Introduction to Theistic Psychology
|NATURAL OBJECT OR QUALITY
IN PHYSICAL TIME-SPACE
IN MENTAL ETERNITY
|smiling||feelings of delight|
|the heart||feelings of love|
|broken hearted||loss of a love and consequent feelings of sadness|
|hard hearted||cold feelings of lack of sympathy for someone|
|hot under the collar||feeling angry emotions|
|it's clear to me||comprehending something|
|he has a generous hand||he is motivated to help|
|he is only on the periphery||he does not know inside information|
|this place gives me the creeps||I'm scared|
|I was kept in the dark||they intended to keep the information from me|
|it's a heavy burden on my shoulders||I feel anxious and preoccupied by it|
|take out the gnat in your eye||stop believing what is false about yourself|
|he is straight as a whistle||he has an upright character|
|he's got a strong head||he is intelligent|
|he is bull headed||he is stubborn|
|he is a chameleon||he is hypocritical or unpredictable|
|he is a wolf||he cannot be trusted|
|he is a pig||he has no manners or civility|
|he is a snake||he is not trust worthy|
|she is a doll||she is pretty or feminine|
|she eats like a bird||she eats very little|
|she is a fox||she tricks people|
|they easily fly off the handle||they easily get mad|
|etc. etc. (how many more can you think of? Can you group them into categories? What are those categories?)|
It makes sense that our natural mind constructs these correspondential equivalents between the temporary world of our physical body and the eternal world of our spiritual body.
Linguists and philosophers study "figures of speech," also known as metaphor, simile, symbol, analogy, and so on (see Section xx). The basis for constructing these figures of speech are correspondences between the natural world of time and the spiritual world of eternity, also known to us as the mental world. What could be more familiar to you than eternity, since you are already so familiar with your own mental world. You did not know that your familiar everyday mental world is the world of eternity, the world of the afterlife, the world of your immortality!
The organs of the physical body are formed and shaped according to the organs in the spiritual body:
BORN INTO ETERNITY
BORN INTO TIME-SPACE
|affective organ as our spiritual heart||heart with its circulatory system of arteries, veins, and capillaries|
|cognitive organ as our spiritual lungs||lungs with its respiratory system and esophagus|
|sensorimotor organ as our spiritual sensory and musculature||brain with afferent sensory organs and efferent musculature attached to skeleton|
Here are a few examples from the tradition of theistic astrology or astronomica, contributed by David Chambers (see Section 6.12):
She is a hot head (Aries/Mars) She is reckless
He is stiff necked (Taurus/Venus dark side) He is stubborn
She is a chatterbox (Gemini/Mercury lower octave) She is communicative
He is crabby (Cancer/Moon) He is moody
She is lionhearted (Leo/Sun) She is courageous
He is a nit-picker (Virgo/Mercury higher octave) He is fastidious
She is a right madam (Libra/Venus light side) She is vain
He is too hot to trot (Scorpio/Pluto) He is passionate
She has a big heart (Sagittarius/Jupiter) She is generous
He is a tightwad (Capricorn/Saturn) He is frugal
She has got her head in the clouds (Aquarius/Uranus) She is absent minded
He is a slippery customer (Pisces/Neptune) He is elusive
All Sacred Scripture is composed of pure correspondences of Divine Speech and their representatives (see Section xx).
Divine Speech is the same as Divine Truth or Divine Rational Thinking. Also called spiritual light within which is spiritual heat (see Section xx).
When you arrive in the third heaven of your mind (layer 4) you will be able to see God as the Divine Human. Surrounding God the Divine Human you will see a bright aura called the Spiritual Sun (layer 1). From this Spiritual Sun stream forth spiritual light and spiritual heat in infinite variety. These two Divine Human substances are God Himself as He wills Himself to exist outside of Himself and in created eternity, as well as in the natural world of time through His Divine Physical Body that he acquired for Himself in the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). Spiritual light and heat are substances that create the world of eternity, which is the mental world of the human race, and they create the world of time, which are the materials of the earths in the natural world out of which our physical body is made.
So every physical stone or molecule or planet has a mental or spiritual infrastructure which creates it and maintains it in subsistence. See the simultaneous view of the layers in Part 1.
God establishes a chain of correspondences across the layers of creation. Creation and its continuous maintenance or re-creation, starts with Divine Speech, which is Divine Truth, which is the content of God's infinite cognitive organ streaming forth as spiritual light within, which is spiritual heat that issues from God's infinite affective organ. God's spiritual heat is called Divine Love or Divine Good. God's spiritual light is called Divine Truth or Divine Wisdom and Rationality.
Spiritual Sun -- spiritual light (Divine truth or rationality) and spiritual heat (Divine good or love)
Soul of embryos (Heaven of human internals)
Soul at birth
Celestial-rational layer (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (third heaven)
Spiritual-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (second heaven)
Spiritual-natural layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (first heaven)
Natural-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Natural-sensual layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Natural-corporeal layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Physical body and planet
Try to memorize this list if you haven't already from the chart of layers in Part 1.
Note that God's infinite good and truth are spiritual or mental substances streaming out of the Spiritual Sun (layer 1). It is God's Own mental substances that are streaming out of Him, forming an aura called the Spiritual Sun. This is the first layer of the mental world of eternity. God is the First Cause, creating all the lower layers through these substances within Himself. By causing these mental or spiritual substances (good and truth) to exist outside of Him, God starts His creation.
Note that creation must start outside of God. Creation cannot be inside God, since in that case there is not yet a creation. To create anything therefore, God must cause His Own mental substances to come out so that they exist outside of Himself. The first such an event is the Spiritual Sun or layer 1. Note that this First layer is not made of created substances. Infinite Divine Good or Love substance and infinite Divine Truth or Rationality substance have always existed in God and have no beginning. But all things that have a beginning are created. This is the definition given in Sacred Scripture of what is infinite.
Note that "infinite" does not mean without an end. It means without a beginning. Think of time or counting from 1 onward. The process of counting can go on endlessly, forever. But this this not make counting infinite because it always will have a beginning. Also, think of physical space as endless, limitless, going on without ever stopping. This does not make physical space infinite because it had a beginning at the creation of the physical world. So the only thing that can be infinite is that which does not have a beginning, always existed. This is God, including all the infinite uncreate substances in God that make a One as a Divine Human Person. God and His mental substances are the only infinite that exists. There cannot be two "infinites" for in that case neither would be infinite.
The idea some people have that "God is the universe" is not a rational concept. I think it is easy for them to see this, but they say that it does not have to be rational, but is above the rational (e.g., beyond human understanding), and some say, below the rational (e.g., mystical). But in theistic psychology it is necessary to use only rational concepts, and only those that are extracted from Sacred Scripture. According to this source God is a Person and the source of all rationality, wisdom, or truth.
The two types of substances in God's Mind are infinite in variety and "quantity," though "quantity" is a concept that applies to physical things not mental. In the mental world we create any quantity we want and there is no limit as in the physical world. Be aware of our negative bias idea that because it's "only mental" it is not as real as physical money bills in the hand. This definition of reality only describes the physical world (layer 12) and corporeal mind (layer 9). Once you move upward across the layers from 9 to 4, things are becoming more real, more permanent and forever. In the spiritual mind our mental powers are truly awesome. Swedenborg saw magnificent palaces and architecture and art that cannot exist in the physical world. These were all created in an instant by the mental operations of the people in that state of mind. Mental substances are immortal and powerful, while things made of physical matter are inert, slow, and temporary.
God's mental substances, exiting outside of Himself through the Spiritual Sun, are powerful enough to create the layers of existence in the mental world of humanity, each person being immortal, never ending once born. Eternity is created by the substances of the Spiritual Sun. The substances of spiritual heat (= good or love) exist as God's infinite affective organ in which infinite loves and affections make a unit, an integral whole that is live or alive. Physical substance is not alive, but mental substance is alive. So our mind can have the constant experiencing of consciousness because the mental organs are constructed of live substances, namely, the mental substances of God in whom everything is live or alive. This aliveness is life itself and exists only in God and in the Spiritual Sun.
The life that we have as human beings is not our life but God's life in us through the substances of the Spiritual Sun. The substances of spiritual heat and spiritual light flow into every one of our mental layers, and as they are received by our affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs, these organs appear to be alive on their own. But they are not. We feel alive to ourselves because God's spiritual substances are operating in the organs and our conscious experiencing is the result of those operations. If that inflow of substances would cease, the organs would be inert, without life in them. So life is nothing but those substances from the Spiritual Sun inflowing and operating in our mental organs.
It is not simple to think of our sensations, thoughts, and feelings as substances, especially if these substances are called good or love, and truth or rationality. In our layer 8C (sensual mind) we cannot understand this because what is mental does not seem as real as what is physical. But in our interior-natural mind (layer 7C) we can think with rational concepts rather than with sensual concepts.
We can say therefore that God is in us, but it is not rational to say that God is part of us.
God's spiritual mental substances flowing into our mental organs allows our mind to react to the mental substances of God flowing in. We are not those substances, but we react to them. So we have nothing whatsoever of God that can be part of us, or ours. God's substances are the core of every created thing, as you can clearly see from the simultaneous view of the 12 layers.
You can clearly see that God through the Spiritual Sun is present as the inmost of anything created. Present -- but not "part of."
God in Himself prior to the Spiritual Sun is unknowable. God can be seen visually by those whose consciousness is at level 4 through the understanding of celestial-rational correspondences. Swedenborg and all those with whom he associated in the "third heaven" could visually observe with the eyes of their spiritual body, the substances of light from the Spiritual Sun entering their cognitive organ, and the substances of spiritual heat entering their affective organ. They had a living perception of it entering their mind and what effects it causes there in terms of their consequent sensations, thoughts and feelings. Every individual experienced this in a uniquely variable manner, and yet, they could each sense how the others experienced it, so that together as a group or society, they were able to have a more perfect love and understanding of God (see Section xx).
Through a more perfect understanding and love of God we can receive ever new and higher sensations, thoughts and feelings to endless eternity. This is called heaven (layers, 4, 5, 6).
These 12 layers of creation must be interconnected, or else God could not manage the whole as one immense rational system (see Section xx). The functional laws of interaction between the 12 layers are called the laws of correspondences. These layers are also called discrete degrees (see Section xx). Divine Speech is at level 1 and as it descends in the form of spiritual heat and light, it creates each subsequent layer below. The layers are connected by correspondence, which means cause-effect relations -- every detail at the lower layer is called the effect, and every corresponding detail at the next upper level, is called its cause.
Now look at the 12 layers again. Where in it would you place the Bible or other Sacred Text on this earth?
The answer is layer 12. Are you surprised? Remember that Sacred Scripture on this earth is a physical book or document which was caused by God to be written by an individual whose mind He prepared for it. The process was experienced by the prophet either as hearing words dictated by a "voice from heaven" or "an angel," or, by organizing the individual's mind to think in a certain way, which is then written down. Either way, what the individual writes down is God's Speech or God's Divine Truth or, what is the same, God's Rational Organ in which infinite truths and intelligences make one. Sacred Scripture is God's Word to humankind, the source of Divine Truth revealed to humankind. In Sacred Scripture infinite truths make one, that is, are integrated into rational series that comprise a whole. This whole is called heaven and it is the highest mental state in the mental world of the human race, therefore, of every individual human being (layers 4, 5, 6).
But this is only half of the process by which correspondences create the mental world of eternity and the physical world of time-space. You need to know the other half of the description.
The physical document called Sacred Scripture (layer 12) is caused by the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) of a particular individual with whom God initiates this process of writing down Divine Speech in a natural language. The content of our natural mind is cultural and social. Hence the content of Sacred Scripture is cultural and historical, reflecting the civilization and the geography of the individual engaged in this process with God. This historical and cultural content forms the basis of religion. This means that every religion has its own version of Sacred Scripture produced by an individual from that culture whom God chose and prepared for that purpose.
Thus far in theistic psychology the following collections of Sacred Scripture have been investigated:
The Old Testament Sacred Scripture (Jewish religion) (see Section xx)
The New Testament Sacred Scripture (Christian religion) (see Section xx)
The Swedenborg Reports (or "Swedenborg Reports") (New Church religion) (see Section xx)
The Qu'ran Sacred Scripture (Islam religion) (see Section xx)
The Sacred Texts of Hinduism and Buddhism (see Section xx)
Other versions of Sacred Scripture will be researched in the future.
Definition of Sacred Scripture :
Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech or Truth transformed by layers of correspondences, from the celestial-rational mind (third heaven -- layer4), to the spiritual-rational mind (second heaven -- layer 5), to the spiritual-natural mind (first heaven -- layer 6), and then, to the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9), where we are conscious of the literal meaning of the printed sentences (layer 12).
Look at the layers again:
Spiritual Sun -- spiritual light (Divine truth or rationality) and spiritual heat (Divine good or love)
Soul of unborn embryos (Heaven of human internals)
Celestial-rational layer (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (third heaven)
Spiritual-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (second heaven)
Spiritual-natural layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (first heaven)
Natural-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Natural-sensual layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Natural-corporeal layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)
Physical body and planet
Layer 1 is the source of the mental substances of Divine Speech which is Proceeding outward into the created universe, or exteriorizing into creation. Layer 4 is the first Divine Proceeding that is actually knowable to humanity. Every individual has immortal mental layers 3 to 10. While we are still connected to the physical body (layer 12), we are conscious in the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9). Following resuscitation, which occurs a few hours after the death of the physical body (layer 12), we are conscious in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). Both spiritual (5) and celestial layers (4) are rational, but the celestial-rational (4) is higher than the spiritual-rational (5). The natural-rational mind (layer 7) in which we are conscious now on earth, is relatively lower still. In our spiritual mind our human potential is far greater than in our natural mind.
It is critical to realize that as the layers of correspondences descend or exteriorize from 1 to 12, the immediately preceding layer (called the cause) lodges itself a discrete degree within the next lower layer (called the effect). So layer 3 (soul) is a discrete degree within layer 4 (celestial mind), which is within layer 5 (spiritual mind), which is within layer 6 (spiritual-natural mind), which is within layer 7 (natural-rational mind). So by the time you are reading a book of Sacred Scripture here on earth (layer 12) you are looking at the literal content in a natural language and culture that has been transformed several times by correspondences. The literal verses of Sacred Scripture here on earth (layer 12) contain within them prior layers of correspondences. Swedenborg demonstrated in detail how these hidden layers can be extracted from the literal sense by means of the knowledge of correspondences. (see Section xx).
The content of Divine Speech changes from layer to layer, but all the layers remain in correspondence with each other in an unbroken rational series.
The closest we can get to the content of Divine Truth is the state of our heaven in the celestial mind (layer 4). This mental state can be reached following the mental state in which we are resuscitated. When we are in our "celestial" mental state, we can read the version of Sacred Scripture that the communities and societies of the third heaven possess, as witnessed many times by Swedenborg over the course of 27 years of dual citizenship, being simultaneously conscious in both his natural mind and his spiritual mind (see Section xx). Swedenborg was able to observe how the content of Sacred Scripture actually varied as he was allowed to travel in consciousness across all the layers of the human mental world in eternity (layers 4 , 5, 6) (see Section xx).
This experimental situation allowed Swedenborg to compare the content of Sacred Scripture across the layers of the human mind as Divine Speech descends across the layers by correspondences. By comparing the specific changes in meaning of particular verses of Sacred Scripture between one layer of the mental world and another, Swedenborg was able to give an empirical demonstration and analysis of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures in terms of correspondences (see Section xx). This has never happened before in the entire extensive literature of Bible interpretation. The reason is that no one since the spiritual race began, has had access to correspondences until they were observed by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).
Religions are based on the literal sense of the Sacred Scripture they were given by God when each religion was founded. Since the literal sense is a historical and cultural document, each religion has its own history and culture. Hence religions are contrastive to each other, just like one language contrasts with all other languages. Religions do not agree with each other because the literal sense of their different Sacred Scripture varies and does not agree with the literal sense of other Sacred Scripture.
Theistic psychology is not trying to conjoin religions or make them fit together. Theistic psychology is not based on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. Hence, theistic psychology is not directly relevant to religion and does not in any way affect religions.
However, we know from the Swedenborg Reports that all Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech hidden across layers of correspondences.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 5287. In the other life, especially in the heavens, all thought, and hence all speech, are carried on by means of what is abstracted from persons, and therefore thought and speech there are universal, and are relatively without limit; for so far as thought and speech are determined to persons and their specific qualities, and to names, and also to words, so far they become less universal, and are determined to the actual thing, and there abide. On the other hand, insofar as they are not determined to persons and what is connected with them, but to realities abstracted from them, so far they are determined away from the actual thing, and are extended beyond self, and the mental view becomes higher and consequently more universal.
 This is very apparent from man's thought, which insofar as it regards the words of one speaking, so far it does not regard his meaning; and which insofar as it regards the particular things of the memory, and dwells on them, so far it does not perceive the nature of the real things; and, still more important, insofar as it regards itself in everything, so far it narrows the thoughts and removes itself from viewing a subject in a universal manner. Hence it is that in proportion as anyone loves himself more than others, in the same proportion he is less wise. From this it is now plain why things abstracted from persons are signified in the internal sense by the things which in the sense of the letter are determined to persons (see also n. 5225). (AC 5287)
For a collection of passages on correspondences and representatives see below, and Section 126.96.36.199.1
See this article (and Part II) by Aubrey T. Allen for an interesting analysis of the correspondences of the anatomy and physiology of the eye or sight in relation to the levels of meaning within Sacred Scripture. Here I quote a few highlights:
(...) The globe of the eye consists of three concentric coverings or tunics enclosing the various transparent media:
1. The outermost coat, 5/6ths of which is made up of a posterior part which is white and opaque and called the sclera, and the remainder of which is an anterior transparent part called the cornea. (represents the letter of the Word, or the natural heaven.)*
2. The middle part from behind forward is the choroid, ciliary body, and iris. (Represents the interior sense of the Word, or the spiritual heaven.)*
3. The innermost tunic is the retina, or the true receptive portion for visual impressions. (Represents the inmost sense of the Word, or the celestial heaven.)
(...) When light enters the eye it must enter through the pupil. The clear front surface of the eye, anterior to the pupil, is called the cornea and consists of a small portion of the outmost tunic. The outmost tunic of the eye represents the letter of the Word, or the natural heaven, and the small anterior transparent part of this tunic called the cornea would seem to represent those clear truths in the letter of the Word upon which our understanding must focus - such truths as "he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14: 9); also "for as the Father has life in Himself so hath He given the Son to have life in Himself" (John 5: 26). The as-of-self effort to locate and find these truths from good affections, and for the sake of life, would seem to be represented by the extrinsic muscles. Once the as-of-self effort has located and found these truths they are positioned directly in front of the pupil. They then pass through the pupil and enter the crystalline lens capsule.
The capsule encloses the lens of the eye through which light must travel. The accommodative power of the lens would seem to represent an intense desire to acquire understanding for the sake of life. This is part of the second tunic of the eye representing the interior sense of the Word, or the spiritual heaven. The desire to understand bends light toward the retina, and it is brought to a focus on the macula.
The retina is the third or inmost tunic of the eye and represents the inmost sense of the word, or the celestial heaven. The macula is the most sensitive area of the retina. When light strikes this area, behold a strange thing happens. Natural light is converted into spiritual light, and man views the letter of the Word not from himself, but from the Lord. This area of the retina represents the Writings, and in particular the fovea, its inmost part, would seem to represent the Doctrine of the Lord. When light is brought to focus in this area, there is clear confirmation of those truth that have gained admittance through the pupil, especially those concerning the Lord. The scleral part of the outmost tunic of the eyes would seem to represent the clouds of heaven; but the clouds become transparent when the as-of-self effort locates them, and they then gain admittance through the pupil because they are seen in the light of the Heavenly Doctrines, from the Lord. We then see the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, descending from God out of heaven, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
(...) the visual process involves three degrees, just as the globe of the eye involves its three degrees; both corresponding to the Word and the heavens in their degree. The three degrees of the visual process are as follows.
A. SKELETAL: The visual system seeks and hold an image. (Represents the letter of the Word, or the natural heaven.)
B. VISCERAL: The visual system discriminates and defines an image. (Represents the interior sense of the Word, or the spiritual heaven.)
C. CORTICAL: The visual system unifies and interprets an image. (Represents the inmost sense of the Word, or the celestial heaven.)
(...) We need, now, to describe the difference in the quality of the nerve fibers in the retina. It has already been noted that the right eye signifies the feminine nature of man, and the left eye the masculine nature. In each eye though, there will be that which corresponds to both good and truth, or in the opposite sense evil and falsity.
In the female, affections rule, and she is the form of them, so the temporal or outside fibers of the right eye represent the love of good in her. The nasal or inner fibers would seem to represent her inward nature, or the tendency to love falsity. The masculine nature is a form of truth, so the outside retinal fibers would seem to represent the love of truth, while the inward or nasal fibers would seem to represent the love of self. As these fibers from both eyes leave the retina, and progress along the visual pathway, they approach a chiasma, or the pathway where two ways meet. It is here the Lord will separate their inward nature from their outward nature, and use good qualities in each to regenerate the dead quality in the other. His direct approach to each will be used by Him to infill and fulfill in the other that quality of life that will be a blessing to them. To do this, at the chiasma, He crosses their inward, perverted loves over to the other side. In the process in the male, the love of self represented by the nasal fibers cross over, and are associated on the other side with the temporal fibers of the right eye, represented by the love of good.
(...) Here, and in our previous paper, we have suggested that the visual pathway represents the pathway of life with the regenerating man. If this is so, then there should be a relationship between the visual pathway and the Genesis account of the seven days of creation - which account does, in fact, describe the stages in the regeneration of man. The following is meant to be suggestive of such a possible relationship.
Days of Creation Visual Pathway 1st From extrinsic muscles to the pupil; to the crystalline lens. 2nd From the crystalline lens to the retina. 3rd From the retina to the optic chiasma. 4th From the optic chiasma to the other side, or to the optic tract. 5th From the optic tract to the external geniculate body. 6th From the external geniculate body (optic radiations) to striate area #17. 7th Rest - Striate area #17.
I have been following with a great deal of pleasure the articles in The New Philosophy concerning "Thinking from Correspondences," by Dr. N. J. Berridge. In the January-March l979 issue he discusses the importance of distinguishing between representatives, correspondences and significatives. He states that the information from which we think should be based as far as possible on true and accurate natural knowledges. By this I understand that he means that in determining the truth of any external or internal phenomena, in this case the bodily function of any organic part, we should understand as far as possible the process by which it operates. He states further that "the wider and truer our natural knowledge the better will be our understanding of spiritual things." He reemphasizes this in part VII, "Some Questions about the Eye," (April-June l980 issue, The New Philosophy) and gives a very good explication of why the eye is part of the brain, and why the pathway from the eye to the internal sensory is shorter and more interior than that for sound perceived by the ear.
There is no need for me to review in detail what Dr. Berridge has said concerning correspondence as it relates to the eye. The reader would gain much if he did this for himself; but I would like to comment on something that is part of the eye, yet is not the internal aspect of it. I am referring to the extrinsic muscles of the eye.
We all know that we are not entirely comfortable when we look at someone who has crossed eyes, or when we converse with someone and that person will not look at us. Why is this so? It is because the eyes represent understanding, and in carrying on a conversation with anyone we get a better understanding of what is being said if we can see the expression of their eyes and face at the same time. Visual contact reinforces the auditory input, our memory of the conversation is better, and we just feel better about it.
Past superstitions have been hard on cross-eyed people. Due to no fault of their own they have been labeled, expressly or not, as being a little loony, or not of sound mind. If we look a little closer we may see why the effects of this abnormality may bear such a representation.
Let us review what is said in Arcana Coelestia 4410, relative to correspondences of the eyes: "It has been made clear to me by much experience that the sight of the left eye corresponds to truths which are of the understanding and the right eye to affections of truth which also are of the understanding; hence the left eye corresponds to truths of faith, and the right eye to good things of faith."
We can say, according to this, that the left eye corresponds to the understanding of things we clearly perceive to be true, and the right eye to the understanding of what is good.
Now the eyes are controlled in their movement by the action of the extrinsic muscles. They serve to move them in their orbit so that incoming light will stimulate corresponding points in each retina. Control of this movement is a learned reflex, and under the auspices of the voluntary nervous system. This means that we should be able to direct the movement of our eyes through the conscious effort of our will.
In the early stages of our life we do not have voluntary control over this system. Our first reaction to light merely serves to set off an awareness reflex. We seek to move our head and eyes in the direction of maximum light contrast, and through this endeavor we can gradually recognize shape and contour. Though this first recognition is very vague and ill defined, there is an effort to establish hand contact. Once this occurs sight is extended and refined under the tutelage of the active touch.
As we learn to balance the body, first through crawling and then walking, the input patterns from both retina are matched more precisely in the visual area of the brain. Ciliary muscles respond to more refined demand for focus, fusion is learned, and depth perception becomes part of our experience.
As a result of this sequence of events in our learning experience, and if there is no anomaly that would otherwise prevent it from happening, we have established in the act of seeing what is called a dual effector system. In this system the voluntary and involuntary components of the nervous system work together as a team. This they must do, and most precisely, if we are to meet the demands of information processing placed upon us by our modern present day environment.
It would seem, according to Arcana Coelestia 1621, 1622 and 1623, that the crystalline lens and various media represent the first gathering of truth and its presentation to our understanding. What then do the extrinsic muscles of the eyes represent? It would seem that they represent our own efforts, as-of-self, to bring truth to the view of our understanding, our own as-of-self efforts to seek out the truth, to move and manipulate it so that we can see it from every angle, and thus see it in different perspective for the sake of regeneration and life.
A cross-eyed person, on the other hand, would seem-to bear the implication of someone who is not doing his part in the regenerative process; - not doing his part in the search for truth. This condition represents faith as an intellectual conceit, hatched up by a depraved will and forced on the understanding. Outwardly such "faith" may deviate in any direction, just as crossed eyes do. It has no corresponding points on the retina as truth does, so it cannot be raised up to interior principles. "Faith in any other than the true God, and among Christians in any but the Lord God the Savior, may be compared to the disease of the eye called strabismus" (TCR 346).
As far as any individual is concerned we know that this is merely representative, and not necessarily correspondent. Nothing is reflected upon the person but upon the thing that is represented (AC 665, also AC 2010 and 4281). But it does reveal to some extent why, consciously or not, cross-eyed people have been looked upon with such uneasiness. (end of quote)
Here is an example from the New Testament Sacred Scripture:
Except ye shall eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you (John 6:53).
What does this mean?
The Incarnated Divine Human is speaking here, referring to Himself as "the Son of man," and commanding people to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He was not encouraging cannibalism! Obviously the literal contains a spiritual meaning that is hidden from the surface and must be figured out rationally by the reader. The universal explanation over the past two thousand years has been that Jesus is talking symbolically. Here is one example I found on the Web:
From: Bible Tools. Commentaries on John 6:53
Jesus Christ explains that both the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood are required if we are to have eternal life. As we symbolically drink His blood when we partake of the wine at Passover, we acknowledge our individual part in the shedding of His blood, and reconciliation with God occurs. But the process does not stop here. Once we are reconciled, we must also feed on His flesh, His words, to gain eternal life. Still, this is not enough—we must continually repeat this process as long as we live.
In other words people "symbolically drink His blood" when they celebrate the death on the cross of the Incarnated God who spilled His blood for the sake of humanity, that people may be able to live in the heavens of their mental eternity, rather than their hells. This is called "salvation" of the human race. According to the literal meaning of the New Testament Sacred Scripture the Incarnated God (see Section xx) dying on the cross is to be compared with the immolation or sacrifice of animals commanded by God in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture as a religious practice instituted with priests. The sins of the people were thus "laid upon the animals" as it were, like the "sacrificial lamb," or other animals including oxen, goats, pigeons, etc. The priests were commanded to sprinkle some of the blood of the sacrificed animals all around the place, and other such ceremonies, as described and commanded in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. One of these ceremonies included the ritual eating of designated portions of the flesh of the sacrificed animals (e.g., at the "Passover meal"). However it was strictly forbidden for the people or the priests to drink any blood.
It is in this religious, national, cultural, and historical context that God incarnated as a Divine Human in a particular country in the Middle East more than two thousand years ago, offering Himself as the ultimate blood sacrifice for the sins of all humanity, since the former sacrifices of animals ceased to be effective ritual methods when people began to misuse them for insincere and commercial purposes. Such rituals were endowed with Divine power as long as they were used sincerely, but as soon as they became merely the object of religious politics and commercialism, their Divine effectiveness ceased. Now humanity had no Divinely prescribed method for saving them from these sins, which meant, going into the hells of eternity.
In the context of theistic psychology the idea of "sin" is related to the evil traits in our inherited character that we are unwilling to change because we love them and enjoy them. As a result our spiritual mind is closed and cannot be developed while we are still living in this life on earth. When we die and are resuscitated we do not have a sufficiently functional spiritual mind and are forced to function with our interior-natural mind (layer 7). This mind when it is not regenerated contains all the inherited and acquired evils and enjoyments accumulated during our lifetime on earth in the natural mind. The consequence is that we become spiritually insane and spend our eternity in delusional and beastly mental states called "hell." The animal sacrifices were a way that God had provided in ancient times for the removal of these "sins" by giving "sinners" the opportunity to focus on their injurious behaviors and repent, that is, make a resolution not to continue them. When people did this sincerely, the Divine Psychologist was able to turn off their inherited traits and provide heavenly traits. But when it was done insincerely, just using the ritual to receive "forgiveness," not really repenting, then the Divine Psychologist was unable to "save" them from their fate in hell.
Two thousand years ago God had to introduce or create a totally new method for saving people from heading towards the hells in their minds. The Incarnation (or physical birth) of God as a human being on this earth and a citizen of a particular country, was God's method of providing new ways of avoiding the hells after our resuscitation. This new method involved the creation of a new mental organ in our conscious natural mind (layer 7) (see Section xx). This organ is called the interior-natural mind (layer 7). Every human being now possesses such an organ from birth. In order to activate this organ the individual must study theistic psychology in one form or another -- from Sacred Scripture or from instruction.
This interior-natural layer (layer 7i) is also called the interior of the natural-rational mind, hence it is the interior understanding of the literal sense of the Swedenborg Reports. Our mental operations in the interior-natural mind (layer 7i) are the direct rational consciousness of God. It is equivalent to empirical proof by the senses. For instance, if you're asked by police who stop your car, how do you know this is passenger is your father, you can say, "I can recognize my own father." Everyone relies on the evidential proof of our senses. This holds for both the negative and the positive bias. In the negative bias thinking (layer 8C), we deny that God exists as a scientific reality because we can't detect God by our physical senses or by physical instruments. But in the positive bias thinking (layer 7e) of the literal of the Swedenborg Reports, we consider the issue of God's existence rationally, not materialistically. Rationally we can accept substantive dualism as a possible reality so that we can investigate the evidence from the expectation that the evidence may show that dualism is the reality.
When we operate in layer 7iC, the interior-natural meanings that are within the natural-rational meanings of the Swedenborg Reports, then we abandon the positive bias because we now have rational proof of God based on rational consciousness of reality. God's presence and reality in managing all things in our lives and surroundings, are perceived by rational perception of mental reality. We have not a positive bias but a positive proof of God's management of the details in all actual events that occur, from the smallest possible to the largest possible.
This conscious rational proof of God's existence and presence in our mind, was not possible prior to the Incarnation Event, prior to the evolution of the new interior-natural mind (layer 7i). As a result people had needed physical, sensual, and historical proof of God's existence and presence in layers 12, 9, and 8). This was provided through sacrifices, miracles, voices, interventions, visions, angels, prophets, and other experiences of sensuous spirituality (layers 9 and 8), as this was provided through the literal sense of Sacred Scripture, given for adapted to the thinking of people in these two mental layers.
A presentation of God in natural-rational ideas (layer 7eC), would have been rejected and could not serve as the basis of the religions and civilizations that existed in those days. But this applies only to the literal sense that people read ordinarily. The spiritual sense hidden within the correspondences remained hidden and unknown until the Swedenborg Reports in the 18th century, revealed it. The knowledge of this revelation two centuries later, has not yet been widely recognized. But the birth of theistic psychology in 2000 indicates that this spiritual-rational knowledge is diffusing outside religion and is going to slowly change the face of science and education.
When sensuous spirituality ceased to be Divinely effective, thousands of years ago, due to general and inherited mental corruption and misuse, the new approach of rational spirituality began (called "Holy Spirit" in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture). In order to promote this approach God had to reveal the existence of the Science of Correspondences that had lain hidden for millenia in the spiritual sense of Sacred Scripture. The study of Theistic Psychology represents the maturation of the new rational approach to God that He has created for humanity through the creation of the new interior-natural layer (7i) . This layer could not be fully operationalized until the Age of Reason in the 18th century, that ushered in the modern scientific era and thinking. In the Swedenborg Reports God is at last able to activate the interior-natural layer within the natural-rational mind of modern scientific persons. Rational spirituality is the new age of the final completion of the evolution of humankind.
Now with this new mind "it is permitted" ("Nunc Licet" in the Latin of the Swedenborg Reports), to treat God scientifically because rational proof has been provided to one's rational consciousness in the interior-natural mind. God can now be seen scientifically, because rationally. The Swedenborg Reports also present sensual confirmation of God through the spiritual mind, since Swedenborg's mind was made conscious simultaneously with his natural mind, and this gave him the empirical ability to confirm sensually, by observation, the correspondences within Sacred Scripture, and the rational proof of God.
To allow the foundation of theistic psychology as a universal science it was necessary for God to promote the development of scientific thinking, method, and knowledge so that the human race on this earth could become a modern civilization and learn scientific ideas in their education and schooling. Such a modern scientifically educated mind became possible when Swedenborg was born at the end of the 17th century when modern science and public science education became a historical reality.
To drink God's blood as a representative ritual or symbol of His Self-sacrifice on the cross, is a literal meaning even if it is called symbolic. The symbolic meaning still retains the tradition of blood sacrifice as a religious method for having one's sins forgiven or wiped away, symbolically as if the sins had never been committed. You can see that the symbolic meaning is just as natural as the literal meaning (both in layer 8). Both meanings are in the sensual and corporeal mind (layers 8, 9) and have to do with the physical sensual world and how things are done in the physical world, namely, sacrificing (killing) animals, sprinkling blood, the Incarnated God nailed to the cross as a "sacrificial Lamb," and the other historical and scientific details in the literal of the New Testament Sacred Scripture.
Contrast this sensual-corporeal approach (layers 8, 9) with the correspondential spiritual meaning (layers 7e and 7i) given in the Swedenborg Reports as it discusses this New Testament passage:
LORD 27. That the Lord [= the Incarnated Divine Human] is called "the Son of man" when Redemption, Salvation, Reformation, and Regeneration are treated of, is evident from these passages: [from the New Testament Sacred Scripture]
The Son of man came to give His life a redemption for many (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:5).
The Son of man is come to save, and not to destroy (Matt. 18:11; Luke 9:56).
The Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).
The Son of man is come that the world through Him may be saved (John 3:17).
He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man (Matt. 13:37).
Redemption and salvation are here treated of, and as the Lord effects these by means of the Word, He here calls Himself "the Son of man." The Lord says,
That the Son of man has power to forgive sins (Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24) (that is, to save).
That He is the Lord of the Sabbath, because He is the Son of man (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5)
(i.e. because He is the Word, [= the meaning of Sacred Scripture in the natural mind]
which He is Himself then teaching). [= He is the Divine Psychologist ("Holy Spirit") in the conscious natural mind of every human being]
He says, further, in John:
Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you (John 6:27).
By "meat" is meant all truth and good of doctrine from the Word [=theistic psychology], thus from the Lord; and this is also meant there by the manna, and by the bread which came down from heaven; and also by the following in the same chapter:
Except ye shall eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you (John 6:53).
"Flesh," or "bread," is the good of love from the Word; "blood," or "wine," is the good of faith from the Word, both from the Lord. (LORD 27)
You will note that the Swedenborg Reports present the correspondential sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture, not the symbolic meaning. Thousands of proposals have been advanced regarding the meaning of obscure Bible passages, all centering their focus on the symbolic interpretation. The fact is that any person who believes in God and acknowledges the Bible as the Word of God will automatically render a symbolic interpretation the literal sentences, rather than imagine such awful things about what God ordered people to do.
Besides commanding people to "drink blood," God has talked about Himself in terms that cannot be considered good or Divine. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture frequently describes God's disgusted feeling with His "chosen people" whom He was guiding to the good life. But when they disobeyed His commandments repeatedly God throws a fit of rage and cries out how He hates His people, how He regrets creating them, how He is going to take vengeance on them, and not only on them but on their children, grand children, and subsequent generations. This kind of description of God cannot possibly be taken literally if one defines God as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Divine Love and Mercy, as He is also described repeatedly in Sacred Scripture.
Further, when He forgave His chosen people and took their children into the "Promised Land" that He gave to their ancestors, He commanded them to exterminate the inhabitants that already lived in that land. bade them to intermarry or even use their animals. He ordered them to kill men, women, children, animals, and to burn everything down, before they would be allowed to build their own cities. The mind of the average person today recoils at these horrendous things Sacred Scripture says about God. So it is obvious that we must give a symbolic interpretation, not a literal one. And many have been presented. In fact millions of people who hear Christian sermons every Sunday are presented with symbolic interpretations of the Bible passages that constitute the Lesson for that week.
Remember that symbolic interpretations of the Bible passages are mental operations of reasoning and thinking in layer 8, which is the exterior-natural mind, also called the sensual mind or scientific mind. This is below layer 7, the interior-natural mind, also called the rational mind. We need to remember that "rational" in theistic psychology refers to thinking based on spiritual truths from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture.
According to this definition nothing spiritually rational can be thought of below layer 7, which is the layer that is in between the spiritual world of eternity and the physical world of time-place. The content and basis of thinking in the exterior-natural mind (layer 8) is materialistic by necessity since it is in the negative bias mode, which denies the existence of something that is not material in time and place. For example, when people who believe in "God's Word" think about the afterlife, since this is promised there, they think of a heaven on earth, and a resurrection of their physical body on earth, or some other planet. They do not think of the afterlife as the mental world of eternity. If Sacred Scripture were to say this and other such things as you are studying in theistic psychology, few people would be left who would be willing to be good and obey God's commandments. This is because they are thinking of the mental world of eternity idea as worthless to them. In their materialistic thinking of God they can only imagine a God who rewards you with physical goods, not just mental.
It's only when we start thinking in layer 7 that we can begin to understand substantive dualism, dual citizenship, and the resuscitation of the spiritual mind in the mental world of eternity. We can then understand rationally (not materialistically) that all our feelings, thoughts, and sensations are real in their own world, that these are never here in the physical world of the brain or the skin, which only form a covering for them (layers 11, 12). The physical covering disintegrates in the dying process (layer 12, but not layer 11), while everything else remains. Understanding these ideas requires that people inquire into the meaning of those Bible passages at a spiritual level, and this is interior or higher (layer 7) to the exterior (layer 8, materialistic spirituality). The Swedenborg Reports have a literal meaning at the level of layer 7e, which consists of natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. Theistic psychology is the layer 7i thinking that involves discovering the correspondences of the literal expressions in which the Swedenborg Reports are written.
Symbolic interpretation is necessary for the literal of Sacred Scripture, but there are higher layers to be explored and received from God. This higher layer is the understanding of Sacred Scripture in terms of correspondences. This new understanding is progressive, starting with spiritual-natural correspondences (layer 6C), continuing with spiritual-rational correspondences (layer 5C), and finally with celestial-rational correspondences (layer 4C). Since these layers of our mind remain unconscious until our resuscitation, God supplies us with a conscious interior-natural mind that is capable of representing to itself all the layers above. Even though these are only representations of the actual higher correspondences in our upper layers, they are endowed by God with the power to connect with those layers. The more we study and develop our rational understanding of higher order correspondences in Sacred Scripture, the more these higher layers of our mind can develop. This not only insures a life of heaven in eternity, but we derive the benefits immediately in the conscious natural mind.
But there is one hitch to this wonderful cognitive ability in our conscious interior-natural mind. We construct invalid or corrupted representations, thus useless for development, unless we are engaged in spiritual combat in our regeneration. The degree of our regeneration imposes a limit on the degree of our understanding. God has built into this a growth mechanism that protects us from spiritual catastrophe. The Divine Psychologist allows us to understand only those correspondences that we are not going to misuse and corrupt for hellish purposes.
I have noticed in my years of regeneration and study of Sacred Scripture that the correspondences I understand in one year deepen in subsequent years. Even when I reread what I have written in the early days of constructing theistic psychology, I get new, higher meaning out of it. Expressions and sentences are such wonderful vehicles that they can contain an endless series of higher meanings to be discovered gradually. Consider how correspondences work by thinking of a some examples. You will discover that correspondences is a natural way of thinking for us because we normally describe mental things by physical things, and we do this in our daily thinking and speaking.
The correspondential sense of the physical activity "to eat" (layer 12) is the mental activity of "to appropriate as our own." "To drink" has a similar correspondential sense as "to eat" or "to ingest." A physical act "to eat" or "to drink" corresponds to the mental act of "to appropriate" or "to incorporate the information." "Flesh" in the physical world corresponds to "good" or "love" in the mental world. "Blood" or "wine" correspond to spiritual truths (in layers 7, 6, 5, 4, the interior layers), while "water" corresponds to natural truths (in layer 8, the exterior sensual-scientific mind).
In other words, physical flesh or bread offered in a sacrifice to God represents the "good of love," which in the mental world is the substance of spiritual heat that streams out of the Spiritual Sun, and thence into the mind of every human being (see Section xx). Similarly, physical blood or wine in a sacrifice to God represents the "good of truth" (or rational faith). The physical act of eating or drinking represents the process of "appropriation" by which the good of love (received in our affective organ, A) is conjoined to the good of truth received (in our cognitive organ, C) in our natural mind throughout its layers. This only occurs during regeneration. And so Sacred Scripture is telling us that unless we undergo regeneration ("eating flesh and drinking blood") we cannot stop being hellish.
Note that this conclusion cannot be reached merely from the symbolic meaning of the expressions. Knowledge of correspondences must be applied.
The "truths in Sacred Scripture" are nothing but spiritual light streaming from the Spiritual Sun into our cognitive organ. Spiritual heat as a substance is called "good" or "love" when it is received by the affective organ of human beings. Spiritual light as a substance is called "truth" or "wisdom" or "rationality" when it inflows into the cognitive organ. Hence "to eat the flesh or meat of the Son of man," i.e., the "Divine Human," has nothing to do with the physical act of eating from the sacrifices of animals, which is its symbolic meaning. The correspondential meaning of eating flesh or meat is to appropriate the spiritual heat from the Divine Human, and this means to allow love into our heart or motivational and behavioral intentions. Similarly, the correspondential meaning of drinking blood or wine is to appropriate the spiritual light from the Divine Psychologist, and this means to allow spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture in our mind or thinking. This we do first in reformation, then in regeneration (see Section xx).
The correspondential sense of "blood" is "spiritual light" or spiritual truth (rational faith), which only God can originate, coming from the Spiritual Sun. People cannot construct or think any spiritual truths in the exterior-natural layer of the mind (8), where only natural truths can operate. This is why that layer is called the sensual or scientific mind, meaning that all its contents is based on sensory input through the physical body, leading the negative bias in science and materialism in everyday thinking and reasoning. Materialism either opposes the idea of God or turns it into a materialistic concept (anti-dualism, anti-eternity, anti-spiritual mind).
Spiritual truths involve concepts that describe the reality of the mental world of eternity, and since no one has conscious access to that world until resuscitation, it is clear that these facts about our life in eternity must be revealed through Sacred Scripture. A theistic science could not make its appearance until modern civilization began in the 18th century, which is when the Writings of Swedenborg were published (see Section xx). There was no use making these scientific revelations to humanity until people had enough of a rational outlook to be able to adopt the positive bias in science. Rational proof of God can only be given in rational consciousness, not sensuous consciousness.
Once the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture was revealed, along with its scientific concepts and principles (see Section xx), it became possible for scientific thinking to access the empirical facts about the mental world of eternity, which is our afterlife of immortality. The physical matter of blood corresponds to the mental substance of spiritual truth received in the cognitive organ (layer 7C) as spiritual light substance streaming in from the Spiritual Sun, both directly into layer 7C and indirectly through the upper layers that we share with those who are already in eternity (see "Vertical Community" in Section xx). Hence, to "drink the blood of the Son of man" has nothing to do with drinking or with sacrifices (as in their literal and symbolic meaning). It has to do with appropriating spiritual-rational information to one's conscious natural mind (7C), and hence to make spiritual truths part of our thinking in daily life and in science (layer 8C). This is what God is telling us when we see in the literal of Sacred Scripture the commandment to "drink His blood and eat His flesh."
Now consider the following illustrations from the Old Testament Sacred Scripture as discussed in the Swedenborg Reports. It proves that "flesh" and "blood" are used as correspondences for spiritual "good" and "truth" throughout the Old Testament Sacred Scripture as well, not just in that passage. This is important because it proves that we are not just making an arbitrary interpretation of that one passage.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 3813. As regards "flesh," in the supreme sense it signifies the own of the Lord's Divine Human [= His affective organ], which is Divine good [ = spiritual heat ], and in the relative sense it signifies the own of man's will [ = affective organ ] made alive by the own of the Divine Human, that is, by His Divine good
[ = when we are resuscitated and enter our heavenly layer, our feelings are personal adaptations of God's feelings in each of us ].
This own is what is called the heavenly own [ = our personality in layers 6, 5, 4 ], which in itself is the Lord's alone appropriated to those who are in good, and thence in truth [ = our thoughts and feelings are personal adaptations to God's thoughts and feelings ]. Such an own have the angels who are in the heavens [= our mental states in layers 6, 5, 4 ], and men who as to their interiors or as to the spirit are in the Lord's kingdom [= when we are regenerating our inherited character through the truths in our conscious natural mind ]. But in the opposite sense, "flesh" signifies the own of man's will, which in itself is nothing but evil [ = from inheritance ], and not being vivified by the Lord is called "dead," and thus the man himself is said to be dead [= prior to regeneration we have our inherited character which is connected to the hells in our mind. To be in hell is called to be dead.] (...)
 The same was represented in the Jewish Church [= the literal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture ] by the ordinance that Aaron, his sons, and they who sacrificed, and others who were clean, might eat the flesh of the sacrifices, and that this was holy (Exod. 12:7-9; 29:30-34; Lev. 7:15-21; 8:31; Deut. 12:27; 16:4). If therefore an unclean person ate of that flesh, he was to be cut off from his people (Lev. 7:21). (That these sacrifices were called "bread," may be seen above, n. 2165.) That "flesh" was called the "flesh of holiness" (Jer. 11:15; Haggai 2:12), and the "flesh of the offering which was on the tables in the Lord's kingdom," see Ezek. 40:43, where the new temple is described, by which there is evidently signified the worship of the Lord in His kingdom. (...)
 (...) They who know the internal sense, know that they shall come into the other life with a body, but a purer one [ = spiritual body, layer 10 ]; for in the other life there are purer bodies [ = not made of physical matter but of immortal substances ]; for they [ = once we are resuscitated in the spiritual body ] see each other, converse together, and enjoy every sense as in the present body, but in a more exquisite degree. The body [ = physical body, layer 12 ] which man carries about here on earth is for uses on earth, and therefore consists of bones and flesh [ = from physical matter ] ; and the body which the spirit carries about in the other life is designed for uses in that life, and does not consist of bones and flesh, but of things which correspond to them [ = bones and flesh from spiritual substances ] (n. 3726).
 That in the opposite sense "flesh" signifies the own of man's will, which in itself is nothing but evil, is evident from the following passages. In Isaiah:
They shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm (Isa. 9:20).
I will feed their oppressors with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with new wine (Isa. 49:26).
I will feed them with the flesh of their sons, and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat everyone the flesh of his companion (Jer. 19:9).
Let those who are left eat everyone the flesh of another (Zech. 11:9).
I will chastise you seven* times for your sins; and ye shall eat the flesh of your sons; and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat (Lev. 26:28-29).
The own of man's will, that is, the nature of man, is thus described, for this is nothing else than evil and the derivative falsity; thus is hatred against truths and goods, which is signified by "eating the flesh of his arm, the flesh of sons and daughters, and the flesh of a companion."
 In John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a great voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all both free and bond, both small and great (Rev. 19:17-18; Ezek. 39:17-20);
that here by the "flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses and of those that sit upon them, of all, both free and bond," are not signified such things as these, must be evident to everyone; thus that by "flesh" are signified other things which have hitherto been unknown. That evils which are from falsities, and evils from which are falsities, both from the own of man's will, are signified, is manifest from the several expressions.
 As in the internal sense the falsity which results from the own of man's understanding is "blood"; and as the evil which results from the own of his will is "flesh," therefore the Lord speaks as follows concerning the man who is to be regenerated:
As many as received, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name; who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13). [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
Hence it is that by "flesh" in general is meant every man (see n. 574, 1050); for whether you say man, or man's own, it is the same thing. (...) (AC 3813)
You can see from these illustrations that correspondences are universal and fixed by creation. They do not depend on subjective or personal interpretation, as with the symbolic meaning or interpretations that various scholars have offered for these strange passages. Consequently correspondences do not change. They are the same regardless who the prophet is because they don't depend on the prophet's understanding or thinking.
The prophets who wrote pieces of Sacred Scripture received the words they wrote down purely by inspiration. They did not know what the words meant or even that they were correspondences. Nor were they familiar with what other prophets had written earlier or subsequently. Hence the fact that all these writers over several centuries independently wrote by the same correspondences, constitutes scientific proof that Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech laid down in correspondences (see Section xx). Try if you can to think of another explanation for this agreement in correspondences.
Further, correspondences are not symbolic or figurative expressions. Correspondences are laws between cause and effect. Every mental state or property has a correspondence with some specific property of a physical object or event. The mental property is the cause while the physical property or event is the effect.
With this principle you can see how Sacred Scripture contains a literal and symbolic meaning on the surface, and a spiritual or correspondential meaning hidden in its deeper layers of meaning. These hidden layers discuss a different topic than the surface layers. As indicated above in the illustrations, the surface literal meaning may be discussing sacrifices, blood, rituals, and eating flesh, while the deeper spiritual layers are discussing theistic psychology, the anatomy of the mind, character reformation, life in heaven and hell, etc. Clearly there is no hint from the natural world surface topics what are the mental eternity topics that lay hidden within. Until the laws of correspondences were revealed in the Swedenborg Reports in the 18th century, scholars could only speculate and hypothesize and make wild guesses as to the meaning or message in the visionary scenes described in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures. It is the same with other Sacred Scriptures.
This speculative or symbolic approach is continuing today since there is not yet an interest or knowledge in the Writings of Swedenborg. Hence authors today continue to publish dozens of new books every year giving their latest theories of what the last book of the Bible means. This Book of Sacred Scripture is called The Book of Revelation and also The Apocalypse. If you google these titles you will see the amazing frenzy of intellectual activity devoted to trying to penetrate this topic. It appears from the literal meaning and the symbolic meaning that John's Book of Revelation in the Bible is talking about the "end of times." This is the theory that the physical world will end sooner or later because that's what the Book of Revelation seems to say. Then, after the predetermined time, the physical world is recreated, but this time without the blemishes. This idea is also supported by several passages in the New Testament and Old Testament Sacred Scriptures that appear to discusses the end of times (destruction and recreation of the physical world). You can research all this very easily on the Web with google. After that you will have more of a context to contrast with theistic psychology.
All this shows definitively that no one can come up with correspondences on their own and give a coherent rational account of the Book of Revelation, as well as hundreds of other visionary passages in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures. Swedenborg made a careful study of these passages and compared them to the wording of Sacred Scripture that he found in the spiritual layer (5) of the mental world, and also above that, in the celestial layer (4). If you would be able to become conscious in your spiritual mind right now, you too would be able to make that comparison, as long as you retained your conscious awareness in the natural mind, as happened to Swedenborg. But without this simultaneous dual consciousness it would not be possible to empirically discover correspondences.
For instance, Swedenborg was surprised at first to discover that people who are already conscious in their celestial layer (4) of the mind in eternity -- he called them "angels" -- are far more intelligent than we are here in our natural mind, yet they too did not know that their Sacred Scripture was written in correspondences (celestial-rational). This is because the natural mind, with all its memories of Sacred Scripture and etc., becomes unconscious when we complete the resuscitation process at our second death and enter the celestial layer of immortal conjugial life (see Section xx).
When we read Sacred Scripture in our interior-natural mind (layer 7) the meanings we are conscious of are totally different in content from the meaning of Sacred Scripture in our exterior-natural mind (layer 8). The difference is as we have discussed above, namely, that all references and topics to names of places, natural objects, numbers, natural ideas about countries, government, kings, etc., do not appear at all in the correspondential sense. Instead, their correspondences appear. Instead of "blood" or "wine" there appears "truths" of different kind, and instead of the number "10" there appears the word "remains" which refers to the heavenly mental states in our life on earth that the Divine Psychologist stores up for us to enjoy in our heavenly immortality (layers 4, 5, 6) (see Section xx). Instead of the names of places on this earth like "Jerusalem" or "Egypt" or "Syria" there appear references to the mental states to which these names correspond, e.g., our principles of life based on Sacred Scripture ("Jerusalem"), our materialistic thinking and negative bias approach in science ("Egypt"), or positive bias approach applied to Sacred Scripture ("Syria").
You can see why no one over the centuries could come up with these correspondences on their own, especially since they don't know the details of the mental world.
It is revealed in the Swedenborg Reports that the names of places mentioned in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were given to those places by a more ancient generation that inhabited that portion of the Middle East. This ancient civilization still had left over knowledge of correspondences and they assigned names to geographic places according to natural representatives to mental correspondences. As a result, when the Old Testament prophets wrote about the events of the day in relation to God, they mentioned those names of places where the historical events took place. This is how those names became part of Sacred Scripture, and by Divine foresight and management, the events and the places where they took place, corresponded to spiritual information. In this way there was an unbroken rational series in the correspondential sense of the narrative of Sacred Scripture. The organized and integrated knowledge of these rational series is what we call today "theistic psychology."
Another amazing aspect to correspondences is that they give a scientifically powerful description of mental states, and this information has been sought after since the beginning of literature and science. Think about a dictionary. It's an alphabetical listing with definitions and examples of the various mental compartments we have when we are cultured and educated. What's the difference between saying "I prefer to take this one." and "I'll take this one." They are close or synonymous, and yet there is a difference. Try to get a sense of the difference. These two sentences refer to two different mental states. The dictionary defines the words and expressions, which are nothing but references to mental states (e.g., "I am angry" vs. "I am content," or "I don't want to eat now." vs. "I'm pretending to eat."). These physical actions are expressions for mental states and when people speak this way they are interested in the mental states or meaning of what's being said.
Think of a Thesaurus. It too is an arrangement of words and expressions, but instead of an alphabetical arrangement it is hierarchical, made of categories within categories so that all the words in a language belong to some category. What are these categories? They are references to mental states. So the Thesaurus is a map of our cognitive organ where all these mental distinctions are constructed. The branch of the science of linguistics called semantics consists of theories and observations about how meanings are constructed and arranged in the cognitive organ of our natural mind. Now we know that this arrangement of mental operations in our natural mind (layers 7, 8) is a correspondence of the mental operations in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5), and this in turn is an arrangement by correspondence in our celestial mind (layer 4), and this in turn is an arrangement by correspondence caused by the arrangement in God's Cognitive Organ, as expressed through the Spiritual Sun (layer 1) (see Section xx).
From this you can see that God creates and manages all details of the dual universe by means of a top down series of correspondences (layers 1 through 12). This is God's way of proceeding by rational science. Correspondences must be in Sacred Scripture because the physical book of Sacred Scripture and its meaning in the natural mind are both effects produced by correspondence.
You can also now see this amazing thing: that the knowledge of correspondences gives you power that you don't have without it.
For a collection of passages on correspondences and representatives see Section 188.8.131.52.1
Swedenborg reports that the Science of Correspondences is the most ancient form of science. It was a theistic science and a theistic psychology tied to their Sacred Scripture. This science was known and practiced by the earliest generations of humans on this earth. Swedenborg confirmed this when he discussed the subject with those in their heavens in eternity who had lived on earth during that time. They had the knowledge of this science because they were able to have conscious communication with all those from their society and family who have passed into eternity. This allowed them to empirically observe what correspondences existed between the physical world of time and the mental world of eternity. They were dual citizens, conscious in both the spiritual and the natural mind. This dual consciousness died out with that early race of humans, never to recur again until Swedenborg's special case in the eighteenth century (see Section xx).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
De Verbo 7. VII. THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD.
Each and all things which are in nature [ physical body, layer 12], correspond to spiritual things [ mental layers 6 and above ]; 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 [ = in the Bible ], which is a book of the Ancient Church [ = the human race that came after the Most Ancients who had been the earliest generations on earth ], is full of correspondences.
[ = the Book of Job in the current Bible formed a part of the Sacred Scriptures of those generations called "the Ancient Church." ]
 All the ancient churches [ = religions ] 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 Israelitish people of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture ]; 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 [ = regulations and commandments specified for them in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture ]; 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 [ = refer to something spiritual above layer 6 ], therefore the sense of the letter of the Word consists of nothing but correspondences.
The Lord also, [ = during the Incarnation Event -- see Sections 184.108.40.206.1, and 1.6.8 and 220.127.116.11 and 1.8.6 and 2.19 and 18.104.22.168 and 3.10.1 and 4.4.5 and 22.214.171.124 and 5.0.6 and 126.96.36.199.1 and 188.8.131.52.1 ], because He spoke from His Divine, and spoke the Word [ = Sacred Scripture], 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 [ = part of the Swedenborg Reports ], in which the correspondences which are in Genesis and in Exodus [ = Old Testament Sacred Scripture ] 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 [Swedenborg Reports]. 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.
 I have heard and perceived from heaven that the men of the Most Ancient Church, who are those meant in the spiritual 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.
 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.
 That the idolatries of the nations in ancient times derived their origin from the science of correspondences amongst them, was because all things that appear upon the earth have a correspondence, as not only trees, but also cattle and birds of every kind, as well as fishes, and the rest. The ancients, who were in the science of correspondences, made themselves images, which corresponded to spiritual things, and they were delighted with those things, because they signified such things as are of heaven and thence of the church, they therefore not only placed them in their temples, but also in their houses, not for the purpose of adoration, but for the recollection of the heavenly thing that was signified, thence in Egypt there were set up calves, oxen, serpents, boys, old men, virgins, and many other things. For a calf signified the innocence of the natural man, oxen affections of the natural man, serpents the prudence of the sensual man, a boy innocence, old men wisdom, virgins affections for truth, and so on.
After the science of correspondences was there lost, their posterity, who were ignorant what the images and likenesses set up by the ancients signified, began to worship them as holy, and finally as deities, because they were placed in and near the temples.
The Egyptian hieroglyphics are from the same origin. So was it also with other nations, as with the Philistines in Ashdod, where was Dagon, formed like a man above and like a fish below, which image was so contrived because a man signifies rational intelligence, and a fish natural knowledge. From similar origin was the worship of the ancients in gardens and groves according to the kinds of trees, as also their sacred worship upon mountains; for gardens and groves signified spiritual intelligence, and each tree something thereof, as the olive its good of love, the vine its truth of the doctrine of faith, the cedar its rational, and so on. A mountain signified heaven, and therefore the worship of the most ancient people was upon mountains. That the science of correspondences remained with many oriental nations until the coming of the Lord [see Incarnation Event], may be evident from the wise men from the East, who came to the Lord when He was born.
Therefore a star went before them, and they brought with them gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It was also said to the shepherds, in order that they might know that it was the Lord Himself, that it should be a sign unto them, that they should see Him in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, because there was no place in the inn. "The star" which went before the wise men signified knowledge from heaven, for stars in the Word signify knowledges. "The gold" signified celestial good, "frankincense" spiritual good, and "myrrh" natural good; all worship being from these three. "The manger" in which the infant Lord was found by the shepherds, signifies spiritual nourishment, because horses, which are fed from a manger, signify intellectual things. "The inn" where there was no place signified the Jewish Church, in which at that time there was no spiritual nourishment, because everything of the Word and thence everything of worship with them, had then been adulterated and perverted. Hence it is said that this would be for a sign to them that it was the Lord (Luke 2:12).
Nevertheless, the science of correspondences was altogether none with the Israelitish and Jewish nation, although all things of their worship, and all the statutes and judgments given to them, and all things of the Word, were pure correspondences. The reason was that that nation was idolatrous in heart, and such that it did not even wish to know that anything of their worship signified anything celestial and spiritual. For they wished that all these things should be holy from themselves and with them in externals. Wherefore if spiritual and celestial things had been disclosed to them, they would not only have rejected, but would also have profaned them.
For this reason heaven was closed to them so that they scarcely knew that they were to live after death. That this is so, is manifestly evident. They do not acknowledge the Lord, although the whole Sacred Scripture prophesied concerning Him, and predicted Him they rejected Him for this sole reason, that He taught them of the heavenly kingdom, and not concerning an earthly kingdom, for they wanted a Messiah who would exalt them above all nations in the whole world, and they did not wish any Messiah who would provide for their eternal salvation. Moreover, they say the Word contains in itself many arcana, which are called mystical, but they do not wish to know that these treat of the Lord and His Kingdom; but they do wish to know when it is said that they are concerning gold and alchemy.
 That this science was not disclosed after those times, was because the Christians in the primitive church were very simple, that it could not be disclosed to them, for if disclosed, it would have been of no use to them, nor would it have been comprehended. After those times darkness arose over the entire Christian world, on account of the Papacy [e.g., selling of indulgences and forbidding people to read Sacred Scripture -- see Section xx], which at length became Babylon [religious rituals], and they who are of Babel, and have confirmed themselves in its falsities, are for the most part natural, sensual men, and these are neither able nor willing to apprehend what is spiritual, thus what is the correspondence of natural things with spiritual.
But after the Reformation, because they began to make a distinction between faith and charity, and to worship one God under three Persons, the three Gods, whom they only named one, heavenly truths were then concealed from them, lest if revealed they should falsify them and bend them to faith alone, and none of them to charity and love. If therefore the spiritual sense of the Word had then been revealed, they would have shut heaven to themselves even by the falsification of its truths.
 For everyone is allowed to understand the sense of the letter of the Word in simplicity, provided he does not confirm the appearances of truth which are there, so far as to destroy genuine truth; for to interpret the Word as to its spiritual sense from falsities of doctrine, closes heaven, and does not open it; but to interpret the spiritual sense from truths of doctrine, opens heaven, because that is the sense in which the angels are, and so man by means of it thinks together with angels, and thus conjoins them to himself in his intellectual mind.
But if a man is in falsities of doctrine and wishes to explore the spiritual sense from some knowledge of correspondences, he falsifies it. It is otherwise if man is already in genuine truths; that sense agrees with truths and appears from them, because that sense is in the light of heaven. Cloud on the other hand agrees with falsities, and if anything of this truth should appear, instead of the light of heaven thick darkness would arise, for angels turn themselves away from him, and so close heaven to him. The spiritual sense of the Word is meant by the inner garment of the Lord, which was without seam, and which the soldiers were not permitted to divide; but the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, is meant by His outer garments, which the soldiers divided. Garments in the Word signify truths, and the Lord's garments Divine truth, wherefore also the garments of the Lord, when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, appeared shining white, like light.
 At this day the spiritual sense of the Word has been revealed from the Lord [through the Writings
Sacred Scripture], because the doctrine of genuine truth has now been revealed, which doctrine is partly contained in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and now in the small works, which are being given to the public; and because that doctrine, and no other, agrees with the spiritual sense of the Word, therefore that sense, together with the science of correspondences, has now for the first time been disclosed. That sense is also signified by the Lord's appearing in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:30, 31), in which chapter it treats of the consummation of the age, by which is meant the last time of the church.
By the cloud of heaven, there and elsewhere in the Word, is signified the Word in the letter, which there, in respect to the spiritual sense, is as a cloud. But by the glory there, as also elsewhere in the Word, is signified the Word in the spiritual sense, which also is the Divine truth in light; and by the power is signified its power in the Word. The revelation of the Word as to the spiritual sense was also promised in Revelation, where that sense is meant by the "White Horse" (Chapter 19:11 to 14), and by the great supper of God, to which all were invited and gathered together (Rev. 19:17). By many that sense will not be acknowledged for a long time. Those alone who are in the falsities of doctrine, especially in regard to the Lord, and who do not admit truths, will not acknowledge this is meant by the beast and by the kings of the earth, who make war with the one sitting upon the white horse (Rev. 19:19). By "the beast" are meant the Roman Catholics, as in Rev. 17:3, and by "the kings of the earth" are meant the Reformed who are in falsities of doctrine. The mystical things which some seek in the Word, are nothing else than the spiritual and celestial senses. (De Verbo 7)
A clear distinction has to be made in your mind between the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, as described above, and the symbolic or allegorical interpretation of Sacred Scripture that abound in books today.
Consider for example the story of the Exodus from Egypt in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, which has been celebrated in the Jewish religion for thousands of years. Here is a contemporary interpretation of the symbolism involved in the Passover rituals involving the mandatory evening dinner called Seder during which various foods are eaten ritually and the Exodus story is reviewed for its significance to Jews today:
We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord our God brought us out from there
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Now, if God had not brought our forbears out from Egypt, then even we, our children,
and our children's children might still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.
Therefore, even if we were all wise, all old, all steady, all learned in the ways of God,
it would still be our duty to tell the story of the departure from Egypt.
And the more one dwells upon the features of the Exodus, the more one should be praised.
Pesach TRANSMISSION OF HISTORY
On the night of the Passover Seder we transmit our history to the next generation. The reminder on the doorpost is the Mezuzah, the yellow armband is the tefillin, and the potato peels are the matzah.
By reliving the story of the Exodus we internalize the message to all future generations. That is why the Passover Seder is the center point of the Jewish calendar, and celebrated by the vast majority of the Jewish people worldwide. We must try to understand the importance this great event represents to our national development, in order to understand the value in its transmission.
It is an old Sephardic custom where, in the middle of the Passover Seder, a loud knock is heard at the door. Standing at the door is an elderly man with a sack behind his back.
"Where are you coming from?" the people inquire.
"From the land of Egypt!" the old man's replies.
"And where are you heading?" they call out in unison.
"For the Land of Israel!" he replies.
At this point all the people place matzah on their shoulders and march around the table, to the delight of the children and guests.
EXODUS FROM EGYPT
The pivotal event of Jewish history that transformed a large "family" into a nation was the Exodus from Egyptian bondage. The significance of the Exodus is explained by Nachmanides (Exodus ch. 13) as the event that demonstrated all the fundamental principles of Judaism before the eyes of mankind: Divine creation, that God cares about man and intervenes by changing the laws of nature at times (i.e. miracles), and the concept of prophecy (why would the Eternal Being want to communicate with an "intelligent baboon"?!). These fundamental ideas were all substantiated by the Ten Plagues which showed God's power over all nature, God's warnings and punishment to the Egyptians, and it all was prophesized in advance by Moses.
Each of these principles was denied or questioned by the leading philosophers in Egypt, and for the generation that witnessed the plagues directly got a clear answer. However, for future generations it was necessary to preserve the events in a "time capsule"; by keeping the commandments we vividly relive events of the past. That is the specialness of the Passover Seder. (...)
People are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom. Wars are waged for freedom. Animals in the zoo would also prefer to be out of the cage, as wild beasts of prey. But the Jewish concept of freedom is somewhat different...
- STEP 1: Note the roasted shank bone - placed on the leader's plate or on the seder plate - which represents the lamb that in former times was sacrificed in the temple on Passover. (This custom is no longer followed.)
- STEP 2: Remember that the roasted egg, also placed on the plate, symbolizes an additional offering made at holidays in biblical times.
- STEP 3: Karpas - the green herb or vegetable (usually parsley) - represents spring and new life.
- STEP 4: Remember the bitterness of slavery with maror, a bitter herb usually represented with horseradish, but sometimes with romaine lettuce.
- STEP 5: Charoset, a paste-like mixture of fruits, nuts and wine (a delicious concoction, for which there are many recipes) stands for the mortar Jewish slaves used to construct buildings.
- STEP 6: Keep in mind that matzah - a flat, unleavened, cracker-like bread
These symbolic interpretations are not correspondences of Sacred Scripture.
Symbolism offers us a way if interpreting historical events and to apply them to our own situation. The Book of Exodus in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture tells the history of the Jews who were enslaved in Egypt for about four centuries before they were liberated by Moses who was given by God to perform miracles in order to convince the Egyptian masters to let the Jews leave the land. This story of national liberation and freedom is recalled every year by the Jews during the Passover celebration. Similarly, the ritual foods to be eaten as part of the celebration are chosen to be symbolic of the mental states of the Jewish slaves in Egypt -- eggs to symbolize offerings, parsley to symbolize spring and new life, horseradish to symbolize the bitter lives the slaves had, etc. These are not correspondences.
What then are correspondences of Divine Speech that we find in Sacred Scripture?
For a collection of passages on correspondences and representatives see Section 184.108.40.206.1
It is known generally that God manages all details of the universe. This is contained in the concept of God as having omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence (see Section xx). But now, with the knowledge of correspondences revealed in the Swedenborg Reports [ = eighteenth century Writings of Swedenborg ], we can know the particular details of how God manages every event in the endless universe. We now have scientific knowledge about God. We can study God as a scientific subject of research. The key to this research is the revelation about correspondences.
The law of correspondences is the mechanism that God has created as the method for managing the phenomena in the universe and interconnecting them into an integrated and unified whole.
The law of correspondences governs the cause-effect relations in the dual universe.
Every phenomenon in the physical universe is an effect, whose cause is a mental state in eternity.
God creates and governs the phenomena of the physical world by means of the mental world of humanity which is a rational sphere created by God's proceeding from Himself with the spiritual substance of truth (spiritual light) within which is good (spiritual heat) (see Section xx). The laws of correspondences tie the two worlds together, the physical world in time and the mental world in eternity.
Swedenborg was able to prove that the Books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture are all written in a language of correspondences which is identical for all the books in all the verses and in all the expressions and words. No exception could be found.
What is a language of correspondences?
It means that there is a secret meaning hidden within every word, every expression, every sentence, every chapter and the entire series of chapters and books together as a whole that make up a collection of Sacred Scripture. Swedenborg's proofs and analyses are restricted to the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures, but current research in theistic psychology shows that we can extend this to all versions of Sacred Scripture in various cultures and religions alive today (see Section 10.10.1 ).
The language of correspondences is similar to a built in secret code in a message that you can decipher only if you know the code. For example, you can have a secret meaning to a common expression and use it with a friend when in public. You can say "I'm thirsty." which is an agreed upon signal to your friend that you'd like to leave the place within the next 10 to 15 minutes. Or you can say "I'm very thirsty." which means leaving within five minutes. No one can possibly discover such a secret meaning. Sacred Scripture has had such a secret meaning for thousands of years and no one was able to discover it, or even to suspect that it existed. People could see that many passages in Sacred Scripture need to be interpreted symbolically. However no one knew that the natural words have to be translated (not interpreted) into their spiritual correspondences, not even the prophets who wrote them down from inspirational dictation.
God caused certain chosen and prepared individuals called prophets, to be temporarily conscious in their spiritual mind. This allowed them to witness events going on in the mental world of eternity. Since they did not know anything about mental anatomy they called these events visions and sounds from heaven. The heavenly voice commanded them to write down their visions. These visions were appearances in rational ether and the events in the vision were natural representatives of spiritual truths and ideas. Hence every word that they wrote down had two meanings. The literal meanings described in natural language what they saw that can be visible to everyone in the natural mind -- like a mountain, man, woman, animal, daytime, night, sacrifice, hell, city, war, enemy, neighbor, children, soldiers, ocean, Jerusalem, Adam, Eve, 400, up, down, etc. etc. Every one of these words has a double meaning, one natural or historical, the other rational or spiritual.
For example when the prophet mentions seeing a "horse," it is a correspondence for intelligence in the cognitive organ. Although something is being said about horses (color, number, activity), at the same time, something additional is being said about the cognitive organ (intelligence, understanding). Who would have known this if it hadn't been revealed in the Swedenborg Reports?
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports, where the expression "the Word" refers to Sacred Scripture and "Jehovah" refers to God:
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? (SS 1)
SS 3. But the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations to believe that the Word is Divine truth itself wherein are Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he judges it by its style, and in this they do not appear. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however sublime and excellent it may seem, is at all to be compared; for every other style is as darkness is to light.
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.
From the Lord proceed two things: Divine love, and Divine wisdom (or, what is the same, Divine good, and Divine truth, for Divine good is of His Divine love, and Divine truth is of His Divine wisdom, and in its essence the Word is both of these; and as it conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven, it follows that the man who reads it from the Lord, and not from himself alone, is filled by it with the good of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the good of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. In this way man has life by means of the Word. (SS 3)
You can see from this that it is critical that we understand how God manages the universe with Divine Speech which is mirrored in Sacred Scripture through its Divine style of having a double meaning, one literal and natural, the other hidden within the literal and called spiritual or correspondential (see Section xx). The reason this is so critical is that it is the correspondential meaning hidden within the literal meaning that is the actual power that holds together the dual universe as cause-effect relation to each other.
By knowing the secret knowledge of correspondences in Sacred Scripture we can know the cause-effect phenomena in the universe. This is the basis for theistic science.
Swedenborg reveals this about himself and his Divinely appointed mission as scientific revelator:
SS 4. Therefore in order to remove all doubt as to such being the character of the Word [ = Sacred Scripture ], the Lord has revealed to me the Word's internal sense. In its essence this sense is spiritual, and in relation to the external sense, which is natural, is as soul is to body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter; it can therefore bear witness to the divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man [ = layer 7C ], if he is willing to be convinced. (SS 4)
In other words, Swedenborg's mission was to demonstrate that the books of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures were all written in the Divine style which is that of correspondences. Divine Speech, which is Divine Truth or Rationality, proceeds from God and inflows into the mental world of humanity from the top of our mental anatomy called our celestial mind (layer 4). After our resuscitation, which occurs a few hours following the death of the physical body, we awaken in our spiritual mind (layer 6 and above), and continue our life in eternity (see Section xx). If we ascend in our consciousness to the highest layer of our mind we are in the celestial mind. In that mental state we read Sacred Scripture and we understand its inmost correspondential meaning called celestial-rational correspondence (layer 4) (see Section xx).
If we ascend in our consciousness to the layer below that (to layer 5, third heaven), our life exists at the level of spiritual-rational correspondences, which is the level of our understanding of Sacred Scripture in that layer (5, second heaven). Or, if we ascend to the layer below that (to layer 6), we live our life of eternity in spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 6, first heaven). So God forms existence by means of correspondences of Divine Speech (i.e., Divine Truth or spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun -- layer 1). Swedenborg compared the cities, houses, life, and character of those he encountered at each of these levels. The differences were discontinuous and only related to each other in correspondences.
Those who exist in celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture see around themselves (third heaven, layer 4) an environment of amazing beauty and complexity impossible to compare to anything on earth in terms if richness, architecture, art, wisdom. Their clothes are sumptuous, their houses are palatial, their life noble, wise, and peaceful. These things in their heavenly environment are sensual appearances produced in an instant by the celestial-rational correspondences in their understanding (4C). These are the natural representatives of the celestial-rational sphere of the mental world of eternity. The origin of this wonderful sphere is the Sacred Scripture that they study and understand. The operations in their cognitive mind produce these appearances. They are real to the sensory organs of the spiritual body (layer 4S). The sensory reality and sensations we have through the physical body in the corporeal mind (layer 9) is only a weakened copy or reminder of the real thing in the rational ether of the mental world of the afterlife.
Those whose environment in mental eternity is formed by spiritual-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture (second heaven, layer 5) are in a discrete degree below and inferior. Swedenborg describes their difference as the contrast between the brightness of the moon at night (layer 5) and the brightness of the sun at noon (layer 4). But the people who are at each layer are not at all consciously aware of such a difference. To the eyes of the people in their spiritual heaven (layer 5) their palaces and gardens and conjugial happiness and wisdom are "heavenly" -- which means the most they can possibly experience. Anything more would make them swoon into unconsciousness.
Those whose environment in the afterlife of eternity is formed by spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture (first heaven, layer 6) are in a discrete degree still lower. Their existence in eternity, as witnessed by Swedenborg, is similar to the life they had on earth, but without any negative or bad events occurring or manifesting. In this layer of heaven the cities are more modest and the people are involved in natural forms of activities and lifestyles -- shops, sports, drama, music, arts and crafts, gardening, councils of government, and so on. These layer 6 activities bare no resemblance to politics and cities on earth as we know it in our daily natural mind (layers 9, 8). It's more like the ideal perfected version of cities and their activities on earth.
Here on earth, our exterior-natural mind (layers 8) is formed by natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture (literal meaning, layer 8), and these are in a discrete degree still lower. This level of thinking and existence if formed by the historical Sacred Scriptures as we know them here on earth in various cultural or religious versions (see Section xx). This natural level of correspondence is so far away from the spiritual, that it has been vulnerable to deterioration over time, so that it can only form a mixed good-bad environment for our existence on earth. But if people were willing to assume the positive bias in science and apply the knowledge of correspondences to these historical Sacred Scriptures, then the environment around us on this earth would be transformed into a paradise that corresponds the the first heaven (layer 6).
So you can see that very much is at stake here as we discuss the subject of correspondences.
The authors of each of the books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were mostly not educated and they were unable to explain much of what they were writing down, prompted ("inspired") from internal dictation by the Divine Psychologist. They wrote down the content of Divine Speech as their mind could hear it, that is, translate it into their natural language. God does not speak in a natural language but in a Divine-Rational language. As God speaks or thinks the words that He wants to communicate to the human mind, they proceed from His mind through the Spiritual Sun (layer 1) into the mental world of humanity where every individual's mind lives and exits to eternity. Hence God's Divine Speech or Truth (or spiritual light), enters every human mind from its inmost which is called the celestial-rational mind (layer 4) and descends by the series of correspondences across the layers. When it reaches the conscious exterior-natural layer (8) of the mind, God's Speech is rendered as historical and cultural or sectarian versions of Sacred Scripture. Nevertheless, each literal version (layer 12) is holy and Divine because it contains all the prior correspondences in simultaneous order -- see simultaneous diagram.
The words of Sacred Scripture that Swedenborg saw in the Third Heaven (layer 4) expressed ideas that were impossible for him to understand because he was fully conscious in his spiritual-rational mind (layer 5), but not so fully aware in his celestial-rational mind (layer 4) (see Section xx). When he then compared the words of Sacred Scripture in the Second Heaven, which is in the spiritual-rational mind of the mental world, he was able to understand it. In other words, the words of Sacred Scripture in our spiritual-rational mind (layer 5) is a representative by correspondence of the words of Sacred Scripture in our celestial-rational mind (layer 4). You can see from this what are correspondences. They are lawful mechanisms by which the content of Divine Speech is passed down from higher levels to lower, and forming those levels through representatives that are proper to each level.
When Swedenborg compared the words of Sacred Scripture that exists in the First Heaven (layer 6), he was able to see that they were spiritual-natural representatives by correspondence of the spiritual-rational words of Sacred Scripture in the Second Heaven (layer 5). Finally, when Swedenborg compared the meaning of the natural language words of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture (layer 8) with the words of the three layers of the spiritual mind (6, 5, 4), he was able to clearly see that these were natural representatives by correspondence of the other three layers. This was his burden to prove, and he did it admirably, proving that all Sacred Scripture is from Divine Speech, but that it varies by correspondence down the layers of the human mind. This unity is very important because upon it depends the integration of the two worlds as one operating system.
None of these things were suspected by the prophets or authors of Sacred Scripture and nothing of this was known or ever discussed by anyone in the centuries long intense history of commentaries and research on the Bible. The reason is that no one can invent correspondences. They must be revealed. And Swedenborg's mind was prepared by God from childhood to serve this role of being able to become simultaneously conscious across multiple layers of the mind and to report his observations in the rational language of scholars and scientists.
Now we can study what Swedenborg has demonstrated about Sacred Scripture, and we can ourselves use this methodology for research in theistic psychology.
Remember that the Books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture span over one thousand years in their writing by dozens of little educated individuals called "prophets." These individuals had no contact with each other, of course, and there were no schools or libraries where they could evolve a tradition of thinking, as that which evolved centuries later. Each of them merely wrote down what they heard from inner dictation of God's Speech, or the visions they saw in their spiritual mind (layer 6), which was made momentarily conscious to them as in a dream. They did not know what we know today in theistic psychology, namely, that the words they wrote down, or repeated out loud, were representatives that corresponded to the words in their spiritual mind, of which they could not be aware.
It is possible therefore today, with the knowledge of correspondences, to recapture the words or meanings of Divine Speech that are hidden within the natural literal sense. We can know today what are the words of Sacred Scripture in our interior-natural mind (layer 7), and what is "interior" to the natural pertains also to the spiritual. This is the difference between the "exterior" (layer 8C) and "interior" natural (layer 7C). There is a world of difference between the meanings at level 8C and the meanings at level 7C. Layer 8C is natural, originating in content from the physical world (layer 12), while layer 7C is spiritual, originating in content from the spiritual world of eternity (layers 6, 5, 4). In layer 7, the interior-natural, we can operate with rational concepts that are compatible with the spiritual. But in layer 8, the exterior-natural, we can only operate with sensual concepts that are merely representatives, and thus do not convey any rational or spiritual content. In layer 8 we are thinking with the negative bias in science, but in layer 7 we think in terms of the positive bias in science. The logic we use in the negative bias mode (layer 8) is not rational since it denies the actual reality around us (which is theistic and dualist).
The extent to which we can understand spiritual truths in our interior-natural layer (7) is proportional to our willingness to apply our understanding to our daily living -- our willing, thinking, and doing.
The more we suffer ourselves to undergo spiritual temptations and fight them by means of our spiritual understanding, the more we are given understanding (layer 7C) of correspondences in the higher layers (6C, 5C, 4C) .
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
NJHD 251. Since therefore man [ = human being ] lives after death, and then lives to eternity, and a life awaits him according to his love and faith [ = degree of regeneration ], it follows that the Divine, out of love towards the human race, has revealed such things as may lead to that life, and conduce to man's salvation. What the Divine has revealed, is with us the Word [ = Sacred Scripture ]. (NJHD 251)
NJHD 252. The Word, because it is a revelation from the Divine, is Divine in each and all things; for what is from the Divine cannot be otherwise. What is from the Divine descends through the heavens [ = layers 4, 5, 6 ] even to man [ = layers 7, 8, 9 ]; wherefore in the heavens it is accommodated to the wisdom of the angels who are there [ = people in their eternity ], and on earth it is accommodated to the apprehension of the men who are there. Wherefore in the Word there is an internal sense [ = correspondences ], which is spiritual, for the angels [ = layers 4, 5, 6 ], and an external sense [ = layer 8 ], which is natural, for men. Hence it is that the conjunction of heaven with man is effected through the Word. (NJHD 252)
"Angels" usually refers to our consciousness in the celestial mind (layer 4) after the second death (see Section xx), but sometimes our consciousness in layers 5 and 6 are also referred to by that name. "Man" or "men" refers to our consciousness in the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) while still connected to the physical body, thus prior to resuscitation. We are then called earthlings. After resuscitation we are conscious in our spiritual mind (layer 6 and above). We are then called spirits. After the second death we are called angels. "The wisdom of the angels" refers to our consciousness through celestial-rational (layer 4) and spiritual-rational correspondences (layer 5) of Sacred Scripture. "Conjunction of heaven with man" refers to the consciousness we have when we have begun our regeneration and the natural mind is being rearranged into agreement with the spiritual mind (see Section xx). The two passages above declare that Sacred Scripture gives us successive layers of consciousness through its natural sense (layer 8), its spiritual sense (layers 7, 6, 5), and its celestial sense (layer 4).
The more we understand the laws of correspondences the more we can integrate all of psychology into a theistic science. However progress in understanding theistic psychology rationally depends on the motivation we have for studying it. If our motivation is extrinsic or instrumental (e.g., credits and grades), we can understand the concepts of theistic psychology at the natural level of consciousness (layer 8). If our motivation is intrinsic or spiritual, we can understand theistic psychology spiritually and rationally at the same time (layer 7). Intrinsic or spiritual motivation is the desire to study and know for the sake of providing for ourselves a heavenly life after death.
Our study of theistic psychology is therefore interactive, managed by the Divine Psychologist. The more we desire to conjoin with God through character reformation and through a life of usefulness to others, the more we can be enlightened and empowered by the Divine Psychologist, and the more we become a conjugial angel in eternity (see Section xx).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports: (omitting references in original)
WH 7. They are enlightened from the Word [ = understanding its correspondences ], who read it from the love of truth and good [ = intrinsic or spiritual motivation -- layer 7A ], but not they who read it from the love of fame, of gain, or of honor [ = extrinsic or natural motivation -- layer 8A ], thus from the love of self. They are enlightened who are in the good of life, and thereby in the affection of truth. They are enlightened whose internal is open [ = layers 6, 5, 4 ], thus who as to their internal man [ = layer 7 ] are capable of elevation into the light of heaven [ = layers 6, 5, 4 ].
Enlightenment is an actual opening of the interiors of the mind [ = activation of layers 6, 5, 4 ], and also an elevation into the light of heaven. There is an influx of holiness from the internal, that is, from the Lord through the internal, with those who regard the Word as holy, though they themselves are ignorant of it. They are enlightened, and see truths in the Word, who are led by the Lord, but not they who are led by themselves. They are led by the Lord, who love truth because it is truth, who also are they that love to live according to Divine truths. The Word is vivified with man according to the life of his love and faith. The things derived from one's own intelligence have no life in themselves [ = are hellish ], because from man's proprium [ = inherited traits that we appropriate by loving them ] there is nothing good . They cannot be enlightened who have much confirmed themselves in false doctrine [ = literalism, or what is based exclusively on the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture ]. (WH 7)
The code of correspondences is not a linguistic code but a reality code. Correspondences are cause-effect laws of creation and existence.
This idea is related to what the New Testament Sacred Scripture, in its correspondential sense, reveals about how the universe was created, namely, by the spiritual substance of Divine Truth streaming forth from the Spiritual Sun (layer 1). Divine Truth is the same as Divine Speech, which is the same as Divine rationality and wisdom. First, this exteriorizing substance of truth, which is also called spiritual light, creates and maintains the expanse of the mental world in eternity (layers 1 to 10). I like to call it rational ether, to which corresponds physical space or ether. Rational ether is "expanse" in eternity. For instance, your dreams are created by your mind using the medium of rational ether. Where is the house or beach you are dreaming of? It is in rational ether. Why is it in eternity? Because your thoughts and dreams are created out of the substances of rational ether in eternity. Rational ether is created by the outpouring substances of the Spiritual Sun (layer 1).
This shows you that you are born an immortal human being since our self or personhood is made of thoughts and feelings, and these are constructed out of an immortal substance called the substance of truth or spiritual light which comes forth from the Spiritual Sun (layer 1).
After creating and entering the layers of mental world of eternity, the spiritual light within which is spiritual heat, then creates and enters the physical world of time (layer 12). The physical body is made of physical elements from the natural sun, and these are temporary since they are in time. All things in time are temporary, but all things in the mind are permanent or eternal. Your self and personhood, who you know yourself to be, are conglomerations of feelings, thoughts, and sensations, arranged into a whole called your personality, which is made of mental organs called affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. These organs are immortal, while the physical organs which correspond to them are mortal or not permanent.
The affective organ of the spiritual body (layer 10A) corresponds to the heart of the physical body (layer 12) and its circulatory system of arteries, veins, and capillaries reaching throughout every part of it.
The cognitive organ of the spiritual body (layer 10C) corresponds to the respiratory system of the physical body (layer 12), including the breathing action of the diaphragm, throat, nose, ear, mouth.
The sensorimotor organ of the spiritual body (layer 10S) corresponds to the sensory and neuro-skeletal systems of the physical body (layer 12).
Memorize these relationships. They are the bases of all correspondences.
The spiritual body (layer 10) contains all the mental organs, thus, layers 9 through 4. Note that each layer has its own three versions of the three mental organs (A, C, S). See the Layers Diagram.
The relationship between spiritual heat (or good) entering the affective organ and spiritual light (or truth) entering the cognitive organ at each layer, needs to be understood. It is not truth that creates the layers but good through truth. Good is also called love because what we love, that we call good. Love or good in the affective organ is created by the spiritual heat which is within spiritual light. Good or love is a discrete degree within truth or rationality. God the Divine Human exists unchanged from forever to forever outside all time, all eternity, all creation. This Divine Human is called Divine because of love or good, and called Human because of truth or rationality. Divine love or good is God's inmost character or affective organ, while Divine truth or rationality is God's outward character or cognitive organ. In God's affective and cognitive organs, infinite things are one (see Section xx). From these two Divine Human organs come out or proceed an infinite variety of truth within which is good or love. These two acting as one are the creators of all things in both worlds.
In other words, truth substance (spiritual light) is the covering for good substance (spiritual heat within that light). Spiritual light (truth substance) is the outward covering or containant of spiritual heat (love substance). This relationship exists by correspondence also in the natural world of time, where natural light from our physical sun reaches us on the planet across space or ether, and when sunlight enters our atmosphere we can immediately feel the heat that is within it, as it raises the temperature of the surrounding environment. The heat and light from the natural sun is the source of all energy on the planet, including earthquakes, weather patterns, mountains, cars, stoves, molecules, and atoms. These relationships exist because they are exact correspondences to mental events in eternity. All phenomena in time are effects, caused through correspondence, by phenomena in eternity (see Section xx).
You can see from all this, to some extent, how God as a conscious and rational Divine Human, exercises omnipotence and maintains total and absolute control over all events in both worlds. God does this by the substances of good and truth which create all things. But note this: God cannot give these substances away since they are Divine and uncreate. They remain part of God as they are before all creation. The substances of good and truth having created the two worlds, maintain them in existence from within, since every physical object or property is nothing but the natural external representative of some quality of good and truth that create that particular object and maintain it in existence.
God is therefore at the center or inmost of every created thing. To see this visually represented look at the Layers Diagram in Simultaneous Order
God activates our mental world by the continuous inflow of the substances of good into the affective organ at each layer, and the substances of truth into the cognitive organ at each layer. Hence it is therefore that God as the Divine Psychologist (or "Holy Spirit") not only knows what we are thinking and feeling (through omniscience), but actually creates (through omnipotence) the thought or the feeling by means of the substances of good and truth.
It is God who maintains our thoughts in a coherent order through the correspondences of His thoughts with our thoughts. The inflow of spiritual light into the cognitive organ at each layer makes it possible for it to think rationally and intelligently.
Hence it is that we say that God creates and maintains the universe and our mind by means of Divine Speech, which is Divine Truth within which is Divine Love (see Section xx). God accomplishes this through the laws or regularities of correspondences, which are built in from creation and existence.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
TCR 50. That God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through the wisdom
of His love is meant by the words in John:
[ New Testament
[ New TestamentSacred Scripture ]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the world was made by Him. And the Word was made flesh [ = the Incarnation Event, see Section 220.127.116.11.1 ]
(John 1:1, 3-4, 10, 14)
"the Word" here meaning the Divine truth, or, what amounts to the same thing, the Divine wisdom; and for this reason it is called "life" and "light," "life" and "light" being nothing else than wisdom. (TCR 50)
HH 137. In heaven Divine Truth has all power, and apart from it there is no power whatever. From the Divine Truth all angels [ = layer 4 ] are called powers, and are powers to the extent that they are receptions or receptacles of it. By means of it, they prevail over the hells and over all that oppose them. A thousand enemies there cannot endure a single ray of the light of heaven which is Divine Truth. Since angels are angels from their reception of Divine Truth [ = layer 4C ], it follows that the entire heaven is from no other source, for heaven [ = third heaven, layer 4 ] consists of angels.
 That there is such power latent in Divine Truth is incredible to those who have no other idea of truth than that it is thought or speech, which have no power in themselves except as others do them from obedience. But Divine Truth has power in itself, and such power that, by means of it, heaven was created and the world with all things therein. That there is such power latent in Divine Truth may be illustrated by two comparisons, namely, by the power of truth and good in man, and by the power of light and heat from the sun in the world. (HH 137)
One of the most impressive scientific revelations in the Swedenborg Reports is the fact that truth, within which is love or good, is an eternal all powerful substance in eternity streaming out of the Spiritual Sun surrounding the Divine Human, and that corresponding to it, is the sunlight streaming out of every sun in a galaxy in the physical world of time, the two worlds being united into one by the rational laws of correspondences in God's affective and cognitive organs within which infinite things make a one (see Section xx). This is the correspondential sense hidden within the well known sentence of Divine Speech:
And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.
(Old Testament Sacred Scripture, Genesis:1:3)
Physical light and heat from the natural sun are material in the form of physical particles and wave energies. Physical light and heat derive their origin and properties from the light and heat streaming out of the Spiritual Sun (layer 1), to which they correspond (layer 12). Spiritual light and heat are not material in construction but substantive. They are substances. The word matter is usually used for stuff in the physical world originating from the stars or suns, while the word substances is used for stuff in the mental world of eternity originating from the one Spiritual Sun (layer 1). Swedenborg could see this Sun when he was in the celestial state of his conscious spiritual mind (layer 4), as could also all those whom he found to be conscious in this state of their mind called the Third Heaven of humanity (see the Layers Diagram.
You too can see the Spiritual Sun in layer 1 of your mind, once you have ascended to your celestial mind (layer 4) after resuscitation, which occurs a few hours following your death.
But Swedenborg reports that only those people can stand to come mentally (in layer 4) near the Spiritual Sun who have reformed their inherited character prior to death, and are consequently willing after resuscitation to let go forever of every evil love and enjoyment that they inherited and acquired.
Only those want to do this who have fought in spiritual temptations against their inherited hellish traits, and have beaten them back and down and out by means of the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture, that they understood rationally as the power of God within the truth that one perceives in it under enlightenment from the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx).
Light from the Spiritual Sun is a spiritual substance while the heat that is within the light, is a celestial substance.
Light and heat from the physical sun are a natural substance, usually called matter and space (including force fields, quanta, atoms, molecules, elements, compounds).
The spiritual substance of light activates the receptors of the cognitive organ at each layer, which we experience subjectively as thoughts coming into our conscious awareness. The sequence of these thoughts follow a rational order, without us having to exert control over them, indicating that this human rational sequence is caused by the inflowing substance of spiritual light. Spiritual light substance = Divine Speech or Truth streaming into the cognitive organ from the Spiritual Sun (layer 1).
Clearly, the rational order of our spontaneous thoughts as human beings is caused by the rational order of God's thoughts. God is Divine Human, hence his thoughts are human rational at the Divine level of being. God created our cognitive organ out of the substances of spiritual light within Himself that He caused to stream outside of Himself at creation. The form and structure of the cognitive organ it created is to be a receptor organ for the inflowing spiritual light.
The correspondence of this action can be seen on the natural plane of sensuous observation (layers 9, 8) through our physical body (layer 12) during life on earth. We can understand scientifically that plants are made of molecules out of the elements of earth, which originate in the sun (earth being a piece torn off from the sun and cooled down). So the organic structure of the plant is made of the matter from the sun. This structure is now capable to be a receptor organ for receiving the light from the sun. Sunlight (within which is heat) streams into the plant molecules and makes them operate in various ways so they can produce growth, fruition, and reproduction. These natural procedures with plants occur only because they are effects, or representatives by correspondence, of the spiritual procedures that occur with the cognitive organ and the Spiritual Sun, and to which the natural procedures correspond.
You can say in truth that plant and animal life are alive and operate as effects that are actually caused by mental states of human beings to which they correspond (see Section xx). This does not mean that your own individual mental states can cause a plant to survive or to die here on earth. This is because you are not able to put your mind into those states that correspond exactly to the multiple mental causes that maintain the plant alive in the physical world. But God can do that.
For instance, during the Incarnation Event (see Section 18.104.22.168.1) God publicly demonstrated His ability to control the mental states of humanity through which He creates physical phenomena, as for instance, turning water into wine, giving the sight back to the blind, feeding to satisfaction a crowd of thousands with one loaf of bread, causing a coin to turn up in the mouth of a fish just caught, resurrecting the dead, healing the sick by touching them, and other acts called "miracles" (see Section xx).
These historical events demonstrate that physical phenomena are effects caused by human mental states, which the Incarnated God Man could control from Himself, being the omnipotent God in natural appearance.
You too are able to create the appearances or the environment around you, once you are conscious in your spiritual mind after resuscitation. This is completely normal and spontaneous. When your mood is bright and friendly in the mental world of eternity, the environment around you is pleasant, filled with nice houses, fragrant gardens, delicious fruits, amazing art, beautiful clothes, jewelry, and all sorts of friendly animals. But when your mood is dark and unfriendly, the environment that is produced around you is scary, filled with grottos, deserts, poisonous fruits and animals, shabby clothing, and noxious or putrid smells.
Heavenly environments (layers 6S, 5S, 4S) are created by the substance of truth being received in our cognitive organ (layers 6C, 5C, 4C) without contradicting them. Hellish environments are created by the mental states in layer 7, when the spiritual layers have not been developed by regeneration of layer 8 and 9).
The motive why we want to contradict truth, is simply to allow ourselves to continue our enjoyment of hellish traits, which we would have to give up if we did not contradict or pervert the truth that streams into our spiritual mind.
As soon as we are willing to let go of all our hellish enjoyments, we no longer have the motive to contradict truth, and we can then be consciously in heaven, existing there forever.
Ordinarily people think of truth as an accurate and valid description or statement of how things really are. People do not think of truth as a substance with its own existence like light, that can stream into their mental organs in eternity. But thinking more rationally, and scientifically, we can know from revelation that truth is a spiritual substance in God that inflows into the cognitive organ of every person and produces there operations that follow the rules of logic and rationality.
Spiritual light streaming into the cognitive organ in the mental world of eternity is analogous to electricity that streams into the thin wires of a light bulb and sets them aglow with light from the heat inside. It is the electricity (fast moving electrons) streaming into the thin wire in the glass bulb that makes it white hot and provides the light. The light wave streaming out of the hot bulb is therefore an effect or phenomenon produced by the electricity being absorbed into the material (molecules) of the tungsten wires. The absorption of energy in the form of electricity, causes the atomic particles of the wires to move faster, which causes particles and waves of energy to flow from the wires across the wall of the transparent glass bulb into the surrounding space, and into the eye (or camera).
A similar corresponding sequence of tiny events take place when spiritual light (cause) is absorbed into the receptor organ called the cognitive organ, initiating and maintaining its operations, so that the end result of the process is the subjective phenomenon of understanding or conscious awareness (effect). Truth-substance (spiritual light) activates the cognitive organ of the mind so that it produces thinking operations governed by a rational syntax that belongs to the truth-substance.
It is then the action of correspondences that creates all effects (phenomena) in the natural world by means of causes in the spiritual or mental world to which they are tied by the laws of correspondence.
This is not an arbitrary code but the genetic code of reality itself. This is the code in which all Sacred Scripture is written, and no other human work has this unique Divine and infinite property. This is why it is said in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture that the universe was created by means of "the Word of God," that is, by means of the Divine Truth in Divine Speech, or the spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun streaming into the universe, creating it, and maintaining it from "Firsts to Lasts" (see Section xx).
God did not create the universe out of nothing merely by speaking words. It is not rational to think that something can be created out of nothing. Instead, all things must originate from some other thing that already has been created, except that which is uncreate and has always existed.
All things that exist must therefore be created from the things that have always existed and are called uncreate.
The substances of good and truth in infinite quantity or variety, streaming out of God, are uncreate, and consequently are the building blocks of reality and the universe.
Hence it is that God is omnipresent, not in space but a discrete degree within it (see Section xx). God is present as the good and truth that forms the infrastructure of all objects and properties.
From the preceding discussion it is clear that our mind is operated as discrete layers of operations, each lower layer being operated by its higher layer through the laws of correspondences. Prior to our resuscitation in eternity (see Section xx) we are conscious in our natural mind and unconscious in our spiritual mind; but after resuscitation, we are no longer conscious in our natural mind, but only in our spiritual mind (see diagram in Section xx).
The conscious thoughts we have in our natural mind in daily living (layers 9, 8, 7) are representatives by correspondence of thoughts we have in our unconscious spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). See Chart of Layers.
First spiritual substances of good and truth enter our affective and cognitive organs at the highest layer of our spiritual mind called celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 4). Second, the lower level of the spiritual mind reacts to it by correspondence through spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 5). Third, the middle level of the spiritual mind reacts to it by correspondence through spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 5). Fourth, the lower level of the spiritual mind reacts to it by correspondence through spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 6). Fifth, the upper level of the natural mind reacts to it by correspondence through natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 7). Sixth, the middle level of the natural mind reacts to it by correspondence through sensuous correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 8). This is what we know as Sacred Scripture in a natural language at the literal meaning (see Section xx).
God creates and manages all the details of the dual universe through Divine Speech (historically known to many as "the Word of God" or "Logos"). Divine Speech issues or proceeds from the Infinite Rational Mind of the Divine Human. Swedenborg has described the Spiritual Sun as a brilliant aura around the Divine Human so that all whose consciousness is in the highest portion of their rational mind, can visually or sensually see the Divine Human amidst the Spiritual Sun as an aura around Him.
In that state of mind called our “third heaven,” we know that the visual and sensuous appearance of the Divine Human outside of themselves at a seeming distance in the sky, is only an appearance that represents the Omnipresence and the Co-Presence of the Divine Human within themselves. They know that He is actually co-Present inside their mind, not sensuously, but rationally in the good and truth that inflows from Him and activates their will and their understanding. They know that the Spiritual Sun seen outside of themselves is actually within themselves. They cannot see the infinite, but the infinite can be within what is their finite and never the other way round (see Section xx).
The sensuous consciousness of God is distant, but the rational consciousness of God is close up. Co-Presence with God is possible only in rational consciousness of Him. This is why the Divine Human had to depart the physical plane of reality. To remain would have condemned humanity to a distant relationship when God was longing for a close relationship. He departed from a distant sensuous consciousness for the sake of close up rational consciousness.
It is revealed in the Swedenborg Reports that God created the universe in order to bestow eternal conjugial happiness and wisdom to every human being. It was not possible for us to be human, rational, and free by being created ready made angels in the eternity of heaven. That's what God would have done had He wanted a race of sensuous robots. While such a race could worship and obey God, it would not be able to love God. But God wants love, not worship and obedience for its own sake. God Himself is infinite love and truth, and the nature of love, as revealed in the Writings, is "spiritual conjunction."
In other words, God's love is such that it desires to make every human being He creates, happy and rational to eternity by having them experience His infinite love and truth as if they are their own.
For instance, when we walk, we feel like we are walking from our own power to exercise our will to move towards a goal. And yet, we know from rational revelation that our will has no power of its own but must be moved by God's Divine Speech which inflows into our affective organ in the form of love or spiritual heat (see Section xx). It is God's spiritual heat, or love, inflowing, that moves our legs while walking toward a particular goal. And yet, if feels like it is our own will that moves our legs towards the goal we have chosen.
Another example is given by our ability to study and learn. It feels like we are putting up the effort to read, analyze, comprehend, memorize, apply. And we are happy with ourselves when we succeed. But in reality, it is God's moment by moment interventions that puts one thought next to another, or supplies the reasoning procedure by which we can make an appropriate conclusion.
These examples show how God wills
that what is actually His, to be as-if ours.
God's inflowing love and truth, activating our will and intelligence, appear ours, yet are not actually ours, but appear as-if they are ours (see Section xx). This is the actualizing form that God's love takes.
Swedenborg was told by the celestial angels that they actually perceive the inflowing love and truth from the Divine Human. They also told him that if they should for a moment think that their powers, intelligence, and wisdom are their own, rather than appear as-if their own, they would instantly fall out of heaven. The heavenly state of consciousness attributes every detail of one's thoughts and feelings to the Divine Human. But it is otherwise for the unenlightened person informed by sensuous consciousness rather than by rational ideas from Sacred Scripture. When we are in this materialistic mentality of the sensuous, we attribute some things to God and some things to ourselves. I have sometimes been told by people that they hate the idea of this "as-of self" that I was explaining to them. They react to the idea as something that removes their motivation or incentive to do or think anything. People want the credit for their effort and abilities. Of course, this is a practical attitude when we are interacting with other people in society, but it is an insane idea spiritually when we are considering our interactions with God who activates all our activities.
Rational reception of Divine Speech by each individual is the mechanism that God has created for human beings so that they can be consciously co-Present with God. Co-presence with God is called "conjunction" with Him. When we are in a state of conjunction with God we are consciously aware of His interior presence in our rational mind. We can talk to Him as if He were present face to face on the outside, but He does not engage in sensuous or physical dialog by voice or apparition. He makes His thoughts known to us instantly, so that we think it in the form and meaning that is at our level of mentality. This is rational consciousness of God and it affords us conscious co-Presence. In that state of closeness to Him He is able to give us conjugial bliss in eternity.
It is most important to underscore the fact that this co-Presence and communication with the Divine Human is not sensuous but rational.
There are no voices or visions like the prophets of old experienced in their sensuous consciousness. There is no interlocutor who takes turns in a dialog, as we do with other people. There is only rational perception and rational love. In other words, God arranges our thoughts and feelings in a way that corresponds to His message. We experience His message as our own thinking, feeling, and rational perception. It is only rationally that we know that it is God who has rearranged our thoughts and feelings in any particular situation. In terms of sensuous experience, it appears that it is our own rearrangement or insight. It is easy to deny that it is God's. God makes it easy for us to deny that it is He that arranges our thoughts and feelings.
In the modern age of science, God would not speak to us in living voice or appear to us visually because this would paralyze our rational consciousness of Him and thus deny us His co-Presence, rob us of conjugial bliss in eternity. God appearing at the United Nations tomorrow and making a Divine Declaration in the world media, would paralyze our ability to be co-Present with Him in our rational mind, which is where our eternal heavens are. God created heaven in our rational mind so that He can be co-Present with us to eternity, and by this conjunction to make us happy and intelligent to eternity. It is through Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture that God is present with us in our rational consciousness of Him. This rational consciousness is built up in our mind by the correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture – and in no other way.
God’s co-Presence varies from clear to obscure. "Clear" means that we are able to receive more interior meanings of Divine Speech in higher order correspondences of Sacred Scripture. When God is clearly co-Present in our rational consciousness we are able to receive a more perfect happiness and wisdom, than what we can receive when His co-Presence in our mind is somewhat "obscure.” Our consciousness or level of mentality reflects the clarity of His co-Presence within our rational understanding of His Sacred Scripture.
The following chart shows the levels of descent of Divine Speech from the Rational Mind of the Divine Human to human minds at various levels of mentality or consciousness and enlightenment (from clear to obscure). This descent is sequential in successive order, but it is simultaneous in existential order. The descent of Divine Speech occurs simultaneously into every human mind but it is perceived according to one’s clarity or obscurity of His co-Presence. The clarity of His co-Presence depends on one main thing: The intensity or purity of our love of His truth and good. This purity is measured by how much we are willing to cooperate with Him in our endless regeneration process.
Hence it all comes down to the bottom line of spiritual accounting – how much we are willing to let go of our own desires and justifications, in exchange for His desires and justifications, as explained to humanity through Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. Our consciousness would be elevated instantaneously to the highest human potential of near omniscience (“third heaven”) if we were willing right this moment to let go of one hundred percent of our desires and justifications. But, assuming we can let go of all of them, would we be as happy as we can be? When the answer is Yes, we are in that third heaven.
CORRESPONDENCES OR CONSCIOUSNESS LEVELS
Layers 1, 2, 3
human internals, soul
Infinite things make distinguishably one
What is love, good, hierarchy of affections, intending and willing, regeneration
What is truth, faith, rationality, theology, science, doctrine, understanding
What is use, good works, morality, justice, virtue, aesthetics, competition
Layer 7, 8, 9
World of Spirits and Earth
a. Layer 7:
Sensorimotor, Cognitive, and Affective Organs Corrupted
Hate is love, evil is good, falsity is truth, fantasy is faith, selfish is use, what you want is morality, injustice is justice, evil works are good works, etc.
Note: in the following discussion about the table above on levels of descent, the word "level" refers to this table, but "layer" refers to the layers chart of mental anatomy located elsewhere. They agree with each other but the levels of descent table above collapses some of the layers in the layers chart of mental anatomy. This is indicated in the first column.
of descent of Sacred Scripture
|1||1, 2, 3|
|5||7, 8, 9
|6||7, 8, 9
Note that Divine Speech "descending" through correspondences in Sacred Scripture creates each layer of our mental anatomy successively, and causes them to operate by correspondences in these successive degrees or layers.
In Itself (level 1) Divine Speech is incomprehensible and inexpressible because it is infinite and our understanding cannot comprehend the infinite. In the Rational Mind of the Divine Human infinite things make one distinguishably. In other words the infinite individual items each remain unique and mutually distinguished from all others. Divine Speech flows out of the Divine Human's Mind into the created universe from within by means of correspondences arranged in exteriorizing discrete degrees and operating in simultaneous order. Divine Speech ("the Word") as an outflow or emanation from the Spiritual Sun, is the means by which the Divine Human creates all things and maintains them in a rational and loving order.
The Divine Speech exits or proceeds from the Spiritual Sun, which is an aura of spiritual heat (love) and spiritual light (truth) that is continuously proceeding, united as one, into the created universe, creating that universe and maintaining it. This proceeding is called Divine Influx and as it descends it makes first contact with humanity through the soul of every individual (layer 3). The soul is immortal. It is a mental organ constructed out of the spiritual substances proceeding from the Spiritual Sun. The soul functions as a receptor or filter. It is capable of receiving or capturing the Divine Speech. Although the Divine Speech as received by the soul is no longer infinite, it is still Divine. In other words, the Divine can limit itself in appearance and “dwell” within the boundaries of finite things created for the reception of the infinite. This self-delimited Divine is called the Divine Proceeding ("Holy Spirit"). It is what forms, initiates, activates, and operates our consciousness – its rational syntax and the human affections within it. The human "begins in the inmost of the rational," in the words of the Swedenborg Reports.
The Divine Proceeding which is in our soul does not become amalgamated or one with the soul because the infinite cannot become one with the finite. There is no “oneness” with God in that sense.
is an absolute duality between God and human beings, or between that which is
uncreate (like love, life, truth, intelligence, light, heat, endeavor,
propensity) on the one hand, and on the other, that which is created (like
galaxies, atoms, plants, human minds, heaven, and hell). There is no possible
overlap between the uncreate and the created. But the created has the property of being able to contain the uncreate.
This is the meaning of the idea that the "Divine dwells in human beings." Human
beings are receptors for the Divine. The receptor is never Divine and can vary
in ability to receive.
For instance, plant cells are capable of receiving life, light, heat, and
propensity, while rock molecules can only receive heat and motion. The form,
structure, and substance of each created object determines what uncreate
substances it is capable of receiving from the Divine Proceeding.
Human minds are the most advanced forms of receptors of the Divine being able to
receive spiritual truths in the rational mind. Rationality exists only in human
minds, as images of Divine Rationality.
Human minds are the most advanced forms of receptors of the Divine being able to receive spiritual truths in the rational mind. Rationality exists only in human minds, as images of Divine Rationality.
The human mind is created and is born into the spiritual world of eternity and overlaps with it since there is no space there. All human minds therefore overlap with each other, creating the objective spiritual world of eternity. In other words, to the question "Where is eternity," the answer is "Eternity is in the human mind, every human mind."
When we are born, our physical body is temporarily alive on earth while our spiritual body is permanently alive in the spiritual world. The shape of the human mind is the shape of the spiritual body, and this is the shape of the physical body. Therefore the mental world of eternity must be in the shape of the human body and the human mind. Swedenborg was able to confirm this by direct observation. He was given a "bird's eye" view of the spiritual world, as if he were taken out of it to look at it. He saw that it had a shape, and this was the form of the human body. Nothing was missing. In fact, as he was traveling through the spiritual world Swedenborg described his location with reference to the human body. He would say that he was "in the province of the eye" or the heart, or "in the region beneath the buttocks" (where some of the worst hells are located).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 818. There is a dreadful hell beneath the buttocks, where they seem to stab one another with knives, aiming the knives at one another's breasts like furies, but in the act of striking the knife is continually taken away from them. They are those who have held others in such hatred that they burned to kill them cruelly; and from this they had derived a nature so direful. This hell was opened to me (but only a little on account of their direful cruelties), so that I might see the nature of deadly hatred. (AC 818)
Swedenborg called this shape of the mental world in eternity as "the Grand Man," which is also translated as "the Grand Human." It has both male and female organs. Swedenborg says that the Divine Human continuously wills to unify the entire created immortal human race. This unification is reflected by the visual appearance of the Grand Human. But this Grand Human contains only the portions of human minds called heaven, which is why the Grand Human has a perfect human anatomical shape. But the hells of the human mind are separated out and formed into another unity which Swedenborg called "the Grand Monster," a malformed and disfigured individual. (D.Love 6).
The 6 levels of the chart above show the parallel forms of the spiritual world and the mental world, in the columns marked "spiritual geography" and "mental anatomy." The spiritual world is a vertically organized operational sphere for supporting the activity of thoughts and feelings of the human race.
All our thoughts and feelings are operations in the anatomical organs of the mind. Swedenborg was able to visit three layers of heaven and three equivalent layers of hell. There is such a structural balance between the heavens and the hells because hells are created by the corrupted reception of spiritual heat (love) in the affective organ (“the will”), and spiritual light (truth) in the cognitive organ (“the understanding.” Everyone receives the same Divine Proceeding into their unique soul. From there, the Divine Proceeding descends by levels into the discrete layers of the human mind, thus, of the spiritual world.
When Divine Speech (layer 1) descends through the soul (layer 3) into our third heaven (layer 4), it is first received into the highest portion of the affective organ called celestial, which constitutes the third heaven of every individual. This mental activation or operation of the affective organ (layer 4A) (or celestial “will”) has a rational content (layer 4C) which becomes conscious to us when we have elevated our consciousness into the third heaven. In that mental state, we are called "celestial angels." Swedenborg often talked to people who already live in the eternity of their third heaven.
Celestial angels sense (layer 4S) think (layer 4C) and feel (layer 4A) by means of celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture (level 2 in the chart above). The topics they think and talk about includes all the things that have to do with love, affection, charity, willing, intending, and regenerating. Swedenborg saw their Sacred Scripture, which he described as having similar shaped letters to the Hebrew print of the Old Testament that he was familiar with on earth. The celestial-rational Sacred Scripture is present in the mind of every human being, in its uppermost layer of operation (4C). If we are willing to elevate our consciousness and mentality to that level, we can become conscious of that celestial-rational Sacred Scripture.
Those who elevate their
conscious awareness to the second heaven (level 3, layer 5) (also called “angelic
spirits”), think and feel from spiritual-rational correspondences in which their copy of Sacred Scripture is written. This level of
comprehending Divine Speech involves thinking about truth, faith, science of the
knowledge, understanding. It is a cognitively prominent world, while the third heaven is an
affectively prominent world. The cognitive mind is a receptor organ of spiritual light from
the Spiritual Sun descending through the soul and through the third heaven.
Swedenborg compared the thinking level of celestial-rational correspondences
(third heaven, layer 4) with the thinking level of spiritual-rational correspondences
(second heaven, layer 5). There was such a discrete difference that there was absolutely
no overlap in level of conscious meaning between the Sacred Scripture in these
two discrete locations in our mind. The concepts and ideas of the
celestial-rational correspondences (layer 4C) could not be translated or
conveyed in the spiritual-rational correspondences (layer 5C), since they were
so much higher and more interior in relation to Divine Speech or Truth.
The concepts and ideas of the celestial-rational correspondences (layer 4C) could not be translated or conveyed in the spiritual-rational correspondences (layer 5C), since they were so much higher and more interior in relation to Divine Speech or Truth.
The lowest form of thinking in the third heaven was absolutely beyond the thinking and comprehension of the highest thinking in the second heaven. But there was a relation of correspondence between them. When a celestial angel (third heaven) was allowed to communicate with a spiritual angel (second heaven) they did so through correspondences. Every celestial-rational idea or operation has a corresponding spiritual-rational idea or operation that is lower or more distant in relation to Divine Truth. Celestial angels (layer 4) are able to perceive and understand directly any truth they think about – thus being near-omniscient. Spiritual angels ("angelic spirits") (layer 5) have to reason, reflect, debate, and be instructed about it before gaining understanding and enlightenment.
There is a similar discrete separation between the spiritual angels (second heaven) and the "natural angels" of the first heaven (layer 6), also called “good spirits.” When spiritual angels in the second heaven (layer 5C) think in spiritual-rational correspondences from their Sacred Scripture (level 3), "angelic spirits" of the first heaven think in corresponding ideas from their Sacred Scripture called spiritual-natural correspondences (level 4, layer 6). These interior-natural ideas involve things about the external behavior rather than internal thoughts (second heaven) and feelings (third heaven). They are involved in thinking about uses, functions, architecture, competition, justice, and so on. Swedenborg describes the apparent lifestyle of those who are in the three heavens of their eternal life, and it is fascinating to see the differences, all of which relate to the level of correspondences in which they understand their Sacred Scripture.
The chart above shows that below the first heaven is located the "world of spirits" (level 5). This is the mental "space" that separates our heaven and our hell. This is the "great interspace" into which our mind is born at our birth, and it is the mental space into which we are resuscitated at the death of the physical body (see Section xx). The world of spirits is therefore the same level as our normal conscious daily natural mind. This level of thinking (level 5, layers 9, 8, 7) is based on the level of natural correspondences in Sacred Scripture as expressed, written down, and published in a natural language on earth. Swedenborg observed that when people are resuscitated they awaken into the same level of mentality and thinking that they had in their last period on earth. For example, those who had materialistic beliefs and assumptions, would not at first acknowledge that they were now spirits in the spiritual world of the afterlife. They had to learn from new experience that their materialistic beliefs were false. Those who were religious minded, upon awakening from resuscitation, talk about heaven and angels.
Swedenborg calls this level
of thinking a natural level based on our "external memory" (level 5,
layers 9, 8).
In other words, all our sensorimotor experiences occasioned by contact with the
physical environment are permanently recorded in our memory. The organ of the
memory has an external natural portion (layer 8) and an interior natural portion
(layer 7). It
is our external memories from earth that form the style of life we have in the
spiritual world. Those who share compatible or similar memories can be
together as a community in heaven or hell since their intentionality will be
projecting a similar city or residence, a similar daily round of activities, a
similar civic and legal management system. Swedenborg reports that people even
name their cities in the world of spirits by similar names as they had on earth
The external natural mind (layer 8) is our daily familiar conscious mind. It is formed entirely by sensory input from the physical body through the corporeal mind (layer 9). It is revealed in the literal sense of the Swedenborg Reports that the natural mind has three sub-levels of discrete operations in its outward external portion (8A, 8C, 8S), and three levels of discrete operations in its inward interior portion (7A, 7C, 7S).
In other words, the natural mind is a microcosm of the entire spiritual world. The three vertical layers of the external natural mind are called corporeal (level 5c, layer 9), sensuous (level 5b, layer 8), and rational (level 5a, layer 7). The natural-corporeal mind (layer 9) is closely bound to the order and limits of the physical body (layer 12) and world.
For example, our corporeal mind (level 5c, layer 9) can notice that the sun rises in the east every morning and sets in the west. From this observation we may conclude that the earth is flat, unmoving, while the sun is round and moving. The natural-sensual mind (level 5b, layer 8) is less closely bound to the physical appearances and is able to construct mental abstractions of them in which it can comprehend new higher relations. The sensual mind can figure out that the earth must also be round and that the appearance of flatness is only present for the immediate visual view around us. The natural-sensuous mind (level 5b, layer 8) forms abstractions by abandoning the assumptions of natural-corporeal correspondences (level 5c, layer 9) and thinking in terms of natural-sensuous correspondences (level 5b, layer 8).
Materialistic science and secularized democratic societies are two great achievements of the natural-sensuous mind (layer 8). The level of civilized society has been progressively moving to a more rational and spiritual mentality, as we can see when we compare the literal sentences of the Old and New Testaments. The mentality of the Old Testament peoples (layer 9) was such as we detect from the natural-corporeal correspondences in its literal sentences. They thought of God as a stern omnipotent ruler who was partial to certain people and seemed not to care about others, even to the point of commanding cruel acts against them, including slavery and genocide. This mentality went on for centuries, created and embedded in the natural-corporeal correspondences of the Old Testament (layer 9). The Hebrew, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian civilizations of those eras reflect the corporeal mentality of its peoples in the savagery of their wars and their racist or cast oriented perspective on its own citizens.
Remember that Divine Speech descends from the highest portion of the human mind (level 2, third heaven) to the lowest (level 5, world of spirits and earth). It is the same Divine Speech throughout, but its appearance in correspondences becomes progressively less celestial, less spiritual, less rational, less natural, until it ends up at the lowest level of correspondences built for the human mind -- natural-corporeal correspondences (level 5c or layer 9). The mental span from level 2 (celestial-rational correspondences, layer 4) to level 5c (layer 9, natural corporeal correspondences) is so enormous that it goes from a heavenly society of rational peaceful people to a barbaric society of semi-rational and cruel people.
The span of correspondences that shape human consciousness and behavior is built in given that spiritual geography = mental anatomy. Every individual must go through the developmental steps indicated by the elevation from level 5c (natural-corporeal, layer 9) to level 2 (celestial-rational, layer 4). We start our mental life with natural-corporeal correspondences (layer 9), move on through experience and instruction to natural-sensuous correspondences (layer 8), then to natural-rational correspondences (layer 7). The chart above shows that the Swedenborg Reports are written in natural-rational correspondences (layer 7), the New Testament is written in natural-sensuous correspondences (layer 8), and the Old Testament is written in natural-corporeal correspondences (layer 9).
For instance, the same Ten Commandments are presented in all three collections of Sacred Scripture. One of the commandments is Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery (see Section xx). In the natural-corporeal meaning of the Old Testament it is clear that this refers to an overt act of infidelity in marriage. The same commandment is expressed in the mentality of natural-sensuous correspondences in the New Testament. Now it is made clear to the comprehension that there is physical adultery and mental adultery. Both are forbidden, so that if we now fantasize infidelity, and do not disapprove of it in our fantasy, then we are breaking the commandment against adultery.
Further, in the Swedenborg Reports when this commandment is presented in the language of natural-rational correspondences (layer 7), we can comprehend that there are three kinds of adultery: physical, mental, and spiritual. Spiritual adultery is a natural-rational concept that does not appear at the two discrete lower levels of correspondences in Sacred Scripture. As mentioned above, spiritual adultery refers to "adulterating the Word," which means to falsify Sacred Scripture for personal reasons such as gaining influence over others or using Sacred Scripture to justify continuing to practice one's wickedness. The adulteration of Sacred Scripture by falsifying its correspondences produces hell in our mind (level 6, unregenerate layers 9, 8, 7), as is discussed below.
It is important to understand the connection between the natural mind and regeneration. No issue is more central to theistic psychology than this connection. The natural mind of the human race has undergone a major evolutionary transformation when the Incarnation Event occurred two thousand years ago (see Section xx). The purpose of this event was to create new mental pathways for the human race on earth which has descended to the level of sensuous consciousness of God (see Section xx). Swedenborg observed what happens to the masses of people that enter the world of spirits every day. Those who arrive with a sensuous consciousness of God reject the spiritual-rational instructions they receive regarding the Divine Human, heaven, the doctrine of good and truth, charity and faith, love and wisdom. They reject them because these spiritual ideas require a rational understanding of them. Sensuous consciousness (5b, layer 8) is the reliance on external appearances and their symbolic abstractions, while rational consciousness (5a, layer 7) is reliance on interior framework and their correspondences.
Sensuous consciousness (level 5b, layer 8) sees absolutely nothing above itself, which is why it interprets all higher-order correspondences at the level of natural-sensuous correspondences. This type of mentality is known as "materialism." Swedenborg observed that hose who arrive in the world of spirits with a materialistic world view are unwilling to accept the reality of God and heaven unless it be proven to them by visual experience that God or heaven actually exist. In other words, materialism demands a sensuous consciousness of the Divine before it will acknowledge it. Since sensuous consciousness of the Divine is not given, materialism fabricates novel interpretations of natural-rational and spiritual-rational correspondences. Swedenborg reports that people with a materialistic outlook, when they realize that they are in the spiritual world, demand to be brought into heaven and into the presence of God.
Layers 1, 2, 3
Infinite things make distinguishably one
What is love, good, hierarchy of affections, intending and willing, regeneration
What is truth, faith, rationality, theology, science, doctrine, understanding
What is use, good works, morality, justice, virtue, aesthetics, competition
Layer 7, 8, 9
a. Layer 7:
Hate is love, evil is good, falsity is truth, fantasy is faith, selfish is use, what you want is morality, injustice is justice, evil works are good works, etc.
Angels then show up who are able to keep these people's spiritual mind closed while they are raised into their heaven with their externals or natural mind. This is necessary for it is impossible for their corrupted spiritual to be raised to their heaven. When they reach the mental state of their heaven, they face a surrounding environment that is devoid of all things -- no light, no sound, no people, no movement, nothing happening. They are shocked when they are told this is heaven and that it is filled with all sorts of beautiful gardens, palaces, and people. But they see nothing, hear nothing, smell nothing. Soon they begin to experience the emotion of panic and the sensation of suffocation. They quickly throw themselves out of their state of heaven back down into their natural-sensuous ideas and emotions. Their inability to have any experience in heaven is because heaven is a rational consciousness of God.
It was crucial therefore for God to continue the creation of the human race by providing new mental pathways, new organic structures in the human mind by which materialism could be defeated. This was accomplished by the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). Since then every individual is born with these new mental pathways and organic structures. The individuals who were already in their afterlife phase were transformed physiologically and anatomically so that they can continue their immortality in the "new heavens" of the human mind that the Divine Human created through spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences (levels 3 and 2).
It is still possible for people to ignore the new mental structures and arrive into the world of spirits with a materialistic worldview. However, many people do not think deeply about their materialism so that they go through life ignoring their materialism and practicing decency and integrity for the sake of their idealism for good and truth. When they arrive into the afterlife and are instructed in rational loves and truths, they eagerly receive them, and love them. They ascend to their heaven and live in eternal conjugial bliss.
When people's religious ideas are based on sensuous consciousness of God they avoid the use of Sacred Scripture for extracting higher-order meanings of God and heaven. They dislike giving up their sensuous cravings for the sake of rational understanding, which appears to them as "intellectualizing" God rather than "experiencing" God or "being one with Him." Sensuous consciousness of God turns into mysticism and opposes rational consciousness of Divine Speech (see Section xx).
The Incarnation Event was necessary for creating the new mental organ for regeneration. The natural mind was reformed or transformed by that event so that it received a new interior form it did not have before. This new portion is called the "interior-natural mind" (see Section xx). The interior-natural organ was created into a discrete degree higher than the natural-rational organ (level 5a). If you look at the chart again you will see that immediately above level 5c is located level 4, the first heaven, and above that, the second heaven (level 3), and above that, the third heaven (level 2). These three heavens are progressively higher by virtue of their correspondences from Sacred Scripture. In other words, the newly created interior-natural organ was capable of conscious operations that represented the discrete levels of the three heavens.
This new ability marks the highest and final phase of the creation of the human race. Now people are able to read the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings and extract higher-order correspondences that are spiritual-rational (level 3) and celestial-rational (level 2). This is what makes theistic psychology possible. With this new ability in our interior-natural mind we are able to understand Divine Speech in its highest rationality and meaning (levels 3 and 2). We have new powerful mental tools available for our regeneration efforts. The higher the correspondences we can think with, the more effectively we can overcome our inherited materialism. Individuals who have access to the concepts of theistic psychology can understand the process of character reformation within themselves. They can tap into a spiritual source of determination by which they can face their inherited hellish inclinations, attachments, and involvements and reject them for the sake of their heavenly opposites (see Section xx).
When people are unwilling to acknowledge and to study the concepts of theistic psychology they are rejecting rationality as revealed by God. They are then drawn deeper into the web of materialism and unreality. They retain their natural abilities to think logically by segments, but they are unable to put the segments together into a rational understanding of the whole. They have rejected the only source of rationality and sanity -- the spiritual correspondences of Sacred Scripture. They still receive the same influx as others but they systematically turn the ideas into their opposites. They use their limited logic in local segments to transform every statement of Divine Speech into its very opposite. The chart shows this as thinking level 6.
For a collection of passages on correspondences and representatives see Section 22.214.171.124.1
Consider the following event that occurred to Swedenborg while he was conscious in his spiritual mind and simultaneously conscious in the natural mind. This dual state of consciousness allowed him to write down in his extensive diary all that he could observe in the spiritual mind of the mental world, where all the people live in the afterlife of eternity.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
CL 270. The third account:
Awakening one morning [ = in Swedenborg's spiritual house in layer 6, 5 or 4 ], I fell to thinking about some questions having to do with conjugial love [ = the love between married partners in eternity ], coming finally to this one:
In what region of the human mind [ = layers ] is truly conjugial love seated, and in what region, therefore, coldness [ = hostility rather than friendship ] in marriage? [ see the Chart of Layers]
I knew that the human mind is divided into three regions [ = layers 9, 8, 7; layers 6, 5; layer 4 ], one above the other, and that natural love resides in the lowest region [ = layers 9, 8 ], spiritual love in the next higher one [ = layers 7, 6, 5 ], and celestial love in the highest [ = layer 4 ]. I knew also that in each region there is a marriage of good and truth [ = affective and cognitive organs acting as a pair ], and because good has to do with love, and truth with wisdom, that in each region there is a marriage of love [ = in the affective organ ] and wisdom [ = in the cognitive organ ]; moreover, that this marriage is the same as a marriage of the will and understanding, since the will is the recipient vessel [ = recipient organ ] of love, and the understanding the recipient vessel of wisdom.
 While I was deep in thought on this question, I suddenly saw [ = in the mental world of eternity in layer 4 ] two swans flying towards the north, and presently two birds of paradise flying towards the south, and then two turtledoves flying in the east. Following their flight with my eyes, I next saw the two swans veer their course from the north to the east, likewise the two birds of paradise from the south, until they met up with the pair of turtledoves in the east. Then together they flew towards a certain lofty palace there, rising in the midst of olive trees, palms and beeches. The palace had three rows of windows, one above another; and as I watched, I saw the birds fly into the palace - the swans through windows standing open in the lowest row, the birds of paradise through windows open in the middle row, and the turtledoves through windows open in the highest row.
 After I witnessed this event, an angel [ = those who exist in layer 4 of the mental world of eternity ]stood beside me and said, "Do you understand the things you have seen?"
"A little," I replied. [ = showing that Swedenborg was not fully conscious in this highest layer 4 called the third heaven ]
"The palace," said the angel, "represents the abodes of conjugial love as these exist in human minds. Its highest level - into which the turtledoves disappeared - represents the highest region of the mind, where conjugial love resides in the goodness of love together with its wisdom [ = layer 4, third heaven ].
The middle level - into which the birds of paradise disappeared - represents the intermediate region, where conjugial love resides in a love of truth together with its intelligence. [ = layer 5, second heaven ]
And the lowest level - into which the swans disappeared - represents the lowest region of the mind, where conjugial love resides in a love of what is just and right together with its knowledge. [ = layer 6, first heaven ]
 "These degrees are also symbolized by the three pairs of birds - the two turtledoves representing conjugial love in the highest region, the two birds of paradise conjugial love in the intermediate region, and the two swans conjugial love in the lowest region. The three kinds of trees surrounding the palace - the olive trees, palms and beeches - represent the same.
[ to recapitulate the above correspondences -- memorize them:
third heaven, layer 4, highest = turtledoves and olive trees in the east
second heaven, layer 5, middle = birds of paradise and palm trees from the south
first heaven layer 6, lowest = swans and beech trees from the north ]
"In heaven we call the highest region of the mind celestial [ = layer 4, celestial-rational ], the intermediate one spiritual [ = layer 5, spiritual-rational ], and the lowest one natural [ = layer 6, spiritual-natural ]. And we conceive of them as being like apartments in a house, one above another, with steps going up from one to the next, like stairs.
Moreover, on each level [ = layer ] there are as it were two sets of rooms [ = mental organs ], one for love [ = affective organ ], one for wisdom [ = cognitive organ ], with a bedroom, so to speak, in front, where they come together in bed [ = produce operations in the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual body ] - love with its wisdom, or good with its truth, or to say the same thing, the will with its intellect [ = layers 4A paired with layer 4C, producing 4S ]. In such a palace [ = layer 4S ], all the mysteries of conjugial love become visible as though in effigy [ = appearances of natural things ]." (CL 270)
These are details in Swedenborg's mental environment at layer 4 in which he was partly conscious -- a particular house with three stories, three types of birds flying into it, and three types of trees in front of it -- were real phenomena instantaneously materialized by what he was thinking of. He did not realize that his thoughts were visible to others in that layer. The thoughts Swedenborg had about conjugial love or marriages in heaven, and its various mental states, instantiated these objects and events. He himself was surprised to see these events around him, wondering why they were happening.
Furthermore, these spiritual (mental) appearances of natural objects were not just in Swedenborg's perceptions. They were also visible to others, and to the person standing next to him, whom he calls "an angel." This means that the person was conscious in the celestial layer of the mind, which is the highest of the human anatomy (layer 4). This celestial person explained to Swedenborg the correspondences that created those appearances around him. Since these instantiated events are real in the spiritual mind, Swedenborg was able to explore them, including the lofty palace that appeared having three rows of windows. Later he tells what happens when he actually enters the house.
Here is a summary of the passage thus far, that can help you keep things correlated:
|What Swedenborg was thinking in his spiritual mind (layer 4C or 5C)||The natural things and events that were created around him by his thoughts (layer 4S or 5S)||The angel's explanations of what these things correspond to (translated by Swedenborg into a natural language)|
|the human mind is divided into three regions||three sets of birds coming from different directions (north, south, east), together flew towards a lofty palace in the east, rising in the midst of olive trees, palms and beeches, and the palace had three rows of windows, one above another, which were open, through which the birds flew in||the abodes of conjugial love as these exist in human minds|
|celestial love in the highest||turtledoves flying in the east, flying into the palace in an open window at the highest row||Its highest level - into which the turtledoves disappeared - represents the highest region of the mind, where conjugial love resides in the goodness of love together with its wisdom.|
|spiritual love in the next higher one||two birds of paradise flying from the south veer their course from the north to the east, flying into the palace in an open window at the middle row||The middle level - into which the birds of paradise disappeared - represents the intermediate region, where conjugial love resides in a love of truth together with its intelligence.|
|natural love resides in the lowest region||two swans veer their course from the north to the east, flying into the palace in an open window at the middle row||the lowest level - into which the swans disappeared - represents the lowest region of the mind, where conjugial love resides in a love of what is just and right together with its knowledge.|
Continuing with the passage that is being discussed above:
CL 270.  Hearing this, being fired with a desire to see one, I asked whether a person might go in and look at the palace there, since it was a representational one [ = a real one in the mental world where all representative appearances are real to the spiritual body ].
The angel replied that only angels in the third heaven [ layer 4 ] could, because for them every representation of love and wisdom becomes real.
"What I have related to you I have heard from them," [ = he was normally living in layer 5 ] he said, "including as well the following, that truly conjugial love resides in the highest region, in the midst of mutual love in the chamber or apartment of the will [ = affective organ ], and at the same time in the midst of perceptions of wisdom in the chamber or apartment of the intellect [ = cognitive organ ]; and these come together in bed in a bedroom that is located in front on the east side [ = sensorimotor organ ]."
"Why," I asked, "are there two chambers?"
"Because," he said, "a husband lives in the chamber of the intellect, and a wife lives in the chamber of the will." [ = cognitive operations in the mind of men are predominant by preference, while with women, affective operations are predominant by preference ]
 At that I inquired, "If that is where conjugial love [ = united as best friends or soul mates ] resides, where then does coldness in marriage reside [ = disjoined by disagreement and hostility between partners ] ?"
"It, too, resides in the highest region," he replied, "but only in the chamber of the intellect, with the chamber of the will on that level being closed off. For as often as it pleases, the understanding with its truths can ascend by a spiral stairway to its chamber in the highest region; but if the will with the goodness of its love does not ascend at the same time to its companion chamber, the latter remains closed, and coldness develops in the other, which is the coldness one finds in marriage. [ = understanding of spiritual truths raises conscious awareness all the way to layer 4C, but falls back down to the level of one's will or love, when not yet regenerated ]
"As long as such coldness to one's wife continues, the intellect looks down from the highest region to the lowest; and if fear does not hold it back, it also descends in order to warm itself there with an illicit fire."
[ = even if our understanding is enlightened spiritually (in layer 7C representing layers 6, 5, 4), it cannot take us to a life in heaven if our will (affective operations 8 A) is not regenerated ]
Having said this, the angel wished to tell me still more about conjugial love from the depictions of it in that palace; but he said, "Enough for now. First investigate whether these concepts are beyond people's general comprehension. If they are, what is the use of saying more? On the other hand, if they are not, more will be disclosed another time." (CL 270)
Let us analyze the correspondential sense in this passage of Sacred Scripture. Much of it has already been indicated in the passage by inserting the italicized explanations in square brackets. The = sign indicates that correspondences are specified in these inserts.
Note that while the literal meaning of some parts of the passage is about marriages in heaven and about birds flying to a house, the correspondential sense is always about mental anatomy in theistic psychology. Here we are told more specifically about the mental anatomy of married partners, not just about the mental anatomy of individuals. The mental states of becoming a united couple obviously depends on the mental states of individuals, as one must be part of the other. Here we are told about both individuals and partners (see Volume 11 on the Marriage Relationship).
Note also that some
expressions in the literal meaning are "naked truths" which refers to the fact
that the spiritual concepts are mentioned directly in the literal sense, e.g.,
conjugial love, heaven, marriage, angel. Most of the expressions however are not
naked truths but representatives that must be decoded through knowledge of
correspondences (e.g., house, chamber, birds, compass directions, trees, third
floor, open window, etc.). Naked truths expressions (here: conjugial love,
marriage, etc.) also have correspondences at a higher level that must therefore
be extracted from the literal meaning.
|The Swedenborg Reports
in its literal sense (CL 270)
correspondential sense extracted from the literal sense
the human mind is divided into three regions celestial love in the highest, spiritual love in the middle, natural love in the lowest
|Our mental anatomy consisting of successive layers of the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs, is organized along three major discrete layers in a descending order of operations -- celestial mind (layer 4), spiritual mind (layers 6, 5), natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7).|
|because good has to do with love, and truth with wisdom, there is in each region a marriage of love and wisdom; moreover, that this marriage is the same as a marriage of the will and understanding, since the will is the recipient vessel of love, and the understanding the recipient vessel of wisdom.||At each of the three major discrete layers of our mental anatomy, the affective and cognitive organs operate as a unified or synergistic team (represented by married partners). The affective organ receives spiritual heat from the Spiritual Sun, and the cognitive organ receives spiritual light. The two organs must operate together in order to produce any experience or conscious sensorimotor life.|
|Hearing this, being fired with
a desire to see one, I asked whether a person might go in and
look at the palace there, since it was a representational one.
The angel replied that only angels in the third heaven could, because for them every representation of love and wisdom becomes real.
|When we think with spiritual-natural (layers 7C, 6C) and spiritual-rational (layer 5C) correspondences of Sacred Scripture, and we are motivated by the desire to apply our insights as principles for our daily life, then we are enlightened by the Divine Psychologist to perceive truths of still more interior rational consciousness (layer 7C able to represent progressively layers 6C to 5C to 4C).|
"What I have related to
you I have heard from them," he said, "including as well the following, that
truly conjugial love resides in the highest region, in the midst of mutual
love in the chamber or apartment of the will, and at the same time in the
midst of perceptions of wisdom in the chamber or apartment of the intellect;
and these come together in bed in a bedroom that is located in front on the
|Mental conjunction or unity between married partners exists at each layer, but not in the same way. The unity between a husband and wife called conjugial love, becomes complete and perfect in the affective-cognitive operation of our celestial mind (layer 4). This union consists of the husband's cognitive organ acting in synergy with the wife's affective organ. This is achieved through the spiritual discipline called the Doctrine of the Wife while the husband is being regenerated in layers 7, 8, 9. (See Section 11.4).|
At that I inquired, "If
that is where conjugial love resides, where then does coldness in marriage
|Prior to achieving complete conjugial unity, the husband is willing only gradually and sporadically to be conjoined to his wife by practicing the Doctrine of the Wife as a means to his regeneration by the Divine Psychologist (see Section 11.4).|
| For as often as it pleases, the
understanding with its truths can ascend by a spiral stairway to its chamber
in the highest region; but if the will with the goodness of its love does
not ascend at the same time to its companion chamber, the latter remains
closed, and coldness develops in the other, which is the coldness one finds
"As long as such coldness to one's wife continues, the intellect looks down from the highest region to the lowest; and if fear does not hold it back, it also descends in order to warm itself there with an illicit fire."
|During these phases of conjugial development, the husband's rational understanding of Sacred Scripture is deepened to the extent that he is willing to live by the principles of the Doctrine of the Wife. In the phases when he regresses, the husband can no longer receive any conjugial love through his wife. In those states he undergoes spiritual temptations that pressure him into striving for dominance over his wife, condoning his indiscriminate attractions and unchaste enjoyments, and even engaging in adulterous love of the sex.|
|Having said this, the angel wished to tell me still more about conjugial love from the depictions of it in that palace; but he said, "Enough for now. First investigate whether these concepts are beyond people's general comprehension. If they are, what is the use of saying more? On the other hand, if they are not, more will be disclosed another time."||The Doctrine of the Wife is an expression of the process of mental or spiritual unification between husband and wife, as viewed from the perspective of the enlightened husband (see Section 11.4). This doctrine cannot be understood or practiced solely from the literal sense of the Swedenborg Reports. But it can be seen from the correspondential sense, more and more interiorly, in proportion to the husband's dedication to it.|
In the above chart, the left hand column contains spiritual truths expressed naturally and rationally through natural-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture (layer 7, interior-natural mind). In this case it is a passage in which Swedenborg describes one of his "spiritual experiences."
The right hand column, contains the same spiritual truths expressed scientifically in the literal sense of theistic psychology. This translation process is based on the correspondences between the two columns at each row. Theistic psychology is extracted from the literal sense of Sacred Scripture by (a) applying the method of correspondences, and (b) integrating the result into a coherent scientific framework. The scientific meaning on the right penetrates deeper and more universally than the literal sense on the left. With layer 7 cognitive operations we are able to think and reason with higher order correspondences, as if we attained conscious awareness at layer 6, or 5, or even 4. The organized structure of theistic psychology as a theistic science facilitates the ascension of our consciousness into the higher layers of the mental world of eternity. This progressive spiritual enlightenment is possible in proportion to our willingness to use the higher knowledge to fight deeper evils in ourselves.
The correspondential meanings in the scientific version (right hand column) govern or precede the events and descriptions in the non-scientific presentation of the topic (left hand column). In other words, first the ideas in the right hand column must exist in the spiritual mind at a higher layer (6, 5, 4). Then, the ideas in the left hand column come into awareness in the natural mind (layer 7, 8). When this connection is made conscious through the study of theistic psychology we can read the literal sense of the Swedenborg Reports in the left hand column, and see the meanings in the right hand column shine through like the flame of a jewel, or like the face of a beautiful woman behind a thin transparent veil, or like the lightening that cuts through the dark clouds during a storm. It is not yet generally known among Swedenborg scholars that (a) there is a correspondential sense to the Swedenborg Reports, nor that (b) this correspondential sense is the scientific sense.
It is generally believed among Swedenborgian scholars that "scientific" is natural, not spiritual or spiritual. But in theistic psychology "scientific" is universal, similar to the knowledge of the angels in the third heaven (layer 4). We understand science the most when we operate at that level of thinking. Swedenborg has observed that everyone who is in that layer is quasi-omniscient in this sense:
The wisdom of the angels [ = layer 4C ] consists solely in this: that they see and comprehend everything they think about. (FAITH 4)
Only God is omniscient, so we have this near-omniscience in layer 4C from God's celestial proprium that every conjugial couple in that layer takes on as-if their own.
The following passage describes one of Swedenborg's many fascinating experiments in the spiritual world of the afterlife and eternity. This one is a demonstration of the differences in thinking between layer 8C (exterior-natural mind of our every day life here) and layer 5C (spiritual-rational mind).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
De Verbo 3. The Difference in General between Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Things
There are three heavens: [ = layers 6, 5, 4 ] a lowest one [ = layer 6 ], a middle one [ = layer 5 ], and a highest [ = layer 4 ]. In the lowest heaven the people are natural [ = spiritual-natural correspondences, layer 6 ], but their natural quality stems either from the spiritual quality that belongs to the middle heaven [ = layer 5 ] or from the celestial quality that belongs to the third heaven [ = layer 4 ]. In the second heaven the people are spiritual, and in the third heaven celestial. There are also some in between, who are called spiritual-celestial. Many of these are preachers in the highest heaven.
 The difference between natural, spiritual and celestial things is such that there is no proportional relation between them. Therefore natural things cannot in any way by any approximation approach in likeness spiritual things, nor spiritual things celestial things. That is why the heavens are distinct [ = in discrete layers ].
I have been given to know this from much experience. Again and again I have been conveyed into the company of spiritual angels [ = layer 5 ], and I then spoke with them in their spiritual way of speaking, and what I said I then made a point of remembering. When I returned into my natural state [ = layers 7, 8 ] -- the state every person in the world is in - I then tried to recall what I had said from my earlier remembrance and write it down, but I could not. It was impossible. No words were to be found and not even any mental concepts by which to express it. The spiritual mental concepts [ = layer 5C ] and words [ = layer 5S ] were so removed from natural mental concepts [ = layer 8C ] and words [ = layer 8S ] that there was not the least approximation.
Surprisingly, when I was in that heaven and spoke with angels, I then knew no other than that I was speaking in the same way that I speak with people here. But afterward I found out that the thoughts and speech were so dissimilar that the one could not approximate the other, consequently that they have no proportional relation.
 There is a similar difference between spiritual [ = layer 5 ] and celestial things [ = layer 4 ]. I have been told that there is a similar difference, and also that the difference is such that no proportional relation or approximation is possible. But I could not be given confirmation of this through personal experience without actually being an angel of the middle heaven. It was therefore granted [ = by the Divine Psychologist ] some angels of the middle heaven [ = layer 5 ] to be together with angels of the third heaven [ = layer 4 ], and while there to think and speak with them, and also to make a point of remembering what they thought and what they said, and afterward to return to their own heaven. And they told me then that they could not express any idea or any word from the earlier state, that it was impossible; and they said in conclusion that there is no proportional relation or approximation.
 For the same reason I have a number of times been given to be in the presence of angels of the middle and highest heaven, and to hear them talking together (whenever this happened I had been in an interior natural state [ = layer 7 ], removed from worldly and bodily concerns specifically, upon first waking from sleep); and I heard indescribable and inexpressible things, as we read happened with Paul.* And sometimes I was let into a perception and understanding of the things they talked about.
The things they said were full of secrets [ = theistic psychology extracted from their Sacred Scripture ] having to do with the Lord [ = the Divine Psychologist ] , redemption [ = the Incarnation Event ], regeneration [ = mental anatomy and biology ], providence [ = cause-effect laws between layers ], and other like things; and afterward I was given to see that I could not express or record those things using any spiritual or celestial term -- but that they could nevertheless still be described in words of natural language, even to rational comprehension. [ = the every day conscious interior-natural layer (7) of our mind can representatively express in natural language the ideas of the spiritual and celestial layers (5, 4) -- this is what makes theistic psychology possible ]
I was also told that there are not any Divine mysteries that cannot be perceived and expressed naturally also, even though more generally and less perfectly; and that those who perceive such things naturally with their rational understanding [ = layer 7C ] from an affection for truth [ = layer 7A ], are able afterward to both perceive and express the same things spiritually when they become spirits, and in a celestial way when they become angels; but not so others.
For one Divine truth perceived and loved naturally is like a crystal or porcelain goblet which is afterward filled with wine, the nature of the wine being such as the nature of the truth was, and the quality of its taste, so to speak, such as was the quality of the affection for the truth.
 That there is such a difference, which may be called an unlimited one, between natural, spiritual and celestial things, can be seen from the difference in the thoughts of people [ = layer 7C ] and angels [ = layers 5C, 4C ], and from the difference in their speech and also in the things they do, and from the difference in their forms of writing. From these things, as from so many proofs, it will become apparent what the one and the other are like, and how the perfections of all things ascend and pass from the world [ = layer 12 ] into heaven [ = layer 6 and above ], and from one heaven into another.
 Regarding thoughts: All the thoughts of people [ = layer 8C ], including each single idea in them, involve conceptions drawn from space, time, person, or material-things that appear in natural light or the light of the world [ = layer 9, 8 ].
For no one can think anything apart from light [ = spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun ], just as nothing can be seen without light [ = physical light ]. And natural light or the light of the world is lifeless, being from the sun of the world, which is nothing but fire [ = physical elements in gaseous state ]. Nevertheless, the light of heaven flows into [ = discrete degree within ] that light [ = physical light ] everywhere and continually, giving it life and making possible the perception and understanding of things [ = layer 8S,8C ].
The light of the world by itself cannot impart any perceptive or intellectual ability or confer any natural or rational sight, but it does so from the light of heaven, because the light of heaven comes from the sun of heaven, which is the Lord and so is life itself.
The influx of the light of heaven into the light of the world is like the influx of a cause into its effect-the nature of which will be explained elsewhere.
It is apparent from this what natural thought is like [ = layer 8C ], or ideas of thought in people [ = here on earth ], namely, that they are inseparably bound up with notions of space, time, personality and material. Because of this, those thoughts or ideas of thought are very limited and restricted, and so are crude, and must be called material [ = layer 8C, sensual mind, based on the physical senses, negative bias in science thinking ].
The thoughts of angels of the middle heaven [ = layer 5C ], on the other hand, are all without notions of space, time, personality and material, so that they are unlimited and unrestricted. The objects of their thoughts are, like the thoughts themselves, spiritual, so that they think about them spiritually and not naturally. As for angels of the highest heaven [ = layer 4C ], they do not have thoughts, but they have perceptions [ = rational insight without having to reason about them ] of the things they hear and see. Instead of thoughts [ = layer 4C ] they have affections [ = layer 4A ], and these keep varying with them, just as thoughts keep varying in the case of spiritual angels.
 Regarding forms of speech: The things people say and the way they say them are like the ideas of their thoughts, for ideas of thought become words when they go out into speech. Consequently the speech of people in every word has something to do with space, time, personality, or material. By the same token, however, the things angels of the middle heaven say and the way they say them are like the ideas of their thoughts, for these are what the words of their speech express. On the other hand, the things angels of the highest heaven say and the way they say them all come from changes in their affections-though when they speak with spiritual angels, they speak as the spiritual do; but not so among themselves.
Since that is what the speech of angels is like, and what the speech of people is like, therefore their forms of speech are so different that they have nothing in common. They are so different that a person [ = layer 8C, 8S ] cannot understand any word an angel says [ = layer 5C, 5S ], nor an angel any word a person says. I have listened to angels speaking and memorized the words, and have afterward tried to see whether any of those words matches any word in the expressions or languages of people, and there was not one. (Spiritual speech is the same for all; it is innate in everyone, and a person comes into it as soon as he becomes a spirit.)
Regarding forms of writing, this is like their speech. The writing of spiritual angels in its letters is similar to the writing of people in the world, but every letter has a meaning. Consequently if you saw it in a natural state, you would say it consisted only of letters. On the other hand, instances of writing in the highest heaven are not similar in their letters. They have letters formed by various curved strokes, not unlike the letters of Hebrew, but always rounded, with no straight lines anywhere. Each letter also carries some meaning, which they have a perception of from affection and not from thought. Because of all this, one who is natural does not comprehend a thing from spiritual writing, nor one who is spiritual a thing from natural writing. Neither does one who is spiritual comprehend anything from celestial writing, or one who is celestial anything from spiritual writing-unless he is with someone spiritual.
 It is similar with the things they do, which are many, for everyone is engaged in some activity. How the spiritual do what they do cannot be described to one who is natural, nor can how the celestial do what they do be described to one who is spiritual. For these differ as much as their thoughts, speech and writing.
 It can be seen from this what a difference there is between natural, spiritual and celestial things -- that the difference is such that they have no accordance at all except by correspondences. This, too, is the reason that people do not know they have an association with spirits [ = vertical community ], and spirits that they have an association with people, when in fact there is a constant association. [ explained in Section 126.96.36.199 ]
For a person could not live one minute without being in the midst of spirits in respect to his thoughts and affections, nor could spirits and angels live a moment without being with people [ = all the layers must exist all the time for humanity to exist ]. The reason is that there is a continual connection extending from first things [ = layer 1 ] to last things [ = layer 12 ], thus from the Lord to mankind; and from creation the connection was established by correspondences, one that flows in through angels and spirits. Everything celestial [ = layer 4 ] flows into something spiritual [ = layer 5, 6 ], and everything spiritual into something natural [ = layer 7, 8, 9,] , and it terminates in the last of this, which is physical and material [ = layer 11, 12 ], and there abides. Without such a final abode for intermediates to flow into, there would be no other permanence than that of a house built in the air. The human race [ on earth = layer 7, 8, 9,] is therefore the base and foundation of the heavens [ = layer 6, 5, 4,].
 No angel [ = layer 6, 5, 4 ] knows that there is such a difference between natural, spiritual and celestial things. The reason is that an angel does not change his state or go from a spiritual state into a natural one so as to be able to explore the differences. I have spoken with them about this, and they said they do not know the differences. They believed they thought, spoke, wrote and did things in the same way as in the world. But they were shown the truth by their changing their states so that they thought alternately now in the one, now in the other, and so that they likewise spoke alternately in the one and the other, and also read what they wrote in a spiritual state and in a natural state, and similarly did things; and they then found that there is such a difference that it cannot be described.
It has been possible for me to instruct even angels on this point, because I have been given to be in both worlds alternately and to explore the one from the perspective of the other; and they have all admitted afterward that it is the case.
 Nevertheless, there is a similarity between the natural, spiritual and celestial states in regard to the various kinds of things that present themselves as objects of sight, taste, smell and hearing, and of the sense of touch [ = layers 7S, 6S, 5S, 4S are all similar in the spiritual body (layer 10 ]. For to the sight angels all took like people in the world. Their clothes took similar, and their houses, also their gardens and parks, and their fields, likewise their bodies of land and water, as well as their various kinds of food and drink. So, too, do the animals of the land, the birds of the air, and the fishes in the waters, all of various kinds in their various species. Their speech sounds as it did in the world, also the rhythms and melodies of their vocal and instrumental music. Flavor is similar, and also the way things smell. In a word, everything that appears or makes itself perceptible to any sense does so similarly. But still the things in the other world are from a spiritual origin, and the angels therefore think of them spiritually and give them spiritual names.
[ = the sensory experiences we have through the spiritual body after resuscitation are similar to that of the physical body but far purer and more intense and exquisite ]
Despite what has been said, however, even all these things as they appear and are perceived in the middle and highest heavens-in the excellence of their forms and harmonies and in their perfections, which are of a superior and surpassing preeminence-can only be described imperfectly. They can be described only as being like the most perfect things in the world [ layer 12 ], which are nevertheless imperfect in comparison to the things that are in heaven [ = layer 6, 5, 4,]. (De Verbo 3)
TCR 236. But how from the natural sense the spiritual angels perceive their sense, and the celestial angels theirs, when man is reading the Word [ = Sacred Scripture, layer 8 ], shall be illustrated by examples. Let four of the commandments of the Decalogue [ = the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture ] serve as examples.
The Fifth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" - - By this man [ = layer 8C ] understands not only killing but also cherishing hatred and longing for revenge even to murder. A spiritual angel [ = layer 5C ] understands "killing" to mean acting the devil and murdering a man's soul; while a celestial angel [ = layer 4C ] understands "killing" to mean hating the Lord and the Word [ = God and Sacred Scripture ].
 The Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery": Man understands "committing adultery" to mean whoredom, obscene actions, lascivious conversation, and filthy thoughts. A spiritual angel understands "committing adultery" to mean adulterating the goods of the Word, and falsifying its truths; while a celestial angel understands "committing adultery" to mean denying the Divine of the Lord and profaning the Word.
 The Seventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal": Man understands "stealing" to mean stealing, defrauding, and depriving the neighbor of his goods by any pretext. A spiritual angel understands "stealing" to mean depriving others of their truths and goods of faith by means of evils and falsities; while a celestial angel understands "stealing" to mean attributing to oneself what belongs to the Lord, and claiming for oneself the Lord's righteousness and merit.
 The Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" - Man understands "bearing false witness" to mean lying and defaming anyone; a spiritual angel understands "bearing false witness" to mean saying and persuading that falsity is truth and evil is good, and the converse; while a celestial angel understands "bearing false witness" to mean blaspheming the Lord and the Word.
 These examples show how what is spiritual [ = layer 7C, 6C, 5C ] and celestial [ = layer 4C ] is evolved and drawn forth from the natural sense of the Word [ = literal meaning understood at layer 8C ], within which they are. And what is wonderful, the angels draw forth what belongs to them without knowing what the man is thinking; and yet the thoughts of angels and men make one by correspondences, like end [ = layer 4C ], cause [ = layer 5C, 6C ], and effect [ = layer 7C, 8C ]. Moreover, ends actually reside in the celestial kingdom, causes in the spiritual kingdom, and effects in the natural kingdom. From this comes the affiliation of men with angels by means of the Word [ = Sacred Scripture ]. (TCR 236)
As a useful exercise in the study of correspondences and layers, extend the following chart which shows the correspondential meaning of individual words and expressions that occur in the passage CL 270 that was analyzed above.
|THE WRITINGS SACRED SCRIPTURE
literal sense expressed in
natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech
correspondential sense expressed in
natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech
|marriage||affective organ directing the cognitive|
|good, affections, will, recipient vessel of love||operations in the affective organ in each mind -- celestial, spiritual, natural|
|truth, rationality, understanding, recipient vessel of wisdom||operations in the cognitive organ in each mind -- celestial, spiritual, natural|
|hearing this||momentary enlightenment from the Divine Psychologist|
|fired with desire||reception in the affective organ of spiritual heat and reacting to it by correspondence|
|I asked||communicating with the Divine Psychologist|
|whether a person||the variety of mental states we have when we study theistic psychology|
|go in and look||exerting intellectual effort while trying to understand it|
|palace||in this case, the concept of conjugial love and the Doctrine of the Wife, which is the scientific sense of conjugial love extracted by correspondences (see Section 11.4)|
|representational||the Doctrine of the Wife (see Section 11.4) is not understood rationally and spiritually when we are reading about it in theistic psychology, but only when we apply it to ourselves in daily life, at which time the Divine Psychologist enlightens us in proportion to that effort of character reformation. The enlightenment involves seeing the correspondential sense as a referent to something in our own mind or experience.|
You can continue the
extraction process on your own, but remember this critical methodological point:
Do not guess or invent anything as this would be worse than useless to your rational development through theistic psychology. Rather, leave the sense blank until you can fill it in by further study and research of theistic psychology (use the Index here).
Here is another passage that might help you understand the idea of conjugial love being in the highest region of the human mind. It also provides further details about correspondences and the layers of our mental world in the afterlife into which we become fully conscious barely 30 hours after the death of the physical body (see Section xx).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
CL 42. To this I will append two narrative accounts from the spiritual world [ = mental world of the afterlife in eternity ]. Here is the first:
One morning [ = Swedenborg being conscious in layer 6 or above ] looked up into the sky, and I saw above me expanse upon expanse. And as I looked, the first or nearest expanse was opened, and shortly the second, which was above it, and finally the third, which was the highest of all. By the light coming from them I perceived that on the first expanse were angels of the first or lowest heaven [ = layer 6 ], on the second expanse were angels of the second or middle heaven [ = layer 5 ], and on the third expanse were angels of the third or highest heaven [ = layer 4 ]. [ See Chart of Layers here. ]
I wondered at first what was happening and why. But shortly I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of a trumpet, saying, "We have perceived, and now see, that you are meditating on conjugial love. Moreover, we know that so far no one on earth knows what true conjugial love is in its origin or in its essence, and yet it is important for them to know. Therefore it has pleased the Lord to open the heavens to you, that the inner faculties of your mind may receive an influx of illuminating light and thus perception.
"Among us in heaven, especially in the third heaven [ = layer 4 ], our heavenly delights come principally from conjugial love [ = married soul mates in heaven, whether they met on earth or after resuscitation ]. Consequently, by permission granted us [ = by the Divine Psychologist ], we will send a married couple down to you [ = Swedenborg's consciousness will be raised to their layer ], in order that you may see."
 And suddenly, then, a carriage appeared, coming down from the highest or third heaven, in which I saw a single angel [ = the inhabitants of layer 4 ]. But as it drew near, I saw that it held two.
The carriage shone before my eyes in the distance like a diamond, and harnessed to it were young horses as white as snow. And the couple sitting in the carriage held in their hands a pair of turtledoves.
And the couple called out to me, "You want us to come closer. But beware, then, of the flashing light coming from our heaven, the heaven we descended from. It is a blazing light, and you must take care that it does not penetrate interiorly. By its influx, indeed, the higher ideas of your understanding are enlightened, ideas that, in themselves, are heavenly. But these same ideas are inexpressible in the world in which you live. Receive the things you are about to hear, therefore, in rational terms and so explain them to the understanding."
I replied, "I will take care. Come closer."
So they came, and behold, it was a husband and his wife. And they said, "We are married. We have lived a blessed life in heaven from the earliest time, which you call the golden age [ = the most ancient civilization on earth, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago ], remaining forever in the same flower of youth that you see us in today." [ = what we might call late adolescence ]
 I looked at the two of them closely, because I perceived that they represented conjugial love in their life and in their adornment - in their life as shown in their faces, and in their adornment as shown in the garments they wore.
For all angels are affections of love in human form. The essential, dominant affection shines out from their faces, and they are given clothing [ = by the Divine Psychologist ] on the basis of their affection and in accordance with it. Consequently, in heaven they say that everyone is clothed in his own affection.
The husband appeared to be between adolescence and early manhood in age. From his eyes flashed a light sparkling with the wisdom of love. His face seemed to be inmostly radiant with this light, and because of the radiance from within, outwardly his skin virtually shone. As a result, his whole facial appearance was singularly one of dazzling good looks.
He was dressed in a full-length robe, and under the robe he wore a blue-colored garment, which was tied about the waist with a golden girdle bearing three precious stones, two of them sapphires, one on each side, and a garnet in the middle. His stockings were of shining linen, into which had been woven threads of silver; and his shoes were made entirely of silk.
This was the representational form that conjugial love took in the case of the husband.
 In the case of the wife, however, it took the following form. I saw her face, and did not see it. I saw it as the very essence of beauty, and did not see it because the beauty was beyond expression. For there was in her face the bright glow of a blazing light, like the light possessed by angels in the third heaven, and this light dimmed my vision, so that I was simply stupefied by it.
Noticing this, the wife spoke to me, saying, "What do you see?"
I answered, "I see only conjugial love and a picture of it. But I see and do not see."
At this she turned at an angle away from her husband, and then I could look more intently. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, which is blazing, as I said, and so takes its quality from the love of wisdom. For wives in the third heaven love their husbands on account of their husbands' wisdom and in response to it, and the husbands love their wives on account of and in response to that love directed towards them, and so they are united.
The wife had her beauty as a result of this, such beauty that no artist could reproduce it or portray it in its true form, for a flashing of light like that is not possible in the painter's colors, nor is such loveliness expressible in his art.
Her hair was attractively arranged in a style to match her beauty, with jewels in the form of flowers inserted into it. She had a necklace of garnets, from which hung a rosette of peridots. And she had bracelets of pearls. She was dressed in a scarlet gown, and under it a purple bodice fastened in front with rubies. But what surprised me, the colors kept changing depending on which way she was facing in relation to her husband, and their sparkle also kept changing accordingly, being now more, now less - more when they faced each other, and less when she faced away at an angle.
 When I had seen these things, they spoke with me again. And when the husband spoke, he spoke as though he spoke at the same time on behalf of his wife, and when the wife spoke, she spoke as though she spoke at the same time on behalf of her husband. For such was the union of their minds, from which comes their speech. It was then that I heard as well the way conjugial love sounds, how it was inwardly together with, and also the result of, the delights of a state of peace and innocence.
Finally they said, "They are calling us back. We have to go."
They then appeared to be again riding in a carriage, as before, and they were borne off along a road stretching out between flower gardens, from whose beds rose olive trees and trees full of oranges.
And as they drew near their heaven, young women came to meet them and welcome them and take them in. (CL 42)
Let's see if we can extract some theistic psychology from the correspondential sense of the above passage. Here is the first paragraph of CL 42:
|Literal sense of
the Swedenborg Reports
in theistic psychology
|Our mental state during a temporary enlightenment from the Divine Psychologist|
|I looked up into the sky,||as we read or study the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture (theistic psychology),|
and I saw above me expanse upon expanse.
|which provides knowledge of mental anatomy and its discrete layers of operation in the mental world of eternity.|
And as I looked, the first or nearest expanse was opened,
|Receiving insight or perception of the meaning of spiritual-natural correspondences contained in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.|
and shortly the second, which was above it,
|Receiving insight or perception of the meaning of spiritual-rational correspondences contained in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.|
and finally the third, which was the highest of all.
|Receiving insight or perception of the meaning of celestial-rational correspondences contained in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.|
By the light coming from them I perceived
|Perception of spiritual correspondences within the natural sense of Sacred Scripture can only occur by enlightenment from the Divine Psychologist through the inflow of spiritual light substance into the cognitive organ.|
that on the first expanse were angels of the first or lowest heaven,
|The spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture occur in the interior of our natural mind, which is called the first heaven, and where we are called "good spirits."|
on the second expanse were angels of the second or middle heaven,
|The spiritual-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture occur in our spiritual mind, which is called the second heaven, and where we are called "angelic spirits."|
and on the third expanse were angels of the third or highest heaven.
|The celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture occur in our celestial mind, which is called the third heaven, and where we are called "angels."|
You can see from this analysis that this passage of Sacred Scripture discusses the three discrete layers of our mind, but in a different way than this is discussed in the passage CL 270, analyzed above in this Section. You can see from this that the mental anatomy described in theistic psychology
(a) has been revealed in the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, and
(b) has been confirmed and verified by Swedenborg's direct observations.
Let us extract more theistic psychology knowledge by analyzing the second paragraph of CL 42 quoted in full above:
|Literal sense of
the Swedenborg Reports
in theistic psychology
I wondered at first what was happening and why.
|Only when we adopt the positive bias in science can we understand anything rationally about theistic psychology.|
But shortly I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of a trumpet, saying,
|The source of all knowledge in theistic psychology is Sacred Scripture.|
"We have perceived, and now see, that you are meditating on conjugial love.
|Extracting the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture is possible only through the spiritual and celestial layers of the mind, to which the conscious natural mind reacts by correspondence.|
Moreover, we know that so far no one on earth knows what true conjugial love is in its origin or in its essence,
|No spiritual and celestial truths about marriage and heaven can be acquired from any other source than from Sacred Scripture.|
and yet it is important for them to know. Therefore it has pleased the Lord to open the heavens to you,
|The scientific knowledge that is extracted from Sacred Scripture, is understandable only to those who acknowledge Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech or Divine Truth.|
that the inner faculties of your mind may receive an influx of illuminating light and thus perception.
|Enlightenment from the Divine Psychologist occurs by means of spiritual light flowing into the cognitive organ of our celestial mind.|
"Among us in heaven, especially in the third heaven, our heavenly delights come principally from conjugial love. Consequently, by permission granted us, we will send a married couple down to you, in order that you may see."
|The understanding of celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture occurs when the husband is united to the wife by the Doctrine of the Wife (see Section 11.4)|
The passage above shows that regeneration is a mental process that is effected upon the natural mind by means of the spiritual and celestial mind, and that this process involves enlightenment, or the rational understanding of the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. But this can occur only when we are in the positive bias mode of thinking in science (see Section xx). We are also told that in order to attain to the highest operation of the human mind called the third heaven or celestial mind, we must achieve the state of conjugial love through the Doctrine of the Wife (see Section 11.4).
Continuing with the next portion of the passage (CL 42):
|Literal sense of
the Swedenborg Reports
in theistic psychology
And suddenly, then, a carriage appeared, coming down from the highest or third heaven, in which I saw a single angel. But as it drew near, I saw that it held two.
|The Doctrine of the Wife (see Section 11.4) originates in the celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture in our celestial mind. It specifies the method by which we are to regenerate through the unity model of marriage (see Section 11.3)|
|The carriage shone before my eyes in the distance like a diamond, and harnessed to it were young horses as white as snow.||The Doctrine of the Wife is the correspondential sense of that portion of the Swedenborg Reports titled Conjugial Love.|
And the couple sitting in the carriage held in their hands a pair of turtledoves.
|Turtledoves in the natural mind or on earth represent conjugial love in our celestial mind to which they correspond.|
|And the couple called out to me, "You want us to come closer. But beware, then, of the flashing light coming from our heaven, the heaven we descended from. It is a blazing light, and you must take care that it does not penetrate interiorly. By its influx, indeed, the higher ideas of your understanding are enlightened, ideas that, in themselves, are heavenly.||The acknowledgement and rational understanding of the Doctrine of the Wife is possible fully only through celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture, such as they are in our celestial mind.|
But these same ideas are inexpressible in the world in which you live. Receive the things you are about to hear, therefore, in rational terms and so explain them to the understanding."
|But it can be understood as in a virtual image in the interior portion of the conscious natural mind, called interior-natural or spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).|
I replied, "I will take care. Come closer."
|The enlightenment we perceive regarding the Doctrine of the Wife through interior-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture, is a quasi or virtual celestial perception we can have through the regenerated mental states (see Section xx).|
So they came, and behold, it was a husband and his wife. And they said, "We are married. We have lived a blessed life in heaven from the earliest time, which you call the golden age, remaining forever in the same flower of youth that you see us in today."
|Regenerated states are achieved only by means of combat against our inherited enjoyments. Following each of our temptation combat and victory on our behalf by the Divine Psychologist, we attain a new and more interior state of understanding of the Doctrine of the Wife, and this to endless eternity.|
The scientific facts extracted from the correspondential sense in the passage above, and below, are completely unknown to professionals in marriage counseling and clinical therapy in non-theistic psychology. They have been educated to maintain the negative bias in science as part of their professionalism. Hence they have not been provided with a professional warrant to base their theory and practice on Sacred Scripture. But I expect that this may change in the future.
Continuing with the analysis of the next portion of CL 42:
|Literal sense of
the Swedenborg Reports
in theistic psychology
I looked at the two of them closely, because I perceived that they represented conjugial love in their life and in their adornment - in their life as shown in their faces, and in their adornment as shown in the garments they wore.
|Practicing the spiritual discipline of the Doctrine of the Wife during regeneration, conjoins the cognitive organ of the husband to the affective organ of the wife, thus creating a synergistic or unified whole out of the two.|
|For all angels are affections of love in human form. The essential, dominant affection shines out from their faces, and they are given clothing on the basis of their affection and in accordance with it. Consequently, in heaven they say that everyone is clothed in his own affection.||Practicing the unity model of marriage (see Section 11.3) involves getting the wife's affections to direct and guide the husband's thinking and doing. The husband's wisdom progressively increases as he loves to have his thoughts directed by his wife's affections.|
|The husband appeared to be between adolescence and early manhood in age. From his eyes flashed a light sparkling with the wisdom of love. His face seemed to be inmostly radiant with this light, and because of the radiance from within, outwardly his skin virtually shone. As a result, his whole facial appearance was singularly one of dazzling good looks.||The unity marriage progressively conjoins husband and wife from inmost to outmost. When the husband's understanding is fully concordant with the wife's affections, their life on earth becomes a heaven in their mind, and they are filled with spiritual wisdom and celestial love.|
He was dressed in a full-length robe,
|The Doctrine of the Wife encloses within itself all the heavenly secrets of regeneration that a husband needs to know about his wife through the unity model of marriage.|
and under the robe he wore a blue-colored garment,
|The Doctrine of the Wife makes its appearance in his conscious natural mind through spiritual-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture (theistic psychology),|
which was tied about the waist with a golden girdle
|when the husband is motivated by a desire for conjugial unity.|
bearing three precious stones, two of them sapphires, one on each side, and a garnet in the middle.
|All truths belonging to marriage shine through in the Doctrine of the Wife, both less interior and more interior to all husbands who love these truths of matrimony and unity.|
His stockings were of shining linen,
|Even the natural truths contained in the Doctrine of the Wife are Divine|
into which had been woven threads of silver;
|because they contain spiritual truths within them|
and his shoes were made entirely of silk.
|and spiritual good that is applied to their life.|
|This was the representational form that conjugial love took in the case of the husband.||The husband and the wife are united by reciprocity and differentiation.|
|In the case of the wife, however, it took the following form. I saw her face, and did not see it. I saw it as the very essence of beauty, and did not see it because the beauty was beyond expression. For there was in her face the bright glow of a blazing light, like the light possessed by angels in the third heaven, and this light dimmed my vision, so that I was simply stupefied by it.||The wisdom and intelligence of the wife are celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture.|
Noticing this, the wife spoke to me, saying, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see only conjugial love and a picture of it. But I see and do not see."
|A husband can unite himself to this wisdom fully with his inmost love, being celestial, but only partially when he is in a lower state of love, which is spiritual-rational.|
At this she turned at an angle away from her husband, and then I could look more intently. Her eyes flashed with the light of her heaven, which is blazing, as I said, and so takes its quality from the love of wisdom. For wives in the third heaven love their husbands on account of their husbands' wisdom and in response to it, and the husbands love their wives on account of and in response to that love directed towards them, and so they are united.
|The unity of husband and wife consists of the conjoint self, which is created when the husband loves the wife's wisdom, which she has acquired from him, more than he loves his wisdom in himself. The wife acquires her husband's wisdom by loving it, thus appropriating it to herself. This transformed wisdom from the husband in the wife, now becomes the love of her husband.|
The wife had her beauty as a result of this, such beauty that no artist could reproduce it or portray it in its true form, for a flashing of light like that is not possible in the painter's colors, nor is such loveliness expressible in his art.
|The husband's intelligence from his own wisdom consists solely of sensuous ideas exhibited in materialistic science, business, politics, ethics. But his wisdom from Sacred Scripture is given by the Divine Psychologist in proportion to the husband's motivation to apply the truths to his daily life. The wife's intelligence is from her husband's wisdom, which has been enlightened by the Divine Psychologist. This spiritual wisdom has been transplanted into the wife's cognitive organ through her love for it. This intelligence in the wife is more interior because it is activated from a higher source. The husband's wisdom continues to grow in proportion that he loves his wife's wisdom more than his own.|
Her hair was attractively arranged in a style to match her beauty, with jewels in the form of flowers inserted into it.
|In a unity marriage here on earth, the wife's intelligence in daily life is from a celestial source. Her intelligence is an embodiment of spiritual truths hidden in the Doctrine of the Wife.|
|She had a necklace of garnets, from which hung a rosette of peridots. And she had bracelets of pearls. She was dressed in a scarlet gown, and under it a purple bodice fastened in front with rubies.||The wife conjoins her husband to herself through her love of his intelligence, to the extent that this intelligence is formed by Sacred Scripture and not from his sensuous knowledges. The wife's interior wisdom gives her a perception of her husband's interior affections and she uses this knowledge to unite conjoin herself to him.|
|But what surprised me, the colors kept changing depending on which way she was facing in relation to her husband, and their sparkle also kept changing accordingly, being now more, now less - more when they faced each other, and less when she faced away at an angle.||The wife's effort at conjunction is constant while the husband's effort is variable. When he loves to act from her intelligence more than from his own intelligence, the wife's efforts are effective and he becomes attached to her more and more. But this process is interrupted when he relapses to an earlier mode of rejecting her intelligence in favor of his own. Then her efforts are less effective.|
When I had seen these things, they spoke with me again. And when the husband spoke, he spoke as though he spoke at the same time on behalf of his wife, and when the wife spoke, she spoke as though she spoke at the same time on behalf of her husband. For such was the union of their minds, from which comes their speech. It was then that I heard as well the way conjugial love sounds, how it was inwardly together with, and also the result of, the delights of a state of peace and innocence.
|The Doctrine of the Wife is a spiritual discipline for husbands who aspire towards a conjoint self in eternal marriage. This celestial mental state is the highest layer of the mental world and is close to the Spiritual Sun. Speaking from self is felt as aversive or disjunctive, but speaking from the other spouse, brings the peace of inmost friendship and the innocence of genuine good. The unit of human life in its highest potential or form, is the conjoint self of the unity couple.|
Finally they said, "They are calling us back. We have to go."
They then appeared to be again riding in a carriage, as before, and they were borne off along a road stretching out between flower gardens, from whose beds rose olive trees and trees full of oranges.
And as they drew near their heaven, young women came to meet them and welcome them and take them in.
|The Doctrine of the Wife is from a celestial origin. It is the order of heaven forming the conscious natural mind into a representative of heaven. The Doctrine of the Wife is the source of theistic intelligence or spiritual wisdom. Its endless secrets gradually appear to the mind and form an ever deeper and grander understanding of life, reality, and God. These heavenly treasures are available to anyone who loves the Doctrine of the Wife enough to live it and to ceaselessly strive to fulfill it in one's daily willing and thinking.|
Now consider this: When you think about something, what maintains your thought sequences in a coherent rational order so that you can make valid decisions and survive on earth in an objective world with other human beings?
The answer is: the laws of correspondences across the discrete degrees or layers of creation and reality.
Your thought sequences in the conscious natural mind follow a certain rational order of reality which corresponds to the thought sequences in your unconscious spiritual mind, and these are governed themselves by being correspondences to the thought processes of the Divine Human. These Divine Human thought processes, within which is Divine Love, create all things and maintain them in order, including the conscious thought processes in your natural mind. And the same goes for your affective organ and your sensorimotor organ (see Section xx).
You can understand this process of reaction to correspondences by thinking of an analogy with the signification or interpretation of dreams. This has been an activity people have engaged in since the beginning of history, as we know from the world's most ancient literature (see Section xx). Dream interpretation is alive and active today. A google search for "dream interpretation" in 2006 yielded over 2 million Web sites, including dictionaries and various societies and online discussion groups. It has been known since antiquity, from the Sacred Scriptures of the Ancient civilization in Asia, that the details we recall from dreams are representative objects, people, and events that are produced by correspondences to the states and operations in our mental organs.
The affective organ supplies the energy and powers the dream in this or that direction. These are our motives, feelings, and desires. Every motive or desire produces by correspondence some natural appearance that represents that desire or motive. People have tried to foretell the future through dream interpretation, but it is not known which dreams represent future events vs. past or current, or which are non-historical expressions of emotion and character. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture relates the story of a stranger in the land of Egypt by the name of Joseph who was appointed by Pharaoh to be the chief governor of the land after Joseph had demonstrated his ability to interpret the future through Pharaoh's dreams.
But why are we told these details about how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams thousands of years ago? At the plain historical literal level of meaning, which is accessible to every child and adult of normal intelligence, we can see the details of the Joseph dream interpretation story as a timeless and universal moral lesson for us today. Joseph went from prison as a foreigner in the land, to head of state, because his life was in the hands of God. And so, if we similarly strengthen our faith and rely on God, we too will be benefited like Joseph was. This is the moral lesson interpretation we can give about the Joseph story regarding why God talks about in Sacred Scripture.
But at the same time, the literal description of the events contain a correspondential meaning because all Divine Speech descends by discrete layers of correspondences from the Spiritual Sun all the way down to the sensuous-natural mind where we can read and hear Sacred Scripture with our physical body, eyes, and ears. Now that the secret of correspondences has been revealed once more by God in the Wirings Sacred Scripture, we can use the knowledge of correspondences by applying it to the details of the natural Joseph story. If we do this for the purpose of discovering what God is talking about at a higher layer of our mind, we can become consciously aware of the correspondential meaning of these details at the next discrete level higher than our natural mind. This layer of conscious thinking is called the interior-natural mind, or the spiritual-natural mind, which is also known as the layer of our first heaven (see Section xx).
In other words, by applying the correspondences to the Joseph story, in this case, we are elevating our consciousness to our first heaven, by the meanings we focus on, which are interior-natural meanings or correspondences, rather than external-natural meanings of the plain literal historical sense.
Applying correspondences to the literal sense of Sacred Scripture does not in any way weaken the Divine validity of the literal sense.
The Swedenborg Reports explain that, of all the hidden senses, the plain literal sense of Sacred Scripture is the "fullest" and "holiest" and has the most "Divine power" by which to guide and influence the minds of people. This is because the literal sense contains all the correspondential senses within itself, one within the other across all the discrete layers, all the way up to Divine Speech and infinite truth and wisdom. In the literal sense of Sacred Scripture God is present from Firsts (Divine Speech) to lasts (literal sense of Sacred Scripture). It is like a set of nested boxes that contain smaller boxes within each other, and the inmost box contains the secret jewel or the secret message. This is Divine Speech. It is the inmost of all the discrete layers that make up a physical object or of the organs of the human mind. It is the substance of spiritual light (= truth or rationality) within which is spiritual heat (= love or good). The inmost is First and is the Divine Psychologist who maintains our mental organs and fills them with affective self-consciousness, cognitive rational order, and sensorimotor memory.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports, where "the Word" refers to Sacred Scripture, and where "the Lord's kingdom" and "the men of the church" are expressions that refer to the various discrete layers of the mental world in eternity where our mind exists as our unique individual selves. God, in the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, is talking to us about our mental anatomy, revealing to us facts about it. These scientific revelations are necessary for us to have so that we may gain control over our inherited attachment to evil enjoyments. By knowing our own mental anatomy and its functions, we can better cooperate with the Divine Psychologist, who is progressing us moment by moment, to our highest potential in heaven. This is the work of Divine truth motivated by the compassion of Divine love.
SS 6. From the Lord proceed the CELESTIAL, the SPIRITUAL, and the NATURAL, one after another. That is called the celestial which proceeds from His Divine love, and is Divine good; that is called the SPIRITUAL which proceeds from His Divine wisdom, and is Divine truth; the NATURAL is from both, being their complex in the ultimate.
The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, of whom is composed the third or highest heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord. The angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, of whom is composed the second or middle heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the spiritual, for they are in truths of wisdom from the Lord.
But the men of the church on earth are in the Divine Natural, which also proceeds from the Lord. From this it follows that the Divine in proceeding from the Lord to its ultimates descends through three degrees, and is named the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. The Divine which comes down from the Lord to men descends through these three degrees; and when it has come down, it holds these three degrees contained within it. Such is everything Divine, so that when it is in its ultimate degree it is in its fullness. Such is the Word; in its ultimate sense it is natural, in its interior sense it is spiritual, and in its inmost sense it is celestial; and in each sense it is Divine.
That such is the nature of the Word does not appear in the sense of the letter, which sense is natural, for the reason that hitherto the man of this world has known nothing about the heavens; and consequently has not known what the spiritual is, nor what the celestial is, nor therefore the distinction between them and the natural. (SS 6)
SS 31. It has been said above (n. 6, 19) that there are three senses in the Word; and also that the celestial sense is its first, the spiritual sense its middle, and the natural sense its ultimate sense. From this the rational man may infer that the first of the Word, which is celestial, passes through its middle, which is spiritual, to its ultimate, which is natural; and thus that its ultimate is the Basis. Furthermore that the first of the Word, which is celestial, is in its middle, which is spiritual, and through this is in its ultimate, which is natural, and that consequently its ultimate, which is natural and is the sense of the letter, is the container. And as the sense of the letter is the basis and the container, it is also the Support. (SS 31)
SS 37. IV DIVINE TRUTH IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORLD IS IN ITS FULLNESS, IN ITS HOLINESS, AND IN ITS POWER
The reason why the Word in the sense of the letter is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power, is that the two prior or interior senses, which are called the spiritual and the celestial, are together or simultaneous [sunt simul] in the natural sense, which is the sense of the letter, as was said above (n. 28). But how they are simultaneous in that sense shall now be told in a few words. (SS 37)
SS 38. There are in heaven and in this world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another from highest to lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another from inmost to outmost. Successive order is like a column with successive parts from the top to the bottom; but simultaneous order is like a connected structure with successive circumferences from center to surface. It shall now be told how successive order becomes simultaneous order in the ultimate. It is in this way: The highest things of successive order become the inmost ones of simultaneous order, and the lowest things of successive order become the outermost ones of simultaneous order. Comparatively speaking it is as if the column of successive parts were to sink down and become a connected body in a plane.
 Thus is the simultaneous formed from the successive, and this in all things both in general and in particular of the natural world, and also of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a middle, and an ultimate, and the first aims at and goes through the middle to its ultimate. Apply this to the Word. The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the ultimate are in simultaneous order; and it is in this way that the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word are simultaneous in its natural sense. When this is comprehended, it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, is the basis, containant, and support of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how in the sense of the letter of the Word Divine good and Divine truth are in their fullness, in their holiness, and in their power. (SS 38)
SS 42. As, in its inmost bosom, from its celestial sense, our Word is like a flame that enkindles; and as, in its middle bosom, from its spiritual sense, it is like a light that enlightens; it follows that in its ultimate bosom, from its natural sense which has within it the two more interior senses, the Word is like a ruby and a diamond; like a ruby from its celestial flame, and like a diamond from its spiritual light. And as from its transparency the Word is like this in the sense of the letter, the Word in this sense of the letter is meant by the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem; by the Urim and Thummim in Aaron's ephod; by the garden of Eden in which had been the king of Tyre; by the curtains and veils of the Tabernacle; and by the externals of the Temple at Jerusalem. But in its very glory the Word was represented by the Lord when He was transfigured. (SS 42)
SS 58. The reason why the Word shines and is translucent with such, is that there is a spiritual and celestial sense in every particular of the Word, and these senses are in the light of heaven, so that through these senses and by their light the Lord flows into the natural sense, and into the light of it with a man. This causes the man to acknowledge the truth from an interior perception, and afterwards to see it in his own thought, and this as often as he is in the affection of truth for the sake of truth. For perception comes from affection, and thought from perception, and thus is produced the acknowledgment which is called faith. But of these things more will be said in the following chapter concerning the conjunction of the Lord with man by means of the Word. (SS 58)
From Firsts, the Divine Psychologist connects by celestial-rational correspondences to the mental organs of our celestial mind, which is the name used for the upper portion of the spiritual mind (see Section xx). This is called the third heaven. Swedenborg was able to observe that all the numerous individual societies in that region of the human mental world of eternity, possess a copy of Sacred Scripture. He described the nature of the script in which Sacred Scripture is written in the three heavens.
Also, it is explained that without the literal sense, the correspondential could not exist on earth or in the natural mind. If God appeared today at the United Nations making a speech, what would it sound like in content? A student in theistic psychology had the right answer: God's speech would sound to almost everybody like He is reading from the books of Sacred Scripture that are already known on this earth. People might start thinking that this is an impostor and reject Him. Anyone can stand up and read from a book, whether a holy book or not.
Why would God sound like He is reading from Sacred Scripture? Doesn't God have other things to say to us, things we don't know yet, things that have to do with today, our modern world and our many troubles?
So now with some slight understanding of correspondences, you can begin to see what God speaks about to humanity. God's Divine Speech starts out from Divine Truth in God's cognitive organ, and as it descends towards humanity, is changed by correspondences in several discrete layers. If God in His Divine natural body, acquired on this earth (see Section xx), should give a speech at the United Nations which is broadcast to the whole earth, we would not be the first to hear His words, even though He speaks into the microphones of earth. His words would first enter the celestial mind or third heaven of every human being, whether they are in this world or in the afterlife. God cannot just speak to an audience or to a microphone. When God speaks it is Divine Speech from the inmost of created reality that exteriorizes by discrete layers into the universe, and finally, can be heard by a physical voice by those who are in the room or listening through the broadcast.
Those who are already conscious in the upper region of the spiritual mind in the afterlife of eternity, will hear those words first with a living voice from the Spiritual Sun in their sky where they can visually perceive the Divine Human in His Natural appearance glorified on this earth during the Incarnation event (see see Sections 1.6.8 and 188.8.131.52 and 1.8.6 and 2.19 and 184.108.40.206 and 3.10.1 and 4.4.5 and 220.127.116.11 and 5.0.6 and 18.104.22.168.1 and 22.214.171.124.1). They will be words and expressions translated in celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx).
After this, those who are conscious in the afterlife of their spiritual mind or second heaven, would hear the words in terms of spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech.
After that those who are conscious in their interior-natural mind or first heaven, will hear the words in spiritual-natural correspondences. If you continue studying theistic psychology you will be able to hear those words in spiritual-natural correspondences by applying the code of correspondences to His United Nations speech. You will then not hear God reading Sacred Scripture, but you will be hearing Him discuss theistic psychology. You will hear Gold introduce Himself to you as your Divine Psychologist ready to effect your regeneration through temptations (see Section xx). And as you look at God speaking at the United Nations podium you will know that what you see with your physical eyes is a real and natural appearance created by the presence of the Divine Psychologist within your mind as the substance of good and truth that constitute your mental organs and consequent consciousness.
It is this inner presence within our very thoughts and feelings that we human beings have our intimate and most real relationship with God the Divine Human. This involves the conscious awareness and rational understanding that the good and truth substances that make up our mental organs, is God Himself extending Himself outside Himself and into the mental universe of humanity. Our unique individuality as an immortal human being comes from the particular unique way in which our mental organs are constructed out of the same Divine good and truth substances. Hence every human being experiences the good and truth substances in a unique way from birth to endless eternity.
Here is a quote from the Swedenborg Reports that analyzes the correspondential sense of the Joseph story mentioned above. In the past, you may have heard God speak about Joseph and Pharaoh as you were reading the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, but now you can hear God speak to us about our mental anatomy, like you would expect from the Divine Psychologist:
41. GENESIS [Old Testament]
And then at the end of two full years Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the river. 2 And he saw coming up from the river seven cows good to look at and well-fleshed, and they grazed in the sedge. 3 And he saw seven other cows coming up after them from the river, looking poor and gaunt, and they stood beside the other cows on the bank of the river. 4 And the cows that looked poor and gaunt devoured the seven cows that were good to look at and fat. And Pharaoh woke up. 5 And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time, and saw seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, fat and good. 6 And he saw seven ears of corn, thin and scorched by an east wind, growing up after them. 7 And the thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven fat and full ears of corn. And Pharaoh woke up, and it was all a dream. 8 And so in the morning his mind was troubled, and he sent and called all the magicians of Egypt and all the wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dream, and there was no one who could interpret it to Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief cup-bearer spoke to Pharaoh and said, I call to mind my sins today. 10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the chief guard. 11 And we had a dream on the same night, both of us; we dreamed, each man with a meaning to his dream. 12 And a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the chief guard; and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams to us, to each of us according to his dream he gave an interpretation. 13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came about; he restored me to my office, and he hanged him.
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they hurried him from the pit; and when he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have had a dream and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you that you understand dreams so as to interpret them. 16 But Joseph answered Pharaoh, and said, It does not belong to me; it is God who will give an answer reassuring to Pharaoh. 17 Then Pharaoh told Joseph, In my dream, then, I was standing on the bank of the river; 18 and I saw seven cows coming up from the river, well-fleshed and in good shape; and they grazed in the sedge. 19 And I saw seven other cows coming up after them, weak and very poorly-formed and lean-fleshed; in all the land of Egypt I have seen none as bad as they were. 20 And the lean and poor cows devoured the first seven cows, the fat ones. 21 And when they had completely devoured them, no one would have known that they had completely devoured them; for they looked as bad as before. And I woke up. 22 And I saw in my dream, and again, seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, full and good; 23 and I saw seven ears of corn, withered up, thin, scorched by an east wind, growing up after them; 24 and the thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears of corn. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, Pharaoh's dreams are one; God has made known to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears of corn are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven lean and bad cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears of corn, scorched by an east wind, are seven years of famine. 28 This is what I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Thus, seven years of great plenty are coming throughout the land of Egypt; 30 but after them will follow seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will consume the land. 31 And the plenty in the land will be unknown because of that famine which will follow it, for it will be very severe. 32 And as for the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh, the second time, it is because the thing is a certainty with God, and God is hastening to do it. 33 So now let Pharaoh look for a mats, understanding and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh act, and let him appoint commissioners over the land, and take up a fifth part of the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up grain under Pharaoh's disposal for food in the cities; and let them guard it. 36 And the food shall be in store for the land, ready for the seven years of famine which there will be in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish during the famine.
37 And what he said was good in Pharaoh's eyes and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Shall we find anyone like this, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God has given you to know all this, there is no one as understanding and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall obey your command; only as regards the throne will I be greater than you. 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in robes of fine linen, and placed the gold chain around his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his own second chariot, and they cried before him, Abrek and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without you no man shall lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah, and gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, for a wife; and Joseph travelled over the land of Egypt.
So, as we read the above passage at the literal level of meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, we are given many details about the man Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream. Note carefully that Joseph is giving a natural interpretation of Pharaoh's dream. Joseph gives an interpretation of the dream details as being a prediction of a future occurrence in Egypt, namely a famine, for which the country can now prepare.
Both the the Pharaoh's dream and the interpretation of it given by Joseph remain at the natural level of meaning. It is very likely that Joseph himself had no idea whatsoever that the dream details had a correspondential sense relating to theistic psychology. But very likely he found out about it when he awakened in his spiritual mind and read that passage in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture.
Why is God talking to us about how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream?
First, as a universal moral lesson, as mentioned in the discussion above. Second, we observe that some details in the sequence of the events are mentioned, while others are not. Only those details are mentioned which allow us to reconstruct the correspondential meaning that God is mentioning in each one of those natural or historical details.
Let's see what it is that God is telling us through those details by applying to them the knowledge of correspondences we obtain from the Swedenborg Reports (see Section xx) . You will note immediately that the Joseph story is actually giving us a mental anatomy chart that applies to certain developmental states that we must go through in character reformation and regeneration (see Section xx). To make it easier for you to spot the mental anatomy details given, I will underline many of the words and expressions referring to our mental anatomy and functioning during regeneration of character. By knowing these details we can more effectively cooperate in our regeneration which is effected not by us, but by the Divine Psychologist with us and speaking to our conscience and to our natural-rational mind (See Section 126.96.36.199).
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
Verses 17-24 And Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, In my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the river. And behold, out of the river seven cows were coming up, fat-fleshed and beautiful in form; and they fed in the sedge. And behold, seven other cows were coming up after them, weak and extremely bad in form and lean-fleshed; I have not seen any like them in all the land of Egypt for badness. And the lean and bad cows devoured the first seven fat cows. And they devoured them completely,* and no one would have known that they had devoured them completely;** and their appearance was malign, as it had been in the beginning. And I awoke. And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain were coming up on one stalk, full and good. And behold, seven heads, dried up, thin, and scorched by an east wind, were sprouting after them. And the thin heads swallowed up the seven good heads. And I told it to the magi, and there was no one to point out the meaning to me.
'And Pharaoh spoke to Joseph' means thought expressed by the natural but belonging to the celestial of the spiritual. 'In my dream' means what has been foreseen in a state of obscurity. 'Behold, I was standing on the bank of the river' means from boundary to boundary. 'And behold, out of the river' means at the boundary. 'Seven cows were coming up' means the truths belonging to the natural. 'Fat-fleshed' means which were embodiments of charity. 'And beautiful in form' means which were expressions of faith resulting from these. 'And they fed in the sedge' means instruction. 'And behold, seven other cows were coming up after them' means falsities present in the natural close by them. 'Weak and extremely bad in form' means empty and lacking in faith. 'And lean-fleshed' means lacking in charity too.
I have not seen anything like them in all the land of Egypt for badness' means which were such that they could not by any means be joined to forms of truth and good. 'And the lean and bad cows devoured.....' means that falsities which were not expressions of faith and not embodiments of charity would banish.'The first seven fat cows' means truths which were expressions of faith derived from charity. 'And they devoured them completely' means an interior banishing. 'And no one would have known that they had devoured them completely' means that the truths of good were no longer discernible. 'And their appearance was malign, as it had been at the beginning' means that no communication or joining together existed. 'And I awoke' means a state of enlightenment. 'And I saw in my dream' means still more foreseen in obscurity.
'And behold, seven heads of grain were coming up on one stalk' means facts known to the natural, which facts existed linked together. 'Full and good' means into which facts matters of faith and charity could be instilled. 'And behold, seven heads, dried up, thin, and scorched by an east wind' means facts that are useless and full of evil desires. 'Were sprouting after them' means appearing close by them. 'And the thin heads swallowed up the seven good heads' means that the facts which were useless banished the facts which were useful. 'And I told it to the magi' means a consultation with facts of an interior kind. 'And there was no one to point out the meaning to me' means that nothing at all was discerned from these. (AC 5228)
I am not giving here the details of how Swedenborg goes about proving that the underlined words above are the correspondential sense given here. The above is only the introductory paragraph in which the summary is given. Then follows pages of explanations as to how the summary comes out of the application of correspondences. Many passages from throughout the Old and New Testaments are cited to show that the same correspondences are used in multiple places throughout the entire Sacred Scripture.
Let's line up the theistic psychology concepts we can derive from this one passage about the Joseph story.
of Divine Speech
of Divine Speech
of Divine Speech
|And Pharaoh spoke to Joseph||
thought expressed by the natural but belonging to the celestial of the spiritual.
|what we think in our conscious natural mind is a reaction by correspondence to what we think in our unconscious spiritual mind|
|In my dream||what has been foreseen in a state of obscurity.||our natural understanding of truth and reality is obscure or unclear compared to our rational understanding based on interior-natural correspondences of Sacred Scripture|
|Behold, I was standing on the bank of the river||from boundary to boundary||our mental organs are arranged in top-down discrete layers that do not overlap but function together by the laws of correspondences|
|And behold, out of the river||at the boundary||the layer that separates the conscious natural mind from the unconscious spiritual mind|
|Seven cows were coming up||the truths belonging to the natural||the conscious knowledge we acquire by study and comprehension of Sacred Scripture|
|Fat-fleshed||embodiments of charity||applying the truths of Sacred Scripture to one's daily willing and thinking, thus effecting character reformation and regeneration|
|And beautiful in form||expressions of faith resulting from these||the progressive understanding of still higher correspondences of Sacred Scripture, from natural, to interior-natural, to spiritual and celestial-rational|
|And they fed in the sedge||instruction||character reformation and regeneration is only by means of the truths of Sacred Scripture, hence from Divine Speech of the Divine Human|
|And behold, seven other cows were coming up after them||falsities present in the natural close by them||there is a tendency in the natural mind, from inherited evil, to prefer falsified truths from Sacred Scripture, which allow us to retain many inherited hellish traits and enjoyments|
|Weak and extremely bad in form||empty and lacking in faith||such falsified truths are contrary to rational spirituality and the truths of Sacred Scripture, hence they cannot effect character reformation and regeneration|
|And lean-fleshed||lacking in charity||their lack of power against our evil traits is because they are not rational, and only rational truths from Sacred Scripture have this power|
|I have not seen anything like them in all the land of Egypt for badness||which were such that they could not by any means be joined to forms of truth and good.||falsified truths are discordant with the truths of Sacred Scripture that we acquire in our rational understanding|
|And the lean and bad cows devoured||falsities which were not expressions of faith and not embodiments of charity would banish||truths from Sacred Scripture are falsified in our mind due to our desire to use them for selfish purposes and personal gain|
|The first seven fat cows||truths which were expressions of faith derived from charity||truths from Sacred Scripture remain genuine in our understanding if our motive is to be a better person|
|And they devoured them completely||an interior banishing||falsified truths in our mind lead us to vastated mental states in which all truths seem to have disappeared from our mind|
|And no one would have known that they had devoured them completely||the truths of good were no longer discernible||once we falsify truths of Sacred Scripture that are in our mind we are unable to differentiate between truths and falsified truths|
|And their appearance was malign, as it had been at the beginning||no communication or joining together existed||the state of vastation that ensues prevents further progress in regeneration|
|And I awoke||a state of enlightenment||after the mental vastation, the Divine Psychologist provides a state of enlightenment and peace|
|And I saw in my dream||still more foreseen in obscurity|
|And behold, seven heads of grain were coming up on one stalk||facts known to the natural, which facts existed linked together|
|Full and good||into which facts matters of faith and charity could be instilled|
|And behold, seven heads, dried up, thin, and scorched by an east wind||facts that are useless and full of evil desires|
|Were sprouting after them||appearing close by them|
|And the thin heads swallowed up the seven good heads||the facts which were useless banished the facts which were useful|
|And I told it to the magi||a consultation with facts of an interior kind|
|And there was no one to point out the meaning to me||nothing at all was discerned from these|
You can see from this analysis that the correspondential senses of Sacred Scripture are stacked within layers of each other. The above passage of Sacred Scripture reveals various scientific facts about our mental development. Only those details of Pharaoh's dream are recorded in Sacred Scripture that have these correspondential meanings stacked within them like secrets inside nested boxes. Let us continue reading the Swedenborg Reports with more explanations about the correspondences listed in the above Table.
AC 5259. The reason 'Pharaoh spoke to Joseph' means thought which is expressed by the natural but belongs to the celestial of the spiritual, and not the other way round, is that when thought is going on in what is exterior, the source of such thought does not lie there but in what is interior. Or what amounts to the same, when thought is going on in what is lower, nothing else than what is higher is the source of it. Even so, while the thought belonging to what is interior or higher is going on in what is exterior or lower, it does seem as though the exterior or lower is itself the source of the thought going on in it. But that is an illusion. It is like a person who sees some object in a mirror but does not know that the mirror is there. He supposes that the object exists where it appears to do so, but in reality it does not exist there. (AC 5259)
In other words, when we are thinking in our normal every conscious self, we are not aware where the sequence of our thoughts come from. We are merely conscious of the thoughts popping into our conscious awareness. This passage gives us a new scientific revelation about where our thoughts come from. This is what God is talking to us about throughout Sacred Scripture, when read in its correspondential senses. The source of our conscious thought sequences in the natural mind is the next layer above, to which we are reacting by correspondences. It is said above that "when thought is going on in what is lower, nothing else than what is higher is the source of it" which means that the spiritual thoughts in our unconscious spiritual mind are the source or cause of our conscious thoughts in the natural mind, the two being linked by correspondence.
The rest of that Number explains it again in a slightly varying form:
AC 5259  Now because the celestial of the spiritual is interior or higher, and the natural is exterior or lower, 'Pharaoh spoke to Joseph' therefore means in the internal sense thought expressed by the natural but belonging to the celestial of the spiritual. In short, nothing in a lower position possesses anything self-derived whatsoever. Any ability it possesses comes from what is higher, which being so it plainly follows that the Highest one of all, that is, the Divine, is the source of everything. Consequently the source of a person's thought proceeding from his understanding and of his activity proceeding from his will is the Highest one or the Divine.
If however a person thinks false ideas and acts in evil ways, this is due to the form he has stamped on his own character; but if he thinks right ideas and acts in ways that are good, it is due to the form he has received from the Lord. For it is well known that one and the same power and force produces differing movements which are determined by the ways in which the intermediate and outermost parts are structured, so that in the human being life from the Divine produces differing thoughts and actions, determined by the forms existing there. (AC 5259)
In other words, "nothing in a lower position possesses anything self-derived whatsoever. Any ability it possesses comes from what is higher, which being so it plainly follows that the Highest one of all, that is, the Divine, is the source of everything." God is the first cause of everything, and all other things follow by correspondence in discrete layers. The ability or power of any thing is derived by correspondence from some higher or prior cause. Our natural thoughts and abilities come from our spiritual thoughts and abilities, and these from our celestial thoughts and abilities, and these from the good and truth substances proceeding from the Spiritual Sun, hence from God.
The passage above also reveals that each individual thinks unique thoughts even though the same influx of good and truth enters every individual's mind at the same moment. This uniqueness of each person is due to the unique soul or form that defines an immortal human being at birth. This uniqueness then continues and cumulates to endless eternity. This also means that an individual can falsify and corrupt the truth and good that inflows into their cognitive and affective organs (see Section xx).
AC 5265. 'The seven good cows are seven years' means a state when truth within the interior natural is multiplied. (...)  'Seven' means things that are holy because of the meanings that numbers have in the world of spirits. Each number there holds some spiritual reality within it. Visual indications of numbers have appeared to me frequently, simple and compound ones, and also on one occasion a long sequence of them, when I have wondered what meanings they possessed. I have been told that they have their origin in conversations held by angels, and that it is customary from time to time to use numbers to express spiritual realities too. These numbers are not seen in heaven but in the world of spirits, where the visual presentation of such things takes place. The most ancients, who were celestial people and who talked to angels, knew all about this, which was why they used numbers to express an evaluation of the Church. (...) (AC 5265)
In the passage above we have another astounding revelation about scientific facts. Swedenborg observed that when he spoke or thought of numbers in his spiritual mind, real appearances were instantiated around him. Others in their spiritual mind who were near him were also able to see these real sensorimotor phenomena. Different things appeared depending on the number. We are given additional historical facts about numbers in relation to the most ancient civilization on earth called the celestial race (see Section xx). The people in those times were conscious simultaneously in their natural mind oriented towards earth, and in their spiritual mind oriented towards the heaven of the afterlife where their grandparents and teachers were living in eternity. They could thus have direct conscious communication with them. Now Swedenborg is talking to them in the eternal heavenly habitations of their celestial mind where they have been for ages and ages. Interestingly, they appeared to Swedenborg to be in their "early youth," or what we would say today, in their late teens or early twenties. They were all married couples, united as sweethearts since their time on earth, and now as eternal conjugial soul mates, the two united as one.
Continuing with the history of numbers relating to correspondences: Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 5265 (...) The numbers used by them conveyed a general overall idea of matters for which words served to provide a detailed description. The meaning contained within every number did not however continue to be known among the descendants of these people; only the meanings of the simple numbers survived, that is to say, the meanings of two, three, six, seven, eight, twelve, and from these the meanings of twenty-four, seventy-two, and seventy-seven.
In particular their descendants knew that 'seven' meant that which was most holy - that is to say, that in the highest sense 'seven' meant the Divine Himself, and in the representative sense the celestial element of love - and that the state of the celestial man was therefore meant by 'the seventh day', 84-87.
 It is quite evident from the numbers used plentifully in the Word that numbers mean spiritual realities, such as the following ones in John, [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
Let him who has intelligence reckon the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, that is, its number is six hundred and sixty-six. Rev. 13:18.
And elsewhere in the same book,
The angel measured the wall of the holy Jerusalem, a hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. Rev. 11:17.
The number one hundred and forty-four is twelve squared and twice seventy-two. (AC 5265)
AC 5268. 'And the seven thin and bad cows coming up after them are seven years' means a state when falsity attacking the interior natural is multiplied.
This is clear from the meaning of 'cows' in the genuine sense as truths within the interior natural, dealt with in 5198, 5265, but in the contrary sense as falsities there, dealt with in 5202, so that the former are called 'good cows', but the latter 'thin and bad'; from the meaning of 'coming up' as an advance made towards things that are interior, dealt with in 5202; and from the meaning of 'years' as states, dealt with just above in 5265.
Even as 'seven' means that which is holy, so in the contrary sense it means that which is unholy. For most things in the Word have a contrary meaning as well, the reason for this being that when the selfsame things as come into being in heaven pass downwards in the direction of hell, they are converted into things of an opposite nature and become in actual fact their opposites. Consequently things that are holy, meant by 'seven', are made in that place into those that are unholy. (AC 5268)
AC 5270. 'Will be seven years of famine' means a consequent absence and seeming deprivation of truth.
This is clear from the meaning of 'famine' as an absence of cognitions, dealt with in 1460, 3364, and so a deprivation of truth. For falsities banished truths to such an extent that the latter did not seem to exist any longer, which is the meaning of the descriptions in verses 4,7, 20, 21, 24 - 'the lean and bad cows devoured the seven fat cows; they devoured them completely and no one would have known that they had devoured them', and also 'the thin heads swallowed up the seven good heads', 5206, 5207, 5217. The implication of all this - the idea that at first truth will be multiplied in both parts of the natural, but that subsequently there will be an absence of truth so great that it scarcely seems to exist - is an arcanum which can be known to none except him who is allowed to know the nature of human reformation and regeneration. Such being the subject in the internal sense of what follows after this, a brief statement about it needs to be made in advance here.
 When a person is being reformed he begins by learning truths from the Word, or from what he is taught, and then storing those truths away in his memory. The person who is unable to be reformed imagines that once he has learned truths and stored them away in his memory there is nothing more to be done. But he is much mistaken. The truths he has taken in need to be introduced and joined to good; but they cannot be so introduced and joined to good as long as the evils of self-love and love of the world remain in the natural man. These two loves served initially in the introduction of such truths, but the latter cannot possibly become joined to them.
Therefore so that a joining to good may be effected, the truths that have been introduced and held there by those loves, must first be banished, though they are not actually banished but are withdrawn to a more interior position, with the result that they do not seem to exist, which is why the expression 'a seeming deprivation of truth' is used.
Once this has happened, the natural receives light from within and the evils of self-love and love of the world give way; and to the extent that they do give way the truths are restored and joined to good. In the Word a state when a person is seemingly deprived of truths is called desolation. It is also compared to the evening in which a person dwells before he moves on into morning, which was why in the representative Church the day began in the evening, 883. (AC 5270)
AC 5271. 'This is the word which I have spoken to Pharaoh' means what the natural was led to think by the celestial of the spiritual. 'What God is doing' means regarding what was provided. 'He has caused Pharaoh to see' means discernment by the natural. 'Behold, seven years are coming' means a state of providence. 'A great abundance of corn in all the land of Egypt' means the multiplication of truth in both parts of the natural. 'And seven years of famine will arise after them' means subsequent states when there will be an absence of truth. 'And all the abundance of corn in the land of Egypt will be thrust into oblivion' means the removal of truth and the seeming deprivation of it in both parts of the natural. 'And the famine will consume the land' means even to the point of despair. (AC 5271)
AC 5280. 'And the abundance of corn in the land will not be known' means that no discernment at all regarding the truth present previously will exist there.(...)
 This verse deals with the final state of desolation, when despair, which comes immediately before regeneration, is experienced; and this being the matter dealt with in this verse, something must be said about the nature of it. Everyone has to be reformed, and to be born anew or regenerated, so that he may enter heaven, No one, unless he is born again, can see the kingdom of God. John 3:3, 5, 6.
The human being is born into sin which has increased as it has come down in a long line of descent from ancestors, grandparents, and parents; it has become hereditary and so has been handed down to offspring. At birth a person is born into so many inherited evils which have gradually increased, as described, that he is nothing but sin; therefore unless he undergoes regeneration he remains wholly immersed in sin. But to be regenerated, he must first undergo reformation, which is effected by means of the truths of faith; for he must learn from the Word, and from teaching drawn from it, what good is.
Items of knowledge regarding what is good that have been acquired from the Word - that is, from teaching drawn from there - are called the truths of faith; for all truths of faith well up out of good and flow in the direction of good, good being the end they have in view.
 This state comes first and is called the state of reformation.
Most people within the Church are introduced into it during the period from young childhood through to adolescence, though few are regenerated because most people within the Church learn the truths of faith - or religious knowledge about what is good - for the sake of reputation and position and for the sake of material gain.
Since therefore the truths of faith have been introduced through his love of these things, a person cannot be born anew or be regenerated until that love has been removed. To enable such love to be removed that person is launched into a state of temptation, which takes place in the following way: His love of reputation, position, and material gain is activated by the hellish crew, for that crew's desire is to live immersed in the love of those things.
But at the same time angels activate affections for what is true and good which were implanted in the state of innocence during early childhood and then stored away interiorly and preserved there for this particular purpose.
As a result conflict between evil spirits and angels takes place, and this conflict taking place within a person is experienced by him as temptation.
And because the action at this time involves truths and forms of good, the actual truths which were instilled initially are so to speak banished by the falsities infused by the evil spirits - so banished that they are not seen - dealt with above in 5268-5270. And as the person allows himself at this time to be regenerated, the Lord introduces through an internal route the light of truth radiated from good in the natural, in which light the truths are restored there in their proper order.
 This is what happens to a person who is being regenerated, but few at the present day are permitted to enter that regenerative state. So far as they allow it to happen, all people, it is true, start to be reformed through the instruction they receive in the truths and forms of good that belong to spiritual life; but as soon as they reach adolescent years they allow the world to distract them.
So they turn away into those parts where hellish spirits are, who gradually alienate these people from heaven; the spirits alienate them so completely that they scarcely believe any longer in the existence of heaven. Consequently those people cannot be launched into any spiritual temptation; for if they were they would go under instantly, in which case their latter state would be worse than their former one, Matt. 12:45.
From all this one may see the nature of what the internal sense contains here, namely the state of reformation and the state of regeneration. This particular verse however describes the final state in temptation, which is a state of despair - this state being dealt with immediately above in 5279. (AC 5280)
You can see from the explanations above that the correspondential sense contained within the literal sense of Sacred Scripture indicates that God is talking to us about mental anatomy, character reformation, and regeneration, and consequently, the scientific understanding we need to acquire control over this process. By understanding this process rationally we are able to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in our own regeneration. Though we do not have any power to fight the hells in our temptations, nevertheless by putting up an effort as-of self, we reciprocate and cooperate with the Divine Psychologist, who then removes that particular connection to the hells that involves a specific temptation.
It makes sense to think that all that God ever wants to talk to us about is our mental anatomy and the knowledge of theistic psychology. This is the knowledge we need in order to be able to formulate principles of life that can allow us to resist our inherited and acquired hellish traits. No other subject can ever be more important between God and a human being. Upon this knowledge depends the quality of our life in eternity -- not merely the knowledge, but our motive for wanting that knowledge for our character reformation and regeneration.
The content of Divine Speech manifested as Sacred Scripture varies from layer to layer in the human mind. Swedenborg describes the script in which Sacred Scripture is written in our celestial mind: Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
De Verbo 4. IV The Word is holy, even in its characters and points.
I once had a paper sent me from heaven written in the Hebrew alphabet, but as in the most ancient texts, where the letters, which today are to some extent composed of straight lines, were then curved with serifs pointing upwards. An angel who was with me said that he knew whole meanings simply from the letters, and each letter has its own particular meaning. They knew this from the curves of the lines in each letter, in addition to the subject which they knew separately from the letter as a whole.
He then explained to me the meaning of yod ( ), aleph ( ) and he'h ( ), the two letters separately and when put together. He said that he'h, which is in [YHWH], and which was added to the names of Abraham and Sarah [Gen. 17:5, 15] meant what is infinite and eternal.
He said that in many places the Word is so written; and when it is read in the Hebrew text by a Jew or a Christian, the meaning of the individual letters is known in the third heaven. For the angels of the third heaven have the Word written in such letters, and they read it letter by letter. They said that in the sense to be drawn from the letters the Word deals only with the Lord. The reason is that the curves in the letters derive from the flow of heaven, which influences especially the angels of the third heaven. Those angels therefore have an innate knowledge of this script, because they are subject to the order of heaven and live altogether in accordance with it.
 (...) They went on to say that the vowels there are to denote the sound corresponding to the affection. They could not pronounce the vowels i and e, but for i they pronounce y or eu, for e they say eu. They use the vowels a, o and u, because these vowels give a full sound, but i and e, a close sound. Also they do not pronounce some consonants with a hard, but a soft sound, and hard letters such (daleth) and (qoph), etc. have no meaning for them unless pronounced softly. This too is the reason why many hard letters are also used with points inside them, meaning that [they are pronounced with a hard sound, but without a point] they are pronounced with a soft sound.
They added that hardness in letters is in use in the spiritual heaven, because those there are in possession of truths, and have understanding by their means. But in the celestial heaven all are in possession of the good of love and consequently of wisdom, and truth allows hardness, but good does not.
These facts may establish what is the meaning of the Lord's saying that not a jot or a tittle or a serif will pass away from the Law (Matt. 5: 18; Luke 16: 17); and it is also clear from these facts that the Lord's Divine Providence ensured that all the letters in the Hebrew text of the Word were counted by the Massoretes. (De Verbo 4)
You can see from these analyses that it is easy to misinterpret Sacred Scripture which is written by hidden correspondences. This is why it is necessary to have a knowledge of correspondences as revealed in Sacred Scripture and to apply this knowledge in the interpretation of the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.
Those who base their religious convictions on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture are led to fundamentalism and literalism, which are lifestyle orientations that tend to be intolerant of other interpretations (see Section xx). Religious dogma and intolerance are often justified by a literal reading and interpretation of Sacred Scripture. The Swedenborg Reports show how religious intolerance and falsified beliefs can be avoided when reading Sacred Scripture through some knowledge of correspondences. This is referred to as "doctrine."
SS 51. The Word cannot be understood without doctrine. This is because the Word in the sense of the letter consists exclusively of correspondences, to the end that things spiritual and celestial may be simultaneous or together therein, and that every word may be their container and support. For this reason, in some places in the sense of the letter the truths are not naked, but clothed, and are then called appearances of truth. Many truths also are accommodated to the capacity of simple folk, who do not uplift their thoughts above such things as they see before their eyes. There are also some things that appear like contradictions, although the Word when viewed in its own light contains no contradiction. And again in certain passages in the Prophets, names of persons and places are gathered together from which, in the letter, no sense can be elicited, as in those passages adduced above (n. 15). Such being the Word in the sense of the letter, it is evident that it cannot be understood without doctrine.
 But to illustrate this by examples. It is said,
That Jehovah repents (Exod. 32:12, 14; Jonah 3:9; 4:2);
That Jehovah does not repent (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29).
Without doctrine these passages cannot be reconciled. It is said
That Jehovah visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation (Num. 14:18);
And it is also said that
The father shall not die for the son, nor the son for the father, but everyone for his own sin (Deut. 24:16).
Interpreted by doctrine these passages are not discordant, but are in agreement.
 Jesus says,
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh shall receive, and he that seeketh shall find, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matt. 7:7-8; 21:21-22).
Without doctrine it might be believed that everyone will receive what he asks for; but from doctrine it is believed that whatever a man asks not from himself but from the Lord is given; for this also is what the Lord says,
If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).
 The Lord says,
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).
Without doctrine it may be thought that heaven is for the poor and not for the rich, but doctrine teaches that the poor in spirit are meant, for the Lord says,
Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).
 The Lord says,
Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged (Matt. 7:1-2; Luke 6:37).
Without doctrine this might be cited to confirm the notion that it is not to be said of what is evil that it is evil, thus that an evil person is not to be judged to be evil; yet according to doctrine it is lawful to judge, but justly; for the Lord says,
Judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).
 Jesus says,
Be not ye called Teacher, for One is your Teacher, even the Christ. And call no man your father on the earth; for One is your Father in the heavens. Neither be ye called masters; for One is your Master, the Christ (Matt. 23:8-10).
Without doctrine it would seem that it is not lawful to call any person teacher, father, or master; but from doctrine it is known that in the natural sense it is lawful to do this, but not in the spiritual sense.
 Jesus said to His disciples,
When the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28).
From these words it may be inferred that the Lord's disciples will sit in judgment, when yet they can judge no one. Doctrine therefore must reveal this secret by explaining that the Lord alone, who is omniscient and knows the hearts of all, will sit in judgment, and is able to judge; and that His twelve disciples mean the church as to all the truths and goods it possesses from the Lord through the Word; from which doctrine concludes that these truths will judge everyone, according to the Lord's words in John 3:17-18; 12:47-48. (SS 51)
SS 52. From all this it is evident that they who read the Word without doctrine, or who do not acquire for themselves doctrine from the Word, are in obscurity as to every truth, and that their minds are wavering and uncertain, prone to errors, and pliant to heresies, which they also embrace wherever inclination or authority favors, and their reputation is not endangered. For the Word is to them like a lampstand without a lamp, and in their gloom they seem to see many things, and yet see scarcely anything, for doctrine alone is a lamp. I have seen such persons examined by angels, and found to be able to confirm from the Word whatever they please, and it was also found that they confirm what is of their own love and of the love of those whom they favor. And I have seen them stripped of their garments, a sign that they were devoid of truths; for in the spiritual world garments are truths. (SS 52)
SS 54. The Word by means of doctrine is not only understood, but it also as it were gives light; because without doctrine it is not understood, and it is like a lampstand without a light, as was shown above. The Word, therefore, by means of doctrine is understood, and is like a lampstand with its lamp lit. Man then sees more things than he had seen before, and he also understands those things which he had not understood before. Things obscure and out of agreement he either does not notice and passes over, or he sees and explains them as in agreement with doctrine. The experience of the Christian world testifies that the Word is understood from doctrine, and also that it is explained according to doctrine. For all the Reformers see the Word from their own doctrine and they explain the Word according to it; so too the Roman Catholics see it from their doctrine and they explain it accordingly; and even the Jews do likewise; thus falsities are seen from false doctrine, and truths from true doctrine. Hence it is evident that true doctrine is like a lamp in darkness and a sign-post on the way.
Doctrine, however, must not only be taken from the sense of the Letter of the Word, but it must also be confirmed by that sense. For if not confirmed by it, the truth of doctrine appears as if it were only man's intelligence in it and not the Lord's Divine Wisdom; and thus doctrine would be like a house in the air, and not on the ground, and consequently without a foundation. (SS 54)
"Doctrine" refers to the knowledge of correspondences applied to the literal passages of Sacred Scripture. Theistic psychology fits this definition since it is the scientific knowledge of God that is extracted from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). It is clear that if the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture is not applied when reading it, one cannot reconcile the contradictions that appear in the literal sense, nor can one give a meaningful interpretation to many strange things that are said in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture.
But note this warning regarding the correspondential sense, here called the spiritual sense:
SS 56. It may be supposed that the doctrine of genuine truth can be acquired by means of the spiritual sense of the Word which is obtained through a knowledge of correspondences. Doctrine, however, is not acquired by such means, but only illustrated and corroborated. For as was stated above in No. 26 no one comes into the spiritual sense of the Word by means of correspondences unless he is first in genuine truths from doctrine. If a man is not first in genuine truths, he may falsify the Word by means of some correspondences he may know, by connecting them together and explaining them to confirm what is firmly held in his mind from some principle which he has adopted. Moreover, the spiritual sense is not communicated to anyone except by the Lord alone; and He guards it as He guards heaven, for heaven is within it. It is important then that a man should study the Word in the sense of the Letter: from that sense only is doctrine derived. (SS 56)
SS 26. Henceforth the spiritual 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 spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, nor unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the spiritual 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 spiritual 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.
 Another reason is that the Lord teaches everyone by means of the Word, and He teaches from those truths which the man already has, and not without a medium does He pour new truths in, so that unless man is in Divine truths, or if he is only in a few truths and at the same time in falsities, he may from these falsify the truths, as it is well known is done by every heretic in regard to the Word's sense of the letter. Therefore in order to prevent anybody from entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, or from perverting the genuine truth that belongs to that sense, guards have been set by the Lord, which in the Word are meant by the cherubim.
 That guards have been set has been represented to me in the following manner:
It was granted me to see great purses, having the appearance of sacks, in which silver was stored up in great abundance. As the purses were open, it seemed as if anyone might take out, and even pillage, the silver therein deposited; but near those purses sat two angels as guards. The place where the purses were laid appeared like a manger in a stable. In an adjoining apartment were seen modest maidens together with a chaste wife, and near that apartment stood two little children, and it was said that they were to be sported with, not in childish fashion, but wisely. After this there appeared a harlot, and a horse lying dead.
 On seeing these things I was instructed that by them was represented the sense of the letter of the Word, in which is the spiritual sense. The large purses full of silver, signified knowledges of truth in great abundance. Their being open and yet guarded by angels, signified that everyone may get knowledges of truth from the Word, but that care is taken lest anyone should falsify the spiritual sense, in which are pure truths. The manger in a stable in which the purses lay, signified spiritual instruction for the understanding - a manger signifies this because the horse that feeds from it signifies the understanding.
 The modest maidens seen in the adjoining apartment, signified affections of truth; and the chaste wife, the conjunction of good and truth. The little children signified the innocence of wisdom therein; they were angels from the third heaven, who all appear like little children. The harlot, together with the dead horse, signified the falsification of the Word by many of this day, whereby all understanding of truth perishes. The harlot signified falsification; and the dead horse, no understanding of truth. (SS 26)
Correspondences are appearances of truths accommodated to each discrete layer of the human mind. It makes sense therefore to look for correspondences not only in Sacred Scripture but also in the way human beings think spontaneously, since our thoughts in the conscious natural mind are correspondences to our thoughts in the unconscious spiritual mind and celestial mind. Look for correspondences also in art and the literature on figurative speech, symbolism, and metaphor (see Section xx). However, we must heed the warning above, namely, that we must not invent these correspondences ourselves but must look for the correspondences that have actually been revealed in Sacred Scripture.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
DP 30. The Lord's heaven in the natural world is called the Church; and an angel of this heaven is a man of the Church who is conjoined to the Lord; and after he leaves this world he becomes an angel of the spiritual heaven. From this it is clear that what has been said of the angelic heaven must also be understood of the human heaven that is called the Church. This reciprocal conjunction with the Lord, which constitutes heaven in man, is revealed by the Lord in these words in John:
Abide in me, and I in you. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John xv. 4, 5, 7.
In theistic psychology, we extract the correspondential sense. First, by translating the expressions of Sacred Scripture into their correspondences, using the literal sense of the Swedenborg Reports as the source for all correspondences. Second, by arranging the correspondences into the same sequence as the original. Third, by finding other passages in the Swedenborg Reports that confirm or agree with the idea expressed in the correspondential sense. Once confirmed, the new understanding is called the Doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. This is the principle of that must then be applied to our daily willing and thinking. No other procedure of knowledge extraction than this can create genuine understanding or genuine doctrine of truth (see Section xx).
|The literal expressions in the
Swedenborg Reports (DP 30)
|The correspondential sense in
conjoined to the Lord
|God the Divine Human, is to be acknowledged as the Divine Psychologist in one's mind. This acknowledgment must be consciously made by the individual (See Section xx)|
man of the Church
|The individual who is acknowledging the Divine Psychologist in the mind, and is cooperating in facing daily temptations using the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture, as weapons with which to oppose, resist, and defeat, our inherited hellish enjoyments and traits. This is a lifelong process called regeneration and character reformation (see Section xx).|
|an angel of this heaven is a man of the Church who is conjoined to the Lord and after he leaves this world he becomes an angel of the spiritual heaven||The individual who is undergoing regeneration, has the natural mind rearranged or reformed with new ideas, new thoughts, new definitions, and a new logic. This new natural mind serves the basis for preparing a spiritual mind that is an eternal heaven, or, an endless life of growth and joy (see Section xx).|
Now arranging the correspondences in the same sequence, we obtain the following correspondential sense of DP 30:
God the Divine Human, is to be acknowledged as the Divine Psychologist in one's mind. This acknowledgment must be consciously made by the individual. This involves cooperating in facing daily temptations using the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture, as weapons with which to oppose, resist, and defeat, our inherited hellish enjoyments and traits. This is a lifelong process called regeneration and character reformation. The individual who is undergoing regeneration, has the natural mind rearranged or reformed with new ideas, new thoughts, new definitions, and a new logic. This new natural mind serves the basis for preparing our spiritual mind that is an eternal heaven, or, an endless life of growth and joy.
The subject of correspondences has also been treated in Section 188.8.131.52.2.0 What are Correspondences in Sacred Scripture?
We can recognize the correspondences that are built into our thinking and our language. Without correspondences we could not think. This is because what we think in our conscious natural mind takes place with sensory-motor content.
For instance, when we say "I see what you mean" we speak by correspondence since to see (physical operation) = to understand (mental operation). Or, if you say "Chill out!" or "Cool down!" you are referring to the person's intense emotion. When you say that you got "a bitter taste of it" you are referring to your feelings of distress. When you say that you are "tongue tied" you are not referring to your tongue but to your confusion as to how to respond. And when someone accuses you of a "sour face" you now they're taking about your mood. When someone says that you've got "wheels in your head" you know they are referring to your ideas, and if someone points out a person to you saying "He's the big wheel around here" you know that it is the person's authority being referred to. If someone address a "sharp comment" to you are thinking of something the person said that is hostile.
We talk about mental things using physical things to refer to them. This demonstrates to you that correspondences are the basis of how we think and talk. This has been so since the beginning of the human race.
All Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech that has been translated into correspondences.
If you memorize correspondences, or figure them out, you'll be able to read Sacred Scripture at the level of theistic psychology. This knowledge can be of great benefit to you (see Section xx). It allows you to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in your character reformation so that your mental body is being regenerated (or "reborn") (see Section xx). This means that only heavenly traits make up your new "you" and you can use this new rational power within you to fight and defeat the hellish traits you that you are still attached to. Gradually your natural mind becomes a heaven in natural form that is in correspondence with your spiritual mind which contains the mental states of conjugial love in eternity (see Section xx). This celestial mental state is the highest rational state of mind that human beings can have. It is called the celestial proprium (see Section xx).
When we are in that heavenly mental state our own personality recedes in the background, replaced in the foreground by the Proceeding Personality of the of the Divine Human in the form of good and truth substances (see Section xx). Everyone in that celestial mental state of mind receives this Divine Human Personality in a unique way that is determined by our unique affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs. As we receive this Divine Human influx of spiritual heat and light into our mental organs, we have the subjective experience that it is our own personality. The life we then have to endless eternity is an ever expanding joy and intelligence in the context of conjugial love with our soul mate in an angelic society with other couples living in an environment of extraordinary artistic beauty and sumptuous gardens (see Section xx). These amazing heavenly habitations and surroundings are real appearances instantaneously created by correspondences. They are seen by all others who are also there and can be entered and lived in. The operations in your mental organs have the built in power to instantiate these real appearances.
They are called appearances because they are not made of physical matter, but of mental substance from the Spiritual Sun that flows into the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs of every human being (see Section xx). The operations in our mental organs -- our feelings, thoughts, and sensations -- create these real appearances my the laws of correspondences. This happens automatically, so much so that people are often surprised at what they see around them, not having been aware of all that they were thinking and feeling.
Of course it is the Divine Human who actually makes each event happen in these real appearances, but He has revealed to us in Sacred Scripture that He does this by means of the laws of correspondences, which are from creation and are integral in God's omnipotent management of the created universe. In other words, God first flows into our mind from within, through the Spiritual Sun, which activates the operations of mental organs in the celestial mind (see Section xx). Second, God instantiates through correspondences an outward appearance which makes up our surroundings -- our celestial palaces, the magnificent things in them that Swedenborg saw and describes, the clothes that instantly appear on our body, or the tray with delicious food on the table that gets instantaneously renewed each time you take one of the trays, or the pets we love and want to have near us. All these realities of experience are real appearances produced in the mental environment by the laws of correspondences between our mental organs and each of these things that are in our sensorimotor environment.
You can see from al this that correspondences are very familiar things in our mind, and this is one of the reasons we must be born on an earth in time-space, namely, to develop a mind that can operate with correspondences.
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports, where we are called "spirits" and "angels" after our resuscitation, and "men" while we still live on earth (see Section xx). The heaven in our mental world is called "The Lord's Kingdom." The Divine Human is called "the Lord." Correspondences are sometimes called "representatives." When object B on earth corresponds to object A in the mental world, then B is a representative of A. For example, "I see" corresponds to "I understand" and therefore, "to see" with the physical eyes is a "representative" of "to understand" with the cognitive organ.
AC 1880. As regards spirits and angels in general, who all are human souls living after the death of the body, I may say here that they have much more exquisite senses than men-that is, sight, hearing, smell, and touch-but not taste. Spirits however are not able, and angels are still less able, to see anything that is in the world by their own sight, that is, by the sight of the spirit; for the light of the world or of the sun is to them as thick darkness; just in the same way as man by his sight, that is, by the sight of the body, cannot see anything that is in the other life; for the light of heaven, or the Lord's heavenly light, is to man as thick darkness.
 But still when the Lord pleases, spirits and angels can see the things in this world through the eyes of a man. But the Lord does not grant this except in the case of one whom He enables to speak with spirits and angels, and to be together with them. Spirits and angels have been permitted to see the things in this world through my eyes as plainly as I could see them myself, and also to hear men talking with me. It has sometimes happened that to their great astonishment, some through me have seen their friends whom they had had in the life of the body, just as they had seen them before. Some have also seen their married partners, and their children, and have desired me to tell them that they were close by and saw them, and to give an account of their state in the other life, but I had been forbidden to tell them or reveal to them that they were seen in this way, and this partly for the reason that they would have called me insane, or would have thought such things to be delirious fancies of the mind; for I was well aware that although they would acknowledge it with the lips, they did not believe in heart in the existence of spirits, or that the dead are risen.
 When my interior sight was first opened, and through my eyes spirits and angels saw the world and the things that are in it, they were so amazed that they called it the miracle of miracles; and they were affected with a new joy, in that in this way communication was opened of earth with heaven, and of heaven with earth.
This delight lasted for months, but afterwards it became familiar, and now they do not wonder at all. I have been instructed that the spirits and angels who are present with other men do not in the slightest degree see the things of this world, but only perceive the thoughts and affections of those with whom they are.
 These things have shown that man was so created that while living on earth among men, he might at the same time also live in heaven among angels, and the converse; so that heaven and earth might be together, and might act as a one, and that men might know what is going on in heaven, and angels what in the world; and therefore that when men depart this life they would pass from the Lord's kingdom on earth into the Lord's kingdom in the heavens, not as into another kingdom, but as into the same as that in which they had been when living in the body. But in consequence of man's becoming so corporeal, he has closed heaven against himself. (AC 1880)
AC 1881. Spirits are exceedingly indignant, indeed are angry, when told that men do not believe that they see, that they hear, that they feel by the touch. They have said that surely men ought to know that without sense there is no life, and that the more exquisite the sense the more excellent the life; also that the objects of their sense are suited to the excellence of their senses, and that the representatives which are from the Lord are real, for all the things that are in nature and the world are derived from them (see n. 1632). The words in which they express their indignation are that they perceive by the senses much better and more excellently than men do. (AC 1881)
AC 1632. I have spoken with angels concerning representatives, to the effect that there is nothing in the vegetable kingdom on the earth that does not in some way represent the Lord's kingdom. They said that all the beautiful and graceful things in the vegetable kingdom derive their origin from the Lord through heaven; and that when the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord inflow into nature, such things have actual existence; and that this is the source of the vegetative soul or life. Hence come representatives. And as this is not known in the world, it was called a heavenly secret. (AC 1632)
The passages above give you some indication of what life is like in the afterlife of eternity into which we awaken some 30 hours after the death of the physical body. We awaken in our spiritual mind, though we still have access to our natural mind for awhile, until our new life and experiences allow us to choose between retaining our hellish traits or giving them all up (see Section xx). When we are ready to make that choice we go through the "second death" when we enter either heaven, leaving all hellish enjoyments behind, or else we enter hell, leaving all heavenly enjoyments behind. The passage reveals that in the afterlife we remain tied mentally to the natural mind of people still on earth, just as right now, people in their heaven or hell are connected to your thoughts and feelings (see Section xx). In this way the entire human race is mentally interconnected into a "vertical community" (see Section xx).
Swedenborg's discussion with "spirits" in the passages above, clearly shows that the appearances created by our spiritual mind are indeed real. The life of sensation we then have with these real appearances in our environment is far more intense and pure than the sensations we have now that are filtered and diminished by the physical body. This power your mind has to create a real environment around you is the power of correspondences. In order to develop this power we must acquire a natural mind here on earth through the physical body living in a social environment.
Now go through each of the correspondences listed below and
(a) decide whether you knew it or not and
(b) see if you can find a rationale that explains each correspondence.
(c) write down additional items that come to your mind as you study this list.
Studying theistic psychology may be the first time that you have heard of the idea of correspondences as used in the Swedenborg Reports. What is important is that you are already very familiar with correspondences in your normal every day thinking even if you don't reflect or analyze how you think. The following list illustrates the kind of dictionary of correspondences that you have internalized as part of your learning to talk and communicate since infancy.
By studying these correspondences you can realize two important things. First, that all your daily ordinary thinking is done through correspondences. Second, that correspondences are wired in relationships between your physical operations and your mental operations. For instance, head (physical) corresponds to inmost and highest (mental). You can see that the head is the the highest part of the body and so it corresponds to the highest part of the mind (which is called "inmost"). Another illustration: face (physical) corresponds to emotions (mental). You can see that when people are emotionally involved or aroused their facial appearance changes in accordance with (or correspondent to) the quality of the emotion (happy, angry, sad). Another illustration is the expression living luxuriously (physical activity) which corresponds to taking pleasure (mental activity). You can see that people who live in luxury (physical) do it because they value the pleasures it provides (mental).
But in other cases it is more difficult to see the connection: hair corresponds to the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. To understand why this is we need to study the passages in Sacred Scripture that use this word (see Section xx). The word water (physical) corresponds to truth (mental). You can see that the opposite of truth is falsities, and these are eliminated by truth just like impurities and dirt are removed by washing with water.
Study the correspondences listed below. Try to figure out each one to see if you can see a rational or functional connection between your mental thinking operations and your physical operations. Knowing and understanding correspondences will allow you to (a) strengthen your thinking and reasoning process, and (b) understand Sacred Scripture in a scientific or correspondential sense.
Note: The = sign stands for corresponds to or is a representative of or signifies
Beating the chest = feeling sorry, repenting or: being proud of oneself
Being a scofflaw (breaking laws when convenient) = being unwilling to change one's inherited hellish traits
Being full of gas = lying, exaggerating
Belt, girdle = power from truth
Bitter, sour = unpleasant, not good, bad ("The relationship soured, and they became bitter enemies")
Blow the lid, exploding = getting angry
Bound up = to adhere to one's principles
Breaking bread together = entering into friendship, communicating, conjunction
Building one's house on shifty sand = relying on self-intelligence instead of Sacred Scripture
Burning, boiling = feeling angry, passionate
Cap, hat = cognitive organ in the natural mind, understanding at the sensuous level
Church, Temple, Religion = the natural mind undergoing regeneration by cooperating with the Divine Psychologist
Clothes, vesture, linen = varieties of truths within which is good
Covered = secret, having a plan to deal with it ("I've got it covered")
Crocodile tears = hypocritical, feigning sadness
Darkness = lack of comprehension
Deaf = lack of cooperation, obedience ("He plays a deaf ear to it")
Deaf = not understanding or obeying ("Are you deaf?")
Death, to die = entering hell in the mind
Digest = to appropriate, to make one's own ("This story is too much for me to digest")
Dirty = morally corrupt ("He is a dirty cop")
Door = introduction to truth and communication with heaven
Drinking = learning, believing ("He is drinking it all in")
Dull = not intelligent, boring
Ears = to know, to obey, to understand, to agree to ("I hear you")
Eating bread = to nourish the mind
Eating together = to get in touch with and communicate, to be conjoined, to consociate
Eating, drinking = to accept, to go along with, to apply or appropriate to oneself, to learn
Eyes = wisdom, perceptions, cognitive organ of thinking and understanding ("I see what you mean")
Face = the affections or emotions
Fat cat = someone standing out as richer than others
Fat cat, big wheel = someone socially
Female man, femininity = inner wisdom veiled over by outer love
Finger = active participation ("She has a finger in every project")
Finger = power
Fist = insisting ("Put his fist down")
Flat = depressed mood
Flesh = evil desires, the enjoyment of inherited traits that are hellish
Food = operations in the affective organ, love, affection, charity
Forehead = affection, love
Fork = science in the negative bias, materialism
Fossil bones = rigid thinking ("Fossilized thinking")
Grinding the teeth (gnashing) =
Hair = the truths of Sacred Scripture in the literal sense
Hand = proceeding power ("He's ruling with a strong head")
Head = what is inmost or highest in the mental world, life itself ("It's my head that is at stake")
Husband, Left Brain = cognitive organ in men and women, thoughts, analyticity, intellectual knowledges
Kerchief = our ability to perceive and notice things in our environment
Left hand = mentally incapable ("He's got two left hands")
Light = understanding, comprehension ("He is enlightened")
Lip = doctrine of truth, faith, quality of one's speech, attitude ("Don't give me lip")
Living luxuriously = to take pleasure
Male man, masculinity = inner love veiled over by outer wisdom
Mouth = spokesperson,
Nose = perception, intelligence, expertise ("she's got a good nose for it")
Open = revealed, trusting ("I can't open up to him")
Paying taxes in a democracy = the effort we are willing to put into our character reformation
Pointing the finger = blaming somebody ("Don't point the finger at me")
Pulling the leg = to deceive, not really meaning it
Quick = intelligent, learns easily ("quick mind")
Regurgitating = repeating what has been learned
Reproductive organs = life in the highest heaven of our mind
Resurrection = resuscitation of the mind after death of the physical body
Right hand = having all the power ("He's the boss's right hand man")
Ring = confirmation of one's power
Ruminating = thinking about it, reflecting, considering
Scattered = lack of focus or coherence ("scattered thoughts")
Searing = disturbing ("searing memory")
Sharp = nice looking ("sharp clothes")
Sharp = testy or challenging ("sharp words")
Sharp = thinking in a clever way, being intelligent
Sharp = thinking or saying something critical ("a sharp comment")
Sharp, bright = clever, intelligent ("sharp witted")
She's the pupil of his eye = cares a lot for her
Shoes, sandals, shoe laces = the lowest part of the natural mind called corporeal
Smell = to investigate ("I smell something fishy going on here")
Sour = dissatisfied, unhappy ("He had a sour expression on his face")
Stabbing, sharp, pointed = feeling criticized, betrayed ("he stabbed me in the heart")
Standing on the head = thinking and believing the opposite of truth
Stroke = to flatter the ego
Strong = competent ("He is a strong leader")
Sweet = pleasant, angelic ("She has a sweet voice")
Sword, bow = truths fighting falsities in the mind
Taste = choices ("He has good taste in clothes")
Taste = good style ("She has nice taste in clothes")
Teeth = power ("that amendment has no teeth in it")
Tied up in knots = feeling disturbed or conflictual
To be hitched = to be married, mentally conjoined
To fall for = to like or approve
To take one's hat off = to admire someone
To tie the knot = to get married, mental conjunction, feeling mutual loyalty
Tongue = religion, doctrine of life and faith
Top dog = highest in authority
Vineyard = "spiritual church", spiritual mind, interior-natural or spiritual-natural mind ('First Heaven"), spiritual cognitions, understanding of spiritual concepts
Washing the body = repenting, cleansing or purifying the mind from evil traits
Water = knowledge of theistic psychology, "truths of faith", truths from Sacred Scripture ("living water")
Wife, Right Brain = affective organ in men and women, affections, feelings, intentionality, moral wisdom
Wine = "faith", rational faith, positive bias in science, affirmative principle towards Sacred Scripture
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 8989. And he shall bring him to the door, or unto the door post. [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
That this signifies a state of communication of truth confirmed and implanted with spiritual good, is evident from the signification of a "door," as being the introduction of truth to good (see n. 2356, 2385), here of truth confirmed and implanted, which is signified by a Hebrew manservant after a service of six years (n. 8976, 8984), and as "a door" denotes introduction, it also denotes communication, for one room communicates with another by means of a door; and from the signification of "door-post," as being the conjunction of such truth with good, for a door-post stands between two rooms and joins them together. Who cannot see that this ritual for the menservants who remain contains in it some secret, and indeed a Divine one? for it was dictated and commanded by Jehovah from Mount Sinai.
They who do not believe that there is anything more holy and Divine in the Word than that which appears in the letter, must needs wonder that these and many other things contained in this chapter and in the following chapters were dictated by Jehovah in a living voice; for in the letter they appear to be such things as are contained in the laws of nations-as this concerning menservants-that one who did not wish to go forth from service should be brought to a door or to a door-post, and should have his ear bored through with an awl by his master. In the sense of the letter this does not savor of anything Divine; nevertheless it is most Divine; but this does not appear except through the internal sense. The internal sense is that they who are in mere truths and not in the corresponding good, but yet are in the delight of the remembrance of spiritual goods (n. 8986, 8987), have some communication and conjunction with spiritual good.
 This was represented by the ear of the servant being bored through at a door or at a door-post by his master; for "a door" denotes communication, and "a door-post" conjunction; the "ear" denotes obedience; and boring it through with an awl is representative of the state in which he would remain. Thus do the angels perceive these things who are with a man who is reading this word. For the angels do not think of a door or of a door-post, nor of an ear and its boring, nor even of a manservant; but instead thereof they think of the aforesaid communication and conjunction. For the angels are in the understanding of such things, because they are in light; and the things presented to them are spiritual and heavenly, not natural and worldly as are the things contained in the sense of the letter of the Word; for the sense of the letter of the Word is natural and worldly, but its internal sense is spiritual and heavenly; the literal sense is for men, the internal sense is for the angels, consequently there is a communication and conjunction of heaven with man by means of the Word.
 In order that the arcana which are contained in this procedure with menservants that remain with their master may be opened still further, it must be told whence it is that "a door" and "a door-post" signify communication and conjunction. Angels and spirits have habitations which appear quite like those which are in the world (see n. 1116, 1626-1628, 1631, 4622), and-what is a secret-each and all things that appear in their habitations are significative of spiritual things; for they flow forth from the spiritual things which are in heaven, and which are consequently in their minds. Communications of truth with good are there presented to view by means of doors, and conjunctions by means of door-posts, and other things by the rooms themselves, by the courts, by the windows, and by the various adornments.
That this is so, a man at this day, especially one who is merely natural, cannot believe, because such things are not manifest to the senses of the body. Nevertheless that such things were seen by the prophets when their interiors had been opened into heaven, is evident from the Word. They have also been perceived and seen by me a thousand times. I have moreover frequently heard them say, when their thoughts were in communication with me, that "the doors of their rooms were opened," and when they did not communicate, that they "were closed."
 From this it is that mention is made of "doors" in the Word, where communication is treated of, as in Isaiah: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
Go, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy door after thee; hide thyself as for a little moment, until the anger be overpast (Isa. 26:20).
"To shut the door after oneself until the anger be overpast" denotes no communication with evils, which are "the anger" (see n. 3614, 5034, 5798, 6358, 6359, 6997, 8284, 8483).
In Malachi: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
Shall He receive faces from you? said Jehovah Zebaoth. Who is there even among you that would rather shut the doors? and not kindle a light upon Mine altar in vain (Mal. 1:9, 10).
"To shut the doors" denotes not to communicate with holy or Divine things. In Zechariah:
Open thy doors O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars (Zech. 11:1).
"To open the doors" denotes to afford a passage or communication.
 In David: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
He commanded the skies from above; He set open the doors of the heavens (Ps. 78:23).
"To set open the doors of the heavens" denotes to give communication with the truths and goods which are from the Lord in the heavens.
I have chosen to stand at the door in the house of my God, rather than dwell in the tents of wickedness (Ps. 84:10).
"To stand at the door" denotes to communicate abroad with good, which is "the house of God" (n. 3720).
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; be ye lifted up, ye doors of the world; that the King of glory may come in (Ps. 24:7, 9)
"The doors of the world being lifted up" denotes the opening and elevation of hearts to the Lord, who is "the King of glory," and so to give communication, that is, that He may flow in with the good of charity and with the truth of faith. The Lord is called "the King of glory" from the truth which is from good.
 In Isaiah: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
Jehovah said to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings: to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I Jehovah, who have called thee by thy name, am the God of Israel (Isa. 45:1-3);
speaking of the Lord as to His Human, who in the representative sense is "Cyrus;" to "open the doors before him" denotes to give entrance to the Divine Itself. Hence it is that even as to His Human He is called "God," here "the God of Israel."
 In John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
Behold I have set before thee an open door, which no one can shut; for thou hast a little power, and hast kept My word (Rev. 3:8).
"To set an open door" denotes communication with heaven. In the same:
After these things I saw, and behold a door opened In heaven. I heard, Come up hither, that I may show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter (Rev. 4:1).
Here "a door" plainly denotes communication, because it is said of the revelation which he was about to receive from heaven. From this also it is plain that communication is there represented by a door, as was said above. In the same:
Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if anyone hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me (Rev. 3:20).
Here also "a door" plainly denotes entrance and communication with heaven, where the Lord is, and thus with the Lord.
 In like manner in Matthew: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
The bridegroom came, and the virgins went in to the wedding, and the door was shut. At last came the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:10-12).
What these words signify in the internal sense, see at n. 4635-4638, namely, that "the virgins" denote those who are within the church; "to have oil in their lamps" denotes the good of charity in the truths of faith; and "not to have oil in their lamps" denotes to have the truths of faith, and no good of charity therein; to these latter the door is said to be "shut," because they do not communicate with heaven, that is, through heaven with the Lord. Communication with heaven, and through heaven, is effected by means of the good of charity and of love, but not truths, which are called the truths of faith, without good therein; and therefore these latter are called "foolish virgins," but the former "prudent virgins."
 So in Luke: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
Many shall seek to enter, but shall not be able. From the time when the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, then shall ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; but He answering will say to you, I know you not whence ye are. Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say to you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:24-27).
Here also "a door" plainly denotes entrance and communication, as above. That they to whom the door is shut and who knock thereat and are not let in, are those who are in truths of faith from the Word and not in the good of charity, is signified by "eating and drinking in the presence of the Lord and hearing the Lord teach in the streets," and yet not living the life of faith; for they who do not live this life are "workers of iniquity."
 In John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
Verily, verily, I say into you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. I am the door; by Me if anyone shall enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:1, 2, 9).
"To enter in by the door" denotes by the truth which is of faith to the good of charity and of love, thus to the Lord, for the Lord is good itself; He is also the truth which introduces, thus likewise the "door," for faith is from Him.
 That by "a door" is signified communication, appears like a metaphorical way of speaking, or like a comparison; but in the Word there are no metaphorical expressions or comparisons, but real correspondences. Even the comparisons therein are made by such things as correspond, as can be seen from what has been said about a door, namely, that doors actually appear in heaven with angels and spirits, and that their opening and shutting are according to the communications. And so in everything else. (AC 8989)
D. Wis. 6. VI. THERE IS A CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HEART WITH THE WILL AND OF THE LUNGS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING.
This is a thing unknown in the world, because it has not been known what correspondence is, and that there is a correspondence of all things in the world [=the natural body and mind] with all things in heaven [=the spiritual body and mind]; also that there is a correspondence of all things of the body with all things of the mind in man, for correspondence is of things natural with things spiritual. But what correspondence is, and the nature of it, also with what things in the human body there is correspondence, has been told above.
As there is a correspondence of all things of the body with all things of the mind in man, there is primarily a correspondence with the heart and lungs. This correspondence is universal, because the heart reigns throughout the body and also the lungs. The heart and the lungs are the two fountains of all natural movements in the body, and the will and understanding are the two fountains of all spiritual activities in the same body; and the natural movements of the body must correspond to the activities of its spirit; if they did not correspond the life of the body and also the life of the mind would cease; it is correspondence that makes both of these to exist and subsist.
[] That the heart corresponds to the will, or, what is the same, to the love, is evident from the variation of its pulse according to the affections. Its variations are that its heat is either slow or quick, full or feeble, soft or hard, equal or unequal, and so forth. Thus it differs in gladness and in sorrow, in tranquillity of mind and in anger, in bravery and in fear, when the body is warm and when it is cold, also variously in disease, and so forth. All affections belong to the love and thus to the will.
[] As the heart corresponds to the affections belonging to the love, and thus to the will, the wise men of old ascribed affections to the heart, and some placed there the abode of affections. This is the source of the common expressions, " a magnanimous heart," "a timid heart," "a joyful heart," "a sad heart," a soft heart," "a hard heart," "a great heart," "a little heart," "a whole heart," "a broken heart," "a heart of flesh," "a stony heart," "fat, soft, or vile in heart," "having no heart," " giving the heart to do," "giving a single heart," "giving a new heart," "laying up in the heart," "receiving in the heart," "not reaching the heart," "hardening one's heart," "lifted up in heart," "a friend in heart," also the terms "concord," "discord," "madness" ("vecordia"), and many other like expressions. And in the Word, the "heart" everywhere signifies the will or love, for the reason that the Word was written throughout by means of correspondences.
[] It is similar with the lungs, the breath or spirit (anima seu spiritus) of which signifies the understanding; for as the heart corresponds to the love or will, so the breath or spirit of the lungs, which is the respiration, corresponds to the understanding. This is why it is said in the Word that man must love God "with the whole heart and the whole soul," which signifies that he must love with the whole will and the whole understanding. Also that God will create in man "a new heart and a new spirit," where "heart" signifies the will, and "spirit" the understanding, because when man is regenerated he is created anew. For the same reason it is said of Adam that Jehovah God breathed into his nostrils "the soul of lives," and made him "a living soul," which signifies that God breathed into him wisdom. Moreover, "the nostrils," from the correspondence of respiration through them, signify perception, and for this reason an intelligent man is said to be "keen-scented," and an unintelligent man is said to be "dull-scented." Thence also it is said that:
The Lord breathed on His disciples, and said to them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).[New Testament Sacred Scripture]
[] "Breathing on them" signifies the intelligence they were about to receive, and "the Holy Spirit" means the Divine wisdom which teaches and enlightens man. This was done in order to make evident that the Divine wisdom, which is meant by "the Holy Spirit," proceeds from Him.
That soul and spirit are predicated of respiration is also known from common speech, for it is said of man when he dies that he "gives up the ghost (anima seu spiritus)," for he then ceases to breath and respire (animare et spirare). Also, "spirit" in most languages means both the spirit in heaven and the breath of man, and also wind. From this comes the idea that prevails with many that spirits in the heavens, also the souls of men after death, and even God Himself, because He is called a spirit, are like winds; and yet God Himself is Man; and so is the soul of man after death, also every spirit in the heavens; but they are so called because from correspondence "soul" and "spirit" signify wisdom.
[] That the lungs correspond to the understanding as the heart does to the will is further evident from man's thought and speech. All thought is of the understanding, and all speech is of thought. Man cannot think except the breath of the lungs concurs and agrees, consequently when he thinks tacitly he breathes tacitly; if he thinks deeply he breathes deeply; likewise if he think slowly, quickly, intently, gently, eagerly, and so forth; if he holds his breath entirely he is unable to think except in the spirit and by its respiration; and so forth. That the speech of the month that proceeds from the thought of man's understanding makes one with the respiration of the lungs, and so makes one that he cannot produce the least of sound and the least part of a word without the concurrent aid of the lungs through the larynx and the epiglottis, every one can know from living experience in himself, if he wishes to.
[] That the heart corresponds to the will and the lungs to the understanding is clear also from the universal government of each in the body throughout, and in all and each of its parts. It is known that the heart governs in the body by arteries and veins. That the lungs govern there any anatomist can see; for the lungs by their respiration act upon the ribs and the diaphragm, and through these by means of ligaments and by means of the peritoneum, upon all the viscera of the entire body, also upon all its muscles; and they not only enwrap these, they also penetrate deeply within, and so deeply that there is not the least part in a viscus or muscle, from surface to inmost, that does not derive something from the ligaments, consequently from the respiration. This is especially true of the stomach, because its esophagus passes through the diaphragm and is closely related to the trachea which goes forth from the lungs.
For this reason the heart itself has besides its own motion a pulmonary motion, for it rests upon the diaphragm, and lies in the bosom of the lungs, and through its auricles is coherent and continuous with them; also from the lungs the respiratory motion passes into the arteries and veins. Thus the heart and lungs are bed-fellows in a common chamber separate from the rest of the body, which chamber is called the chest.
[] From all this the acute observer can see that all living motions which are called actions, and which exist by means of the muscles, are accomplished by the co-operation of the motion of the heart and the motion of the lungs, and this enters into each one of them, both the general which is external and the particular which is internal; and he who is clear-sighted can also see that these two fountains of bodily motions correspond to the will and the understanding, since they are produced from these.
This, too, has been shown from heaven. It was granted me to be present with angels who presented this in a living way. By a wonderful fluxion into gyres, such as no words can describe, they formed an image of the heart and of the lungs, with all their interlacings, interior and exterior, and they then followed the flow of heaven, for heaven has a tendency to such forms because of the influx of love and wisdom from the Lord. They thus represented the particulars in the heart and the particulars in the lungs and their union, which they called the marriage of love and wisdom. And they said that it is the same through out the body, and in its particular members, organs, and viscera, with the things pertaining to the heart in them, and the things pertaining to the lungs in them; and that where these do not both act and each take its turn distinctly, no motion of life from any voluntary principle, and no sense of life from any intellectual principle is possible.
[] From what has been said thus far, a man who wishes to gain wisdom even in respect to causes can be taught and can learn how the will conjoins itself to the understanding and the understanding to the will, and how they act in conjunction; from the heart how the will does this, from the lungs how the understanding does this, and from the conjunction of the heart and lungs what the reciprocal conjunction of the will and understanding is.
And from all this the truth of the preceding article is established, namely, that in man after birth the receptacle of love becomes the will, and the receptacle of wisdom becomes the understanding; for after birth the lungs are opened, and these with the heart inaugurate the active life which pertains to man's will, and the sensitive life which pertains to his understanding. These lives do not exist from the separate operation of the heart, or from the separate operation of the lungs, but from their co-operation; nor do they exist apart from correspondence, or in a swoon, or in cases of suffocation. (D. WIS. 6)
D. WIS. 4. IV. THERE IS A LIKENESS AND ANALOGY BETWEEN THE FORMATION OF MAN IN THE WOMB AND HIS REFORMATION AND REGENERATION.
The reformation of man is altogether similar to his formation in the womb, with this difference only, that for a man to be reformed he must have will and understanding, while in the womb he has no will and understanding; but this difference does not exclude the likeness and analogy. For when the Lord reforms and regenerates a man He leads his will and understanding in like manner. But through the will given to man and through the understanding given to him there is an appearance that the man himself leads himself, that is, wills and acts from himself, and thinks and speaks from himself; and yet he knows from the Word and from doctrine from the Word that it is not himself but the Lord, consequently that all this is only an appearance. He may also know that this appearance is for the sake of reception and appropriation, since without it there is not given the reciprocal to love the Lord as the Lord loves him, or to love his neighbor as if from himself, or to believe in the Lord as if from himself.
Without that reciprocal man would be like an automaton, in which the Lord could not be present; for the Lord wills to be loved, and consequently He gives to man the ability to will to love Him. From this it is clear that neither the will nor the understanding is man's, but in themselves both are as they were in man in the womb, that is, they are not his; but these two faculties were given to man that he might will and think and act and speak as if from himself, and yet know, understand, and believe that they are not from himself. By this man is reformed and regenerated, and receives love in his will and wisdom in his understanding, from which two he was formed in the womb.
[] By this also the two higher degrees of man's life are opened in him, and these, as has been said, were the dwelling-places of the Lord in his formation; also the lowest degree is reformed, which, as has also been said above, was inverted and reflected. From this analogy and likeness it is clear that the man who is being regenerated is as it were conceived, formed, born, and educated anew, and this to the end that as to love he may become a likeness of the Lord, and as to wisdom an image of the Lord, and, if you are willing to believe it, the man is thereby made a new man, not alone in having a new will and a new understanding given him, but even a new body for his spirit. The former things, indeed, are not effaced, but are so removed as not to appear, and through love and wisdom, which are the Lord, new things are formed in the regenerate man as in a womb; for such as the will and understanding of man are, such is the man in each and all things; since each and all things of man from head to heel are productions, as has been shown above. (D. WIS. 4)
2 or 6 = mental states of combat against one's evil traits during reformation and regeneration
3, third, 7, seventh = "what is holy" = mental states of conjunction with the Divine Psychologist after combat of temptation and victory
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports: [comments in brackets are not in the original]
AC 900. In the second month. That this signifies the whole state before regeneration, is evident from the signification of "two" in the Word. "Two" signifies the same as "six" that is, the combat and labor which precede regeneration; thus here the whole state which precedes the completion of man's regeneration. Periods of time, great and small, are commonly distinguished in the Word as "threes" or "sevens" and are called "days" "weeks" "months" "years" or "ages." "Three" and "seven" are holy, "two" and "six" which precede, are not holy, but are relatively profane, as before shown (n. 720). "Three" and "seven" are both sacred for the additional reason that they are predicated of the last judgment, which is to come on the "third" or on the "seventh" day.
The last judgment comes to everyone when the Lord comes, both in general and in particular. For example, there was a last judgment when the Lord came into the world, and there will be a last judgment when He shall come in glory; there is a last judgment when He comes to any man whatever in particular; and there is also a last judgment for everyone when he dies. This last judgment is what is meant by the "third day" and the "seventh day" which is holy to those who have lived well, but not holy to those who have lived ill.
Thus the "third day" or the "seventh day" is predicated as well of those who are adjudged to death, as of those who are adjudged to life; and therefore these numbers signify what is not holy to those who are adjudged to death, and what is holy to those who are adjudged to life. "Two" and "six" preceding three and seven, have relation to and signify in general all that state which precedes. This is the signification of "two" and of "six" in application to any subject, and to any matter that is the subject of which they are predicated, as is more clearly evident from what now follows about the number twenty-seven. (AC 900)
[Explications of the terms in the passages AC 900 above and AC 901 below:
"the Word" = Sacred Scripture; "the Jewish Church" = mental states in the natural mind based on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture; "the Lord" = the Divine Psychologist; "the Lord's resurrection" = mental states in the spiritual mind; "last judgment" = our mental states between resuscitation and the second death; "when the Lord comes" = states of enlightenment received from conjunction with the Divine Psychologist; "being unclean" from "touching" = mental states prior to repentance; "things proper to man" = inherited and acquired mental states, which are all hellish and needing regeneration; "sons of Israel" = mental states after regeneration is well along the way, though not complete; "remains" = heavenly mental states in the natural mind, protected by the Divine Psychologist from being corrupted by the hellish enjoyments and cravings]
AC 901. That the "seven and twentieth day" signifies what is holy, is evident from what has just been said, since it is composed of three multiplied by itself twice. Three multiplied by itself is nine, and nine multiplied again by three is twenty-seven. In "twenty-seven" therefore three is the ruling number.
Thus did the most ancient people compute their numbers, and understood by them nothing but actual things. That "three" has the same signification as "seven" is evident from what has been just said. There is a hidden reason why the Lord rose on the third day. The Lord's resurrection itself involves all holiness, and the resurrection of all, and therefore in the Jewish Church this number became representative, and in the Word is holy; just as it is in heaven, where no numbers are thought of, but instead of "three" and "seven" they have a general holy idea of the resurrection and of the coming of the Lord.
 That "three" and "seven" signify what is holy, is evident from the following passages in the Word. In Moses: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
He that toucheth the dead shall be unclean seven days; the same shall expiate himself therefrom on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean; but if he expiate not himself on the third day, on the seventh day he shall not be clean. He that toucheth one slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days; the clean shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall expiate him, and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even (Num. 19:11-12, 16, 19).
That these things are representative, or that the outward things signify internal ones, is very evident, as that one would be unclean who had touched a dead body, one slain, a bone of a man, a grave. All these things signify in the internal sense things proper to man, which are dead and profane. So also the washing in water and being clean at even were representative, and also the third day and the seventh day, which signify what is holy because on those days he was to be purified and would thus be clean.
 In like manner concerning those who returned from battle against the Midianites: (...)
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready against the third day; for on the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:10-11, 14-15).
 For a similar reason Joshua crossed the Jordan on the third day:
Joshua commanded, Pass through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals, for within three days ye are to pass over this Jordan, to go in to inherit the land (Josh. 1:11; 3:2). [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
The crossing of the Jordan represented the introduction of the sons of Israel, that is, of those who are regenerate, into the kingdom of the Lord; Joshua, who led them in, represented the Lord; and this was done on the third day. Because the third day was holy, as was the seventh, it was ordained that the year of tithes should be the third year, and that then the people should show themselves holy by works of charity (Deut. 26:12-15); the "tithes" represented remains, which because they are of the Lord alone, are holy.
That Jonah was three days and three nights in the bowels of the fish (Jonah 1:17) [Old Testament Sacred Scripture] manifestly represented the burial and resurrection of the Lord on the third day (Matt. 12:40). [New Testament Sacred Scripture]
 That "three" signifies that holy thing is evident also in the Prophets, as in Hosea: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
After two days will Jehovah revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him (Hos. 6:2),
where also the "third day" plainly denotes the coming of the Lord and His resurrection. In Zechariah:
It shall come to pass that in all the land two parts therein shall be cut off and expire, but the third shall be left therein, and I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried (Zech. 13:8-9),
where the "third part" like "three" denotes what is holy. The same is involved by the third part as by three, and also by the third part of the third part, as in the present passage, for three is the third of the third of twenty-seven. (AC 901)
These passages in the Swedenborg Reports (AC 900 and AC 901) make it clear that when we describe the correspondential meaning of numbers used in Sacred Scripture, this meaning is not something we can make up or hypothesize based on various theories or interpretations from human beings regarding figurative and symbolic meanings. None of these human interpretations can be correct. Correspondences in Sacred Scripture are not interpretations of the literal sense.
Correspondences are cause-effect relations created by God to coordinate the operations of the mental world across its discrete layers (see Section xx). The literal text of Sacred Scripture in any natural language is sequential because it is a historical narrative. But the correspondential sense hidden within it, is constructed in hierarchical series of developmental mental states that have a global rational structure, like a thesaurus or classification system. Think of any sentence you write or speak. It is produced in a linear of words. But the grammatical rules or syntactic structure that controls the sequence of words, is not sequential but hierarchical, as is well known to the science of linguistics (see Section xx). So each number mentioned in the text sequence of the literal sense represents or stands for a specific idea or object in the hierarchical series. This is what determines the correspondential sense of the numbers. You can see that this correspondential sense is not a figurative interpretation of Sacred Scripture but a cause-effect scientific relationship. Swedenborg empirically observed the correspondences produced by representatives around him when he was conscious in his spiritual mind (see Section xx).
1 = what is perfect and genuine
2= conjunction between external mental states (sensuous, natural) with internal mental states (rational, spiritual)
3 = mental state of regeneration when completed; what is perfect; what is holy or spiritual and celestial; trinity
4, 44, 400, 440 = mental states of combat or temptation during regeneration
5, 15 = some of the mental states in a developmental series; relatively little as yet
6 = mental states of combat in regeneration called "labor" and "work"
3 and 7 = what is holy (2 and 6 that precede = mental states that are profane)
7, 8 = fully regenerated mental states
9 = 3+6 = all things of regeneration (or good and truth) conjoined into one complex
10 = heavenly mental states of good called "remains" preserved by the Divine Psychologist for use in regeneration
11 = mental states of reception but not yet complete or mature
12, 144 = all the mental states in a developmental series
13 = 10+3 = the intermediate mental state between no temptation in childhood to the beginning of temptation
14 = the first phase when the Divine Child acquired affections of truth from the good of remains
15 = few; scarcely anything
16 = complete support
17 = 7+10 = a new mental state beginning after temptation
18 = 6x3 = the truth that is holy fighting in temptations
19, 100 = 10+9 = duration of mental state verging upon the idolatrous
20 = mental states of intelligence in truth and good, or their opposites
21 = 3x7 = the end phase of a holy state and the beginning of a new one
Seechrist, Alice Spiers. (1973) A Dictionary of Bible Imagery. (Compiled from the works of Emanuel Swedenborg).
King = operations of the cognitive organ when arranged in a heavenly order
Prophet = operations of the affective organ when arranged in a heavenly order
Soldier = truths we use to fight against falsities in our mind
Butler = operations in the sensorimotor organ that correspond to falsifications of truth in the cognitive organ
Baker = operations in the sensorimotor organ that correspond to corruptions of good in the affective organ
Prisoner, prison house = affective states connected to falsifications of the truths of Sacred Scripture
Quoting from the Swedenborg
Reports regarding the anatomy of our mental states in the natural mind,
which is the correspondential sense of the Joseph story in the Old Testament
Sacred Scripture that involves the butler and baker in the palace of the King of
[comments in brackets are not in the original]
AC 5077. The butler of the king of Egypt.
That this signifies in those things in the body which are subject to the intellectual part, is evident from the signification of a "butler," as being that external sensuous, or sensuous of the body, which is subordinate or subject to the intellectual part of the internal man (of which hereafter); and from the signification of the "king of Egypt," as being the natural man (of which below, n. 5079).
["things in the body" and "external sensuous things" and "receptacle of sensations" = operations in the sensorimotor organ of the natural mind; "the principal" and "the sensitive" = consummatory sensations in the sensorimotor organ corresponding to operations in the cognitive organ; "the instrumental" = conative motor determinations in the sensorimotor organ corresponding to operations in the affective organ; "internal sensuous things" = operations in the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual mind, and these are in heavenly order; "man is lost" = when we compulsively choose life in hell after resuscitation]
As the butler and the baker are treated of in the following verses, and as they signify the external sensuous things which are of the body, something must first be said about these sensuous things. It is known that the external or bodily senses are five, namely, sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch, and that these constitute all the life of the body; for without these senses the body does not live at all, and therefore when deprived of them it dies and becomes a corpse; so that the very bodily part of man is nothing else than a receptacle of sensations, and consequently of the life from them.
The sensitive is the principal, and the bodily is the instrumental. The instrumental without its principal to which it is adapted cannot even be called that bodily with which man is invested during his life in the world; but only the instrumental together with the principal, when they act as one. This therefore is the bodily part.
 All the external sensuous things of man bear relation to his internal sensuous things, for they are given to man and placed in his body in order that they may serve the internal man while it is in the world, and be subject to its sensuous things; and therefore when a man's external sensuous things begin to rule over his internal sensuous things, the man is lost; for then the internal sensuous things are considered to be mere servants, to serve for confirming those things which the external sensuous things command with authority. When the external sensuous things are in this state, they are in the inverted order spoken of just above (n. 5076).
 As before said, the external sensuous things of man bear relation to his internal sensuous things; in general, to his intellectual part and to his will part; there are therefore external sensuous things which are subject or subordinate to his intellectual part, and there are those which are subject to his will part. That sensuous which is especially subject to the intellectual part is the sight; that which is subject to the intellectual part and secondarily to the will part is the hearing; that which is subject to both together is the sense of smell, and still more the taste; but that which is subject to the will part is the touch. That the external sensuous things are subject to these parts, and in what manner, might be abundantly shown; but to enter upon the investigation of this now would lead us too far afield; yet the facts may in some measure be known from what has been shown concerning the correspondence of these senses, at the end of the preceding chapters.
 And be it known further that all the truths which are said to be of faith pertain to the intellectual part; and that all the goods which are of love and charity are of the will part. Consequently it belongs to the intellectual part to believe, to acknowledge, to know, and to see truth and also good, but to the will part to be affected with and to love these; and that which man is affected with and loves, is good. But how the intellect flows into the will, when truth passes into good; and how the will flows into the intellect, when it acts upon it, are matters of still deeper investigation, concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy more will be said below as occasion offers.
 The reason why a "butler" signifies that sensuous which is subject or subordinate to the intellectual part of the internal man, is that everything which serves for drinking, or which is drunk-as wine, milk, water-bears relation to truth, which is of the intellectual part, thus bears relation to the intellectual part; and because it is an external sensuous, or sensuous of the body, that subserves, therefore by a "butler" is signified this sensuous, or this part of the sensuous things. (That "to give to drink" and "to drink" are in general predicated of the truths which are of the intellectual part, may be seen above, n. 3069, 3071, 3168, 3772, 4017, 4018; and that specifically they are predicated of the truth which is from good, or of the faith which is from charity, n. 1071, 1798; and that "water" is truth, n. 680, 2702, 3058, 3424, 4976.) From all this it may now be seen what is signified by a "butler." (AC 5077)
Virgin = love or affection for truths based on Sacred Scripture
Bridegroom = the Divine Human or any person in Sacred Scripture representing the Divine Human
Brother = conjunction by mutual love
Sister = intellectual truth in the cognitive organ not yet connected to the affective and sensorimotor
Wife = cognitive states acting in unison with affective states during regeneration by means of truths from Sacred Scripture
Husband = either cognitive or affective operations, depending on the context of the series
Woman = sometimes cognitive organ sometimes affective organ, depending on the series in context
Man = depending on the series in context, sometimes truths and rational understanding in the cognitive organ, sometimes good and love in the affective organ
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
AC 1468. He said to Sarai his wife.
That this signifies that He [the Incarnated Lord] so thought concerning the truths to which celestial things were adjoined, is evident from the signification of Sarai when she is called a wife. A "wife," in the internal sense of the Word, signifies nothing else than truth conjoined with good; for the conjunction of truth with good is circumstanced precisely as is a marriage. In the Word, when a "husband" is mentioned, the husband signifies good, and the wife signifies truth; but when he is not called the husband, but the "man," then he signifies truth, and the wife signifies good: this is the constant usage in the Word, as before said (n. 915).
In the passage before us, as Abram is named, Sarai his wife signifies truth. To say thus to Sarai his wife is, in the internal sense, to think so concerning the truths with which celestial things were conjoined.
It is historically true that Abram so said to his wife, when journeying into Egypt; but as before said, all the historicals of the Word are representative, and all the words are significative. No other historicals are recorded in the Word, and in no other order, and no other words are used to express them, than such as in the internal sense may express these arcana. (AC 1468)
Devil = sin, hell, death = hellish traits we enjoy and love which will form a hell in our mind in eternity
Merchant, merchandise = truths, knowledges
Thief, robber = steal = mental states of denying that all power and all good belongs to God, falsities denying truths
Neighbor = truth and good that are in a person
Mountain = God as to His Omnipotence
Valley = hell in our mind
Cloud = the literal sense of Sacred Scripture, which contains Divine truths
AE 36. Verse 7. Behold, He cometh with the clouds, signifies that the Lord is about to reveal Himself in the Word through the internal sense. This is evident from the signification of "coming," as being, in reference to the Lord, to reveal Himself; and from the signification of "clouds," as being Divine truths in ultimates, thus the Word in the letter; for the Word as to the sense of the letter is Divine truth in ultimates; and since each thing therein contains an internal or spiritual sense, "coming with clouds" means revealing Himself through that sense.
That "clouds" signify Divine truths in ultimates is from appearances in the spiritual world. There clouds appear in various kinds of light; in the inmost or third heaven in a flaming light, in the middle or second heaven in a bright white light, and in the outmost or first heaven in a light more dense; and everyone there knows that they signify Divine truth from the Lord through the angels; for when Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, which is the very light of heaven, passes through the angels, it appears as a cloud, purer or denser according to their intelligence. Such clouds have oftentimes been seen by me, and what they signify has also been perceived. This is why "clouds," such as those that appear before the eyes of men in the world, signify Divine truth in ultimates; and as the Word in the letter is Divine truth in ultimates, that is what is meant by "clouds." (AE 36)
Assyria = natural-rational mind
Below = less noble, lower quality
Beryl, onyx, jasper = the spiritual love of truth
Bottom = corporeal mind
Bow = doctrine of truth applied to daily life, truth fighting against falsities in the mind
Cave, cavern = hell in the mind made of evils allied to falsities
Chrysoprase, sapphire, diamond = the celestial love of truth
Church = mental states of regeneration in which good in the affective organ operates together with its corresponding truth in the cognitive
City, street, palace, house, temple = doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture
Dark cloud = falsification of the literal sense due to one's selfish purposes
Days, months, weeks, hours, years, ages = various mental states during regeneration
Desert, wasteland = state of mental vastation when there are no truths left in the mind
Door = the operations in our affective organ ("will"), intending to obey or apply to one's life all the truths of Sacred Scripture that we have acquired, thus opening communication with heaven
Down = toward world, self and hell, materialism, negative bias in science
Earth, land, church = mind, mental organs and their operations
East = perception of love or good at the highest level of enlightenment
Egypt = natural-sensuous mind, either in the order of the positive bias in science or the negative bias in science
Far, near = the extent to which mental states differ from each other
Field = doctrinal principles of life based from Sacred Scripture that we understand rationally
Flower, fruit = willing, thinking, and doing in accordance with doctrine, regeneration
Fog = having a vague notion, not clear ("He is in a fog.")
Fountain, well = the truths of Sacred Scripture ("digging a well" = extracting doctrine)
House = the operations of good in the affective organ
Israel = spiritual-rational mind
Jasper = truths that are part of one's faith
Jerusalem = spiritual-rational doctrine from Sacred Scripture
Moon = Faith in the cognitive organ of understanding
Morning, spring, warmth, light = state of renewal, new development, reception of new truths
North = wisdom and intelligence in obscure light
Onyx = rational truths applied to daily life
Planting = acquiring truths from Sacred Scripture
Precious stones = truths in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture
Rear, Back = hell, not in the forefront of awareness ("I'm keeping it in the back of my mind")
River, water, rain, lake, fountain = particular kinds of truths and intelligence from them
Road, way, path, journey = character reformation according to truths from Sacred Scripture
Rock, stone = truth or principle based on Sacred Scripture
Roof = the highest region of the cognitive organ
Ruby, topaz, carbuncle = the celestial love of good
Sea, ocean = either genuine good or corrupted good, depending on context
Seed = rational truth acquired from Sacred Scripture
South = wisdom and intelligence in clear light
Sun = Spiritual Sun, good and truth, the Divine Human
Tent = celestial worship and love of God
Thistle, thorns = evil enjoyments that
Top = celestial mind
Tree = perception, realizing something in your mind
Tree, vine = human being, especially the mental world
Up = toward God and heaven, positive bias in science, substantive dualism
Way, road = mental effort in acquiring rational truths from Sacred Scripture
West = perception of love or good at a lower level of enlightenment
Wilderness = confusions regarding the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture
Window = the operations in our cognitive organ ("understanding")
Winter, cold, autumn, darkness = state in which there is less love, therefore less truth
Zion = celestial-rational doctrine from Sacred Scripture
Quoting from the Swedenborg Reports:
HH 150. Because of this, the quarters in the heavens signify such things as pertain to those who dwell in them-the east signifying love and its good in clear perception, the west the same in obscure perception, the south wisdom and intelligence in clear light and the north the same in obscure light. And because of this signification of the quarters in heaven they have a like signification in the internal or spiritual sense of the Word,# for the internal or spiritual sense of the Word is in entire accord with what is in heaven. # The "east", in the Word, signifies love in clear perception (n. 1250, 3708); the "west", love in obscure perception (n. 3708, 9653); the "south" a state of light, or of wisdom and intelligence (n. 1458, 3708, 5672); and the "north", that state in obscurity (n. 3708). (HH 150)
Birds of paradise = the middle layer that is preparatory to the highest layer of conjugial love
Dragon = knowingly twisting the meaning of Sacred Scripture for dominion or evil purposes
Goats = insincere religion for personal gain
Horses = cognitive organ or intelligence from understanding Sacred Scripture
Locusts = the corporeal-sensuous part of the natural mind turned against the rational
Scorpion = persuasive faith of falsified truths from Sacred Scripture
Sheep = being in a state of obedience and repentance from acknowledgment of Sacred Scripture
Snake = sensuous-natural intelligence, nontheistic science and medicine
Swans = the initial or external phase of conjugial development
Turtledoves = the highest layer of the mind called conjugial heavens, internal phase of marriage
White horse = theistic psychology or the mental activity of extracting the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture
Here is a comparative chart showing the relation between the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, the Swedenborg Reports, and theistic psychology:
Literal meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture in Natural-Corporeal Correspondences
Literal meaning of the Swedenborg Reports in Natural-Rational Correspondences
The Incarnated Lord, the Divine Child, the Divine Human
Our unconscious spiritual and celestial mind; also, our celestial consciousness when regenerated
Abraham’s servant, the elder of the house
The Lord’s external or natural man which was disposed in order by the influx from His internal Divine
Our conscious natural mind when it is brought into correspondence with our unconscious spiritual mind, so that we are capable of rational thinking and moral willing
Who administered all that he had
To discharge offices or duties. The Lord’s external man was to be rearranged into agreement by influx from the Divine, thus to be an image of it
Our conscious natural mind is elevated in consciousness when it sets itself to correspond to our spiritual mind which is rational from influx from the Spiritual Sun
The inhabitants of the heavens
Our mentality when elevated to the level of understanding celestial-rational correspondences
Old and come into days
The beginning of a new phase in which the Lord’s human mind is also made Divine; also putting off the mere human and putting on the Divine
In our spiritual growth, the end of our natural phase, marked by rebirth and reformation, and the beginning of our spiritual phase, marked by regeneration
Burial, death, dying
Resurrection or resuscitation of the spirit following the death of the body
The moment we enter our immortality in the objective mental world at the time of the death of the physical body
The rational mind; the internal mind
The unconscious spiritual mind while we are on earth which operates with spiritual-rational correspondences
Man, Adam, human being
The conscious natural mind while we are on earth which operates with natural correspondences
Putting the hand under the thigh as a gesture
Pledging with full power
Thighs and loins
The good of conjugial love
The unity model of marriage
That thou shalt not take a woman for my son of the daughters of the Canaanite
The Divine good of the rational (i.e., Isaac, Abraham’s son) was not to be conjoined (married to) with any affection disagreeing with truth (Canaanite daughters)
Our spiritual mind cannot maintain the rationality of our natural mind (as equity, morality, justice), unless our natural mind wills itself to be in agreement with (“is conjoined to”) the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (“Rebekah”), which is the same as willing what is good – “Isaac”)
Daughters of the Canaanite
Affections that do not agree with truth
The motives in our natural mind before they are reformed and aligned with the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture
The affection of truth
The motivation for studying theistic psychology
For a collection of passages on correspondences and representatives see Section 184.108.40.206.1
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