University of Hawaii, Fall 2008, G28, Psychology 409b Seminar 

Class Home Page for G28, Fall 2008 is at: 

Student reports and their annotated Web Links on Marriage:

The web address of this document is:


    The Unity Model of Marriage and Relationship

    How to Achieve the Conjoint Self

Based on the Theistic Psychology of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)

Lecture Notes Fall 2008 Version 22d

Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Go to:   Part 1  ||  Part 1b || Part 2  ||  Part 2b  ||  Part 3  ||  Part 4

Part 1

1.0     Mental Anatomy of Men and Women

1.1     Masculine Resistance to Femininity

1.1.1  Conjugial Accommodation Strategies

1.2     Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?
1.3     The New Conjoint Self  
1.4     Spiritual Marriages
1.5     Conjugial Love
1.6     Male Dominance, Equity, and Unity

EXERCISES:   1.0 || 1.1 || 1.2

Go to:  Part 1b

2.       Mental Anatomy and the Individual's Threefold Self
2.1     Mental Anatomy of Women and Men
2.2     Masculine Intelligence and Feminine Intelligence

3.      Three Levels of Unity in the Marriage Relationship

4.      Unity Through Reciprocity and Differentiation

Go to:  Part 2
5.     Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction  
5.1   Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex
6.     Unity Model in Marriage: Ennead Chart of Growth Steps 

EXERCISES: 5.0.1  ||  5.1.1  ||  5.1.2 ||  6.1
Go to:  Part 3

 7.   Threefold Degrees of Conjunction

8.     Male Dominance Phase of Marriage

9.    Sexual Blackmail
                9.1    Definition of sexual blackmail

10.    Developing mental intimacy with one's wife

11.    The Spiritual Dimension to the Unity Model

12.    Making Field Observations

13.    Dynamic Elements of the Ennead Matrix

14.    Areas of Observations for Equity

15.    Table Behavioral Indicators of One's Relationship Phase

16.    Gender-Discourse Gender Discourse Within the Three Phases

16a.  Sexy-Unsexy Sexy vs. Unsexy Conversational Style of Husbands

16b.  Spiritual-Dynamics Spiritual Dynamics Between Husband and Wife

16c.  Conversational-Rules Conversational Rules for Husbands in Conjugial Interactions

16d. Characteristics Characteristics of Husband's Threefold Self During Discourse

16e.  Monitoring Field Activity: Monitoring Disjunctive vs. Conjunctive Discourse

17.    Happiness and Unhappiness on the Ennead Chart

EXERCISES:  3: 7.1  ||  7.2  ||  8.1  ||  9.1  ||  10.1  ||  10.2  ||  11.1 ||  12.1  || 14.1  ||  15.1

Go to:  Part 4

18.    Contrasting the Three Phases

19.    Examples of Anti-Unity Values (AUVs)
20.    Examples of Unity Values (UVs) -- Sweetheart Rituals

21.    Giving Objective Feedback

Reading List 

Student Reports

Part 1 starts here


1.0  Mental Anatomy of Men and Women

1.0  Mental Anatomy of Men and Women

In order to understand how a man and a woman form a pair or “couple,” we need to have information about the mental anatomy of men and women.


The Swedenborg Reports have demonstrated by observation that a man after resuscitation (a few hours after "death"), becomes more fully masculine, and a woman more fully feminine. Mental development goes on forever with immortal beings such as we are. From birth to eternity, mental development continues in its evolution towards the perfection of what is purely human in us – which is the good and truth from the Spiritual Sun, and these are eternal and Divine substances. The presence of these living immortal and Divine substances in our mental constitution, is the cause of our being immortal. “We” are our own loves, hence whatever good and truth “we” love, becomes part of our immortal mental constitution.


For example, consider spiritual heat. It is a mental substance flowing out of the Spiritual Sun, which is from the Mind of God. The loves and thoughts of God externalize into the created universe through the Spiritual Sun. The first exit point from the infinite changeless Divine Itself, is layer 1 of the mental world of eternity. This layer is called the Spiritual Sun. It rules and creates the mental world of eternity around itself, and outside itself. The Spiritual Sun rules and manages the layers of our mental world by means of the substances of spiritual heat and spiritual light that issue or flow out of it.


The first entry point that humans are conscious of, is anatomical layer 4 (also called the “Third Heaven”). Our mental organs functioning in that layer are the closest receptors of spiritual heat and spiritual light. When spiritual heat enters the affective organ in that layer (4A), it elicits affective operations that we experience as heavenly loves, affections, feelings, desires, attractions, motivations, impulses, tendencies, innate abilities. These are all operations of the affective organ in our mind. These loves exist in all organic layers (4 to 9) but they are distinctly different and contrastive at each layer. Our consciousness or mentality – what makes us who we know ourselves to be – oscillates across these mental layers (4 to 9), sometimes in one, the next moment in another. We ordinarily don’t pay any attention to this constant oscillation in our daily consciousness.


Spiritual heat enters into the affective organ, while simultaneously, spiritual light enters the cognitive organ. The operations of love in the affective organ (A) seek out the operations of thoughts in the cognitive organ (C), so that the two may conjoin into a partnership, which in the Swedenborg Reports is called a “spiritual marriage.” It is called “spiritual” because it involves the anatomical “conjunction” of two mental organs (also called “the will” and “the understanding”). This spiritual marriage in the individual is the essential component of being human. Animals do not live their life in this way. Their consciousness or mentality – as we know our pets for instance, – is animal, not human. Their affective organ can receive spiritual heat, but their cognitive organ is not capable of functioning even at layer 9, which is the lowest that human consciousness can descend, given the anatomical construction of our mental organs.


The Swedenborg Reports for the first time in scientific history, reveal and provide anatomical, psychological, and medical information about our "spiritual body" -- which houses our mind -- our sensations, thoughts, memories, loves, motives). Men and women are born with a temporary physical body in time and a permanent spiritual body in eternity. Our temporary physical body is a perfect replica modeled after our permanent spiritual body. Swedenborg had no difficulty recognizing his acquaintances and family members, where he met them in the resuscitation zone of mental eternity. Later however, our appearance changes, depending on whether we are raising our consciousness to heavenly loves (layers 6, 5, 4), or lowering it to hellish loves (layers -7, -8, -9).


After dying and resuscitation, we can all confirm Swedenborg's observations and see what he was able to see. This is because we awaken after resuscitation in our spiritual mind, conscious in layers 6, 5, 4. Until dying and resuscitation we are conscious in our natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7), but after resuscitation we are conscious in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). In order to accomplish his special mission, Swedenborg's consciousness in the spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4) was activated to full consciousness. He therefore became a unique case of a "dual citizen" -- being conscious and active in his natural mind, while at the same time, being conscious and active in his spiritual mind. Swedenborg reports that the earliest generations of humans on this earth also had dual consciousness.


Thanks to his dual consciousness, Swedenborg was the first modern scientist to have observational and experimental access to the mental world of eternity. He published his observations and experiments in 30 volumes which we call the Swedenborg Reports. I found these books in Hamilton Library in 1981 and have studied them since. I have published on the Web various articles and books in which I attempt to create a new field called "theistic psychology." You can google or yahoo the expression (in quotes) to see what there is on it today. You can also google Swedenborg, as his writings have influenced the thin king of many authors and philosophers.


Note: You can read, search, or access all of the Swedenborg Reports (or the Writings of Swedenborg) at these Web sites: (various topics in AC)


The influence of Swedenborg has not extended to the field of psychology, until today, and at the moment, I may be the only psychologist who has made this field the main research interest. From your perspective as psychology majors, you can make sense of this topic and approach by considering these two options available in psychology today. The first option is called the "negative bias in psychology" while the second option is called "the positive bias in psychology." All of us are trained in formal education within the negative bias in science. We are told that God and related concepts are excluded from the negative bias science. I hope that in the future teachers will introduce this approach as "the negative bias in science" rather than as "science."


By calling it "science" instead of the "negative bias in science" we are to some extent not given the freedom to consider the fact that this is a bias. Science denies the existence of God as a deterministic influence on events. But science cannot prove this. Hence it is a bias. Other people might call it a "premise" or an "unproven assumption." Premise, assumption, approach, bias. You can see why I call it a bias.


The second option available to us is to accept the possibility that God is a deterministic factor in all causation. This view is traditionally called theism. We can also call it theistic science or theistic psychology. In order to study the unity model of marriage you need to realize that it is a model about what is eternal, not just a model of what is a marriage. If you adopt the positive bias approach in this course you will be able to follow the logic of the unity model. If you view this course from the perspective of the negative bias approach, the content will not appear logical, rational, and scientific.


To view this model from the positive bias approach does not mean that you have to believe the the Swedenborg Reports are true and scientific. It only means that you are willing to consider the possibility that the Swedenborg Reports might be scientific, and that you are going to make up your mind at the end, whether you find them scientific or not. However if you stay in the negative bias mode you will not be able to evaluate the unity model objectively. Think of your other textbooks -- you almost never or never approach the content with the negative bias. Instead you just automatically assume that the content is scientific, or at least might be. Then you can study the content and try to understand it. But if you thought that the textbook was a sham or a joke, you would hardly be able to evaluate it, even if its content was true and valid.


So, be prepared, and hopefully open minded, in studying what is marriage in the context of "eternal marriage" between soul mates. "Eternity" refers to our life and consciousness in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4) after resuscitation. Until then we are conscious in our natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9), and therefore most of the unity model of marriage discusses our relationship in the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9).


As a preview of what comes later: The mentality men have in layer 9 is called the "male dominance model in marriage." The mentality men have in layer 8 is called the "equity model in marriage." The mentality men have in layer 7 is called the "unity model in marriage." As the relationship grows men can spend less of their interactions with women in layer 9 (male dominance), and more of their interactions in layer 8 (equity model). Eventually men learn to spend most of their interactions in layer 7 (unity model). The characteristics of the three ways of interacting are described and they are illustrated through actual observation of couples and couples culture.


The first and most challenging idea for you to learn is to understand that marriage and love relationships are made of an anatomical synergy between two minds. The mental anatomy of women and men must be understood. You did not receive this knowledge in the negative bias approach because in that approach, mental anatomy is the same as brain anatomy. There is no known mental anatomy other than brain anatomy -- this is the negative bias. But there has been a mental anatomy available in the Swedenborg Reports since the eighteenth century. Now I am helping to recover this for modern psychology. Obviously, some people might think this is not scientific, but anyone actually examining the evidence, may come to the opposite conclusion. I have.


About "eternity," remember that this refers to "the mental world of eternity." We are all familiar with the mental world since there is only mental world and we are all born in it. Since birth, all our sensations, thoughts, and feelings exist in our mental world, never in the physical world (hence never in the brain -- which is mere electrical and chemical, not living). What is living cannot be the same as what is not. Hence what is living in us (feelings, thoughts, sensations) must have their own world to exist in, and this is the mental world. It is called eternity because as you very well know, there is no actual time and space in our mental world. There is no physical space in your dreams. What appears to be physical space is actually mental space, and what appears to be physical time, is actually mental time. Mental space and time are called eternity because there is no physical space and time in them. The events in the mental world of eternity are created by our mind -- our mental organs.


Our life environment and experiences in eternity are created by the spiritual marriage between our affective organ (A) and our cognitive organ (C). Such as is our loves (A), such is are our thoughts (C), and consequently, such are our sensations and movements (S). Our outward appearance (S) in the spiritual body will be a perfect correspondence of our inner feelings (A) and thoughts (C).


A woman’s spiritual body is feminine, while a man’s spiritual body is masculine. In other words, the mental organs of a woman are feminine organs, while the mental organs of men are masculine organs. No one in the history of science has given us an answer to what the difference is. Non-theistic biology and psychology give us information about the physical body and about the “psychological” attitudes and preferences expressed by the choices that men and women make. Almost always we obtain an overlap in psychological measurements of men and women. There are differences we are told, but the overlap is so great that we can understand men and women in terms of the same psychological principles, theories, and measurements.


However the psychological measurements showing that men and women “overlap” in traits, receive a different interpretation in theistic psychology. It attributes the gender overlap to social and cultural practices, rather than psychological overlap in the characteristics of women and men. If research were directed to examine specifically how women think and how they decide and act, it would show that there is no overlap at all, because men have a masculine cognitive organ, while women have a feminine cognitive organ, and the two are reciprocals of each other, not similitudes.


For the first time in scientific history, the Swedenborg Reports provide the exact mental anatomy of men and women (see diagrams). You can make an easy drawing for it on paper, easy to memorize and challenge your friends with a new idea they can consider from theistic psychology. Draw two concentric circles on the left hand side of your page, and two circles on the right, so they parallel each other more or less. Under the left diagram, write “Woman’s Mental Organs (Female),” and under the right diagram, write “Man’s Mental Organs (Male).” Now put a big C inside the center circle of the woman’s diagram, and a big A in the outer circle. Behold, you are looking at the mental organs of women, when you realize that C stands for cognitive organ, and A stands for affective organ. Now put an A in the inmost circle of the man’s anatomy, and a C in the outer circle. Behold, you are looking at the mental organs of men.


Now draw a third outermost circle around each, and put a large S in it. Behold, you are looking at the absolute difference and distinction between a mans mind and a woman’s mind. The anatomical difference between a man and a woman’s mind is called “reciprocity.” This means that every single love (A) or thought (C) in a woman must be reciprocal to a corresponding love (A) or thought (C) in a man. There is full anatomical reciprocity in the operations of a man’s cognitive organ (C), with the operations of a woman’s affective organ (A). A woman can say to a man, “I love you.” And a man can say to a woman, “I love you.” These two spoken sentences (S) have one meaning for women, and another for men. You can see from your diagram that what is overtly expressed socially and culturally with the physical body and with what we say out loud, is conditioned by practices we choose to follow as part of our identity and belonging to a specific group or place.


Masculine loves (A) à Masculine thoughts (C) à Masculine talk and behavior (S)
Feminine loves (A) à Feminine thoughts (C) à Feminine talk and behavior (S)


Note from your diagram that feminine loves (A) (motives, intentions, desires) cover up feminine thoughts (C) (thinking, reasoning, remembering), and the two together in a feminine spiritual marriage, conjoin and act as one by synergy of operation. When this occurs, (S) is the automatic result. The masculine world (S) is different and reciprocal to the feminine world (S). The mental world of eternity automatically produces a consciousness and living environment (S) that reflects and corresponds to the quality of the spiritual marriage (AC).


Note from your diagram that a man mentally approaches the outside physical world (S) through his cognitive organ. A man is born closest to the outside world in his thinking (SC), while a woman is closest to the outside world in her loves (AS). This anatomical difference is the basis of understanding how a man and a woman can form a mentally synergistic pair or couple. When this is understood, we can develop strategies and models that can assist couples in achieving mental intimacy and unity. This intimacy and unity is the payoff for the extremely hard work we must perform in order to overcome and eliminate our built-in resistance to unity.


The Swedenborg Reports demonstrate that reciprocal married unity (called “conjugial love”), is the highest phase of human evolution in consciousness, and is achieved by everyone who raises their consciousness to layers 6, 5, or 4. Layer 4 is the most perfect expression of conjugial unity. Below that are lesser perfections of life called the second heaven in layer 5, and below that is layer 6, called the first heaven. In each of the three distinct layers of the spiritual mind (4, 5, 6), there are heavenly loves (A) conjoined with heavenly thoughts (C), to create their outward life (S) – heavenly cities, magnificent residences and gardens, social and artistic activities throughout the numberless spiritual society in the Grand Human. For the 27 years of his dual consciousness, Swedenborg visited cities in each mental layer, and interviewed many of their residents. You can read his detailed descriptions and explanations in the online version of the Swedenborg Reports.


1.1  Masculine Resistance to Femininity    1.1  Masculine Resistance to Femininity

A couple living together requires that they have a routine about who does what. From the perspective of the man, there are three available routes to take:

Level 9: Woman is expected to do the dishes and clean up the kitchen afterwards.
Level 8: If woman cooks, man volunteers to clean the dishes. If man cooks, woman cleans up.
Level 7: Man offers to cook and clean up. Makes woman feel it’s all right not to contribute.

A man who is thinking within a layer 9 mentality, will choose to act according to the male dominance routine, which is known by both men and women as a result of their socialization traditions and instruction. Within this level of thinking it is “right” and “normal” for the woman to do all or most routine domestic tasks that keep the household going. A woman who is socialized within this framework also thinks that domestic tasks are to be done by women – e.g., cooking, cleaning dishes, doing laundry, keeping track of bills and finances, cleaning up the house, caring for the children, remembering birthday cards and presents for family and friends, taking care of emergencies, appointments, replacements, repairs, etc. When the man comes home, the woman is expected to have done and finished all her tasks, and now be ready to keep her husband company by serving him and listening to him. Later, in bed, she is expected to be enthusiastic about his sexual requirements. This is the male dominance mentality that seems right to the man thinking at layer 9.


But this attitude and mentality changes radically when the same man feels motivated to upgrade his relationship routine and his thinking mentality regarding women. In layer 8 thinking a man can see in higher, more abstract thinking. He can have an idea of “universal rights” for example, that informs him that all human beings should equal rights as individuals, and that consequently, the woman he loves and lives with, deserves his respect, deserves that he respect her universal rights to equal treatment. The man sees from this that if he treats her with the male dominance mentality in layer 9, he is discriminating and injuring her, he is not respecting her as a human being. This makes him feel guilty or ashamed because he wants to think of himself as a man of integrity and honor who does not wish to abuse women, or anyone else. This is slayer 8 thinking.


In response to this type of layer-8 thinking, the man develops intentions “to be fair” and to “share the work.” This equity approach sometimes means “share some of the work, a little” to “share everything, as far as possible.” These two orientations are quite different marriage practices in equity. It makes sense from the equity point of view to split the work of preparing the meals. A man in layer-8 thinking will often volunteer, or feel guilt if he does not, to “wash the dishes” after she cooks. This promise varies from “wash the dishes immediately and clean up the kitchen” to “wash the dishes later, after being asked again by the woman.” These two approaches are very different.


This same man who went from male dominance thinking (layer 9) to equity thinking (layer 8), may surprise the woman and himself, by upgrading to layer 7 thinking. This is the rational mind in charge of the unity mentality. The man is motivated to love the woman by making her happy. He understands rationally that marriage is permanent union of a man and a woman who desire and achieve intimacy in all three systems of the mind – sensorimotor intimacy, within which is cognitive intimacy, within which is affective intimacy. When it comes to domestic tasks, a man in such a mentality does not think of equity, does not think “I do this If you do that,” but thinks instead, “I will do everything I can to make it easier on you, to reduce your stress.” Do you see the fundamental difference between layer 7 thinking and layer 8 thinking?


Layer 7 thinking (7C) requires layer 7 motivations and loves (7A). These loves are altruistic and conjugial. This means that the husband has a love that is seeking to fulfill itself by making the wife happy from himself. This is what defines and constitutes his happiness. The wife’s happiness is the pre-condition for the husband’s happiness. Whereas in layer 8 loves (8A), the husband is motivated to maximize his own happiness along with his wife’s happiness, and if there is a conflict, he chooses his own happiness over his wife’s. That’s what equity is – the husband choosing to balance equality of happiness (8A), vs. choosing to make the wife happy first, then deriving happiness out of that. It makes a huge difference in how he treats her, and how she experiences him in her life. She can be hardly be content when being treated by a husband in layer 9 (male dominance). She can be happy some of the time when her husband treats her from layer 8 (equity). But she can be fully happy when her husband deals with her form his layer 7 loves (unity).


One of the most amazing concepts in the Swedenborg Reports is the idea that all minds are networked together into one synergistic functioning unit. This will be explained in more detail later. For now, remember that every mind in the mental world of eternity has all the layers. No one lacks a layer. It is anatomical. All our layers are tied to each other by the laws of correspondence that govern what happens in the mental world of eternity. What happens in one layer corresponds to what happens in another layer. The layers develop and grow together.

Also be aware that we inherit from our parental line both physical traits (in the physical body or genes), and mental traits (in the spiritual body or genes). Everyone inherits both good and bad traits. In the Swedenborg Reports it is shown that when people resuscitate, the quality of their eternal life is determined by the traits they wish to retain. After resuscitation in our spiritual mind, we cannot retain both good and bad traits, as we do here in our natural mind. We must choose between the two categories. Those who choose to live in their good traits, experience a heavenly environment, but those who choose to live in their bad traits, experience a hellish environment. More details on this will be provided as we go along, or you can read ahead.


The people after resuscitation congregate together in mental societies and communities according to their loves. The Grand Human refers to the societies of people in good traits (layers 6, 5, 4), and the Grand Monster refers to the societies who live in their bad traits (layers -7, -8, -9). The social and mental interactions of those in the hellish traits, create a living environment of "hell" that Swedenborg describes in detail. He also describes the social interactions and environment of those who live in a "heaven." Since everyone has all the layers, everyone can live either in heaven or in hell. Swedenborg explains why some people chose one, while others chose the other. Since all the layers are interrelated by correspondence, we are influenced in our natural mind by "influx" from both the Grand Monster and the Grand Human. Our good traits are sourced in the Grand Human societies, while our bad traits are sourced in the Grand Monster Societies. Whichever we move more, there we will end up. It makes sense for us to know this and to use this knowledge to prepare ourselves for immortal life after resuscitation. The marriage relationship is closely involved in this process, as we shall study.

We know from the Swedenborg Reports that our mental development goes through three phases corresponding to the maturation of the three layers of the natural mind – first, anatomical layer 9 in infancy, then, layer 8 in childhood, then layer 7e in young adulthood. Each phase of development in the natural mind involves the activity of both inherited hellish influx and traits, as well as inherited heavenly influx and traits. All influx is from the Spiritual Sun sequentially through the anatomical mental layers of eternity (or “mind”). In mature adulthood there begins a continued development, but in reverse order. This reverse order development is called “spiritual growth” and “regeneration.” First, our mental layer 7, called the rational mind, is regenerated through new ideas and information we acquire about God and the world of eternity. This new information and understanding conjoins itself with our love for raising our consciousness, becoming a more rational, a better person, being able to serve self and others at a more advanced level of human consciousness and ability.


In mature adulthood we experience the masculine love for raising our consciousness and understanding (as men), or the feminine love of becoming a better, more caring, and wiser person (for women). Men and women have the love for becoming better happier people, but men think of it one way, and women in a reciprocal way. Look at your diagram again, or visualize it mentally. A woman’s feminine love (A) is conjoined to her feminine intelligence (C). This is the spiritual marriage within her mental organs. When spiritual heat activates her affective organ (A), a woman experiences the motive and desire to conjoin her love (A) to a man’s cognitive organ (C). The man, however, does not experience this love (A) for conjoining himself to the woman’s cognitive organ (C). This lack of interactional reciprocity in men, has enormous consequences on relationships and marriage.


This imbalance in reciprocity for the love of conjoining to each other, is a barrier to synergy and unity in the couple. When a woman loves a man, her love (A) is a complex of sub-loves, and powerfully high among them, is the feminine love of intimacy with the man she loves. A woman wants sensorimotor intimacy (S) as shown by how she likes to touch and be touched by her man. She wants cognitive intimacy (C) as shown by how she loves (A) the man’s masculine thinking, intelligence, and sense of humor. Her love (A) of his masculine intelligence (C) shows itself by how she laughs at his jokes, how she memorizes the facts of his life, how she relies on him for advice and clarification. This shows how her feminine love (A) is steadily conjoining itself to his masculine intelligence (C).


Meanwhile what does the man do?


In his un-regenerate phase the man loves his own masculine intelligence above the love he has for his woman’s feminine intelligence. So if she supports her feminine idea X while he supports his masculine idea Y, the man’s practice is to break intimacy, so that he may have his way with her. He does not respect her femininity as would a regenerated gallant man. When a man regenerates he enters into a healing process with the Divine Psychologist who brings temptations to him so that he may become fully aware of his unregenerate loves. During these temptations, the Divine Psychologist connects the man’s natural layer to his corresponding spiritual layer, and in this connection the man is able to stay in perfect freedom of choice. He can go either way. Either to keep and reinforce the love he has for his own intelligence, above that of his woman’s feminine intelligence. Or, to switch. Putting his woman’s feminine intelligence ahead of his own masculine intelligence, will allow him to regenerate so that he no longer feels the need to resist mental intimacy and conjunction with his woman.


These phases of development and conjunction in relationships and marriage will be described and explained in the presentation of the Unity Model of Marriage and Relationship.


1.2  Till Death Do Us Part or Till the End of Eternity?    1.2  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 continue forever.


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 mental 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 in the negative bias approach, 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 licensed 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 age 57 Swedenborg 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 temporary physical body in the physical world, and a permanent spiritual body through the mental 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. No scientist of modern times before Swedenborg had access to the spiritual world of the afterlife.


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 physical body is an exact replica of the spiritual body, but is made of different substance. The physical body is made of temporary matter from the physical sun, while the spiritual body is made of permanent or immortal substance from the Spiritual Sun.


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 spiritual body.


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 intelligence.


Conjugial Accommodation Strategies   Conjugial Accommodation Strategies


The unity model of marriage includes the idea of conjugial accommodation. In the Swedenborg Reports the expression “conjugial simulation” refers to the rational need for the husband to act like he still loves his wife, even if he no longer feels the passion of the romantic period between them. In theistic psychology we use the expression “conjugial accommodation strategies” to refer to the unity husband’s intention to avoid expressing disagreement with his wife.

Disagreement is expressed by the man in various ways, the most common ones being these:

  1. Answering her by saying “I disagree” or “I don’t agree” or “That’s ridiculous.” or “No way.” etc. This puts stress on her, but he doesn’t care about that and thinks that that is her problem. This makes her feel separated from him. It hurts their feeling of intimacy and suppresses her sexual feelings towards him.
  2. Giving an answer that tells her that he’s not going along with her idea or wishes. This makes her feel frustrated and discouraged. She might feel depressed. Her happiness is threatened by his disagreeing with her, despite her efforts to convince him to go along with her.
  3. Accusing her, or criticizing her, or insulting her, or saying something denigrating to her. All these things make her feel bad, and he knows it. This hurts her emotionally and suppresses her sexuality towards him.
  4. Getting angry, raising the voice, frowning, looking menacing, acting threatening, banging, walking out, etc. This makes her feel intimidated and frightened of him. She loses her peace and self-confidence as his woman. She begins to think that maybe he doesn’t like her. This makes her feel insecure and confused.
  5. Breaking his promise, not starting or finishing something, ignoring what she wants him to pay attention to, etc. This makes her feel frustrated and infuriated. She wants to retaliate. She feels violated as a woman. Her femininity is being disrespected. How is she supposed to then have sexual feelings for him?
  6. Being disloyal to her, talking about her with others, keeping secrets to control or manipulate her, lying about things, not sharing goals or plans, choosing activities that exclude her, etc. These are fundamental disjunctive behaviors and habits. Affective intimacy or real closeness cannot develop. There is no growth of their conjoint self.


Think about yourself, about your room mate, about your spouse or friend. Go over the six categories. No doubt things will occur to you from memory and observation. You know that when you are trying to live with someone peacefully and avoid unpleasant exchanges, you force yourself to “accommodate” to the other person, especially if the two of you are making a romantic pair or couple. You try to please the other even when you don’t feel like being pleasant or agreeable. You try to avoid criticism or insult. You hide your emotions or feelings that are hostile and attacking. All these are normal emotions and feelings for people to have, and to be able to accommodate or adjust is a useful skill.


Conjugial accommodation strategies are particularly critical for boyfriends and husbands because men are raised in a social, religious, and cultural climate that is known as “male dominant.” This is a layer 9 mentality that assigns a lower role to women in comparison to men. Women are socialized to serve men and to be accommodating to them by putting themselves second in all things. One consequence of this lifestyle attitude is that women earn less money than men for doing the same work. This is still true in our own society at all but the lowest levels of employment. Another gross consequence in many parts of the world today, is the abuse and enslavement of women without the protection of the law. In our own world here, men’s needs are met before women’s needs. One example is that a disproportionate amount of money went into medical research affecting men mostly, vs. problems and issues affecting women’s health and well being. A disturbing trend has been the sexual abuse of young girls in schools who are forced and pressured into satisfying them sexually.


Girls as young as ten are being socialized into the practice of providing sex to boys who are around. This hurts their self-confidence-as-a-woman. It robs them of the affective love and meaning that goes into sex within a committed relationship. It makes it more difficult for them as mature women later, to participate in the process of conjugial conjunction with her soul mate. The unity model shows that mental conjunction is an anatomical process involving the conjunction of mental organs and mental operations. From mental independence they develop into mental interdependence. The two are growing into one, and this is the basis of their heaven and eternal happiness. It’s a dangerous idea to experiment and interfere with this anatomical process of conjunction. When men pressure women to have sex they are engaging in sexual blackmail. This applies equally to dating, living together, and marriage.


Women in coupled relationships feel pressured to have sex without being mentally prepared by the man for sexual intimacy. All six forms of disagreement by a man are suppressive of the female sexual response to mental intimacy. When the man in a couple disagrees with the woman, he is hurting their sex life. This is not true the other way. When a woman disagrees with the man, he still wants to have sex with her and enjoys it. So if the man wants to be successful, he must learn how the woman reacts to intimacy and sex. Insufficient mental intimacy interferes with a woman’s desire to have sex with the man.



1.3  The New Conjoint Self      1.3  The New Conjoint Self  

This seminar 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.


We 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 in synergy.


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:


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 than 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.


The heavenly 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 (S) 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:,GGLJ:2006-24,GGLJ:en&defl=en&q=define:model&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=titl

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 gallant and respectful of women. In this mental unity phase husbands are capable of becoming best friends and soul mates with their wife.


The overall 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, S), in thinking operations (cognitive self, C), and in feeling states (affective self, A).


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 selves).


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 dominance phase.


Following this phase, many men are forced to admit to themselves that their wife also has the right to expect him to share in the tasks of living and having a life together. 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 heavenly happiness. 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 feminine intelligence.


Hence by making himself conjoin to his wife, a man becomes heavenly in his outward life as well. He can achieve this conjunction with his wife by following the unity model in his mind.


There are barriers or resistances to overcome with each level of the 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.


So husbands and boyfriends frequently oppose the unification process to more intimate levels, while wives and girlfriends constantly fight for pulling the man into such mental intimacy.


We will 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.


The first level of unity may be referred to as sensorimotor consociation (S) and involves what the couple do together externally or socially.


The second level 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 level 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.


This includes what they are motivated to achieve, whether for instance, they are willing to make their unification as the most important element in their life, more important than anything else. For instance, it is common for husbands to devote more time, attention and importance to other activities like children, career, parents, old friends, 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 or failure.


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 established.


1.4   Spiritual Marriages   1.4   Spiritual Marriages

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 Endless Eternity."

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.


Until the 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 the positive 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, the consequences.


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 and marriage.


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, psychologically, spiritually.


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 eternity."


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 people today.


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, g28, along with the student reports at: 


A thorough compilation of articles and links about Swedenborg is available from 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 mental world.


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 Lecture Notes for Theistic Psychology (Psychology 459, g28). 


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 angels, etc.


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 couples' relationships.


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 science.


And it is pretty easy to start listing all the reasons why we think that it is fantastic and not science. And if we compare all these reasons, we will find that almost everybody has given the same reasons. Again, this fits with what I am saying, namely that the resistance 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 science.


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


1.5   Conjugial Love   1.5   Conjugial Love

 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.


The existence of marriages in the heavens is incredible to those who believe that after death a person becomes a soul or spirit, if their concept of a soul or spirit is that of a tenuous ether or breath. So too it is to those who do not believe that a person can live as a person again until after the day of the Last Judgment, and generally speaking to those who know nothing about the spiritual world, where angels and spirits live, and where the heavens and hells are.


Since this world has so far remained unknown, and there is utter ignorance of the fact that the angels of heaven are completely human in form, and likewise the spirits of hell, though less completely human, any revelation about marriages has been impossible. For people would say, 'How can a soul be united with a soul?, or a breath with a breath, as husband and wife are united on earth?' And many more things which, the moment they were uttered, would destroy and scatter belief in marriages there. [ 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 here.


The essential difference is that the inmost core of the male is love, and its envelope is wisdom, or what is the same thing, it is love enveloped in wisdom. The inmost core of the female is the wisdom of the male, and its envelope is the love from it. But this is a feminine love, which 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. Gen. 2:21-23.

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


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


In fact, there is masculinity in every part of the male, down to the smallest part of his body, and also in every idea he thinks of and every spark of affection he feels; and the same is true of the femininity of the female. Since therefore one cannot change into the other, it follows that after death the male is male and the female is female. (CL 33)


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


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


But in spite of the universal mention of love in speech, still hardly anyone knows what love is.


Since meditation about it cannot form any concept of it in a person's thinking, or bring it into the light of the intellect, because it is not a matter of light, but of heat, he asserts that it is either non-existent, or some influence produced by seeing, hearing and being in a person's company, and so impelling him. He is quite unaware that it is his very life, not just the general vital principle of the whole of his body and of all his thoughts, but the life in every single detail of these.


A wise person can grasp this in this way. Suppose we say, 'If you take away the affection of love, can you think of anything? Can you do anything?' Surely to the extent that affection, a part of love, grows cold, so do thought, speech and action, and to the extent that affection grows warm, so do they. Love then is the heat of a person's life, his vital heat, and this alone is the reason blood is hot and also that it is red. These effects arise from the fire of the sun of the heaven [ = 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 35)


CL 36. The reason why each person retains his love after death is that love is a person's life (as stated in 34 above), and in consequence is the person himself. A person is also his thought, and so his intelligence and wisdom [ = 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 citizenship ]


The reason why a person's sexual love remains after death is that a male remains a male and a female remains a female, and the male's masculinity pervades the whole and every part of him, and likewise a female's femininity; and the impulse to be joined is present in every detail down to the smallest.


Since that impulse to be joined was implanted from creation and is therefore continually present, it follows that the one desires the other and longs to be joined to the other.


Love taken by itself is nothing but a desire and hence an impulse to be joined; conjugial love is an impulse to be joined into one.


For the male and the female of the human species are so created as to be able to become like a single individual [ = 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.


Since that impulse to be joined lies deeply hidden in every part of both male and female, and every part has the ability and desire to be joined into one, it follows that people retain mutual and reciprocal sexual love after death. (CL 37)


CL 38.  Sexual and conjugial love are both mentioned, because sexual love is not the same as conjugial love. Sexual love belongs to the natural man [ = 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 mind ].


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).

[2] 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.'

[3] 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 ]

The kingdom of the heavens is like a royal personage who made a wedding for his son, and sent out his servants with invitations to the wedding (Matt. 22:1-14).


The kingdom of the heavens is like the ten maidens who went out to meet the bridegroom, five of whom were ready and went in to the wedding (Matt. 25:1ff).


It is clear that 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 41)

CL 42. I shall append here accounts of two experiences from the spiritual world, of which this is the first.


One morning I looked up into heaven and saw above me one broad level above another, and as I watched, the first level near to me was opened up, and then the second above, and finally the third, which was the highest. I was enlightened by this so as to grasp that the angels forming the first or lowest heaven were on the first level, those forming the second or middle heaven on the second level, and those forming the third or highest heaven on the third level.

At first I wondered what this meant and why it so appeared; and then I heard a voice like the sound of a trumpet coming out of heaven, which said, 'We have noticed and now see that you are meditating about conjugial love. We know that so far no one on earth knows what truly conjugial love is in its origin and essence, important though it is to know this. It has therefore pleased 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.'

[2] Then suddenly there was to be seen a chariot coming down from the highest or third heaven, containing what seemed to be one angel. But as it approached, it seemed to have two angels in it. The chariot seen from afar sparkled like a diamond, and had harnessed to it foals as white as snow. The 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.'

[3] 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.

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

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

[5] When I had seen this, they spoke with me again; and when the husband spoke, it was as if what he said came at the same time from the wife, and when the wife spoke, it was as if it came at the same time from her husband, so closely united were their minds, from which their utterances flowed. [ =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 innocence.

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




That there are marriages in the heavens has been shown just above. It is now to be shown whether or not the conjugial covenant entered into in the world will continue after death and be enduring.


This is not a matter of judgment but of experience, and since this experience has been granted me through consociation with angels and spirits, the question may be answered by me, but yet in such wise that reason also will assent.


Moreover, it is among the wishes and desires of married partners to have this knowledge; for men who have loved their wives, and wives who have loved their husbands, desire to know whether it is well with them after their death, and whether they will meet again. Furthermore many married partners desire to know beforehand whether after death they will be separated or will live together - those who are of discordant dispositions, whether they will be separated, and those who are of concordant dispositions, whether they will live together. This information, being desired, shall be given, and this in the following order:


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

II. That the same is true of conjugial love.

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

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

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

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

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

VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; but not so with those who go to hell [ = 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 Conjugial Love ]



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 Key to Happiness is Healthy Marriages

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 Love 457)

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 Heaven.

- 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 happiness.


1.6   Male dominance, Equity, and Unity   1.6   Male dominance, Equity, and Unity

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, traditional)
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. Remember that it is typical for men to oscillate or alternate between phases, but there are differences. Some men interact mostly from phase 1 (layer 9 male dominance mentality). They may change over time so that they interact mostly from phase 2 (equity, layer 8), except when they fall back on phase 1 (layer 9 thinking). Some men are not satisfied with these relationship states and feel motivated to act from a layer 7 unity mentality (phase 3). Eventually these men can interact with their partner in the unity phase on a regular or constant basis. That's when their relationship attains the soul mate style of life called the "conjoint self" (discussed above).


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 with you."
He says: "Well, I changed my mind."


And that's the problem, isn't it? The woman has no guarantee about anything in the equity 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 decades. Why?


Because now the wife or girlfriend possesses spiritual leverage over him when he falls back on the equity phase and the male dominance phase.


For example:

Wife:            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. 
Wife:             You said you are committed to the unity model. Are you giving that up now? 
Husband:       OK, I see your point. I don't like it, but I see it. 
Wife:              It doesn't matter if you like it or not. But you should learn to like it because it is 
                        our conjugial  heaven.  
Husband:      You are right.  
Wife:             Well, are you going to stop? 
Husband:       Yes. 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 past.


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 relationship.


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 may be valid. You may decide they are not valid after you examine the evidence. Or, you may decide they are valid.


The positive bias merely says that it's possible that they are valid. 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 bias) rather 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 derivations thereof.


Anything having to do with eternity or the spiritual world is simply ruled out. Since eternity is ruled out, so are eternal marriages.


So the unity model of marriage is not comprehensible or meaningful within the negative bias. The idea of marriage  as a binding relationship "until death do us part" comes to you from the negative bias in science 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" and "afterlife").


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 G28, 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. These spiritual substances are by definition immortal or eternal since death applies only to what is in time-space. Death does not apply to what is in eternity, and our thoughts and feelings are born in eternity 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 wife.


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


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


They have solid bodies that he could touch and shake hands with. He ate with them. He slept and had dreams. He talked to couples who had been husband and wife for untold ages, who told him that they were doing with their mental-spiritual body in their heaven everything they did on earth with their physical bodies, except that here, their sensations were much keener and stronger than what they had in their physical bodies.


In other words, what Swedenborg saw and confirmed many times in different ways, is that our afterlife of eternity is spent in a real substantial non-material body that is immortal and cannot die.


This real body of immortality is what I call "the spiritual body" or "the mental body." We could also call it "the rational ether body" because it is a body constructed out of rational ether, which is the substance out of which all things are made of in the world of eternity, which is the mental world of the human race . This 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

Anne Marie Owens, National Post

 Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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 bended-knee proposal.

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 distinction.

"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 understand."

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 proposal.

"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 class teams.



Give a critique of the following article. Comment from the unity model perspective on these points in the article:

(1)     Is the “transactional marriage” the same as what we call the equity model?

(2)    Does the writer enact a bias from the male dominance model? E.g., he appears to say that a wife should not withhold affection from her husband by thinking that he has not done what she wants him to do. The example mentioned is fixing the gutters. This shows the writer is taking the perspective of the man in the male dominant perspective, as we define it. Discuss whether you can see this, and where else you can see this in the article. You can also check the previous two Parts of his article.

The Transactional Marriage, Part III
by Tony Woodlief September 1, 2008

Many of us know married couples stuck in a rut like the following: The husband is withdrawn from his wife because he believes she nags too much and gets naked for him too little. The wife is disrespectful toward her husband because he is cold and withdrawn. Each claims to be prepared to give what the other needs, but only when the other gives something first. Or perhaps one believes he or she has been giving long enough, and is quitting until the other starts giving in return. This is an example of what I call Transactional Marriage.


Perhaps it is a consequence of modernizing economies, in which homo sapiens has transmogrified into homo economicus. Or perhaps it is a byproduct of the Roman legal culture that permeates Western civilization, not the least of which is the Western Church. When something is given, it should be reciprocated. You’ve got to give to get. Injustice must be paid with suffering. Tit for tat.


Edgar Schein explained that culture consists, at its deepest level, of basic underlying assumptions, about which their holders are often oblivious. Many of us carry about in this way a transactional worldview.


Though I profoundly disagree with some statements in Gary Thomas’ Sacred Influence (statements that contradict his otherwise fine vision of Christian marriage), I think pastors could do a lot worse than requiring couples considering marriage to read and discuss at least the first chapter of his Sacred Marriage. This is because he makes clear that marriage is not about getting yourself to a higher state of happiness, but about entering into a sacrificial, sanctifying relationship. You pour yourself out for others to whom your flesh is bound: your spouse and your children. You draw close to them in joy and suffering and as a consequence (and end) you draw closer to God. What Thomas says of his book might equally be said of Christian marriage: “Spiritual growth is the main theme; marriage is simply the context.” There is no room here for transactional thinking, which is only ever about improving one’s personal well-being.


To be sure, there are plenty of transactions in a marriage. The man endures Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants one night so his wife will be wakened to the wonders of Die Hard with him the next. The wife cooks her husband’s favorite meal because that’s what she agreed to do if he would finally get that gutter fixed. There’s nothing wrong with these transactions, because they are superficial.


I think we begin to do violence to marriage, however, when we allow transactional thinking to penetrate too deeply. It’s one thing if the wife withholds pepper steak until her husband gets around to those gutters. It’s another if she withholds affection. And the thinking that says: I will give him affection so that he will be more likely to give me what I want, seems to me to be little different.


At a practical level, it is likely to lead to disappointment when the husband doesn’t change. And now that we’ve allowed transactional thinking to enter into our calculation, it is but a small step for the wife to say to herself: I’ve tried and he didn’t love me enough to reciprocate, so now I’m withholding.


What’s more, at an emotional level, I think we can often tell when someone’s affection or attention or gifts are coming from a place of absolute devotion, or of expectation. Thus transactional thinking—however noble its intentions—can poison a relationship by introducing double-mindedness and doubt.


We Christians are experts at avoiding the obvious trappings of pagan culture, but as Schein pointed out, it’s the underlying assumptions that really attach one to a culture. And too often Christians allow the underlying assumption of transaction—of personal fulfillment and satisfaction—to influence our words, actions, and thoughts in our marriages. Ask any pastor, and he can recount dozens of marriages he’s seen fall on the rocks because one or both spouses was embittered over what he or she was not getting from the other. They are mired in transactional thinking, and thus they feel wronged.


But in none of his relationships is the Christian called to get what’s his, is he? Strange how we can easily remember that when it comes to charity for strangers, but forget it so easily when it comes to our husbands and wives.

Read Tony’s “The Transactional Marriage, Part I” and “The Transactional Marriage, Part II.”



Note: You can read, search, or access all of the Swedenborg Reports (or the Writings of Swedenborg) at these Web sites: (various topics in AC)


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