Theistic Psychology: 
The Scientific Knowledge of God
Extracted from the Correspondential Sense
of Sacred Scripture

Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004
Revised and extended 2007

For Permissions Note and Conditions of Use see Volume 18

The Topical Index to All Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18 :
    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic 

See also Lectures Notes on Mental Anatomy in Theistic Psychology

This is Volume 9

The Genes of Consciousness
in Spiritual Development

 

(version 48b)

 

9.0    Geography of the Spiritual World = Anatomy of the Mind

            9.0.1    Discovering The Genes of Consciousness in Sacred Scripture

                            9.0.1.1    Duality Gene Structures

                            9.0.1.2    Trigrammatic Gene Structures

                                                9.0.1.2.1    Graphic Concepts for Trigrammatic Genes

                                                9.0.1.2.2    Rational Sets of Trigrammatic Concepts

                            9.0.1.3    Enneadic Gene Structures

                            9.0.1.4    Hexagrammatic Gene Structures

                                                9.0.1.4.1    Mapping the Divine Child's Mental States
                                                9.0.1.4.2    Using the Ennead Chart to Map the Mental Steps to
                                                                            Unity in Marriage

9.1    Models of Spiritual Development Based on Sacred Scripture

            9.1.1    Extracting Theistic Psychology Concepts From the Writings Sacred Scripture

                                9.1.1.1    The Literal Meaning and the Extracted Meaning

            9.1.2    The Scientific Meaning of Heaven

                                9.1.2.1    Heavenly Robotics -- In the Image and Likeness of God

            9.1.3    The Divine History of Theistic Psychology

                                9.1.3.1    Individual Spiritual Development Recapitulates New Church History
                                9.1.3.2    New Church History and Degrees of the Mind

            9.1.4    The Double Ennead Matrix -- Plotting Spiritual History and
                                    Individual Development

            9.1.5    The Law of Recursiveness in the Growth of Consciousness

            9.1.6    The As-of-self or Proprium

            9.1.7    The Phases of Consciousness in Theistic Psychology

            9.1.8    The Birth of the Rational--The Beginning of Being Human

            9.1.9     The Doctrine of the Church and Theistic Psychology

            9.1.10    Stages of Development in Theistic Psychology

            9.1.11    Levels of Extraction from Sacred Scripture

                            9.1.11.1    List of Additional Diagrams in Theistic Psychology

            9.1.12    The Two Heresies Possible in Relation to De Hemelsche Leer

            9.1.13    What About the Dangers of Literalism

            9.1.14    What is Theistic Psychology

            9.1.15    Spiritual Styles of Writing

            9.1.16    Intellectual Content in Relation to Degrees of Consciousness

            9.1.17    Religious Phases of Behavior in Relation to Consciousness

            9.1.18    Rational Consciousness is within Sensual Consciousness

            9.1.19    Embedded Progression of the Six Degrees

            9.1.20    The Four Ages of Ancient History

            9.1.21    Summary Statements of the Style of Writing of Sacred Scripture

            9.1.22    Spiritual Stumbling Blocks in Theistic Psychology

            9.1.23    How to Use Spiritual Geography Maps

            9.1.24    The Harmonizing Matrix

            9.1.25    Jacob's Ladder

                            9.1.25.1    Descending and Ascending Paths

            9.1.26    The Affective Mind, Cognitive Mind, and Sensorimotor Mind

            9.1.27    Successive and Simultaneous Relations

                            9.1.27.1    First Step: Infancy Period of Regeneration

                            9.1.27.2    Second Step: Childhood Period of Regeneration

                            9.1.27.3    Third Step: Adolescence Period of Regeneration

                            9.1.27.4    The Inversion

                            9.1.27.5    Fourth Step: Young Adulthood Period of Regeneration

                            9.1.27.6    Fifth Step: Adulthood Period of Regeneration

                            9.1.27.7    Sixth Step: Old Age Period of Regeneration

            9.1.28    Psycho-Dynamic Movements in Regeneration

            9.1.29    The Negative and Positive Bias in Thinking--Crossing from
                                                Sensuous to Rational Consciousness

 


The Topical Index to All Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18 :
    www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic 


9.0  Geography of the Spiritual World = Anatomy of the Mind

Theistic psychology is based on substantive dualism (see Section xx). It involves a distinction we must make about matter and substance. Substance from the Spiritual Sun acts, while matter from the physical sun reacts. Another way of thinking about this is that the phenomena in the spiritual world (which are made of substance) is the cause of the phenomena in the physical world (which are made of matter). Hence spiritual or mental substance acts upon natural or physical matter, and never the other way round. Matter is the effect, while spirit is the cause. What happens in the physical body is the consequence of what happens in the mental world -- our feelings, thoughts, and sensations. This is the perspective of substantive dualism (see Section xx).

All causes originate and exist in the spiritual world, and these control or cause all corresponding phenomena in the physical world. For example, if we observe the various instinctual physical behaviors of animals, our mind can formulate an idea about the spiritual causes of each behavior. The Writings reveal thousands of such correspondences, so that by studying them, we can begin to recognize them in our mind and in our regeneration process.

A consistent theme in the Writings is the idea that the spiritual world and the mind overlap. In other words the mind is the spirit and the spirit lives in the spiritual world. The spiritual world of our mind is not existent in place and time, like the physical world where our body is. This is the answer to the mind-body conundrum that has puzzled every generation of psychologists and philosophers since Aristotle. The puzzle is solved when we know that we are dual citizens (see Section xx). Our body is born and exists in the physical world while our mind is born and exists in the spiritual world. The two are connected by built in correspondences from creation. These laws of correspondences were known to the ancients, and those among them who were expert at knowing them, were called "wise"--thus like a doctor in Philosophy in our days ( the "Ph.D. Degree").

To say that the mind overlaps with the spiritual world, is more than to say that our mind lives in the spiritual world.

"Overlap means that when the spiritual world is described, the mind is also described. This reality is the basis for "spiritual geography." For example, in Swedenborg's numerous travels "in the spirit," he visited different societies of spirits. To be "in the spirit" means that Swedenborg was conscious of what his spiritual mind was experiencing,

When we are resuscitated in the world of spirits, a few hours after death, we are called "spirits." Swedenborg watched thousands of people "pass on" and being awakened as spirits (see Section xx). The "spirit" is nothing else than the mind, which was connected to the physical body. Much has been written in the literature about the mind over thousands of years. To my knowledge no one has ever known that the mind has a shape. People think of the mind as shapeless. Materialistic science and education have people believe that the mind is in the brain and from the brain. Have you ever thought about the shape of your mind?

What did Swedenborg see when he saw thousands of spirits awakening in the world of spirits? The shape he saw them in is the shape of the human mind. And what did he see?

He saw people just the way they appear on earth. They wore clothes, they walked, they shook hands and embraced, they ate, danced, slept, engaged in sex activity, gathered in groups, lived in cities, were involved in occupations. How is all this possible in the world of spirits where there is no space, time, or matter?

You can understand this rationally if you think about your familiarity with dreams. Imagine for a moment that you are in your dream and are having dinner with your family in a restaurant on top of a mountain. Now imagine that you are actually in your dream, being the you that you are dreaming about. From your perspective inside the dream, what is happening around you is reality. You can actually hear the waiter asking for the order, taste the food, talk to your kids at the table, and see the mountain top view outside the window. Now the question: What is the food made of that you are tasting?

And in general, what is the dream made of, that is, the objects in the dream? Where is the space coming from as you walk around or look at the scenery? We can ask the same questions about something you are day dreaming about, or imagining, or expecting. The answer is that your mind gives you the ability to create objects, space, and characters, whenever you want to and have a desire to do so. The spiritual world is no different in this respect. Swedenborg got used to this in the course of his years of experiencing in the world of spirits. It is so normal that it slips into the background of one's life as a spirit. Whatever spirits see around them are nothing but natural correspondences for their spiritual thoughts and feelings. For instance, spirits awaken from their resuscitation process and walk away. What is in their mind? They want to see people. Suddenly they find themselves in the midst of people. Now they want to eat. Suddenly they find themselves in a restaurant ordering food. Everything around them is instantly created by the thoughts and feelings of those who are co-present. Jointly they are mentally projecting into their external mind what they feel in the internal mind.

The external mind of the spirit is used to sensory input into the body, as on earth. Therefore that is what the spirit is experiencing -- a spirit body that feels solid and is able to experience sensation far more exquisitely and intensely than the physical body on earth. This is something Swedenborg was able to discover when he compared his sensations in the natural and spiritual mind. IN the natural mind he received sensory input form the physical body. In his spiritual mind he received sensory input from the spirit body. The latter was pure and open ended, while the former was mixed with physical matter, which absorbs and deadens sensations. More details on this topic can be found in Section xx.

All this makes rational sense when you remember that the spiritual world = the mental world (see Section xx). Our mind is born and lives forever in the spiritual world, that is, the mental world. There is only one mental world, and it is called the spiritual world of the afterlife and eternity. Eternity is in a mental world, not physical. At first this sounds strange because we have been educated in materialistic concepts which are time-bound, space-bound, and matter-bound. From this physicalistic perspective, what we call mental and rational appear as less solid, less real than matter itself. So when we hear that there is a spiritual world, that it is our mental, world, and that it is our immortality -- we are not very enthusiastic about the idea. Why not?

Because to live forever in a mental world is to be nothing but a dream, something unreal -- so one imagines from a materialistic perspective. Most people get the idea from their religion that eternity or immortality is to be lived in the physical world, when the world is recreated. But this is not rational. All things created or recreated on this earth, or any other earth, must be temporal, not eternal. The only eternal that exists is the eternal in our mind. As people progress in their thinking from materialistic ideas to dualist ideas, they begin to understand that since eternity is perfect, and since it is in the mental world, then what is mental must be far more real and solid than what is physical, impure, temporary.

This spiritual or mental body is the mind in its own human shape.

In its mental body the mind is immortal and indestructible because it is made of spiritual substances, unlike the physical body which is made of temporary matter.

In fact, the physical body has its shape by being an image of the mind in a solid and crude form. While the physical body deteriorates with time and gets old, the mind does not because it is perfect and immortal. The natural mind appears to lose abilities as the person gets old, but this is only a reflection of its close ties to the physical body. The spiritual mind does not have any ties to the physical world and it doesn't get old but stays forever young. When spirits first awaken after resuscitation, the mind-body they project outwardly in correspondence appears similar to the body they had on earth. People who knew each other on earth can in fact recognize each other in the world of spirits. But a little while later, when we reach the process of the second death (see Section xx), people then seem to themselves to arrive at their final dwelling place in eternity -- either in the heaven of their mind, or in the hells of their mind. Those who dwell in the heavens project a young appearance of themselves, such as they had at late adolescence, but more perfect and without flaws. But those who enter their hells, project a dreadful and deformed image of themselves, which progressively worsens as their feelings get more outrageous and thoughts become more insane.

The physical body has its human shape from the mind, which is in the human shape itself. When liberated form the ties to the physical body, the mind for the first time appears in its own perfect human shape -- lacking nothing in terms of external limbs and internal organs, all made of immortal spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). The mind has the human shape because it is an image of the Divine Human Mind which has always been in the Human shape, from eternity to eternity and without beginning. This is why it is that whatever the Divine Human created has this human shape in some respects. The human mind is most like the Human mind of God and in the human shape with all its limbs and internal organs. Everything whatsoever that is part of our mind and shape, is modeled after the Divine Human.

In fact, the mind has several discrete layers, and each layer is in the full human shape. Our third heaven is in the human shape, and so is our second heaven, and our first heaven. The entire universe is in the human shape. The infinite Divine Love and Divine Truth in the Divine Human, also have the human shape. When you consider plants, their human shape is more abstractly represented, as from the fact that they have an external bark which corresponds to our skin and bones; and from the fact that they have an inner portion where the sap is contained, which corresponds to our mental organs where our thought and feelings are located. And so on. Even rocks and atoms represent the human shape in terms of their parts and functions.

Since God has the Human shape from eternity, with all its parts and functions, He incarnated into a human fetus and child as Himself in His own form  (see Section xx).

Swedenborg described three levels of societies he encountered in the spiritual world. He called these the First Heaven, the Second Heaven, and the Third Heaven. The highest heavenly societies or the Third Heaven, were inhabited by people who on earth had their consciousness opened to the celestial-rational degree. The middle heavenly societies or the Second Heaven, were inhabited by people who on earth had their consciousness opened to the spiritual-rational degree. The lowest heavenly societies or the First Heaven, were inhabited by people who on earth had their consciousness opened to the interior natural degree or spiritual-natural. These three heavens had their corresponding hells. The intermediate "space" between the lowest heaven and the first of the hells ("Lower earth"), is called the world of spirits.

This organization by degrees of the spiritual world, overlaps perfectly with the organization by degrees of the mental world, or mind (spirit). This is the foundation for substantive dualism -- namely, the basic equation

spiritual geography = mental anatomy

as explained above.

Spiritual geography depicts the four "directions" in the spiritual world as directions of character in one's habits and inclinations. The geography of the environment around spirits is a natural correspondence of the character of consciousness of the inhabitants in each region in relation to the Spiritual Sun, which remains fixed. When Swedenborg traveled to different regions of the spiritual world, he did so by changing his own mental states to accord with the mental states of those he wished to communicate with. Geography of the spiritual world therefore is nothing else than anatomy of the mental world -- the two overlap completely and are the same.

So the human mind is organized in levels of height and our life on earth in the physical body determines the level to which our consciousness will rise. Thereafter, our life in eternity is an outcome of the height in rational mentality that we achieved. Our conscious life, or self, experiences the phenomena at the level that is active in our mind. The inhabitants of the highest level of the mind are called celestial, and their power and happiness so exceeds the inhabitants of the second level (spiritual), that the highest of the spiritual could not comprehend a single thought or idea from the lowest of the third level. Moreover, a single experience as actually felt and sensed by the lowest of the celestial individual, would annihilate the highest and best of the spiritual inhabitants, like our body would be annihilated if brought close to the sun.

Similarly, the lowest of the spiritual inhabitants were so vastly superior to the highest of the inhabitants in the interior-natural heaven (first), that the inhabitants of the natural heaven cannot comprehend a single idea of the inhabitants of the spiritual heaven (second). Such is the amazing difference in our life at different levels of consciousness. We are not fully human until we reach the celestial-rational consciousness. Spiritual geography is the method of drawing maps of the mind for the purpose of understanding and cooperating with our regeneration. Regeneration is the process by which our consciousness is opened to higher degrees while we are in the physical body. After we leave the physical body we can no longer be transferred to a higher degree than what our mind (or spirit) has been prepared for. This is why it is so crucial that we comprehend the process of how regeneration takes place, so that we may cooperate. This cooperation is the reciprocal conjunction with God, which is what gives us eternal life in our heavens.

From the extracted scientific sense of Sacred Scripture as the source, theistic psychology is informed about many crucial facts about human development. My work on the genes of consciousness presented in this Volume illustrates how predictive research in theistic psychology can be carried out (see Section xx).  The content is based on the research notes that I have kept since 1981 when I first started reading and studying the Writings of Swedenborg. These notes and articles have been available on the Web since 1997 (see Readings). 

Mental development is the same as spiritual development because spiritual = mental (see Section xx).

The burden of proof of this research is to show that we can construct systematic charts that accurately describe the phases of mental development and the spiritual dynamics that controls them. These charts are mental maps we can use to localize our mental states in daily life. We can see the territory we must travel in order to regenerate our character from being hellish by birth to becoming heavenly by rebirth (see Section xx). To "be reborn" refers to the act of elevating character reformation to the rank of a "ruling love," which is a dominant motivation in everything that we do in daily life.

For example, if, as a young person, you have the ambition to become rich, you elevate this motivation to a ruling love status. You will spend as much time as you can at it -- thinking about it, studying various ways of doing it, looking at successful models, reading and talking about it, and so on. Or, suppose you decide you want to make the Olympic team in your athletic endeavor. You will spend time, money, focus, energy, preparing yourself for it. Alcoholics and addicts constantly think about the substance they want and how they can get it, being willing to risk health, liberty, and life. These are just some of the ruling loves or dominant motives in people's lives.

Now at some point in every person's adulthood there comes a time in mental development when one elevates character reformation as a ruling love or dominant motive. That's the beginning of regeneration and the initial phase is called "rebirth" and is marked by a dedication for religious self-examination and self-evaluation. If the motive for character reformation is not religious, it is not called "rebirth" or "spiritual."

The phase of "rebirth" or "reformation," involves patterns of dynamic interactions that can be identified and localized through the systematic mental charts I am proposing. For constructing the mental charts of development I use an ethnosemantic nomenclature based on a system of three components as the basic meaning unit (see Section xx). I call this a trigram. Mental progressions are delimited by trigrams in sequence and combination. A "light" trigram and a "dark" trigram placed into semantic interaction,  constitute a "hexagram" which is the basic unit of cultural meaning. Two hexagrams placed into interaction create "argument registers" within delimited cultural areas. Examples include politics, instruction, advertising, theater, law, science -- each has its own proper discourse and justifications. People who don't know these sub-cultural registers of talking and thinking, cannot properly or successfully function in them.

The principal ethnomethodological components of ethnosemantics are the trigram, the hexagram, and the ennead matrix of nine intersected zones (see Section xx). I developed these methodological notions several years prior to finding the Writings and studying them (see Section xx). As I was becoming familiar with the Writings I noticed that they present various systematic series of mental events. There are no diagrams or charts in the Writings, and I was able to better follow these complex patterns described verbally, when I translated them into visual charts and matrices (see Section xx). That is when I discovered that the patterns referred to fit nicely with the ethnosemantic patterns I had discovered on my own in my research in ethnomethodology, ethnosemantic, and applied psycholinguistics.

The patterns of meaning in the Writings Sacred Scripture fit the cultural semantic units of society because the latter are produced by the former. In other words, Divine Speech through Sacred Scripture produces human mentality levels. The evolution of consciousness in the human race is under the same system control as individual mental development, hence one recapitulates the other (see Section xx). The syntax of cultural meaning in a civilization is framed and set by the syntax of spiritual meaning in Sacred Scripture. In this volume I report my findings regarding this common cause between the units of Sacred Scripture and the units of mental development. These units are the genes of human consciousness.

The human mind is a spiritual organ constructed out of the substances of the Spiritual Sun that stream across the rational ether that is the human mind. (see Section xx). There is only one spiritual world, that is, only one mental world (see Section xx). Therefore the same one Spiritual Sun is in every human mind (see Section xx). The mind is an organ with several layers or portions, each constructed and functioning in its own discrete layer of operation or function (see Section xx). Two substances issue from the Spiritual Sun -- spiritual heat and spiritual light (see Section xx). The substance of spiritual heat is the life force or power that animates the human mind and every created object in the universe (see Section xx). It is called Divine Love.

This substance of spiritual heat -- or, love -- is covered over or hidden in relation to created things and the human mind. Spiritual light covers spiritual heat in the way that light from the earth's natural sun covers over the physical heat that is within it. You can feel the heat on your arm and face but you can't see it. You can only see the light, but you remember that there is heat in it when you imagine the sunlight on your face or arm. Of course, in winter time the heat of the sun is hidden so deeply within the sunlight that we can't feel it though we may have the sun shine on our cold face. Spiritual heat, or love, is hidden within spiritual light, or truth, and therefore the conscious active visible operation in our mind is that of truth, while love is relatively in obscurity, mostly outside the reach of our conscious awareness.

This situation is totally reversed when we become spirits at our resuscitation, a few hours after our mind is cut off from contact with the physical body at its death (see Section xx). We awaken in our spiritual mind which previously was unconscious. And the conscious natural mind we had in everyday living is quickly rendered unconscious. As spirits conscious in our spiritual mind, our life is far more intense and absorbing than it was in our natural mind while tied to earth. In the spiritual mind, the affective organ completely dominates the cognitive organ. In the natural mind, the cognitive retains relative independence from the affective.

There is a significant biological change we undergo when our consciousness is moved from the natural mind to the spiritual mind. The natural mind receives all its sensory input externally, through the brain and nerve endings throughout the physical body. The spiritual mind receives all its sensory input internally, through its affective organ. The affective organ is activated by the reception of spiritual heat, while the cognitive organ is activated by the reception of spiritual light. This is similar to the way a green leaf receives sunlight on its surface cells, which activates in them the operation of the photosynthetic pigment called chlorophyll, essential for its function. At the same time, the deeper layer of cells in the leaf, stem, branch, and roots, receive the heat that is within the sunlight in the spring and summer. This heat activates in them many of the biochemical operations that maintain a plant alive.

The Divine Proceeding substances of the Spiritual Sun form a one in the Divine Human, who may be seen appearing inside the Spiritual Sun as a bright aura. But when the Divine Proceeding enters the human mind the heat and the light are separated in reception. Due to their construction, the spiritual heat is receivable only by the affective organ and the spiritual  light is receivable only by the cognitive organ. The activation in the affective organ is felt subjectively, or experientially, as love in its endless varieties of forms or qualities -- affections, inclinations, attractions, aversions, urges, motives, intentions, sentiments, perceptions. You can see from this list that it is the affective organ, also known as "the heart," that gives us the heat of love and the passion of excitement and enthusiasm. On the other hand, the cognitive organ is relatively cool, even cold, like the freezing sunny days of winter and late fall.

This separation or relative independence of the cognitive and affective organs is a special characteristic of our split-brain race called the "spiritual race" in the Writings Sacred Scripture. The most ancient race on this earth is called the "celestial race" and their brain was not split like ours is, into the right brain and the left brain. Swedenborg was the first modern scientist who came to the conclusion that the right and left hemispheres had different functions. base this conclusion on the anatomical evidence discovered by 17th and 18th century scientists. Swedenborg correctly identified the left brain with the mental cognitive function of thoughts and the right brain with the mental affective function of feelings.

Mental growth or spiritual development in our current spiritual race is entirely different than what it is in the celestial race. Though the celestial race had died out long ago, Swedenborg was able to visit with those who dwell in the immortality of their heavens. He referred to their mentality or consciousness as "the Most Ancient Church" that lived on this earth long prior to the era of the ancient times known as the Old Testament civilization. The celestial mind is united in its affective and cognitive organs, while the spiritual mind is divided or disunited. This mental organic distinction is responsible by correspondence for the united brain vs. the split-brain.

Mental development among the celestial people proceeded by means of the regeneration of the affective organ which simultaneously effected the regeneration of the cognitive organ, since the latter was united to the former. The opposite developmental process goes on with the spiritual split-brain race. The cognitive organ must be regenerated first by means of spiritual light or rational truth. Meanwhile the affective organ continues to distort and filter the spiritual heat or love that it receives. In other words, the conscious understanding (cognitive organ) can be reformed by means of doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (spiritual light) that we take up into our memory-knowledges (see Section xx). After reformation is completed or nearly completed, we begin to experience the motivation to put the doctrine into practice in our life. Then for the first time, our affective organ begins to be respond or react to the incoming spiritual heat or love.

Love = good (see Section xx), which means that the affective operations activated by spiritual heat gives us the objective power of "changing our minds" or modifying our inherited character. The collection of affective traits or usual operations in our affective organ is called our character. This is the same as the hierarchy of our affections (see section xx). Spiritual heat, which is love or goodness in their endless variety or qualities, now add themselves to the affective operations in proportion to the truths of doctrine that we formed for ourselves from Sacred Scripture. The more we have knowledges of truth from theistic psychology, the more goodness and ability we can receive in the affective organ when activated by spiritual heat.

As this process of mental growth continues, the affective organ filled with good, and the cognitive organ filled with truth, can be united. When this is achieved, from being spiritual, we become celestial. This means that we are capable of living our life from rational loves. This is the true human life (see Section xx).

The passage below summarizes the 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 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.

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 (see Section xx). 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 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 be good, are from ourselves, from our 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 that our willing is good ( = having good will or good intentions).  And we attribute to Him that our  thinking is true ( = 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 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 and swept out to sea 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. We begin to doubt that the Divine Psychologist is really really with us in our mind. Maybe it's just a way of talking about it that could be helpful. Maybe I don't really need to change. 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 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 immorality. 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 here, 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 -- up to the heavenly layers of our mind, or down 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 of God -- which includes the desire and striving to comply with God's Commandments and the doctrine of truth we extract from Sacred Scripture. We can go through the motion 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 effort in daily willing and thinking. All our concepts and justifications must be actually revised to conform to the doctrine of truth we have extracted from 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 appearance or in personality, but there will be no change of character, hence no actual rebirth, no regeneration, no preparation for heavenly life in immortality. When we resuscitate a few hours after death, we enthusiastically launch ourselves into the wickednesses in our hell where we establish permanent residence (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 consider 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. 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 spiritual 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 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 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 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.

One of the ways we resist cooperating with our Divine Psychologist is to hang on to the idea that we 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 stages of spiritual growth continue in the world of spirits after our resuscitation (see Section xx). After our "second death," when we permanently enter our heavenly state, we are given the sensuous consciousness of influx, actually "perceiving" that our decisions are operated by the Divine Human, 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 sensuous 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.

(7) In summary:

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).

 

9.0.1  Discovering The Genes of Consciousness in Sacred Scripture

Consciousness is the experience we have when spiritual light activates operations in our mental organs -- affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. Theistic psychology is based on 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 inhabitants can see. The light contains spiritual heat, so that in actuality, both substances enter the mind. The light activates the cognitive organ, while the heat activates the affective organ (see Section xx). This activation is what we experience as consciousness.

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 spiritual substances activate there. Meaning is a vehicle for consciousness. Spiritual light is nothing else than Divine Truth. It is the substance of truth that lights up our consciousness.

If the spiritual substance would stop streaming in, 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 natural mind, like we do -- rational, spiritual, and celestial levels of our organic mind.

Consciousness is therefore based on Divine Truth. 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 angelic 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." But this is later replaced by a more rational idea when one takes into account God's trinity 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.

The writings give us the concept of "as-of self" as a rational explanation that can resolve God's 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 existence 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 extracted from 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 when they can be fully confirmed to agree with the literal meaning of the Writing (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 constitutes human consciousness. These semantic 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). Sacred Scripture establishes and maintains the basic rational 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 a 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 through 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).

9.0.1.1   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, which begins with 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, as we manage our lives every day. I have described what this arduous task consists of in Volume 1 of my book A Man of the Field available here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/sexuality.htm  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 and apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment to extract the doctrine of truth 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 Party 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

Semantic dualities from Sacred Scripture are gene structures that enter into all other meaning in consciousness. 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 an 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 (see Section xx).

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

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 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.

9.0.1.2  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 it.

Now inspect each column separately by looking up and down. Do each column in turn. What do you notice about the overall syntactic theme of each? The syntactic theme is not related to the 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. 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 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.

9.0.1.2.1  Graphic Concepts for Trigrammatic Genes

Trigrammatic concepts can be used to show their structural relationships by drawing 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 component of that idea. We can penetrate to the interior of that concept 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 these equations from the parallelism of the two trigrammatic concepts:

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:

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

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 Sacred Scripture, it is called "faith" or "rational faith."

Now go back to the diagram and see if you can see these relationships as you look up and down and sideways.

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 methodology.

 

9.0.1.2.2   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 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 there are no horizontal relations 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. 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, we can add the context for that word, identifying its relational characteristic to the spiritual world and the mind -- inmost, intermediate, outmost. And, celestial, spiritual, natural. IN this case I have restricted the set to natural-corporeal correspondences form the Old Testament:
 

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 from Sacred Scripture to theistic psychology. 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 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 Diving 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.

Trigrammatic concepts can also be used to clarify 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 in the Writings. 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, Jacob, Isaac. 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 as follows (see Ac 1964):

[ Abram             / Ishmael             / Hagar                           ]

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

[ inmost            / Intermediate    / Outmost                        ]

[ Celestial        / Spiritual            / Natural                           ]

This graphic concept 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).

And another example:

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 the emotions King David wrote about (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.

How would you organize the concepts discussed in this passage? A deeper 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 is a 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

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 sentence above as

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

This is an example of the substitution technique. The Writings mention this technique in numerous places:

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 form 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:

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 Hagar Ishmael
     

Here are 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:

       
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 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 Sacred Scripture, like the trigrams above, it must encapsulate scientific information about the gene structures of human consciousness.

It is also useful to memorize or establish these sets in 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 between them. The higher the series we can identify, the deeper we penetrate into the rational features of heaven, and the Divine Human. The closer we come to the Divine Human in consciousness or rational meaning, the more 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 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 work 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 Sacred Scripture is possible now because the method of extraction has been revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture, 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.

 

9.0.1.3  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.

The topics I was reading about 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 I was used to. Here is one example which I included in an article published in New Philosophy, a General Church theistic science publication. The article is available at: newphilosophyonline.org/journal/article.php?page=1027&issue=104b

Arcana Coelestia Numbers (AC)

Divine Providence Numbers (DP)

Cognitive science

1460; 1636; 1725; 3035; 3128; 3224; 3512;5075; 6199; 8885

Abortion

324

Dream Analysis

6319

Classical
conditioning

118

Scientific dualism

8882; 8904

Darwinism

183; 206; 232; 233; 298

Ethnomethodology

3092; 3167

Emotional contagion

296; 327

Gender differences

1468; 1469; 1484

Gestalt psychology

279; 314

Genetic culture

6323; 6344

Humanism

117

Genetics

3469; 8042

Individual
differences

298; 327

Interior memory

1504; 2256; 2474; 2492; 3223; 9683

Laws of learning

227; 326

Neuro-physiology

2252; 2786; 2796; 4325; 4410; 4326; 6200

Mental health

2; 265

Pedagogy

1255; 1495; 1542; 1895; 2533; 5126; 6368; 10057; 10076

Neuro-physiology

195; 220; 297; 314; 319; 379

Phenomenology

1526; 1532; 1542; 2994

Psychobiology

181; 195; 196; 227; 279; 308; 314; 319; 326

Pragmatism

1163; 2475

Spiritual psychology
& empiricism

153; 156; 168; 181; 196; 197; 209; 265; 278; 279; 298; 299

Psychobiology

1533; 2016; 2025; 2796; 3161

Psychology & religion

254; 299; 300; 326; 327

Psychotherapy

1440; 1504; 1584; 1585; 1947; 2260; 2474; 2733; 2892; 3223; 3509; 4063; 5044; 6225; 6324; 5044; 8478

Unconscious

168; 184; 206; 251; 296

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 may be called the ennead chart, reproduced below. 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 the precise 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.

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

The 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

(also discussed in Section 9.0 above).

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. These spiritual ideas were excluded from science and relegated to religion and theology because no reputable scientist had direct empirical access to the 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 traveller. 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 the 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. A plane below 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 topic-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 (discussed just below).

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 mind of every inhabitant of heaven and hell.

Every human mind has three organic functions -- to feel, to think, and to sense. The feelings, thoughts, and sensations of those who live in the different degrees of heaven and hell must be 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.

Here it is again. Try to memorize it so that you are able to reproduce whenever you want. You will be using it throughout the rest of this volume, and in other volumes. It is a basic methodological tool that helps you understand theistic psychology.

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

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. 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.

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.

You no doubt recognize the diagram as a graphic concept discussed in the previous Section above in relation to trigrammatic sets of concepts. Applying this principle to the ennead chart we are discussing, the vertical and horizontal slices appear as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

9.0.1.4.1  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 chart, charting each concept in the passage that refers to a mental state. The passage presents an analysis of a verse in the Old Testament.

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 are my markings.

Be sure to look at the ennead chart while reading the markings. For your convenience I reproduce the upper half of the chart in a smaller font:. Quoting from the Writings (with chart 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

SPIRITUAL
GEOGRAPHY
MENTAL ANATOMY
SENSORI-
MOTOR

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

 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 EXPRESSION IN THE WRITINGS SACRED SCRIPTURE
AC 3030
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 31 62 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."

Here is another illustration of how the ennead chart clarifies the mental dynamics being described in the sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. Try to map the motion of the sentences to the ennead chart. The topic has to do with how our conscious natural mind ("external man") is put under the correspondence control, or harmony, of the unconscious spiritual mind ("internal man"). This is called "to be united." When we achieve this mental reorganization, or reformation,  we are progressing in our regeneration or spiritual growth. consequently we are preparing for our "ascension" to the heavenly layers of our mind (levels 2 and 3 in the ennead chart). The form of the chart below has been altered by merging the cells vertically. The symbol   ((A3))(A2)A1   is used to indicate this merger in the affective organ, and likewise with the other two organs. The passage discusses some of the details of this organic merger or "unition."

Quoting from the Writings:

AC 1577

[3] From all this it is evident what constitutes the internal man [A3, C3, S3]; and what constitutes the external thence appears. In the external man all is natural [A1, C1, S1] for the external man itself is the same as the natural man. The internal man is said to be united to the external when the celestial

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))(S2)S1 ]
celestial truth
---------------
spiritual truth
[ ((C3))(C2)C1]
natural truth
celestial good
---------------
spiritual good
[ ((A3))(A2)A1]
natural good
SPIRITUAL DEGREE
interior man
NATURAL DEGREE
external man

 spiritual of the internal man [A3, C3] flows  into the natural of the external [A2, C2], and makes them act as a one [(A2)A1 ]. As a consequence of this the natural also becomes celestial ((A3))(A2)A1 and spiritual ((C3))(C2)C1, but a lower celestial and spiritual; or what is the same, the external man becomes celestial and spiritual, but a more external celestial and spiritual. (AC 1577)


What are we to think of when we read the phrase "but a more external celestial and spiritual"?

It is challenging to make it clear to ourselves what distinctions are drawn here in Sacred Scripture. We know that Divine Speech contains these particular concepts as they are put together, in order to allow human beings to extract the scientific details that are not available in the literal sense. We need therefore to apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment in order to form for ourselves higher genes of rational consciousness that can elevate to our rational heavens of eternity -- for this is what forms the upper portion of our mind.

At this very moment as you are reading this, the upper portions of your mind are in eternity, not here on earth! Now the issue is -- how do we get ourselves up there, from down here. This is what the paragraph above discusses. The Divine Human is talking to us about this subject because it is about the method of "ascension" that He has organically created in every individual's mind to go from the natural consciousness and life (level 1), to the celestial consciousness and life (levels 2 and 3).

The lower portion of your mind is the conscious natural mind (level 1). Each level of the mind has discretely different types of mental operations. The merger or "uniting" of the levels in the mind is accomplished by correspondence control or harmony. In order to see this more clearly, we can picture this successive progression in simultaneous order, using the graphic concepts methodology discussed earlier (see Section xx):

The diagram above depicts the resulting mental state when the "internal man" is "united" to the "external man." You can see that the affective operations in the natural mind ('natural good" A1) contains within itself the affective operations in the spiritual mind ("spiritual good" C2), which contains within itself the affective operations in the celestial mind. The visual portrayal of concentric circles one within the other, indicates that they are harmonizing in order by means of correspondences. The feelings and intentions we have in our daily activities (A1), our willing sequences moment by moment, are now in correspondence with the spiritual good (A2), or love, that is in our unconscious spiritual mind. This spiritual willing and intending is aligned in correspondences with the celestial willing and intending (A3). The whole person is now integrated. The same is the case with the cognitive organ (C3, C2, C1). The two organs cannot act on their own but only together, which is why the graphic concepts are shown to overlap.

What is the difference in the quality of operations at the three levels? For details see Section xx.

Continuing with the rest of passage from AC 1577:

[4] The internal man [levels 2 and 3] and the external [level 1] are altogether distinct, because celestial [level 3] and spiritual [level 2] things are what affect the internal man, but natural things [level 1] are what affect the external. But though distinct, they are still united, namely, when the celestial spiritual of the internal man [A3,A2 and C3,C2]  flows into the natural of the external [A1 and C1] , and disposes it as its own. (...)

[5] I(...) as there are two things in the internal man, namely, the celestial and the spiritual, which as before said make a one, so also are there in the external man, its celestial being called natural good [A1], and its spiritual natural truth [C1]. "Let there be no contention between me and thee," has reference to good, meaning that the good of the internal man should not disagree with the good of the external man [A3, A2 and A1] ; and "Let there be no contention between my herdmen and thy herdmen," has reference to truth [C3, C2 and C1], meaning that the truth of the internal man should not disagree with the truth of the external man. (AC 1577)

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 illustrate 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
etc.    

9.0.1.4.2   Using the Ennead Chart to Map the Mental Steps to Unity in 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 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

THREEFO0LD 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 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.

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 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            ]

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

[ 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

THREEFO0LD 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 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 both agree to some "legitimate" independence -- 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 various interaction settings that husbands claim as their male prerogative. Society tends to support them and 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 differences between them. He strives to eliminate any love, affection, desire, or goal that is antagonistic or independent of the wife's desires and goals. In this way they have 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.

The Writings Sacred Scripture declare that women have a built in 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 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 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 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.

  Read Chart from Bottom Up

THE MODEL HUSBANDS USE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE WIFE

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

zone 7
sensorimotor
unity (SU)

zone 8

cognitive
unity (CU)

zone 9
affective
unity (AU)

EQUITY

zone 4
sensorimotor
equity (SE)

zone 5
cognitive
equity (CE)

zone 6
affective
equity (AE)

DOMINANCE

zone 1
sensorimotor
dominance (SD)

zone 2
cognitive

dominance (CD)

zone 3
affective
dominance (AD)

Note the progression in path 1,4,7. What is the difference between sensorimotor behavior as it rises from dominance to equity to unity? Similarly for the cognitive behavior of husbands -- path 2,5, 8. How does their thinking change as they progress from cognitive dominance to cognitive equity to cognitive unity? In the same way, how does affective dominance differ from affective equity and affective unity -- path 3,6,9?

You need to observe the threefold self of partners to know specifically what kind of interaction occurs in each of the nine zones. Observing yourself, or self-witnessing, is a powerful way of learning to understand the psychological dynamics that is operational in each zone. Understanding this allows you to accurately assess the depth of your relationship as a couple. This leads to greater satisfaction as well as influence over the course of your marital relationship. It also helps you understand the behavior of other couples like parents and friends. It can also guide you in raising children, helping prepare their threefold self with habits that insure receptivity to unity marriage (or "conjugial love" -- see Section xx)..

It helps to know some dynamic elements of the nine zones. Here is the chart with some further paths illustrated.

  Read Chart from Bottom Up

THE MODEL HUSBANDS USE IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE WIFE

THREEFO0LD SELF

SENSORIMOTOR
(external)

COGNITIVE
(internal)

AFFECTIVE
(inmost)

UNITY

7b
zone 7
SU
7a ------>

<------8b
zone 8

CU
8a------>

<------ 9b
zone
9
AU
9a

EQUITY

4b
zone 4
SE
4a------>

<------ 5b
zone
5
CE
5a
------>

<------ 6b
zone 6
AE
6a

DOMINANCE

1b
zone
1
SD
1a
------>

<------ 2b
zone 2
CD
2a ------>

<------ 3b
zone 3
AD
3a

Consider the dominance phase -- zones 1, 2, 3. The two married partners begin their life of conjunction at the bottom of zone 1 marked 1a. Sensorimotor dominance (SD) is shown by the fact that they act physically with each other according to culture and tradition. This normally means that the husband sets the pace for their physical interactions and the wife submits or complies. While this is going on, the partners also go through the phase of cognitive dominance (CD) marked as 2a. This shows by the way the husband's ideas and decisions take precedence over the wife's. While this is going on, the partners also undergo the phase of affective dominance (AD) marked as 3a. This shows by the way the husband's will is imposed on the wife's. She is expected to take care of his feelings and well being while she has to put her own feelings in the background.

The pattern 1a ------> 2a ------>  3a  is  followed by the inverse pattern  3b ------> 2b ------>  1a.  The first pattern is not as clear as the second pattern. For instance the cognitive dominance in zone 2a is not yet fully connected to the affective dominance in 3a. It is just building up. The pattern 3b ------> 2b ------>  1a is fully mature and established because the sensorimotor dominance is justified by the cognitive dominance, and this is fully supported by the affective dominance. The husband at this point will not budge on any of the issues he defines as his prerogative as a man. At this point the relationship is "vastated" or "consummated" at the dominance phase. No further growth is possible unless the husband decides to move into the equity model. He now has to define his interactions with his wife in terms of zone 4a -- sensorimotor equity in the initial phase.

Husbands may make this move for several possible reasons. They are exposed to more modern and less traditional ideas. They agree to go along with some of the wife's demands or requests. They become more spiritual and realize that the wife has human rights he should respect and cater to. They feel moved by inner love for their wife and a desire to please her in many new ways. So he begins the journey to deeper intimacy and conjunction by following path  4a ------> 5a ------>  6a. They now get into the habit routines where they negotiate outcomes. The husband may still be trying to dominate the wife in these negotiations, but he now has the new habit of allowing her to argue with him until they can come to a consensus. For this, he must give up his affective and cognitive dominance. Stability at the equity level is not established until they routinely follow pattern  6b------> 5b ------>  4b. Now the husband is grounded in affective equity so that he no longer allows himself to impose his will over his wife, but must rely on cognitive equity in their discussions. He now must respect her views and opinions as much as his own. At least, he must act that way. Eventually he will be completely honest and the marriage reaches a new plateau of happiness and intimacy.

But for the wife, this is not the end. She desires and inwardly needs to have affective unity with her husband. She doesn't want to have to negotiate all the time (like a man wants to), and she longs for her husband to know how she feels and how she wants to be treated in their interactions. She wants him to take the initiative in going along with her perceptions and instincts. She longs for the day when she will not have to defend her rights to him, and she wants him to want to grant all her unspoken requests and desires in everyday things, like his appearance, his clothes, his manners, his thoughtfulness, his tastes, how he talks to her, how he touches her, how he thinks of her. Their marriage has reached another new state of vastation and consummation. They are no longer growing but merely marking time in this pattern of equity interactions.

If the husband becomes enlightened spiritually and rationally, he will want to make the move to zone 7, following the initial pattern  4a ------> 5a ------>  6a. Now for the first time in his life the husband begins to think of the relationship as going on into the afterlife to eternity. This idea motivates him to become more to his wife than a cooperative and thoughtful partner. He is now for the first time beginning to be receptive to his wife's inmost feelings and wants. He sees rationally that eternity together must mean total union, total unity, total conjunction. During these formative stages the husband experiences many lapses and he continually wants to negotiate with his wife about this or that. But if the wife continues to insist and demand affective unity, he can eventually establish himself on the pattern 9b ------> 8b ------>  7b, which when it becomes mature, is the celestial marriage or "conjugial love," the highest consciousness, potential, and happiness that human beings are capable of. This is why it's called "heaven."

9.1  Models of Mental Development Based on Sacred Scripture

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 5. It may therefore be stated in advance that of the Lord's Divine mercy it has been granted me now for some years to be constantly and uninterruptedly in company with spirits and angels, hearing them speak and in turn speaking with them. In this way it has been given me to hear and see wonderful things in the other life which have never before come to the knowledge of any man, nor into his idea. I have been instructed in regard to the different kinds of spirits; the state of souls after death; hell, or the lamentable state of the unfaithful; heaven, or the blessed state of the faithful; and especially in regard to the doctrine of faith which is acknowledged in the universal heaven; on which subjects, of the Lord's Divine mercy, more will be said in the following pages. (AC 5)

SD 2185. They [the spirits he was with] 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)

Here Swedenborg was speaking with people in the world of spirits, hence they are called "spirits." The world of spirits is the objective mental world that our conscious awareness enters when our spiritual mind becomes conscious at death. The afterlife of immortality is the life of every human being after the death of the body when the natural mind no longer receives input from the physical world. Our consciousness then moves from the natural mind to the spiritual mind, which until then was unconscious. This is why no one is able to see the objective mental world while the natural mind is still operating.

 In that natural state of mind, the mental world appears to us as our own and individual and private. And yet the mental world is neither our own, nor individual, nor private! (See Section xx) What an amazing revelation!

Swedenborg himself was not yet a spirit because he was still attached to his physical body on earth. But in order to fulfill his special Divine mission (see Section xx), Swedenborg's spiritual mind was made conscious simultaneously with his conscious natural mind. He became a dual citizen for 27 years -- from age 57 to 84, when he passed into the "spiritual world" at death (see Section xx).

Because his conscious natural mind was still attached to the physical body, Swedenborg appeared totally different to the spirits, and they knew that he had a dual life -- which excited their curiosity to the extreme, never having encountered such a phenomenon before. In the passage above, he was taking notes in his diary on earth while at the same time, with adept dual focus, he was talking to the spirits. As a result of this mental co-presence, they were able to read what Swedenborg was writing, since the sentences were composed in his mind before he wrote them out. They could see what was in his mind, which is normal for spirits with each other (see Section xx).

As the spirits became aware of the literal sentences of the Writings of Swedenborg, they described them as "rude and gross." Swedenborg understood their reaction because he had learned the difference between the natural languages used on earth and the one universal spiritual language used in the spiritual world by every human being. Everyone there uses the same spiritual language, even spirits who were born on planets outside our solar system (see Section xx). It is an innate human language and we start using the moment we are conscious in our spiritual mind at resuscitation, a few hours after the moment of death (see Section xx).

When we start using this universal spiritual language we are not conscious of the differences between it and our former natural language. The only way to observe the difference objectively is to lay the two languages side by side and contrast them by experimental or systematic techniques. Swedenborg was able to run that experiment during the 27 years of his dual consciousness, simultaneously in both worlds, that is, in both his natural and his spiritual mind. Swedenborg confirmed the observation of the spirits on this unique occasion in their experience (see passage above SD 2185, when they were able to contrast their former natural language with their current spiritual language. From the perspective of his spiritual mind, Swedenborg also found his sentences "very rude" by which he meant that they were devoid of spiritual-rational meaning, such as was contained in the normal ideas of spirits.

How can the sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture be devoid of any spiritual-rational meaning? Quoting Swedenborg about the Writings Sacred Scripture he authored:

My words are only vessels in which purer, better, and internalizing things can be infused. (SD 2185)

Swedenborg wrote that all Sacred Scripture is written in natural correspondences of Divine Speech. The literal meaning of his sentences had to correspond to Divine Speech and its rational series, by which Divine Speech forms the genes of human consciousness (see Section xx). Hence he called the literal sentences of the Writings "vessels," a word he frequently uses when he illustrates this point with the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures (see Section xx). Cognitive vessels are rational concepts we obtain from the literal meaning of the Writings. These concepts are potential "vessels" in the sense that they can contain higher-order correspondences of Divine Speech, as illustrated many times (see Section xx). The literal expressions of all Sacred Scripture are taken up in our memory from where our rational mind can extract higher-order correspondences of Divine Speech. As we become conscious of these higher-order correspondences, we are enlightened, and empowered accordingly (see Section xx).

All expressions in the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture are natural correspondences for spiritual ideas. When the spirits looked only at the literal expressions, they saw nothing spiritual in them. But Swedenborg taught them that anyone can extract spiritual meaning from Sacred Scripture if the method of correspondences with enlightenment is followed (see Section xx). The basis of theistic psychology is the application of this method of extraction to the Writings Sacred Scripture. The same method can be used to extract higher-order correspondences from the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Continuing with the next passage:

SS 3. The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven. (SS 3)

All Sacred Scripture ("the Word") is Divine Speech in natural correspondences or meanings. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture is written in natural-corporeal correspondences. The New Testament Sacred Scripture is written in natural-sensuous correspondences. The Writings Sacred Scripture is written in natural-rational correspondences (see Section xx). The parts of this historical threefold collection hang together in a rational progression or series that is part of the Divine Human's Rational Mind. Each collection of Sacred Scripture was given in a form appropriate for the mentality of those who received it, worshipped it, and protected it (see Section xx). Each time a particular Sacred Scripture was given, it elevated the consciousness level of the people who received it by giving them a new way of thinking and a new set of values. Divine Speech animates and controls human consciousness through the same series of correspondences that is built into the creation of every object and of the immortal human mind (see Section xx).

The passage above (SS 3) says that every word in Sacred Scripture is "holy" because it is from Divine Speech, which is from the very Mind of God, and therefore may be said to be God Himself. Hence Sacred Scripture may be correctly said to be God Himself -- but not the literal meaning, since this is merely natural and God is spiritual. The difference is like that between heaven and earth. Spiritual-rational correspondences within Sacred Scripture refer to heavenly topics in a spiritual way or meaning, while natural-rational correspondences refer to heavenly topics in a natural way or meaning.

Anyone can approach the Writings Sacred Scripture with a negative bias and read there what is said about God, heaven and hell, regeneration, conjugial love, discrete degrees, and other such heavenly or spiritual topics. They are called spiritual topics because they refer to the events and activities in the spiritual world of the afterlife and immortality. When one reads these spiritual topics with the negative bias, one can only understand them naturally, not spiritually. All ideas of God and the afterlife will then be nothing but fantasy or science fiction in our mind. This is because the spiritual does not appear visibly in the literal meanings of Sacred Scripture. But when we approach the Writings Sacred Scripture with the positive bias, we are willing to apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment, in order to figure out in a spiritual way what is being said.

Notice that merely applying the method of correspondences mechanically will not yield any spiritual meaning. For instance, what do you make of the idea that spiritual correspondences are "within" the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture? What does "within" mean? We at first tend to think of it as a kind of metaphor. We can say that someone is "hot under the collar" and "blows his top" frequently. This is not meant literally, but figuratively. We learn to extract the actual meaning intended from the literal meaning which is not intended. In fact, natural language expressions are created by mental-physical metaphors that are often true correspondences, as in the case of "being hot" physically, which corresponds to being intensely emotional mentally. Love or passion is nothing else than spiritual heat form the Spiritual Sun entering our affective organ and animating it with operations that we experience as feelings and motives (see Section xx).

The passage above (SS 3) also mentions the biological and evolutionary function of Sacred Scripture, which is that it  "conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven." We need to understand spiritually these three natural-rational expressions -- "heaven," "the Lord," and "opens." To understand them spiritually means to extract the higher order correspondences that are contained within them. The  word "heaven" here actually refers to a mental state that exists in the mind of every human being (see Section xx). Heaven is a built in construction or creation in the human organic mind (see Section xx). The natural-rational expression "the Lord" signifies the Divine Psychologist who is co-present in every human mind, supervising and managing the thoughts and feelings we have, from birth to endless immortality (see Section xx). The natural expression "to open" signifies enlightenment, which is the conscious understanding of spiritual meanings (see Section xx). This ability to understand spiritual-rational correspondences in a spiritual way, begins at our reformation or "rebirth" (see Section xx) and continues to enlarge and deepen endlessly, to the extent that we make progress in our regeneration or character reformation (see Section xx).

The role, function, and purpose of Sacred Scripture is therefore to create and activate in us the ability to understand spiritual-rational meanings, or correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

Understanding spiritual concepts in a spiritual way "conjoins us to heaven," that is, causes our mind to develop spiritually. We need to develop a spiritual understanding of Divine Speech because this rational understanding brings our consciousness into the heavenly regions of our mind, which are the highest potential possible for human beings (see Section xx). All those who are in their heavens are in eternity and are able to interact with each other. When Swedenborg's spiritual mind was activated at age 57, he was able to be consciously present in the heavens of his mind, and there he saw other people who had been born on some earth and were now in their eternity. This is possible because the objective spiritual world is the same as the mental world (see Section xx).

9.1.1  Extracting Theistic Psychology Concepts From the Writings Sacred Scripture

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1984

Few persons can bring themselves to believe that the Word has within it an internal sense that from the letter is not apparent, because it is so remote from the sense of the letter that it is as it were distant from it as heaven is from earth. But that the sense of the letter contains such things within itself, and that it is representative and significative of arcana that no one sees except the Lord, and angels from Him, is evident from what has been stated in various places in the first Part of this work.

The expression "the Word" refers to Sacred Scripture. In other words, Sacred Scripture has a hidden universal "spiritual meaning" that can be extracted from the literal meaning or "sense of the letter." This literal meaning is as distant from the extracted spiritual meaning as "heaven is from earth," that is, as distant as the spiritual mind is from the natural mind. The spiritual mind is unconscious and invisible to our awareness or perception, while the natural mind is conscious. The spiritual mind is grows from sensory input from the spiritual world, while the natural mind grows from sensory input from the physical world. Hence the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture is called natural, while the extracted meaning is called spiritual.

To extract meaning from the literal sentences of Sacred Scripture is like making the unconscious mind conscious.

AC 1872. There appeared to me a beautiful girl with a radiant face, passing quickly upward toward the right, and making some haste. In age she seemed to be in the first bloom-not a child nor yet a young woman-becomingly clothed with a dress of shining black; so she was hastening on with gladness from light to light. It was said that the interiors of the Word are such in their first ascent; the black dress was the Word in the letter. Afterwards the young girl flew to my right cheek, but was perceivable only by the interior sight. It was said that such are the things from the internal sense of the Word which do not come to the comprehension. (AC 1872)

Here, the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture ("the Word") is represented by a "black dress" in what Swedenborg saw in the spiritual world. The "interiors" of Sacred Scripture appeared to him as what the girl in the black dress was doing, namely, "she was hastening on with gladness from light to light."

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 71. As regards the Word in heaven, it is written in a spiritual style, which differs entirely from a natural style. The spiritual style consists solely of letters, each of which contains a meaning, and there are points above the letters which exalt the meaning. With the angels of the spiritual kingdom the letters resemble printed letters in our world; and with the angels of the celestial kingdom the letters (each of which also contains a complete meaning) resemble the ancient Hebrew letters, curved in various ways, and with marks above and within.

Such being the style of their writing, there are no names of persons and places in their Word such as there are in ours, but instead of the names there are the things which they signify. Thus instead of Moses there is the historical Word, instead of Elijah, the prophetical Word; instead of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord as to His Divinity and Divine Human; instead of Aaron, the priestly office; instead of David, the kingly office, each of the Lord; instead of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob, or of the tribes of Israel, various things of heaven and the church; and like things instead of the names of the Lord's twelve disciples; instead of Zion and Jerusalem, the church in respect to the Word and doctrine from the Word; instead of the land of Canaan, the church itself; instead of the cities therein on this side and beyond Jordan, various things of the church and of its doctrine; and so with all the other names.

It is the same with the numbers; neither do these appear in the Word that is in heaven, but instead of them the things to which the numbers that are in our Word correspond. It is evident from these examples that the Word in heaven is a Word that corresponds to our Word, and thus that the two are a one, for correspondences make a one. (SS 71)

The above passage reveals that there is Sacred Scripture in "heaven."

All Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech exteriorizing across the mind of the human race. Divine Speech issues and proceeds from the Spiritual Sun, which is the bright aura around the Divine Human who can be seen there by all those who dwell in the heavens of their mind. There is only objective spiritual world and this is no other than the subjective mental world (see Section xx). There is only one objective mental world and every individual's subjective mind is in this one mental world. When Swedenborg "traveled" objectively through the spiritual world, meeting the people in their heavens, he did not actually have to go anywhere since the spiritual world is without space and time -- it is eternity. There is nowhere to walk through. And yet there is the appearance that there are lands, cities, streets, and houses, where the inhabitants walk, live, and interact similarly as on earth. But these are like the appearances of spaces in our dreams -- the spaces and objects in the imagination get manufactured instantly by the feelings that drive the dream sequence and its meaningful content.

In reality, Swedenborg stayed in his room on earth while he was "traveling" to the heavens and the hells. All that had to happen was for his spiritual mind to become conscious. Once conscious of his spiritual mind, he suddenly entered the same conscious world that we all enter when we pass on at the death of the body and are resuscitated as a spirit (see Section xx). Swedenborg was given this consciousness while he was still on earth so that he may write and publish the books of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

Swedenborg discovered that when he focused on the content of his spiritual mind, now conscious to him, he was co-present with others who were conscious in their spiritual mind, and he could interact and communicate with them!

This makes rational sense when you consider that there is only one spiritual world, that is, only one mental world in which everybody's consciousness exists. The same one Spiritual Sun exists in every human mind, and the instant you become conscious in your spiritual mind, you too can see the Spiritual Sun, and the Divine Human amidst of it.

Divine Speech exteriorizes first into the topmost organ of the mind called the "celestial mind" (see Section xx). Those who are already in their afterlife and have their consciousness at this discrete level, are the first among the human race to be conscious of Divine Speech entering the human mind. Swedenborg saw their Sacred Scripture and he reports that it looked generally similar to the Hebrew script in which the Old Testament Sacred Scripture is written. Swedenborg studied the Hebrew Old Testament Sacred Scripture and was familiar with the script. The meanings of the celestial script are all in celestial-rational correspondences which discuss topics relating to the Divine Human Love, or Good, and how this infinite and omnipresent living substance activates the universe and all its details by means of spiritual light, which is Divine Truth  (see Section xx).

As Divine Speech activates the organic operations of the celestial mind, it also activates the correspondential operations in the spiritual mind by means of spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. This level of meaning creates and maintains our spiritual mind. When Swedenborg visited the spiritual heavens ("Second Heaven') he was actually being mentally co-present with those whose consciousness operated at the spiritual-rational level of meaning. Swedenborg was able to observe that the Sacred Scripture in the Second Heaven of the human mind is written in spiritual-rational correspondences.

As Divine speech activates the operations of the spiritual mind, it also activates the correspondential organic operations in the interior of the natural mind, which is called the "First Heaven." When Swedenborg visited the First Heaven in his mind, he was co-present with people whose consciousness in eternity operated with spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture, which Swedenborg also saw there.

What Swedenborg saw in the "heavens he visited," was what every human beings can see because there is only one mental world. Whatever Swedenborg saw, we can see, or anyone can see on any planet. This is because the human race is networked together above the natural mind. Whenever we raise our consciousness above the natural mind, we are co-present with all those who have also raised their consciousness above the natural level. This mental state is called enlightenment. Every individual becomes enlightened upon death and resuscitation, when our immortal life continues in our mind above the natural level (see Section xx).

But we can also become enlightened while still on earth in our natural mind due to the fact that an interior-natural organ can be activated in our conscious natural mind when we are regenerating (see Section xx). This means that we can develop a virtual heaven in our conscious awareness, so that we can understand higher order correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). It is the rational understanding of these higher-order correspondences of Divine Speech that creates our heaven on earth now, and heaven in eternity after death. These higher order correspondences extracted from Sacred Scripture, are the genes of consciousness (see Section xx). We are enlightened more and more as we become conscious of the celestial series that create the genes of consciousness. The more we are enlightened, the closer we are "conjoined" to the Divine Human, and the higher the human potential we can receive into ourselves to be as-if our own (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 4279. The Word originates in the Lord and comes down from Him by way of heaven to man. Its nature is therefore such that it is Divine in every detail. And as it has come down from the Lord so it goes up, that is, is raised up to Him, returning by way of the heavens. It is well known that there are three heavens, and that the inmost is termed the third heaven, that the middle one is called the second heaven, while the lowest is referred to as the first heaven. Consequently since it goes up by the same path as it comes down the Word as it exists in the Lord is Divine, celestial as it exists in the third heaven since that heaven is the celestial heaven, spiritual as it exists in the second heaven since that heaven is the spiritual heaven, but celestial-natural and spiritual-natural as it exists in the first heaven, which is also given the names celestial-natural and spiritual-natural. As it exists in the Church with man however, the Word in the sense of the letter is natural, that is, worldly and earthly. (AC 4279)

In this passage "the Word" refers to Divine Speech that "comes down from God." Since there is only one mental world, Divine Speech enters every human mind simultaneously and descends through its discrete layers.

First,  Divine Speech entering our celestial mind, or "third heaven," and activating operations of meaning there called celestial-rational. Those who have progressed in their regeneration all the way to their celestial temptations, are conscious at that level and their experiences in eternity match that level of existence (see Section xx). When we are in that mental state, we are called "angels." Celestial-rational correspondences deal with topics pertaining to Divine Love (see Section xx).

Second, Divine Speech exteriorizes or "descends" into the spiritual-rational layer of the mind. All those who are in that mentality level are conscious of the activity in their spiritual mind. This level of consciousness and rational understanding, is activated by spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. This level of mind is called "second heaven" and when we are conscious there we are called "angelic spirits." Spiritual-rational correspondences deal with topics pertaining to Divine Truth (see Section xx).

Third, Divine Speech continues to exteriorize into the spiritual-natural degree of the interior-natural mind. This is done by spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture and the people who are in that consciousness are called "good spirits" in "first heaven." Spiritual-natural correspondences deal with topics pertaining to "uses," a word that refers to the external effects of Divine Love, through Truth, as it manifests in real appearances (see Section xx).

Fourth, Divine Speech exteriorizes in the external-natural mind through purely natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture written out in a natural language. This is the level at which we begin our spiritual journey. At the natural level of thinking and willing the topics of Divine Speech focus on the consequences of our action in the natural world, although some details are given regarding our immortality at "resurrection" when the world will end and a new earth will be created. These ideas do not appear at all in the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx), but they are useful to motivate people at the religious level (see Section xx).

Here is an illustration of the procedure for extracting theistic psychology concepts from the Writings Sacred Scripture. We can use the passage discussed above, which is reproduced again here for your convenience:

SS 71. As regards the Word in heaven, it is written in a spiritual style, which differs entirely from a natural style. The spiritual style consists solely of letters, each of which contains a meaning, and there are points above the letters which exalt the meaning. With the angels of the spiritual kingdom the letters resemble printed letters in our world; and with the angels of the celestial kingdom the letters (each of which also contains a complete meaning) resemble the ancient Hebrew letters, curved in various ways, and with marks above and within.

Such being the style of their writing, there are no names of persons and places in their Word such as there are in ours, but instead of the names there are the things which they signify. Thus instead of Moses there is the historical Word, instead of Elijah, the prophetical Word; instead of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord as to His Divinity and Divine Human; instead of Aaron, the priestly office; instead of David, the kingly office, each of the Lord; instead of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob, or of the tribes of Israel, various things of heaven and the church; and like things instead of the names of the Lord's twelve disciples; instead of Zion and Jerusalem, the church in respect to the Word and doctrine from the Word; instead of the land of Canaan, the church itself; instead of the cities therein on this side and beyond Jordan, various things of the church and of its doctrine; and so with all the other names. (SS 71)

It is the same with the numbers; neither do these appear in the Word that is in heaven, but instead of them the things to which the numbers that are in our Word correspond. It is evident from these examples that the Word in heaven is a Word that corresponds to our Word, and thus that the two are a one, for correspondences make a one.

The list below is a summary of the correspondences specified in the above passage. The expressions from the Old Testament Sacred Scripture appear on the left of the equal sign (=), while the equivalent expressions from the Writings Sacred Scripture appear on the right of the equal sign. The level of meaning between the two varies by two discrete degrees, from the natural-corporeal correspondences of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture to the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

This kind of comparison study is called the method of correspondences. But in order to understand these equivalencies spiritually we must go one more step of extraction or equivalence, and this is where theistic psychology begins. This step requires enlightenment by the Divine Psychologist so it's not possible to do it on one's own. This enlightenment is given to those who study theistic psychology with a positive bias for the sake of regeneration of their character in preparations for their immortality. The following chart shows the methodology:
 

OLD TESTAMENT
SACRED SCRIPTURE
written in
natural-corporeal
correspondences
THE WRITINGS
SACRED SCRIPTURE
written
in
natural-rational
correspondences
THEISTIC PSYCHOLOGY
CONCEPTS
written in
spiritual-natural
correspondences
"Moses" "the historical Word" scientific knowledge about mental development extracted from Sacred Scripture; also: individual biography recapitulates history and evolution (see Section xx)
"Elijah" "the prophetical Word" scientific knowledge about the mental development of the Divine Child in the Incarnation Event (see Section xx)
"Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" "the Lord as to His Divinity and Divine Human" the Divine Psychologist who is co-present and co-participant in our daily willing and thinking, with whom we are to cooperate
"Aaron" "the priestly office" self-witnessing activities or spiritual disciplines for character reformation (see Section xx)
"David" "the kingly office, each of the Lord" extractive research we must use to formulate the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture that is necessary for regeneration
the names of the "twelve sons of Jacob", or of the "tribes of Israel" "various things of heaven and the church" the series of developmental mental states we step through in regeneration or spiritual development -- initial phases
the names of "the Lord's twelve disciples" "various things of heaven and the church" the series of developmental mental states we step through in regeneration or spiritual development -- later phases
"Zion and Jerusalem" "the church in respect to the Word and doctrine from the Word" the science of theistic psychology
"the land of Canaan" "the church itself" the ennead matrix of mental states as described in this Volume
"the cities therein on this side and beyond Jordan" "various things of the church and of its doctrine" as for instance the Topical Index of All Sections in theistic psychology listed in Volume 18
"number three" "what is holy" the genes of consciousness or mental states formed by trigrammatic units during spiritual development, as explained in this Volume (see Section xx)
the number '6" "combat against falsities" mental states formed by hexagrammatic cycles during during spiritual development, as explained in this Volume (see Section xx)
the number "9" "conjunction" dynamic mental states mapped on the ennead chart showing the steps of acquiring a heavenly character, as explained in this Volume (see Section xx)
the number "12" "all things of faith in one complex" mental states formed by double hexagrammatic cycles during regeneration, as explained in this Volume (see Section xx)

The comparative chart above clearly shows the difference in topical content of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture taken literally (left column), and their spiritual content as defined by correspondences (middle column). You can see that there is no semantic relationship between the two. This explains why no one has been able to discover these correspondences despite the numerous scholars who have written works on Bible interpretation or exegesis. Now the time of evolution in human consciousness has arrived so that the correspondences of creation and of Sacred Scripture have been revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx).

When you look up and down the left hand column you see only natural concepts pertaining to the history of an ancient people. This is the content of the natural mind at the level of thinking that is based on natural-corporeal correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). The literal meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture consists of natural-corporeal expressions (left column) for spiritual ideas (middle column). There is no clue in the natural expression what these spiritual ideas or meanings are.

The spiritual ideas of the Writings Sacred Scripture (middle column) are also expressed by natural correspondences, but at two discrete degrees higher in the natural mind. There are three discrete degrees levels of functioning in the natural mind -- corporeal, sensuous, and rational. These are three mentality levels that Divine Speech creates in the human mind through Sacred Scripture, either directly or indirectly (see Section xx).

Divine Speech produces in us the mentality level of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture through the acquisition of natural-corporeal correspondences for spiritual ideas. Then, Divine Speech produces in us the mentality level of the New Testament Sacred Scripture through the acquisition of natural-sensuous correspondences for spiritual ideas. Then, Divine Speech produces in us the mentality level of the Writings Sacred Scripture through the acquisition of natural-rational correspondences for spiritual ideas.

These threefold stages recycle at all levels of spiritual development, as described in this Volume. They constitute the genes of consciousness (see Section xx).

When you look up and down the third column of the chart above (right hand side), you are seeing the topical content of theistic psychology.

What is the difference between the middle column (the Writings), and the right hand column (theistic psychology)?

The middle column illustrates the topical content of the Writings Sacred Scripture, viewed in its plain literal meaning. The level of thinking is based on natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). You will notice immediately that this is the level of the "New Church" religion and theological concepts belonging to Christianity within a Western culture --

The text of the Writings makes frequent mention of the fact that these religious ideas have a dual meaning -- historical-theological and psychological-individual. For instance the expression "the church" signifies things about mental states, as shown in this passage:

AC 710

Build ye houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them (Jer. 29:5, 28).

Here "building houses and dwelling in them" relates to the will; "planting gardens" to the understanding: and it is the same in other passages. And the "house of Jehovah" is frequently mentioned as signifying the church wherein love is the principal; the "house of Judah" as signifying the celestial church; and the "house of Israel" as signifying the spiritual church. As "house" signifies the church, the mind of the man of the church (wherein are the things of the will and of the understanding, or of charity and faith), is also signified by "house."

In other words, whenever the Writings Sacred Scripture talk about the things of religion and the Christian Church, it is also taking at the same about our mental states, especially in relation to our regeneration of character. Therefore when we read and study the Writings Sacred Scripture, we automatically acquire knowledge called theistic psychology, which is about the individual psychological states that every individual must go through or experience. The right hand column in the chart above are theistic psychology concepts that can be confirmed with the literal meaning of the Writings.

As you read up and down the theistic psychology column, you can see the conceptual relationship with the literal meaning of the Writings because they both deal with mental states during regeneration or spiritual growth and development. But there is a crucial difference in the literal sentences of theistic psychology (right hand column) and the literal sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture (middle column). While the Writings in the literal meaning involve religious and historical issues, this is entirely absent in theistic psychology.

9.1.1.1   The Literal Meaning and the Extracted Meaning

This is a crucial difference in use. The literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture is serviceable for the New Church, a new Christian religion based on the Writings (see Section xx). The literal of theistic psychology is serviceable for science and public education in all countries regardless of culture and religion.

It is important to realize and acknowledge that there is a prescribed methodology for the extraction process that creates the third column of theistic psychology out of the middle column of the Writings Sacred Scripture. This methodology is called the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). Anyone with some intellectual effort can create a third column fictitiously, using their self-intelligence and knowledge of literary traditions in theology and psychology. But this type of interpretation is not part of theistic psychology. Only that is part of theistic psychology which is knowledge obtained through the extraction process that is prescribed in the Writings for application to all Sacred Scripture, including itself. This method is Divine and Divinely prescribed in the literal text of the Writings Sacred Scripture where the correspondences of Divine Speech are revealed. The steps of our character reformation set the pace for our ability of being enlightened by the Divine Psychologist, who is co-present with every individual (see Section xx).

You will also notice another crucial difference between the Writings and theistic psychology in their literal sentences. Theistic psychology is a science and involves explanations at the mechanistic level because everything is categorized within heuristically defined levels, directions, and actions. The Writings often use the expression of "opening" the mind to describe God's active role in regeneration and enlightenment. This level of description ("opening the mind") is sufficient for religious thinking even at the level of "rational faith," which is what the New Church is called in the Writings. But it is not sufficient at the level of explanation required in a science. To achieve this level of meaning we need to acquire new thinking that matches the level of the first heaven in the human mind. Only then do we begin to go "within" the natural, and  into the spiritual (see Section xx).

When we extract the spiritual-natural meaning (of theistic psychology) from the external natural-rational meaning (of the Writings Sacred Scripture), the religious and historical references "vanish" and what is left behind is the meaning of Divine Speech that the people in their interior-natural heaven are conscious of (first heaven). But with further progress in our regeneration or character reformation, we acquire additional abilities to understand spiritual-rational correspondences (second heaven) and celestial-rational-correspondences (third heaven). This is achieved by the Divine Psychologist managing our mind, who creates an interior-natural organ within the external natural organ, creating a virtual heaven by which we can consciously understand the higher-order correspondences of Divine Speech that exist in the three heavens in our mind (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology is the knowledge accumulated through this new spiritual understanding of spiritual topics.

It is new to our natural mind here on earth, but is not new to the three heavens. Those who already populate the heavens of their mind in their immortality, are to be considered distinguished theistic psychologists. The knowledge of theistic psychology is universal and endless. The Topical Index of All Sections (Volume 18) only presents theistic psychology as I view it, but it will expand endlessly in the coming centuries and millennia.

The bottom part of the chart above gives the spiritual signification of numbers used in Sacred Scripture. Enough information is given in the Writings Sacred Scripture about correspondences of numbers to create a new science around the subject of spiritual psycholinguistics (see Section xx). I have selected just a few numbers in the chart above to illustrate specifically the research I present in this Volume on the genes of consciousness. This work is based on the spiritual significance of the numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24. I discovered these patterns several years before I began reading the Writings, and thus in a natural way (see Section xx). I therefore call it predictive research rather than extractive research (see Section xx).

 In the past 23 years since I have been studying the Writings, I have discovered that these patterns are embedded in Divine Speech and that they are mechanisms used by the God to manage the universe and the human mind (see Section xx). Hence I coined the expression the genes of consciousness to refer to the conceptual structures that carry meaning and conform to the series of correspondences. Knowledge of these gene structures of our understanding is useful for everyone's regeneration task, for instruction in schools and at home, and most specifically, for science.

Below is a passage from the Writings Sacred Scripture that shows the level of explanatory concepts it typically uses for explaining the spiritual significance of numbers. The passage makes reference to the existing numerical syntax, or arithmetic, that can be used to extract their significance. We are never given a full chapter or lesson on how this syntax works in detail, but a few things are mentioned here and there. More predictive research is called for to establish the knowledge of spiritual arithmetic. For instance, the number 9 signifies "conjunction," while the number 10 signifies "remains of good and truth," that is, thinking patterns that we acquire that are compatible with a heavenly character. Now what does the number 90 mean? It contains 10 times 9, which translated, means "conjunction through remains." In other words, when you look at the third column of the chart above for the number 9, it gives this explanation of theistic psychology --  "dynamic mental states mapped on the ennead chart showing the steps of acquiring a heavenly character, as explained in this Volume (see Section xx)"

As frequently discussed and illustrated, the ennead chart is a matrix of nine cells created by juxtaposing two factors having three sub-levels each (9 = 3x3).This chart is used to map the mental states we go through during spiritual development (see Section xx).

Now when you compare the expression from the Writings -- "conjunction through remains" -- and its translation into theistic psychology, you can see that the explanations in theistic psychology do not remove, minimize, or contradict in any way the Divine truths that are presented through its literal meaning. We can say rationally that one way we achieve "conjunction" with God is through the "remains of good and truth" that He unconsciously "implants" in our character whenever we are doing something that is compatible with "good" and heaven. This level of thinking is called "rational faith" and allows for the construction of doctrine for a religious life in preparation for heavenly life (see Section xx). There is also an additional use and benefit that Divine Speech is giving the human race by specifying for us a methodology we can use to extract still more specific details about the mechanisms God uses in regenerating the human mind. This is the knowledge of theistic psychology. Those who already have "rational faith" and a religion based on the Writings of Swedenborg, will also benefit further by studying theistic psychology as a way of extending the uses and benefits of the Writings, which they love and worship as "the Word of the Divine Human in His Second Coming" (see section xx).

AC 2075.

[2] Now that the number "nine" signifies conjunction, and still more the number "ninety," which is the product of the multiplication of nine into ten (for "ten" signifies the remains by which conjunction is effected, as is evident from what was said above, n. 1988, at the end), may also be seen from the representatives and significatives which now follow. It was commanded that on the tenth day of the seventh month there should be a day of expiations, and that this should be a Sabbath of a Sabbath; and on the ninth day of the seventh month at evening, from evening even to evening, they should celebrate a Sabbath (Lev. 23:27, 32).

[3] In the internal sense these things signify conjunction by means of remains-"nine" signifying conjunction, and "ten" signifying remains. That a Divine arcanum lies hidden in these numbers, is clearly evident from the months and the days of the year that were to be held holy; as that every seventh day there was a Sabbath; and that every seventh month, as just stated, there should be a Sabbath of a Sabbath; in like manner the seventh year; and also that on the seven times seventh year the jubilee should commence. The case is the same with all other numbers in the Word; as with "three," the signification of which is nearly the same as that of "seven;" and with "twelve," which signifies all things of faith; and with "ten," which signifies the same as "tenths," that is, remains (see n. 576); and so on. Thus in the passage here quoted from Leviticus, unless the number "ten" and the number "nine" involved arcana, it would by no means have been commanded that this Sabbath of a Sabbath should be on the tenth day of the seventh month, and that on the ninth of the month they should celebrate it.

Such is the Word of the Lord in the internal sense, although in the historical sense nothing of the kind appears.

In other words, there are "heavenly secrets" hidden in Sacred Scripture. These higher meanings are called "the internal sense" and in this meaning, "nothing appears" to view in the literal sense that is on the surface. Hence it is that theistic psychology, which is extracted from the literal sense of the Writings, is suitable as a universal science and as public education in all countries regardless of religion and culture. In theistic psychology, "nothing appears" of the historical and religious meaning of the literal sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

Consider these descriptions of the "style" in which Divine Speech is rendered as Sacred Scripture, which is called "the Word" in this next passage, though the expression "Sacred Scripture" also appears thousands of times in the Writings.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1.

From the mere letter of the Word of the Old Testament no one would ever discern the fact that this part of the Word contains deep secrets of heaven, and that everything within it both in general and in particular bears reference to the Lord, to His heaven, to the church, to religious belief, and to all things connected therewith; for from the letter or sense of the letter all that anyone can see is that-to speak generally-everything therein has reference merely to the external rites and ordinances of the Jewish Church. Yet the truth is that everywhere in that Word there are internal things which never appear at all in the external things except a very few which the Lord revealed and explained to the Apostles; such as that the sacrifices signify the Lord; that the land of Canaan and Jerusalem signify heaven-on which account they are called the Heavenly Canaan and Jerusalem-and that Paradise has a similar signification.

This passage in the literal sense uses the expression "the Word" to refer to the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, which in its literal meaning, concerns itself with the history of the "Jewish Church." What do the people of the first heaven see when they read this paragraph of the Writings Sacred Scripture? Instead of "the Word of the Old Testament" they see "the initial mental states of each cycle of regeneration." And instead of the "Jewish Church" they see "the mental states prior to beginning reformation."  People in the third heaven have an even loftier view of the meaning of this passage because they are looking at the celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

The extraction of correspondences in Divine Speech is the method by which God creates the gradual evolutionary elevation of human consciousness.

Divine Speech permeates and immerses the human mind like sunlight penetrates a room through its windows and doors. All layers of the human mind are filled simultaneously with it. No human mind can escape it or live without it. Divine Speech is what makes human beings to have consciousness, from which they are immortal. Regeneration is the organic mechanism which has been created in the human mind by the Incarnation Event (see Section xx) in order to allow for the elevation of human consciousness to its immortal and quasi-omniscient level of operation called the celestial mind (see Section xx). Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 1625. CONCERNING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANGELS. In regard to the knowledge of the angels of the interior heaven, a single example may suffice, taken from their knowledge of the structures and forms of the [human] body; for while any one, no matter what, of the viscera of the body is under consideration, they are enabled to know not only its whole structure and operation, but also all the experience which anatomy is able to detect in the smallest particulars, as whether it be true or genuine. Not only so, but they know in an instant whether what is stated respecting each of the viscera be correct, besides many interior things which no one of the human race can know, as I have sometimes found by experience. They are acquainted, too, with the correspondence which these things bear to things spiritual. Indeed, their knowledge is such that if men were aware of it they would be astounded, although matters of this kind had never been their study in the life of the body. It flows, as it were, spontaneously from the fact that by reason of an intelligence bestowed by the Lord, they know how everything is with the Grand Man in general and in particular, and the knowledge seems to be innate in them. But such knowledge they could never possess were it not that the whole heaven represents the whole man, with all his several parts, and unless the Lord were the life of that man, and thus life itself and unless also the universal heaven were organic. - 1748, March 22. They are thus in first principles, and from first principles, or things interior, and more interior, could comprehend the things which are without or below. (SE 1625)

Theistic psychology is the organized science of enlightenment, therefore of immortality, since it is our by our consciousness that we live forever (see Section xx). When theistic psychology is genuine, it is a Divine science because nothing from self-intelligence is allowed in its topics and explanations, but only that which is extracted from the literal sentences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The extraction process must follow the prescribed method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). Anything extracted with enlightenment -- genuine enlightenment not imagined enlightenment -- remains Divine since the Divine cannot be divided (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology, when genuine, is the Divine Doctrine in our mind, which is the same as the Divine Truth "with us." The level at which we reconstruct Divine Speech or Divine Truth in our mind, varies with the enlightenment level at which we are progressing in our character reformation (see Section xx). There is no possibility of understanding anything spiritually when our natural mind has not undergone reformation first (see Section xx). Once we begin reformation we continue with our regeneration, and that's when we are on a course of endless spiritual growth.

This spiritual growth is an organic process and it depends on the mind-flexing we do with the rational concepts and ideas from the Writings Sacred Scripture. In any phase of our life, we need to bend the conscious mind into a direction appropriate to the doctrine of truth that we understand. In other words, we need to inhibit willing and thinking from nonduality and self-intelligence, and do a new willing and thinking that is in conformity with the doctrine of truth. We extract this doctrine of truth from the Writings and we establish it in our mind. Now we let that doctrine rule our willing and thinking in daily life (For more details on this process, see Volume 1 of my online book A Man of the Field available at
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/volume1-nonduality.html 

The doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture applied to living, is theistic psychology. To the extent that we apply the explanations of theistic psychology to our daily willing and thinking, to that extent we are enlightened by the Divine Psychologist who is working with us to bring about the steps of our individual progression and growth. To the extent that we are enlightened, to that extent we are able to understand and write about higher order correspondences in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Continuing with another passage from the Writings Sacred Scripture regarding the "heavenly secrets" or ("arcana coelestia") that are extractable from Sacred Scripture from its hidden "internal or correspondential sense," when the literal meaning is made to "vanish." The expression "the Word" refers to all Sacred Scripture viewed as Divine Speech and written in correspondences. The expression "the church" refers to the mental states of regeneration that every individual must experience for spiritual growth.

WH 11

In the internal or correspondential sense of the Word there are innumerable arcana. The Word in the internal sense contains innumerable things which exceed human comprehension (n. 3085, 3086). It also contains things ineffable and inexplicable (n. 1965). Which are manifest only to angels, and are understood by them (n. 167). 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). (...)

The internal sense is itself the genuine doctrine of the church (n. 9025, 9430, 10401.) They who understand the Word according to the internal sense, know the true doctrine itself of the church, because the internal sense contains it (n. 9025, 9430, 10401). The internal of the Word is also the internal of the church, as it is likewise the internal of worship (n. 10460). The Word is the doctrine of love to the Lord, and of charity towards the neighbor (n. 3419, 3420).

There is no end to the human enterprise of theistic psychology because the number of spiritual correspondences that can be extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture is "innumerable." There is no end to theistic psychology, which makes it suitable for a language of thinking in our immortality, which likewise has no end. Our inmost happiness in heaven depends on seeing ourselves acquire new knowledges from Divine Speech, and this every day to eternity. The infinity of truths extractable from the Writings Sacred Scripture is a necessary consequence of the fact that it is Divine Truth in the mind of humanity. Divine Truth is nothing else than the spiritual light that streams out of the Spiritual Sun and into the mind of humanity (see Section xx). It is this spiritual substance that interacts with our organic elements in the mind, making itself part of our very being.

But our consciousness cannot be fed and grown by it unless we make the Divine truth conscious in our awareness, and acknowledge it as the Divine Truth in our rational understanding, and not our own truth.

This rational understanding gives us our heavenly immortality when we are willing to marry (conjoin) that truth with good, that is, when we are willing to integrate what we think is true with what we do and choose. We accomplish this integration of our mind ("marriage"), by striving to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in our regeneration. This cooperation consists of applying the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture to our daily willing and thinking (see Section xx).

The heavenly secrets in theistic psychology "do not appear in the sense of the letter" of the Writings Sacred Scripture. We need to extract its hidden scientific meaning because this "is itself the genuine doctrine of the church." This phrase in the Writings signifies the knowledge of theistic psychology when it is genuine, meaning, when the prescribed extraction method was used, as frequently mentioned (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology is "the internal sense" of the Writings Sacred Scripture, as indicated by this sentence: "They who understand the Word according to the internal sense, know the true doctrine itself of the church, because the internal sense contains it ." In other words, theistic psychology is the genuine doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. Every regenerating person uses theistic psychology by learning how to cooperate in their regeneration steps with the Divine Psychologist.

It is said in the passage above that "the internal of the Word is also the internal of the church, as it is likewise the internal of worship." The expression "the internal of the Word" refers to genuine theistic psychology extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. Hence theistic psychology is "the internal of the church," a phrase signifying the organic virtual heaven created within our interior-natural mind when we begin regeneration (see Section xx). This new spiritual organic portion of the natural mind, can resonate in correspondence with the the higher-order correspondences in our unconscious three heavens. Hence it is that we are enlightened, which refers to the new ability of being able to comprehend rationally spiritual correspondences within Divine Speech. The expression "internal of worship" refers to our attitude of cooperation with the Divine Psychologist who is effecting our regeneration and looking to each of us to do our part. This involves our willingness to face down the temptations He brings to us (see Section xx).

Our ability to face down the habits and enjoyments of the old character depends on the quality of the doctrine of truth we extract from Sacred Scripture. The Divine Psychologist brings to each person a particular series of temptations in the right sequence and timing, giving the individual the opportunity to face down this or that hellish character trait (see Section xx). Spiritual and celestial temptations are not brought to us when we are unwilling to face them down and oppose them (see Section xx).

It is also said in the passage above that "the Word is the doctrine of love to the Lord, and of charity towards the neighbor." This means that genuine theistic psychology exists in the mind only when our purpose for gaining that knowledge is to become a heavenly person. This is the ultimate purpose of the Divine Psychologist with every individual, to raise their consciousness to the level of their heaven, where their merely human proprium or self is no longer desired. Instead, there is the desire for the Divine Proprium of the Divine Human (see Section xx). Swedenborg reports that those who already dwell in their heaven as angels and angelic spirits, are horrified by the idea of returning to their own willing and thinking, such as they had below their heavenly consciousness. What keeps them in heavenly joy and power, is their love for the Divine Proprium. They each become a unique version of the Divine Proprium by allowing the Divine Psychologist to animate their willing and thinking. The sense of as-of self freedom is then maximum -- as empirically reported by the people in that mental state to whom Swedenborg spoke to.

To be animated by God instead of self may sound unattractive when considered from the perspective of the external natural mind, which cannot let go of itself without feeling a loss. So the idea of willing and thinking, not from self, but from the Divine Proprium, sounds unattractive and aversive to the unenlightened natural mind. But we have the evidence of Swedenborg and of Sacred Scripture that this is a false or invalid way of thinking about the Divine Propirum. Instead of a loss of a sense of freedom, feeling the Divine Proprium activate our willing and thinking, without our resistance, is the ultimate rational and heavenly life of a human being, leading to ultimate joys and endlessly new powers or potentials.

9.1.2   The Scientific Meaning of Heaven                            

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 13. Those who are being regenerated do not all arrive at this state. The greatest part, at this day, attain only the first state; some only the second; others the third, fourth, or fifth; few the sixth; and scarcely anyone the seventh.

AC 67. CHAPTER 2 As of the Lord's Divine mercy it has been given me to know the internal meaning of the Word, in which are contained deepest arcana that have not before come to anyone's knowledge, nor can come unless the nature of the other life is known (for very many things of the Word's internal sense have regard to, describe, and involve those of that life), I am permitted to disclose what I have heard and seen during some years in which it has been granted me to be in the company of spirits and angels.

AC 68. I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels so long as he lives in the body; and many will say that it is all fancy, others that I relate such things in order to gain credence, and others will make other objections. But by all this I am not deterred, for I have seen, I have heard, I have felt.

AC 69. Man was so created by the Lord as to be able while living in the body to speak with spirits and angels, as in fact was done in the most ancient times; for, being a spirit clothed with a body, he is one with them. But because in process of time men so immersed themselves in corporeal and worldly things as to care almost nothing for ought besides, the way was closed. Yet as soon as the corporeal things recede in which man is immersed, the way is again opened, and he is among spirits, and in a common life with them.

AC 70. As it is permitted me to disclose what for several years I have heard and seen, it shall here be told, first, how the case is with man when he is being resuscitated; or how he enters from the life of the body into the life of eternity. In order that I might know that men live after death, it has been given me to speak and be in company with many who were known to me during their life in the body; and this not merely for a day or a week, but for months, and almost a year, speaking and associating with them just as in this world. They wondered exceedingly that while they lived in the body they were, and that very many others are, in such incredulity as to believe that they will not live after death; when in fact scarcely a day intervenes after the death of the body before they are in the other life; for death is a continuation of life. 

As I started reading the Writings I came across some consistent themes, each one a remarkable and wonderful scientific revelation. Once such idea is substantive dualism (see Section xx). This is the point of view presented in the Writings, that the structure of the universe is dual: there is a "spiritual world" and it is located "within" the physical world--but not within its spatial properties. Rather, the two worlds are in "discrete degrees" (see Section xx) and functionally linked by correspondence relations that are built into every object from creation (see Section xx). This means that when operations or events take place in the spiritual world they function as "causes" of corresponding events in the physical world ("effects").

The spiritual world has only one sun called the Spiritual Sun, which is a bright aura that surrounds the Divine Human who can be seen in the midst of it by all those who dwell in the heavens of their mind. The spiritual world of eternity is within the mind. This heavenly secret was revealed in the New Testament Sacred Scripture more than two millennia ago.

The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21)

upon which the Writings Sacred Scripture comment as follows:

AC 4279

From this one may see the nature of the Word and what happens to it when a person reads it with a holy mind, that is, one in whom good and truth are present. For when he reads it, it is seen by him as something existing in this world or as a historical document, but which nevertheless is inwardly holy. But in the first heaven it is seen as something celestial-natural and spiritual-natural, which however is inwardly Divine In the second heaven it is spiritual, and in the third celestial; and in the Lord it is Divine. The sense in the Word varies according to whatever heaven it may be. The highest sense of the Word, whose subject is the Lord, exists for the inmost or third heaven; the internal sense, whose subject is the Lord's kingdom, exists for the middle or second heaven; the lower sense, in which the internal sense is narrowed down to the nation referred to there, exists for the lower or first heaven. But the lowest or literal sense exists for man while he is still living in the world. Yet man's nature is such that the more interior sense, and also the internal and highest sense, can be communicated to him. For man has communication with the three heavens; indeed he is created on the pattern of the three heavens, so much so that when love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour constitute his life he is heaven in miniature. Consequently such a person has the Lord's kingdom within him, as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke,

Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21.

In the passage above, "the Word" refers to Sacred Scripture. "To read it with a holy mind" refers to the positive bias in theistic psychology (see Section xx). In that state of mind, "good and truth are present," which means that our willing and thinking in daily life strives to conform to the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section x). The positive bias is to read Sacred Scripture as "something existing in this world or as a historical document, but which nevertheless is inwardly holy." The expression "inwardly holy" refers to the Divine character of theistic psychology when it is genuine, that is, extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture in accordance with the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx).

Genuine theistic psychology is said to be Divine because it proceeds from Divine Speech, and what proceeds from the Divine remains Divine, when it is operative in our mind without "adulteration" or distortion by self-intelligence (see Section xx).

Sacred Scripture in the three heavens are encoded in correspondences appropriate to each consciousness level -- From Divine in the Divine Human, it becomes Divine-celestial in the third heaven of our mind, then Divine-spiritual in the second heaven of our mind, then Divine-natural in the first heaven of our mind. The topic of Sacred Scripture in our third heaven is the Divine Human Love in our affective organ. The topic of Sacred Scripture in our second heaven is the "the Lord's kingdom" which is "heaven," that is,  the Divine Human Truth in our cognitive organ.. The topic of Sacred Scripture in our first heaven is "narrowed down to the nation referred to there." This is an expression that signifies the Divine Human Uses in our sensorimotor organ (see Section xx). This is an "internal sense" that is above the external historical level of Sacred Scripture, which gives the "literal sense for man while he is still living in the world."

The literal meaning of Sacred Scripture as most people know it, hides within itself three discrete layers of spiritual meaning that is unrelated to the literal meaning. These three inner meanings are called spiritual-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational (see Section xx). These inner meanings actually create the genes of consciousness at each discrete level of our mind (see Section xx).

The expression "man has communication with the three heavens" refers to the three discrete layers of functioning in our mind -- celestial, spiritual, natural, and how they interact with each other through correspondences, and what operational consequences they produce in our conscious natural mind.

Note this crucial sentence for theistic psychology: "man's nature is such that the more interior sense, and also the internal and highest sense, can be communicated to him." In other words, while we are here on earth conscious in our natural mind ("man's nature"), the higher-order rational correspondences operating in our unconscious spiritual mind ("three heavens"), "can be communicated to him," meaning that these unconscious spiritual correspondences can be made conscious to our natural mind.

This is a most welcome piece of news! Theistic psychology is in fact the knowledge of these spiritual correspondences being "communicated" to us, that is, made conscious in our natural mind. As mentioned frequently elsewhere (see Section xx), this spiritual ability is the basis of our rational consciousness of God, and has been made possible in us by the work of the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx).

This new spiritual organ within the natural mind is a discrete degree within the natural level of thinking and willing. Hence it is called the "interior-natural" level, and this is the same as the spiritual-natural correspondences in our first heaven (see Section xx). Hence it is that we call this new organ a virtual heaven since it gives the new ability to be conscious of spiritual correspondences of Divine Speech -- not merely spiritual-natural, but also spiritual-rational (second heaven) and celestial-rational (third heaven).

Hence it is that theistic psychology, when it is genuine in our understanding, is heaven within us. Or, to say it another way, theistic psychology creates heaven within us. More specifically, since heaven is in us from creation, the study of theistic psychology activates or operationalizes the heavenly potential in us.

This spiritual idea that "heaven is within us," is an instance of a "naked truth" that is written out in the literal meaning of the natural language in the New Testament Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Despite this heavenly secret being around for many centuries in the Western mind and literature, it has not led to enlightenment regarding what it means or how one is to understand it. It is common to relate its meaning to the natural idea that we need to repent from our sins and have good will towards others, if we expect to enter heaven, at "the end of times" when our bodies are resurrected to eternal life "on a new earth." But things have changed completely since the18th century, when the Writings Sacred Scripture were delivered to humanity through Swedenborg (see Section xx).

Today it is known in theistic psychology that the Divine Human has created in Himself during the Incarnation Event, this new interior-natural organ that allowed Him to become conscious of the Divine correspondences that He had within His (then) unconscious spiritual mind. The lowered consciousness of the Divine Child is referred to in the Writings as "exinanition." As the Divinee Child was creating this new higher biological organ in Himself, He was also creating this new organ in the human mind through His Divine power from within Himself. When the process was completed in Himself -- called "glorification" -- it was also completed in every human mind. From that moment on, every human being anywhere in both worlds, possessed that new capacity within themselves.

The human race took its final step of evolution by being given the new ability of becoming conscious of the three heavens that are created within us. In theistic psychology this new higher spiritual consciousness is called rational consciousness of God (see Section xx), and in the literal of the Writings, it is called "rational faith" which is what the New Church is based on (see Section xx).

Another passage from the Writings Sacred Scripture identifies "heaven within us" as the mental states of regeneration.

AC 8036

This then is charity, and this is faith. They who are in these have within them the kingdom of the Lord and heaven, and within them is the church; and these are they who have been regenerated by the Lord, and from Him have received a new will and a new understanding.

The expression "the church" in the Writings Sacred Scripture signifies the mental states of the regenerating person during character reformation. The expression "a new will and a new understanding" refers to the higher-order virtual heaven, or interior-natural organ, discussed just above. This new organ contains a new affective organ ("the will") and a new cognitive organ ("the understanding"). these interior-natural organs operate with spiritual correspondences that virtually match those in our three heavens -- the spiritual-natural correspondences, the spiritual-rational correspondences, and the celestial-rational correspondences (see Section xx).

When the Divine Child as an Adult said to His followers, "the Kingdom of heaven is within you," He was talking about this new interior-natural organ that He was at that very time creating in Himself, and in His followers, and in the rest of the human race.

Though they are within every person by that act of creation, the three heavens nevertheless remain dormant or unconscious to us, until we begin our reformation and regeneration ("rebirth"). This is a process of perfection of character that goes on all our life, in this world and in immortality. But it goes on differently once we pass into our heavenly consciousness, where temptations are never present, as they are here during our regeneration (see Section xx).

Quoting further on this topic from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1733

That which is interior in man is called 'heaven', and that which is exterior 'earth'. The reason heaven means that which is interior in man is that man as regards interior things is an image of heaven, and so a miniature heaven. The Lord's Interior Man primarily is heaven, for the Lord is the All in all of heaven, and thus heaven itself. The exterior man's being called 'the earth' follows as a consequence of this. Here also is the reason why 'the new heaven and the new earth' described in the Prophets and in the Book of Revelation is used to mean nothing other than the Lord's kingdom and every person who is the Lord's kingdom, that is, who has the Lord's kingdom within him. As regards heaven and earth having these meanings, see 82, 911, for heaven, and 82, 620, 636, 913, for earth.

In other words, our natural mind is relatively "exterior" in relation to the Spiritual Sun, and is called "earth," while our spiritual mind is "interior" and is called "heaven." Our unconscious interior spiritual mind is built up solely by sensory input and information from the spiritual world. Our conscious exterior natural mind is built up solely by sensory input and information from the natural world. We thus have both "heaven and earth" within our mind, which is called a heaven "in miniature" and a "little earth." The end of the world and the destruction of the earth referred to in the New Testament Sacred Scripture, are therefore references to the regeneration of the natural mind and the animation of the spiritual mind through the "new will" or interior-natural organ (see above). The details about this regeneration process are given in the scientific sense of the Book of Revelations in the New Testament. This hidden meaning remained unknown to the world, though it gave rise to many speculations and fantasies. But now, the Writings of Swedenborg revealed the method of correspondences with enlightenment, by which the hidden meaning is made conscious to a person.

It took Swedenborg eight volumes (AE and AR) to explain the inner correspondential sense of every word, phrase, and verse in the Book of Revelations of the New Texstament. Anyone can read these volumes and make the translation process understandable to themselves -- but only in a natural way of thinking about these spiritual topics. In order to gain a spiritual understanding of these spiritual topics, we must be enlightened, which happens to anyone who is undergoing character reformation by means of the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

The Writings Sacred Scripture do not constitute science, but they contain scientific revelations that can be systematically extracted, as illustrated in theistic psychology. This extracted knowledge is the form of meaning we need in order to be able to regenerate our character by means of the genuine doctrine of truth (see Section xx). The literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture can only give us natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. At this level of thinking, we can know what we must do to regenerate, but we don't have the steady motivation to accomplish it. Nor do we have a comprehension of spiritual correspondences, until we are willing to consciously and explicitly look for them within the literal meaning, using the proper method, as discussed frequently.

The mental state of consciously comprehending spiritual correspondences is called "enlightenment" (see Section xx). The literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture cannot give us this state of enlightenment, hence cannot serve for our regeneration (see Section xx). Only if we apply the literal meaning to our own willing an thinking can this knowledge serve for our regeneration. Theistic psychology teaches systematic methods for the extraction process, along with a rational register or syntax for generating new doctrine that is genuine, and can serve for motivating our regeneration.

9.1.2.1  Heavenly Robotics -- In the Image and Likeness of God

One of the most far reaching discoveries Swedenborg has made is that our true humanity begins when we allow God to animate all our willing and thinking.

God is the Divine Human from eternity, prior to the existence of the universe and the creation of human beings.

Therefore, the Divine of God is infinite and from eternity, and the Human of God is infinite and from eternity.

The infinite Divine Human from eternity created the universe and human beings by means of His Human and from His Divine.

The Human of God is called Divine Truth and the Divine of God is called Divine Love. Therefore God created the universe and human beings by means of truth from love.

The phrase "by means of truth from love" means that the visible outward shape of the universe and of human beings is that of the shape of truth, while the invisible inward shape of all created things is that of the shape of love.

The visible shape of God's Truth is Human, while the invisible shape of God's Love is Divine.

Of all created things, human beings are the only creations that appear in the actual human shape of Truth.

Every human being is born with a unique mind into which are built several layers of mentality and life. The highest layer is the only true human form because it is built out of God's Human, that is, out of Truth. This truly human layer is called heaven. When our mentality level and character develops all the way to our heaven, we have reached the highest human potential possible. We are called "angels" and our immortality is lived in conjugial love and in community with like others. Outwardly we live in a paradise and magnificent palaces and cities. Inwardly, in our willing and thinking we are animated completely by the Divine Human Proprium. Every moment of our life is a Grand Moment, filled with with as much joy, enthusiasm, and inventiveness that we are willing to experience. We live eternity unselfconsciously, feeling ourselves pulled by the "stream of Divine Providence" in complete peace and confidence. There can never be a dull moment or a diminution of the intensity of our feelings and the inventiveness of our thoughts. There is no sense of time, no sense of conflict, no dilemma, no puzzle or mystery. Everything you want to know instantly comes to your awareness. Everything you desire is instantly created and provided for you. This is the true human life for which God created the human race, and continues to create it in ever larger numbers.

What does it mean that to be truly human, or in heaven, we must be willing to be animated by the Proprium of the Divine Human? This is the key to our eternal happiness and success.

The word "proprium" is a Latin word that means what is our "own," and this is what we call "the self." The proprium of every human being is born deformed by inheritance, and is not in the proper human shape of truth (see Section xx). Only the heaven in their mind is in the proper human shape. The task before every person on earth is therefore to learn to become truly human in the character and in the level of one's thinking mentality. By inherited inclination our natural mind is animalistic or sub-human. Society had to become civilized by following the principles of truth, which are in the genuinely human shape. God reshapes and recreates the inherited human character by the process of reformation and regeneration by means of truth from Divine Speech that comes into our conscious awareness through Sacred Scripture and instruction based on it (see Section xx).

In this way our character becomes heavenly, that is in the shape of truth, the genuinely human shape.

The process of raising ourselves to our heavenly potential is accomplished by a lifelong effort of character reformation governed by the doctrine of truth which we extract from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

When we become spirits after being resuscitated (see Section xx), our natural mind is no longer the focus of our conscious awareness. We become completely involved the life we have in our spiritual mind, which was unconscious while we were on earth in our natural mind (see Section xx). Now our new life of immortality begins in our spiritual mind, which is perfectly well equipped with sensory organs. We have a keen perception of the spiritual environment around us, which corresponds with our mental states. We live in the inward unconscious life we had before. It is not a new life. All the loves, feelings, and ideas are familiar to us, now that they are no longer unconscious. That is why they feel so totally familiar. We now exist inside our feelings and thoughts.

There are those who come into the life of immortality with a heavenly character already achieved through regeneration. They are swept by their inclinations, into the life of heaven in their mind.

There are those who come into the life of immortality with an unregenerate hellish character such as they had from birth. They are swept by their inclinations, into the life of hell in their mind.

The life of endless hell in the mind is the life of one's own proprium. The life of eternal heaven in the mind is the life of God's Divine Human Proprium.

Swedenborg discussed this with those who were in the heaven of their mind. They explained to him that they have an actual sensory perception of the "influx" of God's Proprium into their character (affective organ) and into their understanding (cognitive organ). Spiritual light, which is Divine Truth in substance, flows from the Spiritual sun into their cognitive organ, and enlightens it. This feels to them as a kind of omniscience, since it gives them instant access to any knowledge or information they are curious about. There is no sense of mental effort such as there is when we study, learn, and enlarge our knowledge in the natural mind. At the same time, the perceive spiritual heat form the Spiritual Sun entering their affective organ. This feels to them like a kind of omnipotence in that they are able to achieve perfect success at anything they are moved to undertake. They also experience a kind of omnipresence in that they are able to appear in any place instantaneously without the effort of moving.

Clearly then, the highest human potential possible is a state of life that feels in some respects like that of God -- genuinely human possessing good and truth, immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

What is most astonishing to me about this, is that we are most human when we are God's robots!

The idea of being "robots" wouldn't sound attractive to most people, even if it is God's robots. But this is a natural or materialistic way of thinking about robots. Heavenly robotics is different. The quality of Divine Love is such that it desires and wills that what is its own, belong to human beings. Divine Love comes to human beings in the visible appearance of Divine Truth. We are given a rational portion of the mind in order to be able to see, recognize, comprehend, accept, and love Divine Truth. Inside of this truth, invisible to us, is God's Divine Love. By consciously comprehending and accepting God's Divine Truth in our cognitive organ, God secretly activates and animates our affective organ with love. In this way He makes us heavenly and truly human, which means that we are willing to give up living our life according to our own self, and willing to live instead according to God's Proprium.

We are willing to feel happy and blessed when our willing and thinking is animated by God's character rather our own.

This is the secret of heavenly life.

The angels told Swedenborg that the instant they would imagine to pursue something from their own (dormant) self or character, they fall out of their heaven, and into hell. Heaven is God's Proprium, and to live in that mental state in our mind, we must be willing to give up our own self, and love to be nothing but God's Proprium for the rest of eternity.

Heavenly robotics is the achievement of maximum pure freedom in the life of human beings. This heaven is created in our mind by Divine Speech through the higher-order rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture that we are willing to extract and use as guiding doctrine for our daily life on earth (see Section xx).

But of course "robotics" is just a modern analogy for the mental state of angels in relation to the Divine Human's Proprium. The spiritual meaning of this celestial relationship with God is in the idea of "innocence" -- the heavenly trait that is most like the perfection of the Divine Human. The experience of innocence in relation to God is the closest mental state a human being is capable of achieving by creation, from birth to eternity.

The Divine Child was in this mental state of innocence in relation to His inmost Divine being. Without it, He could not have "glorified" his natural mind "by His own power." And in that case the natural human could not have become one with His Human Divine, in which case the He could not have created the new interior-natural organ in every human mind. And without that, no one could be regenerated. Therefore every human being, past, present, and future, would have fallen into the hells of their mind to eternity. But this unimaginable catastrophe was averted thanks to the innocence of the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx).

As angels in our third heaven we are not robots. We are in the mental state of innocence in relation to the Divine Human who is the "all in all" in our mind. This is an expression referring to our willingness to subdue and inhibit the slightest sign of our own proprium or self-initiative and self-intelligence. In the mentality of our third heaven, we find it most aversive and abominable to choose self over the Divine Human. In the celestial mental state we think with celestial-rational correspondences. This is the only true and genuine level of thinking and willing. In our heavenly mental state we allow Divine Speech to shape our consciousness by means of celestial-rational correspondences. All the topics of that thinking level concern themselves with only one major theme -- how they may love the Divine Human more and more.

They receive this love for the Divine Human in innocence, from the Divine Human.

In other words, when we are in the mental state of innocence, we feel prompted to love the Divine Human.

This love for the Divine Human consumes us. We can think nothing else that we can love more. We have a distinct feeling of increasing happiness and joy every day to eternity. This love is infinite and our increasing joy and blessedness increases endlessly.

Why does God prompt us to love Him more and more and causes that love for Him to increase endlessly in us?

Because love conjoins, and the greater the love, the closer the conjunction. The closer the conjunction to God, the more truly human we become in our willing, thinking, and sensing. And in this way God can keep our heavenly happiness and powers to multiply daily endlessly. This is God's goal in creating the human race and the universe. Such is the nature of the Divine Human's infinite love for the human race that He desires to make us happy endlessly from the infinite variety of His Good by means of the infinite multiplicity of His Truth.

You may wonder what innocence feels like. You can have a sense of the mental state of innocence when you are in the presence of an infant or baby, especially if you are a parent or relative. All infants are mentally connected to their third heaven and the people that already dwell there in their eternity. This connection remains with them as long as they are in the mental state of innocence. The Writings define innocence as the willingness to obey God.  To infants and little children, parents or caretakers are in the role position of of God. They have all their physical and mental needs being taken care of by the parents just as the parents have theirs being taken care of by God. Infants love their parents and caretakers and cling to them, obey them, love to please them. When we do this with the Divine Human, we enter the mental state of innocence. The study and love for theistic psychology helps us develop the skill of entering and maintaining the mental state of innocence in relation to the Divine Human.

Innocence can be better understood if you think of as a trigrammatic concept constructed out of three discrete components (see Section xx):

[ willingness to receive  /  willingness to obey  /  willingness to give      ]
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[ sensorimotor              /   cognitive                      /    affective                          ]
[ first heaven                /   second heaven           /     third heaven                  ]

This spiritual understanding of the concept of innocence allows us to see, to some extent, why it is that the Writings Sacred Scripture pick innocence as the highest possible human angelic trait. Innocence actually forms our three heavens. In other words, our three heavens are constructed out of innocence, which is the highest celestial substance that our affective organ is capable of receiving.

The celestial substance of innocence is the core of spiritual heat that streams from the Spiritual sun. Innocence is the meaning itself of Divine Speech. When we are reborn we are like children since we are willing to receive good and truth from the Divine Human through Sacred Scripture. Until we are reborn our character is not yet reformed so that we are in a mental state in which we are unwilling to receive good and truth from the Divine Human -- we deny the Divine Human in our very willing and thinking. We allocate God to a position of distance from our willing and thinking, where we insist that we be independent and on our own.

When we overcome this irrational mental state and bow to the rational implications of God's omnipresence, including our willing and thinking all day long, and all night, from birth to endless eternity. Such is our amazing close and intimate relationship with God. When we acknowledge this with our rational understanding, we are in the first state of innocence, the willingness to receive good and truth from the Divine Human in our mind. This creates our first heaven, which is the interior of the natural mind (see Section xx).

To advance in our regeneration to the second discrete level of consciousness, we must be willing to obey the Divine Human doctrine of truth that we extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. To obey the truth that we understand is to elevate our understanding of that truth to a new discrete level called the second heaven. This is a new power in the operations of our cognitive organ. We can reason at a higher level of rationality that is formed by spiritual-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture.

To advance in our regeneration to the third and highest discrete level of consciousness, we must be willing to give to others the good and truth that we receive from the Divine Human. This is the highest state of innocence because the desire to give to others is called "charity" and this is nothing else than Divine Human Love. In other words, spiritual heat entering the affective organ at its highest level (celestial), activates the desire to give to others or to benefit others with the good and truth we possess. 

In the New Testament Sacred Scripture, the Divine Human is portrayed as a Lamb because that animal represents and corresponds to celestial innocence. The Human of God is willing to be animated totally by the Divine of God. This willingness of the Human of God is innocence itself. It is this innocence that saves the human race from finding itself permanently in the hells of the mind. Only the Divine of God, which is Love, has omnipotence. It is this omnipotence that keeps the human race from degenerating into its hells. By being innocent in perfection, the Human of God is conjoined into unity with the Divine of God. This is called the Divine Marriage and is the model after which our own mental marriage is based, namely, the unification process between our ideal knowledge of truth and its practical execution in our willing and doing (see Section xx). It is the Lamb, therefore, that saves the human race by making it possible for our understanding to be united to our will.

We are willing to be animated completely by the Divine Human when we give up all desire to be animated by our own self -- our affections, loves, motives. and ideas. This mental stat is the height of innocence itself. It is to be a "heavenly robot."

Innocence is the mental state that sets up the interaction between God and humanity, upon which all eternity is founded.

When we are still children we are more in the mental state of innocence than in our adulthood. As children we are willing to receive good and truth from our parents, caretakers, and society, by acknowledging authority. We are even more in the state of innocence if we are also willing to obey their rules and wishes. And we are most in a state of innocence when, as children, we are animated by the desire to please, to share, to give.

When we are willing to remain in the mental state of innocence, we experience happiness and enthusiasm. These affective operations stimulate our cognitive operations so that our thinking becomes of a superior level, based on higher or deeper truths. With higher truths in our rational understanding, we can receive still higher good in our affective organ. In this way we live in endlessly increasing enthusiasm, intelligence, and happiness.

It makes sense to think of innocence as the highest human potential because it is the Divine Human who has invented and created human beings for the sole purpose of making them endlessly happy, enthusiastic, and intelligent. He could do this in only way -- to create them with a mind that can receive from the Divine Human's infinite store of heavenly mental states called "good and truth."

You can see that we are able to receive "good and truth" from God willingly, in all innocence, or else in an unwilling state. God created human beings, in all innocence --  to receive, obey, and give, as discussed above. But at the same time God also grants every human being the desire to follow self, instead of God. Whenever we want to follow self, we take the "good and truth" we receive from God, and we pretend it is our own, not from God. This is called the state of "arrogance," and it is the opposite of the state of innocence. God cooperates with each of us, and empowers our decisions, by which He brings about consequences that we have to face and deal with. In this process we eventually are more willing to give up the destructive desire to follow self, and we are willing to follow God. Then at last can God give us more "good and truth" and bring us to our next phase of development.

Innocence is the entry point for humanity's conjunction with God.

Prior to rebirth and reformation (see Section xx) we are in an arrogant mental state due to several influences. We inherit the powerful attraction to our own wants, desires, pleasures, and enjoyments. We are unwilling to give them up when we are told what innocence is and what we should do. Our arrogance mixes itself with cynicism. When we hear about what "heavenly robotics" is, as discussed in this Section, we are disenchanted, even hateful. We find it ludicrous to think that to be God's robots is the highest human potential we can reach. It seems to us in this mental state, that innocence is the lowest human state because it removes our human independence and demeans our spirit.

From the perspective of theistic psychology we can see that this way of thinking is to think in a natural way about a spiritual topic (see Section xx). Innocence as an expression of "heavenly robotics" actually elevates the human spirits to its highest created state of operation precisely because it removes the independent human self or "proprium," which is called a "little hell." In fact, what we experience as enjoyable is from hell. In other words, everyone is born with both hell and heaven in the mind (see Section xx). Hellish enjoyments operate in the lower portion of the organic mind and heavenly enjoyments operate in the upper portion.

Heavenly enjoyments (see Section xx) are produced in our mind by "good and truth" when received in innocence, as explained above.

Hellish enjoyments (see Section xx) are produced in our mind by the appropriation of that "good and truth" to oneself.

God empowers both types of operations for the sake of the individual's regeneration (see Section xx).

Self-attribution of "good and truth" is a mental state of rational insanity. It would be like an individual in a city who is unwilling to acknowledge the government as real. How would this person explain what's going on around -- laws, courts, police, permits, taxes, jails, road construction and repair? Whatever account or explanations the person would make up for these things would be insane .In the same way, it is insane to think that we have the ability to function one hour of the day on our own as human beings. God is "omnipotent" which means rationally that we do not have any ability or power whatsoever. If we had the power to lift a finger on our own, or to think a concept on our own, then God would not be omnipotent.

Since God is omnipotent, we must think rationally how it seems then that we act from our own self (see section xx). We could not be happy and intelligent beings unless we had the experience that we are acting from our own self -- this is true. Therefore God has created our mind in such a form that it not only can receive "good and truth" from God, but we can experience it as-if it was our own.

This must be understood rationally. The contrast is between "experience" and "acknowledgement." Our happiness and intelligence do not depend on knowing that we act from self, but on experiencing it.

We can acknowledge and know that God animates our willing and thinking. This will not detract from our happiness and intelligence -- as long as we have the experience that we are acting from self. We can wrongly rely on this experience of as-of self independence, and make up an insane doctrine, like materialism, which denies the existence of a spiritual world of eternity from where God creates and runs the universe by means of Divine Speech.

For more discussion on the as-of self concept, see Section xx.

9.1.2.1.1 The Freedom and Remains in Innocence

xxxx see p. 464 V.2 in AC

 

 

 

9.1.3  The Divine History of Theistic Psychology

The New Church, established at the end of the 18th century, is the religion based on the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). It is my observation from their literature coveing the past one hundred and fifty years (see Readings), that the doctrine of the Church they have evolved for their regeneration, has been formed by applying the extraction process in a general rather than a fully explicit and systematic way, as it is done in theistic psychology. Nevertheless, it is clear when one reads their accumulated work, that they are implicitly following that procedure when thinking deeply about the topics. In fact, they have come to the explicit realization of this in the1920s and 1930s, as documented in a Church doctrinal magazine publication that has been republished under its title known as De Hemelsche Leer --  which means "Heavenly Doctrine" in the Dutch language.  I have scanned this happily preserved three-volume publication, now in the public domain, and have made it available on the Web at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan9.html.

The Dutch branch of the General Church in the 1920s consisted of no more than a dozen families. The men met together regularly to study and discuss a new insight they had about the Writings Sacred Scripture, which they called the "Third Testament," equal in Divinity with the Old and New Testaments. This was the view that distinguished the General Church from other branches of the New Church. However, the Dutch group now went a step further, a giant step further. The insight they received was this: The Writings teach how we must extract the spiritual meaning hidden within the literal of the Old and New Testaments. This method of extraction of the spiritual meaning from Sacred Scripture is called the method of correspondences with enlightenment, as frequently discussed and applied in theistic psychology (see Section xx).

For one hundred years, the General Church scholars, whose work is listed in the Readings, defended vigorously the idea that the Writings of Swedenborg are Sacred Scripture ("the Word"). But they did not receive the insight that the method of correspondences with enlightenment should also be applied to the Writings, since they are Sacred Scripture. The Writings declare in multiple places that all Sacred Scripture is written in natural correspondences, and that we should apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment when we read Sacred Scripture. It seems obvious that if we consider the Writings of Swedenborg as Sacred Scripture, then we ought to read it with the of correspondences with enlightenment. After one hundred years of preparation, the obvious idea hit the awareness of the General Church through the Dutch group. They started a Dutch magazine in which they wrote about their new idea. The magazine was called De Hemelsche Leer which is "Heavenly Doctrine" in Dutch.

The Dutch members of the General Church who wrote the articles, prove their thesis without the shadow of a doubt, by providing abundant evidence for it from many quotations from the Writings. They collected hundreds of passages that show how the method of correspondences with enlightenment must be applied to the literal meaning of the Writings in order to extract the "Heavenly Doctrine," without which regeneration is not possible. This controversial issue is reviewed in Volume 2 of my book A Man of the Field, available here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/nonduality.html  I call it controversial because the leaders of the General Church back home in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, read the articles and wrote articles in their own magazines that rejected the whole idea as a "heresy" or false doctrine. There was an exchange of a series of acrimonious letters, which you can read in the English translation of the De Hemelsche Leer (available at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan9.html ).

Eventually the climate between the two groups became so divisive that the tiny Dutch Group of the General Church split off and became reborn under its new name of The Lord's New Church. Today, seventy years later, the two Churches are both located in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania and have close educational, social, and family ties. But they remain separate in the issue that originally divided them.

When I started reading the Writings in 1981 I was unaware for awhile that a New Church existed that was based on the Writings. I started reading the magazines and articles of the General Church. Shortly thereafter, I discovered also De Hemelsche Leer and read the exchange of letters and the historical split in the Church. It was immediately clear to me that a paradigm shift in thinking took place between the General Church and the Lord's New Church. Later I came to the realization that this paradigm shift in thinking is a developmental step every individual must take who is being regenerated (see Section xx).

It is my observation that the scholars of the General Church who think deeply when studying the Writings, produce articles and doctrinal lessons that are to some extent abstracted principles from the literal meaning. Take for example, the work of Bishop George de Charms of the General Church (see Readings), on the "Doctrine of Reflection" now available online at: www.thenewphilosophyonline.org/journal/article.php?issue=107a&page=1002

Quoting Bishop George De Charms:

“There are more arcana in the doctrine of reflection than in any other whatever.” This arresting statement is found in number 733 of the Spiritual Diary1 by Emanuel Swedenborg. It seems to challenge the generally accepted view, for we have been prone to think of reflection as merely one form, among many, of mental activity. We would ordinarily place it in the same category as sensation, memory, imagination and thought. Why should it contain more arcana than any of these? Are there not other doctrines that are of even greater importance? Consider creation, redemption and glorification; or influx, providence and regeneration. Must these not have an even broader application than the doctrine of reflection?

However, when we analyze the teaching of the Writings on the subject of reflection, we learn that it has a universal application because it underlies all the other operations of the human mind. All consciousness depends upon it. Without it there can be no sensation, memory, imagination or thought. Without it the Lord could not have effected the glorification of His Human; nor could He have provided for the regeneration of man and the salvation of the human race. Not only does it contain the key to the understanding of all the conscious activities of the human mind, but it explains all the countless phenomena of the spiritual world. The life of man on earth is distinguished from that of angels and spirits solely by the fact that they have a distinctly different plane of reflection. Because of this, the inhabitants of one world can be completely unconscious of those in the other world, and at the same time can be in constant and intimate association with them. Without this association there could be no conscious life in either world. Open communication between the two worlds is made possible only by bringing both men and spirits temporarily into a state of reflection that is common to both.

Furthermore, the doctrine of reflection has never been revealed before in the entire history of the human race. The laws of reflection have indeed been operative from the beginning of time, but they have not been known. Men have enjoyed the benefits of their operation, and have taken them for granted without even trying to understand them. Just as the laws of gravity existed before the time of Newton, and those of electricity before Franklin began to investigate them, so the laws of reflection were operative before they were revealed in the Writings of the Lord’s Second coming. They were unknown to the men of the Most Ancient Church who nevertheless had great heavenly wisdom. They were concealed from the men of the Ancient Church even in the days of its pristine glory. They could not be made known to those who belonged to the Jewish Church, nor even to Christians before the Lord had made His second coming. Only through the medium of one who could live consciously in both worlds at the same time, and who therefore could compare the two worlds and note how each was related to the other, could the laws of reflection be made known.

These laws are now laid open by the Lord because some understanding of them is vital to the establishment of the New Church.

As you read these paragraphs by De Charms do they not seem to you like theistic psychology material?

This is because his method of reading the Writings involves extracting new knowledge that is not apparent from reading the Writings by retaining focus on the surface of the text. In this sample, De Charms starts with the literal meaning of a sentence in the Writings: "There are more arcana in the doctrine of reflection than in any other whatever." He wants to penetrate this idea more deeply. He asks himself why should this topic of "reflection" be more special than others that seem at first equally or more important. He sees reflection as a mental state related to "sensation, memory, imagination and thought." These are universal psychological concepts about human development that he elaborates on in many of his works. His research with various passages in the Writings lead to conclude that reflection "has a universal application because it underlies all the other operations of the human mind. All consciousness depends upon it."

Clearly De Charms is into theistic psychology here -- though without calling it that officially. What we call theistic psychology, he calls "doctrinal studies." He sees his work in the context of religion while we see theistic psychology in the context of science.

Works by other General Church scholars can easily be cited to show the same thing. For instance, Hugo Lj. Odhner's 1969 book called The Human Mind: Its Faculties and Degrees. A Study of Swedenborg's Psychology, presents a very useful anatomical chart extracted from the Writings. Contemporary interest in the General Church includes the desire to maintain a school curriculum that conforms to the developmental steps described in the Writings. This applied research in theistic psychology is discussed in Section xx.

The literature on the doctrine of the General Church is fairly extensive, as is shown in the Readings, where I only list the material I am familiar with. In my view, the two most distinctive and extensive instances of this doctrinal work, are the articles and books by Bishop George DeCharms of the General Church, and Bishop Philip N. Odhner, of the Lord's New Church. The articles, books, and doctrinal lessons they have left behind form an integral part of theistic psychology -- which is why I have included them in the Readings. The lifelong work of Bishop DeCharms on cognitive development and dynamics, is discussed in Section xx, and Bishop Odhner's work on the inner meaning of the Writings is discussed in Section xx.

It is therefore a historical irony that it was on Bishop DeCharms watch as leader of the General Church, when the "Dutch Controversy" broke up the Church, with the splinter group declaring themselves to be a new entity called The Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma. Philip Odhner became their first official Bishop. He was in that post when he contacted me in 1983, having heard of my work on Swedenborg at the University of Hawaii. When we met in Hawaii he asked me whether it would be possible to create a science of psychology that is compatible with the Writings Sacred Scripture, which he called "the Third Testament." I had been working with such a goal since 1981 when I first started reading the Writings of Swedenborg. And now you can see this goal culminating in the making of theistic psychology through these18 volumes. One day my wife Diane and I received a package from Philip Odhner and his wife Beryl. It contained the three-volume set of the De Hemelsche Leer.

The moment I started reading De Hemelsche Leer I recognized that it was written in spiritual-natural correspondences, unlike the Wirings which were written in natural-rational correspondences (see Section xx).

It felt like a new enlightenment, a new and additional valid way of comprehending the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture, which the authors referred to as "the Third Testament" and also as "the Final Testament."

I also came across the extensive correspondence exchanged between the General Church leaders in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and the tiny Dutch group that consisted of about a dozen enlightened men. Their chief spokespersons and contributors were Ernest Pfeiffer, Harry Groeneveld, and Theodore Pitcairn. Pfeiffer and Pitcairn, like Philip Odhner, were ordained ministers in the General Church, from which they resigned to begin the new era of the Lord's New Church. You can read the correspondence, translated in English, here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan.html. When I first read it I was quite surprised that Bishop DeCharms and colleagues seemed unable to comprehend the spiritual correspondences in which De Hemelsche Leer was written. They focused on its literal meaning only no matter how much the new rational understanding was rephrased and re-proven by new passages during the course of the exchange. As I was reading this written record over and over again, I came to realize that a discrete degree of thinking separated the old and the new sides of the issue. I discuss this matter in detail in Volume 2 of my book A Man of the Field available here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan.html 

The contributors of the De Hemelsche Leer began a new era in the understanding of the Writings as Sacred Scripture by analyzing the sentences of the Writings using the method of correspondences with enlightenment.

However, they were not scientists. They were doing this as religion. The research presented in this Volume shows the exact nature of the difference between religious doctrine and theistic psychology. It is my prediction that once theistic psychology is studied by the scholars of these two branches of the New Church, and perhaps other branches as well, they will be able to recognize that Divine Speech is to be made conscious to most people on this earth by means of theistic psychology as science, rather than by means of the spread of the New Church religion. This will indeed occur to some extent, as the New Church has already spread to more than a dozen of countries -- involving tiny numbers of people who have converted to this new Christian religion.

But the Writings teach that the diversity of cultures, and their varieties of religious beliefs, is a correspondential reflection of the infinity that is in the Divine Human. It is not to be expected that the variety of religions is to disappear from this earth. The Writings reveal that when people are resuscitated (see Section xx), they are instructed regarding the Divine Human, but they are not pressured or influenced in any way to change the religion of their childhood. The heaven in the minds of people vary with their religion and cultural character or "genius." When they ascend to their heavens they do not find the New Church there, but their own religion, modified somewhat by eliminating the false notions attached to it, which are incompatible with the character of the Divine Human.

From all this you can see that it is not to be expected that the the Writings Sacred Scripture will enter the conscious awareness through the New Church religions. But the concepts and ideas of the Writings must enter their awareness, or else they cannot develop a rational consciousness of the Divine Human, just as Christians cannot, without knowing the correspondences in which the New Testament is written (see Section xx). God had to provide another way for bringing the new knowledge of the Writings to all humanity. This new way is the universal pan-human science of theistic psychology.

Religious New Church doctrine that is based on the literal meaning of the Writings does not concern itself with the scientific details of the mechanisms involved. Actually, I have observed that the religious New Church mind imbued with a sense of worship and sacredness, feels an initial aversion to theistic psychology. It seems sacrilegious to discuss the Divine Love and Wisdom as "scientific mechanisms," or to refer to "the Lord God" as "our Divine Psychologist." In fact, the literal of the Writings sometimes uses the word "scientifics of the Word" to refer to the mere memory-knowledges of Sacred Scripture (see Sections xx). What is above "scientifics of the Word" is "doctrine drawn from the Word," which means a personal understanding of the Writings that is rational and organized. Doctrine is considered higher than scientifics because scientifics is the phase of general or broad understanding, prior to personal understanding of rational series and details (see Section xx).

Because of this usage of the word "scientifics" as external knowledges not yet rationally understood, the New Church mind inclines to the automatic rejection of the idea that theistic psychology as a science is higher than religion for giving us a rational and spiritual consciousness of God. But I predict that his initial aversion vanishes when the New Church mind realizes that theistic psychology is actually the doctrine and the consciousness that operate in their three heavens. Through the new creation of the interior-natural organ, discussed frequently, anyone regardless of religion and culture, can now consciously become aware of the spiritual correspondences in their three heavens. This is good news for the entire humanity.

Every mind contains three heavens, or three discrete degrees of mental operation (see Section xx). Regardless of religion, the first heaven is constructed out of spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech. The second heaven is constructed out of spiritual-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech. The third heaven is constructed out of celestial-rational correspondences of the Writings Sacred Scripture. These are the three levels of human willing and thinking called theistic psychology.

The first theistic psychologist was the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event who extracted the scientific sense of the Old Testament and thereby became conscious of all the correspondences in that Sacred Scripture, all the way above the third heaven to Himself as the Divine Human (see Section xx).

 The second theistic psychologist was Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) through whom the Divine Human delivered the Writings Sacred Scripture to humanity. Swedenborg showed how to extract the scientific correspondences of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture by applying the method of correspondences with enlightenment. He did not make it explicit that the Writings he authored should also be read through that method -- hence it is easy to deny it.

The third theistic psychologist was the collective of contributors to De Hemelsche Leer, and especially, Ernest Pfeiffer, Harry Groeneveld, and Theodore Pitcairn, and later, Philip N. Odhner, whose work is now being featured in the restart issues of this magazine in English, by Rutger Perizonius, under the old title De Hemelse Leer  (with a modernized spelling) (see Readings).

The fourth theistic psychologist was the collective of contributors to the doctrinal literature of the General Church over the past century, especially Rev. John Clowes, Rev. Edward S. Hyatt,  Rev. N.C. Burnham, Rev. William Frederic Pendleton, Bishop George DeCharms, Rev. Geoffrey S. Childs, and others (see Readings). I do not include other New Church branches which may use the Writings in worship and instruction, because they do not acknowledge them as Sacred Scripture, but only as "divinely inspired books." Extracting theistic psychology from the Writings requires that they be treated as Sacred Scripture, written in natural-rational correspondences (see Section xx).

The fifth theistic psychologist is the collective of contributors to the new science of theistic psychology, as exemplified by me in this work of 18 volumes. This work has historical significance because it creates a new scientific register for discussing God, Sacred Scripture, and scientific revelations. Prior to the creation of this register, it was not possible to discuss God, heaven, hell, and regeneration, in the context of science and public education (see Section xx). This work was first used in the Spring Semester of 2004 as a textbook in a psychology course I teach in a state university. That date marks the beginning of the new age of theistic psychology as a universal science.

I predict that future generations will be given the opportunity to open up this Divine True Science and to adapt it to their culture and public education system.

Swedenborg does give many scientific details in the literal of his sentences, and they are presented as "illustrations" for religious concepts that are to be understood rationally. These illustrative examples are not considered "scientific" by the contemporary New Church attitude, as expressed in their literature, with which I am familiar (see Readings). But even these scientific illustrations in the literal of the Writings, are given in general terms only. There is no attempt in the Writings to present diagrams and charts, such as abound in theistic psychology. There are no formal definitions. Cross-references are used frequently but there is no attempt to introduce systematicity, as is done in theistic psychology through models, such as are familiar throughout science. Swedenborg uses models and charts in his scientific works prior to age 57, but he does not use any in the Writings. Evidently therefore, it did not serve God's purpose to have the literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture read like a science curriculum.

From the point of view science, a Divine revelation in the form of a textbook or engineering handbook, could not be acceptable.

Science is a rational and inventive intellectual effort of human self-intelligence. Not so religion, which is expressed by "faith" and "worship" as signs of obedience to doctrine and ritual which are based on the literal text of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Religion is obedience to the will of God by self-effacement and piety, while science is the self-assertion of independence and mastery. You can see from this why the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture could not form the basis of theistic psychology as a science.

What would happen if God had delivered to us an engineering textbook with new principles we did not know about? We would of course make use of the principles, if they are practical to us, but this would not cause us to understand God, or even believe that He exists as the omnipresent Divine Human who delivered to us the engineering books. Other theories would arise as to where those books really came from, ideas that would mislead people and make more difficult for them to regenerate by rational consciousness of the Divine Human (see Section xx).

The same would happen if the Divine Human suddenly appeared at the United Nations and addressed the peoples of the world through the media broadcasts. How many would believe no matter what proofs are offered? How many contrary theories will be offered after the Divine event?

So it is not possible to build our rational consciousness of God by sensory consciousness that comes from the external senses of the body, or from the internal senses of thinking and meditation (see Section xx). The only actual and real proof and evidence that God can give us of Himself and His omnipresence in our mind, is rational consciousness of Him. This awareness and comprehension of the Divine Rational Human is achieved through climbing up the mental ladder of rational consciousness using the steps of correspondences that are contained in Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech. To put it another way, theistic psychology is the one method provided by God to enlighten every human mind. Enlightenment is the conscious perception of spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun which diffuses it into the mind of every person. The content of theistic psychology is the scientific knowledge that Divine Speech communicates to every human mind through a graduated discrete series of correspondences. These celestial and spiritual correspondences are the mechanisms God uses to elevate our conscious awareness into the heaven of our mind which He constructs there.

These higher order correspondences, or meanings, cannot be described in a science textbook, which would be based on the literal meaning -- this being the only meaning that is possible to write out in script in a natural language. Rather, the scientific concepts of theistic psychology must be extracted by our own intellectual effort, though not by our own method. When we apply the prescribed method, we acquire the conscious meaning of higher-order correspondences. This is by enlightenment only. So the higher meanings are not in the literal itself, but within it, when extracted. The rational understanding of the extracted higher-order correspondences, resides in the mind when enlightened. It does not lie in the literal meaning of the sentences of theistic psychology. So even when you read theistic psychology, at first you only understand in a natural way, what it says about the extracted spiritual correspondences. You need to undergo a paradigm shift in thinking before you can understand it spiritually. And this means making progress in your regeneration and character reformation (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology is the knowledge every person needs to be able to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist (or "Holy Spirit") who is effecting our character reformation in every detail, to insure that we are adequately prepared for life in our heaven. Since He constructs our heaven out of His own affections and meanings, He also tries to use love and truth to re-construct our conscious natural mind. From an old inherited evil character, we become a new reborn heavenly character whose content and quality are constructed from the same love and truth out of which He has constructed our heaven. This is what it means to be "prepared for heaven" or to "regenerate." What fills the content of this new reborn mind?

It is Divine Speech in its various forms of exteriorization or "descent." This content must be extracted as-of self by every individual, or it is useless for regeneration (see Section xx). Theistic psychology cannot be taught as a method for entering heaven, but only as a method for gathering the knowledge we need to enter heaven. The personal understanding of this knowledge depends not on exposure to it and of memory-knowledge of it, but on the extraction process we apply ourselves. We may receive help from others who have written about it, but this help cannot be understood rationally and spiritually except by enlightenment. And this is proportional to our progress in character reformation and regeneration.

From the perspective of the New Church, two clashing positions are possible regarding theistic psychology as a science based on the extracted correspondences from the literal of the Writings -- the negative and positive bias.

The negative bias is to read theistic psychology with the purpose of demonstrating that it is contrary to religion and religious doctrine. The positive bias is to read theistic psychology with the purpose of examining whether or not it is compatible with one's religious views from the Writings of Swedenborg.

The positive bias is clearly more rational and productive. It admits in advance that it is possible that theistic psychology is genuine. From this perspective it is easy to see that theistic psychology strengthens and magnifies religion by showing that the literal meaning of the Writings is Divine, otherwise it could not contain theistic psychology within it, along with the three heavens in our mind. Theistic psychology shows to every human mind that our consciousness and our immortality is produced by the correspondences of Divine Speech contained in Sacred Scripture. Theistic psychology shows to the individual that three heavens are contained in every person's mind, and that these three heavens are contained in Sacred Scripture. Our mind is contained in the Writings Sacred Scripture. That is, everything genuine and heavenly in our mind is contained in Sacred Scripture, but not the inherited hellish traits of adulterated good and falsified truth (see Section xx). The heavenly ladder that lets us escalate to this heaven is the ladder of correspondences in Sacred Scripture from Divine Speech. Divine Speech is the same as Divine Truth (see Section xx).

To understand the Writings spiritually, we need to apply to it the method of correspondences with enlightenment, which is prescribed in the Writings for extracting and understanding the spiritual correspondences of all Sacred Scripture ("the Word") (see Section xx). We need to know and comprehend these spiritual correspondences in order to know how to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist who is effecting our regeneration -- the extent of our  cooperation (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology actually strengthens religion by advancing the central purpose and goal of religion, which is to teach people that the Writings are Divine Sacred Scripture, and to lead people to change their behavior to conform to the Church doctrines. The central purpose and goal of theistic psychology is to develop people's rational understanding of the process of regeneration and character reformation (see Section xx). The difference between the two is that religion pursues its goal by general explanations and by fellowship rituals, while theistic psychology pursues its goal by constructing specific scientific explanations and models that are extracted from the literal meaning, as frequently discussed.

In the negative bias mode of thinking about theistic psychology, religious people implicitly desire to elevate the general explanations of the literal meaning above the specific scientific explanations of the extracted meaning. But in the positive bias mode of thinking, people can see that the meaning we have of the Writings in our three heavens do differ in accordance with the level of correspondences in each heavenly layer of our mind (see Section xx). Now when we scrutinize the order of correspondences in Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech, we can realize that the higher the correspondences in discrete degrees, the more specific and particular are the rational explanations. The spiritual-rational correspondences of our second heaven, are far, far above the spiritual-natural correspondences of our first heaven (see Section xx). And similarly, the celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in our third heaven are far more specific and particular in the detail of the explanations that emerge there.

It is evident therefore that the celestial angels of the third heaven are far more excellent theistic psychologists than the angelic spirits of the second heaven, and that these in turn are far more excellent theistic psychologists than the good spirits of the first heaven. The difference is so striking, that celestial-rational correspondences no longer produce any trace of religion, while spiritual-rational correspondences still allow worship rituals and sermons -- as was frequently observed by Swedenborg in his mental travels throughout the spiritual world.

Why don't we have any religion in our third heaven?

Because the thinking we do in that mental state is based on celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech, and these concern themselves only with the scientific details by which the Divine Love of the Divine Human initiates every operation in the human mind and in the universe. This is the highest human expertise possible in the knowledge of theistic psychology. For us to reach that level of thinking while we are still on earth, we must painstakingly strive to reconstruct the celestial-rational correspondences that are hidden within the Writings Sacred Scripture. The research work that I present in this Volume is at the level of spiritual-natural and spiritual-rational correspondences. Future researchers will no doubt contribute further advances involving celestial-rational correspondences.

The idea that religion disappears as we approach closer to Divine Speech, is a challenging notion for those who are of the New Church, for those who consider themselves Christians, and possibly for those of other religions who are studying theistic psychology. But this initial puzzle or hesitation resolves itself satisfactorily when one reads in the Writings, that there is no religion in our highest form of eternal life. Our rational love and voluntary obedience to God are consequences of our scientific understanding of the process of regeneration. We must understanding precisely what happens when we don't love God and don't obey Him (see Section xx). The love that springs from knowledge of scientific details and models is a celestial love, while the love that springs from religious obedience and piety, is a spiritual and natural love that has some of our self in it. Our love for God from religion is less pure a love than the love of God which we have from our understanding of theistic psychology. In consequence, it is rational and right for religion to promote theistic psychology,

9.1.3.1 Individual Spiritual Development Recapitulates New Church History  

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

The situation with the people who make up the church en masse or taken collectively is much the same as with the person by himself or taken individually. People en masse or taken collectively are a church of many members; and the person by himself or taken individually is the church in each of those many members. It is in accordance with Divine order that there should be general and particular levels, co-existing in any thing you like to mention, and the particular levels could not otherwise come into or continue in existence. (...)

These illustrations have been given to make it known that in the church too there are general and particular levels, as well as the very general ones. It is also intended to show that this is why the four churches have succeeded in order. This succession gave rise to the most general level of the churches as a whole, and one after another the general and particular level of each. (...)  (TCR 775)

This passage explicitly states that "the church taken collectively" is " much the same as with the person taken individually." Hence is derived the principle in theistic psychology that New Church history recapitulates individual steps of regeneration. The reason for this is stated in the passage above, namely that the "church taken collectively" is made up of "many members" and each member is an individual who is undergoing regeneration and spiritual growth. Clearly, if the Church goes through certain phases then the individual must also, for one is made up of the other.

The passage also mentions that there had been "four churches" in succession over the ages, and these are discussed and reviewed elsewhere in many other passages (see Section xx). The New Church is called the "Crown of Churches" because it is the culmination of the sequence of spiritual steps marked by all the prior Churches on this earth since the earliest generations were born (see Section xx). The expression "New Church" frequently used in the Writings Sacred Scripture, refers to any individual of any religion who is undergoing regeneration by means of knowledge from theistic psychology. Every individual goes through the same phases of progression, regardless of religion or background culture.

Using this principle, we can construct developmental maps of individual regeneration on the basis of our knowledge of New Church history.

The history of the New Church Christian religion begins with the Writings of Swedenborg, a 30-volume set of books published by Swedenborg from 1745 to 1771 (see Section xx). Swedenborg wrote the following in the last book of the Writings published in 1771, a few months before his passing permanently into the spiritual world:

TCR 115. (1) Redemption itself was a subjugation of the hells, a restoration of order in the heavens, and by means of these a preparation for a new spiritual church. That these three things are redemption I can affirm with all certainty, since at this day also the Lord is effecting a redemption, which began in 1757, together with a final judgment which was then accomplished. This redemption has been going on up to the present time, and for the reason that at this day is the second coming of the Lord, and a new church is now to be established; and this could not be done without a previous subjugation of the hells and a restoration of order in the heavens. And as it has been granted to me to see all this, I am able to describe how the hells were subjugated, and the new heaven established and arranged: but this would require a whole volume. But how the final judgment was accomplished I have made known in a little work published at London in 1758.

Redemption was a subjugation of the hells, a restoration of order in the heavens, and the establishment of a new church, because without these no one could have been saved. Moreover, they follow in order; for the hells must be subjugated before a new angelic heaven can be formed; and this must be formed before a new church can be established on earth; because men in the world are so closely connected with angels of heaven and spirits of hell as on both sides to be one with them in the interiors of their minds. But this subject will be explained in the last chapter of this work, where the Consummation of the Age, the Coming of the Lord, and the New Church, will be treated of in detail.

The New Church Christian religion "is now to be established." Indeed, when I googled "New Church History" I found the following informative paragraph about it at the Baltimore New Church Web site available at:
www.baltimorenewchurch.org/bhist.htm

"In the early days of the New Church in North America, the Baltimore society set the stage for what followed on a remarkable number of fronts. The first New Church liturgy was produced in Baltimore in 1792. Baltimore's first clergyman, Rev. John Hargrove (pictured above), became, in 1795, the first New Church minister on the continent, from whom all other ordinations in the New Church in North America descend. He exchanged letters with George Washington in 1793, and Thomas Jefferson in 1799. While visiting Washington in 1802, through the instrumentality of the Senate chaplain, he was invited to preach in the Capitol rotunda, his audience including Jefferson and 100 members of Congress. His subject was "The Leading Doctrines of the New Jerusalem Church," and he "preached again, by request, on the following evening" (Hindmarsh Rise and Progress, p. 181). In 1804, he preached to both houses of Congress, on the the Second Coming and Last Judgment. Hargrove also oversaw the construction of the first New Church church building ("temple" in those days) in this hemisphere in 1800, and the first New Church periodical, The Temple of Truth, in 1801. In 1810, he was one of the founders of the Maryland Bible Society, and may have been responsible for their providing John Chapman ("Johnny Appleseed") with Bibles that he distributed (along with copies of Swedenborg's Writings) in his travels. Last but not least, the first printing of Heaven and Hell in the United States was done in Baltimore in 1812. "

From the publication of the last book of the Writings in 1772  to the historical beginning of the New Church in 1792, only twenty years had gone by, and there are historical documents to show that a decade earlier there were New Church groups in London. Swedenborg never saw the New Church actualize and was not involved in any way in its establishment. He did not see it as part of his mission to be active in the establishment of the New Church religion, which he had described in his books of revelation.

The history of the New Church is of formal methodological interest to theistic psychology because of the universal law of spiritual development described in the Writings, that I often render as

history recapitulates individual biography (see Section xx).

The paragraph of the Writings quoted just above (TCR 115), says that "at this day is the second coming of the Lord, and a new church is now to be established." The expression "at this day" refers to a new mental technology made available to the human race. This new science of regeneration and immortality is what we call theistic psychology. It is referred to here as "the Second Coming of the Lord" as a reference to the New Testament Sacred Scripture which records the details of the Incarnation Event in natural-sensuous correspondences (see Section xx). This event is known historically as the "First Coming" (of the Divine Human into the natural world). The "Second Coming" is announced in the New Testament in several places and in in various ways (see Section xx). The completion of the Writings Sacred Scripture are referred to here as the "Second Coming" of the Divine Human into the natural world. This event refers to the publication of the books of the Writings Sacred Scripture.

The passage refers to the completion of the "Second Coming" as "redemption" -- a a biological event of major evolutionary significance that was accomplished by the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event ("First Coming") (see Section xx). This passage summarizes the three steps involved in the Divine Human act of "redemption:"

The expression "subjugation of the hells" (1) refers to the struggle for character reformation through temptations (see Section xx). "The hells" refer to the portion of our organic mind that operates mental states that belong to what we call our inherited hellish character with which we are born. In those negative mental states our intentionality is harmful to others and our thinking mentality is egocentric and irrational.  Those hellish mental states must be isolated and inhibited, so that our natural mind can be reformed and regenerated. This is necessary if we are to climb to the heavens in our mind (see Section xx).

The expression "restoration of order in the heavens" (2) signifies the acquisition of the "new will" or regenerated character. We develop this new heavenly mentality and consciousness when we operate our daily willing and thinking in accordance with the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

The expression "preparation of a new spiritual church" (3) signifies the knowledge of theistic psychology that is based on the extracted method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx).

In summary, the three sequential phases of spiritual development that every individual must go through regardless of religion and culture, are (1) struggling with character reformation; (2) learning to act from the genuine doctrine of truth in our understanding; (3) evolving our understanding of theistic psychology to higher order correspondences. Therefore the "new church that is now to be established" refers to the phases of development every individual must go through when going through regeneration.

From this you can see that what comes out in New Church history is going to be a picture or representation of the steps that every individual must go through in regeneration. This principle applies to all New Church people as well as to all students and practitioners of theistic psychology from other religions and backgrounds, who are using the Writings Sacred Scripture to extract spiritual correspondences for their regeneration efforts.

I have discussed New Church history above, and in other places (see Section xx), because this history is a map of individual regeneration for all people in the age of theistic psychology. I will illustrate this proposition in the next Section (9.1.4) after I introduce the ennead matrix, which will be used to show how individual regeneration recapitulate the steps of New Church history. 

9.1.3.2   New Church History and Degrees of the Mind

xxxx

 

 In the case of religious behavior, the three phases of the entire developmental scale, namely, Moses-Paul-Swedenborg, repeat themselves within each phase, cyclically.  Further cyclical patterns no doubt occur, and will be discovered by future researchers in True Science. Here is a matrix that shows the recursive property of phases within phases. Since there are 3 phases, laying them against each other creates a ennead or matrix of nine cells. These type of matrices place levels or developmental steps on the vertical dimension, starting with the bottom level first, then ascending in steps to the top. The horizontal dimension is laid out from left to right and indicate three steps of internalization (initial, intermediate, mature). I have numbered the cells accordingly.

READ CHART FROM BOTTOM UP
ENNEAD MATRIX OF REGENERATION -- NONE ZONES

GROWTH OF
INDIVIDUAL
MENTAL STATES
 

NEW CHURCH HISTORY AND MENTAL ANATOMY

CONVENTION CONFERENCE
===

Old Testament
FOCUS
===
natural-corporeal correspondences
===
SENSORIMOTOR
 ORGAN

GENERAL
CHURCH
===
New Testament
FOCUS
===

natural-sensuous correspondences
===
COGNITIVE
ORGAN

LORD'S NEW CHURCH
===
Third Testament
FOCUS
===

natural-rational correspondences
===
AFFECTIVE
ORGAN

CELESTIAL RATIONAL
 MIND
VIRTUAL THIRD HEAVEN

7

8

9

SPIRITUAL RATIONAL
 MIND
VIRTUAL SECOND HEAVEN

4

5

6

INTERIOR NATURAL
MIND
VIRTUAL FIRST HEAVEN

1

2

3

The vertical dimension represents the degrees of the mind in relation to the spiritual world. The interior of our natural mind is called First Heaven -- zones 1, 2, 3. The interior of our spiritual mind is called Second Heaven -- zones 4, 5, 6.  The interior of our celestial mind is called Third Heaven -- zones 7, 8, 9.

The zones (or intersecting cells) are particular mental states in the series of nine. The horizontal dimension represents New Church history. The first New Church organization was called Conference in England and Convention in the United States. Later, a small group splintered off and called itself the General Church. Later, it had a small group that splintered off and called itself the Lord's New Church.

The vertical dimension is extracted from the Writings. The horizontal dimension is historical. By putting the two dimensions together in one interacting matrix, a new idea emerges, namely that there is a parallelism or correspondential relationship, between New Church history, and individual development during regenerator.

The matrix helps the discovery process because both dimensions have hidden components, or aspects that are less well understood. Both dimensions are produced by Divine Speech. The vertical dimension represents the top-down "descent" of Divine Speech through the human mind (see Section xx). The horizontal dimension is also produced by Divine Speech since God rules every detail of historical events by means of Divine Truth from Divine Love.

Divine Truth, or Divine Speech, is embodied in the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Theistic psychology is the knowledge we obtain when we extract spiritual correspondences from the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Church history in the Christian context involves the sequence

Old Testament Sacred Scripture ---> New Testament Sacred Scripture ---> the Writings Sacred Scripture

Note what happens when we place the historical sequence of Sacred Scripture in the horizontal dimension on the ennead chart above. Now the two histories coincide and a new meaning emerges that was hidden before. Our task now is twofold. First, we need to explicate what this parallelism is and what observational evidence there is to support it. Second, we need to confirm the explications by finding passages in the literal meaning of the Writings that clearly agree with or confirm the explication. Then the explication of the chart above can be considered part of theistic psychology (see Section xx). This two-step process is always necessary in predictive research in theistic psychology (see Section xx).

The proposition in the chart above has two parts.

If we try to explicate the first proposal, we would bring forward the historical characterization of the three branches of the New Church. I predict that this characterization will show the accuracy of the juxtaposition in the chart above, namely, that

The first phase of regeneration is to be enlightened by the Divine Psychologist to the reality of substantive dualism (see Section xx). The natural mind now becomes obedient to the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture that we have acquired in our understanding. We understand this truth in accordance with the level of correspondences that we are willing to accept. Zones 1, 2, and 3 represent the three phases of regeneration of the natural mind by means of theistic psychology. When we are first exposed to Writings of Swedenborg, the initial belief (zone 1) is that they are "Divinely inspired books" that God has given to the world so that people may better understand the Old Testament, which is the original Word of God that reveals his nature and power. This view of the Writings of Swedenborg has been made part of the official defining characteristic of Convention and Conference.

This level of thinking about the Writings Sacred Scripture focuses mainly on its corporeal features. For instance, xxxx

The next phase in our exterior natural mind (zone 2) moves our focus to a deeper level of the Writings which are sensuous and above that of the corporeal (see Section xx). This view of the Writings Sacred Scripture parallels the New Testament phase of Sacred Scripture, which is written in natural-sensuous correspondences (see Section xx). For instance, xxxx

The third phase of regenerating the natural mind (zone 3), moves our focus ....zzzz

The natural mind is now regenerated (zones 1, 2, 3). The next phase is entrance into our virtual heaven, which gives us access to spiritual correspondences. Zone 4 ...zzzz

This topic is reviewed more extensively in my book Moses, Paul, and Swedenborg: Three Phases of Rational Spirituality, available on the Web at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/moses.html 

 

9.1.4   The Double Ennead Matrix -- Plotting Spiritual History and Individual Development

zzzz

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle IV (Pp. 8-9)   by REV. ERNST PFEIFFER

It is according to order that the Church first must pass through a series of preparatory natural states, before the spiritual state can commence, in which for the first time the Doctrine of the Church in its relation to the Word of the Church comes to the fore. In all of those preparatory states it cannot be but that the Church regards the Word itself of the Church as the Doctrine. Every Church from its beginning must as it were pass through all the states of the ages of a man, entirely as has been shown on a previous occasion (see Third Fascicle, pp. 90---108) with regard to the history of the human race as a whole.

Accordingly also in the history of the New Church a series of successive, states may be discerned, which entirely corresponds to the series of the great periods of the entire history of the human race. In the history of the New Church too there is as it were an Adamic state, which is the age of its infancy, a Noachic state, which is the age of its boyhood; a Hebrew and an Israelitish state, which is the age of its adolescence; a state of the Coming and Sensual Presence of the Lord, which is the age of its early manhood; a Christian state, which is the age of its manhood: and a state of the Second Coming of the Lord or a proper state of the, New Church itself, which is its old age.

While, however, in the general series in all periods before the Coming of the Lord the basis for the thinking lay in the sensual things of creation, and in the period between the Coming and the Second Coming of the Lord it lay in the Divine Natural of the New Testament, in all the periods of the particular series the basis for the thinking lies in the Divine Rational of the Third Testament.

From this it is evident that; the Third Testament in the first periods of the New Church plays a role corresponding to the role which the sensual things of creation fulfilled in file ages before the Incarnation of the Lord, and subsequently a role corresponding to the role which the Divine Natural of the Divine Human of the Lord fulfilled in the Christian age; and that this the Third Testament really only in the last period of the New Church, which is the period of the Second Coming of the Lord in the New Church, when the Church for the first time comes into the fullness of its proper state, will be able to fulfill that role which fully agrees with its proper essence, as a result of which the Church for the first time will see therein the proper rational, that is. celestial truth.

There is a correspondential unity between evolutionary biology and history. For instance, the Old Testament is Sacred Scripture written at an intellectual level suitable for children and the uneducated as well as the educated and theologian. On the surface it is a history book about the people of God extending over thousands of years. Geographical places are mentioned that are still there today and names of individuals who have left behind records and achievements documented in other books. Natural phenomena are described such as earthquakes or floods, many animals mentioned, besides cities, battles, and pestilences that befell some people. And yet, below the surface of these natural historical events, underlying meanings can be extracted by the laws of correspondence. These extracted meanings are discovered to be arranged in orderly series or taxonomies of spiritual biological facts and phenomena. This extraction process is rational or scientific, following a demonstrable and verifiable methodology accessible to all rational persons who seek truth in them for the sake of their closeness and love to God. Evidently God sees to it that every item mentioned in the historical content of Sacred Scripture be precisely such that it corresponds to the internalizing meanings arranged in rational series. Though any rational person can expound Doctrine based on these extracted series only those can understand it who can see the series in themselves. A scholar or theistic scientist could create Doctrine through this methodology, but will not perceive what it actually stands for until the Doctrine is seen in oneself. Others who are more advanced in their regeneration process will be able to perceive much more in the Doctrine than its developer and creator.

 

Jacob's Ladder  (Matrix 20c)    The 36 Zones Of Consciousness in Regeneration
EXTERNALIZING ACTIVITY
A/C/S units
i INTERNALIZING ACTIVITY
S/C/A units

DEGREES

HEAVENS

A
AFFECTIVE

MIND

C
COGNITIVE

MIND

S
SENSORI-

MOTOR

MIND

n S
SENSORI-

MOTOR

MIND

C
COGNITIVE

MIND

A
AFFECTIVE

MIND

e
x
t
e
r
i
o
r
CELESTIAL 1 2 3 v 4 5 6 INFANCY
SPIRITUAL  7 8 9 e 10 11 12 CHILDHOOD
NATURAL 13 14 15 r 16 17 18 ADOLESCENCE

                                    I    N     V    E     R    s     I    O   N

i
n
t
e
r
i
o
r

NATURAL

19 20 21

i

22 23 24 YOUNG
ADULTHOOD
SPIRITUAL 25 26 27 o 28 29 30 ADULTHOOD

CELESTIAL

31 32 33

n

34 35 36 OLD AGE
sensuous
consciousness
rational
consciousness

 

 

Jacob's Ladder (Matrix 20d)
  Influx from
CELESTIAL
Angels
Influx from
SPIRITUAL
Angels
Influx from
NATURAL
Angels
  Influx from
NATURAL
Angels
Influx from
SPIRITUAL
Angels
Influx from
CELESTIAL
Angels
 
PERIODS A C S A C S A C S I
N
V
E
R
S
I
O
N
A C S A C S A C S

PERIODS

INFANCY

WHITE

1 2 3 16 17 18

OLD AGE

BLACK

CHILDHOOD

YELLOW

  4 5 6 13 14 15  

ADULTHOOD

BROWN

ADOLESCENCE

GREEN

  7 8 9 10 11 12  

YOUNG
ADULTHOOD

BLUE

A=affective mind
C=cognitive mind
S=sensorimotor
mind
SENSUOUS consciousness
(external mind)
  RATIONAL consciousness
(internal mind
 
Descending [S/C/A] Path
 (1, 5, 9)
(conscious awareness units)
  Ascending [S/C/A] Path (12,14,16)
(conscious awareness units)
An earlier version of this chart may be found here.

 

Here is a matrix that summarizes the series discussed: MATRIX 2

STAGES OF GROWTH OF THE SELF (Matrix 2)
AGE PERIODS ZONES
A--C--S
S--C--A
CHURCH OR DEGREE OF CONSCIOUSNESS LEVEL OF DOCTRINE
(Basis of our thought)
VERTICAL COMMUNITY
Infancy 1,2,3
4,5,6
Adamic Church
(Most Ancient Word)
externalizing Celestial
Innocence of infancy
Celestial sensual
representations of Truth
Celestial Angels of the Third Heaven
Childhood 7,8,9
10,11,12
Noachic Church
(Ancient Word written in
Correspondences)
externalizing Spiritual
Spiritual sensual
representations of Truth
Spiritual Angels of the Second Heaven
Adolescence 13,14,15
16,17,18
Church of Eber and
Israelitish Church
(Old Testament
and sacrifices)
externalizing Natural
Natural sensual
representations of Truth
Natural Angels of the First Heaven
I       N      V       E      R       S      I       O      N
Young adulthood 19,20,21
22,23,24
Jewish Church during Incarnation and prior to Ascension
(Son of God
as Living Presence)
internalizing Natural
Natural Rational Truth Natural Angels of the First Heaven
Adulthood 25,26,27
28,29,39
(Old) Christian Church
(Divine Natural
in the New Testament)
internalizing Spiritual
Spiritual Rational Truth Spiritual Angels of the Second Heaven
Old age 31,32,33
34,35,
36
New Christian Church or Church of the New Jerusalem
(Divine Rational
in the Third Testament)
internalizing Celestial
Celestial Rational Truth Celestial Angels of the Third Heaven
externalizing=natural
internalizing=rational (=spiritual)
Celestial=affective domain
Spiritual=cognitive domain
Natural=sensorimotor domain

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AE 948. [3] What the Divine providence of the Lord was in revealing Divine truths can be seen from the successive establishment of churches. There have been several churches on our globe one after another. There was the Most Ancient, that was before the flood; there was the Ancient, that was after the flood; then the Hebrew; and then the Israelitish; after this the Christian; and now the New Church is beginning. Inmost Divine truths were revealed to those who were of the Most Ancient Church; more externalizing Divine truths were revealed to those of the Ancient Church; and most externalizing or ultimate Divine truths to the Hebrew Church, and afterwards to the Israelitish, with which church all Divine truth finally perished, for at last there was nothing in the Word that had not been adulterated. But after the end of the Israelitish Church internalizing Divine truths were revealed by the Lord for the Christian Church, and now still more internalizing truths for the church that is to come. These internalizing truths are such as are in the internal or correspondential sense of the Word. All this makes clear that there has been a progression of Divine truth from inmosts to ultimates, thus from wisdom to mere ignorance; and that now there is a progression of it from ultimates to internalizings, thus from ignorance again to wisdom.

Biology and psychology students are familiar with the expression "Ontology recapitulates phylogeny." This means that the developmental stages of a growing egg or fetus undergo a series of changes that correspond to the series of changes described by evolutionists for various species. Some common process operates on both. In theistic psychology we have a description of this common process because all natural phenomena are effects of spiritual causes. There is a law of correspondence that dictates what happens in one and therefore in the other. The spiritual and natural worlds  are inexorably linked in this fashion from creation. The two matrices here discussed are a description of the principle "Individual development recapitulates the evolution of civilization." The evolution of civilization is the history of the race's major steps in becoming modern rational societies. Relying on Swedenborg direct investigations of ancient peoples through his dual citizenship, the two matrices show the correspondential relations between individual development of self and the history of the Churches on this earth. The Church signifies a society's level of moral evolution. The level of thinking of an era is the Church for the individuals of that time. There is a common process determining the steps of both. This common process is the degree of the mind that has been opened for that generation.

Degrees are the mechanics of the operation of the Laws of Divine Providence. This is the generator. All parts move only and strictly in unison as a whole. To God the universe is one. As Swedenborg expresses it, In God all things are one. This is the meaning of infinity and omnipotence. The more diverse things make a one, or unity, the more perfect it grows. To God all details of past, present, and future states of the universe are determined, governed, willed, and known. This is an infinity because the process is endless. The Third Testament focuses on this issue in multiple places and Works. In all this there is rationality and orderliness. All events, if they exist or can exist, occupy a pre-cast position in a rational and orderly series. This structure of reality is God's mind. Prior to the Incarnation, that is, the amazing event of God birthing Himself on this earth through a virgin woman, the human race had a mental development that went through three major stages corresponding to Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence. These periods correspond to the lower regions of the mind. These regions in our mind are relatively externalizing to our main core, which is much higher.

The lowest regions in our mind are called corporeal and sensual. These are major components of the natural mind. This region of our mind overlaps with those of "lower" animals in that both are based on sensory input. The basis of our thinking at the natural level when our higher regions have not been opened yet, is like that of a clever ape. No doubt the cleverest of apes, but not yet human. The human begins with the rational. When the rational begins to be opened, the individual begins the journey to humanness. But the rational region also has a range of depth of development so that the lower regions of the rational mind is called externalizing rational, while the upper regions are called internalizing rational. There is an enormous difference between the externalizing and internalizing rational. The externalizing rational borders the corporeal-sensuous-natural region (animalistic). And so it is only a filter for these incoming sensuous facts about the natural world only. There is a huge step for society to take when it evolves from an animalistic natural state to a human rational state (externalizing rational). And yet the rational is not operating in a fully human manner until it abandons all the facts coming from the natural world (that is, from below), and filters through only those facts coming in from the spiritual world (that is, from above).

Such is the mind created, for dual citizenship, so that it can develop first through thinking based on sensuous consciousness, and then through an inversion, the basis of our thinking switches to rational consciousness. The first process is a descending pathway from infancy to adolescence because in these three phases of growth, the basis of our evolving thinking is sensuous input. This is our socialization and culture. It is the individual's horizontal community. After the inversion, our true human functioning starts and we become spiritual beings. Spiritual beings receive their experiential input from the spiritual world. As soon as our mental receptors in the internalizing degree are activated, the basis of our thinking becomes spiritual. From then on our feelings, motives, and acts are activated from a new degree of the self. There are three internalizing degrees of the self and of civilization. These are the internalizing natural, the internalizing spiritual, and the internalizing celestial. These correspond to the three heavens. They constitute our vertical community

It is common for the Incarnation to be associated exclusively with the Christian Church. This has an historical explanation. But from the perspective of theistic psychology, all religions are cultural expressions of a particular stage of human development. As fully documented in the Writings of Swedenborg, all religions that worship God have their own special place in the highest regions of the human mind. God is the God of all religions, and there is only one God. Those who point the finger at other individuals, saying they worship the wrong God, are exercising a political gesture, not a scientific one. Every religion in its highest achievement leads to the same one God. This is a scientific and universal fact that follows from the entire rational structure to be found in the Writings of Swedenborg. The highest level of the mind is the internalizing celestial. All religions point to this degree as their ultimate and final destination. Swedenborg has talked to individuals who are in this degree of the mind called the Celestial Heaven, and all recognize the same universal Divine facts no matter what religion they originally started out with and went through on the way up. There those below this degree of the mind, whom Swedenborg interviewed, and they all clung to their religion in more externalizing degrees. In these relatively more externalizing or lower degrees, they were intolerant and prejudiced, thus not at all celestial and scientific. When the universal facts are laid out for them by the celestial angels, they are not willing to receive the truths and reject them. Thus they remain forever outside the heavenly state of mind and consciousness, below the heavenly feelings, motives, decisions, and actions, and even contrary to them.

The purpose of religion is to conjoin the individual with God and God with the individual. Only in this conjunction can the internalizing degrees of the mind be opened, and the opening or growth is limited by the degree of conjunction. For the internalizing celestial of the mind to be opened we must undergo the process of regeneration through temptations.   The precise moment of the death of our physical body is an event directly tied to this process. Our life in the physical body is for the sole purpose of opening the mind to its internalizings. If this opening process is no longer possible due to local circumstances surrounding the life of an individual, death immediately ensues, and the person is released from the physical body into its truly proper body, the spiritual body. Swedenborg has witnessed this process with thousands of individuals who passed on as they were extracted or "resuscitated" from the corpse. The process of extracting the spiritual body from the physical body, and thus freeing it into its world, takes about 36 hours under normal circumstances. Upon awakening the individual slowly emerges to the new consciousness of life in the spirit body in the spiritual body. At first the natural sensual memories and identity of the individual are retained to such an extent that the new "place" appears very similar to the old. Swedenborg was amazed to hear many doubt that they are now in the spiritual world, especially those whose minds were not opened to the internalizing degree and so did not take the existence of the afterlife seriously.

But gradually, within a matter of days and weeks, the externalizing sensual memories and thoughts are "quieted down" and moved out of immediate focus to the sub-conscious mind where it remains hidden and inactive. Instead there now emerges the internalizing levels of the individual that were not in direct focus in one's former life within the physical body. For instance, our conscious awareness of the affective domain (at all levels and degrees--Zones 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16) is extremely restricted at all times. We are more conscious of the cognitive domain. We are most aware of the sensorimotor domain. During the initial period of our afterlife we are still cognizant mostly of our externalizing sensual memory and identity, which is located in the sensorimotor and the cognitive domains. But as we pass on into our "second death" we come alive fully in our internalizing parts of the functioning mind, that is, in the affective domain. When this happens we are a changed person in actuality and in appearance. Friends and family (in the spiritual world) no longer recognize us and we don't recognize them. To our new friends and family however, we are entirely familiar. Now for the first time we come into our own, or as the Old Testament prophet puts it, we are gathered to our fathers. Everyone who shares similar affective structures now are congregated by the inexorable geographic laws of the spiritual world. Like is congregated with like and the unlike cannot meet, do not exist for each other.

This is why reaching heaven or hell is not a matter of punishment or reward or choice, once we enter the spiritual world. It is our life in the physical body that determines where our spiritual body ends up--in heavenly regions of the mind or in hellish regions. Choice ends at death's door. Such as we are internalizingly upon leaving earth, such is our lot where we arrive. This makes it super-imperative for each of us to amend our character through regeneration and temptation. When we allow God, everyone's Divine Therapist, to bring us to particular individualized temptations and help us conquer them, then we can change our moral character from negative to positive, from selfish to altruistic. This we cannot do on our own, just as we can do nothing on our own but only through Divine power given us by influx. We are all born animalistic with the potential of being regenerated. If we cooperate with God in the process of regeneration, the spirit body that emerges at death is healed or "saved." If we refuse to cooperate, more and more we strengthen our vertical associations with those in the lowest regions of the mind called the hells. Our mind is formed into life with them and is unsuitable and impossible for life in heaven where those are whose minds have been opened to the internalizing degrees.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 5114. The intellectual part in general is the sight of the internal man, which sees from the light of heaven, which is from the Lord, and all that it sees is spiritual and celestial. But the sensuous in general is of the externalizing man, here the sensuous of the sight, because this corresponds and is subordinate to the intellectual; this sensuous sees from the light of the world, which is from the sun, and all that it sees is worldly, bodily, and earthly.

[2] There are in man derivations from the intellectual part, which is in the light of heaven, down to the sensuous, which is in the light of the world; unless this were so, the sensuous could not have any human life. The sensuous of man has no life in consequence of seeing from the light of the world, for the light of the world has no life in it; but in consequence of seeing from the light of heaven, for this light has life in it. When this light falls with man into those things which are from the light of the world, it vivifies them and causes him to see objects intellectually, thus as a man; and from this, by knowledges born from things he has seen and heard in the world, thus from things that have entered through the senses, man has intelligence and wisdom, and from these has civil, moral, and spiritual life.

[3] As regards the derivations specially, in man they are of such a nature that they cannot be briefly set forth. They are steps or degrees as of a ladder between the intellectual part and the sensuous, but no one can apprehend these degrees unless he knows that they are most distinct from one another, so distinct that the internalizing can exist and subsist without the exterior, but not the exterior without the internalizing. For example: the spirit of man can subsist without the material body, and also actually does so subsist when by death it is separated from the body. The spirit of man is in an internalizing degree, and the body is in an exterior degree. It is similar with the spirit of man after death: if he is among the blessed, he is in the last degree among them when in the first heaven, in an internalizing degree when in the second, and in the inmost when in the third; and when he is in this, he is indeed at the same time in the rest, but these are quiescent in him, almost as the bodily part in man is quiescent in sleep, but with this difference, that with the angels the internalizings are then in the highest wakefulness. Therefore there are as many distinct degrees in man as there are heavens, besides the last, which is the body with its sensuous things.

[4] From this it may in some measure appear how the case is with the derivations from first to last, or from the intellectual part down to the sensuous. The life of man, which is from the Lord's Divine, passes through these degrees from the inmost down to the last or ultimate degree, and in each degree it is derived from what is prior, becoming more and more general, and in the ultimate degree most general.

 

           9.1.5    The Law of Recursiveness in the Growth of Consciousness

Swedenborg explains that our intromission into the internalizing degrees of the mind, or the three heavens, is by gyres. I did not understand the meaning of this until years after I first read it. My understanding today (in March 2001) is that the mind is constructed out of spiritual substances that are set in perpetual motion. The form or directionality of these motions is represented by a vortex. There are two fundamental motions to a vortex, clockwise and counter-clockwise. At every level and degree of growth, the mind builds upon itself with more and more of these vortex motions arranged in taxonomic correspondence with the regions of the spiritual world. Think of the brain. It is made of convoluted fibers twisting into each other in masses and clumps, each clump having different functions depending on its geographic location of the brain. The brain has this type of shape and organization because it corresponds to the mind's shape and organization. The mind is composed of layers of fibers made of immortal or permanent spiritual substances. The location of the layer, or its level of degree, determines its function: degrees of sensual consciousness (Zones 1 through 9 in matrix2 above) and degrees of rational consciousness (Zones 10 through 18).   Not shown in this matrix are the opposite of these Zones.

Oppositeness in consciousness comes about when the vortex motion of the spiritual fibers that constitute the mind or spirit body, is gyrating in the opposite direction of the spiritual Sun and heaven. Hell is nothing but the exact opposite replica of heaven. There are numerous uncountable heavens in all three degrees just as there are numerous uncountable stars in the physical world. And yet, all the heavens are united into a one because they gyrate in compatible motion to create the unity within the diversity. A complicated mechanical machine like an airplane may have thousands of pieces of parts, each with their own shape, but these shapes must be consistent with the whole of the airplane, or else they oppose the working of the airplane, and even destroy it. The human mind or spirit body is an organic machine or psychobiological entity. When its parts depart from unity, there is dysfunction, and eventually cessation of all function. A virus introduced into our blood stream can quickly kill the body and end all circulation. It is opposite to the functioning of the body cells, like cancer, gangrene,  or Alzheimer. The spiritual world, that is the mind of all individuals, gyrates in two opposite directions called heaven and hell.

At every level in each degree our mind grows like a plant made of spiritual substances. Growth of the mind means growth of those fibers arranged in shapes that are unique to every individual. Our sensory input, our experiences, our socialization, our culture and religion, are all determiners of these shapes and arrangements or taxonomies. Above all, our individual decisions, choices, and loves or passions, determine the unique shape of these permanent never-dying whirling vortices. Nothing of them can ever be removed from the self. This is why it is so critical that we undergo regeneration through temptations. God introduces a particular temptation to an individual at a particular time and phase of development for the purpose of laying aside the clumps that whirl in the wrong direction, and substituting in that place a new vortex clump that whirls in the heavenly direction. Thus the oppositeness of our evils can gradually be laid aside bit by bit, day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. This process is called regeneration and is possible only while we are still in the physical body.

A mechanical analogy may be helpful to explain how the mind develops in organic networks that gyrate in one direction only. Suppose you want to secure a hook against the wall using a screw. Using a screwdriver you need to apply a forceful twist in the clockwise direction, and with each twist the screw gets further in and the hook fastens itself tighter to the wall, fulfilling its function successfully. But if you twist the screwdriver counterclockwise, no matter how often or with what force, the screw will not succeed to fulfill its function. The two motions, clockwise and counterclockwise are opposites. Living our consciousness in the internalizing degrees of the three heavens in our mind is only possible when functional preparation is made while in the physical body, before the spirit body is set free. Entering our heaven is possible only if, during our growth phase, we establish the heavenly gyres in our mental structures. Since we are born with inherited tendencies towards the love of self and all its associated evils, our natural tendency right from birth is to establish hellish gyres in our affective and cognitive organs. This is going down the stream and is easy in comparison to resisting the counter-gyres, battling with them, wrestling them down, stopping them, casting them to the side and keeping them chained forever. Whichever gyres we have established, remain forever.

Gyres in the mental organs cannot associate as opposites since opposites annihilate or neutralize each other. But since it is a necessity to have both types of gyres within the mind while we are being regenerated (but not thereafter), God governs the process by separating them and keeping a barrier between them that they may not interact. Counter-gyres are kept in the externalizing consciousness while heavenly gyres are retained in more internal levels of that degree. As the counter-gyres are stopped and made non-functional, they are removed to the side and below, tucked away, never to be re-activated except under special situations. For example, when an angel from the internalizing degrees is to meet a recently deceased family member, which sometimes happens, the angel descends into lower and more exterior degrees of the mind where the new arrivals are. To achieve this some of the old counter-gyres may be briefly reactivated. The Laws of Divine Providence exert a determining influence on the development of gyres and their interaction. God's love is so intense that there is ceaseless effort on His part to influence our as-of-self twists and turns in our daily and hourly lives. By mediate (conscious) influx God speaks to us through the voice of our conscience, constantly urging and nagging us to choose what's right and good. By immediate (unconscious) influx God constantly bends our inclinations and moderates our viciousness and selfishness. Gyres not only turn towards God, or away, but they also vary in strength or power or intensity. God moderates the intensity of our counter-gyres and limits their vehemence and destructiveness. In this way people who associate with the hells freely can be persuaded and guided into lesser evils. The hells are actually arranged in depth from weakest to worst and God saves many from ending up in a worse hell. If this moderating force were not exercised by the Divine Love and Wisdom, everyone would instantly cast themselves into the lowest possible hell--such has become the force of our fallen inheritance.

The vortex development within each level is achieved by making the levels recursive. Every level contains within itself a representation of all the other levels. This idea is familiar in biology since every cell of the body contains a copy or representation of the entire gene structure of the entire body. In other words the entire body is replicated by representation in each part of the body or cell. I searched for a name for this principle and have been using the word synecdoche, which the dictionary defines as "a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole  and the whole for a part." In this case it is not a figure of speech but a spiritual and psychobiological reality. All degrees are contained as a representation in every level or degree. This means that as we grow in a single level or degree, we must step through in consciousness, all the levels and degrees. The entire structure is recapitulated in the smallest part of it. The recapitulation accomplishes a different result at each level and appropriate to that level. It cannot be otherwise. This is how the growth of the spiritual fibers takes place. The recursiveness of this system allows for the establishment of the vortex in each clump at every level. The vortex is nothing but the stepping through from degree to degree, hence each degree must be stepped through at each level in order to establish the vortex.

A moral character is created by the self's striving to achieve self-articulated goals that are heavenly. An evil or depraved character is created by the self's striving to achieve self-articulated goals that are hellish. All strivings for goals are either heavenly or hellish--there is no other possibility. such is the human mind because such is the spiritual world or Divine Reality. God's mind is heavenly and everything that departs from it is unreality and hellish, opposed to the heavenly in each fiber and each motion of the fiber as it relates the the rest of the fibers that make up the immortal unique individual mind. The hellish regions of the mind are the hellish regions of the spiritual world. Only those gyres are possible in these regions that are   opposite to the heavenly gyres. Swedenborg has described numerous experiments whereby individuals with hellish gyres were brought into a mental state where the internalizing degrees were--the three heavens. And it always ended very quickly as those individuals at first saw and heard nothing, and developed internal spasmodic motions they described as agony tearing them apart, like an airplane disintegrating under excessive and violent shaking. They thus cast themselves out of the heavenly sphere and revive as soon as they arrive back to their hellish sphere, never again wanting to visit the heavenly sphere.

This explains in scientific rational terms why hell exists and why it is not a punishment due to lack of forgiveness on the part of an unforgiving God. God loves nothing better than to take every individual into the heavenly sphere called eternity and bliss. The mind was constructed for this purpose. But God also acts within a Divine rational order, for only such an order is congruent with God's infinite Love and Wisdom. No other way is possible, no other way is reality. One may wonder why God constructed the human mind in such a way that it has the power to create opposite gyres in the mind. The answer is that without this power given us, we could not be truly human, we could not conjoin ourselves reciprocally to God, and we could not therefore be immortal being living in eternal bliss in heaven. The mechanism that allows us to conjoin reciprocally to God is called the as-of-self or proprium.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 21. I have been instructed that the men of the Most Ancient Church (the church before the flood) were of a genius so heavenly that they spoke with angels of heaven, and that they were able to speak with them by means of correspondences. From this the state of their wisdom was rendered such that whatever they saw in this world they thought about not only in a natural way, but spiritually also at the same time, so that they thought unitedly with angels. I have been instructed besides that Enoch (of whom mention is made in Genesis 5:21-24) together with his associates, collected correspondences from the lips of those men of the Most Ancient Church, and transmitted the knowledge of them to posterity, and that in consequence of this the science of correspondences was not only known but was also much cultivated in many kingdoms of Asia, especially in the land of Canaan, in Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, Arabia, and also in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; and that it was carried over from places on the seacoast there into Greece; but there it was turned into fabulous stories, as is evident from the earliest writers of that country.

SS 22. But when in process of time the representative things of the church, which were correspondences, were converted into things idolatrous and also into magic, then of the Lord's Divine Providence the knowledge of correspondences was gradually blotted out of remembrance, and among the Israelitish and Jewish people was altogether lost and annihilated. The worship of that nation did indeed consist exclusively of correspondences, and was consequently representative of heavenly things; but still they did not know what anything of it signified, for they were utterly natural men, and therefore were neither willing nor able to know anything about spiritual things, nor consequently about correspondences.

SS 26. v. Henceforth the correspondential sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who from the Lord is in genuine truths. The reason of this is that no one can see the correspondential sense except from the Lord alone, nor unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the correspondential sense of the Word treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom; and this is the sense in which are His angels in heaven, for it is His Divine truth there. To this sense a man can do violence if he has a knowledge of correspondences, and wishes by means of it and from self-intelligence to investigate the correspondential sense of the Word. For through some correspondences with which he is acquainted he may pervert the meaning of it, and may even force it to confirm what is false, and this would be doing violence to Divine truth, and also to heaven. And therefore if anyone purposes to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed; and then the man either sees nothing, or else becomes spiritually insane.

 

                      9.1.6    The As-of-self or Proprium

The as-of-self is a good alternative to the usual word "self." It is proven in many ways in the Writings of Swedenborg that the self has no power to act or do anything from  itself because nothing created can act from itself. Only God can act from Himself or only the Divine can act from itself. Therefore all things in the created universe are called "passives" while all things uncreate that exist in God are called "actives." For example, love is an active while the affective organ of the mind is the passive for it. Similarly truth is an active while the cognitive organ of the mind is the passive for it. The self is thus a receptor organ for Divine love and wisdom, just as the eye is a receptor organ for sunlight and the objects it illuminates. 

In order to develop and grow each self we must have strivings in accordance with our loves and interests, and make decisions that are congruent with these. Out of these two acting together flow our actions. This is our life. Human beings are human to the extent that they act from rational choice in accordance with their heavenly goals. In order to keep this process actual we must have the feeling that we have a self from which we act. But since we cannot act from self (as just explained) God must give us the actual appearance that we do. Rationally we can understand this by using the idea of as-of-self.

The as-of-self appearance and feeling is achieved by God through the vertical community. We are hitched to one another in clumps, gyres, and series. The entire human race, past, present, and future, is hitched in this fashion. When we are faced with life we are faced with choices, and humans make choices rationally in accordance with their goals or desired ends. God uses the various elements of the vertical community to keep an individual in moral and intellectual balance. For instance, a particular temptation is provided through the Divine management of circumstances, which necessitates a decision on our part. Now God brings us into communication with spiritual societies from heaven and from hell. There is influx into our spirit or mind so that our thoughts correspond to one side in one moment, and to the other side in another moment, just like a battle or duel that is going on.

Our thoughts and feelings are now activated, in turn from heavenly gyres and hellish gyres. At any instant in this process we can go along with one side or the other. We feel pulled in both directions, and the letting go of resistance in one direction is achieved by turning our mind towards that gyre and entering it, thus eliminating the other gyre. In this way we daily, hourly, and by the minute choose heaven or hell in our minute decisions. The cumulative memory and identity of these numerous decisions coalesces and the as-of-self. It thus grow without any power of itself, and yet it is truly the self. We feel that our self thus cumulated is our own.

If God were to create a heavenly mind without also giving it the as-of-self appearance of being able to be oppositional, then the self would not be our own, would not feel our own, and we would not value life, we would not have any happiness whatsoever. Clearly then hell is necessary so that we can choose heaven as of ourselves.

The following quotation from Swedenborg describes his mission to the world in a conversation he held with angels. These are the last pages Swedenborg wrote before his death in 1772. They are placed at the end of his last Work called The True Christian Religion.

TCR 846. I was once taken up as to my spirit into the angelic heaven and into a society there; and some of the wise ones there came to me and asked, "What news from the earth?"

I answered, "The news is that the Lord has revealed mysteries, which in excellence surpass all the mysteries revealed from the beginning of the church even to the present time."

They asked "What are they?"

I replied, "They are the following:

(i.) That in each thing and in all things in the Word there is a correspondential sense corresponding to the natural sense; that by means of that sense the Word conjoins the men of the church with the Lord, and also associates them with angels; and that the holiness of the Word resides in that sense. [2] (ii.) The Correspondences of which the correspondential sense consists are disclosed."

The angels asked, "Did not the inhabitants of the earth know about correspondences before this?"

I answered, "Nothing whatever; these have been hidden now for thousands of years, that is, since the time of Job; but among those who lived at that time and before it, the knowledge of correspondences was the knowledge of knowledges, from which they had wisdom, because thereby they had knowledge of the spiritual things pertaining to heaven and the church. But because that knowledge was changed into idolatrous ideas, it became, by the Lord's Divine Providence, so obliterated and lost that not the least sign of it remained visible. Nevertheless it is now disclosed by the Lord, in order that a conjunction of the men of the church with the Lord and their affiliation with the angels, may be effected, and this is done by means of the Word, wherein each thing and all things are correspondences."

The angels rejoiced exceedingly that it had pleased the Lord to reveal this great mystery, so deeply hidden for thousands of years; and they said that this was done in order that the Christian church, which is founded on the Word, and which is now at its end, may again revive and draw breath through heaven from the Lord. They asked whether the signification of baptism and of the holy supper, about which such different opinions have heretofore been held, is now disclosed by means of that knowledge.

I replied that it was.

[3] (iii.) I said further that the Lord had at this time made a revelation respecting the life of men after death.

The angels said, "What about the life after death? Does not everyone know that man lives after death?"

I replied, "They know it and they do not know it. They say that man does not live after death, but only his soul, and that this lives as a spirit; and the idea they have of spirit is that it is like wind or ether; and they say that man does not live as a man until after the day of the last judgment, when the corporeal elements which he had left in the world, although eaten up by worms, mice, and fishes, would be collected together again, and again formed into a body, and that in this way men will rise again."

The angels said, "How is this? Does not everyone know that man lives a man after death, with the sole difference that he then lives a substantial man, not a material man, as before, and that the substantial man sees the substantial man, in the same way as the material man sees the material, and that men know no difference except that they are in a more perfect state."

[4] (iv.) The angels asked, "What do they know about our world, and about heaven and hell?"

I answered, "They have known nothing; but at this day the nature of the world in which angels and spirits live, that is, the nature of heaven and of hell, has been disclosed by the Lord; also that angels and spirits are in conjunction with men, besides many wonderful things respecting them."

The angels rejoiced that it had pleased the Lord to disclose such things, so that man might no longer from ignorance be in doubt respecting his immortality.

[5] (v.) I said further, "It has been revealed by the Lord at this time that there is in your world a sun different from that of our world; that the sun of your world is pure love, and the sun of our world pure fire; consequently all that goes forth from your sun, because it is pure love, partakes of life, while all that goes forth from our sun, because it is pure fire, partakes not at all of life; also that this is the nature of the difference between the spiritual and the natural, which difference, hitherto unknown, has also been disclosed. And all this has made clear the source of the light that enlightens the human understanding with wisdom, and of the heat which enkindles the human will with love. [6] (vi.) And still further, it has been disclosed that there are three degrees of life, and consequently three heavens; that the mind of man is divided into those degrees, and that man therefore corresponds to the three heavens."

The angels asked, "Did not men know this before?"

I answered that they knew about the degrees existing between more and less, but nothing about the degrees between the prior and the posterior.

[7] (vii.) The angels asked whether anything further had been revealed.

I said that many other things had; in respect to the Last Judgment; the Lord, as being the God of heaven and earth; God, as being one both in Person and in Essence in whom is a Divine Trinity, and as being the Lord; a New Church to be established by Him; the Doctrine of that church; and the Holiness of the Sacred Scripture; that the Apocalypse had been unfolded; an account had been given of the Inhabitants of the Planets; also an account of the Earths in the Universe; with many other memorable and wonderful matters from the spiritual world, whereby much more pertaining to wisdom had been divulged from heaven.

TCR 847. After this I again talked with the angels, and told them that another matter still had been revealed in the world by the Lord.

They asked what. I said, "Respecting love truly conjugial and its spiritual delights."

The angels said, "Who does not know that the delights of conjugial love surpass those of all other loves? And who cannot see that into some one love all kinds of blessedness, happiness, and delight that it is possible for the Lord to bestow may be gathered together, and that the recipient love of these is true conjugial love, since that love corresponds to the love of the Lord and the church, and is capable of receiving and perceiving a full sense of these joys?"

I replied, that men are ignorant of this, because they have not approached the Lord, and so have not shunned the lusts of the flesh, and therefore could not be regenerated; and love truly conjugial is from the Lord alone, and is given to those who are regenerated by Him; and these are they who are received into the Lord's New Church, which is meant in the Apocalypse by "the New Jerusalem." And to this I added that I doubted whether those in the world at this day are willing to believe that this love is in itself spiritual, and therefore from religion, since they cherish a merely corporeal idea of it; and therefore are willing to believe that since it is in accord with religion, it is spiritual with the spiritual, natural with the natural, and merely carnal with adulterers.

TCR 848. The angels were exceedingly delighted with both of these conversations, but perceiving a sadness in me, they asked, "Why are you sad?"

I said, "Because these mysteries that are now revealed by the Lord, although they surpass in excellence and dignity all the knowledge hitherto divulged, are nevertheless regarded on the earth as of no value."

At this the angels were astonished, and besought the Lord to permit them to look down upon the world; and they looked down, and behold, mere darkness was there. And they were told to write these mysteries on paper and the paper would be let down to the earth, and they would see a strange sight. This was done, and behold, the paper on which these mysteries were written being let down from heaven, in its progress while it was still in the spiritual world shone like a star, but when it reached the natural world its light waned, and as it fell was darkened. And when it was let down by the angels into assemblies of learned and accomplished clergy and laymen a murmur of many voices was heard, in which were the words, "What is this? Is it anything? What matters it whether we know these things or not? Are they not mere progeny of the brain?" And the appearance was that some of them took the paper and folded it up and rolled and unrolled it with their fingers, and that others tore it to pieces and wished to trample it under foot. But they were withheld by the Lord from such an outrage, and the angels were directed to withdraw the paper and guard it. And because the angels were thereby saddened, and thought "How long shall this be?" it was said:

For a time, and times, and half a time (Apoc. 12:14).

TCR 849. After this I heard a hostile murmur from the lower regions, and with it these words, "Work miracles and we will believe."

I answered, "Are not these things miracles?"

They replied, "They are not."

I asked, "What then, are miracles?"

They said, "Show and reveal future events, and we will have faith."

But I said, "Such things are not granted by the Lord, because so far as a man knows what is to come his reason and understanding, with his prudence and wisdom sink into inertness and become torpid and collapse."

Again I asked, "What other miracles shall I work."

Then arose the cry, "Such as Moses wrought in Egypt."

And I replied, "Perhaps you would harden your hearts thereat, like Pharaoh and the Egyptians."

The answer was "No."

Again I said, "Assure me that you will not dance about a golden calf and worship it, as the posterity of Jacob did a single month after they had seen all Mount Sinai burning, and had heard Jehovah Himself speaking out of the fire, thus after the greatest of all miracles. ("A golden calf" means in the correspondential sense the pleasures of the flesh.)

An answer came from the lower regions, "We will not be like the posterity of Jacob."

At that moment I heard it said to them from heaven, "If you believe not Moses and the Prophets, that is, the Word of the Lord, you will not believe on account of miracles, any more than the posterity of Jacob did in the desert, or any more than they believed when with their own eyes they saw the miracles wrought by the Lord Himself when He was in the world."

TCR 850. After this I saw some persons ascending from the lower regions, from which these things had been heard; and addressing me in a grave tone, they said, "How is it that your Lord revealed the mysteries that you have just enumerated in a long series, to you who are a layman, and not to some one of the clergy?"

To this I replied, "Such was the good pleasure of the Lord, who prepared me for this office from my early youth. Nevertheless, I will ask you a question in return; Why did the Lord, when in the world, choose fishermen for His disciples, instead of some of the lawyers, scribes, priests, or rabbis? Discuss this question among yourselves, draw your conclusions from judgment, and you will discover the reason."

When they heard this, a murmur arose among them, and then they became silent.

 

In the following quotation Swedenborg describes how he found his Writings in the spiritual world where they were shining with light from the holy things that were in it and protected by a cherub. The inscription NUNC LICET was inscribed on the wall of the temple where it was laid open. This Latin phrase means "It is now permitted" and the full inscription given below, says that it is now permitted to enter rationally into the former mysteries of Sacred Scripture. This means that as we enter the internalizing celestial degree of our mind called "the Church of the New Jerusalem" (see matrix2 above) the former mysteries of the Divine are laid open to the internalizing rational of our consciousness. The mysteries are now scientifics laid down in the Third Testament (or the Writings of Swedenborg). This is then the beginning of theistic psychology.

TCR 508. The sixth experience.

One day a magnificent church building appeared to me; it was square in plan with a roof like a crown, with arches above and a raised parapet running around. Its walls were all windows made of crystal, its door of a pearly substance. Inside on the south side towards the west there was a platform, on which the open Word lay at the right surrounded by a blaze of light, so bright as to spread round and light up the whole platform. In the middle of the church was a shrine with a curtain in front of it; but this was now raised and there stood a golden cherub with a sword which he brandished in all directions in his hand.

[2] When I caught sight of all this, as I meditated, the meaning of each of the details came flooding into my mind. The church meant the new church; the door of a pearly substance, entry into it; the windows of crystal the truths which enlighten it; the platform the priesthood and their preaching; the Word on it, open and lighting up the top of the platform, the revelation of its internal, or spiritual, sense; the shrine in the middle of the church the link of that church with the heaven of angels; the golden cherub there the Word in its literal sense; the sword brandished in his hand meant that this sense can be twisted in different ways, so long as it is made to refer to some truth. The lifting of the curtain in front of the cherub meant that now the Word was laid open.

[3] Later, when I got closer, I saw there was an inscription over the door: NOW IT IS PERMITTED. This meant that now it is permitted to enter with the understanding into the mysteries of faith. Seeing this inscription led me to think that it is extremely dangerous to enter with the understanding into the dogmas of faith which have been put together out of one's own intelligence and the falsities it produces, and even more so to seek to support them by quoting the Word. This has the effect of shutting off the understanding at the top and little by little also at the bottom, to such an extent that theology is not only disliked but actually wiped out, like the writing on a paper being destroyed by book-worms, or the wool of a piece of cloth by grubs. His understanding then concerns itself only with political affairs which affect his life in the country where he lives, and with civil affairs relating to his official duties, and with domestic affairs of his household; and in all of these he constantly embraces nature, being led by the enticement of its pleasures to love it, as an idolater does the golden image in his lap.

[4] Now since the dogmas of present-day Christian churches are put together not from the Word, but from people's own intelligence and the false ideas that come from that, and also by means of some ideas supported from the Word, for this reason the Lord's Divine providence has seen to it that among Roman Catholics the Word has been taken away from laymen, while among Protestants it remains open, though shut off by their frequent saying that the understanding must be kept in obedience to their faith.

[5] But in the new church the opposite happens; here it is permitted with the understanding to approach and penetrate all its secrets, and also to support them from the Word. The reason is that its doctrines are a series of truths revealed by the Lord through the Word; and proving them by rational argument causes the understanding to be opened up above more and more. This lifts it into the light enjoyed by the angels of heaven; and that light is in essence truth, and it makes the acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth shine out in all its glory. This is what the inscription 'NOW IT IS PERMITTED' over the door means; and the removal of the curtain of the shrine in front of the cherub has the same meaning. It is a rule in the new church that falsities shut off the understanding, and truths open it up.

[6] After this I saw what looked like a child overhead, holding a paper in his hand. As he approached me, he grew in size until he was a man of average height. He was an angel from the third heaven; all there look at a distance like children. When he reached me, he held the paper out to me. But since it was written in the rounded script customary in that heaven, I gave it back and asked them to expound the meaning of what was written on it in words I could comprehend in my thinking.

'What is written here,' he replied, 'is: FROM NOW ON ENTER INTO THE MYSTERIES OF THE WORD WHICH HAVE SO FAR BEEN HIDDEN: FOR EACH ONE OF ITS TRUTHS IS A MIRROR IN WHICH WE SEE THE LORD.'

 

9.1.7     The Phases of Consciousness in Theistic Psychology

Since the development of consciousness is recursive (see above) the sequence of degrees must be stepped through in our growth for each phase or degree. For theistic psychology and the New Church, this notion may be illustrated by the depth of internalizing understanding of doctrine as one proceeds with development.

STAGES OF GROWTH OF THE SELF IN theistic psychology  (Matrix 3)
PHASES OF
DEVELOPMENT
ZONES
A--C--S
S--C--A
ZONES
A--C--S
DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
OR
DEGREE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
LEVEL OF DOCTRINE
(Basis of our thought)
THESES
PERCEIVED
Infancy of the New Church in our mind 1,2,3
4,5,6
1,2,3 externalizing Celestial Celestial sensual
representations of Truth
The Writings of Swedenborg are a Divine revelation
Childhood of the New Church in our mind 7,8,9
10,11,12
4,5,6 externalizing Spiritual Spiritual sensual
representations of Truth
The Writings of Swedenborg are Sacred Scripture
Adolescence of the New Church in our mind 13,14,15
16,17,18
7,8,9 externalizing Natural Natural sensual
representations of Truth
The Doctrine of the Church is our understanding of the literal
I       N      V       E      R       S      I       O      N
Young adulthood of the New Church in our mind 19,20,21
22,23,24
10,11,12 internalizing Natural Natural Rational Truth The literal of the Writings are not yet spiritual
Adulthood of the New Church in our mind 25,26,27
28,29,39
13,14,15 internalizing Spiritual Spiritual Rational Truth The Doctrine of the Church is spiritual and must be revealed to each
Old age of the New Church in our mind 31,32,33
34,35,
36
16,17,18 internalizing Celestial Celestial Rational Truth The Doctrine of the Church is the inner sense of the Writings
Descending evolution of Doctrine
=Zones 1 through 9
Ascending evolution of Doctrine
=Zones 10 through 18
externalizing=natural
internalizing=rational (=spiritual)
Celestial=affective domain
Spiritual=cognitive domain
Natural=sensorimotor domain

The infancy or beginning phase of theistic psychology and the New Church begins when as adults we confirm the idea in our mind that the Writings of Swedenborg are a Divine revelation not given to the human race before. Those who are born into the New Church or are introduced into that religion in childhood, have not yet reached this state of the externalizing celestial degree of the mind with regard to their religion. When we are mature adults we need to re-confirm our childhood religion as adults, that is, thinking from our own self and not just obeying our parental beliefs. When as adults we confirm in our mind that the Writings are a Divine revelation unlike any before that given to the human race, then for the first time, we enter into the externalizing celestial consciousness. This is a sensual consciousness based on the literal of the Writings. In this state we feel happy that we have been privileged to perceive a new Divine revelation. We even feel superior to those who have not yet acknowledged this new revelation for humankind. At the same time we feel that the study of the Writings is a hardship; we find them arcane and difficult and foreign to our everyday culture. Sometimes we complain about it. We search for easier and "more modern" translations of the original Latin. We also hold on to other authors and books as being "inspired" and we feel we need these ties to those who have been seekers of truth and had a brilliant genius. We see contradictions and "errors" that we attribute to Swedenborg's culture and times and some things are necessarily outdated and not fully modern. (See Christen Blom-Dahl's list of Swedenborg's so-called "intellection failure".)

We then evolve into the second phase of childhood when as adults we become fully convinced that the Writings are not only a new inspired revelation, but the are actually Sacred Scripture from God. This is an externalizing spiritual state of consciousness and is also sensuous. In this phase we believe that the Writings are a rational revelation and their meaning is the internal sense of the Old and New Testaments. As we read the literal text of the Writings our focus remains on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture of the Bible. These are considered Sacred Scripture in greater measure than the Writings. The Writings take their strength and power from being an explanation of the internal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture. In this state we do not fully recognize that the Writings are fully Sacred Scripture in the same sense as the New Testament Sacred Scripture and Old Testament Sacred Scripture are fully Sacred Scripture. When reading the literal of the Writings and see the expression "the Word" our mind flips instantly to the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture rather than the Writings.

In the third phase of adolescence we are focused on understanding the Writings as Doctrine. We identify the literal of the Writings with Doctrine--calling them the Heavenly Doctrines--though we recognize that our understanding of the Doctrine needs to be deepened ever more as we go through life and practice our religion. This is an externalizing natural state in which we have a sensuous consciousness. We rely entirely on ourselves, on our own intelligence, to deepen our understanding of the Doctrines. We rely on the study of others to give us lectures, sermons, and summaries in our attempt to grapple with the Doctrines and make them our own understanding. Our life doesn't change much except for our striving to live our religion honestly and with integrity.

 

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle pp. 144 by Rev. THEODORE PITCAIRN.

"The review of DE HEMELSCHE LEER that appeared in the January [1931] issue of NEW CHURCH LIFE is of such a nature, that it is hard to believe that the writer read DE HEMELSCHE LEER with care, or reflected on what he read. In any case the essence of DE HEMELSCHE LEER is passed over as if it did not exist.

It is surprising that the GENERAL CHURCH does not as yet see that the opening of the Writings takes place by means of the opening of the discrete degrees of the mind of the Church, and not by what is called the normal working of the human mind, or the rational method. That CONVENTION or CONFERENCE should not see this would not be surprising, for they are unaware of any discrete degree in the understanding of the Writings. But it should be evident to the members of the GENERAL CHURCH that the understanding of the Writings by one who sees them as the Lord Himself in His Second Coming, differs by a discrete degree from the understanding of those who look upon them as the works of Swedenborg. That the latter vision is granted to the Church by the opening of a more internalizing degree of the mind and not by what is called .the normal process of man's thinking, may be seen from this, that a man in CONFERENCE or CONVENTION might be very learned in the Writings, might have studied them much and thought about what he read, and still not have his eyes opened to see their Divinity; while on the other hand a simple man who has not been able to study the Writings, may still clearly see them as the Lord in His Second Coming. The simple man who has had his eyes opened is evidently in a more internalizing degree of understanding than the learned man whose eyes have remained closed.

As the man of the GENERAL CHURCH can see this discrete degree in the understanding of the Writings, he should be able from Doctrine to acknowledge that there are other discrete degrees still to be opened."

Then there is an inversion.

Before this inversion we remain in the state represented by the First Coming of the Lord in the New Church; after the inversion we advance to the internalizing states represented by the Second Coming of the Lord in the New Church. Before the inversion the idea that the Writings have an internal sense is rejected, as shown by a negative review of De Hemelsche Leer proposals:

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle pp. 136

"But to New Churchmen whose comfort it has been to feel that this surpassing Revelation has disclosed the correspondential sense, and ended the age of mystery and uncertainty, there comes a decided disturbance of mind when it is suggested that the Writings are, perhaps, only another sealed Letter, whose treasury of hidden truths has to be drawn out by some special process, or translated into spiritual doctrine by specially enlightened prophets yet to come!"

But after the inversion, we see confirmation of the inner sense, as shown by this contributor to De Hemelsche Leer:

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle pp. 130-132 by N. J. VELLENGA

"THESES: (based on TCR 226 to 233)

1. The Writings are the Word.

2.The Word without Doctrine is unintelligible.

3. The Word, in its literal sense, consists of pure correspondences.

4.Spiritual and celestial things lie hidden in that letter.

5.The letter serves as a basis, and spiritual things are confirmed therein.

6.Divine truths in the letter are rarely found uncovered.

7.Divine truths are clothed in appearances of truth.

8.These appearances are accommodated to the apprehension of the simple.

9. Some things appear to be contradictory.

10.There is not a single contradiction in the Word, seen in spiritual light.

11.Such being the nature of the Word in the literal sense, it is very evident that without Doctrine the Word cannot possibly be understood.

12. The Word by means of Doctrine does not only become intelligible, but also clear and enlightening the understanding.

13. Doctrine reconciles apparent contradictions.

14.All Christian churches have a Doctrine.

15. Only true Doctrine gives a true interpretation of the Word.

16. This true Doctrine is like a lamp in the darkness.

17. Those who read the Word without Doctrine are in darkness concerning all truth.

18. They easily fall into heresies.

19. The Word is to them like a candlestick without light.

20. Doctrine alone could give them light.

21. The danger is that the Word without Doctrine only favors the love of self and self-intelligence.

22. Doctrine must be drawn from the literal sense, and be confirmed by it.

23. The letter is and remains the basis or the foundation of Doctrine.

24. The significance of Doctrine is that it arranges the truths of the Word in order, so that they are seen in mutual connection.

25. Doctrine is not acquired by means of the correspondential sense of the Word, which is given by the science of correspondences.

26. By this, Doctrine is only illustrated and corroborated.

27. Enlightenment comes from the Lord alone, namely to those who love the truths because they are truths, and apply them to the use of life.

28. With others, there is no enlightenment in the Word.

29. The Word is from the Lord, thus also enlightenment from it, and thus Doctrine also.

30. The man who opens himself for influx by a life according to that Doctrine, acknowledges the truth from an internalizing perception, afterwards he sees that truth in his thought, and this as often as he is in the affection of truth for the sake of truth; for out of affection is perception, out of perception is thought, and thus arises acknowledgment, which is called faith.

31. The contrary is the case with those who read the word and confirm it by their doctrine with a view to their own glory and worldly interests.

32. The study of the Word should be done from the affection of knowing truth because it is true and leads to the good of life.

All these theses result immediately. from the basic thesis, that the Writings are the Word."

Sensual consciousness in the externalizing natural state is the lowest of the orderly states of spiritual progression and it is only in this state of full vastation and consummation that it is possible for the Lord to come to us. For the Lord's Coming is a sensual coming directly perceived. The consummation is necessary in order to make visible the falsities and evils of that level. By rejecting these falsities and evils we are transferred to the next highest degree of consciousness, and the process restarts. In historical terms there was only one Incarnation and Resurrection where God "came to His people" in a natural and physical presence on this earth about two thousand years ago. This physical reappearance cannot take place again, yet a sensual presence of the Lord in the literal of Sacred Scripture is possible and necessary ("God was the Word and the Word was made Flesh"). The expression "eating the flesh and drinking the blood" refers to this coming of God to each individual when the age of development is consummated and another degree of the mind is opened. Eating and drinking refer to what we must do in our mind or spirit, that is, appropriating to ourselves the new and higher goods and trues given to us in the infancy phase of the next highest degree of development. Now we can receive higher trues and insights than before which will in time decline and be consummated in preparation for the next coming of God to us. This coming is not in physical presence but in spiritual presence, or a coming to our mind or spirit. This spiritual coming cannot take place except in and through Sacred Scripture, that is, in and through the trues and goods we appropriate to our life as we read and are guided by Sacred Scripture.

The fourth phase of our development (young adulthood) is the opening of the internalizing natural. This for the first time, gives us access to a rational consciousness of the Writings. In this new phase of the internalizing natural, or natural spiritual, we immediately recognize the Writings as fully Sacred Scripture, having an externalizing literal in which is hidden the spiritual and celestial meanings, just like the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture. Now for the first time we love to call the Writings The Third Testament (or the Last Testament). We have elevated the Writings to be fully Sacred Scripture, equal to the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture. We perceive clearly that we must not get "stuck" in the literal of the Writings, and become conscious of the dangers of doing that. The literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture, like the literal of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture, are mere appearances of Divine truths and people can easily confirm by it anything they please, leading to heresies as abundant and false as there are in the religions based on the Bible. Now for the first time we realize that everything the Writings say about the Word, or Sacred Scripture, applies equally to the Writings. When we read the expression "the Word" our mind no longer flips to the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture, but to the Writings Sacred Scripture. Now we fully realize that everything said in the Work called Sacred Scripture (SS) and other books of the Writings, apply to the Writings themselves. We are in love with the idea that the Word for the New Church is the Writings Sacred Scripture, even more than the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture which were given in previous dispensations for the human race. From now on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture will be secondary, while the Writings Sacred Scripture is primary, even though the Threefold Word is one, united, and inexorably linked and interdependent.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 97 He who does not know the arcana of Heaven. . . . supposes that the Word in the letter or the literal sense of the Word, is the Doctrine itself. . . . But the Doctrine must be collected out. of the Word, and while it is being collected, the man must be in enlightenment from the Lord" (n. 9424). The great significance of the difference between the Word of tile New Church, that is, the Latin Word, and the Doctrine of the New Church out of that Word, here clearly appears. If man is not open to the acknowledgement of this difference, the arcana of Heaven will not be accessible to him. The Word is given to the Church as the infinite and inexhaustible source of all truth, but its Doctrine, the Church as of itself must bring forth from the Word by the orderly means. The Doctrine is entirely such as the Church is; the purer the Church, the more internalizing its Doctrine, and also the reverse, the more internalizing the Doctrine the purer the Church. We read in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED: "Who does not know that the Church is not Church without Doctrine.

We reach the adulthood phase of development in theistic psychology,  when we fully perceive that the Doctrine of the Church is not the literal of the Writings but must be extracted in an orderly way by means of correspondences applied to one's life. This is an internalizing spiritual state of consciousness--for the first time internalizing rational and truly human. The literal understanding of the Writings is mere scientifics. Anyone in any stage of development, within or without the New Church, can be a scholar of the Writings, even recognized as an expert. But not a single element of the Doctrine of the Church can thus be understood. This is because the Doctrine of the Church is spiritual and is revealed by the Lord directly and immediately while we read the Writings. Even if we write down the Doctrine as we perceive it, that language is in the natural, and even if others can read and teach that Doctrine as laid down in natural language, nothing of it will be understood unless it is directly, immediately, and personally revealed by the Lord. Now for the first time we have a true internalizing relation with God. The Lord must speak to us in the words of the Writings and point to their referents or meanings. These referents or meanings are nothing elements of our daily lives as we proceed with our regeneration. Now we fully realize and perceive that Doctrine is spiritual and incomprehensible without the referents in our lives. The Writings are about regeneration and we need to perceive Doctrine in it referring to the steps of our regeneration. Our ability to understand the elements of Doctrine from the Writings Sacred Scripture is proportional to our progress in regeneration. Thus the Doctrine of the Church is an individual and personal revelation from the Lord based on the particulars of our life.

At last we come into the state of old age of our spiritual development, which is an internalizing celestial state. Now we can perceive that the Doctrine of the Church is the inner sense of the Writings. (See also this related article on the phases of religious development.) The same steps that needed to be taken and transcended when going from the Old Christian Church to the New (see matrix2 above) must be made when going from the sensual consciousness of the New Church, to the rational consciousness of the New Church.  Here is a contributor to De Hemelsche Leer:

Quoting from  De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle pp. 134-135 by J. P. VERSTRAATE

"It is the Doctrine of the Church which shows that all that has been said in the Latin Testament concerning the state of the old church, Roman Catholics and Protestants, etc., in the internal sense gives a description of the evils and falsities which are present in the New Church and now continually form a menace to the life and the development of the Church. Lately it has been pointed out repeatedly that the literal sense by itself can be of no use to our Church, for the old church is dead and no longer counts before the Lord. The literal sense in the New Church has significance only if in reality the things are applied to itself, and if every member is conscious that these evils and falsities are present in him also. In this application to himself, man can never be severe enough, and he can never think too seriously of the danger with which he himself, and also the Church, are threatened."

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle pp. 141 by H. D. G. GROENEVELD

"The New Church therefore ever more and more, and this to eternity, is essentially a Church by its Doctrine. But its Doctrine is genuine only if it is received out of the Third Testament from the Lord, and consequently if it is of the Lord alone and thus Divine. (...)

The Doctrine of the Church is the Doctrine such as it has been accommodated by the Lord to Angels and men of the Church. It is therefore different for the Angels according as they are Angels of the Third Heaven, of the Second Heaven, or of the First Heaven. and different for the Church according to the state of the Church."

The Doctrine of the Church revealed to our celestial rational consciousness is therefore Divine, the Holy Spirit with us.

 

9.1.8    The Birth of the Rational--The Beginning of Being Human

We begin the recursive sequence of development with the Descending Pathway, during which all truth or reality has a representative sensual consciousness. The three discrete phases of the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial are represented in the natural. The natural itself has three levels or layers: the corporeal (which is the lowest natural), the sensuous, and the natural proper which is the externalizing rational. Animals also have a corporeal consciousness, but they do not have a natural rational or externalizing rational. Thus in the descending pathway our awareness of reality is partly animal. Even with the upper range of the natural, the externalizing rational, which animals do not possess, we are not fully human because the externalizing rational is based entirely on the corporeal and sensuous representations of reality, and these are nothing but appearances of truth or reality. Thus our externalizing rational mind can only be aware of appearances of truth, not real truth.

Then we begin the Ascending Pathway as we cross the inversion point (see matrices above). Now we enter the internalizing of the human mind, which is the true human mind. This is because we are created spirits to live an immortal life in the spiritual world, and our physical body is a temporary condition. In the spiritual world as we move about and live our life in the spirit body our mind is conscious only of spiritual influx from that world. The appearances around us in the spiritual world are natural spiritual appearances. The mountains, the animals, the houses, the clothes, the food are all natural looking objects but of spiritual origin. They are made of spiritual substances, not natural. They are instantiated by God through the Laws of Correspondence so that what appears around us, or outside our consciousness, instantly appears and disappears, in accordance with our thoughts and feelings. Similarly with spaces, distances and time. And so while we are still in the physical body the development of our internalizing consciousness must be based on spiritual influx into the mind, not natural.

Spiritual influx for the development of our internalizing consciousness must therefore be rational, not physical. Whether you say rational or spiritual, it is the same, as long as you mean internalizing rational, not externalizing. The spiritual world is an internalizing world and is "located" "within" the natural world. For our spirit body to develop we must develop our internalizing rational consciousness, and this takes place within our natural mind, or above it. Whether you say within or above is the same. Our relation to God determines our state of life and as we develop internalizing consciousness we move closer and closer to God through closer and closer conjunction with God. God is Spirit and therefore internalizing rational, that is, Divine Rational. God is therefore Divine Human since whether you say Rational or Human it is the same.

During the Descending Pathway development of the human race (see matrix2), relation to God was possible only by representation, and so the three main Churches in that evolution of the race--Adamic, Noachic, and Israelitish, were representative Churches or religions. Conjunction with God was not possible directly but only indirectly through the mediation of angels. When God appeared to those people He did so by occupying the spirit body of an angel. After the Incarnation, an inversion took place and the subsequent Churches were true religions based on internalizing rational consciousness. Now God could appear directly in His Own Glorified Body, which was the Divine Natural. During the interim period while God was in the physical world---see matrix2), He was reluctant to perform Divine miracles, more than a few that are recorded in the New Testament Sacred Scripture, and only with those who already believed in Him as the Son of God. The reason for this is very important to understand. It is the same reason why no conscious demonstration miracles have been allowed after the Lord's departure from the physical world at Ascension.

Miracles are persuasive to the sensual consciousness. One's spiritual freedom is eliminated when one witnesses a Divine miracle. In the earlier Churches miracles were allowed because there was no opening of the internalizing rational consciousness in the human race. For instance, in the Adamic Church, miracles were routine such as direct dialog with angels of heaven and warning in advance of the individual's day of passing on--thus without "dying" as we know it today. In the Noachic Church, miracles were allowed in the direct witnessing of the laws and power of correspondences. In the Israelitish Church, miracles were allowed as recorded in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. During the inversion period after the Incarnation, miracles performed directly by the Lord were allowed for a brief period during the three years preceding the Ascension. At that time the New Testament Sacred Scripture records the Lord's warnings to His disciples that only a wicked generation demands miracles and that it is convenient for them that He depart from this world that they may gain true spiritual freedom through the Holy Spirit which He will send and which speaks only of Him and from Him. This is because the Holy Spirit relationship to God is an internalizing relationship.

Had the the Lord not departed from this World the human race would have not been able to evolve an internalizing consciousness but would have been stuck in sensual consciousness. God Himself in a Divine Natural (physical) body would have reigned as an earthly King capable of performing miracles, but not capable of conjunction with the actual human race. For the true human consciousness starts in the internalizing rational and He had to remove His sensual presence in order that He may come to us in the internalizing rational consciousness as the Holy Spirit.

This being the character of the internalizing rational it is important to understand that the literal of Sacred Scripture, which is Holy and Divine, only affords us with a sensual conjunction with God and this is not a true conjunction but more like and an adjoining. It is only an appearance or representative truth, not a a reality. As we recursively step through the Zones of consciousness we recapitulate these steps of the Churches in historical evolution. At first, in our Descending Pathway from infancy, through childhood, through adolescence (Zones 1 through 9), our relation to Sacred Scripture is by sensual consciousness as we study and reflect upon the literal of Sacred Scripture. The First Coming of the Lord to us is through the mediation of the Celestial angels when we become convinced that Sacred Scripture is Divine. Then, as we become conscious of Sacred Scripture as God Himself we are in connection with the Spiritual angels, then as we enter the adolescent phase of our relation to God, we are with the Natural angels and begin to develop Doctrine from Sacred Scripture, but only as natural sensual representations. This Doctrine is not yet true Doctrine for it is based on our own self-intelligence of the literal of the word, and is thus externalizing rational, not yet internalizing and spiritual. Even if we apply the laws of correspondence, the result is still sensual, not spiritual, and we can only see Divine truths in appearance, not reality.

With the inversion, we enter for the first time into the internalizing degrees of the rational and begin to perceive natural rational truth. This is the Second Coming of the Lord to us. We begin to see that the literal of Sacred Scripture is not yet spiritual even if the Divine is within it (see matrix3). As we advance to spiritual adulthood, we are opened in the mind to the internalizing spiritual degree and begin to perceive spiritual rational truth. This is the true mature human consciousness. Now as we read the literal of Sacred Scripture the internalizing spiritual truths are perceived as a direct revelation from the Lord and this becomes our true Doctrine of the Church. At last, in the age of innocence of the wisdom of old age, we reach the pinnacle of human consciousness in connection with the highest angels in the third Celestial Heaven. In this state we perceive celestial rational truths as our Doctrine when we read Sacred Scripture. At last we are fully in the internalizing or correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, thus in full reciprocal conjunction with the Divine Human.

The development of a rational consciousness has not been understood before. Influential psychologists in the twentieth century like Carl Gustav Jung have advanced the notion that rational is opposite to or independent of the intuitive mode of thinking which was associated with mysticism, religion, and spirituality. But this idea was based on incomplete knowledge of the spiritual world. For instance, Jung, Gurdijef, Ouspensky and other influential psychologists and theologians were not aware of and never stated the most basic and simplest of all facts about spirituality, namely, that the spirit is the mind and the mind lives in the spiritual world. They were unaware and unconscious of the spiritual world, as no one except Swedenborg was empowered by God to report on his dual citizenship for 27 years. Swedenborg states that this is the greatest miracle performed by God since the beginning of creation. This greatest of miracles is the Second Coming of the Lord in His Divine Rational in the Writings of Swedenborg as the Third or Last Testament. Now that the Threefold Word--the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, New Testament Sacred Scripture, and Writings Sacred Scripture, has been completed, God's creation is complete. The evolutionary changes have been brought about for the opening of the internalizing rational consciousness of the human race--past, present, and future. This is a state of mind that renders us fully human. Now anyone anywhere in the universe has the ability to receive celestial rational truths to the extent that the individual is willing to proceed all the way in regeneration.

The orderly process of regeneration is the principal theme of the Threefold Word. By reading and studying the literal statements of the Writings of Swedenborg we put ourselves into communication with the Lord's Divine Rational to the extent that our motive is to know Divine truths for the sake of being guided to shun evils as sins against the Lord. We are born with innumerable inherited sins and we quickly add to the heap as we unfold in development from infancy to adolescence and beyond. Sins are character faults that we are tempted to act upon, follow, and cherish as so many false gods. If we give in, our character, which is our spirit, grows increasingly in counter-gyres by which we are inexorably tied to the hells with which we communicate as a vertical community (discussed above). No heavenly life in eternity is possible except through victory over temptations given us by the Lord in a careful and precise series. First natural temptations that strengthen our moral character. Then spiritual temptations that clear our mind from false beliefs and religions. Finally celestial temptations by which we are able to acquire the Lord's character of goodness whenever we give ourselves no credit but all the credit to the Lord. Then we are angels or true human beings. Regeneration then goes on to eternity because our humanness is infinite when based on God's Divine Humanity.

The development of internalizing consciousness empowers us with true spiritual freedom. Until then we do not have real freedom but rely on persuasion and mysticism in our belief systems. Any religion or spirituality that is based on sensual contact or communication does not allow the development of internalizing consciousness. The sensual can confirm the spiritual that is obtained through the rational, but the spiritual must not be based on the sensual but only on the internalizing rational. However it is necessary to start with the sensual and proceed in orderly series of steps to the rational. The sensual is based on the physical world and we are born sensual that we may develop and grow in this world. But when we enter the young adulthood stage we must suffer ourselves to be inverted so that the basis of our thought is no longer the natural world but the spiritual world. And there is only one source given us for conscious communication with the spiritual world, and that is Sacred Scripture. People are brought to Sacred Scripture through religion and all religions have a Word or else, Doctrine based on Sacred Scripture. We are also brought into communication with God through our concepts about Him and our behavior towards Him. These concepts are also based on Sacred Scripture as is our ritualized behavior towards Him. These rituals of worship are more important in the sensual consciousness phase. Later we acquire internalizing worship that is rational and particular.

The following diagram (matrix 3b) shows the Descending and Ascending Pathway of human spiritual development in relation to the threefold self:

The above diagram (matrix 3b) shows the dynamic events that occur during the descending and ascending pathways of spiritual development. The threefold self is the mind's three organs called the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. In the state of infancy there is a celestial sensual consciousness given through our association with celestial angels of the third or highest heaven. The focus of this influence is affective, and from this are the cognitive and sensorimotor events. As this phase is consummated, the focus shifts to the cognitive in the childhood phase for that level. This sensual consciousness is an externalizing spiritual state in association with the spiritual angels of the second heaven and the affective and sensorimotor events are from this cognitive focus. In the adolescence phase of the descending pathway the sensual consciousness is produced in association with the natural angels of the first heaven and its focus is on the sensorimotor. From this focus are derived then the affective and cognitive events that take place in this phase.

Inversion then occurs at the consummation of the externalizing natural phase of sensuous consciousness (adolescence). Then starts the ascending pathway, with a focus on the sensorimotor but from a rational consciousness this time (young adulthood). When this phase is consummated we are brought into association with the spiritual angels again as the focus shifts to the cognitive again, but this time from the internalizing rational (adulthood). At last when this phase is consummated we are brought back into association with the celestial angels with a focus on the affective, but in the internalizing celestial degree. This is our homecoming. Through this recursive process of spiritual growth each succeeding sub-phase brings us into new truths, goods, and perceptions, and as these decline over time and are consummated, new trues, goods, and perceptions are made available that allow deeper and deeper temptations, until we reach the internalizing celestial state (old age) and then we continue evolving on a daily basis to eternity without ever being consummated again. We are then in pure uninterrupted bliss to eternity marked by ever new perceptions on a daily basis, bringing us ever into closer conjunction with the Divine, endlessly.

From De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle IV page 22 by Ernest Pfeiffer:

"The next state of the New Church, which corresponds to the Christian period and to the age of manhood, brings the development of the Doctrine of the Church. This state is to be compared with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, which indeed characterizes the Christian Church. Just as the Lord had to leave the 'earth, if this pouring out were to become possible, so the Church must leave the letter of the Third Testament in the realization that within the letter by way of correspondence all the infinite particulars of the proper, abstract, spiritual truth lie hidden. The leading principle determining the Church's attitude in this state is the thesis that the DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE must also be applied to the Third Testament, and it is then seen that the up building of the Church is possible only through the Doctrine of the Church. The letter by itself brings to man only the generals of truth. The letter in itself is of such a nature, purely Divine and infinite, that from it into eternity ever new particulars of truth may be drawn. This drawing of the particulars of genuine spiritual truth is the task of the New Church in this state. The proper essence thereof lies in the masculine which has entered upon the combat with the natural in a more internalizing, the second, degree, and which thereby is in the genuine spiritual rational, which sees the genuine correspondential sense of the Word. The New Church in this state is for the first time a genuine spiritual Church."

 

             9.1.9   The Doctrine of the Church and Theistic Psychology

Theistic psychology is the methodological extraction of knowledge from revelation or the literal of Sacred Scripture. The diagram above (matrix4), portrays the relationship between the Doctrine of the Church, as demonstrated in De Hemelsche Leer, and science as demonstrated in Christen Blom-Dahl's work. The Descending Pathway of extraction (see matrix2 and matrix3 discussed above), involves taking up concepts and phenomena described by Swedenborg in the spiritual world and using orderly principles of extraction, formulating medical, biological, physical, chemical, etc., hypotheses that can be tested by scientific research. Blom-Dahl has made several such extractions and was able to confirm them by already established medical research in relation to the phenomena he extracted. When this method reaches a more advanced development, predictions will be possible that will serve to guide scientific research for new discoveries or confirmations. The Writings of Swedenborg are filled with thousands of names, places, and numbers, even maps of the spiritual world and a detailed description of the relative placement of inhabitations by various ethnic groups and religions. Extracting scientific facts and principles from these descriptions is now a definite possibility--see the entry on spiritual geography and its relation to cross-cultural and social psychology. Others who are aware of this possibility may be mentioned such as the work of physicist Ian Thompson, and this New Church college professor:

"I have been working on a little thing about chemistry and how metals are truth givers, and non-metals truth receivers, and how chemistry illustrates the wonderful truth that "All creation is in an image of good and truth and their conjunction."

Just tonight, in grading my students Electronics tests, as I looked over their answers to the extra credit question about relating electro-magnetism and coils and capacitors to good and truth, I was amazed at the parallels. Yes indeed Revelation reveals scientifics, for without revelation nothing can be revealed. Sure we can learn the facts, but without the Bible Darwin would not have even known about the sequence of creation and the concept of higher and lower animals. In fact the word evolution itself means to "unfold", to unfold the human form to which all nature strives." AH in an email message 3-11-2001

Quoting from one of my email messages may also be informative in this connection:

... And further: What is the object in your dream made of? The chair you're sitting on? The clothes people are wearing in your dream? Can you not instantly create those substances? Etc. Etc.

For cyberspace, in my Cyberpsychology course, I say to my students: What is cyberspace made of and where is it? No, it's not the hardware, or the telephone lines connecting the networked computers, no it's not the chip or its electromagnetic state and properties. So where is cyberspace? Does it have a size? Does it have a shape? How do you have a presence there? The laws of cyberspace and the laws of the spiritual world are correspondential (using Swedenborg). I prefer spiritual world to "spirituality" because it's concrete, that is, substantial, while spirituality is so abstract that people can hide under its rubric just about anything, including its opposite (corporeality, cf. Swedenborg). A fascinating piece of data: Swedenborg was allowed to interview some of those who lived in their mental states called "the hells" and these pitiful people (or "spirits" -- cf. Swedenborg) insisted that they were still on earth in their physical bodies, and they denied the existence of the spiritual world. I've seen similar delusional discussions by those who thought they were talking about "spirituality."

Also notice this: Much much verbal discourse is being created everywhere about "spirituality" but almost none about the spiritual world. Would you care to explain this?

I agree with you that cyberspace development can be understood usefully in terms of the laws of the spiritual world. One example I give my students: in the spiritual world co-presence occurs when mental states match in affective states (intentions, feelings, moods, values). When this affective similarity exists between two people, they are co-present and need only have the desire to talk in order to see one another. As soon as they fall into dissimilar affective states (disagreement, hatred), they instantly vanish from each other presence.

In cyberspace, co-presence (surfing the Web, hits, traffic, connected, busy signal, links, hypertext, search engines, reference, cookie, etc.) is also possible only through affective similarity between the user's affective state (interest, need, motive, value) and the site content (information, interactivity, networking). An instance of this law may be seen in Newsgroups. First that there are so many (15,000) and second, that they are each topic defined. "Topic" in the spiritual world defines the co-presence maps (also known as spiritual geography, cf.Swedenborg). In my view cyberspace development or evolution will not take place automatically, as physiological development on earth has. Instead, cyberspace evolution will be dependent on consciousness, or conscious decisions about how to make it evolve out of chaos (today) to heavenly forms in the future.

These superior forms in the human mind are not visible at will and so we need to evolve the instructional technology that will allow people to navigate their spiritual development. Cyberspace navigational tools and skills will allow them to acquire these spiritual tools by which they can make their heaven accessible to themselves. In this connection of forms, I have studied a great deal of it through semantic inventories and categories, leading me to behavioral taxonomies of correspondences between the mental and the rational/spiritual (some of this is available on my Web site under the topic of "ethnomethodology" and "ethnosemantics" and "cataloguing practices of the North American Peoples"). Of course Swedenborg did much work in this, as you point out. Cyberspace evolution will have to be consciously gained and the forms Swedenborg saw in the spiritual world will help us do this: the spiral and the funnel shapes, especially. As well: Swedenborg's studies of "tremulations." Leon James in 1998

 

The Ascending Pathway (see earlier matrix3), involves taking up concepts from the literal of the Writings of Swedenborg and using orderly principles of extraction, formulating Doctrine for the Church. The pages of De Hemelsche Leer contain many such demonstrations. The Web site of the  Lord's New Church advertises a course on De Hemelsche Leer.

Theology 241-243: The Doctrine of the Lord's New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma. A study and analysis of the development of doctrine in the Church. The theological works of Charles Augustus Tulk and Abraham J. LeCras, as well as the English fascicles of De Hemelsche Leer, are read during the course, and the doctrinal insights of the Church are correlated with the subject matter of other courses that are taken concurrently. Three terms.

 

        9.1.10   Stages of Development in Theistic Psychology

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

INV. 46. What are miracles over against these things? Miracles are not done at this day, because they seduce men, and make them natural. They close the internalizings of their minds, wherein faith ought to be rooted; wherefore mere falsities proceed thence (see Matt. 24:24). What did the miracles effect which were done in Egypt with the sons of Israel? What did those miracles effect which were done before them in the desert? What those miracles when they entered into the land of Canaan? What the miracles which were wrought by Elijah and Elisha? What those which the Lord Himself wrought? Was anyone ever made spiritual by their means? What has been the use of miracles among the Roman Catholics? and of those of Anthony at Padua and of the three wise men at Cologne? And what has been the use of the countless miracles in the monasteries, whose walls are fitted with pictures, plates, and gifts? Has anyone ever been made spiritual thereby? Have they not become natural thereby, so that there is scarcely any truth of the Word among them, but only the externalizing things of worship, which have their origin from men and traditions?

The above Number (Invitation 46) refers to our adolescent state of mind, which is externalizing natural and thinks from a sensual consciousness. Note especially the sentence "What did the miracles effect which were done in Egypt with the sons of Israel?" where Egypt usually represents externalizing knowledges or scientifics and the sons of Israel represent the Israelitish Church prior to the Incarnation (see matrix3 above). Miracles represent faith in the omnipotence of the Divine Human. "What did they effect" signifies that there is a lack of faith. In other words, our mental state of adolescence is so dependent on material evidence that we cannot have a true faith in the Divine Human. In contradistinction to this natural and corporeal mind there is the rational consciousness that begins to develop only after the Inversion takes place (see matrix3) and our new basis for thinking becomes the rational, not the natural. At first a natural rational that hovers between the two types of consciousness just as depicted by the Lord's disciples. But when that state of young adulthood ripens and is consummated, the adult state of the human individual can at last begin. Now at last our spiritual evidence and relation to God is totally purged of the sensual natural and is based entirely and purely in the internalizing spiritual mind. Now at last we have the true and full influx of the Holy Spirit. Our consciousness and basis of thinking is now based exclusively on internalizing evidence, that is, evidence from spiritual and celestial things from God in us. When this adult state is fully mature, our consciousness, and we, become truly and fully human for the very first time. This is called the old age state of the innocence of wisdom. At this point we have become angels, for the angelic or celestial spiritual state, is the true human, the end of our evolution as a race. It is also the beginning of individual evolution to eternity.

And the first and most immediate proof of God's living presence is Sacred Scripture.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS xx. The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven.

INV. 44. In addition to these most manifest evidences, there is the fact that the correspondential sense of the Word has been disclosed by the Lord through me; which has never before been revealed since the Word was written with the sons of Israel; and this sense is the very sanctuary of the Word; the Lord Himself is in this sense with His Divine, and in the natural sense with His Human. Not a single iota in this sense can be opened except by the Lord alone. This surpasses all the revelations that have hitherto been made since the creation of the world. Through this revelation a communication has been opened between men and the angels of heaven, and the conjunction of the two worlds has been effected; because when man is in the natural sense the angels are in the correspondential sense. See what has been written concerning this sense in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture [in True Christian Religion].

The Word refers to the literal text given to any nation in the form of Sacred Writings and containing Divine Revelations concerning our relation to the Divine. Thus we have the Three Testaments:  Old Testament (Hebrew), New Testament (Greek), Last Testament (Latin). We read in Swedenborg's Writings about other than these three instances of Sacred Scripture. But these three in particular are tied together in a rational series of meanings and principles that portray precisely the knowledge we need about spiritual laws that allows us to cooperate with God in our regeneration. Without this cooperation we cannot be regenerated and thus cannot reach full humanity in partnership with God. Hence the vast vast crucial importance of this new era in human evolution whereby we can now enter into the former mysteries with our internalizing rational consciousness. This was not possible to anyone before the Writings were completed in 1771. This is why Swedenborg, in the above quote (Invitation 44) says that the Writings Sacred Scripture "surpasses all the revelations that have hitherto been made since the creation of the world."

Theistic psychology as indicated in matrix4 above, is the orderly extraction process by which we acquire knowledge from the literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture. The Last Testament is the Crown of Revelations because in it God for the first time reveals to us the inner workings of the Laws of Divine Providence by which we and the universe are created and governed. No prior generation had such a specific revelation in the literal. The Old Testament is very obscure in many places so that the mind is left uninformed and wildly speculating about the most basic pieces of information about what is spirit, what is the afterlife, what rational laws govern the world, why is marriage holy, what is life in heaven and in hell, what is sin and redemption, and so on. In the New Testament we have a lot more information about many of these things but always only in some suggestive way, never fully satisfying our rational curiosity. At last in the Last Testament, everything is disclosed. All the things mentioned above are laid out crystal clear in the literal of that Crown of Sacred Scripture.

So one may ask in wonderment: What then is this extraction process? Why is it necessary since it is all laid out in the literal? But this question is quickly set aside when we read in the Last Testament that Sacred Scripture cannot be Sacred Scripture unless it is laid down in a natural or literal text within which is hidden the spiritual and celestial subjects and meanings. When we read that this is the character of Sacred Scripture it becomes fully obvious to our mind that the Writings contain an infinitude of subjects and meanings, that is, of and infinitude of revelations that can be mined by generations and generations and never reach very far. This is superbly Good News! Now humanity (we, us) has an inexhaustible source of knowledge, both for science and for the Doctrine of the Church. This insures our future evolution to be only positive and beneficial and creative beyond our imagination. theistic psychology is a boon to humanity.

STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT IN theistic psychology-- (Matrix 5)
Stages of Extraction Basis of thinking
or Level of Consciousness
Characteristics while maturing
ASCENDING PATHWAY:  DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
Young adulthood internalizing natural rational ideas from the New Testament such as Paul's distinction between internal and externalizing man, or the authority of priests transmitted by the laying on of hands
Adulthood internalizing spiritual rational ideas from the Third Testament such as the insight of the General Church that the Writings are Sacred Scripture, or the idea of the Academy that education should be based on the growth of the Churches described in the Writings
Old age internalizing celestial rational ideas based on individual enlightenment according to one's life such as the Epistles for the New Church in De Hemelsche Leer (this article)

DESCENDING PATHWAY:  SCIENCE

Infancy externalizing celestial implications for science by unpredictable insights such as the confirmation of medical facts seen in Swedenborg's Spiritual Experiences (or Diary) by Christen Blom-Dahl, or the discrete series from the Writings applied to modern physics by Ian Thompson, or the spiritual psychobiology of Leon James
Childhood externalizing spiritual systematic applications of the laws of correspondence to the Theological Writings of Swedenborg
Adolescence externalizing natural systematic applications of the laws of correspondence to the Scientific (Pre-theological) Writings of Swedenborg

The above table (matrix 5) portrays the series of steps we encounter in the extraction process for both the ascending pathway to the Doctrine of the Church and descending pathway to science. This chart also applies to the evolution of consciousness in the history of science. Starting with the descending pathway (Infancy--see earlier matrices), the externalizing celestial state of science was achieved in Ancient Greece by such men as Pythagoras, Aristotle, Plato and others, who have given us the consciousness that Nature is a theater for playing out God's Mind. There is never a question in this state of mind about the separation of the Divine from natural things but a recognition that by studying natural laws and phenomena one is seeing the manifestations of the Divine.  In this state conjunction with God is possible through science and religion.

When this state of externalizing celestial consciousness was consummated it was succeeded by the externalizing spiritual state of the Childhood of science. This period marks the beginnings of modern science starting with Copernicus and Galileo and ending with Descartes, Leibniz, and Newton. It brings us the consciousness that although God created nature, He has removed Himself from the equation and things are now run by natural laws, not Divine. It involves the persuasion that God does not intervene except in the case of miracles, far and in between. Thus one can study natural phenomena fully without the necessity of referring to God's laws and actions. This state is thus a distancing from the Divine which is now pushed into the background of life as we live it. God is tolerated not as a Divine person but some unspecified and infinite force or energy in the universe. No conjunction with God is possible in this state of mind.

When this phase was fully consummated it was succeeded by the Adolescence of science which is an externalizing natural state. In this state of consciousness nothing whatsoever is left over to God and in fact the idea of God is no longer allowed in science. Science has here become fully non-theistic. The scientists of the 20th century as represented by Nobel Prize winners and by school textbooks not only omit God from science but are antithetical to the use of God in science. The existence of God has been fully laid aside. In this externalizing sensual state we are no longer able to believe a single internalizing rational truth. The spiritual thus vanishes from one's consciousness and one sits in total darkness as to inner things. Instead of believing and comprehending the spiritual this state of mind is seduced by sensual demonstrations of occult and psychic powers. Science remains in this non-theistic counter-reality until a new theistic psychology is created following the completion of the ascending pathway.

Looking now at the ascending pathway in terms of historical evolution of consciousness, the initial phase of extraction from the literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture represents the state of Young adulthood, which is an internalizing natural state. This involves an externalizing rational consciousness that is limited in scope and clarity, but it is already the beginning of a spiritual consciousness. This spiritual consciousness is absent where Sacred Scripture is unknown (remember that all religions have their Word). Paul's Epistles in the New Testament exemplify this state of mind. Paul is able to distinguish between the natural man, or mind, and the internal spiritual man, or mind, and he discusses the conflictual dynamics between them. This state of consciousness lasted 17 centuries and includes the early Christian theologians like Augustine as well as the later ones like Luther. This internalizing natural state is not a purely rational consciousness but includes natural elements such as the sensual persuasion that rituals and prayers are effective means of salvation (rather than the actual reformation of one's character). For example, in this state of consciousness we believe that Baptism can save someone, or that those who are not born within the Church and receive Baptism, are damned. In this state it is also believed that some people's prayers, such as "saints," are more effective, and on this account prayer requests are practiced. Also that places of worship are valued as being nearer to God and more holy than other places, causing people to view Church attendance as a measure of one's faith. Moreover, this state of consciousness falls into many heresies or falsities of religion that can be seen with clear hindsight from the next phase of evolution. One example is the idea that being saved and entering heaven is a matter of God willing to forgive our sins. Later one can see that God is pure Love and Good and loves nothing more than to forgive all our sins, and yet, we cannot enter heaven unless we are adequately prepared for it, and this means that our character must be reformed and regenerated through daily battles with our temptations.

When this state is fully consummated we enter the Adult phase of consciousness which is internalizing spiritual. This now for the first time is fully rational and internalizing. This phase is so entirely different from the preceding phases that a new Word is necessary. This new Word was given through Emanuel Swedenborg and the process was completed in 1771 when he published his last work called The True Christian Religion just a few months before his passing into the spiritual world at age 84. The consciousness based on this new Word is called the New Church state of consciousness and involves only spiritual and celestial ideas about faith. Nothing in it is from the man Swedenborg himself but everything is from his experiences in the spiritual world as a dual citizen.  In this internalizing spiritual state we are for first time able to comprehend, believe and perceive the internalizing rational idea of the Divine Human. Now we can clearly see that the spiritual is not separate from the natural, but within it. All natural phenomena are effects of spiritual causes. Swedenborg's Scientific Works which preceded his Theological Writings, exemplify this state of consciousness. The Theological Writings also give us this consciousness.

When this phase is consummated we are at last brought into the Old age state of the innocence of wisdom, which is an internalizing celestial state, the highest in the human mind. This is the crowning phase for theistic psychology and so far remains mostly for the future of our development. The birth of the celestial Doctrine of the Church among the handful of contributors to De Hemelsche Leer in the 1930s marks the beginning of this state of consciousness in human evolution. It is marked by an entirely new consciousness that is not yet available in the internalizing spiritual state of adulthood. Now in this new state of internalizing wisdom we experience direct communication with the Divine Human through the literal of the Third Testament. Unlike all the preceding states of consciousness, this is a particular and individual enlightenment that continues to evolve without ever being consummated to eternity.

These various relations are further represented in the next diagram (matrix 6) below.

 

                    9.1.11    Levels of Extraction from Sacred Scripture

 

The above diagram (matrix 6) again shows the descending and ascending pathways of extraction of knowledge from the literal of Sacred Scripture, and in particular, the Latin Word or the Writings of Swedenborg. The externalizing celestial state of Infancy is exemplified in the work of Christen Blom-Dahl on medicine and physiology, Ian Thompson's work on physics, and mine on spiritual psychobiology, besides others that will be named in the future. This phase of consciousness depends on seemingly haphazard and unpredictable insights we receive as we read the Writings, then try to confirm them with the science that we are familiar with. This phase is to be succeeded by an externalizing spiritual state of consciousness that involves the systematic application of the laws of correspondences that takes into account the series or taxonomies that are hidden in the literal of the Writings. This now for the first time gives us a cumulative methodology. When this Childhood phase is consummated, the Adolescent state of science extraction is reached, which is an externalizing natural state that is fully in conformity with the literal of Sacred Scripture . Now for the first time we have a science that is totally theistic based exclusively on Divine revelations. Beyond this point science turns into the Doctrine of the Church, which is entirely an internalizing state. There is a flip flop from sensual consciousness to rational consciousness and the descending pathway ends while the ascending pathway begins.

In the state of Young adulthood, which is an internalizing natural state, we rely entirely on the literal of the Writings. Our exegesis tabulates and arranges the statements of the literal and we are persuaded that our understanding of this literal is the Doctrine of the Church. But this understanding is not pure but full of our own self-intelligence and, meritoriousness attaches itself to our results. Only when this phase of literalism is consummated do we enter the internalizing spiritual phase of Adulthood.

Now for the first time our mind comes into possession of the true Doctrine of the Church. We can clearly perceive that our understanding of Sacred Scripture has become internalizing rational, dependent only on the spiritual meaning that is hidden in the literal. This perception grows and develops gradually, matching our own work of regeneration. The more we advance in our regeneration, the more we come into possession of internalizing truths of Doctrine. We make use of correspondences in a systematic manner and are able to cumulate our knowledge and understanding of Doctrine. When this phase is at last consummated we enter for the very first time into the true human consciousness, which is an internalizing celestial state of mind. It is the old age of the innocence of wisdom when our understanding of Sacred Scripture becomes spontaneous and automatic as it were, requiring no conscious extraction as before. We are enlightened by God as we read Sacred Scripture or reflect on it in relation to the environment we can perceive sensually, just like the highest angels, and there is no longer any effort in knowledge acquisition. We simply know at once anything we want to know. This is the fully human state of life and continues to develop to eternity.

It is important to remember that we are dealing with a multiple or embedded recursiveness when describing the developmental steps overall, and within every level or degree. We go through the same representative steps many times, perhaps an indefinite number of times, from infancy to old age and the consummation of that phase. The consummation is necessary in order to make visible the falsities and evils of that level. By rejecting these falisties and evils we are transferred to the next highest degree of consciousness, and the process restarts. Then the transfer to the next highest level of development, avoiding the inevitable downgrading that follows when we fail to transfer after consummation. Through this downgrading our consciousness becomes more and more externalizing sensual, and at last, corporeal, where we imbibe innumerable falsities from mere appearances. No further regeneration is then possible since this can take place only through truths, at first externalizing, but after that, more and more internalizing.

Additional articles on this subject are contained in the diagrams linked below.

 

9.1.11.1   List of Additional Diagrams in Theistic Psychology:

DIAGRAM 1 The Trigrammatic  Universe
DIAGRAM 2 The  Three Layers of the Universe
DIAGRAM 3 The Three Levels of Science
DIAGRAM 4 The Three Divine Aspects
DIAGRAM 5   Male and the Female Mind (part 1)
DIAGRAM 6 Male  and the Female Mind (part 2)
DIAGRAM 7 Trigrammatic  Series
DIAGRAM 8 Substances: Celestial, Spiritual, Natural
DIAGRAM 9 Trinitarian God in theistic psychology
DIAGRAM 10: The Divine Human

 

                9.1.12   The Two Heresies Possible in Relation to De Hemelsche Leer

There are two heresies that arise in our mind regarding the proposals of De Hemelsche Leer. The first heresy is that the Writings of Swedenborg do not contain a spiritual internal sense that needs to be extracted out of the literal. The second heresy is that since the Writings of Swedenborg contain a spiritual internal sense, therefore the literal is allegorical and cannot be taken as historical events experienced by Swedenborg. Both these heresies need to be understood and avoided, in accordance with the perspective of De Hemelsche Leer. Historically today in 2001 both heresies are held and expounded, the first by members of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, headquartered in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, the second by members of The Lord's New Church Which is Nova Hierosolyma [New Jerusalem], also in Bryn Athyn. I will illustrate these points below.

By calling it "heresies" one may get the incorrect impression that I am criticizing these New Church organizations. Historically of course being a heretical was pretty bad as viewed from the ruling hierarchy, and heretics were severely punished. But fortunately these cruel times are over and now there is no need to attach any personal attack to scientific polemics in a public arena. In theistic psychology a heresy means an incorrect theory or explanation. With respect to the Doctrine of the Church, or the ascending pathway, a heresy means false doctrine or doctrine that is contrary to truth. All Three Testaments discuss heresies because false ideas arise almost by necessity to our progression within each degree. As discussed above, our consciousness within a degree progresses like a plant and its flower, then is consummated and declines to the bottom of the mind or spiritual world. A Divine deliverance is then necessary, and when we cooperate appropriately ad instructed in Sacred Scripture, we are transferred by unknown Divine means into the next highest discrete degree of human growth in consciousness. We are thus progressively on our way to life in our heaven in eternity, which is the internalizing celestial consciousness.

Since heresies are discussed in all Three Testaments it is obviously of great importance for theistic psychology. It was stated above that historical evolution recapitulates the progressive series of development of individual biography. In the case of these two "heresies" we a have a living illustration of how history recapitulates ontogeny. This same series was true for the history of the Churches depicted in the charts above. Please remember that from the perspective of these two Church organizations this article would itself be seen as a heresy, just as they regard each other as heresies. In other words, theoretical differences in theistic psychology offer a special challenge to the people involved not to take discussions on heresies as personal attacks. If this type of reaction is inhibited by each involved then theoretical disagreements in such crucial matters for the human race can be tolerated as matters for theistic psychology to settle through rational methodologies. In my published articles in New Church Life, the official organ of the General Church, I have argued that New Church ministers, as sermon writers and instructors, are theistic scientists (see for example this article).

In non-theistic psychology, a profession I have been part of all my life as a psychology professor, we have numerous basic differences, even disagreements, about theoretical issues such as behaviorism, rationalism, dualism, and so on. Special professional organizations exist of which we are member in more than one, that revolve around a particular "paradigm" which is the equivalent of "heresy" in non-theistic psychology. When we wear one of the hats of these organizations, our statements appear as contrary or contradictory to those wearing another organization's hat. Amazingly, through such a process, science progresses. Similarly,  the Doctrine of the Church progresses through the resolution of heresies. Thus humankind as a whole can progress to celestial enlightenment and "create" a heaven on this earth.

From the Writings Sacred Scripture:

DP 318(11): Everything confirmed by both the will and the understanding remains to eternity, but not what has been confirmed only by the understanding. For that which pertains to the understanding alone is not within the man but outside him: it is only in the thought. Moreover, nothing enters into man and is appropriated to him but what is received by the will, for it then comes to be of his life's love.

AC 377: Anyone who subscribes to a particular system of doctrine is referred to by the name of that system, as is anyone who subscribes to a particular schism or heresy; and so 'ground' at this point stands for schism or heresy within man.

The theoretical debate that took place in the early 1930s between the Dutch branch of the General Church and the mother Church in Bryn Athyn (Philadelphia) is recorded in the pages of De Hemelsche Leer (see for example, Theodore Pitcairn's 1931 rebuttal of Alfred Acton's review of De Hemelsche Leer in these pages starting on page 29). For theistic psychology this is a fascinating and instructive record which I hope to analyze in a future article. Even a surface reading of the written exchanges and journal articles between the two parties shows clearly that they were on opposite sides of a paradigm shift. This shift in intellect and perspective is irrevocable and separates the two consciousness activities like a schism or split in the ground separates the two sides of the earth that was formerly of one piece. The view from across the split is then seen as a heresy. From that point onward a special challenge exists because this heresy is not only on the outside but within us. We therefore need to analyze the outside historical debating points available to us as a means to map the same contradictory coordinates in our mind. To the extent that we are honest and sincere, to that extent we are enlightened by the Lord and transferred in our consciousness to a place of more internalizing truth and thereby, a higher good.

From the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 6047. This shows that the Word must be searched, and there it must be seen whether the doctrinal things are true. When this is done from the affection of truth, then the man is enlightened by the Lord so as to perceive, without knowing whence, what is true; and he is confirmed therein in accordance with the good in which he is. If these truths disagree with the doctrinal things, let him take heed not to disturb the church.

AC 6822. Good can be instilled into another by anyone in his country, but not truth, except by those who are teaching ministers; if others do this, heresies arise, and the church is disturbed and rent asunder. Charity is practiced, if through the truth which is of the church, the neighbor is led to good. If in the church anything is called truth which leads away from good, this is not worthy of mention, for it is not truth. Everyone must first obtain for himself truth from the doctrine of the church, and afterward from the Word of the Lord; this must be the truth of his faith.

AC 5432 But they who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth and of life, consequently for the sake of the Lord's kingdom, have indeed faith in the doctrinal things of the church; but still they search the Word for no other end than the truth, from which their faith and their conscience are formed. If anyone tells them that they ought to stay in the doctrinal things of the church in which they were born, they reflect that if they had been born in Judaism, Socinianism, Quakerism, Christian Gentilism, or even out of the church, the same would have been told them; and that it is everywhere said, Here is the church! Here is the church! Here are truths and nowhere else! And this being the case the Word should be searched with devout prayer to the Lord for enlightenment. Such do not disturb anyone within the church, nor do they ever condemn others, knowing that everyone who is a church lives from his faith.

AC 10798. Priests must teach the people, and lead them to the good of life by means of truths. But they must not compel anyone, because no one can be compelled to believe contrary to what he thinks in his heart to be true. He who believes differently from the priest, and makes no disturbance, must be left in peace; but he who makes a disturbance must be separated; for this also belongs to the order for the sake of which is the priesthood.

The second heresy as mentioned above, is the teaching that since the Writings have an inner sense, the literal therefore cannot be taken as historically accurate. I was unaware of this point of view until a short time ago when I saw this statement on the Web site of The Lord's New Church:

"From a thoughtful study of the religious writings of Swedenborg, the careful reader will observe that they are treating of the principles of regeneration from the internalizing truths of the Word of God, which, he asserts, is written by pure correspondences between spiritual and natural laws, embodied in earthly names. In order to discover the spiritual principle within these names, the thoughts must be abstracted from the appearances of persons, places, and things, which exist in the mind when the words are first read. If this statement is accepted as true--that the whole Word of God is written in its literal sense by pure correspondences or analogies, and that the spiritual reality which is thus clothed in natural language is to be found in the internalizing signification of all the names there recorded, which are given in historic and personal form, for the natural world of thought to grasp--then the logical and startling conclusion follows, that none of the apparent historical events recorded in the Word of God ever had a literal culmination outside of the words which contain them, or outside of the mind which receives the truths contained within these words. Neither did the personages there represented ever physically exist on this earth; but their existence, to the natural thought of the mind, is in the allegorical form of the literal sense of the Word of God. The principle which he declares is that the externalizing exists from the internal, and the externalizing of the Word culminates in its literal expressions." Retrieved from the Web in March 2001 at www.swedenborg.net/lnc/newstuff/iswrit.html 

When I saw this I experienced an immediate disagreements within me and my head began to shake in protest. I tried to formulate my thoughts by clicking on the "Contact us" button and wrote this e-mail message:

"In AC 66 we read: "The SECOND is the historical style, which appears in the books of Moses to describe the time of Abram onwards, and in the books of Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, and the Kings. In these books the facts of the books of Moses to describe the time of Abram onwards, and in the books of Joshua, the Judges, Samuel, and the Kings. In these books the facts of history are exactly as set out in the sense of the letter, yet every single one contains something entirely different in the internal sense, which in the Lord's Divine mercy will be dealt with in proper order later on."

Note the statement: "...In these books the facts of history are exactly as set out in the sense of the letter..."

On your Web site you say that "Scientific minds reject the literal relations of Swedenborg concerning the Earths in the Universe as untrue when compared with discoveries in science; but, in those relations, he is treating of the spiritual principles of the externalizing mind, signified by earths in the universe of thought, by the laws of correspondence, which exist as fixed principles, but which he is the first to put in coherent form."

Is this not like saying that the the historical details in the Word didn't really happen?? Can you not say that (a) the literal of the Writings give historical facts that actually happened, and (b) nevertheless it contains the spiritual meanings that are to be extracted by correspondences.

Or are you saying that the memorable relations are not historical but prophetical?

What parts of the Writings are true in the literal?

Are you saying none of it?? Surely you agree that the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture relate events and facts called "historical" and therefore are true. Why is this not true of the Writings as the Word?" Leon James 3/9/2001

I received the following answer:

"Thank you for e-mail of March 9, 2001. I am well aware of the theological issues alluded to in your e-mail, particularly since I once held many of the same concerns. You have asked for a response, which I happy to give, but I will qualify my response by making the observation that I detect certain axiomatic assumptions in your brief letter that I acknowledge as commonly held by many of my fellow Swedenborgians. I, however, do not necessarily accept them--certainly not uncritically--which is why I am a member of the Lord^' New Church, a group that champions a theological perspective somewhat different from that of other Swedenborgians, yet well in agreement with my personal beliefs.

First, let me observe that there are many styles or forms a Sacred Text will take. You have alluded to a historical style, which Swedenborg attributes to: all but the beginning of Genesis; the other books of Moses; and the former prophets (Joshua-Kings). There are other styles, including that of the later or writing prophets, and the Psalms. Not to mention the New Testament, which itself is a combination of these styles. When one makes a blanket statement like, the Bible is historically true, I would respond, Well, which part?

You write "Surely you agree that the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture related events and facts called historical and therefore true." I do agree that portions of the Bible contain historical information, but I do not agree that the Bible is true BECAUSE it is historical. I see these as separate issues. Large parts of the Bible are not historical, yet the self-evidencing reason of love instructs me that they are true.

Similarly, I consider it naive to make blanket statements about Swedenborg's writings. You ask, "Can you not say that the literal of the Writings give historical facts that actually happened?" The historicity of a teaching of Swedenborg is simply not important to me; I am more concerned with gleaning truth from the teaching. If pressed on the matter, I would need to respond on a case by case basis.

You also ask, "Are you saying that the memorable relations are not historical, but prophetical?" Well, they cant be historical in the way Swedenborg uses the term to describe portions of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, since the Old Testament Sacred Scripture history refers to events in the natural world (most of which can be corroborated by scholarship), but Swedenborg is describing events in the spiritual world.

Also, I certainly agree that what Swedenborg describes is, in fact, real: his conversations with spirits and angels probably took place as he reported them. Though I don't see that it makes much difference. After all, Swedenborg's asserts that the spiritual world is in fact imaginal, and externalizing phenomena there correspond to the internal states of humanity, so these accounts must, by their nature, if we accept the doctrine of correspondences, be symbolic of a higher order of reality that involves immutable spiritual truths. Hence, an internal sense.

But again, I will not hold this position uncritically, because I am aware of instances, particularly in the later material, where Swedenborg seems to be adapting his experiences to the reading public, and therefore I conclude that SOME of these probably didn't occur exactly as recorded. I believe they were adapted to make a point or teach a lesson, and it is that lesson I am concerned with.

I will now anticipate and respond to a concern many of my fellow Swedenborgians raise at this point. "Are you saying that Swedenborg's writings are not true?" Of course not. As I said, historicity and truth are, in my opinion, separate issues. "Are you saying that Swedenborg is sometimes wrong, or that he disagrees or contracts himself?" Yes I am saying that because I feel a need to be loyal to Swedenborg's works, and therefore I must acknowledged disagreements and contradictions for what they are. Let this short list demonstrate:

The Apostolic church worshipped one god (TCR 638) The Apostolic church distinguished the Divinity into three persons (Lord 55:4).

The name of Jesus is so holy that it cannot be named by any devil in hell (TCR 297). I heard the name of Jesus uttered in hell (SD 228).

John Calvin was honest, and is in heaven (CLJ 54). John Calvin is an evil spirit shut up in a cave in hell (TCR 798-9).

The Apostolic word (Coronis 59:5) has no internal sense (AC 10325) The Apostolic word has an internal sense (Acts 2:3-4; AE 455:22).

No one remains in the world of spirits beyond thirty years (HH 426). No one remains in the world of spirits beyond twenty years (AR 866).

The hells are eternal (AE 383, 1164:2, 1220:3; HH 521). The hells are not eternal (SD 228, 286,3489, 1742).

It is the responsibility of the reader to choose, to the best of his or her ability, guided by the light which the Divine bestows, which statement is genuine, and which is apparent. Just as one who follows Swedenborg's advice must choose between contradictory statements in the Bible. Hence the LNC assertion that the Latin Word must be treated as a Sacred Text.

I and my fellow churchmen are often accused, somewhat unjustly I feel, by other Swedenborgians of "picking and choosing" which parts of Swedenborg we accept at face value, and which we feel we need more clarification of. Our response is that we have to do this, and to pretend otherwise is not loyal to the Writings. We are often accused of ignoring portions of the text, but the reality is we actually have a hypersensitivity to the text, and we have discovered several internal principles that are useful in shedding light on the letter.

We do not search for and find an internal sense apart from the letter. Rather, we seek a deeper, internal understanding of Swedenborg's works.

I hope this has answered your question." Email received on 3/12/2001

Here is my reply:

"I appreciate your quick response. Also that you took time to explain your views in detail. I'd like to respond and would love to hear your reaction or interpretation or opinion. I find this very instructive because I myself am a scholar who has been studying De Hemelsche Leer for 7 years in an intense way. You can read an article on my views about this here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/dhl.html 

First let me say that I do not belong to any Church organization but in my heart I see myself and my wife as having a New Church mentality.

Regarding your comments, and they relate to the purpose I sent my email, I was struck when I read your Web site--which was the first time, that you call into question something I believed from the start of my Swedenborg studies in 1981, that the Writings were written by an honest man who told it like he saw it "by commandment of the Lord." It is inconceivable to me that he was just taking us for a ride when he declares over and over again that what he wrote actually happened (see the subtitle of Arcana, and many places as at the end of TCR, etc. etc.).

I fully agree that the Writings are in heaven in a correspondential sense, not natural, as the Writings tell us about the Word, all of the Threefold Word. This is independent as you say, from the issue as to which parts or sentences of the Writings are historically accurate. Thus the point of De Hemelsche Leer that we must extract the Doctrine of the Church from the literal, and we must do this in an orderly and appropriate way, in sequence, as we are enlightened by the Lord, and to the extent that we progress in our regeneration through temptations. All this is clearly explained in the article whose Web address I give at the beginning.

But my shock is due to what you are saying about the literal. So I think I understand fully what you are saying--I noticed this attitude also in the Doctrinal Classes of the Right. Rev. Philip Odhner whom I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting during a trip he took to Hawaii several years before he passed into the spiritual world, and who was so very kind to send me his Lessons and a copy of DHL. How fortunate indeed I have been for the privilege of receiving these valued gifts!! Thanks be to the Lord!

So now I would really like to see the logic that allows you to believe this today about the literal of the Writings. Philip Odhner said that Earths in the Universe couldn't possibly be historical since the Word doesn't contain scientific revelations, lest it lead to the destruction of the Writings after science proves something in there is inaccurate. I was never able to confirm this idea, or believe in it. In fact, as you will see if you read my article, I am convinced that the Word contains scientific revelations and that all of the historical parts of the Word are true and accurate in the natural sense.

But you also said that you think one should judge in each case (every sentence??) whether it is meant historically or figuratively, as in the prophetical parts of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture. This seems inconceivable to me. For in order to judge, you would do so on externalizing rational grounds, not internalizing rational. And this is not allowed, as fully explained in DHL with reference to the stories of Abraham and Sarah, when he called her sister, not his wife. And besides other places.

I do not wish to disagree with what you believe, neither do I feel offended or alienated from you when I say that I'm shocked. I wonder in amazement how such a thing could be, and so this is what motivates to react and ask for your reaction.

What do you say: did Swedenborg think EU and Memorable Relations are figurative or allegorical but didn't want to ever say this in his Writings or letters? Did he pull the wool over the eyes of so many of his friends, and us, to all times? Or was he himself unaware that his descriptions were not historically accurate, just things he made up to allow us to draw spiritual meaning out of them?

On Mon, 12 Mar 2001, you wrote:

"Also, I certainly agree that what Swedenborg describes is, in fact, real: his conversations with spirits and angels probably took place as he reported them. Though I don't see that it makes much difference. After all, Swedenborg's asserts that the spiritual world is in fact imaginal, and externalizing phenomena there correspond to the internal states of humanity, so these accounts must, by their nature, if we accept the doctrine of correspondences, be symbolic of a higher order of reality that involves immutable spiritual truths. Hence, an internal sense."

Yes. I agree. Yet it does make a difference whether Swedenborg thought he was reporting real conversations he had in the spirit. If I think that they were not real conversations and events, I immediately have to ask myself, But why then does he present them as if he believed they were real? Therefore I'm wondering on what grounds and with what further assumptions you are operating when you say that these conversations may not have been real in his actual experience. If they were not real but he thought they were real--What grounds do you have for supposing that? If he knew they were not real, but used them as a figure of speech, why did he not tell us that? What answers or theory are you constructing to be able to answer these questions? And is this construction your own from where? From which part of your mind: externalizing natural or internalizing rational?

Again you wrote:

"But again, I will not hold this position uncritically, because I am aware of instances, particularly in the later material, where Swedenborg seems to be adapting his experiences to the reading public, and therefore I conclude that SOME of these probably didn^' occur exactly as recorded. I believe they were adapted to make a point or teach a lesson, and it is that lesson I am concerned with."

Yes, I agree, that he wrote them to teach a lesson. Nevertheless, he could not have made them up knowing they were fantasy or fiction but making them out like they were real and that he believed them to be real. There is a personal honesty issue of the man Swedenborg.

You wrote:

"You asked if I'm saying that Swedenborg is sometimes wrong, or that he disagrees or contracts himself. Yes I am saying that because I feel a need to be loyal to Swedenborg's works, and therefore I must acknowledged disagreements and contradictions for what they are. Let this short list demonstrate:"

OK. Let's examine the list. At the same time we need to keep a distinction between the historical and prophetical parts of the Word (the Writings). I seem to be assuming automatically in my mind that the Memorable Relations are historical (including EU--some of which occurred in the natural world, not spiritual!!) As when he saw the physical planetary scenes through the eyes of the couple whose minds were in conjunction with the spirits ES was talking to in a distant planet outside our galaxy). So when he talks about meeting Calvin or Mary or Newton--these are historical names and events in the spiritual world.

You wrote:

"The Apostolic church worshipped one god (TCR 638)
The Apostolic church distinguished the Divinity into three persons (Lord 55:4).

Perhaps you mean Lord 55:2 which says: "[2] In consequence of this feature of the Word in the sense of the letter (that it speaks of as many those who really form a one) Christians, who at first were simple folk, and understood everything in accordance with the literal import of the words discriminated the Divinity into three Persons. On account of their simplicity this was permitted, but in such a manner that they should believe the Son to be Infinite, Uncreate, Almighty, God, and Lord, altogether equal to the Father; and that they should also believe that these are not two, or three; but one in essence, majesty, and glory, and therefore in Divinity."

Quoting from the Writings:

TCR 638. Since the Apostolic church worshipped the Lord God Jesus Christ, together with God the Father in Him, it can be likened to the garden of God. Arius, who arose at that time, can be likened to the serpent sent from hell; and the Council of Nicaea to Adam's wife, who held out the fruit to her husband and persuaded him to eat it; after which they became aware of their nakedness, and covered it with fig leaves. Their nakedness means their previous state of innocence, fig leaves the truths of the natural man, which in the process of time were falsified. That earliest church can also be equated with twilight and dawn, from which the day advanced to the tenth hour*; but then a thick cloud came up, beneath which the day advanced to evening and then to night, when some people saw the moon rise.

Frankly, I see no proof of contradiction here! "The Apostolic Church" is not the same as "Christians who at first..."

You wrote:

"The name of Jesus is so holy that it cannot be named by any devil in hell (TCR 297).

I heard the name of Jesus uttered in hell (SD 228).

SD 228 says: "Moreover, I also wish you to believe, for it is true, since I know because I have perceived it, that many of them have been raised out of hell and torment into heaven, where they are living at this day, and that it seemed to one of them who had suffered the greatest torment, that God Messiah embraced and kissed him."

If you read the whole number it is obvious that these people in hell were in fact to become angels in heaven so that the cries of Jesus he heard from them is understandable and does not contradict the statement in TCR 297.

You wrote:

"John Calvin was honest, and is in heaven (CLJ 54).
John Calvin is an evil spirit shut up in a cave in hell (TCR 798-9)."

But take a look at this from Swedenborg:

Conv. Calvin No.6: CONCERNING THE PERSONALITY OF CALVIN. HIS QUALITY. Afterwards I asked Calvin how he could ascend into heaven with an idea of three gods, and with an idea of the Lord as being two. He answered that he had been admitted into a certain inferior society of heaven, and that he had dwelt there among the hindmost who are not much explored; but that when he had been explored, he had descended, because he could not subsist there; and that he had then betaken himself to Luther in the world of spirits, with whom he had dwelt for a certain period, and this because Luther acknowledged the Human of the Lord as Divine, and he did not seem to himself to be safe anywhere else. With regard to Calvin, the priests said that he was an upright man, but simple; and that he had written according to his own simple thought, not considering whether what he wrote was or was not in agreement with Sacred Scripture, as he had not reflected whether it was in agreement with the Athanasian Creed.

Here it is clearly stated that Calvin was an evil spirit but yet he could spend time in heaven due to his peculiarities that are fully explained. Therefore I see no contradiction.

You wrote:

"The Apostolic word (Coronis 59:5) has no internal sense (AC 10325)

The Apostolic word has an internal sense (Acts 2:3-4; AE 455:22).

Quoting from the Writings at Coronis 59:5 : "It is for these reasons that the Coming of the Lord is so frequently foretold in the Old Prophetic Word, and for the same reasons also the Lord is proclaimed in the New Evangelic and Apostolic Word, and His Second Coming foretold; concerning which in the following passages."

I see nothing in AE 455:22 or in Coronis 59:5 that refers to the Apostolic Word as having or not having an internal sense. I see no contradiction here.

You wrote:

"No one remains in the world of spirits beyond thirty years (HH 426).

No one remains in the world of spirits beyond twenty years (AR 866).

Quoting from the Writings at HH 426 says: "426. In the world of spirits there are vast numbers, because the first meeting of all is there, and all are there explored and prepared. The time of their stay in that world is not fixed; some merely enter it, and are soon either taken into heaven or are cast down into hell; some remain only a few weeks, some several years, but not more than thirty. These differences in the time they remain depend on the correspondence or lack of correspondence of man's internalizings with his exteriors. How man is led in that world from one state into another and prepared shall now be told."

AR 866 says: "[2] It is said in the world of spirits, because all come into that world immediately after their decease, and are there prepared, the good for heaven, and the evil for hell; and some stay there only a month or a year, and others from ten to thirty years; and they to whom it was granted to make as it were heavens to themselves, several centuries; but at this day not longer than twenty years."

As you can see a range of years up to thirty is described in several ways. I do not see a contradiction only a loose way of referring to the range--which may have been variable somewhat over the span of 27 years ES had his experiences in the SW.

You wrote:

"The hells are eternal (AE 383, 1164:2, 1220:3; HH 521).

The hells are not eternal (SD 228, 286,3489, 1742).

AR 383 says: "Moreover, "hell" has the same signification as "death," namely, damnation; but as both are here mentioned, and thus hell is distinguished from death, "hell" signifies eternal damnation, for those who come into hell remain there to eternity; therefore it is also said, "and hell followed with him," "to follow with him" signifying to abide therein, namely, in damnation to eternity. From this it can be seen that "his name was Death, and hell followed with him" signifies eternal damnation."

SD 228 as explained above deals with spirits in hell who later ascended into heaven. This does not mean that hell is not eternal for others who are there. Ditto for SD 286 where it says that some are raised out of hell and some are not. Etc. There is no contradiction.

It is the responsibility of the reader to choose, to the best of his or her ability, guided by the light which the Divine bestows, which statement is genuine, and which is apparent. Just as one who follows Swedenborg's advice must choose between contradictory statements in the Bible. Hence the LNC assertion that the Latin Word must be treated as a Sacred Text."

There are no contradictory statements in the Bible. There may be appearances of contradiction, but these can always be reconciled using Doctrine, as explained in the Writings and in DHL. " Leon James 12 Mar 2001

I received this next answer:

I can see that the issue of Swedenborg¹s intellectual honesty is important to you. You suggest that if Swedenborg¹s visionary experience, as recorded in memorable relations and other places, did not actually occur as recorded, then Swedenborg is lying to us. [I know that you would not actually make such a statement, nor would I, but I exaggerate to illustrate the point, to please bear with me.]

I do not believe the question is that simple, because I can think of several plausible scenarios that could explain otherwise.

My recollection is that the recorded testimonials of Swedenborg¹s character paint him as a gentleman of integrity, with a sincere passion of truth, and I have never encountered any evidence to suggest the contrary, so we will agree that Swedenborg is honest.

However, if something is written "by the command of the Lord," I think it is fair to say that the Lord dictates the final product, and if his amanuensis records the message as delivered, he is honest. That the Divine will use appearances to illustrate spiritual realities is not only apparent from the Bible, but is, in my opinion, absolutely necessary given the inability to accurately record spiritual verities within the confines of natural language.

Also, I do not think that Swedenborg, or his contemporaries, would be too terribly shocked by the idea that one could conceal inner messages within a text. The European spiritual heritage includes the Alchemical-Hermetic and Kabalistic traditions, which I am sure Swedenborg was familiar with, and these traditions produce works with multiple layers of meaning. Incidentally, the use of planets to describe personalities was an acknowledged metaphor within this tradition, and I see it as easily conceivable that -Earths in the Universe- is borrowing this accepted vocabulary to convey its message. This strikes me as well within the parameters of the New Church doctrine of accommodation.

As to the issue of historicity in a text, I believe it is important to deal with a text itself, and if necessary, deal with it in isolation from known "scientific" fact. For instance, stories in Genesis often refer to camels, and Arcana Coelestia tells us the inner significance of this. However, if my memory serves me correctly, camels were not domesticated at the period of time covered by Genesis. My memory is that the first reliable "historical" mention of camels is in the book of Judges. However, when the Divine instructed that the Old Testament Sacred Scripture be codified as a Divine revelation, camels were the best corresponding natural phenomena to convey the spiritual message. Hence, it is important to read Genesis as having camels and their corresponding spiritual counterpart, and one needs to ignore the fact that the appearance of camels in the letter is anachronistic.

Similarly, I find in Swedenborg mention of "scientific" fact that, to the best of my modern knowledge, is inaccurate. This does not bother me at all, because my hermeneutic practice looks for an "internal sense" to these facts anyway. Again, I state that I believe that "historical accuracy" and "scientific fact" (by modern standards) are one thing, and truth another.

To expound slightly, I understand the objective state of consciousness (the earth, the world, the physical cosmos) to be different from the subjective state of consciousness (heaven, hell, the world of spirits), and to be interrelated solely by the spiritual reality of correspondence. I do not believe I need a Divine revelation to instruct me about the nature of objective reality because my senses, and by extension, human science, make these things apparent to me. One does not need the Bible, and indeed cannot use the Bible, to determine that the earth is in fact round, and orbits its primary star, the sun.

Even though the natural world hides many of its secrets within appearances, science is adequate to uncover these to my senses.

However, the subjective state of consciousness is by no means available to my senses, and I can learn absolutely nothing about it, except through a Divine Revelation. If I wish to gain a better appreciation of the objective state from my study of the subjective state as recorded in a Revelation, I can only do this through a study of correspondences. A statement of objective fact is not the same as a statement of subjective truth. To confuse the two, in my opinion, is to forget about correspondence.

Your reference to an exposition of the story of Abram and Sarah in Egypt in DHL escapes my memory at the moment, and I will need to study this paper at my leisure. For the time being, my memory of the exposition given in the AC is that calling a wife a sister refers to regarding celestial truth as intellectual truth in order for the natural mind (Egypt) to deal with it without profaning it. This strikes me as an important insight into human psychology and proper spiritual growth.

As to the idea that one cannot judge spiritual truth by externalizing rational grounds, I agree, because I understand that to be judging an apple by the standards of an orange, so to speak. However, I believe it is a denial of the fundamental human condition, and thus of reality, and of the doctrines of the New Church, to assert that one cannot evaluate and judge the veracity of a statement, or that one cannot choose the standard whereby one makes these decisions.

The touch-stone or measure of such a judgment is the doctrine of genuine truth, which Swedenborg says is revealed to the individual by the self-evidencing reason of love, or by enlightenment. Hence, the ability to judge what is true and not true is given by the Lord, and cannot be imparted from the Writings, or the Bible, or any other source unless the individual is open to Divine guidance.

This is why I name heaven, hell, the world of spirits, and the internal sense of the Word expressions of the subjective state of consciousness. They are subjective because one's evaluation of these things is completely dependent on the subject or individual and his or her relation to the Divine.

I hope that this helps you to better understand my position on these subjects."  13 Mar 2001

It is evident from this exchange that paradigm shifts in theistic psychology can prevent us from communicating adequately since the same phrases are seen in different light. This phenomenon is also clearly visible in the paradigm shift that separates the two sides in the pages of De Hemelsche Leer.

Heresies in our mind arise when some more internalizing idea that is born to us is processed downward towards the lower degrees of our mind. The Writings have compared the mind to a house with three stories, and a basement, with a staircase that connects the floors. When our consciousness is stuck in the basement, which is the corporeal level of the natural degree, we have little spiritual light or vision or understanding. The light is coming in through a small window high on the wall and as we look up we can see a shadow once in a while darting by. That is the extent of our ability to form a meaningful or real idea of spiritual things like God's omnipresence, heaven in a spiritual world, conjugial love, regeneration, and so on. When our consciousness goes up to the first floor we are in the natural mind with its inherited affections and culturally formed thoughts and activities. We look out from large windows into the surrounding area and we can notice many relations and details about the physical world and we can interact with it successfully to our benefit. But if we try to look up to the second floor, we see nothing but a ceiling, and we hear nothing. It's as if there were no second floor and we can easily lull ourselves into doubts, and at last into the conviction or persuasion that may not be a second floor and even if there is one, what possible difference can it make to us now. This is a heresy, a paradigm shift from theism to agnosticism.

Fortunately for us, Divine Providence sees to it that we quickly look down again and forget about the matter until the next time we happen to be moved to look up and see the ceiling. This is far better than to confirm the false idea that there is no upper floor in the mind. (A diagram of the three floors and related relations are depicted in this article. www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/moses.html#Anatomical%20Diagram)

But if we confirm the false idea we begin the retrogressive phase which leads us further to all sorts of other false ideas that seem true. The feeling that they are true becomes a total persuasion and it is then difficult to communicate with more internalizing levels of our mind. Now whenever new internalizing ideas are brought forth we will not see anything true in them. Thus we cut ourselves off from the new line of development in human consciousness. The belief has become a heresy and begins to rule all other ideas in the mind.

The first heresy discussed here is the idea in our mind that the Writings do not have an internalizing sense in the same way as the Old and New Testaments. After all, we argue within ourselves, the Writings are a rational exposition and exegesis of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and New Testament Sacred Scripture written not by a prophet but by a scientist and a revelator. In this mode of thinking we say, Yes, the Writings are inspired, yes they are Holy, yes we can call them the Word, but they are not the Word in the same sense as the Old and New Testaments. And this is obvious when you read all the passages in the Writings that discuss the Word, that every time without fail, it is referring to either the Old Testament Sacred Scripture or New Testament Sacred Scripture. And it is rationally explaining to us the correspondential senses of Sacred Scripture using the laws of correspondences and comparisons between passages to show their similar meanings.

This rational exposition is Swedenborg's inspired explanations of the meanings revealed to him through his Divine mission as revelator by which he was introduced into a dual state of being fully conscious in the natural world and in the spiritual world simultaneously for 27 years. And so on. Our mind at this level resists abandoning the literal sense of the Writings and we want this to be the spiritual meaning or message. When we are given examples of spiritual meaning extracted from the literal by means of correspondence, one remains unconvinced that it is anything but rewording the literal. There are many such instances that occur in De Hemelsche Leer and I will discuss them in a future article--it takes up hundreds of pages in their articles and correspondence!

The second heresy discussed here is the idea in our mind that the literal of the Writings are not necessarily historically accurate or veridical since they were written in such a style as to best convey the spiritual meaning or lesson. In this frame of mind we feel that it is up to each instance of text for us to carefully examine and judge whether we are dealing here with a real historical event or phenomenon (historicity), or merely an allegory to convey another message related to it only by spiritual correspondence. Maintaining this position makes us feel better because it allows us to disregard those statements in the Writings that appear contrary to current scientific knowledge or belief. One instance that is often debated in New Church circles is Swedenborg's book called Earths in the Universe (EU) in which he describes his travels in the spiritual world and encounters with spirits who originated from the solar system other than our earth--the spirits of Mars, of the moon, of Venus, and so on, as well as the planets of distant stars in the cosmos.

The mind naturally thinks that since these planets in our solar system do not have a human population, obviously these travels must be allegorical stories, or else Swedenborg was sadly misled by these wicked spirits he talked to. The second instance that has been much debated in New Church literature is Swedenborg's statement that the earth is the only female biological part and all plants and seeds are male forms, both the male and the female parts of a plant. Since this is obviously wrong according to what we know from science, we want to dismiss these types of statements in Swedenborg as of little importance because in any event we're always to look for the inner correspondential sense as the actual message. Besides, we can say that Swedenborg was only inspired but not perfect since he was but a man and so he was necessarily bound to the science and beliefs of his culture and times.

By these types of reasonings we lose grip on the central idea that the literal of the Writings is Divine, and not just the inner sense. Can a Divine work not be perfect? Can it contain errors? Not so. I have never found erroneous statements, factual errors, or actual contradictions in any of the Three Testaments. Instead, there are appearances of contradictions, appearances of errors, appearances of mistakes that can and need to be resolved through the Doctrine of the Church (ascending pathway) or through theoretical explanations (descending pathway).

The assertion that earth is the female organ of plants all of which are male parts, is not a "mistake" Swedenborg made. We know from his biography and his scientific publications that Swedenborg was well versed in the knowledge of plant sexuality, anatomy, and the earth sciences (mineralogy, metallurgy, crystallography, etc.). When he wrote about the earth being female and the plants male, he wrote about it in such a way as to show his awareness that he was making a challenging statement. We need to follow the theistic psychology methodology to be able to extract scientific meaning from this new type of assertion or idea about the sexuality of plants. Rather than seeing it as a mistake we need to see it as a revelation about a new phenomenon, that is, a phenomenon at a more internalizing degree. Now we need to realign existing science and new revelation. A new kind of spiritual agronomy has been revealed here. What kind of new concepts do we need to add to our existing science that would give us a truer understanding of the internalizing of nature? I cannot answer this now but future researchers will.

As a matter of sound methodology in theistic psychology we need to avoid externalizing rational reasonings about the literal of Sacred Scripture, by which we are lead to reject the idea that the literal of the Writings are Divine, that is, that they are the infinite Word in its full sense described in Swedenborg's book Sacred Scripture (SS). Doubting the literal of the Writings opens our mind to all sorts of false ideas and heresies from which it may be difficult to recover if we persist in them in a conscious and rationalized way. The contributors to De Hemelsche Leer were able to perceive a new idea that belonged to a new degree in the internalizing rational mind of humankind. This degree had not been opened in the New Church mentality from 1771, the year the last of the Writings was published, to the late 1920s and early 1930s when the Dutch Group began its studies. It was given them to discover that a paradigm shift occurs in their perception when they read the Writings and come across the expression "the Word." At that point they mentally substitute for it the phrase "the Writings" and continue to read. Then this powerful new perception arrives that allows the consciousness of the mind to ascend one degree. Then all of a sudden new ideas, new thoughts, new insights, new understandings start flooding the mind. They described these in plentiful instances throughout the hundreds of pages of De Hemelsche Leer.

When I read this for the first time in 1985 I was lead to try it immediately, and lo! those new ideas suddenly started tumbling in. I was able to confirm from my own understanding and reasoning abilities that this method is indeed functional and true. The various articles in this Swedenborg Glossary constitute my attempt to lay before the reader the internalizing ideas that have come to the surface when reading the Writings with this new methodology.

The literal of the Writings must be viewed as the Divine Rational of the Divine Human, as explained in the Writings.  During the Incarnation "the Word became flesh" and for the very first time provided humankind with a natural sensual proof of God. This major evolutionary step in the development of the human race came during the end of the adolescence of humankind and the beginning of the young adulthood, as shown in the various matrices discussed in this article. The Descending Pathway (Zones 1 through 9) was described as the phases of sensual consciousness, while the Ascending Pathway (Zones 10 through 18) as the phases of rational consciousness. In between is the Inversion.

As we progress in our human selfhood or consciousness (Zones 1 through 18), we do not leave behind and forget the earlier phases. Rather, the earlier phases are rearranged and reformed, even reborn in a new form, so that they can now accommodate the higher form. This is absolutely necessary because all higher forms develop within the lower forms that must first be prepared for it. If you take away the lower form, or if you do not reform them to prepare them, the new higher forms have nowhere to reside or enter the self as part of our consciousness. This means that the externalizing sensual consciousness must form itself into a basis and containant for the internalizing rational consciousness. If we deny the Divinity of the literal of the Writings as the Divine Rational itself (the second heresy), we weaken or destroy our sensual consciousness of the Divine Human (Holy Spirit). The only sensual consciousness we now can have of the Divine Human is the literal of the Writings called the Third Testament.

The literal of the Threefold Word has a different relationship to God and the human race. In the literal of the Old Testament our sensual consciousness is tied to the Human Divine and the reception of Good immediately, but not yet the reception of internalizing truth. Initially, God appeared to the race through the intermediary of angels such as the angels seen by Abraham, Hagar, Jacob, Moses, and others. No direct consciousness of the Divine was possible since this rests on a rational consciousness. The literal of the New Testament written after the Incarnation and Resurrection, rests on the historical reality of Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God. This sensual consciousness is internalizing natural (young adulthood in earlier matrices above). After the Resurrection, our consciousness of the Divine rested on the rational perception of the Holy Spirit, and this ability was to remain restricted until the Second Coming, as made clear in the New Testament. With the Second Coming in the Third Testament, our brand new consciousness, or New Church mentality, rests on the literal of the Writings as the Divine Human's Rational. While the Old Testament Sacred Scripture contains historical and prophetical parts, the New Testament Sacred Scripture contains historical parts, from both the natural world (the miracles of Jesus and the events of His ministry) and the spiritual world (the Book of Revelations), as well as doctrinal parts (Sermon on the Mount and other lessons). The Writings Sacred Scripture contains historical parts and doctrinal parts, but does not contain prophetical parts.

Since the literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture is itself Divine there can be no question about its validity and historicity. The literal must serve as a representation of our sensual consciousness when regenerated. The literal of the Writings Sacred Scripture in heaven is not the same literal as what we have since angelic language differs greatly from ours and from each other in the three heavens. But each literal must serve that degree of the mind so that the spiritual and celestial can be contained in them. Since the literal is as Divine as the spiritual and the celestial, all the details mentioned and described in the literal must be true in the literal. When we adopt this methodology we will be lead to resolve apparent contradictions and facts that appear contrary to scientific fact. If science assumes this methodology it will be reshaped to align its theories with the rational truths in the literal of the Writings.

Here from the pages of De Hemelsche Leer is a fascinating explanation of the internal sense of a well known Memorable Relation in Swedenborg's work called Conjugial Love:

From De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle IV Pp.33-35 by H. D. G. Groeneweld

"That the conjunction of the Church with the Lord takes place when it prepares itself as a bride and that »it then represents wisdom, appears from the work on Conjugial Love, where in n. 21 the signification of a wedding in Heaven is described.

We read there as follows: "And one out of the men of the wedding, a wise one, said: Do you understand what the things which you have seen signify? They said it was little; and then they asked him why the bridegroom, now a husband, was in such a dress? He answered that the bridegroom, now a husband, represented the Lord, and the bride, now a wife, represented the Church, because a wedding in Heaven represents the marriage of the Lord with the Church. Hence it is that on his head there was a miter and that he was dressed in a cloak, a tunic, and an ephod, like Aaron; and that on the head of the bride, now a wife, there was a crown, and that she was dressed with a robe like a queen; but to-morrow they will be clothed differently, because this representation lasts only to-day.

They asked again: Since he represented the Lord, and she the Church, why did she sit at his right hand? The wise one replied: Because there are two things which make the marriage of the Lord and the Church, love and wisdom; the Lord is love and the Church is wisdom; and wisdom is at the right hand of love. For the man of the Church is wise as from himself, and in proportion as he is wise he takes up love from the Lord. The right hand also signifies power; and love has power through wisdom. But as has been said, after the wedding the representation is changed; for then the husband represents wisdom, and -the wife the love of his wisdom. This love, however, is not the prior love, but it is a secondary love, which the wife has from the Lord through the wisdom of the husband. The love of the Lord, which is the prior love, is the love of being wise with the husband; wherefore after the wedding, both together, the husband and his wife, represent the Church".

The Church therefore is in the state of the bride when it takes up wisdom from the Lord. It is the state in -which the essence of the Doctrine of the Church as the spiritual out of celestial origin, is revealed to it. After the fullness of the state in which this spiritual out of celestial origin is given to it, the Church is no longer the bride or the wisdom of the Lord. Husband and wife, or wisdom and love, or understanding and will, together form the Church, and the conjunction of the Church with the Lord is now dependent on the marriage of those two. It is the husband or the love for the truth of the wisdom of the Third Testament, given to the Church, which is now the prior love and the wife or the love for the spiritual truth the secondary love. It is the state in which the wisdom given to the Church must be brought into the will.

The Lord operates from firsts through lasts. The conjunction with the Lord thus is only possible and therefore is entirely determined by the application of the new truths of the Third Testament in the outermost of our natural life or in our sensual life. All our thoughts and all our acts must have the new things of the Church as their essence. All lusts of the proprium. in which we live must be put aside and the things in the natural world by themselves, and the desires for them, must come to be regarded as not of essential use. All things in the outermost of our natural life from love to the Lord should be put into order by our will, in order that thus we form a foundation on which with the new truths the life in the Lord can be built up. It is in the affection for bringing the spiritual things into our will in the outermost of our natural life that the conjugial sphere flows in from the Lord. It is in this life alone that conjugial love is present and only there lie the peace, the blessedness, and the delight of a life in the things of the Lord. Ever greater will these gifts of the Lord become, the more, and the more internalizingly the spiritual things are present in the outermost of our natural life.

Conjugial love is the love for one of the sex. It is the love for that spiritual truth only which alone fits our will as our own property, by which wisdom and love or understanding and will become one man and thus one flesh. Love for the sex, that is love for the truths in the natural, is a natural love. This love should not enter into the will or the body but only into the understanding. It is meant to be followed by conjugial love which is a spiritual love and which is the desire for conjunction into one in the will. The bringing of the truths in the natural into the will, together with a delight in those truths, results not only in a strengthening of the proprium. but also in a falsification of truth and a violation of good. The taking up of these truths without a desire for conjugial love, thus without a desire for that spiritual truth that fits our will, makes us see in fullness the evils and the falsities of the proprium. in which we live. As strength is lacking, a combat against these evils and falsities appears to us as not possible, wherefore redemption is expected from the taking up of more truths in the natural. The germ of faith alone would then receive its existence.

The chaste love of the sex is only there where conjugial love is; for the spiritual love of truth loves the truths in the natural for the sake of the spiritual. Conjugial love is in the fullness of the true love of the sex when the spiritual truth in the will is conjoined into one as into one man or into one flesh.

All our love for the truths of the wisdom of the Third Testament, given to the Church, must therefore contain in it the desire for conjugial love, in order that the man of the Church may become a husband and the woman of the Church may become a wife. For Heaven is one marriage and life there is only possible in conjugial love. Now it is given to those who are in the New Church to possess the true conjugial love, as appears from the work on CONJUGIAL LOVE, where in n. 43 the following is written: "

After these things an Angel appeared to me out of that [the third] Heaven, holding in his hand a parchment, which he unrolled, saying: I saw that you were meditating about conjugial love. In this parchment there are arcana of wisdom concerning that love, which have never yet been uncovered in the world. They must now be uncovered, because it is of importance. Those arcana in our Heaven are more than in the rest, because we are in the marriage of love and wisdom; but I foretell that no others will appropriate that love to themselves but those who are received by the Lord into the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem"

Another demonstration:

From De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle III Pp.106-7 by Ernest Pfeiffer:

By the Second Coming of the Lord in the Third Testament therefore the conjunction of the Lord with the human race has become immediate and independent of the Heavens also with regard to truth. On this rests the imperishableness of the New Church; for every conjunction which is dependent on the Heavens is also dependent on the human race, out of which the Heavens are made; and every conjunction which is dependent on the human race is exposed to the danger of destruction. Here it now clearly appears in a rational way that the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg are the Truth of the Divine Human and therefore the proper Word of God itself. The proper proof is given by the application of the words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word, to the Coming and to the Second Coming of the Lord. Before the Coming of the Lord the conjunction of the Lord with the human race with regard to good was mediate through the Heavens; the Word thus was with God. By the Incarnation the Lord became that Word itself; thus God was the Word. Before the Second Coming of the Lord the conjunction with regard to truth was mediate through the Heavens; the Word thus was with God. By the Second Coming the Lord in the Third Testament became that Word itself; thus God was the Word."

Our ability to perceive the Divine truths contained within the letter of the Three Testaments is proportional to the level of consciousness at the time we read or study Sacred Scripture. As we progress from sensual to rational consciousness we make the largest single step in our growth process as human beings in a physical body. Now our sensual consciousness suddenly is much much brighter because it is illumined from within by the new rational consciousness. This rational consciousness (see matrix 3 above), is itself developing in its levels or degrees. Our sensual consciousness of the Divine truths in Sacred Scripture thus becomes brighter and brighter. Now we have the actual perception of how the literal of Sacred Scripture embodies the spiritual truths and how the literal has no relation to these spiritual truths except by extraction through knowledge of correspondences and reception of illustration (enlightenment).

A particular internalizing truth cannot be perceived until its referent is something about ourselves, our own lives and experiences.

Until then we can recognize that there is a truth there, we can lecture and write about it, but we cannot understand it. A particular internalizing truth becomes visible, lights up, the moment we are experiencing or reliving the correspondential things the truth is about. Every internalizing truth refers to something particular in us.

As our consciousness level develops we can perceive ever more internalizing truths in Sacred Scripture. This is not because we are accumulating knowledge and sagacity in doctrines and Sacred Scripture. During all this accumulation process, the truth itself remains outside our self, outside our consciousness until each particular truth is applied and focused on our self--our struggle in the regeneration process, our resistances, our temptations, fears, victories, and happinesses. These are the actual referents--or topics, of Sacred Scripture. When a particular truth coincides or corresponds to some such referent in our life, then we can see and perceive that truth--but not before that, and sometimes not after that because our focus changes and things earlier may no longer be accessible. Nevertheless Divine Providence that supervises and manages these coincidences or correspondences, insures that the process of truth acquisition is recursive within levels over and over again. We have many opportunities indeed.

Much progress in consciousness growth can take place during temptations which is why the Divine Therapist is so intimately involved in these struggles. In temptations our prejudices, fears, and lusts are active in our sensual consciousness. We see them. The Divine makes an exhibit for us to witness about ourselves. At the same time we are given the perception that these injurious forms within our self are contrary and dead set against the earlier truths we already confirmed to ourselves as Divine truths. Now is our big choice, our moment of destiny. If we choose life and heaven we grow into that; if we choose against the truths we already know, we choose death and hell, growing into that. Sacred Scripture refers to the hells in our mind as "death" and when our consciousness is lowered into that state and immersed in it, we are called "dead." This is because we are not human in that state. Our human is dead in that state. Our human begins much higher in our consciousness, namely the internalizing rational (Zones 14 through 18), as already discussed above.

Temptations have this regenerative power because they allow the coincidence or correspondence between experience and truth. Since all particular truths point to a referent in our experiencing or behaving, we can perceive more internalizing truths when there is an alignment between truth and experiencing. The experiencing in temptations is carefully monitored and guided by God, our Divine Therapist. As we recognize our ongoing falsity, fear, or lust, God can raise our consciousness to a more internalizing level that matches the temptation. In this way there is a recursive spiraling upward--the Ascending Pathway --toward internalizing celestial consciousness. Temptations can be natural, spiritual, or celestial--see this article: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/moses.html#The%20Role%20of%20Temptations

                                    9.1.13    What About the Dangers of Literalism

We reviewed above the first heresy discussed by De Hemelsche Leer as the idea that the Writings do not have a hidden internalizing meaning that needs to be extracted by correspondences and illustration. In this state of mind we are open to the dangers of literalism, which is the temptation of using the literal of Sacred Scripture to confirm one or another pet falsity we cherish. We cherish these falsities because they are in accord with our lusts. We can retain these lusts and still feel righteous about it, if we can find scriptural verses and sentences that allow it. This is the practice of literalism in Sacred Scripture. It is extremely dangerous spiritually because it can arrest the growth of our consciousness by limiting temptations to non-internalizing truths. Natural temptations can be used for the development of our externalizing rational consciousness. But spiritual and celestial temptations must be used for the development of our internalizing rational consciousness. The Writings in many places warn against literalism, as summarized in this number:

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

HD 257. The Word cannot be understood but by means of doctrine from the Word. The doctrine of the church must be from the Word (n. 3464, 5402, 6832, 10763, 10765). The Word without doctrine is not understood (n. 9025, 9409, 9424, 9430, 10324, 10431, 10582). True doctrine is a lamp to those who read the Word (n. 10400). Genuine doctrine must be formed by those who are in enlightenment from the Lord (n. 2510, 2516, 2519, 9424, 10105). The Word is understood by means of doctrine formed by one who is enlightened (n. 10324). They who are in enlightenment form doctrine for themselves from the Word (n. 9382, 10659). The difference between those who teach and learn from the doctrine of the church, and those who teach and learn only from the sense of the letter, their quality (n. 9025). They who are in the sense of the letter without doctrine, come into no understanding of Divine truths (n. 9409, 9410, 10582). They fall into many errors (n. 10431). They who are in the affection of truth for the sake of truth, when they arrive at adult age, and can see from their own understanding, do not simply abide in the doctrinals of their own church, but examine from the Word whether they are truths (n. 5402, 5432, 6047). Otherwise every man's truth would be derived from others, and from his native soil, whether he was born a Jew or a Greek (n. 6047). Nevertheless such things as are become of faith from the literal sense of the Word, ought not to be extinguished till after a full view (n. 9039). (The numbers above refer to Arcana Coelestia )

In other words, the literal of Sacred Scripture can be searched by anyone who then finds a sentence here and a phrase there that can be used to support some false belief or evil practice. The history of religions is replete with selfish and cruel leaders who led their followers to extreme savagery and inhumanness in the name of Sacred Scripture. This week (March 2001) newspaper and television headlines across the nation report the story of how law enforcement agents took into protective custody several children from a home after neighbors reported cruel punishment by the parents. In an interview with reporters, the pastor of the Church the family belonged to, defended the practice of corporeal punishment by invoking the scripture "spare the rod and you spoil the child."  He said that it is scripture that gives him and the parents the authority to impose corporeal punishment. According to police reports the children had welts and other bruises on the body from being tied, hung, and beaten with a belt "whenever they needed it for behaving very badly." I present this as an instance of the dangers of literalism when Sacred Scripture is used without Doctrine. To those who obtain Doctrine for themselves from Sacred Scripture it is easy to see that it is not good for parents to treat children this way and that it is an abomination to God to have children harmed this way. Doctrine would teach them that God is good, God is pure love, and cannot be used as an excuse for being cruel.

The sentence "spare the rod and spoil the child" must be interpreted within the framework of such a God. Similarly with all the other cruel things we read in the Bible that God is said to have ordered, such as the extermination of all the inhabitants of Canaan--men, women, children, and cattle, when the Jews at last entered the land promised to their ancestors. Doctrine within a framework of an omnipotent and purely loving God, teaches that these sad historical practices were not ordered by God because He is a non-loving God, but instead, reflect the cruel nature of the people of that generation who waged wars in that barbaric fashion. God allowed them these evils because He could not remove them from these evils without destroying them, and thus halting the progress of human creation. Doctrine teaches us an understanding of how Divine Providence operates the universe through Laws that are good and rational. These Laws of Divine Providence involve things that God wills or chooses, and also things that God allows or permits, thought He would not choose them. God's character and personality is reflected in what He wills and chooses; our fallen character and personality is reflected in what He allows or permits. God must allow the hells in our mind and rules them by their contrariness or resistances to the heavens in our mind. In this way, through the process of regeneration, our consciousness can ascend and descend again through the experiences He gives us, and especially, temptations, as discussed above.

A more subtle example of literalism, but devastating nevertheless, concerns what the Writings say about gender differences. The psychobiology of conjugial love often identifies women as representing love and men as representing wisdom. Also, that women are created to be "the love of their husband's wisdom." Our male chauvinism quickly grabs hold of these literal statements and explanations in the Writings and we use them to continue our rational domination of women. Similarly the statements that it is proper for women to be engaged in domestic concerns (house and children) while it is proper for men to have a career outside the home. When this male obsession is thus confirmed with the literal of Sacred Scripture, we cease to be able to understand the internalizing truths of conjugial love, and thus put a stop to our regeneration. Moreover, a social environment is fostered that can be detrimental to the socialization and education of children, and can engender political conflicts within the community and between married partners. The Letters to the Editor in New Church Life, official publication of the General Church in Bryn Athyn Pennsylvania, demonstrate how this conflict leads to women expressing feelings of discrimination and alienation, as well as frustration. I've also observed similar negative views expressed on the online Swedenborg Discussion Forum by women who were raised in the Bryn Athyn community. I've also witnessed it in face to face encounters with individuals from the same community.

(An analysis of literalism and its relation to sectarianism is presented in this article. See also the dangers of fundamentalism in the self given in this article.)

Of course discrimination against women by men is worldwide and universal across this globe. It has been since the beginning of the Fall, which refers to the point of full consummation of our consciousness within a particular level or degree of the mind. In the charts discussed above,  this period or phase is called consummation. What needs to happen then is the Inversion from sensual to rational consciousness, so that the period of adolescence may end at its consummation, and young adulthood may begin. This is the great jump of humankind when we first actualize our born potential of becoming human. Our evidence for our behavior and morality is no longer based on anything from the externalizing natural world but on evidence exclusively from the spiritual world. Henceforth our new consciousness is rational, which is above the ideas and feelings based on natural facts and experiences (science, culture, and sensory experience). These earlier natural ideas and reasonings can now be seen by us from our upper floor--which is the rational degrees of the mind.

At first this new rational consciousness is not totally pure as it partakes of ideas still based in the natural world. This is the internalizing natural degree. It is a rational and spiritual degree, and yet it still acts sluggishly as if it were weighted down by natural ideas of time and space that still cling to the rational ideas. In this state of young adulthood, when applied to our New Church mentality, we are vulnerable to literalism, fundamentalism, sectarianism. Even when we acknowledge and believe that the Writings are Sacred Scripture in the full sense, and thus have an internalizing meaning to be extracted by correspondences and illustration. Nevertheless, when it comes to some deep seated issues like conjugial love, a host of resistances experienced by men become visible, uncovering false beliefs and selfish feelings that were lying hidden and unknown. Then our wife in particular, and women in general, are treated as less than ourselves in our own estimation. To men in that phase of not yet purified spirituality, women's views are discounted in their mind and are worth nothing in comparison to their own views. This amazing arrogance of men is deeply hidden from their actual everyday mode of consciousness, but it is very visible and totally obvious to their wives.

When we resist the inversion from sensual to rational consciousness, and then again, from internalizing natural to rational spiritual, we men practice our opposition to conjugial love. This is because our vertical community is associated with spiritual societies that hate conjugial love and desire nothing more than to denigrate women. This influence on our mind is then hidden since the ideas it fosters are contrary to the ideas that we uphold in our life philosophy and official reputation. This is our work for our spiritual temptations, without which we cannot move on to the internalizing spiritual degree, the beginning of true humanity.

I have tried to make an inventory of the many ways we men behave towards our wife that are anti-conjugial. See this collection of confessions by husbands who have put off the literalism of the Writings for the sake of a more internalizing truth about husbands and wives. When our mind is in the grips of literalism we read the Writings selectively to find confirmations of our beliefs and we ignore other passages that reverse the representations, when women are wisdoms and men are loves. Doctrine must be developed from the literal that gives us an understanding why at one time women represent affections and loves and another time wisdom and truths. These comparisons should not be viewed as "contradictions" for Sacred Scripture contains no contradictions or errors. The literal of the Writings is the sensual basis we have for the Divine Human's Rational. No contradictions or errors can be allowed in our mind about the literal of the Writings, but instead, we need to form Doctrines for ourselves that explain why what is there is there, and what it means spiritually. In this connection, see what I have formulated by the name of The Doctrine of the Wife.

In theistic psychology, both the Descending Pathway (science) and the Ascending Pathway (Doctrine of the Church),  see diagram above,   have a methodology for extracting truths from the literal of the Writings. For the Doctrine of the Church I would recommend this methodology regarding community issues such as gender roles, worship style, management and administration, education, qualifications for the priestly occupation, and so on:

Literal passages from the Writings are not to be used to justify a position on any of these issues. Instead, it is the Doctrine of the Church that must be used as a justification for all things of life.

This rule is extremely important because it save us from many heresies that are injurious to ourselves and the community. It's amazing to me how deeply these forces are implanted in us and occur at every level or degree of our development. I can cite a particularly significant case for this article. The contributors to the De Hemelsche Leer, despite the amazing new insights they brought forth from their rational consciousness, have yet fallen into this trap, which is a trap we all are tempted with in celestial temptations. After they were expelled by the mother Church in Bryn Athyn, the promptly formed themselves into a priesthood exclusively of men, with a doctrinal school or "Gezelshap" exclusively for men called Social Suppers, on which occasion they would present to each other the most recent of their new insights. Neither were women's voices or views allowed in the chief governing councils of the priesthood. They were acting as if the internalizing spiritual truths of the Church and Life were to be born in their minds and not in any woman's mind, or in their male mind alone and not  in conjunction with their wife. This mindset was justified and reinforced, not by the Doctrine of the Church appropriately extracted, but by literalism. Passages were cited indicating that priests are male on account of the representations in the Writings and in Heaven. But other passages were deliberately kept away even though they are connected, such as the passages that teach that the inmost celestial wisdom is in the internalizing of women, while the wisdom of men is more externalizing. Also the passages saying that the husband and wife together make the consciousness of the Church and not the men on their own. These passages and the former should be reconciled by forming new Doctrine that can reconcile them.  This I tried to do in The Doctrine of the Wife.

In the long run it is conceivable to me that the end result will be the same and that women will not serve as priests, to take up one of the issues. But this result will be achieved by an internal process through the Doctrine of the Church, rather than through an externalizing politicized and coercive process such as literalism and fundamentalism. To arrive at this happy result the men willingly must submit to the spiritual and celestial temptations that remain in their relation to their wives. This includes voluntary submission to the more internalizing wisdom that wives receive from celestial angels. Men must defer to the wisdom of their wives. Then they can be enlightened and thereby father the new Doctrine in a state of love, not faith alone. This new Doctrine will be loved by their wives and since they are modest and inwardly wise, they will hardly desire to compete with men in occupations that are open to them through their male representations.

Once more I would like to emphasize that merely quoting passages that appear to justify male decision-making as more weighty than female, is the practice of literalism. Even if many passages are collected, each one indicating a similar appearance, this collection does not constitute Doctrine. Doctrine must be extracted from the literal and confirmed by the literal, but it must not be the same as the literal. De Hemelsche Leer serves as a textbook on how to extract genuine Doctrine from the literal. Hence this document must be studied in order to gain an understanding of the process and method. But it is not the study of this document alone that can give birth to genuine conjugial love in our consciousness, but to the genuine understanding of it as applied to one's relation to the wife. This understanding can occur only to the extent of one's regeneration. Hence the importance of our temptations--see the "husbands confess here" article.

 

Quoting from From the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 1. Doctrine of Holy Scripture

THE HOLY SCRIPTURE OR WORD IS DIVINE TRUTH

It is in everybody's mouth that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and is therefore holy; and yet hitherto no one has known wherein it is Divine. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a style that is strange, and neither so sublime nor so brilliant as apparently are the writings of the day. For this reason a man who worships nature as God, or in preference to God, and who consequently thinks from himself and what is proper to himself, and not from heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error in respect to the Word, and into contempt for it, and while reading it may say to himself, What is this? What is that? Can this be Divine? Could God, whose wisdom is infinite, speak in this manner? Wherein consists its holiness, and whence comes its holiness, except from religious feeling and its consequent persuasion?

 

                                  9.1.14    What is Theistic Psychology

Theistic psychology is the activity of extracting knowledge from the literal of the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). The subject matter of the literal of Sacred Scripture is the regeneration of the human race through the regeneration of individuals. Regeneration is the process of gradually opening or activating all the degrees of the human mind. This is a growth process and proceeds in orderly ways, as described in Part 1 of this article. There are six discrete degrees to open or activate in their order. This is the same series of six degrees for the evolution of the consciousness in human history and in individual biography. In human history the developmental steps have reference to epochs in civilization marked by the quality of their intellectual understandings and consequent morality by which they lived and governed themselves as a society. In the Writings of Swedenborg each of these epochs is called a Church. The word "church" also refers to the intellectual development of an individual, especially the degree of unity between our understanding and our will, in other words the degree to which we live the life dictated by our knowledge, understanding, and faith.

All Sacred Scripture is written in a spiritual style. This is entirely different than the natural style of all our other books. The spiritual style of writing is only possible through Divine intervention. It is a style specifically designed for our regeneration. No other style can achieve this. The style of Sacred Scripture of the Old and New Testaments is explained in the Third Testament, which is the name used for the Writings of Swedenborg used by those who acknowledge them as Sacred Scripture. The style of the Third Testament is discussed and explained in De Hemelsche Leer. The extraction process can be pure, genuine, and comprehensible to the extent that the internalizing degrees of the mind have been opened. In other words it depends on illustration and regeneration. Illustration or enlightenment is the process of insight given by the Divine since Sacred Scripture is a Divine Writing that embodies this special property.

Non-spiritual styles of writing do not have this property of being able to open one's internalizing consciousness. This is because the content or meaning of non-spiritual writings refers to physical phenomena and information, as processed by the natural sensual degrees of the mind. Spiritual writings, that is Sacred Scripture or the Word, is written by Divine guidance and determination, literally a dictation. The content and meaning of the spiritual writing style is not the physical world but the spiritual world or the mind. non-theistic psychology is based on our self-intelligence and relies on our natural mind while theistic psychology is based on our enlightened as-of-self from the Divine. The referents of spiritual writing is the mind and the events in it.

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle 5:36 by Theodore Pitcairn

"When man first reads the Word, particularly the Latin Word, it appears to him as truth. It is only afterwards that a man can come to see that internally the Word is the good which is inwardly in man from the Lord, and that the truths of the Word which are apparently from without by means of the senses, are only genuine truths with the man in so far as they are a form of this good."

As-of-self enlightenment or illustration is the process of direct communion and communication with the Divine. It is through this organic or substantive process that we become conjoined to the Divine. Only through this reciprocal conjunction between God and the individual, is regeneration possible, hence eternal life in heaven. Without this regeneration and reciprocal conjunction the celestial mind cannot be opened or activated. When we pass on by leaving the physical body and assume life in our spiritual body, the quality of our life henceforth is entirely determined by the degree of the mind that has been opened in us while still in the physical body. From then on the mind can be opened further only in the degree already opened. When we have only the lowest degrees opened we live in a state called hell; when the highest degree is opened we live in a state called heaven. There are also levels within each of these states of mind. It becomes extremely important therefore that we cooperate actively with the Divine in our regeneration process so that the highest degree of the mind in us can be opened. A principal way that we achieve this cooperation is through living a life according to the degree opened in us and the opening of the degrees is accomplished through knowledge extraction from the Word or Sacred Scriptures. The Divine has provided therefore that there be Sacred Scriptures in every religion by which individuals can be regenerated.

                    9.1.15  Spiritual Styles of Writing

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 1989 THAT externalizing SENSES DISAPPEAR IN THE HEAVENS.

It was represented by a spiritual idea that externalizing senses perish in order [or one after the other] as they penetrate internalizings, or, which is the same, as they ascend towards superiors, insomuch that if a style is filled with mere poetical names, as Parnassus, its fountain, Pegasus, and the like, those who employ those terms in writing know that they signify things pertaining to scientifics, which sense when it passes away, then comes the sense of the letter, which sense also perishes, and is succeeded by a higher, and when this disappears then comes one still more internalizing, and so on. Such is the penetration and ascension of senses while they penetrate or ascend towards internalizings, until at length nothing remains but the pure, true, and good in the inmost heaven, originating from the Lord, who is the essence of all things.--1748, May 18.

Properties of the spiritual writing style are described in the work titled Sacred Scripture and many other parts of the Writings of Swedenborg. The writers who by Divine process are in the role of prophet or revelator, are only aware of the meaning of the literal of their sentences while the internal meanings that are hidden are not known to them except in some small measure that is dependent on the degree of consciousness opened in their mind. The prophets of the Old Testament could not be aware of the inner sense of what they wrote because the rational degree of consciousness was not opened in humankind until after the Inversion (see discussion below). Swedenborg's mind was opened all the way to the internalizing celestial degree so that he could communicate with the inhabitants of the highest heaven, but he and the angels are human finite minds and no one can become aware of the infinite meanings contained in the Divine writing style even though they cumulate their knowledge and understanding to eternity. Swedenborg reports that the inhabitants of all the heavens--Natural, Spiritual, and Celestial, use their version of Sacred Scripture for knowledge extraction and communion and communication with the Divine. This is the method by which their regeneration continues to eternity.

Part 1 of this article described the developmental steps in human consciousness viewed historically as the evolution of the race and ontologically as the growth of the human mind. Six discrete degrees were identified in an embedded recursive dynamic so that each degree undergoes all six steps in recapitulation of the entire series. At the end of the sixth step within each degree there is a state of consummation at which point one either transfers to the next highest degree, or else there is a decline or devolution with no further progress possible, putting an end to regeneration. Not until the consummation of the internalizing spiritual (or externalizingizing rational) do we enter the last and fully human state called the internalizing rational or celestial (old age). During each degree of development we are associated with the angels of the three heavens, natural, spiritual, and celestial. The next chart (matrix 7) portrays these steps again but in addition you can see the various styles of spiritual writing in which Sacred Scripture and its Doctrine were written in the historical evolution of the Churches. These steps are collated with the development of our consciousness in our own growth by identifying the representative sensory modality that corresponds to each developmental phase.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 210. (1) The special sense of conjugial love is the sense of touch. Every love has its own special sense. The love of seeing, arising from a love of understanding, has the sense of sight; and the things that give it pleasure are symmetries and qualities of beauty. The love of hearing, arising from a love of listening and complying, has the sense of hearing; and the things that give it pleasure are harmonies. The love of identifying odors floating about in the air, arising from a love of perceiving, has the sense of smell; and the things that give it pleasure are fragrances. The love of nourishing oneself, arising from a love of filling oneself with good qualities and truths, has the sense of taste; and the things that give it pleasure are fine foods. The love of identifying objects, arising from a love of looking out and protecting oneself, has the sense of touch; and the things that give it pleasure are sensations that tickle and tingle. The love of joining oneself with one's partner, arising from a love of uniting goodness and truth, also has the sense of touch, and that is because this sense is the common one of all the senses and so draws contributions from the rest. People know that this love brings all the aforementioned senses into confederation with it and appropriates their pleasures to itself. The fact that the sense of touch is dedicated to conjugial love and is special to it is apparent from its every sport, and from the exaltation of its subtle sensations to the most highly exquisite. But to extend this discussion further is left to lovers.

 

Spiritual Styles of Writing (Matrix 7)
AGE PERIODS Sacred Scripture and Doctrine Sensory Representatives
(Basis of our thought)
VERTICAL COMMUNITY
Infancy
externalizing Celestial
Most Ancient Word TOUCH Celestial Angels of the
Third Heaven
(celestial sensual)
Childhood
externalizing Spiritual
Ancient Word
Book of Jasher
Book of Job
TASTE Spiritual Angels of the
Second Heaven
(spiritual sensual)
Adolescence
externalizing Natural
Old Testament Historicals,
Narratives, and Commandments
New Testament Gospel of Matthew
SMELL Natural Angels of the
First Heaven
(natural sensual)
I       N      V       E      R       S      I       O      N
Young adulthood
internalizing Natural
New Testament Gospels of
Mark, Luke, John
and Epistles
HEARING Natural Angels of the
First Heaven
(natural rational)
Adulthood
internalizing Spiritual
(externalizing rational)
New Testament Book of
Revelations
Old Testament Propheticals
(Genesis Chapters 1 to 11 and
all the Prophecies and Visions)
SIGHT Spiritual Angels of the
Second Heaven
(spiritual rational)
Old age
internalizing Celestial
(internalizing rational)
Third Testament
and De Hemelsche Leer
ILLUSTRATION Celestial Angels of the
Third Heaven
(celestial rational)

The race's infancy is described in the Writings of Swedenborg as an externalizing celestial state that starts the Descending Pathway. Swedenborg was able to visit with people in the heavens who were from this period of history on this earth. The consciousness that formed the basis of their thinking was a psychic sensual awareness or perception of the spiritual things within the natural world around them. They had direct communication with their ancestors who passed on and were in the heavens. This formed the basis of their socialization and knowledge. The sensory modality of touch represents the celestial angels because they are in conjugial love. When this consciousness phase of humanity was consummated, it was replaced with the next descending degree or the Noachic Church (see matrix 2 in Part 1). Their consciousness was spiritual sensual and well adapted for the Science of Correspondences. Their Word called the Ancient Word was written in pure correspondences; there were no actual historicals involved and they sound to us like some of the visionary language in the Old Testament. Swedenborg tells us that Moses and other Old Testament Sacred Scripture writers had a knowledge of this Word and small parts from it are quoted in various places. Here is a relevant Number from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 265. That there was a Word among the ancient people, is evident from Moses, who mentions it and took certain things from it (Num. 21:14, 15, 27-30); its historical parts were called "the Wars of Jehovah," and its prophetical parts "Enunciations." From the historical parts of that Word the following is quoted by Moses: Wherefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of Jehovah, Vaheb in Suphah and in the streams of Arnon, and the valley of water-courses that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and leaneth upon the border of Moab (Num. 21:14, 15).

By the wars of Jehovah in that Word, as in ours, the conflicts of the Lord with the hells, and His victories over them when He was about to come into the world are meant and described. The same conflicts are meant and described in many places in the historical portions of our Word, as in what is said of the wars of Joshua with the nations of the land of Canaan, and the wars of the judges and the kings of Israel.

[2] From the prophetical portions of that Word the following passages were taken: Wherefore the Enunciators say, Come ye to Heshbon; let the city of Sihon be built and established; for a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon; it hath devoured Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. Woe to thee, Moab thou hast perished, O people of Chemosh; he hath given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. We have destroyed them with weapons; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba (Num. 21:27-30). Translators render this "composers of proverbs" [or "they that speak in proverbs"]; but the rendering ought to be "Enunciators," or "Prophetic Enunciations," as can be seen from the signification of the word Meschalim in the Hebrew tongue, which means both proverbs and prophetic enunciations (as in Num. 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15), where it is said that Balaam "uttered his enunciation," which was a prophecy that also referred to the Lord. This enunciation is called Maschal in the singular. Moreover, what Moses quotes therefrom is not a proverb but a prophecy.

[3] That this Word was in like manner Divinely inspired is evident from Jeremiah, where almost the same things are said: A fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and hath devoured the comer of Moab, and the crown of the head of the sons of tumult. Woe be unto thee, Moab: the people of Chemosh have perished; for thy sons are taken away captive, and thy daughters into captivity (Jer. 48:45, 46).

In addition to all this a prophetic book of the ancient Word, called the Book of Jasher or the book of the Upright, is mentioned by David and Joshua; by David as follows: David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan; and he wrote, To teach the sons of Judah the bow. Behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher (2 Sam. 1:17, 18). And by Joshua: Joshua said Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. Is not this written in the Book of Jasher? (Josh. 10:12, 13).

When this consciousness phase was consummated, the Ancient Word was lost to history and the laws of correspondences survived only in a few instances like the Egyptian hieroglyphics and fables passed on to each generation. We read in the Writings Sacred Scripture:

DE VERBO 7. VII. THE correspondential sense OF THE WORD. CORRESPONDENCES. Each and all things which are in nature, correspond to spiritual things; similarly each and all things which are in the human body, as may be seen in two articles in the work on Heaven and Hell. But it is not known at this day what correspondence is, but in the most ancient times the science of correspondences was the science of sciences, thus the universal science, so that the most ancient people wrote all their manuscripts and books by correspondences. The fables of the most ancient times and the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians are nothing else: the book of Job, which is a book of the Ancient Church, is full of correspondences.

[2] All the ancient churches were churches representative of heavenly things; all their rites and also their statutes, according to which their worship was instituted, consisted of nothing but correspondences. Similarly the church with the sons of Jacob; the burnt offerings and sacrifices with all their particulars, were correspondences; likewise the tabernacle with the single things therein, as also their feasts, such as the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of tabernacles, and the feast of first fruits, and also all their statutes and judgments; and because correspondences are such things as exist in the ultimates of nature, and because all things of nature correspond, and the things which correspond also signify, therefore the sense of the letter of the Word consists of nothing but correspondences.

The Lord also, because He spoke from His Divine, and spoke the Word, spoke therefore also by correspondences. What is from the Divine, and in itself is Divine, in the ultimate falls into such things as correspond to Divine, celestial and spiritual things, thus such as in their bosom conceal and signify celestial and spiritual things. What, further, correspondences are, may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, in which the correspondences which are in Genesis and in Exodus are explained. And again a collection of citations from that work concerning correspondences, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem and in the treatise on Heaven and Hell. The spiritual or internal sense of the Word is nothing else than the sense of the letter unfolded according to correspondences; for it teaches the spiritual which is perceived by angels in the heavens, while man in the world is thinking in a natural way of that which he reads in the Word.

[3] I have heard and perceived from heaven that the men of the Most Ancient Church, who are those meant in the correspondential sense of the first chapters of Genesis by Adam and Eve, were so consociated with the angels of heaven, that they could speak with them by correspondences, and hence the state of their wisdom was such that whatever they saw on earth, they perceived at the same time spiritually, thus conjointly with the angels. It was told me that Enoch, of whom mention is made in Genesis (Chap. 5:21-24), with his associates, collected correspondences from the mouth of those people, and transmitted the knowledge of them to posterity. From this it came to pass, that the science of correspondences not only was known, but was also cultivated, in many kingdoms of Asia, and especially in Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and also in Canaan. From thence it was carried over to Greece, but was there turned into fables, as may be sufficiently evident from what is told of Olympus, Helicon and Pindus near Athens, and also of the winged horse called Pegasus, as, that with the hoof he broke open a fountain, by which the nine virgins [the Muses], established their seats.

For a mountain, and thus Helicon, from correspondence signifies the higher heaven; the hill under the mountain, which was Pindus, signifies the heaven below it; the winged horse, or Pegasus, signifies the understanding enlightened by the spiritual; the fountain signifies intelligence and learning, and the nine virgins signify the knowledges of truth and the sciences. Similar were the rest of the things which are called fabulous, which were written by the most ancient writers in Greece, and which were collected together and described by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.

[4] But when the representatives of the church in the course of time were turned into idolatries, then by the Divine Providence of the Lord that science was successively obliterated, and with the Israelitish and Jewish nation it was altogether destroyed and extinguished. The worship of that nation was indeed altogether representative, but still they did not know what any representative thing signified. For they were altogether natural men, and hence they were neither able nor willing to know anything about the spiritual man and about his faith and love, consequently nothing about correspondences.

The new Word that was given to the Israelitish Church through Moses and the Jewish prophets was mostly written in historical narrative but visionary passages are common to many of the prophets. These passages are called "figurative speech" by Bible scholars but it was entirely unknown that this was not figurative or poetic speech but sentences written in pure correspondences, until the Writings made that revelation. It is still unknown to Bible scholars today since they do not make use of the Writings of Swedenborg. During the Lord's Presence on earth as a historical individual, and before His Ascension, the consciousness of the human race was undergoing a momentous change noted in all the matrices as the Inversion (see matrix 7 above). It appears to me that the Gospel of Matthew is written in an externalizing natural style as a transition vehicle across the Inversion. I therefore place that Gospel in the adolescence phase along with the Old Testament historical narratives and laws, thus still dependent on the sensual phase (externalizing natural presence of the angels of the first heaven, making possible the miracles of that period). But after the Ascension, the Inversion was completed and humankind entered the new rational consciousness in the  internalizing natural presence with the angels of the natural heaven. It is in this state of mind that the other Gospels were written--Mark, Luke, and John, each representing a more internalizing phase of the internalizing natural (or natural rational). I place the Epistles of Paul and the other Apostles in this phase of consciousness (natural rational).

It appears to me that the The Book of Revelations written by John later than the Gospels, was intended for the development of the next highest degree, the internalizing spiritual (or externalizing rational)--consult matrix 7 above. John's visions in that Book are similar to the Old Testament visionary and prophetical passages, including the first 11 chapters of Genesis, that Swedenborg shows are also written by correspondences. This phase of consciousness--the spiritual rational (which is still an externalizing rational), was quickly consummated lasting only two or three centuries until the Council of Nice in 325 AD, according to Swedenborg. That Council introduced the heresy of "three Divine Persons in the Trinity" leading to the devolution of the Christian religion, according to Swedenborg's careful analysis. That phase went on for a long time, until 1771 when the Second Coming was completed in the Writings of Swedenborg. A new Word was thus given for the highest degree of human consciousness, ending the recursive cycle. In this full blown human phase our consciousness is established in all the degrees in an orderly series. The new degree of the celestial rational is the true internalizing rational consciousness and is never consummated. It develops continuously in an ever more internalizing rational and this to eternity. This is why the New Church, called the Church of the New Jerusalem, is referred to in the Third Testament as the Crown of Churches.

As you can see in matrix 7 above I have collated the "six senses" that appear to me to be representative of the six evolutionary phases of consciousness and forms their basis of thinking. The Most Ancient Word is written in a sensual celestial style that is based on the psychic ability to receive conscious influx from angels. This is a "sixth sense" that Swedenborg had as an infant and we can conclude that each of us has this sense during some parts of our infancy as we are then in the company of celestial angels. This state of consciousness is represented by the sense of touch. As we enter childhood our vertical community switches to the spiritual angels and we receive a sensual spiritual influx from them. This corresponds to the sense of taste. The next sense is smell which corresponds to the adolescence phase which is externalizing natural (or natural sensual). As we move across the Inversion the sensory mechanisms become "distal" in comparison to the three prior senses that are "proximal." Distal vs. proximal sensory functions is a distinction known to psychologists. The distal senses are hearing, sight, and rational illustration, since they allow us to collect information from parts of the environment that are not in direct contact with our body.

Hearing corresponds to the basis of thinking in young adulthood, which is internalizing natural (or natural rational). Sight is more distal than hearing and corresponds to the spiritual rational (or externalizing rational). Rational illustration of truths when reading or hearing Sacred Scripture is the most distal and corresponds to old age consciousness, which is internalizing rational (or celestial rational). Our sensual consciousness (infancy to adolescence) is based on proximal contact; our rational consciousness, on distal contact. The two together, that is, the rational consciousness within the sensual consciousness, make up the full human functioning. Temptations involve thoughts and feelings we are aware of. When spiritual and celestial, temptations give us a sensual basis for our consciousness of the Divine presence within us. The rational consciousness must rest on the sensual consciousness and must be developed according to the order of growth provided.

Quoting From the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1766. There are in the Word, in general, four different styles. The first is that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode of expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial and worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial things which these represented. They therefore not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed these into a kind of historical series, in order to give them more life; and this was to them delightful in the very highest degree. This is the style of which Hannah prophesied, saying: Speak what is high! high! Let what is ancient come out of your mouth (1 Sam. 2:3). Such representatives are called in David, "Dark sayings of old" (Ps. 78:2-4). These particulars concerning the creation, the garden of Eden, etc., down to the time of Abram, Moses had from the descendants of the Most Ancient Church. [2] The second style is historical, which is found in the books of Moses from the time of Abram onward, and in those of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the Kings. In these books the historical facts are just as they appear in the sense of the letter; and yet they all contain, in both general and particular, quite other things in the internal sense, of which, by the Lord's Divine mercy, in their order in the following pages. The third style is the prophetical one, which was born of that which was so highly venerated in the Most Ancient Church. This style however is not in connected and historical form like the most ancient style, but is broken, and is scarcely ever intelligible except in the internal sense, wherein are deepest arcana, which follow in beautiful connected order, and relate to the externalizing and the internal man; to the many states of the church; to heaven itself; and in the inmost sense to the Lord. The fourth style is that of the Psalms of David, which is intermediate between the prophetical style and that of common speech. The Lord is there treated of in the internal sense, under the person of David as a king.

(...)

All these matters presented above are those which in general are embodied in the internal sense of this chapter; but the whole train of thought, and its beauty, cannot be seen when every single thing is explained according to the meaning of the words, as they would be if they were comprehended in a single idea. When all are comprehended in a single idea those things which hitherto have lain scattered now appear beautifully joined and linked together. The situation is as with someone who listens to another speaking but pays attention solely to the words he uses. In this case he does not grasp the speaker's idea nearly so well as he would if he paid no attention to the words and their particular shades of meaning; for the internal sense of the Word in relation to the externalizing or literal sense is very similar to speech in relation to the actual words used when these are scarcely listened to, still less paid attention to, as when the mind is intent on the sense alone of the things meant by the words used by the speaker.

[2] The most ancient manner of writing represented real things by the use of persons and of expressions which they employed to mean things entirely different from those persons or expressions. Secular authors of those times compiled their historical narratives in this way, including those things which had to do with public life and private life. Indeed they compiled them in such a way that nothing at all was to be taken literally as written, but something other was to be understood beneath the literal narrative. They even went so far as to present affections of every kind as gods and goddesses, to whom the heathen subsequently offered up divine worship, as every well-educated person may know, for ancient books of that kind are still extant. This manner of writing they derived from the most ancient people who lived before the Flood, who used to represent heavenly and Divine things to themselves by means of visible objects on earth and in the world, and in so doing filled their minds and souls with joys and delights when they beheld the objects in the universe, especially those that were beautiful on account of their form and order. This is why all the books of the Church in those times were written in the same style. Job is one such book; and Solomon's Song of Songs is an imitation of them too. Both the books mentioned by Moses in Num. 21:14, 27, were of this nature, in addition to many that have perished.

[3] Because it had come down from antiquity this style was later venerated both among the gentiles and among the descendants of Jacob, so much so that whatever was not written in this style was not venerated as Divine. This is why when they were moved by the prophetic spirit- as were Jacob, Gen. 49:3-27; Moses, Exod. 15:1-21; Deut. 33:2-end; Balaam, who was one of the sons of the east in Syria, where the Ancient Church continued to exist, Num. 23:7-10, 19 24; 24:5-9, 17-24; Deborah and Barak, Judg. 5:2-end; Hannah, 1 Sam. 2:2-10; and many others - they spoke in that same manner, and for many hidden reasons. And although, with very few exceptions, they neither understood nor knew that their utterances meant the heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom and Church, they were nevertheless struck and filled with awe and wonder, and sensed that those utterances carried what was Divine and Holy within them.

[4] But that the historical narratives of the Word are of a similar nature, that is to say, that the particular names and particular expressions used represent and mean the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom, the learned world has not yet come to know, except that the Word is inspired right down to the tiniest jot, and that every single detail has heavenly arcana within it.

 

                9.1.16  Intellectual Content in Relation to Degrees of Consciousness

 

                           

9.1.17   Religious Phases of Behavior in Relation to Consciousness

 

Religious Phases of Behavior in Relation to Consciousness (Matrix 9)
AGE PERIODS Degree of Consciousness INTELLECTUAL CONTENT Religious
Phases
Infancy Sensual externalizing
Celestial
ACTUAL relationship to God
based on INNOCENCE
Swedenborg phase
ACTUALISM
Childhood Sensual externalizing
Spiritual
PERSONAL relationship to God
based on BLIND FAITH
Paul phase
MYSTICISM
Adolescence Sensual externalizing
Natural
IMPERSONAL relationship to God
based on RITUALS
Moses phase
SECTARIANISM
I       N      V       E      R       S      I       O      N
Young adulthood Rational internalizing
Natural
IMPERSONAL relationship to God
based on MEMBERSHIP
Moses phase
UNIVERSALISM
Adulthood Rational internalizing
Spiritual
PERSONAL relationship to God
based on RATIONAL FAITH
Paul phase
PERSONALISM
Old age Rational internalizing
Celestial
PARTICULAR relationship to God
based on ILLUSTRATION
Swedenborg phase
PARTICULARISM

Religious phases of behavior are explored in a separate article here.

 

 

                           9.1.18   Rational Consciousness is within Sensual Consciousness

The diagram below (matrix 10) shows that the Ascending Pathway is related to the Descending Pathway by being within it.

The zones were discussed in the earlier matrices in Part 1 Rational consciousness is within sensual consciousness and the discrete degrees communicate with each other not directly but indirectly through the laws of correspondence. It's important to realize that subsequent discrete degrees in the evolution of consciousness are born and grow within earlier discrete degrees. It is tempting to think that one "leaves behind" the former ages as one advances to the superior ages. But this is not the truth. Instead, the former ages or states must be activated and regenerated and kept pure and prepared for the reception or growth of the next highest degree by correspondence. Sensual consciousness must first be cleansed and purified and matured in its three representative degrees of our mind while we are still in the body and thus, natural people, not yet spiritual people or spirits and angels. Then, when this occurs by means of struggles with appropriate temptations, we reach the point of Inversion to the Ascending Pathway, and begin the opening process of the three degrees of rational consciousness. When all six degrees are opened, the mind can be portrayed as in the next diagram (matrix 11).

The diagram in matrix 11 portrays the rational within the sensual. That which is the containant (the sensual) is called externalizing and that which is contained within this externalizing is the rational and it is called the internal. The rational is the internal, while the sensual is the externalizing. The internal is contained within the externalizing. The internal is always higher and richer and more perfect than the externalizing. In the same way, the Divine which is infinite and perfect is contained within the natural, which is finite and imperfect. What is prior is more perfect than what is posterior. The internalizing forms itself within the externalizing and not the other way round. An idea of this may be had when we reflect on analogies in the physical world. The inmost and finest of nature are formed within the seed. The externalizing covering of the seed is corporeal and coarse but the internal gene that directs the development is finer and spiritual. Similarly, love or affection is within wisdom or cognition for love is the inner celestial essence while truth is the outward spiritual form. The celestial is within the spiritual and the two are within the natural.

 

                    9.1.19   Embedded Progression of the Six Degrees

 

The above diagram (matrix 11) corresponds to the zones defined in earlier matrices in Part 1. The Ascending Pathway (Zones 10 through 18) is within the Descending Pathway (Zones 1 through 9). The six discrete degrees of the growth of consciousness in human minds are nested or embedded within each other. The higher degrees are always within the lower degrees. The highest degree (called Old Age) is an internalizing celestial degree and it is the proper human degree. Not until this inmost or highest degree of consciousness is activated do we become fully human, in the image and likeness of God. Such are all the inhabitants of the Third Heaven called Celestial Angels. The beginning of the growth of the human mind is called Infancy and this is a celestial state (like Old Age) but it is an externalizing celestial state of sensual consciousness while Odd Age is an internalizing rational state of celestial consciousness. Between these two celestial states are all the other states of the mind. Further exploration of the states may be achieved by comparing this diagram with the earlier matrices in Part 1.

These six states also reccur within each state. This is the Law of Recursiveness of States, which I discuss in the earlier article under the topic of synechdoche.

Additional exploration of these types of "graphic concepts" is given in this article on comprehensive discourse analysis (see also "discourse analysis" entries in the Swedenborg Encyclopedia of Theistic Psychology).

 

                     9.1.20   The Four Ages of Ancient History

Spiritual geography in theistic psychology is defined as the description of the mind in terms of geographic maps of the spiritual world as identified by Swedenborg. In his work titled Conjugial Love Numbers 75 through 82, Swedenborg describes several Memorable Relations. These are spiritual experiences, or travels, in which he visits the inhabitations of people who used to live in Asia in ancient times. In company with an angel sent to him by "the God of Heaven" he goes in search of information regarding conjugial love, that is, the nature of the marriages in ancient times with these peoples from Asia. They start with the East where the people from the Golden Age live, then continues with the people of the Silver Age in the South, then the people of the Copper Age in the West, and the people of the Iron Age in the North. This he calls the "circuit and progression of conjugial love" since it represents a devolution of the civilizations from Golden to Iron. Thereafter he continues with the civilization that is clearly hellish called the Age of Iron Mixed with Clay. These same periods of development of the human race are also discussed in Daniel's interpretation of the vision of King Nebuchadnezzar. The periods correspond the the degrees of the mind: Celestial, Spiritual, Natural, Sensual, and Corporeal. The relations are depicted in matrix 12 and matrix 13 below.

 

 

THE DEVOLUTION OF CIVILIZATIONS (MATRIX 13)
DEGREE EPOCH DANIEL'S
STATUE
HOUSING MARRIAGES
Celestial Golden Age
EAST
Head gilded tents Conjugial love
based on wisdom
Spiritual Silver Age
SOUTH
Torso marble palaces Conjugial love
based on intelligence
Natural Copper Age
WEST
Loins wooden buildings Conjugial love
based on obedience
Sensual Iron Age
NORTH
Legs brick houses Polygamous marriages
with connubial jealousy
Corporeal Age of Iron Mixed with Clay
LOWER EARTH
Feet mud huts Scortatory & adulterous
relations openly practiced

The chart in matrix 13 above shows that the devolution of civilizations from celestial to corporeal is tied to the degradation of the concept of conjugial love, or the level of understanding the people of that civilization had of marriages. In the infancy of the race on this earth called the Golden Age or Period, people had a celestial understanding of marriage. It was based on wisdom, which is the celestial degree of the mind. Wisdom is not possible without love, and so the love that properly goes with wisdom is conjugial love or true marriage love between one husband and one wife based on its holiness from religion. Unless marriage is seen from religion, it cannot be celestial or spiritual, but only natural. Why? Because so it is revealed in the Threefold Word. All Three Testaments specify explicitly that marriage is by God and in God, or else it is adultery and contrary to God and heaven. Wisdom is to acknowledge this revelation, to love it, and to live it. This is done by shunning adulteries as contrary to conjugial love and its mortal enemy.

In his dialog with a husband in the Golden Age heaven, Swedenborg is told that these people look upon adulteries with horror and abomination. They are most careful with the smallest details or subtle forms of this marriage destroyer, as for instance when they look upon the wife of a neighbor. They recognize and perceive her beauty, and they are inwardly affected by it--but only in the head and chest, and never never below that. There is nothing whatsoever of lasciviousness, pornography, or sexuality in this appreciation of the beauty and charm of another man's wife. The husband then revealed to Swedenborg and the visiting angel who accompanied him, that his wife takes care that the husband not fall into an adulterous thought or emotion. She is constantly present with him, he said, and he looks through her eyes and he lets her direct his thoughts. And so nothing of adulterousness or scortatory roaming love of the sex can be awakened in her husband's heart and mind. That society is protected from the influx of the hells through this vigilance of the wife and the cooperation of the husband. The man also confessed to Swedenborg that they have been in "eminent potency" with their wives for thousands of years now, just as if they were in the flower of their adolescence. But he added that this potency would be gone the very instant he had an adulterous or pornographic thought or emotion.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 75 (...) [6] Then I asked, 'If your union is such, are you able to look at any woman other than your own?' 'Yes,' he replied, 'I can, but because my wife is united with my soul, we two look together, and so not the slightest spark of lust can enter in. For when I look at other people's wives, I see them through my wife, whom alone I love. Since she is capable of perceiving all my feelings, as an intermediary she directs my thoughts, taking away anything discordant, and at the same time striking into me a feeling of coldness and horror at anything unchaste. It is therefore as impossible for us here to look lustfully on any of our companions' wives as it is to look upon the light of our heaven from the shades of Tartarus. So we do not either have any idea in our thinking, much less a word in our language, for the enticements of lustful love.' He could not use the word fornication, because the chastity of their heaven prevented it. My angel guide said: 'Now you can hear how the angels of this heaven speak, a language of wisdom, since it is derived from causes.' (...)

And so the Eastern Regions of our mind are called states of wisdom from conjugial love. We keep ourselves in that celestial state by actively cooperating with God in our daily life as we come into contact and temptation with adulterous and pornographic experiences. These abound in modern society where all six sensory mechanisms (see matrix 7 above) have been culturally tied to the roaming love of the sex with which we are all born, both male and female, though more strongly for men than women, according to the Writings. If this roaming or promiscuous love of the sex is not acknowledged and shunned as sin against God and heaven, our regeneration cannot proceed, and therefore our capacity to have eternal life in heaven is destroyed. This marriage love is called conjugial to distinguish it from conjugal. All marriages today begin in the externalizing of the mind and is a legal contract between a man and a woman to be tied by the rules and bonds of the marriage vow. Even if this marriage is in the Church and blessed by a priest or holy man, the marriage nevertheless is not yet spiritual or holy. It becomes spiritual and celestial and holy only with the ascent of the degrees of the mind of the couple. As they each ascend to the rational consciousness degree (see earlier matrices in Part 1), they enter an internal spiritual marriage, which then makes the natural marriage also spiritual and holy.

This is not yet generally known or acknowledged in our world today, namely that the highest form of our intellect and wisdom as human beings originates from marriage love or the love of one of the sex only. It is not known that the origins of sexual potency is Divine truth in the mind called wisdom. The origin of the male sperm or seed is genuine truth in the mind of the husband. Others who are not wise but foolish also have sexual potency, as is well known, but this is borrowed time based on borrowed truth, and vanishes soon after the individual's consciousness comes into the spirit body--after emerging from the physical body when it becomes a corpse.

To the extent that people depart from this Golden Principle to that extent there is a devolution taking place in their mind. The celestial inhabitants who are in the Eastern Region can look down to the Southern Regions and see there the inhabitations of the people from the Age of Silver whose consciousness has been opened to the spiritual degree, but not to the celestial. When these spiritual people look up to the East they see nothing but a blinding light from which they must turn away slightly so as to be able to see again. Such is the difference between the celestial and spiritual discrete degrees of our mind. Here Swedenborg also found conjugial love but in a lesser brilliance of understanding and acknowledgment. Their understanding was not based on wisdom of life and love exclusively, but partly also on self-derived intelligence. This lower form of life is reflected in their habitations which were magnificent palaces constructed of marble and alabaster. The celestial societies in the Eastern Region lived in large comfortable and beautiful tents, such as they were used to on earth at the period of infancy of the human race, its most pure sensual state called the externalizing celestial (see marches in Part 1).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 76 'We came,' they replied, 'from the peoples of Asia. Our age was devoted to the study of truths, the means by which we acquired intelligence - this was the kind of thing that appealed to our souls and minds. But the thing that appealed to our bodily senses was devising forms to represent truths. Our knowledge of correspondences made a link between our bodily sensations and the perceptions of our minds, so giving us intelligence.' (...)

Being students of correspondences, we saw that the church with its kinds of truth and good could not possibly exist except among those who live in truly conjugial love with one wife. For the marriage of good and truth makes the church in the individual. All of us, therefore, who are here now, assert that the husband is truth and the wife the truth's own good. Good cannot love any truth but its own, nor can truth return that love to any but its own good. In other circumstances the inner marriage which makes the church would be lost, and the marriage would become merely outward; and it is not the church, but idolatry, to which this corresponds. We therefore call marriage with one wife a sacrament; but if it happened in our community with more than one, we should call that a sacrilege.' (...)

As we gazed, we saw a kind of rainbow on the wall composed of three colors, purple, blue and white. We noted how the purple color passed through the blue and turned the white dark blue; and this color then flowed back through the blue into the purple, enhancing it so as to resemble a flaming ray.

[7] 'You understand that?' the husband said to me. 'Tell me,' I replied. 'The purple color,' he said, 'because of its correspondence stands for the wife's conjugial love; the white color stands for the husband's intelligence. The blue stands for the beginnings of conjugial love as perceived in the husband by the wife, and the dark blue, which tinged the white, stands for the conjugial love then present in the husband. This color, flowing back through the blue into the purple and enhancing it so as to resemble a flaming ray, means the husband's conjugial love flowing back to the wife. We see such things depicted on our walls, when we think about conjugial love, its natural, successive and simultaneous union, and fix our gaze upon the rainbows depicted there.' (...)

Swedenborg and his angelic companion then traveled to the Western Regions where they met the inhabitations of the people who had lived in the Copper Age on earth (or Age of Brass). They lived in more modest wooden buildings to reflect the natural degree of their mind to which their consciousness was raised while on earth. They too had conjugial love but the basis of this love was from obedience to the religion of their ancestors which they retained in Principles and Teachings from the Ancient Word preserved with them. They did not have an internalizing spiritual or rational understanding of conjugial love like the people who inhabited the Southern and Eastern Regions of the spiritual world. As long as they were fully obedient to their rules and precepts of life they were protected from influx from the hells into their consciousness and were capable of living as angels to eternity.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 77 'Why, I asked, 'are the houses here made of wood?' 'Because,' the angel answered, 'wood stands for natural good, which was the good of the people of the earth's third age. Copper also stands for natural good, so the early people called this the copper age. There are also sacred buildings here made of olive-wood, and in their center is a sanctuary containing in a chest the Word which was given to the inhabitants of Asia before the Israelite Word. Its historical books are called The Wars of Jehovah, its prophetic books The Utterances. Both of these are mentioned by Moses (Numb. 21:14, 15, 27-30). This Word is now lost in the kingdoms of Asia and is only preserved in Great Tartary'. (...)

[4] Then this court of law delegated an intelligent man to take us home and teach us about this subject. When he reached home, he asked his wife to join him, and then spoke as follows. 'The earliest or most ancient people, who enjoyed truly conjugial love, so that they excelled others in the strength and power of that love while in the world, and who now live in the most blessed condition in their own heaven in the east, handed on commandments about marriage for us to keep. We are their descendants, and like fathers to sons they gave us rules of life, amongst which are these about marriage. "Children, if you wish to love God and the neighbor and to be wise and happy for ever, we advise you to adopt a monogamous life. If you depart from this commandment, all heavenly love will desert you, and along with it inner wisdom, and you will be banished." We have obeyed, as sons should, this commandment of our fathers, and we have seen how true it is. To the extent that anyone loves his wife alone, to that extent he becomes a heavenly and an inward person. (...)

[6] After this he said, 'Come with me to our treasure house.' So we followed him, and he showed us the scriptures of the most ancient people; they were on boards of wood and stone, and later on books of smoothed tablets. The second age wrote its scriptures on skins; and he brought a skin on which the rules of the earliest people had been copied from stone tablets, and among them was that about marriage. (...)

But after that the downturn was so drastic that nothing whatsoever of conjugial love was left to the people who lived in the Northern Regions and whose minds on earth were opened only to the sensual degree. They were known on earth as the Iron Age Civilization. The husband Swedenborg talked to was opposed to the idea of monogamy, saying that, in his view, there cannot be any sexual potency with one wife alone since the interest would be killed by such monogamous restrictions. The husband also believed that it's dominance over women and the latter's subservience to the husband, that made polygamous marriage such a delight to men, especially the idea that the women would compete against each other and vie for the husband's attentions. He rejected the idea of equality between men and women.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 78 We entered the house of one of the leading citizens, who wore a top hat on his head. He made us welcome and said, 'Come in and let us have a chat.' We went into the entrance-hall and sat down there. I asked him about marriage in this city and region. 'We,' he said, 'do not live with one wife. Some have two or three, some more. This is because we take pleasure in variety, obedience and being treated with the respect due to royalty. When we have several wives, we get this from them. With only one we should not have the pleasure of variety, but be bored with sameness; we should not be flattered by their obedience, but annoyed by their equal status. Nor should we have the satisfaction of controlling them and so being respected, but we should be bothered with quarrels about who was superior. And what about the woman? Surely she is by birth subject to her husband's will, intended to be a servant, not a ruler. Every husband here is treated in his house like a king. Since this is what we love, it is what makes our lives blessed.' (...)

[6] Then I said, ' How can you keep living on this land, lacking as you do any truly conjugial love and adoring idols?' 'As for marital love,' he replied, 'we are so jealous of our wives that we do not allow anyone to come further into our homes than the entrance-hall. Where there is jealousy, there is also love. As for the idols, we do not adore them; but we cannot think about the God of the universe except by having some object before our eyes. For we cannot lift our thoughts above the sense-impressions of the body, or in thinking about God rise above His visual aspect.' (...)

7] When I said this, there was something like a flash of lightning seen through the doorway. 'What is that?' I asked. 'Such a flash of lightning,' he said, 'is for us a sign announcing the arrival of the Ancient Man of the East, who teaches us about God, as being one, alone and omnipotent, who is the First and the Last. He also warns us not to worship idols, but only to look on them as images representing the powers which proceed from the one God; these taken together make up His worship. This ancient man is our angel, whom we revere and listen to. He comes to us and sets us straight, when we slip into a dim way of worshipping God by indulging in fancies about images.' (...)

From this sorry state of mind or spiritual region, Swedenborg and his angelic companion went downward to the Lower Regions where they encountered threatening and noxious environments instantiated to their eyes as dark forests and large deserts containing noxious animals and smells and degraded pools of water that appear as "lakes of fire and brimstone." The inhabitants of this region had only the corporeal degree of the mind opened while living on earth. They are described by Daniel as a kingdom of iron mixed with clay which does not cohere together and falls apart (Daniel 2:41-43). This represents the falsification of Sacred Scripture which occurs in the mind when we use the literal of Sacred Scripture to justify our own philosophy instead of using Doctrine to enlighten our understanding, which can only be done when we rely solely on what true Doctrine teaches as it enlightens our mind while we read the literal of Sacred Scripture. The people of this age remained in the lowest degree of the human mind because they refused to allow religion to rule their mind. Instead of this heavenly guidance they opted for infernal domination, insisting that marriages are not from God, that they are merely human agreements set up for the convenience of society and they can be ignored by the clever whenever convenient and when they can get away with it. The man Swedenborg talked to laughed at the idea that sexual potency was based on truth in the mind, pointing out that wise men as well foolish have sexual potency. Neither would he acknowledge that marriages are holy, and considered all women as harlots. He said the men of his society boast of their scortatory conquests with the wives of others.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 79 (...) [3] 'All these beasts,' the angel told me, 'which you have seen are not beasts at all, but correspondences and so forms which represent the lusts of the inhabitants we are to visit. The lusts themselves are represented by those horrid hounds, their tricks and cunning by the crocodiles, their falsities and erroneous attitude to religious matters by the dragons and leopards. But the inhabitants, of whom they are a picture, live not near the end of the forest, but across a great intervening desert, so that they can be kept apart and separated from the peoples of earlier ages. They are too of quite an alien and different nature from them. Admittedly they have their heads above their chests, their chests above their hips, their hips above their feet, like the primeval people. But their heads contain not a scrap of gold, their chests not a scrap of silver, and their hips not a scrap of bronze; nor indeed is there a scrap of unmixed iron in their feet. But their heads contain iron mixed with clay, their chests iron and clay mixed with bronze, their hips the same too mixed with silver, their feet these mixed with gold. This inversion has turned them from human beings into sculptures of human beings, lacking all internal cohesion. For what was highest has become lowest, the head has become the heel and vice versa. As we look from heaven they seem like clowns who stand upside down and walk on their hands; or like animals that lie flat on their backs, lifting their feet in the air, and burying their heads in the ground, to look up to the sky. (...)

'We will give you a straight answer to your vain and vacuous prognostications. What connection is there between conjugial love and religion or Divine inspiration? Surely everyone has this love in proportion to his sexual potency? Don't those outside the church feel it just as much as those inside? The heathen just as much as Christians? In fact, the irreligious as much as the religious? Doesn't the strength of that love depend on heredity, state of health, self-discipline or climate? It can also be strengthened and aroused by drugs. Isn't it shared with animals, especially with birds, which form loving pairs? Surely it is a fleshly love. What has the flesh to do with the spiritual state of the church? When it comes to the effects at the lowest level, there is surely not the slightest difference between a wife and a trollop. The lust is the same and the delight felt is the same. It is therefore disrespectful to derive the origin of conjugial love from the holy things of the church.' (...)

Thus Swedenborg's study of the circle of conjugial love was complete. He witnessed the celestial beginnings of marriage as sacred conjugial love between one husband and one wife. This represents the Eastern Region in spiritual geography because the spiritual Sun is in the East there. In that internalizing celestial state of our consciousness our gaze and focus is always on the Lord in every activity, and thus the angels who live there always see the Sun no matter which way they turn or walk. This is because the outside environment is a correspondential reflection of their internalizing focus. Then the devolution begins as this state is consummated during successive regeneration phases. From the East in our mind's consciousness we turn to the South, thus lessening our focus on the Lord, but still keeping Him in the corner of the eye. When this spiritual rational state is consummated we turn our focus to the West which no longer has the Lord in our eye but teachings from our culture. This externalizing view of the Lord is natural and yet it still is compatible with conjugial love as long as obedience to the traditional teachings of religion are faithfully and sincerely maintained. But when this period is consummated there is no more conjugial love left. Religion and holy monogamous marriages cannot survive in the sensual degree of our mind if cut off from the upper degrees. At last all religion is lost and all idea of marriage as holy, when we sink our consciousness exclusively into the corporeal degree. The only thing left here is animal roaming love of the sex based on the love of dominating women. But this only lasts for awhile, after which the roaming love of the sex is also consummated. Then it is turned into loathing for it and absolute and permanent impotence and sexlessness.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 80 [3] After this I felt very sad in spirit that marriages, which had been most holy in ancient times, were so corrupted and changed into adulteries. 'It is the same,' said the angel, 'with religion today. For the Lord says that at the ending of the age the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel will take place; and there will be great affliction such as there has never been since the beginning of the world (Matt. 24:15, 21). The abomination of desolation means the falsification and removal of all truth; affliction means the state of the church when it is attacked by evils and falsities. The ending of the age, about which these things are said, means the final period or end of the church. The end is now, since there is no truth left which has not been falsified; and the falsification of truth is spiritual licentiousness, which goes so closely with natural licentiousness that they make one.'

 

                                    9.1.21   Summary Statements of the Style of Writing of Sacred Scripture

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

WH 12. The Word is written by correspondences, and thus by representatives. The Word as to the sense of the letter is written by mere correspondences, that is, by such things as represent and signify the spiritual things of heaven and the church (n. 1404, 1408, 1409, 1540, 1619, 1659, 1709, 1783, 2179, 2763, 2899). This was done for the sake of the internal sense, which is there in every part (n. 2899). Consequently for the sake of heaven, since those who are in heaven do not understand the Word according to the sense of its letter, which is natural, but according to the internal sense, which is spiritual (n. 2899). The Lord spoke by correspondences, representatives, and significatives, because He spoke from the Divine (n. 9049, 9063, 9086, 10126, 10728). The Lord thus spoke before the world, and at the same time before heaven (n. 2533, 4807, 9049, 9063, 9086). The things spoken by the Lord went through the whole heaven (n. 4637). The historicals of the Word are representatives, and the words significative (n. 1540, 1659, 1709, 1783, 2687). The Word could not be written in any other style, so that through it there might be communication and conjunction with the heavens (n. 2899, 6943, 9481).

They greatly err, who despise the Word on account of the apparent simplicity and rudeness of its style, and who think that they would receive the Word if it had been written in a different style (n. 8783). The method and style of writing which prevailed amongst the most ancient people, was by correspondences and representatives (n. 605, 1756, 9942). The ancient wise men were delighted with the Word, because of the representatives and significatives therein, from experience (n. 2592, 2593). If a man of the Most Ancient Church had read the Word, he would have seen clearly the things contained in the internal sense, and obscurely the things contained in the externalizing sense (n. 449). The sons of Jacob were brought into the land of Canaan, because all the places in that land, from the most ancient times, were made representative (n. 1585, 3686, 4441, 5136, 6516). And thus the Word might be there written, wherein those places should be mentioned for the sake of the internal sense (n. 3686, 4447, 5136, 6416). But nevertheless the Word, as to the externalizing sense was changed for the sake of that nation, but not as to the internal sense (n. 10453, 10461, 10603, 10604) Many passages adduced from the Word concerning that nation, which must be understood according to the internal sense, and not according to the letter (n. 7051).

Inasmuch as that nation represented the church, and the Word was written with them and concerning them, therefore Divine celestial things were signified by their names, as by Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Ephraim, Joseph, and the rest: and by "Judah" in the internal sense is signified the Lord as to celestial love, and His celestial kingdom (n. 3654, 3881, 3882, 5583, 5782, 6362-6381). That it may be known what correspondences are and their nature, and what is the nature of representatives in the Word, something shall be here said concerning them. All things which correspond likewise represent, and thereby signify, so that correspondences and representations are one (n. 2890, 2897, 2971, 2987, 2989, 2990, 3002, 3225). The nature of correspondences and representations shown from experience and examples (n. 2703, 2987, 3002, 3213-3226, 3337-3352, 3472-3485, 4218-4228, 9280).

The science of correspondences and representations was the chief science with the ancients (n. 3021, 3419, 4280, 4749, 4844, 4964, 4965, 6004, 7729, 10252). Especially with the Orientals (n. 5702, 6692, 7097, 7779, 9391, 10252, 10407). And in Egypt more than in other countries (n. 5702, 6692, 7097, 7779, 9391, 10407). Also with the Gentiles, as in Greece, and in other places (n. 2762, 7729). But that at this day it is among the sciences that are lost, particularly in Europe (n. 2894, 2895, 2994, 3630, 3632, 3747-3749, 4581, 4966, 10252).

Nevertheless this science is more excellent than all other sciences, inasmuch as without it the Word cannot be understood, nor the signification of the rites of the Jewish Church which are recorded in the Word, nor can it be known what the nature of heaven is, nor what the spiritual is, nor in what manner a spiritual influx takes place into what is natural, nor how the case is with respect to the influx of the soul into the body, with many other matters (n. 4180), and in the places above cited. All things which appear before spirits and angels, are representative according to correspondences (n. 1971, 3213-3226, 3457, 3475, 3485, 9481, 9574, 9576, 9577). The heavens are full of representatives (n. 1521, 1532, 1619).

Representatives are more beautiful, and more perfect, in proportion as they are more internalizing in the heavens (n. 3475). Representatives there are real appearances, because they are from the light of heaven which is Divine truth, and which is the very essential of the existence of all things (n. 3485). The reason why each and all things in the spiritual world are represented in the natural world, is, because what is internal assumes to itself a suitable clothing in what is externalizing, whereby it makes itself visible and apparent (n. 6275, 6284, 6299). Thus the end assumes a suitable clothing that it may exist as the cause in a lower sphere, and afterwards that it may exist as the effect in a sphere still lower; and when the end, by means of the cause, becomes the effect, it then becomes visible, or appears before the eyes (n. 5711).

This may be illustrated by the influx of the soul into the body, whereby the soul assumes a clothing of such things in the body as enable it to express all its thoughts and affections in a visible form; wherefore thought, when it flows down into the body, is there represented by such gestures and actions as correspond to it (n. 2988). The affections of the mind are manifestly represented in the face, by the variations of the countenance, so as to be there seen (n. 4791-4805, 5695). Hence it is evident, that in each and all things in nature there lies hidden a cause and an end from the spiritual world (n. 3562, 5711). Since those things which are in nature are the ultimate effects, within which are the prior things (n. 4240, 4939, 5051, 6275, 6284, 6299, 9216). That internal things are the objects represented, and externalizing things the objects representing (n. 4292). What is further meant by correspondences and representations may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, where it treats of the correspondence between all things of Heaven, and all things of Man (n. 87-102).

Of the Correspondence of Heaven with all things on Earth (n. 103-115). And of Representatives and Appearances in Heaven (n. 170-176). Since all things in nature are representative of spiritual and celestial things, therefore in the churches which existed in ancient times, all the externalizings, which were rituals, were representative, and therefore those churches were called representative churches (n. 519, 521, 2896). The church instituted with the sons of Israel was a representative church (n. 1003, 2179, 10149). All the rituals therein were externalizings, which represented internals, which are of heaven and the church (n. 4288, 4874). The representatives of the church and of worship ceased when the Lord came into the world and manifested Himself, because the Lord opened the internals of the church, and because all things of that church in the highest sense regarded Him (n. 4832).

(Note: The numbers above refer to the work titled Arcana Coelestia)

 

                            9.1.22   Spiritual Stumbling Blocks in Theistic Psychology

theistic psychology is the methodological extraction of knowledge from the literal of Sacred Scriptures. The literal of the Divine Word contains infinite knowledge and has been given to humankind as a Divine gift to aid us in our regeneration. In his systematic and long term exploration of the spiritual world, Swedenborg has seen many of the versions of Sacred Scripture given over the ages on this earth. The text of Sacred Scripture is special, spiritual, and Divine. No other human writings can contain inner senses arranged in infinite series. The writer of the text of Sacred Scripture is essentially taking dictation from God, but this is done in the writer's celestial degree of consciousness to which there is no access from our awareness. To our awareness the Divine dictation feels like an an inspiration from within that leads to thoughts from without. Thoughts are usually accompanied by visions and the text of Sacred Scripture is produced externalizingly when the individual attempts to make sense and put into words these spiritual thoughts and visions. Out come the writings of the prophets and the revelators who have been specially prepared for this task by Divine Providence. Swedenborg says he was given to perceive that he had been prepared since childhood for the job of being the revelator of the Second Advent by living, writing, and publishing the Word for the New Church which he called "the Heavenly Doctrines" and "Heavenly Secrets." This is what we call today "the Writings of Swedenborg" or the Third Testament (also: Final Testament, Latin Testament).

theistic psychology is science as we can focus on the future of our society. The majority of my colleagues in science today at the beginning of the 21st Century, would not consider these articles as worthy of being called a scientific subject. While the articles on theistic psychology are asserting that in the future all science will be theistic. Such is the great gap, the inversion, that separates scientists today from spiritual realities. I have lived through this drastic perspective and until my early forties my intellect was part of it. I was raised in a sensual intellectual climate both from religion (Orthodox Jewish) and education as scientist (McGill University, 1962, Ph.D., Psychology). In terms of this climate I identified with the "left" or "soft science" because my interest in the "mental" was greater than my interest in the physical or physiological. My career orientation being ardent I felt a threat to my academic ambitions and held myself back from plunging officially into spiritual topics like God, Divine Providence, prayer, worship, spirit, Church, Bible, revelation, life after death, sin, rebirth, and so on. None of the readings I found in the literature gave me a way of discussing spiritual concepts within the scientific mode. I was confused and weak and hopeless. Alienated from both scientific and theological sides. English was my twelfth language but among all these languages (Yiddish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Rumanian, German, Flemish, French, Latin, Greek, Spanish, Esperanto), I had no language available to discuss spiritual things. Until 1981, when at age 43, while searching in our university library, in company with my wife Diane, for Bible commentaries, our eyes fell on a shelf of books written by one author named Emanuel Swedenborg. We each took a volume home and that evening marked the beginning of learning my thirteenth language--the language of the Writings, or the Third Testament of the Second Advent. This for the first time offers scientists a new modern and scientific revelation. I was reborn as a scientist. (See this article about my conversion.)

The articles I've written and collected together under the title Swedenborg Glossary and published on the Web since 1996, practice a new scientific   methodology that I have named theistic psychology. It is the use of shared systematic methods of analysis applied to the literal of the Writings of Swedenborg for the purpose of extracting from it facts, information, or data about the spiritual and natural world, that is, about reality. An infinite amount of data can be extracted from Sacred Scripture, about both spiritual and natural phenomena. But the extraction process is possible only through orderly methods provided for by the Divine Author of Sacred Scripture. This orderly process is described in Sacred Scripture and to the extent that it is followed methodically, to that degree the extraction process will be successful, yielding genuine Divine and true knowledge, not falsified ideas and delusions from self-intelligence. The scientific method is an insurance against individual delusions and falsification. However, even scientists who seem to follow objective methods of inquiry, can gradually drift away from truth and reality. Such has been science in the 19th and 20th centuries. Science has turned completely non-theistic and no means was left to discuss true reality. And so science today is lost in the theater of appearances, thus, illusions. theistic psychology is now being born for the future of humankind. Its method has become possible due to the Second Advent.

The growth of theistic psychology depends on the methodological extraction of knowledge from the Writings of Swedenborg. The content and level of the truths that are extracted depend on the degree or level of consciousness that is being applied to the extraction process. Truths are the food by which consciousness grows. The more internalizing the truths one comprehends, the higher the level of consciousness being activated or accessed by our conscious awareness. There are innumerable and unending truths within each of the six discrete degrees described in Part 1. For this reason there are innumerable resistances or stumbling blocks within each level of our consciousness. These spiritual stumbling blocks create a fog and dims rational comprehension even to total blindness. They create heresies and distortions in the literal text of Sacred Scripture. The purpose of these resistances is to defeat our attempt to transfer to the next highest degree of consciousness. These resistances bring about the consummation of a growth level, and thereafter, its adulteration and degradation even to delusion and denial of truth. Hence it is important to map and detail these spiritual stumbling blocks to consciousness raising.

Spiritual Stumbling Blocks to Consciousness Raising (Matrix 14)
DEGREE Stumbling Blocks

Sensual
externalizing Celestial

The Doctrine of the Church is not necessary to understand the Writings.
The literal of the Writings is itself not Divine.
There is a Trinity of Three Divine Persons in one Godhead.
Sensual
externalizing Spiritual
Understanding the spiritual meaning of the Writings is based on our rational intelligence, not special illustration.
Other people can also be psychic like Swedenborg was.
There are other modern teachers from God besides Swedenborg.
The writings of other people can also be useful in opening the internalizing degrees of our mind.
Swedenborg is a brilliant theologian among theologians, but his Writings are not Divine.
Sensual
externalizing Natural
Marriage is not a holy institution.
A piece of the Divine is in me.

I'm born human but through appropriate experiences I can become Divine.
The literal of the Writings, being accommodated to our perception and times, may have errors or inaccuracies that we should overlook.
Only the Theological Writings of Swedenborg are the Divine Word, but not his Scientific Writings written prior to his illumination.
I           N           V           E           R           S          I           O           N
Rational
internalizing Natural
Woman is born the love of her husband's wisdom and therefore his views are primary over hers in matters of Church and Doctrine.
Rational
internalizing Spiritual
Hell cannot be forever.
Rational
internalizing Celestial
Everybody is born good within.
The Writings are Sacred Scripture but not fully in the same sense as the Old and New Testaments.
The literal of the Writings is not necessarily historical.

NOTE:

Version 2 of the above matrix is supplied by Swedenborgian physicist Dr. Ian Thompson who has been moved to work out a different ordering from the one I have above. After comparing the two orderings, his makes better sense to me. Perhaps I can describe the differences following the general discussion on stumbling blocks (to be done later). See Ian's fine article Discrete Degrees: A Top Down Presentation on which I will be commenting in Part 3.

Spiritual Stumbling Blocks to Consciousness Raising (Matrix 14b) (Supplied by Ian Thompson)
DEGREE Stumbling Blocks

Sensual externalizing Celestial

There is a Trinity of Three Divine Persons in one Godhead.  
The Doctrine of the Church is not necessary to understand the Writings.  
Sensual 
externalizing Spiritual
There are other modern teachers from God besides Swedenborg. 
The writings of other people can also be useful in opening the internalizing degrees of our mind. 
Swedenborg is a brilliant theologian among theologians, but his Writings are not Divine. 
Other people can also be psychic like Swedenborg was. 
Sensual 
externalizing Natural
Marriage is not a holy institution. 
The literal of the Writings, being accommodated to our perception and times, may have errors or inaccuracies that we should overlook. 
I           N           V           E           R           S          I           O           N
Rational 
internalizing Natural
Woman is born the love of her husband's wisdom and therefore his views are primary over hers in matters of Church and Doctrine. 
A piece of the Divine is in me. 
I'm born human but through appropriate experiences I can become Divine. 
The literal of the Writings is itself not Divine. 
Rational 
internalizing Spiritual
Understanding the spiritual meaning of the Writings is based on our rational intelligence, not special illustration. 
The literal of the Writings is not necessarily historical. 
The Writings are Sacred Scripture but not fully in the same sense as the Old and New Testaments. 
Rational 
internalizing Celestial
Everybody is born good within. 
Hell cannot be forever.

Uncertain hypothesis:
 
Only the Theological Writings of Swedenborg are the Divine Word, but not his Scientific Writings written prior to his illumination.

"Basically, celestial errors are based on simple goodwill and appearances, spiritual errors are based on misunderstandings, and natural errors are based on wanting to keep evil actions in the face of correction by the church. And then externalizing errors concern introductions, reading and actions, while internalizing errors concerning thinking, loving, and love of others. Many of the 'rational internalizing natural' errors arise from misunderstandings and enthusiasms that arise when the internalizing life is first discovered." Ian Thompson 4/3/2001

The chart above (matrix 14) gives some of the stumbling blocks to spiritual truths that I have observed from various sources. These are beliefs and ideas that we acquire along the way of our seeking and they become a stumbling block as our consciousness grows. They interfere with the extraction process when we begin to read the Writings of Swedenborg. The ability to comprehend a truth from the Writings is dependent on the degree of genuineness of our reception. Opaqueness of reception due to these and other beliefs, distort or adulterate the meaning. Only through actual life, by struggling with our temptations on a daily basis, can our reception be genuine and pure, thus Divine. The good of our life determines the degree of internalizingness of the truth that we can receive unadulterated. Illustration from the Divine is given when we perceive in our own spiritual struggles what the referent or meaning is. As we struggle through our temptations we are given perception of how we illustrate what's being said. Comprehension from illustration is the witnessing of the referent in our own lives and struggles. We cannot receive or extract a genuine truth from the literal of Sacred Scripture until the referent of that truth--its actual meaning--can be applied to self. Before that, the truth can only be seen opaquely, from a distance, as an abstract proposition. Even if we can explain that truth, we do not understand it or perceive it, until we see it illustrated in ourselves.

The classification of spiritual stumbling-blocks in matrix 14 above relates to my perception of the causes of each stumbling-block. Some of the causes are sensual appearances in the descending pathway; some are rational fallacies in the ascending pathway. It's important to remember that the series discussed in all the matrices refers itself to the sequence of steps we must undergo within each degree recursively. So the category "infancy" or "childhood" do not mean that these stumbling-blocks occur when we are children or infants but that they occur in the descending pathway within any degree we go through. Still, this classification needs to be further confirmed and justified by more study and research. Until then it can be considered as a hypothesis in theistic psychology--to be confirmed or modified as more insight is given to us.

Quoting from the De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle 5:36 by Theodore Pitcairn

"When man first reads the Word, particularly the Latin Word, it appears to him as truth. It is only afterwards that a man can come to see that internally the Word is the good which is inwardly in man from the Lord, and that the truths of the Word which are apparently from without by means of the senses, are only genuine truths with the man in so far as they are a form of this good."

Each of the false propositions will now be discussed.

The Doctrine of the Church is not necessary to understand the Writings. (false)

This a stumbling block in the sensual consciousness of our externalizing celestial degree, which is also called the period of infancy (see earlier matrices in Part 1). It is the major new idea argued in De Hemelsche Leer against the spokespersons for the mother Church, as discussed in Part 1. When at first we perceive that the literal of the Writings is a Divine revelation, we assume that it is a revelation given to our rational mind, as indeed is the appearance from the literal statements in the Writings. And from this assumption we read the literal with comprehension and great delight at these wonderful new facts and knowledges about the spiritual world, the afterlife, the history of the Churches, and the process of regeneration. The more we apply ourselves to study of the literal, the more we feel that we know it, and even feel justified in thinking of ourselves as experts in the Writings of Swedenborg. But all this must be consummated or else it becomes a stumbling block to our further spiritual progress.

We are brought to our senses when we first read De Hemelsche Leer which I call the Epistles for the New Church. Here we are reminded over and over again about those passages in the Writings that explicitly in the literal say that the Word without Doctrine is like a lamp without oil, or like a flashlight without a battery. Now we start paying attention to these passages that before we sort of ignored or tucked away or applied it to something else. We used some strategy, or subterfuge, to remain opaque to the reception of the plain truth as stated in the plain literal. This is why Sacred Scripture warns that its verses or sentences can be turned to support any heresy or foolishness. And it instructs us that we must extract doctrine for ourselves, each one according to their own mind and consciousness. Doctrine is individual, particular, singular, because it is internalizing understanding of truth to the degrees of the mind opened: internalizing natural, internalizing spiritual, and internalizing celestial.  Paul said about the Old Testament that the literal kills but the spirit saves. The Writings assert in many places that Sacred Scripture without Doctrine cannot be understood.

As we go further into this new consciousness about the Doctrine of the Church we begin to realize that there are two kinds of Doctrine we form for ourselves. One is externalizing and not genuine, the other is internalizing and genuine. The externalizing doctrine we form for ourselves as we become experts in Sacred Scripture is based on sensual consciousness and self-intelligence based on natural experience and externalizing rationality. But the other form of Doctrine we gather for ourselves is called genuine in the Writings when it has nothing to do with self-intelligence or natural experience. It is based solely and purely on rational consciousness. All the information comes from the spiritual world, and none of it comes from the natural world. This kind of Doctrine cannot be acquired by the usual methods of study we learned when becoming experts in the Writings. The genuine Doctrine of the Church is spiritual from a celestial origin, and this can only be acquired when we follow the precise rules of extraction described in the Writings for the extraction of genuine Doctrine from the literal of itself. Some of the details of this growth process were discussed in Part 1 and above in this article.

The literal of the Writings is itself not Divine. (false)

As we read the Writings with delight in the new revelations unfolding before our eyes, we come across a few curious passages that we find charming but antiquated and not modern. Obviously, we reason to ourselves and to our friends, the literal of the Writings would have been different if they had been written today rather than in the 17th and 18th centuries. And obviously, we continue, it would have been written in a different style had the chosen revelator been an American or a Chinese. The man's culture comes through, necessarily, we argue. And yes, there may be a few errors here and there, like a missing paragraph number, or a wrong reference, or some scientific oddity, but all this does not detract from the intended meaning of the Writings as a rational revelation about spiritual truths and God's management laws, and especially, the inner spiritual meaning of the Bible now revealed in the Writings, which gives us the basis for the New Church and the future of humankind. We say and think these things in sincerity so that we may hold on to our sensual conviction that the Writings are the Second Advent, the new Divine revelation given as the basis for the New Church, long promised. So while the literal itself cannot be considered Divine in itself, and contains human flaws, the spiritual message is Divine, and therefore the Writings are Sacred Scripture even though the literal itself is not Divine but contains flaws due to the human writer.

Unless this view is consummated, it arrests all spiritual progress.

This is because the Writings declare that the literal of Sacred Scripture is God Himself. All three Testaments make the declaration that the literal of Sacred Scripture is Divine and perfect and infinite. The literal cannot have any flaws or errors or cultural influences or scientific inaccuracies. For if the literal did have these impure things Sacred Scripture would not be perfect in its literal. But it is declared that Sacred Scripture is perfect in its literal. When we begin to think these things and confront ourselves with them, we are challenged to change our prior assumptions and explanations of those passages that we classified as mistakes or outdated science or Swedenborg's culture and times. Under this new rational pressure we are able to make progress, each in our own way. In my case I struggled with the descriptions in Earths in the Universe about the people of the moon, the people of Mars, of Venus, of Jupiter, and so on. One suggestion I read in the New Church literature is that Swedenborg was mislead by the spirits he talked to in the spiritual world so that he thought they were from the moon, etc., but in actuality they must have been from other inhabited planets. I could not agree with this because I thought surely the angles or the Lord would have told him this and would not have allowed to write these things under delusions. Swedenborg does mention here and there that he was forbidden to write about this or that, or that he was commanded to write about this or that. So the Divine supervision of his prose was direct and continuous.

Another explanation I read was that Earths in the Universe and many if not all of the Memorable Relations are allegories not unlike those told by the Lord in the New Testament or in other Sacred Scriptures. This I could not go along with either. Swedenborg swears to us and declares in all sincerity that all things in his stories about the spiritual world were actual true things that happened to him. I cannot conceive that he would mislead the reader in this way, thus breaking faith with his sincerity.

What allowed me to consummate these issues and make spiritual progress in my rational consciousness was to come up with a theistic psychology principle about knowledge-extraction from Sacred Scripture:

When the literal of the Writings appears to disagree with some knowledge from non-theistic psychology, modify that part of science so that it can agree with the literal of the Writings.

For instance, people on the moon could not exist if they were made like us. Therefore if there are such people, they are not made like us. Or if they are similar to us, then we don't know things about the moon that will allow such life, etc. Either way, science opinion on this should be modified. Or, another example: Swedenborg says that the earth is the female for all the plants which are the male (both male and female parts). Rather than think this is a curious lapse or error--Swedenborg was fully aware of plant physiology and anatomy, we need to modify biology to allow for this view. Perhaps this view is more abstract and general then the more specific view and experience of male and female plant fertilization--with which Swedenborg was well familiar. As to a missing article or number, or a misapplied reference: We need to construct explanations for them other than that they are imperfections of an old Swede writing with a plume by the light of a candle. By doing this we consummate the issues and make ourselves ready to be transferred to the next higher level of rational consciousness.

There is a Trinity of Three Divine Persons in one Godhead. (false)

When I first read the New Testament at age 40 the ideas I formed from it were purely sensual and not at all rational. I saw the Messiah as a human chosen by God to be the mediator and given special powers because of it, such as a virgin birth, or performing miracles and possessing arcane knowledge. I did not take many of its parts literally but figuratively, while others I took literally. For instance when Jesus declares that He and the Father are One, I took this to mean that the two of them are close, very close. When Jesus on the cross said to the thief hanging beside him, Today you will be in Paradise with Me, I did took today to be figurative. When Jesus said Eat my Body and Drink my Blood, I took it figuratively, though I did not quite know how to take it. When Jesus said at one time that Believing in Him is what saves, I took it literally. But when he said that we need to do good works and perform His commandments in order to be saved, I took it figuratively, or as a matter of degree allowing for imperfections and weaknesses and excuses.

When I was baptized as a Christian a little time later and attended Church services, I recited the Nicene Creed and sang the lyrics that gave worship to "Three Divine Persons in the Trinity." In the sensual recesses of my mind I saw God the Father (sometimes with a beard) and older than God the Son who was sitting besides Him. And the Holy Spirit I could not quite picture as a person but some power or force like electricity or something more abstract like telepathic energy. But when I first starting reading the Writings of Swedenborg shortly thereafter, the trinity of divine persons was no longer a possible construction for me. Now for the first time I began to understand the Old and New Testament references in a rational way rather than sensual. When I tried to discuss these new perceptions and meanings with those in the Church I had joined (Episcopal), there was no communication possible. The Writings fully discuss this rational fallacy of three Divine Persons and fully resolve the literal of Scripture that appear to give this impression. This fallacy, if confirmed in one's reasoning, arrests all further spiritual growth. If not confirmed, Swedenborg observed that people can be instructed in the afterlife about the truth. But if confirmed, the instruction is not accepted.

Understanding the spiritual meaning of the Writings is based on our rational intelligence, not special illustration. (false)

Our mind wants to oppose the idea that individuals are independent in their Doctrine of the Church. Our mind wants to hold on to the idea that the Doctrine of the Church is a Divine entity that has a Divine existence outside of us and that by dint of study and intelligent application we can acquire more and more of the pieces of this Divine entity. Thus when we write about or teach the Doctrine of the Church we are transmitting not our own understanding itself, but an understanding of the Divine knowledge. And yet the Writings say explicitly that the Doctrine of the Church must be inside of us if it's genuine. The Doctrine of the Church is our Divine perception or understanding of the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. It is our reception and understanding. At first we don't want to think that our perception and understanding can be Divine. But when we study the Epistles for the New Church (De Hemelsche Leer) we begin to see that unless our perception and understanding is Divine it is not genuine Doctrine. Then we consummate these obstructions and begin to perceive in a rational way that what we discover as-of-self by way of Doctrine from the Writings is a Divine illustration or enlightenment. Now we work our reasoning backwards from this new perspective and begin to ask what kind of Church organization do we need when the Doctrine of the Church is from any individual who is illustrated from God. In some measure, the Dutch Group who contributed De Hemelsche Leer struggled with this but did not come to a proper resolution of it.

I see it as a major stumbling block in the sense that it opposes the orderly process of extraction. As long as one holds on to this opposition, one cannot proceed. Illustration is the actual process and so if you deny this, the actual process is hindered. I call this an externalizing spiritual stumbling block because the false idea is grounded in sensual consciousness, not rational. The idea of individual illustration in accordance with one's degree of regeneration or consciousness is a rational idea and the rejection of this rational idea is based on a false sensual idea. Hence I call it an externalizing spiritual stumbling block. The idea that we can use our rational intelligence to understand more and more internalizing truths from the literal is contrary to what is taught in the Writings where it is stated that no matter how much we study the literal of Sacred Scripture, we cannot obtain rational truths from it as-of-self with our own intelligence and powers of study and research. This incapacity is referred to as an extraction process based on the "direct cognizance of the literal." Instead, internalizing rational truths can only be obtained as-of-self by being illustrated from the Divine. This illustration is individual and unique and personal and is proportional to the degree of regeneration or consciousness. Hence new insights and perceptions of apparently the same truth or passage in the literal constantly occurs as we advance in our temptations.

Other people can also be psychic like Swedenborg was. (false)

This view is usually held by people who read about Swedenborg but have not read the Writings. But it is also held by those who read the Writings in order to confirm the beliefs they already head beforehand. Those who believe and confirm the existence of psychic powers from sensual experiences and demonstrations can fall into this fallacy of believing that Swedenborg was a psychic in whom the powers were especially well developed. This view leads to the misunderstanding and falsification of all of the Writings. Not a single genuine truth can be seen in such a state of sensual consciousness. The Writings fully explain why psychic powers are not given to people as this would be injurious to their spiritual progress. Psychic perception is a celestial sensual consciousness given only in infancy when we are still in a state of total ignorance, and then it cannot hurt us. Babies are in celestial company and may enjoy psychic powers (see matrix 7 above). This state corresponds to the sense of touch which represents conjugial love. The idea that Swedenborg's Writings were written from himself and in accordance with his special abilities destroys the true idea that he was a revelator appointed by God to write the Divine Word. He also states that he had to be prepared by God since his earliest childhood for this job and that this is the greatest miracle ever achieved given the scope of his experiences as a dual citizen fully conscious in both worlds for 27 years.

There are other modern teachers from God besides Swedenborg. (false)

This idea insinuates itself under the guise of reasonableness. It's a compromise demanded by people who are outraged at the idea that no one counts in history except Swedenborg. What about the other religions? What about the ascended masters of the East? What about the cumulative learning of culture and tradition and erudition? What about Ouspensky or Ericsson or Baba Ram Das and Bubba Free John? What about the prophets of the latter day saints? What about Baaha'i, Yogis, Gurus, Ching Hai, and many such examples that are given. But Swedenborg's Writings are not based on any spiritual, religious or humanist tradition. They stand on their own as a new modern revelation, unique, unparalleled, self-sufficient. This exclusive view is not based on mere loyalty or closed mindedness but on rationality and history. The Writings are sufficient in themselves, perfect, a Divine work given for the regeneration of the modern person. This conclusion is available to anyone who reads the Writings without prejudice. The Writings are Christian in the sense that it identifies God as Jesus Christ and upholds the Old Testament and New Testament as the Word of God. But they are actually a New Church and a New Word given as the Second Advent because the current Christian Church has reached its consummation.

The writings of other people can also be useful in opening the internalizing degrees of our mind. (false)
Swedenborg is a brilliant theologian among theologians, but his Writings are not Divine. (false)

The process of opening the internalizing degrees of the mind is a Divine work and can only be accomplished through Sacred Scripture. No other writings are necessary and none can effect this other than Sacred Scripture. People often write to me about other authors who have "said similar things" as what they come across in Swedenborg. But this is only according to appearance. No other author has said what Swedenborg has said since only the Writings are properly called the Word of God in a modern revelation, given to humankind to effect regeneration and salvation. Anyone can see this who reads the Writings without prejudice and for the sake of being enlightened spiritually. This stumbling block neutralizes the power of the Writings to effect regeneration. It is true that Swedenborg's theology is far superior and consistent and complete than any other theologian's books and systems. Nevertheless the system in the Writings is not Swedenborg's but the Divine's. This is explicitly stated in the Writings and anyone can see its validity whose eyes are opened by God to see it. And God opens the eyes of all who come to Sacred Scripture for Divine instruction.

In another article I make a distinction between secular and religious Swedenborgianism. A secular perspective on Swedenborg wants to compare him to others who have written sagaciously about religion and spirituality, but a religious perspective sees the Writings as Sacred Scripture, a Divine writing, unique and not comparable by any degree to any other author. The power of the Writings of Swedenborg comes from their being Sacred Scripture, not from their vast erudition and genius. That they are Sacred Scripture means that they are written in a special spiritual style so that the literal contains infinite series of spiritual meanings within it. These internalizing truths function to open the human mind more and more, to eternity. This is why the Writings are also in the heavens as a means for the inhabitants there to continue their regeneration. Swedenborg has seen the Writings in heavenly Temples where they shine so brightly as to surpass the light of the sun at noonday.

Marriage is not a holy institution, and if it is, it's not heavenly.(false)

No one can maintain this who has read the Writings and whose eyes were opened by God. Marriage love called in the Writings Conjugial Love, is the love of loves, or the source of all other loves. Conjugial love is from the marriage of Divine Good and Divine Truth in God. This is a new revelation of the Second Advent. Many believe that marriages are holy because they are consecrated in the Church and a priest pronounces the couple to be married in the eyes of heaven and God. But this is only an externalizing justification and can lead to misconceptions. For instance, few religious people know that they will be a married state in heaven. The Writings reveal that the inhabitants of heaven are all in a married state. Reference in the New Testament about "not being given in marriage" relates to spiritual nuptials which must take place on earth, not in heaven. Spiritual nuptials in Sacred Scripture always refers to the marriage of good and truth in our understanding and is essential for becoming spiritual and being regenerated, which must be done while still in the physical body.

If we fail to become spiritual, that is, be given by God into nuptials, while in the physical body, thus before passing on, we arrive in a spiritual body whose consciousness level is sensual and corporeal, like the people of the Northern Region and those in the Lower Earth discussed in the diagram above (matrix 12). These are the nuptials that do not take place in heaven because we must become spiritual prior to getting there. The New Testament gives the parable of the Ten Virgins, five of whom were foolish because they brought lamps without oil, and five of whom were wise because they brought oil with their lamps. Oil represents good while the lamp represents truth. Bringing oil with their lamps refers to those who have undergone the spiritual nuptials, that is, have undergone regeneration so that the rational degrees of their mind has been opened. They are admitted into heaven. But the others are not admitted and they find the door shut against them, that is, they are not capable of living in heaven because their consciousness has not been opened to the spiritual degrees.

To believe that marriages are not holy, and to believe that heaven is not a married state, are equivalent beliefs that arrest regeneration. Christians who believe that heavenly life is single because they interpret the New Testament literal in that way ("till death do us part"), can still become spiritual and be regenerated, as long as they do not confirm this false idea about heaven and marriage. But if they confirm this idea in their mind and in their Doctrine, they cannot become spiritual and be regenerated. It stands for them as a spiritual stumbling block.

A piece of the Divine is in me. (false)

In the New testament Jesus says that God is in Him, that God is in us, that He is in us. And in other systems of thought it is said that God is in me, or that a piece of God is in me. How are we to understand these things in a rational way? How can a person be within another person? How can a piece of God exist since God is indivisible in Whom infinite things are one--as explained in the Writings. And if God is in me, people think, I am part of God, I am partly Divine, I am God. They can thus say, the God in me greets the God in you. Is this the same God in me who greets himself in you?

These sensual ideas of God are not rational and limit the growth of our consciousness. The Writings fully explain the nature of God and how conjunction with God is possible. It is our conjunction with God that makes us immortal and capable of living in eternity. Without conjunction we drop into the bottom of consciousness, and this is called hell. The Writings explain that conjunction with God is based on our right idea or concept of God, and this idea of God becomes more and more rational, more and more internalizing, more and more true, as we progress in the growth of consciousness. To understand how this operates, we need to take into account what the Writings say about Divine influx and the distinction between immediate influx and mediate influx. The Divine flows into the essence or inmost of all created objects and qualities and gives them existence and subsistence. If the Divine influx ceases for an instant, the thing or quality vanishes from existence. All things thus have existence from being constructed out of this Divine influx. This is called immediate influx and is the same for all created things--mineral, plant, animal, and human.

But this would not be sufficient to create consciousness and conjunction with God. With humans, the only created things having consciousness, conjunction depends on mediate influx, in addition to immediate influx. Mediate influx is conscious and personal and particular while immediate influx is unconscious and impersonal and universal. Mediate influx is into the six degrees of the human mind, different at each level. Since the Doctrine of the Church is what opens our rational degrees, it is the very form of conjunction with God. It is referred to in the Writings as the Marriage of the Lord with the Church. The Doctrine within us is Divine and it is by virtue of this Divine within us that conjunction is effected. It is not a piece of the Divine that is in me but all of the indivisible Divine, but only according to my reception, or the degree of consciousness opened through temptations, as explained above.

The literal of Sacred Scripture says that we are in God and God is in us. How are we to understand what this means? If we take it in a sensual way, it becomes a falsity leading to the idea that we have a piece of God inside of us, or that we are God in that sense. But we are correct if we take it in a rational way, that is, the Divine activity is in us in accordance with our accommodation requirements, which varies with each individual, or with one individual at different degrees of growth.

I'm born human but through appropriate experiences I can become Divine. (false)

There is no ratio between the infinite and the finite, or between the Divine and created things or humans. Yet the infinite Divine can inflow in its entirety and fullness into created things. Our finite mind is created with the ability to receive the Divine influx. At first it seems to us that the finite must be within the infinite since the infinite is larger than the finite. But this is only a sensual consciousness of the relationship. The infinite is not related to place, time, or size. The infinite is within the finite, but apart from space and time. The infinite is within the finite, not the other way round. But because the Divine infinite is within our finite mind or consciousness there, it doesn't follow that therefore we are Divine in any way whatsoever. We do not gain Divinity by having the Divine be present within us. And yet the quality and purity of our understanding and life is dependent on the quality and purity of our reception of the Divine dwelling, which is within us by influx. There are no saints in the sense of gaining holiness through some means such as good works or strong faith or being chosen. Whatever Divine understandings and abilities we have is due to the Divine inflowing and nothing of it to ourselves. The highest angels who also have amazing powers, readily admit that none of this power is their own but God's inflowing, and the moment this inflowing ceases, there is no power or goodness in them.

A similar stumbling block is the idea that some people are saints in the sense of being holier than others. These holy people are seen as having special powers for praying and healing. Their prayers are more effective with God and heaven than other people's prayers and invocations. Various religious or spiritual institutions and groups have been formed on this belief. Praying to saints or invoking them for good luck is a similar idea that hinders the development of rational consciousness, hence of regeneration. Even the "prayers of the people" in a Church worship could insidiously embody this belief if one is persuaded that collective prayer is more effective on account of the number of people involved. These ideas are externalizing natural based on sensual consciousness and oppose the development of our rational consciousness.

A related false idea of the Divine is the belief that when we look at nature and its beauty we behold God. Some even go around pointing to things and saying, This is God, This is God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God is a Person, the Divine Human, the Word, infinite Love and Wisdom, the Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator of all human beings for all time. To confuse God with God's creation is a sensual fallacy. God is at the essence of every created thing but is not that thing. God is within created things and these things are not God. It is permissible to see God's Glory in created things but not to confuse God with these things.

The literal of the Writings, being accommodated to our perception and times, may have errors or inaccuracies that we should overlook. (false)

The Writings indicate that they are the Divine Rational in ultimates. They are Sacred Scripture, and thus a work of perfection and infinite power. When we encounter something that appears like an error or an inaccuracy or contradiction, we need to reconstruct an explanation other than that they are actual errors or imperfections or inaccuracies. This is a task for the future of theistic psychology. But if our mind goes along with the idea that they are errors or imperfections we injure the progress of our rational consciousness. For the Divine Rational itself cannot be contained in anything but what is perfect. In Part 1 I have discussed two crucial heresies regarding the literal of the Writings.

The idea that we should overlook inaccuracies in the literal of Sacred Scripture is a sensual fallacy and hurts our idea that they are Divine. I call this an externalizing spiritual stumbling block because it is grounded in a sensual fallacy. We look at the literal and see what appears to our own self-intelligence as an error or a misconception. Instead, when we come across something that appears to us an error, we should view this as a spiritual temptation with which we must struggle, not give in to. We need to rearrange our ideas of science in the light of the Writings, not the other way round. The Writings are a modern revelation given for the modern rational mind. They contain modern scientific revelations about the universe and its laws that we must use to revamp science, to recast it from an non-theistic mode to theistic, that is, from delusional to real. Factual issues need to be looked at with a view to resolving them. Factual disagreements with the literal are an expression of sensual consciousness, and this needs to be consummated if we're going to move on to the next highest degree.

Only the Theological Writings of Swedenborg are the Divine Word, but not his Scientific Writings written prior to his illumination. (false)

Swedenborg states that he has been prepared by the Lord from earliest childhood for the job of being the modern revelator of the Second Advent. This means that all the degrees of his mind, both externalizing natural and internalizing rational, have been ordered in such a way as to prepare him for writing the Word of the Third Testament. He also surveyed his scientific writings prior to his enlightenment and intromission into dual life and fond them compatible and harmonious with his subsequent theological Writings. Obviously then, everything Swedenborg wrote was from the Divine. His theological Writings have Doctrinal authority while his scientific Writings are written as-of-self. this is a difference indeed but it doesn't justify the conclusion that his scientific Writings are not Divine as the theological Writings are Divine. The future of theistic psychology is to elucidate the differences and we cannot assume at this point that we can make definitive statements about the difference, and certainly not, that the one is Divine while the other is not. But again, where it appears that Swedenborg's scientific Writings are outdated in the light of modern science, one should not conclude from this mere appearance that his science is wrong or outdated. Rather, science such as it is today ought to be reformulated to concord with both known facts today and his theories and explanations. I discuss this issue further in the following article.

Woman is born the love of her husband's wisdom and therefore his views are primary over hers in matters of Church and Doctrine. (false)

The new scientific revelations in the Writings about the psychobiology of marriage are discussed in another article. Throughout the Writings in the literal we find explicit statements that identify the spiritual qualities and parts of the mind that correspond to externalizing natural representations. With respect to men and women, the many representations discussed extensively in numerous places in the Writings, include men vs. women, husbands vs. wives, boys vs. girls, grooms vs. brides, adulterous women vs. men whoremongers, young women vs. young men, old men vs. old women, kings vs. queens, priests vs. priestesses, male virgins and female virgins, male animals vs. female, and so on.  The contrastive difference in each case relates to the affective vs. the cognitive organs in the mind. Affective organs are called "the will" and includes a collection of ideas that I can list by examples you can easily recognize: motives, feelings, voluntary, affections, desires, preferences, and so on. The Writings refer to the affective organ as "the will" which "receives" influx of "good or love." And the cognitive organ is referred to as "the understanding" which "receives" influx of "truth or wisdom." A list of examples you can easily recognize includes: thoughts or thinking, reasoning, imagining, visualizing, comprehending, justifying, and so on.

This distinction is so fundamental because the universe is created out of two substances: Divine Love (or Good) and Divine Truth (or Wisdom). These two infinite substances stream out of the Spiritual Sun, where the Lord dwells. They create themselves through infinite variation and diversity into the substances and the materials out of which the universe and our minds are constructed. Hence the division is necessary in our mind for two separate and different organs--one for the reception of good-substance (affective) and one for the reception of truth-substance (cognitive). These two organs make our will and our understanding. When these two act together we become fully human. When we're born, the affective and cognitive are divided, but when we're regenerated, they are reunited. The Writings thus present this process of regeneration in very extensive detail, like a medical or psychological textbook. The purpose is to provide the technology by which we can cooperate in our regeneration. For only then are we saved, that is, become fully human.

In the Writings, the affective and cognitive organs are compared to the male-female representations. Sometimes women, wives, girls, etc. are said to represent the affective organ (loves, affections, voluntary)  and sometimes the cognitive (truth, wisdom, intelligence). The same is the case with men, husbands, boys, etc. because sometimes they are said to be "truth" and sometimes "love." The differences and distinctions have been carefully charted by many Swedenborg scholars, as for instance the contributors to De Hemelsche Leer, and I will discuss them in more detail in Part 3. The point to be made here with respect to spiritual stumbling blocks is that our inherited cultural tradition of male chauvinism (to use a term from 20th century American culture), puts a biased filter over our eyes when we read the Writings and causes us to focus in and be impressed by one representation of men vs. women, and ignore many others. Thus we use the literal statements of the Writings to justify some cultural inherited belief system. This is a spiritual temptation and we men must wrestle with it all our lives. As long as we hold on to male dominated ideas we are barred from conjugial love, barred from spiritual nuptials, barred from entrance into heaven as a husband to our wife. Instead, we begin spiritual life in the corporeal state of mind, and this is life in hell. So we have no choice but to get rid of this inherited stumbling block in our mind. I have discussed some practices we can follow to achieve this--see this article called Husbands Confess Here.

Here is an example of how this stumbling block operates. We come across one or more passages that say that men are born wisdoms and women are born loves. Also, that from creation, men are created to receive wisdom from God and wives are created to be the love of her husband's wisdom. The idea is that by uniting into one-hood as a celestial couple, the husband and the wife complement each other reciprocally, each providing a part that the other needs to be completed in creation. Thus only as a celestial couple united in conjugial love can we start talking about a full human being. This is demonstrated sensuously in heaven by the fact often observed by Swedenborg, that a couple in heaven from a distance appear as one Angel. This appearance vanishes when you get near the couple. You can see that one can take this idea from the literal and justify one's male chauvinism. Similarly, women can rely on such passages to reinforce in their own mind that men are meant to lead in terms of wisdom while women are meant to follow their men's wisdom. But these are fallacies based on appearances of the literal and motivated to justify and maintain some cultural practice. It is not a spiritual understanding, and in fact, opposes and contradicts and destroys the true spiritual meaning, message, and instruction.

We can struggle with and oppose this consummation and descent in our consciousness by studying De Hemelsche Leer which puts so much emphasis on charting the sequence of regeneration. We can come into spiritual knowledge of the Doctrine of the Church extracted from the Writings and gain a true understanding of conjugial love, which is that husbands give wives to direct the husband's thinking and conclusions. Men can be wisdoms when their thought processes are directed by their wives, but not when they direct themselves. This insight came to me in 1985 when I first read De Hemelsche Leer and called it The Doctrine of the Wife.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 75 [5] Since I was thinking that I wanted to know about marriage among the most ancient people, I looked in turn from husband to wife and back again, and observed that their faces showed how they were almost of one soul. So I said: 'You two are one.' The man replied: 'We are one. Her life is in me and mine is in her, so we are two bodies, but one soul. The union between us is like that of the two cavities in the chest, called the heart and lungs. She is my heart and I am her lungs. But since by heart we understand here love and by lungs wisdom, she is the love of my wisdom, and I am the wisdom of her love. Her love therefore forms the outer covering of my wisdom and my wisdom is inwardly inside her love. As a result, as you said, the unity of our souls is to be seen in the look of our faces.

[6] Then I asked, 'If your union is such, are you able to look at any woman other than your own?' 'Yes,' he replied, 'I can, but because my wife is united with my soul, we two look together, and so not the slightest spark of lust can enter in. For when I look at other people's wives, I see them through my wife, whom alone I love. Since she is capable of perceiving all my feelings, as an intermediary she directs my thoughts, taking away anything discordant, and at the same time striking into me a feeling of coldness and horror at anything unchaste. It is therefore as impossible for us here to look lustfully on any of our companions' wives as it is to look upon the light of our heaven from the shades of Tartarus. So we do not either have any idea in our thinking, much less a word in our language, for the enticements of lustful love.' He could not use the word fornication, because the chastity of their heaven prevented it. My angel guide said: 'Now you can hear how the angels of this heaven speak, a language of wisdom, since it is derived from causes.'

We need to look at this passage and realize that this is the kind of unity that conjugial love is made of. If husbands do not begin to practice this kind of unity, how will they be able to practice it in heaven? The practice of this kind of unity is called spiritual nuptials. If your mind is looking at this passage and says:  "But it's about lust and adultery and looking at other women. I'm willing to have my wife direct my thoughts in that case. But when it comes to other things, I need to direct my own thoughts." And one thinks:  "How else can I be an individual? What else does it mean that I have to develop my wisdom?" Or else: "but what about all the representations that show that priests are men--surely we cannot have women priests since this is contrary to Divine representation." And other such oppositions and resistances to what the passage above implies:

CONJUGIAL LOVE MEANS THAT SHE DIRECTS HIS THOUGHTS AND WHEN THIS IS NOT THE CASE HE SLIDES INTO HELL

When this point of view is appreciated, that is, understood and loved, the husband can enter the spiritual nuptials and from natural conjugal love enter into celestial conjugial love. From then on he stops abusing and dominating women and making their lives miserable. When enough men are willing to do this, society can change and prepare for the advent conjugial love. This is heaven on earth. Would there be women priests in such an environment? Probably not because the women would not want to play that role. The women are enlightened by the Lord to know and perceive how they should direct their husbands' thinking and judgment. There would be no gender issues, no political opposition between the sexes, no administrative disagreements, and no domestic quarrels. All the men have to do is to allow their wives to direct their thoughts and judgements. This is the Divine reality of it. Look at the passage again. It says "when I look at other people's wives"--this means not just what it plainly says in the literal. To insist that that's what it means and that alone, is to deny that this phrase is Sacred Scripture. Since it is Sacred Scripture it has meaning beyond the literal. What is this spiritual inner meaning? We need to inquire into it by means of the Doctrine we already have gathered from Sacred Scripture. And we need to help one another so that each of us can see more since the Lord distributes His infinite Wisdom in Sacred Scripture to individuals unevenly in proportion to the degree of consciousness so far achieved--and this is a process of endless progression with each one.

The phrase "when I look at other people's wives," refers to our inherited tendency to love the wisdom we receive from the Lord as it is in us after reception. This love for our own wisdom in us as men or husbands is not allowed. If we engage in this forbidden practice we arrest our regeneration and plunge into our hell. No conjugial love or wisdom possible there! This is why it has been revealed in Sacred Scripture that by Divine Providence the love of the man's wisdom is transcribed from being within him to being outside of him and in his wife. This is what it means to say that the wife is born to be the love of her husband's wisdom. In the passage above therefore, to say that "when I look at other people's wives," is to say that the husband opposes this transfer from what tends to be within him to what needs to be in his wife. This opposition is a celestial temptation and must be overcome. I have found that I need to overcome this opposition by harking unto the idea expressed as The Doctrine of the Wife. When the husband above says "For when I look at other people's wives, I see them through my wife, whom alone I love" he is saying what we must say to ourselves, namely, that we must love our wife directing our thoughts through her perception. This means that we must prefer her directing our thoughts to ourselves directing our thoughts, because this is according to order while the other is not.

This is what this sentence means above refers to: "we two look together, and so not the slightest spark of lust can enter in." Here "looking together" means that the husband avoids looking alone, and "lust" means that he thereby avoids loving within himself the wisdom from the Lord. For example, if the husband says to the wife, "Wife, in this matter this is how I see it and you should defer to me on it," he is in a state of loving the wisdom he receives from the Lord in himself rather than transcribed in her. Analyze this sentence which says it all:

"Since she is capable of perceiving all my feelings, as an intermediary she directs my thoughts, taking away anything discordant, and at the same time striking into me a feeling of coldness and horror at anything unchaste."

"Capable of perceiving all my feelings" means that the Lord gives her perception of how she ought to direct the husband's thoughts. Many times I observed that my wife chooses carefully from this special ability she has from the Divine. She chooses when to intervene in my thinking process and when to leave it alone. The important thing to remember is that when she does decide to intervene I must moderate and control my resistance to her intervention. If I disagree, I must not give in to it. If I go along but don't like it, I must not give in to that. No other choice is left to me but the one the Divine is urging on me from within: Go, Leon, Go! Love it! You shall love your wife directing your thinking in all matters without exception. And so we can go on with our regeneration.

See this article on Wife and Husband as the Conjoint Self.

Hell cannot be forever. (false)

I've struggled with this stumbling block myself for a while but mostly I'm aware of the issue from reading statements made by others. This is a spiritual temptation in our growth of rational consciousness. It represents a denial of omnipotence to the Lord. We reason this way: "God is omnipotent of course and foresees everything. He also directs everybody's thinking and deciding. So why would He allow some people to get lost so much that they must live in hell forever. Why can't the Lord eventually reform these people and so lead them out of hell?" Or else, this: "Hell is a kind of punishment, isn't it? Those people may insist on wanting to stay there but they're not in their normal state of mind. Why can't the Lord eventually get them out of such a miserable existence? Is there not an end to their suffering?" These ideas are not rational or spiritual but purely sensual and corporeal. It is being conscious of the externalizing mind only and ignoring the internalizing mind. If hell were some planet on earth then indeed it might be thought justly that this is not a lot or fate that should last forever. But hell is the individual's mind. The descent into these regions is gradual and progressive. At each step spirits are present as administrative overseers from God. There is never a moment when the Divine ceases to communicate and moderate those who are in those states. Divine omnipotence and goodness lies in this. Moreover, the hells are allowed only so far as they can be made to accept uses. The hells play a vital role in our regeneration by providing point and counter-point to our dilemmas. They play a role in managing the evil and lawless on earth, including the law of karma whereby evil returns to the evil doer--as stated in the Writings. Also, every time a New Heaven comes into existence, an opposite new hell also comes into existence. Such is the human mind.

Everybody is born good within. (false)

This is an internalizing celestial temptation and stumbling block to our regeneration The point is that we should be getting rid of our pet peeves and cultural beliefs and base our morality on the Doctrine we extract from Sacred Scripture. This is the only way we can develop true rational consciousness and become spiritual. The Writings explain the issue of inheritance and that by inheritance we are born with all the evil inclinations our parents picked up from their parents, plus all the ones they acquired in their lives prior to our conception. And the Writings explain that therefore the mind cannot be regenerated and prepared for human-hood in eternity, unless we are given a new spiritual birth (being reborn). This means growing a new mind from spiritual input only which is pure and not corrupted by inheritance. This means forming new thoughts and feelings. But this cannot take place unless we cooperate in our regeneration. This takes the form of being willing to struggle with temptations and gaining victory over them by choosing what Sacred Scripture and the Doctrine dictate we should do, think, and love.

To say that everybody is born good inside--after all look at babies, and so on, is to pursue a political agenda, not a spiritual regeneration by means of truth and good. The Writings reveal that infants are with angels and this is the goodness and happiness that they transmit to us to our great great delight. We are inwardly moved by it. But this is not the baby's but the angels' goodness. The baby's inheritance is then laid aside. But soon it comes to the fore if the baby is going to grow mentally and spiritually. And then we have tantrums and rebelliousness and all kinds of wickednesses. These things come out of the infant and child because they are there at birth. Then the process of regeneration can begin in the ways provided for by God, as discussed in this article.

The Writings are Sacred Scripture but not fully in the same sense as the Old and New Testaments. (false)

This is an internalizing rational or celestial temptation and arises from one's personal agenda, that is from our proprium that needs to be regenerated but likes to oppose that process. It's an irrational assault on our celestial perceptions that Sacred Scripture cannot be partial because Sacred Scripture is God and God is not divisible. Either the Writings are Sacred Scripture or they are not, but they cannot be in between. If they are Sacred Scripture, they must be fully Sacred Scripture. If they are fully Sacred Scripture, wherever something in the Writings is said about Sacred Scripture, it must apply equally to all Three Testaments. This is rational and true. If you've been taught differently, set it aside. The Writings instruct that we cannot merely accept the teachings we receive in the Church and in schools, or even at home. We must evaluate each teaching from a critical analytical point of view. This is why we all must become experts in the Writings. We all must study the Writings every day like Manna. Nothing can be more critical for our regeneration than this knowledge. Nunc Licet is an injunction from the Writings. It means Now It Is Permitted. It is referring to the new revelations of the Writings that are given so that our mind can become spiritual and rational. This cannot be achieved by membership or by worship or by occasional studies. We need to apply ourselves to the study of the Writings more than we spend time watching TV or some other reading and hobby. Only then can our mind be ordered by the Writings, both internally and externalizingly.

Quoting from De Hemelsche Leer Fascicle 5:37 by Theodore Pitcairn

It is obvious that the foregoing is the briefest outline, and that if the subject were to be opened as to its particulars, it would fill innumerable volumes. It may also appear too difficult for many to comprehend. While it is not necessary that all should enter into the particulars, it is necessary that all should acknowledge that what they know of the contents of the Latin Word is but as a drop compared to the ocean; for it is an acknowledgment of this truth from the heart that introduces a man into the palace of wisdom. To the natural mind this cannot but appear as an exaggeration, for it is contrary to the appearance of the literal sense of the Latin Word as seen by men.

This truth cannot be acknowledged rationally unless it is acknowledged that the Latin Word has an internal sense which does not appear in the letter, an acknowledgment at which the natural mind tends to rebel. For the following words have a universal application: "How greatly those deny the internal sense of the Word has also been given me to see from such persons in the other life, for when the existence of an internal sense of the Word that does not appear in its literal sense, and that treats of love to the Lord and the neighbor, is merely mentioned in their presence, there is perceived not only denial by them, but also aversion and even loathing. This is the primary cause of this denial", A.C. 3427.

 

The literal of the Writings is not necessarily historical. (false)

This stumbling block is called a heresy and was dealt with in Part 1.

 

                           9.1.23   How to Use Spiritual Geography Maps

The chart below (matrix 22) shows how we can analyze in detail the states and sub-states that we undergo during our regeneration. Since these charts are constructed according to the structure of the mind they can serve as spiritual geography maps to help us keep track of where we are, where we are headed, how much there is still to go and in what direction. Knowing these things about the course and dynamics of our regeneration helps us cumulate the knowledge and make faster gains with a more certain footing. In this case let us use the charts to map out the external spiritual state of regeneration. This is the second phase in the overall series so that you can picture it as the YELLOW chunk or segment from matrix 19 above. In matrix 20 above, this chunk is represented as:

II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL

Zone 22            Zone 4

the affective of the external spiritual

Zone 23               Zone 5

the cognitive of the external spiritual

Zone 24               Zone 6

the sensorimotor of the external spiritual

This is the second day of the new creation (Genesis 1:6) and so it refers to the the second degree in the Descending Pathway that we have been calling the CHILDHOOD phase and defined as the EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL of sensuous consciousness. This degree includes Zones 4, 5, 6 for the EXTERNAL A/C/S/ unit and Zones 22, 23, 24 for the INTERNAL A/C/S/ unit (see matrix 20 above). These relations are compacted in the form above since the external and internal A/C/S/ units are combined. We can expand the representation by graphically showing both the external and internal A/C/S/ units for this phase II segment, as in the chart below (matrix 22):

An Analysis of "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters", Genesis 1:6 (Matrix 22)
II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL
INFANCY OF CHILDHOOD
WHITE OF YELLOW
Zone 4
EXTERNAL  CELESTIAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  

CHILDHOOD OF CHILDHOOD
YELLOW OF YELLOW
Zone 5
EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL

EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  
ADOLESCENCE OF CHILDHOOD
GREEN OF YELLOW
Zone 6
EXTERNAL NATURAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  
YOUNG ADULTHOOD OF CHILDHOOD
BLUE OF YELLOW
Zone 24
INTERIOR NATURAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  
ADULTHOOD OF CHILDHOOD
BROWN OF YELLOW
Zone 23
INTERIOR SPIRITUAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  
OLD AGE OF CHILDHOOD
BLACK OF YELLOW
Zone 22
INTERIOR CELESTIAL
OF EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE  
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE  
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR  
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE  
INTERIOR COGNITIVE  
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR  

In order to facilitate discussion you need to look at the chart along with the explanations. But since the chart is large, it's more convenient if I reproduce just the segment we want to discuss at each point. First, then:

II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL
INFANCY OF CHILDHOOD
WHITE OF YELLOW
Zone 4
EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL
OF EXTERNAL CELESTIAL
EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE feelings toward God as a sensuous Deity possessing great power--feelings of awe and fear, and distance
EXTERNAL COGNITIVE thoughts about God as a man who resides up in heaven and is surrounded by a court of angels or supernatural beings
EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR actions in relation to God such as prayer rituals, done "for God", and the veneration of icons
INTERIOR AFFECTIVE feelings toward God as a Supreme Being or Divine Person who looks after us and knows each of us
INTERIOR COGNITIVE thoughts about God as being omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient both outside in the world and inside our mind and soul
INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR actions that are meaningful, not just ritualized, thus doing things not "for God" but "with God"

This is the first segment or chunk of the chart above (matrix 22). Note that it is marked as a YELLOW chunk, which is Phase 2, called CHILDHOOD and is defined as the external spiritual phase of the sensuous consciousness (phase II in the Light Trigram or Descending Pathway). So whatever will be said about this segment of the chart will apply to this external spiritual degree of our overall regeneration (which consists of 6 phases). Now within this childhood phase, or Day Two of our new Creation, there are six phases since all phases are recursive and all sub-phases are also. In this case we have selected the first or INFANCY phase of childhood, symbolized as the WHITE OF YELLOW stage. This is Zone 4 in matrix 20 above. It is the EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL OF THE EXTERNAL CELESTIAL or the Infancy of Childhood. So all that will be said in this analysis will pertain to the infancy of childhood period in our regeneration. Since it is the infancy stage, it is an external celestial degree. So this is the external spiritual phase (childhood overall) of the external celestial period (sub-phase of childhood).

What is this the content of this sub-period in our mind? The childhood phase of regeneration overall (Day Two--YELLOW) is defined in the Writings as the first recognition in our consciousness that there is a God, or at the very least, something supernatural. This childhood phase of our regeneration is the conscious beginning of religion. When we acquire consciousness of God as a sensuous being of power, we begin our life in religion. This is an external spiritual degree (YELLOW) that goes through its series of progressive steps until consummation, and then transfer to the next higher degree (Day 3--GREEN). So the first of these six periods in the childhood phase (YELLOW--Day 2) is the infancy period. This is zone 4, namely, the infancy period of our childhood phase of regeneration. What is the content of this period? It is a collection of ideas and thoughts, as well as feelings and actions that occur during this period. These feelings, thoughts, and actions only take place during this period in all their particulars. The recursive return of this period in subsequent phases will contain different particulars. In this infancy of childhood period, our idea of God and the supernatural is external, both spiritually and celestially, thus a double external as it were. Each of the ideas of this period (infancy of childhood) itself has six stages to step through as it matures and consummates. This is is portrayed in the chart segment immediately above. They are marked as EXTERNAL AFFECTIVE, EXTERNAL COGNITIVE, EXTERNAL SENSORIMOTOR, INTERIOR AFFECTIVE, INTERIOR COGNITIVE, INTERIOR SENSORIMOTOR.

In other words, we are discussing the external and interior A/C/S units in the infancy of childhood in the overall regeneration phases. What are these?

The feelings, thoughts, and actions (A/C/S units) we have in any stage of regeneration are crucial in allowing us to overcome temptations appropriate for that stage of development. It is these feelings, thoughts, and actions (A/C/S units) that are the actual steps of progress. As these feelings, thoughts, and actions (A/C/S units) progress in the prescribed order we gain victory over the temptations and our consciousness is infilled with new and more interior trues. In this analysis, we are focusing on the feelings, thoughts, and actions (A/C/S units) of the infancy of childhood (WHITE OF YELLOW) in the overall regeneration series. We begin our sub-phase with sensuous (external) feelings, thoughts, and actions such as:

  • feelings toward God as a sensuous Deity possessing great power--feelings of awe and fear, and distance
  • thoughts about God as a man who resides up in heaven and is surrounded by a court of angels or supernatural beings
  • actions in relation to God such as prayer rituals, done "for God", and the veneration of icons

And we then progress to rational (interior) feelings, thoughts, and actions, such as:

  • feelings toward God as a Supreme Being or Divine Person who looks after us and knows each of us
  • thoughts about God as being omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient both outside in the world and inside our mind and soul
  • actions that are meaningful, not just ritualized, thus doing things not "for God" but "with God"

To summarize this analysis of Day 2 of Creation: We step through a series of feelings, thoughts, and actions that correspond to the infancy phase of our childhood degree (external spiritual--YELLOW). During this infancy phase we gradually progress from external religion (sensuous--Descending Pathway) to internal religion (rational--Ascending Pathway). When we arrive to the sixth phase--that is, meaningful actions motivated by a rational conception of God and feelings of closeness to Him. When this is reached, the infancy stage of childhood is consummated and we are ready to be transferred to the next phase (the childhood phase of childhood or YELLOW OF YELLOW--see matrix 22 immediately above.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 62. The times and states of man's regeneration in general and in particular are divided into six, and are called the days of his creation; for, by degrees, from being not a man at all, he becomes at first something of one, and so by little and little attains to the sixth day, in which he becomes an image of God.

The next chart below (matrix 23) maps out the six stages of regeneration as explicated in Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia Numbers 1 to 72 where he explicates the Creation story in Genesis (Chapter 1). He refers to this progression as "the movements and moments of regeneration" (AC24).

From Swedenborg's translation of Genesis, Chapter 1 found in Arcana Coelestia Number 5:

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2. And the earth was a void and emptiness, and thick darkness was upon the faces of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the faces of the waters.

3. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

4. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God distinguished between the light and the darkness.

5. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6. And God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it distinguish between the waters in the waters.

7. And God made the expanse, and made a distinction between the waters which were under the expanse, and the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.

8. And God called the expanse heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place, and let the dry [land] appear; and it was so.

10. And God called the dry [land] earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He seas; and God saw that it was good.

11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree bearing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so.

12. And the earth brought forth the tender herb, the herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree bearing fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

13. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14. And God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to distinguish between the day and the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years.

15. And let them be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth; and it was so.

16. And God made two great luminaries, the greater luminary to rule by day, and the lesser luminary to rule by night; and the stars.

17. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth;

18. And to rule in the day, and in the night, and to distinguish between the light and the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

19. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20. And God said, Let the waters cause to creep forth the creeping thing, the living soul; and let fowl fly above the earth upon the faces of the expanse of the heavens.

21. And God created great whales, and every living soul that creepeth, which the waters caused to creep forth after their kinds, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and the fowl shall be multiplied in the earth.

23. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living soul after its kind; the beast, and the thing moving itself, and the wild animal of the earth, after its kind; and it was so.

25. And God made the wild animal of the earth after its kind, and the beast after its kind, and everything that creepeth on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the beast, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.

29. And God said, Behold, I give you every herb bearing seed which is upon the faces of all the earth, and every tree in which is fruit; the tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for food.

30. And to every wild animal of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth wherein is a living soul, every green herb for food; and it was so.

31. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

* The Author, writing in Latin, has given his own translation, in that language, of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Word, in which, for the sake of the correspondential sense, he has rendered the originals almost as literally as possible, and it has been deemed necessary to follow him in the translation of the present work into English, but with the endeavor to avoid any needless departure from the language of the English Bible. [Reviser.]

 

 

The Six Days of Creation or the Six Stages of Regeneration (Matrix 23)

STAGES OF REGENERATION

DEFINITION EXPRESSIONS FROM THE LITERAL COLOR CODED CONCEPTS
I
INFANCY
WHITE
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
CELESTIAL
The beginning of regeneration is when we acknowledge dualism--a higher, invisible, supernatural power in addition to the visible natural world "Let there be light" (v.3)
"to be conceived anew" (AC)
"born anew" (AC)
"new creation" (AC)
"celestial seed implanted" (AC)
WHITE, NOMINATIVE, SUBSTANCE, CREATION, DUALISM, SUPERNATURAL, CELESTIAL
II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL
Next is the separation between knowledge based on the external world (science) and knowledge based on the supernatural (religion and Sacred Scripture) "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters" (v.6)
"waters above the expanse"
"earth" vs. "heaven"
YELLOW, STRUCTURE, PART, SEPARATION, DIVISION, DISTINCTION, SPIRITUAL
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. "tender grass" (v.11)
"herb yielding seed"
"tree bearing fruit"
GREEN, FUNCTION, DYNAMICS, DIRECTIONALITY, RITUAL, ROUTINE, MERIT, REWARD, EXTERNAL OBEDIENCE, MEANING

I           N           V           E           R           S           I           O           N

IV
YOUNG ADULTHOOD
BLUE
RATIONAL
INTERIOR
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). But we still believe we act from ourselves.

"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)

BLUE, MEDIUM, ENVIRONMENT, TERRITORY, THEME, INNER COMPLIANCE, ASSERTION,
V
ADULTHOOD
BROWN
RATIONAL
INTERIOR
SPIRITUAL
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 fully operative. "living soul" (v.39)
"creeping things of the water"
"fowls which fly above the earth"
"beasts" and "birds"
BROWN, FRAME, CONTEXT, STYLE,   ATTRIBUTION, RECEPTOR, RATIONAL, ARGUMENTATION, JUSTIFICATION

VI
OLD AGE
BLACK
RATIONAL
INTERIOR
CELESTIAL

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.

"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)

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

External=Sensual=Descending Pathway=Light Trigram (Pre-topical) (I, II, III) Interior=Rational=Ascending Pathway=Dark Trigram (Topical) (IV, V, VI)
Inversion=Double Line=Origin of Contention Point

The chart immediately above (matrix 23), maps out the sic major steps of regeneration as detailed in the inner sense of the Creation story in Genesis, Chapter 1. A principle we have from the Writings is that the beginning of any orderly sequence anticipates and encapsulates the whole sequence. And thus, Chapter 1 of Genesis is a summary and abstract of the entire Bible. Indeed, verse 1 of Chapter 1 in Genesis is a summary and encapsulation of the entire Bible in the inner sense:  "1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In the inner sense, "beginning" means the first state of a sequence and the summary of the rest of the sequence. The reference here is to the sequence of our regeneration. This focuses on the the principal purpose of all Sacred Scripture or revelation, namely, as a guide or handbook for our regeneration process. "God created" stands for the revelation that God is the all in all in our   regeneration and that God is the power, the intelligence, and the love that initiates our regeneration and manages it to its successful completion. We are subjects of this Divine activity since the process unfolds within our mind or spirit by means of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, all of which God guides at every moment and detail and supervises it for our benefit. "Created" stands for the new creation of the individual as a "living soul." This refers to the necessity of our "rebirth in spirit" which is the beginning of regeneration. Rebirth in spirit means the start of a new proprium or self.

This new self is the self that is regenerated as it grows and as the old self is put to sleep, to quiescence, buried to the circumference of our personality, neutralized, rendered unable to function and exercise its hellish influence. The new creation is called "the heavens" and refers to the "internal man", that is, the the degrees of the mind after the Inversion (see charts in this article). This is our rational consciousness. The earlier unregenerate self does not have a rational consciousness and is called "the earth." Parallel to this meaning, "the heavens" also refers to the will or affective organ and "the earth" refers to the understanding or cognitive organ. The expression "heavens and the earth" means the conjunction between the two, that is, the state of health when the "two lives of man"--the will and the understanding, operate together. This is called the marriage of the affective and the cognitive. The pre-regenerate self does not have this marriage as demonstrated by the fact that people know what is good and right (cognitive), yet fail to live accordingly (affective and sensorimotor). The goal of regeneration is to reunite these "two lives" in our consciousness, as in a marriage, that they might act together. This new state of marriage is called "the church." When we begin regeneration our understanding of truth from the literal of Sacred Scripture and Doctrine (also called "faith") may be highly developed so that we are experts and knowledgeable about spiritual things from Sacred Scripture and Doctrinal teachings. We have faith and religion. But we fail to live up to it and our knowledge and faith in the mind are drawn away by our will which is evil from birth and keeps us tied to the societies of hells.

In summary then, the purpose and focus of Sacred Scripture is to be a guide to our regeneration by God so that we may cooperate with God and do our required share in reuniting the affective and cognitive in our personality. As this is done gradually in six successive stages, we progress by entering deeper and deeper into our consciousness. This process of internal opening is the growth of human consciousness from sensuous to rational. The spiritual geography maps described in this article (Parts 1, 2, and 3), and related articles, are visual and graphic representations of the six stages and their sub-stages. They make explicit in diagram and matrix form what the Sacred Scripture discusses in text form. Hence the graphic maps are extractions from the literal of Sacred Scripture. As such, they are part of our Doctrine of the Church, part of what Sacred Scripture says we are required to do in order to understand what it talks about, for "without doctrine, the Word is not understood."

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 10763. In order that the Church may exist, there must be doctrine from the Word, because without doctrine the Word is not understood; yet doctrine alone in a man does not make the Church in him; but a life according thereto. From this it follows that faith alone does not make the Church; but the life of faith which is charity.

The chart above (matrix 23) summarizes the general characteristics of the six stages of regeneration. These general properties contain all the sub-steps in an embedded recursive sequence. We are able to follow these embeddings up to a point but it's obvious that as we move into the third and fourth embedded units it becomes more and more difficult to comprehend. This difficulty was discussed above in connection with matrix 19 to 23 above,  and Dr. Ian Thompson's matrices. For now, let us recapitulate the entire process as portrayed in matrix 23 above. Let's look again at the first segment:

I
INFANCY
WHITE
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
CELESTIAL
The beginning of regeneration is when we acknowledge dualism--a higher, invisible, supernatural power in addition to the visible natural world "Let there be light" (v.3)
"to be conceived anew" (AC)
"born anew" (AC)
"new creation" (AC)
"celestial seed implanted" (AC)
WHITE, NOMINATIVE, SUBSTANCE, CREATION, DUALISM, SUPERNATURAL, CELESTIAL

The first stage of regeneration begins with God's words "let there be light" when we look at our life and decide to abandon our life of self-reliance and start a new life in which we consciously and explicitly acknowledge a higher power than ourselves, namely God and the supernatural. This marks the beginning of dualism as a philosophy of life. Henceforth we are going to be conscious of two kinds of information, meaning, or knowledge. One kind from "earth" or the physical world as registered on our sensory organs, and the other kind from "heaven" as given us by revelations in Sacred Scripture and Doctrine from religion based on Sacred Scripture. This is the period of Infancy (WHITE) and is defined as the external celestial degree, which is the first of the three sensuous consciousness degrees (Descending Pathway or Light Trigram--Pre-topical). Each of us has to have this happen in our life at some point. In my own case, this is described in matrix 16 above as the WHITE segment:

SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
CELESTIAL
1938 age: 1 Gestation and birth under wartime and ethnic persecution. REMAINS

INNOCENCE OF IGNORANCE

1941 age: 33 Begin formal Orthodox Jewish education into xenophobia and ritualized worship.

The Writings say that God provides for the existence of religion in every nation so that infants and children may be exposed to religion, and thus be introduced to the philosophy of dualism and the acknowledgment of the God and the supernatural. This knowledge may then be set aside by the growing individual and we may act like and believe that we have abandoned dualism in favor of naturalism and materialism, as taught in formal education and its non-theistic psychology. But in actuality, as revealed in the Writings, our concept of God acquired in infancy and childhood, "remains." That is, this initial knowledge and idea of God's existence, is tucked away by God and hidden as "remains" in our sub-conscious and unconscious mind. There they remain in a pure form, protected from alteration and distortion by our self-intelligence. God will use these pure and genuine remains in subsequent stages of our regeneration, for without them we cannot return to our celestial consciousness and become a full human being.

The second main stage then succeeds and this is represented in the YELLOW segment of matrix 23 above, which I reproduce here:

II
CHILDHOOD
YELLOW
SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL
Next is the separation between knowledge based on the external world (science) and knowledge based on the supernatural (religion and Sacred Scripture) "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters" (v.6)
"waters above the expanse"
"earth" vs. "heaven"
YELLOW, STRUCTURE, PART, SEPARATION, DIVISION, DISTINCTION, SPIRITUAL

The "Second Day of creation" is called the childhood period and is defined as the external spiritual phase of our sensual consciousness (degree II). The beginning of this phase is represented by God's words: "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters." The "expanse" here referred to is in our mind and its division into two separate structural areas or "waters." Sacred Scripture uses the expressions "the external man" and the "the internal man" to refer to the developing dualist philosophy in our life ("childhood" phase). Now we acknowledge from principle that there are two realities in the universe, one represented by science and the other by religion. Science is developed seemingly by ourselves as intelligent earth dwellers living in a physical world and making sense of it. But religion is not from ourselves but from God and through God's Word we are given revelations or facts about the supernatural world. We acknowledge that we cannot gather information from the supernatural through our senses, in the way we gather information from the physical world. In my own case, this is described in matrix 16 above as the YELLOW segment:

SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
SPIRITUAL
YEAR

AGE

Biographical Events

GROWTH OF SELF

LOVE OF SELF AND WORLD

1954 16 Begin independence from parents with secret personal life.
1962 24 Begin independence of career (Ph.D.) First marriage in the Jewish Church.
1968 30 Begin sense of moral responsibility and integrity. Birth of son.
1970 32 Begin sense of being an adult fully. Birth of daughter.
1971 33 Experiencing sense of personal power and genius. Promotion to full professor.
1973 35 Divorce and end of first marriage.
1975 37 Experiencing sense of supreme self-intelligence--"Avatar" phase. Invent new knowledge: e.g., Ethnosemantics, Community Cataloguing Practices, Comprehensive Discourse Analysis (see list above). Meet my conjugial partner Diane Nahl.

My childhood stage of regeneration lasted from age 16 to 37. This may be typical for our generation today. Having been educated in Europe and North America my mind was filled with the philosophy of materialism typical of today's world of public education and science. My childhood stage of regeneration seems to have gone into heavier and heavier materialism, so that my dualism receded to the background throughout these years. By the time this phase in my regeneration was ready to be consummated at age 37, I had reached the bottom of my materialistic self-intelligence. I call this my "avatar" phase and is marked by the most advanced of my philosophical and scientific discoveries (my "external man"). But my "internal man" was still tucked away in the sub-conscious  remains of infancy. Significantly, it is in this period that I meet the woman who is to become my conjugial partner and soul mate. Of course my materialistic state did not allow me to recognize this consciously, though she told me later that she was given this perception the moment she first met me. It seems to me from memory that my internal man "jumped from joy" when I first saw her, but I did not act on this sense. I sometimes regret that I didn't and fantasize that I should have asked her to marry me right then and there. She says that had I done this, she would have experienced an inner compulsion to agree to marry me at our first encounter. But this didn't happen given my state of regeneration.

From Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia

59. The reason why the "vegetable and the green of the herb" only are here described as food for the natural man, is this. In the course of regeneration, when man is being made spiritual, he is continually engaged in combat, on which account the church of the Lord is called "militant;" for before regeneration cupidities have the dominion, because the whole man is composed of mere cupidities and the falsities thence derived. During regeneration these cupidities and falsities cannot be instantaneously abolished, for this would be to destroy the whole man, such being the only life which he has acquired; and therefore evil spirits are suffered to continue with him for a long time, that they may excite his cupidities, and that these may thus be loosened, in innumerable ways, even to such a degree that they can be inclined by the Lord to good, and the man be thus reformed. In the time of combat, the evil spirits, who bear the utmost hatred against all that is good and true, that is, against whatever is of love and faith toward the Lord-which things alone are good and true, because they have eternal life in them-leave the man nothing else for food but what is compared to the vegetable and the green of the herb; nevertheless the Lord gives him also a food which is compared to the herb bearing seed, and to the tree in which is fruit, which are states of tranquillity and peace, with their joys and delights; and this food the Lord gives the man at intervals.

[2] Unless the Lord defended man every moment, yea, even the smallest part of every moment, he would instantly perish, in consequence of the indescribably intense and mortal hatred which prevails in the world of spirits against the things relating to love and faith toward the Lord. The certainty of this fact I can affirm, having been now for some years (notwithstanding my remaining in the body) associated with spirits in the other life, even with the worst of them, and I have sometimes been surrounded by thousands, to whom it was permitted to spit forth their venom, and infest me by all possible methods, yet without their being able to hurt a single hair of my head, so secure was I under the Lord's protection. From so many years' experience I have been thoroughly instructed concerning the world of spirits and its nature, as well as concerning the combat which those being regenerated must needs endure, in order to attain the happiness of eternal life. But as no one can be so well instructed in such subjects by a general description as to believe them with an undoubting faith, the particulars of the Lord's Divine mercy will be related in the following pages.

The third main stage of regeneration then succeeds and this is represented in the GREEN  segment of matrix 23 above, which I reproduce here:

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. "tender grass" (v.11)
"herb yielding seed"
"tree bearing fruit"
GREEN, FUNCTION, DYNAMICS, DIRECTIONALITY, RITUAL, ROUTINE, MERIT, REWARD, EXTERNAL OBEDIENCE, MEANING

I           N           V           E           R           S           I           O           N

This is the adolescence period of regeneration and is defined as the external natural phase of our sensuous consciousness. This period marks the descent to the bottom of our dualist philosophy of life and religion. In the previous stage (YELLOW) we divided what's from Caesar and what's from God. We developed our secular knowledge through materialism but not our religious knowledge which remained dormant. But now in the beginning of this third stage (GREEN) we experience a religious awakening and we are moved to re-focus and re-emphasize the religion we left behind in earlier years. But this awakening of spiritual sentiments is still in sensuous or pre-rational phase. We see spirituality or religion in terms of external ideas:  worship, ritual, tithing, doing good works. Our faith or spirituality is identified not with what is inside of us, but what we know about it. We are eager for new spiritual knowledge, new religious commitments. The ritual becomes the salvation. Our faith is a Sunday part-time activity. It is our Church membership that is saving us, not how we manage to live our life of love and charity. Charity and love we interpret as not what we feel inside but what we accomplish outside. We do not yet see that the two must be concordant. This is the religion and spirituality of "the external man" while the "internal man" is still only the old unregenerate will tied to self-intelligence and hell,  motivated by self-interest.

In my own case, this stage of regeneration is described in matrix 16 above as the GREEN segment:

SENSUAL
EXTERNAL
NATURAL
1978 40 Experiencing vastation. Feeling inner urge toward Jewish mysticism by myself (no community contacts involved). Study Old Testament. VASTATION

LAST JUDGMENT

REDEMPTION

1980 42 Read New Testament for the first time. Instant conversion by the Word. I become a "Christian Jew" or a "Jewish Christian" -- didn't know which. Not yet a Christian. Enamored with symbolism of Cross.

I           N           V           E           R           S           I           O           N

This phase began for me with a state of terrible vastation. My "avatar" state of mind at the consummation of the previous phase (YELLOW) left me with an inner void into which I seemed to myself to sink deeper, and the more I sank the more I felt terrible, panicked, and hopeless. I felt I had reached my pinnacle and have experienced everything. The world had nothing to offer me anymore. I had no reason left to continue in this physical life. I fantasized spiritual escape but did not know whereto. I felt an inner urge to return to what I had left behind in my infancy stage. Curiously, what I had left from my education and socialization was the ritual and the chant and the prayer books. I did not feel like I wanted to return to organized religion--it was too inconvenient to join a public life of religion in company with others whom I saw as beneath me in intellectual interest and development. There was no hope for communication with my co-religionists. And so I turned inward being a religion to myself. I studied the Old Testament through the interpretations of Jewish writers and scholars. Then, I did not know why or whence, I was moved to read the "forbidden" New Testament. Christianity was a fearful word for a Jewish boy raised in Rumania at the start of the second world war. I was forbidden to read the New Testament and feared to do so. And yet, now I did. And I recall the amazement that came upon me when I realized, at age 42, that the Christian religion is but a continuation of the Jewish religion. At last I understood that the expression "Judaeo-Christian" --that I bandied about along with others, really meant something more than history, that it was an inner connection. I remember trying to convince my mother to come to a Sunday service on account of the fact that "it's the same religion, you'll see." Of course she could not see it at all and had no intention of seeing it.

This initial phase lasted about three years. During this time I acted like a Jewish Evangelist, feeling superior to both Christians and Jews since I was both. I was very active in converting my two children. My son Rex who was reaching the age of 13 at this point (1980) was made to write his Bar Mitzvah thesis on the Acts of the Apostles, and at our Friday evening Sabbath rituals both he and my daughter Joy were made to discuss New Testament passages. I started drawing crosses on my notes as a signature feature and I said a devout prayer every time we passed a Church or Jewish temple. I saw crosses everywhere as a sign of the Lord--window bars, the moon through a screen door, telephone poles, and so on. And yet, I had not become a Christian yet. Diane was telling me that I'm not a Christian until I understand and practice repentance. This, my inner man refused to do, and I was still in a sensual phase of self-intelligence, proud and stubborn and selfish and self-centered. Meritorious to the max. Then, I cross the Inversion point and find myself on the other side of it.

The third main stage of regeneration that then succeeds represented in the GREEN  segment of matrix 23 above, which I reproduce here:

I           N           V           E           R           S  &nb