Spiritual Genetics of Gender
Several sub-topics are handled here:
| Are Men are from Mars, and Women from Venus? | Human Mind = Spiritual World | No function or Use Without Substance and Structure | Truths and Goods as Spiritual Substances | Women = truths covered over with goods; Men = goods covered over with truths
A person imbued with materialistic psychology experiences great resistance to the concept of "mental" or "spiritual" difference between men and women. Especially is this the case when thoughts and feelings are discussed by using their politicized equivalents, namely, "intellectual" and "intuitive" respectively. I say that these are "politicized" in order to reflect the gender-based implications of "intellectual" vs. "intuitive."
Women don't want to be told that they are intuitive while men are intellectual, when at the same time "intellectual" is rewarded with power and status, while "intuitive" is rewarded with compliments and promises! When men say that women are "intuitive," they act as if they want to put women in an inferior status in our society where intellect is valued for money and power.
However, those who can get beyond this level of politicized involvement with gender, can come to fully appreciate Swedenborg's proposed solution to understanding the gender gap, and this is that both men and women are spiritually constructed from the same components, but in an inverse order. In other words, men and women are both made up of intellect and intuition, or as I would prefer to say, of the cognitive and the affective domains -- but in different structural relation.
Human Mind = Spiritual World
The human mind, in Swedenborg's system, is composed of two basic elements or functions: thoughts and feelings, or, thinking and feeling. Thinking is known in behavioral psychology as "the cognitive domain" and feeling is known as "the affective domain." (To pursue this issue, you can consult an article on its application in information science, written by my colleague Diane Nahl and based on Swedenborg's system. Thinking rationally is accomplished through the reception of truths streaming into the cognitive organ of the mind. Similarly, feeling positively is accomplished through the reception of goods streaming into the affective organ of the mind. "Truths" and "goods" are spiritual components of the mind like "light" and "heat" are physical components of the body.
Goods are also called loves or affections. They are spiritual substances that enter and make up our will -- motives, affections, intentions, desires, interests, affirmations, and so on. "The will" is the expression used by Swedenborg for what we call today, affective domain. I think we should call it the affective organ rather than the affective domain. This is in line with Swedenborg's objectivity and behaviorism, which I can express in these terms:
In other words, you can't expect some sort of use, power, or activity to exist without some substance or medium to give it structure. For example, you can't have magnetic forces and electricity without electronic particles and space between them. similarly, you can't have mental functions without mental substances. Of course the classic error is to see the brain as the substance for the mind. Swedenborg, always the objective scientist, sees through this subterfuge and clearly shows that material substance (brain, body) cannot be the medium for the mind since the mind and its functions must have its own medium and substance. Instead, the body (or brain) activities correspond to the mind (or spirit) activities, but each has its own substantive basis. This is rationally obvious since thoughts and feelings do not have extension, space, or mass, and therefore they cannot exist in a physical medium which has extension, space, and mass. Instead they need to exist in a spiritual or mental medium or substance, since this medium has no extension, space, or mass. (If you'd like an elaboration of this rational and scientific argument, see my article on scientific dualism available here.
Truths and Goods as Spiritual Substances
Truths (or their falsifications) are spiritual substances that make up the spiritual organ of understanding -- that is, the cognitive domain which is made up of plans, knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, reasonings, and so on. Goods (or their perversion) are spiritual substances that make up the spiritual organ of the will -- that is, the affective domain which is made up of motives, intentions, goals, loves, affections, interests, and so on. Truths and goods are the spiritual substances that make up the human mind, hence the spiritual world, just as light and heat make up the mass of all suns, hence the physical universe.
Truths and goods are spiritual substances that constitute the Spiritual World, hence the human mind. Whether we say the spiritual world or the human mind, it has a similar meaning because the mind is born and develops and exists in the spiritual world and is made of it. Goods and truths are positive substances that enter the heavenly state of the human mind; but perverted goods and falsified truths are negative substances that enter the hellish state of the human mind. Goods and perverted goods make up our affective organ where we have our feelings. Truths and falsified truths make up our cognitive organ where we have our thoughts.
Women = truths covered over with goods