Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Spiritual Psychobiology

Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii

Please note: this was written at the very early stages of my study of the Writings of Swedenborg--when I knew the least. For later articles, view the links given throughout the text and at the end. Some day there will be links to references to people cited--all of whom are well known among Swedenborg scholars and readers (click to see the resources Page).


Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is the author of about two hundred serious scientific works on anatomy, psychology, and natural science. These have been translated into English and other languages from the original Latin by a steady but small number of Swedenborgian scholars and followers of the life philosophy he advocates. Some of the works are short journal articles but there are also about fifty titles of full length books. One of these runs to 12 volumes, another six volumes. Those who have surveyed these writings are of the near unanimous opinion that they present a holistic and coherent account of human behavior and of the life after death (Trobridge; Van Dusen; Odhner; Block ). What makes Swedenborg's approach particularly interesting to psychology is that it is an early form of behaviorism, functionalism, and organicity. This last is the premise that all functions of the mind must have a structural basis and must work together synergistically.

A unique feature of Swedenborg's approach is that the structural substances of the mind were defined as "spiritual substances." These originate and belong to the "spiritual world." When we are born, we are born into two worlds simultaneously, the natural, which is physical and temporary, and the spiritual, which is permanent (or 'eternal'). This dual citizenship is hidden from ordinary perceptions, but upon death of the physical body, the person 'resuscitates' or awakens in the spiritual body and then lives with others in that world for ever. The individual retains his or her appearance, personality, and memory of experiences and skills. (Note: there is more to this as you can read from this article on spiritual psychology.)  These and many other details are related by Swedenborg as eyewitness reports he brought back from the afterlife or spiritual world. He asserts that he was called by Divine intervention to write from the perspective of a well known 18th century scientist all the things he could learn from the afterlife, and its connection to this life; for this purpose he was uniquely empowered to live in both worlds simultaneously for the last 27 years of his long and venerable life.  See Swedenborg's letters here, including several autobiographical statements he makes about himself and his mission.

Swedenborg continued to be productive in this world during his simultaneous life in both worlds. Not only did he continue to publish both types of works ??scientific and other?worldly or theological ?? but he also continued in his job as Royal Assessor of Mines, an important engineering post in the Swedish government, and as well, continued to be active in the Swedish House of Lords where he was author of several influential bills on economy, the coinage system, alcoholism, and education (Swedenborg Foundation ). At first his other-worldly books were published anonymously; later however, it was discovered that he was the eminent author of a series of books on the afterlife, after which he openly spoke of his experiences. Some biographers express general skepticism regarding the unique nature of Swedenborg's claim in the history of humankind. In all fairness there is difficulty in processing Swedenborg's system in its entirety in order to arrive at some objective judgment. By contrrast, we get a totally sympathetic evaluation of Swedenborg when the reviewers are familiar with his writings as a totality, rather than from selections or from the literature about Swedenborg, which is considerable.

(Note: Speaking in May 2000, almost twenty years after this article was written, I'm still here, studying Swedenborg's Writings and creating a Glossary of Swedenborg's Scientific Concepts. As a serious and hopefully lifelong student of the Writings, I have undergone intellectual and spiritual changes beyond all that I have ever read or imagined, and this unbelievable and amazing effect is available to any serious reader of the Writings of Swedenborg. How wonderful it is that all his Theological Writings are now available for reading and searching by anyone (see here for the link to NewSearch).

It is interesting to note that a number of well known American & British writers and influential thinkers have revealed in private letters or less well known of their publications, the fact that they had read or studied Swedenborg writings, and that they were greatly influenced by them. The list is quite long, but include among others, Balzac, Berlioz, Blake, A.Conan Doyle, Emerson, Goethe, Victor Hugo, Henry James, William James, Jung, Helen Keller, Maeterlinck, J. F. Oberlin, E.A. Poe, Ezra Pound, D. Suzuki, Yeats. As well, there are a number of stable communities or suburbs in the United States and Canada, and elsewhere, that are formed by people who consider Swedenborg's writings as the Word of God since much of it consists of an explication of the Christian Bible (Old and New Testaments), and Swedenborg asserts that his observations or visions of the spiritual world was accomplished by a process similar to the process undergone by the prophets who wrote the books of the Bible. He also asserted that this type of knowledge is not available to anyone except through Divine intervention or revelation. Here is an extensive treatment of the subject of scientific revelations with links to more articles.

Swedenborg's case is unique in the history of science. As one of the most eminent and rational scientist of the Age of Reason in 18th century Europe, Swedenborg was very well acquainted with the history of Western science, its grounding in empiricism, its preference for formalism, and its negative attitude toward theology. It is within this scientific skepticism that Swedenborg attempts to present his unique experience. He is very well aware of the need to meet essential criteria of scientific inquiry; which include coherence, consistency, and rationality (as I argue in this article on objections to Swedenborg)

Whatever is already known must be taken into account by the proposed system. Swedenborg used all the anatomy and physiology of his day to specify the mind?structures or mind?organs of the spiritual body. This was made possible by his astounding discovery that the human body is a functional effect of the spiritual body. We have a head because the spiritual body has a head; we have circulation of the blood because the spiritual body has circulation of the blood; and so on down to the most minute biochemical process in the body and genetic structures. Swedenborg anticipated genetics and neuroanatomy on the biological side, and on the chemical?physical side he anticipated nebular formation, magnetism, and relativity. His biographers and followers assert that Swedenborg's writings will only be mined fully in the future when science is ready to accept the concept of dual citizenship. As a result of this new scientific approach they predict a boon to mankind and a greatly accelerated progress of civilization and human evolution.

This article will focus on Swedenborg's rational psychology. This perspective on human behavior anticipates the contemporary focus of American psychology. It is consistent with the major schools of psychological thinking and method as represented by behaviorism, functionalism, gestalt, psychodynamic, and humanistic psychologies. This unusual communality is not due to eclecticism but to an overlap in fundamentals and basics of the scientific view of human behavior as it is evolved consistently in two thousand years of Western scholarship, literature, drama, philosophy, art, and science. In its most general paradigm, rational psychology distinguishes between three interconnected levels of human behavior.

These are the will, the understanding, and the sensorimotor effects of these two. The will was defined as an organ analogous to the mind what the to the body. The substance of this organ was entirely spiritual. Swedenborg used terms such as spheres, fluids, heat, ether, corpuscles, states, and affections, to refer to the organic, spiritual substances of the will's biochemistry. The activities of the will were divided into two types: those from within and those from without. In Swedenborg's system, that which is prior in origin is called within, and that which is posterior, is called without. For example, the heat of the sun is prior to the growth of the seed in the ground; the heat is a causative factor in the growth of the seed. The heat is within, the seed is without. Or else, as we shovel snow, the motive is prior to the act, and so we can say that the motive is within the act while the act proper is without or external. Now concerning the organ of the will, it receives input from within and it transmits that input below itself or into the external world.

The will thus has a double connection. It is connected to the spiritual world from within and it is connected to the natural world from without. Stimuli come into the will from within and go out into the body from without. The body is while the spirit or mind the two being in functional relation. Swedenborg presents the view that the understanding is midway between the will and the body. He defines the chain of causation in behavior as follows:

(motive)   ORIGIN OF BEHAVIOR      (the Will)
(plan)       CAUSE OF BEHAVIOR        (the Understanding)
(act)         EFFECT OF BEHAVIOR      (sensorimotor activities)

In contemporary language we would say that motivation and drive (the "will") originate and maintain behaviors, cognitive processes (the "understanding") serve as a means or instrument to carry out the motive, and sensorimotor activities such as actions and sensations carry out the intent of the goal in the external world. The motive and the plan are not in this world but rather in the spiritual world. Modern psychologists dealing with the issue of the mind tend to see it as insubstantial or an epiphenomenon of the brain, destroy the brain and you've destroyed the mind. However Swedenborg argued on rational grounds that a function cannot exist in a vacuum; that there must be an organic or substantive basis for all functions of the mind and body. He was therefore unwilling to call the mind an epiphenomenon; instead, he took the other scientific alternative which is that the mind is organic but of organic substances not detectable by physical senses. So upon considering the locus or essence of thought and feeling, Swedenborg postulated the existence of the spiritual world and our simultaneous and functional dual citizenship. Years later his hypothesis was confirmed empirically when he was introduced into the spiritual world and shown its reality. He then was able to talk to several of his dead acquaintances as well as to a number of well known men of history such as the Socratic group. Cicero, the Apostles, Lutller, Leibnitz, and many others. It appears from his reports of these conversations that these people had similar views and personality to those known about them in history. As well, Swedenborg was able to observe that the shape of space in the other world is that of the human body. He visually confirmed the observation when he was offered the view from a large distance of the multitude of societies in the spiritual world; they are ordered into the shape and structure of what he called "The Grand Man" of Heaven.


Despite the variety of theories and methods in psychology there is a general overlap among them, and this commonality may be taken as stable over the changing history of schools of psychology. Some examples may be given by considering the overlap between Freud, Skinner, and Rogers, these three being the representatives of separate yet widespread schools with in the twentieth century psychology. All three agree that affective behavior is the key to understanding the individual. Freud looks for data in his clients, in their memories, in their free associations, in the symbolism of their dreams, and in the slips of the tongue. Contemporary psychiatry also emphasizes gestures, style of conduct, and drugs. In all of this activity the professional goal is to alter the individual's affective states, moods, and drive level. Skinner makes the process of reinforcement the kingpin of his behavioristic technology. Reward schedules and the management of available social reinforcers are the principal techniques of behaviorists for modifying behavior. In other words, by controlling people's affective needs (= social rewards), the behavior technologist brings about modification in behavior. The control of affective needs is for Skinner and Freud the key to the modification of behavior. The same may be said about Rogers whose concept of unconditional regard specifies the affective behaviors between two people: whether one values the other, whether they can honestly express feelings with one another, whether there is acceptance of each other's wishes, and so on. All these concerns of the humanistic therapist or counselor clearly relate to the clients' affective states or behaviors.

There is a second area of overlap between widely differing schools of psychology. This is the general principle that cognitive behavior is an intervening or mediate activity between the impulse or motive to act and the performance of the act. Freud's theory specified the areas of cognitive behaviors calling them by names such as the unconscious, the subconscious, the ego, and so on. Freud was clearly concerned with how unconscious affective needs were transformed into cognitive obsessions and delusions. Skinner gave the area of thinking a major role in his behavioristic programs of social engineering. Thinking was defined

as implicit or private verbal behavior, and verbal behavior was defined as behavior that affects others through discourse. Discourse was defined as operants under the control of social reinforcers. Once again we see here the general view that human affective behaviors (=social reinforcers) are in connection with human cognitive behavior (= implicit or private operants). In the case of Rogers, it is also clear that verbal behavior in the form of discourse and gestures is the principal method by which affective needs and habits are modified. Here too, the affective behavior is connected to the cognitive behavior (= having a good opinion of someone). Many labels are used for cognitive behavior by the varying schools. Psychodynamic schools use the terms m_ al health, psychic pressure, cognitive dissonance, disordered thinking. Poor concentration and lack of knowledge. conflicting attitudes, strong opinions, illogical reasoning, and so on. Behavioristic schools use the terms thinking, verbal behavior, private operants, self? reinforcement, self? directed sentences, prompts, cues, discriminant stimuli, brain activity, mediation reactions, reminders, and so on. Rogesrians use terms such as cognitive, mental, thoughts, intellectual, figuring it out, problem, anxiety, head trip, inner, and so on.

It is clear then that psychologists in general agree that human behavior is directed from the level of affective habits (or habitual states) and is thence interconnected with a lower level of cognitive habits (or mental states). Now we come to the third area of overlap, what will be recognized by all as the level of sensorimotor behavior. Freudian analysts get paid for results; these effects of therapy must by visible in the individuals' sensory or motor life. For example, emotions (which are private sensations) may be altered; anxiety (also a private sensory experience) may be diminished in intensity and frequency of occurrence; verbal statements about the self may improve, certain acts or tics or avoidance responses are no longer there; general muscle tension is lessened; blood pressure or heart rate may show a different daily pattern; and so on.

In fact, these sensorimotor effects are used by all therapists and counselors to assess the effectiveness of the therapy or the change occurring in the client. Skinnerians measure numerous sensorimotor effects of intervention programs: motor movements in relation to target behaviors, rate of completion, frequency of errors, resistance to extinction, degree of generalization, and so on. Rogersians watch gestures, tone of voice, position of the body, verbal claims and complaints, preference choices, enthusiasm, and so on. We may conclude this survey, then, by saying that psychologists work with the practical idea that behavior is organized in three levels; first in importance is the individual's affective behavior; second, in the role of intermediary, is the individual's cognitive behavior; and third, in the role of effects or results, is the individual's sensorimotor behavior. It is interesting to note here that this threefold schema for human behavior was explicitly held by earlier thinkers, going back to Aristotle. A notable personage of the eighteenth century, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688?1772), has catalogued human behavior in these three levels and developed an extensive and integrated psychology based on what he called the will, the understanding, and uses. The will was defined as the origin of affections, loves, motives, inclinations, and all impulses to act. This clearly corresponds to what contemporary psychologists call affective behavior (or motivational drives and goal?direction). The understanding was defined as all forms of intellectual activity, reasoning, judgment, and rationality. So this level clearly corresponds with what we call today cognitive behavior or mental activity (also: private verbal behavior). Swedenborg defined uses as the locus where the will is satisfied. For example, we reach for the glass to drink it; this is the motive, goal, or impulse of the will, or voluntary freedom. The affective behavior is the tendency to reach at certain times, and not at other times. The cognitive behavior, or understanding, is the means or method through which we accomplish the goal; here, the habits acquired in reaching, timing, perception, etc. The use is the end result of the impulse acting through the

habit; thus, it is some sensory or motor activity which is in functional relation to the impulse and habit. Here, the attainment of the goal when the glass is grasped, or when the glass is brought to the lips, or when the liquid is being ingested. Again, to want to drink when thirsty is the affective behavior (all wants are affective needs); to be able to reach for the glass without spilling etc., is the cognitive behavior (prior learning is required); and finally, to ingest the liquid, swallow, sense the taste and temperature, etc. is the sensorimotor behavior (sensorimotor apparatus is in operation). The following chart (1) summarizes Swedenborg's behaviorism and ties it in with contemporary psychology.   For additional discussion on the affective, see bottom links.




The question has been raised by Sedenborg's biographers (e.g., Trobridge, 19 ) as to why believe the matters this unique man has brought back to us from the other world? Swedenborgians today, like Trobridge, give as an answer to this question the argument that the system Swedenborg erected is entirely rational, with no contradictions, and capable of giving answers to all the old theological and philosophical issues; finally, the system is entirely compatible with Western scientific attitudes of materialism, functionalism, and organicity. Surely this is indeed a powerful answer and those of the modern world that have examined this claim in detail, like clinical psychologist Wilson Van Dusen 19 ; 19 and New Church educator and philosopher Hugo Lj. Odhner (1960;1968), found not a single contradiction in Swedenborg's system that is expounded in some 30 volumes in modern English translations! This writer has personally examined the bulk of this work, a full time job that took five years to accomplish, and found no internal contradictions; as well, the claim that the system is biologically based is also correct. Swedenborg was an accomplished and well published scientist and public figure in Sweden in the 18th century. His expertise includes accomplishments in anatomy, brain functions, perception, sensation, instrument construction, metallurgy, and astronomy, to name but a few. It is because of the rational and objective character of his system that enabled Swedenborgian ideas to have a strong influence on many thinkers of the l9th and 20th centuries. This list of self?acknowledged influence by Swedenborg is very long, but just to mention a few, it includes Balzac, Berlioz, William Blake, Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Coleridge, Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Goethe, Victor Hugo, Henry James, William James, Jung, Kant, Helen Keller, Maeterlinck, George Bernard Shaw, Thoreau, Yeats (Swedenborg Foundation, 1984).

Granted that Swedenborg's ideas and reports of the other world were deeply influential of American thinking the question remains an open one for science. Note the absence of scientists in the list. William James is a notable exception.

In a talk delivered at the turn of the century, James (1956) refers to Swedenborg's system and attempts to show that the concept of survival of consciousness after death is not contrary to scientific psychology, and especially, the accepted principle that consciousness is a function of the brain. James points out that there are two types of functions: productive and transmissive. Steam is productively a function of the tea kettle or other boiling apparatus; but the rainbow color stripe is transmissively a function of the prism or other refracting medium. Or, power is a productive function of the waterfall, but forced tonal air emerging from the organ with its characteristic sound is a transmissive. function of the instrument. In a productive function, if you destroy the means of production, you destroy the product; but in a transmissive function, if you destroy the means of production, you do not destroy the product. A modern day example of transmissive function is the relation between radio program and radio; destroy the radio, if you will, but the program still exists.

Now what about the dictum that "Thought is a function of the brain"? James points out that with this question one can logically and scientifically be in either camp. If you espouse the camp that believes that thought is a productive function of the brain (e.g., Uttall, 19 ), you must conclude that when the brain is destroyed, so is thinking and feeling; you must deny that immortality can be a scientific concept. However, if you espouse the camp that believes that thinking and feeling are transmissive functions of the brain, then you must conclude that immortality is a possible scientific concept. It is only fair to mention here that James, after giving this proof, then declares his personal predilection to be in the productive camp. Nevertheless, the proof he presents appears correct. Table 1 lists contemporary psychologists and neuroscientists who have advanced scientific concepts that are compatible with the transmissive camp.

It is interesting to review the advantages which James discussed in relation to the transmissive system. First, there is the advantage of face validity: it is useful for scientists to have theories that agree with common sense and the rest of society. This point is relevant today. For instance, though the majority of undergraduates indicate they pray regularly, there is nothing they can find on praying in their psychology texts except a ridiculing of it, as is the case for instance with Skinner, who officially calls praying a "superstitious behavior." There is a growing interest among American psychologists in "religious issues" (and an APA Division) as shown by an increasing number of textbooks and periodicals. James mentions a second advantage to serious scientific concepts of death: we are forced to consider the issues on their own terms and come up with theories of the character of the other world and its relation to this world. He mentions Swedenborg's concept of "influx" as a possibility. This is the theory that natural forms limit the spiritual influx streaming into them from within. This is analogous to the radio: the turning of the dial changes the state of the condenser; in each state (indexed by a numbering system) the receptivity is different, so that changing the condenser state alters the radio frequencies it is receptive to. The radio wave system is in fact an influx that is constantly present within the sphere of the radio as objects; but this influx is received differently depending of the state of the radio components. Similarly, the brain is within a sphere whereby influx from the other world within) constantly streams into it, but it receives parts of this influx in accordance with the state in which the brain is, or the states of its component parts. As James puts it, "And when finally a brain stops acting altogether, or decays, that special stream of consciousness which it subserved will vanish entirely from this natural world. But the sphere of being that supplied the consciousness would still be intact; and in that more real world with which, even whilst here, it was continuous, the consciousness might, in ways unknown to us, continue still." (1898/1956, p.l8).

When James wrote above that the afterlife might continue "in ways unknown" he nevertheless had been exposed by his father, Henry James, the elder, to Swedenborg's system of which he was an ardent public defender (Beck, 1933). Though he chose not to incorporate Swedenborg's spiritual psychobiology in his influential textbook of 1897, James nevertheless staunchly and publicly defended the scientific possibility of Swedenborg's system. In the Preface to the Second Edition of Human Immortality, James is concerned about "many critics (who) have made one and the same objection to the doorway to immortality which my lecture claims to be left open by the 'transmission?theory' of cerebral action" (James, 1898/1956). The objection is that "if our finite personality here below, be due to the transmission through the brain of portions of a preexisting larger consciousness, all that can remain after the brain expires is the larger consciousness itself as such, with which we should thenceforth be perforce reconfounded, the only means of our existence in finite personal form having ceased." (Preface). The objectors feared that James has thus eliminated the Christian idea of immortality "which means survival in strictly personal form." Today, there is a trend in the humanistically oriented new field of transpersonal psychology to find it acceptable to contemplate the dissolution of personal life at death into the "mother?sea" (to use the old expression used by James), and is even used in counseling activities for the dying (Arkoff, 1984). James, however, is intent on satisfying the popular need for concepts that insure the personal survival of every unique individual. James counters by saying that "one may conceive the mental world behind the veil in as individualistic as one pleases, without any detriment to the general scheme by which the brain is represented as a transmissive organ." (Preface) He points out that "there might be many minds behind the scenes as well as one" which is a reference, no doubt, to the Swedenborgian view that the surviving individuals after death in this world remain connected to those still living in this world (Swedenborg, 1756; Odhner, 1960).

Two things shall be attempted in the remaining of this paper. First, to examine what character a theory needs to be for it to be scientific; and second, to examine elements of Swedenborg's system to decide whether or not they conform to the requisites of a scientific theory. It will be shown that indeed it does, and therefore, we have before us the possibility of a major breakthrough in psychology. This is especially an exciting possibility for behaviorists since they have been left behind by Jung's subjectivism or by the current transpersonal psychology movement which behaviorists find too phenomenological. In Swedenborg's system, on the other hand, the behaviorist finds concepts that are not merely phenomenological, but as well, carefully grounded in biology, anatomy, physiology, perception, and motivational psychodynamics. THE BEHAVIORISTIC


There are more than one way to draw a list but there ought to be some significant core overlap between them, one that satisfies the various sub?areas of psychology. We may take Freud's theory of the structure of the self as an example. Is it a scientific theory? In general we would say that it is a scientific theory, though we might quickly add that it is not a very thorough one since it cannot be experimentally investigated. But how do we know that Freud's theory is in general scientific? What about mental telepathy? What about creationism? T distinguish between a workable scientific theory and one that is unworkable my today's standards, we might evaluate each theory on the basis of these five criteria: 1. Organicity. The proposed theory must be biologically grounded. Gone are the days when an author can propose a theory of behavior in thin air, like mental telepathy or astrological personality theory. The APA approved licensing procedures for clinical psychologists certifies that trained psychotherapists must have a sufficiently thorough knowledge in the biological and medical sciences. This general practice shows the fact that today's standards in psychology insist that psychological theories be biologically based. It will be shown below that Swedenborg's theory meets this requirement, and does so in a highly specific way unlike Freud whose Id/Ego/Superego structure had but vague biological definitions based on the analogy of a plumbing system in the body. Swedenborg was the recipient of training by the finest European anatomists of the 17th and 18th centuries and used this knowledge in the system he erected.

2. Objective Reality. The proposed theory must be verifiable by interpersonal observation and group discussion and recognition. The trouble with establishing ESP as real has been that it is not explorable on a routine basis. This problem eliminates ESP as a possible behavioral theory occupying the normal scientific of hundreds, even thousands, of scientists. Freud's theory is somewhat better off than ESP since thousands of scientifically oriented psychiatrists and psychologists have found it workable in their day to day professional practice. Still, this is not good enough for the behaviorist who demands a more traditional and researchable methodology. It will be shown that Swedenborg's system is based on a universal psychological and biological consensus which he called correspondences and which gave rise to metaphor in the evolutionary development of mankind. Swedenborg's system is evolutionary, developmental, biological, and observable by any one who is willing to acquire the skill of self?witnessing which gives one the ability to perceive one's own cognitive and affective reactions to events.

3. Operational Definitions. The proposed theory must offer concrete measurement procedures for assessing the magnitude of effects indexed by dependent measures under various known independent conditions. This is a standard requirement today and no article without it will be approved for publication in any of the main APA or non?APA journals of respect to the profession. This is where Freud's rich theories did not do well in the long run; his system is often ridiculed by some behaviorists and presented as a hilarious attempt far inferior to today's so called rigid standards. At any rate, it is to be noted that when Freud's theories, or parts thereof, were re?defined to permit operational definitions, the result was quite fruitful in research that is of acceptable standards (e.g., Adorno et. al., 19 ). Swedenborg was both a product and an architect of modern science. He was not only an anatomist and physiologist, but an instrument maker, engineer, and legislator. His precise professional training and job demands required operationalizing his ideas into rock bottom precision. He specifies both the specific forces that

tie the two worlds together and the transition stages that allow each individual person to go from this temporary life into a pre?existing eternal life. Over and over again he presents the observations he made over a 27?year period concerning how long it takes to wake up in the other world, what are the attendant conditions, who is present, what are people's reactions when they wake up, what they take from here and how, and so on, as will be shown below.

4. Empiricism. Neither ESP nor Freud, nor Jung, nor Erikson, and so on, can deliver adequately on this criterion. The proposed theory to be scientifically viable by today's behavioristic or functional standards, the theory must be able to grow through the of others. There must be a cumulative possibility so that the theory becomes better and better, or more and more thorough and comprehensive, and capable of encompassing all forms of research interests among behaviorists. A good example of a theory that meets this standard is social learning theory in its various formats (Staats, 19 ). Swedenborg's approach is thoroughly empirical and practical, as will be shown below. One of the refreshing aspects of his approach is that every step must be understood and verified by the person's own experience. This is not the case with Freudians since their system specifically excludes the possibility of self?awareness, and so raises the socio?moral and political issue of, Can someone else tell you about your own inmost affections and motives? Behaviorists are uncomfortable with interpretations that confirm a symbolism that is unverifiable except other true believers. Swedenborg insisted on empirical verification prior to acceptance. He championed the rational approach to theology and religion and fought bitterly against the dogma of his Protestant Church. His empiricism was impeccable having succeeded in proving what thousands of brilliant Bible scholars were unable to do for a thousand years before him. With the use of his own system of cross?references of Bible verses Swedenborg proves that the language of the Bible contains coded messages regarding the psychological stages of development in the deep religious process of transformation called regeneration.

What a remarkable achievement! Surely he will receive many posthumous scientific awards, once the world begins to realize the magnitude of the human revolution contained in the writings he left behind as a legacy for humankind. The system of correspondences discovered by Swedenborg is said by him to be actually the first type of human knowledge or science on the planet, ages ago. The earliest writings according to Swedenborg's observations of the other world consist of this narrative technique. The Egyptian hieroglyphics originated from this code of spiritual?natural correspondences. It will be shown below that the laws of correspondences are empirically discoverable and confirmable, and that they thus offer an empirical language for the operational definition of every psycho?spiritual concept in the theory. 5. Usefulness. In today's world of accountability and big budget deficits it is imperative that the proposed theory have a good possibilities for payoff in terms of community or client delivery of services. Freud's theory has done very well by this criterion since it created a psychiatric profession, a methodology of psychodiagnostic testing that is accepted by our court system, if not yet by scientists. By this criterion ESP is useless and so is the much discussed NDEA phenomenon in the medical field ( ). Modeling theory within social learning theory has in contrast yielded important applications in education, industry, and therapy (Mischel, ; Meichenbaum, 19 ; Watson and Tharp, 19 ). Swedenborg's theoretical system has been built upon in its applied aspects by educators and clergymen in pastoral counseling (DeCharms,l9 ; General Church Doctrinal Classes and Conferences, 1984). It will be shown that Swedenborgian applications have occurred in psychotherapy, medicine, curriculum planning and development, embryology, neuroscience, theology, and evolution theory.


Swedenborg specifies the organic basis of death and the afterlife. In sketchy form we can say that we are born into two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, with two bodies, one for each world, and in which we exist and grow simultaneously. Prior to

death our awareness or conscious self is centered entirely in the natural body, and upon death, the natural body ceases to function and disintegrates, while the spiritual body now becomes the center and focus of our awareness. Subjectively, the person upon death experiences waking up in vaguely familiar surroundings with some initial feelings of amnesia and field dependent focus. After a few days, however, as the person walks around in the new social and external world, there is a dawning realization that one is now in the spiritual world. Swedenborg reports that most people are shocked to discover that the afterlife is so similar in outward appearance and inner feelings to this life. This impression changes, however, as the person's stay in the other world matures and evolves according to the laws of the spiritual world.

The first aspect of this part of the theory that needs to be pointed out is that it does not violate any behavioristic assumptions and standards. The other world is not ghostly or abstract or ephemeral or transpersonally oceanic and alien to what we already know as rock bottom individual personality, habit, and memories. Of course some have accused Swedenborg of insanity, though his biographers point out that during the 27 years that Swedenborg collected and wrote about data from the other world, he continued to publish scientific articles and books, and continued his job as government Assessor of Mines and parliamentary legislator with bills to his name on economic reform and other practical matters. He retained his reputation unblemished by the quick and ignorant charge of insanity or mental impairment or psychosis and etc. (see Trobridge, 19 ; Acton, 19 ; Van Dusen, 19 About the only thing we can say, besides the ineffective insanity charge is, Wow! And now the field of behavioral psychology is obligated to pick up from here and examine this remarkable claim further. This is the purpose of this article.


Quoting from Swedenborg's work Divine Love and Wisdom (DLW) 385. (5) By means of this correspondence many arcana relating to the will and understanding, thus also to love and wisdom, may be disclosed. In the world it is scarcely known what the will is or what love is, for the reason that man is not able, by himself, to love, and from love to will, although he is able as it were by himself to exercise intelligence and thought; just as he is not able of himself to cause the heart to beat, although he is able of himself to cause the lungs to respire. Now because it is scarcely known in the world what the will is or what love is, but it is known what the heart and the lungs are, --for these are objects of sight and can be examined, and have been examined and described by anatomists, while the will and the understanding are not objects of sight, and cannot be so examined--therefore when it is known that these correspond, and by correspondence act as one, many arcana relating to the will and understanding may be disclosed that could not otherwise be disclosed; those for instance relating to the conjunction of the will with the understanding, and the reciprocal conjunction of the understanding with the will; those relating to the conjunction of love with wisdom, and the reciprocal conjunction of wisdom with love; also those relating to the derivation of love into affections, and to the consociation of affections, to their influx into perceptions and thoughts, and finally their influx according to correspondence into the bodily acts and senses. These and many other arcana may be both disclosed and illustrated by the conjunction of the heart and lungs, and by the influx of the blood from the heart into the lungs, and reciprocally from the lungs into the heart, and therefrom through the arteries into all the members, organs and viscera of the body.

386. (6) Man's mind is his spirit, and the spirit is the man, while the body is an external by means of which the mind or spirit feels and acts in its world. That man's mind is his spirit, and that the spirit is the man, can hardly enter the faith of those who have supposed the spirit to be wind, and the soul to be an airy something like breath breathed out from the lungs. For they say, How can the spirit, when it is spirit, be the man, and how can the soul, when it is soul, be the man? They think in the same way of God because He is called a Spirit. This idea of the spirit and the soul has come from the fact that spirit and wind in some languages are the same word; also, that when a man dies, he is said to give up the ghost or spirit; also, that life returns, after suffocation or swooning, when the spirit or breath of the lungs comes back. Because in these cases nothing but the breath or air is perceived, it is concluded from the eye and bodily sense that the spirit and soul of man after death is not the man. From this corporeal conclusion about the spirit and soul, Various hypotheses have arisen, and these have given birth to a belief that man after death does not become a man until the day of the last judgment, and that meanwhile his spirit remains somewhere or other awaiting reunion with the body, according to what has been shown in the Continuation concerning the Last Judgment (n. 32-38). Because man's mind is his spirit, the angels, who also are spirits, are called minds.

390. (7) The conjunction of man's spirit with his body is by means of the correspondence of his will and understanding with his heart and lungs, and their separation is from non- correspondence. As it has heretofore been unknown that man's mind, by which is meant the will and understanding, is his spirit, and that the spirit is a man; and as it has been unknown that man's spirit, as well as his body, has a pulse add respiration, it could not be known that the pulse and respiration of the spirit in man flow into the pulse and respiration of his body and produce them. Since, then, man's spirit, as well as his body, enjoys a pulse and respiration, it follows that there is a like correspondence of the pulse and respiration of man's spirit with the pulse and respiration of his body, --for, as was said, his mind is his spirit, --consequently, when the two pairs of motions cease to correspond, separation takes place, which is death. Separation or death ensues when from any kind of disease or accident the body comes into such a state as to be unable to act in unison with its spirit, for thus correspondence perishes, and with it conjunction; not, however, when respiration alone ceases, but when the heart's pulsation ceases. For so long as the heart is moved, love with its vital heat remains and preserves life, as is evident in cases of swoon and suffocation, and in the condition of fetal life in the womb. In a word, man's bodily life depends on the correspondence of its pulse and respiration with the pulse and respiration of his spirit; and when that correspondence ceases, the bodily life ceases, and his spirit departs and continues its life in the spiritual world, which is so similar to his life in the natural world that he does not know that he has died. Men generally enter the spiritual world two days after the death of the body. For I have spoken with some after two days.

391. That a spirit, as well as a man on earth in the body enjoys a pulse and a respiration, can only be proved by spirits and angels themselves, when privilege is granted to speak with them. This privilege has been granted to me. When questioned about the matter they declared that they are just as much men as those in the world are, and possess a body as well as they, but a spiritual body, and feel the beat of the heart in the chest, and the beat of the arteries in the wrist, just as men do in the natural world. I have questioned many about the matter, and they all gave like answer. That man's spirit respires within his body has been granted me to learn by personal experience. On one occasion angels were allowed to control my respiration, and to diminish it at pleasure, and at length to withdraw it, until only the respiration of my spirit remained, which I then perceived by sense. A like experience was granted me when permitted to learn the state of the dying (as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 459). I have sometimes been brought into the respiration of my spirit only, which I have then sensibly perceived to be in accord with the common respiration of heaven. Also many times I have been in a state like that of angels, and also raised up into heaven to them, and being then out of the body in spirit, I talked with angels with a respiration in like manner as in the world. From this and other personal evidence it has been made clear to me that man's spirit respires, not only in the body but also after it has left the body; that the respiration of the spirit is so silent as not to be perceptible to man; and that it inflows into the manifest respiration of the body almost as cause flows into effect, or thought into the lungs and through the lungs into speech. From all this it is also evident that conjunction of spirit and body in man is by means of the correspondence of the cardiac and pulmonic movement in both.

392. These two movements, the cardiac and the pulmonic, derive their origin and persistence from this, that the whole angelic heaven, in general and in particular, is in these two movements of life; and the whole angelic heaven is in these movements because the Lord pours them in from the sun, where He is, and which is from Him; for these two movements are maintained by that sun from the Lord. It is evident that such is their origin since all things of heaven and all things of the world depend on the Lord through that sun in a connection, by virtue of form, like a chain-work from the first to outmosts, also since the life of love and wisdom is from the Lord, and all the forces of the universe are from life. That the variation of these movements is according to the reception of love and wisdom, also follows.

394. FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE HEART WITH THE WILL AND OF THE LUNGS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING, EVERYTHING MAY BE KNOWN THAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT THE WILL AND UNDERSTANDING, OR ABOUT LOVE AND WISDOM, THEREFORE ABOUT THE SOUL OF MAN. 394. Many in the learned world have wearied themselves with inquiries respecting the soul; but as they knew nothing of the spiritual world, or of man's state after death, they could only frame theories, not about the nature of the soul, but about its operation on the body. Of the nature of the soul they could have no idea except as something most pure in the ether, and of its containing form they could have no idea except as being ethereal. But knowing that the soul is spiritual, they dared not say much about the matter openly, for fear of ascribing to the soul something natural. With this conception of the soul, and yet knowing that the soul operates on the body, and produces all things in it that relate to its sensation and motion, they have wearied themselves, as was said, with inquiries respecting the operation of the soul on the body. This has been held by some to be effected by influx, and by some to be effected by harmony. But as this investigation has disclosed nothing in which the mind anxious to see the real truth can acquiesce, it has been granted me to speak with angels, and to be enlightened on the subject by their wisdom; the fruits of which are as follows: Man's soul, which lives after death, is his spirit, and is in complete form a man; the soul of this form is the will and understanding, and the soul of these is love and wisdom from the Lord; these two are what constitute man's life, which is from the Lord above; yet for the sake of man's reception of Him, He causes life to appear as if it were man's; but that man may not claim life for himself as his, and thus withdraw himself from this reception of the Lord, the Lord has also taught that everything of love, which is called good, and everything of wisdom, which is called truth, is from Him, and nothing of these from man; and as these two are life, that everything of life which is life is from Him.

395. Since the soul in its very esse is love and wisdom, and these two in man are from the Lord, there are created in man two receptacles, which are also the abodes of the Lord in man; one for love, the other for wisdom, the one for love called the will, the other for wisdom called the understanding. Now since Love and Wisdom in the Lord are one distinctly (as may be seen above, n. 17-22), and Divine Love is of His Divine Wisdom, and Divine Wisdom is of His Divine Love (n. 34-39), and since these so go forth from God-Man, that is, from the Lord, therefore these two receptacles and abodes of the Lord in man, the will and understanding, are so created by the Lord as to be distinctly two, and yet make one in every operation and every sensation; for in these the will and understanding cannot be separated. Nevertheless, to enable man to become a receptacle and an abode of the Lord, it is provided, as necessary to this end, that man's understanding can be raised above his proper love into some light of wisdom in the love of which the man is not, and that he can thereby see and be taught how he must live if he would come also into that higher love, and thus enjoy eternal happiness. But by the misuse of this power to elevate the understanding above his proper love, man has subverted in himself that which might have been the receptacle and abode of the Lord (that is, of love and wisdom from the Lord), by making the will an abode for the love of self and the world, and the understanding an abode for whatever confirms those loves. From this it has come that these two abodes, the will and understanding, have become abodes of infernal love, and by confirmations in favor of these loves, abodes of infernal thought, which in hell is esteemed as wisdom.

396. The reason why the love of self and love of the world are infernal loves, and yet man has been able to come into them and thus subvert the will and understanding within him, is as follows: the love of self and the love of the world by creation are heavenly loves; for they are loves of the natural man serviceable to spiritual loves, as a foundation is to a house. For man, from the love of self and the world, seeks the welfare of his body, desires food, clothing, and habitation, is solicitous for the welfare of his family, and to secure employment for the sake of use, and even, in the interest of obedience, to be honored according to the dignity of the affairs which he administers, and to find delight and refreshment in worldly enjoyment; yet all this for the sake of the end, which must be use For through these things man is in a state to serve the Lord and to serve the neighbor. When, however, there is no love of serving the Lord and serving the neighbor, but only a love of serving himself by means of the world, then from being heavenly that love becomes hellish, for it causes a man to sink his mind and disposition in what is his own, and that in itself is wholly evil.

397. Now that man may not by the understanding be in heaven while by the will he is in hell, as is possible, and may thereby have a divided mind, after death everything of the understanding which transcends its own love is removed; whereby it comes that in eves-one the will and understanding finally take one. With those in heaven the will loves good and the understanding thinks truth; but with those in hell the will loves evil and the understanding thinks falsity. The same is true of man in this world when he is thinking from his spirit, as he does when alone; yet many, so long as they are in the body, when they are not alone think otherwise. They then think otherwise because they raise their understanding above the proper love of their will, that is, of their spirit. These things have been said, to make known that the will and understanding are two distinct things, although created to act as one, and that they are made to act as one after death, if not before.

Swedenborg gives full theoretical attention to the issue of the biology of the spiritual body. We may use the term spiritual psychobiology to refer to the details he works out concerning the operation and development of the spiritual body. First, we may note that the two bodies are functional relations of each other in anatomical detail and in neurophysiological operations. In fact, the theory asserts that not a single cellular, glandular, or hormonal activity in this body is possible without the simultaneous accompaniment of the equivalent activity in the other body. It is asserted that the other body takes precedence in determining the sequence of events in this body. For instance, suppose the other body is suddenly surrounded and invaded by the close contact of a group of people in the other world. This interpersonal proximity sets up a communication flow of cognitive and affective reactions between the people and you. As a consequence, the neorphysiological states of your spiritual body is altered in specific ways corresponding to the character of the group of people that surrounded you. Streams of affections and cognitions are received by each appropriate organ of the spiritual body. Swedenborg gives a great deal of detail here (running to the tune of several volumes!) and relates these interpersonal effects in the other world to individual effects in this body, such as specific diseases and mental malfunctioning. Thus, we can say according to this system, that our physical and mental functioning in this natural body is the consequence of the psychosocial environment of the spiritual body. Bad company in the other world causes disturbances in this world. See a related article on Swedenborg's contributions to modern psychological concepts.

A behaviorist at this point would demand an explanation of how such a connection is operationally carried off. We do not accept magical forces or vacuous operations. Swedenborg supplies us with detailed rational and biological and cosmogenic details regarding the substances of which the universe is made of, and their lawful or orderly interdependence. Not a single natural or psychological fact or event can have an exception to this rule. Here is where Swedenborg's extraordinary originality and ingenuity shows up well. He presents an evolutionary view of the world being one of the first scientists after Newton to propose a theory of galactic evolution of suns and planets. According to this theory the spiritual sun came first into being through an act of Divine creation and all other created things came into being through the natural action of this spiritual sun. As the particles of spiritual substances stream out of this eternal sun, they become denser and denser through changes in their motion or vibration, and solidify into atmospheres of increasing solidity and material density. Swedenborg specified nine atmospheres, the primary being thin atmospheres which he called love and wisdom, and the succeeding ones being heat, light, ether, air, and solid matter.

This is one of the most difficult and challenging aspects of the theory since behaviorists are not used to thinking along a substantial or organic composition for human emotions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, and intentions. Today behaviorism is still plagued by the archaic view that feelings and thoughts are epiphenomena corresponding to chemical reactions in the nervous system and the body. For example, the famous James?Lange theory of emotions, and its contemporary counterpart as the Shachter view of emotions in social psychology (quoted in Watson et. al., 1984, and other texts), is that emotions are nothing else than the physiological reactions in the body and their conscious sensation. We are not used to be told that emotions and feelings and thoughts are made of their own stuff, that they are real and concrete and substantial, and that they are not merely epiphenomena arising from the natural chemicals. Swedenborg system asks to reverse the view and say that the stuff of feelings and thoughts is substantial and exists within its own sphere of organized neurophysiology. According to this theory, the original stuff that streams out of the spiritual sun is two?fold: affective and cognitive. These two substances cool down and become denser, in which state they appear as heat and light of the natural sun, and eventually they appear as chemicals. Thus, chemicals are nothing but affections and cognitions cooled down, slowed down, and solidified. The physiology of emotions thus partakes of how affective and cognitive reactions in the spiritual body come down and solidify as neurochemical reactions in the natural body.

Swedenborg's cosmogony specifies that these two elementary substances of love and wisdom (affect and cognition) exist eternally in the spiritual sun and are an infinite source for the creation of ever new worlds and ever increasing numbers of humans throughout the universe.

The interpersonal basis of the other world is firmly established by Swedenborg's psychology, sociology, and history, which together may be given the title of spiritual geography. It is remarkable that Swedenborg's descriptions of the other world are continuous with our familiar experience in this world, namely, ethnic varieties of people as we know them here, identifiable according to their religious beliefs, their styles of dress and housing, their customs and form of government, their ideals and attitudes towards work, science, recreation, and humor. Of course, this makes the whole system more acceptable since it offers full continuity with this world. At the same time there are significant differences. For one thing, the language is universal, everyone speaking in their own language subjectively, but interpersonally, it is heard as an automatic translation into a universal thought?language by the brain of the spiritual body. Of course, this lingua franca does not insure good communication among varieties of cultures since these do not harmonize in their affective and cognitive habits. Swedenborg reports that new arrivals in the other world are frequently met by dead relatives or spouses and these live together for a while ?? until they discover that they are incompatible effectively and cognitively, at which point they if they are compatible, they tend to cohabitate. One of the new peculiarities new arrivals have to adjust to is the spatial law in the spiritual world whereby similarity of affect produces proximity of ecology. Swedenborg reports that in the other world a storm is produced, with thunder and lightning and wind, when people of clashing affections get together, which sometimes occurs for special purposes, he himself having witnessed such stormy battles in the other world. This law that interconnects affective and cognitive operations within the individual, and external ecological events of nature, is one of the striking features of life in the other world according to Swedenborg. He observed changes in plants, gardens, trees, clouds, and animals surrounding families he was visiting that occurred when he also perceived a change in the affections and attitudes of the inhabitants. This he also observed geographically, so that certain thoughts and intentions create instant deserts or jungles with dangerous animals that appear to attack to hapless thinker. Swedenborg reports that the art of fantasy and hypnotherapy is practiced extensively in the other world so that there is a constant struggle going on there between good and evil affections, true and false cognitions. The law of the spiritual world is such that evil forces allied to false reasoning create a downward sphere or draft through which the people adhering to these affections and thoughts are pulled lower and lower, until they come to reside in underground, cavernous holes, where they pursue in perennial semi?darkness ever more restricted and specialized interests in a single overriding affection or lust, eventually turning into a kind of sub?human beast wallowing in one repetitious and endless sensation. The laws of the other world are such that those who adhere by preference and free will to upward moving drafts of affections, gradually find themselves in ever more beautiful surrounds, and ever richer and deeper feelings of contentment, fulfillment, and creative expression. The individual lives of people who make it a daily habit to be kind, altruistic, and useful become heavenly and filled with never ending intellectual and affective adventures in the eternal world. The happiness and creativity of these people in their heavens exerts a strong human sphere of influence that extends down into the minds of people living on the earths of the universe. This heavenly sphere enters the individuals' life on earth through ideas and strivings, Similarly, a strong and contrary sphere of influence emanates from the deep hells of human experience and invade us upward; they are felt in our violence, greed, pride, and desire to dominate others at all cost. And so, our past and future are interconnected through these spheres. It will be pointed out below how these extraordinary and remarkable observations of the other world are applicable to our concerns in therapy and education. The connection lies in the fact that the spiritual world is within time/space/matter, hence the here and now of our life in the natural body can be better understood and hence, better modified.


One of the first questions we want to pose with regard to this theory is how does it explain better than other theories the things we are actually interested in. Table 1 mentions some authors that have shown a distinct interest in psychology towards extended notions of monistic and materialistic biology. When we compare these attempts to Swedenborg's massive system we may be struck by their puerile attempts, their self?acknowledged ineptness in a dark area, their humiliation in front of an enormous(task dimly perceived and for which they have a total lack of tools to prosecute. They bring together speculation, bold guesses, edited myths and parables from foreign lands, and symbolism's interpreted hesitantly. In contrast to this attitude Swedenborg presents nothing but eyewitness news seen in brilliant light and sophisticated instrumentation. This is of course the difference between intellectual constructions based on reasonings and the reality and ease of a blow by blow description of a traveler or experimenter. The comparison is not fair because the outcome is disproportionate, and this outcome was made possible by Swedenborg's extraordinary intermission into both worlds for the last 27 years of his long life (1688?1771). Some have speculated that Swedenborg's feat is replicable and that he is only the first of a new evolutionary interconnection between our two bodies. Psychologist Van Dusen is also of the opinion that there could take place a breakdown of the normal cleavage in awareness between our two bodies (VanDusen, 19xx ) and has proceeded upon this assumption with many of his clinical patients who appear to be psychologically plagued by the presence of tyrannical people from the other world who succeed in obsessing the patients through their affections and thoughts.

Once we choose to identify with or internalize a particular affection or thought we establish a permanent association with a spiritual society in the other world that specializes in this type of affection or thought (for more discussion, see a related article on vertical community). For example, when a person staunchly believes a creed, dogma, or constitutional statement, we may say that this person loves the ideals and states contained in the statement. When this love is internalized and shows the characteristic of being persistently chosen and intensely pursued, the person comes into the chronic sphere of influence of a society in the other world from whom this sphere of interest and striving emanates. Thus we see such phenomena as the mass societies of Iran and Iraq where millions of people act together in frenzied zeal under the maniacal influence of violence and hatred against each other. This maniacal influence can be broken only when the people involved voluntarily begin to change their spiritual associations, that is, their religious beliefs and persuasions. To engineer such a change from the outside, the world community would have to find elements in their belief system which are connected to spiritual societies of a different bend of affect and cognition. There may in fact be places in the Koran and ancillary Islamic doctrines which urge the faithful to be peaceful and tolerant. As these other aspects of their own religion receive greater attention and interest, their spiritual bodies begin to be extirpated from the hateful drafts or spheres of affective influence, and begins to rise to higher places in the spiritual world where it comes under the draft or affective influence of loving and wise societies, and when this new sphere of influence begins to be chosen more and more by the people and their leaders, their bodies and minds will be filled with altruistic and peaceful intentions toward one another. Unfortunately, we have no control over which way they choose.

Swedenborgian principles of rational psychology are based on an observed reality, and hence are capable of extension and application to an indefinitely large number of situations. A Swedenborgian technology of behavior is now possible and much needed in Skinnerian circles who have been left behind by the flights of humanism and transpersonalism. Others will have to contribute to this task and it is possible to give here only a few preliminary details. Table 2 provides one example of an approach to this extension work, and Table 2 provides a more specific application to driving behavior.



From the behaviorist point of view Swedenborg's system may be labeled an organic?rational psychology with an empirical operationalism for phenomenological reality. This may appear a complicated method but when looked at practically, it will be seen to be a natural continuation and extension of contemporary functionalist views in both behaviorism and cognitivism. The functionalist pragmatism of William James, grounded in physiological psychology, and surrounded as it was by James' Christian traditionalism and his inclination toward transcendentalism, comes closest to reflecting the psychology of Swedenborg's system. Since James has remained acceptable to both behaviorists and humanists (MacLeod, 1969) it will be seen that Swedenborg as well will be acceptable to both factions. The first, and most difficult, step for the behaviorist desiring this attempt is to thoroughly understand and work out in one's mind the concept of duality. Prior attempts exist in psychology but they have not been found generally acceptable; after all is said and done the behaviorist remains unmoved by the argument. In a way this testifies to the sincerity and persistence of the behaviorist not to be hoodwinked into philosophical issues from which psychology had to escape after centuries of polemics. Yet because of this very sincerity the behaviorist is compelled to examine the evidence for some new claim which appears genuine, especially if this new claim is continuous with its own felt solidity in biology and statistics. Swedenborg's definition of duality is unlike any offered before in the history of psychology. This duality is simply the actual reality of two interconnected bodies, one composed of natural substances and the other composed of spiritual substances.

Swedenborg's proposed duality for psychology is thus organic and empirical rather than spiritistic and phenomenological. It does not exclude phenomenology and humanism; on the contrary, he emphasizes the human aspects of the universe, the human goals of love and wisdom, good and truth. But he insists that all humanism of good and truth, of will and understanding, must be grounded in good old earth, in the ultimate of chemical substances and evolutionary growth through environmental reinforcement. In this rock bottom attitude Swedenborg can be easily be claimed by the behaviorist as a founding father antedating Wundt, Watson, and Skinner.

But all won't be that easy. This is because, unlike the talented Baron Swedenborg, none of us can be conscious of our two bodies! However lamentable this state of affairs may appear to be we must now decide whether, because of this, we can afford to ignore the whole thing. I for one, want to wave the flag in front of my colleagues to draw their attention to this gold mine of information about human behavior. For granted that we don't have access to the same information as Swedenborg did, may it not be the case that the information his observations have accumulated could be of great service to us if we found a way of making behavioral deductions from them?

Take for example the following observations Swedenborg made about the behavior of our spiritual bodies in the other world.

1. Individuals there cannot think by themselves but only in groups.

2. No one can lie there, i.e., think one thing and say another.

3. External environmental features are functionally related to internal affective and cognitive states.

4. Similarity of affective states brings interpersonal co-presence.

5. Intelligence and power in the other world are functions of good uses acquired in this world. "Good uses" are actions performed for the sake of others rather than self only.

5. In the other world the insistent denial of truth causes insanity.

6. There are no degenerative diseases and death in the other world, but there are deformations and non?functioning elements. For example, antisocial feelings and attitudes produce a deadening of the senses, a darkening of the field of vision, and a general cold invades and slows the body. By contrast, altruistic and sociable feelings and intentions generate warmth and a quickening of all bodily functions and uses.

7. In the other world every individual feels compelled to act out their feelings and thoughts. Under these conditions, the person soon evolves a clear hierarchy of motives by which the person is ruled. It is easy, Swedenborg reports, for others to predict your behavior as soon as they know and see your motivational or affective hierarchy. A person's "ruling love," or chief drive and motive in life, shows in the person's facial expression, body posture and appearance, and matching verbal behavior.

8. Growth in the other world amounts to the continuous and never ending exploration or deepening of the packet of affections we brought with us from this world. Since in the other world affections create ecology, it can be seen that external evolution of the other world matches the internal growth of the people. But it is to be remembered that no one can exist separate from some group, hence the other world is characterized by disparate group evolution ?? which is one of the striking features one notes when traveling in the other world (what a marvelous anthropological field it must be!).

A list I wrote after several more years of study of the Writings, may also be consulted as a continuation of these topics which I now call  Theistic Science. Topics include:  Spiritual Psychology ||  Religious Psychology ||  Mental Health || Moses, Paul, and Swedenborg || Scientific Dualism || Dual Citizenship and many more--here's an index of them.


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