This is Section 31 of Chapter 3 in A Man of the Field: Forming The New Church Mind In Today’s World. Volume 2 Enlightenment : The Spiritual Sense of the Writings by Dr. Leon James (2002). The Web address of this Volume is: www.theisticpsychology/articles/nonduality.html
The Perizonius Thesis
How Regeneration of the New Church Mind Affects the Grand Human
Rutger Perizonius has made a useful study of how the regeneration of the New Church mind affects the Grand Human. His article written in 1980, was published in the restart magazine of the De Hemelse Leer, July/October 2002 issue (see Note 22). I will summarize Perizonius’ thesis.
The human race on this earth is in a special position with regards to the other earths in the universe. I have already referred to the duality between this earth and the other earths in terms of the skin of the Grand Human, which represents the regenerated human race on this earth. In other words, the skin of the Grand Human is the New Church mind. It is an ultimate for the entire Divine Truth revealed to the human race. The race on this earth is the ultimate exterior of the entire human race. The New Church mind is a celestial mind. It is the mind of the human race on this earth when it is filled with nothing but spiritual-rational correspondences from revelation. This is what constitutes the skin of the Grand Human. The Grand Human is the Lord’s Universal Church, the entire regenerated human race in accumulation to eternity.
The New Church mind on this earth is the ultimate foundation for the Grand Human, therefore, for the angels and the race on all the other planets. This is why the Lord effected His First and Second Coming on this planet. The Threefold Word given to the people of this earth is the foundation of the New Heavens that will endure to eternity. Clearly, the people of this earth have a special role to play for the sake of the salvation and spiritual well being of the rest of the human race. It is part of rational faith to be conscious and aware of this special role each of us have been called to perform by our birth on this planet. The development of our rational spirituality through lifelong regeneration is the lifeline of the rest of the human race.
Our thinking and willing operations all day every day are so many individual performances of this grand role that each of us have by Divine Providence. When we think according to Doctrine from the Threefold Word and apply it to our daily willing choices, we are regenerating. The more we regenerate the more we are enlightened, which means that the our understanding is filled with more interior appearances of truths, which are called spiritual-rational correspondences. As we read the Threefold Word to draw Doctrine for ourselves, the Lord reveals ever more interior truths that we can apply anew to ever more subtle character traits we must get rid of. Thus we are regenerating. Thus we are developing and maturing in rational spirituality. This means that our level of thinking and willing is raised higher and higher into the sphere of heaven and the angels.
This interaction of reciprocal influx between earth and heaven is the ultimate life of all angels and of people on all earths who are regenerating. Thus the circle closes, from our mundane everyday thinking and willing in Bryn Athyn, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, or Tokyo, to our regeneration and reciprocal influx with the angels who form the organs and limbs of the Grand Human. And from them, the influence spreads back by influx into the spiritual mind of the earths in the universe. Friend, take heed, and let us remind each other ceaselessly that we are never alone or independent, and that the rest of the universe will be affected by the order or disorder in our private thinking and willing life.
There is an interesting paradox to be resolved, which I think is fully answered by Perizonius’ thesis. The paradox is that on the one hand, we are the most exterior of all spirits in the human race, hence we are said to be the skin of the Grand Human. On the other hand, we are the Crown of the Churches, and the Word of the Writings we have contains the inmost truths that the human race can receive from the Divine. How can the inmost of all the successive Churches in human evolution, be at the same time constituted out of the portion of the human race that is the most external? The paradox is nothing but a reflection of the principle that the last phase in external development, which is the highest phase, contains the inmost of internal things. This is why the Last Testament is the inmost portion of the Threefold Word, its Crown or Head.
A fruit is the last phase of the external development of a tree, and this is its highest use. The highest use is tied to the last ultimate of development just as the ultimate goal that motivates an act contains its very delight. In successive order, the last of the developing Churches is the New Church, and consequently it has an inmost use, more interior than any of the prior Churches. Indeed the New Church is called the Crown of the Churches because it is the containant for the inmost truths the human race can receive from the Lord ñ the revelation of Himself in His Divine Rational.
Now consider the role of the skin in the human body:
In the whole body and in every part there are both externals and internals; its externals are called skins, membranes, and sheaths (or coverings); while the internals are forms variously composed and interwoven of nerve fibers and blood vessels. The surrounding sheath by offshoots from itself enters into all the interiors even to the inmost parts; and thus the external, which is a sheath, unites itself with all the internals, which are organic forms composed from fibers and vessels. From this it follows that as the external acts or is acted upon so the internals act or are acted upon; for there is a continuous binding together of them all. (DP 180)
You can see the type of special relationship we have with the Lord by considering the functions of the skin in the physical body, which it has from the functions of the skin in the Grand Human. The skin is not only an external covering and ultimate for the rest of the body, but much more. The skin enters into the inmost parts of every organ by forming its interior lining (DP 180). It is the skin that holds an organ in its shape and integrity. All organs are held together by the skin, which offers not only the conveniences of enclosure, protection, and shape, but also modulates and manages the highly significant exchanges that must take place between the interior parts of an organ and the exterior, exchanges necessary for the well being of the organ and its continued development.
Clearly then, the spiritual function which the race on this earth provides for the rest, is that of interior truths in the New Church mind from the Writings. As individual New Church minds are regenerating here on earth, they are able to understand deeper rational truths from the Threefold Word. These more interior truths in our mind correspond to the interstitial skin that holds the inner organs in shape and well being. In other words, the understanding of the people in the Grand Human corresponding to its organs, are enlightened by internal influx represented by the interstitial skin. The necessary life of exchange between one society or ìorganî in the Grand Human and other organs or societies of angels, is therefore facilitated by the interior truths we acquire in our mind by progress in our regeneration here on earth right now.
CONCERNING THE INHABITANTS OF AN EARTH IN THE UNIVERSE.
(((((I was in a waking vision, and was led as to my spirit to certain spirits who were from a certain earth in the universe; (...)
I spoke with them concerning our earth: that such things are known in our earth; and that, so far as is yet known, it is not so in other earths; also, that in this earth are sciences, which are increased by being capable of inscription in writings, and so left to others and to posterity, and that hence are many arts in this earth, as for example, the art of constructing ships, and many other things. It was granted me to tell them the reason; [namely], that, from the earliest times, those in this earth wished to be wise in such things, and that this was represented by the tree of knowledge in paradise; and that, because they had eaten thereof, therefore they cannot be made healthy [spiritually] by other means than by sciences, thus by the scientifics which are of faith.)
(It was then told me, by the angels, that the Lord willed to be born in this earth, where divine truths are handed down by means of writings even from the earliest times, because, in this manner, the truths of faith could here be multiplied and preserved better than with others: but, with others, these truths are only learnt from parents, and so retained in the memory, and then very many things perish in the lapse of time; but, here, it is not so. Thus, also, the angels of heaven are able not only to be perfected from the Word, but also to perceive blessedness and happiness of life: for the Word, read in this earth, passes, by correspondences, even into heaven, as was shown. Thus, also, can the truths of faith be communicated to the angels of other earths. This is the reason that the Lord willed to be born here, and to become, while he was in the world, the Divine truth, that is, the Word, and afterwards the Divine Good, that is, Jehovah.)
(In this earth, more than in other earths, there are sciences and arts quite unknown elsewhere: [the following] sciences, to wit, the physical sciences in general, chemistry, medicine, optics, astronomy, geometry, and philosophy, whereof they know nothing at all elsewhere; [the following] arts, for example, the smeltings of metals, the art of sculpture, of painting, music, the art of constructing ships, carriages, magnificent buildings and palaces out of stone and marble, and mirrors; besides very many arts, which are for use and pleasure. Not only are they [in this earth] skilful in these, but they also have communication, by means of ships, with distant regions; and the gains of different regions are distributed to others. Similarly with the arts, and also with the sciences. These, when invented and known by one person, are communicated, by means of books and writings, to all others; and the things which are known in one region are likewise communicated to those who are in another; and those things which the ancients knew, are also known to posterity; for writings remain.
For which reason also, and especially, the Word and the truths of faith, could be given in this earth, because [they could be known] in many [places] at the same time, and successively through the ages; and so could be multiplied, which could not happen elsewhere.) (SE 4663)
The race on this earth is regenerated by the sciences and the sciences of faith, as discussed in the previous section. The regeneration on this earth must be by means of science because we are of the genius by which we are unwilling to believe and love what we do not understand with our natural mind. This is what makes us the most exterior of all the spirits in the race. The spirits not of this earth have not experienced a Fall such as the human race on this earth. They are still a one-minded race like the Most Ancient Church on this earth. Their will and understanding are united, and therefore they are a celestial mind that is in direct sensuous communication with the spiritual world. They never experienced the darkness or extinction of the ability to see and hear the things in the spiritual world. Therefore they are regenerated by a written Word but directly, by sensuous consciousness of spiritual things.
But the race on this earth that was like that, ceased with the most Ancient Church, and was replaced by the current spiritual mind that is a split-mind as reflected by a split-brain. The will and the understanding of this new split-brain race have been separated for the sake of our regeneration. Henceforth the human race on this earth had to be regenerated by rational consciousness of the spiritual world and of spiritual things. This was a totally new human race. It went through an uninterrupted series of gradual elevation, by means of the Threefold Word. First, corporeal correspondences in the Old Testament; then sensuous correspondences in the New Testament. Finally, rational correspondences in the Writings. By this means the consciousness of the human race on this earth was elevated to its highest possible level from creation. Hence the New Church mind that is formed exclusively by the Writings is called the Crown of Churches ñ the highest evolution of consciousness possible in the human race.
The giving of the Letter of the Writings to the race on this earth makes it possible for the entire Grand Human to see the Lord. This was not possible prior to the completion of the Second Coming when the Lord sent out the Twelve Disciples that had followed Him in the world, with a copy of the True Christian Religion in their hand (xx). The Writings were thus promulgated throughout the Grand Human.
The human mind on this earth reached a pinnacle of intellectual development in its scientific and cultural development leading up to the 17th century. The modern mind developed on this earth was the only human mind in the universe capable of understanding and loving the natural-rational correspondences that compose the Letter of the Writings.
As the New Church mind is reformed, enlightened, and regenerated by means of the Writings, the human race becomes empowered to receive all the Divine truths that the Lord wishes to disclose to it. The old heavens have been reformed into the new heavens for the entire future of the race. The new heavens are the interior truths of the Writings. These are the interior truths that the race can receive within its spiritual-rational correspondences, that is, within the Spiritual Doctrine.
The New Church mind extracts the Spiritual Doctrine from the Letter of the Writings, as discussed throughout this Volume. This Spiritual Doctrine is now in the mind of the regenerated, both on this earth and in heaven. Thus, the Spiritual Doctrine now permeates the entire Grand Human through its layers of skin, both external and interior (or interstitial). Every society of the Grand Human now receives enrichment and development of life from the interior truths of the Spiritual Doctrine in our mind, here and now.
Hence it is that the paradox mentioned first, is resolved. The ultimates of the Grand Human contain the inmost conjunction with the Lord, just as the Letter of the Writings contain the inmost celestial truths about the Divine Human and from Him. Hence it is said that the Last shall be First.
Perizonius presents a number of citations to confirm his thesis regarding the regeneration of the Grand Human by means of the interior truths of the Spiritual Doctrine in the New Church mind on this earth. I can summarize them.
First there is the idea that the history of successive Churches on this earth represents the successive steps of regeneration for every individual on this earth. This idea was developed by H.D.G. Groeneveld, with full confirmation from the Writings, in a series of important articles published in the original magazine of De Hemelsche Leer in the 1930s and reproduced in the restart issues by Rutger Perizonius. The regeneration of the successive Churches on earth, culminating with the New Church, represents the progression of conjunction of the Lord with the human race, that is, with the Grand Human.
But conjunction with the Lord is by means of the spiritual sense.
Indeed, the man who is regenerated is actually in the internal sense of the Word, although he is unaware of it, since his internal man, which has spiritual perception, is open, (n. 10400). But with him the spiritual of the Word flows into natural ideas and is thus presented naturally, since while he lives in the world, he thinks in the natural man, so far as it comes to his perception, (n. 5614). Hence the light of truth, with those who are enlightened, is derived from their internal, thus, through the internal, from the Lord, (n. 10691, 10694). In that way, also, there is an influx of holiness with those who regard the Word as holy, (n. 6789). Since the regenerated man is actually in the internal sense of the Word, and in its holiness, although unaware of it, therefore after death he comes into it of himself, and is no longer in the sense of the letter, (n. 3226, 3342, 3343). The ideas of the internal man are spiritual, but man, while he is living in the world, does not notice them since they are within his natural thought, to which they impart its rational faculty, (n. 10236, 10240, 10551). But after death man comes into them as into his own, because they are peculiar to his spirit, and he then not only thinks but also speaks from them, (n. 2470, 2478, 2479, 10568, 10604). Hence it is, as has been stated, that the regenerated man is not aware that he is in the spiritual sense of the Word, and that he has enlightenment therefrom. (WH 10)
Conjunction with the Lord is by means of the internal sense of the Threefold Word. Hence the inmost conjunction of the human race with the Lord is possible only through the spiritual sense contained in the Letter of the Writings. The Divine Rational cannot exist at the plane of the natural-rational correspondences in which the Letter of the Writings is written. Conjunction with the Divine Rational is by means of spiritual-rational correspondences that are contained within the natural-rational correspondences of the Letter. While we are regenerating, the Lord enlightens us as we read the Letter of the Writings. This enlightenment is proportional to the regeneration and increases in interiorness with steady progress. We are told in the Writings that regeneration is a lifelong process, and then, as angels in heaven, we still continue to regenerate to eternity. So we are always regenerating. And yet in this and other passages, the Writings speak of ìthe man who is regeneratedî (rather than regenerating).
Clearly, once we are far enough in our regeneration, there is no turning back. At that point, though we are continuing to regenerate, the Lord regards us ìregenerated.î We are told that we are then ìin the internal sense of the Word.î For the New Church mind, this means in the internal sense of the Threefold Word, and consequently, in the internal sense of the Writings. In other words, when we are in the internal sense of the Writings, we are considered by the Lord to be regenerated. Note that there are two steps in this process. At first, in the earlier stages of our regeneration, we are not yet in the internal sense of the Writings. It’s not uncommon to even doubt the existence of the internal sense of the Writings, even though we know the Writings are the Word, and even though we know that the Word is Divine and is therefore written in a Divine style which contains an internal sense. Of course we are experiencing cognitive dissonance in this early state, since on the one hand we call the Writings the Word of the Second Coming, and on the other hand, we doubt that it has an internal sense.
This cognitive dissonance is kept in balance by fabricating a distinction between the Word and the Word. We argue that the Old Testament and the New Testament are the Word of Sacred Scripture while the Writings are the Word of Heavenly Doctrines. In this way we can explain that the OT and NT have an internal sense while the Writings do not. And so this cognitive balance allows us to retain this supposition for a long time. Another strategy of handling the cognitive dissonance is to say: ìWhen I consider the OT and NT, I can see what the internal sense is ñ water signifies natural truth, wine signifies spiritual truth, fire signifies love, Sarah signifies intellectual truth, the number 12 signifies the complete complex of faith and worship, 40 signifies temptations, and so on. This I can see. But what is the spiritual sense of the Writings? This I cannot see.î
However, when we leave this state behind and come into a later state of regeneration, we come into the internal sense of the Writings. The former objections no longer have power of persuasion over us. We are able to accept the idea that all Divine Truth descends into the mind by means of a series of correspondences that are more and more externalized as it descends. We are able to accept the distinction we previously by passed, between natural-rational correspondences and spiritual-rational correspondences, spoken of in the Lord’s Glorification Series from Abram to Joseph. In the earlier states of regeneration, we enter into a deeper and deeper sense of the natural-rational correspondences in which the Letter of the Writings is written. But this going deeper and deeper is not a discrete change, but continuous. In other words, we remain in the Letter even though we become expert students of the Writings and are able to teach Doctrine to others. Our mind remains in the natural-rational understanding and meanings of the Heavenly Doctrines.
But at one point in our regeneration, the Lord decides that we are ready to enter the internal sense, never again to return in the Letter, except as a conscious entry point or gateway to the palaces of the internal sense. Now for the first time there is a discrete change in our understanding, from natural to spiritual. Now the Lord calls us ìregeneratedî by virtue of our being in the internal sense of the Writings. Now we no longer ask, ìWhere is the internal sense?î as before, since we can now perceive the internal sense. We can now consciously accept the discrete distinction between the natural-rational correspondences of the Letter of the Writings, and the spiritual-rational correspondences of the internal sense. This internal sense is now perceivable. Having perceived this internal sense, I was able to formulate descriptions of it. I do so in detail in Volume 2 of A Man of the Field (see Notes). In a nutshell, the internal sense of the Writings is about our internal states. These internal states are not normally conscious, even with the regenerated, as stated in the passage quoted above (WH 10). Yet I found that it is possible to develop conscious awareness of our internal states, or some of them, by the daily discipline of self-witnessing, a process which I describe in Volume 3 of A Man of the Field.
Internal states are spiritual and celestial. They are completely independent of the natural. Their source is heaven and the Lord. By contrast, external states are natural, even when abstracted from the senses. Our understanding of the Heavenly Doctrines is natural by means of the natural-rational correspondences of the Letter of the Writings. Even though we think and discuss spiritual topics, we do so naturally. We have a natural understanding of the Heavenly Doctrines. Only external states are thereby represented in our mind. But the instant we enter into the internal sense of the Heavenly Doctrines, we perceive our internal states to which the internal sense refers. Now we can understand the Heavenly Doctrines in a spiritual way. To be in the internal sense of the Writings means to be in the internal states of our mind. We are conscious of what these states are as a result of the temptations in our regeneration, that is, our victories over them by means of the spiritual sense we can now perceive.
I can also state from experience that there are continuous levels of higher and higher correspondences at the spiritual-rational degree. Once we enter the internal sense, we are called regenerated by the Lord, but in actuality we continue to regenerate and struggle with ever more interior temptations. And consequently our perception of the internal sense of the Heavenly Doctrines is progressive, once we enter that degree. From then on we can perceive higher and higher correspondences commensurate with our regeneration efforts.
The spiritual sense of the Writings is now available to anyone from anywhere anytime who is willing to form the New Church mind in themselves by means of the Writings exclusively ñ a process I describe in Volume 1 of A Man of the Field. This formation of the New Church mind is the process of regeneration and goes through four phases of development matching the four phases of development of the successive Churches on this earth. The details of this progression were reviewed in the previous Section. Each phase of regeneration comes about when the previous phase is consummated and a new revelation is needed to restart the progression at a higher plateau. Each plateau of elevation of human consciousness represents a discrete degree above the prior one. As reviewed in prior sections, these phases of elevation of the human race were:
1) Sensuous consciousness of the spiritual world (Most Ancient Church)
2) The Fall. Closing down of sensuous consciousness of the spirit. Human race (on this earth only) is plunged into darkness as to the spirit and the afterlife. Creation of the split-brain race.
3) Rational consciousness of the spiritual world through spiritual-rational correspondences (First Ancient Church)
4) Science of Correspondences is lost. Closing down of spiritual-rational correspondences. Start of Representative Church.
5) Rational consciousness of the spiritual world through natural-corporeal correspondences (Letter of the Word of the Old Testament)
6) Rational consciousness of the spiritual world through natural-sensuous correspondences (Letter of the Word of the New Testament)
7) Rational consciousness of the spiritual world through natural-rational correspondences (Letter of the Word of the Writings)
8) Rational consciousness of the spiritual world through spiritual-rational correspondences (Internal sense of the Writings)
The last plateau is also the final elevation of human consciousness provided for by creation. This level is the celestial mind immersed in spiritual-rational correspondences. Note that the seventh item in the listing above is the level thinking of the New Church mind formed by the Writings. The Letter of the Writings is composed entirely from natural-rational correspondences, as discussed throughout this book. After we undergo reformation sometime in adult life (see Volume 1), we are enlightened by the Lord in the ways described in the Writings and discussed in this volume (which is Volume 2). Enlightenment means that we see the spiritual-rational correspondences within the natural-rational correspondences of the literal expressions. I have given a number of different illustrations and demonstrations of this method. This is the process of ìscrutatingî (a word used by Rutger Perizonius) the Letter of the Writings and extracting from it the spiritual meaning. I have illustrated this extraction process showing that there is nothing mysterious about it. The Writings give clear and specific directions on how to perform this process.
Yet, it is not this intellectual process itself that yields the actual spiritual meaning.
These intellectual procedures merely get us to the entry grounds of heaven, while the actual entrance gates are somewhere further on. The actual spiritual meaning cannot be written down in natural language. This is why the Threefold Word is written in natural correspondences: corporeal (OT), sensuous (NT), rational (TT). These correspondences form a progression in the successive history of the Churches and match exactly the progression of successive levels of thinking of the individual New Church mind while being regenerated.
Prior to our reformation in adult life, we are in the state of consciousness that can be called the Old Testament level of thinking about the Writings. Our thinking is then immersed in corporeal correspondences in our daily life and we simply apply that level of thinking to what we read in the Writings. For instance, as children we are at first most involved with the Memorable Relations rather than with Doctrine. Why? Because Doctrine is meaningless when viewed from the perspective of corporeal correspondences. But the Memorable Relations are like wonderful stories from a far away place, one to which we are traveling and will eventually get there. Our level of thinking is then immersed in corporeal correspondences of the Lord, heaven, sin, forgiveness, and the afterlife. We read about the ìas-of selfî but can see it only as ìthe self.î We are committed to loving the Lord, but only as an omnipotent external God who rules the universe we are in. In this state we worship the Divine Corporeal of the Lord because we see the appearances of Divine Truth in corporeal correspondences.
When we begin our reformation sometime in adult life, we are in a state of fervor and new enthusiasm for the Writings. We are struck by a new realization of their sacredness, holiness, and Divinity. We begin to allow the idea in our mind that the Writings are not just merely the Word but that they are the Word principally and mainly for the New Church mind. This is the mental ferment that starts reformation. We now begin a new relationship to the Writings. Prior to this moment, we worshipped the Divine Corporeal of the Lord as the Letter of the Writings. This was a dead worship for it had no internal (AC 1175). But now a new consciousness is dawning in the mind, like a new morning dawning on the consciousness of the human race. Now all of a sudden our thinking is immersed in natural-sensuous correspondences. We can look down upon the former level of thinking which was immersed in corporeal correspondences and see it clearly like seeing two villages in the valley from a mountain ledge above them. The natural-corporeal correspondences puts our vision at the street level in one of the villages, while the natural-sensuous correspondences puts our vision at the level of the mountain ledge above the two villages.
This new phase of consciousness may be called the New Testament level of thinking about the Writings. As our reformation proceeds we clean up our mental concepts, our belief systems, our principlesóeverything in the conscious adult mind must be deconstructed and laid aside. Only new formations from the Writings are now allowed in. Nonduality is replaced by duality, without a single exception. During this process the Lord floods our mind with a conscious awareness of the many things that lurk in the corners, in the background assumptions and cognitive dissonances, in the unquestioned beliefs, the unreasoned stances, the illogical justifications, the self-serving biasesóeverything is revealed by the Lord to our eyes like the morning sun reveals the rooftops of the houses that lay hidden during the night.
Now we no longer worship the dead Letter of the Writings. We stop looking for the Lord in the tomb. The Lord is no longer this external omnipotent God who has inspired Swedenborg’s mind to compose the Writings. The Lord is right here within. He is the Holy Spirit. Our task is to conjoin with Him. The Letter of the Writings is now alive. We begin to apply it to ourselves! What a wonderful and awesome experience when this begins! It ends the state of reformation by bringing on the morning light that breaks the darkness and splashes its mighty colors all over the sky, between the clouds, above them, and beneath them, inundating the roof tops and the high flying birds with wings spread carried by the breeze. This is our new consciousness of spiritual things. It is not a view that is filled with content and detail. It is a grandiose view of Divine Truth in terms of self or the individual.
When this phase is also consummated, we enter the later phase of regeneration. This is the last phase and may be called the Third Testament level of thinking about the Writings. Our level of thinking is now immersed in the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings. We are now occupying a higher plateau of vision than before on the same mountain. Now we are aware of a third village we could not see before, and several more villages beyond that can be seen very faintly. We can also see the ledge upon which we were standing before, while our thinking was immersed in natural-sensuous correspondences. The Lord is no longer simply the omnipotent God ruling the universe we live in (Old Testament phase of the New Church mind). The Lord is no longer simply the living Divine Human to which we are to be conjoined (New Testament phase of the New Church mind). The Lord is now our partner from within, managing our thoughts and affections through other spirits mediately, as well as by Himself immediately (Third Testament phase of the New Church mind).
Regeneration is therefore the progressive immersion of our level of thinking about the spiritual, in successive stages, through corporeal, sensuous, and rational correspondences, or appearances of Divine Truth uniquely accommodated to each individual.
Yet, spiritual consciousness itself is not possible by means of the natural-rational correspondences in which our thinking is immersed in this state. There must be enlightenment given by the Lord. This means that the Lord must create a spiritual organ within our mind that is capable of giving us a new perception that is not possible with our external natural mind. As I have explained above by means of anatomical diagrams, this new physiological formation is called the interior-natural mind that the Lord creates within the natural mind. This is the first time that the New Church mind becomes a genuine New Church mind. It is only a New Church mind in preparation until the interior-natural mind is formed and opened by the Lord. Now the genuine Third Testament level of thinking about the Writings can begin. The Lord activates the operation of the interior-natural mind ñ the locus of operation for the spiritual-rational correspondences that descend into conscious awareness. The things referred to by the phrases and sentences in the Writings thus change from our external states to our internal states.
This operation functions to give us a conscious awareness and perception of something new called conscious awareness of spiritual-rational correspondences. These spiritual-rational correspondences are now seen within the natural-rational correspondences of the Letter of the Writings. Now for the first time the human race on this earth can perceive the spiritual sense within the literal meaning of the Third Testament. This brand new perception is the new vision of the Lord by the human race in the Grand Human. Now for the first time the Grand Human can have a conscious sensuous vision of the Lord as the Divine Human. Therefore it is that our regeneration is not just for ourselves, but for its beneficial effects on the Grand Human.
The regeneration of the Grand Human is the greatest of all uses, and it is the Grand Human that we are commanded to love as the neighbor in the highest degree (TCR 416), in a higher degree than the Church (AC 6823). Every single thing created is therefore ultimately created for the sake of the Grand Human (SE 3420). By regenerating and forming the New Church mind in ourselves we are incorporating ourselves into the Grand Human (SE 3114). Our fate is therefore inexorably connected to the fate of the Grand Human. Our individual steps of regeneration, our individual struggles against temptations, are actually taken upon a Grand stage witnessed by the entire human race in the universe, in this world and in heaven. There may be privacy in our mind, and uniqueness, but there is no isolation or independence. We are actually part of the an integrated functioning organ or body. Each person is a unique part or segment, with a unique function that enhances the whole. The love and truth of each is communicated to everyone else. This is the mechanism by which the consciousness of the human race can be enlightened more and more by means of interior truths. Spiritual-rational correspondences are capable of interiorizing to infinity. In this manner the Lord has provided an endless progressive path for the elevation of the human race.
The Grand Human is the Lord’s likeness and image, and all its parts and details correspond to the human body. Therefore, we exist from the Grand Human (AC 3883). We die and resurrect as the Grand Human dies and resurrects (TCR 762). The Grand Human is the whole of which we are the part, along with the rest of our vast humanity (AC 6807). The nature of the inter-communication between the segments of the human race varies. Conscious communication or ìconsociationî between spirits from different planets is possible only between angels in the highest heaven, that is, human minds whose thinking is immersed in higher order interior truths within their spiritual-rational correspondences (AC 6701, 7078). The angels in the two lower heavens are separated according to their earths of origin. The thinking of these angels and angelic spirits are immersed in lower order spiritual-rational correspondences, and at this level of resolution they are not directly compatible with each other, and so do not afford a means for consociation.
It is a historical irony that the Copernican revolution that started the new intellect of modern science, removed from the race the idea that earth was the center of the universe for the sake of which the world was created. This new era of science was the beginning of the long haul back to enlightenment for the human race. What I find ironical is that the end goal of regeneration or enlightenment is to restore the special position that earth occupies relative to the rest of the created universe. I already discussed the contrast of this earth and the other earths as the duality between rational consciousness of spiritual things and sensuous consciousness of spiritual things. Quoting from the Writings:
 And the spirits were told, further, that when plain experience declares a fact, they ought not to doubt, and still less deny it, on the ground that it does not so appear to the senses, and that they do not perceive it. For even within the realm of nature there are many things that are contrary to the fallacies of the senses, but are believed because visible experience teaches them. For example, the sailing of a ship around the globe: they who suffer themselves to be carried away by the fallacies of the senses, might believe that ship and sailors would fall off when they came to the opposite side, and that the people at the antipodes could never stand upon their feet. Such also is the case with the subject before us, and with many things in the other life that are contrary to the fallacies of the senses, and yet are true-as that man has no life of himself, but from the Lord; and very many other things.
By these and other considerations, incredulous spirits could be brought to believe that the case is as we have stated it. (AC 1378)
Our role in the Grand Human is for our regenerated ideas from the Writings to infill the sensuous consciousness of the rest of humanity. Swedenborg was the first man from our earth to engage in that role, and now everyone has an opportunity to do so by means of our individual regeneration states. Only this earth has fallen and therefore the regeneration of its people is by the evolution of a new rational consciousness by means of correspondences that progress to more interior perceptions of Divine Truth. It is within these more interior perceptions that the good from the Lord can be inserted. The Grand Human needs to be fed by the interior truths of the Writings in order to maintain its integrity of vision and life. The New Church mind is the source within the Grand Human for this interior truths it needs for its well being and continued evolution.
The rest of humankind in the Grand Human and on the other earths, knows that the Lord is Man and they worship Him as Man, but they do not know that He was born a Man on this planet, and do not know that the interior truths of this Divine Human are transmitted generationally to the people on this earth by means of a written Word which is a book of science. Thus science and history on this earth prove that God became a Man. This conscious scientific awareness on our earth is needed by the rest of humanity and is transmitted to them by means of the operations within the Grand Human (EU 113, 115, 116; SE 4781). Unless the new rational truths given to the New Church mind are communicated to the rest of humanity in the Grand Human, the Divine Truth on other earths is perverted and perishes (EU 120).
Now all future theistic science research will be self-consciously aware that its results are to be used not only by our institutions on this earth, but also by the immense human race spread out on the numberless earths in the universe.
Every New Church mind is to be a priest to those on the other earths who do not have a means of receiving the good from the Lord except within the rational truths of science that are externally acquired suitable vessels for spiritual-rational truths that inflow from within. The regenerating people on the other earths and the regenerated people in the Grand Human, depend on us to obtain and develop these rational ideas of the Divine Human that have been revealed in the scientific revelations of the Lord’s Second Coming in the Writings. Without our assimilation of these inmost rational revelations, they have no input through us and they become vulnerable to attack by the hells corresponding to their heavens. The New Church mind is being formed by the science of God in the Writings. This may be called True Science, and the Lord is the only True Scientist. From His infinite Grace, He has created us to be images and likenesses of Himself as a True Scientist. Every individual is now being regenerated by means of True Science, which is to spread across the earth and the universe.
The New Church mind after reformation, is immersed in the natural-rational correspondences of the Letter of the Writings, within which are contained the spiritual-rational correspondences that we can perceive by means of the interior-natural mind that the Lord creates a discrete degree within our natural mind. This higher organic creation is part of the process of regeneration. The interior-natural mind operates at the level of the First Heaven called the spiritual-natural. This perception is a conscious awareness of the spiritual. It is equivalent to the sensuous consciousness of the good spirits who inhabit the First Heaven. This is why it is called ìenlightenmentî in the Writings ñ the Lord elevates our sensuous consciousness of the spiritual all the way to the First Heaven. This perception is an awareness of our inner state. Some new information comes to our understanding, information that inflows from the spiritual world. This information is impossible to perceive at the level of operation of our natural mind. Hence it is that the Lord must create a new spiritual organ within the natural organ, a new mind within the regenerating old mind. This new mind is called the interior-natural organ (AC 5145, 5649, 5651).
To perceive the inner sense of the Writings is not something mysterious or mystical, as it may seem to us in the earlier states of regeneration. Later we can see that the inner sense of the Writings is nothing else than this perception we have in the organ of the interior-natural mind the Lord has created as part of our regeneration. This organ now becomes activated by influx from the unconscious spiritual mind which is above the natural-rational mind. The activity of influx into our higher spiritual mind is not conscious while we are in the physical body. Prior to regenerating, we are not conscious of these higher operations, whose effects descend and externalize by correspondences into our natural mind. We are then conscious only of the literal meaning of the Heavenly Doctrines. As we read the Writings, the angels who are with us perceive the internal sense, for it is impossible in heaven to express the names, numbers, and cultural facts that we find everywhere in the Writings. The angels with us perceive the inner sense of the Writings, but we do not.
However, in the later states of regeneration we are called ìregeneratedî by the Lord, as discussed above. This means that we are now in the inner sense of the Writings, in consociation with the angels in heaven. What makes it possible for us to be in the inner sense of the Writings is the maturation of the interior-natural organ the Lord has created within our natural mind. Now that we are called ìregeneratedî we are receiving conscious perceptions from this organ. These perceptions are correspondences, but they are higher correspondences, giving us the enlightenment of heaven. These higher correspondences are called spiritual-rational appearances of truth in which the angelic spirits of the Second Heaven are in. Now we can see that the sentences of the Writings refer to mental states of our own that are more interior than we were conscious of before.
It’s important to repeat once more that these perceptions of spiritual meanings and referents cannot be obtained through natural language descriptions. Yes, they can be written down and expressed, but when one reads what has been written down, one can only understand it naturally. This is for the protection of profanation, so that the internal sense cannot be profanated, for those who would profane, are not enlightened. They may read the Heavenly Doctrine and all the explications of the Word that specify what is signified by each word and phrase. But this is of no help in receiving a perception of the spiritual states they refer to and designate. This perception of the spiritual meaning is possible only by means of the maturation of the organ of the interior-natural mind, as already explained.
Nevertheless, writing down the spiritual meanings we are given to perceive is a useful thing for the study of Doctrine.
It has accordingly been sometimes granted me to be among the angels of the middle and of the highest heaven, and to hear them conversing with one another, at which time I was in an interior natural state, removed from worldly and corporeal things, namely, when first waking after sleep; then I heard things unutterable and inexpressible, as we read happened with Paul; and sometimes I was let into the perception and understanding of the subjects they were conversing upon; the subjects they conversed upon were full of arcana concerning the Lord, redemption, regeneration, providence, and other similar things: after which it was given me to understand that I could not utter nor describe them by any spiritual or celestial expression, but that nevertheless they could be described even to their rational comprehension by words of natural language.
And it was told me that there is not any Divine arcana which may not be perceived, and even expressed naturally, although more generally and imperfectly; and that they who, in a natural manner, by means of their rational understanding, perceive those things from the affection of truth, afterwards, when they become spirits, can perceive and speak of them in a spiritual manner, and when they become angels, in a celestial manner, but no others. For one Divine truth naturally perceived and loved, is like a crystal or porcelain vessel, which is afterwards filled with wine, and with such wine as the nature of the truth was, and as it were of such a taste as the affection of the truth was. (DE VERBO 3)
Writing down spiritual meanings in natural language is also the method of conducting research in True Science, research that expands our applications of the scientific revelations in the Threefold Word. Notice that it is the entire Threefold Word that constitutes the Book of True Science. When we are in an earlier state of regeneration we resist the idea that the OT or NT contains scientific revelations. This is the same attitude that doubts the idea that the Writings contain scientific revelations. But in a later state we begin to see that science divided cannot stand. Atheistic science is atheistic because it rejects revelation. Theistic science accepts revelation. Swedenborg’s intellectual understanding served to create the specifics of Writings. This intellectual understanding of science may be called ìscientific dualism.î Swedenborg’s scientific understanding is the basis for the entire rational framework of the Writings. Remove the scientific framework from the Writings and you have left nothing of value that can exist.
The scientific framework in the Writings include these series of scientific concepts:
q Natural phenomena are effects of spiritual phenomena which are their causes
q God operates the dual universe from Firsts to lasts in an uninterrupted series of causation
q God operates physical space from within so that He is omnipresent apart from space
q Endless earths in the universe are being created to support human life
q All things are in a discrete series of ends, causes, and effects
q All appearances are produced by correspondences
q Human beings are born immortal
q The entire human race is interconnected by consociation and influx
q There are no industrialized or technological civilizations on other earths
q Individual growth and development recapitulates racial history
q The Lord is present with every individual, managing the sequence of thinking and willing
q Events occur only by means of Divine Providence or Permissions
q The anatomy of the mind mirrors the anatomy of the body and inferences from one can be made about the other
q The inmost quantum of matter, energy, and space is the substance of the spiritual Sun
The Divine Corporeal of the Writings is fixed and material. But everything above it is spiritual and alive. The literal meaning of this Divine Corporeal is conveyed to our mind by means of natural-rational correspondences. Our modern educated mind is immersed in natural-rational appearances of truth from science and education. Therefore when we read the Writings and figure out the literal meaning of its sentences, our everyday thinking from science and education matches perfectly the level of thinking in which Swedenborg composed those sentences. The Writings are written in natural-rational correspondences because they are to convey the Divine Rational of the Lord as a ferry boat conveys its passengers across a river. The vehicle of conveyance must be suitable for its passengers or type of cargo. Only natural-rational correspondences could convey spiritual-rational correspondences, and it is the latter by which the Writings effect regeneration.
It is by spiritual-rational correspondences that the Lord regenerates the New Church mind.
Heaven is created out of spiritual-rational correspondences. We must have these in our mind to enter heaven. The purpose and mechanism of regeneration is to equip our mind with spiritual-rational correspondences. These are implanted, operated, and activated solely by the Lord. It is a Divine operation within our interior-natural mind. It is the greatest contribution the New Church mind can make to the entire humanity. This is why this earth occupies a special position in the universe and why the Lord loves this earth more than the others, so that He willed to be born here (SE 4663). Because we can be regenerated only by the sciences, our regenerated material ideas are capable of receiving interior truths more easily than other spirits. This is Perizonius’ Thesis. It's a way of expressing a deeper meaning to ìNunc Licetî when we ask ourselves why the Lord wanted us to understand the mysteries of faith in a rational way. He selected humanity on this earth for an objective reason, not a personal one. On this earth people are born with a type of genius or mentality called ìthe skin of the Grand Human.î
We obviously have a particular role to function that is different from other earths. Spirits from the other earths are willing to be regenerated by means of faith and authority, while we are willing to be regenerated only by what we understand rationally. Hence the development of rational spirituality based on scientific revelations can evolve in the people of this earth further than the people of any other earth. They therefore depend on us for receiving the benefits of this more advanced development. Of course, there is a balance, so our race from this earth is dependent on the rest of the Grand Human societies for their more advanced sensuous consciousness of the Lord. An analogy may be drawn with the parts of the brain. The left brain represents the cognitive mentality of our spirituality on this earth (ìrational faithî), while the right brain represents the affective mentality of the spirituality of the rest of the Grand Human.
Henceforth into the endless future, the evolution of rational consciousness will continue with the human race on this earth by means of the cumulative never ending intellectual mining of the Writings, which will remain as an endless source of scientific revelations. From this ever evolving theistic research in the New Church mind, the generations of this earth will begin to accumulate the Divine Doctrine that is now with the human race through the Writings. The more interior the truths that will be received in the various New Church organizations on this earth, the closer will the race be conjoined to the Lord, and the higher the good that He can bestow upon the race universally.
The Perizonius Thesis multiplies our motivation and desire for regeneration.
When we acknowledge the Perizonius Thesis we are enlightened in a new way. We then have a distinct rational consciousness of the Grand Human in relation to ourselves.
Prior to our acknowledgement of the Perizonius Thesis, our ideas about the Grand Human are immersed in natural-rational correspondences from the Letter of the Writings. We see the Grand Human as something external to ourselves. We see it as a home around us, since we know that our heaven is situated somewhere in the Grand Human. But the instant we acknowledge the Perizonius Thesis we are enlightened in a new way, being able to rationally perceive the spiritual-rational correspondences within the meanings we had before for the Grand Human. Now the Grand Human is no longer something outside of us, like a home. We now see the Grand Human interiorly.
This new internal vision of the Grand Human comes from the acknowledgment that our willing and thinking while we are regenerating here on earth, is part of a larger process called by Perizonius ìthe regeneration of the Grand Human.î The thousands of private and intimate acts of our willing and thinking, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, creates a permanent universal record or trail that is conveyed to all of the human race in the heavens and on the earths.
How awesome it is for the New Church mind to consciously know and be aware that the mental choices we make in our willing and thinking every day, are not merely private and individual, but communal and universal.
Suddenly our new enlightenment shows us rationally what actually is the mechanism of our regeneration. Our individual regeneration has a higher use to serve than the use for ourselves. This one idea is redeeming, can you see it? The regeneration of the Grand Human is the greatest of all uses. All other uses are subordinate to it. Hence the use of our individual regeneration for ourselves becomes subordinate to its use for the regeneration of the Grand Human. By this relationship, the fallen race on this earth is redeemed.
There is now a new order established by the Lord which will remain forever. This permanent order is stabilized by the mutual dependency forged in the duality of this earth versus all the others, that is, the duality of sensuous vs. rational consciousness in the human race. The new consciousness of the Second Coming is the New Church mind. It is a celestial mind, redeemed and reintegrated into the Grand Human. This work of redemption was accomplished through True Science revelations, without which the human race on earth was unwilling to believe and love the Lord. The Lord had to prove His existence to us by appearing in physical reality -- history, and science. The human race was being prepared by the Lord to receive His Divine Rational within the Divine Sensuous of His Divine Natural that He acquired in the world and Glorified.
With the giving of the Writings to the modern scientific mind on this earth, the Lord has created a rational vehicle for conveying the rest of the new Divine truths about Himself, for which He created the human race. Only by receiving and understanding these new Divine truths was it possible to effect a closer conjunction with the human race. The closer this conjunction the higher the form of good that the Lord can bestow on the race. Henceforth to unending time, True Science research will insure an endless source of new Gifts from the Lord to the individual Churches on this earth. True Science research is nothing else than the communal and cumulative development of a rational understanding of the Threefold Word. The Writings specify procedures we must follow in order to extract the spiritual sense from the Letter and to build it up in our mind into a Doctrine for Life. This is a scientific Doctrine because it is the application of the Heavenly Doctrines to our willing and thinking in everyday tasks. Nothing in True Science can be from self-derived intelligence.
Rutger Perizonius restarted the publication of De Hemelsche Leer, a Dutch magazine in the 1930s, that brought into this world a new living portion of the Divine Doctrine that is with the human race on this earth. That Doctrine was the new enlightenment available to the New Church mind the moment we apply to the Writings everything the Writings say about the Word. When the work of the midwives and architects of the Dutch Thesis was finished, that publication ceased. For a brief decade or two, the spiritual Sun was shining brightly into the New Church mind on this earth, illuminating the entire spiritual territory of the universe and our place within it. The Perizonius Thesis is a rekindling of that bright spiritual torch, symbolized by his publication of the restart magazine. His motive in restarting the magazine follows his idea that the Lord has commanded every New Church mind to be a priest unto the other earths, in the sense discussed above regarding the Perizonius Thesis.
The redemption of the human race on this earth is to continue and to endure as the New Church mind which is formed by the Writings exclusively. This is our individual task. This is the commandment--that we are to make spiritual Doctrine for ourselves in order to be able to regenerate. Perizonius wants to remind us through the new De Hemelse Leer that no day must go by without ìscrutatingî the Writings for its spiritual sense, then arranging the spiritual sense into a coherent system called the Spiritual Doctrine. This is what effects our regeneration, nothing else. The reason is that the Spiritual Doctrine is nothing else than the application of Doctrine to our life, our mental states and development. Unless this application is made, the Doctrine is not spiritual but only natural. If we resist the idea that our task is to derive Spiritual Doctrine out of the Letter of the Writings, can we regenerate?
The Spiritual Doctrine is out of the spiritual sense, and the spiritual sense is the application of the Letter to our states of regeneration, temptation, and orderly development.
Perizonius therefore reminds us of the double function or use that our regeneration serves. First, it serves the regeneration of the Grand Human, bringing interior rational truths from our regenerated mind, conveying them to the rest of the heavens and the earths that are in sensuous consciousness. They depend on this reception for their continued progress and integrity. Second, our regeneration serves for our own individual redemption, by which we can receive conjugial love through being united to our wife (see Volume 3).
Everyone thinks from affection, and no one without affection (AC 2480)
Full text access to the three English volumes of the De Hemelsche Leer, a Dutch magazine in the 1930s, is available on the Web at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/dhl.html