, and is eternal. It builds and solidifies unity between husband and wife so that mentally they are conjoined into a conjoint self.

In movies and novels this theme is often reflected contrastively with men and women, men being shown as promiscuous and unchaste, while their girlfriends or wives are chaste and exclusive. Often the women are portrayed as feeling jealous and threatened when the man shows a sexual interest in other women. It is known therefore that women love monogamy and exclusivity in sex while men do not love that, and have to force themselves to be faithful in act or thought. Eventually the men also love exclusivity and mental intimacy in sex when they begin to bond internally with their wife. Even then the husbands may feel attraction and excitement of the non-exclusive type of the love of the sex with many. But this attraction gradually dies out if the man does not approve of it because it is contrary to the conjoint self with his wife.

It makes rational sense for husbands to be very careful to reject these natural-sensuous thoughts and desires when they occur spontaneously. It's not their occurrence that should be addressed (over which we may have no control), but the rejection of them when they occur in our mind. If we do not actively and explicitly reject them in our mind, we are allowing them in, and since they are pleasurable and delightful, we love them, and the loves we accept fully we can never give up.

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

Love of the sex is love towards many of the sex and with many; but conjugial love is love towards one of the sex and with one. Love towards many and with many is a natural love, for man has it in common with beasts and birds, and these are natural; but conjugial love is a spiritual love and peculiar and proper to humans, because humans were created and are therefore born to become spiritual.

Therefore, so far as we become spiritual, we put off love of the sex and put on conjugial love.

In the beginning of marriage, love of the sex appears as if conjoined with conjugial love; but in the progress of marriage, they are separated, and then, with those who are spiritual, love of the sex is expelled and conjugial love insinuated, while with those who are natural, the opposite is the case.

From what has now been said, it is evident that love of the sex, being a love shared with many and in itself natural, yea, animal, is impure and unchaste; and being a roving and unlimited love, is scortatory; but it is wholly otherwise with conjugial love. (CL 48).

Note that the exclusive love of one of the sex with married partners is called "conjugial love." Note the word "conjugial" which means spiritual marriage together with natural marriage vs. the word "conjugal" which means natural marriage without spiritual marriage.

Most husband and wife couples begin their life together in a natural or external marriage without a spiritual dimension. Some marriages stay that way until the end, but others go on to the next phase which is the conjugial phase or spiritual dimension of marriage. The unity model refers to this spiritual phase that is tied to the natural phase.

Everything spiritual is based on rational consciousness which animals cannot possess, not having the mental anatomy for it.  We become spiritual to the extent that we think rationally about unity in eternity, and abandon non-intimate sexual activity in favor of conjugial love. This makes sense since non-exclusive love of the sex with many keeps our consciousness in the natural-animal mind where natural loves operate. To raise our consciousness to the spiritual level we must commit ourselves to conjugial love which is a love operating in our spiritual mind, the organ that we possess as our conscious mind after resuscitation in eternity. This organ is our immortal spiritual body which we have since birth. This spiritual body is equipped with everything that the physical body is equipped with. Thus we can enjoy in eternity the things we enjoyed here but with greater purity, intensity, and satisfaction.

5.1  Part B

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

CL 46. (i) Everyone retains his sexual love after death, exactly as it was inwardly; that is, as it was inwardly in his thought and will while in the world.

Every love accompanies a person after death, because it is the essence of his life; and the dominant love, the chief of all, lasts for ever in a person, together with the subordinate loves. The reason is that love is properly a function of a person's spirit, reaching the body from the spirit. Since after death a person becomes a spirit, he brings his love with him. Since love is the essence of a person's life, it is obvious that a person's fate after death is determined by the kind of life he led in the world.

As regards sexual love, this is a universal feature shared by all. For it was implanted from creation in a person's soul, which is the source of the whole person's essence, as something necessary for the continuance of the human race. This love remains the chief one, because after death a man is a man and a woman is a woman; and there is nothing in the soul, mind or body which is not male in the man and female in the woman. These two have been so created as to strive to be joined, in fact to be joined into one. This striving is sexual love, which precedes conjugial love. Since then this tendency to union is stamped upon every detail of the male and the female, it follows that it cannot be wiped out and die together with the body. (CL 46)

CL 47. The reason why sexual love remains as it was inwardly in the world is that everyone has an interior and exterior; this pair is called the inner and the outer man. He has as a result inner and outer will and inner and outer thought. When a person dies, he leaves behind his exterior and keeps his interior, for outward things belong properly to his body, inward things to his spirit. Since a person is his love, and love resides in the spirit, it follows that his sexual love remains with him after death as it was inwardly before. For example, if his love was inwardly conjugial or chaste, it remains conjugial or chaste after death, but if it was inwardly scortatory,* it remains the same after death. It should, however, be noted that sexual love is not the same in one person as in another, for there are countless differences. But it still remains in each case as it was in each person's spirit.

*Translator's note: This is the opposite of conjugial love, which Swedenborg named amor scortatorius. Though with other nouns 'promiscuous' may serve, it is hardly sufficient to translate 'promiscuous love', since it is especially reserved for the love which is the opposite of the love of one man for one woman, and so is opposed to the principle of monogamy. (CL 47)

CL 44. The second experience.
I once saw three spirits newly arrived from the world [after resuscitation we are called spirits], who were wandering about, gazing around and asking questions. They were surprised to find that they were still living as human beings, and seeing familiar sights [in the mental world of eternity]. For they knew that they had departed from the previous, natural, world, and that there they had not believed that they would live as human beings until after the day of the Last Judgment, when they would again be clothed in the [physical] flesh and bones they had left in their graves. So to free them of all doubt that they were really human beings, they took turns to examine and touch themselves and others, handling objects and finding a thousand proofs that they were just as much human beings as in their previous world, with the one difference that they could see one another in brighter light, and objects in greater splendour, that is to say, more perfectly.

[2] Then it happened that two angelic spirits came across them [people who live in their second or middle heaven]. They stopped them to ask, 'Where do you come from?' 'We have departed from the world,' they replied, 'and are living again in a world, so we have moved from one world to another; that is what is making us wonder.' The three newcomers then questioned the two angelic spirits about heaven; and since two of the newcomers were young men, and their eyes glittered with the spark of sexual lust, the angelic spirits said, 'Have you perhaps seen any women?' 'Yes, we have,' they answered.

In reply to their questions about heaven the angelic spirits said, 'In heaven everything is magnificent and splendid, things of a sort you have never set eyes on. There are girls and youths there, the girls so beautiful they could be called models of beauty, and the youths of such good character they could be called models of good character. The beauty of the girls and the good character of the youths match so well that they resemble shapes that fit snugly together.

The two newcomers enquired whether human form in heaven is exactly like that in the natural world. The reply was that they are exactly alike, with nothing taken away from the man or from the woman. In short, a man is a man, and a woman is a woman, with all the perfection of shape with which they were endowed by creation. Please go aside and check yourselves over, to make sure you are just as much a man as before.'

[3] The newcomers asked another question: 'We were told in the world we have left [the natural world] that in heaven there is no giving in marriage, because people are then angels. So is sexual love possible?' The angelic spirits replied, 'Your sort of sexual love is impossible, but there is angelic sexual love, which is chaste and free from all the allures of lust.' 'If sexual love,' said the newcomers, 'is devoid of allures, what is it then?' Thinking about that kind of love made them groan and say, 'How boring heavenly joy must be! How could any young man long to go to heaven? Is not such love barren and lifeless?'

The angelic spirits replied with a smile, 'Sexual love among the angels, the kind of love there is in heaven, is still full of the most intimate delights. It is an extremely pleasant feeling, as if every part of the mind were expanded. This affects all parts of the chest, and inside it is as if the heart were playing games with the lungs; and this play gives rise to breathing, sound and speech. These make contact between the sexes, that is, between young men and girls, the very model of heavenly sweetness, because it is pure.

[4] All newcomers who come up to heaven are tested to see how chaste they are. They are introduced into the company of girls of heavenly beauty, and these can detect from their sound, speech, face, eyes, gestures and the sphere they emit, what their sexual love is like. If it is unchaste, they run away and tell their friends they have seen satyrs and priapi. The newcomers too undergo a change and appear hairy to the eyes of angels, with feet like calves or leopards. They are quickly sent back down, so as not to pollute with their lust the atmosphere there.'

On hearing this the two newcomers said again, 'So there is no sexual love in heaven! What can chaste sexual love be but love stripped of its living essence? Surely the contacts between young men and women there are boring pleasures. We are not made of stone or wood, but sensations and the wish to live.'

[5] On hearing this the two angelic spirits indignantly replied, 'You are quite ignorant of what chaste sexual love is, because you are not yet chaste yourselves. That love is the supreme delight of the mind and so of the heart, but not of the flesh too below the heart. Angelic chastity, which is shared by either sex, prevents that love from passing beyond the barrier of the heart, but within and above it the young man's good character enjoys the delights of chaste sexual love with the beauty of the young woman.

These are too inward and too rich in charm to be described in words. This sexual love is the prerogative of angels, because they have only conjugial love; and this cannot be combined with unchaste sexual love. Truly conjugial love [exclusive sexual love between married partners] is a chaste love, and has nothing in common with unchaste [non-exclusive] love [of many]. It is confined to one person of the opposite sex to the exclusion of all others, for it is a love of the spirit leading to love of the body, not a love of the body leading to love of the spirit, that is to say, not a love which attacks the spirit.'

[6] The two newcomers were pleased to hear this and said, 'So there is sexual love in heaven. What else is conjugial love?' But the angelic spirits replied, 'Think more deeply and check your thoughts; you will find that your sexual love is love outside marriage, quite different from conjugial love, which is as different from it as wheat from chaff, or rather what is human from what is bestial. If you ask women in heaven what is love outside marriage, I assure you they will reply, "What do you mean? What are you saying? How can you utter a question that hurts our ears like this? How can a love which was not created be generated in a person?"

'If you then ask them what truly conjugial love is, I know they will answer that it is not sexual love, but the love of one of the opposite sex, something that happens only when a young man sees the young woman God has provided for him, and the young woman sees the young man. Then they both feel the fire of marriage catch alight in their heart, and he sees that she is his and she sees that he is hers.

One love meets the other, makes itself known and instantly joins their souls, and thus their minds. From there it enters their chests, and after they are married spreads further, so becoming love in all its fullness, growing together day by day, until they are no longer two, but as if one person.

[7] 'I know too that these women in heaven will swear that they know no other kind of sexual love. For they say, "How can sexual love exist, if it does not go out to meet the other and receive it in return, so as to long for everlasting union, the two becoming one flesh?"' To this the angelic spirits added, 'In heaven no one knows what promiscuity means or even the possibility of its existence. Angels feel cold all over at the idea of unchaste love or love outside marriage; on the other hand chaste or conjugial love makes them feel warm all over. In the case of men, all their sinews go slack at the sight of a whore, and become tense on seeing their wives.'

[8] On hearing this the three newcomers asked whether married couples in the heavens have the same kind of love as they do on earth. The two angelic spirits replied that it is exactly the same. Then seeing they wanted to know whether the ultimate delights were the same there, they said they were exactly the same, but far more blessed, 'because,' they said, 'angels' perception and feeling is much more exquisite that those of human beings; and what brings love alive but the current of potency?

Surely its failure leads to a cessation and cooling of that love? Is not that power the very measure, degree and basis for that love? Is it not its beginning, its strengthening and its completion? It is a universal law that first things are brought into being by ultimates, are kept in being by them and endure by their means. So it is with this love; so if the ultimate delights were absent, there would be no delights in conjugial love.'

[9] Then the newcomers asked whether the ultimate delights of that love led to the birth of children there, saying that, if not, what use were they? The angelic spirit replied that there are no natural, only spiritual children. 'What,' they asked, 'are spiritual children?' 'A married couple,' they answered, 'are more and more united by the ultimate delights in the marriage of good and truth. The marriage of good and truth is that of love and wisdom, and love and wisdom are the children born of that marriage. Since in heaven the husband is wisdom and the wife is the love of wisdom, both being spiritual, they cannot have any but spiritual children conceived and born there. This is why these delights do not leave angels depressed, as some on earth are, but cheerful; this is due to the constant inflow of fresh strength to replace the former, at once renewing and enlightening it.

For all who reach heaven return to the springtime of their youth, recovering the strength of that age, and keeping this for ever.' [eternal sexual potency]

[10] On hearing this the newcomers said, 'Do we not read in the Word [New Testament ] that in heaven people are not given in marriage, since they are angels?' 'Look up to heaven,' was the angelic spirits' answer to this, 'and you will receive your answer.' They asked why they should look up to heaven. 'Because,' they were told, 'it is from there we get our interpretation of the Word. The Word is deeply spiritual, and angels, being spiritual, will teach us its spiritual meaning.'

After a short while heaven was thrown open overhead, and two angels came into view, who said, 'There are weddings in the heavens as there are on earth, but only for those for whom good and truth are married [those who have undergone regeneration], for no others are angels [after the second death]. So it is spiritual weddings, the marriage of good and truth, [rebirth of the individual] which are meant by this passage. These are possible on earth, but not after death, and so not in the heavens. So it is said [New Testament ] of the five foolish maidens, who were also invited to the wedding, that they could not go in, because they lacked the marriage of good and truth [all people who have not changed their inherited character]; for they had no oil, but only lamps [people who knew what is true but did not live accordingly]. Oil means good and lamps truth; and being given in marriage is entering heaven, where that marriage is.'

The three newcomers were very happy to hear this, being full of the longing for heaven and hoping to get married there. So they said, 'We shall devote ourselves to good behaviour and a decorous life, so that we can achieve our aims.' (CL 44)

It is clear from this description that our eternal life in heaven contains more perfect sexuality with our spouse than we could even imagine at this point. But we also need to understand rationally why this is so, otherwise it becomes something obscure and unconvincing in the mind.

At the beginning of marriage we typically have the non-exclusive love of sex with many, but as we progress in spiritual development, the natural-animal love of sex with many is transformed into the spiritual love of sex with only one between married partners, or conjugial love. Marriages that do not develop a spiritual dimension through striving for unity in eternity, remain natural and external, but if a spiritual dimension develops, the natural non-exclusive love of sex with many is extinguished and exclusive conjugial love takes its place. This elevates our mind to the spiritual and celestial levels of operation by bringing our natural mind into correspondence with our heaven. We then behave like angels.

The word "spiritual" is used in many different ways and most people can't give a clear definition of what it is. In the unity model of marriage there is a clear definition as follows:

When we are born we start our life as dual citizens. Our physical body is in time and space, but it does not have the ability of containing sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The physical brain contains electro-chemical operations within neural networks of cells. But sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not electrical, not chemical, not physical, but purely mental. Because of this we are born with a spiritual body that is connected to the physical body, and the two act together by correspondence. Our "spiritual body" is permanent, immortal, eternal, while our "physical body" is only temporary. At its death, we continue life in eternity through our spiritual body. For more details on this perspective called "dualism", see the textbook on theistic psychology used by the Thursday class:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/

The afterlife of eternity was empirically discovered by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). At age 57, in the middle of a successful career as a mining engineer and science publisher, Swedenborg suddenly started being conscious in both worlds. For the next 27 years he took daily notes of his observations and experiments in the "spiritual world" of eternity. He immediately discovered that all the people he had known and had died, were now living in this world of eternity. This was a tremendous opportunity for a modern scientist to tell science about what happens when people die. After he started publishing his reports, people became very interested in his observations and explanations. He wrote nearly 30 volumes of reports on the spiritual world. They have been translated in many languages. Various religions have been founded on them. You can see the activity around his Writings today if you google Swedenborg.

One of Swedenborg's books is titled Conjugial Love (1768). It is available online here:
www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/contets/cltc.html

This book is totally unique and unlike any other book on marriage. First, it confirms by observation and interview that married couples who are also best friends and soul mates, live together in their heaven of eternity as a conjugial couple, and through their spiritual body, enjoy fully the pleasures and passions of exclusive sex with each other. Second, it confirms that people who do not value mental intimacy and exclusivity are in their mental zone in eternity, and this is quite contrastive with the heavenly zone. Eternal conjugial love in the heavenly zone is marked by utmost friendship between partners and full confidence and trust in each other. In contrast, non-exclusive sexual love is a kind of "infernal love" between partners who hate each other but feel compelled to be together. This creates a marital hell.

Swedenborg was able to interview and observe couples in eternity, both couples in the heaven of their mind and couples in the hell of their mind. He discovered that the couples chose their own mental states. Those who were in the marriage hells chose to be there and when they were given an opportunity to experience what it was like in the heaven of their mind, they could not stand it. It was torture to them far worse that the infernal couplings in their hells. And vice versa, so when those in conjugial marriages in their heaven  were given the opportunity to switch over to the hells in their own mind, they could not stand it. Hence it is that each person's eternity is determined by what they love and what they hate.

You can see from Swedenborg's evidence, only sketched out here, that the style of marriage relationship we have on this earth is going to influence our choices in the afterlife, whether we want to live as a conjoint self with our soul mate and best friend, or whether we want to live as an infernal couple, in serial marriages that create a hell in your eternal mind.

From Swedenborg's descriptions in his book Heaven and Hell (1758) available online at  www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/contets/HH.html  we have valuable information concerning our married afterlife choices, and what they depend on. In order to keep track of them in this course we use the contrast between heavenly traits and hellish traits. People ordinarily think of "heaven" and "hell" as religious ideas of faith and belief, hence, what would be heavenly or hellish traits would seem to depend on one's faith or religious belief system.

But it's different with the heaven and hell that Swedenborg observed and empirically described. It's possible to assume two attitudes towards this. One is called the negative bias in science, the other is called the positive bias in science. The negative bias, with which you are already familiar from prior courses, says that God, eternity, heaven, hell, and other such spiritual concepts are not part of science because these things don't exist for science. According to the negative bias it is not possible to prove that the afterlife exists. Therefore we are going to assume that it does not exist -- until someone can prove that it does exist. This is called a "bias" because no proof is give3n that the afterlife does not exist or cannot exist. It is called a negative bias because it denies the existence of something even though it cannot prove it.

The other position that scientists can take up is called the positive bias in science because it assumes that the afterlife exists, even though it cannot be proven by ordinary experimental methods. However, positive bias psychologists argue that science consists of a diversity of methods, and that the methods used by Swedenborg are fully acceptable, being rational, systematic, empirical, and repeatable. Even though no other scientist has had his ability to be conscious in both worlds simultaneously, all scientists will be conscious in the afterlife of eternity when they lose their connection to their dying physical body. They will be able in that state to test, verify, and confirm all of Swedenborg's observations. Possibly also in the future, scientists will be given this ability as our spiritual evolution progresses even further.

In the meantime what are we to do in this debate between the negative and positive bias in science regarding the afterlife of eternity?

There may be a number of alternatives, but the one offered in this course is the positive bias. You now have the opportunity of seeing what it would be like to assume the positive bias within the limits of this class.

So if we examine the character and personality of the people who are in the conjugial heavens of their mind and people who are in their hellish relationships, what can we learn about marriage? How did they get there? Why are they choosing to stay in that mental state in eternity? Surely this kind of information or knowledge would be valuable to us today, here and now. What can be more important for us to take care of to prepare for, than our eternity, whether in a heavenly union or an infernal hell?

In a real sense you already know this. If people are to prepare adequately for life in eternity they must have a way of differentiating between what are heavenly traits and hellish traits in their mind. This cannot depend on external reading or education or religion because every human being regardless of experience and intelligence, must be able to make this distinction. This is what it means to be born human. We call it conscience. You know your conscience because it is an active organ in our mental body, like the heart. When you run and get out of breath, you can feel your heart beating in your chest hard and fast. It is the same with your conscience -- you can feel its effects when you do something that you know you shouldn't. You feel guilty afterwards. This can be very intense and disturbing. Conscience allows you to respond spontaneously with empathy and sympathy to others. Conscience also allows you differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad. Conscience is innate because it is spiritual.

So using your conscience and your rational thinking, you can figure out which traits you have are heavenly and which hellish. In general terms, focusing on relationships with couples, heavenly traits include mutual love, friendship, caring, respect, sympathy, intimacy, and iking. Hellish traits include encouragement or promotion of non-exclusive sexual activity, a competitive relationship characterized by dominance, lack of commitment and loyalty to one's partner, and expressing negative emotions to each other, like anger, resentment, desire to retaliate, disrespect, dislike.

By definition, heavenly traits lead to mental intimacy, emotional interdependence, and conjugial love in eternal unity, while hellish traits lead to lack of mental intimacy, to emotional independence, to inner cold and separation, and ultimately to infernal cohabitations in the hells of our spiritual mind.

The non-exclusive love of sex is also called "roaming" because it is indiscriminate. For instance, husbands who encourage or support pornographic entertainment as something normal or habitual, remain in a natural love towards their wife because they are willingly maintaining their sexuality at the promiscuous or non-exclusive level that lacks mental intimacy.

From the perspective of their life in eternity, it is not enough for husbands to refrain from having physical sex with other women. This means that they not only desire pornographic stimulation but approve of and justify the idea as good. They are making pornography or non-exclusive activity as permissible since it is only mental. They are immersing their consciousness in a natural-animal love that is opposed to the higher spiritual sexuality of conjugial love in eternity. It is the same with husbands who fantasize having sex with another woman while they are having sex with their wife. And it is the same when they are having "phone sex" or "email sex" with others.

All these activities are hellish traits because they prevent the growth of mental intimacy with their wife. The fact that they have to hide these activities and do them in secret or in privacy, shows that they know these are hellish traits. The characteristic of all hellish traits is that we can't stop enjoying them even though our conscience tells us they are hellish.

It is important to understand rationally what are the consequences of remaining in a natural state of sexuality and not progressing to a spiritual sexual love of one's spouse. Spiritual sexual love is the sexual love we have in eternity, and to achieve it, we need to reform our mind through temptation battles against non-exclusive sexuality. These battles must take place here while we are still attached to the physical body and before we are resuscitated in the afterlife of eternity.

Quoting from the book of the Writings of Swedenborg called Conjugial Love:

CL 48. (ii) Conjugial love likewise remains as it was inwardly, that is, in inner thought and will, as a person had it in the world.

Because sexual and conjugial love are different, both are here mentioned, and it is stated that conjugial love also remains after death as it was in a person's interior when he lived in the world. But since few people know the difference between sexual and conjugial love, I must at the outset of this section say something by way of preface. Sexual love is love directed to and shared with several persons of the other sex, but conjugial love is directed to and shared with one person of the other sex. Love directed to and shared with several persons is natural love, for man has this in common with animals and birds, which are natural creatures. But conjugial love is spiritual, special and proper to human beings, because human beings were created, and are therefore born, to become spiritual. In so far as a person becomes spiritual, he sheds sexual love and takes on conjugial love.

At the beginning of a marriage sexual love seems as if combined with conjugial love. But as the marriage progresses, these loves become distinct, and then with those who are spiritual, sexual love is banished and conjugial love is introduced. In the case of those who are natural, the reverse happens. What I have now said makes it plain that sexual love, being shared with several persons and inherently natural, or rather animal, is impure and unchaste, since it is errant and unchecked, scortatory. Conjugial love is totally different. It will be shown in the following pages that conjugial love is spiritual and properly human.

47r* (iii) Married couples generally meet after death, recognise each other, renew their association and for some time live together. This happens in their first state, while they are concerned with outward matters as in the world.

After death a person goes through two states, an outer and an inner one. He comes first into his outer state, afterwards into his inner one. When he is in his outer state, a husband meets his wife, if they have both died, recognises her and if they lived together in the world forms an association and for some time they live together. While they are in this state, each is unaware of the other's feelings towards him or her, since this is kept hidden at the inward level. But afterwards, when they reach their inner state, their feelings become plain. If they are harmonious and sympathetic, they continue their married life; but if they are discordant and antipathetic, they put an end to it.

If a man had more than one wife, he associates with them in turn, while he is in the outer state; but on entering upon his inward state, when he can grasp the nature of the feelings of love, he either chooses one and leaves the rest, or he may leave them all. For in the spiritual world as much as in the natural one, no Christian is allowed to marry more than one wife, because this is an attack on religion and profanes it. The same thing happens to a woman, if she has had more than one husband. However, wives do not form associations with their husbands; they merely present themselves, and the husbands take them to themselves. It should be noted that husbands rarely recognise their wives, but wives recognise their husbands very well, since women are able to perceive inward love, while men perceive only outward love.
* There are two sections numbered 47 and 48 in the original.

48r (iv) But by stages, as they put off their outward state and enter instead into their inward one, they perceive what their mutual loves and feelings towards each other were like, and whether or not they can live together.

There is no need to explain this further, since it follows from what was explained in the last section. I shall here only illustrate the way a person after death puts off his outer state and takes up his inner one. Each person is after death first brought into what is called the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell, and there he is prepared, for heaven if good, for hell if wicked.

[2] The preparation he undergoes there is intended to bring the interior and the exterior into harmony, so that they make one, instead of disagreeing and making two. This is what happens in the natural world, and it is only in the case of those of upright heart that they make one. Their making two is clear from the deceitful and tricky, especially hypocrites, toadies, pretenders and liars. In the spiritual world, however, no one is allowed to have his mind divided, but anyone who was wicked inwardly will also be wicked outwardly. Likewise one who was good will be good both inwardly and outwardly.

[3] For everyone after death becomes what he was like inwardly, not outwardly. For this purpose he is then by turns put into his outward and then his inward state. When each is in his outward state, he is wise, that is, he wants it to look as if he were wise, even if he is wicked. But the wicked man is inwardly a fool; he can at intervals see his own follies, and recover his senses. But if he did not recover them in the world, he cannot do so later, for he loves his follies, and wants to keep them. Thus he induces his outward state to be similarly foolish, so making his inward and outward states one. When this has happened, he is ready for hell.

[4] The good man follows the opposite course. Since in the world he had looked to God, and recovered his senses, he was more wise inwardly than outwardly. Outwardly he was at times led into madness by the enticements of the world and its vanities. So he too has his exterior brought into harmony with his interior, which, as I said, is wise. When this has happened, he is ready for heaven. This will illustrate the way in which the exterior is put off and the interior is put on after death. (CL 48)
 

5.1  Part C

Swedenborg was able to observe that when married partners have both passed on they meet in the world of spirits and live again together in their external state, which means in the natural state in which they lived on earth. During this initial encounter neither of the two partners are aware of how they feel toward one another in their "interior" mind. They seem to get along and like each other on the surface, but deep down they may feel the opposite. The deeper feelings were hidden from their conscious awareness on earth, yet they were there, as shown by the fact that at times they did not get along, had fights, and expressed dislike and even hatred of one another. After awhile, the two partners are separated from their external feelings and they become conscious of their deeper or interior feelings. Now if these deeper feelings for one another are positive, they continue to live together forever, but if the deeper feelings are negative, they now separate and go their own way. 

What happens now to those who have harbored desires for other partners that they kept from coming to the surface?

They now come out in their most intense form and one feels irresistibly drawn to others and away from the spouse. Thus they break up the partnership and each goes their separate ways. It is the end of their marriage in eternity. But it is different with those who reject their non-exclusive desires as something they don't want to get stuck with in eternity. It's normal for men and women to feel attracted to the adventures and excitement of non-exclusive sex with strangers. This is much portrayed in the media so most people are familiar with it and must wonder what it would be like. What's important is not that you are curious about it, but how you evaluate your curiosity and interest. That's what's going to determine if you get stuck with it in eternity, or not.

Knowledge of the unity model is helpful in the management of our transition from natural sexuality to spiritual sexuality.

One spiritual discipline of great usefulness is to evaluate the various thoughts that we have in our everyday life. This is called self-witnessing on the daily round. To monitor your thoughts means to comment to yourself about these thoughts. For instance, you find something and you feel how nice it would be to keep it instead of turning it in. But then you judge this thought by thinking that this would not be a heavenly thing to do. If you want to be in heavenly traits in eternity it is required that you practice doing them and loving to do them. Unless we teach ourselves in daily life how to love doing and thinking what is heavenly, we cannot be in heaven in eternity. This is because to be in heaven means to be in one's loves.

So it makes sense to perform the act of mental rejection when we monitor ourselves and notice that we are practicing a hellish trait by what we are thinking or doing. When this mental rejection is performed consistently and honestly throughout marriage on earth, we are liberated from the love of non-exclusive sex and gradually begin to enjoy the far greater pleasures and delights of conjugial sex. In this way, when we meet our conjugial partner in the other life we are able to enter heaven together and abide there forever.

Even if you've never met your conjugial partner in this life, you can create a conjoint self with him or her, as long as you are prepared to love conjugial unity exclusively with one. And this requires that we learn this before death and resuscitation. In the afterlife of eternity our mind is set the way it was upon death. All the loves that we approved of are present in our mind and now lead and dictate our life in eternity.

When married partners who first meet in the world of spirits discover that they are internally unsuitable for each other,  they separate and then each meets another person with whom they can develop a conjugial love relationship, at which point, they enter heaven. Or, one may enter heaven while the other enters hell, or both can enter hell. In hell there are no conjugial love relationships because this requires a rational consciousness that is spiritual or celestial. In the hells of our mind we are corporeal-sensuous and  irrational, hence we cannot experience a rational love like the unity marriage. Those in hell are compelled to live in a state of "concubinage" or "infernal marriage" with someone there whom they hate and despise. Definitely something that we would want to avoid, especially since, as Swedenborg observed, those in hell have absolutely no love of sex left. The men loathe marriage and the idea of sex with the wife makes them violently nauseous.

Some women in hell called "sirens" acquire the ability to make themselves look beautiful, virginal, and modest. They set traps for men in hell who try to satisfy their never-ending lust for various types of sexual perversions or "degrees of degeneracy"--fantasies having to do with "deflowering virgins" and then abandoning them; or, seducing another man's wife; and many other hellish things that we are all familiar with from the movies, from literature, and from fantasies. These sexual activities are for them symbolic, not real, since they despise sexuality after becoming completely irrational and deluded.

Sometimes people joke that they wouldn't mind going to hell if they can continue to experience the enjoyment of lusts they enjoy during their life on earth. But this is an illusion. Swedenborg confirmed by much observation that sexual lust as experienced here through the physical body is totally extinguished and is replaced by mental torture in the experience of wanting what cannot be satisfied. The intensity grows until the very thought of sex makes the person nauseous. Enjoyment of sex is extinguished in the hells of our mind.

Here is a brief passage showing the controlled and experimental character of Swedenborg's reports on the spiritual world.  On this occasion he wanted to find out if there are men who are only interested in sex when they can seduce someone else's wife. A sample of men were brought to Swedenborg by his angel guides who were people from the highest portion of their mind called the third heaven of the mental world, and thus possessed super-powers relative to those whose consciousness existed lower in the mental world. The portion that describes the experiment is underlined.

CL 483. To this I shall add some facts from the spiritual world which are worth relating.

I heard there that some married men have a lust for promiscuity with inexperienced women or virgins, some for experienced women or whores; some for married women or wives; some for such women of noble families, and some for women of the lower classes. I have been convinced in that world of the truth of this by numerous examples from various kingdoms .

When I thought about the variety of such lusts, I asked whether there were men who seek all their pleasure with other men's wives and none with unmarried women. So to prove to me that there were, a number were brought to me from a certain kingdom, who were compelled to speak as their lustful nature dictated. These said that their sole pleasure and joy had been, and still was, to misbehave with other men's wives. They said that they picked out the beautiful ones for themselves, and hired them for as high a fee as their wealth allowed. For the most part they agreed the fee with the women alone.

I asked why they did not hire unmarried women. They said that this was too common for them, being inherently worthless and devoid of any pleasure. I asked again whether these wives afterwards went back to their husbands and lived with them. They replied that they either did not, or did so coldly, since they had become promiscuous.

I then asked them very seriously whether they had ever considered, or were now considering, that this was double adultery, since they did it while themselves married; and that such adultery robbed a person of all spiritual good. This caused many of those present to laugh, and they said, 'What is spiritual good?'

But I insisted and said, 'What is more detestable than to mix one's own soul in a wife with her husband's soul? Don't you know that a man's soul is in his semen?' At this they turned away and murmured, 'What harm does it do there?' At last I said, 'Although you are not afraid of God's laws, are you not afraid of the civil law?' 'No,' they answered, 'only of some of the clergy, but we keep this from them; and if we cannot, we keep on good terms with them.' Afterwards I saw them divided into groups, some of which were thrown into hell (CL 483):

The above experiment is a case of forced self-witnessing out loud. Here on earth today, the lie-detector is used by some companies and institutions when investigating personnel issues. The instrument makes physiological measurements of an individual's skin conductance (perspiration) and blood pressure, both being viewed as indicators of emotional reactions. The questions are phrased slowly and in different ways, relating the person to some act (e.g., "Did you know it was broken?" "Did he speak to you?"). GSR readings and blood pressure changes are recorded and later analyzed. A conclusion is then reached as to whether the individual was lying, not lying, or that one cannot tell from the results. The angelic guides who were assisting Swedenborg had a more effective technique available to them--they compelled them to answer as they think, making it impossible for them to say the opposite of the truth.

In the above passage Swedenborg portrays himself as indignant at their callous attitude. Swedenborg reminds them graphically that sexual intercourse with another man's wife mixes their semen with her husband's semen. But they obviously fail to be shocked at this image: "What harm does it do there?" Swedenborg was confronting them with the fact that they were flouting "God's law" because "a man's soul is in his semen."  This is explained in other passages, namely that the semen carries not only the father's physical DNA but also a complete copy of his soul or spiritual DNA. This is a spiritual organ in the spiritual body that receives the impulse of life and therefrom animates the body's physiology. In this soul are contained all the loves of the father, those that he himself inherited and those that he himself contributed. These inherited loves are both evil and good. They will all strive to come out into the mind and behavior of the offspring. They are visible or measurable in terms of innate capacities, impulsive tendencies, various weaknesses, and strong preferences.

The physical act of sexual intercourse is itself only a representative or an effect of a mental-spiritual act. The men in the passage above can only focus on the physical semen and see no consequences in having the semen of several men in a woman's vagina. Apart from the fact that sexually transmitted physical diseases come in this way, one must also consider the disorderly intentions and motives that cause the act, because motives are spiritual events that have their consequences in eternity. Even if no immediate physical harm comes from seducing another's man's wife, there is spiritual harm to the mental organs of the man and woman. There are built in and inevitable spiritual consequences to every mental act, heavenly or hellish.

The "roving" love of sex with many partners is a four-stage process. The first stage is that of being sexually active with multiple partners, physically, or mentally. The second stage is loss of sexual interest with just one partner. The third stage is resumption of roving and looking for other partners. This process recycles for some years, then it ends with the final stage: loss of interest in sex, at first, and later, hatred of sex. But there remains a desire to abuse women, to dominate them, and to degrade them sexually.

These built in consequences and mechanisms must be understood rationally and anatomically, or else one begins to question the idea that some things are hellish. "If it's just some moral or religious dogma, I can skip it, but if it's a scientific physiological consequence, I better pay attention". At the end of the passage above we get an image of what these consequences are: "Afterwards I saw them divided into groups, some of which were thrown into hell." To be thrown into hell means, as explained elsewhere in the Writings, that they appear to throw themselves into hell out of anticipation and lust for the disorderly things they can do in that mental state. But they are certainly not counting on the fact that after a little time of wanton abandon and delights, their mental state changes to an endless cycle of emotions they hate--like being deprived of their lusts, being persecuted and haunted by others whom they cannot escape, and taking turns torturing each other endlessly. This is the life of insanity and delusion that is provided for us in hellish traits, or the process of attaching ourselves to hellish traits.

Let's get back to the earlier passage discussed above regarding married partners who meet in the world of spirits. Continuing with that passage:

If a man has had several wives, he conjoins himself with them in turn while in the external state; but when he enters the internal state, in which he perceives the nature of the inclinations of his love, he either takes one or leaves them all; for in the spiritual world as in the natural, no Christian is allowed to take more than one wife because this infests and profanes religion. The like happens with a woman who has had several husbands; women, however, do not adjoin themselves to their husbands but only present themselves, and their husbands adjoin them to themselves. It must be known that husbands rarely know their wives, but wives readily know their husbands. The reason is because women have an interior perception of love, and men only an exterior perception. (CL 48)

It's revealing to discover that husbands "rarely know their wives" when they meet up in the world of spirits, while wives recognize their husbands. This comes about because of a fundamental physiological difference in love between men and women. Men have an "exterior perception" of love while women have an "interior perception." Wives monitor the feelings of their husbands at a more interior level than husbands themselves are aware of their own loves. A man might say that he loves this or that, but his wife knows what he really loves or hates.

Continuing with the Number:

BUT THAT SUCCESSIVELY, AS THEY PUT OFF THEIR EXTERNALS AND COME INTO THEIR INTERNALS, THEY PERCEIVE THE NATURE OF THE LOVE AND INCLINATION WHICH THEY HAD FOR EACH OTHER, AND HENCE WHETHER THEY CAN LIVE TOGETHER OR NOT. This need not be further explained since it follows from what has been set forth in the preceding article. Here it shall only be shown how, after death, a man puts off his externals and puts on his internals.

After death, every one is first introduced into the world which is called the world of spirits--which is in the middle between heaven and hell--and is there prepared, the good for heaven and the evil for hell. This preparation has for its end, that the internal and external may be concordant and make a one, and not be discordant and make two.

Here you can see that whether a man and a woman stay together to eternity is a matter of spiritual physiology and compatibility, just like antibodies act on other cells of the body to reject or accept. It's not a matter of subjective or arbitrary preference but is the inevitable consequence of the structure of the mind that each has formed for themselves while living on earth. What's remarkable is that there are two levels of structure, external and internal, and many people are not aware of their own inner structure. For instance, they are aware that they like this or that activity or experience, and desire to repeat it over and over, yet they are not aware of the interior feelings and delights that actually control the external likes and choices.

Think of the iceberg analogy here: We can see the external structure of the mountain of ice floating on the ocean, but we do not know how large the structure is below the surface, or what is its shape. Yet what is below the surface is far more important in determining the consequences. For instance, if a ship collides with the iceberg, whether it survives or not depends on the size of the iceberg below the surface. And other consequences that one can describe. In the same way the consequences of our inner feelings and motives, which we cannot see, are far more important for our future--whether we go to heaven or hell, whether we stay together or not, and other consequences that follow from these.

From the passage above (and others relating to it in the Writings),  you can also see that there are two phases we go through after the process of resuscitation from the death of the physical body, normally a matter of a few hours. The first phase is the awakening to our conscious awareness in the world of spirits. We are then in the external portion of our natural mind, or personality and memory. We recall our life on earth just like when we are awakened from surgery and after a few moments of confusion, we are back in the saddle of our life. Our memories and knowledge of this life is what our consciousness is immersed in during this first phase of the afterlife. We know our identity and relationships, often meeting up with friends and family that preceded us in the afterlife. If our spouse or significant other has preceded us, we meet up and even live together intimately for awhile. In our spiritual body we can perform the same activities as we are used to, and the sensations and delights are far stronger and purer than what we had in the physical body. These observations were made by Swedenborg with large samples of people he was able to observe from the moment they were resuscitated to their final dwelling place in heaven or hell.

Then we become aware of a change that is taking place with us. Inner feelings we were only dimly aware of, now begin irresistibly to come out of us. We are surprised but also delighted. The deeper the feeling that comes out into conscious awareness, the more intense the delight we experience and the freer we feel. The freedom we felt in our external loves and motives now appear to us as partial and very limited. We would never want to go back into such restricted mental spaces, like a genii out of the bottle. Along with these powerful new feelings and enjoyments comes a change in our appearance and environment. Our former friends no longer recognize us and we seem to be encountering all sorts of new people that are exciting and lead us further and deeper into the unfolding of our inner character. These experiences are carefully timed, arranged, and presented  individual by the Divine-Human, regardless of whether the individual recognizes God's existence or not.

This is the process of the "second death" which refers to the quieting down and laying aside the external personality we had on earth. The process varies in extensiveness depending on how aware the or unaware the individual is of their inner character and what loves and motives are entrenched there. Love is what produces freedom, according to the Writings. Freedom is the feeling we have when we act out our love, both in thinking and in sensing and doing. If anything inhibits the acting out of our love, we feel unfree and unhappy. Our delight and enjoyment of life is gone when we are prevented from acting out our love. While we were on earth there were external reasons and forces restricting us from acting out many of our loves. We didn't like that, and it often made us depressed or resentful, even rebellious and destructive.

Forces that prevent us from acting on our loves and desires here on earth include fear, disapproval, punishment, guilt, embarrassment, shyness, lack of suitable partners, etc. These are external natural conditions that have no power in the world of spirits. In that state of mind we do what we please. We go where we want because it is our desires and motives that bring us to the places and people we are interested in. Those who would disapprove or punish cannot be around us because we choose to exclude them and there is nothing they can do about it. There is no government, police, or prison since the walls would crumble immediately when you have the desire to exit. Your environment is produced by the feelings and thoughts you have, not by the physical constraints around your body.

The coming out of your inner loves is therefore an inevitable process for every individual who has been resuscitated. Whether it seems to us like a few hours, days, or months, the process comes to an end when all of our external motives and loves have been shut down, and we are fully immersed in our inner loves and character. Now at last you can know for sure who you are and what you are. If you discover yourself to be a devil, you are led to where devils are in their mind, and together you form a spiritual or mental community. The thoughts and feelings each individual has in such a community now determines the appearance or environment of the dwelling place. Swedenborg saw the dwelling places or mental environments of those who are in the hells of their minds together. They are awful, much worse than you can imagine, much worse that I could imagine when I read the Writings and all its details about heaven and hell.

If you discover yourself to be an angel, you are led to where others are in their heavenly rationality. Swedenborg noted that roads or pathways suddenly appear to you, which you are moved to take, and quickly you seem to yourself to arrive to a most beautiful city full of gardens, at the gates of which people greet you and welcome you. Amazingly, they seem totally familiar to you, like siblings and childhood friends you haven't seen for awhile.  Their appearance is even similar to yours, like you are all from the same family. No one else can see the road or path that the individual for whom it is a sign that the second death has happened and eternal life has begun. And if you have a conjugial spouse that preceded you, he or she now appears to you, being reunited with heavenly joy and blessedness. The two of you then walk a little further on the streets until you come to a house that you both recognize as yours. No one else has been able to see the house or enter into it. You enter, and you begin your life in eternity as an angel couple, living in bliss with other angel couples, protected from every single possible negative feeling, thought, or emotion.

You can see form this summary description that heaven and hell are not places of reward for being good and places of punishment for sins. The Writings of Swedenborg reveal that no one is ever punished for past sins or misdeeds no matter how good or evil. I was amazed when I read this. It seemed contrary to what I had believed from religion, and it seemed counter-intuitive. But then I got the full rational explanation. It is the inner character or ruling love that creates the heaven and hell in our mind. This is the inevitable. It is the actual mental state of our loves that determine whether we sink into the emotions and delusions of hell or ascend to the rational truths and loves of heaven.

Suppose you see yourself sink into hell after your resuscitation phase is over. You are not being punished for passed misdeeds. You are sinking into hell because your loves, delights, lusts, and enjoyments are hellish in character. It is an inexorable law of the spiritual world that your environment is determined by your inner character. If you see yourself rise to heaven, it is happening not as a reward for what you did in the past on earth, but a consequence of the spiritual law that inner loves create the environment for everyone. Your entering heaven is an event produced by your inner loves, when they are heavenly loves that you acquired on earth by a life of conscience and usefulness to others.

Continuing with the passage:

 [2] In the natural world they make two, and only with the sincere in heart do they make a one. That they are two is evident from crafty and cunning men, especially from hypocrites, flatterers, dissemblers, and liars. In the spiritual world, a man is not permitted thus to have a divided mind, but he who had been evil in internals must be evil also in externals; so likewise the good must be good in both; for after death every man becomes what he had been internally, and not what he had been externally.

[3] To this end, he is then let into his external and his internal alternately. While in his external, every man, even the evil, is wise, that is, wishes to appear wise, but in his internal, an evil man is insane. By these alternations, the man is able to see his insanities and repent of them; but if he had not repented in the world, he cannot do so afterwards, for he loves his insanities and wishes to remain in them, and therefore brings his external to be likewise insane. Thus his internal and his external become one, and when this is the case, he is prepared for hell.

[4] With a good man, it is the reverse. Because in the world he had looked to God and had repented, he is wiser in his internal than in his external. Moreover, in his external, by reason of the allurements and vanities of the world, he sometimes became insane. Therefore, his external must be brought into concordance with his internal, which latter, as was said, is wise. When this is done, he is prepared for heaven. This illustrates how the putting off of the external and the putting on of the internal is effected after death. (CL 48)

There is then a mighty struggle that occurs in our mind between the first death and the second death. The passage above says that we are "let into our external and our internal alternately." This alternating experience must be like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type experience. At some point we look like an angel person, gentle, handsome, and rational, and at the next moment we look like a devil person, insane, ugly, and dangerous. Our fate in eternity is now determined by this life and death struggle. Heaven is called life while hell is called death because it is the death of our human part so that what is left is a kind of human-beast. The purpose of this alternation serves to make us aware of the inner loves we actually have within us, entrenched, inextricable, there forever.

Quoting from the Writings:

HUMAN FREEDOM
Few know what freedom is and what non-freedom is. Freedom seems to entail everything that is in keeping with any love and associated delight, and non-freedom to entail everything that is at variance with these. That which is in keeping with self-love and love of the world, and with the desires belonging to those loves, seems to man to be freedom; but that is the freedom of hell. That however which is in keeping with love to God and love towards the neighbour, consequently with the love of what is good and true, is true freedom, being the freedom that exists in heaven. (AC 2870)

No one can be forced or compelled to enter either hell or heaven. It is by definition a choice we make according to our ruling loves. Note the somber warning in the passage above: "if he had not repented in the world, he cannot do so afterwards, for he loves his insanities and wishes to remain in them." We cannot repent means that our ruling loves cannot be displaced by other loves. Imagine your best friend is with you at that state of mind and is pursuing his evil loves. You try to change his mind, pointing out how awful hell is and how wonderful heaven is. But your friend just laughs at you and continues to sink into hell by going deeper and with more abandon into the evil loves and irrational thoughts. Soon you have to remove yourself form his presence since you cannot stand to see those evils.

From these descriptions of the resuscitation process and the second death you can see what happens to married partners. Everything is determined by the ruling loves you acquire in your marriage with your spouse. If you have had an external marriage only, your ruling loves were not actually involved. They remained buried within your character, and only once in a while did you and your spouse have an inkling of what they are. Every marriage begins with the conjunction or union of the two external personalities. This type of relationship is often based on the "male dominance" model of marriage, as discussed above. Then, some couples move on to the equity model which engages more inward forms of their personality called cognitive. And after that, they have the opportunity to engage their inmost loves and to be conjoined affectively in an internal or spiritual marriage. Now their external marriage is complete because it has the internal marriage within it. It is this internal conjunction or marriage between the partners that takes over at the second death and determines their fate.


 

6.  Unity Model in Marriage:
Ennead Chart of Growth Steps

Section 6

 

6.  Part A

 

This is Table 1a (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

7

8

9

EQUITY

4

5

6

DOMINANCE

1

2

3

 

All ennead charts are read from bottom up. This ennead chart ("ennead" = nine), shows that there are nine succeeding phases for achieving unity in marriage. The nine phases are marked in the cells. This basic ennead chart clearly shows you that the unity model (cells 7, 8, 9) cannot be reached without first going through the dominance (cells 1, 2, 3) and equity models (cells 4, 5, 6). You need to remember this. A couple's interactions can occur in any of the nine zones, depending on the situation.

 

For example, one couple can start their marriage with 90 percent of their interactions classifiable as falling in the traditional dominance model. Soon they move away from their home town, start a career, and have children. This new situation prompts them to spend less of their interactions in the dominance model as they need to coordinate with each other for daily tasks. Now they may spend 80 percent of their interactions in the equity model, five percent in the unity model, and 15 percent in the dominance model. At some point the husband becomes enlightened and realizes that his marriage with this woman is eternal. He may also realize that in the afterlife, he and his wife will be like one, so he needs to prepare for that mental state, since it requires new skills. In the next few years this couple may spend more and more of their interactions in the unity model, having learned how to avoid any interactions in the dominance or equity models (cells 1 through 6).

 

In subsequent discussion below, we will examine what kind of interaction occurs within each cell of the basic ennead chart. Without knowing this, the chart is just an empty structure, like an envelope you get in the mail that has nothing in it when you open it.

 

Note that the nine cells are generated when you keep track of what happens to the threefold self of husband and wife as they progress towards unity. It would be very beneficial for you to memorize this chart so you can reproduced it on paper, and then mentally picture it as you think about these issues and read the explanations to follow. The chart will re-appear several times throughout the rest of the presentation, each time with new content, but the same chart. Try to make a mental picture of the chart as you read the following explanations. If you make sure you fully understand it, you will be able to use the chart in your everyday thinking about relationships, your own, or those of others.

 

Take a few minutes to memorize the chart. If you can reproduce it on paper without looking at the original, then you know you've got it memorized.

 

Note that that the threefold self (rows) is conceptualized in relation to the model or philosophy that the partners use in their daily interactions. This "model" may not be clearly in their mind if you even ask about it. Nevertheless it is like the habits children pick up from their peers and parents. These habits and attitudes become sub-conscious so that later as adults, we are not clearly aware that we are following these practices or habits we acquired. Most people assume that what they are thinking and how they are feeling is private and personal to them. They do not realize that our mental operations are standardized or imprinted by our culture. This includes how we think, how we justify things, what we assume automatically, what we admire, what we imagine, what we are afraid of, etc. These are all mental habits that follow the group practices of others in our social group.

 

So the interactions between married partners that fall in cells 1 through 6 are learned habits of the threefold self. Couples within a community or family are copies of each other, even though each couple varies as to how much time they spend in each cell. There is a main system of group practices shared by all married threefold selves in a community. Within that main system, there are sub-streams that characterize social varieties of interactions between partners. Once you learn how to use the ennead chart for observations of your interactions and those of others, you will be able to chart or map out the interactions that are prominent in the relationship. This allows you to evaluate where the relationship is going and how it might be managed to success.

 

First, the threefold self of the husband and wife must conjoin themselves at the usual dominance level -- zones 1, 2, 3. Then they can grow further together by conjoining their threefold self again, but under the equity model -- zones 4, 5, 6. Many husbands resist the equity model and prefer to go back to the dominance model. But if the husband changes his mind and adopts the new model for his interactions with his wife, then the couple can grow still further towards fully being conjoined in their threefold self. Eventually couples can move into the unity stages -- zones 7, 8, 9. This happens when the husband adopts a new way of interacting with his wife. But keep remembering that in actuality the interactions of couples fall into a frequency distribution pattern across all nine cells.

 

In the unity model of interaction (zones 7, 8, 9), the husband allows the wife's feminine intelligence or way of thinking, to lead his own masculine intelligence -- whenever they are encountering a significant difference with each other.

 

He has to tell himself repeatedly that her way of thinking is different from his, and that he is going to make the decision each time (if he can), that he will follow her way instead of his way. After some serious and honest practice, he will be able to stay in the unity model for more and more of his interactions with his wife.

 

This must be voluntary on his part and occurs when he becomes spiritually enlightened from a desire to be conjoined eternally to his wife. He realizes that in eternity couples have to of one mind and one heart. As a result, he is now willing to let go of his own independent self, for the sake of a new self called the conjoint self. With this new self he is no longer independent. He can no longer choose to act on his own -- except when he admittedly slides back into lower zones, which happens repeatedly and is normal. Whatever he does (sensorimotor), think (cognitive), or strive for (affective), he consults his wife's preferences, either verbally with her or mentally with himself.

 

To be able to do this he needs to achieve cognitive conjunction or intimacy with his wife. This will give him the interactions he needs in order to get to know how she thinks. When he knows what she prefers and how she prefers it, and wants to make her happy, he will be able to be her soul-mate, her best friend, her romantic partner.

 

Men and women who are in love spend some of their interactions in the unity zones. This is especially visible during the dating and honeymoon period. The husband is romantic, friendly, attentive, generous, and is careful to inhibit some of his grosser traits and habits. Then, when the honeymoon period is over, Boom! he starts showing the other zones of his personality. He starts dominating her to get what he wants out of her. He negotiates with her and lets her think he is being sincere. Meanwhile, in the privacy of his mind, he plots to do things he wants to hide form her. The unity zones of romance, friendship, attentiveness, generosity, and civility that he performed for her during the honeymoon period, are now empty cells, unused, neglected, abandoned.

 

Now the husband is on a developmental plateau. His higher human potential and inner peace or confidence are eluding him. His enthusiasm for life is slowly dying. And it dies -- unless he can compel himself to rescue his future in eternity. He thinks of his eternity with her, and he realizes that conjugial unity is the beginning for achieving full human potential. 

 

The husband must be willing therefore to acquire an accurate knowledge of his wife's feelings and emotions. Once he has internalized them, he can consult them whenever he acts, decides, or plans something. He is no longer a single self or individual. He can see that he is a half-person by himself, and is completed reciprocally by his wife. You've no doubt heard the common expression "She is my better half" -- meaning, my wife. Together, the husband and wife, make one complete human being, that is, a human being with full potential. When a couple reaches this spiritual level of union, they are in their eternal conjugial bliss in never ending eternity. This can start while they are in this life, and continue later, in the afterlife.

 

The wife cannot impose the unity model on her husband by means of dominance, intimidation, or persuasion. The husband can refuse to go along with her whenever he pleases. There are few husbands who are willing to voluntarily subordinate their own outward masculine intelligence to the wife's inner feminine intelligence. To agree to this, a man must be willing to compel himself to undergo much mental pain and self-denial. But those husbands who are willing to undergo the challenge, can form a true and perfect reciprocal union with their wife. This is a spiritual state of the highest human potential that lasts forever into the afterlife called "heaven." (For more information on this topic, you can consult the 459 Lecture Notes, on the Web at:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic

 

When you look up and down each column of the basic ennead chart you are locating or contrasting the same component of the threefold self across the three models.  For instance, the sensorimotor phase of each model (zones 1, 4, 7) involves the sensorimotor interactions between the two partners. In the initial phases of a relationship the affective and cognitive self are subordinated to the sensorimotor self as a couple. They get along fine and enjoy each other company, but only so long as they retain focus on the sensorimotor intimacy, avoiding attempts to establish cognitive and affective intimacy. For instance, they do things together that involve their physical enjoyment and fun--eating, touching, holding, dancing, driving, playing games, watching movies, listening to music, talking, etc., and sometimes, dealing with children and their immediate physical needs.

 

In the dominance model, the relationship is governed cognitively (zone 2) by tradition and affectively (zone 3) by reward and punishment. The two partners are only externally conjoined by sensorimotor intimacy (zone 1). Their life together as a unique couple centers on what choices they make together at the sensorimotor level. At this stage, even if they are physically together, they are not together at the cognitive and affective levels of conjoining. They are separated or "disjoined" in their thinking and in their feeling.

 

Their thinking (zone 2) is dictated by tradition and family, rather than by eternal friendship and romance (zone 8). Their feeling (zone 3) is governed by whether they are being rewarded or punished by the other one. It is normal in the traditional dominance model for a man and a woman to make love and feel close (positive sensorimotor interaction -- zone 1), then a little while later they can argue about something and express hostility (negative sensorimotor interaction -- zone 1). This proves that they are not united in feeling (zone 3) because when a couple is united in feeling it is impossible for one to express hostility to the other. Hostility separates and destroys affective intimacy, even if later, it is followed by making up and expressing love. This alternating flip-flop state of expressing love and hostility marks the typical behavior in the dominance and equity models (zones 1 through 6).


 

6.  Part B

 

The equity model (zones 4, 5, 6) is associated with the "modern" or progressive outlook that young people in many traditional cultures adopt as a new philosophy of relationship between men and women, thereby taking a step away from the traditional dominance model of their elders. In the equity model of marriage, responsibilities and duties of husband and wife are shared through negotiation and agreement between each other. This leads to the development of cognitive intimacy between a man and a woman (zone 5), since they have to negotiate by logical arguments why one partner should do X and Y and the other partner should do A and B. Cognitive unity is gradually achieved through such a process, as long as both partners are sincere rather than just manipulative.

 

While the focus in the dominance level is sensorimotor conjunction (zone 1), the focus in the equity model is cognitive conjunction (zone 5). The equity model is essentially a political power sharing agreement. It tends to create similar ideas and beliefs in the two partners, a similar reasoning process as to what is fair or safe. This cognitive intimacy makes the sensorimotor interaction (zone 4) better than what it was before. They get along better in their coordination of tasks and activities (zone 4), agree more (zone 6), can talk it out and influence each other's thinking and decisions (zone 5). Because of this their sensorimotor interactions (zone 4) are more compatible--they enlarge and diversify their physical activities and enjoyment of each other. But they still argue (zone 4). The wife still gets abused from time to time when the husband gives himself permission to explode (zone 3) or take a stance that hurts her. The husband still resists and resents (zone 6) the wife's attempt to influence him, to change his traits and habits that she finds are in the way of a still closer relationship.

 

There is one more phase the woman wants and needs--a focus on their affective conjunction (zone 9). This would create unity, for which a woman spiritually craves for, as well as instinctively, biologically, consciously, knowingly. Nothing less than the husband's focus on their affective intimacy can completely fulfill her. The wife has a mental picture of the conjoint self inscribed in her soul. To achieve the conjoint self, the husband must be willing to make their affective intimacy the focus of every interaction he has with her.

 

She desperately needs to be liberated from the constant fear that at any moment the man she loves can suddenly jump on her and hurt her feelings. This is a mental state of affective disjunction. She is slowly being killed by this state. Her love as a wife is being killed, and her love as a wife is her life.

 

She wants her husband to give in to her feminine intelligence in all their interactions.

 

The wife desires to be first in her husband's mind not because she is selfish and thinking of her comfort or ego. She is thinking of the conjoint self and she wants that true and perfect unity that lasts to eternity. She realizes in her inner wisdom or feminine intelligence that acquiring a conjoint self is more important for her husband than his way of looking at things through masculine intelligence. His way of looking at things cannot create an eternal relationship in heaven, only a temporary empire on earth.

 

When affective unity is the focus of the interactions (zone 9), the cognitive and sensorimotor interactions greatly improve at the same time (zones 7 and 8). Not only are the two partners conjoined in their sensorimotor and cognitive self, but now they at last become conjoined in their affective self--their feelings and motivations. This level of conjunction is not possible without both partners abandoning their loyalty or preference for interactions that fall in the prior two models. The focus at this third level must be the affective intimacy, and the other two are then consequences of this inmost conjunction.

 

By abandoning the traditional dominance model (zones 1, 2, 3), the husband no longer sees himself as entitled to being treated in a certain way by the woman. Afterwards, by abandoning the equity model (zones 4, 5, 6), the husband no longer sees equal power and responsibility as a good focus for their relationship. The equity focus leads to disagreements, and even the agreements may not be fully suitable to the woman. Instead the man now adopts a new philosophy or model for their relationship. Note in the chart that zones 1, 5, 9 are bolded. This is the path that represents the progressive growth of the conjoint self. First the engaged or married couple is focusing on their sensorimotor conjunction (zone 1) in the dominance model. Then they focus on cognitive conjunction (zone 5) in the equity model. Finally, they focus on affective conjunction (zone 9) in the unity model.

 

In the unity model, the husband understands rationally that gender unity in eternity is based on differentiation of traits that are reciprocal. This is not something to be negotiated about but recognized and lived. The husband begins to see that his affections or loves--what he likes and dislikes, are often incompatible with his wife's affections--what she likes and dislikes. For example, he would like to keep his male friends even after his wife shows her opposition because she doesn't like the influence they have on him, which is to cause a separation between her and her husband. He resists by denying that they are having a bad influence, or by insisting that marriage doesn't mean that everything that came prior must stop, or by accusing her of being over controlling or jealous. By means of these tactics of resistance, the man is able to keep separate from her and remain disjoined at the affective level. Their relationship remains at the equity or traditional dominance level and cannot grow inward.

 

Or take another example. She wants him to call her during the day, or when he is on his way home, or somewhere else. She feels more at ease when she knows exactly where he is when. The man has a choice: He can rebel and dishonor her need or desire (affective disjunction). He can disagree with her and argue that her demand is unreasonable and excessive. Or, he can honor her request and feel happy that he can give her peace by conforming to her expectation of his calling (affective conjunction). 

 

The husband or boyfriend can think rationally about it and figure it out. This is called spiritual enlightenment because he can have this realization only if he thinks of his wife as an eternal partner, not just "until death do us part." He can then decide to give up his affective independence without feeling that he is losing something of his masculinity. He can have the vision or realization that heaven in eternity requires affective conjunction between them.

 

Now the husband has a new rule for himself: he will keep himself from ever disagreeing with her about any of her demands, requests, pleadings, urgings, or expectations. These are all the ways the wife reveals her affections to her husband.

 

He can see rationally that by subordinating his own affections to hers, then the two of them can form a unity, which will then greatly enhance their cognitive and sensorimotor intimacy attained previously. Now they will truly be of "one mind" or "one heart" or "one flesh" or "one spirit." The husband experiences enormous resistance to this course of action, and it takes years of effort for a man to stop relapsing into the equity or dominance mode of interacting with his wife.

 

Remember that the unity model of marriage actually refers to all three models together (nine zones of interaction). No couples start directly at the third level called unity (zones 7, 8, 9). Unity or inner conjunction of the threefold self, is a developmental outcome of prior phases of relationship. A couple often interacts at different levels at different times and in different areas of their relationship. Theoretically it is possible for a couple to be active in all nine zones at different times. But this kind of instability and inconsistency does not allow true inner conjunction or unity. There may be times when the couple reaches a unity level, but it doesn't last. Only when the lower levels of interaction (dominance, equity) are mostly abandoned and no longer occur, can true unity be achieved as a lifestyle and permanent state of eternal happiness and peace.

 

A useful application of the ennead model is to use it as a map for identifying and locating the current levels of interaction between a husband and wife.


 

Threefold Degrees of Conjunction -- Tables 1b and 1c

 

Section 7

 

This is Table 1b (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

level 3
UNITY
Rational
Mentality

7
rational
sensorimotor
acts

8
rational
cognitive
processes

9
rational
affective
states

level 2
EQUITY
Sensuous
Mentality

4
sensuous
sensorimotor
acts

5
sensuous
cognitive
processes 

6
sensuous
affective
states

level 1
DOMINANCE
Corporeal
Mentality

1
corporeal
sensorimotor
acts

2
corporeal
cognitive
processes 

3
corporeal
affective
states

 

Table 1b above identifies the psychological characteristics or "mentality" that creates a preference for one of the three models. The dominance model is called level 1 because it tends to be first in the couple's development. "Corporeal" mentality refers to the style of personality that focuses almost exclusively on physical goals and satisfactions. It is a materialistic outlook, but even more so than the "sensuous" mentality of level 2. The corporeal mentality reflects the level of operation of the threefold self -- our feeling states, our thinking style, and our overt acts and sensations (zones 3, 2, 1). If you inspect the Table you will see how each zone of the ennead is defined by the marginal entries. The by three marginal entries (columns by rows) equals 9 cells or "zones" of interaction between the threefold self and the three levels of human mentality.

 

Let's apply Table 1b to an actual behavioral area in marriage: sexual behavior. In Table 1c below, let's enter a characterization of each of the nine zones of sexual interaction.

 

This is Table 1c  (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

level 3
UNITY
Rational
Mentality

7
RATIONAL
SENSORIMOTOR
ACTS
sensations and pleasures felt as consequences of their mental unity

8
RATIONAL
COGNITIVE
PROCESSES
involved with thoughts about the spiritual or eternal details of their conjunction

9
RATIONAL
AFFECTIVE
STATES
constantly motivated and striving to achieve mental closeness

level 2
EQUITY
Sensuous
Mentality

4
SENSUOUS
SENSORIMOTOR
ACTS
sensations and pleasures felt as consequences of their performance or achievement 

5
SENSUOUS
COGNITIVE
PROCESSES 
involved with thoughts about evaluation (How am I doing? Is it the best ever? Is this fair?  Different? Etc.

6
SENSUOUS

AFFECTIVE
STATES
constantly motivated and striving to compete with or gain more from the partner

level 1
DOMINANCE
Corporeal
Mentality

1
CORPOREAL
SENSORIMOTOR
ACTS  

sensations and pleasures felt as consequences of maintaining control over the partner 

2
CORPOREAL
COGNITIVE
PROCESSES 

involved with thoughts about how to keep pressuring the partner to cooperate or be non-resistant

3
CORPOREAL
AFFECTIVE
STATES
constantly motivated and striving to overcome and compel the partner to be submissive 

 

In order to understand the chart better replace the characterizations with your own examples of sexual behavior in a couple you know (real or TV). Then do two more on the topic of "money" and "lifestyle."

 


 

Threefold Degrees of Conjunction -- Table 1d

Section 8

 

This is Table 1d  (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

level 3
UNITY
Rational Mentality
-------

Relationship at the PARTICULAR
 LEVEL

zone 7
rational
sensorimotor
acts

-------
e.g., partners' movements are coordinated to each other

zone 8
rational
cognitive
processes

-------
e.g., partners discover and always strive to agree with each other's opinions and justifications 

zone 9
rational
affective
states

-------
e.g., the husband always strives to align his feelings or desires to match his wife's feelings

level 2
EQUITY
Sensuous Mentality

-------

Relationship at the PERSONAL
 LEVEL

zone 4
sensuous
sensorimotor
acts

-------
e.g., partners' movements are competitive with each other

zone 5
sensuous
cognitive
processes 

-------

e.g., partners know but often disagree with each other's opinions and justifications

zone 6
sensuous
affective
states

-------

e.g., partners take turns giving in even if they don't agree

 

level 1
DOMINANCE
Corporeal Mentality

-------

Relationship at the GENERAL
 LEVEL

zone 1
corporeal
sensorimotor
acts

-------

e.g., the wife's movements are directed by the husband using force, threat, or intimidation

zone 2
corporeal
cognitive
processes 

-------
e.g., the wife knows the husband's prerogatives and strives to submit to them under fear of retaliation

zone 3
corporeal
affective
states

-------

e.g., the partners' interactions are governed by the expectations of tradition and family

 

Table 1d above helps you to distinguish more clearly the kind of relationship that married partners are in when they model their behavior in accordance with the the three levels of mentality.

 

The corporeal mentality of the dominance model (level 1) involves the partners at a general level, thus more distant to each other than the equity or unity models. Husband and wife relate to each other at a general level. It has physical and mental intimacy, but only of the external or outward self -- how one appears to others. Inside, what one actually thinks and feels, may be the opposite. When tradition and family govern or dictate the interaction possibilities between husband and wife, their relationship remains at the general level.

 

But with the equity model (level 2) the married partners can interact at the personal level, independently of tradition and family. They get closer to each other mentally, not just physically. They get to know each other's opinions and preferences and they take turns agreeing with one another as a way of maintaining peace and avoiding warfare. Their relationship is at the personal level and can get more and more personal, but it cannot get to be all encompassing for every particular aspect of their personality and social make up. They prefer to remain at a certain distance in their intimacy in areas where they both agree to some "legitimate" independence -- e.g., how they think about certain things like politics or religion, what is the best and what the next best of something is, what friends and hobbies they are allowed to have separately from each other, etc.

 

All these negotiated agreements and mutual allowances of independence in the equity model, are banished when the husband moves up to the unity model of interaction. The rational mentality of this model prompts the partners to be intolerant of any differences between them. They strive to eliminate any love, affection, desire, or goal that is antagonistic or independent of the other partner's loves and goals. In this way they have a mutual love that expresses itself as the constant striving or motivation by each to make the other one happy through what one can do for them.

 

 In the dominance model of interaction the wife is persuaded to make the husband happy by doing things for him the way he wants and directs. This is a general level of relationship based on a corporeal or physicalistic mentality (level 1). In the equity model the two partners take turns doing for the other what is wanted or requested. This is a personal level of relationship based on sensuous appearances that each partner gives to the other about oneself. In the unity model of rational mentality the husband is enlightened spiritually to realize that perfect marriage unity depends on exchanging his independent loves and goals for joint loves and goals. He thus acquires a conjoint self that is dependent, compatible, and integrated with his wife. In this way out of two separate individuals, they become one conjoint individual. This is the highest state of life humans can reach in which they are stable, happy, wise, useful,  and productive beyond anything possible otherwise.

 

Quoting from Swedenborg's Writings:

AC 10168. Love truly conjugial is the union of two minds, which is a spiritual union; and all spiritual union descends from heaven. From this it is that love truly conjugial is from heaven, and that its first being is from the marriage of good and truth there. The marriage of good and truth in heaven is from God; wherefore in the Word God is called the "Bridegroom" and "Husband," while heaven and the church are called the "bride" and "wife;" and therefore heaven is compared to a marriage. (AC 10168)

AC 10169. From all this it is evident that love truly conjugial is the union of two persons in respect to their interiors, which belong to the thought and the will, thus to truth and good; for truth belongs to the thought, and good to the will. For one who is in love truly conjugial loves what the other thinks and what the other wills; thus he also loves to think as the other does, and he loves to will as the other does; consequently to be united to the other, and to become as one man.  (...) (AC 10169)

AC 10170. The delight of love truly conjugial is an internal delight, because it belongs to the minds, and is also an external delight from this, which belongs to the bodies. But the delight of love not truly conjugial is only an external delight without an internal one, and such a delight belongs to the bodies and not to the minds. But this delight is earthly, being almost like that of animals, and therefore in time perishes; whereas the first-mentioned delight is heavenly, as that of men should be, and therefore is permanent. (AC 10170)

AC 10173. That which is done from love truly conjugial is done from freedom on both sides, because all freedom is from love, and both have freedom when one loves that which the other thinks and that which the other wills. From this it is that the wish to command in marriages destroys genuine love, for it takes away its freedom, thus also its delight. The delight of commanding, which follows in its place, brings forth disagreements, and sets the minds at enmity, and causes evils to take root according to the nature of the domination on the one side, and the nature of the servitude on the other. (AC 10173)

 


9.  Male Dominance Model of Marriage

Section 9

9.  Part A

One of the books on the national best seller list today as I write this (April 2004), is The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the popular call in talk show host whose voice of morality in relationships has been influential. The book jacket says that she is the author of Six New York Times Bestsellers. I use her book in my course on Gender Relationships in Marriage as a rich source for studying the attributes of the dominance model in marriage.

Chapter 6 is entitled "What's Sex?" and opens with three letters by husbands who have written to "Dr. Laura."

I think women use their bodies as tools for controlling men. Once married, they go on to other tools. It seems to me we have this backwards. Girls ought to be more modest, and wives ought to be less so--around their husbands. Instead single women show thighs and breasts, and wives dress like Eskimos. I saw a lot more skin in my dating life that I do as a married man--and I was a virgin when I married!"
Bob

My wonderful wife has put it best: "Sex is to a husband what conversation is to a wife. When a wife deprives her husband of sex for days, even weeks on end, it is tantamount to his refusing to talk to her for days, even weeks." Think of it that way, wives, and realize what a deleterious impact enforced sexual abstinence has on a good man who is determined to remain faithful."
Herb

We need more sex. Once a day is fine.
Steve

Dr. Laura quotes these three letters at the head of the chapter to make the same point she makes in every chapter, as echoed in the title of the book: which appears in the header line on every page: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Let's analyze the assumptions contained in the statements these three men are making about their wives and which Dr. Laura has chosen to make her point about how wives should listen to their husbands about what they need to be properly taken care of, and in this chapter, it is about sex--what kind of sexual behavior wives owe their husbands if the marriage is going to succeed and not break up.

Assumptions of the male dominance model contained in the three letters:

(1) women use their bodies as tools for controlling men

(2) married women have less interest in sex than unmarried

(3) wives ought not to be sexually modest with their husbands

(4) unmarried women are "girls" who dress to show their thighs and breasts

(5) wives dress like Eskimos at home, hiding their thighs and breasts

(6) wives should think that when they say no to sex they are hurting a good man who wants to be faithful

(7) when wives say no to sex they are depriving their husbands and are enforcing abstinence

(8) it's mean for a wife to say no to sex--it is like a husband refusing to have a conversation with her

(9) men need more sex and wives should provide it

There are many more assumptions in the male dominance model, but these are the nine that permeate the logic of the three notes Dr. Laura is quoting. The general theme expressed here is that a the man has the right to expect his wife to have sex with him when he wants it. Dr. Laura chides married women for not taking care of their appearance to please their husbands. A few days ago I listened to one of Dr. Laura's radio broadcasts. A woman called in and shared her distress over her husband's complaints and criticisms of her because she didn't want to comply with his excessive sexual demands. He insists that she has sex with him every day, and sometimes three times a day. Furthermore, he criticizes her for not consenting each time to have her legs up in the air during intercourse. She said it was an uncomfortable position for her, but since she has had her second child, he insists that that's the only way he can enjoy himself. What should she do?


9.  Part B

Dr. Laura told her she needs to show more enthusiasm about their sex and take an active role. She should not have sex with him in a passive subdued mode because he gets bored with that and since he brings home the paycheck, goes out into the world to earn a living to support her and the children, he is a good husband and she should treat him well. Dr. Laura suggested that she make a reservation at a motel and surprise him by spending a night of sex with him. Dr. Laura often reports that women write to her to say how grateful they are when their husband's attitude has changed for the better, after they started showing them appreciation and pleasing them

The unity model of marriage focuses on the mental union between husband and wife as the primary interaction, while the physical interaction is secondary. In other words, sex is the secondary outcome of the primary mental union. The male dominance model focuses on physical sex as the primary thing and mental union as secondary. The masculine model is to have sex first, and second to get to know one another. A husband sometimes says mean things to his wife, deprecating things about her appearance, calling her names, yelling, getting angry, walking away, giving the silent treatment, refusing to do something he promised, etc. Some minutes, hours, or days later, the husband feels better and wants to make up by having sex with her. If she refuses, he is angered and expresses resentment, accusing her of selfishness or coldness. From the perspective of the unity model, this type of behavior by the husband is self-centered, cruel, and destructive of the internal bonds of the marriage.

From the male dominance model one might argue, like Dr. Laura, that a husband who is good, deserves to be treated in the way he wants to because this is his need and the wife who loves her husband, should take care of his need, whether sexual or otherwise. I call this the blackmail argument because it puts the woman into a double bind, the result of which is to destroy the internal bonds of the married partners.

I witnessed a similar attitude practiced by Dr. Phil, a popular TV host of counseling sessions with married couples. A common issue he handles is the husband's complaint that his wife's sex drive is lower than his, and sometimes nonexistent. Dr. Phil confronts the wife -- Why aren't you giving him the sex he wants? or, What have you got against sex? or, You need to realize that sex is a necessary component of a good relationship, and other such statements, by which he faults the wife for not letting her husband molest her sexually. From a woman's inner feeling, being compelled to have sex with her husband when she is aversive to it, is like prostituting herself or at least, to be a slut. She doesn't want her choice being taken away from her as to how she should feel towards her husband. She knows what she is feeling and it hurts her for others to try to convince her that she is wrong in her feelings.

What Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura and the other male dominant therapists need to do is to start with the husband, not the wife. Cherchez le husband. In other words, start objectively by going directly to the source of the wife's aversion towards having sex with him. This is objectively the husband's responsibility. If sex in marriage is to be intimate and loving, rather than exploitative and slutty, it is the husband who needs to find ways to make the wife feel like being intimate with him. This is the husband's responsibility entirely, one hundred percent. The equity model would say that this is a fifty-fifty responsibility. One of the first things Dr. Phil says is "You need to negotiate," by which he means in this case, that the wife should give up her busy schedule and make room for being intimate with her husband. Then, Dr. Phil usually turns to the husband, as an afterthought it seems to me, to tell him that he must help too. He turns to her and says, "You must learn to say No to activities. Maybe you can work less hours. Maybe you don't need to do as much as you are doing. But you must find time for sex."

This is what I call sanctioning sexual blackmail. I call it this because I have learned that this is the woman's perspective on the issue. She feels herself compelled to have sex with her husband while she is aversive to it. She hates the idea of having him do his thing in her while she is dead tired, tense, sleepy, and resentful like hell at him. There is the point that Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura do not ever focus on, as it it were a nonexistent issue for them. And perhaps it is, from the mentality of the male dominance model (see the Tables in the Field Observations below.).

Back to the main point that needs be focused on in marriage therapy or counseling: It is the husband who needs help in understanding his contribution to his wife's aversion at having sex with him.

The husband is normally totally unaware that he has created this sexual aversion in his wife. Note that few wives ever allow themselves to express their feelings and say to their husbands, "You disgust me. I hate the way you touch me. I hate how you know nothing about me, nor are you interested." If a wife were to express this feeling to her husband, he would likely turn impotent with her for all times. A woman knows from inner perception what not to tell him about her feelings  though they are real to her.

If I were giving the advice, I would try to bring out these steps:

(1) Teach the husband that things can be fixed if he accepts the idea that he is the cause of his wife's aversion to having sex with him. 

This is the case even if she says that it is because she is tired, or has too much work to get through, or there is no time or privacy, or some other justification. The  justification given by the wife may also be true, but the unspoken part is that she hates being sexually intimate with him and doesn't want to do it for sexual blackmail, which would make her feel like a slut slave and a worthless person unfit to be a mother or full fledged citizen. By saying No to him, she is protecting her dignity, freedom, and sanity. This is why it is so hard on women to have to be told by a marriage therapist that they should agree to more sex or give up on the marriage lasting. This idea is terribly threatening and disturbing, hence all the more cruel. The woman has to face all this cruelty and abuse from the male dominance model and oppose all of tradition and all of society, that are behind her husband's side and are all telling her, You must give him more sex, you must.

Once the husband accepts and understands this sexual blackmail feature of his demands, he can begin solving his situation.

(2) Teach the husband on how to obtain facts from his wife regarding all the ways he turns her off and makes her feel ant-sexual towards him.

One of the sharpest and most cruel of stabs a husband delivers to his wife is when he shows her by his behavior that he discounts her observations in comparison to his own. This is one of the most destructive habits to marriage in the male dominance model. The woman's opinion or explanation is driven away, banished from the subjective world of male intelligence. A man generally wants to discount a woman's opinion or perspective whenever it doesn't agree with the male intelligence or perspective. This attack is so pernicious to the woman's well being that she exhausts herself emotionally trying to make him listen. Inside of himself, the man laughs at her desperate attempts, confident in himself, knowing that she can't win, that he'll never give in on this point. Arrogantly he thinks that she should just give in and lay her own stubborn ideas to the side for the sake of his, and for the sake of their peace in marriage.


10. Sexual Blackmail

Section 10

Here too, we can recognize the male dominance blackmail approach. He is saying to her, "Look woman, I've got you over the barrel. You need me, so you better just go along and give yourself a chance to be happy, or comfortable, or rich, or whatever." Again, this is blackmail for to go along with it, the woman has to give up her human rights -- her dignity, her freedom, and her sanity.

So the husband must be taught how to listen to his wife. For more on this, see the Readings under the "Doctrine of the Wife."

From the perspective of external bonds between the married partners, this blackmail double bind situation for the wife cannot be seen or understood. For instance, in the book and on her daily radio program, Dr. Laura often repeats to women callers that they should appreciate it and feel lucky when they have a good man for a husband. What is a good man? Dr. Laura specified that it is a man who is responsible enough to have a decent job, to support his family, and to want to spend time with his wife--going to Church, having sex, going for trips, talking to his wife, even helping out, although this last behavior is not a requirement for being a good husband. So when a husband comes home he expects and deserves his wife to cater to him, to his needs, to express appreciation for his courage in going out there into the world to earn a living for his family instead of running off with another woman.

When I read this in her book or hear it on her radio program, my mind screams in protest: What about the wife? Why doesn't  Dr. Laura mention the wife's hard work staying home taking care of everything--house, children, bills, pets, errands, after school lessons for the children, remembering birthdays for everyone, taking care of emergencies, going through pregnancy, taking all the nastiness and grossness her husband dishes out daily, etc. Why is Dr. Laura ignoring this?

I know if she read this she would protest that of course she does acknowledge the work of women--after all she has been a mother and a wife for many years, and she has been talking to women for many years.

But this doesn't take care of the problem I'm raising. In order to see the problem Dr. Laura will have to look at the male dominance model from the perspective of the equity model, something she may be familiar with, but doesn't think much of, not enough to make it part of her advice or talk. And yet she would have to give it the positive bias, which means to acknowledge the idea that the equity model may actually be superior to the male dominance model. With this acknowledgement, the argument can be examined and evaluated.

The equity model requires that every concept applied to the husband must simultaneously be applied to the wife--not later or in the next part of the discussion or in some past discussion. For instance, if Dr. Laura advises the wife that she be appreciative, she must at the same time advise the husband to be appreciative. This she does not do, ever. In her mind and in her understanding these two things are separate.. And this is the way one thinks from the male dominance perspective.

Dr. Laura is against being unfair to women in marriage, but she draws the line of fairness on the male side, not in the middle. Why do so many men and women think this way about marriage? Because it is traditional and part of one's culture and upbringing. Most people start the marriage relationship with a male dominance perspective.

Now what happens if we switch over to the equity model perspective? What would Dr. Laura have to say to give advice from the perspective of the equity model? If she is talking to a man who is complaining that his wife doesn't greet him at the door with a warm smile and all pretty and nice smelling, Dr. Laura usually first finds out if he is a good husband. By this she means whether he brings home the family paycheck and has no extra-marital affairs. Then she agrees with him that his wife needs to learn how to show her appreciation for his being a good husband, something he deserves to receive from her if she respects him. That's it. She doesn't ask the man if and how he shows his appreciation of her being a good wife. That's because Dr. Laura doesn't define a good wife in the same way as she defines a good husband. A woman does not receive the epithet of "good wife" for all she does by taking care of the kids, the house, the bank, the car, and the driving to the ballet and soccer classes. This is something the wife  should be doing anyway -- according to the traditional dominance mentality as expressed by Dr. Laura. In order to be called a "good wife" she also needs to show her appreciation for her husband being good--doll herself up before he gets home, keep the children quiet, have dinner ready, and later, give him sex in the way he wants it.

Why the double standards? This appears to be a necessary part of the male dominance model. I have observed this with other "media therapists" that I get to see on TV. Almost all of them are men and they operate from a perspective of male dominance. One of the most popular shows in this genre is "Dr. Phil" McGraw, and I've watched him many times deal with problems couples bring up. He talks to him, then to her. He lets him off easy, hardly ever challenging any of his statements, and smiling and being friendly with him. Then he focuses in on the wife. Now he is not smiling, but acting confrontational and intimidating. He grills her and constantly argues to get her to accept the blame for the marriage problems. Dr. Phil acts like he wants the wife to feel that she is the one who is at fault, she is the one who has to change and give up this or that expectation she has of her husband.

Another popular author and national seminar leader on marriage counseling is Dr. John Gray, known for his best seller book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (Harper Collins, 1992) and several other such books widely used in his "relationship seminars." I saw him several years ago appearing on the highly popular "Oprah" Winfrey television show. He was telling the audience that a wives should give their husbands sex every day, or as often the men want it. Oprah looked nonplussed: "You mean they should have sex even if they don't want to?" John Gray nodding vigorously said, "Yes. You know, men get all jammed inside if they don't have it." and he was pointing to his abdomen with rapid circular movements of his hand, no doubt to indicate the "jamming up" part. Although Oprah normally has popular therapists on her show for several shows, she never had John Gray again after that episode.

It's astonishing to me that John Gray, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Laura can apparently have so many women among their supporters and regular audience. I explain this by the overwhelming pressure these women must feel from their husbands, boy friends, media experts, and social norms, all of which operate to support the male dominance model of interaction between men and women. Mothers raise their daughters to cater to their father and brothers, and when they begin to date there is enormous pressure on them to "please" the boy they are going with, which means to engage in sexual behavior with him. During this interaction, the woman will have to constantly fight off the advancing pressure. The man, ardent on satisfying himself, steps over the line the woman has set down. the pressure becomes physical intimidation, threat, force, date rape, or, as we are discussing here, sexual blackmail. According to this cruel social rule, the wife must give her husband sex at a rate that can be mutually negotiated, but she has no legitimate right to rely on her own feelings whether to have sex or when.

 The male dominance model has from time immemorial promoted the sexual slavery of women. For example, in the Old Testament days and culture men could have several wives, and they were allowed to overtly discriminate among them and their children. Men were allowed to divorce their wives merely by openly declaring their wish. They could then banish them from the household and all other help or protection. The men could do this, and still receive the respect of the community. This mentality is still governing the lives of the majority of women on this planet.

To be objective and accurate we must make a distinction between two types of abuse of women stemming from the male dominance model: physical and mental. Where there is physical abuse, there is also mental abuse. But there may be mental abuse without physical abuse. This is by far the most common form of abuse among men in our society. Men with a domestic violence history are not respected in our society. they are disapproved of and sometimes sent to jail. On the other hand, the majority of well respected and up standing citizens of most communities in this country will tolerate and practice mental abuse against women.


11.  Mental Abuse

Section 11

Mental abuse of wives by husbands includes these very common forms of cruel and denigrating behaviors:

  1. verbally expressing denigration and name calling

  2. talking with a threatening voice or implication

  3. maintaining silence and refusing to talk

  4. walking out in anger

  5. pressuring her for physical intimacy without adequately preparing her for mental receptivity

  6. making her feel neglected and not appreciated

  7. showing disapproval or making her feel guilty about herself

  8. deliberately trying to confuse her so he can get his way with her

  9. breaking promises

  10. interrupting to prevent her from talking

  11. using her sexually than discarding her

  12. keeping her from expressing her true self

  13. keeping her from reaching her cherished goals

  14. showing disinterest in her

  15. exploiting her by making her work hard to do things for him

  16. damaging her reputation by gossiping about her

  17. and etc. (how many more can you add?)

Note especially item (5): pressuring her for physical intimacy without adequately preparing her for mental receptivity. This is the type of mental abuse we've been discussing above regarding the advice offered by Dr. Laura, Dr. Phil, and John Gray, among others. Why is the wife not reciprocating her husband's sexual advances? The male dominance model puts the blame on the wife. The equity model puts the blame on both the husband and the wife. The unity model puts the blame on the husband for not adequately preparing the wife to be mentally receptive to him.

From the perspective of the unity model it is the husband who stands in the way of mental intimacy with the wife. The wife desires mental intimacy with her husband but the husband finds that kind of intimacy aversive. He desires the sexual relief, which is self-centered, not couple centered, or wife-centered.

The unity model has a wife-centric focus. It assumes that the wife wants mental conjunction and intimacy, while the husband is fighting it, trying to retain his mental independence. For a woman, sexual intimacy is a spontaneous and delightful consequence of mental intimacy with the man she loves and to whom she wants to conjoin herself. So if the wife refuses sexual intimacy with her husband, it's because he doesn't want to be mentally intimate with her. This is the cause of her apparent coldness to his hot advances. He is self-centered, or genital-centered. He wants sexual relief. Like Dr. John Gray said, "a man gets all jammed up in there if he doesn't get enough sex from his wife." That's what the man is looking for, to get 'unjammed'. An approach to counseling that is guided by the male dominance model, cooperates with the husband's perspective and advocates a methodology that I have called sexual blackmail.

The male dominance model therapists advocate that the wife should have sex with her husband even when he is unwilling to be mentally intimate with her.

The unity model sees this as sexual blackmail because it is not healthy for a woman to have sex with a man who is unwilling to be mentally intimate with her.

By unhealthy, I mean that her self-respect and human dignity is injured, in the same way that slaves were hurt psychologically by being denied their human rights. Also, like women who are forced into prostitution by a boyfriend to whom they must hand over the money, and who beats them if they refuse him.

Making a wife have sex with her husband even though she doesn't want to, is cruel to the wife and harmful to the marriage relationship. The male dominance model therapists and husbands want to separate the issue of "mental intimacy" and "sexual intimacy." This is a purely masculine perspective. The feminine perspective is that first comes mental intimacy, then physical intimacy. Sex should be the outcome or consequence of mental intimacy. In prostitution or casual sex, there is no requirement for mental intimacy to be present, and in fact, all parties prefer that mental intimacy be left out of the sexual transactions. When men get married they bring into the marriage this male dominant perspective. Therapists like John Gray, among many others, support the husband's perspective, despite the fact that it is harmful to the wife and to the marriage. Ultimately it is harmful to the husband since this perspective inhibits real intimacy and the rich life of conjunction. He doesn't get to find out how warm and passionate and sweet his wife actually is when he develops mental intimacy with her.


12.  Developing Mental Intimacy With One's Wife

Section 12

There are two steps for the husband to make in order to develop mental intimacy with his wife.

First, he must stop adding to her mental distress.
Second, he must start easing her mental distress.

These are simple strategies, easy to understand and carry out by husbands. They are not done because husbands resist and refuse, soon after they find out all that is included in these two rules. A husband who follows these two rules, loves his wife from mental intimacy. But a husband who refuses to practice these rules daily, does not love his wife from mental intimacy, but only outwardly, physically, and socially. In order to become soul mates in eternal marriage, a husband must follow these two rules of mental intimacy.

Here is a list of common behaviors by a husband which keeps him from becoming mentally intimate with his wife.

Examples of the husband's anti-intimacy practices:

  1. blames his wife for something

  2. expresses anger at his wife for something

  3. insults his wife

  4. says things unflattering about her

  5. embarrasses her in front of others

  6. refuses to talk about something she wants

  7. says No to her despite her pleadings

  8. ignores her when she walks into the room

  9. fails to stop her anxieties when he can so by calling

  10. forgets things that she wants him to remember

  11. doesn't try to find out how she wants to be handled physically

  12. lets her feel that he doesn't feel as responsible for housework and other marriage tasks, as he expects her to be

  13. doesn't try to get rid of habits he has that she doesn't like

  14. doesn't come to her rescue when he sees she is in distress (e.g., has too many things to do)

  15. tries to get her to do things for him even when she rather not do them

  16. gets insulted at her for saying something to him he doesn't like

  17. tells her she is a nag for repeatedly reminding him of his broken promises

  18. maintains relationships with men friends from which she feels excluded

  19. lies to her and hides things from her

  20. puts limits around certain issues where she is given no power of influence

  21. makes sarcastic remarks that hurt her self-image

  22. sees her being disturbed about something and does nothing about it

  23. makes her accept his choice in something when she would prefer something else (e.g., ordering food, renting a movie, selecting a TV channel, going somewhere, buying something, etc.)

If I were a marriage counselor I would tell husbands that they need to monitor their interactions with the wife and note how many of these behaviors they commit in a day. They cannot do this on their own so they need to enlist the cooperation of their wife. She will help him identify the exchanges that make her feel separate from him instead of intimate. Husbands who do this sincerely and persistently will discover how passionate and sweet their wife can be. Never again will they complain that they are all jammed up sexually and prepared to get it by blackmail, intimidation, or guilt.

This morning on my way back from campus I listened to Dr. Laura on her daily radio program. A woman called in and asked for advice on what to do about her husband who has accused her of not caring about him because she is teaching Sunday School while he attends Church with the family. Her child is in the Sunday School class and that's one of the reasons she didn't feel like dropping the activity. Dr. Laura immediately accused her of not being a good wife because she is choosing some task she wants to do over her husband. Dr. Laura admonished the woman that she should appreciate the fact that her husband is willing to go to Church instead of going off to his golf on his own. The woman said she did appreciate that but sometimes he comes along and sometimes he doesn't want to, so she doesn't like the idea of dropping her Sunday School teacher activity, with her daughter in the class. Dr. Laura insisted the wife is being selfish and foolish. Do you want to break up your marriage? The days he doesn't want to go to Church, that's fine, just stay home with him.

Looking at this from the perspective of the equity and unity models one can see clearly that it is the husband who is being selfish and foolish in this situation. He doesn't respect her religion  if he feels he can stay home any time he doesn't feel like going, and then expects her to stay home too. Furthermore, he doesn't respect his wife since he is willing to put an end to her Sunday School teaching when she is so involved in it, and when it is a good thing to do, as indeed it is. He is being selfish for disregarding his wife's request that she continue to teach Sunday School on account of their child being there. Dr. Laura could have advised that the husband should join her in teaching Sunday School. He can sit in and help her manage the kids. He doesn't need to know the subject matter she is teaching. This would show his respect for his wife and family. But Dr. Laura would not be able to support such a solution as long as she is speaking exclusively from the male dominance model.

This is a common way in which husbands are unwilling to be mentally intimate with their wives. In this case, the husband was unwilling to show respect for her Sunday School involvement. This is a mental abuse. Dr. Laura could not see that it is mental abuse. Instead, she saw it as a reasonable demand on the part of the husband, and she put the blame on the wife for not going along with his demand. Now suppose the husband tries to have sex with his wife that week. He is demanding that she be physically intimate with him even though he is refusing to be mentally intimate with her. She is not only not turned on by his touchings, but she is turned off, and makes her feel dirty to have to give in to him for fear of his retaliations. If they should call Dr. Laura, or go consult Dr. Phil on his show, the wife would be told that she is being selfish or stupid for not having sex with such a good husband who brings home the paycheck and is interested in her instead of going to another woman. This is the mentality and level of moral reasoning of the male dominance model.

Recall this very important fact: We all start out with the male dominance model!

This is what we inherit culturally, spiritually, and socially, both men and women. Then, as women have more life experience and understanding, they quickly figure it out and try to do the best with the man they end up with. The men are resistant. They want to hold on to the male dominance model of interaction with women. They love it. And so they accuse the women of nagging them, of not accepting them for who they are, and they pressure the women to back off into silence and obedience. In other words, the men refuse to be mentally intimate even though they demand that the women be physically intimate with them. This puts the women into a hurtful double bind. It is a cruel thing to do to them, but the men do not care about this type of cruelty. They just want the women to keep quiet about it because it is too inconvenient for them to deal with.

But fortunately, many men come to discover that they like mental intimacy with women. They then have to voluntarily lay aside the culturally inherited tendency to hate and denigrate women. This is a giant battle within themselves, but eventually they can move on to the equity model. Their wives or girlfriends now experience some relationship relief. At last she has some chance now since he is allowing them to negotiate over many things. She now has some victories that make her life more comfortable, and draws them closer in mental intimacy. This feels to her like a big relief. but there continue to be problems because the man keeps falling back on blackmail methods of negotiating, which is a male dominance pattern within the equity model.

Eventually the wife will remain unfulfilled unless the husband is willing to begin acting from the unity model. This is the interactional position the wife wants with her husband and lover. She needs for him to follow the Rule of the Doctrine of the Wife , which is that, he always has to align his thoughts and feelings to agree with hers. Once he is steadily committed to this unity model of behavior, the wife begins to feel that she is winning, that her desire for conjunction is actually happening. Now at last she has a husband who wants to be mentally intimate with her. The sexual happiness of the couple then reaches a new high unknown to them before.

They are now soul-mates, on their way to conjugial love in eternal union in the immortality of their heaven.


13.  The Spiritual Dimension to the Unity Model

Section 13

Psychology exists in two versions. One is called the negative bias, while the other is called the positive bias. The negative bias leads to materialism and atheistic psychology. The positive bias leads to theistic psychology (see Lecture Notes for G21, Psych 459:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic). The unity model is within theistic psychology and is based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Since theistic psychology is a dualist perspective, it addresses the connection between this life and the afterlife. In fact it elevates the importance of knowing this connection to a matter more important than life or death. In the positive bias, we remain scientific and empirically oriented, but we rely on facts gathered by Swedenborg in his eyewitness exploration of the "the spiritual world" of the afterlife. To me, one of the most amazing and happy of the discoveries Swedenborg made is that we live life in heaven in a conjugial state. He interviewed many "celestial" couples who had lived on earth thousands of years ago. And they were forever together with their childhood sweethearts, living in the fullness of their youth, in company of other conjugial couples, each enjoying their private houses which are magnificent, according to Swedenborg precise descriptions of them.  This is conjugial unity in heaven to eternity. Endless happiness and joy increasing daily.

Swedenborg himself was attracted to this type of life and he wondered why everybody else isn't here in the state of heaven in their mind? Given his special Divinely appointed mission, Swedenborg was given the ability to visit the heavens and the hells that every human being contains in their mind. In other words, heaven and hell are not only have an individual mental reality but a communal one called the spiritual world of the afterlife. In other words, when we pass on we awaken in the spiritual world and continue our immortal life there. This life of immortality is either in the heaven of our mind or in the hells of our mind. What determines our ultimate destination in immortality depends on the traits we have accumulated while living in this life. If we are willing to let go of our hellish type traits, which are ego-biased and not based on rationality, we can experience what kind of heaven we can live in with the heavenly traits we acquired, which are based on being useful to society and considerate of others.

In other words, if you can be eternally happy with heavenly traits, you're in. But if you cannot be eternally happy just with the heavenly traits, you're out. And that means sinking into the depths and quagmires of our hell. Of course there are gradations of hell, depending on how much people are willing to give in to their savage desires and insane thoughts. Swedenborg observed that the people on the hells of their mind also appear to themselves as living together as couples in dingy, dark, and stenchy habitations. But these couples are not love with each other but in hatred. Swedenborg has disturbing descriptions of how much they hate each other and try to injure one another constantly. But the couples in heaven are kept together by mental unity, which is the maximum possible intimacy a married couple can experience.

 After reading and appreciating Swedenborg's reports, which amount to about 30 volumes in English translation, I looked for ways to apply this new knowledge to my life, and my marriage was the most obvious place for me to focus on. At that point I was already in my early forties and had been basking complacently in the equity model of marriage most of the time, and the male dominance model some of the time. I was content because I could opt out any time I wanted from the equity expectations simply by slipping back into the male dominance model. Then, after having my way, I could slip back into the equity model and take credit for being a reasonable, kind, civilized, and modern husband. This was a fraudulent equity model and my poor wife was suffering, having to live her life in the loneliness of her mental intimacy where I would not venture myself. Nor would I allow her into the mental intimacy of my mind, which she experienced as slippery and without real inner principles. She recognized that I was a slave to my inherited traits and that it was taking me down the path of hell. No heavenly life could exist amidst such feelings of male superiority that I had internalized.

When I came upon the Writings of Swedenborg I quickly realized that they were genuine and scientific. For the first time in human history husbands have available direct evidence of what it will be like for them if they retain the dominance-equity model vs. acquiring a new way of interacting with the wife called the unity model. I appreciated being given that opportunity. And when I saw what it's really going to be like, I backed off with horror from the dominance-equity model and formulated for myself a new approach which I called the unity model.

From the moment of committing myself to the unity model I had a new motive to help me change in all the areas of my relationship with my wife. I had a simple method, but totally effective. Whatever I felt like doing, saying, or thinking about any issue between us, I asked myself: Is this from heaven or from hell? The effectiveness of this method is that there are no in betweens. Equity arguments don't work. Dominance arguments work even less. I had no choice but to pick one or the other. No shades of in between, no conditional exceptions or justifications. It's a categorical and unconditional decision. And incalculable benefits or harm will result in the how I choose as a pattern. I can make mistakes along the way. But it is the cumulative pattern that indicates which direction I'm going in.

Swedenborg's reports allow me to fill in the precise consequences of choosing to go my heavenly way or my hellish way when I interact with my wife. I am motivated to live in a heavenly life in which I am eternally conjoined to my wife so that we no longer are two but one. Once I officially and publicly committed myself to this goal, my wife was able to help me in a decisive way. Before this, I neutralized her methods and resisted them. I remained who I was. I did not let her change me. I did not join her in her mental intimacy. I kept he rout of my mental intimacy. We were two people separated by two different minds. But then, we started becoming one-minded when I censored most of my spontaneous feelings, thoughts, and reactions, and labeled them as coming  from hell. There was a little space left as a result. In that little space I was able to insert a heavenly reaction, thought, or feeling. Suddenly my wife felt like I broke into her long suffering loneliness and neglect. I saved her, as I should have done, right from the beginning we met. Better late than never. And now I'm sharing the unity model with others.

The section on Field Observations below will give you analytic tools that are effective in monitoring your interactions and the interactions of couples you know. Until we learn how to monitor our interactions objectively, we only have an inaccurate and  biased view of ourselves. Try to memorize the tables or charts. Once they are in your conscious awareness, you will be able to use them to identify the interactions you are observing. The more you use the charts for your observations, the more your rational understanding will be enriched.


 

14.  Making Field Observations

 

Section 14

 

You can practice observing couples, yourself in a couple or other couples, to try to identify the level of their conjunction and interaction.

  • Observe their mode of talking. Does the man contradict what the woman says, or does he make her lose face by some other way like embarrassing her in front of others?

  • Is there conflict between them? Does he get mad and yell or pout? Does he walk away to cool off and stays away out of anger and inability to come together at the cognitive or affective level?

  • Does he insist on his own prerogatives as a man? Does he leave her to do his own thing with his friends, leaving her behind?

  • Does he insist or put pressure on her to do this or that she doesn't want to?

 

On occasions when you'll observe a couple in the unity phase, you will note that the interaction is very different. There is never any anger, hostility, disagreement, or bickering between them. They are united from the affective level outward to the cognitive and the sensorimotor. You're observing their sensorimotor interaction -- physical actions and talk -- but from these one can infer to some extent the quality of their cognitive and affective levels of interaction.

 

Note that the traditional dominance and equity models have to do with gender politics in power sharing. In contrast, the unity model is organic and has to do with reciprocity and mutuality. For instance, the human body is organically a whole, a unit functioning as one person. This organic unity is not achieved by the power differentiation between the parts, arguing among each other which organs or body parts are more powerful or important. Rather, what makes synergistic unity is the reciprocal and mutual dependence of differentiated parts, each part functioning at its unique best, and contributing to the whole.

 

What are relationship areas where the woman should lead in the unity model? These include all the areas in which a man is motivated by feelings he does not clearly recognize. His thinking and his acting are yet determined by these hidden motivations and feelings. The woman can perceive which of the man's feelings are competitive with her or even hostile to her. She can feel it through her reactions to his actions. In the traditional dominance and equity models the man reserves the right to say No! to the woman's perceptions and intuitions, even if she pleads with him to listen to her. But in the unity model he officially recognizes that she has perceptions of their relationship details that promote their unity, while he does not. Recognizing this, he voluntarily submits to her pleadings, urgings, demands, requests, suggestions, and expectations. And in this way he becomes the man she can be united with forever. But if he reserves the right to pick and choose when he will listen to her and when not, then they cannot achieve full unity of the threefold self.

 

In the marriage relationship the husband at first feels independent of his wife in terms of his cognitive and affective self. He loves the woman, spends time with her, and they do activities together, like going out, eating, running a house, etc. This joint activity unites them in the external sensorimotor self. But he maintains separate thoughts and attitudes and resists her attempts to modify them. They are not united internally at the cognitive level, and even less in the inmost or affective level. But as the relationship grows deeper, the husband allows his thinking to be influenced by his wife so that they may achieve unity at the cognitive level. He tries not to disagree with her and to go along with her requests or demands. Later he can grow enough to be able to give up his independence at the affective level so that he elevates her motivations and perceptions above his own. He allows her feelings to rule his thoughts and actions. Normally a man resists moving in this direction, but unless he does, he remains independent of her in his feelings. Since feelings ultimately determine thinking and doing, the unity of the couple cannot be achieved in the internal plane unless the affective self is unified.

 

When this occurs, the two partners of the couple have become one. You can see that a unit (or "oneness") formed by a couple is a higher form of human life than an individual by himself or herself. The unit of a single individual is based on selfism, even if the individual is compassionate and charitable, since the individual's self is the unit. But the unit made by a couple is higher in human functioning because it is based on the other, not the self. Mutual love and community elevate the individual into a higher form of life marked by happiness through altruism rather happiness through selfism. In the same way couples can vary in terms of how perfectly the two partners are united--external (sensorimotor), internal (cognitive), and inmost (affective). The most perfect unit is formed when the two partners are united at all three levels. This is then a permanent unit that lasts into the eternal future or "heaven."

 

It may seem that the model of unity gives unequal status to the man and the woman, and that the man seems to be blamed for everything that doesn't function just right in the couple. Actually, there is no blame involved in this model, but it is correct to say that the three models assign different role behaviors to the couple. The dominance model assigns a dominant role to the man and a submissive role to the woman in all the areas defined by culture. The equity model assigns equal power and responsibility in the relationship, so that the couple has to negotiate power sharing arrangements and decision making areas. The unity model assigns a lead role to the woman, but this primacy is not the same thing as the dominance of a man in the traditional model. The lead role of the woman in the unity model operates by the man's own voluntary submission to the wife's affections and motivations, being committed to follow them instead of his own. At any moment he is free to decide to withdraw his consent to her lead role, and then she no longer has an influence on him. He still does what he wants. This is not dominance.

 

The wife has no power to retain the lead role when the husband doesn't feel like giving assent to her. In the traditional dominance model this not the case, since the woman cannot withdraw her assent, but is forced by tradition, society, and husband to go along with the male dominant arrangement. This is why the unity model works. It is based on the man's rational understanding that she can see things that he cannot see, and therefore it is a matter of trust and compliance to her vision and motivation, over his own. If he cannot see this by rational understanding, he will maintain the relationship at the traditional dominance or equity level. To be able to see this rationally is called spiritual enlightenment (see 459 Lecture Notes for more on this topic: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic  

 

In order to achieve internal unity with his wife, a husband has to acknowledge all the ways he keeps himself affectively separate from his wife, or all the ways he resists complete internal unity with her. To help in this self-witnessing task, I made a long list of "confessions" of those behaviors I observed myself doing in the relationship with my wife during the first twenty years. The list of over 100 items can be inspected here:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/doctrine-of-the-wife2.htm#confessions

What is the difference in the way men and women react to this list? If the two discuss it together, do they agree or not? Which items do they disagree on and why?

The entire chapter is part of the required readings (see below). It explores the unity model of "conjugial love." This expression is used by Swedenborg to refer to the marriages he witnessed in heaven. Selected stories about married couples which he witnessed in heaven are also part of the required readings.

 

As you go through the 100 items of my self-witnessing "confessions," try to see which area of the threefold self they involve (affective, cognitive, or sensorimotor) and what your experience has been with yourself (if you are male) or with the men you have known (if you are female). In other words, to what extent would you (if you're a man) admit to these behaviors? Or, if you're a woman, to what extent would the men you know admit to them? In what way are these behaviors contrary to the principle of unity by reciprocity and differentiation?

 

You can use the ennead chart to keep track of the relationship steps between a husband and wife, or between a man and a woman who are in an exclusive and long term relationship. Here is the chart again -- have you memorized it yet?

 

This is Table 2 (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

7

8

9

EQUITY

4

5

6

DOMINANCE

1

2

3

 

Now let's fill in the cells with more information based on the marginals of the ennead matrix.

 

This is Table 3 (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

zone 7
sensorimotor
unity (SU)

zone 8

cognitive
unity (CU)

zone 9
affective
unity (AU)

EQUITY

zone 4
sensorimotor
equity (SE)

zone 5
cognitive
equity (CE)

zone 6
affective
equity (AE)

DOMINANCE

zone 1
sensorimotor
dominance (SD)

zone 2
cognitive

dominance (CD)

zone 3
affective
dominance (AD)

 

 

Note the progression -- path 1,4,7. What is the difference between sensorimotor behavior as it rises from dominance to equity to unity? Similarly for the cognitive behavior of the partners -- path 2,5, 8. How does the thinking of the couple change as they progress from cognitive dominance to cognitive equity to cognitive unity? In the same way, how does affective dominance differ from affective equity then affective unity -- path 3,6,9?

 

You need to observe the threefold self of partners to know specifically what kind of interaction occurs in each of the nine zones. Observing yourself, or self-witnessing, is a powerful way of learning to understand the psychological dynamics that is operational in each zone. Understanding this allows you to accurately assess the depth of your relationship as a couple. This leads to greater satisfaction as well as influence over the course of your relationship. It also helps you understand the behavior of other couples like parents and friends. It can also guide you in raising children, helping prepare their threefold self with habits that insure receptivity to unity marriage.


 

15.  Dynamic Elements of the Ennead Chart -- Table 4

 

Section 15

 

It helps to know some dynamic elements of the nine zones. Here is the chart with some further paths illustrated.

 

This is Table 4 (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

7b
zone 7
SU
7a ------>

<------8b
zone 8

CU
8a------>

<------ 9b
zone
9
AU
9a

EQUITY

4b
zone 4
SE
4a------>

<------ 5b
zone
5
CE
5a
------>

<------ 6b
zone 6
AE
6a

DOMINANCE

1b
zone
1
SD
1a
------>

<------ 2b
zone 2
CD
2a ------>

<------ 3b
zone 3
AD
3a

 

Consider the dominance phase -- zones 1, 2, 3. The two married partners begin their life of conjunction at the bottom of zone 1 marked 1a. Sensorimotor dominance (SD) is shown by the fact that they act physically with each other according to culture and tradition. This normally means that the husband sets the pace for their physical interactions and the wife submits or complies. While this is going on, the partners also go through the phase of cognitive dominance (CD) marked as 2a. This shows by the way the husband's ideas and decisions take precedence over the wife's. While this is going on, the partners also undergo the phase of affective dominance (AD) marked as 3a. This shows by the way the husband's will is imposed on the wife's. She is expected to take care of his feelings and well being while she has to put her own feelings in the background.

 

The pattern 1a ------> 2a ------>  3a  is  followed by the reverse pattern  3b ------> 2b ------>  1b.  The first pattern is not as clear as the second pattern. For instance the cognitive dominance in zone 2a is not yet fully connected to the affective dominance in 3a. It is just building up. The pattern 3b ------> 2b ------>  1b is fully mature and established because the sensorimotor dominance is justified by the cognitive dominance, and this is fully supported by the affective dominance. The man at this point will not budge on any of the issues he defines as his prerogative as a man. At this point the relationship is vastated or consummated at the dominance phase. No further growth is possible unless the husband decides to move into the equity model. He now has to define his interactions with his wife in terms of zone 4a -- sensorimotor equity in the initial phase.

 

Husbands may make this move for several possible reasons. They are exposed to more modern and less traditional ideas. They agree to go along with some of their wife's demands or requests. They become more spiritual and realize that the wife has human rights they should respect and cater to. They feel moved by inner love for their wife and a desire to please her in many new ways. So he begins the journey to deeper intimacy and conjunction by following path  4a ------> 5a ------>  6a. They now get into the habit routines where they negotiate outcomes. A husband may still be trying to dominate the wife in these negotiations, but he now has the new habit of allowing her to argue with him until they can come to a consensus. For this, he must give up his affective and cognitive dominance. Stability at the equity level is not established until they routinely follow pattern  6b------> 5b ------>  4b. Now the husband is grounded in affective equity so that he no longer allows himself to impose his will over his wife, but must rely on cognitive equity in their discussions. He now must respect her views and opinions as much as his own. At least, he must act that way. Eventually he will be able to feel this honestly, and then the marriage reaches a new plateau of happiness and intimacy.

 

But for the wife, this is not the end. She desires and inwardly needs to have affective unity with her husband. She doesn't want to have to negotiate all the time (like a man wants to), and she longs for her husband to know how she feels and how she wants to be treated in their interactions. She wants him to take the initiative in going along with her perceptions and instincts. She longs for the day when she will not have to defend her rights to him, and she wants him to want to grant all her unspoken requests and desires in everyday things, regarding his appearance, his clothes, his manners, his thoughtfulness, his tastes, how he talks to her, how he touches her, how he thinks of her. This is what she wants now. Their marriage has reached another new state of vastation and consummation. They are no longer growing but merely marking time in this pattern of equity interactions.

 

If the husband becomes enlightened spiritually and rationally, he will want to make the move to zone 7, following the initial pattern  7a ------> 8a ------>  9a. Now for the first time in his life the husband begins to think of the relationship as going on into the afterlife to eternity. This idea motivates him to become more to his wife than a cooperative and thoughtful partner. He is now for the first time beginning to be receptive to his wife's inmost feelings and wants. He sees rationally that eternity together must mean total union, total unity, total conjunction. During these formative stages the husband experiences many lapses and he continually wants to negotiate with his wife about this or that. But if the wife continues to insist and demand affective unity, he can eventually establish himself on the pattern 9b ------> 8b ------>  7b, which when it becomes mature, is the celestial marriage, the highest consciousness and happiness that human beings are capable of. This is why it's called "heaven."

 


16.  Areas of Observations for Equity --- Table 5

Section 16

Here are some possible areas of observation for the threefold self of husband and wife.

This is Table 5

Areas of Observation for
Sensorimotor Dominance vs. Sensorimotor Equity vs. Sensorimotor Unity
Zones 1, 4 ,7

  1. Who gets to hold and control the TV remote

  2. Whose choice prevails for what home movies to watch

  3. Who chooses what restaurant to go to

  4. What interaction dynamics goes on in each other's appearance--clothes, body shape, hair, etc.

  5. How much influence is each partner willing to take from the other regarding how to behave with friends or family, or others

  6. How do they talk to each other and what does the talk reveal about their cognitive and affective self

  7. What are the conditions under which they are physically intimate and how do they act and react

  8. How do they coordinate their movements while walking, doing tasks at home, sitting beside each other

  9. What kind of facial expressions do they have when alone together

  10. What are their preferences in tastes, colors, odors, sounds, lighting

  11. Who changes topics in a conversation or introduces new topics

  12. Who is attentive to the other

  13. Who doesn't answer, looks away, avoids, ignores, walks out

  14. Who yells, expresses angry and hurtful words, hits, acts threatening, throws things

  15. Who marks dates, events, anniversaries, celebrations, birthday cards, flowers

  16. etc.

Areas of Observation for
Cognitive Dominance vs. Cognitive Equity vs. Cognitive Unity
Zones 2, 5, 8

  1. What do the two partners think of each other in terms of who controls whom, when, and how

  2. How do they use "equity philosophy" in their relationship (i.e., how they decide about sharing work, duties, money, responsibilities)

  3. What is their attitude about one partner trying to influence the other (e.g., when  trying to change the other's habits, beliefs, loyalties, personality traits)

  4. What does each partner think of the other's opinions and views (e.g., dislikes them, ignores them, isn't interested in them, argues against them, etc. -- or the opposite of these -- likes them, pays attention to them, is interested in them, goes along with them, etc.)

  5. What do the two partners seriously disagree about or argue about without resolution of the problem

  6. How much agreement or disagreement exists between the partners regarding God and their being together in the afterlife

  7. How much do the two partners let themselves be intellectually influenced by each other's ideas

  8. How clear are they to each other when discussing things (e.g., hiding things, keeping secrets, being touchy or oversensitive to some topics, talking guardedly or with reserve, -- or the opposite)

  9. How much does each believe in marriage myths like "Passion decreases with time" or "Absence makes the heart fonder" or "Wives tend to nag" or "Husands need thier own hobbies" etc.

  10. etc.

Areas of Observation for
Affective Dominance vs. Affective Equity vs. Affective Unity
Zones 3, 6, 9

  1. How motivated is each partner to remember relationship things (dates one of them considers important, celebrations, joint memories, intimate events, preferences of the other for various things like food or activities)

  2. How motivated is each to the idea of putting the partner ahead of everything else--children, friends, family, career, attachments.

  3. How committed is each partner to the idea of total unity (e.g., feeling free to raise and  talk about any topic, feeling motivated to eliminate all disagreements between them by wanting to change for the sake of the other, and so on)

  4. What motivates them to consider each other ahead of everything else, or not

  5. How much do the partners try to hurt each other (e.g., retaliation, punishment, sulking, staying away, breaking promises, being unfaithful or disloyal, being uncaring or unloving, manipulating, forcing)

  6. How passionate is each partner towards the other (e.g., in being romantic, in making the other feel special and exclusive, etc.) Is she his Sweetheart? Is he her Ideal Man?

  7. How much are the partners motivated to stay together as much as they can (e.g., shopping together, leisure activities, lunches, watching TV, hobbies, house tasks, seeing others, vs. doing separate things each on their own  (e.g., seeing friends, sports and games, hobbies, TV programs, shopping separately)

  8. etc.

Consider these questions regarding Table 5 and the ennead matrix of growth steps in marriage:

  • How would these observations help you in assessing the quality of relationship of couples you know -- yourself and others?
  • How do you explain these observations--what do they show or why are things this way?
  • How do you now understand gender relationships in terms of dominance, equity, unity, biology, culture, spirituality?

 

17.  Behavioral Indicators of One's Relationship Model -- Table 7

 

Section 17

 

Here is a table that shows some contrastive elements that differentiates the three phases of growth in marriage.

 

This is Table 7

Behavioral Indicators of
One's Relationship Model

1
Dominance Model

2
Equity Model

3
Unity Model

Partners tolerate role differences, either culturally defined or by personal preference

Yes

Yes

Yes

Partners tolerate some disagreements as something normal and inevitable

Yes

Yes

No

Partners tolerate status differences between a man and a woman

Yes

No

 No

Partners insist on exclusivity so that neither may carry on close friendships with others

No

No

Yes

Partners allow each other privacy or separate activities that the other is not involved in

Yes

Yes

No

Partners believe themselves to be married in this life and in the afterlife in heaven to eternity

No

No

Yes

Each partner is tolerant of some of the other's faults and tries to live with them

Yes

Yes

No

The man always cooperates with the woman's attempts to change him

No

No

Yes

When partners disagree they negotiate to reach a consensus 

No

Yes

No

When partners disagree the man gives in to the woman's way of thinking 

No

No

Yes

Partners can't stand being separated even for a few hours, and get very anxious

No

No

Yes

Partners are mutually interdependent and complementary in all areas

No

No

Yes

Partners have total confidence in each other, feeling free of any criticism ever

No

No

Yes

Partners never try to punish each other or retaliate for anything

No

No

Yes

While making seating choices for guests at a wedding, splitting up the married couples

Yes

Yes

No

Partners assume responsibility for each other's feelings and emotions

No

No

Yes

Partners try to make each other happy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Partners allow each other to have incompatible opinions about various topics

Yes

Yes

No

Partners never diminish in enthusiasm and admiration for each other

No

No

Yes

The original passion of love decreases as the years go by

Yes

Yes

No

etc. (add your own here)

 

 

 

 

This type of contrastive analysis shows that the dominance model has an 84% overlap in answers with the equity model but only 16% overlap with the unity model. Similarly the equity model has only a 16% overlap with the unity model. This shows that the unity model is most different from the other two. It is also the most difficult to achieve unless the husband is spiritually enlightened and has the afterlife in mind regarding their eternal conjunction.

 

Here is a way of using the ennead chart of marriage to help us define and identify specific emotions, moods, thoughts, and acts.

 

This is Table 7a (based on Table 3 above) (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY
MODEL
focus on partner

zone 7
sensorimotor
unity (SU)
altruistic
 sensations

zone 8

cognitive
unity (CU)
altruistic
thoughts

zone 9
affective
unity (AU)
altruistic
feelings

EQUITY
MODEL
focus on intellect

zone 4
sensorimotor
equity (SE)
intellectualized
sensations

zone 5
cognitive
equity (CE)
intellectualized
thoughts

zone 6
affective
equity (AE)
intellectualized
feelings

DOMINANCE
 MODEL

focus on self

zone 1
sensorimotor
dominance (SD)
 self-centered
sensations

zone 2
cognitive

dominance (CD)
self-centered
thoughts

zone 3
affective
dominance (AD)
self-centered
 
feelings


 

 

17a. Gender Discourse Within the Three Models

 

Section 17a

 

17a Part 1:  Sexy vs. Unsexy Conversational Style of Husbands

 

Consider why a wife needs girl friends to talk to, to go out shopping, to go to lunch, call each other on the phone, send birthday cards and give gifts, keep each other in the loop about happenings, etc. Husbands and boyfriends are capable of acquiring similar conversational skills if they want to be their wife's friend, and even best friend.

 

Women affiliate with each other more when their husband or boyfriend isn't acting like a friend. She tries to talk to him, to be a friend, but he resists and acts like he doesn't want to learn how to talk to her and become friends, besides just lovers and roommates. Why does the man resist this process of mental intimacy with the woman with whom he is being physically intimate?

 

As a result of this resistance, men generally don't get to find out that women intuitively evaluate the man's conversation as either unsexy or sexy. They respond with warming inner feelings to their husband or boyfriend when he uses a sexy conversational style with her, but they feel an inner turn off or aversion to their man when he uses the unsexy style of interacting with her at the verbal level. The level he is interacting with her at the verbal level is a direct indication of the level he is interacting with at the mental level. Hence it is that she feels the warming feelings throughout her chest and hands, since his sexy talk streams out from his sexy thoughts.

 

Men think that having sexy thoughts refers to talking about sex or making sexual references in his conversation with her. This is not at all what's being described here as a sexual conversational style of the man. Rather, a sexy conversational style for the husband or boyfriend refers to whether his thoughts are focused on self, the topic, or the wife. Table 7aa shows that these three levels of functioning by the husband correspond to the three models of marriage we are discussing throughout.

 

What are the contrastive characteristics of sexy vs. unsexy conversational interactions by the husband or boyfriend? Focus on self is the least sexy style. When the husband is activated by the dominance model in his mind he doesn't care if the wife finds him sexy or not. It's more important to him that he control his wife so that he can have sex with her when he wants, in the way he wants, and the wife is a secondary consideration to him, or none at all. He is full of himself. His focus is on himself. She is expected to cooperate or be obedient. So he gives himself permission to constantly interrupt the wife when she is talking. He expects her to allow him to interrupt and not try to finish what she wants to say. He acts like he is not interested in having her say what she wants to say. He acts like he is annoyed when she says what she wants to say, rather than carefully editing herself, and saying only what he would approve. Through these kinds of daily interactions, the wife's sexual feelings for him are injured, and even eliminated.

 

One of the symptoms of this killing of the sexual feeling of the wife for the husband is that husbands in the dominance model mentality frequently make jokes or complain about the fact that their wife is not giving them enough sex, or that the wife is not as hot and passionate towards him as she was when they started going out together. The letters from men that Dr. Laura selected in her book  often do this kind of complaining, or bad-mouthing, of their wife, and Dr. Laura supports them in this attitude, giving advice to women that they should give their men all the sex the men want, as long as the men have a regular job and aren't having extra marital affairs. However, this kind of advice is unsexy to women. It feels to them like sexual blackmail to which they have to submit, or else they are considered bad wives by their husband and by mental health professionals like Dr. Laura who works within the male dominance model of marriage counseling.

 

Besides constantly interrupting, which shows the absence of the man's focus on the wife of girlfriend, the man will persist in changing the wife's conversational focus in various ways. To the wife, this change of topic focus is felt as unsexy, irritating, frustrating, lonely. She feels alone. There is no intimacy, and yet this is what she craves. The man who calls himself her devoted husband,  and to whom she is talking, is not acting like a friend but like a stranger. She needs for him to be familiar with the topic focus she wants to maintain in the conversational interaction with her man. This is something personal about her that he needs to learn and respect. For instance, suppose the woman, as she gets home, is expressing her conflicting and disturbing feelings and thoughts about her boss and events at work. Or else, he is coming home and she is expressing her thoughts and feelings about what happened with the kids. The man can handle this conversation in an intimate sexy style or in a hurtful unsexy style.

 

He must stop interrupting her or giving advice to solve her problems. Both of these speech acts are disjunctive, unsexy, unfriendly. He needs to understand how the woman he is interacting with actually responds. He needs to consider her actual feelings. He can notice this if he watches her face when he interrupts her or starts solving "her problems." Even if he operates from the equity model, rather than the dominance model, he still is going to interrupt her and change her topic focus from where she wants to go, to where he thinks the topic should go. He retains a focus on the topic from his own perspective, but he does not focus on her. When she talks to her girlfriend she experiences the intimacy, but it is not a sexy intimacy, like it could be with the husband. So conversational intimacy with a husband or boyfriend can be a more satisfying feeling to a woman than even talking to her girlfriend or her mother and sister.

 

The husband needs to learn how to give his wife the feeling that he is interested in maintaining her topic focus. He has to show her by his speech acts that he wants to hear what she wants to say to him. He has to want this more than he wants to say something himself "for the sake of the topic or the task" or "for her own sake."  He has to sacrifice and give up his focus on himself (what he thinks should be said). He has to give up his focus on the topic or task (how her problems can be solved). He needs to make himself want to give her the feeling that he wants to hear what she wants to say. He needs to give up the idea that he has the right to make comments on what she brings up (this is his focus on the topic or task -- equity model).

 

In the sexy conversational interaction style, the husband needs to learn how to give his wife the feeling, over and over again, that he wants to hear what she wants to say. Without hurrying her and acting like he wants the process to be over already, or to go at a faster pace than it is going. But he also needs to do this by being very reactive, rather than subdued and silent or passive.

 

The husband needs to act like he is hot rather than cold to what his wife is saying and implying, directly and indirectly. To act hot is to show emotional reactions or affectivity. Men may sit quietly while their wife is talking to them. She might be doing two or three minutes of talking while her husband looks on blandly, sometimes frozen like a statue, or fidgeting like a puppy. This style of conversation is unsexy. The man needs to allow himself to be activated by his wife's spirit. He must keep his eyes on her face while she is talking. There he will find clues as to how to synchronize his breathing and vocalization to match hers. If she smiles, he smiles. If she frowns, he frowns. If she tells something she finds surprising, the husband is act surprised -- but he must not interrupt the stream of her verbalization. If she was amazed at something, he now is to be amazed also, and this visibly to her eyes. If she makes a hint of a joke, he is to pick it up and either laugh or show that he got it. This gives her the feeling that he is paying attention to her, hence values her views. This in turn gives her the feeling of self-confidence that her marriage relationship is in a good and healthy place. This allows her to experience inner peace, which she craves for and needs in order to survive as a woman.

 

17a Part 2:  Spiritual Dynamics Between Husband and Wife

 

It is important for a husband to learn to recognize his wife's humor to make sure he can laugh at those moments. His wife will be noticing whether he laughs at her jokes and can pick up on her humor and wit. It's easy for a husband to make his wife laugh because she has had to learn his brand of humor, which is often related to his family and ethnicity. But a husband is less inclined to learn his wife's sense of humor. As a result, the wife feels that she is kept away at some distance by him, in certain areas of his thinking and intelligence. Therefore the husband must try to love his wife's humor like he loves her beauty and style. For wife and husband to laugh together, especially in a simultaneous explosion, is an intimate transaction that she finds sexy and agreeable. It is a spiritual togetherness.

 

A husband must want to show that he is having a good time being with his wife, whenever and wherever -- that's his job as husband-friend and soul mate. He is to be her sweetheart forever. If a man knows this and loves it, he is a real man, an enlightened man, a wise man, a conjugial husband. He is able to ascend into conjugial love in the third heaven of his mind, where he becomes one with his soul-mate, the wife he married and loved on earth. Swedenborg interviewed many such couples who have known each other for "ages and ages" living in their endless eternity at the top portion of the human potential called the third heaven of rationality in the afterlife.

 

I assume that just about every man, if not every man, on this planet, has resisted the idea that his job in life is to give his wife the feeling that nothing else matters more to him than to be with her, to enjoy her, to have her enjoy herself by feeling free, taken care of, protected, cherished by him above all else in the universe. Every husband that Swedenborg talked to in the third heaven was in this kind of love to his wife, called conjugial love .

 

The most unsexy thing a husband can do is to disagree with his wife and to let her become disturbed and angry with him.

 

It's easy for a husband to drive his wife to paroxysms of frustration by his relentless refusal to go along with her on something she wants him to do or to stop doing. He just digs his heels into the carpet and refuses to budge no matter how upset she gets. This is what kills the sex factor of mental intimacy between them. His refusal no matter how upset she gets, is proof to her mind that he does not love her more than he loves himself. She feels that if he truly loved her, he would come to her rescue and not let her sink deeper and deeper into her hell feelings. How can he be so cruel and cold as to stand by and not do anything to help her get out of it? He is keeping her in excruciating hell feelings by continuing to refuse to give up his position and refusing to agree to do what she wants him to do. He just refuses, and she feels that their sex life is dying right there on the floor where he has abandoned her. Seduced and abandoned. She feels denigrated by the man who swears he loves her. She feels cheapened as a woman.

 

A man must understand this spiritual dynamic between him and the woman who is conjoining herself to him. If he sees this, it is his enlightenment. He is lucky. The worse is now over. What remains is to practice the new sexy way of interacting with his wife. He instantly discovers that he likes it, loves it. His enlightenment grows as he for the first time begins to understand what is woman.

 

Swedenborg explains that God created the universe for the purpose of conjugial couples living in the heaven of eternity. Conjugial love is the attainment of unity between husband and wife in the eternity of their heaven. This endless and constantly increasing happiness and bliss between wife and husband, is the supreme love and the highest good from which all other loves in the human race are derived from. In other words, all human potential is derived from the unity relationship between wife and husband.

 

The unity couple make a single conjoint self. What the husband thinks is always agreeable to the wife. His agreeableness comes from his affective organ operating in order, that is, in the order of his heaven, or highest potential. He had made his heaven in the order of his wife's heaven. His heart is connected, not to his own lungs, but to hers. His heart can no longer function without her respiration. His blood, or what he loves more than anything, is purified by her lungs, or what she thinks he should be doing about this or about that all day long every day. He loves what she thinks, so he does what he loves. He is content and in peace. He loves what she thinks more than what he thinks -- that's it what it means that he wants to be in her heaven rather than his own. In reality, his heaven is an imaginary heaven, a virtual heaven that is distorted by his masculine ego. 

 

The only way a husband can be saved from spending his eternity in this imaginary heaven, is to conjoin himself to his wife's heaven. God has given the wife a conjugial heaven. This is something every woman has from birth. Now the husband can become an integral part of this real heaven by conjoining himself to his wife in a unity relationship. He can do this, if he wants to, by learning to love to do what his wife tells him to do, more than he loves to do what he chooses by himself or from himself.

 

Learning a sexy conjugial conversational style with the wife is therefore the husband's first big task. It is more important than all his hobbies and guy friends put together. More important even than advancement in his career and financial growth. How a husband talks to his wife is the single most important determiner of how satisfying and content he is in the couple's sex life. This is because an unsexy conversational style inhibits and freezes over a wife's feelings of warmth in the chest and hands. When her sexuality is frozen above the waist, the wife also senses a coldness below the waist. In contrast, the husband can sense a cold in his chest above the waist, like feeling annoyance or anger against her, and he still wants to use her by having sex with her, and enjoy it and be content with it.  But not the wife. She does not want to have sex with him after he turned her into an icicle inside by the unsexy and offensive way he talks to her on a daily or regular basis. She has to spend immense mental and emotional energy fighting to resist sexual blackmail imposed on her by the husband, the marriage counselors, and social expectations of a male dominated society .

 

The husband must at all cost avoid sexual blackmail in his conversations with the wife.

 

Since every husband expects his wife to have sex with him on a regular basis, he is living the life of a sexual blackmailer if he uses an unsexy conversational style that she finds abusive and denigrating.

 

We men all start our marriage relationship that way, and it is to the credit of our wife that she is able to forgive our abusive verbal treatments, laying their feelings aside, tucking them away in a fold somewhere in their mental world,

so that they can continue to love their man sexually in all other ways. But this hurts them deeply, and they cannot do it endlessly. Hence, the man is putting their future unity into jeopardy. Many men blow their chance at life in eternity with his wife. Swedenborg reports that after resuscitation, every woman meets her soul-mate, recognizes him from within herself, then conjoins herself to him from within, and the two as one, now enter together their joint heaven in eternity. This soul mate is her husband from earth, if he has learned to talk to her like a conjugial husband. But it is another man, if her husband has failed to learn to treat her with dignity.

 

The first and most basic dignity, from which all other dignities follow, is the dignity of being talked to in a friendly and loving style.

 

And yet, there are few men who know how not to abuse their woman by the way they talk, stand, or gesture. For instance, suppose the wife talks to her husband, trying to get his attention and focus. The husband's response frequently is to resist her efforts or defeat her efforts in various ways that he acts. He may be looking at the TV screen while she is talking. Or holding the director in his hand, to give her the message he wants her to stop talking already. Or continuing to work at his computer, or on his bike, or whatever. Or not turning the volume of the music down. Or continuing to eat as if he was alone, instead of being in a conversation with her. Or giving her mean looks. Or giving her cold looks. Or being non-reactive, silent, cold, when she needs for him to be reactive, passionate, agreeable, supportive, pulling with where she is pulling. He is being unsexy when he could be sexy.

 

If he commits himself to the unity model by weakening in his mind the equity and dominance models, he then puts himself in a position of being able to find out what woman is, and thereby be enlightened to attain his highest potential, love, and true humanity.

 

17a Part 3:  Conversational Rules for Husbands in Conjugial Interactions

 

The first rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to be reactive and friendly whenever his wife is talking to him, as discussed above. This he is able to do, and probably has done it during the time he was dating her and trying to convince her that he is a good man for her. But then he stopped. So now he has to start again. Pretend you are on a permanent date with a woman you are after, and this woman is your wife. The man can do this. All he needs is to want to do it. And this means to make himself want to do it, because at first, he doesn't like it. He doesn't like the idea that he has to be nice to her, or else. But he can convince himself of it, if he reflects and understands the unity model of marriage.

 

The second rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to deny himself the right to express disagreement with her. He has to deny himself the right to say No to something she wants him to do. He already knows how to do that with his supervisor at work, but he refuses to do that with his wife. She is asking him to change something, but he insists on keeping it the way it is even though he can see that she wants it changed. This refusal is unfriendly, hostile, and abusive. Definitely unsexy. At first men might think that this a terrible way of living in your own home. And yet he expects his wife not to say No when he tells her that he wants something changed. This shows that he is following the dominance model in his own mind.

 

The third rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is create a conversational atmosphere in which his wife feels unoppressed, free, and safe because he shows that he cherishes everything about her. She is not afraid to talk intensely about what she wants him to do, and instantly jump to another topic that's on her mind, then go back to the first topic and continue telling him some more about what she wants him to do. Meanwhile he is getting hot under his tee shirt, perspiration forming on his forehead and in his armpit, as he is experiencing the heat of the passion to shut her up, to reassert himself as a man, to respond to her constant invasive instructions by snarling, snapping, and growling at her. This is the moment of freedom and liberation for him. This is when he can conquer in battle with his demon self, defeat himself, put himself under her will power, and become obedient, a supporter and friend of her wishes and wants. If he wills himself to conquer, he instantly becomes enlightened and wise. The anticipated torture of being a slave to her does not materialize in his mind. Instead he feels liberated, wise, content, in true control of himself.

 

The fourth rule of conjugial conversation he can follow is to use the conversation as a method of enhancing her mood, of making her feel young in heart and stimulated in mind. A wife conjoins herself to her husband's wisdom and truth and rationality, but not to his idiocy, irrationality, and falsities he may believe. To conjoin herself to his wisdom and rationality and intelligence means that she loves how he thinks when he thinks that way. Conversation is an expression of how we think. Hence the husband's wisdom and rationality must be behind what he says to her at any time. When he focuses on his wife, he appears to her wise and sexy. When he focuses on himself, the task, or the topic (dominance and equity models), he appears to her foolish and unsexy her. The first of wisdom for the husband is to value what his wife says to him. To value it means to give it priority over what he says to himself.

 

Of course she wants him to tell her what he thinks about something, or how to proceed in some situation. She values what he thinks when he is in an intelligent and rational mood. She depends on him. She wants to depend on him. She likes that. It's part of conjugial unity. But she doesn't want him to oppose her when telling her what he thinks. He must find a friendly and respectful way of doing this. He can learn how to do this. She is giving him plenty of chances and opportunities to become better at it, by how patient and forgiving she is of all his mistakes and abuses. But he must give her the feeling that he is trying hard, that it is more important to him than other things in his life. Then she can continue to be patient and forgive him over and over again, being full of the hope that he will change, that he is changing, that he really wants to change. She now stakes her entire life and happiness on this hope.

 

17a Part 4:  Characteristics of Husband's Threefold Self During Discourse -- Table 7aa

 

Now, having studied what was discussed above, consider this Table on the characteristics of the husband's discourse. Keep in mind that when we talk, the threefold self of the person is always involved. The words we speak, the tone of voice, the gestures -- are the external sensorimotor effects of what we are thinking and feeling on the inside. The cognitive self is doing all the thinking. But it is the affective self that motivates what we are thinking, and hence, what we are saying. So when you read the chart, think about how the husband's affective self controls the cognitive self, and the two together, control the sensorimotor talking and gesturing.

 

This is Table 7aa
Characteristics of Husband's Discourse
(READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

 

MODEL HE USES
TO GOVERN INTERACTIONS
WITH HIS WIFE

THREEFOLD SELF OF HUSBAND

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

3

UNITY
MODEL
focus on his wife

** tries to never talk in an unfriendly tone
** doesn't interrupt her
** always appears interested, involved, animated and supportive of her

** thinks that his views don't matter as much as his wife's views, since he is trying to adopt her views for the sake of unity in eternity

** loves to learn how to make his wife more important in his mind than himself
** loves mental intimacy with her as woman

2

EQUITY
MODEL

focus on topic
or task

** talks like he is always out to defend his views,  rights, or conveniences
** exaggerates and lies to control her
** calls her bad names and criticizes her when he is mad

** thinks that her views are not as relevant to the specific situation
** considers his views fair and rational
** hides his feelings to control her

** loves to retain for himself some areas of independence
** insists on it and fiercely resists no matter what, thereby making his wife suffer tortures

1

DOMINANCE
 MODEL

focus on himself

** interrupts her
** calls her denigrating names
** uses harsh tones
** uses gestures and his body to intimidate her or to punish her

** thinks that women are less intelligent than men
** dismisses her views when it suits him

** loves to dominate her more than to be intimate with her
** prefers the company of men to women

 

What the wife is hearing and experiencing from her husband are the things listed in the sensorimotor column. This is what reverberates in her threefold self, her sensations, thoughts, and feelings. From her sensations, the wife can recognize what the husband is thinking and feeling. If she regularly feels interrupted by him before she can fully express herself, and / or she feels physically intimidated or scared of him (dominance model), then she knows that he thinks of her as less intelligent, or that he thinks her views on the matter are to be dismissed. And then she also knows that he loves to dominate her more than he loves to actually be intimate with her in a mental and personal way.

 

If the wife observes that her husband talks like the main thing for him is to defend his views or rights, then she knows that he thinks his views should rule her mind because his views are fair and rational while hers are biased and feminine. And from this she then knows that he loves to put her views aside, or below his, which means to her that he is not committed to her fully and absolutely, and that he wants and intends to retain for himself areas or zones of independence in his mind and personality.

 

If the wife experiences her husband's talking as pleasant, agreeable, considerate of her feminine status and position, her consciousness enters a conjugial sphere of heavenly peace, which she can almost smell in the fragrance of the air around her, in which she sees her husband talking to her with such attention, care, and gladness of spirit and heart. She also feels this in her chest and hands, by which she senses the exciting warmth of sexual feelings, spreading from there throughout her body, if conditions allow. And from all this heavenly zone around her, she knows that her husband thinks that her views matter to him more than his own, and from this she knows that he wants to form a conjoint self with her. This is the ultimate happiness and peace she wants, and can feel, under earthly circumstances.

 

See also Section 21 on how the wife gives the husband objective feedback.

 

17a Part 5:  Field Exercise:  Monitoring Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse

 

After studying and understanding Table 7aa above, you can use it to make a list of your own observations of gender discourse. If you are a man, you need to observe your discourse during interactions with your wife or girlfriend. If you are a woman, you need to to observe your boyfriend's or husband's discourse with you. If you prefer instead, you can observe the discourse interactions of a couple you are familiar with. An additional variation is to observe the discourse interactions between couples in novels, movies, TV, song lyrics, and the other media.

 

You can write down short snippets of an exchange after it happened that you can clearly remember. Some of these snippets or replies may occur frequently so that you can almost predict what they will be. Each snippet can be analyzed to show that it is either a disjunctive exchange or a conjunctive exchange. Longer snippets or conversational interactions should be recorded and transcribed since you cannot rely on memory.

 

Each verbal snippet or longer conversational exchange, needs to be analyzed using the threefold self as defined throughout the Tables in these Lecture Notes. In other words, you can use the ennead matrix of the threefold self within the three models, as a template to analyze or locate the characteristics of the verbal exchange.

 

Here are examples of disjunctive replies of husbands and boyfriends

 

1) Negation, Denial, Refusal

 

  • she says "Let's do x" he says "Let's do y"

  • she says "That's not what it is. This is what it is." he says "No way, it's that"

  • she says "It's not the right way to it" he says "Yes, it is."

  • she says "You did x" he says "No, I did y"

  • etc.

These are disjunctive replies. They happen very frequently in the dominance and equity models, but only sometimes with the unity model, at the beginning before the husband is able to control himself fully.

 

If you are a woman and are analyzing the exchanges with your partner, you can add how his disjunctive replies make you feel, what your reactions and thoughts are. Wives and girlfriends have an immense capacity to take abuse from their partner. They are willing to put up with this negativity in their partner because they have hope that he will eventually change his model of interacting with her. She is looking forward to his awakening and enlightenment when he will want to treat her nice and with decency.

 

Here are the equivalent examples of conjunctive replies of husbands and boyfriends:

  • she says "Let's do x" he says "Ok, if you want to."

  • she says "That's not what it is. This is what it is." he says "All right, I'll adopt your view on the situation."

  • she says "It's not the right way to it" he says "I understand what you are pointing out. OK, I agree."

  • she says "You did x" he says "Strange how I remembered y, but OK, thanks, for setting the matter straight."

  • etc.

These are conjunctive replies. They happen once in a while with the dominance and unity models, but not enough to make the woman's life much easier on the whole. But when the husband is governing his interactions from his understanding of the unity model, he compels himself to inhibit disjunctive replies to his wife, and to give her conjunctive replies. Disjunctive replies are unsexy, while conjunctive replies maintain a romantic tension between husband and wife that is delightful to both of them. God is maintaining the wife's mind to fit conjunctively with the husband's mind, and the husband's mind to fit conjunctively with the wife's mind. In this conjunctive mind, the couple become one merged individual. Swedenborg presents much evidence from his observations of couples in eternity, that shows how the conjunctive self of a couple in conjugial unity, is incredibly superior and empowered. Wife feels competed and endlessly loved; husband feels expanded and endlessly enthusiastic. This is to attain the truly human stage in our immortality. It is expressed by popular knowledge as the state of being "soul-mates forever."

 

2) Disloyalty, Secrecy, Lies

  • he talks to the children about his wife, not telling her what he says

  • he talks to his guy friends or strangers about his wife, in ways she wouldn't like

  • he tells her lies about various things he knows or does, as a way of controlling her

  • he keeps her out of the loop without explaining to her that he does or why he does

  • he embarrasses her in public in front of others by contradicting her or criticizing her, or by bringing up things that she considers private between the two of them

  • etc.

These are disjunctive conversational acts performed by the husband to his wife. They happen very frequently in the dominance and equity models, but only sometimes with the unity model, at the beginning before the husband is able to control himself fully.

 

The equivalent conjunctive acts would be these:

  • he never talks to the children about his wife, without telling her what he said

  • when he talks to his guy friends or strangers about his wife, he acts like his wife is listening

  • he never tells her lies about what he knows or does, by avoiding to act in a way she wouldn't approve if she knew all the circumstances

  • he keeps her in the loop about all things without exception, explaining to her all that he does and why

  • etc.

These are conjunctive moves the husband makes towards his wife. It is his will and desire to become mentally intimate with her, to share minds with this woman. He can easily see from this elevated perspective that if he deceives her, or keeps what he thinks from her, he cannot be fully united to her in eternity because that kind of uniting must be total mental unity.

 

It works differently for the wife. She carries secrets in her heart that she may not want to share with her husband. These secrets are not lies and deceptions, like it is for husbands when they keep secrets. The wife's secrets are spiritual secrets, not physical and social secrets, like the secrets of the husband. His secrets are disjunctive because the purpose of keeping things from his wife is to be able to get away doing disjunctive things that oppose unity. But the secrets of the wife that are spiritual are for conjunctive reasons. She is afraid that if she told him what she knows about their unity or lack of it, he wouldn't be able to handle in a right way, and his reaction would be deeply disjunctive. So in her zeal to protect their potential conjugial unity, the wife keeps spiritual secrets from her husband.

 

Swedenborg was once interviewing a group of wives in one of the heavens of their eternity, They told him they did not want Swedenborg to write down and reveal to the public on earth, certain of these spiritual secrets that wives knew about their husbands, and which they had just discussed with him in the interviews. They told him that if husbands knew of these spiritual secrets of their wives, they would turn cold towards them, first mentally, then sexually, and this would be the end of their happiness in the marriage. But Swedenborg answered that he had no choice but to report accurately all that he was able to observe in the spiritual world of mental eternity.

 

What are these spiritual secrets?

 

Swedenborg describes them as a special womanly perception in the interior mind that God gives the wife about her husband's unconscious or subconscious affections, desires, proclivities, inner make up. In my own experience as a husband who is striving to govern my actions through the principles of the unity model, I found that my wife's extrasensory perception of my unconscious or subconscious affections, have always been correct in the long run. A wife can share more and more of these secrets as her husband progresses and practices with the unity model in his mind. It requires that I give more credence to what she says to me about me, than what I say to myself about me. This was a huge battle in my mind for many years.

 

At first I flatly rejected such an idea, while I lived the dominance and equity models in my mind. My philosophy of justification was that we are all individual human beings and we each have the right to be who we are, etc. She was to be responsible for her self and emotions and coping, and I was to be responsible for mine. We can help each other of course, since we love one another, but we cannot invade or occupy each other's respective mental zones or territory. But eventually I started adopting the unity model as I started studying the Writings of Swedenborg in 1981, at the age of 43, as I was starting my second marriage with my new wife. This required me to trust my wife's thinking and judgment as much as I trusted my own, and eventually, more than I trusted my own.

 

This is the right thing to do because the wife has intuitions and perceptions from God about the husband that he himself does not have. Through creating and managing this difference in the mind of the couple, God is trying to bring the husband and wife together into a unity that will continue into their endless conjugial eternity . The husband must give up relying on himself independently of his wife, for any single decision he makes or idea he has about himself and his wife. By accepting and loving this reliance and dependence on his wife, the husband makes it possible for the couple to become a conjoint mind or self. This is what the wife has been patiently and hopefully waiting for. Now she can be fulfilled as a woman, and he can be fulfilled as a true man.

 

3) Abusiveness, Swearing, Yelling

  • he continues to use derogatory names when he is in a bad mood, or when he is mad at her and is criticizing her for something she has done or not done. Examples include the "b" words used to put women down, the "f" words to show disrespect to women, or else comparing women to their feminine parts and organs, and using prejudiced expressions to refer to what women do like "nagging" , "complaining", "never being satisfied" etc.

  • he raises his voice in a harsh and menacing tone, trying to intimidate her, yelling, throwing, breaking things, walking out, and other forms of abuse

  • he uses silence as a form of passive aggressive control over his wife, or he refuses to address the specific point she wants him to address, talking around it instead of to it, even making jokes about it or else denying it, which puts her in a cruel double bind as he does one thing, while claiming he is not doing it

  • he fails to keep up with the topics she has already mentioned earlier in the conversation, or in an earlier conversation to which she wants this is a follow up. But he acts like she has to start all over again. This exhausts her emotionally and makes her feel desperate. Will her husband ever start loving her more than himself?

  • etc.

These are disjunctive conversational acts performed by the husband against his wife. They happen very frequently in the relationship of the married partners, until the husband is enlightened and becomes willing to start being governed by the principles of the unity model.

 

4) After Disturbing His Wife, Not Making Up Adequately Enough

 

  • he doesn't make up for his disjunctive acts but expects her to forget about it after awhile

  • he refuses to accept the idea that his wife needs for him to make up adequately enough

  • he continues to insist in his mind that saying Sorry, or Giving a special treat or gift, is enough

  • he continues to hang on to the false idea that if she loves him, she should forgive him

  • he uses all sorts of justifications to explain away what he did to her, which is to cause her to be disturbed, and instead talks about why he did what he did, refusing to address or acknowledge what he did to her feelings

  • etc.

These are disjunctive acts that hurt the future unity of the couple, now and in eternity. In my own experience, I have had to learn in middle age that the thread or mesh that holds my wife and me together, is an actual thread made of spiritual or mental substances . When this thread or mesh work is injured by the husband's disjunctive act, the wife feels it on the surface of her life, making her miserable and anxious. But the husband is able to push it away on the backburner of his feelings, thus hardly becoming aware of it, and not paying any attention to what he is aware of. In my case I had to compel myself to pay attention to her emotional distress caused by my disjunctive act. I had to repent and repair the damage. She can feel when I repent and when I go through the motions. I had to compel myself to perform the conjunctive acts that repaired the injured thread in my wife's heart.

This required that I humble myself, which took a long time for me to accept and be willing to do it.

  • he compels himself to make up for every disjunctive acts, knowing that she cannot forgive and forget without it

  • he accepts the new idea that his wife cannot repair by herself the mental injury he caused to her

  • he learns new and more adequate ways of apologizing, realizing that treats and gifts are also necessary, but not sufficient to prove to her that he is sorry for causing her emotional stress

  • he abandons the false idea that if she loves him, she should forgive him, seeing forgiveness in terms of injured threads, rather than verbal expressions

  • he stops using justifications to explain away what he did to her, and admits that he was wrong in causing her to become disturbed. Instead, he talks about what he did to her feelings.

  • etc.

These are conjunctive acts of repair. The husband or boyfriend lover has to teach himself that when a woman gives herself physically and sexually, she does it either in freedom or under pressure. If she has sexual activity with him under pressure, then there is no internal conjunction between her and the man. It is merely an outward act that may hurt her physically and socially, but not mentally and spiritually. But when she gives herself freely, without pressure and without being motivated by some ulterior motive or plan, then she forms thereby an inner relationship and tie, an inner conjunction that is localized in the mental threads that unites their minds and hearts. When she is in this type of relationship, he can hurt and injure these conjunctive ties that unite them mentally and spiritually. And a frequent way that a man hurts these conjugial threads, is by not making up for his disjunctive acts.

 

It is extremely difficult for a man to believe that he can be incredibly happier and masculine if he puts his wife ahead of every thing else in the universe. Even God is to be served through his wife, not apart from his wife, according to the unity model of thinking. This is obviously true when you recall that God made conjugial love between husband and wife the highest love in all creation, which means, that everything else you can name, is not for its own sake, but for the sake of contributing to conjugial love in the human race. For the husband to serve God through his wife is to honor God's highest purpose for creating him. But this is only true from the perspective of the unity model which is based on conjugial togetherness in eternity, as observed and confirmed by Swedenborg. For more on this subject, you can read Volume 1 of Theistic Psychology which discusses in detail the positive and negative bias in science:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch1.htm

 


 

18.  Happiness and Unhappiness on the

Ennead Chart -- Table 7b

 

Section 18

 

Now let's use Table 7a to help us identify various concepts in marriage. Let's start with happiness, since this is a critical part of marriage. In Table 7b I have added one specification of being happy in each model. Whenever we operate within that model, what makes us happy is specified in ALL CAPS in each zone.

 

This is Table 7b (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY
MODEL
focus on partner

zone 7
sensorimotor
unity (SU)
altruistic
 sensations
-----
PLEASURING THE PARTNER

zone 8

cognitive
unity (CU)
altruistic
thoughts
-----
THINKING THAT THEY ARE EACH OTHER'S MORE AND MORE

zone 9
affective
unity (AU)
altruistic
feelings
-----
STRIVING TO ALIGN SELF WITH PARTNER'S PREFERENCES AND SUCCEEDING

EQUITY
MODEL
focus on intellect

zone 4
sensorimotor
equity (SE)
intellectualized
sensations
-----
GIVING PLEASURE AND RECEIVING PLEASURE IN EQUAL AMOUNT

zone 5
cognitive
equity (CE)
intellectualized
thoughts
-----
THINKING THAT THEY EACH MUST RESPECT THE OTHER'S POINT OF VIEW

zone 6
affective
equity (AE)
intellectualized feelings
-----
STRIVING TO JUSTIFY ONESELF TO THE PARTNER AND SUCCEEDING

DOMINANCE
 MODEL

focus on self

zone 1
sensorimotor
dominance (SD)
 self-centered
sensations
BEING PLEASURED BY THE PARTNER

zone 2
cognitive

dominance (CD)
self-centered
thoughts
THINKING THAT THE PARTNER IS COMPLIANT IN ALL WAYS

zone 3
affective
dominance (AD)
self-centered
 feelings
STRIVING TO MAINTAIN PRIMACY OVER PARTNER AND SUCCEEDING

 

After you processed the meaning of each zone and its example (in ALL CAPS), focus on each portion of the threefold self by looking at the table up and down within each column.

 

For instance, in the sensorimotor areas (zones 1, 4, 7) I give examples relating to physical intimacy. When husbands try to behave according to the dominance model, their sensorimotor happiness depends on the expression of self-centered sensations like "being pleasured by the partner." This is another expression of the underlying model: sensorimotor dominance (zone 1).

 

When husbands try to behave according to the equity model, their sensorimotor happiness is different. It now depends on more intellectualized sensations motivated by their equity model (zone 4). Their focus is intellectualized upon equity in everything in the relationship. It is an "economic" focus and involvement, and comes out as a concern for equal pleasure. They want it to be balanced so that neither gives more than they receive (sensorimotor equity, zone 4).

 

When husbands try to behave according to the unity model, their sensorimotor happiness is still different. It now depends on more altruistic sensations motivated by their unity model (zone 7). Their focus is upon unity in everything in the relationship. It is an "altruistic" focus and involvement, and comes out as a concern for the partner's pleasure. The focus on one's own pleasure (zone 1) and the focus on the equal amount of pleasure (zone 4) now changes to a focus on the partner's pleasure. One's own pleasure may be there but only as an indirect result of succeeding in giving pleasure to the partner (sensorimotor unity, zone 7).

 

After you processes the sensorimotor column, move to the cognitive column.

 

For husbands choosing to behave according to the dominance model, "thinking that the partner is compliant in all ways" (zone 2), is necessary for their happiness. If they notice any hesitation or refusal in the compliance of the wife,  they immediately begin to exert their pressure and power to make the wife comply. Husbands have different styles and methods for doing this, some using violence, some persuasive strategies, some relationship blackmail (e.g., holding back, pouting, and staying away), etc.

 

But when they move deeper in the relationship to the equity model, husbands "think that they each must respect the other's point of view" (zone 6). This intellectualized economy governs their relationship in all its details. To be happy, husbands operating with the equity model must think that they each respect the other's point of view. Often this interpretation is delusional. When the wife wants to influence the husband in a decision, he reacts by saying that she is not respecting his point of view. Clearly this is not adaptive to a close relationship. The wife has to be able to express her true feelings without her husband accusing her of not respecting his point of view.

 

When husbands are willing to finally move into a closer relationship, their cognitive unity is their happiness, that is, "thinking that they are each other's more and more" (zone 8). The husband is alert and looks for any sign that his wife thinks differently than he does on some issue. He then explores it with her, being motivated to eliminate ideas in his mind that are not compatible with cognitive unity between them (zone 8).

 

Finally look up and down the third column.

 

Husbands choosing to operate according to the dominance model will strive to "maintain primacy over the partner" and must see himself succeeding if he is going to be happy (zone 3). This is an expression of his self-centered feelings that are motivated by his affective dominance and the satisfaction it gives him to achieve it and maintain it, even increase it as he gets older.

 

Husbands choosing the operate according to the equity model will constantly be involved in justifying themselves to the partner" (zone 6). This is an expression of their intellectualized feelings that come from a focus on affective equity. This is non-adaptive to achieving a deeper relationship because the husband's economic focus on equity keeps the wife out of his heart. His focus on equity in feelings is a strategy to maintain his affective independence. The wife doesn't want him to see himself as independent in his feelings, hence independent of her. This threatens her influence on him, by which she strives to conjoin him to herself. By insisting on affective independence through equity considerations, the husband remains cold in his heart towards the wife. He has removed any power she may have over him. Without this affective influence by the wife on the husband's feelings and motivations, the husband cannot achieve a deeper relationship with her.

 

On the other hand, husbands who choose to move forward and behave according to the unity model, are happiest when they succeed in aligning every single feeling and affection they have with the wife's feelings and affections (zone 9). To "align" means to "make it agree with" by eliminating anything that does not agree. This is the maximum closeness that they can achieve together. Once this affective unity defines the marriage relationship, the partners can grow spiritually into a celestial couple that can live in conjugial love to eternity, as discussed in our Readings.

 

What would the previous Table above (7b) look like for "unhappiness"?

 

This is Table 7c (READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)

MODEL THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY
MODEL
focus on partner

zone 7
sensorimotor
unity (SU)
altruistic
 sensations
-----
NOT BEING INVOLVED IN PLEASURING THE PARTNER

zone 8

cognitive
unity (CU)
altruistic
thoughts
-----
THINKING THAT THEY ARE NOT PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER 

zone 9
affective
unity (AU)
altruistic
feelings
-----
SEEING THE PARTNER AS  INDIFFERENT OR INDEPENDENT 

EQUITY
MODEL
focus on intellect

zone 4
sensorimotor
equity (SE)
intellectualized
sensations
-----
NOT RECEIVING BACK AS MUCH AS ONE GAVE TO THE OTHER

zone 5
cognitive
equity (CE)
intellectualized
thoughts
-----
THINKING THAT THE PARTNER IS GETTING AWAY WITH NOT DOING THEIR SHARE

zone 6
affective
equity (AE)
intellectualized feelings
-----
FEELING COMPETITIVE AND ARGUING WITHOUT RESOLUTION 

DOMINANCE
 MODEL

focus on self

zone 1
sensorimotor
dominance (SD)
 self-centered
sensations
HAVING TO PLEASURE THE PARTNER

zone 2
cognitive

dominance (CD)
self-centered
thoughts
THINKING THAT THE PARTNER IS REBELLING AND REFUSING TO BE SUBMISSIVE

zone 3
affective
dominance (AD)
self-centered
 feelings
BEING ABUSED OR PHYSICALLY INTIMIDATED BY THE PARTNER

 

Now practice applying tables 7a and 7b to other important traits in being married: unhappiness, feeling separated, feeling close, being satisfied, being respected, being disrespected, getting along, going through a difficult period, etc.

 

The unity model does not tolerate any differences or disagreements between husband and wife. That's the meaning of all the "No" entries in Table 8 below.


 

Contrasting the Three Models -- Table 8

 

Section 19

 

This is Table 8

Yes = tolerates at times a difference or disagreement about that issue
No = never tolerates a difference or disagreement about that issue

1
Dominance Model

2
Equity Model

3
Unity Model

What restaurant to go to

Yes

Yes

No

What to order on the menu

Yes

Yes

No

What movie to go to or rent

Yes

Yes

 No

What either should wear somewhere

Yes

Yes

No

What friends to socialize with

Yes

Yes

No

How to deal with money or investments

Yes

Yes

 No

How to deal with the children

No

Yes

No

Where to live

No

Yes

No

How to deal with family

Yes

Yes

No

What political party to support

Yes

Yes

 No

Physical abuse or violence

No

No

No

What they laugh at

Yes

Yes

Yes

What they feel sentimental about

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

     

etc. (write your own)

     

 

     

 

Note that Table 8 shows different categories of items as defined by the pattern of answers. There are four patterns illustrated by items:

  • Yes, Yes, No

  • No, Yes, No

  • No, No, No

  • Yes, Yes, Yes

 

You will note that the unity model shows "No" in most categories illustrated. Within this model of operation, husband and wife each feel disturbed for the other whenever any difference or disagreement is detected between them. They see a disagreement, no matter how small, no matter about what, as a threat to their unity. They are each strongly motivated to realign their own affections to fit with the other's affections, so that the disagreement is immediately removed and not left festering and creating a rift or division in their mental unity. Further, the unity model, as expressed in the Doctrine of the Wife (see Readings) assumes that it is the husband who always realigns his feelings to agree with the wife whenever a difference between them comes out into the open. The rationale for this apparent one-sidedness is explained in the Doctrine of the Wife.

 

But when the married partners  are still operating from the other two models, they tolerate many differences and disagreements as part of their normal marriage relationship and partnership. Their goal is not unity, but peace and comfort. In the equity model they want to live and let live within agreed upon boundaries. In the dominance model the separateness is defined by tradition and the constant striving for dominion, usually male over female. That is why the majority of items for these two models is "Yes" for tolerating differences and disagreements.

 

Remember that the four "patterns" reflect habitual behaviors motivated by the marriage model they subscribe to, which governs the way each interacts with the other. But people do not follow their own model in a perfectly consistent manner. The "model" behavior or pattern may disintegrate at times when one or both partners revert to an earlier model of interaction or pattern. For example, a husband who is operating from the unity model may become quarrelsome and non-cooperative all of a sudden with some touchy issue which he has not yet resolved in his personality. His wife can perceive this and has no choice for the moment but to put up with her husband's lapse to a lower form of mental conjunction with her. Soon the husband will recover and feel guilty because he can see from his doctrine of the unity model, that keeping himself separated is contrary to his highest goals. He will express his guilt appropriately to repair the injury to his sweetheart wife so that she can bring herself to accept him again into her inner self and thus make a unity with him.

Here is a useful exercise for identifying how couples are portrayed on TV and the media. Watch the shows or movies you want to analyze and take notes while watching. You can do this alone or with your partner or friend.

Write down the events, words, or attitudes you observed. Note the name of the show, the characters involved, and the date or week you made your observations. List each event or episode separately.


 

20.  Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUVs) -- Table 9

 

Section 20

Unity = mental intimacy between wife and husband = spiritual unity (lasts forever)

AUVs = anti-unity value = anti-intimacy between husband and wife

In the following examples of anti-unity values (AUVs), often promoted in the media, explain for each what constitutes the anti-unity dynamic. For instance, in showing people living together unmarried (1), young people receive the impression that this is something they could try as well. However, they are not told at the same time that there are disadvantages to doing that. Specifically, it will make it much more difficult for the couple to move from equity to unity in their intimacy. The woman will have less leverage on the man to have him change from negotiation and less intimacy as a way of interacting with her (equity model), to that of agreement and full intimacy (unity model).

This is Table 9

  1. Living together unmarried

  2. Having children out of wedlock

  3. Making each other jealous on purpose

  4. Adultery for various reasons

  5. Promiscuity and bi-sexuality

  6. Sexy dressing for men other than one's partner

  7. Having a same sex best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things

  8. Having a heterosexual best friend who is placed ahead of the partner or in competition for certain things

  9. Same sex friends going out as a group for fun and entertainment without their partners

  10. Flirting with other gender as retaliation against one's partner (or other reason)

  11. Separate interests and activities accepted for partners

  12. Manipulating partner through deception

  13. Accepting the idea that it's OK to "agree to disagree" about some things

  14. Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one's partner but should accept them with their faults, etc.

  15. Girls only or boys only entertainment

  16. Acceptance of the idea that men are more important

  17. Promoting the idea that men are more rational than women

  18. Promoting the idea that women are generally frivolous as part of their gender

  19. Making it look normal for a man to exploit women

  20. Making it look normal for a man to abuse women

  21. Making it look normal for a man to have prerogatives or perks that women should accept and honor (e.g., serving men, doing what they want no matter what, being dominant, etc.)

  22. Making it look like what women say and think as less important

  23. Accepting the idea that a man does not need to "grovel" when he apologizes for something bad he did to her (the minimum is enough and she should not ask for more even if her feelings are still hurt or else she is being "unreasonable" etc.)

For each of the AUVs you observe, try to explain why that scene is promoting an AUV -- in what way is that type of event or attitude contrary to the formation of unity between partners?

For example, item 13:  "Accepting the idea that it's OK to "agree to disagree" about some things" promotes the acceptance of permanent separate attitudes about some issues, whether politics, sports, or family. When partners are motivated to achieve external and internal unity they need to discuss their opinions and beliefs in a helpful way until they are able to resolve what they disagree on. Disagreements of opinion or attitude, if accepted as permanent, prevents complete unity since each disagreement has assumptions and attitudes behind it or within it, and these must somehow come out in their relationship, leading to avoidance and separation in that area.

Or take for another example, item 14: "Promoting the idea that one should not try to change one's partner but should accept them with their faults, etc." This is an anti-unity value (AUV) because one cannot achieve unity if the partners are not free to influence one another in personality traits. Besides that, partners who are moving towards unity are motivated to become for the other what the other wants and needs. The wife strives to please her husband and to get to know his tastes, sense of humor, preferences, etc., so that she can make him happy and feel attached to her. The husband strives to make the wife comfortable and content by cutting out his behaviors and traits that upset her and by learning new behaviors that she likes. In this way both the husband and the wife strive to change for the other so that they may become as one. But if the husband insists on being the way he is, or the way he was prior to the marriage, he puts a limit to how close and intimate the two can grow together.

Once you have your own list of observations, the next step is to test it out. You can do so in various ways, depending on how you decide to proceed. One possibility would be to make up a Form with scales and definitions, then use the Form while you are watching similar shows. Fill out the Form while you are watching.

Note:  It might be helpful to consult examples in the Generational Curriculum where students worked to develop DBB Ratings for TV shows ("Drivers Behaving Badly") -- see this directory:  www.drdriving.org/articles/dbb.htm

See also the Song Analysis done by prior generation students, available here:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/student3/amyl/public_html/499/songls.html

Quoting from the book Conjugial Love (1763)  by Emanuel Swedenborg:

321. (4) People who before had lived with their partners in a state of truly conjugial love do not wish to marry again, except for reasons dissociated from conjugial love. People who before had lived in a state of truly conjugial love do not wish to marry again after the death of their partner for the following reasons:

1. Because they have been united in respect to their souls and so in respect to their minds; and this union, being a spiritual one, is an actual coupling of the soul and mind of one to the soul and mind of the other, which cannot in any way be dissolved. (That this is the nature of spiritual union we have already shown here and there previously.)

[2] 2. Because they have been united also in respect to their bodies, by the wife's reception of the propagations of the husband's soul, and thus by an implantation of his life in hers, by which a maiden becomes a wife; and conversely by the husband's reception of the wife's conjugial love, which disposes the inner faculties of his mind and at the same time the inner and outer faculties of his body into a state capable of receiving love and perceiving wisdom, a state which turns him from a youth into a husband (on which subject, see nos. 198, 199 above).

[3] 3. Because an atmosphere of her love continues to emanate from the wife, and an atmosphere of his intellect from the husband; and this perfects the bonds between them, and with its pleasant ambience surrounds them and unites them (again, see above, no. 223).

[4] 4. Because married partners so united think of and yearn for eternity in their marriage, and eternal happiness for them is founded on that idea (see no. 216).

[5] 5. Because in consequence of the foregoing they are no longer two but one person, that is, one flesh.

[6] 6. Because such a oneness cannot be sundered by the death of the other partner - a fact manifestly evident to visual sight in the spirit.

[7] To these reasons we will add this new one:

7. Because the two are not actually separated by the death of one; for the spirit of the deceased continues to dwell with the spirit of the one not yet deceased, and this until the death of the other, at which time they come together again and are reunited, loving each other even more tenderly than before, because they are in the spiritual world.

From these circumstances comes the following inevitable result, that people who before had lived in a state of truly conjugial love do not wish to marry again.

If they nevertheless do afterwards enter into something like a marriage, it is for reasons dissociated from conjugial love; and these reasons are all external ones. As for example: If there are little children in the house and there is need to provide for their care. If the house is a large one, equipped with servants of both sexes. If responsibilities outside the house divert the mind from domestic concerns at home. If there is need for joint assistance and shared duties. And other like reasons. (Conjugial Love Number 321)

229. (20) For people who desire truly conjugial love, God provides similar partners, and if they are not found on earth, He provides them in heaven. This results from the fact that all marriages of truly conjugial love are provided by God. They come from Him, as may be seen above in nos. 130, 131. But how they are provided in heaven, I once heard described by angels as follows:

God's Divine providence is most specific and most universal in connection with marriages and in its operation in marriages, because all delights of heaven flow from the delights of conjugial love, like sweet waters from a gushing spring. It is therefore provided that conjugial pairs be born, and they are raised and continually prepared for their marriages under God's guidance, neither the boy nor the girl being aware of it. Then, after a period of time, the girl - now a marriageable young woman - and the boy - now a young man ready to marry - meet somewhere, as though by fate, and notice each other. And they immediately recognize, as if by a kind of instinct, that they are a match, thinking to themselves as from a kind of inner dictate, the young man, 'she is mine,' and the young woman, 'he is mine.' Later, after this thought has for some time become settled in the minds of each, they deliberately talk about it together and pledge themselves to each other in marriage.

We say as though by fate, by instinct and as from a kind of dictate, when we mean by Divine providence, because when one is unaware that it is Divine providence, that is how it appears. For God unveils their inner similarities so that they notice each other. (Conjugial Love Number 229)

You can explore the Numbers cited in this passage, where much more detail is presented, by going to the online version of the Conjugial Love book at:  www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/CL/clintro.htm  

 

21.  Examples of Unity Values

 

Section 21

 

Read the advice below and create a Table of UV (Unity Values) based on it. Are any of these recommendations or attitudes not fully compatible with the unity model?

 

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne, Pastoral Marriage and Family Therapist

pathwayspc@aol.com

 

Note: full article in Parts is available at:

http://gdgrifflaw.typepad.com/kansas_family_law_/2006/02/secrets_to_a_ha.html

(...)

 

Secret number 1: Full Disclosure of Moneys - No Hidden Accounts

 

Money may appear to be the root of all evil but it is really the love of money that reveals the root of all evil. That being said, money seems to cause so much trouble in households and puts undue pressure on marriages when it need not. But all too often husbands and wives keep hidden things from one another in the form of hidden monetary accounts and various means of not fully disclosing their moneys.

 

Spouses need to be fully and completely open with one another about any and ALL money that each has: pension accounts, insurance, savings, 401(k), retirement, checking, rainy-day money (mad money), anything and everything. Doing so helps to prevent loss of moneys in the event of an illness or early death. But the most important reason of this first secret is so that both spouses can be equally empowered in the relationship. Money is power, so to speak but it is the spousal relationship that is to be empowered not the money.

(...)

Husbands: if you have any moneys hidden away in private accounts, even with regard to the business you are in, please come clean with your spouse. Fully disclose this information with your wife and do it ASAP!

 

Wives: if you have any hidden accounts to keep your husbands out of the loop, even with regard to the business you are in, please come clean with your spouse. Fully disclose this information with your wife and do it ASAP!

 

Bringing out the hidden things empowers each other and creates an environment in the family of equality and the sharing of power. This is vital to keeping the love and intimacy healthy in the marriage relationship.

(...)

From the perspective of the unity model, the wife is the one who needs empowerment. The husband has the power status given him by society while the wife is often being discriminated and abused by male dominant laws, norms, rules, and traditions. So it might make sense for the wife to also have a separate account so she can establish her own credit, just as all men are supposed to do. The husband is the one who should insist that his wife have a separate account of her own, in addition to the joint accounts. In contrast, the husband does not need from the financial perspective, to have his own separate account. So the wife has somewhat different needs than the husband, and he should see to it that her needs are taken care of. What is your view on this?

 

At the same time there is no need for the wife to keep her additional accounts of her own secret from her husband. She may let him look at her statements, if he wants to, just to show him she has nothing to hide. While having a separate account, in addition to the joint account, is beneficial to the wife's financial status, it is not beneficial or necessary to have secrecy between her and her husband. The unity model leads them to be best friends with each other, one trusting the other fully. The additional separate bank accounts for the wife is not related to trust at all, but the wife's financial welfare as a citizen. This applies not only to bank accounts but investments. The wife should have some of the family's savings and investments to be in her own name, in addition to her having her name on the joint investments.

 

Continuing with Dr. Trey's article:

 

Secret number two: Each spouse must become a skilled cryptographer or develop competent communication skills.

 

Those who served in the military know what a cryptographer does: a person trained in breaking codes, the secret communication patterns intended to hide what is really being said. Husbands and wives really do speak different languages. It can be difficult to interpret what the other intends to say at times. Either the husband has to magically interpret the hidden codes in his wife’s conversations or he has to develop competent communication skills. Those spouses that have healthy marriages have worked hard to develop competent communication skills to understand the other.

 

Prime example: husband comes home from a hard stressful day of work and wants to watch TV and unwind. Wife enters the room and wants to connect with her husband about his day. What ends up happening is a confrontation that never should have happened. The two spouses collide together in misunderstanding and end up experiencing rejection from the other. All because each doesn’t know the other’s language.

(...)

 

How do spouses develop competent communication skills? Husbands and wives need to take time to ask each other what they mean and clarify, clarify, clarify! Husbands: clarify what you mean when you say you just want to sit and watch TV after work. Tell you wife that it DOESN’T mean you are avoiding her all evening long. Tell her that you will do it for a certain amount of time and then will be available to talk with her afterwards. Tell her how important that time is for you.

 

Husbands: Do not think that all your wishes and wants will somehow be transferred to your wife by osmosis. She doesn’t know but what you tell her. She can’t be expected to read between all the lines and figure out the secret man language you are using. And when you are desiring intimacy with your wife, sometimes she can miss it. If left to her own devices, she will misunderstand something you did not adequately communicate! So what do you do? Clarify, explain, communicate.

 

Wives, as well, speak a totally different language than husbands. They speak with emotion, with connection, with a desire that their husbands will take an interest in them and in their day. Wives speak with depth, even when they seem shallow to their husbands. But wives, you too will have to clarify what you mean when you come home and want to spend time with your husband. He doesn’t understand the emotional connections, the need to be needed, the need for spoken words of affirmation, the need to be told ‘I love you’ and to be cuddled at night before bed. Many times you speak in a foreign language. And when you are desiring romance, he can totally miss it.

From the perspective of the unity model the above advice may play into the hands of the husband and prevent him from seeing what he needs to do to take care of this situation. Take for instance the statement underlined above: "They speak with emotion, with connection, with a desire that their husbands will take an interest in them and in their day." This is true. What needs to be stressed is that the wife's "desire that her husband take an interest in her day" is motivated by the desire to conjoin him to herself . If the husband rejects her desire for him to talk about her and her day, he needs to know that he is rejecting conjunction and unity. If he does this, he cannot later claim to her that he loves her and he wants to be her best friend. He may try to claim that later, but it wont' work on her. The trust is broken. Now he has to do the right thing to repair the injured trust between them -- as long as he still wants to be best friends with her.

 

Continuing with Dr. Trey's article:

Wives: Do not think that your wishes and wants will be magically transferred to your husband by osmosis. He needs for you to clarify, explain, communicate.

 

To put it another way, if we don’t communicate, then we will be distant, confused, and lost. Eventually, the relationship grows apart and dissolves; without communication, without connection, we die. Newborn infants have to be held after birth to develop normally. Child friendships develop because two persons find common areas of connection and interest. We are not made to be alone for our life.

 

Husbands and wives are brought together to be complementary and connectional.

 

Marriage demands excellence of the husband and the wife. The old adage of ‘we’ve been married for 40 years and we haven’t had a communication problem since I told her who was the boss’ doesn’t hold water anymore. Our parents and grandparents may have been able to scuff off not having had good communication skills and made us believe as if it was just fine and dandy to operate in misunderstanding and disconnection. 2005 is different. Husbands and wives operate in equality in the 21st century. Gone are the days of male domination and ‘women are to keep silent.’

(...)

 

Good communication empowers both spouses in love and harmony. Good communication keeps you connected to the other in understanding and clarity. And when problems arise and misunderstandings creep through the relationship, having established a pattern of understanding helps to ward off unnecessary arguments and family problems.

(...)

 

Secret number three: Words empower -- praise your spouse often in public and private.

 

It is rather easy at the start of a marriage, or even after years of marriage, for many couples to begin to gnaw on the other. Those little things that each does that totally irritates the other - small comments of complaint or disgust to the other spouse for the way they look, what they do, how they are, what is said, etc. Over time these small forms of rejection build up to form an emotional wall that forms between you and your spouse. Even if such small comments are unintentional or even part of your relationship, those comments do emotional damage when it need not.

 

Words can do allot of damage and equally words can bring inner healing and health. We all long for our parents to praise us for succeeding in life, for choosing a good partner, for having beautiful children, or for carrying on the family values. Equally, spouses long to hear those powerful words of affirmation from the other. Spousal comments can have the weight of parental comments.

 

More than just words of affirmation, praising the other spouse when you are out in public draws attention to the spouse’s strengths and abilities. It is a way of recognizing the VALUE you place in your spouse. It is more than just bragging on them, it is attaching the high value to them by recognizing their importance to you.

 

I know many of you reading this know well enough the complaints both husbands and wives have shared about the other in public places. I don’t need to share here the kinds of things you all have said about your spouse. We have all done it. But the bad part is how damaging it is to the other spouse, much like being slandered in public. Every time you share with another person a deficiency or problem in your spouse, you are slandering an aspect of your marriage, your covenant with them. You are actually lowering their value to you and after a while the sum of all they are can get quite low. If your marriage was a value stock on the emotional stock market, would it gain in value over time or lose in value over time?

 

Husbands: note the patterns in your life with your guy buddies as to how you speak of your wife to them. Do you praise your wife in front of them, noting the things she does well and the appreciation you have for her. If you begin to do this, your friends will begin to be envious of you and your relationship. They will wish to be like you. What a strong witness that can be for both your marriage and your faith.

 

Wives: note the patterns in your life with your girl friends as to how you speak of your husband to them. Do you praise your husband in front of your girlfriends, do you tell them about the things he does well and your appreciation for him? If you start doing this, they will wish they had as great a husband. What a powerful witness it is for a wife to praise her husband in public.

 

I certainly do not think that you have to lie and make up something about the other spouse. This isn’t about ego or trying to psych them into doing something right. It is about acknowledging the strengths and abilities of the other. It is about attaching a high value that is rightfully present.

 

It is important to praise your spouse in public, where others can attest and lay witness to your statements, but it is equally important to speak praise to your spouse within their listening range. Spouses, take moments to tell the other what you appreciate in them. Speaking words of praise to your spouse in private gives feedback directly to them, helping to strengthen their emotional foundations in the relationship. Tell your spouse what they are doing well and how that makes you feel. Share with them that you feel stronger in your faith because of their support for you. Tell them that the words of beauty and the words of love are meaningful and helpful.

 

Words are powerful elements within our culture and life. As you find yourself praising your spouse for their strengths and abilities, you will find yourself thinking more about them in your day. And the small things that irritate, even the mistakes that are made, seem more manageable. Such communication with your spouse creates a healthier environment by which to address the things that may be getting in the way of the relationship.

(...)

 

Praise and mutual admiration is good. However be sure you realize that praise and admiration do not exclude objective feedback. The husband depends on the wife's objective feedback to him about how he makes her feel. It is more effective when a wife uses objective feedback rather subjective feedback. To give feedback subjectively is to allow her frustration and anxieties be the context. This may be dismissed by husbands as criticizing and complaining, hence reducing the wife's effectiveness.

 

But giving feedback objectively confronts the husband at the right level and focus. Talking about him and his behavior directly encourages the husband to call it complaining. This is subjective feedback -- despite what it sounds like since you are talking about him. But it's the opposite!  To talk objectively the wife needs to talk about herself. She is the only one who can discuss objectively what she is feeling since she can observe that directly and report on it.

 

So objective feedback is to tell the husband how she feels.

 

For example, "I feel so frustrated because you are not listening to me."

Or, "I am getting sick with stress because you are not talking to me about it."

Or, "I feel totally bummed out. I feel it's totally unfair for you to do this."

Or, "I feel that you are not listening to me. I'm getting more and more upset because you won't take care of my feelings."

Or, "I'm very annoyed at you. I want you to stop."

Etc.

 

Versus, subjective feedback:

 

"You are lazy. When are you going to fix yourself?"

Or, "You are not listening to me. What is wrong with you?"

Or, "You forgot again. You're being totally unfair. You're so annoying."

Or, "You're being ridiculous. There you go again."

Etc.

 

Study the differences. You will see that all objective statements start with "I" while all subjective statements start with "You." This may be the reverse of what you had thought until now. but consider the logic of it. The only objective statements we can make are those that start with "I" since no one else can observe directly how you feel or what you think. So your statement reporting on how you feel or what you think is objective.

 

For the same reason if you start a statement with "You" then you're going to have to guess subjectively what the other person is doing or thinking or feeling. That's where the exchange starts failing. The husband simply denies that he feels this way or thinks that. He is going to reinterpret what you say and you fail to make your point to him. But he cannot call into question statements you make about yourself that you are informing him about.

 

Notice that the wife is telling the husband how she feels about what he is doing or not doing. So she can talk about what he should do or stop doing by telling him how she feels about it herself. Now it is up to him. If he says "Well, I don't care that you feel this way." then she knows where they stand. He cannot hide it or pretend. It's better that his attitude be called out into the open because then it's on the table and she can tell him how she feels about it.

 

So the wife's strategy to help the husband is to always confront him with objective statements about herself regarding how she feels about him or what he is doing or not doing. Everything a husband does is something he does to his wife. Until he recognizes this truth and reality, he is avoiding unity, avoiding true love, true friendship, and ultimately, conjugial unity in eternity.

 


 

For further information about Swedenborg's Writings see the Textbook of Theistic Psychology at:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic  


 

 

Readings

  1. Gender Discourse by Deborah Tannen (Oxford University Pres, 1994)

  2. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger (Harper/Collins Publishers, 2001)

  3. The Lazy Husband by Joshua Coleman (St. Martin's Press, 2005)

  4. The Unity Model of Marriage by Leon James and Diane Nahl (2006). Online Lecture Notes available here
      www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/409b-g25-lecture-notes.htm

  5.  Conjugial Love by Emanuel Swedenborg (1763). Available online as Married Love at:
       
    www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/contets/cltc.html

  6. Textbook of Theistic Psychology (2006) by Leon James. Available online at::
    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic

 

Prior Generation Student Reports
Student Reports on Marriage
My Understanding of the Unity Model of Marriage

Reports From Generation 24 (Spring 2006)

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/kanemaru/kanemaru-409b-g24-report2.htm

  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/tabon/tabon-409b-g24-report2.htm

  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/adams/adams-409b-g24-report2.htm 

  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/montague/montague-409b-g24-report2.htm

  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/Antonio/antonio-409b-g24-report2.htm

  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/lagondino/lagondino-409b-g24-report2.htm

  7. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/stipek/stipek-409b-g24-report2.htm

  8. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/buchner/buchner-409b-g24-report2.htm

  9. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/lau/lau-409b-g24-report2.htm

  10. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/kanemaru/kanemaru-409b-g24-report1.htm

  11. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/saito/saito-409b-g24-report1.htm

  12. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/buchner/buchner-409b-g24-report1.htm

  13. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/stipek/stipek-409b-g24-report1.htm

  14. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2006/adams/adams-409b-g24-report1.htm

 

Reports From Generation 23 (Fall 2005)

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/takahashi/Takahashi-409b-g23-report2.htm

  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/ventrucci/ventrucci-409b-g23-report2.htm

  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/funtanilla/funtanilla-409b-g23-report2.htm

  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/peters/peters-409b-g23-report2.htm

  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/bernstein/bernstein-409b-g23-report2.htm

  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/ethier/ethier-409b-g23-report2.htm

  7. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/mcwade/mcwade-409b-g23-report2.htm

  8. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/patinio/patinio-409b-g23-report2.htm

  9. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/ramirez/ramirez-409b-g23-report2.htm

  10. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bf2005/paulino/paulino--409b-g23-report2.htm

 

Readings From Generation 22 (Spring 2005)
Student Reports on Marriage

My Understanding of the Unity Model of Marriage

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/horst/409b-g22-report2.htm

  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/kwan/409b-g22-report2.htm

  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/kikuchi/409b-g22-report2.htm

  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/luney/report2.htm

  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/nakamura/409b-g22-report2.htm

  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409bs2005/regucera/409b-g22-report2.htm

 

Readings From Generation 21 (Fall 2004)
Student Reports on Marriage

My Understanding of the Unity Model of Marriage

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/sabey/409b-g21-report2.htm
  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/valle/409b-g21-report2.htm
  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/lacy/409b-g21-report2.doc.htm
  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/leung/409b-g21-report2.htm
  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/garhartt/409b-g21-report2.doc.htm
  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/arakawa-longboy/report2.htm
  7. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2004/Villegas/REPORT%20TWO.htm

 

Readings From Generation 20 (Spring 2004)
Student Reports on Marriage

Gender Unity--Annotated Bibliography

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/duclos/report1.htm
  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/shortcake/report1.htm
  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/kent/report1.htm
  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/howard/report1.htm
  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/combs/report%201.htm
  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/kent/report1.htm
  7. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/lau_r/paper1.htm
  8. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/liwai/stuff/firstreport.doc

Gender Unity--Applied Project

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/ruby_skies/ruby_skies%20report%202.htm
  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/howard/report2.htm
  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/duclos/report.2.htm
  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/combs/report%202.htm
  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/kent/report2.htm

My Proposal for TV Ratings on Anti-Unity Values (AUV)

  1. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/liwai/report3.htm 
  2. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/shortcake/report3.htm 
  3. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/chrism/report3.htm 
  4. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/ruby_skies/report3.htm 
  5. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/duclos/report3.htm 
  6. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bs2004/howard/report3.htm 

Readings From Earlier Generations:
Student Reports on Gender and Driving

  1. Gender Differences in Driving Norms. Are Men More Aggressive Drivers Than Women? by Sheri Lieberman
  2. Gender Differences in Driving: Society's Effect on Our Driving by Karla Hampp
  3. Gender Differences in Driving: You're Driving me Nuts! by Ike Matsunaga
  4. Gender differences in Driving:subjective or concrete? by Jason Thompson
  5. In Kyung Yang's Report with Review Articles
  6. Lucey's Report on Gender differences Among Drivers
  7. Finta's Review of Gender Differences in Aggressive Driving
  8. Naranjo's Report on Women Drivers
  9. Hatori's Report on Gender Differences
  10. Report on Men and Women Drivers
  11. C. Kawamura--Is There a Gender Difference in Driving?
  12. J. Nakasone--Gender differences: Make your own observations
  13. W. Tagomori--Does Sex Matter in Driving?
  14. I. Yang--Gender Differences in Driving: Not Easy to Prove

 

Opinions and Ideas from Sources Other than Swedenborgian

 

Selected supplementary literature on marriage will be found in this file:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy22/409b-g22-literature.htm


Back to G25 Class Home Page:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy25/classhome-g25.htm 

Back to Leon James Home:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/leon.html