A Man of the Field
Forming The New Church Mind In Today’s World
Volume 1: Reformation
The Struggle Against Nonduality
Volume 2: Enlightenment
The Spiritual Sense of the Writings
Volume 3: Regeneration
Spiritual Disciplines For Daily Life
Volume 4: Uses
The New Church Mind In Old Age
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By Leon James
Author information appears at the end. This document is in the process of being revised. Please note the draft version marked on top. To print this document, see Printing Note at the end.
A “field” means doctrine (AC 368)
A "man" signifies faith and truth (AC 427; 4823)
The Struggle Against Nonduality
Table of Contents
Falsities ought by all means to be rooted out (INV 16)
Chapter 3, Section 1
New-age belief systems in the United States are generally couched in nonduality. They constitute an intellectual opposition to Christian ideas of God based on the Bible and the Writings. Specifically these are some of the persuasive ideas that are potentially harmful to Christians:
q God is the only reality.
q Creation is the splintering of the God-consciousness into individual minds filled with temporary qualities that appear to have real existence--good and evil, true and false.
q Salvation consists in remembering oneself as the only God and emptying oneself of all that is good or evil, true or false.
q This can only be accomplished by becoming a disciple to a self-realized “Living Master” who has divine-like powers for appearing unconsciously to the disciples and effecting healing, forgiving, and setting things right.
q Without this intervention people are compelled to live the life of karma through many reincarnations.
q Progress towards liberation from this life of illusion is possible through meditation, vegetarianism, and the abandonment of moral and intellectual distinctions and struggles.
q At one point one experiences enlightenment and cosmic consciousness. One discovers and remembers oneself as the one God. In that highest state one is capable of omnipresence and omnipotence and one shares the bliss with others, helping them to the same realization.
Regarding reincarnation, the mystery was forever solved and laid to rest in the revelations of the Writings:
God's omnipotence shines forth also from the heaven that is above or within our visible heaven, and from the globe there that is inhabited by angels, as ours is by men. There are wonderful testimonies there to the Divine omnipotence; and as these have been seen by me and revealed to me, I am permitted to mention them. All men that have died from the first creation of the world are there; and these after death continue to be men in form, but are spirits in essence. (AE 1133)
Imported ideas of nonduality are harmful when Christians adopt any of them because they weaken the fundamental love they must have for the Lord—the First and Greatest Commandment. The Writings teach that one cannot love an unknown and invisible God (TCR 339). Salvation and eternal life depend on allowing the Lord to regenerate us. This is possible only to the extent that we cooperate and suffer ourselves to undergo spiritual temptations (NJHD 197; AC 227). We cannot accomplish this without acknowledging in our mind the Lord as the Divine Person to Whom we must go for every step in our regeneration (AR 750). Any nonduality that removes the duality of a Divine Person, distinct and separate from self, interferes with our ability to think of God as Divine Person. This is a form of Christian paganism (AR 750).
This potential danger also applies to New Church members and can only be guarded against through reasoned reflection based on the logic and rationale of the Writings. There is an attractiveness of Hindu and Buddhist ideas to the Western intellect that is imbued with notions of universal fairness and non-exclusion of any race and creed. This liberal or cosmopolitan cultural attitude forms the intellectual and moral context for New Church persons in North America today. There is an eagerness in reaching out and making connections, and Hindu and Buddhist notions are readily seized upon as similar to ideas in the Writings.
These attempts at connections may not pose a serious danger when it is left at the broadest general level of comparison such as these assertions: Religion is essential, there is God, there is the spiritual, there is evil, there are spirits, there is heaven and hell, there is revelation. But as soon as one is led to unpack the more specific concepts that make up these ideas of God, spirit, and evil, a whole new ideational world comes to view. This is a strange world that serves a strange God and can lead a Christian to spiritual confusion. There is far more danger for those who confirm themselves of these opposing ideas through comparisons and justifications from the Writings. It is prudent to examine under what conditions such connections are beneficial or a hindrance to understanding the rational ideas of the Writings.
A neighbor acquaintance recently told me that a Hindu man regularly attends her Bible study class. At first she thought this was odd but she changed her mind as he kept pointing out similarities between the Bible and Hinduism. She was especially impressed by his idea of “one-mindedness” which she explained was the notion that God is the actual power behind good and bad events that happen. If you worry about the bad things happening you are dual-minded but since there is only one Power the bad things are just as much God’s doing as the good things. This gave her a sense of relief since she no longer had to worry about anything happening since all is God’s doing.
She didn’t use the word nonduality but it’s clear that that’s what she admitted into her mind. It’s the nonduality between good and evil as having the same source. To a Christian mind this thinking is pernicious and insidious, and if admitted, spiritually injurious. The idea is attractive to the unregenerate mind because it hides one’s responsibility in distinguishing between falsities and truths and, hating evil and loving good. The Writings teach that only good can come from God and that evil comes from self, hence hell, which is turned away from God and in opposition to Him (AC 4997). Truth from God flows into the soul and mind of every human being and then each individual adapts it and sometimes turns it this way or that, and at last into the opposite of truth. This falsity (or falsified truth) in the mind is better suited to one’s evil loves, and the two couple each other in the infernal marriage (HH 377). Once this is accomplished (or confirmed), hell rules the mind. The evil never comes from God (DLW 264). Good and evil are dualities in relation to each other and in relation to God.
The idea that evil comes from God (nonduality), when admitted into the New Church mind, becomes an impediment to one’s regeneration, constituting a grave spiritual threat.
Chapter 3, Section 2
Hindu nonduality is affecting how some Christians may come to view the Lord’s revelations in the New Testament concerning Himself as being one with the Father. Here is one example of how some New Testament verses are being commingled within nonduality:
From: Christmas Thought: The Nondual Teachings Of Christ by Pieter Schoonheim Samara (Web document accessed April 2002 at: www.nonduality.com/1208ps.htm
"All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." John I: 3 "That (Christ) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that is born into this world." John I: 9 Christ to John in Revelations, Ch I: 8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending" sayeth the Lord, "which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." "For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12: 49
(…) One might think from reading these passages that Christ always speaks as the Atman and of the Father as Brahman, or as the Self realized being One in relation to the All pervasive and timeless Self. Just as Krishna tells Arjuna that he taught Aditia (the Sun), Christ states: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8: 58 … "The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light...." (Luke 11: 34)
This non-dual teaching is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that sees (the seer, one's Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you hold on to (i.e., abide as) the seer (subject-"I"), singly or exclusively (i.e., relinquishing attention to thoughts), you will have illumination - or what some call the "enlightenment of the whole body". This is said to be the exact instruction given in the non-dual Vedanta tradition, with the same described outcome, as already discussed above.
It is known from the Writings that when the Lord referred to Himself and the Father as One, He was referring to the identity of Personhood between Himself and the Father. No one was able to comprehend this at that time, or later, until the new revelations of the Second Coming effected in Swedenborg’s Writings (completed in 1771). No one today comprehends the Divine Father/Son relation save those who acknowledge the Writings as the Lord in His Word of the Second Coming, as a result of which they receive enlightenment from the Lord, in proportion to their willingness to suffer themselves to be regenerated by Him. The Writings themselves assert this idea as a central tenet (De Verbo 12).
This identity of Personhood is not to be considered a form of nonduality, as is done in the Schoonheim quote above. Those who think within the Eastern philosophy system interpret the Father/Son relation as a nonduality in the sense that the illusory self of the individual can end, leaving behind God alone as the one only reality. Transferring this reasoning to the New Testament, they see Jesus as the illusory Self (Atman) that is to be transcended or eliminated at illumination, leaving only the Father. This nonduality is entirely opposed to the New Church duality of Jesus, the visible Divine Human called the Son, on the one hand, and on the other, Jehovah, the invisible Divine Essence called the Father. This duality can never be transcended. It would not make rational sense, therefore it is impossible, and only the imagination of the sensuous mind can think it up and suppose it to be possible.
Sixth: This One Only and the Self is the Lord from eternity, or Jehovah. It was shown in THE DOCTRINE OR THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE LORD that God is One in essence and in person, and that this God is the Lord; and that the Divine itself, which is called Jehovah the Father, is the Lord from eternity; that the Divine Human is the Son conceived from His Divine from eternity and born in the world, and that the Divine Proceeding is the Holy Spirit. (DP 157:9)
This passage indicates how the Divine Rational can resonate by correspondence in our interior-rational perception. The passage is describing a spiritual truth about the Lord. We can resonate to it by allowing the Letter to stand for this spiritual truth, only by correspondence. This orientation to the passage allows the literal meaning to recede somewhat so it doesn’t dominate and become opaque instead of translucent. The expression is used, “the Lord from eternity, or Jehovah.” At first the literal meaning dominates the internal truth, and so makes itself opaque, hiding the spiritual tucked within it. But then we ask the question: How do we take this expression as a correspondence for its spiritual-rational truth?
“The Lord from eternity, or Jehovah.” Who is the Lord from eternity? In the literal meaning this refers to the contrastive expression “the Lord born in time.” We are familiar with the idea that “the Lord born in time” is Jesus, who glorified His Human and made it one with the Divine (xx). We are familiar with the Divine as the Father, or Jehovah. So in the Letter we have the idea that the identity of Personhood was an achieved identity. Therefore, this important rational truth follows: We are not to think that it was Jehovah who descended from the Heaven under the assumed name and identity of Jesus. This truth is proven by the distinction the passage makes between “The Lord from eternity” vs. “the Lord born in time.” The Lord born in time, namely the Child Jesus, was not born glorified. The Child Jesus was Divine, as specified in the New Testament and the Writings. But we have to enter into a more spiritual view of how this is true. So the literal must recede, as the spiritual comes to the fore.
This more interior rational perception is that Jesus and Jehovah are not the same, though they are the same Person.
Looked at from the literal, this sentence sounds like a contradiction or a metaphor for something vague, not specified. But look at it from the idea that the sentence is a correspondence for the interior-rational idea. In this new orientation, the literal becomes less opaque allowing us to perceive the interior, to some varying extent. The sentence is an instance of the spiritual Doctrine discussed throughout the book. By looking at it as a correspondence, we can reflect of how it applies to our willing and thinking every hour of the day. This makes sense since the glorification series recapitulate how we are to be regenerated (xx). Jesus had a threefold self as we do, meaning He had inherited and acquired affections in the will, He had memory-knowledges from the Old Testament that He acquired by studying it as the Word, and He had a sensorimotor mind that served to exert control over His corporeal functions. The Writings explain that, as Jesus grew He experienced a revelation from within that He was the Word He was reading (xx). This happened at an early age in childhood and the details of it are explained Arcana Coelestia when discussing the Call of Abraham and Abram’s first realization of the existence and presence of Jehovah (xx).
Now Jesus knew who He was and how He is to redeem the human race. He was the same Person as Jehovah, the Lord from eternity, but He was not the same conscious awareness. Applying this to ourself: If you have undergone reformation you can ask yourself: Was this the same me before and after? As I look back on myself, I shudder at how I was. But I can also look at myself today and have plenty things to be aghast about. Myself who is feeling ashamed, aghast, and repentant is myself from eternity because it is my conscience, and my conscience is the Lord (xx). Myself from eternity is as different from myself born in time, as heaven is different from earth, or as an angel is different from a man on earth. Yet it would be foolish to say that I’m not the same person.
When I get to heaven and I become an angel, what happens? It is an image of the glorification series. My self born on earth is united to myself born from eternity, and thus I am an angel. The same Person as Jehovah is not the same willing, thinking, and sensing by Jesus. Myself born from eternity is my rational consciousness as my conscience. This is the correspondence to the Divine. When you read about conscience in the Writings you are being told something about how the Divine of the Lord is within His Human. This is what we call the Divine Human, namely, how the Lord from eternity is within the Lord born in time.
Note further, that it would be foolish to think that Jehovah does things by means of Jesus, as many people believe who pray the Father in the Name of Jesus (xx). It would be equivalent in saying that myself from eternity does things by means of myself born in time. In other words, everybody sees that we cannot go around in our daily activities and claim that we are not doing the things, but our conscience is. This is speaking foolishly. Instead, we say that we are doing the things from conscience, or in accordance with conscience. Jehovah does not act by means of Jesus, but rather, Jesus acts from Jehovah, or in accordance with Jehovah (xx). “The expression, “I and the Father are one” refers to the idea that, since the Lord glorified Himself, it is the Human of the Lord that now acts. It acts from the Divine, or in accordance with the Divine.
The mind that thinks that the Father acts by means of Jesus, or for the sake of Jesus, is in the Letter, which is natural. The mind that thinks the Jesus acts from the Father, is a New Church mind from the Writings. And returning to the Letter, we find plenty confirmations in the Lord’s descriptions in the New Testament, as for instance, that all things have been given to the Son (xx). Now we can see that this refers to the Human acts from the Divine, not the Divine through the Human.
The mind in the natural of the Letter cannot see a distinction between the two ways of phrasing it, and whatever difference there may be, it cannot see it. What you can’t see, you can’t understand, and what you can’t understand you can’t love, and what you can’t love is not yours, hence useless for salvation. So the Lord gives us to see the distinction. We do not see distinctly or clearly, to be sure. This is a matter of further and further enlightenment about something we already have implanted within the initial perception of it. Think how you would feel if someone persisted in addressing your conscience instead of you. It would be ludicrous and could not support normal social relations, hence all of society would fall. This is why the New Church mind only prays to the Lord Jesus and never to the Father Jehovah, for this would be acting like a thief, in the Lord’s own words (xx).
There is a resistance in us to the idea that it is not the Divine Father who runs things in the universe, but the Divine Human as Jesus, who runs the universe from the Divine Father. Our evil affections have a hope of surviving in us if it is the Divine Father who runs things, but they are annihilated and banished in us if it is the Divine Human who runs things. The reasons for this will be confirmed one day by the Letter as the men of the Church are gradually regenerated. We need the idea of the Divine Human running the universe, in order to regenerate. We cannot regenerate as long as we hold on to the notion that it is the Divine Father who runs things.
To the Western Christian Church there is an indigenous nonduality between Father and Son. The Athanasian Creed asserts that Father and Son are of “one substance” but of “two Persons.” Both propositions are false and led to the vastation of that Church (AE 114; xx). The idea of one substance is a nonduality and was forced upon the mind by the necessity to maintain the idea of “Two Divine Persons from Eternity.” Without knowledge of discrete degrees (DLW 173-281) the mind can only think of one substance for both Father and Son. Nonduality is what the mind falls back on again and again without the knowledge of discrete degrees (to be found only in the Writings). The duality in all of the Writings applies here as well: The Father is the substance called Esse or Divine Love; the Son is the form of the substance, called Existere or Divine Truth. This duality of substance and form is also a duality in aspects of function because function or use arises from substance in a particular form (DL 4).
Chapter 3, Section 3
The concept of “unity” is entirely different from the concept of nonduality. In unity dualities do not change or lose their absolute and permanent distinctiveness, but rather contribute to a new function (or use), so that the function possible when there is a union is higher or more perfect than the function possible when the two or more are single and are not united into one. In God, infinite dualities are united into one (DLW 17, 22). The Lord sees the entire human race—past, present, and future, as one Grand Human in which numberless dualities and distinctions function together in an integrated whole (HH 59). Each elements in such a union contribute something diverse and unique to the whole as is communicated mutually to every one else, thus enhancing the perfection of the whole. In contrast, a collection of homogenous elements cannot function as a unity.
The Writings teach a view of the Holy Spirit that is compatible with this rational idea of unity. The Lord’s management of the universe has three universal aspects—creating, preserving, and re-creating. “Creating” refers to bringing the physical and spiritual worlds into existence. “Preserving” refers to managing every event so that the whole doesn’t break down and keeps growing and being perfected. “Re-creating” refers to new creations within what’s already been created, so that the perfection of the whole can continue to eternity. In ancient times these three universal functions of God were represented by different Names given to God. For creating, the Name of Creator—in Christian tradition Jehovah, or the Father. For preserving, the Name of the Son—Jesus Christ or the Messiah, in Christian tradition. For re-creating, the Name of the Holy Spirit. In religious terms, the three functions are Creator, Savior, and Holy Spirit.
These three functions represent three evolutionary steps in the human race’s capacity to relate to God more and more spiritually, rather than naturally. For instance, Jehovah the Creator was revealed in the Old Testament thousands of years ago. Then, Jesus Christ the Messiah was revealed in the New Testament two thousand years ago. Then, the Divine Human, was revealed in the eighteenth century in the Writings. This last revelation shows that what was historically believed to be God in three Persons is actually God in One Person and the three Divine functions.
In the Divine Human, that is the Lord, the three discrete and absolutely distinct aspects are united into one. Jehovah is united to Jesus, making one Divine Person whose inmost is Jehovah and whose outmost is Jesus. The third aspect or function issues from this absolute duality in the One Lord. The Writings call this the Divine Proceeding or Holy spirit.
The Writings teach that the Lord creates everything by intermediaries, not by disconnected elements (HH 9, 37). The first step in creation was the spiritual Sun which is made of Divine Good, in the interior, and Divine Truth in the exterior. These Divine Substances are infinite, uncreate, and the Divine in Itself, Changeless, eternally the same. The light proceeding from this Sun, with the heat within it, was the next step. As it proceeded away and outward, it created atmospheres of increasing “density.” These atmospheres are arranged into discrete degrees of perfection from most perfect as it proceeds, to less and less perfect until it reaches the outmost reaches called matter, space, and time. This successive sequence of discrete atmospheres is retained in every element or compound down the line. The earliest atmospheres (closest to the spiritual Sun) are inmost within the constitution of every object. The later atmospheres (furthest away from the spiritual Sun) are least perfect, most gross in their quality and capacity.
Every object is maintained in existence by this simultaneous order, from which the Lord operates from firsts (or inmosts) to lasts (or ultimates) (DP 124 ). And it is this way that the Lord manages every detail in the universe. The purpose of creation is to provide a habitation for human beings (DP 324). They are first born in a physical body on some earth in the natural universe. Their mind is created out of spiritual elements, not natural like the body. When the body dies, the mind then awakens in the spiritual world and in a spiritual body to live forever. The quality of life in the spiritual world is determined by the mind’s constitution or formation. This formation is achieved during life in the body. It becomes of utmost importance therefore to form the New Church mind through active participation with the Lord’s commandments as specified in the Writings.
From the spiritual Sun proceed love (=spiritual heat) and truth (=spiritual light) as two distinct things, but united into one. Although these two Proceed as One from the spiritual Sun, they are then divided in creation (DP 14-5). The idea of Divine Love and Wisdom United as One may appear at first as a nonduality, but they are a duality. To make a one, the composing elements must retain their permanent distinct character which makes them different (AC 9613, DLW 22). It is the unity that is one, not the composing dualities. The duality of the composing elements remains absolute and permanent. In nonduality there is no such unity of distinct elements but an amalgam that eliminates the distinctiveness of the elements. In nonduality discrete degrees become continuous, which is an impossibility in the duality of the Writings.
People who have turned away from thinking about the Divine when they see wonders in nature, and as a result become sense-oriented, do not consider that the sight of the eye is so crude that it sees a number of tiny insects as a single, indistinct mass, and yet that each of them is organically formed to be capable of sensation and movement, thus that they have been endowed with fibers and vessels, including little hearts, air passages, viscera and brains; that these have been woven together out of the finest elements in nature; and that these structures correspond to some activity of life, by which even the least of these are individually actuated.
Since the vision of the eye is so crude that a number of such creatures, each with countless components in it, looks to the sight like a small, indistinct mass, and yet people who are sense-oriented think and judge in accordance with that sight, it is apparent how obtuse their minds have become, and thus in what darkness they are regarding spiritual matters. (DLW 353)
The Writings discuss the history of the idea of a Trinity in the Christian Church and identifies it as the chief cause of spiritual breakdown in the Christian Church that eventually led to its vastation (TCR 177). The idea of Three Divine Persons is injurious because the mind is then logically compelled to think of three Divine Gods, but this is forbidden by Church Doctrine. And so the mind of the believer is beleaguered with an idea impossible to believe rationally. Yet this idea continues to be taught generation after generation, despite the irrationality of it, as recognized by those who yet uphold it as Church Doctrine. Here is a current version of its intellectual justification:
The Christian Church believes in the doctrine of the Trinity. That means the Church believes that God is three persons and yet God is one God. What does this mean, and why does it matter? Some say it is the theology of a free and democratic society. Others say it is impossible arithmetic.
So the church worships and prays to the three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They are quite clearly distinct from each other, and yet they freely work together in harmony. We pray to each of these as truly divine.
So why not say "three Gods"?
But the church does not speak about the three gods. It speaks about the threeness of God. Why? Because they can't be separated in our minds like three human beings can. Three people may be close friends, but they still look different and have different thoughts and feelings. The three divine persons are not in different places, for God is not a being in space and time, and has no place, shape, size or color. God is equally present everywhere. The three persons are not like stories of the ancient Greek gods, who often disagreed and fought with each other. They share one purpose of love for us, and act together for that purpose. When the church says "three persons, yet one God", it means that these three persons freely choose to share one purpose.
Thus the Trinity is a very simple idea.
(Critical Questions about the Christian Faith: Douglas Miller “The Trinity: why does it matter?” on the Web at
vic.uca.org.au/doclit/trinity.html accessed June 2002)
You can see where the logic is placed in this position: “They share one purpose of love for us, and act together for that purpose.” There is an underlying conviction of the Oneness of God based on the entire Bible with the invented idea of three Divine Persons in the one Godhead. This idea does not appear in the Bible—it couldn’t since it’s not rational. It is recognized that the idea was invented by the Nicene Council of Bishops in 325 AD, for the purpose of fighting the Arian heresy that was threatening the Christian religion (TCR 137). This heresy was that Jesus was human, not Divine. The Council convened in Nicea and issued the new idea of Jesus as the “Son from Eternity” and “born in time.” Nowhere in the New Testament is such an idea to be found. Instead, the Apostles all knew and understood that Jesus was the incarnated Jehovah Himself. Current belief in the idea of Three Divine Persons is further reinforced by many passages in the New Testament that appear to agree with the idea. People are faced with passages that talk as if there were three Persons of Deity involved in the events. Here is one modern version:
God is a community
Now the New Testament never uses the word "Trinity", but it often speaks about the three different persons. We read that Christ prayed to the Father. We read that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to recall people to Christ. Paul often speaks of "God the Father", "the Lord Jesus Christ", and "the Holy Spirit". So the notion that we praise all three persons as God, yet as different from each other, is already there in the New Testament.
One example: in Mark's gospel, we read the story of Jesus' baptism (Mark 1:9-11). We read that Jesus was baptized by John in the river Jordan, and that the Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove, so that he might be strengthened for his ministry of calling people to God. We also read that the voice from above declared "You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased". So you have the three persons in the one passage: the voice of the Father speaking from above, the Spirit coming down from the Father to strengthen Jesus, and Jesus from Nazareth being declared to be the Son of God.
Note the subtitle on top: “God is a community.” And the sentence in the prior quote: “They share one purpose of love for us, and act together for that purpose. When the church says "three persons, yet one God", it means that these three persons freely choose to share one purpose.” The nonduality in this explanation is to view God in terms that appropriate for human beings, rather than the other way round, as in dualism. The idea of “God is a community” and the related idea of “three persons freely choosing one purpose” are not rational ideas about God but natural, invented not received. In dualism we are mindful that there is a distinct and discrete difference between uncreate and create, and they cannot be commingled. God cannot be a community of persons like human beings are. God is called King, because “king” corresponds to truth in the Word. God is not actually a king—He is called King on account of the correspondences (LORD 42).
God cannot be a community, which is a compound concept applied to human beings. Humans can be properly said to love this or that even though the Lord is Love and Wisdom Itself. In dualism this is explained by pointing out that the love humans have does not belong to them but remains the Lord’s love in them. The Lord grants human beings to receive Love from Him into the will, and this love in them remains His (BE 5). The love in us is not the same as His Love, but it is an individual adaptation and reception. Nevertheless, the essence or inmost of this adapted love is still the Lord. At no time can we say that humans have love from themselves for love is uncreate and humans are created—the two can never be commingled. Whenever they are commingled, duality is destroyed and nonduality reigns.
The passages in the New Testament that refer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be logically explained if dualism is maintained. This is done in the Writings (TCR, chs. I-III). The dualist explanation is given in both the Old and New Testaments if one pays attention to all the relevant passages. One idea is that it is the Father Himself, or the Lord Jehovah from eternity, who was incarnated as the Divine Child (LORD 19). The second idea is that Jehovah God calls Himself repeatedly as the Only Savior and Redeemer, who by His Own Hand redeems and saves the world (TCR 81). And a third idea is that Jesus underwent a gradual change from His Birth to His Resurrection and Ascension. His change is described by alternating states between being weak--suffering, tempted and praying to the Father in Himself, and states of being Divine and One with the Father—performing miracles, glowing like the sun and speaking to spirits, passing through physical barriers, appearing in several places simultaneously, declaring Himself to be the Word or the Creator from the beginning, etc.
Clearly all the pieces of the puzzle are in revelation so that there is no need at all to fabricate human explanations, which invariably, will downgrade into nonduality and a mere natural idea of God. Into this idea no Divine influx is possible and a religion based on it becomes spurious and no longer serviceable for regeneration, hence salvation (DLW 285).
On the other hand, if we affirm the identity of Person between Father/Son are we not creating another nonduality? No, since the identity of Father/Son as Person is nothing else than the unity of substance between Love and Truth. Father as such is not a Person; Son as such is not a Person—there is no nonduality here. If Father had been a Person, and if Son had been a Person, then asserting that they are one Person would be nonduality. It is like the unity in the human being that images the unity of the Lord who is the Divine Human. A human person is achieved when three functions (or aspects) unite into a one:
q the soul-spirit-mind (created as an image of the Father function)
q the brain-body-senses (created as an image of the Son function)
q the motor power that issues from the first two when they are united into one (created as an image of the Holy Spirit)
The unity of these three cannot be considered a nonduality since all the originating aspects are retained in the unity. Nonduality requires that only one part of each duality be retained while any other is dissipated. It is similar with the body that contains innumerable dualities of function (or aspect) being united into one. Care must therefore be taken that unity be not confused with nonduality. A conjugial couple is united into one (CL 158). This cannot be considered a nonduality but only a psychobiological unity of function between husband and wife—an eternal duality.
The Jesus/Jehovah duality, or Son/Father duality, is a real duality that does not dissolve. The Father Aspect remains a permanent reference for the Lord’s Esse (Divine Love), while the Son Aspect remains a permanent reference for the Lord’s Existere (Divine Truth). It is never the case that this permanent duality of Aspect can ever be dissolved into a nonduality of substance. The expression in the New Testament “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30) does not refer to a nonduality of substance but to a permanent duality of Aspects and a permanent unity of Person. If one may paraphrase the Lord: I, whom you see as the Son before you, and the Father whom you know but have never seen and can never see, are one and the same Person.
This is a Divine reaffirmation of a permanent duality between the invisible and visible Aspects of God. It may be that only a New Church mind can apprehend this clearly. But anyone on this earth can have a New Church mind who reads the Writings as the Lord in His Word of the Second Coming and makes it the exclusive source of all spiritual truths in their mind. This activity systematically rearranges all the concepts and one’s reasoning, setting everything in the mind in a rational order, so that the mind reflects the true order into which the world is set according to the new revelations of the Second Coming. Until then our mind is in disarray and contrary to the rational form of truth and reality. Whatever idea or principle that comes from any other source but the Writings comes from the unregenerate human proprium because no other method of regeneration has been provided by the Lord except through the Word (TCR 580; xx).
Chapter 3, Section 4
For every nation the Lord provides a universal means of salvation. (AE 1180)
The idea that people are saved by religious membership is a subtle and pernicious form of nonduality in the Christian religion, but also in all religions. And there may be those that are of the New Church religion who also have this belief. But religion does not save. What saves is a life according to the Doctrine of the Word. All religions that are legitimate are based on the idea of God who commands people to obey Him, as a result of which we have our fate in heaven or in hell. A religion or belief system that doesn’t teach this is not legitimate, meaning, that it is not from God but from self and the devil (xx). Nevertheless, religion cannot determine our fate but only how we live our life in accordance with our understanding of religious doctrine. This makes sense as the following discussion will show. Further, those who do not have religion can be saved equally with those who have a legitimate religion. This is because anyone can be saved merely by obeying their conscience and leading a life consistent with it. The Lord can then unconsciously guide such an individual to Himself with a life that leads to heaven.
In the new age of the Second Coming, no one can be regenerated except through the Writings and the truths with humankind that henceforth will come from the Writings . Those who do not know the Writings in this life are instructed in its truths by the angels when they arrive in the afterlife (HH 512, 516).
It strikes people as hyperbole or dogmatism to say that one can regenerate only through the Writings when the Writings have remained a minute part of the readership on this planet even though they’ve been around and public for 231 years. Why would God choose such an ineffective method of regeneration when His purpose is to save as many as He can? And would it be fair and loving to keep the Writings from most people and then to condemn them for not habit it around? By way of answer let’s study this next passage from the True Christian Religion, the last work of the Writings that was published by Swedenborg in 1771, just a few months before his passing on to the world he had described in so much detail in these books for the last 27 years of his life in the physical body. The passage deals with how every individual on earth is regenerated by the Lord.
The reason why everyone can be regenerated depending on his state, is that the process is different with the simple and the learned, with those who have different pursuits, and undertake different duties; with those who research into the externals of the Word and those who research into its internals; with those whose parentage has brought them into natural good and those who have been brought into evil; with those who from childhood have plunged into the world's vanities, and those who have sooner or later distanced themselves from them. In short, there is a difference between those who make up the Lord's external church and those who make up the internal one. In this there is infinite variety, just as there is in faces and characters. But still each can be regenerated and saved depending on his state.
 The truth of this can be established from the heavens, to which all who are regenerated come, being three, highest, middle and lowest. Those come to the highest who through regeneration have acquired love to the Lord; to the middle one those who have acquired love towards the neighbour; to the lowest those who only exhibit external charity, and at the same time acknowledge the Lord as God the Redeemer and Savior. All of these are saved, but in different ways.
 The reason why all can be regenerated and so saved is that the Lord is present with His Divine good and truth with every person. This is the source of his life, and of his ability to understand and will, and of the free will he has in spiritual matters; no one is without these. Moreover the means are given. Christians have the means in the Word, non-Christians in any religion at all, if it teaches the existence of God and commandments about good and evil. From this it follows that everyone can be saved. Consequently, if a person is not saved, it is not the Lord who is to blame but the person; and he is to blame for failing to co-operate. (TCR 580)
Note especially this in paragraph 1: “each can be regenerated and saved depending on his state.” So this is the first thing to establish from the Writings, namely, that everyone can be regenerated. There is no condemning of the Lord to hell because someone has never heard of the Writings, or even, having heard of it and read some, have walked away from it. There are no exceptions to this Divine rule: each can be regenerated.
Next, we can note that the process of being regenerated is unique to each person’s “state” or “character.” This makes sense because reformation is the process of character modification and regeneration is the ensuing process of character rebirth and up building. Therefore the modification and up building of a regenerated character is going to depend on each unique individual and character. Note also that even those who have the Writings are regenerated according to their own state. Those who focus on the literal of the Writings, “those who research into the externals,” are regenerated differently than those who focus on the spiritual sense of the Writings, “those who research into its internals.” And the character we form for ourselves prior to reformation also influences how we are regenerated. Those who ignored the voice of their conscience, “those who from childhood have plunged into the world's vanities,” are regenerated differently than those who listened to their conscience instead of their evil desires, “those who have sooner or later distanced themselves from them.” It makes sense therefore that regeneration is accomplished by the Lord in “infinite variety, just as there is in faces and characters.”
All those who are regenerated by the Lord enter heaven, and since they are all of different character it must be that there is an infinite variety of heavens, though they are grouped into three main regions or lifestyles. The highest group, called the Third Heaven of the Celestial Angels, are those who have been regenerated to the highest level of their mind called the celestial. This type of regeneration is effected by one’s love for the Lord. Since we can struggle against our evil affections from many motives and goals, the outcome will also depend on what the goal or motive was. Those whose motive was their love for the Lord, and especially, as the Divine Human, are regenerated to the highest level of human existence. They are “those who have acquired love towards the Lord.”
But doesn’t every good person love God? Yes, but not in the same way. People who are regenerated to the level of their spiritual mind, which below the celestial, are congregated in the Second Heaven of the Spiritual Angels. They are “those who have acquired love towards the neighbour.” They love the Lord, but they love His Word and Church more. They have religion and faith, while the celestial angels do not have religion or faith but perception, which is an more direct way of relating to the Divine Truth, and they have this as a result of their love for the Lord. While the spiritual angels have understanding of the Lord, but not perception, because their affections are centered on the Writings first, and then, and the Lord. Both love the Lord and the Divine of the Writings, but not in the same way. And those who are regenerated to the natural-spiritual level make up the First Heaven of Natural Angels. They are “those who only exhibit external charity” by obedience to religious duties and therefore they only acknowledge God and the Writings as the highest authority, but do not rearrange everything in their mind according to the Writings. Internally they retain their passion for their culture, interests, and activities.
Note this statement in the last paragraph of the quote above (TCR 580): “The reason why all can be regenerated and so saved is that the Lord is present with His Divine good and truth with every person. This is the source of his life, and of his ability to understand and will, and of the free will he has in spiritual matters; no one is without these.” This is an affirmation of the fact that the Lord’s relationship to each individual is independent of their religion or belief system! This new idea and revelation runs smack against almost all other religions and human associations. It is generally believed that your group is closer to God than another group, and that to get close to God everybody must do what your group is doing and believing. And yet this is not true any more today and for all the future to come. With the Second Coming the Lord has completed the creation or evolution of the human race (xx).
And He now has revealed Himself in His Divine Rational so that our rational mind can fully understand and perceive Him. Nothing more is left to reveal on the outside, but only on the inside. Hence the Writings are the last of the threefold Word, the Crown of Churches (xx). From now on to forever the Lord is with every individual independently of religion, worship, and knowledge. “This is the source of his life, and of his ability to understand and will, and of the free will he has in spiritual matters; no one is without these.”
So now the only requirement for regeneration is for the individual to acknowledge the reality of the Lord’s presence in him. This acknowledgment, when sincere, then leads to the desire to reform and regenerate. This activity is the preparation for one of the many heavens. And if there is permanent unwillingness of the individual to acknowledge the Lord’s presence, there is no preparation for heaven, in which case, the individual who arrives that way in the afterlife, sinks down from the evil affections that are still present. And they take the individual to one of the varieties of hells, in accordance with the variety of their evils. There they live with others like themselves, amidst their evils.
The passage ends this way: “Christians have the means in the Word, non-Christians in any religion at all, if it teaches the existence of God and commandments about good and evil. From this it follows that everyone can be saved. Consequently, if a person is not saved, it is not the Lord who is to blame but the person; and he is to blame for failing to co-operate” (TCR 580). For the New Church mind “Christians” here means those who are forming a New Church mind for themselves through the Writings. “Non-Christians” refer to all others who have a religion and live according to the doctrine of their religion. All religions are animated by the Lord no matter what its content is, as long as it is legitimate. This means that they teach the existence of God and God’s commandments or rules for life in relation to heaven and hell. All others who have an illegitimate belief system contrary to the legitimate one, as just defined, cannot be regenerated. The Lord assures us that those who are born into an illegitimate belief system can still be regenerated if only they obey their conscience, which is independent of the belief system and culture, and is activated in their mind by the Lord (xx). Therefore the conclusion in the last sentence makes sense: “Consequently, if a person is not saved, it is not the Lord who is to blame but the person; and he is to blame for failing to co-operate” (TCR 580).
The Lord never insists that people change their childhood religion in order to be admitted to their Heaven (LJP 98). For those who are forming the New Church mind in themselves, only the Writings must be used as a source for spiritual truths. This is asserted in the Writings where it is said that only the Word can be a source of intelligence and wisdom for angels and for those on earth who are of the New Church (AR 707) (see also the Introduction to Volume 1 above).
At this day the spiritual sense of the Word has been revealed from the Lord, because the doctrine of genuine truth has now been revealed, which doctrine is partly contained in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and now in the small works, which are being given to the public; and because that doctrine, and no other, agrees with the spiritual sense of the Word, therefore that sense, together with the science of correspondences, has now for the first time been disclosed. That sense is also signified by the Lord's appearing in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:30, 31), in which chapter it treats of the consummation of the age, by which is meant the last time of the church. (De Verbo 7)
“At this day” refers to the regeneration of the New Church mind. “The Word” refers to the Writings. Thus, the regenerated New Church mind is enlightened by the Lord so that it can see the “spiritual sense” of the Writings. The spiritual sense of the Writings are called the “Doctrine of the New Jerusalem” which is given “to the public,” meaning, to all of the human race from any religion or belief system. Doctrine in the New Church mind cannot be equated with the literal of the Writings but only with the inner sense in it. Prior to our reformation, which takes place in adulthood, we believe that the Writings are the spiritual sense of the Old and New Testament. This is an inevitable impression which we get from our exclusive focus on the literal of the Writings. The Writings use natural language to describe the details of the correspondences in the Old and New Testaments. It necessarily talks about the inner sense of the Old and New Testaments. We therefore assume that what we are reading is the inner sense of the Old and New Testaments. But this is only an impression made possible by our inability to understand that natural language cannot express spiritual content (xx).
What in particular concerns the doctrine that now follows, is that it also is out of heaven, because it is from the spiritual sense of the Word; and the spiritual sense of the Word is identical with the doctrine which is in heaven. (NJHD 7)
But after reformation and when regeneration begins, the Lord gives enlightenment as we read the Writings and apply it to our daily willing in thinking. Now we can perceive new meaning in the old familiar sentences. This new meaning is the spiritual sense of the Writings. This sense is given gradually and in parts, in exact proportion to our progress in regeneration. Now for example, when we read anything in the Writings about “the Word” we can perceive that it is talking about the Writings. (See Chapter 8 Sections 3 to 5). Now we can see that the Heavenly Doctrine cannot be expressed in natural language and that the spiritual sense being discussed everywhere in the Writings is not in the literal sentences but in the understanding when enlightened.
The literal of the Writings are for the external rational level of thinking. This is in the unregenerate rational mind. These external rational ideas and reasoning must be then be taken into our mind, digested there, and finally understood in a spiritual sense when enlightened by the Lord. This new inner understanding is called Doctrine (TCR 245). Therefore Doctrine in our understanding is at first natural, but later, spiritual.
This spiritual Doctrine in the understanding must be the basis of our willing and thinking in our everyday activities and judgments. Of course, without the external literal of the Writings, this spiritual Doctrine could not exist in our mind, or anywhere else. The spiritual Doctrine in our understanding is the spiritual meaning perceivable within the letter of the Writings when enlightened, and therefore the spiritual sense can only exist in our mind and never in the literal of a natural language. It is in the interior of the understanding that we receive enlightenment from the Lord. Without this enlightenment from within, there is no spiritual Doctrine in our mind but only the literal statements of the Writings (TCR 226). Clearly, then, ideas that come to us from elsewhere than the literal of the Writings cannot be so enlightened by the Lord and cannot produce any spiritual Doctrine. This is because the Lord enlightens only that which comes from Him, and everything in the Writings comes from Him (TCR 779).
This mental process of regeneration shaped exclusively by the Writings applies to the generations on this planet born since the Second Coming. Prior generations or civilizations each received their own revelations from the Lord (AC 10632). But in the course of time these revelations (or the Church) are consummated by the love of self and the world (DP 328). Until at last there is not a single truth left in that Church and it is called a “dry land.” (AC 806). The Lord then raises a new Church through new revelations given through an individual. These new revelations are specifically suited and adapted to the genius of the new human civilization (or mind). Not a single spiritual truth given to an earlier Church can be transferred or used by the new Church (SPECIMEN 14, INV 5). To attempt to do so would be to commingle what is false with what is true, and this permanently destroys the rationality of the New Church mind.
The revelations historically retained by the many forms of Eastern nonduality may have had beneficial uses to those generations in Asia prior to the Lord’s First Coming. And it is conceivable that even today those revelations serve a useful purpose in life for those who are unable or unwilling to align their faith with the Lord’s First Coming (Historical Christians) and His Second Coming (New Church Christians). But for Christians to admit into their understanding and faith any ideas from nonduality is to commingle old and new revelations—a spiritually fatal act, as the Lord says explicitly in the New Testament (Matt. 9:17, Luke 5:39, see AE 376) ) and in the Writings (DP 202, 234). Their power needs to be neutralized by identifying them in memory and withholding our approval:
Fourth: When man is in evil many truths may be introduced into his understanding, and these may be stored up in his memory, and yet not be profaned. This is because the understanding does not flow into the will, but the will into the understanding; and as it does not flow into the will many truths may be received by the understanding and stored up in the memory, and yet not be mingled with the evil of the will; and thus what is holy may not be profaned. Moreover, it is incumbent upon everyone to learn truths from the Word or from preaching, to lay them up in the memory and to ponder over them. For from the truths that are in the memory and that enter the thought from the memory the understanding must teach the will, that is, must teach the man what to do. This, therefore, is the principal means of reformation. When truths are only in the understanding and from it in the memory, they are not in the man, but outside of him. (DP 233:7; see also DP 234)
One commentator of an earlier draft of this book objected to the idea that not a single spiritual truth can be admitted in the New Church mind if its source is not the Writings: “Notice, for example, how the Lord made use of plenty of truths from the letters of Paul in the Writings. As long as we view all things in the light of the Writings, it can be used in the New Church.” My answer is that we could not do that. We could not read Paul and derive spiritual truths from it if we had not read it in the Writings. The useful ideas of Paul are taken up in the Writings and explained. They then become truths, not from Paul, but from the Writings. This is shown by the fact that we cannot go to the New Testament and extract truths from it that are not in the Writings or through concepts from the Writings. If we had been able to do so, the Second Coming would not have been essential for salvation. The Lord could have wrought regeneration in us through the New Testament.
Since, then, everyone in every religion knows the evils and falsities from evils that must be shunned, and having shunned them knows the goods that must be done and the truths that must be believed, it is clear that this is provided by the Lord as the universal means of salvation with every nation that has any religion.
 With Christians this means exists in all fullness; it also exists, though not in fullness, with Mohammedans and Gentiles. The remaining things, by which they are distinguished, are either ceremonials which are of little consequence, or are goods that may be done or not done, or truths that may be believed or not believed, and yet man be saved. What these things amount to man can see when evils are removed.
A Christian sees this from the Word, a Mohammedan from the Koran, and a Gentile from his religious principle.
A Christian sees from the Word that God is one, that the Lord is the Savior of the world, that all good that is good in itself, and all truth that is true in itself, is from God, and nothing of it from man; that there must be Baptism and the Holy Supper, that there is a heaven and that there is a hell, that there is a life after death, and that he who does good comes into heaven, and he who does evil into hell. These things he believes from truth and does from good when he is not in evil. Other things that are not in accord with these and with the Decalogue he may pass by.
A Mohammedan sees from the Koran that God is one, that the Lord is the Son of God, and that all good is from God, that there is a heaven and that there is a hell, that there is a life after death, and that the evils forbidden in the commandments of the Decalogue must be shunned. If he does these latter things he also believes the former and is saved.
A Gentile sees from his religious principle that there is a God, that He must be regarded as holy and be worshiped, that good is from Him, that there is a heaven and that there is a hell, that there is a life after death, that the evils forbidden in the Decalogue must be shunned. If he does these things and believes them he is saved.
And as many Gentiles perceive God to be Man, and as God-Man is the Lord, so after death when they are instructed by angels they acknowledge the Lord, and afterwards receive truths from the Lord that they had not before known. They are not condemned because of their not having the ordinances of Baptism and the Holy Supper; the Holy Supper and Baptism are for those only who are in possession of the Word, and to whom the Lord is known from the Word; for they are symbols of that church, and are attestations and certifications that those who believe and live according to the Lord's commandments in the Word are saved. (AE 1180)
Here we see again that the Lord has taken charge of all religions and of all individuals. There is something more important than religious membership, namely, shunning evils as sins against God. This formula is of the New Church mind and for everyone else. The same formula henceforth for all of humankind. Religion itself is only an introduction to the process of regeneration or salvation, and is not required for it. Religion is a set of cultural activities and affirmations in relation to God and these are not the essential things but “the remaining things, by which they are distinguished, [and] are either ceremonials which are which are of little consequence, or are goods that may be done or not done, or truths that may be believed or not believed.”
Chapter 3, Section 5
There are concepts of nonduality in both Eastern and Western traditions since discrete degrees are unknown. A universal example is the widespread belief that spiritual forces from spirits or demons can inflow into the body and cause diseases. This is found in Hinduism and other Eastern religions as well as in Western forms of voodoo and Judaeo-Christian notions involving superstition, possession, and exorcism. In contrast, the Writings give us rational concepts of dualism to account for how diseases of the body are caused by the activity of infernal spirits:
It is only permitted for Hell to inflow into the cupidities and falsities pertaining to man - not into man's organs." (SD 4585)
Spirits can only inflow into the falsities and lusts of the mind since the mind and the spirits are in continuous degree within the spiritual world. Diseases of the body are caused by correspondence to these interactions in the mind between spirit societies and each individual on earth. Without the idea of discrete degrees, people’s thinking process must slide down into nonduality, and hence corporeal spirituality. The infernal spirits are in this state of mind.
Western nonduality is rooted in the traditions of religious mysticism that fosters the notion of a sensuous and direct contact with the Lord. Various specialized sensuous practices are said to facilitate this “ecstatic” state of consciousness—solitude, fasting, self-inflicted pain, vow of silence, vow of celibacy, repeating prayers over and over again, concentrating very hard while praying or reading the Bible, doing low level or denigrating jobs to punish one’s spirit for pride, abstaining from certain foods, special initiation rituals, etc. Mysticism and New Age spirituality are Western concepts of nonduality whose central goal is to achieve direct sensuous God-consciousness. This is a form nonduality because direct sensuous contact with God necessarily assumes that God and human beings are of the same discrete substance. Only within the same discrete substance can direct sensuous contact take place.
In contrast to this, New Church duality sets God apart from human beings into discrete degrees so that only rational or correspondential contact or communication can take place. The only way we can enjoy direct conscious communication with the Lord is through the Word, for the Word is the Lord speaking to our external rational (AC 8200). Swedenborg was a unique exception to this law and constituted the greatest miracle of all since the beginning of history:
The manifestation of the Lord in person, and introduction by the Lord into the spiritual world, both as to sight and as to hearing and speech, surpasses all miracles; for nowhere in history do we read that such an intercourse with angels and spirits has been granted from the creation of the world. For I am there with the angels daily, even as I am in the world with men, and now for twenty-seven years.
Evidences of this intercourse are the books published by me concerning Heaven and Hell, and also the memorable relations in the last work, entitled THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION; further, what has been there related concerning Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, and concerning the inhabitants of a number of kingdoms; besides the various evidences which are known in the world, and, in addition, many others which are not known. Say, who has ever before known anything concerning heaven and hell? Who has known anything concerning man's state after death? Who, anything concerning spirits and angels? etc., etc. (INV 43)
There is a rational explanation why no one else can expect to duplicate Swedenborg’s unique experience. In the age of rational faith the Lord avoids sensuous communication or contact with anyone because this hurts the development of the person’s rational consciousness (AC 7809; HH 249). In the afterlife we need the interior rational consciousness to reach our celestial level from which we can then enjoy the sensuous experiences of heaven such as the surrounding beauty and the delights of conjugial love. But if we reverse this order so that we arrive in the afterlife with a sensuous consciousness of God in which there is little rational consciousness, the spirit sinks down into corporeal consciousness and existence, and this is infernal (HD 170). God cannot come to such spirits as the path outward to awareness in the spirit’s mind is blocked by the external rational. This external rational is turned outward (or downward) and believes only that which is sensuous in the external (AC 978, 4286; AE 355:14). In the afterlife such external beliefs of religion fall off and vanish, leaving behind a ferocious sub-human who believes only in self (TCR 69). Nonduality is nothing else than sensuous consciousness united to an external rational in which there is nothing spiritual whatsoever. For the genuine spiritual or celestial comes only from heaven through the interior rational that must be gradually opened by a life of genuine religion and regeneration.
For more discussion on sensuous and rational consciousness, see Chapter 5, Sections 3.
Nonduality in the Western mind forces an identity of substance between God, the cosmos, and self. This notion is clearly evident in the popular book “A Brief History of Everything” by Ken Wilber (Shambhala Books, 1996). The incompatibility between New Age nonduality and Christian dualism is explicitly pointed out in a review of the book by Douglas Groothuis, and published on the Web by the Christian Research Institute. (Accessed on the Web April 2002: www.equip.org/free/DN267.htm). Wilber’s cosmology is lukewarm in that it commingles nondualist and dualist concepts. He rejects the nonduality of scientific monism (only matter, space, and time exist), and wants to expand it to include “subjective experience, values, or mystical awareness.” These aren’t quantifiable yet they exist and are part of reality. Wilber’s name for these human dimensions is Spirit. One can see the damage of commingling when Wilber discards the dualist idea of God as Divine Person and instantiates a non- anthropomorphic Spirit. His rational idea of matter/spirit duality is immersed in the sensuous idea of a universal force dispersed in the universe. Quoting from the review by Groothuis:
"Kosmos is the manner in which Spirit manifests itself through certain invariant stages. … He views the source of the Kosmos as "Emptiness," which is "unbounded and unqualifiable" (27; see also 133). Wilber takes the mystical experience of Emptiness to be the highest state of consciousness. In this state, the subject-object relationship drops out and one realizes that he or she is one with the nondual reality." … "Wilber insists that the final reality is nondual an all-encompassing and absolute oneness (see 226-32).
It is evident that Western concepts of nonduality are commingled with remains of duality that are implied in the Western intellectual system and cannot be easily eradicated from the mind. But without the rational protection of discrete degrees and correspondences this commingling throws the mind into corporeal spirituality which invades the mind to the core and destroys the potential for opening the interior rational mind. This is the mind that sustains high consciousness levels (or heavens) in the afterlife. The absence of the rational is clearly seen in “mystical” statements such as this one, quoted by Groothuis:
“You are not in the Kosmos, the Kosmos is in you, and you are purest Emptiness. The entire universe is a transparent shimmering of the purest Emptiness. The entire universe is a transparent shimmering of the Divine" (229).
Groothuis clearly sees the absence of rationality in these nondual notions:
If nonduality is the comprehensive reality, as Wilber claims, this destroys all duality ... God's creation is one universe, but it consists of a great diversity of objects, events, and relationships. Neither God nor His creation will dissolve into a faceless oneness. ... One cannot have a personal relationship with Emptiness. If all is one, there can be no relationships, for a relationship involves at least two entities. Wilber says that "the twoness of experience is the fundamental lie, the primordial untruthfulness" (233).
Wilbers use of personal language for the impersonal absolute is a classic case of what Francis Schaeffer called "semantic mysticism"-- terms that have no philosophical application within a world view are invoked for a deceptive emotional effect. ... The problem of good and evil also plagues Wilber. Since Spirit is nondual, it is beyond ethical categories. Meaningful moral distinctions require an objective difference between the dualities of good and evil."
Here we see the spiritual danger: the denial of God’s Personhood which results in ourselves being God, an idea that is hostile to character regeneration since this requires a duality of superior to lower. If I am God, my salvation is not to change from evil to good with the help of God, but to let both fall off that I may awaken as God. In the end, Western nonduality falls into the corporeal spirituality called “mysticism” and “oneness with the universe.” Quoting Groothuis once more:
Wilber affirms that the ultimate reality is "unqualifiable" (137, 225). If so, then no one can logically affirm anything about it. What cannot be described cannot serve as an explanation for anything. Nevertheless, Wilber does qualify the Emptiness by saying it is the ground and goal of evolution, the source of all historical manifestations, the highest state of consciousness, and so forth. This is contradictory; he should remain silent (along with Emptiness)."
Chapter 3, Section 6
New Age spirituality and mystical ideas of Spirit, Universe, or God-consciousness, enter the mind through nonduality which is the denial or ignorance of discrete degrees and correspondences into which the universe is created (DLW 173-281). Nonduality in the form of secular humanism, pluralism, and religious mysticism are systems of thinking that are opposed to the fundamental dualities we take up from the Writings. In the afterlife all of these natural belief systems fall off and are dissipated since they are not part of the internal mind. What is then left behind is the denial of God and heaven. Religion occupies the highest place in the human mind and without the worship and love of God as Person all that is below is false and of no use. Nonduality in the mind is antagonistic to the worship and love of the Divine Human in whom infinite distinct things make a one. The perfection of the Lord is that distinct things are united in Him. Were we to think that the distinct things commingle and are amalgamated into an “indistinct mass” of nonduality we close the mind to understanding the Lord’s perfection (DLW 352, SE 682). As the angels said to Swedenborg “what is indistinct is confused, whence results all imperfection of form” (DP 4).
The nonduality of Christian Science theology is evident from the core idea that permeates all sub-ideas, as here:
With the inspired Word of the Scriptures as its foundation, Christian Science reveals that God is infinite Spirit, the only Mind, boundless Soul, ever present Love, perfect Life, unrivaled Truth, omnipotent Principle. … Infinite Spirit never had a visible opposite, called matter nor an invisible opposite, called an atom. Infinite Mind never had a visible opposite, called a human brain, nor an invisible opposite, called mortal mind. … Consequently, the thought that there is something unlike or besides God should be rejected with the same finality with which those turnips were rejected.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, perceived the true import of God's allness as no one else has since Christ Jesus. In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes, "Spirit, God, has created all in and of Himself. Spirit never created matter." And she continues, "Spirit is the only substance, the invisible and indivisible infinite God." The more we understand the unqualified allness of Spirit, the more we understand the unqualified nothingness of matter.
(On the Web at mbeinstitute.org/cern2.html Accessed May 2002)
Clearly, the nonduality expressed here is not drawn from the Word but from the mind of Mary Baker Eddy. We know this for certain from what the Writings teach concerning discrete degrees. The Lord creates everything in three discrete degrees. The natural world (“matter”) is a real and permanent creation, that contains within it the spiritual and the celestial (DP 220). Take away one and creation collapses into chaos and dissipates.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21)
Heaven is in the man; and there is a place for him in heaven according to the state of life and of faith in which he is (AC 9305)
It cannot be said that Christian nonduality is Christian, but only that nonduality has been infused into the ideas of many Christians who acknowledge the Bible as the Holy Word. But this acknowledgement is only in their natural mind, thus devoid of any spiritual ideas that only start above the external natural-rational, that is, in the interior rational or spiritual-rational.
Chapter 3, Section 7
Author-philosopher Ayn Rand continues to be a significant influence on college students today. Millions of young Americans are exposed to her ideas in high school and college classrooms and read her books along with the collateral literature of followers. Her version of nonduality relates to Nietzsche’s “superman” concept that popularized the notion that morality is to be taken from natural reality, since human reason is from nature and nothing exists but what comes from nature. Rand’s objectivism is actually a materialism by which she denies the duality of the natural body and the supernatural spirit. Human reason is not from any such spirit but from nature. Here is a current wording of objectivism on the official Web site of the Ayn Rand Institute:
Ayn Rand named her philosophy “Objectivism” and described it as a philosophy for living on earth. Objectivism is an integrated system of thought that defines the abstract principles by which a man must think and act if he is to live the life proper to man. Ayn Rand first portrayed her philosophy in the form of the heroes of her best-selling novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). She later expressed her philosophy in nonfiction form. The basic principles of Objectivism can be summarized as follows:
“Reality, the external world, exists independent of man’s consciousness, independent of any observer’s knowledge, beliefs, feelings, desires or fears. This means that A is A, that facts are facts, that things are what they are — and that the task of man’s consciousness is to perceive reality, not to create or invent it.” Thus Objectivism rejects any belief in the supernatural — and any claim that individuals or groups create their own reality.
Man is a rational being. Reason, as man’s only means of knowledge, is his basic means of survival. But the exercise of reason depends on each individual’s choice. “Man is a being of volitional consciousness.” “That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call ‘free will’ is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom. This is the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and character.” Thus Objectivism rejects any form of determinism, the belief that man is a victim of forces beyond his control (such as God, fate, upbringing, genes, or economic conditions).
“Reason is man’s only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action. The proper standard of ethics is: man’s survival qua man — i.e., that which is required by man’s nature for his survival as a rational being (not his momentary physical survival as a mindless brute). Rationality is man’s basic virtue, and his three fundamental values are: reason, purpose, self-esteem. Man — every man — is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.” Thus Objectivism rejects any form of altruism — the claim that morality consists in living for others or for society.
(“The Ayn Rand Institute, Center for the Advancement of Objectivism.” On the Web at www.aynrand.org/objectivism/essentials.html Accessed May 2002
The attitude of hostility towards religion and duality is made quite apparent as part of its appeal, I think. Westerners who want to take an anti-religion stand in opposition to their upbringing, find it in a modern philosophy that justifies ridiculing religious ideas about God and self. The rationale for justifying this rejection is given as a simple minded theory that objective thinking or “Reason” is solely from nature through sensory input.
And the serpent was subtle, more than every wild animal of the field that Jehovah God had made. And it said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
'The serpent is here used to mean man's sensory perception in which he trusts. 'Wild animal of the field' here, as previously, means every affection that belongs to the external man. 'Woman' means the proprium. 'The serpent said, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree' means that for the first time they entertained doubts. The subject is the third generation of the descendants of the Most Ancient Church, which began not to believe matters of revelation unless they could see the import of these with their eyes and apprehend them with the senses. Their first state is described in this verse and the next as being a state of doubting. (AC 194)
This generalized form of nonduality leads to the devastating attitude that the self is the only source of truth, morality, and happiness. Altruism, which we may call charity or love of neighbor, is an idealistic or non-objective fabrication which are rejected by realistic and strong individuals. They are the ones who are going to succeed in their productivity and happiness. “Rational self-interest” is described as the highest goal of human consciousness and reason. Acting on our own behalf is said to be morally and objectively superior to acting on behalf of someone else because our survival depends on acting on our own behalf.
The nonduality of Rand’s theory of “Objectivism” is intended to decimate the core dualities that are in the Western mind from heredity and culture. God is eliminated and religion is for dupes. Good and evil are united into a continuum in relation to their value for the survival of the individual. Good is doing anything that increases survival. It is taught that acts that sacrifice self to save others are evil, weak, or contrary to reason. One is urged to behave in accordance with this principle in our daily interactions with others. Society would then thrive as a healthy and vigorous enterprise because all those who act from altruistic or religious motives will not survive. The survival of the strongest is the evolution of the fittest.
The devastating effect this philosophy can have on one’s understanding is illustrated in the essays written by high school students and published on the Ayn Rand Institute Web site. This student decided to present her ideas on objectivism for her high school graduation commencement speech. Her teacher saw the speech and suggested some changes:
My old history teacher, an extreme liberal, advised me to completely remove the word “selfish” and change it to another word, like “self-reliance.” But as I saw it, changing that word meant changing the meaning of my speech. To review, “selfish,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means “concerned chiefly or only with oneself without regard for the well being of others.” The committee had a problem with the definition, and basically, the philosophical ideas I was implementing. I was not advocating caring only for yourself at all times—I was advocating selfishness toward one’s own goals and dreams.
(“Collected Student Writings: The Virtue of Individualism” On the Web at www.aynrand.org/ROC/individual_virtue_main.shtml Accessed May 2002).
In contrast to this is the revealed truth in the Writings:
Man is born not for the sake of himself but for the sake of others; that is, he is born not to live for himself alone but for others; otherwise there could be no cohesive society, nor any good therein. It is a common saying that every man is a neighbor to himself; but the doctrine of charity teaches how this is to be understood, namely, that everyone should provide for himself the necessaries of life, as food, clothing, a dwelling, and other things which are necessarily required in the social life in which he is, and this not only for himself, but also for his family, nor for the present alone, but also for the future.
For unless a man acquires for himself the necessaries of life, he is not in a condition to exercise charity, since he is in want of everything. But how every man ought to be a neighbor to himself may be seen from the following comparison: Every man ought to provide his body with food; this must be first, but the end should be that he may have a sound mind in a sound body; and every man ought to provide his mind with food, namely, with such things as pertain to intelligence and judgment; but the end should be that he may thereby be in a state to serve his fellow-citizens, society, his country, the church, and thus the Lord. He who does this provides well for himself to eternity. (TCR 406)
The American intellectual spectrum is divided into two factions that might be called Establishment and New Age. One is indigenous to the West, the other imported from the East. The Establishment intellectualism is constructed on the usual left-right ideology that characterizes political activity and social policy. Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is on the right and is rationalized on the basis of materialistic monism and survival of the fittest, a point of view that was elaborated into a modernity outlook by 19th Century British and German philosophers (Weber, Huxley, xx). Opposing Objectivism is the left oriented secular humanism as represented by The Aquarian Conspiracy which popularized a fully modernized personal philosophy that millions of individuals have taken on as their habitual way of thinking and reasoning about social issues, psychology, morality, and spirituality.
The nonduality of the left takes a different form from that on the right, though both agree in the departure cornerstone—only the material world of nature is the reality around us, and therefore good is what promotes self and its self-centered goals. There is a background assumption in all nonduality that is a blind persuasive faith in the mystery of the unknown in nature. This is the substitute for the inherited faith in God that every individual is born with (TCR 8). Objectivism on the right of the spectrum relies on an unexamined super-rational role attributed to nature in the form of its not-understood “intelligent” forces that counteract chaos. The Aquarian Conspiracy on the left relies on a mystical Wholeness that exists and exerts a beneficial influence on the parts. Some of these parts are human beings who can reason and figure out what the Wholeness is up to. This knowledge is valuable because it allows us to manage the forces of Wholeness, or to manage things around us to conform to the forces of the Wholeness. By doing this kind of management we are transformed and raised to a higher level of our being and existence. The notion of a “conspiracy” by the “Aquarian” forces shows that the mysterious activity of the Wholeness work in the background of our awareness and calling these forces “Aquarian” indicates that they are beneficial and oriented towards the evolution of human consciousness.
A great shuddering, irrevocable shift is overtaking us. … It is a new mind—a turnabout in consciousness in critical numbers of individuals, a network powerful enough to bring about radical change in our culture. This network—the Aquarian Conspiracy—has already enlisted the minds, hearts, and resources of some of our most advanced thinkers and steadily growing numbers from every corner of American society. Marilyn Ferguson is the publisher of Brain/Mind Bulletin, the most widely read newsletter in the areas of brain research and consciousness, and The Leading Edge, a newsletter dealing with the frontiers of social transformation. (From the book jacket.)
Meditation, chanting, and similar techniques increase the coherence and harmony in the brainwave patterns; they bring about greater synchrony between the hemispheres, which suggests that higher order is achieved. (p. 79)
Beyond the personal reunification, the inner reconnection, the re-annexing of lost portions of oneself, there is the connection to an even larger Self—the invisible continent on which we all make our home. … The separate self is an illusion. … When the self joins the Self, there is power. … This perfection, this wholeness, does not refer to superior achievement, moral rectitude, personality. It is not comparative and not even personal. Rather, it is an insight into nature…If only briefly, we recognize ourselves as children of nature, not as strangers in the world. (p. 97-100).
Spiritual or mystical experience is … a direct perception of nature’s unity, the inside of the mysteries of science tries valiantly to know from the outside. … Millions living today have experienced transcendent aspects of reality and have incorporated this knowledge into their lives. A mystical experience, however, brief, is validation for those attracted to the spiritual search. (p. 362)
(“The Aquarian Conspiracy” by Marilyn Ferguson. Los Angeles: Tarcher, and Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980)
What is called “transcendent” and “mystical” in nonduality systems is a corporeal feeling of “unity with the universe” or a sensuous vision of nothing experienced before. Both of these “spiritual self-transformations” are interpreted as occurring in one’s “consciousness” which is pictured like a sort of elevator shaft that goes from bottom self to divine. Despite the tremendous bibliographic efforts put out around this and similar “psychotechnologies,” there is not one rational duality included anywhere. The Writings describe this result and explain it as the absolute restriction of the natural mind to the natural discrete degree (see Chapter 7 Section 1). Not a single rational-spiritual idea can exist in natural systems of nonduality (DLW 185).
The “Aquarian Conspiracy” is indeed a conspiracy, but not the one described in the book. The real conspiracy is the denial of duality. The purpose of this conspiracy is to maintain the current supremacy of self and the human intellect. This is done by systematic exclusion or filtering out of dualist concepts from the Second Coming. The dualist rational absolutist concepts of the Writings dethrone the supremacy of the self and destroy the fiery serpent living in the formula: self=divine. Prior to reformation the dethroning of the self from its divine position is experienced as death and dying. Naturally, then, the filtering process against duality will continue as it is endemic. Because of this, the Lord provides for each person a way out of self—reformation and regeneration. This is the suffering we must be willing to undergo. No other way exists. But the burden is light, says the Lord (Matt 11:30, HH 359). It is. Once reformation is achieved. Prior and during it, the burden is so heavy that few are willing to carry it. Genuine dualism brought to humankind by the Second Coming is in the mind of very few today. Those who hear of it, don’t wish to hear more. This has been my observation for many years as a professor, scientist, author, and researcher.
Further, those born in the New Church receive an education about the Writings, but they remain in internal disbelief or denial even if they are externally practicing New Church worship and social life (AC 1094). It’s only when they are willing to undergo reformation as an adult do they then receive internal belief and assent. From then on they are being regenerated and their mind is for the first time “reborn” and turned into a New Church mind (AC 3518). This is done to the extent that one studies the Writings daily for the purpose of taking up Celestial Doctrine for life, so that one may will and think in accordance with this Heavenly Doctrine.
To undergo reformation we must let go of all our nondualities stuck in the natural mind, no matter what religion we are born into. The first to go is the fundamental one that keeps all others in power: the formula self=divine. I recall when I went through that phase (see Note 3 at end). I was an avatar to myself, a god, evidence of which were my great spiritual accomplishments—my insights into all things rational, my ecstatic experiences of oneness with the universe, my emotional detachment regarding what riles everyone else around me, my absolute independence and self-reliance in internal things—these were the proof for my having reached the divine status. And then I had to give it up quickly as the Lord allowed me to plummet down quickly into anxiety, doubt, lifelessness, and dread. Thus vastated, my insane persuasion dissolved and I was able to grasp and hold on to the new found inner experience of worship and love of the Lord through loving, studying, and obeying His Word. This was higher consciousness. This is reality. This direction of movement will pay off with salvation and eternity, while the prior one with sinking deeper and deeper into the sink-hole of insanity. This may sound like an extreme view by those who do not see that it is what the Writings teach in particular and in general everywhere.
A popular book that has had a large following is James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy (Warner Books, New York 1994), a novel seen as a spiritual guide for the New Age. It is still a best seller in 2002. The book purports to reveal ancient truth that has been suppressed by the “established orthodoxy” now that we are on the verge of a paradigm shift in human evolution. In reality we are all truly God but the Christian Church has kept this truth from the people, along with the Bible and Western science. Since we are co-creators of the universe, we create our own reality. By rejecting all fear and doubt we raise our spiritual energy to our “higher self” One critical reviewer asks, “Do we have a new guru with a new religious movement here?” Another reviewer summarizes the new knowledge as follows:
#1. Feeling restless? You're not alone: Everybody's starting to look for more meaning in life. Start paying closer attention to those seemingly "Chance Coincidences" - strange occurrences that feel like they were meant to happen. They are actually synchronistic events, and following them will start you on your path to spiritual truth.
#2. Observe our culture within its proper historical context. The first half of the past millennium was spent under the thumb of the church; in the second half we became preoccupied with material comfort. Now, at the end of the twentieth century, we've exhausted that preoccupation. We're ready to discover life's ultimate purpose.
#3. Start to get acquainted with the subtle energy that infuses all things. With practice, you can learn to see the aura around any living being and to project your own energy around it to give it strength.
#5. The key to overcoming conflict in the world is the mystical experience, which is available to everyone. To nurture the mystical and build your energy, allow yourself to be filled with a sense of love.
#7. Once cleared of traumas, you can build energy through contemplation and meditation, focus on you basic life question, and start riding a steady stream of intuitions, dreams, and synchronistic coincidences, all guiding you in the direction of your own evolution and transformation.
#9. Our purpose here is to evolve beyond this plane. … We can connect to God's energy in such a way that we will eventually become beings of light, and walk straight into heaven.
(The Nine Insights of the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, summary by Alan Atkisson (Aug/1994) on the Web at www.spiritweb.org/Spirit/celestine-9-insights.html Accessed June 2002)
The “Celestine Prophecy” is regarded by followers as a modern day revelation of the next step in human evolution. It has surfaced now because a “critical mass” of people are reaching a new spiritual development through insights that the higher self reveals to the lower self. Humans have “dynamic sacred energy” they can project to influence the seeming coincidences in our lives. The “mystic experience of an inner connection with divine energy within” has been known in Eastern traditions but now anyone can experience this through acquiring “personal energy and awareness of our spiritual mission.” This is revealed to the person gradually—questions, daydreams, intuition—leading to similar revelations that others experience “synchronously” and “ultimately transforming our bodies into spiritual form and uniting this dimension of existence with the after-life dimension, ending the cycle of birth and death” (from a review online).
All philosophic forms of nonduality are self-based formulations. In the East they take the form that the self is really God not an individual. In the West God is left out of the account and replaced by a mystical idea about a self-intelligent universe or evolutionary process. The result of all forms of nonduality is to allow people to invent their own ideas of morality and spirituality. This is the imagined victory of the human over the Divine, which in the Word is described as eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (AC 126). The tree of life is discarded. The result of this is spiritual death with no knowledge left of any spiritual truths (AC 128, 265).
There is also a middle of the road nonduality which might be called psychological humanism. It is the orientation that gifts the natural mind with having the ability to improve itself to an indefinite degree into the future. It creates a continuum of intelligence in the natural discrete degree spanning from animal to the highest level humans can attain. The method by which this can achieved is critical thinking. A similar notion is promoted in related philosophical systems of secular humanism, one of the widest known is the general semantics movement started by Korzybsky (xx). According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking the human mind is natural and contains various levels and functions. Thoughts and feelings are organized by either of two drives: “egocentric tendencies” or “rational capacities.” One is “unsuccessful” leading to negative emotions--anger, depression, alienation, arrogance, defensiveness, domination, submission. The other helps us attain our goals, develop our potentials, and lead a fulfilling life. The focus ought to be on “continual self-improvement while respecting the rights and needs of others.” (The Human Mind, Foundation for Critical Thinking, on the Web at www.criticalthinking.org )
All philosophies, psychologies, sciences, and religions that are founded on the cornerstone of nonduality are invariably stuck in the natural world and the natural mind. Rejecting the idea of dualism, they leave no exit from this world. The individual can only have a temporary existence. People have a choice as to how they’re going to spend this limited time, well or not well. What it means to live life well in the mental health profession is identified along various measures of living and achieving—
q self-improvement and stagnation
q adaptive and maladjusted
q successful and being extinguished
q rational and egocentric
q clear and obscure
q cooperative and antagonistic
q outstanding and normal
q self-reliant and dependant
q and so on.
Each life continuum is defined by two opposites in choices that determine our lifestyle, our personality, and our destiny. This type of positive and upward mobile character image may have a certain attractiveness to the New Church mind. It’s easier to reject the objectionable self-centeredness of Objectivism and the mystical obscurity of Aquarian Wholeness. But the middle of the road version of critical rationality and emotional intelligence seems closer to us. After all, we also value continual self-improvement, rational thinking and egocentric, and socially cooperative emotions rather than anti-social. When we begin to examine these ideas more closely, we begin to realize that they cannot be imported into the New Church mind set (based on Divinely distinguished dualities) without causing great harm.
Every change and variation of state of the human mind makes some change and variation in the series of things present and consequently of things that follow; what, then, must it not do in the progression to eternity? (DP 202:3)
Evils are as it were heavy, and fall of themselves into hell; and so also falsities that are from evil (n. 8279, 8298). (HD 170)
For example, consider what is to be taught to school children at various levels. For instance, one Lesson on “What Will Decompose?” as designed for 2nd and 3rd Grades, explains the difference between “man-made” and “natural objects.” And then encourages discussion that can stimulate critical thinking about “categories of things” and which would decompose. This appears fine at first, and is intended to lay the logical foundation for later ideas of conservation and recycling. But upon second thought we would not want to teach our New Church children this way. We would want to lay a different foundation for the ideas of conservation and recycling. The dualities that make the foundation for all future concepts is to be laid down at each age level in a form suitable for comprehension at each age or developmental level. By the age of 7 or 8 we would connect conservation and recycling to spiritual motives from God. Conservation and recycling are not spiritual. We can be involved in recycling activities by profession, administration, or business. Or, we can be involved by moral thinking and by religious thinking. Those who are involved in recycling by other motives may also be involved by religious motives, but not necessarily—some will, some will not, you can’t really tell which very easily since they all show a similar type of involvement and performance.
This duality context then sets the foundation for the morality of recycling as an individual motivation and choice. The religious motive for recycling is the only spiritual one, but this only to the extent that one’s religion is spiritual-natural and not merely corporeal-sensuous natural. It would threaten the children’s ability to understand the Writings if we were too teach them the two categories of man-made and natural without at the same time embedding these categories into a more inclusive category of man-made from God and nature-made from God. This is necessary to insure that all concepts in our mind are connected to God. Because this is the reality, teaching it instills an external rational system that can receive the genuine spiritual-rational system from the Writings.
It should be noted note that the secular orientation of Skepticism teaches critical thinking analysis for debunking religious dogma and uncritical acceptance of various claims regarding miracles and the power of prayer. The Skeptic’s Dictionary online (skepdic.com/prayer.html ) uses this critical approach not only with the dubious claims of certain enthusiastic preachers but also those of the professional medical research literature that publishes prayer experiments with flawed designs. Clearly these critical thinking skills are valuable to build the external rational, so long as the context of duality is provided for it.
A General Church minister has warned of the potential harm to children in teaching them evolution theory without contextualizing it within dualism—I quote from a previous article (see Note 4 at end):
Mark Carlson's article on evolution theory and the limbus gives us the third illustration of the incorporation of religious concepts from Swedenborg into modern science. First he cautions that atheistic evolution theory can be a "real danger" to "the simple-minded" because of its "sophisticated arguments against God" (p.259). To assume that a "random process can 'create' life" is "inherently unreasonable and illogical" (p.259). The "neo-Darwinian" views of sociobiologists (he mentions Richard Dawkins) are mere "foolishness," such as the theory that our genes "manipulate us and our world by remote control for the sake of their own survival" (p.260).
For additional discussion on New Church education, see Chapter 7, Section 1
Chapter 3, Section 8
The Anthroposophy Movement that Steiner founded and led until his death in 1924 survives today in a select following, small but widespread in Western countries. It is not generally known that he started the Waldorf education movement that is inspired by his occult ideas. I have made an attempt to study Steiner’s books and consulted followers who are active in anthroposophy, but I abandoned my studies after three years and a dozen books, being convinced that I will obtain nothing coherent from his obscure web of mystical ideas. I might note the hand of Providence in that I came across a single sentence in which Steiner mentions Swedenborg as an allusion to some point he was making. The name Swedenborg stuck in my mind as an author I should look up some day. A few years later while browsing in our university library I came across a shelf full of books by Swedenborg. Remembering the mental note, I checked out Warren’s Compendium and read selections to all the Writings. Since then hardly a day went by that that I did not study the Writings. In the first few hours of reading the Writings I learned more about the spiritual world and the human mind than years of reading Steiner. But especially about the Lord about whom Steiner has only fantasies of nonduality.
Regarding the spiritual world:
When the ether-body is detached from the human being after death (see Chapter III,) something that may be described as a kind of extract or quintessence of it remains for the whole of his future evolution. This extract contains the fruits of the past life. It is the bearer of the “seed” of his coming life — the seed which is developing throughout man's spiritual evolution between death and a new birth.
Steiner teaches reincarnation as the vehicle of evolution of an individual’s consciousness. Between births, the individual undergoes various experiences in some spiritual realm or state. The psycho-dynamic forces that drive or create these experiences are said to be mysterious inner forces of an intelligent universe. Steiner said he was able to “sense” these forces by subtle forms of “supersensible cognition,” especially just before fully awakening in the morning, while in a sort of middle state between sleep and consciousness. The more “evolved” an individual is, the more attuned to these mysterious forces called “Beings,” and the more one can understand how they run the universe.
While the Ego is in the spiritual worlds, man's earthly dwelling-place is changing. In one respect this change is connected with the changes that are taking place in the great Universe — changes for example, in the relative position of the Earth to the Sun. Periodic changes involving cosmic repetitions are connected with the development of new conditions on the Earth.
Through Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition supersensible cognition gradually reaches up into the regions of the spiritual world where it can apprehend the Beings who participate in the evolution of the World and Man. There too it can perceive and, in perceiving, find intelligible the life of man between death and a new birth.
It may be asked whether by meditation, contemplation and kindred methods of attaining supersensible cognition described in this book, we arrive at the general realities — say, of the life between death and rebirth, and other spiritual facts — or whether we are also enabled to perceive particular events and beings, for example an individual human soul after death. The answer is that one who has thus acquired the ability to see into the spiritual world also becomes able to perceive in detail what is going on there.
At one time I was hopeful that I too might meet these Beings or see what’s going on in the spiritual world—but no such luck! I could see how it would be possible for me to start imagining these things and build elaborate astrological events surrounding momentous evolutionary upheavals of ages ending and new ages beginning, and even how I had a hand in all this, being situated spiritually where I was. Etc. But all this was not to be, as Swedenborg was waiting around the next bend (in the library).
When we look back into olden times, we see rise up before us within the traditions of Judaism the prophetic figure of Elijah. We know what significance the prophet Elijah had for the people of the Old Testament, and therewith for all mankind; we know how he set before them the goal and destiny of their existence. And we have shown how in the course of time the being who was present in Elijah appeared again at the very most important moment of human evolution, appeared again so that Christ Jesus Himself could give him the Initiation he was to receive for the evolution of mankind. For the being of Elijah appeared again in Lazarus-John — who are in truth one and the same figure as you will have understood from my book “Christianity as Mystical Fact.” … We see how in the Sun sphere he is able to live through over again in a deep and intimate sense — in another way now than when he was on Earth as a companion of Christ Jesus — he is able to live over again what he underwent when, through the Initiation of Christ Jesus, he, Lazarus, became John.
In recent months we have frequently spoken, my dear friends, of the instreaming of the Michael-Power into the spiritual events of man's life on earth. … This work is: to let the Michael Power and the Michael Will penetrate the whole of life. The Michael Power and the Michael Will are none other than the Christ Will and the Christ Power, going before in order to implant in the right way into the Earth the Power of the Christ.
(“Rudolf Steiner Archive, Occult Science - An Outline, Details From the Domain of Spiritual Science, The Ether-Body of Man.” On the Web at
wn.elib.com/Steiner/Books/GA013/English/RSP1963/GA013_c07.html#N3 Accessed May 2002)
I met a fellow Jewish man at an Anthroposophy meeting and after awhile I had occasion to ask him how he felt about Steiner’s references to Christ. He told me that Steiner doesn’t refer to Christ but to the “Christ Impulse” or “Christ Power” and “Christ Will” but never to Christ. So he felt comfortable with the idea that Anthroposophy had nothing to do with the Christian religion. And he was correct. Steiner uses New Testament names, events, and ideas to label what Steiner needed a name for, or a peg upon which to hang one of his ideas, but never in the Christian religious sense that Christians have for their Bible.
For awhile, prior to my being led to the Writings, I found Rudolf Steiner an attractive figure. He was flamboyant and mystical, cultured and sophisticated, an erudite curator of Goethe’s library, a talented architect and sculptor in the style of Blake’s etchings of the muses and cruelties in hell. He was an innovative educator deeply interested in the mental and spiritual development of children, and had esoteric knowledge of non-traditional medicine, macro-biotic agriculture, and other interests besides. I was told that he ended his lectures and classes with a brief meditative session that appealed to the Beings and Forces in the spirit of the Christ Power. The Waldorf schools he created first in Germany spread to European countries and are represented in the U.S. through teachers trained in the Steinerian system. It involves an elaborate theory of mental development based on sensory training of the various modalities. Children are exposed to age-specific activities that includes growing things, dealing with animals, training with colors, music, breathing techniques, drama, and a special style of dancing and movement called “Eurhythmy.” The use of sound recordings are discouraged and computers are held off until a later age. We found out these things when we enrolled our small children in a neighborhood summer school that turned out to be a Waldorf school.
Anthroposophy is a giant collection of nondualities that creates one large soup of everything. It has nothing to offer to the New Church mind but a bunch of vexing obscurities.
Chapter 3, Section 9
Anti-semitism is racial and ethnic hatred against the Jews. Many books have been written about it over the centuries and modern studies and institutes are active today. Anti-semitism in Europe has been widespread, generational, and cultural. Until the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews in World War II anti-semitism was related to religion, but the Nazis escalated it and extended it to an official government policy of ethnic eradication or genocide. My family was a victim of this historical episode. I was born in 1938 in Rumania in a Jewish Orthodox family. The war exploded all around my childhood. But worse, the anti-semitism that threatened us more than others. The adults around my life suddenly vanished, carted off on trains with soldiers in black shirts. I was seven by the time some of them started returning, uncles and aunts. Grandparents did not return. One of the cousins who returned was Elie Wiesel. He was a few years older than me but still young, and I did not recognize him. Later he got to tell his story of anti-semitism in several holocaust books that won him world fame and recognition. It wasn’t his personal suffering he presented, but the world’s. A world that stood by what the Nazis did, is a sick world. This was his message, his humanitarian warning. And a God who permitted it, is not caring enough to exercise His Omnipotence to stop it, to prevent it. God’s plans and purposes are somehow off the mark—Wiesel’s characters in the novels argue against God, put Him on trial, convict Him.
Wiesel has had two areas of influence intellectually: secular and religious. The influence on secular humanism has been to promote the notion that anti-semitism is a political and moral plague on society, corrupting it, turning it into sub-human levels of functioning. The only way society can escape this fate is to constitute itself into a community of hatred against anti-semitism. Extensions of this idea are seen in the formation of anti-discrimination agencies and institutes specifically focused on anti-semitism in society—the laws, the media, the image, the philosophies, and the practices of it. Wiesel’s religious influence has been felt by Christians who desire a philosophical explanation of anti-semitism in relation to the Christian Church. There seems to be a need for alleviating feelings of guilt for the role of the Christian clergy in contributing to anti-semitism over the centuries. One commentator on Wiesel writes:
The second part explores the theological and ethical questions involved in the journey of those who hear Wiesel. The author confronts Wiesel's assertion: "The sincere Christian knows that what died in Auschwitz was not the Jewish people but Christianity." The questions are unavoidable: Why were so many S.S. members also members of Christian churches? How could so many of the killers have been educated in the church and in Christian institutions? How could there have been killers who still went to confession? As the author indicates, the questions are Wiesel's, but Christians must make them their own. Why? The Holocaust was a betrayal of Jesus.
(William A. Hartfelder, Jr. “Review of: Elie Wiesel: Messenger to All Humanity” by Robert McAfee Brown Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1983. On the web at theologytoday.ptsem.edu/apr1984/v41-1-bookreview13.htm Accessed June 2002.)
The modern Jewish perspective on God has become influential with Christians since the Holocaust literature has become prominent in seminaries and an official ecumenical relationship has been formed between Christian Church leaders and American Jewish Rabbis. One of the best known author and critic in the holocaust literature is Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Nazi extermination camps, and honored with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his humanitarian activities in relation to “remember the holocaust” which he argued was a great human failure, not merely a Jewish tragedy. Christian theologians began to argue that the holocaust requires a change in the idea that Christians have of Redemption. Here is one example that uses the holocaust as a justification for Christian political support for the survival of Israel:
Ellis provides an illuminating overview of what has been described as "Holocaust theology," that worldview which places Jewish destiny within the parameters of the Holocaust and the state of Israel. He argues that in their attempt to understand how a God of history could have permitted the murder of 6 million Jews, Holocaust theologians have essentially concluded there are no satisfactory answers. Thus, the rabbinic world of synagogue and prayer is no longer sufficient for them, and the religious duty of the community of faith must now include ensuring the survival of the Jewish people. Since only sovereign and powerful states can guarantee such survival, "achieving power in Israel reaches the level of sacred principle." Hence the centrality of Israel not only as the spiritual engine of Jewish life but also as the only reliable vehicle for self-preservation.
Like other writers, Ellis attributes the restraint that generally characterizes Western criticism of Israel partly to Christian guilt over not having done enough to prevent the Holocaust. But in a biting critique of the interfaith dialogue that emerged between progressive Christians and Jews following the Second Vatican Council in the mid'60s, Ellis denounces the Christian participants who welcomed "almost as a new gospel" the premises of Holocaust theology. For the unfortunate result has been an unspoken "ecumenical deal," whereby Christians avoid pressing the issue of Palestinian suffering under Israeli rule, in return for a Jewish acceptance of the sincerity of Christian repentance for its past anti-Semitism.
(Book Reviews: Beyond Innocence and Redemption: Confronting the Holocaust and Israeli Power. By Marc H. Ellis. Harper & Row, 1990. Reviewed by John Dirlik. December/January 1992/93 on the Web at
www.washington-report.org/backissues/1292/9212074a.html accessed June 2002)
Some of the tenets of “holocaust theology” are expressed here:
Some have argued that as God granted human beings free will, the terrors of the Holocaust were manifestations of purely human evil. Others have suggested that God suffered in the death camps with his chosen people. Radical theologians, however, have contended that our understanding of God must be altered in the light of the Nazi terror.
Pre-eminent among such Jewish theologians is the Conservative rabbi Richard Rubenstein, who argues that it is no longer possible to believe in a supernatural deity who acts in history. Jews today, he contends, live in the time of the death of God.
Elie Wiesel described in his autobiographical novel, Night , the evolution of his religious doubt as he experienced the horrors of the Nazi regime. His rebellion was heightened during the high holy days when, unable to pray, he turned accuser. On the day of atonement, he refused to fast, rejecting God's silence in the face of suffering and murder.
A shift in perspective has also taken place in Christian circles. A number of Christian thinkers insist that our theological understanding has been fundamentally altered by the events of the Nazi era. In Anti-Semitism and Christian Theology , the Christian feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether argues that the church must repudiate its traditional conviction that Christianity is the only true path to salvation.
The Catholic theologian John Pawlikowski says Christians should forge a new conception of the relationship between God and human beings in the light of the Holocaust. In his view, the initial act of creation constituted the liberation of humankind from its total encasement in the godhead. Christianity's role is to guide humans in how they use this power and freedom.
These and other thinkers have recast the theological approach to the problem of God's presence and human suffering. In a post-Holocaust world, traditional views of God are arguably invalid. In his article "Christians and Jews after Auschwitz", the Christian theologian Johannes Metz addresses a clear imperative to contemporary theologians. "Never again to do theology in such a way that its construction is unaffected, or could remain unaffected, by Auschwitz." In different ways, radical theologians have absorbed this message and paved the way for a new theology in a post-Holocaust age.
(Dan Cohn-Sherbok. “Where was God when evil struck?” This article first appeared in the Times Higher Educational Supplement, January 25 2002
www.lamp.ac.uk/trs/studyofjudaism/wherewasgod.html accessed June 2002.
The basis of all doubts about God regarding the Jewish holocaust is the tendency of people generally and theologians in particular to apply a nonduality between historical events and God’s omnipotence. This particular tendency is a sub-set of the larger issue within which it is discussed: Why does God permit evil of any kind? The crisis of the holocaust is precipitated by the horrific number of victims in one historical event. The unprecedented evil unleashed in the 1800 days of World War II made brought on the death of 6 million Jews, 20 million Germans, 20 million Russians, and millions of Poles, British, American, Japanese, and others. These people must have had some face off when they arrived in the spiritual world, as often is the case with victims and their tormentors (SE 4493). It is significant to note that I could find not a single reference to this idea in all of my research on holocaust theology. There appears to be a total and absolute disinterest in following these victims to their fate in the afterlife. It’s as if the afterlife did not exist and was not relevant. But to the New Church mind this connection is immediately obvious and thought of.
Jewish and Christian nonduality are equal in prohibiting discussion of the afterlife of those 50 million people who entered the spiritual world from deaths caused by the five-year war. Almost one million people died each month during that war. Every one of these deaths meant a new beginning and a new future. It’s irrational to stop the discussion at the point of death, as if these people disappear from the human race. Nonduality wants to focus on the size of the numbers—but this remains a natural focus, not spiritual. The number of deaths has significance for a natural theology and for politics. Angels do not think in numbers about anything (AC 5291). Dualism from the Writings allow us to go deeper into the spiritual significance of any event. Not a single death from among the 50 million was caused by human evil as an impotent God looked on. Every death, and its horrific attendant details, occurred with the Lord’s Laws of Permissions. Nothing could occur without the Lord giving it power to occur. The Lord permitted every horrific event and supplied the power for its occurrence—the power of the trains carrying the victims, the intelligence of the Nazis in figuring out efficient killing methods for millions, the attitudes of the world’s leaders who did nothing and were not outraged, the last twitch of a hand in agony, the last heart beat—every single detail was powered by Divine Omnipotence through the Divine Laws of Permissions. And it doesn’t stop there!
Every individual needed to be awakened in the spiritual world, all 50 million of them. Each was treated personally by the best possible care: two angels of the Lord supervising with great care the operations of resuscitation. And my grandparents and uncles and cousins, and all the soldiers, and all the Nazis who died, and all the Russians, and all the Poles, and so on. They were all resuscitated within 36 hours into the caring hands of angels. And from there they carried on, freer than before, with more capacity to enjoy and discover the deepest desires and delights. There is no way of accurately telling the holocaust story without going beyond the point of death. There are two reasons: psychological and spiritual.
Psychologically, if we stop at the point of the dying of the millions, there is no resolution possible. The only available alternatives are pathological. There is no rational resolution possible. People then fall into two main syndromes. One is to hold on to the memory with hatred for part of the human. This perpetual reminding and vigilance become possible mechanisms for escaping a repetition. The other is to forgive and not to want to remember, and not to want to attribute it to human nature in general. Neither approach gives satisfaction and resolution.
Spiritually, if we stop at the point of the dying of the millions, there is no resolution with respect to why God allowed it. There is a general acknowledgement that God sees the larger picture we do not, and therefore in God’s unfathomable Wisdom, there is a justification for it. This is not a resolution but a the creation of a mystery. It prevents the deepening of our ideas about God, a deepening that we need to advance in our regeneration. The New Church mind is formed by the Writings where the Divine Laws of Permissions have been unveiled to anyone who wants to believe them as Divine Truth. The Lord is revealing His rational universe, His loving purposes, and His gentle means of regenerating a fallen race. The Writings reveal where all evil comes from, namely the people who inhabit the hells. They are earthlings who lived a few decades in the physical body and allowed their mind to become devoid of love and caring for anyone but the self. They now subsist in hell by fantasizing their evils and delighting in their fantasies. Their lusts and cupidities are what’s being received in the human mind as the fallen race.
The world of spirits is not heaven, nor is it hell, but it is the intermediate place or state between the two; for it is the place that man first enters after death; and from which after a suitable time he is either raised up into heaven or cast down into hell in accord with his life in the world. (HH 421)
Every individual regardless of race, inheritance, religion, or health, inherits at birth a mental connection to those evil lusts and cupidities. These flow in into the will of the natural mind, and each time we carry them out in thought and action, we experience delight. We are a race delighted with evil, with lust, with cupidities, and especially can we enjoy these fallen delights when we justify them in our understanding as something good and allowable. This is called the infernal marriage and takes us straight to hell from where we cannot escape to eternity. The Lord cannot prevent these events on our own account. This is because we are so fallen that nothing would be left in our delight or animated life if the Lord prevented the evils from being done. Our delights would instantly cease and we would have no motive to move or think anything. If we had enough good things we loved, the Lord could then prevent the bad things we also love, and we would still feel alive, and in our heaven. But if there are no good loves or affections left, not a one, then the Lord goes along with the lusts and their evil acts, and gives Permission. That is, the Lord allows it to happen, doesn’t stop it, but gives the power and the knowledge for the criminal and cruel act to take place against the victim.
Further, the Lord governs these events so that He mitigates each detail, bending but never forcing, working in the background to make things happen as if by chance or foresight (AC 4364 ). The Lord is present very closely with the individual’s inner mind of which there is no conscious awareness. Regardless of the person’s religion or morality, the Lord is there close, governing and managing and healing. How good it is that He doesn’t leave things to us, for then hell would be far worse. He only lets us carry on the impression that He is absent or that we are accomplishing anything from ourselves. The holocaust is psychologically and spiritually impossible to resolve without knowing about the Divine Laws of Permissions and the Laws of Divine Providence. These have now been revealed in the Writings and we can have a perspective on anti-semitism that is rational and purposeful, not random and abandoned.
The New Church mind knows that the Lord only permits an event if He can turn it into some good for the victim and perpetrator alike. The Lord moderates and bends the killer’s intentions and capacities for cruelty, moment by moment, and the Lord also is with each victim, moderating the suffering and the fear.
There are thousands and thousands of arcana, of which scarcely a single one is known to man, whereby a man is led by the Lord out of the life of hell into the life of heaven. (AC 9336)
There are many like Elie Wiesel who see the holocaust as God’s failure, Christianity’s failure, humanity’s failure. These represent a continuation of the struggles for him and others. But we know from the Writings that in reality there is never a failure by the Lord. What is happening is that the Lord manages everyone’s fate and biography in accordance with His Perfect Divine Order and with a constant focus on the individual’s regeneration and preparation for spiritual life. The style by which we live in war and in peace is something we ourselves insist on, even as the Lord manages to work around it so that all things contribute to the individual’s spiritual salvation and eternal life. There has been no failure of anything, only man’s cruelty at work prior to regeneration.
Jewish nonduality as it is manifested in Christian thinking is exhibited in the popularity of Rabbi Harold Kushner’s bestsellers read by millions of Americans.
Question: This year is the 20th anniversary of your hugely best-selling book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Did the response to that book surprise you?
Answer: It still surprises me 20 years later that so many people, Christians, Jews and agnostics, were comforted by that book, that it is used in college courses and taught at Christian seminaries.
Question: What is it about us that craves significance?
Answer: Once we come to understand that we're not going to live forever, we feel the need to leave our mark on the world, so that when we are gone, people will know that we were once there. It's not mortality that frightens us, it's invisibility, the dreadful feeling that neither our living nor our dying will make a difference to the world. Religion tries to help us conquer that fear by giving us good things to do and by reassuring us that our choices matter at the highest level. We may not be famous, but we matter to the people close to us and we matter to God.
(BookPage interview with the author. Rabbi Harold Kushner Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success (Knopf 2001) On the Web at www.bookpage.com/0109bp/rabbi_kushner.html Accessed June 2002)
Note the inability to consider the continuation of life as a normal part of assessing the “significance” of our life on earth. Nonduality restricts an individual’s significance to a strictly natural property—that of “leaving a mark” in the physical world. In the Eulogy at funerals Christians often take solace in affirming the rock bottom fact that the individual who died will yet continue life “in the memories” of those he or she influenced for good. This is considered equivalent to immortality. But it is not. The individual continues life in the spiritual world and has nothing to do with the memories of those left behind. Dualism grants us freedom from the oppressive ideas of nonduality.
I once sent a copy of this book to Oprah after she had devoted a series of shows to what is spiritual. Of course I never received an acknowledgment from the producers who open her mail. After teaching a history of psychology course focusing on Swedenborg I was delighted to read Part 1 of the students’ reports which was divided into two parts: What the book says, and What I think of it. The majority did an excellent job of representing one of the three books being considered (Heaven and Hell, Divine Love and Wisdom, Divine Providence). Their summaries were accurate and they picked up important threads which they were able to render precisely in their words.
But when I got to Part 2 of their report I was shaken a bit to see that they did not accept what they summarized, though they all had a favorable view of the author whom they deemed sincere in his intentions. So I learned of the futility of merely exposing others to the Writings and expecting instant acceptance. I believed this naively because that’s how it happened to me. I was a seeker of truth and meaning in life. I hated the idea of dying and disappearing. I felt it was such a colossal waste—all the effort I put into my life going poof! What’s the point? No I did not care much about living “in the memory” of others. What’s that to me? I wanted immortality. I loved it when I first read the New Testament in 1980—overcoming my long standing aversion of it, as it was forbidden for an Orthodox Jew to read it or touch it. I especially loved the parts that promised eternal life. This was my first rational duality. It was given as a gift from the Lord through His New Testament Word. From an Orthodox Jew I instantly became a Jewish Christian. But a year later the Lord gave me the rest of the gift to complete the whole that He wished to give me about Himself and from Himself. I found the books of the Writings in our university library as I was browsing for “Bible commentaries.” Then my mind was immediately changed again into full living dualism. Now I have a New Church mind and I can write this book from it.
I realize that it is not possible to believe Swedenborg’s accounts of the spiritual world without reading and understanding the rational explanations given for all the experiences and observations he was able to make directly. There were many illustrious readers of Swedenborg among the intelligentsia of the 18th , 19th and 20th century (for the long list see Note 5 at end). They generally divided what he wrote into two parts: philosophy-theology and fantasy-spiritism. It’s astonishing to me that they were able to separate these two and to admire one for its enlightening rationality, but to dismiss the other for its childish and rather unimaginative inventiveness. I was puzzled.
I believe that future research in theistic science based on the Writings could uncover the reasons for the history of anti-semitism. We already know that it has a spiritual cause, because all historical events on earth are effects while none of them are causes (HH 89). What are the spiritual causes of anti-semitism? There may be many, general causes and specific causes. General causes fall into the category of love of self and love of dominion by those who make use of any social or political situation to make victims. This is what they love. But there are also specific causes that relate to evils of religion by those who make use of religion to victimize others. Other specific reasons relate to the states of spiritual development, what is inherited down the line of one’s ancestors (DP 277). The Writings tells us that all historical events in the Old Testament took place as described and that only those were permitted by the Lord that could be for the benefit of the people involved in the events, and could also serve for the Word and its representations by correspondence. The inner content of the Old Testament is its spiritual content, and this content is arranged in infinite rational series which the angels marvel at (AE 112; NJHD 260). The historical events were allowed to take place so that they could serve to represent and contain these heavenly truths. These truths are for the salvation of humankind, and without them, no one could be saved (TCR 318).
The Jewish history in the Old Testament had a Divine purpose for its every detail. This purpose was related to the evolution of the human race. This evolution is accomplished by means of the Divine Truths contained by correspondence in the historical events of the Word, in every geographic name, in every number, in every animal mentioned, in every miracle, in every poetic expression (AC 66 ). The Jewish people did not go through these events merely for their own sake but for the sake of the entire human race. This is the meaning of the “Chosen People of God.” They were accepted to the Divine task of being the living events of what the Lord needs to accomplish to save the world. Every detail in the Old Testament is about the Lord and His work of Redemption. It appears on the surface that every detail is about the Jewish people and their land. This is true. But much more than this, it is also the containant of the universal meaning—the latter within the former, by correspondence (DLW 221, AC 1886).
For instance, when we read about Abraham and the events recorded about him, we are reading in the spiritual sense, the events about the Lord when He was on earth and accomplished His work of Deliverance and Redemption. And further, these very same details about Redemption are also the details about the spiritual evolution of the race, and the spiritual development of every individual. This is the level of theistic science. At this level of thinking we read about Abraham, but we think about the Lord. We read about Esau and Jacob, but we think about our own states of regeneration. Esau represents the good of faith, Jacob the truth of faith. When we read about Jehovah telling Abraham to hearken unto Sarah, we are thinking about the external rational mind being in obedience to the internal rational mind. When we read about the prophet who was ordered to eat dung, we are reading about the profanation of good and truth in our mind:
In Ezekiel, the Spirit of Jehovah said to the prophet:
Take unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them into one vessel, and make thee bread thereof. With the ordure of man's dung shalt thou make a cake before their eyes. Thus shall the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean (Ezek. 4:9, 12-13);
where the profanation of good and truth is treated of; the "wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt" denote the kinds of good and its derivative truth; the "bread" or "cake" "made thereof with the ordure of human dung," denotes the profanation of all of them. (AC 3941)
Similarly in the New Testament and in the Writings because the Word is always written in this style, and without this, it would not be Holy and would not be able to conjoin heaven and earth, and thereby save the human race. The Writings were given for the entire universe, for the earths, and for the heavens. Many nations and historical figures are mentioned in it. All these are representations of spiritual things that correspond to them. These spiritual things are human states that apply universally. The Laws of Divine government have been revealed but not understood, hardly studied. But the future will be different as the human race gradually returns to its state of wholeness and pristine perfection (Coronis Summary LIII).
As the Writings become more widely known the issue of anti-semitism in it is inevitably going to crop up. I recall when I first read the New Testament at around age 40 I accepted it without hesitation as the continuation of the Old Testament, with which I was raised as an Orthodox Jew. But despite this, I sometimes got the feeling that it was anti-semitic in certain places where it refers to the Jews in derogatory terms. This reaction is inherent in every Jew. I started examining the exact expressions to see if it could have been written differently. For example, instead of saying “the Jews” should it not have said “certain among the Jews” or “the Jewish clergy” and so on. But later, through the Writings, I gained the perspective of the Word as the Divine Truth with its inner spiritual meaning in every expression and word. Then it is clear that the Word is universal and above sectarianism. But real historical events and people are involved in the surface literal prose of the Word. These names, places, and events are to be transcended or seen through so that they disappear altogether, and what is perceived then is the spiritual universal sense. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the people or places mentioned.
The nature of representatives becomes clear from the historical parts of the Word, where all the acts of those forefathers, that is to say, the acts of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob, and later on of Moses, the judges, and the kings of Judah and Israel, are nothing other than representatives. As has been stated, 'Abram' in the Word represents the Lord, and because he represents the Lord, he also represents the celestial man. 'Isaac' too represents the Lord, and from that the spiritual man, while 'Jacob' likewise represents the Lord, and from that the natural man corresponding to the spiritual.
 But the nature of representatives is such that no attention at all is paid to the character of the representative person, only to the thing which he represents For all the kings of Judah and Israel, no matter what kind of men they were, represented the Lord's Royalty, and all the priests, no matter what kind of men these were, His Priesthood. Thus bad men as well as good were able to represent the Lord, and the celestial and spiritual things of His kingdom, for, as stated and shown already, representatives were entirely separate from the person involved. So then all the historical narratives of the Word are representative, and as this is so it follows that all the words of the Word carry a spiritual meaning, that is, they mean something different in the internal sense from what they do in the sense of the letter. (AC 1409)
Since this nation, although of such a quality, represented the Church; and since the Word was written among them and concerning them; therefore Divine-celestial things were signified by their names, as by Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Ephraim, Joseph, and the rest. Judah, in the internal sense signifies the Lord as to celestial love, and His celestial kingdom .... The tribe of Judah and Judea signify the celestial Church .... The twelve tribes represent, and therefore signify, all things of love and faith in the aggregate, … consequently also heaven and the Church The seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, signifies the goods and truths of the Church. (NJHD 248)
In the same way we can deal with many passages in the Writings that appear to be anti-semitic to the Jewish reader. The Jewish reader will not be convinced that it makes a difference that there is also an internal spiritual sense. The fact remains to their eyes that the literal says negative things about Jews and some of the ancestors they consider part of their holy worship—King David, Judah, and Jacob, for instance, and many others. The Writings speak of them as not being among the heavenly persons. Their importance is not their personal character, which could be either good or evil. Their spiritual importance is that they represented something spiritual, just as the High Priest may represent the Lord while in his robes at the altar in the temple, but when not in his robes, and in private life, he may be a wicked and unlawful man. His personal wickedness does not interfere with his priestly representation and office. So even though Jacob represents the Lord in His Divine Natural, he is described in dishonorable terms in terms of his inherited character (e.g., SE 37; NJHD 248).
In fact, the Writings state that the Jews are entrusted with keeping intact the Word of the Old Testament and it is through this that there is connection between heaven and earth. Without the religious motivation of Jews to safeguard the Old Testament text, the world could not survive and the entire creation would be destroyed!
The Lord saw to it that to prevent the Word being lost, the Jewish race, which possesses the Word of the Old Testament in its original language, should survive, and live scattered throughout much of the world. Although they deny the Lord to be the Messiah or Christ who was foretold by the Prophets, and although they are wicked at heart, still their reading of the Word creates communication with certain heavens. For correspondences open up communication, whatever sort of person the reader may be, so long as he acknowledges it as Divine. This continues today as in the past. For when they reverence as if minor deities Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, David, Elijah and many others who are named in the Word, then the heavens perceive instead the Lord, being unaware of the person in the world who is the origin of that holy element in their worship. That is how heaven is linked with people by means of the Word. (DE VERBO 16)
It’s also important to remember that the Old Testament from Moses to all the prophets is replete with passages that describe the Jews in very negative terms. Remember what God says about His chosen people:
the iniquity of My people is become greater than the sin of Sodom, that was overturned as in a moment (Lam. 4:5, 6). (AE 653)
Woe to the sinful nation, to a people laden with iniquity (Isa. 1:4). (SS 86)
Because this people have drawn near with their mouth, and honored Me with their lips, but their heart has been far from Me, and their fear of Me has been a commandment of men that has been taught to them.... Isa. 29: 13. (AC 2826)
your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth; therefore when ye spread forth your hands I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, if ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of bloods. (Isa. 1:10-18) (Life 30)
I was angry with My people, I rendered My heritage unholy, and I gave them into your hand Isa. 47:5, 6, 9. (AC 1368)
I will hide My faces from them, I will see what is the last of them; for they are a generation of perversities, sons in whom is no truth. I would exterminate them, I would cause their memory to cease from man, were it not that I feared the indignation of the enemy. For they are a nation that perisheth in counsels, and there is no intelligence in them; for their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and their grapes are of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are hemlock, the clusters are bitter to them. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel head of asps. Is not this laid up in store with Me, sealed in My treasures? (Deut. 32:20, 26-34);
The Lord, through Moses, describes the children of Israel in highly negative terms—does that and the passages quoted above make the Old Testament anti-semitic? Does the following passage from the Writings make Swedenborg anti-semitic?
This tendency and proneness to evils just mentioned, which is transmitted from parents to their children and descendants, can only be broken down by a person being born anew by the Lord's help, a process called regeneration. Without this not only does the tendency remain unbroken, but it is reinforced by a succession of parents, becoming more prone to evils, and eventually to every kind of evil. That is why the Jews are still copies of their ancestor Judah, who married a Canaanite wife, and fathered three lines of descent by adultery with Tamar, his daughter-in-law. This heredity has become so amplified in the course of time that the Jews are unable to embrace the Christian religion and believe it in their hearts. I say they are unable, because the inner will in their minds resists, and it is this will which creates the impossibility. (TCR 521)
A spirit himself also is nothing else than his own quality; on this account everyone in that world drops his baptismal name, and the name of his family, and is named according to his quality. Hence it is that "name" in the Word does not signify name, but quality. (INV 41)
This is not anti-semitism but spiritual psychobiology of the unregenerate person. It is true of every individual’s inheritance regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion.
Anti-semitism is an evil of society because it is the hatred of others instead of love of neighbor. The negative things the Word says about the Jews is not anti-semitism because the Word is only love. The Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings say similar critical things about the Jews, as about the Christians, and still others. Everyone who is not regenerate is evil regardless of the religion one belongs to. As a Jewish boy growing up in Rumania I was raised to fear and despise Christians, to view with suspicion dark skinned races, and to believe that Jews are a superior race, superior in intelligence, superior in holiness. I was not taught to love my neighbor. I was taught all sorts of superstitious nonsense about other groups. The point is that Jews are filled with hatred for those who hate them. And this is natural. People of all religions also feel this way and act this way.
If Swedenborg had been anti-semitic he could not have discussed Christians in the same spiritually negative terms as he discussed the Jews, and yet this is what he has done:
That the Lord enters into a covenant, or conjoins Himself by charity, with Gentiles also who are outside the church, shall now be shown.
The man of the church supposes that all who are out of the church, and are called Gentiles, cannot be saved, because they have no knowledges of faith, and are therefore wholly ignorant of the Lord, saying that without faith and without knowledge of the Lord there is no salvation, and thus he condemns all who are out of the church. Indeed many of this sort who are in some doctrine, even if it be heresy, suppose that all outside this, that is, all who do not hold the same opinion, cannot be saved; when in fact the case is not so at all. The Lord has mercy toward the whole human race, and wills to save and draw to Himself all who are in the universe.
 The mercy of the Lord is infinite, and does not suffer itself to be limited to those few who are within the church, but extends itself to all in the whole world. Their being born out of the church and being thus in ignorance of faith, is not their fault; and no one is ever condemned for not having faith in the Lord when he is ignorant of Him.
Who that thinks aright will ever say that the greatest part of the human race must perish in eternal death because they were not born in Europe, where there are comparatively few? And who that thinks aright will say that the Lord suffered so great a multitude to be born to perish in eternal death? This would be contrary to the Divine, and contrary to mercy.
And besides, those who are out of the church, and are called Gentiles, live a much more moral life than those who are within the church, and embrace much more easily the doctrine of true faith, as is still more evident from souls in the other life. The worst of all come from the so-called Christian world, holding the neighbor in deadly hatred, and even the Lord. Above all others in the whole world they are adulterers.
 It is not so with those from other parts of the world. Very many of those who have worshiped idols are of such a disposition as to abhor hatred and adultery, and to fear Christians because of their being of this character and desirous of tormenting everyone. Indeed Gentiles are so disposed as to listen readily, when taught by angels about the truths of faith, and that the Lord rules the universe, and to be easily imbued with faith and thus to reject their idols. For this reason Gentiles who have lived a moral life and in mutual charity and innocence, are regenerated in the other life.
While they live in the world the Lord is present with them in charity and innocence, for there is nothing of charity and innocence except from the Lord. The Lord also gives them a conscience of what is right and good according to their religion, and insinuates innocence and charity into that conscience; and when there is innocence and charity in the conscience, they easily suffer themselves to be imbued with the truth of faith from good. The Lord Himself said this, in Luke:
And one said unto Him, Lord, are they few that be saved? and He said unto them, Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast forth without; and they shall come from the east and the west, and from the north and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God; and behold, there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last (Luke 13:23, 28-30).
By "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" are here meant all who have love, as shown above.
(AC 1032) (Italics added for emphasis)
This passage declares the Christians to be “the worst of all” the spirits that come from this earth into the afterlife. Clearly, Swedenborg could not have been anti-semitic and pro-Christian. He merely described what he saw in the spiritual world regarding the spiritual character of people from different nations (see LJ 2-24 and other places). It’s also clear from this and other passages, that religious membership is not the basis for spiritual judgment. Rather, how one lives—morally or not, as a matter of conscience and religion, determines one’s spiritual fate in the afterlife. Anti-semitism never takes this tolerant and universal attitude.
Moses and the Prophets, that is, all and everything in the Word, in the internal sense, treats of Him; and that all the rites of the Jewish Church represented Him (AC 2751).
All the rites of the Ancient Church were representative of the Lord, as also the rites of the Jewish Church. (AC 921)
External rites are called "signs of a covenant" for the reason chiefly that interior things may be kept in mind by them, that is, the things signified by them. All the rites of the Jewish Church were nothing else. And for this reason they were also called "signs" that the people might be reminded by them of interior things-as for instance, the binding of the chief commandment on the hand and on the forehead, as in Moses:
Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and these words thou shalt bind for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes (Deut. 6:5, 8; 11:13, 18).
All the rites of the Jewish Church were types representative of the Lord, consequently of love and charity, and of all things therefrom.
The things that were represented in the Jewish Church, and in the Word, are the Lord and His kingdom, consequently the celestial things of love, and the spiritual things of faith: these are what were represented, besides many things that pertain to these, such as all things that belong to the church. (AC 1361)
And it was He who has represented by all the rites of the Jewish Church, and whom they worshiped. (AC 1607)
All things of the Word in its inmost sense treat solely of the Lord, (AC 9925)
In the Word "Jehovah" denotes the Lord (n. 1343, 2921, 3035, 5663, 6280, 6281, 6303, 6945, 6956, 8864).
Unless these things had been as if present to the angels, through the Word, and also through all the rites in the Jewish Church, the Lord would have been obliged to come into the world immediately after the fall of the Most Ancient Church … (AC 2523)
In these passages of the Writings (and many others can be brought forward), it is declared that every detail of Jewish worship and history represents something about the Lord Jesus Christ! Anti-semitism hates Jewish worship and history, while Swedenborg elevates these things to the highest sacred level possible! Readers of Swedenborg who are not in the New Church mentality may acquire a superficial impression of anti-semitism in certain passages where the Jews are treated of. But readers who have a rational and scholarly orientation will be able to see that Swedenborg describes an extremely close identification between Jews and the New Church Christians. Every state of mental and psychological development in the New Church mind is identical with the historical events in the Old Testament and the minutest detail of worship and prayer. How closer can you get to someone other than your spouse? This close relationship between the New Church mind and the Jews is the result of this:
All the rites of the Ancient Church were representative of the Lord, as also the rites of the Jewish Church. But the principal representative in later times was the altar, and also the burnt-offering, which being made of clean beasts and clean birds, had its representation according to their signification, clean beasts signifying the goods of charity, and clean birds the truths of faith. (AC 921)
Every detail of the journeys of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, represents the details of how Jesus Christ grew up among the Jews and the mental states of development He underwent to unify His Human with His Divine. Every vision of every prophet was about Him, how He pleads with the Chosen people to turn back to the Commandments of Moses. Jehovah the Lord of the Old Testament and Jesus the Lord of the New Testament are one and the same Divine Person! Of course this idea may seem irrational or untrue to Jewish readers but it proves to them that it is not logical to think of Swedenborg as anti-semitic!
The Writings proclaim that Jews, Muslims, and Gentiles are saved equally with Christians when they arrive in the afterlife, are instructed, and can accept spiritual truths:
So in regard to the Jews and Gentiles; [as for instance] concerning the Jewish children who, from the persuasion of their parents that the Lord is not the Messiah, are not instructed to believe it; yet as it is owing simply to circumstances that the children cannot believe otherwise than they do, this does not abolish with them the truth, that the Lord is the promised Messiah. And thus as to the Gentiles who are in ignorance, not knowing that the Lord rules the universe; this ignorance, being a circumstance, does not preclude their being instructed in the other life, and thus saved; besides many other things. - 1748, October 11. (SE 3537) (see also SE 5880)
That the Mohammedan religion is received by more nations than the Christian religion, may be a stumbling-block to those who meditate upon the Divine Providence and believe at the same time that only those who are born Christians can be saved. But the Mohammedan religion is not a stumbling-block to those who believe that all things are of the Divine Providence. (TCR 833)
Further, to the New Church mind “Jews” doesn’t mean Jews but the “Jewish state of a person” which is the state we are all in before the external mind has an internal. No one is born with a spiritual mind but only with a natural mind and the potential of having a spiritual mind. This potential is there in equal measure to every human being. No one is saved by being born into this or that religion. Those who are born into the Christian Church, those born in the New Church, those born in the Jewish religion, in the Muslim faith, or none of these, are all born with numberless inherited evils. They are in an unregenerate, “Fallen” state. This means they are born without a spiritual mind, ready made, like the natural mind. A new mind must be created by the Lord in every individual through the process of regeneration. Until then religious membership is of no avail to anyone.
Religious rituals, religious prayers, religious sacrifices, fastings, meditations—none of it can prevail. Only what can prevail is a reformed character in daily willing and thinking for the sake of God and religion (LIFE 1). No one has the power to attain this. But anyone can turn to the Lord and ask Him to do it, for He can. And He has laid out in His Word what we must do in order for Him to regenerate us. This He does to anyone from any religion with any background universally. In heaven there are no religions, but only conscious life in accordance with the Word (AR 918).
The Lord has also laid out in His Word what happens to those who are not regenerated, those who are unwilling to turn to God and order their life according to His Commandments. They live out their few years on earth confirming their inherited evils, living them, becoming them. Their mind is built up through these evil loves and their falsities. There is nothing in the inmost of this mind except those evil loves. When they arrive in the afterlife they enter in total freedom within who they are, that is, they enter those evil loves. In the spiritual world those who are in evil loves see around themselves a hell—ugly rocky places, foul disgusting sickening smells, full of dangerous and poisonous animals, full of infernal humans who act like beasts and relate to each other through dominion and mutual enslavement. These things are not punishments for sins. They are the character of spiritual nature of evil loves. They are the exact opposite of good loves. Those in the spiritual world who arrive with good loves within them see a heaven around them—beautiful palaces with amazing art work, large complex fragrant gardens, filled with angelic people who act civilized and with compassion to each other, engaged in sharing their individual uniquenesses and benefiting everyone around them.
Anti-semitism is an evil love. It is inherited. Every individual then has a choice to make in adult life: Do I go along with this cultural norm or not? All sorts of justifications are learned from societal beliefs and practices—religious (“They are Christ killers”), socio-political (“They control the money”), psychological (“They are in-groupish”, “They are cowards”), pathological (“They are depraved”), and so on. As an adult every individual can think and reflect whether this attitude is justified or whether it is a prejudice and an injustice. Every individual can feel the delight of hatred in being anti-semitic, and then must reflect on its rightness or wrongness. Conscience will cry out in condemnation of all prejudice. Few are they who listen to conscience and are saved; many are they who kill their conscience and are in hell. For conscience is the voice of God speaking to the individual’s awareness (NJHD 139). To kill conscience, or to weaken it, is to cut off that source of communication and interaction between the individual and God. This conscious interaction on a daily basis is required for regeneration. It is not religion that saves, but regeneration (NJHD 183). And regeneration is available to anyone of any background through the Word.
In today’s world the Word is not known in many places but the Lord insures that every nation has some religion by which the people know the minimal facts required to be saved—to believe in God, to obey His Commandments, and to look to Him for all their daily needs. All individuals who live in this way are saved (AC 2589-2604). When they arrive in the afterlife they are instructed and enter the heaven of their religion (HH 512). Their mind can exist in good loves to eternity. But those who do not live their life by acknowledging and obeying God’s Commandments, are evolving a spiritual mind that can live in evil loves. When they arrive in the afterlife these evil loves within them reject the instruction they receive in the truths of religion. They go away on their own and pick up the falsities that agree with their evil loves. Thus, they enter a life of hell to eternity.
The New Church mind is greatly benefited by knowing that the fate of entering heaven or hell is not a judgment—not a reward or punishment for past misbehaviors. It has to do with spiritual psychobiology or spiritual medicine. The mind is formed not my material elements and fibers but by spiritual elements and fibers. The mind is an organ formed by spiritual fibers and arranged in spirals in accordance with the choices we make in willing and thinking in our daily life while in this world. What happens when surgeons cut out the masses of fibers in the brain that give someone a medical problem? After the mass of fibers is removed the rest can take over to some extent, but if the mass removed is beyond a certain point, the brain dies. Similarly, our mind is formed by masses of spiritual fibers. If these fibers are coiled in the wrong way, they cannot function in a heavenly sphere or environment—the individual merely falls dead. So the mind you bring with you in the afterlife is the mind you’ve got forever. Religious membership in the New Church is not a requirement for salvation and life eternal in heaven:
That the gentiles equally with Christians are saved, anyone can see who knows what it is that makes heaven in man; for heaven is within a man, and those who have heaven within them come into heaven. (HH 319)
Experiences and choices we make in the spiritual world are aligned with the mind such as it has already been formed. The direction of the spiritual coils constrain further development. There cannot be a reformation (DLW 263). This must occur prior to leaving this world. And so those who arrive with good loves, get more and more of them to eternity, while those who arrive with bad loves, get more and more of those. What about those who arrive with both kinds of loves? In fact everyone arrives in the afterlife with both kinds of loves, but with a critical difference—Which loves are inmost? Those who have their evil loves in the inmost see them drive out every single good love found in the surface of the character. They then make free choices that take them further and further into those evil loves, and permanent hell. Those who have their good loves in the inmost see them drive out all the evil loves that are still embedded in the surface of their personality. This purification process is painful but short. They then have a mind that can live in heaven.
Knowing this spiritual psychobiology is helpful because it strengthens the motivation for regeneration and sincerity in life. And these are possible to the extent that one avoids evil loves and fights against them by looking to the Lord for help. This process insures that the good loves will be in the inmost when we arrive in the afterlife.
End Notes and References
A directory of all my publications, with full text access to most of them, is available on the Web at
Leon James. “Substantive Dualism: Swedenborg's Integration of Biological Theology and Rational Psychology”
Leon James. “Scientific Dualism.”
Leon James. “Religious Psychology or Theistic Science: A Guide to Spiritual Self-examination”
Leon James. “Swedenborg Glossary of Theistic Science”
Leon James. “Do the Writings Contain Scientific Revelations?” New Church Life , July 1995, 115(7), 325-330.
Also available on the Web at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/nfile2.htm
Leon James. “Dualist Science and the Writings of Swedenborg” New Church Life , June 1995, 115(6), 264-270.
Leon James. “Overcoming Objections to Swedenborg's Writings Through the Development of Scientific Dualism” New Philosophy 2001 v.CIV n.3 & 4 pp. 153-217. Available online at:
Leon James. “The Fourteen Scientific Fallacies in AC5084: Implications for Science Education.” New Philosophy, July-December, 1996, XCIX(3 & 4), 439-450
Examples of promoting dualism in science in New Church literature include:
Gregory L. Baker, Religion and Science: From Swedenborg to Chaotic Dynamics (New York: The Solomon Press, 1992)
Linda Simonetti Odhner, The Bread of Life With Honey From the Rock: A Chaste Union of religion and science New Church Life March 1989, pp. 117-122
Leon James, Swedenborg's Religious Psychology: The Marriage of Good and Truth as Mental Health Studia Swedenborgiana December 1993, Vol.8, No-3, pp. 13-42
Ian Thompson, Foundations of the Theory of Spirit, Mind and Nature from Theism www.TheisticScience.org
W. F. Pendleton Topics From the Writings (Academy, 1928)
Leon James. “My Pre-Swedenborgian Discoveries and Inventions (1960-1980)”
Mark Carlson. “Evolution, the Limbus, and Hereditary Evil (Part 2)” New Church Life June 1990, pp.259-275.
Barry C. Halterman. “Swedenborg's Influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1883)”
Jane K. Williams-Hogan. Swedenborg: A Biography Available online here:
Leon James “Swedenborg Revolution in the Social Sciences”
Leon James “Spiritual Psychology”
Wilson Van Dusen, The Distinctiveness of the Church of the New Jerusalem New Church Life March 1994, 112-114.
Peter Rhodes, Gurdijeff’s and Swedenborg General Church Sound Recording Library, Bryn Athyn, 1976.
Leonard Fox, Gurdijeff’s: Guide to Heaven or Hell? New Church Life June 1993; (see also his reply in the October 1993 issue.)
Leon James “Moses, Paul, and Swedenborg, or Ritual, Faith, and Theistic Science: The Three Phases of Religious Behavior”
Leon James “Religious Behaviorism”
Leon James “De Hemelsche Leer--Part 1--Degrees of Consciousness”
Leon James “Spiritual Geography--Graphic Maps of Consciousness for Regeneration”
Leon James “Overcoming Objections to Swedenborg's Writings Through the Development of Scientific Dualism” New Philosophy 2001 v.CIV n.3 & 4 pp. 153-217. Available online here:
Dr. James’ Student Reports on Swedenborg are listed in this directory:
Leon James, “Genes of Consciousness: Spiritual Genetics for Regeneration”
Ian Thompson, Foundations of Theistic Science The Theory of Spirit, Mind and Nature from Theism (containing several articles)
Leon James, “Vertical Community”
Leon James, “The Will and the Understanding or The Affective and the Cognitive or Good and Faith or Heart and Lungs or Internal and External Mind”
Leon James, “Affective and Cognitive Resistance to a More Healthy Lifestyle
Leon James, “Notes on the Doctrine of the Wife:
See our Web site at www.DrDriving.org
List of Media Interviews with Leon James and Diane Nahl
Articles on Driving Psychology by Leon James and Diane Nahl
Leon James and Diane Nahl. Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare (Prometheus Books: New York, 2000).
Leon James and Diane Nahl. Heaven on Wheels: Principles of Christian Driving Psychology www.aloha.net/~dyc/articles/christ.htm
Leon James. “Drivers Behaving Badly: DBB Ratings”
Hatfield, E., & Rapson, R. (1996). Love and sex: Cross-cultural perspectives. New York: Allyn and Bacon.
Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J., & Rapson, R. L. (1994). Emotional contagion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Leon James “The Universal Modes of Enactment in Human Experience: A Self-Witnessing Account of the Discovery of Sudden Memory and My Interpretation of Its Significance for the Human Race”
Leon James “Autobiography: Sudden Memory as the Integrating Mechanism on the Daily Round”
Leon James “Objective Autobiography: Sudden Memory”
Leon James “Radicalist Empiricism. The Universal Modes of Enactment in Human Experience. A Self-Witnessing Account of the Discovery of Sudden Memory and My Interpretation of Its Significance for the Human Race”
Leon James “The Hexagram of Sudden Memory “
Leon James “Discoveries and Inventions--Sudden Memory”
Leon James “The Hexagram of Sudden Memory” (excerpts)
Leon James “Pre-Swedenborgian Discoveries and Inventions (1960-1980)”
Leon James and Diane Nahl “Workbook for the Study of Social Psychology”
Leon James “The Analysis of Transactional Engineering Competence” www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/tec.html
Leon James “Community Archives in Social Psychology”
Leon James “Understanding Discourse: From Ethnosemantics to Transactional Engineering”
Leon James “Genetic Culture: Primacy of the Affective over the Cognitive”
Leon James “Lectures in Social Psychology (directory of chapters)”
Leon James “Lecture Notes on The Psychology of Knowledge: The Discovery of Sudden Memory“
Leon James “The Method of Self-Witnessing”
Leon James “Religious Psychology or Theistic Science: A Guide to Spiritual Self-examination”
Leon James “Self-witnessing our emotions in daily life”
Leon James “General Instructions for Your Research Project: The Four Options--Customizing My Daily Emotional Spin Cycle”
Leon James “Temptations entry in the Swedenborg Glossary” www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/temptations.html
Leon James “Self-Witnessing the Threefold Self”
Rev. Ray Silverman teaches at the New Church Academy in Bryn Athyn. He and his wife Star are the authors of a successful book Rise Above It! – “a curriculum for spiritual growth based on the Ten Commandments.” A seminar program is based on the book and is called Touchstone Seminars: A Life-changing Experience. See Web site at newearth.org/user/touchstone/
Harrie G.D. Groeneveld “The Second Coming of the Lord in the Doctrine of the Church” De Hemelsche Leer, First Fascicle, 38-43, 1930 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8) Available online at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan1.html See also its reprint version in the restart issues of De Hemelse Leer, April 2002 issue, Dr. Rutger Perizonius, Editor (Van der Heimstraat 5, 2582 RX, The Hague)
Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer “Elucidation of Mr. Groeneveld's Address” De Hemelsche Leer, First Fascicle, p.82-95; 127-131, 1930 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8) Available online at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan2.html See also its reprint version in the restart issues of De Hemelse Leer, April 2002 issue, Dr. Rutger Perizonius, Editor (Van der Heimstraat 5, 2582 RX, The Hague)
Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, “The second Education” De Hemelsche Leer, Third Fascicle, p.22. 1935 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8; Chapter 8 Section 3) (Available online at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan8.html )
James, Leon (2002) “The Substitution Technique: A Method for Extracting What the Writings Say About Themselves as the Word” De Hemelse Leer, Vol. XIV No. 2 (April 2002), 103-109.
The following New Church ministers are quoted in this book:
Rev. Donald L. Rose, Sermon titled “The Colt Loosed For the Lord’s Service” General Church, Bryn Athyn. Undated (quoted above in the Introduction to Volume 1)
Rev. Erik E. Sandstrom, The New Age and the New Church (Part Two). New Church Life, June 2002, 251-260 (quoted above in the Introduction to Volume 1; Introduction to Chapter 2; Chapter 4 Section 6; Chapter 6 Section 3; Chapter 7 Section 2)
Rev. Mark Carlson. “Evolution, the Limbus, and Hereditary Evil (Part 2)” New Church Life June 1990, pp.259-275. (quoted above in Chapter 3 Section 7).
Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman’s review of Henry James, Sr. in Arcana 1996 v.2 n.4 p.56 (quoted above in Chapter 4 Section 2 and Section 3)
Rev. Grant R. Schnarr “Swedenborg And The Near Death Experience” on the Web at www.newchurch.org/faq/indepthfaq/swedenbNearDeathExperience.html Accessed June 2002 (quoted above in Chapter 4 Section 5)
Rev. Douglas M. Taylor “Self-Esteem” New Church Life March 2002 v.CXXII No.3 pp. 99-105 (quoted above in Chapter 6 Section 7)
Rev. Edward S. Hyatt, Sermons on the Word. Swedenborg Genootschap, 1935 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8)
Rev. Hugo Lj. Odhner, “The Transition from Human to Divine Philosophy” Written in 1921. Published in The New Philosophy 1974; 77:43-71. Available online at: http://www.newchurchissues.org/SR/hlo74.htm )
(quoted in Chapter 7 Section 8)
Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, “The second Education” De Hemelsche Leer, Third Fascicle, p.22. 1935 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8; Chapter 8 Section 3) (Available online at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409ss99/thompson/mscan8.html )
The Letters and Memorials of Emanuel Swedenborg. Translated and Edited by Rev. Alfred Acton (Bryn Athyn, PA. Swedenborg Scientific Association, 1948) (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8)
Rev. Geoffrey H. Howard titled "The Transformation of a Man into a Husband and a Woman into a Wife through Marriage" appeared in New Church Life, June 2001 issue, pages 243-248. (quoted above in Chapter 9 Section 1)
Rev. Ernst Pfeiffer “Elucidation of Mr. Groeneveld's Address” De Hemelsche Leer, First Fascicle, p.82-95; 127-131, 1930 (quoted above in Chapter 7 Section 8)
I wish to thank Dr. Ian Thompson for his invaluable editorial assistance with several drafts and for supplying many of the citations to the Writings (see Note 12 above ). I also wish to thank Rev./Dr. Ray Silverman who spent much appreciated effort reading and critiquing an earlier draft (see Note 21 above). Rev. Robert Junge made critical comments on several key issues that greatly improved my discussion of them. I am very grateful for their contribution. Their astute observations helped me to avoid critical errors and to strengthen the presentation in numerous places.
The author, Dr. Leon James, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii. His Web site and information on his professional background is located here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/leon.html
A directory of articles and books by Leon James, with full text access is available here: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/leonarticles.html
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