The Web address of this document is: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/making.htm
 

Note: This article was submitted for publication to New Philosophy in 2005. It was not accepted. The reason given was that theistic psychology was an unfinished project and could not be adequately evaluated at this time.

 

 The Textbook of Theistic Psychology in 18 Volumes is available here:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic

 

The Making of Theistic Psychology

 

By Dr. Leon James

Professor of Psychology

University of Hawaii
2005

(see Note 1)

 

Contents

 

  1.       Clarifying the Title of the Article

  2.       The Social Context for Teaching Theistic Psychology

  3.       The Style in Which Theistic Psychology is Written

            3.1       Methodology in Theistic Psychology

  4.       The Negative and Positive Bias in Science

  5.       Correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture

  6.       Levels of Descent of Divine Speech

  7.       The Incarnation Event and Regeneration

  8.       Thinking With Angels: Our Virtual Heavens

  9.       Why the Writings Sacred Scripture are Written in Correspondences

            9.1       Methodological Issues About Enlightenment

            9.2       Why Spiritual Meanings Cannot be Conveyed by Natural Expressions

            9.3       The Method of Correspondences With Enlightenment

            9.4       Methods of Extraction

                        9.4.1    The Method of Substitution

                        9.4.2    The Method of Rational Series

                        9.4.3    The Method of Mapping

10.       Spiritual Geography = Mental Anatomy

11.       Sensuous vs. Rational Spirituality

12.       The Benefits of Theistic Psychology

13.       The Central Theme of Theistic Psychology

14.       Theistic Psychology for the New Church Mind

15.       Current Research in Theistic Psychology

            15.1     Self-witnessing Disciplines

            15.2     Phases of Mental Development

            15.3     Genes of Consciousness

                        15.3.1    Duality Gene Structures

                        15.3.2    Trigrammatic Gene Structures

                        15.3.3    Graphic Concepts for Trigrammatic Genes

                        15.3.4    Rational Sets of Trigrammatic Concepts

                        15.3.5    Enneadic Gene Structures

                        15.3.6    Mapping the Divine Child's Mental States

            15.4     Unity Model of Marriage

16.       The Future Outlook for Theistic Psychology

Appendix: The Current Outline for Volume 5

End Notes

 

 

This article describes how the work Theistic Psychology is being written and what it is based on. Several key themes are summarized, exhibiting the style and reasoning process of theistic psychology. Several selections are included showing how the relevant scientific information is extracted from the Writings.

 

Dr. Leon James has been Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii since 1971. In 1981 he and his wife were browsing in the campus library, looking for Bible commentaries. They found the Writings of Swedenborg and they have been studiously reading them ever since. Since 1996 he has maintained a Web site of his articles and books on Swedenborg (see Note 2). Since the spring semester of 2004 he has been teaching the scientific content of the Writings to Psychology majors enrolled in his research seminars. The title of the course is Theistic Psychology: The Science of Immortality, Based on the Writings of Swedenborg. His Lecture Notes on Theistic Psychology comprise 18 volumes and are available on the Web (see Note 2).

 

Dr. James is also known to news reporters as “Dr. Driving” and has given over one thousand interviews and media appearances in the past five years. Known as the world’s foremost expert on road rage, he maintains a Web site on driving psychology at DrDriving.org and with his wife Dr. Diane Nahl, has authored a book titled Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare. They have written a video course titled Roadrageous which is the first national aggressive driving course used for achieving affective objectives for violators by some court systems, as well as in police training, and military bases.

 

1.  Clarifying the Title of the Article

 

The making of theistic psychology refers to every regenerating person’s effort to gather the “scientifics” of our immortality. I use the term “theistic psychology” to refer to the knowledge that any person derives from the Writings of Swedenborg by means of the method of correspondences with enlightenment, as prescribed in the Writings. Swedenborg himself applied this method to extract new knowledge from the Old and New Testament. He therefore wrote his analyses in Arcana Coelestia from this rational knowledge of theistic psychology.

 

But when we read what he wrote, we do not automatically obtain the theistic psychology he understood and from which he wrote as an expert. In order to reconstruct in our own mind the theistic psychology Swedenborg had in his mind, we need to do to the Writings Sacred Scripture something similar to what he did to the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture. We cannot understand theistic psychology from the same spiritual level that he did through his dual citizenship and immediate leading from the Divine Human.

 

But the Divine Human has given every human being on earth the ability to understand spiritual ideas spiritually. The Writings call this spiritual understanding “enlightenment,” as will be shown in the article. But in order to be enlightened we must go to the effort of extracting, or “drawing out,” more interior meanings that are encapsulated within the literal meaning. The Writings command us to do this and teach us how to do it properly, as will be shown in the article.

 

The Divine Child during the Incarnation Event was the first to apply this method by extracting the hidden meanings in the Hebrew Old Testament Sacred Scripture, and then, enlightening His natural mind from the Human Divine within Himself. It is then that He realized who He was and what His mission needed to be. No one else applied this method to Sacred Scripture until Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), who illustrates and describes this method in very great detail. In the past 150 years many scholars from the General Church tradition have applied this method to the Writings Sacred Scripture, though they did not do so explicitly and did not call the result “theistic psychology.”

 

The theistic psychology that you can read in this work of 18 volumes is an instance of what happens when one applies this method in the context of the modern science of psychology.

 

Theistic psychology is not a New Church religion, but it is scientifically compatible with it because both the General Church and theistic psychology are based on the Writings Sacred Scripture exclusively. But the General Church is based on the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture, while theistic psychology is based on information extracted from the literal meaning by applying the prescribed method of correspondences with enlightenment. How and why this is done will be illustrated and explained in the article.

 

2.  The Social Context
for Teaching Theistic Psychology

 

I teach psychology courses as part of an undergraduate program that prepares majors for graduate school in psychology. The department has a reputation for maintaining strict scientific standards within the behavioral and clinical fields. Its program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. I mention these details to indicate the context in which I teach courses, and thus what faced me when I decided to teach the scientific content of the Writings as a regular course in the department. The principle of academic freedom allows instructors to select the specific content of courses. Nevertheless there is a strong expectation that instructors will cover the standard material for that course topic and level as defined by the leading college textbooks for each area.

 

Courses are tied into each other as prerequisites, a system that tends to restrict topics to a common denominator across most colleges and universities that prepare students for graduate school. In the early years I was able to add Swedenborg to courses in social psychology and history of psychology, as long as the expected list of authors was also covered. In this context I was able to do little more than mention a few ideas Swedenborg had written about, along with the other “requisite” historical figures like Aristotle, Plato, Leibniz, Descartes, Malherbes, Rousseau, Wundt, W. James. These receive mention in most History of Psychology textbooks. Not one of them includes Swedenborg. However, in this context, just about anyone can be mentioned in lectures because it is a historical lineup, and is not directly related to the contemporary status of psychology as a science.

 

My first attempt to teach the Writings as an entire course came in the Spring 2004 semester. The course was in the form of a seminar for psychology majors in their last semester. The content of the course is not defined as a prerequisite and varies with the instructor teaching it. This format gave me the opportunity to determine the entire content of the course. I used two sources for the assigned readings: Testimony to the Invisible (Swedenborg Foundation.) and Spirituality that Makes Sense (Rev. Douglas Taylor) (see Note 3). The first book is made of brief essays on Swedenborg by various well known authors. The second book presents the General Church perspective on the Writings. The first book is secular and presents Swedenborg as a “visionary” and “mystic” who is so deep that few people fully understand him. The second book presents Swedenborg as the “revelator,” chosen and prepared by Jesus Christ as God, to repair the theological irrationalities into which the Christian Church had fallen.

 

By selecting these two books I was intending to present a ‘balanced’ discussion in the tradition of academia. On one side of the views on Swedenborg, there is the secular perspective and assessment of him as one of the great geniuses of literature. On the other side there is the General Church religious view and assessment of the Writings of Swedenborg as Sacred Scripture. In our class discussions I presented my own research position which was that the Writings of Swedenborg are scientific reports about the spiritual world. Interestingly, the students showed a preference for the Douglas Taylor book, an outcome that took me by surprise. Students wrote several reports and they are posted on the Web (see Note 2).

 

My conclusion after the first semester was that I did not spend enough time and effort in presenting the scientific content of the Writings in a systematic way that would allow them to enter into a serious study of its ideas. My focus had been for the most part on history of science issues: (1) Is it possible to have God as a concept in psychology and still have it remain a science?; (2) What would it take to evaluate Swedenborg’s reports from a methodological assessment? (3) What content is actually in the Swedenborg reports? These meta-issues are now covered in Volume 1 only. In class discussions I found that students showed an intense interest in the details of the afterlife – the resuscitation process, soul mates meeting in heaven, conjugial love, children who die, and who goes to hell. So these topics are covered in a Q&A style and make up Volume 2. The discussion is general and broad. Subsequent Volumes enter into the details and particulars of these topics.

 

For the Fall 2004 semester I decided not to use collateral works and to focus exclusively on an organized presentation of the major scientific concepts of the Writings. I was able to organize my extensive notes from the past twenty years, turning them into a new updated and systematic presentation under the title of Theistic Psychology. Students are always surprised that these topics are being discussed in a psychology course. No science teacher in their experience since grade school has ever discussed God and heaven and hell.

 

Most students select my course because of the time schedule, given that there is a requirement to take at least one such seminar from choices offered by at least three faculty members every semester. Therefore they don’t get to find out what the topic specifically is until they sit in class. The title of my seminar is Theistic Psychology and the one line description varies somewhat from semester to semester, but it always includes the phrases “based on the Writings of Swedenborg” and “rational spirituality.” Some students are attracted to the topic of “spirituality,” which ordinarily refers to “new age” perspectives. The word “rational” gives people pause as the two words aren’t normally seen together.

 

By the third semester (Spring 2005), my Theistic Psychology Lecture Notes on the Web grew to four volumes. I had more material than students could read and process in a 16-week semester for one course. My strategy was to assign selected parts for their reading and class presentations. This strategy will continue into the coming semesters for the near future.

 

In the meantime I formed the idea that I should continue the process of presenting the scientific content of the Writings of Swedenborg in the form of theistic psychology, so that it may serve a general academic-scientific audience, not merely my students. Today the material has grown to 18 volumes and I am slowly adding new material to each of them. I project a completion date for 2010. The organization of the volumes is as follows:

 

Volume  1        Introduction to Theistic Psychology

Volume  2        Q&A on Theistic Psychology

Volume  3        Levels of Thinking About Theistic Psychology

Volume  4        Derivation and Function of Scientific Revelations

Volume  5        Research Methods in Theistic Psychology

Volume  6        Personality Theory

Volume  7        Character Reformation

Volume  8        Learning and Cognition

Volume  9        Spiritual Development

Volume 10       Health Behaviors

Volume 11       The Marriage Relationship

Volume 12       The Heavenly and Hellish Traits

Volume 13       Religious Behaviorism

Volume 14       Prayer as Revelation from God

Volume 15       Rational Faith and Charity

Volume 16       Religious Mysticism

Volume 17       Religious Movements

Volume 18       Index to All Sections, Subject Index, and Readings

 

 

3.  The Style in Which Theistic Psychology is Written

 

The style may appear to some readers as painfully elaborate and repetitive. One will find discussion of the same issue in more than one Section within the same Volume and across the Volumes. In each case, the discussion is somewhat different, though there is recognizable overlap. This recursive style is the result of the way the work is building itself. For example, the topic of correspondences appears in many Sections but in each case it is discussed in relation to the topic being covered there. The discussions are cross-referenced so that the reader may consult earlier and later Sections throughout the volumes in order to obtain a more complete treatment of it.

 

At the moment the cross-references are merely a promise (“see Section xx”). When my students are currently writing about an assigned topic in theistic psychology they have to go through the elaborate procedure of opening each of the 18 volume-files on the Web and do a search for that topic. They are instructed to keep track of the Section numbers where the information came from, and this will eventually assist me in the daunting cross-reference job. I have an unbounded admiration for Swedenborg’s ability and labor involved in the construction of his Indexes -- without computer online access to the Writings, as I have, including their searchability.

 

Some of my more advanced students have happily agreed to start constructing a Subject Index or concordance. This is different from the Index of All Sections. Keying topics to Section numbers is not sufficiently precise because a Section is typically several pages long and may contain a dozen subjects for indexing. Hence reference by Section number is not exact enough to locate the specific topic without further searching. I considered numbering the paragraphs in each Section, and making the Subject Index refer to paragraph numbers within Sections. But I discarded this method for now because the paragraph numbers within a Section would change many times as I expand the text from within Sections, invalidating the Subject Index that already exists.

 

The current solution I’m working on is for the Subject Index to list the Section along with a two or three-word phrase by which the paragraph begins. In this way a searcher can find the Section from the Index of All Sections (in Volume 18), then once at the top of the Section one can do a document Find search for the phrase listed. This will exactly locate the paragraph for the reader, and will also allow me to later add paragraphs within any Section without affecting the accuracy of the topical index already prepared.

 

The reason I feel compelled to recreate arguments in multiple places is that my aim is to help make available a new scientific thinking register, not merely a compendium of knowledge about the scientific information in the Writings. Such a new scientific thinking register is needed as a reasoning tool for every person who wants to be able to think in the new spiritual-rational mode that has been created by the Writings Sacred Scripture. As a trained professional researcher in the field of behavioral psychology I have evolved this register in my mind over years of effort (since 1981) in processing the information in the Writings.

 

First I had to find the right vocabulary to substitute for phrases in the Writings that are aversive to people from different religions and philosophies. The many details the Writings give about the major religions on earth is objectionable to the people of that religion. Quite a bit of the Writings appear to people today as sexist, favoring the traditional male dominance model of gender relationships. This is a stumbling block that needs to be neutralized by making the religions and the sexism “vanish” from the reader’s focus by extracting the universal scientific meaning that is hidden in Sacred Scripture (AC 1405; 3776). This meaning has nothing whatsoever to do with religions or traditions, and so removes the stumbling block that makes the Writings unacceptable today to most people in the world.

 

Various current translations of the Writings attempt to “update” the language to fit a modern perspective and attitude, eliminating sexist language and modernizing expressions. I much prefer the older translations from the 19th century or the current translations by General Church scholars, both of which maintain a more literal rendering of the Latin into English. The modernization of the language of the Writings tends to depart from the original phrasing so that the extraction process becomes less accurate. It is the extraction process that modernizes the Writings, while the translation should be literal and faithful for all the generations yet to come. Each generation will extract its own information that is needed for their regeneration.

 

I am grateful to the General Church institution for having taken upon itself to guard the sanctity of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Their passionate attachment and loyalty to what they call the “Letter of the Writings as the Word,” protects the absolute integrity of the original Latin Sacred Scripture, and provides translations in English and other languages that are faithful to the original wording, grammar, and style. This faithfulness to the literal meaning protects the methodology of doctrinal extraction, which is given as a commandment in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see below).

 

I also had to find existing and traditional concepts in psychology that are connected to the discussion of an issue in the Writings. Since I am writing a scientific book I have to discuss a topic in a fully justified context. I could not just borrow a concept from the Writings without also showing how it can be fully justified scientifically. The scientific justification process is also from the Writings. No mystery or incomplete examination was allowable, no allusion or unspecified assumption, because these would leave a feeling of obscurity and the enterprise would not be believable as a scientific proposal.

 

There is a significant difference in use between a scientific thinking register and commentaries on Swedenborg’s Writings. When people learn a new thinking register they have acquired more than mere knowledge. They can be considered “experts” or “specialists” because they are able to reason with the knowledge in a new way, and with more useful results. Many people become experts in various areas of their normal activities – computers, sports, fashions, mountain climbing, poetry, cooking, singing.

 

This means that they can do something others cannot perform with the same degree of adeptness. They are able to talk about their expertise productively, and perhaps endlessly. They are able to analyze certain situations relating to their expertise and they can offer explanations for why certain things happen that puzzle others. In other words, experts have acquired a thinking register which is endlessly productive or generative.

 

It is similar with theistic psychology and the Writings Sacred Scripture. My aim is to help people learn a scientific thinking register that gives them the ability to reason rationally and empirically about God, immortality, salvation, heaven, hell, regeneration, conjugial love, Spiritual Sun. To do this I had to illustrate and model this thinking register for others to see, study, evaluate, and imitate. I had to present everything within a scientific framework that is genuine, not imitative or bogus. For instance when I discuss the operation of the Spiritual Sun I have to establish repeatedly in the mind of the reader that this is not a poetic phrase based on analogy with the natural sun. Each time the concept is mentioned I have to weave into the argument certain features that are connected logically in the overall explanatory structure. As for instance in the following paragraph:

 

What streams out of the Spiritual Sun must be a substance, or “spiritual matter” specified as “spiritual heat” and “spiritual light.” It is this substance that propagates itself across and through the mental world of humanity. The substance then enters the layers of the mental organs of every human being simultaneously. At each layer of the mind it activates correspondences of Divine Speech that are appropriate for that degree of thinking. This meaning, or truth, creates the person’s consciousness at each discrete level of thinking and willing.

 

You can see from the previous paragraph how elaborate it is to speak and write in this style where implications have to be justified and hidden presuppositions have to be explicated. I think it is an issue of making sure that the scientific justification process is never removed from anything said in theistic psychology.

 

The style of theistic psychology is not only recursive, repetitive, and elaborated, but also formative. Paragraphs are often based on the systematicities of a chart or listing of series, so that the same sentence is repeated in a series, with each iteration changing only the critical contrast – as illustrated in the following paragraph.

 

The Third Heaven in every person’s mind is constructed out of celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. The Second Heaven in every person’s mind is constructed out of spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech The First Heaven in every person’s mind is constructed out of spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech

 

To make sure that the sentences don’t deviate, I like to copy the first series then paste it two more times, going back to edit only the contrastive elements of the three series. Stylistically one would opt to use the phrase “in every person’s mind” only in the first mention, omitting it in the second and third iteration. Mentioning it three times in the paragraph is motivated by the formative use of getting the reader’s mind used to the idea that heaven is in every person’s mind. It is not “a place out there.” Repetition allows the formation of new cognitive circuits that can become automated and therefore become included in the web of presuppositions that create one’s reasoning process.

 

I use an embedded style of numbering main Sections and sub-sections. This allows me to insert any number of sub-sections and sub-sub-sections without affecting the overall numbering system for the volumes and chapters. Currently I maintain 18 files, one for each volume, and insert material wherever the coherence of the text warrants further elaboration. In this way the volumes expand from within the Sections each time I work on one of them. New topics constantly present themselves as I systematically consult and go through my extensive notes on the Writings and on General Church literature. I then look at the cumulative Index of All Sections to find an appropriate location for each new topic. Opening that file, I insert the new sub-section.

 

This method of writing produces an embedded recursive structure that is several steps deep, as illustrated by the Section contents of Volume 5 reproduced in the Appendix to this article.

 

Every time I edit or expand a file, I change its version number, indicated below the title. At the time of this writing, the version number for Chapter 9 from which selections are quoted below, was version “47h.” This means that 47 major changes of this file were uploaded or published to the Web so far. Minor changes are noted by the letter. After closing the file I just worked on, I immediately upload it to the Web site, thus replacing the earlier version of that document. In this way my students throughout the semester, and other World Wide Web readers, have available the latest versions of any Volume. Interestingly, the various versions of a document on the World Wide Web, are actually saved for historical records by a facility called The WayBack Machine, which can be searched: web.archive.org/collections/web.html

 

Volume 18 contains the cumulative Index of All Sections, the Subject Index, and the Readings-Citations. The current index lists over 400 Sections and their sub-sections. The embedded numbering system helps a reader get to the desired section. By way of illustration, the Appendix at the end of this article reproduces the Index of Sections for Volume 5, Research Methods in Theistic Psychology. Each entry is a link that takes the reader to the beginning of that Section.

 

The Readings and Citations lists the work of others on the Writings. I have limited this listing to literature produced almost exclusively from the tradition of the General Church. This is because it is the only intellectual tradition that comes from those who acknowledge the Writings as Sacred Scripture. Almost everything that I have read from the General Church tradition, going back more than one hundred years, has qualified in my estimation, to be considered as part of theistic psychology as an academic and scientific field.

 

Of course the phrase “theistic psychology” was coined in my mind only in the year 2000. Nevertheless, this General Church literature does belong to theistic psychology because of its content, which almost always consists of some extraction process from the Letter of the Writings. For instance, the course Syllabus for the current semester lists these sources for the assigned readings and for the oral presentations in class:

 

Theistic Psychology. By Leon James (2005). Online book at:: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic
Life in the Spiritual World. By Hugo Lj. Odhner (1968). Available online at: www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/hh/index2.htm
Before Marriage and After Marriage by Peter M. Buss (1985). Available online at:
www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/marr/marrint.htm

 

Other sections of Theistic Psychology describe and expand upon the work of:

 

Burnham, Rev. N.C. (1887) Discrete Degrees in Successive and Simultaneous Order Illustrated by Diagrams. Available at:  www.theisticscience.org/books/burnham/index.htm

 

Carlson, Mark. (1990) Evolution, the Limbus, and Hereditary Evil (Part 2). New Church Life, June 1990, 259-275.

 

Childs, Geoffrey S. (2002) The Path: The Inner Life of Jesus Christ. (Fountain Publishing: Rochester, Michigan).

 

De Charms, George. (1972) Imagination and Rationality. (Swedenborg Scientific Association: Bryn Athyn. Originally published in New Philosophy 1972).

 

Groeneveld,  H.D.G. (1947). Address to the Assembly. Sunday, April 13th, 1947. Available at: novahierosolyma.org/papers/19470413.htm

 

Hyatt, Rev. Edward S. (1896) Sermons on the Word. (Swedenborg Genootschaft, Nassauplein 29). Available online:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/hyatt/hyatt1.htm

 

Pendleton, William Frederic. (1915) The Science of Exposition: As Drawn from the Writings of the New Church (The Academy of the New Church Press: Bryn Athyn, PA).

 

Pitcairn, Rev. Theodore. (1935) The second Education De Hemelsche Leer, Third Fascicle, p.22. 1935. Available at:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan8.html

 

The Human Organic (Various articles on Swedenborg related concepts in embryology, education, physics, theology, psychology, correspondences, precious stones, and more. Available at:  www.humanorganic.org/HO/titles.shtml

 

3.1  Methodology in Theistic Psychology

 

Theistic psychology defines itself as the scientific knowledge extracted from the Writings of Swedenborg exclusively.

 

The process of extraction is called the method of correspondences with enlightenment. This method is prescribed and illustrated in the Writings, especially throughout Arcana Coelestia and Apocalypse Explained, but it is also a central feature in the rest of the Writings. A few well known passages may be cited: Quoting:

 

Only those who are enlightened can understand the true sense of the Word, and the only people enlightened are those who have love to and faith in the Lord. For their internals are lifted up by the Lord into the light of heaven. (NJHD 253)

 

Information about heavenly things, or about those of eternal life, is effected solely by means of the Word. Thereby man has influx and enlightenment; for the Word has been written by means of mere correspondences (AC 10355)

 

The Word is written solely by correspondences, and for this reason each thing and all things in it have a spiritual meaning (n. 1404, 1408, 1409, 1540, 1619, 1659, 1709, 1783, 2900, 9086). (HH1)

 

From all this it is clear that the Lord spoke solely by correspondences, and this because He spoke from the Divine that was in Him and was His. (TCR 199)

 

Theistic psychology is based on three types of research:

  • extractive
  • predictive
  • applied

 

Extractive research makes use of the method of correspondences with enlightenment. When this is performed, the historical and religious references in the Writings “vanish,” in order to reveal the pan-human scientific facts about mental states that apply universally regardless of religion, culture, or times. Quoting from the Writings:

 

AC 1405

But the internal sense, as has already been clearly shown, is of such a nature that all things in general and in particular are to be understood abstractly from the letter, just as if the letter did not exist; for in the internal sense is the Word's soul and life, which does not become manifest unless the sense of the letter as it were vanishes. (AC 1405)

 

Selections from Volumes 3, 5, and 9 are given below. Their content illustrates several different ways in which the extraction process is performed. A key feature of the extraction process is to produce lists, charts, diagrams, contrasts, and parallelisms – all of which have been used in the General Church literature, though not as extensively and explicitly as in the science of theistic psychology.

 

Predictive research is the creation of charts and explanations that are inspired by one’s knowledge of the Writings but not extracted according to the method of correspondences with enlightenment. These collateral concepts and models must then be shown to be compatible with the literal or plain meaning of the Writings. Until such proof is presented or found, the predictive research is not part of theistic psychology itself, which can only be that which is extracted from the Writings following the prescribed method.

 

Applied research is the application of extracted and predictive research to everyday social, community, and personal issues and concerns. This must also be shown to be compatible with the literal meaning of the Writings. My research efforts of all three types are presented throughout the volumes of Theistic Psychology and some are reproduced in this article.

 

The method of extractive research makes theistic psychology possible. In my classes at a public state university, students are enrolled from various religious backgrounds. Last semester and this, students volunteered to discuss their religious background and upbringing, which turns out to include: Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, atheist, Hindu, and Jewish. It was a necessity that I develop a new type of scientific register to discuss legitimately the Writings of Swedenborg in an academic context. It had to be a specialized language, that is universal, pan-human, scientific, and devoid of religion, history, culture. And it had to be clear and rational so that literate people anywhere could comprehend it, accept it, and love it.

 

I discovered that having students give several oral presentations in a semester is an effective method for motivating them to put up the effort of comprehending the approximately ten pages that are assigned for each presentation in class. This intense preparation gives them the occasion for really trying to understand it, instead of just memorizing it – they are not allowed to quote or use the original sentences, and they must define all terms in their own language. Students who make themselves go through this procedure are delighted to discover that they are able to understand it. They then express a love and enthusiasm for theistic psychology. This surprises me, and is a source of delight and thankfulness every semester.

 

4.  The Negative and Positive Bias in Science

 

The new register of psychology had to be theistic, and thus contrastive with the current language and attitude, which is that of atheistic psychology. Not just a vocabulary was needed, but a total overhaul of materialistic assumptions which constitute a negative bias against dualism, God, and eternal life. This negative bias is contained as a presupposition in every theory and method of approach in atheistic psychology and materialistic science. In contrast to this, theistic psychology starts with the positive bias towards Swedenborg’s reports, as reflected in my explanations to the students on the first day of class, which go something like the following.

 

“You have been taught the negative bias in all your prior courses and readings. In this course you are asked to assume the positive bias towards the possibility that -- God, Divine Sacred Scripture, heaven, sin, immortal life -- can be discussed as scientific concepts, and imported into psychology without destroying it as a science. The positive bias doesn’t require you to believe anything or to accept anything. It only asks you to switch your current negative bias to the positive bias.

 

“In other words, when thinking about importing God into science, your first reaction might come from the negative bias, which we are all taught in science courses. This bias tells us not to investigate God as part of science because it is unscientific to include God in science. You will note that it is called a bias because there is no proof for it. No scientist is allowed to come forward with any new evidence of God’s existence – it is automatically excluded. We are not to investigate it, only reject it, because it is unscientific. No proof is given, nor is one possible. As a result of years of such exposure you have accepted the idea that God and Sacred Scripture, cannot be treated scientifically and should be kept separate.

 

“Adopting the positive bias in this course will empower you to critically examine the evidence. I will present the Swedenborg reports as evidence. Those who have examined the Writings of Swedenborg with the usual negative bias, have found nothing of value in them, and concluded that Swedenborg was a mad genius with delusional religious fantasies. But those who have read him with a positive bias have called him one of the greatest geniuses of all time, and also, a revelator of Divine truths.

 

“When I started reading the Writings more than twenty years ago, I saw it as a new scientific revelation from God. I had to come to understand rationally how such a thing is possible. Eventually, I was able to integrate what I learned from the Writings of Swedenborg into a new filed called theistic psychology, which you are going to study and evaluate in this course. Remember this: The positive bias only says “Yes, the Swedenborg reports could be real, true, and scientific. I shall examine them to see if they are.” The negative bias does not allow you to examine the Swedenborg reports objectively, rationally, and scientifically. It decides in advance that the they cannot be real and true and scientific.

 

“You will see by your own evidence that there is nothing in theistic psychology that is contrary to your religion and culture. It can only strengthen your beliefs about God by showing that they have a scientific meaning and reality.”

 

The last paragraph in my introductory remarks to students is crucial, without which the enterprise would surely fail and arouse complaints. This is why the literal untransformed sentences of the Writings cannot form a universal science. The literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture form a new universal religion called the New Church and the characteristics of this Church are described in detail. A Church by that name has become a historical fact beginning with the end of the eighteenth century in England and the United States.

 

When my students read the literal meaning of the Writings they have a tendency to turn away and lay it down because it reads like it is written for a new sect of Christians immersed in Western culture and history. The Asiatic and Jewish students are somewhat averse to such expressions as “Jesus Christ” and “Son of God” and “Blood of Christ,” which abound in the Writings. Nor do they see any interest in knowing about the history of “the Church” or about the religious “doctrine of truth.” It seems at first a hopeless situation for universalizing the Writings through science. The alternative model is evangelization, but this is an entirely different process, different dynamic, different future. It is not discussed in this article.

 

One may wonder why it was necessary that the Writings Sacred Scripture be written in this dual mode – the Letter for the New Church religion, and the extracted details from the Letter, for universal science.

 

5.  Correspondences of
Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture

 

The following is a selection from Volume 3, Section 3.7.2

Recall that all details of reality and events are produced by God. This is the dictionary meaning of the word "omnipotence" which is attributed to God by definition. Since nothing exists before God creates it, all things that exist must be created out of the infinite and immortal spiritual substances that are in God.

 

These spiritual substances are called "uncreate" to distinguish them from created objects. We are familiar with many of these uncreate substances, calling them by such names as life, love, good, truth, intelligence, and freedom, along with all their sub-varieties like different kinds of loves, different types of truths, different variety of sensations and mental delights. These uncreate substances are infinite and alive in themselves. When we receive them in our mental organs by inflow, these spiritual uncreate substances set in motion mental operations that we subjectively experience as loves and attractions we feel, the truths we think and understand, the delights and pleasures we experience, the will and determination we exercise when pursuing a goal, and so on. These operations in our mind are created by the inflow of the uncreate spiritual substances.

 

In what sense are we then different from a television, a computer, or a robot?

 

The scientific answer is revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture. It is one of the most astonishing ideas in theistic psychology. It's called the "as-of self" (see Section xx). In other words, God has created our mental organs not only to be able to receive the inflow of the uncreate spiritual substances, but also to make us feel that these living operations in our mind are our own, not something that comes into us from outside ourselves.

 

We don't want to be TV sets. We don't want to be computers and robots. We want to have a mind of our own, our own thoughts, our very own feelings. This human sentiment is discussed in the story of Adam and Eve in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). The explanations are laid out in the scientific sense of the story once it is determined what the words in the literal meaning tell us by correspondence between the natural events and the mental operations. The natural event is about Adam, who is presented there as the first created human being, who complained to God about being alone. God responded by taking one of Adam's ribs while he was asleep, and creating a woman out of it, and the two became a married couple. This is the natural event or story line. It is written in a special Divine language where every detail mentioned hides some universal fact about mental states and about their proper preparation for immortality.

 

The mental operations to which it corresponds involve the "as-of self" in the evolution of the human race (see Section xx). Adam stands for the self. Eve represents the "as-of self." The self of a human being could not be happy without feeling that our willing and thinking are our very own and that we can act in freedom in accordance with our desire. That refers to the feeling of inner freedom and privacy, but since it was revealed to our rational mind that God is omnipotent, we can reason that the rationality of our mental operations in our willing and thinking cannot really be our own. Both of these must be present in our mind – the feeling of freedom to act and the understanding that God is actually the only animating power and rationality.

 

On the one hand, we understand rationally that the life and intelligence in us is not our own. On the other hand, we would be inhuman unless we had the sensation and feeling that our willing and thinking are our very own. This is why we need the "as-of self" concept. It is one of the most productive and beneficial ideas in theistic psychology. It is the as-of self that makes us human and fundamentally different from other receptors -- TVs, radios, computers, robots. Animals do not reflect rationally on the world and themselves. They do not have an as-of self, which is a purely human operation of the rational organ of the mind.

 

God rules all created things by means of the uncreate spiritual substances that stream forth from the infinite Spiritual Sun and enter every created object from within. These living immortal substances create different operational effects depending on the structure or form of the receiving object. Rocks and atoms are physical receptors that receive the uncreate substances within themselves from within, and this makes up the basis or infrastructure of their existence. Plants and animals receive the inflow of uncreate spiritual substances still differently, and clearly in a higher level of function. This is why plant and animal species can adapt, survive, and propagate, while structures of rocks and atoms fall apart in time. Human minds receive the inflow of uncreate spiritual substances at the highest possible level, which is called rationality. This is the level that creates the operation of the as-of self.

 

The above discussion was about how God creates and manages things through their inner reception of the uncreate substances. Recall that the uncreate substances are living in themselves as part of God's life. There are two main categories of uncreate substances -- good and truth. Divine Good is also called Divine Love, while Divine Truth is also called Divine Wisdom. You can see from the above discussion that good and truth are spiritual substances that form the basis of every object and quality in the created universe. This is difficult to grasp at first because we think of good and truth in materialistic ideas, not spiritual or rational. But you can see why and in what way theistic psychology uses the concept Divine Speech. God's "speech" refers to God's love and truth, since that's what God is -- infinite Divine Love and Truth.

 

God creates and manages the universe by means of love and truth. Divine Speech is always about love and truth, the very source and structure of all reality, including worlds, atoms, and minds. The good and truth we receive form the basis of our mind, our immortality, our conjugial happiness, and our ability to make others happy from ourselves. God gives the human race love and truth in many different ways. One of the ways involves our conscious rationality as human beings. This is the "as-of self" spoken of above. God uses Divine Speech to elevate the consciousness of human beings. Divine Truth in Divine Speech is the primary and most powerful agent of creation. The Divine Truth in Divine Speech is expressed in meanings called correspondences -- the same correspondences that governs the laws between natural events and spiritual events, as discussed above. This is understandable when you consider that God manages the natural world as a world of effects whose causes are in the spiritual world.

 

The cause-effect relation is achieved by means of correspondences. If X in the natural world corresponds to Y in the spiritual world, then Y is the cause of X.

 

In the following passage from Arcana Coelestia ("Heavenly Secrets"), Swedenborg is analyzing the phrase "When it is well with thee" which appears in Genesis 40, Verse 14. In its inner scientific sense, this phrase refers to a developmental phase of character reformation involving the sensuous or empirical level of thinking and feeling. Swedenborg takes the opportunity here to say something more about correspondences, a subject that he discusses progressively throughout the 12-volume set of Arcana Coelestia.

 

AC 5131

"When it is well with thee." [Gen. 40:14]

That this signifies when there is correspondence, is evident from the signification of its "being well with thee," when the rebirth or regeneration of the exterior natural or sensuous is treated of, as being correspondence; for it is not well with it until it corresponds. At the end of the different chapters it may be seen what correspondence is. There is a correspondence of sensuous with natural things, a correspondence of natural with spiritual things, a correspondence of spiritual with celestial things, and finally a correspondence of celestial things with the Divine of the Lord; thus there is a succession of correspondences from the Divine down to the ultimate natural.

 

[2] But as an idea of the nature of correspondences can with difficulty be formed by those who have never thought about them before, it may be well to say a few words on the subject. It is known from philosophy that the end is the first of the cause, and that the cause is the first of the effect. That the end, the cause, and the effect may follow in order, and act as a one, it is needful that the effect should correspond to the cause, and the cause to the end. But still the end does not appear as the cause, nor the cause as the effect; for in order that the end may produce the cause, it must take to itself administrant means from the region where the cause is, by which means the end may produce the cause; and in order that the cause may produce the effect, it also must take to itself administrant means from the region where the effect is, by which means the cause may produce the effect.

 

These administrant means are what correspond; and because they correspond, the end can be in the cause and can actuate the cause, and the cause can be in the effect and can actuate the effect; consequently the end through the cause can actuate the effect. It is otherwise when there is no correspondence; for then the end has no cause in which it may be, still less an effect in which it may be, but is changed and varied in the cause, and finally in the effect, according to the form made by the administrant means.

 

[3] All things in general and in particular in man, nay, all things in general and in particular in nature, succeed one another as end, cause, and effect; and when they thus correspond to one another, they act as a one; for then the end is the all in all things of the cause, and through the cause is the all in all things of the effect. As for example, when heavenly love is the end, the will the cause, and action the effect, if there is correspondence, then heavenly love flows into the will, and the will into the action, and they so act as a one that by means of the correspondence the action is as it were the love; or as when the faith of charity is the end, thought the cause, and speech the effect, then if there is correspondence, faith from charity flows into the thought, and this into the speech, and they so act as a one, that by means of the correspondence the speech is as it were the end.

 

In order however that the end, which is love and faith, may produce the cause, which is will and thought, it must take to itself administrant means in the rational mind that will correspond; for without administrant means that correspond, the end, which is love or faith, cannot be received, however much it may flow in from the Lord through heaven. From this it is plain that the interiors and the exteriors of man, that is, what is rational, natural, and sensuous in him must be brought into correspondence, in order that he may receive the Divine influx, and consequently that he may be born again; and that it is not well with him till then. This is the reason why here by "when it is well with thee" is signified correspondence. (AC 5131)

 

We can highlight the above passage by summarizing some of the assertions contained in it. This will give us a more rational understanding of correspondences and the key role they have in our lives.

 

(1) There is a succession of correspondences produced by Divine Speech, from the Spiritual Sun down and out to the ultimate physical plane of reality.

 

(2) The end, the cause, and the effect follow in order, and act as a one because the effect corresponds to the cause, and the cause to the end. Hence correspondences are the means by which all phenomena (natural effects) are produced (spiritual causes).

 

(3) The end is in the cause and actuates the cause. The cause is in the effect and actuates the effect. Consequently the end through the cause actuates the effect. The “end” refers to God’s goal of adequately preparing human beings for their life in immortality. This is Divine Love. The “cause” refers to the exteriorization of God’s goal by means of Divine Truth within which Divine Love is contained and hidden. Thus truth is nothing but the outward visible appearance of love, which itself remains invisible within it.

 

(4) In order that the end may produce the cause, it must take to itself administrant means from the region where the cause is, by which means the end may produce the cause; and in order that the cause may produce the effect, it also must take to itself administrant means from the region where the effect is, by which means the cause may produce the effect. These “administrant means” are what correspond. This means that there is no direct contact across degrees between the spiritual and the natural realities. There is only a correspondential function that automatically ties them together in the position of cause and effect. The impossibility of direct contact between the natural and the spiritual, or between the effect and its cause, is because the effect and the cause are each in separate substances or realities that can never appear to each other. But they do appear to each other by correspondence, which is a functional connection, not direct and continuous.

 

(5) All things in general and in particular in the human mind and in nature, succeed one another as end, cause, and effect; and when they thus correspond to one another, they act as a one. This is the basis of reality. Correspondences are the laws that hold all things in the right position, structure, and action.

 

(6) In human action, the mental organ of “the will” operates our motivated affective goal states. This is experienced as a striving to achieve a particular “end” or purpose. The mental organ of the “understanding” operates our cognitive thinking sequences. These cognitive operations are motivated, initiated, and directed by the will to produce a plan to reach the desired goal state. A particular action is the ultimate result of the three-step process. In this behavioral series, the “will,” or the operations of the affective organ, defines and selects the “end” or particular motivated goal state. The “understanding,” or the operations of the cognitive organ, provides the “cause” or particular reasoning and plan. The action is the “effect” and it is executed or performed by the sensorimotor organ of the mind. Once the sequence affective-cognitive-sensorimotor is complete in the mind, the physical body reacts by correspondence and produces appropriate movement, action, perception, and sensation.

 

These four things correspond to each other --

  • the feelings of the will or operations in the affective organ
  • the thoughts of the understanding or operations in the cognitive organ
  • the sensations of the sensory or operations in the sensorimotor organ
  • the reactions of the physical body which correspond one-to-one with the operations in the sensorimotor organ

 

(7) The Divine Human's love in the form of spiritual heat, inflows into the affective organ, and the Divine Human's truth in the form of spiritual light, inflows into the cognitive. No matter how much love and truth flow into our mind from God, they remain inactive on their own, until we consciously decide to make our willing and thinking to correspond to the inflowing love and truth. Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture instructs us on how to achieve this correspondence.

 

Our willing and intending, or motivational goal states, must be made consciously to correspond to the inflowing Divine love, and our thinking and reasoning processes, must be made consciously to correspond to the inflowing Divine truth. Thus can we be “reborn” as an individual with new character. This new and superior spiritual character makes it possible for us to live in the heavens of our mind, when we pass into the immortality of the afterlife.

 

(8) The love and truth to which our intending and reasoning have been made to correspond, is nothing else than the Divine Love and the Divine Truth activating and operating by correspondence the new willing mind. We must continuously keep in mind that this love and truth are both infinite and uncreate, hence they cannot belong to us. When we fail to keep this in mind, we are spiritually insane and irrational. We must think rational thoughts, namely, that God wills that His Divine Love and Truth entering our mind, appear to us as-if our very own. In other words, it feels to us that we are free to think or do as we choose.

 

This is a real feeling based on our actual reality. It is not an illusion or delusion. It is God who creates this reality. He makes it such that His love and truth, which operate our willing and thinking, feel to us like our own love and truth, our own willing what we like, and our own thinking what we want. We can forget, or we can deny, that it is God’s power and God’s rationality that activates our willing and thinking. God allows people to forget or deny reality.

 

If God did not allow people to deny reality, and forced them to think only rationally, we would not have freedom, hence we would not be human. We could not reciprocate God’s love, for which He longs, and for which He created the universe. Hence it is absolutely essential that God give people actual freedom, not bogus freedom as an appearance to fool us. To give people actual freedom means that He must compel Himself to make things happen that He would not choose to on His Own, because they are evil things that make human beings suffer, instead of the good things that He Himself wills for them, which make them eternally happy. The revelation of this Divine Law of Permissions, as it is called in the Writings Sacred Scripture, proves that human freedom is actual, not a mere appearance or illusion, despite God’s omnipotence (see Section xx).

 

Without the reality of this as-if appearance, we could not be maximally happy, hence we could not dwell in our heaven. But we must constantly acknowledge to ourselves that they are only as-if our own, and not actually our own. The moment we think they are truly our own, they turn instantly into their opposites -- negative love (hatred, fear, anger, dissatisfaction) and negative truth (invalid conclusions, false assumptions, delusional explanations). It’s like a car you are allowed to own for free given to you by a wizard. You are told that the moment you think that the car is actually yours, it will disappear.

 

Our rationality is an ability or power that gives us the ability to reason truthfully. It feels like it’s our own rationality. But we are told in the Writings Sacred Scripture that if we assume that our intelligence is actually our own, not God’s, we lose it. Our rationality vanishes. We now start thinking and reasoning with flaws. Our conclusions are no longer accurate and real. Our assumptions are false. Our motivational states slip into negative zones. We have lost the status of humanity. We can regain it, but only by giving up how we think and feel.

 

(9) The anatomy of the mind shows three discrete layers in the natural mind, from top to bottom-- rational, natural, and sensuous. Another way of saying this is natural-rational, natural-sensuous, and natural-corporeal (see Section xx). Love and truth inflowing from the Divine Human cannot activate anything in our will and understanding unless we ourselves consciously create rational concepts in our understanding. These rational concepts are called "administrant means" in the passage above. Elsewhere they are called rational "vessels" that can “contain spiritual truths.”

 

Theistic psychology is the knowledge that consists of these rational concepts and principles organized into a science (“scientifics of doctrine”). Divine Love and Truth can inflow into these rational concepts. The more interior these rational concepts are, the higher the form of the Divine Love and Truth that we can receive into our consciousness. In other words, the thoughts and feelings are at a level of consciousness or mentality that correspond to Divine Love and Truth. It is Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture that forms the content of consciousness at each discrete level of the mind.

 

You can see from this discussion that the revelation of the existence of correspondences and what they are, will be a great boon to the evolution of human civilization on this earth.

 

The Table below shows how Divine Speech expressed in Sacred Scripture gradually raised the evolution of consciousness of the human race.

 

Please read this Chart from bottom up (1, 2, 3)

LEVELS OF MEANING OF
DIVINE SPEECH
IN SACRED SCRIPTURE

MENTALITY LEVEL INDICATING
EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
(contrast each numbered entry
across the three levels)

3

 


natural-rational
correspondences

 

The Writings of Swedenborg
(theistic psychology)

 

(1745 AD
to 1771 AD)

 

 

(i) Relationship to God at a particular level.
(ii) God is the universal Divine Human who incarnated in history on this earth to bring about a new creation in the human mind. Everyone is born for an eternal life in heaven. However, one can end up in hell by character corruption and evil.
(iii) The Divine Human creates and manages all events in the minutest detail, including the growth of human minds, and the thinking operations of every unique individual from birth to our immortal eternity.
(iv) God is infinite Love and Wisdom and cannot hate or punish people. He has already forgiven you before you disobey. He gives commandments for people to obey only to help them acquire a good character. This is what determines our immortality in the afterlife in heaven or in hell.
(v) God participates in every event, thought, or choice. He supplies the power and direction of an event or choice as it unfolds.
(vi) God communicates Divine Speech in the form of Sacred Scripture that is written down in correspondences suitable in meaning to the mentality of the people. Hidden within the literal sentences of Sacred Scripture, are higher and higher correspondences designed for people who want to elevate their consciousness to their eternal heaven of conjugial love and union.

2

 

natural-sensuous
correspondences

 

New
Testament

 

(50 AD
to 100 AD)

(i) Relationship to God at a personal level.
(ii) We influence God by a personal faith in Jesus Christ, the incarnated Son of God. Through this faith we have eternal life. Without it, our eternal life is in darkness or hell.
(iii) God loves all people and races equally and gives them an equal opportunity to acquire a personal faith in Jesus Christ, His Son.
(iv) God hates sin and turns away from people who love sin. He forgives people and doesn't take vengeance any more because of His Son who took people's sins upon Himself.
(v) God does not remove Himself from people but it is the people who turn away from Him.
(vi) Sacred Scripture is God's Word given through the inspiration of special people whom God chooses. God also inspires any individual who has faith in Him.

1

 

natural-corporeal
correspondences

 

Old
Testament

 

(3000 BC
to 400 BC)

 

 

(i) Relationship to God at a general level.
(ii) We influence God collectively by prescribed worship rituals. God rewards those who are pious with a good life here on earth, and after the resurrection of the dead. Those who disobey the rituals are punished severely, including their family and their nation who pay a collective price for the sins of a few.
(iii) God prefers certain races over others. He keeps the "chosen people" closest to Him.
(iv) God gets angry at times and feels better after He takes His vengeance upon the guilty who have broken His commandments.
(v) God removes Himself from the details of creation and lets things run according to natural laws.
(vi) The Old Testament has physical power hidden within it and special people can use this power.

 

You can see that Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture has been given to the human race on this earth over a period of thousands of years in Western culture comprising three periods or phases of evolution. Prior to this history, Divine Speech was received in earlier forms of Sacred Scripture whose character is described in the Writings. These earlier forms of Sacred Scripture formed the consciousness and religions of the Asiatic people. Subsequently, the East and the West cultures and religions have developed separately, but at the beginning all cultures on this earth had religions from the ancient Sacred Scripture given to the first human generations born on this planet. These historical details are revealed in the Writings. They are important to know because of the universal law that individual biography recapitulates cultural history, or that the developmental steps of our consciousness recapitulate the evolution of mentality in the race (see Section xx).

 

In the table above, the first phase is marked by the Hebrew Old Testament Sacred Scripture which was written in a style and mentality called "natural-corporeal" correspondences of Divine Speech. The meaning of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture was cast in a mentality that corresponded to the level and style of thinking of the civilization of the Old Testament in the Middle East and surrounding regions. The prophets through whose mind these Sacred Scriptures were written down, had this mentality and they wrote down the Divine Speech that came to their natural mind at the level of their own mentality, which was natural-corporeal. Hence the Old Testament Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-corporeal correspondences of Divine Speech.

 

The second phase is marked by the Greek New Testament Sacred Scripture, which is written in a higher mentality level called "natural-sensuous" correspondences of Divine Speech. When you contrast the numbered entries in the table which describe that mentality, you can see that Divine Speech in correspondences at the natural-sensuous level, comes through and speaks to a more universal level of the human mind, less sectarian and ethnic. From a general or distant relationship to God, humanity could now develop a personal and close relationship. God as a Divine Human has a relationship directly to the individual (phase 2 consciousness), not just collectively to a nation or religion (phase 1 consciousness).

 

The third phase is marked by the Writings Sacred Scripture which are written with the highest level of natural correspondences called "natural-rational" correspondences of divine Speech. At this level of thinking Divine Speech describes the particulars of our relationship to God in universal scientific ideas, such as we have in theistic psychology based on the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture

 

The following is a selection from Volume 3, Section 3.7.2

Recall that all details of reality and events are produced by God. This is the dictionary meaning of the word "omnipotence" which is attributed to God by definition. Since nothing exists before God creates it, all things that exist must be created out of the infinite and immortal spiritual substances that are in God.

 

These spiritual substances are called "uncreate" to distinguish them from created objects. We are familiar with many of these uncreate substances, calling them by such names as life, love, good, truth, intelligence, and freedom, along with all their sub-varieties like different kinds of loves, different types of truths, different variety of sensations and mental delights. These uncreate substances are infinite and alive in themselves. When we receive them in our mental organs by inflow, these spiritual uncreate substances set in motion mental operations that we subjectively experience as loves and attractions we feel, the truths we think and understand, the delights and pleasures we experience, the will and determination we exercise when pursuing a goal, and so on. These operations in our mind are created by the inflow of the uncreate spiritual substances.

 

In what sense are we then different from a television, a computer, or a robot?

 

The scientific answer is revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture. It is one of the most astonishing ideas in theistic psychology. It's called the "as-of self" (see Section xx). In other words, God has created our mental organs not only to be able to receive the inflow of the uncreate spiritual substances, but also to make us feel that these living operations in our mind are our own, not something that comes into us from outside ourselves.

 

We don't want to be TV sets. We don't want to be computers and robots. We want to have a mind of our own, our own thoughts, our very own feelings. This human sentiment is discussed in the story of Adam and Eve in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). The explanations are laid out in the scientific sense of the story once it is determined what the words in the literal meaning tell us by correspondence between the natural events and the mental operations. The natural event is about Adam, who is presented there as the first created human being, who complained to God about being alone. God responded by taking one of Adam's ribs while he was asleep, and creating a woman out of it, and the two became a married couple. This is the natural event or story line. It is written in a special Divine language where every detail mentioned hides some universal fact about mental states and about their proper preparation for immortality.

 

The mental operations to which it corresponds involve the "as-of self" in the evolution of the human race (see Section xx). Adam stands for the self. Eve represents the "as-of self." The self of a human being could not be happy without feeling that our willing and thinking are our very own and that we can act in freedom in accordance with our desire. That refers to the feeling of inner freedom and privacy, but since it was revealed to our rational mind that God is omnipotent, we can reason that the rationality of our mental operations in our willing and thinking cannot really be our own. Both of these must be present in our mind – the feeling of freedom to act and the understanding that God is actually the only animating power and rationality.

 

On the one hand, we understand rationally that the life and intelligence in us is not our own. On the other hand, we would be inhuman unless we had the sensation and feeling that our willing and thinking are our very own. This is why we need the "as-of self" concept. It is one of the most productive and beneficial ideas in theistic psychology. It is the as-of self that makes us human and fundamentally different from other receptors -- TVs, radios, computers, robots. Animals do not reflect rationally on the world and themselves. They do not have an as-of self, which is a purely human operation of the rational organ of the mind.

 

God rules all created things by means of the uncreate spiritual substances that stream forth from the infinite Spiritual Sun and enter every created object from within. These living immortal substances create different operational effects depending on the structure or form of the receiving object. Rocks and atoms are physical receptors that receive the uncreate substances within themselves from within, and this makes up the basis or infrastructure of their existence. Plants and animals receive the inflow of uncreate spiritual substances still differently, and clearly in a higher level of function. This is why plant and animal species can adapt, survive, and propagate, while structures of rocks and atoms fall apart in time. Human minds receive the inflow of uncreate spiritual substances at the highest possible level, which is called rationality. This is the level that creates the operation of the as-of self.

 

The above discussion was about how God creates and manages things through their inner reception of the uncreate substances. Recall that the uncreate substances are living in themselves as part of God's life. There are two main categories of uncreate substances -- good and truth. Divine Good is also called Divine Love, while Divine Truth is also called Divine Wisdom. You can see from the above discussion that good and truth are spiritual substances that form the basis of every object and quality in the created universe. This is difficult to grasp at first because we think of good and truth in materialistic ideas, not spiritual or rational. But you can see why and in what way theistic psychology uses the concept Divine Speech. God's "speech" refers to God's love and truth, since that's what God is -- infinite Divine Love and Truth.

 

God creates and manages the universe by means of love and truth. Divine Speech is always about love and truth, the very source and structure of all reality, including worlds, atoms, and minds. The good and truth we receive form the basis of our mind, our immortality, our conjugial happiness, and our ability to make others happy from ourselves. God gives the human race love and truth in many different ways. One of the ways involves our conscious rationality as human beings. This is the "as-of self" spoken of above. God uses Divine Speech to elevate the consciousness of human beings. Divine Truth in Divine Speech is the primary and most powerful agent of creation. The Divine Truth in Divine Speech is expressed in meanings called correspondences -- the same correspondences that governs the laws between natural events and spiritual events, as discussed above. This is understandable when you consider that God manages the natural world as a world of effects whose causes are in the spiritual world.

 

The cause-effect relation is achieved by means of correspondences. If X in the natural world corresponds to Y in the spiritual world, then Y is the cause of X.

 

In the following passage from Arcana Coelestia ("Heavenly Secrets"), Swedenborg is analyzing the phrase "When it is well with thee" which appears in Genesis 40, Verse 14. In its inner scientific sense, this phrase refers to a developmental phase of character reformation involving the sensuous or empirical level of thinking and feeling. Swedenborg takes the opportunity here to say something more about correspondences, a subject that he discusses progressively throughout the 12-volume set of Arcana Coelestia.

 

AC 5131

"When it is well with thee." [Gen. 40:14]

That this signifies when there is correspondence, is evident from the signification of its "being well with thee," when the rebirth or regeneration of the exterior natural or sensuous is treated of, as being correspondence; for it is not well with it until it corresponds. At the end of the different chapters it may be seen what correspondence is. There is a correspondence of sensuous with natural things, a correspondence of natural with spiritual things, a correspondence of spiritual with celestial things, and finally a correspondence of celestial things with the Divine of the Lord; thus there is a succession of correspondences from the Divine down to the ultimate natural.

 

[2] But as an idea of the nature of correspondences can with difficulty be formed by those who have never thought about them before, it may be well to say a few words on the subject. It is known from philosophy that the end is the first of the cause, and that the cause is the first of the effect. That the end, the cause, and the effect may follow in order, and act as a one, it is needful that the effect should correspond to the cause, and the cause to the end. But still the end does not appear as the cause, nor the cause as the effect; for in order that the end may produce the cause, it must take to itself administrant means from the region where the cause is, by which means the end may produce the cause; and in order that the cause may produce the effect, it also must take to itself administrant means from the region where the effect is, by which means the cause may produce the effect.

 

These administrant means are what correspond; and because they correspond, the end can be in the cause and can actuate the cause, and the cause can be in the effect and can actuate the effect; consequently the end through the cause can actuate the effect. It is otherwise when there is no correspondence; for then the end has no cause in which it may be, still less an effect in which it may be, but is changed and varied in the cause, and finally in the effect, according to the form made by the administrant means.

 

[3] All things in general and in particular in man, nay, all things in general and in particular in nature, succeed one another as end, cause, and effect; and when they thus correspond to one another, they act as a one; for then the end is the all in all things of the cause, and through the cause is the all in all things of the effect. As for example, when heavenly love is the end, the will the cause, and action the effect, if there is correspondence, then heavenly love flows into the will, and the will into the action, and they so act as a one that by means of the correspondence the action is as it were the love; or as when the faith of charity is the end, thought the cause, and speech the effect, then if there is correspondence, faith from charity flows into the thought, and this into the speech, and they so act as a one, that by means of the correspondence the speech is as it were the end.

 

In order however that the end, which is love and faith, may produce the cause, which is will and thought, it must take to itself administrant means in the rational mind that will correspond; for without administrant means that correspond, the end, which is love or faith, cannot be received, however much it may flow in from the Lord through heaven. From this it is plain that the interiors and the exteriors of man, that is, what is rational, natural, and sensuous in him must be brought into correspondence, in order that he may receive the Divine influx, and consequently that he may be born again; and that it is not well with him till then. This is the reason why here by "when it is well with thee" is signified correspondence. (AC 5131)

 

We can highlight the above passage by summarizing some of the assertions contained in it. This will give us a more rational understanding of correspondences and the key role they have in our lives.

 

(1) There is a succession of correspondences produced by Divine Speech, from the Spiritual Sun down and out to the ultimate physical plane of reality.

 

(2) The end, the cause, and the effect follow in order, and act as a one because the effect corresponds to the cause, and the cause to the end. Hence correspondences are the means by which all phenomena (natural effects) are produced (spiritual causes).

 

(3) The end is in the cause and actuates the cause. The cause is in the effect and actuates the effect. Consequently the end through the cause actuates the effect. The “end” refers to God’s goal of adequately preparing human beings for their life in immortality. This is Divine Love. The “cause” refers to the exteriorization of God’s goal by means of Divine Truth within which Divine Love is contained and hidden. Thus truth is nothing but the outward visible appearance of love, which itself remains invisible within it.

 

(4) In order that the end may produce the cause, it must take to itself administrant means from the region where the cause is, by which means the end may produce the cause; and in order that the cause may produce the effect, it also must take to itself administrant means from the region where the effect is, by which means the cause may produce the effect. These “administrant means” are what correspond. This means that there is no direct contact across degrees between the spiritual and the natural realities. There is only a correspondential function that automatically ties them together in the position of cause and effect. The impossibility of direct contact between the natural and the spiritual, or between the effect and its cause, is because the effect and the cause are each in separate substances or realities that can never appear to each other. But they do appear to each other by correspondence, which is a functional connection, not direct and continuous.

 

(5) All things in general and in particular in the human mind and in nature, succeed one another as end, cause, and effect; and when they thus correspond to one another, they act as a one. This is the basis of reality. Correspondences are the laws that hold all things in the right position, structure, and action.

 

(6) In human action, the mental organ of “the will” operates our motivated affective goal states. This is experienced as a striving to achieve a particular “end” or purpose. The mental organ of the “understanding” operates our cognitive thinking sequences. These cognitive operations are motivated, initiated, and directed by the will to produce a plan to reach the desired goal state. A particular action is the ultimate result of the three-step process. In this behavioral series, the “will,” or the operations of the affective organ, defines and selects the “end” or particular motivated goal state. The “understanding,” or the operations of the cognitive organ, provides the “cause” or particular reasoning and plan. The action is the “effect” and it is executed or performed by the sensorimotor organ of the mind. Once the sequence affective-cognitive-sensorimotor is complete in the mind, the physical body reacts by correspondence and produces appropriate movement, action, perception, and sensation.

 

These four things correspond to each other --

  • the feelings of the will or operations in the affective organ
  • the thoughts of the understanding or operations in the cognitive organ
  • the sensations of the sensory or operations in the sensorimotor organ
  • the reactions of the physical body which correspond one-to-one with the operations in the sensorimotor organ

 

(7) The Divine Human's love in the form of spiritual heat, inflows into the affective organ, and the Divine Human's truth in the form of spiritual light, inflows into the cognitive. No matter how much love and truth flow into our mind from God, they remain inactive on their own, until we consciously decide to make our willing and thinking to correspond to the inflowing love and truth. Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture instructs us on how to achieve this correspondence.

 

Our willing and intending, or motivational goal states, must be made consciously to correspond to the inflowing Divine love, and our thinking and reasoning processes, must be made consciously to correspond to the inflowing Divine truth. Thus can we be “reborn” as an individual with new character. This new and superior spiritual character makes it possible for us to live in the heavens of our mind, when we pass into the immortality of the afterlife.

 

(8) The love and truth to which our intending and reasoning have been made to correspond, is nothing else than the Divine Love and the Divine Truth activating and operating by correspondence the new willing mind. We must continuously keep in mind that this love and truth are both infinite and uncreate, hence they cannot belong to us. When we fail to keep this in mind, we are spiritually insane and irrational. We must think rational thoughts, namely, that God wills that His Divine Love and Truth entering our mind, appear to us as-if our very own. In other words, it feels to us that we are free to think or do as we choose.

 

This is a real feeling based on our actual reality. It is not an illusion or delusion. It is God who creates this reality. He makes it such that His love and truth, which operate our willing and thinking, feel to us like our own love and truth, our own willing what we like, and our own thinking what we want. We can forget, or we can deny, that it is God’s power and God’s rationality that activates our willing and thinking. God allows people to forget or deny reality.

 

If God did not allow people to deny reality, and forced them to think only rationally, we would not have freedom, hence we would not be human. We could not reciprocate God’s love, for which He longs, and for which He created the universe. Hence it is absolutely essential that God give people actual freedom, not bogus freedom as an appearance to fool us. To give people actual freedom means that He must compel Himself to make things happen that He would not choose to on His Own, because they are evil things that make human beings suffer, instead of the good things that He Himself wills for them, which make them eternally happy. The revelation of this Divine Law of Permissions, as it is called in the Writings Sacred Scripture, proves that human freedom is actual, not a mere appearance or illusion, despite God’s omnipotence (see Section xx).

 

Without the reality of this as-if appearance, we could not be maximally happy, hence we could not dwell in our heaven. But we must constantly acknowledge to ourselves that they are only as-if our own, and not actually our own. The moment we think they are truly our own, they turn instantly into their opposites -- negative love (hatred, fear, anger, dissatisfaction) and negative truth (invalid conclusions, false assumptions, delusional explanations). It’s like a car you are allowed to own for free given to you by a wizard. You are told that the moment you think that the car is actually yours, it will disappear.

 

Our rationality is an ability or power that gives us the ability to reason truthfully. It feels like it’s our own rationality. But we are told in the Writings Sacred Scripture that if we assume that our intelligence is actually our own, not God’s, we lose it. Our rationality vanishes. We now start thinking and reasoning with flaws. Our conclusions are no longer accurate and real. Our assumptions are false. Our motivational states slip into negative zones. We have lost the status of humanity. We can regain it, but only by giving up how we think and feel.

 

(9) The anatomy of the mind shows three discrete layers in the natural mind, from top to bottom-- rational, natural, and sensuous. Another way of saying this is natural-rational, natural-sensuous, and natural-corporeal (see Section xx). Love and truth inflowing from the Divine Human cannot activate anything in our will and understanding unless we ourselves consciously create rational concepts in our understanding. These rational concepts are called "administrant means" in the passage above. Elsewhere they are called rational "vessels" that can “contain spiritual truths.”

 

Theistic psychology is the knowledge that consists of these rational concepts and principles organized into a science (“scientifics of doctrine”). Divine Love and Truth can inflow into these rational concepts. The more interior these rational concepts are, the higher the form of the Divine Love and Truth that we can receive into our consciousness. In other words, the thoughts and feelings are at a level of consciousness or mentality that correspond to Divine Love and Truth. It is Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture that forms the content of consciousness at each discrete level of the mind.

 

You can see from this discussion that the revelation of the existence of correspondences and what they are, will be a great boon to the evolution of human civilization on this earth.

 

The Table below shows how Divine Speech expressed in Sacred Scripture gradually raised the evolution of consciousness of the human race.

 

Please read this Chart from bottom up (1, 2, 3)

LEVELS OF MEANING OF
DIVINE SPEECH
IN SACRED SCRIPTURE

MENTALITY LEVEL INDICATING
EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS
(contrast each numbered entry
across the three levels)

3

 


natural-rational
correspondences

 

The Writings of Swedenborg
(theistic psychology)

 

(1745 AD
to 1771 AD)

 

 

(i) Relationship to God at a particular level.
(ii) God is the universal Divine Human who incarnated in history on this earth to bring about a new creation in the human mind. Everyone is born for an eternal life in heaven. However, one can end up in hell by character corruption and evil.
(iii) The Divine Human creates and manages all events in the minutest detail, including the growth of human minds, and the thinking operations of every unique individual from birth to our immortal eternity.
(iv) God is infinite Love and Wisdom and cannot hate or punish people. He has already forgiven you before you disobey. He gives commandments for people to obey only to help them acquire a good character. This is what determines our immortality in the afterlife in heaven or in hell.
(v) God participates in every event, thought, or choice. He supplies the power and direction of an event or choice as it unfolds.
(vi) God communicates Divine Speech in the form of Sacred Scripture that is written down in correspondences suitable in meaning to the mentality of the people. Hidden within the literal sentences of Sacred Scripture, are higher and higher correspondences designed for people who want to elevate their consciousness to their eternal heaven of conjugial love and union.

2

 

natural-sensuous
correspondences

 

New
Testament

 

(50 AD
to 100 AD)

(i) Relationship to God at a personal level.
(ii) We influence God by a personal faith in Jesus Christ, the incarnated Son of God. Through this faith we have eternal life. Without it, our eternal life is in darkness or hell.
(iii) God loves all people and races equally and gives them an equal opportunity to acquire a personal faith in Jesus Christ, His Son.
(iv) God hates sin and turns away from people who love sin. He forgives people and doesn't take vengeance any more because of His Son who took people's sins upon Himself.
(v) God does not remove Himself from people but it is the people who turn away from Him.
(vi) Sacred Scripture is God's Word given through the inspiration of special people whom God chooses. God also inspires any individual who has faith in Him.

1

 

natural-corporeal
correspondences

 

Old
Testament

 

(3000 BC
to 400 BC)

 

 

(i) Relationship to God at a general level.
(ii) We influence God collectively by prescribed worship rituals. God rewards those who are pious with a good life here on earth, and after the resurrection of the dead. Those who disobey the rituals are punished severely, including their family and their nation who pay a collective price for the sins of a few.
(iii) God prefers certain races over others. He keeps the "chosen people" closest to Him.
(iv) God gets angry at times and feels better after He takes His vengeance upon the guilty who have broken His commandments.
(v) God removes Himself from the details of creation and lets things run according to natural laws.
(vi) The Old Testament has physical power hidden within it and special people can use this power.

 

You can see that Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture has been given to the human race on this earth over a period of thousands of years in Western culture comprising three periods or phases of evolution. Prior to this history, Divine Speech was received in earlier forms of Sacred Scripture whose character is described in the Writings. These earlier forms of Sacred Scripture formed the consciousness and religions of the Asiatic people. Subsequently, the East and the West cultures and religions have developed separately, but at the beginning all cultures on this earth had religions from the ancient Sacred Scripture given to the first human generations born on this planet. These historical details are revealed in the Writings. They are important to know because of the universal law that individual biography recapitulates cultural history, or that the developmental steps of our consciousness recapitulate the evolution of mentality in the race (see Section xx).

 

In the table above, the first phase is marked by the Hebrew Old Testament Sacred Scripture which was written in a style and mentality called "natural-corporeal" correspondences of Divine Speech. The meaning of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture was cast in a mentality that corresponded to the level and style of thinking of the civilization of the Old Testament in the Middle East and surrounding regions. The prophets through whose mind these Sacred Scriptures were written down, had this mentality and they wrote down the Divine Speech that came to their natural mind at the level of their own mentality, which was natural-corporeal. Hence the Old Testament Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-corporeal correspondences of Divine Speech.

 

The second phase is marked by the Greek New Testament Sacred Scripture, which is written in a higher mentality level called "natural-sensuous" correspondences of Divine Speech. When you contrast the numbered entries in the table which describe that mentality, you can see that Divine Speech in correspondences at the natural-sensuous level, comes through and speaks to a more universal level of the human mind, less sectarian and ethnic. From a general or distant relationship to God, humanity could now develop a personal and close relationship. God as a Divine Human has a relationship directly to the individual (phase 2 consciousness), not just collectively to a nation or religion (phase 1 consciousness).

 

The third phase is marked by the Writings Sacred Scripture which are written with the highest level of natural correspondences called "natural-rational" correspondences of divine Speech. At this level of thinking Divine Speech describes the particulars of our relationship to God in universal scientific ideas, such as we have in theistic psychology based on the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Theistic psychology is based on the systematic methodical activity of extracting layers of correspondences in the Writings Sacred Scripture. This extraction process must follow the procedures specified in the Writings regarding how to extract higher order correspondences from all Sacred Scripture. Theistic psychology was made possible when the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event created the interior-natural organ in Himself, and consequently in every human being’s mind (see section 8 Thinking With Angels: Our Virtual Heavens).

 

Considered in its literal meaning, the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture appears to be historical, ethnic, and religious, and sometimes even sectarian and sexist. This literal content has been used in history to wage cruel wars against other religions and ethnic groups. Even within one religion that is based on the same historical Sacred Scripture, there are sub-varieties of interpretations that have fueled passions and aroused discrimination, disagreement, cruelty, and bitterness. All this negativity and dogmatism associated with religion and Sacred Scripture disappear totally when we go below the surface literal meaning to the inner level of correspondences, as is illustrated and demonstrated in the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

It is understandable why Divine Speech is of such a negative character by the time it comes down to the lowest common denominator, which is the ethnic mind of a prophet who is a member of a community somewhere and has a cultural or socialized mentality reflecting his tribe and times. All portions of Sacred Scripture are constructed of written sentences in some natural language like Hebrew (Old Testament), Greek (New Testament), or Latin (the Writings). In each case the literal-historical content reflects the age and culture. But the inner sense that is extracted through correspondences has no cultural, historical, and religious content. Its content is theistic psychology, a universal scientific revelation of endless proportions, delivered through the modern scientific mind of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).

 

It is very significant to note that the modern scientific revelations in the Writings could not have been delivered by Swedenborg in the same way as the revelations contained in the Old Testament, and the New Testament. None of the authors of the Old and New Testament books had any idea of the hidden inner correspondences of the sentences they wrote down. Their thinking mentality was pre-modern. They could not possibly understand the rational scientific descriptions of the human mind, its anatomy, and relation to the spiritual world, heaven, and regeneration. For instance, the people who wrote the New Testament were eyewitnesses to the physical Incarnation of God as the Divine Human. They were able to relate to Him only at the natural-sensuous level. They would not have been able to read and understand the Writings, written 17 centuries later in natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. They had only natural-sensuous concepts by which to comprehend God and the Divine Human that walked among them.

 

For instance, they could not understand why it was that the physical Divine Human had to undergo death and had to vanish from their sensuous consciousness. They tried to hold Him back, not being able to understand His explanations that He must return to a state of spiritual existence in order that He might appear to them in a more eternal manner. This new more real Presence is the Divine Human in their conscious rational mind and is called the “Holy Spirit.” The co-Presence of God with us is in our rational consciousness. The Divine Human, once He was present physically on earth, could have remained within their sensuous consciousness, as they urged Him to do. But He refused to do that for their sake and the sake of all humanity. It took 17 more centuries of evolution before a modern scientist like Swedenborg could be introduced into the spiritual world while still on earth, so that he might give an empirical rational account of the spiritual world and God. Nothing but an empirical and scientific account could serve for the new modern science of theistic psychology.

 

From this discussion you can see how it is that the evolution of human consciousness is brought about by God through Divine Speech expressed in levels of correspondences matching the ability of people to understand God's management techniques. Human consciousness is therefore an expression of our relationship to God -- general, personal, and particular. (see Note 8)

 

6.  Levels of Descent of Divine Speech

 

God creates and manages all the details of the dual universe through Divine Speech (historically known to many as "the Word of God" or "Logos"). Divine Speech issues or proceeds from the Infinite Rational Mind of the Divine Human. Swedenborg has described the Spiritual Sun as a brilliant aura around the Divine Human so that all whose consciousness is in the highest portion of their rational mind, can visually or sensually see the Divine Human amidst the Spiritual Sun as an aura around Him.

 

In that state of mind called our “third heaven,” we know that the visual and sensuous appearance of the Divine Human outside of themselves at a seeming distance in the sky, is only an appearance that represents the Omnipresence and the Co-Presence of the Divine Human within themselves. They know that He is actually co-Present inside their mind, not sensuously, but rationally in the good and truth that inflows from Him and activates their will and their understanding. They know that the Spiritual Sun seen outside of themselves is actually within themselves. They cannot see the infinite, but the infinite can be within what is their finite and never the other way round (see Section xx).

 

The sensuous consciousness of God is distant, but the rational consciousness of God is close up. Co-Presence with God is possible only in rational consciousness of Him. This is why the Divine Human had to depart the physical plane of reality. To remain would have condemned humanity to a distant relationship when God was longing for a close relationship. He departed from a distant sensuous consciousness for the sake of close up rational consciousness.

 

It is revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture that God created the universe in order to bestow eternal conjugial happiness and wisdom to every human being. It was not possible for us to be human, rational, and free by being created ready made angels in the eternity of heaven. That's what God would have done had He wanted a race of sensuous robots. While such a race could worship and obey God, it would not be able to love God. But God wants love, not worship and obedience for its own sake. God Himself is infinite love and truth, and the nature of love, as revealed in the Writings, is "spiritual conjunction."

 

In other words, God's love is such that it desires to make every human being He creates, happy and rational to eternity by having them experience His infinite love and truth as if they are their own.

 

For instance, when we walk, we feel like we are walking from our own power to exercise our will to move towards a goal. And yet, we know from rational revelation that our will has no power of its own but must be moved by God's Divine Speech which inflows into our affective organ in the form of love or spiritual heat (see Section xx). It is God's spiritual heat, or love, inflowing, that moves our legs while walking toward a particular goal. And yet, if feels like it is our own will that moves our legs towards the goal we have chosen.

 

Another example is given by our ability to study and learn. It feels like we are putting up the effort to read, analyze, comprehend, memorize, apply. And we are happy with ourselves when we succeed. But in reality, it is God's moment by moment interventions that puts one thought next to another, or supplies the reasoning procedure by which we can make an appropriate conclusion.

 

These examples show how God wills that what is actually His, to be as-if ours.

 

God's inflowing love and truth, activating our will and intelligence, appear ours, yet are not actually ours, but appear as-if they are ours (see Section xx). This is the actualizing form that God's love takes.

 

Swedenborg was told by the celestial angels that they actually perceive the inflowing love and truth from the Divine Human. They also told him that if they should for a moment think that their powers, intelligence, and wisdom are their own, rather than appear as-if their own, they would instantly fall out of heaven. The heavenly state of consciousness attributes every detail of one's thoughts and feelings to the Divine Human. But it is otherwise for the unenlightened person informed by sensuous consciousness rather than by rational ideas from Sacred Scripture. When we are in this materialistic mentality of the sensuous, we attribute some things to God and some things to ourselves. I have sometimes been told by people that they hate the idea of this "as-of self" that I was explaining to them. They react to the idea as something that removes their motivation or incentive to do or think anything. People want the credit for their effort and abilities. Of course, this is a practical attitude when we are interacting with other people in society, but it is an insane idea spiritually when we are considering our interactions with God who activates all our activities.

 

Rational reception of Divine Speech by each individual is the mechanism that God has created for human beings so that they can be consciously co-Present with God. Co-presence with God is called "conjunction" with Him. When we are in a state of conjunction with God we are consciously aware of His interior presence in our rational mind. We can talk to Him as if He were present face to face on the outside, but He does not engage in sensuous or physical dialog by voice or apparition. He makes His thoughts known to us instantly, so that we think it in the form and meaning that is at our level of mentality. This is rational consciousness of God and it affords us conscious co-Presence. In that state of closeness to Him He is able to give us conjugial bliss in eternity.

 

It is most important to underscore the fact that this co-Presence and communication with the Divine Human is not sensuous but rational.

 

There are no voices or visions like the prophets of old experienced in their sensuous consciousness. There is no interlocutor who takes turns in a dialog, as we do with other people. There is only rational perception and rational love. In other words, God arranges our thoughts and feelings in a way that corresponds to His message. We experience His message as our own thinking, feeling, and rational perception. It is only rationally that we know that it is God who has rearranged our thoughts and feelings in any particular situation. In terms of sensuous experience, it appears that it is our own rearrangement or insight. It is easy to deny that it is God's. God makes it easy for us to deny that it is He that arranges our thoughts and feelings.

 

In the modern age of science, God would not speak to us in living voice or appear to us visually because this would paralyze our rational consciousness of Him and thus deny us His co-Presence, rob us of conjugial bliss in eternity. God appearing at the United Nations tomorrow and making a Divine Declaration in the world media, would paralyze our ability to be co-Present with Him in our rational mind, which is where our eternal heavens are. God created heaven in our rational mind so that He can be co-Present with us to eternity, and by this conjunction to make us happy and intelligent to eternity. It is through Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture that God is present with us in our rational consciousness of Him. This rational consciousness is built up in our mind by the correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture – and in no other way.

 

God’s co-Presence varies from clear to obscure. "Clear" means that we are able to receive more interior meanings of Divine Speech in higher order correspondences of Sacred Scripture. When God is clearly co-Present in our rational consciousness we are able to receive a more perfect happiness and wisdom, than what we can receive when His co-Presence in our mind is somewhat "obscure.” Our consciousness or level of mentality reflects the clarity of His co-Presence within our rational understanding of His Sacred Scripture.

 

The following chart shows the levels of descent of Divine Speech from the Rational Mind of the Divine Human to human minds at various levels of mentality or consciousness and enlightenment (from clear to obscure). This descent is sequential in successive order, but it is simultaneous in existential order. The descent of Divine Speech occurs simultaneously into every human mind but it is perceived according to one’s clarity or obscurity of His co-Presence. The clarity of His co-Presence depends on one main thing: The intensity or purity of our love of His truth and good. This purity is measured by how much we are willing to cooperate with Him in our endless regeneration process.

 

Hence it all comes down to the bottom line of spiritual accounting – how much we are willing to let go of our own desires and justifications, in exchange for His desires and justifications, as explained to humanity through Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. Our consciousness would be elevated instantaneously to the highest human potential of near omniscience (“third heaven”) if we were willing right this moment to let go of one hundred percent of our desires and justifications. But, assuming we can let go of all of them, would we be as happy as we can be? When the answer is Yes, we are in that third heaven.

 

LEVELS OF
DESCENT

SPIRITUAL
GEOGRAPHY

MENTAL
ANATOMY

CORRESPONDENCES OR CONSCIOUSNESS LEVELS

CONTENT OR
TOPICS ADDRESSED

1
DIVINE
SPEECH

Spiritual Sun

Soul

Divine Truth from
the Divine Rational Mind of
the Divine Human

Infinite things make distinguishably one

2
SACRED SCRIPTURE
IN THIRD HEAVEN

Celestial Heaven
 (Third)

Affective
Organ

Celestial-rational
Correspondences
(interior rational mind)

What is love, good, hierarchy of affections, intending and willing, regeneration

3
SACRED SCRIPTURE
IN SECOND HEAVEN

Spiritual Heaven
(Second)

Cognitive
Organ

Spiritual-rational
Correspondences
(external rational mind)

What is truth, faith, rationality, theology, science, doctrine, understanding

4
SACRED SCRIPTURE
IN FIRST HEAVEN

Natural Heaven
(First)

Sensorimotor
Organ

Spiritual-natural
Correspondences
(interior natural mind)

What is use, good works, morality, justice, virtue, aesthetics, competition

5
SACRED SCRIPTURE
IN NATURAL LANGUAGE

World of Spirits
and Earth

Conscious
Memory
Organ and Brain

Natural
Correspondences
(natural mind)

(c) Psychology -- Writings
(natural-rational correspondences)
-----
(b) Theology -- New Testament
(natural-sensuous correspondences.)
-----
(a) History -- Old Testament
(natural-corporeal correspondences.)

6
SACRED SCRIPTURE FALSIFIED

Hells

Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Organs Corrupted

Falsified
Correspondences
(at various levels)

What is love, good, truth, faith, use, morality, justice, good works, aesthetics, competition

 

There are six levels of descent indicated. In Itself (level 1) Divine Speech is incomprehensible and inexpressible because it is infinite and our understanding cannot comprehend the infinite. In the Rational Mind of the Divine Human infinite things make one distinguishably. In other words the infinite individual items each remain unique and mutually distinguished from all others. Divine Speech flows out of the Divine Human's Mind into the created universe from within by means of correspondences arranged in exteriorizing discrete degrees and operating in simultaneous order. Divine Speech as an outflow or emanation from the Spiritual Sun, is the means by which the Divine Human creates all things and maintains them in a rational and loving order.

 

The Divine Speech exits or proceeds from the Spiritual Sun, which is an aura of spiritual heat (love) and spiritual light (truth) that is continuously proceeding, united as one, into the created universe. This proceeding is called Divine Influx and as it descends it makes first contact with humanity through the soul of every created individual (level 2). The soul is immortal. It is a mental organ constructed out of the spiritual substances proceeding from the Spiritual Sun. The soul functions as a receptor or filter. It is capable of receiving or capturing the Divine Speech. Although the Divine Speech as received by the soul is no longer infinite, it is still Divine. In other words, the Divine can limit itself and “dwell” within the boundaries of finite things created for the reception of the infinite. This self-delimited Divine is called the Divine Proceeding or "Holy Spirit." It is what forms, initiates, activates, and operates our consciousness – its rational syntax and the human affections within it. The human begins in the inmost of the rational, in the words of the Writings.

 

The Divine Proceeding which is in our soul does not become amalgamated or one with the soul because the infinite cannot become one with the finite. There is no “oneness” with God. There is an absolute duality between God and human beings, or between that which is uncreate (like love, life, truth, intelligence, light, heat, endeavor, propensity) on the one hand, and on the other, that which is created (like galaxies, atoms, plants, human minds, heaven, and hell). There is no possible overlap between the uncreate and the created. But the created has the property of being able to contain the uncreate. For instance, plant cells are capable of receiving life, light, heat, and propensity, while rock molecules can only receive heat and motion. The form, structure, and substance of each created object determines what uncreate substances it is capable of receiving from the Divine Proceeding.

 

The human mind is created and is born into the spiritual world and overlaps with it. All human minds therefore overlap with each other, creating the objective spiritual world (see Section xx). When we are born, our physical body is temporarily alive on earth while our mental body ("spirit" or "mind") is permanently alive in the spiritual world. The shape of the human mind is the shape of the mental body, and this is the shape of the physical body. Therefore the spiritual world must be in the shape of the human body and the human mind. Swedenborg was able to confirm this by direct observation. He was given a "bird's eye" view of the spiritual world, as if he were taken out of it to look at it. He saw that it had a shape, and this was the form of the human body. Nothing was missing. In fact, as he was traveling through the spiritual world Swedenborg described his location with reference to the human body. He would say that he was "in the province of the eye" or the heart, or "in the region beneath the buttocks" (where some of the worst hells are located). Quoting:

 

AC 818

There is a dreadful hell beneath the buttocks, where they seem to stab one another with knives, aiming the knives at one another's breasts like furies, but in the act of striking the knife is continually taken away from them. They are those who have held others in such hatred that they burned to kill them cruelly; and from this they had derived a nature so direful. This hell was opened to me (but only a little on account of their direful cruelties), so that I might see the nature of deadly hatred. (AC 818)

 

Swedenborg called this shape of humanity in eternity as "the Grand Man," which is also translated as "the Grand Human." It has both male and female organs. Swedenborg says that the Divine Human continuously wills to unify the entire created immortal human race. This unification is reflected by the visual appearance of the Grand Human. But this Grand Human contains only the portions of human minds called heaven, which is why the Grand Human has a perfect human anatomical shape. But the hells of the human mind are separated out and formed into another unity which Swedenborg called a malformed or disfigured individual. (D.Love 6).

 

The 6 levels of the chart above show the parallel forms of the spiritual world and the mental world, in the columns marked "spiritual geography" and "mental anatomy." The spiritual world is a vertically organized operational sphere for supporting the activity of thoughts and feelings of the human race. All our thoughts and feelings are operations in the anatomical organs of the mind. Swedenborg was able to visit three layers of heaven and three equivalent layers of hell. There is such a structural balance between the heavens and the hells because hells are created by the corrupted reception of spiritual heat (love) in the affective organ (“the will”), and spiritual light (truth) in the cognitive organ (“the understanding.” Everyone receives the same Divine Proceeding into their unique soul. From there, the Divine Proceeding descends by levels into the discrete layers of the human mind, thus, of the spiritual world.

 

When Divine Speech descends through the soul into our third heaven, it is first received into the highest portion of the affective organ called celestial, which constitutes the third heaven of every individual. This mental activation or operation of the affective organ (or “will”) has a rational content which becomes conscious to us when we have elevated our consciousness into the third heaven. In that mental state, we are called "celestial angels." Swedenborg often talked to people who already live in the eternity of their heavens.

 

Celestial angels think and feel by means of celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (level 2 in the chart above). The topics they think and talk about includes all the things that have to do with love, affection, charity, willing, intending, and regenerating. Swedenborg saw their Sacred Scripture, which he described as having similar shaped letters to the Hebrew print of the Old Testament that he was familiar with on earth. That Sacred Scripture is located in the mind of every human being, in its uppermost layer of operation. If we are willing to elevate our consciousness and mentality to that level, we can become conscious of that celestial-rational Sacred Scripture.

 

Those who elevate their conscious awareness to the second heaven (level 3) (also called “angelic spirits”), think and feel from spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in which their copy of Sacred Scripture is written. This level of comprehending Divine Speech involves thinking about truth, faith, science, knowledge, understanding. It is a cognitive world, while the third heaven is an affective world. The cognitive mind is a receptor organ of spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun descending through the soul and through the third heaven. Swedenborg compared the thinking level of celestial-rational correspondences (third heaven) with the thinking level of spiritual-rational correspondences (second heaven). There was such a discrete difference that there was absolutely no overlap in level of conscious meaning between the Sacred Scripture in these two discrete locations in our mind.

 

The lowest form of thinking in the third heaven was absolutely beyond the thinking and comprehension of the highest thinking in the second heaven. But there was a relation of correspondence between them. When a celestial angel (third heaven) was allowed to communicate with a spiritual angel (second heaven) they did so through correspondences. Every celestial-rational idea or operation has a corresponding spiritual-rational idea or operation. Thus, while celestial angels are able to perceive directly any truth they are interested in – thus being near-omniscient, spiritual angels have to reason, reflect, debate, and be instructed about it before gaining understanding and enlightenment.

 

There is a similar discrete separation between the spiritual angels (second heaven) and the "natural angels" of the first heaven, also called “good spirits.” When spiritual angels think in spiritual-rational correspondences from their Sacred Scripture (level 3), "angelic spirits" of the first heaven think in corresponding ideas from their Sacred Scripture called spiritual-natural correspondences (level 4). These interior-natural ideas involve things about the external behavior rather than internal thoughts (second heaven) and feelings (third heaven). They are involved in thinking about uses, functions, architecture, competition, justice, and so on. Swedenborg describes the apparent lifestyle of those who are in the three heavens of their eternal life, and it is fascinating to see the differences, all of which relate to the level of correspondences in which they understand their Sacred Scripture.

 

The chart above shows that below the first heaven is located the "world of spirits" (level 5). This is the mental "space" that separates our heaven and our hell. This is the "great interspace" into which our mind is born at our birth, and it is the mental space into which we are resuscitated at the death of the physical body (see Section xx). The world of spirits is therefore the same level as our normal conscious daily natural mind. This level of thinking (level 5) is based on the level of natural correspondences in Sacred Scripture as expressed, written down, and published in a natural language on earth. Swedenborg observed that when people are resuscitated they awaken into the same level of mentality and thinking that they had in their last period on earth. For example, those who had materialistic beliefs and assumptions, would not at first acknowledge that they were now spirits in the spiritual world of the afterlife. They had to learn from new experience that their materialistic beliefs were false. Those who were religious minded, upon awakening from resuscitation, talk about heaven and angels.

 

Swedenborg calls this level of thinking a natural level based on our "external memory" (level 5). In other words, our sensorimotor experiences occasioned by contact with the physical environment are permanently recorded in our memory. The organ of the memory has an external natural portion and an interior spiritual portion. It is our external memories from earth that form the style of life we have in the spiritual world. Those who share compatible or similar memories can be together as a community in heaven or hell since their intentionality will be projecting a similar city or residence, a similar daily round of activities, a similar civic and legal management system. Swedenborg reports that people even name their cities in the world of spirits by similar names as they had on earth -- London, Paris, Stockholm, Jerusalem. The content of the external memory organ forms a plane for instantiating the appearances of the lifestyle environment. The type of mentality operative at this level is fixed by natural correspondences in the natural mind.

 

The external natural mind is our daily familiar conscious mind. It is formed entirely by sensory input from the physical body and its abstraction into taxonomic explanatory systems. It is revealed in the Writings that the natural mind has three sub-levels of discrete operations in its outward external portion, and three levels of discrete operations in its inward interior portion (see Section xx). In other words, the natural mind is a microcosm of the entire spiritual world. The three vertical layers of the external natural mind are called corporeal (level 5a), sensuous (level 5b), and rational (level 5c). The natural-corporeal mind (level 5a) is closely bound to the order and limits of the physical world as we know it directly from our physical organs.

 

For example, our corporeal mind (level 5a) can notice that the sun rises in the east every morning and sets in the west. From this observation we may conclude that the earth is flat, unmoving, while the sun is round and moving. The natural-sensuous mind (level 5b) is less closely bound to the physical appearances and is able to construct mental abstractions of them in which it can comprehend new higher relations. The sensuous mind can figure out that the earth must also be round and that the appearance of flatness is only present for the immediate visual view around us. The natural-sensuous mind (level 5b) forms abstractions by abandoning the assumptions of natural-corporeal correspondences (level 5a) and thinking in terms of natural-sensuous correspondences (level 5b).

 

Materialistic science and secularized democratic societies are two great achievements of the natural-sensuous mind. The level of civilized society has been progressively moving to a more rational and spiritual mentality, as we can see when we compare the literal sentences of the Old and New Testaments. The mentality of the Old Testament peoples was such as we detect from the natural-corporeal correspondences in its literal sentences. They thought of God as a stern omnipotent ruler who was partial to certain people and seemed not to care about others, even to the point of commanding cruel acts against them, including slavery and genocide. This mentality went on for centuries, created and embedded in the natural-corporeal correspondences of the Old Testament.

 

Remember that Divine Speech descends from the highest portion of the human mind (level 2, third heaven) to the lowest (level 5, world of spirits and earth). It is the same Divine Speech throughout, but its appearance in correspondences becomes progressively less celestial, less spiritual, less rational, less natural, until it ends up at the lowest level of correspondences built for the human mind -- natural-corporeal correspondences (level 5a). The mental span from level 2 (celestial-rational correspondences) to level 5a (natural corporeal correspondences) is so enormous that it goes from a heavenly society of rational peaceful people to a barbaric society of semi-rational and cruel people.

 

The span of correspondences that shape human consciousness and behavior is built in given that spiritual geography = mental anatomy. Every individual must go through the developmental steps indicated by the elevation from level 5a (natural-corporeal) to level 2 (celestial-rational). We start our mental life with natural-corporeal correspondences (5a), move on through experience and instruction to natural-sensuous correspondences (5b), then to natural-rational correspondences (5c). The chart above shows that the Writings are written in natural-rational correspondences (level 5c), the New Testament is written in natural-sensuous correspondences (level 5b), and the Old Testament is written in natural-corporeal correspondences (level 5a).

 

For instance, the same Ten Commandments are presented in all three collections of Sacred Scripture. One of the commandments is Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery (see Section xx). In the natural-corporeal meaning of the Old Testament it is clear that this refers to an overt act of infidelity in marriage. The same commandment is expressed in the mentality of natural-sensuous correspondences in the New Testament. Now it is made clear to the comprehension that there is physical adultery and mental adultery. Both are forbidden, so that if we now fantasize infidelity, and do not disapprove of it in our fantasy, then we are breaking the commandment against adultery. Further, in the Writings when this commandment is presented in the language of natural-rational correspondences, we can comprehend that there are three kinds of adultery: physical, mental, and spiritual. Spiritual adultery is a natural-rational concept that does not appear at the two discrete lower levels of correspondences in Sacred Scripture. As mentioned above, spiritual adultery refers to "adulterating the Word," which means to falsify Sacred Scripture for personal reasons such as gaining influence over others or using Sacred Scripture to justify continuing to practice one's wickedness. The adulteration of Sacred Scripture by falsifying its correspondences produces hell in our mind (level 6), as is discussed below.

 

It is important to understand the connection between the natural mind and regeneration. No issue is more central to theistic psychology than this connection. The natural mind of the human race has undergone a major evolutionary transformation when the Incarnation Event occurred two thousand years ago (see Section xx). The purpose of this event was to create new mental pathways for the human race on earth which has descended to the level of sensuous consciousness of God (see Section xx). Swedenborg observed what happens to the masses of people that enter the world of spirits every day. Those who arrive with a sensuous consciousness of God reject the spiritual instructions they receive regarding the Divine Human, heaven, the doctrine of good and truth, charity and faith, love and wisdom. They reject them because these spiritual ideas require a rational understanding of them. Sensuous consciousness (5b) is the reliance on external appearances and their symbolic abstractions, while rational consciousness (5c) is reliance on interior framework and their correspondences.

 

Sensuous consciousness (level 5b) sees absolutely nothing above itself, which is why it interprets all higher-order correspondences at the level of natural-sensuous correspondences. This type of mentality is known as "materialism." Swedenborg observed that hose who arrive in the world of spirits with a materialistic world view are unwilling to accept the reality of God and heaven unless it be proven to them by visual experience that God or heaven actually exist. In other words, materialism demands a sensuous consciousness of the Divine before it will acknowledge it. Since sensuous consciousness of the Divine is not given, materialism fabricates novel interpretations of natural-rational and spiritual-rational correspondences. Swedenborg reports that people with a materialistic outlook, when they realize that they are in the spiritual world, demand to be brought into heaven and into the presence of God.

 

Angels then show up who are able to keep these people's spiritual mind closed while they are raised into their heaven with their externals or natural mind. This is necessary for it is impossible for their corrupted spiritual to be raised to their heaven. When they reach the mental state of their heaven, they face a surrounding environment that is devoid of all things -- no light, no sound, no people, no movement, nothing happening. They are shocked when they are told this is heaven and that it is filled with all sorts of beautiful gardens, palaces, and people. But they see nothing, hear nothing, smell nothing. Soon they begin to experience the emotion of panic and the sensation of suffocation. They quickly throw themselves out of their state of heaven back down into their natural-sensuous ideas and emotions. Their inability to have any experience in heaven is because heaven is a rational consciousness of God.

 

It was crucial therefore for God to continue the creation of the human race by providing new mental pathways, new organic structures in the human mind by which materialism could be defeated. This was accomplished by the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). Since then every individual is born with these new mental pathways and organic structures. The individuals who were already in their afterlife phase were transformed physiologically and anatomically so that they can continue their immortality in the "new heavens" of the human mind that the Divine Human created through spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences (levels 3 and 2).

 

It is still possible for people to ignore the new mental structures and arrive into the world of spirits with a materialistic worldview. However, many people do not think deeply about their materialism so that they go through life ignoring their materialism and practicing decency and integrity for the sake of their idealism for good and truth. When they arrive into the afterlife and are instructed in rational loves and truths, they eagerly receive them, and love them. They ascend to their heaven and live in eternal conjugial bliss.

 

When people's religious ideas are based on sensuous consciousness of God they avoid the use of Sacred Scripture for extracting higher-order meanings of God and heaven. They dislike giving up their sensuous cravings for the sake of rational understanding, which appears to them as "intellectualizing" God rather than "experiencing" God or "being one with Him." Sensuous consciousness of God turns into mysticism and opposes rational consciousness of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

 

The Incarnation Event was necessary for creating the new mental organ for regeneration. The natural mind was reformed or transformed by that event so that it received a new interior form it did not have before. This new portion is called the "interior-natural mind" (see Section xx). The interior-natural organ was created into a discrete degree higher than the natural-rational organ (level 5c). If you look at the chart again you will see that immediately above level 5c is located level 4, the first heaven, and above that, the second heaven (level 3), and above that, the third heaven (level 2). These three heavens are progressively higher by virtue of their correspondences from Sacred Scripture. In other words, the newly created interior-natural organ was capable of conscious operations that represented the discrete levels of the three heavens.

 

This new ability marks the highest and final phase of the creation of the human race. Now people are able to read the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings and extract higher-order correspondences that are spiritual-rational (level 3) and celestial-rational (level 2). This is what makes theistic psychology possible. With this new ability in our interior-natural mind we are able to understand Divine Speech in its highest rationality and meaning (levels 3 and 2). We have new powerful mental tools available for our regeneration efforts. The higher the correspondences we can think with, the more effectively we can overcome our inherited materialism. Individuals who have access to the concepts of theistic psychology can understand the process of character reformation within themselves. They can tap into a spiritual source of determination by which they can face their inherited hellish inclinations, attachments, and involvements and reject them for the sake of their heavenly opposites (see Section xx).

 

When people are unwilling to acknowledge and to study the concepts of theistic psychology they are rejecting rationality as revealed by our Creator. They are then drawn deeper into the web of materialism and unreality. They retain their natural abilities to think logically by segments, but they are unable to put the segments together into a rational understanding of the whole. They have rejected the only source of rationality and sanity -- the spiritual correspondences of Sacred Scripture. They still receive the same influx as others but they systematically turn the ideas into their opposites. They use their limited logic in local segments to transform every statement of Divine Speech into its very opposite. The chart shows this as thinking level 6. (See Note 8)

 

7.  The Incarnation Event and Regeneration

 

The scientific meaning of Genesis 24 gives the details about the process of regenerating our natural mind so that it is set into correspondence with our spiritual mind. This is the central issue in theistic psychology. The quality of life in our immortality is determined by how successful we are in regenerating the natural mind with which we are born. Anatomically, the organic mind has several organs layered into discrete levels of operation. This can be rendered schematically as follows:

 

Schematic Chart of Levels of Consciousness
in Spiritual Growth and Regeneration

Discrete Levels of
Consciousness or Meaning

Correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Geography,
Mental Anatomy,
and  Sacred Scripture

9

God
the Divine Human

Spiritual Sun
(spiritual heat and light as uncreate substances)

8

Divine Good and Truth
(or Love and Wisdom)

7

Celestial-Rational

Third Heaven

6

Spiritual-Rational

Second Heaven

5

Spiritual-Natural
(actual)

First Heaven

Death and Resuscitation

4

Interior-Natural (virtual)

Theistic Psychology

3

Natural-Rational

The Writings

2

Natural-Sensuous

New Testament

1

Natural-Corporeal

Old Testament

0

Corporeal-Spiritual

Falsified Sacred Scripture in hell

 

In the chart above, the conscious natural mind covers layers 1 to 4. Layers 5 to 7 constitute the unconscious spiritual mind. Layers 8 and 9 are uncreate, infinite, and Divine, referring to the Divine Human's Mind or Spirit. Upon the death of our body and subsequent resuscitation of our "spirit," our natural mind (layers 1, 2, 3, 4) becomes sub-conscious, and our conscious awareness is thenceforth located forever in the spiritual mind (layers 5, 6, 7).

 

The eight layers of human consciousness (0 to 7 in the chart), are created by the correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Here, individual development recapitulates history and evolution. Each level that succeeds is a discrete degree higher or more interior and rational. The Old Testament mentality or level of thinking (1) is our first concept of God, heaven, and hell (see Section xx). The New Testament mentality or level of thinking (2) is our next understanding of God, heaven, and hell (see Section xx). The Writings mentality or level of thinking (3) is our third concept of God, heaven, and hell (see Section xx). Our fourth concept of God, heaven, and hell is theistic psychology, which is a level 4 mentality or thinking, and is extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture according to prescribed methods specified in the Writings (see Section xx).

 

Level 4 becomes operational when we undergo conscious character reformation in adult life and begin our regeneration by applying the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture to our daily willing and thinking (see Section xx). Level 4 thinking is called "enlightenment" because its information base is from the spiritual-natural mind, and its reasoning quality is genuinely rational. This genuinely rational thinking is only the first layer of understanding genuine truth. Layer 3 is natural-rational, which is a rationality whose concepts are bounded by materialism, time and place. On the other hand, layer 4 reasoning is interior-natural, which also means spiritual-natural reasoning. Layer 4 is a new organ created within the natural mind by the Incarnation Event and is called the interior-natural organ (see Section xx).

 

The scientific analysis by correspondences of Genesis 24, 25, and 26 yields a complete anatomical and developmental description of level 4 thinking (see Section xx). The natural mind cannot be regenerated solely through layers 1, 2, and 3, which constitute the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). The Writings explain that every person who wants to regenerate must first extract doctrinal principles from the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture (see below). The Divine Psychologist enlightens the person in the effort of extraction. This enlightenment allows us to comprehend the “naked truths” in a spiritual way, not merely natural.

 

Until young adulthood when reformation and regeneration can begin, we only understand the Writings Sacred Scripture naturally, that is, in their literal meaning. But when we receive enlightenment, we can begin to understand them spiritually. Then the truths we extract as doctrine for ourselves, constitute our spiritual doctrine, or spiritual understanding, of spiritual topics. With this in our conscious understanding, we can face spiritual temptations and engage in the process of regeneration, spiritual growth, mental healing, and the capacity to be in conjugial union, thus, to be prepared for heavenly life and bliss.

 

The Incarnation Event was the process by which the Divine Human created the interior-natural organ within the natural mind of the human race (layer 4). This took two steps. First, the Divine Child created this new layer of thinking in Himself by extracting theistic psychology from the literal meaning of the Hebrew Old Testament, which He studied in His earliest years of conscious awareness as an infant (see Section xx). This took several rational steps, as described in Genesis 24, 25, and 26 (see Section xx). When the process was completed in Himself, the second step was to create this new mental organ within the mind of every human being who was already in the afterlife, then every human being who was alive in the natural universe, and finally, every human being that is being born since then, and to the endless future of new humanity.

 

The interior-natural organ that makes possible conscious level 4 meanings, which may be called a virtual heaven with three discrete layers of correspondences. This is because layers 5, 6, and 7 of the unconscious spiritual mind are virtually represented in our conscious interior-natural mind (see Section xx). This is accomplished by virtual higher-order correspondences of Sacred Scripture that can be operational in the interior-natural organ, while they cannot be operational in the external natural organ (layers 1, 2, 3). The thinking level of people in their First Heaven is at layer 5 by means of spiritual-natural correspondences. This meaning level is virtually represented in our conscious natural mind through our understanding of spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture. We are similarly conscious of layers 6 and 7 by means of spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture in their virtual form (see Section xx).

 

Regeneration cannot occur at the natural level of thinking (1, 2, 3) about Sacred Scripture because the literal meaning is always bound up in materialistic thinking that includes historical names of places or people, time and number and, matter and motion. This is true of all Sacred Scripture because it is always expressed in a natural language -- Hebrew, Greek, Latin. Theistic psychology is a level of thinking that goes into the interior of the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture (level 4). At this level we learn to think and reason only from the universal concepts contained in Divine Speech. Sacred Scripture is only a window to Divine Speech, and the window is opened or made transparent when we apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment, as prescribed in the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

 

Nevertheless, there are different discrete levels at which correspondences can be applied to one's thinking and willing. One's degree of enlightenment or consciousness of higher meanings in theistic psychology is proportional to one's degree of regeneration, a process that goes on throughout life and never ceases to eternity. Theistic psychology would be useful to teach children and young people, even though they cannot begin their own regeneration until adulthood. But it would be useful to them to learn the literacy skills involved in many aspects of theistic psychology – diagrams, charts, and vocabulary lists arranged in rational sets, as illustrated below.

 

They would understand these spiritual topics naturally, which builds up their external rational thinking abilities. Later when they are ready to start reformation, these natural-rational concepts serve as “vessels” that are enlightened during the extraction of doctrine and application to life.

 

Genesis 24 describes the process by which the natural mind is set to order by means of the higher correspondences in the interior-natural organ. Setting in order the natural mind means to make it correspond with the spiritual mind. When we are born, everyone inherits an external natural mind that is in disorder, and in fact, in an order that is dead set against the spiritual order. The symptoms of this include a civilization of materialism, the negative bias in science, numerous societal problems, violent conflict between people, and individual inadequacies (depression, addiction, deception, cynicism, intolerance, hatred). The natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture in the human mind are ineffective to overcome this inbred negativity because they are unable to face spiritual temptations – the actual cause of their negativity.

 

Despite what people can read in Sacred Scripture, and the religious doctrines that are justified through them, people seem incapable of reforming themselves through these ideas and concepts. They endlessly fall back to their inherited enjoyments and inclinations, unwilling to give them up. Their concept of heaven and hell (levels 1, 2, 3), isn't powerful enough in their mind to effect character change until they are more willing to understand spiritual truths in a spiritual way. This requires enlightenment, which requires willingness to change our willing and thinking in daily activities so that they are lined up with spiritual truths.

 

This is why "salvation" of the human race was necessary in order to rescue the human mind from hellish attachments people are unwilling to give up, consequently condemning themselves to an eternity of hellish life. New and more powerful mental tools had to be created, concepts and truths that could overcome the hellish attachments with which we are born. Only God could do that. But now consider the task of communicating these new mental reasoning tools to the human race. God could not implant the new concepts into the conscious natural mind of every individual. That would have felt like some unknown power taking over our mind. It is not possible to acquire concepts without wanting to, without some motivation or love for them.

 

The method this required involved these nine steps.

 

(1) God willing Himself to be born on earth as an ordinary human being.

 

(2) This Divine Child, though the Divine from within Himself, had to be ordinary and natural from without, thus had to be socialized and schooled.

 

(3) The Divine Child had to discover His Divinity and mission by extracting the knowledge of theistic psychology from the Old Testament Sacred Scripture.

 

(4) The Divine Child had to apply this knowledge to His own thinking and willing in daily life where He was a citizen, member of a religious group, and earning a living at a job.

 

(5) He had to recognize and deal with the hellish attachments His natural mind inherited from natural birth.

 

(6) He had to invent new concepts and new ways of reasoning in order to vanquish these hellish attachments in Himself.

 

(7) At last, He brought His inherited disorderly natural mind into order according to His spiritual mind, making all of Himself Divine at all levels, thus, "glorifying" His human acquired from this earth, and uniting it perfectly with His Human Divine from eternity. The result was the new Divine Human, which completes the creation of the human race.

 

(8) He had to pass on these new ways of thinking to the human race by creating a new capacity in the human mind. He did this by creating a new organic entity within the natural mind called the "interior-natural" organ.

 

(9) He can now activate this newly created evolutionary mental organ and fill it with the operations of spiritual correspondences. This new higher order knowledge is called theistic psychology and is extracted from the correspondences of Divine Speech embodied in the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

These nine steps collectively constitute the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). It created a way out for "fallen" humanity (see Section xx). A new interior-natural organ was created within the conscious natural mind. Now at last, the human race was complete. Every individual through personal effort, can now acquire the capacity to become rationally conscious of spiritual things. This new rational consciousness gives us the experience of the presence of God and His co-participation in our willing and thinking in daily activities. This is called “heaven on earth” and prepares our spiritual mind for celestial life as conjugial angels in eternity.

 

8.  Thinking With Angels:
Our Virtual Heavens

 

The descent of Divine Speech – or, Divine Truth -- from the Spiritual Sun takes place throughout the mental world of humanity simultaneously. Every human being is born with the same discrete layers of the organic mind. Spiritual heat and light enters and fills every mind equally, simultaneously, and totally.

 

In the highest layers of everyone’s mind called “the Third Heaven,” Divine Speech takes the form of Sacred Scripture written in celestial-rational correspondences. Divine Speech then enters the spiritual layer of our mind called “the Second Heaven” where it appears as Sacred Scripture written in spiritual-rational correspondences. Next, Divine Speech enters the interior-natural layer of our mind called “the First Heaven” where it appears as Sacred Scripture written in spiritual-natural correspondences. At last, Divine Speech enters the external natural mind called “earth” where it appears as Sacred Scripture written in natural correspondences – the Writings Sacred Scripture written in natural-rational correspondences; the New Testament Sacred Scripture written in natural-sensuous correspondences; and the Old Testament Sacred Scripture written in natural-corporeal correspondences of Divine Speech.

 

The meaning of correspondences is the mechanism that the Divine Human uses to form the level of mental operations in every human mind. Each discrete layer of the mind is activated by its own degree of correspondences of Divine Speech. At each of these levels, Divine Speech appears as Sacred Scripture written in correspondences suitable and expressible for each level. Swedenborg has observed that these forms of Sacred Scripture are present in the three heavens.

 

Theistic psychology extracts the details of this universal process from the literal meaning of the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

The systematic and cumulative extraction of these scientific details facilitates our ability to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in our regeneration. The details of regeneration give us charts and diagrams that allow us to commit to memory and understanding the information contained within the Writings Sacred Scripture. It is very useful to have in our conscious mind as much of the Writings as possible. It is not the Writings that effect our regeneration, but the understanding of the Writings in our conscious mind.

 

Extraction procedures are illustrated in various ways below. For now, an example of extraction can be given through the following passage. In the extraction process, “the Church” can be taken as a reference to the General Church and “the Word” as a reference to the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

SS 76

VIII THE CHURCH IS FROM THE WORD, AND IS SUCH AS IS ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD

 

That the church is from the Word does not admit of doubt, for the Word is Divine truth itself (n. 1-4); the doctrine of the church is from the Word (n. 50-61) and through the Word there is conjunction with the Lord (n. 62-69). But doubt may arise as to whether the understanding of the Word is what makes the church, for there are those who believe that they are of the church because they have the Word, read it or hear it from a preacher, and know something of its sense of the letter, yet how this or that in the Word is to be understood they do not know, and some of them little care. It shall therefore be proved that it is not the Word that makes the church, but the understanding of it, and that such as is the understanding of the Word among those who are in the church, such is the church itself. The proof of this is as follows. (SS 76)

 

“The Church is from the Word” means that the General Church is from the Writings Sacred Scripture. The General Church is “such as its understanding of the Writings Sacred Scripture.” But we know that “church” also refers in a universal sense to the regenerating natural mind (AC 4439). In theistic psychology, which deals with the universal meaning of the Writings, the mind of any regenerating individual regardless of religion and background, is called a “church.” And if this person acknowledges the Writings as the sole source of their spiritual knowledge, then such a person may be called a “General Church.” Also, the knowledge, understanding, and reasoning process in theistic psychology, that is in the person’s mind, is called the “church.” Everything therefore that the Writings Sacred Scripture tell us about the “church,” will also apply in a universal sense, to theistic psychology as well as to the General Church.

 

The Writings instruct us on how we are to regenerate. In order to cooperate in our regeneration in an effective way, we need to have the Letter of the Writings in our conscious understanding. When we then organize this knowledge into a coherent rational system on some issue, it is called doctrine, or “doctrine of truth.”

 

The doctrine of truth we make for ourselves from the Writings Sacred Scripture must then be applied to our daily willing and thinking, moment by moment in every activity. This is the work of regeneration, the struggle against temptation, and “picking up the cross” and “walking in the way of truth.” The Divine Psychologist is present in our mind and manages the whole show, even as He managed Isaac’s Binding by Abraham, and as He managed the emotions David had when he wrote them down in the Psalms, so that they may represent and describe His own mental states when, hundreds of years later, He would be a Divine Child on earth struggling to remake the human mind and save it from itself (see Section xx).

 

An inspiring and accurate summary of the Divine Child’s mental states will be found in Rev. Geoffrey S. Childs’ book The Path: The Inner Life of Jesus Christ. (Fountain Publishing: Rochester, Michigan, 2002). It is one of the astonishing facts of theistic psychology that the historical details we are given in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture are not merely historically true, but describe the mental states of the Divine Child who would be born a thousand years later. This scientific knowledge is extracted from the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph by using the method of correspondences with enlightenment.

 

Swedenborg was a great theistic psychologist because he was fully enlightened and he wrote from the spiritual doctrine that had been revealed to him through this enlightenment. Our task as theistic psychologists is to climb Jacob’s ladder by reconstructing the spiritual doctrine from which he wrote the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture. It was not possible for him to write out the spiritual doctrine directly. The reasons are discussed in section 9 below titled Why the Writings Sacred Scripture are Written in Correspondences.

 

The result of applying doctrine in our conscious mind to an episode of our own willing or thinking in some activity, is enlightenment. The moment that we apply the doctrine of truth in our mind to thinking or willing this or that detail, hundreds of times a day, in that instant the Divine Psychologist enlightens us.

 

That means that our consciousness is elevated in the level of meaning that we are able to perceive or comprehend. Our rational consciousness of the Divine Human is now reformed by correspondences that are higher than those before enlightenment (see charts above). These higher spiritual correspondences are embodied or hidden within the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Our new spiritual consciousness is actually raised to the operations taking place in our First Heaven – not in the same actual degree but in its virtual image of a discrete degree. We perceive the spiritual-natural correspondences in the Writings, just as the people already dwelling in their First Heaven perceive their Sacred Scripture. Quoting:

 

THE NATURAL DEGREE OF THE HUMAN MIND REGARDED IN ITSELF IS CONTINUOUS, BUT BY CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE TWO HIGHER DEGREES, WHEN IT IS ELEVATED, IT APPEARS AS IF IT WERE DISCRETE (DLW 256)

 

This process of progressive continuous illumination or illustration goes on in proportion to the level of temptations that we are willing to face in our character reformation and regeneration. The higher the correspondences of Divine Speech in our conscious understanding, the further we can be regenerated, all the way to the top portion of our organic mind, which operates with celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. The level of correspondences we can consciously understand determines the genes of our consciousness, or the mentality level at which we live life.

 

During the Incarnation Event the Divine Child created a spiritual heaven within his natural mind grown on earth, by glorifying it or making it one with His internal Human Divine. This created the existence of the Divine Human which initiated an entirely new relationship between God and the human race. What the Divine Child created in His Own Mind He also recreates in the mind of every human being. The human race had entered a new advanced evolutionary state based on the consciousness of the Divine Human in our mind (called “Holy Spirit” in religion).

 

This new human ability had to be organically created in some anatomical mechanism since, in human beings, there can be no function or ability without an organic basis. In theistic psychology this new organ is called the interior-natural organ or virtual heaven. This new organ is a discrete degree more interior than the conscious natural-rational mind. It is not possible for any information or stimulus to enter this organ by means of the external natural mind that receives information through the physical body. All information or stimulus that enters the interior-natural organ is from the spiritual mind. But the spiritual mind is unconscious while we are still conscious in the natural mind, thus, until resuscitation.

 

Hence it is that the interior-natural organ is a virtual heaven while we are in the natural mind and still connected to the physical body. Through this new spiritual organ we can become conscious, when enlightened, of higher order correspondences which our external natural-rational mind cannot comprehend. When we read the Writings Sacred Scripture we are thinking with natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. This is below the thinking we do in our first heaven where we perceive the Writings Sacred Scripture with spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech.

 

Our virtual heaven allows us to be enlightened through the higher-order spiritual correspondences by which we comprehend Sacred Scripture in each of our three heavens. Though we are not able to be conscious directly of our spiritual and celestial heaven, we are able to be conscious of a spiritual replica or image of those correspondences, and these are sufficient for obtaining progressive or continuous enlightenment and spiritual growth through regeneration.

 

Quoting:

1.  The natural mind can be elevated up to the light of heaven in which angels dwell, and can perceive naturally, thus not so fully, what angels perceive spiritually. But the mind of the natural person still cannot be elevated into angelic light itself.

 

2.  By elevating his natural mind to the light of heaven a person can think, even speak, with angels (...)

 

3.  This takes place by a spiritual influx into natural light, and not by any natural influx into spiritual light.

 

4.  Human wisdom, which is natural so long as a person lives in the natural world, can in no measure be elevated into angelic wisdom, but can be elevated only into a kind of image of it. The reason is that the elevation of the natural mind takes place by a continuous ascent, like the progression from dark to light or from cruder to purer. (DLW 257)

 

This passage describes the organic process of enlightenment as the “elevation of the natural mind.” The natural mind is elevated by influx from the spiritual mind. This influx cannot take place directly into the external natural mind because nothing spiritual can exist there. However, when the Divine Child was growing up on earth during the Incarnation Event, He created a new organic mind within His external natural mind. This is called the interior-natural organ. This is the entry point or reception point for the influx. Quoting:

 

With people however who allow themselves to be regenerated the opposite takes place; for gradually, that is, in consecutive stages, their rational is opened up, the interior natural then becoming ranged in order beneath it, and the exterior natural beneath that. This occurs especially in the period from late youth to adulthood; it also continues in progressive stages to the final period of those regenerating people's lives, and after that in heaven for ever. From all this one may know what constitutes a person's interior natural and what his exterior natural. (AC 5126)

 

The interior-natural organ is built to react to the spiritual correspondences that operate in the spiritual mind. This mind is a discrete degree above the natural mind. The organic operation of the interior-natural organ is the mechanism of elevation, enlightenment, or illustration while reading the Writings Sacred Scripture. We experience it as a new wonderful ability to “think, even speak, with angels.” To think with angels is to perceive spiritual correspondences within the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture. This perception is the experience of enlightenment.

 

The passage above (DLW 257) indicates that in this state of enlightenment, we can understand spiritual and celestial correspondences in a ”kind of image of angelic wisdom.” This phrase may be rendered in theistic psychology as a virtual image of higher order correspondences -- celestial-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture in our third heaven, spiritual-rational correspondences of the Writings in our second heaven, and spiritual-natural correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture in our first heaven.

 

In other words, the interior-natural organ may be called a virtual heaven in the conscious natural mind.

 

The accompanying diagram depicts mental anatomy in relation to spiritual geography. If you familiarize yourself with this schema, enough to reproduce it from memory, you will be forming an essential concept in theistic psychology. The elements of the diagram need to make a rational whole in our understanding. Within this integration, enlightenment will reveal its spiritual reality.

 

 

The spiritual meanings we are conscious of through this new organ, serve to make our regeneration effective to the extent that we “love it,” that is, use it to guide our willing and thinking. The interior-natural organ gives us the ability to be conscious of spiritual correspondences of Divine speech in Sacred Scripture, even though we still remain conscious in the natural mind. Our conscious rational understanding is called “natural wisdom” and only an “image of angelic wisdom.” Nevertheless, because it is a real image of it, it gives us the new power of thinking with angels, that is, of reasoning about spiritual topics with spiritual understanding. We can now consciously think in spiritual correspondences that are not merely “deeper” than the natural-rational, but a discrete degree above it. This new rational perception gives us access to the three heavens in virtual form.

 

All heavens in the human mind are created by correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. Correspondences refer to discrete levels of meanings of Divine Truth. The heavens of the human race since the Advent of the Writings Sacred Scripture are in rational meanings of Divine Truth. Rational consciousness of God is the only path available to the new heavens in our mind of eternity. Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

 

The interior natural is that which communicates with the rational and into which the rational flows, and the exterior natural is that which communicates with the senses, or through them with the world, thus into which the world flows. As regards influx, it is continuous from the Lord through the rational into the interior natural, and through this into the exterior (AC 5118)

 

The phrase “through the rational” in this passage refers to the spiritual-rational (second heaven), not the natural-rational (external natural mind). In other words, the content of the interior-natural organ is from spiritual origin while that of the natural-rational mind is from natural origin. Hence when we read the Writings Sacred Scripture and focus on the literal meaning, our reasoning operations are in the natural-rational mind. But when we make the literal meaning “vanish” and focus on the extracted scientific meaning (AC 1405; 3776), our reasoning process is in the interior-natural organ, which has a spiritual origin. It is then that our “natural wisdom” is an image of “angelic wisdom.” It is then that we can understand the doctrine of truth and theistic psychology spiritually. It is then that we are ready to face spiritual temptations and proceed with our regeneration.

 

Quoting further:

The interior natural is that which receives ideas of truth and good from the rational, and stores them up for use, consequently which communicates immediately with the rational; but the exterior natural is that which receives images and thence ideas of things from the world through the senses.

 

[2] These ideas, unless enlightened by those which are in the interior natural, present fallacies, which are called the fallacies of the senses. (AC 5133) (See Note 9)

 

It is important to see that the word “rational” here refers to the rational of the spiritual mind known as spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (our second heaven). If we read the Writings Sacred Scripture with the “exterior natural” mind the meanings we comprehend (“images, ideas”) “present fallacies of the senses” which distort the literal meaning.

 

The interior-natural organ develops from “putting truths into practice,” hence in proportion to regeneration and character reformation. It is said that the “rational is opened up” which means that higher order correspondences can be perceived and consciously understood. But if the literal meaning “is enlightened in the interior natural” organ, we are thinking and willing virtually as-if from our first and second heaven, and even third.

 

Quoting:

It can be seen from this that a person's rationality is in appearance as though of three degrees-a rationality from the celestial degree, a rationality from the spiritual degree, and a rationality from the natural degree. It can be seen, too, that whether a person's rationality is elevated or not, still it remains in the person as a faculty that can be elevated. (DLW 258)

 

The phrase “is in appearance as though of three degrees” refers to the virtual heaven of the interior-natural organ. Our rationality in this interior-natural organ is spiritual-rational while our rationality in the external-natural mind is natural-rational. Theistic psychology cannot be based on the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture, which would mean to focus on its literal meaning. It must be based on the extraction process that yields spiritual meanings and makes the literal meaning “vanish.” This extraction process is described in the Writings as the method of correspondences with enlightenment.

 

This gives us a virtual spiritual rationality “as though” of the celestial-rational degree, the spiritual-rational degree, and the spiritual-natural degree.

 

Quoting:

because heavenly matters cannot be joined to natural matters so as to operate in harmony with them, they therefore separate themselves, and heavenly matters in merely natural people place themselves round about in the periphery surrounding the natural matters that lie within. It is owing to this that a merely natural person can speak and preach heavenly things, and also make a pretense of them in his actions, even though he inwardly thinks in opposition to them. He does the latter when he is alone, but the former when he is in the company of others. (DLW 261)

 

It is said above that “a merely natural person can speak and preach heavenly things.” This refers to our initial phase of understanding spiritual topics naturally. Prior to beginning regeneration in adult life, we read, teach, and preach the spiritual topics of the Writings Sacred Scripture as “a merely natural person,” that is, we understand them naturally with the thinking operations in our external natural-rational mind. After we begin regeneration in adulthood, the Divine Psychologist opens our interior-natural organ and we begin to understand spiritual topics virtually “as though” the angels do.

 

The relation between the interior-natural mind and regeneration is explained in this passage. Quoting:

 

When the natural mind is prompted by the delights of its love and the gratifications of its thought, which in themselves are evil and false, then the reaction of the natural mind removes those elements which belong to the spiritual mind and bars the door to them to keep them from entering, causing the action to come from such things as accord with its reaction. The result is an action and reaction of the natural mind which is opposed to the action and reaction of the spiritual mind. This in turn causes a closing of the spiritual mind, like the twisting of a spiral into the opposite direction.

 

[3] On the other hand, if the spiritual mind is opened, then the action and reaction of the natural mind are reversed. For the spiritual mind acts from above or from within and at the same time through those elements in the natural mind which have been disposed from within or from without to obey it, and it twists into the opposite direction the spiral in which the natural mind acts and reacts. That is because the natural mind is from birth in a state of opposition to matters belonging to the spiritual mind, a state it acquires by heredity from parents, as people know.

 

[4] Of such a nature is the change of state called reformation and regeneration. The state of the natural mind before reformation may be likened to a spiral twisting or curving downward, while after reformation it may be likened to a spiral twisting or curving upward. Consequently a person before reformation looks downward to hell, but after reformation upward to heaven. (DLW 263)

 

The passage above describes the organic character of the interior-natural organ in terms of twisting spiritual fibers coiled upwards, while the inherited natural mind has coils twisting downward. Reformation and regeneration involve the reversal of the twisting fibers in the natural mind from downward to upward. Evil enjoyments coil downward, along with their falsities. The fibers in the interior-natural organ twist upward towards the spiritual influx.

 

Rev. N. C. Burnham in his 1887 book on discrete degrees, has drawn conclusive anatomical charts of the human mind as extracted from the Writings. He shows the recursive and embedded “trinality” in which the human mind is organized so that we can picture the interior-natural organ with its three portions that are images of the three heavens located above it. (see Note 10)

 

9.  Why the Writings Sacred Scripture
are Written in Correspondences

 

When we read the Writings Sacred Scripture we are happy at first to contact the natural-rational meanings and explanations of the literal meaning. We are excited by the insights this provides on so many religious and theological issues that have puzzled people of every generation. We can do this only to the extent that we can identify ourselves with the Christian religion in a Western cultural context. Readers from other religions are put off by Swedenborg’s apparent anti-Semitism and seemingly dogmatic condemnation of sacred figures in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

 

From this pan-human perspective, the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture is written in a style similar to the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture, namely, male dominant and antagonistic to outside cultures and religions. Yet there are critical differences conceptually because the Writings justify everything rationally, while the Old and New Testaments remain dogmatic and mystical. The Writings Sacred Scripture are therefore ultimately more accepting and universal as a “rational faith” in sharp contrast to the earlier “blind faith” or “mystical faith.”

 

Nevertheless the Letter of the Writings cannot be exported to other religions and cultures unless they are willing to amalgamate and exchange the old for the new. Yet we know that the Divine Psychologist never changes an individual’s childhood religious beliefs and concepts. Instead, He bends them appropriately so that they can conform to the truths of the Writings Sacred Scripture. These are the truths that form the person’s eternal heavens and must be acceptable and loved.

 

It is for this reason that the Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-rational correspondences that would allow people to extract pan-human knowledge that was beyond culture and religion.

 

When the method of correspondences with enlightenment is applied to the literal sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture, the religious, historical, and cultural references “vanish” (AC 1405; 3776). In its stead, there appears the jewel of universal meanings conveyed by higher-order correspondences that are hidden within the Letter – first interior-natural (or spiritual-natural), then spiritual-rational, and at last celestial-rational (see section 8 titled Thinking With Angels -- Our Virtual Heavens).

 

Consider that the letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written in a style that makes the establishment of the New Church religion possible, this being its literal mission. Had the Writings been written in a style that deals with interior-natural extractions – like theistic psychology – it could not have served for establishing the New Church religion.

 

The Writings had to be written in correspondences for at least these three reasons:

(1) All Sacred Scripture is nothing but Divine Speech exteriorizing at discrete degrees of the human mind. Divine Speech falls into correspondences appropriate at each level. The literal meaning of Sacred Scripture is for establishing religion and worship.

 

(2) A universal pan-human theistic psychology had to be delivered to humanity for the regeneration of all people regardless of culture and religion. This could not be delivered in a literal meaning because it would have interfered with reason (1). To make this extraction possible, the method of correspondences with enlightenment was described and prescribed in the Writings.

 

(3) The Letter of the Writings is to endure for all time on earth, changeless, sacred, the basis and containant of Divine Truth that forms the human mind and ties earth to heaven. Therefore there had to be no limit to the amount and depth of knowledge extractable from the Letter, so that the numberless generations to come, would have a source of new spiritual knowledge for their regeneration. Only by correspondences could such an infinite source be delivered to humanity.

 

These are at least three reasons why the Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. The future will surely bring more insight on this question. For now, we can see that the Writings Sacred Scripture are the final component of the historical “Threefold Word,” and all Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences. In the following passages “the Word” refers to all Sacred Scripture. Quoting:

 

the Word has been written wholly by correspondences (AC 9407)

 

the Word was written wholly by correspondences, each thing and all things in it being correspondent. (HH 114)

 

the Word has been written wholly by correspondences, and consequently is of such a nature as to conjoin heaven with man. For heaven is in the internal sense of the Word (AC 10687)

 

that the Word is written throughout wholly by correspondences may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (n. 5-26); that the doctrine of the Church is to be drawn from the sense of the Letter of the Word and confirmed by it (n. 50-61 of the same work); that heresies may be derived from the sense of the Letter of the Word, but that it is harmful to confirm them (n. 91-97); that the Church is from the Word, and its quality is according to its understanding of the Word (n. 76-79). (DP 256)

 

It has been said above that the spiritual world, which is heaven, is conjoined with the natural world by means of correspondences; therefore by means of correspondences communication with heaven is granted to man. For the angels of heaven do not think from natural things, as man does; but when man has acquired a knowledge of correspondences he is able, in respect to the thoughts of his mind, to be associated with the angels, and thus in respect to his spiritual or internal man to be conjoined with them. That there might be such a conjunction of heaven with man the Word was written wholly by correspondences, each thing and all things in it being correspondent. If man, therefore, had a knowledge of correspondences he would understand the spiritual sense of the Word, and from that it would be given him to know arcana of which he sees nothing in the sense of the letter. For there is a literal sense and there is a spiritual sense in the Word, the literal sense made up of such things as are in the world, and the spiritual sense of such things as are in heaven (HH 114)

 

These and other passages make it clear that all Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences, otherwise the text would not be Divine. In the following passage “the Word” refers to the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, the New testament Sacred Scripture, and the Writings Sacred Scripture – the three making one complete series of revelation, given for the elevation of consciousness of the human race.

 

the Word is Divine by virtue of the spiritual sense, and not so without it (AC 10227)

 

Each Sacred Scripture is written in natural correspondences at discrete levels to each other within the natural mind. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture is written in natural-corporeal correspondences. The New Testament Sacred Scripture is written in natural-sensual correspondences. The Writings Sacred Scripture is written in natural-rational correspondences. The progression – corporeal, sensuous, rational – represents three discrete levels of operation within the external natural mind. These three mentality levels of human consciousness indicate the growth of civilizations (“Churches”). The Writings Sacred Scripture are called “the crown of revelations” because the natural-rational level is the top of the natural mind. No further or new revelations can be given.

 

From now on all new knowledge and understanding in the human race will be sourced from the extraction process alone. This is an endless source because Sacred Scripture contains endless rational series enclosed within its literal by means of correspondences – spiritual-natural (first heaven), spiritual-rational (second heaven), and celestial-rational (third heaven). All three levels of correspondences are within the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Correspondences of Divine Speech are the formative causes of human consciousness at each of its discrete levels – celestial, spiritual, natural. The natural mind of humanity had to be regenerated by progressive steps of psychobiological evolution. The regeneration of the natural mind is performed by means of correspondences at each discrete sub-level of the natural mind – corporeal, sensuous, rational. The steps of individual regeneration recapitulate the steps of historical civilizations (or “Churches”).

 

The lowest portion of the natural mind is called the natural-corporeal mentality of willing and thinking. This mentality level is regenerated through natural-corporeal correspondences of Sacred Scripture. The middle level of our natural mind’s functioning is regenerated by natural-sensuous correspondences. The upper level of our natural mind’s functioning is regenerated by natural-rational correspondences.

 

Correspondences “conjoin us to heaven.” This means that we are to extract the spiritual information from the correspondences, and it is this interior understanding that conjoins us to heaven, not the literal meaning itself. The literal meaning is necessary but not sufficient (“the Word without doctrine cannot be understood” SS 50 and “it is not the Word, but the understanding of it, which constitutes the Church” (SS 76). The phrase “understanding of the Word” refers to the activity of extracting spiritual meanings from its literal meaning by applying the method of correspondences with enlightenment. The spiritual understanding we have of the Writings Sacred Scripture is theistic psychology. This spiritual understanding is not available in any other way but through the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see section 9.3 titled The Method of Correspondences With Enlightenment).

 

One reason that the Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written and presented to the world in natural-rational correspondences is that spiritual-rational meanings cannot be comprehended by any level of the external natural mind. They can be comprehended only through the interior-natural mind, which becomes operational only after regeneration has begun in adult life.

 

This is why the Writings Sacred Scripture give us a prescribed method for extracting spiritual meanings – the method of correspondences with enlightenment. The phrase “with enlightenment” refers to the fact that spiritual meanings cannot be written down or comprehended by the external natural mind which is formed wholly by incoming information of the world through the physical body. This is true of all Sacred Scripture as well, which comes to our natural mind through the physical senses of reading and hearing in a natural language.

 

The natural-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture, which are read by the external natural mind, must therefore include all the social, historical, and religious information that is of relevance and interest to the unregenerate mind. This covers everyone, even those raised in the New Church, at least until the age of young adulthood when reformation and regeneration can begin (AC 1661).

 

But once reformation and regeneration begin in adulthood, our reading of natural-rational correspondences in the Writings Sacred Scripture can be “enlightened” by the Divine Psychologist. Quoting:

 

If man, therefore, had a knowledge of correspondences he would understand the spiritual sense of the Word, and from that it would be given him to know arcana of which he sees nothing in the sense of the letter (HH 114).

 

We can understand the “spiritual sense” of the Writings Sacred Scripture with “a knowledge of correspondences.” The “arcana” that we are given to know through enlightenment (or “illustration”) consists of the extracted knowledge which are understood spiritually, but only to the extent of our enlightenment. And we know that this is proportional to progress in our regeneration.

 

9.1  Methodological Issues About Enlightenment

 

All extracted information from the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture – whether doctrine of the Church or theistic psychology -- must be confirmed by the Letter. Quoting:

 

the doctrine of the Church is to be drawn from the sense of the Letter of the Word and confirmed by it (DP 256).

 

This phrase “and confirmed by the Letter” reappears in numerous places in the Writings (with variation in wording), no doubt as an indication of its utmost importance. This methodological necessity saves us from “harmful heresies,” which refers to stumbling blocks to our regeneration. Quoting:

 

Moreover it was confirmed that in the sense of the letter all things which teach the way to salvation, thus to life and faith, stand forth clearly, also that every doctrine of the church is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and confirmed thereby, and not by the pure spiritual sense; for conjunction with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, is not given by this sense alone, but by the sense of the letter; and the Divine influx of the Lord through the Word is from firsts through ultimates. (DeVerbo 5)

 

From this passage we can know that “all things” needed for “the way to salvation,” that is, for our regeneration. “stand forth clearly” in the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Second, “every doctrine of the church is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word and confirmed thereby, and not by the pure spiritual sense.” We cannot rely for doctrine on theistic psychology nor on any other extracted information or knowledge. Doctrine is to be “drawn” only from the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Only the Letter is in correspondences of Divine Speech, and only it contains infinite spiritual knowledge to be extracted.

 

It is said that the literal sense of the Writings Sacred Scripture is not for doctrine, but for “drawing out” doctrine, which is the spiritual sense. It is this spiritual sense, along with the literal, that we must have for regeneration. The literal sense itself is not enough and neither is the spiritual sense. For regeneration we need to have a conscious understanding of both the literal sense and the spiritual sense. In other words, we need to understand the spiritual topics of the Letter spiritually, and not merely naturally.

 

But note well: once the spiritual doctrine has been drawn out from the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture, it must be confirmed by the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture. This clearly proves that the literal meaning of the Writings can be used to confirm spiritual truths even though they do not appear there, but are hidden within.

 

Summarizing the three steps of the method of correspondences with enlightenment:

  • (1) Knowing, memorizing, and understanding the literal meaning
  • (2) Extracting the spiritual meaning and ordering it into spiritual doctrine
  • (3) Confirming the spiritual doctrine by the literal meaning

 

Step (1) requires educational literacy and personal study. We are in this unregenerate state until adulthood with the onset of reformation and regeneration.

 

Step (2) requires the method of correspondences with enlightenment. Knowledge of the method is from Step (1). When we apply this knowledge to our daily willing and thinking, we are enlightened so that we can perceive spiritual meanings within the literal.

 

Step (3) requires that we look at new passages, not used in Step (2), and that we read them with enlightenment.

 

If we are enlightened in Step (2) and we extract the spiritual information, but then, we are not enlightened in Step (3), the confirmation process cannot be completed. Only if we read the new passages with enlightenment is it possible to see that the spiritual meaning in Step (2) is confirmed. It is not logical to expect Step (3) as a natural meaning, to be able to confirm Step (2) as a spiritual meaning since the natural cannot confirm the spiritual, but only the spiritual within the natural can do that. Only the spiritual can confirm the spiritual. And the spiritual requires enlightenment by definition.

 

When we evaluate a proposal in theistic psychology we do not rely on information about the author of the proposal. We know the general rule that the method of correspondences with enlightenment yields results proportional to the degree of our cooperation with the Divine Psychologist in our regeneration. Nevertheless we cannot know the state or degree of regeneration of any individual at any particular time, so the evaluation process of the proposal is not to be based on what we suppose is the author’s level of regeneration. Rather, each proposal should be examined on its own merit by a diversity of people who have a love and a knowledge of the Writings. Most importantly, independent others must be able to confirm the new proposal from the Letter. Until then the proposal does not have an objective community status. It is not yet alive.

 

At any particular time there may be a variety of proposals in theistic psychology that have been authored regarding extractive research, such as my proposals in this work (see selections below). The status of each proposal is to be verified and confirmed by others before one can legitimately consider it to be part of the body of knowledge of theistic psychology. The enterprise of theistic psychology is a cumulative long-term generational development. There is no theoretical limit to its growth because the amount of knowledge that can be extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture is endless.

 

It is obvious that prior to being enlightened we only have a natural understanding of the extracted knowledge of theistic psychology. This is the case with my students studying theistic psychology for a required course credit. It is not expected that their grade be dependent on their character reformation, regeneration, and enlightenment. Their course work is based on a natural understanding of the spiritual topics of theistic psychology. Anyone studying theistic psychology will experience a progression of steps of enlightenment and will be able to perceive and comprehend the topics in progressively higher-order correspondences – interior-natural as an image of spiritual-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational.

 

Because the Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-rational correspondences, it was necessary for the Writings to prescribe the precise method by which spiritual-natural and spiritual-rational correspondences could be extracted from its Letter.

 

Once the extracted information – either doctrine of the Church or theistic psychology --  is written down and read by others, its spiritual meaning is understood only naturally until readers apply it to their willing and thinking in daily activities, by which and during which they may be enlightened by the Divine Psychologist. It is only in that state of enlightenment that any spiritual subjects can be comprehended spiritually.

 

This process of enlightenment applies only to appropriately extracted knowledge from the Writings Sacred Scripture. One cannot be enlightened by extracting knowledge from natural science books, theistic psychology books, doctrinal classes, or the writings and lectures of others. All these social occasions during which we are exposed to spiritual topics, will be understood naturally. None of these human-made sentences in a natural language are made up of correspondences. Only through the correspondences in Sacred Scripture can we be enlightened.

 

There are two stages in our understanding of enlightenment – personal and particular. At first we think that enlightenment is a personal characteristic one achieves, like obtaining a specialized degree or performing something in the top category. By this way of thinking, enlightenment is a sudden and permanent change in one’s status or ability. We then can discuss opinions we have about this or that person, to establish who is enlightened and who is not. Or else, who is enlightened to X degree, and who to XX degree.

 

This type of thinking does not allow the appropriate evaluation of extractive research in theistic psychology. It merely leads to disagreement about whether a cited passage does or does not confirm the extracted spiritual information.

 

The second phase of understanding the process of enlightenment is to see it in scientific, mechanistic, and particular mode. It is not the person who is enlightened but the understanding of the person in the particular area or issue that is being proposed as new spiritual information. Enlightenment is a local phenomenon – it applies narrowly to a focus issue in our mind at the time. We may go through Step (2) successfully under enlightenment for a few minutes or days. Then we want to confirm the new spiritual insight, but it no longer seems spiritual, only plainly natural. And when we look at the confirming passages we gathered under enlightenment, now we can no longer see the spiritual in it. The confirmation process fails.

 

The first idea of enlightenment, being personal, is also subjective. People can opine about “so-and-so’s spiritual insight,” perhaps pitting one against the other. But in the more mature idea of enlightenment, spiritual insight is not part of the person but part of truth, hence of good, hence part of the Divine Human alone. All spiritual insight is spiritual light which is from the Spiritual Sun, which is the Divine Human. Hence in no way is enlightenment part of the person, but is the Divine Psychologist with the person. Spiritual light enters the human mind and is received by the cognitive organ (“the understanding”), while the heat that is within that light, enters the affective organ (“the will”).

 

When these two are “married” in our willing and thinking in one or another daily activity, then we are in a state of enlightenment regarding that activity at that time. In that state we can extract spiritual meaning from Sacred Scripture. Note that this takes place through the Sacred Scripture in our memory-knowledge. We do not need to power up NewSearch or to reach for the Arcana Volume. Such physical activity takes us into another focus in our train of thinking, perhaps away from the spiritual understanding of the moment. But our memory-knowledge of the Letter of the Writings allows us to see the spiritual within the natural when we are in the state of enlightenment.

 

This process of gradual and progressive phases of enlightenment is described regarding the Divine Child in the Genesis stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, as analyzed and extracted in the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Enlightenment is a process that is continuous and progressive (DLW 256), though it appears to be in discrete layers as our virtual heavens in the interior-natural organ. We may be able to confirm spiritual-natural meanings (first heaven), but not yet spiritual-rational meanings (second heaven), and even less celestial-rational meanings (third heaven).

 

Given these methodological issues there needs to be an organized body of knowledge that collects new proposals for spiritual insights and allows them to be gradually incorporated into the body of knowledge by systematic confirmations achieved by various people in the collective effort. This organized and cumulative body of knowledge is theistic psychology, of which this work is an instance.

 

There is a third and final phase of understanding the organic mechanism of enlightenment. This begins when our enlightenment regarding an issue becomes permanent, or semi-permanent in our understanding. It becomes part of how we think about that issue. It is permanently part of our rational consciousness of Divine Speech. This experience gives a new perspective we could not comprehend before in a genuine way. We are at last becoming spiritual in our willing and thinking regarding that issue.

 

Now there are many issues to be dealt with in every person’s regeneration. We keep extending our permanent state of enlightenment to diverse areas of concern in our willing and thinking – marriage, parenting, professional work, hobbies, driving the car, personal development. To the extent that this is taking place in our daily life, to that extent we have become spiritual persons. We can read any part of Sacred Scripture and receive insight regarding its spiritual meaning.

 

What is Spiritual Meaning?

 

9.2  Why Spiritual Meanings Cannot be Conveyed
by Natural Expressions

 

Theistic psychology studies the issue of why spiritual meanings cannot be written down in natural expressions. Swedenborg conducted experiments with spirits who were alternately exposed to natural expressions and to spiritual meanings and it was very clear that they could not have any spiritual meanings while their mind was held in natural expressions (TCR 280).

 

In the following episode, the spirits who were with Swedenborg’s spiritual mind while he was writing down in his natural mind, sentences describing his spiritual experiences. Quoting:

SD 2185

They said because they now speak with me, that those things which I have written are so rude and gross that they suppose nothing which is internalizing can be understood from those words or the mere sense of the words. I also perceived by a spiritual idea that it was so, that my expressions were very rude, wherefore it was given me to reply that my words are only vessels in which purer, better, and internalizing things can be infused. (SD 2185)

 

The spirits were indignant because the natural expressions Swedenborg wrote in contained no spiritual ideas in their literal meaning. The spirits had no use for natural ideas. But Swedenborg explained to them that his natural sentences were “only vessels” that contained spiritual meanings (“internalizing things”) that do not appear in the natural expressions.

 

Quoting:

WH 11

The internal sense of the Word contains arcana of heaven, which relate to the Lord and His kingdom in the heavens and on earth (n. 1-4, 937). Those arcana do not appear in the sense of the letter (n. 937, 1502, 2161). (WH 11)

 

Why do spiritual meanings (“arcana”) not appear in the sense of the letter of Sacred Scripture? Why are they hidden? Why aren’t they placed right there in the literal meaning?

 

The answer is that they are placed there –  in the “naked truth” or “plain meaning” sentences -- but they are not seen. As soon as spiritual meanings are laid down into the natural sentence, what remains there is only a vessel of the spiritual meaning. The vessel becomes transparent only when we are enlightened by the Divine Psychologist in that moment regarding our focus of attention. It’s as if we had a peculiar language aphasia, alternating between days that we speak one language with days when we speak another language, thinking each time that we only know that one language. If we are then spoken to by someone in the other language, we do not understand its meaning.

 

The act of writing or speaking a spiritual meaning from enlightenment automatically covers it up or wraps it into a natural expression of the spiritual meaning. So it is in theistic psychology, where there are three distinct levels of understanding its concepts (see Volume 3).

 

But I discovered that the spiritual insight can be recovered from the literal expressions we gave it during enlightenment. But to do so, one must re-read in a state of enlightenment. Then we can reconstruct or recapture the original spiritual meaning. This is very useful for systematic progress in research and study. For the past twenty years I have followed this unwavering rule:

IF YOU THINK IT, INK IT.

 

Writing this work could not have been done without my faithful and compulsive adherence to this cardinal rule of research in theistic psychology. It takes involvement with recording devices (pencil, pen, tape recorder, computer, etc.) and storing devices (book margins, post-it notes, index cards, note pads, word processing files, indexes, concordances, etc.). It also takes determination to get up while you fall asleep, because you must put to record (into a “vessel”) what you have just been given from heaven.

 

9.3  The Method of Correspondences With Enlightenment

 

Enlightenment is not a mystical experience. Nor is it difficult to understand precisely what it is. From the perspective of theistic psychology enlightenment is a psychobiological process of the human mind corresponding to the biological process by which sunlight and its heat are received by plants and use it to fabricate their nutrition. Spiritual light in which there is spiritual heat proceeds from the Spiritual Sun into the mental world of humanity where it enters the mind of every existing human being simultaneously and proceeds outward and downward by successive degrees of correspondence. The cognitive (light) and affective (heat) organs of the mind are constructed and animated by this universal “influx,” and we use it for willing and thinking in daily activities.

 

The operation of enlightenment in the cognitive organ is also called “revelation”: Quoting: By "revelation" is meant enlightenment when the Word is read, and perception then” (AC 8694). When we read the Writings Sacred Scripture (“the Word”) we can comprehend the revelations in a spiritual way when we are enlightened while reading and reflecting. It is not necessary that we read the printed sentences on the page or screen. It is equally effective if we think the sentences or phrases and reflect upon their universal meaning.

 

In this reflection upon the universal meaning, we are to be motivated to apply the truth to self. To be motivated to apply the truth to one’s willing and thinking is to search for the universal meaning. This universal meaning applies to every individual regardless of background, culture, and religion. Hence we call this universal meaning theistic psychology. This process of extracting the scientific meaning from the Writings Sacred Scripture is the process of practicing the method of correspondences with enlightenment.

 

Enlightenment is the comprehension of scientific meaning within the literal meaning. It is to perceive how the sentence applies to self and to all other human beings. This is what makes it into a science – universal and objective applicability. Enlightenment, or the perception of spiritual meaning, is not received when our motivation for reading and reflecting upon the Writings is other than application to one’s own willing and thinking. Our interest must be no other than the desire to reform our inherited character by facing spiritual combat in temptations. The truths we extract that apply to our willing and thinking are to be formed into a doctrine of justification by which we can fend off doubts and relapses. This is the ultimate purpose of enlightenment.

 

Enlightenment is not something superfluous or special, reserved for certain types of scholarship and piety. Enlightenment is the psychobiological process by which every person’s affective and cognitive organs are regenerated and prepared for life in heaven. Without enlightenment no one can be prepared for heaven. Either we are enlightened in this world, or failing that, in the afterlife. No one enters heaven without being enlightened while reading the Writings Sacred Scripture. Everyone who is resuscitated in the world of spirits is given instruction in the Writings Sacred Scripture since they alone contain the rational heavens of our immortality. Those who have lived a life of conscience and use are happy and willing receivers of the truths of the Writings. Others are unwilling.

 

The extracted knowledge of theistic psychology may be studied by anyone for any purpose, but everything in it will be understood naturally, and nothing in it will be understood spiritually – unless one is enlightened by the Divine Psychologist while it is being read or applied. It is not possible to perceive spiritual meanings without being ‘online’ as it were, connected to “mediate influx” in a deliberate and conscious way. This ‘online’ feature applies to enlightenment since it is the organic operation of spiritual light in the cognitive organ of thinking and reasoning. As long as we are plugged in the correct way, enlightenment flows and operates in our conscious mind. The organic venue for the process is the interior-natural organ (see section 8 titled Thinking With Angels: Our Virtual Heavens).

 

When the Writings discuss some particular historical ethnic group or religion, we are to search for the scientific meaning behind the discussion, just as Swedenborg performed for us with the Old and New Testament portion of Sacred Scripture. The Writings teach that all Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences and that we are to extract spiritual doctrine from them. The Writings Sacred Scripture are written in natural-rational correspondences, which is a discrete degree above the New Testament Sacred Scripture. The angelic spirits in the first heaven of the mind read the Writings Sacred Scripture as we do, but it is clear that they know nothing about any of the historical names, nations, periods, and places mentioned in the Writings. Instead of these things, they see the interior-natural correspondences. Our interior-natural organ can give us enlightenment to see these spiritual-natural correspondences of the Letter of the Writings, not exactly as they do, but in an image that is so close that we can speak with them and think with them.

 

The scientific meaning of “Abraham” is a celestial mental state in every person’s mind regardless of religion or planet. Similarly with “Jerusalem,” which refers to the spiritual-rational correspondences out of which is constructed the second heaven of every human mind. By this method of correspondences the reader makes the historical names “vanish,” and likewise, with all references to natural things (AC 1405; 3776). When we read the Writings Sacred Scripture we think and reason in our external natural understanding by means of the natural-rational correspondences of the literal meaning. But the angels who are with us, only perceive the interior-natural, the spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational correspondences that are within the literal meaning we are reading.

 

Quoting:

AC 1963

When the Word is being read by man, angels neither know nor perceive what eighty-six is, nor are they concerned about what age Abram was when Hagar bore him Ishmael. Rather, when such a number is read, the real things embodied in that number instantly present themselves to them, as when all other expressions are read, these present themselves as the things which they have been shown to mean in the internal sense. (AC 1963)

 

when the Word is being read by man the angels may thereby be in their happiness of wisdom (AC 5398)

 

this sense is for the angels who are with man while the Word is being read, consequently that there is from this source an influx of holiness, and a perception of it, with those who are in the life of faith and charity (AC 8971)

 

They said that these persons are mentioned with honour in the Word for the reason that in the internal sense the Lord is meant by them-by "Abraham", "Isaac", and "Jacob", the Lord in respect of the Divine and the Divine Human; by "David" the Lord in respect of the Divine Royalty; and by the "Apostles" the Lord in respect of Divine Truths; also that when the Word is read by man the angels have no perception whatever of these men, for their names do not enter heaven (HH 526)

 

When we read passages in the Writings Sacred Scripture that discuss Abraham or King David or one of the Apostles, these names repeatedly appear within the literal meaning of the Writings. What is the scientific or universal meaning of these names? They each refer to human mental states and their dynamic activity in regeneration and spiritual growth. This applies to all people regardless of background, religion, or planet, though no doubt with realistic differences. When we read one of the many superb Memorable Relations throughout the Writings, what do the angels who are with us get out of it? Especially when our children read them in the innocence of ignorance? The angels have no idea of number or age. What then do they think of when numbers and ages are mentioned in the Memorable Relations? Neither do they know of directions like north or south. Neither do they know of the European nations and cities, as those which are mentioned in many places throughout the Writings, nor the names of the bishops of the Church, and so on.

 

It is clear that the Writings Sacred Scripture exists at discrete levels and that the Letter is different at each level. The method of correspondences starts at the natural-rational level of the literal meaning, collecting facts and organizing them into an orderly doctrine that we use as a tool in daily spiritual combat with our temptations brought to us by the Divine Psychologist for this very purpose. This doctrine may be called abstracted, to distinguish it from the later doctrine that is extracted.

 

Abstracted doctrine does not use the method of correspondences, and hence does not depend on enlightenment. We all start with principles of life and religious doctrines that are abstracted, paraphrased, contrasted, and reflected on. They are the foundation of our moral-rational life, and hence of civilization and society. Further on down the road of maturity we begin to go beyond abstraction. We leave the discrete degree of the literal and its rational abstractions in our mind, by making the literal meaning “vanish” from central focus, and as a result, we begin to think with angels (AC 1405; 3776).

 

Quoting:

But as he grows into a young adult, if he develops his power of reason, he employs what is in his interior natural to work out the reasons for things, which are truths of a yet higher nature. These are extracted so to speak from what is present in the interior natural. (...) This is the manner in which a person rises with his understanding from the world up to heaven. (AC 5497)

 

The phrase “to rise with the understanding from the world up to heaven” refers to enlightenment through Sacred Scripture. Our thoughts suddenly begin to operate by means of spiritual-natural correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. We are with the angelic spirits that inhabit the first heaven in our mind. And by progressive enlightenment in our interior-natural organ we climb up Jacob’s ladder of discrete correspondences in our mind, “as though” we actually were in the presence of the angels who dwell in our spiritual mind.

 

We receive this light of heaven when we read the Writings as Divine Speech rendered in the correspondences of Sacred Scripture. To read the Writings as Divine Speech in correspondences is to read them with enlightenment. The abstract doctrine of the literal meaning is suddenly seen infused with heavenly light so that its interiors are perceived as truth from the Divine Human. This interior perception in enlightenment cannot possibly be at the same discrete level of meaning as the literal. The literal Sacred Scripture and the abstracted doctrine of the literal, now become spiritually empowered with a comprehension that is a discrete degree above them.

 

We learn and memorize and apply abstracted doctrine for decades before we begin reformation and regeneration. Abstracted doctrine is necessary for making us ready for reformation, and we could not become ready without it. But the Writings tell us that the time must come in adulthood when we choose to begin our reformation and regeneration. Now we must enter a discrete degree within the abstracted doctrines that we have collected in our mind until then. We do this under the supervision of the Divine Psychologist who provides the spiritual light or enlightenment.

 

The Divine Psychologist is commanding us, through the literal meaning of  the Writing Sacred Scripture, that we must begin practicing the method of correspondences with enlightenment. This involves the deliberate intention and systematic application procedures called extractive research, that is, spiritual meaning that is “drawn out” by means of correspondences and illustration.

 

Quoting:

AC 8694

[3] But what is the nature of the revelation with those who are in good and from this in the affection of truth, cannot be described. It is not manifest, neither is it altogether hidden; but it is a certain consent and favoring from within that a thing is true, and a non-favoring if it is not true. When there is a favoring, the mind is at rest and is serene, and in this state there is the acknowledgment which is of faith. The cause of its being so is from the influx of heaven from the Lord; for through heaven from the Lord there is light, that surrounds and enlightens the intellect, which is the eye of the internal sight. The things which are then seen in that light are truths, for this very light is the Divine truth which proceeds from the Lord. That this Divine truth is light in heaven, has been frequently shown. (AC 8694)

 

This passage describes in natural expression a spiritual phenomenon that we experience mentally when extracting theistic psychology knowledge for ourselves. The extracted information is called “revelation” because it cannot be perceived as true except by enlightenment. The spiritual meaning which is the content of revelation or enlightenment, “cannot be described” with natural expressions because “it is not manifest.” But “neither is it altogether hidden.”

 

What does this mean? Something that cannot be described in language that refers to natural objects and conditions, which are “not manifest” in natural perception? The closest specific description given for it is that “it is a certain consent and favoring from within that a thing is true, and a non-favoring if it is not true.” If we were to become conscious in our third heaven, we would be nearly omniscient, because whatever we were curious about would instantly be present in our thoughts as an answer in Divine Truth, which is omniscient.

 

9.4  Methods of Extraction

 

The procedures for extracting scientific facts from the Writings Sacred Scripture are surely endless in number when we consider that the Writings Sacred Scripture mark themselves as the last portion of the overall Sacred Scripture that took thousands of years to deliver to humanity. It calls itself “the Crown of Revelations” because “it will endure forever.” Quoting:

 

Coronis 0

LII. This New Church, truly Christian, which at this day is being established by the Lord, will endure to eternity, as is proved from the Word of both Testaments; also it was foreseen from the creation of the world; and it will be the crown of the four preceding churches, because it will have true faith and true charity. (CORO 0)

 

We now know that heaven and earth must stay connected in creation so that there will never be an end to earths in the natural world. An endless series of civilizations and generations will be using the Writings Sacred Scripture for extracting the information they will need to regenerate. Every generation must extract its own information because each generation is unique in relation to all the others, and their regeneration will depend on new truths that prior generations have not seen.

 

This is why it is rational to think that the number of methods by which spiritual information can be extracted from the Writings, is endless. But here are three methods of extraction that it was given me to discover. Perhaps others have also made these and similar discoveries in their study of the Writings. They are serviceable to our generation for extracting certain types of spiritual facts that are suitable to a civilization whose genes of consciousness is formed by natural-rational correspondences. I use the expression genes of consciousness to refer to the basic semantic units that define our mentality levels. See the section 15.3 titled Genes of Consciousness.

 

9.4.1  The Method of Substitution

 

The substitution technique involves parallelisms in the Writings that are explicitly stated in the Letter. It may also be called the method of applying the Letter to the Letter. The Letter of the Writings must define the substitution for it to be permissible. Some substitutions are near to each other, as they are mentioned closely to each other in the text, while other substitutions are more distant from each other, so that several steps of parallelisms must be reconstructed and demonstrated.

 

I illustrate near substitutions in the following table which is based on a search for equivalence statements in the text, as for instance "it is the same whether you say that...", besides others like it that could also be searched.

 

 

“it is the same whether you say...”

Permissible substitutes

Divine worship consists of these truths and goods, or that man consists of them, (AC 10298)

Divine worship

man

truth or faith, since everything of faith is truth; also it is the same whether you say good or love, since everything of love is good (HH 232)

good

love

conjunction of understanding and will or conjunction of truth and good. (HH 370)

conjunction of understanding and will

conjunction of truth and good

ruling love or that which he loves above all things. (HH 486)

ruling love

that which he loves above all things

truth or faith (NJHD 35)

truth

faith

"begotten of God" or "proceeding from God;" (TCR 23)

begotten of God

proceeding from God

 

 

God is Good itself and Truth itself or He is Love itself and Wisdom itself (CAN 8)

God

Good itself and Truth itself

God

Love itself and Wisdom itself

Lord's Divine Human, or the Divine Love (AE 146)

Lord's Divine Human

Divine Love

the understanding of truth is described, or those who are in it are described (AE 355)

the understanding of truth

those who are in the understanding of truth

the spiritual and natural mind or the spiritual and natural man. (AE 406)

spiritual and natural mind

spiritual and natural man

falsities from the hells, or the hells (AE 538)

falsities from the hells

the hells

faith or conscience (AC 2325)

faith

conscience

higher and lower ones, or more internal and more external (AC 10051)

higher and lower

more internal and more external

 

Let’s take a passage that allows several substitutions according to the table above. I have bolded the words in the original, and also in its duplicate paragraph below to indicate the substitutions: Quoting:

 

The natural mind, by its two capacities called rationality and freedom, is in this state that it is capable of ascending through three degrees, or of descending through three degrees. It ascends by reason of goods and truths, and descends by reason of evils and falsities. And when it ascends, the lower degrees which tend towards hell are closed, but when it descends, the higher degrees which tend towards heaven are closed. The cause for this is that they are in reaction. These three degrees, higher and lower, have neither been opened nor closed in man in earliest infancy, for he is then ignorant of good and truth, and of evil and falsity. (DLW 274)

 

[making the substitutions;]

 

The natural man, by its two capacities called rationality and freedom, is in this state that it is capable of ascending through three degrees, or of descending through three degrees. [The man] ascends by reason of love and faith, and descends by reason of evils and the hells. And when [the man] ascends, the external degrees which tend towards hell are closed, but when [the man] descends, the internal degrees which tend towards heaven are closed. The cause for this is that they are in reaction. These three degrees, internal and external, have neither been opened nor closed in man in earliest infancy, for he is then ignorant of love and faith, and of evil and the hells.

 

It this case, it turns out that the original and the substitutions are so close that the two paragraphs hardly seem different in meaning. Nevertheless, the second paragraph is not merely synonymous with the original but reveals new features that are more interior. To see this requires more detailed study and examination. (see Note 8).

 

Let us take another passage where the substitutions create a more dramatic difference:

 

The very essence and life of faith is the Lord alone (AC 30)

The very essence and life of conscience is the Lord alone

 

The second sentence containing the substitution is a more interior meaning than the original. We knew that the life of faith is the Lord since faith is truth from the Lord, and what is from the Lord is the Lord. Hence, the very essence and life of faith is the Lord alone. But we did not know that the very essence and life of conscience is the Lord alone. This is a new spiritual revelation contained within the first revelation of the Letter. We must now confirm this new more interior perception by finding a passage in the Letter that states that the life of conscience is the Lord. As for example: Quoting:

 

The new will with the spiritual regenerate man is conscience (NJHD 1919)

 

[2] A person does not feel this struggle to be anywhere but in himself, and he feels it as the pangs of conscience. Yet it is the Lord and the devil (that is, hell) who struggle in man; their struggle is to gain control of the person, to see which is to possess him. The devil, or hell, attacks the person and calls forth the evil in him, while the Lord protects him and calls forth the good in him. (TCR 596)

 

Genuine conscience is given by the Lord through the knowledges of a true faith (SE 3615)

 

With angelical spirits there are bonds of conscience, which conscience is from the Lord. (SE 3850)

 

Judgments are based on what is the Lord's when they accord with truths and spring from conscience. (AC 9160)

 

When conscience dictates, it is in like manner said in the Word that "Jehovah speaks;" because conscience is formed from things revealed, and from knowledges, and from the Word; and when the Word speaks, or dictates, it is the Lord who speaks; hence nothing is more common, even at the present day, when referring to a matter of conscience, or of faith, than to say, "the Lord says." (AC 371)

 

You can see from these series of passages that a conscience that is genuine is from the Lord and is the Lord. Quoting: “nothing is more common, even at the present day, when referring to a matter of conscience, or of faith, than to say, "the Lord says."

 

In summary, we go through three steps in the method of substitution. First, we find parallelisms in the Letter that are explicitly identified in the plain meaning of the sentences. Second, we make the substitutions and reflect on the new formulation. This new meaning is more interior than what could be seen in the original text of the Letter. It has been spiritually enriched by the different series or contexts which are brought together by the substitution. Third, find new passages that explicitly confirm the new meaning.

 

Note that the new perception after substitution is more interior than the older perception before substitution. Despite this, the new perception is not yet a discrete degree higher than the old perception. It is in the same degree, which is natural-rational at a more interior continuum. Performing this three-step method builds natural-rational vessels that are needed later for influx and enlightenment. This occurs when we apply the new meaning to our hourly willing and thinking all day long. Then, at some point -- unexpected point -- we receive enlightenment. That’s when for the first time we can see the meaning of the new perception in a spiritual degree.

 

Without having practiced the substitution method regarding some topic, there are not any such cognitive “vessels” that can be enlightened. Of course, it is possible for people to practice the substation technique implicitly, not as a formal research technique, but spontaneously, since our thinking about Sacred Scripture is always in the company of angels who prompt the train of our thoughts in favorable directions for noticing parallelisms and discovering the substitutes.

 

9.4.2  The Method of Rational Series

 

This approach for extracting scientific information from the Writings Sacred Scripture is illustrated in the section 15.3     titled Genes of Consciousness. It consists of arranging words or phrases from the Writings in sets that they belong to.

 

COLUMN 1

COLUMN 2

COLUMN 3

Love

Wisdom

Use

Celestial

Spiritual

Natural

Third heaven

Second heaven

First heaven

Abraham

Isaac

Jacob

Jerusalem

Assyria

Egypt

Affective

Cognitive

Scientific (sensorimotor)

Lamb

Mules

Horses

 

If you inspect each column up and down you are creating a new rational set in the organization or thesaurus that you carry in your memory-knowledge. Now, when you read about Abraham you can supply the rest of the series in your mind, thus giving it a new meaning which is more interior than what you had before. Now, this new semantic gene of a higher continuous level will serve as a vessel for enlightenment. This occurs the moment you apply this new semantic gene to your willing and thinking in daily activities.

 

9.4.3  The Method of Mapping

 

This method is illustrated in section 15.3.5 titled Enneadic Gene Structures. It uses a chart or matrix created by putting together two series obtained from the method of rational series. This chart is made of intersections that have dynamic properties relating to mental states, as described in the Writings when explicating the spiritual sense of the Old Testament. In the example below, the first column lists the phrases in the Writings and in the second column, their mental state map location is given. A refers to the affective organ (“the will”), C refers to the cognitive organ (“the understanding”). Levels 3, 2, and 1 refer to the three degrees: celestial, spiritual, natural.

 

Divine good of the rational

A3

Good by an internal way

A2

truth by an external way.

C2

Good thus conjoins itself with truth in the rational

A2 + C2

the rational as to good

A2

memory-knowledges and knowledges from the natural man

C1

 

When you identify the map location of “Divine good of the rational” as A3, you are thinking in a more interior way about this concept. “A” means affective and level “3” means celestial. So to recognize in your mind that “Divine good of the rational” is celestial willing (A3), you are providing an enlarged context for it that can be hooked up to other mapped areas, as is illustrated in the section below. Now this enlarged more interior thesaurus becomes a vessel for enlightenment the moment that you apply this larger interior thesaurus to some part of your willing and thinking at some point during the day.

 

The method of extraction can only be applied to the Writings Sacred Scripture. Only Divine text is written in such a way that it may contain endless information to be extracted until eternity. It may appear at first that the extracted knowledge is of the same degree as the original, but deeper analysis shows that the extracted knowledge is at a higher degree, all the way to the celestial-rational.

 

The elevation of meaning during the extraction process is due to the operation of the interior-natural organ, as discussed section 8 titled Thinking With Angels -- Our Virtual Heavens.

 

10.  Spiritual Geography = Mental Anatomy

 

At age 57 Swedenborg suddenly found himself a dual citizen – conscious in both worlds simultaneously. This means that he was conscious in both the natural mind and the spiritual mind. Our consciousness in the natural mind allows us to see others here on earth who are also conscious in their natural mind. Similarly, Swedenborg’s new consciousness in his spiritual mind allowed him to see others in the spiritual world.

 

Theistic psychology resolves the issue of how Swedenborg was able to “travel” through the spiritual world by collecting many details about it that are mentioned in various places in the Writings Sacred Scripture and putting them together in an explanatory framework.

 

Spiritual travel or displacement is nothing else than a series of changes in mental states. In his spiritual mind, Swedenborg was able to “travel” to the spiritual sphere of planets located in distant galaxies by undergoing a series of mental changes that sometimes took several of his earth days (in the natural mind). The same procedure had to be experienced by the spirits who were “traveling” with him.

 

Swedenborg describes his visits to the three heavens and what he saw there. In order to see the people in each heaven, Swedenborg’s mental states in the spiritual mind, had to be changed to match the mental states of the societies he was visiting, who were in their spiritual mind. He described the location of the heavens relative to each other, their cities and lands, and the layout of the territory in the world of spirits and in the hells located beneath it. This kind of information about the spiritual world may be called spiritual geography.

 

But it was revealed to humanity two thousand years ago that the “Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21 in the New Testament Sacred Scripture). This revelation may be one of the most astonishing facts in scientific history. For seventeen centuries the meaning of it remained clouded and not understood. Perhaps it was a figure of speech. Perhaps it was a mystery. In the Writings of Swedenborg the mystery was solved. The spiritual world is nothing else than the mental world.

 

Every human being is born with a physical body on some earth and a mental body, or mind, in the world of spirits. The physical body and the mind grow up together through experiences of life. The physical body is temporary and disintegrates at some point, leaving the mind in the world of spirits free from earthly input and conditions. The human mind is a spiritual organ constructed out of the eternal substances from the Spiritual Sun. Similarly, the physical body is a physical organ constructed out of the temporary materials from the natural sun that is around every earth.

 

The anatomy of the physical body was well known to Swedenborg from his studies of the sciences of his day in 18th century Europe. The anatomy of the mind was totally unknown to anyone because scientists had no access to observation of the mind. The conscious natural mind has some knowledge of itself because it is constructed of organic layers in discrete degrees, and the higher degree can observe and monitor the lower degree. The highest portion of the natural mind is called the natural-rational degree of thinking and willing, and this is exhibited by what we read in the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

But it is impossible for the natural mind to observe even a single thing about the operations a discrete degree higher than itself, namely, the spiritual mind. Whatever operations take place in this layer of our mind remain unconscious or inaccessible to the conscious – as long as our mind in the world of spirits is still connected to the physical body on earth. The operations in the spiritual mind originate from Divine Speech exteriorizing across the layers of the mental world. There is a continuous built in organic striving from the unconscious spiritual mind to coordinate by correspondence the operations in the conscious natural mind. The natural mind (“the servant”) is to reform itself and become aligned to the spiritual mind – which occurs progressively during our regeneration on earth.

 

The consciousness level or, mentality of people’s willing and thinking, is produced by Divine Speech through the progression of correspondences – celestial-rational, spiritual-rational, spiritual-natural or interior natural, natural-rational, natural-sensuous, and natural-corporeal. Divine Speech, or Divine Truth, issues from the Spiritual Sun in the form of spiritual heat and light. These distinct but united uncreate and infinite substances, propagate through the mental world of humanity, that is, through the mind of every human being. This propagation is in successive and simultaneous order so that it continuously permeates every human mind from birth to endless immortality.

 

Divine Speech enters our celestial mind in the first or highest of the successive degree, which is a above our spiritual mind. This portion of the human organic mind is called the “third heaven” and its mentality level of willing and thinking is produced by the celestial-rational correspondences in Sacred Scripture.

 

We actually possess in our mind four versions of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The first is in our external natural mind in the form of natural-rational correspondences called the “Letter of the Writings.” This is in the external natural mind which is operating in the world spirits. The second version of the Writings is in our interior-natural mind in the form of spiritual-natural correspondences of the Writings. This is in our first heaven. The third version is in our spiritual mind in the form of spiritual-rational correspondences. This is in our second heaven. The fourth is in our celestial mind in the form of celestial-rational correspondences This is in our third heaven.

 

There is therefore a perfect overlap between the geography of the spiritual world and the anatomy of the mind. In effect we can write this formula:

 

spiritual geography = mental anatomy

 

All the heavens and all the hells are in every human mind. No other place or plane of existence has been created for heaven and hell except the mental world. Every human being is born with the three heavens and the three hells, separated by the world of spirits. There is only one eternal and infinite Spiritual Sun, and it is located in the mind of every human being.

 

Everyone can see the Spiritual Sun, the heavens and the hells, the societies and lands and lakes and mountains – but only by elevating our consciousness from the natural mind to the spiritual mind. This cannot be done as long as we are connected to the physical body. Hence during our life on earth we cannot see the Spiritual Sun that is in the upper portions of our mind. Neither can we see the societies of heaven and hell that live in the spiritual world.

 

All this amounts to the astonishing equation that spiritual geography = mental anatomy. The human race is not spread out as it appears from the earths in the physical world. All human beings live their lives, doing their willing and thinking, in the same mental expanse created by the proceeding substances from the Spiritual Sun. There is only one spiritual world, only one mental world. Despite the experience of privacy in our mind, we are in fact continuously in the presence of the entire humanity through the vertical community of the mental world. The shape of humanity’s vertical community was seen many times by Swedenborg as the Grand Human (“Grand Man”).

 

The consequences of these facts are staggering to contemplate. It means that every human being at any time from birth to eternity, has access to every other human being in existence. This is a consequence of the fact that there is only one mental world, one spiritual world, and that a change of mental state brings us in the presence of others who are in a similar or compatible mental state. Swedenborg demonstrated this scientific reality by coming into the presence of people in the spiritual world whose names he knew from literature and talking with them – Aristotle, King David, Mary, Luther, Newton, and numerous others.

 

At this day it is not possible for anyone to become conscious in their spiritual mind and thus come into the conscious presence of people in the afterlife of immortality. The reason for this is explained below.

 

11.  Sensuous vs. Rational Spirituality

 

Theistic psychology from the Writings Sacred Scripture brings to the world a new perspective on what it means to be close to God or to seek closeness with God. The period prior to the publication of the Writings Sacred Scripture (1747-1771), is known in the General Church as the age of the First Coming, while the Writings Sacred Scripture constitute a new era known in the New Church as the Second Coming. These two periods are contrasted in theistic psychology regarding the meaning and process of closeness to God.

 

The era of the “First Coming,” which extends from the first century A.D. to the eighteenth, is known in theistic psychology as the sensuous consciousness approach to God. The Old Testament phase of sensuous consciousness was concrete while the New Testament phase of sensuous consciousness was abstract in the form of Christian theology, all of which is based on a sensuous consciousness of the visible “Son of God,” through whom the invisible “God the Father” can be known.

 

Then begins the new era of the rational consciousness of God as the Divine Human, made possible by the rational revelations of the Writings Sacred Scripture. This changeover regarding humanity’s relationship to God is a new evolutionary creation of the human mind. Today the sensuous consciousness approach to God is still the dominant mode of effort people exert in their longing for closer “union with God.” But it is vital that people begin to acquire the new mode of approaching God that has now been created in the era that began with the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

God can always be approached by anyone regardless of knowledge, education, or formal religious association. God is already present in every individual’s mind, managing the endless details of every person’s biography from birth to eternity. Through this management role and presence, God leads and provides for every individual what is needed for heavenly consciousness and eternal life. And yet this relationship is incomplete and not fully effective until the individual consciously reciprocates God’s loving management care with feelings of gratitude and longing for ever higher understanding of God’s Truth and Love.

 

God’s longing and love for every individual is to have us achieve higher and higher rational consciousness of Him as the Divine Human in whom infinite things are distinguishably one. This is the way God presents Himself in the literal sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. We are given there the scientific details of how the Divine Human accomplished this last major evolutionary development of humankind. It included the remaking of the upper portion of the human mind called the “Old Heavens,” which were accessed by people through their sensuous consciousness of God.

 

The “New Heavens” that were now created in people’s minds (at the end of the 18th century), were no longer accessible by sensuous consciousness, hence the need for the Writings Sacred Scripture on earth to enlighten people to see their way to the new heavens in their mind. God uses the Writings Sacred Scripture as the method for bringing rational consciousness of Him to people’s conscious awareness. This is what God is longing for.

 

Today in the civilization of cross-cultural diversity, Western culture is permeated through and through with Eastern nonduality which is based on the idea of nonduality between the Divine and the human (see Note 4). The nonduality of new age philosophies was recently reviewed by Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom in a General Church publication (see Note 5). Every single idea, concept, principle, and image in nonduality promotes and preaches the sensuous consciousness of God as a process of union with the Divine called “oneness.” At this level of human consciousness we are being described as no longer human, but Divine, God Itself, of one substance, immensity, and timelessness, without emotion, love, or wisdom such as it is know to human beings. It is a portrayed as a great mystery impossible to convey in words because it is “above thinking with words.”

 

Sensuous consciousness of God opposes rational consciousness of God. They are in a mortal battle by which one must eliminate the other, like it was commanded to the children of Israel entering the Holy Land that they should exterminate and extirpate every single inhabitant, by which was represented mental states of nonduality. In the nonduality tradition, practitioners and students are given mental exercises to practice allowing them to withdraw from all sensory stimulation coming in from the outside through the physical body. They must also try to eliminate all thinking and consciousness of meaning. And if these exercises are done faithfully for some period of time, the student is promised a new higher type of consciousness which is not human but Divine.

 

And yet the actual truth and scientific fact is that there is no access to the spiritual mind which is the portion that receives the inner sensory consciousness of the Spiritual Sun. Swedenborg was a unique case because he was able to be conscious in his spiritual mind before he underwent resuscitation in the world of spirits. He therefore had a sensuous consciousness of the spiritual world as well as the natural world. He was able to confirm by years of daily experience in his spiritual mind, that the new heavens in the human mind are heavens produced by the rational consciousness of God.

 

Our rational consciousness of God begins with dualism and Sacred Scripture. The correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture create the new rational genes of consciousness, out of which our heavens are constructed. The only access to our heavens in eternity is by means of a rational understanding of higher order correspondences in Sacred Scripture – corporeal, sensuous, natural-rational, spiritual-natural, spiritual-rational, celestial-rational. This is a gradual progression of rational consciousness up the ladder of correspondences of Divine Speech.

 

Theistic psychology provides the scientific reasoning process for proving that rational consciousness of God is the only road to a happy eternity.

 

Seeking sensuous consciousness of God today leads to a delusional relationship with oneself. It is not unusual for a Christian today to declare that God spoke to him or her in answer to some question or request. But we know from the Writings that God speaks to people only through Sacred Scripture, that is by enlightenment. Divine Speech with God in a dialog form in the natural mind is not possible (“He said to me...I said to Him...”). Today in the age of rational consciousness, God enlightens our conscious natural mind through the unconscious spiritual mind, the two acting in correspondence – never by direct speech or living voice, as He did in the days of the Old and New Testaments.

 

Every semester I ask my students to explain why God doesn’t appear at the United Nations, or some other world stage, and make a declaration of Himself in the media, and then return to heaven. Such a Divine intervention would constitute the sensuous consciousness of God, materialistic proof of His existence and direct communication with Him. Such physical demonstration of Himself would not turn the world to theism. Science would not be changed. Religion would remain the same mystery as before. Those who did not believe, and then believed because of the sensuous consciousness of God, would then eventually not believe.

 

The only consciousness of God that can remain in the mind and grow to eternity, is rational consciousness of God.

 

In our modern age, correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture are the only mechanism that has been created for elevating rational consciousness of God and making it grow.

 

Divine Speech is the same as Divine Truth and this is the same as spiritual light streaming out of the Spiritual Sun and entering the mind of every human being throughout its discrete layers. Sacred Scripture (“the Word”) is the only source of genuine or Divine correspondences. God enlightens us through the doctrine of truth that we extract from the Writings Sacred Scripture. This enlightenment is rational speech or communication with God.

 

We experience communication with God not as a dialog but as new insight or understanding that we perceive as spiritual correspondence. The experience of comprehending spiritual correspondences gives us the rational feeling of God’s immediate co-Presence in our willing and thinking. In the new age for the modern mind this rational consciousness of God is the way to heaven, and nothing else can be.

 

12.  The Benefits of Theistic Psychology

 

Theistic psychology is a workable innovation in scientific thinking that is based on by-passing the religious and cultural content of the Writings. My students today, and generally people in the future, are able to study the Writings Sacred Scripture within their own religious and cultural context. This is made possible by applying the method of correspondences with enlightenment, which makes the “literal of the Word to vanish” (AC 1405; 3776). What then stands revealed in the understanding, is theistic psychology, the science of immortality and how to prepare for a heavenly life, which is available to any individual from any background or religion.

 

My students have been able to make the religious and cultural content of the Writings to vanish. They have been successful in reading the Writings (small portions thereof), without feeling attacked in their religious beliefs, because they could accept the scientific meaning that was extracted. Of course, the students did not do this themselves, but were presented with the fruits of my labor as theistic psychology.

 

The style I use to present theistic psychology is to make use of quoted passages from the Writings, which I then analyze by using the extraction techniques. In this way students follow the technique, though they do not yet perform it themselves. However, I can foresee the situation where students would want to specialize and continue their study as a life involvement. Then it may be possible for them to perform the method of correspondences with enlightenment.

 

It is a unique new development in science to tie research and expertise to “enlightenment.” Atheistic science separates the scientist’s character or personality from the quality of his science. A wicked scientist, an obese scientist, a criminal scientist, an adulterous scientist, all have the same ability to become experts in some field and to produce valuable research that helps other scientists to progress. But this attitude is totally reversed in theistic psychology. The only source of knowledge is the Writings Sacred Scripture, and the only method of obtaining knowledge is the one prescribed there, which requires enlightenment.

 

Enlightenment is immediate illumination from God. Spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun enters all human minds simultaneously and operates the cognitive organ called understanding. This operation is duplicated through discrete levels across the layers of the mind, until we become conscious of it in the natural mind. Should God block the continuous input of this spiritual light, we immediately lose all rationality and understanding. Hence it is God who works with us to enlighten our rational understanding and to give us the knowledge of theistic psychology.

 

God gives this spiritual light or understanding into every cognitive organ of every human being, regardless of culture, religion, or background. But we can become conscious of this higher understanding only in proportion to our spiritual progress. The more we progress spiritually, the more we can be enlightened with higher and higher knowledge and understanding.

 

Hence theistic psychology is understood at different levels, depending on one’s progress in character reformation, regeneration, or spiritual growth. It is called character reformation because every individual is born with inherited tendencies and inclinations that are evil, injurious to others, and self-destructive. Every individual is born with a mind that contains heavenly states and hellish states. Theistic psychology describes what happens when people arrive into the afterlife state of human development. Swedenborg was able to observe and monitor the mental phases that they go through. Eventually (“second death”), every person’s inner character comes to the fore and determines the quality of their experiences into the eternal future.

 

The study of theistic psychology helps people understand the process of their mental development into immortality. It helps people realize that they are now going through the natural phase of their eternity. Human development is the transformation of an evil character, which is our consciousness in the hell of our mind, to an angelic character, which is our consciousness in the heaven of our mind. Swedenborg has described the hellish and heavenly traits by the special ability he was given to become conscious simultaneously in his natural mind and in his spiritual mind. What happened when he suddenly found himself at age 57, conscious in his spiritual mind?

 

He became aware of being in the presence of other people, namely those who had passed on and were living in their state of immortality or afterlife. If right now you became likewise conscious in your spiritual mind, which is now unconscious, you too would be able to see all the people who are in their afterlife. And in fact you will see them, when your physical ties to earth are removed from your natural mind at the moment of the death of the physical body.

 

Theistic psychology is written in a scientific style, as may be observed from this article and the selections provided. I found a way of talking about “the holy things of the Word” in a scientific way, as long as the positive bias is granted. Because it is for pan-human use, theistic psychology avoids certain terms, except when explaining them from the Writings. I don’t use the expression “the Lord” or “Holy Spirit” which have a historical reference. I use “God” when referring to a general topic, like dualism in science, and “Divine Human” when referring to a more specific topic, like the Spiritual Sun or creation. I use “the Divine Psychologist” when discussing regeneration and how we are to cooperate by self-examination and by being willing to face spiritual temptations. Instead of “Jesus” I use the expression “the Divine Child,” and instead of “the birth of Jesus” I use the expression “the Incarnation Event.”

 

By way of social interest I may mention that after three semesters of teaching theistic psychology I still react emotionally from within, when a student uses the word God or Lord or Divine Human. Throughout the first semester I found myself instinctively looking over my shoulder to the open classroom door whenever I was talking out loud about God or spirits. This nervousness gradually disappeared for me, but I sense it present with the students in each new semester. This conflictual socio-emotional climate about God exists in public schools in the United States because of the perennial and divisive news topic known as the “separation of Church and state.”

 

Now the making of theistic psychology is introducing God into public classrooms -- not from Church or religion, but from science. Recently in the news, upper level court decisions went against Church based lawsuits trying to compel textbook publishers to label evolution as “a theory” and to present competing theories such as Creationism. Of course it is known from the Writings that the creation story in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, are not science, nor are they historical. They are written in correspondences in the style of writing of the Word of the Ancient Church, mentioned in other parts of the Old Testament, and portions of which Moses was given to quote from (De Verbo 15).

 

It is not possible to introduce God into science and public schools by teaching through the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture. This is obvious for the Old and New Testaments because they were written many centuries ago. But it is also true for the Writings Sacred Scripture which was written in the modern age of science. The obvious reason is that the Letter of the Writings is intended and necessary for forming the New Church religion (Sum Exp Apoc 1). Hence the issue of separation of Church and state applies also to the Writings Sacred Scripture – when viewed in its literal sense.

 

But the making of theistic psychology brings an entirely new possibility because it is based on the principle that the literal meaning of the Writings is not theistic psychology. The literal expressions are viewed only as correspondences that “vanish” from view when the method of correspondences with enlightenment is applied in the extraction process (AC 1405). There is no issue of Church or religion, and hence no issue about protecting people’s religious freedoms.

 

The only issue now is dualism in the positive bias vs. materialism in the negative bias, and this is strictly a scientific issue about methodology and theoretical paradigms. The argument about theistic psychology is a scientific one, not a political or religious one. People on both sides of this argument are scientists discussing their normal scientific justifications and assumptions based on evaluating the empirical evidence brought forth by Swedenborg during 27 years of direct experimentation and observation in the spiritual world.

 

13.  The Central Theme of Theistic Psychology

 

Theistic psychology brings the universal knowledge that acquiring heavenly traits is the key to reaching our full human potential in immortality.

 

In the Writings Sacred Scripture, God reveals to all humankind the method by which we can acquire for ourselves a heavenly character. There are only two general steps to make. First, we must stop thinking our own thoughts and willing our own purposes. Second, we must start thinking God’s thoughts and willing God’s purposes. This makes sense rationally since God created us in that way. Every human being is created to be eternally happy and productive in their conjugial heaven. God creates therefore a method by which every individual can develop into a human being who prefers by far to think God’s thoughts to thinking their own, and prefers by far to be led by God and be animated by Him, than to be led and animated by self.

 

Swedenborg saw what happens in the world of the afterlife to those who prefer to be led by themselves. They are in a miserable state of life because the human self is born spiritually insane, unable to tell the difference between evil and good. Hence it is that God gives us Sacred Scripture by which we may know what is good and true that lead to the eternal heavens in our mind, and how to avoid what is evil and self-centered, which leads to the hells in our mind. We make the choice by the way we align our mind to be agreeable to the mind of the Divine Human, or away and contrary to that.

 

Theistic psychology makes regeneration and character reformation the central theme around which all other human issues revolve. Theistic psychology shows how the Divine Psychologist (“Holy Spirit”) is co-Present in our conscious natural mind. He is in charge of operations in the cognitive and affective organs of our mind –

 

  • keeping a certain thought sequence going
  • moving it into another direction
  • blocking a memory
  • bringing another memory to the fore
  • allowing you to experience certain attractions or aversions at certain particular times
  • allowing you to form an intermediate idea that is not truth but compatible with it, and allowing you to will things that are not good but are compatible with later states of good
  • arranging the physical environment around you to help you face a certain kind of temptation, or to prevent you from having to face one
  • fighting for you in the temptation
  • giving you the love for truth and the desire to apply the doctrine of life from Sacred Scripture, revelation, and conscience
  • and so on.

 

Can you think of anything more intimate and close than this relationship that every human being has with the Divine Psychologist in their conscious rational consciousness of God? The central theme of theistic psychology is therefore the psychology of cooperation with the Divine Psychologist.

 

The teaching of theistic psychology in a public state university ushers in a new era for humankind. God is now entering modern science. It is a development made possible by the Writings of Swedenborg, but they are only now put to use for this purpose in a public institution of higher learning. If this effort is successful it can put an end to the current schizophrenic attitudes and conflicts attendant to the science-religion controversy.

 

The benefits of theistic psychology to the human race are extraordinary and extensive, touching society, community, family, marriage, and individual development. Everyone will know about the two worlds, the three heavens in the mind, and the hells. People in every country and from every religion will be given the invaluable opportunity to know scientifically that they are immortal, and to know how they can prepare for a heavenly eternity by avoiding an endless life of horror in the insanities and delusions of the mind’s hells.

 

At this point in time theistic psychology is in the process of childbirth in the consciousness of humanity. The future growth of theistic psychology here on earth affects the entire humanity of the Grand Human. The people of this earth have a mental genius that is located by correspondence in the skin of the Grand Human. Our race on this earth has evolved a specialized rational function that the rest of humanity depends on for use. We are deeply involved in “scientifics” and “mechanics” – as this work on the “science of immortality” testifies. This specialized mechanistic genius of the people born on this planet is one reason why the Divine Child was born on this earth.

 

The location of this universal event on this particular earth, rather than on another, continues the theme of Divine Speech which exteriorizes from “firsts to ultimates” in the natural mind of humanity. Our mental capacities and inclinations are formalistic and analytic, constructed on a semantic web of empiricism or abstractions of “sensuous” thinking. This deep seated inclination of the people born on this earth allows the specialized development of theistic psychology, which may also be referred to as “the mechanics of Divine doctrine.”

 

The more theistic psychology develops in the minds of the future generations born on this earth, the more the rest of humanity in the Grand Human will be able to evolve in consciousness of the Divine Human and in a heavenly character from Him. (see Note 11). The Writings Sacred Scripture will remain forever such as it is now. But theistic psychology will forever change as it develops and evolves, progressively forming the consciousness of humanity into a heaven.

 

14.  Theistic Psychology for the New Church Mind

 

For General Church audiences theistic psychology can also be useful because it fully legitimizes the New Church mentality and worldview. No longer will Bryn Athyn, and its related religious communities, be relegated to “a tiny weird Christian sect,” as it is sometimes described by outsiders. The General Church institution and intellect will be universally recognized by all religions as the organization on earth that has been given the Divine mission of protecting, preserving, and broadcasting the Writings of Swedenborg (see Note 12). Now, these Writings can be claimed by all people as their own because they can read it by a method that makes the historical and sectarian religious sentences “vanish” (AC 1405; 3776).

 

Theistic psychology can be beneficial for General Church schools at all levels because it broadens and deepens the students’ rational faith that “the Writings are the Word,” by showing that the Writings have also been given for science. It strengthens the power of the Writings in the natural mind when it is seen as containing science as well as religion. Theistic psychology presents new ideas from the Writings that are not available from religious study only because that is a more general level of discussion than theistic psychology as a science.

 

It is not injurious for the General Church mind to reconstruct a more detailed format for their religious explanations. The “rational faith” we are promised in “Nunc Licet” does not limit itself to the general level of discussion employed by the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Theistic psychology gives us the techniques for entering the particulars and singulars of the discussion, which are not available in the surface literal expressions.

 

Theistic psychology shows that a universal science is hidden within the religious sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. For the General Church mind there is potentially here a double pleasure and love. First, there is the love and worship of the Divine Human in His Second Coming. This is the relationship of the General Church mind to the Letter of the Writings as “the Word.” Second, there is the power and pragmatism of theistic psychology as the knowledge that can be reconstructed from its Letter. It is the Letter of the Writings that gives us the knowledge and methodology of how to extract theistic psychology from it.

 

Theistic psychology strengthens the importance of the Writings in the world scene because it makes the Writings to be absolutely the exclusive source for every concept and fact in theistic psychology.

 

Anyone can engage in this extraction activity from their own ideas and intelligence, but nothing spiritual can be extracted and understood except from enlightenment by the Divine Psychologist.

 

To the New Church mind, theistic psychology brings a scientific register that is compatible with the rational faith based on the Letter of the Writings. Any New Church person now has available an academic and scientific language of description, explanation, and justification for the all foundational concepts of the New Church religion – the Word, the Divine Human, discrete degrees, resuscitation, heaven, hell, sin, salvation, the birth of the Lord, the work of the Holy Spirit, Divine Love and Divine Truth, etc.

 

These spiritual concepts are difficult to discuss with those who are not of the New Church. But theistic psychology gives a scientific register for discussing, reasoning about, explaining, and researching these New Church concepts that are the foundation of its religion.

 

The New Church person’s relationship to the Divine Human is made more visible when we know the details of regeneration, not just the generals, and when we know the specifics of how we are to cooperate. This information is given to us by the Writings Sacred Scripture when we acknowledge it as Divine Speech coming forth to our natural mind in the from of natural-rational correspondences that Swedenborg’s natural mind wrote out in Latin. He wrote from the spiritual doctrine in his spiritual mind that was revealed to him by the Divine Human so that Swedenborg could write and publish the Heavenly Doctrines for the New Church. The sentences Swedenborg wrote in his Divine mission were the ultimates of the chain of descent of Divine Speech from the celestial mind, to the spiritual mind, the interior-natural mind, and at last, to the external natural mind.

 

Theistic psychology gives the understanding of why the process of regeneration requires cooperation with the Divine Psychologist. This cooperation is effective to the extent that we are willing to learn how to receive more from Him. Studying theistic psychology gives us the skills of cooperation in our regeneration. We perform our willingness to cooperate by becoming an expert in theistic psychology, which any person can do by ordinary study methods.

 

To be an expert in theistic psychology means nothing else than to practice the skills of extracting one’s doctrine from the Writings Sacred Scripture and practicing its truth. This is regeneration.

 

To love the Writings Sacred Scripture means to study it, to memorize it, and to learn how to extract doctrine from it. This doctrine in our understanding applied to our willing and thinking is what effects regeneration, and nothing else. The process of regeneration, from the perspective of human beings, is made of cooperation through the doctrine of truth in our understanding. The Divine Psychologist arranges everything so that we can face a particular type of spiritual temptation regarding some specific inherited evil enjoyment. The process of temptation is experienced as a combat between the forces of heaven and hell in our conscious willing and thinking. The Divine Psychologist prepares us for this battle by means of doctrine of truth from the Writings in our understanding.

 

Note well: in our rational understanding, not merely in our memory.

 

Theistic psychology gives us the register of thinking and reasoning for our combat in temptation. The Divine Psychologist’s power of healing and regenerating our deep seated inherited character is effective in proportion to our willingness to have the doctrine of truth from the Writings in our understanding, not merely in our memory. To have doctrine of truth in the understanding, not merely in the memory, we are commanded to practice the process of extraction from the Writings Sacred Scripture. Quoting:

 

AC 10105

[2] The words 'employing the truths of doctrine seen in light received from the Lord' are used because truths drawn from the Word have to be marshaled into doctrine in order that they may be put to use. The marshalling must be done by those who see things in light received from the Lord; and those so enlightened when they read the Word are people who desire truth for its own sake and for the sake of goodness of life, not those who desire it for the sake of self-glorification, reputation, or gain. Doctrine drawn from the Word is wholly essential for understanding the Word, see 9025, 9409, 9410, 9424, 9430; and those who gather doctrine from the Word must see things in light received from the Lord, 9382, 9424. (AC 10105)

 

We can list the elements in this passage for better focus. I will also add the implications.

 

(1) Truths drawn from the Writings Sacred Scripture must be “marshaled into doctrine in order that they may be put to use.” The expression “to put to use” here refers to what we need to do in combat during temptation, namely, to defeat by reasoning with doctrine of truth in our understanding. If it is only in our memory, we are unwilling or unmotivated to put up the intellectual effort to figure out its meaning and implications. As a result we cannot reason and argue with and defeat the persuasive thinking in our mind that protects the evil enjoyment from being defeated. We put a limit to the effectiveness of our regeneration by showing unwillingness to practice the extraction process for obtaining doctrine of truth in our understanding. Without practicing the extraction process the truths of the Writings Sacred Scripture remain merely in the memory.

 

(2) “The marshalling must be done by those who see things in light received from the Lord” which clearly states that the extraction process from the Writings Sacred Scripture must be done by the method of correspondences with enlightenment. Every individual is to practice this method in order to be enlightened by the Divine Psychologist. This is cooperation in regeneration.

 

(3) “those so enlightened when they read the Word are people who desire truth for its own sake and for the sake of goodness of life, not those who desire it for the sake of self-glorification, reputation, or gain” (AC 10105), which defines for us the conditions of achieving enlightenment, a state which is necessary for cooperation in regeneration. The expression “for the sake of goodness of life” here refers to our willingness to let the doctrine of truth in our understanding rule over every other falsification with which our reasoning process is tainted from long standing association with evil enjoyments and compulsions.

 

When we have this willingness, we are enlightened by the Divine Psychologist and we are prepared for the next combat which is even more interior. As long as we keep this willingness, we progress to our heavenly mind. This willingness comes from innocence – the willingness to be led by the Divine Human rather than by self or others.

 

(4) “those who gather doctrine from the Word must see things in light received from the Lord” which means that the extraction of doctrine from the Writings Sacred Scripture must follow the method of correspondences with enlightenment. This is the method prescribed in the Writings Sacred Scripture for “drawing doctrine out of the Word” since the “Word” is always written in correspondences. Quoting:

 

the Word was written wholly by correspondences, each thing and all things in it being correspondent.# If man, therefore, had a knowledge of correspondences he would understand the spiritual sense of the Word, and from that it would be given him to know arcana of which he sees nothing in the sense of the letter. For there is a literal sense and there is a spiritual sense in the Word, the literal sense made up of such things as are in the world, and the spiritual sense of such things as are in heaven. And such a Word, in which everything down to the least jot is a correspondence, was given to men because the conjunction of heaven with the world is effected by means of correspondences.

# The Word was written wholly by correspondences (n. 8615). (HH 114)

 

This passage clearly states that the Writings Sacred Scripture “was written wholly by correspondences” and that we cannot see spiritual meanings in them unless we know that they are correspondences (“arcana of which he sees nothing in the sense of the letter”). Theistic psychology “marshals” the reasons of why this is so.

 

At first there is the obvious appearance that we see heavenly secrets, or spiritual meanings, in nearly every Number of the Writings. We can speak, write, and reflect upon such spiritual topics as the Divine Human, heaven, salvation, worship, conjugial love, doctrine of truth, regeneration, angelic societies, the Grand Human, and many others. There are two phases in the growth of our understanding heavenly secrets or spiritual topics:

 

·         phase 1: Understanding spiritual topics naturally

·         phase 2: Understanding spiritual topics spiritually

 

We are in phase 1 until we begin our reformation and regeneration, sometime in adulthood. Until then our worship is acceptable to the Divine Human because we are not capable of undergoing spiritual temptations. But upon reformation and beginning of regeneration as an adult, we are capable of being enlightened, in proportion to our willingness to cooperate. To be enlightened means to enter phase 2 which begins our ability to understand spiritual topics spiritually. At that point our worship becomes internal, because based on spiritual meanings.

 

This is what it means that the Writings Sacred Scripture was written in correspondences (“the Word was written wholly by correspondences”). The Letter of the Writings discusses spiritual topics in the language of natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. Because they are correspondences, they contain the spiritual meanings we can receive by enlightenment. The natural meaning of spiritual topics and the spiritual meaning of spiritual topics are as far apart as earth and heaven.

 

Understanding spiritual topics naturally refers to mental operations in our external natural mind. Understanding spiritual topics spiritually refers to mental operations in our interior natural mind. The interior-natural mind cannot be activated until we undergo reformation and begin regeneration. The Divine Psychologist produces our enlightenment through the activation of operations in the interior-natural organ. Our conscious perception of the operations in the interior-natural organ constitute the enlightenment process itself. In theistic psychology the activated interior-natural organ is also called virtual heaven, because it gives us the capability of being conscious of spiritual correspondences – spiritual-natural (first heaven), spiritual-rational (second heaven) and celestial-rational (third heaven). (For details see section 8 titled Thinking With Angels: Our Virtual Heavens)

 

15.  Current Research in Theistic Psychology

 

My current research has four distinct areas of focus:

 

·         self-witnessing disciplines

·         phases of mental development

·         genes of consciousness

·         unity model of marriage

 

15.1  Self-witnessing Disciplines

 

Self-witnessing refers to the activity of self-observation while we are engaged in ordinary daily tasks. Character reformation and regeneration form the central focus of theistic psychology since this is the only method available to human beings on earth to avoid the life of hell in the afterlife. Everyone is born for heaven, but they don’t achieve this state automatically or spontaneously. We are born with hereditary inclinations in our affective organ, and these incline us to a character that lives in hell, not in heaven. Nothing can be more important for any individual on this earth than to learn how to exchange the inherited hellish character for a heavenly one.

 

Character reformation, or regeneration, is a biological process induced by the Divine Psychologist in our affective organ. This is a process of healing, reforming, re-birthing, making all new again. The extent to which the Divine Psychologist can animate this process in our mind is proportional to the extent of our conscious willing cooperation. This means that we have to face the combat of temptations on a nearly continuous basis for a long time – our entire adulthood here on earth. When we begin reformation and regeneration, we enter a mental war zone with new and effective weapons of truth.

 

These are new concepts and reasoning procedures that we obtain from the Writings Sacred Scripture, and they are collectively called the doctrine of truth from the Writings Sacred Scripture that is in our understanding. Now we are ready to enter the mental war zone of character reformation. Where is the enemy? It is us – our concepts and the routine justification procedures we use to allow ourselves to keep on doing what we enjoy and desire from inherited inclination. This process of our willing and thinking acts on us every day, all day long, hundreds of them in an hour.

 

When we first begin self-witnessing practice, our level of self-observation, self-monitoring, and self-examination, is general and abstract. We observe ourselves as a person observes another person, rather than the way a coach observes a person in some field of performance. People can be assisted in this process by giving them self-witnessing prompts they can use to help them go to the particulars and singulars of their actions that are above what they are observing. An example is the Daily Round Archives project which gave students a form to follow during their assigned self-witnessing exercises.

 

Here are some examples of what they kept track of with that form. For more examples and access to student reports see Note 6.

 

A few components of the
external
social environment

A few components of the
internal
social environment

my talk with others
my connections
my family tree
my daily routine of activities
my role, duties, and responsibilities
my memberships and institutional
connections
my belongings and assets
my interactions and transactions
my declarations
my reputation
who I hang out with and where
things I do together with someone
people who depend on me
people who love me
people with whom I’ve had a fight
people I’d like currently to meet
people whom I know who I see or think about only rarely
people on my invitation list
things I write down, lists I keep
the contents of my drawers and pockets
my nickname
family sayings
etc.

my talk with myself
the things I imagine
my interpretations of what’s going on
my sensations and feelings
my daydreams
my prayers and spiritual reflections
how I assess and evaluate things
my self concept
my routine concerns
things I notice or ignore
my ambitions
my fears
my preferences
making plans, rehearsing
things I cannot mention to someone
what I like to eat
my mood and energy level
what I can smell
my judgments
my aversions
my cravings
my secrets
my memories
how I reason with myself
etc.

 

In this project students practiced their self-witnessing in a regular social psychology course, not theistic psychology. The focus therefore was on “professionalizing the self” rather than regeneration or character reformation. But when it is used for the latter purpose, the idea of spiritual discipline applies.

 

Quoting from Section 5.4 in Volume 5 of Theistic Psychology:

Self-witnessing as a daily practice is a new way of living. Through it, conscious awareness develops of all the things that otherwise would remain sub-conscious, unattended. Without self-witnessing as a consistent activity, how would it be possible to know the content of our thoughts and the quality and directionality of our feelings? Self-witnessing is different from self-monitoring and self-observation -- two terms used in psychology today. Self-witnessing is more like "self-examination," which is the term used in the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Self-examination is focused on evaluation by means of "doctrine of life." This expression refers to an individual's principles by which one lives and makes decisions in daily life. The doctrine of life is learned from the Writings Sacred Scripture, or instruction based on it. It requires rational understanding of Divine revelation. The purpose of Divine revelation is always to assist people in preparing for life in eternity, which means, undergoing the effort and suffering involved in character reformation (“to bear the Cross”).

 

The suffering and pain of character reformation comes from the action of giving up something cherished. This is why we resist character reformation. We don't want to face that suffering. We want to hold on to what gives us satisfaction, pleasure, and apparent self-sufficiency. These mechanisms are inborn and inherited. Whatever they love to do, people call good, even when it is bad. The alcoholic taking another drink before driving home knows it's dangerous, illegal, and morally wrong, but the contentment and satisfaction involved in feeling drunk supersedes all other principles of morality and decency that the alcoholic possesses. This mechanisms is similar for all addictions.

 

Self-witnessing methodology of the threefold self involves one's feelings or emotions (“the will”), one's thoughts or reasonings (“the understanding”), and one's sensorimotor actions (“the sensory”). It is within these three domains of behavior that the entire human drama takes place, both here and in the hereafter. (...)

 

The awesome power of thoughts and feelings is not to be taken lightly. Self-witnessing allows us to examine our thoughts and feelings in the evaluative context of our principles of living or “doctrine of life.” As our doctrine becomes more and more spiritual or spiritual-rational, we can apply our latest understanding to our willing and thinking all day long.

 

The self-examination goes deeper and deeper as we progress in character reformation. To go deeper and higher means to see the particulars and the singulars of one’s behavior. Angels in the third heaven are able to see the very singulars of behavior that angels in the second heaven cannot. There are specific spiritual laws which govern the developmental steps of character reformation. Knowing these steps from scientific revelations, allows us to cooperate with the built in mechanisms and to further our character reformation until we are adequately prepared for facing eternity.”

 

The self-witnessing method has been successfully applied to everyday behavioral areas of professional interest to both my wife and myself. Diane, who is a professor in the information science department, has introduced into her profession, Swedenborg’s focus on the will relative to the understanding: Quoting:

 

D.Wisdom 10

It is an arcanum not yet revealed that there is a reciprocal conjunction of love and wisdom, or, what is the same, of the will and the understanding, also of affection and thought, likewise of good and truth. That there is a conjunction, reason is able to discover, but not that the conjunction is reciprocal. It is evident that reason can discover that there is a conjunction from the conjunction of affection and thought, in that no one can think without affection; and whoever is willing to investigate may perceive that affection is the life of thought, also that such as the affection is such is the thought (D. Wisdom 10)

 

Diane has given several conference papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Information Science in which she presents theory and data to support the principle that “no one can think without affection; and whoever is willing to investigate may perceive that affection is the life of thought” (D. Wisdom 10). For decades the fields of psychology and cognitive science have debated whether thinking or feeling is primary in human behavior. Diane is trying to reverse the field’s thinking by developing data to show that feeling directs the searcher’s thinking in information intensive tasks that she and her colleagues are interested in (see Note 6).

 

In the area of Driving Psychology, Diane and I have developed a three-step program for driving personality makeovers which consists of

 

  • Acknowledge
  • Witness
  • Modify

 

The first step is to acknowledge that one is an aggressive driver if one has feelings of anger and retaliation against other drivers. The second step is to witness oneself having negative feelings and thoughts while driving. The third step is to pick one of these feelings for any trip, and to modify the habitual negative reaction by substituting for it a new positive reaction. We developed various behavioral techniques of self-witnessing to help drivers keep track of their actual mental processes during driving. One is called the thinking aloud method in which drivers speak their thoughts out loud and record themselves while driving. The person later analyzes the tape, giving the individual an objective proof of one’s driving insanities. This acts as a motivator to want to put up the effort to undergo a driving personality makeover (step 3).

 

I wrote a shorter version of our aggressive driving book for Christians. The online book is available at DrDriving.org/articles/christ.html and is titled Heaven on Wheels: Principles of Christian Driving Psychology (see Note 7). The book quotes over 100 passages from the New Testament to support the principle that our thoughts and feelings while driving are a matter of heaven and hell, and gives self-witnessing techniques for reforming one’s driving character.

 

15.2  Phases of Mental Development

 

The growth of theistic psychology in our mind depends on learning the ability of methodical extraction of knowledge from the Writings Sacred Scripture using the prescribed method of correspondences with enlightenment (or “illustration from the Lord”).

 

The content and level of the knowledge that is extracted depends on the degree or level of consciousness that is being applied to the extraction process.

 

Divine scientific truths understood spiritually are the food by which our consciousness is established and grows. The more internalizing the truths we comprehend, the higher the level of consciousness that is being activated, or accessed by our conscious awareness. There are innumerable and unending scientific truths within each discrete degree of the mind. All the New Heavens created by the Divine Human since the last Last Judgment in 1757, are rational heavens. Only if we have rational consciousness of God can we climb in consciousness to our rational heavens. Quoting:

 

The future state of the church, however, will not be the same. It may seem much the same in outward appearance, but inwardly it will be different. In outward appearance the churches will be divided from one another as before, their teachings will differ as before, and so will the religious systems of the heathen. But people in the church will henceforward have more freedom in thinking about matters of faith, and so about the spiritual matters which have to do with heaven, because of the restoration of spiritual freedom.

 

For now everything in the heavens and the hells has been restored to order, and it is from there that all thought is influenced about Divine matters or against them; from the heavens when thought favours what is Divine, from the hells when it opposes it. But people will be unaware of this change of state, since they do not reflect on it, nor indeed do they know anything about spiritual freedom or influence from the spiritual world.

 

However, in heaven this is perceived, and people after their deaths can do so too. It is because people have had their spiritual freedom restored that the spiritual sense of the Word has now been disclosed, and by this means Divine truths of a more inward kind have been revealed. For in their previous state people would not have understood them, and if anyone did so, he would have profaned them. (LJ 73)

 

The expression “Divine truths of a more inward kind have been revealed” refers to the enlightenment we receive when we apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment to our study of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The expression “in their previous state” refers to our unregenerate state prior to beginning reformation in adult life. Prior to that beginning, it is not possible for us to see spiritual meanings in the Letter of the Writings because we “would profane them,” that is, act against them. But when we are unable to see anything spiritual in the Writings, we cannot profane them.

 

Heaven is in every human mind. To spend immortality in our heaven we must build a pathway to it with rational concepts of God from the Writings Sacred Scripture. Our consciousness can climb up this pathway through enlightenment. But without first acquiring these concepts, we cannot be enlightened. Further, our enlightenment is proportional to our mental development or spiritual growth.

 

Here is just one version of describing the stages of mental development that we go through. It is keyed to the six days of regeneration in Genesis (Old Testament Sacred Scripture), as presented and explicated in the Writings Sacred Scripture. The chart is color coded according to the six stages of mental development according to a hexagrammatic system that is explained in Volume 9.

 

The Six Days of Creation or the Six Stages of Regeneration

EXPRESSIONS FROM THE LITERAL

HEXAGRAMMATIC STAGES OF REGENERATION

CONTENT OF COMPREHENSION

FOCUS
THEMES

"Let there be light" (v.3)
"to be conceived anew" (AC)
"born anew" (AC)
"new creation" (AC)
"celestial seed implanted" (AC)

I
INFANCY
WHITE
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL--CELESTIAL

The beginning of regeneration is when, as adults, we acknowledge dualism--a higher, invisible, supernatural power in addition to the visible natural world

NOMINATIVE, SUBSTANCE, CREATION, DUALISM, SUPERNATURAL, CELESTIAL

"Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters" (v.6)
"waters above the expanse"
"earth" vs. "heaven"

II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL--SPIRITUAL

Next is the separation between knowledge based on the external world (atheistic science) and knowledge based on the supernatural (Sacred Scripture)

STRUCTURE, PART, SEPARATION, DIVISION, DISTINCTION, SPIRITUAL

"tender grass" (v.11)
"herb yielding seed"
"tree bearing fruit"

III
ADOLESCENCE
GREEN
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL--NATURAL

Next is religious life based on external worship, ritual repentance, tithing--all based on the notion that we obey and do from ourselves (which is evil and false leading to meritoriousness). Faith is primary and separated from charity.

FUNCTION, DYNAMICS, DIRECTIONALITY, RITUAL, ROUTINE, MERIT, REWARD, EXTERNAL OBEDIENCE, MEANING

I     N     V      E     R     S     I     O     N

 

"the two luminaries" (v.14)
"luminaries in the expanse of heaven" (v.14)
"greater and lesser luminary" (v.14)
"faith vivified by love" (AC 30)

IV
YOUNG ADULTHOOD
BLUE
INTERIOR
SPIRITUAL--NATURAL

The state following Inversion: We begin to act from charity through faith. Love is primary and faith secondary. The two now begin to act together. Start of internal worship and rational consciousness, but not fully, because we still believe we act from ourselves.

MEDIUM, ENVIRONMENT, TERRITORY, THEME, INNER COMPLIANCE, ASSERTION,

"living soul" (v.39)
"creeping things of the water"
"fowls which fly above the earth"
"beasts" and "birds"

V
ADULTHOOD
BROWN
INTERIOR
SPIRITUAL--RATIONAL

Next we now attribute the things in us to God and acknowledge that we are dead by ourselves and mere receptors of the Divine gifts of goods and truths. Our rational consciousness IS fully operative.

FRAME, CONTEXT, STYLE, ATTRIBUTION, RECEPTOR, RATIONAL, ARGUMENTATION, JUSTIFICATION

"Let us make man in our image and likeness" (v.26)
"And God created the great whales" (v.21)
"be fruitful and multiply" (v. 22)
"male and female He created them" (v.27)

VI
OLD AGE
BLACK
INTERIOR
CELESTIAL--RATIONAL

Finally, for the first time we act from love through faith, hence from God. We perceive that we are mere receptors and God inflows with life and truth. We perceive our association with spirits and angels.

APPEARANCES, TOPICS, SUBJECT MATTER, TEXT, PERFORMANCE, WORKS, EXECUTION, USES, WORKS, ILLUSTRATION, ENLIGHTENMENT, VERTICAL COMMUNITY

 

The hexagrammatic chart above describes mental development at two distinct levels. One is at the level of biography, showing the succession of states and the intellectual or cognitive content that characterizes each stage of an individuals progression from infancy to old age.

 

The other level that the chart describes is recursive within biographical sub-states. At this level the six stages of spiritual development begin sometimes in adulthood when the individual is ready to begin the process of reformation and regeneration. The first three stages of development – infancy, childhood, adolescence – refer to the adult’s stages of regeneration. We first go through the “infancy stage” of regeneration as an adult (I). Then we go through the “childhood stage” of regeneration as an adult (II). Then, the “adolescence stage” of regeneration as an adult (III). These first three stages of regeneration take place in our sensuous consciousness of God. Then there is an inversion, and the next three stages of our regeneration as adults take place in our rational consciousness of God (IV. V. VI).

 

The difference between sensuous and rational consciousness of God was discussed earlier in this article (see above).

 

Below is another selection from Volume 9 showing how one can extract mental states of development from the Writings Sacred Scripture. The passage (AC 2946) summarizes several important facts about the stages of mental development. Following the quotation, I will present a numbered list of the facts that one can extract from this passage. These facts can be confirmed by several other passages.

 

In the Writings Sacred Scripture mental development is often referred to as "regeneration" or character reformation. "The Lord" refers to the Divine Psychologist who is with every human being from birth to endless immortality. The Divine Psychologist is an active co-participant in every detail of mental growth. There is no mental growth other than what the Divine Psychologist manages to arrange in a successive order of mental states, each step elevating our rational consciousness of Him. It is this elevation process that is called mental growth, spiritual development, regeneration, and character reformation. The more we grow mentally and are elevated in rational consciousness towards God, the more we become truly human, with heavenly character, abilities, and life. Quoting:

 

Arcana Coelestia 2946

Such is the first state of all who are being reformed and becoming spiritual; that is to say, they do not believe that they are reformed by the Lord but by themselves, that is, that all will of good and all thought of truth originate in themselves.

 

What is more, the Lord maintains them in that state, for if He does not they are not able to be reformed.

 

 Indeed if they were told before regeneration has taken place that they are incapable by themselves of doing anything good, or by themselves of thinking anything true, they would either lapse into the mistake of supposing that they must wait for an influx into the will and an influx into thought, and not attempt a thing, if that influx does not take place; or into the mistake of supposing that if good and truth have any other origin but themselves, nothing would ever be attributed to them as righteousness; or into the mistake that in this case they would be like machines without a mind or any control of their own; or into further mistakes. Therefore they are allowed to think that good and truth originate in themselves.

 

[2] But after they have been regenerated, the recognition that the situation is different is gradually instilled into them - that everything true comes wholly from the Lord.

 

And as they grow more perfect it is also instilled into them that whatever does not come from the Lord is evil and false.

 

Those who have been regenerated are led, if not during their lifetime then in the next life, not only to know this but also to see it with perception, for all angels enjoy the perception that this is so.

 

Please see what has been stated already about these matters in the following places:
Everything good and true comes from the Lord, 1614, 2016.
All intelligence and wisdom come from the Lord, 109, 112, 121, 124.
Of himself man cannot achieve anything good or think anything true, 874-876.
Nevertheless everyone ought to do good as if from his proprium or own self, and not stay his hands, 1712.

 

If man compels himself to withstand evil and to do good as if from himself he receives a heavenly proprium from the Lord, 1937, 1947. (AC 2946)

 

My commentary:

 

(1) There are two phases of reformation
"All who are being reformed and becoming spiritual" refers to the first phase of mental development, which occurs in early adulthood when we begin to think for ourselves from ourselves. At some point, which varies with individuals, we experience the intense motivation to undergo character reformation for the sake of becoming a good person. This initial mental state of wanting to be good, is based in self-intelligence rather than the extracted doctrine from Sacred Scripture, so it is not yet genuinely spiritual or rational.

 

In other words, "they do not believe that they are reformed by the Lord but by themselves." In this early phase of our regeneration we believe that the good intentions we have to want to be good, are from ourselves, from our own good intentions and motivations, and from the thoughts or justifications we have for them. The result is that we feel "meritoriousness," which is an evil belonging to the love of self (see Section xx). In this initial state of regeneration or mental growth, we believe that "all will of good and all thought of truth originate in ourselves." Later however, we attribute to the Divine Psychologist (or “Holy Spirit”) that our willing is good (i.e., having good will or good intentions). And we attribute to Him that our thinking is true (i.e., understanding genuine doctrine from Sacred Scripture).

 

(2) Mental growth involves going through stages of semi-truths and falsities
The Divine Psychologist controls every detail of the process of character reformation, which is what makes it work--as limited only by the degree of our cooperation or willingness to learn doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture and to use it to fight the temptations that the Divine Psychologist brings to us every day. "Temptations" refers to the clinical technique that is used by the Divine Psychologist to bring our conscious awareness to the loves and attachments that we have in our inherited character. Normally these are hidden from our natural mind's awareness. The Divine Psychologist controls the exact order in which we are to face this self-knowledge of our evil selves. When He brings one of them to our focus, the subjective feeling we have is that of being involved in a feeling-storm or avalanche, that sweeps across our consciousness and fixates us into a disturbing mental state.

 

Or, you may picture temptations as feeling like you are being flooded by a massive emotional ocean wave or mental tsunami, and swept out to the sea of uncertainty and anxiety, where you flounder and tremble in the unknown deep waters of darkness and terror.

 

During mental states of "spiritual temptations" (see Section xx), we experience an attack on our justifications for life and morality. We begin to doubt that the Divine Psychologist is really with us in our mind. Maybe I don't really need to change. Maybe I can postpone my perfection to later and be who I want to be today. Maybe exceptions don’t count as much as habits. Etc. You are familiar with this process whenever you make a resolution to be good in some area of your behavior, and then you see yourself irresistibly giving in to your enjoyment and "temptation." Then the spiritual part of the temptation phase begins.

 

You begin to doubt whether your resolution was good in the first place. Maybe you can make an exception this time. Maybe you're not really cut out for this. etc. Through this technique, the Divine Psychologist keeps you moving ahead in your character reformation. The spiritual temptation gives you the occasion first, to recognize some specific evil in you, and second, to reject it as something you don't want in your immortality. If you do this much, and mean it from a high ranking affection, then the Divine Psychologist can remove your attachment to that evil. But in no other way (see Section xx).

 

In this process of successive mental states of growth, the Divine Psychologist is maintaining us in mental states that are not good in themselves, so that He may gradually bring us to mental states that are genuinely good. That God allows and maintains in us mental states that are not good, is an instance of the Laws of Divine Permissions (see Section xx). God allows us to believe something false and do something evil when He could prevent it. But if He did, we are told in this passage (AC 2946), that we "are not able to be reformed." Some falsity and evil are of a certain kind that God can use for our benefit as we proceed step by step closer to willing and thinking from the "new will," and not from the "old will" (see Section xx).

 

(3) There are several "errors" that we can fall into when we are in the early states of reformation
We experience strong resistance in accepting the idea that we are "incapable by ourselves of doing anything good, or by ourselves of thinking anything true." One error is philosophical. It is the idea that we are nothing but organic robots, or 'machines without a mind,' if we cannot think from ourselves and decide for ourselves on anything, including when to lift the hand, or where to look with our eyes, etc. A computerized robot merely reacts to or obeys the programmed instruction, line by line. And if the program hangs up, the computer-robot is frozen.

 

So we picture this scenario in our mind as we read in the Writings Sacred Scripture that we cannot think a single thought from ourselves, or make a single decision. It is all from God. To believe yourself to be a robot if God makes all the decisions is a mistake in thinking rationally. The actuality or truth is that every act of thinking and willing that we do is not from ourselves but from God since God is the only available source of power for any act or movement in the universe or in the mind (see "omnipotence" in Section xx). This is why God permits us, during this initial state of reformation, to "think that good and truth originate in ourselves." Later we will have to get rid of this idea. And if we don't, heavenly life departs from us and we are drawn to the life of hell.

 

This is because there are only two alternatives in the spiritual directionality of our mental states -- upwards to the heavenly layers of our mind, or downwards to the hellish layers of our mind.

 

Accepting the rational truth of omnipotence allows us to avoid a locked sequence of mental states in the downward direction of our hells. This downward direction of our mentality and consciousness is being produced by self-love and self-worship, which is the alternative to the love and worship of God, which is a love that includes the desire and striving to comply with God's Commandments and to compel our willing and thinking to agree with the doctrine of truth we extract from Sacred Scripture.

 

We may go through the external motions of declaring our reformation or "rebirth" and making it known to others. But what determines our actual progress is nothing else than the extent of our conscious effort in daily willing and thinking. All our old concepts and justifications must be actually revised to conform to the doctrine of truth that we have extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. If our motive to reform is self-love we will hang on to our old character, our old way of justifying what we do and enjoy. There might be cosmetic changes in the appearance or in surface traits of our personality, but there will be no change of character, hence no actual rebirth, no regeneration, no preparation for heavenly life in immortality. In that case, when we resuscitate a few hours after death, we enthusiastically launch ourselves into the endless wickednesses in the hells of our mind, where we establish permanent residence, unwilling forever to depart (see Section xx).

 

The way to avoid the fatal errors during initial phases of spiritual development, is to be open to the next phase by being totally willing to accept it and entering it.

 

(4) In the next phase of mental development, the new realization that none of our willing and thinking originate in ourselves, is "gradually instilled into us."

 

At first we are willing to accept the idea of God's omnipotence in our mind -- but only from a general motive that wants to be right with God. We can call this mental state a form of "blind faith" because it is general, like a creed that we reflect on once a week or once a year during special occasions. This mental state cannot last as a permanent feature of our character unless we make it specific to our own willing and thinking on a daily and hourly basis. We must ask ourselves specifically, what does it mean for God to be omnipotent in our willing and thinking?

 

It doesn't mean that He is making the choices for good and evil for us, since that would turn us into natural robots without our own will. So what does it mean that our willing and thinking do not originate in ourselves but in God? This new scientific understanding or rational realization, is "gradually instilled into us," which refers to guided tours of mental states arranged for us by the Divine Psychologist, that we must be willing to undergo and cooperate with.

 

(5) As we progress in more advanced states of regeneration and we "grow more perfect," the understanding is "instilled into us that whatever does not come from the Lord is evil and false."

 

In other words, since we are all born with an entirely evil character, every single thing that comes from our self or “proprium,” is evil (see Section xx). Suppose for instance that we appear to do good by, say, working hard to coordinate with a team. Our motive appears to be good and cooperative, but in actuality it is not good, if we assume that doing good stems from ourselves. It only appears to be good to the outside observer who does not take into account why we are being cooperative and helpful. We may have a selfish or dishonest motive rather than the motive of helping the team reach its goal. For instance, you might want to appear cooperative and helpful out of fear of punishment for non-cooperation. This means that you would not cooperate if you had no such fear and felt completely free to do what you really wanted. So what appears like your good behavior is actually not good. But when you sincerely and rationally attribute your good intentions and behavior to God, you can no longer operate from a selfish or dishonest motive. Your teamwork is then genuine cooperation, not faked.

 

Note carefully: We can say out loud that we attribute everything we do good to God, and even think it superficially. But we do not mean it sincerely and rationally unless we understand how this is true. The Writings Sacred Scripture tells generally how this is true, and extractive research we can do will tell us in specific detail how we experience maximum freedom when we perceive that we are being animated and moved by the Divine Human’s Proprium. He moves every fiber of our affective and cognitive organs through the operation of the spiritual heat and light that proceed from the Spiritual Sun and continuously permeates the mind of humanity.

 

One of the ways we resist cooperating with our Divine Psychologist is to hang on to the idea that (when we make sacrifices to help other people), we are being good from ourselves. This is the fatal error of "meritoriousness" which is a mental state in which we desire to take credit for our good intentions and actions. But Sacred Scripture is revealing to us that whatever we do not attribute to God acting in us, we attribute to ourselves, and this is "evil and false," that is, leads us into a sequence of mental states that spirals downward into the hells of our mind.

 

(6) We reach still more advanced phases of regeneration through our willingness to cooperate in deeper and deeper temptations.
These deeper, or higher, stages of spiritual growth continue in the world of spirits after our resuscitation (see Section xx). Then, after our "second death," when we permanently enter our heavenly state, we are given the sensuous consciousness of influx, of actually "perceiving" that our decisions are operated by the Divine Psychologist, that is, by the influx of the Divine Human's Proprium into our affective and cognitive organs (see Section xx). In that state of mind our natural mind no longer reacts against the influx of the Divine Human Proprium, as it did in earlier phases of regeneration (see (1) above). Swedenborg was told by the angels themselves that they do have this conscious perception of the "influx," and further, those who had this perception more keenly, attributed absolutely nothing to themselves, nor did they have any wish whatsoever to follow their own proprium -- an idea that threw them into horrors and out of their heaven.

 

(7) In summary:

 

(a) All intelligence and wisdom come from the Divine Human

(b) Of ourselves we cannot achieve anything good or think anything true

(c) Nevertheless, we ought to do good as-if from our proprium or own self, and not "stay our hands"

(d) When we compel ourselves to withstand evil and to do good as if from ourselves, we receive a heavenly Proprium, which is the Divine Human's Proprium

 

Proposition (a) is a logical consequence of God's Omniscience and Omnipotence.

 

Proposition (b) is a logical consequence of (a).

 

Proposition (c) is the result of influx being unconscious, which allows us to put up our own effort -- a spiritual requirement for appropriating good and truth as-if it were our own. Without this appropriation we cannot have a heavenly immortality.

 

Proposition (d) asserts that our heavenly life depends on our willingness to always act from the Divine Human's Proprium, and this willingness comes only after we do what is in (c).

 

15.3  Genes of Consciousness

 

Here is a selection from Volume 9.

Consciousness is the experience we have when spiritual light activates operations in our mental organs -- affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. Theistic psychology is based on what I call substantive dualism (see Section xx), which is the empirical description of the dual universe -- natural and spiritual. Spiritual light is a substance streaming forth from the Spiritual Sun, which all human beings can see in their unconscious mind – once it becomes conscious in the afterlife of immortality. The light contains spiritual heat invisibly hidden within it, so that in actuality, both substances enter the mind together and simultaneously. The light activates the cognitive organ, while the heat within the light activates the affective organ (see Section xx). This activation is what we experience as consciousness when we are exercising our willing and thinking moment by moment from birth to eternity.

 

We are more aware of the cognitive activation than the affective activation (see Section xx). For instance, we look around us and what is going on is meaningful -- we can make sense of it. This making sense activity is initiated and maintained by the operations in the cognitive organ which the substances of spiritual light activate there. Meaning is a vehicle for consciousness. Spiritual light is nothing else than Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Human’s Mind. It is the substance of truth that lights up the consciousness of humankind.

 

If the spiritual substances would stop streaming into our affective and cognitive organs, our consciousness would vanish and we would have no rational meaning concepts in our understanding. We would be like apes and chimpanzees, or dolphins and dogs and cats. We could have no relationship to God because God is a rational concept, and all rational concepts require meaning and consciousness. Organically viewed, animals do not have mental organs above their corporeal-sensuous mind, like we do – natural-rational, interior-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational levels of our organic mind.

 

Consciousness is therefore based on Divine Truth proceeding. But while Divine Truth can enter our mental organs it does not produce consciousness directly, like electricity that enters a light bulb and makes it light up. If this were the case we would not be human, but natural robots activated by God's mind (see Section xx). To feel human on this earth we must feel free to pursue our own desires using our own intelligence (see Section xx). God gives us this sense of individual freedom and uniqueness, but this does not mean, as some have supposed, that He departs, leaving us to our own devices, while He is watching "from a distance." This initial idea of God is later replaced by a more rational idea when one takes into account God's trinity of attributes -- omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence. Hence God cannot be not-present somewhere, and there cannot be some power or activity that is not powered by God's omnipotent powers. God’s omnipresence is to be understood rationally, not physically. The Writings say that God is present everywhere not in space “but apart from space” (AC xx). This concept needs a lot of build up in our mind before we can actually understand it spiritually (see Section xx). Quoting:

 

when an angel of heaven thinks of the Divine Omnipresence, he simply cannot think otherwise than that the Divine fills all things apart from space. What an angel thinks is truth because the light (lux) which enlightens his understanding is the Divine Wisdom. (DLW 71)

 

The writings give us the concept of "as-of self" as a rational explanation that can resolve God's omnipresence and omnipotence on the one hand, and individual freedom on the other (see Section xx). Organically viewed, God creates, maintains, and controls every object or activity in two ways -- immediate or direct control, and mediate or indirect control. Consciousness is made possible by means of God's mediate control (see Section xx).

 

Mediate control means that God gives us the real feeling of freedom as-of self. This requires that He hide His immediate control by omnipotence. We have no perception or sensation of God's control. God gives us the feeling that we are alone in our mind, hiding the vertical community of spirits that influence us, hiding also, the immediate and direct control He exercises on every event or quality in the world and in our mind. God controls what thoughts are in our mind, but indirectly, in order to preserve our real feeling of as-of self initiative and responsibility. This is what makes us human.

 

God controls what comes to our mind, moment by moment, preventing some memories from coming to the fore, bringing an outside event that will serve to take our thoughts in a certain direction, and so on. However, God's control over our mind is not like the control of an author over the characters of a novel. Characters speak only the lines of the author's mind. They do not have their thoughts and speech. But real people do because they have real consciousness.

 

God's mediate control over our thoughts is effected by means of correspondences of Divine Speech exteriorizing into the natural world as Sacred Scripture. God uses Sacred Scripture to form the mentality level of cultures and civilizations. The same method is used to form the mentality level of individuals who read Sacred Scripture as part of their religion or intellectual interest.

 

The genes of consciousness are therefore discoverable by extracting the rational structures of meaning that are hidden within Sacred Scripture.

 

In this Volume I illustrate a series of gene structures that are extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. These gene structures form the basis of our consciousness. I present dualities, trigrammatic, hexagrammatic, enneadic, and higher order gene structures extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. These gene structures form part of theistic psychology whenever they can be fully confirmed to agree with the literal meaning of the Writings (see Section xx). Until then they are to be taken as proposals for research to be confirmed or disconfirmed.

 

In Section xx, I describe how I discovered this ethnosemantic methodology a few years before I started reading the Writings. See also the article available at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/updates/lee/Section%208.1.3.html.

 

In what follows I will describe how this ethnosemantic methodology allowed me to apply systematic extraction techniques to the literal text of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The result is a clearer understanding of the rational series of truths conveyed through the Writings. I call them the genes of consciousness because they form the basic units of meaning that constitute human consciousness. These semantic units, or consciousness units, are created in our cognitive organ by the syntax of rationality that operates our thinking, reasoning, and understanding.

 

This syntax of rationality is Divine and belongs to the Divine Human's Rational Mind. What do you think would happen if the Divine Rational Mind would stop for an instant to activate and operate this unconscious operational syntax? All thinking would instantly lose coherence and become chaotic nonsense, and would cease altogether. The gene structures that create human consciousness are contained in Divine Speech and transmitted through Sacred Scripture at various levels of correspondences (see Section xx).

 

The Writings Sacred Scripture establishes and maintains the basic required dualities of rational thinking -- God and creation, Divine and Human, Good and Truth, etc. (see below). In the Writings Sacred Scripture, which is written in natural-rational correspondences (see Section xx), there are presented numerous trigrammatic concepts that establish a basic rational category system in our thinking -- [love / wisdom /use], or [creation / redemption / regeneration], etc. (see below).

 

When we place two trigrammatic systems into interaction, we form an ennead matrix of nine intersecting cells. As shown below, enneadic structures are able to map out the series of steps of regeneration described in the Old Testament as reconstructed and extracted in the Writings. Hexagrammatic structures in combination allow us to map out and categorize the varieties of mental habits and their taxonomic relations. This knowledge is critical in raising our consciousness to the celestial level of operation (see Section xx).

 

15.3.1  Duality Gene Structures

 

If you are familiar with the Writings of Swedenborg the dualities in this chart will be quite familiar.

 

FUNDAMENTAL DUALITIES IN THE WRITINGS  SACRED SCRIPTURE BASED ON
NATURAL-RATIONAL CORRESPONDENCES
Sub-group A

Divine Itself

Divine Human

Esse

Existere

Spiritual heat

Spiritual light

Love

Wisdom

Father

Son

Good

Truth

Celestial

Spiritual

Interior

Exterior

Will

Understanding

Affection

Thought

Heart.

Lungs

Source

Cause

End

Means

Goal

Plan

Substance

Form

Charity

Faith

Etc.

Etc.

 

Divine Speech establishes these absolute dualities in our mind, making them the basis of rational syntax. These are Divine truths ordering our catalogue of concepts. Whatever proposition or statement is generated by means of these revealed dualities, are rational propositions and doctrines. When we do our thinking based on revealed dualities, we are elevating our consciousness and our mentality level to the truly human level, which begins with the “inmost of the rational” (see Section xx).

 

It is useful to commit these dualities to memory. It is helpful to keep track of dualities as you read the Writings of Swedenborg. After further study, you will be able to generate lists of dualities in your thinking.

 

It is clarifying to run your eyes up and down each column and to consider what is the unifying theme for each. This will sharpen the contrast between the two series.

 

There are several sub-groupings or sub-varieties of concepts within each column. Overall there is a hidden taxonomic or ranking arrangement between the sub-groupings within each column, and ultimately, between them across columns. In other words, dualities in the Writings Sacred Scripture are arranged in rational series and catalogues. You may be familiar with Roget's Thesaurus, a well known semantic taxonomy of thousands of synonyms and antonyms in English (available online at www.bartleby.com/110).

 

The next chart shows absolute dualities that belong to various different sub-groupings:

 

DUALITIES IN THEISTIC PSYCHOLOGY
BASED ON
THE WRITINGS  SACRED SCRIPTURE

Sub-group B

Uncreate
 (having no beginning)

Created
(has a beginning)

see Section xx

Infinite

Finite

see Section xx

Genuine truth

Appearances of truth

see Section xx

Divine Human

Mere human

see Section xx

Sub-group C

Spiritual

Natural

see Section xx

Mental

Physical

see Section xx

Cause

Effect

see Section xx

Substance

Matter

see Section xx

Mind

Body

see Section xx

Sub-group D

Feminine truth

Masculine truth

see Section xx

Celestial consciousness

Spiritual consciousness

see Section xx

Inmost wisdom

Outer wisdom

see Section xx

Moral intelligence

Intellectual intelligence

see Section xx

Sub-group E

Affective

Cognitive

see Section xx

Circulatory system

Respiratory system

see Section xx

Heart

Mind

see Section xx

Feelings

Thoughts

see Section xx

Motivation

Learning

see Section xx

Tone of voice

Content of speech

see Section xx

Sub-group F

Heavenly traits

Hellish traits

see Section xx

Reformed character

Inherited inclinations

see Section xx

Willing to obey doctrine of truth

Following self-intelligence

see Section xx

Substantive dualism

Materialism & monism

see Section xx

Positive bias

Negative bias

see Section xx

 

I predict that future research in theistic psychology will succeed in creating a taxonomy of dualities in the form of a thesaurus of the "New Church mind," which is the mind of every student of theistic psychology who is using it for their character reformation and preparation for immortality.

 

We undergo reformation just before we begin regeneration (see Section xx). Reformation is the active intellectual effort of destroying all nonduality in our mind which exists there from the socialized materialistic thinking of our natural mind. During reformation, which can only begin in adulthood, we make a voluntary choice to replace all our concepts of nonduality and relativity, with the absolute dualities presented in the Writings Sacred Scripture. When this is effectively accomplished, we can begin our regeneration. We can then begin to read the Writings in a more interior way and apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment in order to extract the doctrine of truth for ourselves, by which we judge and modify our daily willing and thinking (see Section xx).

 

Absolute dualities are presented in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures, but in lower forms of natural correspondences. Here are some illustrations.

 

OLD TESTAMENT DUALITIES BASED ON
NATURAL-CORPOREAL CORRESPONDENCES

NEW TESTAMENT DUALITIES BASED ON
NATURAL-SENSUOUS CORRESPONDENCES

Heavenly

Worldly (earth)

God

Caesar

God

Creation

New man

Old man

Angel

Demon

Spirit

Body

Holy

Profane

Saved

Unsaved

Propitiation

Guilt

Jew

Gentile

Circumcised

Uncircumcised

Good

Evil

Israel

Jacob

Lamb

Dragon

Jerusalem

Jericho

Wine

Water

Speckled flock

Partly colored flock

Father

Son

Jacob

Esau

Son of God

Son of Man

Abraham

Abram

Sinning

Repenting

Sarah

Sarai

Heaven

Hell

King

Prophet

Angel

Demon

Blessings

Plagues

Sheep

Goats

Man

Woman

Resurrection

Death

Parent

Child

Righteousness

Wickedness

Sabbath

Weekday

Saved

Damned

Morning

Evening

Mental
adultery

Physical adultery

 

All the dualities in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture are included and explicated in the Writings Sacred Scripture. Semantic dualities from the Writings Sacred Scripture are the gene structures that enter into all other meaning and form the consciousness of every human being. They establish the fundamental contention points of rational thinking, that form the basis of logical argumentation (see Section xx). They establish the major themes of culture and intellectual life. They connect us to our unconscious spiritual mind. They elevate our consciousness to the spiritual level of willing and thinking. They make civilization and rationality possible. They maintain sanity and health. They create the order for all societies on earth and in heaven. They connect our natural mind to the heavens in our mind. They are the foundation of our immortality in rational ether (“spiritual world”) (see Section xx).

 

The dualities in the Writings Sacred Scripture form the highest level of abstraction in the human mind. These dualities enter as presuppositions into all spiritual concepts and are therefore the fundamental genes of meaning or consciousness out of which all other meanings and understandings are based. The dualities are frequently reinforced explicitly, or in plain meaning, in the Letter of the Writings, as illustrated in the following passage, whose content is repeated in many other passages. Quoting:

 

AC 1577

There are two things in the internal man, namely, the celestial and the spiritual, which two constitute a one when the spiritual is from the celestial; or what is the same, there are two things in the internal man, good and truth; these two constitute a one when the truth is from good; or what is also the same, there are two things in the internal man, love and faith; these two constitute a one when the faith is from love; or what is again the same, there are in the internal man two things, the will and the understanding; and these two constitute a one when the understanding is from the will. This may be apprehended still more clearly by considering the sun, from which is light. If in the light from the sun there are both heat and illuminating power, as in the springtime, all things are thereby made to vegetate and to live; but if there is not heat from the sun in the light, as in the time of winter, then all things become torpid and die. (AC 1577)

 

We can transfer the expressions in this passage into semantic equivalence sets for greater clarity and for committing to memory:

 

celestial

spiritual

good

truth

love

faith

will

understanding

heat

light

internal

external

 

You can collect these sets from various passages and cumulate them into a dictionary type listing for further study and research. Future research in theistic psychology will show how the basic dualities of the Writings operate to construct the order and syntax of rational thinking in all of humanity.

 

15.3.2  Trigrammatic Gene Structures

 

Trigrammatic gene structures were discussed in Section 4.4.7.2. Consider the following chart. First read each row across. This will locate you in the approximate area of the thesaurus of theistic psychology. This is the rational series of correspondences that create the genes of human consciousness and its syntactic structure. In this case we are looking at the trigrammatic gene structure.

 

COLUMN 1

COLUMN 2

COLUMN 3

Love

Wisdom

Use

Celestial

Spiritual

Natural

Third heaven

Second heaven

First heaven

Doctrinal things

Knowledges

Memory-knowledges

Will

Understanding

Sensory (action)

Source

Cause

Effect

Inmost

Intermediate

Outermost

Divine Essence

Divine Existere

Divine Proceeding

Creation

Redemption

Salvation

Abraham

Isaac

Jacob

Jerusalem

Assyria

Egypt

Charity

Faith

Good works

Father

Son

Holy Spirit

Divine Love

Divine Truth

Divine Proceeding

Spiritual heat

Spiritual Light

Spiritual influx

Affective

Cognitive

Scientific (sensorimotor)

Celestial-rational

Spiritual-rational

Interior-natural

Lamb

Mules

Horses

Mountains

Rivers

Springs

Ideas

Knowledge

Faith

 

Those who are familiar with the Writings of Swedenborg will recognize the above trigrammatic units as appearing everywhere and entering into numerous rational presentations and explanations. Each trigrammatic unit encapsulates a rational theme that needs to be reconstructed in the mind in order to make sense of a passage.

 

Now inspect each column separately by looking up and down. Do each column in turn. What do you notice about the overall semantic theme of each? The underlying syntactic theme (that generates the list from above) is not related to the literal content of the words in any obvious manner. So if you're looking for a relationship based on the literal meaning, you will have a hard time finding the difference, and if one does, it will be a fanciful difference rather than the real one. The content of the words in the chart above are cast in natural correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture -- corporeal (Old Testament), sensuous (New Testament) or rational (the Writings). For theistic psychology we need to extract the interior of this natural, which is called the interior-natural or spiritual-natural. This is the level of our first heaven in the new regenerated virtual organ within our natural mind (see Section xx).

 

This interior-natural can be found within the columns and across the rows, when their trigrammatic syntax is extracted and made explicit in particulars and singulars.

 

Spiritual-natural concepts cannot be rendered fully at the literal meaning level, but they can be referred to through the demonstration of patterns of relationship.

 

When these patterns become evident to you, that's when you are comprehending spiritual correspondences. It is an experience of enlightenment. You will notice that though you can't easily explain or define your higher comprehension level, yet you can think and speak from that level. The result is that your sentences sound like theistic psychology. When you are able to produce sentences of theistic psychology, the level of your understanding of the Writings Sacred Scripture is spiritual. You can then be fully regenerated and prepared for eternal conjugial happiness in the heaven of your mind, where you will be most joyous to find your soul mate (see Section xx).

 

The following visual method can be useful in better understand the underlying syntax of natural-rational correspondences.

 

15.3.3  Graphic Concepts for Trigrammatic Genes

 

Trigrammatic concepts can be used to visually show their structural relationships by drawing what I call graphic concepts of them, as illustrated in this diagram:

 

 

 

The trigrammatic series is represented visually in the form of triconcentric circles. Each graphic unit depicts one of the rows in the chart discussed just above. You can recognize them if you studied or memorized the chart. The graphic concept

 

 [ SPIRITUAL HEAT  /  SPIRITUAL LIGHT /  SPIRITUAL WORLD ]

 

visually shows that when we are thinking about the "spiritual world" we are focusing on the outmost external-rational component of that idea. We can penetrate to the interior natural level of that concept (spiritual-natural, first heaven), by considering that the spiritual world is an outward appearance created by "spiritual light" which issues from the Spiritual Sun.

 

In other words, spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun creates the spiritual world. But we also need to connect to what creates spiritual light, and this is "spiritual heat" which the graphic concept shows to be within the spiritual light. In other words, it is spiritual heat from the Spiritual Sun that appears as light. Therefore it is spiritual heat that creates the spiritual world by means of spiritual light.

 

You can comprehend this idea even more spiritually if you connect graphic concepts with each other, as for example:

 

 [ SPIRITUAL HEAT  /  SPIRITUAL LIGHT  /  SPIRITUAL WORLD ]
 [ LOVE                     / WISDOM                  / USE                            ]

 

The individual components of these two trigrammatic structures are frequently related to each other in the literal presentation of the Writings Sacred Scripture. By considering them together as graphic concepts, we add to the clarity of our comprehension of each, and we also extract a new unit they make together. In this case, we can see the following syntactic equations from the parallelism of the two trigrammatic concepts:

 

  • Spiritual heat = Divine Love
  • Spiritual light = Divine Wisdom
  • Spiritual world = Use

 

We can now further specify what we said about the first graphic concept, which was that "spiritual heat creates the spiritual world by means of spiritual light." Now we can add that it is Divine Love that creates the spiritual world by means of Divine Truth to serve as a use. This use can be specified further by adding a third and a fourth trigrammatic concept, thus building on the preceding to form a higher order doctrinal network in our understanding:

 

 [ SPIRITUAL HEAT  /  SPIRITUAL LIGHT  /  SPIRITUAL WORLD  ]
 [ LOVE                     /  WISDOM                  /  USE                            ]
 [ WILL                     /  UNDERSTANDING  /  SENSORY                   ]
 [ CHARITY             / FAITH                        /  GOOD WORKS            ]

 

This 3X4 rational series can be viewed as a spiritual-rational semantic unit. In order to express this unit in written expressions, it would take a paragraph that reads like this (look at the series as you read the paragraph):

 

Now we can see that the "use" that the spiritual world serves has to do with "good works." In order for our eternal heaven to exist we need an external sensorimotor environment that allows us to do "good works" as-of self. The inhabitants of their heavens in eternity are not idle, but busy with their occupations, good works, and uses. These overt actions in the community are the product of their understanding, activated by their will. It is the will that acts through the understanding, just as it is Divine Love that creates the world through Divine Wisdom. When the will acts from a heavenly love, it is called "charity," and when the understanding thinks with truths from the Writings Sacred Scripture, it is called "faith" or "rational faith."

 

Swedenborg says that the what the angels can express in one word would take a book to express in natural expressions. The paragraph above would have to rewritten as a Volume in theistic psychology, before it can begin to express what we can perceive with celestial-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Quoting:

angels can therefore express in a moment what a man cannot express in half an hour. Also they can set forth in a few words what has been expressed in writing on many pages. This, too, has been proved to me by much experience (HH 240).

 

By putting together a whole series of graphic concepts, you can create the basis for a deeper understanding of theistic psychology. More illustrations will be given on this useful extraction methodology.

 

15.3.4  Rational Sets of Trigrammatic Concepts

 

Trigrammatic concepts can also be used to organize concepts into rational sets relative to each other. For example in the chart below I have taken one of the trigrammatic series

 

 [ INMOST  /  INTERMEDIATE  /  OUTMOST ]

 

and used it to align other concepts from the Writings Sacred Scripture whose degree of interiorness is explicitly described in the literal meaning, usually through words relating to depth of organization, e.g., "inmosts," "outmosts," "external," "interior," "intermediate," "mediate," -- or their equivalents in terms of height: "highest," "lowest," "in between." Sometimes the identification is not explicit, but is clearly recoverable through the context and what has been said about it just before.

 

Read the Table up and down each column. The entries are listed alphabetically and not by horizontal alignments across columns, as in some of the other tables.

 

CONCEPTS OF SACRED SCRIPTURE
ARRANGED  ACCORDING TO THE TRIGRAM
 [ INMOST / INTERMEDIATE / OUTMOST ]

concepts that are
inmosts
in series

concepts that are
intermediate
in series

concepts that are
outmost
in series

Abraham
Abram
Affection
Affective
Beasts
Celestial
Celestial
Celestial-rational
Charity
Creation
Divine Essence
Divine Love
Father
Good
Interior Man
Jerusalem
Lamb
Love
Mountains
Source
Spiritual heat
Third heaven
Will

Assyria
Cause
Cognitive
Desert
Divine Existere
Divine Truth
Faith
Havilah
Intellect
Intelligence
Isaac
Isaac
Ishmael
Knowledges
Mules
Reason
Redemption
Rivers
Second heaven
Son
Spiritual
Spiritual Light
Spiritual-rational
Temptations
Truth
Understanding
Wild-Ass
Wisdom

Action
Divine Proceeding
Divine Proceeding
Effect
Egypt
Exterior Man
First heaven
Good works
Hagar
Holy Spirit
Horses
Interior-natural
Jacob
Memory-knowledges
Natural
Salvation
Scientific
Spiritual influx
Springs
Use

 

The above chart shows that one can construct a dictionary of vocabulary in the Writings with the words marked as either inmost, intermediary, or outmost (perhaps even using a color coded font for visual recognition). People using such a dictionary can build up their meaning hierarchy into rational systems that replicate the Divine Order in the literal text of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Whenever we look up the meaning of a word in such a dictionary, we can add in our mind the (color coded) depth context for that word, identifying its relational characteristic to the spiritual world and the mind -- inmost, intermediate, outmost. And, celestial, spiritual, natural. In the following case I have restricted the set to natural-corporeal correspondences from the Old Testament. The concepts have not been lined up rationally in relation to each other.

 

CONCEPTS OF SACRED SCRIPTURE ARRANGED 
ACCORDING TO THE TRIGRAMS
[ INMOST things/ INTERMEDIATE things / OUTMOST things ]
and also
[ CELESTIAL MIND/ SPIRITUAL MIND / NATURAL MIND ]

concepts that are
inmosts
in series

concepts that are
intermediate
in series

concepts that are
outmost
in series

Bread
Butter
Fat
Gold
Mountain

Oil
Wheat
Silver
 

Iron
Brass
Barley
Bitter
Fig
Fine flower
Fish
Fountain
Linen
Milk
River

Silver
Spicy odors
Water
Wine

Wood
Bronze
Fruits
Hair
Honey
Iron
Nuts
Sweet
Valley

Stone

 

Trigrammatic concepts can also be used to help contextualize and unify rational series across the levels of correspondences in the Writings Sacred Scripture. The next chart shows two steps in the extraction process. First, the Writings specify the spiritual meaning of Old Testament concepts, then, theistic psychology extracts a more interior correspondence from the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

OLD TESTAMENT
SACRED SCRIPTURE
in natural-corporeal
correspondences

THE WRITINGS
SACRED SCRIPTURE
in natural-rational
correspondences

THEISTIC PSYCHOLOGY
EXTRACTED CONCEPTS
in virtual images
of spiritual-natural
correspondences

ALTAR

worship / faith

cognitive organ

BETHEL

wisdom

upper portion of cognitive organ

BREAD

love / good

affective organ

DARKNESS

not knowing difference between good/evil & true/false

reading theistic psychology in the negative bias mode

GARMENTS

knowledges 

cognitive operations in the natural mind

GODS OF GOLD

evils / cupidities 

affective operations prior to reformation and regeneration

GODS OF SILVER

falsities 

cognitive operations prior to reformation and regeneration

GOLD

love / good

affective organ

IRON

knowledges 

cognitive operations in the natural mind

JOURNEYS

learnings 

cognitive operations in the natural mind

LIGHT

Divine Truth from the Word

extracting spiritual correspondences from Sacred Scripture

MERCHANDISE

riches & goods one acquires from the Word = knowledges

the concepts of theistic psychology that we understand

PRECIOUS STONES

 

 

knowing the Word and its secrets of wisdom

deepening our study of theistic psychology

PURIFIED SILVER

Divine truth

spiritual light activating cognitive operations that enlighten the natural mind

SHEBA

knowledges of secrets from the Word (Celestial Things)

spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences in theistic psychology

SHIPS

knowledges

cognitive operations in the natural mind

SILVER

faith / truth

knowledge of theistic psychology acquired for one's regeneration

SILVER

intelligence

extracting spiritual correspondences in Sacred Scripture

SOUTH

 intelligence

extracting spiritual correspondences in Sacred Scripture

SPICE

 

 

Trying to be good by obeying the Word (Charity)

applying the doctrine of truth to our daily willing and thinking

TENT

faith / truths

knowledge of theistic psychology acquired for one's regeneration

TYRE
(Traders of merchandise in spices & stones)

knowledges of faith in which charity descends

knowledge of theistic psychology used for one's regeneration

UPRIGHT

striving to obey the commandments in spirit & letter

extracting the scientific meaning from the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture

WATER

knowledges

cognitive operations in the natural mind

WINE

faith / truth

knowledge of theistic psychology acquired for one's regeneration

 

Dictionaries built on the model of this chart would be very useful for the study of Sacred Scripture as a source of knowledge about the human mind and the afterlife. Such dictionaries would constitute a natural-rational index of the spiritual minds of angelic spirits in the first heaven, and then beyond. If you look up and down the first column you have an idea of the level of mentality produced in our mind by natural-corporeal correspondences (= the Letter of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture). If you look up and down the second column you have an idea of the level of mentality produced in our mind by natural-rational correspondences (= the Letter of the Writings Sacred Scripture). If you look up and down the third column you have an idea of the level of mentality produced in our mind by spiritual-natural correspondences extracted from the Letter (= theistic psychology spiritually understood in our mind).

 

Trigrammatic concepts can also be used to clarify rational equivalence sets specified by the Writings. To illustrate:

 

It was stated above that by Abram is represented the Lord's internal man, or what is the name, His Divine celestial and spiritual; by Isaac the Lord's interior man, or His Divine rational, and by Jacob the Lord's exterior man, or His Divine natural. (AC 1950)

 

 

The graphic concept above is constructed out of three trigrammatic structures. All nine elements are mentioned in the sentence from AC 1950. A noteworthy feature of this graphic concept is that it shows the series of correspondences in successive order and in simultaneous order (see Section xx). Further, the first element of each trigrammatic component, shows what the natural mind reads in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture -- Abram, Isaac, Jacob The middle element of each trigrammatic component shows what the angels of the First Heaven read where these historical names appear in their text of Sacred Scripture, and the third element shows what the angels in the Third Heaven read. The three heavens in our mind are arranged in simultaneous degrees, with the Second Heaven within the First, and the Third within the Second -- just as portrayed by the triconcentric circles in the graphic concept.

 

Another example with Old Testament: concepts can be represented more succinctly, but less visually, as follows (see Ac 1964):

 

 [ Abram              /  Ishmael           /  Hagar                           ]

 [ Good of love  /  Rational truth  /  Memory-knowledges  ]

 [ inmost           /  Intermediate     /  Outmost                       ]

 [ Celestial       /  Spiritual            /  Natural                           ]

 

This graphic concept in digital form shows that "rational truth" represented by "Ishmael" has an intermediate position. It is above memory-knowledges (outmost) but below "good of love" (inmost). This inmost good cannot conjoin itself with the intermediate truth. In further stages of regeneration, this intermediate truth is replaced or infused by inmost truth, which is celestial, and this can be conjoined to the good of love (see Section xx).

 

The next example illustrates how the Old Testament expressions can also be arranged in trigrammatic sets belonging to the same rational series in a more external form. Quoting:

 

I have chosen the way of truth. I cling to your testimonies. I will run in the way of your commandments. Psalms 119:29-32

 

There are two trigrammatic concepts in this short line:

 

 [ to choose      /  to cling         /  to run in the way ]
 [ way of truth  /  testimonies  /  commandments  ]

 

The first trigram covers the three steps of obedience from love.
The second trigram refers to knowing what
principles to follow

 

This verse in the Psalms refers to the Divine Child's thoughts and feelings, as recorded through a selective set of emotions King David was inspired to write down (see Section xx). By noting the order in which the literal of Sacred Scripture juxtaposes the two trigrams of correspondences, we may be able to extract hidden properties of the mental process experienced by the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). We can see that the first trigram describes the will or the affective organ, while the second describes the understanding or cognitive organ. Further research needs to be done to establish the orientation of the trigrams with respect to height or depth. I expect for now that "to choose" and the "way of truth" are inmost. To "cling" and "testimonies" are intermediate. To "run in the way" and "commandments" are outmosts. But this has not yet been confirmed by other passages in the Writings.

 

Trigrammatic concepts can also be used in the substitution technique (see Section xx) which consists of replacing elements of one trigrammatic series with another, while analyzing a sentence from the Writings. To illustrate, let's look at the following passage from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

 

AC 12

The sixth state is when, from faith, and thence from love, he speaks what is true, and does what is good: the things  which he then brings forth are called the "living soul" and the "beast." And as he then begins to act at once and together from both faith and love, he becomes a spiritual man, who is called an "image." His spiritual life is delighted and sustained by such things as belong to the knowledges of faith, and to works of charity, which are called his "food;" and his natural life is delighted and sustained by those which belong to the body and the senses; whence a combat arises, until love gains the dominion, and he becomes a celestial man. (AC 12)

 

How would you organize the concepts discussed in this passage? A more interior meaning can be accessed by contextualizing the concepts in relation to each other, as is given in many other passages that carry the same concepts. Let us see what kind of trigrammatic series are involved here:

 

 [ love                        /  faith                           /  to speak what is true ]

 [ good                       /  true                            /  to do good                   ]

 [ delighted               /  knowledges of faith  /  works of charity          ]

 [ celestial life          /  spiritual life               /  natural life                    ]

 [ celestial combat  /  spiritual combat       /  natural combat             ]

 [                               /                                    /  body senses                  ]

 [                              /                                    /to act                                  ]

 [ likeness              /  image                        /                                            ]

 

The passage above (AC 12) contains at least five complete trigrammatic series and three incomplete ones. There is a directional component to what is being discussed, which refers to a particular phase in spiritual development, with earlier phases being discussed prior to this. The direction of the trigrammatic series shown above is from inmosts to outmosts, as discussed earlier. But in developmental series, the outmost is first in sequence. Our natural mind (outmost) has to reform before we can have any genuine spiritual life (intermediate), and this in turn must evolve before we can have a celestial life (inmost). The passage above makes the point that our spiritual life within our conscious natural mind grows by loving "knowledges of faith." This expression refers to our understanding of theistic psychology. When we love this new knowledge in our understanding, we are giving "food" to our spiritual mind within our conscious understanding (see Section xx). We are then an "image" of the Divine Human, but not yet a "likeness," which is celestial. We achieve this celestial state in the affective organ within our natural mind after a "combat" in which "love gains the dominion." The word "combat" here refers to spiritual temptations in which we compel ourselves to stick with the truth of doctrine in our mind.

 

The directional component always implies a trigrammatic series, as for instance, what is being said above:

 

from faith, and thence from love, he speaks what is true

 

which may be charted as

 

[ love ==> faith ==> speaking truth ]

 

By substitution from equivalence sets we can put:

 

[ will ==> understanding ==> speaking truth ]

 

which gives us the following sentence in relation to the original above:

 

from understanding, and thence from the will, he speaks what is true

 

This is an example of the substitution technique. The Writings illustrate and practice this technique in numerous places. Quoting:

 

It is the same whether we say influx into the will, or into the love, since the will is the receptacle of love; and it is also the same whether we say influx into the understanding or into faith, since the understanding is the receptacle of faith (AE 61)

 

It is the same whether it be said that man is such as his love is, or such as his life's delight is. (AE 159)

 

It is the same whether you say that the understanding of truth is described, or those who are in it are described (AE 355)

 

Because the mind makes the man (the mind consisting of understanding and will) it is the same whether you say the mind or the man, thus whether you say the spiritual and natural mind or the spiritual and natural man. (AE 406)

 

It is the same whether the terms will and understanding, or love and intelligence be used, since the will is the receptacle of love, and the understanding of intelligence. (DLW 430)

 

it is the same whether you say conjunction of understanding and will or conjunction of truth and good. (HH 370)

 

It is the same, whether you say truth or faith; for faith belongs to truth, and truth to faith; it also amounts to the same whether you say good or love (NJHD 35)

 

The major equivalence sets mentioned in these passages have already been established as trigrammatic series above:

 

[ good = will = love = life's delight ]

[ truth = understanding = intelligence = faith = those who are in it ]

[ mind = man =(will + understanding) ]

 

Taxonomies or dictionaries of equivalence sets from the Writings will no doubt be constructed in future research in theistic psychology. (I discuss types of equivalence sets in Section xx on the Substitution technique.

 

There are other types of trigrammatic series in the literal sentences of the Writings that future research needs to investigate by attempting to reconstruct the underlying rationale and facts embedded in the order of Divine Speech. One method of approach might be to note parallelisms through equivalence sets, as in this listing, which aligns horizontal entries appropriately in a trigrammatic concept:

 

Intention

Thought

Word or Deed

Affect

Cognition

Behavior

Love

Wisdom

Religion

attachment

Justification

buying

Aptitude

Reasoning

Intelligence

Inclination

Attitude

Choice

Impulse

Intellect

Execution

Good

Truth

Uses

Goals

Means

Effects

Will

Understanding

Action

Judgment

Evaluation

Attribution

Perception

Assessment

Response

Context

Conventions

Utterances

Inner Stimulus

Moral Reflection

Dictates of Conscience

Motivation

Cognition

Performance

Reward

Connection

Expectation

Origin

Cause

Effect

Universal

Common

Unique

Spiritual

Moral/Civil

Scientific

Love of Truth

Wisdom

Knowledge

Inmost

Intermediate

Outermost

Striving

Planning

Mapping

Celestial

Spiritual

Natural

Innate Potentials

Habits & Role Models

Personality Style

Wisdom

Intelligence

Happiness

Abram

Ishmael

Hagar

 

The following table lists additional trigrammatic series to be investigated for their underlying gene structure. I identify at least one Number in Arcana Coelestia where each trigram is discussed. The gene structure alignment for these have yet to be determined.

 

Dissembler

Hypocrite

Deceitful

AC 1273

Heard

Saw

Perceived

AC 1769

Earthly

Corporeal

Worldly

AC 1677

Died

Buried

Gathered to their fathers

AC 1854

Will offerings

Vows

Peace Offering

AC 1823

Perception

Internal dictate

Conscience

AC 1831

Representatives of truth

Significatives of truths

truths in themselves

AC 1832

Fear for life

Fear for honor

Fear for wealth

AC 1835

Hatred

Revenge

Cruelty

AC 1835

Vastation

Punishment

Condemnation

AC 1838

Reputation

Honor

Wealth

AC 1844

Simple

Mean

Of no account

AC 1844

A man

A spirit

An angel

AC 1849

Hatred

Revenge

Cruelty

AC 1861

Opaque

Black

Shapeless

AC 1869

Form

Series

Order

AC 1871

Anger

Wrath

Fury

AC 1874

Spiritual

Celestial

Divine

AC 1874

Names of men

Names of kingdoms

Cities

AC 1876

The poor

The miserable

They who have suffered persecutions

AC 1877

Earthly

Corporeal

Worldly

AC 1877

Fallacies

Persuasions

Cupidities

AC 1878

That they see

That they hear

That they feel by the touch

AC 1881

Knowing

Thinking

Understanding

AC 1901

His parents

His nurses

His companions

AC 1906

Good

Innocent

Peaceful

AC 1906

Pleasures of the world

Cupidities of the world

Evils of the world

AC 1906

Gain

Honor

Reputation

AC 1936

Suffocates

Rejects

Perverts

AC 1940

Horror

Fear

Shame

Ac 1944

Null

Resistant

Contradictory

AC 1947

Compelling evil desires

Humbling evil desires

Afflicting evil desires

AC 1947

Rebuke

Chastise

Punish

AC 1949

Clear

Distinct

Enriched

AC 1955

Beauty

Harmony

Affection of bliss

AC 1974

Honor

Gain

Reputation

AC1983

Disjunction

Destruction

Extirpation

AC 2034

Covers up

Obstructs

Defiles

AC 2039

Filthy

Obscene

Profane

AC 2121

Mercy

Peace

Good

AC 3195

 

Even though we have not yet extracted the underlying gene structure for these trigrammatic sets, it is important to keep collecting them whenever we come across them in the Letter of the Writings. Perhaps some dedicated programmer might find a way some day to identify all the sets in the sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The Writings tell us that nothing in Sacred Scripture is superfluous, frivolous, trivial, or random. It often points out duality sets in the Old Testament saying that these would be superfluous unless they are both required for the success of the extraction process (.e.g., people and nations, joy and gladness, darkness and thick darkness, etc ).

 

And the Writings also point that many historical details in the Sacred Scripture appear trivial to readers who do not know that scientific knowledge can be extracted from those seeming trivialities (e.g., "'he ungirded the camels' , "'he sat on the bed' etc.). If sets of ideas are mentioned in the sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture, like the trigrams sets above, each set must encapsulate scientific information about the gene structures of human consciousness, and much more information is encapsulated in their arrangement in series.

 

It is also useful to memorize or establish these rational sets in our memory -- in the original left to right sequence, so that when we come across sets that parallel them, we may receive enlightenment as to higher-order series that exists between them. The higher the series we can identify, the more interiorly we penetrate into the spiritual-rational features of heaven, and the Divine Human who is “the all in all in heaven” (TCR 98). The closer we come to the Divine Human in consciousness or rational meaning, the more of His good we can receive in its infinite varieties. "Good in the highest" refers to heavenly traits we possess in the mind by birth, such as the near omniscience we have in our third heaven, or the power of correspondences to move mountains, or the enjoyment and creation of celestial art forms and harmonies (see Section xx).

 

Rational sets or series, extracted from the sentences of the Writings and arranged in dictionary listings, can be taught and memorized at different mental maturity levels. For young children the sets can be put into songs and poems. Older children and teenagers can be sent on a search hunt to find more sets, and their meaning can be debated or written about. Young adults can organize the sets into higher-order systematic structures, and research their meaning in the Writings. Adults entering their regeneration can use the listings for research that requires enlightenment.

 

To know the gene structures of the mind gives us access to the causes of all phenomena, and hence to their control and management.

 

Extracting gene structures from the Writings Sacred Scripture is possible now because the method of extraction has been revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture itself, and made available to humankind. These gene structures of human thinking and consciousness, are created by Divine Speech as it exteriorizes through the layers of discrete degrees created in the human mind (see Section xx). Knowledge of them gives us the power to understand and manage the growth of the human mind in its many areas of functioning -- education, parenting, socialization, enculturation, professionalization, institutionalization, social relations, marriage, health, government, industry, art. A new celestial society could be created through the use of such knowledge by people of good will (see Section xx).

 

There are also rational series of four, e.g.:

 

Ages of Man

Infancy

Youth

Adult Age

Old Age

States of the Year

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

States of the Day

Morning

Noon

Evening

Night

States of the Church

Golden Age

Silver Age

Bronze Age

Iron Age

 

1
Celestial

2
Spiritual

3
Natural

4
Corporeal

TIMES / DAYS / AGE = MENTAL STATES

 

Or, another type of quadratic series:

 

Temptations

Oppressions

Afflictions

Servitudes

AC 1851

Contempt

Derision

Blasphemy

Profanation

AC 1878

Sight

Hearing

Smell

Touch

AC 1880

Names of kingdoms

Names of regions

Names of Cities

Names of men

AC 1888

Horses

Horsemen

Mules

Asses

AC 1949

Pre-eminence

Glory

Honor

Gain

AC 2027

Property

Honor

Reputation

Life

AC 2126

Contempt

Derision

Blasphemy

Profanation

AC 1878

 

There are also rational sets of five in n AC 1862, 1880, 1941, 1944, 2121 and there is a set of six in AC 1884. Many other word sets in the Writings will be discovered when research progresses.

 

15.3.5  Enneadic Gene Structures

 

When I first started reading the Writings in 1981, I was well prepared intellectually, having been a trained scientist since I had earned my Ph.D. in psychology in 1962 (see Section xx). Swedenborg's writing style delighted me profoundly. My approach was simple but very powerful: Never proceed to the next sentence before I clearly understand the current sentence. What amazed me is that this approach was fully workable and practical. I indeed was able to proceed from sentence to sentence with the feeling of rational clarity. Never before had I had this experience of full rational clarity, page after page, chapter after chapter, and volume after volume. It was a new giant intellectual edifice that was being built up in my mind. Other authors I read before did not have the full scope, the empirical knowledge, the rational integrity that I now was receiving from the Writings of Swedenborg (see Note 13).

 

I noted that the topics I was reading about in the Writings revolved around one main theme: the anatomy and functioning of the mind, which was described as a spiritual organ. There were two methodologies presented and carried out simultaneously. The first was direct observational reports made by Swedenborg of the spiritual world. The second was the systematic extraction from the Old and New Testaments, of scientific knowledge about mental anatomy and spiritual development.

 

Swedenborg presents no tables, charts, maps, or matrices, though he provides excellent indices and often provides by way of summary, a sequenced list of the logical arguments addressed on a particular issue. To help me keep track of the running argument, I started making lists of my own that were keyed to psychology concepts that I was used to. I summarize my findings in an article published in New Philosophy, which makes it available on the Web at: newphilosophyonline.org/journal/article.php?page=1027&issue=104b

 

It was clear to me that what I was reading in the Writings of Swedenborg constitutes a scientific revolution in my field of psychology.

 

I noticed two recurrent methodological frames in all 30 volumes of the Writings. The first meta-frame was the vertical arrangement of discrete degrees in the spiritual world, namely, natural (heaven), spiritual (heaven), and celestial (heaven). The second meta-frame was the horizontal arrangement of discrete degrees in the organic mind, named "the will," "the understanding," and "the sensory." I then made this amazing discovery. By placing the vertical and horizontal arrangement together in dynamic interaction, one obtains a 3X3 matrix of nine intersecting cells, which I call the ennead chart, reproduced below (ennead = nine). What was amazing was this: the ennead chart turns out to be an actual map of the successive phases of spiritual development that is described throughout Arcana Coelestia. I was able to mark off the zones in the margins of each volume of Arcana Coelestia, as I was reading through it -- A1, C2, S3, A2, etc -- see below.

 

I was able to plot more precisely or systematically the movement of mental states that the Divine Child went through during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). This is the mental path that was forged by Him, not only in His mind, but in the mind of every human being. The ennead map was the pathway of regeneration that every individual had to go through. I show here both the heavenly and the hellish ennead of mental states, separated by the world of spirits so that the two cannot mix but only react to each other by built in functional correspondence.

 

THE BASIC ENNEAD MATRIX IN THE WRITINGS OF SWEDENBORG

SPIRITUAL
GEOGRAPHY

MENTAL ANATOMY

SENSORIMOTOR
ORGAN
("the sensory")

COGNITIVE
ORGAN
("understanding")

AFFECTIVE
ORGAN
("the will")

CELESTIAL DEGREE
("third heaven")

S3

C3

A3

SPIRITUAL DEGREE
("second heaven")

S2

C2

A2

NATURAL DEGREE
("first heaven)

S1

C1

A1

world of spirits

natural degree
of the hells

-S1

-C1

-A1

spiritual degree
of the hells

-S2

-C2

-A2

celestial degree
of the hells

-S3

-C3

-A3

 

This basic ennead chart describes the two universal meta-levels of description in the Writings of Swedenborg.

 

The astonishing revelation in the Writings that this chart visually reveals, is the equation

 

spiritual geography = mental anatomy

 

Never before has such an amazing concept entered the science of psychology. This is the equation that Swedenborg discovered when at age 57, he suddenly found himself conscious in his spiritual mind, which is normally unconscious, and doesn't become conscious until we pass on from this world and become immortal spirits in the afterlife (see Section xx). For the first time in the history of science, a reputable and competent scientist received observational and experimental access to the spiritual world of the afterlife and eternity.

 

In the past, spiritual ideas were excluded from science and relegated to religion and theology because no reputable scientist had ever been able to have direct empirical access to such information. But now Swedenborg receives access by becoming conscious in his spiritual mind, even as he retains consciousness in his natural mind, continuing his busy life as engineer, legislator, science publisher, and traveler. For the next 27 years he writes 30 volumes of reports about his observations, experiments, and conclusions. A few months after the publication of his last volume, he passed into his afterlife at age 84 in 1772, leaving behind a valuable and unique collection that science still has to discover and explore. The making of theistic psychology is a beginning of that discovery.

 

What did Swedenborg see when he became conscious in his spiritual mind?

 

He saw the spiritual world. He explored it and met up with people he had known and had passed on. He met up with people whose names he knew from literature and the Bible. The conclusion was inevitable: The spiritual world to which the spiritual mind gives access, is the world of the afterlife. It is where all the people go when they "pass on." Later he was able to talk to acquaintances who were dying in their bed, and a few hours later, he talked to them in the spiritual world, even while he was attending their funeral on earth!

 

Swedenborg "visited" the habitations of those who have passed into their life of immortality. He found three sets of heavens and as many sets of hells. The highest plane of life was in the third heaven where the "celestial angels" lived. At a plane of consciousness below that, he found life in the second heaven where "angelic spirits" live. And in the lowest plane of life in eternity, he found the first heaven which were inhabited by "good spirits." Below the first heaven was the world of spirits which is where the operations of resuscitation take place, a few hours following the death of the body (see section xx). Below this were the discrete layers of the hells. People at death are resuscitated in the world of spirits and shortly thereafter, they enter their permanent life in eternity -- either in one of the heavens, or one of the hells.

 

This is one dimension of the topical meta-framework of the Writings, representing the objective spiritual world that Swedenborg discovered when he became conscious in his spiritual mind. This dimension may be called spiritual geography. It forms the vertical axis on the ennead chart.

 

But then there is a second dimension of topics that runs side by side with the first, and is interwoven with it. This second topical meta-framework is the organic mind of every individual inhabitant of heaven and hell in the objective afterlife.

 

Every human mind has three organic functions -- to feel, to think, and to sense. The feelings, thoughts, and sensations we experience in the different degrees of our heavens and hells are quite different and contrastive with each other. There are "heavenly" feelings and thoughts, and there are hellish. Some feelings and thoughts are angelic, while others are also good but not as pure or near in relation to the Divine Human. The ennead chart is a convenient and systematic method for representing this interaction between heaven -- the geography, and a heavenly will and understanding -- the anatomy.

 

The ennead matrix is not flat, as it appears on the page or screen. It is constructed out of two trigrammatic slices, one vertical and one horizontal. Each slice consists of the three discrete degrees, one within the other, as shown in the graphic concepts above (concentric circles). When you look at the ennead matrix, what is higher is contained in what is lower. For instance, the natural degree contains the spiritual degree which contains the celestial degree. This is the universal law that successive degrees of development are present in simultaneous order (see Section xx). Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

 

AC 1955

in the internal sense that which is within or above is expressed in the sense of the letter by "after," when that which is within or above appears in that which is without or below. (AC 1955)

 

It helps to visualize this relationship by drawing a diagram:

 

 

Quoting from the Writings:

 

DLW 205
IN SUCCESSIVE ORDER THE FIRST DEGREE MAKES THE HIGHEST, AND THE THIRD THE LOWEST; BUT IN SIMULTANEOUS ORDER THE FIRST DEGREE MAKES THE INMOST, AND THE THIRD THE OUTERMOST

 

There is successive order and simultaneous order. The successive order of these degrees is from highest to lowest, or from top to bottom. The angelic heavens are in this order. There the third heaven is the highest, the second is the middle, and the first is the lowest. Such is their relative situation. In like successive order are the states of love and wisdom with the angels there, also states of heat and light and of the spiritual atmospheres. In like order are all the perfections of forms and forces there. When degrees of height, that is, discrete degrees, are in successive order, then they may be compared to a column divided into three stages through which ascent and descent are made. In its upper storey are things most perfect and most beautiful; in the middle one, things less perfect and beautiful; in the lowest, things still less perfect and beautiful.

 

Simultaneous order, however, which consists of like degrees has another appearance. In it the highest things of successive order which are, as was said above, the most perfect and the most beautiful are in the inmost, the lower things in the middle, and the lowest on the circumference. They are as if in a solid composed of these three degrees, in the middle or centre of which are the finest parts, round about this are parts less fine, and in the extremes which constitute the circumference are the parts composed of these and which are therefore grosser. It is like the column mentioned just above subsiding into a plane, the highest part of which forms the inmost, the middle forms the middle and the lowest the outermost (DLW 205).

 

Applying this principle to the ennead chart we are discussing, the vertical and horizontal slices appear as follows.

 

The celestial degree is inmost, along with the affective organ, and the natural degree is outmost, along with the sensorimotor organ. The spiritual degree and the cognitive organ are intermediate between these two. Now see if you can see the exact relationship between the graphic representation above and the ennead chart below.

 

SPIRITUAL
GEOGRAPHY

MENTAL ANATOMY

SENSORIMOTOR
ORGAN
("the sensory")

COGNITIVE
ORGAN
("understanding")

AFFECTIVE
ORGAN
("the will")

CELESTIAL DEGREE
("third heaven")

S3

C3

A3

SPIRITUAL DEGREE
("second heaven")

S2

C2

A2

NATURAL DEGREE
("first heaven)

S1

C1

A1

 

15.3.6  Mapping the Divine Child's Mental States

 

The ennead matrix can be helpful in following the details of the rational argument presented in a passage of the Writings Sacred Scripture. It is a formal framework that helps to unify the underlying topical fabric of the Writings. First, read the following passage and see if you can follow the argument. After this, I will refer to the ennead matrix, charting each concept in the passage that refers to a mental state. The passage presents an analysis of a verse in the Old Testament.

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 3030.

"Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land." [Genesis 24:5]

That this signifies a doubt of the natural man concerning that affection, as to whether it was separable, is evident from the signification of "woman," as being truth, here from the natural, which was to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational. And as all conjunction is effected by means of affection (as was said above, n. 3024), so by "woman" is signified the affection of that truth: and also from the signification of "going after" or "following me unto this land," as being to be separated from the natural and conjoined with the rational; for "land" here as above (n. 3026) is the good of love that is of the rational. That there is doubt is seen from its being said, "Peradventure she be not willing."

 

[2] From what has been said above, it is evident what is involved in these words, and in what follows to verse 8, and further; and in order that these things may be better understood, we may say a few words more. The genuine rational is from good, but comes forth [existit] from truth. Good flows in by an internal way; but truth by an external way. Good thus conjoins itself with truth in the rational, and they cause the rational to be. Unless the good therein is conjoined with truth, there is no rational; although there appears to be, because the man can reason (n. 1944). This is the common way in which the rational is formed with man.

 

[3] As the Lord was born like another man, and as it was His will to be instructed like another man, so did He will to make His rational Divine in a similar way, namely, as to good by influx from His Divine by the internal way, and as to truth by influx through the external way. When therefore the rational as to good had been so far formed as to be in a state for receiving truth (which is meant by the words in the beginning of this chapter, "Abraham being old was come into days, and Jehovah blessed Abraham in all things," by which is signified when the state was at hand that the Lord's Human should be made Divine, and when all things should be disposed into Divine order, as may be seen above, n. 3016, 3017), there next follows that truth is to be conjoined with the good of the rational, and this, as before said, by the common way, that is, by means of memory-knowledges and knowledges from the natural man.

 

[5] These are the things contained in this chapter, namely, how truth, called forth from the natural man, was to be conjoined with the good of the rational; and as the good there was Divine, how the truth there should also be made Divine. To man these things (especially to one who does not know that the rational is something distinct from the natural, and who therefore does not know that the rational is formed successively, and this by knowledges) are very obscure, so that they are not understood; but still they are among things easily understood by those who have any knowledge concerning the rational and the natural man, and who are in enlightenment. The angels see them all as in clear day.

 

[6] Some idea of them may be obtained from what has been said and shown above, namely: That the rational as to truth is formed by influx into memory-knowledges and knowledges (n. 1495, 1563, 1900, 1964): That it is not born from these two kinds of knowledges, but from the affection of them (n. 1895, 1900): That these two kinds of knowledges are only vessels for good (n. 1469, 1496): That empty memory-knowledges must be destroyed (n. 1489, 1492, 1499, 1500): That in the rational, the affection of good is as a soul in the affection of truth (n. 2072): What is the affection of rational truth, and of the truth of mere memory (n. 2503): That by knowledges the external man is conjoined with the internal, that is, the rational man with the natural, when knowledges are being implanted in things celestial, which are those of love and charity (n. 1450, 1451, 1453, 1616).

 

Now here is the same passage with the ennead markings noted. Quoting from the Writings (with chart locations added):

 

AC 3030

"Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land." [Genesis 24:5]

That this signifies a doubt of the natural man [C2 or -C2] concerning that affection [A1 or A2], as to whether it was separable, is evident from the signification of "woman," as being truth, here from the  natural [C1], which was to be conjoined with the Divine good of the rational [A3]. And as all conjunction is effected by means of affection [A1, A2, A3} (as was said above, n. 3024), so by "woman" is signified the affection of that truth [A2 / C2 interaction]: and also from the signification of "going after" or "following me unto this land," as being to be separated from the natural [A1 + C1 + S1]and conjoined with the rational [A2 + C2 + S2]; for "land" here as above (n. 3026) is the good of love that is of the rational. That there is doubt is seen from its being said, "Peradventure she be not willing."

 

[2] From what has been said above, it is evident what is involved in these words, and in what follows to verse 8, and further; and in order that these things may be better understood, we may say a few words more. The genuine rational [C2] is from good [A2], but comes forth [existit] from truth [C2]. Good [A2] flows in by an internal way; but truth [C2] by an external way. Good thus conjoins itself with truth in the rational [A2 + C2]l, and they cause the rational to be [A2 + C2 + S2]. Unless the good therein is conjoined with truth [A2 / C2 interaction], there is no rational; although there appears to be, because the man can reason [C1] (n. 1944). This is the common way in which the rational is formed with man.

 

[3] As the Lord was born like another man, and as it was His will to be instructed like another man, so did He will to make His rational Divine [C2 ==>C3]] in a similar way, namely, as to good [A2] by influx from His Divine by the internal way [A3], and as to truth [C2] by influx through the external way. When therefore the rational as to good [A2] had been so far formed as to be in a state for receiving truth [C2] (which is meant by the words in the beginning of this chapter, "Abraham being old was come into days, and Jehovah blessed Abraham in all things," by which is signified when the state was at hand that the Lord's Human [A1 + C1 + S1] should be made Divine, and when all things should be disposed into Divine order [A3 + C3 + S3], as may be seen above, n. 3016, 3017), there next follows that truth [C2] is to be conjoined with the good [A2] of the rational, and this, as before said, by the common way, that is, by means of memory-knowledges and knowledges from the natural man [C1].

 

[5] These are the things contained in this chapter, namely, how truth [C2 <==C1], called forth from the natural man, was to be conjoined with the good of the rational [A2]; and as the good there was Divine [A2<==A3], how the truth there should also be made Divine [C2 <==C3]. To man these things (especially to one who does not know that the rational [A2 + C2 + S2] is something distinct from the natural [A1 + C1 + S1], and who therefore does not know that the rational is formed successively, and this by knowledges) are very obscure, so that they are not understood; but still they are among things easily understood by those who have any knowledge concerning the rational and the natural man, and who are in enlightenment. The angels see them all as in clear day.

 

[6] Some idea of them may be obtained from what has been said and shown above, namely: That the rational as to truth is formed by influx into memory-knowledges and knowledges [C1<==C2] (n. 1495, 1563, 1900, 1964): That it is not born from these two kinds of knowledges, but from the affection of them [A1==>C1<==C2] (n. 1895, 1900): That these two kinds of knowledges [C1] are only vessels for good [A1==>C1](n. 1469, 1496): That empty memory-knowledges [C1 or -C1]must be destroyed (n. 1489, 1492, 1499, 1500): That in the rational, the affection of good [A2] is as a soul in the affection of truth [A2'] (n. 2072): What is the affection of rational truth [A2], and of the truth of mere memory [C1] (n. 2503): That by knowledges the external man [C1] is conjoined with the internal, that is, the rational man [A2 + C2 + S2] with the natural A1 + C1 + S1, when knowledges [C1] are being implanted in things celestial [A3], which are those of love and charity (n. 1450, 1451, 1453, 1616).

 

Now here is a summary list of the markings and the expressions used for them in the text:

LITERAL EXPRESSIONS IN THE WRITINGS
SACRED SCRIPTURE
AC 3030

THESITIC PSYCHOLOGY
LOCATION ON THE
ENNEAD CHART

doubt of the natural man

C2 or -C2

concerning that affection

A1 or A2

truth, here from the natural

C1

Divine good of the rational

A3

affection

A1, A2, A3

affection of that truth

A2 / C2 interaction

the natural

A1 + C1 + S1

the rational

A2 + C2 + S2

genuine rational

C2

good

A2

 truth

C2

Good by an internal way

A2

truth by an external way.

C2

 Good thus conjoins itself with truth in the rational

A2 + C2

the rational to be

A2 + C2 + S2

good therein is conjoined with truth

A2 / C2 interaction

reason

C1

make His rational Divine

C2 ==>C3

good

A1, (A2, A3)

Divine by the internal way

A3

truth

C2, (C1. C3)

the rational as to good

A2

truth

C2, (C1, C3)

the Lord's Human

A1 + C1 + S1

Divine order

A3 + C3 + S3

 truth

C2 (C1, C3)

 good of the rational

A2

memory-knowledges and knowledges from the natural man

C1

truth

C2 <==C1

the good of the rational

A2

good there was Divine

A2<==A3

truth there should also be made Divine

C2 <==C3

rational

A2 + C2 + S2

natural

A1 + C1 + S1

truth is formed by influx into memory-knowledges and knowledges

C1<==C2

not born from these two kinds of knowledges, but from the affection of them

A1==>C1<==C2

knowledges

C1

vessels for good

A1==>C1

empty memory-knowledges

C1 or -C1

affection of good

A2

affection of truth

A2

affection of rational truth

A2

truth of mere memory

C1

knowledges of the external man

C1

rational man

A2 + C2 + S2

the natural

A1 + C1 + S1

knowledges

C1

implanted in things celestial

A3

 

Here are some further illustrations of how we can use the ennead matrix to track the particulars of what is being described about mental states. As you read the paragraph, try to follow the movement on the ennead chart. I reproduce it here, with a few equivalence concepts added (see Section 9.0.1.2).

 

SPIRITUAL
GEOGRAPHY

MENTAL ANATOMY

SENSORIMOTOR
ORGAN
("the sensory")

COGNITIVE
ORGAN
("understanding")
TRUTH
SPIRITUAL THINGS

AFFECTIVE
ORGAN
("the will")
GOOD
CELESTIAL THINGS

CELESTIAL DEGREE
internal man

S3

C3
celestial truth
celestial faith

A3
celestial good
celestial love

SPIRITUAL DEGREE
interior man

S2

C2
spiritual truth
spiritual faith

A2
spiritual good
spiritual love

NATURAL DEGREE
external man

S1

C1
natural truth
natural faith

A1
natural good
natural love

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

There are two things in the internal man, namely, the celestial and the spiritual, which two constitute a one when the spiritual is from the celestial; or what is the same, there are two things in the internal man, good and truth; these two constitute a one when the truth is from good; or what is also the same, there are two things in the internal man, love and faith; these two constitute a one when the faith is from love; or what is again the same, there are in the internal man two things, the will and the understanding; and these two constitute a one when the understanding is from the will.  (AC 1577)

 

The "internal man" refers to the celestial degree (A3, C3, S3),and contains "the celestial and the spiritual" (A3, C3). "Good" in the "internal man" refers to A3. "Truth" in the "internal man" refers to C3. Further, A3 and C3 "constitute a one" when "the truth is from the good," that is, C3 <== A3. In other words, when C3 (celestial truth) is from A3 (celestial good). Or, which is the same, when celestial faith (C3) is from celestial love (A3). and also, when celestial understanding (C3) is from celestial will (A3).

 

Additional examples may be given:

 

"Affections of the natural man" (AC 1909) refers to zone A1.

 

"Hagar signifies the life of the affection of memory-knowledges in the exterior man" (AC 1960) refers to zone A1 in relation to zone C1.

 

"Abram signifies the Lord's internal man" (AC 1960) refers to zones A3, C3, S3.

 

Quoting AC 3162 with ennead zones added:

 

And it came to pass that when Abraham's servant [A1, C1, S1] heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth unto Jehovah," signifies a perception of joy in the natural man [A1] "and the servant brought forth vessels of silver and vessels of gold, and garments," signifies truth [C1] and good [A1], and their adornments [S1]; "and gave to Rebekah," signifies which then were for the affection of truth [A1]; "he gave also precious things to her brother," signifies spiritual things [A2, C2, S2] thence for natural good [A1]; "and to her mother," signifies for natural truth [C1] also; "and they did eat and drink," signifies the appropriation of good and of truth thus initiated; "he and the men that were with him," signifies which are in the natural man [A1, C1, S1]; "and they passed the night," signifies its peace [S1]; "and they rose up in the morning," signifies a degree of elevation; "and he said, Send me away unto my lord," signifies the affection of conjunction."

 

Access the underlying structure of the Writings Sacred Scripture is facilitated by teaching yourself to label the expressions you encounter in the sentences you are reading, as illustrated above. It is also useful to collect them into a type of dictionary listing as illustrated below, and to review them frequently and commit them to memory.

 

Ennead Chart Zone

Reference in AC

Affection of good

A2

3030

Divine good of the rational

A3

3030

Heifer

A1

1827

Internal man

A3,A2 & C3,C2

1577

Natural of the external

A1 & C1

1577

Natural truth

C1

3162

She-goat

A2

1827

Turtle-dove

C1

1827

Affection of rational truth

A2

3030

Young pigeon

C2

1827

 

15.4  Unity Model of Marriage

 

The ennead chart has numberless applications because it is a mental gene structure created by the Divine Child's mental activity during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). Whatever the Divine Child created in His Natural Mind was simultaneously being created in the mental organs of every human being in both worlds.

 

Every human being born since then, also has these new mental gene structures. These new evolutionary organic structures that were to be created by the Divine Child in His natural mind, were described in extraordinary detail in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, many centuries before the Divine Child was born. This was shown in the previous Section. Evidently, it serves the Divine Human's purpose to have His Divine Speech create Sacred Scripture that gives historical details of an ancient people. And it serves His purpose to bring about the details of these historical events in such a way that their spiritual correspondences, when extracted, will give a precise scientific description of the mental states He was to go through during the Incarnation Event, which was to occur hundreds of years later. How absolutely astonishing! The truth of this was confirmed in the previous Section, and in many other places in the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

Hence it is that the human genes of consciousness are organically structured into an enneadic shape constructed out of slices of trigrammatic concepts, as demonstrated in the Sections leading up to this one. Everything that humans do, think, sense, and feel will be constructed out of these dualities and trigrammatic series, because they form the syntax of thinking, of meaning, and of human consciousness. These gene structures are extractable from Divine Speech in the Writings Sacred Scripture when applying the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Sections xx).

 

Applications of the ennead structure are described in several of the Volumes (see Sections xx). The following application to the marriage relationship illustrates the sequence of mental states and interactions of a husband and wife as they grow through the stages of preparation for conjugial love (see also Section xx). Every husband goes through these nine zones of sequenced experiencing. Every individual may become convinced of this by the evidence of their own self-witnessing observations in daily activities (see Section xx).

 

Study the ennead below. Do you recognize it? Do you see the trigrammatic slices with which it is constructed?

 

↑  Read Chart from Bottom Up ↑

THE MODEL HUSBANDS USE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE WIFE

THREEFOLD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
MIND
external
organ
NATURAL

COGNITIVE
MIND
intermediate organ
SPIRITUAL

AFFECTIVE
MIND
inmost organ
CELESTIAL

level 3
UNITY
MODEL

 

Natural-Rational
Mentality of the
Writings Sacred Scripture

7
rational
sensorimotor
acts

8
rational
cognitive
processes

9
rational
affective
states

level 2
EQUITY
MODEL

 

Natural-Sensuous
Mentality of the
New Testament Sacred Scripture

4
sensuous
sensorimotor
acts

5
sensuous
cognitive
processes

6
sensuous
affective
states

level 1
DOMINANCE
MODEL

 

Natural-Corporeal
Mentality of the
Old Testament Sacred Scripture

1
corporeal
sensorimotor
acts

2
corporeal
cognitive
processes

3
corporeal
affective
states

 

The psychodynamics of spiritual growth is governed by the interacting slices of trigrammatic concepts in the vertical and horizontal axes. For instance mental states in zone 2 are the result of a husband's level 1 dominance model mentality, which is operating in his sensorimotor mind. Note that that this is the lowest of the three discrete portions or degrees of the sensorimotor mind (below zones 4 and 7). The mental operations of zone 2 are therefore named corporeal cognitive processes in the husband's mind. Two forces create the psychological conflicts and issues in this phase of mental growth. One is the natural-corporeal mentality of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. The other is the organic properties of the cognitive mind, which is an intermediate organ -- higher than the sensorimotor mind but lower than the affective mind. In terms of the graphic concepts discussed in the previous Section, the affective is inmost or highest, the cognitive is intermediate, while the sensorimotor is external. Hence also, the cognitive is called spiritual, which is in discrete degrees in between the lower natural and the higher celestial.

 

Let's look at the trigrammatic slices that make up the marriage ennead above.

 

The vertical slice contains this complex trigram series:

 

 [ DOMINANCE                 /  EQUITY                      /  UNITY                        ]
 [ OLD TESTAMENT        /  NEW TESTAMENT    /  THE WRITINGS         ]
 [ LEVEL 1                       /  LEVEL 2                      /  LEVEL 3                     ]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 [ NATURAL DEGREE  /  SPIRITUAL  DEGREE  /  CELESTIAL DEGREE ]
 [ EXTERNAL MAN      /  INTERIOR MAN            /  INMOST MAN               ]
 [ FIRST HEAVEN        /  SECOND HEAVEN      /  THIRD HEAVEN             ]

 

The three trigrams above the dotted line are explicitly stated in the ennead above. The three trigrams below the dotted line are taken from the ennead charts in the previous Section describing the Divine Child's mental progression. The ultimate goal of the Divine Child was to achieve a unity between His natural mind grown on earth and his spiritual mind from eternity. In the Writings Sacred Scripture, forming this unity is called the Divine Marriage.

 

The Divine Child had to create the mental pathway for His thoughts and feelings that would take His natural mind grown on earth, to be able to form a unity with Himself from eternity -- a process called "Glorification of the human born in time." In other words, the Divine Child's natural mind born in time and grown on earth, was to be made one with His eternal and infinite Mind. The result would be a new ability of human beings to appropriate to themselves the Divine Human's mental states. This constitutes a giant step forward in the biological evolution of the human mind and the new consciousness or experiences it affords (see Section xx).

 

Hence it is that a husband and wife in preparation for their eternal marriage, must go through the same enneadic series of mental states that was created by the Divine Child when achieving the Divine Marriage in Himself ("Glorification"). Furthermore, the same enneadic movement of mental states applies to the marriage within our mind between the will and the understanding represented on the horizontal dimension of the marriage ennead above. This marriage within each individual is called regeneration (see Section xx). You can see from this that the series of mental states in individual regeneration recapitulates the series of mental states in Divine Glorification. The two are connected like cause and effect (see Section xx).

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 397

There is nothing more important to know than how the will and the understanding make up one mind.

 

They do so, just as good and truth make one, for there is a marriage between the will and the understanding similar to that between good and truth,

 

The facts about to be cited concerning good and truth will make clear what sort of a marriage that is; namely, that just as good is the very being (esse) of a thing, and truth is its coming-into-being (existere) as a result, so in a person his will is the very being of his life, and the understanding is the coming-into-being of his life as a result. For good belonging to the will takes on form in the understanding and becomes visible. (TCR 397)

 

If you look at the horizontal dimension of the marriage ennead above you will detect this trigram, above the dotted line:

 

 [ SENSORIMOTOR MIND  /  COGNITIVE MIND      /  AFFECTIVE MIND        ]
 [ NATURAL DEGREE       /  SPIRITUAL DEGREE  /  CELESTIAL DEGREE  ]
 [ EXTERNAL ORGAN      /  INTERIOR ORGAN     /  INMOST ORGAN           ]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 [ SENSORY                    /  UNDERSTANDING         /  WILL                             ]
 [ USE                             /  TRUTH                             /  GOOD                            ]
 [ LIFE                           /  EXISTERE (BECOMING)  /  ESSE (VERY BEING)    ]
 [ VISIBLE                    /  FORM                                 /   SUBSTANCE                ]

 

The trigram below the dotted line is from the passage being quoted on the will and the understanding (TCR 397).

 

The marriage ennead can be contextualized by putting the two shaded trigrams together:

 

[ DOMINANCE              /  EQUITY                        /  UNITY                              ]
[ OLD TESTAMEN       /  NEW TESTAMENT      / THE WRITINGS                ]
[ LEVEL 1                    /  LEVEL 2                       /  LEVEL 3                            ]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ NATURAL DEGREE  /  SPIRITUAL DEGREE  /  CELESTIAL DEGREE      ]
[ EXTERNAL MAN      /  INTERIOR MAN           /  INMOST MAN                    ]
[ FIRST HEAVEN        /  SECOND HEAVEN     /  THIRD HEAVEN                 ]

 

===========================================================

 

[ SENSORIMOTOR MIND  /  COGNITIVE MIND      /  AFFECTIVE MIND        ]
[ NATURAL DEGREE      /  SPIRITUAL  DEGREE  /  CELESTIAL DEGREE  ]
[ EXTERNAL ORGAN     /  INTERIOR ORGAN       /  INMOST ORGAN          ]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ SENSORY                   /  UNDERSTANDING         /  WILL                               ]
[ USE                           /  TRUTH                              /  GOOD                              ]
[ LIFE                          /  EXISTERE (BECOMING)  /  ESSE (BEING)                 ]

 

This trigram puts all the basic gene structures together to form a navigational plane for mental states as they develop from external to internal, that is, from lower to higher.

 

Now we need to add relationship content within each of the nine zones of mental states in marriage. The next ennead chart characterizes the husband's relationship style in each of the nine zones. Each zone contains mental states specific to it that are different from the mental states of the other zones. The differences are produced by the interacting gene structures in the vertical and horizontal axes that define each zone uniquely.

 

↑  Read Chart from Bottom Up ↑

THE MODEL HUSBANDS USE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE WIFE

THREEFOLD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

level 3
UNITY MODEL
Rational Mentality
-------

 

Relationship at the PARTICULAR
 LEVEL

zone 7
rational
sensorimotor
acts

 

-------
e.g., husband's physical movements are coordinated to wife's

zone 8
rational
cognitive
processes

 

-------
e.g., husband discovers and always strive to agree with wife's opinions and justifications

zone 9
rational
affective
states

 

-------
e.g., husband always strives to align his feelings or desires to match his wife's feelings

level 2
EQUITY MODEL
Sensuous Mentality

 

-------

 

Relationship at the PERSONAL
 LEVEL

zone 4
sensuous
sensorimotor
acts

 

-------
e.g., husband's physical movements are competitive with wife's

zone 5
sensuous
cognitive
processes

 

-------

 

e.g., husband knows but often disagrees with wife's opinions and justifications

zone 6
sensuous
affective
states

 

-------

 

e.g., husband alternates between giving in and opposing wife

 

 

level 1
DOMINANCE MODEL
Corporeal Mentality

 

-------

 

Relationship at the GENERAL
 LEVEL

zone 1
corporeal
sensorimotor
acts

 

-------

 

e.g., the wife's movements are directed by the husband using force, threat, or intimidation

zone 2
corporeal
cognitive
processes

 

-------
e.g., the wife knows the husband's prerogatives and is expected to submit to them under fear of retaliation

zone 3
corporeal
affective
states

 

-------

 

e.g., the partners' interactions are governed by the expectations of tradition that is male dominant

 

The ennead above helps us to distinguish more clearly the kind of relationship that married partners are in when they model their behavior in accordance with the three levels of mentality on the vertical axis. A "model" refers to a person's meta-framework in justifying what they are doing or thinking. Many husbands start marriage in the "dominance model" mentality (level 1), move on to the equity model in how they treat their wife (level 2), and may later adopt the unity model to govern all interactions with their wife (level 3).

 

The corporeal mentality of the dominance model (level 1) involves the husband at a general level of himself, thus more distant to his wife than the mentality in the equity or unity models. The husband relates to his wife at a general level. He is willing to participate in physical and mental intimacy with his wife, but only at the external or outward level of self -- how he appears to her in behavior and attitude. Inside however, what he actually thinks and feels may be the opposite -- he may disagree with her and belittle her in his own mind. When a husband governs his interactions from a male dominant tradition, he restricts his relationship to his wife to a general level that is not yet personal (level 2 mentality).

 

But when a husband regulates his interactions to conform to the equity model (level 2), the married partners can interact at the personal level, independently of tradition and family. They get closer to each other mentally, not just physically. They get to know each other's opinions and preferences and they take turns agreeing with one another as a way of maintaining peace and avoiding warfare. Their relationship is at the personal level and can get more and more personal, but it cannot get to be all encompassing, involving every particular aspect of their personality and social make up. Husbands prefer to remain at a certain distance in their intimacy in many areas. For instance, they insist on having areas of "legitimate" independence from their wife-- e.g., how they think about certain things like politics or religion, what is the best and what the next best of something is, what friends and hobbies they are allowed to have separately from each other, etc. There are also various interaction settings that husbands claim as their male prerogative. Society tends to support them while their wives have to put up with it. That's a feature of the equity model.

 

All the negotiated agreements and mutual allowances of independence in the equity model, are banished when the husband moves up to the unity model of interaction (level 3). The rational mentality of this model prompts the husband to be intolerant of any independence from his wife. He strives to eliminate in himself any love, affection, desire, or goal that is antagonistic or independent of the wife's desires and goals. In this way they are immersed in a mutual love that expresses itself as the constant striving or motivation by each, to make the other one happy through what one can do for them. When the husband chooses to disagree with his wife, he is breaking his unity model, rejecting conjugial union.

 

The Writings Sacred Scripture declare that women have a built in psycho-biological propensity for the unity model in marriage. It is the husband who needs these ordered series of mental steps represented by the ennead chart. Men are born with a propensity for independence, and this causes them to resist the unity model until they become enlightened through theistic psychology, that is, through their doctrinal study of the Writings Sacred Scripture and a love for the unity model (see the Doctrine of the Wife in Section xx).

 

In the dominance model of interaction (level 1), the wife is persuaded to make the husband happy by doing things for him the way he wants and directs. This is a general level of relationship based on a corporeal or physicalistic mentality (level 1). In the equity model (level 2) the two partners take turns doing for the other what is wanted or requested. This is a personal level of relationship based on sensuous appearances that each partner gives to the other about oneself. In the unity model of rational mentality (level 3), the husband is enlightened spiritually to realize that perfect marriage unity depends on exchanging his independent loves and goals for joint loves and goals. He thus acquires a conjoint self that is dependent, compatible, and integrated with his wife. In this way, out of two separate individuals, they become one conjoint individual. This is the highest state of life humans can reach in which they are stable, happy, wise, useful, and productive beyond anything possible otherwise.

 

Let's look at some of the developmental pathways that are available on the ennead chart.

 

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THE MODEL HUSBANDS USE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE WIFE

THREEFOLD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
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