Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations. TheisticPsychology.org


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

Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004
Last updated: 2007

About the Author  ||   See the Layers Diagram

For Permissions Note and Conditions of Use see Volume 18

The Topical Index to Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18

This is Volume 1

Introduction to Theistic Psychology

( version 63i )

1.0    The Psychology of God: Overview of Basic Topics

1.0.1    Topic 1.    The Negative Bias in Science vs. The Positive Bias in Science
                        1.0.1.1    Substantive Dualism: We are Born Dual Citizens

                        1.0.1.2    Theism in Theistic Science: Universe Created and Managed by God
                                          1.0.1.2.1    Born Into Eternity
                                          1.0.1.2.2    Male Mind, Female Mind, and Conjoint Mind 
                                                              1.0.1.2.2.1    The Mental Origin of Semen

                                     Study Questions: 1.0 to 1.0.1.2.2 (Report 1)

                        1.0.1.3    Revelation: Divine Speech Exteriorizing as Sacred Scripture
                                        1.0.1.3.1    What are Spiritual Temptations
1.0.2    Topic 2:    The Spiritual World of Eternity

1.0.3    Topic 3:    Divine Speech, Sacred Scripture, and Conjunction With God
                        1.0.3.1    Part A: The Psychobiology of Conjunction with the Divine Human
                        1.0.3.2    Part B: Degrees of Conjunction with God   
                        1.0.3.3    Part C: Why This Is a Perfect World Despite Evil
1.0.4    Topic 4:    Forms of Divine Speech in Our Conscious Natural Mind
1.0.5    Topic 5:    Sensuous vs. Rational Spirituality
                                1.0.5.1    Part A: Why Doesn't God Make an Appearance
                                                         at the United Nations?

                                1.0.5.2    Part B (i): Sensuous Consciousness of God
                                                        Does Not Remain in the Afterlife

                                                Part B (ii): What About the Paranormal, Miracles,
                                                        Telepathy, Magic?

                                1.0.5.3    Part C: We are Dual Citizens in Discrete Layers
                                1.0.5.4    Part D: There is Only One Mental World in the Human Race


                                1.0.5.5    The Daily Discipline of Rational Spirituality 
                                                1.0.5.5.1    Recognizing Our Dual Existence
                                                1.0.5.5.2    The Mental World is the World of Eternity
                                                1.0.5.5.3    Our Life in Eternity
                                                1.0.5.5.4    Why We Need Sacred Scripture
                                                1.0.5.5.5    The Hidden Correspondential Sense of Sacred Scripture
                                                1.0.5.5.6    Why We Need Theistic Psychology
                                                1.0.5.5.7    The New Evolution in Rational Consciousness of God
1.0.6    The Negative and Positive Bias in Science
1.0.7.    What is Substantive Dualism in Science

                                  Study Questions: 1.0.1.3 to 1.0.7 (Report 2)

1.1  Three Levels of Thinking About God
        1.1.1  Level 1: Materialistic Science (Monism, Negative Bias)
        1.1.2  Level 2: Mystical Religion
        1.1.3  Level 3: Theistic Psychology
        1.1.4  Ten Rational Conclusions Derived From  the Proposition That
                                        God Exists


                    (A) First Conclusion: God is a Person, at once Divine and Human
                    (B) Second Conclusion: God’s Omnipotence Must Control Every Event
                    (C) Third Conclusion: God is Perfect in Love and Rationality
                    (D) Fourth Conclusion: There are Two Worlds, One in Time-Space,
                                        the Other in Eternity

                    (E) Fifth Conclusion: Humans are Born Dual Citizens, In Time and
                                        in Eternity

                    (F) Sixth Conclusion: The Eternity of the Afterlife is Our Mental World Now
                    (G) Seventh Conclusion: We Are Born With Heaven and Hell in Our Mind
                    (H) Eighth Conclusion: Heaven is a State of Marriage Between Soul Mates
                    (I) Ninth Conclusion: Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture Produces
                                        Consciousness and Enlightenment

                    (J) Tenth Conclusion: Salvation, Liberation, Peace, and Wisdom Are
                                        Attained By Spiritual Discipline


                1.1.4.1    How the Idea of God Makes Us Immortal

                                1.1.4.1.1 The Incarnation Event: God Enters the World
                                                                of History and Science

                                                1.1.4.1.1.1    Completion of the Creation of the Human Race
                                                1.1.4.1.1.2    A Brief History of God and Humanity
                1.1.4.2    The Three Benefits of Rational Spirituality:
                                                                Enlightenment, Empowerment, Rational Ecstasy

                            1.1.4.2.1    Spiritual Enlightenment
                            1.1.4.2.2    Spiritual Empowerment
                            1.1.4.2.3    Rational Ecstasy      

                1.1.4.3    How Divine Speech Descends In the Human Mind Through
                                                                Discrete Layers and Keeps It Functioning
   
                            1.1.4.3.1    Conceptual Charts of the Physiology of God and the Human Mind   

                         Study Questions: 1.1 to 1.1.4.3.1 (Report 3)
                                    
                            1.1.4.3.2    Extracting the Content of Divine Speech Through Correspondences   
                                                1.1.4.3.2.1    What are Correspondences in Sacred Scripture?  
                                                1.1.4.3.2.2    Drinking Blood and Other Examples of Correspondences
                                                                            in Sacred Scripture 

                                                1.1.4.3.2.3     Metaphors, Symbolism, Simile, Figurative Speech -- Are Not
                                                                             Correspondences

                          
                            1.1.4.3.3    Three Levels of Thinking About God: Energy, Person, Truth From Good      

1.2  Mystical vs. Rational Approaches to Theistic Psychology
        1.2.1  Who was Swedenborg?
                    1.2.1.1    Swedenborg's Autobiographical Letters

1.3    Rational Substantive Dualism

        1.3.1    Substantive Dualism and Theism in Science
                    1.3.1.2    The Psychology of Religion in Nontheistic Psychology
        1.3.2    Discrete Layers of Substances
        1.3.3    The Substances of the Mental Organs
        1.3.4    God's Mental Substances as the Framework of the Universe
        1.3.5     Benefits of Understanding Theistic Psychology

1.4  Partial List of Scientific Revelations in the Writings of Swedenborg

1.5  Some of the People Who Have Acknowledged Swedenborg 

                           Study Questions: 1.1.4.3.2 to 1.5 (Report 4)

        1.5.1    Students Speak Out on Swedenborg

                        1.5.1.1    The Swedenborg Reports
                        1.5.1.2    The Negative Bias in Science
                        1.5.1.3    Outline of Swedenborg's Spiritual Psychology

1.6  Spiritual Psychobiology
        1.6.1     Three Levels of Behavior
        1.6.2     Swedenborg's Laws of the Spiritual World
        1.6.3     Criteria for a Scientific Theory in Psychology
                        1.6.3.1 Organicity
                        1.6.3.2. Objective Reality
                        1.6.3.3. Operational Definition
                        1.6.3.4. Empiricism
                        1.6.3.5. Usefulness
        1.6.4     The Organic Basis of All Phenomena 
        1.6.5     The Method of Psycho-Biological Correspondence
        1.6.6     Applications of Swedenborg's System
        1.6.7     Behavioral Consequences of Swedenborg's System
                          1.6.7.1    The Anatomical Layers of the Mind
        1.6.8    Sacred Scripture as the Source of Scientific Revelations
                        1.6.8.1    Thinking from Scientific Revelation
        1.6.9    History of the Concept of Dualism in Science
                        1.6.9.1    Substantive Dualism
                        1.6.9.2    Prior Versions of Dualism in the Negative bias in science

                        1.6.9.3    Dualism and Consciousness
                        1.6.9.4    Dualism in Descartes and Swedenborg 

1.7    Swedenborg's Description of How We Are Resuscitated After Death

  Study Questions: 1.5.1 to 1.7 (Report 5)

1.8    The Rationale For Theistic Psychology as Science
            1.8.1    The "Bible Code" vs. the Method of Correspondences With Enlightenment
                        1.8.1.1    Horizontal vs. Vertical Extraction
            1.8.2    Divine Speech and Its Functional Properties
            1.8.3    The Content of Divine Speech
            1.8.4    The Three Methodologies in Theistic Psychology --
                               Extractive, Predictive, and Applied
                        1.8.4.1    Levels of Extractive Research
                        1.8.4.2    What is God Talking to Us About?
            1.8.5    Why Study Theistic Psychology?
            1.8.6    About Swedenborg
            1.8.7    Should One Believe Swedenborg?

            1.8.8    Scientific Proof that Sacred Scripture is Divine

                         1.8.8.1    The Secret Presence of Correspondences in Sacred Scripture 
                         1.8.8.2    Cause-Effect Control by God
                                        1.8.8.2.1    The Correspondential Sense of CL 270
                                        1.8.8.2.2    The Correspondential Sense of CL 42
                                                        1.8.8.2.2.1 The Power of the Literal Sense
                                                                            that Contains the Correspondential Sense

                                        1.8.8.2.3    The Correspondential Sense of Pharaoh's Dream
                                         1.8.8.2.4    The Correspondential Sense of DP 30
                         1.8.8.3    Correspondences in Our Thinking and Language
                         1.8.8.4    Daily Life Correspondences of Body Parts, Actions, and Functions
                         1.8.8.5    Numbers in Sacred Scripture
                         1.8.8.6    Types of People in Sacred Scripture
                         1.8.8.7    Geographic Terms in Sacred Scripture
                         1.8.8.8    Animals in Sacred Scripture
                         1.8.8.9    The Divine Origin and Power of Correspondences
                         1.8.8.10   The Scientific Status of Correspondences
                         1.8.8.11   Perception of The correspondential sense of Scientific Revelations
                         1.8.8.12   Natural vs. Spiritual Understanding of Correspondences 
                         1.8.8.13   True Science -- Divine Scientific Revelations of Absolute Truth       

            1.8.9    Theistic Science: The Scientific Alternative to Creationism and Intelligent Design
                        1.8.9.1    Recent Court Decision in Pennsylvania on Teaching Religion in
                                                the Public School Curriculum

                        1.8.9.2    God in Science vs. God in Religion

                              Study Questions 1,8,9, 2.12, 2.17 plus 6.4 to 6.8 (Report 6) (optional)

1.9    Life in the Mental World of Eternity

See also: Lecture Notes for Studying Theistic Psychology at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/mental-anatomy.htm

Note: The layers of the mind frequently mentioned in this volume can be viewed and printed here:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/mental-anatomy.htm#chart-layers

Note: Quotations from the Writings of Swedenborg are given with parenthetical notes in italics that I insert in square brackets throughout the quoted text. These do not appear in the original. As well, longer paragraphs are arbitrarily sub-divided in smaller paragraphs. For the original text of Swedenborg's Writings please consult the online copies available at :  || www.heavenlydoctrines.org ||  http://www.smallcanonsearch.com/  ||  http://biblemeanings.info/ ||  www.e-swedenborg.com/writings/booklist.htm  ||  http://www.swedenborgproject.org/



Section 1.0 The Psychology of God -- Overview of Basic Topics


Theistic psychology is the scientific study of God as revealed in the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech that descends through the discrete layers of the human mind -- spiritual mind, rational mind, and natural mind. (See the Layers Diagram). The content or meaning of Divine Speech itself is infinite and incomprehensible to human beings who have finite minds. However, the human mind is constructed as a biological receptor organ for receiving spiritual heat and spiritual light substances that exist eternally in the mental world of the human race. These spiritual substances are not material in nature, like matter or energy in time and space, or like natural light and heat from the physical sun or star. Instead, spiritual heat and light substances stream out from the Spiritual Sun, which is not in the physical world of time but in the spiritual world of eternity.

The spiritual world of eternity is the world that is not in time and space. It cannot be detected by physical measuring instruments designed to detect physical matter or energy only, and nothing else.

If you hold off with the negative bias in science, which requires physical measurement, you can use your mental observation ability to empirically observe the existence and reality of the world of eternity. Eternity is always, so it must also be now, right? Our observational experience of eternity now is through our mental life -- which is very very familiar to every human being! Hence eternity is already familiar to everybody. It is not something new or unknown. It is even more familiar to us than the world of time and physical matter.

Most people and scientists today believe that our mental life is in the brain, which is physical in time. Hence this would mean that our mental life is physical. This theory or principle is known as reductionism in science. In other words, the mental of eternity gets reduced to the chemical world of neurons in the physical brain. According to this theoretical reductionism, mental life or consciousness of self and world, is said not to really exist. Only the electro-chemical action of the brain is really real. But this hypothesis is incorrect, as is fully proven in theistic psychology.

The reality is that our mental life is not in this world but in the mental world. Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not physical operations but mental. Mental operations are not measurable physically since they are not in the physical world. When we are born we are born into eternity and each of us is immortal. For awhile we are dual citizens, living in two worlds simultaneously that are precisely interconnected by cause-effect laws of correspondences (to be explained later). We have temporary membership in a horizontal community in time on earth through a physical body. We also have permanent membership in a vertical community in eternity in the mental world of humanity. 

We live our temporary existence in the physical body on earth, and this is tied to our immortal existence in the spiritual body in eternity. For instance, as you are reading this, your physical senses and brain, control your eye movements, as well as the analysis of the linguistic information in each word, sentence, and paragraph. So now the brain has translated the visual information into a neural pattern of electro-chemical firings. That's it. That's as far as the brain can go. The brain is physical in time-space, but the meaning of the sentences is not physical, but mental.

This is worth repeating: the words on the screen or page are physical, but their meaning is mental. Nothing of the mental can exist in the physical. These two are separate in existence, but tied in function. Your physical body in time-space is tied by function to your mental body in eternity. The two must work together until your death. This means separation from the physical world of time and space. Without a physical body, the mental body now is free in its own existence. This is the afterlife of eternity. It never ends. What life is like in eternity will be discussed.

The conscious mental life we now have is only a potion of our mental life. This portion is called the natural mind. But we also have a spiritual mind. We become conscious in this spiritual mind when we die. Once we are conscious in the spiritual mind we can see everybody else who is already in that mental state. This is how people can meet friends and family that had passed on before them. The process of dying is actually called resuscitation. Approximately 30 hours after death of the physical body, we awaken in full consciousness in our spiritual mind, and this continues forever. These facts were observed many times in detail by Swedenborg who is the first and only modern scientist in the history of science who was able to be conscious in his spiritual mind several years prior to his death. Theistic psychology is based on the laws of correspondences that Swedenborg observed by living in both worlds simultaneously for 27 years. These are the same correspondences in which Sacred Scripture is written.

For a brief biography of Swedenborg and his place in the world today, see this interview:
Williams-Hogan, Jane K. (2006). From Swedenborg to the New Church: Interview. Religioscope. Available at: http://religion.info/english/interviews/article_247.shtml 

So if our science is going to be logical and rational we are going to acknowledge the full and independent existence of the mental world of humanity, which is outside the physical world of time-space-matter, and not part of it. This other world that is not in time or space is called the mental world of eternity. You are extremely familiar with the mental world of eternity. You are in it every minute of the day. You are in it right now. And so am I. And so is everyone you know, and every human being -- by definition. But our conscious awareness only extends to the natural part of the mental world. We are conscious of whatever comes to us through the senses and the brain. So we appear to ourselves subjectively to live entirely in that world which is made of ideas based on the physical senses. So all of our conscious mental life is filled with ideas from the natural world -- tastes, smells, objects, environment, cities, ocean, sky, moon, etc. Our ideas based on these objects make up our conscious meanings and understandings, so much so, that we are able to deny that there is a mental world that is not made of these natural objects.

But once we are resuscitated, a few hours after death, we are conscious in our spiritual mind which has sensory organs of its own that are capable of detecting spiritual things, mental things. So we can actually see others who are also in the spiritual mind, and we can talk and have relationships just like we do now. In order to interact with each other in the mental world of eternity people project what they have with them from the natural mind. People's thoughts and feelings create the surrounding environment, just as they do in dreams. What you dream about and what happens depends on your feelings, emotions, and memories. This is what also happens in the afterlife of eternity, which is the mental world of which we are unconscious while we are still tied to the physical body.

The moment we are born we start our immortal life through the spiritual or mental body in eternity. Whatever we do all day long we have sensations, thoughts, and feelings. These are actual operations in our mental organs located in our spiritual body in eternity. In theistic psychology the spiritual body is called the mental body, and the spiritual world is called the mental world of eternity. Note also that the spiritual world is called by many people the afterlife. They do not realize that the afterlife is the mental world of eternity. How? Because our spiritual or mental body grows from birth to adulthood along with our physical body. But then our physical body begins to age while the mental body does not age. How? Because the mental body is made of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun (heat and light), as stated above, and the physical body is made of the material substances from the physical sun. All things physical are temporary and subject to aging laws, while all things spiritual or mental are permanent, immortal.

So in order to understand how there can be a science of God, or a science of immortality and eternity, you need to construct in your understanding the concept of "substantive dualism," as will be explained. Substantive dualism contrasts with materialistic monism, which denies -- without proving -- the existence or reality of God, eternity, or the mental world. Since no scientific proof is given for this denial, it is called the negative bias in science. The reason it is called a "bias" is because it does not prove the denial, just makes the assertion. And the reason it is called "negative" is because its methodology consists of denying the existence of a phenomenon that cannot been proven by physical measurement.

So you can see that it is not rational to want to prove the reality of phenomena in eternity through physical measurements. This is irrational and contrary to logic.

Physical measurements apply only to physical phenomena, never to mental phenomena. It is irrational to think that sensations, thoughts, and feelings can be measured by physical measurements. Only brain activity can be measured by physical measures. Mental activity cannot be measured by physical measures. As a result materialistic psychology finds itself denying the reality of people's sensations, thoughts and feelings. Since you have been schooled in the negative bias in science, you are probably thinking right now that your thoughts and feelings are your brain neurons firing electrical and chemical matter. Right?

Historically this view is called reductionism in psychology. It reduces the existence of mental operations -- sensations, thoughts and feelings -- to electrical and chemical robotonics. Neuroscience of the brain has therefore become biological robotonics. The human part, which is the mental part, has been eliminated. Here is how reductionism is practiced today in science and technology presentations:

From:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=434968&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490

What's on your mind? A machine can tell us

by Fiona Macrae - 9th February 2007

It is the stuff of science fiction - a gizmo capable of reading people's minds, revealing their most private thoughts.

Now, that fiction has become reality with scientists devising a way to accurately predict what someone is going to do.

Using sophisticated scanners and computer programmes, they have worked out how the brain lights up when making different plans - a breakthrough that effectively allows the reading of people's minds.

Still in its infancy, the technique could one day be used to ease the lives of the paralysed by giving them better control over the movement of prosthetic limbs.

It could also be used to enable people to operate computers and PlayStations by thought alone and, echoing the plot of the film Minority Report, even allow police to arrest criminals before they break the law.

Professor John-Dylan Haynes (CORR), who started the research while working at University College London, said: "Until now, no one has been able to show whether it might be possible to read a persons' intentions from their brain activity.

"We wanted to know if you could read intentions while they were still covert - known only to the subject."

To find out if this was possible, the scientists asked a group of volunteers to prepare to do some mental arithmetic.

The eight men and women were told to choose to perform an addition or subtraction - but not to tell the scientists their choice.

While they were thinking about whether to add or subtract, but had not started to do any sums, their brains were scanned using a high-tech version of the MRI scanners used every day in our hospitals to detect brain tumours.

After a few seconds, the volunteers were the numbers needed for the calculations and their brains were scanned again while they added or subtracted and came up with an answer.

Comparison of the scans revealed that different clusters of brain cells are involved in thinking about doing something and actually doing it.

When we think about something, cells towards the very front of the brain light up.

However, when we actually start to act on our plans - for instance by doing a mental calculation - the activity shifts slightly further back.

Crucially, the scans also showed that different brain cells are involved in thinking about doing different things.

With the help of a complex computer programme, the scientists were able to pinpoint the pattern of brain cells that light up when we're thinking about adding up and cells that come to life when we're planning to subtract.

Using these patterns, they were able to work out whether the person would add or subtract the numbers - and get it right more than 70 per cent of the time, the journal Current Biology reports.

Prof Haynes, who completed the research after moving to the Max Planck Institute in Germany says the breakthrough could one day lead to the creation of a mind-reading machine small enough to fit inside a baseball cap.

He said: "We know that information is there and now we have to find novel, smaller, cheaper devices.

"It is imperative we develop these machines because we know there is something in the brain we can really put to use.

"A brain scanner in a baseball cap would be the perfect version."

Such technology would, however, bring with it a host of ethical issues, with people being concerned about their deepest secrets being made public.

7 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.

Here's a sample of the latest comments published. You can click view all to read all comments that readers have sent in.

From here its just a small step to be able implant thoughts of your choosing. At last British scientists might be able to get some research funding out of Nu Labour.- N. Glew, Luton

My wife can read my mind anytime! Why do they need a machine?
- George Fairweather, Seaham County Durham

Oh dear, political correctness controls our speech and, indirectly, our thoughts. In the, not too distant, future our thoughts can be read - and woe betide those who are 'wrong-thinking'. Best to get into the habit of politically correct thinking, or perhaps, not thinking at all. Our education system and dumbed-down media are beginning to facilitate that for the up and coming generation. - Gc, Harrogate, UK

From:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/technology/technology.html?in_article_id=434968&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490

Exercise:
Reread the science news story and see if you can find the reductionistic fallacy in it.
Hint:
Contrast what actually is measured (brain waves) and what thoughts the person is thinking (general inference about readiness to act vs. specific information on thoughts or feelings). Note also how the comments of the readers involve the reductionist fallacy.

The scientific thinking on dualism is now changing through theistic psychology. The dual world of physical time and mental eternity is being introduced in psychology through the positive bias in science. It is called "bias" because it does not prove by physical measurement the existence of God and the afterlife. Let's face it: neither the negative bias in science (i.e., denying God's scientific reality), nor the positive bias in science (i.e., affirming the scientific reality of God) , can be proven by physical measurements.

Once we enter the approach in psychology called substantive dualism in science, we begin to employ the techniques and methodology developed in the positive bias science. God is assumed to be real and so is Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech. From these two -- God's reality and Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech -- we derive an effective and valid methodology for the scientific investigation of God. Divine Speech issues from God's thoughts and feelings in a similar way that human speech issues from our thoughts and feelings. Remember that in this methodology all mental phenomena are also real, but not in time, and not involving physical matter. What then?

Spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun. Or: Mental substances from the Spiritual Sun. Sensations, thoughts, and feelings are operations of our sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective organs in the spiritual body. Right now, in this very instant, your visual sensations from reading this are not in the brain but in your sensorimotor organ located in your mental body, which is located in eternity, since your birth. You do all your sensing, thinking, and feeling in that mental body or spiritual body born in eternity and connected by correspondence to your physical body. God, being the Divine Human from eternity, in whom infinite things make one, employs His affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs to create the dual universe from the substances in Himself.

What are these substances (raw materials) that come out of God's affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs?

You already know the answer: when Swedenborg be became conscious of his highest affective organ (called the celestial mind), he saw other people who were also there, living as immortals in a spiritual or mental paradise in eternity. You too, every human being, can raise your existence to higher and higher levels in your mind, until you exist in your celestial mind in eternity. Everyone there, including Swedenborg, was able to see visually the Spiritual Sun shining in the mental sky oh eternal conjugial heaven. And amidst the Spiritual Sun -- which was exceedingly bright yet did not blind the eye -- we can see the Divine Human Himself. This is the final proof that a rational person needs in order to be one hundred percent certain of God's reality.

In our highest mental organs we can visually see spiritual light and heat pouring out of the Spiritual Sun. These spiritual substances streaming out of the Spiritual Sun create an atmosphere we can call mental ether. We know this about the natural sun from which this planet originates, which is a middle sized star among billions of other stars in our galaxy. Each star creates a gravitational field or space of physical ether, in a way that corresponds to the Spiritual Sun, which creates a mental ether out of the substances issuing from God's affective and cognitive organs.

But what is spiritual heat?

The word "heat" is commonly used in materialistic science, as you know from physics, chemistry, or meteorology. And in medicine the word "temperature" is used for measuring body heat. In this natural sense "heat" is physical, as is temperature and motion. But "spiritual heat" is not physical. It is mental. Since God is omnipotent and loving, whatever issues from His affective organ is called Divine Good or Divine Love (these two mean the same spiritually). So spiritual heat is love substance (or good as substance), and spiritual light is truth substance (or rationality as substance).

Reread the last bolded sentence: it is the central key to unlock your comprehension of theistic psychology and substantive dualism in science.

Spiritual substance in the mental world of eternity refers to the spiritual light and heat streaming from the Spiritual Sun and permeating the totality of the mental world, just as physical substance or matter refers to the light and heat streaming from the physical sun and permeating all space and planets. Every object in the physical world is made of physical substances (chemical elements) from the natural sun, just as every object in the mental world is made of spiritual substances (good and truth in infinite variety) from the Spiritual Sun. The Spiritual Sun is the visible aura that appears brightly around the head of God Divine Human. This Spiritual Sun surrounding God's head was seen many times by Swedenborg when he was made conscious in the upper heavenly layers of his mind (see the Layers Diagram).  All the people who lived in that layer of the mental world were also able to see God and the surrounding Spiritual Sun. So the spiritual goods and truths that issue from God's Mind appear to human beings visually as a Spiritual Sun. You too will see this Spiritual Sun that surrounds God the Divine Human, when you ascend to your heavenly layers after the second death (see Section xx).

You can see now that God the Divine Human did not create the dual universe out of nothing (a non-scientific notion), but out of Divine Speech, that is, out of substances of good and substances of truth issuing from God's affective and cognitive organs of His Divine Human Mind..

As you already know we are born into eternity with our spiritual body or mind. The substances out of which our mental organs are constructed are the substances that issue from the Spiritual Sun in endless variety. Every newborn is unique even though it is constructed out of spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun. Every newborn's mental body (or "spiritual body") contains a sensorimotor organ, a cognitive organ, and an affective organ (see Section xx). These organs are arranged in several levels called discrete degrees (see Section xx). The highest level of operation of our affective and cognitive organs is called the celestial-rational mind. A discrete degree below this we have affective and cognitive organs at an intermediate level of excellence called the spiritual-rational mind. And at the lowest discrete level of operations of the affective and cognitive organs, we have the natural-rational and natural-sensuous mind. Every human being possesses these same three levels and organs.

Note this very important observation: it seems to us that we are in a private world by ourselves when we are thinking and experiencing feelings. Right? But this is an appearance or illusion. Theistic psychology shows that the human race has only one mental world, only one spiritual world of the afterlife. Everyone is born into the same mental world of eternity that is created around the Spiritual Sun by the substances of good and truth. And everyone wakes up after death in the same afterlife of eternity. Thus there is only one mental world.

Once a human being is born into the immortality of eternity, the mental organs function as receptor organs for the spiritual heat -- into the affective organ, and for spiritual light -- into the cognitive organ. In other words, spiritual heat or good in substance, constructs the affective organ at birth, and then keeps it alive and operating by the continuous or ceaseless inflow of spiritual heat or good in substance. The same for the cognitive organ and spiritual light or truth substance.

Now you can see that Divine Speech from God's mind issues into the mental world of humanity and enters every mental organ of every human being, at the top of the mind called the celestial level of affective and cognitive organs.

Of course we are not conscious of the celestial and spiritual mind while we are conscious in our natural mind, and tied to the physical body by correspondence. However, even though we are not conscious of these mental operations triggered by the inflow of good and truth substances into our celestial-spiritual mind, nevertheless we are influenced by it in our conscious natural mind through the laws of correspondences, as will be made clear later.

When Divine Speech, containing good and truth substances, descends to the natural mind of a chosen prophet prepared by God for this purpose, he is able to write it down in a natural language, and what he writes down is called Sacred Scripture. Note carefully that other people are not conscious of this Divine Speech, though it is also present in their mind, not just in the mind of the prophet. It's just that the prophet is given limited temporary consciousness in the spiritual mind and in the natural mind, long enough to be able to write it down in a natural language. Note also that the prophet is not aware that the sentences he writes down are only correspondences to Divine Speech in his mind.

It's only since the Writings Sacred Scripture were provided through Swedenborg that science can now know about the hidden correspondences in Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture is the method used in theistic psychology to discover the hidden layers of information contained in Divine Speech. These hidden layers were not available to scientific study until the 18th century author Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) discovered the laws of correspondences that govern the joint operation of natural phenomena in time (Sacred Scripture written down in a natural language), and spiritual phenomena in eternity (Divine Speech entering the celestial mind). This relationship in theistic psychology is called substantive dualism in science. Swedenborg discovered that there is only one mental world for the human race, and this human mental world is the afterlife of eternity.

We are born into eternity as dual citizens, the physical body being in the natural world and the mental body, or mind, being in the afterlife world of eternity. Swedenborg discovered that every person undergoes a mental resuscitation process about 30 hours after separation from the physical connection through death. We then exist consciously in our spiritual mind, which until resuscitation, was operative but unconscious. Shortly after resuscitation, the natural mind becomes unconscious.

Swedenborg also discovered that there was a functional connection between every verse in Sacred Scripture with a particular type of mental state in the human race. He was thus able to empirically map out the correspondences between the words and phrases of Sacred Scripture with mental states. By using the functional connection between the body organs and the mental organs, Swedenborg demonstrated that Sacred Scripture has layers of meaning expressed in correspondences. Knowledge of these correspondences allows us to extract the scientific facts and principles about God that are hidden within the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. See the Layers Diagram.

When the hidden layers of meaning in Sacred Scripture are accessed through the correspondences that have been revealed, we discover what God wants to talk to us about, what information God wants us to know. The results so far, amply demonstrated in the Writings of Swedenborg, show that God wants to talk to humanity about Himself in relation to us. God wants to instruct us concerning mental anatomy, theistic psychology, and how He manages the universe and why.

Theistic psychology is the psychology of God.

As psychologists we have two approaches to investigating the psychology of God. One way is to define God as a belief, and then investigating what people believe in. In non-theistic negative bias psychology this methodology is known as the "psychology of religion." You can see logically that this is not an investigation of God but an investigation of what people believe. Since God is not a scientific concept or reality in non-theistic psychology, it is only possible to investigate people's beliefs and attitudes and behaviors, but not God. The other approach is to define God as a reality in itself, not just a belief or fantasy. Investigating God is logically possible only if you assume that God could be a reality. Then you can investigate it is, or is not.

But if you deny that God exists (the negative bias in science), then you can only investigate what people say and believe and do. Hence not God Himself. The only way that God can be investigated scientifically is (a) to grant that God might exist (positive bias in science), and (b) to use the method of correspondences in Sacred Scripture (not physical measurement).

 

In relation to God, theistic psychology takes the positive bias interpretation in science. This is the same as saying that God is a significant and traceable influence on human behavior.

The psychology of God is the study of how all human behavior is an outcome of how people react to God, both consciously and unconsciously. Since God is omnipotent and manages all phenomena, He also manages the minds of people, both of the positive bias in science and of the negative bias in science. Nevertheless there is an enormous difference in the quality of life in eternity of those who are resuscitated into the positive bias mentality vs. those who are resuscitated in the negative bias mentality. Swedenborg empirically determined this by observation of thousands of cases he could observe in his dual consciousness, natural and spiritual.

Until age 57 Swedenborg, then a well known personality in Sweden, had consciousness only in his natural mind, like all of us. Then suddenly he gained consciousness in his spiritual mind as well. For the next 27 years until his death, he was leading a life of dual citizenship, being able to interact with those already in the afterlife and conscious in their spiritual mind, as well as those in the physical world where he kept up his busy schedule as government mining engineer, publisher of scientific journals, and member of the Swedish legislative body. He published his observations and findings, which amount to about 30 volumes in English translation. They are called collectively "the Writings of Swedenborg." In theistic psychology they are called "the Writings Sacred Scripture."

In the course of studying theistic psychology you will learn about the psychobiology of God which describes the anatomy and physiology of the mental organs. This is a necessary methodological focus for theistic psychology that describes the details of how God is a significant and traceable influence on human behavior. From the scientific perspective it is not sufficient to merely believe that God affects people's lives. As a science, theistic psychology has to rationally demonstrate and empirically illustrate the mechanisms that God uses to influence human behavior. In the positive bias approach in science, God is real, and therefore there must be a scientific answer to how God exerts influence upon human behavior. This answer needs to be investigated. It cannot be investigated in non-theistic psychology, which continues to remain in the negative bias mentality of science, denying that God, revelation, and Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture have a scientific reality. When God and Sacred Scripture are denied as real phenomena, then research on God is not allowed either. As already indicated, research about people's beliefs and attitudes about God is not research about God.

The psychology of God provides answers regarding where God is in our mind, how He gets there, why we don't see Him, what He is doing there, how we are best to handle this situation, what potential benefits are there, and related issues and puzzles.

The following discussion provides an overview of theistic psychology. You will notice that the same sub-topic appears in different places more than once or twice. The reason is that this is such a new topic for most people that it helps to have the same issue handled more than once and in a different context. In this way you will be learning more than facts, but also a thinking register. For instance if you are very good at something, whatever it is, you are an "expert" at that thing relative to many other people. When two "experts" get together they can talk "shop" with each other, and others may get the feeling that they don't understand what's being discussed. In addition, experts can solve problems others cannot. This is because they are able to reason things out from experience and reflection.

This more powerful (expert) way of thinking about something is called a specialized thinking register. You will learn to think rationally and scientifically about God. You will practice applying scientific and rational thinking to God.  Hence the apparent repetitions of topics throughout theistic psychology is not redundant information to be skipped, but opportunities to build facts into principles, and these into an expert thinking register about God.

Every human being has God in the mind. This reality is the rational and empirical basis of defining God as a scientific concept. Since God is immortal, our conjunction with God from birth, makes us also immortal. Since God intervenes and interacts with everything we intend, reason, and do, it is for scientific research to investigate how this interaction takes place in every human being.

Every human being has heaven and hell in the mind, from birth, as part of the inherited human mental anatomy.  Heaven is a mental state in eternity that is operational within the affective organ of our spiritual mind (see Section xx). This operation exists within the human virtues. All individuals who operate within the consciousness, intention, effort, and love of virtues, develop this affective organ so that after separation from the physical world, they exist in that state of eternity called heaven (see Section xx).

Every human being has hell in the mind, from birth and inherited mental anatomy of the natural mind. Hell is a state in eternity that is operational within the affective organ of our natural-sensuous mind (see Section xx). This operation exists within the human vices. All individuals who operate within the consciousness, intention, effort, and love of vices, develop this affective organ so that after separation from the physical world, they exist in that state of eternity called hell (see Section xx).

From the religious perspective, based on the plain literal meaning of Sacred Scripture, heaven is being with God in eternity as a reward we earned for being faithful in our religion while we were on earth. And hell, is a Divine punishment or an inevitable negative consequence, of living a life of "sin", which is contrary to religion.

From the scientific perspective of theistic psychology, based on the hidden correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture, both heaven and hell are mental states that are operational within our mental organs, and these are already in eternity from birth (see Section xx). As observed by Swedenborg, people make their own choices regarding where they exist in the conscious afterlife of eternity (see Section xx). The choices they make are according to their loves -- what they like most, what they are most enchanted with, what they are unwilling to give up no matter what. This is what pulls them to live their immortal existence either within human virtues (heaven), or within human vices (hell). In terms of Swedenborg's observations of samples of human beings entering the afterlife in the eighteenth century, more people from this earth chose to be in their vices, than in their virtues!

Unfortunately, the people who choose hell become progressively worse and live a sub-human life devoid of orderliness, intelligence and happiness. This is a built in endless degradation of the operations of the natural-sensuous mind that is unwilling to be governed by the rational mind. In contrast, people who choose to live in their virtues are happy, married to their soul mate, intelligent, decent, and beautiful, and they grow in these traits endlessly to eternity. This is a built in elevation of the operations of the spiritual-rational mind (see Section xx).

Topic 1. The Negative Bias in Science vs. the Positive Bias in Science

Science exists in two different orientations called the negative bias in science and the positive bias in science (see Section xx). The negative bias in science denies that anything exists except that which is natural, and constructed out of physical matter in time and space. For instance, thoughts and feelings are defined as nothing more than electrical and chemical activity in the brain cells and their "emergent" properties. The negative bias in science denies the existence of God, of life after death, of Divine revelation, of consciousness as real, of a spiritual world in eternity outside time and space, of the possibility that anyone can communicate with people who have already departed from this world through death of the physical body. The denial of all of this by materialistic science follows automatically from the denial of anything outside time, space, and energy. This denial is called the negative bias orientation or paradigm in science.

It is called a bias because this position has never been proven by science. It is a mutually chosen premise, an unproven assumption, an agreement by scientists among each other to exclude anything from science that isn't material in time and space. This methodological position is sometimes called "materialism" or "materialistic monism." This is the attitude and orientation that you have been exposed to in your science and psychology courses throughout education. "God and science don't mix" -- we were told and taught. "It's unscientific to talk about God in science" is another popular persuasion. So we were not told that denying God in science is a negative bias in science. We were told that denying God in science is scientific.

It makes a big difference whether school children are told one or whether they are told the other. Telling us that God in science is unscientific goes deeper into our persuasion than telling us that God in science is denied by assumption and agreement not by proof. More resistance to the idea of God in science is created in our mind when we are told it is unscientific, rather than there is an unproven agreement in science to exclude God. Clearly there is an element of ideology in science rather than rationality. The negative bias in science agreement methodologically excludes the writings of any scientist who includes God in their theoretical explanation.

An example of systematic exclusion from science is the work of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), whose writings have been excluded from being even mentioned in history of psychology textbooks and handbooks, despite the fact that Swedenborg wrote the first textbook of psychology called Rational Psychology (1742) in which you can find the major topics of psychology in the 20th century, including the focus on the brain and its functions. For instance, Swedenborg was the first scientist to propose that the anatomical and physiological evidence indicates that the left brain specializes in cognitive operations, while the right brain in affective operations (see Section xx). Swedenborg was the first known modern scientist whose theories were explicitly theistic.

The positive bias orientation in science -- also unproven, hence a bias --  is that God exists, that reality consists of two worlds, one natural in physical time and space, the other spiritual or mental, outside time and space. The spiritual world of eternity is also called the afterlife. What is critically different in this orientation is the recognition that thoughts and feelings are not electro-chemical operations in the neurons of the brain since thoughts and feelings are non-material substances, while the brain contains only material substances or matter. Material substances of the physical brain are in the time-space world, while mental substances and operations -- thoughts and feelings --  are in the mind or in the world of eternity (not in the time-space world ). This is the fundamental difference that you must try to understand right from the start of your study of theistic psychology.

Why is the spiritual world of eternity and afterlife = the mental world?

Isn't the mental world right here and now in my mind? The mental world of my thoughts and feelings are alive in me right now. So why are you calling thoughts and feelings as operations in eternity? How can the spiritual world be the same as my mental world? If our eternity is in the mental world, is it really an objective place we can go to after we die? Etc. Etc. These are all the questions that may be crowding your mind. All of them will be answered in your mind when you begin to form a cumulative and coherent account of its various pieces and how they are integrated with each other. Diagrams will be given to help you in this task.

Until the 19th century, most scientists accepted the positive bias in science, including the founders of modern science -- Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein. By the end of the 19th century and onward with the 20th, the negative bias in science became prevalent. Nevertheless the positive bias in science continued strong with scientists who were familiar with the Writings of the Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). In contemporary psychology the positive bias in science based on Swedenborg's Writings continues with the new field of theistic psychology, created by Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii (see the online work Theistic Psychology at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic )

The American Psychological Association (APA) oversees and sets standards for doctoral training programs in all accredited clinical psychology departments and schools in the United States. In the past few years there has been a greater recognition that "theistic psychotherapy" is a desirable and necessary development in clinical psychology. An example is the APA Psychotherapy Training Videos program intended for mental health professionals. One training video for clinical psychologists approved by the APA is the following:

The information below is displayed at:  http://www.apa.org/videos/4310716.html

Theistic Integrative Psychology shows an approach for incorporating belief in God into therapy. An important aspect of this therapy is the assumption that spirituality and faith are central to many people's lives, and therefore therapists should be open to including religious beliefs in their work with clients.

In this session, Dr. P. Scott Richards works with a 60-year-old African American woman who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. He first seeks to understand how she is handling this news and the accompanying thoughts about her mortality and then looks at how her spiritual beliefs are both helping and hindering her process of coping.

This approach is distinguished from most therapeutic models in that its primary worldview is that God and spirituality often play an important role in people's lives: The starting point for Dr. Richard's theistic integrative approach is theistic, as opposed to the naturalistic or atheistic starting point for other models in psychotherapy.

This approach is distinguished from most therapeutic models in that its primary worldview is that God and spirituality often play an important role in people's lives: The starting point for Dr. Richard's theistic integrative approach is theistic, as opposed to the naturalistic or atheistic starting point for other models in psychotherapy.

This is an integrative approach in which many psychotherapeutic approaches may be incorporated, including person-centered and cognitive approaches, depending on which may be most suitable for the client. Tailoring the therapy to the individual client while also being open to the role of God in the client's life will result in more effective therapy. Assessment includes questions about religious beliefs and affiliations as well as more typical questions to assess mood and psychological traits.

To use this approach, a psychologist need not adhere to traditional religious beliefs, although having respect for and some understanding of spiritual worldviews is helpful. A therapist who is not a believer might look at this approach as a way to treat religious clients in a culturally sensitive way. Whether the therapist believes in God or not, the most important thing to remember when allowing religious belief to enter therapy is that the therapist must never impose his or her own beliefs on the client. The goal of this therapy is to look for how the client's beliefs might help (or hinder) the journey to psychological healing.

To learn more about this approach, Dr. Richards recommends continuing education classes as well as reading literature on theistic integrative psychology.

P. Scott Richards received his PhD in counseling psychology in 1988 from the University of Minnesota. He has been a faculty member at Brigham Young University since 1990 and is a professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education.

He is coauthor of the first and second editions of A Spiritual Strategy for Counseling and Psychotherapy (American Psychological Association [APA], 2005); coeditor of the Handbook of Psychotherapy and Religious Diversity (APA, 2000), and the Casebook for a Spiritual Strategy in Counseling and Psychotherapy (APA, 2004).

He was given the Dissertation of the Year Award in 1990 from APA Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics). In 1999, he was awarded the William C. Bier Award from APA Division 36 (Psychology of Religion). He is a fellow of Division 36, served as secretary of the division from 2000 to 2003, and is currently president of the division. Dr. Richards is a licensed psychologist and maintains a small private psychotherapy practice at the Center for Change in Orem, Utah.

Richards, P. S. (2005). Theistic integrative psychotherapy. In L. Sperry & E. P. Shafranske (Eds.), Spiritually oriented psychotherapy (pp. 259–286). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (Eds.). (2004). Casebook for a spiritual strategy in counseling and psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

APA Videos

APA Books

© 2007 American Psychological Association

The above information is displayed at:  http://www.apa.org/videos/4310716.html

I am presenting this information to show that the science of psychology is moving in a new direction which allows it to discuss God as a real person with whom the individual has a real relationship. This is not the same as saying that the therapist is to accept God as scientific reality, but only that the client is allowed to discuss God with the therapist as a legitimate, even healthy relationship in daily life. Before this we have a contrastive attitude for more than 100 years in psychology during which God was categorized as a non-existent entity people invented as a crutch (Freud) and to whom they prayed by superstition or delusion (Skinner). This new attitude by the scientifically conscious American Psychological Association is remarkable whose importance has not yet been fully grasped by the profession.

It is easy to falsely dismiss the significance of this new perspective for the reason that the therapist does not have to believe in God, but only to accept the legitimacy of the client's relationship to God. Hence nothing has really changed in the science of psychology. However this is missing something important. Even if licensed therapists don't have to accept the reality of God, nevertheless they must act like and talk like God is a real person!

I repeat this most important new perspective in the science of psychology: Henceforth licensed therapists in the United States must acquire the ability to administer mental health services that address God as a real person.

This fundamentally changes the monolithic atheistic supremacy that has dictated the negative bias materialism in psychology for the past 100 years.

Freud and Skinner are no longer around to fight against this new direction in psychology. Even so, theistic psychology still remains outside the boundaries even for the new direction in theistic psychotherapy. The reason is that the Swedenborg Reports are not considered relevant or necessary, and hence absolutely nothing is known empirically about the mental world of eternity and afterlife. Theistic psychology accepts these reports as scientifically valid. The rational and methodological justification for this orientation follows.

Here is the foundation principle for the existence of theistic psychology, as stated in the Writings of Swedenborg:

AC 2568. It has been said above in this chapter that doctrine would become null and void if the rational were consulted (n. 2516, 2538); and that it was not consulted (n. 2519, 2531). But here it is said that the doctrine of faith was enriched with goods and truths both rational and natural. At first view these statements appear as if they were adverse and contrary to each other; and yet are not so. How the case was with the Lord, has been stated; but how it is with man, remains to be told.

[2] As regards man it is one thing to regard the doctrine of faith from rational things, and altogether another to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith. To regard the doctrine of faith from rational things is not to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine thence derived, until one is persuaded from rational things that it is so; whereas to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith is first to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine therefrom, and then to confirm the same by rational things. The former is inverted order, and results in nothing being believed; whereas the latter is genuine order, and causes the man to believe the better. It is the former that is here meant by its being said that Abimelech should die because of the woman; by which is signified that the doctrine of faith would become null and void if the rational were consulted (n. 2516, 2538); but the latter is meant by its being said that Abimelech gave flock and herd, and menservants and maidservants; by which is signified that the doctrine of faith was enriched with rational and natural goods and truths.

[3] These things are much treated of in the Word in its internal sense, especially where Asshur and Egypt are spoken of; for the reason that while the doctrine of faith is regarded from rational things, that is, while a man does not believe until he is persuaded from them that it is so, it then not only becomes null and void, but whatever is contained in it is also denied; whereas when rational things are regarded from the doctrine of faith, that is, when a man believes the Word, and afterwards the same things are confirmed by rational things, the doctrine is then living and whatever is contained in it is affirmed.

[4] There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Lord has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle.

[5] The more they who think from the negative principle consult things rational, the more they consult memory-knowledges, and the more they consult things philosophical, the more do they cast and precipitate themselves into darkness, until at last they deny all things. The causes of this are, that no one can apprehend higher things from lower ones, that is, spiritual and celestial things, still less Divine things, from lower ones, because they transcend all understanding, and moreover everything is then involved in negatives from that principle. On the other hand, they who think from an affirmative principle can confirm themselves by whatever things rational, by whatever memory-knowledges, and whatever things philosophic they have at command; for all these are to them things confirmatory, and give them a fuller idea of the matter.

[6] Moreover there are some who are in doubt before they deny, and there are some who are in doubt before they affirm. They who are in doubt before they deny are they who incline to a life of evil; and when this life carries them away, then insofar as they think of the matters in question they deny them. But they who are in doubt before they affirm are they who incline to a life of good; and when they suffer themselves to be bent to this by the Lord, then insofar as they think about those things so far they affirm. As this subject is further treated of in the verses which follow,. it is permitted of the Lord's Divine mercy to illustrate them more fully there (see n. 2588).
(AC 2568)

In other words, we can assume the negative bias in science when we examine the proposal that God exists and that upon death we enter the afterlife of eternity. Since the negative bias proof requires physical measurement it is not possible to apply this method to God or the afterlife. Therefore to exclude God or the afterlife as real requires a bias. This negative bias says that what is not physical is not real. The reason it is called a bias is that non-physical things could exist or be real, yet the negative bias would deny it, hence deny what is true and real. But there is an important tradition in science that recognizes that science has two components, one called empirical, the other called rational.

In non-theistic psychology empirical refers to physical measurement. In theistic psychology empirical means sensory observation, which can be either physical or mental. In all science theory and explanation goes beyond empirical data. This is why scientific theories are almost always wrong, even though they appear correct when proposed. Later research however, and further developments in science, eventually abandon all the old theories and propose new ones, which a little later, will also be abandoned. So science proceeds by scientific theories that are continually abandoned as wrong when they were at first accepted as correct. How can this process proceed and have a good outcome?

The answer is that all theories and all data in science must be structured to be logical, consistent, and rational. In non-theistic psychology this has been achieved so far only in ideal and not yet in reality. For the most part, scientific theories in non-theistic psychology do not agree with each other regarding what the facts, how they ought to be explained, and what to do about it. In general research in non-theistic psychology proceeds within highly specialized fields and only a few psychologists acknowledge and are part of that field and its research. Others reject much of the research that one group considers real. This confusing state of non-theistic psychology will continue until the entire field becomes fully rational, which means integrated into a whole, instead of into parts that do not recognize each other. In theistic psychology research and knowledge development start with the positive bias regarding God and Sacred Scripture. So it is a top down science, departing from Sacred Scripture understood in correspondences, and deducing all the principles from it through the positive bias in science. Each principle is then empirically applied and verified through observation. Hence theistic psychology is a fully integrated and rational science.

I have been teaching theistic psychology to college students who are majoring in psychology and are being prepared for professional and graduate school. The most difficult issue in their mind regarding the scientific status of the Swedenborg Reports is that his observations are not replicable by other scientists.  They were taught that science means proof that can be replicated by other scientists. The students also report that the friends and family with whom they discuss the Swedenborg Reports, also are bothered by this one issue, saying, Why should you believe this man from the 18th century who says he talked to the dead? And how many others have also claimed this? Etc.

But the fact is that no one in the history of science, philosophy, psychology, theology, literature has ever claimed to have been dual citizens for decades, and no one in the history of literature has discussed or described what Swedenborg observed and explained. So the dismissive idea of Why should I believe him -- does not apply here at all. Here we have a unique situation in science and history and it deserves its own rational and impartial assessment.

The replicability issue is actually not a critical one in this case. Everyone will be able to replicate and verify what Swedenborg describes. This occurs 30 hours after death, when we are awakened through the process of resuscitation and begin our life of eternity in our spiritual mind (see Section xx). At that point everyone can verify the accuracy of the Swedenborg Reports. The fact that no one can so until after resuscitation is not critical in this case as long as the following eight scientific and rational assessment criteria are applied.

Can it be demonstrated to scientists and students that the Swedenborg Reports contain observation and theory fully characterized by:

  1. consistency

  2. completeness

  3. rationality

  4. abstract or mechanistic explanatory mechanisms

  5. ability to account for more of the known possibilities

  6. ability to generate verifiable predictions

  7. ability to provide greater control of self and environment

  8. consistency with universal human values.

The answer is Yes for all eight assessment criteria. For this reason, the issue of delayed replicability is not critical. There are other examples in science that are accepted as one time events that cannot be replicated, and there are also examples in science where replication is even theoretically impossible. There are no other books, theories, systems, or records in human history and literature that meet the above eight assessment criteria.

Exercise:

If you are interested in pursuing the logical issue of introducing God in science, study the following electronic discussion on the logic of proving the negative in science, at:
http://archive.internalspace.co.uk/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b=cc,v=display,m=1098071640,s=all
Summarize the various points that are made. Review them and see what you agree with. Does this give you a better idea of what proof in science really is? What is your conclusion regarding the positive bias in science, as proposed in theistic psychology?

    1.0.1.1   Substantive Dualism: We Are Born Dual Citizens

The basic premises of the positive bias in science are

  • substantive dualism (see Section xx)

  • theism or the acknowledgment of God as Creator and Manager (see Section xx)

  • revelations of scientific knowledge through Sacred Scripture (see Section xx)

Science studies all of reality. If anything is part of reality, science tries to investigate it and to understand it rationally. The positive bias in science says that God is part of reality, and therefore, science is going to try to investigate God as a scientific concept.

The negative bias in science says that God is not part of reality, hence there is no point even trying to investigate something that does not exist, or does not actually influence the outcome of events and phenomena.

Sometimes people try to take up an in between position, saying that God does exist, but this cannot be investigated by science. God is just a matter of personal faith or belief. This idea arbitrarily, with no proof or evidence, limits what science is. The alternative view is to say that science tries to investigate all reality. So, if God is actually part of reality, science should try to investigate God as a possible scientific fact.

This is similar to the situation where scientists have proposed the idea that there are other intelligent beings on the planets in vast space who might be trying to communicate with us by radio waves from outer space. So these scientists acquired research funds from the federal government to build large radio telescopes and transmitters that can receive possible messages from outer space by an alien civilization. Other scientists ridiculed the idea, saying that there is no evidence whatsoever that intelligent  beings exist elsewhere but on earth, and there is much evidence to suggest that the evolution of life cannot repeat itself in more than one place. There is a negative bias in science towards the idea of aliens, and scientists holding that bias would not investigate the existence of aliens in outer space. They cite many scientific reasons to show that this idea is a pipe dream, not a scientific hypothesis. You can see the positive and negative bias clashing in science regarding life on other planets.

But you need to realize that the positive bias in science for the existence of life on other planets is also a materialistic idea and does not require dualism. The positive bias in science for unknown phenomena is something fairly common and normal in science. What is unusual is to have the positive bias in science extend to God. Why is this?

There are hundreds of thousands of scientists alive today who are firm believers in the existence of God, as shown by the fact that they talk to God in prayer, worship Him, and study Sacred Scripture as the Word of God. These scientists know that God is omnipotent and that nothing happens without God allowing it to happen because of some rational end or purpose. These religious scientists acknowledge that God intervenes in the experiments they run in their laboratories, and also, in their effort and ability to write the results as a published scientific report. And yet, note this: God does not appear anywhere in their report!

I did the same thing for many years as a trained scientist in the field of psychology. At one point in my career as a professor and researcher, I adopted the positive bias in science regarding God's existence (see Section xx). I tried in different ways to write a journal article about the reality of God and how we need to take God into account in our principles of psychology when we describe learning, human development, personality change, or sports psychology. If God is a reality, and actually influences how people learn, develop, change, or acquire skills, then clearly we should investigate that causal relationship between God and human behavior. Is this not obvious?

Since we all have been educated to think from the orientation of the negative bias against God in a materialistic science, we can expect that certain standard objections will come to our mind when we hear the proposal that God should be part of science.

For instance, we might think that "God may be a reality in the ultimate sense, but God is not participating as something apart from the natural laws that science investigates. God may have originally created these natural laws, along the natural world of time and space, but there is no scientific reason to suppose that God is now intervening in the normal course of these natural laws and conditions."

This line of  reasoning shifts the issue away from

(1) "Is God a reality or not"

to another issue, namely,

(2) "God does not intervene in reality."

Do you see this? But this shift is not logical because the second issue logically comes only after the first issue has been settled, and cannot come before it.

In other words, we cannot decide on whether God "intervenes in reality" or not (2), unless we first decide whether "God is a reality" or not (1). Can you see this?

So we must come back to the first and most fundamental issue in science regarding God, namely, God exists, or not.

If you are going to enjoy studying theistic psychology, you may consider adopting the positive bias in science on a limited basis to begin with. This means that you are going to say to yourself: "I am going to take on the role of someone who says that it is possible that God could become a scientific concept."

That's all. You don't actually have to believe it, if you don't want to.

In the past, all students were able to enact this role while reading, writing, and discussing theistic psychology. Some students were actually glad that there is such a thing as a positive bias of God in science. Others stated that it was fun, but that they are going to go back to the negative bias in science. You can read their generational reports in theistic psychology listed in the Readings in Volume 18, Part 2.

Remember:

the positive bias in science does not mean that you are required to accept, or pretend to accept, that God is a scientific concept. Instead, adopting the positive bias in science is to say that you accept the possibility that God can be a scientific concept, and therefore you are ready to investigate what the evidence for it is that this course offers.

Most educated people like us have acquired the negative bias belief against the idea that God should be included as part of science. So it's not easy to now all of a sudden to adopt the positive bias in science by saying to ourselves, "Let me investigate what theistic psychology is saying. I cannot logically do this unless I first accept the possibility that this could be real, not just a pretend game."

Think of the non-theistic psychology courses you took in high school and college. When did you ask yourself the question, "Can this materialistic view of the mind be valid and real?" Probably never. This is because you were still young and you were still not thinking for yourself from yourself (see Section xx). But as people enter their third decade of life they begin to ask questions in their own mind about ideas and principles they imbibed and never examined. God in science is one of them. Does God really exist in a scientific way of intervening with phenomena that scientists are studying -- in which case God is actually part of the chain of causation they are looking for? Do I really want to deny God's existence in science because after all,  what if the scientists are wrong about that? What kind of methodology would be needed to provide proof of God as a causative factor in phenomena?

When you begin to ask yourself these kinds of questions, you are beginning to think from yourself, rather than from acquired socialization habits of thinking. This thinking from self is a sign of maturation as an adult. In this sense, some people never become mature adults since they are unwilling to acquire the habit of thinking from self regarding God.

Theistic psychology will show you why one should acquire the habit of thinking from oneself (see Section xx). Swedenborg reports that when people are resuscitated, a few hours after death (see Section xx), they quickly give up their belief in God, when it is based on persuasive teachings that had been uncritically accepted, without reasoning from self whether they are true or not according to their own rational comprehension. But it is different with hose whose idea of God was based on their own reflection and thinking, and made God part of their reality. They continue to reflect upon God along their rational understanding, which Swedenborg reports is far greater after resuscitation than before -- for everyone. In other words, when our natural mind becomes dormant and we live in our spiritual mind in eternity, our rational thinking ability is a discrete level higher than the highest we are capable in our natural mind. Our everyday level of thinking now is from the natural mind, but after death and resuscitation, our life of immortality takes place in our spiritual mind (see Section xx). The spiritual mind functions at a discrete degree higher than the natural mind. We are more intelligent after death than before, far more so, as frequently observed by Swedenborg in the afterlife of our spiritual mind (see Section xx).

And so now, since you have become a student of theistic psychology, you are receiving the unusual opportunity of examining critically, rationally, and scientifically, whether or not God can be part of scientific reality and investigation.

If you are not willing to say, "Maybe yes", then how can you enjoy the study of theistic psychology? If you think "No way. It's not possible" can you go through the objective evaluation process of examining the idea as a scientist would? Theistic psychology has brought together many rational considerations that you can examine. The Swedenborg reports, upon  which theistic psychology is based, are a unique collection of writings in the history of modern science. They allow you to examine the empirical observations and rational explanations of a notable historical figure who has influenced many brilliant writers and scientists  (see Section xx). Since theistic psychology is a scientific field, its methodology and reasoning process are rational, empirical, behavioral, anatomical, and neurophysiological (see Section xx).

In theistic psychology the brain in the physical body and the mind in the mental body are connected by the laws of correspondences (see Section xx). When we are born, we acquire a physical body in time-space and a mental body in eternity, that is, in the mental world of the human race. In the physical body we have organs like the brain and the heart that make up the physical body in time-space.

In the mental body located in eternity from birth onward, we have organs like the

  • affective organ (which corresponds to the heart and circulatory system in the physical body)

  • cognitive organ (which corresponds to the lungs and respiratory in the physical body)

  • sensorimotor organ (which corresponds to the brain and neurons throughout the physical body)

 As you can see the mental body contains the organs that give rise to feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Consider that right now, you are reading this and thinking about it, and having various feelings or emotions about it. These thoughts and feelings are non-material -- not in time-space-matter. Thoughts and feelings and sensations are mental things, not physical. Mental things are in the mental world and this has no space or matter. think about your dreams and daydreams. They take place in the mental world of the human race. There is only one mental world and we are all having our thoughts in this mental world where our mental body was born and will continue living forever (see Section xx).

Note also that every physiological detail of the physical body is mirrored in the mental body so that when your physical body dies and you are resuscitated in the mental world of humanity, your appearance is unchanged even though you are then in your mental body. This shows that the temporary physical body in time-space is a copy of the permanent mental body in eternity. It is not generally known that eternity = mental world, so do not be surprised if this appears odd to you at first, and to the friends with whom you discuss it.

Our mind, like our brain and sense organs, is an organic structure made of sub-components, like the heart which has a left and a right portion, each doing their own work or function. The mind's organic anatomy has been revealed in the Writings. There are three major levels of mental operations or states to keep track of in order to understand how our mind works and how we can control its direction and development.

Anatomical levels or states of the mind:

  • (3) The celestial state or level of operation (= the "celestial mind")

  • (2) The spiritual state or level of operation (= the "spiritual mind")

  • (1) The natural state or level of operation (= the "natural mind")

You also need to keep track of the type of operation in the mind of which there are three.

Types of operations or functions of the mind:

  • (i) The affective operations in the affective organ of the mind (= the "will")

  • (ii) The cognitive operations in the cognitive organ of the mind (= the "understanding")

  • (iii) The sensorimotor operations in the sensorimotor organ of the mind (= the "sensations")

Affective operations are feelings, motivations, impulses, tendencies, affections, loves. Cognitive operations are thoughts, ideas, concepts, images, and  reasonings. Sensorimotor operations are sensations, attentional focus, and motor determinations or behavioral sets.

If you keep track of the three types of operations at the three levels, you will have a chart in your understanding by which you can comprehend or research almost anything about the human mind. This chart would look this:

LEVELS OF OPERATION
 

TYPES OF MENTAL OPERATIONS

III
celestial
 mind

celestial affective
(9)

celestial  cognitive
(8)

celestial
 sensorimotor
(7)

II
spiritual
 mind

spiritual affective
(6)

spiritual cognitive
(5)

spiritual
sensorimotor
(4)

I
natural
 mind

natural affective
(3)

natural cognitive
(2)

natural
sensorimotor
(1)

I call this type of chart an "ennead matrix" which the dictionary defines as a structure of nine. In this case the mind's operations can be tracked by an ennead matrix that displays nine categories of operations to keep track of in describing the mind's operations:

  • (9) the celestial feelings (affective level 3)

  • (8) the celestial thoughts (cognitive level 3)

  • (7) the celestial sensations (sensorimotor 3)

  • (6) the spiritual feelings (affective level 2)

  • (5) the spiritual thoughts (cognitive level 2)

  • (4) the spiritual sensations (sensorimotor 2)

  • (3) the natural feelings (affective level 1)

  • (2) the natural thoughts (cognitive level 1)

  • (1) the natural sensations (sensorimotor 1)

It helps a lot in deepening your understanding of this universal spiritual human structure if you can reproduce it yourself on a piece of paper and if you can then explain it to someone.

Here is the way I explain it. We have feelings, thoughts, and sensations. I call this the "threefold self." These operations define what the mind is. We can have these operations at different levels of consciousness and rationality. For instance, we can have celestial feelings--like compassion for someone's need, so that we reach out to help. Having or experiencing that celestial feeling is what initiates our action of helping out. The feeling is not enough because we need also to know what would help and how we can provide it. These are thoughts, not feelings. In order to act on anything whatsoever we need to have an initiating feeling or motive or need--these are equivalent in that they are affective operations. Once this initiating feeling is felt or experienced, it starts selecting from our cognitive mind those operations that result in a cognitive plan for help that is assessed as adequate and workable. So the affective operation begins the behavior, the cognitive operation directs it, and the sensorimotor operation executes it. This way of  talking about behavior is called the "threefold self" (see Section xx).

  • The celestial self is the third or highest level of operation of the mind (9 ==>8==>7)

  • The spiritual self is the second or intermediate level of operation of the mind (6==>5==>4)

  • The natural self is the first or lowest level of operation of the mind (3==>2==>1)

The numbers refer to the ennead matrix above. Note that the sequence of behavior is always:

affective==>cognitive==>sensorimotor

The mind always operates by means of the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor operations working together. The natural mind (cells 3,2,1) is what we are very familiar with because it is our daily conscious self while we live on earth. We are unconscious of the operations that are always going on in the spiritual mind (cells 6,5,4) and in the celestial mind (cells 9,8,7).

In order for the conscious natural mind to operate it is necessary that the other two unconscious levels of the mind be operative. The reason is that all operations of the mind are by correspondence reacting to the influx of the Spiritual Sun. In other words, once the mind becomes operational at birth, not only is it being built up by the spiritual heat and light of the Spiritual Sun, but the portions that are built up have the capacity to receive more spiritual heat and light, which initiates all the operations in the mind. The mind is built out of the same substances that also activate it and keep it functioning in perfect order to eternity. The mind is therefore not only an immortal spiritual organ, but it is also constantly 'online' like an electric stove that is plugged in and is thereby able to do its work of heat. Unplug it, and the stove cannot do its work. It has to be 'online' and you know it from the electricity bill at the end of the month!

The mind's operations are therefore dependent on the inflow or "influx" of spiritual heat (or love) and spiritual light (or truth). This is truly remarkable. The mind is made of love and truth and it is activated by love and truth flowing in. At the same time, the mind has the capacity to invert the incoming love and truth into their opposites. This inversion process requires rational ability.

You need to remember that mental = spiritual = eternity. While we are in the natural mind, we are not conscious of how everyone is in the same mental world. We have total blindness in our spiritual mind. We have the illusion that my mental world is private, and your mental world is private. And yet this is not true in the spiritual mind, and Swedenborg proves it by his reports, written from age 57 to 84 while he was conscious in both the natural mind and in the spiritual mind. This means that he was able to see everything we do in our natural mind, but in addition, he was conscious in the spiritual mind, which does not happen to everyone else until resuscitation immediately after our death (see Section xx).

So it's not a question of speculating about what happens after death. Theistic psychology could not be a science if it is based on various people's speculations about it. All evidence in the Swedenborg reports must be examined, and this is done in theistic psychology from the positive bias perspective. Swedenborg is the only scientist in the history of science who was able to have direct observational access to the world of the afterlife, where he interviewed those who had died recently, as well as a long time ago (see Section xx).

Remember that in order for us to have real thoughts and feelings we must have mental organs like the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs that make up the mental body in eternity from birth onward. In order to understand this explanation scientifically it is necessary to consider that sensations, thoughts and feelings cannot exist in the physical brain. Without coming to grips with this idea, it is not possible to see clearly that we are born dual citizens, with a temporary physical body made of physical substances in time-space, and a permanent mental body made of non-physical substances in eternity (not in time-space). The two bodies are connected by the laws of correspondence so that every single detail in the physical body is reflected by a corresponding detail in the mental body. When we die, the physical body disintegrates, but the mental body is immortal and continues life in the world of eternity. We have all our thoughts and feelings with us, our self and personality, since these are in the mental body to begin with, and were never located in the physical body that dies.

This requires some thinking through before you can see it clearly enough to be able to explain it logically to your friends.

Since our thinking is persuasively immersed within the negative bias in science, it is harder to let go of its negative principles regarding the reality of something that is not physical in time-space. The idea of something that is not physical and not in time-space, sounds like something obscure and thinly existent, instead of fully existent. You might for instance point out that your thoughts and feelings don't have the same rock bottom existence as the house, the car, or our salary raise. We can be rich and famous in our imagination, but what is this but bubbles in the air that burst into nothing as we are forced to live in poverty. If we did not get hired for a job we applied for, hopes about their changing their mind will remain just that, thoughts and visions, not actual reality. And so on. We can go on thinking like this because we have been trained to reason this way following negative bias rules of logic that exclude the possibility that your thoughts, hopes, and imagination are more rock bottom real than the chocolate bar you could be eating while reading this.

Question: Which is more real, the chocolate bar you are thinking about while reading this, or the chocolate bar in the store across the street?

What about this: Which is more real, the chocolate bar you are eating, or the enjoyment you are feeling?

Since we are born with a temporary physical body, whatever that body eats is also temporary. And since we are born with a permanent mental body, whatever that body eats is for eternity. We know what our physical body eats; what does our mental body eat? Can you guess? Our mental body eats mental food. You are familiar with the expression "food for thought." What does it refer to? The mental organs in our mental body when we are born are undeveloped. We are unable to think, to reason, to observe, to remember, to know what we feel. The mind at birth is void of meaning and cultural content. A newborn infant has a mental body that includes a sensorimotor organ, a cognitive organ, and an affective organ, all ready to operate and activate the natural mind (see Section xx). The natural mind grows and matures with daily development and accumulation of experiences through the physical senses.

The spiritual mind also grows, but is unconscious to us while we are still attached to the physical body in time. It grows not from input from the physical world, but from input from the mental world. If you became conscious right now in your spiritual mind, you would see what Swedenborg was able to see -- namely, that everyone else was there since this is the common place for all humanity right from birth. From his spiritual mind, Swedenborg was able to see the mental body of everyone. This is how we know that the mental body looks the same as the physical body since Swedenborg was able to recognize his friends and family who had passed on.

The three mental organs are recognized in non-theistic psychology as well, and you probably came across these concepts in your courses or readings. But there is a fundamental difference, which is that non-theistic psychology does not call them "organs" but "functions." This is like the difference between "negative bias materialistic monism" and "positive bias substantive dualism" (see Section xx). In the negative bias in science, cognitive operations are equated with neural activity in the physical brain. In the positive bias in science, cognitive operations are equated with the activity or change of state in the mental organ. Similarly, emotions are equated with neural activity in localized portions of the physical brain (e.g., amygdala), while in the positive bias in science, emotions and feelings are equated with the changes of state in the affective organ of the mental body.

You can see that if you deny that there is a mental organ in eternity outside this physical world, then you are compelled to think that thoughts and feelings exist in this world, and so you are then compelled to think that they are merely subjective experiences of what the physical brain is doing. Once you crossed this line you are completely immersed in materialistic monism. But you can step away and outside of it now that you are involved in the study of theistic psychology. You can consider rationally and scientifically what's involved in the positive bias in science mode of thinking about time vs. eternity -- the fundamental dualism of reality.

Once you realize that the negative bias in science is not a proven fact but a chosen and voluntary bias, and once you realize that you have been taught the negative bias in science without being told that is a bias, it might then be easier for you to step out of the negative bias in science and step into the positive bias in science.

Once you've chosen the conscious jump into the reality of dualism,  you can begin looking at your thoughts and feelings in a totally different light, with a new meaning that is powerful and logical. Here is your first theistic psychology concept rendered visually:

This visual concept is dualist. It has no meaning in non-theistic psychology. But it does have meaning if you grant the positive bias that it is scientifically possible that we are dual citizens. If this is possible then we need a scientific account that is systematic, consistent, and cumulative or holistic. All rational systems must have these properties and a science is a rational system. This visual concept uses the method of visually representing discrete dualist levels as one figure within another, or one form within another, or one structure within another. The meaning of "within" is fundamentally different within the the negative and positive bias in science. In non-theistic psychology "within" refers to that which is deeper in a continuous sense. So you would start from the surface of something and then go deeper and deeper within it. An example is the use of "internal" in medicine to refer to the organs we have within the body, in contrast with the organs we have on the surface of the body, like the skin or the mouth cavity which are "external."

So "external vs. internal" are both still time-space concepts when you are thinking in the negative bias mode. Can you explain that? But in the positive bias mode there is a duality of discrete degrees or zones that are not continuous with each other. This property is visually represented by the concentric forms. One cannot go from our physical body to our mental body, or vice versa because there is a built in barrier from creation. Every object that exists is created into one of the zones or discrete degrees of reality. For instance, your shoes exist from matter in time-space. This is called the natural world. Our physical body is born into the natural world. But your mental body exists in the spiritual world, which in theistic psychology, is called the mental world of the human race, which is in eternity, no tin time-space (see Section xx).

 The natural world cannot exist without the mental world and vice versa, because the two worlds are locked into each other by the laws of correspondences governing cause-effect relations. Here is a further expansion of the concept of dual citizenship:

The "world of effects" is familiar to us from every day life since birth. It is what goes on around us. While our thinking pattern is restricted to materialistic logic, we think and talk an as-if language regarding reality. For instance, we continue to use the expressions "sunrise" and "sunset" even though we know rationally that the sun does not rise or set. A sign of our sub-conscious materialism and monism is given off when we say "My brain is telling me to ..." or, "There is a brain drain in England to the migration of scientists to the U.S.", or, "This book will show you how to develop your brain power." etc.

In other words we talk as-if we believe that our mental life of thinking and feeling is in the operations of the brain. This is illogical when you examine it rationally since thoughts and feelings are not electrical operations in neuron cells. Mental operations exist in the mental world, which is apart or independent of the time-space zone of the natural world. Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not "on this earth" or "in this physical brain." To say so is to commit the reductionist fallacy (see Section xx). Instead, we rationally construct a dualist world, one in time-space, the other in eternity, with the two locked into each other by the laws of correspondences on a one to one and cause-effect basis (see Section xx).

Similarly, in our everyday situations we continue talking as if the effects we see around us are caused by other things around us, instead of them being correlations -- events that co-occur. For instance, if we are asked to explain what causes the car to accelerate when we drive and want to go faster, we say that pushing down the gas pedal causes the car to go faster. But in the positive bias perspective of dualism all causes are in the mental world of eternity, while all effects are in the physical world of time-space, the two worlds being connected by the laws of correspondences. So it is our goal or desire to go faster that is the cause of why the car is going faster. The pedal being pressed is not the cause but a correlated effect of the cause, the cause being the feeling that we want to go faster. In the positive bias mode of science, events in the mental world of eternity are the causes of events in the physical world of time-space. The mental world of eternity is also called the spiritual world (see Section xx).

So the causes of events in the physical world are located in the mental world. This may be obvious with the driving example, but it is equally true of the weather and earthquakes, though the explanation is more involved. It will be made clearer as you study theistic psychology (see Section xx).

For instance, when it rains here, it is an effect whose cause is in the spiritual world of eternity. When we lose our connection to the physical body through its death, we are immediately resuscitated in our mental body in the spiritual world of eternity where we continue our mental life of immortality (see Section xx). The sensorimotor, cognitive and affective states of the human race are the causes of all phenomena in the physical world -- climactic, geological, vegetarian, and animal evolution and physiology. This makes rational sense when you consider that God created the physical universe of time for the sake of the human race in eternity (see Section xx). Since we are used to think from the negative bias in science, we normally reason that the physical world came first, and then human beings developed from it, somehow, unspecified. But in the positive bias mode we are not so restricted in our thinking.

From the perspective of dualism, that form of it that is revealed in Sacred Scripture, God's purpose for creation is to populate a human heaven in eternity, endlessly evolving in a positive direction. To accomplish this purpose God created a physical world in time and space, and made every phenomenon in it, be dependent on a mental cause connected to His purpose. Hence it is that the physical world is created out of the mental world, namely, the substances of good and truth, as an infrastructure for its existence. The external portion of the physical world and its objects, is in time-space, but its internal infrastructure a discrete degree within and apart from time-space, is in eternity. What is in eternity is the cause of what is time-space.

So it's not surprising that the evolution of animal species and plants on earth reflect the mental states of the human race in eternity, since eternity is the world of causes and time-space is the world of effects. Generally speaking, you can see for instance that "paradisal" gardens and tame animal species are the results of heavenly mental states in the human mind of eternity. And hence you can also see that deserts, poisonous plants, and dangerous animal species evolved in correspondence to the development of the hells in the human race -- ferocious feelings of rage and vengeance give you an idea of how these mental states connect to the ferocity and killing power of some species of animals and plants (see Section xx). This connection can be understood rationally if you consider the laws of cause-effect correspondences between phenomena in time-space (effects) and mental states in eternity (causes).

Note that this connection is complex and involves the mental world of the entire human race. It would not be logical to think that the people who live in deserts and jungles, surrounded by wild animals and poisonous plants, are more negative in their thinking and feeling than people who live on tropical islands. There is no such connection. It would be obviously unscientific to make such claims. Rather, you need to see that there is an overall explanation given here for the connection between the two worlds, on a one to one basis, and since God created time-space to serve the human race, it's clear that the control mechanism God created and is maintaining in order, goes from mental to physical, not the other way round, from eternity to time, not the other way round.

Later we will study why God could not create the human race directly in eternity. Why do we have to be born dual citizens, die in the physical body, then continue life in eternity with the mental body? (see Section xx). Why could we not be born in eternity directly with our mental body? A general answer has to do with the essence of what it is to be human, namely to freely choose according to our reasoning (see Section xx). If we had been born directly into eternity, we would be angelic robots, hence not truly human. We need to have both heaven and hell in our mind so that we can freely choose between them. God's law of spiritual freedom is that every human being freely choose the lifestyle of heaven or that of hell. If we had been born directly into our heaven, we would not be able to choose between heaven and hell. And what we don't choose, we cannot love as-if it were our own (see Section xx). We would then be in a heaven that we do not consider our own -- which is really not a heaven at all. Hence it was necessary for human beings to have a physical body for awhile, while developing the natural mind in time-space. Meanwhile, the spiritual mind remains unconscious, even though it continues to grow along with the natural mind of which we are conscious in our daily life.

So in order to make things work, God created us dual citizens in such a way that every single detail in the world of time is tied by correspondence to its cause in the world of eternity. In this way the two worlds -- physical time and mental eternity -- make a one by the laws of correspondence. Without the world of eternity, the world of time could not exist. So it's not too difficult for you to picture and comprehend this whole process of creation, God, and the two worlds acting together by the laws of correspondences to bring about God's purpose of an eternal heaven populated by the human race.

As discussed, every species of animals corresponds to some human emotion and reasoning process. In general, selfish and harmful motives and emotions cause ferocious and dangerous animal species to come into existence and to thrive, while heavenly traits cause the peaceful and non-dangerous species to come into existence. The evolution of species of animals and plants is caused by the biography of humanity's mental world in eternity. Your thoughts and feelings right now, in this very moment, are not here on earth! This would not be possible since thoughts and feelings are not in time and space. So what you are thinking and feeling, along with the other people of the human race, are events in eternity, not in time, not on earth.

The mental life of the human race is in eternity, and it is the cause of all the details of the physical world -- animals, plants, geological formations, earthquakes, sun spots, galaxies expanding, molecules hurtling in your cells, etc. All physical phenomena are created and directed by God through the mental life of the human race, which is in eternity. God's omnipotence extends to every detail, but it is according to His Divine Love and Wisdom to use the mental world of humanity as the trigger that causes the physical events on earth. In this way the two worlds might be united as one, functioning in interdependent symbiosis and synchrony.

These details are presented to you now so that you can become aware that theistic psychology is one consistent rational account in which all parts are fully integrated and consistent with each other. All the details presented here so far will have to be followed by other details that fit consistently as they are cumulated. Not one single lack of fit is allowed in a rational science. This is quite contrastive with non-theistic materialistic psychology where people propose a variety of different theories that are not consistent with each other (see Section xx). You will need to reread theistic psychology Sections and paragraphs several times on different days so that you can learn to cumulate your knowledge in a rational and consistent manner. Only in this way can you actually see that theistic psychology is fully rational, consistent, cumulative, empirical, and scientific.

We don't ordinarily think of the mental world as "real" in terms of being constructed of something, like we think of the brain as "real," constructed out of protein matter, which is ultimately from the natural sun in time-space. But the mind is also real, being a spiritual mental body whose organs are constructed of eternal substances from the Spiritual Sun in eternity (see Section xx). These eternal spiritual substances are mental and are real, more permanent than the physical brain, which is only temporary, and eventually dies or disintegrates. But the mind in the mental body is permanent or immortal, and cannot die, once it is born. Hence our self and personality is immortal and at death we continue life uninterrupted since the self is not in the physical brain or body that dies.

Approximately 30 hours after the physical body dies, we are awakened or "resuscitated" in our spiritual mind which is the upper zone of the mental body in the world of eternity. We appear to ourselves and to others there, as exactly the same as we were in the physical body. But the mental body is a spiritual body, a permanent body, an eternal or immortal body made of eternal substances. It is sometimes called a "spiritual body" because the mental world of eternity is also referred to as the "spiritual world" (see Section xx).

For further Discussion see Section 12.0.5 in Volume 12

1.0.1.2  Theism in Theistic Science: Universe Created and Managed by God

Theism in theistic science is the premise that the universe is created and maintained in order by God according to laws and procedures that God has revealed in Sacred Scripture. The following conceptual chart is also discussed in more detail elsewhere (see Section xx). For now, try to memorize it enough so that you can reproduce it on a piece of paper as you are explaining it to a friend. I recommend that you print the chart so you can look at it as you follow the explanations below (select it, copy it, go to your word processor, paste it, print it).

1.0.1.2.1  Born Into Eternity  

The above theistic psychology concept, expressed in a schematic chart, is arranged vertically with God on top and an ordered sequence of discrete (discontinuous) layers downward. It is both a map of spiritual geography and a schematic of mental anatomy. See the Layers Diagram.

In theistic psychology the word spiritual has the same meaning as mental. The chart is called "born into eternity" to indicate our dual citizenship (see Section xx). You need to remember that in all theistic psychology charts and diagrams, what is on top is a discrete degree more interior or "higher" than what is below. "Discrete" is the opposite of "continuous." For instance, if you have a car and want to travel to Europe or Japan with it, you can go all the way to the edge of the ocean, even if it is thousands of miles away. But once you get there you cannot continue your journey to Europe or Japan. You've gone as far as it is possible to go on a continuous basis, getting closer and closer to the edge of the ocean. Now you need to jump a discrete degree in means of transportation. You need a different vehicle that operates in a totally different medium of transportation, like a ship, airplane, rocket, or so called 'transport beams'. Cars and ships are in discrete degree from each other as transportation venues. Cars and trains are in continuous degrees with each other. Ships and airplanes are in discrete degree with each other. Etc. (see Section xx).

So all charts and concepts in theistic psychology are arranged vertically, with all the elements being in discrete degrees with each other and connected by the laws of correspondence.

So as you inspect the chart of yourself "born into eternity," viewed schematically in the positive bias mode of theistic psychology, what do you see? What reactions do you have? This is no doubt the first time that such hidden knowledge about yourself is being revealed in a psychology course! Look at what you are from a global anatomical perspective. See how you are specifically connected to God, regardless of what your beliefs are, or what your socialization and cultural origins are. This chart is not about culture or religion: it's about the anatomy and physiology of the human mind. There is only one human mind for the whole human race. Every person's mental world is in that one common mental world of humanity, and overlaps with it. We can see each other only through the spiritual mind, which remains unconscious until resuscitation (see Section xx). But Swedenborg had his spiritual mind become conscious while he was still attached to the physical body. This is how he was able to write the Writings Sacred Scripture, upon which theistic psychology is based.

As human beings we possess an immortal mental body born into eternity and a temporary physical body attached to it. The two are tied to each other by the laws of correspondence so that the operations in the two bodies are completely integrated and acting symbiotically as one organism. The physical body is shown at the bottom of the chart because it is located in time-space and constructed out of physical world substances from the natural sun. "Bottom" means "most external" or "lowest." "Top" means inmost and highest. The physical body is external in time-space-matter, while the mental body (mind), is internal in the world of eternity, and constructed out of the substances of the Spiritual Sun.

If you ask people what is the world of eternity and how they picture it, you get almost nothing. No one can have any idea of it, except from Sacred Scripture. From this Divine source we know many rational and scientific facts such as theistic psychology and theistic science. The simplest way you can tell people what the world of eternity is like, is to tell them to think about their own mental world -- their thoughts, their dreams, their day dreams, their imagination, their logic and reasoning, etc. Everybody is very familiar with their own mental world. But they don't know these two things about it:

  • there is only one mental world for all of the human race

  • this mental world is the same as the afterlife of eternity

The only reason we cannot see each other in our own mental world is that the natural mind is developed from the information we have through the physical senses. Consequently all our concepts and logic in the natural mind is time-bound and space-bound and matter-bound. It's only if you abstract out these elements from your thinking, that you can then think rationally with concepts that are not time-bound and space-bound. What is not time-bound and space-bound is called eternity. With rational concepts we can think scientifically about eternity, but not with sensory concepts based on sensory input through physical senses. The spiritual mind, on the other hand, does not receive anything through the physical senses of the physical world, but only through the mental body whose senses receive input from the mental world alone. Consequently, all the ideas we have in the spiritual mind have nothing in common with the ideas we have in the natural mind. On the chart born into eternity, you can see that the natural mind (containing time-space concepts and logic), is separated from the spiritual mind (containing only spiritual concepts and logic), by the rational mind.

The rational mind plays an intermediate role between mental states patterned after time-space (natural mind), and mental states patterned after eternity (spiritual mind). Later we will also see how these three discrete zones of the mental world are reproduced in the history and evolution of civilization, and as well, in the history of Sacred Scripture, which was cumulatively written over thousands of years (see Section xx). All this may sound intellectually intimidating to you, perhaps even grandiose. This is a normal reaction when we are thi8nking from the negative bias mode of materialism. Throughout our study of psychology courses we have come to realize that non-theistic psychology is not unified, is not rational, is not cumulative, and is only partially helpful in solving real life problems like depression, rage, racial conflict, relationship problems, abuse, crime, etc. etc. One explanation for this lack of power to solve problems is to say that these problems are too complex to be solved. But another explanation is that the knowledge and principles we have for solving them are not very powerful, not very accurate, not realistic of actuality. The negative bias monism is surely to blame for this lack of power since it contradicts what a human being actually is.

Note that in the chart Sacred Scripture is placed in the bottom zone of the natural world, along with our physical body. Why? Because it is a physical book written by people in some natural language in some society on earth at some period of time, and republished with every generation. All books are placed in that bottom zone. But of course, the meaning of the printed sentences is not part of the physical world. That is part of the mental world of eternity where Divine Speech exists. When Divine Speech in eternity descends to the bottom of the human mind, it is embodied in the sentences of Sacred Scripture written in natural languages. Divine Speech Itself is in a spiritual language, not natural language. When we are resuscitated a few hours after we lose the physical body, we are conscious in our spiritual mind in the mental body. In that state we talk to each other in a universal, built in human language that is not related in any way to the natural language we spoke. Rather, Swedenborg describes it as a rational thought-language that is more powerful by a discrete degree than the natural mind in which you are now reading this. This is something nice to look forward to!

Knowing this would weaken our absolutist ties and loyalty to this or that culture or ethnic group since we know that our ethnic or racial identity is not permanent. What is more permanent is the quality of our feelings and what we can understand rationally. All people, regardless of race, ethnicity, and religion, have the same mental physiology, the same mental organs, the same substances that flow in from the Spiritual Sun and activating the operations in the mind -- sensations, thoughts, and feelings. No individual in the human race has something different than this. So the idea that we lose our ethnic identity, culture, and language makes sense rationally since these are part of the natural mind, as the chart shows. But after resuscitation, the natural mind quickly fades into inactivity and unconsciousness. Hence all our identity and cultural memories are shut down.

During the course of 27 years while he was living with both minds being conscious at the same time, Swedenborg interviewed many people after their resuscitation (see Section xx). In the initial stages of our resuscitation, we are still partially conscious in the natural mind, so that we may have a continuity. Otherwise we might think that we have been kidnapped and deposited in some mental asylum. So we have to have our own memories of who we are and where we come from. This is the reason that the visual appearance that others have of us in that mental state, is similar enough to our physical body that they can recognize us if we knew each other in the physical body.

But very soon we come to realize that we are now in an immortal mental world of eternity. We no longer have a country, family, or place of residence. Whatever is around us is an expression of our thoughts and feelings. The consequence of this is that the only people we see are those who are in the same mental state as we are, having thoughts and feelings that are compatible. We cannot see anyone whose thoughts and feelings are not compatible with ours since our environment must express what our mental states are like.

And if I want to see someone who is not present, all I have to do is to put myself in a mental state that is compatible with that person, and there is the person in front of me, and we can interact. You can see from this, and what you will learn later, that the laws of living are completely different in the spiritual mind, and hence, people who wish to remain in the natural mind experience a kind of spiritual insanity that splits their mind and prevents them from adjusting to the new laws of life in eternity. The result is that they begin to sink into that portion of the natural mind that remains open and active for those who keep their consciousness in that mental zone. The chart identifies the inherited human hells as located in the sensuous-natural zone of the mind.

But people who have developed their rational mind can make a successful transition to the spiritual mind because the rational mind can contain concepts from the spiritual mind. In order to develop the rational mind we had to rely on the knowledges that arrived to us through Sacred Scripture, either directly or indirectly (see Section xx). You can see from these considerations that the materialistic monism of non-theistic science does not prepare people adequately for migrating from the natural mind to the spiritual mind. But theistic science and theistic psychology does prepare our rational mind if we allow it to be formed solely by Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

When we read the books of Sacred Scripture in their literal historical meaning it is our natural mind that perceives the literal meaning and comprehends it from intelligence and education. So the printed sentences are part of the physical world but our comprehension of their meaning is part of the mental world. There is therefore a discrete degree of separation between the printed sentence of Sacred Scripture in the physical world, and the meaning of the sentence in the mental world. This discrete separation between the two worlds of time and eternity is indicated on the chart with the double arrows. Between them is marked the line of eternity or mind-body dualism arranged by correspondence.

The chart indicates that the mental body (or mind) is anatomically constructed in three discrete degrees or layers of organs and their states and operations. These three mental organs of the natural mind are shown above the line of eternity to indicate that our mental life is immortal right from birth, even in our natural mind. The three discrete or discontinuous levels of the human mind are called natural, rational, and spiritual. Each of these has quasi-discrete sub-levels, as we will study elsewhere (see Section xx). Our conscious everyday mental world is the natural mind with its sub-levels (e.g., the sensuous mind). Notice what the chart mentions about our natural mind operations: conscious memory, personality, and intelligence. But there is also a discrete sub-level that is marked on the chart as the "inherited subconscious" and the "human hells." See the Layers Diagram.

If someone had asked you before you read this, where is hell, what would you have been able to say? Probably not something very specific because this knowledge is not known to people in the negative bias mode of thinking. However those who read Sacred Scripture and can derive a rational coherent account from it, know that heaven and hell are in the human mind. This is plainly revealed in the literal meaning of the New Testament Sacred Scripture and in the Writings Sacred Scripture. Note that the subconscious level of the mind, and the human hells level, are both inherited. We are already familiar with the idea in non-theistic psychology that many traits of the physical body are inherited from parents, as well as from a long series of generations, with inherited recessive genes that come out unpredictably in later generations.

The reason that the physical body genetically behaves this way is that it is caused to behave this way by the mental body to which the physical body is connected by one to one correspondence of every part from organ level to biochemical and genetic levels. Every genetic characteristic of the physical body is caused by a corresponding characteristic in the mental body (see Section xx).

So our natural mind has sub-conscious portions that are inherited, as well as conscious portions that are acquired by experience. Feeling the "impulse to avoid our obligations" is an example of an inherited hellish trait. Liking to take revenge and enjoying being cruel against an enemy, is another example of an inherited hellish trait. Surely you know many of them from observing your own thoughts and impulses. Some of these thoughts shock you. Some don't shock you and you find it difficult to get rid of, like not keeping promises to your friends or family, or enjoying thinking unflattering things about somebody you don't like, or cheating and stealing, or driving after drinking, etc. etc. By the time we are young adults, and begin to be conscious of what we're like inside of our own mind, we discover a huge number of hellish traits that we have kept around for many years and are now practicing as habits (see Section xx).

The sub-title for Theistic Psychology is "The Science of Immortality." People in the negative bias mode scoff at such an idea for two reasons. First, in the past many unscientific proposals were called by their authors as "scientific" so that the claim became empty, not something scientists would pay attention to. The second reason is that scientists in the negative bias mode of thinking are not capable of thinking logically about dualism and God, as long as they deny their existence and reality. This is obvious. So in order to investigate whether or not dualism and God exist, they will have to adopt the positive bias in science and allow for the possibility that God and dualism are scientific concepts. After the investigation they may conclude that God and dualism are not scientific concepts, but if they conclude this before the examination, it is correct to call it their negative bias in science, not their rational judgment.

 So now, from the perspective of the positive bias in science, the idea of a "science of immortality" makes rational sense since (a) we are born immortal, and (b) God reveals scientific facts by means of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Now if you go back to the schematic anatomy of the mental body on the chart of born to eternity discussed above, you can see that the discrete level above the sensuous-natural mind is called the rational mind. Theistic psychology shows that animals do not possess a rational mind. They possess a natural-sensuous mind with which they inherit wired in instinctive knowledge and perception, but they can also learn and adapt to changes in the environment through memory and new habits. They can also be taught to communicate with purpose and even use sign language and other signaling systems (google these topics for interesting literature on this). However they cannot be taught to reason like human beings. By the time a human child reaches age 3 or 4, it far surpasses in reasoning ability anything any animal can do at its best. So you can imagine the difference at age 7 or 17 or 35.

All this is because animals do not have a mental organ called the rational mind. Hence what makes us human is not the natural mind, which we share with animals, but the rational mind, which only human beings have. We are born like animals with our natural mind fully functioning and developing, containing both inherited traits and acquired traits. But we are not fully human until our rational mind begins operating and influencing our natural mind. Note the arrow in the chart between the rational mind and the natural mind. The fact that it points downwards means that operations in our rational mind influence operations in the natural mind, but not the other way around. It is extremely important to understand this anatomical feature of our mental body.

To understand this, notice the components listed in the rational mind: sociality, motivation, love, rationality. These are not normally conscious to our awareness. You are reading these sentences and what you are thinking has to do with its meaning, not its grammar. You may or may not know that grammar (or "syntax") is a set of rules that cause you to select certain words in a certain order that others can then understand. People who have not been educated and have never heard of grammar, are able to speak and understand just like the people who know a lot about grammar. So it's not necessary to be conscious of the grammar we acquire spontaneously by experience when we learn to a speak a language. You can see therefore that the operations of the rational mind (higher level), such as human syntax and human rationality, operate without our awareness in order to make possible the operations we perform at a lower level (natural mind) and of which we are fully conscious. We can think logically and rationally in our natural mind only because our rational mind is controlling it by correspondence. Animals cannot think logically and rationally in their natural mind because they do not have a rational mind to control its performance.

Now notice what is above the rational mind. This is the highest level of mental operation and consciousness possible for human beings. It is called the spiritual mind and itself has several discrete sub-levels. The main levels are the spiritual mind itself, and the celestial mind which is within the spiritual, or above it. The human heavens are located in that portion of the mental body called the spiritual and the celestial mind. The human heavens in the spiritual mind is called the Second Heaven which operates with spiritual-rational consciousness. The human heavens in the celestial mind is called the Third Heaven which operates with celestial-rational consciousness (see Section xx).

Now notice what is above the spiritual-celestial mind, thus above the human heavens: Good and Truth from Divine Speech proceeding from the Spiritual Sun, which is the visible aura that surrounds God the Divine Human, as seen several times by Swedenborg when he ascended to that region of the human mind (see Section xx). He reports that the Spiritual Sun and the Divine Human appear visually to every person who consciously dwells in the highest region of their mind. Amazingly, whichever way they turn in their heavenly environment the vision of the Spiritual Sun and the Divine Human  remains in front of them! (see Section xx) This will become understandable to you when you begin to examine how our mental body moves around in eternity (see Section xx).

So now we have reviewed together the components of the chart from top to bottom. We need to point out some its overall characteristics. Note this most important fact about the chart: The very top of it, or its Firsts, creates, causes, directs, and rules every step below it through intermediate steps, and the last step at the bottom is the physical world, which may therefore be called its Lasts. So God creates and manages the universe from Firsts through Lasts, in corresponding discrete degrees. Nothing is left out, all of it determined by God from start to finish.

Note also that the mental body is constructed out of mental organs arranged in discrete levels, the level above controlling the level below by correspondence.  Since God creates and manages all things in the universe by means of the laws of correspondences, the revelation of what these correspondences are now gives science the ability for the first time in history, to understand how mental things control physical things in the entire universe at all levels (see Section xx). You can see this clearly form the chart. The physical world and its phenomena are at the bottom of the chain of correspondences from God to the natural mind. God creates and maintains the phenomena in the physical world through the human mind and its layers from top down. (See the Layers Diagram.) This may seem fantastic to you! And yet it is true, and the study of theistic psychology can  proves it to your rational understanding.

Theism in science tries to show through a rational and scientific account, how God manages the universe through the mental world of eternity and by means of the laws of correspondences between the physical and the mental (see Section xx). These laws constitute built-in relationships from creation and cannot be altered. Now they have been revealed to humanity through the Writings Sacred Scripture written by Swedenborg (see Section xx). The laws of correspondences discovered by Swedenborg forms the scientific basis for theistic psychology and all of theistic science (see Section xx).

Keep studying the diagram called "born into eternity" discussed in this Section. Start thinking of people and of yourself in those terms and from that perspective. Give yourself the opportunity to see something new that you can understand rationally. Try thinking of the up-down direction of the chart as arranged in concentric figures:

This diagram portrays the anatomy of  a human being viewed in simultaneous order of discrete degrees, while the first chart called "born into eternity" and discussed above, portrays the successive order of discrete degrees that make up a human being. The successive order is usually portrayed as a top-down chart, while the simultaneous order is portrayed as concentric circles. What is at the top, or beginning, in the successive series,  becomes the inmost in the simultaneous series, and what was at the bottom of the successive series, now becomes the external of the entire construct.

Picturing this diagram in your understanding will help you have theistic x-ray vision, so to speak, when you are looking at your friend or any stranger, or looking at yourself in the mirror. You can say: This is me. I am immortal. I am looking at my external parts, which is my temporary physical body in time-space. But with my theistic psychology x-ray vision, as shown in this diagram, I can see rationally within myself. Within my physical body is my natural mind -- not physically within, but a discrete degree within. My natural mind corresponds to the input from my physical body. But my natural mind would not be human and rational unless it is made to operate in correspondence with my rational mind, which is a discrete degree within my natural mind. The correspondence action of the my rational mind upon my natural mind, keeps my natural mind operating rationally so that I don't have to be limited in my thinking to what I see sensuously through my senses. I can think abstractly about the sensuous mind, constructing rational accounts that order the sensuous mind into a rational logic. All this is accomplished by the fact that the natural mind is created to be in correspondence with the rational mind.

The diagram also tells me that my rational mind operates with a rational logic because it corresponds to the spiritual mind, which remains unconscious to our awareness until after my physical body dies. My spiritual mind is the mental organ that contains the human heavens in eternity.  And the only reason my spiritual mind can contain the human heavens is that the spiritual mind is created to correspond to good and truth flowing in from the Spiritual Sun that appears around God the Divine Human (see Section xx).

There you have it. You can now look into a human being from the external portion to the inmost portion. Later, as you begin to learn more and more about how each of these levels operate in your mind, you will realize how everything is integrated into a rational order that our mind can understand. God wants us to understand rationally the reality He has created for our sake, and is maintaining for our evolution into eternity. The true human life is in the spiritual mind, which is why all the portions of the mind below it are put to sleep and rendered inoperative. Once we are in eternity, all we need is the organ that contains heaven.

But sadly perhaps, a substantial portion of the human race in eternity -- which is of course immense by now -- does not dwell in their spiritual mind where heaven is, but in their natural-sensuous mind where hell is. There is nothing rational whatsoever in the thoughts and feelings we have in the hells of our mind. We are spiritually insane in our immortality if we maintain ourselves in that mental state out of our free choice (see Section xx). God always honors our free choices, so that if we prefer hellish feelings we can have that too in our immortality. So the spiritual mind which is the highest rational mind we can have, is shut down for them, and they dwell in the interior portions of their natural mind, living insanely, pitifully, and inhumanly (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

Note: The following transformation Table will help you understand the quoted paragraphs in terms of theistic psychology concepts. It will also illustrate for you the relationship between the literal sense of Sacred Scripture, which is intended for religion, and the spiritual scientific meaning that is hidden within it, but can be extracted from it by appropriate methods of extraction (see Section xx). Study both sides of the conversion table until you are able to reproduce them by memory.

 
LITERAL SENSE OF THE
WRITINGS SACRED SCRIPTURE
(for religion)
EXTRACTED SPIRITUAL SCIENTIFIC SENSE
(for theistic psychology and science)
the Lord God, the Divine Psychologist present in the mind of every human being (see Section xx)
** the Word;
** whatever stands in the literal or natural sense of the Word, enfolds and stands for something spiritual;
** every detail of the literal sense of the Word contains a correspondential sense.
** Sacred Scripture, Divine Speech, Doctrine of Truth, Scientific Revelations;
** theistic psychology as the spiritual scientific sense of Sacred Scripture that is extracted by the method prescribed in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx)
his body, natural, material physical body in time and space (see Section xx)
his soul, spirit, spiritual, spiritual body, his internal man our mental organs and mental body or mind, which is born in eternity (see Section xx)
** to correspond;
** natural-spiritual correspondences; ** permanent correspondence between the natural and spiritual events in a person's life
** the spiritual body has to be formed in the material one
**  there is something more interior which thinks and wills of which the body is the instrumental or material organ
cause-effect relationship between mental or spiritual events in eternity (cause) vs. natural or physical events in time-space (effect) (see Section xx);
** our mental body is born in eternity while the physical body is born in time, and the two until our death, are temporarily connected by the laws of correspondence (see Section xx)
** the mental body is "within" the physical body, not in terms of space, but in terms of discrete degrees
** the mental body causes the physical body to operate the way it does, including its anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics
** process of regeneration;
** regeneration is on the model of a person's conception, gestation in the womb, birth
** a truth which is to be instilled into good
** character reformation efforts in daily willing (affective organ) and thinking (cognitive organ)
** to make our willing and thinking conform to our rational understanding of theistic psychology;
** this prepares and enables our highest or heavenly mental organs to operate our immortal life in eternity
** without this lifelong preparation or character reformation, our life of immortality is restricted to our lowest mental organs called the hells (see Section xx)
** material body laid aside;
** the world where all things are spiritual;
** separation from the body
** the angels in heaven are from the human race
** death or separation from our physical body in time-space, which is followed a few hours later by conscious resuscitation in the mental world of eternity where we are co-present with all other human beings that were ever born anywhere (see Section xx)
** when we start our conscious life in the immortality of our rational mental organs, we receive the tile of heavenly spirits or angels, or conjugial angel couples (see Section xx)
** or else, we start our immortality in our corporeal mental organs, and we are then called devils, satans, dragons, sirens, and genii, depending on our evil or rationally insane character (see Section xx)
a process accomplished by the inflow of truths and various kinds of good from the Lord through the spiritual world from the Spiritual Sun in eternity there inflow into every human being's mental organs two immortal substances called spiritual light -- or Divine Truth, inflowing into our cognitive organ, and spiritual heat -- or Divine Good, inflowing into our affective organ (see Section xx)
this is not evident to him in his lifetime because of the obscurity, indeed the thick darkness brought about by earthly, physical, and worldly things ** while we are still connected to the physical body we are conscious in the natural mind which takes all its content from the physical environment through the sensory organs
** at death and resuscitation, our natural mind gradually becomes unconscious and we then live our conscious immortality in our spiritual mind, which until death remains unconscious (except for Swedenborg from age 57 to 84) (see Section xx)
the man cares nothing for heaven, for he then thinks of himself as he does of the brute animals our natural mind is in the negative bias mode of thinking until we allow it to acquire and develop rational concepts in the positive bias mode of thinking, such as the study of theistic psychology for the purpose of character reformation (see Section xx)

Now here are sections from several Numbers:

TCR 583. IV The process of regeneration is on the model of a person's conception, gestation in the womb, birth and upbringing.

The natural and spiritual events in a person's life, that is, what happens to his body and what to his spirit, are so ordered as permanently to correspond. The reason is that a person is by birth spiritual as regards his soul, and he is clothed with a natural form which is constituted by his material body. When therefore this is laid aside, his soul, clothed in his spiritual body, comes into the world where all things are spiritual, and there associates with people like him.

Now the spiritual body has to be formed in the material one, a process accomplished by the inflow of truths and various kinds of good from the Lord through the spiritual world. These are inwardly received by the person in such things belonging to the natural world as are called civil and moral; so it is evident how the process of formation takes place. Because, as already said, there is a permanent correspondence between the natural and spiritual events in a person's life, it follows that this process must resemble his conception, gestation in the womb, birth and upbringing.

That is why natural births in the Word mean spiritual births, that is, the birth of good and truth. For whatever stands in the literal or natural sense of the Word, enfolds and stands for something spiritual. I demonstrated fully in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture that every detail of the literal sense of the Word contains a correspondential sense. (TCR 583)

AC 3342 Such things also exist within man - for man is a spirit clothed with the body - as becomes clear from the fact that when anything spoken that is perceived by the ear rises up towards the more interior parts, it passes into mental images not unlike those of visual objects, and from these into conceptual ideas, and in this way one comes to perceive the sense of the words. Anyone who reflects on these matters properly may recognize from them that within him there is his spirit, which is his internal man, and also that he has this kind of ability to communicate following his separation from the body, for the same ability exists with him though this is not evident to him in his lifetime because of the obscurity, indeed the thick darkness brought about by earthly, physical, and worldly things. (AC 3342)

AC 1970. By genuine visions are meant visions or sights of such things in the other life as have real existence, and are nothing but actual things that can be seen by the eyes of the spirit and not by the eyes of the body, and that appear to a man when his interior sight is opened by the Lord (that is, the sight which his spirit has), and into which he comes when, separated from the body, he passes into the other life; for a man is a spirit clothed with a body. Such were the visions of the prophets. When this sight is opened, then those things which have actual existence with spirits are seen in clearer day than that of noon in this world, not only the representatives, but also the spirits themselves, together with a perception of who they are, also what they are, where they are, whence they come, whither they are going; also of what affection, what persuasion, nay of what faith they are (n. 1388, 1394), all confirmed by living speech, exactly as if it were human speech, and this free from all fallacy. (AC 1970)

AC 4364. Take as another example the truth that man is a spirit, and that he is clothed with a body while he lives in the world. This also is a truth which is to be instilled into good; for unless it has been so instilled, the man cares nothing for heaven, for he then thinks of himself as he does of the brute animals.

But this truth cannot be instilled except by means of special things, as by these-that the body which he carries about serves for uses in this world, namely, that he may see the things that are in the world with material eyes, and may act by material muscles, thereby having powers that are adapted to the heavy things in the world; and that nevertheless there is something more interior which thinks and wills of which the body is the instrumental or material organ; and that a man's spirit is himself, or the man himself, who acts and feels through these organic forms; and that he can confirm this by many of his own experiences if he is once in the belief that the case is so.  (AC 4364)

HH 453. MAN AFTER DEATH IS IN A COMPLETE HUMAN FORM
It can be confirmed from things already shown in several previous sections that the form of the spirit of man is the human form, that is, that the spirit is a man even in form, especially where it is shown that every angel is in a complete human form (n. 73-77); that in respect of his interiors every man is a spirit (n. 432-444); and that the angels in heaven are from the human race (n. 311-317).

[2] This can be seen still more clearly from the fact that it is by virtue of his spirit, and not by virtue of his body, that man is a man, and that the corporeal form is added to the spirit in accordance with the spirit's form, and not the reverse, for it is in accordance with its own form that the spirit is clothed with a body. Consequently, the spirit of man acts into every part of the body, even the minutest, insomuch that if any part is not actuated by the spirit, or the spirit is not active in it, it does not live. Anyone can know that this is true from this fact alone, that thought and will actuate all things and each thing of the body with such entire command that everything concurs, and anything that does not concur is not a part of the body, but is cast out as something without life; and thought and will belong, not to the body, but to the spirit of man.

[3] A spirit is not visible in the human form to man after it has been loosed from the body, nor does he see the spirit in another man, because the body's organ of sight, or its eye, so far as it sees in the world, is a material organ, and what is material can see only what is material, while what is spiritual sees what is spiritual. When, therefore, the material part of the eye becomes darkened and is deprived of its co-operation with the spiritual, then the spirits appear in their own form, which is the human form, not only the spirits who are in the spiritual world, but also the spirit of another man while it is yet in its body. (HH 453)

Study Questions: 1.0 to 1.0.1.2.2  (Report 1)

Week 3 Readings: Section 1.0 to 1.0.1.2.1

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 8

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 9

3.1.
(a) Describe your educational experience regarding the positive and negative bias in science.
(b) Describe your reaction to what this week's readings say about science education.

3.2.
(a) Describe your reaction to discovering that you are a dual citizen.
(b) Is this difficult for you to go along with as part of the positive bias in science?
(c) Describe the reaction of your friends or family with whom you discussed the course.

3.3.
(a) Give a description of the anatomy of a human being viewed in the positive bias in science as a dual citizen.
(b) How is this anatomy different from the anatomy you learned before?
(c) Describe your reaction to this new knowledge.

3.4.
(a) Explain the idea that there is only one mental world in the human race.
(b) How was this proven by Swedenborg?
(c) What are the potential consequences of this discovery for you and society once it becomes known?

3.5.
(a) What does it mean that we are "born into eternity"?
(b) How does this relate to God and the afterlife?
(c) How does it relate to the anatomy of our mental world?

3.6.
(a) Describe the correspondential relationship between the physical body and the mental body.
(b) How do they work together?
(c) How do you react to learning these facts about yourself?

3.7.
(a) Explain the relationship between Divine Speech and human minds. You'll need to include the concepts of "Spiritual Sun" and "spiritual substances."
(b) How do your friends react to the existence of a Spiritual Sun in eternity?

3.8.
(a) Explain the answer to "Where are you?" as viewed from the perspective of "substantive dualism."
(b) Try to teach this idea to your friends. What success did you have?

3.9.
(a) How would you prove that you are immortal? Think about it by reflecting on the new concepts in this week's readings. Make a list. Be sure you can define them to your own rational comprehension.
(b) Now present the proof to a friend or two.
(c) Describe their reactions and arguments.
(d) How do you interpret what happened?


 

1.0.1.2.2   Male Mind, Female Mind, and Conjoint Mind

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 193. (8) A woman is actually transformed into a wife according to the description in the book of creation. We are told in this book that woman was created from the rib of a man, and that when she was brought to him, the man said,

She...is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'Ishshah (Woman) because she was taken from 'Ish (Man). (Genesis 2:22-24)

In the Word, a rib from the breast symbolically means, in its spiritual sense, not a rib but natural truth. This is the symbolism of the ribs which the bear carried between its teeth in Daniel 7:5; for bears symbolize people who read the Word in its natural sense and see truths there without understanding. The breast of a man symbolizes that essential and distinctive quality which makes it different in character from the breast of a woman. This quality is wisdom, as may be seen above in no. 187; for truth supports wisdom, as a rib supports the breast. These distinctive qualities are symbolized, because the breast is where all the qualities of a person are, so to speak, at their center.

[2] It follows from this that woman was created from man by a transmission and replication of his distinctive wisdom, which is formed from natural truth, and that man's love for this wisdom was transferred to woman so as to become conjugial love; moreover, that the purpose of this was to replace love of self in man with love for his wife, who, from a nature innate in her, cannot help but turn the love of self in man to his love for her. I have been told, too, that this comes about as a result of the wife's love, without either the man or the wife being conscious of it. It is because of this that no one is ever able to love his partner with a truly conjugial love so long as he is possessed of a conceit in his own intelligence from a love of self.

[3] Once this secret of the creation of woman from man has been understood, it can be seen that in marriage a woman is similarly created or formed, so to speak, from her husband, and that this transformation is brought about by the wife - or rather, through the wife by the Lord, who infuses into women the inclination to achieve it. For a wife receives into her an image of her husband by assimilating his affections into her (see above, no. 173); by uniting the internal will of her husband with hers (concerning which below); and also by incorporating into her the propagations of his soul (of which also below).

It is apparent from this that a woman is transformed into a wife according to the description in the book of creation understood in respect to its inner meaning, and that she is transformed through the qualities she takes from her husband and his "breast" and implants in herself. (CL 193)

CL 194. (9) This transformation is accomplished by the wife in secret ways, which is what is meant by woman's having been created while the man slept. We read in the book of creation that Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam so that he slept, and that He then took one of the man's ribs and fashioned it into a woman (Genesis 2:21,22). This sleep and the man's sleeping symbolize a man's complete ignorance that his wife is transformed and, so to speak, created from him. This is apparent from observations made in the preceding chapter, and also in this one, respecting wives' innate discretion and prudence not to divulge anything of their love, not even of their adopting their husband's life's affections and of their thus transfusing his wisdom into them.

It is clear from what we presented before in nos. 166-168ff that a wife does this without her husband's knowing and while he is, so to speak, asleep, thus that she does it in secret ways. We also showed in the same numbers that the prudence needed to accomplish it is instinctive in women from creation, thus from birth, for reasons that are necessary in building conjugial love, friendship and trust, so that the two may have bliss in living together and happiness of life.

In order that this may come about as it should, therefore, it was enjoined on man that he leave father and mother and cling to his wife (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4,5). [Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture]

[2] The father and mother a man is to leave mean, in a spiritual sense, the inherent nature of his will and the inherent nature of his intellect (the inherent nature of a person's will being to love itself, and the inherent nature of a person's intellect being to love its own wisdom). And to cling means to commit himself to love of his wife. These two inherent natures are evil and deadly to a man if they remain in him, but the love arising from the two is turned into conjugial love as a man clings to his wife, that is, as he acquires a love for her, as may be seen just above in no. 193, and elsewhere.

(It can be amply demonstrated from passages elsewhere in the Word that to be asleep symbolically means to be unaware or oblivious; that father and mother symbolically mean the two inherent natures of a person, one of the will and one of the intellect; and that to cling symbolically means to commit oneself to love for something. But it would be out of place to do it here.)

CL 195. (10) This transformation is accomplished by the wife by a union of her will with the inner will of her husband. It may be seen above in nos. 163-165 that a man has an intellectual wisdom and a moral wisdom, and that a wife unites herself with those qualities in her husband that have to do with his moral wisdom. Qualities that are matters of intellectual wisdom form a man's understanding, and qualities that are matters of moral wisdom form his will. A wife unites herself with those qualities which form her husband's will. (Whether one says that a wife unites herself, or that she unites her will, with the will of her husband, it amounts to the same thing, because a wife is born will-oriented, and therefore she does what she does in accord with her will.)

We say that it is a union with her husband's inner will, because a man's will has its seat in his intellect, and the intellectual quality of man is the inmost quality in woman, in accordance with observations we have made before, in no. 32 and several times since, regarding the formation of woman from man. Men also have an outward will, but this very frequently comes of pretense or concealment. A wife sees it, but she does not unite herself with it, except perhaps in a feigned or playful way. (CL 195)

CL 196. (11) This to the end that the will of the one and the will of the other may become one will, and the two partners thus one person. This is the goal, for anyone who joins the will of another to himself also joins to himself the other's intellect. Indeed, regarded in itself, the intellect is only a servant and agent of the will. The fact of this is clearly apparent from the way an affection arising from love impels the intellect to think as it bids. Every affection arising from love is a property of the will, for what a person loves, this he also wills.

It follows from this that anyone who joins the will of another person to himself, joins to himself the whole person. That is why it is instinctive in a wife's love to unite her husband's will to her own, for in this way the wife becomes one who belongs to her husband, and the husband one who belongs to his wife. Thus the two become one person. (CL 196)

CL 197. (12) This transformation is accomplished by an adoption of the husband's affections. This point goes along with the two preceding discussions, since affections are matters of the will. For affections are simply the offspring of love, and they form the will, molding it and composing it. In men, however, these affections reside in the intellect, whereas in women they reside in the will. (CL 197)

CL 198. (13) This transformation is accomplished by the wife by her reception of the propagations of her husband's soul with delight - a delight arising from her willing to be an embodiment of love for her husband's wisdom. Since this accords with points already explained before in nos. 172, 173, further explanation is omitted here.

In wives, conjugial delights take their rise from no other source than their willing to be united with their husbands, as good is united with truth in a marriage of these on the plane of the spirit. We separately showed in its own chapter that conjugial love descends from this marriage.* It can be seen in consequence, as though in a mirror, that a wife joins her husband to her as good joins truth to it; also that a husband joins himself to his wife in return according to his reception of her love in him, as truth joins itself to good in return, according to its reception of good in it. Thus it can be seen that a wife's love takes form through the wisdom of her husband, as good takes form through truth; for truth is what gives form to good.

It is apparent from this as well, then, that conjugial delights in a wife come principally from her willing to be united with her husband, consequently from her willing to be an embodiment of love for her husband's wisdom. For she then feels the delights of her warmth in the light of her husband, as explained under heading (4), nos. 188, 189. (CL 198)

CL 199 (14) A maiden is thus transformed into a wife, and a youth into a husband. This follows as a consequence from what we have already said in this and the previous chapter respecting the union of married partners into one flesh.

A maiden turns or is turned into a wife because a wife has elements in her taken from her husband, thus elements acquired which did not exist in her before as an unmarried woman. A youth turns or is turned into a husband because a husband has elements in him taken from his wife, which heighten the capacity in him for receiving love and wisdom, elements which did not exist in him before as an unmarried man. However, this is the case with people who are in a state of truly conjugial love. Among them are some who feel as though they are a united person and virtually one flesh (as may be seen in the preceding chapter, no. 178).

It is apparent from this that a maidenly state is transformed into a wifely one in women, and a youthful state into a husbandly one in men.

[2] I was convinced of the fact of this from the following experience in the spiritual world:

Some men said that the relationship a man has with a woman before marriage and the relationship he has with his wife after marriage are similar. When they heard this, their wives became very offended and said, "They are not at all alike! The difference is as the difference between fantasy and reality."

To this the men retorted, "Are you not women as before?" To which their wives responded with rising voice, "We are not 'women' but wives! The love you feel is a fantasy love and not a real one; therefore you speak in fantasy terms."

The men then said, "If you are not 'women,' still you are married women." But they replied, "In the early days of marriage we were married women; now, however, we are wives." (CL 199)

CL 200. (15) In a marriage of one man with one wife, in which there is a truly conjugial love between them, the wife becomes more and more a wife, and the husband more and more a husband. It may be seen above in nos. 177, 178, that truly conjugial love joins two partners more and more into one person. So, because a wife becomes a wife by union with her husband and according to that union, likewise a husband a husband by union with his wife and according to it, and because truly conjugial love lasts to eternity, it follows that a wife becomes more and more a wife, and a husband more and more a husband.

The fundamental reason for this is that in a marriage of truly conjugial love, each partner becomes more and more deeply human, for that love opens the deeper aspects of their minds, and as these are opened, a person becomes more and more human. To become more human is, on the part of a wife, to become more a wife; and on the part of a husband, to become more a husband.

I have heard from angels that a wife becomes more and more a wife as her husband becomes more and more a husband; however, not so much the reverse. The reason, they said, is that a chaste wife rarely if ever fails to love her husband, but what fails is her being loved by her husband in return. They also said that this failure is attributable to a lack of elevation in his wisdom, which alone receives the love of a wife. (Respecting this wisdom, see nos. 130, 163-165.) But this they said in reference to marriages on earth. (CL 200)

CL 201. (16) Their forms are also thus progressively perfected and ennobled from within. The human form is most perfect and most noble when by marriage two forms become one form, thus when the flesh of two becomes one flesh, in accordance with the story of their creation. The husband's mind is then elevated into a higher light, and the wife's mind into a higher warmth, and they then burgeon, blossom and bear fruit, like trees in springtime (as may be seen above in nos. 188, 189).

We will see in the discussion that follows next that the ennobling of this form results in the birth of noble fruits - spiritual fruits in heaven, natural fruits on earth. (CL 201)

Study the following anatomical charts of single and married men and women. Try to memorize them. It's a good idea to print the charts so you can have in front of you as you read the discussion that follows the charts. Look at the charts frequently as you read the paragraphs. This will make it it meaningful and satisfying. You will be able to avoid confusion or obscurity and vagueness in your mind. All this should be crystal clear, which is why the charts are provided to you.

A man's mind is the converse of a woman's mind. The human mind contains affective and cognitive organs at various levels and relative functions (see Section xx). In a man's natural mind the affective organ is located inwardly relative to the cognitive organ, but the converse is the case with a woman's natural mind -- her affective organ is located outwardly relative to her cognitive organ. This is portrayed in the diagram below. But note that with the spiritual mind, man's affective organ is inmost relative to his cognitive organ, and the converse is the case with a woman's spiritual mind -- the cognitive organ is inmost relative to the affective organ. Make sure you locate this difference on the chart so you can memorize it.

Now what happens when a man and a woman are conjoined mentally by the acceptance of marriage as a spiritual or eternal union (see Section 11.4.10.1). When husband and wife live their married life according to this principle of eternal union, their thoughts and feelings become interdependent or conjoined. A new mental organ is created out of the husband and wife, which is called the conjoint self (see Section 11.4.11). The following chart shows this process of conjoining in two stages. Start from the bottom:

The first stage is called the external marriage. The conjoint self is built up from the husband's external cognitive organ in the natural mind, which receives the substance of external truth from his unconscious spiritual mind. His reception of external truth is conjoined with the wife's external affective organ in her natural mind, which receives the substance of external good. This shows that a wife and a husband are totally different in the physiological composition of the conscious natural mind. Nothing in a man's mind can be like anything in a woman's mind, and vice versa. The logical consequence of this is that nothing in a man's physical body can be like anything in a woman's physical body, and vice versa. Why? because there is a correspondence between the mental body and the physical body (see Section xx). Modern medicine is slowly coming to the realization that drug and health research on men are not directly applicable to women, hence more and more research effort is allocated to woman's medicine, reversing the earlier trend of exclusive male medicine.

Unless the mental body of a man and a woman were completely reciprocals of each other, full and total conjunction between them would not be possible, hence the human heavens would not be possible because these are built within the conjoint self of a married couple.

This is worth repeating, so important it is for you to know it and take into account when you are thinking about yourself and your relationships in the positive bias in science mode. Full and total conjunction, or unity marriage, is possible between the husband and the wife because their mental bodies are constructed as anatomical reciprocal of each other. This is the principle of unity through differentiation and reciprocity (see Section 11.3.2). The consequence of this physiological difference is that a man and a woman may think of the same thing, and yet not have the same meaning -- which may lead to issues in communication (see Section xx). It is the same with emotions like fear, pleasure, anger, loyalty, etc. -- each is different in a man's mind as compared to a woman's mind. They may use the same dictionary definition and pass the same SAT exams -- yet women and men will have reciprocal meanings for words and things. They overlap enough for external communication, but not enough for internal communication, which is called mental intimacy (see Section xx). The husband achieves mental intimacy with his wife in proportion his willingness to align his thinking operations in the cognitive organ, with the wife's willing operations or states in the affective organ -- as you can see portrayed from the chart above, Stage 1.

The second stage is called the internal marriage. The internal conjoint self is built up from the wife's internal cognitive organ (thinking operations), which receives the substance of internal truth from her spiritual mind -- conjoined with the husband's internal cognitive organ, which receives the substance of internal truth from his spiritual mind (see chart).

To summarize (try memorizing this):

Mental conjunction between a husband and a wife always involves an affective and a cognitive organ. In the external marriage, this conjunction involves the natural mind (Stage 1) by means of external truth in the husband's cognitive organ and external good in the wife's affective organ. In the internal marriage, this conjunction involves the spiritual mind (Stage 2) by means of internal truth in the wife's cognitive organ and internal good in the husband's affective organ. When the internal marriage is functional and operative, the external marriage is an external correspondence of the internal marriage. The couple is then in the unity model of marriage (see Section 11.3).

What is external truth and good in the natural mind vs. internal good and truth in the spiritual mind?

Remember that good and truth are spiritual substances streaming out from the Spiritual sun around the God the Divine Human (see Section xx). Remember also that the mental organs are constructed to function as receptors of spiritual light (cognitive organ) and spiritual heat (affective organ). These substances then inflow and are received differently by a man ad a woman since their mental body physiology is reciprocal and differentiated (see Section xx). This is like sunlight from our sun entering different sorts of plants. It is the same sunlight, and heat within it, but each plant does something different with it, according to its genetic species. This occurs because the operations in the physical body are correspondences of their causes in the mental body.

Since women receive spiritual heat and light differently relative to each other, and in a reciprocal or converse manner relative to men, you can see that the consequence of this physiology is that a woman's mental operations will be differentiated from a man's mental operations.

The realization of these anatomical differences between the mental body of men and women will help couples to understand rationally what they must be willing to do in order to achieve a conjoint self in an internal marriage that will last to eternity or never end. Both the husband and the woman must be willing to grow into new selves that are no longer independent mentally. This is the conjoint self. The heaven of eternity is constructed out of this conjoint self. That is, the conjugial human heavens are built within this conjoint self, just as your heart and lungs are built within your physical body. This would be equivalent to being joined twins, as with some unusual births. Imagine they have only one circulatory system and only one respiratory system.

In the mental body of the celestial couple in a unity marriage, the husband's affective organ is conjoined with the wife's cognitive organ.  This unity shows both here on earth through the conscious natural mind and in eternity through the spiritual mind. Here on earth, the internal marriage shows externally by the observable harmony, agreement, and inmost friendship that the two married lovers and soul mates have for each other, with never an exception. Swedenborg reports that in the world of the afterlife, this harmony between a wife and her husband shows itself by a beautiful visual phenomenon: When a husband and wife are seen from a distance, only one angel walking is seen, but when they draw near, a husband and a wife angel couple are seen.

Also, when Swedenborg was having a conversation with some angel husbands in their conjugial heavens, they showed him that the wife of each was present, though not visible to Swedenborg's eyes. When the wife of one of the husbands became visible to him, Swedenborg saw on her facial expression whatever the husband was taking about, so intimate was their mental union. In that state of conjugial heaven, it is not possible for a man to think of something without his wife's willing also be involved. Hence he could not think anything that is disagreeable to the wife. When a couple here on earth is committed to reaching a unity relationship, the husband can think less and less that which his wife would disapprove of.

Women inherit a mental body that is powerfully oriented toward external conjunction with a man they select for that purpose through affections and love for him. As the chart shows in Stage 1, the woman wills to conjoin her willing (affective organ) with the husband's thinking (cognitive organ).  In this process (Stage 1), the woman leads and prompts and urges. She learns this as a girl, socialized to become a man's "helper" and "mate." She learns the skills of taking care of men -- father, brother, boyfriend, boss, children. A girl friend quickly learns and acquires her boyfriend's way of thinking about many things they share together. During Stage 1, the man cruises in the relationship, almost taking a passive role and enjoying all his male prerogatives like being served and taken care of in many ways he enjoys. Now in order for the marriage to become mentally intimate and move on to Stage 2, the husband has to take the lead by willing himself to conjoin his wife's internal truth, rationality, and wisdom, to his internal love or good. It is out of this union that the conjugial heavens are built for their eternal happiness and bliss (see Section xx). If the man is unwilling to do this, the marriage cannot go on to Stage 2. As a result, they will not be together in the afterlife.

Swedenborg reports that women who remain in an external marriage here on earth because their husband is unwilling, are given to meet a suitable man after resuscitation.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 56. The Second Memorable Relation:
Once, while talking with angels in the world of spirits, I was inspired with a pleasant desire to see the Temple of Wisdom which I had seen once before;* and I asked them the way. They said, "Follow the light and you will find it." I said, "What do you mean by "Follow the light"?" and they said: "Our light shines more and more brightly as we draw nearer to that temple. Therefore, follow the light according to the increase of its brightness; for our light proceeds from the Lord as a Sun, and hence, considered in itself, is wisdom."

Then, walking in company with two angels, I followed the increasing brightness of the light and ascended by a steep path to the summit of a hill which lay in the southern quarter. There was a magnificent gate there. Seeing the angels with me, the keeper opened it and, lo, there was seen an avenue of palm trees and laurels, and along this we walked. It was a winding avenue and terminated in a garden in the midst of which was the TEMPLE OF WISDOM. As I looked around me, I saw also small buildings, similar to the temple, and in them were wise men. We approached one of these buildings and, at the entrance, spoke to the host there and told him the reason of our coming and the manner of our approach. He then said, "Welcome; come in; be seated and let us join together in discourse on wisdom.:

[2] Within the house, I saw that it was divided into two and yet was one. It was divided into two by a transparent partition; and it seemed to be one because of the transparency of the partition which was as though of purest crystal. I asked why this was the case. He said, "I am not alone. My wife is with me; and we are two and yet not two but one flesh."

I then said, "I know that you are a wise man, but what has a wise man or wisdom to do with woman?" At this our host, with some indignation, changed countenance. He then stretched out his hand and, lo, from neighboring houses other wise men were present. To these, he said jestingly, "Our new-comer here, for the purpose of learning, asks what a wise man or wisdom has to do with woman?" At this they all laughed and said, "What is a wise man or wisdom without woman, that is, without love? The wife is the love of a wise man's wisdom."

[3] Our host then said, "Let us now join together in some discourse on wisdom. Let the discourse be concerning causes, and for the present concerning the cause of the beauty of the female sex." They then spoke in turn. The first gave this as the cause: "Women were created, by the Lord, affections of the wisdom of men; and the affection of wisdom is beauty itself." A second gave this: "Woman was created by the Lord through the wisdom of man because from man. Hence, being a form of wisdom inspired with the affection of love, and the affection of love being life itself, woman is the life of wisdom. The male is wisdom, and the life of wisdom is beauty." A third gave this: "To women is given a perception of the delights of conjugial love; and because their whole body is an organ of that perception, it cannot be otherwise than that the abode of the delights of conjugial love with its perception is beauty."

[4] A fourth gave this: "The Lord has taken the beauty and grace of life from man and transcribed them into woman. Hence, without reunion with his beauty and grace in woman, a man is stern, austere, dry, and unlovely; nor is he wise save for himself alone, and then he is stupid. But when man is united with his beauty and grace of life in his wife, he becomes agreeable, pleasant, animated, and lovely, and thus wise." A fifth gave this: "Women are created beauties for the sake not of themselves but of men, that men, of themselves hard, may be softened; that their minds, of themselves severe, may become mild, and their hearts, of themselves cold, warm; and they do become such when they become one flesh with their wives."

[5] A sixth gave this: "The universe was created by the Lord a most perfect work; but in that universe nothing was created more perfect than woman, beautiful in face and graceful in manners; and this to the end that man may render thanks to the Lord for this bounty, and may repay it by the reception of wisdom from Him.

After these and many like sentiments had been expressed, the wife appeared through the crystal partition and said to her husband, "Speak, if you please." And when he spoke, the life of wisdom from his wife was perceived in his speech; for her love was in the tone of his voice. Thus experience bore witness to truth.

After this we examined the Temple of wisdom, and also its paradisal surroundings, and then, filled thereby with joy, we departed, and, passing through the avenue to the gate, went down by the way we had come.
* See APOCALYPSE REVEALED (published in 1766), n. 875; the present work was published in 1768. (CL 56)

CL 57. LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL
Conjugial love is of infinite variety, not being the same with one person as with another. With many it does indeed appear to be the same, but it appears so only before the judgment of the body, and from this judgment, seeing that it is gross and dull, man has little discernment of such things. By the judgment of the body is meant the judgment of the mind from the external senses. Before those who see from the judgment of the spirit, the differences are apparent; and more distinctly apparent before those who can elevate the sight of this judgment still higher, which is done by its withdrawal from the senses and its exaltation into higher light. Such men can then confirm themselves by the understanding and so can see that conjugial love is not the same with one person as with another.

Yet no one can see the infinite varieties of that love in any light of the understanding, even though elevated, unless he first know the nature of the love itself in its essence and integrity; thus its nature when together with life it was implanted in man by God. Unless its state then be known, a state which was most perfect, its differences cannot be discovered by any inquiry, there being no stable point from which, as a commencement, those differences can be deduced, and to which, by keeping it in view, they can refer themselves and so be seen truly and not fallaciously.

This is the reason why we have set out to describe this love in its genuine essence; and, since it was in this essence when together with life it was infused into man by God, to describe it as it was in its primeval state. In this state it was truly conjugial, and therefore this chapter is entitled LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL. The description shall be given in the following order:

I. That there is a love truly conjugial, which is so rare at this day that it is not known what it is and scarcely that it is.

II. That the origin of this love is from the marriage of good and truth.

III. That the correspondence of this love is with the marriage of the Lord and the Church.

IV. That, regarded from its origin and correspondence, this love is celestial, spiritual, holy, pure, and clean, above every love which is from the Lord with the angels of heaven and the men of the Church.
V. That it is also the fundamental love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and thence of all natural loves.

VI. And that into this love are gathered all joys and delights from their first to their last.

VII. But that no others come into this love and can be in it save those who approach the Lord, love the truths of the Church and do its goods.

VIII. That this love was the love of loves with the ancients who lived in the Golden, Silver, and Copper Ages, but that afterwards it gradually departed.
The explanation of these points now follows: (CL 57)

CL 58. I. THAT THERE IS A LOVE TRULY CONJUGIAL, WHICH IS SO RARE AT THIS DAY THAT IT IS NOT KNOWN WHAT IT IS AND SCARCELY THAT IT IS. That there is a conjugial love such as is described in the following pages, can indeed be acknowledged from the first state of that love when it is insinuating itself and entering into the heart of a young man and woman; thus as it is with those who begin to love one only of the sex and to desire her as their bride; and still more during the time of betrothal and during the continuance of this time as it progresses towards the nuptials, and then in the nuptial ceremony and during the first days that follow. Who does not then give acknowledgment and consent to the following: That this love is the fundamental of all loves, and that into it are gathered all joys and all delights from their first to their last.

And who does not know, that after this happy time these states of gladness successively decline and pass away till at last the married pair become scarcely sensible of them? If it be said to them then, as before, that this love is the fundamental of all loves and that into it is gathered every joy and gladness, they neither assent to it nor acknowledge it, and perhaps they will say that these are idle words or that they are transcendental mysteries. It is evident from this, that the primitive love of marriage emulates love truly conjugial and presents it to view in an image; and this because love of the sex, which is unchaste, is then cast out and, implanted in its place, resides love of one of the sex, which is love truly conjugial and is chaste. Who does not then look upon other women with a loveless nod and upon his own with a loving? (CL 58)

CL 59. The reason why love truly conjugial is so rare that it is not known what it is and scarcely that it is, is because the state of pleasure before the nuptials is afterwards changed into a state of indifference arising from insensibility to that pleasure. The causes of this change of state are more than can here be adduced, but they will be adduced in the following pages when the causes of colds, separations, and divorces are disclosed in their order. There it will be seen that with most men at this day, the image and with it the knowledge of conjugial love is so far effaced that it is not known what it is and scarcely that it is.
It is known that every man when born is merely corporeal, and that from being corporeal he becomes natural, more and more interior, and then rational, and finally spiritual. The reason why this takes place progressively, is because the corporeal is as the ground wherein, in their due order, are implanted things natural, rational, and spiritual; thus the man becomes more and more a man.

[2] It is almost the same when he enters into marriage; the man then becomes a fuller man because conjoined with a consort with whom he acts as one man. In the first state, spoken of above, this is effected in an image; then in like manner he commences from the corporeal and advances into the natural, but now as to the conjugial life and hence as to conjunction into a one. They who then love corporeal natural things, and only from them love things rational, cannot be conjoined with a consort as into a one except as to those externals. And when the externals fail, cold invades the internals and dispels the delights of that love, first expelling them from the mind and so from the body, and then from the body and so from the mind, and this until nothing is left of the remembrance of the early state of their marriage, and consequently no knowledge concerning it.

Now since this is the case with most men at the present day, it is clear that it is not known what love truly conjugial is and scarcely that it is. Not so with those who are spiritual. With them, the first state is an initiation into perpetual states of happiness; and these states are promoted in the degree that the spiritual rational of the mind of the one, and from this the sensual natural of the body, conjoins and unites itself with that of the other. But such men are rare. (CL 59)

CL 60. II. THAT THE ORIGIN OF THIS LOVE IS FROM THE MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH. Being a universal truth, it is acknowledged by every intelligent man that all things in the universe have relation to good and truth. It must also be acknowledged that in each and everything of the universe, good is conjoined with truth and truth with good, for this also is a universal truth cohering with the other. The reason why all things in the universe have relation to good and truth, and why good is conjoined with truth and truth with good, is because both proceed from the Lord, and proceed from Him as a one. The two things which proceed from the Lord are love and wisdom, for these are Himself and are therefore from Him; and all things pertaining to love are called goods, and all pertaining to wisdom are called truths. And since these two proceed from Him as the Creator, it follows that these two are in the things created. This can be illustrated by the heat and light which proceed from the sun. From these are all things on the earth, it being according to their presence and according to their conjunction that things germinate; and natural heat corresponds to spiritual heat which is love, and natural light to spiritual light which is wisdom. (CL 60)

CL 61. That conjugial love proceeds from the marriage of good and truth will be shown in the treatise or chapter that follows. It is mentioned here merely that it may be seen that this love is celestial, spiritual, and holy, because from a celestial, spiritual, and holy origin. That it may be seen that the origin of conjugial love is from the marriage of good and truth, it is important that here something concerning it be presented in a brief summary. It was said just above, that there is a conjunction of good and truth in each and every created thing, and conjunction is not possible unless it be reciprocal, for conjunction from the one side and not in turn from the other is dissolved of itself. Now since there is a conjunction of good and truth, and since it is reciprocal, it follows that there is a truth of good or truth from good and a good of truth or good from truth. That the truth of good or truth from good is in the male and is the masculine itself, and that the good of truth or good from truth is in the female and is the feminine itself, and that there is a conjugial union between these two, will be shown in the chapter that next follows. It is mentioned here that some preliminary idea may be had concerning it. (CL 61)

        1.0.1.2.2.1   The Mental Origin of Semen

The origin of every single thing in the natural world of time-space is a thing in the spiritual world of eternity. The spiritual thing is the cause and the natural thing that corresponds to it is the effect. Nothing can exist in the natural world that is not an effect of something in the spiritual world. So the cause must occur first in the mental world of eternity before any effect can exist in the natural world of time-space. This is the law of correspondences that God created to maintain control over the various layers of things in both worlds (see Section xx).

Here we are considering the cause or origin of human semen in particular, but also all seeds that germinate and reproduce in the plant world. The spiritual cause of the power to inseminate and reproduce in the natural world is a truth in the mental world. If human beings lost the ability to comprehend and love truths revealed by God in Sacred Scripture, truths would disappear from the mental world of eternity. At the same time, all seed and semen, all biological reproduction, would cease on earth. Put the truths back in the mental world, and the power to produce semen or seed, returns to earth.

The ancient people on this planet, before industrialization and civilization began as we know it, possessed the science of correspondences and applied it to draw out information from the correspondential sense. This is how they knew that the semen and seed are produced by correspondence from truths in the mind of humanity. All truths in the mind originate and inflow from God through the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture: [explanations in square brackets are not in the original] [ ]

CL 220. (11) The sexual abundance men have is according to their love of propagating the truths of their wisdom and according to their love of performing useful services.

[This says that a man's physical semen is produced in the testicles by the dualist laws of cause-effect correspondence. The cause is the man's love of transmitting truths to others and his love of making use of truths to improve things;. the effect is the "abundant" production of semen in the testicles.]

That this is the case is one of the secrets known to people of ancient times and which today have been lost. In ancient times people knew that each and every activity that takes place in the body does so from a spiritual origin.

They knew, for example, that actions flow from the will [affective organ], which in itself is spiritual [mental]; that speech flows from thought [cognitive organ], which likewise is spiritual; also that natural sight [sensorimotor organ] results from spiritual sight [cognitive organ], which is one of the intellect; that natural hearing [sensorimotor organ] results from spiritual hearing [affective with cognitive organ], which is an attention of the intellect [cognitive organ] and at the same time a conformity of the will [affective organ]; and that the natural sense of smell [sensorimotor organ] results from a spiritual [mental] one, which is perception [affective organ]; and so on.

In similar manner the ancients saw that a man's power of insemination [semen] stems from a spiritual [mental] origin; and from many evidences of both reason [science] and experience [empirical observation] they concluded that it [semen] results from the truths of which the intellect consists [cognitive organ].

Moreover, they said that from the spiritual marriage [conjunction, synergy] that exists between goodness [spiritual heat] and truth [spiritual light], which flows into each and every thing in the universe [from the Spiritual Sun], nothing else is received by members of the male sex but truth [spiritual light received in the cognitive organ] and what relates to truth [science, rationality]; and that this, in its descent into the body [correspondence from spiritual substance to natural matter], is formed into seed or sperm (which is why seeds, spiritually interpreted, mean truths) [wherever the word "seed" in the literal sense appears in Sacred Scripture, God is actually discussing "truths" in the mental world]

[2] Regarding the process, they said that the male soul, being intellectual  in nature [cognitive organ predominates] is therefore truth [inflowing spiritual light]; for anything intellectual in nature is nothing else. Consequently as the soul descends, truth also descends. This is so, they said, because the soul is the inmost element in man and in every animal, and in its essence is spiritual [mental]; and from an inherent effort towards its propagation, in its descent it seeks and endeavors to reproduce itself.

Then, when this happens, the whole soul [inmost anatomy of the mind]  forms itself and clothes itself [achieves a correspondence in the natural world]  and becomes [physical] seed or sperm.

Moreover, this can take place thousands and thousands of times, they said, because the soul [mental genes of an individual]  is a spiritual essence [mental substance, spiritual heat and light] , which does not have dimension but repleteness [completion, unity], and from which there is no taking away a part, but instead a reproducing of the whole without any loss to it [like making a digital copy] . As a result, the soul is as fully present in its tiniest vessels, which are the seeds or sperm, as it is in its largest one, which is the body [just as there is a full set of genes in every cell] .

[3] So then, since truth in the soul [spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun in the mental world] is the origin of the seed or sperm [in the physical world], it follows that the sexual abundance [physical semen] men have is according to their love [mental] of propagating the truths of their wisdom [cognitive organ] .

It is also according to their love of performing useful services, because useful services are the good effects which truths produce. Some people know in the world as well that the diligent have an abundance, and not the lazy.

I once asked how something female can be generated from the soul of a man [spiritual genes are transmitted by the father only]. The answer I received was that it originates from good [spiritual heat in the affective organ] in the intellect [cognitive organ], because this in its essence is truth [spiritual light substance]; for the intellect [cognitive organ] can think that something is good, thus thinking as true that this something is good. It is different with the will [affective organ]. This does not think about goodness and truth but loves them and does them.

Therefore, in the Word, sons symbolize truths, and daughters, qualities of goodness (as may be seen above in no. 120); and when seed is mentioned in the Word, it symbolizes truth. (CL 220)

Anatomically from the female soul they have, women predominantly receive spiritual heat substance into their affective organ, while men predominantly receive spiritual light substance into their cognitive organ. Semen corresponds to truths or spiritual light. Hence it is that men, having a predominant cognitive organ, have semen, while women, having a predominant affective organ, do not have semen, but instead, have the capacity to receive semen, which men do not. Receiving semen and using it as a blueprint for conception and pregnancy, is a power women have because of they receive spiritual heat into their predominant affective organ. Thus, men and women each have their reciprocal spiritual function in order to achieve reproduction of new life. The source of this ability is spiritual light and spiritual heat from the Spiritual Sun, thus from God (see Section xx).

It is the good and truth in God's affective and cognitive organs that constitute the infinite source of the Spiritual Sun. From God's affective organ, infinite good and love flows out and into the mental world of humanity in the form of spiritual heat and light entering the affective and cognitive organs respectively, but in different or reciprocal order of predominance for men and women, thus creating gender and reproduction.

Conjugial couples who are in their spiritual mind in eternity (or "heaven"), do not have physical semen or physical reproduction of children. Physical semen or seed must be present for reproduction on earth to take place. This is not possible in the mental world of eternity where there is no physical anything. Hence physical birth and reproduction is not possible in the mental world of eternity. Instead, mental births occur, that is, the birth of mental things like new ideas, now insights, new truths. These are the mental children couples have in heaven. And as couples in their heavens produce more and more new ideas of truth and insights or realizations (spiritual offspring), the more physical semen and reproduction can occur on earth, and all the inhabited earths in the physical universe, which is endless.

Week 4  Readings: Section 1.0.1.2.2  (Report 1)

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 6

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 7

4.1.
(a) Describe the mental physiology of men and women.
(b) How do you relate to this anatomical difference? Will it make a difference to your life in any way?

4.2.
(a) Describe the physiology involved in the two stages of marriage. Consult Volume 11, Section 11.4.5 "Conjunction Dynamics in Marriage" at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch11.htm#conjunction-dynamics
Write out your own explanations and draw your own diagrams.
(b) When you are ready, explain it to one or two friends. What difficulty did you run into?
(c) What is your conclusion?

4.3.
(a) Explain why the mental body of men and women have to be reciprocals of each other in order to achieve conjugial unity.
(b) How do you assimilate this piece of knowledge in the positive bias in science mode?

4.4.
(a) Read  the book Flatland at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/flatland.pdf
Do you see similarities between its ideas and what you know of the mental world of eternity?

4.5.
(a) Do a google search on marriage. What impressions do you get from this? Summarize the trends and ideas that seem to dominate this topic.
(b) How would theistic psychology fit into this?

4.6.
(a) Describe the the mental physiology of men and women.
(b) Discuss it with a friend or two. What difficulties do you encounter when explaining this to them?
(c) What is your conclusion?

4.7.
(a) Read at least five of the student reports on marriage listed at:
        www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy26/409b-g26-lecture-notes.htm#readings
and discuss your overall impression of them.

Study Questions:  1.0.1.3 to 1.0.7  (Report 2)

Week 5  Readings: Section 1.0.1.3 to 1.0.5.4

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 8

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 9

5.1.
(a) Describe the psychobiology of "conjunction" with God from the perspective of the positive bias in science. You need to include the concept of how thoughts and feelings are spiritual substances operating inside mental organs.
(b) Explain why this is called psychobiology. Explain the degrees of conjunction.
(c) What happens to this psychobiology when we are in the negative bias in science?
(b) How do you see this concept as applying to you?

5.2.
(a) Describe the infrastructure of physical things from the perspective of substantive dualism.
(b) Show that the inmost of any object is the mental world of humanity.
(c) How does this change the way you look at objects around you?
(d) Are you able to explain this to a friend and be heard?

5.3.
(a) Explain why God hides from people. Include the concept of sensuous vs. rational spirituality.
(b) What would happen if God showed Himself to your friends?

5.4.
(a) Describe how Divine Speech operates our mental life.
(b) Why does God not operate the minds of psychologists towards the positive bias in science?
(b) How does this change your view of God and His relationship to people?

5.5.
(a) Where is heaven and hell?
(b) Describe its anatomy.
(c) Why do they both exist in everybody's mind?
(d) If you came to accept this, how would it affect your lifestyle or character?

5.6.
(a) Describe the two methods God uses to conjoin or communicate with people.
(b) In what way have you experienced these two avenues of relationship with God?
(c) Why does God not speak with people in their mind, like a dialog or conversation?

5.7.
(a) Explain why this is a perfect world despite the appearances of imperfection. Define what is perfection in the created world. Include the idea that the world was created for human beings to help them evolve to their eternal heavens.
(b)  How do you answer some of the arguments people make when they insist that this is far from being a perfect world today. How do you counter their facts?

5.8.
(a) Why does spirituality, or relationship to God, have to be rational?
(b) What happens with "sensuous spirituality" -- discuss what happens in the afterlife.
(c) How do you react to or assimilate these ideas about your own future?

5.9.
(a) Explain the formula "mental world = spiritual world = afterlife = eternity". Write out your proof after reading the assigned Section. Read it and edit it until it makes sense to you. Make sure each = link is rationally justified in your proof.
(b) Now try to explain the proof to a friend or two. How well did you succeed?
(c) What is your conclusion.


Week 6 Readings: Section 1.0.6 to 1.0.7

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 8

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 9

6.1.
(a) Explain the Swedenborg reports in relation to the positive bias in science.
(b) Describe what happened to him? What did he discover?
(c) Describe how you manage to take on the positive bias in science regarding the Swedenborg reports. Are you succeeding? What conflicts are you having to contend with in your mind?
(d) Compare your adaptation efforts at the positive bias in science with those of your friends with whom you discussed it so far.

6.2.
(a) What is the purpose of Sacred Scripture? What would happen without it?
(b) How does God want it to be used?
(c) How has it been used (today and before)?
(d) What might be a solution? (e.g., theistic psychology or...)

6.3.
(a) Explain the two senses we can find in Sacred Scripture.
(b) Give several illustrations from this Section.

6.4.
(a) Give two illustrations not found in this Section, so you will need to search for this in Volume 18. Make sure you indicate which Sections you took your two illustrations from.
(b) How do you react to finding out that there is a hidden scientific sense in Sacred Scripture that is still unsuspected by most scholars even today?

6.5.
(a) What is rational spirituality in relation to God?
(b) Explain how we can comprehend higher spiritual ideas by means of the new mental organ called spiritual-natural or interior-natural organ.
(c) How did it come into existence?
(d) Describe its role in the evolution of human consciousness.
(e) How do you react to these ideas that apply to your own mind?

6.6.
(a) Explain why substantive dualism is called substantive.
(b) How does substance differ from matter?
(c) Search google for "dualism" and explain how what you found is different from substantive dualism in theistic psychology.

6.7.
(a) What is the most exciting piece of news or fact you have heard so far in theistic psychology?
(b) Share this exciting fact with your friends and family. What do you conclude form their reaction?

6.8.
(a) List some objections you or your friends can come up with against the Swedenborg reports
(b) against the positive bias in science
(c) against the inclusion of God in science, and
(d) against one other issue of your choice.

Be sure you comment for each issue you list -- (i) what the doubt is and (ii) what your current position is on it.

6.9.
(a) Make up a dialogue between you and a hypothetical friend in a situation where you are telling your friend about this course. No length is specified. It depends on how you write the dialog. You can add lines of explanations, like a stage play, if you want.
(b) Show the dialog to a couple of people. Describe their reaction and your discussion.

    1.0.1.3 Revelation: Divine Speech Exteriorizing as Sacred Scripture

The two diagrams discussed in the previous Section clearly indicate that the Divine Human's Divine Speech is nothing else than the spiritual substances of good and truth flowing out from the Spiritual Sun in infinite variety, and creating the mental world of eternity. Then, going beyond that, exteriorizing still further, as shown in the diagram on simultaneous order above, Divine Speech creates then enters the spiritual mind, where it forms the human heavens in every individual from birth onward. But whether the individual will be able to live in that mental state in immortality depends on developing the rational mind so that it comes into correspondence with our spiritual mind. Once we start thinking and willing every day in conformity with our rational understanding of Sacred Scripture, we are regenerating our mind (see Section xx), so that it may become a "little heaven" or a "heaven in miniature." We then start living the rest of our lives on earth in a mental heaven in our natural mind, instead of the mental hells so many people live in most of the time (see Section xx).

Divine Speech appearing outwardly as Sacred Scripture is the only source of facts, knowledge, and principles about the spiritual world of eternity and the afterlife. In other words, all forms of rationality and truth that human beings exhibit, originate from Divine Speech, and Sacred Scripture is the only containant of Divine Speech. Hence, there can be no other source of truth or knowledge of reality than Sacred Scripture. This assertion must be understood differently than usual, when we examine the hidden layers of information that lie beneath the literal sentences of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

How do we know what is Sacred Scripture? Whose opinion are we to follow? And what if they are wrong?

The definition of Sacred Scripture in theistic psychology is any collection of writings in a natural language that is produced by God through the mind of a particular individual on earth.

In other words, Sacred Scripture = Divine Speech transformed into a natural language written by an individual.

Note that since it is written by an individual, Sacred Scripture is necessarily a historically produced ethnic document written and published in some country where the document serves as the creation and foundation of a particular religion.

Note that it is not the belief or faith of people that makes a particular document to be Sacred Scripture.

Billions of people could believe that document X is Sacred Scripture, but this would not make it Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture is only that which is Divine Speech authored through the mind of an individual, regardless of who believes or does not believe it, or who understands or does not understand it.

To test whether any document meets this definition, we must investigate whether there are hidden layers of meaning underneath the natural, historical, or religious meaning that is obvious to everyone who reads the document under investigation. What are these hidden layers of meaning?

Swedenborg's Writings demonstrate with historical, rational, and empirical proofs of various kinds, that the Old Testament and the New Testament collections of documents are Sacred Scripture in accordance with the above definition. How amazing!

He does not examine other documents or collections of the world's "sacred literature," focusing exclusively on the Old and New Testament books, of which he was an expert from childhood onward (see Section xx). To my knowledge, no one since Swedenborg has attempted to prove that other documents exist that are also Sacred Scripture, using the above definition. This definition is given in Swedenborg's Writings., which he uses to demonstrate that the words, phrases, and verses of the Old and New Testaments hide an internal spiritual meaning whose content is theistic psychology. The Writings do not use this phrase "theistic psychology" but it is an appropriate title for the knowledge that is extracted from Sacred Scripture, when a valid scientific methodology is used to extract the hidden knowledge that resides in Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). This extraction process will be illustrated, demonstrated, and studied in various detail throughout theistic psychology (see Section xx).

People sometimes imagine that they are hearing Divine Speech which they refer to as "the Voice of God came to me, and He said..." However, from the scientific perspective of theistic psychology, it is necessary to describe the actual psychobiology of how Divine Speech enters the human mind, just as biology describes the process of how sunlight enters the human eye and producing vision. These details are known to no one as they involve the spiritual mind, of which we are totally unconscious, its operations being unavailable for observation under any circumstances. Therefore it makes sense to think rationally, within the positive bias way of reasoning, that God must have a way of making His messages conscious to us. Indeed, this is the content of the hidden scientific layers of information that is contained in the historical or literal sentences of Sacred Scripture.

In other words, we can recover the original meaning of Divine Speech, prior to its being transformed and cast into a historical, ethnic, religious format or meaning.

This is the best news humankind has heard in many hundreds of years! Certainly the best news in science since its beginning. This news is first announced in the Writings of Swedenborg written and published in the second half of the eighteenth century, between 1743 and 1771 (see Section xx).

Why is this such good news for science and humankind? Because now for the first time we are given a valid methodology for interpreting Sacred Scripture.

Look what has happened without this knowledge. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture was written at the level of mentality and culture that was prevalent in the Middle-East approximately from 1000 BC to 400 BC. Anyone can see today that the literal meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture reflects a barbaric civilization that is totally racist and totally patriarchal with women being officially treated in a slavish and cruel role. This barbaric era of human civilization produced a version of Divine Speech that is totally alien to God's true nature and personality (see Section xx). Today, from a perspective of democracy and modernism, we are horrified that they had such a perspective on God that God Himself had to enact a role to them historically that is alien and abhorrent to His very nature and personality (see Section xx).

For in the literal meaning of the Old Testament sentences, God is a God of fury and vengeance, who gets angry like a super-potentate against His subjects, and take it out on them from vengeance, bringing on the destructive forces of nature to punish and decimate what He created. And on top of that, God has to order them to make sacrifices by doing to animals things that we would be horrified today to do.

Worst of all, in my opinion, is the almost total absence of discussion, description, and explanation of what happens when we die. A few mysterious hints are given, but they are so little, that many people and scholars who know very well the literal meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, are totally ignorant of what happens at death, and they have had to make up their own imaginative stories of what happens or might happen.

In other words, the literal religious meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture does not reveal any knowledge of theistic psychology, which is the science of immortality and afterlife, extracted from the hidden layers of meaning of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, along with the New Testament Sacred Scripture, and the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

The New Testament Sacred Scripture was written in a more advanced era of human civilization around the first century AD, also in the Middle East. In its literal meaning, the New Testament Sacred Scripture presents a more universal and inclusive philosophy of life and God, and contains many important theistic psychology facts. To my mind, the most important of these is the revelation that "the kingdom of God is within you, among you, in the midst of you" (depending on the translation of Luke 17:21 -- see: http://bible.cc/luke/17-21.htm ). Few people have understood that the "within you" is not used metaphorically, but literally!

Yes, that's right. The heaven of eternity is in our affective organ of the spiritual mind (see Section xx).

In other words, our mind is already in eternity -- see the Section Born Into Eternity above.

The Writings Sacred Scripture were written and published by Emanuel Swedenborg and published in the eighteenth century, which was the era of the New Enlightenment of the modern age. The literal sense of the Writings are a mixture of theology, science, and religion.

From the perspective of theistic psychology, the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture is suitable for religion and theology, but not for science. Although the Writings Sacred Scripture are written by a modern scientist with a rational and empirical orientation, the literal language of presentation is immersed in history and religion surrounding Swedenborg's European cultural context. The Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures in their literal sense are even less suitable for science, as they are from an earlier civilization and historical mentality.

But when you make the literal sense of Sacred Scripture "vanish" from focus by translating the natural historical correspondences in which they are written, into their spiritual, universal and scientific meaning that is hidden within the literal sentences. This scientific spiritual meaning is the content of Divine Speech when regarded in the spiritual mind rather than the natural mind.

It is extremely important for you to remember that while the literal meaning of all Sacred Scripture is historical, ethnic, and religious, in contrast, the hidden layers of scientific meaning within it, are non-sectarian, non-historical, non-cultural. They are scientific, universal, spiritual, eternal, rational.

Political movements based on the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture are called fundamentalist. Fundamentalism is sectarian, intolerant, sometimes violent, and not based on rationality or science.

But the hidden layers of information within the literal meaning of all Sacred Scripture are universal and scientific because that is the very content of Divine Speech (see Section xx). When we decode what is within Sacred Scripture we find a theistic psychology manual and handbook. How amazing!

But why? Why in this way? For what purpose?

As you will discover when studying the anatomy of the mind and the afterlife of eternity, God creates the human mind into discrete or discontinuous layers, that interact or influence each other by the laws of correspondences (see Section xx). As Divine Speech descends it enters into our spiritual mind where it activates certain rational operations, of which we are unconscious. We can however describe what happens there when we use representative ideas (see Section xx). A few hours after death, we are resuscitated or awakened through our spiritual mind, which until then was unconscious, but now, not any more, and so we begin our life of immortality in the afterlife by means of this spiritual mind. Swedenborg became conscious in his spiritual mind at age 57, and for the next 27 years was able to see simultaneously what was happening in the physical world in Sweden and Europe, and what was happening in the world of the afterlife (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

This is how he was able to empirically discover and describe the laws of correspondences between the layers of the mind. These are the correspondences that allow us to climb up the ladder of Divine Speech across the layers of the human mind, from Sacred Scripture, which is the bottom, to the highest potential in our mind called "heaven" (see Section xx).

Why Swedenborg?

No one has the capacity to be conscious in their spiritual mind. Swedenborg was a unique exception, accomplished by the God Divine Human to allow him to write the Writings Sacred Scripture. He was given to do this differently than the prophets of old in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. They received mental dictation into the natural mind, so that the thoughts merely appeared in their consciousness, and they wrote them down. They had no rational understanding whatsoever of what scientific knowledge was hidden within the sentences they wrote down. But Swedenborg was a scientist in the modern world of the 18th century. He was made fully conscious in the spiritual mind to enable him to make empirical observations and conduct spiritual experiments, according to his scientific mind and evaluation.

The result of this difference in how the Writings Sacred Scripture were produced is that the literal meaning of the Writings can be read rationally, and most of it can be read scientifically as well (see Section xx). But in addition, endless scientific knowledge lies hidden within the literal meaning that Swedenborg constructed. Swedenborg knew that what he wrote was "under the guidance" of the Divine Psychologist, and hence was Divine Speech expressed in Sacred Scripture in a modern scientific mode. Swedenborg understood that he himself had almost no access to this infinite storehouse of scientific knowledge hidden within the sentences he wrote down. And if Swedenborg is now in the heavens of his spiritual mind, he can read the Sacred Scripture that is there, without realizing or knowing, that he himself authored it when he was on earth (see Section xx).

Sacred Scripture is the sole source of rational knowledge about God (repeated from Section 15.0).

There are two different approaches to knowing God that have been practiced by humanity over the generations. In theistic psychology these two spiritual disciplines are called sensuous spirituality and rational spirituality (see Section xx).

The discipline of sensuous spirituality involves the attempt to experience the "divine" through various physical methods -- meditation, yoga, fasting, trance, self-flagellation, sexual abstinence, visions, animal sacrifices, making miracles happen, hearing living voices, ingesting psychotropic chemicals, and others. These methods involve the idea that the "divine" can be experienced by human beings through these physical techniques of sensing the body. In theistic psychology this is known as the philosophy of nonduality (see Section xx). Non-duality is the opposite of dualism (see Section xx). Nonduality asserts that God and human beings are of one continuous substance, which implies that we can climb high enough to actually realize that all along we each were God.

In contrast, rational spirituality is the spiritual discipline of getting closer to God through Sacred Scripture. In theistic psychology it is known that the spiritual mind in which our heaven of eternity lies, is formed by the spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech hidden within Sacred Scripture. This makes sense when you consider the fact that God is Divine Truth covered over with Divine Love (or good) (see Section xx). Good can only conjoin with its own truth (see Section xx). The higher the level of Divine truth that we can consciously understand rationally, the closer we come to God's Divine Truth and Rationality. Truth is the spiritual-rational and celestial-rational substance that forms the rationality in the mind of every human being (see Section xx).

Rational spirituality is the discipline of extracting the rational doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture using the method of correspondences that is revealed in Sacred Scripture, and then applying this doctrine of truth to one's daily willing, thinking, and doing (see Section xx).

It is not yet known in our modern times that the heaven of our eternity is located within spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture. When we understand and love these rational correspondences of Divine Speech, which means living and thinking according to them, then we are preparing our spiritual mind to be a conjugial heaven in which we know God directly and receive from Him all that we are willing and able to take in terms of human potential and happiness.

It is clear that knowledge about eternity and God is not possible to be discovered through the sensations from our physical body and the reasoning power of our natural mind. The proof of this is that traditional science, with its amazing history of inventions and explanations, knows zero about eternity and God, so that all it can do is to deny that such things exist or are part of scientific reality. Another proof is that the enormous scholarship and effort invested over the centuries in the literature on religion, God, and spirituality, has brought zero knowledge about God and eternity, and only wild speculations and disagreements among them.

All this proves that scientific and scholarly knowledge of God cannot be discovered and invented, but only received from God through the correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture -- not the literal sense of Sacred Scripture (which is sectarian religion), but the revealed correspondential sense that lies hidden within (see Section xx). The diagram below portrays the distinct difference between religion and theistic psychology, even though they are both closely related to Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture is the expression of Divine Speech in a natural language, transformed through the laws of correspondences that God used to create the layers of mind and existence (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

Although the sentences of Sacred Scripture are written out by a an individual in a particular language and culture, they are not the individual's own sentences, but sentences that have been transformed by correspondences as Divine Speech descends into that individual's mind from its unconscious spiritual level to its conscious natural level (see Section xx). First, Divine Speech enters the celestial-rational mind of the individual. This is unconscious while we are still connected to the physical world. Second, Divine Speech descends into the spiritual-rational layer of the individual's mind, which is also unconscious until our resuscitation (see Section xx). Third, Divine Speech descends by correspondential meaning into the natural mind of the individual, where it becomes conscious and the person is able to write it down. The "prophet" or "revelator" does not himself know what layers of correspondential meanings lie hidden with the sentences they write down. They and others are only aware of the literal meaning.

The descent of Divine Speech through the layers of the human mind takes place by correspondences (see Section xx). Those who are conscious in their celestial-rational mind after their resuscitation (see Section xx), are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of celestial-rational correspondences (see Section xx). These celestial-rational meanings or truths give human beings the highest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God.

Those who, after resuscitation, are conscious in their spiritual-rational mind, are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of spiritual-rational correspondences (see Section xx). These meanings of Sacred Scripture give human beings the next lowest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God. Those who are conscious in their natural mind, namely, us while we are still connected to earth, are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of natural correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). These natural meanings of Sacred Scripture give human beings the next lowest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God.

We are connected to earth by the laws of correspondences which functionally link together our mental body in eternity and our physical body in time-space. Our conscious natural mind is capable of entering virtually, as a training ground, into the various layers of worship and love of God. We begin with natural worship and love of God which is based on our ethnic membership in a particular religion and our historical ties to the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture recognized in that religion. If we do not try to live by the truths of Sacred Scripture as we understand them, then we are not preparing ourselves adequately for immortality in eternity (see Section xx). Instead of being or existing in a heaven within our spiritual-rational mind, our consciousness then sinks into the bottom of our natural mind, which is called the corporeal-sensuous mind, as opposed to the natural-rational mind (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

At this level of feeling and thinking, the correspondences of Sacred Scripture cannot be comprehended rationally. All truth of Sacred Scripture is inverted and perverted through irrational thoughts and feelings, which taken together as a whole, are called the human hells in the mind (see Section xx). It is our choice, but the choice is to be made prior to death, while we still can reform our character from inherited hellish traits to freely acquired heavenly traits (see Section xx).

To the extent that we try to live by the truths of Sacred Scripture that we understand, to that extent God can elevate our consciousness from the natural-sensuous thinking and feeling, to the natural-rational thinking and feeling (see Section xx). When God thus elevates and enlightens our understanding of Him, we become capable of a higher spiritual-rational worship and love of God, as a result of which God can further elevate our consciousness from natural-rational, to spiritual-rational, and finally to celestial-rational meanings of Sacred Scripture.

 This process of elevation of the individual by God takes place through

(1) the individual's rational study and understanding of Sacred Scripture as Divine Truth, and
(2) in proportion to the individual's efforts at applying this understanding to one's daily willing, thinking, and doing. This means undergoing spiritual temptations.

        1.0.1.3.1   What are Spiritual Temptations

Knowledge of Divine truth cannot change our hellish character, but can only give us an understanding of how God's truth is to dictate our willing, thinking, and doing. Conjunction with God occurs afterward, and only to the extent that we are willing to give up our hellish and selfish enjoyments, and replace them with heavenly and altruistic enjoyments. In proportion as we do this, to that extent we are conjoined to God in rational understanding, worship, and love. Conjunction with God gives us an eternal conjugial heaven with a maximum of human love, altruism, enjoyment, and happiness (in the affective organ), along with their consequent rationality, wisdom. intelligence, knowledge, and inventiveness (in the cognitive organ).

We vary in sincerity and consistency. We must be willing to undergo the temptations that God puts in our way in our mind. This requires spiritual combat. Our understanding of Divine truth from Sacred Scripture provides the weapons for the combat against our hellish enjoyments (see Section xx). Once we engage in combat, as if of our own, then God immediately manages the victory for us. We can have no victory if we believe that we are fighting our evils with our own power and intelligence. God can provide victory only if we acknowledge in our mind and understand rationally, that by ourselves we have zero power since God is omnipotent and has all the power.

Remember this:
Spiritual temptations are within the natural temptations. It is not possible simply to have a spiritual temptation, but only a natural temptation within which lies deeply hidden a spiritual temptation. We can have natural temptations alone, without spiritual temptations in them. This phase is needed so that we can build a virtuous character to counterbalance our inherited preference for selfishness. In the selfish phase we are irrational because we are convinced that selfishness is better than altruism. If we continue in this mode of thinking all our lives, then when we are resuscitated, we automatically and gleefully choose selfishness for our eternal life, and this is in the hells of our mind (see Section xx). So it is in our best interest to use our conscience and our common sense to oppose selfish traits and to become a responsible ethical citizen. We do this by fighting our natural temptations like procrastination, laziness, deception for convenience and gain, revenge, rage, putting others at risk, being inconsiderate to neighbors or room mates, out of control gambling, drugs, promiscuity, etc. etc. These are character flaws and weaknesses that the Divine Psychologist brings to our attention through events in our environment, like who we meet when, what we remember or forget, what someone says or does, what emotions come to us, etc. etc. God manages these mental events so that our focus of attention may come to our temptation. In this way we can choose to give in and continue, or to resist and stop.

This is God's purpose, as revealed in Sacred Scripture regarding the process of regeneration (see Section xx). This is also called the process of becoming a spiritual person (see Section xx). It means that the phase of the natural temptations is going well with you so that you can enter the next phase, the one that really matters. This phase begins when you begin to think about the spiritual meaning and significance of your natural temptations. For example, let's say you've been working on yourself to be more considerate to people around you. So you turn down the volume on your radio or TV, avoid leaving dishes in the kitchen sink, and continue flossing your teeth every day. You are motivated to do this because you want to become a better, nicer, more rational person. You are experiencing natural temptations that bring thoughts to your mind in which you are trying to explain away your selfish actions, e.g., "Everybody else leaves dishes in the sink, so I will too." or, "I don't mind annoying my neighbors with my TV so I can retaliate against their partying late at night and keeping me awake." Etc. These are natural temptations because you have to use natural reasons to fight these thoughts and defeat them. For instance, you can say to yourself: "I've got to rise above it and be a better person they are. Their gad behavior does not justify my bad behavior. Treat them like you want them to treat you, not like they are treating you." Etc. These are natural-rational reasonings.

Once you begin to win these natural temptations on a regular basis and reliably, you are prepared for the spiritual temptations. In order to overcome spiritual temptations you must have spiritual truths to fight with. Prior to your possessing spiritual truths, God does not bring you into spiritual temptation, that is, God does not allow your mind to experience such thoughts. The reason is that if you did experience such temptations, you would give in to them. And once you give in to spiritual temptations your mental conditions is worse than before, much worse. Hence God is very careful to prevent you from having spiritual temptations until you have equipped yourself with spiritual truths that can fight these reasonings. For instance, you now avoid leaving dishes in the sink. Every time you are tempted to leave the dishes or postpone cleaning up, you reason it out with yourself, thinking that it's not fair for the other people, and you want to be a fair person instead of a hypocrite. You are successfully overcoming your natural temptation with your natural-rational reasoning. But now what if you were to think: "I don't need to be totally fair as long as I can get away with it. It's not good to be too good in a competitive world. Too much fairness is a weakness. Let the do-gooders who believe in truth and decency be fair. Me I rather be a winner and unfair, than fair and a loser in life."

You might have read some philosophy or self-help book that leads you to such thinking. If now, all of a sudden,  you begin to wonder whether such selfism is right or wrong, good or evil, in God's order or against it, then you are experiencing a spiritual temptation within the natural temptation.

People can read and adopt such philosophies of selfism and cynicism but they may do so without critically evaluating it. This means that the ideas of selfism are just on the surface of one's memory, having read it, and even saying that one likes it or adopts it, but without actually doing so in daily events. For instance, you turn down the radio volume because it bothers you that the sound bothers others. This is not selfism but the opposite. And when you have an opportunity to cheat without getting caught, and you decide not to because it's wrong and you don't want to be that type of person, then you are acting against the philosophy of selfism. But this is still a natural temptation and a natural victory. It leaves you connected to inherited character flaws related to selfism. In other words, though you reject selfish acts on the outside of your public life, you retain selfish emotions and intentions that are within, not so conscious. For example, you might prefer to avoid being inconsiderate for the purpose of gaining acceptance by others, which allows you to practice selfish traits without others knowing about it. This is sometimes called "having ulterior motives" and being "manipulative."

But now you started thinking more seriously about your afterlife and God. You are wondering whether it is right for you to be considerate for selfish reasons. You are now aware that God knows when you are selfish and pretending to be considerate for the purpose of gain, manipulation, or reputation. This is a spiritual temptation. God is bringing this spiritual temptation to you at this time because you have already acquired some spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture or from your conscience, or from some other person who already possesses spiritual truths. The natural temptation you are having is: "It's all right for me to look out for myself since no one else will. The strong win, the weak deserve to lose." The spiritual temptation you are having simultaneously is: "Only God is strong. Evil may appear to pay off, but in the end, evil return to evil. I don't want to be in evil. God gives me the power to make the right choices, to be good." This is a spiritual temptation, spiritual battle, spiritual victory. Spiritual enlightenment is experienced the moment one makes the decision against evil in oneself. Then comes spiritual ecstasy and peace (see below).

So spiritual temptations are always given within natural temptations and the two cannot be separated.

To understand this process in detail you need to know the difference between:
(a) being considerate for the sake of self 
(b) being considerate for the sake of others
(c) being considerate for the sake of God 
For explanations, see Sections 6.4 to 6.7

Under some conditions we fall into the persuasion that to fight our temptations as if on our own, would be to think that the power to fight is ours -- which is a hellish thought against the reality of truth. As a result of this kind of thinking, we fall into a passive mode and wait for God to liberate us in our trial. But this strategy cannot work and it prevents character reformation. In that case God cannot bring spiritual temptations for us to fight, but only natural temptations (see Sections xx). Natural temptations build our external personality, appearance, and overt conduct. This is necessary for acquiring morality according to one's conscience (See Section 7.0.4.1). But the inner character cannot be altered by natural temptations. It requires spiritual temptations. God brings spiritual temptations to our mind to the extent of our rational understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Without the truth of Sacred Scripture in our rational understanding, God cannot bring spiritual temptations to our mind, and as a result, we cannot be regenerated. We die in the character that we inherited, which is a hell (see Section xx). Only the truth of Sacred Scripture, applied to spiritual temptations, can give us the new heavenly character we need to live in the heavens of our eternity (see Section xx).

Hence it is necessary for us to have in our understanding Divine rational truth in order for us to be prepared for heaven by temptations through regeneration or daily efforts at character reformation. The higher the rationality in our understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture,  the more we can be regenerated by God to higher and higher heavenly potentials, in proportion to our daily efforts in applying the truth to our daily willing, thinking, and doing.

It makes sense therefore to think that God has provided a method by which we can acquire higher and higher meanings, or more and more rational meanings, so that we can apply it to our daily willing and thinking, and thereby become celestial beings in our heavenly eternity (see Section xx).

The diagram above shows that theistic psychology, and theistic science generally, is the scientific knowledge that is extracted from Sacred Scripture, when we apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). There are two ideas to understand here: correspondences and enlightenment.

When Divine Speech, or Divine Truth, descends by correspondences through the layers of the human mind, we are conscious of it differently at each successive layer. That is, Divine Speech forms our consciousness at each level of the mind, through meanings of Sacred Scripture. See the Layers Diagram.

Divine Speech becomes conscious to human beings through the meanings of Sacred Scripture, and these meanings in the layers of the mind vary from highest (celestial-rational) to lowest (natural-sensuous), that is, from most rational to less and less rational. Divine Speech is Divine Truth hidden in layers of Sacred Scripture, and therefore it is pure and absolute rationality. This Divine rationality is adapted or accommodated to the individual's mind by means of the layers of meanings in correspondences. When we ask, What does this sentence of Sacred Scripture mean? And then when we give a paraphrase of it, then our thinking is operating at some level across the layers of meanings possible in our mind, from highest to lowest (see Section xx).

The change in meaning of Sacred Scripture is managed by God through successive levels of correspondences. God wants us to know what these laws of correspondences are that He uses to manage the created universe through Divine Speech (see Section xx). God has therefore revealed through the Writings Sacred Scripture what these correspondences are (see Section xx). Illustrations and demonstrations will be given in the following Sections (see also Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

One must therefore study and understand the laws of correspondences by which Divine Speech becomes Sacred Scripture at various levels of human thinking and feeling. These laws are Divine and cannot be discovered. Nor must we invent them or construct them from human intelligence. In the Writings Sacred Scripture, God has revealed what these correspondences are. The same correspondences apply to all Sacred Scripture since there is only one Divine Speech that filters through the various natural language versions of Sacred Scripture in all the genuine religions that God has created on this earth.

Important to note the following:
It is taught in the Writings Sacred Scripture that knowing correspondences is useless unless God enlightens the individual's mind to perceive their spiritual-rational correspondences, and later, their celestial-rational correspondences (see Section xx).

You can read a dictionary of correspondences (see Section xx) and try to understand the spiritual meaning of natural expressions in Sacred Scripture -- but this will only allow you to perceive the natural meaning of these correspondences. For instance we can read in the dictionary of correspondences that when Sacred Scripture mentions "water" (rain, ocean, river, flood) it is actually discussing natural truths in our understanding. But when Sacred Scripture is mentioning "wine" it is actually discussing spiritual truths. This is easy to translate mechanically, but what does it mean? What is spiritual truth vs. natural truth? In order to know this, we need to study other passages of Sacred Scripture while God is opening our rational understanding of it. And God does this with any person who is studying for the sake of applying the truth to daily life.

Theistic psychology is the scientific knowledge that we accumulate through the method of correspondences with enlightenment. You can see the result of this effort as you read throughout the 18 volumes of this work. If your purpose for studying theistic psychology is to acquire correspondential truths from Sacred Scripture, with a view to applying them to your daily willing, thinking, and doing, then God will enlighten you, raise your consciousness to the highest levels, and empower you with wisdom and conjugial love (see Section xx).

Divine Speech emanates from God the Divine Human and permeates the universe, creating the mental world, and the physical world in successive order, and maintaining everything in a simultaneous order order that serves God's purpose of love for humanity (see Section xx). Divine Speech enters the human mind at the highest level of consciousness that humans are created into called the Third Heaven in the spiritual mind. Then it descends and exteriorizes to the Second Heaven in our spiritual mind. From there, to the First Heaven in our spiritual mind. From there into the rational and the natural mind, which is where we become conscious of our mental operations.

We first become conscious of Divine Speech in our natural mind when we read Sacred Scripture, or are exposed to derivative forms of it such as prayers, songs, stories, lessons, instructions. At this point we understand Divine Speech in a natural way, in the way we understand the instructions or explanations of teachers and parents. As we grow older and we are able to read Sacred Scripture on our own, we begin to form more abstract notions of God, though not yet spiritual notions. As we become more mature we also become conscious of the voice of conscience in our rational mind (See Section 7.0.4.1). This is a second way in which we become conscious of Divine Speech. We have the liberty to reject what we hear from Sacred Scripture and from our conscience. If we do this repeatedly until it becomes a habit, then we cannot regenerate our character, and after resuscitation we insist on living in the hellish thoughts and feelings we have acquired and loved.

Focusing our attention on Sacred Scripture brings us into direct contact with God because the content of Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech expressed in a natural language for the natural mind of humanity. You can see from the two anatomical diagrams discussed that before Divine Speech reaches the conscious natural mind, it has passed through the spiritual mind and the rational mind without our knowing it at the time. In fact, the spiritual substances of good and truth from the Spiritual Sun must continuously inflow into the mind, or else the mind collapses or is extinguished. But this is not possible. After we are resuscitated, a few hours following the death of the physical body, we become conscious in our spiritual mind. Then for the first time, as experienced by Swedenborg, we begin to see rational things in Sacred Scripture which before were hidden from our conscious awareness.

Swedenborg reports that he often was able to see and inspect the books of Sacred Scripture in the mental world of eternity. In fact, he saw libraries of books there, that stood visible as long as the person in it was interested. But when the person is in a different mental state, no libraries are seen. Further, when a person sees a library there, only those books are seen which the person has an interest in, and can understand the content. So the book in the mental world of eternity are not like books in the physical world which are read and held through the physical body. Obviously, every book that has ever been written is merely a physical containant of mental ideas rendered through sentences. There is an exact correspondence between physical sentences and mental events that create meaning for them to the reader or hearer. So it's logical to expect that every physical book on earth is just a copy of a mental book in the world of eternity. Swedenborg reports that books of Sacred Scripture in the spiritual mind of eternity appear to glow with an intense light that blinds anyone from approaching, unless the person's mind has been prepared for reception of Divine Speech.

Without this preparation, the person's mind would go through a melt down. Once Swedenborg saw a man recently resuscitated, approach the book of Sacred Scripture, ignoring the warning given him by a by-stander. The instant he reached out his hand to touch it, he was thrown at a great distance away, where he lay unconscious for awhile, before coming to, and going away.

Saying that Divine Speech is proceeding from God is exactly the same as saying that Divine Truth is proceeding from God.

Divine Truth is a spiritual substance called spiritual light that is streaming forth from the Spiritual Sun that Swedenborg was able to see in the world of eternity that was in his spiritual mind (see Section xx). At age 57 he suddenly found himself with the unique ability of being conscious in his spiritual mind, which is unconscious to us until the afterlife. When we are resuscitated a few hours after death, we awaken in full conscious awareness of our spiritual mind, which until then was unconscious. Now it is the natural mind that becomes unconscious, and the spiritual mind becomes conscious. As a result, we can no longer see or hear anything in the physical world through our physical body, to which we are no longer connected by correspondence. The physical body dies when it can no longer be in correspondence with the mental body, due to illness or other causes. Becoming conscious in our spiritual mind means that we can now hear, see, and feel everything in the world of eternity called the spiritual world.

Swedenborg discovered that this world of eternity outside time-space, which is known to people from Sacred Scripture, is nothing else than the mental world of humanity which existed since creation. This fact is not known outside theistic psychology and Swedenborgian theology. No one today knows this "heavenly secret"  and when you tell your friends, it will be big news! Just remember this formula and learn to explain it from the discussions above:

 spiritual world of afterlife in eternity = mental world we are already in now

(see "born into eternity" as "dual citizens").

Since Swedenborg was the only scientist in history whose spiritual mind was conscious, he is the only scientist in history who can give us an objective and empirical description of the spiritual world of eternity. Everything that he wrote down and published, called the Writings of Swedenborg (published between 1747-1771), is part of Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture in a natural language. God opened or made conscious Swedenborg's spiritual mind so that he could objectively report to the world of science what the conditions are in the afterlife of eternity. To study Swedenborg's Writings as Sacred Scripture is the positive bias in science, as discussed.

From all this you can see what are the three basic premises upon which theistic psychology is founded, namely

  • dualism of substances in time vs. eternity

  • theism of Divine influx controlling all phenomena

  • revelation from the hidden scientific meaning of Sacred Scripture

Practice talking about these concepts after taking notes from the discussion on Topic 1.

1.0.2  Topic 2: The Spiritual World of Eternity

When Swedenborg's spiritual mind became conscious at age 57 his amazing discovery was that the spiritual world of eternity in the afterlife was nothing else than what we call the mental world!

In other words:

spiritual world = mental world = rational substances = afterlife = eternity

This equation brings it home to us. We are very familiar with the mental world. We are in it. It is our life. Take away our sensations, thoughts, and feelings, and what have we got left? Nothing but a biological shell, like a tree or rock. Human beings are alive in the sense that their sensations, thoughts, and feelings are alive. This is the mental world. So the mental world is alive, unlike the physical world which is dead.

Note carefully the rational answer to: Where are you now?

You are not in this physical room. Your physical body is in this room. You are not your physical body just like the banana peel is not the banana. Your mind or mental body is in the mental world. What is so familiar to us from minute by minute experience and life, is actually the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity known to people from Sacred Scripture. We don't know this directly or by observation because we have no awareness of our spiritual mind, like we do of our natural mind. As long as our spiritual mind remains unconscious, we have the illusion or compelling sensation that we are in the room, with the physical body, and that what we are sensing through the body is the room and its environment.

But in fact we are not sensing the room, nor the stimulus from the room to the sensory organs and the brain. We are sensing the sensations in our mind, the thoughts in our mind, the feelings in our mind. We are sensing the mental world, not the physical world. The two are of course in correspondence (see Topic 1), so that my sensations in the mental world correspond to the neuronal activity in the brain. These physical neural operations in the brain correspond to the physical details of the room and its environment.

Once you realize this -- that your natural mind exists in the spiritual world, not in this physical world -- you can begin to understand that we are immortal human beings. Your personality, your memories and identity, your feelings, emotions, and thoughts -- these are not physical and temporal materials; they are immortal, eternal, spiritual substances constructed out of spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). Hence you can see that sensations, thoughts and feelings must be immortal and eternal, because they are not existent in time and space. As a mental being it is not possible for you to be in a physical room.

Swedenborg discovered that when he was conscious in his spiritual mind he was able to be in company with people he had known who had died, and people he read about in history and literature. This proved that everyone who dies is resuscitated in the spiritual world and continues life there forever. Swedenborg observed thousands of people die and be resuscitated about 36 hours later in the spiritual world. Most of these people he said are pretty surprised to see themselves up and running after dying.

Swedenborg's discovery that the spiritual world of the afterlife, being eternity, is nothing else than what we call the mental world, is surely the greatest scientific discovery of all times.

This amazing discovery changes our most fundamental concepts of the universe and life.

Substantive dualism is not a theoretical supposition. It is an absolute fact that is familiar to every human being. Nothing can be more familiar to us than the mental world of our sensations, thoughts, and feelings in which our conscious awareness is immersed every moment of our life. Who would have suspected this amazing fact that Swedenborg discovered, namely, that this familiar mental world is the world of eternity!!

Sensations, thoughts, and feelings are operations or states of mental organs that are made of spiritual substances, and not at all like physical objects made of physical matter, like the brain. Physical objects are in time and space, hence they must be temporary. Everything temporary is in time-space, and everything in time-space is temporary, that is, has a temporary existence, not permanent. But mental objects like thoughts and feelings are not in time and space. Thoughts have no mass, no physical energy, and cannot be measured or detected by anything physical. Only the brain's activity can be measured. Thoughts and feelings cannot be measured because they take up no space, they have no weight, no mass, and no time dimension. It is the same with sensations and feelings.

Mental objects are spiritual objects, and everything spiritual is outside time and space, and this is called eternity. Our sensations, thoughts and feelings are in eternity. They can never leave eternity and enter time-space. They cannot stop existing because they are made of eternal living substances (see Section xx). Your personality, which is nothing but your sensations, thoughts and feelings, is therefore eternal or immortal. Your self is immortal. You are immortal! We are born into eternity and our self exists only in the world of eternity outside time and space. This is the mental world, which is also called the spiritual world.

You are immortal. Wait till you tell the good news to your friends! You can say: "I bear good news. You were born immortal. Only your physical body is in time and space, and when it dies, your conscious awareness awakens in the spiritual mind, which until then remained unconscious." See if they are willing for you to explain it rationally. But if they don't take it seriously, do not despair. Continue studying theistic psychology and soon you will understand enough to really prove it to them -- anyone who believes in you enough to hear you out all the way with a positive bias.

Swedenborg's reports are hardly known today after being published and republished for more than 200 years now. And yet these reports present and prove his amazing discovery that there is only one mental world called the spiritual world of eternity. Every human being is born into this one mental world, which has been called the spiritual world of eternity. When we are born we are dual citizens for awhile. Our physical body and organs are born in the natural world while our mental body and organs are born into the spiritual world. The two are connected until the physical body dies. When the separation occurs, we are resuscitated or awakened in our spiritual mind which was unconscious until then. We were conscious in our natural mind only. Hence we could not see or be aware of the other people who were also there in the spiritual world. Now that our natural mind is made unconscious, our awareness is brought to our spiritual mind. Now we are able to see and interact with the people who are also there. Swedenborg interviewed thousands of people, some of whom he knew while they were alive in Sweden, others he knew only from history books, and yet he was able to see them as they are now and to talk to them.

At the end of his last book published in 1771, Swedenborg gives an Index of his spiritual travelogues which he calls "Memorable Relations" -- things he saw and heard in the spiritual world of the afterlife, outside time and space. You can read all his Writings and Memorable Relations online at:
www.theheavenlydoctrines.org  and at  www.smallcanonsearch.com/ 

Use the following conversion Table to help you translate the religious literal content to its universal scientific meaning.
 
Religious Literal content of
the Writings Sacred Scripture
Conversion to Universal Scientific Content
in Theistic Psychology
the Lord God the Divine Psychologist
His New Church, the New Jerusalem theistic psychology
He has opened the interiors of my mind or spirit God activated my conscious awareness in the spiritual mind
angels people in the afterlife with a heavenly personality
evil spirits, satans people in the afterlife with a hellish personality
men people
Who in the Christian world Who among believers of all religions that worship one God
spiritual world, the heavens the mental world of eternity or afterlife
the Word Sacred Scripture

Note: underlined words are theistic psychology renditions of the original, as indicated in the conversion Table above. The number where the Memorable Relation can be found is marked in parenthesis at the end of each paragraph below.

TCR 851. I foresee that many who read the Memorable Relations annexed to the chapters in this work will believe them to be inventions of the imagination. But I affirm in truth that they are not inventions, but were truly seen and heard; not seen and heard in any sleeping state of mind, but in a state of full wakefulness. For it has pleased God to manifest Himself to me, and to send me to teach those things which will belong to theistic psychology, which is meant by "the New Jerusalem" in the Apocalypse. For this purpose God activated my conscious awareness in the spiritual mind, whereby I have been permitted to be in the spiritual world with people in the afterlife with a heavenly personality, and at the same time in the natural world with people, and this now during twenty-seven years.

Who among the religious believers of all faith that worship one God could have known anything about Heaven and Hell, had it not pleased God the Divine Psychologist to open the sight of someone's spirit, and show and teach him? That such things as are described in the Memorable Relations do appear in the mental world of eternity or afterlife, is made clear by the like things seen and described by John in the Apocalypse, also in the Sacred Scripture of the Old Testament by the prophets.

 This topic is dealt with in more detail in several places in theistic psychology (see Section xx).

1.0.3   Topic 3: Divine Speech, Sacred Scripture, and Conjunction With God

Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech transformed by correspondence into a natural language (see Section xx). All genuine Sacred Scripture has therefore two levels of meaning. The clearly visible literal sense is historical and cultural, leading to particular religions. The hidden correspondential sense is universal and culture-free. Hence although the literal sense of the various collections of Sacred Scripture is necessarily cultural and ethnic, also divisive against each other, the hidden correspondential sense of all Sacred Scripture is unified and consistent, relating to the rationality and love of Divine Speech as One God for all.

(See also Section 15.0 for additional discussion)

1.0.3.1  Part 3A: The Psychobiology of Conjunction with the Divine Human

Our life of immortality is not something that belongs to us. It is not inherent in us. We are human "vessels" or receptor organs, created to receive life from God by reacting to God's influx with good and truth substances. In other words, God cannot give life to us in the sense that we then possess life from ourselves as we go about our daily life. For example, when you fill your car's gas tank and drive off (after paying for it), you have that gas in the car. It is yours and the car's. God cannot give life to us like the gas station gives gas to the car. Think instead of your electric stove at home. When you turn it on and it gives out heat, that operation of giving heat is totally dependent on the inflowing electricity into the elements that consequently heat up. As soon as the flow of electricity is cut off, the heat stops. So the heat element is capable of reacting to the inflow of electricity in such a way as to generate heat.

This is similar by analogy to the situation with God's life inflowing into the mental organs which were constructed by God out of the spiritual substances of good and truth, so that they may be able to react to new inflow of good and truth from God.

"To be able to react" = being affected = being conjoined.

The ear drums of our physical body are constructed out of physical substances to have the property of reacting to the inflow of air waves produced by sounds in endless variety. The cognitive organ of our mental body is constructed out of spiritual substances to have the property of reacting to the inflow of truth substances in endless variety. What is amazing is that these two operations -- in the ear drum and in the cognitive organ -- must go on together, synchronously, in simultaneous order, if we are going to hear sounds and interpret their meaning.

 Our mind has existential continuity because it is re-created, re-born, every instant from birth to eternity. This is literally true, not an exaggeration. God has revealed this astonishing fact about the universe! The mental world and the physical world are created by the inflow of good and truth, and they live in a moment of time. Then they die. But here comes the next inflow of good and truth, and recreates the mind, exactly such as it was the instant before. Then the universe dies. God recreates it once more the next instant, exactly such as it was before. And this goes on to endless time and eternity.

So if we know this, then we cannot rationally attribute any power, any life, or any intelligence to ourselves. From ourselves we are dead organic receptors, being revived from instant to instant by inflow of new life into our mental organs. We also would want to realize that the Divine Human does all this out of love for us, so He wills that we not feel the death-recreation cycle instant by instant. In this way we have a sensation of subjective continuity of life from ourselves, as-of self, forever, endlessly. This is the result of God's love for us. The Writings Sacred Scripture reveal that the essence of love is to desire to make another happy from ourselves. For instance, most pet owners love their pets, and when you observe them with their pets you can see how they are always trying to make their pet happy.

It is the same with parents who are always striving to benefit their child from what they own -- their house, their money, their services, their attention, their promises, their contacts. In short, if you love someone you try to make them happy or benefit them out of what you own yourself. God the Divine Human has good and truth in infinite variety that He wishes, desires, and intends to benefit us with. If we believe that these goods and truths are from ourselves, instead of from God, we interrupt the inflow of good and truth, and what we end up with are their filtered opposites manufactured in our mind -- corrupted goods called evil, and falsified truths called falsities. God communicates scientific facts to the human race through Sacred Scripture, but not directly in the literal meaning, for this would not be understood by most people who rely on Sacred Scripture for their religion.

The scientific revelations laid hidden in Sacred Scripture for thousands of years before God could prepare the human race for their rational understanding. This required the modern mind of science. Swedenborg (1688-1772), a noted and respected scientist in his era, was among the first to achieve a modern scientific mind in the mode of theism. Until then the topic and study of God remained in the exclusive prerogative of religious people and theology experts. But now, with theistic psychology having arrived on the scene of science, God is entering the realm of modern science. This is possible only because of the Swedenborg reports, which are called the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

When you are thinking about how God's Divine Human life inflows into us and does not belong to us, you can give your friends this analogy. Think of the TV we watch. It is designed to receive electronic signals that are displayed on the screen and loudspeaker. The TV does not possess the content of those images and sounds. It just receives them. Similarly, we do not possess life, intelligence, rationality, power, or freedom of our own. These are spiritual things belonging to God. But God constructed our mental organs out of spiritual eternal substances called good and truth, and designed the organs to function as as receptors of good and truth substances that issue from God and belong to God even when these substances are in our mental organs and are operating our thoughts and feelings!

Even then, the good and truth remain belonging to God since God cannot give away anything Divine, hence cannot separate anything Divine from Himself. But He can extend Himself to exist outside of Himself (see Section xx). This is the meaning of "Divine influx" which refers to how God extends Himself to exist in created things. This extending is accomplished by means of the spiritual substances of good and truth proceeding from Himself to outside of Himself into creation ("influx").  And whatever has proceeded to be outside of Himself still remains Himself, though now in a different relationship to humanity than before (see Section xx).

So there is God in Himself (unreachable to human beings), and there is God as He extends Himself outside of Himself in the created world (reachable by human beings). Human beings can be conjoined to God outside of Himself, but not to God as He is within Himself. The expression "Divine Proceeding" or "Holy Spirit" is often used to refer to the part of God we can be adjoined to and conjoined with, namely the good and truth from Him as Him in our mental organs. It is not logical to think that the Divine good and truth within our mental organs is ours, and those who think in this way, might even say that human beings are God. A lesser version of this belief is that human beings are pieces of God. Another belief is that we are unreal images as we know ourselves, and there in reality we are God. And so on. These various accounts of how we are related to God are not based on Sacred Scripture, hence they are not part of theistic psychology.

We need to make a distinction between

(1)     "our afterlife in eternity" -- which is created and has a beginning in the creation of the human race; and

(2)     "the uncreated eternity of the Divine Itself"

Only the second is infinite, not the first. “Infinite” is defined as having no beginning and no end. Only God and His attributes – love, good, truth, life, rationality – are infinite and have no beginning. Hence the created dual universe is finite for it has a beginning even if it will have no end. So it’s rational to think that the infra-structure or building blocks of the finite created dual universe has to be the uncreate things of good and truth – since there is nothing else created out of which then created universe can come from or be built out of. Something cannot be built out of nothing. So the only rational conclusion is that the infrastructure or building blocks of creation are uncreate, infinite, with no beginning.

Theistic psychology refers to the afterlife as “the mental world of eternity" because the mental world of the human race is constructed out of spiritual heat (or love) and light (or truth) from the Spiritual Sun (the Aura around God), and these two substances are uncreate and infinite in the Divine eternity of love and truth that has no beginning. Hence the eternity of the human afterlife has a beginning even though it can be endless. Because of this mixed nature, the mental world of eternity can interact with an infinite God since then mental world is constructed out of the uncreate substances of this infinite God.

Hence it is that we must make a distinction between "God as He is in Himself" from infinite eternity without beginning vs. "God as He is Outside of Himself in Creation" such as

  • Divine Speech

  • the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture

  • the Doctrine of Truth from Sacred Scripture

  • the voice of conscience

  • the soul

  • the Divine Psychologist (“Holy Spirit”)

  • Divine Providence

  • The Divine Child or the Natural Divine Human

 These are various manifestations or appearances of "God as He is Outside of Himself." Note carefully that it is irrational to think that God can create a universe without Himself being in it, for He would then not be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. But at the same time rationality dictates that these two cannot be the same. Hence the infrastructure of creation is God as He is in Himself, but the creation itself is not God, but manifestations of God as He is Outside of Himself. The manifestations appear finite and therefore can relate to finite things like human beings.

Note also that the finite Divine manifestations of God in the created dual universe are part of an evolutionary process by which God shapes, guides, and pulls the development of human consciousness and potential generation after generation.

Note also that this rational conception of God and creation is not at all like some theories or philosophies that say that we ourselves are God but don't realize it until we evolve our individual mind towards higher and higher consciousness through reincarnated lives. This view is contrary to scientific dualism in theistic psychology. God as He is in Himself is a Person who always was, in whom infinite love and truth make one. This Divine Person Creator could not be somebody else, like a human being He created with a beginning.

You can see from the two charts in the previous section that when you look at your physical body in the mirror, and you do it with theistic psychology x-ray vision, you are looking at an external "temple of God" inasmuch as your mind is a discrete degree within your physical body, your heaven in eternity is in your spiritual mind, and God the Divine Human is a discrete degree within that heaven. Clearly then, God exists as the inmost of your physical body in terms of discrete degrees. You cannot logically think that this portion is yours! If it were yours, you would be God. But you are not God. So it is not logical to think this way.

But at the same time you can see from this biological account that we are in symbiotic relationship to God. This relationship has two modes of depth --

  • (1) adjunction to God

  • (2) conjunction with God

The closer or deeper we are conjoined with God the more good and truth we can receive from Him. This shows itself as greater intelligence, inventiveness, skillfulness, love, happiness, and zest of life. These are the substances of good and truth in infinite variety operating in our sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective organs (see Section xx). Those who deny God in the negative bias mode are nevertheless equally dependent on conjunction as those who love God. Every human being by birthright, is entitled to receive things from God. This is granted by God to everyone, even those who ridicule Him and construct magical rites and belief systems to pervert His good and truth. Even they are entitled to inalienable rights they have for being born human beings.

One such human right is immortality. It is awful to think of ourselves as temporary and mortal. It hurts our true humanity to believe such an illogical idea. It perverts our conscience and leads us to a hellish personality (See Section 7.0.4.1). So God effects unconscious conjunction in the mind of those who deny Him or pervert Him. He protects their right to spiritual freedom, so that at any moment in their life from birth to eternity, they have the endless opportunity to change their mind, to turn toward reality, hence to God Himself who is the center of their reality and the origin of everything they own and desire.

The purpose of religion over the millennia on this planet has been to conjoin human beings to God. According to the dictionary, the word "religion" comes from the Latin "religare" meaning to connect or to bond  with God. So God uses religion for conjoining human beings to Himself, so that He may bestow upon them ever more good and truth, and thereby to make them happy from Himself. So human happiness and ability are the outward operations of the Divine Human substances of good and truth inflowing instant by instant, into our mental body. First, into the unconscious spiritual mind, where our heaven is. Second, into our rational mind, and thence into our natural mind. Our physical body is consciously operated by our natural mind. this is the mechanism of living as a human being.

It is clear that our biological immortality belongs to God, not to us, and we have it only as long as we are conjoined to God by unconscious influx and reception, and by conscious communication through rational ideas from Sacred Scripture. The instant we should go "offline" so to speak, and stop receiving the spiritual input signal of life, power, love, and intelligence, that instant we disintegrate into something incoherent that dissipates and disappears from existence as a human being.

To understand how we are alive and what it means to be alive, we need to know what God has revealed about Himself to humanity. These revelations are known as Sacred Scripture. The literal meaning of Sacred Scripture in a natural language was given to serve as the basis of religion. The scientific meaning hidden within the literal, was given to serve as the basis for theistic science and theistic psychology (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 78. Further, it is through Sacred Scripture that God the Divine Psychologist is present with us and is conjoined with us, for God the Divine Psychologist is Sacred Scripture, and as it were speaks with us in it. God the Divine Psychologist is also Divine truth itself, as likewise is Sacred Scripture. From this it is evident that God the Divine Psychologist is present with us and is at the same time conjoined with us, according to our understanding of Sacred Scripture, for according to this we have truth and the derivative rational knowledge in our cognitive organ, and also pro-social motivation in our affective organ. God the Divine Psychologist is indeed present with us through the reading of Sacred Scripture, but we are conjoined with Him through the understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture, and according thereto; and in proportion as God the Divine Psychologist has been conjoined with us, in the same proportion theistic psychology is active in our mind. Theistic psychology is within us; theistic psychology that is outside of us is the institutionalized scientific discipline with a number of us who have theistic psychology within them. This is meant by the words of the Incarnated Divine Human to those who study theistic psychology without applying it to their daily willing and thinking who want to know how heaven is established in our mind:
        "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21).
Here the "kingdom of God" means God the Divine Psychologist, and from Him, knowledge of theistic psychology. (SS 78) (see Note below)

 Note: The following substitutions were made in the above paragraph indicated by italics:
 

Original Literal Expression in the
Writings Sacred Scripture
(for religion)

Equivalent Translated Concept into
Theistic Psychology
(for science)

the Word

Sacred Scripture

the Lord

God the Divine Psychologist, Incarnated Divine Human

a man, him, his, he is

us, our, we are

faith rational knowledge in our cognitive organ
love and the derivative life pro-social motivation in our affective organ
the church is in man; with man; within him; outside of man the knowledge of theistic psychology is active in our mind; outside of us is the institutionalized scientific discipline of theistic psychology
the Pharisees those who study theistic psychology without applying it to their daily willing and thinking
who asked who want to know
when the kingdom of God would come how heaven is established in our mind
within you in our mind

The conversion Table above illustrates the way in which theistic psychology is extracted from the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture. As you can see, all traces of the original historical or ethnic references vanish, and what remains is universal science applying to all human beings. Many more illustrations will be given in what follows (see also Section xx).

Let us recapitulate a few propositions that you need to remember and keep in mind as a context for what you are reading as you go on:

(a) God creates and manages the universe through the infinite mental substance of Divine Speech, which is Rational, Human, and Divine. Divine Speech proceeding from God is Divine Truth, which is the substance of spiritual light streaming from the Spiritual Sun. Spiritual light substance, or Truth substance (also called Wisdom), contains within it, spiritual heat substance, or Love substance (also called Good).

(b) Physical objects on earth are made of atoms from the natural sun that are whirling in sub-atomic space, which forms the object's infrastructure in time and space. Every physical object is constructed of these atoms from the sun. The sun is actually still part of these atoms. But physical matter, atoms and space, are themselves made of something at a discrete level higher, or within, that is not physical matter in time, but spiritual substance in eternity, which originates from the Spiritual Sun in infinite variety. The spiritual infrastructure at a discrete degree within the atoms and within space, keeps the atoms and the space in existence. Rationally viewed a thin cannot give origin to itself. Hence when you see a thing rationally, you are thinking of that which causes it to exist and to maintain itself in existence. That cause or infrastructure is the spiritual substances of the Spiritual Sun.

From this you can see that Divine Love (or Good),  and Divine Truth (or Rationality), are the spiritual eternal substances that make up the infrastructure of the spiritual world, also called the mental world in eternity, and this makes up the infrastructure of the physical world, which is in time and space. To say that God creates the world out of and by means of Divine Speech, means that God's mental substances of good and truth, pouring out of Him, create the world of eternity, which is the environment in which exists the mental world of humanity. Your sensations, thoughts, and feelings, moment by moment endlessly operating in your mental body, all exist in the world of eternity. They cannot exist anywhere else. And since that world is made of spiritual substances, you can see that our sensations, thoughts, and feelings must be also made of spiritual substances. Our mental world is a real world of immortal substances. Our thoughts and feelings, coalescing into a coherent self or person, exist as substances operating in our immortal mental body, which we acquire at birth (see Section xx).

(c) In other words, eternity is the infrastructure for time and space.

This chart depicts any object's infrastructure of existence.  It applies to whatever unit you are looking at in the physical world -- galactic, planetary, object, sub-atomic particle -- you are looking at the world of time-space-matter, whose infrastructure in simultaneous order is the world of eternity. This is true globally as well as at any size or level of physical abstraction. Question: What is inside your pocket or purse? If you take "inside" in terms of discrete degrees, then the answer would be, "The world of eternity made of the substances of the Spiritual Sun is inside my pocket or purse." What about your tooth brush? The answer is the same. What about your brain? Same answer. Try to explain this magnificently rational secret to your friends. they will jump for joy -- if they are willing to hear you out long enough so they can understand rationally what you can understand from studying theistic psychology.

Since the spiritual world of eternity = the mental world of the human race (Swedenborg's great discovery), therefore the human mind is the infrastructure for the physical universe, as shown in the chart above. (See Section xx)

The physical world is the outside of the universe, while the spiritual world, or mental world, is the inside of the universe. When we are born, our temporary physical body is in the outside world of time and space, while our mental body is in the inside world of eternity. When the physical body dies, our consciousness of the outside world ceases, and we become conscious of the world of eternity. For 27 years (from age 57 to 84), Swedenborg lived consciously present in both the world of eternity and the world of time-space in Sweden in the 17th and 18th centuries. When you are resuscitated, a few hours after your physical body dies, you awaken in your spiritual mind, and the world of eternity becomes conscious to you. You can see everybody else who is there, where they live, how they live, and you can join any society that you choose. Swedenborg talked to people like Aristotle, whom he knew from the history books, and many other persons, some who had lived on other planets than earth (see Section xx).

Our first reaction to hearing such stories is that they are fantastic visions of a strange person. But this is an external perspective on Swedenborg in the negative bias mode. Remember that Swedenborg was not some kind of a strange person whose mind was somewhat deranged and living on the streets or in an asylum. During the 27 years while he was conscious in both worlds and wrote the reports we are studying, he did the following things on a daily basis:

  • held a demanding job as a government engineer and administrator of mining

  • was a member of the Swedish House of Lords and authored several bills on finance reform

  • was a publisher of science magazines and reports

  • traveled throughout Europe visiting with the labs of famous scientists

  • collected books for his brother-in-law's bookstore

  • frequently attended dinners at the palace by invitation from the royal family

  • wrote and published respected scientific books on metallurgy, chemistry, physics, astronomy, anatomy of the brain

All of Swedenborg's biographers agree that he was one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever seen. So now this famous scientist at age 57 suddenly becomes conscious in the spiritual mind! He applied his genius and enthusiastic motivation to this new area of investigation that he was uniquely given to explore. He left behind 30 volumes that are an entire integrated series of all that he was able to observe and rationally explain. And now we have come to realize that these reports are actually the Writings Sacred Scripture. As soon as I made this discovery, based on the insights of a few others (see Section xx), I was able to apply to it the systematic method of extraction specified in the Writings themselves (see Section xx). The result was the new science called theistic psychology, which you are now studying. This new discipline is not yet known to other psychologists, so you are still among the first people in the world who are exposed to theistic psychology. You can access the student reports by earlier generations through the list in Volume 18, Readings, Part 2.

To me one of the most significant of Swedenborg's scientific discoveries is that when we die, we are actually not dying, but awakening in our spiritual mind, where we live our immortality in eternity. This is traditionally called the "spiritual world" by many people who know about it from Sacred Scripture. Swedenborg direct confirmation of this process by observation and experimentation for 27 years, is new evidence that has not been available to science before. Theistic psychology is based on this new evidence, when read with the positive bias in science. Further, all or most of Swedenborg's discoveries can be confirmed by each one of us, either by rational proof or by self-witnessing observations of one's own daily life (see Section xx).

Our mental world, the one we are in already now, is the spiritual world of eternity. The entire human race, regardless of their physical earth location, is resuscitated into the same mental world of eternity, so that you too will have access to people not born on earth -- should you desire that. Everything one desires in the mental world of eternity, one can have. Everything in that world is instantaneously created when you want it, and disappears from existence when you don't want it any more (see Section xx). Wait till you tell your friends about this! Reality is better than what they could have imagined.

God is not a mysterious force that is inaccessible or difficult to access. Theistic psychology shows how God is actually an intimate participant, enabler, and manager of our mental world, every single detail of it, and much more of it that we know nothing about. So it is extremely important that this knowledge be placed at the disposal of all people. God is a Divine Human Person with whom we can have a conscious relationship. God desires that we reciprocate our relationship because when we do, He can empower us with new intelligence, skills, and happiness. This is God's sole motivation for being involved in every human being's thoughts and feelings from birth to endless immortality.

But God will not appear in front of you and talk to you in a physical way. God will not send you a letter or a taped message. God will not speak to you with a physical voice you can record. The only way God will communicate with us physically or externally is through Sacred Scripture. When we read Sacred Scripture we are hearing God's Divine speech come down into the sphere of the natural mind. This has lasted for many generations. It has been the basis of all religions. But since the Writings Sacred Scripture have been written and published (1747-1772) by Swedenborg, God has revealed to modern science, for the very first time, that all Sacred Scripture is sacred because it is Divine Speech, which means that there is a hidden scientific and universal meaning that cannot be seen when reading the sentences of Sacred Scripture.

The reason the correspondential sense of Divine Speech is hidden within the literal meaning, is a physiological one. As you already know from the anatomical charts you studied up to now, and more later on, a human being is human because of the physiology of the mental body that contains our mental organs whose operations provide us with sensations, thoughts, and feelings at various discrete levels (see Section xx). Divine Speech is already in our spiritual mind, which is built to receive it directly in its correspondential sense. But then Divine Speech has to descend into the rational mind, and the natural mind, and in that descent or exteriorization, Divine Speech changes from spiritual meaning to natural meaning.

So what we read in Sacred Scripture is the literal meaning not the spiritual meaning. Remember also that what is in successive order, appears in simultaneous order when the successive phase is complete (see Section xx). At that point what was First or Highest, now becomes inmost. So the spiritual meaning of Divine Speech is inmost within the literal historical meaning. This secret was unknown until the Writings Sacred Scripture described and demonstrated the appropriate method of extraction by which we identify the spiritual meaning that is hidden in its inmost. Theistic psychology is the knowledge we obtain when we apply this prescribed technique to analyzing Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

You can see therefore that theistic psychology cannot be made up of theories people invent, like non-theistic psychology and the rest of materialistic science. New-age spirituality, transpersonal psychology, paranormal research -- are all collections of theories by numerous people. This is not at all the method by which theistic psychology can be developed and grow in your mind, or as a cumulative science for future generations. The only way theistic psychology can cumulate in a genuine or valid direction, is the flawless application of the methods of extraction prescribed and demonstrated in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

(d) Our consciousness, our understanding, and our feelings are all initiated and governed by Divine Speech proceeding from God into the universe and propagating itself simultaneously through all human minds. There are no specially privileged minds that receive more than others of the substances of God's Divine Truth and Divine Good. They inflow simultaneously into every human mind since all human minds overlap in the world of eternity (where there is no physical space). When Divine Speech enters the rational mind, we become conscious of its effects in the natural mind such as the ability to think logically, or the ability to experience human feelings and emotions.

Everything we do, sense, think, or feel are operations of our mental organs while they are activated and operationalized by Divine Speech entering the mind in the form of good and truth substances -- the substance of good into our affective organ giving rise to feelings and motives, and the substance of truth into our cognitive organ giving rise to cognitions and thoughts. The substance of good is spiritual heat, and the substance of truth is spiritual light, the two flowing out of the Spiritual Sun in infinite variety, providing our ability to have new and unique human thoughts and feelings for every human being from birth to endless immortality, continuously.

(e) Divine Speech conjoins our mind with God, and it is this conjunction that gives humans the ability to be immortal and rational beings. The mechanism of conjunction is presented in the next Section. There are gradations of conjunction or closeness with God. This determines the quality of our feelings, thinking, and sensating. Closer conjunction with God results in a higher quality of feeling, thinking, and sensating. Swedenborg observed and compared the life and personality of people in their Third Heaven, Second Heaven, First Heaven, as well as people in the hells of their mind (see Section xx). He found that the level of available human potential goes up or down depending on closeness to God. Any human being can choose to be either close or distant from God, who enables whatever a person chooses from freedom or preference.

Those who freely maintain themselves in the hells of their mental eternity think irrationally, are under the spell of illusions and delusions, and their social environment is miserable, vicious, and uncivilized. They are the furthest they can be from conjunction with God, and as a result, what they receive from good in terms of good they pervert into its opposite or evil, and what they receive from God in terms of truth, they convert into its opposite, or falsified truth. This is how they willingly maintain themselves in the hells of their mind. They could ascend at any time from the hells to the heavens in their mind. Swedenborg talked to many of them about God and the heaven in their own mind, which they hated and irrationally denied. Whenever Swedenborg mentioned to them anything good and true, they became enraged with hatred and turned the idea into its opposite of evil and false.

The people who dwelt in the First Heaven of their mind, were extremely skilled in all daily activities such as business, sports, art, education, architecture, government -- far superior to the best skills they had while living on earth. But remember that these expert activities in the mental world of eternity are not at all like they were on earth where time and space determine what happens (see Section xx). The people who dwelt in the Second Heaven of their mind were a discrete degree superior to those in the First Heaven, and similarly those in the Third Heaven of their mind were a discrete degree superior to them. Closeness of conjunction with God therefore physiologically determines the level and quality of human life from birth to eternity.

While we are still attached to the body on earth, the quality and level of our life also depends on closeness to God, but in a less obvious way compared to the afterlife. This is because God hides His Sensuous Presence in the natural and rational mind. The reason for this is that on earth we are undergoing character change, reformation, and regeneration, while this is not possible in the afterlife (see Section xx). In order to undergo character reformation that is permanent we must do it as-if on our own, with as-of self effort and the willingness to resist temptations (see Section xx). Only in this manner of voluntary and free choice is the new character something we can love, something we can accept as our eternal heaven (see Section xx).

Due to the necessity of this freedom of choice and as-of self effort, God hides His Sensuous Presence in our natural mind so that we may feel free to reject Him if that is our choice (see Section xx). If God suddenly spoke in your natural mind, you would hear voices like the prophets of old before the modern era. But today this kind of direct sensuous communication would be harmful to our modern mind, and you would be diagnosed as delusional or schizophrenic -- a very serious mental disease. Hence it is that God would never speak to you in the natural mind with a physical voice, or would not appear to you visually to your physical eyes. Our understanding of reality and God, to be valid and effective, must be based on the rational understanding of God as He describes Himself in Sacred Scripture.

To see God with the "inner eyes" is possible for people on earth, and this inner sight is called rational understanding. You know this from our popular expression "I see what you mean." To understand rationally = to see with the inner senses. This refers to the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual mind (see Section xx).

Once we have a rational basis for a relationship with God, we become capable of seeing God's Presence rationally in our mind, that is, in terms of the good and truth substances that operate our thoughts and feeling (see Section xx).

If we do not identify all the good and all the truth we have as being God's good and truth in our mental organs, then we attribute our intelligence and abilities to our self. When we do this, we physiologically alter the operations of good and truth in our mental organs, transforming them into their opposites. Then our consciousness resides in the hells of our mind, which is the furthest distance from the rationality of God that forms our heavens far above the hells (see anatomical charts throughout).

Even though we consciously choose to reject God we cannot get rid of God in our physical and mental environment. God continues to run our mind and our environment regardless of our acknowledgement of Him. This is God's omnipotence and omnipresence by which he controls every detail of the universe -- the thoughts and feelings in our mind, the events of biography and history, the motion of molecules in objects, stars, and galaxies. God controls and manages every detail according of His order of truth and his purpose of good (or love).

(f) Summary formulaic expression:

gradations of voluntarily chosen closeness of conjunction with God

=    quality of human intelligence and abilities that God can give us
=    level of our rational understanding of Divine Speech within Sacred Scripture
=    consistency of our effort in applying doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture
         to our daily willing and thinking

Note the bottom line in this equation. Closeness to God and quality of human potential depends entirely on our daily effort of changing the way we think and what we enjoy from our inherited hellish traits. The doctrine of truth we properly extract from Sacred Scripture tells us how to think and what to enjoy in order to get closer to God and thereby be able to increase our human potential.

Sacred Scripture reveals that we are born with an inherited character that contains numerous hellish traits. We also have numerous good traits by virtue of the influx of good and truth into our mind (see Section xx). The hellish traits we inherit in our natural mind tend to corrupt and invert the heavenly traits that flow in moment by moment from our spiritual mind. Every individual must therefore be willing to freely put up the voluntary effort of resisting the old hellish traits and enjoyments, until eventually we come to loath them and avoid them like the plague (see Section xx). As the hellish traits are gradually rejected are extinguished, a new way of thinking and feeling in our natural mind replaces the old. Now our natural mind is in an orderly state that corresponds to and is in accordance with the heavenly order in our spiritual mind. Then we can have the good life that surpasses everything we could hope for or imagine.

Denial of God through materialist philosophy and cynicism, is the negative bias in science that puts us at a distance from  God. In this orientation we cannot receive directly anything good and true from Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture. But we still receive things indirectly, such as the ability to think with common sense, and the instinct of preservation and social cooperation. However this indirect association with God is not powerful enough to overcome our inherited hellish tendencies. God keeps control just as much as ever, but in this situation of irrational denial or the love of disobedience, He allows the occurrence of evils in order to preserve people's sense of freedom of choice (see Section xx). As long as people retain this freedom to choose, they can change their mind and become human again. If God took away this choice from people, they would no longer be human. Hence God goes along and supports the irrational and evil plans and deeds of people, even if this is not what He desires for them. Even so, God allows only those evil thoughts and acts to occur, which He can turn into good for the victims of the evil, including the perpetrator (see Section xx). All other thoughts or plans or deeds of evil, God does not allow to occur or happen.

It appears that many people are unwilling to put up the mental and emotional effort to change their inherited character traits and weaknesses. As a result, God allows much evil and false ideas to run amuck in society, making the lives of people a hell on earth, as is indicated by the symptoms of crime, prejudice, injustice, abuse, depression, ill health, ugliness, unhappiness, divorces, poverty, lack of education, etc. All these evils are allowed by God in order to preserve the freedom of all individuals to chose voluntarily to reform and to prepare for a life of heaven in eternity -- or not. Those who fail to do so, can only experience a life of hell in eternity (see Section xx). Swedenborg reports that once people are settled in their hells of immortality, no one, or almost no one chooses to leave those mental states. Better not get stuck there!

1.0.3.2  Part B: Degrees of Conjunction with God

God provides two methods for the natural mind to be conjoined with Him, and thereby to receive intelligence, love, and energy in greater and higher degree, in proportion to our willingness to conjoin with God the Divine Human. It is obviously important for us to understand the mental procedure that allows us to conjoin more and more closely to God, and gain access to all the benefits which God desires to bestow on every human being.

God provides two methods for approaching Him. Another way of saying this is that good and truth substances from the Spiritual Sun enter our mental organs automatically, by God's laws of correspondences, but what matters to us is how our organ reacts to it. We do not experience the good and truth itself, which remains God's alone (see Section xx). What we experience as sensation, thought, and feeling is the reaction of our organ to God's good and truth inflowing into them. Our mental organs react physiologically to the incoming spiritual heat (good) and spiritual light (truth). This reaction is our experiencing of sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

So what is ours, our immortal self, our permanent unique identity and personality, is not God's inflowing substances of good and truth, but our organ's unique way of reacting to them. These are called the operations of our mental organs. "Mental operations" = states of mental organs and their phases, occurring in reaction to inflowing spiritual substances. These operations are ours, but not the substances that activate them and maintain them in receptive form for receiving spiritual heat and light inflowing from the Spiritual Sun.

The two methods of conjunction with God the Divine Human are both rational.

This fact is not widely known today except to those who study theistic psychology. Many people today are led by the materialistic persuasion that God wants to manifest Himself in the physical world and by sensuous experience of Him in the form of witnessing a healing miracle and other acts of Divine grace like touching sacred relics or carrying a talisman for luck. But these ideas are not taught in Sacred Scripture.

In fact, the Writings Sacred Scripture give an explanation of this in the literal sense, so it is easy to understand it. It has been mentioned before in earlier Sections, and is mentioned throughout theistic psychology under the topic of "sensuous vs. rational spirituality" (see Section xx). Prior to the modern scientific civilization starting in the 18th century, most people could not approach God by means of rational concepts. Therefore it was necessary for God to perform miracles as a visible proof of His power and Presence. But this limited the degree of conjunction possible between God and the conscious rational and natural mind. Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

DP 131. From these considerations it may be evident that faith [=knowledge of God] induced by miracles is not faith but persuasion; for there is nothing rational in it, still less anything spiritual, as it is only external [=natural-rational ideas] without an internal [=spiritual-rational ideas]. It is the same with all that a man does from this persuasive faith, whether he acknowledges God, or worships Him at home or at church, or performs good deeds. When a miracle alone leads a man to the acknowledgment of God, to worship, and to piety, he acts from the natural man and not from the spiritual. For a miracle infuses faith [=knowledge about God] by an external and not by an internal way, thus from the world and not from heaven. Now the Lord does not enter [=reception of spiritual-rational truths] by any other way with man than the internal way [understanding the correspondential sense], which is by the Word [=Sacred Scripture], by doctrine and by preaching from it [=theistic psychology]; and as miracles close up this way[=rational or scientific knowledge of God], at this day [=prior to our regeneration] no miracles are wrought. (DP 131)

Now in the modern world of democracies almost everyone on the planet receives an education that includes science and rational thinking about abstract concepts like everyday management and business. All this was gradually brought about by God through the advance of science, engineering, and rational thinking in society and government. Since 1772, when Swedenborg published the last book of the collection known as the Writings Sacred Scripture. From that moment on in the history of the race, the rational heavens were created in every human being already born, and will be in every human being to be born in the future.

Swedenborg witnessed the momentous changeover in the mental world of humanity, when the old sensuous human heavens were transformed and replaced by the new rational heavens. This event marks the final and total completion of the creation of the human race (see Section xx) From then on the approach to God, conjunction with Him, and consequent benefits of heavenly immortality as conjugial couples, is possible only by the approach of rational spirituality, not sensuous (see Section xx).

Now God is providing two methods of rational spirituality for conjunction with Him -- conscience and Sacred Scripture.

Every individual is born with a conscience. There is an organ of conscience within the cognitive and affective organs of the natural mind, from where its operations originate in our conscious awareness (See Section 7.0.4.1). You know the popular expression "Listen to the voice of your conscience." But this is not a sensuous, auditory voice. It is a rational voice or realization and insight. Conscience is a human organ, not possessed by animals, that is based in the natural-rational mind (see Section xx). From the rational mind we are able to see and monitor what our sensuous mind is doing, a discrete degree below the rational. When the sensuous mind is about to do something that is contrary to good and truth, the rational mind is able to recognize the danger from a rational perspective. Conscience reacts to that by correspondence, and we immediately experience a cognitive and affective reaction. This is the "voice of conscience" because we are consciously aware that we are thinking of doing something that is contrary to good and truth (See Section 7.0.4.1). God then maintains our mental state in freedom, so that we may freely choose to listen or to ignore the voice of conscience. This voice is heard by all human beings, regardless of education or culture, because all human beings possess this mental organ.

Besides conscience, the other method of conjunction God provides is Sacred Scripture. It requires rational thinking and understanding to be able to relate to the meaning we get when reading or hearing about Sacred Scripture. People who memorize Sacred Scripture but do not figure out what it means logically and rationally, cannot derive benefits from it because all benefits come from the meaning of it, and this is a rational activity. The physical book of Sacred Scripture is not sacred at all and has no power to conjoin to God; but only the meaning of its words and sentences in the minds of people who think rationally of God and their relationship to Him.

The degree of conjunction with God through Sacred Scripture and through conscience, develops in the conscious natural mind in three stages -- natural, spiritual, and celestial as follows:

Stage 0.    Conscious Disjunction With God through the negative bias thinking

Based on hypothesis arising from sensory experience and measurement
Based on non-theistic persuasive teachings (e.g., science education, socialization)
Based on unwillingness to subordinate the human self to a higher power (e.g., non-theistic humanism)

Stage 1.    Natural, External Conjunction With God
                        through natural-sensuous thinking and feeling about Sacred Scripture

Stage 2.    Spiritual, Mediate Conjunction With God
                        through natural-rational thinking and feeling about Sacred Scripture

Stage 3.    Celestial, Interior Conjunction With God
                        through spiritual-natural thinking and feeling about Sacred Scripture

The four stages described above are stages of evolution in our thinking, in our rationality, in our consciousness. It is the journey closer to God, and to our supreme human potentials. In the early external stage of conjunction with God (stage 1), our thinking about God and the things mentioned in Sacred Scripture is a natural way of understanding the sentences -- their literal meaning in a historical, cultural, and religious context. At stage 2, mediate conjunction is achieved through understanding the ideas of Sacred Scripture less literally, more abstractly and symbolically, hence more universally and less historically, culturally, and theologically.  Finally at stage 3, inmost conjunction with God is achieved through the understanding of Sacred Scripture spiritually, which refers to the recognition of spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences hidden within the natural meaning (see Section xx).

What about stage 0 or disjunction with God? Actually, all four stages may be going on within the same individual, but not at the same time of course. For instance, John and Mary may be two students of theistic psychology who are studying the spiritual concepts extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture. Their purpose is to gather the spiritual knowledge they need to undergo character reformation so that they may become prepared for heavenly life in eternity. Because they are cooperating with the Divine Psychologist they experience enlightenment and are given an interior understanding, so that they may see the concepts rationally. They are at stage 3 conjunction with God. After studying, John and Mary decide to go out and have some fun. They end up at a bar where they drink too much and got into fighting words with another couple that started annoying them. They leave the bar and drive home. Along the way they get into heavy traffic and they both end up swearing at another driver. Etc. You can see from this type of common scenario that people typically vary the degree of conjunction with God as they pursue their normal daily activities.

Character reformation can only begin in adult life when we are mature enough to think for ourselves. Until then we usually think from our undigested socialization and education habits. We ingest our culture and knowledge but we do not digest it. To ingest knowledge and attitudes is to acquire them as habits and to do them routinely out of habit. To digest knowledge and attitudes is to appropriate them, to make them our own. This process of appropriation to self only happens when we freely choose something after thinking about what it is we prefer or like. When we reach adult life and some financial and political independence, the future that lies ahead of us is ours -- which means that we are more free to choose what we want, what we desire, what we love. Without being able to choose what we love, we don't feel free. Until we feel free, we cannot freely choose our life style, the things we believe within ourselves, the things we support in our mind.

When we reach this state of freedom to think in adulthood, we are capable of beginning character reformation. This takes a lifetime of cooperation with the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx). We undergo regeneration by means of battles with the temptations that the Divine Psychologist brings to us by arranging the environment appropriately and by managing our thinking and feelings to face the temptations. This we do by fighting against the hells we inherited using the weapons of the doctrine of truth we acquire from Sacred Scripture or from conscience and education. Gradually through this procedure, God builds a new character in our mind, one that is fit to live happily to eternity in conjugial heaven (see Section xx).

1.0.3.3  Part C: Why This Is a Perfect World Despite Evil

But what happens when we give in to temptations, throw in the towel in the fight of good vs. evil, declare ourselves free from God's commandments, religious rules, or the dictates of our conscience? Note that this non-theistic or negative attitude (Stage 0) could be temporary or permanent in any one individual. Note also that people who practice a religion may do so spiritually or naturally. To practice religion naturally means that you only let it affect your outward behavior and not what you are thinking and feeling. This makes it impossible for the Divine Psychologist to bring spiritual temptations to you because you would not resist them -- which would harm your spiritual future (see Section xx). The only way we can change our inherited hellish traits is to reject them freely because they are contrary to conscience and Sacred Scripture. No other motivation can succeed in altering how we think and feel inwardly, but only how we act and talk outwardly.

Swedenborg observed thousands of people who were recently resuscitated after the death of their physical body (see Section xx). He interviewed many of them concerning their knowledge and beliefs about God. They all were still able to recall clearly their memories from earth, which we can do for awhile after resuscitation, and before settling into our true personality, who we really are (see "second death" Section xx). This evidence indicates that people after resuscitation, thus in eternity, cannot hold on to their rules of conscience and their religious beliefs when these were merely outward norms of conduct that they followed by habit, without independent examination.

Because they now rejected all rules of religion, conscience, morality, and respectability they felt completely free to feel, think, and do whatever they felt like spontaneously, uncritically (See Section 7.0.4.1). And because they had not undergone temptations and character reformation, their inherited tendencies and loves for evil and cruel things now took over completely, and they turned into an immortal life of hellish pursuits, delights, and sufferings.

On the other hand, Swedenborg observed some people after their resuscitation, who had no religion of any kind, but had had a strong sense of conscience and natural morality and respect for others, for animals, and for nature. When they were told and taught about God and Sacred Scripture, they were instantly able to understand it rationally, and were able to enter the life of conjugial heaven to eternity.

 If we consider the state of our civilization and society today it is obvious that there is more disjunction with God than conjunction. God has created a perfect system and is maintaining it in perfect order. This is His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence (see Section xx). People look at crime, social disorder, human unhappiness everywhere, and they conclude that either there is no God, or that God is not omnipotent, or that God is both good and evil. These are all false conclusions. In fact, society is perfect for its spiritual purpose or goal, and God is maintaining it in perfect order for that purpose, since God is omnipotent to carry out what He wants and plans. The difficulty has been for people to see rationally that society and life on earth has a higher purpose related to our immortality. Crime and disasters cannot reduce or take away from this purpose. Crime and human selfishness do make our experience on earth more ghastly, But this experience does not interfere with why we are here. God will not allow anything to interfere with this purpose.

The perfection of society as maintained and controlled by God, is that it gives people a life in which at any moment they can begin their character reformation and preparation for eternal happiness in heaven. No one is excluded. Everyone has an equal opportunity.

God maintains our ability to do and think evil things just as he maintains our ability to think and do good things. If God reduced our ability to think and do evil things, this would not be a perfect world because we could not regenerate our inherited character and we would be compelled to a life of eternal hell.

At any moment of our daily willing and thinking, the Divine Psychologist puts us up to a choice between choosing evil or good. The cumulative moment by moment choices we make every hour, day by day, over the decades of our life on earth -- millions of choices -- constitute our character. This is the vehicle of our immortality. After our resuscitation we are immersed by the Divine Psychologist into an intense life of recapitulation and self-discovery. All societal shackles are cast off in absolute liberty when we fully realize that we are now immortal, in a world where we are free to exercise our desires and loves whatever they are.  Now at last, without social pressure, responsibility, expectations, and rules of conscience, we can be whatever our feelings and thinking prompt us to be -- purely selfish, totally egocentric, wild and mad, cruel and obsessive, prompt to extremes and excesses of any kind whatsoever. These feelings and imaginings now create a hellish environment around us, where we continue our life with others who are similar to us (see Section xx).

When we think about it now, it is clear that we should avoid at all cost from ending our life on earth with a hellish personality on the inside, even if we have a civilized personality on the outside.

This is God's purpose in providing revelation of spiritual truths in the form of Sacred Scripture, namely, to allow us to see rationally that we must undergo regeneration of character in order to have a heavenly life in eternity. And as well, to teach us the techniques that are effective in this regeneration effort -- how we are to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist to reciprocate, and thus to conjoin with Him. By acknowledging God, by studying Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture, we become enlightened so that we can acquire doctrine of truth with which to resist temptations and consequently to be conjoined with God through willing what is good and thinking in accordance with our rational understanding of truth.

1.0.4  Topic 4: Forms of Divine Speech in Our Conscious Natural Mind

Divine Speech proceeds from God's Mind and propagates itself instantaneously across the entire universe in the form of spiritual light and heat, which enters every human mind from its third heaven, and descends by discrete degrees (see Section xx) into all the regions of the mind. The following is a listing of the levels or degrees of the action of Divine Speech in human minds, starting with the most universal and least conscious, and increasing in consciousness and effectiveness, all the way to the highest level of the mind, which is the closest potentially to God.

I    human instincts of mutual empathy, sympathy, cooperation, affiliation, curiosity, inventiveness

II    daily moods of high and low, clear and foggy, receptive and resistive, peaceful and conflictual

III    character, personality, norms of conduct, ethics, and lifestyle developed through
            socialization, enculturation, education, training, experience

IV    inner voice of conscience, civilized morality, allowed vs. taboo, right vs. wrong

V    the Letter of Sacred Scripture as religion, history, culture -- often distorted
            and corrupted, leading to sectarianism and conflict

VI    interior sense extracted from Sacred Scripture as theistic science or
            theistic psychology, which is universal and not historical, cultural, or religious

As you can see from the above listing, Divine Speech is present with every human being at different levels of closeness and conjunction. It is not until we reach level IV that we are conscious of God as a force that is higher than our own. At level V we are introduced to a personal and conscious relationship with God, but it's not until level VI that we form a genuine and uncorrupted awareness and relationship with God on a daily basis.

1.0.5  Topic 5: Sensuous vs. Rational Spirituality

1.0.5.1   Part A Why Doesn't God Make an Appearance at the United Nations?

Swedenborg was able to observe the character and life of every generation of people that had lived on earth, and then passed on to their life of immortality in eternity, either in their heavens or their hells, where Swedenborg was able to observe them. Since in this way Swedenborg had access to a cross section of all the people that had lived on earth, he was able to describe objectively and empirically the evolution of human consciousness across time. He discovered that the earliest generations, or the "Most Ancient" civilization on earth, was made of a celestial human race that now dwelt separately in their own human heavens, which are different from the heavens Swedenborg visited that belonged to the generations that came after the celestial race (see Section xx).

The celestial race eventually had died out on earth due to their inability to continue in their type of mind called celestial. Their brain was whole, while the spiritual race that succeeded them had split-brains, left and right portions, as we know it from our own race today. The switch over in evolution occurred sometime near the beginning of recorded history, possibly around 10,000 BC (though Swedenborg does not give precise dates).

The whole-brained celestial race had a united will (affective organ) and understanding (cognitive organ), unlike us who have the will and the understanding capable of acting independently. We, the split-brained spiritual race, are capable of thinking one thing (corresponding to the left brain) and willing its opposite (right brain correspondence). We can learn with our understanding what is the right way to think and act, and we can ignore this with our will and do the opposite. The celestial whole-brained race was not capable of this. They were unable to lie or simulate, hence unable to deceive others and do them evil. Swedenborg talked to them in their ancient heavens and was able to confirm their character as different from ours, completely innocent and ignorant of all evil (except for a few among them who are in their hells.)

The celestial race people were able to talk to their departed family members and teachers, who spoke to them from their heaven, instructed the people on earth, and sometimes imposed punishment on them to chastise them from any tendency to do or think evil. In other words, the celestial people on earth were dual citizens consciously. Like Swedenborg's unique experience (see Section xx) the celestial race had their spiritual mind activated and conscious, whereas the spiritual race that came afterwards, had their spiritual mind completely unconscious. From then on, the only source of knowledge of the afterlife of eternity was through revelation in Sacred Scripture. Swedenborg was able to read in the spiritual world the various versions of Sacred Scripture that the subsequent generations had received from God.

The conscious ability to communicate with God or the people in the afterlife is called sensuous spirituality, whereas the knowledge of God through the revelation of Sacred Scripture is called rational spirituality. It is crucial that we understand the difference because it is not possible today for the spiritual split-brain race to have direct sensuous spiritual awareness or communication with God or the people in the afterlife. There may be some exceptions to this rule (see Section xx).

An example of direct sensuous awareness of God or of spiritual things would be if God appeared today in physical space and time. For instance, God might appear at the United Nations or on the world TV stations, introduce Himself, give a speech, make some miracles, and even stay around so people can interview Him and make movies and recordings. This never happened and will never happen. Why not? There are two fundamental reasons you need to know about.

First, our relationship to God necessarily involves our rational mind, which is also called the spiritual mind (see Section xx). Everyone is born with an organ in the rational portion of the mind called heaven. Hence our relationship to God develops through truths and rationality from within our mind, not sensuous evidence or interaction on the exterior of our mind. God appearing in the streets or at the United Nations would be only an external relationship through the bodily senses and natural mind. This cannot remain in the afterlife, which is a world of rational ether, of truths, hence in the interior of the human mind, not in the exterior senses.

The second fundamental reason why God does not appear at the United Nations or on the streets meeting people, is that whatever God would say would be expressed in natural languages by correspondences, just like Sacred Scripture is the natural language correspondence of Divine Speech. Divine Speech is nothing but Divine Truth, and this is nothing but God's thoughts and reasoning, or Divine Wisdom, which is infinite and omniscient (see Section xx). Whatever God thinks is Divine Truth. This is spiritual light proceeding from the Spiritual Sun and permeating the mental world of the human race, that is, the mental organs of every individual. Divine Speech first enters the highest portion of the spiritual mind where those who dwell in their Third Heaven in eternity, become conscious of the proceeding. This conscious awareness of Divine Speech is the closest meaning or understanding the human race can have of God. This meaning is conveyed by means of "celestial-rational" correspondences (see Section xx).

Then Divine Speech or Truth, descends into the next layer of the human mind where those who dwell in their Second Heaven in eternity, become conscious of it in the form of "spiritual-rational" correspondences. Then Divine Speech continues to descend and exteriorize throughout the human mind, where it becomes conscious to those who dwell in the First Heaven of their mind in eternity, through "spiritual-natural" correspondences. From there Divine Speech or Truth exteriorizes still further, and becomes conscious to the natural mind through its levels of operation -- natural-rational correspondences,  natural-sensuous and corporeal correspondences. This is where most people first become aware of God --through the natural correspondences and meanings in Sacred Scripture expressed in a natural language (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

So what would happen if God met you on the streets or gave an interview to journalists and scientists at the United Nations, or came to the University of Hawaii and taught this course in Theistic Psychology?

God would speak from His Own Mind and Divine Speech would flow down from His Divine Mind, through the human heavens, and finally would be heard by you in your natural language. The meaning of His sentences would be constructed of natural meanings, words, and concepts. People might be terribly disappointed! All they would hear, over and over again, is what Divine Speech has been telling the human mind since the beginning of creation. It would sound to them that God is not talking to them, but just quoting Sacred Scripture, again and again. People would hear different things, each in their own language and thought level. Some people who are regenerating by means of Divine Speech from Sacred Scripture, will hear more interior ideas in what God is saying, but those who are in the negative bias mode of thinking about God, will hear nothing but what they already believe.

So you can see that God cannot just burst unto the scene and give proof of His existence, and command people to do this or that. For He has already been doing this in Sacred Scripture, and those who are unwilling to acknowledge Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech in correspondences, will not change their mind when God appears in their living room and talks to them.

God wants us to know the rational methods by which He creates and manages the details of our lives and the universe. God wants us to know the anatomy and physiology of our mental organs so that we can take care of them appropriately. God has created our mind in such a way as to be capable of being conjoined with His Mind, and thereby we might be alive forever and never die. This amazing feat is accomplished through the spiritual substances of heat and light streaming forth from God (see Section xx), and permeating the mind of every human being, from the top of its anatomy, to the bottom.

This spiritual heat is called "Divine Love," and our affective mental organ called the will, was designed by God to be able to react to it, so that we have the subjective conscious life experience of willing something, like willing to lift our hand, or touch this or that, or ignore this or that. This free will as subjective experience is what gives us the living sensation of being conscious and alive. And it is activated in us by spiritual heat flowing in from the top of our mind. Should this flow of spiritual heat stop for an instant, we would experience the sensation of dying, and we would actually disappear from existence. It is this inflowing spiritual heat that makes us alive, keeps us alive, instant by instant, from birth to endless immortality and eternity.

In the same way spiritual light flows into our cognitive organ, activates it, the result being our subjective experience of self-conscious thinking, reasoning, understanding, talking about it, etc. This is the subjective experience that gives us content, meaning, culture, hence rational human beings capable of intelligent planning and imagining.

You can see from this physiological description that we are human beings from the inflow of Divine Love and Divine Truth, which activate our mind and give us the moment by moment continuity of our consciousness of self as a unique individual or person.

The split-brained spiritual race has two brains (left and right) because the physical structure reflects and corresponds to the mental structure, namely the split-mind in the form of the affective and cognitive organs having independent function. It was necessary that the race following the whole-minded celestials be split-minded, as the spiritual human race now is, so that people could learn spiritual truth through written Sacred Scripture, even though their inherited tendency was to rebel against that truth and to want to ignore it or reject it.

This is how we are today. We hear about God's commandments and we sense our conscience (See Section 7.0.4.1). In this way we learn about spiritual truth -- what our fate is to be in the the endless eternity of our afterlife. How we should be preparing for it to make sure it is a heavenly life instead of hellish. We take this into our knowledge and our understanding. We don't feel like following it, and we don't for the most part. Yet we know the truth as it has been revealed by God to us. This is the essence of the spiritual race: to have this choice. To know the revealed truth of God and to follow it or not. This is the freedom that God maintains in every human mind from birth to eternity. It is the perfection and the guarantee, that at any instant that we wish or choose, we can join our will to the understanding of truth -- which means to will the things that our understanding knows is good and right.

We do not have the power to do anything at all since all power is in God's omnipotence, which cannot be given away to a human being or to nature (see Section xx). But God wills to have things happen according to how we consciously will or choose. This shows you how close God is to the individual, how intimate our relationship is, much more so than any two human beings can have with each other.

               1.0.5.2 Part b (ii)   What About the Paranormal, Miracles, Telepathy, Magic?

Various people and traditions have attempted to prove the existence of the afterlife relying on paranormal data and research. An example is the book titled An Amazing Experiment  (1961) by Charles Drayton Thomas and available online at:  www.survivalafterdeath.org/books/thomas/contents.htm To me it is quite obvious that no such proof is scientifically believable because the data are so scant, impoverished, and practically non-existent. And of course, it is irrational and illogical to try to give physical proof for what is not physical. All paranormal phenomena are measured and explained in terms of energy of various kinds, and these are based on quantity, time, and space. Rational ideas are based on mental sates in eternity, outside time, without space, extension, quantity, number, or shape. Such are our feelings, emotions, ideas, thoughts, sensations -- they are all mental, spiritual, timeless, eternal states and operations (see Section xx).

It is the same with "medical miracles." One can never prove that God exists by classifying an observed physical event as evidence for a spiritual reality. Some people may be persuaded of God's existence by witnessing an event that cannot be explained medically, but this kind of persuasive belief is rejected by people after resuscitation, when they discover that they are now living in the eternity of the afterlife, in all its sensuous living experience (see Section xx). However they cannot hold on to rationality and sanity because their belief is based on a sensuous idea of God, not rational and spiritual. In the afterlife, sensuous ideas act like gravity objects in air or water -- they sink to the lowest bottom. The bottom of the human mind is called our hellish traits. We sink into our hellish traits, and we get rid of all of their heavenly traits, for which they have no use, and to which they react with fear and hate.

It is the same with magic, sorcery, ghosts, science fiction, etc. -- they are all natural ideas about physical energy, time, space, place. They are not spiritual because they are sensuous rather than rational ideas. All spiritual ideas must be rational ideas, for the two are the same (see Section xx).

 The Swedenborg Reports on the other hand are rational ideas, rational explanations, and rational observations. From age 57 to 84 Swedenborg was conscious in his natural mind as well as his spiritual mind, which is also called the rational mind (see Section xx).  Note that we could not have accepted these reports if Swedenborg had claimed that he had seen visions on earth, or interacted at a distance with people on earth or in the world of spirits through his natural mind. If this had been Swedenborg's claim, then he would have been diagnosed with psychotic or delusional disorders. But this was not his claim. Rather, Swedenborg claimed that his spiritual mind was opened or operationalized prior to his death. He continued to maintain that it was impossible for the natural mind to have any information about the spiritual world.

It is rational to think that Swedenborg could observe the afterlife of eternity with his spiritual mind, but sensuous to think that he could do this with his natural mind. The latter is impossible. The former is possible.

Part B Sensuous Consciousness of God Does Not Remain in the Afterlife

This amazing closeness is hidden from our direct sensuous awareness. We cannot show any direct evidence of it to someone else or even to ourselves. Anyone can deny God's presence, so hidden is it from our sensuous awareness. God will not appear at the United Nations, will not give an interview, will not appear to anyone on the street or a building, will not cause you to hear a sonorous voice your physical ears could hear, etc. God will not allow you to have a sensuous awareness of Him through your physical body and senses.

Instead, God wants us to rationally acknowledge His Presence in our mind and life.

This becomes clear when you consider the physiological fact that heaven is inside our rational mind (see Section xx). This was different for the celestial race, who now dwell in their celestial heavens, which Swedenborg was allowed to visit. Their celestial race heaven, which are separate and inaccessible to our heavens, is built physiologically within their sensuous mind, which is governed by the affective organ (the will) in conjunction with the cognitive organ (understanding). But the physiology of the human race was drastically evolved or altered when the spiritual race came into being. The heavens of the human race were now built up differently, inside the cognitive organ (understanding). The affective organ, which was hellish by inheritance since the Fall (see Sections xx), had to be regenerated or recreated through the battles of temptations, in which we fight for our life with the truth in our understanding (see Section xx). We must win this battle in order to be "saved" for heavenly life in eternity. It is the only way we can acquire heavenly traits, that is, by giving up voluntarily and getting rid freely of the hellish traits that we were born to enjoy and hang on to as dear life itself.

When we are regenerating, the Divine Psychologist is constructing our heavenly eternity within our cognitive organ (our understanding), and creates a new affective organ (our will) within that.

Thus, our life of eternity is now actuated by a rational conjunction with God through Sacred Scripture. God's presence in our mind is something we learn rationally, by constructing rational and scientific concepts that we acquire through study of Sacred Scripture and reflection upon it. It would destroy our ability to think of God's presence rationally if we had sensuous evidence of His Presence. The sensuous and the rational oppose each other in our mind.

As proof of this inherent opposition, Swedenborg interviewed people in the world of spirits shortly after their resuscitation, and discovered that some people had acquired a "persuasive" belief of religion based on a sensuous or physical presence of God. They acquired this persuasive belief through observing demonstrations of what appeared to them to be miracles performed by healers and "holy men."  Or else, they experienced visions of God or angels, as in Near Death Experiences (NDEs) (see Section xx). These "miraculous" events were seen as proof of God's physical presence in the world, and from this they believed in God.

Note that this physical demonstration of God's Presence is a sensuous spirituality, while rational spirituality is to look around and to see the splendor and intelligence of nature, and seeing that as a miracle, because it is from God's omnipotence and not from itself. Rational spirituality conjoins with God, but sensuous spirituality disjoins us from God.

The freshly resuscitated people that Swedenborg interviewed, mentioned above, demanded to be taken to heaven and to God's Court. But they were told by wise bystanders that God is nowhere to be found but in Sacred Scripture, or more precisely, in the rational understanding we acquire from Sacred Scripture. God is in that rational understanding that we form of the revelation of Divine Speech, but only to the extent that we intend and do that truth, that is, to the extent that we live according to the truth that we understand.

Those newly resuscitated people walked away in dismay when they heard the above. They kept their search up for God and heaven until finally they were led away by clever charlatans who prey upon such people in the world of spirits, meet them, pose to them as holy men who can do miracles, and promise to lead them to God and the Kingly Throne. At last they are led away into the entrapments of the hells where they become slaves to manipulating charlatans, and thereby experience a miserable existence.

Amazingly, Swedenborg discovered that they were unwilling to give up that life in the hells of their evil persuasions and insane fantasies. Isn't that amazing? They were not kept there as punishment for their misdeeds or false beliefs. They themselves, out of the free will God never removes from anyone, keep themselves in their hells. When they are exposed to the slightest rational suggestion or good intention, they become so enraged and insane that their miserable situation actually worsens. This is because nothing is as strong in their mind as their hatred for God, their disgust for heaven, their aversion for what is good, innocent, altruistic, loyal, wise. Hating these things so much, they are unwilling to exit from the hells of their mind since the only alternative is the heavens in their mind. There is no other existence in eternity, only heaven or hell. People have both in their mind, so it is their choice that keeps them in one or the other state of eternity.

With this type of evidence it is clear now why God won't appear to you in a vision, or on TV, or at the United Nations making a speech to the people of earth! It is also clear that real miracles are only those that run things as they are. For instance, it is a miracle when I get home every day after a half hour drive in traffic. It is a miracle of God that keeps those cars from hitting each other a thousand times more than actually happens. It is a miracle that God speaks to us in our rational understanding when we read Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech. It is a miracle when we resist a temptation, strengthen our resolve, feel closer to God as a result. It is a miracle that each one of us is going to be resuscitated and carry on a life of immortality.

We have to discover ourselves as organic human beings belonging to an organic race. We are like a single vine that, over the ages, has populated an entire rocky island. It is just one vine, from one seed dropped by a bird, that fell into a crack in the rock, survived, and eventually covered the entire available area. You can walk around the island and you will see that each part of this vine is different in appearance, having had to adapt to different climatic conditions. And even a single leaf or flower that you may examine, is unique in form, shape, texture, size, biochemical condition, and even genetic, molecular, and sun-atomic structure. Each is unique.

In the Writings Sacred Scripture, Divine Speech has revealed to humankind that no two created things of any size of comparison, can be the same. And it is explained that this is because God is infinite. Whatever God creates from Himself through the infinite substances of the Spiritual Sun, must retain the infinity of God within itself. This is the source and cause for every created thing coming into being, existing, and subsisting over time and activity.

This is why every object, of any size, is unique.

The vine that populated the entire surface of the island is actually composed of myriads of unique individual elements. All these unique elements are differentiated from each other. Each element or individual particle possesses its unique identity. Even though there is only one vine, all its elements are uniquely differentiated to make up this one vine.

This vine is the human race.

1.0.5.3    Part C:  We are Dual Citizens in Discrete Layers

A complete human being is created by conception and birth, according to the Writings Sacred Scripture. The unique individual or person who is created by conception and birth, is created simultaneously into two worlds. One world is temporary, the other is permanent. The temporary physical body created into a natural world in time and space, and the permanent spiritual body created into the mental world of eternity, outside time and space.

The spiritual body, also called the mental body, is organic, like the physical body. Both bodies are made of the sun in their world. Our physical body is made of matter from the natural sun of this earth. Our mental body is made of mental substances from the Spiritual Sun, which is the entry point from infinite God into finite creation. From the Spiritual Sun there is constant and ceaseless streams proceeding into the finited universe, creating the spiritual world. This is the inner world, the mental world, the human mind and its organs. Then, as the proceeding spiritual substances descend and continue to externalize away from the central Spiritual Sun, the natural universe is created through the sun in each galactic zone or space. So when we are born our physical body is attached by correspondence or functional bond, to our mental body.

The physiology of this mind-body attachment has been revealed to us in Divine Speech, as we can read in the Writings Sacred Scripture. The mental body has three organs called affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor. These mental organs are constructed out of the rational and immortal substances proceeding from the Spiritual Sun. This is why we are born immortal beings. What we call our mind or self as a person, is nothing else physiologically, than the operations of these three organs in the mental body. Our feelings are subjective experiences we have when the affective organ is stimulated by incoming streams from the Spiritual Sun. In other words, as the spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun stream out into the created universe, they permeate the mental world of the human race. The affective organ is built to react to incoming spiritual heat, while the cognitive organ is built to react to incoming spiritual light.

The operations of the affective organ cause us to have the mental experience of feelings, intentions, preferences. The operations of the cognitive organ cause us to have the mental experience of thinking and being conscious. The operations of the affective organ cause us to have the mental experience of afferent sensations and efferent determinations to act in the physical body.

Note that the physical body is in an external world of time, while the mental body is in a timeless and spaceless, or eternal, world. The sensory organs and brain in our physical body react to electro-chemical activities of physical particles or cells reflecting our physical surrounding as it impinges upon the body. Every tiny action of every tiny particle in this physical process, is a correspondential “copy” of a parallel tiny action in the spiritual world or the mind. The proceeding control system from the Spiritual Sun determines every co-action between something in the spiritual world and its parallel in the natural world. The two worlds are bonded, connected, co-determined by the stream proceeding from the Spiritual Sun and permeating the entire created universe, spiritual-mental in spaceless eternity, and natural-physical in time-space.

We are dual citizens, living in both worlds from birth until the death of the physical body. At that point the connection between our individual mind and the physical world, is broken or terminated forever. From then on all the proceeding input is spiritual, whereas before, it was spiritual and natural.

There is no possible connection between the two worlds except by functional correspondence. It is not possible for something to go from world into the other world. Everything created in its own world stays in that world. There is no transfer between the two worlds. When our connection to the physical universe is broken, the natural mind that was active prior to death, is now inactivated or becomes unconscious, though this takes a lengthy process and is not instantaneous, as Swedenborg reports from his multiple observations (see Section xx). Prior to death, our spiritual mind was active from the proceeding stream, as explained above, but it was unconscious. None of its activity was available to our conscious awareness.

But when the spiritual mind activates the natural mind, we become conscious of feelings, thoughts, and sensations. The memories we have of our life on earth are recorded in every single detail, in the natural mind where are located the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs of the natural mind. These three organs in the natural mind cannot operate on their own. They cannot communicate with the sensory input form the physical body. They are dead, unless they are activated by the spiritual stream coming from the unconscious spiritual mind. When the natural mind responds to this influx, we have the subjective experience of being conscious, having thoughts we are aware of, and having feelings, intentions, motives. The experience we have is that these thoughts and feelings are “our very own” and that they originate in our conscious life in the natural mind. And when we think about analytically and abstractly, we may come to the conclusion that the natural mind originates from the sensory experience in the physical body.

But as Divine Speech describes our created mental anatomy and physiology, the human mind is constructed in discrete layers, or levels, like an office building without stairs or elevators. The people on the various floors can communicate with each other, but they cannot mingle. The levels of our mental operations are bonded together in action. They cannot act on their own. They always are compelled to act in unison. God does the compelling, and the surveying, and managing of every detail. Nothing can work or operate without this permanent and continuous immediate management by God.

When we are disconnected from our physical body, we have the experience of being “resuscitated,” which means being consciously awakened, as if from a dream. Swedenborg observed this resuscitation process thousands of time during his daily life in both worlds for 27 years (see Section xx). When people are “resuscitated,” they awaken in the memory and activity of their natural mind. This is for rational continuity so what is happening to us can make sense. Swedenborg talked to many people who have been just resuscitated. He calls them “novitiate spirits.” The majority of those in his era (spanning the 17th and 18th century) were apparently “astonished” that they were now alive in the spiritual world, and that they had their entire body as before. Quickly they discover that it is now an immortal body of spiritual substances.

This mental body has vastly more powers and abilities than our physical body. This makes sense when you think that the spiritual or mental body exists in rational ether from the Spiritual Sun; while the natural or physical body exists in physical space and matter from the natural sun. For instance, we may want to switch weather when it is raining, to fit with our afternoon plans. But we cannot wish the rain away. The rain is physical and the wish is mental. The mental has power over the physical by correspondence only, never directly. So the only way we can act upon the physical world is by mentally doing that which corresponds physically. We can move our hand or our body parts when we so desire and think. This is because there are built in correspondences between intentions in the affective organ, thoughts in the cognitive organ, and efferent motor determinations in the sensorimotor organ.

1.0.5.4   Part D:  There is Only One Mental World in the Human Race

But the correspondences that determine the weather are not available to our mental operations. Only God changes the weather in correspondence with planned purposes, ecologies, histories, and biographies. All of it is panned in advance by God and the plan becomes reality when God activates the built in correspondences. But in the mental world of eternity there is no physical weather system, no geological layout or land mass created by physical forces. Everything in the mental world is created by the mind!

You can easily understand this when you think about your dreams, fantasies, imaginations, and made up stories. You are in full control of events, including the weather. Why? Because these events are mentally constructed in mental world of imagination and invention. Our dreams can be strikingly vivid and detailed. Our feelings and thoughts create dramatic scenes that look and feel normal. We make up characters that talk to us. We can make them scare us, or embrace us, leave us, or come back. Everything in the mental world is controlled by our feelings and thoughts – what it is that we want happening.

But there are rules of correspondences in both worlds. Swedenborg observed that when people are resuscitated, they attract other people who are like them, who come around and have interactions. This tendency is so forceful that people gather together in cities that are mental recreations from memory, like in a dream. The difference is that in a dream you appear to be the only one making up the events and characters. But what would happen if people’s dreams started getting mixed up so that everybody’s dream took place in the same dream world. It would be frightening. I am in your dream, you are in my dream, we are in other people’s dreams – we no longer have control over the dream world, but only a tiny portion of it, that portion that we are making up.

That’s exactly how Swedenborg described the spiritual world, which is the objective mental world in which everybody’s thoughts and feelings played themselves out. It is the world of eternity because dreams, thoughts, and feelings are operations of our mental organs, which exist not in space, not in time, not in physical matter, but in spaceless, timeless, rational ether forming eternity.

The spiritual heat and light proceeding from the Spiritual Sun into the mental world of humanity, jointly create the objective spiritual world of the human mind. In other words, every person’s mental organs are in the same mental world. In fact, there is only one mental world! What an amazing revelation. You are in my mental world when you are in your mental world, and I am in your mental world when I am in my mental world. This is exactly what we are used to with the physical body. You are in this restaurant and I am in this restaurant and a down other people are in this restaurant. There is only one restaurant in which these people now are.

We can understand that. The restaurant has space for all these people, so all these people can be in this restaurant at the same time. It would be the same if people could merge their dreams into one dream world where all the dreams take place. Then I can dream of a restaurant, and you and a dozen other dreamers can be in it because my dream and their dream are in the same dream world. We can meet each other there. Every human being who is dreaming a dream, can meet with every other human being who is also dreaming – as long as there is only one dream world where people can do their dreaming and create events and objects in the dream.

This is what Swedenborg discovered: that there is only one mental world for humankind.

Furthermore, he discovered that this mental world is the world of the afterlife and eternity!

It’s hard to imagine anything more stupendous than this reality!

We can memorize these ideas with a formula:

mental world = spiritual world = afterlife = eternity

You can clearly see now that you are born to be immortal. Your mental world begins when you take your first breath (see Section xx). That’s when you become conscious of sensations. A few weeks later, we become conscious of thoughts and feelings. We are beginning to form a self, a personhood. We are becoming part of the human race. Our mental world appears private. We are alone in it, in comparison to our physical world where we see and interact with social others. So we grow up with the natural mind forming the idea or hypothesis that we are alone in our mental world. We follow the sensuous principle of “Out of sight, out of mind.” In other words, no one seems to be in our own private mental world, hence there is no one there. But this may only be an appearance or illusion.

Swedenborg became conscious in his spiritual mind at age 57, as already explained. We become conscious of our spiritual mind only when we are resuscitated, at the death of the physical body. But he was given this special mission by God which was, to reveal the scientific and rational facts about the human mind and God. Until this time, no one could know anything about the afterlife, the spiritual world, or the anatomy and physiology of the mind (see Section xx). How could God reveal these scientific facts to the modern person? Not by direct entry into the physical world and creating a university where God writes the curriculum and teaches to people. This would only encourage a sensuous relationship with God here on earth. It would be temporary. When people pass into the spiritual world, whatever they believed or conceptualized about God sensuously, disappears.

As explained in several locations in Theistic Psychology (see Section xx), sensuous rationality tied to the corporeal mind and physical body, does not survive because it is located in the natural mind, and these mental organs are de-activated or put to sleep and are no longer functioning in our life of immortality. We awaken in our spiritual mind, which is a discrete degree or level above the natural mind. Nothing whatsoever of the natural can enter there or exist there. This is why God does not make an appearance at the United Nations or on the streets of the cities, as He did during the Incarnation Event (see see Sections 1.6.8 and 1.8.4.2  and 1.8.6  and 2.19 and 3.7.2.2 and 3.10.1 and 4.4.5 and 4.4.6.1  and 5.0.6  and 5.1.1.5.1 and 13.0.11.1.1). That event was an evolutionary change in the spiritual mind of the human race (see Section xx).

Specifically, the Divine Human was embodied in a Physical Body, which God rendered suitable for His Human Divine Spiritual Body, which He always possessed from eternity. By rendering this Divine Physical Body suitable for the Divine Spiritual Body, God thereby brought about an evolutionary change in the levels of the human race. He created the new Rational Heavens in every human mind then alive in either world, and in every human mind that is born after that. Hence the human race was altered in a most significant way. We might say that God finally completed the creation of the human race. Until then we were not complete. Since then, the human race contains a rational heaven in the affective organ at the highest level of the mind.

It is absolutely necessary that we develop this potential in us before we pass into the afterlife. When we are resuscitated, the kind of life we have is determined by the idea we have of God, for all other ideas depend on this chief idea. If we can tolerate and acquire rational ideas of God, we can find a way to our heaven, and exist there forever. If we cannot tolerate rational ideas of God, our consciousness automatically sinks down into the lower levels where the natural mind is, with its sensuous concepts and corporeal images obtained through the physical body. Instead of being able to let go of all ideas based on time, space, number, quantity, we hang to them, and we reject the rational ideas.

The result is spiritual insanity. This involves a distorted mental physiology. When the spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun, immerses them in its stream, their affective organ reacts hysterically and explosively, with extreme avoidance and compulsive rage. Swedenborg was able to observe this many times over the 27 years of his daily consciousness in the spiritual world. Sensuous ideas are opposed to rational ideas. Hence their ideas were opposed to heaven and God in their mind. When they were told some truth about God, they instantly denied it, and turned it around into its opposite – which of course was false. Swedenborg performed this experiment many times in different ways to make sure it is scientifically valid (see Section xx).

So you may be sure that God will not appear on the streets for the modern mind. Prior to the Incarnation Event, the human race had a sensuous heaven only, which was suitable to the original celestial race on earth (see see Sections 1.6.8 and 1.8.4.2  and 1.8.6  and 2.19 and 3.7.2.2 and 3.10.1 and 4.4.5 and 4.4.6.1  and 5.0.6  and 5.1.1.5.1 and 13.0.11.1.1). After the whole-brained celestial race had died out due to spiritual abuses of the science of correspondences, God created a new race called the split-brained spiritual race, of which we are members. This race had a new heaven in their mind, which is why the old race and the new race are segregated in eternity. Swedenborg however, was allowed to visit both races.

The need for the human race to create rational concepts of God and heaven led to the development of modern science. Today any modern person is educated in science and analytical thinking. These scientific concepts and attitudes make possible today the development of theistic science. Now God can be taught in school, not as religion, but as science (see Section xx). This would not have been possible before the Writings Sacred Scripture, the last volume of which was published by Swedenborg in 1771.

Now that God can be a scientific and rational concept for the basis of human thinking, every human being has the opportunity and ability to develop their rational heavens while they are still living in a physical body, and while still conscious in the natural mind. Every individual is exposed to the rational ideas in the Writings Sacred Scripture so that they may form their rational heavens through their idea of the Divine Human. People either receive this instruction on earth in society, or in the world of spirits, after their resuscitation. Every one is then instructed in the rational concepts revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture. Those who are willing to abandon their hellish loves with its false ideas of God, are able to open up their heavens and dwell there. But those who are unwilling, then abandon their heavenly loves and rational ideas of God. They open up the hells in their mind, into which they sink and immerse themselves with delight, as witnessed by Swedenborg many times.

You now have the unusual opportunity to discover the scientific concepts of God which God has revealed to humankind, barely 235 years ago through a Swedish scientist whose mind God had prepared for this special mission (see Section xx).

For more on sensuous vs. rational spirituality see Section xx.

1.0.5.5   The Daily Discipline of Rational Spirituality 

 

1.0.5.5.1   Recognizing Our Dual Existence

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

HH 434. A man cannot think and will without there being a subject that is a substance out of which and in which he can think and will. Anything that is supposed to come into existence apart from a substantial subject is nothing. This can be known from the fact that a man is unable to see without an organ which is the subject of his sight, or to hear without an organ which is the subject of his hearing. Apart from these organs, sight and hearing are nothing and are not given existence.

The same is true of thought, which is an internal sight, and of perception, which is an internal hearing; unless these were in substances and from substances which are organic forms and subjects, they would have no existence at all. From these things it can be confirmed that man's spirit as well as his body is in a form, and that it is in a human form, and enjoys sensories and senses when separated from the body, the same as when it was in it, and that all the life of the eye and all the life of the ear in a word, all the life of sense that man has, belongs not to his body but to his spirit, which dwells in these organs and in their minutest particulars.

This is why spirits see, hear, and feel, as well as men. But after being loosed from the body, they do this not in the natural world, but in the spiritual world. The natural sensation that the spirit had, when it was in the body, it had by means of the material part that was added to it; but even then it also felt spiritually in thinking and willing. (HH 434)

We are mental beings existing simultaneously in time and in eternity outside time.

We exist in time through the physical body and in eternity through the mental body.

Our birth involves the coming into existence of a physical body in time and a mental body outside time or in eternity. The physical body and mental body are functionally connected through the universal laws of correspondences. These Divinely created laws connect the two worlds of creation – the world of time and the world of eternity.

The physical world is in time and space. Its matter originates from stars that create gravitational fields or energies that operate by fixed laws. The stars are also the source of matter, heat, light, and through these, of planets and its weather systems. This arrangement of things in the physical world of time is brought about and managed by the arrangement of things in the mental world of eternity. Every single physical phenomenon, object, or property, is nothing but the effect of some corresponding mental source and cause. Everything that happens in the physical world of time is a corresponding result to something that first happens in the mental world of eternity.

For instance stars exist in the physical world of time because the Spiritual Sun exists in the mental world of eternity. You will be able to see the Spiritual Sun when your consciousness is no longer connected to the physical body. This happens at death. Following that, we are resuscitated, which occurs about thirty hours after the physical body is no longer able to remain connected to the mental body. After resuscitation our conscious awareness is entirely in the mental body. Now we begin our life of immortality in eternity.

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish scientist and engineer, was prepared from childhood to develop a mind and character to be able to receive, write, and publish new scientific revelations about the two worlds and how they are interconnected by the laws of correspondences. At age 57 God appeared to Swedenborg and informed him of his Divinely appointed mission as modern scientific revelator.

Swedenborg was then given the unique and unprecedented ability of being conscious simultaneously in both worlds. No scientist in human history has ever been given such an experimental laboratory which allowed him to do experiments and view it simultaneously in its effects in time and its prior cause in eternity. For the next 27 years, until his death at age 84, he kept daily records, in Swedish and Latin, of his dualist experiments. All his works were published and translated, and the English translation today contains about 30 volumes of his reports on the world of eternity.

Swedenborg observed thousands of people being resuscitated shortly after the death of their physical body. He was able to talk to all the people he had known and had passed into the afterlife. Furthermore, he was able to talk to dozens of famous names he knew from literature going back to thousands of years (e.g., Aristotle). He interviewed people who had lived on this earth when human life first began, and despite their ancient age their mental body appeared like the body they had on earth in their adolescence.

Swedenborg discovered that the world of the afterlife is in eternity, not in time. People often imagine their afterlife as coming back on a new reconstructed earth in which they will live forever. They thus imagine heaven to be on a physical planet in an immortal physical body. Swedenborg proved that the afterlife is in eternity, outside the physical world of time and space.

 1.0.5.5.2  The Mental World is the World of Eternity

When people hear about their immortal life in “eternity” and  the “spiritual world,” they think of something obscure and without content. They think it is something difficult to understand or be clear about. But all this changes when you realize that eternity is something you are more familiar with than you are with your kitchen or back yard. Eternity is nothing else than the mental world, and what is more familiar to you than your mental world of thoughts and feelings?

People are taught from the negative bias of science that thoughts and feelings are in the brain. Few people go on to examine and observe how irrational and unscientific this idea is. In order to see it and to be able to prove that eternity is our familiar mental world, all you need to do is to consider your dreams. Where are your dreams? Where is the space and the objects in the restaurant you are dreaming eating in?

The space is instantiated by your imagination! In the mental world we have the power to create instantly as much space we want, as much wealth we want, as much fun we want – or, strangely enough, their opposites – how frightened we can get, or miserable, or powerless. We can create a heaven or a hell in our mind both while we are dreaming and while we are awake. All this is familiar to you. What you did not know is that this mental world is the same as the afterlife of eternity!

When we are born we exist as two connected bodies, one in time, the other in eternity. Only the brain and its operations can be in time and space. The sensations we have from our sensory organs are not in the brain, not in the physical body, but in the mental body. Our thoughts and feelings must exist in a non-material world that is outside space, time, matter, energy, quantity, etc. Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not material, not physical, not in space, not in time, not in matter. They are spiritual, outside time and space, in a mental world that is eternal, because not in time. Our mental life cannot exist in our physical body.

From birth onward, our physical body transmits neuro-chemical and electro-physical signals to our brain, and there they remain. The mental body is connected by correspondence to these physical signals. We experience the sensation of an ice cube in the mouth after the physical signal went from the mouth to the brain. The mental sensation occurs simultaneously with the physical brain signal. If the brain malfunctions due to disease or injury, the mental sensation will not be experienced. Once the brain is dead however, and we are resuscitated in our mental body, we can experience sensations far more intensely because the sensory environment in the mental world is far more distinct than in the physical world – as you can tell from vivid dreams and nightmares.

So our life of immortality begins when the physical body is dead and the mental body now can experience the mental environment exclusively. This environment differs greatly from the physical environment we are familiar with here. On the surface the two worlds look alike because of our ideas of the environment we must have to live. For instance, the environment in your dreams may be normal or odd, but still it is made of things we are familiar with – people, houses, books, beaches, horses, running, eating, etc. The things in our dreams mostly make sense because they are the things in our daily lives.

1.0.5.5.3   Our Life in Eternity

It is easy to understand therefore that our mental world does not change much in appearance after death. Swedenborg reports that when people are resuscitated they appear to themselves to be in the same place that they died in – at home in bed, or a hospital, or battle zone. But this appearance quickly begins to change and we realize that we are no longer in a physical world. People seem to appear and disappear, houses and roads appear, clothes seem to change automatically on our body, we mostly never think of eating, and in any case, we soon realize we do not need to eat or drink to live, for we are immortal. But if we do think about eating, food we want suddenly appears on the table or in our hand, and it tastes very delicious.

Our life in the afterlife of eternity is social life with others who are like us. People live in groups and societies made of individuals who are similar in attitude and interest. It is the harmony and similarity of thoughts and feelings that causes people to appear with each other in groups and societies. This is completely an automatic sorting out process that starts at resuscitation. There are two separate groupings or collections of people in the afterlife, those who have heavenly thoughts and feelings and those who have hellish thoughts and feelings. The heaven or hell we live in is nothing else than the life we have inside our thoughts – a life in mental heaven if our thoughts and feelings are heavenly, and a life in mental hell if our thoughts and feelings are hellish.

While we are connected to the physical body it is possible for us to build up our heavenly thoughts and feelings and their hellish counterparts. At some point in our adult life we must start making choices that are either heavenly or hellish. Every choice we make remains with us into the afterlife. After resuscitation we go through a period of discovering which choices we made and which ones we are willing to give up or to keep. If we are willing to give up every single hellish choice, we enter immortal life in heaven. If we are not willing to give up a single hellish trait, we cannot enter heavenly life. Swedenborg reports that many people he observed after their resuscitation, were unwilling to give up this or that cherished attitude or pleasure, even if these were hellish. And so they gave up all their heavenly traits to enter life in hell forever.

How do we know which traits are heavenly or hellish?

When we make a choice on the basis of what we love our reasoning process immediately justifies the choice as good – even if it is evil. For instance, when people enjoy listening to loud music or TV they want to ignore how others are disturbed by it. They convince themselves that what they are doing is right since it’s their home, or since it’s still not late in the evening, or some other reason. Men can rape their dates and think that they didn’t do anything wrong because the girl encouraged them. People can drive drunk, kill someone, and convince themselves it’s not their fault. People betray each other and think they have the right to do that.

There are so many contradictory religions and philosophies because people want to call good that which they love, want, or enjoy. And so how do we know which of our traits are heavenly and which hellish? If we are wrong about this, it can costs us heaven or hell forever!

1.0.5.5.4   Why We Need Sacred Scripture

This is why it is absolutely necessary that God give people guidelines and definitions of what is heavenly and what hellish. We cannot rely on our own judgment. Hence it is that God gives Sacred Scripture to the human race. This is the Divinely given definition and criterion for what is good vs. evil, true vs. false, heavenly vs. hellish.

In Sacred Scripture God gives us several distinct layers of meanings and definitions. Our first encounter with Divine Speech through Sacred Scripture is the literal sense of the sentences that make up the books of Sacred Scripture. These sentences can be read by anyone and be understood in the literal sense. What are the topics of Sacred Scripture at this literal level of meaning? What is God talking to us about?

At the literal level Sacred Scripture has a historical and religious content. For instance, the Old Testament Sacred Scripture reads like the history of an ancient people, and contains poetry about God, visions and dreams by prophets, various prophecies of future history, numerous commandments and rituals that must be performed, and punishments and rewards are received accordingly. This literal-historical level of meaning of Sacred Scripture forms the basis for religion and its various denominations and varieties.

What happens when people form religions and belief systems based on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture? People interpret this literal content to suit themselves and what they love. People focus on the parts they like and ignore the parts of Sacred Scripture they don’t like. There is no consistency, no rational responsibility for being consistent. It is necessary therefore for people to go to the next layer of meaning in Sacred Scripture. This is called the spiritual meaning or the interior meaning, whereas the literal sense is called the natural meaning or the external meaning.

People are able to penetrate to the hidden correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture by making these steps:

(1) Acknowledging that the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture can only be understood by being received from God. No one can do this on their own or from their own. Those who try come up with much improvable fantasy rather than truth and reality.

(2) Studying Sacred Scripture by rational and scientific methods. One must be completely consistent, explain apparent contradictions, and ignore no parts. This is called forming for oneself the Doctrine of Truth from Sacred Scripture. Theistic psychology is an instance of this approach.

(3) Applying each truth and idea to our daily willing and thinking. We must monitor the hundreds of choices we make every day. Every choice must be distinguished in our mind as either heavenly or hellish, as defined by the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture that God reveals to us on a daily basis.

If we practice these three steps on a daily basis, we are slowly building up our heaven and cutting our ties with hell. After resuscitation we happily and easily let go of whatever hellish traits remain, and we enter our heaven.

The correspondential sense of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures are revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg Sacred Scripture. The Writings Sacred Scripture teach us how to extract the correspondential sense of all Sacred Scripture. The literal sense of the Writings Sacred Scripture are the Swedenborg Reports in about 30 volumes that describe his experiments, observations, and rationale. It is revealed there that life in eternal heaven is a conjugial life, that is, everyone there is married. Swedenborg interviewed many married couples who live in their heavens. A husband and wife are soul mates and live out their immortal life in happiness and blessedness in company with other similar couples with who they form a society or city. Swedenborg describes the details of life in heaven and hell.

Why risk going to hell? Take charge of your immortality. Start studying theistic psychology and read the Writings Sacred Scripture. Gain knowledge of how to be successful in your character reformation and personality makeover. Everything depends on it!

1.0.5.5.5   The Hidden correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture

What is God talking to us about in the hidden correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture? And why is it hidden?

The idea of “God talking” is the same as the idea of “Divine Truth” because God thinks and speaks Divine Truth and nothing else. Remember that the mental world of eternity is the world created by God’s thoughts and purposes. God has no beginning and no end, and therefore God’s thoughts are eternal, which is the same as saying that God’s thoughts, or Divine Truth, forms the world of eternity. Remember also that the physical world of time and space is an effect or consequence of a mental cause. This mental cause of the physical world is Divine Truth, which is God’s thinking.

We at first think that the physical world is concrete and solid while the mental world is ephemeral, almost non-existent in concrete reality. We have sayings in popular culture like “It’s only in his imagination. It’s not real.” A popular song about an island the singer is dreaming of ends with “But there is no island at all, Just a picture on my wall.” So we grow up with the idea that the mental world is less real than the physical world.

But as we progress in our rational thinking we discover from the hidden correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture that the mental world is more real than the physical world. Everything in the physical world is temporary and breaks down with time. Nothing is permanent. But in the mental world created by God’s thoughts every single thing is permanent. We are immortal because our mental world is created by the thoughts of God, that is, by Divine Truth. A human mind constructed out of God’s thoughts and feelings is an immortal being because nothing in it can die, everything in it is permanent in eternity. Animals do not have the same mental body we have.

While we have a natural mind and a spiritual mind, animals only have a natural mind. Upon the death of the animal the mental body containing the animal’s natural mind cannot remain itself, cannot survive, and dissipates. It is our spiritual mind that makes us different from all animals. Our spiritual mind is constructed as a receptor organ for God’s thoughts and feelings, while animals do not have such an organ. The natural mind animals have are similar to our natural mind in that its content is constructed through the sensory signals of the physical body. In contrast to this, the spiritual mind does not receive any input whatsoever from the physical body and the natural world. All the input into our spiritual mind comes from the spiritual world, that is, the mental world of eternity.

The input or inflow of God’s thoughts and feelings into our spiritual mind is unconscious and automatic. This is the source of rationality, that is, our ability to think and reason rationally in our natural mind. We are not conscious of the inflow of God’s rational thoughts. We are only conscious of the rational thoughts as we are thinking about something or solving a problem.

Why then are we not perfectly rational all the time? Why is the Divine Truth hidden in Sacred Scripture as its correspondential sense? Why not reveal the truth to everybody?

To understand the answer you need to recall that God’s thoughts and feelings flow out into the created mental world of eternity where the minds of human beings exist and live. God’s thoughts and feelings spread out into the mental world of humanity like sunlight and heat spread out into physical space and into the planets. Divine Truth as Divine Speech, spreads into the unconscious spiritual mind of every human being, insuring the rationality and immortality of every member of the human race. But where does Divine Truth go from there? How does it go from the unconscious spiritual mind to the conscious natural mind where we do our thinking 

The answer is that the natural mind and the spiritual mind are connected by the laws of correspondences. These laws govern the functional connection between the layers of reality, starting with the spiritual mind and its layers, spreading outward to the natural mind, and finally being written down as sentences in a book. At each level of descent there is a corresponding reaction so that the upper level causes the lower level to react in correspondence with itself. When Divine Speech, or Divine Truth, reaches the bottom of the natural mind, the meaning of the ideas are natural, not spiritual. The literal sense that the prophet writes down in sentences is not what God said or thought, but a correspondence to what God thought and said. See the Layers Diagram.

For instance the literal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture often speaks of water, different forms of it, like rain, ocean, storm, flood, river, spring waters, etc. When Swedenborg read the Sacred Scripture people use in the heavens of their eternity, there was no mention of water anywhere. Instead, when Swedenborg compared the specific passages and phrases where the Old Testament Sacred Scripture mentions water, there was mention of various forms of truth, like external vs. internal truth, or mediate truth vs. genuine truth, or truth of doctrine, truth of religion, natural truth vs. spiritual truth, falsified truth, etc. In other words, Divine Speech discusses the varieties of truth in human minds, not the weather or bodies of water on earth.

Another example is the frequent mention and description of wars conducted by the children of Israel in the Holy Land. All sorts of sordid details are given, some quite revolting. In several passages God is quoted as saying that He orders the children of Israel to invade the land that was promised them, wage holy war against the inhabitants, and destroy their cities, and decimate their population. God orders that no one should be spared the sword, -- women, children, and cattle. Many people today are puzzled or offended by such a barbaric treatment commanded by God. But you can understand it if you look for the hidden spiritual meaning of these events. Every detail of war mentioned in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture can be analyzed and seen to deal with the details of the psychology of regeneration.

Swedenborg was conscious in both the natural mind, as we are now, and in his spiritual mind, as we will be after resuscitation, which is the process of awakening in the spiritual mind a few hours after the death of the physical body (see Section xx). Because Swedenborg was conscious in both minds simultaneously he was in a position of making direct empirical observations of how natural and spiritual phenomena are interrelated. He was able to read the literal meaning of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek so that he was conscious of its meaning in the natural mind, as we are, but also of its meaning in the spiritual mind, since the two are interrelated. This is how he empirically discovered the natural-spiritual correspondences in the Bible. Let's see what he discovered about the Genesis creation story as he compared passages in the Bible with Sacred Scripture that exists in every person's unconscious spiritual mind. In the following passages people are called "angels" when, after death and resuscitation, they become conscious in their spiritual and celestial layers of the mind. The expression "the Word" refers to Sacred Scripture. "The Lord" refers to the universal God the Divine Human (see Section xx). The expression "the Word in the world" refers to the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture as we are conscious of it in our natural mind, which is referred to as "the church."

Quoting from the Writings of Swedenborg: [comments in italics are not in the original]

De Verbo 14. XIV  The Word in the heavens.

The Word [= Sacred Scripture] exists in all the heavens [= layers of the mind], and it is read there as it is in the world [= the meaning of it in our natural mind] , and sermons [= knowledge of theistic psychology] are based on it.

For it [= Sacred Scripture] is the Divine Truth which is the source of the angels' [= people in the afterlife already conscious in their celestial layers] intelligence and wisdom. For without the Word no one knows anything about the Lord [= God the Divine Human], love and faith, redemption, and all the other secrets of heavenly wisdom. In fact without the Word heaven [= consciousness in the afterlife in our celestial layers] would not exist, just as without the Word there would be no church in the world [= no way of regenerating our character], so that there would be no linking with the Lord.   (...)

[2] The Word in the Lord's spiritual kingdom [= unconscious spiritual layer of our mind] is not the same as the Word in the world [= conscious natural layer of our mind]. In the world there is the natural Word, but in that kingdom there is a spiritual Word. The difference is like that between its natural and spiritual senses.

The nature of the spiritual sense [= correspondential sense] has been demonstrated at length in my Arcana Coelestia, where the whole contents of Genesis and Exodus have been explained in accordance with that sense. The difference is such that no word is the same. Things take the place of names, and likewise of numbers; the histories are replaced by matters concerning the church [= the natural mind]. The surprising thing is that, when an angel reads it, he is unaware that it is not the same as what he read in the Word while in the world [= after resuscitation, we become conscious in the spiritual mind and unconscious in the natural mind]. This is because he no longer has any natural ideas, since they are replaced with spiritual ones; and the natural and the spiritual are linked by correspondences into a kind of unity.

So when someone passes from the natural into the spiritual [= at our death and immediate resuscitation], it seems to him as if they were the same. In fact an angel does not know that he is wiser than he was in the world, though his wisdom is really so superior as to be comparatively indescribable. He is unable to recognize the difference, because in his spiritual state he knows nothing of the natural state, which he had in the world; and he is unable to compare and differentiate them [= as Swedenborg was able to do], because he cannot return to his former state so as to make a comparison [= but Swedenborg was conscious in both before his death]. Still an angel in heaven is constantly being brought to a higher degree of perfection in wisdom than he had in the world, because his affection for spiritual truth is purer [= more rational and perfect].

[3] However, the Word in the Lord's celestial kingdom is far superior and wiser than the Word in His spiritual kingdom. The difference is of the same kind as that which distinguishes the natural Word in the world from the spiritual Word, as has been stated.

For that Word contains an inmost sense, called celestial, which in all its details refers to nothing but the Lord [= how God the Divine Human manages our mental operations]. In this Word [= celestial layer of our mind] the Lord [= God the Divine Human ] is read in place of "Jehovah" [= God's literal Name in the Bible], and of "Abraham", "Isaac" and "Jacob"; and also the Lord is named in place of "David", "Moses," "Elijah" and the rest of the Prophets; and His divinity is distinguished by special marks [= in the written version of Sacred Scripture that exists in our celestial mind]. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and also the names of the Apostles, when read there, convey something about the Lord as regards the church [= how we can change our inherited character]; and so with all the rest.

From this it became plain to me that the whole of the Sacred Scripture deals in its inmost sense with nothing but the Lord. The difference which distinguishes the two Words, the spiritual and the celestial, is like that between thoughts, the province of the intellect [= our cognitive organ], and affections, the province of the will [= our affective organ]. For the angels of the celestial kingdom are guided [=  our chief motives and loves] by love to the Lord and so affection for good [= wanting to be conjoined with God the Divine Human ]; the angels of the spiritual kingdom are guided by faith in the Lord and so by perception of truth [= wanting to be conjoined with the truths of God the Divine Human].

[4] Another difference between the celestial and spiritual Words is their script. The script of the spiritual Word is made up of letters resembling the printed letters of our world; but each letter has a meaning. If therefore you were to see that script, you would not understand a single word. For one letter succeeds another without a break, with dashes and dots above and below, since it is in accordance with spiritual speech, which has nothing in common with natural speech. The wiser angels are, the more they see of the inner secrets of their Word so written, more so than the simpler angels. What is stored there is plainly visible to the eyes of the wise, but not to the eyes of the simple. It is similar to what happens with our Word, but to a greater degree; here too the wise see more than the simple.

The script of the celestial Word, however, is made up of letters not known in the world. They are indeed alphabetical, but each one of them is composed of curved lines with serifs above and below, and there are small marks or dots in the letters, and also above and below them. I was told that the most ancient people on this earth had such a script. Some details agree with the Hebrew script, but not much. Such a script expresses the affections which make up a love; so it contains more secrets than they themselves can ever utter. They express these unutterable secrets which they perceive from their Word by means of representations. The wisdom hidden away in this Word surpasses the wisdom in the spiritual Word as a thousand does one.

[5] To make the difference between the three Words, the natural, the spiritual and the celestial, intelligible, let us take as an example the first chapters of Genesis, which deal with Adam, his wife and the Garden.

 In the natural Word which we have in this world there is a description of the creation of the world, the first creation of man, and the earthly pleasures and delights of man and the world. By the persons named following him up to the Flood [= hellish traits we inherit and acquire ] are meant his descendants, and the numbers mean their ages. But in the spiritual Word the angels of the spiritual kingdom have, this is not what is meant. The first chapter is a description of the reform and regeneration of the people of the most ancient church [= celestial traits we inherit and acquire]; this too is called a new creation. The second chapter describes as the Garden the intelligence of the people of that church; Adam and his wife stand for the church itself, and their descendants down to the Flood describe the changes in the state of that church [= evolution of mental states in the human race], up to the time when it came to an end and was finally destroyed [= ] by the Flood [= hellish traits we inherit and acquire].

But in the celestial Word possessed by the angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, the first chapter describes the glorification of the Lord's Human; the Garden describes his Divine wisdom. Adam himself is understood to mean the Lord as regards the Divine itself and at the same time the Divine Human. His wife stands for the church, which since it has life from the Lord is called Eve from [the Hebrew word for] life. Adam says of her that she was to be his bone and his flesh, and [they should be] one flesh, because the church comes from the Lord, and is out of Him and with Him as if one. The names of the descendants of Adam describe the successive states by which the Lord was received by the people of that church and linked with them, until there was nothing at all received and so no linking.

[6] So when the first chapters in our Word are read by upright people, especially by boys and girls, and they feel joy at the state when everything was created and at the Garden, then these meanings are unfolded, and the spiritual angels [= those in the afterlife connected to the natural mind of people still on earth] understand them in accordance with their Word, and the celestial angels in accordance with theirs, without being aware that a person or a child is reading it [=  hence without prior knowledge or biased teaching]. These meanings are unfolded in their due sequence because they correspond, and correspondences are from creation like this.

This makes it plain what the Word is like in its depths, that is, it has three senses. The last is the natural one for men on earth; this deals mainly with worldly matters [= historical narratives] and where it deals with Divine matters [= spiritual meanings about the afterlife], they are still described by the kind of things which the world contains [= spiritual ideas described and understood naturally, not spiritually]. The middle sense is the spiritual one, which describes the kind of things which belong to the church [= mental world of eternity in the afterlife]. The inmost sense is the celestial one, which contains the kind of things which belong to the Lord [= how we are conjoined to God by loving Him].

For the whole of nature is a theatre representing the Lord's kingdom; and the Lord's kingdom, heaven and the church, is a theatre representing the Lord Himself. For just as the Lord glorified His Human [during the Incarnation Event], so too He regenerates a person; and as He regenerates a person, so too did He create him.

[7] These facts may establish what the Word is like in its depths. The natural Word as possessed by the Christian part of the world contains within itself a spiritual and a celestial Word. For the spiritual sense of our Word is the Word in the heavens which make up the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and the celestial sense of our Word, its inmost sense, is the Word in the heavens which make up the Lord's celestial kingdom. Our Word therefore contains both the spiritual and the celestial Words; but the spiritual Word and the celestial Word do not contain the natural Word. The Word of our world is therefore the one most full of Divine wisdom, and consequently more holy than the Word of the heavens [= because it contains the other two Sacred Scripture within itself].  (DE VERBO 14)

AC 4. While the mind cleaves to the literal sense alone [= of Sacred Scripture], no one can possibly see that such things [= heavenly secrets in the form of correspondences] are contained [= hidden] within it. Thus in these first chapters of Genesis [= Chapters 1 to 11], nothing is discoverable from the sense of the letter other than that the creation of the world is treated of, and the garden of Eden which is called Paradise, and Adam as the first created man. Who supposes anything else? But it will be sufficiently established in the following pages that these matters contain arcana [= secrets] which have never yet been revealed; and in fact that the first chapter of Genesis in the internal sense treats in general of the new creation of man, or of his regeneration [= mental character change from inherited hellish traits to heavenly], and specifically of the Most Ancient Church; and this in such a manner that there is not the least expression which does not represent, signify, and enfold within it these things. (AC 4)

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

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

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

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

See the Layers Diagram.

Here is a summary of the correspondential sense of the first chapters of Genesis:

From: BibleMeanings.info (paraphrased from the Writings of Swedenborg):
http://www.biblemeanings.info/Bible/genesis.html

AC 6. The six days, or periods, which are so many successive states of the regeneration of man, are in general as follows.

AC 7. The first state is that which precedes, including both the state from infancy, and that immediately before regeneration. This is called a "void," "emptiness," and "thick darkness." And the first motion, which is the Lord‘s mercy, is "the Spirit of God moving upon the faces of the waters."

AC 8. The second state is when a distinction is made between those things which are of the Lord, and those which are proper to man. The things which are of the Lord are called in the Word "remains," and here are especially knowledges of faith, which have been learned from infancy, and which are stored up, and are not manifested until the man comes into this state. At the present day this state seldom exists without temptation, misfortune, or sorrow, by which the things of the body and the world, that is, such as are proper to man, are brought into quiescence, and as it were die. Thus the things which belong to the external man are separated from those which belong to the internal man. In the internal man are the remains, stored up by the Lord unto this time, and for this use.

AC 9. The third state is that of repentance, in which the man, from his internal man, speaks piously and devoutly, and brings forth goods, like works of charity, but which nevertheless are inanimate, because he thinks they are from himself. These goods are called the "tender grass," and also the "herb yielding seed," and afterwards the "tree bearing fruit."

AC 10. The fourth state is when the man becomes affected with love, and illuminated by faith. He indeed previously discoursed piously, and brought forth goods, but he did so in consequence of the temptation and straitness under which he labored, and not from faith and charity; wherefore faith and charity are now enkindled in his internal man, and are called two "luminaries."

AC 11. The fifth state is when the man discourses from faith, and thereby confirms himself in truth and good: the things then produced by him are animate, and are called the "fish of the sea," and the "birds of the heavens."

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

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

Continued here: http://www.biblemeanings.info/Bible/genesis.html

Let us examine a Number from the Writings Sacred Scripture that will demonstrate to you how the scientific sense is extracted from the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture. This passage gives an analysis of a phrase in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. Try to keep track of the topic by translating certain words from the literal meaning into theistic psychology concepts. See if you can memorize these correspondences:

THE WRITINGS
SACRED SCRIPTURE
CORRESPONDING THEISTIC PSYCHOLOGY CONCEPTS
the Word Sacred Scripture
the Lord God the Divine Human
church our understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture
labor, combat, works fighting against spiritual temptations
rest on the seventh day, peace not being in a state of temptation, conjunction with God the Divine Human
external man, internal man conscious natural mind, unconscious spiritual mind
Divine order, heaven rules man our daily thinking and willing conforms to the truth from Sacred Scripture that is in our understanding
born into loving the world and himself more than heaven and the Lord inherited hellish traits in the natural mind, materialism, selfism, negative bias in science
regenerating, regenerated, external things disposed so as to agree with internal things character reformation to conform to truth from Sacred Scripture in our understanding
the hells flow from all sides, continually endeavoring to infest particular connection to vertical community through our love for inherited enjoyments and attachments
the Lord continually protects and sets him free. the Divine Psychologist manages the process of character reformation to the extent we reciprocate
the body and its senses, see and act through influx from heaven sensations are not caused by the electro-chemical action of neurons, but the reverse
raised from external things into internal, and thus into the light of heaven. becoming conscious in the rational mind when is in correspondence with the spiritual mind
in this world are intelligent and wise, those who are in the truth and good of the church when we make our daily willing and thinking to conform to the truths of Sacred Scripture in our understanding, we receive intelligence in greater degree
[scientists who] confirmed themselves against the truths and goods of the church, are more insane and foolish that the rest materialistic monism or the negative bias in science, which denies God and the truths of Sacred Scripture, thus denies spiritual reality, which is irrational, thus is in the hells of the mind
after death they are raised by the Lord into angelic wisdom those who make their daily willing and thinking to conform to the truths of Sacred Scripture, are resuscitated in their mental body and choose to dwell in their conjugial heaven, where where they think and feel in terms of celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture: (words in italics appear in the table above)

AC 9278. Six days thou shalt do thy works. [Exodus. 23:12]

That this signifies the state of labor and of combat when the man is in external delights that are to be conjoined with internal, is evident from the signification of the "six days" which precede the seventh, as being a state of labor and of combat (see n. 737, 900, 8510, 8888, 8975). The labor and combat then are signified by the "works" which they were to do in the six days. By the "works of the six days," and the "rest on the seventh day," are signified those things which come forth in man in his first, and in his second state, during regeneration, and also those which come forth in him when he has been regenerated.  (Concerning the first and second states of man during regeneration, see above, n. 9274; and concerning those things which come forth with him when he has been regenerated, n. 9213.)

These things take place to the end that external things may be conjoined with internal; for there is an external man, which is also called natural; and there is an internal man, which is also called spiritual. The external man communicates with the world, and the internal man with heaven.

[2] The Divine order is that heaven should rule the world in man, and not the world rule heaven in him; for when heaven rules man, then the Lord rules him. Man is born into loving the world and himself more than heaven and the Lord. And because this is opposite to Divine order, there must be an inversion by means of regeneration; and this inversion is effected when the things of heaven and the Lord are loved more than those of the world and of self. This is the reason why the man who has been regenerated, as also he who is in heaven, is alternately in external and in internal things; for external things are thereby disposed so as to agree with internal things; and finally to be subject to them.

[3] When a man is in external things, he is in labor and combat, for he is then in a life which savors of the world, into which the hells flow from all sides, continually endeavoring to infest, and even to subjugate in the man the things of heaven; but the Lord continually protects and sets him free.

From this arise the labor and combat which are signified by the "six days of the week in which works are to be done." But when the man is in internal things, then, because he is in heaven with the Lord, the labor and combat cease, and he is in the tranquility of peace, in which tranquility conjunction also is effected. These are the things which are signified by the "seventh day." That the interiors of man have been created according to the image of heaven, and his exteriors according to the image of the world; thus that man is a heaven and a world in a little form, and according to the maxim of the ancients, is a microcosm, may be seen above (n. 6057); and consequently that it is according to Divine order that the Lord through heaven directs the world in man, and by no means the reverse.

[4] The nature of the labor and combat when a man is in external things, can be seen from the fact that he is then in such a state as to be in heat from the world and to be cold toward heaven, unless heaven be to him as the world; and that he is consequently in such a shade that he cannot conceive otherwise than that external things flow into internal, and consequently that the eye sees and the ear hears of itself, and that their objects bring forth thoughts, and produce the intellect, and that thereupon he is able of himself to believe, and likewise to love God; consequently from the world to see heaven.

From this fallacy he can scarcely be withdrawn until he has been raised from external things into internal, and thus into the light of heaven. Then for the first time he perceives that the things in him which are of the world, thus which are of the body and its senses, see and act through influx from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord, and not at all from themselves. From this it is evident why a sensuous man believes that everything of his life is from the world and from nature; that there is no hell, nor heaven; and finally that there is no God; consequently why he ridicules everything of the church insofar as he is concerned; but is in favor of it insofar as it concerns the simple, so that they may be in bonds, in addition to those of the laws.

[5] From this it can be known what it is to be in external things, and not at the same time in internal things, and that when a man is in external things, he is in cold and shade in respect to the things which are of heaven and which are of the Lord. From this also it can be known who in this world are intelligent and wise, namely, those who are in the truth and good of the church, because these are wise from heaven; and also who are foolish and insane, namely, those who are not in the good and truth of the church, because their knowledge is derived solely from the world; and that those among them who by means of the sciences of the world have confirmed themselves against the truths and goods of the church, are more insane and foolish that the rest, however much they may believe themselves intelligent and wise in comparison with others, and may call those simple who are in the good of life from the truths of doctrine; when yet the simplicity of these latter is wisdom in the eyes of the angels, and moreover after death they are raised by the Lord into angelic wisdom. (AC 9278)

You can see from the above that the hidden meaning of the verse "Six days thou shalt do thy works" in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture refers to the process of regeneration by which the natural mind is made to correspond to the rational mind by compelling our thinking and willing to conform to the truths of Sacred Scripture in our understanding. This self-compulsion on a daily and hourly basis is referred to as "six days of doing one's works." In God's purpose our main task on earth is to regenerate, hence the methods of regeneration is a major topic of Divine Speech hidden throughout Sacred Scripture.

For other demonstrations of extracting the hidden meaning of Sacred Scripture using correspondences, see Sections:

among others -- see also the Index Volume 18 for additional illustrations.

See also: BibleMeanings.info at http://www.biblemeanings.info/index.htm

1.0.5.5.6   Why We Need Theistic Psychology

This is what God wants us to know. Divine Love wants each human being to live in the heaven of eternity that is constructed out of God’s rational feelings and thoughts. God has arranged things so that He cannot make us to be in our heaven if we don’t want to. This is called spiritual freedom. God puts spiritual freedom above all other properties of human beings. Through His Divine omnipotence God maintains the spiritual freedom of every human being from birth to endless eternity. God makes sure that we remain totally unaware of the fact that our thoughts and feelings are nothing but reactions or adaptations in our mind to His thoughts and feelings in the form of the spiritual substances of good and truth inflowing from Him (see Section xx). His thoughts and feelings are not our thoughts and feelings!  But our reactions to the substances of good and truth inflowing into our mental organs, are our thoughts and feelings. Our thoughts and feelings are never God's thoughts and feelings, and vice versa, but they are related to each other by correspondence (see Section xx).

God does not want us to actually sense or be sensuously aware of the fact that our thoughts and feelings are mere reactions and adaptations to His thoughts and feelings inflowing as good and truth substances. Why not?

Because we would not like it, and could not be happy in heaven. In order for us to feel happy it is a necessity that we feel like an independent self or person, and that we act from our free will according to our own desires and understanding. We don’t want our thoughts and feelings to be controlled by God. And so because God has made us this way, He makes sure that we are unconscious of the source of our thinking and feeling as being from God rather than from self.

God gives us the sense and feeling that we think and feel from ourselves. This is called the as-of self (see Section xx). In other words, we do not have a self that originates in ourselves. The collection of thoughts and feelings we call a human person is not built up by ourselves, but by God’s actions in our mind, and to which each of us reacts in a unique fashion. Every human being is born from parents so that the mental world of the offspring is an actual offshoot to the mental world of the parents. This has been true since the beginning of the race so that everyone lives in the same inherited mental world of humanity. Our mental body contains all the qualities of our parents, and they inherited their mental qualities from their parents. Various specific genealogies thus evolve as races, blood lines, families, and nations, each sub-variety of culture being a particular zone in the mental world. The inheritance of the visible physical traits are correspondences to the inheritance of the mental traits.

Over the many generations of human beings on this planet there occurred a progressive decline in mental traits because people falsified the thoughts of truth that came into their conscious natural mind from their spiritual mind. The original generations lived in a paradise on earth because this corresponded to their mental states, which were heavenly (see Section xx). They were in direct communication with conscious awareness, of their family and friends already in the afterlife of eternity. This was through their spiritual mind, which in those days was still conscious. But later generations began to falsify the thoughts of truth in their natural mind. Falsified truths serve to justify feelings and intentions that are contrary to good. In this way they created a hell in the mental world and became unconscious of their spiritual mind while on earth.

Hell in the thoughts and feelings of our natural mind is nothing but the perversion of the thoughts and feelings in our spiritual mind or heaven, because evil, which is hell, is nothing but the corruption or adulteration of good, which is heaven.

The hells of the human mind then kept growing and accumulating from generation to generation. The New Testament Sacred Scripture reveals that every human being born on this earth had become a hell by the time of the Incarnation Event two thousand years ago, by which God made Himself be born as a human child on earth. By acquiring a Divine Natural Body, God radically changed His relationship to the human race and our evolution of consciousness. The Divine Child, while on earth, created in His natural mind a new mental organ that did not exist before in the human race (see Section xx). This organ is called the spiritual-natural mind. (see Section xx)

1.0.5.5.7   The New Evolution in Rational Consciousness of God

In other words, God created a new anatomical area in the human mind that did not yet exist there. This new anatomical organ is called the spiritual-natural mind. Note that it is both natural and spiritual. This is its new power. Before this mental organ was created by the Divine Child in Himself two thousand years ago, there was only a conscious natural mind and an unconscious spiritual mind (see Section xx). But the reverse, after resuscitation. Until our death we are conscious in our natural mind; after death we are conscious in our spiritual mind. Swedenborg was conscious in both minds, like the people of the earliest generations on earth (see Section xx).

The Divine Child created a new mental plane of operation called spiritual-natural. This is now the conscious rational meeting place between God and the individual still regenerating on earth. It is the intermediate zone, half in time, and half in eternity. With the mental operation at this new spiritual-natural level of the mind, we are fully conscious of God in our rational spirituality. We can see spiritual reality rationally. Theistic psychology is the content of this new spiritual-natural organ, containing our consciousness, knowledge, and awareness of eternity, of God, of heaven and hell.

Theistic psychology is the knowledge extracted from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture by following the exact steps prescribed for the extraction process (see Section xx). The unveiling of this new theistic science marks the beginning of the New Age that shall never end or be succeeded by a another age. Now at last the human race is complete in its creation. The creation of the conscious spiritual-natural mind by the Divine Child in Himself, was the last act of organic creation that completed the human race. From then on every human being possesses this spiritual-natural organ. With this organ the individual can enter heaven before death and live out a life on earth as if in heaven, and after resuscitation, in actual heaven. But our consciousness of this organ is proportional to our regeneration efforts (see Section xx).

Rational spirituality is the daily life discipline of dwelling consciously in the presence of God as we go about our daily activities. The spiritual-natural organ is activated more and more as we live the discipline of rational spirituality. The more this organ is activated the more we are happy, effective, and loving human beings. We are enlightened. We can instantly recognize genuine truth from distorted truth. We cannot be led away by others or distracted by human foibles. We are most useful to others through our understanding and compassion. We are angels on earth for a time.

The discipline of rational spirituality has these components:

(1) Acknowledging God’s omnipotence and its implications for how we think about events.

(2) Acknowledging God’s Divine Speech in the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. This is called theistic psychology.

(3) Studying theistic psychology on a daily basis in the conscious presence of God. Being a student of it. Making notes, lists, tables, charts, and diagrams. Considering this a Divine or sacred task. Developing and cumulating the Doctrine of Truth from Sacred Scripture. Acknowledging that it is God who puts this Doctrine in our understanding. Acknowledging this Doctrine as Divine Truth in our mind, placed there by God, and maintained there by God.

(4) Self-witnessing our threefold self – (a) the affective self of feelings, emotions, and intentions; (b) the cognitive self of thoughts, plans, justifications; (c) the sensorimotor self of sensations and motor determinations. Applying the Doctrine in our understanding. Examining every thought or intention or enjoyment, asking ourselves: Is it from heaven or from hell. Applying the Doctrine of Truth to make this decision. Doing this all day, every day.

(5) Acknowledging the Doctrine of the Wife (see Section 11.4). Swedenborg has confirmed that our immortality in heaven is in the married state. No one enters the heaven in their mind except as a married couple. There are no heavens for singles. This is because the portion of the human mind called heaven in eternity consists of a conjoint self. This means that the mental body of the husband and wife are joined together and function as one unit. The husband’s respiratory system or thinking is joined to the wife’s circulatory system or willing (see Section xx).

The conjoint mental body is made up on the outside, of the wife’s affective organ united to the husband’s cognitive organ, and on the inside, it is made up of the wife’s cognitive organ united to the husband’s affective organ. In order to achieve this conjoint self the husband must practice the Doctrine of the Wife as a daily spiritual discipline (see Section 11.4). As he makes progress, he begins to see that the Doctrine of the Wife and the Doctrine of Truth are the same.

Study Questions: 1.0.1.3 to 1.0.5.4

1. Describe the psychobiology of "conjunction" with God? You need to include the concept of how thoughts and feelings are substances. How do you see this concept as applying to you?

2. Describe the infrastructure of physical things from the perspective of substantive dualism. Show that the inmost of any object is the mental world of humanity. How does this change the way you look at objects around you?

3. Explain why God hides from people. What would happen if God showed Himself to your friends? Include the concept of of how Divine Speech descends through the layers of meaning through the human mind, reaching its lowest as the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture.

4. Describe how Divine Speech operates our mental life. How does this change your view of God and His relationship to people?

5. Where is heaven and hell? Describe its anatomy. Why do they both exist in everybody's mind?

6. Describe the two methods God uses to conjoin or communicate with people. In what way have you experienced these two avenues of relationship with God?

7. Explain why this is a perfect world despite the appearances of imperfection.

8. Why does spirituality, or relationship to God, have to be rational? What happens with "sensuous spirituality" -- discuss what happens in the afterlife.

9. Explain the formula "mental world = spiritual world = afterlife = eternity" and write it down. Read it and edit it until it makes sense. Now try to explain the proof to a friend or two. How well did you succeed? What is your conclusion or future plan?

1.0.6  The Negative and Positive Bias in Science

"Theistic" psychology contrasts with "non-theistic" psychology which prohibits the use of God as an explanatory concept for any phenomenon or theory in psychology. By contrast, theistic psychology makes use of knowledge about God from "scientific revelations" which are found in Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). We will examine the data and experiments Swedenborg presents in his reports about the spiritual world of the afterlife.

Note that by examining this evidence presented by a prominent author well  known in Western literature--though not in science, you are not automatically granting that it is authentic scientifically. You only need to grant -- right from the beginning -- that it is possible that Swedenborg's observations might be accurate, valid, and scientific. This is called maintaining the "positive bias in science," in contrast to maintaining a "negative bias in science," which automatically excludes God and Swedenborg's reports about his observations in heaven and hell.

Those who read Swedenborg's Writings while maintaining the negative bias in science are not able to evaluate the objectivity and rationality of Swedenborg's reports about the spiritual world, the afterlife, devils, and angels. The entire collection of his reports are dismissed prior to seeing the evidence he presents. Whatever evidence may be presented in these reports, if read with the negative bias in science, will not be critically assessed because it was already rejected in advance.

Those who want to examine the objectivity and rationality of Swedenborg's reports must therefore do so by maintaining the positive bias in science while examining the evidence.

This means to grant in advance that it's possible that there is a God and that scientific revelations are given by God to humankind, and that Swedenborg was given the Divinely appointed task of scientific revelator to humankind, which involved the ability of being simultaneously conscious in this world and in the spiritual world.

Everyone has the ability of being conscious, first in this world, and then in the afterlife of the spiritual world. But no one has this conscious perception of both lives or worlds at the same time. Swedenborg at age 57 suddenly found himself to be conscious in the spiritual world while he was going about his busy daily schedule as a Swedish mining engineer in the 18th century (see Section xx).  Though somewhat disoriented at first, he quickly adapted to it and lived until age 84 in that dual consciousness state, being able to write and publish some 30 volumes of notes giving his observations and experiments in the spiritual world.

To examine whether this evidence is rational and scientifically objective we must grant the possibility that his reports are scientifically accurate and honest. This is the positive bias in science. It is no different from the positive bias in science we must have when reading a textbook in any science course. We assume that the data and experiments reported are not fabricated by delusional scientists. If we maintained the negative bias in science about science books and reports we would be thinking that these are fake data by dishonest people, and we could hardly evaluate them critically. It is normal therefore to adopt the positive bias in science in advance of a critical examination of a report. Keep in mind that Swedenborg had an impeccable reputation for honesty as a science publisher and inventor. Almost all of his reports prior to age 57 have been given high marks by biographers and science reviewers. But after age 57 all his published reports were about the spiritual world.

During the 27 years of his dual existence he continued his public life in Sweden, making important contributions in engineering, metallurgy, and finance legislation, and he was never accused by anyone of fraud, deception, or delusion. Swedenborg's reports are written in the rational style of science and philosophy. He always maintains an overall coherence through systemic integration of all his concepts into a rational account, never contradicting what he has already established. Finally, in the past 200 years hundreds of scientists, historians, theologians, philosophers, commentators, and translators have read all of Swedenborg's reports and have praised them as inspired, veridical, and rational to the highest degree. I myself have read them several times and have found them to meet the appropriate standards of a scientific work.

Given these considerations, it makes sense for you to adopt the positive bias in science by granting the possibility that these scientific revelations are indeed from God and that Swedenborg was the person through whose mind these revelations were delivered to humanity. At the end of this exploration you might decide that you prefer to reject the evidence or that the evidence is insufficient. Or, you might decide that you want to embark upon further study of Swedenborg's Writings.

Within this positive bias in science mode, scientists and scholars can look at the entirety of the Swedenborg reports -- about 30 volumes in English translation. Theistic psychology is the attempt to organize the Swedenborg reports into a coherent psychological approach that meets the essential standards of behavioral methodology and empiricism. Anyone can now decide on rational grounds whether the evidence in theistic psychology is not just possibly true, but actually valid and accurate.

This is what remains to be examined. I have written this book in multiple volumes to help scientists, scholars, and students examine the Swedenborg evidence from the scientific point of view of modern behavioral psychology, which I have taught for 40 years in psychology departments known nationally for their high scientific standards. I have contributed to the development of this field, in some modest way. The list of my publications can be consulted here:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/leonpublish.html and here:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/leonarticles.html (see also the Readings).

Note: Students who use this work in my Seminar on Rational Spirituality should be aware that there is no pressure or expectation for them to change their mind on anything relating to science, psychology, or God. There is only the usual expectation in academic courses that students show the ability and effort it takes to read critically and to evaluate rationally. Since the topic is "spirituality," and more specifically "God and the spiritual world of the afterlife," the first impression one may get is that this is a topic from religion rather than science. When we think that, we are a little shocked that this should be the topic in a research seminar for undergraduate majors in psychology. You are welcome to examine the reports of students who have used this book as lecture notes (see Reading List Part 2). I found that the initial impression of students is succeeded by more informed thinking which clarifies for them completely the difference between religion and theistic psychology.

The majority of students who have used this book have had a childhood in which religion was considered a required part of family activities. Some have been Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Buddhists, and self-declared atheists with a passion to oppose the idea of God. After getting through their first reactions, as you can read from their reports, they were so intrigued that many of them started staying after class to continue discussion of the fascinating evidence. It seemed to me that all students benefited from this critical examination of theistic psychology, whether or not they ultimately came to accept or reject the evidence. Even those who rejected it found it interesting and impressive, though they chose to maintain their stand from the beginning, which was that the evidence is not sufficient to be considered a scientific proof.

Those who came with a firm idea of God from their religion did not exhibit conflict or distaste to the idea that God might be introduced into science. Some decided yes, some no. The students who read at least half of the material assigned, gained the most and had the least conflict with the subject matter. About one third of the students expressed deep appreciation and great happiness for their new ability to think of God scientifically without in any way threatening their strongly held religious views.

There are two perspectives one can use while examining this work--the negative bias in science and the positive bias in science. The negative bias perspective is that the Swedenborg's reports are automatically disqualified as science because he claims that his observations came from his ability to be conscious simultaneously in both the natural world and the spiritual world of "eternity" or the "afterlife." He claims to have interviewed people who lived in heaven and hell and that God appointed him for this task. In their estimation, Swedenborg gets an automatic disqualification as a scientist and psychologist. They take up the position that there is no need to read his reports in any detail or to evaluate their scientific validity. This is the negative bias perspective.

The positive bias perspective is that it is possible that non-theistic psychology is wrong and that there is a God who manages human minds, which are born immortal and live forever. This possibility has never been disproven by science, and in fact, it is not possible for non-theistic science to disprove it. Hence we are stuck, initially, with a bias no matter which way we choose. If we choose the negative bias in science, there is no scientific reason to examine Swedenborg's Writings in detail. But if we choose the positive bias in science, there is a scientific reason to critically examine the Writings in detail, namely, to see if they have scientific merit. I have examined them with the positive bias in science and have determined that they are scientifically valid. I will attempt to present the evidence I found and to make sense of it from the perspective of the science of psychology.

If the Writings of Swedenborg are scientifically valid reports, then the psychology they present is a theistic psychology which contrasts with the current non-theistic psychology. Theistic psychology is therefore dualist and spiritual, while non-theistic psychology remains monist and materialist.

Here is a view by two contemporary scientific psychologists who are also trying to work with a positive bias in science, though they are apparently not aware of theistic psychology, nor of Swedenborg's Writings.

Selections from:
Scientific Psychology and Christian Theism
Harold D. Delaney and Timothy E. Goldsmith
www.leaderu.com/aip/docs/delaney-goldsmith.html

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III. Preserving the Person

Fundamental Presuppositions of Modern Psychology

The fundamental presupposition of not only radical behaviorism but of modern psychology in general is that of naturalism. Human behavior, like the phenomena of other natural sciences, is to be explained by citing only natural causes. Contemporary psychology is largely defined, to use the phrase of Daniel Robinson, by its taking "Method as Metaphysic" (Robinson, 1995, p. 330ff.). By this Robinson means that psychology's adoption of empiricism or the scientific method as an epistemology has devolved into an endorsement of materialism as the nearly universally accepted position on metaphysics or ontology. The casualties of this perspective have been not only the elimination of ideas of the reality of God or the soul from the field, but also the traditional perspective of persons as agents. To quote Robinson again, "If 'scientific' psychologies of various stripes have a common ground, it is that upon which rejections of 'autonomous man' have always been based" (1995, p. 362).

(...)

 A particularly ironic implication of the elevation of the model of science to the correct metaphysical description of man is that it ends up undercutting the trustworthiness of science itself. This point is well-developed by C. Stephen Evans in his helpful study Preserving the person. The scientist tries to persuade a community of peers of the plausibility of a theory by offering reasons why such a theory should be accepted. In explaining why he supports a particular hypothesis, the scientist does not provide mechanistic explanations of his own behavior (Evans, 1982, p. 75), e.g. "this theory makes me feel better" or "I want to discredit Prof. X so I am offering a theory which is contrary to his theory". Indeed, any time we think that a person's beliefs can be explained by nonrational causes, we are less likely to accept those beliefs as trustworthy. For a scientist to accept that his own behavior in endorsing a particular hypothesis is accounted for by his unconscious desires or his biological state is tantamount to admitting that "his work is not scientific in character, as it is not governed by rational criteria" (Evans, 1982, p. 79.

 Nonetheless, the methodological training of psychologists fosters this schizophrenic view of persons, with those who are research participants being regarded as hopelessly governed by their conditioning history and biological predispositions while those who are experimenters are responsible agents who rationally arrive at conclusions, free of the distracting influences of what Bacon termed idols. As Van Leeuwen put it, there is "an implicit double standard at work in psychology: a cognitive capacity on which the very doing of science depends is routinely assumed to be present in psychologists themselves yet ignored or circumvented in the persons they study" (1985, pp. 70-71). There are some, like Malcolm Jeeves, who embrace this dichotomy as reflecting complementary truths about human nature (Jeeves, 1984, pp. 18-21). Jeeves, in something of the same fashion as the evolutionary psychologists (Daly & Wilson, 1988, p. 269), sees the assumption of viewing oneself as controlling one's own destiny as psychologically healthy but viewing others' behavior as largely determined by factors beyond their control as promoting compassion (Jeeves, 1984, pp. 29-31). While this is perhaps compatible with a view that individuals possess varying degrees of real freedom of choice, there is an inherent inconsistency between a total, undirected determinism that applies to the rat-like subjects in your experiments but viewing yourself as free and rational.

 Essence of Personhood

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Man's uniqueness from the rest of creation lies in his being created in the image of God. As God's image bearer he shares in a limited form many of the attributes of God. These include his ability to love, to know, and to choose. He is a person. His is an immortal and living soul. Man is a moral being. Man is a rational agent. Man's life has a purpose and his experience of the world is meaningful.

 At the same time, man is a creature, and shares many attributes with the rest of the created order. Made of the dust of the earth, he is a biological system and has certain needs that are similar to those of other organisms.

Thus, the Biblical view of man is mixed: created in the image of God and declared very good, yet his fallen nature is such that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"; an immortal soul temporarily encased in a very mortal body; God-like and animal-like; part divine, part dust; spiritual yet carnal.

 Finally, the capacity to make decisions, to choose between alternatives, and to make those choices poorly or well is the essential basis of personal responsibility. One of the most fundamental characteristics of people, the Law of Human Nature as C.S. Lewis terms it (1952), is this inherent ability not only to perceive right and wrong, but to choose to do either the right or wrong.

 Routes to Resolution

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How can this conflict between the person as traditionally understood by Christians and the image of the human as a determined machine be resolved? The most helpful analysis of this issue that we are aware of is that provided by the philosopher C. Stephen Evans (1977). Evans notes that the apparent conflict between truths drawn from science and truths drawn from Scripture arises because of scientism and the "unity of science" thesis. By scientism is meant the view, due in large part to Comte, that the truth that science gives is ultimate and complete. By the unity of science thesis is meant that there is a single method that all true sciences employ and that consists of searching for naturalistic, deterministic causal explanations of phenomena.

 Evans outlines three broad categories of responses to, or routes to resolution of, this dilemma: Reinterpreters, Limiters of Science, and Humanizers of Science. Reinterpreters essentially capitulate, and accept the perspective of the sciences. That is, they solve the problem by revising their view of the person. Arguments that might be advanced for this alternative are that history should teach us, witness the Galileo incident, that Christians are likely to be embarrassed when they oppose the claims of science because of their supposed incompatibility with Scripture. Proponents likely would also stress the sovereignty of God, arguing that the Bible reveals a God who controls and determines all things. The deterministic laws of human behavior are thus to be regarded merely as "the means whereby God's sovereign decrees are accomplished" (Evans, 1977, p. 96). Or in the King James style language of the Westminster Confession, "although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently". Thus the will of man is regarded as one of the secondary causes by which God accomplishes his purposes, though nonetheless human choices are not "by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil" (Leith, 1973, p. 200 and 205 as quoted in Evans, 1977, p. 99). Even so, Evans argues that Calvinists cannot comfortably be Reinterpreters as he defines the position because the claim of science to be the whole story cannot be true because, although it may give us an account of how God accomplishes his purposes it does not give us the why, a portion of which it revealed in the book of God's word not the book of God's works.

Thus, a more palatable means of resolving the problem is the Limiter of Science position. This involves at least a partial rejection of the scientistic claim that science provides the ultimate truth about the whole of reality. The most typical form of this response is that science is a limited albeit valid perspective on humanity. Thus, the perspectivalist Limiter of Science would argue that the psychologist has no right to discount the knowledge of other, non-scientific approaches. And, of course, it is just this sort of scientistic claim that psychologists such as Skinner make, e.g. when he argues that "the traditional 'knowledge'" of fields such as religion, philosophy, history, education, and family life "must be corrected or displaced by a scientific analysis" (Skinner, 1971, p. 17). This is an error that perspectivalist and Christian neuroscientist Donald Mackay has labelled "nothing buttery" (MacKay, 1979, p. 27). It is similar to an electrician's claiming that a lighted sign is 'nothing but' a collection of wires and electrical currents, and thus any consideration of what the words on the sign mean is not only superfluous but invalid (Jeeves, 1976, p. 39).

 What typically characterizes perspectivalists such as MacKay, Jeeves and Myers is what is regarded by some Christian psychologists as an "extremely high view of science" (Van Leeuwen, 1985, p. 66). That is, although they reject scientism they nonetheless endorse the view that all sciences involve the objective pursuit of deterministic, causal explanations. This in turn may be justified in part by noting that devout Christians were at the forefront of the beginnings of modern science. When the lens of science is turned on man it still is a valid means of discovering truth, they reason, but it simply reveals a truth that should be regarded as complementary to the truths at other levels of analysis. This of course invites the question "which of the levels of analysis is ultimate?" or "how do the truths from different levels of analysis relate to each other?".

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The principal proponents of the Humanizer of Science position within secular psychology are those in the "third-force" movement of clinical psychology, e.g. Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers or Gordon Allport. There is much in these movements with which many Christians can agree. The person is regarded as a unified self, the person's choice is seen to be of critical importance, and values are presumed to be critical not only in daily life but in science itself. The individual is regarded as transcending the natural order to some extent rather than being only a determined victim of material causes, and the healthy response of such individuals is regarded as not simply conforming to a fixed environment but exercising one's capacity for creativity to forge new paths. The client in a therapy room or the participant in an experiment is regarded as another person to be encountered and with whom to dialogue.

 Humanizers of science also find support among those revisionist philosophers of science such as Thomas Kuhn or Michael Polanyi who stress the importance of psychological and cultural factors in all of science, not just the human sciences. Thus, the scientist, by these lights, is necessarily working within the framework of a given paradigm which can be regarded as a world view, based like the Christian world view in part on faith commitments, and personal loyalties (Kuhn, 1970).

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We would not dispense with attempts at objective, quantitative research in the human sciences but we would endorse efforts to take advantage, even in such studies, of the self-reflective capacities of the research participants to offer their own hypotheses about their actions which are being monitored in such research. Similarly, we would explicitly want to encourage research that makes explicit the relevant assumptions about human nature derived from the Christian view of man. Given the same God authored the special revelation of Scripture and created in his own image the people psychologist study, conceptual models derived from Scriptural assumptions about human nature should have an inherent advantage in terms to their fit to behavior relative to those that are not based on this solid foundation.

(...)

 References (selections)

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Evans, C. S. (1977). Preserving the person: A look at the human sciences. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

 Evans, C. S. (1996). Wisdom and humanness in psychology: Prospects for a Christian approach. Vancouver, B.C., Canada: Regent College Publishing.

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Jeeves, M.A. (1976). Psychology and Christianity: The view both ways. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

 Jones, S. L. (Ed.) (1986). Psychology and the Christian faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.

 Jones, S. L, & Butman, R. E. (1991). Modern psychotherapies: A comprehensive Christian appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

 Koteskey, R. L. (1980). Psychology from a Christian perspective. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

(...)

Myers, D. G. (1978). The human puzzle: Psychological research and Christian belief. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

 Myers, D. G., & Jeeves, M. A. (1987). Psychology through the eyes of faith. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

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Van Leeuwen, M. S. (1985). The person in psychology: A contemporary Christian appraisal. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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Watts, F., & Williams, M. (1988). The psychology of religious knowing. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

(...)

Please consult the original entire article to be found here:
www.leaderu.com/aip/docs/delaney-goldsmith.html

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You can note from the above brief selection that the authors realize that a positive bias in science is needed to defeat the negative bias of scientific materialism. But they do not offer any new knowledge, facts, information from the positive bias perspective. Actually we need to examine their books to see what they have to offer. They could be offering to look at the revelations God provides in Sacred Scripture. They could propose that scientific psychology in  the positive bias could study God from Sacred Scripture, which is "God's Word" according to all Christians, as they point out. There is a whole set of concepts that psychology could examine from the New Testament Sacred Scripture, as for example, what is heaven and hell in relation to the mind? Or, what is the relationship we can have with God in daily life? Or, what principles does God use to manage people's lives? Or, what does God say about the afterlife of eternity?

Theistic psychology considers these topics, and many more. This is possible for theistic psychology because it bases its methodology on the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, rather than on its literal sense, which is the only sense they probably considered, not knowing of the existence of the correspondential sense (see Section 1.0.5.5.5). But because the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture is a scientific methodology anyone can test its adequacy and objectivity. This approach may be called substantive dualism in science.

1.0.7  What is Substantive Dualism in Science

Science is the systematic, rational, and observational study of the universe and of reality.

Science creates rational explanations for observed facts and strives to create an overall integrated understanding of the universe, its parts and how they interact by lawful mechanisms to produce the variety of phenomena that exist.

Psychology as a science strives to unify the observations and explanations of human behavior into a rational and comprehensive account. There are however methodological difficulties to overcome when we study mental phenomena such as feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Two opposing approaches have been adopted in the history of psychology, one monist, the other dualist. The monist approach in science is based on the unproven assumption or belief that both the mind and the body are made of physical matter, space, and energy. Note that this assumption is unproven and may be wrong. It may be that the mind is not made of physical matter like the physical body and brain. We will need to consider what other scientific proposals exist for explaining what the mind is made of and what the physical body is made of.

The dualist approach in theistic psychology is based on the empirical reports given by Swedenborg showing that the mind is of a different substance than the physical body, and lives or exists not in the natural world but in a world outside time and space called the spiritual world of "eternity." The mind and the body interact through the laws of "correspondences" while the physical body is alive. But when it dies, the mind then continues a life of immortality in the spiritual world. The dualist approach refers to the existence of two functionally interconnected worlds, one in time-space, the other outside of it. Feelings, thoughts, and sensations are phenomena in the spiritual world, while electro-chemical firings of neurons in the brain are phenomena in the natural world.

Scientists since Aristotle have proposed that the universe is made of two kinds of "stuff." The physical world is made of stuff called "matter," while the mental world is made of stuff called "substance." Matter is physical or material and has the property of time, space, and mass. Substance is spiritual or non-material, and does not have the property of mass, space, or time.

Consider your thoughts, feelings, daydreams, fantasies, and dreams--they do not occupy space, mass, or time. Dreams and sensations are not physical. Before Swedenborg, dualist scientists like Descartes or Leibniz, had no observational evidence to suggest to them what thoughts and sensations were made of or where thoughts were, if not in the physical brain and body. But since the Swedenborg reports (published 1743-1771) dualism in science has become "substantive dualism." By coining this phrase I mean to reflect the fact that the mental world is a spiritual world and that all thoughts and feelings are spiritual operations located in the mind. The mind is a real spiritual organ that has multiple parts made of spiritual fibers and neurons, which are constructed out of substances collected from the Spiritual Sun and its constant outpouring of spiritual substances. All things in the natural world are made of matter and energy that come from the sun or stars. All things in the spiritual world are made of substances that come from the Spiritual Sun, which is the only sun there, and permeates the entire spiritual world. Within this sun, the Divine Human is visible. The Spiritual Sun is thus an aura surrounding the visible Divine Human. It is the interface God uses to create the universe and to communicate with the human race.

In substantive dualism, thoughts and sensations cannot exist unless they are made of some stuff that can operate somewhere in some functioning spiritual or mental organ. This stuff is a substance that forms the rational ether around the Spiritual Sun in the spiritual world. In order to understand this more concretely, think of the universe as "dual." The outside of it is made of physical space created by the natural suns or stars that populate this outer (physical) portion of the universe. The inner (spiritual) portion of the universe is not visible to the outer physical world. It is created by means of the Spiritual Sun which creates a spiritual or rational atmosphere around itself. The substance of this atmosphere can be called "rational ether." Our thoughts and feelings exist in this rational sphere. It is impossible for sensations, thoughts, and feelings to exist in an electrical or chemical atmosphere in space-time.

We are born dual citizens of this universe. The physical body is born in the outer natural world and is built up from the materials of the physical sun and stars. The mental body, or the organ of the mind, is born at the same time in the spiritual world of rational ether. It grows and is built up by the substances it gathers from the rational ether that streams out of the Spiritual Sun. For instance, when we eat with our physical body in the natural world, our mind in the spiritual world is simultaneously experiencing sensations. Thus, the operations in the physical body and the operations in the mental body (or mind) are functionally connected to each other and operate in lawful correspondence (see Section xx).

When the physical body is no longer able to carry out its functions, it "dies." On the other hand, the mental body or organ continues its operations in the spiritual world, as it always has. Swedenborg was unique in that he has lived consciously as a dual citizen for 27 years. Thus, although he had no special abilities other than what everyone has, he was able to be conscious of the spiritual-mental world while he was still attached to his physical body on earth. As a result of this unique situation, Swedenborg was able to give us the observations that we all will be able to confirm, once we are resuscitated at the death of the physical body (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 326  Seeing them from my lodging I came into the spirit, and in the spirit I went out to them; and I approached the chief teacher, who lately had proposed the question concerning the soul. When he saw me he said, "Who are you? I wondered, when I saw you approaching in the way, that now you came into my sight and the next moment passed out of sight, or that at one moment you were visible to me and suddenly became invisible. You certainly are not in our state of life."

To this I answered, smiling, "I am not a player of tricks, nor one who changes himself; but am an alternate, now in your light, now in your shade, and thus foreign and also native." At this the chief teacher looked at me and said, "You say strange and amazing things. Tell me who you are." I said, "I am in the world in which you were, and from which you departed, which is called the natural world; and I also am in the world to which you came and in which you are, which is called the spiritual world. I am therefore in a natural state, and at the same time in a spiritual state; in the natural state with men on earth, and in the spiritual state with you; and when I am in the natural state I am not visible to you, but when in the spiritual state I am visible. That I am so has been given by the Lord. To you, O enlightened man, it is known that the man of the natural world does not see the man of the spiritual world, nor the reverse; therefore when I let my spirit down into the body, I was not visible to you, and when I raised it out of the body I became visible." (CL 326)

The mind is therefore an organ made of rational ether or spiritual substance, just as the physical brain is an organ made of physical matter and space. Materialistic scientists reject this substantive view of the mind and prefer to argue that thoughts, feelings, and fantasies are not real, so they are not made of matter or stuff. They refer to the mind as an "epiphenomenon" of the brain, that is, something unreal that appears real but isn't. As soon as the physical brain dies, there is no mind, no self, no person. But dualist scientists argue that when the physical brain dies, the mind continues to live--not on earth but in the spiritual world where it was born and will always remain.

The mind-body controversy has gone on for centuries among scholars of Europe and its history is reviewed in most history of psychology textbooks, which usually take the issue all the way back to Aristotle and Plato, both of whom were dualists. Descartes is the modern dualist best known to psychology students. As we examine the psychology of the 20th century, of which I was a part, all dualism disappears from the main scientific literature. Today, few psychology majors can say that they have had to study any dualists among the dozens of psychologists whose work they had to read or memorize. The reason for this is the powerful influence of the negative bias in science. Materialistic science has a negative bias that automatically discounts and rejects dualism and accepts materialistic monism, even though there is no scientific proof for either position.

This book is therefore most unusual and may represent a new trend that might grow in the future of psychology. Theistic psychology is based on only one author's work--Swedenborg-- a fact that both surprises and understandably bothers some people. But we have no choice in this because Swedenborg is the only scientist who had observational access to the spiritual world for almost three decades of dual consciousness. I am excluding other "claims" many people make that they are able to talk to spirits or psychically communicate with the dead, or that God speaks to them, or that they can attain "oneness" with God, etc. I have never been impressed by any of these claims and have never found anything scientific and rational in them. Of course, they are not scientists. Swedenborg is the first and only modern scientist to have made the claim of being conscious in both worlds simultaneously on a long term basis.

When I first came across Swedenborg's reports in 1981 I was delighted because I did not have to face someone's mere speculations and beliefs about the spiritual world. Instead I was presented with the observational evidence and the rational explanations that, as a scientist, I expected and demanded for any scientific account of the human mind. I only had to make sure that I was evaluating the evidence critically. When I became a scientist in my early twenties I retained no interest in mystical experiences of the type that psychologist William James discusses in his book The Varieties of Religious Experiences (see Reading List). I was looking for rational evidence of God and the afterlife, not visions and  mystical experiences of "oneness" with God claimed by this or that person.

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was the first and only respected scientist in history who wrote a large collection of scientific works detailing his direct observational experiences in what he called "the spiritual world."

For the last 27 years of his life on earth he was able to be conscious in both worlds--the world on this earth, in which he was a Swedish government engineer and member of parliament, and the spiritual world, in which he was able to move and travel and talk to the people who were there and observe their life. Swedenborg's careful daily notes and explanations amount to nearly 30 volumes in English translation. These books are now in most academic and public libraries in the U.S., as well as on CDs and online on the Internet. Obviously Swedenborg's Writings have attracted a large audience over the past two centuries due their unique content.

The Writings of Swedenborg are available online and searchable at: 
www.theheavenlydoctrines.org
www.smallcanonsearch.com/ 
www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/index1a.html

In 1981 while I was browsing the shelves of Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii, I discovered the collection of Swedenborg books and began to read them. I did not know anything about Swedenborg despite my familiarity with the literature in psychology (I earned a Ph.D. degree from McGill University in 1962). I quickly realized as I was reading, why Swedenborg is never referred to in modern psychology. I was taught to have a very strong negative bias against God and the afterlife as explanatory concepts in psychology. When I taught History of Psychology courses I became familiar with the several of the textbooks in that field. Not one ever mentioned Swedenborg even though others who were dualist were mentioned, like Plato, Descartes, Malherbes, and Leibniz, among others. I realized that the reason is that Swedenborg was a different kind of dualist, quite unique. To reflect the difference, I coined a new phrase for his approach: "substantive dualism," which could also be called "theistic dualism."

This term reflects the idea that Swedenborg's dualism involves the existence of two worlds, one natural or material and the other spiritual or substantive. While this is a familiar idea in the history of theology and philosophy, it has never reached the halls of science until Swedenborg. The word "substance" has two opposite usages, one traditional and another modern, as we are told in the dictionary. The traditional meaning has been long used in philosophy and may be defined as the "essential nature" of something, or the "ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change." The modern meaning of substance is "physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence" and also, "matter of particular or definite chemical constitution."  The modern meaning is monist and materialist, while the traditional meaning is dualist or spiritual.

The "essential nature" of something refers to the "ultimate reality that underlies" it, and this is called "spiritual." The essential or underlying reality of physical things cannot be physical, by definition. Something cannot be its own underlying reality. This must be "substantive," which is spiritual. The spiritual is therefore the essential (underlying) reality of the natural, its infrastructure. The spiritual is a discrete degree "within" the natural and imparts life and function to it (see Section xx). The essential underlying infrastructure of something physical must be outside time-space in order to make up the essential component of that which is in time-space. The spiritual is "apart from" the natural, that is, not in time-space. The two form a dual universe, one in time-space called natural,  the other apart from or within time-space called spiritual eternity. Mental events are spiritual. The spiritual within and the natural outside are connected functionally to each other by the laws of correspondences (see Section xx).

When we pass into the afterlife, our consciousness exits the natural mind and awakens to the spiritual world in the spiritual mind, where it continues life forever. This is the world Swedenborg was able to explore through his dual citizenship. This is the world in which he found the people who had lived in this world and were now in the immortality of their afterlife. He talked to people he knew as authors from the world's literature. He talked to neighbors and acquaintances of his in Sweden who had already passed on ahead of him. He described the cities he saw and what they were made of (not physical matter!). He described the laws of the spiritual world, which are the laws of the mental world. He ran experiments to see how people reacted when certain mental facts were removed from their memory or else fabricated for them (see Section xx).

He described the laws of correspondences which were plain to his senses. He discovered the origin of Sacred Scripture and the language of spiritual correspondences in which they were written. And many other things besides this, relating to the inhabitants of other planets to whom he talked to once they entered their afterlife in the spiritual world (see Section xx). The entire human race of all times and places congregates in the spiritual world and any person can talk to any other person in accordance with the laws of the spiritual world. No one before Swedenborg had direct access to a any of these facts. His Writings mark the beginning of a new modern age of consciousness for the entire human race.

From these considerations you can see that every object has an outward portion and an underlying portion, and these two portions are in different worlds or degrees of existence. The outward portion of your shoes is made of physical matter from the natural sun of which the planet is made. But the underlying portion of your shoes is made of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx).

What is the underlying framework, essential infrastructure, or spiritual substance out of which your physical shoe is built?

It is the planning, designing, and use of the shoe. These are spiritual phenomena in the minds of human beings, not in the natural world in which the shoe is.

The physical existence and reality of your shoe is based on its use -- why people designed it and why you bought it.

The spiritual is the cause of the natural, while the natural is only an effect.

In other words, the intention, the thinking, planning, and designing of shoes are rational or spiritual operations, not physical,  It is this rational or spiritual portion of the shoe's existence that has created the physical shoe. Further, the cause remains connected to the effect. The cause-effect sequence -- or spiritual-natural sequence, operates by the laws of successive discrete degrees, but the connection of the cause (spiritual) to the effect (natural) is in simultaneous discrete degrees (see Section xx).

It is the same with every object in this physical world -- the cause that created it is spiritual or mental. The Spiritual Sun is nothing but the mental operation of God carried out within spiritual substances. These Divine mental operations are the substances out of which the rational ether is made of, and thus what the organ of our mind is made of. The mental is therefore the cause and underlying reality of the physical. The two are always connected by the laws of correspondence.

The traditional meaning of substance refers to the underlying or inner framework of something upon which the outer structure is built. The "stance" in the word "substance" comes from Latin "to stand" so that "sub" - "stance" refers to that which stands below or is underlying. For instance, if you think of an iceberg, what you see above the surface of the ocean is the outward structure, while the underlying portion is not visible yet much larger and more dangerous to ships.

Or, think of the sentences you create when you speak or write.  The words strung in a sentence make up the outward portion while the grammar that puts the words in the right order is the underlying portion. The sentence is "generated" by the grammar so as to serve the speaker's intentions. The speaker's intention is the mental or spiritual cause of the physical sentence that is put together by the grammar we have learned.

This is the fundamental thesis of substantive dualism in theistic psychology. The outward portion of the individual human being is a physical body made of matter from the natural sun, while the underlying portion of the individual human being is the mind made of substances from the Spiritual Sun. The former is mortal, because made of temporary matter; the latter, immortal, because made of substances outside time-space.

Substantive dualism recognizes two different suns, one natural, the other spiritual. Each creates its own world around itself. The natural sun creates planets and gravity fields, while the Spiritual Sun creates natural suns and human minds.

When human beings are born they are made of two distinct portions, each being born in its own world but functionally connected together by the laws of correspondence. The outward temporary portion is born on earth and is the physical body. The underlying eternal portion is born in the spiritual world and is the mind as a spiritual organ or mental body. The physical body and the mental body grow together and act as functionally one by correspondence. When the physical body dies, the mind continues to live in the spiritual world forever (called "eternity").

You can see from this that substantive dualism is the view that there are two worlds, one natural and the other spiritual. The natural world is in time and space and has mass, while the spiritual world is in rational ether, thus not having space, time, or matter--it is limitless and eternal. This view was held by most ancient writers though there was no proof of it since no one was able to "come back from the dead" and tell their story. As a result, dualism and the eternal afterlife was abandoned by modern scientists who focused only on the physical world. But Swedenborg reopened the issue in modern science by being able to be conscious in both worlds simultaneously. No other scientist has ever made this kind of claim. If true, then Swedenborg's observations constitute the first scientific proof that the spiritual world actually exists and that substantive dualism is the correct approach in science. It is also proof that human beings are immortal and that there is a heaven and a hell.

When Swedenborg suddenly acquired the ability to be conscious in both worlds simultaneously, he was a well known and respected scientist known throughout Western Europe. His scientific publications included explanations of dualism in terms of the spiritual causes within every natural phenomenon. He regarded every natural phenomenon as an effect of a prior spiritual phenomenon. His dualism at that time was substantive, but he had no direct evidence of the existence of substances from the spiritual world. As a result, his early scientific books, up to age 57, were admired by many, but not included in the rapid development of several sciences in his century--physics, chemistry, physiology, anatomy. Swedenborg's books on these topics were not included in the mainstream of 18th century science. Instead, he became known as a theologist and religious revelator when he started publishing his later books on the spiritual world. I am possibly the first modern scientist who sees Swedenborg's books as science books rather than theology books.

Swedenborg's dualism prior to his dual consciousness was not demonstrably substantive. He had no scientific knowledge about the spiritual world, though he assumed that it must exist. How astonished he was during those first few months when he suddenly started being aware of the spiritual world! He was at first disoriented, but he quickly adapted to his new lifestyle. He continued his official duties, travels, and publications while this started happening to him, and he also kept careful daily notes of his observations. The collection of his 30 volumes constitute a unique record in the history of humankind and his books have influenced many key authors and thinkers in the18th and 19th centuries. And today his influence continues on the Internet. Soon his influence will extend to all of science (I predict).

Scientists, scholars, and biographers who have examined Swedenborg's unique record have had two main reactions: (1) he was a great genius, but he was deluded; (2) he was sane and honest and was one of the great minds of all of literary history.

I have had the second reaction and after years of careful study, I came to the conclusion that the Writings of Swedenborg present the greatest scientific discovery since the beginning of science. I then started my research efforts in trying to incorporate into psychology the data Swedenborg recorded in the Writings. He wrote in Neo-Latin which was the language of scientists in the 17th century and his books have been translated into many languages.

In order to incorporate Swedenborg's Writings into modern scientific psychology, I had to overcome two difficulties: the negative bias against dualism and that against God. Substantive dualism, or the world of spirits, was unknown in psychology except in abnormal and clinical psychology where "spirits" were reported by delusional patients. Some of Swedenborg's detractors called him delusional because he claimed to talk to "spirits" in the spiritual world. The second obstacle was the concept of God which has been automatically excluded from "non-theistic" science that started in the 20th century. The concept of God formed an essential pivot role in Swedenborg's substantive dualism and could not be left out from a serious attempt to incorporate Swedenborg's dualism into modern psychology. God and dualism cannot be separated in science because the spiritual world has no meaning without God. Unlike the natural world where God is invisible to the physical senses, the spiritual world reveals God as an essential partner in the person's life. God is visible in the spiritual world because when we are cut off from our physical body, we are "spirits," which means being conscious in the spiritual world. God appears visually as a Divine Human in the midst of the Spiritual Sun. Swedenborg was able to see this just like the rest of the inhabitants of the spiritual world, all of whom had been born on some planet in the physical universe.

One may think this kind of report to be preposterous and outside the scope of science.

When thinking in the negative bias mode, this would be the case.

But it should be considered that Swedenborg's record is an exceptional and unique case that becomes evident when his reports are analyzed. It is totally without precedent in the history of humankind where a well known scientist and noted community member, declares in his published writings that he was given by God the special and unique ability to be conscious in both worlds for the purpose of bringing to humankind the scientific proof of our immortality in the afterlife .

It was Swedenborg's understanding that he was not "picked" but prepared since childhood to become the kind of scientist that would have the reputation and genius to pull this off, if I may put it that way (see Chapter 13). Insurmountable heaps of opposition were surely forthcoming from the other scientists when one of among them dares to make such an unheard of claim. Yet Swedenborg was able to keep his job and to finish up his scientific publications, and then to begin a new series of publications called the Writings (1743-1771) in which he tells the world of his unique situation, along with careful notes and explanations.

The proof that he succeeded is that more than 200 years later a modern scientist like myself can unexpectedly run into his 30 Volumes in the library of our university, translated into English, and I can read his work, understand it rationally, and see that it is valid. And this same proof has been accepted by other scientists who likewise did what I did -- see for example the Web site of physics professor Dr. Ian Thompson of England:  www.TheisticScience.org as well as others mentioned in the Reading List of collateral literature. Anyone can investigate whether this is so or not.

How do other psychologists react when I explain that I have found the Writings of Swedenborg to be rational, scientific, and valid?

The choices about me are similar as with Swedenborg: (1) I am not a scientist and am delusional; (2) I am experienced and sane. These two choices apply to Dr. Thompson and all the others you can investigate who have found the Writings of Swedenborg to be rational and valid. To pick choice (1) is called the negative bias in science because it is only a general reaction to the topic and its theistic and dualist concepts. To pick choice (2) is called the positive bias in science because it is only a general reaction to the topic of God and the spiritual world, and perhaps to my reputation as a professor for the past 40 years. Whichever choice you make is a bias, but they have vastly different consequences.

If you opt for the negative bias in science against Swedenborg you deny yourself the possibility of examining the evidence in full. You can rationally examine the report only if you read it with a view to understanding it critically and rationally. One can read the Writings in the negative bias just to prove that Swedenborg was mad and that the ideas in there are fantastic and delusional. Of course this is not a fair or objective assessment. But with the positive bias in science you are granting in advance that the report may be true. In the negative bias in science you are not granting that the report may be true. This is then the big difference.

It's correct to call the negative bias in science approach as "biased." This is because the conclusion that Swedenborg's reports cannot be true and must be delusional, is a conclusion not based on the evidence presented. The evidence was not examined except perhaps in part and only with the view of finding a way of rejecting it. The arguments for rejection of Swedenborg's Writings have not been objective or rational. They merely deny that a scientist can gain entrance into heaven and hell and see God. But we must inquire whether this is a rational response. Why is it not possible that God exists and that He can admit anyone into heaven or hell?

A traditional answer might be that "science is about the physical world, while God, heaven, and hell are not physical in time and space. Therefore to bring God into a scientific theory or explanation is to try to bring in something irrelevant or outside the scope of science. And this should not be allowed or it will weaken or destroy science."

Everyone educated knows this traditional objection since it is taught in public schools everywhere. But this objection is not valid if dualism is reality.

If dualism is reality then there is a spiritual world where God is visible and determines what happens in our mind. Swedenborg is a reputable scientist who has confirmed it by observation. I am a reputable scientist who has rationally confirmed Swedenborg's reports and explanations. Others like me exist and have written about it. Clearly one cannot reasonable dismiss both Swedenborg and all the scientists and scholars who have confirmed the rationality and objectivity of the evidence.

The purpose of this book is to critically examine the premises of theistic psychology and to evaluate whether it is possible for psychology to be theistic and still remain a science.

National surveys over many years consistently show that the vast majority of Americans assume that there is a Divine Person to whom an individual can talk, and be heard by Him, and that God intervenes and controls the course of all events through infinite Love and Wisdom. non-theistic psychology's position has been to dismiss these explanations about God's influence on events and behavior and to prevent these ideas from entering the science of psychology. However today it has become clear that this exclusion of God from scientific explanations is a premise adopted by scientists without actual proof, and that it is not necessarily a rational premise. Hence it is a negative bias in science without proof.

Therefore it makes sense to explore the alternative premise, which is that the cause of every event and behavior is God who is an intelligent Person, though infinite, who is carrying out a rational goal from loving motives. But it is necessary to go beyond religious ideas and to establish the rationality of God in science independently of religion, culture, and times. Theistic science, and theistic psychology, are therefore pan-cultural and above all religions or cultures.

There are two positions one can take about  the proposal of introducing God into science. According to one position--the negative bias, scientists automatically exclude God from scientific explanations. This may be called the negative bias in science since there is no way of proving empirically that God does not exist. The other approach may be called the positive bias in science since it accepts the possibility of  God's existence without being able to prove it first. But while the negative bias in science continues unproven as a permanent position, the positive bias in science allows us to examine the evidence. Once the evidence is examined, and seen as valid, the positive bias in science is no longer a bias but a proof. The negative bias in science remains a bias.

I once had the following conversation with a colleague, a scientist in the field of biochemistry and genetics. I was eager to show him that there is a rational way of defining God in science.

Leon James:  I'm not violating any of your rational rules when I propose that we make a logical distinction between two types of things. Things that have a beginning and things that do not have a beginning. Is that all right?

Colleague:  Yes.

Leon James:  Good. Now let's add that the things that have a beginning may or may not have an end. For example, counting is a process that starts at 1 and then goes on indefinitely unless stopped. So counting, and number series, and possibly the entire physical universe could be in the category of having a beginning but not necessarily an end, though many things have an end like a rain shower, or an earthquake, or a century. So to summarize, we're not violating any rational rules by saying that the physical universe had a beginning and may not have an end. Now the other category, namely things that have no beginning.

Colleague:  What kind of a thing is that?

Leon James:  For the moment let's just call it the X Factor. So the X Factor is something that has had no beginning, and let's add, it doesn't have an end. It's not violating any of your rational rules to propose that an X Factor exists, right?

Colleague:  Well, I suppose I can't find anything strictly wrong with making such an assumption. And that's all it is, an assumption. Unproven. Just something you can think about.

Leon James:  OK. Let's state it explicitly. It's not irrational to suppose that there is something that has no beginning and no end. And when we say that it's not irrational to suppose that, then it also means that it's rational. To summarize: it's rational to assume that the physical universe has a beginning but that there is something else, something not physical, that has no beginning. Agreed?

Colleague:  Yes, it's rational to suppose this but it's not proven. It could just be nothing but a supposition.

Leon James:  I understand what you're saying. Now I propose that we give a name to this X Factor and I'd like to call it God. To repeat then, it's rational to assume that there is a God that has always existed and as well, that there is a physical universe that has a beginning in existence. Correct?

Colleague:  Correct. Just a supposition. And I agree that it's rational since it's not irrational. But being rational doesn't mean that it's true or actual or real.

Leon James:  I see what you're saying. Right now it's only necessary that we establish the truth that God is a rational concept in science. There is nothing unscientific, irrational or illogical about assuming God's existence. Now the next step is to make another assumption that is perfectly rational, namely, that God is responsible for the existence of all things that have a beginning. This is both logical, practical, and necessary, as long as we assume that there is God and that God has no beginning and no end.

Notice that God's rational definition includes or implies the idea that God is infinite. If God were not infinite it would not be logical to say that God is responsible for creating all things that exist that have a beginning (but possibly no end), as we established before. So only if we assume that God is infinite can we accept the idea as rational, namely that God is responsible for the universe. Agreed so far?

Colleague:  Yes, fine. You can rationally suppose, if you want to, that God is infinite and is responsible for creating the universe that itself is not infinite since it has a beginning, even if it has no end.

Leon James:  Excellent. Now to continue, it doesn't violate any rational rule to suppose further that the infinite God has a structure and a particular content, just as the finite world has a structure and a content. It's perfectly rational to suppose that the infinite God has a particular inner essence and outer layers of structure. All of these things belonging to God are of course infinite with no beginning or limit.

Colleague:  Fine, God has an essence and a structure and these are infinite. That's still rational. Structures and layers that are infinite may be rational--but are they real or just rational suppositions?

Leon James:  We're getting to that too. Now the next assumption is also perfectly rational and doesn't violate any scientific logic, namely, that God's essence and structure are Human. I mean human in the sense that science defines what is human at different levels--genetic, physiological, anatomical, psychological, social, and moral. In other words, these finite human characteristics exist as they do because they are representative finite copies of God's infinite qualities and structures.

In other words, God is the only true and actual Human Person, in an infinite form and existence, who has always been in existence--unlike people who are finite creations with a beginning. These facts about God's essence and structure are described in detail in the scientific revelations given by God to the human race since the dawn of history. Contemporary versions of these scientific revelations have been preserved as Sacred Scripture by all the major religions on this earth.

So to summarize our progress so far: God who is the Infinite Human, or the Divine Human, created the beginning point for the existence of the universe and is responsible for its continued existence and growth through rational laws of order called the Laws of Divine Providence.

Colleague:  All right, a set of suppositions that may be rational but have never been proven. I admit that at first I would have said that God has no place in science as a concept because it introduces mystical and undefined elements over which we have no control, and science ends there, shattered. But I can see that there is a way of defining the concept of God in science without violating any rational rules of operation and thinking. Would you care to continue? How does God manage this universe?

Leon James:  Swedenborg's Writings contain many scientific facts about how God runs the universe. In order to understand how God manages the universe we need to accept a few basic premises that will ensure that we continue to stay rational in all our statements about God and the universe. For instance, one of these basic premises is this: Nothing disconnected can exist. In other words, God runs the universe by being an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Creator and Manager. A revelation in Swedenborg's Writings is that God is everywhere--in all time and in all place--but not in time and place but apart from time and space. In other words we must acquire a new rational idea or operation in the universe--namely, the property or phenomenon of being omnipresent but not in time and space.

This idea posits rational structures that are able to comprehend and describe the relation between the infinite and the finite, that is, the relation between God and the various pieces of the created universe.

Colleague:  That's a big mouthful, doctor. But I'm still with you. What you're saying are a set of propositions that interact with each other and I must admit they are all possible, all rational. But are they true?

Leon James:  Remember that we're not trying to prove that God exists--this was the assumption from the start, not the proof. We're only trying to prove that the concept of God can be rational and can be introduced into science without violating rational rules of inference and inquiry. This is theistic science, that is, science that works within the premises of God's existence and the scientific revelations God has given to the human race. Swedenborg calls these the Laws of Divine Providence and he is the first scientist to demonstrate that the Laws of Divine Providence are rational and human.

Study Questions:

1. Explain the Swedenborg reports in relation to the positive bias in science. What happened to him? What did he discover? Describe how you manage to take on the positive bias in science regarding the Swedenborg reports.

2. What is the purpose of Sacred Scripture? How is it meant to be used?

3. Explain the two senses we can find in Sacred Scripture. Give several illustrations from this Section.

4. Give two illustrations not found in this Section, so you will need to search for this in Volume 18. Make sure you indicate which Section(s) you took your two examples from. How do you react to being told that there is a hidden scientific sense in Sacred Scripture, that is unsuspected to most scholars?

5. What is rational spirituality in relation to God? Explain how we can comprehend higher spiritual ideas by means of the new mental organ called spiritual-natural or interior-natural organ. How did it come into existence? Describe its role in the evolution of human consciousness. How do you react to these ideas that apply to your own mind?

6. Explain why substantive dualism is called substantive.

7. What is the most exciting piece of news you have hears so far in theistic psychology?

8. List some objections you or your friends can come up with against the Swedenborg reports, against the positive bias in science, against the inclusion of God in science, and similar issues. Be sure you comment on each issue you list -- (a) what the doubt is and (b) what your current position is on it.

9. Make up a dialogue between you and a hypothetical friend in a situation where you are telling your friend about this course. No length is specified. It depends on how you write the dialog. You can add lines of explanations, like a stage play, if you want.

 

1.1  Three Levels of Thinking About God

↑  Read Chart from Bottom Up (1, 2, 3) 

LEVEL OF
 RATIONALITY

 

MAIN FEATURES

THEISTIC

PSYCHOLOGY

3

 

(a)  God is the cause of every natural event and all human behavior, including the sequence of thoughts and feelings we have.

(b)   In the Writings of Swedenborg, God has revealed scientific facts about the structure of the universe, about the anatomy of the human mind, and the details of life after death. Therefore all explanations about causes of events and of behavior must include God and the mechanisms by which God intervenes and manages the details of all events from beginning to end.


(c) Those who modify their character to become "heavenly" and rational continue life to eternity in the heaven of their mind; others in in the "hell" of their mind, which is delusional and irrational. Both heaven and hell are in the mind of everyone and every human being is immortal.
 

MYSTICAL

RELIGION

2

 

(a)  God is  the Divine infinite Creator who oversees every person's destiny from birth to life after death. God gives Divine revelation in written Scripture through the intermediary of a particular individual called revelator or prophet. Those who are faithful to their religion are rewarded with an afterlife in heaven, others are punished with an afterlife in hell.

(b)  Praying to God sometimes convinces God to give us what we want. Similarly with rituals and sacrifices. Some rituals can bring us closer to God by allowing us to experience His presence or to get a feeling of mystical union with Him.

(c)  God can get angry or disgusted with some people who are wicked or "sinful." Some people called the clergy or priesthood have a special relation to God and they sometimes can intercede with God to forgive people's sins or to avert a calamity.
 

MATERIALISTIC SCIENCE

MONISM

NEGATIVE bias in science

1

 

(a)  God may have created the universe (we have no way of knowing), but now it’s running on its own by means of universal natural laws that are discoverable by science through physical measurements and abstract theories about them. Today no explanation is accepted in science that refers to God.

(b)  Life after death, or heaven and hell, are not scientific issues but religious, and they are left to people's personal belief system which should not impact on their science. Anyone claiming to have seen God or heaven is automatically to be considered unfit as a rational scientist.

(c) Human behavior is not to be judged by religious ideas but by scientific assessments. Good and evil are not scientific ideas and do not belong in science. Ideas from the Bible should not be allowed in public school or scientific literature. There are many religions each with their own God and rules, which proves that religion is a cultural belief system, not a description of how the universe actually is.

Explanations of the Chart now follow.

1.1.1   Level 1: Materialistic Science (Monism, Negative bias in science)

According to the positive bias in science, the lowest form of  rational thinking is the denial of God or atheism, but it includes other intellectual forms and justifications such as materialism, which denies the existence of anything that isn’t physical. For instance, it asserts that there is no spiritual world; there is no creation; there is no higher power or higher intelligence that is not part of the natural universe. In addition, there are other forms of thinking that deny God such as animism, which asserts that natural objects are spirits or gods, or that a rock is really alive, and so on. Or else, the universe is alive as the "Great Spirit," which is again a denial of God as one Divine Infinite Conscious Rational Human Person from whom all things come and by whom all things are created, shaped, organized, and managed through rational laws that  operate to bring about an ultimate Divine purpose. According to this rational view of God, all things that God creates cannot have life of themselves, neither any power to grow, to act, or to think. This is a rational consequence of the concept of "omnipotence" which asserts that no other power can exist but the power of God and in God.

The rational view of God sees that human beings do not have life from themselves as their own, neither can we think anything without power. Hence God must supply the power and the intelligence. Life and rationality are God's qualities. These are uncreate and infinite. They cannot be given to human beings so that these belong to them. But God created all things in such a way as to be receptor forms or organs of all the uncreate things that are infinite in Himself. Hence plants, animals and human beings have receptor organs for life.

Human beings have receptor organs for love and truth, both of which are uncreate and infinite, and in God only. But as receptors, our finite mental organs can react by correspondence to the continuous inflow and presence of Divine love and truth in our mental organs. God wills that we receive the inflow of His love and truth as-if they were our own. His infinitely variable love substance and infinitely variable truth substance inflow into our mind through the Spiritual Sun. They then activate by correspondence a variety of thoughts and feelings that we can experience as our own. Unless we felt that the love and truth in us is our own, we could not be happy, nor function as a normal human being.

Those who reject the objectivity of rational spirituality have evolved a subjective mystical spirituality of God that depends on the idea of a "nonduality" between God and human beings. This is the idea that in our deepest and highest core, we human beings are each the Divine. The ultimate and highest evolution of a human being is to reach the consciousness of this Divine Being. In other words, what they call God or Divine is of the same basic substance as human beings. Human beings and God are the same substance and state. This is a self-realization we attain when we are able to let go of the illusion and delusion that we are each individual human beings struggling on a planet to survive. In the intellectual framework of nonduality the path to God is the path to Self (see my book on nonduality available online here:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/nonduality.html ).

You can see from this that mystical spirituality relies on a sensuous consciousness or experience of God while rational spirituality relies on a rational consciousness or understanding of God. This rational understanding is based on God's revelations made in Sacred Scripture. Since God and created human beings cannot be of one substance, there is a continuous duality between them that cannot be overcome to eternity. The things of God in human beings that they feel as-if their own, are not their own. We feel life and intelligence as if our own, but we know they are God's life and intelligence in us. We think of the rational analogy with the eye and light. The light enters the eye and gives us the ability to see. This light does not belong to the eye and can never be one with the eye. Similarly, the love and truth that is in us as-if our own, is actually God's love and truth inflowing into the mind's receptor organs.

Other intellectual forms of nonduality include theosophy and spiritism. These belief systems rely on materialistic ideas of God and spirit, such as the "Spirit of the Times," or, the "subtle realm" of the innate spiritual forces in the human mind, which itself is sometimes called "divine." These are anti-rational ideas of God leading to traditions and disciplines of asceticism, specialized meditation, sexual abstinence, and guru worship. "The Divine" is then defined as beyond thinking, beyond understanding, beyond rationality. It cannot be talked about. In rational spirituality based on Divine revelations, God must be talked about and understood rationally. Without this direct conscious communication by language and thought, God cannot be approached.

Another form of nonduality that denies God is magic because it attributes powers to things other than God such as devils and "dark forces" or "energies." Hence for those who believe in magic or practice sorcery, God is not the only source and cause of all power. They may talk about God as well, but their idea of God is not really God since to put any limits on God's power is the same as denial of God. This is because God, by definition, is infinite and omnipotent, which means that no other power exists. As defined in the dictionary:

God. capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: The Being who is perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness, and who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe.

The supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions.

The denial of God's existence, or else God's Personal omnipotence, or personhood, automatically precipitates the thinker into subjective belief systems that are found to be attractive, but later are discarded in exchange for another one, and so on.  If you assume that God exists, or at least could exist (the positive bias in science), and you are looking from that perspective on the denial of God, it would seem to you that it is similar to an engineer denying that the earth is round. Or a chemist that would deny that different forms of energy exist. Whatever theories and explanations this engineer will make, will all be false and contrary to reality. By God is meant One Infinite Omnipotent Omniscient Omnipresent Person or Being who has human purposes and involvements. From this perspective of affirmation of God, it is contrary to reality to attribute power or intelligence to other sources such as other gods, other forces, other energies. In contrast to materialistic non-theistic science, theistic psychology starts with the assumption that God exists as the Infinite Person who makes scientific revelations about Himself, about creation, about our life after death, and about the rational rules God uses in managing every detail of the universe.

God communicates these revelations to humankind in order to encourage people to cooperate with Him in the process of acquiring a celestial mind. It is the celestial mind that lives in eternal conjugial joy in the immortality of our afterlife. God's love for humankind prompts Him to provide these instructional methods by which we can acquire a celestial character before we pass into the afterlife. One wonders why God doesn't instruct us orally and directly by appearing to each one of us and instructing us with the Living Voice of God. Or God can appear at an international conference or world press release and prove to the scientists and reporters present that He is indeed God. It's just that simple. Why doesn't God just do it and put an an end to all this doubt, denial, or fantasy?

God has communicated to humankind many principles He uses for governing the universe, and the rationality of those principles fully explains why God does not physically appear to us and set the record straight in a direct provable fashion. It explains why it is necessary for God to appear to us only in our rational consciousness, and to avoid the sensuous consciousness while we are still living in this life. To appear directly at the United Nations and face the scientists would take our civilization back to the days of the New Testament two thousand years ago when God appeared as a physical man born in history on this planet (see section xx). The appropriate steps of human evolution require that God manifest Himself to us in our rational consciousness so that we may develop for ourselves rational proof of His existence in our mind and life. This is the only rational process that can develop in us a celestial mind that can live in eternal conjugial heaven. For God to appear miraculously and give physical proof of His existence would destroy the growth of our celestial mind, when yet this is the very purpose for which God has created us on earth.

You can see why God would not, could not, condemn us to enter the life of immortality without the celestial mind we need to live in heaven.

The purpose of Divine scientific revelations is to have us think in accordance with these principles. When we think from these Divinely revealed facts,  principles, and truths, we think rationally and in accordance with the revelations.

Once we think from these revealed truths, we are challenged by the Divine Psychologist Present with each of us, to will according to the revealed truths which are in our mind from Sacred Scripture. We are to will what we think is good. We make hundreds of thousands of decisions each day and each decision is a situation that God brings to us so that we may have the opportunity to make a choice of that particular type or in that particular area of our character and loves. In this way, choice by choice, we either cooperate with God or not. If we cooperate, we cumulate, and soon all our choices will be in accordance with God's order. The contrary if we do not cooperate, in which case we acquire an infernal mind that can live in eternal hell.

That's the awesome significance of choice!

Do not think that hundreds of thousands of choices a day is an exaggerated number. Assume the number is correct. How can you explain it? This line of thinking will lead you to discover, perhaps for the first time in your life, that the majority of the choices you make are governed by your affections and loves that remain outside your focus of conscious awareness. And yet it is these thousands of individual choices that you make every day that are building up the mind of your immortality, that is, your spiritual mind. You can discover your choices by systematic and persistent self-witnessing (see Section xx). For instance, for a few minutes or hours after you read this, focus your persistent attention on what your eyeballs are doing. You will begin to notice that when you don't interfere, your eyes naturally move here and there as you walk or drive, or as you talk to someone, or when you read a magazine or watch the TV screen. Be aware of where your eyes are looking, where they stay longer, where they keep coming back. The movement of the eyes are directed by your affections and loves -- what you find attractive, what you are interested in, what arouses which emotion in you, and so on. these are your affections and loves. They are in charge of what your eyes are doing when you're not interfering due to some stronger purpose of the moment (e.g., avoiding an obstacle, or, hiding from others what you're really looking at).

The way your eyes are directed by your loves is the same way that the rest of your personality is put together. It is not by means of your conscious awareness that you put yourself together. You put yourself together by means of the sub-conscious loves you inherited and which shape your developing character (see Section xx). A similar useful discipline is to put mirrors around the house and to study your expressions. Also, recording your speaking and other sounds you make throughout the day (see Section xx).

From the perspective of the positive bias in science, the denial of God would be the bottom of the scale of rational thinking defined as thinking with revealed truths about reality. But those who reject the assumptions of theistic psychology will naturally reject the idea that atheism is irrational and instead, will see it as irrational and unscientific to assume God's existence and direct influence on every detail. You will no doubt be hearing these two sides echoing in your mind as you study theistic psychology. Recall the argument:

Materialistic science assumes that all phenomena are to be discovered or identified by physical measurements, or abstractions based on physical measurements. It rejects the use of God as an explanatory concept in science because such a concept is not physical and cannot be measured or abstracted from other concepts that are based on physical measurements. Instead we must assume that the natural world and physical forces have their own laws that must be discovered independently of any appeal to God or a spiritual world that cannot be detected or measured by physical instruments, or derived from other concepts based on physical measurements. Psychology today has adopted this "physicalistic" and "non-theistic" bias in science so that the mental world of thoughts and feelings are considered "epiphenomena," that is, not real. The real part, it asserts, is the brain activity, which consists of electrical and chemical events firing in certain sequences.

According to this materialistic outlook, all human behavior, including thinking and feeling, is nothing but these electrical and chemical events organized in a special way to give rise to self-conscious awareness--an "emergent phenomenon" that supposedly originates from the physical activity of the brain.  In other words, according to materialistic science, we are biological robots with limited time to exist, and at the death of the brain, the "epiphenomenon" that is based on it called consciousness or the mind, vanishes and disappears from existence. We are no longer anything except a memory in the minds of those who knew us--and this is of course just their memory, not the actual continuation of our existence.

Atheism is the tendency to develop multiple arguments to prove that God does not exist. Typically an atheist believes these arguments to be rational, but they are not -- if dualism is correct. It might be a useful exercise for you to pinpoint the rational flaws in the arguments of many atheists. I typed "if there is a God" in the google.com search engine and got thousands of sites by people who put a lot of energy developing arguments against the existence or perfection or goodness of God (see for example this Web site:   www.vexen.co.uk/religion/rm.html )

It is an important fact to consider that the majority of scientists in this country belong to a religion and attend some church. 

This segregation of thinking areas in the mind between one's religious beliefs and one's scientific premises, is often associated with the politics of "separation of Church and State." Materialistic scientists who have declared their belief in God (like Newton, Darwin, Einstein, William James, Jung, Carl Rogers, and many others), nevertheless do not include God in their scientific research or theory building, which remains strictly and solely materialistic or physicalistic. Carl Rogers and Gustav Jung have described themselves as having a religion but they do not bring God into their scientific theories about human behavior. The only major exception is Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) who wrote a book called Rational Psychology in 1742, in which he makes God and God's revelations, part of his overall theory of human behavior. A few years later Swedenborg published his 12-volume work titled Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Secrets), in which he gives many new observational facts about the mind, its structure, its development, and its immortality in heaven or hell.

The resistance or prohibition in science to use Divine scientific revelations as a source of knowledge about reality, is an unsupportable bias in science, if indeed God exists and makes scientific revelations.

In contrast,  theistic psychology assumes that God is the source of all reality and the real cause of all events in the world today, in the past, and in the future. Since God's purpose for creating and running the universe is a Human purpose involving love, and since God uses rational methods of managing the universe, it makes sense to discover what these Divine rational laws are and to make use of them in practical daily applications to further our human potential.

Theistic psychology will enhance natural science if indeed all natural events have a spiritual cause. By knowing the spiritual cause of natural events we can control our environment better, both physical and mental. This is especially important if there is an afterlife and the quality of life there depends on the mind we form with our choices while we are in this life. This book will summarize many of the facts and proofs given by Swedenborg that God exists as the Divine Human, that we are born immortal, and that our life in heaven or hell in the afterlife, depends on the habits of choices we accumulate in this life. To reveal these things to people on earth is the purpose of God's communications with humankind in the form of Sacred Scripture. This communication is the basis of human rationality and freedom. Without Divine revelations about these things, humans make up their own materialistic ideas of them in the form of false belief systems, persuasive faiths, delusional perceptions, or irrational ways of thinking. The only source of true rationality about God and the afterlife is Divine revelation.

It has been known throughout the ages that people get inspired and are able to think more excellent thoughts and insights during these moments of inspiration. We are familiar from history with the character of the Muses who inspired ancient Greek artists, musicians, and philosophers. Swedenborg was told by Aristotle, whom he interviewed in the spiritual world, that a muse would appear to him in the form of a blue flame while he was writing, guiding him in his thought processes. The concept of the vertical community in theistic psychology (see Section xx) shows that the thoughts of every individual on earth are inspired by spirit subjects or societies to who God connects us and reconnects us moment by moment to assist us in the continuity and coherence of our thinking process moment by moment while awake, and then at night while asleep and dreaming. Without the influx into our mind from the spirits that surround us, we could not have a single thought. Our mind would be isolated and as if frozen like a statute.

Inspiration is a mutual mental influencing process. It is part of the orderly mechanisms that God uses to manage every detail in the universe.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

CL 415. I shall add here the following account of an experience.

One morning on waking from sleep, I was meditating in the light of a fine dawn before being fully awake, when I saw through the window what looked like a flash of lightning, and soon afterwards heard what sounded like a peal of thunder. I wondered where it had come from, and heard these words from heaven: 'There are some near you who are engaged in a furious dispute about God and nature. The flash of light like lightning and the roaring in the air like thunder are correspondences, which present the appearance of a battle and a clash of arguments, with one side speaking in favour of God, the other of nature.'

This spiritual battle had started like this. There were some satans in hell who said to one another, 'If only we were allowed to talk to angels in heaven, we should prove to them fully and completely that what they call God, the source of everything, is nature, and God is nor more than an expression, unless we mean by it nature.' Since those satans deeply and whole-heartedly believed that, and were so keen to talk with the angels in heaven, they were permitted to climb out of the mud and darkness of hell, and talk with two angels who came down from heaven. They met in the world of spirits which lies midway between heaven and hell.

[2] The satans on seeing the angels rushed up to them, and shouted in a furious tone, 'Are you the angels from heaven with whom we can meet to debate God and nature? You call yourselves wise because you acknowledge God, but oh how simple you are! Who has ever seen God? Who understands what God is? Who can comprehend that God rules, and can control the universe and all its parts? Does anyone but the common people and the crowd acknowledge what they cannot see and understand? What is more obvious than that nature is the all in all? What else has the eye seen but nature? What else has the ear heard? What else has the nose smelt? What else has the tongue tasted? What else has anyone felt by the touch of his hand or body? Are not our bodily senses our only factual witnesses? It is on their evidence that anyone can swear that a thing is so. Are not your heads in nature? What do the thoughts in our heads come from but from that influence? Take away nature and you cannot think at all.' Much more was said of the same sort.

[3] On hearing this the angels replied, 'You talk like that because you are wholly under the influence of the senses. All in the hells have their mental ideas so sunk in the bodily senses that they cannot lift their minds above that level. So we forgive you. A life of evil leading to a belief in falsity has so shut off the inner levels of your minds that it is impossible for them to be lifted above the sensual level, except in a state where you are distant from the evils of your lives and your false beliefs. For a satan can understand truth just as well as an angel when he hears it, but he does not retain it, because evil obliterates truth and substitutes falsity. But we observe that you are now in that distanced state, so that you can understand the truth we are telling you. So pay attention to what we are about to say.

'You lived,' they said, 'in the natural world and there you died, and you are now in the spiritual world. Did you know anything before about life after death? Surely you denied its existence and put yourselves on a level with animals. Did you know anything before about heaven and hell, or about light and heat in this world? Or the fact that you are no longer within nature, but above it? For this world and everything in it are spiritual, and the spiritual is so far above the natural that nature cannot exert the slightest influence on this world. But you, because you believed that nature was a god or a goddess, still believe that the light and heat of this world are identical with the light and heat of the natural world. They are not in the slightest, for natural light is here darkness, and natural heat here is cold. Did you know anything about the sun of this world, the source of our light and heat? Did you know that this sun is undiluted love and the sun of the natural world is undiluted fire? That the sun of the world, being undiluted fire, is the source from which nature came into and continues in being? So nature, which you make into a god or a goddess, is completely lifeless.

[4] 'You can, if given protection, come up with us into heaven; and we can, if given protection, go down with you into hell. In heaven you will see magnificent and splendid sights, in hell foul and filthy ones. The reason for the difference is that in heaven all worship God, in the hells all worship nature. Those magnificent and splendid sights in the heavens are the correspondences of the affections for good and truth; but the foul and filthy sights in hell are the correspondences of the desires for evil and falsity. From both these facts you can now form a conclusion whether God or nature is the all in all.'

To this the satans replied, 'In our present state we can draw the conclusion from what we have heard that God is the all in all. But when the delight of evil takes hold of our minds, then we can see nothing but nature.'

[5] The two angels and the two satans were standing on the right not far from me, so I could see and hear them. Around them I suddenly saw many spirits who had been distinguished for their learning in the natural world. I was surprised to see these learned men standing at one moment next to the angels, at another next to the satans, and applauding the party they stood next to. I was told that their changes of position were changes in their mental states, as they favoured one side or the other, for they behave like weathercocks. 'And we will tell you a secret,' they said. 'We looked down to earth to see those distinguished scholars who had used their own judgment to think about God and nature, and we found six hundred out of a thousand on the side of nature, and the rest on the side of God. But we found them to be on the side of God, not because of any understanding, but because, relying on having been told that nature comes from God, they had often said so. Keeping on saying a thing from memory or recall, while not at the same time prompted by thought and intelligence, produces an appearance of belief.'

[6] After this the satans were given protection and went up with the two angels into heaven, and saw magnificent and splendid sights. On being enlightened by the light of heaven they there acknowledged that there is a God, and that nature was created to minister to life, which is in God and comes from Him; and that nature is in itself lifeless, and so does nothing of itself, but is acted upon by life. When they had seen these sights and experienced these perceptions, they went down; and as they came down, their love of evil returned and shut off their intellect above, opening it underneath. Then there appeared above what looked like a covering flashing with hellish fire. The moment their feet touched the earth, the ground yawned beneath them, and they sank back down to their own kind. (CL 415)

A current illustration of the negative bias thinking in science and popular science discussions, is the bestseller titled The God Delusion by a well known scientist in England, Richard Dawkins. Here are some selections from the popularizing online Wikipedia entry for this book. While reading it, keep in mind that 85 percent of Americans believe in God, the afterlife, and heaven. Hawkins is therefore saying that 85 percent of Americans are delusional! Also note carefully that since he does not prove his point, and he can never do so, his entire argument is based on a bias. But since he denies that it could be a bias, he engages in level 1 thinking and reasoning to try to argue that he is right and others are delusional.

[My comments are inserted in italics and square brackets.]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion

"In the book, Dawkins argues that belief in a supernatural creator qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's observation that "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

[Note that the two best known psychologists of the twentieth century -- Sigmund Freud and B. F. Skinner -- also made similar points. This negative bias is entrenched also in science education today so that teachers in high school science courses don't tell their students that the anti-God stance of science is a negative bias in science, not a proof. The fact that they don't tell indicates a political attitude in education that I believe is detrimental to the public good. Now that the positive bias in science exists, there may be a change in this uncritical anti-God orientation.]

[But note this also:
The negative bias in public school science courses in the U.S. can be understood in terms of the long standing group practice in the history of this nation to separate religion from state. This explains why the court systems have struck down local laws that require biology teachers to teach the creation story in Genesis (Old Testament). But in theistic psychology we discuss God as a scientific concept, and we gather evidence from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. Since religion is based only on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture, and not on the correspondential sense, it is now possible therefore to discuss God in Science independently of religion. This was not possible before theistic psychology. But now it is! See also Section xx for more discussion on this.
]

Continuing with the Wikipedia entry:

"Dawkins writes that The God Delusion contains four "consciousness-raising" messages:

  1. Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral, and intellectually fulfilled.

  2. Natural selection and similar scientific theories are superior to a "God hypothesis" — the illusion of intelligent design — in explaining the living world and the cosmos.

  3. Children should not be labeled by their parents' religion. Terms like "Catholic child" or "Muslim child" should make people flinch.

  4. Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind.[1] "

[Commenting on the above: According to theistic psychology the characteristics mentioned here under (1) are part of the character of our inherited natural mind (see Section xx). The distinction atheist attitudes vs. religious attitudes is not inborn or inherited from parents. People who have a religion vs. people who deny God are equally capable of developing their natural mind and all its characteristics. However because atheism and morality are not opposed, which is correct, it does not follow that therefore God does not exist. This is an illogical conclusion.

Regarding point (2), it is not relevant to the "God as a scientific concept" issue whether the science in natural selection theory is superior to the science in intelligent design theory. Neither of these two are relevant to the issue of God in science since both are based on the literal sense of the Bible, and not at all on the correspondential sense. Hence Dawkins is clearly wrong in concluding that the "God hypothesis" is inferior scientifically to the natural selection hypothesis.

Regarding point (3), it is a matter of culture and socialization, not science. Certainly Dawkins is wrong if he argues that this is a scientific decision rather than cultural, political, and religious.

Regarding point (4), it is a prescription, not a proven point. This is his belief or blind faith in atheism. What if he is wrong? We know from theistic psychology that he is wrong regarding the denial of the mental world of eternity. So the question becomes: What effect does atheism have upon a person's life in eternity? This is discussed in theistic psychology in many places since it is central to the purpose of studying theistic psychology (see Section xx).

Back to the Wikipedia article on The God Delusion by Dawkins:

"The God hypothesis"

"Dawkins begins Chapter 2 by describing Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, as "arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction. Jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak, a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidical, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."[10]

[Others have also made this observation about the literal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. Although this description is exaggerated and vindictive, it does contain some accuracy regarding how God is portrayed in many passages (see Section xx). It is also imbalanced, because other passages present God as loving, forgiving, just, compassionate, all knowing, and omnipresent. The description by Dawkins is certainly biased, as stated, because it imputes without proof evil intentions to God, as if to suggest that God can be good, but He is also evil, as portrayed in the Old Testament Bible. This imputation of God's intentions and character is certainly illogical and unfounded.

But theistic psychology needs to explain why God appears in some passages to be angry, vengeful, or regretful of what he had done, or why God orders the massacre of women, children, and cattle in some wars. When we look at the correspondential sense of what God says in Sacred Scripture, we never find anything that God says that is not good, loving, compassionate, omnipotent, omniscient, and always involved in helping and supporting every human being from birth to endless eternity (see Section xx).]

Continuing with the article:

"Hence the inability to disprove the existence of God provides no positive reason to believe. Rather, Dawkins argues that the burden of proof is on the advocates of the existence of God."

[Note his realization of "the inability to disprove the existence of God". Dawkins knows that he is thinking within the negative bias mode of science. He realizes it is a bias. Unfortunately, science teachers in public schools do not do the same. They do not admit to the students that the denial of God is unproven in science. All they say is that God is not scientific. They have lo logical or rational warrant to say this to students. No doubt they themselves may believe it out of confusion. They would be able to change their teaching if they were informed by the science textbook writers from which they learn, that the denial of God in science is not proven, and therefore it is a negative bias in science.

Note also that Dawkins says that those who believe that God is a reality should prove the existence of God. This is illogical and unfair since he already admits that denying God's existence cannot be proven. So it follows that for the same reason, proving that Go exists is also not possible. Hence it is called the positive bias in science. Either way it is a bias and cannot be proven. It is illogical and unfair for him to require that the positive bias be proven rather than accepted as a bias -- and then it is examined for evidence, as we do in theistic psychology.]

Continuing with the article:

"In chapter 6, Dawkins turns his attention to the subject of morality, arguing that we do not need religion in order to be good. Instead, he maintains that our morality has a Darwinian explanation: altruistic genes have been selected through the process of our evolution, and we possess a natural empathy."

[Note that Dawkins is ignorant of mental anatomy (see Section xx) which shows that we are born with a natural-rational mind and a spiritual-rational mind. The natural mind serves us in this life, while the spiritual mind serves us in the afterlife of eternity. Morality in the natural mind ("altruistic genes") is possible even if the spiritual mind is denied (see Section xx). But being spiritually good is not possible if the spiritual mind is denied. People can be naturally good or moral, yet be spiritually insane and evil. After resuscitation in the afterlife of eternity we live in our spiritual mind, not the natural mind. People who are naturally good or moral in the natural mind, may be insane and evil in the spiritual mind, and in that case they select a hellish life for themselves, while people who are spiritually sane and good, select a heavenly life for themselves in eternity (see Section xx).

This raises again the important issue whether denial of God and natural morality is sufficient to develop a character that chooses heaven in eternity. Theistic psychology shows why this is not sufficient, and that it is necessary to have a theistic orientation in this life in order to develop our spiritual mind so that it is heavenly rather hellish when we are resuscitated in eternity (see Section xx).]

Continuing with the article:

"Dawkins turns to the question of why he feels so hostile towards religion in Chapter 8, arguing with examples that religion subverts science, fosters fanaticism, encourages bigotry towards homosexuals, and influences society in other negative ways. Dawkins states that Southern preachers used the Bible to justify slavery by claiming Africans were descendants of Abraham's sinful son. During the Crusades, "pagans" and "heretics" who would not convert to Christianity were murdered, and there are other similar examples."

[Note that these criticisms of religion have been voiced by many in literature and Dawkins is repeating them in his book. However they are all false because they are based, not on God and what God says in reality, but on the literal sense, which is adapted to the culture and its prejudices. Sacred Scripture would have been rejected by people if the literal sense were not expressive of how they think and what they are willing to accept (see Section xx). Also, it is illogical to attribute wars (like the Crusades, etc.) to God or to religion when clearly these wars were waged because of political ambitions and prejudices of kings and bishops. The wars and conflicts were not based on God or Sacred Scripture. In fact until the twentieth century the vast majority of people did not read Sacred Scripture. But it is rational, logical, and scientific to separate these two: God and Sacred Scripture on the one hand, and religion, culture, and politics on the other. As theistic psychology proves, the correspondential sense of all Sacred Scripture is universal, culture free, and scientific.]

Check the original article for more discussion from the perspective of people who share the negative bias mode of thinking. Also check out this review of the book that disagrees with Dawkins, but on wholly different grounds than I do above.: http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2007/002/1.21.html

 1.1.2  Level 2: Mystical Religion

 Religions are "mystical" in the sense that they do not give a rational and scientific explanation of God and the universe. Instead they give a creed that must be accepted as a belief system or faith which specifies who God is and what He demands from the members of that religion. Those faithful who live according to the doctrine of their religion are rewarded by God and receive eternal happiness in life after death. But those who do not live according to their doctrine, and all those who live according to a false faith, are punished and relegated to eternal misery in their life after death. Some faiths include the idea that this punishment is not eternal since people can change from bad to good following their phase of punishment in the afterlife. Some religions include the idea that this punishment takes place by being reincarnated in the natural world until the individual attains freedom from illusion and becomes divine.

Level 2 thinking is above level 1 thinking in rationality, if the assumption that there is God is true. In that case Level 2 thinking is a better representation of reality, more valid, more powerful, more useful, and more practical than non-theistic science is about the subject of God and how best to prepare for the afterlife. Materialistic science thinking (level 1) cannot help us at all in terms of preparing ourselves for the afterlife. This is a huge disadvantage since it's extremely important and urgent that we prepare ourselves adequately for the afterlife -- if there is such a thing. This is totally obvious if you consider it from theistic psychology which describes the life after death as either eternal happiness and sanity or eternal misery and delusion. Which it is depends on our preparation. Hence religion is a more rational and effective method of psychological preparation than non-theistic psychology. Clearly, from a practical point of view, it is important that we get this issue right, and that we remember what's at stake if we are right or wrong about God and the afterlife.

But mystical religion is not yet a fully rational and scientific perspective on God. One proof of this is that there are various religions and they not only contradict each other but sometimes want to annihilate each other. Even when they are peaceful to one another, some of them still believe that all others are false and lead their believers to eternal unhappiness in the afterlife. Obviously, if the religions were fully rational, they could not disagree with each other in such a drastic way. Rationality is the process of unifying diverse things into a coherent whole. Genuine rational faith unifies all varieties of doctrine into one overall doctrine that agrees with genuine truth and can live with genuine good. The purpose of all rational faiths (or religions) is to lead people to the good of heaven in the afterlife, and this always requires a change of character and a new way of making our daily choices. This is the truth of all religions that are based on genuine rational faith obtained from Sacred Scripture. Rational faith always leads to love and peace, for hostility and scorn cannot be associated with rational spirituality. Rational spirituality is the only genuine spirituality. It is based on Divine Speech or Divine Truth transmitted through Sacred Scripture (see Sections xx). 

But faith that is not based on rational spirituality does not put love and peace ahead of doctrinal differences. Such persuasive faiths are exclusive and hostile to one another. A notable contrast to this pattern of religion is the New Church which has been based on the Writings of Swedenborg (see Reading List). They acknowledge the idea from the Writings of Swedenborg that God accepts all religions and that eternal happiness (or "heaven") is not denied to anyone who is capable of living a heavenly life, which means capable of having altruistic feelings in the afterlife as the basis of their inner character. This inner character is what we form for ourselves by the way we live on earth through the thousands of choices we make every day. The immortal "spiritual body" we have in the afterlife is nothing else than the character we have formed with our life in the natural world. In the spiritual world, which is a mental or rational world, feelings and thoughts create what is around us, as will be explained (see Section xx).

Theistic psychology teaches people the skills they need to rebuild their character into heavenly traits with which they can have a life in heaven (see Section xx). Clearly this is of incalculable benefit to every person.

Theistic psychology assumes that there is an absolute universal standard for all human character regardless of planet, religion, culture, or personality. This is a necessary assumption since it defines good vs. evil and truth vs. falsity in terms of scientific revelations from God. Rationally, there can be only one God since God is infinite and two infinites are impossible. Since God is absolute truth and the sole source of all truth, there is an absolute standard for the human race regardless of origin or time. This absolute truth or reality is communicated to humans in two ways--externally by means of scientific revelations given by God to a particular prophet or revelator, and second, by inner voice of one's conscience by which God influences and guides the rational conscious decisions of every person, whether one denies God or not (See Section 7.0.4.1). When we deny God, we still possess a moral conscience which guides our life decisions and keeps us human. God secretly (or unconsciously) maintains the operation of moral conscience in individuals regardless of their stated belief systems.

A student reacting to some of the ideas in this book wrote:

"One statement that I disagreed with was “ Taylor says if a person or church does not understand the true god properly than all doctrine, dogma and ritual are possibly invalid.” I disagree with Taylor because I don’t understand the true God and I don’t think anyone ever could really understand him truly. Taylor believes “that God appears as “mysterious” to people and therefore god cannot truly be a part of the mind if He is not understood.” I think God is always present whether we understand him or not and mysterious is a part of our misunderstanding of God that makes him great. One of the statements that I agree with is when Elisabeth disagrees “I think there will always be mystery with God, because we have a finite mind while God has an infinite mind.” I agree with this totally I think God is beyond our comprehension."

A common idea is voiced here, namely that since God is infinite, He is incomprehensible. Therefore God and mystery are inseparable. However, Swedenborg points out two aspects of God, the one that we relate to consciously and the one that we are not conscious of. We do not ever relate in any way to God's infinity and immensity. For instance God's essence is infinite Divine Love and Truth. We cannot relate to that for it is incomprehensible. But God has created human beings with rational minds that can relate to God's ability to limit His rationality by means of correspondences to His infinite reality.  Therefore we can know and understand God by His love and intelligence which exist in our mind as-if our own love and intelligence (see Section xx). In other words, God has created human beings to be able to receive correspondential versions of His infinite Love and Intelligence. These correspondential versions feel like they are our own, and it is this ownership upon which is based our immortality. It is God's love and intelligence in us as-if our own, that makes us immortal. If we didn't feel that they are our own, we could not have a mind that lives forever. Animals cannot feel that the instinct and capacities they experience are as-if their own. This requires rational thinking ability. Therefore animals cannot be immortal, though Swedenborg has seen animals in the spiritual world (but these are not the animals from earth -- see Section xx).

We can have conscious communication and interaction with God as the Divine-Human through the love and truth that issue from Him, enter our mind, and operate there as-if they were our own love and intelligence. Love and truth in our mind are the basic spiritual substances that activate the operations of the mind and form its content, meaning, and consciousness. If God were to remove the feeling that His love and intelligence streaming into our mind are as-if our own, we would instantly cease to think, to reason, to plan, to intend, or to desire and want anything. We would no longer be human beings.

We are immortal by the fact that we can be adjoined to God through His love and truth entering our mind and operating there as-if it were our own love and truth. Nothing else but the spiritual substances of love and truth can make us human. The essence of being human is doing things we want to (=love) by planning and understanding rationally (=truth). Animals are neither immortal nor human because, though they have love and the ability to do things they want, they are not capable of pursuing their loves by planning and understanding rationally (=truth). This is why humans are responsible for their choices while animals are not -- they just follow their innate instincts or biologically-based tendencies. Only when love is combined with truth can humanity begin. And since love and truth are eternal, uncreate, immortal substances of God, humans become immortal when they can appropriate these immortal substances to be God's love and truth in them as-if their own, and make them the substances out of which the organ of their mind is constructed. This is the scientific psycho-biological explanation of our immortality (see Section xx).

We also have the ability to reject and distort the love and truth that enter the mind. In that case we cut off conscious communication with God and give up higher ways of thinking for the sake of materialism. Note carefully that God is equally in every individual regardless of the individual's religion or belief system. But there is a significant difference between the mental states in which we reject God and the mental states in which we acknowledge and honor God. When we acknowledge God's management involvement with every event in our mind and life, we are elevated in the level of our conscious operations in relation to God. In that state of conscious elevation (or "enlightenment"), God reveals meanings and understandings to us internally. The higher meaning or truth seems to just pop into our consciousness when we approach daily tasks with constant acknowledgement of God's active presence and co-participation. The more we are conscious of God's actual co-participation in every second of life, the more our consciousness is elevated, the more we can act rationally and lovingly with truth. Science would improve, society would improve, the environment would improve, in short, all that is human would improve and become of a higher quality.

This higher meaning and rational understanding of God, and how God manages us and the universe, is not available to our mind in states of denial of God or states of forgetting of God in the doing of daily tasks. In these two states of "God ignorance" we are not capable of accepting the idea of God rationally.

Progress in our spiritual development is tremendously enhanced when we make a serious effort to consider God's presence in all our actions all day long every day. By studying theistic psychology we can develop our rational understanding and explanations of how God co-participates in every thought, feeling, action, or seemingly chance event. This requires that we understand God's goals and management techniques. God has revealed them in the Writings of Swedenborg. If we maintain the positive bias in science, we will be able to investigate Swedenborg's arguments and proofs. If we stay with the negative bias in science, we cannot rationally examine his evidence--we can only reject it in advance.

Another student wrote:

"Question 2: Make up a gain-loss sheet that lists and briefly explains what you could gain or loose by adopting the negative vs. positive bias in science regarding God’s existence as a scientific reality.

Answer 2: (...) Gains and Loses

In the Negative bias in science a gain that I thought of is that one can have a strong appreciation and knowledge of the natural laws of science, namely biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. One would have a firm grasp of this information because they do not believe in God or that He had any part in the creation of the universe or mankind. They would believe in Newton’s Laws and so forth concerning energy, and the chemical make up of all other organic compounds. Nothing in their belief systems consists of objects or ideas that cannot be scientifically tested, retested, observed by all and falling outside of these tested laws. (...)

On the other hand there are also loses when one takes on the positive bias in science and it is basically that they loose the negative bias in science. They may lose respect for the natural laws of sciences since they believe that God is what created and controls the universe and not these natural laws."

Actually, we need to avoid thinking that the positive bias in science involves attributing less importance to natural laws than the negative bias in science.

Instead, the positive bias thinking is that God manages every detail of the natural world through omnipotence and rational management techniques called Divine Laws of Providence and Permissions (see Section xx). The negative bias in science is that these laws operate on their own. The positive bias in science is that these laws are the means or the method by which God manages the natural world. They could not work on their own. Take for example the force of gravity. A force needs a continuous source. What is the source that keeps gravity force going? It is God's omnipotence applied through the substances of the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx).

Consider the diagram above. The positive bias in science conceptualizes all physical phenomena in the natural world as being effects, while their causes lie in the spiritual world of eternity, that is the mental world (see Section xx). This is because the world to time-space is created in perfect functional correspondence with the world of eternity that is not in time-space. Before time-space phenomena can come into existence there must be a spiritual stimulus that causes the natural event. This is because God creates and manages the two worlds to be functionally interconnected, and not independent. In terms of successive order of creation, Divine Speech as spiritual light and heat from the Spiritual Sun enters the mental world in successive layers, the lowest of which is the corporeal mind. Anatomically this organ is constructed to be an organic interface with physical stimuli and mental awareness of them (see Section xx). From the corporeal mind there is a discrete jump to the physical body and world of time-space.

As you can see, Divine Speech exits the Spiritual Sun, enters the mental world, goes through the layers of created existence, and exits or rests in the phenomena of time-space (see charts in Section xx). This perspective is shown in the above diagram by representing the mental world of eternity as cause (arrow), which is a discrete degree within or above, the natural world of time-space. The negative bias science is shown as containing cause-effect relations at the same level. That is, both causes and effects are considered physical phenomena in time-space-matter.

The two diagrams side by side indicate that every single physical phenomenon that negative bias scientists study is of equal relevance and importance to positive bias scientists. It's not the case that the positive bias scientists study religion or the mind, while negative bias scientists study nature.

Rather, positive bias science is a new scientific paradigm for all science. It is just a continuation and evolution of science itself. It is a new paradigm that requires new explanations and theoretical accounts for all the physical phenomena known, and those still to be discovered.

The positive bias in science does not mean believing in God and having a religious membership. The positive bias in science does not mean religion, faith, belief, philosophy. The positive bias in science is a new paradigm in science for viewing and explaining in a different way all the current data and knowledge in physics, mathematics, psychology, biology, neurophysiology, engineering, computer science, business, law, forensics, metallurgy, art, dance, music, etc. The positive bias in science affects not only the sciences but also the arts and humanities (see Section xx).

1.1.3  Level 3: Theistic Psychology

 According to the positive bias of theistic psychology,  scientific revelations have been given by God in the Writings of Swedenborg (1688-1772) and these revelations make up the basic assumptions and premises for theistic psychology.

Without these scientific revelations it would be impossible to have access to these details about God's management methods, since they cannot be discovered in any other way. Whatever other authors have written in the past, necessarily represents their guesses or visions, which remain limited. By definition it is impossible for any of them to see beyond the human level. But scientific revelations are Divine and come from the level of the Divine Omniscience. They make accessible to science a database of knowledge about God and the afterlife that can never be discovered or invented by humans living in the natural world. Further, they reveal new principles that explain how scientific laws actually work by means of the "science of correspondences" (see Section xx).

These scientific revelations are not like prior revelations which were at the level of mystical thinking and understanding rather than modern scientific. The Writings Sacred Scripture contain a comprehensive, global, and integrated account of how God manages the physical world through the laws of spiritual correspondences (see Section xx).

The details of the revelations were not dictated to Swedenborg while he was in a trance or asleep or by having a vision. Instead, Swedenborg was given the unique capacity to be conscious simultaneously in the natural and the spiritual worlds, and thereby empirically observe and confirm the cause-effect action of correspondences. For 27 years on a daily basis he accessed the spiritual world mentally and kept daily notes that comprise his data, his observations, his experiences, his experiments, and his explanations. He therefore was able to compile a unique record of how the spiritual and natural worlds interact and depend on each other through the cause-effect action of correspondences.

Swedenborg discovered, confirmed, and proved that the spiritual world of the afterlife called eternity, is the mental world of each individual.

Amazingly, the mental world of all human beings overlaps with each other so that the entire human race congregates after death in this spiritual-mental environment. This was the first time in the history of science that a scientist was given the tools for the direct observation of the spiritual world of eternity.

Swedenborg was able to interview those who had lived on earth thousands of years ago, and are now living in their heaven or hell. He was also able to interview people he knew in his native Sweden who had died but recently. He was a reputed scientist who had suddenly come into possession of a new observation platform of the human mind. He could see and talk to the people who were undergoing the process of "resuscitation," which is the switching over from the physical body to the spiritual body at "death." This process takes approximately 30 hours (see Section 1.7).  He conducted controlled observations and experiments and reported what he saw and heard in the spiritual world (see these examples in Volume 18 -- Selections Keyed to Subjects, entry on [EXPERIMENTS]).

He had rational conversations and exchanges with those who inhabit the afterlife. He described their language, their thinking, their lifestyle. His rational and scientific explanations of these events are therefore to be read as science. He proved in several ways that there is a correspondential relationship between every sentence and word in Sacred Scripture and an ongoing activity in the spiritual world of eternity that he could observe. Further, all the people in the world of the afterlife could also see these relationships. Everyone one of us will be able to confirm these relationships as soon as we undergo resuscitation after death of the physical body.

This book examines whether God and Divine scientific revelations, can have a scientific role in the scientific explanations of human behavior, without invalidating psychology as a behavioral science.

We will consider the entire spectrum of human behavior, from birth to the life after death in immortality. We will also consider how the spiritual world and the natural world are interlocked by rational laws of correspondence so that the laws of feeling, thinking and acting cannot be explained without recourse to what is happening in the spiritual world simultaneously while we are acting and behaving in this world through our physical body.

The spiritual and natural worlds are connected so that we are born dual citizens --  the physical body and brain are in the natural world while the organ of the mind (or "mental body") is in the spiritual world. The two are locked into functional correspondence--what one of them does determines what the other does according to specified laws of correspondences.

These laws of correspondence are used in theistic psychology to do research about the inner mind that is within the spiritual or mental body. The inner mind of every individual is unconsciously in constant contact with the minds of individuals who are already in the afterlife. In this way there is a continuous network of interaction between all individuals of the human race, past and present. I refer to this universal  interaction network as the "vertical community" (see Section xx). The methods and procedures of this interaction process are described in the Writings Sacred Scripture. As a result, a tremendously useful new database of scientific knowledge is now available to the human race.

Here is a physicist's article in the mode of the positive bias science. Dr. Thompson has written a number of articles on theistic psychology topics, but from the perspective of a nuclear physicist who is currently (2007) still very much engaged in government funded research. Yet he sees how the Swedenborg Reports present new scientific concepts that can help physics move into still deeper topics and explanations of reality.

From: http://www.newdualism.org/papers/I.Thompson/pldi.html

The Consistency Of Physical Law With Divine Immanence
Ian Thompson
Published in: Science & Christian Belief, 5 (1993) pp.19-36

Abstract:

A model is presented to show how the existence of physical law could be a reasonable consequence of Divine Immanence in the world of natural phenomena. Divine Immanence is seen as the continual production of the principal causes or dispositions which enable created things to act and change. It is argued that this model is physically consistent, philosophically coherent, and theologically sound.

Selections from the article:

Divine Dispositional Immanence

For these reasons I wish in this paper to restate an old idea, one that has been only occasionally taken up[8], and expand it using a modern philosophy of dispositions. This idea is a simple scheme for the relation of Divine and natural powers, and suggests how physical laws might be not only compatible with Divine Immanence in nature, but also a consequence of Immanence. The thesis I wish to defend may be called the hypothesis of `Divine Dispositional Immanence' (DDI for short), and is : 
DDI: The dispositions of an object are those derivatives of Divine Power that accord with what is actual about that object.
Here, `actuality' is defined as that which is not constituted by capacities, potentialities and/or dispositions of any kind. Exactly what is actual about a natural object depends on a detailed physics, and will be different according to Newtonian and quantum mechanics (see ref. [9]). Which actualities then correspond to which dispositions is a subject for further investigation, as is whether this is a strict one-to-one correspondence. 

To explain what the DDI thesis means, consider two analogies. God provides life as the sun shines on the earth. The sun shining on the earth is constant, but the energy received by the earth varies by days and seasons. We know, however, that this variation is according to the earth's distance and orientation: according to something actual about the earth, not because of variations in the sun. A second analogy is that God provides life as we are provided with food. Consider the way animals consume food in order to live. What an animal is capable of doing after eating depends on its digestive system and how it has assimilated the food. Different species will respond quite differently to the same food, according to how they are constituted. (These analogies are discussed further in section 2.5.) 

If on first sight the hypothesis seems too far-fetched or implausible, remember that it is designed to reproduce just those kinds of effects we usually see in the world around us. Remember too that I have not specified what in fact is `actual', so strictly speaking the thesis has `materialistic', `dualistic' and `idealistic' versions, depending on whether only matter is actual, or both matter and mind, or mind only. Thus, the DDI thesis defines a general framework in which these theories of nature can be discussed within a theistic context. One consequence of Immanence should be to make all things (mind and/or matter) behave as if they were active from themselves, as that is the way they appear to us. We might rightly be wary of a God with absolute and arbitrary power to act under any pretext whatsoever: the precise content of the DDI thesis is that, on the contrary, God acts in a reasonable and orderly fashion compatible with (some kind of) natural regularities. 

This paper may be regarded as an exercise in the Theology of Nature, but of a kind that is hypothetico-deductive, not inductive. That is, we postulate an explanatory hypothesis such as the DDI thesis, and follow its consequences to see how well they agree with what we know already. The hypothesis can only be entertained, however, if expressed coherently, and considered logically possible. To that end, section 2 presents philosophical analyses of four constituent concepts used in the DDI thesis. Only if these ideas are not incoherent can the DDI thesis be reasonably considered. The thesis must also be shown to be consistent with physics, as physics is an existing attempt to relate the actual forms of natural objects to their dispositions and potentialities. 

Finally, the DDI thesis will be considered within the framework of a theistic theology that might be considered already well established. Since the DDI thesis is a statement of what God does, and may be a restriction on arbitrary omnipotence, the thesis will have to be shown to be theologically reasonable. We should also see if it is preferable to occasionalism, whereby God is the direct and only cause of natural events, and to concurrentism, whereby God is a general cause which must cooperate with pre-existing natural powers. That is, we must show that the DDI thesis describes what would be done by God as He is understood in the western tradition, and is not opposed by other attributes the tradition believes essential to the Divine. The demonstration will be based on the argument that God, if Life Itself, cannot create natural beings that both are distinct from Him, and live from themselves (i.e. that are their own dispositions to act). What can be done is to provide the life of these beings for them to live as if from themselves. This is what appears to happen, although in this paper I will be discussing only natural dispositions, and not looking at the full range of `life'. 

Continued in the original article.

From: http://www.newdualism.org/papers/I.Thompson/pldi.html

See also Dr. Thompson's Web site on the New Dualism in Science: http://www.newdualism.org/ 

See also Dr. Thompson's directory of articles on the Web related to consciousness, dualism, theism, materialism, mentalism, parapsychology:  http://www.newdualism.org/online-articles.htm

1.1.4  Ten Rational Conclusions Derived From the Proposition That God Exists

The positive bias science takes an affirmative position on God's existence, while the negative bias science takes a negative position on God's existence. It is necessary to put aside the negative bias in science in order to examine fairly whether the positive bias in science is viable or not as a rational scientific methodology.

The positive bias in science begins with the proposition that God exists. This is a bias, since it cannot be proven as a conclusion. Similarly, the proposition in negative bias science that "God does not exist." cannot be proven, and must remain a bias. So, departing with the positive bias in science that "God exists." what kind of rational propositions follow logically from this one assumption? Here is an analysis. Try to memorize it enough so you can duplicate the arguments with your friends. See how far they are willing to go.

=========
God exists.
=========

This is the starting point. All the rest follows logically from this one truth.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines God as

A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

(A) First Conclusion: God is a Person, at once Divine and Human.

Words for God like “being” “perfect” “ruler” indicates that God is a Person, not an impersonal energy or entity like the universe. It’s a strange thing to do to pray to the universe! But it’s perfectly logical to pray to a Person who is the Supreme Being. Because God is a Person, He can be loving and wise, or, good and rational. It makes rational sense to pray, or to have a relationship with, a Divine Human Person who is loving and wise to perfection (see Section xx).

(B) Second Conclusion: God’s Omnipotence Must Control Every Event

The word omnipotent refers to all power. Try to think of something that does not involve power. The motion of an atom or a planet requires power. For you to read this requires power to move your eyes, power to select thoughts and to sequence them into a logical order, and power to want to read that sentence. Clearly, God must be a controlling element in your reading this sentence.

At first we think that God has created the universe with its own source of power. For instance, once God has created electro-magnetic forces into a certain physical order, other phenomena then stem from this physical energy and order, not directly from God. There is a popular lyric that says “God is watching us” and sometimes we can hear someone ask in anguish “Where is God now!” Both of these ideas in our mind are consequences of the illogical background assumption that God can give away some of his power to nature or to people who are supposed to think and make decisions on their own.

But logic requires us to say that God’s power cannot be given away to nature or to people because once this is done, God is no longer omnipotent. And that’s not possible or logical. God is omnipotent necessarily means that none of God’s power can be given away, no matter how tiny. If even the tiniest power were given away by God, He would no longer be omnipotent.

(C) Third Conclusion: God is Perfect in Love and Rationality

Omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and perfection means that God is perfectly and totally loving and wise. There cannot be an exception, not even one, for then God would not be perfectly loving. There cannot be a mistake because then God would not be perfectly wise and omniscient.

At first we think that God may be perfect but He does not have perfect control over what happens because He gives people freedom to decide as part of what it means to be human. This is an illogical idea because God’s omnipotence means He controls everything, including people’s decisions. Hence, we need to create a rational explanation for the fact that people make bad decisions, are selfish, deceitful, and cruel to each other.

Since God is omnipotent, perfectly loving and wise, we can conclude logically that He must have a rational and good reason for allowing people to make bad decisions and to be cruel to each other. Why does God allow this since He can stop it?

Not only can He stop it, but God must be the power behind each step or detail. A simple example is a DUI driver who kills a mother and her baby in a head on crash. Logic tells us that since God is omnipotent it was God’s power that gave the driver the power to lift his hand and ingest the alcohol to excess, then it was God’s power that gave the two cars energy to collide, and it was the power of God that took the life of the mother and the baby. Every molecular detail of the drinking, driving, crashing, and dying was controlled by God, including the thought processes and decisions of the drunk driver and the mother.

Since God is perfect in loving and wisdom or rationality, it is logical to conclude that every feature and detail of the event was good and wise, or else God could not possibly bring it into existence. Every part of the event. There cannot logically be an exception. In this case it includes the drinking, the production of alcohol, bars, cars, mothers driving their babies, drivers making hundreds of decisions, cars functioning in all their parts, or malfunctioning. all is included in God’s omnipotence, perfection, love, and wisdom.

The above sounds logical enough, but it is not satisfying – not until we can explain rationally how these details are indeed good – innocent mother and baby being killed, alcohol industry and marketing, dangerous cars, people making selfish and cruel decisions, etc. We must be able to explain these details rationally, as the actions of a perfect omnipotent God. If we cannot explain it rationally, we reject God from the inmost of our mind, and then we are in deep trouble.

(D) Fourth Conclusion: There are Two Worlds, One in Time-Space, the Other in Eternity

God the omnipotent Divine Human with perfect love and wisdom, is the creator of the universe. It is illogical to think that God could be in the created universe. In order to create physical energy, time, space, and matter it is logically necessary that God be outside what is created. God could not create the physical universe if He is part of the universe He creates. It is rational therefore to conclude that there are two types of existence, or two types of universes, one outside time and space, and the other in time and space. This rational principle is called dualism in science.

God has always existed. This conclusion is rational because if God had not existed, than how did He get into existence? So logic requires that we think that God has always existed. We need therefore two names for existence (dualism=two). One type of existence is called eternity and is not in time and space. The other type of existence is time and space. These two types are traditionally called natural and spiritual.

Most people are confused about how to define what is spiritual. Much nonsense has been written and is being taught and believed. But spiritual is nothing else than the existence of eternity, and natural is the existence of time-space, also called the physical universe.

The physical universe is created and all things created must have a beginning in time. But God and anything that belongs to God, is not created, and therefore does not have a beginning. Everything that belongs to God as part of God has no beginning and no end in eternity. But all things that God creates as created thing has a beginning in time and in eternity. This can be fully understood rationally, and must be, or else our mind will reject it and we will be in deep trouble.

The universe of created time and space is an outside covering to the universe of eternity which does not have time and space. To understand this more clearly, consider how we create objects in our visualization or dream. If you picture yourself eating in a restaurant right now you will see in your imagination various objects like tables, chairs, people, and food, along with sounds, smells, movements, and events. These are objects created by your imagination in your thinking. They are your thoughts that you have covered over with physical looking objects. So you can see that the chair you are sitting on in that imagined restaurant is a thought that is covered over with an external physical-like shape.

This is exactly how we can understand God from eternity, being outside time or space, creating and managing events in time and space. God is omnipresent not in space but apart from space. This is a rational necessity since God could not be omnipresent in space – logical impossibility. If we think logical impossibilities about God, we cannot believe He is perfect and omnipotent. And when we stop thinking that, we are in deep trouble.

Every event in that restaurant you are dreaming up is an event created by your thinking and imagining. Your thinking and imagining must be outside your dream, or else you could not create your dream. In the same way, God creates every detail of events in time-space by covering up His thoughts and feelings with created things. Every created thing must therefore have both types of existence – one in time and the other in eternity. A rock or a pencil or the wind, must therefore have an existence in time-space and one outside of it.

A rock is therefore some idea of God in eternity covered over with some time-space-matter. Some people illogically say, “Look around the wonders of nature. This is when I see God.” This is not rational. When you look at nature all you can see is the outside time-space-matter. This is an outside covering. You cannot see the eternity that is within as its substantial framework. You cannot see it but you can think it, understand it, reason with it. You can rationally understand that it is something spiritual or eternal that makes the rock and keeps it to be what it is, second by second.

(E) Fifth Conclusion: Humans are Born Dual Citizens, In Time and in Eternity

Before we acquire rational spirituality in our understanding we are vulnerable to all sorts of misleading ideas and philosophies. People debate whether there is an eternity, whether there is an afterlife, whether heaven is on earth or in some other place, and so forth. Some popular new age gurus say that eternity is here, that it is called stillness, or peace, or whatever, and that you can have it and be in it, and then you are God looking down at yourself doing things in the world of people and time. Many scientists and intellectual leaders deny that there is God, afterlife, or eternity. These are the ways in which people get into deep trouble, because these illogical beliefs create maladaptation.

The symptoms of maladaptation characterize our life and our society, namely, unhappiness, depression, rage, destructiveness, lack of productivity and creativity, lack of health and vitality, lack of rational management systems, and so on. These are the symptoms of thinking irrationally about God, about eternity, about reality.

Since God is omnipotent and perfectly loving and wise, it is illogical to think that we are born, then die, and that’s the end of our existence. Think about you as a parent. Would you create a child that is going to die when you can create one that is going to be immortal? Obviously you would create children who continue to live forever. Now if you would do that, how can we think logically that God would not? God is omnipotent and so clearly, He can create living beings that are temporary or He can create living beings that are permanent or immortal. Since God is perfect love and wisdom, it is rational to think that He would create conscious human beings to live forever.

But we must understand how God does this, if we are going to fully accept such a principle and reason from it in our mind.

God creates our existence when we are conceived and born. Our existence starts in both worlds of time and eternity. This means that we are born dual citizens. Our soul or spiritual body is born in eternity, which is also called the spiritual world. Our physical body is conceived and born in time and space. The two bodies are interconnected and act together as long as they are connected. At death, the connection between the physical body and the spiritual body is broken. We then continue our existence in the spiritual body in eternity.

This may sound hypothetical at first. But upon more reflection you can see rationally how this works. First, consider that sensations, thoughts, and feelings are not physical objects in time and space. Thoughts and feelings have no mass, no weight, require no space, are not measurable by physical instruments. Only the brain’s electrical neural activities can be measured, but not thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are outside time and space, hence they are in eternity (see Section xx).

So if thoughts and feelings are not physical, and are not housed in the brain, where are they?

They are in the mind or spiritual body. The spiritual body and the physical body operate together, develop together. Our mental activities and development take place solely in the spiritual body in eternity outside time and space. Right now, as you are reading this, your thoughts, reactions, and feelings cannot exist in this world, as the lines and the ink and the physical light exist in this world. So right now you are operating in the physical world from the spiritual world. You are not in the physical world. You are in the spiritual world.

Right now you are temporarily connected to the physical world through your physical body which is connected to your spiritual body which is in eternity. Upon death of the physical body the connection is broken and you become conscious instantly of the spiritual world. Right now you cannot see the spiritual world of eternity and what is in it. It is necessary for our growth and development as an immortal human being to acquire knowledge and experience in our spiritual body. But this experience cannot be acquired directly in the world of eternity into which we are born. Some mechanism had to be created by God so that we can have experiences in time and space, and then begin our full life in eternity, outside time and space.

(F) Sixth Conclusion: The Eternity of the Afterlife is Our Mental World Now

This is the greatest open secret that is available to anyone who is willing to think about rational spirituality. Much nonsense has been written about where is eternity or where is the afterlife or where is heaven or where is God. Even the most popular new age gurus and authors today know absolutely nothing about this open secret that anyone could figure out with rational spirituality.

The mental world = the afterlife world of eternity.

This open secret hits you as obvious as soon as you allow yourself to think rationally about it. We have picked up so much illogical thinking from society today that it prevents us from thinking rationally and seeing the obvious. But it is obvious! Consider.

The mental world is the world of thoughts and feelings. These are non-physical objects, outside time and space. Anything that is outside time and space is in eternity. Obviously then, our mental world is the world of eternity where thoughts and feelings exist. 

We know the world of the afterlife, or eternity, very well indeed. We are so skilled at it that we are able to create dreams that contain dramatic scenery, exciting events, intense sensations of taste and touch, unlimited resources in terms of how many houses or diamonds or bottles of wine you want to have, or how famous you want to be. But also this: how scared you can get with amazingly real nightmares. All this we can expertly produce in our imagination. People illogically think that what we produce in the imagination is not real. They don’t get too excited about the idea that they can have anything they want in the dream world they create with their imagination. It’s not real to them. So what, they think.

But when we start thinking rationally about it, we can see that the objects we produce in our imagination or dream are real appearances. They cannot be nothing. It’s not logical to think that a dream is nothing. A dream is constructed, produced, created in our spiritual body called the affective organ, the cognitive organ, and the sensorimotor organ. These three organs make up our mind at various levels of operation. The affective organ’s operations are experienced as having feelings. The cognitive organ’s operations are experienced as having thoughts. The sensorimotor organ’s operations are experienced as having sensations. Thoughts, dreams, visions, etc. are actual operations in our spiritual organs. They actually become visible when we are no longer connected to the physical body at death (see Section xx).

At death we start our conscious life in eternity and lose all contact with the world of time and space. Although we lose contact with physical objects we retain contact with the people we know and love because this contact is based on thoughts and feelings, not merely physical contact. The physical contact is no longer possible, but the mental contact is uninterrupted. However, one is not conscious of this mental contact in a direct way, but in a subtle way.

(G) Seventh Conclusion: We Are Born With Heaven and Hell in Our Mind

Another way of saying this that we are receptive to both heavenly and hellish influences. Every person has good traits like being able to think and carry out required tasks. To finish a job requires persistence in motivation, and this is a heavenly trait. To have and raise children requires self-sacrifice and the love of others, and this is a heavenly trait. But to snap at someone in anger not caring in that moment, about how it makes the person feel, is a hellish trait. To cheat and lie and deceive so that we can unfairly obtain something, or so that we can take advantage of someone, is a hellish trait. To reject someone unfairly due to our prejudice, is a hellish trait. Some people are depressed and can’t work, and this is a hellish trait. Being aggressive on the road or obnoxious to a neighbor, are hellish traits, as are mistreating animals or wasting resources.

So each person grows up with a pack of heavenly traits and a pack of hellish traits in their personality and character. The hellish traits form a society together in our mind, and this society is called hell. The heavenly traits form a heavenly society in our mind. God is involved in the every detail of setting up the heaven and the hell in the mind. This is critical to our life in eternity. God does not allow heaven and hell to mix together in our mind because they mutually destroy each other, being opposites and hatreds to one another. So people alternate between heavenly states and hellish states on a periodic basis – monthly, weekly, hourly, by the minute and second. God controls the exact alternation, when, and where.

When we lose contact with the physical body, it immediately breaks down into chemical matter. This is called the first death. We suddenly become conscious in the spiritual world of eternity. But we are still the same person. We have not changed anything. So our mental world doesn’t change that much at first. We see our body just like we are used to, even though we realize it’s not a physical body. We see ourselves in a mirror and we look similar to how we looked when we passed on. We look around and things look similar to what we saw before dying. But we quickly begin to notice the differences. Now we are in a mental world, not physical. We notice things we could never notice before about others who are around. They have an aura of light around the head. One can see activity of light in the mental organs, actually seeing thoughts and feelings in the person.

We see a house in the distance and we feel like walking there. All of a sudden, we are there. We enter. At first we see people drinking at a bar, but the next instant they are brandishing swords and running at you menacingly. Suddenly you don’t see them and you are sitting with your father who passed away years ago. And so on. You discover you can eat if you want to, but you no longer have to do it to survive. Experiences come to you fast and furious, as you explore your new life with all sorts of interesting people that come around, and you notice that your face is changing. Your entire appearance is changing.

You have new feelings you never knew you had. They are so intense, so purely what they are. It frightens you. It elates you. You alternate between the heaven and the hell you came with into eternity. But things are getting more compulsive, more spontaneous, more emotional. You lose all sense of control. None of the things that held you back before are able to contain these new raw emotions, feelings, desires, compulsions, attractions. And very soon you arrive at the moment of your second death. This is it. It’s the final free choice you will be making on your own as an individual.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 5935. VASTATION. After a spirit has completed his time in the world of spirits, he at length arrives at the last [period], which is his vastation. He then appears, for the most part, such as he was in the world, and is set at liberty to go whither he pleases; and thus he reaches a place where all conjunction with anything spiritual is taken away. He thus becomes, as it were, silly, and casts himself into hell. (AC 5935)

It’s a simple choice: You must chose to give up all the hellish traits or all the heavenly traits. It is impossible for you to continue alternating. It’s completely out of your control, like the neurons in the brain when you see something, or like the expansion of the lungs when you breathe in air. Every human being is faced with this required last choice. You cannot keep a single heavenly trait if you choose the hellish traits, and vice versa. Your eternity is either in the heaven of your mind or in the hell of your mind. Once the final choice is made, you cannot change your mind because half of your mind is put the sleep forever (see Section xx).

At first we illogically think that hell is a punishment for the bad things we did and heaven is the reward for the good things we did. This is all right to think at first, while we are developing and growing. But to grow up we need to think about this rationally or else we will reject the idea in our interior mind. We then realize that since God is perfect in love it would be illogical to think that God punishes people in the afterlife for the sins they committed while attached to earth. Love cannot punish, but only emend. As parents we realize we have to help our children to learn to be mature and self-reliant. We use punishment to insure that this happens. But once we are in the afterlife, what would punishment be for? God would not retaliate for He has no such motivation.

Hence we conclude rationally that hell is not a punishment but a choice. And likewise, heaven is not a reward but a choice. What would make people want to choose hell?

We all are familiar with hell in our daily lives and experiences. By observing our own thoughts and feelings we can notice how we create a heaven and a hell in our mind. For instance, we may experience jealousy of a person at work, and we are conscious of a negative emotion when we think or see that person, like fear, resentment, annoyance. These are hellish feelings. They do not exist in the heavens of our mind. Then we notice a strong desire to be hostile to this person, to plot against the person, to try to get this person in trouble. And we can also notice that when this person is in trouble, we feel satisfied, happy, glowing. This is a scenario of how we can build up hell in our mind, until it pervades all our thinking at work, and then beyond.

We can see rationally that we are not responsible for this hell – initially. These negative emotions and hostile intentions and acts seem to tumble out of us, spontaneously. Even when we try to stop them, they won’t. So how can we be held responsible for them by God? Rationally we have to say that God does not hold us responsible for this initial experiencing of the negative emotions and intentions. It’s what we do next, that makes us guilty of hell. This means: We will choose hell at our second death. This is called being guilty, but you can see that it is free choice, the last free choice God allows us to make.

And so it goes with all our weaknesses and negativity. People experience the pleasure and delight of not having to work. But if they turn this into a lifestyle, it becomes a hell in their mind. To create a heaven in the mind is to do the opposite. People strive to please others because they feel bad when others are upset because of them – this is building a heavenly society in your mind. Some people devote tremendous care to a hobby or interest. To get better at it becomes their striving, and this is building a heaven in the mind.

Our heaven in eternity is built from our heavenly traits. But we cannot hang on to them if we are unwilling to let go of every single hellish trait. People who are unwilling to let go of some hellish trait, but desire strongly to be in the heaven of their mind, are going to be in deep trouble when they enter the afterlife. Surely this is going to mean a lot of mental anguish for them before they can let go of the hellish trait. This is sometimes subtle. For instance, some people will avoid being dishonest out of fear of getting caught, even though they would do it if the fear were not there. You can have two people, both avoiding to be dishonest, but one does it for an external reason (presence of fear), while the other does it for an internal reason (wanting to be good). In that case, one will choose hell while the other will choose heaven, even though both lived similar outward lives.

(H) Eighth Conclusion: Heaven is a State of Marriage Between Soul Mates

When we think about it rationally we can understand that God created men and a women so that they may be conjoined together, so that out of two distinct and unique individuals they may become as one distinct and unique whole. Two halves of something can become one, but two wholes cannot become one. Hence it is evident that the unit of the whole person is the man and the woman conjoined as one. Only this can create a heaven in eternity out of their mind. In the hells of people’s minds, instead of conjunction there is disjunction, and instead of friendship there is hostility to one another.

Some people think that marriage is a piece of paper. More couples today are inclined to shack up and even have children without getting married. This is because they are allowing themselves to remain in the external phase of marriage. At this level, marriage is a socio-legal contract and arrangement, and couples who don’t want to participate in that arrangement, perhaps as a form of protest and independence, do not see the purpose in getting married. However this is faulty thinking and puts them in deep trouble. The majority of those marriages end in divorce, and many of those that endure, remain external marriages in which neither partner can be fully fulfilled or happy, no longer involved in constantly growing together.

It is obvious that marriage must be part of the mechanism God has created for a man and a woman to bond together, to fulfill each other, and to raise children. Marriage is part of creation, part of how God fulfills the grand plan of creating a heaven of eternity in the mind of the human race. Our life tied to a physical body on earth is a temporary arrangement. We are born dual citizens, and we are immortal beings. Our eternity starts in the afterlife, about 36 hours after the corpse is cold or destroyed. Life then continues in eternity, outside time and place, either in the heavens or the hells of the individual’s mind. Each person makes that final choice at their second death (see Section xx).

Marriage is a union of minds (see Section xx). Consider that for two things to make a perfect whole, they must be reciprocals of each other so they may fit into one functioning unit. For example, to open a locked door or engine, we need a key and a keyhole. To light up for a smoke, you need a cigar and a flame. To shake hands with someone with the right hand, you need to face each other. An officer in the military needs underlings who carry out orders. A marriage needs a man who wants to be a husband and a woman who wants to be a wife.

Nothing in a man can be like anything in a woman. This is the principle of reciprocity through maximum differentiation. Even if one thing were the same in a man and a woman, they would no longer be able to form a perfect unity. Every person is born either a man or a woman, and since we are immortal, we remain what we were born. A woman’s physical body is a covering around her spiritual body. Her physical shape and form merely reflects the shape of her eternal and immortal spiritual body. It is the same with a man. This spiritual anatomy insures that a woman and a man remain what they are. A woman’s spiritual body reflects her mind, and so does a man’s spiritual body. Clearly, the mind of a woman is different from the mind of a man, as is evident from the body.

It is easy to see the reciprocity of man and woman when you consider how they have sexual intercourse. This physical reciprocity is actually an accurate reflection of their mental reciprocity. A woman cannot think one thing that a man thinks in the same way that he thinks it, and it is the same for a man. Similarly, a woman and a man cannot have the same feeling or emotion. Men and women are not opposites; they are reciprocals. Opposites don’t fit and cannot create a unity. But reciprocals can, and do.

Since every marriage starts with the external union, the issue becomes how a couple can move to the internal union. The external phase of marriage is adequate for producing and raising children, and for joining together as partners in a team to help each other achieve more than what we can do on our own in society. As well, many couples are polite and civil to one another most of the time, and so they can have companionship and friendship, instead of having to be alone or with people who are not committed to each other in long term relationships. External marriage is therefore a good thing, a useful thing, a necessary thing.

But it is not fulfilling!

In order for the wife and the husband to be really fulfilled, really happy, really positive and productive and vibrant, they must enter the interior marriage relationship. This is gradual and takes years, maybe decades. But the critical issue is not how long it takes, but whether the couple is moving ahead in that direction, year by year, and week by week.

Marriage is a spiritual conjunction between two minds and therefore it involves a physiological change in the mind of each partner (see Section xx). This physiological growth process involves the mental organ of the woman becoming dependent on the mental organ of the man. This happens early in the marriage phase because women are prepared since girlhood, to form themselves according to a man. When a woman meets a man whom she is considering as a possible husband, she begins the process of conjoining her mind to his mind. Women do this spontaneously and with expert skill. They drink in the man’s philosophy and they learn his sense of humor. A woman learns how to talk to the man, how to listen to him, what to say, how to think things through, what to choose, what to love – all as an effort to conjoin her mind to his. In this way, the man feels that he is attached to her.

But note carefully: The man has done nothing yet to reciprocate. He merely allows the woman to adapt her mentality to his so they can be in one house and form a partnership in daily activities. This is the external marriage that is suitable for raising a family and having a career. In all these years the wife is marking time, waiting for her romance to become reality in her husband. She is waiting for his reciprocation. She has conjoined herself mentally and physically to him. Now it is his turn to reciprocate.

He now has to do what it takes to conjoin her to himself!

The moment he starts this physiological process, both are thereby changed (see Section xx). Now they are finally taking off for their eternity. Now he can see that it is not the children or the career that is the most important for him and her. From now on he can clearly see that it is their unity together that is the purpose of the whole thing, and was the purpose all along. All else was necessary as a sort of intermediate stage for this, the real thing.

When the husband reaches this stage, he is called spiritually enlightened. What this means is discussed next.

(I) Ninth Conclusion: Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture Produces Consciousness and Enlightenment

The word enlightenment has been bandied about for centuries and more in our literature. Today’s new age gurus and authors use the word frequently. They use it to refer to something mystical that is beyond human words so they give it various symbolic names like Stillness, or Pure Consciousness, or Ego-less State, and so forth. What are these names but words we all know used in some unknown mysterious way – “beyond words to describe. You can only know it if you experience it.” This is what Diane and I call the conspiracy of the gurus (the title of one of our projected books). It’s a conspiracy of silent agreement by teachers, authors, seminar leaders, noted philosophers, etc. They did not enter into such an agreement officially or directly by talking to each other.

But they all make the same mysterious claim to would be followers and purchasers – Do what I tell you, step through these ritualistic hoops, meditate so many hours in so many ways that I tell you, purchase my books and audiotapes, believe in me like you believe in God, and at some unpredictable point, Voila! Your inner eyes will come alive and you will see this Pure Consciousness and you will feel its rational ecstasy, its bliss, its peak experience, and so forth. Some gurus add self-flagellation as a requirement, others advise against sexual contact with women. And so it goes. What are these things but entertainment for those who are not serious about eternity, about heaven and hell, about God.

The conspiracy of the gurus is centered in what is known in philosophy as nondualism or nonduality. The is the explicit justified denial of dualism or duality between God and human beings. The new age spirituality that has invaded the Western mind in the past few decades is a fundamental attack against the historical and ingrained Western rationality based on the duality of God vs. the universe, or of the Divine Human vs. created human beings. This philosophy is bent on merging the two worlds – the natural and the spiritual, the temporal and the eternal. This merger is irrational and impossible as we can realize by rational analysis (already discussed in several Conclusions above).

The reality is that the only enlightenment is the spiritual light from God which we can receive in our mind through the interior way. An example is our conscience (See Section 7.0.4.1). We do absolutely nothing to construct our conscience. It is there for every human being. We instantly know what God defines as right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, real vs. delusional. It is the same with Sacred Scripture. Both of these methods are used by God to communicate with us individually. Every individual feels that their conscience is their own. It is one to one talk between God and human beings.

It is the same with Sacred Scripture. Since the beginning of creation God formed the minds of people in three ways:

  • (1) unconsciously, in the background; in the form of rationality;

  • (2) consciously, in the form of conscience, insight, inspiration;

  • (3) consciously, in the form of doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture.

All three methods are called true spiritual enlightenment. We have much to discuss about how these three methods actually work. To anticipate just a bit: There are two levels of reading Sacred Scripture. One is called the level of sensuous or mysterious spirituality, and the other is called the level of rationality, as discussed in these Ten Conclusions.

The lower, external, literal, historical level of reading Sacred Scripture creates religions – diversified, in conflict with each other, based on blind faith or persuasion (like so-called miracles and so-called holiness or saintliness). The higher, interior, universal, culture-free, genuine spiritual level creates theistic science, rationality, celestial thinking as in eternity. This is the level that reflects and contains Divine Speech, Divine Meaning, Divine Order. As we study this level of meaning of Divine Speech, we extract the inner hidden meaning by rational Conclusions. This is what God is talking to us about. It’s about our mind. Our eternity. Our heaven and hell. There is no other saintliness. No other holiness. No mystery. No ritual. Just this rational understanding of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

This reveals to us everything we want to know. We can understand all that we need to do and all that we can do. God is working for us because we are obeying His order. We must understand this Order to obey it, to put our mind in that Order. It is a rational Order because God is a Divine Human, has a mind, thinks, wants things, creates with purpose, loves. Divine Love is the desire God has to share what He has in His Mind, His Feelings of Bliss and Happiness, His way of loving one another. Sacred Scripture reveals at this level of reading and understanding the verses, that God creates the universe for the purpose of having endless numbers of human beings end up in the heaven of their conjugial eternity as husband and wife!! You can read that again, Steve We can prove it! this is Divine Love and this is the purpose of the universe. There is no mystery, only rationality.

(J) Tenth Conclusion: Salvation, Liberation, Peace, and Wisdom Are Attained By Spiritual Discipline

In a real sense this last Conclusion is the most important because the last and the beginning of anything contain all that is in between. The beginning of this is

God exists.

This is the starting point. All the rest follows logically from this one truth. And the ending is about salvation, liberation, peace, and wisdom, which must be obtained by spiritual discipline.

The purpose of spiritual discipline is twofold. The first is to prevent ourselves from choosing to live in the hells of our mind when we enter eternity at death. The second is to prepare ourselves to choose to live in the heavens of our mind. No other spiritual discipline is worth anything in comparison to these two steps. This is the spiritual discipline commanded by God in all Sacred Scripture and it has to do with how we can manage to enter heaven. God commands this discipline to influence us to follow it. He wants us to follow this discipline so that we may be successful in rejecting our inborn hellish loves, and in choosing our heavenly loves which are also given in our mind. The purpose of our life here on earth is to learn to reject the enjoyable hellish loves and to learn to feel attraction for the heavenly loves, which do not appear so enjoyable at first, but later, they are felt with far greater joy than anything before. Spiritual discipline leads to the death of the old corrupt self that hurts others and destroys self, to the birth of the new self, that respects others and enjoys virtuous mental states.

What is salvation? It is the acquired ability to reject hellish loves (egotism and lusts) and to accept heavenly loves (virtues and conjugial love). How do we know rationally which love is hellish and which is heavenly? How do we avoid doubt and confusion? People can be misled by teachers, writers, and prophets who promote untruth.

The only answer is from the Divine Psychologist and from Sacred Scripture when it is studied more and more at the interior spiritual level of meaning, not just at the literal historical level. The knowledge and understanding we get from this study and the consequent enlightenment, is called the Doctrine of Truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

God the Divine Psychologist in every person's mind, manages all the details of our mind, the details we are aware of consciously and the details we are not aware of because they are going on unconsciously. The mind is an immortal biological engine that stays active from birth to endless eternity. How could an engine run by itself? It could not. God creates the immortal mental engine and keeps it running in such a way that it evolves more and more towards its perfection, never quite attaining it, but getting closer and closer to it endlessly. God manages this endless and ceaseless activity. Not a single thought or sensation can enter your mind or stay there as a memory by itself. God manages this process, just as God manages the details of the molecular motions that construct the biochemistry and physiology of your physical body. Nothing can run by itself, not a molecule, not a galaxy, not a human mind. And what is true of the whole is also true of every part. In other words, no part or detail of any activity can go on without God managing its course and existence. This conclusion is a logical necessity that follows from the premise that God is omnipotent. No detail can be exempted.

How do we know all this? God has revealed the method He uses for our regeneration, which is the containment or confinement of the hells in our mind, allowing the opening of the heavens in our mind. Regeneration is effected by temptations (see Section xx). God as the Divine Psychologist, brings us through sequenced experiences and their thoughts, so that we can consciously realize as-of ourselves, where the evil trait is in us, and where the heavenly trait is, i.e., which is which. Then the Divine Psychologist brings us into the temptation event which requires of us to use the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture that we have acquired in our thinking. This is the voice of conscience strengthened by reason. The Divine Psychologist activates our conscience in the affective organ, giving us a clear and intense feeling of right or wrong, good or bad. Then comes our turn. We reciprocate God's action by reasoning it out with the truths we have from Sacred Scripture in our mind from prior study. is reasoning process is the application of rational truth to the situation that our conscience has flagged for us. So the sequence is:

  • (1) situation, temptation event (God's action)

  • (2) voice of conscience (our reaction)

  • (3) reasoning with spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture (joint action God and us)

  • (4) resistance to and rejection of temptation, thus spiritual victory (as-of self battle and effort)

  • (5) new enlightenment and heavenly peace (our reception of God's action)

  • (6) new opening of our heaven (our love for virtues)

This process of God and human interactionism goes on hour by hour, every day, every year, until the passing on at death and the resuscitation in eternity. Then it continues there in our heaven, but in a different way. Those who choose to live in the hells of their mind do not regenerate any more. Hence they cannot improve. They cannot because they won’t. God never forces people against their free will choice. When a person insists on a certain choice and won't give it up no matter what, then God cooperates by giving the person the ability to carry out that choice. This is called being in the hells of your mind. God manages every detail in the hells and in the heavens. Both are details happening in the human mind of eternity. God manages all details. People who spend their eternity in the hells of their mind are managed by God so that (a) they don't get worse than they have to; (b) they don't torture others in hell beyond a certain point; and (c) they don't influence or possess the natural mind of people on earth except when they are raised into the resuscitation zone where they serve to excite temptations in people's minds (see Section xx).

There are natural temptations, spiritual temptations, and celestial temptations (see Section xx).

Exercise:
Here is an instructional story that I copied from an email discussion:

Seems there was a monk who plopped himself down in a busy marketplace in order to meditate on God. Rushing through the marketplace was a housewife. Focused on the shopping list in her mind, she bowled over the monk without realizing he was there, and hurriedly continued on her way. The monk quickly righted himself, and shouted after the woman, 'Why don't you watch where you're going? Can't you see I was meditating on God? How dare you, a lowly householder, disrespect a man of God!' The sharpness of the monk's voice having pierced her focused attention, the housewife stopped and turned. Realizing now what had happened, she said to the monk, 'I was concerned with my shopping list and didn't notice you. Had you been as concerned with God as I am with my shopping list, you wouldn't have noticed me!

What are your thoughts on this story in relation to the whole Section? Try to figure out the symbolism involved. What in our own lives is represented by the busy housewife and the uncharitable monk?

1.1.4.1  How the Idea of God Makes Us Immortal

In the following quote from the Writings Sacred Scripture "the learned" refers to the negative bias in science, while "the simple" refers to those who accept the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. If you read theistic psychology from the negative bias perspective of non-theistic psychology, you are called "the learned" because you accept the perspective of the negative bias scientists, as taught to you in your science education and professional enculturation. You are choosing by default to maintain this negative perspective on God and dualism. But when you accept what Sacred Scripture says in its literal sense, you are called "the simple" because you are not on your defensive guard when hearing about God and science in one focus. Here, Swedenborg is given to write down the content of his conversation with people who at resuscitation have arrived into the world of spirits with the negative bias perspective on dualism and the afterlife of eternity.

AC 3747. I have occasionally conversed with spirits concerning the learned of our age-that they know only the distinction of man into internal and external, and this not from any reflection on the interior things of the thoughts and affections in themselves, but from the Word of the Lord; and that still they are ignorant what the internal man is, and that many even have doubts as to whether it exists, and also deny its existence, because they do not live the life of the internal man, but that of the external; and because they are so much led astray by the appearance as regards brute animals, in their seeming like themselves in respect to organs, viscera, senses, appetites, and affections.

And it was said that the learned know less about such subjects than the simple, and that still they seem to themselves to know much more; for they dispute about the interaction of the soul and body, and even about the nature of the soul, as to what it is; when yet the simple know that the soul is the internal man, and that it is man's spirit which is to live after the death of the body; also that it is the real man which is in the body.

[2] And further it was said that more than the simple, the learned make themselves out to be like the brutes, and ascribe all things to nature, and scarcely anything to the Divine; and still further, that they do not reflect that as distinguished from brute animals man has a capacity for thinking about heaven, and about God, and thereby of being elevated above himself, consequently of being conjoined with the Lord by love; and thus that men cannot but live after death to eternity.

And it was added that they are especially ignorant that all things whatsoever belonging to man depend on the Lord through heaven, and that heaven is the Grand Man, to which correspond all things in man in both general and particular, and also all things in nature; and possibly when they shall hear and read these things they will seem to them like paradoxes, and unless experience confirms them they will reject them as a fanciful affair; as they will also do when they shall hear that there are three degrees of life in man, as there are three degrees of life in the heavens, that is, three heavens and that man so corresponds to the three heavens that when he is in the life of good and truth, and by this life an image of the Lord, he is himself in image a little heaven.

[3] I have been instructed concerning these degrees of life-that it is the last or ultimate degree of life which is called the external or natural man by which man is like animals as regards lusts and fantasies; that it is the second degree of life which is called the internal and rational man by which man is above animals, for it is through this that he is able to think and will what is good and true, and have dominion over the natural man, by restraining and also rejecting its lusts and the resultant fantasies, and also by reflecting within himself concerning heaven, nay, concerning Divine, which brute animals are altogether incapable of doing; and lastly that the third degree of life is that which is the most unknown to man, although it is that through which the Lord inflows into the rational mind, whereby man has the faculty of thinking as a man, and also has conscience, and perception of what is good and true, and also elevation by the Lord toward Himself.

But these things are remote from the ideas of the learned of this age, who merely dispute whether a thing exists; and who, so long as they do this, cannot know that it does exist, and still less what it is. (AC 3747)

In other words, when we place ourselves in a receptive perspective on God and Sacred Scripture we can know that we are eternal spirits in a temporary material body":

"the simple know that the soul is the internal man, and that it is man's spirit which is to live after the death of the body; also that it is the real man which is in the body."

What makes us immortal is not the prolongation of human life in the physical body. Our immortality must be something that we already possess in eternity.  The natural or animal mind cannot operate with concepts that are based on eternity. God and eternity are rational concepts, not physically sensuous or empirical.

[the learned] do not reflect that as distinguished from brute animals man has a capacity for thinking about heaven, and about God, and thereby of being elevated above himself, consequently of being conjoined with the Lord by love; and thus that men cannot but live after death to eternity.

Our life in eternity is possible because of our "conjunction with God by love." In other words, by having a rational concept of God, and by loving God, we are "conjoined" to God. Since God is in eternity, we are being conjoined to immortal life in eternity. Without this knowledge of God, we cannot be conjoined to eternity. All human beings have a rational level of thinking and have an idea of God and eternity. Hence all human beings are immortal. Note what the passage says about our mind being "in image a little heaven":

there are three degrees of life in man, as there are three degrees of life in the heavens, that is, three heavens and that man so corresponds to the three heavens that when he is in the life of good and truth, and by this life an image of the Lord, he is himself in image a little heaven.

We have both hell and heaven in the mind (see Section xx). This is obvious to everyone when we reflect on how we sometimes feel great and at other times we feel bad, even very very bad. When we feel bad we cannot be in our heaven, obviously, since heaven is nothing else than feeling good. If we are not in our heaven, we are in our hell. We alternate in our heavenly feelings and hellish feelings. Similarly, when we are in our heaven we not only feel good but we are being genuine, authentic, real. We are being good to others, and that's the main source of our feeling good.

  • Heaven is feeling good from doing good, and feeling bad from doing bad.

  • Hell is feeling good from doing bad, and feeling bad from doing good.

The feelings in the hell of our mind appear to be good but are the opposite in disguise. What creates this falsified appearance? It's critical to know this. Without knowing this we are unable to recover once we are in the hell of our mind. No one knows the answer to this except from Sacred Scripture in its scientific correspondential sense.

The reason why doing bad appears good to us when we are in the hell of our mind, is that doing bad is a sensorimotor act that follows from the conjunction or cooperative action between a prior affective act (intending bad) and a corresponding cognitive act. There must be a corresponding cognitive act to the bad intention. The cognitive act is the act of justifying the evil intention by thinking that in this case it is good despite what it looks like. This gives us permission to carry out the bad act. For example, you finally find a parking space after having to look for it a long time, and when you get there you notice that one of the adjoining cars parked over the white line in the vacant parking space. You realize there is not enough space for you to pull in and be able to open the door to get out. You feel angry against the inconsiderate driver. You get out and with your key you scratch the side of the offending car. You feel better as you drive away.

What happened here? When you realized you would not be able to park, you felt very bad. You were in the hell of your mind. That is, your consciousness descended into that portion of your mind that is the source of bad feelings and negative emotions. None of these feelings or emotions are possible when your consciousness ascends into the heaven of your mind. You are in your hell when you feel the awful explosion inside of you as you explode with anger and fury. What is this feeling? It is not a civilized feeling. It is not a rational feeling. It is a dangerous feeling. It is hostile. That feeling now activated in you, wants to continue living and enduring in you. It attaches itself to your consciousness. Now you are immersed in that feeling of rage. It surrounds you. It is like drowning.

As the evil feeling struggles to continue surviving in you, it searches your memory and your philosophy and quickly finds a situational condition, an exception clause to the general rule. The general rule is that you think of yourself as good person at least some of the time, and some people think they are good most of the time. This is the reputation a person has with himself or herself. So as you think of yourself as a good person, but you are now feeling like retaliating against the other driver, you give yourself permission to do something bad by justifying it, which means finding a rationale that would allow you to do and still you could retain the reputation of being a good person.

For example, you might think that the other driver is a really really bad person for doing this to you. He or she is a menace to everyone. Somebody ought to teach this inconsiderate person a lesson. Everybody will be benefited in the future if you teach this person a lesson. You go ahead and plan some act of hostility and retaliation. You see the opportunity as you are holding the key in your hand standing by the other car. You go ahead and key the car leaving a long scratch. You are feeling better for doing something bad but in your mind it is not bad. It is just and deserved punishment. You are unable to see that your consciousness is now rooting itself in the hell of your mind.

How do you get out of hell? We do it by rational understanding.

In order to understand ourselves we need to know that we are living mentally along three levels or degrees of operation called natural, rational, and celestial. The natural degree of our life is called the natural mind or the natural self. We share this degree of life with animals. Next, the second degree of our life is called rational. Animals do not possess this degree of life. The rational mind or self is capable of understanding the difference between God and us, and possesses the voice of conscience by which we know right from wrong and good from evil (See Section 7.0.4.1). Next, the celestial mind is unconscious while we are attached to the physical body. After resuscitation, we continue life in eternity in the conscious awareness of our celestial mind, which sometimes is also called the spiritual mind (see Section xx). In the quote above (AC 3747) these three degrees of life are described as follows:

(a) it is the last or ultimate degree of life which is called the external or natural man by which man is like animals as regards lusts and fantasies;

(b) it is the second degree of life which is called the internal and rational man by which man is above animals, for it is through this that he is able to think and will what is good and true, and have dominion over the natural man, by restraining and also rejecting its lusts and the resultant fantasies, and also by reflecting within himself concerning heaven, nay, concerning Divine, which brute animals are altogether incapable of doing;

(c) the third degree of life is that which is the most unknown to man, although it is that through which the Lord inflows into the rational mind, whereby man has the faculty of thinking as a man, and also has conscience, and perception of what is good and true, and also elevation by the Lord toward Himself.

In other words, the thoughts and feelings in our natural mind are created out of the sensorimotor experience in our daily living with the physical body. At birth our natural mind is empty of sensory or cultural content. Animals on the other hand are born with specific content that varies with each species. As a result they do not need to be educated in culture and language. Some animals are separated from parents immediately at birth so they cannot be trained, and there are species that fend for themselves from the moment of birth. Both these types of animals are able to survive and thrive. Observation shows that small animals with simple physiology, like ants and bees, engage in complex social interactions by inborn mental processing that operates in their natural mind. Nevertheless, no matter how much complexity animals are born with, their natural mind is physiologically not capable of operations that belong to the human rational mind. We may be very impressed by the intelligence demonstrated by our pets of many species, but we all know that they will never be able to vote or to plan for a wedding.

We are human not because we have a natural mind, like animals, capable of learning from experience and of adapting to changing conditions in the environment.

We are human because we have a rational mind above our natural mind.

The rational mind is the beginning of being human (see Section xx).

The quote above says that the second degree of our life is called rational and it is by this means that we are "above animals."  This means that we are able "to have dominion" over our "lusts and fantasies." To be above something physically corresponds mentally to a higher level of functioning -- being able to realize and understand what we cannot at a lower level. This brings the power to control. In human beings the rational self has a built in dominance or power over the natural self. This is the reason that civilization is able to grow from savage to modern. Our history of development or evolution clearly shows that the rational mind of the human race is gaining power over the natural mind. For example, today we have countries called democracies that have laws that protect the human rights of people and their fundamental right to due process regardless of social standing and power. Contrast this with what the attitude is in countries that are not practicing democracies. 

Contrast how people are today and how they appear to be from the Old Testament or other historical documents. Our modern mentality is elevated compared to them. They had laws in place that discriminated against people on the basis of birth and race. They had laws that allowed the abuse of women by men. Etc. We can easily see that the mentality of the human race was much more animalistic and less rational in comparison to today. These changes occurred gradually as the rational mind was able to put the natural mind under its control.

The quote above points out that the natural mind of human beings, no more than the natural mind of animals, is not capable of "reflecting within himself concerning heaven, nay, concerning Divine, which brute animals are altogether incapable of doing." The more we are rational the better we are able to reflect on God, dualism and the afterlife of eternity. These are rational ideas, rational concepts, not natural. The natural mind can learn a definition of the word "God" or the expression "the afterlife in eternity." But this would merely be rote memory, not rational understanding. The natural mind can only understand concepts or meanings that are based in the sensory experience we have through the physical body. These natural concepts contain the perspective and the assumptions of space, time, and matter. This is why the natural mind sticks with the negative bias in science. In our natural mind, there is no possibility of creating real-world concepts about no-time, no-space, no-matter. Hence God and eternity cannot be accepted as a possibility.

No rational concept can be accepted at the natural level.

The quote above says that it is not until the next higher degree of life called the celestial mind, that we become true and genuine human beings. This degree is called "the most unknown" while we are still connected to the physical body. That it is "most unknown" signifies that it is unconscious while we are connected to the physical body, thus before resuscitation (see Section xx). It is revealed that spiritual heat and spiritual light "inflow into the rational mind." from the Spiritual Sun, or God. In other words the capacity to have genuinely human feelings and to think rationally in our daily living, is a capacity that unconsciously flows into the rational mind through our celestial mind. The more we grow in rational spirituality the more we are allowing this celestial influx to influence and manage our daily thoughts and feelings. These more interior rational understandings elevate us in consciousness and operation to the celestial level of life. We can now extract spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture and live according to them (see Section xx). We thereby obtain the life of heaven here, while we are still in the physical sphere, and then afterward, in our conjugial eternity in heavenly life (see Section xx).

For views on God that appear related to theistic psychology, but are not, see:

Thomas Aquinas: Reasons in Proof of the Existence of God (1270) at:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/aquinas3.html

Charles Tart: A Future for Dualism as an Empirical Science. (2006). 
http://www.newdualism.org/papers/C.Tart/Tart-Dualism.pdf

A Practical Man's Proof of God:  http://www.doesgodexist.org/Phamplets/Mansproof.html

Scientific Proof Of God:  http://www.allaboutcreation.org/scientific-proof-of-god-faq.htm

If you google "proof of God" you will get more links of this type.

1.1.4.1.1   The Incarnation Event: God Enters the World of History and Science

About two thousand years ago an extraordinary and totally unique event took place that altered the course of human evolution in a fundamental way that is only now being discovered by science. The Universal God the Divine Human, Creator and Manager of the universe, entered history and science by the Incarnation Event (see entry for Incarnation Event in the Subject Index in Volume 18).

This event had been foretold in the most ancient Sacred Scriptures (see Section xx).

The ancient prophecy was given at the beginning of a phase of human evolution called The Fall (see Section xx). Before this, the celestial human race existed on this earth (see Section xx). At the end of this phase called the Golden Period, the new spiritual phase began on this earth. We are of this race. We are called spiritual in contradistinction to the earlier race called celestial. The human mind was created in three discrete layers -- celestial, spiritual, natural (see Section xx). Hence the evolution of the race must follow the anatomical composition of the human mind. The celestial layer of the human race was evolved, developed, and completed through the lives of the individuals that lived in the early generations on this earth. When the celestial anatomical layer was complete, the celestial race was "consummated" or extinguished. A few "remnants" whose anatomical structures deviated from the norm were the carriers that insured the connection between the extinguished celestial race and the newly beginning spiritual race.

As we are part of the spiritual race we possess a functioning operational celestial layer of our mind even though nothing of its operations is conscious to us. Our celestial mind is above our spiritual mind, a discrete degree within it, and whatever is within or above, is far superior all that is below it. Our celestial mind is far superior to our spiritual mind. But even so, we only become conscious of our spiritual mind after resuscitation (see Section xx). This happens just a few hours after physical death. When we are resuscitated we at first are conscious in our natural mind, which is the layer we know ourselves in everyday life here on earth. This natural layer forms the content of who we know ourselves to be. But shortly thereafter our natural mind begins to fade like a distant memory -- our identity, profession, hobbies, knowledge of history and science -- all of this that is stored up in our natural mind, slowly begins to fade like a distant memory from childhood or some land we once visited.  See the Layers Diagram.

This happens because the natural mind is totally unsuited for life in eternity which is a mental world without time, space, matter, or sickness and death. Everything now depends on our rational feeling and thinking. What kind of people we are with and what the environment and situation is like, depends entirely on our ruling loves. Not like before on earth out of which the content of the natural mind was formed. Now in eternity the laws that govern reality are purely rational laws. To try to operate with the natural mind after resuscitation doesn't get you anywhere. You have to disregard your identity, your culture, your nominal religion, your citizenship awards, your achievements and reputation -- all of these things are formed in your natural mind and are part of the natural mind. But after resuscitation you are existing in your spiritual mind.

Swedenborg reports that some people he talked to after resuscitation insisted on not letting go of the natural mind. The only way this is possible is to act insane in the spiritual mind, pretending by fantasy that you are still in your natural mind and in your physical body on earth. The result of this spiritual inanity is very sad and frightening. People in this mental state are victims of their own emotions and feelings. In the spiritual mind the environment around you is created by correspondences of your emotions and thoughts. So if you have insane thoughts and emotions the environment you exist in are correspondences to them in the natural world. For instance the intention to rob someone by misleading them and posing as a friend, immediately causes deadly scorpions and poisonous flying snakes with an ominous darkening of the skies. So the intended victim can immediately recognize the stranger's evil intentions. Nevertheless, some victims who are also spiritually insane, fantasize something totally different that is going on. And so they fall victim to the machinations of others. And Swedenborg reports that no matter how clever someone is, there is one who is more clever in and endless series of the layer of the human mind called the hells.

Everyone is born into eternity with a permanent and immortal mental body and temporary physical body (see Section xx). After the celestial race was extinguished, as discussed above, what happened to those people who had been celestial and had lived on earth all those generations? Well, they were in the immortal heavens of their mind called the celestial heavens of the most ancient peoples (see Section xx). Swedenborg visited with them in their mental states, seeing the habitations they lived in that corresponded to their feelings and thoughts. So even though the celestial race died out on earth, the people of that race continued to evolve in their celestial heavens.

This fact is of greatest importance for us to understand because our unconscious celestial mind is made up of their celestial heavens. Whatever the mental operations they experience, these are the causes of the operations in our unconscious spiritual mind. And whatever we experience here in our conscious natural mind is a consequence of the operations going on in our spiritual mind, which are connected by correspondence to the celestial mind of those who are in that state. Hence it is that the various distinct layers of the human mind are connected by the laws and operations of correspondence (see Section xx).

The Universal God the Divine Human manages the layers of the human mind through the laws of correspondences. Divine Speech or Divine Truth issues forth from God's mind into the layers of the human mind, first into the inmost or highest layer called celestial heavens, and from there in descends or externalizes by correspondence into the spiritual layer of our mind, and from there by correspondence into the conscious natural layer of our mind where it presents itself as Sacred Scripture in a natural historical language. This process of the sequence of correspondences initiated by Divine Speech is the continuous and permanent method by which God rules the universe (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

Until two thousand years ago the long history of evolution of the race on earth was managed by God the Divine Human in this way through correspondences. But there was a creeping mentality of materialism that came about as the natural mind of the human race on earth was becoming more scientific and more rational in consciousness, mentality, and civilization. In order to allow for democratic modernism to evolve on this planet it was necessary to develop the sensuous sub-layer of the natural mind as opposed to its rational layer. The sensuous layer of the natural mind tends to be submerged into materialism to such an extent that we start denying the existence of God or the afterlife of eternity. These concepts require a rational understanding and when people reject rational understanding as not important to them, they lose the ability to comprehend spiritual things like theistic psychology. See the Layers Diagram.

So materialism was strengthened while religious ideas and practices became cultural and national expressions rather than spiritual.  Once people lost their rational ability to see spiritual truths and realities, they could no longer be conscious or aware of the existence of God and the afterlife. Even those who had religious ideas and practices could not understand Sacred Scripture in a universal scientific or rational sense.

What was God going to do about this? This was a serious situation where the human race could die out so that those who were already in their eternity could also be destroyed since the created order no longer worked to keep all things into one synergistic unit. Of course God had already provided for the solution since the beginning of creation, since to God all things are united into one -- past, present, and all future. The solution had to be such that the natural mind could once more recognize that God exists.

God cannot exist for us in full strength or conjunction unless each individual reciprocates God's love for the individual. We must acknowledge God's love for us or else we cannot closely be conjoined to God. And without this there are consequences. God manages molecules, planets, animals, and all things directly by correspondences which provide for the cause-effect relation between adjacent layers of discrete degrees (see Section xx). God manages human beings in two ways. One is immediately and unconsciously across the layers of the mind. The second is mediately and consciously through the conscious layers of the mind. The celestial race is conscious at the celestial level. The spiritual race is conscious at the natural level prior to resuscitation, and afterwards at the spiritual level. When materialism took hold of the natural mind on earth, God disappeared from conscious awareness of people on earth.

The prior conscious awareness of God was replaced by a blind faith in God.

But a blind faith is not the same as a rational faith based on conscious understanding of God such as we have in theistic psychology. Blind faith only enters the natural layer of the mind. The spiritual layer requires rational faith. So while people on earth had a rational faith in their unconscious celestial and spiritual mind, they only had a blind faith at the conscious natural level.

The only way God could remedy this situation is by entering history and science.

God made Himself be born as a Divine Human Child. This Child was at first not conscious of who He was, namely the Incarnated God in the natural or physical world. God the Divine Human was always both Divine and Human. This is why He created human beings who are in His Image as the Divine Human. So God has always been in the Human Form. However, God's Human Form was a mental body that consisted of a celestial affective organ and a spiritual cognitive organ. The affective organ is in the Human Form and the cognitive organ is in the Human Form. This is therefore also true of us. Our affective and cognitive organs are both in the human form.

However, God did not have a physical body. This was completely unnecessary in the prior generations because people could see spiritually, and therefore they could see God's Human Form replicated in their own mental body. People were able to look upon the human form they had and see God's Human Form. But after the Fall, the spiritual race was no longer able to see God's Human Form in their own body and mind. Whenever God wanted people to have a communicative exchange with Him He would "possess" or take over the conscious mind of an individual in the celestial or spiritual race in their heavens. They were called "angels" when they appeared to people's natural consciousness. God spoke through the angels and everyone could see and hear that.

But once materialism crept into the mind, people were no longer able to even believe that there are angels, let alone see and hear them through their internal mind. In the past God could communicate with people's internal mind and thereby influence them and protect them. But this path of communications was destroyed by materialistic thinking which denied God and taught the negative bias in science. This is what you and I were taught in our generation. Hence we no longer had the ability to hear God, to recognize Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture.

But when God entered the physical world, this suddenly changed. The Divine Child grew into an adult male and He declared Himself to be Divine. God's life on earth as a citizen of a small mid-eastern nation created a historical biography, which makes God's presence on earth a historical fact. This was His mission, to make Himself once more visible to humankind on earth. Now people had a choice as to whether to acknowledge God or not. People did not have that choice before God's Incarnation.

Furthermore, by entering history, God entered science.

It is true that the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture is used as a religion by various groups who disagree with each other on almost everything about God and the afterlife. It is the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture that gives the historical account of God's Incarnation and its details.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 2803. (...) But the Divine Human which was born from eternity was also born in time; and what was born in time, and glorified, is the same. Hence it is that the Lord so often said that He was going to the Father who sent Him; that is, that He was returning to the Father. And in John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]

In the beginning was the Word (the "Word" is the Divine Truth itself), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-3, 14; see also John 3:13; 6:62).

(AC 2803)

Doc. Lord 1. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the

Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
The light is come into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).
While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in the darkness (John 12:36, 46).

From these passages [in the New Testament Sacred Scripture] it is evident that the Lord is God from eternity, and that this God is the selfsame Lord who was born in the world; for it is said that the Word was with God, and God was the Word, and also that without Him was not anything made that was made; and it is added that the Word was made flesh, and they beheld Him. (Lord 1)

TCR 3. (...) Jehovah God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or Good itself and Truth itself. He came down in the form of Divine Truth, which is the Word and which was God with God, and took upon Himself human form, so as to reduce to order everything in heaven, in hell and in the church. For at that time the power of hell was stronger than the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil was stronger than the power of good, so that utter damnation stood threatening at the gates. This impending damnation was removed by Jehovah God by means of His Human, which was Divine Truth, and thus angels and men were redeemed. Afterwards He united in His Human Divine Truth with Divine Good, or Divine Wisdom with Divine Love, and so returned into the Divinity which was His from eternity, together with and in His glorified Human. This is the meaning of the passage in John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]

The Word was with God and the Word was God; and the Word was made flesh. John 1:1, 14.

(TCR 3)

Here there is an explanation about the New Testament Sacred Scripture saying that "the Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh." The Word" = Divine Truth or Divine Speech = God the Divine Human. "Was made flesh" = incarnation in a physical body on earth. That this was God who incarnated is clear from the statement that "the Word was God' and that the Word was made flesh. Hence it was God who incarnated in a physical body on earth. This is the Divine Child (see Section xx).

The literal sense of Sacred Scripture is always used by religion, not science. Hence there are disagreements according to culture and interpretation. But the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture reveals its scientific sense, which is universal because it does not mention culture or anything in the natural mind, but only the spiritual and celestial mind. Theistic psychology is based only on the correspondential sense and hence cannot be identified with any religion. The Incarnation Event is therefore not only an religious event but an evolutionary scientific event.

The correspondential sense of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scripture reveals that the Divine Child created a new layer in His Natural mind that did not exist before in the human race. This new layer is called the spiritual-natural layer or the interior-natural layer. Once this layer was created in the Divine Child's mind, it became available to every human being, past, present, and future. This was the momentous new evolutionary step that was taken by the human race about two thousand years (see Section xx). See the Layers Diagram.

From then on we would be able to be consciously aware of spiritual truths. This fact then restored the race to its celestial level, though in a totally different way. Now we would be able to receive a new mind that was not contaminated by inherited evils. This new mind then could form the basis for our heavenly eternity. This new mind was constructed within our natural mind, so that we could be conscious of it. But this ability would be dependent on our regeneration. Only when we are willing to undergo character reformation, can we see anything with this new spiritual-natural capacity (see Section xx). This requires the positive bias and theistic psychology.

There remains a logical puzzle about the Incarnation Event. The New Testament Sacred Scripture records few biographical facts about God's life on earth as a citizen of the Ancient Holy Land. Almost all the facts reported about Him are external, belonging to His social and political life. Almost nothing is recorded about His state of mind, what He thought of as a Divine Man on earth, or what He was busy doing in the universe while He was growing up as a Divine Child. But these biographical facts about God's inner life while on earth are revealed in the correspondential sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, written hundreds of years prior to the Incarnation Event! For instance, the Psalms of David, one of the Books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, records the thoughts and feelings that King David had when he was stressed under attack from his political enemies from whom he was forced to flee for awhile.

By Divine Providence David was allowed to think, compose, and write down only those thoughts and emotions, that corresponded to what the Divine Child would undergo mentally when stressed under the attack of the hells. And similarly with the histories of the the patriarchs and their families that make up a large portion of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. Every recorded detail fits by correspondence all the developmental stages that the Divine Child went through in order to create the new human organ called the interior-natural organ within the conscious natural mind (see Section xx). This new creation was one of the central purposes for God's Incarnation, as explained above.

So we have all these biographical details of the thoughts and feelings of the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event. So the puzzle is this: What explains the strange history of God, portrayed as a political problem to the authorities of the land and was put to death by them at age 33? What happened to God on earth so that these events could befall Him? After all He was God, and so He was still omnipotent and running all things in the universe. He was of course running the details of His Own Incarnation. He was running the minds of the authorities who tried and condemned Him, and He was running the Roman soldiers who executed Him.

After the execution and His death, He caused Himself to be resuscitated in His physical or natural body.

This was a unique event in the history of the human race. God the Divine Human was now equipped with a Natural Body, born and grown on earth in time-space, in history and science. God's relationship to the human race took a whole new turn, that was not possible before. Now God could be seen in the conscious awareness of the natural mind. It is easy to picture and see in one's mind the event of God as a Man with a Natural Body, a Face, Hands, Feet, Heart, Lungs, Liver, etc. God was always in the Human Form, as explained above, but now in addition to the mental human form, God acquired the natural human form.

Note carefully this detail: human beings do not resuscitate in the physical body.

We resuscitate in the mental body in the afterlife of  eternity (see Section xx). The physical body or corpse, disintegrates. But with Himself, God caused His resuscitation with the physical body. Swedenborg confirms that He often saw God's Natural Body in eternity , and in fact, we will all be able to confirm this with our own observation when we are resuscitated. All those who were in their heaven in eternity could also see God's Natural Body there.

God's Natural Body in eternity is not physical but substantial. This is described and explained under the topic of "glorification" (see Section xx).

Note that without the idea of God's Natural Body born on this earth it is not possible to picture God in any way since He is infinite and we cannot picture something that is not in the human form. The religions based on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, including the Koran Sacred Scripture, created the rule that it is not permitted to picture God in human form. And this is understandable for it is not possible to picture an infinite God who is not in the human form. Now if you allow the Incarnation Event as part of theistic psychology, it is permitted to picture God in the human form. Now we know what God looks like in the Natural Form, namely like we do. And this is why it is said in Sacred Scripture that we were created in God's Image and Likeness.

So by creating a Natural Body for Himself God changed His relationship to the human race. In this way He repaired the loss suffered by the race called the Fall (see above). The race had already completed the celestial and spiritual layers of the mental world of eternity, and now it was necessary to complete the last layer called the spiritual-natural or interior-natural layer of the mental world. This required that God obtain for Himself a Natural Body on earth.

The sad and ignominious details of God's short  life on earth was constructed by God for the sake of correspondences. In Sacred Scripture God's incarnation is called "the Word made flesh" (as discussed above). He is Divine Speech, He is Divine Truth, He is Sacred Scripture or "the Word." Written Sacred Scripture had been given to people since the Fall, but with the rise of materialistic thinking people lost the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture and interpreted all its meanings with materialistic ideas. For instance, they pictured the afterlife as happening here in the physical world. They rejected the idea of an afterlife in mental eternity. They could not comprehend such a thing.

As a result, they reinterpreted Sacred Scripture to suit their pet philosophies and political lifestyles. Hence Sacred Scripture lost all its spiritual value and it became useless for the purpose of preparing oneself for a life in eternity. In other words, they "killed the Word."  Since God was "the Word" or Sacred Scripture, He enacted in physical life by correspondence, what people had done to Sacred Scripture over the generations. They perverted Sacred Scripture for their political gain, thus killing God in their own mind. When God incarnated, He created those details in His biography on earth that corresponded and represented the details of how Sacred Scripture was killed in the minds of people.

Henceforth people would no longer be able to kill Sacred Scripture in their mind because it is now known in history and science that God is a Man, and that His Divine Speech is Sacred Scripture. The human race is now on a permanent rise in evolution so that any individual regardless of cultural or religious background, can have a living relationship with God the Divine Human born on this earth. In theistic psychology this living relationship is called the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx).

It is important to have a rational understanding of God (see Section xx). This understanding requires knowing about correspondences, that is, knowing how God has formed all things in discrete non-overlapping layers of existence. The only connection between the layers is that they operate together by correspondences. The layers have no independent existence of functioning.  It is that the human mind, or the world of eternity, was created by God in corresponding layers so that all the layers react to each other as cause and effect. In this way the entire creation is held together as one in God's Mind.

Further, you need to remember the distinction between "God as He is in Himself" and "God as He is Outside of Himself" (see Section xx). God as He is in Himself is changeless from eternity to eternity, is infinite, incomprehensible, and cannot be approached directly. Because of this, God created the mental world of eternity, and then the physical world of time linked to it by correspondences. God's creative activities are rational and developmental. When the human mental world evolved sufficiently in the course of numerous generations, it reached a phase where God could reveal Himself in a Natural Body taken up from earth. So God made Himself be born a Divine Child in the land that had been entrusted by Him centuries before, to study and protect the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. This Sacred Scripture was a theistic psychology textbook on what the Divine Child is going to do, what thoughts He is going to have, and how He is going to change the psychobiology of the mental world in eternity. Every human being past, present, and future will therefore be directly affected by this change.

God's Natural Body is Divine because it is made of Divine substances. All the substances of earth or matter that formed His inherited physical body had been replaced by the death and resurrection process. Now God had a Divine Natural Body along with His Divine Natural Mind He constructed for Himself on earth. This is the Body that can now be seen by anyone from the spiritual and celestial layers of their mind (see Section xx).

But it is necessary to think of this Natural Body as Divine, and therefore infinite. This is a difficult idea to comprehend rationally and without the idea of space, time, or place (see Section xx).

God's Natural Body can be seen by anyone, regardless of where they are or which way they turn. Swedenborg confirmed this amazing phenomenon. He observed with the people who live in the third heaven or celestial mind, that whichever way they turn turn or face, the Spiritual Sun in which God's Natural Body appears, remains in front of them at the same altitude of height on the horizon, and, equally brilliant in light. God can now appear in this Natural Body in every individual's mind. This is why the Incarnation Event had to happen. This Divine Human Natural Body is in every place but apart from space (see Section xx). It is therefore omnipresent. That is, God the Divine Human is omnipresent and omnipotent in this Divine Human Natural Body.

1.1.4.1.1.1   Completion of the Creation of the Human Race

The Writings Sacred Scripture reveal many historical and scientific details about the earlier stage of evolution of the human race called the celestial race (or "Most Ancient Church"). We are part of the subsequent phase of evolution called the spiritual race, that started with "the Fall." Compared to the celestial human race we are called a "fall" because the spiritual character is lower than the celestial character in the human mind. When our consciousness is in the celestial mind, our human potentials are incomparably greater and more wonderful, than the potentials we have in the spiritual layer of our mind. Right now, in the consciousness of our natural mind here on earth, we function incomparably lower in potential than we do in our spiritual mind. See the Layers Diagram.

Nevertheless there is an immense difference between the natural mind when it is ordered by the celestial mind, in comparison to the natural mind when it is ordered by the spiritual mind.

 With the generations of the celestial race on earth, the natural mind was the foundation and basis for the celestial mind. When this is the case, the natural mind is angelic and the physical environment on earth is a paradise, since the physical is a reflection of the mental. In the course of time and further evolutionary changes, this celestial human race died out on earth, though not of course in their eternal habitations in heaven, where they were visited by Swedenborg in the eighteenth century. But after the Fall, the spiritual race began out of a few transitional people from the celestial race.

With the Fall, paradise earth started changing to reflect the mental character of the spiritual race. You know what that character is, since we are part of that spiritual race of humanity. We are a mixture of heaven and hell so that we alternate between heavenly traits and hellish traits. For instance, one minute we are happy and having a good time, the next minute someone insults us, and we feel like hell. Or, one minute two people are happy and nice with each other, and the next minute they start disagreeing, fighting, and injuring each other. One minute we steal something when no one is looking, the next minute we buy someone a birthday present. One minute a child is happy, agreeable, cooperative, and the next minute the child is throwing a temper tantrum and breaking things.

So we are a mixture of heaven and hell in our mind while we are here on earth. So now the question arises: How is the spiritual race being regenerated by God so that we can prepare for heaven in eternity? Since we are a mixture of heaven and hell, how do we make sure that heaven prevails, and not hell, when we are resuscitated? This is where the Incarnation Event comes in.

In the era of the celestial race on earth, the environment was a paradise in reflection of the peaceful and spiritual love they all felt for each other as human beings. After the Fall, the spiritual race had a ferocious character when hellish, and a peaceful character when heavenly. To reflect this ambivalence, the physical environment split into diverse zones and climates, some extreme, harsh, and inimical to survival, reflecting the hellish traits, and some favorable and moderate, reflecting the heavenly traits. Poisonous species of animals and plants, and natural disasters reflect the spiritual race's hellish traits. Useful animals and plants, and the beauty of nature, reflect their heavenly traits.

God manages the spiritual race's regeneration on earth by means of Sacred Scripture. Every civilization and tribe in the spiritual race has received some form of oral or written revelation. These revelations contain spiritual truths. When these are memorized and rationally understood, it elevates the mentality and consciousness of the individual. With the reasoning process based on truths from revelation, people of the spiritual race are able to look objectively at their hellish traits, to identify them, to condemn them, to resist them, and finally, to get rid of them so that the hellish traits are no longer loved and enjoyed, but the opposite. This is the sole method by which God regenerates the spiritual race.

This process worked for many generations until people began to deliberately falsify the truths in revelation. They taught the people to acquire a form of relationship to God called blind faith.  Instead of studying the sacred texts of revelation, the people turned to interpretations of revelation written by various people who wanted to exploit them for their own gain. As a result, a diverse religious culture of blind faith evolved throughout earth and the rational understanding of God was no longer honored or valued. This brought about an evolutionary crisis in the spiritual race on earth. Because the truths of Sacred Scripture were cut off from the people, they were no longer able to be regenerated by God.

At that point in time, God entered the physical world. The instant that God was born as s Divine Child and citizen of a country on earth, everything about the universe and the human race was forever altered in a most profound way.

Until that instant, no one of the human race, either in eternity or on any of the countless earths in the universe, was able to form a direct substantive idea of God, but only an indirect abstract idea. The instant that the Divine Child was born, everyone in the human race, past and future, would be able to form a direct and substantive idea of God.

Until barely two thousand years ago, when the Incarnation Event occurred on this planet, it was impossible for the human race to see God sensuously, or to form a sensuous image of God. The Writings Sacred Scripture tell us that the most ancient generations on this earth, called the celestial race (see Section xx), some of whom Swedenborg interviewed in their eternity, had from revelation, the idea of God as a Divine Human or God Man. They were unable to see this Divine Human Man, but they knew from revelation that one day they will be able to see God directly, when He incarnates, and they looked forward to that experience. At last, two thousand years ago, they suddenly were able to see the Divine Human Himself.

God does appear indirectly in all Sacred Scripture as a Divine Man since God refers to Himself by "I" and by a Name, talks about His hopes and loves for human beings, tells us He "hates sin," etc. So the omnipotent God, who is the Creator and Manager of the universe, is a Divine Person, with feelings and thoughts, thus with affective and cognitive organs. In the Old Testament Sacred Scripture written thousands of years before the Incarnation event, there are passages describing encounters between God and human beings. Each time God appears to the person, not as Himself, but through representation by another human being. People's spiritual mind was made conscious for a few minutes, and they were able to see "angels" or people who already live in their heavenly eternity. But no one could see God because God was not yet visible, that is, did not yet acquire a physical or natural body.

Since God was not visible, He had to act through the mind of intermediaries, namely "angels" which a word in Hebrew meaning "messenger of God." This worked well while people were willing to listen to and obey God through His intermediaries. Eventually, people drifted into selfishness and started thinking and enjoying acting contrary to God's order and harmony in their mind. The result was the activation of the hells in the human mind or mental world. This is called the Fall of the race on this earth (see Section xx). Once hellish traits and enjoyments were passed on by inheritance, God had to create new conditions in the mental world of humanity that would allow people to inhibit and suppress their hellish traits.

This new evolutionary condition was the direct presence of God in our conscious natural mind. The Incarnation Event accomplished this.

The construction of a new physiological organ in the natural mind of humanity gave this new ability to every human being -- namely, the ability to see God, to form a concrete picture upon which we can base our concept and knowledge and love. By loving this new presence of God in our mind as a Divine Natural Man, we are able to operationalize the new spiritual-natural organ, to make it fully functional in our mind, and thus to see God as reality. From this seeing, we derive new powers to suppress and separate from ourselves the hellish traits we inherited or acquired. This process is called regeneration (see Section xx). From now on every individual, regardless of knowledge or religion or culture, has the power to be good by opposing the bads in oneself, and thereby, effective prepare a mind that can live in an eternal conjugial heaven (see Section xx).

The immensity of this difference, achieved in one instant of existence, is somewhat like the difference between a paradisal garden and a burning inferno, or like the difference between a fleet of new cars in perfect running condition and a heap of rusted metals in a cemetery for discarded cars. This immense and incomparable difference is reflected by the human race before the Incarnation Event and the after. It is the difference caused by an indirect abstract idea of God versus a direct substantive idea of God.

How can this be explained rationally and scientifically?

Remember that there is only one mental world (see Section xx). So when God incarnated as man in a physical body, His thoughts and feelings as the Divine Child occurred in this one mental world of humanity. This Divine Child was able to go through and alternate between two mental states called "humiliation / exinanition" and "glorification / Divine." The text of the New Testament Sacred Scripture records various historical and biographical events about the Divine Man that portray these two states He went through. While the Divine Human natural man was in a state of humiliation, He was in a schizoid state, knowing He was God, but unable to feel Divine power and omniscience. While in this mental state, God Man was able to descend to the hells in Him, that He inherited through the virgin birth by an ordinary and preselected woman. This woman also inherited the hells from her parents, and passed it on in the birth of the Divine Child. Now the Divine Child was able to face these hells in Himself.

This was a most momentous event in the history of human evolution. Remember that there is only one mental world, so the hells that God Man faced and battled in Himself, were just the same hells as every individual is connected with and has to battle in order not to end up with them in eternity. What weapons did God Man use, in His states of humiliation, to fight the hells in the human mind?

He used spiritual truths from the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, which are books He was given to study as a young boy raised in the Jewish-Israeli culture. As a young Child of three or four, He was able to reveal to Himself from His Divinity and omniscience, who He was, and what His mission was. This information and knowledge lay hidden in the correspondential sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and no one could decipher it except Him, from His omniscience during his states of glorification.

God could not attack the hells as God, for to do so would be to destroy those people, which He would never do. As a result, the hells were getting more and more emboldened and powerful in their enslavement of people everywhere. From birth people inherited a connection to them, and people were unwilling or unable to cut off their connection to the hells. This changed when the Divine Child ordered and contained the human hells in His mind in His states of humiliation. When He faced the hells down He did not hurt them, but only restricted them, restricted their sphere of influence on human beings who were on earth and connected to them by inheritance.

You can see now rationally why God had to incarnate in the natural world in history and reality. It was to put Himself in a state of humiliation that limits His omnipotence and omniscience. In this weakened, less than Divine state, He was able to face down the hells He inherited, thus all the hells in the human mental world of eternity. Once He did this, God Man's mission was ended. He had created a new mental organ, called the spiritual-natural organ, and this organ was now present in the mental world of humanity, thus in every individual. Now every person could see God consciously in the natural mind. With this new concrete knowledge of God, we are able to face down our own inherited connections to the hells.

Through this new creation by God Man in Himself, the human hells will never again invade the mind of every individual born in time. For instance, you and me are born with a connection to our hells in our mind. We know this from self-witnessing our feelings and thoughts all day long. We can see that we possess hatred for others and selfishness for ourselves that lead us to a life of misery -- conflict, depression, lack of motivation and energy, enslavement to hurtful pleasures and addictions, failed relationships, etc. All this human misery is caused by our connections to the hells. Then, after we are resuscitated, we are right back in the hells of our mind. All sorts of people suddenly come around and try to seduce us and incite us to go with them and explore hell. Those who do, ultimately end up there, having zero motivation to exit, hence remaining in hell forever. What a miserable fate!

But we can now fight successfully against this process of the Fall of humanity. Now we have God the Divine Human concretely in the conscious awareness of our natural mind. Now we can make use of this image and certainty of knowledge, to read Sacred Scripture and extract from it spiritual truths that we apply to our daily willing and thinking (see Section xx). So now we can go through this process of fighting and overcoming our connections to hell in our mind. This is called "being saved" since it saves us from having to live in hell forever. What a relief!

In its literal sense the Old Testament Sacred Scripture presents an indirect abstract revelation of God, while the  New Testament Sacred Scripture presents a direct substantive revelation of God. The collection of sacred books that make up the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were all written hundred of years prior to the Incarnation Event. The collection of sacred books that make up the New Testament Sacred Scripture was written after the Incarnation Event. So you can see why the Old Testament Sacred Scripture must necessarily present an indirect abstract understanding of God, while the New Testament Sacred Scripture is able to present a direct and substantive relationship with God. Even more so, the Writings Sacred Scripture are able to give a substantive view of God because it is written through the mind of Swedenborg, a modern scientist with a modern perspective on the universe. The most advanced and substantive definition of God is possible in theistic psychology, which is based on the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture.

A scientific or rational definition and explanation of God is the most concrete and particuylar relationship human beings can have with God. (See Section xx).

It took the Incarnation Event 18 centuries to complete itself -- from 1 AD to 1771 AD when the last book of the Writings Sacred Scripture was published by Swedenborg.

It takes some knowledge of mental anatomy and physiology to be able to explain rationally the evolutionary difference between BC and AD dates. The Incarnation Event marks the switch in calendar from "BC" ("Before the Christian Era") to "AD" ("After the Christian Era"). Historically, in the literal sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture, the Incarnation Event is contextualized as a Christian religious event that occurred within the Jewish religion, which for many centuries had had historical possession of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture.

But the Writings Sacred Scripture prove that the correspondential sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture is theistic psychology, and likewise, that the correspondential sense of the New Testament Sacred Scripture is the same theistic psychology, continued where the other left off.

By studying theistic psychology you are in fact studying the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture given in prior centuries of revelation.

When the truths of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture were falsified, and thus rendered inoperative for regeneration, the New Testament Sacred Scripture was given. Now God was revealed in a different relationship to the human race. Prior to God's embodiment or incarnation, God did not exist on the plane of the natural world, and hence, the natural mind where we are conscious here on earth. This was equally true in the heavenly layers of eternity were countless number of humanity had congregated from the endless earths in the universe (see Section xx). No one in heaven was able to see God!

God did not exist for humanity at the sensorimotor level of perception or visualization. The closest human beings were able to imagine God is to think of God like themselves. Some people imagined that God was an immense giant. Others imagined that God was not localized in one place, so could not be a person like we are. Others were afraid to imagine God because their religious beliefs made it a taboo to try to picture God. All these imagined ideas about God are called abstract because they are not real. They are made up constructions with one's imagination.

What happens when it comes to fighting our hellish traits using as a crutch this abstract, empty conception of God?

For many generations the answer was believed to be offering animal sacrifices to this abstract God, to appease the forces of vengeance for braking the commandments. This was accompanied later with the performance of elaborate worship rituals. Sacrifices and rituals were two ways in which people tried to strengthen their idea and relationship to a silent indivisible God. This was a dangerous God, sometimes vengeful and always scary and unknown and unknowable, hence inapproachable. This was the abstract idea people have of God when it is based solely on the Old Testament Sacred Scripture in its literal sense.

In contrast, the New Testament Sacred Scripture no longer presents an abstract or general idea of an invisible and incomprehensible God, but points the fingerprints and birth certificate of a man, saying this is God. This is the furthest you can be from an abstract idea of God. This is a new reality, a new condition. God has entered history, and therefore science. That God entered history was acknowledged immediately by many h people, but that God entered science had to await the revelations of the Writings Sacred Scripture 18 centuries later. The New Testament Sacred Scripture could not exist without the Incarnation Event since it is the story and explanation of it. The Writings Sacred Scripture could not exist without the New Testament Sacred Scripture and the Old Testament Sacred Scripture since the Writings derive all their topics from the earlier two revelations. The three together, in their correspondential sense, constitute one coherent rational series called theistic psychology.

When we have a substantive idea of God as a real person in history and science, we are prepared to undergo regeneration, thus, preparation for our eternal life in conjugial heaven. God can regenerate us and prepare us for heaven only to the extent that we are willing to cooperate. The psychology of cooperation with God is the most important and critical reason for studying theistic psychology (see Section xx).

God regenerates our character from hellish to heavenly, by arranging our daily life to present particular challenges that we are to handle and overcome. In these challenges we are faced with temptations (see Section xx). People believe that God "tests" them with calamities to strengthen their character and their faith in God. This theme recurs in the literal sense of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture. However, in the correspondential sense of these themes, we are actually being informed about how temptations work.

The first step in the process is for God to bring spiritual truths to your attention, expecting you to memorize them, reflect on them, understand them, make them the basis of your thinking and reasoning. This first step is called reformation of your thinking and reasoning with regards to God's role in your daily life. Now you are equipped with spiritual truths that are in your thinking and reasoning.

The second step is for God to bring things to your attention in your willing, thinking, and doing. For instance, you may lose something you are attached to. This suddenly exposes you to the temptation of enjoying and expressing hellish traits: e.g., blaming somebody, breaking something in anger, being in a bad mood and making friends suffer, etc. These are inherited hellish traits that are called forth from your character. God arranges for these types of experiential challenges on a minute by minute basis, or a second by second basis, from your birth to your endless eternity.

The third step is for you to face the temptation with the spiritual truths already in your understanding and reasoning process from step 1. You have to talk yourself so that you are willing to inhibit the hellish reactions because they are contrary to your heaven in eternity.

The fourth step is for God to immediately remove the challenge. You suddenly realize that you have victory in your spiritual combat. God gives you a feeling of heavenly peace and closeness to Him. You are now prepared to repeat step 1. After victory God enlightens you so that now you can see deeper spiritual truths. As a result, God can now bring you to face still more spiritual and even celestial temptations. When you are resuscitated, your are immediately ready for the second death, during which you shed all contact with any remaining hellish traits. This elevates you to your conjugial heaven.

These four steps of regeneration can best work when people have a direct and substantive idea of God. In contrast, abstract or indirect ideas of God allow types of reasonings about God that are not spiritual, but natural. Our relationship to God, instead of being based on rational understanding, is based on blind faith. This means that they accept the literal sense of Sacred Scripture without inquiring into its correspondential sense. The problem with this is that various people at various times present their imaginative ideas and interpretations of what the literal sense means. This kind of confusion is possible because of the abstract idea of God. This kind of idea limits God's ability to enlighten the person. Hence there are limits to how much God can regenerate that person. But when one's idea of God is direct and substantive, that is, historical and scientific, then God's ability to regenerate us is effective and thorough.

Swedenborg reports that after resuscitation every human being is instructed in various ways about the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. People are are then either willing or unwilling, to receive this instruction, to examine it and understand it rationally. Those who are willing, are enlightened and they are able to see spiritual truths. Now God can elevate them to heavenly life. But those who are unwilling to examine and receive the instruction, are at liberty to go off and live their new life. Through a series of experiences they are stripped from their social and philosophical pretenses, and nothing is left except what is fully compatible to their ruling love and willing to be in its service.  The person now becomes a caricature of the former self, since anything that is heavenly is gone, and what's left is something partly human and insane.

An abstract idea of God is not real. It is empty or spurious. It does not last in eternity.

The recognition is now beginning in twenty-first century science that a substantive definition of God makes it into a scientific concept (see substantive dualism, Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 374. CONCERNING HELL AND THE CRUELTY OF THE INFERNAL CREW
What the cruelty of the infernal crew is like can never be described; they act from phantasies in the most hostile manner against others upon whom they exercise such cruelties that if they were to be described they would horrify. For if they could exercise cruelties according to their phantasies, their butcheries would be even more cruel than those of the most ferocious wild beasts. By their phantasies they as it were bring forth axes and instruments of death, and unless God Messiah subdued their savagery, those whom they intend to torment would also have the most cruel sensation. For such is the power of phantasies amongst souls that they can induce a sensation as though it were corporeal, thus likewise torments. God Messiah removes those sensations; indeed He takes away the instruments of death from the infernal crew. In a word, these cruelties are more horrifying than one can ever believe. The human race, which is worse than the most ferocious wild beasts, would have exercised such cruelties unless God Messiah had saved them and redeemed them, and thus He continually liberates them from infernal punishments. 1747, Dec. 21.

The expression "God Messiah" refers to the Incarnated Divine Human. This passage in the literal sense discusses the historical situation of human civilization on earth when people became connected by inherited genes to the hells in the mental world. These hells are made of savage and cruel feelings with which people carry out their unspeakable fantasies in torturing anyone whom they can capture with their persuasive reasonings (remember Pinocchio?). To prevent people from believing these fantasy persuasions and falling under their cruel spell, God the Divine Human had to battle them and subdue them -- without destroying them since they were human and God never abandons any human but looks after each from birth to eternal immortality. God had to present Himself as He is Outside of Himself in a state of mere human weakness, rather than as the Divine Human Himself. God removed contact between His Divine Human and His mere human on earth so that the mere human on earth no felt weak and had to rely on His own self-intelligence to combat these spirits of fantasy and cruelty in the mental world.

Nothing in the mental world can be destroyed since everything in it is immortal. But people in their spiritual body of immortality can be restricted by God the Divine Human under appropriate conditions without hurting their human freedom to remain where they are if they so choose. So people who are conscious within these feelings and fantasies of cruelty, and love them so much they refuse to back out of them, can be restricted but not by God in His Divine Infinite Power, but my the mere human born in time, history, and science two thousand years ago. This mere human is called "the Messiah" in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures. Long before the birth of the Messiah occurred in history the event was foretold by revelation in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, and in Sacred Scripture prior to that. So God revealed in Divine Speech to the human race that He would be born in time and history as a mere human who contained from within His Infinite Human. It was also foretold that He would confront the hells in the mental world of humanity and that He would restrict or confine to mental prison houses those people who live in the hellish feelings and enjoyments. In this way they would no longer be able to attack and ensnare and mislead others who now could be "saved" for life in their heavenly feelings and enjoyments.

In His lower mental states as a mere human, God Messiah could face all the human hells in their endless variety and engage them in mental combat, and defeat them at their own games. The price of God's victory is the containment of all those in the hells of their mind from being able of influencing and ensnaring the rest of humanity. From then on, once they had been imprisoned in mental hells, they were no longer able to influence anyone except those people on earth with whom God connected them under His watchful eye. God as the Divine Psychologist in every person's mind or life, connects and disconnects the hells and the heavens moment by moment as each of us lives our daily round activities every day. For example, we might be tempted to cheat even though we know it's wrong. Or, we might be tempted to discriminate unfairly against someone. Or, we might break a promise when it's convenient. Etc. It is the Divine Psychologist who engineers these events to serve as temptations. Each temptation gives us one more opportunity to reject the hellish and to choose the heavenly. The more such choices we exercise the more we are establishing our own future in eternity to be heavenly. This freedom to choose is called "salvation" in Sacred Scripture.

 We have this freedom to choose ever since the Divine Human on earth battled and confined all hellish feelings into mental prison houses where they cannot influence others except when allowed specifically by the Divine Psychologist. When we are to undergo a temptation, the Divine Psychologist releases some of the people from their hellish prison houses and they are allowed to access once more their natural mind. From this state they influence the individual on earth undergoing temptation in their natural mind. At the same time the Divine Psychologist releases people from their heaven back into their natural mind and from that state they influence the individual undergoing a temptation. The people from hell think and desire to cheat, and this state influences by correspondence what the individual in temptation is thinking and feeling (e.g., thinking that it's all right to cheat because of various reasons that occur). At the same time what the people from heaven are thinking and intending influences the individual in temptation, which by correspondence brings thoughts and feelings that cheating is wrong. In this way the Divine Psychologist keeps the individual in perfect balance between heaven and hell, thus providing the individual with a true free choice.

This process does not work when the individual is not capable of reasoning clearly due to mental impairment which might be due to ill health or injury. For instance, when people are sick they get so scared that they are ready to repent and make resolutions to be good from then on. However when they recover they forget about the resolutions and revert to their former lifestyle of enjoying hellish traits and not wanting to fight against them in temptations. When people on earth are sick or scared or fear for their life they fall under the persuasive  influence of people from hell whose way is to fake one's repentance so that they can influence God or fate, but inwardly have no intention of following it.

These temptation battles were not possible prior to the incarnation of God Messiah and His accomplishment of restricting and confining all the human hells to mental prison houses from where they could no longer mislead people on earth through their natural mind -- except under the controlled and watchful eye of the Divine Psychologist.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

Life 63. A religious persuasion has prevailed that no one can fulfill the Law; and the Law is, not to kill, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness. Every civil and moral man can fulfil these precepts of the Law from civil and moral life; but that he can fulfill them from spiritual life this religious persuasion denies. Thus it follows that his abstinence from doing these evils is merely to avoid punishments and losses in the world, and not to avoid punishments and losses after he has left the world. Hence it is that the man with whom the above-mentioned religious persuasion prevails, thinks these evils lawful in the sight of God, but unlawful in the sight of the world.

[2] On account of this thought, from this religious persuasion of his, the man is in the lust of all these evils, and only refrains from doing them on account of the world. Such a man, therefore, after death, although he had not committed murder, adultery, theft and false witness, still lusts to do them; and further, he does them when the external which he had in the world is taken away from him. Every lust remains with man after death. Hence it is that such persons act in unity with hell, and cannot but have their lot with those who are in hell.

[3] Another lot, however, awaits those who, because to do these things is against God, do not will to kill, to commit adultery, to steal and to bear false witness. After some combat against these evils they do not will them, and consequently they do not lust to do them, saying in their hearts that they are sins, in themselves infernal and diabolical. These, after death, when the external which they had for use in the world is taken away from them, act in unity with heaven; and because they are in the Lord, they also come into heaven. (Life 63)

This passage explains that we need to obey the commandments for appropriate reason or from the right motivation. If our motivation is external or instrumental, we merely inhibit the overt performance of the hellish traits -- to lie, to deceive, to steal, to hate, etc. This passage tells us that people who don't break the commandments but continue to want to break them, will break them when the external threats disappear. People will commit the crimes if they believe they won't get punished. After resuscitation people are no longer afraid to be punished for their deeds since they cannot die, cannot be threatened with physical violence. As a result they now start performing all the hellish things they were afraid to do before. But people who acquire an inner motive for being good and loving heavenly things do not commit these crimes after resuscitation because they have learned to shun evils as contrary to their heavenly life.

1.1.4.1.1.2    A Brief History of God and Humanity

See the Layers Diagram.

1         

God as He is in Himself is the Infinite Life having no beginning, in whom infinite uncreate things make one consciousness, from whom radiates, as from a Spiritual Sun, love substance united to truth substance, that is, spiritual heat united to spiritual light.

2         

God as He is outside of Himself has a beginning with the act of creation. Spiritual heat and light radiate downward and outside of God as He is in Himself. These two substances provide the infrastructure for creation. God is omnipresent, or present in all created things, as their infrastructure constructed out of spiritual heat substance (love, good) and spiritual light substance (truth, rationality).

3

At the first level of creation, good substance (or spiritual heat) and truth substance (or spiritual light) make up the mental world of eternity, layering it in three discrete degrees called the celestial-rational degree of the mind, the spiritual-rational degree of the mind, and the spiritual-natural degree of the mind. All discrete degrees are connected by the laws of correspondences which are cause-effect relations between events in the upper layer and those in the lower layer.

At each of the three degrees or layers, there are created three mental organs: (i) the affective organ for the reception of spiritual heat, which then exists in the human mind as goods, loves, virtues; (ii) the cognitive organ for the reception of spiritual light, which then exists as truth, intelligence, rationality; (iii) the sensorimotor organ for the ultimation of the united affective and cognitive organs acting as one.

4

At the second level of creation, a new discrete layer is created downward and outside and is called the natural mind (or the world of spirits). It has three discrete sub-layers called the natural-rational mind, the natural-sensuous mind, and the natural-corporeal mind.

5

At the third level of creation, a new layer is created downward and outside and is called the natural world (or physical universe) that contains time, matter, and place.

6

At birth, every human being is made up of two portions. The first portion is the spiritual body located in the mental world of eternity (see Step 2). The second portion is the physical body located in the natural world (see step 5). The physical body is connected by correspondence to the spiritual body until death when the connection ceases. The spiritual body then continues life in the mental world of eternity (see step 3).

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Since there is only one mental world of eternity, the immortal spiritual body of every human being must co-exist with each other. An individual’s uniqueness from birth to eternity consists of the person’s unique cumulative collection of sensations, thoughts, and feelings that are accumulated every moment of life. This unique identity in eternity determines one’s life environment. Feelings and thoughts that are compatible with each other cause people to appear to each other, to be present with each other, and thus to form spiritual dwelling communities or societies. Those whose feelings are incompatible or oppositional are kept at a greater subjective or psychological distance so that communication become difficult or impossible.

Spiritual societies or collectivities create a psychological environment or intersubjectivity that is constructed out of the interactions between the individuals. Each spiritual society in eternity is distinguished by the characteristic feelings and thoughts of its inhabitants. These affective and cognitive operations produce by correspondence a sensorimotor environment of appearances that reflect the quality of the feelings and thoughts. The result is the appearance of things resembling the places and content of our natural mind, which is filled with the content of our experiences through the physical body we had on earth.

As a result, the spiritual societies made of people with feelings ordered by good and love substance in the affective organ, with corresponding thoughts ordered by truth and rationality substance in the cognitive organ, are called heavens. Their cities and habitations appear palatial, pleasant, and friendly. In contrast, the spiritual societies made of people who are distorting the inflow of spiritual heat and light in themselves, turning them into their opposites, are called hells. Their habitations appear dingy, unpleasant, and hostile.

8

The quality of feelings people have in eternity is determined by the choices they themselves make when they are resuscitated, which occurs approximately 30 hours after separation from the dead physical body. Upon resuscitation people in eternity become visible to each other, along with the external appearances that correspond to the quality of their feelings and thoughts. A series of experiences or happenings then lead each person to discover their primary inner feelings and affections (or ruling love). As they become aware more and more of their own deep-set feelings and intentions, their environment changes correspondingly, as they are led into a series of spiritual societies. In this way each individual is gradually led to abandon all feelings and thoughts that are not compatible with their ruling love. When the transition is completed (called the second death), the individual is fully embedded on a permanent basis in a spiritual society, which is either heavenly and receptive of spiritual heat and light, or is hellish and distorts the inflowing spiritual heat and light into its opposite.

The quality of life in eternity is therefore determined entirely by one’s ruling love or affections. These adhere to each person in the course of one’s daily feelings, thoughts, and actions while living on earth through the temporary physical body. The first few generations of people on earth received the inflow of good and truth without distortion. Their earthly environment was a paradise, and they were instructed by direct communication with their departed family members and teachers in heaven, whom they then joined upon their own death. Later generations however introduced into themselves feelings of selfishness and hostility towards others. They did this by distorting the inflow of good, love, and virtue. In this way evil was introduced into the mental world of humanity. When people with these feelings were resuscitated, their ruling love was contrary to heavenly influx, which allowed them to create the hellish habitations.

9

From then on with all the succeeding generations, including us today, people grew up into adults whose ruling love was hellish. Through these hellish traits people on earth made a unity with people in hell. This resulted in the deterioration of life on earth – anti-sociality, crime, wars, mental illness, unhappiness, degraded rationality and wisdom. The entire future human race was therefore in danger of becoming hellish. At that point in history, God Himself entered the natural world through the Incarnation Event. During the 33 years that God was embodied in a physical body He lived life as an ordinary citizen of a country in the Middle East, as described in the New Testament Sacred Scripture. This did not affect God’s omnipresence and omnipotence that God maintained as always. There was therefore a separation between God as He is in Himself (see step 1) and God as He is outside of Himself, and in this case, in a natural body.

While on earth with a physical body God put Himself through two distinct mental states. The first is called a state of humiliation (or exinanition) in which there was a separation. In this state the Incarnated God was called the “Son of God” rather than God. But in the

Second state, which is called a state of glorification, the Incarnated God was one with God as He is in Himself. When the Incarnated God was in a state of glorification He produced miracles, but when He was in a state of humiliation, He denied Himself the exercise of omnipotence, appearing as if He was just an ordinary man.

During His states of humiliation God connected Himself to the hells of the human race in order to create a new order for the human mind in which the hells were counterbalanced by the heavens in each individual’s mind. God could not accomplish this by retaining His omnipotence because this would have destroyed the hells, consequently the human mind and the entire race. Hence He had to incarnate and assume states of humiliation in which He limited His omnipotence, allowing the hells to attack His mind. These attacks are called temptations. By overcoming temptations with new truths He constructed, the Incarnated God created the truths that would henceforth allow every human being born on earth to also fight and defeat the hells that are inherited in the mind of every newborn. When people grow up to be adults, they are ready to face their hells through conscience and truths of Sacred Scripture.

By overcoming temptations we are able to disconnect our mind from the inherited hells. Through this we are able to hate evil traits and love heavenly traits. This will insure that at our resuscitation we will choose to retain our virtues instead of our vices.

10

At the completion of His task on earth, the Divine Human born in time was completely unified with Himself as God is in Himself. God now had a totally new presence in the created universe. Prior to this moment God did not have a sensuous presence in His creation. No one could see God or talk to God as person to person. Humanity did not have the ability to be with God directly, but only indirectly. Those times recorded in Sacred Scripture where God spoke to an individual, there was always an intermediary necessary, which was a role filled by people who were conscious in the celestial-rational mind, which is the highest awareness possible in the mental world of eternity. These individuals appeared to people in their natural mind so that those to whom they appeared became conscious of them, saw them, heard them, and called them “angels” of God. The person filling the role experienced the influx of God as a full possession of their mind or spirit, as perhaps in some celestial trance. As they spoke the words of God flowing into them, they subjectively felt like they are God Himself, but this ceased as soon as the influx ceased, at which moment they become conscious of themselves again.

This method of communication (called prophecy or visions) was constructed by God in order to retain historical and conscious contact with the human race prior to the Incarnation Event. But once this event was completed, the older method of prophecy and visions ceased in order to encourage a more direct access to God that He newly created through the acquisition of a visible or sensuous physical body in time. And yet no sooner than He acquired it, God took His Natural Body out of the physical world of time and into the mental world of eternity. Since then God is directly present in the mental world of  humanity, at all the layers, including the lowest called the natural mind. Now God is directly present in the natural mind of humanity. Every human being living on earth in a physical body, and being conscious in a natural mind, can have direct communication, communion, or conjunction with God in His Divine Human. This was not possible before. The human race’s contact with God was indirect, but now, it was direct.

11

The difference is critical in evolutionary terms because God could not complete the creation of the mental world of eternity by omnipotence and indirect communication. God could not be directly present in the mind of any human being until the completion of the Incarnation Event. This was equally true of the people who already existed in their heavens and had been born on earth since the beginning. They too now for the first time were able to see God with their eyes and speak to Him face to face. They knew from Sacred Scripture that God was a Human Divine, but now they could see with their senses that God was a Divine Human.

People now can face their inherited hellish predispositions, turn to God the Divine Human in their conscious natural mind, and ask for the power to overcome each hellish trait at a time. Direct acknowledgement of God in our conscious natural mind is therefore the spiritual weapon by which we face our selfishness and desire to rule over others. This is the ruling love that controls and maintains in us the multitude of hellish traits we enjoy so much that we refuse to abandon them --- being untruthful, being cruel or uncaring, conceited, arrogant, irrational, lazy, unhealthy, biased, misguided, and so on. We enjoy being this way, which is why people don’t want to change themselves. At the same time we don’t enjoy heavenly traits and we turn away from them --- being truthful, avoiding deceit or cheating, being responsible, hard working, caring, clean, unselfish. How is it possible to change when we love what is evil and false, and hate what is good and true? If we do not change prior to resuscitation, it is certain that we will choose to let go of our heaven and to seek out our hell.

12

Nothing less is needed therefore than a full rebirth of our character and its gradual regeneration through into a new character that no longer contains the love for evil. This cannot be done through indirect communication with God, as in the past. It cannot be done by God’s omnipotence and control over our mind, for we would then turn into spiritual robots, not human beings. It can be done only through the direct conscious presence of God the Divine Human in our natural mind.

If God made an appearance today at the Unite Nations and addressed the planet, and then appeared in various cities around the world, He would then be present to people consciously and directly, and sensuously. Not rationally. The result would be that after some time people would deny that it was God who showed up, and if He shows up again and again, people would reject Him as not God. But if God appears to our conscious natural-rational portion of the mind (see step 4), He remains permanently and can bring us to heavenly life after resuscitation.

Direct presence of God in our conscious natural-rational mind begins when we acknowledge God the Divine Human as being omnipresent and omnipotent, and one with God as He is in Himself (see step 1). This acknowledgement must be made rationally, not sensuously, not persuasively, not by authority, not by rote memory or repetition. We must acquire for ourselves an actual living and direct relationship with God the Divine Human who is present in every mind and fills the mental world of eternity with spiritual heat (love, good) and spiritual light (truth, rationality).

Once this rational acknowledgement is made with full and clear understanding of God, we have the opportunity to form a relationship, which is done day by day, hour by hour, as we proceed with our daily round of activities. We strive to think and act in the presence of God. We must keep track or monitor the flow of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, and effects on others and society.  This is called self-witnessing our life. From conscience and from Sacred Scripture we have principles that allow us to judge what we feel, what we think, and what we do that affects others. Any feeling, thought, or act that is contrary to conscience or Sacred Scripture must be condemned, banished, and held in aversion as a sin against God the Divine Human who creates our heaven.

13

This cannot be done without struggle. We must fight as of self, but in the presence of God. We fight by thinking against the evil in ourselves that our self-witnessing reveals. One by one, feeling by feeling, thought by thought, we fight all our life every day and hour. God the Divine Human is present and does all the work of overpowering the hells and disconnecting our mind from it. After each combat and victory, God gives us a “Sabbath” rest or peace of mind like that of heaven. Then another fight begins. This goes on till the end of life here.

When we acknowledge the conscious direct presence of God the Divine Human in our natural-rational ideas of Him, we are kept in a state of freedom to choose good or evil, truth or falsified truth. Without this conscious acknowledgment of Him, God is still able to influence us indirectly and thus to help us develop morality of life through conscience and external education and socialization (See Section 7.0.4.1). This natural morality is an essential component of civilized life. But it is not sufficient to penetrate deeply enough to influence our ruling love. Although we may act morally all our life yet when we are resuscitated and shed off all external constraints of compliance and obedience, we are no longer motivated to act morally. In that case we are also unmotivated to acquire spiritual truths about heaven. We turn to our hellish traits and delight in them with like-minded companions.

But when we understand God rationally and acknowledge Him in our mind and life, we are able to face spiritual temptations through the truths that God reveals to us in Sacred Scripture and in conscience. As we then face our evil enjoyments, condemning them as a sin against God and heaven, we are then given victory by God through His omnipotence. We are able to withhold ourselves from continuing to love and repeat the evil acts, thoughts, and feelings. We then have spiritual freedom. Prior to that we have natural freedom, but not spiritual.

14

Theistic psychology is the science of regeneration extracted from Sacred Scripture. All Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech in correspondences. Divine Speech, which is Divine Truth (or spiritual light), flows into the celestial-rational level of the mental world. There it appears as written Sacred Scripture in the language we all speak innately when in that mental state or layer. This visible Sacred Scripture is written in celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. This is the layer that humanity is wisest and is able to understand Divine rational things about good, love, truth and wisdom.

Then another version of Sacred Scripture appears in the spiritual-rational layer of the mental world. This is written in a spiritual language that we innately possess when conscious in the spiritual-rational layer of the human mind. A still different version appears in the spiritual-natural layer, and finally a still different version that appears in our natural mind here on earth as we read Sacred Scripture in one or another natural language. The four layers of Sacred Scripture exactly correspond to each other, but at successively lower levels of rationality. Theistic psychology gives us the knowledge of how to climb up this ladder of rationality with our conscious awareness. When we extract spiritual-natural correspondences and spiritual-rational correspondences form Sacred Scripture, we are in effect climbing up as to consciousness, to our natural and spiritual heavens in eternity.

15

There is a new medical field of research today called neuro-theology. It is based on initial research with a few subjects from different religions showing that when they are praying with intense focus, certain areas of their brain “light up” on the computer screen that shows color maps of their brain being monitored by digital imaging techniques. Hence there may be a correlation between mental activity and brain activity. Logically there ought to be a different brain activity configuration for every unique mental state.

From this correlation a few scientists and news reporters have drawn an amazing conclusion, namely, that certain people are biologically programmed or wired to be religious, to have faith, to pray, to believe in God. This would then explain why there are religions, why some people believe in God while others do not. This astonishing conclusion is illogical. A mere correlation between mental and brain activity is turned into a cause effect relation, and this in the wrong direction. Our mental activity in eternity are spiritual causes that act by correspondence on physical events, which are their effects in the physical world of time. When people are praying or meditating they are in a certain mental state.

This means that their affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor organs act jointly in correspondence with each other. For example, we may want something that God can give us (affective organ), we love and respect God (affective organ), we are motivated to ask God for that thing (affective organ), we construct sentences addressed to God (cognitive organ), we silently speak them to ourselves (sensorimotor organ). This is praying. It is a mental activity in eternity that we do through our spiritual body that contains our mental organs. This mental activity now activates specific regions in the neurons of the brain that correspond to the mental activity. Every mental activity has its own particular reflection in neural activity and pattern.

The idea of a biological predisposition to be religious is illogical because “to be religious” refers to faith and praying which are mental events while “biological predisposition” refers to physical events such as physical neurons and physical genes. The reason these scientists and news reporters fail to see the illogic is that they consider faith and God to be physical like neurons and genes. This negative bias in science is called materialism. This is called a negative bias in science because it is accepted and enforced even though it cannot be proven. Materialism cannot be proven, hence to maintain it and require it is a formally accepted and practiced intellectual bias.

The other option is called the positive bias in science, as in the theistic sciences that are now being created, like theistic psychology. Since theistic psychology cannot prove dualism, it is called the positive bias in science. In this mode of thinking we are born dual citizens, with a temporary physical body in time and a permanent spiritual body in eternity. All mental events are therefore located in the mental world of eternity and these are linked by functional correspondence to the events in the physical body.

Traditionally, being religious and faith in God and an afterlife were considered outside the bounds of science. But now we have an overlap in two directions. One direction is neuro-theology and the other direction is theistic psychology. Neuro-theology is the direction of reductionism, that is, reducing mental to physical, which is the same as reducing the eternal to the temporal, and also, reducing God to a human fiction or imagination. And this after all, is biological, and hence the genes are god. One is led to such illogic by the bias of materialism.

16

If God is omnipresent and omnipotent why is there a hell and why do wicked people succeed in their hurtful plans against innocent people?  And why does God maintain in existence things that hurt human beings, such as hurricanes, poisonous substances, or viruses and bacteria? If God is perfect then why is His creation not perfect? Or is it

See the Layers Diagram.

Yes, God maintains what He created in a perfect order that is designed to create a heaven in eternity out of the human race and for the human race. Heaven in eternity is the upper layer of the human mind and the more individuals join that state of life in themselves, the more it is that heaven evolves into a human perfection to endless eternity. What is life in heaven like? It is not unknown. In fact nothing can be more familiar to us than our mental states. God gives each person numerous heavenly mental states in the course of our earthly life in the natural mind so that we may learn to love them. These are called heavenly "remains" because God stashes them away in places in the mind that are not conscious. thus protecting them from corruption.

Look at babies, infants and young children. Every moment they seem to experience the fullness and beauty of life in an unselfconscious way, but being totally in the wonderment of life around them. These involve feelings of wonderment, curiosity, peace, excitement, love for parents and other infants, obedience, innocence, love of learning. These are heavenly traits that we love as children and God collects them and saves them in your heaven to be. Throughout life on earth we receive such moments of heavenly impulses and loves and enjoyments. God retains every one of them and makes them available to us in our heaven, if only we choose to raise our consciousness there and be content doing that

And so the fact that there is crime, evil, sickness, and war does not mean that these things hamper God's ability to bring the individual to a desire for heaven through cultivating a love for heavenly traits and enjoyments. This desire or love cannot be imposed by God on an individual. Every love is an individual operation. Love does not stick to you by glue or osmosis. A person's love is a subjective assimilation of spiritual heat flowing into the affective organ. If the individual does not assimilate the love from self and as-of self, it does not remain in the individual's mind but flows away. Only the enjoyment of love binds it to the person forever. Heavenly traits must be loved in order to have a heaven to go to, for heaven is in your love of good and truth from God. Without loving good and truth from God, we cannot exist in the celestial layer of our mind in eternity since that layer is constructed out of the rational love of good and truth we receive from God the Divine Human.

 God allows only that kind of evil that He can use to help people learn to love heavenly traits. That is God's highest ruling love, namely, to continuously strive to help people He creates to learn to love heavenly traits, for this alone can realize God's plan of a heaven from the human race perfecting itself forever. In this perfect evolution of perfection rests boundless and endless happiness for each human being. This is God's Passion from His Divine Love and Essence.

The history of God is the history of the human mind.

1.1.4.2  The Three Benefits of Rational Spirituality: Enlightenment, Empowerment, Rational Ecstasy 

The benefits of studying theistic psychology is the progressive evolution and development of our rational spirituality. This is what our heaven is constructed of. The benefits of rational spirituality are innumerable but they fall into three major categories called enlightenment, empowerment, and rational ecstasy.

1.1.4.2.1  Spiritual Enlightenment

Enlightenment refers to the elevation of operations in the cognitive organ of the mind. You can see that when you first start studying a subject or activity your cognitive operations are those of a novice or beginner. As you gain experience and knowledge about something, your cognitive operations become more effective and and more complex. When you reach the stage of being an expert at something -- like a supervisor or a parent -- your cognitive operations are still higher and abstract. You can understand why things happen and how to control them. So this is a kind of enlightenment, but it is natural-rational mind rather than spiritual-rational mind. Your heaven is in your spiritual-rational consciousness, while your hell is in your natural-corporeal consciousness (see Section xx).

So there is a natural-rational type of enlightenment, like expertise or being good at something from experience, and there is a spiritual-rational type of enlightenment which comes only from the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). The source of our natural-rational enlightenment is the natural mind through the physical body. The source of our spiritual-rational enlightenment is the spiritual mind through the spiritual body. It is similar with reading and understanding Sacred Scripture. At first we understand it naturally with our natural-sensuous and natural-rational mind. This is the literal sense of Sacred Scripture and provides natural enlightenment about God, salvation, and eternity. We can read Sacred Scripture in the form of the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Writings of Swedenborg and focus on the literal sense. This will not lead to our spiritual enlightenment.

But we can achieve spiritual enlightenment from Sacred Scripture if we translate the literal sense into its universal correspondential sense (see Section xx). In this way we begin to accumulate knowledge of theistic psychology. The rational understanding of this knowledge constitutes spiritual enlightenment. Note that we can read theistic psychology, like this textbook, and understand it not rationally, but naturally. Probably most students who happen to enroll in this course are reading theistic psychology at the natural level of understanding (see student reports at:   
     www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#part2

What is spiritual enlightenment?

It is the elevation of consciousness to the level of operation in our mind called heaven (see Section xx). What is consciousness? It is the perception of truth which forms reality. There is only one reality, one truth. This is the reality and truth of God. This reality in the form of Divine Truth is created by the spiritual substances streaming out from the Spiritual Sun and creating the rational ether out of which the human is constructed in eternity (see Section xx). Divine Speech issues from the Mind of God, the Divine Human, and since this is a an actual real substance, it forms everything real out of itself. Every object or event or feeling is constructed out of this spiritual substance called truth, within which is God's love. Divine Love substance is the operation of God's Affective Organ, which is covered over with Divine Truth substance, this being the operation of God's Cognitive Organ. This Divine Human operation is also called the marriage of good and truth, or the marriage of love and wisdom. It is called a marriage because love always conjoins with its own kind of truth when it creates reality.

Reality is created in our mind in two steps. First, there is the influx of spiritual heat into the affective organ of our unconscious spiritual mind. Simultaneously, there is an inflow of spiritual light into the cognitive organ of our unconscious spiritual mind. Reality in our mind is constructed by this inflowing operation of good and truth in our spiritual mind that is completely independent of our will and awareness. This involuntary operation of reality in our spiritual mind then activates by correspondence the events in our conscious natural mind. The result of this is the reality of rationality and conscience in our conscious natural mind (See Section 7.0.4.1).

Everyone is aware of the operation of conscience and rationality in their conscious natural mind (See Section 7.0.4.1). Conscience is the rational perception of right and wrong, good and evil, heavenly and hellish. This rational perception is available to our conscious natural mind only because it "descends" into our conscious understanding from our spiritual mind where it is received by influx from the Spiritual Sun. Now the Divine Psychologist supervises and manages every detail of these mental operations. This is often hard to understand and accept because we still tend to attribute the power of thinking to ourselves. While God wills that we appear to ourselves as thinking as-though from ourselves, we need to remember consciously and rationally that it is God who does all things in us and outside us. If we include this in our thinking, we grow in rationality, but if we forget it or deny it, our real rationality ends, and what we have instead is a kind of quasi-rationality that misleads us and instead of understanding reality, we construct a false imaginary reality. As a result we are less human, more animalistic, more hellish. God continues to exercise control over us whether we are rational or animalistic. Either way, God continues to make things happen that allow us to become more rational.

Enlightenment is the state of mind we are in when our natural thinking is re-aligned to fit our rational thinking.

We are born with a mental tendency to enjoying hellish operations. Asserting ourselves over others regardless of good and truth, is a common way in which we maintain ourselves in a hellish state of mind. We promise things we don't perform by excusing ourselves and justifying our neglects and weaknesses by which we make others suffer. We care less about how we make others suffer as much as we care about getting our way, whatever it is, even if it is unjust, unfair, irrational, cruel, uncaring, animalistic. Because we are unwilling to resist these feelings or giving them up, we remain in a mental state of hell. This is the opposite of enlightenment. When we are in the opposite state of enlightenment we go through phases of feeling bad for doing the right thing, and feeling good for doing the wrong thing. This is the state of hell and leads to disorder, injury, destruction, unhappiness, and lack of productivity and inventiveness. It may appear to us at first that we are making progress and gaining, but ultimately we set ourselves up for failure and hell.

We cannot be enlightened when our natural habits of feeling, thinking and doing are based on our inherited hellish states of mind. But at some point in adult life we experience an awakening, an intense desire to be enlightened spiritually. This is a desire for more rationality in our mind. We then begin to explore what our culture has to offer in terms of spirituality. Our first phase is to get involved with sensuous spirituality (see Section xx). This often involves an interest in new age nonduality (see Section xx). This attitude of mind is based on the idea that there is a continuity between us and God, so that as we grow in spirituality, we will be God (see Section xx). Of course this is a total denial of the rational duality as given in Sacred Scripture, which is that God must be outside the created universe in order to be able to create it. Hence it is irrational to think that this duality of creator/created can be continuous, or of the same substance and quality. New age nonduality can involve the mind endlessly, and hopelessly, getting us deeper and deeper into a mental state that is not capable or willing to receive the rational truths of Sacred Scripture.

But at one point we are ready to move on with our character reformation and preparation for heavenly eternity. This starts with our enlightenment. We begin to see that we have an eternal future based on our relationship to God. We begin to see that we alternate in our daily life between mental states of being in our heaven and in our hell. We begin to see more clearly from conscience as to what is right and what is wrong in our life, feelings, thoughts, and conduct. We begin to form in our understanding the Doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. These now constitute the reality we identify with and that we want. We recognize the supervisory role of God in our mental life. We accept it. We begin to love it and to trust God. Now begins the phase of our temptations and regeneration (see Section xx).

1.1.4.2.2  Spiritual Empowerment

The period of enlightenment now continues to develop. The progress of our spiritual development is proportional to our willingness to endure spiritual temptations. We are already familiar with natural temptations and our battles with conscience to maintain moral conduct as a citizen, parent, spouse, and individual. We can continue to develop morally even if we are not enlightened. But no matter how much we make progress in our moral development, we cannot begin to progress in our spiritual development -- until we are enlightened, as discussed above, and then we must be willing to undergo spiritual temptations.

Natural temptations have to do with moral dilemmas like wanting to take unfair advantage of someone, wanting to cheat, wanting to make yourself feel good at the expense of someone else, wanting to be rewarded for something we don't deserve, and so on. These natural temptations must be overcome successfully through our conscience and our principles of living (See Section 7.0.4.1). Natural temptations start in childhood and go on throughout life. Spiritual temptations only start in adulthood, after we undergo enlightenment. If we are unwilling to be enlightened by rational spirituality through Sacred Scripture, we cannot undergo spiritual temptations, and therefore, we cannot regenerate our character from hellish to heavenly (see Section xx).

Spiritual temptations are brought to our conscious awareness by the Divine Psychologist who chooses the timing on the basis of what we are willing to obey. The Divine Psychologist also arranges the events in our life so that the temptations can be brought to our awareness. The Divine Psychologist has revealed in Sacred Scripture that He never brings a spiritual temptation to someone who is not ready to oppose it and fight like hell against it. We must engage in spiritual combat against the hells to which we are connected by birth. The Divine Psychologist only brings us to spiritual temptations after He has equipped us with the weapons of truths that we must possess in order to engage in spiritual combat.

These inner power tools are constructed out of the spiritual truths we obtain from translating the literal sense of Sacred Scripture into its correspondential sense (see Section xx). The correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture is called the spiritual Doctrine of Truth (see Section xx). This is the Doctrine we must construct and build up in our mind as we study Sacred Scripture. Once it is in our mind, we begin to filter everything in our daily life through that Doctrine. As the Divine Psychologist brings spiritual temptations to us we experience an attack on our understanding of Doctrine.

This spiritual attack is felt like a doubt in our spiritual truths that we have already appropriated in our reformation and regeneration. We feel intense pressure from the hells to reject or modify the rational truths of Sacred Scripture that we already possess. We want to feel, think, and do what we desire and feel we must have regardless of what our spiritual Doctrine says in our mind. We want to weaken our connection and loyalty to the spiritual truth, so that we may abandon it for now, make an exception for now. But if we do, we throw ourselves back into our natural life where we feel good for doing bad, and feel bad for doing good. we don't want to do good, to think right, to feel and intend from our heaven. We are in mortal danger at this point and this is when the Divine Psychologist, or God as the "Holy Spirit" in our mind, is the closest to us ever (see Section xx).

It doesn't feel like that though! Subjectively it feels like we are in agony. It feels like God has abandoned us to our own devices to fight the un-fightable hells in us. We do not have slightest power to overcome these hells in our spiritual temptations. We are assailed, inundated, suffocated. But we can overcome all this when we activate our rational understanding of how the Divine Psychologist is behind all this drama!

Sticking with the Divine Psychologist is called "cleaving to God" or "loving God more than anything." And the strength of this love is that it is our individual unique reciprocation to God's activity in our mind. That's all God needs to instantly wipe out the hells from contact with you. This is called "being delivered." God delivers us from our inherited connection with the hells, breaks it, makes it impossible for the hells in our mind to break out again into our consciousness and make us doubt the Doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. The temptation is then consummated. It is over. Never again will the hells in our mind be able to attack us from that same direction, though we must know that there are many directions, many door, many connections that must be individually dismantled through this process of character reformation (see Section xx).

Now in the phase immediately following our victory in spiritual combat, we experience rational ecstasy.

1.1.4.2.3  Rational Ecstasy

Rational ecstasy refers to the feeling and perspective we have when we are in the heavens of our eternity.

Swedenborg was conscious in his spiritual mind from age 57 to 84, when he passed on never to return to earthly consciousness. But during those 27 years of dual citizenship (see Section xx), Swedenborg was able to see, hear, and talk to numerous people who are in their heavenly eternity in the afterlife. He described their mentality and life, and he called them angels or angel-people (see Section xx). They lived in constant and unceasing rational ecstasy.

Immediately following victory in spiritual combat, we are given to experience raitonal ecstasy, which is called "the sphere of heaven." It is also called "the elevation of the mind into heaven" and also "being in company with angels and in communication with them." Physiologically, the Divine Psychologist opens a channel of correspondence between some event in our unconscious spiritual mind and its corresponding conscious event in our natural mind. It is the mental state of victory in which we are after our spiritual combat, that allows the Divine Psychologist to open in us this spiritual channel of communication with our heaven. We know that the Divine Psychologist, out of His Divine Love for the universal human race, would desire to open this spiritual channel for everyone and to keep it open from here to eternity. We know from Sacred Scripture that God desires to do this because His purpose in maintaining the universe is to bring human beings into a state of mental heaven in eternity (see Section xx).

In order to accomplish this, God must find a way of getting each human being to love rationality.

God's omnipotence makes this happen. God wills that we fight for our principles when tempted to give them up. This is the only way the break or disconnect our attachment and delight in hellish traits. We are already attached to hellish delights and life, so if we were to be cut off from them, we would feel that our life is ending. Our happiness and freedom is ending. Our humanity is ending. This is so irrational that  it is impossible for us to get into the rationality of our heaven. Swedenborg saw people who were just resuscitated, demand that they be admitted to heaven on account of their religion. They were then brought into the mental state of their heaven. They literally freaked! they were not ready to endure even a few seconds in the atmosphere and mental life of their heaven. Everything within their thoughts and feelings contradicted the sphere of heaven. They felt tortured and quickly precipitated their consciousness back down into their hellish mind, whereupon they revived and were able to continue their life.

This is what would happen to us if God suddenly cut off the life of delights we have from hell.

And so we must learn gradually to be cut off from our hell. And this is done through spiritual combats against the delights of our hells and the beliefs and false principles that go with the hells in our mind. When we win in spiritual combat, our love for the Doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture is immediately strengthened, and consequently our rational spirituality of God grows more interiorly towards the Spiritual Sun and towards Him as the Divine Human in whom infinite things make one (see Section xx).

As we approach God through our love and loyalty for His Sacred Scripture, using it in daily spiritual combats against our hellish traits, we begin to feel rational ecstasy more continuously, not just in the victory after combat.

It is important to understand that waging spiritual combat does not mean natural or social combats against others in our environment and society.

Many people have made use of Sacred Scripture to fight social combats against those whom they see as promoting evils and falsities in society. This is not what is meant here by spiritual combats. Obviously, when you fight against others in your social environment, you are engaged in natural combats in your society, also called politics and civil war. These are not spiritual wars. the only wars that allow us to regenerate are spiritual wars, and the only spiritual wars are those we fight with ourselves in our own mind.

When we are victorious and prevail against others in natural and moral battles, we may feel good, but it is not rational ecstasy. This is felt only with spiritual combats and victories. Rational ecstasy is a celestial sensation called "being in the stream of Divine Providence" and also "the peace that surpasses all understanding." It is in fact a rational feeling, or sensation, a kind of subtle vibration or tremulation (see Section xx). It is a constant conscious reminder that we are spirits in a material body, temporarily trapped, but soon to be released. It is also a feeling of trust which comes from the rational understanding of God's omnipotence and love. Even if you feel anxious, depressed, stressed out because of external natural circumstances, you do not lose the sensation of rational ecstasy. You are permanently immersed in it. It is like contained excitement on the edge of enthusiasm and energy. It is wonderful. And it helps you remain aware of the continuous presence and role of the Divine Psychologist in our mind.

1.1.4.3    How Divine Speech Descends In the Human Mind Through
                                            Discrete Layers and Keeps It Functioning
                   

Our mental heaven in eternity is inborn. This heaven is already present in our mind when we are born, just as hell is present in the human mind at birth. Physiologically, our mind is constructed out of heavenly feelings and traits and out of hellish feelings and traits. In other words, heaven and hell are located within the spiritual organs of the mind. This awesome secret has been revealed thousands of years ago in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. An example is the scientific revelation in the New Testament Sacred Scripture:

Being demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them, and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20-21).

The phrase "cometh not with observation" means that the natural mind, which is formed by physical content, cannot be in heaven. In the literal sense it means that heaven is not in the natural world but in the spiritual world of eternity. Hence this passage, among others in the New Testament Sacred Scripture, reveals the scientific reality of dualism, that is, of the existence of this world in time-space, and the world of eternity which is snot in time-space. The phrase "the kingdom of God is within you" means that eternity is in our mind. "Within you" contrasts with the phrase "with observation" which is outward through the physical senses, while "within you" is mental and is not observable outwardly by the physical senses.

I am amazed that I did not realize the meaning of this passage the first time I read it thirty years ago (see Section xx). And I am astonished that no one until Swedenborg in the eighteenth century, took note of this amazing scientific revelation in the New Testament. It wasn't until I became an expert on Swedenborg and then read this passage again that its meaning hit me. It is the Divine revelation of scientific dualism (see Section xx). Similar scientific revelations occur in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, as for instance the Genesis verses:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1).

And the heavens and the earth were finished (Gen. 2:1).

These are the nativities of the heavens and of the earth (Gen. 2:4),

In the literal sense it plainly says that God created the spiritual world of eternity ("the heavens") and the natural world of time, space, and energy. This is the Divine confirmation of scientific dualism as a reality, not a hypothesis or theory. What is not revealed here is that the world of the heavens in eternity is the same as the mind. For thousands of years people who derived their religion from the Old Testament had a materialistic worldview, not abstracted from the senses. They were not willing to think of the heavens as being created in a separate universe, outside time, space, or region. To think of the universe of eternity, not in space, not in time, involving no material substances, and yet still supportive of human life and happiness, requires a rational spirituality, not material or sensuous. It requires a rational consciousness of God. This level of thinking had not yet developed in the human mind until the age of science and modernism starting in the 18th century (see Section xx).

This is the reason that 20 centuries of Christian scholarship and adoration of the New Testament were not able to uncover this obvious heavenly secret, namely, that "the Kingdom of God is within you." In theistic psychology I render this statement by the following formulaic expression:

the Kingdom of God = eternity and human life there = the heavens = within you = your mind = your mental organs = your feelings, thoughts, and loves = the self = immortality

Is this not an astonishing realization?

You too will be astonished as soon as you begin to reflect on this amazing rational equation. This equation shows that all human beings are born immortal! Who knew this? The vast majority of people on this planet today belong to the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist religions and practices. None of these religions give a clear and factual description of our immortality or life in eternity. None of the religions give any clear explanation of the most basic facts that Swedenborg presents in the Writings Sacred Scripture. As for instance the fact that every human being who dies is resuscitated within 36 hours and continues life in eternity as himself or herself. Which religious leader, prophet, or scholar has known this? The reason is that Sacred Scripture reveals almost nothing about life after death -- when you consider the literal meaning of the sentences of Sacred Scripture. This is why all sorts of imaginative and fantastic interpretations have been given of the Book of Revelations, which is the last book of the New Testament Sacred Scripture, and is written in a prophetic and visionary style, rather than historical narrative, as the rest of the New Testament is written.

The most popular beliefs surrounding the symbolism and interpretation of the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, have been that its visionary scenes that John witnessed "while being in the spirit," describe symbolically the historical scenes that will take place on earth at the so-called "end of times" or when the physical planet is destroyed and instantaneously remade, while the faithful who are saved, are "caught up in the air" and kept safe during these tumultuous events that destroy earth. Then a "new earth" is created by God for those who are "resurrected from the graves," put back together again with new and immortal bodies, to enjoy forever on the new earth.

These amazingly imaginative ideas come from one source -- the practice of interpreting the literal sense of Sacred Scripture in accordance with one's own ideas, beliefs, scholarship, intelligence, or imagination. None of these approaches can yield the true spiritual meaning that is hidden within the literal sense of Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Instead, it was necessary to wait until God reveals the appropriate method for extracting the hidden meaning from the literal sentences. This method had been revealed before by God to the most ancient peoples on this earth. Swedenborg interviewed some of these people who have been living since then in their celestial heavens. They informed him that when they were on earth they called this knowledge the Science of Correspondences (see Section xx).

This therefore is the most ancient science on the planet. It has to do with how the spiritual world of causes relate or act upon the natural world of effects. In other words, the science of correspondences was the rational revelation of scientific dualism and how the two worlds are connected by laws. Swedenborg interviewed people in eternity who were from different historical eras on earth. He was thus able to piece together a historical chart of the succeeding civilizations on this earth (see Section xx), describing the mentality and character of those people. After some generations, the most ancient civilization died out and in its place arose a series of civilizations. By the time the Old Testament Sacred Scripture was written about three thousand years ago, almost nothing was left of the knowledge of the science of correspondences. It was so well hidden that no one knew, not even the prophets who wrote the Bible, that the sentences of Sacred Scripture were written in correspondences because they represented the content of Divine Speech.

This history is necessary for us to know because of a rational principle that I would like to phrase as follows:

Individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history

In other words by knowing the details of the mental evolution of the human race on earth we are able to know details of our own mental states and how they develop in our life from birth to eternity (see Section xx).

It wasn't until the Writings of Swedenborg in the eighteenth century that the human mind was first given knowledge again of the lost science of correspondences. Now for the first time we are able to read Sacred Scripture and extract from it the Divine Speech that is hidden within it. In order for God to revive this consciousness in the human race it was necessary that He select a scientist, like Swedenborg, who was given the scientific genius, rationality, and reputation, to bring this science of dualism back into modern times and the modern person of the future. In order to succeed, it was necessary for this person to be given access to the laboratory of eternity.

This was done by making Swedenborg's spiritual mind to be conscious while he was still living on earth. At age 57, he became a dual citizen, living and interacting in both worlds simultaneously! Only a scientist who had access to both worlds simultaneously could make the necessary observations of this science of correspondences, since it is the science of how the worlds are connected by functional cause-effect laws for all phenomena. Now any person who studies these laws of correspondences can read Sacred Scripture and figure out its hidden correspondential sense. This correspondential sense is the content of Divine Speech. Theistic psychology is the knowledge extracted from the literal sense of the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

In order to understand this more clearly, it is necessary to have a mental chart of the human mind and how it is created, ordered, and managed by God through Divine Speech. Study the following conceptual diagrams which are explained elsewhere in theistic psychology (see Volume 6):

1.1.4.3.1   Conceptual Charts of the Physiology of God and the Human Mind

Chart 1

Chart 2

 

Chart 3

Chart 4

 

Chart 5

Our consciousness is designed to travel up and down the various levels of our mind. When we are born our spiritual body has various levels of operation along which our consciousness can travel up and down. Divine Speech, or Divine Love and Truth as spiritual heat and light, streams forth from the Spiritual Sun into the universe, and enters simultaneously into every individual mind of the human race -- just as sunlight and heat from the natural sun, enter every plant, giving it the energy to grow, survive, and reproduce. In this way spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun enter the human mind at its highest level called "the third heaven" (see Section xx).

If you knew how to elevate your consciousness to your third heaven right now, you would understand Divine Speech at the level called celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech. At this level you are nearly omniscient, because anything whatsoever you think about or are curious about, instantly appears in your awareness. You do not have to search for the answer or understanding, you do not have to discover it, study it, or ask someone else about it. The information comes to your awareness to fill the gap of wondering about it. This is why our mental state in the third heaven can be described as nearly omniscient. Of course we do not have this knowledge and understanding from ourselves, and the instant we think we do, it disappears from our mind and we become stupid. We must know rationally that this omniscient knowledge is God's knowledge that He grants to be within us, and if we forget this, we lose the knowledge because we lose that close communication with Divine Speech in which all possible knowledge is contained.

The celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech that we have in the third heaven of our mind causes correspondential operations to occur in our second heaven of our mind. If you were conscious of this level of operation in your mind, you would be thinking and reasoning with spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech as it descends and expands into the universe. At this level of thinking you must do research and studying before you can know and understand the many rational things you are curious about. You don't just recognize truths instantly but must reflect and figure out in order to be able to confirm it.

The spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech that we have in our second heaven causes correspondential operations to occur in the first heaven of our mind. Swedenborg saw the mentality of people who dwell in their first heaven. their reasoning was based on spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech. This level of thinking and reasoning is most familiar to us when we gain knowledge and expertise in our activities. We do not think of these in a fully rational way because we mix what is rational with what is not rational. An example would be the knowledge possessed by artists, scientists, managers, or skilled workers. They do not think purely rationally and often confuse what they see with the senses and what they think rationally separated from the senses.

The spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech that we have in the first heaven of our mind causes correspondential operations to occur in our conscious natural mind. At this level of operation in our mind, we think and reason with merely natural correspondences of Divine Speech as it descends and expands into the universe. At this level of thinking we cannot figure out what is sensuous-empirical and what is rational-spiritual. When Sacred Scripture of Divine speech is written down at this level it appears as history that reflects the mentality of the people rather than God's mentality. As a result people are able to interpret Sacred Scripture in any way they please to suit their purposes.

These purposes are selfish rather than heavenly. The more selfish and hostile are a person's purposes, the more one distorts one's rationality. Since every heavenly level of thinking and reasoning can be distorted by evil intentions and motives, there are in the human mind levels of hell, which are the contradictions and perversions of each level of heaven. Hence there is a first hell in our mind which is the contradiction of the reasoning process in our first heaven. Similarly there is a second hell and a third hell to correspond to the heavens.

Your consciousness can travel up and down these built in levels of mental operation, from the third heaven at the top of the human mind, all the way down to the third hell at the bottom of the human mind. Because Swedenborg's spiritual mind was made conscious to him at age 57, he was able to travel up and down this consciousness path, and he described them all (see Section xx). You too can see and learn what he learned if you were suddenly made conscious in your spiritual mind. As it is, this normally happens at resuscitation, 36 hours after we are cut off from the physical body by its death. Then we remain conscious in our natural mind for a short while, until our second death, at which time our natural mind is put to sleep and we are propelled by our ruling love to keep our consciousness where it is. If this ruling love is in one of the three heavens, that is the level of life we enjoy to eternity. But if the ruling love is in hell, that's where spend our eternity.

Study Questions: 1.1 to 1.1.4.3.1 (Report 3)

Week 7 Readings: Section 1.1 to 1.1.4.1

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 8

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 9

7.1.
(a) Study the Table that begins Section 1.1  "Three Levels of Thinking About God." Explain the history of your own development regarding the idea of God.
(b) Use the Table to describe your own thinking today at each level.
(c) Can you guess about where will your thinking take you in the future?

7.2.
(a) Make up a gain-loss sheet that lists and briefly explains what you could gain or lose by adopting the negative vs. positive bias in science regarding God's existence as a scientific reality.
(b) Read the list. Comment on it from an objective point of view.

7.3.
(a) Why does God allow people to be in the negative bias in science and survive as well as those who are in the positive bias in science?
(b) Comment on this situation. Do you understand it? Do you see problems with it?

7.4.
(a) Explain the difference between religion as a mystical view of God and Sacred Scripture vs. theistic psychology as scientific view of God and Sacred Scripture.
(b) Is knowing about this difference important to you? Explain.

7.5.
(a) Summarize the ten conclusions that follow logically from the positive bias assumption that God exists in science.
(b) Does this proof make sense to you? Do you accept it as proof?
(c) Do any of your friends accept it as an adequate proof that if God exists then He must be a Divine Human Person whose creation must therefore be perfect.

7.6.
(a) Prove rationally that our mental world is the world of eternity.
(b) What will be the consequences for society when this knowledge becomes known?
(c) Check it out with your friends. Are they jumping up and down with joy when they hear you describe it?

7.7.
(a) How are humans different from animals?
(b) What makes us human? Justify the statement that we are human because we are rational.
(c) Explain why animals are not immortal.
(d) How do you react to this knowledge?

7.8.
(a) Describe the Incarnation Event from the perspective of theistic psychology.
(b) Explain what it means to say that "when God entered history He entered science."
(b) Does this makes sense to you? Does it change anything about your ideas of God?
(c) What would happen if this knowledge becomes known to the public in general?

7.9
(a) In what sense can we say that the Incarnation Event is the completion of the creation of the human race?
(b) What difference does it make to the human race? What new evolutionary abilities does it give us? How does this influence our future in eternity?


Week 8 Readings: Section 1.1.4.2 to 1.1.4.3.1 

  • Student 1:    1, 4, 7

  • Student 2:    2, 5, 8

  • Student 3:    3, 6, 9

8.1.
(a) Explain how we become spiritually enlightened by studying theistic psychology.
(b) What is the difference between natural and spiritual enlightenment?
(c) Who do you know that is enlightened?

8.2.
(a) What are temptations? Explain how our spiritual development depends on our willingness to fight our temptations.
(b) What happens after we are victorious in a temptation?
(c) What have you observed about your own temptations in the past?

8.3.
(a) When and how did Sacred Scripture reveal that heaven in eternity is the mental world?
(b) Why do you think that this knowledge remains unknown or disbelieved?
(c) Search the Web to see if anything about this is known. What is your conclusion?

8.4.
(a) Explain the principle that "individual biography recapitulates human evolution and history."
(b) How does this influence the way you see yourself?

8.5.
(a) In your own words explain chart 1 in Section 1.1.4.3.1. Do not just guess. You will need to do some research in Volume 18 to find the explanations and clarifications: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#Searching_for_something

8.6.
(a)  In your own words explain chart 2 in Section 1.1.4.3.1. Do not just guess. You will need to do some research in Volume 18 to find the explanations and clarifications: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#Searching_for_something

8.7.
(a) In your own words explain chart 3 in Section 1.1.4.3.1. Do not just guess. You will need to do some research in Volume 18 to find the explanations and clarifications: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#Searching_for_something

8.8.
(a) In your own words explain chart 4 in Section 1.1.4.3.1. Do not just guess. You will need to do some research in Volume 18 to find the explanations and clarifications: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#Searching_for_something

8.9.
(a) In your own words explain chart 5 in Section 1.1.4.3.1. Do not just guess. You will need to do some research in Volume 18 to find the explanations and clarifications: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/#Searching_for_something

Report 3: due March 7. Answer Questions for Weeks 7 and 8.

 

1.1.4.3.2   Extracting the Content of Divine Speech Through Correspondences

See the Layers Diagram.

All Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech, "God's Word" or Divine Truth expressed in a natural language. God communicates with people in two ways -- conscience and Sacred Scripture. Conscience is an inner voice that only the individual can hear or feel (layers 7A, 7C), while Sacred Scripture is a physical book that has to be read or heard with physical senses (layer 12S).  God uses these two means of communication to elevate the rational understanding of a person. People refer to conscience as something intuitive and vague. But in fact we all experience conscience as definite and sometimes overwhelming. The more we are willing to listen to our conscience, the more we develop our natural-rational mind (layer 7C). This is because conscience (layer 7) is a organ that reacts by correspondence to the truths (C) and goods (A) in the spiritual layer 6 above it. The more we disregard the voice or insight of conscience, the more sensual-scientific we become (layer 8). At this layer, no spiritual-natural or spiritual-rational truths can exist, hence the layers of our heavens above cannot develop into maturity. Listening to conscience is very effective in facing temptations. Ultimately however, most people will need reinforcing their conscience with more particular knowledges and spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture.

The more we are willing to be elevated in our rational understanding (layer 7C) through conscience and Sacred Scripture, the more we can be spiritually enlightened to understand more interior truths such as spiritual-natural (layer 6C) or spiritual-rational truths (layer 5C). This raises our human potential, our ability to be intelligent and happy, loving and cooperative in social life. Ultimately, our condition and quality of life in the afterlife world of eternity will depend on our rational development. In order to live in a heaven of eternity (layers 6, 5, 4) we must be able to understand God rationally or spiritually. So God's purpose in communicating with people through Sacred Scripture  is to raise their human potential through rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture, and to bring them to their never ending conjugial happiness in eternity (see Volume 11).

From conscience every person knows in a general way what is right or wrong, good or bad (See Section 7.0.4.1). From Sacred Scripture every society and culture teaches that there is God, that there is life after death, and that our quality of life in eternity depends on whether we acquire habits of good or habits of evil. Without Sacred Scripture these essential things of living and survival would not be known. So God communicates information about our eternity. This means knowing what will happen when we die and cross onto eternity.

God gives Sacred Scripture revelations to every culture and society in all the ages, whether a small isolated tribe in the jungle, or large nations like the United States or India. Every generation in all geographic locations has had access to a Sacred Scripture from God. Sometimes the same Sacred Scripture is handed down for many generations, while at other times new Sacred Scripture is given.

From this you can see that the revelation of Divine Speech enters the mind of the prophet or revelator who has a special relationship to God in order to serve this purpose of receiving the Divine Speech in his conscious natural mind, and writing it down. What the prophet or revelator writes down is Divine Speech translated into some natural language through the conscious understanding of an ordinary person, often uneducated and inexperienced. So the sentences that the prophet writes down are limited in meaning to what the prophet can understand or transmit. And so the style of any particular Sacred Scripture can vary from prophet to prophet, and from culture to culture. You probably know some Sacred Scripture from education or literature. Most Western democracies today are familiar with the Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture ("Bible").

Remember however that the prophet does not write down Divine Speech in its celestial and spiritual meanings as these descend from his unconscious spiritual mind into his conscious natural mind. This descent changes by correspondence what the prophet "hears" or "sees." In fact the prophet can only see and hear natural correspondences of Divine Speech. Nevertheless, hidden within these natural correspondences in simultaneous order are the entire series of correspondences as Divine Speech descended in sequential order across the layers of the spiritual mind.

Different religions base themselves on different Sacred Scripture. Since all Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech, and there is only one universal God, why then do the different versions of Sacred Scripture lead to conflict among religions?

The answer is that it is not the different versions of Sacred Scripture that lead to conflict, but their literal interpretation applied the wrong way.

For example, the Name of God in different Sacred Scripture varies and yet the literal sense states that only this Name must be worshipped. When people with different versions of Sacred Scripture take this literally (layer 8C)without rational interpretation (layer 7C), then their ideas and principles come into conflict with each other. Other religions who worship God by another Name are therefore seen as false religions with teachings contrary to one's own religion, which is seen as the only true religion. So you can see how this leads to conflict, disagreement, even warfare and hatred for each other. And yet cruelty and hatred are contrary to God's instructions in every Sacred Scripture.

So it is clear that God wants people to read Sacred Scripture not just literally (layer 8C), but in its rational meaning (layer 7C), which is also its spiritual meaning (interior of the external natural). This has been done to some extent as societies advance in civilization and justice mentality. People give interpretations of Sacred Scripture that try to reconcile the differences and promote tolerance and mutual respect. And yet this is not true for people in every generation, hence conflict continues. People who undergo reformation through conscience and through truths of Sacred Scripture that they interpret rationally or spiritually, tend to back off from intolerance and conflict. For them, altruism and heavenly tolerance ("charity" or "spiritual love") takes precedence over distinctions in interpretations and doctrines ("faith").

When Swedenborg became conscious in his spiritual mind at age 57, he discovered that the people in the afterlife of eternity also read Sacred Scripture. As a scientist, he was now in a unique position to run an experiment to gather data on how Sacred Scripture creates the layers of the human mind. He had in front of him the wording of Sacred Scripture that he had on earth and was reading with his natural mind (layer 8C), which was his Bible in Swedish, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. He also had the Sacred Scripture in the spiritual mind across its layers (6, 5, 4). He could read all versions simultaneously -- the version written in a natural language and the version written in the spiritual language across the upper layers. This is the language that all people start using spontaneously (without learning) immediately after resuscitation when they become conscious in their spiritual mind. But the versions of this spiritual language become more and more interior as you ascend the layers 6, 5, 4.

Swedenborg discovered that the natural language version of Sacred Scripture was the correspondence of the spiritual version. Every word or expression in the natural version of Sacred Scripture was a correspondence of the equivalent spiritual expression that people used in the mental world of the afterlife. None of the historical names and places appeared in the spiritual version because these are natural representations of spiritual things. Every detail mentioned in the natural version use words that refer to things on earth -- animals, mountains, the sun, rivers, cities, countries, names, places, physical objects and actions, armies of one country invading another country, famines, natural disasters, women giving birth, children, etc. This is the natural content of Sacred Scripture in its literal sense. None of this appears in the spiritual sense of Sacred Scripture.

You can now realize that Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences of natural things that represent spiritual things. There is no other way that Divine Speech can be expressed to people who are thinking at the level of 8C and 9C. When we express Sacred Scripture in rational correspondences (layer 7C) it is possible to discuss the topics of theistic psychology. Most people would not be interested in the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture (or theistic psychology). It is necessary therefore that Sacred Scripture be expressed at the level comprehensible to most people in their exterior-natural mind (layer 8C). The spiritual content of Divine Speech is the developmental psychobiology of the human mind. This is a scientific topic and very complex in all its parts. Hence it is that it is necessary that Sacred Scripture have both a literal historical meaning and a correspondential scientific meaning.

Theistic psychology is now possible because God has revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg what the correspondences are that are hidden in the spiritual depth of Sacred Scripture.

1.1.4.3.2.0    What are Correspondences in Sacred Scripture?

The new scientific revelation of the existence of correspondences, once this becomes known to people generally, will allow humankind to understand two important principles:

  • (1) how God manages the universe by rational laws of correspondence that are spiritual (layers 6, 5, 4) but have a natural representation (layers 7, 8, 9)

  • (2) how our mind works in discrete but corresponding layers from the lowest to the highest human potential of consciousness and abilities

God created the dual universe -- the natural or physical or material world of time-space-matter, and the spiritual or mental world of eternity. Anything that is something must be made of of something prior to itself. Memorize this sentence and reflect on it from to time. It is the logical proof of substantive dualism (dual citizenship), and of the idea that every human being is born with two bodies. One body is physical in the material world of time-space, while the other body is spiritual in the mental world of eternity. These two bodies (layers 12 and 10) must be made of something that comes from prior to them (layers 9 to 1)!

Our physical body (layer 12) is made of matter in time-space. Our spiritual body (layer 10) is made of substances in eternity (not in time-space).

The natural matter in time-space that composes our physical body (or natural body) comes from the planet, which comes from the sun, which is one of many stars in the physical universe that God created and is continuously creating and managing in every detail.

The substances in eternity that compose our spiritual body (and its mental layers) comes from the substances of the Spiritual Sun (layer 1), which is an aura of spiritual light and heat around God the Divine Human. Swedenborg reports that anyone who raises their human potential to their highest layer of the mind called celestial-rational (layer 4), can see the Spiritual Sun. Sometimes the Divine Human can also be seen since He now possesses a Divine Natural that is visible (see Section xx).

Material light and heat stream out of the natural sun, forming force fields, gravity, and matter. In other words, the physical sun creates a gravitational space around itself, then breaks off pieces of itself which cool off as planets of matter, and these supply the material needed for all things on earth.

Spiritual light and heat stream out of the Spiritual Sun, forming rational ether in which are constructed the layers of the human mind. The layers contain the mental organs at each level: affective (A), cognitive (C), and sensorimotor (S). The affective organ is a receptor or spiritual heat, while the cognitive organ is a receptor of spiritual light.

Note that "natural sun" is not capitalized because if is not alive or Divine, while the Spiritual Sun is always capitalized, like God and Sacred Scripture. This is because spiritual substances are alive and Divine. This is one of the most difficult rational concepts to understand in theistic psychology. The reason theistic psychology is grounded in substantive dualism is that there is no other scientific way of explaining the dual universe. If there is a dual universe created by God, as it is asserted in theistic psychology, then both worlds must be made of something -- either something like matter, which we all know well, or something like substance, which we all also know full well.

Actually, you know the world made of spiritual substances much better than the world made of matter.

How can this be? What is that world that you know so well?

Think!

That's it. It's the world of thinking (C) -- and feeling (A), and sensations (S). The threefold self. You. I. Each of us. Is there anything that we know better than our mental world? It is the most familiar thing we know. It is our very life, our very consciousness as a being. So familiar every day -- my thoughts, my sensations, my feelings in my private world called my mind.

So you are most familiar with your mental world.

What you may not know yet is that there is only one mental world of eternity just as there is only one physical space in the natural world of time and space.

In other words, this most familiar world we call "my mind, or me" is located in the mental world of eternity. Your thoughts and feelings and sensations are actually things or objects, spiritual things or mental things, and they must be made of something. Our mental organs in our spiritual body (layer 10), which we get at birth of course, are made of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun. This occurs when we are born, and then it never ceases to eternity. Our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are immortal because they are constructed of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun, and these substances are immortal, because Divine. These substances are called "uncreate" and exist in God and are from God. They do not stop being Divine outside of God in created things. This is why our infrastructure of the soul (layers 3) is not accessible to us but remains the "abode" of God in a human being. From there God activates and manages all lower layers through the built-in laws of correspondences.

So God had to create the mental world of eternity for the human race in which to develop and to exist forever. He had to construct the world eternity out of something because out of nothing there cannot come forth anything. This something out of which the mental world was constructed, is the spiritual light and the spiritual heat streaming out of the Spiritual Sun on a continuous basis in endless variety forever -- thus reflecting God's infinity. Hence it is that our mind, which is made of mental organs in our spiritual body (layer 10), is born immortal. Our mind is born in the spiritual world of eternity and stays there. We never had a mind here on earth, but only a physical body that has a brain that is responsive to our mind through the built-in laws of correspondences. The two worlds are connected by the laws of correspondences. This was unknown until it was revealed in Swedenborg's Writings in the 18th century.

The spiritual world of eternity and the natural world of time-space are functionally connected by the laws of correspondences as a built-in part of their creation. The dual universe could not possibly work separately. The physical body without the mind is just a robot that does not have a spiritual body in eternity, does not have a mind, cannot be immortal. Similarly the mind without its own spiritual body cannot exist as a functioning unit or person. Our sensations are operations in the sensorimotor organ of the mind (S). Our thoughts are operations in the cognitive organ of the mind (C), and our feelings and motivations are operations in our affective organ (A).

So from now on you need to start thinking of your sensations, thoughts, and feelings as substantive, not material like the physical brain, which contains only operations of electricity and chemistry, not psychology. Only the mind has operations of psychology, and the mind (layers 9 through 4) is not in the physical body (layer 12), but in the spiritual body (layer 10) in eternity, where it remains since birth, and continues living after it is disconnected from the physical body at death a few hours later. Swedenborg was right there as thousands of people were being resuscitated from death, just 30 hours after dying (see Section xx).

One of your jobs once you're no longer connected to earth, might be to assist in the resuscitation process of millions of people every day from countless numbers of planets in the physical universe where the human race exists.

Note that whether we say spiritual body or mental body, it is the same. Spiritual = mental = eternity. Since we are born dual citizens, in time-space and in eternity, we need two very different kind of bodies to exist in each world. So we have a temporary physical body made of physical matter, and a permanent ("immortal") spiritual body made of the substances of the Spiritual Sun. We can call this a mental body or a spiritual body. Either way, it means a human body made of organs and held together in a body that is made of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun.

Now why do we say that the Spiritual Sun is in the mental world of eternity? Here is the explanation.

Since God is the Divine Human Person in whom infinite things make one, God has a Rational Mind and therefore His infinite cognitive organ operates according to the order and laws of rationality (or truth), this being God's Own Nature or Being in relation to the created human race. Some people believe that to approach close to God we need to reflect deeply or to meditate, clearing the mind of worldly things, clearing the mind of everything in it, until a higher consciousness is reached, beyond human thinking, and this allows a feeling of "oneness" with the Divine, leading to ecstatic feelings and states. However, according to theistic psychology based on Sacred Scripture, Divine Truth is the same as Divine Rationality, so that to approach God we need to do it by elevating  our mind to higher and higher forms of rational understanding. We are closest to God when we can think and reason with celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture (layer 4C). The essence of being human is rationality.

But you need to realize that truth does not exist by itself, no more than sunlight can exist without heat within it that gives it energy and power to accomplish things. The operations of the cognitive organ cannot occur by themselves, no more than wood can be made to burn with a powerful flashlight. For light to exist, there must be heat in it. For spiritual light, which is truth, to enter and activate our cognitive organ at each layer, there must be spiritual heat simultaneously entering the affective organ at each layer. The affective (A) and the cognitive (C) must operate together if either is going to operate.

To be elevated in consciousness to the celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Truth (layer 4C) requires that we also have our affective organ (A) elevated at least above the natural level. This can only occur through our heavenly traits, when the enjoyment of our hellish traits has been withdrawn from our motivational system. Then our inherited and acquired hellish traits are gradually and progressively put to sleep by the Divine Psychologist. We are then able to enjoy our heavenly traits, and this love for them insures our existence in the heavenly layers (6, 5, 4) after resuscitation.

In the negative bias mode of thinking in science, called materialism or monism, it is denied that there is a dual universe without being able to provide a proof for this ("negative bias in science"). Hence there is no God, no eternity, no mental world. Just the brain and its electricity and chemistry. This cannot be proven, hence it is called a bias. In this mode of thinking, mental things like ideas or thoughts and dreams are nothing. They don't really exist -- except as electricity and chemistry. So if you still think this way (called "reductionism"), you will not understand theistic psychology at all.

So you need to switch to the positive bias in science, which is to accept the concepts introduced here as possibly true and scientific, but still remaining to be proven. This is called the positive bias mode of thinking in science because you are accepting that the Spiritual Sun might possibly exist even though no one can prove it by instruments or calculations. The point now is: What are the consequences and benefits of taking on the positive bias mode of thinking in science? You will be the judge of that as you continue your studies.

Now, since God is the Divine Human Person, He is in the human form. This means that God has a spiritual body like we do, that is a substantial mental body, and containing God's mental organs: affective organ (A), cognitive organ (C), sensorimotor organ (S), which includes face, hands, legs, torso, heart, lungs, brain, etc.. The only difference is that God's spiritual body is uncreate and infinite, while ours is created and finite. So God made us look like Him, male and female versions (see Part 2 for male and female mental anatomy). When God thinks in the cognitive organ, that thought is an actual construction made of rational substances called spiritual light.

This light now projects itself through the Spiritual Sun (layer 1) into the created universe and each object in it (layers 2 through 12). Thoughts are actual substances that flow out and into organs of reception (C), just as our physical eye is an organ of reception for physical light streaming into it from the sun millions of miles away. As this light strikes objects and then enters our physical eye, and then brain, our spiritual body then transforms the pattern of electro-chemical impulses in the brain cells into the familiar experiences we call a sensation. This familiar experience is not in the brain at all, but in the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual body in eternity that is tied to the physical brain by correspondence.

But once we "die," our spiritual body suddenly stops receiving information by correspondence from the physical body. Everything from earth, the physical world, the physical body, is now gone. Silent. We are now free from the shackles of the the time-space-matter world. You might think that now somehow you are more restricted living a life less interesting than what you had through the physical body. Right? Did you think that?

Well Swedenborg reports from direct observation that the opposite is the case. In our spiritual body, no longer attached to the physical world, we soar on the wings of the wind, like a dream world made for you. Except: there are others. Everyone who was tied to a physical body, and then lost the tie, is now in the world of eternity called the afterlife.

The mental world is much more real than the physical, as you know, when you have a nightmare or a sexual experience in a dream. When you awaken, you can still remember how vivid and intense and pure the experience was, whether heavenly or hellish. We need to ask what these dreams are they of.

Dreams are made of spiritual substances. Let us call this substance "rational ether." Think of it as the space or atmosphere that creates mental spaces when you think, imagine, or dream. What about the objects and the people in your dream? What are thy made of? You can't say that dreams are made of nothing, for this is illogical or reductionistic. The answer is: Dreams, thoughts, images, reasoning sequences, are all operations of the cognitive organ. This mental organ is made of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun. It is also activated by these substances as spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun streams into the mental organs (C) of every human being. This constant stream of spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun is responsible for our thoughts.

So our spiritual body and its mental organs are immersed in rational ether from the Spiritual Sun, and can see things that appear around, just as the physical eye can see physical objects from the light of the physical sun. But what are the spiritual objects we can see with the eyes of the spiritual body?

The objects in your dreams are spiritual objects, so we are already very familiar with spiritual objects. If you are dreaming of eating in a restaurant, the table, the food, and the waiter are all spiritual objects. This means that these objects are constructed out of the rational ether in the mental world created by the Spiritual Sun (see discussion above). Spiritual objects are produced by means of correspondences. Your feelings, intentions, and loves spontaneously and automatically produce these spiritual objects that make up the environment of your dream. You can understand this in a general way when you realize that dark moods and fears are feelings that produce scary spiritual objects and events, like falling off a mountain during a storm at night, or being attacked by a bear that suddenly appears out of nowhere, etc. Good moods and feelings can produce beautiful dreams of charming weather and friendly animals and people.

Quoting from a Web site explaining the concept of correspondences in Swedenborg's Writings:

A correspondence is a living link between one plane of life and another. It is the link between spiritual planes and natural planes, e.g. the feelings and the body. Smiling is a physical expression which corresponds to feelings of delight. Correspondences are so much part of our life we take them for granted. We often use them in speech. We use “seeing” to mean understanding something, or the “heart” when describing feelings, as in, “broken hearted”, “hard hearted”. The connection is more than words. We can actually feel pain in our hearts or our stomachs, when we are heart broken or fearful. Swedenborg shows how correspondences are the link between the distinct planes through which we receive our life from God. Through them God is in touch with His creation and sustains it.
http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/correspondences-symbols.htm

There are two levels to the "plane of life." We are born into both levels -- into the the plane of life outside time-space known as eternity, and into the plane of life in time-space known as the natural world. The mental world is permanent since it exists in eternity since birth. In other words, human beings are born immortal beings. But the physical body is temporary since it exists in time since birth. God created these two planes of existence so that human beings could acquire a self and personality through interacting with the natural world in time-space. God could not create us directly into the world of eternity. The laws of life and existence in the world of eternity are quite different from what people know on the earths in the physical universe (see Section xx). This will be discussed further as we proceed in the study of theistic psychology.

It makes sense therefore to think that God had to create a method of correspondence between our immortal spiritual body and our temporary physical body.

And these cause-effect laws of interaction -- correspondences -- had to apply not just to the structure of human beings but to the environment of our physical body as well, hence to the entire planetary and galactic system of the natural world.

Hence the laws of correspondences are a blue print by which God creates and manages all the cause-effect events in the dual universe.

These laws were revealed to the earliest generations on this planet. When they started writing down these correspondences, science was born (see Section xx). The Science of Correspondences was known to the ancient civilizations (see Section xx). Subsequently they were lost and forgotten due to evolutionary events (see Section xx). Now for the first time in modern times, correspondences have been revealed once more in the Writings Sacred Scripture. The knowledge of these correspondences now allows us to see through the literal sense of Sacred Scripture, and extract from it the scientific revelations God wants humanity on earth to know.

 As the quote above indicates, correspondences have been preserved in the structure of natural languages. Here are common instances you will recognize:

NATURAL OBJECT OR QUALITY
IN PHYSICAL TIME-SPACE
CORRESPONDENTIAL EQUIVALENT
IN MENTAL ETERNITY
smiling feelings of delight
seeing understanding
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 mental 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:

MENTAL-PHYSICAL CORRESPONDENCES

SPIRITUAL BODY
BORN INTO ETERNITY
PHYSICAL BODY
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 fro 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.

  1. Spiritual Sun -- spiritual light (Divine truth or rationality) and spiritual heat (Divine good or love)

  2. Heaven of human internals

  3. Soul

  4. Celestial-rational layer (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (third heaven)

  5. Spiritual-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (second heaven)

  6. Spiritual-natural layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor) (first heaven)

  7. Natural-rational layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)

  8. Natural-sensual layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)

  9. Natural-corporeal layer of our mind (affective, cognitive, sensorimotor)

  10. Spiritual body

  11. Natural limbus

  12. 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