Version 4, updated 7-16-12
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Topics include: MARRIAGE, LOVE, ROMANCE, RELATIONSHIP, FRIENDSHIP, EMOTIONAL CLOSENESS, INTIMACY, EXCLUSIVITY, SOULMATES, IMMORTALITY, CONJUNCTIVE COUPLEHOOD, COUPLE INTERTACTION PATTERNS, HEAVEN & HELL, AFTERLIFE, SPIRITUAL BIOLOGY, MALE-FEMALE MENTAL ANATOMY AND CONJUNCTION, SWEDENBORG, THEISTIC PSYCHOLOGY, SCIENTIFIC DUALISM, CONSCIOUSNESS, CONJUGIAL SIMULATION, more…
How to Become Soulmates
and Best Friends
in this Life and in the Afterlife
Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Born Into Eternity: The Immortality of the Mind
Chapter 3: The Woman-Centered Man in Couplehood and the Three Types of Interaction Patterns
Chapter 4: Spiritual Biology and the Unity Model
Chapter 5: Spiritual Biology of Men and Women
Chapter 6: Self-Centered and Other-Centered Interaction Style
Chapter 7: Six Principles of Unity Couplehood
Chapter 8: The Conjoined Pair: Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs
Chapter 9: Preparing for the Afterlife in the Spiritual World of Eternity
Chapter 10: The Conjoined Pair as the Basis of Community
Chapter 11: Practical Guide for the Conjugial Couple: How to Manage Daily Interactions that Foster the Growth of the Eternal Conjoined Pair
Chapter 12: Recapitulation
Born Into Eternity: The Immortality of the Mind
Section1: Marriage Typology: Man-centered, Equity-centered, Woman-centered.
Section 2: External and Internal Marriage
Section 3: The Conjoined Pair
Section 4: The Mind is the Spiritual Body
Section 5: Female and Male Mind: Achieving Oneness
Section 6: Her Lists and His Lists
Section 7: Life After Death
8: Sex and Marriage, Here and in the Afterlife
The Woman-Centered Man in Couplehood and the Three Types of Interaction Patterns
Section 1: Definition of Conjunctive Couplehood
Section 2: Our Three Spiritual Biological Systems
Section 3: Three Basic Types of Agreements and Disagreements in Marriage
Section 4: Birth and Growth of the
Eternal Conjoined Pair
Spiritual Biology And the Unity Model
Section 1. Our Physical Body and our Spiritual Body
Section 2. Biology of the Spiritual Body and Its Organs
Section 3. The Birth and Evolution of the Conjoined Pair
Section 4. The Growth of Closeness, Friendship, and Exclusivity in Couplehood
Section 5: Anatomy of the Conjoined Pair and the Work of Closeness
Section 6: Consequences To One’s Spiritual Anatomical Constitution
Section 7: Conjoint Decision Making
Section 8: Outer and Inner Conjunction
Characteristics and Benefits of the Conjoined Pair
Section 1: External and Internal Levels of Interaction
Section 2: Conjugial Simulation
Section 3: The Organic Function of Woman-Centered Interactions
4: How to Organically Grow a Healthy Conjoined Pair
Self-Centered and Other-Centered Interaction Style
Section 1: Observing Interactions
Section 2: Forces of Other-Centeredness in Women
Section 3: Three Types of Interactions in Couplehood
Section 4: Equity Couples: Why Woman Has the Disadvantage
5: Man-Centered Interactions
Six Principles of Unity Couplehood
Section 1: Principle 1: Conjunctive Interactions Build Spiritual Closeness
Section 2: Principle 2: Successful Couplehood Requires Man’s Reciprocation
Section 3: Principle 3: Benefits of Successful Couplehood
Section 4: Principle 4: How Can Man Remove Disjunctive Interactions
Section 5: Principle 5: Practicing Healthy Conjunctive Simulation by the Man
Section 6: Principle 6: The Woman’s Role and Function
Section 7: The
Manly and Masculine Duties and Responsibilities of the Husband in the Conjoined
The Conjoined Pair: Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs
Section 1: Boys an Girls Prepared Differently
Section 2: The Key that Unlocks Conjunction in Pairs
Section 3: Critical Features of Successful Couplehood
Section 4: The Conjoined Pair is the Golden Goose
Section 5: Who Should Give in to Whom?
Section 6: Disjunctive
Interactions: It’s Better to Give In Than to Win
Preparing for the Afterlife in the Spiritual World of Eternity
Section 1: Monism and Dualism in Science
Section 2: Reductionism and Substantive Dualism in Science
Section 3: The Swedenborg Reports
Section 4: The Five Pillars of Science: Is Scientific Dualism Really Scientific?
Section 5: The Dying Process and the Afterlife
Section 6: Spiritual Heat and spiritual light
Section 7: Taking Charge of our Future
Section 8: Spiritual Objects and Spiritual Environment
Section 9: The Three Zones of the Spiritual World of
The Conjoined Pair as the Basis of Community
Section 1: No Function Without Substance
Section 2: Love-substance and Truth-substance
Section 3: When a Man and a Woman Fall in Love
Section 4: Outer and Inner Marriage
Section 5: Medical Definition of Morality
Section 6: The Vertical Community
Section 7: The Conjoined Pair is the Basis of Heavenly Communities
Section 8: The Consummation of Love
Section 9: We Function at Two Levels of Awareness: Lower and Higher
Conscience and Our Ruling Love
Practical Guide for the Conjugial Couple: How to Manage Daily Interactions that Foster the Growth of the Eternal Conjoined Pair
Section 1: Strategies Men Can Use for Conjunctive Interactions
Section 2: Food for the Conjoined Pair
Section 3: Strategies Women Can Use for Conjunctive Interactions
The “conjoined pair” refers to the spiritual state of one-mindedness in which are married partners when they are both committed to being the all in all in the life of the other.
From the moment of falling in love, to afterward living life together as eternal sweethearts, the partners accumulate a collection of friendly and supportive interactions that they have had between each other over the months and years.
Each of these conjunctive interactions contributes to the deepening of their emotional and spiritual closeness.
Human beings are purely spiritual beings. Some people say that human beings are “spirits”. There is nothing physical that belongs to a human being. Hence there is nothing mortal clinging to human beings. Human beings are immortal spiritual creatures, or “spirits”. We live in the spiritual world of eternity, sometimes called the “spiritual world of the afterlife”.
We are born into eternity.
Mind is not physical, but substantive. Our mind is an organic living entity that is born anatomical structures, just like our physical body does.
Our mind is called our spiritual body (sometimes called “spirit body” or “spiritual body”).
We are born with two bodies, the physical body and the spiritual body. The physical body serves the spiritual body and allows it to sense what is in the physical environment. It is our mind that sees through the eyes of our physical body. The electro-chemical stimulus that goes to the brain is sensed by the brain of the spiritual body, hence we are aware of the image, sound , or touch through the physical body.
But the sensation of touch, or the image, or sound, or its consciousness and memory, is not in the physical body or brain. It is in the spiritual body, which likewise has a circulatory system, respiratory system, and sensorimotor system. Since the physical brain is physical, it can contain only electrical and chemical stimuli and patterns of activity. The psychological or spiritual sensations and feelings that correspond to these stimuli, is in the spiritual body, which is not physical but substantive (or spiritual).
When the physical body is detached from our spiritual body through the dying process (which takes about thirty hours), our spiritual body, or structural mind, continues to be the vehicle of our life, sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
This book describes the spiritual anatomy of the male and female mind, individually as two minds, and in union together as one mind.
It describes how the achievement of spiritual unity with married partners is a process of gradual organic growth, and goes on forever. Its healthy development depends on the couple’s ability to produce and maintain a favorable interactional climate between them.
Every interaction between the partners is either conjunctive or disjunctive.
The most common form of disjunctive interaction with most couples that are in love, is disagreement expressed by the man. We give details on what kind of attitudes and justifications a man can adopt for himself, in order to help him avoid performing disagreement interactions with his sweetheart.
When a woman appears to the man to disagree with him, he should think that she is actually not disagreeing with him but making intervention efforts to have him stop disagreeing with her.
A man needs to realize that there is no equity balance in this type of male-female organic interaction, if it is going to develop into a unity relationship with an eternal conjoined pair.
Consider that the man’s motive for disagreeing with the woman is to protect and retain his own idea that he independently holds. If he succeeds, their closeness suffers. If she succeeds, their closeness is deeper. Hence it is clear that when the man disagrees with the woman the interaction is disjunctive, but when the woman appears to him to disagree, the interaction is conjunctive. Everything depends on the motive which is seen in the result.
With the reduction or elimination of disagreeing transactions between them, real and apparent, there is established a joint spiritual climate of inmost trust and friendship. It is in this anatomical climate of conjunctive interactions that they give birth to their conjoined pair.
We describe the spiritual anatomy of the conjoined pair, showing that it is an organic structure composed of components of the spiritual system of both the man and the woman. In outward form, the conjoined pair is composed of the man’s outer cognitive system (outer thinking) conjoined to the woman’s outer affective system (outer love). In inward form, the conjoined pair is composed of the woman’s inner cognitive system (inner thinking) and the man’s inner affective system (inner love). Outer love and outer thinking are adapted to the time-bound conditions of the physical world, while inner love and inner thinking are adapted to the conditions that exist in the afterlife of eternity.
In spiritual anatomy, outer structures are adapted to a lower form of operation, while inner structures are adapted to a higher form of operation.
Whatever has to do with their activities and goals in the outside world, engages their outward personality. Whatever has to do with their activities and goals in their relationship and intimacy, engages their inward personality. Relationship and intimacy issues in their inner personality remain with them after resuscitation from the dying process, while their outward personality then begins to recede more and more into the background of awareness, until it is laid aside and remains inactive.
Our life in eternity is carried out through the vehicle of our inner personality.
The conjoined pair is born through the reciprocal union between the male and female minds. It is an integrated anatomical process of gradual organic growth and development. Once established by their mutual love and friendship, the conjoined pair cannot die.
The conjoined pair is immortal.
It is the vehicle for transporting the couple to their spiritual heaven in eternity. Without this permanent conjoint anatomical vehicle, spiritual heaven is not accessible to the individual who remains self-centered.
The spiritual state of unity couplehood is the anatomical process that produces permanent other-centeredness in the inner personality.
All the heavens of the human mind are composed of love-substance conjoined with truth-substance, and this union is always altruistic by composition. The inmost altruistic love is that which is received anatomically through the conjoined pair. Individuals who are “unattached” are single and independent. Maintaining this spiritual state requires a self-centered orientation. A self-centered orientation can involve general other-centeredness in terms of one’s outward lifestyle. But if that outward lifestyle is motivated by inner self-centeredness, it eventually turns into selfishness.
Even if one is “charitable” to others and acts like a peaceful and decent citizen and neighbor, yet the individual retains inwardly a self-centered orientation, which in the long run, or when conditions change, turns into selfishness. The altruism we express towards others in our community is a component of our outward personality, but the altruism we express in couplehood is a component of our inner personality. Living in the conjugial state of being sweethearts to one another, and having the desire to remain so forever, are the conditions for altruistic love to develop in the inner personality. This is the personality that we have after resuscitation.
In this world, people can form a unity relationship with a partner while both are still attached to the physical body. In the world of the afterlife, unmarried individuals are given social opportunities to explore and form various relationships. At one point, they meet someone with whom they can form a unity couplehood. But people who are unwilling to conjoin with anyone, remain self-centered, and ultimately become selfish. At that point they devolve more and more towards their spiritual hell states.
As the conjoined pair grows, the man and the woman each feel themselves to develop in new ways. Outwardly, the man feels himself as more disciplined and peaceful, while the woman feels herself more secure and purposeful. Inwardly, the man feels himself as smarter than he already is, while the woman feels herself as empowered and loved. The ability of both is therefore greatly enhanced through the existence of their conjoined pair.
The human mind is a spiritual organ in the shape of the body, and contains by correspondence the three principal systems of the body, namely, the affective-circulatory system, the cognitive-respiratory system, and the sensory-motor system. We are able to experience feelings, thoughts, and sensations as a result of these three systems working together as a unit within the individual’s spiritual body or mind. The spiritual body is also known as the “spiritual body” or “spirit body”.
At birth we are endowed with an immortal spiritual body, or substantive mind, which is a mind composed of immortal substance arranged in an organic structure. This spiritual body grows gradually through experiences and matures to become an adult spiritual body or mind. During these years, what allows the spiritual body to develop into a socialized human personality, is the possession of a physical body in the natural world of time, and its affiliation with others in a geographic community on earth.
The physical body and the spiritual body are functionally interconnected so that all the sensory input that feeds our mind, is restricted to what the physical senses are capable of detecting around the physical body.
As a result, our outward personality is composed of concepts and ideas that are time-bound and space-bound. However, our inner personality is composed of concepts and ideas that are based on the conditions of the spiritual world of eternity, that are outside time and physical space.
The outward personality is adapted to living in the physical environment, while the inner personality is adapted to living in the spiritual world of eternity, which is also called “the afterlife”. Upon death of the physical body and resuscitation of the spiritual body, the outward personality is no longer adaptive to the new conditions of life, and it is relegated to the background of our memory, where it lies inactive.
Our outward adult personality and intellect is therefore made up of mostly time-bound and space-bound ideas, concepts, and knowledges. When we undergo the dying process, which takes about thirty hours, the temporary physical body organically detaches itself from the immortal spiritual body. This causes the resuscitation or awakening from the dying process.
Our spiritual body now receives input directly from the sensory organs of the spiritual body.
All communication with the physical world ceases. Communication and interaction with the people who are already in the spiritual world of eternity, then begins.
Now we begin our immortal life in the spiritual world of eternity, which is also known as the spiritual world of the afterlife. The spiritual world of the afterlife is an immortal spiritual world. Heaven and hell are spiritual states within every human mind. In the beginning stages after resuscitation of the spiritual body, our outward personality and our inward personality engage in a struggle for supremacy.
Men and women who have developed a conjoined pair in their life on earth, have an outward and an inward personality that accord with each other. The long mighty struggle of improving our spiritual character from self-centered to other-centered, already took place in the marriage relationship that established the conjoined pair back on earth. In this spiritual state we have developed the altruistic orientation and passion that is required in order to be inducted into the heavenly spiritual states that every person’s anatomy contains.
All our altruistic loves are rooted in those spiritual heavens.
Their power in the mind originates from those celestial regions in every human mind. Our spiritual body receives the constant influx of heavenly love-substance through our affective-circulatory system, from where it feeds the rest of the mind with its nutritional spiritual quality and its rich organic affective substance that gives rise to an endless variety of heavenly loves and feelings that make our life.
Loves are the motivational or energizing function of all intention, planning, and action. Love consummated, is the source of all feelings, emotions, pleasures, and sentiments. If you take away our loves, nothing of our life is left us.
But the way that the love-substance (or, good-substance) is received by each mind, varies from person to person in a unique way. When the operations of our affective-circulatory system are immersed in self-centered goals and selfish spiritual states, the heavenly love-substance that streams into the spiritual body, is physiologically inverted and transformed, and made to conform and adapt to the spiritual states of love already there and are ruling our personality. Hence the same inflow of heavenly food and energy is used by the other-centered personality to acquire the love and enjoyment of heavenly traits, while it is used by the self-centered personality to acquire the love and enjoyment of more and more selfish and hellish traits.
There is also is a constant inflowing stream of heavenly truth-substance through our cognitive-respiratory system, giving us the ability to have thoughts and rational understandings. Loves (affective system) and thoughts (cognitive system) conjoin into a marriage to produce together the actions executed through the sensorimotor system. Without this spiritual marriage inside every person, no sensation or action is possible.
In contrast, all our selfish loves and self-serving thoughts against others or community, are rooted in the spiritual zones of the human mind called the hells. Every human being is filled with hellish loves and urges, some inherited and some acquired by practicing selfism and egotism. Anti-social and self-destructive loves take hold of the outward personality and engender a life of personal inadequacy, community conflict, mutual deception, cruelty, spiritual illness, and degraded living conditions.
Upon resuscitation of the spiritual body, this outward self-centered personality is well ensconced and cannot be dislodged except through the altruistic loves that remain in everyone’s inward personality. The battle of hellish loves against heavenly loves in one’s mind wages on for awhile after resuscitation, but in the end the stronger ruling love wins out and exiles the weaker love. Without the conjoined pair and its practice of other-centered relationship, the altruistic loves are weak, while the hellish loves are mighty. This anatomical imbalance determines our quality of life in eternity.
Our weaker heavenly loves are then put to rest forever, while our mighty hellish loves now come out into the open and take over our life. We are then inevitably attracted and pulled towards communities of people in the spiritual world of eternity, who share the same pattern of hellish loves. Thus they are conjoined forever in a community of intimate enemies and mutual insanities.
Without knowing the spiritual biology of mind and immortality as sketched out in this book, people are struggling to manage their negative emotions and rageful thoughts in every day life. Depression and unhappiness are common spiritual states in the majority of the population. Inability to manage self is shown by unhealthy obesity that has taken over half of the population, and growing steadily. Intimate relationships are filled with hostility and disagreement, even violence. Only half of all marriages survive, causing much unhappiness and dysfunction in the lives of people and among children. The community has many unhealthy elements that create a daily life of strife, risk, and stress.
Knowing about our immortality and the significance of practicing an other-centered life, can serve as a strong ideational and motivational force to maintain persistence in our efforts to avoid the self-centered perspective in our daily interactions with others. Maintaining an other-centered perspective on the other hand, can lead to an enhancement of our own relationship life, and to an enrichment of the community life in which we live.
This book’s content and orientation is situated within the theoretical context known as scientific dualism. It stands in contrast with scientific materialism that denies the substantive reality of the mind, and denies the possibility of its immortality in the world of the afterlife, in eternity. Marriage counseling today is mostly available to people within the context of scientific materialism that denies the reality of inner spiritual layers of personality in each person, and denies the reality of an eternal spiritual union between two persons.
We hope that our theory of scientific dualism will show people an alternative scientific explanation of our reality, one that may be more attractive and personally helpful to them.
For an elaboration of spiritual anatomy and physiology, you can consult our online book available here: Avatar Psychology and Spiritual Anatomy: Exploring the Mental World of Eternity
For a recent scientific review of Swedenborg’s contributions to neuroscience, see this article.
See also the book by Dr. Ian Thompson that is breaking new theoretical ground in physics and scientific dualism: Starting Science from God: Rational Scientific Theories from Theism.
Conjugial Love Stories -- Edited excerpts from Swedenborg’s book Conjugial Love
The entire collection of the Writings of Swedenborg is available online at the Internet Sacred Text Archive and elsewhere on the Web.
See a recent ground breaking book by Edward F. Sylvia on Swedenborg’s scientific concepts: Proving God: Swedenborg's Remarkable Quest for the Quantum Fingerprints of Love
See this useful guide on Swedenborg at Amazon.
Born Into Eternity: The Immortality of the Mind
(Simulated Interview with the Author)
Section 1: Marriage Typology: Man-centered, Equity-centered, Woman-centered
Interviewer: Dr. James, I had the chance of chatting with a few of your former and current students at the Generational Online Reunion. They are all aware of your focus on woman-centered marriage vs. man-centered marriage. The students generally prefer the idea of “equity marriage” better than the other two. How do you respond to that?
Dr. James: In my earlier lectures I used to focus on three models of marriage, namely, man-centered, equity centered, and woman-centered. Later I changed the emphasis to three types of interactions that take place in all marriages, namely man-centered interactions, equity-centered interactions, and woman-centered interactions. So I started focusing on verbal interactions between couples, showing how all three types of interactions can occur in the same conversation. In this way I avoided the gender politics implied in “man-centered marriage” vs. “woman-centered-marriage”. But the fact remains that many marriages get stuck in the man-centered orientation for years or decades, if not permanently. So it’s important to give people the analytic tools to monitor their own interaction style.
Interviewer: How do you help your students realize the difference between these three fundamental lifestyles?
Dr. James: I selected three books that they studied, reviewed, and discussed. Each book adopts and promotes the point of view of one of the three types of marriages, and ignores the other two types. The first book is by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the host of a popular radio talk show on which she gives advice on marriage and family relationships. She had several best sellers on marriage in which she summarizes and illustrates what men and women complain about each other, and what advice she gives them in each situation.
Dr. Schlessinger gives different advice to men and to women. She is almost always sympathetic to husbands who complain that their wife is insufficiently amorous. She advises women that they have “all the power in the marriage” so that if it’s not going well, the woman is doing something wrong and needs to change. One of Dr. Laura’s favorite come back to women who complained about their husband’s lack of cooperation, “You married him, didn’t you?”, chiding them for going back on their word to “stay by your side as your wife in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad.” Women are made to feel guilty for selfishness and breach of promise when they want their husband to move up to a higher standard of interaction and relationship, one that involves him thinking about his wife as much as thinking about himself.
In case of the common complaint by husbands that they would like more frequent sex, she advises women to put on “sexy outfits” and give him the time of his life, whenever he wants, in whatever way he wants it. And in terms of domesticity, she tells women that it is their duty to have the house clean and the children calmed down, and wearing attractive outfits, for the moment he comes home from work and wants some deserved rest and pampering by his wife. Dr. Schlessinger argues that men are “simple creatures” and should be accepted and loved by their wife for being a good husband, which she defines as “bringing home the paycheck” and “not cheating”.
Interviewer: How did students react to her arguments and approach to marriage?
Dr. James: I found it interesting that a number of the women students in the course stated that Dr. Laura’s book made them realize that they are not treating their husband or boyfriend nicely enough. They expressed a new awareness of how their men are emotionally affected when they talk down to them, or are being bossy and full of complaints. They resolved to appreciate their boyfriend more than they had done before by taking his presence for granted.
Interviewer: And how do you react to Dr. Laura’s books and approach?
Dr. James: Her approach has always struck me as a displaced focus in which she allows men to get away with their inadequate behaviors as husband. For instance, the way the man behaves towards his wife on a daily basis has a lot to do with her readiness to have sex with him when he wants to. It is very common for a man to insult his woman and to treat her with disrespect when he gets angry and offended by her. Afterwards he may apologize or not, but even when he does, it is not enough to repair the split in closeness that he created between them by treating her with dishonor. It takes a lot good behavior by the man and pampering of the woman, before she can let go of that hurt he so cruelly inflicted on her by disrespecting her, and especially, disrespecting her femininity and her female way of thinking and seeing things. This is what determines whether she is going to have sex with him when he wants to, not her being a bad wife or a good wife.
I observed the same male dominant or man-centered bias in marriage counselors and therapists on online shows or programs. I have also observed it in various marriage and couplehood books and literature that are popular, and are consumed by many people on a regular basis. So, realizing that this is the principal approach to marriage counseling in professional psychology today, I gave it the name of man-centered marriage to highlight its authoritarian dominance against women.
It is often said that, “This is a man’s world” , and indeed this is true also in therapy and counseling as practiced by both men and women health professionals. Clearly, this practice is standardized, and originates in approved training programs in professional degree granting schools. Afterwards, it is enforced through licensing exams, and the maintenance of ethics investigations by the profession. Advice based on man-centered and equity-centered relationship principles is tolerated, but the woman-centered approach is not considered as legitimate or “scientific”.
Interviewer: All right, so Dr. Laura Schlessinger illustrates the traditional man-centered approach to marriage. What is your second text in the course?
Dr. James: It is a book by Dr. Deborah Tannen, a best selling author of her popularized approach in sociolinguistics. She has analyzed the recordings she made of talk and discussion of men and women (or boys and girls) in various social settings such as work, schoolyard, and home. Dr. Tannen’s approach to is show the differences in the way women talk to women, men talk to men, and men talk to women. She associates all her explanations to the idea that gender is a sub-culture, and the culture of women and men are different as expressed in their relationships and the way they talk. Hence when a man and a woman talk, they face a communication problem due to the difference in culture.
In relation to marriage, this approach leads to what I called equity marriage. It is the rally cry of the entire generation of my students who are mostly in their mid-twenties. The modern young couple in the United States subscribes to a creed of marriage that tries to avoid the man-centered marriage of their parents and grand parents, and espouses the equity perspective on marriage. Their official battle cry is “We share everything. He does some things and she does other things.” It sounds like a practical partnership.
Interviewer: Do you not agree with this?
Dr. James: It may be practical for the short term, but it is not good for the marriage in the long run.
Interviewer: Why is that?
Dr. James: Because equity in marriage is more like political correctness, rather than reality. The idea of equity leads to frequent negotiation about who should do what. Agreements are broken, promises are not kept, and complaints abound. When people negotiate, the two sides are each self-centered, looking out to see the best deal they can make. Husband and wife become competitors, each looking out for themselves. This attitude between them separates them, hurts their emotional closeness. Equity just does not work out in practice. Women tend to defend equity because they compare it in their mind to the man-centered approach of their parents. But I don’t think equity marriage can create emotional and spiritual closeness. It may be a transition phase away from the man-centered marriage, but it is not a final goal in the marriage.
Interviewer: What is the third book you use in your course?
Dr. James: It is a book by Dr. Barbara DeAngelis, a popular motivational speaker who has held conferences and workshops with thousands of women over two decades. She has collected lists of what women want men to know about women, and how women want men to treat them. I enjoy reading this book over and over again, looking at her lists, and marveling how accurate they seem to be, reflecting and confirming my own approach to marriage that I call the woman-centered approach.
Interviewer: How do your students react to the woman-centered approach?
Dr. James: The men students protest that it sounds like ‘man-bashing’, and the women students protest that it sounds too one-sided. Neither men nor women of this generation like the idea of a marriage in which the man is focused on giving up what he wants for the sake of what she wants, and this every time they have a difference. This goes against the grain of the equity philosophy that they have adopted in young adulthood. They think that both man and woman should try to adjust to each other, but that they each need to retain a certain amount of their independent self in order not to feel overwhelmed by the other. They cannot imagine the bliss and happiness that is brought by the birth and development of the conjoined pair in unity marriage where the woman-centered approach is practiced.
Interviewer: I imagine that this is their initial position at the beginning of the course. What happens as the course proceeds?
Dr. James: Through assigned role-play activities that they do in teams together, I help them focus on the type of interactions that couples have on a routine basis. They explore and analyze the characteristics of three types of interactions that occur routinely. I call them man-centered interactions, equity-centered interactions, and woman-centered interactions. In this context it is easier for them to see the disadvantages of man-centered interaction in which he demands or expects her to submit to his authoritarian wishes as a man. Similarly, it is easier to illustrate how equity centered negotiations for each other’s duties and responsibilities, leads to a self-centered attitude that hurts their closeness.
As well, they begin to see the advantages and desirability of the woman-centered approach. Here we see interactions that promote emotional closeness by reducing or eliminating negotiation and disagreement. In the end students are more ready to look favorably upon the idea that a man needs to change his personality in order to promote the couple’s closeness and even unity of mind. They begin to accept the fundamental difference between men and women in their approach to couplehood, seeing women as being ready to grow close to the man, while men are still fighting for their independence. This unevenness or imbalance is the dominant dynamic that rules marriages today.
Interviewer: What are the most important advantages of a woman-centered marriage?
Dr. James: In woman-centered interactions, both partners are other-centered. In man-centered interactions, he is self-centered and she is other-centered. In equity-centered interactions, both partners are self-centered.
So the woman-centered interactions are balanced while the other two are imbalanced. When both are other-centered, the birth of their conjoined pair can take place. This is the beginning of their heavenly journey together as united soul mates in eternity.
Section 2: External and Internal Marriage
Interviewer: I understand that you have proposed a theory of marriage called “the unity model of marriage”, and that you have based it on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). How is your theory different from current theories in the psychology of marriage counseling?
Dr. James: The Unity Model of Marriage is based in the intellectual context of scientific dualism. Current practice in clinical psychology and professional counseling is based in scientific materialism.
Interviewer: How do these differ?
Dr. James: In relation to the theory of marriage, the psychology based in scientific materialism addresses only the temporary external relationship of the couple, while the psychology of scientific dualism addresses the couple’s permanent internal relationship. One is within the other. They occur simultaneously. A marriage has both components, temporary external and permanent internal.
Interviewer: What is the difference? How do you observe the external and the internal of a marriage?
Dr. James: The external also has two components in which one is more external, while other is relatively more internal. For instance, the most external component of marriage is the legal identity and family connections of the two partners. More internal is the personal identity that defines our social personality and how we think when we are in company with others. The couple’s house is the most external, while their attitudes and affections (the things they love), more internal. But these are external components of the couple, relatively to their real internal.
Interviewer: How do you mean “real” internal?
Dr. James: Well, external and internal are relative on a continuum, and yet at some point in the continuum there is a break, an uncrossable gap. No matter how long a couple continues to love each other in their external components, there is no crossing into the internal of the relationship. The crossover is the point of adoption and execution of the other-centered focus on the part of each partner.
Interviewer: So you’re saying that couples can be married to each other for decades and only stay in the external of their personalities?
Dr. James: That’s right. I believe that all couples do experience occasional spiritual states in which they are both focusing on their internal as a couple, which is called the conjoined pair. Those are honeymoon states in which they rediscover their internal connection, their compatibility and reciprocity. This is a joyous and optimistic state.
Interviewer: And what happens to it? Why does it disappear from view?
Dr. James: The self-centered focus takes it away. In this spiritual state “what I want comes before what you want”. This is the opposite of the internal state in which each says to the other, “what you want is what I want”.
Interviewer: Oh, that’s so touching and beautiful!
Dr. James: Yes, it is the celestial human form, also known as angelic. Swedenborg interviewed celestial couples that were inhabitants of the highest regions in the spiritual heavens of humanity. He observed many times the phenomenon that when a celestial couple approached him from a distance, they at first looked like one human being, who then appeared as husband and wife when they were next to him. He tried and said failed, to describe their stupefying beauty that left him speechless. The fact that they appear as one from a distance is an outward visual correspondence of their internal unity. This is the conjoined pair.
Interviewer: What a beautiful idea. The wonders of the internal world are awaiting us.
Section 3: The Conjoined pair
Dr. James: They are wonders. The more a couple enters into the internal closeness and exclusivity of the conjoined pair, the more they are growing permanent interdependent organic structures between them. The wife thinks and acts in total freedom and full confidence, in accordance with her female mind and impulses. The husband feels himself most free and male when he is motivated to adjust his affections to fit hers, so that his male character and intelligence can fit perfectly with her female character and intelligence. The two can make a one, and in that conjoint spiritual state, they are closest, most exclusive, most advanced, most effective, most evolved, and most content.
Interviewer: Wow, that sounds so perfect. Is this what we can dream about that awaits us in the next life?
Dr. James: You can dream about it, sure, but to obtain it, the couple needs to enter the internal states of their union. The legal and the social components of marriage are critically important, and must be successfully managed, but the internal components cannot be ignored. They must be activated.
Interviewer: How is this accomplished?
Dr. James: The conjoined pair is activated when each is willing to say to the other: What you want is what I want.
Interviewer: That’s marvelously simple. What terrible forces stand in the way of the two partners from actually going through with this? It is a beautiful sentiment, but can people really do this? Can they maintain their motivation and commitment to this mutual declaration, and never act selfishly again?
Dr. James: It’s a developspiritual process, like all organic activities. To yield a fruit, the plant must work day and night, minute by minute, ingesting sunlight and heat from the air, and minerals from the ground, until at last, out pops the flower that turns into a nutritious and tasty fruit. In couplehood it is not the passage of time that drives growth, but the accumulation of favorable interactions.
Interviewer: How do you define favorable interactions in a couple?
Dr. James: Every other-centered interaction is called favorable because it promotes growth of the internal marriage.
Interviewer: How does a woman know when she is being other centered? Is she being self-centered when she looks after herself and seeks what is convenient and comfortable for her? When does she get to have her time?
Dr. James: What a woman would prefer the most is for her to have the man to become motivated to take care of her needs. She can teach him how to do that. She is not being self-centered, or selfish, but other-centered, because she is helping him to perfect himself as her partner. This is what he has declared he wants. So she is taking him for his word.
Interviewer: OK, that makes sense to me. What about the man? When does he get to have his time? Does he get to practice his hobby? Does he get to have his “guy time” with his buddies? Does he get sex from her whenever he wants it?
Dr. James: Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the popular best seller marriage counselor, says Yes, and advises wives that it is their “duty” to keep their husbands sexually well satisfied. But I would not advise this because it injures the woman’s female self-respect and ultimate capacity to be internally united to her husband. So if a wife is unwilling to have sex with her husband, the solution is to have the husband adopt the other-centered focus.
Interviewer: You mean because he would then leave it up to her, he being content in waiting until she feels an internal connection with him.
Dr. James: Yes. When a husband relates sexually to his wife in an external way, she does not feel spiritually close and exclusive. To have sex in that spiritual state would be coercive, or not based in love and freedom. This hurts their internal relationship. It is far better for the man to wait until his other-centered interactions accumulate enough to change her spiritual state, from distance to closeness.
Interviewer: In what way is the internal relationship in marriage so much more valuable than the external?
Dr. James: The external marriage is part of the physical and social environment on earth. Therefore they are temporary and cease at death. The internal marriage is permanent and immortal, lasting forever. Scientific dualism defines human beings as immortal spiritual beings. We are born into eternity, outside the world of time and matter, with our substantive and organic spiritual body. Its anatomy and physiology deals with how sensations, thoughts, and feelings come into the spiritual body, and how they are processed and transformed to serve the life of the person. All our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are located in the spiritual body, and none of it is located in the physical body or brain.
Interviewer: You mean my sensations are not in my physical body, the skin and the brain?
Dr. James: That’s right. We can all know this if we let go of the ideology of materialism and the idea that there is only one world, namely the natural world of physical matter in physical time and in physical space. Experiencing a sensation, thought, or feeling is a spiritual event, not physical. We must separate the electro-chemical stimulus of the physical sensation in the skin and neuron, from to spiritual sensation that is correlated with it, which is a psychological, spiritual, or spiritual event not in time, but outside time in the world of eternity.
Section 4: The Spiritual World of the Afterlife Is the Spiritual World of Eternity In Which We Already Are Now, and Since Birth
Interviewer: I understand that you have been studying the Writings of Swedenborg for several decades now. Can you identify one idea that is totally unknown to people, yet they would be greatly benefitted by knowing it.
Dr. James: There are dozens of such very basic and very useful ideas and facts in the Swedenborg Reports. If they were to be known by scientists and taught in science education, they would energize the human race to a new level of knowledge and human potential. So if I were to pick one of them, which I consider dramatic and astonishing, I would choose the idea that the spiritual world of the afterlife is the spiritual world of eternity.
Interviewer: O I’m getting goose bumps already on this one. There is something exciting and vital I am getting from it. But I’m not sure what I’m getting. Can you explain?
Dr. James: Most people believe in an afterlife, but no one knows anything about it except some generalities and speculations. And least alone science, which knows nothing about the afterlife. Nevertheless the data and eye-witness observations of the afterlife by Swedenborg have been available for nearly two and a half centuries. Swedenborg confirmed by thousands of direct observation sessions, the fact that the spiritual world of the afterlife exists in the human mind. Heaven and hell, which most people today believe do exist, are not places that you go to, like a prison or celestial garden. These are physical ideas, as if heaven and hell were physical places, physical rewards and punishments.
One can accept that the afterlife is not a physical world because death deprives us of our physical body. When a grieving parent affirms, “I know that my baby is in loving care of angels right now”, she is picturing her little child in the arms of an angel surrogate mother. That child does have a body!! Just like the angel has a body. It would be pretty useless to live the eternity of afterlife and not have a body! It is the body that gives us the capacity to sense the things of our environment. And if heaven gives us a wonderful and happy immortal life, it is logically required that we have a heavenly body in order to life the heavenly life.
Interviewer: That makes sense. I am intrigued about this heavenly body you talk about. Do I have such a body? When will I get it?
Dr. James: To understand this idea fully, you need to start from our birth. Every human being is born into eternity with a spiritual body, which in the Swedenborg Reports, is called the “spiritual body” or “spirit body”. I call it the spiritual body, in order to underline the astonishing fact that the spiritual world is the spiritual world. Again this is easy to understand for human beings because we think and react at two different levels, the higher thinking being able to observe the lower thinking, but not the other way. So when we observe ourselves in emotionally contrastive spiritual states such as relaxation/enjoyment vs. tension/fear.
Everyone is familiar with the jump in feeling that we experience, when one second we are driving along and feeling fine, and the next moment, as a near miss incident occurs, we are afraid and enraged. These contrastive spiritual states that we observe in ourselves, give us the comprehension of the idea that “heaven and hell” in the afterlife of eternity, are actually nothing else than spiritual states. And there is hardly anything that is more familiar to all of us than spiritual states. And this means that, since birth, we are familiar with the spiritual world of eternity, which is the world of heaven and hell.
Interviewer: Wow! That’s really awesome when I think of the implications to what you are saying. First off, you’re saying that I was born into eternity with an immortal spiritual body, and that I am already in it, right now. I don’t have to wait till my death to get into the spiritual world of the afterlife. I am already there. Astonishing! As you said.
Dr. James: Yes, it had a similar effect on me when I realized this amazing fact that is wholly unknown to science today. And yet it is easy to understand that sensations, thoughts, and feelings – what the mind is made of --, are not physical objects, but spiritual objects. A physical sensation goes into the physical brain, and from there the mind gets the information and recreates it spiritually through the laws of correspondence between physical and spiritual events.
As a result of this cause-effect relation of correspondence, our spiritual body is continuously recreating the physical environment. In other words, when we imagine or dream, we are recreating spiritually a spiritual environment that resembles the physical environment. If people were able to visit one another’s dreamscapes, much of it would make sense to anyone. This is the fundamental reason why the heavens and hells that Swedenborg visited were composed of communities of people who shared a similar environment that was compatible to their similar spiritual states. People in different spiritual states cannot be together in the spiritual world of eternity. Similarity attracts and difference repels.
Interviewer: Is this why I can’t get along with some people? There seems to be an instant dislike for each other, and unwillingness to get along.
Dr. James: You can say that your loves are at war with each other and prevent community formation. Your loves and that person’s loves are antagonistic and hate each other.
Interviewer: Oh my. That sounds so serious. Where does such inner aversion come from?
Dr. James: While we are attached to the physical body, we come into contact with our horizontal community. This involves the people we live and work with, and the people and places that we visit. Our horizontal community is physical and space-bound. But in contrast to that, our vertical community are the people we are connected with spiritually, from the spiritual world of eternity. From birth onward, our spiritual body, or mind, is in a state of connection and communication with many other people who live in the afterlife. This is our vertical community. Human beings are not capable of thinking alone. All human individual life must be connected to other human beings in the vertical community. Without this the infant cannot acquire consciousness and thinking.
Interviewer: Oo, some people might think this is spooky. You mean that right now, I am connected to people who have passed on into the afterlife? Like spirits?
Dr. James: Many people call them spirits. When we are resuscitated by the dying process, which takes about thirty hours, we awaken in our spiritual body and from that moment on, we can sense and experience what is going on around us in that spiritual state. Swedenborg spent 27 years in that state, recording his observations in nearly three dozen volumes. When we live through our spiritual body directly, we can see, speak with, and touch the people who are around us, who have passed into that state before us.
When we are in that state we recognize the people with whom we were connected in our vertical community while still in the physical environment, like you and I are now. When we are resuscitated, we can see and talk to directly, the people we are connected to now.
Interviewer: So you are saying that we have two anatomical systems that are correlated with each other. One is a natural system active in the physical brain, and the other is a spiritual system active in the mind. Is that the spiritual body?
Dr. James: Yes. The mind is the spiritual body, which is also called the “spiritual body” or “spirit body”. If we are going to be scientific, we must define the mind organically or anatomically, so that we can understand how its anatomy and physiology make up a functioning person. The person is a spiritual organism that can sensate, think, and feel in a coherent or meaningful way. In science there is no function without structure. If we can think, we must show how the thinking organ works, just like we show how the lungs function in the physical body when we breathe.
Interviewer: My mind is still trying to come to grips with the idea that we are born into eternity and remain immortal forever. That sounds like such an interesting idea. I love it!
Dr. James: Yes, that is one of the most rewarding concepts I have learned from the Swedenborg Reports. Most people today are under the compulsion of thinking of the afterlife as a religious idea or doctrine, not science. But now, with the gradual spread of the knowledge of scientific dualism, people realize that a logical distinction exists between a religious and a scientific perspective on the afterlife. They are independent explanatory systems.
Interviewer: How does the idea that there are two worlds affect our understanding of marriage and the couple’s relationship?
Dr. James: It’s traditional to use the phrase “until death do us part” in wedding wows. This indicates the fact that upon the death of one of the partners the physical, legal, and social functions of the marriage end. But the spiritual or spiritual functions are not mentioned in the wow. Couples who live their marriage through the perspective of scientific dualism, refer to their spiritual conjunction as “eternal” and is to last “forever”. The death of one of the partners does not dissolve or end the spiritual conjunction. They resume where they left off when the second person also passes into the spiritual world of eternity.
Interviewer: People ordinarily discuss the afterlife as something that is to happen in the “spiritual world” upon death. They then enter “eternity” or “heaven”. But you call it the spiritual world of eternity. How do you reconcile these two perspectives?
Dr. James: It is the human person, the personality or self, that is alive after the physical body is detached in the dying process. We don’t go anywhere when “we pass on” from this world to the next. We are already in that world, from the birth of the spiritual body. So when we lose the physical body there is nowhere to go or to pass on. We merely change the locus of our awareness. While we are attached to the physical body our awareness of our environment is restricted to the sensory organs of the physical body. We then act as if we were like animals and plants, or like physical organisms.
Interviewer: You mean our physical body is like a space suit that allows us to interact with the physical environment. We look through the physical eyes and therefore we see only physical light and objects. We are unable to see what is around us in the spiritual world of eternity until we take off this physical space suit, which we do through the dying process.
Dr. James: That’s correct. For several years, Swedenborg was able to observe the physiological “resuscitation” process of hundreds of individuals, some whom he knew before they died, and others who were strangers from around the globe. Approximately 30 hours after the physical body is functionally dead and cold, the spiritual body is fully extracted from the physical, and we suddenly awaken in our conscious awareness in the spiritual world of eternity. We then are able to see in our spiritual environment what Swedenborg saw, namely many people who live in communities and cities that can be visited by anyone there.
Interviewer: That’s fascinating! So Swedenborg was able to visit those communities? What did they look like? What were they engaged in doing?
Dr. James: For 27 years of daily visits he interviewed and observed people and their lifestyle in eternity. He published dozens of books in which he reports the details as an anthropologist would. Swedenborg mapped out the spiritual world of eternity and confirmed that every human being who had a life on some earth anywhere in the physical universe, entered the spiritual world of eternity at death and continued their life as before. He interviewed many couples who had lived on earth thousands of years ago in history, and yet were together in their heavenly community. What’s more, all looked like they were in their early twenties, vibrant, and wise in many sciences and knowledges.
Interviewer: Is everybody in the spiritual world of eternity young and vibrant forever?
Dr. James: No, not everyone. Swedenborg described the spiritual world as consisting of three different and separate regions or spiritual zones. In the upper regions he found couples living together in conjugial love, each couple happy in their own private and sumptuous residence. But in the lower regions of the human mind (or spiritual world) Swedenborg found couples living together in misery and hatred, who were locked to each other by their negative emotions and familiarity. They lived in dilapidated habitations amidst dark caves that sheltered poisonous and dangerous animals that would come out and harass the inhabitants. Swedenborg referred to the upper regions as “heavens in the human mind”, and the lower regions as “hells in the human mind”.
Interviewer: Amazing! Swedenborg visited heaven and hell! Is that right?
Dr. James: That’s correct. He discovered that heaven and hell are not places in the spiritual world where people are rewarded for being good and punished for being bad. Heaven and hell are spiritual states. Everyone can taste what it’s like to be in heaven when we are happy, enthusiastic, and in mutual love and respect with all. And we can all taste what’s it’s like to be in hell when we are arrogant, selfish, cruel, enraged, tortured by emotions, or depressed and self-destructive.
Interviewer: Why are there people in their spiritual hell? Why don’t they stay in their spiritual heaven?
Dr. James: The amazing thing Swedenborg discovered is that our spiritual habits and loves stay with us forever. They cannot be gotten rid of once they are fixated in our immortal personality. So those who start their conscious life in eternity choose a lifestyle that is congruent with the habits and loves they have acquired. Those who acquired habits of selfish thinking, and were intent on deceiving others, even hurting and torturing them, are now in the compulsion of continuing in that lifestyle. Hence some people gravitate to the hellish regions of their mind, while others gravitate towards the heavenly regions.
Interviewer: What about couples? What kind of couplehood prepares people for heavenly life and for hellish life?
Dr. James: Other-centered couplehood prepares you for heavenly life and eternal sweetheart love, while a self-centered focus in relationship devolves into selfishness and ultimate separation.
Interviewer: How do you define an other-centered focus? You wrote that women tend to be other-centered in love relationship, being focused on taking care of the man’s feelings and desires, and remaining bonded. Men on the other hand tend to be self-centered and expect the woman to take care of their needs. How do you know if a person in relationship is other-centered or self-centered? If a woman is other-centered, does that mean she cannot look after her own needs?
Dr. James: It works well when they are each other-centered, which means that they consider the other’s needs as much as they consider their own. The self-centered focus is to consider one’s own needs first, and only then, the needs of others. This leads to selfishness, which erodes their emotional closeness and spiritual intimacy. A woman can help the man change from his self-centered focus to a focus on her.
Interviewer: How does she do that? What if he resists or refuses to change and accuses her of not loving or respecting him because she keeps wanting to change him?
Dr. James: When the woman maintains the other-centered focus in her interactions with him, she can perceive when he is not taking care of her needs. She understands that he needs for her to be insistent in her requests that he take her needs into account, not merely his own. The woman must fight for him, for their union, so that they can attain the life of heaven together. If she lets him have his way by letting him retain his self-centered focus, she is allowing him to self-destruct. By fighting hard in the relationship for him to treat her properly, she is fighting for his heavenly life in eternity. She is being his best friend.
Interviewer: Fascinating. The mind has a shape, the form of the body. The spiritual world is shaped in the form of the human body. Could Swedenborg verify this?
Dr. James: Yes, indeed. He was able to have a visual bird’s eye view from on high of the land forms of the spiritual world, and they were in the shape of the human body. Furthermore, he was able to navigate through the regions of the mind by referring to the body part in which he was located when visiting a particular city or community. He would introduce his diary entries as reporting from “the province of the liver”, or “the province of the left ear”, or “the province of the cerebellum”, or “reproductive organs”, etc.
Interviewer: That is amazing! And what were the people like in each of these organic provinces of the spiritual world of eternity?
Dr. James: Yes, amazingly, Swedenborg discovered that the spiritual character or life philosophy of the inhabitants of each particular spiritual body region, was recognizably related to the physiological function of that organ. People who had a particular personality structure gravitated towards each other, and found themselves setting up habitations in that spiritual region because it best enhanced their loves and supported their habits. When people navigated outside their own region they felt less and less adjusted, and soon they would have to return to their own region to feel better.
Interviewer: Can you give an example”
Dr. James: Yes. Swedenborg noted a strong contrast between the inhabitants of the heart region and those of the region of the lungs. People in the heart and circulatory regions are called “celestial” in spiritual makeup, while people living in the respiratory regions are called “spiritual”. Celestial people form their life philosophy around the practice of mutual love, and so they are peaceful, compassionate, and wise. Spiritual people base their life philosophy on the pursuit of knowledge and truth, with love taking a secondary role. As a result they are often combative and harsh in their judgment, compared to the celestial personality.
Interviewer: Very interesting. I wonder whether I am spiritual or celestial. Maybe I alternate on different occasions. But now, in which region of the human mind did Swedenborg find heaven and hell, and how does it relate to other-centeredness and self-centeredness in couplehood?
Dr. James: Navigating in the spiritual world of eternity is done through the activation of emotions and affections, or loves. Love is the teleporting agent in eternity. For instance, if your motivation or intention is to deceive and defraud others, plotting in your mind how to carry it out, your desire or love for that deceitful activity, immediately teleports you to another region of the spiritual world. As long as you are affected by this thought and emotion, you will automatically find yourself in company with others who are like minded. Together they spend their life plotting and stealing from each other, often with the threat and fear of violence and torture.
Interviewer: That sounds dreadful!
Dr. James: Indeed it is. Furthermore, you don’t just stand still with your negative love. It devolves more and more, becoming barbaric, savage, and inhuman. And since they do it to each other, they take turns suffering from abuse, and then being elated with lust, when their turn comes for torturing others. That’s the life of spiritual hell in eternity. It is unimaginably bad.
Interviewer: So how do I make sure that I won’t end up in that spiritual state when I start my new life, after being liberated from the physical body?
Dr. James: Actually it’s simple to say, and understand, but hard to follow. Most human beings have several decades to get it straight, before they move on to their next life. One thing is certain: the practice of other-centeredness evolves a character and conscience that gravitates to the peaceful and love filled heavenly regions of the mind. On the other hand, the practice of self-centeredness devolves into selfishness, egotism, and the loss of the ability to think rationally. This negative anti-social personality inevitably teleports you to the hellish regions of the mind. This is why a unity marriage is the most effective way of preparing people for their spiritual heavens in eternity.
Section 5: Female and Male Mind: Achieving Oneness
Interviewer: I suppose you call your theory unity marriage because they are supposed to achieve oneness. Two partners who are sweethearts to each other, and have become best friends, interact with each other day by day, and minute by minute, and produce the conjoined pair as the flower or fruit of the male-female organic conjunction.
Dr. James: That’s very well said. The male and female physical body are reciprocals so that together they can produce a child. This physical process mirrors by correspondence what happens to the spiritual body of the two sweethearts. Here we are focusing on how the male mind and the female mind form reciprocals that produce spiritual children.
Interviewer: What are spiritual children? I never heard of that.
Dr. James: When we think about a series of things, say as we are planning the next day, we can observe that one thought leads to the next. We are less aware normally about what drives these thoughts to take their coherent sequence, as they do. The goals and affections drive our thoughts. If you are hungry and planning to eat. it is the intention or motive to eat that then drives your coherent thoughts, -- as for example, where to eat, when, what, with whom, and the cost, etc. Intentions and motives, in the form of goals and plans, drive our thoughts and selects their sequence in such a way as to satisfy the desire or need.
Interviewer: All our out thoughts driven and selected by our motives and intentions? What about mood and emotion?
Dr. James: Yes it includes them. It is the same with our creativity, inventiveness, productivity, etc. These are all driven by feelings, ambitions, desires to achieve goals, etc. Swedenborg came to the conclusion that nothing in the female mind is like anything in the male mind, and vice versa.
Interviewer: Really? Are they opposites?
Dr. James: Not opposites but reciprocals. Instead of the “opposite sex”. we could be thinking about the “reciprocal sex” or “reciprocal gender”. It was surprising to me at first that there is zero overlap between the female and male mind or spiritual body. I grew up educated to believe that a man’s body is like a woman’s body except for their reproductive organs, and later, except for their hormones. But for the past couple of decades there has been a turnaround in medicine, so that it is common for doctors to think that women have a completely different physiology and biochemistry, than men. Now they have redo all the research that were was based on male subjects only.
Interviewer: So if the male mind and the female mind are reciprocals organically, how is the fit experienced, by the man and the woman?
Dr. James: The partners experience this in their interactions with each other, whether verbal, nonverbal, passive, or active. When one of them says, does, implies, or shows a self-centered focus, the other one immediately feels it like one feels a warm versus a cold shower. It is not something subtle or small. It is big and heavy and clunky. If I don’t agree with one of my wife’s idea or suggestion, and I express the disagreement by word, gesture, or deed, she is instantly thrown into a spiritual dust storm. Her confidence in herself and her rapport with him, are gone, shattered by the expression his disagreement.
Interviewer: Is this also the case the other way round? When a woman disagrees with the man, does he feel separated from her?
Dr. James: Yes, he does. Then he has to consider which way to react overtly. He can scold her and try to make her feel guilty for making him feel separated, even less confident about himself. She should not give in at this point and reverse her disagreement. Here is where we need to understand the psychology of reciprocal action in relationship. If she reverses herself and starts overtly agreeing with him, even though she still disagrees, she is leaving the relationship unprotected. She is allowing a weakening force between their reciprocity.
Interviewer: This is complicated. How many women can figure this thing out?
Dr. James: A woman’s spiritual body (female mind) is totally different from a man’s spiritual body (male mind). Hence it would be organically injurious to apply the same operations rules and treatment to both. Each must have the operation rules and treatment that is appropriate to their gender. For the conjoined pair to develop through their other-centered interactions, a rule may apply to her one way, and to him another way. This is what matters.
Interviewer: So you are saying that it’s all right for a woman to disagree with a man, but not all right for the man to disagree with a woman. Is that correct?
Dr. James: That’s right. We should not be using the equity model except for a period of time while adaptation takes place and closeness builds.
Interviewer: How would you describe what happens when the female and male mind interact?
Dr. James: In the female mind there is an organic primacy for loving and conjoining with a man. Nowadays so much negativity is associated with failed marriages and divorces that young women grow up without necessarily seeing that their primary love or motive is to marry and conjoin with a man forever. There is the additional problem that men who remain self-centered can make life miserable to the women with whom they enter in relationship. Further, the single life is touted as healthy and robust. But all this simply obscures the basic spiritual physiology of the female mind, which strives from within to achieve the conjoined pair.
Interviewer: Is this why they say that women are clingy and mushy?
Dr. James: Some men say this, and many women have to see themselves that way. But this is propaganda designed by men to control women. Women should realize on their own that “clingy” has a negative connotation that separates them. So if a man says to a woman, or about a woman, that she is clingy, he does not respect her, does not understand her, and finally, does not like her femininity. This is very common.
Interviewer: Are you saying that men don’t like femininity?
Dr. James: Yes. That’s right. If the truth be known, men hate the female mind. This is why boys and girls in childhood treat each other with disrespect, and avoid each other in play or in socializing. When pre-teens and teens begin to feel their sexuality, boys are willing to lay aside for awhile, and hide their antipathy and disrespect for how “girls” think and act.
Interviewer: That is very disturbing to hear. Is it true about girls and women too -- that they don’t like contact with the male mind?
Dr. James: No, it is not so with girls. Women love their own inner reactions to the male mind. They consider it a wonderful mystery within their bosom. Women desire to appropriate and conjoin to themselves all that a man has to offer in terms of cognitive resourcefulness, humor, and intelligence. A woman’s mind is enriched by the spiritual contact with man’s way of thinking, and she loves it, and comes to depend on it.
Interviewer: Well, I suppose that the men eventually get the message to conjoin? Otherwise how can unity be achieved?
Dr. James: Yes, the men get the message to conjoin as soon as they acquire the habit of respecting the female mind. They have to be unwilling to maintain in their own mind, any negative or derogatory references to women. They have to do this overtly, first, and later they have to apply it as well to their spiritual dialog with themselves. When a man in his own mind, starts respecting women, by how he thinks about women, then he can begin to acquire a love and delight in his contact with the female mind.
One of the most common and cruel ways in which men routinely disrespect their love partner is to call her a “nag”, and what she is doing with him as “nagging”. The dictionary says about the word nag: “A horse, esp. one that is old or in poor health.” “To nag” is to be irritated from “continuous urging”. So when a woman continually urges a man to do something that he has promised her to do, but hasn’t, he sees her as “an old horse” that he finds irritating. This attitude is cruel and anti-female.
And the second most cruel thing men do to their loving and conjunctive sweetheart, is to call her “clingy” with a tone of complaint and dislike. By doing this he is threatening her that he is going to dislike her if she continues to urge him to be more expressive in his liking and attachment for her. I think it is hateful and cowardly for a man to do this to the woman he claims to love, and who wants more closeness with him. For the man to insult her in this way is a betrayal of their close friendship. It will hurt her deeply.
Interviewer: Is it legitimate for a woman to desire that the man be more expressive towards her, give more shows of his love as a way of reassuring her?
Dr. James: When does a woman act more jealous than usual, or seems to urgently desire more shows of love from her man? She does this when she needs it. It is a love need. She needs more loving interactions from him as renewed demonstrations of his caring and friendship. She needs active and convincing reassurances from him that she is still the most important thing in his life, that she remains the very center and core of his attention and liking. And he ought to fulfill this love need of hers, taking care of her crisis of self-confidence, nurturing her self-esteem, repeating that his love for her is going to be everlasting.
Interviewer: Is it the case then that women like men more than men like women?
Dr. James: The truth is that a self-centered man is unlikable. But if the man becomes other-centered, he becomes likable to the woman. A self-centered focus deteriorates into selfishness and egotism, and these remove the man from reality and communion.
Interviewer: This must also be true the other way, right? Can a man love a self-centered woman?
Dr. James: Yes, if he can see through that veneer. The female mind is conjunctive by birth and practice. A woman’s self-centered focus is partial and temporary. When she gets out of that spiritual state, she is fully conscious of her desire to conjoin, and this automatically calls out her other-centeredness.
Interviewer: What about the other way round? Can a woman retain her conjunctive desires for the man if he is still self-centered?
Dr. James: She can, for a long time. A woman can hang in there with a man even when he is in a spiritual state of preoccupation with self, and can hardly bring himself to be fully conscious of her presence. But she cannot keep this up forever. At some point the man must wake up, turn away from himself, and turn towards her. If he now keeps his focus on her, the conjoined pair can grow.
Interviewer: So the conjoined pair becomes the ultimate goal in marriage and life?
Dr. James: Yes.
Interviewer: Dr. James, I read in a review article about your book that you are advocating a changeover to a matriarchal society in which the women will make all the decisions, and the men will obey and carry them out. How do you respond to the criticism that you are advocating the feminization of society through the woman-centered focus in all marriage, where women have all the power, and men take on a role of obedience instead of leadership.
Dr. James: Husbands who adopt and practice the woman-centered focus tend to get more male, while women tend to get more female. A woman-centered husband is an other-centered man. He has willingly given up his former male self-centeredness. The woman has no power to make him do this. He adopts this new practice by being unwilling to express a disagreement. This new practice opens his eyes to what the female mind really is. He never actually paid attention to women. They never occupied the center of his focus. Women were an appendage, or something the man owned, like “This is my car. This is my wife. This is my house”.
Interviewer: So there is no coercion involved when a man acts woman-centered all the time. He is not being dominated by a woman. But how is he more of a man when he never disagrees with her, as opposed to having his own mind and agreeing sometimes, and disagreeing at other times. I think most women wouldn’t like a man who has no ideas of his own and always agreeing with her, whether she is right or wrong.
Dr. James: Yes, women want to be able to rely on their man. They want the man to use his male intelligence and inventiveness. A woman wants the man to use his male intelligence to make her life with him better all the time. She needs for him to take initiative in using his intelligence that way, to improve their joint lives and to make it secure. She doesn’t get this from a man who is not coordinated with her in the rhythm of their joint lives. That’s what happens with a self-centered man who chooses to agree with her at times and chooses to disagree with her at other times. She can hardly predict when he will choose to simply refuse to go along with something she wants him to do. She has no full confidence in their relationship. At any time he can take a step sideways, disregard her, and follow his independent mind. Where then is the security of the emotional closeness?
But when the man is unwilling to express disagreement he sees to it that his male intelligence figures something out, a way of satisfying her, since she is his eternal sweetheart. This situation makes him more of a man, more intelligent then he already is, because his vision and understanding are enhanced by her vision and her understanding.
Interviewer: OK, I get it now. It sounds beautiful to me. How many men are able to switch to this new woman-centered lifestyle, do you think? Not many.
Dr. James: All men are capable of practicing a woman-centered focus in their romantic relationship. Few are willing to do this. Part of the reason is that the woman-centered focus is not taught to boys during their socialization process. The opposite is taught, namely how to be self-centered and how to disrespect women. Until that is changed only a few men will take this upon themselves as adults. They are men angels.
Section 6: Her Lists and His Lists
Interviewer: This is very interesting. Women often feel like they’re being selfish by demanding too much from their man. Popular marriage counselors like Dr. Laura Schlessinger, write books and give radio advice through which she tries to make women feel guilty for not giving in to the man’s requests for more sex and more “guy time” alone or with friends. It seems that women are not allowed to demand that the man take care of them and what they need, without being accused of being selfish. How do you see this dilemma?
Dr. James: In her best selling books, Dr. Barbara DeAngelis has made lists of things that thousands of women whom she counseled, had told her they wish their man would take care of. These were ordinary things like having him respect her views, having him learn how to talk to her properly when she is sharing a problem, or having him keep track of the topics she mentioned in her conversations with him. A woman doesn’t want her man to walk out on their conversation when he disagrees with her, or when he gets too angry to handle it. Women want men to listen to them when they tell the man that he is keeping bad company and should stop socializing with them since they are having a bad influence on him. A woman wants a man to respect her desire for exclusivity with him, so that he should stop talking about her with other people.
Interviewer: So you are saying that a woman should insist on the man fulfilling her needs because that’s where their joint happiness lies. So she is not being self-centered and selfish by insisting that he meet his obligations and promises to her. She is actually being other-centered and loving, and the man should go along with her. Is that right?
Dr. James: Yes, that’s right. That is how they can reach their spiritual heaven together forever.
Interviewer: Let me see if I understand. You are saying that being other-centered vs. self-centered has something to do with the organic structure of the spiritual world of eternity?
Dr. James: That’s exactly right. Swedenborg made an empirical discovery of extraordinary importance to humankind. The shape of the spiritual world of eternity is not a sphere, like the shape of the physical world of time-space. It is the shape of the human body. The physical body is nothing but a temporary covering, but it is formed and shaped inside and outside in accordance with the shape of the spiritual body, or human mind. The spiritual body is the eternal immortal original, while the physical body is a copy that functions as a covering while the spiritual body (or mind) is connected to the physical world. So the physical body, the spiritual body or human mind, and the spiritual world of eternity, are all three shaped in the human form.
Interviewer: I understand that your students and your readers have had conflictual reactions about the idea of woman-centered couplehood. You focus on men in romantic relationship, husbands and boyfriends. You assert that men in general begin their romantic relationships in a self-centered spiritual orientation, and you say that women in general begin in an other-centered spiritual orientation. Thus the men have to change their basic orientation towards themselves and their partner. Is this correct?
Dr. James: Yes. The male mind that is socialized in a male dominant culture is trained to be independent, competitive, and self-serving. This is training for a self-centered life. Men who have arrived to socio-legal adulthood begin their maturity as self-centered individuals.
And then all of a sudden, there comes this woman he is strongly attracted to, bringing new excitement and vigor to his daily life. He falls in love with her. She reciprocates. They start a romantic relationship. They grow spiritually closer and intimate. Now suddenly his self-centered attitudes and habits begin to oppose that closeness. Now he is in big trouble in his spiritual peace and self-confidence.
Interviewer: Why do you say big trouble? What about her?
Dr. James: Spiritual trouble means inner turmoil and conflictual emotions. He can see that she is focused on him in their daily interactions. She listens to him carefully, laughs at his jokes, is always interested in learning more of the details of his past, and she learns from his male logic and cognitive inventiveness. Because she is being other-centered in their interactions, she has been enriched with the benefits of his knowledge, personality, and temperament. Now she has entered the phase of their relationship where she is beginning to tell him about himself. She reflects to him his self-centered focus in their interactions.
Interviewer: How does she do that?
Dr. James: She makes verbal lists of them, on those occasions when they are having an argument in which she is not getting the cooperation from him that she needs in order to make significant headway on an issue he is arguing about with her. He can see from her lists that his self-centered focus stands in sharp contrast to her other-centered focus. And so he begins to be disturbed by inward spiritual conflict about whether or not he needs to change his orientation. Is he being selfish? Does he want to be that?
Interviewer: What’s on her list?
Dr. James: “You’re not listening to me.” “We talked about this before. Don’t you remember?” “You’re always interrupting me when I speak.” “You don’t let me finish and explain.” “I am not asking for your advice on how to fix it.” “You haven’t remembered our anniversary. I am the one who has to remind you, each time.” “You said you were going to finish it.” “Please don’t use that tone of voice with me.” “You haven’t commented on how I looked tonight!” “I don’t like this shirt. You said you were going to get rid of it.” “You hurt my feelings this afternoon when you were rude to my mother.” “He is always late.”
“He gets furious when I mention it.” “You said you were going to look for another job…a very long time ago.” “You promised you’re going to spend more time with the kids.” “You don’t call me before coming home, as I keep asking you to do.” “You’re more in love with yourself than with me.” “You promised to stop playing poker with those men who disrespect women and watch porn videos.” “She keeps telling me that I am not chewing my food properly.” “She is paranoid about throwing away mail, always worrying about someone going through our garbage for identity theft.”
Shall I go in with the list?
Interviewer: These sound like perfectly normal things for a wife to say to her husband.
Dr. James: Exactly. They sound normal and typical because they accurately describe men’s self-centered focus in the relationship. These are the emotional experiences a man creates for his wife. The things she often says to him about himself stand as indictment. They find him guilty of self-centeredness, of selfishness, of lacking in sufficient caring for her feelings, and for her experience of living with him.
If he is an honest and inwardly brave man, or aspires to become one, then this indictment of his insufficiency as a partner can kindle in him previously unsuspected powers of discipline and will. He begins to make efforts at switching his orientation from self to her, from man to woman. The many victories he has against his old self-centered nature give him new confidence as a man, new confidence in himself, for what he can achieve through personal effort.
Interviewer: That’s really nice and hopeful. What about her self-improvement efforts? Doe he get to keep a list on her bad habits?
Dr. James: No. She has been other-centered with him since they started together. She never stopped. She looks after his needs and comforts. She has catered to his preferences and delights since they first started being intimate. He owes her much appreciation for this care. She deserves his support and patience. Sure he can make a list in his mind of all the things she does that he feels she shouldn’t.
“She is a perfectionist.” “She gets upset by the way I fold the laundry when I help her.” “She wants to talk about the same plan over and over gain.” “She takes forever to get ready.” “She wants to plan things way ahead, way too early.” “She is a pessimist, expecting the worst, hoping for the best.” “She is not always thinking logically.” “She lets people take advantage of her.” “She nags me about a lot of things.” “She is very jealous.” “She eats very slowly.” “She is low key in the sex department.” “She worries about everything.”
Shall I go on?
Interviewer: Well, I recognize these things as something men would think in connection with their wives. Are you saying they have no validity?
Dr. James: None. They are not valid descriptions of what the woman does. These criticisms come from a man’s self-centered perspective on the woman. They display an anti-female bias. The man who is learning to become other-centered with his wife will recognize these lists in his mind, but he will not grant them legitimacy or validity. He will tell himself that she has been honest with him, doing her best to satisfy him. The moment he adopts the woman-centered focus these biases move into the background. He then sees her honest efforts to please him, to strengthen the relationship, to protect their love and their future together. This has been her central goal in life. He can now see this. And after that his spiritual lists get shorter and shorter, and vanish altogether into his acceptance and love. He is now a much happier man.
Section 7: Life after Death
Interviewer: You wrote that scientific dualism is based entirely on the Swedenborg Reports, generally known as the Writings of Swedenborg written in the eighteenth century. How do you counter the objection many people have of accepting a theory that is based on the report of one man, some centuries ago, and when no one else has been able to verify any of his details. How do you get past that point?
Dr. James: People accept the science of psychology, and yet most of it is based on statistical measurement of groups of people. Most of these measurements involve asking people to rate, judge, or evaluate something by translating their feelings and thoughts into a number given on a predefined scale that is given to everyone. These numbers are then averaged and transformed in various ways, and conclusions are then drawn based on this number. Other psychologists who read these conclusions may agree with them, or they may suggest different conclusions based on the same statistical results. Usually one or two top theories are favorites and placed in textbooks taught to others. Every ten years these top theories are replaced by other top theories. How can people have more faith in this type of indirect procedure, and feel that this is the certainty that science provides. I think it is a matter of intellectual conformity to authority rather than a rational examination of validity.
On the other hand when you look at what people really believe in their daily lives are the eyewitness reports that people tell each other in their interactions and communications. When a coworker comes in and tells you that he just saw a cat riding on a car's rooftop, you don't normally respond with asking if others have confirmed that report. But you may explore to see whether the person is jesting or being serious, and you may ask for further details about the circumstances of the report, such as where was this, what kind of cat was it, who was in the car, and so on. And if you get all the reasonable answers you accept the report as real.
That's how I look at the Swedenborg Reports, except that I place it in a scientific context which involves analyzing the objectivity of the reports and their internal consistency. In our ordinary day to day reports we do not have the same requirements for looking at the methodology of the observations involved. For example, only in a court speaking as a witness would one have to specify such details as where you were standing when you saw the car, whether there were other cars or objects that were obstructing your view, and where the angle of light was coming from. In science we have even more of an obligation to examine the exact nature of the observations and whether one can estimate the errors involved in the observation.
Interviewer: And so in the case of the Swedenborg Reports you feel that the author used objectivity in his observations of life in the afterlife?
Dr. James: Swedenborg was a trained scientist, an experienced reporter and writer of science articles and books. He had an impeccable reputation for probity and intelligence in his work as a government-mining engineer and member of the House of Lords where he was the author of several legislative bills on monetary reform in Sweden. Then at age 57 he suddenly began experiencing dual consciousness, being able to be conscious of what was around him in both this world of time and in the afterlife world of eternity. He was able to talk to the acquaintances that had passed on, as well as to people he only knew from history books. His dual consciousness state lasted 27 years until his passing on at age 82. He was able to interview people who had lived on earth at various times and ages. He published three dozen books filled with details about his observations.
Interviewer: And these observations are to be trusted? How do we know that they were accurate?
Dr. James: First you need to eliminate the idea that the scientist was delusional or dishonest. Over the past three centuries, Swedenborg has been vetted multiple times by various biographers and critics. All the evidence shows that Swedenborg was impeccably honest with high standards of scientific reporting. His theories and explanations are rational and careful, always annotated with his extensive scientific knowledge in anatomy, psychology, and the natural sciences. He has been able to put together an entire new science based on systematic daily observations for years.
He is always aware of objectivity of detail and reports only what others have also witnessed who were around him in the spiritual world. Swedenborg also conducted various experiments in which he systematically varied certain variables while holding others constant. It is clear as you read the Swedenborg Reports that they belong to science by the usual criteria, despite the fact that no other scientist has turned out to be conscious in in the two worlds.
Interviewer: OK, that's very convincing, I must admit. And totally unique, so that we can't have the same expectations with any other author.
Dr. James: And it is especially important to consider the fact that the Swedenborg Reports creates a language, a register of science that other scientist can pursue on their own. There is an inherent logic in reality, and if you get hold of one area of reality, you gain a handle on other aspects of reality. The Swedenborg Reports are able to support the activity of scientists in research that we call "normal science".
This involves carrying on research as a community of scientists over several generations so that its knowledge base cumulates over time. The Swedenborg Reports are capable of doing this, and I am an example of how this can be done in the science of psychology. A colleague of mine, Dr. Ian Thompson, has done something similar in the science of physics because Swedenborg presents the laws of cause-effect in terms of successive layers of correspondences, “starting with God” (see his book Starting Science from God). In a few years I expect that the enterprise of scientific dualism will begin to grow vigorously and engage the attention of many scientists.
Interviewer: How do you think that outcome will influence the course of society?
Dr. James: When scientific dualism becomes mainstream in science, the public school textbooks will reflect that. As a result people will learn the idea that mind is organic substance, that it is immortal, and that our anatomy binds us to either heaven or hell in eternity. This idea will affect people’s lives, how they think and act as a result of knowing that every one of their decisions in daily life determines the fate of their future in eternity.
Interviewer: Fascinating! Dr. James, you speak about spiritual heaven and spiritual hell. Is that the same thing as what people mean by good and evil?
Dr. James: Yes, they have a similar meaning outwardly, but inwardly they are different.
Interviewer: How do you mean that?
Dr. James: In scientific dualism heaven and hell are anatomical regions of the human mind. Heavenly spiritual states make up heaven as a region in the human mind. This is universal and biological. It is above culture, above philosophy, above morality.
Interviewer: How do you mean above culture, or above morality?
Dr. James: Because all cultures and all systems of morality exist in the universal human mind. Everything that human beings on earth think about, invent, or feel and sense, must occur within the human mind. The human mind must provide the anatomical structures for creating a system of practices and habits in a community, and we call these collectively as “culture”, or as social and moral philosophy. So the biological anatomy of the human mind trumps all moral systems and cultures.
Swedenborg reports that after resuscitation, people spontaneously begin using the universal thought-language that is common to all human beings. It is our unconscious universal deep-level language that is able to produce the vast variety of lower outer level natural languages, with their associated culture and history. When we permanently break consciousness with earth, these natural lower level systems are no longer of any use to us. All humanity in the spiritual world of eternity speaks one universal thought-language. Shortly after our resuscitation, all our memories associated with our natural languages and cultures, fade into the background, and we lose consciousness of them. Religion, on the other hand, remains with the person to the extent that it was practiced in daily life with sincerity.
Interviewer: You wrote that evil thoughts and feelings bring us into a hellish spiritual environment where we live in community with others who share these negative feelings and thoughts. On the other hand, good thoughts and feelings put us into a spiritual environment with others who are also good. Is that correct?
Dr. James: Yes, that’s correct.
Interviewer: How do you see human evolution tied into this?
Dr. James: Everything that exists in the spiritual world is organic or substantive, and has a structural existence in our spiritual anatomy. Everything in the spiritual world is built out of love-substance and truth-substance, that are flowing in from the environment from the Sun of the Spiritual World of Eternity. Hence all thoughts and feelings, moods and developspiritual stages, are organic structures made of the immortal love-substance and truth-substance composing our self and personhood. Hence everything follows the built in order of its organic structure (or spiritual “DNA”).
The human race evolves as one organism called the Grand Human, and its corresponding opposite, the Grand Monster. The direction and steps of this evolution are built into the anatomical structures that make up the mind. Heavenly anatomical structures evolve endlessly to greater perfection and power (or ability and function). Hellish structures, which are in the opposite anatomical structure, devolve endlessly to greater imperfection and dysfunction.
Interviewer: You said that the male mind and the female mind are reciprocals and can form a unity called the conjoined pair. What about gay couples who have formed a life partnership with each other, some even adopting and raising children. Do they form a unity and do they have a conjoined pair?
Dr. James: A gay couple can form a unit that is composed of a male mind conjoined to a male mind, or, a female mind conjoined to a female mind. These same sex conjunctions are different anatomically from the partnership formed by the male and female mind.
Interviewer: Will they be together in the afterlife?
Dr. James: If they have conjoined inwardly in their partnership here on earth, they will be together in the afterlife. Whether these partnerships are permanent and what happens to them in the long run, I do not know. Swedenborg does not report specifically on this issue. However, he makes it clear that in the world of eternity, same-sex partnerships cannot be in the same spiritual community as man-woman partnerships because they are of a different nature. This also applies to single people who are opposed to being married.
Here on earth communities are culturally and morally pluralistic. The same urban neighborhood, the same theater or restaurant, can contain single people, heterosexual marriages, gay partnerships, bisexual, and transgender relationships. The laws of a democracy protect freedom of expression within a community. But after resuscitation, things are different. The anatomical laws of the spiritual world of eternity spontaneously determine the composition of spiritual communities by means of spiritual similarity and inner personality.
Those who are different from the members of a particular community, are automatically and sub-consciously repelled from entering a community where their difference would cause a medical disturbance in the mind of all there. Hence it is that all communities in eternity are internally homogeneous in spiritual character and the typology of their ruling love.
Interviewer: What about individuals who have undergone a sex change operation. Who are they coupled with in the afterlife?
Dr. James: Sex change surgery is performed on the physical body, not on the spiritual body. The physical body is not around in the afterlife. So if that person was born with a female mind, it remains forever as the female spiritual body, which is immortal. Similarly with being born with a male mind or spiritual body.
It appears to be the case here on earth that sometimes a person who is born with a female mind somehow has the intense desire to be a man outwardly. Similarly with someone born with a male mind inwardly, who desires to be a woman outwardly. Sex change operations can re-adjust these situations in their physical anatomy, but not in their spiritual anatomy, which remains the same forever.
If a person with a female spiritual body is born with a physical body that has some anatomical characteristics proper to a man, then surgery adjustments of the physical body can possibly restore the odd imbalance. Similarly with a person born with a male spiritual body, but with some physical characteristics that are proper to a woman.
Interviewer: That’s fascinating! What about people who are born with a genetic malfunction of the brain or other organ?
Dr. James: Genetic malformation in the human physical body occurs within the laws of evolution and population growth, but not in the spiritual body, which is born perfect and immortal. The laws of evolution apply only in the natural world of time and physical matter. The afterlife of eternity has its own laws of evolution and population growth. Upon resuscitation every individual comes into conscious possession and sensation of their spiritual body. Whatever limitations people experienced in their physical body now become quickly fading memories, soon to be forgotten altogether.
Interviewer: That’s wonderful news for just about everybody! What happens to infants and children who pass on. What do they wake up as in their resuscitation?
Dr. James: Infants awaken in the spiritual world of
eternity in the same way as adults. Upon awakening from the dying process,
there is present with infants, children, and adults, people who inhabit the
regions of the spiritual heavens. These attending nurses have a special love
and talent in caring for the person going through the resuscitation process.
They volunteer by self-selection to perform this loving service. These
knowledgeable and skilled nurses assist in the medical process of extraction
from the physical body, which takes up to 30 hours according to Swedenborg’s
In the case of infants being resuscitated, there are specially talented and loving wives present who adopt each infant and become their surrogate mother, skillfully supervising their spiritual growth and socialization process. They perform this parental service until the child reaches young adulthood in spiritual age. Their spiritual body of course reflects this maturing process, so that when the mind is mature, the person appears like an adult. At that point the person is prepared for marriage. After some seemingly chance encounters and adventures, the man and the woman who are compatible sweethearts and soul mates, meet unexpectedly as if by a miracle, recognize each other as made for each other, fall in love, get engaged, and enter into a conjugial marriage of unity. At which point they find their own house in their destined heavenly community, and live in that conjoint spiritual state forever in joy and bliss.
Interviewer: Wow, it sounds so idyllic, so perfect!
Dr. James: Yes, it is. Human beings are so lucky and privileged.
Interviewer: What about family members: do parents who pass on first, and their grown up children who pass on later, meet again?
Dr. James: If there is a desire to meet again, then they will. Mutual desire brings people in each other’s spiritual presence regardless of where they are. But they usually stay together for only a brief encounter because parents and their adult children are often incompatible or oppositional in their inner loves or personality structure. These encounters occur in the spiritual region that is between the heavenly regions on top and the hellish regions at the bottom.
Interviewer: How is this region different?
Dr. James: This region allows a mixture of co-presence by people who are compatible in their outward personalities but incompatible in their inner personalities. This is not possible in the upper or lower regions where everyone is in their inner personality. Hence to meet new arrivals who are family members and friends, those already living in the upper and lower regions of the mind, must come back out into their outward personality, which they had upon resuscitation.
Since the new arrivals and the old inhabitants are now both in their outward personality, the desire to meet brings them automatically together. But as soon as they begin to experience their inner incompatibility in ruling love, they no longer desire to be in each other’s presence.
Interviewer: Is this the spiritual region where everyone arrives
Dr. James: Everyone is born and awakened through resuscitation in this middle mixed region. This spiritual region is called mixed because it tolerates both orderly and disorderly anatomical developments. The upper region allows only orderly structures, while the lower regions allow only disorderly structures. As we grow up and mature while being attached to the physical body, we remain in the mixed region of the spiritual world of eternity. This allows both heavenly and hellish forces to operate on our personality and love hierarchy. We can maintain incompatible loves at different times. We can be both good and evil.
Interviewer: That makes sense. Sometimes I retaliate and hurt someone. Then I wonder later if there is an evil streak in me. I don’t like that idea.
Dr. James: Human personality is composed of inherited and acquired spiritual traits. We acquire a permanent spiritual characteristic by loving something, and consuming that love by practicing that characteristic. At that point the characteristic becomes an affective anatomical structure within our personality. We can thus inherit or acquire both orderly healthy characteristics and disorderly unhealthy characteristics. But for an inherited trait to enter our personality structure, we must love it and practice it. Without this love and practice the trait remains inactive.
This mixed affective dynamic provides a perfect moral and spiritual balance in which we can exercise freedom of choice by loving one more than loving the other. These love choices accumulate minute by minute until our resuscitation, at which point the stronger of the two ruling loves takes over from within and filters out from the personality structure that does not support that ruling love. When this process is completed we live in our inner personality, the outer and all else having been stripped. At that point we are fully in either the upper or lower regions of the mind.
Interviewer: What about jobs and money? Do these exist in the afterlife of eternity?
Dr. James: No, not in the same sense as in the physical world of time. Money is not necessary because your mind instantiates whatever you need or desire. You don’t have to work to earn a living. Everything comes free, just like in your dreams: you don’t have to pay for your clothes, food, or travel. However, the level of people’s spiritual development determines the quality of the environment they can create around themselves.
The more a community is composed of people who love truths, rationality, and wisdom, the more magnificent is the quality of the environment in terms of its buildings, architecture, gardens, or clothes. In cities inhabited by varieties of selfish and greedy people, the environment is dark, ugly, and broken down, filled with poisonous animals and plants, and an unhealthy malodorous atmosphere. This is because selfishness makes them deny the truth, and hence they remain stupid, wrapped up in unreality, fantasy, and delusion. This spiritual state creates poor living conditions.
Interviewer: Wow, that’s scary. People don’t like to hear that sort of thing, although now that I think of it, people are entertained by such images and drama. Well, forewarned is forearmed.
Section 8: Sex and Marriage, Here and in the Afterlife
Interviewer: Can you give an illustration of the kind of information that can be found in the Swedenborg Reports about sex in the afterlife?
Dr. James: The Swedenborg Reports describe the case history of three young men who were excitedly exploring together the world to which they had just been resuscitated. They died from a mishap and they awoke together in the zone of resuscitation. They touched themselves everywhere to make sure it was real and that they were not just dreaming. They touched things and people too, just to make double sure. Meeting a stranger there, the young men inquired where there were women around.
The stranger explained that he came from a society of heaven where there were extremely beautiful and attractive young women. One of the young men asked whether men were the same in heaven as they were on earth. At this, the stranger smiled and reassured the young men that all the body parts that men have on earth, they also have in heaven, and that they perform the same function in marriage: “There is the same love-making between married partners in heaven as on earth”, he assured them.
The young men were visibly relieved. One of them cried out: “Then there is still love between the sexes in heaven!” The stranger reassured them again: Yes, but it is a conjugial love that is exclusive for one woman, not a love of the sex for more than one.” The stranger added that the pleasure of conjugial love between married partners in heaven “is much more blissful” because our sensations after resuscitation are “much more exquisite” than what we can experience with the physical body.
The stranger who was a man of wisdom, or as we would say here, a scientist, gave the young men additional anatomical information about the subject they were so keenly interested in. He explained that conjugial love could not exist or be real if it did not ultimate in the pleasure of fulfillment of that love with each other. He ended by assuring the anxious young men that “without the end delights, there would not be any delights in conjugial love”. One of the young men wanted to know if there were children procreated in heaven as a result of the conjugial love with married partners there. The stranger answered that there were “spiritual offspring” born of these marriages:
"By the end delights the two partners become more united in a marriage of goodness and truth, and a marriage of goodness and truth is a marriage of love and wisdom, and love and wisdom are the offspring that are born of such a marriage. Because the husband in heaven is a form of wisdom, and his wife is a form of the love of it, and both moreover are spiritual, therefore no other than spiritual offspring can be conceived and begotten there.
"That is why, after experiencing these delights, angels do not become depressed as some do on earth, but joyful, and they have this characteristic as a result of a continual influx of fresh vigor to follow the first fresh vigor, that rejuvenates and at the same time enlightens them. For, all who come into heaven return into the springtime of their youth and into the powers of that age, and so they remain to eternity."
In other words, conjugial love in heaven produces more love and more truths in the minds of the married partners. They become more and more enlightened and blissful as a result of their enjoyment of conjugial love and is spiritual pleasures in the form of enlightenment.
Interviewer: You mentioned this before, but I wonder if you could elaborate now a little more on how partners meet in the afterlife.
Dr. James: Love is a spiritual substance that grows and develops in our mind. This love resides in the spiritual body. None of it is in the physical body, which contains only chemical and electrical particles that do not have the organic property of living. Hence it follows that in the afterlife our spiritual body contains all the loves that we appropriated to ourselves while living attached to earth. And this is especially true of conjugial love and the love of the sex, which are basic and universal to all living organisms. Hence it is that married partners meet in the afterlife after the second partner also passed on. Love binds people together on the spiritual plane of eternity, so it is by the laws of love and similarity that the partners find themselves together.
Interviewer: And so they live a married life together again?
Dr. James: The partners go through two stages of development or change. In the first phase, which is external, the married partners are able to resume their life together, where they left off. They move in together and reestablish their relationship in the new world. However this external phase is succeeded by an internal phase. Now they are each able to perceive what their inner quality is and whether they are able to continue living together or not. If they perceive themselves to be incompatible or hostile, they separate by mutual accord.
Interviewer: So what happens to them after that?
Dr. James: They each continue to explore the world around them, and eventually they are each fated to meet a suitable partner with whom they can enter into conjugial love and thereby enter heaven together. The love of a man and a woman to conjoin together is an inborn tendency whose function is to insure the propagation of the human race. All animals share this attraction between male and female, and without it no species would survive.
Interviewer: Are you saying that humans have sex like animals? That it is the same thing?
Dr. James: Humans have available two ways of having sex. One is the uncommitted and non-exclusive sexual activity that many engage in, especially in their younger years. The other way is connecting sexual activity to emotional closeness. This is the proper human way and animals are not capable of this type of conjunction. They do not have the spiritual anatomy that is complex enough to allow for the human spiritual functions of affective exclusivity and cognitive intimacy.
Interviewer: Are you saying that all sexual Activity before marriage is promiscuous and immoral? Isn’t this kind of old fashioned, Professor?
Dr. James: (laughs) No I’m not old fashioned in that sense. I’m a product of this modern world and culture. I have imbibed the same kind of values about sex that is quite typical of most people around me. But I have been studying the basics of spiritual anatomy and spiritual physiology from the Swedenborg Reports for decades now. I now have accumulated a different perspective on human sexuality than what I acquired from my culture. I see all personality change and development as an organic process of gradual taking shape. Personality is made up of all the individual loves, affections, desires, intentions, thoughts, imaginations, choices, and actions that we perform and experience.
Sexual activity performed through the physical body has an anatomical function. This is to provide, in the sensorimotor system, a vehicle of ultimate expression for conjugial love, which is spiritual, not physical. When sex through the physical body (which is external), fulfills this inner and higher spiritual function of conjugial love, then there is correspondence between the external sensorimotor delight in sex and the inner emotional intimacy that is attainable between male and female minds.
Interviewer: Well, women know this sort of thing instinctively, I guess. Men need to learn it as a hard lesson for them. Why is that so hard for men to be content with exclusivity instead of variety in sex?
Dr. James: Both men and women inherit the love of the sex. However women are also strongly attracted to the spiritual intimacy and emotional interdependence that a sexual relationship with a man provides. At first there is an imbalance, with women in a sexual relationship striving for intimacy, friendship, and exclusivity. Often men maintain barriers to emotional sharing and intimacy. They resist interdependence and striving to maintain as much independence as possible. To a man, the emotional and affective intimacy that the woman wants is aversive. He tries to keep the sexual relationship just sexual. But of course this goes on with variety and individual differences and styles.
Interviewer: What about the issue of having been married more than once, some people, multiple times. Is there information in the Swedenborg Reports as to what happens with these people?
Dr. James: Yes. People get to relive each one of their marriages, but only if there is a desire on both sides. They move in with each other, one marriage partner at a time, of course. At first they are back in their externals. They may get along on this plane of exchange. But soon they morph into their inner personality. Now each can see the true way the other feels in the relationship. This leads to a solidification and permanence of the union, or else, into its dissolution. Eventually each person finds a partner with whom they can form an inner union. And if not, they cannot enter their spiritual heaven.
Interviewer: That seems so harsh. They are denied heaven because they were unable to hitch up with a soulmate? Is it always their fault? What if they just didn’t!
Dr. James: Fault is not involved at all, but only anatomy and physiology. One’s own inner loves determine everything in our fate. We have amasses those particular inner loves. They are our will. They are us. We are nothing without those inner core loves. All other loves are ruled by these core inner loves that are us, the very essence of who we are. So now, these inner loves dictate our fate. Which means that we ourselves dictate our fate.
So if our inner loves are opposed to conjugial intimacy and exclusivity, we ourselves it is that determines that we are not going to meet a soulmate with whom we can give up our love of independence, so that we may become one-minded. That will not be in our fate because it is anatomically impossible.
Interviewer: OK, I see now. It seems quite fair.
Dr. James: One of my favorite quotes from the Swedenborg Reports regarding married couples is this: “Let it be known that husbands rarely recognize their wives, but that wives readily recognize their husbands. The reason is that women have an interior perception of love, while men have only a more superficial perception.”
Interviewer: Just as I had always suspected about men. A man doesn’t see the inner mind of the woman they are connected with. So when the woman appears in her inner appearance, the man doesn’t even recognize her.
Dr. James: This is true only of the man-centered man who has remained self-centered, and has now become selfish. He cannot tolerate the inner affections of a woman, because a woman desires to take away his independence. Conjunction means interdependence. Independence is the enemy to conjunction. When you dance together as a couple you have to each play your part, man and woman. If you want to be independent, you cannot learn to dance. All men have to learn this hard lesson in order to become more of a man. The lesson is that the delights and power of conjunction requires giving up independence.
Interviewer: This is hard for most men, isn’t it. Why is that? Women also have to give up their independence when they enter into an exclusive relationship with a man.
Dr. James: Men are strongly engaged in competition, ranks, honors, reputation, power. To increase his chances of being successful, a man will maintain a self-centered and self-interested focus in everything he does, including love and marriage. These are then based on an external pedestal and are not allowed to enter into the inner personality of the man where he wants to be independent.
In this life, such marriages can last and be functional from a social standpoint. But in the afterlife such marriages are impossible. If a man and a woman of incompatible inner loves try to consociate anyway and lInterviewer: e together, a remarkable thing happens, as observed by Swedenborg:
“Two people cannot live together in the same house unless they are likenesses of each other. And they cannot live e together at all as married partners unless their feelings for each other are mutual. If these feelings of attraction are external and not at the same time internal, the very house or place separates them, repels them and drives them away.” (CL 50)
Interviewer: Oh, that’s a pretty dramatic picture.
Dr. James: Yes. And the opposite is also dramatic. This is how Swedenborg describes the sexual activity of married partners in their inner heaven:
“These relations are then more delightful and blessed when a person becomes a spirit, [for] this love then becomes more interior and pure and so more capable of being perceived, and every delight increases with a person's perception of it, increasing even to the point that the blessedness of the love is noticed in its delight” (CL 51).
Interviewer: You mentioned that there are no children born from the marriages in heaven. Why is that?
Dr. James: Human beings must be born on an earthly planet, attached to a physical body that corresponds to their spiritual body in eternity. Life on earth is a training ground for our mind. We must create our own self through living and experiencing. Infants who pass on at birth or shortly after, need to be provided after resuscitation, with an environment similar to earth, while they are growing up spiritually. Then they can acquire the right human thoughts that are socialized. They can mature spiritually to adulthood, and can then form, together with a conjugial love partner, part of a closely-knit spiritual community.
Married partners in heaven produce “spiritual procreation” in the form of new loves and new truths by which they can both be enlightened. “Spiritual offspring” relate to love and wisdom in the mind. These spiritual births enrich the mind immeasurably with new understandings and new affections. By this process, the couple is endlessly improving and evolving to a higher level of capacity and functioning.
Interviewer: Is it possible for two married partners to be conjoined internally when they differ in beliefs about the afterlife and the spiritual?
Dr. James: There are of course people who deny the existence of the afterlife throughout their life on earth. When they are resuscitated from the dying process, they are confronted with the reality of their spiritual life in eternity. If they then refuse to change their mind despite all the evidence around them, they become insane and undergo various experiences that betake them to their spiritual hell. To deny the afterlife is to be a materialist in life and outlook. This will limit the extent of spiritual closeness and conjunction that the man can achieve with a woman.
Interviewer: What about men and women who are dedicated to a life of celibacy because of their beliefs? What happens to them after resuscitation?
Dr. James: If their reason for being celibate is religious or spiritual, then they remain celibate. Those who are relatively more altruistic, can then live in community outside their heaven, while those who are selfish, join a community of celibates in their hells. On the other hand there are men who couldn’t marry for various external reasons and circumstances, even though they had the internal desire to do so. If they trained themselves to be other-centered, they can now meet a suitable partner for heaven, but if they maintained themselves in the self-centered mode, they are forced to join a community in their hells.
The Woman-Centered Man in Couplehood and the Three Types of Interaction Patterns
Section 1: Definition of Conjunctive Couplehood
The Unity Model of Marriage is the theory of couplehood that we formulated based on our studies of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). This is not a review of the literature on couplehood. It is the presentation of a single theory and its implications for us today. We will examine and discuss both the theory and its implications, especially as it gives us a framework from which to better understand our every day lives, including how these lives are portrayed in the media and works of fiction.
The Unity Model of Marriage is definitely contrastive with the various relationship theories that exist today in the field of psychology and medicine. Since you have already acquired many ideas about relationships, you have a basis from which to look at the Unity Model of Relationship. It is possible that some of the ideas presented here may be useful to you in assessing and modifying some of the ideas you have acquired earlier.
What is conjunctive couplehood according to the Unity Model of Marriage?
In marriage, conjunctive couplehood can be defined as a mutual spiritual state of husband and wife, in which each wants to be the all in all in the life of the other.
The expression “to be the all in all in the life of the other” comes from Swedenborg. This mutual other-centered orientation results in a relationship in which each strives to avoid disjunctive interactions, while promoting conjunctive interactions. The Unity Model of Marriage is based on the Swedenborg Reports, which present his own confirming observations regarding marriages in the afterlife of eternity.
Conjunctive interactions promote a deep-set confidence in each other and in oneself. They promote emotional closeness to go along with the physical intimacy, and they promote compatibility of inner values and spiritual purpose.
Conjunctive interactions in a romantic couple are made up of all the ways of agreeing with each other and being nice to each other.
Disjunctive interactions oppose the development of unity and closeness in relationship, and promote low confidence in each other, mutual doubt, and discoordination. Disjunctive interactions are made up of all the ways of disagreeing with each other and being disrespectful or cruel.
From observation of couples in real life and in virtual life (e.g., in TV drama and in fiction), one can observe that disjunctive interactions constitute common and typical behavior portrayed for romantic and married couples. Couples are shown to argue with each other, disagree on various things to do, and talk negatively about each other, privately to self (negative thoughts about him or her), or to friends (complaining about her or him, gossiping disrespectfully). This makes the audience laugh.
Our students believe that people are not entertained by watching couples behaving well with each other all the time. This, they say, lacks drama and excitement, the two needed elements in entertainment and fun.
The idea that conjunctive couplehood would lack drama and entertainment value is a socialized notion that crosses many cultures. In the history of art it is common to point out that evil is depicted in exciting and inspired style and content, while heavenly scenes tend to lack detail and power. It is obvious that this folk mythology of “the nice being boring, the bad being exciting” has existed across the centuries and continues in this generation.
However, if we are willing to divest ourselves of this cultural bias, we would see the beauty, drama, and creativity of what is good, heavenly, and loving between people. Conjunctive interactions in a unity couple are coordinated enactments of the heavenly order and style. The couple’s interactions are touching and inspiring, filled with endless beauty and wisdom.
According to the Unity Model of Marriage, real couplehood is made up of confidence in each other, emotional closeness, spiritual intimacy, inmost friendship, and compatibility of inner values. Real couplehood produces the conjoined pair and conjugial marriage. It is the result of the accumulation of conjunctive other-centered interactions in daily life together.
Section 2: Our Three Spiritual Biological Systems
Organic spiritual (or spiritual) union in typical marriages implies a permanent relationship because the organic substances of the spiritual-spiritual world are sourced and established outside time and the physical world, namely in the timelessness and eternity of the spiritual-spiritual world.
This is what substantive dualism means, namely, our existence in two worlds, one that is in time (natural or physical world), and the other that exists not in time, but in eternity (spiritual or spiritual world of the afterlife).
Husband and wife can form an external physical association within which there is an internal spiritual-spiritual union. One is called the external or natural marriage, while the other is called the inner or spiritual marriage. The spiritual marriage involves full confidence, full security, full intimacy, and total freedom since, at the inner level, both always act from love and loyalty for each other. These inner spiritual states are the result of mutual organic anatomical growth involving the spiritual substances that abound in the atmosphere of the world of eternity and surround our mind or spiritual body since birth onward.
Spiritual states that make up our “self” are organized into three spiritual anatomical systems, corresponding to the three anatomical systems in the physical body. These are the affective-circulatory system, the cognitive-respiratory system, and the neuro-skeletal-sensory systems (or sensorimotor system), which includes proprioceptive and motor functions.
The loves, affections, desires, emotions, and feelings of the individual make up the spiritual body’s circulatory and nutritional system. These feed the thoughts and cognitions that make up the spiritual body’s respiratory and verbal systems. The sensations and pleasures of the individual make up the spiritual body’s neuro-skeletal system (including skin and sensory organs).
Feelings of love and mutual confidence between husband and wife create positive thoughts of being together forever, and various sensations of well-being and pleasure. Whatever they happen to be doing individually, each is always thinking and longing for the other one. This reciprocal and mutual spiritual state is the growth process for real couplehood.
“Real couplehood” is a long-term organic growth process in the progressive development of the couple. This organic spiritual growth process goes on simultaneously in both physical and in spiritual intimacy. Couples may be married for many years and raise children together, and yet may not have developed a spiritual intimacy that unites them into a single unit. Socially, legally, physically, and by family ties they are connected or associated, but spiritually and emotionally they are separated, not together, not of one mind.
This shows by the fact that they cannot communicate their real feelings to each other because there are basic conflicts at the emotional level between them. When the woman tries to discuss his and her real feelings, the man often becomes impatient, irritated, suspicious, and denigrating or hostile. When the man tries to discuss his and her real feelings, the woman is focused on the possibilities of his self-improvement and becoming a better man—and this is something that the man does not like to be faced with all the time, and even, anytime.
Hence there is difficulty or impossibility in communicating fully when the man and the woman are separated spiritually and not on the same page, as the saying goes.
There is the appearance of couplehood in the case of partners who sometimes get along and sometimes fight, a pattern that is typical today in our culture. But this is not a real couplehood. Real or actual couplehood requires that each partner strive to achieve a spiritual state in which each is the most in the life of the other (as discussed above), and this attitude does not allow disagreements or conflicts to be left standing between them, and keeping them emotionally apart.
When one of them feels separated from the other by disagreement, conflict, persuasion, or lack of total freedom, there is then a sense of longing and incompleteness that detracts from one’s happiness, and eventually causes unhappiness. This unhappiness is dissipated immediately when the spiritual and emotional gap between them is closed again.
Not all disagreements can be treated the same way. Some disagreements are hardly counted or noticed, while others actually stand in the way of greater emotional intimacy and inmost friendship. These are the disagreements that need to be identified, especially by men who do not value emotional intimacy as highly as physical intimacy. With a woman, it is the reverse, so that she values most physical intimacy that occurs together with the context of a spiritual intimacy.
Section 3: Three Basic Types of Agreements and Disagreements in Marriage
According to the Unity Model of Marriage there are three basic types of agreements and disagreements that are generally practiced by most couples in real life, and as well, are portrayed on television and in fiction. These basic types are:
1. MC: man-centered interactions and disagreements (e.g., as portrayed in Dr. Laura’s book)
2. EC: equity-centered interactions and disagreements (e.g., as portrayed in Dr. Tannen’s book)
3. WC: woman-centered interactions and disagreements (e.g., as portrayed in Dr. De Angelis’s book)
Power: Transform Your Man, Your Marriage, Your Life (2006) by Laura Schlessinger
(New York: Harper).
You Just Don’t Understand (2001) by Deborah Tannen (New York: Harper)
What Women Want Men to Know (2001) by Barbara De Angelis (New York: Hyperion)
(1) In man-centered couplehood the husband or man practices the dominant role over the wife or woman. Tradition, religion, and finances reinforce the maintenance of the male-dominant attitude and practice in most societies today and in the past. This type of man-woman interaction suppresses or punishes a woman’s expressions of her individual needs and preferences in the relationship, and therefore it is disjunctive of real couplehood, which cannot be established in a threatening or suppressing mutual spiritual atmosphere.
When a woman within this social system tries to express herself and her deeper needs, she is accused of being selfish, rebellious, or unfeminine. These cruel and unjust accusations place a strong manipulative pressure on individual women to accept the male dominant value system in couplehood, and to continue that tradition in the raising of their children. Women in this social framework have physical intimacy with their husbands but not emotional intimacy. A woman’s individual genetic or organic growth process is suppressed and held back in such a spiritual atmosphere where she feels judged, unwanted, or belittled in her basic femininity.
(2) In equity couplehood the partners perform equity transactions, frequently monitoring and negotiating each other’s behavior patterns. This type of “relationship territoriality” encourages disagreeing transactions in which each partner is fighting hard under felt emotional threat to protect their own territory (e.g., “No that’s your job, not mine” etc.).
Equity is therefore disjunctive of real couplehood. TV shows about real or virtual couples tend to focus on negative disjunctive verbal interactions, as the couples, each in their own style, play out equity couplehood. Apparently this is what people everywhere find fun watching!
The “equity model” appears quite attractive to young “modern” couples that have declared themselves in favor of the “equality of the sexes” philosophy. By this attitude they take a philosophical stand that is opposed to traditional gender stereotypes. Moving away from man-centered and male-dominant interactions and towards equity couplehood seems like a good idea at first.
But it turns out that equity interactions are about territoriality fights in which the woman always has to fight hard to get that equality in a man-centered social world.
All men are raised in this man-centered world so they automatically act out the man-centered perspective. Women are happy when a man agrees to help with domestic activities, but the men are not consistent with it, and the women end up feeling betrayed and frustrated. This breaks up their spiritual intimacy and unity. Hence it is ultimately necessary for the couple to start adopting and practicing the woman-centered approach if they are going to continue building on their spiritual intimacy and unity.
In woman-centered interactions the husband is disallowing for himself expressions of disagreement with his wife, even if she expresses disagreement with him. If both partners are expressing disagreement with each other, there cannot be a resolution. Who should give in to whom? The equity-centered focus wants this to be equal so that sometimes he gives in, and sometimes she gives in. This seems fair and balanced to most couples.
But if this solution is maintained over years of practice, the couple cannot remain in sweetheart love. It changes to some other kind of love such as steadfast loyalty, comfortable habit, and reliance on each other. This is indeed love, but it is not sweetheart love. It may be called domestic love. With this kind of love, half of marriages break up. But if they maintain sweetheart love they can never divorce or separate.
Hence it follows that from the man’s perspective who is not in equity practice, the task for him is to remain other-centered and not express disagreement, even when his wife seems to express disagreement with him. By withholding expressions of disagreement, he can reach his goal of closeness, peace, and happiness with her.
If the husband disagrees with something she wants or thinks, he can try to discuss it with her and to explain his reasoning and his preference. But if, after listening and discussing, she still insists on her view, then the husband should act like he gives in. Later he can reflect on the situation and try to reason with himself to come to agree with her in his own mind. Or else he can bring it up again some other time, but only as long as she agrees to discuss it again.
In this way the husband will continue to train himself to be woman-centered, thus altruistic oriented instead of self-centered. This is good for him because to be woman-centered means that he is other-centered or altruistic, rather than self-centered and selfish (which is bad for him).
Summary: Three Types of Interactions in Couplehood
MC: Man-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains a self-centered focus and the woman maintains an other-centered focus. He maintains a man-centered focus and she also maintains a man-centered focus. Both focus on the man in that interaction.
EC: Equity-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains a self-centered focus and the woman also maintains a self-centered focus. In this type of interaction both maintain a stance of competition, each looking out for the best equitable deal they can get for themselves in allocating their chores, duties, responsibilities, finances, or choices.
WC: Woman-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains an other-centered focus, and the woman also maintains an other-centered focus. Her focus in the interaction is man-centered to a man who is woman-centered.
Note that woman-centered interactions (WC) in couplehood are predictably the most successful in building spiritual closeness and unity because both partners are other-centered or altruistic. Each is taking responsibility for looking out for the welfare of the other. This motivational mutuality and reciprocity form the glue that creates and maintains all human community. In couplehood woman-centered interactions give birth to the conjoined pair that has endless potential development in our spiritual heaven in eternity.
Section 4: Birth and Growth of the Eternal Conjoined pair
Nurturing the conjoined pair after its birth involves practicing daily and hourly to keep the other-centered focus in all their daily interactions. This practice encourages the maintenance of sweetheart rituals, that create fun, and binds them together forever in an endless progression and evolution of deeper and deeper mutuality, love, friendship, and happiness that is almost impossible to imagine. This is the great promise and reward of the conjoined pair in our spiritual heaven (or the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity).
Couples over time can go through stages of closeness, and upheavals along the way. It is typical for couples to alternate between the three interaction types in the same day, or even in the same conversation. From your own experience and observations of couples you can probably corroborate this alternating pattern as being typical. TV portrayals of couples show this alternating pattern as part of what is entertaining to watch.
A man who is practicing to maintain a woman-centered focus in all his interactions with his sweetheart, and maintains a gentleman’s profile all the time, feels himself to be fully male and fully independent. He discovers that his true male role has to do with his eternal relationship with his wife, thus through interdependence with her, not through independence with himself.
He now feels the inner happiness and excitement of his successful union with this woman. He comes alive to the existence of the conjoined pair as a continuous inner source of development, growth, and understanding. He is preparing his personality to be compatible with those who share his spiritual heaven in the spiritual world of eternity.
This inner happiness and excitement may be an unexpected or surprising outcome for the man. It happens because he is strongly motivated to make her happy. And as he sees himself succeed more and more, he achieves in his mind what is man’s full state of masculinity, creativity, and inner strength.
The reason for this spiritual benefit is the unity he is achieving with his organic reciprocal. This is the conjoined pair, which is a spiritual organic growth process that is built into the spiritual body of every human being.
The ideal stage of balance, unity, and reciprocal functioning in couplehood is an organic growth process that is nourished by the cumulative stream of daily conjunctive interactions that the partners are experiencing with each other. Practicing the woman-centered interaction style with his wife opens up a new door of perception and happiness in his spiritual body.
When he falls into an equity-centered or man-centered focus in one of his interactions, he feels immediate repentance for hurting his soul mate. He feels her hurt in himself. He never felt this before. But now he feels it because the conjoined pair was born and is growing. He is intensely motivated to take care of the hurt, to find out exactly what she needs in order to feel better. This he then does. He takes care of her appropriately, which almost always means an extended period of days rather than a few minutes!
Until then he used to apologize and bring flowers, or take her out for a romantic dinner together. But now he can see clearly that these are overt gestures that do not penetrate deeply in her mind, where the hurt is that he caused. The hurt had to do with injury to her self-respect when he called her names, and injury to her confidence in him when he walked out on her and refused to talk, besides other such deep things having to do with trust and closeness.
Now that he is practicing a woman-centered focus in his interactions, he is able to feel the conjoined pair, and so he feels her hurt within himself
This mutual emotional relationship breaks down when they are no longer each striving to fulfill the needs of the other.
This breakdown of mutuality and reciprocity occurs when their interactions are equity focused where they each are looking out for themselves, not for each other. In that case they are going to feel less close to each other.
What is the alternative to negotiating for oneself regarding the household chores that need to be done?
The balanced other-centered focus on the part of each easily solves the problem without the conflicts associated with the equity style interactions. When each is looking out for the other there is hardly any need for negotiating, and no need at all for conflict, disagreement, or dissatisfaction.
The birth and growth of the conjoined pair is insured of healthy evolution to eternity when each partner is maintaining the altruistic other-centered focus in all interactions. By talking and communicating each gains an insight about what the other would hate to do or be stuck with. These kinds of feelings are personal and deep. It’s good for each to take on precisely those things that the other doesn’t like to do, or has difficulty doing for these personal deep-seated reasons. Hence the idea of negotiating and maintaining self-interest do not arise between them.
Practicing the woman-centered interaction focus maintains the balance through the mutual striving of each wanting to be one in the life of the other.
Consider this Post by a G34 student:
“Another example DeAngelis uses deals with a husband leaving the house on a Saturday afternoon. Her husband leaves at one o’clock and doesn’t return until seven o’clock. When the wife sees her husband she asks what time it is. He responds that he lost track of time. I see this example quite often with my dad. One afternoon my dad comes home early from work and goes to his friend’s house around four o’clock. Before my dad leaves he says he will only be there for a little. To me, a little means maybe an hour at the most, I guess to him it meant five hours since he did not come home until after nine. When I asked him how come he was so late, he just said, “oh, I didn’t realize it was getting so late until you called.” I guess it is true that for men, time shrinks and for women, it stretches. Another point DeAngelis brings up is the fact that women feel like their partner does not care when they do not spend enough time with them, when they forget special events, or when they have not spoken in awhile.”
When a man says that “oh, I didn’t realize it was getting so late until you called”, he is demonstrating his unwillingness to respect and care for the needs of those who were waiting for him. “Not realizing it was getting late” is not the issue at all, and is offered as a non-repentant excuse. The issue is that he shows no care at all for others who were waiting for him. This lack of care for others is what made him lose track of time in the first place, while others are waiting for him. Hence the man needs to re-evaluate things regarding his own focus on himself, which is self-centered, and leads to selfishness. Selfishness destroys closeness and friendship in all relationships.
When the man experiences an inner higher or spiritual insight into his life he can realize that it is in the practice of real couplehood that he will achieve true happiness and real manhood. He can reason rationally that male-dominance and equity interactions are imbalanced and opposed to spiritual intimacy in a romantic relationship in which sweetheart love is to grow ever more intense forever.
The man practices a woman-centered focus when he compels himself to be nice to the woman in all occasions. In principle, he should not make exceptions for himself by giving himself permission to ever be selfish or rude with his sweetheart. And if he has lapses in real life practice, which is normal, he is motivated to admit guilt and do the work of repairing the lapse by doing what she actually needs in order to heal the deeper layers of her hurt feelings.
Note that when a woman realizes that she has hurt her sweetheart love, she feels sorry that she did that and is motivated to repair the contact and closeness between them.
“Being a gentleman” or “chivalry” means not to express direct disagreements and to always search for what is more agreeable to the woman. If he keeps his focus on the woman as the defining factor of every interaction, the man will be able to experience himself as a “real man”. Other-centered success brings manliness to a man, while self-centered success brings selfishness and lack of compassion. The man then operates in a fog of fantasy about himself and what is real. He diminishes his capacity to be in mutual respect and community with others.
After practicing for a while the woman-centered style of interaction, the man discovers that it is getting easier and easier to do successfully, and he feels rewarded by the brand new spiritual closeness of his intimate relationship with his wife. This is an organic bonding force that grows deeper and more intimate with each day.
The man’s wife now feels totally free to express herself, her needs, her preferences, her comfort zones, her insecurities, her uncertainties, and thereby feels that she is becoming more and more truly female and connected with her man as a unity, or organic wholeness.
The most devastating feature of self-centeredness is that it is hidden from the person. Part of being self-centered is to deny that we are self-centered!
Spiritual Biology and the Unity Model
Section 1. Our Physical Body and our Spiritual Body
“Scientific dualism” describes the world as composed of two parts, outer and inner. The outer part is called the physical world in time and space (also called the natural world); the inner world is called the spiritual world in eternity (inside or outside time and space, apart from).
The two worlds are interconnected by the Laws of Correspondences that tie every natural phenomenon (called “the outer effect”) to a spiritual phenomenon (called “its inner cause”). Each world contains objects that are constructed out of substances originating from the sun of their world. The objects in the natural world (e.g., on planets) are constructed from the stars or suns, which ultimately are from “space dust”. On the other hand, the objects in the spiritual world of eternity (or spiritual world of the afterlife) are constructed from the spiritual sun. Hence this two-world view is called substantive dualism, that is, two worlds each with their own .
In the perspective of substantive dualism, human
beings are born with two bodies, an outer physical body in time and space that
is temporary (we lose it in the dying process), and an inner spiritual body in
eternity that is permanent (we use it after our resuscitation in the spiritual
world of eternity). The two bodies act in perfect correspondence with each
other until the organic breakdown of the physical body, when the correspondence
is broken. The spiritual body then begins to act independently in the spiritual
world of eternity, and we lose all ability to interact with the natural world.
Couples who have developed spiritual unity while living together on earth, can continue their marriage in the afterlife of eternity using their spiritual body, continuing their happy marriage and its wonderful delights and pleasures. Sweetheart lovers must have an eternal body in order to be in their spiritual heaven forever.
Other types of couplehood can be formed in the afterlife and they may or may not be permanent. Infants and children who die appear as children at first, but as they mature spiritually, their spiritual body reflects that spiritual maturity by taking on the appearance of young adulthood. They can then get married and form a spiritual unity.
Everyone in the afterlife instinctively knows and speaks a universal human language that is closer to thought-language than the cultural diversity of speech-languages that we use through the venue of the natural body here on earth.
Section 2. Biology of the Spiritual Body and Its Organs
In dualism all our sensations, thoughts, and feelings (including emotions) have two biological components. The outer component is the brain and nervous system of the physical body; the inner component is the spiritual body and its three systems called sensorimotor (for sensations and movements), cognitive (for thoughts, imagination, and memories), and affective (for feelings, urges, pleasures).
Our inner spiritual body becomes aware of a sensation when the outer physical body transmits an electro-chemical stimulus from the sensory organs to the brain. The pattern of firings in the brain always corresponds to a particular sensation in the inner spiritual body (e.g., the sensation that I’m aware of when tasting sweet lemonade). In dualism the taste is not located in the physical brain because it is physical, while sensations are not physical but spiritual.
The correspondence between the spiritual body or spiritual body (i.e., our sensations, thoughts, and intentions) and the physical body (sensory organ, muscle, and brain firings), is visible when we move and do what we intend or want (the will). Our physical muscles respond in correspondence to our thoughts and intentions. Our facial expressions (outer physical body) are correspondences to our feelings and emotions (inner spiritual body).
These comparisons are also known in the history of psychology as the “mind/body” interaction. Swedenborg was the first scientist to discuss this relationship in terms of organic correspondences or substantive dualism. He was the only scientist known in history who had the ability of being conscious in both the outer and inner worlds for 27 years of his life on earth (1688-1772). He was in a unique position to conduct psychological experiments in the afterlife of eternity. He reported his results in three dozen volumes that were quite well known in 19th century literature but these were excluded from science throughout the 20th century. The science of psychology was in the grips of expanding aggressively into materialism or monism, and thus could not examine the Swedenborg Reports from the perspective of dualism.
However now in the 21st century there is a strong movement towards dualism and theism (e.g., see the Further Readings section at the end of the Introduction).
From this brief spiritual biology lesson, you can understand that as we develop and grow and learn, what actually changes is the inner spiritual body that is the container for all our sensations, thoughts, memories, feelings, and emotions. All our self, personality, and spiritual habits are located in the inner spiritual body right from birth. Hence when a couple in love lose their physical bodies and then are reunited in the afterlife, all their memories and habits are intact, and they can continue where they left off, even if they enter the spiritual world separated by years in time.
Section 3. The Birth and Evolution of the Conjoined pair
In couplehood physical intimacy is possible without
spiritual and emotional intimacy. Spiritual intimacy is to strive to be the all
in the life of the other and thus to grow together into an interdependent couplehood called the conjoined pair.
In unity couplehood there is an interactional balance between the woman-centered man (other-centered) and the man-centered woman (other-centered). Both are other-centered or altruistic, taking care of what the other wants before what the self wants. This is the interaction style by which the couple can achieve spiritual unity.
In unity couplehood the woman-centered man learns to perceive the beauty and youth of the wife’s inner spiritual body, and vice versa for the woman. Hence flaws in the outer physical body do not matter to them. In the afterlife of eternity there is no aging process and everyone appears forever in their beautiful and handsome early adulthood youthful looks.
Spiritual unity in couplehood gives birth to the
conjoined pair that has limitless biological human potential. It involves an
endless evolution in eternity in which we continually increase in happiness,
intelligence, and mutual love.
From a practical perspective it makes sense therefore to prepare for our eternal afterlife by developing the spiritual traits of unity couplehood.
The quality of life that we have in the afterlife of eternity is determined by the spiritual habits and loves that we pssess when our awareness enters the spiritual world at the death of the physical body. Self-centered thoughts and selfish motives devolve into a life of “spiritual hell”, while other-centered thoughts and motives of mutual love and altruism, evolve into a life of “spiritual heaven”.
Single people can also prepare themselves for unity
couplehood by striving all their lives here to develop spiritual traits and
habits that can exist in their spiritual heaven in eternity (e.g., altruism,
healthy lifestyle, respect for all women, desire for self-improvement, probity
of character, and the love of truth and wisdom). In contrast single people who remain self-centered, selfish, dishonest, cruel,
and disrespectful of women or men, are preparing themselves for a life in their
spiritual hell where they remain captive inside their fantasies, obsessions,
and inner insanities.
No one is “punished” in the afterlife for the bad things they did to people. No one is rewarded for the good things they did. Instead, everyone chooses their options and preferences for the type of spiritual environment they want to live in. Those who developed altruistic loves choose to enter their spiritual heaven. Those who developed selfish loves choose to enter their spiritual hell. Note that while hellish spiritual environments are fun and exciting at first, they organically devolve into what is obsessive, hostile, and self-destructive in human spiritual functioning. Let no one fool themselves into thinking that they might “enjoy” the do-what-you-feel-like libertine life of hell.
Section 4. The Growth of Closeness, Friendship, and Exclusivity in Couplehood
Degrees of Closeness and Friendship
Levels of Exclusivity
No exclusivity conditions
Social Friends (intermediate closeness and bonding)
(emotional closeness and
non-exclusivity (porn and sexual fantasies about others)
Spiritual Friends (inmost friendship and closeness)
No competing love for anyone or
The Chart above and the diagram below show the relationship between four levels of Exclusivity and four degrees of spiritual Closeness.
When the two partners want to be fully interdependent in all things (Spiritual closeness), they both feel safer together than alone, and are each relying on the other for emotional comfort and protection (Emotional closeness). The spiritual closeness is dependent on the prior emotional closeness already having developed between them. In other words, the more they feel safe and rely on each other (Emotional closeness), the more they want to become totally interdependent, and be one mind to eternity (Spiritual closeness).
Similarly, the more they get to know each other (Social closeness), the more they feel safe and reliant on each other (Emotional closeness), and eventually, the more they want to be as one to eternity (Spiritual closeness).
Finally, the more they spend time together doing things (Physical closeness), the more they know about each other’s history and personality traits (Social closeness). If this grows, it leads to feeling safer and relying on each other (Emotional closeness), which can lead to wanting to be completely interdependent forever (Spiritual closeness).
The marriage process is a living, growing, developing organic entity. Like all organs, marriage has an external or outward portion and an internal or inner portion. These two are distinctly different. External marriage involves the interaction between the outward personality of the husband and the outward personality of the wife. It involves physical and social closeness.
At some point in the growth process, the marriage acquires a functioning internal portion. This engages the partners in emotional and spiritual closeness. Now the marriage is lived in its fullness, having an external physical and social component, within which at a higher level, is an internal emotional and spiritual component. The external components of closeness are now enhanced by the internal components of closeness. The eternal conjoined pair can now be conceived and born to them.
Inmost Friendship With the Conjoined Pair: Eternity and Totality
As the diagram shows the anatomy of friendship undergoes three distinct stages of growth if it reaches its full maturity. This is possible with conjoined pairs, which is the anatomical environment for the attainment of inmost friendship. At the start of a relationship, people who bond socially become friends of the first degree. People who consider each other social friends get to know each other’s social personality through the expression of attitudes and verbal statements. Couples interact socially with particular other couples that are their friends. This level of external friendship does not entail interdependency, mutual loyalty, or its deepening through growth and shared life experiences. For this type of more interior friendship there needs to be a new start at a discretely higher level, which is a deeper, more interior level.
The second phase of friendship begins with the introduction of a new element in the relationship. This is the opening of one’s emotional vulnerability, which is the beginning of mental interdependence with a pair. Social friends do not depend on each other emotionally, but emotional friends do. When we hear of a social friend’s accidental death we may be disturbed slightly, but if this involves an emotional friend, we get very distraught, and our life attitudes have to be rearranged. We miss the disappearance of an emotional friend because it removes from us something we rely on. Now things in our mind and in our loves need to be rearranged, modified with pain and sometimes despair.
And yet we recover from the loss of an emotional friend, who could be a spouse, a lover, “just old friends”, a family member, a roommate. But there is a third and final degree of friendship called inmost friendship or the friendship that is with conjoined pairs. Inmost friendship exists only under the environmental conditions of the unity couple, which is defined as each wanting to be to eternity the all in all in the life of the other. This condition does not hold with the best of our emotional friends, including spouses, sweethearts, and lovers in love. For example, a husband and wife may love each other dearly, may be emotionally interdependent, and be best friends to each other, and yet they feel that they each need to maintain a certain independent identity, which includes each having their same-gender friends, interests, attitudes, and activities. This is generally and typically considered normal. The inmost friendship of total social and emotional interdependence seems excessive from the normal or expected perspective. Nevertheless, the state of inmost friendship between conjoined pairs offers a significant enrichment of life that is not available with more external states of friendship.
There are two elements in the creation of inmost friendship, as defined just above: namely, (a) eternity, and (b) totality. Inmost friendship always contains emotional and social friendship states since the first two must be attained before entering the third and final level of growth. To enter the inmost state of friendship the partners must invoke eternity and totality. They must believe that their union is never ending, and that it is total. To believe that their marriage is never ending, they must first believe that there is an afterlife in which they meet again as a married couple. And to believe that their union is total, they must first love that idea. With social and emotional friends it is common to believe that “too much closeness” and “constantly being with each other” is not healthy or good for the friendship. With lovers and married couples there is the popular saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. These beliefs and attitudes are signs that the couple is not committed to totality in their union. Few people would choose totality in relationship, finding it too restrictive, even neurotic and over dependent. This pessimistic attitude must be overcome first, in order to discover and understand the significant benefits of inmost friendship.
Besides being pessimistic about the idea of totality in relationship, people are also pessimistic about the eternity of marriage. There are all sorts of cultural and historical reasons for this pessimism, not the least of which is the negative bias of materialistic science that people are taught in school. Nevertheless there are many couples that believe in the afterlife and hope and wish for the continuation of their marriage in eternity. With these couples, inmost friendship is possible. It is also possible that some spouses act as if they believed in eternity and totality, perhaps not consciously, but in their inner self, which is spiritual in origin.
An uninformed view of the spiritual states of unity couplehood may imagine that unity means the loss of individuality. However, the opposite is the reality. Individuality as a single person is not the most advanced state of growth for the person. The married state is a distinct advantage to a person, externally and socially, as well as internally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is based on the fundamental anatomy of men and women, both mental and physical, and thus, how they fit together as a higher or more advanced functioning unit of human life.
It is clear that community is higher or more advanced than individuality by itself. Individuality can survive temporarily due to the supportive conditions offered by community life where single life is politically as acceptable as married life. Nevertheless this is an external achievement only. Single life as an individual viewed in the mental life of feelings and thoughts, is necessarily self-centered, which is a downward evolutionary trend, not upward. Married life saves the person from devolution and sets the person on the path of evolution. This is built in through the mental anatomy of man and woman.
The male spiritual body of every man is his actual mind, anatomically considered. And so is the female spiritual body or mind of a woman. The physical anatomical conjunction of a man and woman engaged in reproduction function together as a unity. This is because the anatomical parts of the two physical bodies are reciprocals. They fit together perfectly for their function. Together, reciprocals always function better to achieve a result than non-reciprocals or mere individuals.
To achieve fulfillment a man or woman must conjoin with its anatomical reciprocal.
Note that individuality only becomes true when it refers to a person of a conjoined pair. A husband and wife in an eternal unity relationship, can experience true individuality each in themselves, when they experience their reciprocals to the other. This is the feeling that enlivens life to a higher, more inner mental state. In conjoined interactions the husband and wife each feels their own reciprocals being activated and called into operation. This is the exhilarating sense of life that permeates and surrounds each member of a conjoined pair that is mentally united in eternal spiritual marriage.
Every individual is born with an unlimited potential of reciprocals in his basic personality and mental anatomy. These potentials, or loves, remain dormant unless the mental environmental conditions are favorable for their initiation and growth. The conjoined pair, in which each loves to be eternally the all in all in the life of the other, is such a mental environment for the development of feelings, thoughts, and emotions of the husband and wife during their interactions. The individual now feels himself through these reciprocals, and this enriches his love and understanding to a higher discrete degree of humanity.
In practical terms, the management of reciprocals in couplehood is the life of the couple. For example, she wants something from him. This is a female mental state in a conjoined pair. Her want calls forth in him the reciprocal male mental state, in this case his supreme desire to satisfy her want.
The reciprocal is elicited instantaneously and, pleasantly surprises the individual. Now he is aware of himself in a new way through his relationship to her. It works in a corresponding way for the woman who is always seeking to take care of her husband’s desires and comforts.
What is the character of inmost friendship? It is related to closeness and exclusivity.
The inmost or deepest level of exclusivity in couplehood exists with the unity marriage relationship in which there is an expectation of being together forever and a striving to attain total interdependence, placing all else with no exceptions, to a lesser level of primacy and importance.
The partners are each other’s sweethearts, which means that no other person or activity in one’s life is allowed to assume greater importance than one’s sweetheart.
This level of exclusivity (Affective) will allow the maximum degree of spiritual closeness, which is called spiritual closeness. Spiritual Closeness with unity couples rests on the conscious awareness that they are inwardly conjoined, and that the dying process only separates their outward connection (physical and socio-legal). From this perspective it is easy to see that nothing else can matter more than one to the other. All else will fall away in eternity.
Non-Exclusivity means engaging in physical intimacies without emotional commitment or love. This type of relationship does not involve any closeness or exclusivity. People move in with each other for a variety of outward reasons, all of which are self-centered. External, outward, and superficial reasons for “shacking up” include: convenience (money, location), mutual sexual consent, liking to do certain things together, enhancing one’s reputation, gaining influence in some way, making someone else jealous, losing a bet, etc.
It has become normal for many young people today, that going through a string of physical intimacies before “settling down” with marriage, is a good thing because it allows you to “test out the waters” so to speak, so you don’t make painful mistakes. This is a perspective entirely from the outward aspects of personality, where two people have a physical and social relationship, but without spiritual closeness. Such exchanges are only introductions to relationship, and not yet the relationship itself, for which it is necessary to develop spiritual intimacy and emotional closeness with each other.
There are two arguments to consider when deciding whether to live with someone or not.
First: Living together without a prior commitment to exclusivity is likely to revolve around the outward traits of each. The inner traits remain closed to each other. It is unlikely that the outward traits one puts on for the occasion are going to be indicative of the inner traits. The outward personality can change quickly under the prodding of the inner traits. Without experiencing each other’s inner traits, the “shacking up” association is not likely to allow them to know each other better for the purpose of permanent union.
Second: By living with a sexual housemate, they each accumulate sexual memories of their experience with each other. There may be a double standard operating, so that women may not object to this practice by men, while it bothers some men when they find out that the woman they’re with, has lived with several men in a row. How many is too many? Regardless of the double standard, both men and women who are entering into an exclusive unity relationship, have the spiritual task of suppressing and laying aside their prior sexual experiences with others. Without this re-ordering of the memories, if is difficult to develop emotional closeness, which depends on practicing together cognitive exclusivity.
Experiencing cannot be discounted. It involves loves, which are permanently inscribed on the spiritual body. Living together “to see how it might work out in marriage” is a commonly mentioned strategy by my college age students. A second frequently mentioned reason is “the convenience” of sharing finances and sex.
The use of sex for convenience and trial serves only the loves that we have in our external personality. Our sexuality is composed of both external and internal loves. Satisfying the external loves only, leaves the internal loves wanting and needing fulfillment. On the other hand, satisfying the inner loves also leaves the outer loves satisfied, and even more so.
There are two difficulties or disadvantages to the strategy of exchanging sexual favors for convenience and trial. One disadvantage is that “sex for trial or convenience” is not the same as “sex for intimacy and love”. Your conclusions will be wrong if you try to predict real sex with someone from trial sex with that person. Hence it is not a good strategy to use.
The second disadvantage is the sexual flashback phenomenon that also includes the phenomena of deja vu and co-mingling. Sexual activity often involves intense emotions. These penetrate into the deeper layer of our memory. During subsequent sexual activity with another person these flashbacks occur unexpectedly, even of briefly. Nevertheless they can reduce the level of felt exclusivity with the current person. This can lower the level of emotional closeness. Deja vu experiences also provide a source of potential interference in a new but similar context. Co-mingling refers to a confusion that one may experience during intense emotional sexual activity. The confusion is about who one is with. It may last but a moment, and yet this may be sufficient to influence sexual exclusivity with one’s current partner.
These are considerations that should be discussed and reflected on prior to entering in a sexual relationship for the sake of convenience or trial.
Sensorimotor Exclusivity means that they are physically and socially intimate with each other, both committed to not cheating on each other, both giving up flirting with others, and both giving up having intimate conversations with former loves. This is the most outward form of exclusivity and produces a slight degree of inner closeness. Couples who have an exclusive physical relationship with each other, but are not practicing cognitive exclusivity with each other, do not experience a close relationship, but only an outward one, and a temporary one. The conjunction from within does not take place. To make emotional closeness possible they need to practice cognitive exclusivity with each other.
Cognitive Exclusivity means that they are spiritually loyal to one another, not just physically and socially. They each strive to exclude prior love relationships from coming up between them, or to themselves. Cognitive exclusivity makes it possible for them to have emotional closeness.
Cognitive exclusivity is an intermediate level of exclusivity in couplehood, and exists with a long term couple relationship in which they are each committed to maintaining the relationship on a permanent basis. Both acknowledge that they love each other. They are willing to give up the use of pornography and having sexual fantasies and friendships with others. They avoid remembering or bringing up their past relationships of love with other people. They restrict intimate subjects exclusively to them.
Affective Exclusivity means that they are each other’s only true love. Each wants to be the all in all in the other’s life. Each is prepared to give up anything for the other. Each is committed to the other-centered view in all their interactions. He lives by her spiritual heat, and she lives by his spiritual light. The two together make one conjoined pair. They are of one mind.
And yet, within that relationship they are each more themselves than if alone. He experiences the male mind of the conjoined pair, while she experiences the female mind of their conjoined pair. They each receive something they could not have on their own, and yet they will always remain distinct from each other by the biological requirement of organic reciprocity. The male and female mind are reciprocal organs, each developing in such a way that they can integrate into a unity or functioning whole. The man and the woman are then functioning in the state of one mindedness, which requires that they each contribute their anatomical side to the union.
The conjoined pair is the organ that is born of this union, and it has an outward and an inner portion. Both portions are made of components of each in the union. Outwardly, the conjoined pair is made up of her affective-circulatory system and his cognitive-respiratory. Together they produce his and her outward personality and style as a couple. Inwardly, the conjoined pair is made up of the reverse anatomical arrangement. His affective-circulatory system works with her cognitive-respiratory system.
In other words, with the conjoined pair the man’s thinking (cognitive) grows to be compatible with the woman’s will (affective) in his outward personality, and in his inner personality, his will is compatible with her thinking. There is a reciprocal union (or “marriage”) outwardly between his thinking and her will, and inwardly between her thinking and his will.
Affective exclusivity and spiritual closeness are the appropriate conditions for the growth of the conjoined pair in a unity marriage. Note that in all organic life, the external of an organ is of a tougher and less complex quality than the internal of an organ, which is complex, sensitive, and vulnerable. The outer portion can protect the inner portion from environspiritual exposure.
With the anatomy of the conjoined pair, the outer tougher and less complex organic portion is the man’s thinking (cognitive) and the woman’s will (affective). In this outward marriage of minds, her will directs his thinking because the affective-circulatory of the spiritual body (will, love, intention, emotion, feeling), always directs the cognitive-respiratory system. This is a universal biological law, namely, the affective system (will) is primary and has total power over what the cognitive is doing (reasoning, planning, explaining). The will (affective) supplies the love and the motivation for a specific goal, while the thinking (cognitive) supplies the plan to be executed in order to obtain that goal and its reward.
Independently, when not being in a romantic union, a man’s thinking is directed by his own will, so that the thinking is made to fit the will. But in a union, the man’s thinking is directed by the woman’s will. This arouses his resistance because outwardly, the man’s own will wants to direct his thinking. Hence there is a competition in the outward personality of the man.
When he decides to switch from his self-centered focus to a woman-centered (other-centered) focus in all his interactions with her, he learns to adjust his thinking so that it conforms to her will, rather than to his own. This anatomical switchover can occur only through emotional and spiritual closeness, requiring affective exclusivity.
Section 5: Anatomy of the Conjoined pair and the Work of Closeness
Like all living organs, the organ we call the conjoined pair has an outward portion and an inner portion. Note that the outside skin which encloses and contains an organ has a different structure and function than the inside portions of the organ itself. The outside portion mediates between the outer and inner environment, which are always different and contrastive. The outside portion of physical objects like a banana or orange is tough to penetrate, thereby offering the inside a protected environment.
The conjoined pair is a living growing organ system that is located in the spiritual bodies of the husband and the wife. It functions by crossing over the two spiritual bodies for its normal functioning. Anatomically, the outward (tough) portion of the conjoined pair is composed of the outer love-substance of the female mind conjoining itself to the outer truth-substance of the male mind. The inward (tender) portion of the conjoined pair is composed of the inner love-substance of the male mind and the inner truth-substance of the female mind.
Note that the man and the woman are conjoined at two distinctly different levels: outward and inward. The outward of each conjoin first, then the inner of each conjoin. These two hold together because they are in reciprocal form in spiritual anatomy and spiritual function.
What is outward has qualities that are specialized to be able to deal with the outward environment. What is inner has qualities that are specialized to deal with the inner environment.
The conjoined pair is therefore equipped to deal with the outward physical environment of the couple, as well as with the inner spiritual environment of their relationship.
The man who thinks and acts according to the conjoined pair, makes more effective decisions in his life, including what he is faced with at work, in play, or in entertainment. The conjoined pair allows a man to be more committed and motivated to always maintain a peaceful demeanor, even in challenging situations. The acquisition and protection of the couple’s conjoined pair is a husband’s most effective strategy for achieving a healthy and exciting life here on earth, and much more intensified, after resuscitation from this earth.
The woman is greatly enriched and stabilized by the acquisition of the conjoined pair in her conjugial marriage. When she is by herself and from herself, a woman experiences a deep motive of restlessness to keep searching for the special man who will fill her unique inner gap. This inner gap is an unfulfilled desire for the consummation of unity with one’s reciprocal. This basic life desire is inborn in a female mind. It originates in the underlying anatomical structure of the female mind, which inner truth-substance (female intelligence) covered over outwardly with outer love-substance (female love). This is the DNA of the female mind.
In other words, a woman inwardly is female intelligence, which is covered over outwardly with female love. A man inwardly is male love, which is covered over outwardly with male intelligence.
In still other words: Outwardly the conjoined pair is her heart with his lungs, and inwardly, the conjoined pair is his heart with her lungs. They thus overlap and conjoin. In relation to the outside physical world, his intelligence is made to conform to her wishes. In relation to the inner spiritual world, her intelligence is made to conform to his wishes. What pertains to their relationship belongs to the inner portion of the conjoined pair. What pertains to their social and physical life belongs to the outer portion of the conjoined pair.
People are who they are, from the inward portion of their self. The outward portion is a “put on” or discardable social and cultural covering, like designer clothes on the physical body. But the inner self, its loves and its thoughts, represent who we actually are. After resuscitation, the outward portion of the self is removed from one’s accessible memory (including language and culture). We are then permanently aware only of our own actual inner affections, loves, intentions, attitudes, ideas, and beliefs. These remain with us forever. They are anatomical living structures in the affective-circulatory system of the spiritual body, and cannot be removed.
Through the daily practice of mutual other-centered interactions, a permanent sweetheart relationship creates a new spiritual system called the conjoined pair. The outward portion of the conjoined pair consists of the woman’s outer female love conjoining itself with the man’s outer male intelligence. The inner portion of the conjoined pair consists of the man’s inner male love conjoining itself with the woman’s inner female intelligence. Conjunction is the process in which anatomical reciprocals are forming a unity. The female mind and the male mind are anatomical reciprocals, hence they can function as an integrated unit called the conjoined pair.
The outward portion of the conjoined pair consists of the woman’s affective-circulatory system (female love) conjoining itself with the man’s cognitive-respiratory system (male intelligence). The inner portion of the conjoined pair consists of the man’s affective-circulatory system (inner male love) conjoining itself with the woman’s cognitive-respiratory system (inner female intelligence). There is therefore an overlap of the two spiritual bodies and an integrated functioning between each other’s cognitive-respiratory system and affective-circulatory system. It is always the affective that conjoins to itself the cognitive, never the other way round, or else the union does not last.
When they each think from the perspective and energy of the conjoined pair, they each individually experience a spiritual lift, that is, a new functioning at a higher degree or quality. The man perceives the conjoined pair differently from the woman, but they are both equally enriched in their own ways.
The work of closeness refers to what the man and the woman each has to accomplish in their joint interactions. This is the process that feeds the conjoined pair.
The first step is the formation of the outward portion of the conjoined pair. This is done when the woman conjoins herself to the man by becoming the love of his outward male intelligence. He does not have to do anything other than be himself. The woman does all the relationship work. This outward portion of the conjoined pair is not yet mature and functioning because it does not yet have an inner portion.
The second step by the man begins to create the inward portion of their conjoined pair. The man now conjoins himself to her female intelligence. He does this by becoming the inner love of her inner female intelligence. By acquiring the love of her female intelligence he becomes truly wise and rational.
All disagreements between them and all disjunctive interactions cease when he begins to love the wife’s inner female intelligence, and she continues to love the husband’s outer male intelligence.
He continues to accept her leadership in things pertaining to their relationship, and she accepts his leadership in things pertaining the outside world. Disagreement and disjunction arise when this acceptance is not mutual in any interaction.
If the matter they are discussing pertains to their outside world, she accepts his leadership when he acts from his inner male intelligence. But when he acts from his outer male intelligence, she may not accept it if it contradicts her inner female intelligence. Inner female intelligence takes precedence over outer male intelligence since the inner takes precedence over the outer. The man needs to respect this rule, or else he is behaving against the order of organic unity.
All organic things have an outward portion and an inner portion. These two have different properties. The outward portion is adapted to be an intermediary between the outside environment and the inner structure. Hence it is tougher and less delicate, less specialized, lower in absolute quality. The inner portion is tender and more complex, more elevated, closer to the order of perfection in the spiritual heaven. The outer connects with the world and is well adapted to it, while the inner connects with heaven and strives to remain in that order.
Hence the spiritual body, or human mind, has an outward organic portion and an inner functioning portion. This allows levels of higher or lower functioning to be assistive of each other, and to be integrated as one functioning unit. The outward portion of the male mind prefers independence to conjunction and unity. The outward portion of the female mind prefers interdependence and conjunction. Hence it is that women in their outward personality strive to maintain a sweetheart relationship with a man. She is willing to give up her areas of independence for the sake of the unity relationship. But the man fights this process. Hence comes the opposition between men and women in relationship.
At this outward stage of their relationship, they are physically and socially close, but they are not yet emotionally and spiritually close. This inner closeness can begin when the man realizes that he has an outward and an inner mind, and that in his inner mind he desires conjunction and unity with his sweetheart. As soon as this spiritual realization or enlightenment comes to a man in relationship, he can begin to explore and discover his inner unity and friendship with her by means of the accumulation of daily conjunctive other-centered interactions with her. At this point, their conjoined pair is born and develops.
To maintain the woman-centered focus the man needs to make a commitment of conscience regarding his self-centered focus and his male bias against the female mind. In other words he needs to confess in his own mind, his anti-female bias and see it as something evil, disorderly, and unhealthy there. Conscience then provides him with the necessary motivation not to have relapses in which he denies that he is anti-female, or that he is self-centered. He needs to define self-centered interactions with her as a relapse into disorder and emotional separation, thus a violation of his conscience.
Section 6: Consequences To One’s Spiritual Anatomical Constitution
The female mind is constructed of particle units composed of truth-substance within that is covered over with love-substance on the outside. In other words, women are made of truths covered over with loves. The male mind is made of loves covered over with truths. Another way to state this is that the female mind is understanding covered over with love, while the male mind is love covered over with understanding. Or you can say that in the male mind, the cognitive understanding has affective love within it, while in the female mind, the affective love has cognitive understanding in it.
There is therefore an inverse reciprocal relationship between the anatomical constitution of the mind of a man and the mind of a woman.
This basic constitutional difference results in different and contrastive patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving between men and women.
Because the mind of a woman is love on the outside, while the mind of a man is truth (understanding) on the outside, they are able to form a close lifelong relationship involving their outside personality and behavior. The woman’s loves seek out compatible truths in the man, in order to conjoin with them. When a love and its compatible truth conjoin, the united pair has the motive power to energize and direct the movements of the sensorimotor system (e.g., walking, keyboarding, inspecting, talking, using hands, turning toward a sound, etc.).
Hence the union between the woman’s outward love (affective) and the man’s outward understanding (cognitive) produce a joint outward personality (sensorimotor) that characterizes the couple’s manners and lifestyle.
In that conjoint outward personality the wife and the husband are different and reciprocal.
The woman’s outward personality will have the following recurrent tendencies and characteristics:
1. Her entire body participates in talking. Hence physical stress and exhaustion can be frequent occurrences.
2. Her body reacts more quickly and more intensely to things that affect her directly. Hence she experiences a greater intensity of affectivity and emotionality in her life.
3. Dislikes indecision and hesitation once she makes up her mind. She feels irritated and annoyed when a man takes too long to decide or act.
4. Her body and mind imbibes and absorbs male intelligence, humor, and inventiveness. She loves these in a man. She often appropriates them to herself and uses them for goals and practical applications of her own.
5. She elevates her love of bonding above most other loves. Hence she bodily craves for intimacy and closeness.
6. She uses talk as a way of increasing connectivity with the other person.
7. She is prone to falling in love with a romantic partner when she finds his outward appearance and personality attractive.
8. She experiences tenacity and persistence as urgent motives.
9. She is affected with delight when surrounded by beauty and harmony.
10. When she is an adult she lives life as other-centered in her relationships, at work, at play.
11. She possesses wisdom from her inner truth. Hence she is reassured by the reality of life after death.
The man’s outward personality will have the following recurrent tendencies and characteristics:
1. Outwardly he is gruff, but inwardly tender.
2. Outwardly he is competitive and combative, but inwardly cooperative and peaceful.
3. Outwardly the man approaches the world with his understanding, but inwardly with his love.
4. Since man outwardly is primarily focused on the cognitive, he appears less affectionate and loving than the woman, but inwardly his love is deeper than hers.
5. The man’s outward understanding is less effective in managing the relationship than the woman’s inward understanding (inward is higher in quality than outward).
6. Since the man’s love is in his inward personality, he tends to not to be aware of his feelings, compared to a woman whose outward portion is affective.
7. Man is not so much aware of what he is feeling as what he is thinking, which is the reverse situation with the woman, who is more aware of her feelings than her reasoning.
8. Since man’s thinking is external and adapted to the external world, he is less effective in directing himself than he is when he allows himself to be directed by her thinking, which is inward, hence more adapted to inner wisdom. Inner wisdom and understanding sees more than outer intelligence and logical thinking.
9. Since man’s inner personality contains his higher love, he has the will power and ability to rearrange his outward personality to be compatible with his inner will or love. Without engaging this inner love, man’s ability to change his outward personality is limited.
10. Man’s inner motive and love is to be chivalrous and romantic with his eternal sweetheart. This does not at all appear in his outward motives and loves, which are self-centered.
Since the female mind is outwardly love-substance, her life is made up of spiritual states that are intensely reactive to the things that she normally faces or becomes involved with every day and every minute. Her emotional temperature is high in most everything she does. A man's outward personality being composed of truth-substance, is emotionally cool in comparison, and somewhat inert in most situations that he faces every day.
As a result of this
anatomical composition, the spiritual states of the man and the woman in the
couplehood, are different and often incompatible, a condition that produces
spiritual stress and spiritual fatigue. Hence it is that many couples believe
that it is "healthy for the relationship" for them to be away from
each other at times. Men want "guy time" and women want to do things
with their girl friends. They each experience relief when being away
from the stress and fatigue of inter-gender interactions.
There is a way of eliminating this stress factor between a man and a woman who are sweethearts to each other and have developed emotional and spiritual closeness. The method is dictated by their respective anatomy.
The man's outward truth-personality, which is normally harsh and unforgiving, can open up more and more to the man's inner personality, which is love-substance. Inner love-substance (male mind) is of a higher or deeper quality than outer love-substance (female mind). Therefore the inner love of a man has the power to change his outward personality by infusing itself into his truth-substance. In this new anatomical state, the man's outward personality is governed totally by his inner personality or love. When the man is in this spiritual state while interacting with his sweetheart, she experiences relief from the man's normal domination stress and fatigue that she feels in his presence.
What is the
explanation for this relief?
The stress that the woman experiences, is produced by the man's self-centered motivation, intentionality, and focus. The relief she experiences with her girl friends comes from the fact that women maintain an other-centered focus with each other, taking turns being helpful springing boards for each other, and being supportive.
Men also experience the inter-gender stress. They find relief from it by doing something on their own, or with guy friends. When men are together in a group, they each retain their self-centered focus, which results in having competitive interactions. With their outward truth-substance being tough, men can compete without feeling stress, as they do when they are with a woman. But when a man is willing to maintain a woman-centered (other-centered) orientation in his interactions with his sweetheart, he no longer experiences the inter-gender fatigue phenomenon. Instead, he experiences an inner joy and excitement, which comes from his higher inner love coming out and being felt in his outward personality.
The primary initiator of anatomical stress for a woman occurs when the man expresses a disagreement or a refusal. For instance, she may say, "I think we should clean up the house and then do some yard work that badly needs done". To which he responds, "Let's not do it now. Let's watch a movie and I'll make some pop corn, OK?" She immediately experiences spiritual stress in the form of feelings of being distraught, anxious, and irritated. She now has to marshal new energy to deal with this disturbance he has created between them by expressing his disagreement. The man doe snot call what he said a "disagreement". That's his first line of defense. He was not disagreeing, but just making a counter-suggestion. His denying that he is disagreeing with her, then causes an additional second layer of stress and aversion, more intense than the first. She can go on and fight him on hjis defensiveness and self-centeredness, or she can give in and do what he says. Either way she feels that she has lost her peace. Now she has to work hard to muster enough enthusiasm for his choice, but her heart will not be in the movie, or the popcorn, or him.
Or, to take another example, the woman might say while doing a task together, “I told you I want you fold the pillow cases lengthwise, like this.” To which he says, “What’s the big deal. I don’t’ see the difference.” This stress-producer tells her that he is discounting her experience and her knowledge, and ignoring her wishes. She sees no reason for him doing this except that he is being self-centered, rebellious, and grouchy. There is not much she can do except either swallow and take it, or make a big fuss. Either way she resents him for doing this to her. This resentment is aversive to sex. Can’t he see the connection?
There are many forms
of disagreements, some more harmful than others, causing rifts and gaps in
their emotional closeness and spiritual intimacy. One of the worst kind of damage occurs when the man insults the woman in an
argument, or calls her by an unflattering epithet, especially using words that
refer to a woman's physical anatomy. In radio talk shows and TV sitcoms,
husbands often express a complaint about the infrequency of their marital sex.
It is common for marriage counselors today to advise wives that it is their
"duty" to provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. It is seldom
discussed what the man is doing that causes the woman to be aversive to his
sexual advances. And yet this is the actual reason for the infrequency of their
marital sex life. The wife is aversive to the
husband's sexual embrace. Why?
The way marriage counselors, both male and female, are professionally trained seems to make them insensitive to the man's contribution to the woman's aversion for having sex with him. Hence it is not seen that it is the man's disagreeing interactions that produce a deep sense of emotional cold in her affective anatomy. Once he created such a fissure in their closeness, he has to engage in appropriate and effective reparation interactions in order to restore her emotional preparedness to have sex with him.
Section 7: Conjoint Decision Making
In all organic functioning the inner portion is the higher portion in function and quality. Therefore the inner can see the outer, but the outer cannot see the inner. The outer personality, which is oriented towards the physical and social world, is at first opposed to the growth of the inner personality, which is oriented to spiritual eternity and heaven. Gradually, however, the inner loves, attitudes, and abilities work their forces on the outer personality, its loves and attitudes. This is experienced as a spiritual battle or struggle within the personality.
Whenever the man’s outer self-centered and independent personality is engaging in a defensive disjunctive interaction with her, such as saying “No” to her in some way, the man’s inner personality looking outward, protests and argues against his disjunctive performance. The inner personality can shape the outer personality to bring it into correspondence with itself. This requires motivation that comes from commitment to eternal unity together.
It is challenging yet critical, for the man to understand rationally that when he disagrees with her, he is being disjunctive, but when she disagrees with him, she is not being disjunctive but conjunctive.
The reason is that the male mind strives outwardly to oppose conjunction, while the female mind strives outwardly to solidify conjunction. It follows that everything he does is motivated by the striving for less conjunction, while everything she does, is motivated by striving for more conjunction. When they are having an overt disagreement, it appears that they are both angry and self-centered, both engaging in disjunctive replies. But this is a false appearance. In actuality, he is angry, which is disjunctive, while she is zealous, which is conjunctive.
Zeal appears outwardly like anger, but inwardly they are totally different. Anger intends to disjoin and hurt, while zeal intends to correct and rejoin. Anger continues even after the situation is over, but zeal disappears as soon as the other gives in. Hence it is that the best course of action for a man who gets into a fight with his sweetheart, is to give in right away, or as soon as he can bring himself to do that. This can take place as soon as his consciousness rests in his conscience, which dictates that he be peaceful and conjunctive with his sweetheart. That is his ultimate goal, his ruling love in life.
Conjoint decision making is one of the powers and benefits of the conjoined pair. How can a man be smarter than he already is? Answer: By making conjoint decisions instead of acting from his individual mind alone. It is the same for women. The outward personality of the woman strives in all their exchanges to solidify unity of mind. A woman does this by becoming the love of the man’s intelligence, knowledge, memories, sense of humor, and outer and inner preferences. She loves these things in him because they are his. That is the result of her desire for spiritually conjoining with him through intimacy, closeness, and caring.
By becoming the love of his male mind and its contents, the woman creates in her consciousness an inner model of her husband. She can consult this model or virtual agent at any time, and thereby can know what he wants and intends in this or that situation. She then adjusts her behavior accordingly to insure that they will continue to remain close.
In her outward decision-making, which deals with their daily survival activities, she becomes the female will that uses his male truth to make decisions. Her female will is conjoined to his male intelligence. Outwardly it appears that he is the leader in the relationship because she is following his intelligence and his approach to dealing with daily outward things that deal with their life and obligations. But inwardly she appears to be the leader because he always consults her female intelligence in his interactions with the world. In the conjoined pair the will of each in decision-making is guided and informed by the intelligence of the other. There is thus a cross-fertilization between them that produces new and better results.
Section 8: Outer and Inner Conjunction
A man needs to understand the spiritual anatomy of his sweetheart no less than he needs to understand the physiology of her physical body. Women and men are both constituted out of love-substance and truth-substance that abound in the atmosphere of the spiritual world. At our birth, this spiritual and immortal substance is gathered from the spiritual atmosphere, and coalesces in accordance with the spiritual laws of the spiritual world of eternity. Love-substance and truth-substance are spiritual substances.
According to these spiritual laws there are two inverse ways in which these substances can coalesce together. One way is to take truth-substance and cover it over with love-substance. This creates the spiritual DNA of the female mind. The inverse ways is to take the love-substance and cover it over with truth-substance. This creates the spiritual DNA of the male mind.
Š One can accurately describe a woman as inner truth covered over with outer love.
Š And one can accurately describe a man as inner love covered over with outer truth.
An equivalent way of stating this contrast is this:
Š She is the love of his outer male understanding.
Š He is the love of her inner female understanding.
In spiritual biology, what is situated outwardly in an organ is adapted to our life on earth, while inwardly it is adapted to life in eternity. What is inward in an anatomical system is primary and of a higher functioning ability than what is outward. As an independent individual the woman operates with her inward understanding while the man operates with his outward understanding. But when each operates from their shared conjoined pair, the woman operates from his external understanding, while the man operates from her inner understanding. In this way both are enhanced and empowered in ability. The man is smarter than he already is because he is now operating with an inner understanding. The woman is more effective than she already is because now she is operating with an external understanding.
Understanding this anatomical structure of human minds is important for both men and women.
In order to understand it better we need to consider what “love-substance” and “truth-substance” refer to in what a man and a woman do. The spiritual body, or mind, receives love-substance through the circulatory system, while it receives truth-substance through the respiratory system. The two together produce the sensorimotor system, which acts in the outer spiritual world that is around the spiritual body and in which it is immersed from birth endlessly onward.
Hence we can understand the specific differences between men and women, and how they can fit together perfectly, when we trace the spiritual functions of the affective-circulatory system and the cognitive-respiratory system of the human mind.
The affective system encompasses a variety of species of loves and their sub-loves, which are called affections.
Our loves (love-substance) are the source of all our motivation, striving, intentionality, goal-directedness, emotions, delights, and pleasures.
In other words, our loves (love-substance) are our life. If we lose all motivation and striving, we have no life left. Or, if we lose all pleasures and delights, we have no life left.
Similarly, the cognitive system encompasses a variety of species of intelligences and of rationality and thinking, which are called cognitions.
Our intelligence and rationality (truth-substance) are the source of all our thinking, conceptual structures, imagining, and creating meaning or coherence.
The inherent spiritual constitution of love-substance and truth-substance is to reunite into a one. They are reciprocals intended to fit into an integrated functioning. Hence, when the mind receives love-substance and truth-substance into the circulatory and reparatory system, there is established a union or conjunction between the two systems. In other words, loves and their affections, that contain all our goals and delights, seek out meanings and plans that they can unite with to form one unit. This unit is the sensorimotor interaction of the mind with its spiritual environment, including the presence of other minds.
Interactions between people in the spiritual world is effected through the sensorimotor system of the spiritual body. The individuals movements of the sensorimotor system are nothing but effects caused by the unity between an intention or goal and an idea or plan. For example, if we desire to obtain a well paying job in the future, we think of a plan like getting a degree or training, after which we can obtain higher paying employment. Or, to take another example that has a short-term goal: if I am experiencing a desire for candy (love from love-substance), I reason (memory from truth-substance) that I have some candy in the cabinet. The desire (affective system) and the memory (cognitive system) together, empowers me to walk to the cabinet and get the candy. Either one alone would not get me to the candy!
There is therefore a necessary step of conjunction or marriage between the affective and the cognitive systems within the mind, before any action or goal-attainment can result. This is with the individual and within the individual.
It is similar with the conjoined pair. In order for a couple’s conjoined pair to thrive and develop, an outer marriage and an inner marriage must take place between the male mind and the female mind. The outer marriage is the conjunction of the outer portion of the man and the woman. The woman’s outer portion, as indicated above, is love-substance, while a man’s outer portion is truth-substance.
In other words, the outer marriage is created when the woman’s affective system conjoins with the man’s cognitive system. The woman is doing this both consciously and sub-consciously. She in effect becomes the love of his male intelligence. She studies it, she is delighted by it, she appropriates it. In this way she creates a virtual version of her husband in her own mind. She knows and can predict how he reacts to things. She then adjusts herself and her behavior to please him. By this approach she makes him her own.
In the meantime the man does not apparently do anything. He just sits back and lets her do her thing as a woman. But soon this passive attitude stops working and there are signs of trouble. The relationship is on hold in their inner portions until the man takes the initiative to initiate it. When the man is ready to do that, the internal marriage is born with the couple, and thus the conjoined pair.
This second inner phase begins when the man’s inner portion, which is love (love-substance), strives to conjoin itself with the woman’s inner portion, which is intelligence (truth-substance). This then completes their relationship maturity. They are united both in the external and the inner portions of their personality. The outer is now produced by the inner, and the two are in perfect correspondence. The couple can now grow endlessly, enriched daily with new powers and delights.
This perfection breaks down the instant one of the two lapses back into a self-centered attitude. For example, she may say, “Honey, could you go get the mail from the mailbox?”, and he may answer, “OK, I’ll do it when I leave the house.” He is breaking their unity by adopting a self-centered attitude in the exchange. If there is a reason she can understand as to why he can’t go get the mail right now, he should care enough to let her know why it’s better if he gets it later. Furthermore, he also needs to relate to her desire to have the mail now, not later. She may have a special reason for this, and he needs to explore that before he says no to her request. By maintaining an other-centered focus in the interaction, he can stay conjoined with her, no matter what he ends up doing about the mail.
A man needs to first recognize, acknowledge, and confess that he basically does not like the female mind!
It is inherent with men to consider women as a lesser race of human species. This racist attitude with men remained unchanged from ancient to modern times in the history of this planet. It is continuing today in our generations. So the first hurdle that the male mind needs to overcome is to weaken and suppress this harmful, self-centered, and self-destructive perspective. Men can learn to like the female mind after they abandon their anti-female love. Society and the socialization process reinforce this anti-female bias on the part of men, and even some women who have imbibed their culture uncritically.
School age boys learn to practice shows of disrespect for girls. The prejudice and mistreatment of women, sometimes cruel treatment, continues within the home and outside. Marriage relationships are oriented around the man-centered focus. This is reinforced by the public presentation of couples counseling in the media and on the Web, in which women are faulted or held responsible for the relationship having serious problems. Women are in effect counseled by the professionals to adapt themselves to their lower status and role to men.
To the male mind, the female mind is experienced as grating and unpleasant rubbing against his emotional grain. Women’s ideas and methods of dealing something are experienced by men as disturbing and impractical. Upon encountering the female mind in closeness, the male mind is aroused with the desire to squash it, to modify it, to make it more like a male mind. Before they become committed to a woman-centered philosophy, morality, and practice, men are hostile to the female mind when they approach it close and experience it full force.
But is similar with women because their strongest instinct in the relationship is to prevail upon the man to change his male mind from what it is now, to what she feels he should be in order to be able to conjoin with her in emotional and spiritual closeness.
Note this important difference between the male and the female mind in their initial attempt to remake each other in one’s image. The man’s aversion for the female mind is separative and destructive, and must not be allowed to remain if the couple is going to engender a conjoined pair with which they can be in heaven together, united as one. On the other hand the woman’s aversion for the male mind is entirely conditional, not absolute.
In a sweetheart relationship women become the love of their partner in life, enjoying and relying on the male mind’s sense of humor, competence, and inner ability to be close and to conjoin into a unity. A woman perceives this compatibility with herself in a the man she loves. At the same time she perceives the areas of incompatibility. She experiences with indignation his disrespect for her female ideas and ways of doing things. She perceives his character weaknesses and wants him to modify those traits in himself.
Her motivation for changing him is to effect closer conjunction and unity, while his motivation for changing her is to effect greater independence from her by turning her female mind into a more masculinized way of interacting. Of course, if she goes along, their unity is doomed. They will then permanently remain at a certain inner distance from each other in many areas of life.
So the man who wants to attain deeper emotional and spiritual closeness with his wife or partner, needs to give up this prejudicial view against the female. He needs to observe this prejudice in his own thinking and attitudes. Then he can make a sincere commitment to himself, to learn to like the female.
The first strategy needs to be the suppression of all disagreements with what she says or how she does something, and all negations of what she requests.
This commitment starts a whole new life for that man! And as well, for his woman.
To the extent that he is consistent and true to this commitment, the man will be reducing most of the stress and negative strain in their relationship. The woman will experience a new restful and health giving feeling, that of unstressed time with her husband. A man’s inborn and socialized gender bias automatically tends to discount what she says, and automatically wants to modify what she requests. This creates a level of stress in her affective system that is unhealthy to her well being and feeling of contentment and happiness.
But now, as the man begins to practice respect for what she says and what she requests, she feels a new peace, and a new opportunity to get closer to him without being emotionally bruised by his manners, as before. This is the central and key strategy, namely, that of suppressing all expressions of disagreeing with her or modifying her requests. Practicing this strategy will allow their conjoined pair to thrive and develop.
In the external marriage (phase 1), the woman’s love for the relationship motivates her to conjoin herself uncritically to the man’s male intelligence and social history. The two thus make an outward partnership, not yet a unity. In the internal marriage (phase 2), the man’s inner love for emotional and spiritual closeness motivates him to conjoin himself uncritically to the woman’s inner female intelligence and inner wisdom. This then closes the circle and creates the birth of their conjoined pair.
It is very trying for a man to suppress his desire for disagreeing with what she says and modifying how she does something. Both are forms of disagreeing and rejecting that the man must suppress, that is, prevent from showing outwardly. At this point there is a necessity for the strategy that Swedenborg calls “conjugial simulation”. This is a good form of simulation because it is intended to maintain closeness and to protect the unity of minds in the relationship. A bad form of simulation would be to hide something from her knowledge that you are doing because she would request that you stop, but you don’t feel like stopping or giving it up, therefore you don’t want to be honest and truthful with her. This kind of simulation creates distance, while the other kind creates closeness.
Men who become other-centered in their interactions with their wife also become more other-centered in general. They begin to care about maintaining a peaceful demeanor in public, and in their driving style. They become more successful in their other relationships such as those with his children, pets, and neighbors. Such an altruistic man tends to be more charitable and patriotic in his attitudes and behaviors in the community.
Section 9: Characteristics and Benefits of the Conjoined Pair
How and what does each partner feel through operating with a conjoined pair? Every couple is unique in their relationship, and yet there are some major benefits of the conjoined pair that can be mentioned.
1. They are each enriched in their reasoning ability and efficiency, the female mind one way, and the male another way. At the same time, the reasoning and thinking of one is similar and compatible with that of the other.
2. They arrive at essentially the same conclusion on all issues important for their relationship. Whatever difficulties arise to seeing eye to eye with each other, are resolved through their enhanced reasoning process (see 1).
3. They have a mutual liking for each other. They are one another’s favorite people. They have fun together. They automatically feel better doing all things together, like shopping, cleaning, eating, medical visits, banking, online accounts, etc.
4. They are fully engaged in each other’s lives on a daily basis, avoiding all activities that separate them. They are involved in each other’s scheduling, projects, plans, worries, achievements, or secrets. Each has full access to the other. No areas of independence are allowed to form and occupy their attention or loyalty.
5. They are intolerant of emotional distance between them. Each is unwilling to let a disagreement between them lie there, unresolved. They try to dismantle and neutralize any disagreement that arises between them.
6. They are both committed to maintaining their sweetheart love unchanged from its beginning honeymoon phase when they fell in love. They practice various sweetheart rituals with each other on a daily basis. They keep in touch by communication devices when they are not in the same place. They part with a sense of regret and they reunite with hugs and kisses. They know each other’s likes and comforts, and strive to provide them to each other.
7. They work hard to remain mutual best friends. They like to do each other favors and services. They can count on each other for sympathy, understanding, and support.
These are just some of the ways that unity couples like to operate. It may be common to wonder whether such total closeness might sometimes feel restrictive, even oppressive. People sometimes think, “I’ll lose my sense of individuality and who I am. I’ll need some relief by taking a vacation on my own”. Men sometimes think, “I would become more limited as a man, less of a real person with my own will”.
These are natural worries and images that may be relevant in relationships where the partners are not both committed to their having only other-centered interactions. It is not unusual for man-centered, equity-centered, and self-centered interactions to lead to the partners spending ‘separate time’ from each other, as in “guy time” and “gal time” get together. The women find ‘separate time’ a relief from having to cater and put up with the man’s dominance habits or his high pressured equity interaction style. The men find ‘separate time’ a relief from the woman’s close scrutiny of his actions and expressions, which require him to contain himself within the bounds she has set.
But in the case of a close unity couple in which both partners practice other-centered interactions, the relief they experience is the relief from being separated, which happens when they are each engaged in their own schedule of activities and thoughts. Re-establishing contact and being physically present with one another, then becomes a relief. No one needs a relief from someone who is being nice and supportive all the time.
Section 1: External and Internal Levels of Interaction
In scientific dualism the mind is defined organically as the spiritual body that contains three anatomical systems corresponding to the three anatomical systems of the physical body.
(1) First, the affective system of loves, affections, emotions, and feelings, constitutes the circulatory system of the spiritual body, which feeds the mind with the life blood of loving. Loves, emotions, desires, and other affections are generated in the mind when spiritual heat from the spiritual world’s atmosphere, is absorbed by the spiritual body’s heart and circulatory system.
Love is a spiritual nourishing substance that abounds in the atmosphere of the spiritual world of eternity, just as nutritional substances in the natural world of time abound in the physical environment. The substance of love streams into the affective receptors of the spiritual body and circulates throughout the mind, feeding or conjoining with the cognitive receptors, giving them life.
Loves in the mind produce affections, desires, impulses, attractions, feelings, emotions, intentions, and motives. All these forms of love are recognized in psychology and medicine as the affective system of the person.
(2) Second, the cognitive system of thoughts, ideas, memories, knowledge, and reasoning, constitutes the respiratory system of the spiritual body, which feeds the mind with the activity of thinking. Cognitions are generated in the mind when spiritual light from the spiritual world’s atmosphere, is absorbed by the spiritual body’s skin and lungs.
Spiritual light as a substance in the cognitive system of the spiritual body corresponds to the substance of oxygen in the air that is absorbed by the physical body through the lungs and skin. In the physical body, the purity and effectiveness of the oxygen in the respiratory system, interact with the nutritional effectiveness of the blood in the circulatory system.
In the spiritual body, the purity and effectiveness of the spiritual light in the cognitive system, interact with the quality of the persons’ loves in the affective system. In other words, our thinking is determined by our loving. When we love X what we think and how we evaluate something is contrastive with how we think and evaluate that thing when we love Y, especially if X and Y are incompatible loves.
(3) Third and finally, the system of sensations and muscle movements, constitutes the sensorimotor system of the spiritual body, which feeds the mind with the life of reception of external sensations and that of internal proprioceptive sensations. The awareness of having sensations is generated in the mind when spiritual objects in the spiritual environment from the spiritual world’s atmosphere, are perceived by the spiritual body’s sensory organs and nerves.
Spiritual heat substance circulating in the affective system of loves, and spiritual light substance that is circulating in the cognitive system of thoughts, are preconditions for sensations to be felt in the mind.
In the spiritual body, or mind, the quality of our sensations, pleasures, and delights, is an outcome of the quality of our loves in the affective system, which is interacting with the content of our thoughts in the cognitive system. In other words, our experience of health and happiness in life is determined by our loving and thinking in our interactions with each other. When we love X, what we think and how we evaluate something, is contrastive with how we think and evaluate that thing when we love Y, especially if X and Y are incompatible loves.
And the two together, what we love (affective system) and how we evaluate (cognitive system), determine our experience of the environment (sensorimotor system), and consequently, our awareness, and our consciousness level.
Section 2: Conjugial Simulation
It is clear from the anatomy of the spiritual body described above that when a man and woman interact in a romantic couplehood, the spiritual body of the man and the spiritual body of the woman interact with each other at two different levels of functioning, namely, external and internal.
These two levels go on synchronously, i.e., “at the same time”. However, while we are clearly aware or conscious of the external interaction, we are much less aware, if at all, of the internal interaction going on simultaneously.
The external level of interaction is generated by a self-centered focus on the part of one or both partners. The internal level of interaction is generated by an other-centered focus on the part of both partners.
In the early phases of the couple’s development, the external level does not have an internal support and oversight. This early phase is often characterized by conflict and disagreement due to the focus on self that each maintains in those interactions. However, as the couple grows in mutual interdependence and sweetheart love, the focus on the part of both gradually changes to other-centeredness in most of their interactions every day. As this matures, the internal dialog begins to be active and starts to influence the external dialog more and more. Eventually the external and internal dialogs will be functionally similar and corresponding to each other.
The conjoined pair, in which they live in their
eternal spiritual heaven together, always operates with the peaceful and
other-centered interior dialog. In contrast, the independent self, in which
they live outside their spiritual heaven, especially in the early years of the
relationship, always operates with the conflictual and self-centered external
There is a very effective interaction technique for partners interested in achieving eternal spiritual unity. It was identified by Swedenborg as “conjugial simulation.” For instance, when a man finds himself involved in a conflict situation with his sweetheart, he can use this technique to inhibit his self-centered reactions in his external spiritual level. The technique is applied as follows: Whenever he finds himself in disagreement with her, he compels himself to simulate being in agreement.
This conjugial simulation of other-centeredness is contrastive with simulation for self-gain. When we “fake” our reactions in order to gain something for our side, we are using a self-centered approach that attacks the deeper levels of closeness (emotional and spiritual). But when we “simulate” our reactions for good, in order to gain something for the other side, we are using an other-centered approach that promotes the deeper levels of closeness (emotional and spiritual).
Without the practice of conjugial simulation for the sake of unity and closeness, the couple’s conjoined pair cannot develop. This is especially true for men who in general take longer than women to eliminate self-centered independence.
Section 3: The Organic Function of
(represented by De Angelis book)
First look at these two letters written by Ronald Reagan to his wife. He can be considered as an example of the woman-centered married man. He expresses this attitude and outlook in touching terms that sound true and real. There is a book published about all his letters to his wife.
A few days ago you told me I was angry with you. I tried to explain I was frustrated with myself. But later on I realized that my frustration might have been a touch of self-pity because I’d been going around feeling that you are frequently angry with me.
No more. We are so much “one” that you are as vital to me as my own heart—with one exception; you could never be replaced with a transplant.
Whatever I treasure and enjoy—this home, our ranch, the sight of the sea—all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you. I live in a permanent Christmas because God gave me you. As I write this, you are hurrying by—back and forth doing those things only you can do and I get a feeling of warm happiness just watching you. That’s why I can’t pass you or let you pass me without reaching to touch you. (Except now or you would see what I’m doing.)
I’ll write no more because I’m going to catch up with you wherever you are and hold you for a moment.
Merry Christmas Darling—I love you with all my heart.
“Dear Mrs. Reagan,
Your loving, faithful devotion has been observed these 19 (some say 20) years. There are no words to describe the happiness you have brought to the Gov. It is no secret that he is the most married man in the world and would be totally lost and desolate without you. It seemed to me you should know this and be aware of how essential you are in this man’s life. By his own admission, he is completely in love with you and happier than even a Gov. deserves.
With Love & Appreciation”
(taken from MS NBC TV)
As may be gleaned from Ronald Reagan’s many letters to his wife, there is a ceaseless spiritual connection between the husband and the wife who have developed the daily habits of balanced interactions. Interactions are balanced and healthy when each cares more about the other than the self. Husband and wife are both other-centered or altruistic. This is the spiritual process that fosters organic growth of the conjoined pair.
The woman-centered couple’s dialog reflects the way in which the man constantly tries to adjust his thinking and behavior in order to be more agreeable to the woman. This effort is mostly a spiritual effort rather than physical. Spiritual effort or striving is called love. We strive under the impulse of loving something, some goal we want to achieve so that our love can be fulfilled.
Other-centered striving creates a bond and conjunction, which if kept up, binds together in an immortal grip of love and happiness. Physical events cannot break such a bond because the bond is spiritual, organically constructed out of immortal spiritual substances freely available in the spiritual world of eternity. When we picture something, or understand something, we are constructing a spiritual object that is immortal.
In scientific dualism what is physical is temporary and breaks down, finally dies or disappears. But what is spiritual cannot die, cannot disappear since spiritual objects in the spiritual world of eternity are not made of physical matter in time and in space. Hence it is that spiritual connection is permanent while physical connection is temporary. Loving each other connects spiritually and if both strive to maintain it, it becomes a conjoined pair (sometimes called “soulmates”), which is permanent and immortal.
While the man’s spiritual orientation in couplehood is self-centered, the woman’s spiritual orientation spontaneously tends to be man-centered (other-centered) as she is ceaselessly focused on developing a closer relationship with the man. This is the principal spiritual urge in a woman’s life. This urge, or love, corresponds to the heart and arteries of the woman’s spiritual body (“spiritual body”). If this heart and circulation is caused to stop, the female mind dies. Happily, this is impossible to occur, and the circulatory system of the spiritual body continues ceaselessly forever. Our immortality depends on it.
Because of this spiritual biology, women undergo early socialization training to prepare them for their female role in becoming part of a romantic couple.
But men are socialized to prefer man-centered or self-centered interactions with women.
In many romantic couples therefore we typically have a man-centered man and a man-centered woman. Or to say it another way: A self-centered man and an other-centered woman.
This often becomes a source of difficulty in managing the growth of closeness, interdependence, and spiritual intimacy in marriage and other long term romantic relationships. While women keep up their interactions with their man-centered focus (other-centered or altruistic), at the same time they want men to keep up their interactions with the woman-centered focus (also other-centered or altruistic). This oppositional perspective between the genders (self vs. other focus) is where much of the struggle comes from in couplehood.
The gender struggle, or “battle of the sexes”, is resolved when the man becomes spiritually enlightened or wise, and realizes that he would be more complete and more manly by switching his perspective to the woman-centered focus (other-centered), thus away from self-centered or selfish.
As soon as this enlightenment, or spiritual realization, occurs, the internal marriage begins. It is the birth of the immortal conjoined pair which makes them to be a unity in the spiritual world of eternity (“of one mind”). This is an organic unity. The conjoined pair is a spiritual organ in the spiritual body that has to grow and develop by being fed daily balanced interactions in which they each strive to please the other more than self (whenever there is a conflict or disagreement).
The love that binds into a conjoint unity couple is called sweetheart love. Many husbands love their wives by being a loyal and steadfast partner, but their love is not a sweetheart love unless he is woman-centered, and like Ronald Reagan, maintains a daily style of “being in love” with the woman all the time. The interactions couples have when they are still “in love” are more clinging and expressive, in comparison to the love that remains afterward, often soon afterward.
When “being in love with my wife” changes to “I love my wife” the man remains self-focused: he considers himself to be the primary role, while she is in a supportive role to him. What he wants and thinks comes before what she wants and thinks. But when a husband is in love with his wife he does not tolerate himself to engage in behavior or talk that is disagreeable to her. He looks upon her as the object of primary focus to satisfy and to support, and thereby he supports his own striving and happiness.
Self-centeredness opposes romantic unity and closeness, while other-centered encourages spiritual unity and closeness. The spiritual health and organic development of the conjoined pair can only thrive in other-centered interactions.
It is important to understand that there is distinction between "a woman-centered man" vs. "a woman-dominated man." A man is woman-centered because he wants greater spiritual intimacy and closeness. He chooses to do that according to his preferred goal. In contrast, a “woman-dominated man” does not choose to be dominated but seems to himself to have no choice, short of ending the relationship. A woman-dominated man does not lead to spiritual intimacy and closeness.
Dr. James proposes the idea that both men and women in general perform man-centered interactions. This is due to spiritual biology, and to society, tradition, and socialization practices. Consider that the consequences of this “man-centered world” are very different for women and men. When a woman has a man-centered orientation she is responding normally as women do in relationships from socialization practices.
Women have been socialized into maintaining altruistic or nurturing man-centered interactions in their relationships with men (father, brother, boyfriend, husband, co-workers).
This means that women in close relationships have an automatic or spontaneous man-centered orientation from several sources:
(a) from socialization training and cultural practices and attitudes
(b) from organic female biology and anatomy (vs. male)
(c) from spiritual biology or organic spiritual constitution of the female mind (vs. the male mind)
But note carefully: a woman's man centered orientation (other-centered, altruistic) is adaptive and progressive, and promotes the development and deepening of the relationship.
But a man's man-centered orientation is focused on self, and this is selfish or maladaptive for the deepening or growth potential of the relationship.
A woman's man-centered orientation is altruistic, and this is healthy and promotes union.
Consider these three types of interaction states in a romantic couple, along with their consequences for the growth of the relationship:
(1) Mutual selfishness creates an interactional state of continuous combat and renders the relationship unstable and doomed to self-destruct. (This is the equity-centered couple.)
(2) Altruism with one and selfishness with the other creates an interactional state of alternating combat and peace. This state can go on indefinitely so that it ultimately injures their growth in spiritual intimacy and closeness. (This is the traditional male-dominant couple.)
altruism in a romantic couple promotes union or unity. The female mind
and the male mind are organically formed to form a unity called the conjoined pair. This is marked by
spiritual interdependence and the achievement of a supreme spiritual state
called unity, in which each is
enriched endlessly by the unique abilities of the other. (This is the
woman-centered unity couple).
Section 4: How to Organically Grow a Healthy Conjoined pair
I. Unity in couplehood creates, through the conjoined pair, a mutually beneficial multiplicative effect on the spiritual growth of each.
II. Inner potentials in the eternal spiritual body are endless and unique for each human being.
III. Romantic couplehood acts as a releasing agent for inner potentials in each (e.g., being more and more happy, becoming more and more intelligent, wise, inventive, artistic, enthusiastic, manly or female, etc.)
For his own maximum benefit and development the man's orientation should be away from self and toward the woman. In other words, the man's orientation should be, for his own benefit, other-centered, like the woman's.
Couplehood takes two distinct steps to develop. First, a woman envelops a man from the outside. In response, the man envelops the woman from the inside. They are thus mutually enveloping each other, but in a reciprocal way, she on the outside, he on the inside. This conjoint envelope of their personality involves an outward conjunction and an inner or internal conjunction. The conjoined pair is a substantive spiritual organ that has an outward and an inward structural component. The woman takes the first step in the conjunction process. It appears on the outside that it is the man who is wooing the damsel. In this wooing, the man is hoping that the woman will make that first step of conjoining her outward love to his outward personality. So it is the woman’s prerogative to initiate the couplehood.
Once she makes up her mind to give him her favor or love, he takes it by becoming the love of her inner wisdom. The man’s inner love-substance (or good-substance) conjoins with the woman’s inner truth-substance (phase 2), after the woman’s external love-substance conjoins with the man’s external truth-substance (phase 1). As a conjoined couple, she is outwardly the love of his external intelligence, and he is internally the love of her inner intelligence.
Outwardly, the woman is the head of the conjoined pair because love-substance directs truth-substance and gives it power to sense and act. Inwardly, the man is the head of the conjoined pair for the same anatomical reason. Outwardly, the woman envelops the man while inwardly, the man envelops the woman. Outwardly, the woman directs the couple while inwardly, the man directs it.
The woman directs the couple outwardly using her own intelligence that is informed by his. She is not merely using her own intelligence, as if she were still a single woman. When her love-substance outwardly envelops his truth-substance, she forms in her own mind, an anatomical model of her husband or partner. In this way she can always consult her spiritual model of his way of thinking and reasoning. And because she is the feminine love of his masculine thinking and reasoning, her own thinking and reasoning is enriched by his to such an extent that she can deal with outward daily issues and tasks more effectively than he does. She is ready to exert the effort it takes to keep him enveloped, while he needs to give up the resistance to that enveloping interdependence.
The man has an automatic resistance to being enveloped in this way by the woman. He feels that she is being “clingy” or “pushy” or “unreasonable” etc. But this is merely the resistance talking. Once he is able to manage this resistance, he finds it easy and agreeable to always go along with her ideas. They are then deepening their emotional closeness more and more.
Inwardly, the man experiences no resistance to conjunction. The man’s masculine inner love-substance intensely desires conjunction with her, and this inner love is superior and more powerful than his outer personality of resistance to total interdependence. Two warring factions battle within the man for supremacy. The outer faction wants desperately to retain independence, while the inner faction is determined to achieve total interdependence.
When the man becomes spiritually enlightened and commits himself without reservation to the woman-centered style of interaction, he undergoes a conflictual growth period during which he struggles mightily within himself to compel himself to avoid overt expressions of disagreement and anger that he feels inside.
Under this constant motivation to eliminate all forms of disagreement with the woman, the man will experience gradually increased confidence and success in this inner battle with himself. He will be successful in maintaining his continuous commitment to correct his lapses as pointed out by the wife or girlfriend.
The man will continue for a while to make mistakes such as forgetting promises, and will have lapses such as expressing anger and disrespect. Each time this will hurt the woman. Therefore the man who wants to be honest and sincere and loving will be affected by seeing her hurt due to his lapse. He will feel repentant or sorry for causing her spiritual pain.
He will show this caring to her in his behavior and in his attitude (“making it up to her”), so that she might feel better and gain back her confidence and trust in him. The woman’s desire for the man to make it up to her, is not selfish but focused on the man who needs to perform the behavior she desires in order to become fully a man.
It is completely insufficient for a man to simply say, “I’m sorry, honey”, and dispense some jewelry, lingerie, flowers, or dinner. These things he ought to do, yes, but if he does only these things the hurt that he caused to her love is not repaired. This is because these outward things (money, flowers, dinner) alone do not penetrate to the inner things of their relationship where is the hurt that he introduced by getting angry, or by being uncaring or disrespectful to her.
If he doesn’t feel sorry and repentant, or if he is reluctant to keep showing that he cares, then he is still being selfish and self-centered, not altruistic or woman-centered. If he actually feels sorry he must do what it takes to ease the woman’s spiritual pain that he caused. He needs to remedy her spiritual pain and heal her mind and her heart where only love should be for each other.
To actually feel sorry for hurting the woman’s feelings he needs to first feel responsibility for her feelings. This is an attitude and philosophy of one’s principles. The man needs to convince himself of a philosophy of living and of male conscience, that makes him responsible for how she feels. Then, and only then, can he feel repentant and sorry from the inside, which then motivates him to make it up to her in the way that it counts for her inner feelings and love.
The man who is sincere in his woman-centered orientation, increases in ability to perceive her inner feelings, and to understanding how he needs to interact with her in order to make up for the hurt he caused, to repair the fracture in the heart of the woman. The conjoined pair can grow only in a spiritual interactional climate that
A lapse on the part of the man can involve major things or minor things, and in both cases it hurts the woman, so that the man needs to work hard to repair the damage. In this way from each lapse to its repair, and onward to the next lapse and its repair, the man gradually grows in ability and skill to avoid all expression of disagreement and anger in the relationship.
He thereby feels himself to be more of a true man and his basic inner unique masculinity is reinforced, giving the man ever more capacity to unite to the woman reciprocally. This is the growth of the conjoined pair in the spiritual boy of the man and woman.
The woman can support the man in this new woman-centered orientation because it is beneficial towards growth and greater intimacy between them. This deeper intimacy or conjunction is what makes the woman feel deeply safe, loved, and fulfilled (as detailed in the De Angelis book).
Dr. James, who has practiced this approach for 30 years in his own marriage, has observed that there is a fine line or fence in which the man can come down on either side equally easily, either on his own side and refuse her, or on her side and give in to her. His commitment leads him to come down on the woman’s side, which means that he is going to appease her mind and satisfy her request or desire. By compelling himself to do this, the man develops the highest and most successful development of his inborn male mind.
When the man practices the woman-centered interaction strategy then all the couple’s verbal interactions display the woman-centric outlook of the man. This includes his lapses, as long as the lapses are immediately corrected and reversed by him in appropriate way that satisfies her.
This immediate re-commitment on his part restores the woman to the female confidence she needs in order to be able to fulfill her female bonding role in the relationship.
It's important to realize that when the man "gives in" to the woman whom he loves and wants to conjoin with, he is not being "submissive to her dominance". It is the man's right to decide for himself whether to give in or not. If he gives in for the reason that he wants to please her, and that he wants to help her avoid feeling upset, then he is giving in to love and altruism, and not to self or to external coercion. And this is a healthy altruistic giving in, one that promotes their growth in closeness, intimacy, and fulfillment.
Ultimately the entire purpose of a romantic relationship is to build up the conjoined pair by gradually achieving progressively greater spiritual unity.
When the man-centered woman gives in to him because she is afraid of his angry reactions, then she is not in freedom as a person. When not in freedom, the woman is acting from fear rather than from love. She is then dominated by the man, which is a spiritual state marked by male-dominance interactions. But when the man-centered woman gives in to him because she realizes it would be better for him and for the relationship, then she is not being dominated, but acts in freedom from her love.
The man’s woman-centered attitude is the man’s voluntary focus. No one can make him have a woman-centered orientation because it involves his emotional reactions, his feelings and intentions, his thoughts and his reasoning process. These things are spiritual and private so that others cannot make you think or feel something if you don’t want to.
The woman-centered man retains the power to be disjunctive with her because he has never given up his power. But he chooses not to use the power he has because he wants to be united to her. His motive in every interaction is their ultimate conjunction and total spiritual unity (“soulmates” or “conjoined pair”), so that he always works hard to avoid remaining in a disagreement, or walking away from something she is concerned about.
When a man is motivated to keep his focus primarily on the woman in all his interactions he is not being a so called 'Yes man" who is dominated by a woman. Instead, he honors the woman thereby and is respectful of her love for him. For instance, if she needs advice or guidance about something that he knows about, she will consult him on it. She knows his areas of knowledge and she loves to benefit from his male intelligence and inventiveness.
A woman-centered man feels his potential liberated when he applies himself to doing things in a way to satisfy her. If that remains his motivation he will be able to interact with her in a way that relaxes her, gives her confidence, and allows her sense of creativity and playfulness to come out. He will then feel more of a man as a result of that.
At the same time she loves for him to go along with her in the areas of relationship where she feels she has a greater expertise than him. To her, this type of relationship loyalty that he exhibits, demonstrates his deep love for her. To him, her feeling of being pleased with his loyalty, is deeply satisfying. He now feels his masculinity and strength even more than before.
De Angelis gives many useful lists of what the woman-centered man does in order to maintain and promote deeper closeness and spiritual intimacy:
1. Watching out for her Love Room when she is looking for you there, let her know you are meeting her there (p. 49)
2. Showing that you are making an effort to understand her better (p. 54)
3. Showing her that you are OK with her intensity about the details of your relationship (p. 59)
4. Showing initiative in deepening the relationship rather than waiting for her to bring it up (p. 59)
5. Notice when something is upsetting her and ask what's wrong so she can tell you (p. 92)
Learn how you need to behave to allow her to
feel safe, including: show loyalty and fidelity, pay her many compliments in
one hour, look for activities in which she can be included, avoid silence when
she wants you to communicate, understand the importance for her of making
detailed schedules and plans, and discussing them more than once (p.135-6)
Self-Centered and Other-Centered Interaction Style
Section 1: Observing Interactions
Many adults grow up and remain self-centered rather than other-centered in most of their interactions with their partner in relationship. In this spiritual state they form love relationships that are self-centered, which stands in the way of building up deeper levels of closeness (i.e., emotional closeness and spiritual closeness). To become other-centered requires the spiritual body or mind to first become fully mature. This developspiritual step is achieved when the person acquires the motivation to improve oneself all the time, as a matter of habit and character.
This steadfast spiritual habit eventually becomes a constant motivation that never ceases, and then it is a permanent spiritual part of the person’s inner character. Through this character trait the individual is spiritually enriched with new powers and satisfactions, as for instance:
Š becoming stronger in character and having the motivation and will to overcome weaknesses that the person could not control or manage, which were interfering with developing deeper levels of closeness in the relationship
Š acting grown up or adult in an interaction by managing one’s emotional expressiveness such as anger or lifestyle issues, that negatively impact the interaction, and putting on a less harsh and more agreeable interaction style
Š becoming more reflective by thinking things through before acting or speaking in any interaction, and taking on responsibility for remaining agreeable in that interaction with the other, regardless of the mood one is in
Š feeling a strong sense of responsibility to maintain an attitude of respect for the other in the interaction, for the other person’s needs and preferences in that interaction, and not just one’s own
These traits will allow the person to maintain the other-centered focus in their interactions. This applies to both the man and the woman. And when it becomes mutual, they can achieve unity and life as a conjoined pair, thus to become eternal soul mates in their spiritual heaven in eternity. Swedenborg interviewed such couples on those occasions that he was able to be spiritually present with them in their heavenly city.
The unity model of marriage described in this course is based on Swedenborg’s daily observations over the course of 27 years. Through these observations we can better understand today the psychology of the woman’s mind and how it contrasts with that of the man’s mind.
Knowing this inner spiritual anatomy allows us to understand better the process of marriage in every interaction between a man and woman in relationship. Every interaction is a miniature form of the whole marriage.
We can better understand the marriage relationship when we observe the interactions that take place between the partners every hour and minute when they are together. But remember that watching the interaction from the outside (as in video recordings later analyzed by strangers), yields information about the man and the woman that concerns their outer personality only. This is not where the cause of the interaction style lies.
At deeper layers of the personality there are many less conscious control mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit specific types of interactions. This information concerns their inner personality, which is responsible for closeness and distance attained with each other.
For women, the following are common sources of opposition for maintaining an other-centered focus in the interaction, and thus to achieve closeness and unity in the exchange:
Being in a spiritual state of disturbance or
stress set off by some event outside the relationship. Her interactions with
the man will then tend to be self-centered. For instance, when she experiences
discomfort in the physical body, her spiritual body tends to become alarmed or
preoccupied with herself (rather than with the man). The man needs to rescue
her when she falls into this state.
Being in a spiritual state of emotional spillover
from some prior event in their relationship, that he has not yet made up for
sufficiently in order to heal the organic injury in her spiritual body. This
spiritual state puts on a filter of magnification by elevating minor things
into major, or by altering in her mind the ranking or value of certain things.
In this spiritual state she may appear to be demanding, angry, tough, and
severe. Ands yet, this state of distance from her man vanishes as soon as the
man takes care of it, proving that her emotion was not anger (which separates),
but zeal (which protects the union).
Being in a spiritual state of cold, i.e., being
non-reactive to the man. This may be caused by emotional trauma in the distant
past (e.g., being abused as a child, or by her past boy friends, or by
strangers). Or, it may be caused by past exchanges in the relationship that
caused wounds in her spiritual body that have not healed. The man needs to do
what it takes to heal her wound.
Still being immature with left over traits from
childhood and adolescence that interfere with her spiritual body growing up to
be an adult. This focus on herself (self-centered)
excludes real time information about the man, which only becomes accessible to
her awareness when she is in the other-centered focus. Hence, closeness in
relationship cannot develop deeper levels as long as she keeps her mind below
the adult level (immature spiritual traits). The man can help her to become
ready to letting go of immature traits.
For example: when she pays more attention to appearance rather than to character in the man. Appearances are outward traits that are put on, while character is an inner trait that supports closeness and other-centeredness. Focus on self leads the woman to wrong friends, wrong company, wrong activities – all of which oppose other-centeredness, closeness, and unity friendship with one man (soul mate).
5. Certain challenging spiritual states, such as states of preoccupation and emotional spillover, as mentioned above, may lead to neglect of one’s physical appearance and personal hygiene. This can make closeness with the man bumpier and less effective. Many immature spiritual states in the woman, as discussed above, tend to encourage ritualized shows of disrespect for men, who are ridiculed and become the target of sexist (“feminist”) jokes. This creates a spiritual atmosphere in her mind that opposes closeness and unity with one man.
Section 2: Forces of Other-Centeredness in Women
The man-centered woman (other-centered) and the woman-centered man (other-centered) form a reciprocal union that binds them together into a unity called the conjoined pair, which lives forever in their timeless or eternal spiritual heaven. The female mind is differently constituted than the male mind, which is why they can become an organic spiritual unit that evolves forever. The male mind that is in a spiritual state of woman-centeredness has learned to subordinate his self-centeredness to his other-centeredness in the marriage or partnership.
He defines his role by accepting and supporting his wife’s female desire to live their union in a spiritual stream that allows her to fulfill the following interactional pattern. These ritualized romantic procedures produce closeness, unity, mutual respect, inmost friendship, fun and fulfillment, and endless evolution of their eternal conjoined pair.
a. she strives to please him and make him feel good about himself
b. she cares about his feelings and gets to know well what are his inner and outer feelings
c. she does not enjoy or like to criticize him or make him feel degraded
d. she has his best interests at heart and is supportive of him
e. she insists that he show her respect at all times with no exceptions
f. she is zealous to protect their privacy and exclusivity without exception
g. she insists on having access as a friend and sweetheart to his emotions and feelings (communicating, talking about)
h. she encourages his good traits based on her understanding of what would make him happy and fulfilled as a man
i. she discourages his bad traits based on her understanding of what would make him unhappy and unfulfilled as a man
j. she never gives up on him, on what she knows is good for him, and would fulfill him as a man, as a husband, as a friend
k. she insists that he put her first in his mind, ahead of his career, the children, the extended family, his friends. This is because she knows that without him putting her first in his mind, they cannot form an eternal unity. And therefore, to protect this spiritual unity, she is zealous (insistent) to have him put her first in all things in his mind.
l. never gives up fighting for what she knows is good for him, and she never gives up fighting for having him avoid what she knows is bad for him
m. she strives to maintain an attractive appearance for him, to make him feel that she appreciates being his wife
n. she craves for the relief that she feels when she can have fun and happiness with him, and she craves for the two of them to be able to be best friends forever in their spiritual heaven (soulmates).
Section 3: Three Types of Interactions in Couplehood
MC: Man-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains a self-centered focus and the woman maintains an other-centered focus. He maintains a man-centered focus (on himself) and she maintains a man-centered focus (on him). Both focus on the man in that interaction. One can observe these interactions in traditional marriages all around the world.
EC: Equity-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains a self-centered focus and the woman also maintains a self-centered focus. In this type of interaction both maintain a stance of competition, each looking out for the best equitable deal they can get for themselves in allocating their chores, duties, responsibilities, finances, pleasures, satisfactions, and choices.
WC: Woman-Centered Interactions in which the man maintains an other-centered focus, and the woman also maintains an other-centered focus. Her focus in the interaction is man-centered to a man who is woman-centered. They are each other-centered, thus providing a reciprocal venue for binding themselves into a unity.
Note that woman-centered interactions (WC) in couplehood are predictably the most successful in building spiritual closeness and unity because both partners are other-centered or altruistic. Each is taking responsibility for looking out for the welfare of the other. This motivational mutuality and reciprocity form the glue that creates and maintains all human community. In couplehood, woman-centered interactions give birth to the conjoined pair that has endless potential in our spiritual heaven in the afterlife world of timelessness (eternity).
Nurturing the conjoined pair after its birth involves practicing daily, and hourly, maintaining the other-centered focus in all their interactions.
This means that the man keeps a woman-centered focus while the woman keeps a man-centered focus. This practice encourages the maintenance of sweetheart rituals, that create fun, and binds them together forever in an endless progression and evolution of deeper and deeper mutuality, love, and happiness that is almost impossible to imagine. This is the great promise and reward of the conjoined pair in our spiritual heaven in the spiritual world of eternity.
Swedenborg observed couples who were at different levels of their heaven, some totally into it, but others to a lesser and lesser extent in a hierarchy of levels.
Couples over time can go through stages of closeness, and upheavals along the way. It is typical for couples to alternate between the three interaction types in the same day, or even in the same conversation. From your own experience and observations of couples you can probably corroborate this alternating pattern as being typical. TV portrayals of couples show this alternating pattern as part of what is entertaining to watch.
A man who is practicing to maintain a woman-centered focus in all his interactions with his sweetheart, and maintains a gentleman’s profile all the time, feels himself to be fully male and fully independent. He discovers that his true male role has to do with his eternal relationship with his wife, thus through interdependence with her, not through independence with himself.
He now feels the inner happiness and excitement of his successful union with this woman. He comes alive to the existence of the conjoined pair as a continuous inner source of development, growth, and understanding. He is preparing his personality to be compatible with those who share his spiritual community or spiritual society.
This may be an unexpected or surprising outcome. It happens because he is strongly motivated to make her happy. And as he sees himself succeed more and more, thereby achieving in his mind what is man’s full state of masculinity, creativity, and inner strength.
The reason for this spiritual benefit is the unity he is achieving with his organic reciprocal. This is the conjoined pair, which is a spiritual organic growth process that is built into the spiritual body of every human being.
The ideal stage of balance, unity, and reciprocal functioning in couplehood is an organic growth process that is nourished by the cumulative stream of daily interactions that the partners are experiencing with each other. Practicing the woman-centered interaction style with his wife opens up a new door of perception and happiness in his spiritual body.
But when he unexpectedly falls into an equity-centered (EQ) or man-centered (MC) focus in one of his interactions with her, he feels immediate repentance for hurting his sweetheart and soul mate. He feels her hurt in himself.
He never felt this before. But now he feels it because the conjoined pair was born and is growing. He is intensely motivated to take care of her hurt, to find out exactly what she needs in order to feel better. This he then does. He talks to her appropriately, and repeatedly, which almost always means over an extended period of days rather than just a few minutes!
Until then he used to apologize and bring flowers, or take her out for a romantic dinner together, or promise her a vacation. But now he can see clearly that these are overt gestures that do not penetrate deeply in her mind, where the hurt is that he caused. The hurt had to do with injury to her self-respect when he called her names, and injury to her confidence in him when he walked out on her and refused to talk, besides other such deep things having to do with trust and closeness.
Now that he is practicing a woman-centered focus in his interactions, he is able to feel the conjoined pair, and so he feels her hurt within himself.
This mutual intimacy relationship breaks down when they are no longer each striving to fulfill the needs of the other.
This breakdown of mutuality and reciprocity occurs when their interactions are equity focused where they each are looking out for themselves, not for each other. In that case they are going to feel less close to each other.
What is the alternative to negotiating for oneself regarding the household chores that need to be done?
The balanced other-centered focus on the part of each effectively solves the problem without the conflicts associated with the equity style interactions.
When each is looking out for the other there is hardly any need for negotiating, and no need at all for facing conflict, disagreement, or dissatisfaction.
The birth and growth of the conjoined pair is insured of a healthy evolution to eternity when each partner is maintaining the altruistic other-centered focus in all interactions. By talking and communicating, each gains an insight about what kind of chore or task the other would hate to do or be stuck with.
These kinds of aversive feelings for certain chores are personal and deep. It’s good for each to take on precisely those duties or tasks that the other doesn’t like to do, or has difficulty doing on account of these personal deep-seated feelings. And so, the idea or state of negotiating and maintaining self-interest does not arise between them.
Practicing the woman-centered interaction focus maintains the balance through the mutual striving of each wanting to be one in the life of the other.
When the man experiences an inner higher or spiritual insight into his life he can realize that it is in the practice of unity couplehood that he will achieve true happiness and real manhood. He can reason rationally that male-dominance and equity interactions are imbalanced and opposed to spiritual intimacy in a romantic relationship in which sweetheart love is to grow ever more intense or sweet forever.
The man practices a woman-centered focus when he compels himself to be nice to the woman in all occasions.
At least theoretically, or in principle, he should not make exceptions for himself by giving himself permission to ever be selfish or rude with his sweetheart.
And if he has lapses in real life practice, which is normal, he is motivated to admit guilt and do the work of repairing the lapse by doing what she actually needs to heal the deeper layers of her feelings.
Note that when a woman realizes that she has hurt her sweetheart love, she feels sorry for what she did, and is motivated to repair the contact and closeness between them.
“Being a gentleman” or “chivalry” means not to express direct disagreements and to always search for what is more agreeable to the woman.
If he keeps his focus on the woman as the defining factor of every interaction, the man will be able to experience himself as a “real man”. Other-centered success brings manliness to a man, while self-centered success brings selfishness and lack of compassion. The man then operates in a fog of fantasy about himself and what is real. He diminishes his capacity to be in mutual respect and community with others.
After practicing for a while the woman-centered style of interaction, the man discovers that it is getting easier and easier to do successfully, and he feels rewarded by the brand new spiritual closeness of his intimate relationship with his wife. This is an organic bonding force that grows deeper and more intimate with each day.
The man’s wife now feels totally free to express herself, her needs, her preferences, her comfort zones, her insecurities, her uncertainties, and thereby feels that she is becoming more and more truly female and connected with her man as a unity or conjoint organic entity.
Section 4: Equity Couples: Why Woman Has the Disadvantage
This orientation leads to the process of negotiating and comparing men and women in terms of the power and responsibilities they each have in the couplehood.
In these negotiations the woman is often at a disadvantage because her power depends on the man's fairness and decency. This unequal power situation is maintained and promoted by society in many different ways.
In equity couples a woman negotiates from weakness while a man negotiates from power.
The dialog of the Equity Centered Couple reflects the interaction struggles between the partners about how to define equality and fairness. They frequently negotiate or argue about who needs to do what. Their negotiation dialog shows a kind of political battle for who will get to do either less or more.
In equity interactions the man and the woman are both focused on self. This self-centeredness has to transform into mutual other-centeredness if the fights and disagreements are to stop and bring peace and pleasantness into the spiritual environment of the relationship.
Throughout these negotiations of “equity” and “fairness” they have verbal fights in which they hurt each other emotionally, hence in their closeness.
For instance, the man becomes defensive and oppositional when the woman tries to have him do something that “he doesn’t feel like doing at the time”. Or in another typical situation, he continues doing something that she wants him to stop doing (e.g., seeing certain people, buying something, etc.). He gets mad, he yells, he criticizes, he acts defensive, he is not fully honest as he tries to have his way.
The woman often feels conflictual, not knowing how far to go in these "equity" fights.
The woman tends to doubt herself when she is accused by the man of being selfish, or of being too demanding and critical. The woman needs to resist this harmful strategy that men try at first. But eventually the man will change if he wants closeness with her, and if she continues to insist that he change.
Women are vulnerable to the complaint that they are being “too demanding” and “overcritical” ("man bashing" and “feminism”). This is an attitude expressed throughout Dr. Laura’s book. However, a woman needs to maintain her motivation to confront her man with his selfish approach to their couplehood. Dr. Laura’s entire approach fails to see this fact, hence her advice to couples has remained imbalanced.
Here is a G34 Post that addresses this issue:
I really agree. Girls always get frustrated at guys but honestly, I think guys just don’t understand what girls want from them. Girls always get mad because guys apologize for not knowing what they did wrong or sometimes not seeing what makes them upset. This is just guys being guys. Girls seem to have too high, unrealistic standards for what they think guys should know. I think guys usually have good intentions and they don’t mean to make girls feel bad, but they just don’t realize what they’re doing. If girls were more straight forward with guys they could get more accomplished.
If the man wins this battle, the couple gives up inner closeness and spiritual intimacy, thus gives up unity. If the woman wins, the couple achieves real closeness and real spiritual intimacy.
It is clear therefore that the woman should never give up insisting that the man meet his obligations of love, respect, and friendship towards her.
No exception should be accepted or condoned by the woman. The man should not be given the “right” to trash her each time he gives himself permission to do so.
However, in all interventions there is always a timing issue that needs to be considered by the woman, as mentioned in this G34 Post:
I can be this way when I discuss personal problems with my boyfriend. He wants
to talk about what is wrong with me and sometimes I just want to leave the
problem alone for a while and talk about it later. He sees this as being
distant but I see it as taking time to think about it. It can be the other way
around too. We as a couple need to know when it is the right time and situation
to push a concern or leave it alone. Sometimes people just want to leave their
problems alone and deal with them later and in a different frame of mind.
A woman develops over time a keen and accurate perception of the mood of the man. She can then gauge whether certain issues or problems can or cannot be tackled by him productively at any particular moment.
Men in relationships do not play the same role as women. There is no equity possible in the role that each must play since they are totally different. Man and woman each have a special role to play, namely the role of reciprocity one to the other.
The man needs to accept and respect the woman's special role in the relationship, which means that he should want to respect her guidance in the relationship.
This includes any thing that impacts on them as a couple, as for instance, that they should jointly agree on the following issues, rather than him insisting on making some of these decisions on his own:
a) who they should continue being friends with or not
b) where they should live for the best of the family
c) what job decisions to make when the man is overlooking important issues
d) how not to spend money when it is not a good idea
e) how to treat their children and their parents to maintain husband-wife closeness above all else
f) how to fold the laundry or clean the house
None of these issues are independent. They are always interdependent. Therefore the man cannot rightly argue that some issues should be decided by him more than by her (e.g., his finances, his parents, his career, his old friends). He must accept her equal input, which means he cannot simply say “Well, I just don’t agree with you on this.” And leave it at that.
To say this to her would be breaking his promise of romantic couplehood that he is going to respect her ideas and take care of her feelings and emotional needs to be conjoined together in all decision making without exceptions that he may want to make.
Here is a G34 Post on this issue:
“I found this chapter very interesting
because I see this behavior in
my everyday life. Just tonight, I was upset about work and was
thinking of quitting. I just wanted to be consoled but my guy friend
was just silent and then goes, “well maybe you should quit then.”
This was not the response I wanted. I wanted to be told “aww it’s
okay. I’m sorry you feel that way. Those people are mean. I hope it
gets better.” Not the case! My friend just wanted to solve my
problems and give me a short answer. I was not satisfied so I ended
up talking to my girl friend instead and she listened and validated my points which I felt better about.”
If he disagrees about this and is determined not to change his mind about it, then he is actually indicating to her that he does not love her as a sweetheart and best friend.
To love her as best friend and sweetheart means that he can’t just ignore or walk away from what she wants him to do.
If he disagrees with her and then says “but I still love you”, his statement is not to be believed. To love her is to care how she feels and to respect her ideas.
He cannot be allowed to do both of these because they are hypocritical opposites:
(a) To insist on ranking her views about something as below his in importance
(b) To continue to claim that he loves her like a sweetheart and best friend
If he does not respect her input as equal to his, then he does not love her like a sweetheart and best friend.
That’s the conclusion he must be faced with by the woman. What is he going to do about it? Which will he claim?
Honest or true love implies full respect. To love her implies to respect her. To reject what she says or wants as less important than what he thinks or wants, is to not respect her as a woman, and therefore not to love her.
The man must face this truth about himself before he can change.
To argue and to disagree is to reject the woman’s special role in the couplehood.
When a man performs yelling at his woman, when he performs being defensive and arguing, getting mad and being rude, he thereby is showing his fundamental and deep-seated disrespect for the woman. That man does not really love the woman. He loves himself more than the woman. Hence he cannot enter into a truly close and intimate spiritual relationship with her.
This semi-conscious automatic habit of disrespect for women develops in men from their early upbringing, from culture, society, literature, entertainment, and spiritual genes. When a man begins to realize that he has this semi-conscious habit of disrespect for women, he finally is beginning to understand women. That understanding makes him to be more of a male man than ever before.
He also becomes very attractive to the woman because the male mind fits reciprocally with the female mind. This male-female spiritual fit is destroyed when the man’s focus is on himself instead of on the woman (as in all male-dominant and equity-centered interactions).
Among their women friends, women admit that sometimes they feel guilty about having to be very firm with the man. Dr. Laura’s advice giving involves making wives feel guilty and ashamed of themselves for how they talk to their man. There is some validity in this for some exchanges where the woman has to learn to respect the man more than she shows it in her style.
But this does not apply to her firmness when the man is being defensive and manipulative in their exchanges. She cannot give in to him when she sees that he is being self-destructive.
Today, many popular TV sit-coms and “chick flicks” portray the equity couple perspective. Romantic involvement is portrayed as conflictual. The man and the woman talk to each other and interact with each other in a competitive manner. They are always struggling to “get from the relationship as much as they put into it”. This may be called emotional equity and implies a competition on behalf of self, instead of promoting the other ahead of oneself.
The “equity” balance sheet is what each is committed to see as fair and just. Their talk reflects this struggle for equality, for equal rights, for fairness. As a result of this underlying motivation their talk is often competitive or contentious on a daily basis. But they also have times when their talk is supportive and conjunctive, being “on the same page” and pulling together in the same direction. This daily cycle of alternation between ups and downs in seeing eye-to-eye with each other, takes a heavy affective toll on the couplehood. It acts as a corrosive agent that can wear down their friendship and good will for each other, and eventually destroy the sweetheart relationship.
Regarding how men and women talk to each other, here are G32 Week 2 and week 3 Posts about it
[regarding Tannen's chapter 5, “I’ll explain it to you”]: She states that men are more controlling in conversation. In a sense they are trying to size up competition and be the leaders everyone agrees with, regardless if they are the experts on certain topics, whereas women are likely to play the role of the listeners. They are more concerned about offending people and agree that they don’t even try to control the conversation even if they are an expert. ... Tannen is trying to get women to realize that they should not be happy only listening, that the conversation should be interdependent.
[regarding Tannen ] it is seen as more out of line for a woman to interrupt, whereas a man is just exercising his right to dominate. JoAnn points out, according to the author that, “men accused women of interrupting because they’re pushy and aggressive when in reality women are only trying to create rapport-talk, their conversational style, rather than participating in report-talk, men’s style of communication.” This is important for men and women alike to consider, so as to be more aware of the unsaid and unnoticed things we each do in daily life and daily conversation.
Quoting from G33 Week 2 and Week 3 Posts:
“I have been in situations where I felt like I was being dominated by a man. I felt as if my thoughts and opinions didn’t matter which lead me to feel unappreciated. I agree with Tannen that interrupting is a form of “conversational bullying”. It’s terribly frustrating to not be able to get my point across. I guess the only way to work through a problem like interrupting is to communicate with your partner and try to make them understand how it feels to have your words disregarded. Communication is really the only way to work through anything. It can be difficult to just sit and listen sometimes, but it is very important to make your partner feel like they can say anything without be judged, interrupted, or criticized.”
When the couple enters a turbulent area and topic, the man can experience his manly self-confidence when he skillfully manages to forge an agreement with her, without incurring negative affect spillover between the two of them. Their emotional closeness grows deeper every time he performs accepting her interpretation and conclusion. This show of acceptance must be sincere in this sense: whether or not you prefer it at the time in your own mind, you’re going to adhere to your implied acceptance. That’s all she needs for now.
The expression negative affect spillover refers to the presence of emotional conflict in their conjoint-self zone. Normally there should not be any conflict in the conjoined pair, and when the disturbance suddenly arises between them, it creates unpleasant emotional waves called negative affect. These deeply disturbing waves originate from the spiritual zone of hell. The ancients used to call them the furies. They invade the affective system, entering from the environment of the spiritual world of eternity. Once they are lodged in the brain of our spiritual body, they generate self-centered intentions and appearances in their conjoined pair. This is a spiritual double bind that must hurt both sides. The conjoined pair sustains anatomical injury from negative affect spillover.
Injuries in the conjoined pair do heal, but it takes time and more effort than before, when things were going smoothly between them. Now the man must work twice as hard to win back her sweetheart love. Repeated demonstrations and successful performances of tolerance and friendship, will win her heart back, guaranteed – as long as she still loves you.
It may be tempting for men, and for some strongly socialized women, to react to this explanation as unrealistic and imbalanced. Most people feel comfortable with equity principles in relationship and marriage. They don’t feel comfortable with the idea, as here illustrated, that the man should be doing “all the work” to make things right between them. This equity orientation is then seen as “justice” or “fairness”. But it isn’t. It leaves power to the man, where it always is. The woman is disenfranchised in equity relationships.
Equity interactions allow the man to remain focused on himself. This is what he wants. This is how far he is willing to go. This is what he considers fair. No one is always right. He has a right to his opinions. Etc. Equity negotiations with couples allow an endless string of expressions of disagreement, cumulating into resentment, which eats away at closeness.
When a man decides to adopt a woman-centered style of interaction, he is not giving up any of his freedom – but only some of his independence. He freely chooses when to be interdependent. This is a normal thing to do, as when we join a sports team and play a game. We are limited in what we can do alone and we learn to become dependent on team members. We become interdependent. We give up some of our independence – within the confines of the game and sports setting.
By being in a conjoint couplehood, the man voluntarily and by free choice, gives up some or all of his independence. In unity couplehood, achieving spiritual closeness depends on total exclusivity, so that no area of independence is retained. Hence it makes sense for the man to do “all the work” in “winning her back”. This is the language of chivalry. The conjoined pair grows and thrives in a celestial interactional order between the couple. This order is in the order of chivalry, sweetheart love, honeymoon phase, masculine self-confidence and wisdom, feminine freedom and fulfillment.
When the man is being woman-centered, he becomes an image of masculinity and bravery. When a man is being self-centered, he remains an image of weakness and cowardice. Society cannot exist when it is made up only of self-centered people. Mutual tolerance and regard is an other-centered approach to interaction style in community. In the conjoined pair, a mutual other centered focus produces conjugial bliss, optimism, self-mastery, enthusiasm, and vitality.
Section 5: Man-Centered Interactions
(represented by Dr. Laura's book)
The Man Centered Couple reflects dialog characteristics such as male dominance and female submissiveness. The woman avoids expressing overt disagreement. The man automatically takes precedence in household and family decisions and expects her to adjust to him.
She feels pressured to be submissive and to go along with whatever he decides or announces. He has the financial power by earning more than she does. Others in the family on both sides go along with the “This is a man’s world” attitude, and tacitly support the man-centered perspective.
But when women are dialoguing with women friends they share with each other their frustration about their man’s lack of consideration in many situations.
When a woman in a man-centered couple wants something from the man, she automatically tries to phrase it indirectly. She hardly ever makes a direct request. She almost never directly challenges the man’s authority. The man decides what he wants to talk about and what topics he wants her to stop talking about.
Conforming to the traditional status difference between men and women in society, a role of predominance and superiority of men over women is promoted (e.g., more power and independence for men than for women, double standard, lower pay, medical practice for women based on research on men, laws of inheritance that favor men, etc.).
The views of marriage counselors seen on TV and in best sellers, which is the media that most people are exposed to, often favor men over women, assigning more blame to women in relationship problems. Dr. Laura Schlesinger's best seller books and radio show also favor the man-centered orientation in her advice, regularly assigning blame to women when the men are complaining, or when the marriage is in trouble.
Dr. Laura is clearly seen as being easy on the men, not holding them responsible for the personal things that make the woman happy or unhappy. In her view women should take care of themselves (this means being a “big girl” and not complaining), and then they can take care of their husbands (this means being a “good wife”).
A man's man-centered view has a built in sense of male superiority over women, leading to a deep-seated lack of respect or trust for women in certain activities or areas of life.
Consider comments from G32 Week 2 and 3 Posts:
I thought part 1 of Dr. Laura’s book Woman Power was very interesting and really puts an emphasis on what women can do for men to make their relationship/marriage better. According to Dr. Laura, if women put the effort to show their men appreciation, acceptance, and love then their man in turn will show the same to their woman. I don’t agree with this emphasis. I don’t think that all the responsibility should be put solely on the woman in the relationship. It should take both partners to make their relationship work.
"A large portion of the chapter [Part 3 “Proper Respect: Girls Rule—Boys Drool,” in “Woman Power.”] is dedicated to illustrating the fact that establishing women’s rights and establishing equality should not involve putting down or insulting men. Schlessinger makes reference to men-hating and men bashing groups and media that paint men in a bad light, and describe men as the predator and aggressor. She believes that women are often just as aggressive and can be predators as well. Schlessinger says, “the only way this battle, the battle for equality of respect between the sexes, is going to be won is for the women to come out from under their defensive, hostile veils to find out the enemy is themselves.
I felt that this was a very strong statement, and I was with her until the chapter made this harsh turn. It is her belief that women have grabbed the reins and now what would be strong, brave men are scared and submissive men who are afraid to stand up to their wives.
However, women have been oppressed and still are oppressed in some ways. It is not fair to generalize women and claim that the only way for us to gain respect is to stop being defensive and hostile, as if we are all carrying around this burden and barrier between us and respect."
Here are some G33 Comments:
“This chapter also helped me to realize what men want to, but in a different way than usual. It helped me realize that some of the things I do can really irritate my boyfriend. I had no idea that it's that irritating. Now I am trying to be more self-aware, so that I can be better in the relationship. Dr. Laura gave me really good insight on how men are really different from women, and I agree with you 100 percent that you aren't the only one with flaws!”
“One thing I did not agree on with Dr. Laura was how women should respond to the husband’s sexual advances; or that a women should be seductive as she meets her husband at the door after he has had a long day. For me it seems a bit manipulative and seems to objectify women in that the women’s role is to please her husband, sex included. How does this benefit the woman?”
Six Principles of Unity Couplehood
Section 1: Principle 1: Conjunctive Interactions Build Spiritual Closeness
Human evolution provides for the organic development of higher spiritual powers. According to the unity model of marriage, the conjoined pair is the organic basis for gaining access to these higher spiritual powers and abilities. Some examples of such higher potential for men might be these:
capacity to feel greater happiness than before
** the ability to feel enthusiasm and to express passion
** the ability to be best friends with one’s sweetheart and soul mate
** the capacity to be a good person who is kind and useful to others
** the desire and ability to be gentlemanly with women and civil with men
** the ability to be a good father with appropriate standards
** the interests in being studious and inventive, and thus wise.
These are all possible with everyone but they are more likely to mature with men who are acquiring a conjoined pair in a unity couple life situation. By turning their self-centered focus to the woman-centered focus, men acquire the ability and motivation to fight against their self-destructive traits such as,
Š Anger or rage (which puts spiritual distance between him and her)
Š Chronic dissatisfaction (which makes him criticize her in various areas)
Š Depression and alcohol dependency (which injures his health and keeps her at a distance)
Š Jealousy without her giving cause, due to his insecurity in himself
Š Cruelty (seeing her in spiritual distress that he is causing, and not stopping)
Š Giving in to gross behaviors over time (such as hygiene and appearance)
Š Being prejudiced against women as less capable or deserving than men
Š Having recourse to deceiving her in order to do or get what he wants
Š Having an irresistible penchant for irresponsible or risky behaviors
Š Operating in a spiritual atmosphere of emotional weaknesses that make him defensive with her, which pushes her away and hurts the development of emotional closeness
Š Maintaining a self-centered attitude and focus, which makes him less aware of her reality and her meanings (or message).
These are all common with men until the independent self begins to be replaced by the interdependent conjoined pair.
People generally are not aware of how the male and female mind are reciprocals (rather than “opposites”), just as their male and female physical bodies are reciprocals (not “opposites”). This lessened awareness is because spiritual differences between men and women are not observable visually or by touch, as are physical differences. But because people know that men and women are reciprocals physically, it is easy to extend this perception of their difference to the male and female organic mind.
The Unity Model says that a romantic couple can achieve unity through a gradual growing together process, or a gradually becoming more and more spiritually interdependent. This is an organic process, like that of the physical body or that of a plant. In a romantic couple the man and the woman are committed to each other spiritually. And this starts at a certain distance, which later becomes closeness, and after that, greater degrees of closeness, also called degrees of spiritual intimacy.
The male and the female spiritual bodies, each an organic spiritual plant on its own, are born as reciprocals to each other, capable of organically growing into one mind called the conjoined pair. In that state, each remains unique, but is intermingled with the other at many levels of reciprocal conjunction. This intermingling in the functioning of their reciprocal spiritual organs create a rich and vibrant life in each.
The experience of each is unique and is spiritually transferred to the other, so that the abilities and happiness of each keep on multiplying in quality, goodness, and reward.
This is because all the male traits of the male mind are a perfect reciprocal fit, one by one, with all the female traits of the female mind.
This gradual organic spiritual interpenetration and joint growth are felt by each as conjoint feelings and thoughts that are of a higher quality of life than single feelings and thoughts that appear as merely a prelude to the real thing, like a rehearsal of a play and its actual presentation.
The single-self feelings and thoughts now appear to each of them as having been a mere prelude to the higher and deeper and more satisfying conjoint-self feelings and thoughts that they now each experience, as they continue to grow in closeness and intimacy and happiness.
Over cumulative conjunctive exchanges there is growth in spiritual intimacy and closeness. At some point of closeness the conjoint feelings become one central focus in daily life, so that the other person is constantly present in mind and longing for the other, when physically separated.
At that point of conjoint spiritual growth they have assumed an entirely new personality called the conjoined pair. This self is the matured and fructified female self of the woman, fully fulfilled as a woman, without conflicts or fears as a woman. The conjoined pair of the man is the matured and fructified male self of the man, fully fulfilled as a man, without conflicts or fears as a man.
Romantic couples that see themselves as permanently together, can practice this spiritual growing together by their daily interactions. Conjunctive interactions build up spiritual closeness, while disjunctive interactions eat away and gobble up spiritual closeness. Conjunctive interactions that build up spiritual closeness are possible only through the other-directed orientation and philosophy on the part of both the man and the woman.
Consider the various combinations of focus that occur by the man and the woman in daily interactions:
1. Woman-centered focus by the man and a man-centered focus by the woman: both are other-centered in the interaction
2. Man-centered focus by the man and man-centered focus by the woman: he is self-centered while she is other centered in the interaction
3. Woman-centered focus by the man and equity-centered focus by the woman: he is other-directed, while she is self-centered in the interaction
4. Woman-centered focus by the man and equity-centered focus by the woman: he is other-centered, while she is self-centered in the interaction
5. Equity-centered focus by the man and equity-centered focus by the woman: he is self-centered, and she is self-centered in the interaction
6. Man-centered focus by the man and woman-centered focus by the woman: he is self-centered, and she is self-centered in the interaction
In general, the interaction focus that is most conducive to spiritual health and growth is for both of them to be other-centered.
When one is other-directed while the other is self-directed, there is a pattern of alternating conjunctive and disjunctive interactions. This continues until both are other-directed.
When both are self-directed there is no closeness in the relationship. The external physical and verbal interactions do not match their internal spiritual states, that is, how they feel and think. This state of couplehood consists of physical intimacy and spiritual distance simultaneously. Hence no growing together is possible because this requires spiritual closeness along with the physical intimacy.
For instance, there are young couples that live together and are involved sexually, but without the promise or mutual intent of marriage. This kind of physical intimacy is accompanied by spiritual separation. They each maintain their fundamental independence outside the bounds of total commitment to each other, which is done only when they commit to marrying. This type of relationship amounts to practicing being in divided couplehood. This type of spiritual habit formation may later interfere with practicing spiritual interdependence as a different couple.
There may thus be added difficulty when later moving into unity couplehood with another partner. This is because practicing divided couplehood or independence as a sexual couple, is self-directed while practicing interdependence is other-directed. It is harder to switch from one to the other. It is therefore wiser to avoid moving in together without a clear non-conflictual marriage commitment on both sides. Especially is this true if one has had a series of sexual partners.
Look at a few of the Lists in the DeAngelis book. Men resist giving women what is on those Lists. Why? What is your explanation?
According to what was said above, a man resists giving his woman what she needs and wants because he maintains a self-centered focus in his interactions.
An other-centered woman in a romantic couplehood gets what she wants and needs from a woman-centered man. This does not happen all at once, but over years of positive spiritual growth with each other, so that they have a wonderful perception that their closeness and happiness as a united couple gets better and better continuously.
Section 2: Principle 2: Successful Couplehood Requires Man’s Reciprocation
Genuine or real couplehood, one that leads to unity, is established by the man through his conjunctive other-centered interactions. The man closes the reciprocal link that is already activated in the woman through her motivation to reach spiritual closeness with him. In this effort she strives to achieve conjunctive and bonding interactions with the man.
A woman may strive to achieve unity for many years while the man resists and continues to insist on remaining independent in the areas he chooses. He is acting as if what she wants is opposite to what he wants. In this spiritual state the men are not fully happy in the couplehood. They often complain about their woman, as seen in the books by Dr. Schlessinger, who keeps track of what the men complain about in marriage.
Dr. Schlessinger advises women to be man-centered, thus other directed, while she is content in leaving the men in a man-centered state. Dr. Laura says that men are “simpler” creatures than women, hence women have the power in the relationship. She then advises women on how they need to behave in order to keep their men satisfied and loyal.
It is difficult for a woman to achieve spiritual closeness and intimacy under such conditions. The woman can enjoy the man’s loyalty and sometimes even his friendship, and this is enough, according to Dr. Laura. But it may not be enough for either the man or the woman. Men deserve more than a self-centered life. And women deserve a man who is other directed, that is, focused on her, not himself or his outside involvements (career, friends, family, hobbies).
But at one point the man may become enlightened and begin to feel an inner motivation to achieve deeper closeness and intimacy levels with the woman. To achieve this he must first learn to overcome his natural inborn male desire for independence from woman. When he acquires the motivation for achieving spiritual unity, he will feel himself empowered with the power to reject his inborn desire for male-dominance over woman, which necessarily involves some prejudice against women women in traditional areas of gender contrast (intelligence, work, politics, finances, technology, driving, leadership, inventiveness).
When he finally acquires the inner motivation to achieve deeper closeness and intimacy levels with the woman, he begins to practice conjunctive interactions with her on a daily basis. It is then that the real couplehood phase of their relationship can begin.
This new spiritual and emotional interdependence leads the couple to progressively closer spiritual intimacy and mutual satisfaction, as specified in the following descriptions of the new abilities the man experiences when he commits to spiritual interdependence and unity:
Reduction in fights generally, due to his new
ability to remain calm when she is emotionally distraught and passionately
blames him for something. He is able to calm her down by giving her the feeling
that he cares about the issue and will do something about it to satisfy her
needs and wants (vs. before, when he would walk out on her, until he can “calm
himself”, and then there still was no resolution).
Reduction in serious fights, due to his new
ability and motivation to de-escalate the disagreements with her before they
become serious in her mind. Before, he would stubbornly stick to his position
when he thought she was wrong, and this strategy always led to the issue
becoming major in her mind and leading to the disturbance of their
interactions, their fun together, and their happiness.
Increase in mutual satisfaction with each other,
and a decrease in her mind of the collection of serious issues she has with him
that he used refused to take care of.
Increase in her ability to rely on him and an
increase in her confidence in the future due to the increase he now shows in
his leadership role in the couple’s home, in the areas of finances, plans,
connections, evaluations, and decisions.
Increase in his wisdom and understanding of
women due to the increase in his skills as a gentleman and a chivalrous knight
to her. As a result of this there is an increase of having fun together, and an
increase in mutual sexual attraction and passion (instead of decrease as is
Increase in her ability to feel close, secure,
and intimate with him, which leads to an increase in the organic activation of
her deeper femininity. This increase in her femininity leads to an increase in
his deeper masculinity, such as being always a gentleman, and being always
chivalrous with her.
7. Increase in his ability to feel intense guilt and shame when he hurts her or mistreats her, accompanied by the strong desire to make things better for her.
See if you and your friends can list some other traits that you can enjoy when there is growth in intimacy and closeness with the romantic couple. It leads to becoming true soul mates, being united as a conjoint-self, where each is a greater individual than is possible alone.
Here are some of the ways boyfriends need to work on in terms of self-improvement:
From G34 student discussion posts:
“This post was really
interesting to read. The more I read in this class,
the more I realize how many [gender based] stereotypes are actually backwards. I know through experience that guys talk a lot of shit about each other. Sometimes even the best of friends will go behind each others’ backs. It is quite disturbing.
Also, on the note of relationships, I absolutely hate when guys “kiss and
tell.” This is one thing that I do not stand for when I am in a
relationship. Anything that me and my boyfriend do that is intimate, should
stay between us. I do not care if we are fighting and my boyfriend wants to
vent to his friends, but talking about our intimate relationship with his
friends is definitely a NO.”
Section 3: Principle 3: Benefits of Successful Couplehood
Real couplehood that involves the conjoined pair is the organic unit of development and spiritual evolution in the human race.
Spiritual unity in romantic couplehood functions organically as the major source of inner happiness and fulfillment for human beings. It provides to each partner, a spiritual stability and an emotional environment that is healthy for unlimited personal development.
These benefits are not available in a couple’s environment where conflict is present in the form of disjunctive interactions, or where there is insufficient commitment for achieving unity, which is a commitment on the part of both that requires switching from disjunctive to conjunctive interactions. This switchover always encounters much resistance by the man who hangs on to a man-centered or an equity-centered approach to love and romantic relationships. In both of these approaches the man keeps his focus on himself (man-centered), and not on the other (woman-centered).
Personal development and attainment to higher inner potentials require a couplehood environment of cumulative conjunctive interactions over time. This produces spiritual closeness and intimacy in proportion to the commitment of each to maintain the other-directed focus by avoiding the self-centered focus.
And another discussion post that points to basic differences between men and women:
“Men and women view the world so very differently that it is
amazing they can find any type of common ground. From childhood, men and women
are raised to follow certain rules and beliefs specific to their gender. Even
across cultures, the conversation styles of women are often associated with
negative connotations. Whether women of a certain culture are more likely to
use direct communication or indirect, researches have found that either way
women are evaluated
negatively. Women’s style of speaking is also viewed as powerless whereas
the conversation style of men is always powerful. It is still evident
today that we live a world where men dominate and women are always one step
behind. I think it is to everyone’s advantage to learn about the
differences between men and women so that we can work towards creating a
more equal society. I think that it is important that people's attitudes
toward men and women change in order for things to truly improve. Until
reading these books, I’ve never really thought about why women do and say
the things they do and I like having some kind of explanation for them.”
Here is a post that points to a relationship area in which it is important for a man to develop sensitivity:
“I don’t think that my boyfriend and I has reached this level
yet because it doesn’t feel like he feels comfortable telling me everything
that’s bothering him but he gets
angry if I want to hold back anything. I really don’t understand why he does that because if I have to tell him things than why can’t it work both ways where he tells me what’s bothering him also. I feel that when I try to be emotionally close with my boyfriend and tell him how I feel when he hurts my feelings he thinks that I’m being too overly sensitive or that I’m a crybaby, which makes me more frustrated. He doesn’t understand why I feel this way and when I try to explain it to him, he takes it as me just being way too emotional and this even hurts me more this is why I don’t really want to tell him how I feel about things.”
Section 4: Principle 4: How Can Man Remove Disjunctive Interactions
Conjunction in real couplehood begins when the man starts to reject all his disjunctive interactions as no longer permissible in his own thinking. No exceptions are tolerated or justified by the man in his own thinking. If he sees himself engaging in a disjunctive interaction with the woman he loves, he immediately wants to stop it, and shows her in an adequate way that he regrets it. This is conjunctive on the part of the man and makes the woman feel closer to him.
To be successful in removing disjunctive interactions in his behavior and thinking, the man needs to notice them, needs to regret them in himself, and needs to stop doing them. Conjunctive interactions increase to the extent that disjunctive interactions decrease.
This practice of noticing, regretting, and stopping disjunctive interactions, needs to become for the man a daily habit for years before the entire basis of the relationship switches from conflictual (i.e., alternating good and bad interactions), to peaceful (no bad interactions).
According to Principle 1 (above), disjunctive interactions in a unity couple are attributed to the man, and not to the woman. This is because a man fears and resists the idea of spiritual interdependence with the woman he loves, until he begins to discover its benefits. The more he experiences conjunctive interactions and conjoint spiritual states with the woman he loves, the more he feels in himself the benefits of this spiritual unity, and the less he is afraid of it as something that will limit his manhood or happiness.
Often men are neglectful of what their sweetheart wants, ignoring repeatedly appeals she makes to him to change. Here is one example from a G34 student discussion post: “I used to get upset with my boyfriend when he would forget stuff and he did not understand why I was so upset. Now he better understands that certain things need to NOT be forgotten, and he better understand why it means so much to me.” Countless disjunctive interactions are precipitated in a couple when the man is insufficiently involved in caring about what the woman wants. He refuses to care about what he does not understand about her, and her extreme involvement in him in sometimes forgetting, is one of those things he does not understand, hence doesn’t mind ignoring. But that’s only because he is not sufficiently involved in caring for what she wants.
Does a man have the right in the relationship to refuse to care about some things she wants him very much to care about?
If the man is officially “in love” with her, or even if he just officially claims to love her, then he must be committed to caring for what she wants – or else he is misusing that woman and is internally separated or independent from her. In this case of the boyfriend forgetting what she very much wants him to remember, he is demonstrating his insincerity by making alse claims in order to have an influence over her.
But when the man is sincere, he will feel regret that he has forgotten the detail, and will strive to avoid the same thing happening in the future. He needs to develop a plan or strategy for not forgetting (e.g., a discrete diary of their topics). Seeing that he is actually making a sincere effort, she can forgive him, and try again. But if he is not sincerely or seriously trying, just making a show of it, she feels even more wronged and indignant.
Here is another G34 student post:
“I found this chapter
to be very relatable. Many of the example scenarios
remind me of the incidents that I’ve had with my boyfriend. An incident
that my boyfriend and I had was when we talked about the last time we saw a
movie. He would say we saw it a couple weeks ago, but I would be able to
tell him the date we went and details. Maybe women just pay attention more
to the small little details, and men don’t? It is just a natural thing that
women are able to remember time, dates, and events. We do see time
differently than men. I believe that men don’t really mind about time as
much as a woman just because they don’t feel it is as important. I could
remember the last time I went to certain events, I plan things ahead of
time, and I am usually always on time or early. It comes naturally to keep
up with dates and have updates from our partners. Without these updates, I
feel disconnected and find myself starting to worry. I know men see time
much differently then women, but they need to learn that we aren’t trying
to be controlling, we are just wired to keep up with time.”
How do you answer this woman’s’
question, “women just pay
attention more to the small little details, and men don’t? It is just a natural
thing that women are able to remember time, dates, and events. “?
Perhaps there is a psychological reason why women are better at
remembering dates than men: women care more than men in maintaining schedules
as a social bonding activity with family and friends. To women this attitude is obvious: “It comes naturally to keep up with
dates and have updates from our partners. Without these updates, I
feel disconnected and find myself starting to worry.”
However it is not “natural” in the sense of automatic because women have to work hard at getting the details straight in or der to avoid embarrassing or irritating others through forgetting. Men use the same strategy in areas that are very important them not to mix things up, as things having to do with work. But in their home life they do not consider the area of setting dates with others and planning around them, to be as women value them. But all this does not matter so much as the main thing: which is that he does not care enough about her to learn the skill and habit of planning his schedule jointly with her.
A man may not be fully committed to a romantic relationship if he does not have the striving or motivation to develop emotional and spiritual closeness with the woman. To develop inner closeness, the man cannot repeatedly ignore what she wants, as pointed out by a student discussion post:
“This sounds like a really interesting chapter because it
something that I believe men “know,” but fail to “act” on. Women and men
view sex very differently and like Dr. DeAngelis said, it is important for
women to have emotional intimacy with their partners in order to truly
enjoy physical intimacy. I think it is because women value intimacy and
closeness so highly that it is nearly impossible for them to have a
physical relationship with feeling safe and secure emotionally. I think
all of the five secrets Dr. DeAngelis talk about are great pointers for
men in relationships and also women. It is not only important that men
know how to please their women, but women need to know what to ask for as
Section 5: Principle 5: Practicing Healthy Conjunctive Simulation by the Man
Because the man’s removal of disjunctive interactions from himself is gradual over time, he needs to adopt the practice of conjunctive simulation from the moment he enters the state of real couplehood (Principle 2) until the time he no longer needs to simulate conjunction because he actually feels it.
Disjunctive simulation by a man is hypocritical, and involves his motive to control her against her will, or to betray her. Conjunctive simulation by a man is sincere, and involves his motive to protect her from being exposed to his inner disagreement with her, annoyance at her, or anger. This simulation is a good thing that serves their conjunction.
In his daily interactions with the woman with whom he wants to achieve spiritual unity, the man will experience negative emotions, moments of anger or rage, moments of disagreement, moments of unflattering thoughts about her, and so on. The principle of conjunctive simulation requires that the man hide his opposition and hostility. He does not want to let her see this. When he hides it from her because he wants to conjoin with her, he is doing something good for the progression of their spiritual intimacy.
In such a situations, the man discovers that he is super-glad to have hidden the negative feelings and thoughts because they quickly dissipate from his mind, and he thus avoids causing damage to their spiritual closeness, which would have occurred had he expressed any of what he was thinking and feeling about her or her idea.
Practicing good-hearted simulation allows the man to discover that he actually prefers the aftereffects of conjunctive interactions. Until then he imagines that he would not prefer conjunctive interactions because he has to suppress his own spontaneous feelings and socialized attitudes, and this feels unsatisfactory to him.
But this resistance is mostly removed after his discovery, and is later felt only in vestigial form as a kind of weak memory experience that the man can easily ignore.
The Principle of Simulation for Men is to be contrasted with that of women. The Equity-Centered perspective would propose that both men and women should engage in this type of simulation. For instance, it might be thought that a woman should simulate giving up insisting on something involving the man’s behavior. In other words, she should act like she is giving up her idea so that they could avoid a big fight about it. But this equity strategy regarding simulation would not work out for the couple in the long run. It would actually pile bad and unresolved things between them until they are talking to each other from a spiritual distance. Intimacy and closeness is lost.
The woman-centered strategy for the man is to give in first!
If the man acts out this strategy, the fight is over and the couple remains together as an intimate close unit. Both are happy and fulfilled. Their mind and feelings can grow together organically. They are in love with each other more than ever.
The equity-centered approach does not give this result.
The man-centered man’s approach to not give in and to cause a big fight, does not give this result.
A woman in conjunctive relationship has a female spiritual role in the couplehood, and the man has a male spiritual role. This reciprocity binds them into one functioning unit, the conjunctive self. The female spiritual role is to moderate the male mind, to assist it in functioning within the limits of affective responsibility for each other. When the man responds positively and allows this female influence on his mind, he can progress more and more towards his true masculinity. But when the man himself leads himself in his male perspective he tends to become self-centered and man-centered in the relationship. This makes it more difficult for them to continue growing in spiritual closeness and intimacy.
When the man performs conjunctive simulation in all situations with the woman, he becomes woman-centered. He is then actively using his male mind to conjoin himself to the woman’s mind. This is when she reaches inner freedom to unfold her deeper femininity and inborn potential as a woman. Remember that human beings are born with endless layers upon layers of spiritual potentials. Organic growth of the mind is the endless unfolding of these spiritual layers. Each unfolding opens up a new engaging experience, a new avenue of joy and understanding of self, the partner, the relationship, the future, and the universe.
Section 6: Principle 6: The Woman’s Role and Function
Once women commit to a romantic relationship as permanent they experience a powerful inner organic spiritual impulse to conjoin with the man and to form a relationship of reciprocal unity with him that never ends and will last forever. (But there are variations about this process due to philosophical and religious beliefs about the afterlife.)
The woman’s hopes are encouraged by the early stages of the relationship, which is sometimes called the “honeymoon phase” because the spiritual state of conjunction feels so sweet and conjoining. After this wonderful innocent phase, which may last days, or weeks, but seldom more, the interpersonal peace is shattered with the couple’s first disjunctive exchanges, disagreements, fights, angry put downs and insults. After that first serious “fight” most couples experience an alternating sequence of disturbing disjunctive interactions followed by the seemingly conjunctive “making up phase”. But this is not real conjunction as shown by the fact that some time later, maybe just hours later, another disagreeable exchange comes along.
According to the dynamics of the unity model the woman’s best approach in managing this very common but difficult situation is to be very firm in her conjunctive stance at all times.
Society in general, including traditional marriage counselors, will attempt to put the blame on the woman’s “feistiness” or “complaining”. This is evident if you observe marriage counselors and therapists on TV and radio. As a result of man-centered training and socialization practices, they have a tendency to blame women for failures and problems in marriage and relationships. This is intimidating and cruel to women. In a man’s world the man gets away with his man-centered focus and attitude. This is bad for real couplehood because it prevents the man from receiving the right kind of professional and societal feedback on his disjunctive interactions with the woman. There is therefore a societal silent man-centered conspiracy against women, a reality that is denied by professional counselors.
This is why it is important for women to overlook all this social pressure against the practice of women being firm all the time in their demands for the man to stop disjunctive interactions with her. This means that she can display a positive attitude and peaceful comportment when the man is conjunctive, and a negative attitude and combative comportment when the man is disjunctive. Doing this all the time will be difficult because so much spiritual pressure is exercised on women to believe that they are being bad for always resisting the man’s disjunctiveness. Dr. Schlessinger makes this idea the center pin of her man-centered approach. She tries to make women feel guilty when they are being demanding and firm with their husbands.
One type of pressure on women is expressed by her affirmation that “Men will be men” or “You married him, didn’t you?” or “Don’t try to change him. If you love him, accept him as he is”. If a woman did according to this attitude she would condemn real couplehood to extinction. Women can encourage and support each other in their battle for managing their men to adopt the practice of conjunctive simulation for being good (Principle 5).
In order to better understand the process of becoming a couple, women can focus on their conversational interactions with the men. What a man says reflects what he thinks and how he feels about something. Through role-play enactments in class we will study how men and women talk to each other and will practice identifying verbal interactions as disjunctive or conjunctive. We will also examine social manifestations of couple’s conversations on TV and will practice identifying the expression of anti-unity values in pop culture music and entertainment.
When the husband puts on the role of conjugial partner to his eternal sweetheart, he immediately experiences new emotions and new understandings or realizations about the process of achieving one mindedness. He feels new inner joy and excitement that can only be compared to his emotions during the early heady days of the honeymoon phase. He was then, as the saying goes, falling head over heels for his sweetheart, when she came into his view, when she spoke and smiled at him, when she embraced him with intensity, or when holding hands at the restaurant table. The bride and novice wife was then in her inner joy and outer delight. She adored her gorgeous beau who swore to take care of her all his life and reject intimacy with all other women. She felt wholesome and full of hopeful thoughts about the future.
This idyllic honeymoon state did not last long, ending in a fight. Now the husband can recapture that state between them. He can do this by putting on the role of the husband in a conjoined pair. That is all he needs to do. Putting on this role means to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a husband in a conjoined pair. Two steps are involved in this process: confessing or affirming its essential principles, and performing them in his interactions with his wife.
Two of the essential principles of marriage and relationship that the conjoined husband accepts and affirms are as follows:
Their unity couple relationship is permanent or eternal, not ending in
death, but continuing in the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity,
where they meet again and continue where they left off.
interaction with his wife is either self-centered (“man-centered”) or
Examples of self-centered interactions (man-centered) for the husband include:
a) disagreeing with something she says
b) forgetting something she expects of him
c) sharing intimate topics with another woman
d) being unkempt, unshaved, unwashed when together with her
e) letting her lift or carry things instead of taking over
f) interrupting her when she speaks to him
g) getting angry, walking out, refusing to talk, frowning aggressively (and worse)
h) getting impatient with her, putting pressure on her to act
i) blaming her, complaining about her, insulting her
j) gossiping about her with others
Examples of other-centered interactions (wife-centered) for the husband include:
a) agreeing with something she says
b) remembering and doing the things she expects of him
c) never breaking the rule of exclusivity with her, never sharing with other women
d) maintains proper hygiene, appearance, and fashion style to match hers in all situations
e) opens doors for her, carries her bags, holds her arm when crossing street
f) pampers her, rubs her shoulder and feet, calms her down in the way she needs it
g) smiles at her, always presents a pleasant and adoring face for her to look at
h) learns to speak with a soft voice, tries to be helpful, never contradicts or opposes
i) learns how to be best friends with a woman, how to talk, how to shop, how to think
j) takes care of what she worries about regarding children, housework, financials
When the husband begins to understand these two essential principles leading to permanent, evolutionary, and anatomical one mindedness, he will be highly motivated to put them into practice in his own life and to perform them on a daily and hourly basis. This is a gradual growth process with much back sliding, when he is not true to his new one minded wife-centered role, but reverts to his old destructive self-centered role. With each such backsliding negative episode he hurts his wife, injures her self-confidence as his sweetheart, breaks their friendship, and trashes her as basically worthless in his mind. How awful!!
But the human spirit is indomitable. He quickly recovers. He begins to pamper her and be nice to her, and slowly she begins to warm her heart towards him, once more. He is very lucky and fortunate. Now he needs to make sure it never happens again. He needs to work on his self-centeredness. He needs to condemn it as bad because it hurts their mutuality and friendship bond. Now they are together again, one minded, as long as he keeps practicing the two essential principles of one mindedness in marriage and relationship. By being wife-centered the husband feels new emotions of masculinity and manliness that he does not feel when being self-centered.
The Conjoined Pair: Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs
Section 1: Boys an Girls Prepared Differently
To be self-centered is our firstborn nature. Our mind’s first stage of development or maturation requires an egocentric or self-centered perspective. The female mind at an early stage of maturation seeks out affiliation, bonding, and other-centered focus in social interactions. In contrast, the male mind at an early age seeks out competitive, individualistic, and self-centered focus in social interactions.
Before the age of dating boys acquire socialized and group attitudes towards girls that are stereotyped, disrespectful, and hostile towards them. Boys frequently exhibit this cruelty behavior against the female mind and bully girls, enjoy teasing and making them scared, sometimes hurting girls, or obstructing their passage, or taking something away.
This socialized cruelty against the female mind, is then buried and hidden by a boy who is ready to date girls. He now feels a strong and pleasant physical attraction to women, and he is quite ready to keep his women stereotypes and disrespectful thoughts buried, or reserved for ‘guy talk’ only. He has apparently made peace with women.
So he thinks.
This is a fantasy of himself. In actuality he has retained the self-centered focus in all his interactions with women so far. When he was talking ‘nicely’ to his date, and was taking her out for an expensive (relatively) dinner, he had only himself in view, his goal of winning her over so that he can enjoy her physical charm, to which he was strongly attracted. In all his interactions with her he has remained self-centered.
He made himself appear on the outside in a socially attractive role-play performance. His goal for doing this was to obtain what he wanted. And this is all very normal or typical. It indicates what life is like in the self-centered perspective for an individual man.
The female mind is quite ready for interactions that are centered on the man. She had been practicing social bonding with her girl friends, and this requires an other-centered focus, or else it doesn’t work out. Some women are not willing to adjust to this co-dependent interaction style. They reach adulthood managing their lives in a self-centered and independent interaction style with others, men and women.
But for other women there is a continued learning to adjust in other-centered interactions with her partner, and thereby to form friendship bonds in which they are co-dependent. For this to happen the two partners must each do things for the sake of the other, not for themselves. This reciprocity of mutual co-dependence gives them the skills that prepare them for forming a unity couplehood through the conjoined pair.
So when a woman meets a man in a dating situation there starts a process of closeness that can go to four degrees of depth (see Chart of Closeness and Exclusivity). In contrast, the man she is dating is typically still in a self-centered, man-centered perspective, style with women. Here is then where the battle of the sexes begin.
To understand how couplehood works, both men and women need to reflect on their own history of past interactions with the other gender, in relation specifically to focus on self or other.
Section 2: The Key that Unlocks Conjunction in Pairs
You can recognize a self-centered focus when you ask: Why did I do that? For whose sake, mine or the other’s? What was my bottom line motive or intention – was that for self or for other?
You can recognize an other-centered focus when the bottom line is the other person. For instance, the other-centered man may say this to himself: This is not something I would choose or want to do, but I will do what pleases her. That will be my goal and my satisfaction. If she is pleased, I am more satisfied than if I am pleased and she is not.
This is the key that unlocks love and conjunction in romantic pairs. It is the departure point for man in a romantic relationship. It marks the switchover for the man from self-centered to other-centered interaction style in couplehood.
But this point marks only the beginning of the couplehood journey.
Man’s switchover begins the process because it is in response to what the woman has been waiting for and had been offering him, almost since the beginning. Now the process of conjunction begins. It involves interactional conflict and struggle. The woman has to learn the man’s ideas and attitudes, knowledge and beliefs, and sense of humor. She does that relatively quickly. The man struggles mightily within himself to decrease his inherent opposition to interdependence. He sees this as a loss of individual liberty and freedom. He resents the woman wanting to take it away from him.
Now the old aversion for the female mind comes back and hits him in the face. He thought that he had buried it when he started dating and feeling attracted to women. But now he feels this woman encroaching on his personhood as a male individual. She wants him to be different than he wants to be, and feels himself comfortable being. He wants to be selfish, she wants him to be conjoint and interdependent.
He hates interdependence. It is aversive to it. It feels like a prison to him, or a takeover of his space and time and affections, of what he likes, and of what is meaningful to him. He automatically defends himself, fights back, hurts her, hurts their closeness, prevents their spiritual intimacy and exclusivity. She feels his disagreements, refusals, and attacks with emotional pain, stress, worry, indignation, and a distressing sense of helplessness.
The relationship can go on that way for a long time, that is, it goes nowhere within, where it really counts.
Emotional closeness and spiritual closeness are out of their reach.
And then, one miraculous day, he awakens from his dark negativity, and new light from his spiritual heaven enters his mind. He suddenly realizes with great emotional distress that he had been spiritually torturing his loved one for all this time. He had been fighting for himself against her. This neutralized her influence on him, but at the cost of their emotional intimacy, spiritual exclusivity, and deep closeness.
She right away begins to see the change in him. He stops speaking at her with an angry voice and stern face. He smiles when he sees her. He to uches her when he can. He graciously accepts her choices for restaurants by finding out what she really prefers, instead of imposing his choice on her. He begins doing this with other things, and she begins to relax and once again be hopeful.
Section 3: Critical Features of Successful Couplehood
Not every couple is inclined to accept total interdependence as their ultimate goal. Sometimes a woman wants to maintain her “outside competing” interests and involvements like children, a career, hobbies, old friends, social connections, political or religious affiliations. Under such circumstances it is more challenging for both of them to remain other-centered, but it is still possible.
A critical feature of successful couplehood is maintaining contact and involvement in each other’s schedule.
For instance, if she is late leaving the house for an appointment, he is there to help her get ready. He avoids slowing her down by bringing up his own topics at that time.
Another critical feature is to support each other’s role performance.
For instance, if he wasn’t ready emotionally to effectively manage his boss earlier that day, and comes home unexpectedly early announcing to her that they are having guests for dinner, she tries to lay aside her indignation that he failed to call and warn her sooner. She perceives his anxiety and his need, and she graciously agrees to it, without making him feel bad about it.
Later, when it’s all over, she will want to come back to this and reexamine it with him. Why did he not call her? This was the failure in his other-centeredness. He was so preoccupied with himself, his problem and situation, that he ignored and forgot to acknowledge and address her problem and her situation. Now he needs to acknowledge this and acquire a sense of remorse for hurting her feelings and making things harder on her.
Another critical feature of successful couplehood is for the partners to respect each other, without exceptions.
For instance, the woman should not criticize or belittle the man for this or for that, but should always address him in a friendly and respectful tone. When she is angry and hurt by him she can be by herself until she feels in control and can talk with him softly, so that he does not get defensive and resistive.
Similarly for the man. The man must never use disrespectful language or swearing against a woman. When he feels himself get angry or defensive and resistive, he must install attentional checks of other-centeredness. He must remind himself that he has to learn to like close contact with the female mind.
He must reject the bully complex in himself as something beneath his present self. Sure he can shut her up and make her scared of him. He has the power. But he must not use it against her! He must not be self-centered because this will lead him to selfishness, which is crossing over to his spiritual hell. So he must call on his inner male bravery to compel himself to be flexible, cooperative, and receptive of her wishes and ideas. He forces himself to remain calm, polite, always a gentleman with her. This will greatly reinforce and deepen their emotional closeness, which intensifies their sexual attractiveness to each other.
Here are a few examples of what the man can be focusing on if he wants her to appreciate him as a man:
From a G34 discussion post on the DeAngelis book:
“Men normally see this attention to time as picky and overly attentive but most the time women can not help it. The chapter states women keep track of time not to be controlling but to be helpful. Another interesting marker is that women enjoy counting special occasions. They like making marks of the special joys in their lives or with their partners. This is why birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are so important to women. The last part of the chapter goes in to why hellos and good byes are so important to women. Women honor daily traditions and hold them sacred as a daily routine. Men find this to be useless and unnecessary, women think of them as starting as ending their days with the man they love. This is not about controlling or needing a lot of attention it is about the promise of another day together the beginning of a new one and the many more to come.”
Section 4: The Conjoined Pair is the Golden Goose
There are incalculable benefits that accrue to the woman-centered man in couplehood. He obtains the conjoined pair, which is his, as much as it is hers. The conjoined pair is like the goose that can lay an endless number of golden eggs. The “golden eggs” represent a source of other-centered traits and abilities that enrich the life of the couple and the community at large.
The “goose” represents the conjoined pair. In other words, the conjoined pair is the endless source of other-centered traits and abilities for the man and for the woman. They both own the conjoined pair as if their own. It makes them into a ‘super-couple’.
The healthy growth of the conjoined pair requires that each maintain the other-centered focus all the time. An effective way of achieving this organic unity state, i.e., of obtaining those golden eggs, is for each partner to maintain the spiritual rule for themselves, that what the other wants or needs is their goal in the interaction.
It is not a complicated matter for almost anyone to understand. The opposition forces in the mind seem to organize against this rule, and we feel extreme aversion for hearing it, and especially when contemplating of doing it. At first, we rather kill the goose that gives us inestimable benefits.
They each must say to themselves: What he (she) wants or needs is my goal in this interaction.
When they talk, a conflict arises, especially about certain subjects. The verbal dialog shows the conflict or opposition, and the nonverbal behavior shows it. They are now separate, no longer close emotionally. Every verbal and nonverbal fight causes emotional separation.
It is clear that interactions during a couple’s disagreement or fight no longer follow the conjoint rule of the golden egg: What s(he) wants is what I want. This kills the goose.
Unity couples don’t have fights or disagreement that are hostile and separative. But they do have dynamic situations that would turn into a fight were it not for each remembering the golden egg rule. This saves the interaction from turning into a self-centered or self-serving exchange, as when they allow the issue to turn into a conflict.
Preventative strategies for avoiding separative disagreements must be installed, put in place, invoked at the start, like a flame is quickly blown out before it breaks out into a fire. The “blowing” that quickly puts out the fire represents the rule of the conjoined pair: What he (she) wants or needs is my goal in this interaction.
Saying this to oneself, and respecting it, prevents the disagreement to take life. Disagreement is to be of divided mind. To the conjoined pair this means dying. Defending one’s point of view is a fake egg that only has golden glitter on the outside. We can gain nothing from it but a heartache. The conjoined pair does not tolerate being put second. It must always be put first, or else it breaks, like a broken heart, and then much interactional repair work is needed to make it function healthy again.
No fight is ever worth it for a unity couple because separation of minds is poisonous to the conjoined pair.
Section 5: Who Should Give in to Whom?
For a man an effective preventative strategy that helps blow out the flame and avoids further emotional conflict, is a simple one: give in.
This strategy will work most of the time. She will be happy and appreciative that she can avoid the stress of a fight. He will be happy that he doesn’t have time to spend in the spiritual ‘dog house’ – which is how he feels after an actual conflict with her. To give in is so easy compared to seeing her get upset, stressed, unhappy, dejected, out of step, and combative – all because he won’t give in.
Most men will find this preventative strategy ludicrous and not worthy of their interactional practice with women. But it’s totally different when a man has a spiritual insight and realizes that the purpose of marriage is to create the conjoined pair that lives forever in the spiritual world of eternity.
With motivation and dedicated practice, a man can acquire the ability to maintain the conjoint goal in every interaction. This goal is to foster the organic growth of the eternal conjoined pair.
With such a motivation and focus a man can learn to consistently follow the conjoint rule: What she wants or needs is my goal in this interaction.
It should be pointed out that it is often challenging to decide what the other wants or needs.
To take an illustration, what if she is spending excessively, even after they discussed the financial problems they are going through. What she needs is not more money! What she really wants is to be free of this compulsion that puts the couple in trouble.
So he needs to see this situation from his loving attitude, intelligence, and wisdom. He needs to find a way that she can go along with, and which would help put a stop to her excessive spending.
Success cannot occur if he criticizes her, yells at her, threatens her, makes her feel bad, acts like a stern father or tax collector, or forcefully takes away all her credit cards. This solution will not be worth it because it dissolves the unity relationship. The conjoined pair can survive only in an interactional climate of freedom, totally absent from coercion by persuasion, fear, or threat.
Success can occur if he talks gently to her about the financial problem, and shares with her what he is going through emotionally in this situation, trying to prevent financial disaster. He needs to be able to handle her negative reactions that are defensive and seemingly illogical. If he loves her, and if he keeps his focus on what she wants and needs, he will lead her gently and with patience, and even with touch and kisses. And he needs to be prepared to do this more than once, as often as she needs to regain her confidence and composure in the couplehood.
To take another illustration, it’s common for women to experience emotional distress due to the driving style of their boyfriends or husbands. She overtly shows her emotional distress by crying out, holding on to the door, tightening her body under fear, and asking him to drive more carefully. Although he is committed to being woman-centered in general outlook, in his interactions while driving he reverts to an equity model, or even a dictatorial man-centered interaction style.
She is faced with his silence as a sign of his disapproval of her as a passenger. Occasionally he accuses her of being a neurotic passenger. He insists he is an excellent driver, safe and reasonable, and that she should not try to change the way he drives. He wants her to get used to it by way of accommodating to him, and he considers this to be a reasonable request that he thinks she should follow.
Who should give in to whom?
She is not only focusing on her stress and fear, when she brings this subject up. She is also focusing on his driving errors and risks. She feels that she has to be co-driver because he sometimes overlooks a car in the blind space. He has failed to install the attentional check of looking over his shoulder, not just relying on the mirrors. She argued that this is what a good driver does, and he does not.
She also focused on the unacceptable risks he takes when he switches lanes fast, goes over the speed limit by more than 15 mph, or engages an intersection on yellow.
He often denied that he does these things, and when he admitted them, he promised to fix them, but actually promptly forgot about it, until the next time she had to bring up one of these errors or risks.
It is clear in this situation that she is right and he is wrong. She keeps raising the subject because she keeps seeing him exposed to this danger. Should she stop in order to avoid a disagreement?
No, she cannot stop. She cannot allow him to censure the subject b e tween them. If he gets angry and verbally abusive, she should stop for the moment. But she should then bring it up again, later. She should always inform him of how emotionally upset she gets while he drives in a self-centered manner. She should appeal to his prior declarations of caring for her wants or needs. Did he mean it, or not.
What does he do when he hears her put it this way? Especially at a time when he is being friendly and amorous towards her. This is a good time to bring it up again. In such a situation he acts like he is going to be receptive and she can share with him how emotionally stressed she feels as long as he doesn’t change.
By not giving up in this kind of situation between them, she helps him change for the better, in a direction that benefits him, her, and society at large.
It is similar with other self-improvement interactions that she brings up to his attention. This includes such wants and needs as follows:
** She wants him to call home when he gets to the office, and when he leaves the office. She says that his absence is easier to bear when he stays connected in this way.
** She wants him to stop seeing certain high school and college friends with whom he plays weekly poker. He himself admitted that they “talk junk”, are disrespectful to women, eat junky tidbits with salt and sugar that he is not supposed to have, drink a lot of beer, sometimes watch porn. He said he goes home when they start watching videos, and that he is not drinking like they are.
Should she let him continue meeting with his friends in order to avoid a fight with each other?
As long as she believes that he is being harmed physically or spiritually by continuing, she should keep bringing it up. At some point, if he loves her, and respects her views, he is going to listen to her and quit those unhealthy get-togethers.
Eventually the man will fully understand that his happiness and eternal future lie with her and the conjoined pair. This is what must be placed to the highest rank in his mind. All else can be given up because they are merely outward attractions and satisfactions. The only one that is inner and permanent, is the conjoined pair he shares with her. This is what makes him into a true male man, more and more, to endless eternity.
For a husband to elevate his relationship with his wife to the highest rank, does not conflict with an active life in business, the professions, and politics. He accomplishes these tasks in either of two ways. One is to elevate these tasks in importance above his relationship with his wife. The other is to keep them below in importance to his relationship with her. Men have accomplished honorable and admirable deeds both ways. As one notable example, we discussed Ronald Reagan, whose achievements in public life never required that he displace his relationship with Nancy as coming first.
Section 6: Disjunctive Interactions: It’s Better to Give In Than to Win
Disjunctive interactions separate partners and reduce their emotional closeness and spiritual intimacy. Every interaction they are having with each other is either conjunctive or disjunctive, and either separates them or brings them closer. Interactions are the means by which a couple can journey closer to or farther from each other.
With a unity couple both partners are in other-centered in their interactions. This means that they strongly committed and motivated to eliminate all disjunctive interactions between them. This attitude and philosophy creates the spiritual climate for the birth and growth of their conjoined pair, with which they are going to live in their spiritual heaven forever. Nevertheless, from time to time there are going to arise disjunctive interactions. These are precipitated and occasioned by various events in the social and physical environment in which the couple lives while on earth.
The male mind and female mind handle disjunctive interactions differently, as they do all things, since if they are going to be total reciprocals to fit a perfect unity, they are going to handle the same thing differently. No equity can organically apply here. In a functioning unity each component is differently structured, and has to perform its own organic function to fit into the integration of the whole.
When the other-centered husband suddenly finds himself in a disjunctive interaction with his other-centered wife, it is far better for him to give in than to win.
It is noble, chivalrous, and male for the man to give in to his sweetheart in a disagreement or fight. To prolong the fight is self-centered and self-serving, adding seconds, minutes, and hours to her misery. For him to walk away from the fight is cowardly. To use his cleverness and power to hurt her in the fight is subversive and cruel. So what else can he do? He can just give up the fight, give in to what she wants. This instantly ends her misery, and he can begin the repair activities to get himself back into her good graces and receptiveness, so they can have their balance and happiness back.
Disjunctive interactions are initiated by the act of switching from other-centered focus to a self-centered focus. This switch may be occasioned by a difference in opinion that may come to light in an exchange between them. Or it may be occasioned by a statement taken as a criticism and becoming defensive, suspicious, or angry. Sometimes being impatient or critical may occasion a disjunctive intervention (e.g., “You’re being too slow with this. You’re being such a pain!”). Sometimes giving in to a desire for dominance triggers a self-centered intervention for exercising control over the partner.
It sometimes takes years to suppress and inactivate inner negative affections that stem from inheritance and from years of practice. These will occasion disjunctive interactions from time to time in many unity couples. It is critical that these negative interactions be reversed and their affective source inactivated, or else they will stay in the conjoined pair as an organically harmful corrosive agent. By giving in, the man is therefore being protective, noble, and loving. By holding his stand, the man is being cowardly and disloyal, threatening the health of their conjoined pair.
Conjugal interactions can be ‘heated’ without becoming disjunctive and separative. Husband and wife can have different opinions about the same thing, but this in itself is not disjunctive. To state and elaborate one’s opinion is not by itself to disagree even if the opinions differ. To ask questions about the other’s opinion and to seek clarification, is not disjunctive. But to express disagreement, impatience, intolerance, disapproval, or criticism, is profoundly disjunctive.
Disagreement or criticism of the other begins when you disapprove of the other’s opinion or explanation.
Sometimes a wife is considering doing something that he considers dangerous or harmful, or something that he knows she is going to regret later. He wants to protect her from having to face that trouble. He needs to find a strategy for dissuading her from going ahead with what she is planning. That strategy should be positive, not negative. Often this involves bringing up the subject when she is an agreeable and receptive mood towards him. He has to speak softly, and he has to emphasize his own fears and concerns about the negative consequences to her of her contemplated action.
Preparing for the Afterlife in the Spiritual World of Eternity
Section 1: Monism and Dualism in Science
Scientific materialism, which is dominant in psychology today, rejects scientific dualism out of hand, in the sense of not wanting to examine it in order to evaluate it. Scientific monism is the conceptual framework of scientific materialism. “Monism” means single or one, which asserts that there is only the physical world making up reality. Hence, in psychology today, which restricts itself to monism, it is necessary to define the human mind as physical. Hence any new proposal that is presented in which the mind is not physical, is automatically rejected as not belonging to the area of “science” and scientific investigation.
But there are scientists today who reject monism in science as a conceptual approach that prevents new important directions for science, with benefits that are important for both science and people. This new conceptual movement in science is called “scientific dualism”. There are and will be various versions of scientific dualism, some less accurate than others. In our case as scientific dualists, we maintain the methodological requirement for empirical and observational standards in the investigation and research of the laws and phenomena of scientific dualism.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish scientist well known and well respected in his day, is the only scientist in known history, who was able to establish experispiritual and empirical observations of the afterlife of eternity. All other dualist ideas known in the philosophy and history of science were based in supposition, theory, and indirect implications. Hence the Swedenborg Reports (generally known as The Writings of Swedenborg) are the only scientific reports that provide us with objective data gathered by a respected and experienced scientist. From age 57 to age 84 when he passed on, Swedenborg published 37 volumes of reports of his daily observations of the afterlife of eternity, and provided theoretical and scientific explanations that unite all of the data into a coherent system that we call “substantive dualism”.
Section 2: Reductionism and Substantive Dualism in Science
The reason we call it “substantive” dualism is that in scientific psychology all spiritual functions must be based on some structure. The reason why the Freudian system of psychiatry is not considered scientific is that its dynamic elements are based on a plumbing analogy of the human mind (e.g., “too much pressure” or “escape valve” etc.). New conceptual systems proposed in psychology today, is more and more based on neuroanatomy and biochemistry. This new trend however, suffers from the fatal flaw of reductionism.
Reductionism in materialistic psychology is the reduction of the human mind to chemistry and physics, or to the neurons of the brain and its electro-chemical activity and pattern of firings. The word “epiphenomenon” is used to refer to thoughts and feelings as “subjectively real” but having no objective existence in reality. In other words, the electro-chemical patterns of firings are “real” while the thoughts and feelings are “not real” or “illusory”. To reduce the human mind to physical matter is reductionism.
To human beings, reductionism is both denigrating and depressing. Yearly surveys around the globe show that the vast majority of human beings alive today believe in dualism in the form of an afterlife of eternity, of heaven, and of hell. In the United States roughly half of scientists say that they believe in dualism (two worlds) and the existence of God.
It is clear from these considerations that reductionism in psychology and its scientific materialism may need to retool conceptually and change its radical opposition to dualist proposals. Too much is at stake in terms human health and happiness to allow science to exclude the study of dualism.
Section 3: The Swedenborg Reports
The idea of “conjugial” marriage means that spiritual unions are eternal and “spiritual”. The physical body is born in the world of time, while simultaneously the spiritual body is born in the world of eternity. Spiritual things are outside time, space, and physical matter. Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are immortal spiritual objects in the spiritual world of eternity. Hence it is that our self, or personality, is immortal.
Throughout this book we use the expression “spiritual world of eternity”. Some people might prefer the expression the “spiritual world of the afterlife”, which is in eternity. The two expressions mean the same thing. The spiritual world of the afterlife is in eternity, not in time. It is the same with the spiritual world, which is in eternity, not time. This is because sensations, thoughts, and feelings, which make up the human mind, are not physical objects in time, but spiritual objects in eternity. Thoughts have no physical substance. They have spiritual or spiritual substance. It will be explained in this book what is spiritual or spiritual substance and where it comes from.
Through the biological dying process, which takes about thirty hours, we are freed from the functional connection with the physical body and its world of time. We lose all direct connection or communication with the physical world of time and continue our immortal existence in the spiritual world of eternity with our spiritual body, the same that we have had since birth. Our spiritual body is our mind and houses all our sensations, memories, feelings, memories. The spiritual body is also called the “spiritual body”. The spiritual body or human mind is organic and immortal because the substance that composes it, is immortal, as will be explained in this book. “Organic” means that it has many living growing anatomical parts and structures that function as a unit.
In marriage, physical and social association between husband and wife are always temporary, and this is by necessity in the natural world of time where everything is temporary, nothing is permanent. Hence we have the well known traditional oath of union at weddings, “Till death do us part.” This affirmation implies that the physical socio-legal union ends at death. However, the spiritual or spiritual union may continue forever, depending on the growth of a conjoined pair between them.
All spiritual processes are outside time, space, and physical matter. This is because sensations, thoughts, memories, and feelings are spiritual events which are located not in time and the physical world of space. Historically this perspective in science is known as dualism, in contrast to the prevalent perspective in psychology today, which is monism or materialism. We will refer to the theoretical perspective of the biological unity model as scientific dualism. It contrasts with scientific materialism, which is the dominant mode of perspective in psychological theory today.
Within the perspective of materialism, our sensations, thoughts, memories, and feelings are nothing but physical processes in the brain’s activity. This theoretical perspective is called by critics “reductionism in science”, because the mind is reduced to the physical body and brain. Science critics who subscribe to dualism (e.g., Descartes), historically saw the mind as existing in its own realm or world, and as a result, they cannot be reduced to just physical energy and the mere pattern of movement of neurons that are taking place in the brain and can be recorded by sensitive instruments.
Many people today outside science also believe in the perspective of materialism. For them as well, close and intimate unions end upon death when the physical organism ceases to be, as they believe, and becomes non-living matter returning to the elements of the planet. The official socio-legal perspective is also allied to materialism in science.
The religious perspective on marriage has always been dualist, recognizing that a person does not die when the physical body does. About eighty percent of people in recent public polls declare that they believe in dualism in the form of God, and an afterlife. About fifty percent or more, also believe in heaven, hell, angels, and demons. In public polls of scientists, about half today declare a belief in God and the reality of prayer.
It is clear then that the majority of people today, including scientists, are adopting the perspective of reality we call dualism, rather than materialism.
Nevertheless, materialism has a very powerful influence on people’s thinking because public schools and educational institutions, generally present to students the perspective of scientific materialism, without at the same time presenting the perspective of scientific dualism. Part of the reason is that most people’s perspective on dualism is connected in their mind to religion rather than science. This is the consequence of their education, which has become dominated by scientific materialism.
However, scientific dualism is not related to religion. It is a scientific approach to dualism. Just because scientific dualism involves the study of immortality and life after death, it does not become religious. Religions are not scientific because they do not follow the scientific method and its philosophy, while scientific dualism involves creating data-bound theories and rational explanations, which are based on empirical observations, systematic experimentation, data analysis, and theories that explain the observations.
The one aspect that bothers people most about scientific dualism is that the Swedenborg Reports upon which it is based, are authored by just one man. All sorts of doubts are generated by this idea in the context of the scientific method. How can you believe one man’s report when it has been shown that people’s reports are unreliable? What is Swedenborg was delusional? Or a fake? We can’t verify any of his reports. Therefore can it be considered scientific?
Our answer is that if we are to examine his claims objectively, we must first lay down our dead set bias against dualism and human immortality. We cannot rightly examine scientific dualism from the perspective of scientific materialism. The latter denies the possibility of the former. But in order to examine some proposed scientific theory objectively, we must do so by allowing the possibility that what one examines could be valid. Otherwise what is the point of examining it?
For a biographical perspective on Swedenborg the Scientific Inventor, see this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-k6HRf0E0g. You can also watch related videos about his spiritual ideas, and his influence in society in the past, and today. Swedenborg’s Writings were influential in shaping 18th and 19th Century intellectual America and Western Europe. However his influence waned in the 20th Century.
A Google search today on Swedenborg shows two million sites. Many of these sites see him as a religious and spiritual leader specializing in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Only a few of the sites focus on Swedenborg as a scientist, but they see his early “scientific works” as separate from his later Writings on the spiritual world of the afterlife (see Wikipedia article for useful summary and links).
Our Web site on Swedenborg is contrastive with these many other sites because we have extracted the scientific aspects of the Writings. We read and studied Swedenborg’s Writings as experts in the science of modern psychology and in information science. We collected everything he presents about his detailed observations and interviews with the people in the afterlife, both those that he had known before they passed on, and those he had read about in history books, and as well a multitude of strangers from around the universe. We refer to this special collection as the Swedenborg Reports.
There is an extensive literature of both admirers and detractors of Swedenborg that has accumulated over the last two and a half centuries. In this book we do not debate these opposing views, having done so in prior works. We merely ask readers to process what we have written here, in its own right, making up their mind afterward as to whether the theory is possibly valid or not. Either way, it is our belief that placing this information in front of the public may be useful to many people who are not dead set against the reality of the afterlife.
We also believe that materialistic science as it is taught today to the entire generation, is too rigid and closed-minded. Scientists, and the scientific mind of all educated people, crave for a viable scientific theory of human immortality. To satisfy this intellectual and emotional craving, it is required that we re-orient from scientific materialism to scientific dualism, such as the science of Swedenborg, and that presented in this book. You can also consult the work of Nuclear Physicist Dr. Ian Thompson, who has adapted Swedenborg’s explanatory concepts to modern physics and theistic science.
Section 4: The Five Pillars of Science: Is Scientific Dualism Really Scientific?
There are four pillars upon which science is erected: Causality, Infinity, Gravity-Magnetism, Mortality, and Generational Systematic Methodology. Both scientific materialism and scientific dualism operate with these four pillars since both are sciences.
In terms of causality, both scientific materialism and scientific dualism strive to describe all events as being caused by other events. However, there is a contrast between how each defines causality. Materialistic science is monistic hence causes and their effects are both physical events. But in dualist science, causes are always spiritual (or spiritual) and exist in the world outside time and in eternity. But effects are always physical and exist in the world in time. The cause-effect relation between spiritual and physical is called correspondence. Every event in the physical world of time is an effect that is caused by an event in the spiritual world of eternity. The cause-effect laws of spiritual-natural correspondences were known to the ancients as the “Science of Correspondences”.
In terms of infinity, materialistic science defines it as a process that is endless, or has no limit into the future. For instance physical space and time in the universe is considered limitless, infinite, with no end. But in scientific dualism only love-substance and truth-substance are infinite. The spiritual objects that are composed out of this twin spiritual substance, are themselves organically finited and finite. Physical time, space, and numbers all have a beginning even though they have no limit. Hence they are not infinite. Only that is infinite which has no beginning and no end. Only love and truth substance has no beginning or end, thus is limitless and infinite. Thoughts are composed of truth substance but they are not infinite because they are composed. All composition and combination removes infinity.
In terms of gravity-magnetism, scientific materialism defines it as the property of all forms of physical matter to attract and repel each other. This basic property is therefore responsible for the motion and heat of all particles or building blocks for objects and planets. Everything else in the physical world of time is derived from these building blocks. Spiritual events and conscious awareness of sensations are explained as “epiphenomena”, which means, phenomena-like. They appear to be real objects, events, or phenomena, but they are not. They are “subjectivbe illusions” that “reified” as real. But in fact the only real thing about spiritual experiences is the actual pattern of firings of neurons in the brain and the biochemical processes that underlie them.
In scientific dualism, love-substance is the cause that initiates and maintains the state of gravity-magnetism in the physical world. Love is spiritual heat. It initiates not only physical effects but also spiritual states. Love-substance emanates from the spiritual sun of eternity, streams continuously into the spiritual world of eternity, and is received there by the affective-circulatory system of the spiritual body. This produces the variety of loves in a person, and forms the individual’s life of experience and consciousness. Fundamentally, people are their own loves.
Loves in the affective system engender thoughts in the cognitive system, and together they produce our life of sensations.
In terms of mortality, scientific materialism defines all objects, physical and spiritual, as temporary. All things break down with time. Things are produced in time and evolve for a while, then lose their coherence and function, and disintegrate back into its composing elements. Plants and animals disintegrate and disappear with time and age. Human beings are temporary as well since the human mind is based on the epiphenomenon of consciousness that is derived from physical brain activity.
Scientific dualism on the other hand, attributes mortality to physical things and immortality to spiritual things. The physical body and the elements from the planet that compose it, are temporary, but the spiritual body is born into eternity and is immortal. The organic laws of evolution in the spiritual world of eternity determine the sequence of steps and stages that each human mind undergoes as a unique individual.
In terms of generational systematic methodology, both scientific materialism and scientific dualism are committed to objective investigations and theoretical explanations that are guided and confirmed by a rational method. Data gathering is systematic in both fields, allowing accumulation of results and theories through a generational approach. Any number of scientists can independently join the investigation of a particular scientific proposal and theory that has been outlined by someone.
Scientific materialism and scientific dualism are both committed to being large-scale generational community enterprises. Anyone has access to the proposed theory and data. Anyone can extend and modify parts of the proposal by finding new data that was not available, or was not considered, at the time of the proposal.
Some of the basic data in scientific dualism was collected by Swedenborg in the 18th century. Some people wonder how these data can be considered methodologically valid since they cannot be replicated by anyone else. Swedenborg was the only one who had direct observational access to them. However, this objection is not fundamental. For instance, when radically new and fresh data, are gathered by a researcher in materialistic science no one has access to that data right away. There is a period in which others strive to replicate the findings with either the same or with different methods.
In the meantime the original proposal and data are not outlawed as unscientific just because only one researcher has been able to obtain them. In fact, much of scientific research revolves around the attempt to replicate each other’s data. It is a common tenet in psychological and bio-medical research that a “good theory” is one that has a lifespan of about ten years. Then it is replaced by a better theory that explains more data in a better way.
Was the old theory not scientific because it is now rejected? Many in the history of science have pointed out that “normal science” proceeds by “scientific revolutions” in which old theories are replaced by new in a fundamental way. Does this mean that most of science is unscientific because it is being regularly revamped? Some data are never replicated for various reasons, yet these studies are equally scientific as those that are replicated, though less successful and popular as the theories and data that are replicated by many.
So the fact that Swedenborg’s data have not been replicated is in itself not a valid argument for saying that it is not scientific and does not deserve scientific analysis and processing.
More pertinent with regard to considering the scientific aspects of Swedenborg’s data, is the question whether the Swedenborg Reports are made of objectively observed data, and whether they are described in sufficient detail, that they can support a generational science by a community of other scientists.
This book introduces new ideas and methods in science that are based entirely on data and description available in the Swedenborg Reports. It shows that these reports are able to support a generational register and a language of methodology that is suitable to the modern science of psychology. Some of the new concepts introduced and defined in this book include:
spiritual world of eternity, spiritual anatomy, spiritual biology, spiritual body, affective-circulatory system, cognitive-respiratory system, sensory-motor system, the dying process, resuscitation, vertical community, spiritual geography, spiritual sun of eternity, love-substance, truth-substance, spiritual heaven, spiritual hell, Grand Human, Grand Monster, other-centered interactions, conjoined pair, unity model, conjugial marriage, conjugial simulation, male mind, female mind, conjunctive interactions, disjunctive interactions, woman-centered marriage, man-centered marriage, equity-centered marriage.
With regards to the spiritual world of the afterlife, absolutely not a single proposal in the long history of science has ever been put forth that meets the requirement of creating a generational systematic methodology. Why not?
Because, prior to the Swedenborg Reports, all proposals about the spiritual world were purely hypothetical or imaginative and fictitious accounts. They were not based on any observational and experispiritual data. There was never an overall rational coherence to their speculations about where the spiritual world is, how do people get there, how is it connected to this world, what is to be found there, what are its inhabitants occupied with, how do they think differently from us, what is the process of “passing on”, etc.
You can see why there are absolutely no such reports in science, or outside science. People can only present imaginative fantasies when they try to sketch in the details themselves. There is no basis for anyone’s imagination to agree with anyone else. It is not a systematic way of producing scientific knowledge.
But it is different with the Swedenborg Reports, and this difference needs to be understood by the reader.
I was a scientist for more than twenty years when I first started investigating the Swedenborg Reports. Today, at the time of this writing, I have been doing scientific research for more than fifty years. It cannot be said that I lack experience in analyzing a report to determine whether it qualifies for science or not.
In my experience, all the objections against scientific dualism as being “unscientific”, have been brought forth by people who have not yet themselves, considered the details of scientific dualism and its theoretical explanations. They say that they are basing their skepticism on the fact that no one else but Swedenborg saw these things that he reports. In other words, the skepticism is based on an instructed warning system that goes off in their mind whenever only one person tells you about what they can see here or there, and especially, about the afterlife. People don’t want to be duped. Educated people have been schooled to avoid believing in claims by someone to have been talking to the dead or to spirits or to God. And this methodological skepticism is indeed a good thing that protects people.
But now what happens when a proposal comes along one day that contains all the details that none of the others ever contain? This in itself makes the Swedenborg Reports historically different and unique, but not necessarily scientific.
So, in order to decide by rational analysis, rather than by unexamined rejection, we need to look for the various methodological characteristics in the report that it needs to have, for it to be scientific.
In the normal practice of the science of psychology today and for the past half century, there are several requirements that a theory or proposal should have before researchers are prepared to include it in their own border of “rigorous” scientific standards. One of the basic requirements is that the explanation of a spiritual function should be grounded in anatomical structure. In science, there is no function without structure.
In practice, the anatomical underpinning of a spiritual function is granted but seldom specified because it is not yet known. The field of neuroscience is a science, and yet it knows but a little about the details of how memory or intention function together with activation in particular areas of the brain. Psychopharmacology is a science, but it knows relatively little in detail compared to all that it does not know about spiritual effects in relation to biochemical events that are ongoing in the physical body.
In scientific dualism all spiritual functions are grounded in anatomical structures. For instance, the spiritual world is not spherical like the physical world. Instead it is defined as having the human form, just like the physical body is in the human form. The spiritual world of the afterlife has the shape of a Grand Human that comprises all humans. Each human being in form is a miniature version of the Grand Human in form. This is also true of the mind of a single human being, as it too is in the human form. Your mind is in the human form and looks like your body. This is why we call the mind, the spiritual body. The spiritual body is within the physical body, but not in space and time. Hence they are of the same form and shape in correspondence to each other. The spiritual body is primary and permanent. The physical body is a copy, and only temporary.
During his anthropological explorations of the spiritual world of eternity, Swedenborg localized himself in terms of the human body. There is a region of the head where communities have their habitations. There are those whom he visited that were described to be "in the province of the gall bladder" or in the "organs of generation".
There is therefore an important methodological definition of a point-by-point correspondence between the spiritual world of our spiritual body, and the physical body in the physical world. This correspondence is not merely a relation of geographic localization, but more fundamentally, a relation between spiritual function and anatomical structure. The stomach has a different function in digestion than the liver or the pancreas. Hence the communities that live in the spiritual world region of the stomach of the Grand Human have a different genius and character than the people who have their habitations in the region of the liver. Swedenborg mastered his anatomical knowledge by studying the works of the chief European anatomists of the 18th century. He then used this knowledge of anatomy to identify the correspondence between the spiritual genius of the inhabitants in each anatomical region.
Interestingly, this mind-body methodology led Swedenborg to discover medical facts about the body that were only discovered by others one hundred and fifty years later. One instance is Swedenborg's identification of the right brain with the affective system and the left-brain with the cognitive system. Another instance is Swedenborg's discovery that excess acid in the stomach is created by anxiety.
A second important methodological feature of a proposed scientific theory is that it contain a language and register that supports generational productivity in research. Other scientists who look at the original data and their explanations must be able to engage in dialog and polemics within the theory. The language and concepts of the proposed scientific theory must be productive so that other scientists can apply it to investigate new areas of relationships that were not visible in the original. The productive capacity of scientific dualism is shown by this book which adapts the 18th century concepts of the Swedenborg Reports to the language of modern scientific psychology.
A third methodological feature of a scientific theory is that it facilitates the discovery of new facts. For instance, Swedenborg discovered that there is a correspondence between the will (intentionality) of the affective system in the spiritual body and the heart with its circulatory system in the physical body. This is why it is called the affective-circulatory system. Further, that there is a correspondence between the understanding (intelligence) of the cognitive system in the spiritual body and the lungs with its respiratory system in the physical body. This is why it is called the cognitive-respiratory system.
Methodologically this means that medical knowledge about the functioning of the heart and circulatory system of the physical body can be extended and applied directly to specific spiritual functions. Whatever we know about the heart and the role of the blood in feeding the organs of the body, we can apply directly to how our loves (which correspond to the heart) feed our intentions, goals, and desires.
A careful examination and analysis of the Swedenborg Reports thus reveals that it is unique in the history of science, and yet, that it is firmly established in empiricism, experimentation, generational productivity, and methodology for discovering new relationships. This is only the historical beginning of the new history of science that finds an appropriate place for scientific dualism. The future will allow continued development that is likely to bring significant benefits to all human beings.
Section 5: The Dying Process and the Afterlife
According to substantive dualism, as based on the Swedenborg Reports, human beings are born into the world of eternity with a spiritual body that is immortal. This spiritual body is the mind, and therefore we call it the spiritual body and its spiritual biology. The immortal spiritual body in the world of eternity is at first functionally connected to a physical body in the natural world of time-space. As we grow and develop spiritually, our spiritual body goes through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood, and old age. As the spiritual body matures, so does the physical body.
The physical body is like an armor that covers the spiritual body, and mirrors it.
When the outside covering falls off at death, the spiritual body is suddenly cut off from the sensory input of physical stimuli. Being tied to the physical body from birth onward restricts sensory input to the physical senses and world. This is why we are unable to see what is around us in the spiritual world of eternity. Until the moment of death, our awareness or consciousness, all the input from our sensations, was restricted to the physical senses. But when this restriction is broken during the dying process, we suddenly feel “freed” from the physical mask and body armor, and our conscious awareness begins to receive sensory input from the spiritual world of eternity and all that there is in it.
We would not know what that environment is like were it not for the Swedenborg Reports.
The spiritual world of the afterlife is nothing else than the spiritual world of eternity that all human beings know so well from birth onward.
Our awareness of self as an individual is composed of the accumulation of sensations, thoughts, and feelings, all of which form a coherent structure or personality, changing moment by moment, as new sensations, thoughts, and feelings come into our mind continuously.
Infants and children who die are resuscitated a few hours later. Each one is adopted by a loving surrogate mother who cares for the child and assists in the child’s spiritual development. This parental instructional process is given in groups of children of a similar age and spiritual constitution. This insures that the child has sufficient peer experiences to become a normal spiritual adult. As the child’s spiritual intelligence grows, the change is reflected in the appearance of the spiritual body, which also grows normally. When the child reaches spiritual maturity and adulthood, the person meets as if by miracle, another person who can become their soul mate and conjugial partner. Together they then enter their spiritual states.
Section 6: Spiritual Heat and spiritual light
Where do feelings and thoughts come from into our spiritual body?
The spiritual world of eternity has a sun that Swedenborg called “the Spiritual Sun”. From this source there radiates a spiritual substance of an endless variety and diversity in its quality and life. This spiritual substance, which may be called “spiritual heat” and “spiritual light”, penetrate the spiritual body or mind through its receptor systems.
The substance of spiritual heat is absorbed by the circulatory system of the spiritual body and generates our inmost life that is known as the “will” and involves loves, feelings, emotions, motives, and intentions. These are unique to every individual because the individual organs absorb the spiritual substance in a unique way, that is, through individual personal unique filters. Hence every individual accumulates unique loves and affections, or a unique personality, despite the fact that the same spiritual heat and light surrounds and penetrates into the mind of every human being.
Swedenborg used to say that our life is such as is our will, which is such as is our loves, and these generate and create thoughts that are compatible with and supportive of those loves. In other words, we are our love, and we think and do what our love needs in order to fulfill itself in our behavior and attitudes.
The substance of spiritual light is absorbed by the respiratory system of the spiritual body and generates our life of thoughts, ideas, and reasonings. These are connected to the circulatory system, so that they are also uniquely adapted to each person.
The environment of the spiritual world of eternity contains people with their immortal spiritual bodies and their spiritual projections around themselves.
It’s almost as if we are visiting each other’s dreams and are experiencing there the environment that someone “dreams up”. Hence our conscious life in the afterlife is much more dynamic and dramatic than the steady predictable environment that we experience on earth through the physical body.
The universal Law of Similarity and Opposites in the world of eternity outside time, insures that people who have similar motivational structures are attracted to each other like a spiritual magnet. People find themselves in the same “place” with others with whom they can consociate socially and in relationship. Through this spiritual mechanism of spontaneous gathering together, spiritual or spiritual communities are formed that consist of various environments.
The experience people have of the physical environment through the birth and growth of the physical body creates thoughts, ideas, and expectations that are based on physical objects and events in time and physical space. This is shown by the fact that when we try to imagine what different worlds might look like, our thoughts are bound by the objects and situations that are in our experience from this world. It seems that we cannot escape or avoid ideas and expectations from our experience in the physical world.
Nor is there a need to. For it is this communal experience of the physical environment that supplies people with the content and themes of the natural world in time that can be transferred to the spiritual world of eternity. This is just like the content and themes of our dream world that are based on the physical world.
Our dependence on natural scenery (e.g., mountains, gardens, buildings) and on natural situations (e.g., running away, getting dressed, dancing) shows in our dreams as well, in which the surrounding environment and events are based on the physical world, even when distorted. It is the same when we “awake” in conscious awareness after being cut off from the physical covering, which happens through the organic dying process.
The communities in the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity, outside time and space, project a common spiritual environment that is familiar to them from earthly scenes, and they live within the appearances of that environment.
For instance, when we hear that people live in their spiritual heaven in the afterlife, we imagine an environment of fabulous gardens, magnificent cities, amazing clothes and jewelry, fun and conjugial happiness. Swedenborg confirmed this by observation of these communities and by interviews with its inhabitants.
Similarly, he confirmed by observation and interview that the communities that live in the spiritual hell environment of their mind, project an environment of degraded habitations that are dark, ugly, foul smelling, and filled with poisonous animals that bite and harass the people there.
Section 7: Taking Charge of our Future
It is important for the science of psychology to understand the spiritual personality conditions that establish these two types of communities in the afterlife of eternity.
Of critical importance is our understanding of how the habits of thinking and feeling that people develop while maturing on earth in the physical body, influence and determine our living environment in the afterlife of spiritual eternity.
According to Swedenborg’s daily observations over an extended period of 29 years, the dominant motivations that we develop in life on earth are permanent. If we live our relationships in society by self-centered and selfish motives and attitudes, we retain this personality after the dying process. Upon awakening to consciousness in the spiritual world of the afterlife, we will gravitate around circles and communities of people that have similar loves and urges, and think similarly.
What can be more important to us than to understand how to manage our loves and habits in such a way as to be able to live in heavenly communities by being able to avoid hellish ones?
The other-centered or altruistic focus provides this guarantee. By striving to behave with mutual regard and respect for each other, we are insuring the acquisition of a heavenly personality that can and will live in conjugial bliss and happiness forever. By neglecting our health and our duties, by being cruel and unjust to others, we insure the development of a personality that will choose to live in a hellish environment forever.
The study of scientific dualism and spiritual biology will allow every human being to make a conscious and voluntary choice of the conditions and quality of their life in endless eternity.
People sometimes have an idea of heaven as a place of reward for being good here on earth, while hell is a place of punishment for being bad. But Swedenborg discovered that heaven and hell are actually states of mind. We can experience perfect peace, complete wholeness, and inmost happiness without conflict or weakness. This is being in the spiritual state of heaven. Or else, we can experience spiritual disorder, emotional suffering, mindless rage, self-limitations, egotism, and spiritual insanity. These are the states of our spiritual hell.
When we are resuscitated through the dying process, we awaken to a spiritual battle between our two ruling loves. One ruling love wants us to enter the spiritual state of heaven, while the other ruling love wants us to enter our spiritual hell. A terrific inner battle ensures for our future. At the end we must give up one or the other ruling love.
Those loves that urge us into hell make it appear in our fantasy to be a highly desirable place. We can give in to any love, any extreme of desire and experimentation. We are attracted to that style of life. But if we choose that life we will encounter at first fun and pleasure, but soon these turn into fear, cruelty, and misery. We live in a community of people who are like us, egotists and cruel, and we are exposed to their rage and cruelty just as they are exposed to ours.
Those loves that urge us into our spiritual states are altruistic, compassionate, and considerate for others. Living with people of this character makes our life there pleasant and heavenly.
We can take charge now of our future in eternity by cultivating and acquiring traits that are of mutual caring and good will for one another. This involves becoming altruistic and promoting the desire to be of benefit to others in everything we do, which requires that we consider and love others as much as ourselves.
Section 8: Spiritual Objects and Spiritual Environment
In scientific dualism human beings are born into the spiritual world of eternity as a unique “self” or individual. Since this birth occurs in the spiritual world, the human self or person is outside the world of physical matter, time, and space. Our mind is made up of the coherent and organized accumulation of our unique memories, sensations, thoughts, emotions, feelings, and habits. This is the self.
If you take away a person’s accumulation of memories, feelings, and habits, there is no ‘self’ left.
All spiritual objects in the spiritual environment are made up of the spiritual substance that emanates from the spiritual sun of the spiritual world of eternity. This spiritual substance is infinite in quality and inner potential. It permeates everything in the spiritual world of eternity. Thoughts and feelings are composed of this substance in the way that trees and stones are composed of the substance of the sun (or star) from which planet earth is composed. Hence all objects on the physical planet are composed of the substance of the star, and this includes of course our physical body, our heart, our muscles, our skin.
In the spiritual world, objects are composed from the immersive substance in the environment that is sourced in the spiritual sun of eternity. This universal basic spiritual substance composes our thoughts and feelings. Each thought in our mind is a cognitive object that possesses an objective existence as a unique organic substance that is alive due to its basic composition. The thoughts and feelings of human beings are constructed out of indestructible and immortal substance. Once a thought or feeling instantiates in the mind of any human being, a unique new organic object comes into objective existence and lives forever in the spiritual world of eternity.
The human self or person is our mind, which lives forever in the spiritual world of eternity.
The immortal self of a person is born in the spiritual world of eternity in the form of a spiritual embryo. There is a collection of endless human potential unfolding uniquely in this embryo. But to start with, there is no actual creation of any thoughts and feelings, no accumulation of personal memories and individual experience. This spiritual embryo begins to develop and grow through sensations and experiences which are provided through a physical avatar functionally connected to the embryos spiritual body.
The physical body is a functional copy in physical matter of the spiritual body in the spiritual world. Hence there is an embryo in the physical world. The physical body acts as an avatar or agent that in itself is not alive, but can copy the organic processes in our spiritual body when we think and experience feelings.
This cause/effect connection between the spiritual body or mind (cause) and the physical body (effect) is called “correspondences”. The Swedenborg Reports contain empirical observations of thousands of correspondences between the occurrence of a spiritual event or property in the spiritual world of eternity (cause), and the parallel occurrence of a physical event or property (effect). This was made possible when Swedenborg was able to maintain dual consciousness, one through his physical body, the other through his spiritual body.
We don’t have dual consciousness because our sensory input is restricted to the physical body. When the physical body no longer functions in response to the spiritual body, there is a detachment process called “dying”. When the dying process is organically complete, and our spiritual body is completely extirpated from the physical connection, we immediately become consciously aware of the sensory input from the spiritual world of eternity.
Our Spiritual and Physical Embryo
The constrictive adjunction of a physical embryo to our spiritual embryo at birth, allows us to accumulate sensory input and experience that is restricted to the physical world of time-space. All our thoughts and feelings are therefore shaped and constricted as if they actually were physical things restricted by time and space, rather than spiritual objects that were boundless and timeless.
We can realize this to some extent when we reflect upon the idea of substantive thoughts and feelings, that have an objective non-temporal and indestructible existence, rather than being merely a temporary subjective “epiphenomenon” that flickers for a moment as a “conscious” human self, then disappears in time and existence. The immortality of the self is due to the indestructible substance of spiritual eternity out of which it is composed.
The dying process ends with the resuscitation awakening. Now we begin to think and feel differently than before. Now our sensations are no longer restricted to time-space conditions. Our spiritual body is now exposed to the objective spiritual environment of the human race. We can see, hear, and touch other people in their resuscitated spiritual bodies who are no longer capable of any sensory input from the physical world. Now a whole new set of ideas and understandings come into our awareness. Instead of communicating in a natural language we communicate in a thought-language that used to precede our natural language, when still connected to the physical.
Now this thought-language becomes the basis of our new thinking. It is much faster and much more powerful, according to Swedenborg’s careful comparisons. What is most interesting and notable is this: Despite the more efficient and powerful new communication and thinking ability we then have, the content of our thoughts and feelings remain as before!
People continue to make sense out of their biography and their living environment by attaching themselves to a community of other people with whom they jointly can spiritually project around them a common objective environment that is like a city or farm or other inhabitation they were familiar with when still attached to the physical world.
This is surprising, and yet it makes sense upon reflection. Think about our dream world. Even though we can ‘dream up’ any kind of environment, dreams are composed of people and scenes that we experience in the physical world, even if transformed in various affectively meaningful ways. Human imagination seems to by restricted by what came at first and then what was added to it afterwards. We can see this in virtual worlds and science fiction depictions where the imagination is not different from the past experience, though it can be repainted and redesigned.
Section 9: The Three Zones of the Spiritual World of Eternity
Swedenborg discovered that the spiritual world of eternity is mapped into three zones or environments that are organically different. By inspecting the habitations in the different regions and the character of the people inhabiting them, he was able to find an exact correlation between the spiritual character of individuals in a community and the visual appearance of the environment where they congregate.
The communities that lived in the upper regions of the spiritual world appeared in a storybook like heaven with beautiful architecture decorated and furnished sumptuously, with “cultural” variety in accordance with the earthly experiences of its inhabitants. There was an immense range of variety, but all of them were in a beautiful, pleasant, and peaceful spiritual state. For obvious reasons Swedenborg called it the “heavens” in the human mind. Through many interviews and extended visits, living among them as an anthropologist for more two decades, Swedenborg described the human heavenly character as innocent, wise, and mutually in love. Hence he called them “angels”.
In sharp contrast were the communities located in the lower region of the spiritual world of eternity. What Swedenborg witnessed there prompted him to call it the “hells” in the human mind. People were living in dilapidated housing projects and underground caves. The human ”hellish” character is selfish, egotistical, deceiving, combative, cruel, and filled with illusions and delusions about what is reality.
At our birth in eternity our embryo is in the spiritual region midway between heaven and hell. While the heavenly region of our mind is purely good, loving, and wise, the hellish region of our mind is evil, destructive, devious, obsessive, and delusional. We thus grow up in a region that is mixed with both heavenly and hellish influences on our spiritual development and growth of character.
As long as we remain restricted to the physical environment, the mixed region in our mind, which is between heaven and hell, allows us to experience thoughts and feelings from both regions.
A little self-monitoring will confirm this. Our negative and positive emotions alternate on good days and bad days we have, or even hours, or conversations. When driving in traffic we can experience intense negative and violent thoughts and feelings against other road users. Suppose that your thoughts were empowered to carry physical force, you might end up torturing and killing several drivers on each trip.
Our spiritual embryo grows up to be an adult through this variety of experiences, positive and negative. When we are adult and fully mature spiritually, we exercise full control over our developing habits and personality, whether we intensify the positive and diminish the negative, or the other way round. Every human being is embarked on one or the other of this activity.
Spiritual Heaven vs. Spiritual Hell
When we awaken in the spiritual world of eternity, now without physical connection, we possess a full set of traits and habits of both kinds. Whichever is the strongest then prevails! That determines whether we gravitate upward to our spiritual heaven, or downward to our spiritual hell.
All gravitation or spiritual displacement in eternity is voluntary, in response to our thoughts and feelings. Habits of negativity prevails over habits of positivity. One destroys the other’s functioning in the self or personality. The only way the habits of negative thinking and selfish loves can now be diminished and eliminated from the personality, is by prior weakening, prior to the separation from the physical environment.
By living on earth through the venue of a physical body we are able to remain in the middle zone of the spiritual world so that we can develop healthy and unhealthy habits, and after that, we can voluntarily choose to weaken the negative ones.
That is therefore the purpose of living here, namely to weaken the negative tendencies that we inherit and acquire by our choices. To accomplish this effectively we need to be in a unity marriage that allows two people to undergo the right challenging training for each other. By doing this together, they are able to acquire a conjoined pair that lives and evolves in their spiritual heaven forever.
Think of the many New Year resolutions people make year after year, and the numerous resolutions people make during the year. Most of these resolutions are not successful. This shows the spiritual struggle human beings must exert to weaken their negative traits and tendencies. The conjoint couple has an advantage in this struggle because it requires other-centeredness on the part of both partners. Swedenborg discovered that other-centeredness in all our interactions is the most effective method for strengthening our heavenly personality, while the self-centered style of interaction, which inevitably grows into selfishness as a habit, is the most effective method for strengthening our hellish personality.
The Conjoined Pair as the Basis of Community
Section 1: No Function Without Substance
Swedenborg observed that people in the spiritual world of eternity were always found in groups, communities, and sub-branches of larger societies, some of whom were extremely large. The coalescence of spiritual bodies is by universal spiritual law, or necessity. What is similar in loves and their affections coalesce to form human organic interdependent units.
The spiritual world is an organic environment, that is, it is made of substances that are organic and living in themselves. Hence everything made of these substances must also be organic and living. Everything in the human mind is organic and living. Feelings are the activation of living organic substances in the circulatory system of the spiritual body. Thoughts are activations of the substances that are received in the respiratory system of the spiritual body. Sensations are activations of the substances in the neuro-skeletal and skin systems of the spiritual body. Human life is spiritual life, and this is the life of living spiritual substances that compose our self and personhood.
There is no other life but the life of spiritual substances. This idea can also be phrased by saying that all life is spiritual, not natural.
There is a basic universal scientific rule: No Function without Substance. You can’t have digestion (function) without food (substance). You can’t see (function) unless there is some light source and object interacting with it (substance). You can’t have a thought (function) unless you can activate a spiritual substance. Similarly, you can’t have police protection (function) unless there are police officers (substance).
Thus in order that an organic spiritual world may exist, all its components and parts must be made of eternal living spiritual substances. Swedenborg observed that these substances fill the environment of the spiritual world of eternity, like gaseous air particles and light fill the physical atmosphere of the world in time. The spiritual substances stream into the spiritual world from the Sun of the spiritual world of eternity. Swedenborg said that he and anyone in the spiritual world, can see that sun, which he called the “spiritual sun”.
The key to understanding human beings therefore lies in knowing about the quality, function, and characteristics of spiritual substances. These spiritual substances are organic, alive, and immortal. They are the basis for having feelings, thinking, and having sensations.
Hence the presence of spiritual substances in our spiritual body constitutes our very human life.
Section 2: Love-substance and Truth-substance
From the data in the Swedenborg Reports we know that two contrastive substances stream out from the spiritual sun into the spiritual world of eternity. Swedenborg calls these two “good and truth.” There is an exact correspondence between the heat that issues from the physical sun, and good, which is also called “spiritual heat”. Physical heat and spiritual heat are corresponding substances. Similarly, physical light and spiritual light are corresponding substances.
Spiritual heat issuing from the spiritual Sun of eternity (also called the “Spiritual Sun”), is made of the spiritual substance of good, while spiritual light issuing from it is made of the spiritual substance of truth. The substance of good and truth form a universal perfect reciprocal unity in the spiritual sun of eternity, but when this unity exits into the spiritual world of eternity, it divides into two independent components of human spiritual life.
It is difficult at first for most of us to grasp the idea of “truth as substance”. Yet this is a fundamental and necessary idea of scientific dualism. To think of a truth, or to say something that is true, are functions. We have the ability to do this. Hence there must be a substance that provides the structure or process for thinking truth. I can think of truth, and therefore be aware of it, only if I have an organ that functions to think truth by ingesting truth-substance from the spiritual environment in eternity. The thinking organ must be made of truth-substance, which when activated, gives us the ability to think the truth and become aware of it.
It is similar with our ability to have feelings and motives. To have a feeling is an ability or function. For this to exist requires an organ with a structure made of a substance. Spiritual heat, or the substance of spiritual “good”, is the substance that makes up the organ of feeling in the spiritual body.
When the living substance of good in the feeling organ is activated, we are having a feeling.
The “feeling organ” is the heart of the spiritual body and its circulatory system.
There is a grand design obvious here.
The twin spiritual substances of good and truth stream out of the Spiritual Sun and fill the spiritual world of eternity.
There is a built in irresistible force of attraction for these twin substances to reunite together into one conjoint unit.
The human male spiritual body and the female spiritual body are formed into reciprocal sub-units of each other. The attraction between them is nothing but the built in spiritual love-substance and truth-substance in each, endeavoring to re-unite and form a new functional unity in each spiritual body.
There is a double attraction of good and truth, one within the individual, the other outside, between his mind and her mind. His masculinized component of good strives to unite with her female component of truth, while his masculinized component of truth strives to unite with her female component of good. In other words, a man and a woman make a conjoint unit by uniting her good with his truth, and his good with her truth.
The conjoined pair lives among other conjoint selves in a spiritual environment called “heaven”. The shape of the spiritual world of eternity is the human form. This is because its basic components are made of the substance of good and truth, and these are organic and in the human form. The unity of love-substance and truth-substance recreates its own human form at all levels of spiritual construction.
Spiritual geography of the spiritual world of eternity therefore corresponds to the anatomy of the human body.
Each region and organ of the physical body corresponds to a particular region of the spiritual world, i.e., a particular function of the mind of an individual.
The circulatory system of the spiritual body, which is centered in the heart and including the digestive and reproductive sub-systems, is the receptor organ of spiritual heat or “love-substance. The functions of this substance provide the basis of feelings or loves. This includes all of the affective functions: motives, affections, perceptions, attractions, curiosity, willing, intentions, strivings, urges, emotions, vitality, temperament (e.g., excitement, bravery), preferences (e.g., food, smell, color, activity), value attachments (e.g., pleasure and pain, too far vs. just right, enjoyment vs. boredom).
The respiratory system of the spiritual body, which is centered in the lungs and includes the vocalizing apparatus, is the receptor organ of spiritual light or “truth-substance”. The functions of this substance provide the basis of having ideas or thinking thoughts. This includes all of the cognitive functions: meaning, coherence, memory, knowledge, language, imagination, dreams, understanding, rationality, intelligence, wisdom, inventiveness.
The neuro-skeletal-skin system of the spiritual body, which is centered in the brain and includes the nervous, sensory, and skeletal systems, is the executive organ that spontaneously reacts to the action of the first two, when these are in a united state. The functions of this executive system provide the basis for continuous sensing of the environment and for moving through it. This includes all of the sensorimotor functions: skin, senses, sensations, reactions, noticings, muscles, reflexes, movements (e.g., lifting, walking, typing, eating).
The affective circulatory system unites itself with the cognitive respiratory system of the spiritual body. Swedenborg called this joint action “the spiritual marriage”. This two-system united function activates and maintains all sensation and action. For instance, the affective love for pizza instantiates the socialized motive to prompt the cognitive system to formulate a plan that the executive system can carry out in the environment. Without the prompting and directionality of love and motive there is no plan, and no getting the pizza. Everything in our daily life is the outcome or offspring of the spiritual marriage. Nothing happens without the marriage between our loves and our thoughts—no noticing, no seeing, no thinking, and no doing.
The spiritual marriage within us is a living organic process involving the conjunction of love-substance and truth-substance. This conjunction gives actual power. Neither of them alone can initiate sensing and doing. We can think about pizza and how it might be nice to eat one. This is a cognitive activity that has no power to initiate pizza getting. But add to it the desire and motive to get one, and the thought is directed towards the plan, and this allows the execution to begin.
It is clear therefore that love-substance seeks to find truth-substance to which it can conjoin itself to produce experiencing and manipulating the environment. Our life is therefore the result of the spiritual marriage. The spiritual sun of eternity provides an endless variety of goods and truths that human minds can receive and absorb. The same love-substance, which gives us endless abilities and powers, is received by every human mind, but each unique individual filters and transforms this general input, so that the life it initiates there is also unique. Every individual is born with a unique set of filters and transformers.
Further, every individual has the ability to invert the directionality of the input. Love-substance is the purity of spiritual health, but the individual is given the freedom to invert it, turning it into spiritual illness. Similarly, truth-substance is the purity of rationality and wisdom, but the individual can invert it into its opposite, in which case it is no longer truth-substance but twisted truth.
Perverted love-substance and twisted truth-substance seek each other out, conjoin into an “infernal marriage”, and produce anti-social and self-destructive traits and characteristics.
The communities in the spiritual world of eternity form themselves on the basis of the purity vs. perversion of love-substance that each individual processes. Mutual regard and love of peace are feelings based on unadulterated love-substance. This kind of reception adjoins individuals into a community of similitudes and compatibilities organized by particular interests and loves. This corresponds to how social networking circles and groups are formed online.
Some groups are therefore benign and have mutual regard for one another and for their neighboring groups. But other groups are combative, deceptive, and dangerous to each other and to their neighbors.
The peaceful groups undergo spiritual procedures that gradually carries them “upward” to the regions of the human heavens. The harmful groups undergo spiritual procedures that carry them “downward” to the regions of the human hells. Swedenborg made extensive visits to both regions and gave many details of the people’s character and lifestyle in each region.
Section 3: When a Man and a Woman Fall in Love
The spiritual world of eternity has the anatomical form of the human body. As a result, Swedenborg referred to the anatomical place as the geographic place through which he was travelling with his spiritual body. For instance, in his data sheets he would record that he was “in the province of the right eye”, or “in the province of the cerebellum” and so on. Swedenborg used the phrase “Grand Human” to refer to the spiritual world of eternity in its full extension, with the spiritual sun at its center. On two occasions he records that he was “given the vision” of the Grand Human by being as if taken far up to get a bird’s eye view. He confirmed its perfect human form in all the details. Swedenborg was a noted expert in human anatomy, known and respected throughout Sweden and Europe.
The communities who are located in the region of the heart and reproductive organs of the spiritual world are called “celestial” because their chief motive and focus in life is mutual love. The heavenly societies are composed of conjugial couples, who are each united into one conjoined pair, and are living an immortal life of daily increasing love and happiness, with endless potential.
The communities who are located outside the Grand Human coalesce into a malformed human form that may be called the Grand Monster.
The Grand Human is a living system that evolves into more perfect states as new people enter that spiritual region in their mind and are united to one of the groups and societies. This will go on growing and perfecting forever, and along with this, the love and wisdom of each couple there. The Grand Monster devolves organically into the opposite direction of healthy-unhealthy.
What is amazing is that all this grand process is organic, alive from its basic constituent particles of love-substance and truth-substance, all the way up to the numberless afterlife communities that spring up to feed the organic evolution of the Grand Human. We can see this universal spiritual process better by considering how its correspondences work themselves out in the physical body. We know that our body operates as a unit. All its parts, organs, and functions work together to achieve unified action and operation. The spiritual communities in the world of eternity are similarly unified into one functioning Grand Human.
This means that when one person, say in a community located in the thigh, has an insight or a new feeling, the idea or experience is communicated to all the members of that community, from which it is communicated to the entire region around the thigh, and then expanding from there to the other organs of the body anatomy.
This indicates the organic reality of community in the spiritual world of eternity. The Grand Human is the entire human race unified into one functioning human. Swedenborg did not suggest that this Grand Human is actually a conscious person. It is rather an orderly arrangement of human affections and thoughts. It shows that an individual is never isolated from the larger community. Individual life and survival is social.
Our mind cannot function alone. A person must be part of a community to be able to think, be conscious, and have experiences. What is remarkable is that what I think and feel, and what others think and feel, around me, and throughout the dual world, is co-dependent, or interdependent, with everyone else. The individual must be organically connected to the entire human race in order to exist, survive, and flourish.
The conjoined pair is formed into a unit by reciprocity between the male and female mind. It is the basic building block for community. The community is formed from conjoint selves, not from individuals. Prior to becoming a conjoined pair, “single” individuals belong to the community but only on a provisional basis. The organic necessity for full membership and privileges is to become a conjoined pair.
When a man and a woman fall in love and live their lives as a successful mutually-centered couple, the conjoined pair is born and begins to grow and mature. The conjoined pair is not a marriage contract, or a piece of paper, or the fact of cohabitation. These are physical, not spiritual. The conjoined pair is a spiritual organ that grows through their other-centered interactions, that is, their feelings, and thoughts within the actions.
The conjoined pair is active and kept healthy through the spiritual or inner marriage of the couple. Her love-substance seeks out and conjoins itself to his truth-substance. His love-substance seeks out and consociates itself to here truth-substance.
The male mind’s abilities and powers are immensely enriched by the female mind’s logic, while the female mind’s abilities are immensely enriched by the male mind’s logic.
Access to their conjoined pair gives the man and the woman a richer more productive and satisfying life that increases in quality daily forever.
The conjoined pair is the angelic child of good and truth-substance conjoined in a spiritual marriage. In fact the conjoined pair is filled with such growing children that are multiplying and increasing forever.
When couples understand how the conjoined pair evolves from their spiritual marriage, each partner will be strongly motivated to maintain the other-centered focus of mutual love. They will see self-centered interactions such as fights and disagreements, as a dangerous enemy and virus.
The man’s outer logic (lower truth-substance) will be able to conjoin with the woman’s outer directives (lower love-substance), and the woman’s inner directives (higher love-substance) will be able to conjoin to the man’s inner logic (higher truth-substance). He adopts her way of doing things, she adopts his way of figuring things out. They form a new more capable unit that is enhanced by their mutuality and reciprocity.
Mutuality means: What you want is what I want. Or: If you are satisfied, I am.
Reciprocity means: What I have is yours to appropriate.
Similarly to the individual, the conjoined pair has an outward layer and inner layer. The outward layer absorbs love-substance filtered into a lower form or level of ability. It is similar with lower truth-substance. The inner layer of the conjoined pair absorbs love-substance more in its purity, and similarly with truth-substance.
Section 4: Outer and Inner Marriage
You can see from this organic and physiological perspective that marriage has to levels of operation, one outward, the other inner. The outward relationship of marriage is at a lower level of conjunctiveness or closeness, than the inner. Couples typically go through initial growth together by achieving the outward conjoined pair. In this phase the partners achieve physical and social closeness. If they adopt the daily practice of having mutually other-centered interactions, the inner layer of the conjoined pair begins to grow. They can then achieve emotional closeness, and finally, spiritual closeness. This grows and evolves endlessly.
Note the physiology of outward and inner conjunction. In the outward layer of the conjoined pair, the man’s outward personality conjoins with the woman’s outward personality to achieve physical and social closeness (see Chart of Closeness and Exclusivity). The male mind is formed outwardly by outer truth-substance, and inwardly by outer love-substance. It is reciprocal with the female mind, which is formed outwardly by outer love-substance.
The inner layer of the male mind is formed by inner love-substance, while the inner layer of the female mind is formed by inner truth-substance.
You can see from this that every component of the male mind is formed of male particles, while every component of the female mind is formed of female particles. Swedenborg said that nothing in a man, can be like anything in a woman, and vice versa. This is because they are perfect reciprocals in each and every component.
Because they are fundamental and organic reciprocals, a man and a woman can achieve perfect unity in the conjoined pair, outward and inner. This makes the perfection of the human unit.
Out of these couple-level perfections are created the community level perfections, and finally the perfection of the Grand Human in which all perfections are communicated to each and all. It is similar to the Grand Monster in which all imperfections, perversions, and insanities are communicated from each to all, thus maintaining a unified state.
This is how the human race evolves forever through the perfection of each and all. The more people are born on the planets, the more people join the Grand Human in eternity, and the more the human race evolves endlessly to perfection.
The Grand Monster is like a shadow world of the Grand Human. They are connected by inverted correspondence. Every new good (ability) and truth (rational meaning) that are acquired in the minds of people in the Grand Human descends to the conscious awareness of people in the Grand Monster where it is inverted into its opposite and into what is ludicrous and stupid. Through this automatic downward connectivity the evolution of the Grand Human turns into the devolution of the Grand Monster. One is getting better and better, the other is getting worse and worse.
Section 5: Medical Definition of Morality
Swedenborg interviewed people in both the Grand Human and the Grand Monster. He confirmed that the people in the Grand Human were in mutual love and respect, and this gave them super-human qualities and powers. They were wise, rational, polite, generous, and effective in all things they tried. In contrast the people in the Grand Monster were belligerent, harmful, stupid, irrational, and deceiving. They were full of illusions and delusions and they lived in bands and hoards, fighting among each other, and taking turns torturing each other in barbaric and unspeakable ways. This was their pleasure, delight, and fun in life.
Swedenborg confirmed that none of them are willing to consider changing. They retained a full ability to change their character by acquiring decency and respect for others. But they stubbornly and self-destructively refuse to do this. They hate the idea of it, and when Swedenborg kept up the topic of heavenly places existing in their mind, they started vomiting and trying violence against him.
Some people argue that morality is relative, not absolute, and that to try to impose one group’s morality on another, is tyrannical and unjust. We agree that one group should not impose their morality on another group. We can observe that morality has universal and cultural components. The cultural components differ and are often opposed to each other, which leads to political conflict between groups that live together in one area. But human rationality and the internationally acknowledged practice of respect for human rights, clearly show that morality has a universal human component that is inviolable, and therefore absolute.
Another perspective on this universal human morality is to see it as organic and physiological. Spiritual health and spiritual illness are medical concepts in science and psychology. Spiritual illness is often discussed as psychological maladjustment of the person. In medicine and psychology hundreds of maladjustment patterns or symptoms of behavior have been identified. Some of the most common spiritual maladjustment patterns include depression, alcoholism, addiction, autism, affective disorder, compulsions, obsessions, phobias, anger, emotional instability, character disorders, neuroses, schizophrenia, memory loss, inability to get along, bullying, psychoses and dementia.
These are traits that feed the people in the Grand Monster. They are negative, self-destructive, and destructive of society and community. They are contrary to spiritual health and progressive community. They inhabit positive growth. They neutralize and destroy all human traits that are positive and progressive that make community livable.
In the twenty-first century our generation is facing an intellectual dilemma between scientific materialism and scientific dualism. Both of these are based on the anatomical and biological functioning of the human person. But they offer a contrastive explanation of our spiritual life, now and in the future. Reductionism in materialistic psychology has left no place for the idea that the human mind is immortal. Psychology for more than one century has strictly enforced a policy of total exclusion regarding the immortality of the human mind.
In our view, this exclusion has generated negative consequences that humanity has dearly paid for in existing spiritual maladjustments, in the suffering and unhappiness that the4se engender in the minds of people.
In this country, which is second to none in economic, technological, and educational advantages, more than half of the population suffers from one or more major life-changing spiritual maladjustments. These include the inability to eat healthy, to exercise, to make marriage work, or to raise children who are well adjusted and educated, or to manage conflict with others without violence.
These maladjustments or spiritual inadequacies that are spread through the majority of our population, make it harder for everyone to prepare ourselves for the conditions and demands of the afterlife.
Scientific dualism will some day be taught in all of education. The current version of reductionistic psychology fills society and education, with theories that are far removed from the true reality of each person’s spiritual life. Scientific dualism gives people the understanding that their daily character decisions cumulatively produce an organic spiritual substance growth that becomes part of the self forever.
Children and young people will greatly benefit by being involved and engaged in the growth of their character. To be good and other-serving becomes a virtue with a prize well worth obtaining. We have many inherited and learned spiritual urges prompting us to be negative, to express anti-social feelings, and to maintain self-destructive habits. Scientific dualism gives humanity a new power to manage the self-destructive dysfunctions that manifest themselves in each new generation.
Humanity has enjoyed a magnificent cumulative legacy of music, art, dance, theater, management, and technology. This impressive legacy was achieved despite the plethora of negativity and spiritual maladjustments. Swedenborg explains that human progress is directed by the goodness and wisdom of the communities in the celestial regions of the Grand Human – not at all by the conscious guidance of the people on the planet. The process is an organic one.
People on the planet, as well as those who have already joined up with their spiritual community in eternity, continue to live a social dynamic life that brings them into interactions and transactions that need to be guided by rational management systems. This insures the maintenance of stability in a spiritual community that is evolving daily.
The management of the needs people encounter, both in time and in eternity, is one of the principal occupations of the inhabitants of the celestial and spiritual regions of the Grand Human. Through their desire and dedication to help the human race, individually and globally, they open up new insights and new abilities in themselves that then radiate outward into all the regions of the spiritual world.
When this organic transference process reaches a particular individual’s mind there is the spontaneous experience of a new idea or ability being born in our mind. This new idea or ability allows the individual to contribute in a new way to one’s goals and one’s usefulness to others. Through this process, societies and generations succeed each other, and share a legacy of intellectual content and practice.
Progress in the Grand Human is therefore organically related to progress in the individual and population everywhere in both worlds.
Section 6: The Vertical Community
Knowing about the vertical community can be of great benefit to people who take the perspective of scientific dualism. We like the idea that what we are thinking all day long, and what we are affected by, is a living organic process that produces a feed for the minds of others in the universe, and vice versa.
What an awesome thought! I call this spiritual feed our vertical community (you can google it). Here on earth we communicate with our horizontal community, which is geographically laid out around us. Online, we communicate with anyone in this geographic layout around the globe. Everyone on this earth is a member of one or other of the horizontal communities that inhabit it. But as well, every individual is also a member of a vertical community from which each person receives cognitive and affective input from one or other of the spiritual societies in eternity (as is explained in succeeding chapters).
A person’s social environment therefore includes outwardly, a physical and verbal input from the horizontal community, and inwardly, a spiritual and spiritual input from the vertical community.
Leon writes: “One consequence for me has been that I learned to monitor the content or focus of my thought sequences. I can then ask myself: Why am I thinking about this? It is nonproductive, or it may be harmful to myself, and therefore to others in the universal network of spiritual societies that will be exposed to my thoughts.”
We have a new sense of universal community responsibility and duty as a member of the human race. To be a good person I must always consider the impact I have on others, not only through my overt behavior as a citizen, parent, or teacher, but also through my spiritual behavior as a human being connected to other human beings everywhere in the universe of eternity. Knowing about this awesome reality helps strengthen my motivation for being other-centered at all times – in my thinking, in my attitudes, in my loves and enjoyments, and in my intentions and focus. When we succeed in maintaining our other-centeredness in all things of our life, we fulfill our life’s mission and purpose, from which we also reap immortality benefits in wisdom, intelligence, powers, enthusiasm, and spiritual love.
The spiritual activity of people on the planet is organically connected to the spiritual activity of people already living in eternity, who used to be on the planet. The human race remains connected in one unified organic spiritual network. The network is substantive, constructed with actual living fibers that are connected (“wired in”) to every spiritual body in the spiritual world of eternity, and hence unites every human being that was ever born somewhere since the beginning. The living organic fibers are from love-substance and truth-substance, which abounds everywhere in the spiritual world of eternity.
If I am disrespectful and mean to one person on my daily round, I am deepening my connection to one or more of the societies of the Grand Monster with whom I connected, unless I strive to organically detach myself from that spiritual social networking feed. We are not aware of the feed. All we can perceive is that new thoughts enter our awareness on a continuous basis. We take it for granted that these thoughts originate from ourselves. They cannot come from our memory since most of our thought sequences are unique and new, not from memory. Swedenborg reports that in the spiritual world of eternity people are conscious of spiritual input from others.
If I think or act selfishly from a self-centered perspective, I will regard my wants as always coming before the wants of others with whom I am interacting in my environment. This degrades the level of my spiritual life and of those who are impacted by me. But now that I can see this, I am affected by emotions of remorse or regret for hurting the feelings of someone, or keeping others from something to which they have a right to have. I am aware that I am not alone in my thinking. My negative thoughts enter a communication feed in the vertical community and have there an impact on other human beings. I have to care!
Remorse, regret, and repentance are activated only if I disapprove of my action or thinking. And together with these remorseful feelings, there is an activation of the motive to stop repeating that action and the habit of thinking that went along with it. This is the key element for achieving character change and reorientation, namely, the persistent desire and motivation to eliminate selfish and harmful actions and thinking. What is selfish to self is harmful to self and others. Selfishness is made possible by a self-centered view on everything. We grow up into adulthood with an inborn self-centered focus that we stamp in by daily habit and practice.
Our first and most critical task when we reach adulthood is to change our basic orientation from a self-centered focus to an other-centered focus.
This process of monitoring our spiritual negativity and of being affected by remorse, guarantees our success in the regeneration attempts of our inborn and acquired spiritual character traits.
When most people on this planet begin to do this, social disorder will gradually diminish and become unusual. The “pollution of the human I” will be well on its way to being purified and cleaned up. Humanity will enter a new phase of positive organic evolution.
The spread of scientific dualism will bring a renaissance of altruism, peace, and the opportunity for humanity to progress without disorder.
Scientific dualism teaches people that there is a universal organic spiritual order by which we can progress to eternal evolution. Morality will be seen as the personal striving to stay within that organic order. Immorality will be seen as the personal striving to steer away from that organic order for the sake of selfish desires and fantasies. Striving to stay within the organic order leads to a healthful and peaceful life with others. Striving to veer away from that organic order leads the mind into opposition to order, thus disorder. The mind in disorder is then assaulted and captivated by the affections and insanities issuing from the Grand Monster.
Understanding this universal organic human process provides us for the first time with the opportunity of controlling our fate.
Section 7: The Conjoined pair is the Basis for Heavenly Communities in Eternity
The Conjoined pair refers to the spiritual state of union between the male mind and the female mind. These two are born to be organic reciprocals so that they may conjoin into a perfect unity. This is the meaning of “the two shall be one”. Swedenborg reports that the “conjugial couples” he interviewed in the spiritual heaven of eternity, appeared from a distance as one person, but upon approaching, the husband and the wife were seen distinctly as individuals.
The appearance of the conjugial couple as one corresponds to the unity of their mind. Swedenborg talked to each separately, yet he had the sense that they were both talking when one was speaking. This oneness of mind is achieved through the birth and growth of the conjoined pair. This occurs when both partners assume the other-centered strategy in all their interactions. The continuous, cumulative, and uninterrupted stream of friendly and mutually enhancing interactions, create a relationship atmosphere that fosters the growth of the conjoined pair. This growth goes on to endless eternity.
Human beings are born as individuals, with an immortal spiritual body (or organic mind) that is temporarily encased and isolated by a physical body. This physical body restricts our sensory awareness to the limits inherent in its sensory organs. We don’t see or hear the other people who already inhabit the spiritual world of eternity. The dying process removes the physical encasing along with its sensory restrictions. Upon completion of the dying process, which takes about 30 hours according to Swedenborg’s careful observations, we emerge in sensory consciousness to the sensory organs of our immortal spiritual body.
All along, since our birth, we had this spiritual body, but we were unaware of our surrounds due to the functional restrictions sourced in the physical body. Upon our resuscitation following the brief dying process, these functional restrictions are no longer in place. We then begin a new life of awareness that functions at a distinct higher level than before. Communication is more intimate, in a version that might be called telepathic, inasmuch as flashing visible colors accompany our speech, displaying to others the quality of the inner emotions and intentions that motivate that speech.
Another big change is that our ruling love gravitates and finds the society of others with that ruling love. We then experience not just our individual life, emotions, and thoughts, but as well those of the others in that spiritual community. All inner feelings radiate outward from the individual’s spiritual body through transference of the organic substances from one individual to everyone else in that society. There is thus a continuous and endless circulation and reverberation of individual life to all, and from all to each.
The most powerful attractive force in eternity is love from love-substance. Mutual love binds the spiritual community into a societal unit of perfection. The community can now evolve forever, bestowing new and increasingly excellent qualities, abilities, and powers to the human mind. Swedenborg was astounded at the indescribably magnificent architectural designs and decors that he saw in many of these communities. They were organized as cities, in which one could see and visit sumptuous private habitations and gardens. All these things are the outward manifestations of their inner life, expressed as correspondences of natural environments.
Each individual habitation was occupied by a conjugial couple who lived forever in a perfect union through their conjoined pair.
Swedenborg also visited the communities that lived in their spiritual health with others with whom they shared a particular negative or unhealthy ruling love. These inhabitations were miserable shacks piled on top of each other in random heaps that frequently collapsed. Many also lived in dark caves and tunnels in the ground. The people were insane in various degrees, and they lived a life of deceit, cruelty, savagery, obsession, and fantasy.
Swedenborg found no individuals in their spiritual hell who had enough sense left to get out of that horrific spiritual state. When he presented to them details of the life they could have in their spiritual heaven, they rejected the idea of living that way. In fact they exhibited a violent hatred against topics such as romantic love, mutual love, innocence, children, marriage, and especially the idea that they need to love others as much or more than themselves. This idea made them vomit and feel like they were suffocating and dying. They revived to their normal hellish spiritual state as soon as they were able to expel all heavenly ideas from their thinking.
The perfection of communities in the spiritual heavens of the human mind is based on the dyadic unit of the conjugial couple. Because of the organic interconnectedness of everyone within a community, incompatible thoughts and emotions that may enter from some other source, are quickly expelled from the community. By this organic self-purification process, the community retains its integrity and perfection. For instance, if a couple should suddenly entertain the idea of non-exclusivity in marital intimacy, they are instantly ejected from the community, indicating how powerful is the organization of unity. That couple can be re-admitted to the community and their home after they totally give up the anti-conjugial thought, holding it in such aversion that they could not explore it again.
The fate of each of us after the resuscitation process is determined by our own choice. This choice is determined by the ruling love we have built up in our life through the physical body. Heavenly ruling loves are sourced in the spiritual environment of heaven. Therefore if we acquire and practice a heavenly ruling love while on earth, we are already in heaven as to our attitudes and intentions. At resuscitation our remaining hellish loves are stashed to the background of our mind and put to sleep. As soon as that organic process is complete, we can awaken in our spiritual heaven and feel ourselves familiar and happy there, as if we are at last reaching our true home. Even the neighbors we have around our private habitation look and feel familiar to us, as if we had been old friends all our lives.
The conjoined pair, built up through the daily practice of mutual other-centered interactions in a sweetheart relationship, is therefore a guaranteed strategy for ending up in our spiritual heaven.
It is very important to note that the partner who is practicing other-centeredness develops heavenly traits even if the other partner remains self-centered. Knowing this saves the other-centered partner from feeling deeply despondent about having “wasted” all those years with that person.
In that case they will not choose to be together after they are both resuscitated. The partner, man or woman, who has practiced the other-centered life in couplehood, is now attracted to a new partner with whom a conjugial union can be formed. The new couple thus develops a conjoined pair, and when this is mature, they are able as a conjugial unit, to be organically inducted into a compatible spiritual community. The self-centered partner on the other hand, now faces an uncertain future ahead. Everything depends on whether he or she has practiced enough other-centered traits in order to be able to elevate them into a ruling personality. If so, they too will find a compatible conjugial partner with whom to form a conjoined pair and thereby be inducted into one of the heavenly societies in the Grand Human. But if the self-centered loves won’t budge from center stage in their mind, they are inducted into a compatible society of the Grand Monster. The ruling love we choose to cling to, determines our eternal fate.
Section 8: The Consummation of Love
The dictionary defines the verb to consume as “the act of fulfilling or ending something”.
The inherent characteristic of human love is that it is affective energy that strives to fulfill itself through the cognitive system in the sensorimotor system.
Our loves are consummated in our sensory and motor behaviors. Pleasures are sensory and acts or speech are motor. But the affective system acts mostly through the cognitive system, and together with it, into the sensorimotor system.
For instance, we may acquire a love for making money in our adolescence or young adulthood, and for some, this love becomes a ruling love, for awhile, if not permanently. For decades this love maintains a steady spiritual association with cognitive strategies for attaining the goal in the sensorimotor system, where the love can fulfill itself, and be consummated. We see that our efforts at making money is paying off, or, at least offers the promise of a pay off. We feel hopeful, enthusiastic, successful at last. We can sense the success in our chest as we breathe more easily, contemplating the hoped for pay off.
There is an immediate spiritual pay off in this pleasure of thinking one is actually near the moment of making money. People sometimes think, “I can taste success”, while others say “I can smell success”. To taste and to smell are sensory events that correspond to the consummation of love. Dancing is a motor activity in which love fulfills itself, giving us pleasure, satisfaction, and fun.
People have a variety of innumerable loves, all organized in control hierarchies of power and importance to the person. Everyone determines their own personal and unique love hierarchy by their consummatory pattern. We make choices on a minute by minute basis, and each choice belongs to a particular move that gives it energy to reason and to execute.
For example, I may love the feeling that I have done a good job at something. This love will energize my task performances so that I may meet standards of quality that I retain in my cognitive system. I can appraise the job I have done and value-attach it as sloppy or thorough and effective. This positive evaluation is the spiritual pay off where the love is consummated and provides us with the inner satisfaction of doing a good job. This love must be in the category of altruism.
Self-centered love does not get consummated by doing a good job at something that is for others, like at work, or for a neighbor. It has a distaste or aversion for doing things for others without some direct benefit to oneself. Hence the lives and experiences of people who are other-centered is contrastive with the life of self-centered people. If unstopped, one leads to one’s spiritual heaven in eternity, while the other leads to spiritual hell.
What is the source of love’s spiritual power to direct our plans and to energize our behaviors?
Love-substance streams out of the Spiritual Sun of Eternity, and suffuses every portion of our affective system – the heart, the reproductive organs, the liver, the pancreas, the stomach, the intestines, and the arteries, capillaries, and veins. Each of these anatomical organ-systems receives the inflow of love-substance in accordance with the structure of that unique spiritual body or individual mind.
So our mind is not situated only in the brain but in every part of our anatomy. This psycho-anatomical fact is not yet generally known today.
The heart and reproductive organs are called celestial organs because they specialize in transforming love-substance into altruistic love. The substance of love in the affective system provides them with the power to dethrone the self from occupying the ruling love functions in the person’s motivational hierarchy of goals.
As a result of this motivational power, we are able to become other-centered in our dealings with people, by enabling us to develop the abilities and acquire the skills needed to be a good husband, a good parent, a good friend, a good citizen. Other-centered attitudes and motives allow the formation of human communities and their organic evolution.
Self-centered attitudes and motivations become selfish, and when this consummates itself, community begins to break down and eventually die out. Selfishness destroys community life like a dangerous and powerful virus destroys the physical body. We are being selfish when we consider our own benefit in everything we do. And if we don’t see a benefit to ourselves, we reject it as unworthy of our support. We favor people who favor us.
But with other-centered love we favor being useful or being of service to various others, each in different ways. When we strive to do our work honestly and responsibly we are being other-centered. Cheating or deceiving to gain an unfair advantage over others, is self-centered, and justifying cheating as allowable, is selfish and destructive to community.
Swedenborg visited the communities who live in the spiritual regions of the reproductive organs in the Grand Human. He notes that the ruling love of those people is conjugial love. In other words, husband and wife have a conjoined pair and lead their lives through that unity arrangement.
In their outward personality, each couple is anatomically united through her affective-circulatory-system conjoining itself to his cognitive-respiratory system. In other words her outward female mind becomes the love of his outward male way of thinking. In their inward personality, their anatomical unity is accomplished in reverse, by his affective-circulatory system conjoining with her cognitive-respiratory system. In other words, he becomes the inner love of her inner female way of thinking.
When a love consummates itself, and we experience the contentment of its sweet fulfillment, it goes to sleep for a while and become inactive in our sensorimotor life. Other loves come into the foreground of our consciousness and experience. In this way, we live our days through the ceaseless succession of consummatory experience. Our ruling love orders all its sub-loves or affections into a hierarchy that supports and is agreeable to its consummatory pattern. The love hierarchy supplies us with our energy and motivation to pursue our happiness, each according to our intelligence. Love directs thinking to guide the sensorimotor through the steps of a goal. When the goal is reached successfully, love can consummate itself.
There are two special functions or powers that make a human being human: consciousness and conscience. Both are basic biological properties of the spiritual world of eternity. Without both of these faculties, we can no longer be considered genuine human beings.
Consciousness is an outer spiritual sensation while conscience is an inner spiritual sensation. Both are sensations in experiencing. They are produced in the sensorimotor system of the spiritual body by the affective system through the cognitive system.
Consciousness is the sensation of self, or the awareness of being myself or me. This human capacity for self-identity rests on the anatomy of the spiritual body, which allows discrete levels of functioning within the same system. In this case, the cognitive-respiratory system of the spiritual body allows an outer and an inner degree of functioning. The inner degree is always higher in quality and ability than the outer. Consider plants as a comparison. The outer layer of fruits is mostly not edible, but the inner softer and juicier layer is nourishing and tasty. The inner structure of anything organic is always at a more advanced degree of quality than its outer structure.
Perceiving an inner sensation in oneself is of a higher degree of functioning than perceiving an outer sensation. Conscience is therefore of a higher capacity than consciousness. Conscience is located within consciousness, forming its inner structure, and the two make one integrated organic unit in the human mind. The inner sense is always within the outer sense, the two sensations or perceptions functioning as one by the laws of organic correspondences.
In anatomical structures the functioning of outer layers is not capable of directly perceiving the functioning of the inner layer. In contrast, the functioning of inner layers is capable of directly perceiving the operations of the outer layer.
Hence it is that in our conscience, we can perceive our consciousness, while in our consciousness we cannot perceive our conscience.
In other words, we can see our outward layer of thinking by positioning our focus within the inward layer of thinking.
We are capable of perceiving what we are thinking.
This ability requires an anatomical structure that enables it. Typically, people do not perceive, observe, nor reflect on their stream of thinking and feeling all day long. But experience and practice shows that one can acquire the habit of dual awareness in one’s thinking. In other words, our inner level of thinking, or conscience, continuously monitors our outer level of thinking (consciousness) as we go about doing our daily activities.
In the spiritual world of eternity, our inner sense or conscience is located in the upper regions of the mind called spiritual heaven, while our consciousness or outer sense, is located in the middle and lower regions.
When our focus of attention is elevated to the inner regions of our spiritual heaven, we experience healthy development and continued evolution toward greater perfection in community with others. This is the perfect immortal human life.
But as our focus of attention is lowered towards the regions of the human mind called spiritual hell, we experience a lack of the positive benefits and capacities available in the upper regions of our mind. The lower our focus, the less human our consciousness grows. In our daily lives here on earth we make choices every day and every hour and minute, by accepting, confirming, and stamping in negative habits of thinking and emoting.
Or we can focus our attention in conscience, and from there we can monitor the activities and thoughts that are going on in our outward personality or consciousness. We can perceive when we are acting and thinking from a self-centered perspective that is similar to being selfish. For example, we can see when we are being judgspiritual, derogatory, or disrespectful to someone in the privacy of our mind. It is our inner conscience (not our outer consciousness) that is aware of the disrespect and negativity.
We have the power from our inner thinking (conscience) to condemn that kind of negative thinking in our outer thinking and feeling (consciousness).
Once we reject, from conscience, our negativity in the outer personality, we are empowered to modify it, and clean it from our outer personality. When this becomes an automatic habit, our mind is growing in the order of spiritual heaven. After the dying process (which takes about thirty hours), we are resuscitated with the ability to enter the upper regions of the spiritual world, where we find our home in eternity within a community of like-minded people. In that heavenly state of mind, people live together while being imbued with mutual love and mutual regard. Each loves the other as much as self. We do good for the sake of others, and not merely outwardly as a gesture for the sake of our reputation or gain. We are actually affected or moved internally by witnessing the other person’s plight or need. We see our happiness in their happiness. We are satisfied because they are.
We learn to do all things for the sake of others as well as for the sake of ourselves (other-centeredness), and not just for the sake of ourselves (self-centeredness).
Other-centeredness and mutual love constitute the organic structural order of the upper regions of the human mind. This regard for others is such as to allow the endless positive evolution of character and mind.
We can also live our focus of consciousness in our outward personality exclusively, without regularly availing ourselves of the human ability to look down upon it from conscience. In that case we maintain and perpetuate our self-centered focus, which eventually turns into selfishness. We then live life for ourselves only. We do all things for the sake of self only, and for the sake of those who favor us, or whom we consider our own.
Thus we do all good selfishly, because we are actually doing it for ourselves. We see our happiness not in their happiness, but only in what is our own. If the good is happening to others with whom we have no share or part, we are not happy on their account or for their sake, but envious, and would take that good away from them if we could without being punished.
By a selfish and negative life such as this, we awaken in the afterlife and gravitate to the lower regions of the spiritual world, where we join one of the horrendous communities of the spiritual hells. Our anatomical structures in the spiritual body then act as if they are turned upside down and are distorted in some way. Our selfish thinking and hostile feelings live and thrive in a mind that is in disorder. Our experience continues to worsen as we devolve organically. The process is endless, and corresponds in opposition to the positive stages of evolution and development that we undergo in the upper regions of the mind.
Section 10: Conscience and Our Ruling Love
Conscience refers to the vertical degrees of organization in the human spiritual anatomy. The spiritual world of eternity is the human mind. Each individual is unique and has a unique experience of the human mind. It is the same human mind that everyone has, but each human being distinctly and uniquely. This human mind, which all human beings share anatomically from birth onward, is a structural unit like the physical body is one structural unit.
The physical body is modeled by exact correspondence to the spiritual body, which is the mind of the individual. So we know that the original, which is the spiritual body with which we are born, is in the human form, and like the physical body, contains three discrete and integrated systems (affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor).
Swedenborg confirmed this definitively by exploring the spiritual world of eternity for 27 years continuously (see the Writings of Swedenborg). As a systematic anthropologist of the “spiritual world of the afterlife” he kept records of the relationship between the geographic location of the spiritual body structure where he was, and the character of the people he was interviewing and studying. In other words, since the human mind is shaped like the body, the form or shape of the spiritual world of eternity is that of a human body. Swedenborg called it the Grand Human. He was able to travel with his spiritual body throughout the regions of the spiritual world of eternity. Everywhere, he found communities of people living together in groups and cities.
Swedenborg used his detailed knowledge of human anatomy and physiology (18th Century) to describe the medical function of the specific organ and to correlate it with the psychological character of the people living in those communities. He found out that there was a high or perfect correlation, suggesting a cause-effect relationship. For example, the people who live in the region of the heart and reproductive organs were distinctly more in mutual love and in truth, than the people who lived in the region of the foot.
In general anatomical structure, the spiritual world of eternity is divided into three distinct corresponding regions: celestial, spiritual, and natural. People living in the celestial regions are more imbued with conjugial love and mutual love. They are involved with love primarily, and truth secondarily. Those in the region below are spiritual in character and are involved in truth primarily, and in love secondarily. Those in the region below them are naturally oriented and are involved in acquiring knowledges and skills primarily, and truth and love secondarily.
It is evident that the human mind is shaped in the human form, and that its anatomical regions have specific properties that are localized geographically within the anatomical functions of the human body. Human anatomy and spiritual geography overlap in content.
One practical implication of these findings is that the feelings, emotions, and thoughts that we are experiencing all day, minute by minute, are locations based phenomena. Changing locations in the spiritual world of eternity automatically changes our emotion, thinking, perception, and love. Our awareness of what we are experiencing is connected to the location of our spiritual body in the Grand Human and Grand Monster.
When we become aware of a change in our experience, we can conclude that our spiritual body was instantly teleported to another region. Altruism, inner contentment, and wisdom are available only when our spiritual body is in the upper heavenly order of the mind. If we suddenly remember something bad or anxiety provoking, we are instantly teleported to a region in the Grand Monster, which contains the opposite order of the Grand Human.
In this way, all day long, our spiritual body travels through the regions of the human mind experiencing corresponding emotions, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions.
Our brief temporary life on earth serves to allow us to practice controlling this awesome spiritual ability that we retain forever. We need to realize that this is not a matter of choice at the very end of our journey. The spiritual habits we stamp in prior to our resuscitation are immortalized as anatomical structures in our spiritual body. Such as we were in this life, such we remain in the afterlife. What we loved and practiced, remain with us forever as fixed anatomical structures in our spiritual body.
Further, we need to realize that the human mind is a substantive, real, structural formation, just as the heart is in the physical body. The state of our mind can be gauged by our “ruling love” or the primary motivation and goal that we have in our interactions and activities all day long. For example, people who are obese write about being obsessed with eating every minute of the day. No other topic or love is more important to them. Of course this is common with many other behaviors that appear outside the norm, such as playing a lot of video games, watching a lot of TV, neglecting personal hygiene or health, letting one’s room and kitchen be in disorder, always being late, telling a lot of lies, spending money excessively, etc.
In each of these cases there is a specific ruling love that maintains the behavior and elevates it in importance above almost anything else in one’s daily life.
Our ruling love, if unchecked, takes over our outward and inward personality. Everything gets distorted and rearranged in one’s goals, intentions, and conscience. The rearrangement is produced by the ruling love and all things that are contrary to it are downgraded in the list, and all things that are compatible with it are upgraded. Our personality becomes our ruling love and our ruling love becomes our personality.
We are able to perceive from the higher perspective of our conscience, whether our ruling love is in order with the anatomy of the spiritual world or in disorder. Our ruling love together with its hierarchy of affections, are in anatomical or healthy order, if it originates from the upper regions of the spiritual heaven. Most basically, is the determination of whether the ruling love is compatible with mutual love and the conjoined pair, or not.
If it is, then it will take us to that very region upon our resuscitation, just a few hours after the completion of the dying process, which is the anatomical disengagement of our physical body from the spiritual body. Upon resuscitation, or awakening, we no longer see and hear through the senses of the physical body, but through the senses of the spiritual body. At last we are free of the limitations of the physical and temporal, and we are ready to function in a new exciting world, with a new universal thought-language that all human being speak internally from birth on.
We are no longer encumbered by having to make a living and providing for ourselves and our family, since all things we need appear instantly as we need them. We are now truly free without the fear of outside interference. This new freedom brings on a new spiritual process. Our life on earth was regulated by outside laws and relationships. Hence our ruling love and its love hierarch, remained in the background, suppressed. It could not satisfy itself and pursue its goals because they brought on outside retaliation and punishment.
But now these outside threats have been eliminated by the new life and there is nothing to stop the ruling love from coming out and taking over. We go through a few adaption experiences after resuscitation, which allow the ruling love and its sub-affections, to come out fully and powerfully into the open, seeking immediate satisfaction and consummation.
Pretty quickly we begin to move and drift unconsciously and irresistibly into other regions of the human mind. New powerful emotions take hold of our consciousness. We begin to move quickly now, either upward to the regions of the heavens, or downwards to the regions of the hells. Whichever way people go, they get more deeply into it, and everything else is shoved to the background and neutralized, as if asleep or dead.
The ruling love and associated ideas and justifications, bring our consciousness to heaven when it is compatible with altruism, mutual love, conjugial love, love of innocence, love of children, love of truth, compassion, and wisdom. When our loves are incompatible with these altruistic loves, they are then compatible with selfishness, lack of respect for community welfare, open marriage and infidelity, love of corruption, enjoyment of corrupting and hurting children, love of self-serving falsities and untruth, pleasure in cruelty, and persistence in irrational thinking.
Since conscience reflects the anatomical order of the heavenly regions of the mind, it also is two-valued and vertical. The levels of conscience are arranged vertically, i.e., more inwardly. The higher levels of conscience are in correspondence with the ruling loves that live in heaven. Lower levels of conscience are in correspondence with a mixed spiritual environment that contains both orderly structures corresponding to heaven in the mind, and disorderly structures corresponding to hell in the mind. The ruling loves that correspond directly to the hells are not in the Grand Human, but outside of it, in the Grand Monster.
The benefit of conscience is that it allows us to identify the location of our ruling love in the human mind. This gives us a compass or map that guides our growth. Without a conscience we would be unable to identify which loves are heavenly (supportive of community and life), and which loves are hellish (destructive of community and life).
We have the human freedom to disregard our conscience in the acquisition and practice of our loves. However, people have to pay the ultimate price for destroying their conscience. Habitual and continuous disregard of our conscience in our daily life, destroys it, and at some point is no longer functional. At that point we are driven by a ruling love that may not be compatible with mutual love and other-centeredness.
Anatomically the spiritual regions of hell are in structural disorder, and hence functional disorder. Hellish spiritual states, ruling loves, and habits are medically unhealthy, ill, and insane. They oppose the life of the community upon which the human race is based. If they were to be allowed to co-mingle with the upper regions, hellish disorder would corrupt all human life. Happiness, compassion, mutual love, the raising of children, married life – all these would be destroyed forever. All future generations would inherit the corrupt personality and life. The entire race would become ugly, stupid, insane, and horrific. Human life would not be worth living, but we would have no choice in the matter since we are born immortal.
The altruism of our heaven consists of loving others as much as loving oneself. The selfism of our hell consists of loving self only, and others only so far as they favor us.
Note carefully: altruism is not the denial of self and the love of others. This kind of altruism has been described as impossible to follow due to human nature. And also, it has been said generally that altruism cannot be justified by biological evolution, but only self-survival can.
Altruism is loving others, as much as self.
Thus, altruism includes love of others and love of self.
As long as they are equal in our mind, selfism is kept away. In selfism we love only our self and we do all things for the sake of self only. We appear to do good things to others, but only when this is to our benefit. Our motivation for doing some good to some others under certain conditions, is strictly selfish and self-interested motivation. But in altruism we don’t just do whatever we want, we consider the rights and comforts of others. Their good and comfort are considered as much in our mind, as our own good and comfort.
Practical Guide for the Conjugial Couple
How to Manage Daily Interactions that Foster the Growth of the Eternal Conjoined pair
Section 1: Strategies Men Can Use for Conjunctive Interactions
1. Rule 1: Never attack her verbally. To openly express your disagreement with her counts as an attack. So does criticizing her.
Rule 2: Never counter-attack her verbally. If
she yells at you or criticizes you, you are not allowed to yell at her back, or
to defend yourself against her criticism. Instead, find another way that is
more indirect, gentler, more positive. ‘Tit for tat’
behavior is injurious to your sex life with her. Always remember that!
Rule 3: Never give her excuses when she asks, “Why didn’t you do it, honey?” Or “Why not?” etc. She is not asking for a
rationale as to why you didn’t do it, or why you don’t want to do something.
You are confronted with the reality of a retreat, which is the shortest and
easiest way of ending the confrontation. You make a retreat by confessing that
you should have done it, or that you should be doing it, and that you
completely agree with her, now that you see the situation her way. Of course,
you then must do it! Must.
Always acknowledge contact initiation by her
without delaying (e.g., a phone call, a Hello when walking in the room, a look
of concern she shows in some situation, a friendly attempt by her to banter
with you, etc.). Responding to contact initiation is basic and essential to
emotional closeness. Everything else in your interactions depends on it.
Learn to shop together for her clothes, what
colors she thinks look good on her, how to comment when she tries something on
by using specifics such as “That’s a nice
color blend that goes perfect with your skin tone”, or, “I’ll look on the rack to see if I can find
one size smaller for you”, “It looks
cute on you. But you usually don’t like those types of sleeves”, “It’s promising. It looks a little tight for
comfort. Do you want to try one size up?” “Hey, look what I found on the sales
rack over there. This top will be just perfect for your brown striped pants.”
When she makes a show of being distressed, treat
it as urgent and requiring your immediate attention. Avoid becoming callous or
non-reactive to her distress. Look for what she needs to reduce or eliminate
the distress. Make yourself the guardian and protector of her peace. This will
allow you to taste her marvelous female sweetness.
Foster a strong aversion in yourself for
displaying any disagreement with her at any time. It’s easy to disagree when
you are in a self-centered mode of interaction. Strengthen the supreme
imperative in you to never display disagreement with her. If you differ on something with her, it is not necessary and not
advantageous to disagree on account of this difference. Disagreeing is
separative and negative. Sharing differences of opinion is not.
Learn to join her topic focus when she talks
with you. Stay on her topic and let her do the topic switches. Resist the
common blunder of interrupting her. She feels every interruption as a stress
point, and they add up cumulatively. Your sweetheart deserves to have a man who
can dance with her, coordinate schedule with her, interrupt his tasks for her,
and give her what she wants now. After all, this is how she feels towards you.
Women are trained from childhood onward to cater to a man’s needs and requests.
Observe how she drops what she is doing when you need help with something.
Train yourself to be ready to promptly carry out
her need-based requests. The female mind takes things more urgently than the
male. Postponing and procrastination are often much harder on a woman than a
man. If you’re going to do something she asked to be done, then do it now.
Think about it from her perspective. She wonders several times a day whether
you’re going to do it, when you’re going to do it, and whether she should
remind you again or not. If it is a request for something immediate, do it
right then and there, dropping whatever you were doing. She will thus integrate
you into her daily life and schedule. She is trying to make your life to be
interdependent with hers by relying on you. This is how the female mind thinks,
and this is how she approaches union, intimacy, and closeness. This is good
news for solidifying your eternal union with her—as long as that is what
you want above all else!! Is it?
to talk to her like you’re best friends. Study how she talks to her girl
friends and how they talk to her. You can avoid the classic blunder made by
many men when their woman shares concerns and explanations. He takes over by
giving her advice. Instead, she wants
a platform that will facilitate her emotional airing of what bothers her,
bringing it out into the open, talking about it, and thereby controlling and managing it. Reflect to her
what she says, and ask her meaningful follow up questions, so you don’t sound
like an echo. Do not tell her what to do. Let her decide what to do.
Your task is to receive her ideas and emotions, and to assist her in bringing
put her, or any of her concerns, in a lower priority than you put yourself or
any of your concerns. You cannot make exceptions. Yes, you have legitimate
concerns for your children, or for your parents, or for your old best friend
from high school, or for your job, or your career. You can honor all these
other obligations, but only in second place, not first, where she is in
your mind. And they will all be fine in second place, but your wife will not be
fine except when she knows that you put her in first place in your mind. Just
remember: they will be fine in second place, but your wife will not be fine in
second place. It’s an easy and logical choice! Your wife is tied to you
spiritually and anatomically, which means you will be together in eternity. But
your children or parents or career will not be permanently with you after
resuscitation. In fact, parents and children meet in the afterlife for a brief
exchange, but they do not stay together because the inner character of the
children and that of the parents are often incompatible.
need to take on the responsibility for seeing after her physical needs and
comforts. Learn to know her physical stress points (e.g., neck, shoulder, back
of arms, hands, soles of the feet, ankles, calves), and learn to rub or massage
them gently but firmly. To deepen her state of relaxation (e.g., to facilitate
her going to sleep at bedtime), press gently the temples and rub the scalp
firmly, going under the hair; then end by gently pressing her feet until she is
ready to fall asleep. Do not initiate talking. You get better as you practice
with focus on a regular daily basis. Always be keen to observe when she wants
you to stop.
Caution: Do not turn the relaxation activity into a sexual activity since this would be putting pressure on her when she is in a vulnerable spiritual state, which could be stressing and emotionally upsetting to her—the opposite of relaxing. Doing things to relax your sweetheart is one of your most important regular (daily) responsibilities as a man. It’s also an interesting and enjoyable thing to do for a man who is motivated to learn to like the female mind, since all the details of a woman’s body reflect in exact point-by-point correspondence, the organic anatomy of the female mind or female spiritual body. The husband is touching her eternal spiritual body that will stay with him forever. What an amazing realization to have on a daily basis!
13. Never give anyone else the same degree of
closeness and intimacy that you give to your wife, including your children, your
parents, your old friends, etc. The
conjoined pair can survive only in total exclusivity. Children,
parents, friends, and career stand on the outside of the conjoined pair, while
you and your wife are on the inside. To admit anyone to the same inner circle
sanctuary, automatically destroys the organic unity, which is based on the
exclusivity of two.
14. Elevate the importance of staying best
friends above all other considerations in every exchange you have with her. The
other considerations remain secondary, such as the topic or subject, the task,
the people involved, or the outcome of that exchange. Sharing a conjoined pair
as sweethearts is a spiritual state that fosters the mutual feeling that they
each other’s best friend. This is most important for the success of the union.
How else could you contemplate spending the rest of eternity with the same
woman, and still be wildly happy about it? The only way is to become each
other’s best friends. Spending eternity together as sweetheart best friends, is easy to look forward to and to desire.
to respect her wishes or requests to you, as she expresses them. Resist trying
to modify or change them in some way. It is not worth it. She will have to
spend her energy and crowded time to get you to back off. Love her. This means:
seek her comfort level of peace. Don’t rock the boat. Give up the little change
that you thought should be made. Give up what you think you want when it is not
the same as what she wants. If you do that, you will obtain what you really want,
which is her friendship, love, and sweetness, growing ever more sweet as the
days of eternity succeed each other in your life.
she starts talking to you, make yourself always interruptible from your task,
whatever it is. Remaining best fiends is your highest priority, not the other
involvement that she happens to be interrupting. Admit it: nothing bad will
happen if you interrupt yourself, whatever it is, ninety-nine percent of the
time. But something very bad will happen if you place her below your task: Your
‘best friends’ sweetheart relationship, takes a hit and a tumble, which will
require much effort on your part to retrieve and replace. Be easy on yourself.
Let her interrupt your task.
It’s not worth it, to act like she can’t interrupt you without you punishing her, like: taking a few extra seconds before responding or looking at her, or expressing your displeasure with an impatient tone, or complaint. All these little negative role-play performances are detrispiritual to your friendship and sweetheart status. So which would you rather have? Make up your mind and follow it.
to practice sweetheart access rituals.
Always acknowledge her co-presence when you enter the room or leave it, by a smile, a touch, or a flattering comment. This keeps your sweetheart relationship on a special basis all the time. This kind of other-focused interactional climate fosters the organic growth of the conjoined pair. The more the conjoined pair grows and develops, the more you and your wife will feel close, intimate, connected, and a source of mutual benefits, including, spiritual stability, inner peace, friendship, romantic passion, emotional closeness, mutual reliance, shared and enhanced competence in all areas of daily living.
“Rituals” refers to interactions that are repeated over time and recognizable to both partners. “Access” refers to a change of spiritual state. “Access rituals” refers to the familiar exchanges that mark a change in her spiritual state. For example, when she leaves house and when she comes home are major changes of spiritual states for her. If you are at home, then you need to engage in these access rituals to facilitate her transition from outside world focus to inside home focus.
When she is at the door, leaving the house, shower her with compliments and kisses, so that she enters the outside world surrounded by a cloud of your warmth and male strength. Wave goodbye until you can’t see her anymore. And when she arrives home, make a big deal of it. Act as if it is homecoming day at a school reunion. This will lift her spirit or mood, surrounded by your friendly solicitudes, and will allow her to relax properly into the home presence, thus becoming her self. Then you’ll experience the special female sweetness that she has reserved just for you. It’s all worth it, for both of you!
Raising a new topic that will change her involvement and mood, and also needs proper access rituals. Don’t’ just bring it up at any time. When introducing the subject be indirect at first, avoiding unnecessary drama that might intensify her emotions. Maintain a calm and gentle face throughout, even laying your hand on her from time to time, as a gesture of reassurance and encouragement.
to match her pace when doing things together such as cleaning, shopping,
driving, etc. Learn to match her style of interaction with sales people. Show
the same amount of concern that she shows for social obligations. Learning to
keep pace with her in her spiritual movements allows you to deepen your
compatibility. This deepens her happiness and confidence as a unity pair with
you. As a result, she loves you even more.
be very supportive of her self-improvement plans in relation to exercise, diet,
appearance, and projects. Learn the female interests of your woman. Women may
have conflicts, especially about their appearance. Encourage her to be
disciplined, but never badger her or command her to do something. Do physical
activities with her as a couple, like walking, working out, yoga, dancing,
biking, etc. Help her do the shopping for her clothes, in stores and online.
Learn the vocabulary and the parameters. You will become her best friend (lucky
you!). She can consult you on her clothes and accessories, and you can give her
how to help her gain confidence and enthusiasm with her work involvements. Seek
ways to talk to her in a way that encourages her in her plans. Keep in mind
that the female affective circulatory system runs at a higher temperature than
the man’s. Therefore find ways of strengthening her sense of calm, of feeling
steady and balanced in the inner layer of her personality. Women sense these
inner spiritual disturbances in their outer correspondences in the physical
body where they manifest as stress. You want to strive to diminish her stress
in all sorts of ways you can discover, but in general, they consist of being a
good friend to her and pampering her in her needs and comforts.
to have fun with her, engaging in friendly talk and banter, doing things she
likes to do for enjoyment. To some men this comes easily, but not to others.
Study what makes her laugh, excited, and enthusiastic. That is when she is
having fun. Try to recreate such situations for her. Learning to have light fun
with your sweetheart is one of the greatest spiritual states for a man to be
in. It takes you back to your dating and honeymoon feelings with her.
how to share with her your abstract ideas and theories without lecturing or
being boring. Allow her to be reactive and tangential to your topic. Show
interest in what she comments about it. Ask some follow up questions to her
comments. Learning how to talk to her is a key component in the creation of
your eternal union with her. If you slip for a moment, and fall into a
self-centered focus in the conversation, you will express impatience and your
voice will get more insistent and threatening. Back off as soon as you become
aware of it.
be gentlemanly and chivalrous with her, allowing yourself
no exceptions. Become aware of the prejudices you’ve been taught against being
chivalrous with a woman. Observe the behavior of men around you and how they
ridicule a man who is always chivalrous and a gentleman in the presence of
women. It’s likely that you have
absorbed some of these offensive anti-unity cultural prejudices. It’s likely
that she too has been taught that these things (like holding the car door for
her), are no longer appropriate in the modern world of
so-called ‘equality of the sexes’. But you need to get passed this norm and
prove to her that she loves it when you are being chivalrous with her and that
it makes her feel more female, which is inherently enjoyable and valuable for
By committing yourself to give her the life and experience of living with a gentleman, you are improving the quality of her life. You become important to her. Your two lives are intermeshing more and more. The spiritual and eternal Conjoined pair has been conceived from out of spiritual union, and soon it will be born amidst you, to your wonderful delight and felicity.
willing to eliminate your particular personality traits for which she has an
inner aversion or distaste. This is possible only if you elevate your eternal
union with her above all else in your life, without a single exception. When
you are in this spiritual state of total commitment and motivation, you can
modify all your inherited and acquired traits. Your love for eternal unity with
her gives you the power to overcome lesser loves and loyalties.
The ruling love at the top of your love hierarchy commands all the other loves you have. Why keep your love for a trait of yours for which she feels inner aversion? Why put your loyalty for that outward trait above your loyalty for your inner eternal union with her? It’s irrational. Especially since, when you enter your spiritual heaven with her, you won’t be able to retain any outward lower traits that are not compatible with her spiritual and celestial loves. After people undergo resuscitation at the end of the dying process, the memory for our culture, history, and language on earth quickly sinks into our subconscious, so that we start a new life in eternity that is not based on the order of things we knew on earth.
her with meaningful compliments every day. Realize the power of your
compliments with her. When a woman receives a compliment from her sweetheart,
she is transported for a special moment. Everything stops, and her spiritual
body is teleported to a garden in her spiritual heaven. The experience is
uplifting, as if she just had a mini-spa treatment. You can see why you want to
keep doing it. It takes thinking and planning. All the obvious ones are used
first, and they cannot be reused over and over again because they lose their power
and special meaning. There are endless ways of showing admiration and
enthusiasm for the things she says. She will love to talk to you for feeling
elevated and relaxed by doing so, perhaps not knowing specifically why except
that it is your presence. It takes much practice, for some men, more than for
other men who can get the hang of it more quickly. In either case it will work.
care about your reputation in her mind. After any interaction, review in your
mind your behavior towards her, as seen from her perspective. Ask yourself if
you have been showering her with enough daily attention, or does she think your
ardor for her is cooling? Does she think your hygiene is insufficient to her
liking? Are you softening your
voice and your face when you are with her or approach her? Very likely your
sweetheart scans your face for any signs of stress or disturbance. Isolate your
encounter from the influence of outside concerns and happenings. Be here now,
together, forever. That is what will bring vitality, felicity, and enthusiasm
of life to both of you, forever. It’s worth fighting for by sacrificing your
socialized pride and righteousness for exercising male dominance over women.
It’s smarter to give in, than to win. Go along with her female requests to your
male mind. Be the man she wants you to be.
a G34 student post: “I agree that men should give in to most
disjunctive interactions. Just like you, I can think of many pointless
arguments that lead to nowhere and just caused both of us to become upset at
each other. It’s so frustrating to know how well you get along with your other
half yet so many insignificant issues can break you apart so easily. I feel
that if my boyfriend just gave in most of the time it would just be done with
and I would neither think of him weak or un-male, but rather loving,
understanding and considerate.”
28. From a G34 student Post: “Dr. De Angelis also talks about what men can do to make women feel valued. Men should show their woman that their happiness is a priority, show interest in her life, show that they need her, and show that they don’t take her for granted. These things help a woman see that their man really cares about her. (…) When I was with my ex, I woul