Topics include: | mental psychology | theistic psychology | scientific dualism | Emanuel Swedenborg | immortality | God | eternal marriage | heaven and hell | reductionism in neuroscience | theistic science | dreams | consciousness | regeneration | spiritual development | rationality | love and truth | body-mind correspondences | virtual intersubjectivity | vertical community | dying/resuscitation process |
Professor, Psychology Department, University of Hawaii
Professor, Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii
July 2009, Version 68, Electronic book in progress
For a background and context to this book, please
see this previous online book:
The Organic Mind: Discovering the Mental World of Eternity (2008) by Leon James:
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clear day you can see forever
1970 Barbara Streisand movie and song
Avatar Psychology describes the relationship between the virtual world and the mental world.
Mental Anatomy describes the organic components of the immortal mental body that we each possess since birth.
There is only one physical world. Space is everywhere in the physical world – between galaxies, between grains of sand, and between electrons inside neurons in the brain. It is the same space since space is unitary. All space forms one unit, one whole. Space cannot be divided. For instance, the objects around you are in space. They do not displace space as objects do when immersed in water. The space around you is the same space around anyone on this planet, or on any other planet in the physical world. The above facts or properties of physical space correspond exactly to the properties of mental space. There is only one mental world.
Your mental world and the mental world of the people around you is the same mental world. A person on another continent half way around the globe from you may not know that the physical space around them is the same space around you here. You may not have realized that your mental world is the same as other people’s mental world. We don’t realize this because our daily material thinking and consciousness is immersed in sensorimotor input and its physical sociotemporal limitations. We are most conscious of what is immediately around us, whether physical objects, or mental sensations, thoughts, and loves.
We can all elevate our consciousness to the rational plane of thinking which is independent of physical limits. Rational thinking and ideas allow us to become conscious of how the world as unit whole is organized into parts and layers that correspond and interact. These concepts are not available to our consciousness when we restrict our thinking to the material organization of the physical world.
In our daily life we tend to oscillate across the two layers of consciousness – material and rational. You can observe this alternation by consciously monitoring and keeping track of your thoughts as you carry out various habitual activities. When your thoughts are operating within the lower material limits, your consciousness is limited in scope, and often presents puzzles and contradictions that weaken our control over some situation. For instance, you just got a phone call indicating you didn’t get the job you applied for. Your affective system suddenly feels in turmoil. You feel that intense loves and emotions are activated in you and they engender a fury of thoughts that produce cognitive overload, confusion, and distorted thinking. You keep formulating the sentence, “How can this be?” You had such a good job interview. The man said you were on top of his list. You are conscious of a series of anxious feelings and negative moods. Now you feel depressed. Your stomach feels unpleasant. You hate that feeling. It makes you weak, like a victim and a loser, instead of a winner. You begin to swear. You throw things. You punch the wall. Someone walks in, says something, and you jump on the person, verbally attacking them, as if the situation is their fault, and they deserve punishment. That’s all you can think of doing. Your material consciousness is limited to the situation at hand.
Now a friend shows up. He understands. His consciousness is in a rational state and he can interact with you from there. He finds ways of reassuring you. He argues convincingly that being turned down for the job may have nothing to do with you. There are circumstances that are unknown to you. They dictate the choice for the job. He reminds you that the interviewer found you more than just adequate and gave you a high evaluation. He suggests that you might go back to see him for any openings that he might know of. You might even end up with a better job. Besides, nothing is random, he points out. For our lives to work at all, events must be completely lawful and rational, completely controlled by an omnipotent omnipresent God. So you begin to understand that being turned down for the job at this time is your destiny, your biography. Your task is to elevate your consciousness to a rational level so that you can get the bigger picture on yourself and life, and your future in eternity. Now you begin to feel hopeful. You begin to take up a rational view on your situation. Your consciousness is elevated when you switch to a rational mode of thinking.
If you cultivate this rational consciousness you will gradually minimize bad moods and feelings of inadequacy, and the deeply disturbing sense of a lack of control over your life.
Your thinking will be more rational. You will be able to see rationally that there is only one mental world, just as there is only one physical world, because the two correspond perfectly. Whatever is true of the one is also true of the other, but only in correspondence, not in direct terms. Consider the following table of correspondences between physical and mental space:
Physical space provides a medium or space that contains physical objects like planets, plants, animals.
Mental space provides a medium or expanse that contains mental objects or states like loves, meanings, and sensations.
Physical space unifies all physical objects by containing them in itself. There exists only one physical world.
Mental space unifies all mental states or objects of all people by containing them in itself. There exists only one mental world.
Physical space provides physical contact or closeness between all objects by propinquity or propensity in interior structure or components.
Mental space provides mental contact or closeness with anyone and anywhere, present and past, by means of similarity of loves, ideas, and sensorimotor operations.
Physical space allows a physical geography within which displacement and travel is possible, allowing exploration of new grounds and areas. This allows access to new resources that are indigenous to each locale, and their use for construction of living structures, artifacts, and cities.
Mental space allows a mental geography within which our consciousness can navigate, and thus experience new sensations, new thoughts, and new loves that are proper to each mental zone. This allows the construction of mental communities with people who have similar and compatible loves, and consequently ideas.
Physical space allows an indefinite variety of objects, arrangements, structures, and properties of physical objects, their properties and uses.
Mental space allows an indefinite variety of experiences, meanings, principles, and values, consequently unique lives and personalities.
Gravity is the principal force in physical space. It pulls particles together to form objects, planets, and galaxies.
Love is the principal force in mental space. It binds people together to form couples, groups, and societies.
The above comparison list allows you to recognize the correspondences between physical and mental space. The idea of distance in mental space has to do with similarity of sensations, thoughts, and loves, and especially loves because thoughts and sensations are produced and determined by loves. Similar loves can be co-present within the same geographic space of consciousness in the mental world. Opposing loves cannot be co-present because they repel each other, like positive and negative electronic charges. Love for winning by cheating cannot be together with love for playing fairly.
Every feature of the physical body is matched by a corresponding feature in the mental body. This body-mind correspondence in all particulars provides mental psychology with a grounded empiricism and objectivity.
This anatomical methodology was lacking in the proposals of the influential cognitivists of the nineteenth and twentieth century, like Freud, Jung, Chomsky, or Lakoff. But it was present in the unique work of eighteenth century theistic scientist Swedenborg, as for instance in his book Rational Psychology (1742) and related works on brain anatomy.
The body-mind correspondences are a sub-part of the universal physical-mental correspondences that fix the dualist world into discrete layers in concentric circles around the mental sun of eternity. We can measure the physical world with various simple and complex physical instruments. Science in the negative bias mode of monism has succeeded over many centuries in constructing basic charts of the physical world at various levels of magnitude from neutrinos to galaxies, and from anatomy to biochemistry. These operations are objectively discovered correlations of events within the same discrete degree, namely the natural or physical world. This is the outermost layer or degree around the mental sun. The laws of correspondences between the natural and mental degrees provide a methodology for all theistic science (see the work dualist and theistic physicist, Dr. Ian Thompson, e.g., http://www.beginningtheisticscience.com/ || http://www.theisticscience.org/papers/smn3b.html || http://theisticscience.blogspot.com/ ).
Mental psychology, theistic psychology, and theistic science are among the new theistic dualist disciplines that are now being evolved by the founding generation. This new evolution of science makes room for rational methodologies based on correspondences. The modern literature on consciousness and neuroscience has not provided a fully successful proposal because of the bias of reductionism. This self-imposed limitation has resulted in charts and taxonomies of the neuro-muscular and bio-genetic systems of the physical body and its correlated operations. With theistic science and mental psychology it is possible to upgrade the research methodology from correlation to cause-effect relations. This new possibility has come to light through the unique work of Swedenborg.
Avatar Psychology was founded in 2009 by Dr. Leon James, who is also the founder of the Avatar Psychology Group in Second Life. Avatar Psychology is defined as the study of avatar mediated human behavior (AMHB). Its purpose is to gain a better understanding of mental anatomy through experiencing the virtual world.
Avatar psychology describes how people in different physical locations have real interactions online with each other (see “distributed computing”) through an information produced digital avatar that sees and moves around in a virtual world populated with the avatars of other owners (sometimes called “players” or “users”). Each person uses and controls their own avatar in a “virtual” world that is displayed on the computer screen of each owner. Avatars can be made to look like any person, object or animal. In the virtual world of Second Life most avatars are humanoid and are made to look young, attractive, and well dressed. Avatars interact with each other in dyadic or group activities such as attending a lecture, visiting a museum or exhibit, shopping for avatar clothes in elegant malls, or dancing, skating, exploring grottos, etc. “Inworld” relationships in Second Life are formed on the basis of wanting to share interests, whether personal, recreational, professional, educational, artistic, or commercial. To communicate with each other through the avatar interface, owners type to each other in the local chat window or in instant messaging. There is also a voice chat facility that is used less often.
Avatar psychology examines various theoretical and practical issues of interest, as for instance:
This has been reported by some owners regarding how they stand or walk with the physical body in “real” life. With the digital avatar body on screen, the manner of standing and walking can be controlled (or “customized”) by the “AO” or scripted “animations” and movements that owners can install, “wear,” or “attach” to their avatar in order to “override” the built in script that comes with all newly born avatars. Owners can also manage the avatar’s primary body shape and facial appearance, called the avatar’s “shape” and “skin.” Besides the primary facial features there are also animated facial expressions that can be managed through customized animation devices called HUDs that can be invisibly worn by the avatar. The older an avatar is the more it tends to be endowed with customized appearance and behavior. Through this process of customization every avatar acquires a quasi-unique appearance and behavior style that represents the human owner in some way. Others inworld can also notice the projected persona of each avatar in terms of behavioral interactions on screen as well as verbal interactions in local chat or voice chat.
It is possible that we are influenced in some way by how our avatar looks and the personality it projects inworld. The avatar’s personality is not fully in control of the owner because its behavior is partially a response to situations inworld. The owner’s performance of managing the avatar’s social presence is adaptive and spontaneous. Unexpected things happen around the avatar, and the owner reacts by engaging the affordances with the keyboard and mouse, such as moving the avatar towards or away some object, camera zooming in on an object, clicking on an object or avatar, typing in the local chat, or IMing an avatar (“instant messaging”). These behavioral actions are adaptive, and respond to practices of owners inworld, also called “Residents” of Second Life.
Due to this unpredictable and adaptive feature of avatar behavior, owners can be impressed by their own avatar. This applies to both appearance, movement, and personality or behavior style. For instance some avatars boldly approach another while others stay at some distance. When watching their own avatar owners can spontaneously take on features of their avatar’s walking, standing, and sitting style. They may not be fully aware that they are doing this, but once in a while they suddenly become conscious while their physical body is modeling their digital avatar.
It is also possible that our personality development can be enhanced in various ways by the virtual intersubjectivity we possess with our avatar. Our avatar becomes a second consciousness that is created by virtual loves and virtual ideas. There can be a seepage effect whereby the virtual reality and the physical reality become somewhat mixed up with each other.
How are virtual loves and ideas different from real life loves and ideas?
An example of a virtual idea we can have is the idea of “buying a virtual luxury house,” which costs around five U.S. dollars in 2009, and inviting 20 friends from around the world to a party in your new house – and all this within a few hours (or less). Another virtual idea is to make the avatar look like a child and join a virtual family that has avatar parents and siblings, who are living together in a residence to which other avatars can “teleport” and visit. Romantic relationships and real life marriages can result from avatar relationships.
In what way is virtual consciousness different from real life consciousness?
Virtual consciousness is produced by virtual intersubjectivity, which can be defined as the mental co-presence that we can create with other human beings through our avatar bodies inworld. In face-to-face interactions with our physical body we establish mental co-presence by jointly defining the situation and what is going on. When several avatars are present in one inworld location they can establish a virtual group intersubjectivity that is embodied in the coordinated interactions, both visual and verbal (in chat). For example, if they are attending a lecture or class, the avatars collaborate in co-constructing that virtual event. One avatar (usually the host of the event) rezzes a platform with seating conveniences while the arriving avatars take turn arranging themselves on the chairs, which possess a script that makes the avatar sit in various positions and attitudes while being there.
All social events inworld are co-constructed by a group of avatar owners. Each avatar performs the action of turn-taking exchanges in such a way as to validate the shared meaning that is embodied in the details of the exchanges. These details can be uncovered and described by participants. For instance, as individual avatars arrive upon the scene of a gathering place, they are each inducted or incorporated into the group by greeting rituals in local chat. The avatars already present take turns greeting the arriving avatar, who returns the greetings or offers a comment. The initial greeting exchange requires the collaborative effort of those present. It is the overt interpersonal performance of these collaborative actions that constitutes the existence of the objective event in the virtual world.
This coordinated interplay serves as reassurance to all present that what is going on is indeed what each claims is going on, and what they as a group, jointly claim to each other that it is going on. For instance, an avatar can say, “Hi everyone. I can’t stay long.” Or, “Couldn’t be here last week. Missed you all.” This detail in the exchange validates the shared claim that this is a type of virtual social gathering that has occurred before with those present, and that members notice and keep track of when an avatar is present or absent. The same may be noticed with leave-taking rituals as avatars begin to leave or “teleport” out of the venue. The host avatar is usually the last to leave.
(REMINDER: if you use Control-click, instead of just a click, the page and diagram will open in a new window, and this is more convenient as you continue reading the text.)
Avatar psychology is closely related to mental psychology whose topics include:
The study of avatar psychology provides mental tools for more effective daily self-management.
Nearly everyone finds it difficult or seemingly impossible to avoid being immersed in negative emotions, anxiety, and depressed morale or lack of enthusiasm. We experience the “highs” or high points of our life as rare events, islands of “full potential” and self-confidence in an ocean of problems, weaknesses, and disturbing challenges. Acquiring a rational understanding of our mental life is enlightening and liberating. Mental anatomy puts a bright spotlight on our immortality, giving rational proof and anatomical confirmation of its reality.
Nothing can be more familiar to human beings than the mental world of eternity. The moment we are born and take our first breath, our conscious life begins. We become “aware” as a human being, that we are a human being. Our mental apparatus is all set to function and to provide us with our developing consciousness as a living immortal individual. Our physical and mental apparatus function together through the laws of correspondence. Every operation in our mental apparatus or body corresponds to an operation in our physical apparatus or body. The physical body and the mental body are exact copies of each other and correspond with each other point by point, in general and in particular. But they are constructed out of different substances.
The physical body and all things physical on the planet are constructed out of particles from the physical sun and other stars in the physical universe (e.g., the original “Big Bang” clump of matter and particles). This formation history of the physical world corresponds to the formation history of the mental world. The “Big Bang” clump of physical matter in deep space corresponds to the mental sun of eternity. Both are the source or origin of all matter or substance existing in the two worlds. In the physical world the particles that make up the elements and molecules of the physical body are originally in the form of “heat,” that is, in the form of particles at very high temperatures travelling at the speed of light. These particles can be called “cosmic dust” and permeate all space. They have an inherent propensity to “clump” together into larger and larger conglomerations, until they reach the size of a planet. After some time this hot clump of matter cools down, and earth as we know it is formed.
In the mental world the corresponding events take place. Issuing from the mental sun of eternity are the particles of heat and light that create a mental expanse around the mental sun (see Diagram 4). This mental world is filled with the “mental dust” particles of heat and light issuing endlessly and continuously from the mental sun into the mental world of eternity. These mental particles have a built in propensity to clump together into either of two arrangements. One is the [light/heat] arrangement, or “light particle within which is a heat particle.” This is the masculine arrangement. The other or reciprocal arrangement is feminine: [heat/light] or “heat particle within which is a light particle.”
Mental objects, or organs, that are formed by further compounding of mental particles, are always pure, not mixed. All mental organs formed by masculine clumps or mental genes [light/heat] are male. They form the male mental body that corresponds to the male physical body. The female physical body corresponds in its formation to the feminine mental body, which contains the feminine mental organs that are constructed out of the feminine mental genes [heat/light]. Hence it is that the consciousness of men and women are distinct from each other. Man’s consciousness is the result of male mental genes [light/heat], while woman’s consciousness is the result of female mental genes [heat/light]. Mental light in men create masculine intelligence, while in women it creates feminine intelligence. Mental heat in women creates feminine loves, while mental heat in men creates masculine loves. Men’s consciousness is the result of masculine loves and intelligence. Women’s consciousness is the result of feminine loves and intelligence.
A woman’s consciousness is born in the neuro-skeletal sensorimotor system of her mental body. This conscious subjective operation is the result of the marriage of mental heat entering her affective circulatory system with mental light entering her cognitive respiratory system. With a man, mental light enters his cognitive system on the outside and bonds with mental heat entering the affective system on the inside. This bonding or synergy produces the operation in the sensorimotor system that we call masculine consciousness. (See Diagram 2).
The mental body corresponds to the planet and its planetary objects, most completely and particularly to the physical body. The masculine mental body and its consciousness correspond to the external parts of physical objects that tend to be relatively tougher and colder than the inside. The feminine mental body corresponds to the internal parts of planetary objects that tend to be relatively softer and warmer than the outside. For example, the outer tougher skin of a fruit corresponds to masculine consciousness, while the fruit’s soft interior corresponds to feminine consciousness. In daily married life, men tend to have their focus on external components of the marriage, such as working away from home, while women have their focus on the internal components of the marriage, such as managing the home and taking care of the relationships and needs of the family. The larger, stronger, tougher physical body of men in general corresponds to their mental body which is constructed out of [light/heat] units, that is, cognitive on the outside and affective on the inside.
Today in our modern world, and even more so in the super-modern future of sociobiological technology, the contrast in masculine and feminine consciousness may express itself differently than the traditional and historical dictate: women are domestic while men are forensic. Today you can observe men and women doing the same jobs up and down the echelons in private industry, in the armed forces, in public office, and in the home. Equal pay for equal work has not yet fully caught up to societal practices everywhere, and the male dominated world continues as before, but in a more civilized tone. Much physical and mental abuse is heaped upon women by men throughout society, and within the family by fathers and brothers. I believe that in the future true equality between men and women will be established through the unity model of marriage, which argues that when a man changes from being self-centered and becomes wife-centered, his masculine intelligence is greatly enhanced by and enriched by the reciprocal adaptation to feminine intelligence.
The enhancement comes from the anatomical fact that men’s intelligence is exterior to their love, as shown above, while women’s intelligence is interior to their love. In mental anatomy components that are more interior are superior in consciousness, that is, closer to the celestial-rational degree. The more interior intelligence of women enhances and enriches the more external intelligence of men. (See Diagrams). (REMINDER: if you use Control-click, instead of just a click, the page and diagram will open in a new window, and this is more convenient as you continue reading the text.) The higher intelligence of women comes from the superior reception of mental light with anatomical receptors that are more interior.
Similarly, men receive mental heat in more interior components than women (see Diagrams). A man’s love is higher and deeper than a woman’s love because the affective circulatory system of the man’s mental body has more interior components for the reception of mental heat. Hence it is that a woman’s love is enhanced and enriched by a man’s love when it is adjacent to hers.
But most importantly, the man and the woman enhance and enrich each other through reciprocal interdependence of their corresponding anatomical systems in their mental bodies. A woman’s external feminine love attaches itself to a man’s external masculine intelligence, and after that, a man’s interior masculine love attaches itself to a woman’s interior feminine intelligence. Through this entwisted anatomy the man and the woman soulmates achieve an anatomical unity. She cannot breathe without his lungs, and his blood doesn’t circulate without her heart. She cannot love anything without his thoughts about it, and he cannot think anything without her loves for it. In this way they become the conjoint self, also called the conjugial couple.”
Mental light from the mental sun of eternity corresponds to physical light from earth’s sun in the physical world. Mental heat corresponds to physical heat. Sunlight issues from the natural sun and travels millions of miles across space to reach earth in a few minutes. In winter the sun comes to us at a more indirect angle so that earth receives sunlight that is relative cold, deprived of its usual direct heat. In summer, when earth angles more directly and closer to the sun, sunlight is hot. Light within which is heat (spring, summer) in the physical world corresponds in the mental world to the masculine mind when it has been regenerated and is in an order that corresponds to the celestial arrangement. In winter the correspondence changes to light in which there is less heat or no heat (fall, winter), which corresponds to the unregenerate masculine mind in which there is intelligence but less altruism.
Heat within which is light, which is the feminine arrangement, corresponds to the regenerated mind of an adult woman. Prior to this phase of her development, a woman is in an unregenerate phase of growth in which she has not yet fully attained her feminine consciousness. Women’s consciousness prior to regeneration in adult life, is feminine heat within which is masculine light. A woman’s cognitive organ within her affective organ, operates in the arrangement of masculine intelligence and masculine thinking. There is an inherent anatomical disarrangement that originates with inheritance and is stamped in through socialization practices in a “man’s world,” which is a “male dominance” social and mental environment. A woman’s consciousness experiences this inner conflict or disarrangement, and gradually begins to construct a feminine interior in her cognitive organ. At last she develops a feminine intelligence. Now all her feminine loves are able to be consummated and fulfilled through her feminine way of thinking. This restoration of inner balance allows the woman to be prepared for conjugial union with her soulmate. Now it is her husband who attaches his interior higher love to her interior higher feminine wisdom, intelligence, and intuitive perception. (See phase 2 in the unity diagram (3).
In particular, the circulatory system in the physical body acts in correspondence with the affective system of the mental body. Physical blood corresponds to mental love. Blood supplies nutrition to the physical cells, just as loves supply consciousness to produce our individual mental life, or existence as a self. Blood pressure corresponds to the constancy of loves functioning as motives. A rise in blood pressure corresponds to an intensification of motivation in the form of mental stress, or distress such as fear, pain, or obsession. Physical states always correspond to mental states in every detail. The system of blood vessels extends throughout the physical body, reaching every cell through its minute capillaries. This corresponds to the affective system of distribution of loves to the entire mental body, our entire self. Everything in our personality must be supplied with one of the loves by the affective system.
Think of the things you do, such as your work, your studies, your friendships, your hobbies and activities. Each one of them requires some love to keep it going. You would stop listening to music if the “love for music” would suddenly cease to flow in your affective system. You would be able to hear the music but not to love it, and you would not experience emotions that you enjoy having. All mental states of enjoyment are caused by loves. The sensation and consciousness of enjoyment is produced by the love being present and activated. Love nourishes our conscious life, which is the life of awareness as a human being. When you move your eyes while talking, walking, or watching something, their physical movements correspond to the loves that are activated in your consciousness. Every interest is a love being fulfilled. You focus your physical eyes on objects or places that are selected by your interests, or loves. Hence the eye movements in the physical body are activated by the affective system in the mental body. This is true of your other body parts.
The biochemistry of the circulatory system in the physical body corresponds to the biochemistry by which consciousness is produced in the mental body. Neuropeptides are chemicals secreted by various organs throughout the body and they are carried by the circulatory system to the organic receptors situated on the outside surface of the cells. These hormonal productions of the physical body, supplying the cells with energy and vitality, correspond to the operations of our affective system in the mental body, where the texture and content of consciousness, is produced by the variety of loves that feed the personality and character of the person. Every individual has access to an unlimited variety of loves that are available for reception in the affective system of the mental body.
For instance, think of the variety of loves that activated you today, so far. In order to get your physical body moving out of bed, you had to wait until it was activated by your love for getting up and starting the day. If this love in your mental body were blocked from reception in your affective system, you would not be able to move your physical body out of bed. Think of how you got dressed. You had some choices and you chose what you wore when you left your place. Every choice you made in the physical world had to correspond to a love in your mental world. You liked this one but you didn’t want that one today. To want something or to reject something is the operation of love within our consciousness. When we walk we make constant adjustments to the physical environment, avoiding collisions with objects and people. Each correction or adaptation movement of the physical body is produced by the corresponding love, such as, the love to get where you want to go, the love to avoid colliding, the love to appear like a normal person in public, the love to respect others, or else, the love to tease others, or to act aggressively as a pedestrian.
To understand people’s behavior in the physical world we need to know their hierarchy of loves in the affective system. For instance, if you ask “Why are you not coming?” the answer you might get is, “I don’t feel like it.” We avoid doing things in the physical world that correspond to what we want to avoid in the mental world. This is acting according to our feeling, according to our motivation, thus, according to our desire or love. If you know someone’s loves, you have the power to influence their behavior by arranging things that they love to do or to participate in.
Where do loves come from? Love is a mental substance available in infinite variety in the mental world. In the physical world the body has access to a nearly unlimited quantity and variety of substances that nourish the circulatory system through digestion and inhalation. The mental world contains all the loves that human beings are capable of having or becoming conscious of. The affective system in our mental body is composed of multiple organic receptors capable of receiving the mental substances that flow into the mental body. Each individual is unique and has a unique arrangement of loves that characterize that unique individual. Two individuals may be in the same mental region and yet receive a different variety of loves from it. For example, when walking people are conscious of different physical things around them, paying attention to some things, ignoring other things. Each object or scenery corresponds to a different love or appreciation, or perhaps dislike and aversion.
Our thinking and language reflects the correspondences between the physical body and mental body, or physical states and mental states. For instance, we say that something is “the heart of the matter,” when we mean that it is the central part of the argument or explanation. Something physical “the heart” is used to refer to something mental, “the most important part of the explanation.” Sometimes we say that there is “bad blood” between them, by which we mean that they had a fight and never made up and they resent each other. “Blood” corresponds to “love” and therefore “bad blood” between them corresponds to “bad feelings” for each other. We use the physical shape or symbol of the “heart” to indicate our “love” for someone because the two correspond. We say that “he’s out for blood” (physical) when we mean that he is filled with the feeling or love for revenge (mental). He is “cold blooded” means that his emotions or loves are hostile. “She is hot” refers to the “blood boiling” (physical), by which we mean strong emotions of attraction (mental).
The lungs and the rest of the respiratory system include the diaphragm, ribs, throat, mouth, nose, and lips. These organs work together to allow us to speak, which is closely related to breathing and the diaphragm action on the lungs. Respiration supplies oxygen to the used (blue) blood by which it is cleaned (red) and made ready to circulate again without stop. The action of the respiratory system in the physical body corresponds to the action of the cognitive system in the mental body. We stop thinking consciously when our breathing is paralyzed. The cognitive and respiratory systems correspond to each other in all actions. Faster breathing corresponds to more agitated thinking. Uneven breathing corresponds to cognitive operations. These include uneven flow of thoughts that fail to cumulate to a solution for the moment. Shallow breaths correspond to hesitations or uncertainties. Fast breathing corresponds to mental excitement and cognitive overload.
The physical substances we breathe in correspond to the mental substances that operate our cognitive operations of thinking, reasoning, imagining, visualizing, dreaming. Speaking (physical) and thinking (mental) are correspondences of each other. We speak in words of sound (physical) and we think in words of meaning (mental). The tone of voice and other prosodic features of every day speech involve complex control mechanisms by the respiratory system and organs acting in synergy.
The neuro-muscular system in the physical body includes the bones, spinal cord, nerves, neurons, and the entire brain. This physical system corresponds to the sensorimotor system in the mental body, which includes sensations, sensory perception, stimulus receptivity, motor readiness, reflexes, automated habits, and spontaneous reactions. Consciousness is the awareness of the sensorimotor system in the mental body. The physical system involves only chemical operations, while the sensorimotor system involves only mental operations. For instance, hearing someone say “Hi” involves both the physical body and the mental body. The neuro-muscular system in the physical body carries the chemical and electrical information of the sound to the brain, while the sensorimotor system in the mental body reacts to it by correspondence producing the experience of hearing a meaningful word. The meaning is produced by the cognitive system in the mental body. The sensorimotor “hearing” and the cognitive “making meaning of it” also correspond to each other. And there is also a reaction by correspondence in the affective system, which involves the experience of loving it or not loving it, that is, feeling attracted to the person, or wanting to avoid the person.
Consciousness is the awareness of sensorimotor correspondences in the mental body. We are conscious of our environment, which means that we are aware of our sensations (sensorimotor), and the thoughts (cognitive) and feelings (affective) that correspond to them. The three mental systems in the mental body work in synergy with each other, and with the three systems in the physical body.
Summary and Recapitulation at: (control-click)
Please read, and then come back here.
Note the correspondence relations in Diagram 9:
1 and 4: sensorimotor and neuro-skeletal systems (receiving modality)
2 and 5: cognitive and respiratory systems (receiving modality)
3 and 6, 7: affective and circulatory systems (receiving and optimizing modalities)
8 and 12: cognitive and respiratory systems (optimizing modality)
9 and 10, 13: sensorimotor and neuro-skeletal systems (optimizing modality)
The mental world is organic, human, and living. It is an expanse of mental space created by mental substance. Mental objects can be constructed in this mental space and they are permanently alive or immortal. Mental substance does not break down like physical matter which composes physical objects. These break down over time and are not permanent. But mental objects like loves, thoughts, and sensations are permanent since they made of immortal organic substances that don’t break down. If you love something or someone, that love is unique to you, uniquely adapted to you. It remains part of your personality or character forever. Once you love something or someone you are forever tied together. We can change our loves, or exchange one love for another. This occurs in our consciousness. We are aware of loves we had but we no longer feel. Loves we no longer feel are not active in our consciousness but they still are attached to our personality. We can never get rid of them permanently.
The mental world is organically organized from center outward, which is the same as saying, from top down. This is because what is at the center, or “central,” is also what is at the top, or “primary.” These two correspond to each other. At the very center (or top) of the mental world is the Mental Sun of Eternity. We can “see,” or become conscious of, this Sun of eternity when we raise our consciousness to the top level (or move within, to the center of it). Every human being is born with two bodies, one physical and temporary, the other mental and permanent. The physical body is structured and composed with material elements that originate in the natural sun or star that is familiar to us visually. The mental body is structured and composed of substances that originate in the mental sun of eternity. These substances stream out of the mental sun and into the three organic layers there. Our mental organs overlap with this organic structure. Every human being is born with an immortal or permanent mental body that is “strewn out” throughout the three organic layers. In other words, we are able to experience the consciousness of sensations, thoughts, and loves when we “navigate” the three organic layers around the mental sun.
It is called the mental sun “of eternity” because it is not in the world of time. The physical world is in time and in physical space, while the mental world is not in time and not in physical space. That which is not in time and space is called eternity. Our sensations, thoughts, and loves are mental objects, not physical. These mental objects cannot exist in physical space or time, just as physical objects cannot exist outside time and space. As you are reading this text you are having thoughts (I hope so). Where are those thoughts? They have to be somewhere. There are two opposing answers – monism versus dualism.
The negative bias monism perspective in science simply assumes or asserts (without proof) that thoughts are not real, or else, that thoughts are nothing else than the brain’s pattern of electro-chemical activity. In contrast, the positive bias perspective in science, which accepts dualism as a premise (without proof), assumes that thoughts are real, but not physical. This means that the physical world is not the only portion of reality. There is a second portion called the mental world. Both worlds are equally real. Thoughts are real, but they are not physical, and they are not in time or physical space. Hence thoughts can’t be made of chemical elements called matter and made of atoms and electrons whirling in space. Instead, thoughts are made of mental substances, and these do not exist in physical space but in mental space. We are all very familiar with mental space because that is where our thoughts are. This non-physical space is called the mental world of eternity. Our thoughts exist in the mental world of eternity and they are constructed out of substances that exist in that world of eternity. This is substantive dualism in science, and it contrasts with material monism.
What is true of thoughts is also true of sensations and loves. These are the three categories of mental objects that exist in the mental world of eternity. Our mental body operates through three systems called the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor (as reviewed above). These mental organs or systems are constructed out of the mental substances that fill the mental spaces around the mental sun of eternity. An endless and infinite stream of these mental substances come forth from this divine source. This is good news for the human race. As immortal individuals each of us, we do not want to enter the endless days of eternity contemplating being bored there, or worrying that we’ll eventually run out of inventiveness or newness of experiencing. Such a thought is depressing, and therefore it cannot be part of true reality in eternity, which is called heaven, or goodness and joy. There is an endless supply of an infinite variety of mental substances that feed our consciousness and experiencing in eternity.
The three systems of the mental body are each organically structured to function as receptor organs for these mental substances. The affective system is a receptor for love substance while the cognitive organ is a receptor for truth substance. These are the two primary categories of mental substances. They are the building blocks for our loves, thoughts, and sensations that make up our consciousness, our life as mental beings. Love substance streams into our affective organ producing organic operations that we subjectively experience as loves, feelings, desires, motives, intentions, attractions. When we experience a love or feeling we are conscious of its state of fulfillment as a love. Love substance has mental properties that we experience when we ingest that substance through our affective organ.
Our cognitive organ is a receptor for the other category of mental substance called truth substance. When truth substance enters the cognitive system it produces organic operations that we experience as thoughts or thinking. Consider your own thinking in the course of the day. This is going on in your cognitive system in the mental body. Your thinking consists of a coherent sequence. When you are planning to go to the kitchen at the next commercial break, your thinking sequence is adapted to the requirements of physical spaces and objects. You can plan the sequence of steps that will get you to the refrigerator and back with a cold soda can in your hand. Taking a popcorn break requires somewhat more complex planning, and traveling by air to a friend’s wedding requires even more complex flow of coherence, meaning, and intelligence. What is it that allows your cognitive organ to sequence thoughts and ideas in an adaptive rational arrangement called a plan or a project?
The ability to understand meaning and to operate logically comes from the substance of truth that our cognitive organ receives from the mental sun of eternity. The ability to feel, love, and become attached to comes from the substance of love that our affective organ receives from the mental sun of eternity. The affective and cognitive systems can conjoin together to operate with perfect synergy. When this occurs a resultant effect is induced in the sensorimotor system of our mental body. This sensorimotor reaction is experienced as human consciousness. It is what we are. We are our consciousness. The words “I” and “me” refer to this unique coherent consciousness that is born at the birth of our mental body and continues forever. We are born into eternity. That which is born into eternity is necessarily immortal and permanent. This eternal permanence of the consciousness of self is due to the eternal permanence of thoughts and loves constructed out of truth and love substance. This substance in and from the mental sun of eternity is a divine substance that is in God from eternity and from God in creation and in time.
The mental world of eternity is created to be finite and outside God in Essence which is the only infinite eternity of no beginning and no end. The mental world of eternity had a historical or evolutionary beginning called “creation.” But since it is created outside time the mental world is also called eternity. The physical world in time is created in correspondence to the mental world in eternity. The two worlds correspond and one cannot evolve without the other. Even though planets in the physical world have a limited existence, there are innumerable planets being born constantly in the vast expanse of the physical universe. Planets are managed by God’s laws of correspondence to evolve into a physical environment adapted to supporting the physical bodies of humans. The mental world of eternity is managed by God’s laws of correspondence to allow the endless evolution of individual human beings contained in an immortal and permanent mental body which we have since our birth into eternity.
The mental world is constructed in organic top down layers (represented vertically), or in concentric layers (represented horizontally). The first layer below, or around, the mental sun of eternity is called the celestial layer. When our consciousness operates from this layer we are called quasi-omniscient angels. The expression “quasi-omniscient” refers to the ability to know and understand anything we think about or wonder about. Our celestial consciousness has the capability to access instantly any information in the universe that we want or need under any situation. We cannot access our celestial consciousness with full awareness until after resuscitation when we are no longer connected to the physical body and world. Prior to this we oscillate between the rational and the material consciousness.
The lowest or most external layer of consciousness is called material consciousness, which involves loves and ideas that are adapted exclusively to the material or physical world of time, space, matter, politics, culture, economics. These are “earthly” issues because they concern our welfare while we are attached to the physical body. All our motives and thoughts are adapted to earthly and temporary considerations. Above the material consciousness, and below the celestial consciousness, there is the rational consciousness. It is intermediate between the order of things in the physical world (material consciousness) and the order of things in the celestial layer of the mental world (celestial consciousness after resuscitation). This intermediate position gives rational consciousness the unique human ability to perceive higher mental objects that exist in the celestial layer of eternity.
The mental sun of eternity issues from the Divine consciousness in God. Since God is infinite and indivisible the Divine substances that issue from God’s consciousness remain God’s. God cannot give away particles of Divine consciousness. This means that everything that is created out of these particles of Divine consciousness retain the presence of the Divine consciousness. This is the meaning of Divine “omnipresence” since God is present everywhere within all objects constructed out of the Divine substances. Hence it is also that our mental body is immortal since it is constructed out of the mental dust particles that issue from the mental sun of eternity.
The Divine consciousness is produced by God’s Divine Love and the Divine Truth conjoining in God as in a Divine marriage. The result of this marriage is the Divine consciousness, which is omnipresent and infinite. Divine Love and Divine Truth are the two Divine substances, each being infinite, and each flowing out of the mental sun as an aura of heat and light. The Divine Love comes out as mental heat, while the Divine Truth comes out as mental light.
Mental heat is received by the affective system of the mental body. Mental light is received by the cognitive system. This corresponds to the physical body which receives physical heat and light from the physical sun entering our atmosphere. Plants receive nutrients from the minerals in the ground. These minerals are particles of heat from the sun that have cooled off over time. The physical sun spews out heat and dust particles into the surrounding space. These heat particles cool off and coalesce together until they form a large object called a planet. Every object on the planet is therefore constructed of this original heat dust that issues from the physical sun.
This corresponds to what happens in the mental world of eternity. The mental objects that make up our mental body and its systems are constructed out of the heat dust from the mental sun that “cool off” to form the affective, cognitive and sensorimotor systems that give us consciousness. Our mental organs are constructed out of the particles of mental heat and light. Mental heat particles are captured and received by the affective circulatory system. These provide the mental nutrients for the three systems, just as the blood provides the natural nutrients for the physical body. Mental nutrients are loves that exist in an endless variety in the mental world of eternity.
The quality of ‘nourishing’ loves that we obtain from mental heat is specific to the three consciousness zones. Celestial loves are arranged in a hierarchy of loves that is governed by Ruling Loves.
The celestial ruling love is the love of conjunction and community.
The rational ruling love is the love of understanding truth.
The material ruling love is the love of survival, dominance, and power.
Everything in our life and in our eternal future is determined by our ruling love. After resuscitation there is a brief period of self-exploration in which our ruling love rises to the surface of our personality and consciousness. Prior to resuscitation people cannot show their actual ruling love since it is often egotistical, and therefore harmful and dangerous to others. This motivates people to hide their ruling love until it is safe to express it and live it. This happens after resuscitation when we realize that we are no longer attached to a vulnerable physical body. That vulnerability and fear keeps people from expressing their ruling love.
But once the fear of retaliation and physical punishment vanishes at death, we can allow our ruling love to emerge and show itself. Now this ruling love is in the center of our consciousness and we pursue it with passion and intensity. This ruling love now does the work of rearranging the affective hierarchy of loves. Every sub-love that is not compatible with the ruling love is laid aside, suffocated, and rendered unable to function. From then to endless eternity, that ruling love determines everything in our consciousness, and consequently in our environment – that is, who we associate with in eternity and what kind of environment we live in.
When the ruling love is heavenly, we associate with others who are also heavenly in their loves. People in the celestial consciousness arrange themselves in collectivities or mental societies according to the similarity of their ruling loves and sub-loves. There are two such collectivities, one called the Grand Human, and the other called the Grand Monster. These terms are chosen to reflect the quality of the ruling love in each mental society. Since everything produced by mental heat and light is human in quality or form, it follows that the mental body of each person has the human form. Also, the mental society formed by many individuals constructs itself in the shape of the human body. Finally the entire collection of all mental societies arrange themselves into the human form, hence the names Grand Human and Grand Monster (see Diagrams).
When the ruling love is hellish all those we associate with are clinging to hellish loves. The similarity and compatibility of these hellish loves arrange themselves into the form of a deformed human being, hence the name Grand Monster.
We determine our eternal ruling love by our cumulative daily life choices. Acting from inherited and acquired egotistical loves and their enjoyments, creates a permanent hellish ruling love. Fighting these character weaknesses through conscience and moral behavior involves us in a mental process of character regeneration. This is a lifelong process of changing our hellish loves by clinging to heavenly ones. After resuscitation we are left with the ruling love we practiced since birth.
The anatomical origin of human life has been traced to the mental sun of eternity. To the ocular view of the celestial mental body it appears as a brilliant sun of heat and light, inundating and immersing the entire expanse around itself, which is called the mental world of eternity. This expanse is not “nothing” or “empty” or the absence of something. It is a space and sphere constructed out of the mental heat substance and mental light substance that stream out of the mental sun in continuous and endless variety. This flow never stops and maintains the expanse of eternity in a living organic and evolving progression. This expanse may be called rational ether because it has substance (“ether”) that is living, organic, human and rational. These properties are Divine-Human.
It makes no sense to attribute these properties to the mental sun as something inert. All things in the mental world of eternity are living because whatever exists there must start with the building blocks in mental ether. There is nothing else to build with. In the physical world all things are constructed out of matter, chemical elements, energy. There are no other building materials. These things are called “temporary” with a limited “lifespan” because they are constructed out of physical matter in time and space. But in the mental world all things are constructed out of mental heat and mental light substance, and these are living and immortal.
Everything that is living must be immortal.
Living or aliveness is a Divine-Human property. All Divine properties are immortal and eternal. The mental sun of eternity is the entry point or exchange point, between God and creation. God is uncreate, and all properties in God are uncreate. Life or living is a property of God, hence life must be immortal. People often think that even if God is the origin of life, once God activates a being into living existence, that being or individual now carries life within itself. We feel that we are alive in ourselves from ourselves. We feel complete as an individual, living and thinking, and doing, and reacting. This is my life. Even if it originates from God, now it is my life. God has given me this life.
However we need to realize by rational thinking that this feeling of “my life is mine” is an appearance that God wills to have us feel this appearance as real. God imposes that appearance on us. God hides from our view or knowledge that whatever property is bestowed on us from God remains God’s property. This includes: life, intelligence, rationality, humanity, love, truth, compassion, inventiveness, curiosity, desire for knowledge, artistic perceptions, talent, aptitude, the ability to have consciousness of sensations, etc. What is left as our own if all these things are God’s? The answer is that nothing is left as our own, except the will to cling to any and all of these Divine properties, and the consciousness we experience as a result.
Once we examine the rational implications of God’s omnipotence, we begin to understand that the operations in our seven bodies could not integrate into a unit, and could not progress and evolve without direct and immediate determinism over every detail of these immense operations. God must be a Divine-Human Operating System in the mind of every person, causing every little detail to progress and integrate with every other little detail regarding what we notice around us and what we ignore, regarding what comes into our consciousness and thinking and what gets left out, or regarding what kind of loves and emotions are allowed to move us moment by moment, and situation by situation. God controls the environment of the seven bodies as well as the operations within each body. And this is done for every human being from birth to endless eternity, and since the beginning of the human race to endless increase and multiplication. Even the concept of “infinity” seems too small to imagine what Divine Rational computing power it takes to keep all this going in a pre-selected direction and for a Divine purpose and goal. This goal is to increase the happiness and intelligence of the human race to endless eternity and evolution.
God maintains the unity of the entire human race through its continuous expansion, immortality, and eternity. Every newborn human being on any planet in the expanding universe, is an organic unit that is inducted into the human race through the vertical community. The networking and interconnectedness is total. Every feeling operation in the affective circulatory system of the mental body, every thinking operation in the cognitive respiratory system, and every sensory operation in the neuro-muscular sensorimotor system, that is going on in individual, reverberates and spreads like an expanding circular wave, to the individuals who are nearby, then to more distal areas, and finally to adjacent communities.
The entire Grand Human contains the synchronized breathing of each society, and of each individual in that society. The individual mental operations and emotions of all get transmitted in some varying form to each. Everything about human beings is coordinated to work synergistically. Every part enters into the whole and the whole into every part. This kind of organic functioning unity that is increasing forever in complexity and evolution must be kept on track by God’s omnipotent management techniques and procedures.
God’s omnipotence implies direct and immediate control of all things. How this is actually accomplished may be made clearer to our understanding when we consider there cannot be two infinites, or else neither would be infinite. There is only infinite because it includes everything. If God gives life and intelligence to a human being, does not God lose some of this infinity? Hence when God gives us life and intelligence it is only an appearance that this life and intelligence is ours. The life and intelligence in us is God’s, not ours. Instead of “our intelligence” it may be more accurate to say “God’s intelligence in us,” or “God’s life in me” but not “my life” literally (only so in appearance).
The mental heat from the mental sun is also called God’s infinite love substance, and the mental light is also called God’s infinite truth substance, which is the same as rationality substance since rationality comes from truth. Love substance is received by the affective circulatory system of the mental body, while truth substance is received by the cognitive respiratory system. When love and truth are reunited in our willing and thinking, they produce consciousness in the neuro-skeletal sensorimotor system of the mental body. The love and truth substance are from God and therefore remain God’s love and truth, but they are now outside God and in creation. This means that God is present in creation through love and truth substance in our mental body. Hence it is said that God is omnipresent and omniscient. These two properties of God are effected through love and truth in creation everywhere.
Once we understand that God manages the events in our mind and the events in our environment, we can realize to what extent each of us is intimately involved with God, regardless of whether we acknowledge it or know about it. God manages the events and the mental states of every person from birth to endless eternity. This idea is taught in all the major religions, which probably comprise the vast majority of worshippers. Children learn that God knows and sees everything, including their thoughts and intentions. They also learn that God requires us to live our life in a certain way, and if we don’t, we will suffer negative consequences both in this life and in the afterlife. Besides religious worship we also need to inquire scientifically and rationally into God’s management techniques and requirements. Specifically, how does God lead us to a heavenly life in eternity?
In order to understand this rationally we need to realize that God manages the life of human beings in two ways—direct (or immediate) and indirect (or mediate). Both are necessary to achieve God’s purpose in creation. God’s immediate control is made possible by the love and truth substance out of which all things are created and activated in the mind. Love and truth are God’s Own in our mind, hence, God in our mind. Whatever is God’s Own is God’s, and therefore God. The indirect or mediate control is exercised by God through the organized anatomical layers of the mental world of eternity that surrounds the mental sun.
The first entry point of love and truth in human consciousness is through the celestial mental body (VII, layers 4, 5, 6). From there they influence by correspondence the layer below called the rational mental body (VI). God’s mediate influence over the rational mental body is through the celestial mental body. Following this, God influences the material mental body through the rational mental body from the celestial mental body, thus connecting all the regions of the mind through mediate control. The result of this system of control is that the mental layers are united into one functioning unit. Ultimately all of humanity is controlled by God through both immediate and mediate control mechanisms.
An additional idea to understand is that God exercises immediate control through two distinct principles of engagement called the Laws of Providence and the Laws of Permissions. One is for the management of disorderly mental states called “evil,” while the other is for the management of orderly mental states called “good.” Without knowing this distinction it is not possible to answer rationally the question everyone has been asking for centuries without having an adequate and fully rational answer: “If God is omnipotent and perfect in love, why does He allow evil and suffering in human beings?” All the answers I have heard given all end up more or less in the idea that God alone knows, or that we cannot understand God’s ways, or that it has to do with giving us freedom, etc.
By considering God’s omnipotence and love in the context of these two Divine management laws, we can understand that our humanity (or humanness) lies in the ability to cling to God and through truth from God. Our ability to love God makes us immortal and capable of conjugial love in heavenly eternity. God cannot bring us to this eternal heavenly mental state because only the clinging to it can get us there. To force us there without our clinging to it would not make that mental state available to our consciousness. It would be no different from a state of mental torture and suffering, thus the opposite of heaven. Clinging to God is an ability we have from birth but it is not actualized, or made functional, until we practice that innate ability by clinging to God, or if we don’t know God, then clinging to God’s orderliness and truth that every person has access to from conscience and rational reflection.
Some people choose to practice this clinging to orderliness and truth, others do not. For our modern generations everyone is born with an inherited attraction to disorderly mental states, those that harm us in the long run unless we manage them rationally. God has allowed these “evil” mental states in human beings by means of the Law of Permissions. Only those disorderly mental states are allowed that God uses to bring about a good result for the benefit of all concerned or involved in that evil. Other evils are not allowed to come into existence. This is the Law of Permissions. It is for the management of disorderly mental states.
The law of Providence is for the management of orderly states called “good.” Think about some of the good that has happened to you today. You were able to open your eyes and use the ability to see around you. This is good. You are able to read these lines right now because God is managing your eye movements, your thinking about the meaning, and your motivation to get through it or to memorize it. These events are orderly events managed by God through the Law of Providence. The word “Providence” comes from “to provide,” to indicate that God provides all the good we need moment by moment, to continue living and progressing to a heavenly goal in eternity.
When you reflect on your day you will notice that you typically oscillate between orderly and disorderly mental states. For example, you are brushing your teeth – an orderly heavenly thing, and suddenly you remember that your friend didn’t return your call yesterday. You start swearing and feeling anxious in the stomach – a disorderly hellish mental state. As another example, think about your snacks. One moment you are eating and staying within your diet – an orderly heavenly thing, but minutes later you are ingesting an extra candy bar and feeling guilty that you are not sticking to your diet resolution – a disorderly hellish thing to do.
All day long we thus oscillate between orderly mental states and disorderly mental states. God must manage both of these or else chaos would be the result instead of a rational goal. The two laws of Providence and Permissions allow God to do this continuous management. Now you can think about the question of why an omnipotent God perfect in love allows a baby to die, or a child to be molested, or a father to be killed in war, or a terrorist to blow up innocent people, or a natural disaster that destroys towns and brings on famine and sickness. These are the disorderly states that God manages by the Laws of Permissions. God allows only those evil events to take place that meet three rational and loving criteria:
The Laws of Permissions account for the existence of the societies of the Grand Monster or “hell.” God manages evil with evil, and good with good. After the dying/resuscitation process everyone experiences an organic development by which the orderly and disorderly mental states are physiologically separated. All our traits are rearranged and placed under the command of the ruling love we have been clinging to in our mental and personality development since birth. There are two categories of ruling loves – orderly and disorderly, that is, heavenly and hellish. Once our traits are so organized into a duality of opposed ruling loves, we experience the necessity to cling to one or the other ruling love. It is not possible to resist this process and every human being undergoes it soon after the dying/resuscitation process.
What determines which choice we make? Clearly, few other questions can be of greater importance to us since this choice is permanent and forever. Do we choose a life in heaven or in hell? In order to understand how we can prepare for that choice and manage our eternal future we need to consider the process of regeneration.
It is clear from self-observation that we oscillate between heavenly and hellish mental states in the course of a normal day, or even hour. In one moment we resolve to stick to our diet plan and therefore not eat desert with everybody else around the table (a heavenly trait or motive), and a minute or two later we are eating the desert with everybody else, thus giving in to a temptation we were trying to fight (a hellish trait). One moment we’re in a good mood and humming a song (a heavenly emotion), and a minute later we realize we forgot an important appointment, and we feel rage and disgust against ourselves (a hellish emotion).
An employer treats his employees fairly (heavenly trait), for the most part, but sometimes he allows himself to be discriminatory for personal preference (a hellish trait). We may be honest most of the time (a heavenly trait), but sometimes we cheat to gain an unmerited advantage (a hellish trait). We can forgive and make peace from a sense of compassion (a heavenly trait), or we can carry a grudge and try to hurt someone’s reputation. We can be cruel and selfish, but also kind and generous. All day long we add to the cumulative heap of good and evil impulses, altruistic and selfish motives, kind and hurtful acts, wise and stupid words. Our life is an accumulation of heaven and hell within us.
If this process were left to continue unmanaged all the heavenly traits would be destroyed or converted by the hellish traits and we would become evil caricatures of ourselves and an image of the Grand Monster or eternal societies of hell in the human mind. The good and the evil, or the heavenly and the hellish, destroy each other, leaving what is destroyed, hence bad and evil. Evil wins when good is not protected. It is absolutely necessary therefore for God to manage this heap so that the heavenly is not destroyed.
Regeneration refers to a Divine therapy to which every human being must submit in order to have heaven and hell anatomically separated in the mind. This is accomplished by allowing the opposing traits to be adjacent to each other, or to lie on top of one another as in a heap of vines in the backyard composed of both pretty flowers and tasty fruit berries, mixed with prickly and poisonous bushes. For awhile they can be left to grow together because their roots don’t mix with each other. God intervenes in our mental procedures to make sure that heavenly and hellish impulses remain separated as to their roots. This process of separation is effected by God but it proceeds in proportion to the individual’s cooperation. God allows the individual to resist regeneration, in which case the good and bad roots gradually interpenetrate each other.
God’s role in the activity of our regeneration is called the Divine Psychologist.
In order to understand the process of regeneration we need to consider two additional ideas, namely, temptations and remains. Experiencing a temptation refers to a mental state of conflict brought about by the Divine Psychologist through having to face some threat by an outside event, or through interior reflection accompanied by disturbing emotions. For example, while you’re watching TV you realize that the volume is on pretty high, which is what you like when you watch sports. But now you remember that your roommate and your neighbors next door have complained that your TV is too loud. You feel a conflict. You feel like turning it down for their sake, but you also feel like enjoying it the way it is. This is a temptation state.
The Divine Psychologist is now intervening in such a way as to maximize your conflict. For example, the phone rings and the next door neighbor yells at you because of the TV and calls you disrespectful names. You feel mad like hell now. Your temptation doubles in intensity. You have the impulse to make the volume even louder, to teach your neighbor a lesson. But you resist. You don’t like the idea of being an obnoxious person that gives others trouble. You now turn the TV volume down a little. You remember your big brother who was always nice to everyone. Maybe you can be like him. Etc. Etc.
You can see from this type of reflection that we experience alternating impulses moment by moment, some heavenly and kind, some hellish and selfish. The Divine Psychologist keeps these two types of impulses separated in your affective circulatory system. Just like the blue blood containing cell waste is not allowed to mix with the red blood containing clean oxygen. As long as the two don’t mix, the body can be nourished and survives.
The Divine Psychologist works with every person to effect this separation. Conscience is a mental organ that responds directly to input from the Divine Psychologist. It’s like a Divine signaling system. Conscience delivers a good emotion when we accept its judgment or prompting, and a disturbing emotion when we reject it. People have to work hard to kill the voice of conscience in their mind, but many do so anyway. Eventually they don’t feel it at all so that they lose all ability to distinguish between good and evil, and between rational and irrational. At that point, whatever feels good is defined as good, appears good, and is seen as good. And whatever thoughts or ideas agree with this good, is defined and seen as rational truth. There is no objective evaluation possible within this framework. We are locked within our own opinion, whether it is false or true.
The word remains refers to the collection of orderly impulses we experience in the course of our daily lives. For example, we see a banana peel on the floor and pick it up to avoid someone from slipping on it. What made you do this altruistic act? It had to be preceded by an altruistic impulse prompted by your conscience or your desire to be a person of integrity. All day we may have such good impulses and they would merely be part of our history were it not for the happy fact that the Divine Psychologist collects these good impulses and keeps them safe for our immortal life after we undergo the dying/resuscitation process. Almost every moment of living contains some remains of innocence, altruism, sociality, goodness. All those heavenly impulses and affections cumulate and begin to fill out our heavenly personality in the celestial mental body. Without remains we would not have a coherent integration of the good impulses and affections into a Grand Human personality.
The Divine Psychologist also collects our evil or disorderly impulses that we have on a daily basis. Our evil remains make up our Grand Monster personality while our good remains make up our Grand Human personality. Following our resuscitation we undergo an intense period of self-discovery through various experiences and events that the Divine Psychologist arranges for each person to undergo. During this period we each face ourselves. We see the Grand Human personality in us, and we see the Grand Monster personality also in us. One personality is ruled by a heavenly ruling love, while the other is ruled by a hellish ruling love. Now we have a clear choice. Which one are we willing to let go for the sake of keeping the other one. That choice determines our eternal future, whether we join one of the societies of the Grand Human and their heavenly life, or whether we join one of the societies of the Grand Monster and their hellish life.
This kind of orderly choice making has to be engineered by the Divine Psychologist or else it would never work out.
For instance, what would happen if the Divine Psychologist stacks the odds in favor of a happy life in heaven by filling up our Grand Human personality with all sorts of heavenly impulses which we never actually had, but could provide us with a happy eternal life. Such an approach does not work out. For as soon as our consciousness enters our Grand Human personality, now aggrandized by these additional loves, we would not recognize those mental states as our own. It would be like visiting a neighbor’s house for the week end and pretending that it is our home. Sooner or later the pretense must stop. We don’t want to spend our lives in a home that we only pretend is our home. And so the Grand Human personality would feel like a mental trap or prison, and we would feel like we are in hell, not in heaven.
Hence you can see the importance of the work of the Divine Psychologist in each of us. Without our remains of good impulses we would not have an integrated heavenly personality in which our consciousness can spend the rest of eternity. The Divine Psychologist works with us by the second, by the minute, by the hour, by the day and night, to provide us with experiences and events to which we can react with positive impulses. If you examine your train of thoughts in various situations during the day you will discover that some of these thoughts are negative and hostile or judgmental and condemnatory, punishing and retaliatory. These kinds of thoughts are evoked by negative and hostile feelings and reactions.
These negative ant-social feelings are ruled by a ruling love that might be selfism, the enjoyment of revenge, the desire for power and popularity for the sake of manipulation and domination, proneness to irrational judgment, etc. These are evil loves because they connect the person to the societies of the Grand Monster. The more cumulative connections we establish, maintain, and cultivate with the societies of the Grand Monster, the stronger the tie and bond grows, producing an organic root tying your material mental body to the material mental bodies of those who already live in the Grand Monster.
When we resuscitate we feel an irresistible attraction and bond with those societies, and upon our second death, we let go of all heavenly traits, and happily enter the company of those with whom we have been connected all along. Unfortunately the honeymoon does not last long when we discover that everyone here desires domination, and enjoys revenge, and thinks irrationally, without morality, without restraints. Then our life becomes an endless series of evil mental states such as rage, insanity, fantasy, fear, and suffering, and totally devoid of human feelings such as sociality, compassion, love of truth, love of children and and innocence, enjoyment of beauty and intelligence, etc. We can avoid this fate by undergoing the process of character regeneration prior to the dying/resuscitation process.
Regeneration proceeds through new temptations and progresses through cumulative remains.
The Divine Psychologist arranges events so that we can face spiritual combat against our disorderly impulses. Only those temptations are given us that we are able to overcome by means of our conscience. The Divine Psychologist does not expose us to temptations that we can’t resist since this would be tantamount to causing us to fail, to give in, and thus to strengthen the connection to that negative impulse. During a temptation it appears to us that we are alone, that we are fighting the mental battle on our own, and that we are putting up the effort and power to resist the temptation through our own power and determination. This is the appearance, not the reality.
The reality is that the Divine Psychologist has all the power through omnipotence, which rationally means that we have zero power on our own. To think therefore that we are fighting alone through our own power is therefore delusional and irrational, thus disorderly and hellish. Instead, we want to stay rational in our thinking, so we can understand that it is the Divine Psychologist who wills it that we experience the appearance that we are acting from ourselves and alone. This appearance is willed by the Divine Psychologist for our sake, so that we may accept our life as free and independent, so that we don’t feel like a robot that is merely activated by God’s will.
Heavenly impulses lead to pro-social behavior, altruism, community building, collective productivity, and organic evolution to ever higher human potentials. Hellish impulses lead to anti-social behavior, selfism, community breakdown, irrationality, destructiveness, and organic devolution to lower forms of consciousness and life. The distinction between “heavenly” and “hellish” traits is therefore organic, biological, and intrinsic. The distinction is not arbitrary, moralistic, cultural, or idealistic.
What about people who don’t know God, or who don’t believe that there is such a thing as God? Or who believe that there may be a God but that things in the world run on their own through the laws of nature that God created.
God is running everything in a person’s life through omnipotence, and not by permission of the individual. God must manage the mind of all individuals regardless of their beliefs and theories. Living is an organic process. God manages the growth of plants without any cooperation from the plants. God manages the wind, the rain, the random curve, and the animal distribution in an area. God manages every possible detail in people’s lives through omnipotence. People who do not relate to God, and people who deny God’s existence, are just as dependent on their conscience as those who relate to God. Conscience tells everyone between right and wrong, good and bad, and sometimes between true and false. God maintains the conscience in every person. God also allows every individual to reject conscience, and even to silence or kill conscience in themselves.
Conscience is formed by God within a cultural framework. People from different cultures and historical epochs have had each their own community conscience, and yet if you examine the content of people’s conscience from diverse cultures, they agree in all the basics. This is because the one and only God activates and maintains the conscience of all individuals, making sure that it contains only such loves and character traits that are compatible with heaven. The result is that the Grand Human societies are diverse but still compatible with good and truth. There is only one source of good and truth, namely, the mental heat and light from the mental sun, and this is God’s good substance and truth substance.
Now what happens when we give in to temptations, throw in the towel in the inner spiritual fight of good vs. evil, declare ourselves free from God's commandments, religious rules, or the dictates of our conscience? Note that this non-theistic or negative bias attitude could be temporary or permanent in any one individual. Note also that people who practice a religion may do so spiritually or naturally. To practice religion naturally means that you only let it affect your outward behavior and not what you are thinking to yourself and what you are feeling. In other words, we play an outward role of respectability and sincerity, but inwardly within our own private consciousness, we maintain ideas that would not be considered respectable, and emotions that would not be considered peaceful or sincere. We thus lead a double life to ourselves.
It is common and normal to lead a double life at times. As children we learn to survive and avoid punishment by being deceitful. As adolescents we learn to hide our emotions so that we stay out of trouble. We learn to feign sincerity, to hide our intentions, to carry secrets. All along the Divine Psychologist has been managing and controlling what each individual sees, hears, thinks, and feels. This total management control insures that the person grows up with an integrated personality that is made up of both healthy and unhealthy organic traits. The Divine Psychologist also saves the innocent remains of every moment and organically grows the celestial mental body that will serve the person in the Grand Human of eternity.
When we become young and mature adults we are given a radically new power and responsibility about our future. It is the power of rational thinking that is not based on material ideas. The Divine Psychologist gives conscious life to the rational mental body that is based on correspondence with the celestial mental body (see diagrams). This is layer 7i or the interior of layer 7, which is the rational mind (VI). This may be called the interior rational layer of the material mental body. It is the highest form of consciousness available to us anatomically prior to the dying/resuscitation process. This consciousness is based on rational loves and rational thoughts that correspond to the celestial order that forms our celestial mental body and consciousness.
With the functional operation of the rational mind we are able to form ideas and principles that are not sourced in the material ideas of our spatiotemporal life in the physical body. Now for the first time the Divine Psychologist can appear to us rationally. In other words, we are now able to understand the notion of rational proof as opposed to empirical proof. God’s existence is now a rational reality. Our rational mental body can see God’s rational mental body. Prior to this new celestial-rational mental state we had a material consciousness of God and God’s existence. In that state we spoke of our “faith” and “intuition” or “inner feeling” etc. These feelings are still there in the material consciousness of our daily life, but in moments of reflection or calm, we can raise our consciousness to the rational mental body, and we can then see God’s rational mental body.
But before we are activated in our celestial-rational mind, our idea of God is material, not celestial. We can then believe that what matters to God is how we act on the outside, whether or not we treat people decently and meet our expected responsibilities to family, career, and community. Certainly this is necessary to God, and we must all achieve this kind of life. But it is not sufficient. Following the dying/resuscitation process we are no longer in our outward personality (layer 9 or external part of the material mental body), which was tied by correspondence to our physical body. These personality features that lay in our outward personality include our culture, language, knowledge, appearance, and habitual interaction patterns with others. What is left of you now is the inner portion of the material mental body and the rational mental body (both exterior or materialized, and interior or celestial-rational).
You can see from this that if you continued to lead a double life in adulthood, when your outward personality is removed, your consciousness falls into the mentality you maintained privately within your mind. This inward personality may not be sane! What a shock! Does this mean that we are collectively sane on the outside but crazy individually on the inside? Yes.
All you need to do is to confirm this through your own direct empirical observations on yourself in daily life. No one has this data available on you. No brain scan or ethnographic interview can reveal it or measure it. You are the only source of objective data on your mind because you are the only observer available for that task. So if you want to test the hypothesis given here, you can.
Observe what your thoughts are made of when someone angers you or puts you in danger. Or when someone discriminates against you. Or when you discover someone has been spreading malicious rumors about you, or has obtained through deceit something that belongs to you. These are mental states in which your inward personality becomes self-righteous and operates at a more intense level so that you are able to monitor your thoughts, emotions, fantasies, words, intentions, wishes, etc. Think now what would happen if this irate, self-centered, irrational inward personality becomes your outward personality without any check or restraint exercised by your rational mind. This is what happens after the dying/resuscitation process. The crazy unchecked inward personality becomes the crazy unchecked outward personality.
The process of regeneration is an organic function that is activated through our conscious intervention. The first step is called entering the state of reformation. We review everything we believe, our principles and attitudes, our lifestyle habits, our relationship interactions, all in the light of the new celestial-rational understanding (layer 7i or VI) that our conscience receives from the Divine Psychologist. Through this mental activity we rearrange everything in our material mind to make each thing in correspondence and compatible with the celestial order. When this task is completed sufficiently we begin our regeneration. We are now armed with new knowledge about our eternal future and our task at hand. In the light of this celestial-rational knowledge and understanding we are able to fashion spiritual truths for ourselves to serve in combat against our temptations. Every temptation must be defeated with these celestial-rational truths. Without them we cannot win all the battles. The Divine Psychologist is limited by the truths we know or are willing to love sincerely.
If we remain in our material ideas of God and what God wants of us, we make it impossible for the Divine Psychologist in our rational mind to bring spiritual temptations to us because we would not resist them -- which would harm our spiritual future in eternity. The only way we can change our inherited selfish traits is to reject them freely and consciously, because they are contrary to our life in the Grand Human. No other motivation can succeed in altering how we think and feel inwardly, but only how we act and talk outwardly. This is because we are in inward mental states after resuscitation.
For almost three decades Swedenborg observed thousands of people who were recently resuscitated after the death of their physical body. He interviewed many of them concerning their knowledge and beliefs about God. They all were still able to recall clearly their memories from earth, which we can do for awhile after resuscitation, and before settling into our inward personality, which is who we really are underneath our veneer. Swedenborg discovered that people after resuscitation, thus in their immortal eternity body, cannot hold on to their rules of conscience and their religious beliefs when these were merely outward norms of conduct that they followed by habit and lifestyle. In their inward personality they were of the opposite disposition.
Because they now rejected all rules of religion, conscience, morality, and respectability they felt completely free to feel, think, and do whatever they felt like spontaneously, uncritically (See also: Section 22.214.171.124). And because they had not undergone temptations and character reformation, their inherited tendencies and loves for evil and cruel things now took over completely, and they turned into an immortal life of hellish pursuits, delights, and sufferings.
On the other hand, Swedenborg observed some people after their resuscitation that had no religion of any kind, but had had a strong sense of conscience and natural morality and respect for others, for animals, and for nature. After their resuscitation, when they were told and taught about God, they were instantly able to accept it and to understand it rationally, and were able to enter the life of conjugial heaven to eternity. In other words, the Divine Psychologist works with all individuals regardless of their culture or belief, through their conscience and through the activation of their celestial-rational understanding that is independent of culture, history, or the physical world.
This mental state allows the individual to love truth for its own sake and to love goodness as superior to loving evil. As a result people in this mental state can progress and evolve in regeneration by meeting the temptations of life and handling them through their conscience and inner rational understanding. After resuscitation their love of truth and goodness allows them to accept the new knowledge they acquire about God, and thereby they can enter the Grand Human society with which they have bonded during their life of love for the good and for the truth. Anyone who leads a life of love for the good and the truth is organically bonded to the Grand Human. Anyone who does not have an inward love for goodness and truth is bonded to the Grand Monster.
People look at crime, social disorder, human unhappiness everywhere, and they conclude that either there is no God, or that God is not omnipotent, or that God is both good and evil. These are all false conclusions. In fact, society is perfect for its spiritual purpose or goal, and God is maintaining it in perfect order for that purpose, since God is omnipotent to carry out what He wants and plans. The difficulty has been for people to see rationally that society and life on earth has a higher purpose related to our immortality. Crime and disasters cannot reduce or take away from this purpose. Crime and human selfishness do make our experience on earth more ghastly, but this experience does not interfere with why we are here. God will not allow anything to interfere with this purpose.
The perfection of the world and of society which is maintained and controlled by God, is that it gives people a life in which at any moment they can begin their character reformation and preparation for eternal happiness in heaven. No one is excluded. Everyone has an equal opportunity.
God maintains our ability to do and to think evil things just as he maintains our ability to think and do good things. If God took away our ability to think and do evil things, this would not be a perfect world because we could not regenerate our inherited character and we would be compelled to a life of eternal hell.
At any moment of our daily willing and thinking, the Divine Psychologist puts us up to a choice between choosing evil or good. The cumulative moment by moment choices we make every hour, day by day, over the decades of our life on earth – many millions of choices -- constitute our character. This is the vehicle of our immortality. After our resuscitation we are immersed by the Divine Psychologist into an intense life of recapitulation and self-discovery. All societal shackles are cast off in absolute liberty when we fully realize that we are now immortal, in a world where we are free to exercise our desires and loves whatever they are. Now at last, without social pressure, responsibility, expectations, and rules of conscience, we can be whatever our feelings and thinking prompt us to be -- purely selfish, totally egocentric, wild and mad, cruel and obsessive, prompt to extremes and excesses of any kind whatsoever. These feelings and imaginings now create a hellish environment around us, where we continue our life with others who are similar to us.
When we think about it now, it is clear that we should avoid at all cost from ending our life on earth with a hellish personality on the inside, even if we have a civilized personality on the outside.
God's purpose in providing revelation of spiritual truths in the form of Sacred Scripture allows us to see rationally that we must undergo regeneration of character in order to have a heavenly life in eternity. And as well, to teach us the techniques that are effective in this regeneration effort -- how we are to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist to reciprocate. By acknowledging the co-presence of the Divine Psychologist in our mind, by studying Sacred Scripture through a celestial-rational understanding, and by reflecting deeply on our conscience, we become spiritually enlightened so that we can acquire celestial-rational truths with which to resist spiritual temptations and consequently to be conjoined with God through willing what is good and thinking in accordance with our rational understanding of truth.
See Diagrams 6, 11, 13, 15, 19, 21, 22, 23.
(Reminder: shift-Click to get a new page for the diagrams so you can look at them while reading the text below, after adjusting the two windows. Or, you can print the diagrams.)
We are members of two communities, one in time and one in eternity. The vertical community contrasts with the horizontal community. Our physical socio-legal identity and social presence in community is located in the context of our horizontal community, that is, the surrounding locales, cities, countries, and world. Our location in the horizontal community is marked by place and time of birth, hence culture and language. Our vertical community is not in time and place, not in culture and language, but in loves and thoughts, consequently in consciousness. Those who are similar in loves have compatible thoughts, which localizes them close to each other in the vertical community.
An analogy to the vertical community is a word thesaurus. If you look at the classification outline of Roget’s Thesaurus you will find certain concepts or ideas to be near each other, being semantic neighbors in their vertical classification area, as for example:
These five expressions or ideas are close neighbors as indicated by their classification outline number. Contrast this semantic neighborhood with a more distant zone:
Another every day system that reflects mental geography are the subject headings classification systems that organize book collections in libraries, and allow people to find the needle in the haystack. When you “browse” the catalog, or the shelves of books in the library stacks, you will find that books that are located close to each other share a specific subject matter, and there are thousands of such categories in a large library system. Physical location of books indicates their topical relationship to neighboring books. In effect, you can inspect a shelf of books and see different titles, content, and perspectives on the one topic or subject that you are interested in. Thanks to the rational system of subject matter classification, physical geography corresponds to semantic geography. Or we can say “mental geography” instead of “semantic geography” because what is semantic is always mental.
The world of meanings is the world of consciousness. Meanings are discretely arranged in each mental zone (see diagram 16). (Reminder: you can shift-Click to have it opened in another window.) Divine Truth can also be called Divine Meaning. Hence mental light from the mental sun is the source of all meanings that we can experience through the cognitive respiratory system of the mental body. The celestial mental body gives us a consciousness of God’s meanings or truths, that is least distorted in the human mind. This is called a celestial-rational understanding of Divine Truth or Rationality. It is based on being able to discern celestial-rational or interior-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture. An appropriate form of Sacred Scripture exists in each mental zone (see this volume: http://www.theisticpsychology.org/books/theistic/ch12.htm )
God provides Sacred Scriptures in each mental zone as a source of celestial-rational ideas that are not in any way related to physical things. We are informed by God that there is an afterlife in eternity and that we have an immortal body with which we live our life in either heaven or hell, depending on how we live our lives and what loves we cling to after death. This is perfect rationality because it corresponds to God’s rationality as expressed in Divine Speech written down in Sacred Scripture. What God speaks always has a literal exterior in each mental zone, as well as a hidden interior that contains infinite wisdom arranged in perfect rationality.
There is a hidden rational science in Sacred Scripture and it can be reconstructed through the language of correspondences. When we read Sacred Scripture in the meanings of its literal-historical sense, our consciousness is formed in our material mental body (V) (or layers 9 and 8) (see Diagrams). Even if we “universalize” or “idealize” the literal sense into a principle or doctrine, it will remain an abstracted expression of the literal. In other words, in all such doctrine, the literal meanings are at their center.
In order to read Sacred Scripture at the celestial- rational level (rather than the material-rational level), we need to use our knowledge of correspondences to extract the rational-level meanings that are hidden within the literal. Divine Speech expressed in Sacred Scripture always has multiple layers of meanings since when God speaks, all of humanity is addressed, thus all of the mental zones of eternity, from top to bottom (see diagrams). The content of God’s Speech – what God wants to reveal to us – are meanings about God, reality, and ourselves. God’s meanings descend into the human mind starting from the top, which give us celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture. These meanings maintains our consciousness at the heavenly or “angelic” level. God’s meanings in Sacred Scripture form people’s consciousness at each anatomical level.
The content of our awareness or conscious life is meaning, but not solely that. We are also conscious of our sensations and our motor determinations and readinesses (movements, stance, tension, vibration). The hierarchy of loves in the affective circulatory system mirrors the hierarchy of meanings in the cognitive respiratory system. This correspondence reflects the organic fact that the affective and cognitive systems develop and operate interdependently Neither can operate independently of the other, just as our blood could not circulate without our breathing. (see earlier section).
The Swedenborg Reports are unique because they give us much empirical data about the mental world of eternity, as observed by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1771) for 27 continuous years of living life in dual consciousness. He was aware of his physical body and its surroundings while he was also aware of the surroundings of his mental body, both material and celestial. In about three dozen books of details Swedenborg described life such as it is for everyone after the dying/resuscitation process. With his dual awareness he was able to observe the vertical community and how we are connected in our thoughts and emotions with those who are no longer attached to a physical body. Swedenborg uses several terms to refer to people after resuscitation, including, good spirits, evil spirits, angels, devils, genii, and others. These terms are familiar to everyone from education and literature. However it is not generally known that these are terms for people after the dying/resuscitation process. They indicate the character of the ruling love of the person, as will be seen below.
The influence of people on each other across the dying/resuscitation dividing line was constantly observed by Swedenborg. Here is one instance from the earlier phase of his observations in which he discusses “influx” or the interacting influence in the vertical community. I have added explanatory comments in square brackets [.].
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports (published in 1753):
AC 6200. Because I have been living - constantly, for nine years now - in company with spirits and angels, I have been able to take careful note of the nature of influx. When I have been thinking, the material ideas in my thought have presented themselves so to speak in the middle of a wave-like motion. I have noticed that the wave was made up of nothing other than such ideas as had become attached to the particular matter in my memory that I was thinking about, and that a person's entire thought is seen by spirits in this way.
[In our mental body we can see each other’s affective-circulatory system and cognitive-respiratory system. Hence we have visual sight of a person’s stream of thoughts and emotions. (That’s a nice feature of our afterlife, don’t you think?)]
But nothing else enters that person's awareness then apart from what is in the middle which has presented itself as a material idea.
[We are aware of only a fragment of an idea we are thinking about. And this fragment is the material portion of the idea. Hence we are not aware of the rational or celestial portions of our own ideas.]
I have likened that wave round about to spiritual wings which serve to raise the particular topic the person is thinking about up out of his memory. And in this way the person becomes aware of that subject matter. The surrounding material in which the wave-like motion takes place contained countless things that harmonized with the matter I was thinking about. This was made clear to me by the fact that from those things spirits living in a more perfect sphere knew everything I had ever learned on that particular subject. It accordingly showed me that spirits take in and absorb everything a person knows, while genii, who are interested solely in his desires and affections, do the same to all aspects of his loves.
[ Note these points: (1) one idea or topic is constructed out of “countless things” or concepts and sub-ideas. (2) People in the afterlife have access to each other’s memories, knowledges, chain of thinking (cognitive system), as well as emotions and loves (affective system). (3) Due to their specific loves, people specialize in accessing either each other’s thoughts and reasonings (“spirits”) or each other’s emotions and loves (“genii”). (4) This vertical interaction process also operates across the dying/resuscitation divide so that spirits can access our thoughts while genii can access our loves. However, this vertical interaction process is not conscious either on our part, or on their part.]
 Let the following example illustrate the point. Whenever I have thought about a person I knew, an image of that person, like that which comes to anyone's mind when his name is mentioned, presented itself in the middle. But round about the image of him - looking like the wings of a bird that are moving up and down - there was everything I had known and thought since childhood regarding that person. Consequently the entire character of that person as it existed in my thought and affection presented itself to spirits in an instant. The like has also happened whenever I have thought about any city. From the sphere round about moving like a wave spirits knew in an instant everything I had ever seen in it or known about it. The same thing has applied to my scientific knowledge. (AC 6200)
This is the first time in the scientific literature that an investigator was able to access the vertical community by direct observation. Anyone with dual consciousness would be able to confirm Swedenborg’s observations. Each of will be able to do so after we undergo the dying/resuscitation process which takes about 33 hours, according to Swedenborg’s careful observations for 27 years.
The phrase vertical community was coined in theistic psychology to designate the fact that God keeps the entire human race integrated in their mental operations and consequently in the breathing of the mental body. This is one of the most amazing scientific findings to be found in the Swedenborg Reports. We are connected or networked into an online synchronous ongoing vertical community through our mental body, which is the organ where thinking and feeling operations take place (see anatomical diagrams). When our cognitive-respiratory system is activated, we experience thoughts coming into our awareness. This is an anatomical or physiological process of the mental body. Now the big question everyone has been asking for a long time:
Where do thoughts come from?
No scientist in the negative bias mode of thinking has ever been able to give a rational answer to this question. One irrational theory is that thoughts don't really exist, and that only electro-chemical operations of the brain cells exist. This is called reductionism in science. Another irrational answer is that thoughts do exist, but only temporarily, while the electro-chemical operations of the brain cells remain active. According to this view, thoughts somehow “emerge” from these electrical activities. Another traditional idea in non-theistic psychology is that thoughts -- cognitive operations -- are memory images created by sensory input. The reason this explanation is irrational is that it equates a natural or physical operation in time and space ("sensory input") with a mental or spiritual operation in eternity that is outside time and space. Sensations and images are nowhere located in the physical body, which contains only neuro-chemical activity. Images and sensations are located in our mental body, which we have from birth, along with our physical body.
A rational answer to where thoughts come from, would have to assume the positive bias of empiricist dualism and acknowledge that the Swedenborg Reports deserve to be examined for their scientific merit. These reports present empirical proof of the reality of the vertical community from Swedenborg's three decades of daily observations in the world of eternity, being in a mental state of consciousness capable of communicating face to face, and conduct conversations and interviews.
The idea of the vertical community means that we are never alone in our mind, but are unconsciously connected to the mind of others in the afterlife in a vertical community network.
We have the illusion that our mental world is an individual's world, while our physical and social world is interactive.
We know that socially we are not alone in the world of our horizontal community. We may be physically alone in a room or in a swimming pool, but we are not alone in the city. We are well aware of our horizontal community that extends from house and neighborhood, to city and country, and the planet globally. We call it our horizontal community because it is located in physical space and time. But our vertical community is outside time and space, in the eternity of the mental world. There is only one mental world.
Every human being is born a dual citizen, with a physical body in time, and a mental body in eternity, outside time and outside physical space or energy. Our thoughts and feelings cannot be located in time and physical space for they are not made of physical matter or physical energy. Hence it is that we are born into eternity, which automatically makes us immortal.
A thought or feeling cannot die because "death" applies only to the natural world of physical time, space, energy, and matter. Our mental body grows as the physical body grows, and at the death of the physical body, the mental body continues its life in eternity. Swedenborg lived consciously in both worlds for 27 years, and was able to confirm by many observations and experiments, that every individual is resuscitated about 30 hours after the death of the physical body and then continues life forever in that new environment.
In Swedenborg's Reports we have the scientific fact, observationally confirmed, that an individual's mental world is actually a social world in which we are surrounded by many others who are in their mental world. While we are not aware of the vertical community, prior to resuscitation, we are fully aware of it after resuscitation when we are no longer conscious in the natural mind through the physical body.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports: [“man” = our state before we die; “spirit” = our state after we die]
TCR 475. Man does not know that in respect to his mind he is in the midst of spirits, for the reason that the spirits with whom he is in company in the spiritual world, think and speak spiritually, while his own spirit thinks and speaks naturally so long as he is in the material body; and the natural man cannot understand or perceive spiritual thought and speech, nor the reverse.
[Our mental body identifies with the physical body so fully that we believe we are the physical body. Neither spirits nor us are aware of this networked connection with each other, moment by moment for our entire life. Our physical body eyes cannot see them and their mental environment, while their mental body eyes cannot see our physical body and its environment.]
This is why spirits cannot be seen. But when the spirit of man [= when we become conscious in our mental body] is in company with spirits in their world, he is also in spiritual thought and speech with them, because his mind is interiorly spiritual but exteriorly natural; therefore by means of his interiors he communicates with spirits, while by means of his exteriors he communicates with men. By such communication man has a perception of things, and thinks about them analytically. If it were not for such communication, man would have no more thought or other thought than a beast, and if all connection with spirits were taken away from him, he would instantly die. (TCR 475)
This passage indicates that we have a conscious natural mind or mental body and an unconscious spiritual mind or celestial mental body. The conscious material mind (V, layers 9, 8, 7) thinks in a natural language composed of concepts and ideas that are material or time-bound and place-bound. The unconscious spiritual mind or celestial mental body thinks in a spiritual or universal and innate language of the thought. Hence it is that we are not aware of what's going in our celestial mental body which thinks in a spiritual language, not material or natural language. The spiritual language and thought is constructed solely with concepts and ideas that have “state” and “eternity” in them, and never time, place, culture, history, finance, politics, etc., all of which are tied implicitly to the physical world and its conditions and limitations.
These two portions of our mind are functionally connected and influence each other through the laws of correspondences, though we are not aware of this interconnection. Swedenborg's state of living in dual consciousness required that he be conscious both in his natural mind (or material mental body), and in his spiritual mind (or celestial mental body). Normally, we become conscious in our spiritual mind during the dying/ resuscitation process, when we lose our awareness of the physical body. Upon regaining consciousness a few hours later our natural mind and its material contents are with us, but our awareness of them gradually wanes because they are of no importance to us in the new environment of eternity. Instead, our consciousness is now filled with the urgent demands of our ruling love and its sub-loves. These were laying hidden and buried while we were attached to the physical body. Now our ruling love emerges with irresistible power as there is no longer anything physical, legal, or moral that can stop it from fulfilling its desires and anticipations.
The passage above also states that thinking in our conscious natural mind is possible only when our unconscious spiritual mind is in communication with other spiritual minds. This is the vertical community. If such communication were cut off, we would cease to think, hence, cease to be human. Our individual “private” thoughts and feelings are spiritually public social events, consisting of interactive exchanges with others in our vertical community. Swedenborg calls this relationship "communication with spirits" and "being in company with spirits."
Whether we live in heaven or in hell, and consequently experience the quality of life proper to each, depends on the habits and loves in our thoughts and feelings that we accumulate over a lifetime of daily choices. Our daily choices depend on the character of those with whom we share loves in the vertical community. The spiritual company we keep determines the character of our vertical community. This is determined by the character or quality of our loves. We hold these loves in common with them. This is what binds us together with specific people and societies in the Grand Human and the Grand Monster of the vertical community. The way each individual mind operates is a consequence of the character of the spirits in the individual's vertical community, moment by moment, as reflected in the person's thinking and feeling, from birth to endless immortality.
When we are regenerating the Divine Psychologist changes the connections we maintain with specific spiritual societies. We are faced with temptations that reveal strong hellish loves, providing us with enjoyments to which we seem to be very attached from inheritance and habit. For example, we hate being criticized even when it accurately reflects our attitude or behavior. This is a selfish or narcissistic love that is hurtful to self and healthy development. It is the love of adoring what is one’s own even when it is bad. When we cling to this love and resist giving it up, we are kept networked by the Divine Psychologist with vertical community societies that feed on this love and possess this love to enormous intensity and stupidity.
As we cling to the unconditional love of what is our own, we are bonding with those Grand Monster societies where this love is intensified from generations and centuries of cumulative practice and devolution. After the dying/resuscitation process we awaken to this ruling love, and we are spontaneously and irresistibly inducted into that society. We now carry on as one of them forever, feeding on the loves of those who are still on earth.
It is the same with all ruling loves that are hellish, such as the love of making people suffer, the love of dominating people for the sake of taking advantage of them, the love of robbing or stealing what belongs to others, the love of seducing and corrupting innocent girls or married women, the love of misleading others spiritually beliefs, etc.. When we are submitting or cooperating with the Divine Psychologist in our regeneration, we are given temptations to resist, and we can do so when we obey rational or spiritual principles of good and truth that we acquire through reflection and study. The moment we resist in freedom as-if by our own effort, a particular temptation by rejecting the hellish love it involves, in that moment we are reconnected by the Divine Psychologist to some specific society in the Grand Human that is populated by people who love the principle or truth by which we resisted this particular evil love. This process of anatomical regeneration of the mental body goes on throughout our adult life. And if it is not completed prior to the dying/resuscitation process, it is completed immediately afterwards.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 50. (...) Man is altogether ignorant that he is governed of the Lord through angels and spirits, and that with everyone there are at least two spirits, and two angels. By spirits man has communication with the world of spirits, and by angels with heaven. Without communication by means of spirits with the world of spirits, and by means of angels with heaven, and thus through heaven with the Lord, man could not live at all; his life entirely depends on this conjunction, so that if the spirits and angels were to withdraw, he would instantly perish.
 While man is unregenerate he is governed quite otherwise than when regenerated. While unregenerate there are evil spirits with him, who so domineer over him that the angels, though present, are scarcely able to do anything more than merely guide him so that he may not plunge into the lowest evil, and bend him to some good-in fact bend him to good by means of his own cupidities, and to truth by means of the fallacies of the senses. He then has communication with the world of spirits through the spirits who are with him, but not so much with heaven, because evil spirits rule, and the angels only avert their rule.  But when the man is regenerate, the angels rule, and inspire him with all goods and truths, and with fear and horror of evils and falsities. The angels indeed lead, but only as ministers, for it is the Lord alone who governs man through angels and spirits. (...) (AC 50)
HH 249. It is rarely granted at the present day, however, to talk with spirits, because it is dangerous.
For then the spirits know, what otherwise they do not know, that they are with man, and evil spirits are such that they hold man in deadly hatred, and desire nothing more than to destroy him both soul and body, which indeed happens with those who have so indulged themselves in fantasies as to have separated from themselves the enjoyments proper to the natural man. Some also who lead a solitary life sometimes hear spirits talking with them, and without danger; but that the spirits with them may not know that they are with man they are at intervals removed by the Lord; for most spirits are not aware that any other world than that in which they live is possible, and therefore are unaware that there are men anywhere else.
This is why man on his part is not permitted to speak with them, for if he did they would know.
Those who meditate much on religious subjects, and are so intent upon them as to see them as it were inwardly within themselves, begin also to hear spirits speaking with them; for religious subjects, whatever they are, when man dwells upon them by himself and does not modify them with various things that are of use in the world, penetrate to the interiors and dwell there, and occupy the whole spirit of the man, and even enter into the spiritual world and act upon the spirits there. Such persons are visionaries and enthusiasts and whatever spirit they hear they believe to be the Holy Spirit, when, in fact, such spirits are enthusiastic spirits.
Such spirits see falsities as truths, and so, seeing them, they not only persuade themselves but also those with whom they inflow to believe them. Such spirits, however, have been gradually removed, because they began to lure others into evil and to gain control over them. Enthusiastic spirits are distinguished from other spirits by their believing themselves to be the Holy Spirit, and believing what they say to be Divine. As man honours such spirits with Divine worship they do not try to harm him. I have sometimes talked with them, and the wicked things they infused into their worshippers were then disclosed. They dwell together towards the left, in a desert place.
Footnote references: Man is able to talk with spirits and angels; and the ancient people frequently talked with them (n. 67-69, 784, 1634, 1636, 7802). In some earths angels and spirits appear in human form and talk with the inhabitants (n. 10751, 10752). But on this earth at this day it is dangerous to talk with spirits, unless man is its true faith, and is led by the Lord (n. 784, 9438, 10751). (HH 249)
For additional detailed discussion on the vertical community see this volume:
The anatomical diagrams give a schematic representation of the vertical community into which every human being is born through the immortal mental body. Our temporary physical body is shown in the center (diagram 6) and it corresponds to the immortal mental body. They are copies or models of each other, one constructed in physical matter, the other in mental substance. The bottom solid line in diagram 6 marks our birth and our first death. The upper solid line marks our second death entry into the Grand Human societies called “heavens.” The bottom solid line also marks our second death entry into the Grand Monster societies called “hells.” The heavenly mental zones are marked layer 4 (“Third Heaven”), layer 5 (“Second Heaven”), and layer 6 (“First Heaven”).The hellish mental zones are marked layer -9, layer -8, and layer -7. The vertical community refers to the continuous and ceaseless interdependence and interaction that takes place between segments across all the anatomical layers and zones of the mental world of eternity where humanity lives, exists, and is conscious.
Our birth is marked at the bottom left, and we climb up the years of development from childhood (layer 9e), to adolescence (layer 8e) to young adulthood (layer 7e). We are not aware of the inherited anatomical connections that influence and participate in our mental development. The diagram shows that our anatomical layer 9e in childhood is connected to the Grand Monster societies in layer -9. Layer 8e is tied in development to layer -8 in the Grand Monster. Layer 7e is tied in young adulthood to layer -7 in the Grand Monster. This is the ascending line of the development of the material mental body from birth to adulthood. This organic maturation process cannot go on by itself but must have the input and assistance from the Grand Monster societies in each successive phase of development. The reason for this connection is that we are born in an unregenerate organic state.
To balance out the dynamics, we receive the inflow of mental heat and light through the interaction and assistance of the Grand Human societies in layers 4, 5, and 6. These evoke heavenly traits in us called remains. The Divine Psychologist saves the remains of every heavenly love and intention that we experience. At our second death these are integrated into a heavenly personality that can join one of the Grand Human societies.
The Divine Psychologist also manages the external events of our lives so that we may be faced with daily temptations to further our regeneration. During these temptations the heavenly and hellish societies to which our mental body is connected each pull us towards themselves through the loves we cling to in the experience of the temptation. This is the “spiritual combat” by which we cooperate with the Divine Psychologist who is effecting the organic process of changeover in the hierarchy of our loves.
When we reach mature adulthood in our twenties we have at our disposal a fully operational rational mind. The rational mental body (layer 7) is a discrete degree above the material mental body (layers 9, 8). Our consciousness and meanings in the material mental body’s cognitive respiratory system, is constructed solely from material concepts, that is, concepts that have time and place in their interior structure or presupposition. Think of an abstract concept like government or relativity theory. “Government” is tied to place and time, hence culture and history. “Relativity theory” is tied to energy, time, and the speed of light and other sub-atomic particles of matter and energy.
Now let’s think of a concept that is not tied to time and place. Consider the idea of “omnipotence.” It is not related to time and place, or matter and energy. Consider the idea of “feeling guilty.” It is not related to time, place, or matter, but only to mental states that are organic. Consider the idea that “killing is bad.” This idea can be constructed out of material assumptions involving time and place, or else out of assumptions involving mental things in eternity. For instance, we can distinguish between different types of killing, some bad and some good. For example, “killing for the sake of subjugating a population or group” vs. “killing for the sake of defending family and country from hostile enemies.”This distinction is based on rational principles belonging to eternity, not material principles belonging to physical conditions.
Note: Further explanations on Diagram 6 above will be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/mental-psychology-p1.htm#_Toc212519321
The rational mind extends from the material mind to the celestial mind. The inner (or upper portion) receives all its assumptions and meanings from the celestial mental body and the world of heaven through layers 6, 5, 4. But the exterior (or lower) portion of the rational mind receives all its assumptions and meanings from the infernal mental body and the world of hell through layers -9. -8, -7. Regeneration hangs on the pivot between these two portions of rational consciousness.
If as adults we refuse or are disinclined to undergo the regeneration process, we begin the process of devolution through the hellish traits that anatomically bind us more and more to the Grand Monster societies in layers -9, -8, -7. There is no opportunity to operationalize the celestial mental body in layers 6, 5, 4. The celestial mind or consciousness is not available as a choice during our second death. When we are in that state we welcome the idea of joining the societies of the Grand Monster since our ruling love is rooted therein. When we are free to choose, we always choose according to our ruling love.
Since there is only one
mental world, with one mental sun of eternity, these surrogate bodies and
virtual selves are in that one mental world. For instance, in virtual worlds we
gain our consciousness by maintaining one or more avatars. Since our virtual
self is behind each avatar we maintain, there is only one avatar we have, and
all the others are “alts” or alternate avatars feeding our one virtual self. Currently
we maintain different avatars for different in-world interfaces. But in the
near future we will be able to have just one avatar that will move across all
the virtual world platforms and interfaces available. It will then be more
obvious that there is only one virtual world and every human being has an
avatar in it, whether activated or not. This is our virtual presence in digital
information spaces. The consciousness we have through our avatar in the virtual
world is different from the consciousness we have from the other surrogate
bodies of our one mental body.
We are most familiar with our dream avatar that gives us consciousness in the dream world. All human beings experience the dreaming consciousness through their dream body. You may or may not recall seeing your dream body in one of your dream episodes over the years. When the dream world environment is constructed out of our material consciousness in the mental body, the content of the dream is like a video of the physical world. Things may be presented in a surrealist context that appear to alter the properties of the physical world. Dreamscapes and dream events are instantiated through the laws of correspondence. Loves and desires in our affective organ are constantly longing and seeking for ideas in our cognitive organ that they can conjoin with. Dreamscapes and dream events are produced by these loves finding ideas to conjoin with.
It is similar with daydreams or fantasy content that we produce through our fantasy body. The “imaginary” world or environment is produced by our rational consciousness in the mental body. When our fantasy body constructs fantasy situations, fantasy people, and fantasy events, from a material-rational consciousness, the content of the fantasy is idealized. An idealized rendition of the material world appears rational, but when analyzed, it reveals material ideas within it. Idealized material characters and events are produced by children at play, and by writers and directors of drama for the consumption of entertainment. But when our fantasy body constructs fantasy situations, fantasy people, and fantasy events, from a celestial-rational consciousness, the content of the fantasy is visionary and representative of heavenly life in eternity.
(see explanations at:
(see explanations at:
(see explanations at:
(see explanations at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/mental-psychology-p1.htm#_Toc212519324)
(explanations at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/mental-psychology-p1.htm#_Toc212519321)
Rational—interior or celestial
Rational—external or materialized
V, II, II, IV
(see explanatory note above)
DISCRETE DEGREES OF LOVE
ACCOMPANYING DEGREES OF MEANING
1, 2, 3
4, 5, 6
Material or natural meanings
Material or natural
10, 11, 12
temporary and permanent body coverings)