Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

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 update: 2007

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 10

Health Behaviors

(version 50c)

10.0    Physiological Correspondences

10.1    The Daily Emotional Spin Cycle

                                10.1.1 Negative Emotions and the Vertical Community

                                      The Sting and Torment of Conscience
                                                 How We are Regenerated
                                       The Vertical Community: Laws of Social Interaction Among Spirits 

The Threefold Self
10.1.3     Our Four Options
10.1.4     Getting to Know What the Options Are
10.1.5     The Negative Spin Cycle
10.1.6     The Positive Spin Cycle
10.1.7     The Others-Self Negative Spin Cycle
10.1.8     The Others-Self Positive Spin Cycle
10.1.9     The Two Bridges
10.1.10     Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Red Bridge
10.1.11     Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Blue Bridge
10.1.12     Option 1: Negative towards others and the world
10.1.13     Option 2: Positive towards others and the world
10.1.14     Option 3: Negative towards self
10.1.15     Option 4: Positive towards self
10.1.16     Design of Your Experiment

10.2       Supportive Driving -- Facing the Culture of Disrespect
10.3       Getting a Grip on Anger
10.4       Resistance to Flossing
10.5       Resistance to Medical Compliance
10.6       Medical Daily Round
10.7       Resistance to Exercising
10.8       Intolerance of Feeling Hungry
10.9       Resistance to a Healthy Diet

10.10    The Spiritual Content of Yoga

                10.10.1       The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings
                          The Correspondential Meaning of Asanas (Postures)
                          The Correspondential Meaning of Mudras
                          The Correspondential Meaning of Breath and Breathing
                          Breathing Explained in the Writings Sacred Scripture
                10.10.2       The Wisdom of Hindi Sacred Scripture Contained in Its Correspondential Sense

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

10.0   Physiological Correspondences

Worcester, John. (1889). Physiological Correspondences. Boston: Massachusetts New Church Union. (Reprinted in 1976 by the Swedenborg Scientific Association, Bryn Athyn, PA). Available online:

Burnham, Rev. N.C. (1887) Discrete Degrees in Successive and Simultaneous Order Illustrated by Diagrams. Available at:

See: Section 5.1.1 for discussion on Burnham's anatomical charts.

10.1  The Daily Emotional Spin Cycle

Consider what various health professionals and help organizations are saying today on the Web about the relation between anger and depression:

"Depression and anger are flip sides of the same experience."

"Depression is rage spread thin."  George Santayana

"Media violence encourages thoughts of rage against others, which later turn into thoughts of anger against self, which turns into depression and pessimism. This is the rage-depression flip-flop that dominates the emotional lifestyle of most people today."  Diane Nahl and Leon James

"Depression and anger are two sides of the same coin. They are the behaviors most used by survivors to cope with their damaged lives."

"A new study shows that depression and anger are associated with hardening of the arteries in women, in part, through physical and behavioral risk factors such as bad cholesterol levels, obesity and smoking." Thomas Rutledge

"Joy gives wings to my heart. Depression and anger are stones that weigh it down." David Spangler

"Frustration, sadness, hopelessness, depression and anger are just some of the reactions experienced by individuals dealing with the issue of weight gain" Diet Bites

"Problems with anxiety, depression, and anger are also associated with excess rates of healthcare services utilization." National Center for PTSD  

"Depression and anger are as detrimental to your health as smoking!" Self-Awareness Institute  

"Most Christian psychiatrists and psychologists believe that depression and anger are the results of "emotional pain." They agree with Dr. Meier, that there are three primary sources of emotional pain: 1) lack of self-worth, 2) lack of intimacy with others and 3) lack of intimacy with God."  Nancy McGuirk

"Depression and anger are very common for people with chronic pain, and counseling can help you deal with these emotions." Franciscan Health System

"Grief, depression and anger are endemic in Aboriginal life. On the basis of the research cited here, the restoration of whole health depends on effectively addressing their causes." Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Many more examples can be cited from the Web showing that anger and depression are affective behaviors that are closely associated in everyday life for the majority of people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 17 million Americans each year develop serious forms of depression ( and lists these symptoms of depression:


  • Persistent sad, "empty" or anxious mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Eating disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Irritability
  • Excessive crying
  • Chronic aches and pains



When I am feeling... I have an opportunity to become more...
Judgmental Accepting, compassionate
Confused Educated, enlightened, informed
Critical Compassionate
Needy, Weak, Dependent Strong, Confident, Independent
Pessimistic Optimistic
Self-blaming, self-destructive Self-accepting, self-compassionate
Insecure Self-secure
found it here:  The EQ Institute



Consider these results of a rage-depression survey I did on the Web in 2000.

Note: The detailed results may be accessed here --

The following summary of all statistically significant results is arranged in terms of the 4 spin cycle zones (see diagram above) in relation to the effect attributable to gender, age, and education. Trends that do not reach statistical significance (p<.05) are not mentioned in this analysis.

Numbers refer to percentage of people reporting feeling it on a daily or hourly basis. All are significant except as marked. Percentages are higher if you include the weekly category--see the full results here

Effect of Gender:
men vs. women
Effect of Age:
19 or less,  20-34,  35-54, 55-69
Effect of Educational Level:
high school, college, graduate school
feeling anger, rage, or hate (item 11) 37 vs. 29 40,   37,  26,  22 38,   32,  29
enjoying fantasies of violence (item 12) 15 vs. 6 17,   12,   6,   2 14,   11,  7
feeling impatient (item 17) 62 vs. 55 63,   66,  51,  42 63,   59,   54
wanting to be obnoxious or rude (item 20) 45 vs. 36 60,  48,  24,    11 54,  38,  29
calling someone stupid, dumb, or an idiot (item 22) 60 vs. 45 64,   57,  41,  44 61,  52,  43
feeling humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone (item 23) 21 vs. 20
35,  30,  15,    8 32 , 19,  14
feel like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone (item 24) 23 vs. 13 34,  19,  9,   4 28,  16  10
criticized, picked on or bullied (item 27) 14 vs. 16 23,  16,  11,   8 23,  14,  8
feeling like picking on or bullying someone (item 28) 9 vs. 6
(not significant)
17,  6,  4,   2 14,  6,  3
emotionally out of control (item 31) 20 vs. 23 59,  55,  38,    30 26,  20,  19
feel angry because someone tries to stop them from doing what they want (item 34) 18 vs. 13 65,  46,  28,   31 58,  39,  36
feel angry because someone is being inconsiderate or unfair to them. (item 35) 25 vs. 19 75,  71,  58,   50 27,  21,  20
feel angry on a regular basis (daily or hourly) because someone tries to hurt their feelings (item 36) 11 vs. 15 28,  12,  6,   8 22,  11,  8
feel angry on a regular basis because someone has talked badly about them behind their back (item 37) 8 vs. 8
(not significant)
18,  7,  2,   4 16,  5,  5
fault finding, score keeping, and being critical of everyone (item 50) 17 vs. 23 26,  23,  15,   10 23,  20,  18
ruminating, exaggerating, or sulking  (item 53) 12 vs. 8 14, 10, 6, 6 11,  10,  6

In terms of gender, more men report feeling anger, rage, or hate on a daily basis than women do--37 vs. 29 percent. In terms of age, more of the younger people (both men and women) report daily rage than older people--the percent for each succeeding age group is 40, 37, 26, and 22 percent (age groups are: 19 or less; 20 to 34; 35 to 54; 55 to 69). In terms of education, the lower the educational background (for young and old, men and women), the more they report anger, rage, or hate on a daily basis--38, 32, 29 percent for the three educational backgrounds (high school, college, graduate school). (Item 11)

About 21 percent of people--one in five, have the experience of enjoying fantasies of violence on a daily or hourly basis. Of these people, 6 percent are women and 15 percent are men. Thus, twice as many men as women enjoy fantasies of violence on a frequent and regular basis (hourly or daily). More of the younger people (men and women of all education) report enjoying fantasies of violence than older people--17, 12,   6, and  2 percent for the four successive age groups. The lower the educational background, the more people report enjoying violence fantasies on a regular basis--14, 11, 7 for the three levels of schooling. (Item 12)

The majority of men and women report feeling impatient with others on a daily or hourly basis-- 62 and 55 percent respectively, thus more of the men then the women report this. Younger people report feeling impatient with others more frequently than older people--about 64 percent (up to age thirty-four) vs. about 48 percent (thirty-five and older). The lower the educational level, the more people report feeling impatient on a daily or hourly basis--63, 59, and 54 percent for the three levels. (Item 17)

Men outnumber women in wanting to be obnoxious or rude to someone on a regular basis--hourly or daily-- almost half of all men (45 percent) vs. one in three women (36 percent). Younger people report this more than older (both men and women): 60, 48, 24, and 11 percent for each of the four age groups. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less like being rude, obnoxious or sarcastic to someone.  More people report this who have less education: 54, 38, and  29 percent for the three education levels. (Item 20)

On a daily or hourly basis, 45 percent of women and 60 percent of men feel like calling someone stupid, dumb, or an idiot. About 60 percent of people up to age thirty-four feel this way, but only 42 percent among those thirty-five or older. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less that others are stupid or dumb. More people (men and women of all ages) report this who have less education: 61, 52, 43 percent for the three education levels. Adding all three categories--weekly, daily, hourly, the number of people who report feeling that someone is stupid, dumb, or an idiot on a recurrent basis is 87 percent (high school background), 85 percent (college background), and 81 percent (graduate school background). In all, a majority of our population feels like calling someone an idiot at least once a week, and many feel this several times a week. In all, the vast majority of our population (between 81 and 87 percent) regularly feels like someone else is an idiot. (Item 22)

Effect of Gender:
men, women
Effect of Age:
19 or less;  20-34;  35-54; 55-69
Effect of Educational Level:
high school, college, graduate school

Younger people report feeling humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone more frequently than older people-- 35, 30, 15 and 8 percent for the four age groups. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone on a regular basis. There is no significant difference between men and women on this. More people report this who have less education: 32 ,19, and 14 percent for the three education levels. Adding all three categories--weekly, daily, hourly, the number of people who report that they have been humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone: 62 percent (high school background), 52 percent (college background), and 48 percent (graduate school background). In all, the majority of our population regularly feels humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone. (Item 23)

About 23 percent of men and 13 percent of women (of all ages and education levels) feel like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone on daily or hourly basis. Younger people are more prone to this than older: 34, 19, 9, and 4 percent for the four age groups. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone. More people report this who have less education: 28, 16 and 10 percent for the three educational backgrounds. Adding all three categories--weekly, daily, hourly, the number of people who report that they want to humiliate, disrespect or insult someone is: 47 percent (high school background), 35 percent (college background), and 30 percent (graduate school background). (Item 24)

About 16 percent of women feel criticized, picked on or bullied on an hourly or daily basis, while 14 percent of men, feel that way. The main difference between men and women on this item is how many say they rarely feel bullied or picked on: 55 percent of women, but 63 percent of men. Younger people report feeling criticized, picked on or bullied more frequently than older people-- 23, 16, 11, and 8 percent for the four age groups. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less criticized, picked on or bullied. More people report this who have less education: 23, 14, and 8 percent for the three education levels. (Item 27)

Younger people report feeling like picking on or bullying someone more frequently than older people--17, 6, 4, and 2 percent for the four age groups. Clearly, as people get older they feel less and less like picking on or bullying someone. More people report this who have less education: 14, 6, and 3 percent for the three education levels. Adding all three categories--weekly, daily, hourly, the number of people who report that they feel like picking on or bullying someone is: 29 percent (high school background), 18 percent (college background), and 14 percent (graduate school background). (Item 28)

About 23 percent of women and 20 percent of men feel emotionally out of control on a daily or hourly basis. Only 46 percent of women and 57 percent of men say they rarely or never feel disturbed enough to be out of control emotionally. In other words, about half of our population feels disturbed and emotionally out of control on a recurrent basis--weekly, daily, or hourly: 54 percent of women and 47 percent of men. Younger people report feeling this way more frequently than older people--59, 55, 38, and 30 percent for the four age groups. In terms of the three educational levels, the respective percentages are 26, 20, and 19 percent respectively. (Item 31)

About 38 percent of women and 47 percent of men feel angry on a regular basis (weekly, daily or hourly) because someone tries to stop them from doing what they want. Younger people report this more frequently than older people--65, 46, 28, and 31 for the four age groups. For educational level, adding all three categories--weekly, daily, hourly, the number of people who report feeling angry because someone tries to stop them from doing what they want is: 58 percent (high school background), 39 percent (college background), and 36 percent (graduate school background). Education seems to provide somewhat of an antidote for feeling the frustration of being interfered with on a regular basis. (Item 34).

10.1.1  Negative Emotions and the Vertical Community

Whether by survey data, case histories, or self-witnessing, the evidence is clear. People are immersed all day long in a multitude of negative emotions like anger and depression. Various contributing factors are suspected such as stress, childhood abuse, failed relationships, hormonal imbalance, social conflict, immaturity, and false belief systems. Theistic psychology views these factors as correlations of each other rather than causative. All negative emotions must have their origin in the vertical community (see Section xx).

There is a general relationship between civilization on earth and the people who dwell in their hells. When we descend to the hell in our mind we use negative emotions as a vehicle for our consciousness in feelings and thoughts. Human beings on earth are maintained by God in perfect balance of choice between hell and heaven (see Section xx). But once we are resuscitated in the world of spirits this balance ceases and we are inexorably immersed in either our hell or our heaven, a process which is complete at our second death (see Section xx).

Those who are permanently immersed in either their hell or their heaven are not in balance. They are no longer in the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell in our mind, where balance of choice is maintained. What does it mean to descend to our hell? We do this by using the vehicle of negative emotions, also called "evil loves," "evil affections," "lusts," and cupidities. Our conscious awareness is immersed in an evil love when we appropriate as our own the evil affections of some people who are permanently in their hells. Appropriating a negative emotion means that we think that the negative emotion we are experiencing is our own. By this identification we are opening a channel of communication or influx from that hell society.

It's very important right from the outset to distinguish between non-theistic psychology and theistic psychology when the word "spirits" is used. In non-theistic psychology the concept of spirits has no status except as part of the delusions of schizophrenics who report talking to "spirits" and other "beings." In theistic psychology it is known that no one can talk to real spirits because direct communication across the two worlds has been suspended after the Fall. Spirit possessions ceased after the Incarnation event to allow for the development of rational consciousness of God (see Section xx). Swedenborg was a unique modern case but he did not talk to spirits across the two worlds--he was actually present in both worlds (see Section xx). Spiritism, psychic powers, magic, exorcisms, etc., are all activities not recognized as legitimate or real phenomena in theistic psychology (see Section xx).

Instead, theistic psychology recognizes the vertical community by influx.

Influx does not allow for direct communication. Our emotions moment by moment are caused by spirits in the vertical community with which our mind is associated in the world of spirits. Our mind is born in the world of spirits and is immortal there. Our consciousness of earth is cut off at the death of the physical body. We are immediately resuscitated in the world of spirits and continue our immortality in either heaven or hell (see Section xx). Heaven and hell are both states in our mind. Our consciousness can be in either, but not simultaneously. Swedenborg reports that once we undergo our "second death" and enter either heaven or hell in our mind, we are unwilling to exit form that state. We just go deeper and deeper into that state forever (see Section xx).

We are therefore "spirits" tied to a physical body while living on earth. Before losing this tie we are called "earthlings" ("man" in the Writings). After resuscitation, we are called spirits. After our second death, we are called angels, if we dwell in our heavenly states of mind, or devils if we dwell in the hells of our mind (also--satans, genii, demons, dragons, sirens, etc.).

The awesome discovery in theistic psychology is that while we are earthlings our mind is unconsciously under the influence of the spirits, namely all the people who have undergone their second death in the afterlife, and have reached their final destination in the heavens or hells of their mind. We have not reached our final destination since we are still on earth, but the day will come when we too join the vertical community and we will then be spirits. Hence it is important for us to know in advance what that will be like and how we can influence that final state for ourselves. The key is to do self-witnessing of our daily emotions (see Section xx). With this self-knowledge we inform ourselves of the character of the spirits to which we are associated. It is they who influence or determine what kind of emotions we have.

Those who already dwell in the heavens or hells are thrown together in community life with others who have similar loves and doctrines. Heaven and hell appear to them as cities and societies, each with their specific character or genius, arranged and sorted according to the hierarchy of their affections and intentions (see Section xx).

All this is managed by God since it is obviously pretty complicated to sort out!

God also manages the connections in the vertical community. Moment by moment we are connected and disconnected many times an hour, changing mood guards, so to speak. Our mood fluctuates in quality depending on which of these spirit communities God connects us to second by second. As we are connected with a particular spirit society we instantly experience their chief loves. Of course we attribute these feelings to ourselves since we have no perception of the influx. Only schizophrenics can claim to be aware of influx, and I do not believe that they are actually perceiving the influx, as stated in several places.

Just as we are unaware of the spirits from whom we receive influx, they are not aware who they are connected to here on earth since no communication is allowed. But they are instantly aware of the fact they are connected to earthlings and it is from this that they derive the satisfaction of their loves, either evil and weird or heavenly and orderly. Evil spirits feel alive only when they are connected to the minds of earthlings since they shut out all influx from heaven and the Spiritual Sun where all orderly influx originates from. When we are having a negative emotion or desire or intention from them--that's when they feel utmost satisfaction and excitement of life in themselves. This is how the vertical community works. It's a fascinating aspect of theistic psychology.

The vertical community exists because the human race is always fully interconnected and networked. No person can be born without inheriting personhood from the parents, and the immortality of those who are already in their afterlife depends on their remaining connected to the network of humanity. Since the Fall, the nature of influx has changed because of our inherited evil and resistance to regeneration. Prior to the Fall the human race on earth did not have a split-brain, which reflected the fact that they were celestial human being in Divine order as created. They did not have to study and learn to know whatever they needed to survive on earth. Like animals, they lived by a kind of human instinct whose origin was the vertical community of their heaven. They were thus in full conscious communication in both worlds, as was Swedenborg in the modern era.

Eventually however, the subsequent generations of these celestial people on earth corrupted themselves by trying to use their spiritual knowledge and consciousness to pursue selfish and anti-social purposes. As a result that race died out. A few of the remnants underwent anatomical evolution leading up to the birth of the present human race which I call the "split-brain race" to indicate the evolution from a whole brain to a split brain--left and right.

The mental capacities of the new race were very different. The Writings uses the expression "spiritual race" to distinguish us from the original "celestial race." The methods needed for our regeneration were entirely different. The split brain is a physical consequence of a spiritual cause, which was that the mind's two organs--affective and cognitive--be separated so that they could work independently to some extent. The celestial race were straightforward--whatever they desired or intended, that they also thought and expressed in outward behavior. They were incapable of lying, simulating, or of hypocrisy and deception of any kind. The spiritual split-brain race on the other hand had the will (affective organ) and understanding (cognitive organ) separated so that we can easily simulate, lie, and deceive. We can put on a show of ourselves and hide our true feelings and thoughts. We can thus be split human beings--angels on the outside and devils on the inside.

The purpose of separating the affective and cognitive organs was to allow for the regeneration of the affective organ which was corrupted. Every individual of the spiritual split-brain race is born with a corrupted or disorderly affective organ from inheritance. The issue now became that of how God can give us the ability to reach the heavenly portion of our mind and dwell there in our immortality. This was not an issue for the celestial race--until the Fall, which refers to the corrupted state of the affective organ. Now God had to create or initiate a new method for the spiritual race. This new method was not fully in place until the Incarnation event, when God caused Himself to enter the natural plane of life in the form of the Divine Child who then grew up on earth (see Section xx). During this process the Incarnate Divine Human was able to create the mental pathways that the spiritual human race can use for character reformation and regeneration of the affective organ for heavenly life.

The vertical community plays a crucial role in this method of regeneration. God has made Himself to be a Divine Psychologist to every individual without exception and uses all sorts of psychological  techniques to rebuild our love hierarchies. The principal method God uses for our regeneration is putting us into specific experiences in which we are tempted to follow our inherited loves while at the same time we are aware that they violate the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. God had to give the spiritual human race a written form of Divine Speech called Sacred Scripture in a natural language in order to allow us to extract from it the doctrine of truth by which we can make ourselves follow the right thing instead of the evil thing. We are thus regenerated gradually over many years during which we are faced with daily temptations, battles and victories.

Our Divine Psychologist uses the vertical community to give us the experiences of temptation battles and victories. The function of temptations is to bring evil loves we have into our conscious awareness, from where we can judge them by means of our doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. We thus use our rational consciousness to counteract and resist our sensuous consciousness from the inherited affective organ. The instant we are willing to reject an evil love or intention, God cuts the connection with the particular spirits that sustain that specific evil. Too bad for them, for now they have one less earthling to seduce and instigate. But they can continue to live their hell with other earthlings who have not yet been cut off from them.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 613. each evil in the person has a link with those in hell who have the same evil, and on the other hand each good in the person has a link with those in heaven who possess similar good. (TCR 613)

It's amazing to note this fact: When God brings particular spirits into connection with an individual on earth, the spirits receive that individual's memories as their own! There is therefore an exchange going on. The individual has the experience of an operation in the affective organ, which is felt as one's own feeling or impulse. The spirits on the other hand experience an operation in their cognitive organ. Whatever is in the memory and thinking of the individual is experienced by the spirits as their own. In other words the spirits feel themselves to be the individual. What is amazing is that they do not at the same time have the feelings and emotions of that individual. They retain their own feelings, motives, intentions, and obsessions. The exchange of influx affects both the earthling and the spirits but in different parts of the mind. Should all influx be blocked, both earthlings and spirits would instantly cease to exist. Since human beings are all born immortal, it's clear that influx can never cease once the human race was created. It also means that the physical universe where earthlings are born will also never cease, for the spiritual world cannot exist without the natural as its ultimate basis of existence. Once we move into the afterlife we are all spirits. Therefore our immortality depends on continued influx with earthlings.

The Writings reveal that the Grand Plan of God in creating the universe is to increase endlessly the population of the afterlife. The more immortal human beings enter the afterlife the more perfect the human mind evolves, and the more happiness and intelligence exists in each individual (see Section xx). But remember this: Our mind has both a heaven and a hell and the intent of God is to increase the heavenly portion of the human mind and to maintain the hell portion as small as possible, working with earthlings before they enter the afterlife, to help them regenerate into a new affective organ that can live in their heaven. You can see the importance of self-witnessing our emotions all day long so that we have the data to map out objectively the character of our vertical community.

We want to take charge of who God brings us into connection with!

It is our job to cooperate with our Divine Psychologist who desires to connect us with only good spirits. We are stopping Him by being unwilling to resist our evil enjoyments and habits. As we hold on to evil things in our emotions and satisfactions, we are holding on to evil spirits since these are their emotions and satisfactions that we feel as our own. We are thereby forcing God to connect us to evil spirits. He has no choice, for if He refused, we would have no life left. If then He were to connect us to good spirits while we refuse to let go of the evil emotions, what would happen? Our instant annihilation in supreme agony, like scattering our parts to the whole universe. For what is evil and what is good annihilate each other when brought together.

This is why the Divine Psychologist cannot connect us to both evil and good spirits at the same time in the same portion of our conscious awareness. Instead we have the experience of oscillating between the two states. You can see why God must be in charge of how the whole process progresses since otherwise it would not go far before collapsing, meaning that the human race would cease to exist. The interconnections of networks between all human beings is so complex that only God's infinite mind can take care of it.

All the negative emotions we experience are caused by an influx from one or more hell societies that are connected to us by heredity. We know that we inherit hellish traits from our parents (see Section xx). What is the mechanism of this inheritance? It is influx from multiple hell societies. God permits this influx for two main reasons.

First, it maintains the life of those who are permanently immersed in their hells. All they have is their loves, and if you deny satisfaction to these loves, they have nothing left of life. God saves them from lapsing into a kind of death or coma, which is what happens when the mind is deprived of all its loves. Since in the hells we have only evil loves, God finds a way of allowing satisfaction to these loves so that the people in them do not lapse into death.

Second, God uses the evil loves in the hells to maintain balance of choice for people on earth. This balance is maintained by allowing influx from both the hells and the heavens into our mind, though in different portions or levels of the mind, since the two cannot be mixed. Nevertheless, as we identify with all the emotions and feelings we have, it appears to us that we are both evil and good, both hellish and heavenly, depending on the times and the conditions.

Why is it necessary for the hells to communicate their negative emotions to us on earth?

It's because the satisfaction of their loves depends on our feeling it as our own.

In other words, the people on earth form an "ultimate plane" of existence for the people in the hells and the heavens. If all the inhabited earths of the universe were to be destroyed, the people in their immortality in heaven and hell would also be destroyed. The natural and spiritual worlds are so connected that they depend on each other for existence and survival. It is not possible to have emotions on our own, but only communally with the human race as a whole (see section xx). such is the nature of human love and of humanity. To God the entire human race is perceived as one individual (see Section xx). The entire human race acts as one, or, is acted upon as one.

When we are in our heavens or our hells our immortal existence there is dependent on the people still on earth or the world of spirits. Another way of saying this is that those who are passed their second death depend for existence on those who are prior to their first death. So there always must be people on earth having emotions and thoughts, and attributing them to themselves.

What happens when people on earth attribute their positive or negative emotions to themselves?

The people in their heavens or hells, from whom these emotions in us initiate, experience a satisfaction or completion of their love. Love is nothing unless it is satisfied or completed. Loves is two stage process that starts with desire, want, or attraction, and ends with being united to the object of desire, want, or attraction. For instance, when you are thirsty you have an urge to drink, and when very thirsty, the urge is very strong. This urge comes down to us from the heavens in our mind where there are others who experience this urge. They are unable to satisfy this urge since they cannot drink physical water and they do not have physical bodies to experience the need. Unless we on earth, feeling their urge as our own, get to act by drinking, their urge cannot be satisfied. But as we drink, the urge is satisfied in them and we feel it in us.

We have a short-circuited view of this process when we attribute the urge and the satisfaction to ourselves, leaving them out of the picture. But when you complete the full picture, you can see that they depend on us to have loves satisfied, which is their only life, and their only existence.

Similarly with an emotion like anger or depression. They have the hatred and the anger and the depression and the fear and the hopelessness. They communicate it to us, and we attribute them to ourselves. This is the general source of negative emotions to us here on earth. And of course as well, the source of our positive emotions is the heavens.

Quoting from Hugo Lj. Odhner's book Spirits in Human Life which I highly recommend for your study, It is a valuable contribution to theistic psychology based exclusively on the Writings of Swedenborg. It is available online (see Reading List).

"The Lord's mediate influx, or His mediate government of a person’s mind and body, is effected through the spiritual world - through the heavens and the hells. We have already stressed the teaching that all a person’s states draw their causes from the spirits and angels who attend him or her. We are creatures of changing moods. But we are usually able, on reflection, to account for the states into which we have imperceptibly drifted, by tracing them to natural causes. To excuse our frailties or our impatience, we complain that we are tired, are unjustly treated, are bored or homesick, etc. We tend to blame our rebellious moods, our moral lapses, or our indulgence in self-pity upon deficient health or other natural circumstances.

Yet common experience tells us that the same apparent natural causes do not always produce the same moods but serve merely as an occasion favorable to their appearance. The Writings convert this vague perception into a clear doctrine which teaches that there would be no conscious life, no realized affections or distinct thought with us, except for the influx of spirits and angels; and that the real meanings which we attach to our sensations and experiences in this world are derived from the moods which spirits instill into us - moods of delight or aversion." (
Hugo Lj. Odhner

In the course of our daily round of living we experience negative and positive emotions, intentions, feelings, affections, and loves. We feel attracted to evil enjoyments as well as to good. But the preponderance of negative emotions is due to our inherited ties to the people in their hells. This is the general cause of negative emotions.

Besides their dependence on the natural mind of human beings on earth, people in their hells are also kept alive by an influx into the natural minds of animals. This is what makes some species wild and ferocious because these animal emotions are like the emotions of those who immerse their human consciousness in what is corporeal, sensuous, and animal in us. Noxious, poisonous, and destructive species likewise correspond to the beastly and cruel emotions that are so delightful to those who immerse their consciousness in those things. This total immersion is achieved by their love and longing for hellish things and their hatred and aversion for heavenly things.

In a less direct way, people in the hells are also dependent on material things that cause pain and suffering to human beings--natural disasters, deserts, barren lands, darkness, cold, harmful chemicals, diseases, freak accidents,  etc.

Everything that was discussed with the hells is also true for the heavens, but in the opposite valence. Those who spend their immortality in the heavens of their mind are dependent for their well being and survival for the correspondences of their loves in the natural world. There are many categories of "uses" which they depend on. For instance, the proper functioning of our body requires billions of individual properties and steps form the largest (like an organ) to the smallest capillaries and operations of our cell biochemistry. Every one of these physical operations must be supported by the loves of some heavenly society. Each "use" or function corresponds to a different heavenly society upon which they are most dependent on. Every heavenly society specializes in some particular love which requires a particular operation in the natural world that corresponds to that love.

You can explore the details of this relationship in the following book by John Worcester  and the following Web directory of articles on the "Human Organic":

The general causes of negative emotions discussed above are made up of a collection of particular causes that center in particular individuals. Everyone inherits particular associations with some of the societies in the hells. Individuals are distinguished form each other by the particular spiritual associations they maintain. This constancy is responsible for all our recurrent behaviors called habits. We maintain habits of emotions, habits of loves, habits of thinking, and habits of style and expressiveness. Whatever is constant in an individual is due to the constancy of the influx from particular societies. Specific causes of emotions apply to unique events. When I get mad a another driver who tailgates me I'm experiencing a situational influx from a particular society of evil spirits. Every event on earth is a unique situation in time and place.

There are therefore general, particular, and specific causes of every reaction and behavior that we have in the course of our daily living. Cultural factors are general contributors to behavior. Personality factors are particular contributors, while situational factors are specific.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 272. Man lives like a wild animal when his internal man is so separated from his external as to operate upon it only in a most general manner, for man is man from what he receives through his internal man from the Lord, and is a wild animal from what he derives from the external man, which, separated from the internal, is in itself no other than a wild animal, having a similar nature, desires, appetites, phantasies, and sensations, and also similar organic forms. That nevertheless he is able to reason, and, as it seems to himself, acutely, he has from the spiritual substance by which he receives the influx of life from the Lord, which is however perverted in such a man, and becomes the life of evil, which is death. Hence he is called a dead man. (AC 272)

AC 6411.The will and the understanding are so distinct in man that nothing could be more distinct, as has been given me also to know with certainty from the fact that things of the understanding of spirits and angels flow into the left part of the head or brain, and things of the will into the right; and it is the same with respect to the face. When angelic spirits flow in, they do so gently like the softest breaths of air; but when evil spirits flow in, it is like an inundation into the left part of the brain with dreadful phantasies and persuasions, and into the right with cupidities, their influx being as it were an inundation of phantasies and cupidities. (AC 641)

This was written in 1744 long before scientists knew about the left-brain/right-brain distinction. Swedenborg was able to observe that the left brain operations correspond to the cognitive organ of the mind ("phantasies and persuasions"), while the right brain operations to the affective organ ("cupidities"). There is a distinction also between influx from heavenly societies, which is gentle and mild, and influx from hellish societies, which is sudden and intense.

AC 657. There are three degrees of things intellectual in man; the lowest is that of knowledge [scientificum]; the middle is the rational; the highest, the intellectual. These are so distinct from each other that they should never be confounded. But man is not aware of this, for the reason that he makes life consist in what is of sense and knowledge only; and while he cleaves to this, he cannot even know that his rational part is distinct from that which is concerned with knowing [scientificum]; and still less that his intellectual part is so. And yet the truth is that the Lord flows through man's intellectual into his rational, and through his rational into the knowledge of the memory, whence comes the life of the senses of sight and of hearing. This is the true influx, and this is the true interaction of the soul with the body.

Without influx of the Lord's life into the things of the understanding in man-or rather into things of the will and through these into those of understanding-and through things of understanding into things rational, and through things rational into his knowledges which are of the memory, life would be impossible to man. And even though a man is in falsities and evils, yet there is an influx of the Lord's life through the things of the will and of the understanding; but the things that flow in are received in the rational part according to its form; and this influx gives man the ability to reason, to reflect, and to understand what truth and good are. (AC 657)

This passage talks about the fact that influx activates three distinct levels of the cognitive organ -- intellectual level (highest), rational level, and knowledge level (lowest). The influx is directly into the affective organ, and from there indirectly into the cognitive organ. If God were to influx our cognitive mind directly we would lose our sense of as-of self and freedom. This was the method used to influx the prophets of the Old Testament, and also the angels who spoke with those mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. They were conscious of a "living voice" in their mind so that they knew it was from God. But ordinary influx is not conscious hence not directly into the cognitive organ of the mind. It is this indirect influx that keeps us thinking rationally. When we are immersed in evil enjoyments and intentions we would not be able to think rationally were it not for this influx. Hence it is that people think raitonally even when they plot evil against others.

AC 660. That by the "flood" is signified an inundation of evil and falsity, is evident from what has been stated before concerning the posterity of the Most Ancient Church: that they were possessed with foul cupidities, and that they immersed the doctrinal things of faith in them, and in consequence had persuasions of falsity which extinguished all truth and good, and at the same time closed up the way for remains, so that they could not operate; and therefore it could not be otherwise than that they would destroy themselves. When the way for remains is closed, the man is no longer man, because he can no longer be protected by angels, but is totally possessed by evil spirits, whose sole study and desire it is to extinguish man. Hence came the death of the antediluvians, which is described by a flood, or total inundation. The influx of phantasies and cupidities from evil spirits is not unlike a kind of flood; and therefore it is called a "flood" or inundation in various places in the Word, as of the Lord's Divine mercy will be seen in what is premised to the following chapter. (AC 660)

It is said here that the Fall of the human mind occurred when people of the "most ancient" civilization on earth "immersed the doctrinal things of faith" into "foul cupidities." Doctrine refers to their understanding of the truths of revelation. They tried to misuse this knowledge by putting it to selfish ends called "foul cupidities." This led them to false belief systems that destroyed their understanding of what is good and true. At the same time, they lost the ability to receive influx from the heavenly societies. The resultant state of mind is called a "flood" in Sacred Scripture because this is how it subjectively feels to be "inundated" by evil emotions that bring a flood of fantasies and "persuasions" of false beliefs.

AC 905. The Lord's presence entails freedom; one follows the other. The more the Lord is present the more free a person becomes, that is, insofar as love of good and truth is in him he acts in freedom. Such is the Lord's influx by way of angels. On the other hand, the influx of hell by way of evil spirits brings with it a force and impulsion to dominate. Their whole intention is to subjugate a person to the point of making him nothing and themselves everything. When they are everything a person is one of them. Yet he is scarcely one of them but in their eyes a veritable nobody. Consequently when the Lord is freeing a person from their yoke and dominion, conflict arises. But once he has been set free, that is, been regenerated, he is led by the Lord through angels so gently that no yoke or dominion exists at all, for he is being led by what is joyful and pleasing, he is being loved, and he is being shown respect. This is what the Lord teaches in Matthew,

My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Matt. 11:30.

It is quite the reverse with evil spirits. With them, as has been stated, a person is reckoned as nothing, and if they could they would be tormenting him from one moment to the next. This I have been given to know from considerable experience, which will in the Lord's Divine mercy be presented later on. (AC 905)

The Divine Psychologist influences our mind by bringing us into communication with those who are in the heavens of their mind. This is called heavenly influx and keeps our mind in freedom of choice between good and evil. But God also brings us into contact with influx from those who dwell in the hells of their mind. This works against our freedom and tries to subjugate and dominate us to act acceding to the delights of the evil spirits who have no regard for us. As we progress in our character reformation (or "regeneration") we are able to think the truths that are effective in opposing the emotional slavery which the influx of hell tries to impose on us.

In order that Swedenborg may understand how influx works he was exposed to direct influx from people in all sorts of hells. On one occasion he described the experience this way:

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1270. Soon after this some were let out of that hell, but the Lord so arranged it by means of spirits and angels in between that those let out could do me no harm. From that place deep down they moved to a forward position. To themselves they seemed to be pressing forward towards the front, so to speak through caverns in the rock, and in this way up to the top. They at length appeared up on the left so that from there, and so at a distance, they might flow into me. I was told that they were being allowed to flow into the right part of my head but not into the left, and then from the right part of the head into the left part of the chest. They were altogether prevented from flowing into the left part of my head, for if that were to happen I would be destroyed since they would in that case be flowing in with their own persuasions that are dreadful and deadly. But when they were flowing into the right part of the head and from there into the left part of the breast, they were doing so by means of evil desires. This is how it is with influx.

[2] Their persuasions are such as to destroy everything true and good. As a consequence those into whom they flow are unable to perceive anything, or after that even to think. This also was why the spirits were being removed. When they started to flow in I fell asleep. Then while I slept they flowed in by means of evil desires, so powerfully in fact that had I been awake I could not have withstood them. In my sleep I felt a pressure upon me which I cannot describe, only that I subsequently remembered that they had attempted to kill me by a stifling exhalation, which was like a terrible nightmare. At that point I woke up and noticed that they were near me. But when they realized that I was awake they fled to their own position higher up and flowed in from there.

[3] While they were there it seemed to me as though they were being rolled up in a cloth, as in the incident described in 964. I thought that it was those evil spirits who were being rolled up in it, but in fact it was they who were doing it to others. This is achieved by means of delusions, yet the spirits against whom they act in this way by delusions are not aware of anything other than of being actually rolled up. It seemed that those whom they were rolling up in this way rolled down the slope of some rock, but those who had been so rolled up were released and set free. They were spirits who did not wish to leave and so were preserved by the Lord or else they would have been suffocated. Although they would have revived they would have done so after much suffering. At that point those who had been allowed out from the hell below went back by way of the slope on the rock. From that place came a drilling sound as though many large drills were at work, and I perceived that the sound was the product of extremely painful delusions against the Lord's existence. Subsequently they were sent down through the gloomy caverns beneath the rock enveloped in mist into their own hell. While they were in the world of spirits the whole constitution of the sphere there was altered. (AC 1270)

The persuasive thoughts of some evil spirits are so powerful that it takes away the ability to think from those into whom they are allowed to inflow. Obviously it is extremely dangerous to expose ourselves to false belief systems that justify doing evil. The spirits involved in the episode described above are kept segregated so that they cannot influence people except from a distance, meaning, only mildly. The Divine Psychologist maintains absolute control over which spiritual societies are allowed to influence which person when and how much. By this control God keeps the person in spiritual freedom at all times from birth to eternity.

AC 1917. In temptations there are vastations and desolations, and there are states of despair, and of consequent grief and indignation, besides other interior painful emotions; and this with variety and alternation, according to the states of evil and falsity which are excited by evil genii and spirits, and against which the combat is being waged. The diabolical spirits desire nothing more than to find some falsity, in fact it is common with them to induce a falsity from themselves, and then at the same time to make it the subject of accusation. (AC 1917).

"Vastations and desolations" refer to extreme states of depression or anxiety during which we are tempted to believe that we are hopeless and cannot improve, or that our situation is hopeless. We doubt or ignore our doctrine or knowledge of truth from Sacred Scripture. People who dwell in the hells of their mind specialize in various types of evils. "Evil genii" specialize in exciting in us false beliefs and persuasions.

AC 741. Temptations are nothing other than conflicts between evil spirits and angels who reside with a person. Evil spirits activate all the dishonourable things the person has done or even thought which have been with him since early childhood, thus both evils and falsities; and in so doing, the spirits condemn him, for nothing gives them greater delight. Indeed the very delight of their lives consists in doing just that. But the Lord protects the person by means of angels and prevents the evil spirits and genii from overstepping the mark and overwhelming him with more than he can cope with. (AC 741)

It is said here that evil spirits delight in exciting in us memories of things we've done we are ashamed of or feel guilty about. You can see that if they were allowed to keep us in these thoughts, we would get hopelessly depressed--which is what they enjoy since they are hateful of everyone. But they are not allowed to exert the influence they desire. The Divine Psychologist keeps the person in the balance of choice by approaching the counteracting influences of good spirits or angels.  The Sting and Torment of Conscience

There are evil spirits who at that time [during temptation] activate a person's falsities and evils, as has been stated. Indeed they draw out of his memory whatever he has thought and carried out since early childhood. Evil spirits can do this so cleverly and wickedly as to defy description. But the angels who are with him draw out his goods and truths, and in this way defend him. This conflict is what the person feels and perceives in himself and is what causes the sting and torment of conscience.

[2] There are two kinds of temptation, the first involving things of the understanding, the second those of the will. When a person's temptation involves those of the understanding, evil spirits activate only the evil deeds he has carried out, which are meant here by 'unclean beasts'. And with these they accuse and condemn. They even activate his good deeds as well, which are also meant here by the 'clean beasts'; but these they corrupt in a thousand ways. At the same time they also activate his thoughts, which are also meant here by 'bird', and in addition they activate the things meant here by 'things creeping over the ground'. This kind of temptation however is mild and is perceived only through the recollection of such experiences, and a kind of mental anguish resulting from this.

[3] When however someone's temptation involves things of the will, it is not so much his deeds and thoughts that are activated. Instead there are evil genii, as evil spirits of this type may be called, who inflame him with the evil desires and the foul loves in which he is steeped, and in this way direct their attack through the person's very desires. They do this so wickedly and secretly that one cannot possibly believe it is they who are doing it. In fact they worm their way in no time at all into the life of his desires, and almost instantaneously twist and convert the affection for good and truth into the affection for evil and falsity. They act in such a way that the individual inevitably thinks that these things come from himself and flow forth of his own free will. This kind of temptation is very severe, and is felt as inward pain and burning torment. This subject is dealt with later on. I have been allowed from much experience to know and realize that this is true, and to know also when evil spirits or genii were flowing in and overwhelming, and from where, who they were and how they did it. In the Lord's Divine mercy these experiences will be described in detail later on. (AC 751)

The Divine Psychologist uses two basic types of temptations as a means to bring our conscious awareness to some evils we should get rid of in order to progress in our character reformation. One type of temptation involves our belief systems, hence the cognitive organ. The other type of temptation involves our will and intentions, hence the affective organ. Both our cognitive and our affective organs must be regenerated or rebuilt since they are associated to the hells by inheritance.

Evil spirits are allowed to activate our thoughts about things we did in the past, and thereby arouse anxiety, guilt, shame, depression, self-doubt, worthlessness. But these emotions are relatively mild forms of temptation since they have to do with things we did in the past. But evil genii are allowed to excite  and "inflame" our current desires and longings for evil enjoyments. These are severe temptations because they involve the present, not the past. It is stated here that we are not conscious of the fact that these evil desires are excited by the spirits, even if we know of their existence from theistic psychology. Because it appears to us that these evil desires are from ourselves, we are filled with severe anxieties knowing that these loves are evil and contrary to our doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. We feel "inward pain and burning torment." However, Swedenborg was allowed to be conscious of them so that he could observe and describe their operation.

It has been stated already that spiritual temptation when it takes place in someone is a conflict between the evil spirits and the angels residing with that person, and that he ordinarily feels that conflict in his conscience. As regards such conflict it should be recognized in addition that the angels are protecting man constantly and are warding off the evils that evil spirits direct against him. They protect even the falsities and the evils with a person, for they are fully aware of where the person's falsities and evils come from - from evil spirits and genii.

Man in no sense produces any falsity and evil from himself. Instead it is the evil spirits residing with him who produce them, and as they do so they also convince him that these originate in himself. Such is the nature of their wickedness. And what is more, the moment they instill this into him and convince him, they also accuse and condemn him. This I can confirm from a multitude of experiences.

Anyone who has no faith in the Lord is incapable of being enlightened in the matter; he inevitably believes that an evil is from himself. Consequently he makes the evil his own and becomes like those evil spirits residing with him. Such is the situation with man. And as the angels are aware of it they protect even a person's falsities and evils while he is undergoing the temptations that are part of regeneration. Otherwise he would go under, for with man there is nothing but evil and derivative falsity, so that he is just a heap and conglomeration of evils and derivative falsities. (AC 761)

The above passage once more confirms that the ties we inherit to evil spirits in hell cannot be resisted ("we would go under"), because we believe that these evils are from ourselves which "makes the evil our own." Every evil enjoyment or tendency we have is associated with multiple falsities we believe. The false ideas we believe is due to the evil loves we have. All the evil emotions and feelings we experience while on earth, are never ours, but always belong to the evil spirits in hell. It becomes our own when we join those hells after our resuscitation. We then become evil spirits and genii trying to infest others on earth because this is then our delight and our life. Hence we don't want to end up there!

The passage also informs us that we cannot be regenerated without temptations and that we are not brought into temptations unless we possess doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. Obviously, when we reject Sacred Scripture or deny God's existence, we cannot be regenerated and our character remains such as it is from inheritance. Without doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture we do not possess the wherewithal to oppose and resist evil desires and intentions.

This raises an important issue that has been frequently debated. Can we be moral people when we are still atheists and materialists? The answer is yes because everyone can act from moral principles regardless of religion, philosophy, or culture. Further, many who are religious commit immoral acts, as is well known. What then makes a difference? How do we interpret the assertion that "Without doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture we do not possess the wherewithal to oppose and resist evil desires and intentions"?

The answer is that all overt behavior can originate from either hellish or heavenly motives.

We can cling to a hellish character while we are being very active and prominent in a religious group, maintaining a good reputation for being just, honest, and charitable. Or, we can cling to a heavenly character while we are still tied to immoral behaviors we have not yet given up. Over behavior is indicative of the presence of a motivation to appear moral and tolerant. Note well that the motive is "to appear tolerant," and not necessarily to actually to be tolerant in the privacy of our mind.

The assertion above that "Without doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture we do not possess the wherewithal to oppose and resist evil desires and intentions" therefore applies not to overt moral behavior but to morality in the privacy of the mind. This inner morality is impossible when we are in a state of mind in which we do not have doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. Consequently, their inner character cannot be reformed, rebuilt, and regenerated. When they get to the afterlife, they can no longer continue in the motive to appear moral and decent. They feel an irresistible urge to express their loves, so that they abandon the former appearances and now appear who they really were all along--lacking morality and restraint in the relentless pursuit of compulsive desires, harmful intentions,  and evil enjoyments. They are thus drawn into their hells where they meet others like themselves with whom they are compelled to live.

Men in the other life are not such as they are during the life of the body, for they cannot then dissemble, they cannot say one thing and do another, and by the good conduct of their intellectual mind they cannot feign what is good when they are evil. Their nature then remains such as is the quality of the will. The intellectual things which have not been inscribed upon their nature pass away, so that no one can pretend to be other than he is in his will, and he acts accordingly. There are also deceitful spirits who can put on the outward appearance of angels, but these are the worst spirits; and it is still made manifest that cunning is implanted in their nature. Few such spirits were admitted to me, for they have been removed from the company of others lest these others should be defiled, and this for many reasons. 1747, Aug. 31, o.s. (SE 191)      How We are Regenerated

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 610. I will add to what I have already said the following point. A person's regeneration does not occur in an instant, but successively from the beginning to the end of his life in the world, and after this it continues and reaches higher perfection. It is because a person is reformed by struggles and victories over the evils of his flesh that the Son of Man says to each of the seven churches, that He will grant gifts to him who overcomes. Thus

To the church at Ephesus:
To him who overcomes I will grant to eat of the tree of life. Rev. 2:7.
To the church of the people of Smyrna:
He who overcomes will not suffer harm in the second death. Rev. 2:11.
To the church in Pergamum:
To him who overcomes I will grant to eat of the hidden manna. Rev. 2:17.
To the church in Thyatira:
To him who overcomes I will grant power over the nations. Rev. 2:26.
To the church in Sardis:
He who overcomes will be clothed in white raiment. Rev. 3:5.
To the church in Philadelphia:
Him who overcomes I will make a column in God's temple. Rev. 3:12.
To the church of the people of Laodicea:
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne. Rev. 3:21.

One final point: to the extent that a person is regenerated, that is, in so far as his regeneration advances towards perfection, to that extent he ceases to attribute to himself any good or truth, that is, any charity and faith, but attributes these to the Lord. For the truths that he absorbs one after the other plainly teach that lesson. (TCR 610)

TCR 611. In so far as a person is regenerated, so far are his sins removed; this removal is the forgiveness of sins.

The reason why so far as a person is regenerated, so far are his sins removed, is that regeneration consists in controlling the flesh so that it does not take control, in taming the former man and his lusts so that he cannot rise again and destroy the faculty of understanding; for if this is destroyed, there is no further possibility of the person being reformed. This reformation cannot occur, unless the person's spirit, which is above the flesh, is instructed and advanced towards perfection. No one, whose understanding is still unimpaired, can fail to conclude from this that such events cannot take place in an instant, but do so one after another, just as a person is conceived, carried in the womb, born and brought up, in the sequence demonstrated above. The properties belonging to the flesh or the former man are inherent from birth. They build the first home for his mind, the dwelling-place of lusts, which are like wild beasts in their cages. They live at first in the forecourts, and little by little creep into the rooms of that house below ground level, and afterwards climb the stairs and make rooms for themselves. This happens by stages as the child grows, becomes a boy and then a youth; then he begins to use his own understanding to think and his own will to act.

[2] Anyone can see that a house built thus far in the mind, where lusts like ochim, ghoim* and satyrs hold hands to dance, cannot be destroyed in a moment, and a new house built in its place. Of course the lusts holding hands and so disporting themselves must first be banished, and new desires for good and truth be brought in to replace the lusts for evil and falsity. Any wise person can see that such things cannot take place in an instant from the single consideration, that every evil is the product of countless lusts, resembling a fruit that below the surface is full of maggots with black heads and white bodies. Evils too, he will realise, are numerous and closely linked, like the offspring of a spider just hatched from its belly. So unless one evil after another is brought out, and the process continues until the link is broken, a person cannot become new. These considerations have been presented in order to make it known that in so far as anyone is regenerated, so far are his sins removed. (TCR 611)

TCR 612.  From birth everyone has a propensity to evils of every kind, and this makes him long for them and do them so far as he is free to do so. For from birth he longs to control others and possess other people's property, the two things which shatter love toward the neighbour. Then he hates anyone who opposes him, and his hatred breathes revenge, a feeling inwardly nursing thoughts of murder. This too is why he makes light of adultery and cheating, which is secret theft, as well as of blasphemy, which includes false witness. Anyone who pays no heed to all these is an atheist at heart.

That is what a person is like from birth, and it is plain from this that he is a hell on the smallest scale. Now since a person is born, as far as the interiors of his mind are concerned, to be spiritual, as animals are not, and since he is consequently born to go to heaven, yet his natural or external man is, as I have just said, a hell on the smallest scale, it follows that heaven cannot be planted in hell, but this must be removed. (TCR 612)

TCR 613. If anyone knows the relationship of heaven and hell, and how one is removed from the other, he can tell how a person is regenerated, as well as what a regenerated person is like. To make this intelligible I must first make the brief revelation that all in heaven turn their faces towards the Lord and look at Him, while all in hell turn their faces away from the Lord. So if one looks down from heaven into hell, one sees nothing but the backs of heads and people's backs. Indeed they even appear upside down like the people of the Antipodes, who have their feet up and their heads down, despite the fact that they walk upon their feet and can screw their faces round. It is the reverse direction in which the interiors of their minds face that produces this appearance. I can report these surprising facts from my own observation.

[2] By this means it was revealed to me how regeneration takes place, exactly as hell is removed and is thus separated from heaven. For, as I said before, a person as regards his first nature, which he has from birth, is a hell on the smallest scale, and as regards his second nature, which he gets from being born again, is a heaven on the smallest scale. It follows from this that the evils in a person are removed and separated just as hell and heaven are on the large scale. As evils are removed they turn away from the Lord, and by stages turn upside down. This happens to the extent that heaven is planted in the person, so that he becomes a new man. For the sake of illustration I shall add that each evil in the person has a link with those in hell who have the same evil, and on the other hand each good in the person has a link with those in heaven who possess similar good. (TCR 613)

TCR 614. What has been said can serve to establish that the forgiveness of sins is not their rooting out or wiping away, but their removal and so separation. All the evil remains that a person has by his deeds made his own. Since the forgiveness of sins is their removal and separation, it follows that a person is held back from evil and kept in good by the Lord. This is the gift he receives by regeneration.

I once heard someone in the lowest heaven say that he was free from sins because they had been wiped away, 'by the blood of Christ' he added. But since he was inside heaven, and made this mistake through ignorance, he was plunged into his own sins, and as they recurred to him, he acknowledged them. This led him to accept a new belief, that everyone, man as well as angel, is held back from evils and kept in good by the Lord.

[2] This makes it plain what the forgiveness of sins is, not an instantaneous event, but the consequence of regeneration, advancing in step with it. The removal of sins, what is called their being forgiven, can be compared with the casting out of filth from the Children of Israel's camp in the desert, which lay all around them; for their camp represented heaven, the desert hell. It can also be compared with the removal of the nations in the land of Canaan by the Children of Israel, and the removal of the Jebusites from Jerusalem; they were not cast out, but separated. It can also be compared with the fate of Dagon, the god of the Philistines; when the Ark was brought in, it first of all lay face down on the ground, and afterwards lay on the threshold with its head and the palms of its hands cut off; so it was not cast out, but removed.

[3] It can be compared with the demons the Lord sent into the swine, which afterwards drowned themselves in the sea; here and elsewhere in the Word the sea stands for hell. It can also be compared with the dragon's crowd, which when separated from heaven first invaded the earth, and afterwards was cast down into hell. Another comparison can be made with a wood full of wild beasts of many kinds; if it is cut down, the beasts take refuge in the surrounding thickets, and then when the ground has been levelled, the area contained within it is cultivated to make agricultural land. (TCR 614)

TCR 615. Regeneration is impossible without free will in spiritual matters.

Anyone who is not stupid can see that without free will in spiritual matters no one can be regenerated. Without that he could not approach the Lord and acknowledge Him as Redeemer and Saviour, and as the God of heaven and earth, as He Himself teaches (Matt. 28:18). Can anyone without that free will believe, that is, look to and worship Him from faith, devoting himself to receiving from Him the means to and benefits of salvation, and co-operating in receiving them from Him? Can anyone without free will do any good to his neighbour and show charity, not to mention absorbing into thought and will many other features of faith and charity, and drawing upon them to put them into effect? Otherwise regeneration would be nothing but a meaningless expression which dropped from the Lord's lips (John chapter 3), something which penetrates no further than the ear, or if it falls from the lips as the result of the thought which is closest to speech, is merely an articulate sound composed of eleven letters*. This sound has no meaning by which it can be raised to any higher level in the mind, but it falls upon empty air and is lost.

* The Latin word regeneratio, 'being born again' or 'regeneration' has eleven letters. (TCR 615)

TCR 616. Tell me, if you can, whether there can ever be such blind stupidity about regeneration as that displayed by those convinced of present-day faith. This is a belief that faith is poured into a person while he is like a block of wood or a stone, and that infusion is followed by justification, which is the forgiveness of sins, regeneration and many other gifts; and that any activity on the person's part is to be utterly ruled out in order to avoid doing any damage to Christ's merit. To establish this dogma even more securely, they have snatched away from people any free will in spiritual matters, making them totally powerless in this respect; as if God would then act alone on His part, and no power would be given to the person to co-operate on his part, and so to link himself with God. If that were so, what would a person be as regards regeneration but tied hand and foot like the slaves chained in galleys?* If he got free from his manacles and leg-irons, he would, like the slaves, be punished and condemned to death - that is, if he used his free will to do good to his neighbour, and believed in God of his own accord so as to be saved.

[2] If a person were to convince himself of such beliefs, although he piously hoped to go to heaven, he would be nothing but a ghost, standing waiting to see whether that faith with the benefits it conveys had been poured into him, or if not, whether it was being poured in; and likewise whether God the Father had shown mercy, or whether His Son had interceded, or whether the Holy Spirit was too busy elsewhere to act on him. In the end he would in his total ignorance about this go away and console himself with this reflexion: 'Perhaps that grace may be present in the moral behaviour I adopt in life and in which I continue as formerly, so that in me it is holy, but in those who have not acquired that faith, unholy. So to ensure that holiness remains in my moral behaviour, I shall take care in future not to exercise faith or charity of my own accord' - and more of the same sort. Such a ghost, or if you prefer such a pillar of salt, is what everyone becomes who thinks about regeneration unaccompanied by free will in spiritual matters. (TCR 616)

TCR 617. A person who believes that regeneration is possible without any free will in spiritual matters, and so without any co-operation, becomes as regards all the church's truths as cold as a rock; and if he is hot, he is like a blazing log on a fire, which burns because of the combustible material it contains, because of his lusts. To employ a comparison, he becomes like a palace sinking into the ground up to its roof and being flooded with muddy water; after this he lives on the bare roof, and there builds himself a shelter of reeds from the marshes. Finally the roof too sinks below the surface and he is drowned.

[2] He is also like a ship laden with precious goods of every kind taken from the treasury of the Word. But these are gnawed by mice and grubs, or thrown overboard by the sailors, so that the merchants are cheated out of their wares. Those who are learned or rich in the mysteries of that faith are like salesmen in shops selling statues of idols, fruit and flowers made of wax, sea-shells, vipers in bottles and such like. Those who, because of the lack of any spiritual power applied and given by the Lord, are unwilling to look up, are in fact like animals which keep their heads down to look, as they seek their food in the woods. If they come into gardens, they are like caterpillars which eat the leaves of trees: and if they catch sight of fruits, and more so if they handle them, they fill them with maggots. Finally they become like scaly snakes, for their fallacies rustle and glitter like the scales of snakes. And so one might continue with comparisons.

TCR 618. Regeneration is impossible without truths through which faith may be formed, and with which charity may link itself.

There are three means by which a person is regenerated: the Lord, faith and charity. These three would lie as deeply hidden as the choicest gems buried underground, if they were not exposed by Divine truths from the Word. In fact they would be hidden from the sight of those who deny man's co-operation, even if they read the Word a hundred or a thousand times; yet there they stand out in bright light.

As regards the Lord, can anyone who has convinced himself of present-day faith open his eyes to see the following doctrines in it: that the Lord and the Father are one, and that He is the God of heaven and earth, and that it is the Father's will that people should believe in Him, as well as countless similar statements in both Testaments? The reason is that they are not in possession of truths, and so not in light which could make things of this sort plain to see. Even if they were given light, still their falsities would snuff it out, and then the truths would be passed over like phrases deleted, or like subterranean passages which people walk over and cross. These remarks have been made to make it known that without truths this first step towards regeneration could not be seen.

[2] As regards faith, neither is that possible without truths, for faith and truth make a single entity. Good is like the soul of faith, and truths make up its body. So to talk of believing or having faith without knowing any of its truths is like pulling the soul out of the body and carrying on a conversation with that invisible object. Moreover, all the truths which make up the body of faith emit light, illuminating it and making its face visible. It is much the same with charity. This emits heat, with which the light of truth combines, just as in the world heat is combined with light in springtime, and this combination makes animals and plants on earth resume reproduction. It is much the same with spiritual heat and light. These likewise combine in a person, when he is in possession of the truths of faith and at the same time the kinds of good which make up charity. For, as I said before in the chapter on faith, there flows from each truth an illuminating light, and from each kind of good a heat which sets on fire. Spiritual light is in its essence intelligence, and spiritual heat is in its essence love. It is the Lord alone who combines these two when He regenerates a person. For the Lord said:

The words which I speak are spirit and life. John 6:63.

Believe in the light, so that you may be sons of light. I have come a light to the world. John 12:36, 46.

In the spiritual world the Lord is the sun, the source of all spiritual light and heat. That is the light which illuminates, the heat that sets on fire; and a person is quickened and regenerated by them both being combined.

TCR 619. These facts can establish that there is no knowing the Lord without truths; and without truths there is no faith and so no charity. It follows that without truths there cannot be any theology, and in its absence there cannot be any church either. Such at the present time is the case with the mass of peoples who call themselves Christians, claiming to be in the light of the Gospel, when in fact they are in utter darkness. For the truths lie as deeply hidden under falsities as gold, silver and precious stones buried among the bones in the valley of Hinnom.* This was made plain to me from the spheres in the spiritual world which flow and radiate from the Christians of the present day.

[2] One of these spheres concerns the Lord. It spreads its influence from the southern quarter, where the learned among the clergy and educated laymen live. Wherever it reaches, it sneaks into people's ideas, and in many cases carries away their belief in the divinity of the Lord's Human; in many other cases it weakens it, and in many others turns it to foolishness, The reason is that it introduces at the same time a belief in three Gods, and this produces confusion.

[3] A second sphere which carries away** faith is like a dark cloud in wintertime, which darkens the day, turns rain into snow, lays bare the trees, freezes waters and deprives sheep of all pasture. This sphere combined with the previous one injects a sort of lethargy concerning one God, regeneration and the means of salvation.

[4] A third sphere concerns the linking of faith and charity. It is so strong as to be irresistible. But at the present time it is appalling, and like a plague it infects anyone who catches a breath of it, tearing apart every bond between the two means of salvation established from the creation of the world and made whole by the Lord. This sphere also attacks people in the natural world and quenches the torches*** which celebrate the marriage between truth and good. I have felt this sphere, and then when I thought about the linking of faith and charity, it intervened between them and attempted violently to separate them.

[5] The angels complain about these spheres, and pray the Lord to have them dispersed. But they received the reply that they cannot be dispersed, so long as the dragon is upon the earth, since they proceed from the followers of the dragon. For it is said of the dragon that it was cast out into the earth, and then

For this reason rejoice, heavens, and woe to those that live on the earth. Rev. 12:12.

[6] These three spheres are like atmospheres driven by a gale and coming from the air-holes of dragons; and because they are spiritual, they attack people's minds and compel them. The spheres concerned with spiritual truths are up to now few there, at any rate in the new heaven and with those below heaven who are separated from the followers of the dragon. This is the reason why those truths are at the present time so hard to see among people in the world, just as ships sailing the eastern ocean are to the ship-masters and navigators sailing the western ocean. (TCR 619)

TCR 620. Some comparisons may be made to illustrate the fact that regeneration is impossible without the truths by means of which faith is formed. This can no more exist than a human mind without an understanding, since the understanding is formed by means of truths and so can teach us what should be believed and done, what regeneration is and how it is effected. Regeneration without truths is no more possible than it is for animals to have life or trees to grow without sunlight. For if the sun did not give light at the same time as it gives heat, it would become like a sack made of hair, as described in Revelation (6:12), and it would be darkened (Joel 2:10, 31). Thus there would be total darkness on earth (Joel 3:15). The same would happen to a person if he were without truths that emit light. The sun from which the light of each truth radiates is the Lord in the spiritual world. If spiritual light from this source did not flow into human minds, the church would be in total darkness or in the shadow of a permanent eclipse.

[2] Regeneration, which must take place through faith and charity, without truths to teach and guide would be like sailing on a broad ocean without a tiller, or without a ship's compass and charts. It would also be like riding a horse in a dark wood by night. The internal vision of the minds of those who possess not truths but falsities, which they believe to be true, can be compared with the sight of people whose optic nerves are blocked; the eye appears to be intact and seeing, while in fact it sees nothing. This is the form of blindness physicians call amaurosis or gutta Serena. Their rational or intellectual faculty is blocked above and only open downwards. As a result the light of reason becomes like the light of the eye, so that all judgments are mere imagination and strung together out of pure fallacies. Then people would stand around like astrologers with long telescopes, standing in public squares issuing empty prophecies. This is what would happen to all students of theology, if the Lord did not open to them genuine truths from the Word. (TCR 620)  The Vertical Community: Laws of Social Interaction Among Spirits

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 192. Evil spirits continually desire to excite enmities amongst themselves, and when it is permitted, simply by phantasy they represent their companions under various shapes of animals, as serpents of various kinds; nor can their companions, who are thus represented, liberate themselves from that phantasy before such permission is withdrawn. Thus they are turned into various kinds of animals, simply by representation, which is also the reason why in stories of olden times it was fabled of the devil and others that they were transformed into so many forms of animals, and why in the Word of God Messiah also they are thus represented, as by serpents, dragons, wolves, etc. This is done according to the cupidities and states of cupidities in which they are. (SE 192)

Swedenborg wrote the above in his "spiritual diary" in 1747. He was just beginning his 27 years of dual consciousness and did not yet elaborate the scientific implications of what he was able to observe. He was very involved in the new experiences, not unlike a biologist who was visiting a tropical island rich in unknown and uncatalogued species. In the diary entry above (of which I quote only one paragraph), Swedenborg discovers the origin of old fables in which animals are actually transformed devils, vampires, demons, etc. Those who spend their immortality in the hell of their mind find themselves thrown together in the company of other people who dwell in their hells, and the associations are selective in accordance with the particular evil loves in which they have immersed their consciousness.

Swedenborg was allowed to appear as well in these communal hells so that he could make his observations of that dreadful portion of the human mind.

Note this very important consequence of Swedenborg's discovery. That we are not alone in our mind!

Our consciousness can dwell at three distinct general levels -- our heaven, our world of spirits, our hell. While we are alive on earth our consciousness is restricted to the world of spirits. Nevertheless, we can experience vicariously what it's like to raise our consciousness to heaven, or lower it to hell.

Swedenborg's discovery is that the mind of the entire human race overlaps. He called this overlap--the spiritual world. If every human mind did not overlap with all the others, there would be no way of being together in the afterlife. No social life. No community. Just dreadful loneliness, alone in the universe. The afterlife is an expanse called rational ether--like the places in our dreams are mental, not physical. There is no place to go to or to move around in our mind. There is no motion, no space, no matter. Everything in it is instantly created and suddenly gone from existence. The mind in the afterlife has come into its own. It can create anything, just like we can in our imagination--but in the afterlife, or the spiritual world, what we can create is real. It can be seen and used by others.

There is a communal life in the mind, though we only become aware of it perceptually when we start our life as "spirits" after resuscitation (see Section xx).

It's obviously important for us to know and understand the laws of interaction that govern this very active afterlife state of mind. We become conscious of other spirits who look like ordinary people like those we knew back on earth. Furthermore, not only do they have a body, but so do we. And we discover the wonderful properties of our spirit-body which is far more sensitive to the sensory experience than what we knew in the physical body.

We discover that others appear and disappear according to our desires, emotions, and thought processes. The same with cities, houses, palaces, animals, caves, lakes, paintings, clothes, food, jewels, carriages that move on their own, etc. etc. These are all instantaneously created by your desires and thoughts. But they are actually real. You can touch them, eat them, wear them, and so can others who are around.

Obviously, it makes a total difference whether we are surrounded by heaven or by hell. Swedenborg describes both in detail in his book titled Heaven and Hell (1758), as well in his major earlier work called Arcana Coelestia (=Heavenly Secrets in Latin). The passage above describes how evil spirits interact in the hells of their mind where they meet and are thrown together according to their obsessions and persuasions. One of the many dreadful ways they interact is described in this passage, namely that certain spirits are able to turn other spirits into animals by means of the power of correspondences which governs all causes in the universe.

They do this by fantasizing certain things which inflows into the other spirits and in them becomes the representation of this or that animal. In other words, the victims act as if they've been hypnotized into believing that they were a particular animal. The power of their own delusion is such that it actually turns them into an animal. Others can see the animal and they themselves believe they've become that animal. In this way the dominant spirits can enslave submissive spirits.

This may sound unfair. How can God allow this, and cooperate with it, supplying the power to the bully spirits to torment the victim spirits?

The answer is that God allows it in a totally controlled manner. Every detail of the torture is either allowed to go forward or forbidden and stopped before it starts. This is a form of Divine Therapy for those who refuse to exit from their hell. For instance, the victim spirits get to take their turn to be dominant, and for this intensely loved experience they are willing to endure taking turns. (See also Section xx).

Swedenborg was able to observe various kinds of mental states that has puzzled psychologists and theologians for centuries. These include the visions and voices seen and heard by the prophets and various other people described in the Old Testament. Swedenborg was allowed to experience all the kinds of visions and consciousness raising states that human beings are capable of so that he may contrast them and integrate them into a coherent rational account. Here is one of many such examples.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 192. With regard to the second kind of imaginations which are present in those to whom it is granted to separate externals from internals: they are representations which are as vivid when the eyes are closed as in full wakefulness, like those seen in lucid dreams, and sometimes as in a moderate light. Indeed, there is then usually presented a morning light, as it were, with flaming fire, and in that light, and apart from it, there are presented various objects, such as men and other things, as in a moderate light; and during the time there is for the most part conversation with the spirits who are representing those things.

A third kind of imagination is vivid as in semi-wakefulness, conjoined with every sensation, so that there is no difference whatever; but in me this kind existed when the interior man was for a long time separated from the external.

There is also given another state of active or living imagination, which should in particular be called the vision of the prophets, when single spiritual objects are represented by such things as are contained in the letter or the literal sense of the Prophets. It has also been granted me to perceive more subtle and purer representations, but rather imperceptible to me in this state; yet in the former state the objects were in some measure perceptible to me, but not to the spirits.

That the ancients, especially the sons of the Ancient Church, were in that state, and they thus perceived various representations of spirits and angels, can be concluded and known for certain from very many indications, but for many reasons [this state no longer] exists. (SE 192)

In other words, all things in the spiritual world of immortality are created by means of "representations" which obey the laws of correspondences between mental things and their external manifestations as objects and surroundings. The ancients were still able to be conscious of the presence of spirits in their mind because they were socialized to think in terms of correspondences. So when they saw a tree of certain species, they traced it to the presence of the particular spirits whose loves and thoughts correspond to that species of tree. They saw this in the weather, the taste of the food, who happened to show up, the smells in the air, etc. These people were also able to perceive the presence of spirits with them in various other ways, as described above--visions, voices, separation of internal and external consciousness and thus simultaneous reception of stimuli from both the physical and the spiritual worlds.

The action of spirits on other spirits and on us on earth is precisely and totally controlled by God. Here is one description of it:

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 193. From much long continued experience it was observed that evil spirits could sometimes work or exercise much, sometimes little, malice. The cause of this was disclosed to me today more clearly than before, namely, that so far as their bond is slackened and relaxed by God Messiah through the angels, to that extent do they act evilly; but so far as it is exercised by the angels, to that extent the bond is as it were tightened, that is, the power of acting is taken away, so that at length they are unable to do anything, and do not even know what they are going to do. There is a certain precise and exact weighing, as in a balance, of this loosening and tightening according to the state of the license which God Messiah is willing that the man should be allowed; the balance is so exact that it cannot be described on account of its indefinite varieties. It is the same when they are permitted to speak: in the state in which the bond is slackened, they speak dreadful and filthy things, but in the state of the tightening or as it were contraction of the said bond or license, they speak either from themselves or from others; when they speak from others, which is also of indefinite variety, they then say things which they do not will, thus speak truths contrary to their nature, or else they are entirely ignorant of what they are saying. 1747, Sept. 2, o.s. (SE 193)

This kind of Divine moderation is necessary to maintain balance and order for the sake of the good of all. It's interesting to note that God moderates the operations in our hells by means of operations in our heavens. The operations in the heavenly portion of our mind control every operation in the hell of our mind through the action of correspondences, in other words, mentally. The "angels" control and moderate the "devils" by means of representations and correspondences. This explains why evil spirits can influence us strongly at some times, and not at all at other times. Impulsive behavior that is destructive, such as rage, is an example of the oscillation between two opposed states. We are in a peaceful rational state when the angels "tighten the bond of license" and neutralize completely the inflow of the evil spirits, and when they turn them loose on us, we lose our peace and rationality, and behave aggressively and irrationally.

Another amazing feature of our spiritual world is that we can speak from others instead of from ourselves. Think of ambassadors who are assigned to deliver massages to foreign governments. When the ambassadors speak, whatever they say must conform to their own government's message, and hence they speak not from themselves, as in private exchanges, but from the government they represent. Similarly, spirits can speak from the societies in which they dwell. Or, one spirit can speak from another spirit, so that this other spirit is actually speaking through the mediating spirit who then becomes a mere medium or passive subject. In such passive states spirits can speak things they do not believe or even know about.

In the various quotes from the Writings Sacred Scripture, the words "angel" or "devil" refer to the consciousness or life we experience in our spiritual mind after the second death (see Section xx). The word "spirit" refers to the life we experience after the first death when we are resuscitated and become conscious in our spiritual mind, which begins our conscious life in the mental world of eternity. The word "man" refers to our consciousness or life as we experience it in the natural mind right now, and in which we operate mentally all day long. The word "conjunction" refers to the vertical community of which we are part (see Section xx). This "vertical" or mental membership does not consist of conscious communication, as we do in our physical horizontal community here on earth. The interactions in our spiritual community are purely correspondential and there is no conscious "contact" or sensuous awareness of any kind between them in eternity and an individual on earth still tied to the physical body in time. In general, the operaitons in our affective organ (desires, intentions, loves) determine which "spirits" get to influence the operaitons in our cognitive organ (thoughts, imaginings, conclusions). Our thoughts are therefore influenced through correspondence by the feelings of the spirits to the extent that we share those feelings and attribute them to ourselves as our veryh own. Let's look at some of  the empirical observations about the vertical community that can be found in the Swedenborg Reports.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

HH 255. That the nature of the conjunction of angels and spirits with man may be understood I am permitted to mention some notable things by which it may be elucidated and verified. When angels and spirits turn themselves to man they do not know otherwise than that the man's language is their own and that they have no other language; and for the reason that they are there in the man's language, and not in their own, which they have forgotten. But as soon as they turn themselves away from the man they are in their own angelic and spiritual language, and know nothing about the man's language. I have had a like experience when in company with angels and in a state like theirs. I then talked with them in their language and knew nothing of my own, having forgotten it; but as soon as I ceased to be present with them I was in my own language. (HH 255)

Here Swedenborg reports that when he was consciously talking to people who were in their hevenly life in eternity ("angels"), he was conscious in his spiritual mind, like they are, but unlike us who are unconscious of the operations going on right now in our spiritual mind in eternity. It's not that we have an alter ego that lives in eternity and has his or her own life. Not like that for that would be irrational since an individual is one person. So we cannot have one individual living in some other world, and another living on earth. It must be the same one and only individual. Although our spiritual mind is operational since our birth, it is not part of our conscious life, conscious experience of self here on earth. Swedenborg, at age 57, suddenly and unexpectedly became conscious in his spiritual mind. This allowed him to see and speak with all those people who are already in the afterlife and are living their eternity conscious in their spiritual mind. After the resucitation process, which occurs a few hours after death, we undergo rapid psychological changes which open up the spiritual consciousness more and more, and at teh same time, closes down the consciousness of the natural mind more and more (see Section xx).

Continuing with how interactions take place in the mental world of eternity:

HH 255 [2]. Another notable fact is that when angels and spirits turn themselves to a man they are able to talk with him at any distance; they have talked with me at a considerable distance as audibly as when they were near. But when they turn themselves away from man and talk with each other man hears nothing at all of what they are saying, even if it be close to his ear. From this it was made clear that all conjunction in the spiritual world is determined by the way they turn.

[3] Another notable fact is that many spirits together can talk with a man, and the man with them; for they send one of their number to the man with whom they wish to speak, and the spirit sent turns himself to the man and the rest of them turn to their spirit and thus concentrate their thoughts, which the spirit utters; and the spirit then does not know otherwise than that he is speaking from himself, and they do not know otherwise than that they are speaking. Thus also is the conjunction of many with one effected by turning.# But of these emissary spirits, who are also called subjects, and of communication by means of them, more will be said hereafter.

# Spirits sent from one society of spirits to other societies are called subjects (n. 4403, 5856).
Communications in the spiritual world are effected by such emissary spirits (n. 4403, 5856, 5983).
A spirit when he is sent forth, and serves as a subject thinks from those by whom he is sent forth and not from himself (n. 5985-5987). (HH 255)

HH 256. An angel or spirit is not permitted to speak with a man from his own memory, but only from the man's memory; for angels and spirits have a memory as well as man. If a spirit were to speak from his own memory with a man the man would not know otherwise than that the thoughts then in his mind were his own, although they were the spirit's thoughts. This would be like the recollection of something which the man had never heard or seen. That this is so has been given me to know from experience. This is the source of the belief held by some of the ancients that after some thousands of years they were to return into their former life, and into everything they had done, and in fact, had returned. This they concluded because at times there came to them a sort of recollection of things that they had never seen or heard. This came from an influx from the memory of spirits into their ideas of thought. (HH 256)

HH 257. There are also spirits called natural and corporeal spirits. When these come to a man they do not conjoin themselves with his thought, like other spirits, but enter into his body, and occupy all his senses, and speak through his mouth, and act through his members, believing at the time that all things of the man are theirs. These are the spirits that obsess man. But such spirits have been cast into hell by the Lord, and thus wholly removed; and in consequence such obsessions are not possible at the present time.#
# External or bodily obsessions are not permitted at the present time, as they were formerly (n. 1983).
But at present internal obsessions, which pertain to the mind, are permitted more than formerly (n. 1983, 4793).

Man is inwardly obsessed when he has filthy and scandalous thoughts about God and the neighbor, and is withheld from making them known only by external consideration, which are fear of the loss of reputation, honor, gain and fear of the law and of loss of life (n. 5990).

Of the devilish spirits who chiefly obsess the interiors of man (n. 4793).
Of the devilish spirits who long to obsess the exteriors of man; that such are shut up in hell (n. 2752, 5990). (HH 257)

HH 254. I have been told how the Lord spoke with the prophets through whom the Word was given. He did not speak with them as He did with the ancients, by an influx into their interiors, but through spirits who were sent to them, whom He filled with His look, and thus inspired with the words which they dictated to the prophets; so that it was not influx but dictation. And as the words came forth directly from the Lord, each one of them was filled with the Divine and contains within it an internal sense, which is such that the angels of heaven understand the words in a heavenly and spiritual sense, while men understand them in a natural sense. Thus has the Lord conjoined heaven and the world by means of the Word.

How the Lord fills spirits with the Divine by His look has also been made clear. A spirit that has been filled by the Lord with the Divine does not know otherwise than that he is the Lord, and that it is the Divine that is speaking; and this continues until he has finished speaking. After that he perceives and acknowledges that he is a spirit, and that he spoke from the Lord and not from himself. Because this was the state of the spirits who spoke with the prophets they said that it was Jehovah that spoke; the spirits even called themselves Jehovah, as can be seen both from the prophetical and historical parts of the Word. (HH 254)

HH 250. But to speak with the angels of heaven is granted only to those who are in truths from good, especially to those who are in the acknowledgment of the Lord and of the Divine in His Human, because this is the truth in which the heavens are. For, as it has been shown above, the Lord is the God of heaven (n. 2-6); it is the Divine of the Lord that makes heaven (n. 7-12); the Divine of the Lord in heaven is love to Him and charity towards the neighbor from Him (n. 13-19); the whole heaven in one complex reflects a single man; also every society of heaven; and every angel is in complete human form, and this from the Divine Human of the Lord (n. 59-86).

All of which makes evident that only those whose interiors are opened by Divine Truths, even to the Lord, are able to speak with the angels of heaven, since it is into these truths with man that the Lord flows, and when the Lord flows in heaven also flows in. Divine truths open the interiors of man because man was so created as to be in respect to his internal man an image of heaven, and in respect to his external an image of the world (n. 57); and the internal man is opened only by means of Divine truth going forth from the Lord, because that is the light of heaven and the life of heaven (n. 126-140). (HH 250)

HH 249. But at the present day to talk with spirits is rarely granted because it is dangerous;# for then the spirits know, what otherwise they do not know, that they are with man; and evil spirits are such that they hold man in deadly hatred, and desire nothing so much as to destroy him both soul and body, and this they do in the case of those who have so indulged themselves in fantasies as to have separated from themselves the enjoyments proper to the natural man.

Some also who lead a solitary life sometimes hear spirits talking with them, and without danger; but that the spirits with them may not know that they are with man they are at intervals removed by the Lord; for most spirits are not aware that there is any other world than that in which they live, and therefore are unaware that there are men anywhere else; and this is why man is not permitted to speak with them in return. If he did they would know.

[Note: In theistic psychology we interpret "not permitted" to mean that the Divine Psychologist prevents the melchanism of communication from becoming active, which would otherwise be possible with anyone, as in the case of Swedenborg after age 57, when God allowed the communications.]

Again, those who meditate much on religious subjects, and are so intent upon them as to see them as it were inwardly within themselves, begin to hear spirits speaking with them; for religious persuasions, whatever they are, when man dwells upon them by himself and does not adapt them to the various things of use in the world, penetrate to the interiors and rest there, and occupy the whole spirit of the man, and even enter into the spiritual world and act upon the spirits there.

But such persons are visionaries and enthusiasts; and whatever spirit they hear they believe to be the Holy Spirit, when, in fact, such spirits are enthusiastic spirits. Such spirits see falsities as truths, and so seeing them they induce not themselves only but also those they flow into to believe them.

Such spirits, however, have been gradually removed, because they began to lure others into evil and to gain control over them. Enthusiastic spirits are distinguished from other spirits by their believing themselves to be the Holy Spirit, and believing what they say to be Divine. As man honors such spirits with Divine worship they do not attempt to harm him. I have sometimes talked with them, and the wicked things they infused into their worshipers were then disclosed. They dwell together towards the left, in a desert place.
# Man is able to talk with spirits and angels; and the ancient people frequently talked with them (n. 67-69, 784, 1634, 1636, 7802).
In some earths angels and spirits appear in human form and talk with the inhabitants (n. 10751, 10752).
But on this earth at this day it is dangerous to talk with spirits, unless man is in true faith, and is led by the Lord (n. 784, 9438, 10751). (HH 249)

HH 248. The speech of an angel or spirit with man is heard by him as audibly as the speech of man with man, yet by himself only, and not by others who stand near; and for the reason that the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into a man's thought, and by an inner way into his organ of hearing, and thus moves it from within; while the speech of man with man flows first into the air and by an outward way into his organ of hearing, and moves it from without. Evidently, then, the speech of an angel or spirit with man is heard within him; but as the organs of hearing are thus equally moved, the speech is equally audible.

That the speech of an angel or a spirit flows down from within even into the ear has been made clear to me by the fact that it flows also into the tongue, causing a slight vibration, but without any such motion as when the man himself by means of the tongue forms the sound of speech into words. (HH 248).


Angels who talk with man do not talk in their own language, nor in any language unknown to man, but in the man's own language, or in some other language with which he is acquainted. This is so because when angels speak with man they turn themselves to him and conjoin themselves with him; and this conjunction of angel with man causes the two to be in like thought; and as man's thought coheres to his memory, and this is the source of his speech, the two have the same language.

Moreover, when an angel or a spirit comes to a man, and by turning to him is conjoined to him, he so enters into the entire memory of the man that he is scarcely conscious that he does not himself know whatever the man knows, including his languages.

[2] I have talked with angels about this, and have said that perhaps they thought that they were addressing me in my mother tongue, since it is so perceived; and yet it was I and not they that spoke; and that this is evident from the fact that angels cannot utter a single word of human language [meaning natural language] (see n. 237); furthermore, human language is natural and they are spiritual, and spiritual beings cannot give expression to any thing in a natural way.

To this they replied that they are aware that their conjunction with the man with whom they are speaking [this means by correspondence and not conscious communication] is with his spiritual thought [this means the unconscious spiritual mind]; but because his spiritual thought flows into his natural thought, and his natural thought coheres to his memory, the language of the man and all his knowledge appear to them to be their own; and that this is so for this reason, that while it is the Lord's pleasure that there should be such a conjunction with and sort of insertion of man into heaven, yet the state of man is now such that there can no longer be such conjunction with angels, but only with spirits who are not in heaven.

[3] When I talked about this with spirits also they were unwilling to believe that it is the man that speaks, insisting that they spoke in man, also that man's knowledge is their knowledge and not the man's knowledge, consequently that everything that man knows is from them. I tried to convince them by many proofs that this is not true, but in vain. Who are meant by spirits and who are meant by angels will be told further on when the world of spirits is treated of. (HH 246)


10.1.3  Our Four Options

All individuals are socialized in accordance with cultural norms. To be socialized means to acquire particular habits in the three areas of human functioning:

  • habits of feeling (affective organ)

  • habits of thinking (cognitive organ)

  • habits of sensations and acting out (sensorimotor organ)

Every individual has a threefold-self in which the three mental organs act together, yet each can be distinguished and isolated for observation and self-modification.

Your threefold-self has two life arenas to function in. One is the arena of others and the world; the second is the arena of self (or the private world within). These two life arenas--others and self--each require their own particular way of functioning. We are required to function in both arenas every hour of every day since we constantly have to deal with others and the world, as well as with ourselves.

Our functioning in the two life arenas (others/world and self) can be either negative or positive. For instance, rage is a feeling located in the "negative about others arena" because it is the feeling of anger against someone or thing. Compassion is in the "positive about others arena" because it is the feeling of tolerance and caring for someone or thing. Similarly, the "negative about self arena" includes depression and self-destructive behavior since these involve negative feelings towards the self. The "positive about self arena" includes feelings of self-confidence and enthusiasm since these are positive feelings towards the self.

These four life arenas of our daily life are called "the four options" because it is up to us to choose in which of the four life arenas we want to function in any situation or at any moment, and for how long.

Our automatic habits normally determine which option we choose, and in many situations our automatic reactions are negative. Nevertheless, we always have the freedom to switch options from negative to positive. The positive options represent healthy adjustment, happiness, and success, while the negative options represent maladjustment, unhappiness, and failure. So it makes sense to customize your automatic habits so you end up functioning in the positive arena most of the time, if not always. I will suggest a self-witnessing exercise you can do to practice taking charge of your daily emotional spin cycle.

The diagram below is called "the four options diagram." It shows the four options we have on our daily emotional spin cycle:


The two options in the upper half of the diagram are called the red zone which refers to others and the world. One is negative and the other is positive and they are connected by the red bridge . The two options in the lower half of the diagram are called the blue zone. It refers to self (one is negative and the other is positive and they are connected by the blue bridge ).

Note that each of the four options involves the threefold-self: feeling habits, thinking habits, and acting out habits. This last portion includes our private sensations in the body, as well as our outward body movements and appearance. The four options portray the "emotional spin cycle" because they map out the cultural norms of behavior we acquire in our socialization or upbringing. To function as socialized individuals, our threefold self must acquire particular habits that run themselves off according to a standard behavioral routine. These socialized habit routines are sometimes called "social scripts" or "schemas." When we have emotions throughout the course of each day we have a limited set of them that fall into these four normative options. We each choose which of the four options we perform in any situation, although if we don't pay specific attention to it, it appears to us that our emotional reactions are spontaneous rather than performed by choice.

The idea of "spin cycle" indicates that we oscillate between the four available options in definite patterns to be discussed below.

We all have the impression that when we act, we are acting freely from our own feelings and thoughts, not realizing that we are mostly running off the social scripts or behavior routines we acquired as children and adults.

This is shown by the fact that when we compare what people feel, think, and do in specific situations we find that these are very similar and predictable. Some of these behavioral scripts are pan-human (all cultures) while others are specific to a cultural and ethnic sub-group. These demographic similarities or equivalencies in social behavior prove that people's feelings, thoughts, and actions are learned habits that are standardized or shared by many individuals in a society. Without this standardization process we would not be able to communicate with strangers and society would not be possible.

Communication and cooperation require that people overlap to some extent in their habits of feeling, thinking, and acting out. These standardized habit routines of the threefold-self can be categorized into four main types, which are here called "the four options." These are the four types of behavioral routines we can choose to run off at some particular moment in our daily round of activities. It's up to us which we choose at any one time.

Normally we just react automatically without having the impression that we are choosing our reactions. Nevertheless, these automatic reactions are just old habits that we chose to establish and reinforce in the past. We can consciously choose to modify them so that the new habits will then become our automatic reactions. These new habits are also standardized but they may suit us better, as for example when we choose to switch from negative to positive zones. This switching is indicated on the diagram by the red bridge and the blue bridge.

As discussed in the previous section, our emotions originate, not from ourselves, but from the vertical community to which we are connected moment by moment (see Section xx). It is revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg that God manages these connections, moment by moment, by connecting and disconnecting our mind to particular spirits whose emotions and intentions are felt as our own from ourselves. We may know from theistic psychology that God connects us to spirits and that consequently we experience their emotions as our own. But this knowledge does not change the experience which is that we feel alone in our private world within, and that what we experience seems very much our own. the knowledge from scientific revelation allows us to "rise above it"--above the level of the spin cycle habit. How? By revealing to us what we didn't know or suspect. Namely, that the spin cycle emotions are not our own but feel like our own.

What fundamental difference does this new knowledge make to us?

If we don't know this critical fact and we then believe that our emotions are our own, we then then also tend to believe that if we get rid of them we would have no life left. It would be like a tragic loss because we can no longer be and feel who we really are. Thinking this way makes us very resistant to giving up our negative emotions. In fact it is impossible to do for most people with most of their negative emotions. They just live a life immersed in negative emotions every day, as discussed in Section xx above. But this new knowledge from revelation gives us the choice of letting go hanging on to the old negative emotions. You can consider this as a predictive research idea for which you can obtain objective evidence by self-witnessing your daily emotional spin cycle.

The self-witnessing exercise to be described later will allow you to obtain the data that describes which of the four options you perform during selected days. This will inform you about the character of the spirits you are connected to in various situations during the day. By knowing this about yourself you are able to take charge of your emotional spin cycle in ways that will be described.

Taking conscious rational control of your emotional options will allow God to connect you to spirits that keep you in the positive zones. The Writings reveal that God cooperates with every person, supplying the actual power to perform an option, but the process requires that the individual make a free choice on the basis of the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture.

Positive emotional zones are associated with good spirits while negative zones are associated with evil spirits. As explained before, "spirits" refers to people in the afterlife who dwell permanently in either the heaven or the hell in their mind (see Section xx). Swedenborg confirmed by observation that when our consciousness goes up to the top of the mind called heaven, we see others who are also in their heaven in the mind, and we dwell together in social communities, each communicating their happiness to the others. This is our heavenly immortality. But the same applies to the state of mind in which we descend to the bottom of the mind called the hells. Then we make an infernal community together with others. There too the feelings of each is communicated to all, so that the misery of each never ends.

You have the option now as to which fate will befall you later. Swedenborg discovered to his amazement that those who dwell in a hell together are unwilling to give up their misery and by ascending to their heaven, which is also available to them. Those who tried were unable to support it for more than a few minutes, after which they felt rage and agony which ended only when they threw themselves back into the negativity of their insane emotions. This was the only life they felt comfortable living, even though they were in misery most of the time. Their only relief was to be able to exercise their lusts to the max, which only rarely occurred. The emotions and mental operations in the hells are strictly monitored and controlled by God so that the people there do not destroy each other or torture each other beyond allowable limits.

10.1.4  Getting to Know What the Options Are

How well do you know your own daily emotional spin cycle? There are two methods psychologists use to identify the personality habits of individuals. One approach is indirect and involves asking people to respond to various questions (or "personality scale items") and then to compare an individual's answers to other people's answers or to some standards already established. This indirect method raises reliability and validity issues since the data depend on how accurate people's responses are, or how well they represent what they really do.

A second approach is more direct and consists of having people monitor or observe their feelings, thoughts, and actions as they occur in the course of the day, and make some sort of record for later analysis. In some situations this direct approach offers a better promise of being valid and actual. It is the method of self-witnessing.

The self-witnessing exercise will instruct you to observe your threefold-self at certain challenging times you select during each day and to observe the negative options you are choosing in those situations. This is called "baseline observation week." The second part is called "intervention week" and consists of your attempt to modify your negative emotional spin cycle in that same situation by choosing a positive option instead. The change to a positive option is accomplished through the "bridge technique." This involves talking yourself into switching over from the current option you are using, which is negative, to the positive option that is also available to you.

Look at the diagram again:

Notice the option at the top left "negative about others and the world." Here the threefold self is running off the habit routine of RAGE or ARROGANCE. This affective feeling state or motivation in your mind, seeks and hooks up with a type of cognitive thinking that is called EMOTIONALLY IMPAIRED. When we are in an enraged or arrogant affective feeling state, a compatible cognitive thinking routine is triggered in our mind. This type of cognitive routine is not objective, realistic, or rational but is merely made to suit the negative feeling of rage or arrogance. The negative emotion and the impaired thinking then combine together to produce an overt behavioral routine that is called AGGRESSIVE or DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR.

 In this way the threefold self runs off a series of negative habit routines consisting of a negative feeling coupled with impaired thinking and acted out as destructive behavior. This is one option we have in many situations in which we find ourselves every day (top left option).

Now notice the option at the top right: "positive about others and the world." Here the threefold self is running off the habit routine of RESOLVE with COMPASSION. This affective feeling state or motivation in your mind seeks and hooks up with a type of cognitive thinking routine that is called EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT. When we are in a positive affective state of resolve with compassion, we are highly motivated to do something to solve a problem. The affective feeling habit of resolve (or determination) needs to be associated with the affective feeling habit of compassion. This is what makes it different from rage. When we choose the rage option, all sorts of negative affective feeling habits will come associated with it, such as cruelty, hatred, and insensitivity. But resolve with the compassion option comes associated with positive feeling habits such as compassion, empathy, fairness, and tolerance.

The positive affective feeling state seeks out and triggers a compatible cognitive thinking habit (see Section xx).

Positive thinking activity is objective, realistic, and rational. We are then able to understand the realities of the actual situation instead of misunderstanding it and replacing it with the subjective distortions in thinking caused by negative emotions. The positive affective feeling state of RESOLVE with COMPASSION then seeks out and combines with EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT thinking, and together they produce an overt behavioral routine that is called SUPPORTIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. The threefold self runs off a series of positive habits consisting of a positive feeling coupled with emotionally intelligent thinking and acted out as constructive behavior. This is the second option.

The "red bridge" (look at the diagram again) connects the negative and positive portions of the upper half of the diagram. The bridge is shown to connect negative thinking to positive thinking because we have voluntary control over our thinking process, and much less control directly over our feelings. The idea of this approach is that if you voluntarily change your negative thinking into positive thinking--a choice we always can make--then the negative feeling will soon turn into positive. Then the new positive feeling coupled with the positive thinking together will produce the new overt behavior. At that point you're living the new positive option and you've been successful in switching over from the negative option.

Of course this may not last long since a few minutes later a new situation or concern comes along and we can be thrown back into the negative spin cycle. But now we can use the bridge technique again and get ourselves moving in the positive spin cycle. Eventually, with daily practice, we will learn to switch to positive as soon as we observe ourselves in negative mode. In this way we change our life and our personality for the better. The bridge technique gives us a choice to customize our options to suit what's best for us and society.

You use the red bridge to cross from negative thinking to positive thinking, from emotionally impaired thinking to emotionally intelligent thinking. Our ability to use the bridge technique is part of the socialization process that produces all our habits. The red bridge technique consists of talking to ourselves in a certain way so that we stop thinking negatively about someone or some situation and start thinking positively.

We have the capacity to monitor our thinking and to note that it is emotionally impaired or biased. We can then replace this type of negative thinking routine with more objective and emotionally intelligent thinking routines. Of course to use the bridge technique we must be motivated to use the positive option available. Without that motivation we keep re-running or re-cycling the negative routines of the threefold self that we have acquired in the past.

What gives us this motivation for the positive options?

I'm proposing that you examine the prediction I've made that you can switch from negative emotions to positive if you know that the emotions are not your own but that you receive them from the vertical community. What determines whether you're in the negative or positive cycle is your desire to be connected to evil spirits from hell or good spirits from heaven (see Section xx). From inheritance everyone has strong ties to the hells. We adopt negative emotions as a habit and make them our own by holding on to them as our very life. Like a radio station,  television channel, or Web link, we can switch who we're connected to in our vertical community. God always honors our wishes expressed through freedom of choice.

Now look at the the third option of routines that is labeled "negative about the self" (at the bottom left). A general name for that category is DEPRESSION or INADEQUACY.  These associated negative feelings about ourselves seek out and encourage thinking routines that are called PESSIMISTIC or CYNICAL. Feelings of depression are actually feelings of rage turned towards ourselves. Similarly, feelings of inadequacy are actually feelings of arrogance turned against ourselves. Rage against others or the world alternates with rage against the self, and vice versa. The rage-depression spin cycle and the arrogance-inadequacy spin cycle, represent two very common options many people take every day. Note that the feelings of depression-inadequacy combine with pessimistic-cynical thinking to produce the behavioral outcome called SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. This is the third option.

The fourth option is located at the bottom right of the diagram. It is labeled "positive about self." In this state we are opting for feelings of enthusiasm and self-confidence which we have available due to our socialization process. These positive feeling states would not last on their own because they need to seek out and be connected with positive thinking habits called here optimistic and realistic thinking. The positive feeling states of enthusiasm and self-confidence act together with the positive thinking routines called optimism and realism, to produce the positive outward routines called SELF-ENHANCING BEHAVIOR. The healthy growth of our personality and character depends on our choosing this fourth option. Self-enhancing behavior includes mental health, discipline, orderliness, mastery, and coping. The well-adjusted, happy, and successful individual chooses this option more than the negative counterpart.

Here is the diagram again. After looking at it, see if you can reproduce it from memory by drawing it on a piece of paper. You can change some of the wording in the diagram to reflect the variations within the same option. Memorizing the diagram is important to be able to keep track of your options. It also gives you a fixed map or reference point that you can relate to as your ideas become clearer and deeper. without memorizing the map the whole experience will be vague rather clear.

Note the "blue bridge" in the diagram allows us to cross from negative thinking about self to positive. The blue bridge represents our capacity to monitor our own thinking process and to recognize what is pessimistic and cynical in it. We can then question this pessimism or cynicism and substitute positive forms of thinking about self called optimism and realism. But optimism by itself could degenerate into unrealistic wish-fulfillment--which is in the negative category. This is why we need to combine optimism with realism to insure that we run off only positive thinking routines that correspond with reality. The blue bridge allows us to talk ourselves out of pessimism or cynicism and switch to more positive and more realistic thinking routines.

The idea of the spin cycle is that as we make ourselves think positive things about ourselves, the positive feelings we have lying dormant will activate themselves since now they can act together with positive thinking routines.

When we make ourselves think optimistically and realistically we create the conditions for bringing on positive feeling routines such as enthusiasm and self-confidence.

Self-enhancing behavior will be the result when positive feelings of enthusiasm and self-confidence combine together with positive thinking called optimism and realism.

The blue bridge may also help you flip-flop in positive zones. Just as rage and depression flip-flop or take turns in the negative zones, in the same way enthusiasm and self-confidence flip-flop with resolve and compassion, keeping us in the positive zones.

Your task in this exercise will be to monitor the negative options you tend to automatically select in particular recurrent situations every day, and then to use the appropriate bridge technique to switch to a positive zone. You will then observe to what extent the bridge technique worked out or not.

Often we seem unable to cross the bridge due to the grip of negative feeling and thinking routines that appear to hold us there captive, and we seem to ourselves unable to get free of them. But at other times we succeed in crossing the bridge and changing the option that our threefold self is performing. Your self-analysis data will indicate when you are more successful and when you are less so. This is the purpose of the project, to give you the objective knowledge of when you are being successful and when not.

What follows below describes and further explains the differences between the four options. The better you can understand these differences, the more you can gain by doing this self-witnessing exercise. So it's important to re-read and study these instructions several times until you are able to memorize and reproduce most of the material. A good way to practice is to explain it to a friend or group of people.

10.1.5  The Negative Spin Cycle

The diagram below summarizes what was said above about "the negative spin cycle." After looking at it, see if you can reproduce it from memory by drawing it on a piece of paper.

Note the one-way horizontal arrows showing the sequence of habits in the threefold self: the negative feeling states motivate you to select negative thinking sequences, and the two together produce the outward negative behaviors. The two-way vertical arrow on the left portrays the negative spin cycle that flip-flops between feelings about others/world, followed by similar feelings about the self, and then, recycling both ways keeping you in the negative zones.

Now let's summarize what was said above about "the positive spin cycle." After looking at the diagram below, see if you can reproduce it from memory by drawing it on a piece of paper.

10.1.6  The Positive Spin Cycle


Note what a wonderful life we would have if we kept recycling only between positive feelings towards others (resolve with compassion) and positive feelings toward self (enthusiasm and self-confidence). It's our choice. One of the topics you should discuss with your friends is why we don't make this choice all the time, or even most of the time. How can you explain this rejection of a happy and productive life? Think about that.

When I think about this I think about our inherited will which is tied to the hells. Not only do we have a predisposition towards selfishness and cruelty, but we are also socialized in a cultural environment that trains us with negative scripts and schemas for our normal behaviors. Since the negative emotions feel natural and habitual, we are well practiced in staying with them. Finally, because the emotions feel like our own, we are unwilling to give them up, fearing that we would lose our very life from which we are who we are.

Here is another view of the negative spin cycle, focusing more specifically on feelings states and how they connect with each other when we recycle them all day long.

10.1.7  The Others-Self Negative Spin Cycle


Note in the diagram above that rage and arrogance are both negative states towards others or the world, and similarly, depression and inadequacy are both negative states towards self. But there is also a specific relation between sub-elements. Feelings of rage flip-flop and are eventually followed by feelings of depression; then, feelings of depression flip-flop and are followed by feelings of rage. Similarly, feelings of arrogance are followed by feelings of inadequacy. It is the arrogance, when turned inward, that produces the feeling of inadequacy. When arrogance is turned outward, others are found to be inadequate in our mind and we want to criticize them and condemn them. When arrogance is turned inward, we make ourselves feel inadequate or flawed in some way. Raging against others eventually is followed by raging against ourselves, which is when we fall into a depressed modality. Then, raging against self is followed again by raging against others/world. To avoid repeating this negative spin cycle over and over again we must use the two bridges. If we succeed in crossing one of the two bridges we then enjoy life in the positive spin cycle.

Let's look at a diagram that summarizes what was said before about the positive spin cycle.

10.1.8  The Others-Self Positive Spin Cycle


The diagram above for the positive spin cycle shows that feelings of resolve towards others and the world can be applied towards the self, in which case we are in the affective state of self-confidence. We cycle between feelings of resolve and feelings of self-confidence. Similarly, we flip-flop between feelings of compassion for others with feelings of enthusiasm with one's life. Resolve refers to the determined motivation to do something about a situation. The flip side of this positive feeling is self-confidence, which is a kind of resolve towards our own inner world. Compassion for others is compatible with resolve. Compassion limits what your resolve is motivated to accomplish. Without compassion, resolve turns into rage or arrogance. When compassion is turned toward the self, it is called enthusiasm. The feeling of enthusiasm is the opposite of depression or dissatisfaction. Depression and dissatisfaction indicate the absence of enthusiasm. As soon as you cycle into the enthusiasm habit routine, depression and dissatisfaction vanish into a distant memory.

Now let's take a closer look at the two bridge-techniques.

10.1.9  The Two Bridges

Red is used to represent our spin cycle options involving others and the world. Recall the expression "I saw red" which refers to a negative feeling state of anger or rage. Red is also the symbol of passion and love. Anger is a negative passion towards others while compassion is a positive passion towards others. Both are red.

Now recall the expression "I feel blue" which refers to a negative feeling state of depression or inadequacy. Blue is the symbol for feelings towards the self. Negative blue for depression and feelings of inadequacy, positive blue for enthusiasm and self-confidence.


Note in the diagram above that the bridge technique is applied to the thinking or cognitive part of the threefold self.

This makes sense since we can control our thinking in a direct way while this is not as easy to do with our feeling or affective state.

Performing the bridge technique depends on two socialized abilities we all have. First, we are capable of observing or monitoring our thinking process, up to a certain point. Second, if we are motivated, we are able to activate what is in our memory in such a way as to run off new thought sequences that are INCOMPATIBLE with those going on at the time.

For example, when we become aware that we are ridiculing someone in our mind (a form of rage or arrogance--negative red feeling), we can remind ourselves that this is unkind and unjust, and going along with this may corrupt our good character (applying the red bridge).

We can also tell ourselves that if we ridicule someone now we are likely to ridicule ourselves later, which hurts, and may lead to depression or feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction (negative flip-flop cycle).

We can elaborate even further on this emotionally intelligent rationale (red bridge), until we are prepared to accept a new appraisal of the person or situation. This whole event may take just a second or two.  Now we no longer feel like ridiculing that individual. We may even experience a flip-flop into the positive blue zone, as we begin to feel good about ourselves, feeling new enthusiasm and renewed self-confidence.

In this way our feeling state changes from negative to positive, and our thinking from emotionally impaired to emotionally intelligent. This is the red bridge.

The red bridge allows us to change the situation that surrounds us. Rather than conflict with others and waste opportunity and productivity--which are the outcomes you obtain from emotionally impaired thinking, we can expect instead initiative, cooperation and productivity--these being the outcomes you obtain from resolve with compassion. The red bridge turns conflict into cooperation, and lost opportunity into productivity or success.

10.1.10  Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Red Bridge

The red bridge promotes productivity and leadership. As the diagram below shows, it consists in bringing up thoughts that are INCOMPATIBLE with emotionally impaired thinking. For example, you might become aware that you're thinking "He doesn't deserve my respect. I'm not going to get along with him." as this person makes a suggestion to you. You're thinking of denigrating things you can do to him as a way of pursuing your dislike for this individual.

But then you decide to apply the red bridge technique to combat your biased and hostile thoughts. From your memory you can bring up several favorable things about this person. The moment you convince yourself that you have no data to the contrary and that your hostile attitude is not justified, your feeling state may change from negative to positive, from feeling hatred or anger to feeling resolve with compassion. You tell yourself you're going to make the effort and see if this person deserves your compassion and good will rather than just assume he doesn't. Already you might feel better as a result of the flip-flop cycle from positive toward others to positive toward self.

We know from the Writings that our positive emotions come from the good spirits in our vertical community. The good spirits ought to be honored as an emotional resource. We can have their good emotions if we are willing to think positive thoughts, and we always have freedom to think as we wish. The only thing that stops us is that we are not thinking of our vertical community so that we don't know that we have a choice. Also, we are not thinking of the consequences to ourselves of exercising negative options. We cannot be happy now when we rage against others or against ourselves. Nor can we be happy in our immortality if we seal our ties to the hells through holding on to negative emotions. When we consider the stakes involved, we are more motivated to change, seeing it as a critical need in our life.


To cross the bridge in your mind you need to say to yourself appropriate self-regulatory sentences. You can prepare them ahead of time, write them on a reminder sheet, etc.

Here are some self-regulatory prompts for the red bridge. You can say them to yourself to strengthen your determination to do something constructive (resolve with compassion--option 2) rather than to remain in the destructive rage mode (option 1)--see if you can memorize them:

  1. order yourself to stop ruminating (the compulsive rehearsal of how you're going to get even and retaliate)

  2. question your cold logic or negative conclusion by qualifying it, saying to yourself:  "Not necessarily" or "Maybe, maybe not" etc. which help weaken the intensity of your negative persuasion

  3.  make yourself think of relevant counter-information you've been ignoring so far

  4.  restore balance by reminding yourself to think of both sides of the issue

  5.  remind yourself that retaliation hurts people including yourself and it's not good

  6.  remind yourself that all people have an inherent right to be treated with decency

  7.  remind yourself that aggressive behavior won't bring you what you want

  8.  consciously reject any fantasies of revenge as uncivilized and beneath you

  9. reject violence as ineffective in bringing about your goal

  10. reaffirm the human responsibility you bear to be fair and forgiving

  11. think of the consequences you will have to deal with and how much trouble that will be

  12. think of alternative options you have available

  13. figure out a more effective course of action

  14. communicate your ideas to the other person and try for reconciliation or compromise

  15. convince yourself it's better for you to forgive and forget insults

  16. put yourself in the other's shoes and try to picture their perspective (empathy)

  17. decide to gather more information before you act

  18. decide to consult someone before you act

  19. remind yourself that the way you appear in face and tone of voice is a visible message and counts as acting or doing

  20. act the opposite of what you feel and say nice things instead of not nice

  21. decide you're going to pursue this without anger but with resolve or determination with compassion

etc. etc.

10.1.11  Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Blue Bridge

The blue bridge promotes emotional health and objective self-confidence. As the diagram below shows, it consists in bringing up thoughts that are INCOMPATIBLE with pessimistic and cynical thinking. For example, you might become aware that you're thinking "He doesn't like me" as this person turns down an invitation to lunch with you. You're thinking in a suspicious way about him, telling yourself that he is just giving an excuse for not wanting to be with you. But then you decide to apply the blue bridge technique to combat your pessimistic or suspicious thoughts. From your memory you can bring up several situations when your friend showed signs of liking you. The moment you convince yourself that you have no data to the contrary and that your suspicion is not justified, your feeling state may change from negative to positive, from feeling depressed or dissatisfied to feeling enthusiasm or self-confident.

Notice that you can't directly make yourself feel enthusiastic or self-confident when you're thinking pessimistically or cynically. Pessimistic and cynical thinking are compatible with feelings of depression, dissatisfaction, or inadequacy and incompatible with feelings of enthusiasm and self-confidence. You can only feel self-confident or enthusiastic when your thinking is optimistic and realistic. The bridge technique works because it depends on your ability to change your thinking, and it does not attempt to change your feelings directly. But once the thinking changes, more compatible feelings are then encouraged.

The blue bridge lets you cross from option 3 (negative blue thinking) to option 4 (positive blue thinking). Negative blue feeling is an emotional state in which you try to persuade yourself that there is something wrong with you and you should feel bad or unhappy about it. This negative routine includes depression, generalized anxiety, and a pessimistic or cynical outlook on yourself as well as on others. Negative blue thinking is activated, supported, and reinforced by negative blue feeling.

To make use of the blue bridge you need to use optimistic self-regulatory sentences that create resistance in your mind to continuing with the pessimistic and cynical thinking. These self-regulatory sentences move you across to positive blue thinking by creating psychological resistance in your mind against pessimistic or cynical thinking.

Here are examples of prompts you can use to create resistance to pessimism or cynicism, and to facilitate the opposite type: optimistic and realistic thoughts:

  1. question your assumptions that lead to negative conclusions

  2. tell yourself you're catastrophizing in an irrational way

  3. tell yourself "Stop it!" when you witness yourself ruminating compulsively

  4. do a scenario analysis of the situation, writing down all the versions

  5. reject the idea that the worst is going to happen

  6. do a re-appraisal of the situation and find some good things about it

  7. go over in your mind what others have said to you

  8. remind yourself there's a big difference between fantasy and actuality

  9. remind yourself there's a big difference between possibility and probability

  10. tell yourself you don't want to be known as a cynical person

  11. tell yourself you don't want to be known as a pessimist

  12. reject any idea that you don't need anyone's support or that you are self-sufficient

  13. remind yourself that change is possible

  14. reaffirm your belief that you deserve dignity and love

  15. tell yourself you want to be civilized and not break things

  16. tell yourself you're going to feel better about yourself by switching emotional style

  17. tell yourself you're going to be more productive by switching emotional style

  18. tell yourself you have the capacity to be successful and your turn has come

  19. reassure yourself that you are capable and review your accomplishments

etc. etc.

Now let's take a look at the four options in detail to see how each actually consists of many habits that act together. By studying these lists you will be able to recognize and correctly categorize what your threefold self is doing in any situation you are observing. See if you can reproduce most of the lists from memory.

10.1.12  Option 1: Negative towards others and the world


        Negative affect against others can be summarized under the category of RAGE or ARROGANCE. This refers to a desire or motive to hurt someone or to damage and destroy something. This emotional option includes a large collection of negative feeling habits towards others and the world such as:

  1. desire to harm or cause injury or loss to someone for the sake of vengeance

  2. hatred or the desire to torture or kill someone, or to make them suffer

  3. wanting to condemn someone as worthless or useless

  4. wanting to discriminate against someone due to your prejudice

  5. feeling like throwing something or punching out in blind fury

  6. enjoying mocking someone or putting them down

  7. wanting to get someone into trouble out of envy or jealousy

  8. wanting to insult someone to make them feel bad

  9. wanting to hurt someone's reputation

  10. wanting to make someone feel dirty or ashamed

  11. sabotaging a group activity to get back at someone

  12. profiling people negatively on the basis of race, religion, age, or gender

  13. being indifferent to how your actions affect others negatively

  14. rejecting legitimate authority when you feel like it

  15. not caring about others when you expose them to risk

  16. allowing yourself to cheat or lie when you feel like it

  17. losing your temper but not feeling like apologizing for it later

  18. allowing yourself to loaf or not do your duties when you feel like it

  19. allowing yourself to miss appointments, phone calls, or be late

  20. feeling lack of sympathy for someone who needs your help

  21. allowing yourself to misuse things or be careless and negligent

etc. etc.


        Negative cognitions towards others are made of emotionally impaired thinking routines. This type of thinking process is biased, inaccurate, and irrational. For example, we might assume that someone wanted to insult us when in fact there was no such intention. It's common to make mistakes and exaggerate when we think in this faulty manner. Emotionally impaired thinking is encouraged or facilitated by anger or arrogance. When you feel rage or disdain towards someone, you begin to think in an impaired fashion, making the wrong assessment of the situation, losing the sense of reality. Negative feelings and negative thoughts always function together and support each other. It's common to be aware of our thoughts but most people are less aware of their own feelings. This emotional option includes a large collection of negative thinking habits such as:

  1. planning to take revenge or to retaliate no matter what

  2. engaging in fantasies of violence or torture

  3. thinking about all the things you're going to say to upset or insult someone

  4. compulsively going over and over again some past conflict situation

  5. using a biased train of thoughts called self-serving logic

  6. conveniently ignoring relevant information

  7. exaggerating or being inaccurate in order to justify our rage or arrogance

  8. keeping blinders on to maintain one's skewed thinking

  9. interpreting many things as insulting that are not meant that way

  10. not considering alternatives  (rigidified thinking)

  11. maintaining an attribution bias that favors self and makes others to be always at fault

  12. putting things together in a false sequence that supports your side

  13. justifying something wrong we did instead of accepting responsibility for it

  14. discriminating against someone on the basis of their family, race, or religion

  15. rejecting something because it comes from an authority

  16. accepting something uncritically because it fits with one's prejudices

  17. thinking in a stereotyped way even if it's irrational

  18. maintaining views and attitudes without examining their logic, rationality, or consistency

  19. being suspicious of people without rational cause

  20. thinking badly of people from habit or amusement

etc. etc.


        Negative sensorimotor behavior does not occur by itself. It is preceded by negative feeling and thinking. For instance, if you're feeling anger towards someone (option 1) and you become aware of negative thoughts, you frequently act out your anger by behaving aggressively or destructively. You may feel like being violent in some situation in which you feel rage and at the same time think thoughts that justify and reinforce the rage. You are experiencing the spin cycle of option 1 back and forth for minutes or hours. But in other situations it's dangerous to express your hatred and judgment in overt action such as saying something or making an insulting face or gesture, or throwing something. In that case we inhibit the overt doing and our rage remains private.

Here are examples of negative red doing (sensorimotor behavior):

  1. hearing your voice as shrill or abnormal

  2. attacking someone in anger using your body, an object or weapon

  3. standing in a hostile or aggressive pose to threaten someone

  4. yelling at people to make them feel bad

  5. speaking with a sarcastic tone to insult someone

  6. gesturing insults or using offensive, mocking, or ridiculing language

  7. setting your face into menacing expressions

  8. writing an insulting or hurtful letter or note

  9. leaving an insulting message

  10. driving off in a hurry, screeching your tires to show you're mad

  11. driving fast to take out your anger on something

  12. making an irate phone call

  13. deliberately playing loud music to annoy someone or just due to lack of caring

  14. damaging property to retaliate or get even

  15. sabotaging something (throwing a monkey wrench) out of spite

  16. breaking your promise or commitment because you're mad

 etc. etc.

Make sure you have the main diagram of the four options pictured in your mind as you go through these lists. For your convenience, here is the diagram again:

10.1.13  Option 2: Positive towards others and the world


Positive red feelings (upper right half of diagram) are perfect substitutes for negative red feelings. All red feelings are "hot" or intense and powerful, but it makes a difference if they are negative hot or positive hot. Negative red hot feelings are associated with rage or arrogance (option 1). Positive red hot feelings are associated with resolve and compassion (option 2). Resolve, or determination, is an intense motivation for protecting something valuable to society, like a cause or principle you feel strongly about. For instance, instead of complaining and getting mad, you decide to do something practical to change a situation. Sometimes the feeling of resolve appears to others as anger, but it's not. For instance, anger (or rage) is the strong desire to punish, destroy or injure by an aggressive act, whereas resolve with compassion is the strong desire to protect or support something by democratic or humanitarian means provided by law and conscience. The feeling of compassion has to be added to resolve so that you don't fall back on blind anger. Compassion is a feeling of support for someone who needs help. It is the desire to assist, rescue, and protect what we consider valuable or loved. The feeling of compassion includes the fear to injure someone, and so it is the opposite of anger (the desire to hurt someone). Resolve combined with compassion (option 2) is the perfect antidote to anger and rage (option 1).

Here are examples that can help you better observe and describe your <="color:red">feelings that fall in option 2, called resolve with compassion.

  1. rejecting your impulse to be violent or to injure someone or something

  2. promoting in yourself the feeling of compassion

  3. promoting in yourself the desire for peace or the desire to forget and forgive

  4. strengthening the desire to protect or promote something worthwhile

  5. honoring your commitment to do something constructive and avoid conflict

  6. not taking yourself too seriously when feeling offended

  7. seeing the humor of your predicament and laughing at the whole thing

  8. feeling sympathy or caring for the other person as a human being

  9. wanting to resolve the problem and reconnect when feeling separated

  10. not wanting to hurt the relationship by being angry or hostile

  11. placing trust in the system and relying on it to work itself out

  12. compelling yourself to act according to your higher values and principles

  13. giving yourself permission to reconnect by forgetting your pride

  14. feeling good about being fair-minded and civilized

  15. being ready to be conciliatory for the sake of peace and order

  16. feeling relief not to have to be angry any more

  17. looking after other people's comfort and safety

  18. exerting control over how much force is used when necessary

  19. fighting to protect what's yours without hatred or malice

  20. refusing to participate in activities that you consider harmful or unjust

  21. feeling responsible to carry out our duties and promises

etc. etc.


        Positive red thinking has to be compatible with positive red feeling and the two mutually support and reinforce one another. Positive red thinking is the opposite of negative red thinking and can be used to counteract it. This is called applying the red bridge technique. The negative and positive thinking are incompatible and cannot exist simultaneously in our mind with the same force so that one wins and inhibits or suppresses the other. When the negative thinking is strong or pervasive in our mind, the positive is weakened and stays in the background, rendered ineffective for now. This is called seeing red--which refers to impaired thinking due to negative emotions.

We have the ability, from a higher motivation of self-interest and conscience, to perform positive thinking routines in order to counteract the negative thinking routine we are performing in some particular situation. Emotionally impaired thoughts (option 1) are personal, skewed, inaccurate, and unrealistic, while emotionally intelligent thoughts (option 2) are social, objective, realistic, and accurate. Emotionally intelligent thoughts include stopping your negative thinking routines and making yourself run off positive thinking routines such as considering better alternatives you have in a situation, and their positive outcomes. These positive thoughts interact and reinforce positive feeling routines.


        Positive red doing is to act in a supportive and constructive manner. This is the sensorimotor outcome of positive feeling and positive thinking acting together. Feelings of resolve with compassion seek out and encourage emotionally intelligent thinking routines, and the two together produce constructive and supportive behavior such as cooperation, friendship, and sharing. Examples include:

  1. hearing your voice as normal and sociable

  2. acting safe and being careful of the safety of others

  3. softening your stance or expression so it's not perceived as threatening

  4. keeping your voice down and acting with civility

  5. speaking with a neutral tone that would not be considered aggressive

  6. finding something good to say, counteracting the negative

  7. showing patience and being accommodating

  8. keeping a pleasant expression on your face

  9. removing any insult, sarcasm, or condemnation when writing a letter or note

  10. leaving only polite and reasoned messages for others

  11. inhibiting any overt show of being mad or acting in anger

  12. driving carefully and lawfully even when you're upset

  13. postponing making an irate phone call, never making it

  14. controlling loud music (etc.) so as not to annoy someone

  15. being careful with other people's property

  16. cooperating for the greater good even when you feel like sabotaging

  17. keeping your promise or commitment even if you're upset

etc. etc.


10.1.14  Option 3: The threefold self is negative towards self


        The blue zone refers to the emotional lifestyle we have towards ourselves (bottom half of the four options diagram). There is a negative blue zone (option 3) and a positive blue zone (option 4). Depression or inadequacy is the title for a group of negative feelings towards oneself. Depression or feelings of inadequacy are forms of raging against oneself. It includes dissatisfaction that becomes obsessive. Also generalized anxiety and excessive worry. It may not be conscious, but these negative feelings towards the self are ways we make ourselves suffer, even to the point of destroying our happiness and sanity. Of course this is an irrational state of mind and it engenders irrational thinking routines called pessimism and cynicism. Pessimism is a type of thinking that involves unrealistic and exaggerated expectations of negative outcomes in our undertakings. Cynicism is a type of thinking that involves automatic suspicions and doubts regarding sincerity, goodness, and truth in ourselves (and in people generally). Pessimistic and cynical thinking routines are encouraged and strengthened by negative feelings towards the self such as depression, inadequacy, chronic dissatisfaction, excessive worry, hopelessness, and helplessness.

Negative blue feelings are experienced in many varieties that include self-hatred ("I hate myself"), desire to punish self ("I'm such fool. I could kick myself"), feeling guilty ("How could I do such a thing"), ashamed ("Oh, no, what are they going to think of me"), lack of enthusiasm ("Everything sucks"), and so on.

Here are some examples that can help you better witness and describe your feelings in option 3 titled depression and inadequacy--see if you can memorize them:

  1. feeling mad at yourself (calling yourself negative names)

  2. feeling compulsively ashamed or guilty and unable to stop

  3. wanting to hit or kick yourself (raging against oneself)

  4. wanting to punish and denigrate yourself

  5. feeling worthless

  6. feeling helpless

  7. feeling over-anxious or terrified about a normal event

  8. feeling that you deserve to be condemned or ridiculed

  9. wanting to cut or injure yourself

  10. wanting to break something that is of value to you

  11. wanting to throw away something that is dear to you

  12. wanting to die or disappear

  13. feeling totally discouraged and unable to stop

  14. feeling desperate and out of control

  15. feeling a lack of enthusiasm for everything

  16. feeling picked on all the time (without objective evidence)

  17. ignoring your conscience

  18. ignoring health motives, letting yourself go

  19. ignoring prudence, showing preference for high risk behaviors

  20. maintaining preference for a junky lifestyle

  21. choosing to associate with bad friends

etc. etc.


Negative cognitions about self are characteristically pessimistic or cynical. Pessimistic thinking includes catastrophizing, which is the tendency to expect the worst to happen to us in some situation and to magnify or exaggerate the likely negative consequences. Cynical thinking is a kind of pessimism since it suggests that nothing is fair, noble, or sincere in what we do, or what anyone else is doing. Feeling depressed or obsessively dissatisfied engenders pessimistic and cynical thoughts. The feeling and the thinking agree with each other and end up on the same side, reinforcing one another and strengthening their bond. Together they can produce negative forms of acting out called self-destructive behavior.

Here are examples that can help you better witness and describe your pessimistic and cynical thinking routines:

  1. thinking that the worst is going to happen or catastrophizing
  2. exaggerating how bad things are and scaring yourself
  3. compulsively thinking about bad things (ruminating)
  4. not thinking clearly, being inconsistent
  5. blocking out what others are saying or suggesting (skewed thinking)
  6. ruminating over something that happened and unwilling to stop thinking or talking about it
  7. elaborating on fantasies of doom and gloom
  8. thinking pessimistically (the possible becomes the probable)
  9. thinking cynically and doubting anything good and true
  10. thinking there is no higher authority than your own (cynicism)
  11. concluding that life just isn't worth all the trouble (suicidal)
  12. deciding you don't need anyone for support or approval (alienation)
  13. deciding there is nothing you can do about something (helplessness)
  14. planning to hurt your relationship with someone who loves or supports you
  15. thinking you don't deserve better (low self-esteem)
etc. etc.


Self-destructive behavior is the overt outcome of combining negative feeling and thinking (option 3). The variety of such behaviors is quite large and they are familiar to everyone. They include loss of energy and motivation, the slowing down of the body, reduced activity and productivity, so that we fail to complete tasks or we deliberately make errors to sabotage the outcome, thus insuring that we lose. We also tend to engage in high risk behavior that is dangerous and destructive to ourselves. This negative sensorimotor behavior continues as long as the negative feeling and thinking continue to act together. In other words, as long as you continue to feel obsessed with your dissatisfaction and reinforce this feeling with pessimistic or cynical thoughts, you will act out some self-destructive behavior.

Here are examples that to help you better witness and describe self-destructive behavior routines:

  1. moving abnormally slow or feeling tired all the time

  2. unable to complete tasks

  3. sustaining injuries due to carelessness

  4. engaging in high risk behaviors due to recklessness

  5. looking downcast, unhappy, discouraged, sad sack

  6. not taking care of your body

  7. overdoing or indulging in harmful substances

  8. purging (bulimia syndrome) or gorging

  9. doing dangerous and reckless things that are out of control

  10. deliberately spoiling your chances and insuring defeat

etc. etc.

10.1.15  Option 4: Positive towards self


Positive blue feeling towards self typically includes the feeling of self-satisfaction, self-mastery, and the desire to enhance your potential. It's the opposite of negative blue feeling. Positive blue feelings seek out and promote positive blue thinking routines. Positive blue feelings also function to counteract negative blue feelings so you feel less depression or dissatisfaction, if any. Positive feelings towards self include feeling enthusiastic, effective, productive, grateful or appreciative, and feeling more integrated and whole.

  1. feeling satisfied with your work
  2. feeling confident you'll succeed
  3. having a "Can Do" attitude
  4. not being afraid to stand up and be counted
  5. being motivated to improve yourself
  6. being motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  7. being committed to uphold your beliefs and values
  8. feeling hope or certainty about your future
  9. feeling respect for what's good and true in yourself
  10. feeling enthusiastic and full of vitality
  11. feeling motivated to protect your best interests

etc. etc.


        Positive blue cognitions are optimistic as well as realistic. They are compatible with positive blue feelings such as the feeling of self-mastery and self-confidence. Optimistic thinking counteracts pessimistic thinking, and instead of expecting the worst, one ranks the possible or likely outcomes of any event in terms of their probability or likelihood of happening. Positive thinking is not only optimistic but realistic, objective, and rational. Switching into positive thinking about self is called the blue bridge technique. Some illustrations:

  1. thinking about what is likely to happen instead of what one fears
  2. giving yourself the benefit of the doubt
  3. questioning your pessimism and cynicism
  4. arguing with your negative position
  5. making yourself stop thinking about something negative
  6. deliberately trying to figure something out instead of jumping to conclusions
  7. examining what others are saying about your situation
  8. thinking that you deserve respect as a human being
  9. thinking that with practice you can achieve your goal

etc. etc.


        As always, the doing or acting out in the sensorimotor domain is an outcome of the affective (feeling) and the cognitive (thinking) domains acting together. Positive sensorimotor behaviors include a variety of self-enhancing routines such as:

  1. following regular and lifelong healthy diet and exercise programs
  2. acting with discipline leading to your goals
  3. maintaining good relations with others
  4. doing things that lead to success
  5. practicing good time-management techniques
  6. maintaining a neat or appropriate appearance
  7. exercising appropriate control over your budget
  8. making adequate provisions for the future
  9. preparing for challenging experiences
  10. practicing healthy habits and routines
  11. avoiding unnecessary risk
  12. acting in a prudent or careful manner
  13. taking steps to protect what's yours

etc. etc.

10.1.16  Design of Your Experiment

Why do we want to know in detail what our daily emotional spin cycle is? The reason is that we can then control it or customize it to our preference and rationality. The coping and successful person learns to control the spin cycle. At this time the majority of people are reporting daily feelings of anger and depression--as reviewed in a prior section. This means that most of us are choosing the negative options many times each day in our activities and interactions. There is a habitual and automatic flip-flop effect between the red and blue options, either negative or positive.

For instance, after choosing the rage against others option (1), we find ourselves automatically sliding into the rage against self option (3), which is a state of depression or dissatisfaction. This rage-depression flip-flop is a sociogenic habit we have from our socialization. Similarly, there is a flip-flop effect for the positive options: feelings of resolve with compassion towards others (option 2) spins us into feelings of resolve for ourselves, which is called enthusiasm and self-confidence (option 4). Vice-versa, feelings of enthusiasm and self-confidence flip-flop into feelings of resolve with compassion. Both these habit mechanisms are portrayed in the diagrams you saw above. They will help you understand and memorize the mechanisms involved.

Here is the design of your project:

Week 1: Baseline observations:

Sample activity A (negative red):  day 1 ||  day 2  ||  day 3

Sample activity B (negative blue):  day 4 ||  day 5  ||  day 6

Week 2:  Intervention--practicing the bridge technique:

Sample activity A again:  day 1 ||  day 2  ||  day 3

Sample activity B again:  day 4 ||  day 5  ||  day 6

You can repeat the above experiment with two additional weeks and different sample activities (this is optional).

The purpose of the experiment is to enable you to map out the negative spin cycle options you choose in some of your recurrent daily activities, and then to use the bridge technique to move your spin cycle from negative to positive options.

You need to select an activity that you do on three consecutive days every week--so this limits the choices. Examples include: Getting up in the morning; doing things at home (cleaning, fixing, cooking, etc.); driving to work or school; performing your job tasks; going shopping; talking to someone on the phone; watching a particular TV program; studying or doing your homework; and other such recurrent activities you do alone or in company. The activity could be short (just a few minutes) or long (several hours), but it must be recurrent or routine so you have to face the same psychological issues every day. At the same time, the activity you select must have elements that fall in the negative category (options 1 and 3). One sample involves an activity in which you feel, think, or do something negative towards others and the world (negative red--option 1). Another sample should involve option 3: negative towards the self (negative blue). So you need to select a daily recurrent activity during which you can observe yourself run off negative routines towards others and self.  Activity A must be negative towards others and the world (negative red) while activity B must be negative towards the self (negative blue).

You start with sample activity A on day 1. You need to take notes of your actual feelings, thoughts, and doings or use a tape recorder to dictate them. Be sure you end up with enough of a sample of what you are actually feeling, thinking, and doing in the selected situation. You also need to explain the context so the activity makes sense to the reader.

To keep a record of what you are feeling:

Ask yourself: What am I feeling right now? What do I feel like doing right now? Usually you get an inkling of what it is and then you can describe it: I feel like jumping off the roof; or, I feel like smashing something; or, I feel I'm being denigrated; I feel totally hopeless; etc. Keep writing things down as long as that feeling lasts--seconds, minutes, or hours. Be sure you distinguish between what your are feeling and what you are thinking. Sometimes we need to use a metaphor to describe what we are feeling. There may be several ways of describing a sequence of negative feelings. Be sure to study the lists given for options 1 and 3 to help you observe the feelings.

To keep a record of what you are thinking:

Give an approximate transcript of your thinking sequence in the selected situation. Obviously, we think several or many sentences in any situation in a brief period of time. Try to write down as many sentences as you can or is feasible in the situation. Be sure to study the lists given for options 1 and 3 to help you observe the negative thinking.

To keep a record of your sensorimotor doing:

First separate what is invisible to others and what is visible.  Ask yourself: What am I sensing in my body? Invisible sensorimotor routines that are negative include sensations of weakness or tension, pain or unpleasantness, heat or cold, and so on (see lists above). Then ask yourself: What can others see about me? Visible sensorimotor routines that are negative include what others can detect from your voice, choice of words, face, hands, gestures, posture, appearance of your clothing, smell, etc. Be sure to study the lists given for options 1 and 3 to help you observe the negative doing.

When you finish the first day with activity A, you repeat the process for day 2 with the same activity, and finally,  the third day. Then you begin observations with activity B on day 1, and repeat for day 2 and 3. This is the end of your baseline observations--two activities observed on three different days each (see design above).

Now you begin your intervention week, doing the same thing as before. The only difference is that now you are going to apply the bridge technique.

You stick with the same two activities but now you are introducing an intervention we called the bridge technique in the discussions above.  This time it's important to keep notes on how you use the bridge technique in addition to the feeling, thinking, and doing (as you did the first week). Write down what you actually said to yourself to move yourself over from the negative to the positive options, either red or blue. Then describe the consequences of applying the bridge technique: What was your feeling after the bridge? What was your thinking? What was your sensing and doing? These consequences may be immediate or longer lasting. Or, the bridge technique may not work out or may end up having no visible effect.

In addition to the above, you need to collect Global Ratings once at the end of each day:

_____   1) What was my overall stress point today: (1=very weak; 10=extreme)

_____   2) What was my overall level of satisfaction with myself today: (1=very weak; 10=extreme)

_____   3) What was my overall level of dissatisfaction with others today: (1=very weak; 10=extreme)

_____   3) What was my overall level of effectiveness or productivity today:  (1=very weak; 10=extreme)

_____   4) What was my overall level of coping successfully with my feelings today:  (1=very ineffectual; 10=extremely effective)

_____   5) What is my current level of hope for the future: (1=little hope or brightness; 10=extremely hopeful and bright)

_____   6) What was the worst level of negativity or selfishness of some other people around you (1=almost no negativity or selfishness observed; 10=extremely strong negative or selfish behavior observed)

By collecting these 6 numbers at the end of each day you will be able to use a global assessment comparison between the baseline week and the intervention week.

To see how students have carried out this report, you can consult this directory:


10.2  Supportive Driving -- Facing the Culture of Disrespect

Media reports and driver opinion surveys illustrate the need to place aggressive driving within a cultural context to answer the question: Why is this happening and why is it on the rise? At the 1996 National Women's Political Caucus, Sharon Rodine discussed the need for greater "civility in society." She noted that culture influences the level of intolerance and violence by promoting and supporting the acceptance of aggressive behavior. It's essential, she said, to differentiate between "stupid acts" and "stupid people" by looking beyond facile polarization and stereotypes. And the President warned us about the decline of sportsmanship, where "winning ugly" has become the popular model, and unrepentant bullies deliberately contribute to an atmosphere of unsportsmanlike behavior with profanity, kicking trash cans, insulting referees, making ugly shows of defiance, participating in field brawls, and denigrating fans in media interviews. One of the most commercially successful event on TV is violent looking wrestling, where enthusiastic crowds, including children, applaud the insults and enraged acts of wrestlers.

A culture of rage also prevails in the driving arena. Everyone knows about it, and everybody talks about it. It's estimated that there are billions of road rage exchanges annually among the 177 million U.S. drivers, not including the 1200 yearly road rage assault and battery deaths reported by police. But the vast majority of the billions of road rage exchanges, each lasting mere seconds or minutes, don't end up with shootings and battering. Nevertheless, it's appropriate to designate these hostile mini-exchanges as instances of road rage because each involves the two symptoms that define road rage: (a) the feeling of rage accompanied by mental violence, and (b) the desire to punish and retaliate.

Few of us can claim to be free of hostile encounters when we drive. Mostly, the incidents don't break out into the open or are ignored. We get used to them and consider them normal. But we run a risk each time because it's not possible to predict which little incident will turn violent. The cumulative effect of our daily encounters with pervasive hostility toughens our hide, and promotes a culture of mutual disrespect on highways.

Deborah Tannen examines the dynamics of the culture of disrespect in every day life.12 Tannen's analysis of the problem of contentiousness in society is applicable to driving. The adversarial attitude common in driving is similar to disputes and disagreements in the workplace, in the family, and in personal relationships. Aggressiveness among motorists adds a dysfunctional element to driving as a social institution or activity. Some drivers go overboard in applying the defensive driving principle, emphasizing suspiciousness and a readiness to criticize or expect the worst of others.

Tannen's view of how social disputes are sequenced and practiced in daily life leads to an obvious recommendation: society, must find constructive ways to resolve disputes and differences. One of the prominent characteristics of "the argument culture" is the use of war metaphors. On the highway front it's common to hurl expletives like, stupid fool, road warrior, Sunday driver, Mad Max, maniac, slimeball, airhead, and worse. When a driver enters our lane, immediately ahead of us in order to get to an off ramp, we have a choice of labels for this action. We can call the action "cutting me off" or "entering my lane." Often the latter is more accurate, but we prefer the former. Why? The argument culture inspires a knee-jerk defensive response that makes opposition the norm. According to Tannen:

Everywhere we turn, there is evidence that, in public discourse, we prize contentiousness and aggression more than cooperation and conciliation. Headlines blare about the Star Wars, the Mommy Wars, the Baby Wars, the Mammography Wars; everything is posed in terms of battles and duels, winners and losers, conflicts and disputes.

This generation will be characterized as the "Age of Rage," typified in popular book titles and headlines that herald, and accurately reflect, society's deep involvement in the rage experience:

  • · The Culture of Rage
  • · The Culture of Criticism
  • · The Culture of Violence
  • · The Culture of Disrespect
  • · The Culture of Aggression
  • · The Culture of Cynicism
  • · The Culture of Fear
  • · The Argument Culture

Deborah Tannen writes that young men drive more aggressively because in driving they express a "ritual opposition in their struggles for status." Drivers have become specialized in a mental driving economy that keeps track of how many times their "face" (or ego) has been ritually "injured" (or disrespected) by an exchange with another driver. In this status-seeking mentality, the actions of other drivers take on dramatic and symbolic meanings that either insult us ("Who does he think he is?") or make us feel superior ("Gotcha!"). But in a diverse and congested highway community, the sense of entitlement to drive the way we want engenders unfair and unrealistic expectations of other drivers. Since the roads are also shared by inexperienced, unfamiliar, impaired, and unsure drivers, it's unreasonable and unrealistic to demand that all drivers engage in one style or level of driving. This despotic orientation leads to a deprecating attitude about the intelligence, motives, the capacity of others, and self-righteousness that permits us to become anonymous vigilantes. Since this harsh approach to driver relations is a culturally transmitted norm, we all practice it to some extent, under circumstances that vary with individual background and personality. But we pay a price in terms of diminished quality of life because disrespect increases risk, danger, stress, defensiveness, and dehumanization.

Ned Megargee's research in criminal psychology resulted in a classification system for prison inmates based on studies of aggressive and violent behavior.13 His research determined that violent behavior is the outcome of a number of factors converging to produce the aggressive response. The source of all aggressive behavior lies in an individual's motivational structure, or "the sum of the forces that drive an individual to commit a violent act." Human motives that often accompany aggression include greed, jealousy, hate, anger, revenge, need for status, need for acceptance, lust for control, lust for excitement, and thrillseeking. The presence of any of these motives leads an individual to build up a repertoire of aggressive and violent behaviors, performed repeatedly under favorable conditions, when inhibitions are weakened.

The more violent behaviors are reinforced or rewarded through success and avoidance of punishment, the stronger the "habit strength" of the behavior the more frequently it occurs. That's why the best predictor of future violence is past violent behavior.

Megargee wholeheartedly agrees that how children are raised--the values they're exposed to by parents, peer groups or the media--can have an incalculable effect on their inhibitions against criminal behavior and violence. The "family values" crowd has it right when they argue that such things as a cohesive neighborhood, an intact family and religious instruction can contribute enormously to a child's sense of propriety. "Chances are, if the environment you grow up in disapproves of violence, you're going to disapprove of it as an adult. If your neighborhood approves of violence, that's the attitude you tend to take with you as you grow up. There's little debate about that."13

Though Megargee doesn't discuss aggressive driving and road rage, it's clear that his research and theory apply. Think of millions of parents driving aggressively in the presence of millions of children, all future drivers.

But even adults with strong senses of right and wrong can suffer lapses of moral inhibitions several ways. One of the most effective means is by seeing others commit crimes with impunity. By seeing repeated examples of criminals going unpunished, with miscreants benefiting from their misdeeds, individuals of even the stoutest moral character are likely to experience an erosion of their inhibitions over time.13

Few of us are ready to accept the idea that our daily aggressive driving behaviors fall in the "criminal" category making us "miscreants," yet aggressive driving is a criminal misdemeanor and felony in several states, and does go "unpunished" in most cases, contributing to erosion of inhibitions over time. Megargee warns, "it's a lot easier to lose your inhibitions than it is to foster them."13 The hostility experienced daily on streets creates a subculture of aggressiveness that couples disrespect with lowered inhibitions, adding up to oppositional driving styles.

Daily, millions of motorists have to manage hundreds of social exchanges with strangers who influence each other when to brake, when to speed up, when to yield. Most driver interactions are minor, lasting only a second or two, yet their spirit of execution has a cumulative impact on our moods, feelings, and thoughts, sometimes lasting for hours through the day. Some drivers report that after driving to work, their mood negatively affects their productivity and exchanges with co-workers:

When I'm in a bad mood and I have to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I'm not a very friendly person. I usually get very aggressive and angry at anyone and everyone for everything. For instance, the person could have the blinker on and assume that I'm letting them in, so the car merges into my lane and because I'm in a bad mood, I'll say something derogatory even though the person waves to thank me. When I'm in this kind of mood, it's really difficult for me to lessen the negative. (Middle-aged woman, Michigan)

Negative thoughts behind the wheel act like mental pollutants, decreasing the enjoyment of driving and increasing its noxious by-products--stress, higher blood pressure, frustration, pessimism, and less effective mental productivity that influences health, workplace, and family life. For millions, driving has become an emotional irritant that daily contaminates their mood. According to research in the U.S. and Sweden, the longer the commute, the higher the blood pressure, and commuters facing congested drives have a greater incidence of absenteeism. Men and women alike, of all ages, ethnic, and income groups, experience frustration on crowded freeways and at red lights. While this is an understandable reaction to congestion, few realize that frustration in traffic is a learned habit, and therefore it can be unlearned.

Learned negativity is characteristic of this generation's driving norms. For years we imbibe our parents' attitudes as we ride with them. Watching drivers behaving badly on TV, enjoying it and getting away without consequences, further reinforces the norm of aggressiveness. When teenagers obtain that coveted driver's license and claim their independence, the negativity they've imbibed in childhood takes over and fortifies the culture of disrespect. And we are passing it on to the next generation--unless we decide to do something about it. Social methods have been used to counteract the stressful effects of negative thoughts. For example, commuters who switch to ride sharing arrangements show a significant reduction in blood pressure within a few days. Ride-sharers, both as drivers and passengers, are less bothered by congestion, possibly because socializing shifts their focus away from what other drivers are doing or not doing. This book presents self-change methods that substitute habitual negativity with learned optimism and a positive outlook behind the wheel. (Based on the book by Leon James and Diane Nahl -- )

10.3  Getting a Grip on Anger

See other charts from this Workshop --


Cultural Personality Habit
(with built in resistance to change)

Leads to these consequences

Driving Personality Makeover:
installing de-escalation habits
(see lifelong AWM within
QDC support groups)


[feeling inconvenienced by  drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, legislators, passengers, law enforcement, road crews, etc.]

impulse to feel resentful

[berating, name calling, insulting, ridiculing, complaining, rushing, breaking traffic rules, driving aggressively, etc.]

or lose self-esteem and be a wimp

*inattentiveness or distraction
*taking excessive risks
*driving while drowsy
*feeling a sense of entitlement
*feeling competitive
*obscene expressions
*category 1 offenses (breaking speed limits, going through red, not signaling or yielding, weaving, taking too long, speeding up to yellow)

installing supportive driving habits such as situational awareness, attitude of latitude, civility, teamwork mentality, cooperation


[feeling endangered, thwarted, coerced, insulted, manipulated, ignored, etc.]

impulse to feel indignant or punitive

[punishing, retaliating, rectifying, venting, eye for eye, self-righteous indignation, feeling of superiority]

or lose control and let chaos reign

*power struggle
*gaining the upper hand
*territorial fights
*blocking the only lane--not pulling over
*category 2 offenses (tailgating, cutting off, blocking passing lane, braking suddenly or   flashing brights to retaliate)

installing emotional intelligence habits through scenario analysis of choice points to retain control of self and situation


[feeling injured, invaded,  dehumanized, delusional, attacked, etc.]

impulse to feel murderous

[killing, ramming, shooting, beating, tearing down]

or be destroyed

*driving recklessly
*engaging in a duel
*giving a break job
*running someone off the road
*running down pedestrians
*bumping bicyclists
*acts of  desperation
*category 3 offenses (assault, battery, vehicular homicide, attempted murder)

installing a supportive driving philosophy that includes social responsibility and lifelong training


Transforming Negative to Positive




leads to


leads to

*feeling insulted and insulting others
*feeling competitive
*practicing selfism
*acting with a defensive mentality
*expressing pessimism
*showing intolerance or being over-critical
*denigrating others
*involved in put-down symbolism (or deprecating others)
*feeling ignored
*being contentious
*viewing traffic as individual competition
*holding on to a sense of entitlement (or "I have the right to do what I want")
*thrill-seeking or looking for excitement
*insisting on driving at your level of control
*me first mentality
*individual focus vs. focus on group
*hating diversity
*self-serving bias
*acting with civility
*being optimistic
*being tolerant
*showing obedience to legitimate authority
*viewing traffic as teamwork
*being conscientious
*accommodating to diversity
*being attentive
*feeling supportive
*acting cooperatively
*acting predictably
*being facilitative (or the "Be my guest" attitude)
*practicing  lifelong driving self-improvement activities (QDCs)


leads to


leads to

*being vindictive or cruel to others
*demeaning others
*being over-sensitive to provocation
*being prone to territorial fights or turf wars
*acting with ritual opposition
*following the law of the jungle
*feeling wronged
*feeling thwarted
*feeling being taken advantage of
*acting with habitual hostility
*maintaining an adversarial attitude
*being cynical (or expecting the worst of others)
*dehumanizing others
*prone to vehemence (or insistence)
*self-righteous criticizing (or indignation)
*accepting aggressiveness
*being coercive or wanting to enforce domination
*showing mutual disrespect
*approving of retaliation
*continues in a chain of errors while feeling pushed by the other
*approving of mental violence (or " just thinking about it")
*approving of vengeance
*insisting on punishing or retaliating
*practicing road vigilantism
* maintaining a status-seeking mentality
*suffering an erosion of inhibitions to violence
*giving in to social pressure to take excessive risks (party atmosphere in car)
*exercising freedom of choice
*showing mutual respect
*acting with compassion
*making emotionally intelligent choices
*exercising self-restraint and self-control
*being able to turn down a challenge
*backs out of errors
*willing to forgive and forget
*refusing to demean others
*ignoring provocations
*recognizing that roads are for a wide  diversity of people
*preferring a friendly atmosphere
*considerate of the legitimate rights of others
*disapproves of retaliation or vengeance
*rejects aggressiveness
*retains control of self and situation

leads to


leads to

*uncaring and willing to hurt others
*feeling alone and disconnected
*feeling alienated
*acting delusional or from fantasy
*acting on a lust for control
*acting recklessly with disregard for all others
*feeling depressed and worthless
*feeling violent or enraged and seeking an excuse to express it
*violentization through choice
*feeling depersonalized
*attached to reciprocal response leading to a chain of escalation
*general acceptance of violent behavior as normal
*excited by violent behavior
*failure oriented and acting self-destructively
*knee jerk desperateness
*refusing to back down no matter what
*feeling unable to stop
*reacting out of proportion to a provocation
*being socially responsible
*feeling connected in traffic (belonging)
*viewing traffic as teamwork
*acting from conscience
*choosing transformation to denial
*acting with integrity
*acting with dependability
*feeling interdependent
*success oriented and acting with prudence
*taking driving seriously
*willing to go through a driving personality makeover
*practicing lifelong self-improvement activities (QDCs)
*striving to be a better driver and person
*willing to come out swinging positive






Focus on blaming others and retaliating

Focus on self and how to cope

"They're bone heads!"
"I'm feeling very impatient today!"
"How can they do this to me!"
"I'm scared and angry!"
"They make me so mad when they do this!"
"I make myself so mad when they do this."
"I just want him to know how I feel!"
"It's not worth it."
"They better stay out of my way!" "I need to recognize that everybody has to get to their destination."
"How can they be so stupid talking on the phone while driving!" "I need to be extra careful around these drivers."


10.4  Resistance to Flossing


10.5  Resistance to Medical Compliance



10.6  Medical Daily Round



10.7  Resistance to Exercising



10.8  Intolerance of Feeling Hungry



10.9  Resistance to a Healthy Diet


10.10  The Spiritual Content of Yoga

(See also Section about Hindu Scriptures on Dualism.)

When I first started studying Hindi religious literature I saw only the literal sense of it. From that representation Hindi spirituality appears to be a nonduality between God and human beings. This literal meaning is in sharp contrast with Western religious literature that includes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In this literature God and human beings are in an absolute duality with each other. According to this view no human being can appropriate anything Divine since the Creator must be separate and different from the created. Hence the Hindi religion and associated practice of Yoga are still today considered contradictory to each other, and should they be brought together, they would annihilate each other.

However this separatist perspective completely changes when we consider the correspondential sense of Sacred literature in Hindi and in Western religions. The correspondences are the same in all Sacred literature since what is involved belongs to the spiritual mind, and this is above and separate from the natural mind (see Section xx). The literal meaning of Sacred Scripture belongs to culture, religion, and belief systems in the natural mind, while the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture belongs to the universal human race, thus the mental world of every individual regardless of religion, culture, era, or planet. Swedenborg has confirmed by observation that those who are resuscitated are from diverse cultures and planets, and yet when they awaken in the spiritual mind after dying in the natural mind, they speak the same human language of eternity and acknowledge only one universal God (see Section xx).

By studying the correspondential sense of Hindi Sacred literature we can demonstrate that it is the same Divine Speech that issues from the one God who is surrounded by the Spiritual Sun, from which inflows the mental world of humanity with spiritual heat and light. This is a process of Divine good (spiritual heat) and Divine truth (spiritual light) inflowing into the spiritual mind of every human being. Then by correspondence, the natural mind reacts with representative content from the physical world and body. This is the chain of correspondences from God to human beings. God rules the human mind through this chain of correspondences. What these correspondences has not been known to humanity for the past thousands of years, but has been revealed once more in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx).

The practice of yoga has been adopted by millions of Americans in recent times. A search for yoga in Google gives more than 84 million sites that use this word. According to the definition provided with these results, yoga is

  1. A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.
  2. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.

[Hindi, from Sanskrit yogaḥ, union, joining.]

Clearly this definition relates yoga practice to a spiritual discipline. The physical effort we put up when doing yoga poses and breathing is for the purpose of becoming more aware of our spiritual mind.

"Spiritual insight" refers to the rational understanding of the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, that is, of theistic psychology.

"Spiritual tranquility" refers to the heavenly feeling of peace that we experience when there is absence of temptations and conflicts. This is also called the Rest of Sabbath, meaning the absence of emotional conflict, anxiety, fear, anger, egotism, fantasy, envy, cruelty, restlessness, and all other negative emotions and intentions.

When all this negative activity ceases in our mental states, we experience the "peace that passes all understanding," which comes from total reliance and confidence in the omnipotence and benevolence of God operating in our mind and lives.

Fear is caused by insufficient love of the Divine Psychologist in our mind. This insufficient love comes from our inherited tendency to enjoy relying on our own self-intelligence rather than on our understanding of Sacred Scripture. The more we communicate with the Divine Psychologist in our mind, the more we have to rely on our knowledge from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, also called, our doctrine of truth (see Section xx).

But we resist this reliance on the truths of Sacred Scripture. Why? Because these truths inform us that when we reach adulthood, we must stop enjoying the evil traits we have from both inheritance and acquisition.

Evil traits are those we rely on and enjoy all day long, and yet they are bad for us, and hurt others and society. Examples you can recognize in yourself are:

  • inconveniencing others for the sake of self (e.g., being late, being loud, littering, aggressive driving, etc.)

  • hurting others for the sake of gain (e.g., deceiving, cheating, manipulating, yelling at, taking advantage of, etc.)

  • hurting one's growth and health (e.g., being overweight, neglecting daily hygiene like flossing the teeth, living in unclean environment as our room, car, office, clothes, closets, kitchen, stove, etc.)

Which ones of those listed do you yourself do or not do? Probably you do all of them, some of us more than others.

 You can see why we all need spiritual discipline, that is, the daily practice of exercises designed to bring these evil habits to our conscious awareness. We must have a spiritual motivation for this practice in order to become conscious of our evil habits of thinking and willing all day long every day. If this motivation is not spiritual, there can be no spiritual change or benefit in our character.

There are two types of spiritual discipline we can practice: continuous and occasional.

Yoga as it is practiced by most Americans is occasional since it is performed as a physical periodic session that may last a few minutes or an hour and a half. There is the tradition of carrying the yoga "breath" and "tranquility" to the rest of the day, but this is not usually part of the yoga practiced by most Westerners (although specific data on this is lacking).

The practice of continuous spiritual discipline in the Western cultural context takes the form of rational spirituality (see Section xx). For instance, people may read Sacred Scripture and study it by trying to extract its spiritual message. Few people today know correspondences from the Writings of Swedenborg or from the study of theistic psychology. Hence most people attempt to comprehend the spiritual message of Sacred Scripture by natural methods of understanding, rather than spiritual. What exactly is the difference?

Every method of interpreting Sacred Scripture that has been proposed and practiced is natural -- except the method of correspondences revealed by God in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). This is not an issue of authority, intellectual approach, religion, or preference. This is a scientific approach. Swedenborg is the only known scientist in history who has had the ability of being conscious in the spiritual mind, which is the mind of every human being in the afterlife of eternity (see Section xx).

Regardless of how intelligent, sincere, and authoritative are the interpreters of Sacred Scripture they carry no scientific weight because they are not based on empirical observations. This is required by science. The Swedenborg Reports are the only empirical observations we have of a scientist who was conscious for 27 years in the spiritual mind as well as in the natural mind. Through this unique ability granted him by God he was able to fulfill his Divine mission, namely, to publish his empirical observations of the spiritual correspondences in Sacred Scripture. The experimental method he used for this project was to read a verse of Sacred Scripture in the original natural language or its translation (Swedish, Hebrew, Greek, Latin), through his natural mind and physical eyes, on the one hand, and on the other, to read the corresponding verse in a copy of Sacred Scripture in the spiritual world of the afterlife.

Every human being when resuscitated in the spiritual mind no longer uses the natural language of their culture or community, but instead, a universal spiritual language that Swedenborg describes as very much like the thought-language we think in. If you want to know what that universal and eternal spiritual language is you need to focus in on your thinking all day long. This is a spiritual discipline called self-witnessing (see Section xx). It is spiritual because the purpose of this mental self-monitoring is to discover the content of our thoughts and feelings that forms our life all day, and then to amend them in accordance with the doctrine of truth we extract from Sacred Scripture. This is the purpose that makes continuous daily mental self-witnessing a spiritual practice or discipline.

As you get more skilled at mental self-monitoring you begin to discover on an empirical basis what is the relationship in your mind between the natural and spiritual layers. This relationship is called correspondences. By this exact method of comparison, Swedenborg was able to make lists of correspondences with each entry of a word or phrase in the natural language, and its spiritual signification or equivalent. For instance, in the most general terms only and without further details, we can write dictionaries of correspondences like this:

Sacred Scripture expressions in a natural language on earth Spiritual correspondences in the universal human language of eternity
water, wine, lake, ocean, rain specific varieties of truths, some in the natural mind, some in the spiritual mind
bread, house forms of good, some in the natural mind, some in the spiritual mind
numbers 4, 40, 44, 400 undergoing spiritual temptation
number 3 what is complete, the last element, or the whole of the subject being discussed
God's anger, vengeance, destructive act God's appearance to us when we knowingly break the Divine order, rule, or law
tree, plant, vine, fruit, flower, root, branch, leaf, grass specific varieties of human activity in relation to one's character regeneration
gold, diamond specific varieties of celestial mental states in the spiritual mind
silver, copper specific varieties of spiritual mental states in the spiritual mind that are lower than the celestial states
bronze, iron, clay specific varieties of natural mental states
Babylon, Philistines, Goliath, Judas specific varieties of abusing one's knowledge of correspondences and of spiritual knowledge, e.g., gaining power and influence over people for enjoyment, gain, reputation, and adulation
Egypt, Pharaoh, horses knowledge of correspondences, but without applying them to one's self-witnessing and character modification or regeneration
Jerusalem, Mount of Olives the doctrine of truth that we extract for ourselves from the study of correspondences in Sacred Scripture
animals every animal species corresponds to a general quality in the human mind (e.g., wild and poisonous species correspond to the specific varieties of evil affections, intentions, and the nature of their enjoyment)
days of the week, progression of the day from AM to PM, progression of seasons, the four quarters of directions, etc. in Sacred Scripture all references to time and direction correspond to developmental states of our mind as we progress through the phases of regeneration and character reformation. Each reference to time and direction corresponds to particular types of thoughts and feelings that we have in that phase. 
(For more examples of lists of correspondences, see Section xx.)

Everyone can understand correspondences because they are the basis of how we think in daily life, and how we describe our mental states through physical objects and events (e.g.,

  • I've had a peach of a day

  • I see what you mean

  • He's got a good heart

  • He rules with a strong hand

  • Watch out he's a snake

  • She's got a soft spot for you

  • etc.

In each case we describe a mental state in terms of physical objects. We do this naturally, spontaneously, as part of our linguistic and semantic abilities. Hence it is we can understand each other's figurative speech that are correspondences. Note that these are natural-spiritual correspondences since physical objects are natural and mental states are spiritual (see Section xx). The natural and spiritual mind are each a mental organ (see Section xx). The layers of our mental organs from low and simple capacity to high and complex capacity, are tied to each other through the laws of correspondences that were established by God as part of creation (See Section xx).

What Swedenborg observed makes sense therefore, namely that the thousands of people he observed awakening in the spiritual mind, at resuscitation and immediately after dying, were able without exception and regardless of culture, to speak the one universal and eternal language, the language of thinking in the spiritual mind. This is because all along, since our birth, we had been thinking in this spiritual language as the backdrop of the natural language we were using and thinking in consciously. So our natural language expressions are correspondences of our spiritual language expressions, which is inborn and does not have to be learned.

More on correspondences in Section and Section

We now want to understand yoga practice in its true spiritual tradition of gaining understanding and control of the natural-spiritual correspondences between our body and our mind, that is, our physical organs and quality, on the one hand, and on the other, our mental organs and their quality.

Every physical body organ has a corresponding counterpart to our mental body organ. We are born with both bodies, the physical body in the physical world, connected by the laws of correspondences, to the mental body in the spiritual world of eternity. All our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are operations of the mental organs in eternity, and not at all of the brain or physical organs. Most of us take it for granted that our thoughts and feelings are in our physical body and the brain. But this is clearly impossible in scientific dualism where correspondences connect objects from different layers of existence, one physical in time, the other mental in eternity.

Literally and actually we are not on earth since we are our thoughts and feelings, and they are not on earth, but in eternity.

We can't have sensations, thoughts, and feelings without a mental body that contains mental organs. The operations of these mental organs are our thoughts and feelings. These mental operations are not on earth or in time. They have no mass and no energy. As your thoughts and feelings cumulate, your brain does not weigh more since these mental substances do not have weight.

Yoga practice is the conscious connection between physical body parts and poses on the one hand, and on the other, the mental body parts and states. Yoga is therefore contributes to our study of correspondences in Sacred Scripture.

Consider the following description of Yoga in a medical encyclopedia at:

The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or union. Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also called self-transcendence or enlightenment. On the physical level, yoga postures, called asanas, are designed to tone, strengthen, and align the body. These postures are performed to make the spine supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the organs, glands, and tissues, keeping all the bodily systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dyana) to quiet, clarify, and discipline the mind. However, experts are quick to point out that yoga is not a religion, but a way of living with health and peace of mind as its aims. (...)

Modern psychological studies have shown that even slight facial expressions can cause changes in the involuntary nervous system; yoga utilizes the mind/body connection. That is, yoga practice contains the central ideas that physical posture and alignment can influence a person's mood and self-esteem, and also that the mind can be used to shape and heal the body. Yoga practitioners claim that the strengthening of mind/body awareness can bring eventual improvements in all facets of a person's life. (...)

Today (2007), yoga is thriving, and it has become easy to find teachers and practitioners throughout America. A recent Roper poll, commissioned by Yoga Journal, found that 11 million Americans do yoga at least occasionally and 6 million perform it regularly. Yoga stretches are used by physical therapists and professional sports teams, and the benefits of yoga are being touted by movie stars and Fortune 500 executives. Many prestigious schools of medicine have studied and introduced yoga techniques as proven therapies for illness and stress. Some medical schools, like UCLA, even offer yoga classes as part of their physician training program.
Classical yoga is separated into eight limbs, each a part of the complete system for mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Four of the limbs deal with mental and physical exercises designed to bring the mind in tune with the body. The other four deal with different stages of meditation. There are six major types of yoga, all with the same goals of health and harmony but with varying techniques: hatha, raja, karma, bhakti, jnana, and tantra yoga. Hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced branch of yoga in America, and it is a highly developed system of nearly 200 physical postures, movements and breathing techniques designed to tune the body to its optimal health. The yoga philosophy believes the breath to be the most important facet of health, as the breath is the largest source of prana, or life force, and hatha yoga utilizes pranayama, which literally means the science or control of breathing. Hatha yoga was originally developed as a system to make the body strong and healthy enough to enable mental awareness and spiritual enlightenment. (...)
The other types of yoga show some of the remaining ideas which permeate yoga. Raja yoga strives to bring about mental clarity and discipline through meditation, simplicity, and non-attachment to worldly things and desires. Karma yoga emphasizes charity, service to others, non-aggression and non-harming as means to awareness and peace. Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion and love of God, or Universal Spirit. Jnana yoga is the practice and development of knowledge and wisdom. Finally, tantra yoga is the path of self-awareness through religious rituals, including awareness of sexuality as sacred and vital.

There seems to be a conflict here between the medical and the spiritual perspective on yoga. Most Americans who practice yoga are Christians and there is a strong tendency to separate or divorce the physical and the spiritual aspects of yoga practice. Christians feel uncomfortable with the traditional yoga practice of ending practice sessions by folding the hands in prayer posture in front of the chest (heart) and reciting: The God in me greets the God in you and sometimes: The light in me greets the light in you. In theistic psychology we are able to look for the spiritual correspondences in yoga expressions and affirmations about spiritual life.

For instance, "the God in me" corresponds to the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx). The Divine Psychologist is just another name for God's activity in our mind. The term "Holy Spirit" in the New Testament Sacred Scripture has the same meaning in its correspondential sense. "To greet" corresponds to communication, friendship, and conjunction. Yoga as a Hindi word means unity or conjunction. "In you" and "in me" correspond to mind, thoughts, and feelings. So the expression: "The God in me greets the God in you" signifies that both of us are united to the Divine Psychologist in our mind. Or: that the same God operates my mind and your mind, and thus we are conjoined. The phrase: "the light in me greets the light in you" signifies that you and me receive our intelligence from spiritual light, which is from the Spiritual Sun, which is from the Divine Human or the universal God.

Another phrase that gives Western Christians a conflict or doubt about practicing yoga is cited above in the definition: "Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness." The conjunction of the individual with the Divine can be interpreted in terms of nonduality and duality (see Section xx). Nonduality says that when we are united to the Divine, we are Divine. This of course is not acceptable to Western religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which hold that God and human beings of two separate and distinct natures forever and one cannot be transmuted into the other.

But there is a Christian tradition from the New Testament Sacred Scripture that affirms that God is in us and we are in God. This must be interpreted within dualism, namely that "being in God" and "God being in us" does not mean that we are Divine, but only that the Divine is active in our mind.

Hence it is possible to reinterpret the spiritual traditions attached to yoga by means of spiritual correspondences so that they become congruent with Western traditions of Sacred Scripture.

Quotes about yoga listed at The Quote Garden:

Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions.
~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.
~Patanjali, translated from Sanskrit

Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.
~Ymber Delecto

Corpse pose restores life. Dead parts of your being fall away, the ghosts are released.
~The Quote Garden

When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
~B.K.S. Iyengar

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.

Balance of mind is called Yoga
~the Bhagavad Gita


10.10.1  The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings

Yoga sayings is the traditional method of expressing many relevant natural-spiritual correspondences. Here are samples of "Namaste" yoga that I collected from yoga practice lessons and commercially sold DVD.

1. To take on one challenge today, one small challenge. What would that be?

2.  As if to say, I’m ready now, and it’s the readiness that matters.

3.  Gathering the heart and the mind to feel the depth of our lives.

4.  To meet yourself face to face without expectations. Such freedom does exist.

5.  Feeling yourself balancing the energies of giving and receiving equally, with no fear.

6.  To learn to be more gentle, more open, more honest.

7.  To trust in ourselves, to know that we can change for the better.

8.  As if to give up competing with yourself and simply see the honesty in your effort.

9.  Remember: every obstacle you meet in life can be seen as a block, or as an opportunity.

10.  As if to vow to ourselves to become ourselves, again and again.

11.  Feel your ground, feel your heart. Feel your body. Breathe your body. Let all the weight of the body fall down into the ground, leaving your body light.

12.  Give up competing with yourself and simply see the honesty of your effort.

13.  To trust in ourselves to know that we can change for the better.

14.  Freedom is moving, thinking, and speaking from a place of no ego.

15.  Let us meet in a place with no fences, endless sky, boundless potential, opening from the heart.

16.  To be annoyed by our restrictions is natural. To be free of them, is Yoga.

17.  Practice with effort, then letting go of the results of that effort.

18.  To be kind to others and to ourselves is as natural as a flower opening in the sun.

19.  To forgive weakness in others is to recognize and forgive weakness in ourselves.

20.  Bowing to the teaching that lies inside the heart, and the teaching is forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with oneself.

Is there anything in the above yoga affirmations that is spiritually contrary to Sacred Scripture as it is known in Western cultures -- the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, and the Writings of Swedenborg? 

To determine this we need to translate the literal meaning of each yoga saying into its correspondences. Remember that correspondences are revealed in Sacred Scripture and all Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). Hence if Yoga sayings contain a spiritual meaning through correspondences, it is objective evidence that Yoga Wisdom is a genuine spiritual doctrine derived from Hindi Sacred Scriptures such as the Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (see next Section).

The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings

Yoga Expressions
Literal Meaning

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

1. To take on one challenge today, one small challenge. What would that be?

Challenge = striving to put our natural mind in an order that is compatible with our spiritual mind
Today = the mental states we have

With every task all day long we need to invoke our spiritual truths. This is spiritual discipline.

2.  As if to say, I’m ready now, and it’s the readiness that matters.

Readiness, I’m ready = spiritual discipline applied to each task.
That matters = what is critically important.

The most important aspect of spiritual discipline is to maintain it vigilantly with all tasks, without making exceptions.

3.  Gathering the heart and the mind to feel the depth of our lives.

Heart = the will or affective organ
Mind = the understanding or cognitive organ
Gathering = conjoining
Depth of our lives = spiritual good and truth

Receiving spiritual truth requires intending and acting in accordance with the spiritual truth in our understanding.

4.  To meet yourself face to face without expectations. Such freedom does exist.

To meet yourself = becoming aware of your dual citizenship through the physical body and the mental body.
Without expectations = not using our false ideas to filter spiritual truths
Freedom = acting from truth rather than desire

Awareness of eternity requires that we not use natural ideas to comprehend spiritual truths.

5.  Feeling yourself balancing the energies of giving and receiving equally, with no fear.

Giving = intending and acting from truth
Receiving = being open to truth and loving it
With no fear = reliance on God

Loving truth and living according to it is possible only when we rely on God as the source of truth and good.

6.  To learn to be more gentle, more open, more honest.

More gentle = innocent or fearful of hurting any one
More open = looking to a person’s good side rather than bad
More honest = attributing all power to God

We need to understand that being good to others is possible only from God by acknowledging Divine Providence in everything.

7.  To trust in ourselves, to know that we can change for the better.

To trust in ourselves = to understand that God empowers our attempts when they are from good with truth
Changing for the better = cooperating with God in our character reformation

We can become a good person only when we ask for that good from the source of good, or God.

Yoga Expressions
Literal Meaning

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

8.  As if to give up competing with yourself and simply see the honesty in your effort.

As if = to act as of ourselves while knowing it is with God’s power
Competing with yourself = believing that what you do is from you rather than from God
To see the honesty of your effort = to knowingly act from God, but as if from self

Understanding that all that we do is from God allows us to avoid falsifying spiritual truth.

9.  Remember: every obstacle you meet in life can be seen as a block, or as an opportunity.

Obstacle in life = the enjoyment of inherited and acquired hellish traits
Seen as a block = to deal with our hellish traits from ourselves
Seen as an opportunity = to deal with them from the acknowledgement of  God’s Divine Providence in all details

We can stop enjoying our evils by appealing to God for the power to get rid of them and to hold them in aversion.

10.  As if to vow to ourselves to become ourselves, again and again.

As if to vow to ourselves = to  reaffirm our certainty that all things are from and by God
To become ourselves = to regenerate our character and becoming heavenly in our enjoyments and traits
Again and again = as a daily spiritual discipline

Attributing all things to Divine Providence allows us to carry out our daily spiritual discipline of character reformation.

11.  Feel your ground, feel your heart. Feel your body. Breathe your body. Let all the weight of the body fall down into the ground, leaving your body light.

 Feel = become aware and understand it
Your ground = the operations in your cognitive organ of the understanding and thinking
Your heart = the operations in your affective organ of the will and intentions
Your body = the operations in your sensorimotor organ that act together with the physical body’s operations
Breathe your body = your actions have to follow the truth in your understanding
Weight of the body = our resistance to act from good in the will through truth in the understanding
Falling down into the ground = resistance to good in the will can be overcome through knowledge of truth in the understanding

Self-witnessing as a spiritual discipline allows us to become aware of our resistance to loving good and truth and to act accordingly.

Yoga Expressions
Literal Meaning

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

12.  Give up competing with yourself and simply see the honesty of your effort.

 Competing with yourself = alternating between attributing things to God and to self
Honesty of your effort = attribute all things to God

 To achieve spiritual enlightenment we must attribute all things to God and nothing to oneself.

13.  To trust in ourselves to know that we can change for the better.

 To trust in ourselves to know = having peace of mind
Change for the better = acquiring aversion for prior hellish enjoyments

 Peace of mind and spiritual enlightenment are the result of the rejection of our inherited and acquired hellish traits.

14.  Freedom is moving, thinking, and speaking from a place of no ego.

Freedom = the mental state when we act from spiritual truths that we obtained from Sacred Scripture
A place of no ego = the mental state when we act in freedom
Moving = sensorimotor organ of sensations
Thinking = cognitive organ of understanding
Speaking = affective organ of willing

The only freedom we have is loving to act from the spiritual principles in Sacred Scripture. To act from one's own principles or that of someone else, is to be a slave to our inherited and evil ego.

15.  Let us meet in a place with no fences, endless sky, boundless potential, opening from the heart.

Let us meet = our desire to share spiritual truths with others who love good
(Erecting) fences
= mental states in which we falsify the truths in Sacred Scripture
A place with no fences = our mental states that correspond to truths of Sacred Scripture
Endless sky = endless progression in understanding deeper spiritual truths through our cognitive organ
Boundless potential = endless progression in loving and willing these deeper spiritual truths through our affective organ
Opening from the heart = the remains of our mental states of good and innocence that God preserves for our afterlife in the spiritual mind

In our heavenly mental states, our feelings, thoughts, and actions operate from the truths of Sacred Scripture that we have acquired and honored. In that state of mind, our intelligence develops endlessly and our abilities are endlessly extended to eternity. This is made possible by God who preserves all our states of innocence and good will, and preserves them for our eternity.

16.  To be annoyed by our restrictions is natural. To be free of them, is Yoga.

Our restrictions = wanting what is not heavenly
To be annoyed = suffering negative consequences or experiencing negative emotions
To be free = wanting what is heavenly or what is according to truth from Sacred Scripture
Yoga = reformation of our character according to spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture (spiritual wisdom)

We stop enjoying life and being happy when we want what is contrary to the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. To regain our enjoyment and zest of living we can compel ourselves by spiritual discipline to stop wanting what is not heavenly, and to start wanting what is heavenly.

17.  Practice with effort, then letting go of the results of that effort.

Practice with effort = performing things as-if from self
Letting go = attributing to God the power or efficacy of our effort
Results of that effort = the works of Divine Providence which is in every detail of our lives

Our power to achieve things as-of self is the power of God cooperating and acting in our service. We endlessly increase in power to the extent that we attribute our power  to God empowering us for the sake of our spiritual development and eternity.

18.  To be kind to others and to ourselves is as natural as a flower opening in the sun.

To be kind = to avoid feeling and thinking denigrating things about someone
As natural as a flower = to feel and think from heavenly sentiments and truths
Opening in the sun = to receive spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun of eternity

We receive goods and truths from God into our unconscious spiritual mind. We can have these now if we admit them into our conscious natural mind, which is done by always avoiding thoughts and feelings that are denigrating to someone.

19.  To forgive weakness in others is to recognize and forgive weakness in ourselves.

To forgive others = being kind = to avoid feeling and thinking denigrating things about someone
To forgive ourselves = assessing ourselves in terms of how we affect others
Weakness = inherited enjoyment of what is not good
To recognize weakness in ourselves = acknowledging that we are in need of reformation of our inherited character

Being kind to others consists of caring how we affect them, realizing that everyone is born with an attraction to what is not good. We are as much as others, in need of changing how we think and feel about others.

20.  Bowing to the teaching that lies inside the heart, and the teaching is forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with oneself.

Bowing = accepting an idea as spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture or God 
Teaching that lies inside the heart = the correspondential sense extracted from Sacred Scripture
The teaching is forgiveness = all the Divine commandments summarized into one is the commandment to stop being unkind  to others
Forgiveness starts with oneself = we are to  assess ourselves by how we affect others

Genuine spiritual truths are obtained by extracting the spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture. The chief spiritual truth is that we must stop feeling and thinking denigrating things about others. Only then can we become kind and caring.

You can see for yourself from the above analysis that Yoga Wisdom, viewed in the correspondences of Sacred Scripture, is similar to theistic psychology, which is extracted by correspondences from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).  The Correspondential Meaning of Asanas (Postures)

Let us examine the spiritual meaning of some Yoga asanas or body postures that are familiar to all who practice Yoga as a form of exercise.

From Wikipedia at:

In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali describes asana as the third of the 8 limbs of classical yoga (raja yoga). These eight limbs are the yamas (restrictions), niyamas (observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breath work), pratyahara (sense withdrawal or non-attachment), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (realization of the true self and/or unity with god).[6]

Asanas are the physical movements in a yoga practice. In combination with pranayama or breathing techniques, it constitutes hatha yoga.[7] In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali describes "asana" simply as sitting meditation, suggesting meditation to be the path of samadhi, or self-realization.


Yoga Asanas
(Body Positions)
and Expressions

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

(the God in me greets the God in you)

God in me = the influx into our mental organs of spiritual good and light from the Spiritual Sun from God
God in you = the acknowledgement of God's influx of good into every human being
Salutes = acknowledgment or recognition of every human being as belonging to God 

By saluting others with Namaste, we are affirming our deep spiritual commitment to honoring the good in every human being. The gesture symbolizes love for one's neighbor and commitment not to hurt the good in the neighbor in any way.

(spiritual teacher)
Spiritual teacher = someone who represents the knowledge of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture
Guru = someone who teaches spiritual truths, not from himself or herself, but from Sacred Scripture
No one possesses spiritual truths from oneself, but only from Sacred Scripture. God is the sole source of spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. Those who study and teach these spiritual truths out of love for truth, are noble and honored in the eyes of heaven and God.
Yoga Asanas
Yoga positions or asanas = various mental states as we go through character reformation and regeneration. The physical shape and form of the position, and the physical effort required on each body part, all correspond in detail to the structure or form of a particular mental state or necessary phase of development. These include having particular feelings, thoughts, and sensations.  Yoga is the practice of symbolizing spiritual truths and principles through precise body poses and movements. Each pose is recognized as one particular spiritual truth or principle given to us by Sacred Scripture. The physical effort involved in learning and performing each precise position, represents the mental effort required by modifying our reactions, thinking, and intending from less good to more good, reaching for perfection from God, who inflows into this mental effort and creates a heaven in our mind.
Prayer posture
(hands together in front of the chest)
Prayer = communication and connection with God Affirming our obedience to God and worship of God. Affirming our total dependence on God for all things no matter how small.
Bowing the head Bowing = acknowledging the Divinity of God as Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent Affirming our recognition of God's presence in every detail, managing our mind, our lives, and our eternal future.
Our greatest potential lies in the realm of no ego. Let us meet there. Our greatest potential = becoming a heavenly character
Realm of no ego = shunning evils as sins
Let us meet there = striving to achieve
Our inherited evil character can be regenerated into a heavenly character when we compel ourselves to resist doing and thinking the evil things that we enjoy.
(corpse position)
Corpse = resuscitation, awakening in the spiritual mind of eternity; inner breathing or the breathing of the spirit body  Affirming our recognition of immortal life. Symbolizing our resuscitation at death in the spiritual mind of eternity.
Breathing: inhaling
(deliberately and through the nose)
Inhaling = receiving influx of good and truth from God (descending line) Affirming God's omnipresence with each breathing act -- inhaling -- corresponds to the influx of spiritual good and truth from heaven, which is life from God.
Breathing: exhaling
(deliberately and through the nose)
Exhaling = acting in accordance with the good and truth received from God (ascending line) Affirming our responsibility in the face of God with each breathing act -- exhaling --  corresponds to our behavioral intentions, or what we are moved to do for others.
Gesture of no fear (right hand raised facing outward, left hand by the side facing up) Gesture = affirmation and communication
No fear = reliance on God's loving Divine Providence in every detail of our life
Right hand = giving
Left hand = receiving 
The gesture of no fear symbolizes our determination to see God's omnipotent management of every possible detail of our daily life and experience. We do this by balancing receiving and giving, descending and ascending.
Warrior pose Warrior = resistance to temptations by means of truths from Sacred Scripture The warrior pose symbolizes our commitment to resist doing what is bad or hurtful.
Rabbit pose Rabbit = purification from falsities The rabbit pose symbolizes our readiness to do what it takes to purify our false ideas that keep us in the enjoyment of evil.
Child pose Child = innocence and obedience to God's truths and commandments The child pose symbolizes our desire to be obedient to God and God's truths in Sacred Scripture.
Crane pose Crane, swan = marriage love at the external or male dominant level of relationship between husband and wife  The crane pose symbolizes the first of three stages of marriage love between soul mates. It is in the natural mind. This is the natural marriage that is temporary and does not continue in the afterlife in eternity.
Bird of paradise  pose Bird of paradise = marriage love at the middle or equity level of relationship between husband and wife  The bird of paradise pose symbolizes the second of three stages of marriage love between soul mates. It is in the spiritual mind. This is the spiritual marriage that continues in the afterlife in eternity.
Dove pose Doves = marriage love at the inmost or unity level of relationship between husband and wife  The dove pose symbolizes the last of three stages of marriage love between soul mates. It is in the celestial mind. This is the celestial marriage that continues in the afterlife in eternity.
Meditation Meditation = study and reflection on the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture Taking time out from our daily physical concerns of duty and work, in order to study and reflect upon the spiritual truths revealed in Sacred Scripture.
Right hand above left hand Right hand = spiritual power of loving what is good
Left hand = spiritual power of loving what is true
Above = superior or more excellent spiritually, closer to God
Right hand over left hand is a symbolic gesture affirming our closeness to God though our love for what is good.
Left hand above right hand Left hand above right hand = truth without good in it Left hand above right hand is acknowledging that we are not yet fully in the order of God because we are  elevating truth above good, and that is the opposite of what God does and wants for us.
Earth-Rain Link movement Earth = our conscious natural mind and its contents from experience and knowledge
Rain = natural truths or scientific knowledge about the physical world
The earth-rain movement symbolizes the distinction of our natural life on earth from our spiritual life in eternity. In order to understand our spiritual life we need first to acquire ideas, concepts, and principles of the natural world in the natural mind.
Sun-Moon Link
Sun = the Spiritual Sun's aura surrounding God in eternity; love in the affective organ
Moon = faith in the cognitive organ
We have two lives, one consisting of love or good from God, and the other consisting of faith or truth from Sacred Scripture. .
Lotus movement unfurling at the chest Lotus flower = doctrine of truth and life from Sacred Scripture
Unfurling at the chest = applying the doctrine of truth to willing and intending
The unfurling of the lotus movement at the chest region symbolizes the affirming that Sacred Scripture gives us the teaching or doctrine of truth that we must apply to our daily willing, thinking, speaking, and acting.
Sun salutations Sun = God and the Spiritual Sun
Morning, East = looking to God for enlightenment
Saluting = affirming our relationship to God
Performing the sun salutation sequence of movements represents our looking to God for enlightenment and reaffirming our eternal relationship to God. 
Heart Center
(chest area)
Heart = affective organ of the will The heart center represents our willing and intending, from which all else in us depends. If our willing is good, then our thinking, speaking, and acting will be good. If our willing is bad, then our thinking, speaking, and acting will be evil.
Touching one's forehead ("third eye") with the hands in prayer posture  Forehead = acknowledgment of our relationship to God
Hands = our power to intend and do
Touching = conjoining, uniting with
Touching the forehead with hands in the prayer position symbolizes our intention to think and speak only what is good so that we may get closer to God.
Feel the body grounded, one with the universe Body grounded = the mind arranged in the order of heaven
One with the universe = obedient to God's order
Affirming our connection to God through the truths of Sacred Scripture taken up into our understanding.

From the above analysis it is clear that people from all religions are able to affirm and confirm the spiritual truths that are symbolized in the performance of yoga postures and movements (asanas).

Most Americans who practice yoga postures as a beneficial physical exercise become familiar with a a few yoga words or expressions that are used by teachers and books. Let us analyze the correspondential sense of some of these to see how their spiritual meaning is congruent with the Sacred Scripture that is familiar to Americans, namely, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Writings of Swedenborg, and the Koran (or Qu'ran).

When these yoga expressions are viewed in the literal sense, then their meaning and message is associated with the religions and cultures of India and the related spiritual philosophy called Buddhism. Similarly, when the New Testament is viewed in its literal sense by Christians, that spiritual message is rejected by Jews who rely only on the literal sense of the Old Testament, and also rejected by Islam, which relies on the literal sense of the Koran. Again, when one reads the Writings of Swedenborg in their literal sense, as do the members of the New Church (see Section xx), then the Christians, the Jews, and the Muslims reject it altogether as opposed to their religion.

So it is clear that the literal meanings of Sacred Scriptures, from all the major religions or cultures on this earth, appear to be opposed to each other, or in some way contradictory to each other, and hence unacceptable to each other.

 Swedenborg tells us that the ancient peoples on this earth, at the beginning of recorded history, also had different versions of Sacred Scriptures, and yet they never fought over religion or doctrine. Why not? What made them so peaceful to each other despite the differences in their cultural and religious beliefs about God?

The reason is that the ancient nations at one point, mostly focused on the correspondential sense of their Sacred Scripture. 

They could plainly see that the correspondential sense was the same regardless of the literal version in each culture and religion.

This is because the literal version was originally written by prophets or ancestors who studied and understood what they called the "science of correspondences" (see Section xx). Swedenborg tells us that at the historical beginning of written languages, writers always wrote in correspondences. Much later, after the science of correspondences was forgotten and lost, writers began writing in natural meanings, thus producing books, textbooks, manuals, and stage plays or fiction. By the time the Sacred Scriptures were written in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and New Church, all of it was written in a natural language describing visions and historical events. Since the science of correspondences was lost and forgotten, no one suspected that their own Sacred Scripture was written in the language of correspondences.  

The effect of this lack of knowledge of correspondences over the past millennia has been that all religions and doctrines about God and eternity, are based strictly on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. This necessarily creates religions that are ethnic or cultural, and hence opposed to one another.

But by the 18th century God had gradually shaped the human mind on this earth that the era of modern science began and continued to develop. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-172) was the first scientist prepared by God since his childhood, to develop the first modern scientific mind who could comprehend correspondences, integrate it into modern science, and explain it scientifically and rationally to others. This he accomplished in the collection of his 30 volumes, which in theistic psychology are called the Writings of Swedenborg Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Today theistic psychology has become possible because modern science is being taught in all public schools and universities across the globe. We can now translate all of the literal meanings of Sacred Scriptures in all religions, proving that they are compatible with each other since every Sacred Scripture in correspondences is Divine Speech, the Speech of the one God of creation and eternity (see Section xx).  The Correspondential Meaning of Mudras

The Abhaya "No-fear" Mudrā represents protection, peace, benevolence, and dispelling of fear. In the Theravāda it is usually made with the right hand raised to the shoulder's height, the arm bent and the palm facing outward with the fingers upright and joined and the left hand hanging down on the right side of the while standing.

The Bhūmisparśa "Earth-touching" Mudrā literally represents the Buddha as taking the earth as witness. The right hand touches the ground with the fingertips near the right knee extended or with only the index pointing down touching the ground with the left hand commonly resting on the lap with the palm facing up. It can also represent the subjugation of the demon horde of Māra.

The Dharmachakra Mudrā represents a central moment in the life of Buddha when he preached his first sermon after his Enlightenment, in Deer Park in Sarnath. Gautama Buddha is generally only shown making this Mudrā, save Maitreya as the dispenser of the Law. This Mudrā position represents the turning of the wheel of the Dharma. Dharmacakra Mudrā is formed when two hands close together in front of the chest in Vitarka having the right palm forward and the left palm upward, sometimes facing the chest.

The Dhyāna Mudrā is the gesture of meditation, of the concentration of the Good Law and the Sangha. The two hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched and the palms facing upwards, forming a triangle, symbolic of the spiritual fire or the Triratna, the three jewels. This Mudrā is used in representations of the Buddha Śākyamuni and the Buddha Amitābha.

The Varada Mudrā signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity. It is nearly always used with the left hand for those whom devote oneself to human salvation. It can be made with the arm crooked the palm offered slightly turned up or in the case of the arm facing down the palm presented with the fingers upright or slightly bent. The Varada Mudrā is rarely seen without using another mudra used by the right hand, typically with the Abhaya Mudrā.

The Vajra Mudrā is the gesture of knowledge. It is made making a fist with the right hand, index extending upward, and the left hand also making a fist and enclosing the index. A good example of the application of the Vajra Mudrā is the seventh technique (out of nine) of the Nine Hand Seals, using the mudra with mantras in a ritual application.

The Vitarka Mudrā is the gesture of discussion and transmission of Buddhist teaching. It is done by joining the tips of the thumb and the index together, and keeping the other fingers straight very much like Abhaya and Varada Mudrās but with the thumbs touching the index fingers.

The Jnana mudra (Sanskrit: jñanamudrā), or "gesture of knowledge" is done by touching the tips of the thumb and the index together, forming a circle, and the hand is held with the palm inward toward the heart.[1]
The Karana mudra is the mudra which expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. It is made by raising the index and the little finger, and folding the other fingers. It is rather similar to the gesture known as corna in the West.


Rev. Jnana - Zen Dharma Teacher - IBMC

Mudras are one of six principle iconographic themes in Buddhism, particularly in esoteric Buddhism. Briefly noted, these other principle thematic elements are mandalas, asanas, thrones, aureoles, and implements and accessories of the deities.

A mandala, of course, is a specifically detailed diagram representing a deity and his forces, or groups of divinities, depicting the invisible universe of the forces that govern the cosmos. The postures that a Buddhist deity assumes in a sculpture or painting are known as asanas. They can be widely varied and divide in to two main groupings: static postures and dynamic postures. Thrones and pedestals on which the deities are placed often condition the asana assumed by them. These regularly include lotus thrones, stands or chairs, demons and lower deities, and support animals, such as lions, elephants, peacocks, etc. Aureoles are the haloes or auras that indicate the divinity or saintliness of a personage and are placed behind the statue or image. There are numerous variations and elaborations among them. Finally, implements and accessories of the deities accompany many mudra, symbolizing material and spiritual virtues and powers of the deity represented. Chief among these are lotuses of various colors, thunderbolt scepters or vajras, of differing numbers of points, bells, wheels, weapons, pots, and maces.

Also by - Rev. Lynn "Jnana" Sipe
Reflections on Mara
Buddhism In the Numbers
An Irreverent Look at Zen in America
The European Discovery of Indian Buddhism

Yoga Expressions
Literal Meaning
(hand gerstures)

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

  The Correspondential Meaning of Breath and Breathing

The idea of breathing appears very prominent in the oldest sacred writings in the Hindu tradition. The spiritual significance of Yoga breathing can be scientifically understood and explained in theistic psychology. The correspondences of breathing can be illustrated through various concepts in theistic psychology. 

Natural Meaning
Correspondences to Breathing
(physical body operations)
Spiritual Meaning
Theistic Psychology Explanation
(mental body operations)
Breathing in, inhaling
  1. descending line
  2. receiving
  3. satisficing
  4. opening up, relaxing
  5. feeling integrated, harmonious
  6. feeling empowered, focused
  7. feeling peace, clear
Breathing out, exhaling
  1. ascending line
  2. giving
  3. optimizing
  4. closing in, compacting
  5. feeling fractioned, ambivalent
  6. feeling weakened, scattered
  7. feeling struggle, foggy

Explanations for breathing: inhaling and exhaling

  1. descending line vs. ascending line

  2. receiving vs. giving

  3. satisficing vs. optimizing

  4. opening up, relaxing vs. closing in, compacting

  5. feeling integrated, harmonious vs. feeling fractioned, ambivalent

  6. feeling empowered, focused vs. feeling weakened, scattered

  7. feeling peace, clear vs. feeling struggle, foggy

1. Inhaling corresponds to our higher self descending from our spiritual mind to our natural mind, while exhaling corresponds to our lower self ascending from the natural mind to the spiritual mind.

2. Inhaling corresponds to the higher self ("angels") descending from our unconscious spiritual mind into our conscious natural mind. When this occurs, we experience elevation of the lower self in the natural mind. Our conscious self feels mentally elevated. We are receiving spiritual influx of good and truth through the laws of correspondence. The thoughts we are conscious of are rational and consistent, and the feelings we are conscious of are positive and hopeful.

Exhaling corresponds to the lower self ascending from our conscious natural mind into our spiritual mind, so that our will is moved and motivated by higher spiritual truths in our spiritual mind. This ascending is achieved through giving, that is, mentally giving to others what one has received in the descending operation. Giving to others is performed by doing tasks that are useful.

3. Inhaling corresponds to satisficing or adapting to the descending operation. We are changed by inhaling or descending operations, as we become more spiritual by receiving spiritual truths into our conscious thinking. The reception process is called satisficing because we must digest and incorporate the spiritual truths we receive from above. Satisficing means to attach a value to what we receive, making it valuable to us.

Exhaling corresponds to optimizing or making use of the ascending operation to motivate the will to act. Behavioral intentions are exhaling operations that involve interacting with the environment, struggling to achieve the intended goal. The ascending operation of exhaling creates our morality as individuals, as we strive continuously every day to be useful to others, or to prepare ourselves in learning and discipline, that we may become useful to others.

4. Inhaling corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, and mentally opening up or relaxing. Our mind is open to the descending influx of good and truth from the spiritual mind into our natural mind. Our conscious thinking and reasoning is modified. We begin to think in agreement with correspondences. Our reasoning becomes rational and scientific in accord with the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture that are in our spiritual mind. The content of our spiritual mind is the influx of spiritual truths from the Spiritual Sun, that is, from God.

Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in, compacting. We change the world or the environment through the exhaling ascending operations, as we become more heavenly in character. This is done by resisting temptations in our lower self, struggling to oppose our animal nature, compelling our lower self to purify itself from hellish enjoyments that hurt others physically, and self spiritually.  Our reasoning is now in the service of our good will and good intentions. We perform acts of charity, that is, preventing ourselves from hurting others, first, and then second, striving to benefit others with useful intentions.

 5. Inhaling corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up, relaxing, and feeling integrated and harmonious. We begin to feel that we are spiritual and that we belong to heaven in eternity and to God. We feel integrated with the order of the universe and reality. We can see how our life on earth is nothing but a sequence of correspondences in the natural mind and physical body, creating our lower self. We can see that we have a spiritual mind and we feel in harmony or congruence with it. Our natural mind is integrated with our spiritual mind.

Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in, compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent. We are keenly experiencing our struggle, our ambivalence, and our incompleteness. We strive to apply the spiritual truths that we received in the inhaling descending operation. We struggle to bring heaven down to earth, to purify earth so that it corresponds to heaven. We feel fractioned, ambivalent, hesitant sometimes, over reactive at other times. We experience the mental state of temptation and suffering, before we are rescued and receive victory through the inhaling descending line.

6. Inhaling corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up, relaxing, feeling integrated, harmonious, empowered, and focused.

Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in, compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent, weakened, scattered. As we struggle all day long to optimize the spiritual truths in actual behavioral intentions, we feel weakened by our lower self, by our attachment to hell and infernal affections. Our attention is scattered, we are filled with uncertainty and doubt, as we become aware of our shortcomings. Our reasoning becomes faulty and biased as we plan and execute our good intentions.

7. Inhaling corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up, relaxing, feeling integrated, harmonious, empowered, focused, feeling peace, clear.

Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in, compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent, weakened, scattered, feeling struggle, foggy.

From: The Science of Kundalini Yoga Compiled by Datta Singh


The yogic science of breath is called Pranayama. Pranayama is the control (yama) of the life energy (prana) through breathing exercises. Kundalini Yoga employs a wide range of breathing techniques. The breath, its rhythm, and its depth relate to different states of health, consciousness, and emotion. Kundalini Yoga uses the breath scientifically to change energy states. There are a few basic breaths that should be mastered in order to freely practice the kriyas.

Long Deep Breathing

The simplest of all yogic breaths is long deep breathing. It is a habit that we in our western culture have lost. Our normal tendency is to breathe shallow and irregularly. This leads to an emotional approach to life, chronic tension, and weak nerves. The lungs are one of the largest organs of the human body. Average lungs can enlarge to a volume of almost 6,000 cubic centimeters. Normally we use only 600 – 700 cubic centimeters of that capacity. If you do not expand the lungs to their full capacity, the small air sacks in the lungs, called alveoli, cannot clean their mucous lining properly. Therefore you do not get enough oxygen so toxic irritants that lead to infections and disease build up. By taking a deep breath you can expand the lungs by about eight times. If you establish a habit of breathing long, deep and slowly, you will build your endurance and patience. A long deep breath can bring you back to your center, even in chaotic circumstances.  Breathing Explained in the Writings Sacred Scripture

The following are selections from the Writings Sacred Scripture that address the spiritual correspondences of body parts and position, including how we breathe in our mental body. [ italicized notes in square brackets are not in the original ]

AC 97. The reason why life is described by "breathing" and by "breath" is also that the men of the Most Ancient Church perceived states of love and of faith by states of respiration, which were successively changed in their posterity. Of this respiration nothing can as yet be said, because at this day such things are altogether unknown. The most ancient people were well acquainted with it, and so are those who are in the other life, but no longer anyone on this earth, and this was the reason why they likened spirit or life to "wind."

The Lord also does this when speaking of the regeneration of man, in John: [New Testament Sacred Scripture]

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, and knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth so is everyone that is born of the spirit (John 3:8).

So in David: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]

By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the army of them by the breath of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).

And again:

Thou gatherest their breath, they expire, and return to their dust; Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created, and Thou renewest the faces of the ground (Ps. 104:29-30).

That the "breath" [spiraculum] is used for the life of faith and of love, appears from Job: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]

He is the spirit in man, and the breath of Shaddai giveth them understanding (Job 32:8).

Again in the same:

The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of Shaddai hath given me life (Job 33:4).

* In the original languages [Hebrew, Greek] , "wind" "spirit" and "breath" are all expressed by the same word. [Reviser.] (AC 97)

AC 169. I [ Swedenborg ] was reduced into a state of insensibility as to the bodily senses, thus almost into the state of dying persons, retaining however my interior life unimpaired [ = mental body or spiritual mind ], attended with the power of thinking, and with sufficient breathing for life, and finally with a tacit breathing, that I might perceive and remember [ = method of empirical observation ] what happens to those who have died and are being resuscitated. (AC 169)

LIFE 86. Man [ = human beings ] possesses a natural mind and a spiritual mind [ = in the mental body or spirit body ]. The natural mind is below [ = lower layer by correspondences ], and the spiritual mind above [ = upper layer by correspondences ]. The natural mind is the mind of man's world [ = physical input into the sensorimotor organ of the natural mind ], and the spiritual mind is the mind of his heaven [ = spiritual input into the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual mind ]. The natural mind may be called the animal mind, and the spiritual mind the human mind. Man is discriminated from the animal by possessing a spiritual mind. By means of this mind he can be in heaven while still in the world; and it is by means of this mind also that man lives after death.

[2] In his understanding [ = cognitive operations in the interior natural mind ]  a man is able to be in the spiritual mind [ = the interior natural mind is also called the spiritual-natural mind ], and consequently in heaven [ = spiritual mind ] , but unless he shuns evils as sins [ = in his conscious natural mind ] he cannot be in the spiritual mind and consequently in heaven, as to his will [ = affective organ of the natural mind ].

And if he is not there as to his will, he is not in heaven, in spite of the fact that he is there in understanding, for the will drags the understanding down, and causes it to be just as natural and animal as it is itself.

[3] Man may be compared to a garden, his understanding to light, and his will to heat. In wintertime a garden is in light but not in accompanying heat, but in summertime it is in light accompanied by heat. Just so a man who is in the light of the understanding alone is like a garden in wintertime, whereas one who is in the light of the understanding and at the same time in the heat of the will is like a garden in summertime. Moreover the understanding is wise from spiritual light, and the will loves from spiritual heat, for spiritual light is Divine wisdom, and spiritual heat is Divine love.

[4] So long as a man does not shun evils as sins [ = to stop thinking and willing what is not good because the evil we do and think binds us to hell in eternity ], the concupiscences of evils [ = our inherited enjoyments of hurtful and foolish things ] block up the interiors of the natural mind on the part of the will [ = the interior portion of the natural mind that is activated when regeneration of character begins ] , being like a thick veil there, and like a black cloud beneath the spiritual mind, and they prevent its being opened. But in very deed the moment a man shuns evils as sins, the Lord inflows from heaven, takes away the veil, dispels the cloud, opens the spiritual mind [ = our conscious natural mind in its spiritual interior, i.e., our comprehension of spiritual correspondences ], and so introduces the man into heaven [ = our daily thinking and willing when they conform to the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture ].

[5] So long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind (in the way we have indicated) [ = prior to character reformation when we are still holding on to the enjoyment of many evil or injurious things ], so long is the man in hell [ = the inherited enjoyment or love for these evil things is a spiritual binding connection to our hell in eternity ] ; the moment, however, that these concupiscences have been dispersed by the Lord [ = when we cooperate with the Divine Psychologist by compelling ourselves to resist doing the evils that we enjoy and to which we are attracted by love ], the man is in heaven [ = we are being regenerated by the Divine Psychologist and thus we are acquiring a new heavenly character for our life in eternity ]. Furthermore: so long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind, so long is the man natural [ = the old inherited character we have prior to beginning our regeneration in adult life ] ; but the moment they have been dispersed by the Lord, he is spiritual [ = once we begin regeneration we are committed to struggling against our enjoyments of evils and we are thereby enlightened, becoming dual citizens ].

Furthermore: so long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind, so long is the man animal, differing only in his ability to think and speak, even of such things as he does not see with his eyes, which ability he derives from his capacity of uplifting his understanding into the light of heaven [ = spiritual truths ] . The moment however that these concupiscences have been dispersed by the Lord, the man is a man, because he then thinks what is true in the understanding [ = knowledge of the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture ] from what is good in the will [ = perception and comprehension of spiritual truths is given by the Divine Psychologist when we struggle to rearrange our willing and thinking so as to be in accord with what God wants and commands us to do ].

And furthermore: so long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind, the man is like a garden in winter time [ = in the mental world of eternity dry and dead gardens are seen around us when our mind has not yet been arranged into the form of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture ], but the moment these concupiscences have been dispersed by the Lord, he is like a garden in summer time. [ = in the mental world of eternity beautiful and wonderful gardens are seen around us when our mind has been arranged into the form of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture ]

[6] The conjunction in a man of the will and the understanding is meant in the Word by "heart and soul," and by "heart and spirit." For example: that we must love God:

With all the heart, and with all the soul (Matt. 22:37).

And that God will give:

A new heart, and a new spirit (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26-27).

The "heart" means the will and its love [ = operations in the affective organ of the mental body ], and the "soul" and the "spirit," the understanding and its wisdom [ = operations in the cognitive organ of the mental body ]. (LIFE 86)

AC 607. The character of that Church [ = the content of the operations in the natural layers of our mind ] is described later on, but in order that some notion of it may be gained at this point let a brief description be given here. The Most Ancient Church [ = the earliest generations living on this earth. They represent the celestial layer of mental eternity in our spiritual mind], as has been stated, was celestial whereas this Ancient Church became spiritual [ = the subsequent generations, including us today. The spiritual layer is correspondentially below the celestial in our mind ]. Whereas the Most Ancient Church possessed perception of good and truth [ = conscious awareness of the spiritual mind ] this Church had instead of perception a different kind of dictate, which may be called conscience [ = our intuition of what is good or right ].

[2] Something as yet unknown to the world and perhaps hard to believe is that the member of the Most Ancient Church possessed internal breathing [ = the breathing of the spirit body, i.e., conscious awareness of the spiritual mind and its operations ], but no external breathing except that which was soundless [ = conscious awareness of the natural mind was not independent of the spiritual mind, as it is for us ].

Consequently people spoke not so much by means of vocal utterances, as they did in later times and as they do nowadays, but like angels, by means of ideas [ = after resuscitation in our spiritual mind in eternity we speak a universal thought language and are called angels ]. They were able to express ideas by means of countless alterations in their facial expressions and in their looks, and especially by means of alterations of the lips where there are innumerable threads of muscular fibres which are all knotted up nowadays but which had freedom of movement in those times.

They were in this way able to present, mean, and represent inside a minute things which nowadays take an hour by the use of articulated sounds or utterance. And they did so far more fully and more clearly to the comprehension and understanding of those present than can possibly be done with words or sentences. This is perhaps hard to believe but is nevertheless the truth. There are also many others who do not originate from this earth who spoke and still do so today in this manner. These in the Lord's Divine mercy will be dealt with later on.

[3] I have been given to know also the nature of that internal breathing [ = the breathing of the spirit body]    and how in course of time it was changed. And because their manner of breathing resembled that of angels [ = we are called angels when we gain conscious awareness of our celestial layer in the spiritual mind of eternity ] who breathe in that kind of way, profound ideas constituted their thought, and they were able to have perception [ = quasi-omniscient ], such as defies description. Consequently if such a description were attempted it would not be comprehended nor therefore believed either.

Among their descendants however that internal breathing gradually passed away, and with those who were obsessed with dreadful persuasions and delusions it became such that they were incapable any longer of presenting any idea comprising thought except the very grotesque. The outcome of this was their inability to survive, and so all of them were wiped out [ = they keep themselves in the hellish layers of eternity ]. (AC 607)

AC 608. When internal breathing [ = conscious awareness of the spiritual mind and its operations ] came to an end, external breathing [ = conscious awareness of the natural mind and its operations ] practically the same as that today gradually took its place.

And with external breathing came vocal speech or articulated sounds, which encapsulated the ideas comprising thought. In this way man's state was changed completely, and he became such as to be incapable any longer of possessing perception of that kind [ = conscious awareness of the operations in the spiritual mind was no longer possible prior to resuscitation after death -- unlike Swedenborg who was given this conscious awareness while he was still in this world ].

Instead of perception he had a different kind of dictate, which may be called conscience, for though similar to conscience, it was in fact something half-way between perception and conscience as some people know it today. And once such an encapsulation of the ideas comprising thought had taken place, that is to say, within vocal speech, people could not be taught any longer by way of the internal man, as the most ancient people had been, but by way of the external.

Consequently the revelations that the Most Ancient Church received [ = direct perception of spiritual correspondences ] were succeeded by matters of doctrine which had first of all to be apprehended by the external senses [ = reading Sacred Scripture in its literal sense only, ignorant of its correspondences ]. These would produce material ideas in the memory, from which the ideas comprising thought were formed, such ideas being the means by which they were taught [ = religious education through language as a means of building up our conscious understanding of God and eternity ].

Consequently the mental constitution of this Church was altogether different from that of the Most Ancient Church which it succeeded. And unless the Lord had brought the human race into that mental disposition or condition nobody at all could possibly have been saved [ = no one could have been regenerated from their inherited evils, hence being automatically condemned to a hellish existence in eternity ]. (AC 608)

AC 1119. I have been shown by actually observing it how the internal breathing of the most ancient people flowed in a non-audible manner into a kind of external, and thus non-verbal, speech, which was perceived by another person in his interior man.

They said that that breathing with them changed according to their state of love and faith in the Lord. They also stated the reason, namely that because they had had communication with heaven, it could not be otherwise. In fact they and the angels who accompanied them were breathing in unison.

Angels have breathing to which internal breathing corresponds, and which with them changes in a similar way. Indeed when they encounter anything contrary to love and faith in the Lord their breathing is laboured, but when they are experiencing the happiness that accompanies love and faith, their breathing is full and free.

Something similar to this also exists with every human being but in this case everything depends on the bodily and worldly loves and on a person's basic assumptions. When anything goes against these he experiences laboured breathing, but when it is in keeping with them his breathing is full and free. These observations however apply to external breathing. The subject of angels and their breathing will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with later on. (AC 1119)

AC 1120. I have also been shown that the internal breathing of members of the Most Ancient Church which had come from between the navel and the inner region of the breast was changed in the course of time, that is, among their descendants. It retreated more towards the region of the back and towards the abdomen, and so retreated outwards and downwards till at length, among the final descendants of that Church who came immediately before the Flood, scarcely any internal breathing was left.

And when at length none at all came from the breast they underwent self-caused suffocation. Among certain people of that time however external breathing came into existence and with it articulated sound, or vocal speech. Thus the ways in which people breathed prior to the Flood were determined by their state of love and faith; and when at length neither love nor faith existed but a persuasion of falsity, internal breathing came to an end. And when that came to an end so did perception and direct communication with angels. (AC 1120)

AC 1121. I have learned from members' of the Most Ancient Church about their state of perception - that they had a perception of everything that was a matter of faith, almost as the angels did with whom they were in communication. The reason they had it was that their interior man, which is the spirit, was joined - also by means of internal breathing - to heaven, and that love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour have heaven within them.

Thus man is joined to the angels through their very life itself which consists in such love. They said that because they abided in love to the Lord and in love towards the neighbour they had the law inscribed within them. That being so whatever the laws dictated was in keeping with their perception and whatever the laws forbade was contrary to that perception. Nor did they doubt that all human laws, like Divine laws, are based on love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour, and regard these as their foundation. Since they had this foundation in them from the Lord they could not help knowing all that arises from it.

They also believe that all people living in the world today who love the Lord and the neighbour have this law inscribed within them as well, and are acceptable citizens everywhere on earth just as they are in the next life. * lit. sons or children (AC 1121)


What the Grand Man is, and what correspondence with it is, has been stated already. The Grand Man consists in heaven in its entirety, which in general is a likeness and image of the Lord. Correspondence is a correspondence of the Lord's Divine with the celestial and spiritual things of heaven, and of those celestial and spiritual things of heaven with natural things in the world, primarily those in man.

Thus there exists, by means of heaven or the Grand Man, a correspondence of the Lord's Divine with man and every individual part of him, so much so that man comes into being from that correspondence and is all the time coming into being, that is, is kept in being, from it. (AC 3883)

AC 3884. As the world knows nothing at all about the correspondence of heaven or the Grand Man with every individual part of man or about the truth that man comes into being and is kept in being from it, and as what is going to be said on these matters will seem paradoxical and unbelievable, let me refer to things which I have experienced and of which I am therefore firmly convinced.

On one occasion when the interior heaven [ = highest layer of our mental eternity ] was opened to me and I was talking to the angels there I was allowed to observe the following activities there. (It should be realized that although I was present there in heaven I had not left my body at all, for heaven is within a person wherever he is situated. So when it pleases the Lord a person can be in heaven and yet not withdrawn from the body. In this way I was allowed to perceive the general activities of heaven as plainly as anything perceived by any of the senses.)

On this particular occasion I perceived four activities taking place, the first being into the brain at the left temple. This was a general activity involving the organs of reason, for the left side of the brain corresponds to rational powers or those of the understanding, but the right to affections or powers of the will. [ = Interesting historical note: This was written two hundred years before the medical discovery of the left brain-right brain functions ].

[2] The second general activity which I perceived was into the breathing of the lungs, which was gently controlling my own breathing. But it did so from what was interior and so I had no need to call on my own will to control my breathing or drawing of breath. I perceived plainly at that time the actual breathing of heaven [ = the breathing of the mental body which is the spiritual mind ]. It is an internal breathing and not therefore perceptible to man [ = unconscious to our natural mind ], but flows in by means of a wonderful correspondence into man's breathing, which is external or of the body [ = our physical breathing is a correspondential reaction to the breathing in our spiritual mind as it acts into the natural mind ]. And if man were deprived of that influx he would instantly fall down dead [ = unable to have a physical body ].

[3] The third activity which I perceived was into the systole and the diastole of the heart, which was at that time gentler in myself than it had ever been at any other times. The pulse rate was regular - round about three beats for every breath that was taken - yet such that beats ended in and so conditioned actions taking place in the lungs. How at the end of each breath taken the alternating actions of the heart fitted into those of the lungs I was allowed to observe to a certain extent. The alternate sounds of the pulse could be observed so easily that I was able to count them. They were separate and gentle.

[4] The fourth general activity was into the kidneys; this too I was allowed to perceive, though obscurely.

From these activities it was evident that heaven or the Grand Man [ = spiritual mind in eternity ] has heartbeats and draws breaths, and that the heartbeats of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the heart and its systolic and diastolic motions, and that the breathing actions of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the lungs and their breathing actions.

But neither can be observed by man [ = before we are resuscitated ], being imperceptible because they are internal [ =  spiritual ]. (AC 3884)

EU 63. A certain spirit ascending from the lower earth [ = returning to the consciousness he had in the natural mind when first resuscitated ], came to me, and said that he had heard what I had been discoursing upon with' other spirits, but that he did not understand at all what was said concerning spiritual life and the light thereof. He was asked whether he was willing to be instructed concerning it. He said that he had not come with that purpose. From which I concluded that he would not comprehend such things.

He was very stupid; yet it was declared by the angels, that when he lived as a man in the world, he was much celebrated for his learning. He was cold, as was manifestly felt from his breathing, which was a sign of light merely natural, and of none spiritual, thus that by the sciences [ = the negative bias in science ] he had not opened, but had closed for himself the way to the light of heaven [ =  rational understanding of spiritual truths ]. (EU 63)

EU 87. Spirits from Mars [ = people whose mind corresponds to the sign of the planet Mars ] came to me and applied themselves to my left temple, where they breathed upon me with their speech; but I did not understand it. It was soft in its flow, softer I had never before perceived; it was like the softest aura. It first breathed upon my left temple, and upon my left ear from above; and the breathing proceeded thence to my left eye, and little by little to the right, and then flowed down, chiefly from the left eye to the lips; and when it reached the lips, it entered through the mouth, and through the passage within the mouth, and indeed through the Eustachian tube, into the brain. When the breathing arrived there, I then understood their speech; and it was granted to speak with them.

I observed when they were speaking with me, that my lips were moved, and the tongue also a little; which was by reason of the correspondence of interior speech with exterior speech. Exterior speech is that of articulate sound finding its way to the external membrane of the ear, whence it is conveyed, by means of little organs, membranes, and fibers which are within the ear, into the brain. From this, it was granted, to know that the speech of the inhabitants of Mars [ = people in the afterlife of eternity whose mental states correspond to the sign of the planet Mars ] was different from that of the inhabitants of our earth [ = people in the afterlife of eternity whose mental states correspond to the sign of the planet Earth ] , namely, it was not sonorous, but almost tacit, insinuating itself into the interior hearing and sight by a shorter way; and being such it was more perfect, and more full of the ideas of thought, thus approaching nearer to the speech of spirits and angels [ = people in the afterlife of eternity whose mental states operate in the highest region of the mind ] .

The very affection of the speech is also represented with them in the face, and its thought in the eyes; for the thought and the speech, also the affection and the face, with them act as one. They regard it as nefarious to think one thing and speak another, and to will one thing and show another in the face. They do not know what hypocrisy is, nor what fraudulent pretence and deceit are.

That such was also the speech of the most ancient people on our earth, it has been given me to know by conversation with some of them in the other life; and that this matter may be made clearer, it is permitted to relate what I have heard, as follows: "It was shown me by an influx which I cannot describe, what kind of speech they had who were of the Most Ancient Church, namely, that it was not articulate, like the vocal speech of our time, but tacit, which was effected not by external respiration but by internal; thus it was the speech of thought. It was also granted to perceive what their internal respiration was, that it proceeded from the navel toward the heart, and so through the lips without being sonorous when they spoke; and that it did not enter into the ear of another by the external way, and beat upon what is called the drum of the ear, but by a certain internal way, and in fact by a certain passage now called the Eustachian tube.

It was shown that by such speech they could much more fully express the feelings of the mind and the ideas of the thought, than can ever be done by articulate sounds or sonorous words; which speech is in like manner directed by respiration, but external: for there is no word, nor indeed anything in a word, which is not directed by applications of the respiration. But with them this was much more perfect, because it was effected by internal respiration, which is the more perfect, because more internal, and more applicable and better conformed to the very ideas of thought; and it is further effected also by the little motions of the lips and corresponding changes of the face.

For, since they were celestial men, whatever they thought shone forth from their face and eyes, which were varied in conformity, the face as to form according to the life of the affection, and the eyes as to light. They could by no means present any other countenance than such as accorded with what they thought; and because they had speech by internal respiration, which is that of man's spirit itself, they were therefore able to associate and speak with angels.

The respiration of the spirits of Mars was also communicated to me;# and it was perceived that it proceeded from the region of the thorax toward the navel, and thence flowed upward through the chest with an imperceptible breathing toward the mouth. From this, as also from other proofs of experience, it was made plain to me that they were of a celestial genius; thus that they were not unlike those who were from the Most Ancient Church on this earth.

# That spirits and angels have respiration (n. 3884, 3885, 3891, 3893). (EU 87)

EU 102. The inhabitants and spirits of the planet Saturn answer in the Grand Man to the SENSE WHICH IS MIDWAY BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL AND THE NATURAL MAN, but which departs from the natural and verges on the spiritual. This is why those spirits are seen to be carried off or hurried into heaven, and then shortly to be sent back. For anything to do with spiritual sense is in heaven, but anything to do with natural sense is below heaven.

[2] Since the spirits of our world answer in the Grand Man to natural and bodily sense, I have been allowed to learn by plain experience how the spiritual and the natural man fight and quarrel, if the natural man is not in a state of faith and charity.

[3] The spirits of the world of Saturn were seen coming from far off, and then direct communication was established between them and such spirits of our world. On becoming aware of them our spirits became almost mad, and started to attack them, throwing out disparaging remarks about faith and also about the Lord; and amid their rudeness and insults they actually plunged in among them, and the madness from which they were suffering made them attempt to inflict injury. But the spirits of Saturn were not at all frightened, being safe and calm. However, the spirits of our world, finding themselves among them began to be distressed and to have difficulty in breathing, so that they hurled themselves away, one in one direction, another in another, and disappeared.

[4] This made the bystanders aware what the natural man is like, if he is separated from the spiritual man, when he enters a spiritual sphere; he is driven mad.

For the natural man when separated from the spiritual can draw only on the world's wisdom, and gets nothing from heaven. Anyone who relies only on the world's wisdom believes nothing but what his senses tell him [ = the negative bias in science ], and trusts what the deceptive impressions of the senses make him believe. Unless these are taken away by influence from the spiritual world [ = studying the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture or theistic psychology ], they lead to false beliefs. That is why spiritual matters are meaningless to him, to such a point that he can scarcely bear to hear the spiritual mentioned.

As a result such people go mad, if they are kept in a spiritual sphere. But this does not happen while they are living in the world. Then they either think about spiritual matters in a natural way, or they close their ears to them, that is, they hear but do not listen.

[5] That experience also proved that the natural man cannot invade, that is, climb up to, the spiritual man. But when a person is in a state of faith [ = assumes the positive bias in science ] and thus enjoys spiritual life, the spiritual man exerts an influence on the natural man, and thinks in him [ = our enlightenment as dual citizens ].

Spiritual influence, that is, an influence from the spiritual world, can occur working on the natural world, but not the reverse. Influence is spiritual, not physical or natural, so that the spiritual world influences the natural world, but the natural does not influence the spiritual world (AC 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427-8, 5477, 6322). There is an apparent influence of a person's externals on his internals, but this is misleading (AC 3721). (EU 102)

SE 3121. On united breathing.

A general waving of heaven was felt, and I was told that it was the breathing of heaven, through which comes the breathing of a person on earth, and of many. It matched my breathing about 3 to 1, for that breathing passes over into effort, due to which all things breathe. (SE 3121)

SE 3317. There was further discussion with them about the mode of their speech. That it might be understood, I was shown the manner of their breathing, and instructed that the breathing of their lungs was changed in time, according to the state of their faith, which was before unknown to me, but I can still understand and believe it.

For my breathing was developed by the Lord in such a way that I was able to breathe inwardly for quite a long time without the help of outside air, so the breathing was directed inwardly, while my outer senses still remained in their vigor, as well as my actions. This cannot be granted to others than those who are so formed by the Lord-it is being said, except miraculously. I was also instructed that the breathing is thus directed without my knowledge, so that I may be with spirits, and speak with them. (SE 3317)

SE 3318. I was also instructed that heavenly and spiritual angels each induce a different breathing, indeed, the heavenly one kind, with every possible difference, and the spiritual another, with every difference, as was shown to me by means of the breathing itself. Moreover, a spirit of Mercury enumerated many kinds of breathing, some of them communicated to me, both those that flowed into the inward breathing, and those that flowed in outwardly especially toward the left eye. Therefore each society of the grand human being has its own kind of respiration, which all flow in and determine the ordinary respiration of mankind. And because the kinds are innumerable, and the species of each kind innumerable, I cannot yet show what they are like, except as said. (SE 3318)

SE 3319. Besides these I was shown a breathing that belonged only to [the region] of the loins, even to the foot-soles. It was said to pertain to the foot and sole alone, meaning the lowest harmonizing breathing, flowing from within, which they did not feel, as it was later separated from the inward one. Hence those who seize the pleasures of marriage, or rather of [procreating] offspring, without the inward breathing, are the kind who in the ancient Church were later separated from the inward region, and because they imagined that they still grasped inward things, they are called the head of the serpent, for the head of the serpent symbolizes this. Therefore also adulterers, or those who regard adulteries as nothing, are at the same time also cruel. And because cruelty thus attaches itself to that kind of marital love, they are also under the foot-sole. In short, the aura of adulteries and that of cruelties are together, along with the kind of lewdness that appears to be marital. This I know from experience. (SE 3319)

Here are a few selections regarding body position in the spiritual world of eternity from the Writings Sacred Scripture. This is of great interest to us since the mental world of eternity does not have physical space and directionality. This is true of both our conscious natural mind and our unconscious spiritual mind. In your thoughts you can picture yourself in any position, anywhere. You can fly through the air, you can invert houses or people to stand upside down, and so on. The mental world of eternity in our spiritual mind is responsive by correspondence to what happens at different layers of our spiritual mind.

AC 3638. From this it is that in the other life all societies, how many soever they may be, keep their situation constant in respect to the Lord, who appears like a sun to the universal heaven; and what is wonderful, and can scarcely be credited by anyone, because not apprehended, the societies there keep the same situation in respect to each individual, wherever he may be, and however he may turn himself and move about-as for instance, the societies which appear on the right are continually at his right, and those which appear on the left are continually at his left, however he changes his position as to face and body. This also it has been given me frequently to observe in turning the body.

Thus it is manifest that the form of heaven [ = the mental world of humanity ] is such as to bear a constant relation to a Grand Man [ = spiritual geography in the form of the human body ] relatively to the Lord [ = God the Divine Human ]; and that all the angels are not only with the Lord, but in the Lord; or what is the same, that the Lord is with them, and in them [ = Omni-Proprium by which God is omnipresent in our mind ]; otherwise this condition would not exist. (AC 3638) 

AC 3641. All appear erect - both those in heaven and those in hell - with their heads in the air and their feet on the ground. Yet in themselves, and in the eyes of the angels, the body-positions in heaven are different from those in hell. Those who are in heaven appear with their heads pointing up towards the Lord who is the Sun there and so the common centre from which every station and position is derived. But those who are in hell appear in the eyes of angels with their heads downwards and their feet upwards, and so with an upside down body-position and also a bent one. For that which to those in heaven is above is to those in hell below, and that which to those in heaven is below is to those in hell above. This shows to some extent how heaven can so to speak make one with hell, that is, how together they can resemble a single entity so far as position and station go. (AC 3641)

AR 36. [verse 10] 'I came to be in the spirit on the Lord's day' signifies the spiritual state then as a result of Divine influx. 'I came to be in the spirit' signifies the spiritual state in which he was while in the visions, concerning which state [something] follows. 'On the Lord's day' signifies influx from the Lord then, for on that day there is the presence of the Lord, because the day is holy.

It is plain from these [considerations] that 'I came to be in the spirit on the Lord's day' signifies the spiritual state then as a result of Divine influx. Of the prophets we read that they were 'in the spirit' or 'in a vision', also that the Word was delivered to them by Jehovah. When they were in the spirit or a vision they were not in the body but in their spirit, in which state they saw such things as are in heaven [ = our spiritual mind ]. But when the Word was delivered to them, then they were in the body and heard Jehovah speaking.

These two states of the prophets are to be properly distinguished. In the state of vision the eyes of their spirit were opened and the eyes of their body closed, and they then heard things that angels spoke, or that Jehovah spoke through angels, and they also saw the things that were represented to them in heaven; and then sometimes they seemed to be carried from place to place, the body remaining in its own position.

[2] John was in this state when he wrote the Apocalypse; and sometimes also Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel [were in it]; and then it is said that they were 'in a vision' or 'in the spirit'; for Ezekiel says:-

The spirit took me up, and brought me back into Chaldea to the captivity, in a vision of God, in the spirit of God: so the vision that I had seen went up over me Ezek. xi 1, 24.

(AR 36)


For this to be understood some things must be stated first, which may as it were bear a torch in advance; from them the truth of the above will be seen. They are:

(1) A man's spirit is equally a man [ = the natural mind is connected to a physical body, and the spiritual mind is connected to the mental body -- the two have the same human form ].

(2) His spirit [ = our spiritual mind with its mental body ] likewise has a heart [ = affective organ ] and consequently pulsation, also lungs [ = cognitive organ ] and consequently respiration [ = sensorimotor organ ].

(3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of its lungs flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs with the man in the world [ = the natural mind and its physical body ]. [ =  the physical and mental bodies are in correspondence with each other ]

(4) The [ physical ] body's life, which is natural [ = temporary ], comes into existence [ at birth ] and continues in existence by means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of the influx, thus on separation taking place [ = resuscitation at death ].

(5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual. [ = before resuscitation we are conscious in the natural mind, but after resuscitation, we are conscious in the spiritual mind ]

[95.] (1) A man's spirit is equally a man.

This you may see attested by much experience in the work [by Swedenborg on] HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 73-77, 311-316, 445-452, 461-469: also that every one is, in respect of his interiors, a spirit, in Nos. 432-444.

To this it may be added that everything spiritual is, in its essence, a man [ = spiritual mind = mental world of humanity in eternity ], and thus everything of love and of wisdom proceeding from the Lord, for this is spiritual [= spiritual is human, the essence of which is rational from truths in Sacred Scripture ].

The reason that everything spiritual or everything proceeding from the Lord, is a man [ = in the human form ], is because the Lord Himself, who is God of the universe, is Man [ = Divine Human ], and there cannot proceed from Him anything that is not of like nature; for what is Divine is not changeable within itself, nor is it extended, and that which is not extended is everywhere the same. From this comes His Omnipresence [ =  Omni-Proprium ].

The reason men have formed the idea, in regard to angels and spirits and in regard to themselves after death, that they are like ether or air without a human body [ = mental body or spirit body ], is that materialistic (sensuales) learned men [ = the negative bias in science ] have conceived this to be the case from the name "spirit (spiritus)"* being the breath of the mouth, and also from spirits being invisible and not appearing to the sight; for materialistic men only think from the bodily-sense plane and from what is material.

This notion of theirs was due also to some passages in the Word having not been spiritually understood.

Yet they knew from the Word that the Lord, notwithstanding His being a man in respect of flesh and bones [ = the Incarnation Event of the Divine Child ], actually became invisible in His disciples' presence, and passed through closed doors [ see New Testament Sacred Scripture ]; they knew also that in the Word [ see Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures ] angels were seen as men by a number of persons, and these angels had not put on a human form but were showing themselves in their own form to those persons before the eyes of their spirit which had been opened at the time.

In order, therefore, that men should no longer remain in a fallacious idea concerning angels and spirits and their own souls after death, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit and so enable me to speak face to face with angels and with men deceased, to observe them, to touch them, to tell them many things about the disbelief of those now living and how they are deceived. I have been in their company daily from the year 1744 to the present time, a period of 19 years.

From the above things it can be seen that a man's spirit is [equally a man] [ = has a mental body with its organs ].

[2] [96.] (2) A man's spirit likewise has a heart and consequently pulsation, also lungs and consequently respiration. This must be confirmed first from experience [ = empirical evidence ] and afterwards by reason [ = scientific explanation of it ].

From experience.

The angelic heaven [= our spiritual mind in the afterlife of eternity ]  is distinguished into two kingdoms [ = the dual quality of our thoughts and feelings at two different layers of the spiritual mind ] , one called the celestial kingdom, the other the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom is in love to the Lord [ = they put loving of others first, and understanding truth, second ], and the spiritual kingdom is in wisdom from that love [ = they put understanding truth first, and loving others, second ].

Heaven is distinguished in this way, because love and wisdom in the Lord, and from Him, are two distinct things, though united nevertheless; as said above, they are distinct in the same way as heat and light coming from the sun are. Angels of the celestial kingdom, being in love to the Lord, have reference to the heart of heaven, and angels of the spiritual kingdom, being in wisdom from that love, have reference to the lungs of heaven: for as also said above, in the Lord's sight the whole heaven is like one man.

Furthermore, there is an influx from the celestial kingdom into the spiritual kingdom, like the influx from the heart into the lungs, with man [ =  in the physical body ]; in consequence there is universal correspondence of heaven with those two motions, the cardiac and the pulmonary, in every individual. I even had occasion to learn from angels that the arteries pulsate in them from their heart and that they breathe, just the same as men in the world do; and further, that there are with them variations in the pulsation according to their states of love, and variations in their breathing, according to their states of wisdom. They themselves felt their wrists and told me so, and I have myself often felt the breathing from their mouth.

[[2]] [97.] As the whole heaven is distinguished into societies according to affections that are of love, and as all wisdom and intelligence is according to affections, therefore each society has distinctive breathing, different from that of any other society, and similarly, distinctive cardiac pulsation. Owing to this, no one from one society can enter another society remote from it, nor can any one from a higher heaven descend into a lower one, or any one from a lower ascend into a higher, for in that case his heart beats with difficulty and his lungs feel compressed; least of all, can any one from hell ascend into heaven: any one venturing to do so begins to struggle for breath like some one in the death agony, or like a fish taken out of water into the air.

[[3]] The most general difference in the respirations and pulsations arises from the idea they have of God, for it is from this that differences in love and wisdom result. On account of this a nation of one religion cannot approach nations of differing religion. I have seen how Christians were unable to approach Mohammedans on account of their respiration. The easiest and gentlest breathing of all is the breathing of those whose idea of God is that He is a Man, and, amongst those from Christendom, the breathing of those whose idea of the Lord is that He is the God of heaven. On the other hand, the breathing of those who deny His Divinity, as do Socinians and Arians, is hard and rough. As pulsation makes one with the Will's love, and breathing makes one with the Understanding's wisdom, those who are to come into heaven are first inaugurated into angelic life by means of respirations that accord with it; this is effected in various ways; by this means they come into interior perceptions and into heavenly freedom.

[[4]] [98.] By reason.

A man's spirit is not a substance unconnected with his viscera, organs and members, it is intimately attached to them; for that which is spiritual accompanies every thread of them from outermost things to inmost things, and so, every thread and fibre of heart and lungs as well; the consequence is that when the connection between a man's [physical] body and spirit [= spiritual mind with its the mental body ] is severed [ = when dying and being resurrected ], his spirit [ = our life in the mental body after resurrection ] is in a form similar to the form the man had previously; there is merely a separating of the spiritual substance [ = spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun ] from the material substance [ = physical heat and light from the natural sun ].

Accordingly the spirit possesses heart and lungs just as the man had possessed them in the world, and consequently it also enjoys similar sensations and similar motions, and speech as well; without a heart and lungs there could be neither sensation, nor movement, nor speech. Around spirits also there are atmospheres, but they are spiritual atmospheres [ = rational ether in the mental world of eternity ].

How greatly do they go astray who assign to the soul some particular position in the body, like the brain or the heart, for a man's soul which is to live after death, is his spirit.

[3] [99.] (3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of its lungs flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs with the man in the world. This also must be corroborated from experience, and afterwards by reason.

From experience.

Men do not know that, while living in the world, they have a twofold pulmonary respiration and a twofold cardiac pulsation, because they do not know that a man in respect of his interiors is a spirit, and that his spirit is equally a man. That these twofold motions, however, do exist in man continuously, and that the two motions of his spirit flow into the two motions of his body, it has been granted me to feel perceptibly.

I was once reduced to the use of the former only, at a time when there were spirits with me, who, from a strong Persuasive could deprive the Understanding of all its faculty for thinking, and so, take away the ability to breathe as well. Lest this might do me harm, I was reduced to the use of my spirit's respiration only, and I then plainly felt it to be in accord with the respiration of angels in heaven.

From this it was evident also that heaven in general breathes and that every angel there in particular does so too; and further that so far as the Understanding is affected, the respiration is affected as well. For the Persuasive possessed by some evil spirits in the spiritual world has at the same time a suffocating effect as well. Accordingly it is termed "suffocative" in respect of the body, and "destructive" in respect of the lower mind (animus).

Sometimes, too, angels have been empowered to control my respiration, reducing my bodily respiration and by degrees suppressing it until only the respiration of my spirit remained, and then I also perceptibly felt it. Besides I was in the respiration of my spirit whenever I was in a state similar to that of angels and spirits and whenever I was raised into heaven; at such times I have been in the spirit and not in the body, at other times in both the spirit and the body. See also HEAVEN AND HELL, NO. 449, in regard to the animation of my lungs, and of my body being suspended, leaving only the animation of my spirit.

[[2]] [100.] By reason.

These actual experiences establish the fact that, because every human being enjoys this double respiration, one within the other, he can think rationally from his Understanding, indeed spiritually too: and can thereby also be differentiated from animals; and furthermore that he can be enlightened in respect of his Understanding, be raised into heaven and breathe with angels, and so be reformed and regenerated.

Besides, where there is an external, there must also be an internal; and this internal must be in every action and in every sensation. The external supplies what is general, the internal supplies what is particular (singulare), and where there is not a general, there is no particular either. Accordingly, human beings possess both an external and an internal systolic motion and inhaling motion, the external systolic and inhaling motions being natural, the internal being spiritual. It is in this way that the Will can, in union with the Understanding, bring about bodily movements, and that the Understanding can, with the Will, bring about bodily sense-activities. In animals also there are both general and particular pulsations and respirations, but in their case, what is external and what is internal are both natural, whereas, in the case of human beings, what is external is natural but what is internal is spiritual.

In a word, such as is the Understanding, such is the respiration, because such is the man's spirit; it is his spirit that from the Understanding thinks, and from the Will, wills. In order that these operations may flow into the man's body and enable him to think and will on the natural plane, the spirit's respiration and pulsation must be conjoined to his body's respiration and pulsation, and there must be influx from the one into the other; otherwise transference could not take place.

[4] [101.] (4) The body's life, which is natural, comes into existence and continues in existence by means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of the influx, thus on separation taking place.

The reason a man after death is equally a man as he was before, except that he then becomes a spirit man, is that his spiritual is adjoined to his natural-or the substantial of his spirit to the material of his body-so adaptively and so unitedly, that there is not a single fibril, or woven particle, or any smallest thread of them, in which the human of the spirit does not make one with the human of the body. And as the life of the whole and the life of the parts depend solely upon those two universal motions, the heart's systolic motion and the lungs' respiratory motion, the consequence is that when those motions cease in the body, the natural things that are material become separated from the spiritual things that are substantial, being unable to carry on together the same work, and this results in that which is the active itself, the spiritual, withdrawing from each of the things acted upon, namely, the natural things, and so the man becomes a man of another kind.

This, then, is the death of the man, and it is his resurrection; on this subject, some things related from actual experience may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 445-452, 453-460, 461-469.

[[2]] [102.] When a man's breathing ceases, he appears to have died, yet he is not dead until the motion of his heart also ceases, and usually this does not take place till later. That a man is not dead till then, is evident from the life possessed by infants in the womb and also from the life possessed by adults in fainting-fits or in states of suffocation, in which the heart continues contracting and expanding, while the lungs are quiescent; they are alive nevertheless, though without sensation and without movement, and so not conscious of any life.

The reason for this is that, though it is true their spirit's respiration is continuing, there is no corresponding bodily respiration, and consequently there cannot be any reciprocation between the two vital motions, the motion of the heart and the motion of the lungs; without that correspondence and without that reciprocation, there is no life in sensation, neither is there any action.

It is the same with the natural life of a man's body as with the spiritual life of his mind; if his Will and Understanding, or his love and wisdom, do not act conjointly, no rational operation takes place. If the Understanding, or the wisdom, ceases to act, the Will with its love becomes as if dead; yet it is still alive, though not conscious of itself, provided the Understanding is only temporarily inactive, as in cases of loss of memory. It is quite different if the Will, or love, ceases to act; then it is all over with a man's mind, just as it is all over with him when his heart stops beating. That the separation of the spirit from the body takes place in most cases the second day after death supervenes, it was given me to know through my speaking with different deceased persons who were then spirits, the third day after.

[5] [103.] (5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual. A natural man and a spiritual man are entirely different from each other; to such an extent do they differ that there is no possibility of their being together. Any one not knowing what the spiritual is in its essence, may suppose it to be only a purer natural which in man is called the rational.

The spiritual, however, is above the natural and as distinct from it as midday light compared with the shades of evening in autumn. No one can become acquainted with that distinction and that difference except one who is in both worlds, the natural and the spiritual, and to whom it is granted to alternate between them, being now in the one, now in the other, and so, by his reflections upon them, to look at the one from the other. It having been granted me to be in a position to do this, I have become informed as to the nature of a natural man and the nature of a spiritual man, who is a spirit. In order that others may know this, it must he briefly described.

[104.] A natural man, in everything of his thought and speech and in everything of his Will and action, has matter, space, time and quantity as their "subject"**: these with him are fixed and permanent things, nor is he free from them in any idea of his thought or of his speech therefrom, or in any affection of his Will or in any action proceeding from it.

[[2]] A spiritual man, or spirit, does not have these things as "subjects," but only as objects, the reason for this being that in the spiritual world there are objects exactly like the objects in the natural world; there are lands, there are plains, there are fields, there are gardens and woods: there are houses with rooms in them, and in the rooms all useful things: there are garments, too, women's garments and men's garments such as there are in the world: there are tables, foods, drinks, such as there are in the world: there are animals as well, both harmless ones and harmful ones; there are consequently spaces and times, and also numbers and measurements; all these things being so like the things in the world that the eye can detect no difference at all; yet they are all nevertheless appearances of wisdom and perceptions of loves, the appearances being of the angels' Understanding and the perceptions being of the angels' Will.

For the objects are created in a moment by the Lord, and in a moment also are dissipated. They endure or they do not endure according as the spirits or angels continue or do not continue in the wisdom and love of which they are the appearance; this is the reason they are only the objects of their thoughts and affections, their "subjects" being the things from which the appearances are derived, which, as said, are the things of wisdom and of love, thus spiritual things. For example, when they see spaces, they do not think about them from the space they contain: when they see gardens, trees, fruits, shrubs, flowers and seeds, they do not think about them from the outward appearance they present but from those things that are the source of their appearing; and similarly with everything else.

[[3]] Hence it is that the thoughts of spiritual beings are altogether different from the thoughts of natural beings: their affections likewise; they are so different, indeed, that they transcend the thoughts of natural beings, and do not fall into natural ideas, except in some degree into interior rational sight, and then only by withdrawing or removing from one's thought, when thinking about qualities, everything to do with quantities.

[105.] It is evident from this that angels possess a wisdom that to natural men is incomprehensible, and is moreover inexpressible. Their thoughts being so different, their speech is consequently different, too; so much does it differ from man's speech that they do not agree in respect of a single word. It is the same with their writing; although, as regards its letters, it resembles the writing of men in the world, even so it cannot be understood by anyone in the world. In their writing each consonant is a complete idea, and each vowel is an affection; the vowels, moreover, are not written, but pointed.*** Their manual works, which are innumerable, and the duties of their occupations, likewise differ from the works and duties of natural men in the world, and therefore cannot be described in human language.

[[4]] It can be perceived from these few instances that "natural" and "spiritual" are as different as darkness and light. However, there are many varieties of this difference, for there are sensual spiritual men, rational spiritual men and celestial spiritual men; there are evil spiritual men and good spiritual men. The difference varies with the affection and with the thought therefrom, and the appearances presented vary with the difference.

The above makes it plain that a man from being a natural man, becomes a spiritual man as soon as his body's lungs and heart cease their motions, and his material body becomes on that account separated from his spiritual body.

* The Latin word anima means both "breath" and "soul," and spiritus means both "breathing" and "spirit."

(D.WIS 7)


(to be continued)


10.10.2  The Wisdom of Hindi Sacred Scripture Contained in Its Correspondential Sense

The previous sub-Section presents the analysis of Yoga wisdom sayings and some common yoga postures (asanas). Two important conclusions can be drawn from this analysis which specifies the correspondential sense of Yoga spirituality:

(1) The correspondential sense of Yoga sayings and symbols is entirely different from their literal sense.

(2) The correspondential sense of Yoga sayings and symbols is entirely in accord with the correspondential sense of Sacred Scriptures.

The Sacred Scriptures already analyzed, include the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). This means that we may consider Yoga spirituality in its essence or correspondences as part of the rest of known Hindi Sacred Writings and Scriptures, among which are the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads whose analysis is presented in this below.

The analysis now follows:

The following selections are culled from these Web sites:

Woopit. Famous Quotes at: at:
Your at: at:
Living Being Media at: at: at: 

The Vedas are the more ancient of the sacred texts recognized within the Vedic / Hindu tradition of faith dating from almost three and a half thousand years ago. Another series of Holy writings, the Upanishads, a name which suggests "sitting at the feet of the Teacher" are often more philosophically and mystically sophisticated than the Vedas. The earliest of the Upanishads date from some three thousand years ago. The term Vedanta refers to teachings based primarily upon the Upanishads. The Bhagavad Gita - the Song of God - is a celebrated and more recent addition to Hindu holy writings dating from the second century A.D.

Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita and Their Spiritual Meaning

Thinking about sense-objects Will attach you to sense-objects - Grow attached, and you become addicted - Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger - Be angry, and you confuse your mind - Confuse your mind, you forget the lesson of experience - Forget experience, you lose discrimination - Lose discrimination, and you miss life's only purpose - (Miss life's only purpose, and you think about sense-objects.)

Correspondential Analysis:
"Thinking about sense-objects"
        = to reason from appearances rather than from underlying rational causes
"Being attached to sense-objects"
        = incapable of understanding spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture
"Become addicted" = acquiring physical attachments that are contrary to a heavenly character
"Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger"
        = inability to free yourself from such attachments
"Confusing the mind, forgetting the lesson of experience, losing discrimination, missing life's only purpose"
        = mental symptoms caused by reasoning from sense appearance without spiritual or rational considerations
"Life's only purpose"
        = becoming enlightened from spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture and then willing and thinking accordingly


When a man dwells on the objects of sense, he creates an attraction for them; attraction develops into desire, and desire breeds anger.

Correspondential Analysis:
= our natural mind which includes the sensuous mind and the rational mind
"Dwelling on the objects of sense, creating an attraction for them
        = shutting off the rational mind for the sake of enjoying the sensuous appearances without the rational in them 
"Attraction develops into desire"
        = attachment to the sensuous mind separated from the rational mind becomes a spiritual damnation or hell
"Desire breeds anger"
        = a spiritual hell that enmeshes all the mind into negative emotions and irrational delusions that are extremely difficult to get rid of


Governing sense, mind and intellect, intent on liberation, free from desire, fear and anger, the sage is forever free.

Correspondential Analysis:  
"Governing sense, mind and intellect
        = the natural mind after undergoing character reformation by means of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture, and is thus in a heavenly order that corresponds to the spiritual mind
"Intent on liberation"
        = committed to daily monitoring of our willing and thinking in order to reject what is contrary to our spiritual truths
"Free from desire, fear anger"
        = being capable of undergoing spiritual temptations, gaining victory over all of them through cooperation with the Divine Psychologist
"The sage is forever free"
        = when our inherited character is reformed or regenerated we understand spiritual truths rationally, and this gives us spiritual wisdom and spiritual freedom


God is seated in the hearts of all.

Correspondential Analysis: 
"Seated in the hearts of all
        = God inflows every individual mind through goods in the affective organ of the will ("heart") and then through truths in the cognitive organ of the understanding


It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to control. But it can be conquered, Arjuna, through regular practice and detachment. Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in meditation; but those who are self-controlled, striving earnestly through the right means, will attain the goal.

Correspondential Analysis: 
"the mind is restless and difficult to control"
        = the sensuous mind enjoys inherited evils of character and therefore we are unwilling to give them up no matter what
"conquered through regular practice and detachment"
        = inherited character weaknesses are removed by the Divine Psychologist when we compel our daily willing and thinking to conform to the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture
"Arjuna" = our mental state while we are struggling against spiritual temptations
"Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in meditation"
        = without spiritual truths in our understanding we cannot reject our attachments to evil enjoyments
"self-controlled, striving earnestly through the right means"
        = to apply spiritual truths to our daily willing and thinking
"attain the goal"
regeneration or the mental states that conform to heaven in eternity


The self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects, free from either attachment or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace.

Correspondential Analysis:
"The self-controlled soul"
        = our mental states when we possess spiritual truths in our understanding by which can resist spiritual temptations
"who moves amongst sense objects"
        = while we are still conscious in our natural mind, prior to death and resuscitation
"free from either attachment or repulsion"
        = our willing and thinking in daily life when our intentions and thoughts are motivated by spiritual love, i.e., love for the good and truth in others and in self
"wins eternal Peace"
        = absence of temptation and negative emotions, thus filled with love, wisdom, and joy


Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.

Correspondential Analysis:
"Death is as sure for that which is born"
        = we are born into eternity with a permanent spirit or mental body, and in time with a temporary physical body, which drops off at death and resuscitation in our spiritual mind in the mental body  
"as birth is for that which is dead"
        = upon dropping connection with the physical body at death and resuscitation, we awaken in our spiritual mind in eternity and continue our immortal existence
"grieve not for what is inevitable"
        = our inherited attachment to the sensuous mind and its delights in the natural mind, are as nothing in comparison to the heavenly delights and pleasures of the spiritual mind in eternity


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

Correspondential Analysis:
        = our natural mind before it is reformed in the order of heaven
"made by his belief"
        = the thoughts and feelings we have all day long constitute our self
"as he believes, so he is"
        = the thoughts and feelings we have all day long constitute our character, which is our ruling love, therefore our very life and existence


One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men.

A man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.

There are two ways of passing from this world - one in light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns.

Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower are the three factors which motivate action; the senses, the work and the doer comprise the threefold basis of action.

On action alone be thy interest... Never on its fruits... Let not the fruits of action be thy motive, Nor be thy attachment to inaction...

All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?

Which is as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar in the end; that is declared to be "good" pleasure, born from the serenity of one's own mind. That which is like nectar in the beginning from the connection of the sense-object with the senses, but is as poison in the end, is held to be of "passion". (18:37-38)

Perseverance in (seeking to gain) the knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, and perception of the gain that comes from knowledge of the truth: This is called knowledge : all that is contrary to this is ignorance. (13:11)

He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me. (11:55)

Whenever the wavering and unsteadfast heart wanders away, then so often let him subdue it and bring it back to the control of the soul; For supreme happiness comes to the Yogin whose heart is at rest, in whom passion is tranquilised, who is one with Brahma, and free from sin. The Yogin thus uniting his soul (to Brahma), who has ceased from sin, enjoys easily the boundless happiness of union (lit. contact) with Brahma. (6:26-29)

He who hates no single being, is friendly and compassionate, free from self-regard and vanity, the same in good and evil, patient; Contented, ever devout, subdued in soul, firm in purpose, fixed on Me in heart and mind, and who worships Me, is dear to Me. (12:13-14)


The Correspondential Meaning of the Upanishads

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Literal Meaning

from Sacred Scripture

Spiritual Meaning or
theistic psychology

The word "Upanishad" consists of three words—"Upa" means "near", "ni" means "down" and "shad" means "be seated". So, "Upanishad" means, "be seated at the feet of the Guru to receive the teaching."

Upa (near) = to perceive the meaning of spiritual truths
Ni (down) = to acknowledge and worship
Shad (be seated at the feet) = to obey spiritual truths and commandments
Guru = an individual who represents spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture
The teaching = doctrines of truth extracted from Sacred Scripture as guides to our thinking and willing in daily activities

The Upanishads are a collection of Sacred Scriptures when viewed through its correspondential sense as theistic psychology.

About the Upanishads:

From:   Source: Yogi Ramsuratkumar Bhavan

The word "Upanishad" consists of three words—"Upa" means "near", "ni" means "down" and "shad" means "be seated".

So, "Upanishad" means, "be seated at the feet of the Guru to receive the teaching."

The Upanishads constitute what we call the Vedanta (Veda-anta), the end of the Vedas, not merely because they constitute the last part of them, but above all because they are their ultimate teachings, reaching to the highest metaphysical state, beyond which is the realm of Silence.

The most ancient Upanishads are, in fact, part of the Vedas, and are therefore a part of the Shruti. So they constitute the fundamentals, the essence of the Hindu philosophy. They are connected to the whole of Knowledge and contain within them the exposition of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Brahman and the jivatman, the relation between the mind and matter, etc… therefore, the main topic of the Upanishads is the ultimate Knowledge: the identity of the Brahman and the jivatman—"Tat tvam asi"—You are That (Chandgogya Upanishad), the quest for unity in diversity «That by which the whole Universe is known» (Mundaka Upanishad). The Upanishads are the first scriptures where the law of Karma first appeared as taught by Yajnavalkya (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad).


Beyond the senses are the objects; beyond the objects is the mind; beyond the mind, the intellect; beyond the intellect, the Great Atman; beyond the Great Atman, the Unmanifest; beyond the Unmanifest, the Purusha. Beyond the Purusha there is nothing: this is the end, the Supreme Goal.

That Self hidden in all beings does not shine forth; but It is seen by subtle seers through their one—pointed and subtle intellects. The wise man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his intellect. He should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic Mind in the Tranquil Self.

Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn. Like the sharp edge of a razor is that path, so the wise say—hard to tread and difficult to cross.

Having realised Atman, which is soundless, intangible, formless, undecaying and likewise tasteless, eternal and odourless; having realised That which is without beginning and end, beyond the Great and unchanging—one is freed from the jaws of death.

Children pursue outer pleasures and fall into the net of widespread death; but calm souls, having known what is unshakable Immortality, do not covet any uncertain thing in this world.

It is through Atman that one knows form, taste, smell, sounds, touches and carnal pleasures. Is there anything that remains unknown to Atman? This, verily, is That.

It is through Atman that one perceives all objects in sleep or in the waking state. Having realised the vast, all—pervading Atman, the calm soul does not grieve.

"He who inhabits water, yet is within water, whom water does not know, whose body water is and who controls water from within—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits fire, yet is within fire, whom fire does not know, whose body fire is and who controls fire from within —He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the sky, yet is within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky is and who controls the sky from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the air, yet is within the air, whom the air does not know, whose body the air is and who controls the air from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits heaven, yet is within heaven, whom heaven does not know, whose body heaven is and who controls heaven from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the sun, yet is within the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose body the sun is and who controls the sun from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the quarters of space, yet is within them, whom the quarters do not know, whose body the quarters are and who controls the quarters from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the moon and stars, yet is within the moon and stars, whom the moon and stars do not know, whose body the moon and stars are and who controls the moon and stars from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits the akasa, yet is within the akasa, whom the akasa does not know, whose body the akasa is and who controls the akasa from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits darkness, yet is within darkness, whom darkness does not know, whose body darkness is and who controls darkness from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits light, yet is within light, whom light does not know, whose body light is and who controls light from within.

—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal." This much with reference to the gods (adhidaivatam). Now with reference to beings (adhibhutam).

The essence of all these beings is the earth; the essence of the earth is water; the essence of water is plants; the essence of plants is a person; essence of a person is speech; the essence of speech is the Rig—Veda; essence of the Rig—Veda is the Sama—Veda; the essence of the Sama—Veda is the Udgitha which is Om.

Now is described the meditation on the Udgitha with reference to the gods: One should meditate on the Udgitha as the sun who gives warmth. When he (the sun) rises he sings the Udgitha for the benefit of all creatures. When he rises he destroys darkness and fear. He who knows this becomes the destroyer of darkness and fear.

This prana and that sun are the same. This is warm and that is warm. This they call svara (what goes out) and that, pratyasvara (what returns). Therefore one should meditate on the Udgitha as this and that.

One should meditate on the Udgitha as the vyana. That which one breathes out is the prana and that which one breathes in is the apana. That which is the junction of the prana and the apana is the Vyana. This vyana is speech. Therefore when one utters speech one stops the prana and the apana.

Then Silaka the son of Salavat said to Chaikitayana of the line Dalbhya: "Well, may I question you?" "Do ask," he said.
"What is the support of the Saman?" "Tone (svara)," he replied.
"What is the support of tone?" "The prana (vital breath)," he replied.
"What is the support of the prana?" "Food," he replied.
"What is the support of food?" "Water," he replied.
"What is the support of water?" "Yonder world (heaven)," he replied.
"What is the support of yonder world?"
"Let no one carry the Saman beyond the heavenly world. We place the Saman in the heavenly world, for the Saman is praised as heaven."


Upanishads (selections)
Literal Meaning
Correspondential Meaning
Theistic Psychology

The pranas (sense—organs) disputed among themselves about who was the best among them, each saying: "I am the best," "I am the best."

The corporeal self has no ability to think rationally.
They went to Prajapati, their progenitor and said: "O revered Sir, who is the best among us?" He said to them: "He by whose departure the body looks worse than the worst is the best among you."
It must be instructed and guided by the rational self.

The organ of speech departed. After being away for a whole year, it came back and said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs replied: "We lived just as dumb people live, without speaking, but breathing with the prana (nose), seeing with the eye, hearing with the ear and thinking with the mind." Then the organ of speech entered the body.


The eye departed. After being away for a whole year, it came back and said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs replied: "We lived just as blind people live, without seeing, but breathing with the prana, speaking with the tongue, hearing with the ear and thinking with the mind." Then the eye entered the body.


The ear went out. After being away for a whole year, it came back and said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs replied: "We lived just as deaf people live, without hearing, but breathing with the prana. Speaking with the tongue, seeing with the eye and thinking with the mind." Then the ear entered the body.


The mind went out. After being away for a whole year, it came back and said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs replied: "We lived just like children whose minds are not yet formed, without thinking with the mind, but breathing with the prana, speaking with the tongue, seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear." Then the mind entered the body.


Then as the vital breath was about to depart, he uprooted the organs from their places just as a noble horse tears up the pegs to which its feet are tied. They came to him and said: "Revered Sir, be thou our lord; thou art the best among us. Do not depart from us."


Then the organ of speech said to him: "That attribute of being most excellent which I possess is thine." Then the eye said: "That attribute of firmness which I possess is thine."


Then the ear said: "That attribute of prosperity which I possess is thine." Then the mind said: "That attribute of being the abode which I possess is thine."


And people do not call them (i.e. the sense—organs) the organs of speech, the eyes, the ears, or the mind, but the pranas. The prana alone is all these.


"The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve". "That self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The Self chooses him (his body) as his own". But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge. (Katha Upanishad 1.2.22-24)

Upanishads (selections)
Literal Meaning
Correspondential Meaning
Theistic Psychology

"As one acts and conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action."

The quality of our life in eternity is determined by the quality of our willing and thinking now. Those who intend well to others live in heaven, but others live in hell.

"When a man dies, what does not leave him? The voice of a dead man goes into fire, his breath into wind, his eyes into the sun, his mind into the moon, his hearing into the quarters of heaven, his body into the land cheerfully. earth, his spirit into space"

When we die we are resuscitated in our spiritual mind in eternity. Nothing whatsoever from the physical body and natural mind becomes part of our life in eternity, which is entirely spiritual or mental.

"Even as birds, O beloved, return to their tree for rest, thus all things find their rest in Atman, the Supreme Spirit. All things find their final peace in their inmost Self, the Spirit."

All human beings who die on earth congregate in the mental world of eternity. Their eternal life in heaven is dependent on God's Proprium or Personality, so that each individual's personality is then a unique version of God's Proprium.

"Wherefrom do all these worlds come? They come from space. All beings arise from space, and into space they return; space is indeed their beginning, and space is their final end."

All the innumerable societies in heaven exist in rational ether created by the Spiritual Sun around itself. Rational ether is a spiritual substance created by spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun. Every feeling, thought, and sensation is constructed out of this rational ether and belongs to it.

"Even as a great fish swims along the two banks of a river, first along the Eastern bank, and then the Western bank, in the same way the Spirit of man moves along beside his two dwellings; this waking world and the land of sleep and dreams."

A human being is made of two lives acting together. One is the life of feelings in the affective organ. The other is the life of thinking in the cognitive organ. These lives exist in the both the natural mind that is filled with things from earth, and the spiritual mind that is filled with things from eternity. 

"There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that, and not rest upon anything else. God is sound and silence. Attain therefore contemplation, contemplation in silence on him."

The natural mind is conscious to us here on earth, while the spiritual mind is unconscious. After dying and resuscitation, it is the reverse. The natural mind does not understand any of the thoughts of the spiritual mind. The natural mind understands God naturally, while the spiritual mind understands God spiritually. To understand God spiritually we must think of the correspondences in Sacred Scripture.

"Even as a man who is asleep awakes, but when he is asleep does not know he is going to awake, so a part of the subtle invisible Spirit comes as a messenger to the body, without the body being conscious of its arrival."

The unconscious spiritual mind influences the conscious natural mind without our awareness. The operations in the physical body are physical correspondences to the mental operations in the unconscious spiritual mind (or spirit body in eternity).

"The soul is the consciousness of life. It is the light of the heart. Forever remaining the same, the Spirit of man wanders in the world of waking and also in the world of dreams. But in the rest of deep sleep he goes beyond this world and its fleeting forms"

"Oh life-giving sun, offspring of the Lord of Creation, solitary Seer of heaven, spread thy light and withdraw thy blinding splendor that I might behold thy radiant form: That Spirit far away within thee is my inmost Spirit"

"When the soul is in silent quietness it arises and leaves the body, and reaching the Supreme Spirit finds there its body of light. It is the land of infinite liberty where, beyond its mortal body, the Spirit of man is free."

"The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve. That self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning."

"It is true that the body is mortal, that it is under the power of death, but it is also the dwelling place of Atman, the Spirit of immortal life. ... when a man is in the joy of the spirit, he is free from all bondage, the bondage of pleasure and pain."

"From joy all beings have come, by joy they all live, and unto joy they all return."

"Where there is joy, there is creation. Where there is no joy, there is no creation. Know the nature of joy."

"Know the self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, and the mind the reins."

"It is not the language but the speaker that we want to understand."

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart (Chandogya Upanishad)

When a man dies, what does not leave him? The voice of a dead man goes into fire, his breath into wind, his eyes into the sun, his mind into the moon, his hearing into the quarters of heaven, his body into the land cheerfully. earth, his spirit into space.

Where there is joy there is creation. Where there is no joy there is no creation: know the nature of joy.

It is not the language but the speaker that we want to understand.

"He who knows self as the enjoyer of the honey from the flowers of the senses, ever present within, ruler of time, goes beyond fear. For this self is supreme!"

(to be continued)



The Writings of Swedenborg are available on the Web in a searchable format at:  

A definitive and well respected biography of Swedenborg is:

Sigstedt, Cyriel (1952) The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (New York: Bookman Associates, 1952) Available online:

The Reading List identifies basic collateral works on the Writings by Swedenborg scholars.

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

This is the End of Volume 10


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