University of Hawaii, Fall 2008, G28, Psychology 409b Seminar 
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    The Unity Model of Marriage

How to Achieve the Conjoint Self

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

Lecture Notes Version 22a

Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology

University of Hawaii
Fall 2008

Go to:   Part 1  ||  Part 1b || Part 2 ||  Part 2b  ||  Part 3  ||  Part 4

This is Part 2

5.0    Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction

5.1   Mental Biology of Marriage

         5.1.1  Top-Down Hierarchy of Loves  

5. 2   The ACS Sequence of Execution in Behavior

         5.2.1  Top-Down Hierarchy of Loves  

5.3    Summary Table to Memorize (Table 5B1)

5.4    Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex  Part I

         5.4.1  Three Phases in Marriage  

5.5   Conjugial Couples Seen by Swedenborg


EXERCISES :       5.0.1  || 

Part 2 begins here


5.0.   Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction

5.0.   Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Conjunction

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

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

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

For example, a wife might request that her husband no longer talk to an old girl friend of his. She feels very strongly about it. She perceives it  from within, as if it was instinct. In other words, she may not be able to give a rational explanation of where it comes from or why she feels so strongly about it. She tells her husband all this, yet he rejects it because he thinks differently about it. He feels a certain loyalty to many of his old friends and doesn't want to give that up, especially since the wife (or current girlfriend) can't explain her demand in a way that makes sense to him. He and his old girl friend do not have any romantic feelings for each other, so his wife (or current girl friend) should not be jealous. That's how he thinks. So he argues about it with his wife or girlfriend, instead of trusting her judgment about such relationship issues. Arguing and refusing is part of the dominance phase. It is a power play by the man, to make sure he can do what he wants, despite what the wife or girlfriend wants. The message she is getting through this is that he is refusing to work for affective intimacy between them. This can be hard and stressful on the woman as it puts her in a double bind -- the man whom she loves, the man who says he loves her, flatly refuses to share affective intimacy with her. His goal in the relationship is to remain affectively independent, his own man, doing what he thinks is right or wrong, regardless of what she thinks.

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

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

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

This brings her emotional stress, lack of mental peace, hesitation in the relationship, and confusion as to what is truly going on between them.

How do you know if you and your partner have affective intimacy? In the unity model, the wife perceives it and tells the husband, who accepts her perception. A woman feels affective intimacy with a man when he makes her feel that he is motivated to protect her feelings without exception.

This is not the same as what is called "unconditional love" in the equity model. In that mentality there is pressure on the woman to tone down the importance she attaches to affective intimacy. This lets the man off the hook and not progressing towards what she feels and considers is affective intimacy, namely, feeling completely free to present to him her true feelings about him, his behaviors, his traits, his attitudes -- which are things to which he exposes her and requires her to deal with it herself. In the equity phase the man feels that she is too demanding to require him to be what she wants him to be. And so he will engage in fights and resistance to her attempts at a deeper affective intimacy between them.

If she keeps her insistence and continues the struggle with his resistance (instead of giving in to him), then she is providing him with an opportunity to start agreeing with her on some things, then enlarging the circle to all things. They will then progress to the unity mentality of affective intimacy. She will then feel like she, or her feelings (A), are safe with the man. She can then be content at last, and growing in beauty, strength, and love. And he will at last experience the woman's sweetness, which is heaven to him. Any man who has experienced the sweetness  of the love of the woman he loves in return, will know experientially what is what is heaven on earth, and consequently what is heaven in eternity. From that moment on he is spiritually enlightened -- which means being involved in preparing his character and behavior to be conjugial in heavenly eternity.  

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

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

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

The battle does not stop until either she gives up on him or on heaven with him, or, he gives up on his independent personality and self.

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

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

This question is motivated by the desire to reject the unity model. Some men want to reject it because it depends on the existence of eternal marriage in the afterlife. Some women want to reject the unity model because it seems too idealistic, or perhaps, unrealistic in real life with real people. Some men want to reject the unity model because they are attached to the idea of retaining affective independence, even if they love a girlfriend or wife. So one way of rejecting the unity model is to think that it is not balanced, that it doesn't give equal responsibility and effort to both sides, laying most of the responsibility on the men.

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

This situation can be better understood if we look at it in more detail as to what's going on. In their relationship the man and the woman are interacting at the three levels of the self: sensorimotor (S), cognitive (C), and affective (A). The process of forming a marital unity involves the successive conjunction of the threefold self of each partner to that of the other. The sensorimotor self of the man and the woman are conjoined first as shown by the activities they enjoy doing together--eating, playing, embracing, talking. These activities involve mostly the "external" physical and external mental self of the partners. It is called external because it is easily visible to them and to others like their friends, parents, and neighbors. We can call this phase sensorimotor conjunction.

In this phase the man often takes the lead and exerts a dominant role. The woman follows along with his dominance in order to keep the relationship going. Her motive is higher than the man's. His motive is to please himself; her motive is to help the relationship to go to a deeper level (cognitive and affective intimacy -- see diagrams above).

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

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

Cognitive conjunction is more visible than affective conjunction because it comes out in their overt verbal discussions, their stated agreements or disagreements on this or that subject. Long after sensorimotor conjunction has been established, and after cognitive conjunction has been operating for awhile in the relationship, the woman strives even more intensely to conjoin the man to herself at the affective level.

She senses from her unconscious spiritual self, and sometimes realizes it explicitly or consciously, that the relationship won't be perfect or fully satisfying and fulfilling, until they achieve affective conjunction.

This doesn't just mean saying "I love you" even if this is said sincerely. Affective conjunction means that the man has aligned his feelings with his woman.

In other words, until he has given up his male prerogatives that are left to him by society and tradition.

Society allows a man to retain affective independence from the woman he is married to. This is a male prerogative or inherent right given to him by society. There are other male prerogatives like the "double standard" regarding pre-marital sex, and even, extra-marital sex. Another male prerogative is to pay less attention to what a woman says than what a man says. Expecting the woman in a room to make coffee, take notes, clean up, etc. is another area of male prerogatives in our society, and in most societies. To the extent that a man exercises or practices the male prerogatives given to him by society, to that extent he is opposing affective intimacy as a couple.

The "good" husband is expected to provide for the wife's needs, to support her in her side endeavors or activities, and to be decent to her. But he is not expected to become dependent on her for his feelings about himself, for his motives and goals in life, or for his ambitions and endeavors as a man. He is expected to love her and be loyal to her, but not to give up his own independent feelings and strivings. Affective independence is the practiced norm for a man in most societies.

In contrast, social and cultural norms require a woman not only to love her mate but to be dependent on him for her feelings and emotions.

For example, in most couples if she loves Italian food and he hates it, she is expected to give up her old loves and adopt his loves (male prerogative to expect this). He expects it and sees it as a sign of loyalty to him male prerogative to think this way). If she complies with this (male prerogative) expectation, he feels bonding with her.

Note that a man feels bonding or conjunction when the woman becomes dependent on him in her threefold self. But this kind of bonding is not true conjunction and cannot lead to unity. That's because it's not what she ultimately and truly wants, and needs, to be fulfilled. She needs for him to be the center of his affective life. This means that whatever he is planning or doing should relate to her in some way -- e.g., How will this affect her? Is this something she would want me to tell her about? Would she go along with this? etc. These are affective conjunctive thoughts that the man has when she is not physically present.

Nothing he ever does should be independent of her and her feelings, her opinions, her principles, her preferences. This is affective intimacy and conjunction. This is what the woman wants and craves for from her spiritual mind which is in eternity. This is what truly and finally fulfills her as a woman, her feminine task, what she was created for by God, and this is what allows her to reach her innate potential. This is how she wants their love to become -- immersed in affective intimacy, the two as-if one. He loves her feelings and ideas more than his own. He is motivated to fulfill her wants more than his own.

All this he wants to do because he has come to realize and understand that this is what he was created for by God and this is what will make him maximally happy and intelligent. This is affective conjunction or unity. This is not an ideal, or an idea, or a principle, or a fantasy. It is a felt reality, the actual experiencing of it. That's why this mental state is called "heaven on earth" and after death "heaven in eternity."


5.1     Mental Biology of Marriage

5.1     Mental Biology of Marriage

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

By the principle of differentiation and reciprocity (as discussed above) it is clear that men and women differ in their biological nature, they differ in their thinking nature, and they differ in their affective nature. As stated before, there is nothing in a man that can be like what is in a woman, and vice versa. This is because sensations, thoughts, and feelings are mental operations that take place in the spiritual body, which is born either male or female. Since this spiritual body is immortal in the mental world of eternity, a male man remains a male forever, and a female man remains a female forever.

Further, the spiritual body is created by each unique soul that carries the immortal spiritual DNA of every unique individual. A female soul creates female mental organs: cognitive organ within, affective organ on the outside of it. A male soul creates male mental organs: affective organ within, cognitive organ on the outside of it. Every sensation, thought, and feeling in a male anatomy must be different than any sensation, thought, or feeling in a female anatomy. All human sensations (S), thoughts (C), and feelings (A) are either female in origin or male.

This difference in mental operations of the spiritual body corresponds to the difference in physical operations in the physical body. Medical theory and practice is far enough advanced today to recognize that the research done on men is not indicative of how the drug will affect women. It is known that the blood of women contains hormones that men ordinarily do not carry. Certain diseases affect mostly men, others mostly women. All this suggests that the physical body of women is not like the physical body of men. This is even more true of the spiritual body and the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that occur there (they do not occur in the physical body or brain -- remember that).

The threefold self of a woman is unlike anything about the threefold self of a man, and vice versa. This makes unity between them possible (see the principles of reciprocity and differentiation discussed above).

Biological differences between them are obvious in the anatomy and appearance of their physical body and in how they enjoy things (S). Rational differences (C) between men and women result in the reciprocal orientation and focus they each have.  When a man's cognitive (C) focus is reciprocal to the woman's cognitive focus, they can conjoin and reach cognitive intimacy. To conjoin means to allow mutual influence on each other. To resist influence on each other is called disjunctive behavior.

When a man retains affective independence he is performing disjunctive behavior because he is resisting influence from his wife or girlfriend. To accept influence is conjunctive behavior. For example, if she wants him to do X when he wants to do Y, then if he does X he is accepting her influence on his affective operations. This is practicing affective conjunction and intimacy.

In the equity way of thinking, the man expects an exchange: If he does what she wants on this occasion, then she should do what he wants on some other occasion, and in this way they can get along well. This is how a man thinks in the equity phase. But this kind of equity arrangement cannot lead to unity because it interferes with affective intimacy. A man who bargains with his wife or girlfriend is showing her that he wants to retain affective independence.

Note this well:

When a man is ready to give up affective independence he does not ask the woman to do what he wants, when she wants something else than what he is offering. But when a woman asks the man to do what she wants rather than what he wants, she is practicing affective interdependence, mental intimacy, spiritual conjunction, and eternal unity. This may sound invalid or unfair -- when viewed from the dominance and equity mentality. But when viewed from the anatomical and biological perspective in the unity model, it is valid.

You need to review the argument as we got here, if you are not completely clear on why the above is rationally and anatomically valid. Write down your questions, bring them for class discussions.

A man and a woman have different functions for their thinking, that is, they think differently using different cognitive procedures. A woman might say or think X and a man might say or think X yet they are not thinking the same thing. A woman uses thinking in the relationship for the purpose of achieving intimacy because that's the way she defines herself, while a man uses his thinking for the purpose of retaining independence because that's the way he defines himself. This is one reason they are called "opposite" sex to each other.

A man prior to practicing the unity model wants the woman to give up her feminine thinking and think like him instead. This is impossible for nothing in a man can be like anything in a woman, and vice versa. On the other hand, he can give up his affective independence so that his thinking (C) now responds not just to his own preferences and purposes (A), but to her preferences and purposes as well (A). The affective organ always directs the cognitive organ, that is, the will (A) always directs the understanding (C). Prior to practicing the unity model the man's thinking (C) is directed by his own will (A), but once he starts practicing the unity model, his thinking is directed by her will (A) as well as his own will (A). Thus he is no longer mentally independent, as if he were still alone.

In this way the man's thinking is elevated to a new level of consciousness, intelligence, and wisdom known as the conjoint self (versus his prior independent self).

But when he refuses to give up his affective independence, his thinking remains where it has always been, unable to achieve the higher levels of his own masculine humanity. It's obvious therefore that "giving up" affective independence is not losing something but gaining a whole new level of life for a man.

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

In the early stages of this practice the man may experience lapses during which he finds it difficult or impossible to lay aside his disagreement and follow the woman's desire or request. When he does have a lapse or a relapse, it will not last. Sooner or later, either minutes, hours, or days, he will come to realize that he he cannot achieve unity if he insists on maintaining a disagreement whenever he feels like he wants to or must. He will then give in and lay aside the disagreement, once more rejoining her in affective intimacy.

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

Sensorimotor disjunction or independence exists when the husband insists on his own comforts and pleasures. His focus is then on himself, not his wife, then himself. If he is in a bad mood, he scowls and makes gruff sounds and noises. He neglects his appearance in front of her. He acts like he acts when he is alone. This is sensorimotor disjunctive behavior. It is negative intimacy -- unfriendly and unsexy. The wife feels frustrated, disturbed, defeated. Unloved. No longer special in his eyes.

It's common to observe in public couples walking together and carrying things -- at airports, on the streets, in stores and restaurants, etc.. More often than not you will see the woman carrying a greater load than the man. Maybe a child and a big bag, while the man has his hands free. Or at airports you see the woman carry two big bags and the man she is with is carrying one bag. These interactions result from the man's sensorimotor independence or disjunction. He is not focused on his woman or their relationship. He relegates her to second class citizenship doing the menial jobs. He takes her for granted. He considers her an object of possession. He practices his male prerogatives in all three domains of the threefold self -- what he does with her or how he treats her, what he thinks of her, and how he feels towards her femininity (chivalrous or anti-chivalrous).

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


5. 2      The ACS Sequence of Execution in Behavior

It helps to contrast clearly the differences between the affective (A) and sensorimotor (S) parts of the threefold self.

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

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

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

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

The sequence of execution in behavior is always ACSA ---> C ---> S

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

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

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

It is the reverse with the sequence of reception which is always SCA

A <--- C <--- S <---- environment

noticing or sensing something in the environment (sensorimotor) ----> appraising it (cognitive) ----> evaluating it (affective)

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


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

So whatever we do all day long minute by minute, has to do with sequences and loops of feelings, thoughts, and sensorimotor executions of them (ACS). Note that the SCA sequence happens along with the ACS sequence in alternating cycles. We notice something (S), we think about it (C), and we react to it (A) (happy or sad, attractive or repelling, etc.). This is the SCA cycle. Then we form the intention (A) of holding it, so we see a way of grabbing it (C), and we reach for it (S) or inhibit reaching (S). This is the ACS cycle. Note that the SCA cycle is called "reception" while the ACS cycle is called "optimizing." Reception (SCA) is passive (feminine, left hand and side), while optimizing (ACS) is active (masculine, right hand and side). Thus both men and women have a feminine side (receiving, satisficing, valuing) and a masculine side (optimizing, giving, engaging).


5.2.1     Top-Down Hierarchy of Loves

5.2.1     Top-Down Hierarchy of Loves

All affective operations (motives, feelings, intentions, valuations) (A) are dynamically ordered in a top down hierarchy or networked nodes. For instance:

A1    striving to keep alive, safe, out of trouble

   A2    wanting to avoid hurting certain people

      A3    keeping track of our belongings, money

         A4    striving to maintain a healthy diet

            A5    having a good time, fun, pleasure

               A6    enjoying eating chocolate and candy several times a day

                   A7    intention to get the candy and eating it

This example shows that the desire to get the candy (A7) is the lowest in the hierarchy of motives for this individual. Six higher motives exist that relate to it. Since affective operations are in a control hierarchy relative to each other, a higher motive "trumps" a lower motive if it interferes or becomes engaged in the operation. The motive to maintain a healthy diet (A5) trumps the motive of enjoying eating chocolate (A6) which then inhibits the intention to get the candy (A7) so that no candy will be eaten. But this happens only when the higher motive (A4) is engaged in the situation. If it is "asleep" or "looking the other way" or disengaged from the situation as not relevant, then the lower motive (A7) will direct and execute, and candy will be eaten.

By self-witnessing or self-monitoring ourselves in a systematic and persistent way in the course of our daily activities, we gradually learn to distinguish between the actions of the threefold self (ACS) and how the affective hierarchy of our feelings (A) dominates and rules our thinking (C) and doing (S).

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

Summary Table to Memorize
(read Table from bottom up)

5.3    Summary Table

Table 5B.1

Phase 3

spiritual marriages
("Till endless eternity in afterlife")

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

Phase 2

modern natural marriages
(“Till death do us part”)

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

Phase 1

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

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

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

  1. yourself
  2. parents
  3. friends
  4. movies
  5. song lyrics
  6. jokes
  7. group practices, norms, and expectations.

Review what you know about each of these items in the list above. Are the Table cells helpful in organizing and characterizing what you are observing when you examine these areas of daily life? For example, think about the meaning of lyrics to songs you enjoy listening to and singing along. Do they portray the male dominance pattern of relationship between men and women? (e.g., abusing women or using them as sex objects, etc.). Or what about your favorite sit come or movie: Which model of interaction do they portray between women and men? Do your parents fit one model more than another? Have you ever seen the unity model portrayed? What about old fashioned romantic songs and movies that talk about love being forever?

Spiritual marriages enhance natural marriages through the new creation of the conjoint self. Masculine and feminine intelligence (C) act in differentiated synergy to enrich their rationality and wisdom in daily choices and decisions. Feminine and masculine love (A) act in reciprocal synergy for empowering husband and wife in all aspects of the personality and self. Feminine and masculine bodies and sensorimotor organs (S) act in familiar synergy that delights, intensifies, and fulfills their affections and desires (A).

Spiritual marriages are based on the unity model which requires two conditions:

The first condition requires that they have a rational idea of God and of life after death in a spiritual body.

The second condition requires that the husband loves his wife and is willing to treat her with chivalry and respect for her femininity or "womanness." This is the recognition that all women deserve chivalrous respect from every man. In the eyes of the unity husband, the wife in her feminine character is the representative of all women. Chivalry for a husband is to act according to his wife's will or preference in all things of their interaction. When this is adopted by the husband as a daily spiritual discipline, it is called the Doctrine of the Wife (available at: )

From Swedenborg's direct observation of couples in their heavenly layers of their mind:

CL 213. III. THAT WITH THOSE WHO ARE IN LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL THE HAPPINESS OF COHABITATION INCREASES BUT WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOT IN CONJUGIAL LOVE IT DECREASES. That the happiness of cohabitation increases with those who are in love truly conjugial is because they love each other mutually with every sense. The wife sees nothing more lovable than the man, and the man nothing more lovable than the wife; yea, neither do they hear, smell, or touch anything more lovable. Hence the happiness of cohabitation that is theirs in house, chamber, and bed. You who are husbands can confirm this from the first delights of marriage, these being in their fullness because then, of all the sex, it is the wife alone who is loved. That the opposite is the case with those who are not in any conjugial love is well known. (CL 213)

As you continue studying the following Sections, be sure to integrate them in your mind with the above Summary Table.

You actually need to integrate all the Tables in these Lecture Notes, and then you will see clearly how this unity perspective can give you a rational understanding of marriage.

You might want to print out just the Tables, and study them together, trying to integrate them into your understanding. A good method is to try to explain the Table to someone.


Read the above Section (5A and 5B) through first. Then reread it while typing notes about the following issues. Then discuss them with your partner, friends, or class teams.

1) Explain what are the three types of conjunction possible within a couple. How are they different. Give various examples for each type of conjunction in the threefold self of partners. Examine each type of conjunction in your experience as a couple, or a couple that you know well (parents, friends, TV).

2) The Section also discusses the threefold self of women as different from the threefold self of men. Hence the man and the woman are not pulled in the same way when they work for greater mental intimacy between them. Describe this differential dynamic based on how woman is and how a man is, or, what a woman wants and what a man wants. Also this: what a woman is willing to settle for if she has to, but not if she can get what she prefers in the relationship.

3) Explain why it is that in order to achieve mental intimacy the man has to compel himself to do what the woman wants, but not vice versa, unless she wants that. How do you account for the apparent lopsidedness of the unity model? If you think this is not valid or unfair, examine whether you are thinking about this with the equity or dominance perspective or assumptions.

4) What are the reactions of people you are talking to about these issues? What conclusions do you draw from their statements and beliefs?



5.6  Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex  Part I

5.4    Sexuality: Non-exclusive Love of the Sex vs. Exclusive Love of One of the Sex  Part I

Selections from :

Sexuality is a key issue in most people's lives and is an important topic in any society. For example, the word "sex" is the most frequently looked up word in Web search engines. If you look up the word sex in the top ranked Web search engine, (November 2007), you get an astonishing 520 million registered Web pages that use this word. The word "God" receives 450 million hits, which is pretty impressive to me, compared to "food" which receives 570 million hits. Just to get a real contrast the word "psychology" receives 100 million hits, the word "mother" receives 260 million, and "money" is listed on 675 million Web sites. "Patriotism" has 12 million, and "morality" has over 21 million. "Rationality" has 9 million, "Swedenborg" receives 800,000 hits, Leon James gets 58,000 (not just me), and theistic psychology gets just 36 (most by me and the generational reports).

Why do the topic of money and sex come out on top? The topical frequency of occurrence on the Web is a measure that reflects the mental frequency of occurrence of this topic.

A popular or "hot" issue in society is a hot issue in the minds of the majority of people in a community or nation. The hot issue in our mind about sex is caused by the non-exclusive love of the sex that is built into the affective organ of every mind, but in a different way for men than for women.

The unity model distinguishes two forms of sexual love or activity, one that belongs to our spiritual mind in eternity (our higher nature), the other to our natural mind or lower nature. People grow up with the indiscriminate enjoyment of sex, that is, the capacity to enjoy sex with many people. When people dance at a party with multiple partners they are capable of being sexually aroused by many individuals. They are able to enjoy pleasure by being touched by various people, not just one person. Humans have this "corporeal" pleasure like animals do, who can enjoy being petted by many people. At the sensorimotor level, humans have the capacity to enjoy physical pleasure from multiple sex partners. But this is more difficult to do at the cognitive level, and almost impossible to do at the affective level.

Human sexual activity always involves the threefold self -- sensorimotor (S), cognitive (C), and affective (A).



Exercise: Sex on TV in the News

The following is from:
Study: Network TV likes sex, but not in marriage
Associated Press - August 6, 2008 1:43 AM ET
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A study suggests TV likes sex, just not in marriage.
The Parents Television Council says marriage gets little respect on network TV, as shows revel in extramarital affairs and kinky sex.
A PTC report says even more troubling is TV's recent obsession with what it calls bizarre behavior, including partner swapping and pedophilia.
The report says visual references to practices such as voyeurism and sadomasochistic sex outnumbered married-sex references by about 3 to 1. Among the networks overall, references to adultery outnumbered references to marital sex by 2 to 1.
The study analyzed four weeks of scripted shows on the major networks at the start of the 2007-08 season.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The above is from:

The following is from:

Intimacy and Marriage: A Network Mismatch, Study Says

Thursday, August 7, 2008; Page C07
Your child is three times as likely to hear about sex with pets, corpses or someone else's wife on prime-time broadcast TV as to see a happily married couple having a roll in the hay, according to a new study by one of the self-appointed television watchdog groups.
I am clearly not watching the right TV shows.
"Everybody's having sex on TV except for husbands and wives," complained Parents Television Council President Tim Winter in re his group's latest study, "Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television."
Across the broadcast networks, references to adultery outnumbered references to conjugal sex by a 2-to-1 margin, the study said.
And when marriage is portrayed, it is almost always negative.
"Today's prime-time television programming is not merely indifferent to the institution of marriage and the stabilizing role it plays in our society, it seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light," PTC concluded in the study, which features on its cover a little blond-haired, blue-eyed, ruby-lipped, apple-cheeked, pearl-necklaced bride doll and, way off in the background, her handsome boy-doll groom in white tie, tails and spongebag trousers.
Even more troubling, the study says, is TV's recent obsession with "outré sexual expression." Which apparently includes threesomes, partner-swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality and sex with prostitutes, not to mention strippers, masturbation, pornography, sex toys and something called "kinky or fetishistic behaviors," which we think bears further looking into.
And again, we're not talking MTV here, folks -- just broadcast TV.
ABC had the most references to marital sex, but many of the references were negative, while references to non-marital sex were almost all positive or neutral.
Interestingly, the PTC lumped transsexuals in with bestiality and necrophilia when looking at NBC, as in: "References to incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals/transvestites, bestiality, and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to sex in marriage on NBC by a ratio of 27:1." And yet, no one's watching NBC. Go figure.
NBC, in fact, aired as many depictions of adults having sex with minors as scenes implying or depicting sex between married partners, PTC said.
Fox had only one reference to marital sex in 24.5 hours of programming, with 18 references to non-marital sex and five to adultery.
It all started about a year ago, Winter told The Reporters Who Cover Sex on TV during a phone conference call, when PTC's staff of six full-time TV watchers held one of their twice-weekly meetings to discuss their findings. One of them joked to the others, "Gosh, everybody is having sex on TV except for married couples."
A new PTC study was born, joining the pantheon of PTC studies with such titles as "Dying to Entertain: Violence on Prime Time Broadcast Television 1998-2006," "The Rap on Rap" and, of course, "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television."
After four weeks of intensive prime-time broadcast-TV viewing at the start of the last season -- Sept. 23 through Oct. 22, 2007 -- "we were confirmed in what that initial gut reaction was," Winter said. "Everybody is having sex on TV except for husbands and wives."
Speaking of NBC, Winter spoke nostalgically about the 1980s Steven Bochco NBC drama "Hill Street Blues," in which nearly every episode ended with Capt. Frank Furillo and Joyce Davenport -- a married couple -- in bed together.
"Very intimate moment, talking, and it was a very powerful portion of the show, showing the intimacy of the husband and wife," he said. "It seems that that scene has all but disappeared . . . on prime-time broadcast TV today. And it's disappointing. It's unfortunate."
It's also surprising, at least for the Veteran Reporters Who Cover Sex on TV, who remember how knicker-knotted some self-appointed TV watchdoggers got over the "Hill Street Blues" bedroom scenes and other bedroom scenes with married couples when those were all the rage -- "McMillan &amp; Wife," that cute "Mad About You" couple who loved each other so much they'd have sex in the kitchen while their dinner guests wondered what had become of the first course, etc.
Winter said he hopes the study "is something that can be used as a lever for more public scrutiny on what the networks are doing, to perhaps step back and ask a better question about where did intimacy go in the context of a husband and wife."
The networks decided they'd rather not comment.
"Happily Never After" is chock-full of examples for your reading pleasure of non-conjugal sexual shenanigans. Look, here's the "Dirty Sexy Money" episode in which Patrick Darling, married candidate for the U.S. Senate, is shown in bed with his transsexual girlfriend. And there are the horny doctors of "Grey's Anatomy," Meredith and Derek, in bed together, discussing the rules of break-up sex. Here's an episode of "30 Rock" in which a network honcho explains the hit reality series "MIL[WaPo letter of shame] Island" is about "25 super-hot moms, 50 eighth-grade boys -- no rules." (Of course, that "30 Rock" episode was savaging both reality competition series and the spate of reality shows featuring "cougars" looking to attract younger men, but PTC does not distinguish skewering from endorsing in its study.)
Ripped-from-the-headlines stories about high school teachers impregnated by male students appear to have been a favorite with TV writers at the start of last season; PTC includes one from "Law &amp; Order: SVU" and another from "ER."
But, our personal fave is the Sept. 24 episode of NBC's "Journeyman," in which time-traveling journalist Dan has traveled back to a time when his now-presumed-dead wife, Olivia, was still, um, alive:
Olivia comes home and begins to change clothes. She is shown in her underwear. Dan and Olivia lie down on the bed and begin to kiss. Dan, who travels through time, notices his wedding band, apparently considering the fact that he is married to another woman in the future.
Parents Television Council has it filed under "Infidelity/Adultery."
The above is from:


5.4.1    Three Phases in Marriage

5.4.1    Three Phases in Marriage

Look again at the diagram that was discussed above:

Let us summarize the four situations in which human beings engage in sexual activity:

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

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

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

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

Most people start sexual life at Level 0 and move on, though some stay at this level forever. This means that they are not working to achieve marital unity. Many people come to realize that non-exclusive love of the sex, which is lacking in mental intimacy, is a trait that human beings share with most other animal species, and that in order to raise ourselves above the level of animals, we need to cultivate a love for an exclusive and intimate sexual relationship with one person. This is the meaning of "spiritual marriage" (unity phase)

Psychologists who reject life after death cannot see the difference between natural marriage ("till death do is part") and spiritual marriage ("till eternity"). They do not see spiritual marriage as real so they cannot study it or advise people about it. It is not possible to do research on something that they define as non-existent.

Exclusive sexual activity occurs at progressively higher levels of mental intimacy.

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

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

Finally, Phase 3 sexuality involves the affective phase of intimacy along with the cognitive and sensorimotor intimacies. Sexual pleasure (S) is more personal, satisfying, and meaningful when it is in the context of cognitive and affective intimacy. The partners feel for each other and their sexual emotions are magnified due to this mutual feeling of sympathy and friendship. More details will be discussed below.

Notice that the non-exclusive love of the sex with many is natural, like that of some animals, and it is not intimate, while the exclusive love of the sex with just one is intimate and spiritual, thus specially human. It is known that some animal species also show the characteristic of exclusive mating relationship maintained for life. This corresponds to the unity model, but of course this is biologically based rather than spiritually or rationally as it is with humans.

People differentiate between "having sex" and "making love." Only the latter is considered mentally intimate. Sexual activity (S) without mental intimacy (C, A) is a lower form of human pleasure and satisfaction than intimate sexual activity (S). The highest and most satisfying human form of sexual activity is achieved in the unity phase of the relationship (Phase 3 sexuality). This is because the sensorimotor activity of sex (S) is then the result of cognitive (C) and affective (A) intimacy.

To understand the precise difference we need to focus on the difference between "non-exclusive" sex vs."exclusive" sex.

To love non-exclusive sex is to love one's own pleasure in the activity with whomever is available or suitable. The identity of the partner is of little importance in relation to one's own pleasure. 
But to love exclusive sex is to love a particular person sexually
. The identity of the partner is of central importance in relation to one's own pleasure.  "Identity" does not mean merely knowing the person's name but the person's thinking (C) and feelings and values (A), and this requires mental intimacy.

Quite a difference between the love of non-exclusive sex and the love of the exclusive sex. 

Everyone retains the physiological ability to enjoy non-exclusive sex, but those who develop the love of exclusive sex inhibit and lay aside their former capacity for non-exclusive sex. Women can do this immediately but men lag behind so that even though they feel the love of exclusive sex men are unwilling to give up certain forms of non-exclusive sex like pornography, voyeurism, exhibitionism, sexual fantasies. Marriage counselors who do not recognize spiritual marriages sometimes counsel couples to watch sexually arousing videos together or to imagine themselves having sex with someone else. But you can see from the positive bias perspective that mental infidelity is even more real than physical infidelity because what is mental is spiritual and eternal. 

Watch this video and contrast the views of the husband and wife:

The non-exclusive love of the sex apart from the person, is a mental operation in the affective organ of the corporeal mind, which is the lowest part of the natural mind, a part that we share with animals. The non-exclusive love of the sex by humans is very similar to the love of copulation and mating by animals. Non-theistic biology and medicine in the negative bias perspective, view all human sexual response in these animal or physiological terms. But theistic psychology in the positive bias perspective, cannot view all of sexuality as limited to the lowest levels of the mind, since the operations of the affective organ are ranked in a hierarchy of distinct degrees--lowest natural, middle natural, highest natural or rational, lower spiritual, and highest spiritual or celestial. You may want to check out the chart of layers in the Psych 459 g28 lecture notes at:

In the lowest portion of the natural mind, sexuality (Phase 0) is not intimate, it is indiscriminate, non-exclusive, and temporary because it is determined by the love of one's own pleasure in sex, which is the love of indiscriminate sex without intimacy and regardless of person, situation, or condition.

The interpersonal attitude behind the non-exclusive love of the sex without intimacy is exploitative, selfish, or abusive because it is tied to the love of self for the sake of self, or selfish sex. There is no love of the sexual partner for the sake of the partner--which may be called altruistic sex (mutual, exclusive, and mentally intimate).

We have an innate natural capacity to enjoy non-exclusive sex with many others and without mental intimacy or mutual caring. We also have a higher spiritual capacity to enjoy exclusive sex with one person with whom we are mentally intimate. As we progress with our character development in life, we become more and more attracted to the mental intimacy that is the result of mutual exclusive sexual love between best friends. When this phase progresses further through the unity model, the couple attains the state called conjoint self .

This is the deepest and highest form of sexual mental intimacy (C, A) between partners and therefore it is accompanied by the most satisfying sensual experiences (S). Swedenborg interviewed couples in heaven and they testified that they are in this kind of conjugial love, and further, that their romantic passion for each other grows daily more intense to endless eternity. (See details and discussion above.)

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

When a wife or girlfriend engages in sexual activity due to physical, social, or psychological pressure by the husband or boyfriend, the sexual activity will be without mental intimacy. It is called sexual blackmail (as discussed above). Even though the woman is familiar with the identity and values of the man, the sexual activity itself will not be intimate because she is not allowed to be honest with him (what she really thinks and feels), and gives in to his pressure rather to his charm or attractiveness. Thus her sexual participation is not free and voluntary, thus not from her love for it.

When a husband has a mental attitude that encourages fantasizing about non-exclusive sex with other women, he performs biological coupling with his wife, but this is not conjunctive or mentally intimate. It is a depersonalized experience that does not go deeper than his physical pleasure isolated from friendship or caring. This kind of sexual attitude by a husband or boyfriend is not personal, not intimate, it is indiscriminate, mentally promiscuous, pornographic, and unchaste to the marriage vow of exclusivity with one woman for life.

His sexuality is not personal or intimate with his wife. Sex therapists in non-theistic psychology prescribe or approve of fantasizing that you are with someone else while making love to your spouse. Some even recommend that the couple watch pornographic videos to stimulate and "revitalize" their passion for each other. This kind of therapy or advice ignores the spiritual consequences when a partner encourages the habit of having non-exclusive sex thoughts. Check out what advice is being given on the Web regarding sex in marriage.

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

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

Swedenborg has confirmed by repeated observation that after resuscitation in the other life people shed off all their external inhibitions and external loyalties. Here if a husband only fantasizes sex with another woman, or has an email woman correspondent with whom he discusses intimate things, it is considered not so hurtful to his marriage as long as he doesn't meet these women or go off to a bar where there are women willing to act slutty to make a profit on men. Such a man may not act out his fantasy or attraction because he is concerned that it might destroy his marriage and hurt his career. But in the other life these inhibitions and considerations do not apply. Men do what they feel like doing and nothing can stop them from acting out their fantasies. This is why mental infidelity is as real, or more real, than physical infidelity. 

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

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

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

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

In movies and novels this theme is often reflected contrastively with men and women, men being shown as promiscuous and unchaste, while their girlfriends or wives are chaste and exclusive. The word "chaste" in the Writings of Swedenborg means exclusive sex with one's spouse. A "chaste" husband abhors thoughts of being with other women. A "chaste" wife allows herself to be sexually aroused only by her husband. The opposite of chaste, or "unchaste," is non-exclusive sexual interest.

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

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

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg:

CL 48. Love of the sex is love towards many of the sex and with many; but conjugial love is love towards one of the sex and with one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5.7    Conjugial Couples Seen by Swedenborg

5.5    Conjugial Couples Seen by Swedenborg

Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:

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

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

As regards sexual love, this is a universal feature shared by all. For it was implanted from creation in a person's soul, which is the source of the whole person's essence, as something necessary for the continuance of the human race. This love remains the chief one, because after death a man is a man and a woman is a woman; and there is nothing in the soul, mind or body which is not male in the man and female in the woman.

These two have been so created as to strive to be joined, in fact to be joined into one. This striving is sexual love, which precedes conjugial love. Since then this tendency to union is stamped upon every detail of the male and the female, it follows that it cannot be wiped out and die together with the body. (CL 46)

CL 47. The reason why sexual love remains as it was inwardly in the world is that everyone has an interior and exterior; this pair is called the inner and the outer man. He has as a result inner and outer will and inner and outer thought. When a person dies, he leaves behind his exterior and keeps his interior, for outward things belong properly to his body, inward things to his spirit. Since a person is his love, and love resides in the spirit, it follows that his sexual love remains with him after death as it was inwardly before.

For example, if his love was inwardly conjugial or chaste, it remains conjugial or chaste after death, but if it was inwardly scortatory (unchaste, non-exclusive) it remains the same after death. It should, however, be noted that sexual love is not the same in one person as in another, for there are countless differences. But it still remains in each case as it was in each person's spirit. (CL 47)

CL 44. The second experience.
I once saw three spirits newly arrived from the world [ = after resuscitation we are called spirits ], who were wandering about, gazing around and asking questions. They were surprised to find that they were still living as human beings, and seeing familiar sights [ = in the mental world of eternity ]. For they knew that they had departed from the previous, natural, world, and that there they had not believed that they would live as human beings until after the day of the Last Judgment, when they would again be clothed in the [physical] flesh and bones they had left in their graves.

So to free them of all doubt that they were really human beings, they took turns to examine and touch themselves and others, handling objects and finding a thousand proofs that they were just as much human beings as in their previous world, with the one difference that they could see one another in brighter light, and objects in greater splendour, that is to say, more perfectly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After a short while heaven was thrown open overhead, and two angels came into view, who said, 'There are weddings in the heavens as there are on earth, but only for those for whom good and truth are married [those who have undergone regeneration], for no others are angels [after the second death]. So it is spiritual weddings, the marriage of good and truth, [ = rebirth of the individual, or regeneration of the inherited character ]  which are meant by this passage. These are possible on earth, but not after death, and so not in the heavens.

So it is said [ = in the New Testament Sacred Scripture ] of the five foolish maidens, who were also invited to the wedding, that they could not go in, because they lacked the marriage of good and truth [ = all people who have not changed their inherited character ]; for they had no oil, but only lamps [ = people who knew what is true but did not live accordingly ]. Oil means good and lamps truth; and being given in marriage is entering heaven, where that marriage is.'

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


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

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

II. That the same is true of conjugial love.

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

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

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

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

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

VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; but not so with those who go to hell.

The explanation now follows whereby these articles are illustrated and confirmed.

CL 46. I. THAT AFTER DEATH LOVE OF THE SEX REMAINS WITH EVERY MAN SUCH AS IT HAD BEEN INTERIORLY, THAT IS, IN HIS INTERIOR WILL AND THOUGHT, IN THE WORLD. Every love follows man after death, love being the esse of his life; and the ruling love, which is the head of all the rest, continues with man to eternity, and with it the subordinate loves. The reason why they continue, is because love pertains properly to man's spirit, and to his body from the spirit; and after death man becomes a spirit and so carries his love with him. And because love is the esse of man's life, it is evident that as the man's life was in the world, such will be his lot after death.

As to love of the sex, this is the universal of all loves, for it is implanted by creation in man's very soul, from which is the essence of the whole man, and this for the sake of the propagation of the human race. This love especially remains because, after death, man is a man and woman a woman, and there is nothing in their soul, mind, or body which is not masculine in the male and feminine in the female. Moreover, the two have been so created that they strive for conjunction, yea, for such conjunction that they may become one. This striving is the love of the sex which precedes conjugial love. Now, because the conjunctive inclination is inscribed upon each and all things of the male and of the female, it follows that this inclination cannot be obliterated and pass away with the body.

CL 47.  The reason why love of the sex remains after death such as it had been interiorly in the world is this: With every man there is an internal and an external, these two being also called the internal and external man. Hence there is an internal and external will and thought. When a man dies, he leaves his external and retains his internal; for externals pertain properly to his body, and internals properly to his spirit. Now because a man is his own love, and his love resides in his spirit, it follows that his love of the sex remains after death such as it had been within him interiorly. For example, if interiorly that love had been conjugial or chaste, it remains conjugial and chaste after death; and if interiorly it had been scortatory, it also remains such after death. But it must be known that love of the sex is not the same with one man as with another. Its differences are infinite in number; yet, such as it is in the spirit of each man, such also it remains.

CL 48.. II. THAT CONJUGIAL LOVE LIKEWISE REMAINS SUCH AS IT HAD BEEN WITH THE MAN INTERIORLY, THAT IS, IN HIS INTERIOR WILL AND THOUGHT, IN THE WORLD. Since love of the sex is one thing, and conjugial love another, therefore both are named, and it is said that the latter also remains with man after death such as it had been in his internal man while he lived in the world. But because few know the difference between love of the sex and conjugial love, therefore, at the threshold of this treatise, I will premise something respecting it.

Love of the sex is love towards many of the sex and with many; but conjugial love is love towards one of the sex and with one. Love towards many and with many is a natural love, for man has it in common with beasts and birds, and these are natural; but conjugial love is a spiritual love and peculiar and proper to men, because men were created and are therefore born to become spiritual. Therefore, so far as a man becomes spiritual, he puts off love of the sex and puts on conjugial love. In the beginning of marriage, love of the sex appears as if conjoined with conjugial love; but in the progress of marriage, they are separated, and then, with those who are spiritual, love of the sex is expelled and conjugial love insinuated, while with those who are natural, the opposite is the case. From what has now been said, it is evident that love of the sex, being a love shared with many and in itself natural, yea, animal, is impure and unchaste; and being a roving and unlimited love, is scortatory; but it is wholly otherwise with conjugial love. That conjugial love is spiritual and properly human, will be clearly evident from what follows.

48a. III. THAT AFTER DEATH, TWO MARRIED PARTNERS, FOR THE MOST PART, MEET, RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER, [AGAIN] CONSOCIATE, AND FOR SOME TIME LIVE TOGETHER; WHICH TAKES PLACE IN THE FIRST STATE, THAT IS, WHILE THEY ARE IN EXTERNALS AS IN THE WORLD. There are two states through which man passes after death, an external and an internal. He comes first into his external state and afterwards into his internal. If both married partners have died, then, while in the external state, the one meets and recognizes the other, and if they have lived together in the world, they again consociate and for some time live together. When in this state, neither of them knows the inclination of the one to the other, this being concealed in their internals; but afterwards, when they come into their internal state, the inclination manifests itself, and if this is concordant and sympathetic, they continue their conjugial life, but if discordant and antipathetic, they dissolve it. If a man has had several wives, he conjoins himself with them in turn while in the external state; but when he enters the internal state, in which he perceives the nature of the inclinations of his love, he either takes one or leaves them all; for in the spiritual world as in the natural, no Christian is allowed to take more than one wife because this infests and profanes religion. The like happens with a woman who has had several husbands; women, however, do not adjoin themselves to their husbands but only present themselves, and their husbands adjoin them to themselves. It must be known that husbands rarely know their wives, but wives readily know their husbands. The reason is because women have an interior perception of love, and men only an exterior perception.

48b. IV. BUT THAT SUCCESSIVELY, AS THEY PUT OFF THEIR EXTERNALS AND COME INTO THEIR INTERNALS, THEY PERCEIVE THE NATURE OF THE LOVE AND INCLINATION WHICH THEY HAD FOR EACH OTHER, AND HENCE WHETHER THEY CAN LIVE TOGETHER OR NOT. This need not be further explained since it follows from what has been set forth in the preceding article. Here it shall only be shown how, after death, a man puts off his externals and puts on his internals.

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

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

[3] To this end, he is then let into his external and his internal alternately. While in his external, every man, even the evil, is wise, that is, wishes to appear wise, but in his internal, an evil man is insane. By these alternations, the man is able to see his insanities and repent of them; but if he had not repented in the world, he cannot do so afterwards, for he loves his insanities and wishes to remain in them, and therefore brings his external to be likewise insane. Thus his internal and his external become one, and when this is the case, he is prepared for hell. [4] With a good man, it is the reverse. Because in the world he had looked to God and had repented, he is wiser in his internal than in his external. Moreover, in his external, by reason of the allurements and vanities of the world, he sometimes became insane. Therefore, his external must be brought into concordance with his internal, which latter, as was said, is wise. When this is done, he is prepared for heaven. This illustrates how the putting off of the external and the putting on of the internal is effected after death.

CL 49. V. THAT IF THEY CAN LIVE TOGETHER THEY REMAIN MARRIED PARTNERS; BUT IF THEY CANNOT THEY SEPARATE, SOMETIMES THE MAN FROM THE WIFE, SOMETIMES THE WIFE FROM THE MAN, AND SOMETIMES EACH FROM THE OTHER. That separations take place after death is because conjunctions made on earth are seldom made from any internal perception of love, being for the most part from an external perception, which holds the internal in hiding. External perception of love derives its cause and origin from such things as pertain to love of the world and the body. To love of the world pertain especially wealth and possessions, and to love of the body, dignities and honors. Besides these, there are also various allurements which entice, such as beauty and a simulated propriety of behavior; sometimes even unchastity.

Moreover, marriages are contracted within the district, city or village of one's birth or abode, where there is no choice save one that is restricted and limited to the families of one's acquaintances, and among these to those in the same station of life as oneself. Hence it is that, for the most part, marriages entered into in the world are external and not at the same time internal, when yet it is internal conjunction, or conjunction of souls, which makes marriage. This conjunction, however, is not perceptible until man puts off his external and puts on his internal, which takes place after death. Hence it is that there is then separation and afterwards new conjunctions with those who are similar and homogeneous--unless these had been provided on earth, as is the case with those who from youth have loved, chosen, and asked of the Lord a legitimate and lovely partnership with one, and who spurn and reject wandering lusts as an offence to their nostrils.

CL 50.  VI. THAT THEN A SUITABLE WIFE IS GIVEN TO THE MAN, AND LIKEWISE A SUITABLE HUSBAND TO THE WOMAN. The reason is, because no other married partners can be received into heaven and remain there save those who are inwardly united or can be united as into a one; for there, two partners are not called two but one angel. This is meant by the Lord's words, They are no more two but one flesh. That no other married partners are received into heaven, is because there, no others can live together, that is, can be together in one house and one chamber and bed; for in heaven all are consociated according to the affinities and relationships of love, and it is according to these that they have their abodes. In the spiritual world, there are not spaces but appearances of spaces, and these are according to the states of their life, the states of their life being according to the states of their love. For this reason, no one there can abide in any house but his own. This also is provided, and it is assigned to him according to the quality of his love. If he abides elsewhere, he is troubled in his breast and breathing.

Moreover, two persons cannot live together in the same house unless they are similitudes; and by no means married partners unless they have mutual inclinations. If their inclinations are external and not at the same time internal, the very house or very place separates, rejects, and expels them. This is the reason why, for those who after preparation are introduced into heaven, a marriage is provided with a consort whose soul so inclines to union with that of the other that they do not wish to be two lives but one. It is for this reason that after separation, a suitable wife is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the woman.

CL 51. VII. THAT MARRIED PARTNERS ENJOY SIMILAR INTERCOURSE WITH EACH OTHER AS IN THE WORLD, BUT MORE DELIGHTFUL AND BLESSED, YET WITHOUT PROLIFICATION; FOR WHICH, OR IN PLACE OF IT, THEY HAVE SPIRITUAL PROLIFICATION, WHICH IS THAT OF LOVE AND WISDOM. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse as in the world, is because, after death, the male is a male and the female a female, and in both, an inclination to conjunction is implanted from creation. This inclination is an inclination of the spirit and thence of the body. Therefore, after death, when man becomes a spirit, the same mutual inclination continues, and this cannot exist without similar intercourse. For man is man as before, nor is there anything lacking either in the male or in the female. They are like themselves as to form, and equally so as to affections and thoughts. What else can follow then, but that they have similar intercourse? and since conjugial love is chaste, pure, and holy, that the intercourse is also complete? But see further on this subject in the Memorable Relation, no. 44. That the intercourse is then more delightful and blessed, is because, when that love becomes a love of the spirit, it becomes more interior and purer and therefore more perceptible; for every delight increases according to perception, and it so increases that its blessedness is observed in its delight.

CL 52. That marriages in the heavens are without prolification, in place whereof is spiritual prolification which is the prolification of love and wisdom, is because, with those who are in the spiritual world, the third thing, which is the natural, is lacking. This is the containant of spiritual things, and without their containant, spiritual things are not set as are those which are procreated in the natural world. Regarded in themselves, spiritual things relate to love and wisdom. It is these, therefore, that are born of their marriages. It is said that they are born, because conjugial love perfects an angel, so uniting him with his consort that he becomes more and more a man; for, as said above [no. 50], two partners in heaven are not two but one angel. Therefore, by conjugial unition they fill themselves with the human, which consists in willing to become wise, and in loving that which pertains to wisdom.

CL 53. VIII. THAT THIS IS THE CASE WITH THOSE WHO GO TO HEAVEN; NOT SO WITH THOSE WHO GO TO HELL. The statements, that after death a suitable wife is given to the man, and likewise a suitable husband to the wife, and that they enjoy delightful and blessed intercourse but without other than spiritual prolification, are to be understood of those who are received into heaven and become angels. The reason is because they are spiritual, and marriages in themselves are spiritual and thence holy. But all who go to hell are natural, and merely natural marriages are not marriages but conjunctions which originate in unchaste lust. What the nature of these conjunctions is, will be shown hereafter when treating of the chaste and the unchaste, and further when treating of scortatory love.

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

At the beginning of marriage we typically have the non-exclusive love of sex with many, but as we progress in spiritual development, the natural-animal love of sex with many is transformed into the spiritual love of sex with only one between married partners, or conjugial love.

Marriages that do not develop a spiritual dimension through striving for unity in eternity, remain natural and external, but if a spiritual dimension develops, the natural non-exclusive love of sex with many is extinguished and exclusive conjugial love takes its place. This elevates our mind to the spiritual and celestial levels of operation by bringing our natural mind into correspondence with our heaven. We then behave like angels on earth.

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

When we are born we start our life as dual citizens. Our physical body is in time and space, but it does not have the ability of containing sensations, thoughts, and feelings. The physical brain contains electro-chemical operations within neural networks of cells. But sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not electrical, not chemical, not physical, but purely mental. Because of this we are born with a spiritual body that is connected by correspondence to the physical body, and the two act together by correspondence. Our "spiritual body" is permanent, immortal, eternal, while our "physical body" is only temporary. At its death, we continue life in eternity through our spiritual body.

For more details on this perspective called "dualism", see the textbook on theistic psychology used by the Thursday class:

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

One of Swedenborg's books is titled Conjugial Love (1768). It is available online here:

This book is totally unique and unlike any other book on marriage. First, it confirms by observation and interview that married couples who are also best friends and soul mates, live together in their heaven of eternity as a conjugial couple, and through their spiritual body, enjoy fully the pleasures and passions of exclusive sex with each other.

Second, it confirms that people who do not value mental intimacy and exclusivity are in their own mental zone in eternity, and this is quite contrastive with the heavenly zone. Eternal conjugial love in the heavenly zone is marked by utmost friendship between partners and full confidence and trust in each other. In contrast, non-exclusive sexual love is a kind of "infernal love" between partners who hate each other but feel compelled to be together. This creates a marital hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All these activities are hellish traits because they prevent the growth of mental intimacy with their wife.

The fact that they have to hide these activities and do them in secret or in privacy, shows that they know these are hellish traits. The characteristic of all hellish traits is that we can't stop enjoying them even though our conscience tells us they are hellish.

We can have two reactions in this situation. Either we compel ourselves to stop doing the hellish or anti-conjugial things, or else we ignore our conscience, try to weaken it, until it eventually stops functioning, stops bothering us. The first is to build a heaven for ourselves in eternity, the second a hell.

It is important to understand rationally what are the consequences of remaining in a natural state of sexuality and not progressing to a spiritual sexual love of one's spouse. Spiritual sexual love is the sexual love we have in eternity, and to achieve it, we need to reform our mind through temptation battles against our attraction to non-exclusive sexuality. These spiritual battles in our mind must take place here while we are still attached to the physical body and before we are resuscitated in the afterlife of eternity. Swedenborg repeatedly observed and confirmed the fact that after resuscitation people always choose to live according to the loves they practiced here. Here we have a choice; there we do not. Here we can act against our hellish enjoyments and loves from a higher motive, or a stronger motive for heavenly loves; there we are compelled to act according to the enjoyments and loves we held on to and confirmed in lifestyle habits of doing (S), thinking (C), and feeling (A).

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

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

Because sexual and conjugial love are different, both are here mentioned, and it is stated that conjugial love also remains after death as it was in a person's interior when he lived in the world [ = on earth through the physical body ]. But since few people know the difference between sexual and conjugial love, I must at the outset of this section say something by way of preface.

Sexual love is love directed to and shared with several persons of the other sex, but conjugial love is directed to and shared with one person of the other sex.

Love directed to and shared with several persons is natural love, for man has this in common with animals and birds, which are natural creatures. But conjugial love is spiritual, special and proper to human beings, because human beings were created, and are therefore born, to become spiritual. In so far as a person becomes spiritual, he sheds sexual love and takes on conjugial love.

At the beginning of a marriage sexual love seems as if combined with conjugial love. But as the marriage progresses, these loves become distinct, and then with those who are spiritual, sexual love is banished and conjugial love is introduced. In the case of those who are natural, the reverse happens.

What I have now said makes it plain that sexual love, being shared with several persons and inherently natural, or rather animal, is impure and unchaste, since it is errant and unchecked, scortatory [ = promiscuous, non-exclusive ]. Conjugial love is totally different. It will be shown in the following pages that conjugial love is spiritual and properly human.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Young people today are raised in a culture where sexual activity prior to marriage is common. Is that hellish? Some people marry late; does that mean that they are not to have sex at all? Some people cheat on their girlfriend or wife; does that mean they can no longer have a heaven? The way to take care of these types of questions in our mind is to remember that heaven and hell are parts of everybody's mind, and they are opposites in every detail. What determines where we are in our mind -- heaven or hell -- is the character of our ruling love hierarchy. There are two loves that are the ruling loves of all human beings. One is the love of self and the world for the sake of self, the other is the love of self and the world for the sake of others. One love is hellish and the other love is heavenly.

You can see this for yourself if you think about it rationally. What kind of world is possible when people are motivated in everything by the love of self and the world for the sake of self? This kind of community would be a hell, would it not? People would be plotting against each other all the time, forming power alliances, breaking them, cheating, being disloyal, hypercritical, destructive, injurious, cruel, heartless. This is hell in the human mind.

In contrast, what kind of world is possible when people are motivated in everything by the love of self and the world for the sake of others? People would be sincere, compassionate, peaceful. Such a community is a heaven in the human mind. Here on earth our natural mind is filled with both kinds of loves. Some things we do out of selfishness and we don't care if we hurt or annoy others. We are acting with hellish traits, that is, traits that create a hell in our mind. Some things we do for the sake of others because we care, and this is creating a heaven in our mind.

All the hellish traits are together in a pack and are ruled by the chief love that creates hell in our mind, which is the love of self and the world for the sake of self. All the heavenly traits are together in a pack and are ruled by the chief love that creates heaven in our mind, which is the love of self and the world for the sake of others.

These two chief loves rule our mind.

We can keep them both and practice them both -- until our death and resuscitation. But when we awaken from resuscitation we are psychologically and anatomically compelled to make a choice because the two -- heaven and hell -- can no longer occupy the same mind, as before.

Now you are totally free to choose on your own. No one forces you or tries to change your mind because it's not possible. Only you can choose to keep the ruling love that rules the pack of your hellish traits, or to keep the ruling love that rules the pack of your heavenly traits.

Whichever you choose, the other is put to sleep in your mind. You then continue in that mentality forever.

So what is the conclusion?

There is only one practical, rational, and effective strategy we can use to control our fate in eternity, and that is to practice enjoying and loving heavenly traits.

This is impossible until we start opposing our hellish traits.

The love for non-exclusive sex is ruled by the love of self for the sake of self. It is natural that every human being possesses this love to begin with. So if we are going to weaken this love we need to fight against it by using our rational understanding of what is heaven and hell in eternity and how we control our future.

We look at our enjoyment of pornography, and our desire for sex with many even when we are in an exclusive relationship. We reflect upon the fact that it is controlled by the ruling love of the self for the sake of self, which is a hell. We decide to fight it, to take away its legitimacy in our mind. To the extent that we engage in this spiritual battle, to that extent we can come around and begin to love exclusive sex even more. And at last, we develop an aversion for the idea of non-exclusive sex as we have an aversion for deadly viruses and harmful bacteria.

This principle applies to all our hellish traits, most of which we inherited from birth.

Exclusive sex is love of self for the sake of another, hence it makes heaven in our mind.

This is the end of Part 2

Go to:   Part 1  ||  Part 1b || Part 2    Part 2b  ||  Part 3  ||  Part 4


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