Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Dual Citizenship

    Religious psychology is based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772). He is to be considered the founder of religious psychology, though he himself used the term "rational psychology" -- which is the title of one of many books he left behind in a long and distinguished career as a Swedish scientist, philosopher, engineer, and legislator. Swedenborg wrote in the international Latin of European educators and philosophers. Several dozen works have been translated into modern English and other languages by Swedenborgian scholars. The New Church was founded after his death; it is an international body of people who acknowledge Swedenborg's Writings as the Word -- that is, as Divine Works revealing many truths about the Bible. It is asserted in the New Church that these Writings are holy and Divine and contain a rational revolution for humankind.

    The rational revolution of civilization ushers in a new era in man's relationship to God. This is called the long promised Second Advent of Christ. It is revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg that the promise of Jesus Christ to return and make available the benefit of a totally new age has occurred in the year 1757, the year of the Great Day of Judgment foretold in Matthew (24) and Daniel (   ), and many other places in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Christian Bible. In fact, this topic of the imminent Second Coming of Christ is a common belief of American Christians in general. What an astounding thing this is: what we've all been waiting for has already happened! And we didn't even know it.

    This fabulous claim of Swedenborg so unsettles people that one refuses to receive this New Good News, the very best we could ever dream of.

    Each person's temptations uncover hosts of affections in us -- hoardes of them -- that strenuously and vociferously oppose and resist this New Good News. Nevertheless, after the temptations are over the person discovers a remnant of rationality that calmly allows us to survey the whole detailed claim of the Writings. The results of this survey is a confident feeling of reassurance; first, because we are able to comprehend it, it isn't too technical for our intellect; second, because we are able to explain this new understanding to anyone who is willing, with patience and respect, to hear your explanation. This feeling of confidence is there because the Second Advent of Jesus Christ is an arrival into the conscious rational of our self. The conscious rational self gets born. A new experience is present in our life which could not be there before, not even in the smallest degree. So it is a totally new sensing of life.

    The individual who is willing to sincerely receive the Second Advent of the Lord now may do so. This is the new age because from now on civilization is changing in a profound and radical way. Humankind is undergoing an organic change just as it did once before, eons ago, when we were social animals without as yet the breath of God in us, what we call today our conscious self. The acquisition of the conscious self, or human self-consciousness, thus marked a new age for humankind on earth: it separated our race from the animal kingdom and we became the self-conscious humanoids -- the race of Adam and Eve. Civilization then evolved on earth into speech, the wheel, cities, science, and rapid population increase. Many scientists believe that to permit the evolution of such a higher human consciousness of the self, there had to be an accompanying change in the form of the human body, its limbs, brains, and blood.

    In the future it is quite probable that scientists will find physical and neuroanatomical evidence for the Second Coming of Christ in 1757: we predict that when the historical charts are compared across the centuries since the eighteenth A.D., scientists will detect significant changes in biochemical functioning and genetic format. What is really good about this New Good News for humankind is, that the benefits are available right now to anyone willing to receive it in the rational self. When this willingness, or state of un-prejudice, is extended, the conditions are set for the birth of the conscious rational.

   The Writings of Swedenborg thus announce the birth of the conscious rational self. Imagine for a moment that the birth of the conscious self that occurred eons of ages ago had occurred in one place of the globe only. Then imagine that one of these inhabitants traveled to a neighboring tribe of humans still in the pre-self-conscious state. After befriending the group he then attempts to show them what is speech, what is writing, what is the wheel and other useful artifacts, and so on, The natives are getting impatient; they do not understand. Those who understand, or have a glimmer of it, do not believe. So the friendly stranger is banished for causing a raucous.

    This imagined story can now be transplanted to the era of the birth of the conscious rational self. This happened at the end of the 18th century. Most of the scientists, professors, and bishops, to whom Swedenborg sent copies of his books, ignored them, or in some cases, persecuted him and those who defended him. Even today, near the end of the 20th century, the Writings of Swedenborg are unread, unquoted, uncited in all the disciplines of the Library of Congress Subject Headings. This, despite the fact that Swedenborg's books have been deposited by adherents in all the major libraries, academic and public, of the English speaking world. (Some other translations are also in circulation around the globe.)

    It is clear from this evidence that the Second Advent of Christ inaugurates a new age in slow motion terms. This is not surprising in retrospect since this change occurs in the rational zone of the self-conscious mind we inherited. In other words, we can call the self-consciousness change of old, the birth of our "automatic self, while we can call the new birth of the self-conscious rational, the birth of the "rational self." The "automatic self" and the "rational self" are both conscious within us; the rational self can see the automatic self but not the reverse, the automatic self being incapable of becoming aware of the existence of the rational self.

    This is then the reason why Swedenborg's Writings are not received by all as the Second Advent of the Lord: whoever will insist that they should be able to see the rational self with the automatic self, cannot receive the new function. They are blocked from having the self-conscious rational, be born in their mind. To better comprehend this new birth within our consciousness, one need to think of the rational self as an organ, an inner organ we didn't suspect existed. It is not the "inner eye" which mystics and healers make a claim for. This organ is a personal gift from the Lord Jesus Christ in His Second Advent, a gift He offers to anyone irrespective of their external religious affiliation or lack thereof. It is a non-denominational relationship with God, one not available to anyone before, and now available to anyone who is willing to receive it, in the rational.

    The method of proof that satisfies the thinking of the automatic self within us may be titled "the negative bias." This implies that we will doubt the concrete existence of something until it appears to the senses. For example, the history of science, technology, and medicine shows that all sorts of false beliefs and superstitions could be successfully detected by this method: false theories were discarded, charlatans were unmasked, harmful superstitions were shot to pieces. A new era of cleaner thinking began for mankind, since the Greek philosophers of ancient European history leading to the modern era of human history. Thus the negative bias is deeply embedded within our way of looking at the world. This is indeed fortunate, that we have an automatic self that has negative bias standards for itself. It protects us from fraud, ignorance, and persuasive theories. We ought to strive to continue to perfect the astuteness and ingenuity of the automatic self, as it is the very basis and foundation of the other parts of the self that also inhabit the body and its mind.

    So now, there is the announcement of the new birth of the rational self. The automatic self wants natural proofs to believe it, to work with it further. The automatic self is up against an insurmountable hurdle since no such proof will be given it.

    There is now a most crucial consideration to take up. This is not a blind proposal. If it were, we would have no protection whatsoever from quacks and cults. It is most prudent that we retain our self-conscious attitude of objective Criticisms, so that we may judge regarding the validity and possibility of all new claims. In this manner, we have examined a variety of claims by countless people in the history of books, and today in person, over the media. Yet we are able to stay free from these various persuasions no matter how sincere we feel the adherents are. In a similar routine manner, our automatic self may sift the evidence presented in the Writings of Swedenborg' and judge, as to its possibility, and validity. What is then left over, is not anything that was found to be impossible, or illogical, or inconsistent with what we already know from experience. These are the grounds upon which we reject the persuasive creeds of others, and are thus protected from mistakes and obsessions.

    But now, with the Writings of Swedenborgone has none of these grounds: it is a well contained wholistic system easily comprehended by common sense, having complete answers for all our puzzles of life, with a scientifically precise enumeration of principles, theories, and facts, yet with no contradictions, no omissions, and no dark places of premise left unpresented with clarity. If in this situation the automatic self still seems to resist we become aware that this resistance does not come from ourselves but from prejudicial assumptions deeply embedded in our thinking and feeling. From then on, it is an uphill battle in accordance with each individual's fate, or spiritual needs.

    Religious psychology is thus a response to the new turn in civilization whereby the rational method is born in the human mind. Of course we need at the outset to distinguish between the "rational self of the automatic self" and the "rational self of the spiritual self." In other words, both the automatic self> from the outside world and, the spiritual self, from the inside world, produce a "rational self." But they are quite distinct in function and substance. The lower rational from the automatic self, is composed of stuff and pattern from the natural world, while the upper rational is composed of stuff and pattern from the spiritual world, as in the following diagram:

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    In order to have this schema be logical, we must posit or assume dual citizenship: we live in two universes, one natural the other spiritual. The external world of physical matter and sensory reaction, seven into the brain, is the natural world in which the automatic self lives. Our automatic self is the natural mind: it retains sensory input in its memory, it processes sensory information to several levels of logic or sequential hierarchies, and forms conclusions or judgments on the basis of objective weighing of facts, and principles based on them. The automatic self has thinking patterns that obey the laws of logic and biochemistry.

    The automatic self cannot accomplish this sophistication by itself. It uses the lower-rational to do all its more complex reasoning, those that depend on language, symbolism, and mathematics. The lower-rational is superior to the automatic self in capacity and is made of a different law of organization than the purely natural. However, the lower-rational is a slave to the automatic self. It is undisciplined from higher motives but, instead, is the butler who acts for the sake of the automatic self. This is because the lower rational is filled with only material ideas, which are ideas that contain only sensory facts, that is, facts gathered through the five external senses. Thus, the lower-rational cannot argue for the sake of the internal world, but only for the sake of the external world.

    However, when the individual is willing to admit into the rational, facts that are not only about the external world, then the upper-rational is born, and our conscious awareness can be elevated into higher zones of the mind. The first such higher fact, is the fact that we have dual citizenship; that is, the fact that there are two worlds, and that they are interrelated.

    Once this breakthrough is achieved, we are ready to examine objectively and critically, whether the information we receive about the other world, is believable to the automatic self. Good News about the other world still needs to harmonize with the logic and prudence of our good old faithful automatic self. This is where we have been able to reject many false claims about the other world. So now, with this positive attitude to the possibility of the claim, we are examining the Writings of Swedenborg while still retaining the dictates of logic and prudence.

    And so after the examination is made there is not left anything that is disharmonious with logic or prudence. This is where we discover that we have deep lying affections against it, that are not our own, that are not developed from us but rather they are affections that have been transmitted through culture and family.

    The personal resistance we experience to the idea of dual citizenship, is a carbon copy, replication, of the historical resistance in the modern era, scientists have had to spiritual duality. Their intellectual build up against duality came from the strict logic of their methods: the negative bias in matters of evidence and proof; that is, to assume some proposed phenomenon does not exist until proven empirically that it does exist, or else, that is has a high probability of existence. This methodological rigor has served well, and will continue in the indefinite future, to serve well for the various engineering, industry, and educational goals of society. It is possible to recognize, in this useful function to society, that capacity which lies within each one of us, namely, the lower-rational pictured in the diagram. According to this lower-rational the negative bias is to be maintained maintained at all cost; that is, it should be criteria! for acceptability in all sciences.

    This attitude of the lower-rational is logical, but it is not rational. The "logic of the senses" can be in opposition with its own internal-rational,that constitutes the essence of logic itself. Logic cannot exist without the rational being in it, and making it up, holding it together, strengthening it with new discoveries, and so on. The rational is a higher, and more basic computer language in the mind, and to which every person has access through internal organs, organs not of this world but of the other. Our dual citizenship involves that we have duplicate and symmetrical organs and functions, one in the natural world and the other in the spiritual world. Our organ of rationality is higher and inner, hence it belongs to our internal self -- it is made of substances, forms, and functions entirely from and in the spiritual world. But our organ of logic is in and from this world only -it is made of the lower external substances of the earth or sun, and of the natural functions of automata and animals. Hence we say that our automatic self can memorize, think, be logical, and talk. This information processing ability is given to the earthly substances through an inner program, or pattern, wired into the genetics and atomics of the composing elements. This geneticcultural program is within every sense impression we get and in every sequence of observation and experience we have. It is wired in from heredity and learning.

    So therefore, as adults we are conscious of a permanent self or, individuality; part of this external self is role bound; that is, our personality depends to some extent on our occupations in life. Another part, however, is not externally identified; we feel there is a self that is unique, and therefore unrelated to our occupations and reputations. This self-existent being is conscious of its own existence: it shows this by being afraid' when it is threatened, and enjoying itself, when feeling secure. We may call this adult human feeling, the "rational self." This self-independent individual lives in the spiritual world, yet it is hooked up to us in this world. By saying "us" we refer to the automatic self, for this is the official "me" -- who walks around, is a citizen of a nation, and is held responsible for all actions affecting other people. This external "me" has an internal "I".

    The rational was born in humankind at the end of the 18th century. That century is identified in our history books and encyclopedias as "The Age of Reason." According to the Writings of Swedenborg the year 1757 marks the exact time when the Lord's Second Advent occurred. This long expected Second Coming of Christ, could not be detected through the lower-rational, because it was restricted, by the automatic self, to the negative bias methodology. When Swedenborg made known his discovery of the Second Advent of Christ, the scientific college excluded him from the mainstream of the citation literature, despite the presence of his books in most academic and public libraries of the Christian world. This exclusion of admissible evidence may however be limited, while still retaining its real function in science.

    Swedenborg remains unread in science in general. When, however, scientist or scholar is brought to reading the Writings anyway, perhaps out of curiosity or search for the novel and original, there is an astounding experience that takes place. We are brought from idea to idea, in sequential and logical steps, that invoke our knowledges already accumulated. It offers no new technical field; no charts and terminology; no prerequisite courses or readings; in other words, no intellectual obstacles beyond common sense and, a serious scholarly attitude. The English edition of the Writings amount to approximately 60 books -- there is a complication in figuring the inclusion of his works before middle age. Obviously, this represents a major intellectual, scientific, and scholarly endeavor. If we were to wait before decidinguntil we tackled all these volumes in their entirety, it would surely take a lifetime or a career, and there might not be anyone who would undertake such a task. Fortunately, by the very nature of the process of the rational, we begin to witness immediately the birth of this new conscious self within us, as we read page by page. This may sound like a subjective exaggeration and enthusiastic hyperbolas -- just as we feel when someone is describing to us a fantastic new type of pudding they were recently given to eat. To the listener we may appear to exaggerate from excessive enthusiasm.

    Consider however the enormity of the claim, and if found to be true, the enormity of the instant consequences for the person upon its discovery. Suddenly, a new familiar world unsuspected before: dual citizenship; the one mortal, the other immortal. There is no exaggeration here, only disbelief in advance, due to the enormity of the implications.

    The scientist and scholar are well equipped, through training and experience, to judge regarding the rationality of a scientific proposal. Until the age of reason in the 18th century, scientists had no difficulty excluding theology and religion from their own intellectual territory. This is due to the fact that theological and religious proposals were not in any sense scientific proposals. Emanuel Swedenborg's Writings constitute the first and only serious scientific proposal for our dual citizenship status. His proposal is factual, empirical, systematic, rational, logical, serious, traditional, solid. All of this was recognized by Swedenborg's several biographers (see Appendix ).

    The discovery of a self-conscious "upper-rational" within us, is called by Swedenborgthe Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Of this, the Lord warned that He comments as a Thief, in the night. By this it was signified that the Second Coming of Christ was to be in a new mode of consciousness in humankind, the consciousness of the rational, or upper-rational. This consciousness was to be separate and distinct from the consciousness of the automatic, external self. The latter was to remain in the darkness of night: that is, no direct vision into the other world was to be possible, but only after death, when we come to live fully in the other world. Our dual citizenship is only temporary: upon death we enter into the rational-spiritual and remain immortal in eternal life.

    Imagine a robot discovering a living self within him or her, depending on its hardware. Or perhaps robots would not have gender in their self-consciousness. Self-consciousness must thus depend on the hardware -- whether physical-inert or, physical-biological. Nothing can exist in nothing, n the scientific intellect: hence the Writings present a full detailed description of the anatomy, physiology, physics, and geography of our dual citizenship. Swedenborg contributed about one hundred significant articles and essays in these fields regarding our earth bound citizenship. He was thus well prepared, as a noted scientist and legislator in Sweden, to present a serious scientific proposal regarding our spirit bound citizenship. This he did, in approximately 60 volumes now available in many languages. It is obvious, therefore, that it looks as if the means are available at this point in our history for a major scientific breakthrough: the advent in science of the positive bias methodology.

    This new era in science is the acceptance of the fact of our dual citizenship, followed immediately by plenty of proof as to the great usefulness and concrete payoff of this new technical capacity. However, many casualties are to be expected> especially at the beginning; that is, the next few centuries. These casualties will be those who, having looked at the proposal wrongly, decide that it is insufficient. The apparent insufficiency they will feel will be due to their own state of contrary affections and not to any real weakness in the proposal. Hopefully, such people will return to the proposal at some later date with expected success. Once the positive bias in science filters down to universal education and its inevitable textbooks or tapes, there will no longer be such an initial resistance to it, just as the negative bias is so readily accepted today when yet it was once opposed in religious Europe, Islam, and India.

    The startling discovery of the birth of the conscious rational soon becomes an everyday routine perspective. This discovery is made within the first few hours of reading the Writings; but it needs continued reading and study for its growth. The writings, and commentaries based on them, constitute the only source of food for the growing rational within us. We can experience this quite readily: nothing else we read seems to make it grow. We obtain all sorts of observations and opinions of others, as we read their books and articles-- yet not a single one informs us about our dual citizenship as it is in actuality. This is because the lower-rational (who is the author of those articles and books) has only natural facts to work with; that is, only those observations made by individuals through their own thinking effort and experience. But the automatic self, and its lower-rational, are in the dark of night regarding the spiritual world -no natural evidence can be given. The evidence must be spiritual evidence, yet the lower-rational is not admitted to sensing any such evidence. All spiritual phenomena and facts are beyond the sensing capacity of the automatic self or external citizenship. Hence it is necessary to have the conscious rational be born within us and, as this new organ of sensing matures and develops, we can accumulate the facts and phenomena of the spiritual world. The rational self is a self-conscious organ constituted of spiritual substances or "heavenly chemicals" and through it we gain knowledge of our dual citizenship, one mortal and temporary, the other eternal.

    Yet a most important consideration still needs to be invoked in order to make this proposal acceptable to us. This is the fact that this new perspective must not be a totally strange or alien view. Or else it would lead to strange new lifestyles and be a threat to our tradition and vested interests. In this way we can be protected from disharmonious philosophies that create social strife and revolution in our society. Fortunately, and due to the very nature of the rational, we experience the new perspective through the old familiar self. It is not that we suddenly have a dual personality, like disturbed schizophrenics; our personality remains singular and healthier and more pronounced and integrated. The rational does not, and cannot, express -itself by itself -- it can only be present in our consciousness through the external, automatic self, as long as we live in this world with our physico-chemical bodies.

    As the new spiritual-rational is born within us through the study of the Writings of Swedenborgour external self or personality is empowered with more extreme traits in the positive direction: we gradually learn to apply the new rational to all the departments of life -- our jobs, our careers, our hobbies, our families, our artistic and mechanical abilities, and our inner subjective feelings and understandings. No doubt one of the first tasks of religious psychology will be to document the increasing abilities of people who act with the newly acquired rational from the Writings of Swedenborg. If such proof were not abundantly evident there could be no real value to this new rational.

    Because the rational works through the old automatic self, Our new perspective will reinforce our external personality and expand our conscious awareness. This change must be felt as familiar, or else it is not genuine and valid. The new perspective will definitely be new, but as well, it will be consonant or harmonious with what is already there, and will not require a change in lifestyle, religion, profession, or marriage partner. On the contrary, this new rational will show how all along, we were governed by the spiritual through our dual citizenship. It is thus a self-discovery rather than a new creed.

    The new rational is organic: it has structure or form, it has function or qualities, and it develops and matures in regular, lawful steps. Its structure is similar to the human body; its function is similar to the functions of the human organs and processes; its growth or development is according to knowable spiritual laws. This similarity is called correspondences in the Writings. The reason this correspondence exists is that all things and laws of the natural world are effects caused by corresponding things and laws in the spiritual world. This law of correspondence insures that all things of our dual citizenship agree and cooperate with the same goals and purposes of creation. An analogy is what we read in fiction or in drama: the events, even those that are scientifically or practically impossible, are patterned after the events that we know of, or else we would not read them. Similarly in dreams: though all sorts of absurdities may be depicted in them, yet they remain patterned after what we know, or else we could not recognize them and relate to them as we do. Since the rational was in us all along (though not consciously, and not maturely developed) we experience recognition rather than novelty as we become more conscious of it. If this were not so, we would feel strange and alien to this new experience. Instead, the new rational is like an uncovering of unsuspected sensations; it is like the feeling when we relax and suddenly begin to notice the distinct background noises that were there all along.

    In terms of content, the new spiritual-rational offers explanations and answers to all the conscious,automatic self, puzzles and questions we ever head about our inner life, about the origin of our thoughts and feelings, our fate upon death, the structure of our personality from the inner view, the history of our race regarding inner life, the communication we have with spirits, the existence of humans on other planets, and many more like these. The rational is thus given historical and logical information from which to survey our reality in its entirety and completion. We will now present a sketch of Swedenborg's proposal of the new rational within us.

    Before exposing oneself to the Writings of Swedenborg' it may be well to pause and examine the real purpose we wish to read it. With sufficient reflection and clarification, we may approach it with the positive bias on the basis of the reactions of those who came to the Writings without prejudice. After all, this is a most serious and serene subject: the actual proof to our curious minds that each and every one of us, without any exception, lives as a dual citizen, the one natural-mortal, the other spiritual-eternal, and that these two are in correspondence. In other words, we have a double! The enormity of this proof instantly converts our lower-rational, and from then on, the delights and uses of the upper-rational continue to grow in us as new affections, new cognitions, and new personalities. This is a slow growth with little external change; but the internal is enormously more active, more conscious. From this new internal "me", each of us feels a new lease on life and happiness.

    It is well therefore to prepare oneself to such an extraordinary occasion by a little reflection and purging of old falsehoods we hold. We all hold them. This is because, to become mature, we need to vest ourselves with a "role personality" or "the automatic self." This place within the self, is made of our accumulated experience, and manifest as our familiar memories, knowledges from school and reading, affections built up from drama, TV, music stars, biographies, and the innumerable tales we listen to in a decade of living. All this mass of orderly experience is stored up in us and is available for use and reflection. Our lower-rational is doing the reflection' using the content stored up in the natural mind, or automatic self. This lower-rational is going to read the Writings of Swedenborg and, if released from prejudice in our affections, it will be astounded to discover a purer part of itself, a sort of fabulous ancestor. Our lower-rational released suddenly finds its true freedom like the fish of the ocean that grew wings and became birds of the sky. Suddenly the lower-rational senses its upper parts and, is is instantly humbled.

    How do we release the lower-rational into this new existence? First, we need to receive the possibility of dual citizenship. As long as we feel that this is impossible or ridiculous or demented, as we tend to feel due to the climate of the intellectual world today, we cannot even begin the examination of the proof. Still, when with some time and effort, we want to lay aside our prejudice, we can release the lower- from its needless bondage to material ideas of the self. Dual citizenship can be, and has been, conceptualized by scientists in material terms. Since this knowledge is common> and taught in education, it is then necessary that we examine our premises more objectively, and strictly in conformity to "cold" logic.

    As adolescent, and still immature adults, we have imbibed material ideas of the self through courses of study, or through dramatic shows where the self is portrayed as consisting only, or mostly, of material content: desire for money, fame, power, acceptance, status, security, knowledge, adventure, beauty, or just for the unknown of it. These purposes of life belong to the automatic self and involve only the things of this life, of temporary value. In religion, we are offered something more than temporary, the promise of immortal life to its richest and fullest, far outpacing in value the life we have here and now. The lower-rational can see this, though not the automatic self. Yet the automatic self can be made to release its illogical bond over the lower- rational. Each of us can persuade our own automatic self to do so for the sake of material benefits: if released, the lower-rational amalgamates with the upper-rational, and this new conscious rational beams down to the automatic self a host of material benefits such as more pleasures, more satisfactions, more abilities, more security, more tangible and practical views, more inventiveness, more ingenuity, more self-confidence --- you name it, all of that and more. Naturally, the automatic self cannot resist such a fabulous shopping list. Truly we want all those things, and surely we can have it all just by releasing the lower-rational.

    But how do we release our lower-rational? Examine your current views. What do you know of the dual citizenship issue. What are your views on the self, the external versus the internal part. At first, we tend to think of the internal self as in medicine: the internist takes care of the internal parts and the skin doctor or eye doctor or dentist take care of the external parts. In this materialistic thinking, the internal parts are still material parts. Now consider your thoughts and your feelings: these include what your are conscious of and the countless experiences you are not conscious of. These thoughts and feelings are internal and they are not in this material world. This proposition is simple and true yet we argue against it at first because of prejudice. We were taught by prejudice to approach things with the negative bias: so, we respond automatically by thinking that thoughts and feelings could still be in this world.

    We have many arguments in support of this. The non-material world has never been proven to exist: " if it were really real, would people not be able to prove it? No one has ever come back from the dead to tell us about it; or, why are there so many reports of spirits in history and in primitive tribes but not over here in the modern city and the university? Could all of modern history and civilization and science and philosophy be wrong? Isn't the agnostic view most logical to hold: after all, if there is an after life, I'll find out about then. It is not good to dwell on inner things while we are here. And so on. All these arguments rest on material ideas, that is, ideas based only on external experience obtained from the senses and confirmed through the lower-rational.

    Still, the above doubts can be shown to be fakes. They all ignore one very obvious thing: religions. Every child receives religion from its culture. Later the adolescent and immature adult discards religion and, either is non-observant or, is externally observant. But the childhood religion, called the Old Church state within us, never dies; it only waits.

    When the automatic self remembers religion from childhood, it experiences a deep felt pang in our adult conscious self. We suddenly become aware, first, that it has not died, and second, that it lies so deep, so deep within us that we are amazed we have such depth in us. We are astounded because as adults we remember our best times and deepest moments, and we think highly of them; yet they are dwarfed by the mountain of feeling surging forth from this memory of childhood religious feelings. So, with this new memory, and with the promises of great material benefits, the automatic self is persuaded to release the lower-rational so that it may sore up and into the inner world, and from there to bring back the information, the perspective, the richness, immortality and eternal youth.

    The lower-rational,once thus released, soars. From a higher perspective, lower solutions appear quite clearly in their own light of inadequacy and insufficiency and irrationality. The history of men and women of science and literature is replete with brilliant lower-rational selves, working as blind investigators. We think for instance of Sigmund Freud and B.F. Skinner as the two great architects of this century's views on the self and how it matures. Freudian, and related psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches, postulate inner mechanisms or psychic apparatus, inner forces in conflict or in balance, inner habits and traits and networks-- in other words the psyche or mind. Yet all of this remains mere theoretical speculation: none of it has ever led to a single piece of discovery from the inner world -- no heaven, no angels, no spirits, no magic, no transcendence, nothing. Freud's approach leads to nothing within us that is of another concrete world. Many claim that the non-Freudian psychoanalist, Jung, does seem to have discovered something of the other world. However Jung's description of the inner world is ephemeral and private. So is the inner world of Aldous Huxley, Rudolph Steiner, Charles Tart, and the various cultish inner worlds of the gurus and spiritualists. As proof that none of these activities ever turned up anything of the other world, is the very fact that inner experiences were defined as private, unique, and extremely difficult to reach. This is indistinguishable from what fantasy and dream are: they are private, unique, and deep within. Carlos Castaneda, and the other works on sorcery, are more advanced in this respect since they insist on power demonstrations; these are hard come by through mere speculation and fantasy. Still, because sorcery is out of our reach, or taste, we do not see it as a solution either.

    So we are back to the fundamental question: what about religion?

    Here we need to lay aside adult versions and justifications of religion:' whether we have it or not; whether there is a true religion or not; whether God is personal, singular, or Trinitarian; whether there is going to be an end to the world; whether spirits possess people; whether priests should run for public office; whether giving 10% is necessary; and so on.

    All of these questions, issues, and problems about religion involve the material ideas of the automatic self; they are of course important to the survival of external religious institutions. But beyond that, we also want to inquire into the vital issues of the inner self; for this, we need to backtrack to the period in our life, when we felt that religion was a matter of instant life and death. This is our childhood religion, the Old within us.

    In this state of the Old Church within us we are brought to religion by our parents and teachers and caretakers while we are intellectually innocent. Our lower-rational, in its childhood days, is a bird; not a fishnor a creeping thing of the ground. The childhood intellect, though ignorant of knowledges of the world, is yet still free of material ideas. take literally the assertions they hear about God, His Omniscience and Omnipotence, good angels and bad devils, sin, punishment, guilt, antirecessionary prayer, the power of holiness, and the many other things of its own religious denomination. This literal belief and acceptance of the dual citizenship can be regained as adults so that we may persuade ourselves to release the lower-rational from its material bondage.

    Once this is done by an act of sincere judgment, out of one's aspirations for the real truth, and the love in it, we are well prepared for success in our reading of the Writings of Swedenborg.

    And now we come to a closer view of these Writings. We begin with a review of the topics of one of the books of the Writings called Heaven and Hell. This is one of the better known books of Swedenborg and was familiar to many men of letters of the last two hundred years or sdin America: Blake, Huxley, Henry James, Sr., William James, Emmerson, Helen Keller, Rudolf Steiner, Jung, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Thoreau, Horace Mann, Elisabeth Browning, Balzac, B audelaire, and many others. This relationship to Swedenborg has been documented by the Swedenborg Foundation of New York (founded, 1850) and other independent biographers and historical researchers (see Bibliography).

    We present these topics in outline form, selecting from the headings Swedenborg appended as footnotes throughout the books, in its modern edition. These are not sufficient for a justification of the statements; for this the reader will find a copy of the book in his or her nearest public library. But the headings are informative of the range and completeness of the answers the Writings give. When viewed without prejudice, these topical positions amount to a full revelation of the geography and inhabitants of the other world. No other scientific or literary figure in our history has ever given us a single real fact about our dual citizenship. Here, in this book, we are given thousands of concrete facts from a spiritual eye witness, a competent and renowned scientist, legislator, and journalist, who is not content in merely giving what he saw, but presents all the facts in an integrated contextualized explanation. The book appeals to the rational, not the blind faith; to the scientific, not the sensational; to factual proof, not mere speculation; to public evidence, not private vision. Let us then begin.

Continued in this glossary entry called Heaven and Hell

Articles on the Affective-Cognitive Connection:

The Will and Understanding  ||  The Heart and Lungs  ||  Good and Truth  ||  Religious Behaviorism   ||  Religious Psychology  ||  In Psychotherapy   ||  The Threefold Self  || Swedenborg's Theory of Trisubstantivism  


Source pages

Authors: Leon James &  Diane Nahl Webmaster: I.J. Thompson