The Scientific Knowledge of God
Extracted from the Correspondential Sense
of Sacred Scripture
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004
Last update: 2007
For Permissions Note and
Conditions of Use see
The Topical Index to Sections
and Reading List is in Volume 18
This is Volume 10
The Daily Emotional Spin Cycle
Negative Emotions and the Vertical Community
The Sting and Torment of Conscience
How We are Regenerated
The Vertical Community: Laws of Social Interaction Among
The Threefold Self
Getting to Know What the Options
The Negative Spin Cycle
The Positive Spin Cycle
The Others-Self Negative Spin Cycle10.1.8
The Others-Self Positive Spin Cycle
The Two Bridges
Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Red Bridge
Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Blue Bridge
Option 1: Negative towards others and the world
Option 2: Positive towards others and the world
Option 3: Negative towards self
Option 4: Positive towards self
Design of Your Experiment
Supportive Driving -- Facing the Culture of Disrespect
Getting a Grip on Anger
Resistance to Flossing
Resistance to Medical Compliance
Medical Daily Round
Resistance to Exercising
Intolerance of Feeling Hungry
Resistance to a Healthy Diet
Spiritual Content of Yoga
The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings
Correspondential Meaning of Asanas (Postures)
Correspondential Meaning of Mudras
Correspondential Meaning of Breath and Breathing
Breathing Explained in
the Writings Sacred Scripture
Wisdom of Hindi Sacred Scripture Contained in Its Correspondential Sense
The Topical Index to Sections
and Reading List is in Volume 18
(1889). Physiological Correspondences. Boston: Massachusetts New Church Union. (Reprinted in
1976 by the Swedenborg Scientific Association, Bryn Athyn, PA). Available
Burnham, Rev. N.C. (1887) Discrete Degrees in Successive and Simultaneous Order
Illustrated by Diagrams. Available at:
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
"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!"
"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 (www.nimh.nih.gov)
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
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Excessive crying
- Chronic aches and pains
When I am feeling...
I have an opportunity to become more...
Educated, enlightened, informed
Needy, Weak, Dependent
Strong, Confident, Independent
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
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.
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
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
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
17, 6, 4, 2
14, 6, 3
emotionally out of control
||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
||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
||8 vs. 8
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
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.
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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." (www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/hh/shl/sm13.htm)
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
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
www.theisticscience.org/books/worcester/index.htm 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
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 ("
and persuasions"), while the right brain operations to the affective organ
"). 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
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
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.
 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
 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
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
"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.
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.
 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.
 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
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
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
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.
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
 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
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 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.
 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 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.
 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.
 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 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
* The Latin word regeneratio, 'being born again' or 'regeneration' has eleven
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.
 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 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.
 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.
 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
 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
 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.
 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
 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
For this reason rejoice, heavens, and woe to those that live on the
earth. Rev. 12:12.
 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 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.
 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.
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
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
Continuing with how interactions take place in the mental world of eternity:
HH 255 . 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.
 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 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
# 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
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
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
# 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
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
HH 246. THE SPEECH OF ANGELS WITH MAN.
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.
 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.
 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)
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
habits of thinking (cognitive
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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:
order yourself to stop ruminating (the
compulsive rehearsal of how you're going to get even and retaliate)
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
make yourself think of relevant
counter-information you've been ignoring so far
restore balance by reminding yourself to
think of both sides of the issue
remind yourself that retaliation hurts
people including yourself and it's not good
remind yourself that all people have an
inherent right to be treated with decency
remind yourself that aggressive behavior
won't bring you what you want
consciously reject any fantasies of
revenge as uncivilized and beneath you
reject violence as ineffective in bringing
about your goal
reaffirm the human responsibility you bear to
be fair and forgiving
think of the consequences you will have to deal
with and how much trouble that will be
think of alternative options you have available
figure out a more effective course of action
communicate your ideas to the other person and
try for reconciliation or compromise
convince yourself it's better for you to
forgive and forget insults
put yourself in the other's shoes and try to
picture their perspective (empathy)
decide to gather more information before you
decide to consult someone before you act
remind yourself that the way you appear in face
and tone of voice is a visible message and counts as acting or doing
act the opposite of what you feel and say nice
things instead of not nice
decide you're going to pursue this without
anger but with resolve or determination with compassion
Self-Regulatory Prompts for the Blue
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
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:
question your assumptions that lead to
tell yourself you're catastrophizing in an
tell yourself "Stop it!" when you witness
yourself ruminating compulsively
do a scenario analysis of the situation,
writing down all the versions
reject the idea that the worst is going to
do a re-appraisal of the situation and find
some good things about it
go over in your mind what others have said to
remind yourself there's a big difference
between fantasy and actuality
remind yourself there's a big difference
between possibility and probability
tell yourself you don't want to be known as a
tell yourself you don't want to be known as a
reject any idea that you don't need anyone's
support or that you are self-sufficient
remind yourself that change is possible
reaffirm your belief that you deserve dignity
tell yourself you want to be civilized and not
tell yourself you're going to feel better about
yourself by switching emotional style
tell yourself you're going to be more
productive by switching emotional style
tell yourself you have the capacity to be
successful and your turn has come
reassure yourself that you are capable and
review your accomplishments
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.
towards others and the world
Negative affect against others can
be summarized under the category of RAGE or ARROGANCE. This refers to a
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:
desire to harm or cause injury or loss to
someone for the sake of vengeance
hatred or the desire to torture or kill someone, or to make them
wanting to condemn someone as worthless or useless
wanting to discriminate against someone due to your prejudice
feeling like throwing something or punching out in blind fury
enjoying mocking someone or putting them down
wanting to get someone into trouble out of envy
wanting to insult someone to make them feel bad
wanting to hurt someone's reputation
wanting to make someone feel dirty or ashamed
sabotaging a group activity to get back at someone
profiling people negatively on the basis of race, religion, age, or gender
being indifferent to how your actions affect others negatively
rejecting legitimate authority when you feel like it
not caring about others when you expose them to risk
allowing yourself to cheat or lie when you feel like it
losing your temper but not feeling like apologizing for it later
allowing yourself to loaf or not do your duties when you feel like it
allowing yourself to miss appointments, phone calls, or be late
feeling lack of sympathy for someone who needs your help
allowing yourself to misuse things or be careless and negligent
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:
planning to take revenge or to retaliate no matter what
engaging in fantasies of violence or torture
thinking about all the things you're going to
say to upset or insult someone
compulsively going over and over again some
past conflict situation
using a biased train of thoughts called
conveniently ignoring relevant information
exaggerating or being inaccurate in order to justify our rage or
keeping blinders on to maintain one's skewed
interpreting many things as insulting that are
not meant that way
not considering alternatives (rigidified
maintaining an attribution bias that favors
self and makes others to be always at fault
putting things together in a false sequence that supports your side
justifying something wrong we did instead of accepting responsibility for it
discriminating against someone on the basis of their family, race, or religion
rejecting something because it comes from an authority
accepting something uncritically because it fits with one's prejudices
thinking in a stereotyped way even if it's irrational
maintaining views and attitudes without examining their logic, rationality, or
being suspicious of people without rational cause
thinking badly of people from habit or amusement
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):
hearing your voice as shrill or
attacking someone in anger using your body, an object or weapon
standing in a hostile or aggressive pose to threaten someone
yelling at people to make them feel bad
speaking with a sarcastic tone to insult
gesturing insults or using offensive, mocking,
or ridiculing language
setting your face into menacing expressions
writing an insulting or hurtful letter or note
leaving an insulting message
driving off in a hurry, screeching your tires
to show you're mad
driving fast to take out your anger on
making an irate phone call
deliberately playing loud music to annoy
someone or just due to lack
damaging property to retaliate or get even
sabotaging something (throwing a monkey wrench) out of spite
breaking your promise or commitment because you're mad
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:
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.
rejecting your impulse to be violent
or to injure someone or something
promoting in yourself the feeling of compassion
promoting in yourself the desire for peace or the desire to forget and forgive
strengthening the desire to protect or promote
honoring your commitment to do something
constructive and avoid conflict
not taking yourself too seriously when feeling
seeing the humor of your predicament and
laughing at the whole thing
feeling sympathy or caring for the other person as a human being
wanting to resolve the problem and reconnect when feeling separated
not wanting to hurt the relationship by being angry or hostile
placing trust in the system and relying on it
to work itself out
compelling yourself to act according to your
higher values and principles
giving yourself permission to reconnect by forgetting your pride
feeling good about being fair-minded and
being ready to be conciliatory for the sake of
peace and order
feeling relief not to have to be angry any more
looking after other people's comfort and safety
exerting control over how much force is used when necessary
fighting to protect what's yours without hatred or malice
refusing to participate in activities that you consider harmful or unjust
feeling responsible to carry out our duties and promises
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
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.
hearing your voice as normal and
acting safe and being careful of the safety of
softening your stance or expression so it's not
perceived as threatening
keeping your voice down and acting with
speaking with a neutral tone that would not be
finding something good to say, counteracting
showing patience and being accommodating
keeping a pleasant expression on your face
removing any insult, sarcasm, or condemnation
when writing a letter or note
leaving only polite and reasoned messages for others
inhibiting any overt show of being mad or acting in anger
driving carefully and lawfully even when you're
postponing making an irate phone call, never making it
controlling loud music (etc.) so as not to
being careful with other people's property
cooperating for the greater good even when you feel like sabotaging
keeping your promise or commitment even if you're upset
Option 3: The threefold self is negative
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:
feeling mad at yourself (calling yourself
feeling compulsively ashamed or guilty and
unable to stop
wanting to hit or kick yourself (raging against
wanting to punish and denigrate yourself
feeling over-anxious or terrified about a
feeling that you deserve to be condemned or
wanting to cut or injure yourself
wanting to break something that is of value to
wanting to throw away something that is dear to
wanting to die or disappear
feeling totally discouraged and unable to stop
feeling desperate and out of control
feeling a lack of enthusiasm for everything
feeling picked on all the time (without objective evidence)
ignoring your conscience
ignoring health motives, letting yourself go
ignoring prudence, showing preference for high risk behaviors
maintaining preference for a junky lifestyle
choosing to associate with bad friends
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
Here are examples that can help you better witness and describe your
pessimistic and cynical thinking routines:
- thinking that the worst is going to happen or catastrophizing
- exaggerating how bad things are and scaring yourself
- compulsively thinking about bad things (ruminating)
- not thinking clearly, being inconsistent
- blocking out what others are saying or suggesting (skewed thinking)
- ruminating over something that happened and unwilling to stop thinking
or talking about it
- elaborating on fantasies of doom and gloom
- thinking pessimistically (the possible becomes the probable)
- thinking cynically and doubting anything good and true
- thinking there is no higher authority than your own (cynicism)
- concluding that life just isn't worth all the trouble (suicidal)
- deciding you don't need anyone for support or approval (alienation)
- deciding there is nothing you can do about something (helplessness)
- planning to hurt your relationship with someone who loves or supports
- thinking you don't deserve better (low self-esteem)
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
moving abnormally slow or feeling tired
all the time
unable to complete tasks
sustaining injuries due to carelessness
engaging in high risk behaviors due to
looking downcast, unhappy, discouraged, sad
not taking care of your body
overdoing or indulging in harmful substances
purging (bulimia syndrome) or gorging
doing dangerous and reckless things that are
out of control
deliberately spoiling your chances and insuring
Option 4: Positive
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.
- feeling satisfied with your work
- feeling confident you'll succeed
- having a "Can Do" attitude
- not being afraid to stand up and be counted
- being motivated to improve yourself
- being motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- being committed to uphold your beliefs and values
- feeling hope or certainty about your future
- feeling respect for what's good and true in yourself
- feeling enthusiastic and full of vitality
- feeling motivated to protect your best interests
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:
- thinking about what is likely to happen instead of what one fears
- giving yourself the benefit of the doubt
- questioning your pessimism and cynicism
- arguing with your negative position
- making yourself stop thinking about something negative
- deliberately trying to figure something out instead of jumping to conclusions
- examining what others are saying about your situation
- thinking that you deserve respect as a human being
- thinking that with practice you can achieve your goal
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:
- following regular and lifelong healthy diet and exercise programs
- acting with discipline leading to your goals
- maintaining good relations with others
- doing things that lead to success
- practicing good time-management techniques
- maintaining a neat or appropriate appearance
- exercising appropriate control over your budget
- making adequate provisions for the future
- preparing for challenging experiences
- practicing healthy habits and routines
- avoiding unnecessary risk
- acting in a prudent or careful manner
- taking steps to protect what's yours
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
To keep a record of your sensorimotor
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
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
at the end of each day:
_____ 1) What was my overall stress point today: (1=very weak;
_____ 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
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 --
a Grip on Anger
charts from this
LEVEL OF EMOTION
(with built in resistance to change)
Leads to these
installing de-escalation habits
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
*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
*gaining the upper hand
*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
[feeling injured, invaded, dehumanized,
delusional, attacked, etc.]
impulse to feel murderous
[killing, ramming, shooting, beating, tearing down]
or be destroyed
*engaging in a duel
*giving a break job
*running someone off the road
*running down pedestrians
*acts of desperation
*category 3 offenses (assault, battery, vehicular homicide, attempted
installing a supportive driving philosophy that includes social
responsibility and lifelong training
THE COMPONENTS OF ROAD RAGE AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Transforming Negative to Positive
and insulting others
*acting with a defensive mentality
*showing intolerance or being over-critical
*involved in put-down symbolism (or deprecating others)
*viewing traffic as individual competition
*holding on to a sense of entitlement (or "I have the right to do what I
*thrill-seeking or looking for excitement
*insisting on driving at your level of control
*me first mentality
*individual focus vs. focus on group
*showing obedience to legitimate authority
*viewing traffic as teamwork
*accommodating to diversity
*being facilitative (or the "Be my guest" attitude)
*practicing lifelong driving self-improvement activities (QDCs)
EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT DRIVING
or cruel to 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 being taken advantage of
*acting with habitual hostility
*maintaining an adversarial attitude
*being cynical (or expecting the worst of others)
*prone to vehemence (or insistence)
*self-righteous criticizing (or indignation)
*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
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
*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
*retains control of self and situation
willing to hurt others
*feeling alone and disconnected
*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
*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
*feeling connected in traffic (belonging)
*viewing traffic as teamwork
*acting from conscience
*choosing transformation to denial
*acting with integrity
*acting with dependability
*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
come out swinging
POSITIVE & PROSOCIAL
Focus on blaming others
Focus on self and how
feeling very impatient today!"
can they do this to me!"
scared and angry!"
make me so mad when they do this!"
make myself so mad when they do this."
just want him to know how I feel!"
not worth it."
better stay out of my way!"
need to recognize that everybody has to get to their destination."
can they be so stupid talking on the phone while driving!"
need to be extra careful around these drivers."
10.4 Resistance to Flossing
Resistance to Medical Compliance
Resistance to Exercising
Intolerance of Feeling Hungry
Resistance to a Healthy Diet
The Spiritual Content of Yoga
(See also Section 18.104.22.168
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
- A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness
for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.
- A system of exercises practiced as part of this
discipline to promote control of the body and mind.
[Hindi, from Sanskrit yogaḥ,
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
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,
hurting others for the sake of
gain (e.g., deceiving, cheating, manipulating, yelling at, taking advantage
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
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
||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
||forms of good, some in the natural mind, some in the spiritual mind
|numbers 4, 40, 44, 400
||undergoing spiritual temptation
||what is complete, the last element, or the whole of the subject being
|God's anger, vengeance, destructive act
||God's appearance to us when we knowingly break the Divine order, rule,
|tree, plant, vine, fruit, flower, root, branch, leaf, grass
||specific varieties of human activity in relation to one's character
||specific varieties of celestial mental states in the spiritual mind
||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
||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
|(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
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
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 22.214.171.124.2 and
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
. On the physical level, yoga postures, called
, are designed to tone, strengthen, and align the body.
These postures are performed to make the
supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the
, and tissues, keeping all the
systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing
) to quiet,
, 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. (...)
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
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,
, bhakti, jnana, and
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
of health, as the breath is the
largest source of prana
, or life force,
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
The other types of yoga show some of
the remaining ideas which
yoga. Raja yoga strives
to bring about mental
and discipline through
meditation, simplicity, and
things and desires. Karma
yoga emphasizes charity, service to
others, non-aggression and non-harming
as means to awareness and peace.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains
with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender
Balance of mind is called Yoga
~the Bhagavad Gita
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
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
from Sacred Scripture
1. To take on one challenge today, one small
challenge. What would that be?
= striving to put our natural mind in an order that is compatible with our
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
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
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
We can become a good person only when we ask for that
good from the source of good, or God.
from Sacred Scripture
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
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
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
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
from Sacred Scripture
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
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
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
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.
= 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
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
To forgive ourselves = assessing ourselves in terms of how we
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
20. Bowing to the teaching that lies inside the
heart, and the teaching is forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with oneself.
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).
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
). These eight limbs are the
(observances), asanas (postures),
(sense withdrawal or non-attachment),
(realization of the true self and/or unity with
Asanas are the physical movements in a yoga practice. In combination
pranayama or breathing techniques, it constitutes
In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali describes "asana" simply as sitting
meditation, suggesting meditation to be the path of
from Sacred Scripture
(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 = 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 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.
(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 = 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.
(deliberately and through the nose)
Inhaling = receiving influx of good and truth from God
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.
(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
Warrior = resistance to temptations by means of truths
from Sacred Scripture
The warrior pose symbolizes our commitment to resist doing what is bad
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 = innocence and obedience to God's truths and
The child pose symbolizes our desire to be obedient to God and God's
truths in Sacred Scripture.
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
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.
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 = 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
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
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
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 = 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
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
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 = 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
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
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 Abhaya "No-fear" Mudrā represents protection, peace,
, and dispelling of fear. In the
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
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
Dharmachakra Mudrā represents a central moment in the life
of Buddha when he preached his first sermon after his
Enlightenment, in Deer Park in
Gautama Buddha is generally only shown making this Mudrā,
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
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
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.
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:
), 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.
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
in the West.
MUDRAS IN BUDDHISM
- 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
from Sacred Scripture
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
Correspondences to Breathing
(physical body operations)
Theistic Psychology Explanation
(mental body operations)
|Breathing in, inhaling
- descending line
- opening up, relaxing
- feeling integrated, harmonious
- feeling empowered, focused
- feeling peace, clear
|Breathing out, exhaling
- ascending line
- closing in, compacting
- feeling fractioned, ambivalent
- feeling weakened, scattered
- feeling struggle, foggy
Explanations for breathing: inhaling and exhaling
descending line vs. ascending line
receiving vs. giving
satisficing vs. optimizing
opening up, relaxing vs. closing in, compacting
feeling integrated, harmonious vs. feeling
feeling empowered, focused vs. feeling weakened,
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
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
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.
corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up,
relaxing, feeling integrated, harmonious, empowered, focused, feeling peace,
Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in,
compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent, weakened, scattered, feeling
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
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
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).
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.
 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
 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.
 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 ].
 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
 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 ].
 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.
 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)
AC 3883. THE GRAND MAN AND CORRESPONDENCE - continued IN THIS
SECTION THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE HEART AND LUNGS
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 ].
 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 ].
 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.
 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
But neither can be observed by man [ = before we are resuscitated ],
being imperceptible because they are internal [ = spiritual ].
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
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
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
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
# That spirits and angels have respiration (n. 3884, 3885, 3891, 3893). (EU
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.
 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.
 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
 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
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.
 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
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
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
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.
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.
 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.
D. WIS 7. [94.] VII WITH MAN THE CONJUNCTION OF
BODY AND SPIRIT IS THROUGH HIS
CARDIAC AND PULMONARY MOTIONS: SEPARATION TAKES PLACE WHEN THOSE MOTIONS CEASE
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.
(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 ].
 [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 ].
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
[] [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.
[] 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.
[] [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
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.
 [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.
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
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.
[] [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
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
 [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.
[] [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
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.
 [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
[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.
[] 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.
[] 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.
[] 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
* The Latin word anima means both "breath" and "soul," and spiritus
means both "breathing" and "spirit."
(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
(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:
Your Quotations.net at:
Living Being Media 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
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.)
"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
"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.
= 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.
"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
"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.
"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.
"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
"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
"Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in
= 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.
"The self-controlled soul"
= our mental states when we possess
spiritual truths in our understanding by which can resist spiritual
"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.
"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
"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
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
= 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
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
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.
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
Download PDF document of the Upanishads:
from Sacred Scripture
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
= to perceive the meaning of spiritual truths
Ni (down) = to acknowledge and worship
Shad (be seated at the feet) = to obey spiritual truths and
Guru = an individual who represents spiritual truths from
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:
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
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
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
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."
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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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:
Cyriel (1952) The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg
(New York: Bookman Associates, 1952) Available online:
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