2008, G27, Psychology 409b Seminar
Home Page for G27, Spring 2008 is at:
and their annotated Web Links on Marriage:
The web address of this document is:
FOREVER -- ETERNITY NOW
The Unity Model of
How to Achieve the Conjoint Self
Lecture Notes Version 21e
Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of
Mental Anatomy and the Individual's
2.1 Mental Anatomy of Women
Masculine Intelligence and Feminine Intelligence
Three Levels of Unity in the Marriage Relationship
Unity Through Reciprocity and
Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective
Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex
Unity Model in
Marriage: Ennead Chart of Growth Steps
Threefold Degrees of Conjunction
Male Dominance Phase of Marriage
9.1 Definition of sexual
Developing mental intimacy with one's wife
The Spiritual Dimension
to the Unity Model
Making Field Observations
Dynamic Elements of the Ennead Chart
Areas of Observations for Equity
Behavioral Indicators of
One's Relationship Phase
Gender Discourse Within the Three Phases
Sexy vs. Unsexy Conversational Style
Spiritual Dynamics Between Husband
Conversational Rules for Husbands in
Characteristics of Husband's
Threefold Self During Discourse
Field Activity: Monitoring
Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse
Unhappiness on the Ennead Chart
Contrasting the Three Phases
Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUVs)
Examples of Unity Values (UVs) -- Sweetheart
Giving Objective Feedback
|| 3.1 ||
|| 16d.2 ||
|| 21.2 ||
Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?
There are two views on marriage. One may be called the "materialistic" view of
marriage, while the other is the "spiritual" view of marriage.
The materialistic view on marriage is the socio-legal definition by community
and government, namely that marriage ends at the death of one of the partners.
This type of outlook on marriage creates what may be called "natural marriages."
"Spiritual marriages" are those in which the partners see themselves as bound
together after death. Hence, when one of the two partners dies, the other does
not think that the marriage is over. Death is just a temporary separation until
the other can catch up, whereupon they are reunited as husband and wife to
The materialistic view on death is that it is the end. The spiritual view on
death is that it is the end of life in the physical world of time, and the
beginning of life in the spiritual world of eternity.
In the history of modern scientific psychology the adoption of materialism was a
necessary step in separating psychology from philosophy and religion, with which
it was tied before for centuries, since Aristotle. The new materialistic
psychology views marriage in the socio-legal track so that marriage counseling
does not involve discussion of the marriage continuing in the afterlife. It
merely assumes the end of it at death.
In the past few years the American Psychological Association, which sets
standards for science and practice, has encouraged licenses therapists to become
knowledgeable in "theistic psychotherapy" which refers to the inclusion into the
therapy of spiritual ideas that clients may have. In other words clinicians in
the future will be expected to be able to deal with relevantly spiritual
marriages as well as natural marriages.
Note well: This does not mean that the therapist is expected to believe
that the marriage continues after death. In other words, the therapist's view on
marriage can be called a "materialistic view of spiritual marriages." Of course
this is different from a "spiritual view of spiritual marriages."
The difference between materialistic and spiritual is easy to remember:
Materialistic view on
marriage = 'Till death do us part
Spiritual view on
marriage = Forever in the afterlife
It's understandable that materialistic psychology takes the socio-legal view on
marriage when we realize that psychologists do not have any details about the
human body and mind after death. Until such knowledge is developed psychology
must remain materialistic about marriage and the human mind.
Fortunately, in 1981 I discovered the Swedenborg Reports which were written in
the 18th century by the Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). I will
present his discoveries throughout the course, especially in relation to his
observations about marriages in the afterlife of the spiritual world. At the age
of 57 he suddenly became conscious in his spiritual mind. As a result of this he
was in the unique historical position of recording his observations of what
happens to people after death. The unity model of marriage in this course is
based on his reports and observations.
The Swedenborg Reports at last gives psychology the knowledge of mental anatomy.
It therefore gives psychology a basis for a new view on marriage which is
spiritual rather than materialistic. In other words, the new view takes into
account the dynamics of marriage as progressive from this life to the afterlife.
The anatomy and physiology of a human being will now be dualist rather than
monist. In other words every human being is born simultaneously into two worlds
through a physical body in the physical world and a spiritual body through the
spiritual world of the afterlife. At death we lose connection with the physical
body and continue life in the spiritual body. When Swedenborg at age 57 became
conscious in his spiritual body while still connected to his physical body, he
was able to observe how the two worlds work together in one function.
This will help you with the new ideas introduced in this course: Remember that
in this new view, our thoughts and feelings do not reside in the brain of the
physical body, but in the brain of the spiritual body.
The reason is that sensations, thoughts, and feelings are psychological entities
or substances, not physical or electro-chemical, like the neurons of the brain
and their activity. Materialistic psychology is forced to put sensations and
thoughts in the physical brain since it knows nothing about the spiritual body
and its spiritual brain, spiritual heart, spiritual skin, spiritual liver,
spiritual uterus, spiritual hands and legs, and so on. But in this course we are
going to assume that we have valid knowledge from the Swedenborg Reports about
the spiritual body and its organs.
This new approach will allow psychology to avoid the trap of "reductionism"
which many critics of psychology have pointed out. Reductionism is to reduce the
mind as the same as the body. Instead of talking about some hypothetical mind,
psychology prefers reductionism, namely, our thoughts and feelings are
"epiphenomena" of the physical brain of neuronal activity. When the neuronal
activity in the physical brain dies, the thoughts and feelings disappear from
existence. The self or person is no more.
Again this is a forced reductionist position for psychology since it knows
nothing about the spiritual body. It is the activity of the spiritual body that
constitutes what we call "the mind." This makes sense because the spiritual body
is not born in physical time and matter, but in the spiritual world. Swedenborg
gives many geographic details about the spiritual world of the afterlife. He
observed the process of "resuscitation" with hundreds of people he knew in
Sweden and elsewhere, and hundreds of strangers from all parts of the world. It
happens as follows.
Our conscious life of self and personality is the collection of sensations,
thoughts, and feelings we experience from birth onward. Our conscious life
exists therefore because of the activity in the layers of our spiritual body
which is houses the mind and its sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The mental
layers or levels of conscious life in human beings falls into two major
categories called the natural mind and the spiritual mind.
Swedenborg discovered that from birth to death we are conscious in our natural
mind and unconscious in our spiritual mind. At resuscitation, which occurs a few
hours after death, we become conscious in our spiritual mind and gradually lose
consciousness in our natural mind.
In our daily life consciousness of the natural mind we are not aware that we are
connected to our spiritual mind. And yet, Swedenborg shows that the two layers
of the mind are interconnected and function together. Neither could function
without the other. People are therefore unaware that their choices moment to
moment all day long operate at two levels, one in the natural mind, connected to
the physical body, and the other in the spiritual mind connected to the
In a natural marriage the husband and wife interact without realizing that each
interaction has a determinative effect on their spiritual mind and body. But
when they decide to have a spiritual marriage, they become aware of how their
current interaction through the natural mind is going to affect their future
together in eternity through their spiritual body and mind.
More on these anatomical details will be discussed as we progress through the
course. For now you need to realize that you are not being asked to believe in
the afterlife or in the scientific validity of the Swedenborg Reports, or in the
unity model of marriage. You are only given these ideas as things to learn about
and analyze from a rational, objective, and scientific perspective. You will
learn various facts and interpretations in relation to the unity model of
marriage. You don't have to believe these facts and interpretations, only to
know what they are as presented in this research seminar.
The Unity Model of Marriage as I present it here has two components -- the
theoretical context and the empirical confirmation. The theory is based on the
mental anatomy discovered by Swedenborg through his life in a dual consciousness
state for 27 years. This mental anatomy shows that we are born with a physical
body in time and
a spiritual body in eternity. Marriage involves a conjunction between the
partners' physical bodies (which is temporary) and their spiritual bodies (which
is permanent in eternity).
If we assume the positive bias in science on the Swedenborg Reports then we can
examine whether this theoretical context helps us in our modern context to
understand the marriage relationship as it is today. This is the second
component of the Unity Model of Marriage. Since 1981 I have made an intense
study of my own marriage within this theoretical context. In 1985, I articulated
my initial observations in the
Doctrine of the Wife.
Since then I continued my self-study on a daily basis and tried to express the
theoretical context in modern scientific terms suitable for psychology as we
know it today. I applied the theoretical principles to my observations of my
thoughts and feelings throughout the day, especially in relation to my
interactions with my wife. We discussed our insights together on a daily basis
so that she is as much a co-creator of the model as I am. Her feminine
intelligence is the centre of this model as expressed through my masculine
on the Unity Model of Marriage
will give you the opportunity to examine gender
behavior in the context of marriage and of exclusive romantic relationships.
will identify the sub-components of gender
habits in men and women within the three domains of behavior: affective (A),
cognitive (C), and sensorimotor (S). We will use the phrase "threefold self" to
refer to these three levels of human activity. This three-way subdivision of
human behavior is traditional and very useful. However these three components
have been studied separately, each in their own context. In this course we
will make sure that we always keep track of interactions in terms of these three
components together. In real life nothing happens unless all three operate
For instance, as you read this you are thinking (cognitive,
C). But you are also looking (sensorimotor, S). And you couldn't be looking and
thinking unless you are motivated (affective, A) to do that by some goal you
have (e.g., performing an assignment, interested in the subject, etc.). So the
threefold self (A, C, S) must be involved in every interaction and behavior we
do all day long. Start observing things around when you can take a moment, and
think about which is the affective (A) -- or why they're doing it, and which is
the cognitive (C) -- or what they're thinking while doing it, and which is the
sensorimotor (S) -- or what they are doing that you observe. Often it is easier
to start in reverse order with what they are doing that you can see (S), what
they must be thinking (C), and why they are doing it (A).
This self-witnessing exercise is also very
helpful to apply to yourself in various situations throughout the day:
What I am doing or saying or showing that someone can
What I am thinking, planning, interpreting, appraising,
What I am intending, striving for, hoping for, wanting,
Our focus will be on identifying
the differences in the mental structure of men and women 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.
There are different types of intimacy, like the intimacy of
family members, the intimacy of good friends, the intimacy of lovers who have
just met, the intimacy we have with various others like doctors, lawyers,
therapists. These types of intimacy are different from the intimacy between
married partners or couples who intend to be together for life. People recognize
that when they are in love they are in heaven. And sometimes they feel like they
are in heaven and hell
alternately, when there are threats they perceive to that love (e.g., when
having a fight or disagreement). It is recognized that being in
love with one's spouse or one's committed partner provides a delightful, heavenly, and
fulfilling life. But this reality is known more from romantic songs and novels
from real life because of a lack of understanding of how unity is achieved.
There are couples who are mentally tied to each other on a
permanent basis, and yet don't feel fulfilled to the extent of calling their
life delightful and heavenly (sometimes we observe this with our parents or
uncles and aunts). There are couples who are tied to each other by
tradition and family in social circles where women don't have the same rights as
men to decide on things. This applies as well to dating couples and
couples who live together unmarried. Inequality of status and of rights can lead to male
dominance and suppression of women's inner feminine traits. Without free expression and
trust, women cannot feel that they are in heaven. And the freedom that men feel
in male dominated relationships is not truly a freedom that can lead them to
feel that they are in heaven.
happiness and fulfillment of both wife and husband depend on the attainment
between them of physical intimacy within the shared context of mental
intimacy. To be mentally intimate means that they are best friends to
each other in the context of a romantic and sexual relationship. This
relationship 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 or practice to govern
their behavior in the marriage relationship.
This covers both the principles and
attitudes they are aware of, as well as those they acquired and perform without
awareness. Both types govern the values (A), emotions (A), thoughts (C), and actions
during their interactions.
Note that this definition of model is a different use of the
term than the one you ordinarily encounter through other courses. A "scientific
model" usually refers to a theory constructed by a scientist to explain a
complex set of phenomena or observations. In psychology we can contrast the
"behavioral model" with the "psychodynamic model" or the "Gestalt model." In
economics there are mathematical models to account for data trends such as the
stock market. The Stanislavski method of teaching professional actors is also
called a model. You can find two dozen definitions with this link:
The way we use the word model in the "unity model of
marriage" is to represent the mentality, or type of mental states, that men and
women have when interacting with each other. For example, if a man has the "male
dominance model" in his principles and motivations, he will express attitudes that indicate the
principle that women have a lower status than men and should be obedient to
their husband or boyfriend. This attitude or "ruling motive" enters into
every interaction with a woman that such a man has. It may only be visible in
some interactions, but it is present in all interactions. In contrast a man who
thinks and reasons from the "equity model" will be motivated to achieve parity,
equity, or fairness between men and women in all situations.
Other terms that are related to the term "model" in the sense
we are using it, include
script, schema, expectancy, philosophy, or principle.
Part of the
purpose of the course is to give you skills in recognizing what relationship
phase that two partners are in at any particular time or in any specific
situation or issue that confronts them.
This is not always clear to the participants
themselves. A man may think and claim that he is in the equity phase 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 male 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
treat women in a special way such as is done by men who are chivalrous or
respectful of women. In this mental unity phase husbands are capable of becoming best
friends and soul mates with their wife.
approach 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, C), and in feeling states (affective self,
When they are unified at all three levels of self, husband and 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
In the male dominance and equity models there is no motivation for
achieving a conjoint self. In those mental states men would feel like they are
abnormally losing their freedom and personality when they consider becoming a
conjoint self with their woman. But in the unity phase of thinking men desire to
achieve that state and are willing to give up their independent self for the
sake of the conjoint self. In general you will find that women are more
attracted to the unity model than men.
The unity model of marriage actually describes a progression
of three phases. The first phase is called the male dominance phase 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 the women don't
want to do. 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 or boyfriends treat their wife or girlfriend during the first phase of
their intimate relationship called the male
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. Some men eventually get the idea that they can't
just continue to dominate their wife or girlfriend and expect the two of them to be in
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 acting and
thinking according to the equity
or parity model, and less and less time acting and thinking in the male dominance mode.
Some men are spiritually enlightened by accepting in their
mind the reality of the afterlife and the ability of being together with this
one woman for eternity. Once men accept this idea as real, they are called
spiritually enlightened. The word "spiritual" as used in this course is defined
as that which has to do with eternity. Once a man is spiritually enlightened he begins to see
intuitively and rationally that equity is not bringing their wife true heavenly happiness.
Equity or parity between woman and man puts them
theoretically at the same level. This relationship is better for the woman than
the male dominance relationship phase -- far better. But it is not enough for a
woman to feel completely free, totally her feminine, hence really happy and
flourishing. A woman
instinctively, or spiritually and rationally, feels and knows that she deserves a higher place in a man's estimation
than just parity 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. This is not
parity or equity, but unity.
Inwardly, both men
and women are equally heavenly and celestial, but outwardly a man is less
heavenly than a woman. This is because the male function on this planet is to
face the harshness of the outside world while the female function is to provide
man with the motivation for it. She provides a softer context for his harsher
exterior so that he may be mollified and acquire the capacity of be more
celestial, more peaceful, more altruistic, more human. Masculine intelligence
alone is harsh, competitive, and task-focused; hence it neglects the higher
aspects of life that he can enjoy, such as love, conjunction, unity,
peacefulness, altruism, romance, children, self-sacrifice, community,
communication, intimacy, compassion, receptiveness, cooperation. These are
called "heavenly" or "celestial" traits and are supplied and sustained by
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.
barriers or resistances to overcome with each level of the relationship 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 phase. This is what they find most comfortable. But
women desire and long for the conjoint self of soul mates, lovers 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.
and boyfriends frequently oppose the unification process to more intimate levels,
while wives and girlfriends constantly fight for pulling the man into such
examine this classic and traditional relationship dynamic or fight by observing and
monitoring the behavior of boyfriends and husbands, or those portrayed on TV, in song lyrics, and
in novels. 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.
of unity may be referred to as sensorimotor consociation (S)
and involves what the couple do together externally or socially.
may be called cognitive affiliation (C), involving how they each think and to
what extent they agree in definitions and beliefs.
The third and deepest
may be called affective conjunction (A), and involves what they feel
for each other, whether they have compatible intentions, whether they enjoy
compatible things, and whether they are striving for compatible and mutual goals.
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, sports, etc. This means that achieving affective
conjunction or intimacy is judged less important to the husband or boyfriend than to the
wife or girlfriend. This basic opposition forms the psychological dynamics of the marriage
relationship -- its healthy progression or its gradual degradation into abuse
Marriage? What's the secret? How not to get a divorce:
The hypothesis to be examined throughout the course is that
the marriage relationship between husband and wife begins at a natural level
("natural marriages") and
can add a spiritual level of relationship ("spiritual marriages"), once the natural level is well
We shall introduce the new concept of spiritual marriages
which is based on what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) 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
motto "Till Death Do Us Part" while spiritual marriages follow the motto "Till
The expression "spiritual marriage" will be used in this
course to refer to the marriage of partners who define their marriage as
continuing in the afterlife. The unity model of marriage is possible only with
spiritual marriages. Hence "spiritual" = marriage in the afterlife of eternity.
Swedenborg interviewed many couples who are living in the afterlife of
eternity in what they call their "heaven."
The expression "soul mates" also implies that the
relationship continues forever. Partners who see themselves as "soul mates"
united forever are willing to give up their independent self for the conjoint self.
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 see themselves as together forever, united to endless eternity.
Writings of Swedenborg (1688-1772), scientists were not able to introduce the concept of
spiritual marriages and the concept of the afterlife of eternity because there was no scientific
proof of the existence of an afterlife that takes place in a world of eternity,
outside time and space, also called "the spiritual world" and "heaven and hell."
Scientists relegate these ideas to religion, belief, or folklore. But this changed with
the Swedenborg Reports, written and published in the 18th century, when it
was discovered that we are born with a physical body in time and a spiritual
body in eternity.
The Swedenborg Reports (or the
Writings of Swedenborg) 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 of eternity. These data include the many interviews he
conducted with married couples in the mental zones of eternity called "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 now possible to do so, due to the Swedenborg Reports and
the methodological approach called
bias in science.
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.
In this psychology course 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 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 what is truly human with us must be immortal and that to think of
ourselves as mortal, is to remain below our true potential. If you love someone
as much as you love yourself, the thought of losing this person is like death,
and actually losing the person is like dying. Love dies when it loses its object
of love. This is why it's such good news that love never dies. This idea exists
in romance and in first loves. Often people adopt a cynical view, thinking that these
are just ideas, ideals, songs, fantasy. But now with the new empirical and
observational evidence presented
by Swedenborg, scientists like myself can examine the facts, the explanations,
As scientists in training in this
Research Seminar on the unity model of marriage you are asked to examine this
evidence and the rationality of its theory, and to see if you can usefully apply
it to your current cultural and intellectual context relating to relationships
Some marriages remain what they started out to be, namely an
external socio-legal bond that is legally and socially recognized. It is also a
psychological bond because married and live in 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
women crave for from their husbands or committed boyfriends.
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 human 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 (or eternal), in addition
to natural (or temporary).
The difference is illustrated by the marriage vows. Our
socio-legal-psychological context 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 which 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 with
our spiritual bodies in the mental regions of the mind called "heaven."
Some couples who know nothing about the "afterlife of
mental eternity" 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,
So this is not a new notion.
Although they may be in a cultural minority right now, some
couples seem to have an inner 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 inner 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
Of course to take this step, the partners have to know or
assume that there is an afterlife of eternity, 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 detailed knowledge of the afterlife is not available to most
It is flatly denied by materialistic science in the negative
bias mode, 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 acknowledge or 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 operating from the negative bias, the spiritual dimension is neutralized, reduced, or eliminated from
focus. Hence the research literature on marriage in psychology does not
mention spiritual marriages and the afterlife. Nevertheless as more people begin
to accept the possibility of spiritual marriage there will be more data to study
detailing the benefits of spiritual marriages to the happiness, productivity,
and fulfillment of the partners here on earth.
This was the negative bias intellectual climate in which I was immersed when I
started studying the marriage relationship in 1962 when I received my Ph.D. in
psychology. But in 1981 my wife and I were
browsing together the shelves in Hamilton Library here on the University of
Hawaii campus, 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 Lecture Notes for Psych 459, G27, along with
the student reports at:
A thorough compilation of articles and links about Swedenborg
is available from Answers.com at:
As you explore what people say about Swedenborg you will
note that almost all of it has to do with interpreting his Writings as
theological and religious, rather than scientific. I am among a few current
scientists who see Swedenborg's Writings as science rather than religion.
To me the most amazing aspect of Swedenborg's discovery is
that the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity is the same thing as our
In other words we are born into eternity with a spiritual
body and into time-place with a physical body. The two are connected by the laws
of correspondence. All our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are stored and
felt in the spiritual body, not in the physical body whose brain activity
consists of merely chemical
and electrical activity. In contrast, the activity in the spiritual body is
mental and is a reaction by
correspondence to the activity in the physical body. When the physical body dies
or disintegrates, the spiritual body is free from the prior connection and
continues life where it has been since birth, namely the mental world of
eternity. The details of how this phenomenon occurs are totally unknown in
psychology so it's understandable that it is not considered scientific.
This may not be an easy concept to understand right away. The
positive bias in science assumes that there are two worlds of reality, one world in time-space-matter,
and the other world outside time-space-matter called the mental world of eternity.
After some reflection you will
come to realize that sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not material
(electrical or chemical). They don't have mass and don't weigh anything in the
material world. Thoughts and feelings cannot exist in the material world
since they are not electrical or chemical. In the negative bias
mode it is concluded that thoughts and feelings are not real but subjective
illusions that "emerge from" the electro-chemical activity of the physical brain.
This type of materialistic interpretation or bias is called reductionism.
But in the positive bias mode of scientific thinking it is concluded that thoughts
and feelings are real objective phenomena. They are not material
(physical anatomy), but
substantive (mental anatomy). This is called "substantive dualism" in science. In other words, there
exist mental substances and organs of the threefold self in our spiritual body, and our thoughts and feelings are constructed out of these
mental substances in our spiritual body.
Swedenborg was able to confirm that the people he encountered
in his spiritual travels were the same people he had known as friends and
neighbors in Sweden. Swedenborg at age 57 suddenly found himself conscious in
both worlds simultaneously. Until age 82 when he passed on, he took daily notes
of his observations and experiments, amassing a collection of about 30 volumes
called the "Writings of Swedenborg." They have been studied by Swedenborgian
scholars who translated his works into various languages. Consult Google to see
what Swedenborg's stature is today.
So the spiritual world of the afterlife is nothing else
than the mental world in which we are conscious right now.
The reason we are not aware of those who live in the
afterlife of mental eternity is that we must be conscious in our spiritual mind in order to be
aware of the mental world of eternity in which we are now. Instead, our
conscious awareness is restricted to the natural mind and this part of the mind
gets all its input from the physical body. But once we are cut off from the
physical body by the dying process, we are resuscitated a few hours later in our
spiritual mind. At that instant we become aware of all those who are there and
the cities and gardens they dwell in. Swedenborg observed hundreds of people
undergo this resuscitation process, talking to them on earth before death,
and then talking to them a few hours later in the mental world of the afterlife.
Once we are resuscitated in the spiritual body we appear
exactly like before and we discover that our sensations, thoughts, and feelings
are much more intense and pure when the physical body is no longer connected to
our spiritual body. Swedenborg interviewed many couples who live in their "heavens,"
even some who have been there together for thousands of years. They all looked
like they were in the "flower of youth" or late adolescence and early
adulthood. You can check out
many more details if you consult the
Notes for Theistic Psychology (Psychology 459, G27).
This is truly wonderful and amazing news! We live our
immortality in eternity, which is our mental world, not as a disembodied soul, dream specter, or
ghost, but as a full fledged bodily human being.
Swedenborg was conscious in the
world of the afterlife continuously without interruption 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 of the
afterlife 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 the afterlife, 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. But this is only an appearance that you are experiencing because of
your past training in the negative bias mode of thinking, and also because
you've been taught that God and science don't mix. Also because there are lots
of mentally questionable individuals who have claimed to talk to God or to see
Given all this background with the negative bias mode of
thinking, it's not a surprise that you might think that this is a fantasy
subject, not science.
Nevertheless, please hear me out until the end and continue your
examination and study of the facts and theory being presented in this course.
Even if, in the end, you will reject the eternity feature of the unity model,
there will remain several very useful concepts that you can use in your life and
philosophy, such as the threefold self, the three models of marriage, and the
use of these models in measuring and analyzing elements of popular culture and
To think that some aspects of this proposal
are 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 later 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
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 we all feel is a built in learned reaction
against any proposal in science that makes mention of the afterlife, of heaven and
hell, or of 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 supposed to think from
science education that this proposal is fantastic and impossible, we are not able to prove that
it is false and fantastic, or even, that it is not science. I have examined the
explanations and arguments of various scientists writing from the negative bias
mode. It is clear that they too are unable to prove that there is no God, unable
to prove that this world is self-born or produced, unable to prove that our
spiritual body does not exist, unable to prove that thoughts and feelings are
electrical activity rather than eternal mental substances, unable to prove that
marriage ends at death and does not continue. Etc. Etc. You can see from these
considerations why I call the materialistic view as the negative bias in
A bias means that they assume something as valid which
they cannot prove scientifically to be true or accurate.
For further discussion along this
line, please consult Volume 1 of Textbook of Theistic Psychology at
Let's examine Swedenborg's language and style, as translated
from Latin into English. Quoting from Swedenborg's book Conjugial Love (1768):
In some places I insert italicized explanations in square brackets
in order to fill in some of the context that is not presented here.
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
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. [ Note: angels = people who
have passed into the afterlife and are living in their heavens; spirits =
general word for people in the afterlife ]
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) The Lord'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 the Lord 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 [ man = generic male or female ], 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 the Lord'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
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 the Lord gives a wife by
means of her husband's wisdom. The other love is a masculine love, a love of
being wise, given by the Lord 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.
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. [ this does not
mean that men are more intelligent than women -- see our class discussions and
later in these notes ]
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 behavior. In short, they
have no similarity, and yet every detail has the impulse towards union.
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.
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 [ = Spiritual Sun in the mental world of eternity ]
of angels [ = people after death who live in the heavens of their mind
], which is unadulterated love. (CL 34)
[ love = operations in our affective organ = life or heat of our
affections, feelings, emotions, sensations, intentions, motivation ]
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 [ = operations in the affective organ ] 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 [ = exterior visible portion in body and speech
] taken by his love.
But it ought to be known that
the inner man [ = our spiritual mind in the spiritual body which becomes
conscious after death and resuscitation in eternity ], which is one and the same as his spirit which lives on after
death, is a form taken by his love [ = our face in the spiritual body looks
similar to our face in the physical body ]. But the outer man in the world
[ = physical body ] 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 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 [
= operations in the cognitive organ that are directed by the operations
in the affective organ ]; 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. [ = in the threefold
self, the sensorimotor actions (S) are directed by the cognitive operations
(C) that are directed by the affective operations (A): thus: A
--> C --> S ]
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.
[ Note: this is really good news, don't you think?! How can we feel
that we are in heaven if we can't have conjugial love with sexual love? The
sensations we experience in our spiritual body after death are far more
intense and pure than the sensations we experience in the physical body now.
Swedenborg was able to confirm this many times during his 27 years of dual
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.
the male and the female of the human species are so created as to be able to
become like a single individual [ = the conjoint self in
the unity model of marriage ], that is, one flesh; and when united, then
they are, taken together, the full expression of humanity. [
= the conjoint self is a higher form of human potential
than the self ]
If not so joined,
they are two, each being as it were a divided person or half a person.
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
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 [
= our natural mind and physical body ],
conjugial love to the spiritual man [ = our spiritual mind and spiritual
body ]. The natural man loves and desires only outward union
[ = social and legal ] and the bodily pleasures [ = of
the physical body ] it gives [ = to our natural
But the spiritual man loves
and desires inner union [ = mental intimacy at the affective level of
the threefold self ] and the delights of the spirit it gives [ =
the pleasures experienced with the spiritual body which are more intense and
pure than is possible with the physical body ], and he
perceives that these are only possible with one wife [ = exclusive sexual
relationship ], with whom the degree of
union can perpetually [ = after death ] increase. The more the union increases, the more he
feels delights rising in the same scale, and lasting for ever. But the natural
man [ = materialistic outlook or mentality ] 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 [ = undergo the process of character reformation
and regeneration of our inherited selfish or evil traits ]. (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 the
Lord. This can only happen fully with those whom the Lord has prepared to
receive the truths of spiritual wisdom. It has therefore pleased the Lord 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)
[ You can read these books online at
CL 40. (vi) Consequently there are marriages in heaven.
Since this has now been confirmed both by argument and by experience [ = as
reported in his books, see just above for links ], it
requires no further proof. (CL 40)
CL 41. (vii) The Lord's statement that after the resurrection people are not
given in marriage refers to spiritual weddings.
We read in the Gospels: [ = New Testament Sacred Scripture ]
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
the Lord 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.
The Lord 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 [ = in quoted passages from the Old and
New Testament Sacred Scriptures ] 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).
 The second point, that people are not given in marriage in heaven, was
proved by the words [ = in the New Testament ] '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 the Lord [ = through reformation
and regeneration of our inherited evil character traits ], something that happens on
earth, and if it has taken place on earth, it has also taken place in heaven.
The [ spiritual ] wedding [ = regeneration of
character ] 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 the Lord 'the sons of the wedding' (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19*); and in this
passage 'angels,' 'sons of God' and 'sons of the resurrection.'
 Marrying [ = spiritual wedding ] is being linked with the Lord, and going in to a wedding is being
received into heaven by the Lord. This is plain from these passages. [ =
New Testament Sacred Scripture ]
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.
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.
It is clear that the Lord 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: [
= New Testament Sacred Scripture ]
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 the Lord said, as was shown fully
in THE TEACHING OF THE NEW JERUSALEM ABOUT THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, published at
Amsterdam in 1763.
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
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 the
Lord 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.'
 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 travelers 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.'
 I gazed at them both, because I realized 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.
 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.
 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. [
=the conjoint self ] 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
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 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
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
VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; but not so with those
who go to hell [ = this is determined by personal choice according to our
ruling love after resuscitation from death ].
The explanation now follows whereby these articles are
illustrated and confirmed. [ not reproduced here due to its length, but see
the original book
First read all the sub-parts of this exercise, then explore the following site:
(a) Explore this site. Read a sample of the articles.
(b) Summarize the perspective outlined by
Solomon and Tirah Keal
in their marriage support blog.
(c) Compare their view to the unity model of marriage. What are the similarities
and the differences.
(d) Discuss it with your friends. What are your conclusions?
Here is a selection from the site:
The doctrine (and practice) of
true marriage love is one of the most
wonderful things we can offer this world, as Christian people.
"The marriage of one husband with one wife
is the precious jewel of human life." - Emanuel Swedenborg (Conjugial
In what ways is the doctrine and practice of true marriage love different
from the ways the rest of the world looks at marriage?
- Marriage is Eternal: If we think of
marriage as temporary, then we won't treat it with the care it deserves. But
if we recognize that marriage is eternal, we will treasure it, and nurture
it, with the knowledge that it will keep getting better to eternity in
- Marriage is about Daily Choice, or Daily
Consent: In rough times in our marriage, we might be tempted to
think, "Did I make the wrong choice? Did I pick the wrong person? Should I
have chosen somebody else?" These thoughts will break down a marriage.
Finding our "true love" is not about destiny, it's about the work of
choosing to love someone every minute of every day. We have the power to
make our spouse our "true love,"
simply by choosing them.
- Marriage is about the Complementary Union
of two individuals into one "angel": Men and Women each represent
half of humanity. As an individual we are really only half human, and half
the image of God. But in marriage we can come together in a complementary
union that allows for true human happiness.
- Marriage (like Spiritual Re-Birth) takes
regular Maintenance: We might be tempted to think that once we've
gotten married, the work is over. Actually the work is just beginning, and
if a marriage doesn't have daily maintenance, it will fall apart much faster
than any machine. If we make it a spiritual discipline to love God, and love
our neighbor (the nearest one being our spouse) then we will find true
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 model "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 thoughts and
feelings. What keeps
them in this state of heavenly union or conjoint self, is their mutual love and inmost friendship
for each other.
(1) They are lovers and best friends at the same time.
(2) They are
strongly motivated not to hurt each other out of neglect, impatience,
anger, disagreement, or resentment.
(3) They are committed to never contradict each other.
(4) They remain loyal to each other before anybody else, including children, family,
friends, career, hobby.
(5) They are happy, fulfilled, and constantly passionately
in love with each other.
How did they get to this state of unity?
Remember that the unity model consists of three phases of
attainment in marriage and intimate exclusive romantic relationships:
Phase 1: male dominance model (natural marriage,
Phase 2: equity model (natural marriage, modern)
Phase 3: unity model (spiritual marriage)
These three phases of the marriage relationship will be
further defined and discussed in detail as you progress through the course.
Every couple has to leave the male dominance phase behind them
for the equity phase, but
then some couples can come to realize that the equity phase is inherently unfair to
women. It appears that the equity phase empowers women to leave behind the
oppressiveness of the male dominance phase, but it turns out that this 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 in the equity model? Or take this example:
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
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 phase. 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 phase 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 phase fairly. This
solution is often described in history and literature, and in the media today.
Even if a man wants to be fair at a certain level of consciousness, he 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 phase and the
popular equity phase, are not sufficient to give many men the motivational capacity
to change. But there is one guarantee for success: the man can switch over to
the unity model.
In order for the husband or boyfriend 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 being eternal, not ending at death.
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 phase and the equity phase. 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, and not full and complete for years and even
Because now the wife or girlfriend possesses spiritual leverage over him when
he falls back on the equity phase and the male dominance phase.
Honey, 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.
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.
It doesn't matter if you like it or not. But you should learn to like it because it
our conjugial heaven.
Husband: You are right.
Well, are you going to stop?
Thanks for reminding me, sweetheart.
What do you think of this kind of exchange?
You can see that
the husband feels spiritually 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
spiritual commitment. She has to put motivational pressure on him by using the force that he
provides her, since she herself has almost no power over the man in a man's
world. In the male dominance phase the
husband did not allow her to put this kind of psychological pressure on him. He would oppose
it, reject it, and blame her for it. But now that he has declared himself for
the unity model, these separative strategies suddenly no
longer work for him. He cannot both engage in separative behaviors and continue
to hold on to 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 spiritual power transfers
by correspondence into psychological ability to remain motivated to continue the
gradual changeover process from the earlier dominant-equity relationship to the
eternal conjugial unity model.
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 or boyfriend can now compel himself to think and act from the unity
model even when he is tempted to act from the equity or dominance phases of the
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 the unity model long enough to discover that he
actually much prefers it.
When a man discovers that he 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 from within in a way she could not experience before. Later we will
discuss what kind of behaviors express a man's commitment to the unity
So here we are. With respect to the reality of eternal or
spiritual marriages observed by Swedenborg, we have a choice of rejecting
its possibility, without actual proof (negative bias in science), or accepting the possibility, without proof
(positive bias in science).
Remember, the positive bias is to accept the possibility that the reports
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. The negative bias says that it's useless or ridiculous
to examine it because it can't possibly be valid. Either way you choose, you are
accepting something that has no proof.
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 approach now, you are
giving yourself the opportunity to examine the evidence in seriousness (positive
than in mockery (negative bias).
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 approach 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 or approved way of thinking that we do by
habit regarding scientific subjects. 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 to the next generation.
But notice this significant fact: teachers don't tell students that
they are transmitting the tradition of the negative bias in science. Instead
students are told that to reject the idea of eternal marriages is "science."
Students are not told that to reject the afterlife is the "negative
bias in science". Why, do you think this is? Why don't teachers tell
students that to reject eternity is the negative bias in science, instead of
saying that it is science? Why do they do that? Think about it for awhile.
When I think about it, 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. Instead, they see the "positive bias in 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
Anything having to do with eternity or the spiritual world
is simply ruled out. Since eternity is ruled out, so are eternal marriages.
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 as applied to marriage.
In contrast, 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 in
this research seminar, 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. However 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), admired
for his wide ranging set of discoveries in mining engineering, crystallography,
chemistry, physics, brain anatomy, physiology. 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.
This is because Swedenborg had a passion for the full
rational account in which he tried to take into account the idea that if God is
omnipotent He cannot give away His power to nature or to natural laws. It is God
who must be activating all the forces of nature. And further, since God had a
definite purpose and goal to bring about, it was obvious to him that God had to
manage all the details of nature that added up to the whole. Hence it made sense
to him to bring God into science, trying to see how every phenomenon contributed
to God's overall goal. He was especially aversive to the idea of keeping
explanations restricted to a small area without worrying about how they fit in
with the whole.
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:
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 (prior to age 57), 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 of eternity. 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 evidence. 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 a permanent immortal relationship, not "until death do us part",
but "until endless eternity".
The physical body with which we are born in the physical world
of time-space 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 body and 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 sometimes 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 located in the spiritual body.
Note well: The facial muscles and their
correlated brain operations exist in time and space in the physical world, but
the emotions and feelings to which they correspond, exist outside time and space
in the mental world of 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. If you
would like more information on this, you can check out the lectures notes for
G27, Psych 459, Theistic Psychology,
Part 1: Mental Anatomy.
The thoughts and feelings of human beings are constructed out
of spiritual substances not physical matter, like that of the physical brain.
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 in our spiritual body, which
remains there forever. This means that the self, which is made up of our
thoughts and feelings, is immortal. The spiritual substances originate from the
Spiritual Sun just like natural matter for our physical body originates from the
physical sun and stars. Remember this proof. Try it out on your friends.
At the death of the physical body, the spiritual body with its
organs of sensing (S), thinking (C), and feeling (A), 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 30 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 of eternity.
Swedenborg visited the people who had been in the world of
eternity 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 observational
and theoretical 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
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
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 spiritual substance of rational ether
emanates from the Spiritual Sun in the midst of which God can be seen visibly by
those who live in the highest heavens of their mind.
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:
where you can also read the generational reports of the students who have
studied theistic psychology.
For marriage proposals ring, bended knee still de rigueur
The first date and the marriage proposal, two of the seminal moments in
courting behaviour, still stick very closely to a traditional script,
despite dramatic societal changes in relationship-making.
For all the hype about hooking up, the increasingly casual view of
relationships and the move away from conventional marital patterns, new
research suggests that the majority of young people have expectations of
these pivotal relationship moments that are rooted in convention and
traditions established long ago.
In two separate studies in the latest issue of the journal Sex Roles,
researchers examine the accepted scripts for the first date and for the
engagement proposal, and in both cases, the so-called scripts could as
easily fit 1968 as they do 2008.
The engagement proposal considered to be the strongest, for example, was
more likely to feature the traditional elements of the man asking the woman,
a diamond ring being presented, and even the extremely traditional move of a
First-date scripts cling quite clearly to traditional gender roles -- with
the majority of the hypothetical scenarios assigning the "pick up date,"
"pay," "walk/drive home," and "more than kissing" roles to the man.
The findings were culled from research involving large-scale surveys of
university students at different Midwestern U.S. colleges. Together, they
show that "the commonly accepted, traditional elements" -- as one researcher
describes it -- still shape the perception of the good date or the good
engagement more than the lived reality of most students.
Neither of the studies surveyed students about their experiences, but rather
focused on their perceptions of hypothetical situations -- an important
"College students are especially prone to ideas about romance," said Sine
Anahita, a sociology professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and
one of the researchers of the engagement study. "College students have been
fed a steady diet of media images of love and romance ... If an event like
an engagement proposal is supposed to be the most romantic highlight of a
woman's life, she would want it to follow a script that she is going to
The engagement study was drawn from the responses of more than 2,000
students who were asked to evaluate relationship strength based on how a
hypothetical couple adhered to "culturally accepted" scripts about a
"Both men and women, and both older and younger individuals were likely to
evaluate relationships based on their conformity to traditional proposal
scripts," said the study, called, A Story and a Ring: Audience Judgments
about Engagement Proposals. "There was a great deal of agreement among our
participants as to the message that a traditional or non-traditional
proposal sends to others as to the strength of a relationship."
Quite simply, the most traditional elements of a proposal (bended knee,
parental permission) led to a rating that the relationship was strong; while
non-traditional elements (no ring accompanying the proposal or the couple
decided to get married without either one asking the other) were rated as a
relationship that was not very strong or impossible to classify.
The first-date study, which was drawn from a survey of more than 200 college
students, revolved around lists that included an average of 21 actions they
expected to occur on the date.
Although traditional gender roles were common in the hypothetical assignment
of roles in the date, there were interesting gender variations related to
sexual behaviour and whoever initiated the date.
Women surveyed believed that "a kiss" was more likely on a male-initiated
date than a female-initiated date; men believed that "more than kissing" was
more likely on a female-initiated date than a male-initiated date. What that
means, the researchers suggest, is that person asked out on the date "is
likely to be more confident that their date partner has a romantic or sexual
interest in him or her" than the person who initiated the date will be.
As to why so many elements of the first-date script stayed so closely to the
traditional, the lead researcher suggests it is because that is where the
cultural knowledge resides. "Even a person who has never been on a first
date can describe one because they have heard stories from others about
their first dates, they have seen first dates depicted in movies, and so
on," said Mary Claire Morr Serewicz, a professor at the University of Denver
and lead researcher. "The first date script seems to be something we all
know on a cultural level ... Because that knowledge exists on a cultural
level, it is very slow to change."
(a) Read the above Introductory Section once through, then
again while taking notes. (b) Note some of your reactions to this unusual
treatment of a subject normally associated with religion or spirituality, rather
than psychology. (c) Note your reactions to the positive bias proposal, namely
that it's possible that the Swedenborg reports are scientifically valid.
Note your reactions to the content of the Swedenborg reports, such as our
immortality and the state of being married to one's soul mate forever in the
mental world of eternity of the afterlife.
Now discuss your notes and observations with friends and
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 (A), the
cognitive organ (C), and the sensorimotor organ (S). 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-skeletal system.
The circulatory system in the physical body
corresponds to the affective
organ in the spiritual body, whose operations give us the subjective experience of
feeling and willing. Feelings in the spiritual body 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
an affective conative life such as intentions,
motives, purposes, endeavors, resolve, compassion, love, etc. (as well as
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,
a cognitive planning life through rational
reasoning, inventiveness, predictions, hypotheses, fantasies, schedules,
blueprints, management policies, etc.
The nervous-skeletal 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 correspond to 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.
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
behavior in marriage is defined in this course along all three interacting
domains of the individual's threefold self. The individual's affective
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
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. Affective acts (A), cognitive acts (C), and
(S) form a
perfect synergy between feelings (A), thoughts (C), and actions with their
sensations (S). This is called the
threefold self or person.
words, each of us is involved in gender relationships in which we operate along
three interconnected domains of behavior. The deepest and most
intimate and influential is the affective operation (A) in which we maintain selected motivations
and desires in accordance with our primary needs and satisfactions (A). These
affective operations in our mind are the most influential or determinative
because they select and direct 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
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
Note that we
are often more aware of what we think than of how we feel (or what motivates
In relationships between a man and a woman, women get more practice in
becoming aware of their own feelings and motivations than men are of theirs, 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 what are 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
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, showing their feelings and emotions --
reacting with anger,
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 happy about something,
walking out on
being terrified to commit,
being worried about their success,
lacking confidence or feeling very confident,
getting excited in games,
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
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
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.
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
wanting to maintain affective independence and some mental 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.
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, online gathering places,
social networking). 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:
exploitative feelings and intentions (affective self) towards girls and women, whom
they view as the "opposite" sex
sexist thoughts (cognitive self)
that stereotype women in a negative content
(c) injurious or hostile actions and words (sensorimotor
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
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 visible bodies. 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 sitting. 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 clearer knowledge and understanding of how men and women
differ in their spiritual or mental anatomy.
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:
Spiritual Gender Genes
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 222. (13) There is a conjugial atmosphere which
flows in from the Lord 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 the Lord. A marriage of these two elements continually emanates
from the Lord, 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.
 There are several atmospheres which emanate
from the Lord. 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.
 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.
 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)
To summarize the mental anatomy of a man and
A woman does things from wisdom by means of love.
A man does things from love by means of wisdom. In other words, a woman does
things from her cognitive organ by means of her affective organ. A man does
things from his affective organ by means of his cognitive organ.
2.1 Part B
The following diagram is from an article on "The
Spiritual Psychobiology of Marriage" and is available here:
immediately above shows the two phases or stages of marriage. Initially (phase
man's consciousness of externalizing truth, which is what he thinks
about and knows (cognitive, C),
conjoins itself with the wife's externalizing good, which is the complex
of the loves she has (A). And reciprocally, the wife's
externalizing loves and affections (A) conjoin with the husband's externalizing cognitions
Thus they form an externalizing marriage or social and moral bond (natural
marriage). In phase 1 of marriage and close relationships the man presents the
external front and leadership and is on the outside facing the world, while the
woman is on the inside creating a permanent relationship and bond between them,
thus a "home" as it were.
following the male dominance model, this
relative position of man and woman
stays home and is the "homemaker," while the
man leaves the home to earn a living for the family. In modern marriages
following the equity model, wives and mothers may also have work or career
outside the home. But psychologically, biologically, and spiritually the woman
in a couple partnership occupies an inner position relative to the man, who is
on the outside. A man's consciousness faces outward to the world while a woman's
consciousness faces inward toward the bonding of the relationship and the
achievement of mental intimacy or unity.
works towards unity from her "external good" which is "within" or
"above" the man's "external truth." What is within or above in terms of
spiritual positioning is also higher, more refined, more concerned with
celestial things like love, harmony, unity, growth, peace, beauty,
outward or external spiritual positioning is lower, rougher, grosser,
more concerned with spiritual things like truth, knowledge,
rationality, doctrine, precepts, principles, applications.
Phase 1 in marriage and relationships is
the man's cognitive focus (C, achieving) and the wife's affective focus (A,
bonding) are both in the externalizing or lower
degrees of their consciousness (natural marriage). However, if the two partners continue to grow
together and conjoin more deeply within, then they enter phase 2 which is an
internalizing union or conjunction (spiritual marriage). 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 fully a husband and the woman fully a wife.
The unity model specifies the mental anatomy
of marriage. In the negative bias approach to the psychology of marriage only
phase 1 is recognized. Couples are expected to grow more interdependent and
close as the decades of marriage proceed. This is certainly valid. Phase 1
undergoes growth and development so that the partners feel closer and closer,
when the marriage is a success and lasts. But the unity model introduces a new
dimension to the relationship based on mental anatomy not physical anatomy or
psychological definitions of closeness. In other words every man and woman is
born with a temporary physical body on earth, and a permanent spiritual body in
the mental world of eternity, as discussed above. The process
of bonding and becoming interdependent does not occur in the physical body or
with the physical body.
The process of becoming
a couple is a mental event, and must have an organic basis in the spiritual body
where are located our mental organs: affective (feelings), cognitive (thinking)
and sensorimotor (sensations and movements).
Bonding is an activity of our feelings,
loves, intentions, desires, fears, anxieties, enjoyments -- these are all mental
experiences we have as a result of the operations going on in our affective
organ in the spiritual body in the mental world of eternity. We are conscious of
these experiences because they are going on in the portion of the spiritual body
called the natural mind. So the diagrams in this section attempt to
portray the organic relationship between man and woman in the process of
bonding, both in phase 1 (natural marriage), and in phase 2 (spiritual
You can see that the anatomical nature of
bonding is totally different in the natural marriage phase (1) and in the
spiritual marriage phase (2). Couples cannot attain to the beginning of phase 2
by going further and further with phase 1. The two phases are
discontinuous and one cannot go from one to the other. They are in "discrete
degrees" and relate to each other by correspondence (not by continuity). Phase 1
bonding activity in the mind of the partners is an operation going on in the
external region of the spiritual body. For instance if you have a pimple on the
face it is an external activity (skin) of the physical body. But if you have a
cold sore on the lip it is an internal activity (virus) of the physical body.
Phase 1 bonding is external, phase 2 bonding is internal.
Phase 1 bonding in external marriages and
relationships conjoins the man's external mental focus (cognitive, C) the
woman's external mental focus (affective, A). A man's consciousness focus as he
grows up and becomes an adult is centered in his cognitive organ (C), while a
woman's consciousness as she grows up and becomes and adult is centered in her
affective organ (A). When man and woman get together to form a couple or
romantic partnership they are each focused on reciprocal zones
of their cumulative interactions. The
man is focused on this thoughts about himself with her, while the woman is
focused on her feelings and intentions about him. Phase 1 bonding takes place
when her feelings are conjoined to his thoughts.
If she does not like his thoughts she cannot
bond to him. A woman bonds to a man romantically when she likes his thoughts and
his way of reasoning and presenting himself and things. If she does not approve
of his thoughts, or feels repelled by his attitudes, she cannot bond with him
A man will allow the woman to bond to him when he recognizes that she
likes his thoughts.
Note that in phase 1 bonding the woman takes
the lead. The man does not bond because bonding is an affective focus on the
relationship and men have a cognitive focus on the relationship. So when the
woman takes the lead in phase 1 bonding (external) by loving the man's thoughts,
he can respond and react by allowing it in his mind or rejecting it in his mind.
In general, if he sees that she likes his thoughts, he will feel attracted to
her, and this is the acceptance of her bonding to him. In this way they achieve
mutual bonding when the man man responds positively to the woman. Anatomically
this is all happening in the external portion of their spiritual body.
phase 1 bonding is achieved and is working for both partners, there is the
opportunity of starting phase 2 bonding, which is an inward anatomical
conjunction or interdependence of their spiritual bodies. Here everything is
reversed. The woman cannot take the lead. She eventually comes to realize this
after trying desperately to achieve affective intimacy which the man
continuously and successfully resists. She then understands that this deeper
intimacy she craves for has to come from him. The man has to take the lead in
Note the anatomical details of this
spiritual bonding process (phase 2, diagram above). The wife is shown outside
and the man inside -- the opposite of phase 1. In phase 2 bonding the spiritual
bodies are facing the mental world of eternity, not the physical world of time
and space. In the mental world of eternity what is within determines what is on
the outside. In phase 1 the wife is inside and the husband outside, hence the
wife takes the lead. In phase 2, the husband is within and the wife is outside,
hence the husband takes the lead. If the woman fails to take the lead in phase
1, there will be no external bonding -- they are a couple only in name.
Similarly, If the man fails to take the lead in phase 2, there will be no
internal bonding -- they are a couple only in the natural marriage sense, that
is, without affective intimacy (spiritual marriage).
The woman takes the lead for external
bonding (natural marriage), while the man takes the lead for internal bonding
(spiritual marriage). External bonding involves external cognitive
operations (man) conjoined to external affective operations (woman). Internal
bonding involves internal cognitive operations (woman) conjoined to internal
affective operations (man). To understand this you need to know
the difference between external mental operations (A and C) and internal mental
operations (A and C).
External affective operations (A) is feminine and contrast with internal
affective operations (A) which is masculine. External cognitive operations (C)
is masculine and contrasts with internal cognitive operations (C) which is
feminine. In other words, the mental organs of women in the spiritual body is
arranged with the cognitive organ inside the affective organ, while for men, the
cognitive organ is outside the affective organ, which is within. In still other
words, women act from inner truth through outer love, while men act from inner
love through outer truth. Masculine truth is outward, feminine truth is inward.
Masculine love is inward, feminine love is outward. What is inward commands what
is outward, hence men's way of thinking is adapted for the external life, while
women's way of thinking is adapted for the internal life.
In the afterlife of eternity where the couple will be rejoined, the woman's
thoughts and wisdom (C) define the couple's external life (S), while the man's
loves and virtues (A) define the couple's internal life. In this life, the man's
thoughts and intelligence (C) define the couple's external life, while the
woman's loves and virtues (A) define the couple's internal life.
external life refers to our focus on the daily issues and activities a
couple is immersed in -- living together, adapting to each other's social and
physical habits and styles, coping with social and financial demands, caring for
children, relationship to parents, community service, entertainment, sports,
eating together, sexual activity. Our internal life refers to our focus
on mental intimacy and affective support and bonding -- being best friends and
soul mates, looking out for what is best for the other, full confidence and
trust, reliance and acceptance, being together forever.
To be fulfilled and to have access to the full benefit of marriage
bonding, it is necessary that the partners conjoin both their external (phase 1)
and their internal life (phase 2).
In the diagram
below, the same process is portrayed.
The externalizing union in stage 1 is
shown to bond the man's externalizing truth (C) 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, which
refers to inmost intimacy and eternal friendship. But in
stage 2, the husband's internalizing good (A) is conjoined to the wife's
internalizing truth (C). Now the marriage bond consists of his affections (A) covered over
with her truths (C). 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 prepared into a
heavenly marriage and live together in eternity.
Couples who do
not progress to an internal union of minds or spirits (stage 2, spiritual
marriage), 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
To be regenerated means to learn to give up inherited hellish
traits and to acquire heavenly traits in one's threefold self.
When they meet in the other life and live
together again briefly, they
that they are unsuitable for each other by internal disposition, in which case they separate.
The one who is regenerate in character 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
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.
 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)
Note this sentence in the quote above from CL 88: "the truth of good, that
is, truth from good, is male; and the good of truth, that is, the good from that
truth, is female." Here is a diagram that attempts to portray what the passages above describe:
Starting at the bottom you can see that literature written by women is different
from that of men, or that women managers do things in a feminine way, which
is different from the masculine way. The question of "Which is better or more
effective" needs to be answered by presenting evidence showing that women who
have been traditionally excluded from certain activities or jobs, have been
working at these now for several workforce generations, and some women outscore
men, while the overall average and range are also very similar.
This proves that
men and women can perform equally effectively in any job setting or team work.
But it leaves open the question of how these jobs or activities are performed by
men and by women. The diagram above indicates what the differences are in the
way women and men perform the same activities. This difference is not due to
their intelligence, but to their mental anatomy. For instance, men and women eat
the same foods, but their bodies assimilate the nutrients from them differently
due to hormonal and biochemical differences relating to physical anatomy or
Now you need to practice applying the diagram to the differences you can observe
between men and women. Women are most comfortable being themselves according to
their mental anatomy. This is how they define intimacy with a man in marriage or
in an exclusive relationship. When the woman feels that she can be her feminine
self in the relationship she feels maximum freedom, and thence total intimacy
with the man.
She feels happy and alive when this happens. Everything she then
does is from her feminine self. This is portrayed in the diagram above. If a
woman competes with another woman or a man, she does it from her wisdom by means
of her love. Her wisdom is inmost, while her love is outmost. What is inmost is
less clearly in awareness compared to what is outmost. So when a woman acts she
is less aware of her wisdom in the act, and more aware of her love in the act. A
man is the reciprocal of this. When a man acts he is less aware of of his love
in the act, and more aware of his wisdom in the act. In order to understand this
you need to call upon what you already know about men and women -- which is
Read this Section once over then again as you think about your parents. Jot down or type out
thoughts that come to you as you consider these questions.
(a) Your father as a representative of man, and your mother as a representative
of woman. How were they different as you grew up? How did you experience them
distinctly? What was a normal or regular mood or emotional quality that you
experienced when being with one of them, or the other, or with both together?
What similar or different thoughts or emotions did you have when something
happened and you had to deal in turn with your father and your mother?
(b) Now look at your notes. You might want to expand on some issues. Summarize
what you discovered in relation to how a man thinks and feels and how a woman
thinks and feels. Relate this to the mental anatomy of a man and a woman.
(c) Now apply this approach to other men and women you know -- siblings,
friends, neighbors, teachers, motorists, co-workers, supervisors. Does this
approach help you to understand better what people do?
(d) Now discuss your findings and new perspective with friends, parents, or
class teams. Come to class prepared to discuss some of these issues.
The anatomy of the human mind contains a higher spiritual mind that we use in
our afterlife of eternity and a lower natural mind that we use in this life. The
conjugial heavens in eternity are the thoughts and feelings we have in the
spiritual mind. The conscious life we have in this life is through the thoughts
and feelings in our natural mind. At death the natural mind becomes unconscious
while we awaken fully conscious in the spiritual mind. This anatomy has been
described by Swedenborg through his observations of the afterlife in his
spiritual mind. At age 57 he suddenly developed the capacity to be conscious in
his spiritual mind as well as in his natural mind. He was thus able to describe
in his reports the empirical details of resuscitation and conjugial love. We are
taking on the positive bias in science so that we can examine and assess what he
has presented. If we remain in the usual negative bias in science we would be
unable to examine and assess his reports without rejecting them right from the
start as being impossible. The positive bias allows us to examine the reports
objectively and to do so at their face value. Swedenborg was a well known
scientist and public figure in Sweden and he had the respect of everyone as a
genius and honest impeccable scientist.
The mental anatomy that we are considering in the previous diagrams clearly
indicate that the intelligence of men cannot be the same as the intelligence of
women inasmuch as they are anatomically reciprocals of each other. In the male
dominance mentality men are more intelligent than women. In the equity mentality
men and women are equally intelligent. In the unity model men and women have
different intelligences that must fit together. By fitting together as
reciprocals they are able to greatly enhance each other's thinking and
In other words the world is greatly enriched in intelligence because there
are men and women in the equation. Each gender contributes a unique type of
thinking and understanding. According to the mental anatomy diagrams above, men
act (S) from love (A) by means of intelligence (C), while women act (S) from
intelligence (C) by means of love.
Another way of saying it is this:
Men act (S) from love (A) by through intelligence (C).
Women act (S) from intelligence through love (A).
Still another way of saying the same anatomical fact:
Men act (S) from feelings (A) through thoughts (C).
Women act (S) from thoughts (C) through feelings (A).
Am -----> Cm -----> Sm
-----> Aw -----> Sw
As is plainly visible, the threefold self of men and women is created by
anatomical differences in the way their mental organs function in action (S),
thought (C), and feeling (A). Remember that what is first in the sequence is
also higher and more interior. So a man's highest and inmost organ is the
affective (A) while a woman's inmost organ is the cognitive (C). Note that for
men intelligence (C) is in the intermediate position while women's intelligence
(C) is in the first position. Since first is always higher it follows that
women's intelligence (Cw) is higher than man's intelligence (Cm).
This is the basis for the unity model of marriage.
Higher or interior intelligence is more spiritual, while lower or external
intelligence is natural. Hence women's intelligence is more suited and
adapted for spiritual or interior things, while man's intelligence is more
suited and adapted for natural or external things.
Experience in this world demonstrated that a woman's intelligence gives her the
capacity to function and achieve as much as a man through his male intelligence.
Women can do the same jobs as men and perform within similar ranges. But
because women can do this with their feminine intelligence does not mean that
the female intelligence is the same as the male intelligence.
it comes to achieving a spiritual marriage woman's intelligence provides a big
advantage over masculine intelligence. Spiritual marriages are based on the
unity model. This phase becomes actual when man's intelligence conjoins with
AIM -----> CEM -----> SM
-----> AEF -----> SF
Conjoint self: AIMCIF -----> CEMAEF
IM = internal male
IF = internal female
EM = external male
EF= external female
Note that the unity couple's conjoint self is constructed anatomically by
joining together man's interior or higher feelings (AIM) with woman's
interior or higher thoughts (CIF) yielding this: (AIMCIF),
and man's lower or external thoughts (CEM) with woman's lower or
external feelings (AEF) yielding this: (CEMAEF).
As you can see from the anatomical diagram natural
marriage (phase 1) consists of conjoining woman's lower or external good (A)
with man's lower or external truth (CEMAEF). Phase 2 (spiritual
marriage) consists of conjoining man's inmost or higher good (A) to woman's
interior or higher thoughts (AIMCIF).
Note from the diagram that in natural marriages (phase 1) the
woman is within (A) while the man is outside (C) relative to each other.
Anatomically, the natural marriage is the conjunction between the woman's
affective organ (A) in the external mind and the man's cognitive organ (C) in
the external mind. The affective organ supplies the operations of the will, of
intentions, of motives, of goal achievement. The cognitive organ supplies the
operations of the understanding, of planning, interpreting.
So in this external conjunction of the partners
(phase 1, natural marriages), the woman is the source of the couple's intentions
and motives (A) towards the world, while the man is the source of the couple's
interpretations of the world and their planning strategies (C).
Note that external or natural female affections (A) are used
for the couple's intentions, motives, values, feelings (A) while external or
natural male intelligence (C) is used for the couple's dealings with the world
-- interpreting what is going on on the outside and planning strategies to deal
with it (C). Hence it is that the man takes the lead in dealing with the outside
world where the couple must survive and adapt, while the woman takes the lead in
dealing with the inside world of the marriage and the family. This has applied
to all couple relationships in the past, which is why men run things in the
world while women run things in the home. This is still true today with modern
couples (equity model) that have working wives and mothers. The men are supposed
to help out with domestic chores to ease the load on the working wives and moms.
But society still attributes to the woman the central responsibility for running
the home (cooking. laundry, toddlers) and making sure everything is being taken
In natural marriages the
external or materialistic thoughts (CEM) of the man are conjoined to the
external materialistic feelings (AEF) of the woman. In spiritual
marriages (unity model) the interior or spiritual feelings of the man (AIM) are conjoined
to the interior or spiritual thoughts of the woman (CIM).
Natural marriages are involved in the male dominance model
and in the equity model. Spiritual marriages are involved in the unity model.
Natural marriage (phase 1, dominance and equity models) is called an
external conjunction of man and woman because it involves the
conjunction of the two people's external minds. Spiritual marriage (phase
2, unity model) is called an internal conjunction of man and woman
because it involves the conjunction of the two people's external minds.
Every person is born with a natural mind and a spiritual
mind. Both are housed in the spiritual body which is born in eternity and
connected by correspondence with the physical body which is born in the natural
world of matter, time and place. This is why we are called dual citizens.
We are citizens of the physical world of time through our temporary physical
body, which functions in correspondence with our natural mind. And through our
immortal spiritual body, we are also citizens of the spiritual world of the
afterlife, also called the mental world of eternity.
Until death of the physical body we are conscious in our
natural mind and unconscious in our spiritual mind. After resuscitation from
death (a few hours later), we are conscious in our spiritual mind and
unconscious in our natural mind. We continue our life of immortality in eternity
through our spiritual mind which is housed in our spiritual body.
Spiritual marriage (phase 2) involves the conjunction of the
man's interior or spiritual mind with the interior or spiritual mind of the
woman. This is why spiritual marriages are permanent and eternal.
Since spiritual marriage is an internal conjunction of the their
spiritual body and spiritual mind it cannot be seen in the physical world.
Natural marriage is an external conjunction of their physical body and
interactions, it can be seen, measured, and recorded. Natural marriage has a
worldly and legal basis in the physical world, while spiritual marriage becomes
visible and recordable in the world of eternity.
Nevertheless, when the couple is involved in a spiritual
marriage, as in the unity model, their natural marriage reflects this. For
instance, in a spiritual marriage the couple's natural marriage is in
correspondence with it so that it may be called a heavenly marriage or a 'match
made in heaven' between soul mates. The unity model leads to such a spiritual
The husband who wants to be a unity husband has to learn to accept and love the
following principles of good behavior towards his wife
1. Not to express disagreement through the sensorimotor self (head , face,
hands, stance, voice, touch, speech acts). Wanting to learn from the wife what she sees and
experiences about his sensorimotor expressions when he interacts with her under
various situations or issues.
2. Not to express disagreement in verbal exchanges that are experienced by
the wife as disjunctive. Wanting to learn from the wife what she experiences as
disjunctive and unsexy conversational style.
3. Not to perform acts of disloyalty to her. Not to betray her to others by
revealing things she does not want them to know. Not to discuss her with anyone
in a way she would object if she heard a recording of the conversation. Not to
lie to her in order to protect himself from her disapproval. Not to ignore what
she says, but to think about it and remember it, and make it important to him.
4. To be supportive of her by encouraging her in what she wants to do or
accomplish. To want to strengthen her self-confidence and thus, not to do or say
anything that would weaken it or hurt it. To listen to her, to understand her,
to learn from her, to admire her thinking, to appreciate her humor, to love her
observations and perspective on various things.
5. To be protective of her sense of security and her vulnerabilities.
To love her femininity. To be soft and sweet with her, always. To avoid giving
her worries. To relieve her stress and anxieties.
6. To be useful to her in various ways that make her life more comfortable.
To learn to offer to do things for her, then to learn to do them in a way she
approves and likes.
7. To touch her every time he sees her. To keep himself clean, shaven, and
attired in clean, attractive clothes. To learn how she likes to be touched and
aroused. To pay attention to details. To learn how to make her laugh, and what
puts her in a good mood. To be be dedicated to her happiness.
8. To learn how she wants him to make up when he precipitated a state of
disjunction between them, by violating good principles of action. To learn how
to perform procedures of (a) sufficient apology, (b) felt remorse, and (c) fun
ideas about restitution or compensation (e.g., surprises that delight her).
These same principles of good behavior apply to all couples, married or not,
who are in a romantic and exclusive long term relationship that they think of as
forever or eternal.
Husbands can be committed to these 'good behavior' principles only when they
experience an attraction to the unity model of marriage. To feel this
attraction they must have a liking for the spiritual ideas of eternity and
femininity. Love attracts. The husband has to love the idea in his mind that he
is going to be attached to this woman more and more to endless eternity. He has
to find this idea attractive in his mind. To be attached to this one woman
forever. He has to love that idea more than any other idea he can think
of. When a man brings himself into this mental state, he can learn to love these
'good behavior' principles, and begins to practice them in his daily
Once a man is committed to this daily practice of being a unity marriage
husband, his mental state changes day by day, progressively into the "heavenly
order." This is an expression used in the Swedenborg Reports where it is
described according to what Swedenborg observed during his interviews and visits
with couples after resuscitation who inhabited their heavenly layers in the
mental world of eternity. The heavenly order of the mind is arranged in a
top-down hierarchy of loves or feelings of a certain kind or quality. At the
very top of the hierarchy of loves is what the Swedenborg Reports call
"conjugial love." The word's usual spelling "conjugal" refers to natural
marriage in the socio-legal sense, but when spelled "conjugial" it refers to
Spiritual marriage begins when both partners understand and realize that
their union is permanent to eternity. Spiritual marriage evolves from that
beginning and progresses closer and closer to the heavenly order. This means
that the husband has endorsed and committed himself to the principles of good
behavior needed to build the unity model marriage. In a "conjugial marriage" the
affective hierarchy of both husband and wife are arranged so that the highest
love each one has is the love for each other. He is her heart and circulatory
system, while she is her lungs or respiratory system. He supplies their conjoint
blood -- that is, their loves and affections, and she supplies their conjoint
breath -- that is, their thoughts and wisdom. Conjugial husband and wife
function as one unit -- the conjoint self.
Husbands who are practicing the unity model of marriage can experience the
conjoint self more and more distinctly as they progress more deeply into the
conjugial relationship. The conjoint self is the heavenly order in marriage. We
work towards that state by aligning our affections and loves so that they
represent the heavenly order. In the husband's mind the wife has to occupy top
position or first place. This is conjugial love. All things must be subordinated
to the one ruling love, which is the love they each have for the other. By
committing himself the the good behavior principles, the husband taps into the
source of inner mental power capable of overcoming his natural and intense
personal and masculine feelings and needs to be woman dominant. This higher
inner mental power is available to any husband or boyfriend, merely by
committing himself to practicing the good behavior principles because he wants
to achieve the heavenly order of conjugial love through the conjoint self.
This higher or inner mental power is able to overcome the natural hereditary
biological masculine resistance for affective intimacy with a woman. Man wants
to retain his affective independence. He
wants to love what he likes, he
wants to think what he likes, he wants to act the way he likes. This is what he now
has to give up so that he
will want to love what she likes, he
will want to
think what is agreeable to her, he
will want to act the way she likes. To make this switch in mental state the
man must have the inner power to accomplish it, through overcoming his own
powerful resistance towards giving up affective independence. He now has to like
what she likes more than he likes what he likes. Being committed to
practicing the good behavior principles gives him access to this inner power,
which is the heavenly power.
Everything gets better and better in the heavenly order of marriage.
It is well known that natural marriage tends to wane and diminish in romance
and passion, though commitment to making the marriage last may increase. Often
couples who have been married for decades have never become best friends to each
other. They share loyalties and habits, but not feelings of peace and unity that
come from not tolerating disagreements with each other. When the heavenly order
of marriage is entered, its progression is experienced by both partners every
day more and more as they live their life together. There is no waning of love,
romance, and passion, but a progressive increase of it, and a deepening of it,
so that the entire mental state is affected in many layers, all arranged in the
heavenly order, which is infinite in variety, quality, beauty, and wisdom. The
Swedenborg Reports describe many aspects of this heavenly order which is called
"the marriage of good and truth." This eternal and Divine marriage in God is the
source of conjugial love between husband and wife in a spiritual marriage.
We will now study various details about the three models --
male dominance model, equity model, and unity model.
3. Part A
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 wife or
girlfriend and tend
to use stereotyped, inaccurate, and prejudiced thinking about them. Their
unflattering and insulting verbal behavior
will reflect this style of biased thinking against women. So will their abusive actions.
Boys are immersed in this practice of talking against girls and putting them
down among each other.
men and husbands retain the capacity and internal desire to put women down in
their mind and among each other with other men. It is part of man's thinking
about women -- until the man becomes spiritually enlightened and realizes with
shame and guilt that engaging in this denigrating behavior against women is
contrary to heaven, and that without being united to a woman, the man cannot be
his best, his greatest potential, his true self, his ultimate happiness. By
thinking badly of women in his mind the man weakens himself from within and robs
him of reaching his ultimate potential and true self.
This conclusion follows from the mental anatomy of heaven in
eternity. It makes sense rationally from the perspective of the positive bias in
science. God reveals in Sacred Scripture that His purpose for creating
individual human beings is so that He can bring two of them together, made for
each other, built mentally to fit and to attain the true higher experience of
life in heaven in eternity. The unity of a man and a woman into a conjugial
couple in heaven -- this is the purpose of the universe, according to God's own
revelation to humankind. The man who realizes this idea is no longer capable
of thinking badly about the woman he loves, and for her sake, he can no longer
think badly of any woman.
Because of the intensity with which the negative bias is
instilled in the thinking of educated people, few educated people know today
that an individual is not a full human being, but only has the capacity to
become one. A man is created to achieve unity with a woman, and a woman is
created to achieve unity with a man. Women are more aware of this regardless of
their education, which they put around themselves like a cape but do not let
enter into their spiritual self. Men are more vulnerable to education, shaping
their inner thinking according to its dictates and doctrines. They ingest the
negative bias in science more deeply into their reasoning process.
Women retain a distinct rational perception of conjunction,
external and internal. They sense strongly that the external conjunction ("I
love you." ... "I love you too.") is not the final type of conjunction they
crave for to become truly free, truly themselves as they were created feminine
by God. Men do not sense this -- until they become spiritually enlightened and
are able to examine the positive bias perspective regarding eternal spiritual
marriages. Once a man is enlightened he can begin the long journey backwards in
his mind, a journey in which he left around all sorts of gross thoughts and
inclinations towards a woman, and women in general. This is a long and arduous
task for most men, but many are able to stick to it and acquire a new chivalrous
character that respects women as their highest principle in life and the
universe. In this way they become real men, real to their creation, which is,
that they unite themselves with a woman and live in conjugial happiness to
eternity. This is why God created them.
The key to this amazing victory and achievement is to start
practicing the self-witnessing life. This means monitoring what your mental
organs are doing: your feelings (A), thoughts (C), and sensations and actions
With this objective data on what you actually are all day
every day, you have what you need to change yourself. I have done this for
many years and it has allowed me to reform my socialization habits of thinking
negative thoughts about others all the time. I no longer do this. It is the same
with my private thoughts about women, about their motives, about their
intelligence, about their capacities, about swearing using women's body parts,
or about telling or laughing at jokes against women. I no longer do (S) any of
these and have an aversion (A) for the idea (C) doing it again (S).
There is an
advantage in gaining control over our gender behavior in the three
domains of the threefold self -- affective (A), cognitive (C), and sensorimotor
(S). 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.
explore a particular principle in the unity model of marriage called the
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).
interdependence between husband and wife becomes total in the spiritual body.
Swedenborg was amazed when he saw couples in the third heaven of eternity, which
is the most perfect expression of conjugial love. From a distance he saw only
one "angel" but when they drew near to him he saw a husband and his wife each
attired in beautiful clothes and light and beauty shining from their youthful
faces. This is the expression of the unity of married couples in the mental
world of eternity. When he saw their two faces close up he saw that they were
one and the same, one masculine and the other feminine. When one spoke it was
like it came from the other. When one removed himself or herself, the other lost
all composure and happiness, even intelligence. They were united, two individual
human beings forming one complete one. He spoke to many such couples in the
course of his dual consciousness over 27 years.
This then shows us the potential we can achieve -- if we are
willing to make it more important than all other things we consider important.
In other words, conjugial love has to become the ruling love of a man, as it
already is for woman from birth to eternity.
In the spiritual body of the unity couple
here on earth, the woman's
external affective organ (A) is conjoined to the man's external cognitive organ
(C) (phase 1, natural marriage), and his internal cognitive
organ (C) is conjoined to her internal affective organ (A) (phase 2, spiritual
This conjoint self therefore proceeds,
(Step 1) with her
external will (A) joined to his external understanding (C) (natural
(Step 2) with
her internal will (A) joined to his
internal understanding (C) (spiritual environment)
Before the conjoint self is born, his
understanding is joined to his own will, but after the conjoint self is born
(Step 1), his
understanding is joined to her will (no longer to his own will).
This means that in Step 1 or the natural daily environment of the
couple, the husband practices learning to love to act from his wife's
will (A) more than he loves (A) to act (S) from himself.
This means that he won't allow himself to disagree with her
on anything whatsoever.
Since a man cannot just stop disagreeing with a woman on some
occasions, it is necessary for him to practice conjugial simulation.
This means that he acts outwardly like he agrees with her even if inwardly he
The woman will accept this as a temporary solution. Out of
her inner wisdom she perceives that he needs time to change himself inwardly,
and she will go along with his simulation as-if she accepts it. In other words,
she will not feel agitated and upset like she does when he overtly expresses his
disagreement. This is a win-win situation, so I recommend it, having practiced
it myself for years.
If you think this is hypocritical, think about some more.
When people are being hypocritical they have some bad purpose in mind that can
injure innocent people who fall for the act and believe they are being sincere.
But if you withhold expressing your disagreement or disapproval to protect the
person's feelings, this person being your girlfriend or wife, then you are not
being hypocritical at all. You are being conjugial and chivalrous or gallant, thus trying
to be good and heavenly. Later you will experience the slow disappearance of
your disagreements and disapprovals in connection with your wife or girlfriend.
A husband or boyfriend practices the unity model by remaining committed to
listening to his wife or
trying to agree with her with
everything she explains to him,
hiding his disagreement or
disapproval whenever he feels or thinks it,
valuing what she
says as important and worthy of his attention, and
honoring what she wants,
whether she asks for it or not.
This is the husband's side of the conjoint
On the wife's side of the conjoint self, she is committed to lead her
husband by means of 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
The conjoint self is the result of
a spiritual (mental) 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
The unity marriage is not
achieved by promise, love, or declaration, but by
making developmental steps of
internalizing and unifying which married partners must go through with
each other, like a joint 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
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 with the wife. 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 are abandoned and the
new traits that are acquired consist of sensorimotor (S), cognitive (C), and affective
traits in the threefold self. These are made of:
habits of external activities
habits of thinking
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 phase, or
through the equity and dominance phases.
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
portion of their threefold self. They like and enjoy to do things together like
dancing, touching each other, partying, camping, watching movies, eating,
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
(S) involves thinking
and feeling, but these cognitive (C) and affective (A) operations are not yet known or
visible to each other at this early stage. Their focus at this stage is on the external activity of
the other and self. There is less focus or concern at this stage on the
particulars of what the other is thinking or
feeling, as long it is favorable.
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
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.
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 (S), men refuse to accept the idea that they would be happier and freer
if they got rid of the traits that their wife or girlfriend wants banished or extinguished
from their personality and character.
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 (S), they are not willing to cooperate in cognitive
and affective intimacy. They want to retain their cognitive and affective
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 interdependence, 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.
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,
as long as they are morally valid.
Spiritually (in mental anatomy), women are made of feminine intelligence on the inside
(cognitive organ) and
feminine conjunctive love on the outside (affective organ). Men are made of masculine intelligence
on the outside (cognitive organ) and male conjunctive love on the inside
(affective organ). 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 anatomical 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.
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, hand and glove, etc.
Sensorimotor disjunction refers to overt 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 to your sweetheart, or a loud voice, or an unpleasant
voice 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. To be willing to be mentally intimate with her 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 desire for intimacy 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 even though 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 if she refuses she would be accused of not being a good wife or
appealing girlfriend. She may also have doubts as to what's the best thing to
do. She may be afraid he will get worse or end the relationship. Other women may
counsel her to have sex anyway. What she actually wants is to have sex with him
but not before he made up for his disjunctive and rude behavior. If she compels
herself to have sex with him before he is willing to make her feel better about
what happened, then she is giving in to sexual blackmail. And the more
a woman does this, the less she has the motivational power, resolve, or interest
to conjoin with that man on the internal or spiritual plane.
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
second level of conjunction is deeper or more intimate in that it involves the
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 they
officially sustain. These
cognitive behaviors and habits tend to be 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. They have many areas in which they "have agreed to disagree."
To disagree is
to maintain distance, which is the opposite of intimacy for conjunction. To
"agree to disagree about x" makes the distance official, makes the lack of
intimacy an official thing between them. This may be necessary for social or
political reasons to keep peace in the marriage and family. So in that case
their agreement not to talk about certain subjects is useful and serves a good
purpose. Nevertheless, when they are both spiritually committed to the unity
model, they will find ways of agreeing with each other on al things that are
important or prominent, and thus eliminate those gaps that are a barrier to
complete cognitive intimacy.
Remember this: for the unity couple
Mental intimacy = agreement
lack of mental intimacy
The external sensorimotor level of conjunction does not necessarily
lead to a more interior
thinking and reasoning (cognitive habits). Yet many couples achieve a certain
unity by joint involvement in having a social life together, running a home, or raising children. 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
conjunction (cognitive), they
can love each other more deeply and the relationship continues to grow and
become more satisfying and enriching. The sensorimotor interactions also improve
as the cognitive intimacy grows because now they are more actual or real. Sexual
activity (S) is more fulfilling (A) because it now has an inner cognitive (C)
intimacy to rest on.
often easier for women because they are spiritually (or by mental anatomy) oriented towards
conjunction as a felt inner compulsion.
Women desire to become a conjoint self more than they desire to
retain their own ideas and philosophy, which they obtained from some other man
or men. On the other hand men spiritually (by mental anatomy) 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
a wife perceives that her husband's thinking is disjunctive with her thinking, she tries to change
the man's thinking rather than adopting it for herself. A wife or girlfriend has an
perception of her man's disjunctive or separatist thinking, even while he himself
is blind to it.
She can sense
and perceive the man's areas of resistance to their conjunction
while the man cannot. He is not as aware of his own feelings and principles as she is of
is because by mental anatomy, a woman spiritual or inner mind 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
a man can perceive with his
masculine spiritual intelligence. On the other hand, a man's masculine spiritual
intelligence is more focused than a woman is on cognitive issues of rationality,
spiritual doctrine, or theoretical explanations and debates. A woman can also
match these understandings but she does not have the interest in it and love for
it, that he does.
The reason for
this difference is that they have a contrastive cognitive focus -- the woman's
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 cogntive 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 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 actually 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 intimacy 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
Understanding and supporting the unity model in their mind
gives men motivational power to stop the distractions 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
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 mentally intimate with her.
From her perspective,
if he loves her, he wants to be mentally intimate with her, which means
allowing her to react to his thinking after he tells her what it is.
That's why the men resist mental intimacy with their woman -- because they don't want
the woman to react to what they are thinking.
Sometimes men will "share" their feelings, as they call it,
or even "bare their soul" as they call it, but they don't want the woman to
react, other than approval and acceptance. They don't want the woman's feminine
intelligence to illuminate his perspective. This is a disjunctive attitude that
prevents progress in unity and friendship between them. Men can discover that if
they allow the woman's feminine reaction to his thinking and intentions, they
are enhanced, enriched, and empowered by it. They really love it, if only they
are willing to do it, to allow their woman to react freely to what the men are
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 in his conversations with her. This is like chasing
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
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 be a true man, 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, since 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
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 about it. 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.
One of the most difficult aspects to accept and understand
about the unity model is its apparent lopsidedness in favor of women. A man
in the equity phase of thinking will think that it's unnatural or unfair or
unwise to follow a principle that makes the woman always right and the man
always wrong. Even women might think this because they have been raised to think
in the masculine intelligence and perspective, which sees only the external
aspects of the relationship. Women might think: But what if I'm wrong? I need
the man's input and perspective where his knowledge and experience is greater
than mine." Or they might think: "I've been wrong plenty of times before, so it
wouldn't be right or prudent to always go after what I think about something."
These concerns are well taken, and they are valid. However
you need to consider where this unity rule applies in which the husband always
has to listen to the woman and agree with her.
The wife expects her husband to tell her what he thinks, how
he thinks about something, and even what he thinks is wrong with her plan or
conclusion about something. She wants to hear what he has to say and what he
thinks. If she is wrong she will see it from his explanations. But if she is not
convinced by all his explanations there remain only two possibilities: He goes
along with her or she goes along with him. Here the unity rule applies: He
should compel himself to go along with her. This will work almost always in
There may be exceptions. Suppose the woman is ill, mentally
deranged, not in command of her faculties due to various reasons, perverted from
prior experiences, unable to think normally, in danger she does not recognize,
manipulated or blackmailed by sinister others, etc., then obviously the
man is to do what he decides is best for her. But this would occur in abnormal
situations, not their normal routine everyday relationship.
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, or of boyfriend and
girlfriend, when they are thinking of themselves as a permanent couple.
feelings, loves, desires, or goals remain operationally legitimate 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,
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
Still, this does not apply the same way to every man or group of friends.
It's possible for there to be healthy "guy friend" 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. It depends. A man should seek his
wife's perspective on the people he hangs around with. This applies equally
to unmarried couples who are in love. The boyfriend should seek to have the
girlfriend's perspective on the friends he hangs around with and the activities
going on. If he does not allow her to do this he is unwilling to be mentally
intimate with her.
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, at least in mutual fantasy
with the other "guys." This is not so with married
women and serious girlfriends since they have an inborn desire and need to
strive for as much unity with their man as is possible.
Women who are neglected, treated badly,
abused, or not loved by their husbands or boyfirends, gradually lose the desire and motivation
for conjunction with that man.
The following diagram summarizes the three levels or phases
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 phases can help you
understand and manage your own relationships, or to understand the relationship
of others like friends and parents.
It's important to understand that
all three phases may occur simultaneously, but in different degrees of overlap
as the couple progresses to unity more and more, which is a gradual process that
The diagram pictures the threefold self of the
two partners and whether or not they are conjoined or united in each domain of
the threefold self. 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 of reasoning towards his wife is governed by tradition and social
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 phase. So even
if the wife in such a relationship accepts the man's thinking as traditional and
even appropriate, she still can't conjoin herself to such male dominant views of
women because they are contrary to unity, something all wives crave for.
Young or "modern" 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 phase. 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 equity and dominance
phases 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 phase. 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 phase 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, hoping and
knowing that he will eventually get rid of them.
three principles in the unity model of "conjugial love" described by Emanuel
No spiritual or mental part of a woman is like any part of a man and vice
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.
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.
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.
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:
Here are some
illustrations of these three principles acting together. Consider where you are
already familiar with the unity of two different components 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,
principle of reciprocity with differentiation applies to interactions between
you dance, your partner must make the reciprocal steps (mirror image) -- 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 by any of the voices individually.
When you are talking with someone you mostly alternate
between speaker and listener. These two roles are reciprocal and differentiated.
When you are in the role of speaker, the other person takes on the reciprocal
role of listener. And so on. All interactions therefore follow the law of
reciprocity with differentiation.
Note the result of the reciprocity with differentiation
process: There is a synergy or separate parts conjoined or acting together into
a unity. The dancing couple is a unit made of two differentiated components (two
dancers) acting in reciprocity to each other. The talking couple is a unit, with
each alternating role-taking interaction. When you kiss someone on the cheek,
your lips and the person's cheek are differentiated components in reciprocal
relation or action. When a wife holds a husband's hand the reciprocity can
generate healing power (see story below).
When a functioning unit is formed, the components together
can accomplish much more than when they do not form a reciprocal unit.
example, if you are working on some project you will find it helpful to talk
about it to others or to consult other people for information and advice. Why is
it helpful to talk to others? When you talk, you form a reciprocal unit with
that person. It is known as creating "intersubjectivity." The two minds together are capable of much more than one mind on
its own. In general being with others, forming a reciprocal unit of some sort,
promotes teamwork, community life, and society.
The marriage unit is of course different
from other units one can form. It is more basic, more intimate, more
complicated, and more enriching than any other unit people can form. This is
because of creation: Individuals are created for each other, not for themselves. As you
proceed with the unity model of marriage you will begin to see why marriage is
deeper than any other relationship human beings can have, having critical
significance for you to eternity.
Recently in the news:
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
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,"
"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
Often, Goodstein noted, medications are used to provide relief from anxiety
and anticipated anxiety. "This study shows that there is a better way."
This is a cute story. I'm glad scientists may be beginning to
realize how special is the relationship of husband and wife. Note that
"super-couples" benefit even more from hand holding. I hold my wife's hand when
we are together --watching TV, driving, walking. She says it calms her down. She
misses it when I forget to do it. When I was panicked about a surgical procedure
on my face the doctor let me hold her hand and it was very calming. When my wife
had laser eye correction surgery her regular eye doctor made it a point to be
present and held her hand. My wife found it very calming during the few minutes
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.
In other words, it is the differentiation that makes the perfection of unity out
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 mind or else they could not conjoin into a
perfect unity (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).
of synergy operates universally where separate elements interact to produce a
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 be able 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 by God so it may 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 substantive elements from the
Spiritual Sun in the mental world of eternity. This Spiritual Sun is the source of infinite substantial
elements that continuously enter and enrich the mental world of humanity.
What is difficult to comprehend with natural ideas of time
and place is the difference between the Spiritual Sun
which is substantial in mental ether, and the physical sun which is material 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 ideas rationally and with coherent
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 should be the content of your thoughts and dreams.
So the source of dreams or imagined things (C) is our love and its affections
(A), which operate in the affective
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. The record is permanent because the
components are immortal and eternal -- sensations, thoughts, feelings in the
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 or changed. 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 since they had lived on
earth. 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 in 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 it forever in eternity. Also, the hellish traits, whatever they
are, tend to get worse and worse as they devolve forever.
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 also have a way of enriching your
experience endlessly, every day of eternity. This is the conjugial heaven that every
individual has in the upper layers of their 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 heavenly marriage in the course of our lifetime here, and then continue it in
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
about the husband 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 after meeting the man she is in love with.
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
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
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 demonstrates 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 spiritual body, and that
this sensation is far superior to sexual sensations
experienced in the natural mind through the physical body.
This is because the physical body
actually acts as gross material filter that far diminishes the mental 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 a 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
Before this landmark, he acts from himself whenever he wants
to, but he also 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 anti-unity rather than unity.
See what this news article says regarding current thinking
Love doesn't necessarily mean marriage: survey
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Four out of 10
Americans say they don't need a marriage certificate
to prove love or commitment, according to a new
Overall, 44 percent of the 7,113 Americans aged
20 to 69 who took part in the poll by Zogby
International and AOL Personals said they didn't
need marriage to validate their relationships.
"Across all age groups, you just don't need a
marriage certificate to mean love," AOL Personals
Director Keith Brengle told Reuters.
"People are coming online to find that special
someone but that special someone doesn't necessarily
translate into a marriage, and more so with the
folks in their 60s."
Half the respondents between the ages 20 and 29
said marriage wasn't necessary.
A majority of respondents also said they would
prefer to live together first before marriage and
most said marriage should truly be until "death do
us part," especially those in their 30s (73
Trust was ranked highly important to most singles
polled, especially for those in their 20s.
Although 20-somethings said they were more open
to experimenting with sexual relationships, they
were also more willing to end a partnership over
infidelity when compared to respondents in their 50s
"Trust is still extremely important for the
20-somethings -- they wouldn't work through any
infidelities, they'd walk away," Brengle said.
However, older respondents were more interested
in companionship, didn't feel the need to be married
and were more comfortable accepting infidelity "as a
part of life."
"They've probably been tested so they're much
more accepting of things that traditionally you
would think they wouldn't be," Brengle said.
"As such they're going to be less likely to have
to snoop through a partner's things to try to find
The survey also found that as people age they are
more likely to believe that more than one soulmate
A majority of those polled said they would date
someone their friends found unattractive, were
willing to date someone with different political or
religious beliefs, a different race or a person with
a physical disability.
However, the poll showed people were less willing
to date someone with a life-long sexually
transmitted disease or someone with poor hygiene.
The poll was conducted between Nov 9 and 12,
2007, and has a margin of error of +/- 1.2
(Reporting by Natalie Armstrong; Editing by Paul
The above is from:
Once the husband switches commitment to the unity model of
eternal union, his main problem becomes how not to lapse into his anti-unity mode of
interacting called disjunctive. 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 access and input to his mind. Hence nothing
gets resolved in her mind, and she suffers abandon by her so-called 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. This puts her in a bind called sexual blackmail. If she says, "NO, you must make up for
what you did", he acts like he lapses back into the hostile mode. If she
gives in, she feels manipulated and furious at him, and at herself.
This and many other things like this, have to be overcome by
the husband or boyfriend, using the strength and clarity provided by the wife or
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. Now the man is 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 "dominance phase" 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 phase 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 phase need not be the last phase. The couple can then move
into the unity phase which affords still more intimacy at the affective level
(see diagrams 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 it is the woman
gives up equal power or equity, then the couple falls back into the traditional
male dominance phase that they started with, in which the man dominates the woman in
socially prescribed ways. On the other hand if it is the man who 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. Be sure you understand it as it is the key principle
in achieving unity in marriage.
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
The husband intrinsically has all the power (physically,
socially, financially, culturally) and retains all
the power, even under the unity model.
This is a fact of life and society.
The husband must compel himself not to use the power that he has over his wife.
wife never acquires power over the husband, but the husband cooperates by not using the power he
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
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.
Read the above Sections 3 and 4 through first. Then read it again with
the following questions in mind (it's good to type out notes for yourself as the
ideas come to you).
1) To what extent do your current views on relationships reflect your
socialization experiences, including school, peer group, and the media?
2) How much thinking and figuring out have you done to see if some of these
received views on couples and marriage are possibly invalid perhaps injurious to
the achievement of affective mental intimacy between a man and a woman? (e.g. :
soul mates, true love forever, best friends and lovers, lasting romance, never
ending passion and enthusiasm)
3) Examine and pinpoint some of your beliefs and attitudes on man-woman
relationships. Examine the lyrics of songs you listen to -- how do they portray
relationships, men, women, marriage?
4) What is your reaction to learning about the conjoint self in the
unity model? Describe to your partner or friend what this idea involves, namely,
unity, eternity, reciprocity, differentiation, mental intimacy, interdependence,
external and internal conjunction.
5) What is your reaction to reading that in order to achieve unity and mental
intimacy, the man has to compel himself to agree with the woman whenever they
By doing this the man becomes affectively interdependent with the woman, and
thus united. But when the man retains his disagreement he also retains his
affective independence, and this makes affective intimacy impossible since she
cannot trust that he will always protect her feelings. Affective intimacy for a
woman means that she trusts the man to protect her feelings no matter what the
situation or issue is (e.g., when a man gets angry or resentful or critical or
deceptive, he is hurting her feelings)
6) Discuss with your partner or friends the diagram that summarizes the three
levels or phases of marriage: male dominance, equity, unity.
5. Part A
cognitive (C) and affective (A) 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 male dominance and equity phases,
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.
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.
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 the wife (or current girlfriend) 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.
That's how he thinks. So
he argues about it with his wife or girlfriend, instead of trusting her judgment
about such relationship issues.
refusing is part of the dominance phase. 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.
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 affective 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 for 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.
How do you know if you and your partner have affective
intimacy? In the unity model, the wife perceives it and tells the husband, who
accepts her perception. A woman feels affective intimacy with a man when he
makes her feel that he is motivated to protect her feelings without exception.
This is not the same as what is called "unconditional love"
in the equity model. In that mentality there is pressure on the woman to tone
down the importance she attaches to affective intimacy. This lets the man off
the hook and not progressing towards what she feels and considers is affective
intimacy, namely, feeling completely free to present to him her true feelings
about him, his behaviors, his traits, his attitudes -- which are things to which
he exposes her and requires her to deal with it herself. In the equity phase the
man feels that she is too demanding to require him to be what she wants him to
be. And so he will engage in fights and resistance to her attempts at a deeper
affective intimacy between them.
If she keeps her insistence and continues the struggle with
his resistance (instead of giving in to him), then she is providing him with
an opportunity to start agreeing with her on some things, then enlarging the
circle to all things. They will then progress to the unity mentality of
affective intimacy. She will then feel like she, or her feelings (A), are
safe with the man. She can then be content at last, and growing in beauty,
strength, and love. And he will at last experience the woman's sweetness, which
is heaven to him. Any man who has experienced the sweetness of the love of
the woman he loves in return, will know experientially what is what is heaven on
earth, and consequently what is heaven in eternity. From that moment on he is
spiritually enlightened -- which means being involved in preparing his character
and behavior to be conjugial in heavenly eternity.
Consider some other common examples where the girlfriend or
wife is anxious for the man to change his manners and talking style for the sake
of their greater affective intimacy. 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 that 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 affective independence as an
independent 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.
has to give up his habit of rejecting her interdependent desires for the two of
them and maintaining 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 soul mate 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 phase 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 men want to reject it because it depends on the existence of eternal
marriage in the afterlife. Some women want to reject the unity model because it seems too
idealistic, or perhaps, unrealistic in real life with real people. Some men
want to reject the unity model because they are attached to the idea of
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 responsibility 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.
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 (S), cognitive (C), and affective (A). 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 external 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
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 diagrams 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 intuitively, 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
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 described as reaching for cognitive conjunction
or cognitive intimacy.
conjunction is more visible than affective conjunction because it comes out in
their overt verbal discussions, their stated agreements or disagreements
on this or that subject. 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.
from her unconscious spiritual self, and sometimes realizes it explicitly or consciously, that the relationship
won't be perfect or fully satisfying and fulfilling, until they achieve affective conjunction.
doesn't just mean saying "I love you" even if this is said sincerely.
conjunction means that the man has aligned his feelings with his woman.
words, until he has given up his male prerogatives that are left to him by society and
Society allows a man to retain affective independence from the woman
he is married to. This is a male prerogative or inherent right given to him by
society. There are other male prerogatives like the "double standard" regarding
pre-marital sex, and even, extra-marital sex. Another male prerogative is to pay
less attention to what a woman says than what a man says. Expecting the woman in
a room to make coffee, take notes, clean up, etc. is another area of male
prerogatives in our society, and in most societies. To the extent that a man
exercises or practices the male
prerogatives given to him by
society, to that extent he is opposing affective intimacy as a couple.
husband is expected to provide for the wife's needs, to support her in her side endeavors
or activities, and to be decent to her. But he is not expected to become dependent
on her for his feelings about himself, for his motives and goals in life, or for
his ambitions and endeavors as a man. 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 practiced norm for a man in most societies.
social and cultural norms require a woman not only to love her mate but to be
dependent on him for her feelings and emotions.
in most couples if she loves
Italian food and he hates it, she is expected to give up her old loves and adopt
his loves (male
prerogative to expect this). He expects it and sees it as a sign of loyalty to him
male prerogative to
think this way). If she
complies with this (male
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, and needs, to be
fulfilled. She needs for him to be the
center of his affective life. This means that whatever he is planning or doing
should relate to her in some way -- e.g., How will this affect her? Is this
something she would want me to tell her about? Would she go along with this? etc.
These are affective conjunctive thoughts that the man has when she is not
Nothing he ever does should be independent of her
and her feelings, her opinions, her principles, her preferences. This is
affective intimacy and conjunction. This is what the woman wants and craves for
from her spiritual mind which is in eternity.
This is what truly and finally fulfills her as a woman, her feminine task, what
she was created for by God, and this is what allows her to reach
her innate potential. This is how she wants their love to become -- immersed in
affective intimacy, the two as-if one. He loves her feelings and ideas more than
his own. He is motivated to fulfill her wants more than his own.
All this he wants to do because he has come to realize and
understand that this is what he was created for by God and this is what will
make him maximally happy and intelligent. This is affective conjunction or
unity. This is not an ideal, or an idea, or a principle, or a fantasy. It is a
felt reality, the actual experiencing of it. That's why this mental state is
called "heaven on earth" and after death "heaven in eternity."
5. Part B
In the region
of "the heart", or spiritual love, which has to do with eternity, woman rises far above the man in perception,
rationality, understanding, and consciousness. This is the result of her biological,
psychological, and spiritual anatomy. Therefore the gender syntax that produces
unity involves the husband becoming affectively dependent on the wife (vs.
affectively independent). This runs
contrary to his past socialization and to his current life 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:
biological nature or sensorimotor self (sensations, movements)
a thinking nature or cognitive self (thoughts, intelligence)
a feeling nature or affective self (feelings, loves, motives)
principle of differentiation and reciprocity (as discussed above) it is clear that men and women
differ in their biological nature, they differ in their thinking nature, and
they differ in their affective nature. As stated before, there is nothing in a
man that can be like what is in a woman, and vice versa. This is because
sensations, thoughts, and feelings are mental operations that take place in the
spiritual body, which is born either male or female. Since this spiritual body
is immortal in the mental world of eternity, a male man remains a male forever,
and a female man remains a female forever.
spiritual body is created by each unique soul that carries the immortal
spiritual DNA of every unique individual. A female soul creates female mental
organs: cognitive organ within, affective organ on the outside of it.
A male soul creates male mental
organs: affective organ within, cognitive organ on the outside of it. Every
sensation, thought, and feeling in a male anatomy must be different than any
sensation, thought, or feeling in a female anatomy. All human sensations (S),
thoughts (C), and feelings (A) are either female in origin or male.
This difference in mental operations of the spiritual body
corresponds to the difference in physical operations in the physical body.
Medical theory and practice is far enough advanced today to recognize that the
research done on men is not indicative of how the drug will affect women. It is
known that the blood of women contains hormones that men ordinarily do not
carry. Certain diseases affect mostly men, others mostly women. All this
suggests that the physical body of women is not like the physical body of men.
This is even more true of the spiritual body and the
sensations, thoughts, and
feelings that occur there (they do not occur in the physical body or brain --
self of a woman is unlike anything about the threefold self of a man, and vice
versa. This makes unity between them possible (see the principles of
reciprocity and differentiation discussed above).
Biological differences between them are
obvious in the anatomy and appearance of their physical body and in how they
enjoy things (S). Rational differences (C) between men and women result in the
reciprocal orientation and focus they each have. When a man's cognitive
(C) focus is reciprocal to the woman's cognitive focus, they can conjoin and reach
cognitive intimacy. To conjoin means to allow mutual influence on each other. To
resist influence on each other is called disjunctive behavior.
When a man retains affective independence he is performing
disjunctive behavior because he is resisting influence from his wife or
girlfriend. To accept influence is conjunctive behavior. For example, if she
wants him to do X when he wants to do Y, then if he does X he is accepting her
influence on his affective operations. This is practicing affective conjunction
In the equity way of thinking, the man expects an exchange:
If he does what she wants on this occasion, then she should do what he wants on
some other occasion, and in this way they can get along well. This is how a man
thinks in the equity phase. But this kind of equity arrangement cannot lead to
unity because it interferes with affective intimacy. A man who bargains with his
wife or girlfriend is showing her that he wants to retain affective
Note this well:
When a man is ready to give up affective independence he
does not ask the woman to do what he wants, when she wants something else
than what he is offering. But
when a woman asks the man to do what she wants rather than what he wants, she is
practicing affective interdependence, mental intimacy, spiritual conjunction,
and eternal unity. This may sound invalid or unfair -- when viewed from the
dominance and equity mentality. But when viewed from the anatomical and
biological perspective in the unity model, it is valid.
You need to review the argument as we got here, if you are
not completely clear on why the above is rationally and anatomically valid.
Write down your questions, bring them for class discussions.
A man and a
woman have different functions for their thinking, that is, they think
differently using different cognitive procedures. A woman might say or think X and a man
might say or think X yet they are not thinking the same 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.
This is one reason they are called "opposite" sex to each other.
A man prior to practicing the unity model wants
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
responds not just to his own preferences and purposes (A), but to her preferences
and purposes as well (A). The affective organ always directs the cognitive
organ, that is, the will (A) always directs the understanding (C). Prior to
practicing the unity model the man's thinking (C) is directed by his own will
(A), but once he starts practicing the unity model, his thinking is directed by
her will (A) as well as his own will (A). Thus he is no longer mentally
independent, as if he were still alone.
In this way the man's thinking is elevated to a new level
of consciousness, intelligence, and wisdom known as the conjoint self (versus
his prior independent self).
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 masculine 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 he notices it, he puts his
This is because they have learned a reciprocal unity style of interacting at all
three levels of the self.
In the early stages of this practice the man may experience
lapses during which he finds it difficult or impossible to lay aside his
disagreement and follow the woman's desire or request. When he does have a lapse
or a relapse, it will not last. Sooner or later, either minutes, hours, or
days, he will come to realize that he he cannot achieve unity if he insists on
maintaining a disagreement whenever he feels like he wants to or must. He
will then give in and lay aside the disagreement, once more rejoining her in
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 each other happy. For instance, what the unity 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, then himself. 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. Unloved. No longer special in his eyes.
It's common to observe in public couples walking together and
carrying things -- at airports, on the streets, in stores and restaurants, etc..
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 woman or their relationship. He relegates
her to second class citizenship doing the menial jobs. He takes her for granted. He considers her an
object of possession. He practices his male prerogatives in all three domains of
the threefold self -- what he does with her or how he treats her, what he thinks
of her, and how he feels towards her femininity (chivalrous or anti-chivalrous).
Another area of sensorimotor disjunction is the
fact that often husbands in the male dominance phase 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 phase, in which case he is motivated to alternate between focusing on
himself and focusing on his woman. This again changes when the man commits himself
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 (A) and sensorimotor (S) parts of the threefold self.
Often people use the
word "feeling" when they mean thinking (C), and vice versa. For
example, people say, "I feel that we should wait longer" when they are
discussing what they think (C). Sometimes feelings (A) are confused with
sensations (S). For example, "I feel hot flashes coming on" or "I
feel so tired." In both cases it is not the feelings (A) that are
discussed but the sensations (S). When we say "It feels so good" we
are talking about a sensation (S). When we say "I feel good today" we
are talking about an affective experience (A). The expression "I can't stand it"
refers either to a sensation (e.g., being tickled) (S), or to a
feeling (A) (e.g., feeling bad about the situation).
The sensorimotor area of the threefold self includes
these primary features of our everyday life:
pleasures, or pain
sensing excitement in
the stomach or other parts
sensing being scared,
or calm and relaxed
healthy well being, or being sick
attraction for someone ("vibes", "chemistry"), or the opposite
movements with partner, or acting independently
or negative emotions through the tone of the voice, gesture, and face
activity with the body
the appearance we
have (expression, clothes, activity)
all our possessions
are extensions of our physical body and its sensorimotor sphere
The affective area of the threefold self includes
these primary features of our everyday life:
feeling good and
hopeful, or bad, depressed
anxious, or calm, reassured
feeling connected, or
striving to reach a
goal, or having no motivation
within that something is right and good, or not (conscience, insight)
embarrassed, ashamed, regretful, or not
feeling calm, cool,
and collected, or the opposite
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
or desire or prefer to happen (affective). Therefore all human
action starts from a feeling -- what we want or intend to happen, together with a goal
that satisfies what we want.
The sequence of
execution in behavior is always ACS: A
---> C ---> S
(wanting to do something) ----> (C) cognitive
(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
(C) suddenly begin to figure out a plan or method of proceeding that
will bring about the desired goal (A), and thereby satisfy the feeling
(A). It is the
feeling (A) that motivates, guides, and directs (A) the thinking and
planning (C). It is the feeling-intention or striving for the goal (A) that keeps
the sequence of mental operations (C) focused in a coherent way so it may lead
to the desired goal (A).
For example, you
become aware that you are thinking (C) about the candy bar in your pocket or purse.
What made your thoughts go in that direction? It had to be some kind of feeling
When we sense hunger in the stomach (S), the sensation becomes the
occasion for a new motive (A), namely, the desire to satisfy the hunger (A).
This desire or feeling (A) then awakens our thoughts and memories (C) to think about
the candy bar (C). Another feeling or motive (A) can take over, namely, the
desire (A) to control one's weight. This new feeling (A) now directs the cognitive to
plan (C) a substitute for eating, or a way not to ingest certain foods (S), and the sensorimotor then
carries out (S) the motivated (A) plan (C) (e.g., inhibits the hands from reaching for the candy bar). Either
way, the sequence of execution is always the same (ACS): affective, cognitive,
It is the reverse
with the sequence of reception which is always
A <--- C <--- S <---- environment
noticing or sensing something
in the environment
(sensorimotor) ----> appraising it (cognitive)
Once the feeling or
desire (A) and the thinking about the candy bar in pocket or purse
(C), are placed together or conjoined, the hand starts reaching (S) for the
candy bar or the legs start waking (S) to the kitchen.
But then you stop the hand or the legs from going further
I'm on a diet and I want to lose weight. Remember?" What's happening here?
It's another feeling (desire, motive) (A) that takes over and this new feeling
directs the thinking (C) and the moving in another direction (S).
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 (ACS). Note that the SCA sequence happens along with the ACS sequence in
alternating cycles. We notice something (S), we think about it (C), and we react
to it (A) (happy or sad, attractive or repelling, etc.). This is the SCA cycle.
Then we form the intention (A) of holding it, so we see a way of grabbing it
(C), and we reach for it (S) or inhibit reaching (S). This is the ACS cycle.
Note that the SCA cycle is called "reception" while the ACS cycle is called
"optimizing." Reception (SCA) is passive (feminine, left hand and side), while
optimizing (ACS) is active (masculine, right hand and side). Thus both men and
women have a feminine side (receiving, satisficing, valuing) and a masculine
side (optimizing, giving, engaging).
All affective operations (motives, feelings, intentions,
valuations) (A) are dynamically ordered in a top down hierarchy or networked
nodes. For instance:
A1 striving to keep alive, safe, out of
A2 wanting to avoid hurting certain people
A3 keeping track of our belongings, money
A4 striving to maintain a healthy diet
A5 having a good time, fun, pleasure
A6 enjoying eating chocolate and candy
several times a day
A7 intention to get the candy and eating it
This example shows that the desire to get the candy (A7) is
the lowest in the hierarchy of motives for this individual. Six higher motives
exist that relate to it. Since affective operations are in a control
hierarchy relative to each other, a higher motive "trumps" a lower motive if
it interferes or becomes engaged in the operation. The motive to maintain a
healthy diet (A5) trumps the motive of enjoying eating chocolate (A6) which then
inhibits the intention to get the candy (A7) so that no candy will be eaten. But
this happens only when the higher motive (A4) is engaged in the situation. If it
is "asleep" or "looking the other way" or disengaged from the situation as not
relevant, then the lower motive (A7) will direct and execute, and candy will be
By self-witnessing or self-monitoring ourselves in a systematic and
persistent way in the course of our daily activities, we gradually learn to distinguish between the actions of the
threefold self (ACS) and how the affective hierarchy of our feelings (A) dominates and
rules our thinking (C) and doing (S).
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
PRINCIPLES BY WHICH HUSBAND
GOVERNS HIS BEHAVIOR
TOWARDS HIS WIFE
HOW THEY BEHAVE TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER AND
CONSEQUENCES ON WIFE
("Till endless eternity in afterlife")
husband chooses to act from his wife’s preference (or
rather than from his own will, thereby unifying the two into one conjoint self in
(“Till death do us part”)
the two negotiate consensual arrangements, based on
equal rights principles, so husband agrees to help in domestic activities.
However, he reverts to dominance when he chooses
(“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:
Review what you know about each of these items
in the list above. Are
the Table cells helpful in organizing and characterizing what you are observing
when you examine these areas of daily life? For example, think about the meaning
of lyrics to songs you enjoy listening to and singing along. Do they portray the
male dominance pattern of relationship between men and women? (e.g., abusing
women or using them as sex objects, etc.). Or what about your favorite sit come
or movie: Which model of interaction do they portray between women and men? Do
your parents fit one model more than another? Have you ever seen the unity model
portrayed? What about old fashioned romantic songs and movies that talk about
love being forever?
Spiritual marriages enhance natural marriages
through the new creation of the conjoint self. Masculine and feminine
intelligence (C) act in differentiated synergy to enrich their rationality
and wisdom in daily choices and decisions. Feminine and masculine love
(A) act in reciprocal synergy for empowering husband and wife in all aspects of
the personality and self. Feminine and masculine bodies and sensorimotor organs
(S) act in familiar synergy that delights, intensifies, and fulfills their
affections and desires (A).
Spiritual marriages are based on the unity
model which requires two conditions:
(I) that they both think of their marriage
as eternal, unique, special, never ending, eternally improving; and
(II) that the husband chooses to act from
his wife’s preference (or "will"), rather than from his own will.
The first condition requires that they have a rational idea
of God and of life after death in a spiritual body.
The second condition requires that the husband loves his wife
and is willing to treat her with chivalry and respect for her femininity or
"womanness." This is the recognition that all women deserve chivalrous respect
from every man. In the eyes of the unity husband, the wife in her feminine
character is the representative of all women. Chivalry for a husband is to
act according to his wife's will or preference in all things of their
interaction. When this is adopted by the husband as a daily spiritual
discipline, it is called the
Doctrine of the Wife
From Swedenborg's direct observation of couples in their
heavenly layers of their mind:
CL 213. III. THAT WITH THOSE WHO ARE IN LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL THE
HAPPINESS OF COHABITATION INCREASES BUT WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOT IN CONJUGIAL LOVE
IT DECREASES. That the happiness of cohabitation increases with those who are in
love truly conjugial is because they love each other mutually with every sense.
The wife sees nothing more lovable than the man, and the man nothing more
lovable than the wife; yea, neither do they hear, smell, or touch anything more
lovable. Hence the happiness of cohabitation that is theirs in house, chamber,
and bed. You who are husbands can confirm this from the first delights of
marriage, these being in their fullness because then, of all the sex, it is the
wife alone who is loved. That the opposite is the case with those who are not in
any conjugial love is well known. (CL 213)
As you continue studying the following Sections, be sure to
integrate them in your mind with the above Summary Table.
You actually need to integrate all
the Tables in these Lecture Notes, and then you will see clearly how this
unity 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
Here is a recent newspaper article that discusses recent
findings on marriage:
The key to wedded bliss
by Graham Payne and Dan Ballard
February 11, 2008
A FEW simple questions could hold the key to whether a marriage will last or
end in divorce, according to a study.
John Gottman, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of
Washington and founder of what the media termed "The Love Lab", where much of
his research on couples' interactions was conducted, headed the experiment.
He says he found the answers given by a sample selection of married couples
helped his researchers come up with an amazingly accurate prediction as to those
who would stay together or split.
"After computer analysis, we predicted which of the marriages would end in
"We never told the couples, of course, but four years later, our predictions
were 94 per cent accurate."
That prediction was based solely on the couples' answers and how they interacted
during a 15-minute discussion of the two problem areas in their marriage.
The 12 questions that couples were asked were carefully compiled after months of
"They're clever because couples don't know what answers are expected of them,
and so they're not constantly trying to show themselves up in the best light,"
says Prof Gottman.
The questions – which focus on nine areas of a marriage, including how husband
and wife deal with marital disappointments, negative feelings and affection –
are now to be specially constructed to apply to engaged couples and might even
be available for personal computer testing.
In evaluating the replies in the study, Prof Gottman's researchers measured:
• Affection towards the spouse.
• Negative feelings towards the spouse.
• Expressiveness about the relationship versus withdrawal.
• "We-ness" versus separateness – how connected and intimate the couple felt.
• Feelings of chaos or control over events in the couple's life.
• Glorifying the struggle – pride in getting through hard times.
• Disappointment and disillusionment with the marriage, difficulty in expressing
what makes a marriage work.
The single, most potent predictor of divorce was found to be the husband's
disappointment with the marriage. Among couples who divorced, the husbands were
found to be "low in fondness, low in 'we-ness', low in expressiveness, while
high in negativity and marital disappointment".
For the wife, the most important predictors of divorce included being low in
"we-ness" and high in marital disappointment.
The researchers did find that some disagreement – and well-vented anger – could
be good for a marriage.
But other negative behaviours, including defensiveness, stubbornness or
withdrawal, were likely to lead to divorce.
Do you dare try them?
1. Tell how the two of you met for the first time. Was there anything about
him/her that made him/her stand out? What were your first impressions of each
2. How long did you know each other before you got married? What do you remember
of this period? What were some of the highlights? Some of the tensions? What
types of things did you do together?
3. Tell about how you decided to get married. What led you to decide that this
was the person you wanted to marry? Was it an easy decision? Was it a difficult
4. Tell what you remember about your wedding. Did you have a honeymoon? What do
you remember about it?
5. What do you remember about the first year you were married? Were there any
adjustments to being married?
6. If you are parents, tell what the transition to this period of your marriage
has been like.
7. Looking back, what moments stand out as the really good times of your
8. Many couples say their relationships go through periods of ups and downs.
Would you say this is true of your marriage?
9. Looking back, what moments stand out as the really hard times in your
marriage? How did you get through them? Why do you think you stayed together?
10. How would you say your marriage is different from when you first got
11. Why do you think some marriages work while others don't? Think of a couple
you know who have a particularly good marriage and one couple who have a
particularly bad marriage. What is different about these two marriages? How
would you compare your own marriage with each of these?
12. What about your parents' marriage. What was/is their marriage like? Would
you say it was/is very similar or very different from your own marriage?
Read the above Section (5A and 5B) through first. Then reread it while typing
notes about the following issues. Then discuss them with your partner, friends,
or class teams.
1) Explain what are the three types of conjunction possible within a couple.
How are they different. Give various examples for each type of conjunction in
the threefold self of partners. Examine each type of conjunction in your
experience as a couple, or a couple that you know well (parents, friends, TV).
2) The Section also discusses the threefold self of women as different from
the threefold self of men. Hence the man and the woman are not pulled in the
same way when they work for greater mental intimacy between them. Describe this
differential dynamic based on how woman is and how a man is, or, what a woman
wants and what a man wants. Also this: what a woman is willing to settle for if
she has to, but not if she can get what she prefers in the relationship.
3) Explain why it is that in order to achieve mental intimacy the man has to
compel himself to do what the woman wants, but not vice versa, unless she wants
that. How do you account for the apparent lopsidedness of the unity model? If
you think this is not valid or unfair, examine whether you are thinking about
this with the equity or dominance perspective or assumptions.
4) What are the reactions of people you are talking to about these issues?
What conclusions do you draw from their statements and beliefs?
Section 5.1 Selections from :
5.1 Part A
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,
(November 2007), you get an astonishing 520 million registered Web pages that use this word.
The word "God" receives 450 million hits, which is pretty impressive to me,
compared to "food" which receives 570 million hits. Just to get a real contrast
the word "psychology" receives 100 million hits, the word "mother" receives
million, and "money" is listed on 675 million Web sites. "Patriotism" has
12 million, and "morality" has over 21 million. "Rationality" has
9 million, "Swedenborg" receives 800,000 hits, Leon James gets 58,000 (not just
me), and theistic psychology gets just 36 (most by me and the generational
Why do the topic of money and sex come out on top? The topical frequency of occurrence on the Web is a measure that reflects the
mental frequency of occurrence of this topic.
A popular or "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 sexual love or
that belongs to our spiritual mind in eternity (our higher nature), the other to our
mind or lower nature. People grow up with the indiscriminate enjoyment of sex,
that is, the capacity to enjoy sex with many people.
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. Humans have this "corporeal" pleasure
like animals do, 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.
Human sexual activity always involves the threefold self -- sensorimotor (S),
cognitive (C), and affective (A).
Look again at the diagram that was discussed above:
Let us summarize the four situations in which human beings engage in sexual
Phase 0 Sexual Activity: Sex Without Mental Intimacy (not on the diagram
Non-exclusive sexual activity with a succession of
partners at different times.
Phase 1 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor Intimacy Only
(male dominance phase)
Exclusive sexual activity in the male dominance phase of marriage or
Phase 2 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor and Cognitive Intimacy
Exclusive sexual activity in the equity phase of marriage or dating.
Phase 3 Sexual Activity: Sex With Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective
Intimacy (unity phase)
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 mental 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 (C), have their own emotions and feelings
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 (A).
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 (S) 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 (S) is more personal, 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 magnified due to this mutual feeling of sympathy
and friendship. More details will be discussed below.
Notice that the non-exclusive love of the sex with many is
natural, like that of some animals, and it is not intimate, while
love of the sex with just one is intimate and spiritual, thus
specially human. It is known that some animal species also show the
characteristic of exclusive mating relationship maintained for life. This
corresponds to the unity model, but of course this is biologically based rather
than spiritually or rationally as it is with humans.
People differentiate between "having sex" and "making
love." Only the latter is considered mentally intimate. Sexual
activity (S) without mental intimacy (C, A) is a lower form of human pleasure and satisfaction than intimate sexual
The highest and most satisfying human form of sexual activity is achieved
in the unity phase of the relationship (Phase
3 sexuality). This is because the sensorimotor activity of
sex (S) is then the result of cognitive (C) and affective (A) intimacy.
To understand the precise difference we need to focus on the
"non-exclusive" sex vs."exclusive" sex.
To love non-exclusive sex is to love one's own pleasure in the activity
with whomever is available or suitable. The identity of the partner is of
little importance in relation to one's own pleasure.
But to love exclusive sex is to love a particular person sexually.
The identity of the partner is of central importance in relation to one's own pleasure.
"Identity" does not mean merely knowing the person's name but the person's
thinking (C) and feelings and values (A), and this requires mental intimacy.
Quite a difference between the love of non-exclusive sex and
the love of the exclusive sex.
Everyone retains the physiological ability to enjoy non-exclusive sex, but those
who develop the love of exclusive sex inhibit and lay aside their former
capacity for non-exclusive sex. Women can do this immediately but men lag behind
so that even though they feel the love of exclusive sex men are unwilling to
give up certain forms of non-exclusive sex like pornography, voyeurism,
exhibitionism, sexual fantasies. Marriage counselors who do not recognize
spiritual marriages sometimes counsel couples to watch sexually arousing videos
together or to imagine themselves having sex with someone else. But you can
see from the positive bias perspective that mental infidelity is even more real
than physical infidelity because what is mental is spiritual and eternal.
Watch this video and contrast the views of the husband and wife:
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 part that we share with
animals. The non-exclusive love of the sex by humans is very similar to the love
of copulation and mating by animals. Non-theistic biology and medicine in the
negative bias perspective, view all human
sexual response in these animal or physiological terms. But theistic psychology
in the positive bias perspective, 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, middle natural, highest natural or rational, lower spiritual, and
highest spiritual or celestial. You may want to check out
the chart of layers in the Psych 459 G27 lecture notes at:
In the lowest
portion of the natural mind, sexuality (Phase 0) is not intimate, it 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 without intimacy and
regardless of person, situation, or condition.
The interpersonal attitude behind the non-exclusive love
of the sex without intimacy is exploitative, selfish, or abusive because it is
tied to the love of self for the sake of self, or selfish sex. There is no love of the
sexual partner for the sake of the partner--which may be called altruistic
sex (mutual, exclusive, and mentally intimate).
We have an innate natural capacity to enjoy non-exclusive
sex with many others and without mental intimacy or mutual caring. We also have
a higher spiritual capacity to enjoy exclusive sex with one person with whom we
are mentally intimate. As we progress with our character development in life, we become
more and more attracted to the mental intimacy that is the result of mutual
exclusive sexual love between best friends. When this phase progresses
further through the unity model, the couple attains the state called conjoint
This is the deepest and highest form of sexual mental
intimacy (C, A) between partners and therefore it is accompanied by the most satisfying
sensual experiences (S). Swedenborg interviewed couples in heaven and they testified
that they are in this kind of conjugial love, and further, that their romantic passion for
each other grows daily more intense to endless eternity. (See details and
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 animal or physiological pleasure is greatly enhanced in satisfaction and
meaning 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.
When a wife or girlfriend engages in sexual activity due to physical, social, or psychological pressure by the husband or boyfriend,
the sexual activity will be without mental intimacy. It is called sexual blackmail (as discussed above).
Even though the woman is familiar with the identity and values of the man, the
sexual activity itself will not be intimate because she is not allowed to be
honest with him (what she really thinks and feels), and gives in to his pressure
rather to his charm or attractiveness. Thus her sexual participation is not
free and voluntary, thus not from her love for it.
When a husband has a mental attitude that encourages
fantasizing about non-exclusive sex with other women, 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, not intimate, it is indiscriminate, mentally
promiscuous, pornographic, and unchaste to the marriage vow of exclusivity with
one woman for life.
His sexuality is not personal or intimate 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. Check out what advice is being given on the Web
regarding sex in marriage.
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 intimate, personal
and lasting. That relationship 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.
Swedenborg has confirmed by repeated observation that after resuscitation in the
other life people shed off all their external inhibitions and external
loyalties. Here if a husband only fantasizes sex with another woman, or has an
email woman correspondent with whom he discusses intimate things, it is
considered not so hurtful to his marriage as long as he doesn't meet these women
or go off to a bar where there are women willing to act slutty to make a profit
on men. Such a man may not act out his fantasy or attraction because he is
concerned that it might destroy his marriage and hurt his career. But in the
other life these inhibitions and considerations do not apply. Men do what they
feel like doing and nothing can stop them from acting out their fantasies.
This is why mental infidelity is as real, or more real, than physical
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 "adult" 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 intimacy 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-intimate
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
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 (altruistic sex). 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, thereby reaching their full human potential.
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. The word "chaste" in
the Writings of Swedenborg means exclusive sex with one's spouse. A "chaste"
husband abhors thoughts of being with other women. A "chaste" wife allows
herself to be sexually aroused only by her husband. The opposite of chaste, or
"unchaste," is non-exclusive sexual interest.
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 -- and that is his true love.
It makes rational sense for husbands to be very careful by
rejecting these natural-sensuous thoughts and desires when they occur
spontaneously. It's not their occurrence that should be addressed (over which a
may have no control), but the rejection of them when they occur in the 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 (A) we accept fully with cognitive justifications (C), those we can never give up.
Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:
CL 48. 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.
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 in our immortal spiritual body
which we have since birth. This spiritual body is anatomically 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 (unchaste, non-exclusive) 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. (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.
 Then it happened that two angelic spirits [ = people who live in their
second or middle heaven ] came across them. 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 [ = reciprocity ].
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.'
 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.
 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
 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.'
 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 the Lord 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.
 '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.'
 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.'
 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.'
 On hearing this the newcomers said, 'Do we not read in the Word [ = New
Testament Sacred Scripture ] 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, or regeneration of the inherited character
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
[ = in the New Testament Sacred Scripture ] 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 cachieve our
aims.' (CL 44)
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
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
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
CL 46. 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. Every love follows man after death, love being the esse of his
life; and the ruling love, which is the head of all the rest, continues with
man to eternity, and with it the subordinate loves. The reason why they
continue, is because love pertains properly to man's spirit, and to his body
from the spirit; and after death man becomes a spirit and so carries his
love with him. And because love is the esse of man's life, it is evident
that as the man's life was in the world, such will be his lot after death.
As to love of the sex, this is the universal of all loves, for it is
implanted by creation in man's very soul, from which is the essence of the
whole man, and this for the sake of the propagation of the human race. This
love especially remains because, after death, man is a man and woman a
woman, and there is nothing in their soul, mind, or body which is not
masculine in the male and feminine in the female. Moreover, the two have
been so created that they strive for conjunction, yea, for such conjunction
that they may become one. This striving is the love of the sex which
precedes conjugial love. Now, because the conjunctive inclination is
inscribed upon each and all things of the male and of the female, it follows
that this inclination cannot be obliterated and pass away with the body.
CL 47. The reason why love of the sex remains after death such
as it had been interiorly in the world is this: With every man there is an
internal and an external, these two being also called the internal and
external man. Hence there is an internal and external will and thought. When
a man dies, he leaves his external and retains his internal; for externals
pertain properly to his body, and internals properly to his spirit. Now
because a man is his own love, and his love resides in his spirit, it
follows that his love of the sex remains after death such as it had been
within him interiorly. For example, if interiorly that love had been
conjugial or chaste, it remains conjugial and chaste after death; and if
interiorly it had been scortatory, it also remains such after death. But it
must be known that love of the sex is not the same with one man as with
another. Its differences are infinite in number; yet, such as it is in the
spirit of each man, such also it remains.
CL 48.. II. THAT CONJUGIAL LOVE LIKEWISE REMAINS SUCH AS IT HAD BEEN
WITH THE MAN INTERIORLY, THAT IS, IN HIS INTERIOR WILL AND THOUGHT, IN THE
WORLD. Since love of the sex is one thing, and conjugial love another,
therefore both are named, and it is said that the latter also remains with
man after death such as it had been in his internal man while he lived in
the world. But because few know the difference between love of the sex and
conjugial love, therefore, at the threshold of this treatise, I will premise
something respecting it.
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 men, because men were created and are therefore born
to become spiritual. Therefore, so far as a man becomes spiritual, he puts
off love of the sex and puts 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. That conjugial love is spiritual and properly human, will be
clearly evident from what follows.
48a. 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. There are two states through which man passes
after death, an external and an internal. He comes first into his external
state and afterwards into his internal. If both married partners have died,
then, while in the external state, the one meets and recognizes the other,
and if they have lived together in the world, they again consociate and for
some time live together. When in this state, neither of them knows the
inclination of the one to the other, this being concealed in their
internals; but afterwards, when they come into their internal state, the
inclination manifests itself, and if this is concordant and sympathetic,
they continue their conjugial life, but if discordant and antipathetic, they
dissolve it. 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.
48b. 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. 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.  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.  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.
 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
CL 49. 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. That
separations take place after death is because conjunctions made on earth are
seldom made from any internal perception of love, being for the most part
from an external perception, which holds the internal in hiding. External
perception of love derives its cause and origin from such things as pertain
to love of the world and the body. To love of the world pertain especially
wealth and possessions, and to love of the body, dignities and honors.
Besides these, there are also various allurements which entice, such as
beauty and a simulated propriety of behavior; sometimes even unchastity.
Moreover, marriages are contracted within the district, city or village of
one's birth or abode, where there is no choice save one that is restricted
and limited to the families of one's acquaintances, and among these to those
in the same station of life as oneself. Hence it is that, for the most part,
marriages entered into in the world are external and not at the same time
internal, when yet it is internal conjunction, or conjunction of souls,
which makes marriage. This conjunction, however, is not perceptible until
man puts off his external and puts on his internal, which takes place after
death. Hence it is that there is then separation and afterwards new
conjunctions with those who are similar and homogeneous--unless these had
been provided on earth, as is the case with those who from youth have loved,
chosen, and asked of the Lord a legitimate and lovely partnership with one,
and who spurn and reject wandering lusts as an offence to their nostrils.
CL 50. VI. THAT THEN A SUITABLE WIFE IS GIVEN TO THE MAN, AND
LIKEWISE A SUITABLE HUSBAND TO THE WOMAN. The reason is, because no other
married partners can be received into heaven and remain there save those who
are inwardly united or can be united as into a one; for there, two partners
are not called two but one angel. This is meant by the Lord's words, They
are no more two but one flesh. That no other married partners are received
into heaven, is because there, no others can live together, that is, can be
together in one house and one chamber and bed; for in heaven all are
consociated according to the affinities and relationships of love, and it is
according to these that they have their abodes. In the spiritual world,
there are not spaces but appearances of spaces, and these are according to
the states of their life, the states of their life being according to the
states of their love. For this reason, no one there can abide in any house
but his own. This also is provided, and it is assigned to him according to
the quality of his love. If he abides elsewhere, he is troubled in his
breast and breathing. Moreover, two persons cannot live together in the same
house unless they are similitudes; and by no means married partners unless
they have mutual inclinations. If their inclinations are external and not at
the same time internal, the very house or very place separates, rejects, and
expels them. This is the reason why, for those who after preparation are
introduced into heaven, a marriage is provided with a consort whose soul so
inclines to union with that of the other that they do not wish to be two
lives but one. It is for this reason that after separation, a suitable wife
is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the woman.
CL 51. 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. That married partners enjoy
similar intercourse as in the world, is because, after death, the male is a
male and the female a female, and in both, an inclination to conjunction is
implanted from creation. This inclination is an inclination of the spirit
and thence of the body. Therefore, after death, when man becomes a spirit,
the same mutual inclination continues, and this cannot exist without similar
intercourse. For man is man as before, nor is there anything lacking either
in the male or in the female. They are like themselves as to form, and
equally so as to affections and thoughts. What else can follow then, but
that they have similar intercourse? and since conjugial love is chaste,
pure, and holy, that the intercourse is also complete? But see further on
this subject in the Memorable Relation, no. 44. That the intercourse is then
more delightful and blessed, is because, when that love becomes a love of
the spirit, it becomes more interior and purer and therefore more
perceptible; for every delight increases according to perception, and it so
increases that its blessedness is observed in its delight.
CL 52. That marriages in the heavens are without prolification, in
place whereof is spiritual prolification which is the prolification of love
and wisdom, is because, with those who are in the spiritual world, the third
thing, which is the natural, is lacking. This is the containant of spiritual
things, and without their containant, spiritual things are not set as are
those which are procreated in the natural world. Regarded in themselves,
spiritual things relate to love and wisdom. It is these, therefore, that are
born of their marriages. It is said that they are born, because conjugial
love perfects an angel, so uniting him with his consort that he becomes more
and more a man; for, as said above [no. 50], two partners in heaven are not
two but one angel. Therefore, by conjugial unition they fill themselves with
the human, which consists in willing to become wise, and in loving that
which pertains to wisdom.
CL 53. VIII. THAT THIS IS THE CASE WITH THOSE WHO GO TO HEAVEN; NOT
SO WITH THOSE WHO GO TO HELL. The statements, that after death a suitable
wife is given to the man, and likewise a suitable husband to the wife, and
that they enjoy delightful and blessed intercourse but without other than
spiritual prolification, are to be understood of those who are received into
heaven and become angels. The reason is because they are spiritual, and
marriages in themselves are spiritual and thence holy. But all who go to
hell are natural, and merely natural marriages are not marriages but
conjunctions which originate in unchaste lust. What the nature of these
conjunctions is, will be shown hereafter when treating of the chaste and the
unchaste, and further when treating of scortatory love.
It is clear from these descriptions 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 on earth.
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 by correspondence 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:
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:
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 own 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 our 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 given
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 natural methods of physical measurement. 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, other 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 and 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 spiritual body, like the heart is an organ
in our physical body. 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
So using your conscience and your rational thinking, you can figure out which
traits you have that are heavenly and which hellish. In general terms, focusing on
relationships with couples, heavenly traits include mutual love, friendship,
caring, respect, sympathy, intimacy, and liking. 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
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.
means that they not only desire pornographic stimulation but approve of and
justify the idea as good or allowable or not harmful. They are making pornography or non-exclusive
sexual 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
We can have two reactions in this situation. Either we compel ourselves to stop
doing the hellish or anti-conjugial things, or else we ignore our conscience,
try to weaken it, until it eventually stops functioning, stops bothering us. The
first is to build a heaven for ourselves in eternity, the second a hell.
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 our attraction to non-exclusive sexuality. These
spiritual battles in our mind must take
place here while we are still attached to the physical body and before we are
resuscitated in the afterlife of eternity. Swedenborg repeatedly observed
and confirmed the fact that after resuscitation people always choose to live
according to the loves they practiced here. Here we have a choice; there we do
not. Here we can act against our hellish enjoyments and loves from a higher
motive, or a stronger motive for heavenly loves; there we are compelled to act
according to the enjoyments and loves we held on to and confirmed in lifestyle
habits of doing (S), thinking (C), and feeling (A).
Quoting from the book of the Writings of Swedenborg called
CL 48. (ii) Conjugial love likewise remains as it was
inwardly, that is, in inner thought [ = C ] and will [ = A ], 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 [ = on earth through
the physical body ]. 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.
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 [ = promiscuous, non-exclusive
]. 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
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.
 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.
 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.
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)
Young people today are raised in a culture where sexual activity prior to
marriage is common. Is that hellish? Some people marry late; does that mean that
they are not to have sex at all? Some people cheat on their girlfriend or wife;
does that mean they can no longer have a heaven? The way to take care of these
types of questions in our mind is to remember that heaven and hell are parts of
everybody's mind, and they are opposites in every detail. What determines
where we are in our mind -- heaven or hell -- is the character of our ruling
love hierarchy. There are two loves that are the ruling loves of all human
beings. One is the love of self and the world for the sake of self, the other is
the love of self and the world for the sake of others. One love is hellish and
the other love is heavenly.
You can see this for yourself if you think about it rationally. What
kind of world is possible when people are motivated in everything by the love of
self and the world for the sake of self? This kind of community would be a hell,
would it not? People would be plotting against each other all the time, forming
power alliances, breaking them, cheating, being disloyal, hypercritical,
destructive, injurious, cruel, heartless. This is hell in the human mind.
In contrast, what kind of world is possible when people are motivated in
everything by the love of self and the world for the sake of others? People
would be sincere, compassionate, peaceful. Such a community is a heaven in the
human mind. Here on earth our natural mind is filled with both kinds of loves.
Some things we do out of selfishness and we don't care if we hurt or annoy
others. We are acting with hellish traits, that is, traits that create a hell in
our mind. Some things we do for the sake of others because we care, and this is
creating a heaven in our mind.
All the hellish traits are together in a pack and are ruled by the chief
love that creates hell in our mind, which is the love of self and the world for
the sake of self. All the heavenly traits are together in a pack and are ruled
by the chief love that creates heaven in our mind, which is the love of self and
the world for the sake of others.
These two chief loves rule our mind.
We can keep them both and practice them both -- until our death and
resuscitation. But when we awaken from resuscitation we are psychologically and
anatomically compelled to make a choice because the two -- heaven and hell --
can no longer occupy the same mind, as before.
Now you are totally free to choose on your own. No one forces you or tries to
change your mind because it's not possible. Only you can choose to keep the
ruling love that rules the pack of your hellish traits, or to keep the ruling
love that rules the pack of your heavenly traits.
Whichever you choose, the other is put to sleep in your mind. You then
continue in that mentality forever.
So what is the conclusion?
There is only one practical, rational, and effective strategy we can
use to control our fate in eternity, and that is to practice enjoying and loving
This is impossible until we start opposing our hellish traits.
The love for non-exclusive sex is ruled by the love of self for the sake of
self. It is natural that every human being possesses this love to begin with.
So if we are going to weaken this love we need to fight against it by using our
rational understanding of what is heaven and hell in eternity and how we control
We look at our enjoyment of pornography, and our desire for sex with many
even when we are in an exclusive relationship. We reflect upon the fact that it
is controlled by the ruling love of the self for the sake of self, which is a
hell. We decide to fight it, to take away its legitimacy in our mind. To the
extent that we engage in this spiritual battle, to that extent we can come
around and begin to love exclusive sex even more. And at last, we develop an
aversion for the idea of non-exclusive sex as we have an aversion for deadly
viruses and harmful bacteria.
This principle applies to all our hellish traits, most of which we inherited
Exclusive sex is love of self for the sake of another, hence it makes
heaven in our mind.
5.1 Part C
Swedenborg was able to observe that when married partners have both passed on,
they then meet in the mental world of eternity and live again together in their external
state, which means in the natural marriage state in which they lived on earth
(dominance and equity). During
this initial encounter in the afterlife neither of the two partners are aware of how they feel
toward one another in their "interior" or spiritual 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 they feel
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 romance and sex with attractive others -- either in reality or in
fantasy. This is much portrayed in the media so most
people are familiar with it and must wonder what it would be like to have an
affair on the side. 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.
If you allow such thoughts and desires as "harmless" to your eternity then
you are getting more attached to them. Remember what love is behind this love:
the love of self and world for the sake of self, thus hell. You cannot have such
fantasies of infidelity in heaven, for the moment you do, you are out of your
heaven, and in your hell. Swedenborg observed this with some couples who had
remaining unresolved "issues" regarding their attraction to certain hellish
enjoyments. Each time it came up in their mind they found themselves out of
heaven and in a hell where they could enjoy those things, but not for long, for
soon the longed for heaven again. This in and out of heaven lasted for awhile
but eventually they were able to get rid of the last vestiges of hellish
Knowledge of the unity model is helpful in the management of our transition
from natural sexuality to spiritual sexuality. Natural sexuality includes the
ability to remain faithful in the partnership, but doing so for external reasons
such as "It's inconvenient." or "It's risky." or "There is no opportunity." etc.
These are external reasons because inwardly we still desire it, still arouses us
in thought, but refrain due to these reasons. Once these reasons or concerns no
longer apply, we rush into the non-exclusive sex mentality. But if our reason
for remaining mentally and physically faithful is that only exclusive sex is
part of heaven, then the desire and enjoyment of non-exclusive sex dies.
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 assess 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 learn to eventually love 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 romantic relationships and 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
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
at our 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 afterlife 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 of genuine good and truth. 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, modest, and chaste. 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 sex after becoming completely irrational and
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 desperately 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
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 [ = after their resuscitation ] from a certain kingdom [
= on earth ], who were compelled to speak as their
lustful nature dictated [ = the "angels" have this power over those in
hell ]. These said that their sole pleasure and joy had
been [ = on earth ], 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
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 [ = no longer loved their husband ], since they had become promiscuous
[ = loving to be with other men ].
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? [ = spiritual
conjunction of wife can only be with one husband exclusively ] Don't you know that a
man's soul is in his semen?' [ = in conjugial love the souls of the two
partners are united organically ]
At this they turned away and murmured, 'What harm
does it do there?' [ = this is said from the natural or physical
perspective only ] 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
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 ever 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 in the
experiment related above, had a
more effective technique available to them -- they spiritually and mentally compelled them to answer as
they really think, making it impossible for them to say the opposite of the truth,
as they always do in the mentality in which they live in the hells of their mind.
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.
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, similar dislikes, similar reactions, similar enjoyments, etc. These
mental tendencies are spiritual organic elements in the organ of the soul that
is in the spiritual body. The soul then expresses its imprint on the mental
organs and they come out as emotions, feelings, preferences, tendencies in the
mind and from there in the physical body.
The individual is not responsible for the inherited hellish traits, nor gets
credit for the inherited heavenly traits.
In other words, we don't go to hell because of our inherited hellish traits,
and we don't go to heaven because of our inherited heavenly traits. This would
be totally unfair, so that's not what is happening in God's scheme.
The inherited traits are not part of the individual --
until the person chooses to practice (S) these inherited traits, to love them
(A), and to justify them (C) as all right to do or enjoy. At that point they
are integrated into our threefold self. We are then "married" to that trait,
conjoined to it organically. And since these are immortal organic substances
from the Spiritual Sun our confirmed and practiced loves will remain with the
spiritual body forever to eternity. Is this fair?
It might not be if people change their former character. But the way it works
is fair and rational. After resuscitation everyone chooses between our
hellish ruling love (that controls all the others) and our heavenly ruling love
(that controls all the others). It's our free choice because people who
are free to choose always choose what they love.
So we choose between our two ruling loves, one leading to the hells in our
mind, the other leading to the heavens in our mind. Once we choose one of the
two ruling loves, the other is put to sleep forever. The two ruling loves can
no longer continue to exist or be functional together in one spiritual body.
This is for the benefit of the individual who would suffer inhuman torment and
destruction as human beings if these two were mixed simultaneously in their
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 create such a situation, because motives
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.
Remember that all these statements about hell and heaven are anatomical, not
moralistic or dogmatic. These lecture notes allow us to examine together what it
would be like to have a psychology that presents knowledge about mental anatomy
and its relationship to the afterlife of eternity. This allows us to examine
psychological issues that are important to each of us. Anatomical reasons for
heaven and hell are constructed to be objective, rational, integrated, and
scientific, so that we can exclude moral judgments or religious dogmas from our
discussion and consideration.
Any student or researcher can read these anatomical descriptions and
functions and understand them rationally. The only issue that remains is whether
or not the anatomical descriptions are accurate and valid. This is why I often
refer to Swedenborg's empirical observations and confirmations. In the positive
bias of science we will allow the possibility that the Swedenborg Reports are
genuine scientific works.
The "roving" love of sex with many partners is a
four-stage process, as described in the Swedenborg Reports. The first stage is that of being sexually active with
multiple partners, physically, or mentally (in fantasy or virtual games). 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 and nausea when it is mentioned or thought of. In this final stage there
is an obsessive desire to abuse women, to dominate them, and to degrade
them sexually. Men can act in such a way that others might say that he loves
women. But his inner motive for being around women is to degrade them out of
this inner hatred for all women and all sexuality. Swedenborg has confirmed this
through his observations of various men who were living in the hellish zones of
their mind in eternity.
These anatomically built in consequences and mechanisms must be
understood rationally and physiologically, 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
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, 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 that 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 layers
of our mind in eternity. And this can happen only through the process of attaching ourselves
by love 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
CL 48. If a man has had several wives, he conjoins himself with
them in turn while in the external state [ = the period immediately
following our resuscitation ]; but when he enters the internal
state [ = our second death when we are get to choose between our two
opposing ruling loves ], 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 [ non-Christian countries also have laws for
monogamy ]. The like happens with a woman who has had
several husbands; women [ = after resuscitation ] , 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 [ = in the male dominance and equity phases
] 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. On the other hand husbands who have practiced
the unity model and have formed a spiritual marriage on earth, recognize their
wife because they have been mentally intimate with her, sharing the operations
of the cognitive and affective organs.
Continuing with the Number:
CL 48. 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 [ = our external
social personality such as it is known by friends and family ]
and puts on his internals [ = our inner character or the
emotions and thoughts we feel moment by moment as we negotiate our way through
the day ]
After death, every one is first introduced into the
world which is called the world of spirits [ = the mental world of eternity
after resuscitation in our spiritual body ] -- which is in the middle between
heaven and hell [ = the mind is arranged
anatomical layers ] -- and is there prepared, the good for heaven
[ = those who choose their heavenly ruling love ] and the evil for
hell [ = those who choose their hellish ruling love ].
This preparation has for its end, that the internal [
= character, ruling love ] and external [ = social
personality ] may be
concordant and make a one [ = anatomical functioning in eternity ] , and not be discordant and make two
[ = as it did in our natural mind before death ] . (CL 48)
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
What's remarkable is that there are two levels of
anatomical structure and physiological functioning, external and internal (inner
character and outer personality), and many people are not aware of their own inner
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 as partners or not, and other consequences
that follow from these.
From the passage above, you can also see that there are two phases we go through after
the process of resuscitation from the death of the physical body, which is a
matter of about 30 hours as observed by Swedenborg. The first phase is the awakening to our conscious
awareness in the world of eternity. 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 more intense and pure 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.
In the second phase after resuscitation 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.
This is the process of the "second death" which refers to
the quieting down and laying aside of the external personality we had on earth. The
process varies in extensiveness depending on how aware or unaware the
individual is of their inner character and what loves and motives are entrenched
there. Love is what produces freedom. 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 loves. 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 after the second death.
In that state new 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 spiritual body.
The coming out of your inner ruling love and its sub-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
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 by the similarity and compatibility of their ruling love
and sub-loves. They are awful, much worse than you can imagine, much
worse than I could imagine. This is because in the hell zones there are no
balancing mechanisms. All rational thoughts and good intentions are
automatically turned into their opposites, so that the people are irrational,
delusional, and savage. Reality cannot enter there to moderate and balance.
If you discover yourself to be an angel, having chosen
your heavenly ruling love, 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. Even their appearance and face are 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 one's final destination
in eternal life has arrived.
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 conjugial heavenly eternity as an angel couple, living in
bliss with other angel couples, protected forever from every single possible negative
feeling, thought, or emotion.
You can see form this summary description that heaven
and hell are anatomical concepts not places of reward for being good and places of punishment for
From Swedenborg's observations we know that no one in the
afterlife 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 anatomical and physiological consequences of our prior life and
choices (loves). It is the organic mental structure 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 the hells in your mind
after your resuscitation phase is over. You are not being punished for passed
misdeeds. You are sinking into hell because your ruling love, and its sub-loves, delights, lusts, and
enjoyments are hellish in character. It is an inexorable law of the mental
world of eternity that your environment is determined by your inner character.
If you see
yourself rise to the heavens in your mind, it is happening not as a reward for
what you did in the past on earth, but a consequence of the spiritual law that
your ruling love and its sub-loves create the environment for everyone there. You 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. These
heavenly traits must be loved so that they may be appropriated to our mind as an
anatomical bond. Anatomically, love is the only permanent bond.
Continuing with the passage:
CL 48.  In the natural world they make two
[ = outer social personality and inner ruling love and sub-loves ], and only with
the sincere in heart [ = character is regenerated by temptation battles
] do they make a one [ = once we are regenerated our outer
personality and inner character coincide ].
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.
 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 [ = give them up and all the sub-loves that they go with
]; but if he had not repented in the world [ = prior to
resuscitation ], 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.
 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 of Swedenborg:
AC 2870. 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 [ = slavery to one's lusts
and obsessive motives ] . That however which is in keeping
with love to the Lord 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 [ = freedom to follow what we know is good and true ]
. (AC 2870)
No one can be forced or compelled to enter either hell or
It is by definition a choice we make according to our ruling loves.
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 and to be in them yourself.
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.
you have had an external natural marriage only, your inner 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" phase of marriage, as
discussed above. Then, some couples move on to the equity phase which engages
more inward forms of their personality called cognitive (C). And after that, they
have the opportunity to engage their inmost loves and to be conjoined
affectively (A) in an internal or spiritual marriage.
Now their external marriage is
complete because it has the internal spiritual marriage within it. It is this internal
conjunction or marriage between the partners that takes over at the second death
and determines their fate.
Video (Media Player or QuicTime) link: "Just Fine" by Mary J. Blige
1) Explain the three phases of marriage in relation to the s
relationship of the couple. How do the three phases relate to stages of mental
2) Define non-exclusive sex and contrast it with exclusive sex. How do you
relate this definition to our popular culture as portrayed in the media? How do
the practices of your friends or acquaintances fit into this distinction? Find
out from them if they agree with the explanation of "slutty" as given here?
3) In what way is sex related to the spiritual? What is spiritual? Why is it
spiritually harmful for a man to fantasize about other women when he is in a
committed relationship and does not commit infidelity?
4) What is your reaction to the idea that we have a spiritual body in the
afterlife, with which we lead a married sexual life in eternity as we do with
our physical body in this life? Explain to your friends the discussion on sex,
marriage, and heaven that Swedenborg had with three newcomers shortly after
their resuscitation from death (CL 44). How do they react? Explain to them the
negative bias in science and the positive bias in science. What do they say to
the idea that we need to prepare ourselves for the afterlife if we want to be
happy and sane forever.
Continuing with the same Section as exercise 5.1.1
1) Give a definition of heaven and hell in terms of types of feelings and
thoughts that people have. Explain the function of our "ruling love" and
what we need to do to about it to insure a heavenly eternity for ourselves and
our soul mate. Contrast what happens in the afterlife when the ruling love in
sex is non-exclusive with many vs. exclusive with only one. What is
self-witnessing? What is its purpose? Do a few hours of self-witnessing. Was it
helpful in any way?
2) Are people responsible for inheriting a ruling love that is selfish and
harmful to others? Does the unity model provide a moralistic justification for
what is "evil" or an anatomical justification? Explain the anatomy and
psychobiology of our mental life of sensations, thoughts, and feelings. Describe
what happens in the dying process and the resuscitation that immediately
follows? Explain how the quality of life in our life in eternity is dependent on
the habits of thinking and feeling that we have acquired in this life? Does this
make rational sense to you, or not?
6. Part A
The Basic Ennead Matrix: The Nine Zones in Marriage
(READ TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)
THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS
All ennead charts are read
from bottom up.
ennead chart ("ennead" = nine), shows that there are nine
succeeding stages or steps
for achieving unity in marriage. The nine phases are marked in the
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 phases (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.
one couple can start their marriage with 90 percent of their interactions
classifiable as falling in the traditional male dominance phase (cells 1, 2, 3). 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 male dominance phase as they
need to coordinate with each other for daily tasks. Now they may spend 20
percent of their interactions in the male dominance phase, 75 percent in the
equity phase, and 5 percent in the unity phase. 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 phase (cells
7, 8, 9), having learned how to avoid interactions in the
male dominance or
equity phases (cells 1 through 6).
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. You need to memorize the basic ennead chart as all the other charts
are derivations from it.
Note that the
nine intersecting 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 basic ennead chart.
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
Note that that the threefold self
(columns) is conceptualized in relation to the model or philosophy that the
partners use in their daily interactions (rows). This "model" may not be clearly
conscious in their mind if you ask them about about it. Nevertheless it is
like the habits children spontaneously pick up from their peers and parents,
much of it without their conscious awareness. These habits and attitudes operate
sub-consciously or outside our normal conscious focus, so that later as
adults, we are not clearly aware that we are following these practices or
("models"). It is called a model because it is shared with others who also
practice this model, whether or not they do so consciously or without clear
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 and socialization. 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 scripts that follow the group practices of others in our
Without this mental standardization, national surveys would not be
possible, and an "average" for a population would not be meaningful.
When you ask people about their behavior and attitude you are
getting answers that relate to the person's self-image and reputation. This is
known in psychology as the social desirability effect in interviews. But besides giving
answers that are socially acceptable, one also avoids giving answers that are
not consistent with the kind of person you want others to think you are. This
principle also applies to you, when you are thinking about what kind of person
you are. There are many areas and zones of our personality that we are not aware
of, and should we become aware of them, we would be dissatisfied with
People work hard to avoid becoming aware of their own
physical habits (unclean, gross) and mental practices (prejudices,
Because to become aware of our habits and practices would
mean that we might need to change them.
People are inherently resistant to changing themselves. Why?
Because they love themselves, they love themselves as they
are, they love their habits and practices indiscriminately.
Human beings are governed by their loves (A). We are governed by
the loves we inherit and the loves we acquire. Part of becoming a confident
adult in a competitive society may be to love ourselves, to stand up for our
ideas, to protect our reputation, to form alliances or friendships with others
who accept you as you are.
Now you can see that the interactions between married
partners that fall in cells 1 through 6 are learned habits of the threefold
Couples within a community or family are social copies or typical "models"
of each other, even though each couple varies as to how much time they spend in
each cell and the unique style with which they perform those activities.
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 married 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 a 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
2, 3. This is characterized by the coercive treatment of the wife by the
husband. This mode of interaction is traditionally male dominant. Husbands
rely on the coercive power of tradition and expectation to force their wife to
be obedient, regardless of her feelings.
The husband who acts from the
dominance phase is closest to his wife in the sensorimotor zone of interaction
(cell 1). So while the wife is being physically intimate with her husband, at the same time
she is not being as intimate with him at the cognitive and affective
zone of interactions (2 and 3). This is why the number 1 in cell 1 (S) is bigger
in the chart than
the numbers in cells 2 (cognitive) and 3 (affective).
This pattern is called "coercive"
because the wife is not given an opportunity to share her thoughts and feelings
about the sensorimotor obedience. She is required to behave in the expected way
or she gets punished in various ways -- physical threat, verbal abuse,
condemnation, criticism, being abandoned, etc. Hence the male dominance phase relies
on sensorimotor coercion of women's sensorimotor behavior, and suppression of
her cognitive and affective behavior, except within permissible limits.
It took several years of effort for me to recognize the
various sub-conscious habits I had for controlling my wife and coercing her
indirectly, rather than directly. This allowed me to claim for years that I did
not use coercion with my wife. I preferred to claim that I was fair or
gentlemanly. But bit by bit I began to pay attention to how she described
feeling my coerciveness. One example was raising my voice as soon as she was
challenging my opinion or interpretation. She would say, "Please stop yelling at
me." and I would retort, "I'm not yelling. What's the matter with you." -- thus
proving that I was yelling at her both physically with a louder, more
intimidating voice, and with the speech act: "What's the matter with you" which
is an attack on her because it implies that I think there is something wrong
Other male dominance phase disjunctive sensorimotor habits
of mine by which my wife felt coerced included
frowning at her when I disagreed or disapproved of what she
was doing or saying
turning the lips down when I was rejecting what she was
putting my hands on the hips when I was impatient or
looking away, not meeting her eyes
interfering with her breathing by interrupting her when she
talking about disturbing things when she wants to relax
not shaving carefully, leaving long strands of hair showing
that she disliked
not trimming my bushy eyebrows that bothered her
postponing going for a haircut after she announced that I need it
talking and eating with the mouth open which she found
putting on dark socks with light slacks, or vice versa,
which violated her sense of decor
wandering off when we were shopping together, so she had to
look for me
getting in the car, then making her wait while going back
in the house for something
not cleaning up my work area until she felt compelled to do
it for me
making her repeat her words, acting distracted or
grabbing her arm and pulling to get her to walk faster or
to move away
refusing to learn to fold clothes properly, so she had to
honking to get her attention somewhere in public
going outside to put out the garbage while wearing indoor
shorts which she thought of as indecent
making dogs bark by walking too close to a fence
driving without checking about the route first and
getting lost or being late
leaving the closet doors open
not drying the bathroom sink counter after using it
mixing dark and light clothes, cotton and flannel, in the
putting in too much laundry soap in the wash machine
not watering or fertilizing plants after I agreed to take
care of them
walking in the garage with sandy shoes
Husbands and boyfriends who act in ways similar to what I
describe above, are following the male dominance phase in the relationship --
even if they deny it, as I have for years. It is the wife or girlfriend who has the
objective view since she experiences her reactions to every little thing he does
or fails to do.. Hence the rational and gentlemanly thing for the man to do is to
listen to what the wife says makes her feel coerced by his sub-conscious habits,
instead of rejecting and disagreeing with what she says about it.
When a man says to a woman "I love you." he incurs a series
of obligations as a result. If he strives to meet these obligations he is a
gallant man, a real man, a contended man who is moving on to a spiritual
marriage and eternal happiness. No woman can resist feeling attracted to such a
man and loving him back with all that she has. But as we all know, most men are
not gallant and truly real with women most of the time. They say "I love you."
many times, but then they do no intend to meet the relationship obligations that
this declaration entails. They settle down into their comfort zone and gradually
stop inhibiting themselves from performing the disjunctive sensorimotor acts of
the type listed above. In effect they take the position that if a woman loves
a man she should allow him his comfort zones and not make an issue about them.
The male dominance pattern is easy to see in foreign cultures
and with couples who relate to a foreign family background. It's more difficult for us
to see it in our own interactions, even though many couples actually relate to each other
through this dominance model. A couple may describe themselves "officially" as following
the equity phase (zones 4, 5, 6). This phase
relies on negotiation rather than coercion. Notice in the basic ennead
chart above that zone 5 (cognitive) is given the emphasis. In the male dominance
phase, zone 1 is given prominence (sensorimotor). When partners relate to each
other through negotiation, their intimacy focus is on the cognitive (C) rather than
on the sensorimotor (S) or affective (A).
When a man habitually performs disjunctive sensorimotor acts
(such as in the list above) he is acting according to the male dominance model
in his mind. He loves (A) to think (C) that she should accommodate (S) to his
comforts and physical habits (S). This is what he thinks of a woman, and a
woman's love for him. Girlfriends who move in with their boyfriends are made to
feel intimidated and pressured to accept the man's argument about his physical
habits. The man confronts her with the challenging "If you love me..." or "Why
aren't you more accommodating?" Etc. This makes the woman hold back. She gets
uncertain, confused. How much should she push? What if she is too picky or
intolerant. Etc. This is injurious to her striving for unity with this man. He
is slowly defeating her, destroying the possibility of their becoming mentally
intimate and best friends. He is putting a limit on their relationship for
selfish and foolish and unworthy reasons (unmanly, cowardly).
I was like that for many years -- unmanly, cowardly, burning
the unity bridges that remained connected between us. But my wife was a fierce
conjugial warrior. She matched my extremity with her greater extremity. She
never let up on what I thought at the time to be her pickiness, her
unreasonableness, her perfectionist demands. Because she never gave up on me,
always being in my face with my disjunctive unsexy behaviors, I gradually
started taking her requests seriously and learned how to perform conjunctive
Contrast the above list with some of the conjunctive
that I have had to acquire in the unity model:
first of all, stopping the sensorimotor disjunctive
behaviors listed above
second, doing sensorimotor conjunctive acts instead, as
smiling at her when she walks into the room (vs. continuing
what I was doing)
graciously allowing her to interrupt my tasks (vs.
complaining about it)
coordinating my walking with her so she feels comfortable
making that phone call she wants me to do now instead of
not interrupting her when she is talking
not wearing shirts with dirty spots on them
keeping my face clean of unseemly hair
folding clothes so she won't feel like she has to redo it
taking care of her when she needs to relax
helping her select and shop for clothes, shoes,
accessories, make up, gifts
knowing what she likes to eat and drink
keeping my drawers and closets neat
remembering where things are (vs. always asking her)
laughing at her sense of humor
not embarrass her in public by talking too loud or "making
agreeing and smiling when she talks (vs. disagreeing,
shaking the head)
doing things she wants done right away (vs. postponing)
always being civil with strangers, including the phone
always seeing her off at the door when she leaves the house
surprising her with a gift or a new fun idea
holding hands while watching her favorite programs or
movies with her
doing yoga and walks with her
giving her massages (see this video:
staying with her when she gets dressed and talking
taking care of people who come to the front door
helping her with bills and record keeping (vs. letting her
do it all alone)
calling her cell phone whenever she might wonder where I am
keeping my cell phone on so she can contact me whenever she
When the focus of the intimacy is on the cognitive (C)
(equity phase, zone 5), the wife
can hold her own with the man since she is just as smart at negotiating as he
is, and maybe even more skilled at it. Unfortunately, while the woman is
motivated to play fair in the negotiation process, the man reserves the right to
revert to the male dominance phase whenever he feels like doing that.
the man may be going along in the negotiating process, when all of a sudden he
refuses to cooperate or to be intimate with her thinking process. He rejects her
thinking process and disagrees flatly with it. He refuses. He falls silent. He
shows anger. He threatens. He walks out. In all of this, he has reverted back to
the male dominance phase of interacting.
There is not much the woman can do at that point. The man has
broken cognitive intimacy with her. He is facing her with his made up mind and decision. She has
no choice but to feel coerced by him. The friendship is broken. They are no
longer best friends. They have reverted to being lovers in the male dominance phase
where she feels sexually coerced, blackmailed, threatened with negative
consequences if she doesn't show obedience. She now she has to wait until the man
becomes more rational and responsible, willing to compel himself to get back
into the equity phase and respect her cognitive intimacy. Then they can grow further
together by conjoining their threefold self again, under the equity phase --
Many husbands and boyfriends
resist the equity phase and insist on going back to the male dominance phase whenever
the woman tries to have him abandon some obnoxious habits.
But if the man
changes his mind and sticks to the equity phase (instead of sneaking back into
the male dominance phase), then the couple can grow still
further towards fully being conjoined and intimate in their threefold self.
Eventually couples can move into the unity stages -- zones 7, 8,
happens when the husband adopts a new way of interacting with his wife. This
new way has to do with his thinking about eternity as a couple.
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.
This is called affective intimacy, which is why the
number in zone 9 is emphasized.
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 (conjunctive
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 be
one mind (C) and one heart" (A), which means having cognitive intimacy with
affective intimacy, and
from these two, sensorimotor intimacy. As a result, the man 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 conjoint self he is
no longer mentally an independent person or human being.
He can no longer choose to
will (A) and plan (C)
on his own -- except when he admittedly slides back into lower zones, which
happens repeatedly and is normal in the early years. Whatever he does (S), think
(C), or strive for (A), he consults his wife's preferences,
either verbally with her or mentally with himself.
To be able to do this he needs to
first achieve cognitive conjunction or intimacy in the unity model of operation
(zone 8). This will give him the interactions he needs in order to find out how
she thinks about something. When he knows what she prefers and how she prefers
it to be done, and he wants to make her happy, he will be able to listen to what
she wants and honor that in his own mind. Then and only then will he begin to
become her soul-mate, her best friend, her romantic partner.
They will be unified at all three levels of human conjunction.
Even if this process takes years
to complete, the couple will derive significant benefits throughout the lengthy
process of maturing their conjoint self.
And all along they both know that
this is only the beginning of their conjugial eternity in a heavenly state.
There is no pressure or impatience or waste, but only a steady expanding
passion they have for each other, so they know with inner confidence that they
This romantic love and inmost confidence they have with each
other is felt as a spiritual conjunction or love. This experience opens their
spiritual rationality and intelligence. It changes their mental anatomy and
physiology. They enter a stage of human evolution that is higher than what they
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 of their interactions. 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 using coercive tactics to
dominate her and to get what he wants out of her. He sometimes puts on a show of
negotiating 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 from 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,
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 -- losing optimism and being cynical, losing romance
and replacing it with familiarity and nothing special. And his passion and
enthusiasm for her dies -- unless he can compel himself to rescue their future
together 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
in this new state of unity he is a half-person as an independent self, and is
completed reciprocally by his wife as a conjoint self.
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 heavenly 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 trying to dominate him, intimidate or persuade him.
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
For more information on this topic, you can consult the 459 Lecture
Notes, on the Web at:
When you look up and down each column of the basic ennead
chart above you are locating or contrasting the same component of the threefold
self across the three phases.
For instance, the sensorimotor zone of each phase (1, 4, 7) involves the
sensorimotor interactions between the two partners. In the initial phases of
practicing within a phase, the man's affective and cognitive self are
subordinated to the sensorimotor self as a couple. They get along with the new
phase, but only so long as they retain focus on the sensorimotor intimacy,
avoiding attempts to establish cognitive and affective intimacy within that
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. However,
these sensorimotor interactions vary for each phase (1,4,7).
In the male dominance phase, sensorimotor interactions (zone 1)
are coercive as described above. In the equity phase, sensorimotor
interactions (zone 4) reflect the level of intimacy of their cognitive
negotiation process. If the wife feels that her husband is sincere and fair in
his negotiating, she acts very responsive and engaged with him at the
sensorimotor level of intimacy. In the unity model, sensorimotor interactions
(zone 7) reflect the level of intimacy of their affective conjunction
process. The wife feels drawn more and more into the love and friendship of
their unification, feeling full confidence and satisfaction with him at the
dominance phase, 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 only
partially together at the cognitive and affective levels of conjoining.
are partially separated or "disjoined" in their thinking and in their feeling,
each one having their thoughts and their feelings, without being able to share
them. The reason they cannot share them is that they do not agree. Externally
they are in coordinated synergy as a couple. Internally (C, A) they are independent and
possibly conflictual. They avoid analyzing their relationship in order to avoid
this inner conflict from coming out into the open and interfere with their life
say that they "agree to disagree" about this or that topic. This keeps the outward
peace and synergy from collapsing. They each give up being cognitively intimate
with each other. An unresolved disagreement prevents cognitive intimacy. If a
disagreement comes out, the partners want to work on resolving it, not
fossilizing it forever.
But progress may be slow. Cognitive intimacy with her
husband is extremely critical for the wife. His connectivity to her depends on
him thinking that she admires his thinking. The man feels bonded to the woman
when she loves the way he thinks. Women realize this, and they spontaneously
love, admire, and enjoy the thinking and masculine intelligence of the man they want to
practice of agreeing to disagree is therefore injurious to the growth of
intimacy between them. Nevertheless, a woman may feel she cannot go further
in cognitive intimacy than the man is willing to tolerate at the time. As a
result she may rely on the principle of let's agree to disagree as a a temporary
strategy to avoid the wrong kind of conflict.
Read the Section above (Part A). Then read it again while you type out notes
involving the following issues.
1) Learn to write out or draw the basic ennead matrix in marriage. Practice
explaining each row and column intersection (or the nine zones of marriage). Why
are ennead charts read from bottom up? How can this chart help you make
objective observations about the interactions of couples? Each zone of marriage
has its own "mental scripts" so that if you can identify the mental scripts of
the partners, you can then identify the zones they are spending with each other.
Define the mental scripts associated with each of the nine zones. Discuss these
zones with your partner, friends, and class discussion teams. What is your
overall evaluation of what others think about it?
2) Define conjunctive and disjunctive exchanges between partners. Give
illustrations from the notes, but also from your own observation of couples --
in real life or in the media. Explain the difference between men and women in
relation to the process of conjoining their threefold self. Do your friends see
something wrong with putting the emphasis on the man in terms of the need for
him to change himself for the sake of the conjunction process?
3) Define the conjoint self. Describe the progressive growth of the conjoint
self using the basic ennead chart of marriage. Is this model relevant to what
you know about couples? Explain. What is the reaction of your partner and
friends when you tell them about the conjoint self? What are you finding out by
trying to explain it to them and how they react?
phase (zones 4,
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 male dominance phase of
In the equity phase 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 intimacy or conjunction is
gradually achieved through such a process of negotiation, as long as both
partners are sincere rather than just manipulative.
Women tend to be very
sincere in negotiation, believing that it is a method for finding a way they can
both be happy with instead of one feeling exploited by the other or by the
circumstances. Men on the other hand have less of a motivation to be sincere
in negotiating because they start with the position of societal and traditional advantage over
women, and thoughtlessly or spontaneously use this advantage to win a better
deal for themselves. Thus, men are not normally focusing on equity and fairness,
but on using equity argumentation to maintain the superiority given to them by
society and tradition.
equity phase 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 increase in cognitive intimacy (zone
5) makes the sensorimotor interaction (zone 4) also more intimate and favorable
than what it was before.
They get along better in their coordination of
tasks and activities (zone 4, S), agree more on goals and purposes (zone 6, A), can
talk it out and influence each other's thinking and decisions (zone 5, C). Because
of this their sensorimotor interactions (zone 4, S) are more compatible -- they
enlarge and diversify their physical activities and enjoyment of each other. But
they still argue and disagree on certain things (zone 5). The wife still gets
abused from time to time when the husband gives himself permission to explode
and revert to becoming abusive (zone 3) or take a stance that hurts her. The
husband still resists and resents (zone 6, A) the wife's attempt to influence him,
to change his traits and habits that she finds are in the way of a still closer
There is one
more phase that the woman wants and needs -- a focus on their affective
conjunction (zone 9).
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 spiritual genes.
To achieve the conjoint self, the husband must be willing to make their
affective intimacy (zone 9) 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 bite her and hurt her feelings.
This is a mental state of affective
disjunction. Her love is slowly being suffocated by this state of affective
disjunction. Her love as a wife is being killed, and her love as a wife is her
She wants her husband to give in to her feminine intelligence in
all their interactions.
The wife insists on being first in
her husband's mind not because she is selfish or vain, merely thinking of her
comfort or ego. When she desires to be first in her husband's mind she is
thinking of the conjoint self and she wants that true and perfect unity that
lasts to eternity. She realizes in her spiritual wisdom or feminine intelligence
that acquiring a conjoint self is more important for her husband than his normal 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.
unity is the focus of the interactions (zone 9), the cognitive and sensorimotor
at the same time (zones 8 and 7).
Not only are the two partners conjoined in their sensorimotor (S) and cognitive
self (C), but now they at last become conjoined in their affective self--their
feelings, motivations, evaluations (A). This level of conjunction is not possible without both
partners abandoning their loyalty or preference for interactions that fall in
the prior two phases. The focus at this third level must be their affective
intimacy, while cognitive and sensorimotor intimacy are then consequences of
this inmost affective conjunction.
his interactions from the male dominance phase (zones 1, 2, 3), the husband
begins to recognize that he is not "entitled" to being treated in a subservient
way by the woman. Afterwards, by abandoning also his interactions from the
equity phase (zones 4, 5, 6), the husband no longer sees power sharing and
negotiation as a good focus for their developing intimacy. The equity focus
leads to hard bargaining and to disagreements, and even the consensual
agreements may not be fully suitable to the woman. By abandoning the equity
phase of interaction the man now adopts a new philosophy or model for their
Note in the
basic ennead chart that zones 1, 5, 9
are bolded. This is the path that represents the progressive growth of the
First, the couple is focusing on their sensorimotor conjunction
(zone 1) in the male dominance
phase, while the cognitive and affective interactions (zones 2 and 3) follow the
sensorimotor focus. Second, they focus on cognitive conjunction
(zone 5) in the equity
phase, while the sensorimotor and affective interactions
(zones 4 and 6)
are consequences of the cognitive focus. Finally, they focus on affective
(zone 9) in the unity model,
while the cognitive and sensorimotor interactions
(zones 7 and 8)
follow from the affective focus.
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
(equity phase) or imposed by coercion (male dominance phase), but loved and lived
(unity model). The
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.
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 political tactics of resistance,
the man is able to keep separate from the woman and remain disjoined from her at
the affective level. Their relationship remains at the equity or traditional
dominance level and cannot grow inward towards full intimacy and unity.
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 (equity). 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).
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" or "until
we get divorced." 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, and this does not allow any independence whatsoever.
Remember that every time the man decides to disagree with the woman, he is
rejecting affective intimacy and conjunction with her.
husband has a new
rule for himself in the unity model, with his focus on affective intimacy (zone
9): he will keep himself from ever disagreeing with her about any of her
demands, requests, pleadings, urgings, or expectations -- these being all
the ways the wife reveals her affections to her husband. Hence these are all
the ways she is attempting to be affectively intimate with him -- by making
requests, demands, or pleadings. These are the ways she is trying to have an
influence on him so he doesn't just act from himself alone but from her as well.
This is affective intimacy -- to act from her will and his own, not just from
He is now
called an enlightened husband. He can see rationally that by subordinating his
own affections to hers, the two of them can form a unity, which will then
greatly enhance their cognitive and sensorimotor intimacy that they attained
previously. Now they will truly be of "one mind" (cognitive intimacy)
and "one heart" (affective intimacy) or "one flesh" or "one spirit" or soul mates to eternity. 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 phases together (nine zones of
interaction). This is because the other zones are also active for awhile and are
therefore necessary intermediate stages.
No couple starts 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.
Suppose you decide to monitor two couples you know, categorizing their
interactions into the nine zones of the basic ennead chart. You find the
following for the three phases: dominance, equity, unity:
The first couple has roughly equal
interactions in the three phases (33%, 33%, 33%)
The second couple has a lopsided
distribution (10%, 10%, 80%)
The first couple is less advanced than the second couple
and the two partners experience conflict or disjunction for two-thirds of their
interactions daily. The second couple succeeds in staying in the unity model for
most of their daily interactions. 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 inmost friendship
and full confidence (spiritual marriage).
For the next few weeks practice using the basic ennead
chart for your observations of couples around you, or in the media.
TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)
THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS
Relationship at the
e.g., partners' movements are coordinated to each other to form a synergy
e.g., partners discover and always strive to agree with each other's opinions
e.g., the husband always strives to align his feelings or desires to match his
Relationship at the
e.g., partners' movements are competitive with each other
often disagree with each other's opinions and justifications
e.g., partners take turns giving in even if they don't agree
Relationship at the
e.g., the wife's movements are
directed by the husband using force, threat, or intimidation
e.g., the wife knows the husband's prerogatives and strives to submit to them
under fear of retaliation
e.g., the partners' interactions are governed by the expectations of tradition
Table 6.2 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 authoritarian mentality of the male dominance phase (level 1)
involves the partners at a general level, thus more distant to each other than
the equity or unity phases. 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. This means no intimacy because intimacy
involves the freedom to share thoughts and feelings. When tradition and family govern or dictate the interaction
possibilities between husband and wife, their relationship remains at the
general level (no mental intimacy).
But with the equity phase (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 (C) and preferences (A) and they take turns agreeing with one another
(S) as a way of maintaining peace and avoiding warfare (S). 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
They prefer to remain at a certain distance in their
affective intimacy in areas where
they both agree to some "legitimate" independence -- e.g., how they think about
certain things like politics or religion, what the best and what the next
best of something is, what friends and hobbies they are allowed to have
separately from each other, their personal habits, their family loyalties, their
close childhood friends, etc. These are all the ways that they maintain
affective distance from each other as a pair.
All these negotiated agreements and mutual allowances of
independence in the equity phase, are banished when the husband moves up to the
unity model of interaction. Maybe not completely in actuality -- but in goal.
The husband officially commits to the goal of never disagreeing with his wife.
This is the entry point to the unity phase of marriage.
If he later does something disjunctive like getting angry or
impatient or rude, she only needs to point out to him that this is contrary to his
unity model. If he was sincere, he has no choice but to admit this, and
consequently he has to perform various acts to "erase" what he did so they can
continue with their unity process. If he refuses to confess this, the unity
process is put on hold. If unity is his highest goal for his marriage and for
eternity (heavenly ruling love), then he will have no choice but sooner or later
to get on with the confession and the repair, so that he may go on to his highest
But if unity in eternity is not his highest goal, the other
ruling love will take over, which is hellish, and he will remain a slave to his
pride, arrogance, and foolishness. This leads him down the path to the hells in
his mind after resuscitation. In the meantime he will not only destroy the
relationship but his own ability to be happy and fulfilled. He will go on to
hate marriage, and ultimately to hate women and children and all innocence and
But if he is sincere in his prior commitment and spiritual
insight, he will overcome these types of selfish obstacles, over and over again
over the years of mutual development and growing close spiritually, that is in
thoughts and feelings.
The rational mentality of the unity model in eternity prompts the
partners to be intolerant of any differences between them. They each strive to
eliminate any love, affection, desire, or goal that is antagonistic or
independent of the other partner's loves and goals -- but only the heavenly
traits, and never the hellish traits. They are each committed to eliminate
all the hellish traits they still have, for the sake of their togetherness in a
heavenly eternity. They help each other identify their hellish traits without
thinking they are being criticized. They remain best friends throughout this
process, protecting each other's feelings and sentiments.
But they must act reciprocally to one another. The husband
cannot practice equity for this to work out. He cannot start identifying his
wife's hellish traits the way she identifies his, up front. He needs for her to
be straight and direct and explicit, while he on the other hand needs to be a
diplomat, or a gallant man, a gentleman. He must not act towards her the way she
must act towards him. And in this way, it will work out. But if he practices
equity and insists on telling her the way she must tell him, it will not work
out because then she cannot be best friends with him. But he can be best
friends with her only if she comes out directly saying what she is thinking
about what he should do or not do about this or that.
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 the other.
In the male dominance phase of interaction the wife is persuaded by
authority or coercion 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 biological
mentality (layer 9). In the equity phase the two partners take turns doing for
the other what is wanted or requested. This is a personal level of relationship
based on materialistic appearances (8S) that each partner gives to the other about oneself
(layer 8). In the unity phase of rational mentality (layer 7) the husband is
enlightened spiritually to realize that perfect marriage unity depends on
exchanging his independent loves and goals (A) for conjoint loves and goals.
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
Quoting from Swedenborg's Writings:
AC 10168. Love truly conjugial is the union of two minds [ =
unity model ] , which is a
spiritual union [ = spiritual marriages ]; and all spiritual union descends from heaven
[ = highest layer of the spiritual mind ].
From this it is
that love truly conjugial is from heaven [ = heavenly traits ], and that its first being is from the
marriage of good and truth there [ = affective and cognitive organs acting
together ]. The marriage of good and truth in heaven is
from the Lord [ = God ]; wherefore in the Word [ = New Testament
Sacred Scriptures ] the Lord 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 [ = C ]and the will [ = A ], 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 (C) and what the other wills (A); thus he also loves to think as
the other does (C), and he loves to will as the other does (A); consequently to be
united to the other, and to become as one man (S). (...) (AC 10169)
AC 10170. The delight of love truly conjugial [ =
spiritual marriages ] is an internal delight,
because it belongs to the minds (C, A), and is also an external delight from this,
which belongs to the bodies (S). But the delight of love not truly conjugial
[ = natural marriages ] is
only an external delight without an internal one, and such a delight belongs
to the bodies (S) and not to the minds (C, A). 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 (A) that which the other thinks (C) and that which the other wills
this it is that the wish to command [ = male dominance phase of interacting
or authoritarian mentality, level 1 ] in marriages destroys genuine love,
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 [ = disjunctive interactions ], 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
Note this passage above:
For one who is in love truly conjugial loves
what the other thinks (C) and what the other wills (A); thus he also loves to think as
the other does (C), and he loves to will as the other does (A); consequently to be
united to the other, and to become as one man (S). (AC 10169)
This says that unity is achieved when the man loves how his
wife thinks and loves to act from the wife's will more than he loves to act from
his own. When he has this love he can no longer disagree, or stay angry or
negative towards her. If a man allows himself to overtly disagree with the
woman, he is giving her the message that he does not love how she thinks and
what she does. This prevents her from feeling that he is her best friend,
hence there is no affective intimacy and freedom in the partnership. His
disagreement kills unity. But if the woman opposes something he is doing or
saying, she is not killing friendship but solidifying it -- as long as he
does not resist her or even punish her by retaliation, as in the equity phase.
Note also this passage above:
The delight of love truly conjugial [ =
spiritual marriages ] is an internal delight,
because it belongs to the minds (C, A), and is also an external delight from this,
which belongs to the bodies (S). But the delight of love not truly conjugial
[ = natural marriages ] is
only an external delight without an internal one, and such a delight belongs
to the bodies (S) and not to the minds (C, A). 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)
Spiritual marriage unites the threefold self of the partners
to each other. Affective conjunction (A) occurs after cognitive conjunction (C),
which occurs after sensorimotor conjunction (S). Once affective conjunction is
achieved, the spiritual marriage is functioning. Whatever the partners do at the
sensorimotor (S) level (e.g., talking, eating, having sex) is within the context
of cognitive intimacy (C) (e.g., they express their thoughts in confidence
knowing they are best friends and supportive). And at the same time they have
affective intimacy (A) knowing they do not disapprove of one another but like
Note also this passage above:
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 (A) that which the other thinks (C) and that which the other wills
this it is that the wish to command [ = male dominance phase of interacting
or authoritarian mentality, level 1 ] in marriages destroys genuine love,
takes away its freedom, thus also its delight.
The wish to command in the male dominance phase (level 1) and
the wish to disagree or criticize in the equity phase (level 2) destroys freedom
and spiritual love (A) between them. The unity phase starts when he
loves (A) what she thinks (C) and what she wills (A) and does (S). Again,
disagreement or intimidation are impossible when he loves (A) her thinking (C)
and her willing (A) and consequently doing (S). The threefold self united makes
the conjoint self of heavenly eternity.
Creating an intimate marriage
published: Sunday | June
Little-White, Ph.D., Contributor
is traditionally the month for marriages and family, friends and
well-wishers of the couple wish for their eternal bliss. The couple's
desire is to fulfil their build and sustain an intimate marriage. To
avoid a dull and boring marriage which may eventually lead to failure,
there are several key elements to creating an intimate marriage.
The first concern of soon-to-be married couple is that of compatibility,
even after a period of extended courting. It is a matter that must be
addressed before taking the vow to determine compatibility in
perspectives, values and life's goals.
counselling should stress compatibility issues and,
contrary to popular belief, compatibility has little to do with great
Sex may be great but you may find it difficult to agree with your
partner and you may eventually feel that you married the wrong person.
It takes a lot of work to get the different pieces of your lives to fit
together. Until you really learn how to do that, you will experience
some disagreements and problems. The period before your marriage should
be about learning how to get your needs met, not necessarily pushing
away your partner because the pieces of your lives are different.
Safety is an important factor in self-actualisation and a sense of
fulfilment with your partner. Commitment is a very important factor for
bonding in the union. The Bible exhorts that in marriage a man and woman
are called to leave their families of origin, to weave their separate
lives into a unity and to cleave to each other.
This means that once you have made the commitment to the union, you
should stay its course despite the challenges that may arise. It means
you do not walk away, literally or emotionally, from an argument or
discussion. It also means being present emotionally, intellectually and
As part of the commitment, you should take responsibility, with your
partner, for the organisation of finances,
household matters, family planning and child-rearing
options, and whatever else is needed to stay happy. When you enter
marriage, you would have made a contract with your mate and your
marriage will not work unless you are responsible for keeping all
Communication is another important factor in building the intimate
marriage. An essential component of communication is listening, which is
a difficult task for some people. Listening means being aware of the
spoken and unspoken, the
language and the energy of your partner. Listening
means being non-judgmental or defensive, even in the closest of
relationships. Listening is a skill that can be learned to improve
communication between couples.
Sharing feelings and emotions are a part of the communication process
that leads to intimacy. It means being open and honest, sharing feelings
and keeping no secrets and telling lies. It means being honest about the
information you share about your past life, your plans, and
In marriage it is important to have full disclosure to present yourself
fully in the relationship so that intimacy can follow. The way you use
the words can also foster
harmony in the union. According to Proverbs 15:4,
"gentle words are a tree of life" and words should help you and your
spouse develop healthy communication patterns, listening with care and
giving life to each other.
Setting expectations means being open to outcomes and options as they
arise. Though the outcomes may be disappointing, there should be no
resentment towards each other. Equal partnership means sharing all
decisions and making plans jointly with the willingness to consider each
The above is from:
FROM BOTTOM UP)
PHASE THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS
Table 7.1 above identifies the psychological characteristics
or "mentality" that creates a preference for one of the three
The male dominance phase is called level 1 because it tends to be
first in the couple's development. "Authoritarian"
mentality refers to the style of personality that focuses almost exclusively on
coerciveness. It is a materialistic outlook, but even more so than the
"competitive" mentality of the equity phase (level 2). The
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 this ennead chart you will see how each zone is
defined by the intersection of the horizontal and vertical marginal entries. The three marginal entries (columns by rows)
intersect at 9 cells or "zones" of interaction between the threefold self and
the three levels of marriage mentality.
A few illustrations may help you see how you can construct your
own examples for each zone. See if you can add more examples in each zone.
Zone 1 authoritarian sensorimotor acts
gesturing instead of talking to her, as a way to control
grabbing the arm and pulling or pushing
maintaining a stone face without expression as a way of
putting pressure on her
maintaining silence when she expects him to say something
interrupting when she speaks and he disagrees with her
yelling or using angry menacing tone and face
criticizing her and saying disrespectful hurtful things to
not calling her when she expects him to
lying or deceiving her in some way, by commission or
Zone 2 authoritarian cognitive processes
not tolerating her to think differently from him on
planning to deceive her or keep her in the dark about
something she wants to know
ridiculing her ideas or criticizing her intelligence
rewarding her when she submits or agrees, punishing her
when she does not
feeding her the wrong information so he could control her
not explaining things to her in a way that she could
using religion or dogma to force her into submission and
assert his status and power
Zone 3 authoritarian affective states
giving her the feeling of fear, so he could control her
threatening her or blackmailing her or putting unfair
pressure on her to go along with something
loving her sometimes, hating her or punishing her at other
times, putting her in a scary double bind
not caring to support her or make her feel better when she
doesn't submit to him
not allowing her to have an influence on him whenever he
chooses to remain independent
keeping her isolated so she would have no support from
others against him
imposing his wishes alone on how to raise the children
1) Fill in the other zones with illustrations. Discuss them with your
partner and friends. Are they able to give you more examples from their
experience? What is your conclusion from these examples? How does this exercise
help you better understand couples and their behavior with each other?
Zone 4 competitive sensorimotor acts
Zone 5 competitive cognitive processes
Zone 6 competitive affective states
Zone 7 rational sensorimotor acts
Zone 8 rational cognitive processes
Zone 9 rational affective states
Now let's apply the previous table to an actual behavioral area
in marriage: sexual behavior. In Table 7.2 below, let's enter a characterization of
each of the nine zones of sexual interaction.
TABLE FROM BOTTOM UP)
PHASE THAT GOVERNS THEIR INTERACTIONS
sensations and pleasures felt as consequences of their mental unity
involved with thoughts about the spiritual or eternal details of their
constantly motivated and striving to achieve mental closeness
sensations and pleasures felt as consequences of their
performance or achievement
involved with thoughts about evaluation (How am I doing? Is it the best
ever? Is this fair? Different? Etc.
constantly motivated and striving to compete with or gain more from the
sensations and pleasures felt as
consequences of maintaining control over the partner
involved with thoughts about how to keep
pressuring the partner to cooperate or be non-resistant
constantly motivated and striving to overcome and compel the partner to be
characterizations in each zone of Table 7.2 above with your own examples of sexual behavior in a
couple you know (real or TV or movie). Then do two more CHARTS, one on "money" and
the other on "lifestyle." Discuss your results with friends to
see if they can agree on your characterizations. What is you conclusion?
The book Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr.
Laura Schlessinger has been on the national best
seller list, along with several other books by the popular radio talk show
host whose voice of morality in relationships has been influential with millions
of listeners and readers. The book jacket says that she is the author of "Six
New York Times Bestsellers". We have been using her book in this course as a
rich source for studying the mentality and characteristics of the male dominance
phase in marriage. Her radio show is broadcast on many stations daily,
including Oahu -- KHBZ 990 AM radio . (See listings at:
).Try to listen to her program or have someone record it for you. See also her
official Web site at
This semester we are reviewing her new book
Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage but it's also
useful to review her earlier book as well in the discussion that follows.
It may surprise you that "Dr. Laura" as a popular woman therapist and counselor,
supports and promotes the male dominance phase of marriage. I was also
surprised, and many times shocked, at her traditionalist oriented philosophy
that gives women subordinate status to men. Dr. Laura sees stability in marriage
when the wife and mother subordinates what she wants to what he wants and needs
as a "simple creature." This means catering to him and his requests and
expectations in all areas of their interaction -- children, work, friends, sex,
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!"
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
We need more sex. Once a day is fine.
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 phase 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
(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 phase,
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?
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 the wife started showing her husband appreciation and tried to please him.
Notice that according to this male dominance perspective, the wife is coerced or
pressured to have
sex with her husband (zone 1 )without feeling mentally intimate with him (zone 2
or 3). In the equity phase there is cognitive intimacy (zone 5) between them to support
sexual activity (zone 4). In the unity model there is affective intimacy (zone
9) to support sexual activity (zone 7). So in the male dominance phase of
interaction, the wife has to have "coercive" sex without feeling
mentally intimate with
her husband. In the equity phase, the wife has cognitive intimacy in
"negotiated" sex, but less affective intimacy because there is still present an
element of competition or expectation. In the unity model, the wife has affective
intimacy in sex, which also includes cognitive intimacy. Hence the married
partners are best friends to each other as well as passionate lovers.
From the perspective of the male dominance phase 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 (spiritual
marriage of unity). Much more on
this will be said later.
I witnessed a similar attitude practiced by Dr. Phil, a popular TV host of
counseling sessions with married couples. Try to catch a few of his programs. 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. He certainly would not agree that this is
"molesting" but consider this:
From a woman's inner feeling, being compelled to
have sex with her husband when she feels that he is not being nice to her, or
not treating her right, is like prostituting herself or even like marital rape.
She doesn't want her freedom of 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 self-confidence and self-esteem as a woman when others, like marital counselors, try to convince her that she is
wrong in her feelings. The male dominance perspective is not
knowledgeable about how a woman feels because the focus is on the man as having
a higher status than the woman.
What Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura and the other male dominance oriented therapists
need to do, as I see it, is to start with the husband, not the wife. In
other words, start objectively by going directly to the source of the wife's
aversion towards having sex with him. If sex in marriage is to be intimate
and loving, rather than exploitative and coercive, it is the husband who needs
to find ways to make the wife feel like being sexually intimate with him.
If she is not enthusiastic about having sex with him it's because he actively
makes himself unsexy in her eyes.
For instance, every disjunctive act is unsexy. Every frown or intimidating
gesture is a threat to mental intimacy and confidence. Every disagreement he
expresses injures sexual attraction. Every neglect he performs, like not doing
something he agreed to do, hangs like an unpleasant odor in the bedroom. Every
time he ignores her or doesn't pay attention to her cools off her passion for
him. Every time he takes the children's side against her the desire to have sex
with him dies. So now a few hours after criticizing her or calling her names, he
wants to have sex with her, and she feels cold or aversive to the idea of
physical intimacy (S) in the midst of this cognitive silence (C) and affective
cold (A). So she has to say "No, I'm tired." since she cannot say "You disgust
me." since saying this would empower him to put her through more misery.
Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura cannot see this from the male dominance perspective. The
woman's actual inner spiritual feelings are not part of the equation in their
psychology. They only see the legitimacy of the husband's demand for sexual
services from his wife. The male dominance perspective makes the woman into an
unofficial slave. Dr. Laura, herself a married woman and mother, may be aware of
the unity feelings that women have from birth, but she follows the masculine
intelligence that says that such feelings of inner freedom are to be left out of
the equation of whether or not she should have sex with her husband. This is
then the characterization of "natural marriages."
But from the perspective of the unity model it is the husband's responsibility entirely, one hundred percent,
what his wife feels about their mental intimacy together. This is what sets the
stage and the motive for his wife to have sex with him. Since she is not a slave
she has the right to decide when and if she has sex with him. Because they
are married, or living together, does not mean that the woman suddenly loses her
spiritual freedom to decide about sex.
understand this when you remember the principle of differentiation and
reciprocity (see above). The husband has 100 percent responsibility for his
side, what he has to do, and the wife has her 100 percent of what she needs to
do. They each must have 100 percent
responsibility for doing their side. So the husband's or boyfriend's side is to achieve
cognitive or affective intimacy with his wife or girlfriend before he insists on sexual
activity. This is just a matter of human rights freedom. The woman must be
protected in this way or else conjugial love for the human race will die out.
Sex for a woman is so closely tied to conjugial love that it cannot be separated
in her mind and spiritual body. Hence if a woman has sex in the absence of
mental intimacy she can injure her conjugial eternity.
If he does his share, she will do hers, and both will love it. If
he doesn't do his share, she should not be forced to have sex with him, for this
is violating her human rights to basic freedom.
From the dominance phase one wants to argue that having sex 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 ("There is no time for sex in our busy schedules"), and make
time for being sexually 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. Dr. Phil turns to the wife 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."
(These are made up quotes that I think express their answers accurately.)
This kind of male dominance advice plays into 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 because he is
not being nice to her or treating her right. The husband normally allows himself
to remain unaware that he has created this disjunctive feeling with his wife by
the way he treats her.
If I were giving the advice, I would try to bring out these two 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 she doesn't feel like having sex 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 while he is treating her bad, and she 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 stressful on women to be told by a marriage therapist that
they should just go along and agree to more sex, or else the marriage will fail.
This advice is deeply threatening and disturbing to as woman, hence all the more cruel as it
is motivated by the self-serving male dominance perspective. The woman has to face all this
cruelty and abuse from the male dominance phase and has to find courage to
oppose all of tradition and all of society, that support the husband's side.
These male dominant voices and are all telling her, "You must give him more sex.
This is your duty. If you refuse, the marriage won't last and you will be left
alone, condemned by everybody." This has the same psychological threat value as
blackmail, hence I cal it sexual blackmail in marriage (see below).
The same situation is the case with boyfriends who blackmail girlfriends to
engage in sex when the woman does not want to. They try to make the girlfriend
feel confused, to doubt themselves, and trying to pressure them with implied
threats of leaving them or getting into a bad mood and spoiling everything
planned. These are blackmail strategies and they hurt the woman's capacity for
unity, if she gives in. And if she does not give in, she is punished for it.
Such is the cruelty and foolishness of the male dominance perspective on sex.
Once the husband accepts and understands this sexual blackmail feature of his
demands, he can begin solving his situation.
(2) Teach the husband how to obtain facts from his wife regarding all the ways
he turns her off and makes her feel sexually not attracted 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
both the male dominance and unity phases. The woman's opinion or
explanation appears to be driven away, banished from the subjective world of male
A man generally wants to discount a woman's opinion or perspective whenever
it doesn't agree with the male intelligence perspective.
This gender attack is so pernicious to the woman's conjugial or spiritual 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 or that point they are arguing about. Arrogantly he thinks
that she should just give in and lay her own feminine ideas to the side for the
sake of his, and for the sake of their peace in marriage.
Quoting my wife: "To the unenlightened man, a woman's voice is a babbling brook."
Discourse and other books, Tannen documents this principle in the context of
meetings of managers working on a collective project. During the discussion, a
woman may present an idea or solution, and discussion continues with no
one commenting. A few minutes later, a man presents the same suggestion, and this time several
other men praise the the suggestion and go with it. Girlfriends, mothers,
sisters, and wives are familiar with the experience of having to repeat
something several times before it will enter the male consciousness.
Watch this brief video of an interview with Dr. Laura about the book we are
studying this semester: The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage.
1) Discuss your
impressions of this interview. On the one hand she expresses a bias towards
married women, echoing once again her male dominance perspective on women, but
on the other hand she also expresses views of a good marriage that seem
congruent with the unity model.
2) Discuss Dr.
Laura's approach in the book Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (our current
text) in relation to the dynamics of sex between married partners. Find out how
your friends stand on this issue. Is there a difference in outlook between the
men and the women you talk to? What is your conclusion.
From the perspective of the male dominance phase it is not
possible to understand the concept of sexual blackmail in the sense used here. 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 specifies 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 good 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
But what about the wife? Why doesn't Dr. Laura mention
the wife's hard work staying home taking care of everything -- house, meals,
bills, pets, errands, after school lessons for the children, remembering
birthdays for everyone, taking care of emergencies, going through pregnancy,
being tolerant of all the unpleasant or gross manners of her husband, etc.
Why is Dr. Laura ignoring this contribution of the wife when it comes to telling
her to have sex because he deserves it for his hard work?
I imagine that if Dr. Laura read these Lecture Notes 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 phase
from the perspective of the equity phase, something she may be familiar with,
but doesn't think much of, and 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 phase may actually be superior to the male dominance
phase. With this acknowledgement, the argument can be examined and evaluated.
The equity phase 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. In her mind and in her
understanding these two things are separate. And this is the way one thinks from
the male dominance perspective. A therapist who is in the male dominance phase
of thinking will
automatically think in parallel terms regarding the equitable sharing between
husband and wife.
So it's biased towards men to consider the issue of "man
deserves sex for his hard work" and not tie this to "woman deserves being
treated better for her hard work."
Instead, the therapist can advise that the
husband find ways of making his wife feel like being sexually intimate with him.
The husband should be warned not to put pressure on his wife to have sex, but
instead, should find ways of being mentally intimate. He should be counseled that
mental intimacy is the condition for having sex. The man needs to understand
that if the woman gives in to his sexual pressure, without giving her the mental intimacy, then she spiritually injures her precious womanhood and their
conjugial unity for eternity.
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, or on the
side of the woman. 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 phase
perspective? What would Dr. Laura have to say to give advice from the
perspective of the equity phase? 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, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the family dinners, 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 phase. 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 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 Dr. 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 phase 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 that 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, and she has no legitimate right to rely on her
own feelings whether to have sex or when.
Watch this video:
9.1 Definition of sexual
Sexual blackmail is a hurtful strategy practiced by husbands
or boyfriends threatening to punish the wife or girlfriend if she doesn't act
like she wants to have sex with him whenever he wants to.
Notice the components of this definition. "Hurtful strategy" refers to the
suffering of the woman which is deliberately caused by the man as he does not
care that she is mentally suffering. "Practiced by husbands and boyfriends"
refers to the frequency and regularity with which this is done by the man.
"Threatening to punish" refers to the man turning emotionally cold towards her
which she feels as a threat and betrayal of their love and mental intimacy. It
also includes performing negative behaviors that are disturbing to her, such as
clamming up, putting on an annoyed voice, canceling plans they had together, not
cooperating in tasks, or walking out and staying away. These are strategies the
man uses to make the woman feel guilty and scared so that she would start acting
like she wants to have sex with him. To "act like she wants to have sex" refers
to not merely submitting in bed but to show enthusiasm about it, as if she
desires him and wants him to have sex with her.
The male dominance phase 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. This week the news reported that a married woman in a Muslim
country who got raped by two men was thrown in jail and sentenced to forty lashes on
the theory that it's her fault that the men raped her because she was alone with
them, and this is a taboo.
To be objective and accurate we must make a distinction between two types of
abuse of women stemming from the male dominance phase: 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. This includes name calling, sexual blackmail, social restrictions,
economic exploitation, second class citizenship, male infidelity, being
criticized, forced to do menial jobs for men, etc.
Here is a video in which John Gray is discussing what makes men happy vs. what
makes women happy :
Here John Gray discusses how men communicate:
Mental abuse of wives by husbands, and of girlfriends by boyfriends,
includes these common forms of cruel and
verbally criticizing and name calling
talking with a threatening voice or implication
maintaining silence and refusing to talk
walking out in anger
pressuring her for physical intimacy without adequately preparing her for mental
making her feel neglected and not appreciated
showing disapproval or making her feel guilty about herself
deliberately trying to confuse her so he can get his way with her
interrupting to prevent her from talking
using her sexually then discarding her
keeping her from expressing her true self
keeping her from reaching her cherished goals
showing disinterest in her
exploiting her by making her work hard to do things for him
damaging her reputation by gossiping about her
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 phase puts the blame on the wife.
The equity phase 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 exploitation, 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 phase, cooperates with the
husband's perspective and advocates a methodology that I have called sexual
The male dominance phase 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.
Watch this video:
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
phase 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
Sex should be the outcome or consequence of mental intimacy.
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.
1) Define "sexual blackmail." Explain how the approach of Dr. Laura and some
other therapists encourage sexual blackmail in marriage?
2) Here is an example of the use of the phrase "sexual blackmail" from the male
dominance perspective. You will note that this perspective turns the issue
around and accuses women of sexual blackmail. This accuses women of blackmailing
men by not having sex with them unless they do what the woman wants them to do.
Discuss the validity of this explanation, namely that women should have sex with
them for the sake of sex and not connect it to things they want the man to do.
From: AskMen.com at:
Reject sexual blackmail
Sex is a woman’s power base and she uses it to control the relationship. Her
strategy is, “I want what I want, and if I don’t get it, I’m going to cut
off access to the nookie factory.” Unfortunately, men crumble before this
awesome power like cheap blue cheese. Essentially, men are scared that if
they don’t cave into their woman’s demands, they’ll be sleeping alone. And
make no mistake about it: She will try to use sexual blackmail to its full
advantage. But if you want your independence back, you can’t let your sex
drive control you. You have to stand firm. You have to break her sexual
control over you even when those knees snap shut.
Identify the various assertions made in this male dominance view on women. For
instance, the first sentence makes two assertions: (1) "Sex is a woman’s power
base and" (2) "she uses it to control the relationship." Do you agree with this
in some way (e.g., it might be true in some cases). Note the ruling motivation
in this man's view on relationship with woman: "if you want your independence
back." This is an instance of the resistance to unity that most men feel in the
beginning phases of conjunction (S without C or A). Some men don't want to go
beyond that beginning, and when the woman starts insisting, they end the
relationship. This is their fear, anxiety, and aversion for giving up their
cognitive and affective independence.
3) Summarize some of the views of G26 reports that discuss sexual blackmail. How
do you react to their descriptions? Can you agree with them? What was your view
on this before now?
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. 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 (spiritual marriage).
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:
blames his wife for something
expresses anger at his wife for something
insults his wife
says things unflattering about her
embarrasses her in front of others
refuses to talk about something she wants
says No to her despite her pleadings
ignores her when she walks into the room
fails to stop her anxieties when he can so by
forgets things that she wants him to remember
doesn't try to find out how she wants to be
lets her feel that he doesn't feel as responsible
for housework and other marriage tasks, as he expects her to be
doesn't try to get rid of habits he has that she
doesn't come to her rescue when he sees she is in
distress (e.g., has too many things to do)
tries to get her to do things for him even when
she rather not do them
gets insulted at her for saying something to him
he doesn't like
tells her she is a nag for repeatedly reminding
him of his broken promises
maintains relationships with men friends from
which she feels excluded
lies to her and hides things from her
puts limits around certain issues where she is
given no power of influence
makes sarcastic remarks that hurt her self-image
sees her being disturbed about something and does
nothing about it
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.)
Watch this video:
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 types of disjunctive 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 phase.
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 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 touching,
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 phase.
Recall this very important fact: We all start out with the male dominance phase!
This is what we inherit culturally 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 phase 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
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 the men to deal
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 phase. 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 phase.
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 always 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.
Bill of Rights
(A= affective; C=cognitive; S=sensorimotor)
My woman has the following human rights I owe her:
have a bill of rights from her man, such as this one (S)
be placed at the center or top of her man's agenda and
daily effort (A)
be given total loyalty, taking precedence over children,
career, and hobbies (A)
have the status of best friends and lovers, soul mates in
the afterlife of eternity (ACS)
an appropriate way of making up, as defined by her (S)
be shown that I enjoy her humor and respect her
be shown that I prefer to spend time with her than with
friends or self (CS)
be spared the grossness of men when they are with each
other or alone (S)
be talked to by me in a gentle and harmonious manner (CS)
be shown that I enjoy talking to her, learning how to
respond to her as a good friend (ACS)
be shown that I like her feminine sides, being interested
and helpful in creating her wardrobe, being supportive and helpful in shopping
for her clothes and accessories, learning about women's apparel (ACS)
tell me how she wants me to change this or that trait
of mine, how she wants me to behave so she can feel comfortable with me and
be honored by me (ACS)
never be lied to or be deceived for whatever reason
by me (S)
expect me to be willing to give up all independence from
her, in all areas (A)
This type of listing the rights of a wife is
drawn up by the husband, adjusting or adapting it to his unique
situation. It portrays for him in specific terms what his ideal is as a
practitioner of the unity model of eternal marriage. This type of listing
reminds him how to manage his effort in creating more intimacy with his wife
along the threefold self -- sensorimotor intimacy with her, cognitive intimacy,
and at last, affective intimacy.
Intimacy is defined by the wife.
View this video:
The unity model husband knows that he is not himself to
define the level or quality of intimacy that she feels she has with him. He
knows he is to love her assessment of how they're doing more than his own
assessment. This unity attitude or orientation by the husband allows the wife to
take the lead role in the healthy progressive development of their affective
intimacy. This makes sense given what needs to happen anatomically in their mind
in order to achieve mental conjunction along the threefold self.
A husband who draws up a similar list, and is committed to it
to endless eternity, will make constant progress in his ability to stick to the
list in an honest and significant way. That man is a spiritually enlightened
man, a fortunate man, a celestial
man. Swedenborg interviewed celestial men and found them to be gentlemen who are
totally devoted to the rights of their wife, and being successful at it, as testified by their
wives, to whom Swedenborg also spoke.
This highest achievement of human life must start in
the marriage here on earth in order that it may continue in the afterlife of
eternity. This is the purpose of the unity model, to give men a guide for how to
Watch this video:
Here is an article in the News reporting on a research study
published in the psychology literature. It gives support to the idea that
husbands and boyfriends are the source of stress for wives and girlfriends, but
for men the source of stress is outside the relationship.
The following article is from:
Happy marriage means less stress - for wives
By Nic Fleming, Medical Correspondent Last Updated: 2:28am GMT
A happy marriage reduces stress levels in women but not in men,
psychologists have claimed.
Billie Piper's New Year's Eve wedding Researchers found that women
enjoying wedded bliss have lower levels of a stress hormone than those who
are dissatisfied in their relationships.
For men, the state of their marriage was much less important to their
stress levels than how busy they were at work.
The team behind the study believes that marital harmony has more impact
on stress in women because in happier relationships men tend to help out
with chores such as housework or child care.
Darby Saxbe, the lead author and a psychologist at the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said: "As far as women are concerned, being
happily married appears to bolster physiological recovery from work.
"Women in unhappy marriages are coming home from a busy day and, instead
of having some time to unwind and relax and have a spouse picking up the
load of setting the table, getting dinner going, signing forms for the kids,
these women may have to immediately to launch back into another stressful
"Perhaps in happily married couples the demands of domestic life are
being shared more equitably between men and women, or at least that may be
the case when wives return home from a demanding day at work."
The hormone cortisol is released by the adrenal glands when an individual
is under stress and is widely considered a reliable marker for showing
response to stressful situations.
Levels start high in the morning and decline steadily throughout the day.
The slope of this decline is believed to be correlated with feelings of
well-being, with steeper drops indicating better health.
Long-term elevated cortisol levels have been linked to depression,
chronic fatigue, reduced immune system effectiveness, osteoporosis and even
In the new study, researchers asked 60 married parents to fill
questionnaires on how satisfied they were with their marriage.
Twice during each of the three days of the study they also answered
questions while they were at work about how their day was going and how busy
The UCLA team also collected saliva samples from participants in early
morning, late morning, afternoon and evening to measure cortisol
Women who expressed the most satisfaction in their marriages were shown
to have steeper declines in cortisol levels than those in unhappy
In men, the state of their relationship with their wife appeared to have
little influence on cortisol levels, which were affected far more by how
busy they felt at work.
The research is published in the American Psychological Association
journal Health Psychology.
The above is from:
Analyze the two lists of complaints below from the perspective of the unity model, which gives a
specific definition of soul-mates in terms of a husband and wife couple that
achieves a conjoint self by leaving behind the dominance and equity phases. Note
the difference between the list of Women's Complaints about Men and the list of
Men's Complaints about Women. All 11 items given by women are in support of
unity and the achievement of the conjoint self. All the 10 items given by men
are anti-unity values that criticize women and describe women in insulting
anti-feminine ways. See if you can confirm this conclusion in your rational
understanding with each of the items
listed for women (girlfriends and wives) and for men (boyfriends and husbands).
From eNot Alone at
Women's Complaints about Men [ I add italicized comments
in square brackets ]
1. Men are not understanding enough.
[this is true of relationship
2. Men are not sensitive to feelings and needs.
[if they were, they could
achieve mental intimacy]
3. Men are not affectionate enough.
[if they learned to be more
so, they could achieve mental intimacy]
4. Men tend to bypass sexual foreplay, and are quick to ejaculate thus
losing their sexual interest, before the woman is satisfied.
[husbands who learn to
do this right can achive greater mental intimacy]
5. Men do not communicate enough. Men do not express their feelings and
[this shows women's
motivation to unity and affective intimacy]
6. Men do not pay enough attention to their partners.
[the wife wants the husband's
attention and focus to be on her because this is how conjoined partners grow
7. Men do not spend enough time at home with their children.
[if they would, the family
could achieve greater quality relationships and cohesion, also achieving
affective harmony and intimacy between the husband the wife]
8. Men do not help with order and cleanliness of the home.
[this is because they are not
striving for affective intimacy and unity. They can do so by taking on
responsibility for the wife's happiness and caring for her enjoyments and
9. Men do not appreciate the work involved in keeping up the home or in
bearing and bringing up children and do not compensate this contribution to
[this is because men choose to act in a selfish or male dominant way
towards women who love them. The husbands can achieve higher human potential
and happiness by adopting the wife's focus as caretaker and homemaker -- what
she cares about, is going to be what he cares about. This is affective
intimacy and unity -- true love, honest love, unconditional love, eternal
love, soul-mate love, conjoint love, spiritual love, interior love]
10. Men make decisions about work and life without regarding the woman's or
the family's needs.
[By giving up this type of
independence, a husband can stop being selfish, and achieve a higher human
potential as a conjoint self with mental intimacy in the threefold self.
This is the internal marriage, the spiritual marriage]
11. Men create extramarital relationships.
[this destroys all cognitive and affective intimacy between a man and a
woman, kills all friendship between them]
Men's Complaints about Women [ I add italicized comments
in square brackets ]
In the same groups I have found that men have the following complaints
1. Women complain, criticize and nag too much.
[this is a hurtful insult to all women. The man who thinks this, does
not like to conjoin with a woman, and only likes to abuse her and control her
for selfish motives. This makes the man to be less than human and civilized,
thus unable to experience and achieve higher feelings and life. The marriage
will fail altogether, or it may last but make the wife most unhappy and
miserable, unfulfilled, hopeless, depressed.]
2. Women try to control and suppress men.
[this is a hurtful misrepresentation by a man designed to allow the
husband or boyfirend to retain affective independence from the wife or
girlfriend. This attitude destroys a woman's desire for sexual intimacy with
3. Women are seldom happy.
[this is a lie designed to hurt women. In fact, all a woman needs to be
extatically happy, is for her man to love her by giving up his affective
independence for the sake of achieving a conjoint self with her.]
4. Women tend to withhold sex as a punishment or blackmail.
[this is a political power play by a husband or boyfriend who expects
the wife or girlfriend to have sex with him though he has insulted her and has
refused to alleviate her cares and worries. In fact, the man's expectation for
sex under these conditions, which turns into subtle or physical pressure, is
sexual blackmail against the woman.]
5. Women do not think logically, but emotionally.
[this is thinking done by a man who does not like and respect women. In
fact, women are far more logical in every day life than men, far more
effective in keepting things running. Men get involved with their ego, act
emotionally instead of rationally.]
6. Women's emotions are not predictable but change quickly especially due
to hormones, during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.
[this is a radical and fundamental attack against women. The man who
thinks this does not respect women, therefore cannot love them, but only abuse
them and exploit them and control them -- this is what they love, not the
7. Women tend to gossip.
[this is disrespectful of women. It shows a complete ignorance of women
and a total lack of interest in the feminine.]
8. Women, too, create extramarital relationships.
[if a wife is disloyal to her husband by having an affair, one needs to
look at the reason and the situation. Often it is duje to her hopelessness
caused by his unwillingness to take care of her properly, by achieving
affective intimacy with her. The lack of this, and his rejection, is what
leads her to the affair. Oc ourse, if she does this, affective intimacy
between them may be destroyed forever.]
9. Women are not home enough (which for some men means - continuously)
[I'm not sure what this may be referring to.]
10. Women are not taking enough care of the home.
[a husband needs to take joint responsibility for both the home and the
wife in the home. If he does this, the wife would be able to function truly as
his conjoint self and soul-mate, making him and each other happy beyond
The above is from eNot Alone at
The following is from:
How to keep Your marriage strong
Here are some tips from Dr. John Gottman’s research on successful
• Express more positives than negatives. In Gottman’s research, he found
that those happily married showed a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative
statements to each other and about their relationship.
• Accept each other’s influence. In strong partnerships neither spouse is
too rigid to consider the requests or input of his or her mate.
• Maintain high standards. Those who regularly accept disrespectful
behavior from a partner are likely to see their relationship deteriorate
• Learn how to exit an argument. This can include expressions of humor,
compassion or appreciation; a time-out until cooler heads prevail; or even
backing off from your position in the disagreement.
• Edit your angry thoughts. Just because it’s normal to feel anger
doesn’t mean it’s useful to express all of it. Those rated as happier
couples learned to manage angry thoughts and share them judiciously.
• Consider your opening. Pay attention to your tone and wording. Couples
can avoid, soften or de-escalate differences through the manner in which
they raise sensitive issues.
• Don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Gottman reports that the
average couple waits six years before reaching out for help with a troubled
marriage. The earlier a couple addresses problems the easier it is to make
Analyze the extent to which the recommendations on the following site agree with
the unity model:
Achieving Intimacy In Life Learning To Develop Lasting Relationships at:
Mental Intimacy is a process of two minds working as one. It
is being like-minded, or having the same purpose or goal. Mental intimacy is
best described by the acronym
O-Overlook and Forgive
V-Value Each Other
This form of intimacy only grows through communication, which creates a
better understanding of each other.
Mental intimacy is difficult because communication is difficult; however,
it is vital to remember that love is a choice, commitment is a decision, and
success is a matter of the mind first and the heart second. Mental intimacy is
a thought process that realizes that the needs of your spouse should be more
important than your own. There is a word for that, it is service.
Physical Intimacy is the actual touch between spouses. More
than just sex, physical intimacy is a touch of tenderness, warmth and
kindness. It is a process in growing intimacy not the end result. Kindness
means to have sympathy or affection for something, in this case your spouse.
Spiritual Intimacy is a bonding of the deepest level of the
individual. It is a true change from a “me versus you” to an “us” attitude.
This is done through a personal commitment to each other and the moral and
spiritual absolutes of the marriage vows. It is a building up of faith in one
another because of the spiritual commitment.
Developing a spiritual intimacy requires a commitment to God that will keep
you faithful to your mate. It is a protection against temptation and doubt, an
assurance that what was right then continues to be right now. A strong
spiritual basis is a foundation for a positive self-image, which allows the
individual to commit with all their heart and all of their mind to their
Emotional Intimacy is the process of sharing your thoughts,
feelings and experiences with your spouse in and open and honest way. This
level of intimacy requires the greatest risk because you will be vulnerable to
the possibility of rejection. But, when the three aforementioned levels of
intimacy are being pursued, then there is freedom to have emotional intimacy.
At this level of intimacy, trust is the backbone. Intimacy must constantly be
maintained and emotional intimacy is the key to keeping love alive. (...)
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
non-theistic psychology. The positive bias leads to dualism and 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 in time-space and the afterlife
in eternity. 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,
also known as eternity.
To me, one of the most amazing and happy of the discoveries
Swedenborg made is that our life in heaven is in a conjugial (or married) 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
detailed descriptions of them. This is conjugial unity in heaven to
eternity. Endless marital happiness and joy increasing daily forever.
special Divinely appointed scientific mission to report on the afterlife, he was given the ability to visit
the mental heavens and the hells that every human being contains in their mind. In
other words, heaven and hell not only have a subjective experiential individual mental reality but
communal heaven or hell (or group). In other words we are not alone in
our mental hell or in our mental heaven. Others are also there. This makes sense
if you remember that there is only mental world, just as there is only one
physical space in the natural world. The afterlife of the human race is the
mental world in eternity where we are born with a spiritual body at the same
time that we are born on earth with a physical body. But our sensations,
thoughts, and feelings are not physical things, hence they cannot exist in the
physical body or brain. Instead, they exist in the spiritual body that is
already in the afterlife of eternity. Hence we are born immortal.
Just as the physical body is surrounded by other physical bodies in the natural
world of time, so is the spiritual body surrounded by other spiritual bodies in
the mental world of eternity (also known as the "spiritual world"). So what is
spiritual is nothing else than what is mental. You are in the spiritual world of
eternity right now in your spiritual body that contains our mental organs --
affective (A), cognitive (C), sensorimotor (s) all arranged in layers of
The unity model is based on this dualist approach in the positive bias of
When a man and a woman fall in love and desire to become mentally intimate and
to form a union of friendship and love, they begin a mental organic process, or
a spiritual process, in which their mental organs learn to function together in
synchrony, and through this coordination, they become interdependent in their
mental organs. People know that love is powerful binding force but few know
that this is an organic process involving the mental organs of the threefold
self in the spiritual body.
The bonding of love in the male dominance and equity type of interactions
between husband and wife creates interdependence at the sensorimotor (S) and
cognitive (C) levels of organic conjunction. These involve lower layers of the
mental organs and do not involve the inmost or highest layers of the mental
organs called "celestial" or heavenly. If organic conjunction occurs at the
affective level, as in the unity phase, then a conjoint heaven is being built up
organically. They will live in this conjoint heaven once they are both in the
afterlife. But if the couple does not desire or strive to achieve affective
unity in their marriage relationship then this conjoint organ of heaven cannot
Still, as already stated before, every man and woman who is not yet conjoined to
a soul mate, is given the opportunity to meet with one in the afterlife, and
then together they can form a conjoint heaven from the spiritual love they have
for each other. This is the conjugial love by which they desire to be
interdependent affectively more than being independent. This is the
definition of an angel. Swedenborg interviewed many angel couples and the
unity model is based on the characteristics he found in their relationship.
The spiritual body of husbands appeared masculine, handsome, and youthful,
attired in beautiful clothes. The spiritual body of wives appeared feminine,
stunningly beautiful, and youthful, attired in gorgeous clothes and adorned with
When one spoke it was like they were both speaking jointly. From a distance they
appeared as just one angel. They were always present to each other mentally no
matter who they were with or what they were doing in the course of the day. Each
couple was totally unique and contributed their special uniqueness to the rest
of the couples in that city or society. Each couple communicated mentally their
special knowledge, perception, or abilities to the other couples in that society
so that they mutually enriched each other continuously, as though they were one
communal mind. And yet, each couple had their own area or mental zone of
total privacy where the other minds could not have access.
All this is possible because the mental world of eternity is an organic world in
the mind of the human race communally, and individually. There is only one
mental world in which all the individual spiritual bodies are located. Hence it
is that in the afterlife everyone can visit or see everyone else. The laws of
desire and similarity drawn spiritual bodies into the same mental zone so they
can see each other and interact with each other, live with each other.
People's consciousness of self occurs through the spiritual body that allows us
to exist in the world of eternity. Swedenborg discovered that the laws of the
mental world construct a communal consciousness or intersubjectivity.
This is like the Web social networks and gathering places like MySpace or
Facebook or YouTube, etc.
Through the virtual environment technology provided by SecondLife.com people can
consociate with an assumed character and have relationships with others through
their assumed character. This type of game like virtual world is analogous to
what Swedenborg discovered about the mental world of eternity when he became
conscious in both worlds from age 57 to 84.
we "die" or "pass on" we awaken (through resuscitation) in the spiritual world a few hours later and
continue our immortal life in the mental world of eternity through the spiritual
body that we received at birth and through which we have accumulated our
sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
This life of immortality is either in the heavens 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, then we can experience the kind of heaven we can live in with the
heavenly traits we acquired, which are based on loving one's wife, being useful to society, and
being considerate of others.
In other words, if you can be eternally happy with heavenly traits alone, you're in.
But if you cannot be eternally happy just with the heavenly traits, you're out.
You cannot keep a single hellish love if you enter the heavenly layers in your
mind. And vice versa. This is an organic law of creation.
If we are willing to let go of all our heavenly traits, and to keep only our
hellish traits, we begin to sink into the depths and quagmires of our irrational mental 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 in the hells of their mind also appear to themselves as living
together as couples in dingy, dark, and stench filled habitations. But these couples
are not loving with each other but in hatred towards each other and in the lust
of dominance and exploitation. Swedenborg has disturbing
descriptions of how much they abuse each other and try to dominate one another
constantly. But the couples in heaven are kept together by harmony and mental unity, which
is the maximum possible affective 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 phase of marriage most of the time, and the male dominance phase 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 phase. Then,
after having my way, I could slip back into the equity phase and take credit
for being a reasonable, kind, civilized, and modern husband.
This was a
fraudulent equity phase 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
When I came upon the Writings of Swedenborg in 1981 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
equity-dominance phase 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 from the
equity-dominance phase 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 or excuses. It's a categorical and unconditional decision. And incalculable
benefits or harm will result in how I choose as a pattern for myself, either
hellish or heavenly. 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
when she married me.
I did not let her change me. I did not join her in her mental intimacy. I kept
her out 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
I noticed that in this decision of which way to go, hell or heaven, there was a little space left
in the cusp. I had an instant of free choice offered me: To go with the hellish
reaction I was feeling, or to jump to the other side of it, and go with the
heavenly reaction, which was to inhibit the hellish one. 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 with others the knowledge of the unity model.
The positive bias towards the idea of eternal marriage in the unity model gives
women access to three important benefits. First, it allows women to see more
clearly where and why the men are resistant in the relationship. Second, women can see
more clearly how the man's resistance to mental intimacy affects the women's own
peace and self-confidence. Third, women can see more clearly where they can
use rationality to apply mental pressure towards the man so that he can become more motivated to
get rid of his resistance to conjunction and intimacy.
To the extent that these benefits accrue to women, to that extent the men
they are in love with will also benefit -- if only they are willing to listen to
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 live. The more you
use the charts for your observations and thinking, the more your rational understanding will
The woman's role in this process of unification is central and needs to be
understood by the man in order to be able to cooperate with her.
The man's primary job in the unification process is to refrain from weakening
the woman's self-confidence in the process.
At the cognitive level (C) man needs to give the woman the right and propriety
of her affective (A) interventions (S). Because man is resistant in giving up
his affective independence he will need the woman's help to melt the resistance
away. He must be careful not to allow his resistance to turn
into counterattack and punishment. This would only weaken her resolve to
keep fighting for affective intimacy.
Women give up on their husbands when the husbands continue to punish them
for trying to make a real man out of them. For instance they use the negative
word "nagging" to refer to their legitimate role of fighting for the man's
heaven and preventing him from sinking into a hell. This is a loving
self-sacrificing altruistic activity that a woman does for the man whom she
wants to unite with. It's gross and cruel for the man to punish her for
doing her job to save his eternal happiness and comfort.
So above all, the man must not continue to weaken the wife's resolve and
self-confidence by punishing her and retaliating against her when she is afire
with passion to make him change something about himself.
A woman may appear like she is angry with the man by the way she talks and
looks. But this is not anger, but zeal. The two look alike on the outside but
they are as different on the inside as hell and heaven. Anger is from hell, but
zeal is from heaven. Zeal it the passion she has for the heavenly work it
takes to bring her man on board the conjugial wagon of affective intimacy.
The man can prove to himself that it is not anger by agreeing to what she wants,
and instantly she becomes sweet again. When she is angry because he has hurt her
callously, she cannot turn sweetly on a dime. It takes getting over, it takes
making up and making it right again. Anger is disjunctive. But zeal is
conjunctive, and it evaporates in an instant when the man complies from a desire
to become more unified.
A real man is one who remains gallant and considerate of her feelings during
her explosive reactions from zeal. To retaliate with anger or insult is
beneath the man. He must learn to compel himself to rise above it, to allow her
insistence, her prodding, her constant watchfulness. To allow it means to take
it in a positive way, to see its legitimacy and spiritual function.
The man can cooperate in the process of unification by giving his wife even more
power over him. He needs to tell her what's on his mind, what he is planning,
what he is expecting, what he is hoping for, what he is afraid of, what he is
trying to bring about. This is cognitive intimacy. The wife can then use this
information against his resistance by bringing it out into the open, discussing
it with him, giving him the benefit of how she thinks about it. And if he
allows her to influence him, he is taking a step closer to affective intimacy
It's hurtful and gross for a man to use the word "nagging" when she confronts
him with her zeal to make him be good and sincere. It is cruel for him to call
her derogatory names, and especially is it gross if he refers to her as a female
body part, dehumanizing her, robbing her of her precious femininity, attacking
and injuring her innocence and heavenly zeal for unification. And yet men do
this without giving it much thought. This they must stop or else there is not
going to be any affective intimacy, any conjoint heaven for them.
It is not realistic to expect that the men can stop their anti-unity values
and habits all at once and immediately.
This is not what the woman is expecting. In her wisdom she knows that it will
take time and much cooperative effort. She is looking for his change of heart,
his commitment and sincere motivation to put himself through the process of
gradually conjoining, to get through the process, and eventually to achieve
success. She is willing to wait and continue to work hard at it -- as long as he
shows that he is willing.
To achieve success the man needs to begin the process of self-witnessing so that
he may become aware of his inherited prerogatives that society gives him, which
he uses to maintain distance between him and her. And this requires analytic
tools for observation and classification. The ennead matrix is a good tool for
this purpose. We will now study how the ennead chart can help us in identifying
disjunctive and conjunctive interactions between a man and a woman.
In the unity model the definition of spiritual marriage depends on
the mental anatomy of men and women. A man and a woman can form a natural
marriage only, without at the same time a spiritual marriage. Anatomically this
conjoins their external mental organs called the natural mind. If they enter
into a natural marriage union, and then pursue the unity model in their
interactions, then they enter into the spiritual marriage as well. For a
spiritual marriage to exist, there must first be a natural marriage. When they
enter the spiritual marriage their internal organs are then also conjoined. This
mind is called the spiritual mind. Hence natural marriages are in the natural
mind, while spiritual marriages are in the spiritual mind.
Anatomically, the spiritual mind is functioning in the mental world of eternity
in its spiritual body, which we have since birth. We are not conscious of the
operations in our spiritual mind until after resuscitation, following the dying
and separation of the physical body. The unity model is based on this spiritual
marriage. The conjunction of the mental organs of wife and husband in their
spiritual mind creates the conjoint self, as discussed previously. This is a
mental state called heaven in eternity.
But outside the unity model and its theory, the expression "spiritual
marriage" has a different meaning which you need to be aware of. Here are
some instances of that.
From Wikipedia at:
"Spiritual marriage comes from the idea of "love without sex." It is a
practice in which a man and a woman live intimately without having any sexual
relationship. It is been known throughout all cultures as a bond of a man and
a woman with its only reason being the spiritual connection between the two
and nothing more. Spiritual marriage is the ultimate singular relationship."
In other words, this is the opposite meaning of that in the unity
One reason that people dissociate "spiritual" from sexual love is that they are
not aware of mental anatomy and have no knowledge or idea of it. Sometimes
people use the expression spiritual marriage to refer to the relationship
between God and the soul. Sometimes people take the literal verses of Sacred
Scripture as indicating that people in the afterlife are not sexual because
sexuality is associated with the physical body, and they have no idea that we
are born with a spiritual body as well as a physical body, and that all mental
things such as sexual desire and mental intimacy originate in the spiritual
body. The sexual sensations we have, the sexual thoughts, and the sexual
emotions and feelings -- are all located in the immortal spiritual body and its
mental organs. The physical brain is not capable of containing sexual feelings,
thoughts, and sensations because these are not physical phenomena, but mental.
All mental phenomena must be in the mental world of eternity, none of it in
the physical world.
As Swedenborg found out through meeting them, the couples in the heavens of
their mind in eternity are all enjoying their conjugial love or marital
sexuality. This then may be rightly called spiritual marriage because all
marriage consists of sexual love as the hub around which all other issues
A view on spiritual marriage that is more compatible with the unity model is
based on the teachings of a Hindu guru well known in the United States and named
founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship.
Yoganandaji teaches that in men, reason is ascendant, and in women, feeling
is ascendant. Perfection is a balance of reason and feeling, and both men and
women need that balance. Since they do not have that balance, they can learn
much from each other. A truly spiritual marriage exists when the partners are
practicing a discipline that helps them seek that perfect balance of reason
In Spiritual Marriage, a booklet from SRF’s “How-to-Live” Series, Brother
Anandamoy says, “The ideal of spiritual union between [man and woman] is that
man might bring out the hidden reason in woman, and that woman might help man
uncover his hidden feeling.” The bond of mutual spiritual aid to each marriage
partner creates the “spiritual marriage” or the highest purpose of human
Too much emphasis on the material level of human existence dooms a
marriage, for example, when people marry for the wrong reasons, such as sexual
attraction, or financial gain, or status in society. When they seek perpetual
romance and do not grow into the calm, serene state of spiritual striving and
when love remains on the surface and vanishes with youthful physical beauty,
the marriage does not grow into a spiritual experience but disintegrates as
the partners try to capture the original youthful blindness that attracted
them in the beginning of the relationship.
Love must be allowed to mature and deepen into a genuine caring about the
partner if the relationship is to become spiritual and not merely a physical
You can see that in this view spiritual marriage is within natural marriage. In
other words, once a man and a woman have a natural marriage going they can move
into a deeper relationship that is spiritual, hence eternal. What is eternal is
Is marriage only a piece of paper? See this news article:
Happy marriage cuts stress for women. See this news article:
1) Explain what the unity model is based on. Discuss the negative and
positive bias in science. What is Swedenborg's report regarding "conjugial love"
in the afterlife of eternity? How do you react to this perspective? How is this
related to the anatomy of the human mind?
2) What is the man's role in helping to create the unification process in
marriage? How does this contrast with the woman's role? Define what is a
spiritual marriage. Discuss your definition with your partner and friends. How
do they react? What is your conclusion?