Theological and Psychological
The Writings of Emanuel
Swedenborg (1688-1772) contain a psycho-philosophical nomenclature of human behavior
that integrates humanistic, transpersonal, and behavioristic approaches. Good and truth
are the two universal substances while affections (feelings) and cognitions (thoughts) are
their corresponding functions in the mental world. The will and the understanding are
mental or spiritual receptor organs for the reception of good and truth streaming in from
the Infinite Divine (spiritual psychobiology). Good and truth are applied to life in three
degrees: the external natural, the intermediate rational, and the inmost celestial. These
correspond to three levels of mental health operation: external good and truth, or
Inventiveness (Civics; Level 1); general good and truth, or Intelligence (Ethics; Level
2); and universal good and truth, or Wisdom and Freedom (Inner Religion, Myth, or
Symbolism; Level 3). The marriage of good and truth in our feelings and thoughts elevates
the level of our mental health operation to higher and deeper states of self-realization.
Applications to psychotherapy and dream analysis are indicated. Swedenborg's system is
described as a type of substantive dualism or biological theology, with importance to the
development of phenomenological empiricism and religious psychology.
Health and the Spiritual
If mental health is wholeness, then it is a basic concern for all of us. According to a contemporary psychotherapist we have the "fear of never being whole. We feel fragmented, always putting parts together, but never finding a satisfactory totality. Fragmentation results in the unavailability of man's internal and external resources at any simultaneous moment. This fragmentation produces an inability to solve even [our] own individual problems."1 By way of a solution to the "fear of un-wholeness" this paper presents a psycho-philosophical nomenclature that empowers the simultaneous availability of our internal and external resources at all times. Speaking in traditional terms, it means that our internal resources are truths in the mind and goods in the heart. I shall try to show that it is the marriage of good and truth within our feelings and thoughts, that engenders wholeness or mental health. In the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772) we find a theoretical integration of two disciplines vitally interested in the wholeness of the individual: theology as a rational discipline, and psychology as a behavioral science.2 Swedenborg's conceptual system is of importance to psychology and psychotherapy because it allows consideration of human nature simultaneously within its three traditional aspects:
(a) body, (b) mind or spirit and, (c) heart or soul.
It thus integrates the corresponding threefold concerns of contemporary psychology and psychiatry:
(a) behaviorism and behavioral medicine, focusing their concern on the body; (b) psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, and humanistic psychotherapies, with their focus on the self and the mind; and, (c) phenomenology, transcendentalism, and transpersonal psychology, which see the "heart" (or the will as a supernatural or spiritual entity.
Swedenborg's religious psychology gives us a way of integrating the principal branches of contemporary psychology and opening up the opportunity of forging a unity out of its many current conflicting divisions.
Substantive Dualism and Spiritual Influx
From the philosophical or theological perspective, all phenomena according to Swedenborg, are the outcome of the interplay between the two substances of good and truth.3 This position may be described as a type of substantive dualism involving the essential or universal building blocks of all things. Good and truth are rational or spiritual substances streaming from the Infinite Divine and coalesce into the constituents of all objects and phenomena. This is a difficult concept to assimilate since we have been conditioned to think of good as a quality and truth as a condition for an assertion. As a result, we think of good and truth as abstract concepts relating to abstract qualities. The Swedenborgian view, though challenging at first, is nevertheless a simple one to grasp. Good and truth stream out of the Divine as sunlight streams out of the sun's mass; good corresponding to its heat and truth to its light. Both light and heat are substances, or waves and particles of matter and energy. We can similarly conceive of good and truth as spiritual particles proceeding from the Infinite Divine and entering each individual human mind where they give rise to feelings and thoughts. I was at first surprised at the idea that the spiritual realm contains only two constituent elements while the physical world contains over one hundred. Is not the inner world richer than the outer?
Swedenborg agrees that it is since in his theology we find the idea that all natural phenomena are effects whose causes originate in the spiritual realm. The resolution of this puzzle lies in the character of good and truth as basic spiritual substances. Unlike physical elements such as oxygen or gold, which are relatively simple and homogeneous, good and truth are infinitely complex and heterogeneous. It seems appropriate to those who have the religious perspective on psychology, to trace the origin of all natural phenomena to the Infinite Divine. In the Western tradition of which Swedenborg was a part, God is Good and Truth or synonymously, Love and Wisdom. I shall elaborate on this relation throughout this paper. Thus all natural objects and emergent qualities in the physical universe are made up of these two Divine substances or realities. Physical matter is an external matrix of hardened substances (a "shell" or "vessel") generated and kept in place by an underlying matrix of two higher substances.
These spiritual substances are within every part of the external, hardened matrix.4 The inmost substance is good while the intermediate substance is truth; these two are surrounded by the outermost substance of physical matter. Swedenborg's model may be visualized as three concentric circles: the inmost is labeled "spiritual-celestial substance, i.e., good," the intermediate circle is labeled "spiritual-rational substance, i.e., truth," and the outermost is labeled "natural-physical substance, i.e., the external world." Note that this is a substantive dualism since (a), it recognizes the reality of two simultaneous worlds, one external and temporal, the other inner and eternal; and (b), it specifies that both worlds (natural and spiritual) are substantial, that is, composed of matter (stuff) proper to their surround.
Swedenborg uses the term "material" to refer to physical (or natural) stuff, and "substantial" to refer to spiritual (or supernatural) stuff. Material stuff is made of a variety of elements while spiritual stuff is made up of two basic elements, good and truth. These two basic spiritual substances stream out from the Divine into the inner (or spiritual) world first, continuing their descent (or externalization) into the external or natural world. Thus the order of descent in relation to humans is from the Infinite Divine into the soul and spirit, from there into the mind and body. This descent is to be seen as both sequential and simultaneous. It is sequential in analysis as we try to comprehend it rationally; and it is simultaneous in synthesis since, according to Swedenborg's theology, the entire life of every human, past, present, and the future to eternity, is constantly present (or known) to God.5 In Swedenborg's terms, "In God infinite things are one distinctly," "The Divine is in all time, apart from time" and "The Divine, apart from space, fills all spaces of the universe."6
The two universal substances good and truth, together engender all life, beauty, and perfection. In human beings, good and truth are received by "influx" into interior receptors located in the self: good into the will and truth into the understanding. There are two types of influx. Immediate (that is, unmediated) influx holds together the structure and function of every existing object. Thus rocks, trees, the liver, or the will and the understanding are all equivalent in owing their existence to the immediate influx of good and truth from the Divine. This immediate influx is continuous and unceasing. In this sense, Swedenborg's philosophy is animistic. That is, God didn't merely create the universe only to remove Himself so that Nature could carry on by itself. No thing can run by itself since, by itself it is nothing. No thing that is disconnected from the Divine can continue to exist. Every thing that subsists continues to exist by virtue of its direct connection to the Divine.
The Divine is thus within every thing, allowing its existence through continuous immediate influx.8 Mediate influx, on the other hand, is an additional, super- added influx received by human beings in their conscious organs called the will and the understanding, which thus act as interior, spiritual receptors located in the self: good into the affections of the will and truth into the cognitions of the understanding.9 Mediate influx maintains the existence of the conscious self, resulting in the twin human abilities of liberty and rationality. Because good and truth are atemporal (or eternal) substances, the conscious self is eternal or immortal. Individual differences in character (that is, the will), or in intelligence (that is, the understanding) may be ascribed to the unique manner of reception of the influx by the receptors of each unique self.lO The influx of good into the individual's affections (in the will) or cognitions (in the understanding) may not remain pure, in which case, the influx is transformed through perverted or "inverted" reception, the good into adulterated good, or evil, and the truth into falsified truth, or falsity.
Further, each perverted good, or each evil, seeks to express itself in its own particular falsity, the two together engendering all abuses. on the other hand, a marriage of good and truth in each unique individual engenders an inner state called one's heaven, which is the inmost state of freedom and rationality permitted by human growth.ll But the ill fated association between an individual's perverted good and falsified truth engenders an individual's hell, which is the inmost state of compulsion and irrationality of corrupted human growth. In terms of human development, the inverted marriage of evil and falsity comes first through inheritance and a worldly environment. The challenge in one's struggle in life is to separate the self from its inherited state of the inverted marriage, and build upon a self- acquired new state in which the heavenly marriage is a new (or regenerated) reality. This existential struggle is played out for every individual within the thoughts of the understanding and the feelings of the will. Evil and selfish motives are inspired in us through our heredity and culture. Bad purposes align themselves with falsified and self-serving reasonings or justifications, yielding "evil works" and a damning delight in them -- damning, according to Swedenborg, because adulterated good (that is, evil loves) and falsified truth (that is, false persuasions) remain with the self forever.
All loves or affections are eternal in the mind of the individual, and they associate themselves with cognitions which correspond: loves from the reception of unadulterated good, gather cognitions of truth, while cupidities from the reception of adulterated good, gather cognitions of falsified truths.12 That our loves stick to us forever follows from the idea that love is a spiritual substance received in the mind by influx. Unlike magnetic tape, which can deteriorate, spiritual substance and form are forever. Death, through "the limbus," fixes them permanently in our character.13 Prior to death, change in our loves is possible through repentance, reformation, and regeneration. By shunning inherited and acquired evils within one's will, and by counteracting dogmatic beliefs within one's understanding, the individual can gradually be regenerated by the Divine from within. As a result of regeneration, the reception of good and truth from mediate influx becomes less and less perverted, and more and more genuine. From the reception of unadulterated good, new motives are activated in the will, and these align themselves with the existing capabilities (or truths) of the person. The marriage of good and truth within a person is thus attained. A new inner state of heaven ensues, which is characterized by the "uses" of mental health -- happiness, peace, full confidence, self-esteem, love, wisdom, intelligence, perfection, strength, and beauty. Not even death can separate the self from this foundation, so that individuals then eternally abide in their own inner states of heaven.14 Swedenborg claims to have phenomenologically traveled to the inner states of heaven where, after death, the regenerate selves from all cultures and religions congregate.15
These selves telepathically (or spiritually) create a community image which externalizes into a daily life similar in outer appearance to life on earth -- with cities, homes, occupations, governments, and marital life. This communal-spiritual image is permanent and eternal because it corresponds to the inner good and truth accumulated in the self from life in the physical body.16 Given the endless variety of goods and truths, the other world, according to Swedenborg's phenomenological experiences, is in outward appearance like the mythological elaborations of the ancients, or like a child's innocent but imaginative idea of Heaven.17 If evil thoughts and feelings are not shunned, but loved and confirmed in habit, the person's self is built upon the infernal marriage and its abuses of mental illness -- chronic dissatisfaction, depression, boredom, turmoil, conflict, anxiety, dishonesty, hatred, cruelty, delusion, envy, callousness, foolishness, and stupidity. Inherited evil, which could have been dissipated by a changed life, becomes imputable personal sin.18 Not even death can separate the self from this foundation, so that people then eternally abide in their own inner states of hell.
By phenomenological experience, Swedenborg
confirms that the communal-spiritual image outwardly projected by those who abide in their
states of hell, is the sordid life pictured in Western literature on hells, devils,
dragons, dungeons, magicians, sorceresses, sirens, and all those who delight in cruelty,
irrationality, exploitation, and domination of others through the excitation of fear,
anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, addiction, obsession, etc. Such is the quality of
good and truth when perverted, inverted, or adulterated.
Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of Mental Health
In Swedenborg's psychology, the will and the understanding are the two psychobiological organs of the human self.19 Their function is to act as internal receptors of good and truth streaming in from within from the Divine. Swedenborg's position is thus a spiritual biology. When good influxes the will, affections are aroused in the person's motivational system. The presence or maintenance of particular affective states is called affective behavior. For example, feeling indignant at someone's conduct is an affective behavior; as is wishing to be safe, or endeavoring to reach a desired goal. Similarly, when truth influxes the understanding, cognitions are aroused in the person's understanding or cognitive system. Today we call the sequencing of particular thoughts or ideas, cognitive behavior. For example, solving a problem is a cognitive behavior; as is planning a meal, or formulating a principle. Thus, all human behavior is a reaction to interior influx from the spiritual world: thoughts are reactions to truths inflowing from within into the external memory (that is, into knowledges acquired experientially, from without); feelings are reactions to goods inflowing from within into our endeavors and strivings.20 Affective and cognitive behaviors together engender sensorimotor behavior -- all sensations, noticings, acts, gestures, expressions, and speech which constitute the external world of appearances.
Levels of Transcendence: The Breadth and Height of the Self
The horizontal axis in Table
1 outlines the relation between the philosophical and psychological aspects of mental
health. The three columns represent the conjunction of good and truth engendering mental
health uses -- freedom, rationality, and inventiveness, or when inverted, mental health
abuses -- compulsion, delusion, and helplessness. The vertical axis represents
Swedenborg's distinction between three levels of human concerns: merely local and
historical concerns as seen in the affairs of civics (Level l); more generalized concerns
as seen in the search for meaning and what is ethically right (Morality, Level 2); and
universalized concerns as seen in archetypic imagery in myth and religion (Level 3). These
constitute three developmental levels of transcendence whereby the mind evolves toward
ever more interior states of spirituality.
At the lowest level, civics consists of concerns for the external particulars of natural life, such as obtaining physical comfort and safety, gathering external knowledge and applying it to society's needs, working for a living to support self and family, or maintaining law and order through service and personal sacrifice. operational level 1 is un-redeemed biography; it inevitably leads to such existential dead-end issues as the fear of death and the unfulfilled quest for meaning. Existentialism, materialism, monism, behaviorism, philistinism or externalism are strictly materialistic negative bias philosophies dwelling on the concreteness of sensory empiricism while shying away from the substantive reality of higher or inner human operations. In the negative bias ideology of scientism, the individual thinks or says, I only believe what can be proven by fact, by which is meant, time bound physical or naturalistic observations.
Ethics occupies the intermediate level as it deals with more internal concerns such as the moral and rational meaning of human affairs: caring for the truth; upholding equity and fairness; and striving for coherence and objectivity. These concerns are more general or abstract, and transcend the local or historical particulars of civics. operational Level 2 transcends externalism by infilling it with rational meaning. We transcend existentialism and behaviorism when we appear to induce the abstract from the concrete, the general from the particular. The behavioristic act now has an ethical antecedent, or justification, within itself. The action is now elevated from the merely natural plane to the more interior plane of the rational, which includes the ethical, the moral, and the spiritual levels of cognition. The external act is transcended by virtue of the fact that an internal motive lies within it. This is a mechanism of interiorization.
Traditional religious practices such as worship, prayer and doctrinal study, as well as other forms of spiritual activity such as humanistic psychotherapies, psychoanalysis, logotherapy, Zen and other quests, function to infuse rational (or ethical and moral) significance into merely natural activities. These rationalized systems function as new inner sources of valuing the details of natural external life. The rational function of the mind (Level 2, according to Swedenborg, is composed of both natural and spiritual substances. The natural substances exist in those perceptions and memories (or, images) which enter through the external (physical) senses, i.e., the sensorimotor domain of behavior. The spiritual substances (good and truth) enter through the inner senses called "the understanding" and "the will," i.e., the cognitive and the affective behavioral domains.21 Swedenborg's description of how the lower aspect of the self is infused by the higher, can be extremely useful to religious psychology. Current non-religious psychotherapies, as exemplified by Freud, Erikson, Rogers, Skinner, and Ellis, are conceived as bottom- up operations.
The stages of development or change are added on top of each other, like a heap of sand being poured from the top. In contrast to this external view, Swedenborg's substantive dualism maps the inner religious world, as it infuses or infills the external self from within. Self-transcendence, that is, mental growth, is the operation whereby the cognitive and affective organs are infused with truth and good streaming in from the Infinite Divine. Religious psychotherapy thus acquires a distinguishing characteristic from non- religious psychotherapy. The rational level of the mind (Level 2) is divided into two categories of operation, one patterned after the external natural world, the other patterned according to the interior spiritual world. The external rational operations in the mind are effected through natural truths or ideas contained in the memory, while internal rational processes operate with spiritual truths or ideas. Thus, in the Swedenborgian system, thoughts or ideas vary as to their origin: natural concepts (Level 1) originate from the natural world through the external sensory organs, and spiritual or rational concepts (Level 2) originate from the spiritual world through the interior sensory organs. The latter are identified as "the understanding" and "the will." As already indicated, the organ of the understanding refers to the cognitive domain and the organ of the will refers to the affective domain.
Thus, all concepts built by sensorimotor input from the natural world operate at the external rational level; all concepts built by cognitive and affective reception of spiritual stimuli (i.e., "truths" and "goods" streaming in from the spiritual world) operate at the interior rational level. In Table 1, the line between Levels 1 and 2 represents the external rational. At this lower border, stimuli from the external natural world stream in and are there ordered. The line between Levels 2 and 3 represents the internal rational. At this upper border, stimuli from the interior spiritual world stream in and there organize themselves. In Swedenborg's system, the rational function of the mind forms a necessary intermediary between the natural and the spiritual. The rational partakes of both worlds. The rational-spiritual operation (Level 2) empowers the self with new feelings of satisfaction that accompany right or appropriate conduct. These new inner satisfactions are capable of overcoming existential concerns or crises. The infusion of rationality into civics, or of ethics into everyday life activities, is an infusion of spiritual meaning into one's existence. The earlier existential crisis has now been overcome. For awhile we are content. Eventually however, new doubts arise and threaten to destroy once again the inner peace of the self. A new transcendence becomes necessary, and it occurs when Level 3 operation infills Level 2.
Swedenborg places religion at the inmost level of human concerns as it involves the permanent (eternal) destiny of the self, and is thus the universal aspect of every individual. Religious concerns are also to be distinguished into external and interior categories. External religion refers to one's denominational and sub-cultural activities and motives (e.g., "It is expected of me" or "I need to belong somewhere"). The external thinking and feeling in religion revolve around the motives to be socially accepted and to be fair to others. The interior-rational operations of religion involve the shunning of evil for the sake of God, the consequent love of good, the delight in uses, the love of truth, and the endeavor to apply truths to life (which is called wisdom).22 These are the most abstracted or universal of concerns, the highest or most internalized within the self. This aspect clearly does not refer to external religion as embodied in cultural- ethnic rituals, but rather, to the essence of all religions which concerns the inner relation of the self to eternity and the Infinite.
External religious practice alone remains unredeeming. By itself it is not true religion but merely an ethnic-cultural statement, an historical entity existing in political antagonism to competing systems or denominations. Religion becomes true, meaningful and rational when it is infilled, first, with genuine morality (Level 2), and at last, with genuine love or the delight in good (Level 3). Religion infilled, or inner religion, is universal, immortal, and harmonious. This Swedenborgian definition of religion is in sharp contrast to fundamentalist views that affirm a division between "faith" and what is rational. The fundamentalist sees faith as blind belief since it is beyond what the intellect can explain. But Swedenborg insists that a blind faith is not interior, and hence does not last into the afterlife. A blind faith cannot be interiorly loved since only what is rational can be interior. Hence only a rational faith is tied to the love of good and truth, which then survives to eternity. Loving blindly, according to Swedenborg, is loving externally or naturally; it is temporary. Loving interiorly, hence spiritually and eternally, occurs when the understanding or intellect illumines the object of love. Love conjoined to rational faith is a saving religion; love allied to blind faith, is not. Rational faith is based on a universally valid doctrine; blind faith is based on discriminatory dogma.
This aspect of Swedenborg's approach is also very important to religious psychology. We are given here a definition of religion that is independent of denomination, belief, or dogma. A universal or culture free religious psychotherapy is thus made possible since its operations and categories are tied to psycho-biology, not history or anthropology. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, all have the same inner (or essential) relation to the Infinite Divine, based on a shared interior rational. Their differences are non-essential, external, cultural. The attainment of mental health in all cultures and times, past, present and future, is the same: the infusion of good into one's affections (or motives) and the parallel infusion of truth into one's cognitions (or beliefs). This infusion is from the Infinite Divine through the spiritual world.
To summarize Table 1, we can say that within every individual there are natural concerns (civics or Level 1), spiritual-rational concerns (ethics or Level 2), and spiritual-celestial concerns (religion or Level 3). Any particular event or quality is meaningless by itself; it is merely an external shell (Level 1). Meaning is a transcendent phenomenon since it infills from within (Level 2); thus, a particular instance is elevated to a general type. Finally, the general is elevated (redeemed) by being infilled with the universal (absolute, eternal) (Level 3). Existential dilemmas (Level 1) are infilled by humanistic perspectives (Level 2) which are made whole from within by inner religious guidance (Level 3). Each level of concern has its appropriate good and truth, hence mental health. The natural good of civics zone +A1), is grounded in the affections for self and its survival. This affective self- orientation is conjoined with natural truths obtained from knowledge in experience and schooling (+C1). Together (+A1 and +C1), natural good and natural truth engender natural mental health seen in human inventiveness and industriousness (+S1). This pattern is depicted as Level 1 in Table 1, that is, (+A1) and (+C1) = (+S1). Note that the inverted or negative state of concerns is also given, namely, (-A1) and (-C1) = (-S1), that is, adulterated good allied to falsified truth engenders dysfunctional behavior.
A deeper and more abstracted level of concern is based on the affection or love for truth (+A2), without which external knowledges (+C1) cannot be raised in abstractness or interiorness to form inner intelligence (+C2). Ethics (Level 2) shows itself in rational acts (+S2) engendered by the love of truth (+A2) married to interior intelligence (+C2). Whenever one holds truth in aversion (-A2), thoughts rigidify into dogma (-C2), and rational acts (+S2) give way to delusional acts (-S2), i.e., justifying falsehood as truth and evil as good. A still more internalized and abstracted level of concern (Level 3) is based on the love of good (+A3) without which intelligence and the understanding of doctrine (+C2) cannot be raised to wisdom in life (+C3). Inner religious concerns involve the individual's freedom to do good, that is, doing good by choice or preference, not by coercion, fear or habit. To love good (+A3) is to delight in good works and in uses +S3), brought about through the intermediary of wisdom (+C3). Delight in perverting good (-S3) comes from loving evil (-3) and results in compulsive behavior or slavery to irresistible cupidities (-S3).
The matrix in Table 1 is a model for understanding and exploring mental health phenomena. The model integrates phenomenological and behavioral aspects of mental health. It is a representation of the organization of the human mind. Its horizontal dimension corresponds to the simultaneous presence of behavior in three psychobiological domains: affective, cognitive and sensorimotor. These three correspond and are equivalent to the traditional philosophical trine of good, truth, and beauty; or love, wisdom, and use; or will, under standing, and act. These trines function as origin, cause, and effect.23 For example, the affection for winning a game (+A1) is the origin for trying hard; the mental know-how learned from experience with the game (+C1) is the cause of our actions in the game; and performance itself (+S1) is the effect or outcome from the marriage of the desire to win (+A1) and the plan by which to accomplish it (+C1). Affective behaviors, such as being guided by a motive or desire, are receptions of the good. Cognitive behaviors such as reasonings or imaginings, are receptions of the true. Mental health is the external, sensorimotor use of good in the affective domain conjoined to truth in the cognitive domain.24
Individual differences arise from the principle of uniqueness whereby every created object or organism is different from all others. Uniqueness of the affective organ of the will insures a reception of the good from the Divine which is different from that of any other individual, past, present, and future. Similarly with the unique reception of the truth in the understanding. Hence in every human being there is a unique version of mental health resulting from the marriage of the unique good and truth. As well, distortions in the reception of good and truth are unique, creating mental dysfunctions that are peculiar to each individual. As a correspondence to this uniqueness principle is the visible fact that there cannot be found two individuals that look alike in every respect.25
The vertical dimension of the model in Table 1 represents the elevation of human life from
merely external involvement in things to inner concerns involving rationality and internal
freedom. The 3 X 3 matrix (or ennead) forms a classification system capable of
categorizing the various psychophilosophical aspects of mental health. The 9 psychodynamic
zones are labeled in accordance with the definition of the intersection of the marginals.
Thus, Affective Good has three levels (+A1, +A2, and +A3); likewise Cognitive Truth (+C1,
+C2, and +C3) and as well, Sensorimotor Mental Health (+S1, +S2, and +S3). Titles for each
of the nine ones are shown in Table 1.
These descriptors are expressed in natural language, and therefore there are many ways in
which the titles can be paraphrased or additionally qualified. The matrix is dynamic,
productive, and explanatory and may be useful for integrating a variety of philosophical
systems and psychological theories.
In Swedenborg's system the mind is a microcosm of the universe. In fact, every single object or entity has the same threefold organization.26 A model of the mind (as in Table 1) is therefore a model of the universe. The organization of the universe is the same as the organization of the mind. This relation is by Divine Creation.27 The purpose of Creation is a heaven composed of the entire human race.28 Therefore the physical world is a seminary to heaven, and the objects of nature exist only in their relation to this human purpose. The arts and the natural sciences lead to knowledge of natural representatives of spiritual purposes and functions. Throughout his writings, which run to over 5O volumes in English translation, Swedenborg presents a wealth of these correspondences between spiritual and natural items. According to him, these correspondences are from Divine Creation and were known to the most ancient peoples as the "Science of Correspondences." over the ages, with the downfall of the spiritual society and its replacement by the materialistic societies, the knowledge of correspondences was lost or perverted.
Some of this knowledge was still known in Egypt at the time the hieroglyphics were in use.29 Today many survive in our language as metaphor from which we know that birds correspond to thoughts (as in "flight of thoughts"), light to truth as "seeing the light"), heat to love (as in "I warm up to you"), hand to power (as in "he was heavy handed"), vision to understanding (as in "I see what you mean"), and many others. The Science of Correspondences is thus an explanation of the origin of metaphor and symbolism. Swedenborg applied this approach to his extensive works on Bible exegesis in which he endeavors to show that the Bible has an inner spiritual meaning unrelated to the literal except through correspondences.30 The Swedenborgian system is a wonderful integration of the spiritual, the natural, the Bible, the human anatomy, and the mind. Mental health, or wholeness, can be approached from any of these directions or specialties.
Swedenborg asserts that function and form cannot exist without substance.31 Since mental health is a function of the mind (or spirit), this rule implies that mental wholeness has a correspondential substance or structure. That is, mental heath relates to the structure of the mind, its organizational character. Substance, in the Swedenborgian system, is the essence ("esse" or origin) of a thing, that is, its origin. Form or structure is the intermediate or instrumental of a thing (its "existere"), that is, its instrumental cause. Function is the resultant ultimate effect as it is manifested in its uses and appearances (or characteristics). These three -- substance, form, and function, or, origin, cause, and effect -- correspond exactly to good, truth, and mental health uses (or powers and abilities). Good is then the essential ("esse") or primary substance. It is the origin of mental health or spiritual wholeness.32 Next comes truth, which is the intermediate or existential substance ("existere"). Finally, the resultant consequence or ultimate external effect is use (mental health, beauty, altruism, productivity). We thus have the formula
GOOD + TRUTH = MENTAL HEALTH
as depicted in Table 1. This theological definition of mental health exactly corresponds to our contemporary understanding of the psychological definition of mental health, namely
GOOD AFFECTIVE BEHAVIOR + APPROPRIATE COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR
= MENTAL HEALTH.
In the view of strict behaviorists like Skinner, or of medical psychoanalysts like Freud, affective and cognitive behaviors are reduced to the physical or natural substances that constitute biochemical and neuronal functions. This is a monistic or materialistic bias which regards feelings and thoughts, or the mind and the spirit, as pseudo-phenomena or epiphenomena. From this perspective, the brain is more real than the mind. Such a positivistic position is not tenable however since it is obvious that if I thought of something I really did do something, namely thought of something. Thus, having a thought is as real as having a meal. The solution offered by Skinner and Freud to the problem of cognitive processes is to equate thinking with brain activity. William James, however, had already seen the solution to this problem, as will be discussed below. The brain is indeed necessary, but not sufficient. Presumably, when the brain dies, the cognitive and affective substances that order and constitute the self within the limbus, are housed in new externals, other than physical.
Swedenborg's phenomenological claims about his experiences in the spiritual world are therefore important because they constitute empirical evidence for the dualist approach in theology and psychology. It is interesting to note in this connection that arguments for dualism in science have been increasing, as documented in a recent paper by Wright, who makes it into a major issue for library education: "The future of librarianship and library education is intimately bound up with the complex interrelationships of the physical symbol and its symbolic referent. But the physical symbol is always a sensible datum functioning as the means of communication to or from the intellect; thus, it belongs to a different order of being than the symbolic referent, which always constitutes an ideative reality. This ... means... that the relationship of symbol to referent is inherently dualistic and psychophysical." 33 To illustrate the point, Wright quotes Eccles discussing one of Popper's analogies: "You are not your brain...; you are the programmer of your brain."34
Swedenborg's solution may be characterized as a form of biological theology. Since the affections in the will correspond to the influx of good, he identifies good as the universal essential substance ("esse"). Good is the inmost substance of every thing. The inmost of the human mind or self, are the affections in the will: feelings, strivings, impulses, urges, attractions, aversions, loves, cupidities. The remarkable conclusion is inevitable: good is the affective substance of feelings . It inflows from the Divine into the will (or affective domain), which therefore must be a "receptor," that is, a biological organ. Similarly, truth is the intermediate substance, that is, the existential phase of externalization (in which good is the esse). once again, since thinking is a function, it is a real thing, and therefore a real function. Function, Swedenborg insists, must have a substance within which to subsist and operate (as in a medium or manifold). Truth is the cognitive substance or medium within which thinking phenomena can take form, can appear, can proceed.
William James used this approach to justify the concept of immortality from the point of view of scientific or physiological psychology, calling it the "transmission" model of the brain as opposed to the "production" model: "My thesis now is this: that, when we think of the law that thought is a function of the brain, we are not required to think of productive function only; we are entitled also to consider permissive or transmissive function. And this the ordinary psychologist leaves out of his account." (italics in original).35 James refers to "idealistic philosophy" as confirming common sense notions of the existence of a supernatural world behind 'the veil' of the natural. According to James, a dualistic model would posit that the brain acts as a receptor to incoming vibrations or rays of consciousness from the transcendent world "according to the state in which the brain finds itself, the barrier of its obstructiveness may also be supposed to rise or fall. ... The brain would be the independent variable, the mind would vary dependently on it. But such dependence on the brain for this natural life would in no wise make immortal life impossible, - it might be quite compatible with supernatural life behind the veil hereafter."36
To a strict monist or materialist, the concept of rational or spiritual substance may appear fanciful. Not so to the rationalist, who can admit a dualism in the universe such as can be found in the duality of the self as body and mind. In Rational Psychology, and other works, Swedenborg discusses the "intercourse" between the natural and the spiritual within the body. The specific locus of correspondence between the two is the thin and pure liquid inside each cortical cell. The mind or "spirit" itself is enclosed in a very thin skin made of a "purified" natural substance called the "limbus" spread throughout the body (not just the brain).37
Inside the limbus are organized forms of spiritual substances which are entirely spiritual and have no natural components. At death, when the corpse is completely cold, the mind in its limbus separates and emerges in the spiritual world, as witnessed by Swedenborg during his phenomenological journeys.38 To those present in the spiritual world, a person who has just died appears to wake up and is then ministered to and prepared for the new world. Before the death of the physical body the individual appears in the spiritual world as a sleeping person from whom emanates a certain distinctive odor and is avoided by those in the spiritual world. Upon "awakening" in the spiritual world shortly after death occurs, the mind in its limbus cover now appears in a spirit body which is a replica of the natural body, and in which the mind senses, feels, and thinks seemingly just as before, but more perfectly and vividly.39 Swedenborg reports that many whom he saw entering the spiritual world at that time (eighteenth century), were such naturalists or agnostics that they at first denied having died, and supposed themselves still alive on earth and, inexplicably, in some strange place. However, they were soon convinced when they saw strange phenomena such as appearing and disappearing people, or when they met people they knew had died.
Swedenborg's scientific dualism is thus a biological theology as well as a behavioristic religious psychology. Since all phenomena originate from the marriage of Good and Truth, psychology becomes a branch of theological biology. The human being lives simultaneously in two worlds and is immortal, and developing eternally. The will is the receptor organ for the inner influx of good from the spiritual world. The will is the character of the individual, both inherited and acquired. Behaviorally, the will can be viewed as made of affections. Thus, affections, or loves and cupidities, are organized spiritual substances within the limbus. For example, when we adopt a new commitment such as the desire to be more punctual, and then confirm it in practice to the extent that we now love to be punctual, then this new element in our character has a structural and substantive existence within the limbus. Were it not for this psychobiological reality, character traits could not exist in permanent form but would flow out and away from the individual. The permanence or stability in one's character or personality traits is organically based.4O
Sensorimotor phenomena such as the sensation of warmth or the tracing of a letter with one's finger, are externalized products of inner behavioral phenomena whose origin is the influx of good and truth. The external gesture, or act, contains within it the thought or idea, and within this lies the feeling. The feeling is the first end, origin, or essence, and the inmost substance or quality of the individual. Surrounding the feeling is the thought, plan or rationale. Surrounding the thought is the sensorimotor substance which is totally external, natural, and physical. These three do- mains of behavior constitute all human affairs and capacities. Good is called the spiritual-celestial substance, hence affections or feelings are celestial (or infernal, when inverted). Truth is called the spiritual-rational substance, hence thoughts, justifications, doctrines, or dreams are cognitive phenomena based within a spiritual or rational reality. Mental health refers to the sum total of all human affairs, activities, or accomplishments. These are the pro- ducts engendered by the marriage of good and truth within each individual. Similarly with their inversions or opposites (see Table 1).
Swedenborg's biological theology encompasses a threefold nomenclature that unifies ordinarily disparate topics and solutions in philosophy and in the history of ideas. Swedenborg considered himself a scientist. Indeed, all encyclopedia articles about him document his voluminous contributions in metallurgy, crystallography, mining and smelting, anatomy, psychology, government, legislation, and theology. His careful and systematic approach in all things coupled with his deep striving for unifying all explanations, led him to identify what is universal to all things. He thus constructed a unified philosophical system based on rational recognition rather than on speculation or theoretical rationales. His is the scientist's philosophy, the scientist's theology. Both his theology and his psychology are unified in biology and in psychobiology. Swedenborg's threefold nomenclature is apparent in all of his writings. By way of illustration, Table 2 is organized into themes or topics from Swedenborg's works that relate to mental health. The Table shows the interconnections between psychological and theological concepts in Swedenborg's system. Since he saw in the Bible a coded spiritual language, I include some of the correspondences to show their relation to psychological concepts. The relationship of Biblical imagery to the marriage of good and truth may be seen in the following quotation:
"Readers of the Word, who pay attention to the matter can see that
there are pairs of expressions in it that appear like repetitions of the same thing, such
as 'brother' and 'needy,' 'waste' and 'solitude,' 'vacuity' and 'emptiness, 'foe' and
'enemy,' 'sin' and 'iniquity,' 'anger' and 'wrath,' 'nation' and 'people,' 'joy' and
'gladness' ... etc. These expressions appear synonymous, but are not so, for 'brother,'
'waste,' 'foe,' 'sin,' 'anger,' 'nation,' and 'joy' ... are predicated of good, and in the
opposite sense, of evil; whereas 'needy,' 'solitude,' 'emptiness,' 'enemy,' 'iniquity,'
wrath,' 'people,' and 'gladness' ... are predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of
falsity.41 From this perspective, the Bible frequently refers to the conditions in the
mind that must come about in order to achieve the regenerated state, that is, spiritual
Modern Psychological Concepts Corresponding to Swedenborg's Threefold Nomenclature, and Mental Health Symptoms Mapped unto Swedenborg's Nomenclature
Extensions of Swedenborg's threefold nomenclature to contemporary concepts
in the social and behavioral sciences are presented in Table
3: Modern Psychological Concepts Corresponding to Swedenborg's Threefold Nomenclature.
The domain of good, or affective behavior, may be explored by looking up and down the
first column. Similarly, the cognitive domain, or truth, and the sensorimotor domain, or
uses, may be studied. The list may of course be extended by including the entire
contemporary literature in psychology. By exploring the Table horizontally one gains a
better understanding of the triadic relation that exists between the three behavioral
A particular application to mental health symptoms and psychotherapy is worked out in Table 4: Mental Health Symptoms Mapped unto Swedenborg's Nomenclature. This is a 3x3 matrix using the same marginal dynamics as described earlier in connection with Table 1. The individual items in the 9 cells are theoretically generated by the intersection between level and domain of behavior. Research will determine the extent to which the relations indicated in the Table are indeed as indicated. The model has also been successfully applied to health psychology, driving behavior, and to information seeking behavior.42 It is clear that the overall system is potentially quite broad and future psychotheological work may show its usefulness in applications such as phenomenology, ethics, and religiously oriented or transpersonal psychotherapies.
The distinction between levels of good and truth is of particular importance. External good (+Al in able 1) has entirely different properties than good of a more interior nature (+A2 or +A3). For example, external rewards (+Al) obtained through candy or praise (+Sl) are less effective motivators in more advanced stages of learning; instead, we find higher and deeper sources of reward in self- esteem (or, feeling of accomplishment) (+A2) or in the feeling of solidarity (+A3). Similarly, outer truth is less universal than interior truth (+C2 or C.3 so that concepts from which temporal and local qualities have been abstracted out have a more interior function. These new higher order concepts are more interior because nearer to the essential, hence more universal. This relation ma be seen in the progressive elevation of the intellect as we consider its relation to knowledge (+Cl), intelligence (+C2) and wisdom (+C3). Knowledge in the memory is a lower function of the intellect consisting in the accumulation and classification of external facts within experience (+Cl). When these facts are accessed in series and processed according to a purpose, the function of intelligence is operating within the external facts and yields a superior product visible as normative evaluation and critical judgment (+C2).
Still more interior and essential operations are attained when intelligent functioning is introjected from within (or from above) with spiritual significance, such as the religious implication of a decision or its symbolic value (+C3). For example, thinking that criminal behavior isn't worth the risk is to operate with external, purely natural concepts (+Cl), while reasoning that to commit a criminal act is also unfair and destabilizing is to operate with more interior concepts (~C2). Finally, we operate in wisdom when we intuit that a criminal act corrupts the essential within us (+C3). For moral education programs to be successful they need to communicate progressively more interior and universal concepts. A similar analysis applies to the minus regions implied in Table 1, as may be seen in the levels of dysfunctions explored in Table 4.
A better understanding of the psychotheological aspects of good and truth will also be useful for the analysis of the language of dreams, myths, and parables. These forms of literature overlap with the use of metaphor and simile in everyday speech. Within the Swedenborgian nomenclature (see Table 2) all natural objects and qualities are "vessels" whose external properties or characteristics symbolize or represent their interior spiritual properties and characteristics.43 For example, each animal species corresponds to a particular human affection or good (lambs are gentle, crocodiles are cruel, horses are intelligent, and so on). Or each type of body of water corresponds to a particular human truth: drinking water corresponds to quenching our thirst for knowledge; brackish water represents the muddying of the mind with confusing concepts; salty water represents the sweat of our intellectual effort, and so on.44
Similarly, Oedipus is the patricidal impulse within each of us; Pinocchio is the gullible child in each person's immature self; the Temple in Jerusalem stands for the faith that is in every believer. The language of our dreams, like the language of myths, uses external images that subconsciously (or unconsciously) symbolize the self's relation to universal or eternal states. If I dream that I am drowning, I am interiorly symbolizing the state of intellectual vastation within me (flooded by thoughts I cannot order). If I dream of a wild beast, I am symbolizing the state of hatred in selfishness; and if I dream of a bear attacking and tearing up my child, I am symbolizing my active endeavor to destroy (out of selfishness) the innocence still living within me (such as the desire to be obedient). In so far as dreaming is a psychobiological phenomenon, Swedenborg's biological theology of good and truth offers a method of research for investigating its psychological functions. Swedenborg recorded a dream in which he was in a garden he wished to possess. He noticed a person picking up some bugs. "I did not see them, but saw another little creeping thing which I dropped on a white linen cloth beside a woman. It was the uncleanness which ought to be rooted out from me."45
The act of symbolizing in dreams, myths, and religious visions or parables, is performed in a language of "correspondences" that, according to Swedenborg, was well known to the most ancient civilizations on earth, remnants of which are found in Egyptian hieroglyphics, the first 11 chapters of the Book of Genesis, Greek mythology, and metaphors in everyday speech.46 Modern psychotherapy already has a Swedenborgian nomenclature represented by its three corners: describing symptoms (behaviorism), identifying their function and etiology (secular humanism and psycho- analysis), and endowing them with new, redeeming meaning (religion, and art). The behaviorism of symptoms is a Level 1 operation (see Table 1) since it concerns itself with natural thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This is the external mind or self and operates with external good (+A1) and external truth (+Cl) in external sensations and actions (+S1). The external self needs a behavioristic management system based on contingency laws that are binding to lower human affections.
This is evident in behavioristic approaches to counseling and adjustment where willpower is seen and demonstrated as ineffective while self-administered token economy systems are seen and demonstrated as effective change agents.47 For example, some people don't seem to be able to will themselves not to overeat; however, when directed to keep track and to fine themselves for eating infractions, they are more successful. Clearly, Level 1 is a mental health operation involving external concepts, hence reinforcements for external affections and cognitions will be effective, such as material objects for the love of possessions and factual explanations for the desire to know. Mental health operation at Level 2 transcends the local and historical details of a symptom, and sees within it a generalized significance: Clearly I have a headache -- but is it because I drank too much last night or because my blood pressure is too high, or because my neck is tense? And if it's because my blood pressure is too high, should I not be going on a diet? Oh but it's so boring having to diet, etc. etc.
This is what lies within the external symptom. A headache is both a behavioral symptom and an existential issue about one's lifestyle and moral character. The existential issue (Level 2) lies within the behavioral issue (Level 1). At Level 3 operation, mental health is totally internalized. It is here that it operates by pure will. Will is the all of it because it is the essence of it. This is when we operate in freedom out of love. We are free from contrary feelings and thoughts, and our experiencing and doing reflect our desire. It is what good accomplishes through truth, or what love accomplishes through wisdom. This is the religious significance of a headache, its mythical symbolism: it opposes my heavenly states; therefore it is evil. Each of the three levels of mental health operation requires its own appropriate language and theory of therapy. Excessive shyness, for example, can be approached at first purely externally (Level 1), using behavior self-modification techniques to increase frequency of communicating with others. Concurrently, or sequentially, a more interior approach may be added (Level 2), using psychodynamic or humanistic approaches to strengthen weaker aspects of our personality traits, such as the desire to socialize or the ability to be spontaneous.
Last but not least, the most interior approach may be added (Level 3), using religious, artistic, or symbolizing approaches to endow the experience with a new transpersonal meaning. In Swedenborg's biological theology the dualism is substantive. This has important implications for those psychotherapies which are based on a conception of mental health as the marriage of good and truth in our feelings and thoughts. Because the spiritual is identified with the affective and the cognitive, we are therefore in the spiritual world right here and now. Our mind exists in the spiritual world and is only functionally (or correspondentially) connected to the cells of the physical body. When we remember a dream, we are in fact consciously reflecting on scenes and images from the spiritual world. When we are aware of our thoughts and feelings, we are conscious of the spiritual world.
The psychotherapist can refer to the threefold nomenclature outlined in Table 1 by considering the level
of operation enacted by particular symptoms. When these are consequences of existential
problems, the person's conscious life is operating at Level 1. At this level we all see
ourselves as merely natural and external objects. Therapeutic guidance is needed to deepen
our awareness, to elevate our cognitive processes to more interior meanings that transcend
the local and particular issue of our symptoms. At Level 2 operation we all perceive
ourselves as rational beings possessing truths and goods which are enduring, honorable,
noble, larger than self. But there are nagging doubts remaining. We need assurances of the
eternal and the certainty of personal immortality. This perspective is possible at Level 3
operation through wisdom of life under- stood through inner religious symbols.
I have tried to show that the writings of Swedenborg contain a psycho-philosophical nomenclature of human behavior that integrates humanistic, transpersonal, and behavioristic approaches. Mental phenomena exist in a spiritual world while body phenomena exist in a physical world. Both are constituted of their own appropriate substances and forms. Good and truth from the spiritual world are the two universal substances while affections (feelings) and cognitions (thoughts) are their corresponding functions in the mental world. Affective behavior (having a feeling) is the resultant of reception of good in the will; cognitive behavior (intellectual activity) is the result of the reception of truth in the understanding. The will and the understanding are mental or spiritual receptor organs (spiritual psychobiology).
Good and truth are applied to life in three degrees: the external natural,
the intermediate rational, and the inmost celestial (see Table 1). These correspond to three levels of mental
health operation: external, particular good and truth, or Inventiveness (Civics; Level 1);
general good and truth, or Intelligence (Ethics; Level 2); and universal good and truth,
or Wisdom and Freedom (Inner Religion, Myth, or Symbolism; Level 3). Individual
differences in character come from differential and unique reception; inverted reception
results in adulterated goods (or evils), and in their associated falsified truths (or
falsities). The marriage of good and truth in our feelings and thoughts engenders the
elevation of our mental health operation level to higher and deeper states of
self-realization. Applications to psychotherapy and dream analysis are also indicated.
Swedenborg's system has been described as a type of substantive dualism or biological
theology and is of importance to the development of phenomenological empiricism and
This paper was presented at the Second Annual Conference of the International Society for Philosophy and Psychotherapy, January 2-4 1988, Honolulu, Hawaii. It was published in a shortened version in Studia Swedenborgiana, 1993, 8(3), 13-42
1. Cox, Richard H. "An introduction to human guidance." In Richard H.-Cox, editor, Religious Systems and Psychotherapy (Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1973, p. 4).
2. Swedenborg's influence has been acknowledged by many such as Balzac, Beaudelaire, Berlioz, Blake, Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, A. Carnegie, S.T. Coleridge, Emerson, B. Franklin, H. Heine, Victor Hugo, Jung, Kant, Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln, Horace Mann, Czeslaw Milosz, Ezra Pound, G. Sand, G.B. Shaw, Strindberg, Daisetz Suzuki, Henry Thoreau, A.R. Wallace, H.G. Wells, John Wesley, W.B. Yeats, and others, see The Swedenborg Foundation archives fl3g East 23rd St., N.Y. 10010). A discussion of his ideas by current writers may be found in Robin Larsen (ed.), Emanuel Swedenborg: A Continuing Vision? (New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1988). A standard reference source is John Faulkner Potts, The Swedenborg Concordance (London: Swedenborg Society, 1888) (reprinted 1957). Most encyclopedias have an entry for him and list his major works. A review of the academic literature can be found in W.R. Woofenden (ed.), Swedenborg Researcher's Manual (Bryn Athyn, PA: Swedenborg Scientific Association, 1988). Three current journals carrying articles on Swedenborg are: Studia Swedenborgiana (Wm. R. Woofenden, ed., Swedenborg School of Religion, 79 Newbury St., Newton, Mass. 02158); The New Philosophy (E.J. Brock, ed., The Swedenborg Scientific Association, P.O. Box 278, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009; New Church Life (D.L. Rose, ed., The General Church of the New Jerusalem, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009).
3. This position may be described as a type of substantive dualism involving the essential or universal building blocks of all things. This idea is also surprising at first, inasmuch as we ordinarily think of the finite as being within the infinite. On second thought, Swedenborg's reversal does seem appropriate. The infinite is within the finite, not the other way round. This is in agreement with the presentation in the Bible where it is said that the spiritual, or holiness, is within the ritual object, and also that the Kingdom of God is within the person. In this sense, the spiritual world is within the natural world, and the spirit or soul is within the body.
4. This idea is also surprising at first, inasmuch as we ordinarily think of the finite as being within the infinite. On second thought, Swedenborg's reversal does seem appropriate. The infinite is within the finite, not the other way round. This is in agreement with the presentation in the Bible where it is said that the spiritual, or holiness, is within the ritual object, and also that the Kingdom of God is within the person. In this sense, the spiritual world is within the natural world, and the spirit or soul is within the body.
6. Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 17, 69, 73.
7. Swedenborg, Spiritual Diary No. 3020-5, 4095.
8. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No. 1633, 1940, 1954.
10. In a meditative vision, Swedenborg "saw" the human embriogenesis unfold from its beginning. The earliest stage appeared to him as "a tiny image of a brain with a delicate delineation of something like a face in front, with no appendage. ... The right bed was the receptacle of love, and the left the receptacle of wisdom; and by wonderful interweavings these were like consorts and partners. ... The structure of this little brain within, as to position and movement, was in the order and form of heaven, and its outer structure was in direct opposition to that order and form. ... This was the receptacle of hellish love and insanity; for the reason that man, by hereditary corruption, is born into evils of every kind, and these evils reside there in the outermosts; and that this corruption is not removed unless the higher degrees are opened, which, as was said, are the receptacles of love and wisdom from the Lord." (Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 432) Thus, though the same Divine influx reaches all individuals, the good and truth streaming in is corrupted or altered in unique ways according to one's specific parental and familial inheritance.
12. Swedenborg, Divine Providence, No. 288, 300-5.
13. "Limbus," or border, in Swedenborg's system refers to a sheath made of the purest natural substances, undetectable by physical instruments, with which the individual's spirit is lined and in which is recorded, like on a magnetic tape (as we would think today), the unique experiences of every biography. The limbus remains intact in death and is not part of the corpse that is left behind. A relation between Swedenborg's concept of limbus and Rupert Sheldrake's "morphogenetic fields" (A New Science of Life (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1981; The Presence of the Past (New York: Vintage Books, 1988) is discussed by Mark R. Carlson "Evolution, the Limbus, and Hereditary Evil" New Church Life, July 1990, Vol.CX, No.7, 299-318. The limbus concept is necessary for Swedenborg's behavioristic principle that there is no function without substance. If the self is still the same consciousness and personality after death there is a rational and scientific necessity for some medium of transfer at death.
14. Swedenborg, Conjugial Love, No. 180, 461.
15. Swedenborg, Divine Providence, No. 63, 326.
16. Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, No. 363, 480, 487.
17. However, the laws of space and time are different in kind in the two worlds. Co-presence in the spiritual world depends on mental states, similarly as in our dream world. To be present in some place or with some person, one only needs to desire it and it instantly takes place. Cities, roads, and doorways appear or disappear according to one's state of mind. It is for this reason that spiritual consociations in the afterlife are according to one's genius, character, knowledge, and faith that one takes into the afterlife. Swedenborg claims to have seen thousands of people die and enter the afterlife. This occurs about 36 hours after the death of the body. See his Heaven and Hell, No. 445-460.
18. Swedenborg. Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 268.
19. Swedenborg, Divine Providence, No. 33, 321.
20. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No. 27, 1701.
22. Swedenborg, Divine Providence, 325-30.
23. Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 178.
24. The generality or usefulness of this matrix shows itself when it is applied to an entirely different domain of human affairs. The same 3 levels and 3 domains have been applied to the analysis and measurement of information literacy skills, see Leon A. James and Diane Nahl-Jakobovits, "Taxonomy of Skills and Errors." College & Research Libraries, May 1987 . Vol. 48 . No.3, 203-214. and "Measuring Information Searching Competence. College and Research Libraries, September 1990, Vol.51, No.5, 448-462.
25. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No.7236, 9002.
26. Swedenborg. Divine Love and Wisdom. No. 222, 236.
28. Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, No.82, 324.
30. Two works in particular show up Swedenborg's use of correspondences in Bible exegesis. One is Arcana Coelestia (12 vols.), which is a verse by verse, and word by word analysis of Genesis and Exodus. The other is Apocalypse Explained (6 vols.), which is a word by word analysis of The Book of Revelation. The Swedenborg Foundation of New York has produced a videotape called Images of Knowing which explores correspondences through an artistic visual medium. A useful dictionary of correspondences is that of Alice S. Sechrist, A Dictionary of Bible Imagery (New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1973). Another compilation is the Dictionary of Correspondences-Representatives & Significatives published by the Swedenborg Foundation (Tri-Centennial Edition, 1988).
31. Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 307.
32. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No. 10,555.
33. Curtis H. Wright, "The Symbol and its Referent: An Issue for Library Education" Library Trends, Spring 1986, p.729.
34. Ibid, p.761.
35. William James, The Will to Believe and Human Immortality (New York: Dover Publications, 1956) [Orig. publ. in 1888]. p.15.
36. Ibid, p.17-18.
37. Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, No. 257. Rev. Mark Carlson refers to the modern theories of Rupert Sheldrake on morphogenetic fields as compatible with Swedenborg's description of the limbus, see Mark R. Carlson, "Evolution, the Limbus, and Hereditary Evil. III. The Hypothesis of Formative Causation," New Church-Life, July 1990, Vol. CX, No.7, 299-312.
38. Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, No. 445-452.
40. Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell. No.418.
41. Swedenborg, The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Holy Scripture No. 84, published as part of The Four Doctrines.
42. Due to space limitations, I refrain from presenting these tables here. However, the application to library skills may be seen in Leon A. James and Diane Nahl-Jakobovits, "Learning the Library," op. cit.
43. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No. 1408, 1462, 1900, 3079.
44. An organized summary of many correspondences from Swedenborg's works will be found in Alice S. Sechrist, A Dictionary of Bible Imagery, op. cit.
45. Swedenborg, Journal of Dreams, p.6.
46. Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia, No. 125, 1966, 1976-81.
47. David L. Watson and Roland G. Tharp. Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment (Monterey, Ca.: Brooks/Cole, 1985).