Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Introduction to Theistic Psychology

Tome II 

Mental Biology

Version 5a
Spring 2008
Dr. Leon James
University of Hawaii 
From Theistic Psychology:
Part 1 || Part 2  ||  Part 3

Section    The Vertical Community and Mental Biology
                                                    (I)      Mental Biology
                                                    (II)      God's Omnipotence and the As-of-Self Free Will
                                                    (III)      God's Omnipresence -- Not in Space, But Within It
                                                    (IV)      Free Will, Heaven and Hell in the Levels of Our Mind
                                                    (V)      The Divine Psychologist and Our Character Reformation
                                                    (VI)      Societal Consequences of Individual Effort
                                                    (VII)     The Spiritual Economics of Immortality
                                                    (VIII)     Divine Speech Descends Through Discrete Degrees of Mind,
                                                                         and Forms Them

                                                    (IX)      Correspondences to Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture
                                                    (X)       Character Reformation and the Theistic Psychology of Cooperation
                                                    (XI)      Creating Our Own Hell and Heaven
                                                    (XII)      Psychology -- Theistic or non-theistic
                                                    (XIII)     Spiritual Consequences Within Our Natural Actions
                                                    (XIV)    The Grand Human and the Grand Monster
                                    Passages from the Writings Sacred Scripture on the Vertical Community

General Note:

In theistic psychology the expression "Swedenborg Reports" refers to the Writings of Swedenborg. However, the expression "Writings of Swedenborg" normally refers to the literal sense, while the expression the "Swedenborg Reports" usually refers to the correspondential sense of the Writings of Swedenborg.

The Vertical Community and Mental Biology

                   (I) Mental Biology

Chart A

Study Questions for Chart A (for answers see Volume 1 Topics)

  1. What are the logical implications of an omnipotent God?
  2. What is spiritual heat and spiritual light substance from the Spiritual Sun?
  3. What are the organs and levels of the mind? What are abilities and intelligence?
  4. What is the Grand Human and the human heavenly habitations?
  5. What’s the difference between the natural mind and the spiritual mind?
  6. Where are the hells? (affective and cognitive)
  7. Explain “born into eternity” and “death.”
  8. What was Swedenborg’s discovery about the [un]conscious spiritual mind?

Note: you need to print the Chart so you can have it in front of you as you read what follows. Or else you can have two windows open and alternate between the running text and the diagram.

Chart A above constitutes a single concept in theistic psychology. It is drawn and explained with multiple sub-parts, and your task is to integrate them into one concept, in your mind. The Chart is a visual concept. This concept is expressed as an equation at the bottom, where it equates mental anatomy with eternity and vertical community. You already know that mental anatomy is about the 12 layers of the mind in eternity. Now you need to add the idea of "vertical community" which is an expression that contrasts with "horizontal community."

Our horizontal community is in space and time, and includes our family, friends, city, country, and the other countries on earth. These refer to physical presence, and the fact that we have physical or social connections with others who are physically present in some place. But our vertical community is not in space, nor is it in time, but in eternity. The fact is that there can be only one mental world in eternity, and eternity is that mental world. We are born into that mental world of eternity with our spiritual body and its mental organs (layers 10 to 4). Every human being from every inhabited planet since the beginning of creation is born into that same mental world for the human race. This means that there are no barriers to connecting with anyone who is already conscious in their spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4 for heavenly regions, and layers 8, 7 for the hellish zones).

Swedenborg proved this by going frequently to all the layers, all the regions, and all the zones, and talking there to the inhabitants of that mental region. There were no barriers or distances. All co-presence in eternity is determined by people's thoughts and feelings. Opposite thoughts and feelings cannot be co-present, and similar thoughts and feelings automatically creates co-presence. This is what creates the appearance in eternity of communities, cities, and larger societies, all arranged in a rational order by categories of thoughts and feelings. The expression "vertical community" refers to the connections that we have with these societies and groups in the mental world of eternity.

The Divine Psychologist manages these connections moment by moment as we go about our daily activities. When for instance, you are feeling and thinking something in layer 9 (corporeal mind) the Divine Psychologist is keeping you connected with certain societies in eternity in which the thoughts and feelings of the inhabitants are compatible with the thinking you are doing in layer 9 as you are engaged in your activities. But now the Divine Psychologist presents you with an opportunity to elevate your thinking and feeling to level 8. He then closes the connection with the societies you are with in layer 9 and connects you to societies in the vertical community that are compatible with the thoughts and feelings you can have in your layer 8. When this happens, you suddenly feel elevated to a higher consciousness level and you feel enlightened to a new rational understanding. 

This is just one example of the way in which the Divine Psychologist, all day long all night long, closes and opens connections we each have with various spiritual societies in eternity. In this way the Divine Psychologist not only manages our thoughts and feelings every moment from birth to eternity, but gives us the benefit of the influence of the thoughts and feelings of others who are like us and are already conscious in eternity. This is in fact how the human race evolves, through mutual enrichment and enhancement of every individual with every other.

Swedenborg was able to observe that when he was visiting with any of the spiritual societies, the thoughts and feelings of each person was being communicated and received by all other individuals in that society. There was a continuous and perpetual enrichment of each other. Each person or couple is unique and that means that they are all enriched by each other's unique reception of good and truth from the Spiritual Sun that shines in eternity and penetrates every layer of the mental world and every mental organ in that layer, thus all human beings. Since every human being born on any planet is born at the same time in eternity, you can imagine how vast the population of the mental world must be by now, and growing fast! By keeping all these individuals connected to each other according to their similarities, the Divine Psychologist insures that the entire human race is evolving together as one immense plant or garden.

Now you have an idea of the vertical community. You need to remember that when we are connected to a spiritual society we are not aware that we are connected, and neither are the people in that society aware that they are connected to any one of us. The Divine Psychologist does not permit awareness of each other in the vertical community. In ancient times the Divine Psychologist did allow such awareness of each other as something routine and useful for instruction and growth (see the Most Ancient Church, Section xx). In subsequent generations this awareness ceased. However certain forms of "spirit possession" did continue until the Incarnation Event two thousand years ago (see Section xx). We are told in Sacred Scripture that after that Event spiritual possession and communication was no longer permitted. The reason was anatomical (see Section xx).

It would be dangerous for us to become aware of the spiritual societies we are connected to, hence it is not permitted by the Divine Psychologist.

There are cases of obsessions today in which the individual experiences illusory loss of control to "aliens" or "voices."  But since awareness of the vertical community is not permitted it is apparent that these cases do not represent actual awareness of spiritual societies.  But we know from Sacred Scripture that the obsessions the person is experiencing are produced through the connections with societies in hell who are facilitating the obsessions through their own obsessions. In each such situation the Divine Psychologist is apparently working with the individual, trying to heal and bring growth and development. Future research in theistic psychology might be able to explain the details of such procedures, so that we may understand rationally why only certain people experience obsessions.

From all this you can see to some extent that the vertical community is a critical component in both individual development of consciousness, and of mental evolution of the human race. You already have the notion of an evolution of civilization on a historical basis, so that the succeeding generations of people on this earth have developed to more and more advanced civilizations. Our modern times are built on the shoulders of our predecessors. Those predecessors are present with us every day through the vertical community since they all are now living in eternity within some spiritual society.

The Chart above tries to put together the various components that were just discussed.

Swedenborg reports that a single idea, when we are in our mental heavens (layers 6 and above), would take volumes to describe with the ideas and words we have in our natural mind (layer 8 or 7). As soon as we are resuscitated, we begin conscious life in the eternity of our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). At that moment we automatically and spontaneously talk like all "spirits" who already inhabit eternity. This is a thought-language rather than a word-language such as we use with natural languages.

You've heard the expression "a picture is worth a thousand words." Now you can say that an expression or concept in our spiritual mind is worth a trillion words in our natural mind. In a similar way Chart A above creates a single spiritual-natural concept, and it would take many pages of theistic psychology to write this spiritual concept out in the words of English. But because we are capable of thinking rationally and abstractly in our conscious natural mind (layer 8, 7), we can study the Chart and gradually piece together an understanding of it. Once you have this knowledge organized in a coherent and personally meaningful way, you can look at the Chart and encompass it in its entirety in one spiritual-natural concept that you could call "mental biology."

The conceptual elements to be put together are listed on the Chart and summarized in the Study Questions listed under it. You need to look up the topics in theistic psychology to be able to answer those questions coherently and consistently (consult the Subject Index and other listings in Volume 18: ). There are three distinct levels of progression we must go through in order to arrive at a spiritual-natural understanding of the concept "mental biology" as depicted in Chart A above (see Section xx).

Level 1 is to be able to replicate the Chart in its essential features so that you have it in long term memory, and then to be able to create a rational explanation or account of its elements and how they fit together. This level is achieved by students in theistic psychology after a course of study and reading, and are able to pass a quiz or exam on it. Or by any reader of theistic psychology who studies it as an intellectual or scientific discipline. At this level it is difficult to tell whether a person is approaching this with the negative or positive bias (see Section xx). You will note that level 1 thinking is in layer 9C in terms of rational understanding.

Level 2 progresses to the positive bias, but not yet at the scientific level. In other words, in relation to the elements in Chart A, we believe that there is a God, that we have an affective organ and a cognitive organ, that there is heaven and hell and eternity, but we are not yet sure that this diagram, representing Swedenborg's version of things, is necessarily it, and we feel that this may just be another opinion or belief, even if interesting and possibly inspired and accurate. You will note that level 2 thinking is in layer 8C in terms of rational understanding.

Level 3 progresses to the theistic psychology phase of thinking about the Diagram. This thinking about Chart A operates by seeing the Chart as a natural-rational representation of Divine Speech (layer 7) (see Section xx). The instant that you make this idea real in your mind, you will experience its spiritual-natural meaning (equivalent to layer 6). You will then be able to see the expression "mental biology" and see its spiritual meaning with full conscious awareness. All concepts in theistic psychology are understood at these three levels, and only the third level is actually the level of theistic psychology thinking and reasoning. This third level is genuine and holy, because it is spiritually online, so to speak, not natural. Hence it is Divine, and everything that is of the Divine, is called holy. In other words, it is the Divine Psychologist that has to give you the spiritual-natural perception of Divine Speech, as it is encapsulated or represented in Chart A. This is why I say that it is "online" as it were, since the spiritual-natural perception of Divine Speech is an influx from the Spiritual Sun into our natural mind, passing through layers of intermediate states. You will note that level 3 thinking is in layer 7C in terms of rational understanding.


             (II) God's Omnipotence and the As-of-Self Free Will

Chart A shows that all events and phenomena in existence are powered, controlled, managed, and determined by God, through "immediate influx" of the spiritual heat and light into the inmost framework of every object or event in the universe. Everything that exists is maintained in existence by this influx. Should the influx cease for a moment, all existence collapses and disappears.

It is the continuous and ceaseless influx that keeps the universe going, once it was created. This influx originates from the Omnipotent Divine Human whom Swedenborg was able to visually observe amidst the Spiritual Sun that surrounds God's Head like a super-brilliant aura. Swedenborg confirmed by repeated observations that everybody who is already in their upper layer of their spiritual heavens of eternity (layer 4), can visually see the Divine Human in this way. And on some special occasions, according to their accounts to Swedenborg, the Divine Human also appears to them face-to-face. Nevertheless, they know that this is only an outward visual appearance of God, who in actuality is infinite and omnipresent.

People who have not studied theistic psychology or the Writings Sacred Scripture, are not fully prepared rationally (at Level 2 thinking),  to understand and accept the idea that God's omnipotence means that every detail of the universe must be controlled, operated, managed, determined by God directly and continuously without any exception (see Section xx). Especially are they unclear and hesitant about the idea that this omnipotence also applies to our thinking sequence, memory, and emotions and feelings. After all, every individual can say "I think what I want, I look where I want, I touch what I want, I laugh at what I want, I fantasize what I want. God doesn't make me do these things."

This idea of complete determinism by God has to be rationally reconciled with the idea of complete free will in our decisions, intentions, and actions. The two seem to contradict one another and unless they can be logically reconciled, our mind must reject one of them. But this would be destructive of our rationality. The Writings of Swedenborg, for the first time in scientific history, have given us the rational and true solution to this seeming paradox. Chart A above depicts this solution with the words "as-of-self liberty" and "as-of-self rationality" shown under the affective and cognitive organs of the natural mind. You will find a number of different Sections in theistic psychology that discuss the concept of "as-of-self" (see Section xx).

The concept of "self" in non-theistic psychology assumes that the self is a self-determined human agent that makes up the person. No account has to be made of God's omnipotence and how there could be an autonomous self. The self is automatically considered autonomous. But the concept of "as-of-self" in theistic psychology is the idea that God creates and manages the mental details of the individual in such a way as to create in the person the sense of a self-determined being we refer to as "I, me, myself."  In reality, as revealed by Divine Speech, God has to create and manage the mental details that must be held together just right in order to create a self-conscious human person that has the sense or feeling of being autonomous or inner existent.

No sense of "self" would be possible by itself, as an autonomous natural or spiritual object unless it were put together and held together and driven to action, by the Divine Psychologist. What we notice with our eyes or senses is selected and determined by Him. What we don't notice or ignore, as well. What we remember or forget, what we succeed in or fail at, all is selected and determined by the omnipotent God whom we refer to as the Divine Psychologist.

Within this context of absolute determinism, God creates free will in our affective organ, and calls it the "as-of-self."

We must have free will as a true reality, not as an illusion.

We must have freedom to choose what we desire or intend. We must have the freedom to think whatever thoughts we want to think. God will maintain this real freedom for us. For instance, you feel like rubbing your right eye. You must have the freedom to be able to lift your arm and touch your eye. God cooperates. You must have the freedom to think about whoever you want, and be able to remember their name or face or details from your memory.  So God cooperates by bringing particular stuff from your memory to your awareness at the right instant you want it. This is omnipotence. But this also: you decide to rob a bank so you can live in luxury. God cooperates by giving you the reasoning process necessary for planning and executing such an illegal and evil act. God cooperates in the background, never letting you see directly that you are being managed. This allows us to maintain the as-of-self freedom we sense we have.

This is not an illusion. It is a real freedom and we sense that reality. But we do not sense all the reality. God does not let us sense the reality of His Co-Presence and total management procedures. But we would not be human unless God revealed to our rational understanding that these mental operations that appear to be our won, are not. In this revelation God is telling us that He is managing us through the Laws of Divine Providence and Divine Permissions (see Section xx). Through the laws of Divine Providence God manages the parts of us that are in a heavenly order, giving and providing for all that is needed. Through the laws of Divine Permissions God manages the parts of us that are in a hellish order, allowing only those events that He can turn into something useful and good to self and others. This means that human beings in a hellish order don't get to do whatever they want, but only those things that God allows, that He can turn into ultimate good. This is the Law of Divine Permissions.

It is necessary that every human being understand these two things:

  1. We have the real sense of as-of-self autonomy and self-determination, but it is God who creates it and maintains it
  2. We must strive as-of-self to struggle against temptations, knowing and understanding that it is God managing and overcoming for us.

These two propositions or "doctrines of truth from Sacred Scripture" form the spiritual foundation stones of our conjugial heavens in layers 6, 5, and 4 of the mental world of eternity.

God manages our mental operations in such a way as to keep certain thoughts, memories, or realizations from us at different times, when they would overwhelm us with emotions we cannot handle, or discourage us and set us back in our spiritual development. If the Divine Psychologist did not do this work in every individual's mind from birth to endless eternity, there would not be and could not be a person alive in the heavenly layers of the mental world of humanity. We would be deranged monsters, worse than beasts because we would use human intelligence to create disorder or anti-order and anti-sanity. That human beings are born this way is revealed by God in Sacred Scripture. What makes us human is the rational, and in this we are in the "image of God," our creator. Of course, in the negative bias mode of materialistic thinking the idea is rejected that God makes any scientific revelations, or that there is a God, He would not make scientific revelations.

But why not, if there is a God, as we assume in the positive bias mode of dualist science. It makes sense that God wants us to know about the theistic psychology that is hidden in the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. The reason that it is hidden is that Divine Speech comes down across the layers of our mind, and it changes in content at each layer, so that by the time it reaches the conscious natural mind through the physical book, the content of Sacred Scripture in the literal sense has become historical and poetic, rather than scientific.

God has a goal or purpose in managing our mind, and He has revealed it in Divine Speech that comes down to us as Sacred Scripture. God's purpose is to regenerate our character so that we may live our immortality in the joyful and expansive life of the eternal conjugial heavens. Every moment of life on earth is arranged by God to bring maximum possible progress in our regeneration. The further we are willing to be regenerated, the higher God can bring us into the endless human potential that our race can receive from Him. God cooperates to such an extent with our as-of-self that He permits the existence of evil intentions, painful experiences, false beliefs, destructive acts. God provides a hell in the human mind to accommodate those who insist on inverting every truth and perverting or destroying every good. God allows them to do this, providing them with the as-if power and the as-if intelligence, in order to make sure that they maintain their real freedom to choose.

The victims of all evil deeds are also protected by God through the laws of Divine Permissions that allow only those evils to come into existence that He can ultimately turn into spiritual good on behalf of each victim. Their sense of as-of-self is not diminished while they suffer horribly and are being victimized.


               (III) God's Omnipresence -- Not in Space, But Within It

Another paradox to resolve rationally is the concept of "immanence" or omnipresence of God, even though He is One Divine Human Person.

How can one person be everywhere simultaneously? Of course this is not possible in the natural world of space and time where a person can only be in one place at a time. even God! If God came out (or down) into the natural world of time and space, He would be able to be in only one place at a time in the natural world, if He only had a finite physical body like ours. In fact, this has already happened. When the Divine Child was on earth during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx), He was present in the natural world in one place at a time, and had to physically travel from one place to another. However, after He turned His finite physical body into a "glorified" Divine physical body, He was able to be omnipresent with that changed material body as well (see Section xx).

Well, who was minding the store, so to speak, running the universe, managing people's minds, while God was on earth with a finite physical body? Of course it was the same God who Incarnated as a Divine Child, but He was omnipresent not in physical space, but "within" it or "apart" from it (see Section xx). As you recall from before, "within" refers to a discrete degree within. Everything physical has a discrete degree within itself, called the spiritual degree of eternity. Time, space, and matter are like a covering upon eternity and the mental world of sensations, thoughts, and feelings. God is present in space apart from space or within space. Apart from space is a discrete degree within space, in which there is no space that can divide things by distance and keep them separate. So from a state in which all is together, God can be present in all space and place where things are separated.

We need to understand this idea rationally (layer 7C), not spatially (layer 8C).

Consider your dreaming. You construct dreams while you sleep, just like you construct daydreams while you are awake. Both involve imagination. The content of dreams, daydreams, or imagined things is made up of objects, situations, events, feelings, sensations, interactions. Suppose you have a dream in which you see a man slip on the street and fall. We can say that you, the author of the dream, are "within" the dream. This doesn't mean that you are in the dream, as when you are dreaming that you are the one falling on the street. In this case you are not in the dream (not dreaming about yourself), but as the author of the dream, you are omnipresent "within" the dream, or "apart" from the dream. That is, you are creating the dream. You are the cause of the dream.

Swedenborg showed that the cause of anything is always "within" the effect. For example, suppose you are switching stations on the radio. You have an intention to switch, a desire to listen to another station. You are motivated to move your hand to execute the switch. You do it, and now the old station is gone. What is the cause of the switch? It is your desire or intention to switch. This desire or intention (cause) is "within" the switching event (effect).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:


The idea that God and the Divine which proceeds directly from Him is not in space, although He is omnipresent, present with every person in the world, every angel in heaven and every spirit beneath heaven, cannot be grasped by purely natural thinking, but can be to some extent by spiritual thinking. Purely natural thinking cannot grasp it because space is contained in it, since it is formed by the objects in the world around us; and in each and every object visible to the eyes there is space. It is space which makes anything big or small as well as long, broad and high. In short, every measurement, shape and form there depends upon space. Still one can to some extent grasp this idea by natural thinking, so long as one admits some spiritual light into it. But first I must say something about the idea of spiritual thinking. This is in no way dependent upon space, but gains its whole quality from state. State is what can be attributed to love, life, wisdom, affections, joys, and in general to good and truth. Any really spiritual concept of these has nothing in common with space, it is on a higher plane and looks down on spatial ideas as beneath itself, just as heaven looks down on earth.

[2] The fact that God is non-spatially present in space and non-temporally in time explains why God is ever the same from eternity to eternity, and so the same since the creation of the world as before it; and why before the creation of the world space and time did not exist in God or in His presence, but they did after this event. Therefore because He is the same, His presence in space is non-spatial and in time is non-temporal. Hence it follows that Nature is separate from Him, yet He is omnipresent in it. It is much the same as life being present in every substance and all the matter that make up a person, yet it is not mixed up with them. It might be compared with light in the eye, sound in the ear, taste in the tongue, or the ether in land and sea, which holds together and permits the rotation of the globe with the land and seas on its surface, and so on. If these agents were removed, the things constructed of substance and matter would at once collapse and fall apart. Indeed, the human mind, if God were not present in it at every place and every time, would burst like a bubble; and each of the two brains, which serve as the originating sources of action, would turn to foam, so that everything distinctive of humanity would become dust and a smell dispersed in the atmosphere. (TCR 30)

TCR 31.

[2] The angels in heaven understand by the immensity of God the Divinity as to Its Being (Esse), and by His eternity the Divinity as to Its Coming-into-Being (Existere); also by immensity they understand the Divinity as to Love and by eternity the Divinity as to Wisdom. This is because the angels banish space and time from their ideas of the Divinity, and this is the result. But because human beings are incapable of thinking except by means of ideas formed from spatial and temporal concepts, they cannot form any idea of the immensity of God before space existed or His eternity before time existed. In fact, when the human mind wishes to form such an idea, it is as if it lapsed into unconsciousness, almost like a shipwrecked mariner who has fallen into the water, or someone swallowed up by the earth in an earthquake. Indeed, if the mind persists in the attempt to penetrate these mysteries, it can easily become deranged, and thus be led to deny the existence of God.

[3] I [Swedenborg] too was once in a state like this, when I was thinking what God did from eternity, or before the world was made: did He deliberate about creation and work out the order to be followed? was deliberative thought possible in a total vacuum? and other useless speculations. But to prevent me becoming deranged by such speculations, I was lifted up by the Lord into the sphere and light enjoyed by the interior angels; and when the idea of space and time which had previously restricted my thinking was there to a small extent removed, I was allowed to grasp that the eternity of God is not an eternity of time, and that because time did not exist before the creation of the world it was quite useless to engage in such speculations about God. But because the Divine from eternity, and so regarded as separate from all time, does not involve the existence of days, years and centuries, but these are to God a single instant, I concluded that the world was not created by God in time, but that time was introduced by God together with creation.

[4] I will add this account of an experience.

At one end of the spiritual world are to be seen two statues of a monstrous human shape with open mouths and gaping jaws. Those who have useless and mad thoughts about God from eternity imagine themselves being swallowed by these statues. But this is mere imagination into which those plunge who have absurd and improper thoughts about God before the creation of the world. (TCR 31)



All this is to indicate that God orders the universe by discrete degrees or layers (see Section xx). The existence of this order was revealed for the first time in the Writings Sacred Scripture in the 18th century. It is the foundation stone for theistic science in general, not just for theistic psychology (see Section xx). God manages all events through a downward series of discrete degrees that correspond. In Chart A several discrete degrees or layers are shown:

·         (1) God the Divine Human surrounded by the Spiritual Sun from which flow out spiritual heat (love) and spiritual light (truth)

·         (2, 3) not shown. Human Internals and Soul

·         (4, 5, 6) spiritual mind with affective and cognitive organs

·         (7, 8, 9) natural mind with affective and cognitive organs

·         (10, 11) not shown. Spiritual body and limbus

·         (12) physical body and world


Each higher discrete degree is "within" the next lower discrete degree, as you recall from the simultaneous view of the 12 layers chart.





From this you can see that God is "within" all the subsequent discrete degrees. God is "within" your mind, and "within" your body, and "within" every natural object or cause-effect event. From this non-spatial meaning of "within" you can see that God is "within" every thing, though He is not in anything spatially. If you think of god being spatially everywhere, then you must think of God as some force or energy. Force, energy, space, God -- would be all physical. One force within another, as we are used to with natural objects and their constituents. To retain a rational idea of the Divine Human Person's omnipotence and omnipresence, we must think of discrete degrees, and that God determines and manages events from "within" them. Just as you determine and manage events in your dream or novel from "within" the dream, or "within" the novel, namely, by causation and intention.

God is omnipresent by being "within" each degree. The rational concept of discrete degrees allows you to see how a Person can be "within" another person, as when people say that God is "within" you. Without discrete degrees to think of, the expression "God is within me" can only be taken as metaphorical. If taken literally or physically, then God cannot be a Person in our mind. Hence we need the concept of discrete degrees to allow God to be a Person, and omnipresent.


               (IV) Free Will, Heaven and Hell in the Levels of Our Mind

Quoting from Swedenborg:

TCR 475. III So long as a person lives in the world, he is kept midway between heaven and hell, and he is there in spiritual equilibrium. This is free will.

In order to know what free will is and what it is like, one needs to know its origin, It is chiefly by knowing its origin that one gets to know not only of its existence, but what it is like. It originates from the spiritual world, where a person's mind is kept by the Lord. A person's mind is his spirit, which lives after death; and his spirit is constantly in company with spirits in that world who are like himself, while his spirit is equally by means of the material body surrounding it in company with people in the natural world. The reason for a person's not knowing that as regards his mind he is surrounded by spirits, is that the spirits, in whose company he is in the spiritual world, think and talk spiritually, while so long as a person is in the material body, his spirit thinks and talks naturally. Spiritual thought and speech cannot be understood or heard by the natural man, and vice versa; this is why spirits cannot be seen either. However, when a person's spirit associates with spirits in their world, then he joins them in spiritual thought and speech, because his mind is inwardly spiritual, though outwardly natural. Therefore its interior permits him to communicate with those spirits, and its exterior with men. It is this communication which allows a person to perceive things, and to think about them analytically. Without this a man's thought would not go beyond or differ from an animal's; and if he were deprived of all contact with spirits, he would instantly die.

[2] But to render comprehensible how a person can be kept midway between heaven and hell, and by that means in spiritual equilibrium, I must explain briefly the origin of his free will. The spiritual world consists of heaven and hell; heaven there is overhead, hell is beneath the feet, yet not in the middle of the globe which men live on, but beneath the lands of the spiritual world. These too are of spiritual origin, and so not in space, though there is an appearance of space.

[3] Between heaven and hell there is a wide gap, which to those in it looks like a whole world. Into this gap there rise from hell exhalations of evil in boundless profusion, and, on the other hand, from heaven there flows in good, also in boundless profusion. This is the gap which Abraham described to the rich man in hell:

Between us and you a great gulf is fixed, to prevent those who want from passing across to you, and those there from passing across to us. Luke 16:26.

Everyone is as regards his spirit in the middle of this gap, for the sole purpose of allowing him to have free will.  (TCR 475)

TCR 476. From childhood to old age everyone changes his place or location in the world of spirits. As a young child he is kept towards the north of the eastern sector. As a boy, as he begins to learn the rudiments of religion, he moves away by stages from the north towards the south. As a young man, as he begins to think for himself, he moves southwards; and later on, when he can exercise his own judgment and be his own master, in proportion to his development in matters which inwardly concern God and love towards the neighbour, south-eastwards. However, if his preference is for evil and he absorbs that, he moves towards the west. Everyone in the spiritual world has his dwelling-place determined by compass-points. The east is inhabited by those who have good from the Lord, for this is where the sun is, in the midst of which is the Lord. The north is inhabited by those who lack knowledge, the south by those who are intelligent, the west by those who are wicked.

[2] The person himself is not kept bodily in this gap or mid-region, but in his spirit; and as this changes its state, approaching good or else evil, the spirit is moved to places or locations in one or the other quarter, and comes into company with those who live there. It must, however, be known that it is not the Lord who moves them hither and thither, but the person moves himself in different ways. If he chooses good, then he together with the Lord, or rather the Lord together with him, moves his spirit eastwards. But if he chooses evil, then he together with the devil, or rather the devil together with him, moves his spirit westwards. It should be noted that where heaven is mentioned in this connection, the Lord is also meant, because the Lord is the all-in-all of heaven; and where the devil is mentioned, hell is meant, since that is where all the devils are. (TCR 476)

Chart B below gives a general account of the vertical community and its function in creating heaven and hell in the human mind. The spiritual mind is the organ in which are located the human heavens (layers 4, 5, 6), as shown in the earlier diagram. While we are attached to a physical body on earth, our spiritual mind is unconscious. Our awareness and conscious knowledge is located in the natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7) which is built up by ideas and experiences we have through the physical body (layer 12), such as our social exchanges and life as a citizen. It is not suspected that this mental life in our natural mind could not be built up without the unconscious spiritual interactions we have with the vertical community through our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4) within our spiritual body (layer 10). In other words, the abilities we have through the natural mind's affective (A) and cognitive organs (B) could not function at all without the mediate influx from both the heavens and the hells into our natural mind, as depicted in Chart B.

Chart B

Study Questions for Chart B: (see Volume 1)

1. Explain the three levels of the mind.
2. Explain the vertical community and mental biology.
3. Explain remains.
4. Explain influx, free will
5. What is the shape of the mind; the affective organ; the cognitive organ; heaven; hell?
6. Explain first and second death.
7. Explain enlightenment (reformation) and regeneration.
8. Explain Sacred Scripture or Divine Speech.

Chart B shows that human beings have two distinctly different levels of operation. The lower level is called the natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7), while the upper level is called the spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). when we are born we come equipped with both these levels within our affective and cognitive organs. Neuroanatomy makes it clear that the brain operates at different levels of neural architecture, such as those of the "old brain" (cerebellum) and "new brain" (cortex). As you descend into the deeper fissures and neural clumps, one finds more and more complex networks of interconnections of synapses, fibers, and molecular exchanges. The brain has these physical properties because it is a perfect correspondent, part for part, of the spiritual brain in our spiritual body (layer 10) constructed of immortal spiritual substances (see Section xx). In other words, by studying the properties of the physical brain we get to discover some of the properties of the spiritual brain and mind, to which the physical brain corresponds.

There are then levels of operation in our mind, specifically in our affective and cognitive organs, which make up the spiritual body, like the circulatory and respiratory systems make up the physical body. The remaining part of the physical body, the nervous and skeletal systems, corresponds to the sensorimotor organ (not shown in the diagrams). (But see Section xx for more detailed diagrams of mental anatomy.) These three systems in the physical body correspond to the three systems in the spiritual body, namely, affective (feelings, intentions), cognitive (thinking, justifying), and sensorimotor (sensations and movements). (See Section xx). The three systems of the mind and spiritual body are spiritual in construction, while the three systems of the physical body are natural in construction. Upon the death of the three physical systems, the three mental systems continue life in eternity, that is, outside time and space (see Section xx).

The shape of the circulatory system in the physical body matches the overall body's form called the human form. The heart, arteries, capillaries, liver, digestive system, kidneys, are the circulatory system considered globally as the management of blood circulation and its contents (nutrition for cells). When considered in this global sense, you can see that the circulatory system is in the human shape. If you had a computer simulation of the body so that you could remove the other two systems and leave only the circulatory system, what would show up is the shape of the human body. It is the same with all three systems -- they are each in the human form, because they correspond to the mind, and the mind has that form. The shape of the mind is that of the shape of the body, and in fact, it is the other way round: the physical body has this shape because the spiritual body has this shape. And the spiritual body has this shape because God is a Divine Human, and everything created has the Human within it, in its inmost construction (see Section xx). In God, the Divine Human Person, infinite different things make one in the Human form (see Section xx).

The spiritual mind develops along with the natural mind, but each distinctly in their sphere. The natural mind is conscious and develops from sensory and cultural input through the physical senses which the corporeal mind (layer 9) can monitor and react to by correspondence. The spiritual mind is unconscious while we are tied to earth, but becomes conscious at resuscitation, 36 hours after the physical body has ceased being able to function in essentials. After resuscitation we are conscious in the spiritual mind, but we still have all our memories and cultural personality from the natural mind. After some further experiencing, we undergo the second death, which is the moment of ultimate choice. We are compelled to choose between our two ruling loves: hellish ruling love or heavenly ruling love. The Chart shows how these two ruling loves were built up by us while conscious in the natural mind during our life on earth through the temporary physical body.

The natural mind before resuscitation, thus while we are still attached to the physical body, functions in two completely separated and distinct regions called the "natural heavens" and the "natural hells." From birth onward until adult age we function by alternating between these two regions of the natural mind, one in heavenly order, the other in disorder. In other words, as the day wears on, day after day, our mental activity is sometimes in disorder and sometimes in order, alternating in such quick order that we are not aware of it until we enter the discipline of self-witnessing (see Section xx).

For instance, one moment we turn the sound down on the TV not to annoy a roommate, and the next moment we answer the phone and talk for a long time in a loud voice. One behavior is in order, the other is in disorder. Or, to take another example, one moment we feel hopeful and make a new resolution not to overeat, which is a heavenly order, and an hour or a day later, we stuff ourselves, which is a hellish order. Or, one day we are nice to our friend, which is heavenly, and the next day we are cruel and insensitive, which is hellish. One time we cheat on something, but another time we feel it's wrong and we refrain.

We are born with a heredity and culture that predisposes us to willing evil, like maintaining selfish motives and engaging in prejudiced judgments. The word evil in theistic psychology means that which is in disorder relative to heavenly order. And heavenly order is revealed and specified in Divine Speech as Sacred Scripture (it is not something people can make up). Modern life of mass society and competition makes it easy for us to maintain a life of negativity and selfishness in our affective organ of inherited tendencies and cultural practices.

In other words, it is easy for most us to live a daily life of alternation between the hells and the heavens in our natural mind. We are in the natural heavens of our conscious awareness (layers 8, 7 having been regenerated) when we feel good, energized, enthusiastic, hopeful, confident, altruistic, honest, sincere, prudent, wise, and motivated to be creative and useful to others, to society, to humanity, to God.

When we feel these things, we do so because our consciousness is in our natural heavens (regenerated layers 8, 7). But our consciousness is in our natural hells (layers 8, 7 not yet regenerated) when we feel bad, sad, depressed, fearful, tired out, exploited, displeased, angry, vengeful, mean, insensitive, cruel, dissatisfied, unmotivated, destructive, selfish, egotistical, tyrannical, violent, murderous, deceitful, hypocritical, foolish.

Note that it is not heredity and culture that make our hell, since this would be unfair to the individual who chooses neither of them at birth. What creates the natural hells in our mind is the justification of the evil tendencies so that we no longer think they are evil or hellish. This is what makes the hells -- the conjunction or coordination of the affective (A) and the cognitive (C) organs acting as one disorder. The evil intention or tendency in the affective organ (= willing evil) (A) cannot actualize itself in our mind until we make it permissible -- justify it -- by false reasonings (= thinking falsity) (C), and confirm these by our lifestyle habits (doing evil works) (S).

Similarly, what makes the natural heavens in our mind is not merely the good intentions and motives we have in the affective organ (A), but their actualization in practice, which can only happen when the cognitive organ (= thinking doctrine of truth) (C) acts in coordination with those intentions or motives (= willing according to the doctrine of truth) (A), thus executing or performing (S) that intention.

Thinking falsely (= hell in the mind) vs. thinking rightly (=heaven in the mind), is determined not by one's philosophy or self-intelligence, which may vary endlessly from person to person, and from one time to another, but by the Divine Psychologist through Divine revelations given to the human mind through Divine Speech or Sacred Scripture (see Section xx) which defines for us the Doctrine of Truth for Living.

In other words, we need to manage our character reformation by first knowing what the heavenly character is (enlightenment), and then struggling to intend and think only that which is according to heavenly order (regeneration). This process of progressive character reformation and regeneration, from early adulthood to the separation of the physical body at death, is managed and created by the Divine Psychologist, especially through spiritual temptations at different levels and intensities throughout the course of life on earth (see Section xx).

TCR 478. Spiritual equilibrium, which is free will, can be illustrated by instances of natural equilibrium. It is like the equilibrium of someone who is tied around the body or by the arms between two men of equal strength, one of whom pulls the person in the middle to the right, and the other to the left. Then the person in the middle can freely turn in one direction or the other, as if there were no force acting on him; and if he moves to the right, he pulls the man on the left violently towards himself, even to the point of making the man on the left fall to the ground. It would be the same if even a weak* man were tied between three men on the right and the same number of and just as strong men on the left; and likewise if he were tied between camels or horses.

[2] Spiritual equilibrium, which is free will, can be compared with a balance, in either scale of which are placed equal weights; if then a little is added to the scale on one side, the balancing beam above rocks. It is the same too with a lever, or with a large beam balanced on its fulcrum. Every single part inside the human body, such as the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the intestines, and so on, is in such a state of equilibrium; and this is what allows each of them to perform its functions in the greatest tranquility. It is the same with all muscles; if there were no such equilibrium in them, all action and reaction would cease, and the person would no longer be able to act as a person. Since then everything in the body is in such a state of equilibrium, and also everything in the brain is in like equilibrium, it follows that everything in the mind is too; and these things relate to the will and the understanding.

[3] Animals, birds, fish and insects also have freedom; but these are impelled by their bodily senses at the promptings of appetite and pleasure. A person would not be very different from them, if he were as free to act as he is free to think; he too would be impelled only by his bodily senses at the promptings of lust and pleasure. The case is different if he drinks in the spiritual teachings of the church and uses them to control his free will. The Lord leads him away from lusts and wicked pleasures and the innate longings he has for these; he strives after good, and turns his back on evil. He is then moved by the Lord nearer to the east and at the same time to the south in the spiritual world, and brought into heavenly freedom, which is true freedom. (TCR 478)

TCR 481. I have had personal experiences to show that everyone is given the ability to understand truth and to will it; even devils receive it, and it is never taken away. One of those who were in hell was once brought up into the world of spirits, and was there questioned by angels from heaven, to see whether he could understand what they were saying to him; the subject was spiritual ideas about God. He answered that he did. And when asked why he had not accepted similar ideas, he said that he did not like them and so did not wish to accept them. He was told again that he could have so wished. This surprised him, and he said he could not. The angels therefore filled his understanding with pride in his reputation together with its delights. On feeling this he then so wished and even liked the ideas. But soon afterwards he was brought back to his earlier state, in which he had been a thief and adulterer who cursed his neighbor; then, since he did not wish to do so, he was no longer able to understand those ideas. This shows plainly that it is free will in spiritual matters that makes a man a man; without this he would be like a tree-trunk, a stone, or the pillar Lot's wife became. (TCR 481)


              (V) The Divine Psychologist and Our Character Reformation

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 36. This section of the chapter will be discussed under separate headings as before.

(i) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, these two making up His Essence.

(ii) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good refers to Love and Truth to Wisdom.

(iii) Love itself and Wisdom itself constitute Life itself, or Life in itself.

(iv) Love and Wisdom are one in God.

(v) The essence of love is loving others than oneself, wishing to be one with them and devoting oneself to their happiness.

(vi) These properties of the Divine Love were the reason the universe was created, and are the reason it is preserved in existence.

These headings must now be discussed one by one. (TCR 36)


You can see from this passage that Divine Love is the motive of the Divine Psychologist in interacting with each individual mind. The Divine Psychologist reveals spiritual truths to each mind so that people can use that truth in their rational understanding to fight their false ideas, fantasies, and evils. This is the basis of reformation and regeneration that opens up in our spiritual mind the eternal conjugial heavens (layers 6, 5, 4).

When we struggle to apply spiritual truths to our thoughts and feelings in daily life, we undergo spiritual enlightenment. Reformation of the cognitive mind (layer 8C) and regeneration of the affective mind (layer 8A) begins in early adulthood, followed by the lifelong process of regeneration (see Section xx), during which we create a new character by daily self-witnessing and self-modification disciplines (see Section xx). It is the Divine Psychologist who arranges our physical and social environment all day long every day, and He does this in view of the developmental steps we must take to regenerate, which means, to establish a spiritual heaven in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). These are the heavens that constitute our conjugial eternity after our separation from the physical body (layer 12) and resuscitation in the spiritual body (layer 10).

The method by which the Divine Psychologist creates or builds up the heavens in our spiritual mind has been revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture, and is thus available for theistic psychology as a source of extracting its correspondences (see Section xx). The literal of Sacred Scripture uses the word "remains" to refer to all the heavenly moments of happiness and innocence that we may experience on some days in our natural mind. As infants and children we go through mental states of innocence in which the Divine Psychologist manages our focus and motivation in heavenly directions. The inherited evils can be kept from becoming active in these heavenly states of mind. The Divine Psychologist stores up all these "remains" of heaven in the spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4) where they will be waiting for us after resuscitation. However when we are unwilling to face spiritual combat against our inherited hells, we remain connected to those hell societies forever, and the remains store in the spiritual mind are put to sleep, never to function again. It's important to remember as you go through life not to destroy your remains. This occurs when we systematically and cumulatively ignore the voice of our conscience, or build a philosophy of life that denies that there is a heaven and a hell in the afterlife. 

Consider a commonplace example of remains that occur in our conscious life as an adult (layer 9, 8, 7). You see someone drop their bag and the the contents spill on the street. You experience an impulse to help the stranger pick up the scattered objects. This impulse is a heavenly feeling and is stored by the Divine Psychologist as remains in your spiritual mind. Every time you are being good in something, like deciding to brush your teeth instead of skipping, or actually doing your assigned readings instead of pretending to have done it, or being nice to a friend instead of not nice, or doing your job well instead of not well -- in each of these moments there is a feeling of heaven that the Divine Psychologist deposits for you in your spiritual mind. These are your very own feelings, so that when you feel them again in your eternity, you will accept them as familiar and as your own, thus making your eternal conjugial heaven. It's not feasible for the Divine Psychologist to fill your spiritual mind with heavenly remains that are not the feelings you yourself have had or experienced.

If He did this you would wake up at resuscitation and you would have no heaven to be in since heaven must be what is your very own. People who are in their heavens already and are visiting other heavens are unable to spend even one night in a "foreign" heaven to them. So the remains that are stored up for us by the Divine Psychologist can be only those feelings and impulses that we have actually experienced.

It is the same with hellish feelings when you will what is evil and make it allowable for you to do that (S), think that (C), enjoy that (A), or feel that (A). Any deliberate evil intention (9A, 8A), when justified (9C, 8C) and carried out (9S, 8S), gets deposited in your natural mind, keeping it fixed in the hellish order that is opposite to the spiritual mind. There is an organic structural coupling within the vertical community. We alternate and oscillate our daily life moments from a hellish disorder in our natural mind to a heavenly order in our natural mind, between evil feelings and intentions and heavenly ones. This alternation is accomplished through being alternately connected and disconnected to either the hells or the heavens in our vertical community.

For instance, when we have an impulse (layer 9A, 8A) to cheat or steal (layer 9S, 8S), or to act imprudent or uncaring or neglectful (layer 9S, 8S), we are being activated by the evil intentions and cravings of those who already live in the hells of their afterlife and who are in our vertical community by virtue of the similarity of our thoughts and feelings.

If we give in, those in our vertical community in the eternal hells experience a fulfillment or consummation of their desires, thus a satisfaction or contentment of life. We can resist this connection with those hell societies through the truth of doctrine from Sacred Scripture that we have internalized in our understanding and perspective on life. These truths are acquired in the reformation of our mind, which leads to our spiritual enlightenment. This process of regeneration through daily efforts and spiritual combat continues over many years (see Section xx).

Everything then is purified and simplified and disentangled immediately after our first death at resuscitation, when we drop the physical body (see Section xx). Between the first death, and the second death, a few weeks or months later (by earth time, as Swedenborg experienced it in his dual citizenship), our ruling love decides what we can stand and what we cannot stand.

If we can stand to let go of every single hellish trait and enjoyment accumulated in our natural mind, then the Divine Psychologist puts these hellish traits to sleep, along with the entire natural mind. We are then conscious in our functioning spiritual mind in the eternal conjugial state of heaven. But if, at our second death, we cannot stand to let go of our ruling love and sub-loves that are hellish, then all the heavenly order and remains we accumulated are shut down and put to sleep, along with the spiritual mind. Now we are in the eternal misery and insanity of our eternal hells, along with others who are also there, which are very many, as witnessed by Swedenborg (see Section xx).

The natural heavens in the interior-natural mind (layer 7) are a new creation by the Divine Child during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). This new evolutionary portion of the natural mind is in a more interior discrete degree than the external-natural mind (layer 9, 8) that are connected to the hells by inheritance. The Divine Child created this more interior structure of the natural mind in Himself, and this had the result that ever since then, about two thousand years ago, every human being is born with this new interior-natural organ (layer 7) (see Section xx).

This new interior-natural organ (layer 7) is actualized or "opened" to the extent that we are regenerating, that is, working the daily discipline of self-witnessing and self-modification of our intentions, thoughts, and deeds (see Section xx). The growth of the interior-natural organ, also called the natural-rational mind (layer 7) is the process of character reformation and regeneration through spiritual combat fought with spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture. It is activated and energized by the mediate influx of those who are already living in their eternal conjugial habitations in their mind (layers 6, 5, 4) and who are in our vertical community.

The more our daily life of willing and thinking becomes orderly, in the order of heaven or spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4), the more our natural heavens grow within the new interior-natural organ (layer 7). Our life on earth becomes more and more celestial, angelic, peaceful, wise, charitable, useful, content, conjugial, productive, understanding, intelligent, creative. And this is only a distant foretaste of the actual spiritual heavens that then become our permanent mental state. We then live as angels forever in the flowering of our youth and enthusiasm for life and conjugial love (see Section xx). Layer 7 thinking (7C) and willing (7A) allows the Divine Psychologist to regenerate layer 8 thinking (8C) and feeling (8A). The regeneration of layer 8 then allows the final regeneration of layer 9. At this point our natural mind has become a heaven on earth (layers 9, 8, 7), and after resuscitation, we will be a heaven in eternity (layers 6, 5, 4).

But if our natural mind remains a hell on earth, just as we were born, then the natural heaven cannot open and develop in our natural mind. Then our spiritual heavens cannot be formed as the spiritual mind remains closed (layers 6, 5, 4). Then when our consciousness is cut off from this world at resuscitation, our consciousness is in the hells that were built up in correspondence with the natural hells we lived our life on earth. When we remain in our natural hells we experience unhappiness, anxiety, discontent, depression, lack of confidence, inability to love, and we have a strong desire to hurt others, to be mean and cruel to them, to deny their rights, to take away their dignity, to hurt their innocence, all of which results in the society we have today and those that preceded this one -- injustice, violence, war, fear, anxiety, overeating, not reaching one's potential, unequal distribution of wealth, poverty, sickness, insanity, psychosis, ignorance, etc., all of which create a hell on earth. But the experiences in our hells in eternity are far worse, as described by Swedenborg in his many "travels" there (see Section xx).

Please review Chart B, now that you have read the relevant explanations for it. See where the First and Second deaths are located on it. See the vertical relationship of influence between the spiritual mind and the natural mind. The natural heavens are located right above "Enlightenment and Regeneration" because you need to be enlightened (reformed) before you are willing to be regenerated, and you need to be regenerated for awhile before you can become conscious of being in your natural heavens.

           (VI) Societal Consequences of Individual Effort

The natural hells refers to the hells in our natural mind, which means the disorder in our thinking and feeling in layers 9, 8. Our thinking and willing are in disorder because they match the disorderly thinking and willing of the people in hell. These are the people who have been resuscitated in the afterlife and then reject all heavenly loves in themselves. This means shutting down layers 6, 5, and 4. Now they have to live in the consciousness of their natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9). Since they were unwilling to undergo regeneration of the natural mind prior to resuscitation, their ruling love now rejects all heavenly loves as being incompatible. Now the ruling love takes over the three layers (7, 8, 9) which are unregenerate from the person's inherited and acquired hellish traits.

The ruling love now rules over a kingdom of hellish traits and there is no way of stopping such a person possessed by irrationality, cruelty, and destructiveness. But they are not alone since no one can be alone in the vertical community after resuscitation. The law of similarity operates, which means one person is always surrounded by others whose thoughts and feelings are similar. Surrounded by people whose ruling love is as hellish as theirs, they make a spiritual community of devils and satans, as Swedenborg was able to confirm. He talked to many of them in that layer of the human mind in eternity. He found them to be alternately sane and insane in their conversation. There were endless numbers of sub-layers in those mental regions of eternity, each layer to accommodate the peculiar madness and cruelty of certain people.

You can understand the problem more clearly when you consider that the afterlife is in the same world as our thoughts and feelings are in right now, and that world is called eternity because it is not in time and space. Once you are born there is no way to get rid of you since you are born immortal in the mental world of eternity. This may sound strange only because we've all been taught in our education and conversation that the mental world is in the physical brain! That is indeed a strange idea from the perspective of theistic psychology because the brain is physical, while thoughts and feelings are not physical. Where are they then? They are in our mental organs within the spiritual body (layers 10 to 4). We have this body since birth, otherwise we would not be able to have thoughts and feelings with just a physical brain. We would be advanced robots, not even "bionic" which must start as a real person.

Since the mental world of eternity is constructed out of rational ether (not physical space), people in the afterlife who believe themselves to be still on earth, will take everything real there upside down. Since their spiritual mind is now closed or non-operative, they are left with only their ruling love and its compatible sub-loves. Love in the affective organ has complete control over thinking in the cognitive organ, and this is even more apparent after resuscitation. Take for example the ruling love of possessing other people's possessions. These people are constantly thinking about how they can take away the possessions of others. They will hatch plots, play hypocritical roles, impersonate others, steal, blackmail, threaten, injure, torture, and kill. These are just some of the ways in which the ruling love dictates its desires to the thinking process, to obtain from it the strategies to carry out their evil goals.

If the affective organ (A) is in disorder (hellish ruling love), then the cognitive organ (C) will also be in disorder (insane thinking). The sensorimotor (S) environment of the hell mental layers corresponds to the infernal marriage between the perverted willing (A) and the insane understanding (C). All this is going on in your natural mind in the spiritual world of eternity. It is like a fish trying to live on land after beaching itself. Or like a bird trying to swim in a crocodile infested pond. The organs of the natural mind being in a disordered state trying to live in mental world of rationality. Like gravity and anti-gravity, the person's mind is destroyed as to its humanness. Swedenborg's reports of what he observed in the hells of our mental world are absolutely appalling (see Section xx).

The hells in our natural mind here on earth are built up with more and more organic connections, every time we are willing evil and thinking falsity along with it, in order to justify the evil enjoyment in our mind. To justify our evil means to make it all right to do, to think that it is all right to do, that it is not really evil. This thinking justifies the evil in our mind so we can continue doing it. This also seals our fate to the hells from which this evil originates in us from inheritance.

The heavens in our natural mind here on earth are built up every time we are willing good and thinking truth according to spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. The operations of our affective organ (willing evil or good) is activated by spiritual heat flowing in form the Spiritual Sun, and how we receive it -- in a heavenly order or invert it into its opposite hellish order. Similarly, the operations of our cognitive organ (thinking truth or rationally) is activated by spiritual light and how we receive it -- in a heavenly order without distorting it, or a hellish one by distorting it.

The next Chart (C) depicts the organization of heaven and hell in the human mind.

Chart C

Study Questions for Chart C:

1. What is heaven or hell on earth?
2. What are heavenly and hellish traits? Explain with each illustration you give.
3. What is enlightenment (reformation) and regeneration?
4. What is the relation between the spiritual and natural mind?
5. What is the relation between collective and individual effort?

The influx of good and truth from the Divine Psychologist through the Spiritual Sun enters the spiritual mind (layer 4 downward) and activates it. The affective organ of the spiritual mind (see previous Chart B), is activated by the spiritual heat, which is a spiritual substance called good, while the cognitive organ is activated by the spiritual light that surrounds the spiritual heat, and is a spiritual substance called truth.

These two immortal substances in the mental world of eternity are from God in infinite variety. As they stream into the mental world they are received by the human affective and cognitive organs at each layer, but in a different way. The mental organs have been created by God to be able to function as receptors for spiritual heat, or good, and spiritual light, or truth (see Section xx). This is analogous to the natural heat and light from our sun that permeates the earth's atmosphere and surface, entering the earth, the plants, and animals. The organ of the eye in the physical body is a receptor organ for that light, and the the organs on the skin are receptors of its heat. The eye and vision corresponds to the the cognitive organ and understanding (C), while the skin receptors and heat correspond to the affective organ and the will (A).

When spiritual light is received by the cognitive organ of the spiritual mind (layer 4C, 5C, 6C), the person is endowed with the ability of rationality, which then gives us in the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) the ability to think and reason, in a different way in each layer. When the spiritual heat is received by the affective organ of the spiritual mind (layer 4A, 5A, 6A), the person is endowed with the ability called "liberty," by which we can have free will and voluntary action.

There is a powerful dynamic tendency for the affective and cognitive organs to act in coordination with each other. The spiritual mind is in heavenly order because it is being built up by the Divine Psychologist through the remains of good that we freely will to do. We cannot destroy, corrupt, or downgrade these remains of innocence because they are attached to the spiritual mind over which we have no influence whatsoever as it is completely unconscious while we are still attached to the physical body (see Section xx). But as discussed before, the spiritual mind and its remains can be made to shut down by our unwillingness to regenerate, and our permanent involvement in the enjoyments of a hellish ruling love. While we cannot directly destroy the remains in the spiritual mind we have the freedom to refuse to love them. And if they are not loved by us, they become non-functional, non-operative, shut down organically so they cannot operate. 

The spiritual heavens (depicted in diagrams A and B above), are created within our unconscious spiritual mind (layer 4, 5, 6) by the Divine Psychologist, but only to the extent that it can act as one. This means that the affective and cognitive organs are fully coordinated, conjoined, married into a unity. For instance, we can know the truth (C) but act contrary to it anyway (A). The truth will guide us only if the will will agree to follow what truth teaches. Another way to say it is that anyone can know the truth and understand it in an abstract manner, even those who deny God. This kind of knowing truth is useless for regeneration, hence for heavenly life. But truth that we love, or truth that we use for regeneration, does promote our regeneration and heaven.

The truth we love and want for the sake of regeneration, can be built up by the Divine Psychologist into heaven in our mind, if we also love the good that goes with that truth. To love the good of that truth means to receive the good in the affective organ (A), that is, to intend it, to will it, to plan it (C), and consequently to do it (S).

To learn the truth from God and to use it to remake our character according to it, is the process of regeneration. This changeover, or makeover, of our character begins in adult life when we become enlightened through reformation (see Section xx). This refers to the realization and understanding that we are born dual citizens in the natural and spiritual worlds, and that heaven and hell are in our mind from birth to eternity. This conscious enlightenment in our rational understanding (layer 7C), is produced by the Divine Psychologist in the interior-natural mind by connecting our conscious understanding with rational ideas based in the spiritual mind (layer 6, 5). Although these spiritual ideas in layers 6 or 5, are not conscious to us in a direct way, nevertheless they produce an elevation of understanding in the conscious natural mind (7C), and this can be distinctly felt or noticed. When we notice it, we experience extraordinary delight and clarity of vision. We can then make use of the new perspective by incorporating it into the ideas or issues that we are consciously involved with in daily life (layer 8, 9). As the Chart above (C) shows, these issues can be positive or negative.

At the individual level of effort in daily experience, we oscillate between our heavenly and hellish traits. These are located in separate and isolated parts of our natural mind, as shown in the the first Chart A. At the collective level, good and truth are received as a collectivity that is managed and maintained by the Divine Psychologist as a venue for human experiences and mental development.

Experiences occasion remains of innocence, which are preserved in the spiritual mind where the eternal heavens are built out of them. The human race is variegated and getting more and more so, as the evolution of the mind progresses into the endless future (see Section xx). Variety of "genius" or spiritual collectivities, and "similitudes" in loves and affections, receive their own influx as their eternal biography is maintained in progression and evolution as a collectivity.

This has a spiritual form that is called "heavenly" (layer 4, 5, 6). Swedenborg frequently describes the visits he made to these heavenly habitations or collectivities that he calls "societies of heaven." Each society or mental collectivity has its own identity and this is symbolically expressed as the Society's official Logo or Seal by which it is recognized by other societies. The individuals that inhabit a collectivity are each unique, yet they have a common hierarchy of affections, loves, and consequently, the truths they understand and which form their external reality -- their cities, lands, architecture, form of social government, daily routines or involvements, etc. (see Section xx).


             (VII) The Spiritual Economics of Immortality

Section 6.5, Love of Self and the World for the Sake of Others, discusses the following Chart which is reproduced here for your convenience.

Chart D



1  L O V I N G




2  GOD





4  GOD


Spiritual Love
Conjugial Love


5  Interior heaven


Priesthood Evangelism



5  Exterior heaven


Unwilling to engage in spiritual combat

Selfish love
Blood lust for biological offspring

Spiritual insanity

5  Hell

To read the chart start with LOVING then select either God, Others, or Self. Then continue with FOR THE SAKE OF and select either God, Others, or Self. Finally add the word in the box. For example:

  • (1) LOVING (2) others (3) FOR THE SAKE OF (4) others is altruism (5) in the exterior heaven
  • (1) LOVING (2) self (3) FOR THE SAKE OF (4) others is mastery-competence (5) in the exterior heaven
  • (1) LOVING (2) others (3) FOR THE SAKE OF (4) self is selfish love and blood lust (5) in hell
  • etc.


  1. Loving = avoiding harming someone and doing something good instead
  2. God = Creator from eternity, Redeemer in time, and Regenerator to eternity
  3. Others = any human being
  4. Self = oneself, me, I
  5. Result = consequences in the afterlife of eternity
  6. For the sake of = What is primary; the motivating feeling; the ruling love
  7. Angel = anyone in the interior heaven (layer 4) 
  8. Spiritual love = loving the heavenly traits in someone (not loving the person's hellish traits)
  9. Conjugial love = the unity of husband and wife as soul mates and best friends in eternity
  10. Piety = living with the idea that the body is a temple of God, taking it literally instead of rationally
  11. Interior heaven = third or celestial heaven (layer 4)
  12. Innocence = lacking all resistance to good and truth
  13. Priesthood = motivated to save souls
  14. Evangelism = motivated to turn people to God
  15. Altruism = respecting all human beings and treating them humanely  
  16. Humanism = respecting the humanity in everyone 
  17. Mastery = motivated to become excellent at something
  18. Competence = motivated to do things well
  19. Exterior heaven = second and first heavens (layers 5 and 4)
  20. Meritoriousness = living with the idea that we are good from our own effort,
                                     rather than from God's power within our effort 
  21. Unwilling to engage in spiritual combat = living with the idea that we do not need
                                       to vanquish our hellish traits since we have no power
                                       of our own to be good 
  22. Selfish love = loving only those who favor them or are part of them
  23. Blood lust for biological offspring = loving children only when they are their biological offspring
  24. Egotism = loving only oneself
  25. Spiritual insanity = living with the idea that selfism provides the most power and happiness

Exercise for Chart D:

Step 1.  Print the Chart. Have it with you to memorize whenever you want to take a spiritual break in your day. It has 25 concepts, 9 marginals and 12 intersecting boxes or mental zones of our heavenly (layers 4, 5, 6)  and hell layers (unregenenerate layers 7, 8, 9).

Step 2. Memorize the 24 definitions.

Step 3. Figure out the chart so that it makes rational sense to you.

Step 4. Reproduce the chart from memory and practice explaining it.

Step 5. Explain the chart to some people. Notice which parts they resist and what is the origin of this resistance. 

Step 6. Make notes and bring to class for small group discussions.

Study Questions and Exercises for Chart D:

1. Explain what is loving?
2. How is loving related to "for the sake of"?
3. Define the terms God, Others, and Self. Is there anything human that is not included in these three?
4. Explain the nine cells in the matrix. Define each title and
                give a justification for this title in terms of the vertical and horizontal axis
                it falls into (intersection box) (marginals in bold). For instance, Why is the
                intersection "loving God for the sake of self" titled "Meritoriousness"? Etc.
5. Explain the overall economics of immortality. Give a brief and coherent account. Try it out on friends.

 Chart D


1  L O V I N G




2  GOD





4  GOD


Spiritual Love
Conjugial Love


5  Interior heaven


Priesthood Evangelism



5  Exterior heaven


Unwilling to engage in spiritual combat

Selfish love
Blood lust for biological offspring

Spiritual insanity

5  Hell

Chart D is called "economics of immortality" because it describes the activities we do on a daily basis that contribute to the maturation and growth of the heavens and hells in our natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7) and heavens in our spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). These two organs grow in lock step synchrony with each other. The more you regenerate and face spiritual combat against the hellish traits you inherited and acquired, the more your spiritual mind develops into a heaven in eternity, and the more you live in a heavenly natural mind now. This is a proportional spiritual economy of mental biology. It is the basis of regeneration and the primary purpose for studying theistic psychology.

It is common to think erroneously (or irrationally, against truth) that what really matters ultimately for our spiritual fate is the economic balance in quantity and severity between our hellish deeds and enjoyments and our heavenly contributions when we did or thought something good. This is a materialistic economy, not a spiritual one. This kind of balance hast to do with justice, fairness, realism in this physical world.

From this materialistic or socio-political economics we can continue to keep doing some hellish things, as long as we counterbalance them with heavenly things that we are also sincerely committed to.

Using this self-serving logic, we give ourselves permission and the excuse to keep doing the hellish things along with the heavenly things. That is the result desired when we make use of a materialistic economics of heaven and hell. How can we insure a place in heaven in our afterlife by deserving it through the greater weight of our good traits in comparison to our evil traits. This is loving God for the sake of self and is titled "meritoriousness." But this kind of materialistic or natural economics does not work at all in the mental world of eternity where everyone exists in their spiritual mind. Meritoriousness (definition 20 above) is living with the idea we are good from our own effort at being good or holy, rather than from God's power that is within our effort.

No human effort can prevail in anything in the physical or mental world since all power belongs to the omnipotent God and what is God's cannot be become human.

Note the other title in the intersection of "loving God for the sake of self" namely, living with the idea that we do not need to vanquish our hellish traits since we have no power of our own to be good. This does not make rational sense when we consider that regeneration of the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) is not biologically possible without engaging in spiritual combat. We must be willing to observe, judge, condemn, and repent from evil enjoyments that are sub-loves of our inherited ruling love, which is hellish (loving everything for the sake of self). Rejection of an evil enjoyment or intention must take place from our rational understanding of mental biology in relation to our afterlife of heaven or hell. Or, to use different language, we have to give up our evil traits since they are contrary to God and heaven.

The love of God or heaven for the sake of self thus takes two major themes in our society -- meritoriousness and no spiritual combat. One theme asserts that we can deserve heaven by doing the right things as commanded by God and His representatives on earth. This is the meritoriousness psychological theme. The other theme asserts that there is no point even trying to oppose your evil traits since they are so embedded in our character, which is dead on arrival. Hence God needs to give us a new character, and with this new uncorrupted character we can live in a heaven in the afterlife, or else some people think, in a heaven on a new earth.

Both themes achieve this result: That we avoid facing spiritual combat. Consequently, the Divine Psychologist is unable to bring us into spiritual temptations to face combat against our inherited and acquired hellish loves, hence is unable to regenerate the natural mind, hence is unable to open or develop our spiritual mind, where heaven is. And this cannot be done after resuscitation.

To avoid facing spiritual combat with the aid of spiritual truths is to become biologically incapable of living in heavenly traits in the afterlife of eternity.

Swedenborg discovered empirically by observation of those who are awakened in the "world of spirits" after resuscitation (see Section xx), that every person undergoes a biological process of becoming fully and explicitly conscious of their deepest loves and affections which are ruled and determined by one ruling love (see Section xx). This chief of our loves (operations in the affective organ) determines whether we can give up the collectivities of affections called heaven, or else those that are called hell. There is no balance. It is a zero-sum economics in which the person ends up with all bad and no good, or else, all good and no bad. There is no possibility of mixing feelings or affections from heaven and hell, as we are used to ding when we are still attached to the physical body before resuscitation.

The "second death" is the complete and total biological separation of {evils+falsitites} from {goods+truths}, that is, the complete separation of our heavens (layers 6 and above) and our hells (in unregenerate layers 7 and below). The individual gets to choose in the "Last  of the Last Judgment." Swedenborg's observations confirm that people after resuscitation are unwilling to choose contrary to their ruling love.

You need to get to know your ruling love while you are still attached to the physical body because then it is still possible to change your ruling love hierarchy through regeneration of character (see Section xx). Chart D can help you figure out this critical psycho-biological process in your life. Ask yourself the following question, all day long as you go around feeling, intending, thinking, planning, noticing and doing: What is it that I am willing, thinking, or fantasizing, and am I doing this for the sake of self or not?

Anything that we do, think, or enjoy for the sake of self is governed by our ruling love that is hellish by inheritance. Anything we do, think, or enjoy for the sake of others or God is governed by an acquired spiritual love that is heavenly because it is acquired through the intermediation of our spiritual layers (6, 5, 4). After resuscitation, this heavenly love becomes our ruling love and, as a result, our consciousness finds itself in one of the numerous sub-layers of 6, 5, and 4, where our soul mate conjugial spouse is, and all our spiritual friends and neighbors who are like us. (See Section xx.) God from creation has provided numerous biological sub-layers of heaven to accommodate to the mental environment or "genius" of the diversity of people who grow up on the variety of planets and geographic environments. To be in heavenly joy people need to interact most closely with others who are mentally similar, and less closely with still others who are mentally different.

As a result people live in spiritual societies or cities arranged in an apparent geographic pattern that reflects these mental similarities and compatibilities ("similitudes"). The heavenly cities, gardens, palaces and societies are arranged in the human form of an angel possessing the reproductive organs of both genders. The hellish caverns, deserts, and societies are arranged in the form of a inhuman monster or demon. Swedenborg was able to confirm this when he was given the rare permission by the Divine Psychologist to gain a 'bird's eye view' or 'zoom view' of the mental world of eternity. (see Section xx on the Grand Human).

There is a spiritual danger in practicing the economics of immortality as if its purpose is to build up one's meritoriousness in the eyes of God, and hence thinking of heaven as a reward for ending up with more heavenly traits than hellish. This is a false reasoning or belief system. It leads the individual into further involvements with the hellish traits. False ideas or reasonings are immediately snapped up by the affections and intentions of our hellish ruling love, making a conjunction that is called the infernal marriage (see Section xx). Meritoriousness is one such false belief or principle of life.

Another one is spiritual powerlessness. It is the maturing of the acquired hells in our mind to live with the idea that we have no power to oppose our hellish loves. We then continue to be attached to our evils, and after resuscitation, we are unwilling to let go. We are hooked.

Rationally we can know that God is omnipotent by definition, and therefore whatever abilities we have, or decisions we make or carry out, takes power, and only God has any power ("omnipotent" = all power). Hence one can understand rationally that none of the power to make our decisions or exert our efforts can be ascribed to self. When we feel meritorious (love God for the sake of self), we are actually ascribing to ourselves what is God's. This results in disconnecting from our heaven, which is nothing but the willing reception of God and God's Proprium or Personality ( = heavenly traits) (see Section xx). Since God has all power we are to turn to God when facing spiritual combat, and not think that we are doing it on our own, which is irrational and delusional. We must be willing to go through the experience of freely resisting our temptations as of self, as if we are fighting with all our effort and knowledge of spiritual truths.

In this effort God enters with omnipotent power and removes us from the connection with those particular hells that concern our temptation. We experience victory and elation. A new sub-layer of our spiritual mind was opened or developed as a result. In this way, through a succession of spiritual temptations, our heavenly habitation is gradually being constructed.

At some point in our spiritual development (regeneration) we become impressed by the idea that meritoriousness in the face of God disconnects us from God. To prevent this, we first tend to attack in our mind the logic of spiritual economics of immortality. For instance, we might say that since we don't have the power to change our character, we will not attempt to do so, in fear that if we make the effort of being good, we are falling into the dangerous belief of meritoriousness. This attitude and reasoning fights against the idea in our mind that we need to accumulate good traits and habits of thinking and feeling in order to be in heaven in the afterlife. The fear of meritoriousness leads to the rejection of the spiritual economics of immortality, and this rejection reduces our motivation for character reformation. It may postpone it or actually prevent it.

The consequences are that we are unwilling and unable to dwell in the consciousness of our heaven. Our life in eternity will be in the turmoil of hellish traits and surroundings. It is necessary to understand rationally that heaven and hell are mental states caused by our biological character, not places of reward or punishment. Such is the law of reality in eternity, once we drop the connection to the physical body and world. The character determines the life and the surroundings (see Section xx).

The spiritual economics of immortality (chart D) makes sense rationally and was confirmed observationally by Swedenborg (see Section xx). Every individual must undergo the second death after entering the world of spirits at the death of the body and subsequent resuscitation process (see Section xx). This is a spiritual biological process described by Swedenborg through observation (see Section xx). Once we are resuscitated in our spiritual mind It feels like we are incredibly free all of a sudden, able to do anything we please. There is no physical power to stop us since we are then in our spiritual body in a mental world, and in our mental world we do what we want according to our ruling love.

And this is the danger as well, because what we want can be manipulated by others who may have hostile or exploitative intentions. In this manner, we are led from experience to experience, from situation to situation, from relationship to relationship, in rapid and intense sequence. Each experience suddenly reveals something to ourselves about our character or inner loves. We pursue what we love, and then more and more of what we really love comes out into our awareness and takes us to the next intense experience of self-discovery. All this is supervised by the Divine Psychologist through the participation of the vertical community with those who are already in their consciousness in eternity.

When we reach our heavens, we are angel people and we then have the mental capacity to become aware psychically from a distance as it were, what anyone is doing in their place of consciousness. As angel people we are always motivated by strong celestial and altruistic feelings and intentions, directly stimulated by God to have those good feelings and intentions. This is how we are led by God to come to the rescue of all the humanity that is below the heavens, where people are still struggling mentally to reach heaven in their mind.

When we are in our heavens we gain conscious access to the people not yet in their heavens but struggling to resist their temptations and gain heavenly habits. Right now as we study theistic psychology and are applying it to our character reformation, we have spiritual connections with those who are already in their heavens. The earlier Chart B we reviewed, shows this connection. Without it, we could not evolve as a race and we would fall back into human bestiality, which is the end of true humanity. The essence of being human is to accept the truth revealed by God and to struggle to live it, by which the person reaches the conjugial heaven of eternity.

The second death is the process of choosing what we love most, what we are unwilling to give up no matter what. Then we keep this thing, and relinquish all other things that are not compatible with it. This is what gets us permanently into either our heaven or our hell to eternity.

What we love most, the king or emperor of the army of our loves in our character, is called the ruling love.

The spiritual economics of immortality is not our banking practice but God's. God picks off the moments of good willing and intending we do in the course of our day, and preserves them as remains (see above) in our spiritual heavens. They greet us when our consciousness is raised to our heaven, after the character is purified from evil loves. We feel at home in them like never before. Swedenborg reports that this occurs with both heaven and hell when people first "arrive there," that is, when we cross the state called the second death. The ruling love is our strongest motivation or intention, stronger than any of the others.

For instance, ask yourself what is the one thing you would never give up for the sake of another thing? 

In relation to the heavenly traits in our mind, which ones would you be unwilling to give up:

1.intending to love someone as an exclusive conjugial partner to eternity

2.wanting to eat only nutritious foods

3.wanting to love or educate children

4.intending to seek approval of those in legitimate authority

5.motivated to be a useful person to society

6.wanting to know God and studying Divine Speech

7.feeling competent and masterful

8.intending to be a sincere, dependable, and honest person

9.struggling to be the best at something for the sake of its usefulness to others

10.  etc. (add a few more heavenly traits that you would not like to give up no matter what)

Or else  in relation to the hellish traits in our mind, which ones would you be unwilling to give up:

1.intending to be unfaithful in marriage or in committed relationships

2.wanting to eat whatever you want all the time

3.enjoying situations in which you can dominate someone else

4.wanting to be right all the time, even if we're wrong

5.intending to be unfair or manipulative when convenient or possible

6.wanting to elevate fun above responsibility, usefulness, and rationality

7.wanting to possess much power over others so you can subjugate them to your wants

8.wanting to be the richest and the most popular or admired

9.rejecting or rebelling against legitimate authority when it prevents what we want

10.  desiring luxury and ease without having to earn it or without proportional responsibility

11.  struggling to be good at something only if it brings us gain, honors, and merit

12.  etc. (add a few more hellish traits that you would not like to give up no matter what)

You can also observe what makes you feel good or bad in the course of the days and weeks. As soon as you discover one, ask yourself if you would be willing to give it up at your second death. Gradually you will come to know yourself, your ruling love and its hierarchy of sub-loves. You will then have some idea of what you are going to choose to give up at your second death, and what you are going to choose to hold on to. When you know this, you are for the first time ready to experience spiritual temptations (see Section xx).

Temptations are mental struggles between heaven and hell in our mind. Large armies of "devils" or hellish people (in layers 9, 8, 7) and angels or heavenly people (in layers 6, 5, 4) are involved in each battle (see Section xx). Our connections to the vertical community are activated by the Divine Psychologist to give us the conscious conflict of clearly perceiving which is our heavenly desire and which is the hellish. Only if we clearly see the two, feeling their emotional pull, can we make a free choice between them. The choice we make in that moment has eternal consequences for our life. In the course of our decades long regeneration process, we undergo many spiritual temptations, sometimes every day (see Section xx).

Our loves are organized into a hierarchical organization in our affective organ. This means that there is a ruling love at the top that controls what other loves will be admitted and allowed to have a place in the hierarchy. While we are still connected to the physical body and world, our mental physiology allows us to have two hierarchies and two ruling loves, one heavenly, the other hellish. These two orientations, wants, and intentions, battle against each other in our conflictual feelings as we struggle to inhibit and suppress the love we have for our evil traits, so that heavenly traits can be acquired in their stead.

The spiritual economics of immortality is a way of understanding rationally how this biological process of character regeneration takes place, and what is our necessary role in it (see Section xx). Unless we learn how to actively and consciously cooperate in this process, it cannot succeed. This is because all spiritual progression consists of the as-of-self struggle to resist spiritual temptations and evil enjoyments. This is our daily spiritual work. Some people have called it our burden. It takes mental effort to change the downhill course of inherited enjoyments and compulsions. It is in our self-generated as-of-self effort of willing to resist our evils into which the Divine Psychologist can act and liberate us from slavery to this or that particular enslavement of enjoyment.

It is called our slavery because we are not in spiritual freedom. As long as we are attached to inherited loves, enjoyments, and perspectives that are opposite to heaven, we have no spiritual freedom. We are enslaved to these enjoyments. We gain our spiritual freedom when we struggle to resist them out of a sense of self-improvement, rationality, and the heavenly order of God. We reject the hellish order that we inherit, but we retain all the heavenly order that we also inherit. For instance, we inherit tendencies to come to the rescue when a human being or animal is in danger. We inherit tendencies to be generous, to share, to be industrious and curious, to be inventive and responsible, loyal and patriotic. These are traits in the heavenly order that we are given through parents and culture. But neither the heavenly, nor the hellish traits we are given are ours until we appropriate them as ours. This can only happen once we enter early adulthood (layer 7), for until then we have no freedom of choice in our mind except in small things like style and expressiveness. But we are not yet fully adult or mature in our rational mind (layer 7), hence also in our understanding, philosophy, scope of vision, knowledge, community experience. We only start having this possibility in young adulthood and later on.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 34. [2] The human mind, organized as it is according to those three degrees, is a means of receiving Divine influence, but the Divine influence does not penetrate further than the extent to which a person clears the way or opens the door. If he does so up to the highest or celestial degree, then a person truly becomes an image of God, and after his death an angel of the highest heaven. But if he clears the way or opens the door only to the middle or spiritual degree, then although he becomes an image of God it is not to such a pitch of perfection, and after his death he becomes an angel of the middle heaven. But if he clears the way or opens the door only to the lowest or natural degree, then if he acknowledges God and worships Him with true piety, he becomes an image of God in the lowest degree, and after his death becomes an angel of the lowest heaven.

[3] If, however, he does not acknowledge God and worship Him with true piety, he puts off the image of God and becomes like an animal, apart from possessing the faculty of understanding and therefore of speech. If he then shuts off the highest natural degree, which corresponds to the highest celestial, he becomes so far as love is concerned like an animal. If he shuts off the middle natural degree, which corresponds to the middle spiritual, he becomes so far as love is concerned like a fox, and as far as the sight of the understanding is concerned like a nocturnal bird. But if he also shuts off the spiritual part of the lowest natural degree, he becomes so far as love is concerned like a savage beast, and as far as his understanding of truth is concerned like a fish. (TCR 34)

Descartes' Ontological Proof of God's Existence


              (VIII) Divine Speech Descends Through the Discrete Degrees of Every Mind, and Forms Them

We know that we are struggling to gain personal freedom when we begin to specify and justify what we believe in, what we are willing to struggle for, and perhaps die for. It is the rational understanding of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture (layer 7) that gains us spiritual freedom, and it is the willing (layer 7A, 8A, 9A) of that truth in our actions (layer 7S, 8S, 9S) that maintains our spiritual freedom forever, as long as we keep willing (7A) that truth (7C) in our actions (9S, 12S). We obtain that truth from culture and social exchanges, at first, and then we find it in Sacred Scripture as we begin to read it rationally. This means spiritually. The underlying spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture is universal, biological, applying to the entire race from beginning to endless eternity (see Section xx). The greatest value of the Writings Sacred Scripture to humanity and science is the revelation of correspondences in which Divine Speech is cast as it descends from the Spiritual Sun (layer 1) and enters the human mind of every individual in one descent (layer 2, 3, 4, 5, and so on). It matters not what your culture or religion is, or the century in which you were born, or what your beliefs are about God and the afterlife. Every human being without exception has a mind arranged in levels through which Divine Speech descends, simultaneously in every mind (see chart of layers).

It is only two centuries ago that this great secret has entered the scientific mind through Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), the impeccable scientist with a strong reputation for rationality and empiricism (see Section xx). Suddenly at age 57, at the height of his brilliant scientific career as a Swedish mining engineer,  he receives an apparition of the Divine Human in his own room while eating lunch, who informs Swedenborg that his spiritual mind will be "opened" or made conscious, and that he will be living from then on in both the natural world and the spiritual world as a dual citizen in full conscious awareness in both, unlike the rest of us who are not consciously aware of our spiritual mind, though we may know from revelation or knowledge that we have it, but that it is not opened until we lose all connection with the physical world through the death of our physical body. A few hours later we are resuscitated in our spiritual body in the entrance zone of the mental world of eternity ("world of spirits") (see Section xx). At that point our spiritual mind is conscious, and we still have our memories from our natural mind for awhile with us. We are then in a position to verify that there is an afterlife and that we have a spiritual body that is like the physical we had on earth in shape or form, but is constructed of the immortal materials of the Spiritual Sun.

In our spiritual consciousness we can verify the science of correspondences as described in the Writings Sacred Scripture. We can then directly verify that Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences (see Section xx). Swedenborg's dual citizenship from age 57 to 84, allowed him to observe correspondences directly when he was reading verses of his Bible. His mouth in the natural world was reading "40 men" but the meaning in his spiritual mind was "temptations when we regenerate." Or his physical mouth would read "Egypt" but his spiritual mind was understanding "scientific knowledges." Swedenborg's first published work as a dual citizen was the 12-volume long Arcana Coelestia (=Heavenly Secrets in Latin). He goes through several chapters of the Bible, analyzing each verse, the phrases in each verse, and the words or numbers in each phrase. And this analysis is not his interpretation. It is his scientific report of direct observations of what his spiritual mind saw, when his physical mouth was reading the verses.

Now that the Divine Psychologist has revealed the secrets of Divine Speech through the Writings Sacred Scripture (written by Swedenborg in the 18th century), humanity has entered its fully adult state of evolution (see Section xx). This means that we now have the scientific rationality and empiricism to be able to discuss the true reality of the universe, why God has created it, what our special individual roles are in it, how it all works together, by what principles they are managed through Divine Providence and infinite Love and Wisdom (see Section xx). These are just some of the endless things that have been revealed through Divine Speech. Theistic psychology is one of the first new disciplines to emerge from it, but there are others (see for instance the theistic physics now being developed by Dr. Ian Thompson and available at his Web site. Specific references to his articles will be found on his site, or in the Readings Section (Volume 18).

Divine Speech is tied to mental biology like cause is tied to effect. Our affective and cognitive organs are constructed out of the substances of the Spiritual Sun, which are love (spiritual heat) and truth (spiritual light) in  infinite variety to eternity. These two mental organs are the receptors of spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun, just as the skin and the eyes of the physical body are receptors of physical heat and light from the natural sun. The mental organs are activated by the influx from the Spiritual Sun and it is this influx that forms their rationality and immortality, hence their human-ness. By rationality is meant both the affective and the cognitive organs working together as one unit or system. This marriage or conjunctive operation is what forms either heaven or hell in the mind (see Diagrams A and B above). When our inherited hellish loves are married to false ideas and justifications, there is the order of hell in our natural mind, and this order is defined as the exact opposite to the order of heaven, as defined in Sacred Scripture. Swedenborg empirically confirmed that these two opposite orders in the mind constitute heaven and hell in the mental world of eternity.

It is our rational understanding of the correspondences in Sacred Scripture that brings on the mental state of reformation sometime in adulthood, when we begin to define what we really want and what we really believe. We become enlightened by the understanding of spiritual truths in a rational way. It is the rational mind (layer 7) that is the basis for being human (see Section xx).

Until our rational is activated by correspondences in Sacred Scripture, we are not fully human and have no spiritual freedom.

The nature of correspondences are discussed in Part 3.
The Chart of 12 Layers shows that each layer has a defined level of the correspondences of Divine Speech.

That means that we are not fully human until young adulthood, when we have the full capacity for rationality and spiritual choice.

Our rational understanding of spiritual correspondences in Sacred Scripture allows us to perceive our evil enjoyments and life -- if we look for them through the spiritual practice of daily self-witnessing (see Section xx). We then can make the spiritually free choice of struggling against what we enjoy when it is evil, even if it is so familiar and forms such a central part of our daily life. This is the struggle, the work, the discipline, the effort that is called regeneration of one's inherited hellish character. It is in this effort, when we give it, that the Divine Psychologist is able to step in with love and truth, to remove the connection to hell through that particular enjoyment or falsity. One by one, day by day, they are all presented to our rational view, and to the extent that we respond by struggling against them with spiritual truths, to that extent the Divine Psychologist instills the new heavenly character in the natural mind, and through that operation, opens the new heaven of our conjugial eternity in the layers of our spiritual mind (6, 5, 4).

The construction and maturation of our eternal spiritual heavens in the mind (layers 6, 5, 4), rests on our individual responsibility in the context of spiritual freedom. The Divine Psychologist in every individual's mind strives to descend into the conscious natural mind through layer 7, so that we can have a conscious relationship with the Divine Being. The descent through the spiritual mind (layers 4, 5, 6) causes the natural layers to develop in the ascending order (9, 8, 7). First, as children we hear about God from parents, teachers, friends, books, and the media. This occurs through the medium of natural language, and enters by means of the senses of the physical body, the brain, and the reaction of the entire body (layer 12). The corporeal mind (layer 9) detects the physical body's activity in the brain and throughout the sensory-skeletal system that is engaged with the physical environment. Now the corporeal mind has a symbolic or virtual representation or image of the physical environment. This then forms the content of the sensual mind (layer 8), which is connected by correspondence to the corporeal mind (layer 9).

When we hear about God in childhood and adolescence it is in the context of language and culture, and social system and civilization. Prior to theistic psychology all knowledge of God came through religion, and all religions base their knowledge of God on the literal sense of their Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 5272. [2] That all things that are real have come into existence and do come into existence through the Divine truth that is from the Lord, and thus through the Word, is a secret that has not yet been disclosed. It is believed that by this is meant that all things have been created by God's saying and commanding as a king in his kingdom. It is not this, however, that is meant by all things having been made and created through the Word, but it is the Divine truth that proceeds from the Divine good, that is, from the Lord, from which all things have come into existence and do come into existence.

The Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good is the veriest reality and the veriest essential in the universe, and it is this that makes and creates.

Scarcely anyone has any other idea of the Divine truth than as of a word that issues from the mouth of a speaker and is dispersed in the air. This idea of the Divine truth has produced the opinion that by the "Word" is meant only a command, thus that all things were made merely by a command, and thus not from any real thing that has proceeded from the Divine of the Lord; but as already said it is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, the veriest reality and essential, that is the source of all things, and from which are the forms of good and of truth. Regarding this secret however, of the Lord's Divine mercy more will be said in the following pages. (AC 5272)

We receive knowledge and consciousness of God's existence through Divine Speech (Divine Truth, "the Word," Sacred Scripture), which descends simultaneously into the mind of all human beings in both worlds (prior to and after resuscitation in the dying process) (see Section xx). First, Divine Speech descends through the spiritual mind of every human being (layers 4, 5, 6) in the form of correspondences of Sacred Scripture given for that layer (see Chart A and Chart B). Those who are already in their eternity in conjugial heavens, are conscious of this Divine descent in their spiritual mind. Those who are still tied to their physical body in the world of time, matter, and space, or earthlings, are not conscious of Divine Speech entering and activating their spiritual mind, since it remains unconscious until after resuscitation.

In the case of Swedenborg, his spiritual mind was opened while still an earthling (at age 57), so that he had dual consciousness permanently for the rest of his stay on earth (age 84). This phenomenon has never happened before in the history of humankind. And the fact that this unique event happened to a renowned and respected scientist and engineer in 18th century Sweden, indicates what God's purpose was in making such a unique event occur, namely, that God was delivering Divine Speech to the natural human mind in a rational and scientific form, which also has never happened before in the history of the race.

The Old Testament Sacred Scripture was written three thousand years ago in a literal style that corresponds to the corporeal mind (layer 9). The New Testament Sacred Scripture was written three two years ago in a literal style that corresponds to the sensual mind (layer 8). The Writings Sacred Scripture was written two hundred years ago in a literal style that corresponds to the rational mind (layer 7). Each layer of the mind is formed by correspondences of Divine Speech understandable through the mentality of that layer:

·   celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 4)

·   spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 5)

·   spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 6)

·   natural-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 7)

·   natural-sensual correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 8)

·   natural-corporeal correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture (layer 9)

Swedenborg confirms by direct observation that the spiritual layers opened after resuscitation (6, 5, 4) each contain a written version of Sacred Scripture in correspondences understandable at that level of consciousness. And we can confirm this for the natural mind by looking at the literal sense of the three sets of Sacred Scripture familiar to Western society. The mentality of the people in the Old Testament (pre-Hellenic) is barbaric and uncivilized (layer 9) compared to our mentality today. The mentality of the people in the New Testament is much more advanced in philosophy, science, and government (Hellenic) (layer 8). The mentality of the people in the Writings Sacred Scripture is the beginning of the new age of modernism, rationality, and theistic science (layer 7).

Through the new modern scientific revelations in the Writings Sacred Scripture, God has initiated a new evolutionary stage of the human race in relation to God and immortality. Now for the first time in our racial history we are able to receive scientific concepts about God and our mind in the mental world of eternity, about mental biology and the vertical community. When our corporeal mind (layer 9) hears or reads these revelations of theistic psychology, we try to make sense of it through our sensuous mind (layer 8), which is one discrete level above the corporeal mind.

The relationship between the corporeal sense of Sacred Scripture (layer 9) and its sensuous sense (layer 8) is illustrated by comparing the literal meaning of the historical events in Sacred Scripture to its spiritual message to us as we read it today (see Section xx). For instance, when reading or hearing the Old Testament  phrase "there was a famine in the land" (Genesis 26:1), the corporeal mind thinks of corporeal or physical correspondences like 'people in that region at that time were starving." The conscious descent of Divine Speech into the lowest level of human thinking comes out into our conscious awareness as a historical statement about some particular people living there at a particular time in history.

But when we study and reflect upon the context of Sacred Scripture, we realize at a higher level of thinking (layer 8, 7), that there must be a spiritual message in that statement ("there was a famine in the land"), since it is something that God wants us to know about. Hence we construct a deeper meaning for that phrase, and this deeper meaning is called the sensuous level of thinking (layer 8). We can think for instance, that there are other places in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture where a famine in the land is mentioned, and in each case the message is that God punishes people when they disobey His rules of living and behavior. The sensuous correspondences of Divine Speech (layer 8) therefore give us a more rational and more spiritual consciousness that we can have of Divine Speech and God. But as we continue to study and reflect rationally upon the phrase "there was a famine in the land." we begin to see a third sense to it which is still higher and which is called the natural-rational mind (layer 7).

The natural mind has three discrete levels (9, 8, 7), and the highest is the rational level (layer 7). This is not a spiritual-rational level (layer 5, 4) such as there is in the spiritual mind. The exterior natural-sensual level (layer 8) is the level of thinking we use in science, theology, art theory, business, government, engineering, medicine, sports, games. It is called the sensual level because all its concepts are based on the sensory input from the physical environment around us. This level is called materialistic because it is cast in the negative bias mode of thinking, which denies that the mental world of the afterlife or the Spiritual Sun could be real, or as real as the physical world and the natural sun and stars. At this level of thinking we can be instructed in religion and the afterlife but these concepts remain materialistic. For instance at this level of religion people believe that the afterlife is going to be on earth when the physical bodies are "resurrected" from their graves and bones.

But at level 7 (interior natural mind) we can have a rational idea of religion and the afterlife. Rational concepts are spiritual ideas in our conscious awareness. They have to do with the world of eternity from the perspective of eternity, not time and place. This level of human thinking can reflect upon the phrase in Sacred Sacred Scripture "there was a famine in the land," and can see that there is still a higher level of understanding the spiritual message of God. The Writings Sacred Scripture analyze this and other phrases in the Old Testament, and give us the method and science of correspondences so that we are able to extract from it the rational sense of Divine Speech (layer 7 and up).

We do this extraction process (see Section xx) by translating or transforming every word in the corporeal and sensuous correspondences, into their rational correspondences, according to the rules of extracting correspondences specified and demonstrated in the Writings Sacred Scripture. When we do this for the phrase "there was a famine in the land" we note that the word "land" in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture always corresponds to "mind" and the word "famine" or the word "eating" and "bread" (etc.), always refer to the process of appropriating and acquiring knowledge about God. Hence the expression "there was a famine in the land" refers to the mental state we are in when we are not willing to accept the spiritual truths about God in Sacred Scripture, and instead, modify those truths, and substitute our own ideas from self-intelligence that are more convenient for us, since they allow us to justify retaining our evil enjoyments and deeds. We can interpret the meaning of Sacred Scripture in a way that supports our own ideas and convictions, but this type of translation or distortion is not going to help us when we have to face spiritual combat in regeneration.


Dawkins in Lynchburg VA (part 1) The God Delusion



                (IX) Correspondences to Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 1.

1. Doctrine of Holy Scripture


It is in everybody's mouth that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and is therefore holy; and yet hitherto no one has known wherein it is Divine. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a style that is strange, and neither so sublime nor so brilliant as apparently are the writings of the day. For this reason a man who worships nature as God, or in preference to God, and who consequently thinks from himself and what is proper to himself, and not from heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error in respect to the Word, and into contempt for it, and while reading it may say to himself, What is this? What is that? Can this be Divine? Could God, whose wisdom is infinite, speak in this manner? Wherein consists its holiness, and whence comes its holiness, except from religious feeling and its consequent persuasion?

SS 3.

3. But the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations to believe that the Word is Divine truth itself wherein are Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he judges it by its style, and in this they do not appear. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however sublime and excellent it may seem, is at all to be compared; for every other style is as darkness is to light. The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven. From the Lord proceed two things: Divine love, and Divine wisdom (or, what is the same, Divine good, and Divine truth, for Divine good is of His Divine love, and Divine truth is of His Divine wisdom), and in its essence the Word is both of these; and as it conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven, it follows that the man who reads it from the Lord, and not from himself alone, is filled by it with the good of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the good of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. In this way man has life by means of the Word.

  SS 4.

4. Therefore in order to remove all doubt as to such being the character of the Word, the Lord has revealed to me the Word's internal sense. In its essence this sense is spiritual, and in relation to the external sense, which is natural, is as soul is to body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter; it can therefore bear witness to the divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man, if he is willing to be convinced.

  SS 8.

8. As therefore the Word interiorly is spiritual and celestial, it is written exclusively by correspondences. And what is thus written is in its ultimate sense written in a style such as is that of the Prophets and Evangelists, which, although it may appear common, yet conceals within it Divine and all angelic wisdom.

  SS 9.

9. ii. The spiritual sense is in all things of the Word, and in every single particular of it. This cannot be better seen than by examples, such as the following. John says in Revelation:

     I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself, and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And His armies in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, Come and gather yourselves together to the great supper, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great (Rev. 19:11-18).

What these things signify cannot be known except from the spiritual sense of the Word, and no one can know the spiritual sense except from a knowledge of correspondences, for all the above words are correspondences, and not one word there is without meaning. The knowledge of correspondences teaches what is signified by the white horse, what by Him who sat thereon, what by His eyes that were as a flame of fire, what by the crowns that were upon His head, what by His vesture dipped in blood, what by the white linen in which they were clothed who were of His army in heaven, what by the angel standing in the sun, what by the great supper to which they should come and gather themselves, and what by the flesh of kings, and captains, and others, which they should eat. The signification of each of these things in the spiritual sense may be seen in White Horse, where they are explained, so that it is unnecessary to explain them further here. In that little work it has been shown that the Lord in respect to the Word is here described; and that by His eyes which were as a flame of fire, and by the crowns that were upon His head, and by the name that no one knew but He Himself, is meant the spiritual sense of the Word, and that no one can know it but the Lord Himself and he to whom He wills to reveal it; and also that by His vesture dipped in blood is meant the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, to which violence has been done. That it is the Word which is thus described is very evident, for it is said "His name is called the Word of God"; and that it is the Lord who is meant is equally clear, for it is said that the name of Him who sat on the white horse was written, King of kings and Lord of lords. That at the end of the church the spiritual sense of the Word is to be opened is signified not only by what is said of the white horse and of Him who sat thereon, but also by the great supper to which the angel standing in the sun invited all to come, and to eat the flesh of kings and of captains, of mighty men, of horses, and of them that sat on them, and of all both free and bond. All these expressions would be empty words and devoid of spirit and life, unless there were what is spiritual within them, like soul in body.

  SS 13.

13. In Revelation, chapter 9, we read:

     The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit; and he opened the bottomless pit, and there went up a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit; and there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth, and unto them was given power as the scorpions of the earth have power. The shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared for war, and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold; and their faces were as the faces of men; and they had hair as the hair of women; and their teeth were as the teeth of lions; and they had breastplates as of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses running to war; and they had tails like scorpions; and there were stings in their tails; and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew is Abaddon, but in the Greek he hath the name Apollyon (Rev. 1-3, 7-11).

Neither could these things be understood by anyone unless the spiritual sense were revealed to him; for nothing here is said emptily, but every single thing has its signification. The subject here treated of is the state of the church when all knowledges of truth from the Word have been destroyed, and consequently man, having become sensuous, persuades himself that falsities are truths.

[2] The "star fallen from heaven" signifies the knowledges of truth destroyed; the "sun and air darkened" signifies the light of truth become thick darkness; the "locusts that came out of the smoke of the pit" signify falsities in the outermost things such as exist with those who have become sensuous, and who see and judge all things from fallacies; a "scorpion" signifies their persuasiveness. That the locusts appeared "like horses prepared for war" signifies their reasonings as it were from the understanding of truth; that the locusts had "crowns like gold upon their heads, and faces as the faces of men" signifies that they appeared to themselves as conquerors, and as wise; their having "hair as the hair of women" signifies that they appeared to themselves as if they were in the affection of truth; their having "teeth as the teeth of lions" signifies that sensuous things, which are ultimate things of the natural man, appeared to them as having power over all things.

[3] Their having "breastplates as breastplates of iron" signifies argumentations from fallacies by which they fight and prevail; that "the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots running to war" signifies reasonings as if from the truths of doctrine from the Word for which they were to fight; their having "tails like scorpions" signifies persuasions; their having "stings in their tails" signifies their cunning arts of deceiving thereby; their having "power to hurt men five months" signifies that they induce a kind of stupor on those who are in the understanding of truth and perception of good; their having "a king over them, the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon or Apollyon" signifies that their falsities were from hell, where dwell those who are merely natural and in self-intelligence.

[4] This is the spiritual sense of these words, of which nothing appears in the sense of the letter. Everywhere in Revelation it is the same. Be it known that in the spiritual sense all things hang together in a continuous connection, which is fitted together in such a manner by the force and meaning of all the words in the literal or natural sense, that if even a little word were taken out of it, the connection would be broken and the coherence would perish. In order to prevent this, it is added at the end of this prophetical book,

     That not a word shall be taken away (Rev. 22:19).

It is the same with the books of the prophets of the Old Testament; in order to prevent anything from being taken away from them, it came to pass of the Lord's Divine Providence that everything therein down to the very letters was counted. This was done by the Masorites.

  SS 15.

15. In order that it may be seen that without the spiritual sense the prophetical parts of the Word of the Old Testament are in many passages not intelligible, I will adduce a few, such as the following in Isaiah:

     Then shall Jehovah stir up a scourge against Asshur, according to the smiting of Midian at the rock of Oreb, and his rod shall be upon the sea, which he shall lift up in the way of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck. He shall come against Aiath; he shall pass to Migron; against Michmash he shall command his arms; they shall pass over Mebara; Gebah shall be a lodging to us; Ramah shall tremble; Gibeah of Saul shall flee. Wail with thy voice O daughter of Gallim; hearken O Laish, O wretched Anathoth. Madmenah shall be a wanderer; the inhabitants of Gebim shall gather themselves together. Is there as yet a day to stand in Nob? The mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem, shall shake her hand. Jehovah shall cut off the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a magnificent one (Isa. 10:26-32, 34).

Here we meet with mere names, from which nothing can be drawn except by the aid of the spiritual sense, in which all the names in the Word signify things of heaven and the church. From this sense it is gathered that these words signify that the whole church has been devastated by memory-knowledges [scientifica]* perverting all truth, and confirming falsity.

[2] In another place in the same prophet:

     In that day the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not straiten Ephraim; but they shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea, together shall they spoil the sons of the east, Edom and Moab shall be the putting forth of their hand. Jehovah shall utter a curse against the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with the vehemence of His spirit He shall shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it into seven streams, so that He shall make a way [to pass over it] with shoes. Then shall there be a path for the remnant of his people, which remnant shall be from Asshur (Isa. 11:13-16).

Here also no one would see anything Divine except one who knows what is signified by the several names; and yet the subject treated of is the Lord's advent, and what shall then come to pass, as is plainly evident from verses 1 to 10. Who, therefore, without the aid of the spiritual sense, would see that by these things in their order is signified that they who are in falsities from ignorance, yet have not suffered themselves to be led astray by evils, will come to the Lord, and that the church will then understand the Word; and that falsities will then no longer harm them?

[3] The case is the same where there are not names, as in Ezekiel:

     Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Son of man, say unto the bird of every wing, and to every wild beast of the field, Assemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves from round about to My sacrifice which I sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood; ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; ye shall eat fat to satiety, and drink blood to drunkenness, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Ye shall be sated at my table with the horse and the chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war. Thus will I set my glory among the nations (Ezek. 39:17-21).

One who does not know from the spiritual sense what is signified by a sacrifice, by flesh and blood, by a horse, a chariot, a mighty man, and a man of war, would suppose that such things were to be eaten and drunk. But the spiritual sense teaches that to "eat the flesh and drink the blood of the sacrifice which the Lord Jehovih will offer upon the mountains of Israel" signifies to appropriate to one's self Divine good and Divine truth from the Word; for the subject treated of is the calling together of all to the Lord's kingdom, and, specifically, the setting up anew of the church by the Lord among the nations. Who cannot see that by "flesh" is not here meant flesh, nor blood by "blood"? As that people should drink blood to drunkenness, and that they should be sated with horse, chariot, mighty man, and every man of war. So in a thousand other passages in the prophets.

* Note the careful distinction made by Swedenborg between those knowledges that are merely in the external memory, and those which a man has some real knowledge of by experience or in some other way, and which are therefore not mere matters of memory. The former he calls "memory-knowledges" (scientiae or scientifica); the latter simply "knowledges" (cognitiones). This distinction runs all through these works, and must not be lost sight of, the recognition of it being vital to the understanding of important doctrines. [Translator]

  SS 17.

17. That the Lord when in the world spoke by correspondences, thus that He spoke spiritually while He spoke naturally, is evident from His parables, in each and every word of which there is a spiritual sense. Take for example the parable of the ten virgins:

     The kingdom of the heavens is like unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom; five of them were wise, and five were foolish; they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil, but the wise took oil in their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept; and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins awaked, and trimmed their lamps; and the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out; but the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, lord, open to us; but he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:1-12).

[2] That there is a spiritual sense in each and every one of these things, and a consequent Divine holiness, can be seen by him only who knows that a spiritual sense exists, and what is its nature. In the spiritual sense, the "kingdom of God" means heaven and the church; the "bridegroom," the Lord; the "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with heaven and the church by means of the good of love and of faith. "Virgins" signify those who are of the church; "ten," all; "five," some; "lamps," the truths of faith; "oil," the good of love; to "sleep," and to "awake," the life of man in this world which is natural life, and his life after death which is spiritual; to "buy," to procure for themselves; to "go to them that sell and buy oil," to procure for themselves the good of love from others after death; and as this can then be no longer procured, although they came with their lamps and the oil they had bought to the door where the wedding was, yet the bridegroom said to them "I know you not." The reason is that after his life in this world a man remains such as he had lived in this world.

[3] From all this it is evident that the Lord spoke exclusively by correspondences, and this because He spoke from the Divine that was in Him, and was His. That the "bridegroom" signifies the Lord; the "kingdom of the heavens," the church; a "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with the church by means of the good of love and of faith; "ten," all; "five," some; to "sleep," a natural state; to "buy," to procure for one's self; a "door," entrance into heaven; and "not to know them," when spoken by the Lord, not to be in His love, is evident from many passages in the prophetic Word where these expressions have a like signification. It is because "virgins" signify those who are of the church that the virgin and daughter of Zion, of Jerusalem, of Judah, and of Israel are so often mentioned in the prophetic Word. And it is because "oil" signifies the good of love that all the holy things of the Israelitish church were anointed with oil. It is the same with all the other parables, and with all the words the Lord spoke, and that were written in the Gospels. This is why the Lord says that

His words are spirit and are life (John 6:63).

[4] It is the same with all the Lord's miracles, which were Divine because they signified the various states of those with whom the church was to be set up anew by the Lord. Thus when the blind received sight, it signified that they who had been in ignorance of truth should receive intelligence; when the deaf received hearing, it signified that they who had previously heard nothing about the Lord and the Word should hearken and obey; when the dead were raised, it signified that they who otherwise would spiritually perish would become living; and so on. This is meant by the Lord's reply to the disciples of John, who sent them to ask whether He was the one that should come:

     Tell John the things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead rise again, and the poor hear the gospel (Matt. 11:3-5).

Moreover, all the miracles related in the Word contain in them such things as belong to the Lord, to heaven, and to the church. This makes these miracles Divine, and distinguishes them from those which are not Divine. These few examples are given in order to illustrate what the spiritual sense is, and to show that it is in all things of the Word and in every particular of it.

  SS 18.

18. iii. From the spiritual sense it is that the Word is Divinely inspired, and is holy in every word. It is said in the church that the Word is holy, and this because Jehovah God spoke it; but as its holiness is not apparent from the letter alone, he who on this account once doubts its holiness, afterwards confirms his doubt when reading the Word by many things in it, for he then thinks, Can this be holy; can this be Divine? Therefore lest such a thought should flow in with many, and should afterwards prevail, and thereby the conjunction of the Lord with the church, in which is the Word, should perish, it has now pleased the Lord to reveal the spiritual sense, in order that it may be known where in the Word this holiness lies hid.

[2] This again may be illustrated by examples. The Word treats sometimes of Egypt, sometimes of Asshur, sometimes of Edom, of Moab, of the sons of Ammon, of Tyre and Sidon, of Gog; and one who does not know that these names signify things of heaven and the church may be led into the error that the Word treats much of nations and peoples, and but little of heaven and the church; thus much of earthly, and little of heavenly things. But when he knows what is signified by them, or by their names, he can come out of error into truth.

[3] And so when he sees in the Word such frequent mention of gardens, groves, and forests, and also of the trees in them, as the olive, vine, cedar, poplar, oak; and also such frequent mention of the lamb, sheep, goat, calf, ox; and likewise of mountains, hills, valleys, and the fountains, rivers, and waters in them, and many like things, one who knows nothing about the spiritual sense of the Word must believe that these things only are meant. For he is not aware that a garden, grove, and forest, mean wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge; that an olive, vine, cedar, poplar, and oak, mean the celestial, spiritual, rational, natural, and sensuous good and truth of the church; that a lamb, sheep, goat, calf, and ox mean innocence, charity, and natural affection; that mountains, hills, and valleys, mean higher, lower, and lowest things of the church; that Egypt signifies memory-knowledge,* Asshur reason, Edom the natural, Moab the adulteration of good, the sons of Ammon the adulteration of truth, Tyre and Sidon the knowledges of truth and good, and Gog external worship without internal. But when a man knows these things he is able to consider that the Word treats solely of heavenly things, and that these earthly things are merely the subjects [subjecta] in which the heavenly things are.

[4] But let this also be illustrated by an example from the Word. We read in David:

    The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters; the God of glory maketh it to thunder; Jehovah is upon the great waters. The voice of Jehovah breaketh the cedars; yea, Jehovah breaketh in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a son of unicorns. The voice of Jehovah cutteth out as a flame of fire. The voice of Jehovah maketh the wilderness to tremble; it maketh the wilderness of Kadesh to tremble. The voice of Jehovah maketh the hinds to be in travail, and layeth bare the forests; but in his temple everyone saith, Glory (Ps. 29:3-9).

He who is not aware that everything here, even as to every single word, is Divinely holy, may, if a merely natural man, say to himself, What is this - that Jehovah sitteth upon the waters, that by His voice He breaketh the cedars, maketh them skip like a calf, and Lebanon like a son of unicorns, and maketh the hinds to be in travail, and so on? For he knows not that in the spiritual sense the power of Divine truth, or of the Word, is described by these things.

[5] In this sense, the "voice of Jehovah," here called "thunder" means the Divine truth or Word in its power. The "great waters," upon which Jehovah sits, mean the truths of the Word. The "cedars," and "Lebanon," which He "breaks," and "breaks in pieces" mean the false things of the rational man. The "calf," and a "son of unicorns" mean the false things of the natural and of the sensuous man. The "flame of fire" means the affection of what is false. The "wilderness," and the "wilderness of Kadesh" mean the church in which there is not anything true and good. The "hinds" which the voice of Jehovah causes to be in travail, mean the nations who are in natural good. And the "forests" which He lays bare, mean the knowledges [scientiae et cognitiones]* which the Word opens to them. Therefore these words follow: "In his temple everyone saith, Glory," which mean that there are Divine truths in each and every thing of the Word. For the "temple" signifies the Lord, and therefore the Word, and also heaven and the church; and "glory" signifies Divine truth. From all this it is evident that there is not a word in this passage that is not descriptive of the Divine power of the Word against falsities of every kind in natural men, and of the Divine power in reforming the nations.

* Note the careful distinction made by Swedenborg between those knowledges that are merely in the external memory, and those which a man has some real knowledge of by experience or in some other way, and which are therefore not mere matters of memory. The former he calls "memory-knowledges" (scientiae or scientifica); the latter simply "knowledges" (cognitiones). This distinction runs all through these works, and must not be lost sight of, the recognition of it being vital to the understanding of important doctrines. [Translator]

  SS 20.

20. iv. Hitherto the spiritual sense of the Word has been unknown. It has been shown in the work Heaven and Hell (n. 87-105) that all things of nature, and likewise of the human body, and also every single particular in them, correspond to spiritual things. Hitherto, however, it has not been known what correspondence is, although in the most ancient times this was very well known; for the science of correspondences was then the science of sciences, and was so universal that all the writings and books were written by means of correspondences.

[2] The book of Job, which is an ancient book, is full of correspondences. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptians, and also the fabulous stories of highest antiquity, were nothing but correspondences. All the ancient churches were churches representative of heavenly things; their rites, and also the ordinances according to which their worship was instituted, consisted exclusively of correspondences. So did all things of the church among the sons of Jacob; their burnt-offerings and sacrifices, with each and every thing thereto pertaining, were correspondences; so was the Tabernacle with all its contents; so were their feasts, the feast of unleavened things, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of first-fruits; so was the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites, and also the holy garments of Aaron and his sons; besides all the ordinances and judgments that concerned their worship and their life.

[3] And as Divine things present themselves in the world by correspondences, the Word has been written exclusively by means of them. And therefore the Lord spoke by correspondences, because He spoke from His Divine, for that which is from the Divine, descending into nature, is turned into such things as correspond to Divine things, and which then store up and conceal in their bosom the Divine things that are called celestial and spiritual.

  SS 21.

21. I have been instructed that the men of the Most Ancient Church (the church before the flood) were of a genius so heavenly that they spoke with angels of heaven, and that they were able to speak with them by means of correspondences. From this the state of their wisdom was rendered such that whatever they saw in this world they thought about not only in a natural way, but spiritually also at the same time, so that they thought unitedly with angels. I have been instructed besides that Enoch (of whom mention is made in Genesis 5:21-24) together with his associates, collected correspondences from the lips of those men of the Most Ancient Church, and transmitted the knowledge of them to posterity, and that in consequence of this the science of correspondences was not only known but was also much cultivated in many kingdoms of Asia, especially in the land of Canaan, in Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Syria, Arabia, and also in Tyre, Sidon, and Nineveh; and that it was carried over from places on the seacoast there into Greece; but there it was turned into fabulous stories, as is evident from the earliest writers of that country.

  SS 22.

22. But when in process of time the representative things of the church, which were correspondences, were converted into things idolatrous and also into magic, then of the Lord's Divine Providence the knowledge of correspondences was gradually blotted out of remembrance, and among the Israelitish and Jewish people was altogether lost and annihilated. The worship of that nation did indeed consist exclusively of correspondences, and was consequently representative of heavenly things; but still they did not know what anything of it signified, for they were utterly natural men, and therefore were neither willing nor able to know anything about spiritual things, nor consequently about correspondences.

  SS 23.

23. The reason why, in ancient times, the idolatries of the nations originated from the knowledge of correspondences, was that all things visible on the earth have a correspondence; not only trees, but also beasts and birds of every kind, and likewise fishes, and all other things. The ancients, possessing a knowledge of correspondences, made for themselves images that corresponded to heavenly things, and delighted in them because they signified things such as belong to heaven, and therefore to the church. They therefore set them not only in their temples, but also in their houses, not to be worshiped, but to call to remembrance the heavenly things they signified. Consequently in Egypt and elsewhere there were images of calves, oxen, serpents, also of children, old men, maidens; because calves and oxen signified affections and powers of the natural man; serpents, the sagacity of the sensuous man; children, innocence and charity; old men, wisdom; and maidens, affections of truth; and so on. When the knowledge of correspondences had been blotted out of remembrance, their descendants began to worship as holy, and at last as deities, the images and emblems set up by the ancients, because they stood in and about their temples.

[2] So with other nations; as, with the Philistines at Ashdod, Dagon (concerning whom see 1 Sam. 5:1 to end), whose upper part was like a man, and his lower like a fish. This image was so devised because a man signifies intelligence, and a fish knowledge, which make a one. It was also because they possessed a knowledge of correspondences that the ancients worshiped in gardens and groves, in accordance with the kinds of trees in them; and also upon mountains and hills. For gardens and groves signified wisdom and intelligence, and each particular tree something relating thereto; as the olive, the good of love; the vine, truth from that good; the cedar, rational good and truth. A mountain signified the highest heaven; and a hill, the heaven under it.

[3] The knowledge of correspondences survived among a number of the orientals, even until the Lord's advent, as is evident from the wise men of the east who came to the Lord at his birth; and this was why a star went before them, and why they brought with them as gifts gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:1-2, 9-11). For the "star that went before them" signified knowledge [cognitio] from heaven; "gold," celestial good; "frankincense," spiritual good; and "myrrh," natural good; from which three is all worship.

[4] Nevertheless there was no knowledge of correspondences whatever among the Israelitish and Jewish nation, although everything in their worship, and all the judgments and ordinances delivered them through Moses, and all things of the Word, were nothing but correspondences. The reason was that at heart they were idolaters, and of such a character that they were not even willing to know that anything of their worship signified what is celestial and spiritual; for they desired that all those things should be holy in themselves and in connection with them; so that if celestial and spiritual things had been disclosed to them, they would not only have rejected but would have profaned them. Therefore heaven was so closed toward them that they scarcely knew that there is a life eternal. That this was the case is clearly evident from the fact that they did not acknowledge the Lord, although universal holy Scripture prophesied concerning Him, and foretold His advent; and they rejected Him for this sole reason - that He taught of a heavenly and not an earthly kingdom; for they wanted a Messiah who would exalt them above every other nation in the world, and not a Messiah who cared for their eternal salvation. For the rest, they affirm that the Word contains within it many arcana that are called mystical; but are unwilling to learn that these refer to the Lord; they however are quite willing to learn when it is said that the reference is to gold.

  SS 24.

24. The reason why the knowledge of correspondences, which gives the spiritual sense of the Word, was not disclosed in times after those, is that the Christians of the primitive church were so very simple that it could not be disclosed to them; for it would have been of no use to them, nor would it have been understood. After their day, in consequence of the papal dominion, darkness came over all the Christian world; and they who are of that dominion, and have confirmed themselves in its falsities, neither can nor will apprehend anything spiritual, nor consequently what is the correspondence in the Word of natural things with spiritual. For thereby they would be convinced that by "Peter" is not meant Peter, but the Lord as a rock; and they would also be convinced that the Word is Divine even to its inmosts, and that a decree of the Pope is relatively of no account. On the other hand, after the Reformation, as men began to effect a separation between faith and charity, and to worship God in three Persons - thus three gods, whom they conceived to be one - heavenly truths were hidden from them; and if they had been disclosed they would have falsified them and applied them to faith alone, and not one of them to charity and love. And thus they would have closed heaven against themselves.

  SS 25.

25. The reason why the spiritual sense of the Word has been at this day disclosed by the Lord is that the doctrine of genuine truth has now been revealed; and this doctrine, and no other, is in accord with the spiritual sense of the Word. This sense, moreover, is signified by the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:30, 31); which chapter treats of the consummation of the age, by which is meant the last time of the church. The opening of the Word as to its spiritual sense was also promised in Revelation. It is there meant by the "white horse," and by the "great supper" to which all are invited (Rev. 19:11-18). That for a long time the spiritual sense will not be recognized, and that this is entirely owing to those who are in falsities of doctrine, especially concerning the Lord, and who therefore do not admit truths, is meant in Revelation by the "beast," and by the "kings of the earth," who should make war with him that sat upon the white horse (19:19). By the "beast" are meant the Papists, as in chapter 17:3; and by the "kings of the earth" are meant the Reformed who are in false things of doctrine.

  SS 26.

26. v. Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who from the Lord is in genuine truths. The reason of this is that no one can see the spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, nor unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the spiritual sense of the Word treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom; and this is the sense in which are His angels in heaven, for it is His Divine truth there. To this sense a man can do violence if he has a knowledge of correspondences, and wishes by means of it and from self-intelligence to investigate the spiritual sense of the Word. For through some correspondences with which he is acquainted he may pervert the meaning of it, and may even force it to confirm what is false, and this would be doing violence to Divine truth, and also to heaven. And therefore if anyone purposes to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed; and then the man either sees nothing, or else becomes spiritually insane.

[2] Another reason is that the Lord teaches everyone by means of the Word, and He teaches from those truths which the man already has, and not without a medium does He pour new truths in, so that unless man is in Divine truths, or if he is only in a few truths and at the same time in falsities, he may from these falsify the truths, as it is well known is done by every heretic in regard to the Word's sense of the letter. Therefore in order to prevent anybody from entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, or from perverting the genuine truth that belongs to that sense, guards have been set by the Lord, which in the Word are meant by the cherubim.

[3] That guards have been set has been represented to me in the following manner:

     It was granted me to see great purses, having the appearance of sacks, in which silver was stored up in great abundance. As the purses were open, it seemed as if anyone might take out, and even pillage, the silver therein deposited; but near those purses sat two angels as guards. The place where the purses were laid appeared like a manger in a stable. In an adjoining apartment were seen modest maidens together with a chaste wife, and near that apartment stood two little children, and it was said that they were to be sported with, not in childish fashion, but wisely. After this there appeared a harlot, and a horse lying dead.

[4] On seeing these things I was instructed that by them was represented the sense of the letter of the Word, in which is the spiritual sense. The large purses full of silver, signified knowledges of truth in great abundance. Their being open and yet guarded by angels, signified that everyone may get knowledges of truth from the Word, but that care is taken lest anyone should falsify the spiritual sense, in which are pure truths. The manger in a stable in which the purses lay, signified spiritual instruction for the understanding - a manger signifies this because the horse that feeds from it signifies the understanding.

[5] The modest maidens seen in the adjoining apartment, signified affections of truth; and the chaste wife, the conjunction of good and truth. The little children signified the innocence of wisdom therein; they were angels from the third heaven, who all appear like little children. The harlot, together with the dead horse, signified the falsification of the Word by many of this day, whereby all understanding of truth perishes. The harlot signified falsification; and the dead horse, no understanding of truth.

* Quoted from Spiritual Experiences (n. 3605), and De Verbo (n. 1); and repeated in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 255), and in the True Christian Religion (n. 277). [Translator]


From all this you can see that Divine Speech descends to the lowest level of human consciousness (layer 9), then rises to the highest level of the natural mind (layer 7) where it is understood in its natural-rational correspondences (see Section xx). This is the level of thinking we start with in theistic psychology (see Section xx). We start with the literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture, and apply to it the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). In this way we go still higher in the meaning of Divine Speech, into the level of human thinking called the spiritual-natural (layer 6), the spiritual-rational (layer 5), and the celestial-rational (layer 4). These higher layers in themselves are not conscious to us before resuscitation, but they can be represented by conscious rational ideas in the interior-natural mind (layer 7). Through our natural-rational mind (layer 7), because it is interior, not exterior, we are able to be conscious of ideas that represent the comprehension and meaning in our heavens in eternity.

The purpose and function of every concept in theistic psychology is to allow the opening and maturation of the spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4), that is, to do our thinking and reasoning through interior-natural concepts (layer 7) of Divine Speech rather than through exterior-natural concepts (layer 8) of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

Take for instance the phrase we have been discussing: "there was a famine in the land." When understood at the natural-rational level (layer 7), that is, at the level of the plain literal meaning of the Writings Sacred Scripture, we have this:

AC 3364. And there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]

That this signifies a lack of the knowledges of faith [ = spiritual truths ], is evident from the signification of "famine," as being a lack of knowledges (n. 1460).

That it is a lack of the knowledges of faith, is evident from what presently follows, that is, from the representation of Abimelech, and from the signification of "Gerar," as being that which is of faith. The "famine" in the days of Abraham, mentioned in the twelfth chapter (verse 10), and explained above (n. 1460), denoted a lack of the knowledges which are of the natural man [ = layers 9, 8 ]; but the "famine" here spoken of denotes a lack of the knowledges which are of the rational man [ = layer 7 ]; and therefore it is said that "there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham." In the internal sense [ = correspondences ] the subject here treated of is the Lord [ = God or the Divine Psychologist ], in that from His Divine are all the doctrinal things of faith [ = spiritual truths, which are Divine ]; for there is no doctrinal thing [ = spiritual truths ], nor the smallest part of one, that is not from the Lord, because the Lord is doctrine itself [ = spiritual light or Divine truth ].

Hence it is that the Lord is called the "Word," because the "Word" is doctrine [ = Sacred Scripture ]; but as everything that is in the Lord is Divine, and the Divine cannot be comprehended by any created being, therefore insofar as they appear before created beings [ = layer 4 ], the doctrinal things that are from the Lord are not truths purely Divine, but are appearances of truth [ = lower order correspondences ]; nevertheless within such appearances there are truths Divine [ = in simultaneous order of the layers ]; and because they have these truths within them, the appearances also are called truths; and these are now treated of in this chapter. (AC 3364)

While this may seem difficult to comprehend, it just takes more familiarity and experience, like applying a new method of analyzing poetry, or like learning to translate from one language to another--it takes some practice before you can actually do it. Here, we want to apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment to figuring out the spiritual-natural correspondences (layer 6) that lie hidden within this text, which is written in natural-rational correspondences (layer 7). This is not an easy or simple process and requires research and study. An example of how we transform or translate these natural-rational ideas (layer 7) into spiritual-natural correspondences (layer 6), is provided by the diagrams and charts in theistic psychology, such as those you have encountered so far in your study of theistic psychology.

Here is another chart in the language of layer 7 (theistic psychology) that expresses one concept at the level of spiritual-natural thinking (layer 6).

Old Testament Sacred Scripture
in natural-corporeal correspondences
of Divine Speech (layer 9)

The Writings Sacred Scripture
in natural-rational
 of Divine Speech (layer 7)

Theistic Psychology
in spiritual-natural
 of Divine Speech (layer 6)

And there was a famine in the land

this signifies a lack of the knowledges of faith

chart A or chart B or chart of layers

The chart above is a comparison of the discrete levels of operation of Divine Speech in our mind as it descends from the Spiritual Sun (see chart A.) Divine Speech is also called Divine Truth and also, spiritual light. Truth is therefore a substance, which is why sunlight or electric light is a form of matter or physical energy. Light is not "nothing." It is constructed of something. Natural light is constructed of physical energy and matter. Spiritual light is constructed of the uncreate substances that stream forth from the eternal Spiritual Sun, which was not created because it has always existed, without a beginning point in time or eternity.

Time itself is a created natural thing or process. It is not yet known when time, space, matter and the expanding physical universe was first created. This was not revealed explicitly in Sacred Scripture. But it is possible that future research in theistic psychology may discover this knowledge by extraction of higher correspondences, using the method of extraction specified in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). It is not possible to know all that there is hidden and extractable from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). The Writings Sacred Scripture explicitly state that no new revelations are to be expected for the human race, and that the Writings Sacred Scripture complete the full creation and evolution of the human race. The mental anatomy is now in place in every human mind for Divine Speech to be consciously interpretable through applying the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). Through this extraction process every individual now has the ability to construct true doctrine of life for oneself, and thereby be regenerated by the Divine Psychologist who is now operating at the level of the natural mind, as a result of the Incarnation Event (see Section xx).

The chart above gives an illustration of what this process of extraction yields. Divine Speech descends to its lowest possible point in the natural mind, which is called the corporeal mind (layer 9) (see Section xx). Sometimes this is referred to as the sensuous mind, or the corporeal-sensuous mind. To understand this, it is necessary to remember that the natural mind operates at three discrete levels of rationality, called the corporeal level (layer 9), the sensual level (layer 8), and the rational level (layer 7). The history of civilization shows a gradual progression of level of thinking from savage and barbaric to civilized and humane. The more that civilization becomes humane, the more it is rational in its laws and practices. One sign of this is that new laws are constantly passed to give additional protections of human and individual rights. The more we are advanced in our civilization the more we practice justice, fairness, equal treatment, equal opportunity, compassionate government, spreading the wealth, helping neighbor countries and living in peace, etc. This progression in human mentality is created and managed by Divine Speech descending into the mind of every person.

In recent history, Divine Speech has brought on a new progressive mentality in civilization through the levels of correspondences in which Sacred Scripture was delivered to a person or prophet, who wrote it down, and then studied and transmitted through generations and culture. The Old Testament Sacred Scripture was delivered Book by Book, over several centuries, starting with the first five books written by Moses about three millenniums ago. It was completed with the last Book delivered by a prophet several hundred years before the next portion was delivered, called the New Testament Sacred Scripture. Then, seventeen centuries later, the third and final portion was delivered in the Writings Sacred Scripture (completed near the end of the18th century). These three portions of Sacred Scripture provide a full set of revelations for the human race. This fact is established and justified through scientific and rational arguments, and evidence for it is presented in the Writings of Swedenborg. Any literate person or scientist can verify this argument and this evidence. I have done so continuously for the past 26 years (see Section xx). The more I study the Writings the more I can present scientific arguments and evidence verifying its statements. This course in theistic psychology is a partial presentation of that evidence.

The level of truths contained in Divine Speech correspond to the elevation of our rational understanding of God. It is Divine Speech that forms the content of our understanding at each level. Our understanding of God is higher and higher as we proceed from corporeal-sensuous correspondences of truth (layer 9, 8) to natural-rational understanding (layer 7), to spiritual-natural understanding within layer 7. The rational layer 7 is the highest level of thinking we are capable of as earthlings (before resuscitation) when we are restricted to our natural mind in consciousness. At this level we are capable of character reformation and regeneration (see Section xx).

All spiritual truth is Divine Truth. God cannot give away anything that is Divine. Hence spiritual truth cannot be our own. The only thing that can be our own is the distortion of spiritual truth, after we received it from the Divine Psychologist. But when we don't distort spiritual truth, our reasoning and thinking will be completely rational and wise. Our ability to think rationally, to reason logically, is caused by spiritual truth coming into our cognitive organ as spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). This spiritual light is received by the cognitive organ but is not part of the cognitive organ. It could never be, because spiritual truth or light is Divine and what is Divine cannot be given to human beings, but only borrowed by them.

God wills that His truth appear to us as our own rational understanding.  An analogy would be that of the relation between electricity and your refrigerator. Electricity comes into the machinery parts of the refrigerator that is made for its reception. This inflow of electric power activates the refrigerator, expelling warm air and keeping itself cold. The electricity is never part of the refrigerator but the refrigerator is activated by the electricity. similarly with your television. The signal comes into the TV's reception unit, which gives it the power to light up the display screen according to the signal's content. The signal never becomes part of the TV.

It is the same with spiritual heat or good, which flows into the affective organ (A) and each layer, and energizes it with affections, feelings, loves, emotions, intentions, and motives, but never becoming part of these human experiences. Good is also called love, and both are called spiritual heat from the Spiritual Sun that has inflowed into our affective organ. Spiritual heat, or good, is what activates our will and its emotions, satisfactions, intentions, principles, and goals (see Section xx). The will (A) rules the cognitive organ (C) and its selective content. Good (or love) has priority and superiority over truth (or rationality) (see Section xx). Our thinking in the cognitive organ is initiated, directed and interrupted by our will or affective organ. Good gives us all our power or abilities such as the ability to walk, talk, eat, think, feel. Consider the sentence: "People can..." and you will see that there is no end to the ways you can complete that sentence. This means that there is no end to what people can do with their abilities, as received through the inflow of good into the will or affective organ. Spiritual heat entering the affective organ (A) provides an endless source of activation and operation from birth to eternity.

When you think of sunshine on your face, you not only think about the brilliant light, but the heat as well. Sunshine = heat + light. When you consider that it is sunshine that plants need to grow, you will recall that plant life requires the inflow of both heat and light from the natural sun. In other words Life = heat + light. When thinking about human beings, Life = affective organ + cognitive organ (acting together) (see Chart A and B above). More specifically, we can say that our conscious mental life in the natural mind is created by the affective and cognitive organs acting together, as the Chart arrows show. Thus, the natural hells in our mind are constructed from the action of evil intentions in the affective organ (= willing bad) joined together with false thinking or justifications in the cognitive organ (= thinking wrong or irrationally). Similarly, the natural heavens. And similarly, the spiritual heavens. It is always the joined action of the will and understanding, or the affective and the cognitive, that creates our life and experience.

For instance, we may get the idea that cheating on one's spouse is all right as long as it never gets to be found out. We think:  What harm can it do, especially if we are careful on how we do it and with whom. This means that (a) we know it is cheating and breaking trust, and (b) we allow it and justify it under certain conditions. This maintains a hell in our mind because cheating for the sake of self-gratification is evil, and when we find a reasoning process that justifies it, or makes it all right, we have joined falsity to the evil, thereby constructing the hell in our mind. Even if we don't carry out the intention because there is no opportunity, or because we are afraid to be caught, we are still creating a hell in our mind since we have joined together the affective and the cognitive (the intention and the justification). Only an opportunity is now needed to present itself, and we carry out the cheating acts. But the hell is already in the mind whether or not we carry it out. Swedenborg reports that once people are in the world of spirits after their resuscitation from death, they carry out all the deeds or acts they had justified mentally, but were afraid to carry out physically while still attached to the natural world.

The spiritual heavens, which are the mental states of eternity in our mind, are built up by the Divine Psychologist while we are still attached to the physical body. The extent to which these "eternal habitations" can be constructed in our unconscious spiritual mind depends on the extent to which we shut down the hells in our natural mind (see Diagrams above). This depends on facing spiritual combat in regeneration and our discipline of cooperation with the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx). If it were possible for Him to neutralize or silence our evil loves, He would do so instantly because He is pure Divine Love in His heart or affective organ. Therefore all His omnipotence would be used to make this happen for each of us. From the fact that He does not do this we can rationally conclude that therefore He cannot. That is, He would not because it would hurt the spiritual eternity of the person, and this He cannot do as it is against His inmost love for each person He created and most intimately manages from birth to eternity.

The principles of how God governs and manages all things created and existing have been revealed through the Writings Sacred Scripture as the Laws of Providence and Permissions (see Section xx). Studying theistic psychology gives you an understanding of how God manages the regeneration of your mind in order to operationalize your heavenly layers in eternity (6, 5, 4). This requires spiritual freedom of choice. Swedenborg reports an experiment in which a group of people who had been just resuscitated demanded to be admitted into heaven since they believed themselves to have been good people in this life. Through their interior natural mind (layer 7) their consciousness was activated in layer 6. In that mental state they were taken as visitors to one of the many societies and cities that allow people to congregate and live a social life in the first heaven (layer 6). The visitors however could not see things except through a thick veil or fog. Neither could they sense the wonderful fragrances in the garden they were taken to. They could not hear very much, see very much, taste or smell anything. Pretty soon they were seized with panic as they had difficulty breathing. They started writhing on the ground like snakes on hot coals. They were beginning to fall into a mental swoon or comatose state. Their consciousness was then removed from that layer of their mind and immersed once more in layer 8 and 9 which were in a hellish order.

This shows to you very clearly why God does not remove your hellish traits when you still love them and when you are not motivated to put up the mental effort and discipline it takes to suppress those traits and abandon them even though you enjoy them so much. You can see why people refuse to give them up. They can do this boldly because they then deny the existence of hell in the afterlife, and even, that the afterlife actually exists. If God now removed their hellish traits and rearranged their mind in the heavenly order, they would suddenly feel that life is leaving them because they no longer have any enjoyment, and yet enjoyment is what makes life. The Divine Psychologist must therefore wait in layer 6 of our mind until we are voluntarily willing, of our own free will in our conscious ayer 7, to give up all hellish enjoyments because they prevent us from opening and entering our conjugial heaven in eternity. The moment we are ready to do this, we receive the spiritual truths we need in layer 7C in order to face spiritual combat. That's when the Divine Psychologist is closest to us, monitoring with love and omnipotence every little detail, being on our side, making sure that the outcome is victory.

Each time we freely choose to resist a spiritual temptation because it is hellish,  the Divine Psychologist can disconnect us from one of the hellish societies that we have inherited or acquired on our own. These connections and disconnections constitute the mental biology of character reformation in regeneration.


Bill O'Reilly SCARED by Richard Dawkins


               (X) Character Reformation and the Theistic Psychology of Cooperation

The most important reason for studying theistic psychology is to discover how we are to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in our work of regeneration.

The struggle for character reformation is the central purpose for which God keeps us alive on this earth.

As soon as the individual is no longer able to engage in this struggle, death of the body immediately follows, and the individual starts the life of eternity. This struggle to reform our character (affective organ) starts when we are able to think for ourselves and act from ourselves (rather than from parents and authority figures). This is called attaining the age of maturity at around 21 for most people. What is it that we are "attaining" at that age? It's the beginning of our ability to cut ourselves loose from being immersed in the received thoughts. Everything we think until that age is not from our own thinking, but from the thinking we have received in our socialization process. The individual is not aware of this under normal circumstances. We seem to ourselves to think from ourselves, not from our parents or people we admire. And yet, that sense is false, as evidenced in theistic psychology in various ways.

In order to understand this more clearly reflect on what you do and how you justify it and your beliefs and principles. Ask yourself where you have acquired these beliefs or explanations. After doing this in some of the many areas in your life you will realize that most of it has been a mental socialization process during which you acquired ideas and ways of explaining things that others have taught you either directly or by example and modeling. You can see from this that you are still not the real you until you freely make a choice as a young adult either for these things or against them. Some young adults re-affirm in their mind the religious ideas they received in their socialization process. Now for the first time these ideas are really their own. Only the freely expressed choice can reflect your real love since we always choose what we love when we are in freedom.

The Divine Psychologist wills to maintain our spiritual freedom to choose during the temptations that He sets up for each of us.

We must go through the actual experience of freely choosing to resist the temptation. Only then can the evil love be overcome through the spiritual truths. We gain victory of we can say to ourselves: "I can choose to do this again as before, or I can resist. It's worth the effort to give it up because I know rationally that it is a hellish trait and enjoyment. Now I can give it up, but after death I cannot, and I will be stuck in it forever. If I compel myself not to do it, the Divine Psychologist has the power to remove it from me so it stops tempting me, and I can hold it in disdain, not wanting it again ever."

This is the kind of conscious and deliberate ratiocination that must go on during a temptation in order to overcome it. Note that this level of thinking occurs in layer 7C where we can rationally and freely choose the principles of spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture. Note that this thinking involves our knowledge, belief, and acceptance of the presence of the Divine Psychologist (or God or "Holy Spirit") in our mind, participating in the temptation struggle.

If we are fighting our temptations from layer 8 thinking, we would not be capable of accepting the concept of the Divine Psychologist. We would then try to fight it from our own self-intelligence and will power. But the result would not be favorable. This is evident with strong and deeply practiced habits (alcohol, drugs, overeating, under-exercising, being a consumer of pornography, lying, expressing anger, feeling envious, etc.). These everyday habits are hellish because they prevent the formation or growth of our heavenly layers in eternity.

All these habits are accompanied by our loves and enjoyments, which we are unwilling to give up as they are our very life. God cannot take them away because if He did, you would feel like you have nothing worth living for and that all that you enjoy or love has been taken away from you. You would not be able to acquire heavenly traits in their stead because you do not love them. So God has to wait until you are ready to choose the heavenly traits out of a love for the idea that you want to live in heaven in eternity. This gives you the motivation to acquire spiritual truths about heaven and hell and to use these truths to motivate you to face spiritual combat against your hells, against the hells that you are connected to. The hellish loves and enjoyments are really not your own, but they appear to be your own since you are unconscious in your spiritual mind. But when you understand that these enjoyments are not your own, you can consider giving them up and still feel like you have a good life, and enjoyable life, a worthwhile life, and no doubt, even more so than before.

Once we have developed our ability to think from ourselves in young adulthood or later, we have the preparedness for undergoing a reformation of our thinking in layer 7C, the rational mind. The Divine Psychologist brings certain information, and certain experiences, to each person, which have the consequence of strengthening the person's interest in morality, religion, or spirituality. If these contacts result in ideas that are compatible with spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture, then the Divine Psychologist can bring the person's focus and interest more deeply into the rational things of religion and spirituality (layer 7). If on the other hand the ideas we pick up through these contacts and readings are incompatible with spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture, then the individual turns more and more away from God and heavenly life in eternity. Further progress in regeneration is cut off because the person is not acknowledging God's presence and participation in one's thoughts and feelings. This leaves the individual with only their own will power and self-intelligence, and these are under the control of their ruling love (see Section xx). The ruling love is hellish unless it is regenerated through spiritual combat with spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture.

Note that I always use the expression "spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture" in order to make sure that self-intelligence, or the intelligence of some other person, has no power to resist spiritual temptations. All principles and explanations that are not from Sacred Scripture are called "from self-intelligence." However note this: Anyone can make up interpretations of verses of Sacred Scripture from one's own self-intelligence, or that of someone else. This is not called "spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture."

All spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture must be extracted from the literal sense of Sacred Scripture through the understanding of correspondences. Swedenborg confirms from observations that everyone who is resuscitated in the spiritual mind is taught about correspondences in their Sacred Scripture. Few people know correspondences or theistic psychology in our days so it is evident that we can get this knowledge from an internal source while we are studying the text and ideas of Sacred Scripture, especially when striving to understand how these ideas and principles are to be applied to your life and regeneration. It is stated in the Writings Sacred Scripture that all Sacred Scripture contains verses and explanations that are "naked spiritual truths" rather than hidden correspondences. People who allow themselves to be influenced by these few passages of naked spiritual truths, acquire the rational ability to see many other passages in a spiritual light or meaning. This is called constructing spiritual doctrine.

Through this cumulative process of constructing spiritual doctrine you can read more and more passages and understand them rationally and spiritually, this in correspondences. This process is successful as long as our motive for spiritual understanding is to cooperate with God in our regeneration by being willing to fight in spiritual combat using these spiritual truths.

The Divine Psychologist is an active manager in this crucial process. It would not work otherwise! We are informed by Sacred Scripture that God's omnipotence must extend to every detail, or else it cannot logically be called omnipotence. This includes therefore the details of the process by which information of the right sort comes to our attention at the right time, then impresses us enough to pay attention. Then there are the details of how we reflect upon this information on other occasions, so that there is a functional and powerful cumulation of justifications, like a tumbling snowball on a mountain side that gets to be bigger than a house or tree. This mighty snowball of reasonings crushes all the former reasonings and false justifications.

Only that is left which agrees with the newly realized truths about God and life, about morality and spirituality, character reformation and heaven or hell. Every human being has a conscience by which the Divine Psychologist communicates to our natural mind perceptions and intuitions about spiritual truths, such as that spiritual punishments must follow evil deeds and enjoyments. We sense and discern from within what is right or wrong, good or evil. We feel a deep pain of regret, guilt, and embarrassment when we violate community standards and cultural taboos. These feelings and thoughts are actively fomented, stirred up, and directed by the Divine Psychologist in the direction of the person's heaven. This is the process of reformation.

It is the inner realization that there is morality, there is spirituality, there is immortality, there is heaven and hell, there is a Divine Human God who loves us and manages it all for our good. This is also called enlightenment, because we now understand and see true reality. From then on, we are prepared and ready to start character reformation, which is the regeneration of the affective organ. This requires our active cooperation with the Divine Psychologist. Hence we need to learn about the theistic psychology of cooperation. Studying theistic psychology at level 1 (see Section xx) does not require reformation, enlightenment, regeneration, or cooperation. But studying theistic psychology at level 2 and 3 does require enlightenment and cooperation to some extent at earlier levels, and much more at later stages of study (see Section xx).

We cooperate with the Divine Psychologist by the daily practice of self-witnessing in order to evaluate and judge our thoughts, emotions, expectations, intentions, and actions (see Section xx). This is a spiritual practice because it involves the motivation of doing it for the purpose of our character regeneration for heavenly life, and this is the central topic of theistic psychology. Self-witnessing is the self-observation of our feelings, intentions, thoughts, perceptions, focus of attention, social appearance, and actions or movements of the body, hands, legs, eyes, etc. These are the procedures that every individual performs in the course of their minute by minute life in a group or community. These procedures can be observed by our self-monitoring skills, when we are fully motivated by the spiritual discipline.

As we study theistic psychology we develop an understanding of the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). This spiritual doctrine constructs the principles and models we follow in our daily procedures of life.

Our task in cooperating with the Divine Psychologist is to exert the mental effort of

1.    examining our inner life through self-witnessing and regular monitoring

2.    judging it by means of the spiritual doctrine of truth extracted through correspondences from Sacred Scripture;

3.    cease doing what is not allowed or is condemned by the doctrine (hellish traits);

4.    start doing what is allowed or commanded (heavenly traits).

This process prepares your mind for spiritual combat in temptations, the main method the Divine Psychologist employs to regenerate our will (affective organ) from hellish to heavenly. A new affective organ is provided which is then grown and expanded gradually as the person is regenerating. There are natural, spiritual, and celestial temptations, and each category has a developmental series that must be enacted or experienced. The result is a spiritual heaven in our spiritual mind that is prepared and ready for each of us when we undergo the second death (see Diagrams A and B) (see also Section xx).

The economics of immortality was discussed above.  At Level 2 thinking (layer 8) about theistic psychology (see Section xx), we think from the equity model, namely, that our hellish and heavenly traits should balance each other to some extent. In other words, even while we continue to enjoy evil loves, and continue to think at times against the truth, we want God to ignore this for the sake of something else we also did, something that is heavenly or pleases God. But at Level 3 thinking (layer 7) we begin to understand that God's single focus in His relationship to each individual is to bestow as much human potential as possible, and to make the person be filled with happiness and joy forever, without stop. This is what God wants. This is why He created the human race, and the universe for the sake of human beings. God is pure Love in His Essential Being, according to the revelations about Himself in Sacred Scripture. The essence of love is to make others happy from oneself, according to these revelations. Hence God's continuous focus is always on making the individual as happy and rational and wise as He can.

To be an individual human being, a person, is to have real freedom and real rationality. God is therefore dedicated to maintaining our freedom and rationality as two capacities we can always make use of as if they were our very own. This is what makes us human, an image and model of the Divine Human who is the only actual Human. We understand therefore that God cannot balance or cancel out our evil traits with our heavenly ones. The evil traits cannot be cancelled out because we are not dealing here with an economics of keeping track of sins and forgiving or overlooking them. At Level 2 (layer 8) we might think that it is a matter of God forgiving us or not forgiving us at His discretion. But at Level 3 thinking (layer 7) we understand that this is a matter of spiritual physiology of the mental organs, as shown in Diagrams A and B. The economics of our immortality is determined by the aversion we have accumulated for our evil traits.

Temptations are arranged for us by the Divine Psychologist in order that we may learn to reject our evil loves from a sense of aversion for them. In other words, through self-witnessing we become aware of what we are feeling, thinking, fantasizing, and doing. We recognize those things in our mental and bodily life as being the enjoyments of hells. We are amazed that we can enjoy that which is from hell. Amazed and dismayed. Perhaps depressed and disgusted. Or maybe just annoyed, and not wanting to think about it or figure it out. But the Divine Psychologist puts the issue right in our face by means of a temptation experience.

For example, some driver just scared you with a near miss crash and you feel enraged against the driver, imagining that you can tear him to pieces, or at least scare him to death as he did to you. As you witness this reaction in yourself, you realize that it is against the spiritual doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture to think evil of one's neighbor (see Section xx). We understand that if we justify this vengeful thinking we are creating a hell in our mind and we enter further into a tight connection with the hellish societies who specialize in vengefulness. This is a spiritual temptation (see Section xx).

The Divine Psychologist has put you smack in the middle of a spiritual temptation. You are cursing your neighbor and you know it's evil, yet you enjoy it so much that you continue to do it, continue to enjoy the feeling of retaliating and taking your vengeance, or continue to enjoy the idea that this driver will kill himself, etc. This spiritual temptation precipitates you into a life and death struggle that you can win, if you are willing to give up your evil enjoyment, knowing that it is evil.

The Writings Sacred Scripture explain that armies of spirits, good and evil, line up to fight for one individual person on earth who is brought into a spiritual temptation. The outcome depends on your willingness to give up that hellish enjoyment. The Divine Psychologist waits for you to be willing, and the instant you are willing to give up the enjoyment because it is evil, you feel the power to turn away from the enjoyment, to give it up. It now becomes easy, once your decision is made, because the power of Divine influx then drives the evil spirits away, freeing the individual from the enjoyment. In this way, by progressive steps and numerous temptation experiences, we are brought to eventually not only stop ourselves from fantasizing and wishing evil upon our neighbor, but to hold this in aversion, to be shocked by the idea of doing it even for one instant. That's when we are fully and forever liberated from the spirits of vengeance who are in deep hell. This is the way temptations progress our character regeneration.

Our ability to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist in our character reformation depends on the idea we have of God.

At Level 1 thinking (layer 9C) our relationship to God is non-personal, if it exists at all. If we are not outright naturalists, denying God's existence along with eternity, then we have some sort of "universal" idea of God as Energy, or as "the Universe" or even as "Whatever's." If we have the traditional religious view of God we then see Him as a powerful impersonal Divine potentate who gets angry and vengeful against people who sin, and needs to pacified with sacrifices, rituals, or prayers.

At Level 2 thinking (layer 8C) we can fully accept a personal God and eternity and heaven and hell and Sacred Scripture. But we have all sorts of unscientific ideas about God. One common belief is that God is a Judge who is forced by His Own Law of Order, to judge the guilty who have sinned against Him by violating His Commandments (see Section xx).. Another idea is that human beings are necessarily evil because they inherit evil, and this is their unchangeable nature or character. Therefore the way to salvation and eternity in heaven (or earth) is to belong to a true religion and to carry out its prescriptions with sincere and deep faith in the truth and validity of these prescriptions as coming from God (see Section xx). Another idea is that God punishes or rewards depending on the severity of the sins or good works we perform, and perhaps in what proportion or frequency (see Section xx).

But at Level 3 thinking (layer 7) we no longer think of God as a Judge who is bound by His Own Law that we have violated, to punish us for sins. Neither do we think any more that God needs to forgive us for our sins. Instead we can see that God is pure Love and therefore  we don't think that He has to forgive us, as if He withholds His forgiveness unless we begged Him for it. We remember in our thinking to be rational and logical about God because God is Rational and Human, and runs the universe in a manner that we can understand and appreciate, even if we cannot comprehend the details that are not within the purview of created human beings to understand or conceive of.

Obviously since God's intelligence is infinite no finite created individual can conceive of any of this. Nevertheless we can conceive representations and correspondences of Divine Speech starting from the highest level in our mind called the spiritual heavens (layers 4, 5, 6), and descending to the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) where we are conscious of its meaning by means of thinking with natural correspondences of Divine Speech, which is Divine Truth, which is spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun, which is the aura issuing forth from the Divine Human into the universe, creating, managing, evolving, progressing closer and closer to perfection in the Grand Human (see Section xx).

Our psychology of cooperation is therefore conditioned by our relationship to God, which depends on our idea of God.

At Level 3 thinking (layer 7)  about God we can form a relationship to Him as our Divine Psychologist. This gives us a way of seeing how God is managing our mental life and why. Since the Divine Psychologist is perfect in all possible ways, we have complete trust and confidence that absolutely nothing can occur in the universe or in our mind, that the Divine Psychologist is not directly and immediately managing and determining. We are completely confident in this because we are thinking about God rationally. We can understand the logic that "omnipotence" means that no mental event in our mind can occur except that He is bringing it about. And we also know that God is rational, hence He acts only from a purpose.

God has revealed to the human race that His purpose is to create earths in the physical universe endlessly, where people can be supplied with physical bodies and experiences, to develop a natural heaven in their mind, and then live in a spiritual conjugial heaven to eternity (see Section xx). There are therefore endless varieties of heaven in the human mind. Swedenborg used the physical organs to describe the quality of the heavenly societies he encountered. The people whose heaven exists in say "the province of the heart" of the Grand Human, are of a different genius or mental quality than the people whose heaven is described as being "in the province of the stomach" and so on (see Section xx). Swedenborg could relate to such a spiritual geography because the shape of the mental world of eternity is in the human form.

Theistic psychology understood at Level 3 thinking (layer 7) allows us to have an intimate relationship with the Divine Human. We are not focusing on God as a Person to be worshipped as a King and Judge (level 2 thinking, layer 8) but as the Divine Psychologist who is engineering our future through the control of the present in every detail that occurs in our mental life and in the construction of our being. We understand that God is much more familiar and knowledgeable of us than we are. We do not turn away from God, as we are feeling shame or embarrassment. We face God in reality, discussing with Him what is going on with us in any one situation or moment. This is the method that has been found universally effective in relating to God, that is, taking to God, facing Him in reality for what He is, not a Judge or Benefactor or Father, but what these holy terms and ideas represent and contain spiritually within themselves. Father is a term that corresponds to Divine Love and Grace, while Judge corresponds to Divine Truth. We talk to God sincerely when our relationship is real and rational, devoid of distancing through ritual performances. Rituals without their spiritual ideas are not spiritually effective or spiritually meaningful (see Section xx).

There is much to discuss with the Divine Psychologist at any moment of the day or night. In future research theistic psychology will be able to examine the styles or procedures that exist between humans and God while we are in the mental co-Presence of God. Of course we know that God is present and managing our mental operations moment by moment, every moment. But we only talk to God about all this management on a rare basis. In my case, despite my long standing motivation to talk to God all day long, I only manage to remember here and there, in the course of my daily activities. I found that when I study and write theistic psychology I am more conscious of God's co-Presence and participation in my mental operations. I have acquired the habit of thanking the Divine Psychologist whenever I become aware of a new insight that delights me and impresses me enough to remember that He is the one making it happen right then and there. When I find myself fantasizing a hellish enjoyment or interest, I apologize to God for turning away from Him and His Love, and therefore from the conjugial heaven that He wants to construct in my mind.

Through this mental effort and spiritual discipline I find more and more ways or occasions to remain consciously aware of His co-Presence in the course of the day. I would be shocked at myself if I had a companion on my morning beach walk, and hardly ever acknowledged that he was there or spoke to him. And yet this is the abnormal situation I maintain when I forget about God's co-Presence and co-action in my mental operations. It's like taking all the credit for achieving yet another day in our life. This is irrational and leads to spiritual insanity in the hells of our mind (see Section xx).

Why do we need God as a scientific concept?

Why do we need God for anything? Cynics like famed psychologist Sigmund Freud and influential behaviorist B.F. Skinner, have written that God is an idea of superstition created by human beings when they want to make themselves feel less lonely, like children who want to be with their father when they are scared. But mature people, according to this cynical view, do not need God to keep them safe. They create their own safety, their future, their own fate. I call them cynical scientists because they have taken a negative bias judgment for denying God's reality, when in fact they know nothing about it, are completely ignorant about anything Divine and spiritual, and further, are completely unwilling to hear about the evidence and to examine it. This is cynicism indeed. But those who take the positive bias on the scientific concept of God are declaring that they reject the cynicism of the negative bias in science. Instead, they take up the orientation of the positive bias in science and thereby, put themselves in the intelligent position of being interested in examining the scientific evidence contained in the Writings Sacred Scripture, from which theistic psychology is extracted (see Section xx).

If we grant the possibility that God exists we are in the right position to examine what this concept is and what are its implications. For instance, God is both (a) Human and (b) infinite. That God is Human follows from the dictionary definitions of God as

  • "the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions"
  • "The Supreme Being; the eternal and infinite Spirit, the Creator, and the Sovereign of the universe"
  • "the name of the Divine Being"
  • "the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe"

(For more, see the Hyper-dictionary here: )

God is defined as the Supreme Being who is the perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, good, wise, Creator of the universe, and further, that He is the object of worship in all religions. A Being who is good and wise must be a Person, which the dictionary defines as "human individual." This shows that since God is a Person, He must be Human, in other words, Divine Human. God is the Divine Human Person in whose "image" human beings have been created by Him. We are called humans, while animals are not. What's the difference? Human beings are born dual citizens. At birth our spiritual body with its mind or spirit is born in the mental world of eternity, while our physical body is born in the natural world of time-place-matter.

The two worlds of time and of eternity are interconnected by the functional laws of correspondences (see Section xx). The physical body in the natural world grows along with the spiritual body in the mental world of eternity. The two are perfectly connected by interdependent action, development, and maturation. The mind contains the affective (A), cognitive (C), and sensorimotor (S) organs constructed out of spiritual substances from the Spiritual Sun shining forth in the world of eternity or rational ether. The physical body contains the corresponding circulatory system (affective), respiratory system (cognitive), and nervous system (sensorimotor) constructed out of physical substances from the natural sun shining forth in our galaxy. This perspective is called substantive dualism (see Section xx).

We grow physically and mentally through experience. The physical world impinges upon the physical senses, making them vibrate and react mechanically, chemically, and electrically, as has been described in physiology and biochemistry. These physical reactions of the afferent-efferent action system in daily experience, have a correspondential effect on the mental organs, which now react to the physical body's activity (layer 12) through the corporeal mind (layer 9).

First there is the correspondential reaction of the corporeal mind (layer 9). We experience this mental reaction as a sensation (9S). All sensations are localized in the sensorimotor organ of the mind (S), which can be viewed therefore as the organic interface between the physical body and the spiritual body, or between the natural and spiritual worlds.  When the sensorimotor organ of the corporeal mind reacts, the cognitive organ (9C) reacts in synchrony according to the laws of correspondences (see Section xx). We experience this synchronous operation as a conscious or meaningful sensation. It is what constitutes our conscious life as a human being, a conscious self, an individual member of a group or society. Of course, to achieve this solely through the joint operation of  the sensorimotor and the cognitive organs alone is impossible. We also need the third element, which in fact is the chief and central element, the commander of the other two. This is the affective organ (9A). When this organ reacts to the joint action of the other two, we have a full meaningful experience rooted in some feeling (affective operation).

As we grow to become mature individuals mentally, we form a permanent conscious self that we call a human being. This is the "image" of the Divine Human in which we are constructed, that is, a permanent or immortal mental self composed of three organs at each layer by which we are human subjects capable of the three-way interaction between feeling (affective), thinking (cognitive), and sensing (sensorimotor).

We are "human" because God is Human and He created human beings to be spiritual forms of an immortal self consisting of feeling, thinking, and sensing, and through these three, acting in the physical world with the body that responds perfectly to the mind (running, eating, talking, voting, kissing, etc.). Note that what makes these actions "human" is that they are produced by human organs acting in synchrony in the mind that is attached to the body. Humans act from a purpose, goal, or motive, which is nothing but the affective intentions of "the will," which is called the affective organ (A) of the mind or spirit. All action (S) is initiated by the will (A) though intentions that activate rational thinking and problem solving (C). A child learns to move its hand to the visual object and to grasp it. Next time it grasps it, the child moves the hand intentionally, with the purpose or intention to get hold of the object. The arm, hand, and finger obey the affective intention or the will. But not directly since the cognitive must play an intermediary role between the sensorimotor interface and the affective inner face called the organ of feeling and intention (A).

The "heart" is called the center or essential of a human being because all thinking obeys the feeling or intention, also called the person's love or affections. What we want, what we desire, what we intend, what we long for, what we want to make happen, what we work for, what we fight for, etc., all and each constitute our love or our affections. An individual human being is a unique collection of feelings or loves (A), which invariably cause unique patterns of thinking (C), and hence, of acting (S). Every personality is unique, and stays unique from birth to the eternal and endless life of immortality. When the heart is corrupt, the whole person is corrupt. When the loves or affections are evil and injurious, the thinking is no longer rational, and the acting is evil, cruel, dishonest, hypocritical, and so on.

Our thinking may be rational or irrational at different times. What causes our rational thinking? It is the operation of the cognitive organ under the control of heavenly loves such as being of good will towards others and refraining from doing harm to them, naturally, mentally, or spiritually. Under such orderly affective operations, the cognitive operations are also orderly, that is, rational. But under hellish loves such as wanting to injure others for the sake of self, or acting well and cooperatively only when being observed, which is called hypocrisy and dishonesty, our thinking from these disorderly loves is bent into the opposite of what is orderly rational to think. This is by universal law of Divine Providence which prevents good loves from associating with false thinking, and prevents evil loves from associating with rational thoughts. Hence it is that the kind of person we are is determined by what loves we have.

Again the question is raised: Why do we need God? Or, more realistically, in what way do we need God?

Another way of asking this question is this: If we need God, why do atheists seem to do just as well in society as believers do? If you look at a group of successful people, it's hard to predict accurately which of them believe in God and which do not. And so, in what way is it correct to say that God is indispensable? For instance, you can see that electricity is indispensable for operating a home appliance built for plugging into an electric outlet. You can see that sunlight is indispensable for growing a forest. You can see that intelligence is necessary to read a textbook and pass a quiz on it. You can then see that motivation (A) to act (S) and intelligence to think (C) are indispensable for a human society to exist.

But the power of motivation in the affective organ, and the rationality of thinking in the cognitive organ, do not reside or belong to these organs. Just as electricity does not belong to the motor, sunlight does not belong to the tree leaves, in the same way motivation of the will (A) and intelligence of the understanding (C) do not belong to the individual. Most people do not know this and want to reject the idea when it is presented.

People who are thinking at the corporeal level (level 1 thinking, layer 9C), and even those who are thinking at level 2 of religious beliefs (layer 8C), want to believe and think that their rationality and their motivation are "gifts" God gives them, and once that takes place, these become their own. But at level 3 thinking (layer 7) of theistic psychology, the scientific consistency and logic requires that God cannot remain omnipotent if He gives away power and intelligence to human beings. Because what happens after giving them away? Does that mean He can no longer control fully what people are going to do with the power they have been given? But this idea is irrational since God is omnipotent from beginning to end, and this cannot change on account of His infinity. We must conclude therefore that the power of motivation to act, and the intelligence of rationality to think, is power that belongs to God and cannot be given away. All things that belong to God are called "uncreate" and all things in that category are infinite. Hence the power of intelligence and motivation to act belong to God, remain with God, and never belong to human beings.

As a result of this conclusion it is necessary to bring in the concept of the as-of self (see Section xx). God manages the feelings, intentions, motives, thoughts, conclusions, etc., that every unique individual experiences from birth to endless eternity. God manages all these details through His infinity, His omnipotence, His omnipresence and omniscience. To God all the past, present, and future of created reality is present simultaneously in the eternal, unchangeable state of infinity. God manages all things in the person's mind, and without this direct and continuous intervention, the whole creation would collapse in chaos and vanish from existence.

But this is of course impossible and irrational. The as-of self is the idea that God manages the details of the operations in our mind. He does this in such a way as to prevent the person from consciously or sensuously observing His intervention and management. This is to protect us for we would lose all happiness and initiative of life if we observed directly how closely God bends and selects our thoughts, and modifies our mood and feelings by connecting each person to others in the vertical community (see Section xx). Different spiritual societies infuse different loves and affections, and these select different thoughts, as explained above.

So God controls our feelings and thoughts, intentions and decisions, and thus actions, by connecting and disconnecting us with spiritual societies of this or that ruling love. The ruling love of the society to which we get connected, determines what kind of operation is going on in our affective and cognitive organs. We have therefore the experience of a free self acting from our own mind, while rationally and scientifically we know that God manages it all. Hence in theistic psychology we call ourselves the as-of self, instead of the self. This makes all the difference for regeneration of our character and for our cooperation with the Divine Psychologist in this lifelong process of personality change.

When we orient towards our daily actions, making decisions about what we want and how we prefer to think, we do so within the context of our intention and desire (A) to cooperate with the Divine Psychologist. We know that we have no power of "self" and that all self-modification and reformation must be accomplished by the Divine Psychologist. In this interaction, the Divine Psychologist is restrained or restricted by His Own Laws of Providence and Permissions (see Section xx). God cannot act contrary to good and truth, mercy and wisdom. God cannot punish (see Section xx). God manages our as-of self in such a way that He honors our intentions whenever He cannot change our mind without breaking the feeling that we are free to do and think as we please. For this is the essence of being human and if God takes this away, we are no longer human, but sub-human, like animals and robots, and these can have no rational relationship to God, hence no immortality.

Hence God allows us to resist Him, to resist being influenced by heavenly loves, and to insist on adopting hellish loves and their irrational way of thinking and reasoning. This does not mean He lost control! God exercises absolute one hundred percent control all the time. For instance, He will not honor or permit any decision or intention by anyone when He cannot turn it into something good for the person and for all others involved. For instance, He will act in the background fabric of reality and events to prevent certain thoughts from entering the understanding, or certain feelings from entering the will, and thus certain action cannot occur. It may appear that because there is terrible and atrocious evil in the world, therefore God is not fully in control, for if He were, why would He allow all this evil!? But this is false thinking. Rationality demands that God's omnipotence cannot be reduced. Hence we can't say that "there is evil in the world because God can't control things fully as long as He gives us free will." This is not what is going on. Instead, we need to think rationally and scientifically by figuring out why God allows the evil and cooperates with in its execution by giving power to carry out the evil intentions, plans, and actions (see Section xx).

The actuality or truth is that God retains perfect and absolute power over every molecule, thought, galaxy, or heaven and hell.

It is impossible for God to be not-God, hence it is impossible for God to be non-omnipotent, hence it is impossible for God to give away anything that is His, the things called "uncreate" such as life, intelligence, consciousness, power, light, endeavor, love, goodness, truth, inventiveness, coherence. All these things that are so familiar to us that without them we cannot live, are nevertheless not ours. They are familiar to us, yes, but we do not own them. They are not ours any more than the television picture is owned by the monitor or screen. The television picture originates from the input electronic signal which was created by a human being to communicate content and meaning. Similarly, God creates a receiving organ called the human mind, which is composed of affective (A), cognitive (C), and sensorimotor (S) organs that are organized at three distinct levels of reception, and held together in a spiritual body in the world of eternity (see Section xx). By itself, this organic "mental" body is a spiritual robot because it has no life, no content, no desires. It is totally inert, like the computer is inert when the electricity and battery are disconnected.

In order for this organic robot to be operative it must be plugged into the Spiritual Sun in the world of spirits, just as in this world, the growing tree and plant must be plugged into the earth and the natural sun from which it receives energy to operate its cell physiology for growth. Put a tent or enclosure around the tree and cut off all sunlight, and the plant quickly disintegrates. The tree falls apart, disappears, and no longer exists because it was unplugged from its source of energy and influx. Instead there is a carcass of a tree, dead, petrified, remaining the same inert shell instead of growing, living, and giving leaves, fruit, and flowers. The affective organ of the will remains inoperative and inert until it receives some input signal from the Spiritual Sun. The spiritual heat is received by the affective organ (A) while the spiritual light is received by the cognitive organ (C). These two organs are operational, as long as the spiritual heat and light keep inflowing continuously, from birth to endless immortality. When the organs of the mind receive the appropriate spiritual substances, the organic mental robot or human being is online, lit, activated, operational with sequenced and patterned events that are built into the structure of these organs, unique for each individual. This is the source of experiencing, being alive, being a self, a person, an individual human being that lives forever.

Suddenly the consciousness of self is born at the very instant that the affective organ receives its first signal at the birth. We call God our "Father" because our consciousness and subjective experience as a self, originates and lasts as long as God's spiritual signal keeps flowing into our mental organs built for that reception. God builds the organic human robot out of substances emanating from His infinite Self through the Spiritual Sun, then activates the robot out of input signals from Himself, also through the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). Our subjective experience as an immortal conscious self and unique person is therefore completely and absolutely dependent on God's Own substances that are activated organically, and maintained in their operations forever, once activated. God is therefore the creator and manager of our cumulative subjective experiences as a person or unique individual. We ourselves have nothing except those subjective experiences. Those are our very own. But they are nothing but subjective consequences of the actual operations in the organs of the mind. Should these operations cease, our subjective life and continuity as a self, ceases. And it is God who operates and manages these organic processes, hence we rightly call God our Father.

These unique, personal, individual, subjective experiences make up our self, and its cumulative history and evolution to everlasting eternity and immortality. The mental organs that God constructs, activates, and manages are not our own, but the subjective feelings, thoughts, and sensations that result from it, are our very own. Our loves and affections are our very own. What we want to do and what we want to associate with, these are our own. What we prefer and choose is our own. Those feelings that are experienced in the upper levels of our organic operations are called heavenly because they have not been modified by the individual's choices and preferences. The upper celestial-spiritual regions of the affective organ (layers 6A, 5A, 4A) are called heavens, while the lower natural-spiritual regions are called hells (unregenerate layers 9A, 8A, 7A). We are created robots that inherit the previous version of the model from the our biological father and mother. When we are born, our mental organs are structured in a certain way that is marked by the soul (layer 3) and the natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7) of the parents and their line of inheritance all the way to the first generation of the human race on this planet.

For many generations in olden times called "the Most Ancient Civilization" (see Section xx), the inheritance passed down the line was completely heavenly. In other words, the operations in the natural mind were harmonious with the heavenly operations in the spiritual mind (see Chart A and B). But in subsequent generations there was a gradual decline of the content of the natural mind, until eventually the inherited natural mind was totally disharmonious in structure with the spiritual mind. This divided state was called "the Fall" of human kind (see Section xx). We are the offspring of this race. So now the main purpose of our brief life here on earth is to regenerate the natural mind so that we begin to make heavenly choices and we begin to prefer heavenly enjoyments to hellish.

This regeneration process is directed by the Divine Psychologist, who is God as He appears uniquely to each human mind.  We have the most intimate relationship with the Divine Psychologist, who is with us in operating and managing what gives rise to our subjective feelings, thoughts, and sensations. This is indeed a very intimate relationship, right? Of course the person is not forced to acknowledge this intimate relationship. The person can construct the fantasy that there is no God, or that God is away, having given us the power and gift of life. Still, God continues to honor the intentions and desires of that person, even if they are hellish. God continues to activate events to cooperate with such a person, who in this way never has physical evidence of God's co-presence and management. Why?

Why does God stay hidden in the background of the person's conscious awareness in the natural mind?

You must have a rational answer for this question, or else the whole thing becomes unclear and therefore unconvincing and incomprehensible, hence pretty much useless to you. There are two parts to the answer:

(1) Today God can be known to us consciously only through the rational mind, only through rational ideas of thinking and understanding the spiritual truths of God's Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. This is discussed in theistic psychology in many places under the topic of "sensuous spirituality" vs. "rational spirituality" (see Section xx). Heaven is only in the rational aspects of the spiritual mind (layer 6 and above), and we are closest to God when we are in the order of heaven in our natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9). But the inherited corporeal and sensuous mind (layers 9, 8) on the other hand is opposed to heaven and contains the inherited hells of our mind.

So you can see that God's love (spiritual good) and rationality (spiritual truth) requires that He only appear to us in our rational thinking and ideas, from our interior (layer 7), and that He avoid appearing to us in our sensuous or natural mind (layer 8 or 9), from the  exterior. However, once we are in our heavenly order of mind, God appears to us both from the interior and the exterior. Swedenborg has seen the Divine Human appear in the center of the aura called the Spiritual Sun, visible to the celestial mind (layer 4). When we die, we are resuscitated in our spiritual mind, and at our second death, the natural mind goes silent, and our consciousness finds itself either in heaven (layer 6 or above) or hell (layer 7, 8, 9). Our consciousness in heaven after resuscitation is within the rational feelings and ideas we have of God and Sacred Scripture (in layers 6, 5, 4). Our consciousness in hell after resuscitation (unregenerate layers 9, 8, 7) is within the hellish feelings and ideas we have of God.

So this is the first reason why God stays in the background of our natural mind and only appears to us when we think of Him rationally as the Divine Psychologist, fully co-present, co-active, and co-loving. The idea of God as omnipresent, or present in every person's mind, cannot be understood with materialistic notions such as we have in the exterior natural layer (8C). In the physical world of time and space it is not possible for a person to be present in multiple places simultaneously, and it boggles the sensual mind to think that God is present in every person's mind, co-participating in all thoughts and feelings.

At that level of thinking (exterior-natural, layer 8) one wonders what use it would be for God to be present in every person's mind. What makes sense instead (at that sensual level) is that God creates natural laws so that the events in the brain can operate according to these laws. But at the rational level of the interior-natural mind (layer 7) one can understand that "natural laws" cannot operate on their own. God cannot abandon His omnipotence to natural laws! God's omniscience means that He is aware of every molecule and o0f every sub-atomic particle and directs its path. It requires rational thinking to understand that if God is defined as omnipotent and omniscient, then it is logically necessary that He retain that power, or, that He cannot give away any of that power to an atom or a human being.

So God cannot be comprehended sensually, by sensual evidence since this kind of evidence cannot make sense of omnipresence. For this reason God does not appear sensually to us today in the physical world. It would be possible for God to appear in the United Nations in New York with the physical body that He took on at birth during the Incarnation Event (see Section xx). God transformed this merely physical body into a "glorified physical body" altering its structure to make it Divine. God can be seen in this glorified natural body when we ascend in consciousness to layer 4S. Swedenborg himself was able to confirm this by his own ocular observation when he was raised into that layer of his mind.

If God were to make an appearance at the United Nations and make a TV broadcast to the whole world, people would be faced with this event in their layer 9 and 8 thinking. What would they do with this sensual proof that God exists? People would start debating whether it really happened or was some trick, or they would discuss whether this was really God or some other thing. Pretty soon all sorts of theories and cults would arise, none of it true and helpful to the believers. Hence God cannot provide proof of Himself to the sensual mind for it would reject Him. But He can provide proof of Himself in the rational mind through correspondences in Sacred Scripture to those who are willing to understand it with layer 7 operations. If God suddenly broke into your conscious awareness at layer 8 or 9 in your mind, without an external counterpart, thus only in your mind, you might feel like you are possessed or delusional.

So it is necessary for God's presence in your mind to be hidden from your direct detection or awareness in layer 9 and 8 operations. This is the first reason.

(2) The second reason is that God's management style is mediational as well as direct.

In theistic psychology this distinction is called mediate and immediate influx (see Chart A and B above) (see also Section xx). To exercise absolute control over every thing and detail in the universe and in the mind, God must be in continuous and ceaseless contact with each separate event, or else that event cannot be fully controlled by Him or cannot continue to exist for an instant. This is immediate influx into all things of the created universe, and thus their method of control. But in the case of human beings, God in addition makes a mediate influx through the adjacent layers of the mind. This mediate influx is the origin of our consciousness, hence our life as an immortal human being.

Mediate influx is possible only through a human mind or mental organ. There is no mediate influx of consciousness into anything else in the universe, except the human affective and cognitive organs, and through those acting together, into the sensorimotor organ at each layer. This mediate influx is called Divine Speech in correspondences or Sacred Scripture. Mediate influx is rational and is the originator and cause of conscious life, immortal life as a human being having cumulative feelings and thoughts organized into a person or unique self.

God operates mediate influx through the vertical community (see Section xx). The entire human race, past and present, are interconnected through mediate influx in such a way that all the separate parts are actually synchronized, coordinated, shaped to each other to form the Grand Human (see Section xx). Our self or personality is constantly evolved by God to provide its unique quality to the entire human race. Every feeling, thought, and sensation, mood, insight, that one person has is communicated to the entire heavenly society, from there to neighboring heavenly societies, then to more distant ones, until finally every human being has been modified or affected in some way by another human being's feelings or thoughts! This is known in theistic psychology as the Perizonius Thesis (see Section xx).


                 (XI) Creating Our Own Hell and Heaven

Consider Chart B, already discussed above. Our character reformation consists of acquiring and growing a new natural mind. We inherit a natural mind that is formed by space-time ideas like "survival of the fittest", or, "what you get is what you got," or, "live to the fullest now for tomorrow may never come", and other such principles of living and thinking, immerse our consciousness in what is antagonistic to our natural heavens. In other words, certain principles we choose to follow at layer 8C in the sensual-materialistic mind, have the consequence of maintaining the current hellish order in your mind, which we all have from inheritance. No one is exempt and the process is cumulating into the future. You will pass on to your offspring all the hellish traits you inherited, plus all the ones you have acquired yourself -- except for those that you freely rejected because they are contrary to your future heavenly life in layers 6, 5, or 4, into which your consciousness will come after resuscitation.

The Writings Sacred Scripture state in the literal sense that there is no other way possible for getting rid of a hellish trait except to fight it on account of it being contrary to our heaven in eternity.

In non-theistic psychology we are given methods of self-modification that will help us become a more positive and cooperative person. This is effective in modifying our intentions and social responsibility feelings in layer 8A, the exterior natural mind. However we should remember that we must then also go on to layer 7 thinking and consciousness. This is our rational mind in which we are able to think with spiritual truths that we acquire from Sacred Scripture. As we strive to understand the correspondential or spiritual sense of Sacred Scripture, we make it possible for the Divine Psychologist to enlighten us spiritually. From then on everything we do, or intend, feel, desire, or enjoy, gets examined by our layer 7C thinking which uses the spiritual truths and understands them, looking at everything below from that perspective. This spiritual self-witnessing practice is the process of regeneration from a hellish (inverted) order to a heavenly order in our layers 8 and 9.

So, while non-theistic psychology may have useful behavioral methods for self-modification in layer 8, the exterior natural mind, it has nothing at all to contribute to layer 7, the interior natural mind for the reason that in its negative bias approach it has to deny that layer 7 exists since it denies that layer 6 exists, etc., since it denies that layer 1 exists. Non-theistic psychology actually only admits the existence of layer 12. Nevertheless it allows that the brain at that level might have "epiphenomena" or a subjective sense that the mind exists, but only as a special outcome of the neural networks and the pattern of their electro-chemical firings. So according to non-theistic psychology our thoughts and feelings are just the patterns of these electrical firings. In other words, thoughts and feelings are not real in the sense that they have a material existence other than the brain itself.

In theistic psychology the perspective changes from materialism or monism (one world only) to substantive dualism, which is the definition of the mental world as being non-material in eternity and created by the substances of the Spiritual Sun (layer 1). We are born into both worlds simultaneously with a temporary physical body (layer 12) and a permanent spiritual body (layer 10). The activity of the two bodies are kept in perfect functional synchrony by the laws of correspondences. The physical body (layer 12) has sensory organs that react to the physical environment. The spiritual body (layer 10) reacts by correspondence to the activity of the physical body. The mental layers within the spiritual body then react in turn by correspondence: layer 9 (corporeal mind closest to the body), layer 8 (sensual mind, abstract thinking within materialism), and layer 7 (rational mind, thinking with spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture). The same process works downward. Layer 8 selects a course of action using intelligent planning, and layer 9 reacts to it by correspondence, determining to act in that way, and the physical body reacts to that determination by movement.



Note in Chart B what separates the natural mind into two independent and separate levels of operation of the affective and cognitive organs. It is the double line of enlightenment and regeneration. We are born with our conscious life in the natural hells of the natural mind. This is the inherited affective organ that contains the mental genes of our racial genius. This affective organ actually cumulates its content of hellish traits with each generation. What we have inherited in our affective organ, that's what we naturally and spontaneously love and feel comfortable with. Each portion or building block of our natural hell gets created the instant we justify any of these loves by constructing a life philosophy that allows these loves and enjoyments as a habit and lifestyle. In this way, one by one, we appropriate to ourselves each of the hellish traits we have inherited.

Note carefully that the hellish traits we inherit do not make our hells. It would be irrational and unfair to be blamed for what we inherit.

For example, we inherit the love of the sex, which gives us the ability to enjoy illicit sex such as risky sex, date rape, seduction of minors, marital infidelity. We inherit the capacity to enjoy evil loves such as overeating or, being late as a habit, or, manipulating others for selfish gain.  We enjoy thinking bad things about somebody we don't like or disapprove of. We love to win even if we know we don't deserve it.

All these are very common traits. They are inherited. They are embedded in the genes of our affective organ. Throughout literature this organ used to be called "the will" and it was universally recognized that it is the person's character or ruling love (see Section xx). Still, people at Level 2 thinking (layer 8C, or 9C) believe that we are a condemned to hell from our inheritance. But at Level 3 thinking (layer 7C) you understand that the actual issue involved in going to hell or heaven, is mental anatomy and biology, not the justice system of the Divine Court by which we are condemned to hell because of our inheritance.

It's clear from rational thinking that no one can be condemned by God for the evil loves of another.

What we inherit in our affective organ are the evil loves of our parents, which they received from their parents, and then appropriated them to themselves by their own mental life.

But they did not inherit the hell and neither can they pass on hell to you. They inherited the enjoyment of hellish loves, and you inherited the enjoyments that your parents appropriated to themselves. You did not inherit anything that your parents did not appropriate to themselves. You did not inherit hell (which would be unfair). Hell is something you create in your own mind all by yourself, independently of your parents or the loves and enjoyments you inherited. For instance, you inherited the enjoyment of self-neglect (laziness feels good, etc.). This is in your will (affective organ, 9A, 8A). We enjoy neglecting our responsibilities for taking care and managing ourselves. We enjoy being lazy or care free. We enjoy getting away with not doing something that we should be doing.

The enjoyment of self-neglect is not our hell. Our hell is being created and built up when we allow the inherited affective organ to coordinate with the innocent cognitive organ, to create a marriage of hell in our mind (see Section xx). Our cognitive organ is called "innocent" because it is born tabula rasa, an expression used in the historical literature meaning a clean slate. Our cognitive organ comes as a clean slate. There is no inherited content in our cognitive organ such as language, culture, logic, or reasoning. At birth our cognitive organ (C) is empty of all content. As we all know from experience and self-observation, we think (C) about what we want (A), what we desire (A), what interests us (A), what goals we want to achieve (A) -- these are all affective operations in the affective organ (A). In other words the affective organ (A) determines what the cognitive organ (C) is doing. Our feelings and motives (A) dictate our thoughts and reasonings (C). This is called the marriage between good (A) and truth (C), also called "heavenly marriage", or else, the marriage between evil (A) and falsity (C) ("infernal marriage" or "marriage made in hell").

Heaven and hell in our mind is therefore created not by inheritance but by the marriage between intending and planning something either good or evil. If we only feel something evil, it is not yet a hell. If we only think falsity by denying truth, it is not yet a hell. But if we conjoin the intending with the thinking, we are creating an actual hell in our mind, into which we come automatically at resuscitation. When we feel something evil, like getting the feeling of rage against someone, it is not yet a hell. But if we to the feeling the fantasy of what revenge we will take, and especially if we enjoy that fantasy, then we are creating hell in our mind.

As we grow and mature, and reach early adulthood age, we are ready and capable of examining the content that we have accumulated in our cognitive organ (C). Whether or not we examine it, we continue our life as an adult by living a lifestyle and following our philosophy of what we want to be and who we think we are and how we think we can get there. In the course of these daily activities as an adult, we find ways of justifying (C), allowing (C), and practicing the enjoyments (S) we have inherited. Because these enjoyments are irrational and antisocial, leading to suffering and destruction, whatever justification or reasoning process we develop to justify them (C), must necessarily consist of false and irrational arguments that we fabricate. And if we believe these, we become spiritually insane, that is, seeing good as bad, true as false, evil as good, and false as true.

It's important to understand that evil enjoyments in the affective organ cannot be married or coordinated with true principles or rational thinking in the cognitive organ. The light of understanding from the spiritual doctrine of truth that we have from Sacred Scripture, shines clearly upon the character of an evil enjoyment. There is no way that we could justify or allow ourselves to seek evil enjoyments the moment we consider them from the spiritual doctrine of truth. For instance, our roommate or spouse may request that we not leave dishes in the sink after we use the kitchen. When we use the kitchen we witness ourselves enjoying the feeling of just leaving the kitchen and postponing cleaning up for later. We love this feeling of postponing cleaning up the kitchen. As we witness this enjoyment, we realize that it would be better to clean up now, but we are unwilling to put up the effort it takes to overcome the reluctance or the aversion to doing it. So we walk away, leaving the dishes for now.

Now as we walk away, we can re-examine what we are doing in the light of the spiritual doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. We can now clearly see that our enjoyment of not cleaning up the kitchen cannot be an enjoyment from heaven. It must be an enjoyment from hell because the enjoyment competes with heavenly order, which in this case is to think about the roommate's request, that it is a legitimate request that you have agreed to in principle on several occasions. And so if you find a reason for postponing the clean up, it must be an irrational or false reason. For example, you might think that you have the right to leave dishes in one corner of the counter, which allows the roommate to use the other corner. Or, you might think that the roommate does things you don't like, so he will have to just put up with some of your habits. Etc. All these justifications are false and antagonistic to truth. By uniting this false reasoning in the cognitive organ (C) with the inherited evil enjoyment in the affective organ (A) of not doing what you agreed to do, you are creating hell in your mind. This hell is something you will now pass on to your children -- unless you give it up because it is contrary to heaven.

We also do things in the course of the day that constructs our natural heavens in layers 8 and 9. As Chart B indicates, heaven is the uniting of good loves in the new affective organ (A) with true reasonings in the reformed and enlightened cognitive organ (C). For instance, we may realize that we are creating a hell in our mind if we accept our false reasoning as true. We can see that our reasoning is false if we examine it in the spiritual light of the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). Anything we do for the sake of self creates a hell in our mind, as shown in Chart D. As opposed to anything we do for the sake of others, which creates a heaven in our mind.

By reflecting in this way, we can clearly understand that we should turn around and go back into the kitchen and clean it up so that it would be usable by your roommate. Now that you are intending something heavenly, you begin to see more things in clarity about the situation. As you are cleaning up you come to the realization that even if your roommate doesn't need to use the kitchen, you still should not give in to the enjoyment of not cleaning up. And in this way you are creating your natural heaven, and this at the same time, gives the Divine Psychologist the ability to save your heavenly remains and keep building up your spiritual heavens, as Chart B shows.

Note also the action of the vertical community as portrayed in Chart B. In order for you to develop the natural heavens in your mind (layer 7, 8, 9) you have to be willing to be in correspondence with those who already are living in in their spiritual heavens of eternity (layers 6, 5, 4). When you will be in that corresponding state in your conscious natural mind, you too will be influencing and facilitating the construction of natural heavens in the minds of those still on earth, through the mediate influx that networks the minds of all human beings (see Vertical Community and Perizonius Thesis, Section xx).


                 (XII) Psychology -- Theistic or Non-theistic

The title theistic psychology for this course of studies stands in contrast to non-theistic psychology. Why is psychology non-theistic? Few psychology professors, practitioners, and scientists would be able to answer this question logically and rationally. The majority of them believe in God's existence and go to a house of worship once or more per year, according to consistent surveys over the decades (google it and you'll see) (see also Section xx). So the majority of psychologists could not say that psychology is non-theistic because there is no God. So they have to find another type of explanation or justification for their professional practice and expertise. At level 2 thinking (layer 8) one might suppose that God does not manage the details of a person's thoughts, feelings, choices, accidents, weaknesses, etc. But at level 3 thinking (layer 7) you feel compelled to maintain rationality and remind yourself that God is omnipotent, and it is not possible to be omnipotent if God does not control every single detail all the time without exception.

So there is an obvious question that poses itself: If non-theistic psychology is wrong in rejecting God's omnipotence in human behavior, how has it been able to produce valid and useful knowledge about human behavior?

The science of non-theistic psychology is at a different level of being a science than physics, biology, chemistry, forensics, meteorology, agriculture, and other natural and physical sciences. The human sciences like psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc., deal with the human mind, and mental activities are not directly observable through measurements with physical instruments. We can observe brain activity in the form of imaging and X-ray techniques, which are developments of physical science and radiology, not psychology. Psychologists can borrow and use physical instruments created by physical scientists to try to measure mental operations, but clearly this is logically impossible. Mental events are operations of the mental organs which are in the mind. The organs of the mind are born in the world of eternity, which is a mental world. Thinking and feeling can never be operations in the physical brain because the brain's electrical operations are in time and space, but the thoughts and feelings are in mental eternity or rational ether created by the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx).

The work of neuroscientists consists in mapping out the correspondences between electrical operations in the brain and mental operations such as mood, fear, depression, excitement. You can see that these are correlational studies, not cause-effect relations. For instance, they monitor brain scans (and other physiological and biochemical processes) while patients or volunteers are in different mental states such as excitement, depression, etc. They can correlate the mental states reported by the patients and their brain activity at the time. So clearly it is not logical to say that these neuroscientific experiments prove that mental operations are located in the brain. All they prove is that there is a correlation between what people report about their thoughts and feelings and brain activity of a specific sort. There is no proof that there is a cause-effect relation between brain activity and thoughts and feelings. In actuality, we know from Sacred Scripture that God manages the brain's electrical operations through the laws of correspondences (see Section xx). God has revealed what these laws are so that scientists can verify them and make use of them.

It is possible to study the mind by studying the brain because the two are in perfect one-to-one functional and causal correspondence to each other. But this requires the scientific revelations about correspondences. Once these are known from Sacred Scripture, it is then possible to state cause effect relations through correspondences. Not so with mere correlations obtained between brain activity and verbal reports of thoughts and feelings.

Every synapse and neural network is formed by God in correspondence to its associated mental network of feelings (A), thoughts (C), and sensations (S) at each layer. Hence valuable knowledge in psychology can be extrapolated from neuroscience. The theistic psychology of Swedenborg was the first scientific discussion in history of the relation between portions of the brain and mental operations (see Section xx). (See also my article on Substantive Dualism: Swedenborg's Integration of Biological Theology and Rational Psychology. Available at:

Swedenborg's book Rational Psychology was written in 1743 (see Section 2.18). He was the first neuroscientist to correctly identify the correlation between the right brain with the affective organ (A) and the left brain with the cognitive organ (C). One year later he was able to verify this conclusion by direct observation when his spiritual mind became conscious, which gave him the ability to observe directly the various layers of the mind (see Section xx).

So the knowledge of neuroscience is relevant and useful to theistic psychology. Other aspects of psychology as a science today are relevant and useful to theistic psychology. For instance, physiological psychology describes the sensorimotor correlates of emotions, perceptions, motivations, needs, cognitions, etc. In other words, we can find out things about our mental states by observing how our body parts operate in synchrony. Theistic psychology can also use a lot of the information gathered by child psychologists. They monitor the mental development of children by measuring their performance on various tests at various ages. Examples are the work of Piaget on stages of cognitive development, and the work of Bandura on how children imitate the behavior of adult models. My course in Social Psychology reviews in detail the work of many psychologists (see for instance here:   All of that knowledge would be useful to theistic psychology. Future developments in theistic psychology will determine what knowledge in non-theistic psychology is compatible with the mental science revealed in Sacred Scripture, as outlined in theistic psychology.

Although I coined the phrase "theistic psychology" the content of this science is not determined by me or anyone else. It is the knowledge that is extracted from Sacred Scripture when we apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment, as described and defined in the Writings Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). There are three types of research in theistic psychology: Extractive, Predictive, and Applied (see Section 5.0 for examples). Examples of extractive research are given throughout theistic psychology when it is shown how a passage in the Writings Sacred Scripture is transformed into a concept or Chart in theistic psychology (see Section xx) (see also the summary examples accumulated in this article: 


                  (XIII) The Spiritual Consequences Within Our Natural Actions

When we are thinking at Level 2 (layer 8C, exterior-natural mind) about God and spirituality we separate the realm of the spiritual from the realm of the natural. For instance, on Sunday and other Church or Bible reading occasions, many scientists are involved in prayer, worship and reflection on God in relation to our future, our happiness and our safety and the safety of our family and country. But at other times during the week they deal with activities within the intellectual framework of non-theistic science. It is possible to separate the natural realm and the spiritual realm in this way. But at level 3 thinking (layer 7C) we understand that there can never be a separation between the spiritual and the natural, because one is always the cause and the other is always the effect (see Section xx). You cannot logically separate the intention to press the gas pedal (cause), and the car going a little faster (effect). The cause (wanting to accelerate) is within the effect (car going faster).  In other words, pressing the gas pedal and the car going faster are only correlations between two physical events, while the cause of the car going faster is a mental event (wanting or intending to go faster, 8A or 9A).

There is also the instrumental cause, which globally is the car and its parts. Or, to take another example, you are dialing a number. This is the effect. What is the cause within that effect? It's your thinking that the person you are trying to reach will be there at that number, or else thinking you can leave a message at that number. And so on. You can think up any number of such examples in which an event occurs (effect) when it is preceded by a cause which makes it happen. All things in nature are correlations with each other, never causes, for the cause must be in a higher discrete degree than the effect. Whatever happens in layer 12 (physical events) are effects whose causes are in a higher layer (9, 8, 7).

It is easy to see that the cause precedes the effect (sequential order), but it is more difficult to see that while the effect is occurring, the cause is still within it, making it happen (simultaneous order). Whatever occurs in sequential order is also in simultaneous order after the last chain in the sequence has occurred (see Section xx).

For instance, You decide to read one more page of a book before quitting. The decision to postpone quitting for one more page is the effect. What is the cause of that decision? It is the desire to attain a certain unit or cut off point, and not quit before that. This desire or motivation is the optimizing feeling that causes the decision to go on reading for one more page. What keeps you going while reading the page, which might take several minutes? If the cause were not still in the effect, you would stop reading right then and there. You keep reading (effect)  till the end of the page because the intention to to get to the end (cause) is still active with every line that you read on that page. You can think of other examples in which the cause is within the effect. In fact, the cause is never absent from the effect as long as the effect continues. Suppose you get through only half of the page and you stop. You decide you don't want to continue after all. The cause ceases (intending to keep going); therefore, the effect ceases (reading).

It is important to note the use of "within" in the sentence "the cause remains within the effect." It is the same "within" that was discussed above in connection with God's omnipresence. God is present everywhere, not in space, but within it. The word "within" used in this way refers to discrete degrees within, not physically within (see Section xx). So causes are a discrete degrees higher or within effects. This also means that they are in correspondence according to the laws of correspondences (see Section xx).

From all this you can see that all natural events exist as effects of spiritual events (i.e., mental events in eternity) .

God manages things through correspondences of Divine Speech (or Divine Truth), starting with spiritual events, which form the causes, and descending into the natural world where Divine Speech plays itself out in events of nature and history. You can trace this descending line of cause-effect correspondences through the extraction process in theistic psychology (as in the Chart A and Chart  B and in the 12 layers chart of mental anatomy).

It is important to apply this process to our mental life as we study theistic psychology and undergo character reformation. At levels 1 (layer 9) and 2  (layer 8) thinking about what is spiritual, we focus on our external behavior, which is always the effect. But this is natural, not spiritual. For example, killing another human being is the external act. This is a natural act. It is not spiritual. The overt physical act of killing is only the effect of a spiritual cause. When consider the motive for killing, then we are looking at the cause of the act, and this is spiritual. For instance, if we killed a bank robber while we are on duty as a security officer, our killing act (effect) is the result of our intention to carry out our duty (cause). This is a spiritual act. But if the robber killed a security officer (effect), we know that the spiritual event that caused this act is the robber's intention to steal the money, and in the process, kill if necessary. One killing is congruent with heavenly order on earth because it protects the good and the heavenly order. The other killing is hellish because it is evil and destructive of good and the heavenly order.

Suppose you like chocolate and you buy it and eat it when you want to. This is the natural act (effect). The spiritual cause of the buying and eating is the intention to break your resolution not to eat chocolate this week because you intend to lose some weight, or because you know that it damages your teeth, or because you want to get used to a health oriented diet. The intention to lose weight for the sake of your health is a heavenly cause, and the effect is to inhibit yourself from eating chocolate this week. But the intention to break this heavenly resolution by eating chocolate anyway, is a hellish cause for the effect of weakening your self-confidence in the ability to control your diet. Millions of people spend billions of dollars in this country in their attempt to control their diet through drugs, weight loss programs, and special diets. The fact that that this activity is not decreasing, but increasing every year, indicates that the people are not successful in achieving control over their diet, weight, and appearance.

This lack of success despite the intense effort indicates that people and their professional helpers do not understand the cause of their lack of control over what they are eating and how much they are exercising. If they understood the cause, they could change the effect from lack of success to success. To understand the cause of their unhealthy eating habits (layer 12 and 9) they would need to know what is the correspondence of bad dieting (effect) at the discrete level immediately above, namely, layer 8. The affective operations in layer 8A are the cause of the affective operations in layer 9A. Eating chocolate (layer 12 and 9) after resolving not to for the sake of your health (layer 8) starts up a temptation battle. You may feel guilty (layer 8A) either during or after. You may even feel depressed (layer 9A, 8A). This is the process of natural temptations. It appears that for most people trying to control their diet, this battle ends with a lower layer (corporeal, 9A) controlling the upper layer (8A) that formulated the resolution to stop eating chocolate that week for the sake of health.

When the natural mind is not yet regenerate it is the hellish order, also called "inverted order" because the hellish order is achieved when the heavenly order is turned upside down. Thus, what is heavenly good, which is genuine or real good, is turned into what is hellish good, and this is done by inverting the genuine good into its very opposite ("corrupted good"). At the same time, what is heavenly truth, which is genuine or real truth,  is turned into what is hellish truth, and this done by inverting genuine truth into its opposite ("falsified truth"). There is an "infernal marriage" or co-action between corrupted good and falsified truth. They go together, just as genuine good and genuine truth go together, forming the "heavenly marriage."

The solution to the diet control problem therefore lies in putting an end to the inverted order in layers 8 and 9,  through reformation in layer 7, the interior-natural mind also called the rational mind. Layer 7 has control over layer 8 which has control over layer 9 which controls layer 12 -- what food your hands are placing in your mouth. The key cause in weight control and health lies in layer 7 where reformation first takes place through applying the spiritual truths acquired from the correspondences of Sacred Scripture. Once layer 7, the natural rational mind, is reformed, it is in the order of heaven, which is established by the Divine Psychologist through the layers of the spiritual mind which He opens up, so that the correspondences can descend by successive layer (4, 5, 6) into layer 7. 

Once layer 7 is reformed and is in the heavenly order, there follows spiritual combat against our temptations in layer 8 below. The Divine Psychologist brings spiritual temptations to your conscious mind in layer 9C. For instance, you are about to put the chocolate in your mouth despite your health resolution. The Divine Psychologist creates a pause in your consciousness. It is the moment of truth. You can put the chocolate in your mouth or you can stop yourself from doing it. If you don't know spiritual truths, thus prior to your reformation, then this becomes merely a natural temptation, a psychological dilemma, not a spiritual temptation. People have had no success with this as evidenced by the billions they keep spending every year on trying to achieve it. But if you have spiritual truths, thus after reformation, you can face spiritual combat, and the temptation now is a spiritual temptation.

To eat the chocolate or not to eat it. Your eternal future is at stake here. You know this if you know spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture. To break your heavenly resolution not to eat it is to attach yourself more closely to the hell societies that crave for that chocolate. You think that this is your own craving, and as long as you think that, you have limited power to fight and to resist. Thus you give in, as do millions every day, all their life. But with spiritual truths you realize rationally that only God can overcome the hellish connections we are born with. Hence you turn to the Divine Psychologist who has set up the temptation in your mind for the sake of helping you achieve spiritual freedom from such cravings. Now He waits until you begin to fight the temptation by applying the spiritual truths to it. The moment you do this fully and sincerely, He cuts the connection to that hellish societies that craves for unhealthy diets. In one instant you experience the whole difference. You can clearly see that it is easy for you not to eat the chocolate, that you do not really value the eating of it, and certainly not, the breaking of your resolution not to eat it. You have gained victory. You will not eat that chocolate. You have full control over your hands (layer 12) because you have control over layer 9 that craves for the chocolate (9A), not caring that it is unhealthy (9A).

It is the same with similar temptations you might have such as deciding to study tonight, then watching TV instead. Spiritual causes, either from the heaven or the hell in our mind, act by correspondence to produce effects in the natural mind and body. Start reflecting on this connection as you do your discipline of self-witnessing every day. Ask yourself why you are doing something and see if it identifies the spiritual cause of it such as an intention, desire, motive, feeling. Then decide if this cause is heavenly or hellish by relating it the spiritual truths about eternity that you have already acquired so far. Remember: there is no in-between alternative to heaven or hell. It's always either one or the other, never in between. Either a trait leads you to hell in your mind or to heaven. There is no other possibility, given our mental anatomy.

We are faced here once more with the economics of our immortality. At our second death we are compelled to choose -- giving up all our hellish enjoyments, if we are going into our eternal spiritual heaven, or else, giving up all our heavenly traits, if we are going into our eternal spiritual hells.

At level 2 thinking (layer 8C) we might think that there is something unfair about an omnipotent God allowing people to remain in their hells forever. This sense that it is unfair comes from the natural idea that God is a Judge, and hell is God's punishment for people's past deeds. If that were so, then indeed eternal hell should be something that God should not allow to happen to anyone.  But it is not so. God is not a Judge and hell is not a punishment for past deeds.

At level 3 thinking (layer 7C) we can understand that because we understand rationally that God is pure love and this cannot punish anyone, let alone condemn someone to an eternal hell because of their sinning. Hell is a voluntary choice. Swedenborg observed several cases of people in the hells of their mind who were curious to visit the heavens. It was arranged through the action of one of the societies of the heavens. People in their higher heavens have such power or influence over people in their lower heavens or in their hells (see Section xx). In fact, the power and art of influencing others, even enslaving them, is much practiced among those who dwell in their various hells. This is allowed them by the Divine Psychologist who mitigates and directs their evil intentions and rageful insanities into less extreme intensities.

All those from their hells who are raised in consciousness to the heavenly layers have the same reaction, as frequently observed by Swedenborg. At first they act like they are in a place of emptiness or fog. They do not see anyone or anything clearly. Soon they start feeling intensely distressed, with difficulty in breathing, until they are in full panic, sensing that they are going to suffocate and die. They are then immediately returned by their angelic therapists to their familiar hellish mental states, and then they act revived. They retain such an aversion for heaven that they never again want to visit there.

This amazing phenomenon can be scientifically understood at level 3 thinking (layer 7C) because we understand that heaven and hell are mental states that are opposite in quality. In terms of mental biology, the spiritual mind contains both heaven and hell, that is, both heavenly traits and hellish, both good loves and evil lusts. This is possible only because the two mental states are in separated portions of the affective organ. These two portions correspond to each other by opposition. To every heaven there corresponds an anti-heaven or hell. Hell is nothing but the opposition to heaven.

Since there are countless heavens in the human mind, there are also countless hells. This occurs because every individual is given the freedom to invert spiritual light into spiritual darkness (thinking that truth is falsity and the reverse), and spiritual heat into spiritual cold (love of self for the sake of self). When an individual desires to do this, and is not dissuaded by anything, then the Divine Psychologist cooperates and makes it happen. That is, the Divine Psychologist gives the person the mental operations allowing the person to invert the truth into not truth, the good into not good. From then on the Divine Psychologist will continue to cooperate and allow this person's evil intentions and plans to come out successfully. While doing this, the Divine Psychologist will continually attempt to direct the person to less extremes forms of anti-truth and anti-good in themselves. What's also amazing is that the Divine Psychologist performs these operations through the intermediary of those who are in their heavens. This is the vertical community.


                  (XIV) The Grand Human and the Grand Monster

Although I have coined the phrase "vertical community" (see Section xx), what it stands for is fully explained and revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture. We can understand this scientifically at level 3 thinking (layer 7C) when we consider the spiritual-rational idea of the Grand Human (see Chart A). Swedenborg was given the opportunity of observing the Grand Human when he was induced into a rarely granted mental state by the Divine Psychologist through the intermediary of a few people who were dwelling in the highest heavens of the human race (layer 4). In this mental state Swedenborg was able to get a bird's eye view, as it were, of the Grand Human. It was shaped like a giant person of perfect appearance, but upon closer inspection, he could see that the Grand Human possessed both male and female organs. He also saw that, as you get a closer view of it, the parts of the Grand Human body were actually heavenly cities and lands, just as we in our modern era, we can get a satellite view of the continental masses on our earth and their shape. Remarkably, Swedenborg also saw the Grand Monster, which he realized were the land masses, deserts, and caverns of the hellish habitations in the mind of the human race (unregenerate layers 9, 8, 7).

This unique observation point for viewing the mind of the entire human race is awesome and amazing. One way of representing this important fact is through the formula

spiritual geography = mental anatomy

(see Section xx). Spiritual geography (see Section xx) is a phrase I coined to refer to Swedenborg's description of his travels or visits in the spiritual world which he was able to do since age 57. He had a vision of the Divine Human appearing to him and announcing that Swedenborg will be able henceforth to be conscious in his spiritual mind (see Section xx). From age 57 to 84 he made copious daily notes of his observations in the spiritual world of the afterlife. He discovered that that world is the mental world of eternity into which we are born with our spiritual body (layer 10).

Swedenborg used the anatomy of the Grand Human to localize his mental navigations as he went from one spiritual society or city to another. For instance he would talk about being in "the province the stomach" or in "the region of heart" etc. In other words, each mental society is of a particular genius that corresponds to the physiological function of a particular human organ of the physical and spiritual body. The "place" in the Grand Human is determined by the mental states (or genius) that belong to the character or affective organ of the people congregating in that region with others who are similar in character and love. Your place in the Grand Human will depend on the ruling love that is in your spiritual heavens (layers 6, 5, 4). These layers are being built up right now by the Divine Psychologist to the extent that you make daily decisions on earth that correspond to the heavenly order.

Spiritual geography refers to the correspondential location in eternity of mental societies relative to each other. This is the same as the mental anatomy of the layers that we have been studying. Hence the formula spiritual geography = mental anatomy. This is one of the most amazing principles in theistic psychology. This was Swedenborg's awesome discovery when he became conscious in his spiritual mind at age 57. What did he see or feel when he became conscious in his spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4)?

He discovered that the "spiritual world" of the afterlife in eternity is the same as the "mental world" we all have since birth!

This makes it obvious that you are not actually on earth right now, but in the spiritual world of eternity. In other words, you are already in the afterlife of eternity and you have been since birth. You are not directly aware of this in your natural mind until you become conscious in your spiritual mind, which occurs at resuscitation. With Swedenborg it occurred at age 57 for the purpose that the Writings Sacred Scripture could be written through him. It was necessary for him to become a dual citizen, conscious simultaneously in both the natural mind (layers 7, 8, 9) and the spiritual mind (layers 6, 5, 4). This made it possible for Swedenborg the scientist to provide empirical and experimental evidence for the existence of the mental world of eternity. These observations cannot be corroborated by others who are not conscious in the spiritual layers of their mind, but they will be able to do so after they undergo resuscitation. This is why theistic psychology can only be studied through the positive bias methodology in science.  

It's essential for you to understand that your natural mind (layers 9, 8, 7) cannot be located in physical space and time, like the physical brain and body (layer 12), because mental states and organs are not material but spiritual in origin and composition (see Section xx). Spiritual substances only exist in the mental world of eternity (or "spiritual world"). So every person is born in the mental world, or the spiritual world, and remains there forever in immortality and eternity. Once we are conscious in our spiritual mind (at death and resuscitation), we can all see each other in that world which is outside time and space and in which all things are made not of degradable matter from the physical sun (layer 12), but of immortal substances from the Spiritual Sun (layer 1). Similarity of character or mental biology determines with whom you can communicate or be co-present with in the world of eternity.

Everything that was discussed in relation to the Grand Human is true in relation to the Grand Monster.

Swedenborg observed that when we enter into communication or co-presence in a spiritual society, the event is instantly communicated to every member of that collectivity. An analogy would be what happens to a lake when you drop a stone in it. Waves in concentric movement communicate the event throughout the surface. When there is a tsunami or ocean floor earthquake, the wave of water that gets generated on the surface can travel for thousands of miles all the way to the shores of another continent. When you listen to music, the sound waves fill the room, enter your inner ear, travel up the afferent nerves to the brain in the form of electro-chemical energy, then spread out through the neural networks of your complex brain.

All these propagations and "tremulations" are correspondences to what happens when we communicate with a spiritual society or enter to visit or dwell there. What you know and have in your memory gets instantly transferred to every other member of that society, but each in a unique way. Reciprocally, everything each member knows or understands gets communicated to you as you enter their mental sphere. Furthermore, once the wave of communication has been mixed and received throughout a society, it is transmitted to adjoining societies first, then it gradually extends throughout the societies of the Grand Human. In this way the Divine Psychologist keeps the entire human race connected and evolving together. The communication between the Grand Human and the Grand Monster is always in terms of opposites, like matter and anti-matter, or good and evil, truth and falsity. Whatever communication of good and truth comes from the Grand Human is turned into evil and falsity when it reaches the outskirts of the Grand Monster in our mind (see the Perizonius Thesis in Section xx).


          Passages from the Writings Sacred Scripture on the Vertical Community

Wis. 7. . [94.] VII


For this to be understood some things must be stated first, which may as it were bear a torch in advance; from them the truth of the above will be seen. They are:

(1) A man's spirit is equally a man.

(2) His spirit likewise has a heart and consequently pulsation, also lungs and consequently respiration.

(3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of its lungs flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs with the man in the world.

(4) The body's life, which is natural, comes into existence and continues in existence by means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of the influx, thus on separation taking place.

(5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual.

[95.] (1) A man's spirit is equally a man. This you may see attested by much experience in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 73-77, 311-316, 445-452, 461-469: also that every one is, in respect of his interiors, a spirit, in Nos. 432-444. To this it may be added that everything spiritual is, in its essence, a man, and thus everything of love and of wisdom proceeding from the Lord, for this is spiritual. The reason that everything spiritual or everything proceeding from the Lord, is a man, is because the Lord Himself, who is God of the universe, is Man, and there cannot proceed from Him anything that is not of like nature; for what is Divine is not changeable within itself, nor is it extended, and that which is not extended is everywhere the same. From this comes His Omnipresence.

The reason men have formed the idea, in regard to angels and spirits and in regard to themselves after death, that they are like ether or air without a human body, is that materialistic (sensuales) learned men have conceived this to be the case from the name "spirit (spiritus)"* being the breath of the mouth, and also from spirits being invisible and not appearing to the sight; for materialistic men only think from the bodily-sense plane and from what is material. This notion of theirs was due also to some passages in the Word having not been spiritually understood. Yet they knew from the Word that the Lord, notwithstanding His being a man in respect of flesh and bones, actually became invisible in His disciples' presence, and passed through closed doors; they knew also that in the Word angels were seen as men by a number of persons, and these angels had not put on a human form but were showing themselves in their own form to those persons before the eyes of their spirit which had been opened at the time.

In order, therefore, that men should no longer remain in a fallacious idea concerning angels and spirits and their own souls after death, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit and so enable me to speak face to face with angels and with men deceased, to observe them, to touch them, to tell them many things about the disbelief of those now living and how they are deceived. I have been in their company daily from the year 1744 to the present time, a period of 19 years.

From the above things it can be seen that a man's spirit is [equally a man].

[2] [96.] (2) A man's spirit likewise has a heart and consequently pulsation, also lungs and consequently respiration. This must be confirmed first from experience and afterwards by reason.

From experience. The angelic heaven is distinguished into two kingdoms, one called the celestial kingdom, the other the spiritual kingdom. The celestial kingdom is in love to the Lord, and the spiritual kingdom is in wisdom from that love. Heaven is distinguished in this way, because love and wisdom in the Lord, and from Him, are two distinct things, though united nevertheless; as said above, they are distinct in the same way as heat and light coming from the sun are. Angels of the celestial kingdom, being in love to the Lord, have reference to the heart of heaven, and angels of the spiritual kingdom, being in wisdom from that love, have reference to the lungs of heaven: for as also said above, in the Lord's sight the whole heaven is like one man. Furthermore, there is an influx from the celestial kingdom into the spiritual kingdom, like the influx from the heart into the lungs, with man; in consequence there is universal correspondence of heaven with those two motions, the cardiac and the pulmonary, in every individual. I even had occasion to learn from angels that the arteries pulsate in them from their heart and that they breathe, just the same as men in the world do; and further, that there are with them variations in the pulsation according to their states of love, and variations in their breathing, according to their states of wisdom. They themselves felt their wrists and told me so, and I have myself often felt the breathing from their mouth.

[[2]] [97.] As the whole heaven is distinguished into societies according to affections that are of love, and as all wisdom and intelligence is according to affections, therefore each society has distinctive breathing, different from that of any other society, and similarly, distinctive cardiac pulsation. Owing to this, no one from one society can enter another society remote from it, nor can any one from a higher heaven descend into a lower one, or any one from a lower ascend into a higher, for in that case his heart beats with difficulty and his lungs feel compressed; least of all, can any one from hell ascend into heaven: any one venturing to do so begins to struggle for breath like some one in the death agony, or like a fish taken out of water into the air.

[[3]] The most general difference in the respirations and pulsations arises from the idea they have of God, for it is from this that differences in love and wisdom result. On account of this a nation of one religion cannot approach nations of differing religion. I have seen how Christians were unable to approach Mohammedans on account of their respiration. The easiest and gentlest breathing of all is the breathing of those whose idea of God is that He is a Man, and, amongst those from Christendom, the breathing of those whose idea of the Lord is that He is the God of heaven. On the other hand, the breathing of those who deny His Divinity, as do Socinians and Arians, is hard and rough. As pulsation makes one with the Will's love, and breathing makes one with the Understanding's wisdom, those who are to come into heaven are first inaugurated into angelic life by means of respirations that accord with it; this is effected in various ways; by this means they come into interior perceptions and into heavenly freedom.

[[4]] [98.] By reason. A man's spirit is not a substance unconnected with his viscera, organs and members, it is intimately attached to them; for that which is spiritual accompanies every thread of them from outermost things to inmost things, and so, every thread and fibre of heart and lungs as well; the consequence is that when the connection between a man's body and spirit is severed, his spirit is in a form similar to the form the man had previously; there is merely a separating of the spiritual substance from the material substance. Accordingly the spirit possesses heart and lungs just as the man had possessed them in the world, and consequently it also enjoys similar sensations and similar motions, and speech as well; without a heart and lungs there could be neither sensation, nor movement, nor speech. Around spirits also there are atmospheres, but they are spiritual atmospheres. How greatly do they go astray who assign to the soul some particular position in the body, like the brain or the heart, for a man's soul which is to live after death, is his spirit.

[3] [99.] (3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of its lungs flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs with the man in the world. This also must be corroborated from experience, and afterwards by reason.

From experience. Men do not know that, while living in the world, they have a twofold pulmonary respiration and a twofold cardiac pulsation, because they do not know that a man in respect of his interiors is a spirit, and that his spirit is equally a man. That these twofold motions, however, do exist in man continuously, and that the two motions of his spirit flow into the two motions of his body, it has been granted me to feel perceptibly. I was once reduced to the use of the former only, at a time when there were spirits with me, who, from a strong Persuasive could deprive the Understanding of all its faculty for thinking, and so, take away the ability to breathe as well. Lest this might do me harm, I was reduced to the use of my spirit's respiration only, and I then plainly felt it to be in accord with the respiration of angels in heaven. From this it was evident also that heaven in general breathes and that every angel there in particular does so too; and further that so far as the Understanding is affected, the respiration is affected as well. For the Persuasive possessed by some evil spirits in the spiritual world has at the same time a suffocating effect as well. Accordingly it is termed "suffocative" in respect of the body, and "destructive" in respect of the lower mind (animus). Sometimes, too, angels have been empowered to control my respiration, reducing my bodily respiration and by degrees suppressing it until only the respiration of my spirit remained, and then I also perceptibly felt it. Besides I was in the respiration of my spirit whenever I was in a state similar to that of angels and spirits and whenever I was raised into heaven; at such times I have been in the spirit and not in the body, at other times in both the spirit and the body. See also HEAVEN AND HELL, NO. 449, in regard to the animation of my lungs, and of my body being suspended, leaving only the animation of my spirit.

[[2]] [100.] By reason. These actual experiences establish the fact that, because every human being enjoys this double respiration, one within the other, he can think rationally from his Understanding, indeed spiritually too: and can thereby also be differentiated from animals; and furthermore that he can be enlightened in respect of his Understanding, be raised into heaven and breathe with angels, and so be reformed and regenerated.

Besides, where there is an external, there must also be an internal; and this internal must be in every action and in every sensation. The external supplies what is general, the internal supplies what is particular (singulare), and where there is not a general, there is no particular either. Accordingly, human beings possess both an external and an internal systolic motion and inhaling motion, the external systolic and inhaling motions being natural, the internal being spiritual. It is in this way that the Will can, in union with the Understanding, bring about bodily movements, and that the Understanding can, with the Will, bring about bodily sense-activities. In animals also there are both general and particular pulsations and respirations, but in their case, what is external and what is internal are both natural, whereas, in the case of human beings, what is external is natural but what is internal is spiritual.

In a word, such as is the Understanding, such is the respiration, because such is the man's spirit; it is his spirit that from the Understanding thinks, and from the Will, wills. In order that these operations may flow into the man's body and enable him to think and will on the natural plane, the spirit's respiration and pulsation must be conjoined to his body's respiration and pulsation, and there must be influx from the one into the other; otherwise transference could not take place.

[4] [101.] (4) The body's life, which is natural, comes into existence and continues in existence by means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of the influx, thus on separation taking place. The reason a man after death is equally a man as he was before, except that he then becomes a spirit man, is that his spiritual is adjoined to his natural-or the substantial of his spirit to the material of his body-so adaptively and so unitedly, that there is not a single fibril, or woven particle, or any smallest thread of them, in which the human of the spirit does not make one with the human of the body. And as the life of the whole and the life of the parts depend solely upon those two universal motions, the heart's systolic motion and the lungs' respiratory motion, the consequence is that when those motions cease in the body, the natural things that are material become separated from the spiritual things that are substantial, being unable to carry on together the same work, and this results in that which is the active itself, the spiritual, withdrawing from each of the things acted upon, namely, the natural things, and so the man becomes a man of another kind. This, then, is the death of the man, and it is his resurrection; on this subject, some things related from actual experience may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 445-452, 453-460, 461-469.

[[2]] [102.] When a man's breathing ceases, he appears to have died, yet he is not dead until the motion of his heart also ceases, and usually this does not take place till later. That a man is not dead till then, is evident from the life possessed by infants in the womb and also from the life possessed by adults in fainting-fits or in states of suffocation, in which the heart continues contracting and expanding, while the lungs are quiescent; they are alive nevertheless, though without sensation and without movement, and so not conscious of any life. The reason for this is that, though it is true their spirit's respiration is continuing, there is no corresponding bodily respiration, and consequently there cannot be any reciprocation between the two vital motions, the motion of the heart and the motion of the lungs; without that correspondence and without that reciprocation, there is no life in sensation, neither is there any action.

It is the same with the natural life of a man's body as with the spiritual life of his mind; if his Will and Understanding, or his love and wisdom, do not act conjointly, no rational operation takes place. If the Understanding, or the wisdom, ceases to act, the Will with its love becomes as if dead; yet it is still alive, though not conscious of itself, provided the Understanding is only temporarily inactive, as in cases of loss of memory. It is quite different if the Will, or love, ceases to act; then it is all over with a man's mind, just as it is all over with him when his heart stops beating. That the separation of the spirit from the body takes place in most cases the second day after death supervenes, it was given me to know through my speaking with different deceased persons who were then spirits, the third day after.

[5] [103.] (5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual. A natural man and a spiritual man are entirely different from each other; to such an extent do they differ that there is no possibility of their being together. Any one not knowing what the spiritual is in its essence, may suppose it to be only a purer natural which in man is called the rational. The spiritual, however, is above the natural and as distinct from it as midday light compared with the shades of evening in autumn. No one can become acquainted with that distinction and that difference except one who is in both worlds, the natural and the spiritual, and to whom it is granted to alternate between them, being now in the one, now in the other, and so, by his reflections upon them, to look at the one from the other. It having been granted me to be in a position to do this, I have become informed as to the nature of a natural man and the nature of a spiritual man, who is a spirit. In order that others may know this, it must he briefly described.

[104.] A natural man, in everything of his thought and speech and in everything of his Will and action, has matter, space, time and quantity as their "subject"**: these with him are fixed and permanent things, nor is he free from them in any idea of his thought or of his speech therefrom, or in any affection of his Will or in any action proceeding from it. [[2]] A spiritual man, or spirit, does not have these things as "subjects," but only as objects, the reason for this being that in the spiritual world there are objects exactly like the objects in the natural world; there are lands, there are plains, there are fields, there are gardens and woods: there are houses with rooms in them, and in the rooms all useful things: there are garments, too, women's garments and men's garments such as there are in the world: there are tables, foods, drinks, such as there are in the world: there are animals as well, both harmless ones and harmful ones; there are consequently spaces and times, and also numbers and measurements; all these things being so like the things in the world that the eye can detect no difference at all; yet they are all nevertheless appearances of wisdom and perceptions of loves, the appearances being of the angels' Understanding and the perceptions being of the angels' Will. For the objects are created in a moment by the Lord, and in a moment also are dissipated. They endure or they do not endure according as the spirits or angels continue or do not continue in the wisdom and love of which they are the appearance; this is the reason they are only the objects of their thoughts and affections, their "subjects" being the things from which the appearances are derived, which, as said, are the things of wisdom and of love, thus spiritual things. For example, when they see spaces, they do not think about them from the space they contain: when they see gardens, trees, fruits, shrubs, flowers and seeds, they do not think about them from the outward appearance they present but from those things that are the source of their appearing; and similarly with everything else. [[3]] Hence it is that the thoughts of spiritual beings are altogether different from the thoughts of natural beings: their affections likewise; they are so different, indeed, that they transcend the thoughts of natural beings, and do not fall into natural ideas, except in some degree into interior rational sight, and then only by withdrawing or removing from one's thought, when thinking about qualities, everything to do with quantities.

[105.] It is evident from this that angels possess a wisdom that to natural men is incomprehensible, and is moreover inexpressible. Their thoughts being so different, their speech is consequently different, too; so much does it differ from man's speech that they do not agree in respect of a single word. It is the same with their writing; although, as regards its letters, it resembles the writing of men in the world, even so it cannot be understood by anyone in the world. In their writing each consonant is a complete idea, and each vowel is an affection; the vowels, moreover, are not written, but pointed.*** Their manual works, which are innumerable, and the duties of their occupations, likewise differ from the works and duties of natural men in the world, and therefore cannot be described in human language.

[[4]] It can be perceived from these few instances that "natural" and "spiritual" are as different as darkness and light. However, there are many varieties of this difference, for there are sensual spiritual men, rational spiritual men and celestial spiritual men; there are evil spiritual men and good spiritual men. The difference varies with the affection and with the thought therefrom, and the appearances presented vary with the difference.

The above makes it plain that a man from being a natural man, becomes a spiritual man as soon as his body's lungs and heart cease their motions, and his material body becomes on that account separated from his spiritual body. * The Latin word anima means both "breath" and "soul," and spiritus means both "breathing" and "spirit." As the argument here depends on the double meanings of these Latin words, they have been inserted in brackets in every case. ** The Latin word "Subjectum" is used by Swedenborg in a philosophic sense, as that in and by which another thing has actuality. Thus, the eye is the "Subject" in which and by means of which the mind's seeing of external things has effective existence. *** In the Hebrew language, the vowels are said to be "pointed" because there are no vowel letters, the vowel sounds being indicated by small signs below, or above, or within, the consonants. (Wis. 7)

AC 3726. Spirits themselves equally with men are forms, that is, consist of continuous forms, but of a purer nature, and not visible to the bodily sight. And because these forms or substances are not visible to the bodily eye, man at this day apprehends no otherwise than that knowledges and thoughts are abstract things; hence also comes the insanity of our age-that men do not believe that they have a spirit within them which is to live after the death of the body, when yet this spirit is a substance much more real than the material substance of its body; nay, if you will believe it, the spirit, after being freed from bodily things, is that very purified body which many say they are to have at the time of the Last Judgment, when they believe that they shall first rise again. That spirits, or what is the same, souls, have a body, see each other as in clear day, discourse together, hear each other, and enjoy much more exquisite sense than while they were in the body or in the world, may be seen very clearly from what has been so abundantly related above from experience. (AC 3726)

AC 5089. And they were for days in custody. That this signifies that they were long in a state of rejection, is evident from the signification of "days," as being states (see n. 23, 487, 488, 493, 893, 2788, 3462, 3785, 4850); here therefore "for days" means that they were long in the state of rejection which is signified by "custody" (n. 5083). The particulars which are contained in the internal sense cannot be here set forth more fully, because they are of such a nature that no idea can be formed of them from the things in this world; as for instance of the celestial of the spiritual man, and of its state in the natural when the interior natural is being made new, and afterward, when it has been made new and the exterior natural is rejected. But of these and similar things an idea may be formed from the things in heaven, which idea is such that it does not fall into any idea formed from the things in this world, except with those who while in thought can be withdrawn from sensuous things.

[2] Unless man's thought can be elevated above sensuous things, so that these are seen as below him, he cannot understand any interior thing in the Word, still less such things as are of heaven abstracted from those which are of the world; for sensuous things absorb and suffocate them. It is for this reason that those who are sensuous and have zealously devoted themselves to getting knowledges, rarely apprehend anything of the things of heaven; for they have immersed their thoughts in such things as are of the world, that is, in terms and distinctions drawn from these, thus in sensuous things, from which they can no longer be elevated and thus kept in a point of view above them; thus neither can their thought be any longer freely extended over the whole field of the things of the memory, so as to select what agrees and reject what is in opposition, and apply whatever is in connection; for as already said their thought is kept closed and immersed in terms, and thus in sensuous things, so that it cannot look around. This is the reason why the learned believe less than the simple, and are even less wise in heavenly things; for the simple can look at a thing above terms and above mere knowledges, thus above sensuous things; whereas the learned cannot do so, but look at everything from terms and knowledges, their mind being fixed in these things, and thus bound as in jail or in prison. (AC 5089)

AC 5094. The butler and the baker. That this signifies concerning the sensuous things of both kinds, is evident from the signification of a "butler," as being the sensuous subordinate to the intellectual part (see n. 5077); and from the signification of a "baker," as being the sensuous subordinate to the will part (n. 5078). That these were rejected by the interior natural has been said above (n. 5083, 5089). Be it known, however, that it was not the sensuous things themselves-namely, those of the sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch-that were rejected, for from these the body lives; but it was the views or thoughts, and also the affections and desires, from them. Objects from the world enter into the external or natural memory of man through these sensuous things on the one hand, and objects through rational things on the other. These objects separate themselves in his memory. Those which have entered through rational things take a more interior place, but those which have entered through the sensuous things have a more exterior place; hence as before said the natural becomes twofold, interior and exterior.

[2] The interior natural is what is represented by Pharaoh the king of Egypt, but the exterior natural by the butler and the baker. What the difference is may be seen from their respective views of things, or thoughts, and the conclusions thence derived. One who thinks and concludes from the interior natural is so far rational as he imbibes what enters through the rational; but one who thinks and concludes from the exterior natural, is so far sensuous as he imbibes what enters from sensuous things. Such a man is also called a sensuous man, but the other a rational man. When a man dies he takes with him all the natural; and such as it has been formed with him in the world, such it remains; insofar as he has become imbued with what is from the rational, insofar he is rational; and insofar as he has become imbued with what is from the sensuous, so far he is sensuous. The difference is that insofar as the natural has drawn and appropriated to itself what is from the rational, so far it looks at as beneath itself the sensuous things of the exterior natural, and insofar it has dominion over them, deeming worthless and rejecting the fallacies thence derived, whereas insofar as the natural has drawn and appropriated to itself anything from the sensuous things of the body, so far it looks at rational things as beneath itself, deeming them worthless and rejecting them.

[3] For example, the rational natural man can comprehend that man does not live from himself, but by an influx of life through heaven from the Lord; but the sensuous man cannot comprehend this, for he says that he plainly feels and perceives that life is in himself, and that it is idle to speak contrary to the evidence of the senses. As another example: the rational natural man comprehends that there is a heaven and a hell, whereas the sensuous man denies this, because he does not apprehend that there is any purer world than that which he sees with his eyes. The rational natural man comprehends that there are spirits and angels who are unseen; but the sensuous man does not comprehend this, supposing that to be nothing which he does not see and touch.

[4] As still another example: the rational natural man comprehends that it is the part of an intelligent man to look at ends, and to foresee and to dispose the means to some ultimate end. When he looks at nature from the order of things, he sees that nature is a complex of means, and he then perceives that a Supreme Being of intelligence has disposed them; but to what ultimate end he does not see unless he becomes spiritual. On the other hand the sensuous man does not comprehend that there can be anything distinct from nature, thus neither that there can be any Entity which is above nature. What it is to understand, to be wise, to look at ends, and to dispose means, he does not apprehend unless it is called natural; and when it is called natural, he has an idea of these operations like that which an artificer has of an automaton. From these few instances it may be seen what is meant by the interior natural and the exterior natural, and also what by sensuous things being rejected; namely, not the rejection of the things of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, in the body, but of the conclusions therefrom concerning interior things. (AC 5094)

AC 5125. And shall bring thee back upon thy station. That this signifies that the things which are of the sensuous subject to the intellectual part would be reduced into order, that they might be in the last place, is evident from the representation of the butler, of whom these things are said, as being the sensuous subject to the intellectual part (n. 5077, 5082), consequently the things of this sensuous in the external natural, for the sensuous itself is not reduced into order, but those things which have entered through it into man's fantasy; and from the signification of "bringing back upon the station," as being to reduce into order; and because sensuous things (that is, those which have entered from the world through the external organs of sensation) are in the last place, and are in the last place when they minister and are subservient to interior things, therefore these are at the same time signified. Moreover, with the regenerate these sensuous things are in the last place; but with the unregenerate are in the first place (n. 5077, 5081, 5084, 5089, 5094). [2] Whether sensuous things are in the first or last place can easily be perceived by man if he pays attention. If he sanctions everything to which the sensuous prompts or which it craves, and disapproves of everything that the intellectual part dictates, then sensuous things are in the first place, and the man is governed by the appetites, and is wholly sensuous. Such a man is but little removed from the condition of irrational animals, for they are governed in the same way; nay, he is in a worse condition if he abuses the intellectual or rational faculty to confirm the evils and falsities to which sensuous things prompt and which they crave. But if he does not sanction them, but from within sees how they stray into falsities and incite to evils, and strives to chasten them and thus reduce them to compliance (that is, subject them to the intellectual and will parts which are of the interior man), then sensuous things are reduced into order, that they may be in the last place. When sensuous things are in the last place, a happy and blessed feeling flows from the interior man into the delights of these things, and increases them a thousandfold. The sensuous man does not believe that this is so, because he does not comprehend it; and as he is sensible of no other delight than sensuous delight, and thinks there is no higher delight, he regards as of no account the happy and blessed feeling which is within the delights of sensuous things; for whatever is unknown to anyone is believed not to be.

AC 5128. When thou wast his butler. That this signifies as is usual with sensuous things of this kind, is evident from the signification of a "butler," as being sensuous things, or that portion of them which is subject to the intellectual part (see n. 5077, 5082); its being "as is usual" with them is signified by "when thou wast." That sensuous things ought to be subject and subordinate to rational things has already been treated of in the preceding pages; and as this subjection and subordination is here treated of in the internal sense, it still remains to show how the case is in regard to it.

[2] The man in whom sensuous things are in subjection is called rational, but the man in whom they are not in subjection is called sensuous; but whether a man is rational or sensuous can scarcely be discerned by others; but it can be discerned by himself if he explores his interiors, that is, his will and his thought. Whether a man is sensuous or rational cannot be known by others from his speech or from his actions; for the life of the thought which is in the speech, and the life of the will which is in the actions, do not appear to any bodily sense. Only the sound is heard and the gesture seen together with their affection, and it is not distinguished whether the affection is pretended or real; but in the other life this is distinctly perceived by those who are in good, both as to what is in the speech and what is in the actions; thus what is the quality of the life, and also from what source the life therein is derived. In this world also there are some signs from which it can in some measure be inferred whether sensuous things are subject to the rational, or the rational to sensuous things, or what is the same, whether a man is rational or merely sensuous. The signs are these. If it is observed that a man is in principles of falsity, and does not suffer himself to be enlightened, but entirely rejects truths, and without reason obstinately defends falsities, this is a sign that he is a sensuous man, and not a rational, the rational being closed in him, so that it does not admit the light of heaven.

[3] Still more sensuous are those who are in the persuasion of falsity, because the persuasion of falsity totally closes the rational. It is one thing to be in principles of falsity, and another to be in the persuasion of falsity. They who are in the persuasion of falsity have some light in their natural, but it is a light like that of winter. In the other life this light appears with them white like snow; but as soon as the heavenly light falls into it, it is darkened, and becomes dark like night in accordance with the degree and quality of the persuasion. This is also evident with them while they live in the world, for they cannot then see anything whatever of truth; nay, in consequence of the obscure or benighted influence of their falsity, truths to them are as things of naught, and they also ridicule them. To the simple such persons sometimes appear as if they were rational; for by means of that snowy wintry light they can through reasonings so dexterously confirm falsities, that these appear like truths. In such persuasion are many of the learned, more than the rest of mankind; for they have confirmed falsities in themselves by syllogistic and philosophical reasonings, and finally by many acquired knowledges. Among the ancients such men were called serpents of the tree of knowledge (see n. 195-197); but at this day they may be called interior sensuous men who have no rational.

[4] The principal sign whether a man is merely sensuous or is rational, is from his life; not such as appears in his speech and his works, but such as it is within these; for the life of the speech is from the thought, and the life of the works is from the will, and that of both is from the intention or end. Such therefore as is the intention or end within the speech and the works, such is the life; for speech without interior life is mere sound, and works without interior life are mere movements. This is the life which is meant when it is said that "the life remains after death." If a man is rational, he speaks from thinking well, and acts from willing well, that is, he speaks from faith and acts from charity; but if a man is not rational, he may then indeed begin to act, and also to speak, as a rational man; but still there is nothing of life from the rational in him; for a life of evil closes up every way or communication with the rational, and causes the man to be merely natural and sensuous.

[5] There are two things which not only close up the way of communication, but even deprive a man of the capacity of ever becoming rational - deceit and profanation. Deceit is like a subtle poison which infects the interiors, and profanation mixes falsities with truths and evils with goods: through these two the rational wholly perishes. There are in every man gods and truths from the Lord stored up from infancy, which in the Word are called "remains" (see n. 468, 530, 560, 561, 661, 1050, 1738, 1906, 2284); these remains are infected by deceit, and are mixed up by profanation (what profanation is may be seen above, n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 2426, 3398, 3402, 3489, 3898, 4289, 4601). From these signs it may in some measure be known who is a rational, and who a sensuous man.

[6] When sensuous things are subject to the rational, then the sensuous things from which man's first imagination is formed, are enlightened by the light which comes through heaven from the Lord, and are also disposed into order so as to receive the light and correspond. When they are in this state, sensuous things no longer stand in the way of truths being acknowledged and seen, those which disagree being instantly removed, and those which agree being accepted. Those which agree are then as it were in the center, and those which disagree are in the circumference; those which are in the center are as it were lifted up toward heaven, and those which are in the circumference as it were hang downward. Those which are in the center receive light through the rational, and when they are presented to view in the other life they are seen as little stars which gleam and shed light round about even to the circumference, with a gradual diminution. Into such a form are natural and sensuous things disposed when the rational has dominion, and sensuous things are in subjection. This takes place while the man is being regenerated, and thereby he is in a state of seeing and acknowledging truths in their full extent. But when the rational is subject to sensuous things, the contrary comes to pass; for falsities are in the middle, or in the center, and truths are in the circumference. The things which are in the center are in a certain light, but it is a fatuous light, or such as arises from a coal fire, into which flows a light on all sides from hell. This is the light which is called darkness, for as soon as any light from heaven flows into it, it is turned into darkness. (AC 5128)

AC 6183. And thou shalt carry me out of Egypt. That this signifies that there may be elevation out of memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of "carrying me," as being elevation; for "going up" is said of passing from Egypt to the land of Canaan, whereby is signified elevation (see n. 3084, 4539, 4969, 5406, 5817, 6007), and the same by "carrying there out of Egypt;" and from the signification of "Egypt," as being memory-knowledges (of which above). What elevation from memory-knowledges is, shall be briefly stated. The regeneration of the natural is effected by means of the insinuation by the Lord of spiritual life through the internal man into the memory-knowledges in the natural. This insinuation has been treated of in this chapter. But if when the man has been regenerated thus far, he is of such a character that he can be further regenerated, he is elevated thence to the interior natural, which is under the immediate auspices of the internal; whereas if the man is not of such a character, in this case his spiritual life is in the exterior natural. The elevation is effected by a withdrawing from things of sense and memory-knowledge, thus by elevation above them, and then the man comes into a state of interior thought and affection, thus interiorly into heaven. They who are in this latter state are in the internal church; but they who are in the former state are in the external church, and are represented by Jacob, whereas they who are in the latter state are represented by Israel. To the end therefore that "Jacob" may be "Israel," and thus by him as "Israel" may be represented the spiritual good which is in the interior natural, thus the internal spiritual church, these words were said by Jacob.

AC 6200. As I have been now continuously for nine years in company with spirits and angels, I have carefully observed how the case is with regard to influx. While I have been thinking, the material ideas of my thought appeared as it were In the middle of a kind of undulation,* and I noticed that this undulation was nothing else than such things as had been adjoined to that subject in the memory, and that the full thought appears in this way to the spirits; but that nothing else then comes to the man's apprehension than that which is In the middle and which had appeared as material. I have likened that surrounding undulation to spiritual wings, by which the thing thought of is elevated out of the memory. From this the man has perception of a subject. That in that surrounding undulation there were innumerable things which agreed with the subject thought of, was made evident to me from the fact that the spirits who were in a more subtle sphere thereby knew all those things which I had ever known on that subject; and thus that they fully imbibe and put on all things which belong to the man; and genii, who attend solely to the cupidities and affections, imbibe and put on those things which are of the loves.

To illustrate this by an example: When I thought of a man whom I know, then the idea of him, such as it appears when his name is mentioned before a man, was presented in the midst; but round about, like an undulating volatile something (undans volatile), was everything that I had known and thought about him from childhood; whereby the whole of him, such as he was in my thought and affection, appeared among the spirits In an instant. Moreover when I have been thinking about any city, then from that undulating sphere that was round about, the spirits instantly knew all that I had seen and known about it. The case was the same with matters of science. * Thought represented by an undulating sphere with a solid in the middle. When a stone is thrown into clam water it produces a concentric undulation. This however is only in a plane. But imagine a sphere or globe of some fluid medium with such an exciting object in the middle, and undulations going away from it in all directions. This may give some idea of the "material ideas in the middle" and the "volatile undulating sphere" all around it. (AC 6200.)

AC 6201. The thought appeared in this way among the spirits when I was a little withdrawn from the things of sense. But when the thought was in the things of sense, no such undulating sphere appeared; but it was all material, and not unlike external sight. In this case the man is said to think in the sensuous. But when he thinks interiorly, he is said to be withdrawn from the things of sense. That man can be withdrawn from things of sense was known to the ancients, and therefore also some of them have written about this state. They who think in things of sense are called sensuous, and the like spirits are adjoined to them. Such spirits scarcely apprehend more things with a man than those which come down to his sensation; for they are more gross than all other spirits. It has been observed that when a man is in what is sensuous, and is not elevated therefrom, he thinks of nothing else than what is of the body and of the world, and is not then desirous to know anything about what belongs to eternal life, and is even averse to hearing of that life. [2] That I might know that this is the case, I have sometimes been let down into what is sensuous, and then such things instantly presented themselves, and then also the spirits who were in that grosser sphere poured in base and scandalous things; but as soon as I was withdrawn from what is sensuous, such things were dissipated. In sensuous life are many who indulge in the pleasures of the body, and also those who have altogether rejected thought beyond what they see and hear, and especially those who have rejected thought about eternal life. Wherefore such persons make light of all such things; and when they hear of them, they loathe them. Spirits of this kind abound in the other life at the present day, for troops of them come from the world; and the influx from them prompts man to indulge his natural inclination, and to live for himself and the world, but not for others except insofar as they favor him and his pleasures. In order for a man to be uplifted from these spirits, he must think about eternal life.

AC 6310. The interiors of man are distinct according to degrees by means of derivations, and according to these degrees are also the lights. The internal sensuous, which is nearest the sensuous things of the body, has the most gross light. This light it has been given me to discern by much experience, and I have noticed that whenever I sank into this light, falsities and evils of many kinds presented themselves, and even things scandalous against heavenly and Divine things, besides things filthy and foul. The reason is that this light rules in the hells, and by means of it chiefly do the hells flow into man. When a man is in this light, his thought is in nearly the same light as that in which is his external sight, and is then almost in the body. Men who are in this light are to be called the Sensuous, for they do not think beyond the sensuous things of the body. What is beyond these they neither perceive nor believe, believing only that which they see and touch. In this light are they who have not at all cultivated things interior, living in neglect and contempt of all things rational and spiritual; and in this light are especially the avaricious and adulterers, and they who have lived in mere pleasures and in disgraceful idleness, and who consequently think what is filthy, and often what is scandalous, about the holy things of the church.

AC 6311. In the light just referred to are as before said the hells, and in it also are some who are not so evil, that is, who have not been avaricious, adulterous, or voluptuous, but who have come into this light because they have not cultivated their rational. It was given me early one morning to see these spirits in a kind of twilight; they appeared in a public place, in crowds, carrying bags in which were crude materials, weighing them, and carrying them away. Some sirens were at that time not far off, and I heard them saying that they desired to be there, because they saw men with their eyes. For as sirens have been more adulterous than others, and also in opposition to all heavenly and spiritual things, they cannot see other spirits, except such as are in sensuous light, because they themselves are of the same character.

AC 6312. As the hells are in this sensuous light, therefore unless a man is elevated out of it, he must needs perish. He is elevated by means of the good of faith. There are also hells which are in a more subtle sphere, where are they who have been inwardly malignant, and have devised many arts for depriving others of their goods, and have contrived many treacherous plans in order to obtain dominion. But it was observed that this sphere flows into the external sensuous sphere, and this at the back where are the involuntary things of man. Hence the sensuous sphere is so strong.

AC 6313. When a man is being elevated toward interior things, he comes out of the gross sensuous light into a milder light, and at the same time is withdrawn from the influx of scandalous and filthy things, and is brought nearer to the things that belong to what is just and fair, because nearer to the angels who are with him, thus nearer to the light of heaven. This elevation from sensuous things was known to the ancients, even to the Gentiles, and therefore when the lower mind is withdrawn from sensuous things, their wise men said that it comes into interior light, and at the same time into a tranquil state, and into a kind of heavenly bliss; and from this they also concluded that the mind is immortal. Man is capable of being elevated still more interiorly, and the more interiorly he is elevated, the clearer is the light into which he comes; and at last he comes into the light of heaven, which light is nothing else than wisdom and intelligence from the Lord. The three heavens are distinguished in no other way than according to elevations toward interior things, thus also according to degrees of light; the third heaven, being in inmost things, is in the greatest light, thus in a wisdom which far surpasses the wisdom of the lower heavens.

AC 6314. As it is with light, so also it is with the heat which is man's vital heat. This vital heat does not in the slightest degree derive its origin from the heat which is from the sun of this world; but from spiritual heat, which is love, and which proceeds from the Lord: the angels have this heat. Hence so far as man is in love, so far he is in vital heat. The body, however, is in the heat of the world, and so is the interior sensuous; but the vital heat flows into this heat and vivifies it. The purities and the grossnesses of this heat are circumstanced in the same way as are the lights. It is this heat which is meant by the holy fires in the Word, and therefore by these fires are there signified heavenly loves. But in the opposite sense it is this heat which is meant by the fires of hell, and therefore by these fires in the Word are signified infernal loves and their cupidities.

AC 6315. A man who in his earthly life has been elevated from sensuous things by means of the good of faith, is alternately in sensuous and in interior light; when he is in worldly cares, in company where external things flourish, and in pleasures, he is in sensuous life; in this state he shuns and is also averse to speaking and thinking about God, and about the things that belong to faith; and if he were then to speak and think on these subjects, he would make light of them, unless at the moment he were to be elevated by the Lord toward interior things. When the same man is not in worldly things, but in interior light, he thinks from what is just and fair; and if he is in a still more interior light, he thinks from spiritual truth and good. He who is in the good of life is elevated from one light into the other; and into the more interior light in an instant when he begins to think evilly; for angels are near him. This has been given to know by much experience, because I have frequently perceived the elevations, and at the same time the changes of state in respect to the affections, and in respect to the thoughts.

AC 6316. It will surprise you to hear that a great part of the learned are sensuous. The reason is that they have acquired their knowledge merely for the sake of reputation, in order that they may be promoted to honors and thereby to gain, but not with a view to become wise; for all the sciences in the learned world are means of becoming wise, and also means of becoming insane. When the learned are raised to honors, they afterward live sensuously, more than the simple; and they then believe it to be the part of simplicity to attribute anything to the Divine, and not to prudence and nature, and everything else to chance.

AC 6317. 6317. There were spirits with me who when they had lived in the world were called learned. They were let into the state of thought in which they had been when in the body, and their thought about spirits was communicated to me, which thought was of such a nature that they could never be brought to believe that a spirit enjoys any sensation; and everything else they had thought about spirits or souls after death was devoid of all quality. The reason was that they had made life consist in the body, and by means of matters of knowledge and of philosophy had confirmed themselves against the life of the spirit or soul after death; and thereby had closed interior things against themselves in such a manner that they could not possibly be elevated into them. After they had confirmed themselves against the things that belong to the life after death, if the veriest truths had then been told them, they would have treated them like the blind who see not, and like the deaf who hear not; and some of them would ridicule them; and this in exact proportion to their belief in their own preeminent wisdom. But the unlearned, who have been in the good of faith, are not of this character, for they have not confirmed themselves against the things of the church by means of any matters of knowledge and philosophy, and therefore their perception is broader and clearer; and because they have not closed interior things they are capable of receiving goods and truths.

AC 6318. There are also men who are more than sensuous, namely, corporeal, and are those who have wholly confirmed themselves against the Divine, and have ascribed all things to nature, and thus have lived without any regard for what is just and fair, except only in the outward form. These being inwardly like brute animals (although outwardly they appear like men) are more than sensuous, and in the other life appear to themselves and others as if they were corporeal. They have been seen by me in front near the right foot, rising up out of the deep, very hairy, and as it were rough and gross; and when they had risen up there appeared the semblance of a sword hanging over their heads. I spoke with them, and they said it appeared to them exactly as if they were in the body.

AC 6564. Because they requited evil to thee. That this signifies because they had turned away from the good and truth which flow in, is evident from the signification of "evil," as being a turning away (see n. 5746). That it denotes from the good and truth which flow in, is signified by "they requited to thee," for "Joseph" is the celestial, and internal good (see n. 5805, 5826, 5827, 5869, 5877), through which good and truth flow in from the Lord. As regards the influx through the internal, the case is this. The Lord continually flows in through man's internal with good and truth, good giving life and its heat, which is love, and truth giving enlightenment and its light, which is faith. But when this influx advances further, namely, into the exteriors, with the evil it is resisted and rejected, or is perverted or stifled; and then according to the rejection, perversion, or stifling, the interiors are closed, an entrance only remaining open here and there as through chinks round about; and from this there remains to the man the capacity to think and will, but against truth and good. This closing penetrates toward the exteriors more and more, according to the life of evil, and the consequent persuasion of falsity, and this down to the sensuous degree, from which then comes the thought. Pleasures and cravings then carry everything off. In such a state are those who are in the hells; for all considerations of what is honorable and good for the sake of gain, honor, and reputation, are taken away from the evil who come into the other life, and then they are in what is sensuous.

AC 6598. Continuation about influx, and about the interaction of the soul and the body. It is known that one man excels another in the capacity to understand and perceive what is honorable in moral life, what is just in civil life, and what is good in spiritual life. The cause of this consists in the elevation of the thought to the things that pertain to heaven, whereby the thought is withdrawn from the external things of sense; for they who think solely from things of sense cannot see one whit of what is honorable, just, and good, and therefore they trust to others and speak much from the memory, and thereby appear to themselves wiser than others. But they who are able to think above the things of sense, provided the things in the memory have been set in order, possess a greater capacity than others to understand and perceive, and this according to the degree in which they view things from what is interior.

AC 6605. It is worthy of note, that as the universal heaven bears relation to a man, who from this is called the Grand Man (as shown at the end of many chapters), so each society in like manner bears relation to a man; for the image of the universal heaven flows into the societies, and causes them to be like it; and not only into the societies, but also into the individuals in the society, whence each individual has a human form; for everyone in an angelic society is a heaven in least form. The varieties of their human form are in accordance with the quality of good and of truth with them. Hence it is that every spirit and angel appears in a form wholly in accordance with the communication of his thoughts and affections with the societies. Hence the more they are in good and truth, so are they in a more beautiful form. But if the communication of the thoughts and affections has been diffused into societies not according to heavenly order, then the form is to the same extent unbeautiful. And if the communication is with infernal societies, then the form is ugly and devilish; and those who are in total opposition to good and truth, being in opposition to the form of heaven (which is the human form), in the light of heaven appear not as men, but as monsters. This is the case with the whole of hell, with the societies therein, and with the individuals in the societies; and this also with variety according to the degree of opposition of evil against good and of the derivative falsity against truth.

AC 6606. When speaking with angelic spirits I have observed that the affections and thoughts appeared like a surrounding stream, and that the subject of the thought was in the middle with the stream all round it, and that this extended thence in every direction. From this also it was made manifest that the thoughts and affections extend themselves on all sides to societies.

AC 6607. It has been shown that when thoughts together with affections diffuse themselves, they circulate almost according to the form of the convolutions of the gray substance in the human brain. I have seen these circumfluxions for a long while: they circled round, bent inward, and wound in and out, as do the convolutions of the gray substance of the brains. But the forms of heaven are still more wonderful, and such as can by no means be comprehended, not even by angels; in such a form are the angelic societies in the heavens, and into such a form the thoughts of the angels flow, and almost in an instant to a great distance, because according to the infinitely perfect form.

AC 6608. Intellectual light has been given me, taken away, diminished, and moderated, in thinking, speaking, and writing, and this frequently; and it has been given me to perceive the variations and differences. The light itself was perceived as an illumination which enlightened the substances of the interior sight, as the light of the sun enlightens the organs of bodily sight. This general illumination caused the objects of things to appear, as the objects of the earth appear to an enlightened eye; and I have been instructed that these variations came forth according to the communications with heavenly societies.

AC 6609. The thoughts and speech of the societies within which was my thought, have been occasionally represented to me by clouds which ascended and descended in the azure. From the forms of the clouds, their colors, thinness, and density, it was given to know what was flowing in. Truths were represented by the azure color mingled with a beautiful brilliant white, the brilliancy of which cannot be described; appearances of truth were represented by a dull whiteness; and falsities by black clouds; and thus the influx of thoughts and affections could also be known from these appearances.

AC 6610. So long as a man lives, the ideas of his thought are varied, that is, they are multiplied and divided, and are thus extended to various and new societies; with those who are in evil, to infernal societies, as also with those who are in the persuasions of falsity. But with those who are in persuasions of truth, that is, in persuasive faith, the ideas of the thought are exceedingly confined; while with those who are being regenerated, the thoughts and affections are continually insinuated into new heavenly societies, and the extension increases. The former thoughts and affections are also divided; and being divided, are associated with ideas, which are again communicated to new societies. More especially generals are filled with particulars, and these with singulars, thus with new truths, whereby the illumination increases.

AC 6611. I have spoken with spirits about the changes of state of man's life, that it is inconstant, and that he is borne upward and downward, now toward heaven and now toward hell. But they who suffer themselves to be regenerated are being borne continually upward, and thus always into more interior heavenly societies. Extension of sphere into these societies is given by the Lord to those who are being regenerated, especially to those who are being regenerated by means of temptations, in which resistance is made to evils and falsities; for the Lord then fights through angels against the evils and falsities; and in this way the man is introduced into the societies of these angels, which are more interior societies; and into whatever societies he has once been introduced, he there remains; and from this he also receives a more extended and elevated capacity of perception.

AC 6612. From all this it is also evident that the more exteriorly a man thinks, the less extension he has, and the more interiorly, the greater extension. For they who think exteriorly, that is, who are in what is sensuous, communicate only with grosser spirits; whereas they who think interiorly, that is, from the rational, have communication with angels; and the nature of this difference can be seen from the density of the sphere in which the sensuous spirits are, and from the purity of the sphere in which the angels of heaven are. This difference is like that between the extension of sound, and the extension of light; and how great this is, is known to those who are skilled in the things of nature.

AC 6613. That there are countless things in one idea of thought, and much more so in one thought composed of ideas, has been given me to know from much experience, some of which may be here adduced.

AC 6614. It has been shown by living experience how angelic ideas flow into the ideas of spirits who are beneath, and therefore in grosser ideas. An abundance of ideas from the angelic heaven was shown as a bright cloud divided into little masses; each little mass, which consisted of countless ideas, produced in a spirit one simple idea; and it was afterward shown that thousands and thousands of things were in it, which were also represented by a cloud before the eyes of spirits. I afterward spoke of these things with the spirits, showing that they may be illustrated by the objects of sight; for an object which appears simple, when seen through a magnifying glass, immediately presents to the sight a thousand things not before visible; as in the case of animalcules which appear as one obscure object, but when viewed in a microscope not only become many, but each is seen in its form; and if subjected to still higher power of sight, there are seen organs, members, viscera, and also vessels and fibers. Such also is the case with the ideas of thought, thousands and thousands of things being in each of them, although the many ideas together of which the thought is composed, appear only as a simple thing. Nevertheless there are more things in the ideas of thought of one person than in the ideas of another, the abundance of ideas in the thought being according to the extension into societies.

AC 6615. When the thought of angels descends to lower planes, it appears, as just said, like a bright cloud; but when the thought of the angels who are in the higher heavens descends, it appears like a flaming light, from which comes a quivering brightness. This bright cloud and flaming light are nothing else than the countless things that are in their thought. When these flow into the thought of the spirits who are beneath, they are there presented as only one thing; the light and brightness flow into their thought, and the flaming into their affection which is of love, which affection leads the ideas and joins them together. But the bright flaming and the quivering brightness do not appear to them, but were seen by me in order that I might know that higher things flow into lower ones; and that there are countless things which are perceived as one.

AC 6616. That there are so many things in one idea has also been made evident to me from the fact that when I heard spirits speaking with me, I could perceive from the mere tone of their speech whether they were speaking from pretense, from sincerity, from a friendly feeling, or from the good of love. A man can see this from the expression of the face of another man, and can also in some measure hear it from his speech; for when a man sees a glad expression shown him, and hears fair-spoken words, he can perceive whether there is in it pretense, or deceit, whether a gaiety that is natural or accidental, whether modesty, or friendliness, or insanity, and so on; which also is a sign that there are countless things in every idea. When I have spoken with spirits on this subject, some of them were incredulous, and they were therefore taken up into a higher region, and speaking with me from thence they said that they saw countless things in every idea of my thought; and so they believed.

AC 6617. That there are countless things in one idea, has also been made evident to me from the fact that the angels perceive in a moment the life of a spirit and of a man by merely hearing him speak, or by looking into his thought; the angels of a lower heaven can see this, and still more the angels of a higher one. A certain good spirit was taken up into the first heaven, and speaking with me from thence he said that he saw infinite things in what I was then reading in the Word; when yet I myself had only a simple thought on the subject. Afterward he was taken up into a more interior heaven, and he said from thence that he now saw still more things, and so many that what he had seen before were comparatively gross to him. He was next taken up into a heaven still more interior, where the celestial angels are, and he said from thence that what he had before seen was scarcely anything compared with the things he now saw. While this continued, various things flowed in, and I was affected with the various things that came from thence.

AC 6622. I have spoken with spirits concerning influx into the ideas of thought, saying that men can by no means believe there are such countless things in them, for they conceive thought to be a merely simple and single thing; thus they judge from the exterior sensuous. The spirits with whom I then spoke were of the opinion that there is nothing within ideas, having impressed this upon themselves in the life of the body. But in order that they might comprehend that they perceive countless things as one, I was allowed to say that the motions of myriads of moving fibers concur in one action, and that also at the same time all things in the body move and adapt themselves for that action, both in general and in particular; and yet that little action appears simple and single, as if nothing of the kind were in it; and in like manner that countless things concur together to form one utterance, as the foldings of the lips and of all the muscles and fibers thereof; also the movements of the tongue, throat, larynx, windpipe, lungs, and diaphragm, with all the muscles thereof in general and in particular. Now as the man perceives one utterance therefrom as merely a simple sound which has nothing in it, it may be seen how gross is perception from the sensuous. What then must be the perception from the sensuous concerning those ideas of thought which are in a purer world, and thus more remote from what is sensuous!

AC 6623. As there are things so countless in the ideas of thought, the angels can know merely from a single word which proceeds from the thought what is the quality of the spirit, or of the man. This also has been confirmed by experience. When the word "truth" was only mentioned, as was done by several spirits in succession, it was instantly heard whether there was in it what is hard, harsh, soft, childlike, dear, innocent, full, empty, also whether there was in it what is false, feigned, closed, or open, and in what degree; in a word, the very quality of the idea was heard, and this only in what is general. What then must be the case in the singulars which the angels perceive!

AC 6624. As man thinks from what is sensuous, such things are obscure to him, nay, so obscure that he does not know what an idea is, and especially that thought is divided into ideas, as speech is into words; for thought appears to him continuous, and not discrete, when yet the ideas of thought are the words of spirits, and the ideas of a thought yet more interior are the words of angels. As ideas are the words of their speech, they are also sonorous among spirits and angels; hence the silent thought of man is audible to spirits and angels when it so pleases the Lord. How perfect the ideas of thought are in comparison with the words of speech, may be seen from the fact that a man can think more things within a minute than he can utter or write in an hour. The same could also be seen from speech with spirits and angels, for then in a moment I have filled a general subject with singulars, with the affection adjoined, whence the angels and spirits distinctly apprehended all things, and many more, which appeared about the subject like a cloud.

AC 6625. From all this it may now be seen what is the nature of the ideas of those who live evilly, and thence think evilly, namely, that therein are hatreds, revenges, envies, deceits, adulteries, haughtinesses, outward decorum simulating honor, also chastities for the sake of appearance, friendships for the sake of honor and gain and yet no friendships, besides foul and filthy things unmentionable. And moreover there are certain doctrinal matters of faith which countenance cupidities, and unless they did so there would be unbeliefs and also mockings. These and other such things are in the ideas of those who live evilly and consequently think evilly. Such things being within their ideas, it must needs be that when such persons come into the other life, they are separated and removed far from heaven, where such things excite horror.

AC 6626. I will relate some wonderful things. The Lord, who alone is Man, and from whom angels, spirits, and the inhabitants of earth are called men, does Himself, by His influx into heaven cause the universal heaven to represent and bear relation to a man, and by influx through heaven and from Himself immediately into the individuals there, cause each one to appear as a man, the angels in a more beautiful and resplendent form than can be described; and in like manner by His influx into the spirit of man. Nay, with an angel, a spirit, and a man who lives in charity toward the neighbor and in love to the Lord, the very smallest things of thought bear relation to a man, for the reason that this charity and this love are from the Lord, and whatever is from the Lord bears relation to a man. Moreover it is these things that make man. On the other hand, in hell, because they who are there are in things contrary to charity and celestial love, in their own light they do indeed appear like men, but in the light of heaven as dreadful monsters, in some of whom scarcely anything of the human form is recognizable. The reason is that the Lord's influx through heaven is not received, but is either rejected, or extinguished, or perverted, causing them to have such an appearance. They are in like manner such forms in the smallest things of their thought or in their ideas; for such as anyone is in the whole, such he is in part; these being analogous and homogeneous. That form in which they appear is also the form of the hell in which they are; for every hell has its own form, which in the light of heaven is like a monster; and those of them who appear from this light show by their form from what hell they are. They have appeared to me at the gates which opened into the world of spirits, and they were seen as monsters, with much variety. That the gates of hell open into the world of spirits may be seen above (n. 5852).

AC 6844. Pull off thy shoes from upon thy feet. That this signifies that sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, must be removed, is evident from the signification of "shoes," as being the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural (see n. 1748); and from the signification of "feet," as being the natural (n. 2162, 3147, 3761, 3986, 4280, 4938-4952). That "to pull off" denotes to remove is evident, because it is said of sensuous things; for terms must be applied to their subject that is being treated of; thus "to pull off," to the shoes; and "to be removed," to sensuous things. How the case herein is, must be told. Everyone can see that shoes here represent something that was not in agreement with the holy Divine, and thus that to pull off the shoes was representative of the removal of such things; otherwise what would it matter to the Divine whether man approached in shoes or with the soles of his feet bare, provided that he was interiorly of such a character as to be able to approach the Divine in faith and love? Therefore by "shoes" are signified sensuous things, and these being the externals of the natural are of such a nature that they cannot be present when the Divine is the object of holy thought; therefore, as at that time representatives were to be observed, Moses was not allowed to approach with shoes on his feet.

[2] That sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, are of such a nature that they cannot receive the Divine, is because they are in things worldly, bodily, and even earthly, for they proximately receive these things; hence the things that are in the memory from sensuous things derive from the light and heat of the world all that belongs to them, and but little from the light and heat of heaven, and therefore they are the last things that can be regenerated, that is, receive anything of the light of heaven. Hence it is that when a man is in these sensuous things, and is thinking from them, he thinks no otherwise of the Divine than as he thinks about earthly things, and if he is in evil he thinks from these sensuous things quite against the Divine. Therefore if when a man is thinking about such things as are of faith and love to God he is in good, he is elevated from the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural, toward interior things, consequently from earthly and worldly things nearer to heavenly and spiritual things.

[3] This a man knows not, because he does not know that the interiors in him are distinct from the exteriors, and that thought is more and more interior and also more and more exterior; and as he does not know these things, he cannot reflect upon them. But see what has been before said about thought from sensuous things, namely, that they who think from them, have very little wisdom (n. 5089, 5094, 6201, 6310, 6312, 6314, 6316, 6318, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6624); that man is elevated from sensuous things, and that when thus elevated he comes into a milder light; and that this is especially the case with those who are being regenerated (n. 6183, 6313, 6315). From all this is now plain what is meant by "putting off the shoes from upon the feet." That the natural with man is external, middle, and internal, see n. 4570, 5118, 5126, 5497, 5649. The internal natural is signified by the "feet," the middle natural by the "soles of the feet," and the external by the "shoes." (AC 6844.)

AC 6845. For the place whereon thou standest a ground of holiness is this. That this signifies that otherwise the Divine cannot enter, is evident from the signification of "place," as being state (n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 4321, 4882, 5605), whence "the place whereon thou standest" denotes the state in which he as yet is; and from the signification of "ground of holiness," as being the holy which proceeds from the Lord. Thus it is a state of the holy proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human which is meant by these words. That it signifies that otherwise the Divine cannot enter, follows from what goes before, namely, that if man were not removed from sensuous things, which are the externals of the natural, that is, if he were not elevated from these to things interior, the Divine could not flow in. The reason why the Divine cannot flow in with man so long as he is in these sensuous things, is that the influx from the Divine passes on even to those things which are last in order, thus down to the sensuous things which are the externals of the natural with man; and if the things therein be merely bodily and earthly, the Divine things which flow in are there dissipated, because they are not in agreement. Therefore when man is about to receive the Divine, that is, the things which are of faith and love, he is elevated from sensuous things; and when he has been elevated from them, the Divine no longer flows in thither, namely, into the external sensuous, but into the interior plane into which the man has been elevated. That this is the case it has been given me to know from much experience.

AC 6948. And He said, Cast it to the earth. That this signifies the influx of the power of the Lord's Divine natural into the sensuous, is evident from the signification of a "rod," as being power in the natural, and when it is said of the Lord, as being the power proceeding from his Divine natural (of which just above, n. 6947) from the signification of "casting," or "sending forth," as being proceeding, thus influx; and from the signification of "the earth" as being man's external (n. 82, 913, 1411, 1733), here his sensuous and corporeal, which are the outermosts, because the rod became a serpent, and by a "serpent" is signified the sensuous and corporeal man.

[2] By the Divine power of the Lord is here meant the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord, for there is power in Divine truth, insomuch that it is power itself (n. 3091, 4931, 6344, 6423). The Divine truth proceeding from the Lord flows into every man, through his interiors into the exteriors, even into the external sensuous and into the corporeal, and calls forth everywhere things correspondent in their order; in the sensuous, things correspondent such as appear in the world and upon the earth. But as the things which are in the world and upon the earth appear otherwise than as they are, they are therefore full of fallacies; and therefore when the sensuous is in these evils only, it must needs think against the goods and truths of faith, because it thinks from fallacies; and when Divine truth flows in, it must needs turn it into falsity.

[3] That a man who is not elevated from the sensuous, but is in it and thinks from it, thinks from fallacies, may be illustrated by examples: The fallacies in respect to the life of man-that it is of the body, when yet it is of the spirit in the body; in respect to the sight-that it is of the eye; in respect to the hearing that it is of the ear; in respect to the speech-that it is of the tongue and mouth; when yet it is the spirit which sees, hears, and speaks, through these organs of the body. The fallacies in respect to life-that it is permanent in man, when yet it flows in. The fallacies in respect to the soul-that it cannot be in a human form, and in human senses and affections. The fallacies in respect to heaven and hell-that the former is above man, and the latter beneath him, when yet they are in him. The fallacies that objects flow into the exteriors, when yet what is external does not flow into what is internal, but what is internal into what is external. The fallacies in respect to the life after death-that it is impossible except together with the body. Besides the fallacies in natural things, which give rise to the self-contradictory conjectures of so many persons.

[4] Who cannot see that fallacies and the falsities thence derived have dominion instead of truths, merely from the dispute which long existed in respect to the circulation of the blood, which though supported by so many experimental proofs, nevertheless long remained in doubt; and also from the dispute about the sun-that it revolved once a day around this earth, and not only the sun, but also the moon, all the planets, and the whole starry heaven; and also from the dispute which still continues in respect to the soul, its conjunction with the body, and its seat therein. Seeing that the fallacies of the senses have dominion in such things, although their true character is plain from so many phenomena and effects, why should they not do so in such things as belong to heaven, which being spiritual are not plain except through correspondences?

[5] From all this it can now be seen what is the quality of man's sensuous, viewed in itself, and left to itself; namely, that it is in fallacies, and thence in falsities, thus is against the truths and goods of faith. Hence it is that when man is in the sensuous and in its light, he is in thick darkness in respect to the things of the spiritual world, that is, in respect to those which are in light from the Divine; and that the sensuous light is turned into mere thick darkness when the light from heaven falls into it. The reason is, that the truths which are of the Divine light cannot be together with fallacies and the falsities thence derived; but [the falsities] extinguish [the truths] and thereby induce thick darkness. (AC 6845)

AC 6949. And it became a serpent. That this signifies the sensuous and corporeal man separate from the internal, is evident from the signification of a "serpent," as being a man who reasons from things sensuous (see n. 195-197, 6398, 6399), thus the sensuous of man; and as by "serpent" is signified the sensuous, it signifies also the corporeal, for what the sensuous has, it has from the senses of the body. And because, regarded in itself, the sensuous is such as has been described just above (n. 6948), the "serpent" also (which is the sensuous), signifies all evil in general (n. 251, 254, 257). That by the "serpent" is here meant the sensuous and corporeal man separated from the internal or rational, is evident from the fact that Moses fled from before it, whereby is signified horror of it; and also from the fact that by this sign is described the state of those of the spiritual church, if they did not have faith; for then their internal would be closed, nor would more of the light of heaven flow in, than to enable them to think, and from this to speak, from the sensuous separated. All those think from the sensuous separated who defend falsities against truths, and evils against goods; in a word, all who are in evil of life, and thence in no faith, for he who lives evilly, believes nothing. Such persons excel others in the gift of reasoning, and also of persuading, especially the simple, for the reason that they speak from the fallacies of the senses, and from appearances in the world. They also know how to extinguish or veil truths by fallacies, whence also by "serpents" are signified cunning and craftiness. But when the sensuous has been conjoined with the internal, or rightly subordinated to the rational, then by a "serpent" is signified prudence and circumspection (see n. 197, 4211, 6398).

DLW 381. The heavens are divided into two kingdoms, one called celestial, the other spiritual; in the celestial kingdom love to the Lord reigns, and in the spiritual kingdom wisdom from that love. The kingdom where love reigns is called heaven's cardiac kingdom, the one where wisdom reigns is called its pulmonic kingdom. Be it known, that the whole angelic heaven in its aggregate represents a single man, and before the Lord appears as a single man; consequently its heart makes one kingdom and its lungs another. For there is a general cardiac and pulmonic movement throughout heaven, and a particular movement therefrom in each angel. The general cardiac and pulmonic movement is from the Lord alone, because love and wisdom are from Him alone. For these two movements are in the sun where the Lord is and which is from the Lord, and from that in the angelic heavens and in the universe. Banish spaces and think of omnipresence, and you will be convinced that it is so. That the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, celestial and spiritual, see the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28); and that the whole angelic heaven in the aggregate represents a single man (n. 59-67).

DP 279. [7] The question arises, What is affection and what is thought in the mind? This may be inferred from all the things in general and in particular in the body where there are many viscera, each fixed in its own place and all performing their own functions by changes and variations of state and form. It is well known that they are engaged in their own operations - the stomach, the intestines, the kidneys, the liver, the pancreas, and the spleen, the heart and the lungs, each organ in its respective operation. All these operations are kept in motion from within, and to be moved from within is to be moved by means of changes and variations of state and form. Hence it may be evident that the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind are of a similar nature, with this difference, that the operations of the organic substances of the body are natural, while those of the mind are spiritual, and that both act together as one by correspondences.

[8] The nature of the changes and variations of state and form in the organic substances of the mind, which are affections and thoughts, cannot be shown to the eye; but still they may be seen as in a mirror from the changes and variations in the state of the lungs in speaking and in singing. There is, moreover, a correspondence; for the sound of the voice in speaking and singing, and also the articulations of sound, which are the words of speech, and the modulations of singing, are caused by means of the lungs, and sound corresponds to affection and speech to thought. Further, sound and speech are produced by affection and thought; and this is effected by changes and variations in the state and form of the organic substances in the lungs, and from the lungs through the trachea or windpipe, in the larynx and glottis, then in the tongue and finally in the lips.

The first changes and variations of the state and form of sound take place in the lungs, the second in the trachea and larynx, the third in the glottis by the various openings of its orifice, the fourth in the tongue by its various adaptations to the palate and teeth, and the fifth in the lips by their various modifications of form. Hence it may be evident that the mere changes and variations, successively continued, in the state of organic forms produce sounds and their articulations, which are speech and singing. Now, since sound and speech are produced from no other source than the affections and thoughts of the mind, for they exist from these and are never apart from them, it is clear that the affections of the will are changes and variations in the state of the purely organic substances of the mind, and that the thoughts of the understanding are changes and variations in the form of those substances, as is the case in the pulmonary substances.

[9] As affections and thoughts are simply changes in the state of the forms of the mind, it follows that memory is nothing else than a permanent state of these changes. For all changes and variations of state in organic substances are such that once they have become habitual they are permanent. Thus the lungs are habituated to produce various sounds in the trachea, to vary them in the glottis, to articulate them in the tongue, and to modify them in the mouth; and when once these organic activities have become habitual such sounds are in the organs and can be reproduced. (DP 279)

DLW 391. That a spirit, as well as a man on earth in the body enjoys a pulse and a respiration, can only be proved by spirits and angels themselves, when privilege is granted to speak with them. This privilege has been granted to me. When questioned about the matter they declared that they are just as much men as those in the world are, and possess a body as well as they, but a spiritual body, and feel the beat of the heart in the chest, and the beat of the arteries in the wrist, just as men do in the natural world. I have questioned many about the matter, and they all gave like answer. That man's spirit respires within his body has been granted me to learn by personal experience. On one occasion angels were allowed to control my respiration, and to diminish it at pleasure, and at length to withdraw it, until only the respiration of my spirit remained, which I then perceived by sense. A like experience was granted me when permitted to learn the state of the dying (as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell, n. 449). I have sometimes been brought into the respiration of my spirit only, which I have then sensibly perceived to be in accord with the common respiration of heaven. Also many times I have been in a state like that of angels, and also raised up into heaven to them, and being then out of the body in spirit, I talked with angels with a respiration in like manner as in the world. From this and other personal evidence it has been made clear to me that man's spirit respires, not only in the body but also after it has left the body; that the respiration of the spirit is so silent as not to be perceptible to man; and that it inflows into the manifest respiration of the body almost as cause flows into effect, or thought into the lungs and through the lungs into speech. From all this it is also evident that conjunction of spirit and body in man is by means of the correspondence of the cardiac and pulmonic movement in both.

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

(end of Part 2 of the Lecture Notes)

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