Diagnostic Test of Rational Spirituality
The purpose of this test is to help you to critically examine your thinking about spiritual topics. These include:
What or who is God
What is heaven and hell
What happens when we die
What are spirits and can we communicate with them
What are angels and devils and do they affect us
Why God allows evil in the world
What is sin, rebirth, reformation, regeneration, and salvation
What is the importance and role of revelation
Can there be a science of God from God about God
What is love, good, truth, and wisdom
What is spiritual enlightenment and higher consciousness
What is the role of marriage in creation and the future
What is the relation between the finite and infinite
What is the relation between the natural and spiritual or supernatural
Are miracles real
Instructions: For each question, select the alternative that is closest to your current thinking by circling the appropriate choice on the Answer Sheet below. Then rate the description you selected in terms of how much confidence you have that this view is correct by writing in one of the numbers on the Answer Sheet next to the choice you selected:
Uncertain 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. 4 .. 5 .. 6 .. 7 .. 8 .. 9.. 10 ..11 .. 12 Absolutely certain
This test has 100 items and many of them require reflection. To minimize fatigue or boredom I recommend that you take several sessions to complete it.
Use the Answer Key given below to figure out your score. The score reflects your dominant level of thinking regarding spiritual subjects. Each question has three alternative answers and each alternative reflects one of the three ideologies of rational spirituality – phase 1 ideology, phase 2 ideology, phase 3 ideology. These three phases are explained in the book. The Answer Sheet allows you to circle the alternative that most closely represents your way of thinking about that topic. When you complete the test, you can lay your Answer Sheet next to the Answer Key. You can then circle the phase of the alternative you selected for each item. You then count the number of answers you selected from each of the three phases. That’s your score. It is made up of three numbers. Instructions on how to interpret your score are given on the Answer Key below.
For each of the 100 questions, circle the alternative that best represents your thinking on the topic. Then write a number 1 to 12 in the box next to it to indicate your rating of certainty. Answer every question. When in doubt, pick the best possible answer for you. Scoring instructions and an explanation of how to interpret your score, appear at the end of the test items.
1. What is your view on immortality?
a. Every human being is immortal. Upon death of the physical body the individual awakens in the world of spirits to continue life in a spirit-body that is immortal.
b. In the future, prolonging life by artificial means could postpone death indefinitely. In this sense we are potentially immortal.
c. Immortality is the gift of resurrection and eternal life for all those who have faith in the Lord as the Savior and have thereby been declared righteous in the eyes of the Father.
2. Where is the mind of a human being?
a. The mind of a human being could not exist anywhere in the natural world, but exists in the spiritual world only. Hence we are born dual citizens – our physical body on earth which is attached to our mind in the world of spirits.
b. The mind is in the brain but the spirit is with God. Upon death, the body and the spirit are separated, but then reunited at the universal resurrection.
c. The mind is an emergent epiphenomenon of the brain’s evolutionary activity. If you destroy the brain, the mind is also destroyed.
3. What happens when we die?
a. When the physical body dies, the immortal mind awakens a few hours later in a spirit-body that lives forever in either heaven or hell.
b. When we die, the brain stops functioning and the entire body disintegrates, returning to its originating elements. The mind cannot survive without this body.
c. When we die, it is only temporary until some future time when things are ripe on earth, and all who died will awaken and begin again a new life, repopulating the earth under better conditions than before.
4. What determines your fate in the afterlife?
a. If there is an afterlife people’s fate there would no doubt depend on their intelligence and skills of survival.
b. Your faith determines whether you’re going to heaven or hell.
c. Your character determines whether you’re going to heaven or hell.
5. Is sex possible in heaven?
a. In heaven we do not have a sensuous body capable of eating or engaging in sexual activity. We are then more like angels than people on earth.
b. Upon death of the physical body, we awaken in a spirit-body which is even better equipped for a sensuous life, including sexual activity. However, this is not a material physical-sensuous experience but a substantive spiritual-sensuous experience.
c. Sex is a physical activity, and without a physical body sex cannot exist.
6. Is sex possible in hell?
a. Those in hell do not have a sensuous body capable of sexual activity. They have a spirit that is afire with lusts that cannot be satisfied and for which they are tormented.
b. Sexual activity in the afterlife depends on possessing a spirit-body equipped with the five senses and its organs. Those entering the afterlife who bring with them a character of evil loves, enter the life of hell. All bodily acts are therefore possible there, including sexual activity.
c. Sex is a physical activity, and without a physical body sex cannot exist. Hell is what you feel here on earth when you’re depressed or in agony, or when you’re tormented with bad luck and failure. In that sense you can have sex in hell.
7. Angels are people from earth who made it to heaven.
c. It’s not possible to know
8. Devils are people from earth who ended up in hell.
c. It’s not possible to know
9. There are many heavens, one for each religion
c. It’s not possible to know
10. What is most crucial to our salvation?
a. The right faith
b. The right character
c. The right deeds
11. Consciousness raising and spiritual progress is accomplished most by:
a. By practicing of the right physical and mental disciplines
b. By experiencing ecstatic union with God
c. By accumulating genuine truths in the understanding and goods in the will
12. What is heaven and hell?
a. Heaven and hell are operations in the human mind maintained by our chief love and affections.
b. Heaven is the Kingdom of God on earth restored to its glory. Hell is the prison of the damned.
c. When you feel great, you’re in heaven. When you’re depressed, you’re in hell.
13. There is a natural world and a spiritual world.
b. It depends on your assumptions
c. The spiritual realm is the holy and the Divine. God is a Spirit, and so is the Holy Spirit, as well as angels and Cherubim. Also the devil.
14. When we die we eventually return to earth for another life, until it is no longer necessary for us to do so.
a. An awful lot of people have thought this for millennia so there must be some truth in it.
b. There is no returning to earth once we are cut off from this world and enter the afterlife where we pursue life to eternity.
c. This may be true for some individuals in special cases like Elijah who returned as John the Baptist.
15. Is God Divine and Human or only Divine?
a. God is only Divine while humans are Divine only when they reach their highest self
b. God is Divine and we are human
c. God is Human as well as Divine
16. How do you see the relation between God and human beings?
a. God is in every human being, hence we can meaningfully say “the God in me greets the God in you”
b. Nothing that is Divine can belong to a human being, though we can be conjoined to God through love and truth received in our mind
c. God is far above human beings though some people can be saintly enough to be nearer to God than most.
17. On the relation between God and human beings:
18. What’s the difference between natural matter and spiritual substance?
19. Which assertion about planets represents more nearly your own view?
a. Most planets do not support human life, but some might. Space exploration will provide a valid answer.
b. Life was created on this planet. In the coming future, all planets and stars will be destroyed and a new Kingdom of God will arise with those who are saved, and it is going to last forever.
c. An endless number of planets are constantly being created to support a human population that can prepare itself for heaven.
20. What is consciousness?
a. Consciousness is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we are receptive
b. Conscious awareness is a higher order emergent epiphenomenon
c. Consciousness is the elevation of the mind into rational perception when we receive truth
21. What are the parts of the human mind?
a. Spirit, truth, and love
b. Natural mind, rational mind, and spiritual mind
c. Cortex, cerebellum, and brain stem
22. What is a discrete degree “within”?
a. What is within is above, higher, and superior in rationality
b. What is within is more mystical and less rational
c. What is within something is revealed by structural and chemical analysis
23. What produces consciousness in the mind?
a. Emergent evolutionary capacity
b. Miraculous gift of life and love
c. Rational understanding of Divine Truth
24. What is the meaning of the assertion: “Heaven is within you.”
a. Heaven is a poetic reference to an imaginary utopia of happiness and immortality
b. Heaven is a state of mind that is fully receptive of the Lord’s love and truth
c. Heaven is the Kingdom of the Lord to which are admitted those who are saved by their faith in His sacrifice
25. What is the meaning of the assertion: “Hell is within you.”
a. Hell is a state of mind when we turn ourselves away from the Lord’s love and truth
b. Hell is a poetic reference to an imaginary place of torture and despair
c. Hell is the punishment of the damned
26. How many layers or levels of heavens are there?
a. Natural Heaven, Spiritual Heaven, and Celestial Heaven
b. Imaginary heavens in potentially endless layers
c. One Heaven under One God
27. Which reasoning is closest to your own thinking?
a. The idea of higher and lower heavens is discriminatory of some people, which God does not do, and therefore all faithful believers who are sincere and good, are in one Heaven under God
b. All social groupings must have status differentiation of members based on power and influence
c. Heaven is not a reward or an honor, but a state of mind or character, some of which are good but simple minded, while others are good and wise. Therefore the good and wise are in a higher heaven than the good and simple.
28. The idea of “hell forever” is controversial. Which reasoning is nearest to your own thinking?
a. It is repugnant to suppose that a loving and omnipotent God could keep people in hell forever, no matter what they did before getting there. Hell is a place of purification from evils that we picked up along the way, and when it is done, we emerge from hell
b. God allows people in hell to exit by giving up their injurious intentions, but they stubbornly refuse, even to eternity, testifying to the truth of the expression “I rather rot in hell forever”
c. The idea of “hell forever” testifies to the depth of depravity of the human psyche
29. What does spiritual salvation consist of?
a. Salvation is by means of sincere faith in the cleansing power of the blood of Christ
b. Salvation is by means of progressive character reformation from evil to good
c. Salvation is by means of religious piety sincerely performed until death
30. Is doing “good works” and “charity” necessary for salvation?
a. Salvation is achieved when we reform our character from evil to good, by daily struggles with our temptations, made effective by relying on God
b. Salvation is by sincerity of faith, not by changing our sinful nature
c. Altruism counteracts selfishness and benefits society, insuring its survival
31. What is the relationship between truth and love?
c. With a sincere person, love and truth are both from the heart
a. Love is immediate in experience while truth is more abstract
b. Love is within truth, and therefore truth is the outside form by which love manifests itself
32. Are there different types of truth?
a. There is natural truth, spiritual truth, and celestial truth
b. Truth from God is unitary, not varied
c. Truth is drawing correct conclusions after considering all the facts
33. What is scientific dualism?
a. The premise that there are two separate and interacting worlds, natural and spiritual, with God creating and managing both
b. A contradiction in terms since dualism refers to God or spirit, which is outside the purview of science
c. The theory that consciousness is an emergent phenomenon from brain evolution
34. What is theistic science?
a. The attempt to turn science into religion, or to blur the differences
b. Scientific dualism in which God’s role in every phenomenon is explained by means of scientific revelations given through the Word
c. An intellectual movement in the history of science that ended with the modern era in science
35. What is the Threefold Word in which God gave us scientific revelations?
a. The Word of God is Sacred Scripture -- Old and New Testaments
b. If it’s the Word of God, it is about religious revelations, not science
c. The Threefold Word is The Hebrew Word, the Greek Word, and the Latin Word
36. What is the relative standing between religion and science?
a. Religion is above science
b. The two cannot be compared in this way
c. True Science, which is from the Threefold Word, is above religion
37. Can atheistic scientists be rational?
a. Yes -- atheistic science has done well in its own sphere of civilization and technology, due to the rationality of scientists
b. God does not intervene in the experiments of scientists but lets natural laws govern the results
c. No -- the success of atheistic science and engineering was brought about by Divine Providence despite the lack of rationality of atheistic science
38. What does it mean that Swedenborg had a dual consciousness?
a. That he was capable of trance like states during which he was possessed by spirits.
b. That he was consciously aware of what went on around him in the natural world and in the spiritual world.
c. That he developed the ability to be consciously awake in his visionary states.
39. Did Swedenborg’s exploration of the spiritual world include scientific experiments he conducted while there?
a. No. Scientific experiments are conducted in the natural world.
b. Yes. He had the assistance of angels to introduce experimental states in spirits, and then observe the consequences, and this repeatedly.
c. The departed in spirit are in the Lord and are not involved in scientific research.
40. What kind of information about the spiritual world did Swedenborg report in the Writings?
a. Subjective personal accounts
b. Objective empirical observations
c. Interpretive descriptions of spiritual visions
41. Can God be a legitimate concept in scientific explanations?
a. Yes because the universe is a global system acting as a whole, which can be described by more and more abstract principles. These super-abstractions give rise to the idea of God, and in that sense, God is an appropriate concept to use.
b. Yes because God provides scientific revelations of Himself and His rational methods of achieving creation and management it.
c. No because God is beyond scientific description. To try describe God by science is to turn God from an infinite Spirit, into a finite natural thing.
42. Can the Writings be considered True Science?
a. Religious revelations are for people’s salvation and not for science. They may contain scientific references used for illustrating theological points, not for science.
b. Yes, the Writings contain scientific revelations about how God created the universe and how He manages it by means of rational laws that are observable and verifiable.
c. The only “true science” is the entire enterprise of science by which it progressively gets more and more exact and inclusive, advancing by spurts, changing directions, always pursuing truth.
43. Can the Lord appear to people again in the natural world as He did before?
c. No one can know such a thing.
44. Is it rational to think that there is a Trinity of Three Divine Persons?
a. A valid definition of God awaits further scientific progress on explaining the universe as an integrated system. It is possible that a “Trinitarian” system of super-abstractions can act as one.
b. It is not rational because “three persons” cannot be one person, and therefore three Divine Persons cannot be One Divine Person. The Trinity refers to God’s three Divine Aspects as Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator.
c. The Trinity is a Divine mystery that cannot be rationally comprehended. Our faith is that Three Divine Persons constitute one Godhead.
45. When is the Second Coming of Christ supposed to take place?
a. The Second Coming of Christ will take place after this world goes through the tribulations of the end times and a new Kingdom on earth is established by the Lord composed of all the saved.
b. The Second Coming of Christ refers to a new evolutionary step in human consciousness, as evidenced by the New Age of post-modernism and universal spirituality which have started but have not reached their maturity.
c. The Second Coming of Christ has already happened in the Writings of Swedenborg, written in the 18th century.
46. Is there a sun in the spiritual world?
a. No, we have no need of any sun since the Lord supplies us with all we need.
b. That information is not available.
c. Yes, but it is made of love and wisdom, not material fire.
47. Can other religions possibly adopt the Writings as a revealed science book about God?
a. Yes, all religions can ultimately accept the Writings as a book of True Science, though they would certainly not be able to see that fact today.
b. No, since the Writings are a religious revelation, not scientific. To adopt the Writings means to become a New Church Christian.
c. Books that talk about God are religious books and every religion insists on their own books.
48. Compare the rationality of theistic and atheistic science.
a. Materialistic science is atheistic, but it is rational even though it doesn’t try to bring God into its explanations. It is rational as long as it sticks to natural phenomena.
b. Materialistic science is atheistic in the traditional sense of God, but not so in the sense of rational super-abstractions in universal system theory.
c. Theistic science, or scientific dualism, is rational while materialistic science, or scientific monism, is not rational since atheism is not rational, and materialistic science is atheistic.
49. If God is omnipotent, why does He allow evil in His creation?
a. There are forces of evil or fallen angels that struggle against God.
b. Evil is not really evil but a perspective on the world.
c. God allows certain evils, but not others, depending on when He can turn the evil to people’s ultimate benefit.
50. What happens to the Divine power God gives us to be able to plan and execute tasks?
a. The Divine power is given as a gift of Grace to be appropriated for ourselves.
b. The Divine power remains God’s power in us and never becomes ours.
c. The Divine power in us makes that part of us Divine and God-like.
51. Why does God give people the power to ignore Him and deny His existence?
a. Evil forces act against God and the minds of people against Him.
b. God keeps people in spiritual freedom. If we are given the power to acknowledge God we must also have the power to deny God.
c. God strives to be acknowledged, knocking to be admitted, but the Holy Spirit has no power where He is not wanted.
52. There is a controversy about whether or not the Writings have an inner sense. Which best represents your position?
a. The Writings say that the Word has a literal sense understood by all, and an inner spiritual sense understood by those who know correspondences and are enlightened by the Lord in accordance with their progress in regeneration. Therefore since the Writings are the Word, they have an inner sense.
b. The Old and New Testaments have an internal sense because they are Sacred Scripture, but the Writings are the Heavenly Doctrine, a Divine rational revelation whose literal sense is already spiritual, and hence it doesn’t need an internal sense like the Old and New Testaments. The Writings are the Word as Heavenly Doctrine, but they are not the Word as Sacred Scripture.
c. Possibly, but it has to be proven first before one can know for sure.
53. Is it possible to prove that the Bible is Divine?
a. No, since it requires spiritual faith rather than proof.
b. Yes, by using correspondences to demonstrate the existence of an orderly internal semantic series from Genesis to Revelations, showing that the historical events were brought about by Divine Providence to convey the internal series to our understanding, by which we might be regenerated.
c. No, because it was written by human beings!
54. What are demons?
a. Demons are people living in hell whose evil loves God brings into our mind to keep us in spiritual freedom, balanced in decision making between them, on the one hand, and the other, the people in heaven whose good loves He simultaneously brings into our mind. Thus we have spiritual freedom to choose.
b. Demons are fallen angels who have turned against God and try to lead people to evil.
c. Demons are bad characters in people’s imaginations.
55. What is the difference in the mentality of the Old and New Testaments?
a. They have the same mentality since they are both the Divine Word of God given for the salvation of the human race.
b. OT mentality is several centuries older than NT mentality, and this is reflected in the details of the historical narratives.
c. OT mentality is sectarian and literalistic, and prescribes ritual worship, while the NT mentality is inclusive and spiritual, and prescribes inner worship.
56. What role do temptations play in regeneration?
a. By means of temptations the Lord brings our evils to our attention and gives us the power to shun them.
b. Temptations are trials God brings to us in order to test our faith and to strengthen it.
c. Temptations are states of motivational conflict, usually involving the desire to do something and the fear of the taboo associated with it.
57. Miracles are of two kind, covert and overt. Overt miracles include healing or controlling the physical elements. Covert miracles include “lucky” events and success stories. Explain the difference.
a. Overt miracles are being witnessed today every day by both individuals and groups. People pray for their child to be healed, or for rain for the crop, and they get it. Without that prayer would the child be healed or the rain fall? Evangelists on TV and in large audiences of thousands perform miracles of healing every week. Miracles prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, so miracles abound with those who have faith, and may even be steadily increasing. The Lord promised that we shall perform miracles like He has, and we are. The Lord channels the power of healing to individuals to whom He gives that gift. The Lord listens to the prayers of the people in Church and the lonely individual alone in a desert.
b. All so called miracles are actually natural phenomena and those that cannot be explained have not been established as having taken place. There is a difference between “reporting a miracle” and a miracle “actually happening.” The easiest way for God to resolve all this doubt about His existence is to simply appear before us and give proof that He is above natural laws and that He controls them at will. Or He could take a group of trusted scientists and transfer them to Heaven, preferably with video cameras. Then they can be returned and tell the world.
c. Overt miracles produced by the Lord are described frequently in the Old and New Testaments. Their purpose was to strengthen the people’s faith, and for this they needed physical proof. This is called developing a “sensuous consciousness” of God. After the Lord left earth to ascend to Heaven, He gave the Holy Spirit as proof of God’s presence with every individual. This is called “rational consciousness” of God. In the new age of the Holy Spirit overt miracles have not been allowed because physical proof of God’s presence injures the further development of rational consciousness of God. This is what’s needed to prepare the mind for heaven and therefore the Lord now only produces covert miracles.
58. Paul declared that works do not save, but faith in the Lord saves. Which of these three explanations is closest to your view?
a. Paul argued that no one can keep from sinning and therefore everyone stands guilty before God’s Justice. It is useless to try to keep every commandment, for no one can. Instead we must rely on receiving the merit of Jesus who was sacrificed for the atonement of everybody’s sins. This attribution of the merit of Jesus to all sinners, is what saves. Therefore we are to rely on our faith in the saving power of the blood of Jesus and not on any attempt to keep all the commandments.
b. Faith is the power of the human mind to strengthen and comfort people. Works refers to altruism and obedience. These are more external rewards compared to the power of faith. Hence Paul was warning people that faith is more powerful than their struggle to be good.
c. Paul was referring to the Mosaic Laws of ritual sacrifice commanded by Jehovah to the people of Israel for the atonement of their sins. With the Coming of the Lord into the world, these former laws were no longer effective for the atonement of sins. Instead, faith in the Lord is the new way to salvation. Paul was not referring to the Ten Commandments, which were reinforced by Jesus and still apply to all Christians. Therefore unless we obey the Ten Commandments, in the letter and in the spirit, we cannot be saved regardless of our faith.
59. Why did Jesus pray to His Father since the Father and He were one, as it is written in the New Testament?
a. Jesus was the Son of God from eternity, now come down on earth and stuck in a frail human body. Whenever He was in need, He prayed to His Father Jehovah, the Creator, to receive strength and comfort, which the Father in Heaven gave Him as often as Jesus needed it.
b. Many people pray in an attempt to feel better when they are scared or depressed, especially people who are very religious oriented, like Jesus was.
c. Jehovah God Himself incarnated as Jesus. In this frail human form, God was temporarily divided between Himself as the infinite invisible Father, and Himself as the finite visible Jesus. Jesus was praying to Himself as the Father from within whenever He was in temptation and felt blinded and cut off from His inner Divine. But after Glorification, Resurrection, and Ascension, the visible Jesus and the invisible Father were united as one, like soul, mind, and body are one within one person.
60. What’s the relation between the Epistles in the New Testament and the Gospels?
a. The Gospels and the Book of Revelations are the Word of the New Testament, while the Book of Acts and the Epistles are the doctrinal commentaries that provide a rational understanding of the Gospels in relation to the Old Testament.
b. The Gospels, Book of Acts, the Epistles, and Book of Revelations together form the Word of the New Testament.
c. The Epistles, especially those of Paul to the Churches, show how the early Church solidified its hold over Christians and is a valuable historical document.
61. How do you resolve the fact that Jesus loved one disciple (John) more than another? Does God have favorites?
a. John’s personality was more pleasing to Jesus so He could love John more than Peter or James or the rest. God loves everyone but some people have a special relationship with God.
b. Jesus loved the disciples equally and it's only an appearance that he made distinctions. The distinctions Jesus made were not based on merit but on reciprocal love. It is John who loved the Lord more than the others, hence Jesus could give John more love that the other disciples could receive.
c. In every group you have distinctions of leadership and followers. John was evidently a leader who was closer to the chain of command than the other disciples who followed Jesus on a regular basis.
62. If you were to describe the hierarchical organization of heaven, which alternative would be closest to your thinking?
a. Heaven is a place in the clouds of glory around the Throne of God where He is constantly worshipped by Cherubim, angels, and saints. The closest are the Cherubim, then the Principal angels, then the lesser angels and saints.
b. There is a diversity of heavens, each suitable for the genius of its inhabitants. Within each heaven there is a diversity of citizenry, some who are in governmental positions of leadership in the community. These activities reflect the mind of those who are there.
c. People in heaven are not distinguished in rank, with one person being a prince or governor, while others being ordinary citizens, or with one city in heaven being higher in rank than another.
63. Compare the effectiveness of communal vs. individual prayer.
a. Many people believe in the power of prayer. If prayer releases some power that alters the events, then it makes sense to think that group prayer would be more effective, and especially if the number of people involved is large or very large.
b. Prayer cannot be thought of as effective or not effective. Prayer cannot influence God’s decisions. God wants us to pray because by praying we don’t ignore Him and He can give us more goods and truths.
c. Communal intercessionary prayer in Church gatherings are more effective than individual prayer for oneself. A group of worshippers is more pleasing to God than a single worshipper, which is why worshippers who share the same belief seek each other out and congregate together.
64. What is your view on the controversy as to whether the Writings have an inner sense hidden by the code of correspondences?
a. The Writings are Sacred Scripture or the Word, and therefore they have an inner sense like the Old and New Testaments. The Writings make a one with the Old and New Testaments, and the three collections together make up the Threefold Word. The Old Testament makes up the legs, the New Testament is the torso, and the Writings are the head or crown.
b. The Writings are the inner sense of the Old and New Testaments. The Writings are the Heavenly Doctrines that rationally reveal the spiritual sense of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore they themselves do not have an internal sense.
c. The Writings are a rational revelation and the more we study it, the deeper we can understand it. This depth of understanding distinguishes individuals so that some understand more deeply than others. This deeper meaning is hidden from the eyes of those whose understanding is not as deep.
65. Explain the ennead matrix of rational spirituality.
a. Don’t know what it is.
b. It is a matrix depicting a diversity of cultural practices in spiritual behavior, including secular humanism, but excluding materialistic science.
c. It depicts three phases of development in rational spirituality, each phase with three sequential states, forming nine evolutionary zones or developmental steps.
66. Why does God want us to pray? Does that influence Him?
a. No, God cannot be influenced by prayers. He commands us to pray for our sake, that we may make Him part of our life, which allows Him to elevates us.
b. Yes, God is influenced by our prayers if we ask it sincerely and unselfishly. He wants us to pray for the sake of His Glory, because He is Holy. He can then reward us with what we ask of Him.
c. It is not God who wants us to pray, but we want to pray to Him in order to feel better about what’s happening to us.
67. Can God love an unrepentant sinner?
a. God knows in advance who will end up in heaven and who in hell, and therefore he loves the former but hates the latter.
b. God hates sin therefore when we sin and do not repent He turns away and cannot love us.
c. God loves us even when we sin and do not repent, but then He cannot make us happy and wise like angels.
68. Who or what is the devil?
a. The devil is the snake in paradise, a liar who deceived Adam and Eve. He reappears in other places as well to tempt people and cause them to sin by misleading them through their weaknesses and vices.
b. The devil is a force in the universe that opposes God’s order and strives to create chaos where there should be order.
c. The devil is collective word for all the people who inhabit the hells. God gives them the power to influence the minds of people on earth who hold on to lusts and false beliefs.
69. If there are layers of heaven, what’s the lower heaven like?
a. The lower heaven is for lesser saints while the upper heaven is for greater saints. At certain occasions however, the lower and higher heaven get together to sing and give glory to God. Whichever heaven one belongs to, God’s love for us is always perfect.
b. The lower heaven is for people with less developed intelligence who are not capable of understanding God at the same level as the people of the higher heavens, nor to love Him to the same degree. For example, people in the lower heaven are occupied with science, art, government, sports, conferences, and business, while people in the upper heavens do not care for these activities.
c. The lower heaven is for adults who grew up on earth. The higher heaven is for the children who died and are now with the angels. The heaven of the children is like a playground while the heaven of the adults is like a temple.
70. Who was Swedenborg?
a. Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish mystic and theologian who produced an elaborate system of Christianity that eliminates the Trinity and makes Jesus to be the Father. He claimed to have visions of heaven and hell and was possessed of many spirits. Followers of Swedenborg call themselves the New Church. They believe that the Second Coming of Christ has already occurred.
b. Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist commissioned by the Lord to write the third and final portion of the Threefold Word. The Lord introduced him into dual consciousness – natural and spiritual -- so that he could interview many people who passed on and now live in heaven or in hell. He talked to King David, the Virgin Mary, Aristotle, Newton, and many others including devils and angels. He wrote a lot of it down and published it in a collection called the Writings.
c. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1782) was a Swedish scientist who became a spiritist at age 57 and acquired psychic powers to see events at a great distance and to communicate with people in the spiritual world and on other planets. He also claimed to be able to talk to God. Some contemporary psychiatrists have analyzed Swedenborg’s claims and have labeled him a genius with multiple psychosis.
71. True Science refers to the science of God, that is, the science revealed in the Threefold Word. What is your view on it?
a. True Science is now being created by the Lord. It is the knowledge about reality that we can extract from the Threefold Word using the rules of extraction specified in the Writings. Scientific revelations are necessary to allow the human race to develop along the path of rational spirituality by giving people on earth facts and information about the spiritual world and how it influences the natural.
b. The existence of True Science depends on the claim that the Writings of Swedenborg contain scientific revelations. Although they contain scientific illustrations, these are not the main point, which is theological and spiritual. “Scientific” does not normally extend to the theological and spiritual, which are not considered scientific fields.
c. True Science as the “science of God” is not an idea many scientists can accept today. The idea that God intervenes in reality is not supported by science which shows that phenomena are caused by specifiable conditions, consistently repeatable and predictable. If this is the “science of God” then how is it different from the science of man?
72. The three developmental steps of rational spirituality can appropriately be labeled Ritual Faith (1), Mystic Faith (2), and Rational Faith (3). Describe their differences.
a. 1 Ritual faith is first because it is pre-scientific and superstitious. Then comes mystic faith which is experiential and non-analytical. Finally comes rational faith which is leaving behind superstition and mysticism for the sake of rationality. However, since rationality and spirituality are operations in different directions of the human mind, faith and rationality break apart, and what’s left behind is either rationality and science or faith and religion. Both of these can be present in one individual, though not simultaneously but by alternating turns.
b. 3 Ritual faith is the lowest because it consists of an external idea of God who is seen as responding to our communal worship. Mystic faith is more internal because the locus of interaction with God is through thoughts and emotions, rather than through rituals of worship and external conduct. Rational faith is the highest or inmost because it is based on a scientific understanding of the interaction laws between God and our thinking and willing operations.
c. 2 Ritual faith is the underpinning of faith, consisting of the Sacraments and the prayers of the people. Mystic faith is deeper because it involves giving assent to the mysteries of the Trinity and the Cross. Rational faith goes still further because it is the full acceptance of the mysteries and miracles of faith without feeling a strain in one’s perspective on the universe.
73. Define God.
a. God is the invisible infinite Father Creator who sees all and does all. No one can see God for God is not here or there, but everywhere. God is unchanging, forever the same from Alpha to Omega.
b. God is a visible Person who has once been seen on earth and is seen in heaven every day. In this visible Divine Human Person there exists an infinity of love and wisdom that create, sustain, and manage all finite things.
c. God is the all in the universe. God is this and God is that. Nothing is that is not God. Everything that is, is God, and what is not God, is not anything.
74. What are the consequences of sinning?
a. Sin is defined somewhat differently in every religion. The common idea is that God gives commandments and specifies what punishment goes with breaking them. God also prescribes remedies for sinners, which consist in rituals of purification, sacrifice, and prayer. God is placated by these demonstrations of contrition and forgives the sinner.
b. Every sin brings inevitable spiritual death to the sinner. The only deliverance is resurrection to a new life in the Holy Spirit. This new life is received by anyone who sincerely acknowledges that Jesus died for his or her sins, so that the entire human race is now reconciled to the Father forever by the sacrifice of His Son on the Cross.
c. No one is punished for their sins, but every sin has its own built in punishment that remains attached to the sinner and inevitably leads to hell. The only deliverance is by the death of the old character through our victories in temptations, followed by the birth of a new character that is received from the Lord and takes us to heaven.
75. Compare humans and animals with respect to immortality and the afterlife. Which answer is closest to your thinking?
a. Animals are created with only a corporeal mind, without a rational and spiritual mind. Therefore they cannot be conjoined to God since that requires reciprocation of love by rational consciousness. All humans are born with a natural and spiritual mind, by which they can develop a rational consciousness of God, and every person who reciprocates by loving God, is conjoined to God, which is the source or condition for immortality in heaven. But if God is not loved, the spiritual mind remains shut and conjunction with God becomes impossible. Without conjunction with God, the state of life sinks to the level called spiritual death or immortality in hell.
b. Animals have living souls and when they die their souls go to the spiritual world. Animals with a good disposition go to heaven and the others go to hell. In heaven, they are a joy to the inhabitants there, but in hell, they are feared. Animals are close to God even if they are not conscious of that relationship. Animals sense the harmony that God built into His creation. They are part of this harmony. Domesticated animals were created by God to provide assistance and aid to the human race. We are permitted to kill and eat since God provided some animals for this purpose.
c. It depends on whether you think that animals have souls or not. If you think that animals don’t have souls, then they are merely biological organisms of survival and adaptation. If you think that animals have souls, then animals and people share the circle of reincarnated life. All life is animated by the living spirit manifesting itself in many forms like animals, people, plants, elements. And in that case it is contrary to the divine to kill and eat animals since they are living souls.
76. Does it make sense to spend a lot of effort trying to prepare oneself for the unknown afterlife?
a. No, it doesn’t make sense. The important thing is to live a full life while one can and thereby to be prepared for whatever comes next. If you buy into this or that religion or theory about how you are to prepare, and you rearrange you life accordingly, denying yourself this or that, it may be all for nothing if it turns out to be the wrong theory.
b. Actually, it doesn’t take effort, only an inwardly sincere acknowledgement that we cannot save ourselves but are saved by the grace of God. We cannot prepare for eternal life by our own efforts, but if we live within the acknowledgment of our powerlessness, God creates a change in our life, sanctifying our efforts, making them fruitful to eternity.
c. Yes it makes sense. It's rational, and sane to want to prepare oneself for eternal life, especially since we're told by a fully reliable source (Divine revelation), that the quality of our life, our vitality and mental health throughout eternity, will depend entirely on how we prepare ourselves during this near insignificant time on earth
77. What is a “good soldier” ?
a. A “good soldier” is one who trains well for his mission and when in battle, uses his best skills to defeat the enemy. Good soldiers remain loyal to their country no matter what. They obey their officers unconditionally. They hate the enemy who threatens their homeland and its citizens. They kill as many of the enemy as possible, getting rid of the bad people that threaten their homeland. They reserve pity and compassion for their own comrades, not for the enemy who tries to kill them.
b. .A “good soldier” is one who uses permissible weapons effectively against the enemy, yet feels pity and compassion for them, even as he strives to kill them efficiently. He also strives to limit the damage to the minimum and already thinks of the reconstruction effort after the enemy is defeated. After the battle, the good soldier switches roles to help the defeated enemy to recover and to adopt an attitude of peaceful cooperation.
c. A “good soldier” is a pacifist who hates war and is eager to lay down his arms at the first sign of peace. Good soldiers agonize over commands they are given to kill since they hold life to be sacred. It is a gift given by God to every person and life should not be taken. When the country is attacked, a good soldier defends against invaders. Good soldiers retain their individual conscience and refuse to follow orders that violate their conscience.
78. .Compare monism and dualism in science in relation to God.
a. Science is not about God and heaven. It’s about reality on earth and in the natural world. Therefore science must remain monist and materialist. Science is a method that can investigate anything, including what people think of God or what miracles they claim to have witnessed.
b. Monist (atheistic) science is inferior and invalid because it denies true reality, which is that God creates and runs the dual universe for the purpose of bringing into existence immortal human beings born on some earth, then bringing them to heaven where He can make them happy to eternity Atheistic or materialistic science is a distortion of this reality and leads to spiritual insanity.
c. Science is a tool God uses. In some sphere God is distant leaving events to be governed by the natural laws he instituted from creation. In other spheres God intervenes by means of miracles that have a supernatural cause. Science is monistic since it doesn’t recognize God, but scientists can be theistic by believing in God’s existence.
79. According to religionists, atheistic science paints a false picture of reality. If this is true, how can you explain the success of industry, engineering, and control over the environment, which are visible accomplishments of science?
a. God allowed atheistic science to become successful and continues to lead its scientists despite their false picture of reality. God inspires the minds of scientists, unconsciously to them, so that their thinking can be kept in external rationality while they remain in internal insanity. On the other hand, dualist science is theistic, and paints a dual reality where the natural and the spiritual act together by predetermined laws.
b. God allowed atheistic science to become successful because He gives people freedom to discover and control the natural environment. The natural world belongs to atheistic science while issues of heaven and hell belong to religion. Every scientist will meet their Maker in due course. As long as science and religion remain separate, there is no conflict between them.
c. Atheistic science does not paint a false picture of reality. It paints a true picture of natural reality, as evidenced by the successes of inventions and discoveries. Sunday Church topics such as worship, Sacraments, God, rebirth, and heaven are not of this world, hence not part of the picture that science paints of reality.
80. Is God Human?
a. God the Father is Divine but God the Son is Divine and Human at the same time. These two Divine Persons form a Holy Trinity called the One Godhead, together with a third Divine Person called the Holy Spirit. We do not have access to God the Father directly and therefore must pray to the Father in the Name of the Son who is the Divine Intermediary.
b. God is the infinite source of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom operating in the created universe. These two operating together define what is human, and they cannot exist in animals, plants, or objects. But they exist in human beings who are willing to receive love and wisdom from God. Even then, that love and wisdom, in their essence, remain with God. Hence only God is the actual and True Human, and we are human only to the extent that we are willing to receive love and wisdom from God.
c. God cannot be considered human since God is supposed to have created humans. God is Divine, not human. God creates humans to be able to feel love and hatred, decency and deceitfulness. To be human is to have all these traits. And even being human is often mixed since we also share traits with animals, and even with plants.
81. Consider these values: wealth, power, reputation, knowledge, fear of exclusion, desire for approval, obedience to authority, and the like. How are these motivators related to salvation and regeneration?
a. They are moral motives for self-improvement and success. But salvation depends on spiritual motives such as the faith in the redeeming power of the Cross.
b. They are motives of a good person and therefore deserve the right rewards.
c. They are moral motives that begin the road to salvation but do not lead there unless spiritual motives are added to them so that they are also done for the sake of one’s religion or place in heaven in the afterlife.
82. Consider these types of traits: merit, righteousness, holiness, humility, understanding, intelligence, wisdom, and the like. Are they natural, moral, or spiritual?
83. Consider these types of traits: charity, love, unity, conjunction, acceptance, inclusion, interior perception, and the like. Are they natural, spiritual, or celestial?
84. Does God favor some people with more good than others, since some people are obviously more gifted than others?
a. God gives maximum good to every person all the time, but each individual filters it out, some turning it into its opposite or evil. God allows this since there is no other way of maintaining freedom of choice, which is essential for retaining the capacity to become human.
b. God’s wants to create a variety of people to make room for all possibilities and experiences. To arrange for this, He gives some people special gifts when He foresees that this individual can turn it into benefits for others. Not every person is suitable or willing to serve God in the highest possible way.
c. God distributes human traits throughout the population so that they form a bell shaped curve – the majority around the middle or “normal,” and a small minority in either extremes, good vs. evil.
85. What is the cause of acceleration of a vehicle when the driver presses the gas pedal?
a. The gas being released into the fuel chamber.
b. The driver’s purpose to accelerate.
c. The laws of physics and chemistry.
86. What is the inmost portion of a pebble upon which its existence depends?
a. Truth within which is good.
b. Sub-atomic particles arranged in a particular dynamic order in space.
c. God’s Will.
87. Swedenborg talked to spirits and there are some today who desire this ability. Can they succeed?
a. No, because direct communication with spirits interferes with the maturation of our rational consciousness of God, and therefore God does not allow such communication to take place today in modern times, though this was allowed in ancient times.
b. Yes, and many psychics have proven that they can and do. Such communication is also reported by thousands of people who have had Near Death Experiences (NDEs).
c. All things are possible to God and should He want an angel or devil to communicate with someone, He arranges for it to happen.
88. Is there a common evolution in the human race? Is the human race integrated into one or is it partially independent?
a. The human race is limited to this earth, as far as is known. Generations succeed one another as one civilization comes, thrives, and then ends, succeeded by yet another. There is a steady evolution from past to future but not a synchronous interdependence, but rather a successive independence.
b. Wherever there are people, whether only on this planet or possibly on others, they are created by the One God, the Father in Heaven and they are His children. In that sense the human race is integrated. The same Word is given to everyone as a means of salvation.
c. Elevation of consciousness is by means of rational truths from revelation, understood more and more interiorly in proportion to our regeneration. This elevation of our rational consciousness is communicated to the entire human race by means of the heavens (or Grand Human) and, through that, to the other earths in the universe. This occurs because the entire race in the dual universe is united and functionally interdependent.
89. What kind of love are we commanded to have?
a. We are to love the Lord as to His Person, even the Robe He wears and the sandals He walks on. We are to love Him for Who He is, the Son of God from eternity who sacrificed Himself for us. We are to love all children, each one as to their unique person, being tolerant of the weaknesses that are human. We are to love our country and all of God’s children and creatures.
b. We are to love whatever good is in a person or thing, not the person or thing, just as we should strive to love the Lord as to the Divine Good and Truth in Him, and not as to His Person. We are not to love the evil in a person, or find it acceptable or excusable on account of who the person is. Nothing should be loved but what is good and true, knowing that all good and truth is from God and is in God.
c. We are to love our neighbor and show charity where needed. We are to love God. If our neighbor is a sinner, we should still love him or her. Loyalty to person is the highest friendship. Loyalty to country, right or wrong, is required, and we are to accept the bad with the good.
90. What’s the difference between theoretical and applied knowledge of the Writings?
a. Theoretical knowledge of the Writings comes first, then applied knowledge of it. For example, a student taking a course in the Writings might gain a theoretical knowledge of it, but when he or she becomes a graduate student or minister, there develops an applied knowledge of it through Doctrine.
b. Theoretical knowledge of the Writings is called enlightenment, while its applied knowledge is called perception. Enlightenment is in the understanding, perception in the will. First the understanding is reformed, then the will is regenerated. Salvation is therefore not from theoretical knowledge of revelation and consequent enlightenment, but from applied knowledge and perception of our intentions and thoughts, whether they are from hell or heaven. If from hell, we shun them, and if from heaven, we love them.
c. Theoretical theology differs from applied theology like a business professor differs from a business investor. While a minister is in Divinity School, he acquires a theoretical knowledge of the Word, viewed as theology. But once he has a parish he acquires an applied knowledge of Doctrine, which helps him to look after the souls in his charge. It is similar with medical students on campus vs. hospital interns, or a soldier in training vs. on the battle field.
91. Compare sensuous and rational consciousness of God.
a. Our sensuous consciousness of God is direct and immediate, wordless, eternal. Our rational consciousness of God is indirect through our thoughts and interpretations. Direct mystical or ecstatic union with God is only possible in sensuous consciousness.
b. Sensuous consciousness is higher than rational consciousness because it is more immediate. Rational consciousness is the attempt to explain in words what the sensuous experience is. As a result, rational consciousness is more remote and subjective.
c. The Lord was a public citizen of Nazareth while He grew up into adulthood, but after His Resurrection He only appeared to those whose spiritual eyes were opened by Him to see. The difference is that He was present to everyone’s sensuous consciousness until the Resurrection, but afterwards, only to those whose rational consciousness was advanced enough to receive the Holy Spirit.
92. Is either heaven or hell forever?
a. Hell is a place of purification from sin. When the process is over, the individual emerges purified of evils and is then capable of enjoying the life of heaven in eternity with the Lord. Hell forever is inconsistent with the perfect love of God for every human being.
b. Heaven is a place the Lord creates for good people and hell is a place for evil people who are called the damned. Hell is an aberration and has no place in a created universe that is perfect, as perfect as God. Ultimately God’s perfection will win out and hell will only be a memory or a possibility but not an actuality.
c. Every person has both heaven and hell in the mind, for there is no other heaven or hell except the one in people’s minds. To descend to the bottom of our mind means to enjoy and justify evil loves. To climb to the top of our mind means to enjoy and justify good loves. In this life we are mixed, but in the other life, once your are either in your hell or in your heaven, you cannot switch because you are unwilling no matter what. To switch would be to acquire again what you have discarded (either good or evil loves). Therefore hell is forever and heaven is to eternity.
93. Explain what is spiritual enlightenment.
a. Spiritual enlightenment is the emergent phenomenon of higher consciousness achieved through acts of discipline and meditation.
b. Enlightenment is a spiritual gift an individual can use to minister to others who are in need and who are ignorant of the Lord or keep the Lord at a distance in their lives.
c. While studying revelation, light from the spiritual Sun enters our spiritual mind from within, and produces conscious correspondences of itself in the natural-rational mind. This higher rational consciousness is called enlightenment.
94. Is there a difference between morality and spirituality?
a. Morality concerns the appropriate treatment of people in our behavior. Morality regulates our behavior towards our neighbor. The Ten Commandments given by God prohibit stealing, lying, murder, and adultery. These are all matters of morality and ethics. God wants us to be moral with one another by keeping the Commandments. Spirituality is faith in Christ as our Savior and Lord.
b. Morality is done for natural motives. Shunning evils as sins is done for spiritual motives. Morality is about the outward social personality, while spirituality is about one’s character or inner loves. Merely being a moral person is not regenerating, unless we connect our morality to our spirituality. If we refrain from stealing because it is immoral, the desire to steal remains. But if we refrain from stealing because it is a sin against God, that is, destroys our heavenly life, then we connect spirituality to morality, and we are saved.
c. The difference is one of emphasis rather than substance. Morality is a measure of how sincere we are in the values we uphold publicly, that make up part of our personality structure. Spirituality is a measure of how deeply our values go, whether they are part of our core being or only the surface personality.
95. What’s the differences between corporeal, sensuous, rational, and spiritual, in relation to the mind.
a. Corporeal refers to biochemistry, sensuous to physiology, rational to psychology, and spiritual to theology.
b. Corporeal refers to things in us that are corrupted by sin. Sensuous refers to that part of human nature that can be tempted or seduced. Rational is that which we intellectualize in our mind, interpreting our experience rather than taking it in immediately without the mediation of our intellect. Spiritual is the core of our being or soul and is unique and eternal.
c. The corporeal mind is close to the physical body processes which do not involve thinking. The sensuous mind receives information from the corporeal and differentiates it through words and labels. The rational mind takes information from the sensuous and puts it into abstract categories. The spiritual mind unconsciously receives information from the spiritual world, which is transmitted by correspondence, to the rational mind where it is conscious.
96. Identify the phase to which the following six traits are characteristic:
enlightened; literalist; universalist, arrogant; conjunctive; inclusive, pacifist.
a. 3, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 2
b. 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1
c. 3, 2, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2
97. What is the “vertical community” and how can we be conscious of our communication with spirits? Illustrate with our eating behavior.
a. The “vertical community” refers to our position in the hierarchy of spiritual beings. First are the Holy animals like the Cherubim, then the Angels who minister at the throne of God, then the elders and saints, and finally all the believers. The non-believers are cast out in outer darkness. When we eat we pay tribute to the throne of God by blessing the food and giving thanks. We are then in the company of Angels.
b. We can map out the spiritual societies we are connected to, which can be called our “vertical community.” For instance, when we are eating, if we stuff and swallow repeatedly we are with different spirits than if we moderate the size and rate of intake. If we deny ourselves another portion, we are with different spirits than if we give in to our appetite and overeat. Affections for unhealthy foods come from different spiritual societies than affections for healthy food.
c. The “vertical community” refers to the social hierarchy in a society. This hierarchy may be considered to be the spirit of the underlying organization of that society. Food behavior is among the daily occupations of that society and requires the hierarchical execution of sequenced steps from farmer, to distributor, to local market where the customers gather to shop.
98. The following are three thinking protocols reported by people while doing their workout. Identify each entry as to phase (1, 2, or 3).
(i) I better not skip my workout today. It really keeps me in shape. To be successful you’ve got to look attractive. That means being in shape. Besides, you avoid heart attacks. I need to learn to like my workout session. It’s the right thing to do. It keeps me from bad habits like laziness and lack of self-control. It’s necessary for a healthy life.
(ii) I’m actually looking forward to my workout. Yes, it takes effort and motivation, but it’s worth it. I feel better, clean, purified, satisfied with myself. I feel that every movement brings me closer to my heavenly character. I sense the physical power in my body to be connected to my will and motive. Since this is from heaven, I feel closer to heaven as I exercise.
(iii) Exercising the physical body is like exercising the mind with study. Compelling myself to do it as scheduled, develops my mental discipline upon which rests my spiritual development. I must look on the physical exercise as a spiritual discipline. I hate this workout stuff. I rather watch TV or surf the net. But I’m making myself do it. I refuse to break my resolution. I’m scared to get sick and end up under a doctor’s care. Besides, it’ll be soon over then I can watch TV.
a. 3, 1, 2
b. 1, 3, 2
c. 1, 2, 3
99. The following six statements characterize various attitudes about wars. For each item, identify the phase (1, 2, or 3).
(i) All wars are under the direct auspices of the Lord. All evil is moderated by the Lord to its maximum allowed. Evil itself punishes the enemy. Our job is to neutralize their ability to hurt others and to try to amend them. Striving to win by means of as-of self effort powered by the Lord. Striving to avoid hate as self-corrupting. Sense of sadness rather than joy in hurting and killing enemy. Desire to protect enemy by keeping injury and damage to the minimum necessary for gaining control.
(ii) There are just wars and evil wars. Protecting ourselves and coming to the rescue of the subjugated are just wars. The enemy must be treated humanely and not hated. God is on the side of the just. Those who are pacifists think that all wars are evil. They would rather see the enemy continue its cruelties against others. Feeling confident in winning and relying on God. Wanting to defeat the enemy without hating them. Hoping that enemy may be amended rather than destroyed. Wanting to minimize damage and ready to help with reconstruction of the country.
(iii) War is an instrument for advancing one’s nation or religion. It’s good to hate the enemy. They don’t deserve humane treatment since they want to harm us. Eye for an eye philosophy. Hating the enemy with self-righteousness. Wanting to deny humane treatment to the enemy. Feeling justified in using illegal types of weapons and in killing the unarmed innocent. Wanting to inflict maximum damage. Feeling justified in maltreating prisoners of war. Joy in the spoils of war.
a. 3, 2, 1
b. 2, 2, 1
c. 1, 1, 3
100. Characterize the relation between natural and spiritual, and between finite and infinite.
a. The natural world is within the spiritual world. The finite is within the infinite.
b. The spiritual world is within the natural world. The infinite is within the finite.
c. The natural is the source of the spiritual, just like the brain is the source of the mind. The finite is a technical or local limitation for the universal infinite since space and time are infinite and all finite things are contained within them.
This is your diagnostic score. It consists of three numbers. They must add up to 100.
Lay your Answer Sheet next the this Answer Key. For each question circle the phase that corresponds to the answer you selected on the Answer Sheet. For example, if you circled alternative b for question 1 on the Answer Sheet , then you need to circle phase “1” on the Answer Key for question 1.
Note: the first digit in each box is the Question Number, while the other three digits are the three phases for that question’s alternatives.
How to Interpret Your Score
The three numbers of your score display the dominant mode of your current thinking about spiritual subjects. Look at the relative strength of each ideology in your thinking. For instance, suppose your diagnostic score is [72-23-5]. This indicates a mode of thinking about spiritual topics in which phase 1 dominates strongly but has strength in phase 2. If your score is [5-12-83], it is phase 3 thinking that dominates, with little strength in the other two phases. And so on.
You can also examine the ratings of certainty you gave for each answer. Inspect the pattern of numbers. What is the average certainty you have in each of the three modes of thinking? Examine each choice you picked and the certainty rating you gave – are you more confident when you are in lower phases of thinking, or the other way around? Many other comparisons of interest can be made if you have an interest in using the test as a diagnostic tool. Go over each item you selected that is at phase 1 and 2 thinking. What would it take to elevate your thinking to phase 3 operations? This book offers discussions on all the topics in the test, showing the progression of rationality from phase 1, to 2, to 3. By making an effort to understand these discussions in a rational way, you will develop the ability to raise your consciousness by means of rational truths all the way to heaven.
Here is a description of the major characteristics of each of the three phases of thinking about spiritual topics:
Phase 1 dominant thinking about spiritual topics is characterized by a mixture of traits, both religious and secular. Therefore the items below will apply selectively to each individual, depending on religious and lifestyle outlook.
q sectarianism (salvation is for themselves only)
q fundamentalism (male dominant views about women and society)
q literalism (Scripture is to be applied to life without interpretation or doctrine, sticking to what is stated in the literal)
q extremism (willing to be indiscriminately violent, beyond law and tradition)
q fanaticism (intolerance and desire to suppress contrary views)
q superstition (pre-scientific, irrational)
q ritual faith (a view of God as a tribal Covenant, distant, and unapproachable by ordinary individuals)
q cultism (reliance on living “holy men” and on “personal inspiration” rather than on the Bible)
q profanation (quoting the Bible for personal testimony, but without believing it, thus, hypocritically)
q spiritism (seeking contacts with the departed)
q reincarnation or related ideas (seeking a non-Western philosophic identity)
q nonduality (there are no absolute differences)
q materialism (there is no spiritual world)
q sexual permissiveness
q relativism (all religions are equivalent, all truths are relative)
q secular humanism (the human race has its own destiny independent of any God)
q positivism (only the external is real)
q animism (everything is alive, everything is a spirit)
Phase 2 dominant thinking about spiritual topics is characterized by universalism and personalism. In the Christian Protestant religion it takes the following forms:
q universalism (salvation by faith regardless of cultural background)
q inclusiveness (Redemption covers the entire human race)
q personalism (personal relationship with God)
q symbolism (Christ is foreshadowed in the Old Testament)
q mysticism (Trinity of Three Divine Persons in One Godhead)
q reliance on intercessionary prayers
q tendency to believe incomprehensible “mysteries” of faith
q belief in salvation by blind faith alone without works
q fear of ascribing the Merit of Christ to self
q willing to be led by persuasive faith
q willing to give allegiance to creeds containing mystical doctrine
q desire to penetrate deeper meaning of the Bible through application of verses to self
q focus on charity work or volunteerism
q focus on repentance (being contrite, feeling guilty, making amends)
q focus on the sanctity of marriage
Phase 3 dominant thinking about spiritual topics is characterized by a rational or scientific understanding of God and regeneration, as revealed by God in the Writings of Swedenborg:
q scientific dualism (the universe consists of a natural world and a spiritual world)
q salvation depends on regeneration of character from evil to good
q regeneration is a lifelong struggle with temptations and victories over them by looking to the Lord
q God is a Divine Human Person who has a Trinity of Roles (Creates, Redeems, Regenerates)
q our immortality is due to our rationality
q everyone has heaven and hell in the mind
q rising to heaven is by acquiring virtuous habits of willing and thinking
q sliding into hell is by being unwilling to let go of inherited evils
q becoming conscious of God’s co-Presence and participatory involvement in our thinking and feeling
q salvation is solely by character reformation and regeneration
q emphasis on scientific or rational explanations of the mechanisms of salvation and regeneration
q application of rational spirituality to everyday reality
These three modes or spiritual ideologies are discussed in the book.
I would like to know your score so that I may add it to the statistics I keep on this test. Also, let me know your relevant background and any comments you have on any questions. Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age _____ Gender _____ Education ____________________________________
Marital status – check all that apply _____single _____married _____divorced
Describe your life outlook by checking all that apply to you:
_____ Free thinker
_____ Buddhist. What denomination? _________________________________
_____ Jewish. What denomination? ___________________________________
_____ Muslim. What denomination? ___________________________________
_____ Catholic. What denomination? __________________________________
_____ Protestant What denomination? _________________________________
_____ New Church. What denomination? _______________________________
_____ Other religion or faith? ________________________________________
_____ Bible lover
_____ Health enthusiast
_____ Vegetarian leaning
_____ TV enthusiast
_____ Pop music enthusiast
_____ Gambler enthusiast
_____ Sports enthusiast
_____ Movie enthusiast
_____ Feel angry at least once a day
_____ Feel depressed at least once a week
_____ Aggressive driver
Please rate your current happiness with your life by circling one of the numbers:
Extremely low 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. 4 .. 5 .. 6 .. 7 .. 8 .. 9.. 10 ..11 .. 12 Extremely high
What is the likelihood that you will attain all the major life goals you have?
Extremely unlikely 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. 4 .. 5 .. 6 .. 7 .. 8 .. 9.. 10 ..11 .. 12 Absolutely certain
How optimistic are you of the future?
Extremely pessimistic 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. 4 .. 5 .. 6 .. 7 .. 8 .. 9.. 10 ..11 .. 12 Extremely optimistic
Please add any other explanation or comment that you think is relevant:
Taken from the Appendix in:
Moses, Paul, and Swedenborg: Three Steps in Rational Spirituality by Leon James (2003). On the Web at:
Version 2, May 2003
The Web address of this file is: www.theisticpsychology.org/articles/test-spirituality.html
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