Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Spiritual Psychology -- Part 1

Go to Part 2 of this article  ||  Go to Part 3 of this article || Go to Part 4 || Go to Part 5

See also
Spiritual Geography
See also Theistic Science
See also The Genes of Culture
See also
The Vertical Community
See also
Spiritual Psychobiology
See also
De Hemelsche Leer (inner sense of the Writings)

Visit (The Theory of Spirit, Mind and Nature from Theism )


I last revised this article in April 2002.
I first wrote it in 1985, then rewrote it in 1996.
Leon James, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii

Introduction--the Dual Universe
Why the Concept of God is Necessary in Science
Swedenborg's Uniqueness
Swedenborg's Scientific Empiricism
Swedenborg's Dualist Perception
Afflux and Influx: The Basis of Experience
Discovering Spiritual Geography
Time-bound vs. State-bound
What determines the content of activity?
What determines the details of one's biography?
How do we move up or down in the spiritual world which has no space?
Without space, but not without directionality.
The Third Source -- Christen Blom-Dahl's Discovery
Henry James Sr and Communal Mind
Laws of Virtual Reality
Spiritual Infancy on Earth
Spiritual Freedom and Our As-Of-Self
Quotations from Swedenborg

Introduction--The Dual Universe

The twenty-first century has inherited a view of science that is devoid of rationality.

This surprising discovery or realization came to me as a result of reading the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1771) and will be fully established in the arguments and considerations that I shall make.

Of course others have made this point, namely that science is being biased against the explanation that God exists and is the Creator and Manager of all things and events in the universe. In other words, science has never been able to give any proof whatsoever that the concept of God as Creator is a false concept or invalid on empirical, logical, or rational grounds. Have you wondered why science and philosophy has been unable to give such a proof? The answer is as simple as can be: Such a proof is not possible.

But now I ask: Why is it not possible to prove that the idea of God in science is false or invalid or irrational?

The answer is: Because the idea of God as Creator is a RATIONAL idea or concept.

And of course science cannot prove that a rational idea or concept is false or invalid. For this I credit science. I love the fact that science is rational. Of course it would be more realistic to say that science strives to be rational. Still, since it acknowledges that only what is rational can be in science, it deserves credit. I have been a scientist since my Ph.D. and first position as assistant professor in 1962, and I can say from empirical observation that this constitutional premise of science ("rationality") continues to guide and motivate scientific research and theory. The endurance of this adherence of science to rationality comes from the past and is passed on ritually from generation to generation. I hope and trust that this shall continue since so much of the future of the race depends and relies on science.

It is most important to consider that science did not exclude God while it was being created and nurtured in the empirical and rational environment. The great scientists, the great minds up until Einstein, or the beginning of the 20th century, fully accepted the idea that God is a rational idea, that God is a reality, and that a scientist cannot conceive of a rational universe without the idea of God as Creator. But then something happened as the planet tried to cope with World War 1 and the ensuing growth of the military-industrial economic world political developments, strengthened even more by World War 2 and the atomic race cold war mentality. Perhaps these are all coincidental events and a deeper spiritual cause needs to be invoked. The correlated factor: God was thrown out of science while no one was looking.

All of a sudden the new TV and airplane generations were raised to believe that science and God do not mix because God is not a scientific concept, it is a religious one, or a mystical one, or a spiritual one, or personal one, and modern educated and intelligent people do not mix the scientific and the non-scientific.

In the United States in the 21st century people are taught about the constitutional principle of the separation of Church and State. People for the most part acquiesce when the ACLU forces a City Hall somewhere to remove Christmas decorations or a stone engraving of the Ten Commandments. Children are warned in school not to wear or display religious symbols that can be seen, and student groups are for the most part denied the use of public school facilities to meet for Bible study or prayer worship. I am mentioning these facts not to say that they are bad--that would require an analysis of its own--and they may not be bad. But they need to be counted in as a factor in explaining why science has banished the rational idea of God from itself and why most people in society are ready to continue with this irrational prejudice or fear.

I agree that it is all important for all of us to give support to the constitutional separation of religion and government (or public agencies and services). However, the exclusion of God from science is not part of this constitutional motivation. Science excludes God out of irrational prejudice or blind unexamined acceptance of what is irrational prejudice. Consider this evidence: The only justification science gives for excluding God from itself is summarized by this argument:

"Well, first prove that God exists, then we will include that concept in science--just like we do for all other concepts--so our attitude is not irrational prejudice but rational scientific methodology."

In other words: If you cannot offer sensual proof that God exists, then science can continue to exclude God.

This position is irrational. One can show that it is irrational, as I am showing it throughout this article.

The exclusion clause ("unless you offer sensual proof") is not a rational argument, but an intellectual trick.

I was fooled by this trick when I was being educated as a scientist in high school, college, graduate school, and beyond in my professional activity as a normal scientist. The exclusion argument is a trick because if you take off its semantic wrappers the argument becomes:

I define proof of existence as sensual observation, numerical calculation, or instrument measurement. And when it is said: Prove to me that God exists, one actually means to say: Prove to me through the senses or instruments that God exists. But this idea is not rational. It is not rational to exclude from science that which is not sensual.

Science is the methodological investigation and rational explanation of reality. It was known and understood by scientists up to 100 years ago that reality is dual: that is, natural and spiritual. Only recently has science been hijacked by the false idea that the methodological investigation required by science excludes the spiritual from its scientific explanations of reality because it is not sensual. This is pure prejudice, not a rational argument. This materialistic prejudice excludes dualism, redefines empiricism as sensual only, and denies science its rational foundation and justification. Science was never based on sensual proof alone. Only in the last two or three generations of scientists has this irrational idea crept in and has become hurtful dogma.

The exclusion of Swedenborg from the literature of science is a clear instance of the irrationality of the position that excludes his rational discoveries and explanations of the spiritual world. When it comes to incorporating God as a dynamic causative factor in natural phenomena, one can oppose it on the ground that it is a superfluous concept since it cannot be measured directly nor inferred from measurements. But what is the rationale for excluding Swedenborg's direct sensual observations of the spiritual world and its inhabitants or "spirits," observations repeated thousands of times for 27 years, and recorded daily in his lab-book? Furthermore, he did not merely offer these empirical data, but explained them with rational theories that are consistent, coherent, in harmony with scientific knowledge, and objectively researchable by other scientists. What is the reason that allows scientists to leave this entire work unread, unexamined, untested? The reason is irrational prejudice against substantive dualism, or the idea that a scientist can observe and explain the super-natural or non-natural, if there is such a thing. Even as I write this my reputation and career as a professor and scientist could be threatened were it not for the staunch practice of academic freedom in the United States. And yet, what I'm discussing and presenting about Swedenborg can be shown to be rational and scientific when critically examined in full.

Not every claim by untold numbers of delusional individuals can be investigated by science. But some must be. Swedenborg is more qualified than anyone to have his claims examined by science. If his claims are not examined, then it is only from prejudice, not scientific integrity. Since 1800 thousands of scholars, individual scientists, influential philosophers and writers have examined Swedenborg's claims and with a very few exceptions they have concluded that Swedenborg was not delusional but sane, honest, and fully rational. I have examined all his writings in English translation and I have found him to be honest, rational, sane, and very competent as a scientist. You can examine his writings full text online and come to the same conclusion. Despite all this, science continues to exclude Swedenborg automatically since it excludes God and the spiritual or non-natural from itself. Thus science is removed more and more from reality. However, I predict that this phase will soon be replaced by a paradigm shift that will take science back to God and dualism.

So here is where the whole story starts, or ends. It ends if you agree that materializing the universe is rational. It starts if you see that the material universe and God are not the same substance or domain of existence.

In other words: scientific dualism (or substantive dualism).

Why the Concept of God is Necessary in Science

There is an unexamined bias we receive in our training as scientists, namely, that what is concrete, material, measurable or calculable is more real than what is mental, intuitive, spiritual. Even what is rational is considered less real than what is material. Rational is seen as something in the mind, hence less real than the physical elements of the planet. What is truth but something in the mind. What is spiritual if anything but something thin and vanishing and unreal in comparison to the mountains and forests around us. The spiritual is seen as not relevant to the natural world even if it were something real. God is thus a superfluous concept since God is a spiritual being and force. If there is a God, say the cynics, I shall see Him in the afterlife, if there is one. What do I need to worry about now? Or, there is a God, show me a miracle now, not two thousand years ago in some history book. Etc. Etc. Such is the dogma and prejudice we receive unconsciously or automatically from our training and culture today.

But let us discard this prejudice or dogma so that we may examine the evidence through the rational approach that we routinely use as scientists when we critically examine each other's research and theory. Let's examine Swedenborg's research and theory by analyzing some of his key propositions:

The universe is created and maintained by God

God is infinite, perfect, and Human, therefore acting rationally from purpose

Created things have no power or life of their own but are receptors of an influx of power and life from God

The universe has two components: external (or surface) and interior. The external portion of the universe is called the natural world and the interior portion is called the spiritual world. The external and interior cannot be separated and are built to act synchronously. (Note: this notion has nothing in common with some ideas science fiction writers have put forth such as parallel universes or multiple realities.)

Every external phenomenon or event is an effect whose cause is interior. Thus, spiritual phenomena are the cause of all natural phenomena. The cause-effect relation is maintained by rational laws called laws of correspondences.

God's purpose for creating a dual universe (natural-spiritual) is to perfect the Grand Human or the communal mind of the human race. A human being is created a dual citizen at birth: a temporary physical body in the natural world connected by correspondence to an immortal spirit-body in the spiritual world. The spirit-body or mind grows and develops through the experiences of the physical body. The natural world and its expanding galaxies of stars and planets is built as a nursery for human beings to ensure a cumulating and endlessly growing human race gathered in the spiritual world after they are detached from the physical body.

No event or phenomenon has any power of existence of its own. All created objects are receptors of power and life from God. Therefore it is not possible for anything to exist or act in the dual universe except from continuous influx from God. Should influx be interrupted for one instant the object ceases to act or to exist. This applies equally to atomic particles, the weather, animal instinct, human thinking, history, evolution, or chance. Each and every thing exists and operates as a moment by moment receptor of God's influx.

God thus operates all things through a unified chain or control hierarchy, from firsts to lasts. The portion of the universe that is near God's firsts is interior while the portion that is more removed and near lasts is external. The external portion is the material world in time-space. The interior portion is the spiritual world not in time-space. God is not in the external portion but governs it from its interiors. Thus, God governs by influx all things in time and space but is not in time and space. (Note: pre-scientific ideas of creation suppose God to do it by fiat or by pronouncing affirmations. Swedenborg's scientific proposals by contrast specify the rational mechanisms or means by which God creates and maintains the universe. These Divine modes of action are rational because God is rationality itself and operates influx by rational laws.

Science is rational because it is part of what God creates, and all things God creates is rational. Rational is the operation of truth motivated by love. Love and truth are the two spiritual substances that are part of God, thus they are infinite and uncreate, having no beginning or end. These are the firsts from which God creates and operates the universe. Those in the spiritual world can see the spiritual sun from which stream out spiritual heat (love) and spiritual light (truth). These two substances acting together undergo transformations and adaptations as they approach lasts and form the material that make up the stars and galaxies of the physical world. Thus, within every physical particle and field of energy that make up all natural objects called lasts, there is an interior that is made of the spiritual substances of love and truth called firsts. Thus, love and truth are more substantial, more real and permanent, than rocks and planets which they compose from the interior. As the substances of love and truth externalize from firsts to lasts, they become rock bottom material stuffs. The substance out of which a rock is formed is love and truth.

God's communication with the human race is through each individual's conscious self. The bond uniting God and the human race is love. Love is the Human desire to be united with others in a mutual beneficial relationship. To achieve mutuality, love requires as-of self freedom. We must have the feeling that we are free to act from our own purpose and interest before we can return God's love. Therefore God maintains this freedom with every individual. We do not have freedom from our own power, but God creates in us the feeling that we have freedom. This necessitates that God give permission to evils and falsities that are contrary to love. The power and intelligence to commit evils and think falsities is not a power people have from themselves. God filters through every evil act or untruth, allowing existence to those evils and falsities that can be eventually transformed into good and truth, and denying existence to all other evils that human minds would want to commit. Therefore the existence of evils and delusions also depend on God's influx just as much as the existence of good and truth. But the existence of evils and delusions are not directly from influx but from influx that is turned around into its opposite by the human mind. God wills good and truth only; but He allows humans to turn these into evil and falsity, but these are monitored, moderated, and filtered by God.

God communicates and teaches the human race through revelations. These differ for the various civilizations of the human race. Early civilizations on a planet receive revelations by psychic contact with ancestors who have departed for the spiritual world. Also by visions and dreams. Later civilizations receive revelations by Sacred Scriptures given through prophets or revelators. All revelations contain the laws of correspondences and the details of human regeneration, that is, of preparation for life in the spiritual world. By living a life as-of self in accordance with our understanding of revelations, we are being prepared for eternal life in the spirit-body. This life is carried on in innumerable societies in the Grand Human where conditions of living are heavenly or celestial and leading to endless development in human perfection.

But individuals who refuse as-of self to be regenerated through a life according to revealed good and truth, build up a character that is sub-human or infernal, consisting of what is opposed to good and truth, namely, hatred, delusion, and misery. When their physical body dies off, their spirit-body sinks to the bottom of the spiritual world where they eke out a miserable existence in the societies of hell.

Every detail of these propositions is proven by Swedenborg through the evidence of his dual perceptions or observations in the spiritual world. He says about his discoveries that they are a new revelation from God to the human race. The evidence is not something he manufactured through his great genius: it was given to him so that he can produce this new revelation. Swedenborg's Writings are revelations that can be used by both science and religion, but in different ways. Religion uses revelations in a sectarian mode while science uses revelation in a rational mode. For a discussion on the developmental steps of religion and science based on revelations, see this article.

From Swedenborg's 12-volume work titled Arcana Coelestia (Latin for "Heavenly Secrets")

AC 6474. It was shown me by experience during the space of an hour, how all the thoughts are ruled by the Lord. There was an influx like a most gentle and almost imperceptible stream, the current of which does not appear, but still leads and draws. This, which flowed in from the Lord, led in this manner all the series of my thoughts into the consequent things, and although gently, powerfully, so that I could not possibly wander into other thoughts, which also I was allowed to attempt, but in vain.

Swedenborg's Writings mark a new beginning in the history of evolution of the human race and our relationship to God. Every educated person can read and understand the Writings of Swedenborg. It is not esoteric, technical, or difficult to understand. It required no prerequisites of specialized knowledge.

If you exclude the possibility of substantive dualism, then you are compelled by your logic to exclude from reality God and the spiritual world, or, which amounts to the same, to wait for proof by the natural senses, something which will never arrive in science (for reasons to be discussed below).

The scientists who created and developed science saw this quite simply and clearly. The great minds who left us the rich literature read by the generations on this planet also saw it clearly and obviously. God exists, God is real, God is Omniscient and Omnipotent and Infinite, God is the First Cause and the permanent cause of all events. And to deny this is not rational but foolish. The builders of science did not see God as material but spiritual. And so they clearly saw the rationality and reality of dualism. There must be two separate universes or levels of existence. They called this difference by the constitutive "substance" or sphere of the two realities. The physical reality or universe with its space-time-matter continuum had its own constitutive substance called "matter" which includes energy fields in time-space. The spiritual reality or universe had its constitutive substance called "spirit" which includes God, love, and truth. This "substantive dualism" was rational, was reality to them.

When Einstein talked of God, he saw that it is not rational to say that the natural universe created itself. From Aristotle to Einstein the scientists saw this simple rational truth: Something temporary or natural cannot create itself. Rather, the natural must be created by that which is not natural and temporary, that which is permanent or eternal, and is thus outside time and space acting to create the natural in time and space. This rational truth has been cut out of science by irrational prejudice, crippling its ability to understand reality. There must be a return to this truth through a scientific paradigm shift that ends this hurtful prejudice.

Of course, there was no common theory or explanation in science regarding the mechanism by which a rational God manages and operates a material world by means of the spiritual world.

Religion, philosophy, and theology did not offer scientific explanations of Divine Providence. At any rate, new theoretical and methodological developments in science must occur within science itself, not in some outside area or forum. All work in science is from itself and through itself. Scientists within science must bring forth Swedenborg's concepts and methods of proof if these dualist concepts are going to become part of science as a whole. My work in defining and establishing dualist concepts illustrates this possibility since I am creating scientific and theoretical justifications for substantive dualism within the science of psychology, which is my area of training. Another instance of applying Swedenborgian concepts to current science is the work of physicist Ian Thompson found on his Theistic Science Web site.

Anyone reading Swedenborg can immediately see that he writes and does normal science because he was a great scientist motivated intellectually all his life to bring forth rational explanations for understanding the operation of Divine Providence, that is, the rational description of the mechanisms God creates and uses to operate the two universes. God is infinite, Human, rational, and loving. Therefore He has a plan, a goal, a method--all of which are rational and good. This is the rational description that Swedenborg gives in his Writings. He also supports it extensively with empirical and sensual observations he makes in the dual mode, given that he had conscious dual perception. His notes and observations were gathered from careful note taking over a period of 25 years of daily "visits" to the spiritual world. His theoretical integration of all this data amounts to a stupendous edifice of scientific rationality.

The conclusion to this Introduction is this:

First, it can be shown that substantive dualism (spiritual-natural) is a rational concept in science. Second, that spiritual is defined as that which is God or in God. Third, that God is therefore a rational concept. Finally, that science is prejudiced and irrational when it excludes God from itself.

The implication is that science will not continue for long in this prejudiced and negative state. Once it is accepted and taught in science that God is a rational concept and is at the very foundations of reality, then we shall see the flourishing of theistic science.

The claim of materialistic science to rationality is remindful of the non-existent emperor's clothes in the well known children's story. The end of the mass delusion came when an innocent child with simplistic thinking cried out that the emperor had no clothes on. Implicit in the story is the fact that everyone had to accept the child's conclusion. It's the acceptance of truth or reality that puts an end to delusion. In the science I was raised in and prepared for in my professional career, there was not the fundamental idea of substantive dualism. Materialism is monistic. Rationality and intelligence are obviously not materialistic and so it was necessary to deny their real existence. Thus the real existence of the human mind as an immortal spirit was wrongfully denied. Our loves, feelings, or affections, along with the human consciousness they give us, were thrown into a conceptual garbage bin called "pseudophenomena." or sometimes "epiphenemena" and "emergent realities." This collection of unreal items includes God, conscience, consciousness, heaven, hell, afterlife, revelation, spiritual wisdom, Divine Love, and absolute truth. And yet these spiritual concepts are the human things that sets us apart from the physical world. We are born dual citizens in a dual world, part of us temporary, part eternal. It is the spiritual part within the temporary physical that is actually the conscious and immortal spirit or self. Swedenborg has described the scientific process by which this dual existence is carried out from birth onward.

Materialistic science that denies this dual status robs us of our true human-ness, which is to be a rational being acting from loving purposes. This is how God is rational--He acts from loving purposes to create a rational reality for immortal human beings. The removal of our human-ness from the universe, which science today has falsely forced on us, goes hand in hand with the removal of the Divine from our conscience, consciousness, and worship or loyalty. Swedenborg shows how the human and the Divine are rationally and structurally interconnected.

The atheism of materialistic science is also the removal of rationality from human intelligence. The idea that a physical non-intelligent dead universe could give birth to itself and evolve to produce life and society is absolutely irrational and anti-rational, and yet it is the basis of all contemporary science. This anti-rational, anti-human idea has hijacked science. Up to the end of the 19th century scientists clearly saw and understood that the universe is rational not from itself but from God. This is substantive dualism. Only an intelligent person who is not part of or, who is not in the physical universe, could create it and oversee the numberless details of its evolution. The lawful order of the physical universe is a rationality that is imposed on it from outside, and is not part of it or in it.

The Big Bang Myth and the Evolution Myth freeze up our human intelligence, making it appear that the anti-rational is rational, and that the rational is irrational. What a tragedy for humankind as long as this inversion lasts. Science is upside down and needs quickly to turn itself right side up again. Then at last will science be truly of service to humankind without injury or prejudice.

The intelligent super being that pre-exists the universe and creates it, must rationally be (1) infinitely intelligent and (2) infinitely powerful. This person is God who has revealed Himself as loving, indeed, as Love Itself. That God is Human is obvious since rationality and love define humanness, as Swedenborg argues. Therefore God is appropriately called by Swedenborg "the Divine Human."

The word "dualism" is used in different ways that do not agree with each other. Materialistic scientists cite dualism in the context of the history of scientific ideas. In my field of psychology, several versions of dualism are kept track of, beginning with the Greek philosophers. However, since materialism does not allow two types of existence, the idea of dualism has been stripped by them of all reality and rationality. Dualism has been turned into a "pseudo-phenomenon" (pseudo=non-existent or not real)  and lumped together with consciousness, awareness, intuition, and mind, all of which are considered 'pseudo' or unreal. There is even the idea of "emerging" awareness, that is, a consciousness formed out of matter and space--brain cell activity patterned by experiential input, becomes so complex that it gives rise to a new phenomenon called consciousness. This consciousness is no longer material in substance but "emergent."

But this notion is not a rational idea since out of matter can only come matter, and the majority of scientists reject the emergent consciousness idea. To say that something emerges from matter that is no longer matter itself, is not rational. The only idea that fits with rationality is to say that two types of stuff exist, and a separate universe is made out each type of stuff. The physical world is made out of the material stuff while the spiritual world is made out of the spiritual stuff. Material stuff includes atoms, space (or "ether-filled space"), energy, and time. Spiritual stuff includes life, love, truth, rationality, and freedom.

We are brought up in materialistic thinking so much that we sense some resistance to the idea that love or truth is made of spiritual substance or stuff in the sense that a rock or our brain is made of physical matter or stuff. We think of love as a feeling and of truth as a type of idea or logic. Feelings and ideas are ordinarily thought of materialistically. People say that the brain is made of atoms, electrons, cells, and protein fibers. But of the mind they know not what it is made of. They think that it's just something the brain does when it is activated. This is like the "emergent" awareness idea mentioned above.

Not having a rational idea or definition of the mind, most people--scientists and non-scientists alike, equate the brain and the mind. This pressure to equate them is reinforced by contingency observations or correlations between chemicals introduced into the body (brain) followed by mental changes. The mental changes are attributed to the chemicals in the brain.

But this is only an observational correlation, not a cause-effect relation.  Unsuspected to them is the rational explanation: mind is spiritual stuff and exists in the spiritual world; brain is physical stuff and exists in the natural world. The two then act together in accordance with the laws of natural-spiritual correspondence. Sometimes this idea of Swedenborg is likened to Malherbe's theory of "occasionalism" or some other theory of dualism. but Swedenborg is the only thinker who defined dualism as substantive. Before Swedenborg no one in science or philosophy conceived of the idea of a spiritual world and that the mind exists in it.

The dual universe was known to the early generations living in the most ancient times on this earth. Swedenborg met these people in the spiritual world where every person awakens when the physical body turns into a corpse and the connection to the mind or spirit is no longer functional. Materialist science automatically laughs, mocks, and discounts Swedenborg's Writings. And yet he offers evidential and observational proof that there is God, that there is a spiritual world, that humans are immortal and continue life in the so-called "hereafter." His careful observations in thousands of deaths or "transitions" show that the period of transition takes about 36 hours. Once this becomes known and understood, it is easy to see the obvious, like the child in the emperor's story, that science has no rationality since it denies the reality of the spiritual world. Neither can science take the position that the spiritual is spiritual, and the natural is natural, and science is about the natural. For part of the idea of the spiritual is that it causes the natural. Science cannot ignore the causes of the natural. Both the natural and the spiritual form one reality, and science is about the description and understanding of reality.

If God and the afterlife are real entities and states, then they must be part of a rational science.

It is incorrect to say that since God is a religious matter it is therefore not part of science. If God is part of reality then God is a scientific issue. If the afterlife is real then it is a scientific issue. All events and states of reality are issues for science. There is a contradictory attitude many scientists show when they say that they are materialists in their writings, lectures, offices, classrooms, and labs, but dualists when studying the Bible or worshipping in a congregation or teaching their child to say a bed time prayer. This contradictory attitude is not rational. To say that these two issues can be logically separated is not a rational statement. All reality must be part of science if science is to be rational.

One intriguing question remains:

Why does science seem rational if it isn't, and how can it create a complex technological civilization with its irrational views?

The answer is given by Swedenborg: The wonderful inventions of science, the marvels of engineering, the achievements of economics and jurisprudence, the victories of medicine, and the complicated aesthetics of art are not to be attributed to the intelligence of humans but to the intelligence of God. These wonderful achievements of civilization cannot be attributed to the rationality of the builders, inventors, and managers. Rather, these achievements were accomplished despite the people's irrationality. God brings out creation's Human purposes of love and truth and nothing can stand in the total and complete omnipotence of God's activity in the universe. But there has been one great awesome failure on the part of the human race: the irrationality that people won't give up is robbing them from eternal life in the true human state called celestial inhabitations. Swedenborg reports a sad statistics about the thousands that pass on every day into the spiritual world from this planet. He was given the opportunity to monitor the passing on process in the case of thousands of individuals over a 25-year period of daily observation. The period of preparation in the spiritual world can last anywhere from one day to several months, as measured by the alternating day-night periodicity that recent arrivals experience in that state. When the preparation period is completed, the individual ends up in a celestial human state or in an infernal sub-human state. This is called the "second death" and is a permanent state. The sad part is that more individuals from this earth end up in the infernal state than in the heavenly state, and this is true of all religions and races.

While God exerts complete and full control over every event or detail in existence, the process of developing an individual born on an earth from pre-human to human, inherently involves the individual's freedom of choice in ordinary matters of living. God created humans in this way because the true human state called celestial or angelic, cannot be created directly solely from God. If this had been possible in God's scheme, humans would have been created ready for heaven and the natural world would not have been necessary. But since this was not possible, given the inherent requirements of being celestial, God created a nursery for heaven called Earths in the Universe--the title of one of Swedenborg's Writings. A physical body suitable for life on some natural earth is provided for each human spirit (or soul) born there. This spirit has a spirit-body which lives in the spiritual world but is tied by correspondence to the physical body. The shape and form of the spirit-body is the same as the physical body, but it is constructed of stuff from the spiritual sun, and the physical body is constructed of stuff from the natural sun. God then breaks the connection when the physical body ceases its functions, and the spirit now awakens to full consciousness into the spiritual world where it continues its life to eternity, either as an angel or as a devil.

God strives actively and mightily with each individual's development, minute by minute, and second by second, guiding and bending and providing all that is necessary in terms of experiences, events, and environments. You can see why God continues to evolve civilization, taking care of the needs of the generations, in a direction of health and growth, despite the lack of rationality of the people. If it were left up to the people, hell would instantly break loose on the entire earth in the first hours and days of being abandoned by the Divine Providence. Such is the irrationality and selfishness of humans from natural heredity, inborn tendency, and corporeal preference. It is only through the process of regeneration that pre-humans born on earth can turn into eternal angels in heaven. When this process of regeneration is resisted by an  individual, the pre-human turns into a sub-human which is an infernal devil incapable of reason, self-control, or goodness of any kind. Swedenborg reports details about life in "the hells" and it is indeed horrible and terrifying. Organized in levels of badness, from top to bottom, the societies of hell are inhabited by people who share common delusions and ferocities or savageries. The horrible part is how they take turn torturing each other with their fantasies and preferred ferocities. And when some of these get into the idea that they would like to visit the celestial cities, the guards (who are all angels and good spirits) arrange for it.

This process of visitation is accomplished by a change of mental state, as all "travel" takes place that way in the spiritual world where space, place, and time are merely external sensual projections or appearances of the inner mental state. As soon as they are brought near the celestial level of human existence in their mind--a capacity which can never be destroyed or lost, they begin to experience interior agony that drives them back instantly, or as Swedenborg describes it, they "cast themselves down." Hell and heaven are both self-imposed states of life. The way we live, how much we honor our conscience, how open we are to truth for the sake of love--these choices we make on a minute by minute basis as we grow and live, these are the determinants of the form of our spirit-body. When we pass on, this form then appears to other spirits as angelic or infernal. Swedenborg describes the beauty and handsomeness of people's spirit-body when in an angelic state, and the monstrosities and ugliness of the spirit-body when in an infernal state. The appearance of the spirit-body always reflects precisely the type of feelings and thoughts the spirit has.

The Divine Human imposes a rationality on the dual universe and manages its details continuously, instant by instant, forever. This Divine Providence is exercised in every detail of the physical and spiritual (or mental) worlds. Its reality is kept outside the view of materialistic thinking or observation so that no materialistic sensual proof is possible of God's omnipresent actions and how every detail (without exception) is fully and totally controlled by Him. This provision or Divine Providence, is maintained by God out of love for the human race. The materialist philosophy or persuasion strives to reject this rational concept.  The aversion is due to a false or delusional sense of the self.  When we think with materialist thoughts only, we do not want to believe that God manages every moment and detail of our inner and outer life and the world. This thought is threatening to the materialist level of self-consciousness.  We imagine that we would lose all motivation for life and would turn into hapless zombies having no pleasure or delight, if God is the real-time cause of each thought, feeling, or act we perform.

But when we become a dualist thinker it is quite safe and necessary to see rationally and empirically that God intervenes and is present in all details of one's feeling, thinking, doing, and existing. This difference is discussed in another article under the contrast of sensual vs. rational consciousness--see here.

Swedenborg's Uniqueness

There is a long standing idea in human history which says that the individual is a micro-cosmos. Some of the drawings of ancient authors preserved today show their conception of the world drawn in the shape of the human body. This idea fell in disrepute with the rise of modern science which showed that the physical universe is round and made of balls of matter arranged in orbits and clumps, not at all like the shape of the human body.

Some diehards continued to picture human bodies in the sky, on the theory that star formations arrange themselves in human form and the objects humans use, such as a sword or shield. Animal shapes were also seen such as a crab or the head of a steer. However this theory also became disreputable since the forces that shaped planetary clumps and orbits were believed to be non-human, non-spiritual, non-historical, but just chemical, thermodynamic, and gravitational. In order to allow for human-related star formations, materialistic scientists would first have to change their basic assumption about the dual universe, which they are not ready to do.

There was however one notable exception, namely, a reputed scientist who was willing to practice his science in a dualist mode. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) left behind about 50 books which he wrote in Neo-Latin and in which he systematically, and with exceptional coherence, wrote out a completely consistent, rational account of a dualist science, using for this purpose two sources of data: the totality of modern science as known in the 18th century, and his own unique and extraordinary perceptual capacities in the dualist mode of perception.

It is important to realize that Swedenborg CONFIRMED ALL HIS THEORIES WITH OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE. This feature is what makes him unique in the annals of the planet's authors on the spiritual. Swedenborg combines rationality, science, and spiritual perception. Nothing of science is wanted in his explanations of the universe and God. Nothing of rationality is wanted, not a single error of thinking can be found in his 50 volumes of writings. No speculation or hypothetical theory can be found in any of his books, articles, and letters. Every detail is an accurate description of his perceptions, his observations, his note taking, his interviews with thousands of individuals "in the spiritual world" all of whom had formerly lived on this or some other planet.

An additional unique feature of Swedenborg is that he shows the precise connection between his observations and the Bible. He painstakingly analyzes hundreds of chapters throughout the Old and New Testaments, verse by verse, stopping on every phrase and word, and even letter or punctuation. He gives rational scientific meanings to much of the Bible that is entirely obscure, meaningless, and even gross and offensive to the gentle and polite spirit. He fully demonstrates that the Bible is a textbook of spiritual psychology written in the style of the ancients by means of correspondences. Every name, place, object, number, or historical detail has a dual significance: one natural or historical, the other spiritual or celestial.

Of course, the Bible is many things to many people. Swedenborg reaffirms and proves that the Bible is also an accurate historical record, wherever it deals with people, places, and events, but not the visionary or prophetic portions which are correspondential rather than historical. But what's amazing beyond bounds is that these historical details are also unsuspected scientific details about the human mind and its development or regeneration. The two do not contradict each other but lay close to each other, one sense within the other. That is, within every historical detail found in the Bible--time, number, place, person, animal, object, event, and so on, there is a scientific detail which he calls "the underlying spiritual sense." When you consider that the books of the Bible were written independently by dozens of writers (or prophets) over more than 20 centuries, it is astonishing to be shown beyond doubt that the historical details as they unfold from Abraham to Jesus, all hang together in their underlying spiritual sense into a rational developmental taxonomy of the human mind, and especially, the steps we must go through to be regenerated. This is the science of the Bible, unknown to all except those who learn the laws of correspondence from Swedenborg. (For an interesting account of this feature, see the little work by John Bigelow, the founder of the New York Public Library, which he titled "The Bible That Was Lost & Is Found"-- still listed by bookstores today--see for example's listing here. For online articles giving a contemporary perspective on many Swedenborg topics and issues--see the New Church Issues Database.)

No one in the history of books has ever suspected or imagined that the Bible is a scientific textbook of spiritual psychology. Swedenborg did not discover this himself--it was revealed to him. But the revelation he received was vastly superior to any of the previous revelations given to the writers or prophets of the Bible books. Their revelations were Divine and perfect, but their understanding of what was revealed was far from rational, far from scientific. They had their visions, they observed the events in total obscurity of understanding, they wrote down the words that came into their mind, but without understanding the visionary language. In amazing contrast Swedenborg was fully conscious and fully rational all the time during his spiritual experiences. This is why I call it his "travels" rather than his visions. Besides this, Swedenborg's daily visits to the spiritual world extended over a continuous non-stop period of 25 years. Also, Swedenborg was a modern man, a scientist steeped in the rational and the empirical method, a respected scientist and inventor, who could not write a single thing that was merely hypothetical from his imagination but always had to be guided by empirical reality, scientific rationality, and intellectual understanding. He was thus uniquely qualified to remain a man of science even though he worshipped devoutly the God of the Bible and considered every letter and tittle of God's Word as most holy.

Though little known in the general public, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1771) has had a deep, underlying influence on many key authors and thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries. This influence has been documented by many studies on such key figures as Kant, Blake, Coleridge, Henry James Sr., Helen Keller, Suzuki, Milosz, and so on, the list is amazingly impressive for a name that is totally excluded from academic textbooks in my generation. (See some of my entries on spiritual psychology and science in the Swedenborg Glossary. Web sites offering biographies, critical evaluations, and contemporary articles on Swedenborg are linked on my Swedenborg Home Page Hawaii. An article I wrote and published recently in New Philosophy deals with the objections people have raised to Swedenborg and how we can answer them--see a copy of it here.)

Swedenborg's books systematically cover all aspects and fields of science of his day. He starts with physics and astronomy, where he is credited as the first modern statement of the nebular hypothesis of planetary formation. Swedenborg's Principia differs from Newton's, some of whose public lectures he attended at one time, in that Newton, like Leibniz or Einstein or Darwin, was happy to begin his treatise with a pious declaration of his admiration for God's grand work which he had the privilege of partially unraveling. God however never reappeared as part of the theory. Swedenborg was unique among reputable scientists in retaining God as an explanatory concept not merely in creation but in every event, phenomenon, or dynamic relationship. No scientist has ever attempted such a feat. And Swedenborg was fully successful in his work.

Today, many scientists still continue the old tradition of separating their science from their spiritual worship and beliefs in God. On Saturdays or Sundays, God is there, as in the Preface or the Introduction of the scientific works of previous centuries. But during the week, or in the body of the scientific work, God makes no direct, conscious appearance. The assumption is that "God is watching us....from a distance" as one popular song of the 1990s puts it so explicitly.

Swedenborg had an amazing spread and depth of knowledge as a general scientist and literary figure, and he was a voluminous author whose writings brought him fame and recognition in many fields of science and engineering throughout Europe. Documentation by Swedenborgian scholars include specific and novel contributions he made in metallurgy, crystallography, naval engineering, anatomy, psychology, philosophy, science education, monetary legislation, and Bible exegesis, to name but a few.

Why then has he been excluded from the standard academic history of these fields?

Because he refused to tow the line of materialistic science and engineering. He did not content himself to merely acknowledge God in the Preface and in the Epilogue, but created a place for God in science. His style would not be of deep scientific interest if he had merely contented himself with pious declarations of God's work or God's omnipotence and omniscience, or even, God's intervention in history and the miraculous acts of Divine Providence. This was done by some writers, and can still be seen today by some scientists or doctors. But Swedenborg went far beyond this.

Swedenborg's Scientific Empiricism

His physics and astronomy, his chemistry and theology, his anatomy and psychology, his history and anthropology, are all written from a consistent dualist position. He never fails to follow these three cardinal empirical principles of dualist science:

1. All natural phenomena are effects, while their causes are spiritual
2. Every function or property must have a substance within which to operate
3. There must be no breaks in scientific accounts at any level of the cause-effect chain of phenomena, beginning with the Divine and ending with the ultimates of events--atomic, historic, or mental

The first principle says that natural events such as the formation of planets, building of a road, winning a war, getting sick from a virus, or speaking a sentence, are all consequences of spiritual events. Spiritual events have their own laws of occurrence governed by Divine Providence. But spiritual events are properties of the human mind. Therefore, the causes of all natural phenomena are related to human qualities. This is the ultimate and true humanism--the idea that everything that exists is for the sake of or on account of the human race and its development. Also, since God is the only true Human (as we are images of Him) anything that God creates must be related to His Humanness, and therefore to ours. Swedenborg defines the human as that which acts rationally from love. When individuals act irrationally from lust (self-love), they are not yet human but only have the potential to become human.

The second principle says that there must be a spiritual world, as counterpart to the natural world in order for cause-effect relations to exist between spiritual events and natural events. Similarly, the mind and its functions of thinking rationally and feeling motives for action, cannot be carried out without anatomical organs. Swedenborg referred to the will and the understanding as the two lives humans have. The understanding or cognitive life is carried out by the cognitive organ in the mind just as respiration in the body is carried out by the lungs. The will or affective life is carried out by the affective organ in the mind just as the blood circulation in the body is carried out by the heart and blood vessels.

The third principle says that scientific theories must be rational, in addition to being empirical, so that scientific explanations should not have unexplained gaps. Scientists as a rule have ignored this principle, but not Swedenborg. His scientific explanations always looked to the entire context of the chain of being, from the observed phenomenon all the way to God. To give a rational account of why phosphorous burns, the scientist must show how chemical reactions are governed by spiritual laws of correspondence as revealed by God and how the burning of the phosphorous contributes to God's Human purposes.

Quoting from Swedenborg's DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (DLW)


290. The sun of the spiritual world was treated of in Part Second of this work, and the following propositions were there established:--Divine Love and Divine Wisdom appear in the spiritual world as a sun (n. 83--88). Spiritual heat and spiritual light go forth from that sun (n. 89-92). That sun is not God, but is a Proceeding from the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom of God-Man; so also are the heat and light from that sun (n. 93--98). The sun of the spiritual world is at a middle altitude, and appears far off from the angels like the sun of the natural world from men (n. 103-107).

In the spiritual world the east is where the Lord appears as a sun, and from that the other quarters are determined (n. 119-123, 125--1-28). Angels turn their faces constantly to the Lord as a sum (n. 129-134, 135-139). The Lord created the universe and all things thereof by means of the sun, which is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom (n. 151-156). The sun of the natural world is mere fire, and nature, which derives its origin from that sun, is consequently dead; and the sun of the natural world was created in order that the work of creation might completed and finished (n. 157-162). Without a double sun, one living and the other dead, no creation is possible (n. 163--166).

321. It should be known that the spiritual world is in external appearance, wholly like the natural world. Lands, mountains, hills, Valleys, plains, fields, lakes, rivers, springs of water are to be seen there, as in the natural world; thus all things belonging to the mineral kingdom. Paradises, gardens, groves, woods, and in them trees and shrubs of all kinds bearing fruit and seeds; also plants, flowers, herbs, and grasses are to be seen there; thus all things pertaining to the vegetable kingdom. There are also to be seen there, beasts, birds, and fishes of every kind-; thus all things pertaining to the animal kingdom. Man there is an angel or spirit. This is premised that it may be known that the universe of the spiritual world is wholly like the universe of the natural world, with this difference only, that things in the spiritual world are not fixed and settled like those in the natural world, because in the spiritual world nothing is natural but every thing is spiritual.

340. (3) There is unceasing influx out of the spiritual world into the natural world. He who does not know that there is a spiritual world, or that it is distinct from the natural world, as what is prior is distinct from what is subsequent, or as cause from the thing caused, can have no knowledge of this influx. This is the reason why those who have written on the origin of plants and animals could not do otherwise than ascribe that origin to nature; or if to God, then in the sense that God had implanted in nature from the beginning a power to produce such things, --not knowing that no power has been implanted in nature, since nature, in herself, is dead, and contributes no more to the production of these things than a tool does, for instance, to the work of a mechanic, the tool acting only as it is continually moved. It is the spiritual, deriving its origin from the sun where the Lord is, and proceeding to the outmosts of nature that produces the forms of plants and animals, exhibiting the marvels that exist in both, and filling the forms with matters from the earth, that they may become fixed and enduring.

But because it is now known that there is a spiritual world, and that the spiritual is from the spiritual sun, in which the Lord is and which is from the Lord, and that the spiritual is what impels nature to act, as what is living impels what is dead, also that like things exist in the spiritual world as in the natural world, it can now be seen that plants have had their existence only from the Lord though that world, and through that world they have perpetual existence. Thus there is unceasing influx from the spiritual world into the natural. That this is so will be abundantly corroborated in the next chapter. Noxious things are produced on earth through influx from hell, by the same law of permission whereby evils themselves from hell flow into men. This law will be set forth in the Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Providence.

These principles show Swedenborg's empiricism and honesty. He was not content to merely make affirmations that spiritual forces can influence natural events. His physics and astronomy have no gaps and are connected to his physiology, neurology, and theology. His scientific dualism is complete and total, empirical and rational, spiritual and natural. Substances emanate from the Divine through the sun of the spiritual world -- Swedenborg describes the spiritual elements as Divine Good and Divine Truth -- and by a process of externalization, the light (or truth) and heat (or love) streaming from the spiritual sun transform themselves into "atmospheres" or substances of various degrees of condensation of spiritual matter (that is, love and truth), until it becomes visible to our experience as ether-filled space, gravity, and atomic particles. Within this chain of events is placed the human race for whose sake or purpose, all the rest is. Every person is born a dual citizen, with a physical body which is connected by correspondence to a mental or spiritual body called spirit or mind. The relation of good and truth as building blocks is discussed in this article.

The mind-body (or spirit) and the physical body have the same shape or form but they are made of different substance. The physical body is made of matter but the mind-body (or spirit) is made of spiritual substance. The physical body located in the natural world is tied correspondentially to the spirit-body located in the spiritual world. When the physical body loses its ability to function, the spirit-body is released from correspondential attachment to it. At that instant it appears to us that we "awaken" from some sleep state and find ourselves conscious in the spiritual body and carry on our biographies in that world. This is the world in which Swedenborg was able to be conscious while still being attached to his physical body and conscious in it. This fully awakened dual consciousness is what's absolutely unique about Swedenborg. What a boon this was to the human race! Here is an individual who was able to bring to our attention the facts of our full reality. Never before has such a vision been given by God to the human race.

Human growth can now be understood in minute detail, including thinking and feeling, and the various personality struggles we live through, their etiology and character being determined by spiritual events relating to each person's biography or destiny.

Swedenborg is the scientist's scientist! In unique and amazingly consistent and elegant accounts, he outlines the human forces that create crystals in the matrix of the earth as well as the forces of human heredity that create character weaknesses or strengths in individuals. You can see from this brief description that there is not yet a place for Swedenborg's writings in today's science. But in my view, a new dualist paradigm is now being born in science.

Swedenborg's Dualist Perception

There is a second aspect to Swedenborg which is even more ostracized in the halls of materialistic science today, namely his claims to the extraordinary ability to perceive in a dualist mode, that is, being conscious simultaneously in both the natural and the spiritual world. This ability allowed him to fill volumes of daily observations over a 25-year period, from age 57 to 83, the time of his passing on. These diaries represent his cumulative eyewitness accounts of his geographic exploration of the spiritual world which he had theorized about in his earlier scientific works before he acquired dual perception or consciousness.

You can see why Swedenborg's science is excluded from today's materialistic, unimodal science. No one who claims to be able to talk to God and Aristotle, the Virgin Mary and Newton, as Swedenborg claims in all his works written after age 57, can expect to get a hearing in academic textbooks or at scientific conferences. Swedenborg predicted that his later works on the spiritual world would be ostracized for quite some time by scientists, along with his earlier scientific works, which he felt were entirely consistent and in agreement with his new source of empirical data input. He saw his earlier theoretical works confirmed in his new empirical data, not available to him before age 57. More than that, Swedenborg was now able to elaborate and expand the details of his accounts, so that we today, as we read his entire account, are able to be hugely impressed by its consistency, rationality, and agreement with both science and theology as known in universal human experience.

Returning to the idea of the human individual being a micro-cosmos, Swedenborg's eyewitness accounts actually confirm that the shape of the spiritual world is that of the human anatomy. Spiritual world, not natural. The ancient, pre-modern mind did indeed represent the physical universe as human, as does today, the so-called postmodern movement , which assumes for instance, that earth is alive! The most ancient view was possibly more correct in this sense than the postmodern view, because the ancients represented the spiritual through the natural. I don't think the postmodern movement does that, as it seems to take the view that material things are spiritually alive. This view devolved in history when the Golden Age of spiritual perception ended with the most ancients, and was replaced by more and more materialistic views. Eventually it came to be believed that the physical universe is of a human shape, but this pre-modern view became untenable under the march of modern science. It was clear that the physical universe was not in the shape of the human body. But what about the spiritual world?

Swedenborg was given the ability to perceive the shape of the spiritual world, confirming that it is human in every anatomical detail. This makes rational sense since the spiritual world in Swedenborg's writings is defined as the world of humanity's communal mind. At birth, a unique spirit or mind is Divinely created within the communal mind of the race, that is, in the spiritual world. This spirit or mind is immortal and, as a person, grows forever in accordance with spiritual laws that can be discovered through rational and observational analysis. The mind grows in correspondential attachment to the physical body through experiences that result from two simultaneous sources, one inner from the spiritual world into the mind, the other external, from the physical world into the senses and brain. Lecture notes by a contemporary Swedenborg scholar, Hugo Lj. Odhner, summarizing Swedenborg's focus on the human mind as organic, is available in these notes of his lectures.

Afflux and Influx: The Basis of Experience

In my field of scientific (materialistic or "monist") psychology today there is an official declaration of denial of the very basis of human experience and growth: namely, the denial of the substantiality or organic character of cognitive and affective activities. In other words, the basis of humanness which is to feel and think with conscious awareness, is not recognized as a reality of its own. Instead, their reality is secondary or emergent from the physical brain's activity. Thoughts do not have an existence of their own but are derived from the brain. Evidence for this belief is given by pointing the correlation between brain and thinking. When the brain is impaired or injured, thinking is impaired or made impossible in coma patients for instance. Or if chemical imbalance in the brain is corrected for, or if an injury is surgically repaired, thinking was impaired before, now is restored to normalcy. Further, if we ingest alcohol or psychotropic drug our thinking quickly changes in response to the altering of the brain's chemistry. And so on. These correlational observations are then taken to support the cause-effect theory by which the brain causes the thinking or its thoughts.

A similar correlational argumentation process can be made for the brain-body complex and their effects on our feelings, moods, and mental needs. These arguments clearly violate a well known and respected principle in science: Correlational evidence cannot prove a causative relation. There is therefore NO EVIDENCE for the theory that brain causes the mind. Instead there is rational proof and observational evidence given by Swedenborg for the substantive organic character of our cognitive and affective "organs" that make up the mind. Thoughts and feelings are not from the brain but from the mind and in the mind. Thoughts and feelings are never from the brain or in the brain. It is impossible for thoughts to be in the brain because the brain is physical in time-space, while thoughts are spiritual and not in time-space. Thoughts and feelings are mental realities, and for reality to be reality, they MUST have an organic form or substance. The alternative is that thoughts are not real on their own but emergent from the brain, in which case they are pseudo-phenomena wholly caused by and dependent on the brain. But as Swedenborg shows, one can rationally describe the correlational activity of the mind and brain through the scientific laws of correspondence between all natural and spiritual events. The rationality of this explanation is evident when you consider that the same explanation is used for the mind-brain connectivity as for all natural events, whether it's the activity in the sun or that of a sperm impregnating an ovum.

The mind cannot rationally be considered only a pseudo-phenomenon of the actions of the brain. Thoughts cannot merely be electro-physiological activity of neural cells. Thoughts and feelings cannot be built up by nothing but the cumulative action of physico-chemical organs. Swedenborg laid aside this unrealistic view and argued systematically and rationally against it, for years prior to his direct perceptual entry into the spiritual world, as evidenced in his books on physics, chemistry, and biology. His rationally derived explanations were eventually confirmed by his direct observations when he acquired dual perception at age 57. He was thus able to confirm by much systematic observation and experiment that physical sensory input from the natural environment was met in the brain's tiny corpuscles (or "little brains") by simultaneous interior input from the spiritual world into the mind's organs. The human mind is called "spirit" because its constituent organs are made of spiritual substances from the sun of the spiritual world. There is nothing in the mind that can be constructed of physical matter. The function or activity of the mind is carried out by two biological receptor organs called the will (affective) and the understanding (cognitive).

The mind in the spiritual world appears as a person in a spirit-body of which the physical body is a replication constructed with physical matter. The spirit-body (or mind) is connected to the physical by the principles of correspondence that govern all natural-spiritual connections. The laws of correspondence dictate what action in the brain will co-occur with what action in the mind. The two have independent origins acting together according to rational laws. They are conditionally necessary for each other while the physical body is alive. Information from and about the physical world is called afflux, and it is met by information from the spiritual world, called influx. Together they produce conscious experience and personality growth in the human mind from birth to the death of the physical body. Swedenborg observed thousands of individuals passing on at the death of the physical body, a process that is completed in about 36 hours following the death of the brain. The individual then awakens in a spiritual body which is permanent, and which appears in all respects to be like the physical model now laid aside as a mere decomposing corpse. This spiritual body is youthful looking and healthy, and is capable of functioning far better than the physical body. Swedenborg was able to confirm this  from direct experience and by interviews from "recent arrivals" in the spiritual world. He reports that the sensations, discriminations, language, and thoughts of the spirit-body are far superior in efficiency, intensity, purity, and excellence to what we experience while still bound to the physical body. What a wonderful prospect! However, this excellence does not last long--seldom more than just a few weeks or months, for those who are downward bound. Those who become infernal or sub-human quickly lose this excellence as they sink more and more into their fantasies and delusional lusts. Their spirit-body then takes on deformed appearances and functions as a reflection of the character of thoughts and feelings they hang on to no matter what. For without these dysfunctional thoughts and feelings it appears to them that they are disappearing from existence. They cannot tolerate the reality of healthy thoughts and feelings as they feel tortured by them from their inmost being.

The Divine works ceaselessly to regenerate every individual born on some earth. Divine laws govern the individual's mental or spiritual development through correspondential interactions. Events in the physical environment are arranged and controlled by Divine activity and so are the events in the spiritual environment of the individual. The two are brought together by the Divine laws so they can co-act and produce a rationally cumulative plan or goal. This Divine goal is the regeneration of the individual's mind which is born abnormal due to heredity.

The regenerated mind, spirit, or human character, is the spirit-body that lives to eternity in the celestial state of human perfection. Swedenborg gives detailed travelogues of the happy and fulfilling life that exists in the many heavenly societies he visited. But the unregenerated mind or spirit has a distorted character built on fantasy and delusion and lives as an infernal individual in the lowest state of human life. Swedenborg's travelogues in the numerous hellish societies are both captivating and horrifying. An individual's biography or cumulative experiences are therefore marked by an intense focus and control by the Divine so as to maximize the individual's opportunity to be regenerated. And yet omnipotence cannot be used to compel or force regeneration. If the Divine were to render the inherited diseased character dysfunctional and were to impose a new character by omnipotence, the individual would no longer feel like a person but like a zombie being controlled externally by force. This requirement of human happiness for as-of self freedom (see below) prevents God from forcefully regenerating those who resist the Divine Psychotherapy. Even life in hell is closer to being human than being a zombie. Hence the sad statistics Swedenborg reports that people born on this earth enter the spiritual world and are unprepared and unable to live in the celestial state of their mind.

The complex and rational progress of this Divine psychotherapy is fully described in the Bible when its correspondential language is "decoded." Swedenborg's great and unique mission from God was to receive, understand, and explain this code known to the ancients as the "Science of Correspondences." Correspondences were known to the earliest civilizations on this earth called by Swedenborg the Most Ancient Church or the Adamic Church. In the course of time this civilization corrupted itself and began misusing the knowledge and power of correspondences, thereby making it impossible for them to be regenerated. Divine Providence then brought about a gradual loss of the knowledge of correspondence, and eventually a total loss.  No one had suspected that such a science had existed. No one suspected that this knowledge was contained in the language of revelations and prophetic visions. When the course of millennia and centuries brought about new and differently prepared civilizations, the time came when God once again gave back this spiritual knowledge through the experiences and consequent Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Now that God once again has revealed the Science of Correspondences, permission has been granted for the people born on this earth to "enter with the understanding into the mysteries of faith":

From Swedenborg's last work True Christian Religion (1771)

508. The sixth experience.

One day a magnificent church building appeared to me; it was square in plan with a roof like a crown, with arches above and a raised parapet running around. Its walls were all windows made of crystal, its door of a pearly substance. Inside on the south side towards the west there was a platform, on which the open Word lay at the right surrounded by a blaze of light, so bright as to spread round and light up the whole platform. In the middle of the church was a shrine with a curtain in front of it; but this was now raised and there stood a golden cherub with a sword which he brandished in all directions in his hand.

[2] When I caught sight of all this, as I meditated, the meaning of each of the details came flooding into my mind. The church meant the new church; the door of a pearly substance, entry into it; the windows of crystal the truths which enlighten it; the platform the priesthood and their preaching; the Word on it, open and lighting up the top of the platform, the revelation of its internal, or spiritual, sense; the shrine in the middle of the church the link of that church with the heaven of angels; the golden cherub there the Word in its literal sense; the sword brandished in his hand meant that this sense can be twisted in different ways, so long as it is made to refer to some truth. The lifting of the curtain in front of the cherub meant that now the Word was laid open.

[3] Later, when I got closer, I saw there was an inscription over the door: NOW IT IS PERMITTED. This meant that now it is permitted to enter with the understanding into the mysteries of faith. Seeing this inscription led me to think that it is extremely dangerous to enter with the understanding into the dogmas of faith which have been put together out of one's own intelligence and the falsities it produces, and even more so to seek to support them by quoting the Word. This has the effect of shutting off the understanding at the top and little by little also at the bottom, to such an extent that theology is not only disliked but actually wiped out, like the writing on a paper being destroyed by book-worms, or the wool of a piece of cloth by grubs. His understanding then concerns itself only with political affairs which affect his life in the country where he lives, and with civil affairs relating to his official duties, and with domestic affairs of his household; and in all of these he constantly embraces nature, being led by the enticement of its pleasures to love it, as an idolater does the golden image in his lap.

[4] Now since the dogmas of present-day Christian churches are put together not from the Word, but from people's own intelligence and the false ideas that come from that, and also by means of some ideas supported from the Word, for this reason the Lord's Divine providence has seen to it that among Roman Catholics the Word has been taken away from laymen, while among Protestants it remains open, though shut off by their frequent saying that the understanding must be kept in obedience to their faith.

[5] But in the new church the opposite happens; here it is permitted with the understanding to approach and penetrate all its secrets, and also to support them from the Word. The reason is that its doctrines are a series of truths revealed by the Lord through the Word; and proving them by rational argument causes the understanding to be opened up above more and more. This lifts it into the light enjoyed by the angels of heaven; and that light is in essence truth, and it makes the acknowledgment of the Lord as the God of heaven and earth shine out in all its glory. This is what the inscription 'NOW IT IS PERMITTED' over the door means; and the removal of the curtain of the shrine in front of the cherub has the same meaning. It is a rule in the new church that falsities shut off the understanding, and truths open it up.

[6] After this I saw what looked like a child overhead, holding a paper in his hand. As he approached me, he grew in size until he was a man of average height. He was an angel from the third heaven; all there look at a distance like children. When he reached me, he held the paper out to me. But since it was written in the rounded script customary in that heaven, I gave it back and asked them to expound the meaning of what was written on it in words I could comprehend in my thinking.


God's purpose in revealing the scientific knowledge by which He manages every detail of the universe is consistent with the very purpose of creation: namely, to multiply the nurseries of the planets that are the source of the heavenly populations. The more heaven's population grows the more perfect eternal life is for its inhabitants. This multiplication and aggrandizement of human happiness is God's loving plan and work of wisdom. The dualist science of the future, now in the making, receives its spiritual data from a knowledge of these revealed correspondences. The knowledge of correspondences is necessary for the regeneration of the human race.

It is most important for science to describe and understand the regeneration process. All the discoveries and inventions of science combined are hardly worth anything in comparison to the discovery and understanding of the laws of correspondences by which our mind is regenerated by God in proportion to our cooperation. The revealed or inspired Word of God was given to many human societies on this earth over the course of its history and development. The purpose of these "Scriptural" revelations is to give science the information it needs to describe and understand dualist reality and the laws of correspondence. Only in this way can individuals effectively be regenerated and be prepared for happiness in eternal life. This obviously ought to be the central purpose of research, education, and socialization practices. Nothing can be more important when you consider the stakes: eternal happiness as a true and beautiful human being living with those who are alike ("heaven") vs. endless unhappiness and deformities in a sub-human state living with others who are alike ("hell").

Can you think of something more important than a focus on this ultimate outcome?
email Leon James:

Discovering Spiritual Geography

Existence in the spiritual world is made sensual as experience through the laws of correspondences that model the natural appearances of our earlier temporary existence in the physical body. In other words, at "death" one assumes a life in a virtual reality environment in the spiritual world. Swedenborg's eyewitness reports over 27 years of daily dualist observations catalog this new immortal existence that we enjoy as "a spirit". When he was in a dual mode of consciousness, Swedenborg seemed to himself sensually walking around in a spirit-body, recognizably similar in appearance to his physical body, and being able to see and talk to others whom he met in that state, some of whom he had known as family or acquaintances in his native Sweden and travels, and some he knew of from history books. Quite understandably these people were amazed to see Swedenborg whom they perceived to be in an abnormal state, partly in the spiritual world and partly not. Swedenborg thus appeared to them as distinctly different from the others who had already departed from the physical body. He was in fact able to have dinner in company with others in Sweden even as he was simultaneously in company with spirits in the spiritual world. Such was his unique dualist state, never before allowed by Divine Providence.

Swedenborg was aware that he had been prepared by God since his early childhood to assume this role of modern science revelator, though he did not become sensually (observationally) conscious of the spiritual world until age 57. Until that time he had spent much intellectual effort in acquiring the entire heritage of philosophy and science up to his day. He developed a reputation in the literate world of Europe as a science writer who was able to succinctly summarize and integrate the knowledge and perspective of several fields of interest in those days--metallurgy, mining, crystallography, naval engineering, anatomy, physiology, theology, math education, economic legislation, and Bible exegesis. When he acquired dual consciousness he was able to extend his scientific contributions to areas that today are known as historical linguistics, archeology, anthropology, cognitive science, psycholinguistics, extra-terrestrial exploration, spiritual psychology, theistic science, medicine, religion, psychotherapy, human evolution, and others.

There is a question that poses itself quite obviously: Why was Swedenborg the only man in history who was allowed to acquire dual consciousness, and can others gain this ability?

Swedenborg explains that direct conscious communication with those who are in the spiritual world (sometimes called "spirit possession") is not allowed by God--not since the days of the New Testament events during which Jesus "cast out" evil spirits. At that time the human race was on the brink of total corruption so that no one could have been regenerated and prepared for heavenly life. People's motives were selfish, egotistical, cruel, and unwilling to have a change of character towards the revealed good and true from God in His Word. Instead falsities of religion and life kept individuals from being regenerated through truths they did not wish to receive. The fell into "dire persuasions" from which they were unwilling to depart. As a result, a new method of regeneration had to be provided by God. This was accomplished in two stages of mental evolution of the human race on earth. The first which lasted until the eighteenth century (1757 precisely), and the second after that now going on. Civilization on earth is in this second phase which is marked by the new revelation of the Science of Correspondences in the Writings of Swedenborg. Theistic science is now becoming the new method of regenerating the human race. Swedenborg's Writings contain the data and rationale for theistic science--see this article. Swedenborg was given the unique privilege for dualist consciousness that he may sensually and experimentally gather the evidence that constitutes the basis for a new theistic science.

During Swedenborg's travels through the spiritual world or state, he oriented himself in relation to his knowledge of anatomy of the physical body. He might say for instance that he was going through "the region of the eye" or "the province of the liver" or "in the region above the head" and so on, for example:

From Swedenborg's 12-volume work titled Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Secrets)

5392. Who they are that constitute the province of the intestines in the Grand Man, may be seen to some extent from those who relate to the stomach; for the intestines are continued from the stomach, and the functions of the stomach become there more vigorous and harsh down to the last intestines, which are the colon and rectum; for which reason they who are in these are near the hells which are called excremental. In the region of the stomach and intestines are they who are in the earth of lower things, who, because they have brought with them from the world unclean things that cling to their thoughts and affections, are kept there for some time, until such things have been wiped away, that is, cast to the sides; after this is done, they can be taken up into heaven. They who are there are not as yet in the Grand Man; for they are like food taken into the stomach, which is not admitted into the blood, and thus into the body, until it has been cleared of dregs. They who have been defiled with more earthly dregs are under these in the region of the intestines; but the excrements themselves that are discharged correspond to the hells called the excremental hells.

The entire form or geography of the lands or regions in the spiritual world is in the shape and contour of the human body's organs and structure. Swedenborg called it therefore the Grand Man (Homo Maximus), sometimes translated as the Greatest Man or the Grand Human. Each "place" he visited was in reality a virtual state representing mental states in their specific affections and thoughts. Those whom he encountered in each anatomical region of the Grand Human were in a mental state or character that Swedenborg was able to relate functionally to the property or characteristic of the corresponding anatomical or physiological part. This idea is fully discussed with physiological details in two collateral works: The Third Source by Christen Blom-Dahl (see below) and  Physiological Correspondences by John Worcester, as in this example:

From Physiological Correspondences (1931) by John Worcester

Swedenborg speaks of the teeth as corresponding to the “sensuals of the understanding” (A. R. 435), or to truth held merely naturally and obediently, without interior understanding. And the work of those who are in the teeth of the Greatest Man is not the work of intelligence, or of interior perception ; it consists in strong compulsion, and is performed by those who hold Divine Truth firmly and uncompromisingly, but not intelligently. They who are in tender states cannot do this work ; but leave it to those whose life it is to insist upon submission to the rules. They are simple, honest doorkeepers, who admit all who present themselves for admission, on the one condition that there shall be no concealment of who they are, or what they have done ; but their lives shall be open for judgment.

Swedenborg often speaks of the disputes of the evil as sounding like gnashing of teeth ; because they hold literal truths or falsities in the memory, and clash them together in a kind of clamorous argumentation (H. H. 575). The teeth in the hells seem to be related especially to the cruel, tearing teeth of the carnivora ; and their purpose is to injure others, and to claim all things that can minister to self-love and love of the world. The gnashing of the teeth is the angry clashing of assertions of fact, or of literal statements, by which they urge such claims against one another and against the Lord and the heavens.

Time-bound (natural level) vs. State-bound (spiritual level)

How do we dis-place ourselves in time? For instance, we walk to the kitchen from our bedroom. This is accomplished by moving within a course that ends up at a desired destination. The course between starting place and arrival specifies the direction of the displacement movements necessary to accomplish the task. Movements of displacement obeying a sufficient course--that's how we accomplish going somewhere. This task requires time, place, directionality, and desire. Time and place are natural things; directionality and desire are spiritual things.

Directionality is of the understanding, thus it is a process that is going on in the cognitive organ, while desire is of the will, thus it is going on in the affective organ. The cognitive and affective organs are of the mind, thus take place in the spiritual world. Displacement in time takes place in the natural world, which also includes the physical body, hence also the sensory organs that participate in the body's activity of walking. Thus, all our daily activities are occurring at these two levels: natural in the physical body and spiritual in the mind or its spirit-body. The natural and the spiritual co-act perfectly through the laws of correspondence. These laws are rational and are part of theistic science. The Writings of Swedenborg contain a full exposition of these laws. He was able to accomplish this through his dualist consciousness which allowed him to make direct observations simultaneously of natural events and their corresponding spiritual event. Once he learned and understood these laws he was able to demonstrate that the language of Old and New Testaments were written in a dual reference mode. The natural historical sequence of events from Abraham to Jesus are described in the natural sense of each verse, phrase, word, number, and name. Simultaneously each of these language elements also carry a spiritual sense. This spiritual sense is perceived when one learns the laws of correspondences. Here is an example:

From Swedenborg's work Apocalypse Explained Number 175.

AE 175. I will give him power over the nations, signifies over the evils within him, which will then be scattered by the Lord. This is evident from the signification of "nations," as being evils (of which presently); and from the signification of "giving power over them," as being that these (the evils) will then be dispersed by the Lord. "To have power," in reference to "over the nations," means to scatter in reference to evils; thus there is an adaptation of words to their subjects. It is said that evils will be scattered by the Lord, for the Lord scatters evils by means of truths. He first discovers them to man by means of truths, and when man acknowledges the evils, the Lord scatters them. (That the Lord alone does this, see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 200.) "Nations and peoples" are often mentioned in the Word, and those who know nothing of the spiritual or internal sense of the Word, believe that peoples and nations are to be understood.

But "peoples" mean those who are in truths, or in the contrary sense those who are in falsities, and "nations" those who are in goods, or in the contrary sense, those who are in evils. And as such are meant by "peoples" and by "nations," so abstractly from persons "peoples" mean truths or falsities, and "nations" goods and evils; for the true spiritual sense is abstracted from persons, spaces, times, and like things, that are proper to nature.

[2] With these the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, is at one; and the sense that is at one with these serves as a basis to the sense that is apart from them. For all things that are in nature are ultimates of Divine order, and the Divine does not rest in the middle, but flows down even to its ultimates, and there subsists. From this it is that the Word in the letter is such as it is, and unless it were such it would not serve as a basis for the wisdom of angels who are spiritual. It can be seen from this how mistaken those are who despise the Word on account of its style.

"Nations" signify those who are in good, and in the abstract, goods, because men who lived in ancient times were divided into nations, families, and houses; and they then loved each other mutually; and the father of a nation loved the whole nation which was from him; thus the good of love reigned among them. For this reason "nations" signified goods. But when men came into the opposite state, which took place in the following ages when empires were established, then "nations" signified evils. (See further on this subject in The small work on The Earths in the Universe, n. 49, 90, 173, 174.)

[3] That "nations" in the Word signify either goods or evils, and "people" either truths or falsities, can be seen from the following passages. In Isaiah:

Nations shall walk to Thy light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising. Then shalt Thou see and flow together, and Thine heart shall be enlarged, because the multitude of the sea is converted unto Thee, the army of the nations come unto Thee; Thy gates shall be opened continually, they shall not be shut by day and by night, that men may bring unto Thee the army of the nations, and their kings shall be brought; for the nation or kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish; and the nations by wasting shall be wasted. Thou shalt suck the milk of nations, even the breasts of kings shalt Thou suck. The little one shall become a thousand, and the few a numerous nation (Isa. 60:3, 5, 11-12, 16, 22).

Here the Lord is treated of; and by "nations" all who are in the good of love to Him are meant, and by "kings" all who are in the truths of faith in Him. From this it is manifest who are meant by the "nations" that "shall walk to Thy light;" and by "the army of the nations that shall be brought;" also, who are meant by "the kings" that "shall walk to the brightness of Thy rising;" and by "the kings of the nations" that "shall be brought;" also, what is meant by "Thou shalt suck the milk of nations and the breasts of kings" ("milk" is the delight of the good of love, likewise "breasts," for milk is from them). The multiplication of truth and the fructification of good are described by the "little one shall become a thousand, and the few a numerous nation." But by "the nations that shall be wasted" are meant all that are in evils, and also the evils themselves.


[13] In Matthew:

Nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. And they shall deliver you unto affliction, and ye shall be hated of all the nations for My name's sake (Matt. 24:7, 9; Luke 21:10, 11).

These things also were said by the Lord respecting the last time of the church; and by "nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" is signified that there will be conflicts of evils and falsities among themselves; by "famines and pestilences" are signified the failure and wasting of truths; by "earthquakes" the perversion of the church; by "being hated of all nations" is signified to be hated by all who are in evil; "the name of the Lord," for the sake of which they shall be hated, signifies all things of love and faith whereby the Lord is worshipped (see above, n. 102, 135).

What determines the content of activity?

Divine Providence, its goal and inexorable law, creates, governs, and directs the least detail through the laws of correspondences which are applications of the Laws of divine Providence, these being Divine Wisdom from Divine Love. In other words, the smallest and most local or particular property or change (phenomenon), occurs only as filtered through that which agrees with the goal and law of Divine Providence. Whatever is contrary cannot exist. But since evil exists people have wondered why God allows it to exist, that is, does not filter it out of reality. Swedenborg's Writings provide the rational explanation to this age-old puzzle of philosophers and thinking people. The Laws of Divine Providence are of two categories: the phenomena that are from Divine Will and those that are from Divine Permission. Whatever is good and orderly in the universe originates from the Divine Will (or Love), but whatever occurs that is evil and contrary to order originates from people by means of Divine Permissions or Allowances.

God allows certain types of evils to come into existence, hatched by fantasies in the minds of people. Only that evil phenomenon or event is allowed that God can turn into good, that is, can insure that it will benefit the victims of the evil that is allowed. All other evil is not given Divine Permission, and thus cannot come into existence. thus all good and truth comes from the Divine Will, while all evil and falsity comes from the corruption of good and truth in people's mind, to the extent this is allowed by God. Obviously, God is an active participant in what goes on in our mind, what thoughts come into us when, and what we end up doing about it. And what is stupendously amazing, this close therapeutic mind-control by the Divine is carried out both directly or immediately from Him, as well as indirectly through the mediation of thousands of others arranged in a vertical community of interactive unconscious communication--see this article. The vertical community is a top-down hierarchy of interaction uniting the entire human race, past and present.

Similar top-down relations are familiar to us because we create them. For instance a mechanical sequence executed by a computer called a "program" is a top-down synthetic micro-world. The engineer creates the program by writing lines of machine instruction that coalesce and eventuate into a usable function by the program user (like the word processor I'm using to type this). Can something be done that the program doesn't provide for? No, for I cannot type in two colors, the top of each letter being red while the bottom being blue. Can anything occur that the program doesn't create and provide for? No. Everything that occurs, even so called "errors" or "bugs" occurs because the program makes it possible and provides for it. The program has this rational top-down property from Divine Providence, as a corresponding replicate of the Divine quality. Thus, no event or quality can occur or exist except from Divine Providence, from its goal and laws. And since Divine Providence is God's conscious and voluntary activity, it's evident that this is also what's called Omniscience and Omnipotence.

What determines the details of one's biography?

I'm watching Manna, our boy cat. I can predict what he's going to do. It's 7:45 AM and he's ready to go to bed, which is actually under my bed, where he'll be in narcoleptic states until 5 PM when he'll show up at my leg, waiting for me to act according to his expected ritual. But now, he's slowly approaching the bedroom, stopping, waiting for me to catch up. Then he circles the bed counterclockwise, as always, stops at the open screen door, as always, hesitating--out or in, as always. Now he walks along the baseboard, makes a forced right-angled turn at the corner, sniffs the heating pad on the carpet, sniffs the air wafting from under the bed, then finally, he slowly and deliberately slinks his thin body under the low bed, whereupon I say good bye and wish him happy dreams. The content of Manna's activities is directed by programs of various types. Some are time-bound programs created by Divine Providence in chemical/genetic and physiological media. These run their course as programmed and initiate activity, creating content, drama, unpredictability, biography or the uniqueness of individuality built by unique experiences.

Take for instance Manna's hesitating at the screen door. He always does it when he gets there on his way to the wall behind the bed. The hesitation involves a switch in focus from the desire to settle down under the bed. The screen door offers a different sensory input from the rest of the room. The sounds, movements, and smells Manna reacts to, begin to compete and interfere with the ongoing desire of bedding down. This is drama, unpredictability, biography, unique individuality. On some rare occasion it has happened that he went out instead of going under the bed. Every day this possibility repeats itself, and Manna's decision-making at that point of hesitation, creates drama and unique history.

How do we move up or down in the spiritual world which has no space?

The spiritual world is the same as the mind-world. The mind of every person is in the spiritual world, which has no space but only apparent spaces that come and go, as in our dreams. In the natural world, objects remain unique individuals distinguished from other unique objects, by occupying a unique position or place in time or history. No matter how much objects displace themselves, from here to there and there, they cannot occupy or reoccupy the same space or position. This insures individual uniqueness. In the spiritual world, that is in the mind, individuals remain unique by occupying a unique state (mental state or spiritual state), different from the state of all other minds. An individuals mind is a conglomeration of affective and cognitive states that are completely personal and forever distinguishable from any other conglomeration belonging to another individual. There is an infinity of unique mental states. An individual's life creates a biography that consists of a conglomeration of cognitive and affective states that make up the individual. Nothing about the individual can exist that is not part of this unique conglomeration of cognitive-affective states called the self.

The mind of every individual starts in a unique state and continues forever in unique states. There is no confusion or overlap in the spiritual world between different individuals because their minds are always in a unique state, even soulmates that appear one individual from a distance, but two when they come near--as observed by Swedenborg. Think of a computer program like this word processor. It has many sub-programs, each acting independently to accomplish something no other sub-program can accomplish. There is no confusion between the unique sub-programs because each is always in a different program state as governed by the lines of programming written by the engineer. God does not confuse us and keeps us unique individuals forever by insuring we maintain unique mental states to eternity. The cumulative and unceasing collection of thoughts and feelings that are an individual's mind remain unique and distinguishable forever. The human conscious self is immortal and forever developing or going through successive states arranged by God for each person.

Without space, but not without directionality.

In the natural world individuals become present to each other by getting together in physical space or through communication from a distance that alternates between one and the other. Contact and communication between minds must follow the laws of the spiritual world since minds exist there, and they cannot exist in physical space.  Contact between minds occurs when the two minds are brought into similar mental states. Swedenborg witnessed this phenomenon on a daily basis since he was living with dual consciousness, his "spiritual eyes" having been opened by God so that he might write his theistic science books. Whenever he had the desire to speak with someone he knew was in the spiritual world, the two instantly found themselves co-present and being able to converse face to face. And vice versa, whenever he had the desire to end a contact, the other instantly vanished. Similarly with places he wanted to visit or revisit--he either found himself there, or else, he felt himself going through an altered state of mind, not his familiar self, and then he found himself there for as long as he had the desire to stay.

Mind-travel is accomplished through change of mental state. Every type of mental state has a corresponding spiritual location, so that the spiritual world can actually be mapped out in terms mental states and the body structures that correspond to them. All body structures, from the large organ to the miniscule cells and fibers, correspond to some mental state which they express or represent. Generally speaking the body's circulatory system represents the detials of the affective organ where feelings take place. The respiratory system represents the detials of the cognitive organ and the thoughts that occur there. The nervous system represents the sensorimotor portion of the mind. These three main systems--the affective, the cognitive, and the sensorimotor make up the self, and this is represented by the body's three systems just mentioned. (See this article for more on the threefold self.)

Swedenborg discovered that spiritual geography contains maps of the human body in infinite detail. In other words, when he was given the special perception to take in the entire spiritual world in his awareness, as if looking at it from afar and above, he witnessed that it is in the shape of the human body, with both male and female organs present. He called it the Grand Human. And he was also given the experience thousands of times to do mind-travel through this Grand Human. So that he would say, I am now in the region of the retina in the left eye, or In the region of the lymph nodes in the arm pit, etc. etc. And the people and societies he met in each region were then described as to their personality and lifestyle. And of course, these varied in accordance with the known physiological functions of the organ or location in the Grand Human. Those living in the region of the gall bladder had very different personalities and lifestyles from those living in the region of the thighs or uterus.

Clearly, then, mental states create spiritual-natural appearances which come to our awareness and perception as the environment around us. Think of your dreams. The beach and ocean you're dreaming of is not made of physical matter and doesn't have physical space or location. This is because the dream is a state of mind, thus in (or of) the spiritual world. The objects and spaces you perceive in your dream are appearances of natural objects and spaces. This is the same when you're not dreaming, but thinking awake. You can imagine and picture the same thing as your dream. This image is an appearance in the mind. These appearances in the mind are actual appearances in the spiritual world perceivable by others who are in communication with you and thus in a similar mental state. These projections or appearances are created by correspondence laws and resemnle outwardly the natural objects we are familiar with, but they are actually appearances of spiritual-natural objects. These are created instantly and vanish instantly according to the laws of Divine Providence that have been revealed in Swedenborg's Writings. So when you get to the spiritual world at the death of your body, you will be moving around in your mind, and for this you need a permanent external for the mind called a spirit-body.

Your spiritual body is like your physical body since the latter corresponds to the former by creation. Your spiritual body is permanent, that is, it permanently houses your cumulative past and future eternal biography. Through this immortal spiritual body you can engage in life and travel in spiritual societies located in the Grand Human regions. All around you will be the appearances of objects created as spiritual-natural objects--other individuals, mountains and rivers, animals and plantations, cities and libraries and decorated palaces. Also, lands beneath lands, caves and caverns, dark fiery oceans and wild animals, and people that look and act like monsters and devils. Your environment is made of appearances projected or created by thoughts and feelings. People who share certain thoughts and feelings find themselves together in an environment that harmonizes with those thoughts and feelings.

For more on this theme, see diagrams in this related article :  Spiritual Geography

The Third Source -- Christen Blom-Dahl's Discovery

A contemporary Swedenborg scholar interested in medicine, Christen A. Blom-Dahl, wrote about his excitement when in 1973, after years of reading Swedenborg, he suddenly noticed that the character of the spirits Swedenborg encountered in various parts of the body-regions in the Grand Human, were in agreement with medical discoveries about the function of these organs. But these discoveries were made more than 100 years after Swedenborg's death in 1771! Quoting from Blom-Dahl's The Third Source:

While I was reading some post-critical passages about the adrenal glands, the glands which produce the hormone called adrenaline. I suddenly realized they contain the very terms which describe the psychosomatic effects of an adrenaline discharge: fear, tremor, distress, anxiety.

Psychosomatic effects of adrenaline secreted by the adrenal glands according to Cannon
Swedenborg's post-critical statements in relation to the adrenal glands (AC 5391; SD 970)
Tremor, fear, anxiety, palpitations, sweating, distress Prone to anxieties...fearful of being disturbed...anxious...distressed...anxious feelings...tremor.

The case of adrenaline implied an astounding anachronism of about 166 years anticipation in relation to Sir Walter Bradford Cannon's discovery of the effects of adrenaline in 1914.

If this had been an isolated event, the matter would have no doubt rested there. But Blom-Dahl, in his book The Third Source (English translation from the original Spanish), shows that this correlation is regularly encountered in Swedenborg's thousands of journeys through the race's communal mind (spiritual world). Paraphrasing from Blom-Dahl's manuscript:

The accuracy of anticipative anachronism of Swedenborg's postcritical organic and functional descriptions is a steady general rule. In many passages where Swedenborg (18th century) describes his encounters with evil spirits, one can find reflected the general theory of diseases of germs, discovered by science in the late 19th century. In other words, Swedenborg's descriptions anticipate the medical discovery of these facts by more than 100 years. Many details Swedenborg gives fully correspond to specific microbiological and clinical facts to an extent that thoroughly discards the possibility of any random coincidence. The following correspondences can be repeatedly noted:

  • their behavior -- developmental stages and actions
  • their shape -- pyramidal sack, brick-shape, like an axis
  • their origin --from excrements, bowels, milk
  • he transmitters -- lice, bed-bugs, cats, dogs, rats, cows
  • symptoms -- blisters, type of fever, vomiting

Swedenborg also gives descriptions of how good spirits behave to counteract the action of the evil spirits. These good spirits are all linked to organs of the immune system (spleen, lymphatic system, thymus gland, and so on). Note that the existence of the immune system was not yet suspected in Swedenborg's time. One can also find in his writings physiological descriptions matching late 19th and 20th century endoctrinological knowledge. One example is the functional link between the pituitary gland/urine discharge/uterine contractions, which is known in modern medicine as the anti-diuretic action of vasopressin and uterine contraction of oxytocin. Here is an entry from Swedenborg's diary of Spiritual Experiences, SD Number 970:

"Those who constitute this province are chaste virgins, who are very prone to anxiety, and thus are fearful lest they be disturbed out of their state. They lie quiet at the left part of the side, almost within, but at the side, approximately where the suprarenal glands are in the body. They anxiously fear that they will not be admitted into heaven, for they suppose that if deprived of their function, they would perish, because they would be without any office. Thus they are among the best heavenly spirits, who act silently, and if the least thought of being deprived of their office should come to them they at once sigh and are anxious, as I have sometimes clearly perceived and have wondered whence this came.

Their anxiety which now is also communicated to me, is evident. It was a certain kind of holy tremor which, moreover, was plainly witnessed when the communication was taken away and directed immediately to heaven. Beyond this, they say nothing. Sometimes, when it came to a description of things in the Word, they said that they felt as though they were being deprived of their office, because they supposed that this would effect an immediate communication, thus not through them, so that they would be deprived of their spiritual food. 1748, Feb. 24."

A passage in Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia, AC 5391 goes into more details about this particular encounter:

"There are also kidneys called the subsidiary kidneys, or renal capsules. Their function is to secrete not so much the serum as the blood itself, and to transmit the purer blood toward the heart by a short circuit, and thus prevent the spermatic vessels, which are near, from carrying off all the purer blood. But these organs perform their main work in embryos, and also in newborn infants. It is chaste virgins who constitute this province in the Grand Human: prone to anxieties, and fearful of being disturbed, they lie quiet at the lower left side of the body. If there is any thought about heaven, or about a change of their state, they become anxious and sigh, as I have several times been given plainly to feel."

In his crepuscular visions Swedenborg was shown step by step how the DNA strand of the Epstein-Barr virus is covered by the protective cover called capsid, formed by pyramidal sacks. The internal and external envelope of the Epstein-Barr virus is compose d of pyramidal units. The internal envelope covers and protects the actually infectious element: a DNA strand. Although discovered by virologists in 1964, this virus had already been described by Swedenborg two-and-a-half centuries ago in SD 4361 and SD 4367. The shape of the rabies virus was perceived by Swedenborg in his journeys in the Grand Human. He was shown how this microbe winds itself axially (SD 4708m and 4709m). The vaccinia virus closely resembles the smallpox virus, but is harmless. Swedenborg was told:" those are not venomous" (SD 2866). He describes the shape exactly as virologist H.S. Ginsberg defines its morphology: "somewhat rounded, brick-shaped:"

"I next saw many serpents crawling in a sort of court, so that the court which was paved with stones as it were of brick of a light yellow color, was crowded with such. It is said that (those spirits) live among such (serpents) and love such things, but t hat those serpents are not venomous.-1748, August 20.

Blom-Dahl's observations are extremely important because they throw light on a new method of discovery in science, namely content analysis of descriptions of experiences in communal mind. His exciting book is available online here.

A contemporary Swedenborg scholar, Hugo Lj. Odhner, has summarized Swedenborg's focus on the human form in these series of lectures.

Henry James Sr. and Communal Mind

The communal mind is humanity itself, as Henry James Sr. often described it. In his little known and out of print book, The Secret of Swedenborg (1869), Henry James Sr. summarizes his valiant attempt to present Swedenborg to his doubting friends and critics such as Carlyle and Emerson, and no doubt to his sons William and Henry who never took to their father's penchant for Swedenborg's spiritual psychology. I quote the original with slight grammatical changes introduced to fit our norms today (e.g., we do not personify nature, we do not use sex coded language, and we use the word "science" instead of "philosophy" or "natural philosophy" which today carry a different meaning):

Let me assure readers, then, that they need not look beyond this doctrine of nature's essential relativity to the human understanding, or its strict convertibility in fact with the mind of the race. You will find what you crave in Swedenborg's unprecedented and immortal services to science. The sole and complete meaning of nature, scientifically regarded, is, according to Swedenborg, to furnish a logical ultimate or phenomenal background to the human mind in its spiritual infancy.

The purpose of this is that the mind, which is thus objectively mirrored to itself, might present a subjective floor or fulcrum every way congruent with the operations of the creative spirit. This neither more, nor less, is Swedenborg's scientific secret.

Henry James Sr. sees here the scientific importance of Swedenborg's discovery of the relation between body and mind, and between mind and communal mind. Nature, or as we would say today, external sensory input, furnishes a phenomenal background for spiritual influx to the mind. Or we can say, afflux forms the context for influx. The individual's mind or spirit grows, develops, and evolves through influx of substances in communal mind or "the spiritual world." This model assumes something which materialistic scientists are dead set against, namely, the view that every single natural event is governed by the Divine so that the spiritual influx (which the Divine also governs) may be met simultaneously by natural afflux. This kind of micro-management and synchronicity of two parallel or correspondential worlds, is impossible to take seriously from the perspective of materialistic science that denies the dual universe.

However, those of us in science who are able to get passed this intellectually confining and unnecessary stricture, can see the rationality of the dualist model of correspondences as detailed in Swedenborg. In fact, our experience with virtual reality and cyberspace -- (see my explanations there), gives us modern day concepts by which to understand better these relations:

  • between individual and group
  • between society and spirit
  • between body and mind
  • between the natural world and the spiritual
  • between mind and communal mind

Our mental (or spiritual) existence is objectively communal or shared, though individually subjective and unique. Although the physical body is temporary in relation to the individual, it forms a permanent context for the creation of a virtual reality in the afterlife. Swedenborg's discovery is a major advance in our ability to control the virtual reality of our future. His discovery was that individual mind is within communal mind, and that this is virtual reality in the afterlife known as "eternal life" or "eternity." Communal mind, which is how Henry James, Sr. referred to what Swedenborg called the spiritual world, is in the shape of the human body. In fact, the body has its shape due to the form of the mind, which shapes the body into a natural representation of itself. When Swedenborg journeyed through the Grand Human, as he called the spiritual world, he discovered that this communal mind is created as the virtual reality projected unto the substances of communal mind.

Laws of Virtual Reality

Communal mind distributes its substances in relation to the body anatomy. I have referred to this characteristic above as spiritual geography. There is a relation between Swedenborg's descriptions of communal mind and the character of cyberspace as I argue elsewhere. In other words, what we learn from spiritual geography can be applied or extended to what we can predict and know about cyberspace. The laws governing both cyberspace and spiritual geography are the same. They are the laws of virtual reality.

For instance, we can have the expectation that the virtual shape of cyberspace mirrors the anatomy of the body. Swedenborg describes many characteristics of spiritual geography that, I expect, will be useful to understand the evolution of cyberspace. For instance, in physical space the coordinates are fixed independently of the body; if you face the rising sun in the morning and turn around, you now face west and the sun is no longer in view. This is not what happens in the spiritual world or communal mind which is virtual, not physical. When we pass on into our afterlife, our existence in a spiritual body is strictly virtual, projected out of the common experiential background we had in the body, what Henry James Sr. calls our "spiritual infancy." The e memories and orientation of the natural world are maintained in virtual form in the spiritual world. So though there is a north and an east, they are projected in communal mind through our current affective and cognitive state.

When Swedenborg was in a "heavenly" state of mind, his orientation in communal mind was such that whichever way he turned he always faced east, where the spiritual sun shone bright. This was also the experience of those whom he encountered there and were in a similar mental state. Distance or co-presence in virtual space is according to similarity of mental state. For instance, two spirits communicating with each other in virtual reality project a common presence to each other so that they see themselves s as next to each other and talking. But as soon as there is a disagreement between them, the shared space vanishes, and it seems to them that all of a sudden they are no longer in each other's presence. Or the reverse may happen, when two spirits begin communicating with each other, it seems to them that all of a sudden they are in each other's presence. The same is true of virtual objects and cities, which Swedenborg saw and entered and interacted with the inhabitants there.

Communal mind allows these mass phenomena projections in which thousands of spirits who share a common infancy (or earthly background) are able to cooperate into the construction of an ever evolving virtual "city" that enables them to partake endlessly of human spiritual culture. The purpose of virtual reality can thus be discerned. Virtual reality is the true human experience. The substances of communal mind in virtual reality are purely spiritual or celestial. There is no fixity of matter and space to form a barrier against the action of our will. What we love and desire, we can instantly have. There is no shortage possible because spiritual substance is infinite in variety and accessibility to mind.

A definition might help make things explicit:

Virtual reality is the ability of the human will to create representative entities existing in communal mind.

We have this ability from birth since it is the ability characteristic of mind. Our mind in the form of a self, or as Swedenborg calls it, an as-of-self, grows with biographical experiences, moment by moment, and never stops. As Henry James Sr. put it in the passage quoted above, the purpose of our birth and life on earth is to provide for our spiritual infancy. Swedenborg expresses it by saying that in God's eyes, earth is the seminary of heaven. Society and culture, ethnicity and biography, provide a coherent and continuous context for each person's spiritual infancy and development. When looked at from the perspective of virtual reality, we can identify the elements of society and culture that give us practice in learning to project virtual reality, learning to use communal mind for self.

Spiritual Infancy on Earth

Our passage on this training ground called life on earth, is thus for the purpose of strengthening our will, which is the organ of virtual projection. Life carries on its ceaseless process of Divine psychotherapy as our spiritual infancy is lived out, each according to this Divine process. There is no chance occurrence, not a single pebble rolling or thought leading to another thought, or emotion following emotion, which is not run inexorably by Divine Will or Divine Permissions. Not one -- by definition, as is demanded by an honest and rational application of the concept of "Divine Omnipotence." Yet there is one over-arching element present: human freedom. The entire purpose of Divine psychotherapy and spiritual infancy on earth is to produce a will that possess the capacity for projecting objective, communal virtual reality. The purpose for this ability is to achieve the state of virtual cohesiveness. We find in Swedenborg the idea that human perfection consists of creating unity out of endless variety.. I was greatly impressed and delightfully surprised when I first encountered this view, which is the opposite of what I had earlier assumed. I then saw the truth of this in many places. Consider choirs for example. Their beauty comes out when a variety of harmonies are produced so that the total effect is a unity. This group-unity is superior in perfection to the single voice, which is merely the contribution which one individual can make.

To put it another way, the perfection, beauty, and harmony of life for the human race is to form a unity out of endless variety. Virtual reality in eternal life is a process for moving towards an ever greater perfection. Communal mind, without space or limit, is the context or medium for carrying out this process. Swedenborg testifies that all the planets are created as earth seminaries for spirits in virtual reality called heavenly states. He witnessed the population of the spiritual world expand at an explosive rate as spirits from numberless planets passed on and arrived "daily" to populate the heavenly states of the Grand Human. Thus does the Divine insure that the perfection of the human race continues to deepen endlessly.

Spiritual Freedom and Our As-Of-Self

But there is another side to this wonderful situation. Spiritual freedom, is given by the Divine insures to every individual, every as-of-self, that is granted by way of virtual power. Without the as-of-self freedom to choose what one loves, there is no happiness, no growth of the will, no acquisition of virtual power needed to survive and thrive in communal mind. Hence it is that spiritual freedom, says Swedenborg "is jealously guarded by the Divine," for that which is not acquired in freedom is not loved, and that which is not loved, does not remain, but evaporates into nothing.

Sad as it may seem, it is not uncommon for people to use their as-of-self freedom to blackmail the Divine, so to speak, and to insist until the end, on developing fantasy power instead of virtual power. Fantasy power is a type of virtual power that is stripped of objectivity and communality, and transformed into subjectivity, a state of mind that supports delusions and obsessions. Swedenborg was able to observe both types of virtual reality in the afterlife, the nice kind, but also the bizarre kind! The e fantasy reality can appear as either single or quasi-communal. Hellish states of mind from this fantasy virtuality are willfully maintained by those who are in it for endless periods, as Swedenborg witnessed from those who had been there for, as it were, "eons of time." The heavenly states and the hellish states are prevented from communicating with each other. A curious detail: from a spiritual distance, Swedenborg saw the hellish mind states, and its shape was that of a deformed human (or "monster ").

We now see a fuller picture. We are born as dual citizens, with earthly experiences designed to form the content for the virtual projections in eternal life. This spiritual infancy in the physical body, proceeds through community life in societies and nations that form cultural and ethnic content for our biography. We are a man or a woman. We are young and grow up. We learn a particular language and we develop a particular personality. We acquire knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes. We become a person capable of communicating with others who share our background and to enter in various activities with them. These communicative exchanges and activities produce the will we need to create communal mind in virtual reality -- the heaven and hell Swedenborg visited daily for 26 years. When we can no longer continue to improve this will power, we lose the capacity to live in the physical body, and pass on into the spiritual world state. Death cannot be accidental, which is only an appearance of the biographical details and drama of every individual's experience.

Cohesiveness Builds Virtual Reality

I have often marveled at the meaning of the root in the word "community" and related form such as communication, municipal, communal. The Greek root "-muni" means to strive for. "Co-" means together, so that community and communication project the meaning of striving together. What a wonderful way of expressing what creates virtual reality. It is the striving together of separate individuals -- in their intentions, in their plans, and in their actions. By acting together around some joint focus, they gain the power to ascend the virtual shaft of reality from lower zones to higher zones. Swedenborg often uses such terms as striving, endeavor, association, consociation, adjoining, and conjoining, when he refers to spiritual activities.

I have drawn a diagram in figure 1 which shows a historical time line of some familiar societal methods by which the generations are trained to acquire the ability of supporting virtual reality. The key concept to understand the process is spiritual cohesiveness. The figure simply lists an abstract time line or history, portrayed by a positively accelerating line, similar to others you may have seen in a different context. I have chosen some highlights of societal evolution that may be familiar to everyone. I suppose that in the earliest and least evolved societies of a planet's history, forming relationships within the family would be the least technologically advanced or complex of methods. Nothing is required except relationships within a family context, not unlike the life of many social animals. For those earliest generations on the planet, the acquisition of virtual reality power must indeed be very pure and idealistic. Nevertheless, it is possible and sufficient.

As society evolves and becomes more technological, additional new methods of spiritual training become available to produce the ability for interpersonal cohesiveness with other minds. These methods are cultural, that is virtual, and thus, are transmittable across the generations. Cumulative development and evolution of communal mind is made possible. I suppose that prayer and myth served this function from the early generations onward. The key to all methods of cohesiveness training is the production of joint focus or awareness. Through this joint-ness aspect, virtuality grows, since virtuality itself exists only as communal mind, communal substance, communal content. Perhaps G. Jung had a glimpse of this idea when he pro posed the concept of "archetypes," while Freud produced the concept of the "racial unconscious."

As the diagram in figure 1 shows, grouping activities were always powerful social forces that created tribes, bands, nations of people with common identification and history that created a civilization, a culture, an empire - - in other words a shared virtual reality that united them together by means of a common allegiance, a common self-view. Team-spirit builds cohesiveness, that is, unity out of diversity, which is what communal mind is. Sports and celebrations are cultural tools that build cohesiveness, that forges and unifies communal mind. Board games, cards, and toys were next in the technological march towards virtual communication. Note what is at the top of the diagram, to which history has been tending for thousands of generations -- cyberspace!

With modern times we come to the part of the curve that accelerates nearly vertically. Technological inventions and applications now come rapidly, one after another, each one deeper than the other. Technology obviously serves the spirit. The printing press produced books, maps, newspapers, paperbacks, magazines, billboards, and greeting cards, all of which immensely increased our virtual power. Now we could speak of "mass audiences" which allowed millions of people to focus on one subject, one issue, one event. The telephone, radio, and television globalized the entire race on the planet. Now a common beat could be heard around the world, with common concerns, common solutions, common definitions, participated in by vast numbers of people simultaneously. At last the generations were ready for the ultimate in virtual reality training -- cyberspace.

Now we are poised at a new threshold not faced by previous generations.

Go to Part 2 of this article  ||  Go to Part 3 of this article

Quotations from Swedenborg

Conjugial Love

CL 360. It shall now be told how love, when attacked, is enkindled and inflamed into zeal, as fire is enkindled into a flame. Love resides in man's will; but it is enkindled, not in the will, but in the understanding. In the will it is like fire, and in the understanding like a flame. In the will, love knows nothing about itself, for there it has no sensation of itself; nor does it there act of itself. Sensation and action are effected in the understanding and its thought. Therefore, when love is attacked, it rouses itself to anger in the understanding, this being done by means of various reasonings. These reasonings are like sticks of wood which the fire kindles and which then burn. Thus they are like so much fuel or so much combustible material from which comes the above-mentioned spiritual flame, of which there is much variety.

CL 361. The reason why a man is on fire when his love is attacked shall now be disclosed. From its creation, the human form in its inmosts is a form of love and wisdom. In man, all affections of love and thence all perceptions of wisdom are arranged in most perfect order so that together they make a unanimous whole and thus a one. These affections and perceptions are substantiate, substances being their subjects. Since, therefore, the human form is composed of them, it is plain that if the love is attacked, then, in an instant or simultaneously, the whole form is attacked together with each and every thing therein. From creation it is implanted in all living things to will to remain in their own form. Therefore the whole structure wills this from its several parts, and the parts from the whole. Hence, when the love is attacked, it defends itself by its understanding, and the understanding by things rational and imaginative whereby it represents to itself the outcome; and, more especially, by those things which make one with the love which is attacked. Were this not done, the whole form would fall asunder because of the loss of that love. [2] Hence then it is, that in order to resist attacks, love hardens the substances of its form and erects them into crests, as it were, being so many pricks; that is to say, it bristles up. Such is that exasperation of love which is called zeal. Therefore, if there is no opportunity to resist, anxiety arises, and grief; for the love foresees the extinction of its interior life together with the delights thereof. On the other hand, if the love is favored and soothed, the form relaxes, softens, dilates; and the substances of the form become smooth, bland, gentle, and alluring.

CL 362. III. THAT A MAN'S ZEAL IS SUCH AS HIS LOVE IS, THUS OF ONE KIND WITH HIM WHOSE LOVE IS GOOD, AND OF ANOTHER WITH HIM WHOSE LOVE IS EVIL. Since zeal is the zeal of love, it follows that it is such as the love is; and since in general there are two loves, the love of good and thence of truth, and the love of evil and thence of falsity, therefore, in general, there is a zeal for good and thence for truth, and a zeal for evil and thence for falsity. It should be known, however, that both loves are of infinite variety. This is manifestly evident from the angels of heaven and the spirits of hell. In the spiritual world, both the latter and the former are forms of their love, and yet there is not a single angel of heaven or a single spirit of hell absolutely like any other as to face, speech, walk, gesture, or manner, nor indeed can there be to all eternity, howsoever many the myriads of myriads into which they may be multiplied. Such being the case with the forms of love, it is evident that the loves themselves are of infinite variety. It is the same with zeal, zeal being the zeal of love; that is to say, the zeal of one cannot be absolutely like or the same as the zeal of another. In general, there is the zeal of good love and the zeal of evil love.

CL 363. IV. THAT IN OUTER MANIFESTATION, THE ZEAL OF A GOOD LOVE AND THE ZEAL OF AN EVIL LOVE ARE ALIKE, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE WHOLLY UNLIKE. With every man, zeal in its outer manifestation appears as anger and wrath; for it is love enkindled and inflamed for the protection of itself against a violator and for the removal of that violator. The reason why the zeal of a good love and the zeal of an evil love appear alike in outer manifestation is because in both cases, when there is love in the zeal, it is in flames; but with a good man, it is in flames only in its outer manifestation, while with an evil man, it is in flames both outwardly and inwardly; and when the internals are not seen, the zeals appear alike in their outer manifestation. That inwardly they are wholly unlike will be seen in the article next following. That in its outer manifestation zeal appears like anger and wrath, can be seen and heard in all cases when men speak and act from zeal. When a priest, for instance, preaches from zeal, the sound of his voice is loud, vehement, sharp, and harsh, he grows hot in the face and perspires, towers up, beats the pulpit, and calls forth fire from hell against evil-doers. Many others act in a similar way.

CL 364. In order to acquire a distinct idea of zeal with the good and with the evil, and of their dissimilarity, it is necessary to form some idea respecting internals and externals with men. That this may be formed, take the idea of the vulgar respecting them, for this is for the common people also. The matter can then be illustrated by nuts or almonds and their kernels. With the good, the internals are like inner kernels, in all their perfection and goodness, enclosed in their usual and natural shell. With the evil it is altogether different. Their internals are like kernels, either inedible because of their bitterness, or rotted or worm-eaten; but their externals are like coverings or shells, either like their natural shells, or reddish like shell-fish, or many-hued like iris stones. Such is their external appearance within which lie concealed the internals mentioned above. It is the same with their zeal.

CL 365. V. THAT INWARDLY IN THE ZEAL OF A GOOD LOVE LIE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, BUT INWARDLY IN THE ZEAL OF AN EVIL LOVE LIE HATRED AND REVENGE. It was said that in outer manifestation zeal appears as anger and wrath, both with those who are in a good love and with those who are in an evil; but because the internals differ, the anger and wrath also differ. The differences are: I. The zeal of a good love is as a heavenly flame which never bursts out against another but only defends itself; and its defense against an evil man is as a defense while the latter is rushing into the fire and being burned. But the zeal of an evil love is like an infernal flame which bursts out of itself and rushes upon another and wills to consume him. 2. The zeal of a good love instantly dies down and becomes mild when the assailant withdraws from the attack; but the zeal of an evil love persists and is not extinguished. 3. The reason is because the internal of him who is in the love of good is in itself mild, bland, friendly, and benevolent. Therefore, while, for the purpose of defending itself, his external is rough, bristles up, and erects itself and so acts with severity, yet it is tempered by means of the good in which is his internal. Not so with the evil. With them the internal is inimical, fierce, hard, breathing hatred and revenge, and it feeds itself on the delights of these passions. Even hen there is reconciliation these passions are still latent, like fire in the embers beneath the ashes; and these fires break out, if not in this world yet after death.

CL 366. Because in outer manifestation zeal with a good man and zeal with an evil appear to be alike; and because the ultimate sense of the word consists of correspondences and appearances; therefore, in the word it is often said of Jehovah, that He is angry, is wrathful, avenges, punishes, casts into hell, besides many other expressions which are the appearances of zeal in its outer manifestation. For the same reason, He is called jealous, when yet in Him is not the least shade of anger, wrath, and vengeance, He being mercy, grace, and clemency itself, thus good itself, in Whom nothing of the kind is possible. But of these matters, see more in the work on HEAVEN AND HELL, nos. 545-50, and in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, nos. 494, 498, 525, 714, 806.

CL 367. VI. THAT THE ZEAL OF CONJUGIAL LOVE IS CALLED JEALOUSY. The zeal for love truly conjugial is the zeal of zeals inasmuch as the love is the love of loves, and its delights, for which also it is zealous, the delights of delights; for, as shown above [no. 64], that love is the chief of all loves. The reason is because that love induces on the wife the form of love, and on the husband the form of wisdom, and from these forms united into a one, nothing else can proceed but what savors of wisdom and at the same time of love. Since the zeal of conjugial love is the zeal of zeals, therefore it is called by a new name, zelotypia,* in that it is the very type of zeal.

CL 368. VII. THAT JEALOUSY IS AS A FIRE BLAZING OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO MOLEST THE LOVE WITH THE PARTNER; AND THAT IT IS A DREADFUL FEAR FOR THE LOSS OF THAT LOVE. Here the jealousy of those who are in spiritual love with their partner is treated of; in the following article, the jealousy of those who are in natural love; and after that, the jealousy of those who are in love truly conjugial. With those who are in spiritual love there are various jealousies because various loves, for there is not a single love, whether spiritual or natural, which is ever the same with any two persons, still less with many. [2] That spiritual jealousy, that is, jealousy with the spiritual, is as a fire blazing out against those who molest their conjugial love, is because with them the principle or beginning of that love is in the internals of each partner, and from its principle, their love follows the principiates to their ultimates; and from these, and at the same time from firsts, the intermediates which are of the mind and body are held in lovely connection. In their marriage, such persons, being spiritual, look to union as an end, and therein to spiritual rest and its amenities. Now because they have rejected disunion from their animus, their jealousy is like a fire stirred up and darting out against those who molest. [3] It is also as a dreadful fear, because the intention of their spiritual love is that they be a one, and if there exists a falling away, or if an appearance of separation occurs, there comes fear--a dreadful fear, as when two parts which are united together are being torn asunder. This description of jealousy was given me from heaven by those who are in spiritual conjugial love; for there is natural conjugial love, spiritual conjugial love, and celestial conjugial love. As to the natural and celestial, and their jealousy, these shall be spoken of in the two articles which now follow.

CL 369. VIII. THAT JEALOUSY IS SPIRITUAL WITH MONOGAMISTS,AND NATURAL WITH POLYGAMISTS. That jealousy is spiritual with monogamists is because they alone can receive spiritual conjugial love, as abundantly shown above. It is said there is spiritual jealousy with monogamists, but what is meant is that it is possible; for in the Christian world, where marriages are monogamous, it exists with very few. Yet, that it is possible there, has also been confirmed above. That with polygamists conjugial love is natural may be seen in the chapter on Polygamy (nos. 345-47); so likewise their jealousy, for this follows their love. [2] As to the nature of the jealousy of polygamists, we learn concerning this from the accounts of men who have witnessed it among orientals. These men relate that wives and concubines are guarded like captives in prisons, and are held back and restrained from all communication with men; that no man is allowed to enter the women's apartments or the rooms wherein they are confined, unless accompanied by a eunuch; that close observation is made as to whether any of the women look at a passing man with lascivious eyes or countenance, and that if this is observed the woman is punished with stripes, and if she practices lewdness with any man introduced into the outer room by stealth, or outside the harem, she is punished with death.

CL 370. The above illustrates the nature of the jealous fire into which polygamous conjugial love breaks out--a fire breaking out into anger and revenge, into anger in the case of the meek, and into revenge in the case of the fierce. This is because their love is natural and does not partake of what is spiritual. This follows from what was demonstrated in the chapter on Polygamy, namely, that polygamy is lasciviousness (no. 345), and that a polygamist, so long as he remains a polygamist, is natural and cannot become spiritual (no. 347). With natural monogamists, the jealous fire is different. Their love is not inflamed in this way against the women but against the violators. Against the latter it becomes anger, and against the former cold. Not so with polygamists. Moreover, the fire of their jealousy burns with vengeful fury. This also is among the reasons why after death the concubines and wives of polygamists are for the most part set free, and are assigned to unguarded women's apartments, there to make various things which pertain to women's work.

CL 371. IX. THAT WITH MARRIED PARTNERS WHO TENDERLY LOVE EACH OTHER, JEALOUSY IS A JUST GRIEF FROM SOUND REASON, LEST THEIR CONJUGIAL LOVE BE DIVIDED AND THUS PERISH. Within all love is fear and grief, fear lest it perish, and grief if it does perish. There is the like fear and grief in conjugial love, but the fear and grief of this love is called zeal or jealousy. That with partners who tenderly love each other this zeal is just and from sound reason, is because it is at the same time fear for the loss of eternal felicity, not only his own but also his partner's; and because it is also a protection against adultery. As regards the first point--that it is a just fear for the loss of his own and his partner's eternal felicity--this follows from all that has hitherto been advanced respecting love truly conjugial, and also from the fact that from that love comes the blessedness of their souls, the happiness of their minds, the delight of their bosoms, and the pleasure of their bodies; and because these remain with them to eternity, there is fear for each other's eternal happiness. [As regards the second point]--that the zeal is a just protection against adulteries--this is evident; therefore it is as a fire blazing out against violation and defending itself against it. From this it is evident that one who tenderly loves his partner is also jealous; but the jealousy is just and sane according to the wisdom of the man.

CL 372. It was said that in conjugial love is implanted fear lest it be divided, and grief lest it perish; and that its zeal is like fire directed against violation. Once, when meditating upon this, I asked certain zealous angels respecting the seat of jealousy. They said: "It is in the understanding of the man who receives the love of his partner and loves her in return, and its quality there is according to his wisdom." They also said that jealousy has something in common with honor, which also is within conjugial love, for he who loves his partner also honors her. [2] As to the reason why with a man zeal resides in his understanding, they said: "Conjugial love protects itself by the understanding, as good protects itself by truth. So a wife protects those things which she has in common with the man by her husband. Therefore, zeal is implanted in men, and through men and on account of men, in women." To the question, in what region of the mind does it reside with men, they answered: "In their souls, because it is also a protection against adulteries, and because these are what principally destroy conjugial love. Therefore, in the presence of attempts at its violation, the man's Understanding hardens and becomes as a horn smiting the adulterer."

CL 373. X. THAT WITH MARRIED PARTNERS WHO DO NOT LOVE EACH OTHER, JEALOUSY IS DUE TO MANY CAUSES, AND WITH SOME TO VARIOUS KINDS OF MENTAL SICKNESS. The reasons why married partners who do not mutually love each other are also jealous are principally, honor from potency, fear of dishonoring one's name and also that of one's wife, and dread lest one's domestic affairs be ruined. That men have honor from potency, that is, that from this they wish to be accounted as great men, is well known; for so long as they have this honor, they are as though raised up in their own mind and not shamefaced among men and women. Moreover, to this honor is attached the attribute of bravery, and therefore military officers have it more than others. As to fear of dishonoring one's name and that of one's wife, this makes one with the preceding reason; added to which is the fact that cohabitation with a harlot, and having a brothel in the home, are infamous. That jealousy exists with some lest their domestic affairs be ruined, is because the husband is so greatly disgraced, and mutual duties and services are done away with. With some, however, this jealousy ceases in time and becomes nonexistent, and with some it turns into a mere simulation of love.

CL 374. That with some, jealousy is from various mental sicknesses is no secret in the world; for there are jealous men who continually think of their wives as unfaithful, believing them to be harlots, and this merely on hearing or seeing that they talk amicably with men or about men. There are mental blemishes which induce this infirmity, the first among which is a suspicious fantasy. If long cherished, this brings the mind into societies of like spirits, from which it can be delivered only with difficulty. Jealousy also gives itself added strength in the body, by the serum and thence the blood becoming viscous, tenacious, thick, sluggish, and acrid. Moreover, it is augmented by lack of the virile powers, this rendering the mind unable to be raised above its suspicion; for their presence elevates, and their absence depresses, this absence causing the mind to droop, collapse and languish. It then immerses itself in that fantasy ever more and more until it becomes insane; and this insanity has its outlet in the delight of upbraiding and, so far as allowed, of reviling.

CL 375. Moreover, in certain regions there are families which labor under the sickness of jealousy more than others. By them Wives are imprisoned, tyrannically withheld from converse with men, shut off from the sight of them by windows provided with lattices stretching [from top] to bottom, and are terrified by threats of death if the husband find reason for the suspicion he nurses; besides other hardships which wives there suffer from their jealous husbands. Of this jealousy there are two causes: One is the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church, the other is an intestine lust for revenge.

[2] As regards the first cause--the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church--its effects can be concluded from what has previously been demonstrated, namely, that every one has conjugial love according to the state of the Church with him; and that this love is from the Lord alone because the Church is from Him (nos. 130, 131). Therefore, When men, living and dead, are approached and invoked in place of the Lord, it follows that there is no state of the Church with which conjugial love can act as one, and the less so when men's minds are terrified into that worship by threats of a frightful prison. Hence it comes to pass that their thoughts, and with them their speech, are violently imprisoned and suffocated, and with these suffocated, things flow in which are contrary to the Church or which, if they favor the Church, are imaginary. From all this, nothing else redounds but burning heat for harlots and icy cold for the consort. It is from these two together in one subject that this ungovernable fire of jealousy comes.

[3] As concerns the second cause, namely, an intestine lust for revenge, this entirely inhibits the influx of conjugial love, absorbs it, swallows it up, and turns its delight which is heavenly into the delight of revenge which is infernal; and the nearest object to which it is determined is the wife. Moreover, it is from appearance that the malignity of the atmosphere there, Which is impregnated with the virulent exhalations of the surrounding region, is a subsidiary cause.

CL 376. XI. THAT WITH SOME THERE IS NO JEALOUSY, AND THIS ALSO FROM VARIOUS CAUSES. There are many causes of an absence of jealousy and of a cessation of jealousy. Those especially have no jealousy who make conjugial love to be of no more account than scortatory love, and who at the same time are inglorious, counting a good reputation as of no value. They are not unlike married pimps. Those also have no jealousy who have put it away from a confirmed belief that it troubles the mind and that it is useless to keep watch on a wife; that if watched she is incited, and that therefore it is preferable to shut one's eyes and not even set them looking through the keyhole lest something be detected by the sight. Some have put it away on account of the stigma attached to the name jealousy, thinking that a man who is a man fears nothing. Some have been driven to put it away lest their domestic affairs be ruined, and also, lest they incur public censure were the wife to be convicted of the lewdness of which she is guilty. Furthermore, With men who, being themselves impotent, grant license to their wives in order to raise up children for the sake of their inheritance; also with men who do this for the sake of gain, and so on, jealousy recedes until it wholly disappears. There are also scortatory marriages in which, by mutual consent, both parties are given license to practice venery; yet they meet each other with a civil countenance.

CL 377. XII. THAT THERE IS JEALOUSY ALSO FOR MISTRESSES, BUT IT IS NOT OF THE SAME NATURE AS FOR WIVES. With man, jealousy for wives springs from inmosts, but jealousy for mistresses from outmosts. Therefore they differ in kind. That jealousy for wives springs from inmosts is because in inmosts resides conjugial love; and it resides there because, by reason of its eternal pact established by covenant, and also by reason of equality of right, in that what belongs to the one partner belongs to the other, marriage unites souls and binds minds together more deeply. This binding and union, once imposed, remains unbroken, whatsoever be the later love between them, whether warm or cold. [2] Thence it is, that invitation to love by a wife chills the whole man from inmosts to ultimates, while invitation to love by a mistress does not thus chill the lover. To jealousy for a wife is added ambition for a good name for the sake of honor, while jealousy for a mistress lacks this accessory. Yet both these jealousies vary according to the seat of the love received from the wife, and of that received from the mistress, and at the same time, according to the state of the judgment of the man receiving it.

CL 378. XIII. THAT THERE IS JEALOUSY ALSO WITH BEASTS AND BIRDS. That it exists with wild beasts, such as lions, tigers, bears, etc., when with their young, is well known; and also with bulls, even when there are no calves with them, and most conspicuously in cocks which fight with rivals for their hens, even to the death. The reason why these latter have such jealousy is because they are vainglorious lovers, and the glory of that kind of love does not brook an equal. That they are vainglorious lovers above every other genus and species of birds is apparent from their carriage, their nod, their gait, and their crowing. That with men, whether lovers or not, the glory of honor induces jealousy and exalts and sharpens it, has been confirmed above.

CL 379. XIV. THAT JEALOUSY WITH MEN AND HUSBANDS IS DIFFERENT FROM JEALOUSY WITH WOMEN AND WIVES. The differences, however, cannot be distinctly set forth; for with married partners, jealousy is of one kind with those who love each other spiritually, of another with those who love each other only naturally, of another with those who are of dissident minds, and of another with one who has subjected the other to the yoke of obedience. Considered in themselves, manly and wifely jealousy are different, being from different origins. The origin of manly jealousy is in the understanding, but that of wifely jealousy is in the will applied to the understanding of their men. Therefore, manly jealousy is as a flame of wrath and anger, but wifely jealousy is as a fire restrained by a variety of fears, a variety of attitudes to the husband, a variety of regards to her own love, and a variety in her prudence in not disclosing this love to the husband by jealousy. These two kinds of jealousy are distinguished, because wives are loves and men are recipients; and to wives it is obnoxious to be prodigal* of their love before their men, but not so to the recipients of that love before their wives. It is different with the spiritual. [2] With these, the man's jealousy is transferred to the wife, just as the wife's love is transferred to the man. Therefore, in both, the jealousy against the attempts of a violator appears to be the same; but the Wife's jealousy against the attempts of a harlot violator is inspired in the man as grief weeping and moving the conscience.

CL 388. III. THAT THESE TWO SPHERES FLOW, UNIVERSALLY AND SINGLY, INTO ALL THINGS OF HEAVEN AND ALL THINGS OF THE WORLD, FROM THE FIRST OF THEM TO THE LAST. It is said universally and singly because, when universal is mentioned, then at the same time are meant the single things of which it consists, it being from these that it has its existence and consistence; thus, from these it has its name, just as a general is so called from its parts.* If, therefore, you take away the single things, the universal is a mere name and is like a surface within which is nothing. Therefore, the attributing of a universal government to God, while taking away the single things of that government, is an empty expression and is like a predication of inanity. No comparison with the universal government of kings on earth is valid. Hence it is here said that these two spheres flow in universally and singly.

CL 389. That the spheres of procreating and of protecting what is procreated, that is, the spheres of conjugial love and of the love of infants, flow into all things of heaven and all things of the world from the first thereof to the last, is because all things proceeding from the Lord, that is, from the sun which is from Him and in which He is, pass through the created universe to the very ultimates of all things thereof. The reason is, because things Divine, which in their progression are called celestial and spiritual, are devoid of space and time. It is well known that when speaking of spiritual things there is no predication of extension because none of space and time. Hence it is, that whatever proceeds from the Lord is in things last from things first in an instant. That in this way the sphere of conjugial love is universal may be seen above (nos. 222-25). [2] That this is likewise the case with the sphere of the love of infants is manifest from that love in heaven where are infants from the earth; also from that love as it is in the world with men and with beasts, birds, serpents, and insects. There are also analogues of that love in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms--in the vegetable kingdom, in that seeds are protected by husks as by swaddling-clothes, are in fruit as in a home, and are nourished with sap as with milk. That there is something like this among minerals is evident from the matrices and coverings wherein noble gems and noble metals are hidden and guarded.

CL 390. That the sphere of procreating and the sphere of protecting what is procreated make one in a continuous series, is because the love of procreating is continued into that which is procreated. The nature of the love of procreating is learned from its delight, in that this is supereminent and transcendent. With men, the state of procreation is within that delight, and with women notably the state of reception. In the latter, this supreme delight with its love follows on into the bringing forth, and there is in its fullness.


It was said above (no. 386), that the bringing into operation of uses by the Lord through the spheres proceeding from Him is Divine Providence. It is this Providence, therefore, that is meant by the sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves; for it is provided from creation that things created shall be preserved, guarded, protected, and supported, otherwise the universe would go to ruin. With living creatures to whom is left freedom of choice, this cannot be done by the Lord immediately; therefore it is done mediately through His love implanted in fathers, mothers, and nurses. That the love is a love that is in them from the Lord, this they do not know, for they do not perceive the influx and still less the omnipresence of the Lord. But who does not see that this is not a thing of nature but of Divine providence operating in nature by nature? and that a universal of this kind is not possible except from God by a spiritual sun which is in the center of the universe, and whose operation, being without space and time, is instant and present in things last from things first?

[2] As to how that Divine operation, which is the Lord's Divine Providence, is received by animate beings, this shall be told in what follows. Mothers and fathers protect and support their infants because these are not able to protect and support themselves. This, however, is not the cause of the love of infants but is a rational cause due to the coming down of that love into their understanding. From the rational cause alone, in the absence of a love breathed in and inspiring it, or without the compulsion of law and punishment, man would no more provide for his infants than a statue.

CL 392. V. THAT THIS SPHERE AFFECTS BOTH THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND DISPOSES EVERY ONE TO LOVE, PROTECT, AND SUPPORT HIS OFFSPRING FROM HIS OWN LOVE. It is the testimony of experience that the love of infants or storge is equally with the evil as with the good, and likewise with mild beasts and with savage; yea, that with evil men as with savage beasts it is sometimes stronger and more ardent. The reason is, because every love proceeding and flowing in from the Lord is turned in the subject into the life's love of that subject. No animate subject feels otherwise than that it loves of itself, since it does not perceive the influx. When in addition it actually loves itself, it makes the love of infants its own love of self; for it sees itself, as it were, in them, and them in itself, and thus itself united with them. [2] Hence it is that this love is fiercer with savage beasts, such as lions, bears, leopards, wolves and other like beasts, male and female, than with horses, deer, goats, and sheep; for these savage beasts have dominion over the mild, and hence a predominating love of self, and this love loves itself in its progeny. Therefore, as was said, the inflowing love is turned into the recipient's own love. This inversion of inflowing love into what is their own, and the resultant protection and support of their offspring and babes by evil parents, is of the Lord's Divine Providence, for otherwise but few of the human race would be left, and of ferocious beasts, which yet are of use, none at all. From this it is evident that every one is disposed to love, protect, and support his offspring from his own love.


All operations in the universe progress from ends through causes into effects. In themselves, these three are inseparable, though in idea they appear as if separated. Yet, even in idea the end is nothing unless at the same time the effect intended is seen. Nor do these two become anything unless a cause supports, provides for, and conjoins them.

[2] Such a progression, exactly like will, understanding, and action, is inscribed on every man, both in general and in his every single part. In him, every end pertains to his will, every cause to his understanding, and every effect to his action. So likewise every end pertains to his love; every cause, being the means to the end, to his wisdom; and every effect therefrom to his use. The reason is because the receptacle of love is the will, the receptacle of wisdom is the understanding, and the receptacle of use is action. Since, therefore, operations in man, both in general and in his every single part, progress from the will through the understanding into the act, they also progress from love through wisdom into use; but here by wisdom is meant all that pertains to judgment and thought. That in the effect these three are one is evident. That they also make one in man's ideas prior to the effect, is perceived from the fact that [in the actual effect] it is merely determination that intervenes; for in the mind, the end goes forth from the will and produces for itself a cause in the understanding, and there presents to itself an intention--and intention is as the act prior to determination. Hence it is, that by a wise man and also by the Lord, the intention is accepted for the deed.

[3] What rational man cannot see, or on hearing cannot acknowledge, that these three flow forth from some first Cause? and that that cause is the fact that from the Lord the Creator and Preserver of the universe continually proceed love, Wisdom, and use, the three proceeding as a one? Tell me, if you can, from Where else can they flow?

CL 401. The sphere of procreating and of protecting what is procreated has a like progression from end, through cause, into effect. The end there, is the will or love of procreating. The mediate cause through which and into which the end betakes itself is conjugial love. The progressive series of efficient causes is the loving embrace, the conception and gestation of the embryo or fetus to be procreated, and the effect, this being the procreated infant itself. But although end, cause, and effect progress successively as three, yet, in the love of procreating and inwardly in the several causes and in the effect itself, they make a one. It is only the efficient causes that progress through time, because in nature; the end, that is, the will and love remain ever the same; for in nature, ends progress through times without time, but they cannot come forth and manifest themselves until the effect or use exists and becomes their subject. Prior to this, the love could love only the progression; it could not fix and establish itself. [2] That there are periods of such progressions is known and also that the preservation of Creation in the state foreseen and provided for, is effected by their means. But the series of the love of infants from its greatest to its least, and so to its terminus where it stops or comes to an end, is a retrograde series because it proceeds according to the decrease of innocence in its subject, and also because of its periods.

CL 415. To the above I will add the following Memorable Relation: One morning when I awoke from sleep, and before being fully awake was meditating in the early and serene light, I saw through the window something like a flash of lightning, and presently I heard something like the rumbling of thunder. As I was wondering where this came from, I heard these words from heaven: "Not far from you are some men who are reasoning sharply about God and nature. The vibration of light as of lightning, and the rumbling of the air as of thunder are correspondences and thence appearances of the contest and collision of their arguments, on the one side in favor of God and on the other in favor of nature."

The cause of this spiritual combat was as follows: There were some satans in hell who said among themselves, "Would that it were allowed us to speak with angels of heaven; we would conclusively and fully demonstrate that what they call the God from whom are all things, is nature, and that unless nature is meant, God is merely a word." Because those satans believed this with their whole heart and soul, and also desired to speak With angels of heaven, it was given them to ascend out of the mire and darkness of hell and to speak with two angels then descending from heaven. They were in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell.

[2] Seeing the angels there, the satans rushed up to them and cried out in a furious voice: "Are you the angels of heaven whom it is allowed us to meet for the purpose of reasoning about God and nature? Because you acknowledge God, you are called wise, but oh! how simple you are! Who can see God? Who can understand what God is? Who can comprehend that God governs or can govern the universe and each and every single thing thereof? Who but the common herd and the vulgar acknowledges what he does not see and understand? What is more obvious than that nature is the all in all? Who with his eyes has seen anything but nature? or with his ears has heard anything but nature? or with his nostrils has smelled anything but nature? or with his tongue has tasted anything but nature? or by the touch of his hand or body has felt anything but nature? Are not the senses of our body the sole witnesses of truth? and on their evidence, who cannot swear that such is the case? Are not your heads in nature? Whence but from her comes influx into the thoughts of your head? Take nature away, can you think anything?" besides much else of the same sort.

[3] Hearing this, the angels responded: "You speak in this way because you are merely sensual. All in the hells have the ideas of their thoughts immersed in the senses of the body and cannot elevate their minds above them. Therefore we excuse you. A life of evil, and thence a belief in what is false, has so closed the interiors of your minds that with you elevation above things sensual is impossible except in a state removed from evils of life and falsities of faith; for a satan, while hating truth, can understand it equally well as an angel, but he does not retain it because evil obliterates truth and brings in falsity. We perceive that you are now in a state thus removed and so can understand the truth which we speak. Give heed then to what we shall say."

They then continued: "You were in the natural world and died there, and you are now in the spiritual world. Until now, did you know anything about the life after death? Did you not formerly deny it and put yourselves on a level with beasts? Did you previously know anything about heaven and hell? or about the light and heat of this world? or the fact that you are no longer within nature but above her? For this world and all things thereof are spiritual, and spiritual things are so far above natural that not the least of nature can flow into this world. But you, believing nature to be a god or goddess, believe also that the light and heat of this world are the light and heat of the natural world, when yet this is by no means the case; for here natural light is thick darkness, and natural heat cold. Did you know anything about the sun of this world from which proceed our light and heat? Did you know that this sun is pure love, and the sun of the natural world pure fire? that the sun of the world, being pure fire, is that from which nature existed and subsists, and the sun of heaven, being pure love, that from which life itself, which is love together with wisdom, existed and subsists? thus that nature, which you make to be a god or goddess, is absolutely dead? [4] If a guard is granted you, you can ascend with us into heaven, and if a guard is granted us, we can descend with you into hell. In heaven you will see things magnificent and splendid, but in hell, things squalid and unclean. Such are the differences between them, because all in the heavens worship God, and all in the hells worship nature; and the magnificent and splendid things in the heavens are correspondences of the affections of good and truth, while the squalid and unclean things in the hells are correspondences of the lusts of evil and falsity. And now, from all this, draw your own conclusion as to whether God be the All in all or nature."

To this the satans replied: "In the state in which we now are, we are able to draw the conclusion from what we have heard, that it is God; but when the delight of evil takes possession of our minds we see nothing but nature."

[5] The two angels and the two satans were standing at the right, not far from me, so that I both heard and saw them. And lo, around them I saw many spirits who in the natural world had been celebrated for learning; and I marveled that these learned men stood now beside the angels, now beside the satans, and that they favored those beside whom they stood. It was then told me that their changes of place were Changes of their mental state, which favored now one side, now the other; "for" [said my informants], "they are vertumni. And we will tell you a mystery. We ourselves looked down upon the earth at men celebrated for learning who have thought about God and nature from their own judgment, and out of a thousand we found six hundred in favor of nature and the rest in favor of God; but we found the latter to be in favor of God because they had frequently said that nature is from God, saying this, not from any understanding, but only from what they had heard; for speech from memory and recollection and not at the same time from thought and intelligence, often induces a sort of faith."

[6] After this, a guard was given the satans, and with the two angels they ascended into heaven and saw things magnificent and splendid. Moreover, being then in enlightenment from the heavenly light there, they acknowledged that there is a God, and that nature was created to serve the life which is in God and from God; also that nature in herself is dead and so does nothing of herself but is actuated by life. Having seen and perceived all this, they descended; and as the descended, the love of evil returned, closing their understanding above and opening it below. Then, above it, appeared as it were, a veil, flashing from infernal fire; and the moment their feet touched the earth, the ground opened beneath them and they sank down to their own.

CL 416. After this the two angels, seeing me near them, said to the bystanders, "We know that this man has written about God and nature; let us hear him." And they approached me and asked that what had been written respecting God and nature might be read to them. I then read therefrom* the following.

"From the innumerable things which they see in nature, those who believe in a Divine operation in every single thing of nature can equally well, nay, far more easily, confirm themselves in favor of the Divine, than those who [deny God can] confirm themselves in favor of nature. For those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine take note of the marvels which are observed in the production both of plants and of animals--in the PRODUCTION OF PLANTS, in that from a small seed cast into the ground comes a root; by means of the root a stem, and then in succession branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, even to new seeds, exactly as though the seed knew the order of succession or the process by which it was to renew itself. What rational man can think that the sun, which is pure fire, knows this? or that it can so endow its heat and light as to produce such effects? that in those effects it can produce marvelous forms and can intend a use? Seeing such things and reflecting upon them, a man whose rational is elevated cannot think otherwise than that they are from Him who has infinite wisdom, thus from God. Moreover, those who acknowledge the Divine, do see this and think it. Not so those who do not acknowledge the Divine, for they do not wish thus to see and think. Thus, letting their rational down into the sensual, which draws all its ideas from the lumen** in which are the senses of the body, they confirm the fallacies of the senses, saying, Do you not see the sun performing these operations by its heat and light? What is that which you do not see? Is it anything?

[2] "Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine take note of the marvels which are observed in the PRODUCTIONS OF ANIMALS. Here I make mention merely of their production in eggs. In these, the chick is latent in its seed or initiament together with every requisite until the time of hatching, and also with every requisite during its progress after the hatching, until it becomes a bird or winged creature in the form of its genitor. And if one gives heed to their form and thinks deeply [he will see] that it is of such a nature that he cannot but come into a state of amazement. As, for example, that in the tiniest creatures as in the largest, yea, in the invisible as in the visible, that is, in little insects as in large birds or beasts, are organs of the senses, namely, sight, smell, taste, touch, and, inasmuch as they fly and walk, organs of motion, namely, muscles; also viscera surrounding their hearts and lungs, which are put in motion by their brains. That these are enjoyed by lowly insects is known from the anatomy of such insects as described by authors, especially by Swammerdam in his Biblia Naturae.

[3] "Those who ascribe all things to nature do indeed see these things, but think simply that they are, and say that nature produces them, saying this because they have turned their mind away from thinking of the Divine. When they see the marvels in nature, those who have turned away from thinking of the Divine cannot think rationally, still less spiritually, but think sensually and materially. They then think, not above nature, but from her and in her, in like manner as do those who are in hell. They differ from beasts only in this, that they enjoy rationality, that is, are able to understand, and so can think differently if they will.

[4] "Those who turn away from thinking of the Divine, when they see the marvels in nature and thereby become sensual, do not consider that the sight of the eye is so gross that it sees a number of little insects as a single dark speck; that yet each one of them is organized for sensation and motion, and is therefore furnished with fiber and vessels and also with little hearts, pulmonary tubes, viscera, and brains; that these are woven of the purest things in nature, and that the weavings correspond to some life by which their minutest parts are distinctly actuated. Since the sight of the eye is so gross that to it many such creatures, With the innumerable things within each, appear as dark specks and yet those who are sensual think and judge from that sight, the grossness of their mind and so the darkness in which they are in respect to things spiritual, becomes evident.

CL 417. "From the things visible in nature, every one can confirm himself in favor of the Divine if he will. Moreover, he Who thinks of God from life does so confirm himself; as, for example, When he sees the birds of the air, that each species knows its foods and where they are, recognizes its kind by sound and sight, and among other kinds, Which are its friends and which its enemies; that they choose their mates, know how to love, skillfully build nests, there lay their eggs, sit upon them, know the time of incubation, and when this is passed, hatch out their young, love them with the utmost tenderness, gather them under their wings, bring food in their bills and feed them until they come to their own right and can themselves do the same things and Procreate a family to perpetuate the species. Every one who is willing to think of the Divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural, can see it in these operations. Moreover, if he will, he can say in his heart, Such knowledge cannot flow into these birds from the sun through its rays of light; for the sun from which nature draws her origin and essence is pure fire; and therefore the rays of its light are absolutely dead. Thus he can conclude that such things are from the influx of Divine Wisdom into the ultimates of nature.

CL 418. "From the things visible in nature, every one can confirm himself in favor of the Divine when he sees those worms which, from the delight of some desire, strive after and aspire to a change of their earthly state to a state analogous to the heavenly, and for this purpose creep into places where they put themselves into a womb, as it were, to be born again, and there become chrysalises, aurelias, nymphs, and at last butterflies; and after undergoing this metamorphosis, then, clothed with beautiful wings according to the species, fly off into the air as into their heaven and there engage in genial sport, mate, lay eggs, provide for themselves a posterity, and then nourish themselves on delectable and sweet food drawn from flowers. What man is there, if from the visible things of nature he confirms himself in favor of the Divine, who does not see in these creatures as worms, some image of man's earthly state, and in them as butterflies, some image of his heavenly state? Those who confirm themselves in favor of nature do indeed see these operations, but having rejected man's heavenly state from their mind, they call them mere instincts of nature.

CL 419. "From the visible things in nature, every one can confirm himself in favor of the Divine when he takes note of What is known concerning bees; that they know how to collect wax and suck honey from herbs and flowers; to build cells like little houses, and to arrange them into the form of a city with streets through which they come and go; that they scent from afar the flowers and herbs from which they collect wax for their house and honey for their food, and laden with these, fly back in a direct line to their hive. Thus they provide for themselves food and dwelling for the coming winter as though they had knowledge and foresight. They also set over them as queen, a mistress by whom a posterity may be propagated; and for her, they build above them a kind of palace with attendants round about it; and when the time of bringing forth is at hand, then, accompanied by her attendants, she goes from cell to cell and lays her eggs; and lest these be injured by the air, they are besmeared all around by the crowd that follows her; and from these eggs they obtain a new progeny. Later, when this progeny has come to an age able to do the same things, it is driven from the home; and the swarm thus driven out, first gathers itself together and then, in a compact body lest the company be scattered, it flies off to seek for itself a domicile. Moreover, about autumn, the useless drones are led out and deprived of their wings lest they return and consume the food on which they have expended no labor; besides many other marvels. From all this it can be seen that because of the use they perform to the human race, and by virtue of influx out of the spiritual world, bees have a form of government like that which is among men on earth, yea, among angels in heaven. What man is there of unimpaired reason who does not see that such operations among bees are not from the natural world? What has the sun, the source of nature, in common with a government emulous of the government of heaven and analogous thereto?

"From the above and from similar marvels with brute animals, the confessor and worshipper of nature confirms himself in favor of nature, while, from the same things, the confessor and worshipper of God confirms himself in favor of the Divine, the spiritual man seeing in them spiritual things, and the natural man seeing in them natural things, each seeing in accordance With his nature. As regards myself, to me such things have been testimonies of the influx of the spiritual into the natural, that is, of the spiritual world into the natural world, thus of influx from the Lord's Divine wisdom. Reflect also on this: Is it possible for you to think analytically concerning any form of government, or any civil law or moral virtue or spiritual truth, unless the Divine from His wisdom flow in through the spiritual world? As to myself, it has not been possible, nor is it, for both by perception and by sensation, I have observed that influx, and this now for twenty-five years continuously. Therefore I say this as one who has witnessed it.

CL 420. "Can nature have use for an end, and arrange uses into orders and forms? None can do this save one who is wise; and none can thus ordinate and form the universe save God who has infinite wisdom. Who else Can foresee and provide all those things which are food and clothing for mankind, food from the fruits of the earth and from animals, and clothing from the same? It is among marvels that those lowly worms called silkworms should clothe in silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings to maidservants and menservants; and that lowly worms which become bees should supply wax for the lights from which churches and palaces are in their splendor. These and many other things are outstanding proofs that the Lord operates all things which are in nature from Himself through the spiritual world.

CL 421. "To this it should be added that men who from things visible in the world, have so confirmed themselves in favor of nature that they became atheists, have been seen by me in the spiritual world. Seen in spiritual light, their understanding was open below but closed above, and this because in heir thought they had looked downwards to the earth and not upwards to heaven. Above their sensual, Which is the lowest part of the understanding, appeared, as it were, a veil. With some it was flashing from infernal fire, with others it was black as soot, and with still others, livid as a corpse. Let every one, therefore, beware of confirmations in favor of nature. Let him confirm himself in favor of the Divine; there is no lack of material.

CL 422. "Some indeed are to be pardoned for having ascribed certain visible things to nature, in that they have not known anything about the sun of the spiritual world where the Lord is, and about influx therefrom; nor anything about that world itself and the state thereof, no, nor anything about its presence with men. Thus they could not have thought otherwise than that the spiritual was a purer natural, and that angels were either in the ether or in the stars; and of the devil, that either he was man's evil or, if he actually existed, that he was in the air or in the deep; and that after death the souls of men are either in the inmost part of the earth or in some Ubi or Pu, until the day of judgment; and other like notions which fantasy has induced from ignorance of the spiritual world and of its sun. This is the reason why they are to be pardoned who have believed that nature Produces her visible things from something implanted from creation. But those are not to be pardoned who by confirmations in favor of nature have made themselves atheists; for they could have confirmed themselves in favor of the Divine. Ignorance does indeed excuse, but it does not take away the falsity that has been confirmed, for this coheres with evil, and evil with hell."

A brief overview of spiritual psychology may be found in here:  Go to Part 4

Go to Part 2 of this article  ||  Go to Part 3 of this article || Go to Part 4 || Go to Part 5
See also
Spiritual Geography Part 1
See also Hexagrammatic and Enneadic Structures in the Genes of Culture
See also
The Vertical Community
See also
Spiritual Psychobiology
See also
De Hemelsche Leer Article

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