Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

Theistic Psychology: 
The Scientific Knowledge of God
Extracted from the Correspondential Sense
of Sacred Scripture

by Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004
Last update: 2006

For Permissions Note and Conditions of Use see Volume 18

The Topical Index to Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18

This is Volume 8

Learning and Cognition

(version 46b)

8.0  Learning and Cognition
8.1  Thinking From Natural Ideas vs. Thinking From Spiritual Ideas
8.2  Thinking About God From Spiritual Ideas Rather Than Natural
8.3  How We Learn and Develop Rationality

        8.3.1  Degrees of Truth and Levels of Mind
        8.3.2  Test Your Logical Thinking                       
        8.3.3  Literacy: The Universal Hierarchy of Basic Skills
        8.3.4  Religious Curriculum
        8.3.5  Individual Growth Recapitulates History and Evolution
        8.3.6  Thinking From a Knowledge of the Three Degrees
        8.3.7  The Trigrammatic Construction of the Universe

8.4  External and Interior Memory
8.5  Sudden Memory

8.6  Perception: Natural, Rational, Spiritual

        8.6.1  Spiritual-Rational Perception
        8.6.2  Wisdom and Perception  

8.7  Inherited Spiritual Traits

        8.7.1  Remains and the Levels of Good in Human Development

8.8   Universal Spirit Language and Thought
8.9   Anatomy of Mind and Levels of Consciousness
8.10  Principles of Theistic Psychology Education

        8.10.1 Education With Dualist Concepts 
        8.10.2 Constructing Integrated Dualist Concepts

        External and Interior Portions
        Discrete Degrees
        Top Down Integration Through Intermediaries

The Topical Index to Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18

  Learning and Cognition

This section is based on a study by George de Charms titled Imagination and Rationality (1972, see Readings). DeCharms uses the word "imagination" to refer to cognitive processes, while "rationality" refers to the syntax of cognitive processes. The purpose we need to study how the human works is that such knowledge helps us to cooperate in our regeneration. The Divine Psychologist is managing and accomplishing our regeneration, but we are given the choice to put a limit to the process. We can refuse to cooperate, in which case we remain unregenerate and our character remains evil, as inherited (see Section xx).

We can cooperate to different extents. Some of us are willing to be regenerated only as to the spiritual-natural degree of thinking and intending, in which case they end up in their First Heaven. Others, to the spiritual-rational degree, in which case they end up in their Second Heaven. And some are willing to be regenerated to the celestial-rational degree of thinking and willing, in which case they end up in their Third Heaven (see Section xx). Knowledge of the anatomy and functioning of the mind allows us to increase the extent of our cooperation with the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx).

 Human life consists in doing what one is willing by means of thinking. In other words, willing and intending is the activity of our loves or motives, while thinking is the activity of our reasoning and understanding. Willing requires thinking in order to achieve doing that which satisfies our loves or motives. We make choices by allowing our loves or motives to select the kinds of thoughts and plans that can fulfill those loves. Without thinking, we could not eat because food is not available wherever we happen to be. We must know or think where there is available food we could eat. It is the same with every other activity. See the discussion on the "threefold self" in Section xx.

The Writings of Swedenborg give us new information about the human mind that was never available to the human race. We now know about how the conscious and unconscious  zzzxx


8.1  Thinking From Natural Ideas vs. Thinking From Spiritual Ideas

In order to understand how learning operates we need to know the chain of events from God to the habit or behavior that has been learned. This is a simultaneous as well as a sequence of events. One of the most far reaching principles that are revealed in the scientific revelations in the Writings is this principle that all sequential events also must occur simultaneously throughout the causal chain coming down from God. The Spiritual Sun is the instrument by which God controls all things. But how? The answer is related to God's attribute of omnipresence. We need to think of this in a dualist framework. God cannot be present in space and time in the same sense that a tree or ant is present on earth, for then God could not be omnipresent, or present in every place on earth. This is rationally and scientifically impossible for God since God always acts rationally, this being God's nature. God cannot act irrationally or make the impossible happen, thus breaking all the rational rules that God created. Therefore there must another way of looking at God's omnipresence.

The Writings discuss what this means:

When an angel of heaven thinks of the Divine Omnipresence, he simply cannot think otherwise than that the Divine fills all things apart from space (DLW 71)

We are called angels when we ascend in consciousness to our highest level called "heaven." In that state of mind we are spiritual, not natural. We think and reason in our spiritual or celestial mind. Swedenborg was able to experience this high state in his mind, and when he was in that state he discovered that he was able to see and speak with the people who are permanently settled in that state of life, and hence he called them "angels of heaven." Swedenborg can therefore give us an empirical account of what it's like to function as an angel of heaven, both from what he observed about his thinking and the thinking of the angels. What does it mean that the Divine fills all things apart from space?

We read in the Writings:

THE DIVINE IS NOT IN SPACE. That the Divine, that is, God, is not in space, although omnipresent and with every man in the world, and with every angel in heaven, and with every spirit under heaven, cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea, but it can by a spiritual idea. It cannot be comprehended by a natural idea, because in the natural idea there is space; since it is formed out of such things as are in the world, and in each and all of these, as seen by the eye, there is space. In the world, everything great and small is of space; everything long, broad, and high is of space; in short, every measure, figure and form is of space. This is why it has been said that it cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea that the Divine is not in space, when it is said that the Divine is everywhere.

Still, by natural thought, a man may comprehend this, if only he admit into it something of spiritual light. For this reason something shall first be said about spiritual idea, and thought therefrom. Spiritual idea derives nothing from space, but it derives its all from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, of joys therefrom; in general, of good and of truth. An idea of these things which is truly spiritual has nothing in common with space; it is higher and looks down upon the ideas of space which are under it as heaven looks down upon the earth. But since angels and spirits see with eyes, just as men in the world do, and since objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world where angels and spirits are, there appear to be spaces like the spaces on earth; yet they are not spaces, but appearances; since they are not fixed and constant, as spaces are on earth; for they can be lengthened or shortened; they can be changed or varied.

Thus because they cannot be determined in that world by measure, they cannot be comprehended there by any natural idea, but only by a spiritual idea. The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth. (DLW 7)

This revelation is of enormous significance to theistic psychology. From this we know that there are two ways in which human beings think, one natural, the other spiritual. We are in effect born into two worlds and our natural mind is built up from the experiences in the physical world, while our spiritual mind is built up from the experiences in the spiritual world. This makes dual citizens, living simultaneously in two separate but correspondential universes. This is not difficult to understand if you contrast physical places in which our bodily events occur and dream places in which our dreams take place. The house in the dream may be very spacious, but we can understand that those spaces are not physical. In the same way the places in the spiritual world are not physical spaces. Swedenborg calls them appearances of space. Dreams are real appearances. But where?

Dreams are real appearances in the spiritual world, so real that others around the dreaming person can see the dream scapes all around them. It is as if the dream occurs on a holodeck (as in Star Trek) where it is called "virtual reality." Suppose you could be present inside my dreams. You would be present everywhere in my dream, not just in one scene or one place, but in all scenes and all places. Virtually, you would be omnipresent in my dreams. This means that you would be present everywhere in my dreams but not in the space of my dream, but apart from it. If you were present in the space of my dream you would then be part of my dream and therefore be present in only some scenes or positions in a scene, say, sitting in a chair. You would not be present outside the chair or in anther room in the dream. The only way you could be present in all places in my dream is by being present in my dream apart from the dream itself or any of its parts.

In the same way God is omnipresent, present in all places but apart from space. Similarly with time, in that God is present in all time but apart from time.

The Writings explain:

It has been said that in the spiritual world, just as in the natural world, there appear to be spaces, consequently also distances, but that these are appearances according to spiritual affinities which are of love and wisdom, or of good and truth. From this it is that the Divine-Human, although everywhere in the heavens with angels, nevertheless appears high above them as a sun. Furthermore, since reception of love and wisdom causes affinity with the Divine-Human, those heavens in which the angels are, from reception, in closer affinity with Him, appear nearer to Him than those in which the affinity is more remote. From this it is also that the heavens, of which there are three, are distinct from each other, likewise the societies of each heaven; and further, that the hells under them are remote according to their rejection of love and wisdom. The same is true of men, in whom and with whom the Divine-Human is present throughout the whole earth; and this solely for the reason that the Divine-Human is not in space. (DLW 10)

In other words, the appearance of distance in a dream, as in the spiritual world, is a correspondential representation of an affective state in the mind. The reason that there are several heavens is that people vary in the degree to which they are able to raise their consciousness. We can be very near to God by receiving in our mind the love substance that emanates from the Spiritual Sun, which surrounds God and is the nearest creation to God, that is, the purest form of the substances that God creates from the infinite Love which is in God. We are nearer to God in distance when we receive love in a relatively purer form. We find ourselves distanced from God to the extent that we distort the pure form of love that emanates from the Spiritual Sun. The heat of the Spiritual Sun is called spiritual heat, which is love; and the light of the Spiritual Sun is called spiritual light or truth. The love in our affective organ and the truth in our cognitive organ are not pure substances from the Spiritual Sun, but modified in ways that depend on the unique form of every person's mind and identity. This is also true of the natural sun, whose heat and light hit various plants, and each plant absorbs them in a unique way, producing as a result fruits and flowers unique to each species, and indeed to each individual plant or leaf.

Hence it is that our vertical community with spirits is determined by the quality of the love we have. When we are immersed in our good loves we can ascend all the way to the highest heaven in our mind, depending only on our willingness to embrace the inflowing love without distorting it with our own ego. For instance, we can start thinking irrationally that the love and goodness we possess is from ourselves and not flowing in from God. This is such a distortion of the inflowing love that it forms for itself thoughts and reasonings that are false and delusional. We then live in our illusions and delusions, like schizophrenics who fabricate a world of their own, or like a habitual liar or hypocrite who deceives others and forms a hellish character in themselves filled with awful traits and habits. Human beings can therefore choose their own distance from God and reality by what they are willing to love and to think. The distance and space in the spiritual world, and therefore in the mental world, is always relative to God, representing the spiritual distance from God's Love and Truth, streaming as spiritual heat and light into their affective and cognitive receptors.

8.2  Thinking About God From Spiritual Ideas Rather Than Natural

A natural idea of God is that God is invisible, shapeless, and everywhere. This is not different from the natural idea of space or energy force. Space is everywhere and energy is everywhere, hence God is some kind of force that's everywhere. But thinking this way about God is antithetical to the fact that God has revealed that He is a human person who loves, thinks, and acts from his love through His Wisdom and Intelligence. If God thinks and loves, He must be a human person for only a human thinks and loves. Rocks don't think and feel, and while animals love things they are not capable of thinking rationally. They act from their love instinctively, not by having to figure it out, like human beings. Children are taught to be human, that is, to speak and to use their thinking to satisfy their loves and intentions. An animal that grows up to an adult in an isolated state will act normally like the other animals in that species. All its ability to survive is innate or instinctive. It doesn't need to be taught what to eat or how to get to the food. Human infants cannot grow up on their own, do not know how to think rationally or how to survive, do not know what to eat or how to get it. Every skill a human being develops must be taught. As a result human act not from instinct or innate knowledge, but from rational thinking, from a plan that leads to a goal that satisfied one's needs and wishes.

So the definition of "human" is to act from desire or motive in accordance with a rational plan that leads to the goal that satisfies the need. God acts from love according to rational intelligence and wisdom. God created the universe from a desire to share the good with human beings. God desires to make human beings happy and proceeds to achieve this goal by rational order of all things created. It is revealed in the Writings that God created the universe as a home for human beings. Every human being that is created is immortal and God intends that human beings live in a state of heaven to eternity, in which humans are in a state of endless joy endlessly increasing in intensity. To achieve this state of eternal joy human beings must be born on some earth, raised by other human beings, and prepared to die and resuscitate for heavenly life in an immortal spiritual body. Humans must have free will and rationality in order to achieve this heavenly state. It is not according to God's rational order to create human robots in heaven who are always heavenly in character. Those angel robots would not be able to act as if from themselves, in liberty and choice. Angel robots made in heaven would only act from God directly and would not have a self of their own. Without a self, there is no human being but only an organic robot activated by God as so many artificial extensions of Himself.

In the same way God would not be a human person if He did not act from free choice of love by means of rational reasoning. We need therefore to develop the spiritual idea that God is a human person in whom infinite things make one. Being human means that God must have organs like the created human beings:

That in God there are infinite things, any one may convince himself who believes that God is a Man; for, being a Man, He has a body and every thing pertaining to it, that is, a face, breast, abdomen, loins and feet; for without these He would not be a Man. And having these, He also has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tongue; also the parts within man, as the heart and lungs, and their dependencies, all of which, taken together, make man to be a man. In a created man these parts are many, and regarded in their details of structure are numberless; but in God-Man they are infinite, nothing whatever is lacking, and from this He has infinite perfection. This comparison holds between the uncreated Man who is God and created man, because God is a Man; and He Himself says that the man of this world was created after His image and into His likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27). (DLW 18)

Because in God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angel, and in man, as in a mirror; and because God-Man is not in space (as was shown above, n. 7-10), it can, to some extent, be seen and comprehended how God can be Omnipresent, Omniscient, and All-providing; and how, as Man, He could create all things, and as Man can hold the things created by Himself in their order to eternity. (DLW 21)

In other words we are human because God is Human. Swedenborg uses the title the Divine-Human to refer to God. The idea that God is a Human is difficult to accept as long as you think of God as invisible and everywhere in the world, knowing all, seeing all. This is thinking about God from a natural concept, limited by restrictions of time and space and matter or energy. God is not energy or force for two reasons. First, because energy is a natural concept restricted to time and space. God creates energy, therefore God cannot be energy. Second, the idea of energy or force annihilates the Human nature of God. Energy or force does not love or think rationally. Only a human loves and thinks rationally. So, if we are willing to abandon the natural idea of God, we are then able to see God from a spiritual idea.

A spiritual idea of God is that God is infinite love and intelligence or wisdom. It is known that only humans can love and think rationally. Therefore a definition of what is human is to say that human is that which loves and thinks rationally. According to this definition therefore God is Human. And this makes good sense within the positive bias and dualism. God is the creator of everything that exists, and since God cannot change and has always been perfectly Human, every thing created by God must have an "image" or representation of God within itself. The entire universe is therefore a representation of the Divine-Human and this is true of every object in it, from molecule to galaxy, and from earthworm to human beings. his scientific principle was well known to the ancients, as reported by Swedenborg who had access to the earliest generations of humans on earth by being able to visit with them in their heavenly habitations where they have been for a long time.

Since God is Human and has a human anatomy just like ours, it is rational to talk to God and to love God, striving to come spiritually nearer to God by learning to act lovingly and rationally all the time. This greater closeness to God allows us to receive much more in terms of happiness, intelligence, and productivity. This closeness to God is not possible if God is an invisible force that cannot be understood by human minds. A love for some invisible energy is no love of God. Swedenborg proved this when he interviewed recent arrivals to the world of spirits about their idea of God. Those who came with the natural idea that God is an invisible force permeating the universe, now recanted and rejected any idea of God. When they were instructed that God is a Human, they found it preposterous and were unwilling to accept the idea. Their lifestyle in the spiritual world is unenviable and awful. This is because in this world we can be atheists and deny God, yet still be equally loving, moral, and decent as those who profess a belief in God, yet hardly live like what God wants and commands for their own sake.

It is extremely important to remember that only in this life on earth can we modify our basic loves. Once the physical body is dead and we are no longer in the natural world, we are awakened as "spirits" in a spiritual world. This is the continuation of human life for everyone, as part of being human.  When we thus begin our new life in eternity, outside time and space, the rules of living and of reality are different. For example, we can see each other's thoughts or intentions, not always in particular detail, but in a general form, as if from a distance. Still, it is enough that we can monitor features such as whether someone intends evil to us, or whether they are harmless. Also, what the other person is thinking is instantly reflected in the surrounding presence, so that all of a sudden it gets dark, or an awful smell is detected, or dangerous animals appear on the horizon, and so on. As a result only those people or "spirits" can be in each other's presence or company who are similar to one another. This means that life in eternity is within communities that are distinctly different from each other, but within each community they are similar variations of each other, even though each is completely unique.

Swedenborg observed that those who are unwilling to accept the idea or truth that God is Human with all the human body organs, sink down into the corporeal mind where they filter out all rationality and love that they receive through the Spiritual Sun which permeates every human mind there. Swedenborg proved this experimentally by asking some of these people to repeat sentences after him that were rational and true. For example, "God is a Human," which they repeated as "God is not a Human." Or, "angels are good, devils are bad" which he repeated as "Devils are good, angels are bad." And other ways, as for instance someone in the heaven of their mind wrote a sentence on a piece of paper which was then passed down to someone in the hell of their mind, who was asked to read it. And he read the opposite of what was written. This is because he filtered all incoming truth and rationality and turned it into its opposite. This is also interesting because it shows that those who keep themselves in the hell of their mind actually retain all their rationality so that they can read a sentence and say its opposite. This takes rational skills. So it is the perversion of their love that gets them to use their rationality to defeat it. Their evil loves defeat their capacity for rationality not just once and for all, but continuously, moment by moment. So fiercely do they hold on to these evil loves that no amount of suffering and agony they experience can convince them to come out of their evil loves.

You can see from these actual reports and experiments how important it is to have a spiritual idea of God, since this will be the basis of our reality to eternity. Our happiness, intelligence, and creativeness depends on this idea of God as a Human. Therefore you can see how important it is for all of us to really understand scientifically how it can be that God, as a Divine-Human Person, can be omnipresent.

This can only be understood with rational ideas put together rationally. Namely, that God is present everywhere not in space but apart from space and time. This then becomes our challenge: How do understand fully the idea of "apart from space and time."

I have struggled with it for years and I've made steady progress understanding this idea more and more fully. You can begin now, and as you read more and more of the Writings, you will develop a gradually a fuller and fuller understanding of this rational principle about God and the reality of the universe we live in.

For now you can review again what was said above about our dreams: What if you could evolve the ability to be present in my dreams, not as a character I'm dreaming about, but the real you. You will be able to see my dreams, all the landscapes and people and events. But I the dreamer will not see you or know about you. Your ability makes it possible for you to be present in all my dreams. Thus, you will be omnipresent in my dreams. We could say therefore that you are present in all my dreams everywhere, but not in my dreams but apart from them. Your omnipresence in my dreams would not be possible if you were in my dreams rather than apart from them. Here we have an inkling of the spiritual meaning of how God as Human can be omnipresent in the universe. God is present everywhere not in time and space but apart from them.

And in this way we can continue expanding our understanding of God, and how God manages the universe on a continuous "online" basis by means of rational laws of management and engineering. The more rationally we are able to develop our understanding of God and God's management techniques, the more we can receive from God the good things and the true things of life, such as the love of being useful and the wisdom to learn from the endless life of experience in eternity. But if we fail to develop this spiritual understanding of God we put a quick limit to our intelligence and humanity. This is because all intelligence and humanity comes to us from God, moment by moment. We do not possess any of it ourselves, so that if we cut off the online input or "influx," we develop into a sub-human person that immerses the individual in awful experiences that never end.

Much is at stake here, correct?

Look at the fallacies one can fall into when considering God from a natural idea. quoting from student reports:

Negative bias is a major roadblock to the study of theistic psychology. Negative bias is often a trait shared by many atheist and agnostics. Their inability to prove the existence of God leads them to the conclusion that God is an impossibility. In the article “A Christian God’s Contradictions”, God is professed to be a contradiction of ideals and therefore a universal impossibility. The article claims that a being who is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnibenevolent, cannot possibly exist because each of these traits contradicts the other ( ). Of course the author does not explain how these things contradict each of, but merely states it as fact. The article discusses the concept of the law of non-contradiction, and how this proves the non-existence of God, since He is not composed of atoms and matter. The law of non-contradictions states that nothing can exist without matter or some form of substance, so since God is said to exist in the spirit world He must be without substance, thus fully embracing a negative bias.  ( )

The two main standards to deciding whether or not a theory is scientific are its testability and compatibility to natural law. In the case of a theistic approach, its spiritual nature makes it impossible to be tested and confirms its incompatibility to natural law. Furthermore, in reference to Theistic Psychology, Swedenborg’s journeys to the spiritual realm, as far as we know, cannot be repeated. Therefore, it is not a guarantee that he undeniably talked to God and interviewed spirits.  ( )

In the following passage from Swedenborg "the doctrine of faith" refers to the understanding of scientific revelations in sacred scripture or "the Word" which refers to the Word of God or Divine Speech. There are two approaches, one valid the other not. It is not valid to "regard the doctrine of faith from rational things" which is "not to believe in the Word." This is the negative bias. The correct approach is to "regard rational things from the doctrine of faith," and this "is first to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine therefrom." This is the positive bias, or the "affirmative principle." In other words one must first believe that sacred scripture is Divine revelation, and then one can confirm rationally that it is so. But the negative bias is first to examine sacred scripture to see if it fits our rational assumptions before we accept it as Divine truth. With this approach one remains in the negative bias or the "negative principle").

As regards man it is one thing to regard the doctrine of faith from rational things, and altogether another to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith.

To regard the doctrine of faith from rational things is not to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine thence derived, until one is persuaded from rational things that it is so; whereas to regard rational things from the doctrine of faith is first to believe in the Word, or in the doctrine therefrom, and then to confirm the same by rational things. The former is inverted order, and results in nothing being believed; whereas the latter is genuine order, and causes the man to believe the better. (...)

[3] These things are much treated of in the Word in its internal sense, especially where Asshur and Egypt are spoken of; for the reason that while the doctrine of faith is regarded from rational things, that is, while a man does not believe until he is persuaded from them that it is so, it then not only becomes null and void, but whatever is contained in it is also denied; whereas when rational things are regarded from the doctrine of faith, that is, when a man believes the Word, and afterwards the same things are confirmed by rational things, the doctrine is then living and whatever is contained in it is affirmed.

[4] There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Divine-Human has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle.

[5] The more they who think from the negative principle consult things rational, the more they consult memory-knowledges, and the more they consult things philosophical, the more do they cast and precipitate themselves into darkness, until at last they deny all things. The causes of this are, that no one can apprehend higher things from lower ones, that is, spiritual and celestial things, still less Divine things, from lower ones, because they transcend all understanding, and moreover everything is then involved in negatives from that principle. On the other hand, they who think from an affirmative principle can confirm themselves by whatever things rational, by whatever memory-knowledges, and whatever things philosophic they have at command; for all these are to them things confirmatory, and give them a fuller idea of the matter.

[6] Moreover there are some who are in doubt before they deny, and there are some who are in doubt before they affirm. They who are in doubt before they deny are they who incline to a life of evil; and when this life carries them away, then insofar as they think of the matters in question they deny them. But they who are in doubt before they affirm are they who incline to a life of good; and when they suffer themselves to be bent to this by the Divine-Human, then insofar as they think about those things so far they affirm. As this subject is further treated of in the verses which follow,. it is permitted of the Divine-Human's Divine mercy to illustrate them more fully there (see n. 2588).  AC 2568.

Note especially this sentence: "The more they who think from the negative principle consult things rational, the more they consult memory-knowledges, and the more they consult things philosophical, the more do they cast and precipitate themselves into darkness, until at last they deny all things." It should be noted that "to consult the rational" refers to the rational part of the natural mind or the "natural-rational" way of thinking. This is as different from the "spiritual-rational" as the spiritual is superior or higher to the natural. What is the difference?

The natural-rational way of thinking consists of knowledge built up from the physical senses and its abstracted principles such as we find in materialistic science or monism. If we let this type of reasoning judge the truth value of sacred scripture we will always reject revelation and remain in the negative bias forever. Hence it is said that this natural-rational "ought not be consulted." But if we accept sacred scripture as Divine truth we are thinking in the mode of dualism in accordance with scientific revelations. We are thus in the positive bias. When we then examine sacred scripture we can confirm its truth rationally by thinking of how the natural events are mere effects that are caused by spiritual events. The knowledge and understanding of spiritual events described in sacred scripture builds up our spiritual-rational thinking so that it filters down and conditions the natural-rational thinking. This leads to enlightenment which is the ability to think and reason in the dualist mode of sacred scripture.

8.3   How We Learn and Develop Rationality

The foremost principle of learning in theistic psychology is that all thoughts are created by our loves. Therefore, in order to learn or acquire a new habit-skill, we must use our cognitive processes for thinking about what we are to do and how to do it. This cognitive process is an operation in the cognitive mind, which is a spiritual organ involving nerve fibers constructed from the substances streaming out from the Spiritual Sun. However, not a single cognitive operation is possible except through an impulse from the affective organ. You cannot think a single thought unless it is initiated by some love, purpose, or motive in the affective organ called "the will." All thoughts and their operations are goal-directed by an affection for the goal. The affection for the goal is called the motive. The motive is the essential cause or source of all action, behavior, or habit.








8.3.1  Degrees of Truth and Levels of Mind

This chart is adapted from Kay Alden's Theology 526 paper (see Reading List ). She credits Rev. Willard Heinrichs for an earlier chart. See also Hugo Lj. Odhner's chart in The Human Mind for a related description.

of Truth
Level of Mind and Function Part of the
Corresponding Level in
Spiritual World
4 Interior-
rational or
or rational
3 Exterior-
rational or
2 Interior-
natural or spiritual-
(interior-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational correspondences)
1 Natural-
 (natural correspondences, reasoning, imagination, natural or external
or natural
of spirits

The chart above represents many different passages from the Writings in which the anatomy of the human mind is discussed along with the geography of the spiritual world (see Section xx). The first two rows (1, 2) above the BODY represents our natural mind in which we are conscious on this earth. Row 1 portrays the natural mind before reformation and regeneration, while row 2 represents the natural mind that is being regenerated. During the regeneration of the natural mind by means of temptations (see Section xx), a new organic structure begins to open or develop within the external natural mind. This new organ is a degree more interior and gives conscious awareness of interior-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational correspondences. These progressively elevate the mind to the three heavens while we are still on earth thus being able to be illustrated or enlightened while reading Sacred Scripture. The progressive development of the interior-natural organ is proportional to progress in regeneration by means of natural, spiritual, and celestial temptations (see Section xx). Levels 3 and 4 continue to develop but remain unconscious until we undergo resuscitation after death (see Section xx).

For additional extensive charts on the anatomy of the human mind see Section 5.1.

Here is a related chart based on my lecture notes on Religious Behaviorism (1982) available online at:



6 Spirituality WISDOM perception of
5 Rationality INTELLIGENCE understanding of true--false (higher consciousness)
4 Morality--Equity REASONING understanding of fair--unfair (lower consciousness) 
3 Memory--Imagery LOGIC understanding of correct--incorrect
(natural ideas)
1,2  Sensory-motor REFLEXIVE physiological engram (sensorimotor memory)

The chart above shows that rational operation is a skill that has progressive levels based on one another. The lowest level of rationality operates reflexively once established. I call it "sensorimotor memory" or "body memory" and depends on the establishment of neural connections through dint of cumulative repetition. Rationality cannot develop in the absence of this basic operation. Immediately above this level is "logic" or "mechanics" (level 3) and reflects the mind's inborn tendency to organize incoming sensory input into an order that is compatible with higher rationality. Level 3 rationality allows us to differentiate between correct and incorrect. Another step up is needed (level 4) in order to understand the difference between fair and unfair, which is the basis of equity and morality. This level is called "reasoning" and constitutes our lower consciousness of true rationality or spiritual consciousness.

Level 5 is rationality proper and depends on our innate ability for intelligence. This allows us to differentiate between true and false, and is therefore the first spiritual level and the beginning of being human. Hence it is called higher consciousness. Level 6 is called "wisdom" and is the genuine form of spiritual rationality or consciousness. It allows us to differentiate between good and evil.

8.3.2  Test Your Logical Thinking

Valid reasoning insures that we reach proper conclusions given certain facts or assumptions.  To test your reasoning ability, circle “V” for valid or “NV” for not valid for each conclusion. 



Unless they build the dam, they will not have enough water.

If they build the dam, they will have enough water.                                            V




Unless the client’s mental disposition improves, his work will deteriorate.




If the client’s mental disposition improves, his work will not deteriorate.         V




Unless the significance level reaches 5%, the results are not to be trusted.




If the significance level reaches 5%, the results are to be trusted.                   V




He will fail unless he studies.




If he studies, he will not fail.                                                                                  V




The experimental treatment condition will be ineffective unless the subjects are honestly and sincerely involved.                                                                 V





The attribution of intentionality to others is not adaptive, unless the individual is also willing to modify his interpretation in the light of new evidence.




With non-adaptive attributions of intentionality to others, the individual is necessarily unwilling to modify his interpretations.                                       V




The doctor will be paid only if the patient improves.




If the patient improves, the doctor will be paid.                                             V




Only if the department continually improves its courses can student training be adequate.




If the department continually improves its courses, student training will be adequate.                                                                                                          V




The professor will be coming to class if he is prepared.




Unless the professor is prepared, he will not be coming to class.                                                                                                              V



10. GIVEN:

He will not both not come and not phone.




If he comes he won’t phone.                                                                             V



8.3.3  Literacy: The Universal Hierarchy of Basic Skills

I made the following chart in 1983 while I was reading Conversations on Education by William H. Benade  (Bryn Athyn, PA: The Academy of the New Church Press, 1976, First Edition in 1888. Cf. pp. 135, 138, 140). I should mention that I'm using my own terms and that I'm not trying to represent the original. This represents what the original led me to think about using my usual "ennead matrix framework" to fit the information that I'm reading about (see Section xx).

The chart is meant to be read from bottom up (1 to 4). Level 1 skills are called  "corporeal" they involve the body. These are sometimes called "sensorimotor" or "psychomotor" skills in the psychology literature. Sensorimotor literacy is the lowest form of literacy upon which higher forms are based in developmental sequence. Level 2 skills are called "civil" because they involve "civics" or the performance requirements of public and social life--holding down a job or earning a living, participating in government and community life. Level 3 skills are called "moral" because they involve "moral reasoning" about justice and the assessment of guilt and responsibility for causing injurious behavior. Level 4 skills are called "spiritual" because they involve the ability to read Sacred Scripture in its universal scientific sense and to apply its knowledge to regeneration or character reformation. This is called acquiring the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

These 4 levels are rational levels of mental operation. As the individual grows and matures, progressively higher levels of thinking need to be mastered in order to attain sufficient rationality to be able to understand the scientific meaning of Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech.







Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech

Theistic Psychology


Spiritual Psychobiology (organicity of mind; see Section xx)

Religious Behaviorism (rational faith--see Volume 4)

Regeneration (inner / outer self--see Section xx)

Extracting Doctrine of Truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx)

Theories of

(the proprium; the as-of self; God's Proprium -- see Section xx)








Principles of counseling and psychotherapy (see Section xx)

Equity Theory and Judicial Law (see Section xx)

Socio-moral Intelligence (scenario analysis) (see Section xx)

Vertical Community (spirits and angels) (see Section xx)

Self-witnessing and Self-modification principles (see Section xx)

 Theories of

(influx;  ruling loves; self-regulation;  altruism;  charity;  uses;  conjugial relationship; -- see Section xx)




Lifelong learning commitment

Information Literacy (searching)

Oral presentation skills and public speaking

Conflict resolution and cooperation

 Theories of

(see Chapter 8)



 Biology, etc.
 Math & Statistics
 Reading & Writing
 Physical Education
 Music, Art, Dance

Altruism and Compassion

Etymology and Semantics

Correspondences in Sacred Scripture

Discipline (physical and mental)

 Theories of

(see Section xx)


8.3.4  Religious Curriculum

I made the following chart in1984 while reading The Science of Exposition: As Drawn from the Writings of the New Church (1915) by William Frederic Pendleton (The Academy of the New Church Press: Bryn Athyn, PA. Cf. pp. 320, 323, 328ff, 369, 377, 384). Please note that I'm not trying to present the original. Rather, I used the ennead matrix of the threefold self to interpret and fit the original information that I was reading (see Section xx).

Read chart following the numbered cells--down (phase 1), up (phase 2), down (phase 3).

  Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Primary grades
Memorable Relations
New Testament Parables
Ten Commandments
Lord's Prayer
Historical Old Testament

               6 ==========>
Acquiring affection
of truth and good

Learning to experience
illustration while reading the Writings
Becoming aware of receiving good from the Lord (self-witnessing and applying doctrine to life) (see Section xx)

Intermediate grades
Selections from Writings
(resuscitation, Spiritual Sun, three heavens)

Prophetical OT & NT


OT & NT Concordances

Doctrine of
Conjugial Love

Learning cooperation requirements for our regeneration by the Lord (see Section xx)

Acquiring truths from good (see Section xx)
                          3 ========>

High school
Selections from Writings
(inner sense of creation story and NT parables)

Diagrams for Writings
(levels of the mind and their opening through regeneration)

Inner sense of entire Genesis and Revelation
(see Section xx)

Doctrine of Genuine Truth and Doctrine in Creeds
(see Volume 4)

Theistic Psychology
(see Section xx)

Online full text searching of Writings (see Section xx)

Old Age
Loving uses for the sake of heaven and God (see Section xx)
  Phase 1 (top down) Phase 2 (bottom up) Phase 3  (top down)
Read chart following the numbered cells--down (phase 1), up (phase 2), down (phase 3).

The chart above uses a three-by-three matrix called the "ennead" or nine cells (see Section xx). It allows us to depict the developmental steps in a complete series. Note that the columns are to be read down for cells 1, 2, 3 (phase 1), up for cells 4, 5, 6 (phase 2), and down again for cells 7, 8, 9 (phase 3). In phase 1 the sequence of development is:

  • affective development in its first phase (cell 1)

  • cognitive development in its first phase (cell 2)

  • sensorimotor development in its first phase (cell 3)


  • affective development in its second phase (cell 4)

  • cognitive development in its second phase (cell 5)

  • sensorimotor development in its second phase (cell 6)


  • affective development in its third phase (cell 7)

  • cognitive development in its third phase (cell 8)

  • sensorimotor development in its third phase (cell 9)

The content of the curriculum is therefore adjusted for each cell according to its type (affective or will, cognitive or understanding, sensorimotor or outward behavior) and its phase (downward or upward direction of steps). There is a cumulative effect from cell 1 to 9. The matrix allows extraction of many relations not immediately visible, and these relations can be confirmed by appropriate passages in the Writings (predictive research) (see Section xx). The content of the curriculum in each cell that is shown in this chart needs to be confirmed by appropriate passages in the Writings.

I made the following chart in 1984 while reading Values and Objectives of New Church Education (1964) by Willard D. Pendleton (A series of lectures on New Church education delivered to the Educational Council, Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, PA See. pp. 19-27).

SPIRITUAL Acquiring love for being good to others
"Love it!"
SOCIAL Performing being good to others
"Do it!"
MORAL Performing not being bad to others
"Don't do it!"


8.3.5  Individual Growth Recapitulates History and Evolution

The next chart is an ennead matrix of the development of the "as-of self" which refers to the conscious appearance that we think and feel in our self from our self. Our purpose in life is to undergo regeneration by which we change our character from what it was from inheritance to what it must become to live in eternity in heaven in conjugial love. Regeneration is progressive and involves rational consciousness of higher and higher truths from Sacred Scripture.  The Writings give us many details about the development and maturation of the as-of self as it is transformed into a heavenly "proprium" or character. The chart below is my attempt to map out these details. I made in 1988 while reading De Hemelsche Leer Third Fascicle (1930) pp. 73-144.(Swedenborg Genootschap, The Hague. Available on the Web at:

1 representatives of the
innocence of infancy
interior-rational or celestial-rational mind
Third Heaven
2 representatives of written
Sacred Scripture


exterior of spiritual-rational
Second Heaven
3 representatives of interior-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial rational correspondences to 3 heavens


internal-natural or interior-natural or spiritual-natural
First Heaven
 or interior-natural

I      N      V      E      R      S      I      O      N

4 knowledge of representations of truth Israelitish


First Heaven
 or interior-natural
5 living truth
(Incarnation Event)
Second Heaven
6 innocence of the wisdom of old age
New Church
Third Heaven
second celestial-


Elaborations of this chart and further explorations of the topic with other charts will be found in this article:


The next two charts below represents three phases of rational spirituality discussed in my book Moses, Swedenborg, and Paul: Three Steps in Rational Spirituality (2003), available on the Web at:


This diagram is a basic anatomical chart of the human mind. You can see that it has three discrete levels – natural, rational, spiritual. Looking at the bottom half, you can see from the arrows that information from the natural world is captured by the sensory organs of the physical body and transmitted by corresponding effects to the natural mind. The natural mind has three sub-levels, to be shown later – corporeal, sensuous, and rational. The sensuous information is transmitted upward to the rational mind, or more accurately, the rational mind perceives the activity in the sensuous mind and creates an abstract representation of it called natural-rational correspondences.

Looking at the upper half of the chart, you can see that information from the spiritual world is captured by the spirit-body, located in the spiritual world. The spirit-body houses the mind. Information entering the spiritual mind is called celestial-rational correspondences and spiritual-rational correspondences. These are ways of thinking about Divine Truth. Note that the rational mind is pivotal and plays an intermediary role. It receives information from both the natural world in the form of natural-rational correspondences, and it receives information from the spiritual world in the form of spiritual-rational correspondences. Our enlightenment occurs when these three types of rational correspondences operate synchronously or simultaneously in our mind. This involves the celestial-rational correspondences to resonate with the spiritual- rational correspondences and the natural- rational correspondences all at once.

The Threefold Word (Sacred Scripture) is the source of natural-rational, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational correspondences.

Without knowing and comprehending this fundamental duality between the natural and the spiritual-celestial, one cannot elevate one’s consciousness beyond the natural-rational level of non-theistic science (monism or physicalism). One’s level of understanding, of thinking, and of feeling, remain at the natural level. One is incapable of comprehending the reality of the spiritual world, hence the reality of human beings. Despite this inability, God intervenes in the minds of every individual and implants rational ideas that the individual believes is form self. This illusion is necessary to maintain the motivation for learning and survival while we are still in animal consciousness. It also insures that society can survive, for it would not, if it were left to the human natural mind to run it.

The unconscious tutelage by the Divine, just discussed, ceases or changes in operation in the afterlife, which starts immediately after the physical body becomes a corpse. We begin our life in the spiritual world with a spirit-body, the same we had all along “within” the physical body, which now drops off, leaving the immortal spirit-body intact and free to live its new life in the spiritual world. This new life is of two separate forms, heavenly and hellish. It is necessary therefore to raise our consciousness above the natural level so that we may be prepared to live a heavenly life to eternity. If we do not, our thinking and feeling remains at the natural level of operation. Upon awakening in the other life we will find that we are incapable of living a heavenly existence. Instead, we sink into the hells of our mind from which few are willing to return, where we lose any good and truth we once may have had, and begin an endless progression of evil and falsity, insanity and unimaginable misery. The stakes are therefore could not be higher – eternal heavenly happiness and wisdom vs. eternal hellish misery and insanity. Only if we rise above the natural level of thinking and feeling can our consciousness comprehend the stark reality of heaven and hell, as it has been revealed by God.

While the outside portion of the rational mind is natural, the inside of it is spiritual. This is the form and function of the human organic mind. It is created with an outside rational portion that gets its information from the physical world. Within this natural-rational mind there is formed a spiritual-rational mind that gets its information from the spiritual world through Divine revelations. In other words, we are created and born into a dual existence, natural and spiritual. This dual existence must be based in organic forms and structures, or else it would be nothing. The organ of the natural mind and the organ of the spiritual mind are both constructed physiologically out of spiritual substances from the spiritual Sun, just like the organs of the physical body are constructed physiologically out of physical substances from the natural sun. When we comprehend this dual reality and assimilate it into our normal thinking, we enjoy a new consciousness of reality that may be called rational spirituality.

We can better control our individual spiritual development by knowing how rational spirituality has developed in the history of Western civilizations since individual biography recapitulates racial evolution. The Old Testament civilizations have elevated human consciousness above the animal level by assimilating the Divine spiritual message given through Moses into their everyday thinking and feeling. The natural-rational mind is a discrete level above the natural-animal mind because of the abstract idea of God which can be formed only by means of rational thinking. Animals cannot have the idea of God since their cognitive abilities are restricted to the physical order of the natural world. God is not part of this physical order. God is absent from the physical detection systems that have been created for the animal mind. It is not possible to discover God’s presence physically or by concepts based on physical order. Such concepts are called “materialistic” and “monist” because they cannot incorporate the fundamental duality. God is an idea that originates from the spiritual world, hence any human mind that assimilates this idea into every day reality, is raised to a higher consciousness of reality, a higher understanding, a higher operational level of thinking and feeling. Spiritual-rational thoughts from revelation and spiritual-rational loves from influx, constitute the content of operation of spiritual rationality.

These spiritual-rational loves from influx enter the mind of every human being but they cannot survive in the mind without spiritual-rational truths from revelations. First we must acquire spiritual-rational truths from revelations, then we can retain spiritual-rational loves from influx. In this way we become angelic beings.

Following the civilizations of the Moses revelations came the Christian civilizations of the New Testament revelations. These elevated human consciousness to a new level of thinking and feeling. The Moses revelations were cast in a local, sectarian frame that was hostile to strangers. The New Testament revelations were cast in a universal, personalized frame that was inclusive of the entire human race. The intellectual justification of the New Testament in the form of Pauline doctrine, dissolved the earlier sectarian forms of spirituality, beginning a new life of universality and Divine personalism. God is not only Divine but Human. It is impossible to have a relationship of love with an infinite Divine force. Divine love is essentially Human, as revealed and demonstrated in the Incarnation. A giant leap forward in understanding reality takes place when the infinite God is conceptualized as a Divine-Human Person. This new idea of God cannot be formed in the natural-rational mind, but only in the spiritual mind within it. The spiritual mind is an organic form that responds to spiritual ideas from the spiritual world. By assimilating this new spiritual idea of God into our everyday thinking and feeling, we begin a new order of life immersed in rational spirituality.

But there is one more step to ascend. The intellectual justification that Paul forged out of the New Testament revelations, were contaminated with ideas from lower civilizations. Similarly, when individuals enter this phase of their spiritual development, their consciousness will remain somewhat general rather than particular, and may thus retain elements that are not genuine, leading to false ideas, even heresies that become a stumbling block to further spiritual development. Our understanding of reality takes its final step of escalation when we particularize the Divine-Human Person by knowing how and where He operates in our mind.

This ultimate level of spiritual rationality has been provided for by means of new scientific revelations given through the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a renowned and respected scientist in Sweden. The Divine-Human Person wants a reciprocal relationship with each individual in order to become a conscious co-participant in our thinking and feeling. In order to achieve this possibility, God had make new scientific revelations never before given. These new revelations are given in the form of True Science. This makes sense since materialistic science is the ultimate achievement of the natural-rational mind. With the beginning of the modern mind in the 17th and 18th century, the rational understanding of civilization rose to its most abstract level so that it became capable of incorporating the new scientific revelations of God’s immediate involvement and co-participation in our thinking and willing.

Christian spirituality has undergone three phases of evolution – spiritual-natural, spiritual-rational, and celestial-rational. These three phases of spiritual rationality are embedded in the Christian view of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Third Testament (or Writings of Swedenborg). The revelations of the Writings thus complete the creation of the human race. Now God has at last revealed all the details of His Rational Mind by which He creates and manages every detail of the universe. All the mysteries of Christian spirituality that have been invented by the human intellect can now be enlightened by the objective and clear facts of theistic science. Mysticism and spirituality have been connected in the earlier phases of the race’s spiritual development. Attempts have been made to connect materialistic science and mystical religion. This attempt was unable to elevate consciousness into its next higher level. Other attempts involve connecting Eastern philosophies with Christian mysticism. This too yields no elevation. What is fully effective however, is connecting science with scientific revelations. This transforms non-theistic science into True Science, theistic science, the science of God.

The mind is elevated in consciousness by means of Divine revelations. The human mind is created to operate in this way. These genuine spiritual ideas can be understood rationally because all spiritual ideas are from God’s Rational Mind. Christianity has received the scientific truth that God created the universe by means of Truth. Those outside of the Christian faith, like Gandhi of India, have also received this new scientific perspective and have incorporated it into their own religion and culture, as demonstrated by the life of Mahatma Gandhi who identified God with Truth. Since the universe is created out of Divine Truth in its infinite variety, it is clear that only a rational spirituality, that is, theistic science, can be the vehicle for forging our individual spiritual development. The level of our thinking and feeling can be raised to the celestial level by means of rational spirituality.

This book presents the three phases of rational spirituality that every individual needs to understand in order to elevate the consciousness to the angelic level. This is the true human level of thinking and feeling. People of all religions and philosophies can use this understanding to advance themselves in their consciousness within their culture and lifestyle. Religious traditions and practices are no barrier to consciousness raising by means of True Science. The Writings of Swedenborg appear sectarian when viewed from the surface since all Divine revelations reflect the culture and era of the revelator. But neither Jews nor Christians have an automatic entry pass to heavenly life and consciousness just because they acknowledge the Word of God as a Divine revelation. They must extract from it principles and doctrines for life and they must overcome the enormous resistance all people experience to the growth of spiritual rationality in their mind.

To the extent that these doctrines are applied to our daily thinking and feeling, they become systematic and effective techniques of self-change. God regenerates every individual through daily efforts of cooperation with Him. He provides us with specific experiences and challenges every day that are tailored to every unique individual in the form of temptations of conscience. God provides us with a conscience and doctrines of revelation, God provides the daily temptations, God provides the power for overcoming them, but we must provide the free choices by which we deny ourselves to love evil and its falsities, and compel ourselves to love good and its truths. The power is God’s but the choice is ours. He participates in setting up that choice in our mind and through the events in our environment. He gives us the power to think truth and choose good moment by moment, day by day.

This intimate and close cooperation and co-acting between God and every unique human being, has been fully revealed by God through the Writings of Swedenborg. This is the dawning of the age of True Science when all mystery is banished and rational spirituality furnishes humankind with rational loves and rational truths.


        8.3.6  Thinking From a Knowledge of the Three Degrees


Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 9300  Apart from an idea drawn from things knowable and capable of being seized by the senses, a man cannot think with himself; and he then thinks correctly, even concerning the things which belong to faith and love, when he thinks of them from correspondences; for correspondences are natural verities in which, as in mirrors, spiritual verities are represented. Wherefore so far as the ideas of thought concerning spiritual things are formed independently of correspondences, so far they are formed either from the fallacies of the senses or from things incongruous. (AC 9300:3)






8.3.7  The Trigrammatic Construction of the Universe



(From: )






8.4  External and Interior Memory

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

Man has external thought, and he has internal thought. A man is in external thought when he is in company, that is, when listening or speaking or teaching or acting, and also when writing; but he is in internal thought when he is at home and gives free rein to his interior affection. Internal thought is the proper thought of his spirit within himself; but external thought is the proper thought of his spirit in the body.

Both remain with man after death, and even then it is not known what the quality of the man is until external thought is taken away from him; after that he thinks, speaks, and acts from his affection. The man who is of sound mind will then see and hear wonderful things. He will hear and see that many who in the world talked wisely, preached learnedly, taught with erudition, wrote knowingly, and also acted discreetly, as soon as the external of their mind has been taken away, think, speak, and act as insanely as crazy people in the world; and what is wonderful, they then believe themselves to be wiser than others.

[2] But that they may not continue in their insanity, they are at times remitted into externals, and thereby into their own civil and moral life in which they were in the world. When in company there and in heaven, a remembrance of those insanities is given them; and then they themselves see and confess that they spoke insanely and acted foolishly; but the moment they are remitted into their interiors, that is, into what is proper to their spirits, in like manner as before, they are insane.

Their insanities are of many kinds; which may all be included in this, that they will to have dominion, to steal, to commit adultery, to blaspheme, to do evil; to despise, reject, or deride what is honest, just, and sincere, and every truth and good of the church and heaven. And, what is more, they love this state of their spirit; for the experiment has been tried with many whether they would rather think sanely or insanely, and it has been found that they would rather think insanely.

Moreover, it has been disclosed that they are such because they loved self and the world above all things, and gave thought to uses only for the sake of honor and gain, and greatly preferred enjoyments of the body to enjoyments of the soul. In the world they were such that they never thought sanely within themselves except when they saw men.

There is this sole remedy for their insanity: to be put to work in hell under a judge. So long as they are at work there, they are not insane; for the works with which they are occupied hold the mind, as it were, in prison and bonds, to prevent its wandering into the delirious fancies of their lusts. Their tasks are done for the sake of food, clothing, and a bed, thus unwillingly from necessity, and not freely from affection.

[3] But on the other hand, all those who in the world have loved uses and who have performed uses from the love of them, think sanely in their spirits, and their spirits think sanely in their bodies; for with such, interior thought is also exterior thought, and from the former through the latter is their speech, and likewise their action. Affection of use has kept their mind in itself, nor does it suffer them to stray into vanities, into what is lascivious and filthy, into what is insincere and deceitful, into the mockeries of various lusts. After death they are of a like character; their minds are in themselves angelic; and when the outer thought is taken away, they become spiritual, and angels, and thus recipients of heavenly wisdom from the Lord.

From all that has been said, it is now plain that unless use be the affection or occupation of a man, he is not of sound mind. (D. Love 15)


8.5  Sudden Memory

(based on: /

The Hexagram of Sudden Memory. Consider the following downward series of semantic units and their usage in a sample illustration. We refer to such semantic structures by the label hexagram to indicate that it is a whole made up of two parts separated by a double line boundary and ordered in a vertical series. The rationale and structure of the hexagrammatic system are elaborated further in





"It happens like this. First, you get some impression which you come to interpret, after which you become aware you've had them"




"It happens like this. First you do it all selfconsciously, but after some practice you begin to do it unselfconsciously. Eventually you do it being fully conscious."

the Appendix and in a number of places in this Workbook (see Index). Here, we wish to show its use or applicability in methodology.

Let us stipulate that this particular hexagram, called "The Hexagram of Sudden Memory," is a hypothesis about the structure of the units that make up sudden memory just as in the case of short-term memory, we stipulate discrete units underlying the natural flow of actions and events. Having stipulated this, we can now derive from it, a theory about what it is in the mind, since it is not in behavior. Assume therefore that sudden memory is a parameter of the mind and that it has the characteristics given by the above hexagram; these are as follows:

(i) every unit of mind (or gene of intellect) is a hexagram made up of two trigrams;

(ii) in this molecule, the upper trigrarn has three features in descending order; these are: IMPRESSIONS, INTERPRETATIONS, AWARENESS;

(iii) the upper trigram can be represented in behavior as the temporal verbal report: "First you get impressions, then you interpret them, and finally you become aware that you have them."

(iv) the lower trigram can be represented in behavior through the following assertion: "When you start, at first you kind of feel self-conscious but afterwards you sort of get used to it with practice, and then you kind of do it unselfconsciously . Eventually it becomes a routine and you're doing it fully consciously."

(v) the double line separates topical from pre-topical such that the upper sequence is pre-topical while the lower is topical; this can be represented behaviorally by the following verbal argument: "The SOCIO-cultural environment creates two zones: pre-topical and topical. Pre-topical belongs to all societies whether non-verbal, as ant colonies, or verbal, as human communities. But topical belongs only to verbal societies. As a result, impressions, interpretations, and awareness are societal features, not individual, hence ants may be, as a group manifesting the phenomena of impressions, or awareness, but not individually. However, ants are not conscious since they fail to exhibit topical phenomena."

Having assumed the above, let us now explore the consequences. First, it is provocative to say that ants are aware and make interpretations of their impressions, though given the new sociobiology (Wilson, 1976), the idea is no longer disrespectable! The oddity of the assertion disappears when "pre-topical', is seen as its frame, i. e., the awareness of the ants is not of a topical nature, as ours obviously is, given human language; thus we, are led to investigate the nature of a pre-topical element just as genes provide clues to the behavior of a species or, molecular transactions give clues to atomic structure. The hexagram we are investigating proposes that the phenomenon of consciousness is the sixth element in a descending series of which the upper three are pre-topical, i.e., characteristic of pre-literate and non-verbal societies or stages of development (ontology). This leads to the provocative assertion that awareness is pre-topical in the ontology of mind.

In behavior, ontogyny recapitulates phylogeny; in mind, synchrony recapitulates diachrony. The first assertion establishes the relationship between individual behavior and the inherited gene pool of the species; it gives the biological component to psychology. The second assertion --that synchrony recapitulates diachrony --establishes the relationship between personal experience and the socio-cultural environment; it gives the experiential component of psychology . Now we ask: Is this experiential component as real and amenable to scientific investigation as the biological component? We propose an affirmative solution though it will require a suitable methodology, suitable for the investigation of phenomena that are non-temporal, viz., synchronous. The hexagram.matic approach is the original methodology of synchronic synthesis devised by the first civilizations to invent literacy, i.e., the community practice of publishing knowledge and indexing text. This led to books, manuals, archives, official records (see Section [5. 2. 3] in Chapter 5). This method survives today in the form of the treatise called the "I Ching" and attributed to Confucius and earlier scholars of the Chinese Dynasties (circa 1100 B.C.). The I Ching is a unified theory of social settings and presents an exhaustive system of 64 situational hexagrams corresponding to the modalities of conduc t on the daily round (see Section [6.3.1] in Chapter 6).

Ethnosemantic methodology (ESM, for short) requires a special register just as statistics and experimental methodology involve specialized registers, i.e., vocabulary, syntax, mathematical operations abstract conceptions, formalized argument procedures, explicitness, routine replicability, and so forth. These are essential characteristics of any valid methodology. ESM employs a traditional and well established system of mathematics called hexagrammatic topology. This is a term we are proposing for what appears to have been around since the beginnings of literate civilizations, i.e. , circa 1100 B. C. (e.g., the Chou Dynasty in China which gave us the I CHING; the Mycennaen civilization that led to the Illiad of the Greeks; the Egyptian Book of the Dead; the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi). The beginnings of literacy were understandably functional evolutionary developments: verbal but preliterate human societies (i.e., 3, 000 years ago and beyond) were dependent on oral rituals of transmission of knowledge, tradition, practice, and ideals. There was thus maintained by necessity a caste system in society in which a few had the contact and conscious relationship with the past and therefore, with the continuity in conception and in awareness of the mechanisms of culture (For a personal view, see Yogananda, 1975; Roberts, 1974; 1976; Rampa., 1963; Jones, 1972. For a scientific view, see Hoggart, 1957; McLuhan, 1964; Jaynes, 1976).

With the evolution of literacy as an ordinary daily round phenomenon, i.e., when education became available to many in a community, there evolved a class of immortals called the classicists whose ideas, words, arguments, and attitudes are perpetrated in print and in translation and in reference, thus enduring in presence long after their author's natural life span. The "Books of Authority" as we might call them, thus constitute the archaeology of the objectified descriptions of the ideas of the past. They are the data needed for the histories of ideas, nations, and people (see Lovejoy, 1955 and Cassirer, 1950).

The methodology that transforms ideas into objective data needs to be presented. ESM is such a methodology. To illustrate its application, we present the following ennead of basic principles about ESM.

  1. CONCEPTS are trigrammatic;
  2. DISPLAYS are hexagrammatic;
  3. ARGUMENTS are double hexagrams;
  4. THEMES are electric couples;
  5. DUALITY Is the double line;
  6. DIALECTICS is to cross the double line;
  7. EVENTS are dialectic movements;
  8. DRAMA and TALK are media for consciousness;
  9. ETHNICITY titles variations in the dynamic properties of a literate consciousness (individual and local ethnographies).

The capitalized terms are technical objects, to be defined presently, and the other terms are operational definitions. The latter may be represented through a geometric notation system or analogy, as follows:

trigram = a composite form made up of three distinct elements, e.g., triangles; triplets; the minimal family unit; any scale made in such a way as to have three positions; etc.

hexagram = a composite of two distinct trigrams ordered linearly such that one trigram assumes a lower order relative to the other trigram;

double hexagrams = a composite of two distinct hexagrams arranged in a 90 degree angle such that one hexagram assumes the horizontal position while the other assumes the vertical position; the double hexagram, forms a Cartesian coordinate system or hexagrammatic matrix In which 36 dyadic intersections are specified;

electric couple = a unit of cycle consisting of a pair of two double hexagrams; electric couples are phasal units with a value of 48 (one double =2 hexagram s = 4 trigrams = 4 x 3 = 12; hence 2 double hexagrams = 24 and a pair of doubles = 48);

double line = two parallel lines separating the lower from the upper trigram in any hexagram; the gap between the double lines represents the natural break between pre-topical and topical (roughly: matter and psyche, or reactivity and consciousness)

crossing the double line = a natural phenomenon characterizing the laws of phasal motion such that a transformation or metamorphosis is noted when crossing the double line, i.e., the phase between the adjacent constituent parts of the upper and lower trigrams in any hexagram; crossing from the upper to the lower is in the direction of dissolution of topic (topical to pre-topical); from lower to upper, it is in the direction of crystallizing topic;

dialectic movements = units of phasal values charted or plotted by reference to the hexagrammatic positions available; e.g., crossing the double line is a dialectic movement from phase III to IV or vice versa; similarly, going from phase I at one end of the lower trigram, to phase III, the other end, is a dialectic movement;

media for consciousness = distinct channels or manifolds having the property of retaining form or shape, and changes in these; the coding of these changes is possible in terms of topic, topic units, and topic domains or zones;

titles = the referential labeling that identifies a category of event, process, relationship, or experience; titles may be conventional or neologistic; e.g. "bread' and "eating bread with meals" are conventional topic nominals recognizable through the cataloguing practices of a community; "eating bread and thinking that I shouldn't bell is a neologistic topic nominal constructed according to standardized register principles or norms;

Thus far we have specified the operational definitions of the main components of ESM. Now let us introduce some basic technical terms. These are the conceptual elements that enter into the mathematics or geometry of the notation system of ESM.

See also


The Investigation of Community Cataloguing Practices (CCP). Ethnosemantic investigations of community cataloguing practices revolve around the theme of what units of description are being used in the community under investigation. In the behavioristic methodology this issue is not made part of the objective parameter of the study; that is, the experimenter decides ahead of time what reporting units are to be kept track of. This is accomplished through instrumentation, either mechanical or verbal, i.e. through framed questions or stimulus presentations. Thus, the subject must react in terms of the categories of the experimenter or surveyor. This methodology is of course unusable in the investigation of personal experience - not because that is "subjective,' i. e. untractable -but because the experimenter's or surveyor's categories are drawn from a different register, one that is appropriate for the setting from which it evolved, namely the experimental literature on subjects. On the other hand, the natural categories people use to describe experience are drawn from the register of the daily round. We shall show -what these differences are. For now, let it be noted here that the common view among behaviorists that experiential categories are untractable because of personal subjectivity, is a mistaken view: we shall show that the personally subjective is a community affair no less than the interpersonally objective. What the behaviorist has missed so far is an opportunity to make use of techniques for investigating the standardized nature of attentional activity (see Garfinkel, 1967; Sudnow, 1972; Cicourel, 1974).

Behavioral investigations of attentional activity have been quite revealing. For instance, it is known that the attentional capacity on the daily round is less than 10 (see Miller, 1956). However, it is not known how the individual marks the various bits of information that one can demonstrate he notices. Three possibilities exist:

(a) the individual reacts to what he notices, then suddenly forgets it. This goes on all the time as may be ascertained by attempting to list everything one noticed in a span of say five minutes: noticings in the environment; sounds; thoughts; sensations; feelings; reactions; body posture adjustments; etc. We may refer to the totality of one's reactivity in a natural setting as sudden memory. Thus only a minute fraction of our sudden memory is available for description or reporting;

(b) special routines may be practiced and acquired by the organism which allow it to selectively attend and recall for brief periods of time features of the environment or of experience. For example, pilots and drivers notice dial indications on their instrument panel and are able to tell, their speed, direction, location at any given moment. When the driver, for instance, glances at his speedometer to make sure he doesn't go over a certain limit, he notices the speed then adjusts for it, up or down on the foot pedal. To do this, he must be, able to retain for a second or longer what his speed is, whether it is above or below the intended limit. However, he does not remember these noticings and adjustments to them a few seconds later; hence, we can call this kind of coding behavior short-term memory, following others in the literature.

(c) finally, as we know, we have available routine procedures for committing to long-term memory an indefinitely large corpus of interrelated information bits using pre-established labels for them.

A methodology is needed to allow the investigation of what are the categories of memory on the daily round. The categories of memory are systems of' classifying information for the purpose of coding. In ethnosemantics, a departing premise is that all social activity is an operant whose behavioral features (i.e., form or structure) are invariably standardized, i.e., under some situational control or occasionability (function). Thus, in a functional analysis, the categories of sudden memory are accountable in terms of community practices. This can easily be demonstrated by asking someone unexpected questions about what they are noticing: e.g., "Have you noticed what you've just touched with the index finger of the right hand?" or "Did you see whether it was a man or a woman that was standing by the door of the house we just drove by?" or "What were you thinking of as I tapped you on the shoulder?" etc. This kind of interrogation yields very specific information, some of it verifiable, some of it not. The fact that a person readily gives such information shows that there are standards for noticing things in a situation and people in a community overlap on what types of information they readily can supply and what they cannot. These standards of awareness of situational parameters reflect community practices in keeping track of noticeables. We call these practices community cataloguing practices in recognition of the fact that what's to be kept track of situationally is commonly recognized, and therefore, function as a catalogue or inventory would function. We also use the term accounting practice (used in the literature on ethnomethodology see Index).

Thus, the investigation of CCPs consists in the identification of the functional units of keeping track of information in a particular community. We present below some illustrations involving the units of reporting experiences and activities on the daily round.

The first example involves the units of reporting sequences of activities by reference to the D. R. time schedule. We title this zone of social existence "I. Logging Activities in Setting." The following is an entry submitted by one of our students in Psychology 222 at the University of Hawaii:

(i) 9:00 am (ii) 15 min. (iii) in the cafe (iv) me (v) having a fast breakfast before class (vi) the menu for me is the usual sausage, eggs, and rice. The coffee smells good and the air around is warm and filled with the talk of people.

(i) 9:30 am (ii) 6 hrs. (iii) going to classes (iv) me (v) start my usual day of classes and studies (vi) my classes are: Am. Stud. 310, Poli. Sci. 380, and Jap. 151. 1 get through classes at about 3:30 pm.

(i) 3:45 pm (ii) 1 hr. (iii) eat dinner with friend (iv) me and friend (v) we always eat dinner together (vi) I meet her at the cafe; talk about our day at school; make remarks about the food.

Note that the entries are reported along six, dimensions of specification; these were explained and illustrated so that the person doing the reporting may attend to the specified information features of the reported activities (see Section [9. 3] in Chapter 9). As can be noted, the six categories relate to the following topic domains:

(i) the time of the day the activity takes place; the 24-hr. cycle is the major organizing parameter of the daily round in every community we've lived in;

(ii) the length of time things take: this value is given by subtracting the time at the end from the time at the beginning; there are definite standards for how long things should take in every community we've lived in; in literate technological societies this figure is made to count for the definition of efficiency, intelligence, aptitude, personality trait, experience, and others (see CHART R/27 in Chapter 10);

(iii) physical location of self as mapped in standard units used in the community; e. g., children are taught their nationality, in terms of country and geographic location; normal people are expected to keep track of the city and address', location as they move around, from place to place on their daily schedule; finally, people keep track as a matter of routime of their physical location inside a house, building, apartment, or room (tee CHART R/1 in Chapter 10);

(iv) physical location of others, in and out of view; all communities we've studied, including bird cages at home, provide easy documentation of the fact that members are aware and keep track of the physical location of other organisms in the community (see Section [3. 5], in Chapter 3);

(v) title of the episode within which the events occurred; events are invariably reported in dramatized sequences that form a unit of episode [having a fast breakfast before class]; [start my usual day of classes and studies]; [we always eat dinner together]; note that titling the episode is an act of referring referring acts are operants in the form of labels, expressions, nominal compound predications, etc.; titling the episode functions as the delimitation or frame or context (see TITLING, in Index);

(vi) elaborations within the framed context through further acts of referring; these elaborations are also sequences of titling acts using pre-established nominals; differences in titling between category (v) and (vi) are crucial and will be discussed presently (see PMNS, in Index).

Consider now the all important issue of personal variation within standardized community practices. A question our students often have to deal with is the problem of resolving the uniqueness of particular events as against the background frame of standardized environments. This issue applies to both behavioral and mind parameters. In the case of behavior, it is clear that an individual's behavior moment by moment creates a unique and irreproducible sequence; nevertheless, our categories of keeping track of things are standardized and conventionalized and repeated by masses of others. In the case of ethnosemantics, unique and particular perspectives are referrable through standardized practices in referring to experience. Referring acts are operants that are indicative of community practices in keeping track of things. More particularly, an act of referring is accomplished through the recitation of a pre-established phrase, expression, or compound nominal that counts or functions as a title or name for it, i.e., the experience to be reported, or the experience in reportable form (see ORDINARY LANGUAGE PHILOSOPHY in Index).

Referring acts are standard interpersonal routines that invariably occur within a situational frame or context. To study this activity, let us examine another person's entry for Logging Activities in Setting (Section [9.3.III], Chapter 9).

(i) 8:45 am (ii) 20 min. (iii) at home, in my bedroom (iv) me (v) I am lying down in bed with the covers off (vi) thinking and contemplating while listening to my clock radio

(i) 9:05 am (ii) 30 min. (iii) at home, in the kitchen (iv) me, my sister, and my father (v) I eat my breakfast and read the morning newspaper (vi) I eat a toasted tuna sandwich and while reading the paper, I ask my sister, "Do I have to pick you up today?" and she answers, "Yes, pick me up at the usual time. 11; my father reads the paper also while drinking coffee

(i) 9:35 am (ii) 5 min. (iii) at home, in the bathroom (iv) me (v) I wash up (vi) I brush my teeth with Crest, wash my face with Neutrogena soap, and then comb my hair

It may easily be noted that this second individual is using the categories of reporting that were defined. This shows that the two individuals were able to independently reproduce the dimensions of reporting deemed standard in their community. Examination of many more contributions from the same student population (see Section [8.5], Chapter 8) documents the validity or usability of these particular parameters as organizers of keeping-track in the lives of this particular student population. At the same time, one can also point to differences between them. Note for instance that person A eats breakfast alone though surrounded by people in a restaurant; person B, on the other hand, eats with two other members of the family at home. This situational contrast between cases A and B. is identified in category (iii), physical location on the community Map. Differences in category, (iii) have necessary consequences on category (iv) since, physical location of self restricts the possible collocation of others (and hence with further consequences on category (v) and (vi).

The investigation of these categorical restrictions involves the ethnography of social settings and is indicative of variability at the levels of personal,. ethnic, and standards. For example, comparisons across entries for the same person allows the cataloguing of community standards in personal variability in the use of titles to refer to experience. Thus, person A's entries for category (v) contrast with those of person B:

Person A

Person B

-having a fast breakfast before class

-start my usual day of classes and studies

-we always eat dinner together

-I am lying down in bed with the covers off

-I eat my breakfast and read the morning paper

-I wash up

As can be seen from the time data shown earlier, the three entries are consecutive; this means that each of the titles used refer to chunks of the day of greatly differing sizes: 15 min., 6 hrs., and 1 hr., for the A entries, respectively, versus 20 min., 30 min., and 5 min., respectively, for the B entries. The question arises, are there restrictions to be observed in community cataloguing practices that are a function of the six categories of time of day, how long it takes, physical location, of self and others, title of episode, and details of events? (see CHARTS E/28 and R/27 in Chapter 10.) Intuitively, of course, we can say that there are such effects since what we do in the bathroom has implications for being alone in there, or again, how we eat in the morning (e. g. hurriedly) is different from how we eat in the evening (e.g. leisurely). Objectively, one can investigate this issue through contrastive analyses of categorical restrictions in situational parameters (see CHARTS R/25 and R/26 in Chapter 10).


8.6   Perception: Natural, Rational, Spiritual

Perception is an activity of the mind. It is different from sensation but closely related to it. When our sensory organs are stimulated by an external stimulus the brain is the first in line to organize the incoming electro-chemical data into an interpretable pattern. The brain does not interpret this pattern, it just fires it. It is the sensorimotor mind that interprets the pattern. The Writings reveal that the cognitive and affective levels of operation must also be engaged before a sensation in the sensorimotor mind can be consciously perceived. All three domains must be engaged for any sensation and perception to become conscious.

In fact the order of engagement in perception is the opposite of what psychology believes today. The current theory is based on commons sense and appearance. It says that sensation must occur first, then conscious perception, then cognitive activity, and finally an affective or emotional reaction. This is indeed the apparent direction of engagement of the three domains of behavior. Without scientific revelations it would not occur to us that the actual direction is reversed.

In other words, first the affective must be engaged so that our goal is to perceive what is near us. This affective engagement primes a network of realistic hypotheses that can supply a meaningful interpretation or significance to probable sensory input at that time in that situation. Finally, the sensorimotor mind must be engaged to attend to the range of stimuli specified by the cognitive network of probable sensory input. When all three domains of behavior are thus fully engaged with each other, then the mind is ready to react to the brain pattern initiated by the sensory input.

Theistic psychology research can establish the exact mechanism of this process. For instance, what happens if an unexpected sensory input occurs, one that is outside the network of probable input as delimited by the affective goal hierarchy? I predict that the sensory input will not be recognized, interpreted, or perceived. Another line of research can examine how the affective goal delimits the cognitive network that allows recognition of the sensory input. Some affective intentions may be more restrictive than others. For instance, we may be focusing on a magician's hands moving quickly before our eyes in order to catch him doing something surreptitious, and thereby miss out altogether what's happening behind him or at his shoes. If we are less intent on catching his trick, we may observe different things as we watch.

Perception is a mental operation that takes place at three levels of operation. Natural perception is based on sensory input. Spiritual perception is based on rational revelation from sacred scripture and instruction from it. Celestial perception is based on sensory input from the spiritual world. All three levels of perception must go on simultaneously for any perception to occur. Celestial perception is not conscious but it plays a crucial role by priming rational perception which is conscious. Rational perception has an intermediate or dual role. There is a natural-rational portion which takes input from the natural mind, and a spiritual-rational portion which takes input from the spiritual mind. Hence rational perception can be either natural or spiritual. Rational perception doesn't become spiritual until the rational mind is ordered in accordance with scientific revelations in sacred scripture.

The earliest generations on this planet had conscious spiritual perception of all things that came to their attention through natural perception. When they observed the natural objects and phenomena around them they simultaneously perceived the spiritual cause of the natural phenomena. This was a living correspondence in their conscious mind. Succeeding generations belonging to the split-brain human race (see discussion above) lost the ability of dual perception. Natural perception was innate but rational perception now had to be learned by instruction from sacred scripture. The most ancients did not have a written sacred scripture since they had an innate ability for spiritual perception, hence direct and immediate input from heaven and God. When this ability for direct spiritual perception was lost, the new generations had to be given Divine revelation in a written form, which depends on e external natural perception and input.

        8.6.1  Spiritual-Rational Perception

Here is a description in the Writings that discusses natural vs. spiritual perception regarding the events in their lives. Those who have only natural perception worry about their future ("care for the morrow") but those who have spiritual perception are said to be in a state of peace and reassurance which comes from perceiving that all things in their lives are led by God ("trust in the Divine"):

Those have care for the morrow who are not content with their lot; who do not trust in the Divine, but in themselves; and who have regard for only worldly and earthly things, and not for heavenly things. With such there universally reigns solicitude about things to come, and a desire to possess all things and to dominate over all, which is kindled and grows according to the additions thus made, and finally does so beyond all measure. They grieve if they do not obtain the objects of their desire, and feel anguish at the loss of them; and they have no consolation, because of the anger they feel against the Divine, which they reject together with everything of faith, and curse themselves. Such are they who have care for the morrow.

[3] Very different is the case with those who trust in the Divine. These, notwithstanding they have care for the morrow, still have it not, because they do not think of the morrow with solicitude, still less with anxiety. Unruffled is their spirit whether they obtain the objects of their desire, or not; and they do not grieve over the loss of them, being content with their lot. If they become rich, they do not set their hearts on riches; if they are raised to honors, they do not regard themselves as more worthy than others; if they become poor, they are not made sad; if their circumstances are mean, they are not dejected. They know that for those who trust in the Divine all things advance toward a happy state to eternity, and that whatever befalls them in time is still conducive thereto. (AC 8478)

In other words worry, concern, anxiety, grief, dissatisfaction, envy, resentment and a whole collection of negative affect is caused by immersing one's consciousness in natural perception. It is inevitable because future events of life are always uncertain and only partially predictable. It is God's method of managing human lives to create uncertainty in natural perception so that we would have the motivation to escape anxiety and fear by approaching the Divine and acknowledging the rational idea that God's omnipotence and Divine love necessarily insure the individual's spiritual safety and fate. This reliance on the Divine omnipotence and love is a necessary step in acquiring spiritual-rational perception. Sacred scripture reveals the details of God's management principles:

Be it known that the Divine Providence is universal, that is, in things the most minute; and that they who are in the stream of Providence are all the time carried along toward everything that is happy, whatever may be the appearance of the means; and that those are in the stream of Providence who put their trust in the Divine and attribute all things to Him; and that those are not in the stream of Providence who trust in themselves alone and attribute all things to themselves, because they are in the opposite, for they take away providence from the Divine, and claim it for themselves. Be it known also that insofar as anyone is in the stream of Providence, so far he is in a state of peace.

But they who are in the opposite are scarcely willing to hear Providence mentioned, for they ascribe everything to their own sagacity; and what they do not ascribe to this they ascribe to fortune or chance; some to fate, which they do not educe from the Divine, but from nature. They call those simple who do not attribute all things to themselves or to nature. (AC 8478)

The expression "Divine Providence" refers to the rational idea that blind chance cannot rationally exist but only appears to exist from natural perception. Why does God create the appearance of chance events, randomness, accidents, unpredictability, fortune, luck, as if God's omnipotence did not apply in some situations? These natural appearances are necessary to develop our spiritual-rational perception and understanding. We can contrast the natural appearances with the revelations concerning Divine Providence. This educates our natural-rational mind and gives it concepts that it can use to open and activate spiritual-rational perception. This is what it means to be "in the stream of Providence" which is a mental state that attributes all things to the Divine and nothing to nature, others, or self.

When we are still in natural perception we reject the idea that God manages the minutest details of all things. We look at many people around us who are unfair, unjust, crafty, selfish, and cruel and we see their successes in a competitive society. This natural perception also looks at luck, chance, and accidental happenings, and from this perspective we have a tendency to reject the rational idea of Divine Providence in every detail. But from revelation we can form a more valid idea of God's management principles. We can reflect upon the idea that luck and chance are only appearances that God manages to cover up His total control over everything. In a natural state of mind we reject this idea with distaste because it makes us feel that we have no control, that nothing we do matters since we are trumped by God. But if we allow our mind to be formed by revelation we can come to the rational understanding that God's purpose in controlling all details of life is to insure that our spiritual future is heaven rather than hell. All things are subordinated to this one ruling purpose God has, which is to bring as many people as possible into their eternal heaven.

Why "as many people as possible"? Can God not save everyone for heaven? Why should some people end up in their eternal hell? The explanation of this long time puzzle in the history of humankind is given in revelation. God cannot act against His own order, rationality, goodness, and love. God created a perfect world in the sense that everyone can be led to their heaven, without a single exception--but only with their cooperation. God gives us the power to oppose Divine order only for the sake of allowing us to discover our innate opposition to this Divine order. We need to become conscious of our hellish tendencies in order that we may reject them as-of self, voluntarily. We are born with a love for disorder and irrationality. Evil loves cannot be removed except by the individual when rejecting them in freedom. We are born natural and animal-like with only the capacity to become spiritual and celestial. This growth process requires complete regeneration of the character and this can be done only when our evil loves are brought to our attention so that we may reject them in freedom. then we can be "reborn" with a new character that loves Divine order and can therefore live in an eternal state of heaven.

8.6.2  Wisdom and Perception

Quoting from Swedenborg:

 Angels are capable of receiving such wisdom because their interiors have been opened; and wisdom, like every perfection, increases towards the interiors, thus to the extent that interiors are opened.# In every angel there are three degrees of life, corresponding to the three heavens (see n. 29-40). Those in whom the first degree has been opened are in the first or outermost heaven; those in whom the second degree has been opened are in the second or middle heaven, while those in whom the third degree has been opened are in the third or inmost heaven. The wisdom of the angels in the heavens is in accordance with these degrees.

 Therefore, the wisdom of the angels of the inmost heaven immeasurably surpasses the wisdom of the angels of the middle heaven, and the wisdom of these immeasurably surpasses the wisdom of the angels of the outermost heaven (see above, n. 209, 210; and on the nature of degrees, n. 38). There are such differences because the things which are in the higher degree are particulars, and those in the lower degree are generals, and generals are containants of particulars. Particulars in relation to generals are as thousands or myriads to one; and such is the wisdom of the angels of a higher heaven in relation to the wisdom of the angels of a lower heaven. In like manner the wisdom of the latter surpasses the wisdom of man, for man is in a bodily state and in those things that belong to the bodily senses, and man's bodily sense belongs to the lowest degree.

This makes clear what kind of wisdom those possess who think from things of sense, that is, who are called sensual men, namely, that they are not in any wisdom, but only in knowledge.## But it is otherwise with the men whose thoughts are raised above the things of sense, and especially with those whose interiors have been opened even into the light of heaven.

# So far as man is raised up from things external towards interior things he comes into light, that is, into intelligence (n. 6183, 6313).

There is an actual elevation (n. 7816, 10330).

Elevation from external to interior things is like elevation Out of a mist into light (n. 4598).

The exterior things with man are farther removed from the Divine and therefore are relatively obscure (n. 6451).

Likewise relatively confused (n. 996, 3855).

Interior things are more perfect because they are nearer to the Divine (n. 5146, 5147).

In what is internal there are thousands and thousands of things that appear in what is exterior as one general thing (n. 5707).

Consequently, as thought and perception are more interior they are clearer (n. 5920).

## The sensual is the ultimate of man's life adhering to and inhering in his bodily part (n. 5077, 5767, 9212, 9216, 9331, 9730).

He is called a sensual man who judges all things and draws all his conclusions from the bodily senses, and believes nothing except what he sees with his eyes and touches with his hands (n. 5094, 7693).

Such a man thinks in externals, and not interiorly in himself (n. 5089, 5094, 6564, 7693).

His interiors are so closed up that he sees nothing of spiritual truth in them (n. 6564, 6844, 6845).

In a word, he is in gross natural light and thus perceives nothing that is from the light of heaven (n. 6201, 6310, 6564, 6598, 6612, 6614, 6622, 6624, 6844, 6845).

Interiorly he is antagonistic to the things of heaven and the Church (n. 6201, 6316, 6844, 6845, 6948, 6949).

The learned who have confirmed themselves against the truths of the Church come to he such (n. 6316).

Sensual men are more cunning and malicious than others (n. 7693, 10236).

They reason keenly and cunningly, but from the bodily memory, in which they place all intelligence (n. 195, 196, 5700, 10236).

But they reason from the fallacies of the senses (n. 5084, 6948, 6949, 7693). (HH 267) (Numbers throughout refer to Arcana Coelestia)


8.7  Inherited Spiritual Traits


            8.7.1 Remains and the Levels of Good in Human Development

It has been revealed that human development is a process closely supervised and managed by the Divine-Human. Without God's close management of our growth process no person could reach the spiritual goal of rising to heaven in eternity. We are born with such a weight of inherited tendencies against heaven that all individuals would merely grow into the traits with which they were born. We would become adults who are savage and cruel and deceptive. Our rationality would die and we would live our immortality in hell. Hence it is absolutely necessary for God to have a hands on management style in our growth process. This means managing every mental step so that in their aggregate we evolve new feelings and thoughts that we come to love and practice. Our new character is then called "regenerated" or perhaps "regenerating" since the process never ends. This new character has feelings and thoughts that can survive in heaven.

There are two basic approaches God uses in managing our spiritual development. One is direct and is called "immediate influx" while the other is indirect and is called "mediate influx." Both are used simultaneously and never stop. God's immediate interventions are totally hidden from us. It involves things like what we notice or not, what we remember or forget, what comes unexpectedly into the mind, how we process mental information, when we stop, when we continue, when we are distracted, etc. These are God's management interventions of which we are unconscious. The other approach God uses is perceptible to our conscious awareness. This involves insights we experience when reflecting on some issue that concerns us at the time. The insight feels like an enlightenment into a new state of vision or understanding. It is accompanied with enthusiasm and gratitude. We feel enhanced and empowered, and we appreciate with love what God is doing in our lives.

Both types of management practices make rational sense. The immediate influx is necessary to keep the organic machine going--the mind and its separate sub-organs and operations. The mediate influx is necessary because we cannot have spiritual and celestial feelings and thoughts unless we are conscious of God rationally. Rational consciousness of God must be developed in order for our heaven in eternity to be opened to us. Every human being is born with heaven and hell in the mind since the spiritual world=the mental world (see Section xx). After the death of the physical body we resuscitate as spirits in a mental body in the world of spirits and thence continue our immortality. Whether we do so in the heavens of our mind or in the hells depends on what mental operations we love at that time. If we love heavenly feelings and thoughts we ascend to heaven to eternal happiness. If we love hellish feelings and thoughts we descend to hell to eternal misery.

Change in character can take place during the life in the physical body, but not afterwards in the life of the mental body. This is the most important piece of scientific news that has ever been given to human kind! What can be more important for an immortal person than to know how to avoid hell and how to reach for heaven? Can you think of anything as important as that for your entire future? How utterly tragic and devastating it would be for us to spend a few decades here on earth doing whatever we want and then to arrive in the other world with a character that cannot live in heaven. Our immortality then becomes a curse, keeping us in misery forever. We must therefore use the revealed science of immortality to make certain that we prepare adequately for immortal life in heaven.

Given the importance of this issue for every human being you can see why God uses management techniques that make it certain that only those people will get to hell who drag themselves there with ferocious effort and compulsion. No one gets to hell by mistake or by ignorance. Hell opens in our own mind not from what we inherit but from what we insist on practicing in our life. God constantly, second by second, works to save the people by managing their thoughts and feelings through immediate and mediate influx. Only those end up in hell who fight off God's efforts, and this for many years. It is not possible for God to interfere directly with people's choices in what they love. Hence people can insist on loving hellish tendencies they inherit. If God refused to let them love their evils, they would turn into human zombies rather than human beings, and a human zombie is a worse fate than any hell. People in hell keep themselves there and refuse to rise to heavenly feelings, even though they have the capacity to do so. This capacity to become rational keeps them human even if they refuse to eternity.

The following passage from the Writings discusses three developmental stages in our managed growth process.

AC 2280  Peradventure twenty shall be found there. That this signifies if there be not anything of combat, but still there be good, is evident from the signification of "twenty." As all the numbers that are mentioned in the Word signify actual things, and states (as before said and shown in many places, see n. 2252), so also does "twenty;" and what it signifies can be seen from its derivation, namely, from twice ten. "Ten" in the Word, as also "tenths," signify remains, by which is meant everything good and true that the Lord insinuates into man from infancy even to the end of his life, and which are treated of in the following verse. Twice ten, or double tenths, that is, twenty, signify the same, but in a higher degree, namely, good.

[2] Goods of three kinds are signified by remains, namely, the goods of infancy, the goods of ignorance, and the goods of intelligence. The goods of infancy are those which are insinuated into man from his very birth up to the age in which he is beginning to be instructed and to know something. The goods of ignorance are what are insinuated when he is being instructed and is beginning to know something. The goods of intelligence are what are insinuated when he is able to reflect upon what is good and what is true. The good of infancy exists from the man's infancy up to the tenth year of his age; the good of ignorance, from this age up to his twentieth year. From this year the man begins to become rational, and to have the faculty of reflecting upon good and truth, and to procure for himself the good of intelligence.

[3] The good of ignorance is that which is signified by "twenty," because those who are in the good of ignorance do not come into any temptation for no one is tempted before he is able to reflect, and in his own way to perceive the nature of good and truth. Those who have received goods by means of temptations have been treated of in the two immediately preceding verses; those who have not been in temptations, and yet have good, are now treated of in this verse.

[4] As those who have this good, which is called the good of ignorance, are signified by "twenty," all those who went forth from Egypt were reckoned from "a son of twenty years" and upward; or as it is expressed, "everyone going forth into the army," by whom are meant those who were no longer in the good of ignorance, concerning whom we read in Numbers (1:20, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 38, 40, 42, 45; 26:4); and also that all those who were more than twenty years old died in the wilderness (32:10, 11), because evil could be imputed to them, and they represented those who yield in temptations; as well as that the valuing made of a male, from "a son of five years" to "a son of twenty years" was "twenty shekels" (Lev. 17:5); and another valuing from "a son of twenty years" old to one of sixty was fifty shekels (verse 3).

[5] As regards the before-mentioned goods, namely those of infancy, of ignorance, and of intelligence, the case is this. The good of intelligence is the best, for this is of wisdom the good which precedes it, namely that of ignorance, is indeed good, but as there is but little of intelligence in it, it cannot be called the good of wisdom; and as for the good of infancy, it is indeed good in itself, but still it is less good than the other two; for as yet there is not any truth of intelligence adjoined to it, and thus it has not become any good of wisdom, but it is only a plane for being able to become so; for it is the knowledges of good and truth that cause a man to be wise as a man. Infancy itself, by which is signified innocence, does not belong to infancy, but to wisdom; as can be better seen from what will be said about little children in the other life, at the end of this chapter.

[6] By "twenty," in this verse, as has been said, there is signified no other good than the good of ignorance which good is not only declared to be with those who are under their twentieth year, as already said, but also with all who are in the good of charity and at the same time in ignorance of truth, as are those within the church who are in the good of charity, but from whatever cause, do not know what the truth of faith is; as is the case with very many of those who think devoutly about God and kindly about the neighbor; and as is also the case with all outside the church, who are called Gentiles, and who in like manner live in the good of charity. Both the latter and the former, although not in the truths of faith, yet being in good, are in the faculty of receiving the truths of faith in the other life equally as are little children; for their understanding has not as yet been tainted with principles of falsity, nor their will so confirmed in a life of evil, because they are ignorant of its being falsity and evil; and the life of charity is attended with this: that the falsity and evil of ignorance may be easily bent to truth and good. Not so is it with those who have confirmed themselves in things contrary to the truth, and at the same time have lived a life in things contrary to good.

[7] In other cases by "two tenths" in the Word is signified good both celestial and spiritual, good celestial and thence spiritual by the two tenths of which every loaf of the showbread or bread of faces was prepared (Lev. 24:5), and spiritual good by the two tenths of the meat-offering with the sacrifice of the ram (Num. 15:6; 28:12, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14), concerning which, of the Lord's Divine mercy elsewhere. (AC 2280)



AC 5897 The situation with remnants - or forms of good and truth stored away by the Lord in a person interiorly - is this: Goodness and truth are implanted in a person when he seeks them with affection and so in freedom. When this happens angels from heaven draw nearer and link themselves to that person. Their link with him is what causes the forms of good coupled with truths to come to exist in the person interiorly. But when external interests occupy the person's attention, as when he is engaged in worldly and bodily pursuits, the angels depart; and once they have departed not a trace of those forms of good and truth is apparent. Nevertheless because such a link has been effected once, this person now has the capability of being linked to angels and so to the goodness and truth residing with them. But this linking does not take place any more often or fully than the Lord pleases, who controls the situation as is entirely best for that person's life. (AC 5897)



8.8  Universal Spirit Language and Thought


8.9  Anatomy of Mind and Levels of Consciousness


8.10  Principles of Theistic Psychology Education

From the perspective of theistic psychology the basis of all education is the rational understanding of Sacred Scripture. First children are introduced to the study of its literal meaning, then, to the study of its correspondential meaning. Science is introduced in its positive bias of dualism. All science concepts must be dualist in meaning and context. The geography of the spiritual world is related to the anatomy of the mind. Individual growth and development is studied in the context of the revealed history of Sacred Scripture and its relation to the evolution of civilizations. The primary purpose of education is to teach spiritual self-witnessing skills for regeneration. This requires a secondary focus on literacy skills that include critical thinking and responsible citizenship. Both require a tertiary focus on acquiring a database of knowledge of various subject matters--mathematics, linguistics, psychology, biology, natural science, aesthetics, jurisprudence, economics, and history. All subject matter must be taught in a dualist context.


 8.10.1  Education With Dualist Concepts

Theistic psychology education gives formal support for the development of the dualist mind. The current model in non-theistic public instruction teaches children to keep scientific and religious ideas separate in their mind. This is reinforced by the culture around them which maintains such a separation both intellectually and politically. When spiritual duality reigns in “religion classes” and in worship, while materialism reigns in other classes, the separation in the mind of the two opposing intellectual orientations is almost insured. People become young adults with an attitude of total segregation between everyday reality and worship day reality. God has been removed from everyday public life.

This segregation between two realities prevents the growth of the rational mind, and therefore, the spiritual growth that is based on rational consciousness of God through Divine Speech and Sacred Scripture. The result is that most people do not have their own doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture. They only have a doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture given to them by others (parents, clergy, others). This is not their own. Therefore if they follow it and act accordingly, they are merely complying outwardly to the truth. This does not allow for a motive strong enough to overcome one's inherited evils  or ruling loves (see Section xx). As a result character reformation is not possible, but only character accommodation from without. This does not last through the second death (see Section xx).

Hence it becomes vital for people's ability to prepare for a heavenly life, to teach them dualist scientific concepts, and thus not to rent asunder the true integrated reality revealed in Sacred Scripture.

The negative bias in American culture is exhibited in the intellectual system of materialism and secularism, while duality is the intellectual system of theistic psychology that instructs all human beings in an integrated dual citizenship, natural and spiritual. From a pedagogical point of view, it makes sense to try to facilitate this process of dual identification in the dualist mind from earliest childhood onward. Since this is the central goal of theistic psychology education, the research question remains as to what methods would be effective to bring about this goal.

To apprehend this integrative approach more clearly the instructor needs to think of the content or concepts in every course in relation to their “subordination” to the intellectual order of the doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture that is acquired in the mind of every individual. Quoting from the Writings:

In a man who is in the Lord's kingdom, or who is the Lord's kingdom, there are celestial things, spiritual things, rational things, memory-knowledges, and things of sense; and these are in subordination to one another.

Celestial and spiritual things hold the first place, and are the Lord's; to these rational things are subordinate, and are subservient; to these again memory-knowledges are subordinate and subservient; and lastly the things of sense are subordinate and subservient to these, that is to memory-knowledges.

The things which are subservient, or which serve, are relatively servants, and in the Word are called "servants." That there is such a subordination, the man who thinks only from sense and memory-knowledge is ignorant; and he who knows anything of them nevertheless has a most obscure idea, because he is still in corporeal things. (AC 2541)

This passage describes the elements or levels that are to be integrated so that they operate synergistically, like the parts of the body. The expression "a man who is in the Lord's kingdom" refers to the integrated dualist mind. In this state of mind several hierarchical layers operate together. These layers are organic constructions in the affective and cognitive organs of the mind. The top layer is called spiritual, next rational, then linguistic or verbal  ("memory-knowledges), and finally the bottom layer is sensory.

Note that in the developmental order of conscious awareness, we proceed from the bottom up, or, from external to internal. In infancy we begin conscious awareness of our sensory-motor layer in the natural mind. As children grow they develop at the verbal or linguistic level in which they are able to communicate, solve problems, and paraphrase knowledge from memory. Later in development we acquire rational thinking and critical analysis. Finally, as adults, our conscious awareness begins operations at a spiritual level of meaning or consciousness, that is, thinking rationally about the content of Divine Speech (see Section xx). At first we think from spiritual-rational correspondences, but as we proceed with regeneration, we begin thinking from celestial-raitonal correspondences.

Without teaching dualist scientific concepts we leave the children stuck in thinking "only from sense and memory-knowledge," and this is called being in "corporeal things" which is "ignorant" of spiritual things or has only a "most obscure idea" of it.

When a concept is introduced in a course, the instructor needs to place it in front of the students on a line-up of subordination or hierarchical embedding. First, is this concept from sensory or empirical observation? What precisely is the observation and what was the purpose of making this observation? Second, how is this observation or factual knowledge to be subordinated to higher order concepts? What are these higher order concepts? The instructor needs to identify what these higher order concepts are. In non-theistic and materialist education, higher order concepts are specified as "principles" or "explanatory theories." But in theistic psychology education, the instructor needs to identify these principles and explanations from Sacred Scripture. To what rational concepts from the Sacred Scripture is this observational fact or knowledge to be subordinated? This is the instructional process that integrates empirical sensory data from the natural world into spiritual-rational concepts from Sacred Scripture. Note however that all spiritual-rational ideas are based on the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture, and not on its literal meaning (see Section xx).

The Writings of Swedenborg provide the model for how instructors can integrate external rational concepts, which are natural, with interior rational concepts, which are spiritual and celestial. In other words, when we understand the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture in a rational way, we are thinking with "natural-rational correspondences." But when we understand the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture in a rational way, we are thinking with "spiritual-rational correspondences." These two stages of education must be properly addressed. In spiritual development and education, religion is possible before theistic psychology because religon is based on the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture, which is written with natural-rational correspondences. After this, thesitic psychology becomes possible as it is based on the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture, which is a more advanced form of raitonal consciousness of God and requires critical analysis skills.

Science and history courses in theistic psychology education need to follow this integrated developmental model revealed in the Writings. Science and history subjects should never be taught as external rational concepts alone, but as integrated concepts, partly external rational and partly interior rational. In other words, natural science and history should never be presented as natural, but as integrated natural and spiritual. Further, it is not enough to do this generally but must be done with every specific concept or idea introduced in science and history.

Such dual integration of educational concepts serves two purposes. One is to strengthen the commitment to Sacred Scripture as the source for both religious and scientific knowledge. Second, to prepare the individual for reformation and regeneration which is to begin at the completion of formal education.

Through this integrated or dual instructional process, young persons develop an orderly rational mind which is in the highest portion of their natural mind. These concepts become suitable cognitive “vessels” for receiving spiritual and celestial meanings from the vertical community (see Section xx). Quoting from the Writings:

When man is being instructed, there is a progression from memory-knowledges to rational truths; further, to intellectual truths; and finally, to celestial truths, which are here signified by the "wife." If the progression is made from memory knowledges and rational truths to celestial truths without intellectual truths as media, the celestial suffers violence, because there can be no connection of rational truths-which are obtained by means of memory-knowledges-with celestial truths, except by means of intellectual truths, which are the media. (AC 1495)

By “media” is here meant intermediary concepts or truths. Only some natural-rational concepts can be elevated to the spiritual-intellectual level of thinking. These are the concepts that are subordinated to the dualities in Sacred Scripture from the celestial top to the sensory bottom. The instructional approach matters. Appropriate conceptual intermediaries need to be spelled out and provided in the course.

Some principles may be considered regarding how the integrated model could be presented by the instructor. Quoting from the Writings:

That it may be known how these things stand, something shall be said respecting order. The order is for the celestial to inflow into the spiritual and adapt it to itself; for the spiritual thus to inflow into the rational and adapt it to itself; and for the rational thus to inflow into the memory-knowledge and adapt it to itself.

But when a man is being instructed in his earliest childhood, the order is indeed the same, but it appears otherwise, namely, that he advances from memory-knowledges to rational things, from these to spiritual things, and so at last to celestial things.

The reason it so appears is that a way must thus be opened to celestial things, which are the inmost. All instruction is simply an opening of the way; and as the way is opened, or what is the same, as the vessels are opened, there thus flow in, as before said, in their order, rational things that are from celestial spiritual things; into these flow the celestial spiritual things; and into these, celestial things. (AC 1495)

Note this central principle of theistic psychology education: "All instruction is simply an opening of the way." The expression "opening the way" refers to the acquisition of higher order correspondences, from natural-rational to spiritual-rational.

These celestial and spiritual meanings, or correspondences to Divine Speech, are continually presenting themselves to the conscious awareness, and are also preparing and forming for themselves the concepts or cognitive vessels that are being opened. The actual sequence of "opening" or mental growth is controlled by our Divine Psychologist so that the higher unconscious layers of the mind are infilled with celestial and spiritual rational correspondences from Divine Speech. These unconscious higher meanings form a background structure and context for the acquisition of the conscious rational meanings.

Quoting from the Writings:

 In these lie hidden all the arcana of analytical art and science, which are so many that they can never be explored even as to the ten-thousandth part; and this not with the adult man only, but also with children, whose every thought and derivative expression of speech is most full of them (although man, even the most learned, is not aware of this), and this could not possibly be the case unless the celestial and spiritual things within were coming forth, flowing in, and producing all these things. (AC 1495)

Children need to be taught the meta-order of their own learning process. They need to gain an understanding of the outwardly appearing order of learning and the actual order that enlivens it from within. These two orders can be labeled inductive and deductive. Inductive learning is the appearance from bottom up. This order yields concepts that are in themselves dead or, without any spiritual in them. The spiritual inflows within them, in a discrete degree by correspondence, so long as they are suitable cognitive vessels. This means that they must be integrated dualist scientific concepts based on the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture.

8.10.2   Constructing Integrated Dualist Concepts

Instructors can gauge whether they are teaching integrated concepts (suitable cognitive vessels) or separated materialistic concepts (unsuitable cognitions), by keeping track of their verbal stream in the classroom (a recording would greatly help in this assessment). Are the concepts linked from top down, where the top is the correspondences of Sacred Scripture, and the bottom is the empirical fact or observation being discussed? Intermediaries need to be introduced at the right age level. It is not sufficient to mention the integration at the beginning of the course, in the middle, at the end, and once in awhile in between, here and there. The integration must be spoken of in all instances where a concept is discussed. This procedure will model for the students what their dualist mind is to become.

It helps for teachers to think of certain criteria when constructing integrated dualist concepts. For example, consider these five criterial dualities that have universal application to all subject areas in school:

(1) external and interior portions

(2) uses

(3) successive and simultaneous discrete degrees

(4) natural-spiritual parallelisms or correspondences

(5) top down integration from firsts to lasts through a network of intermediaries  External and Interior Portions

When introducing a concept or phenomenon, the teacher needs to specify what is its external portion and what is its interior portion (see Section xx). For example, when instructing about a mineral sample or stone, the idea of rock formation at a slow pace is mentioned. This is to be labeled its external portion, whose parts include the outward shape and touch at the macro level, and at the micro level, the outward chemical compounds held together by the atomic forces between its constituent particles. Now the internal portion of the mineral sample should be taught. What are those atomic forces? How are they maintained in place so that the object continues to subsist in its hard form and shape? The interior portion of the mineral sample is the cause that maintains the rock in its continued existence. Every object has an interior portion that is not visible or measurable by outward measuring instruments.

Instruments that measure the outward portion of the rock sample include sizing, weighing, compressing, photographing, crushing into a powder and analyzing how the powder reacts to heat and chemicals, and other such measures, all of which are instruments for measuring the outward portion and construction of the rock. Instruments that measure the interior portion of the rock sample include uses, discrete degrees, correspondences, and intermediaries. These interior meanings of the rock sample reconfirm the universal idea that every objects exists to fulfill a human purpose or "use."  Uses

Determining the uses of an object is to measure or identify its interior portions. It is the use of the rock sample that brings it into existence. An object is maintained in existence as long as it continues to make uses of itself available. If an object ceases to make uses available with itself, it ceases to subsist and disintegrates, unable to maintain itself in existence.

Uses create objects because the created universe has its use, and this use enters into every created object. Unless there were a use for something, it could not come into existence. The Law of Creation For Uses is a Divine Law.

When you think about any object, quality, or state, you can will yourself to think contextually about it. This means to supply the context for the existence of that thing you are reflecting on. First, that object is created by God. Second, all things are created by God for a use. That object has been created and continues to exist as long as it serves the use for which God created it.  Third, every use is for the sake of the human race which God loves above all things. Fourth, that object exists for the sake of a human use. Which use?

This is to contextualize the object, principle, or quality.

Regarding the answer to "Which use?" the object has been created, this needs to be thought about in the light of what Sacred Scripture reveals. It is a topic in theistic psychology discussed in other places that deal with "correspondences" (Section xx) and "loves" (Section xx).

All uses are human uses because the creator of uses is the Divine Human. Everything the Divine Human creates must necessarily be an image of Himself, therefore be an image of the human quality or use. The idea of "human" is the idea of truth acting from love. In other words, it is our understanding (truth) acting from our will (love).

To understand this clearly, you need to reflect on the meaning of little words like "of, from, to, through, by means of." To be human means to act from love through truth. You need to recall here that love is spiritual heat from the Spiritual Sun entering the human mind and being received there by the affective organ called the will. So all human acts originate from the will. When the spiritual heat enters the spiritual organ of the will, the will suddenly is activated into an affective operation called love. The feeling of love in our consciousness is the resultant effect of the activation process. Love is a general title for a broad category of affective operations familiar to our consciousness -- wanting something, feeling attracted to something, wanting to avoid something, wanting to achieve some affective goal state, being satisfied or dissatisfied, feeling energized, feeling enthusiasm, loving and hating, etc. As you can see, love is the source from which we live, think, and act.

Therefore we say that to be human is to act from love through understanding. It is important to add "through understanding." Animals are not human since they act from love through instinct, not through understanding. It requires a rational faculty, hence a rational organ, in order to be able to understand rationally. Animals cannot learn to understand rationally because they lack an organ of understanding in their natural mind. Humans have a natural mind and a rational mind (which is also called a spiritual mind). Animals only have a natural mind. Our natural mind can think rationally only because we have a spiritual mind within the natural mind, which animals do not have. Hence it is that animals do not possess immortality. All immortality belongs to the spiritual or rational mind.

Spiritual heat enters the mind of animals as well, allowing them to live by instinct, without rational reflection and understanding. Animals are born into the knowledge of instinct. There is no learning required. Human beings are born without any knowledge, and all of it must be learned by experience. Hence we are able to build up an understanding that operates rationally. Only rational operations are possible in the upper regions of the human mind called the heavens (see Section xx).

Note that along with spiritual heat there inflows into the mind spiritual light. This substance from the Spiritual Sun is received by the cognitive organ called understanding. Only rational cognitions are capable of capturing or receiving spiritual light. When the spiritual light enters the cognitive organ we experience consciousness. The moment spiritual light no longer enters the cognitive organ, we lose human consciousness and become like animals.  Human consciousness is experienced as

  • being conscious, awake and alive

  • seeing the meaning of sentences

  • seeing coherence in a structure or system

  • seeing the logic of a relationship as correct or incorrect

  • being aware of the general content of our thoughts

  • recognizing a rational or spiritual truth when hearing it

  • analyzing steps in a procedure and replicating or modifying it

  • etc.

Like the Divine Human creates all things for a purpose, so no human being creates anything without a purpose. The purpose of doing something defines its use in advance, as the "goal" and intention of our will. We are responsible for the purposes we have. Animals are not. Why the difference? Because animals do not have purposes, but only loves and needs which interact with their instinctual knowledges, to activate their physical body. Humans have purposes because all purposes interact with rational cognitions. Animals do not have rational cognitions, hence they do not have purposes, and as a result, they are not morally or spiritually responsible for their actions. Humans are responsible because all their purposes interact with some rational cognitions. These are conscious. All our rational cognitions are conscious by definition and operation.

Consider the situation where we choose to skip flossing our teeth several days in a row.  We are consciously choosing this either by deliberate choice, or by some inappropriate justification, or by neglect in maintaining a routine. We are morally and spiritually responsible. This means that the Divine Laws of Operation governing human motivation to floss regularly,  are vitiated or abused. Whenever a Divinely created use is avoided for the sake of its misuse, built in consequences take over due to the built in Divine Order in all operations.  Flossing is an expression of our purpose or goal  of wanting to keep bacteria from building up.  Not flossing is an expression of our purpose or goal of doing what we feel like at the moment even though we know we  should pursue the other purpose. Flossing is a use that have good consequences, while not flossing is a misuse that has negative consequences. We are responsible either way. Doing the right thing from a good purpose  builds our mind into a shape or quality called heaven.

But doing the wrong thing from a bad purpose builds our mind into a shape or quality called hell. This is how we choose our life in immortality. Upon our second death (see Section xx), our consciousness rises to our heaven if we can let go of the bad we came with, or it sinks into hell if we cannot. Swedenborg saw many who knew what was the right thing to do but could not because they were unwilling to let go of the bad purposes they came with -- wanting to feel hatred and vengeance, wanting to blaspheme God, intending all things for self before anyone else, wanting to possess the goods of others, hating innocence and desiring to corrupt it, and the like things that are from the hells in the human mind.

When a purpose or motive exists in the will, it energizes and guides the understanding to produce the outcome which has the uses that serve the purpose. This fulfills the purpose and we feel like we are alive. The instant we stop producing outcomes from our purposes, we lose the feeling of being alive.

This is why all objects exist for the sake of uses or are caused by their uses. And if the uses are removed, there is no purpose that maintains the object in existence. And since all purposes are human, all uses and all creation is for a human use. 

Every object or principle has multiple uses, and new uses or applications are found by discovery and experimentation. For instance a rock sample can be used for many purposes -- as a source of its minerals, a paper weight, a missile or weapon, a carving, a block for building something, ballast in a balloon, a gift to a friend, and many other uses. There is no limit to the potential uses of an object, quality, or principle.

In the Divine Human, infinite uses make a one. The unity between love and truth that creates all uses is called "the marriage of good and truth, or the heavenly marriage." This marriage in the Divine Human must be replicated in human minds in order to produce the uses of human life -- feeling alive, being immortal, feeling happiness, being inventive, thinking with rationality, feeling love for others, having good motives and purposes, experiencing delight, having useful affections, etc. The heavenly marriage is recreated in our mind when we act from a good purpose through a true understanding.

Note that we first learn what is true understanding and this knowledge is not yet married to a good purpose. We know what's right to do but we do not do it. When we are not doing what we know is right we are serving a bad purpose instead of a good one. We inherit bad loves that are experienced as bad purposes and affections. We love to feel superior to others. We love to win while someone else loses. We fail to do what we promised because we love doing what we feel like rather than what we promised. We always love to satisfy our own wants more than we love to satisfy other people's wants. We don't mind hurting others as we pursue what satisfies our own self. We are willing to take risks with other people's safety or property for the sake of our comfort and pleasure. We are willing to overlook justice for the sake of personal gain. In all these situations we know what we are doing wrong because the truth is in our understanding from socialization and learning. But we are not willing to choose to do what is right, nor to accept what we know is true. Other purposes take precedence in our motivational hierarchy (see Section xx). These other purposes are from hell. Our life on earth is the battle within us between our purposes from heaven vs. our purposes from hell. Such as we choose in these battles, such will be our eternity.  Discrete Degrees

Uses are created into distinct discrete degrees.  Consider a rock. It is an object of use with an outward and an inward portion. The outward portion of the rock is described by physical qualities or measures, and the inward portion is described by rational or spiritual qualities or measures. An example of a rational measure of the rock is the specific relation its uses have to the uses of other objects. For example, rock samples of many sizes and shapes are produced by geological and weather conditions and events. There is therefore a relationship between the uses of geological events that produce rocks  with the uses of rocks of various shapes and sizes. These relationships between different uses are spiritual measures of uses. No event can exist that is not connected to all other events. Hence all uses are interconnected in a rational network that represents the human form (see Section xx). No use, function, or quality is ever created into itself, but all uses are created in relation to other uses, and for the sake of the overall whole which is called the Grand Human (see Section xx). In other words, all uses further the evolution of consciousness of the human race.

Similarly, successive and simultaneous degrees are rational measures of the interior (spiritual) portion of an object.

The rock sample exists and is maintained in existence by its properties at two levels of existence called spiritual and natural. The spiritual portion that forms the interior of the rock is made of substances from the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). The rays of spiritual heat (love) and light (truth) streaming out of the Spiritual Sun (halo around the Divine Human) go out into the entire spiritual world and from there, make up the spiritual interiors of all created objects in the natural world.

The spiritual (interior) portion of the rock sample is located in the spiritual world. Therefore this interior portion of the rock is made of elements that originated in the Spiritual Sun. When reflecting contextually about a rock, one can point to it and think, "Part of this rock is in this world and part of it is in the spiritual world." A rock cannot just exist in this natural world. Its external portion is in this natural world, but its interior portion is in the spiritual world. Such is the case with every object or quality.

 In the same way, when thinking about ourselves contextually, we can recall that we are born simultaneously into two worlds. Our physical body is born in the natural world while our mental body or mind, is born in the world of spirits. Our mind, being made of immortal substances from the Spiritual Sun, lives on forever. Our physical body, being made of the temporary materials from the natural sun, disintegrates in time and "dies." At that point our mental body is liberated from physical connections, and we seem t ourselves to awaken into the spiritual world where we begin a new immortal life and consciousness. Who we then are and how we then live in immortality, is determined by what we have amassed in our mind through choices and experiences until then. All choices and experiences have only two sources: each experience or choice is either from heaven or from hell. If from heaven, we grow in a heavenly character and consciousness. If our choices and experiences are from hell, we grow in a hellish character and consciousness.

Thinking about a rock contextually means to apply rational or spiritual measurement procedures to it. There are two ways to do this, called "successive" and "simultaneous" degrees (see Section xx). When the rock sample came into existence, it first popped into existence in the spiritual world, where it was formed and created to make available specific uses in the natural world. Once the interior portion of the rock was thus created and thus already existed in the spiritual world, there were created geological and meteorological events that produced the formation of the physical rock sample. This is called successive degrees of creation because the physical rock comes into existence following the creation of the spiritual portion of the rock in the spiritual world. In addition to the spiritual (interior) portion of the rock, the spiritual portion of the geological and meteorological events, also had to be first created in the spiritual world, then they had to be made to co-act in order for the physical rock to be actually created. This is the successive method by which God produces all events in the universe. The outward physical portion of the rock is produced by the laws of spiritual correspondences which specify what spiritual event or quality causes the creation of its natural effect. The natural effect (outward portion) is a representative of the spiritual cause, and corresponds to it (see Section xx).

Once the physical portion of the rock is created, the outward portion and inward portion exist as one "within" the other. This is called simultaneous degrees. The interior portion of the rock that existed prior to the external portion is now within the external portion. This synchronous relationship of “within” is by discrete degrees, not by physical location. When we look at this rock we therefore think about its external portion and its interior portion. Without rationally knowing the interior portion, we cannot explain the external portion. But knowing both, we can explain why this rock has been formed, how, and what maintains it in existence.

Here is a diagram that can be useful to enhance rational understanding:

The diagram depicts the three successive degrees of creation or coming forth (A==>B==>C), and their simultaneous arrangement in existence or subsistence.  Correspondences

In order to obtain the rational or spiritual measure of an object we need to determine its correspondence. The rational measure of correspondence gives us information about the relation between the external (physical) portion of the rock and its interior (spiritual) portion. Its interior portion is spiritual and determines the spiritual uses for which the rock was created. The external physical portion of the rock therefore represents, or is an image of, the interior spiritual uses which keep it in existence.

For instance, if you look up in the Writings the correspondence for rock, stone, pebble, mountain, and minerals, you will find things like this:


As the truth of faith is signified by "stone" and "rock," it is the Lord's spiritual kingdom that is also signified, for this is in the truth of faith, and from this in good. (AC 6426)

Note: In the Writings, "truth of faith" refers to rationality or rational thinking. The word "faith" doesn't normally carry this meaning, and in fact, is often opposed to "rationality." But in the Writings, a distinction is drawn between "rational faith" vs. "blind faith." Faith itself could be either rational or blind. Whenever the word "rock" or "stone" is used in Sacred Scripture, it represents the rational thinking humans do. And since rational also means spiritual, "rock" also represents "the Lord's spiritual kingdom," an expression that refers to the spiritual mind.

The most ancient people compared things in man (and regarded them as having a likeness) to gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, and wood-his inmost celestial to gold, his lower celestial to brass, and what was lowest, or the corporeal therefrom, to wood. But his inmost spiritual they compared (and regarded as having a likeness) to silver, his lower spiritual to iron, and his lowest to stone. (AC 643)

In the above passage one can see that "stone" (or rock) is created into a series (or category), along with other objects made of metal and wood. They all refer to the structure and function of the mind. In fact, all of Sacred Scripture, in their internal scientific sense, discusses the anatomy and function of the human mind, and especially, its regeneration by character reformation through temptations.

"A rock" denotes the Lord as to the truth of faith, is because by "a rock" is also meant a bulwark against falsities; the bulwark itself is the truth of faith, for combat is waged from this truth both against falsities and against evils. (AC 8581)

Our rational thinking, which is called he "truth of faith," functions as a "bulwark against falsities," which refers to the mental effort it requires to overcome spiritual temptations brought to us by the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx). Temptations are struggles to avoid doing what we want to do, and to do what we know is the right thing to do, to think, to intend, to love. When looking at a rock and thinking about it contextually, we see it like the celestial ancients saw rocks, as the rational thinking we must do to overcome our false justifications, so that our character may become celestial. The Divine Human is called a Rock in Sacred Scripture because He provides us with His truth, by which we defeat falsities.

He who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white pebble. Rev. 2:17. (AC 8464).

"Pebble," like rock or stone, represents the truth from the Divine Human. This is also called "the hidden manna" because it "feeds" the mind like the manna bread fed the children of Jacob in the Sinai desert for forty years (see xx). The truth is called "hidden" because it is a secret, an "open secret" that people know of but do not believe. "White" refers to purity from self-intelligence when we accept truth as something to be revealed by God, not something to be discovered or invented by human beings.

But how perfections ascend and descend according to those degrees can he little understood from things visible in the natural world, but clearly from things visible in the spiritual world. From things visible in the natural world, it is only discovered that the more they are looked into, the more do wonders appear, as, for example, in the eyes, ears, tongue, in muscles, heart, lung, liver, pancreas, kidneys and other viscera; also in seeds, fruits and flowers; and again in metals, minerals and stones. It is well known that in all these, wonders appear the more they are looked into. But yet from these things it has been little suspected that these objects are interiorly more perfect according to degrees of height or discrete degrees. Ignorance of those degrees has concealed the fact. But because the same degrees stand out conspicuously in the spiritual world, for the whole of that world, from highest to lowest, is distinctly discreted into these degrees, therefore from that world knowledge of these degrees can be drawn. Then conclusions can be drawn therefrom about perfection of forces and forms which are in similar degrees in the natural world. (DLW 201)

From these passages, and many others that can be cited and examined, you can see that the interior portion of a rock (and that of related things lime minerals) are closely associated to the uses of truth and faith from the Divine Human in our mind. Rock corresponds to the power of the truths that we have in our understanding. With truths in our understanding we can do battle against falsities and against evils that are tied to us by heredity.

The interior portion of a rock is rationally related to the interior portion of water, because water also corresponds to truths of various kind—natural truths, rational truths, spiritual truths, and so on. A mountain is a giant rock formation, therefore mountains correspond to the Divine Human as Love since this is the source of all truth. Rock formation is part of a process that begins in the Spiritual Sun and the sequence of manufacture descends, or exteriorizes, through the discrete degrees and by the laws of correspondence. At last, the chain of causation ends in the physical object of a particular mountain, rock, pebble, powder, or geological stratum on some planet.

The same is true about a plant or animal, or about a society or an institution, or about a plan, painting, or experience. The things that come to us from physical sensory information are the ultimates of the chain of causation. Once an ultimate exists it contains within itself in discrete simultaneous order, the entire chain of causation in discrete successive order. Hence it is that when we contextually inspect a rock or painting, we have the capacity to reflect on its exterior portion and the interior portion that lies within it in discrete degrees of relationship. If we train ourselves to look at everything around us in this contextualized manner, we get closer to rationality, reality, heaven, and God.

Thinking from this dualist perspective is a great advantage because it gives us a better understanding of the causes of events. With such a new perspective we can avoid errors that we commit when looking at things from effects only. We are also more likely to pick the right choices when they come up in our tasks because a dualist perspective presents a deeper view of the actual and real forces that are at play in an event.  Top Down Integration Through Intermediaries

A rock’s external portion and interior portion are held in place by means of the intermediary spheres that constitute each discrete level, one above the other, or, one within the other. What is within is also called above when thinking in terms of discrete degrees. The idea of “within” echoes the reality of simultaneous discrete degrees, while the idea of “above” echoes the reality of successive discrete degrees. Since successive degrees are in simultaneous order in the object or quality, therefore “above” and “within” can be both be used when discussing the interior of natural things.

Nothing can exist by itself. Everything created is created into an order in relation to other created things. There is a chain of creation that starts from the rays of the Spiritual Sun streaming out into the universe, first the spiritual world, then the natural world. The chain of creation from the Spiritual Sun to the rock is called in the Writings “From Firsts to Lasts:”

Quoting from the Writings:

From the fact that greatest and least things are forms of both kinds of degrees, there is connection between them from firsts to lasts, for likeness conjoins them. But yet there can be no least thing which is the same as any other. Consequently, there is a distinction of all the singulars and of the veriest singulars. There can be no least thing in any form or among any forms the same as another for the reason that there are like degrees in greatest things, and greatest things consist of least things. When there are such degrees in greatest things, and in accordance with those degrees, perpetual distinctions from top to bottom, and from centre to circumference, it follows that there cannot be any lesser or least of these, in which are like degrees, which are the same as any other. (DLW 226)

God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order. God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order by means of the heat and light of the spiritual sun, in the midst of which He is. It was by means of that sun that order was produced; and from it He sends forth a heat and a light which pervade the universe from firsts to lasts, and produce the life that is in man and in every animal, and also the vegetative soul that is in every germ upon the earth (TCR 63)

These passages, and many others like it, teach that there is a chain of being from God to the rock sample, and this chain cannot have any broken links, or else the rock sample cannot come into existence. And if there were a broken chain, that rock could not be maintained in existence, but would vanish as if it never existed. The rock sample is an object that came into existence as a result of this chain of formation, starting from the rays streaming out of the Spiritual Sun, and descending successively by discrete degrees, until at last, ending as the geological and meteorological events that shaped and formed the rock sample. The inmost portion of the rock sample is therefore the Spiritual Sun, or its rays made of the substance of love exteriorized as truth.

This spiritual substance, descends successively through the highest or celestial heaven, then through the second or spiritual heaven, then through the first or natural heaven, then through the world of spirits, then through the physical sun, then through the spaces and atmospheres and planets, then through the geological and meteorological events, to large rock formations, then to the rock sample, and finally to the classroom where the rock sample is being used for instruction, handled and inspected by the students. The teacher can conclude: "This is the chain of being that holds the sample rock that you can see on this table, hold in your hand, and use in various ways."

This example of teaching the integrated idea of a rock sample in the classroom, can be applied equally to every concept in all subjects. For example, if you teach about the branches of the government, you can consider the president or the head of state in terms of its external social portions and in terms of its interior spiritual portion. A head of state or governor is discussed in the Writings under the idea of “king” and “governors.”

"Kings," "kingdoms," and "peoples," in the historical and the prophetical parts of the Word, signify truths and the things which are of truths (AC 1672)

When I informed them that on our earth He is named Christ Jesus, and that Christ signifies Anointed or King, and Jesus, Savior, they said that they do not worship Him as a King, because royalty savors of what is worldly, but that they worship Him as the Savior. (EU 65)

"The king" signifies the truth of the church (TCR 219)

The reason why "governors" signify generals, is that it is generals in which and under which are particulars ...; by "princes" however are signified primary things (AC 5290)

"Governors and rulers" signify principal truths, and "those riding upon horses" signify the intelligent. (AE 576)

These and similar passages reveal that the interior portion of “the President of the United States” consists of uses that relate to governing a country by means of principles of truth. Every act of government represents and flows from the head of the government, as indicated by a well known saying by President Truman:  “The buck stops here.” Every act of government is held in place by the laws and the constitution, which are orderly statements of how truth applies to the social acts of the citizens. These acts are arranged in a hierarchy from general to particular in the same way as there are general truths and under those, particular truths. Hence we have such expressions as “I arrest you in the name of the Queen” or “... the Law.”

And many such things can be developed by the teacher in presenting lessons about rocks, government, art objects, or football rules and training for playing under them. Efforts in creating such a curriculum already exist in the New Church Academy educational system in Bryn Athyn, PA, that is based on the Writings of Swedenborg.  I quote from a report of a Committee of New Church Academy educators:

This attempt to apply the doctrine of correspondences to an aspect of nature follows other recent efforts along these lines published in this journal. What purpose does this kind of thinking serve? We suggest two. First, thinking from correspondences may provide a new frame of thought from which to think about the world and its workings, thereby providing new hypotheses to serve as the starting points for the scientific study of nature. Second, because our essential character is spiritual we should not let our thought be constantly immersed in the material -- for rampant materialism is destructive of our truly human qualities. If, therefore, in thinking about nature we can go beyond the mere contemplation of its wonderful material reality that science reveals, and think as well of these same images as some aspect of our essential spiritual character, our thought can be elevated to the contemplation of eternal values and thereby enriched."   (Erland J. Brock, “Correspondences of Photosynthesis,” New Philosophy, January-March, 1986 )

My suggestion is that this overall decline will now be reversed. From natural good, the Lord will lead the Church into spiritual good. Then we can think again from a knowledge of correspondences, and with this we will again be conjoined with heaven. And eventually, as people of the New Church regenerate, we will gradually learn to think again from correspondences, as did the Most Ancients. But there will be a difference. In His First Coming, the Lord Jesus Christ glorified His Divine Natural, and in His Second Coming He revealed the qualities of this Divine Natural. From this Divine Natural "not only is the internal spiritual person enlightened, but also the external natural; and unless these two are simultaneously enlightened, a person is as it were in shadow; but when both are enlightened, he is, as it were, in the light of day" (TCR 109).

As New Church people regenerate, and as they develop both the natural sciences and arts, and also their ability to think from a knowledge of correspondences and then from correspondences themselves, a quiet miracle will occur. More and more we will see the Lord in His Divine Human, standing before our eyes. We will see Him standing forth in correspondences in every realm of His creation, and from this perceive more and more of His direct presence with us. We will see Him more deeply in His Word. And also His creation will open up to us more and more, so that "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge .... From the end of the heavens is His going forth, and His circuit unto the ends of them; and nothing is hidden from His heat" (Psalm 19:1-3,6). (Geoffrey S. Childs, “CORRESPONDENCES: A Key to Distinctiveness,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )

New Church education is dedicated not just to transmitting knowledges or facts, but to opening the minds of the students to see the Truth. The doctrine of correspondences is therefore essential to this use. It applies, first of all, to the Sacred Scriptures, which must be understood correspondentially. But in all fields, the doctrine of correspondence is vital to gaining a perception of the spiritual reality which constitutes the substance and soul of all natural things, including material objects and the affairs of men. (Walter E. Orthwein, “Correspondence and Language,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )

When Joseph hid his silver cup in Benjamin's grain sack, it represented the process whereby truth is inserted into scientifics, or how doctrine organizes knowledges. There is a method of conjunction, which is actually explained in this story. We read: "the method by which conjunction is effected is by means of the insertion of truths into scientifics." (AC 6052) "From the knowledges of the memory which are in agreement and harmonious, there is effected a kind of extraction and sublimination, whence arises an interior sense of things." (AC 5872) I contend that this provides us with a METHODOLOGY, long sought after, of applying doctrine to scientific fields, or to classroom curricula. (Erik E. Sandstrom, “Miracles As Models For An Educational System,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )

Teaching about correspondence: In this category I would place the direct teaching of the correspondential meaning of the objects of nature and the images of the Word. A scope and sequence chart of which correspondences fit with major themes for each grade level and a developmental approach which moves from kindergarten through high school seems to be called for. Such a sequence might begin with a non-memory-oriented, creative integration of basic correspondential images in kindergarten through second grade. It would seem appropriate for the sequence to continue with a memory-based approach in the third through eighth grade in which certain basic correspondences were learned each year. The sequence might continue through high school with a process approach. Here the correspondences of the Word should be studied in context to show how meanings change according to context and may even take on opposite meanings. The correspondential meaning of human actions, particularly in regard to courtship and sexuality should be considered.

3) Using correspondences: Since all human activity involves correspondence, obviously we use correspondence in education all of the time. But what I am suggesting here is a more conscious and deliberate attempt to use the power of correspondence in reaching young minds with the beauty of the Lord's truth. For example, story telling which consciously employs correspondential symbolism to teach life lessons, or point out moral issues, or even simply to entertain seems an appropriate avenue for teachers to pursue. This was the delight of delights in the Ancient Church, and we are informed that the Ancient Church and the New Church are similar in internals. Perhaps we could do much more with story telling and story writing in teaching correspondence.

I have found the students love to talk about their dreams. As we know, dreams are often subtle correspondential messages from our good associate spirits, pointing out areas of our life that need attention, and even suggesting solutions to everyday problems. More of a focus on dream interpretation and even dream work with students would appear to me to be a valid avenue for future New Church educators to pursue.

Guided meditations often use correspondences to help us see our life from a new perspective. I believe we could develop unique New Church meditations to augment certain aspects of the teaching of religion that could be very powerful for students. The process evokes an internal response that I believe is similar to what happens in dreams, inviting subtle clues from our good associate spirits from which we may gain important information about ourselves.

The correspondences of the body are very much a part of human communication. In fact some studies indicate that 80% of human communication is non-verbal, that is, through such subtle cues as tone of voice, body position, muscle tone, skin color, eye movement and the like. As the Writings make very clear, all of these are correspondences. Greater focus on the correspondence of body language and human communication could well improve the effectiveness of New Church teachers, while some direct attention to these matters in course work might go a long way to improving marriages and family life in the church. 

4) Diagnosing the situation: As we know from the Writings, the inner quality of an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization, tends to make itself manifest through correspondence if we have eyes to see it. The Writings mention that when the Catholic church removed the Word from the laity, at some time later they also removed the wine from the Holy Supper for the laity. Such correspondential images of our inner qualities have a way of making themselves manifest, and I believe we are invited to use this correspondential information, however tentatively, as a source for legitimate inquiry and discussion. For example, one could engage a class in a discussion of what the behavior of the class might mean to an outsider knowledgeable in correspondence who was simply observing at a distance. (Mark Carlson, “Some Thoughts On Correspondences,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )

How do we bring correspondences livingly and functionally into the curriculum? If only we can do this, we will retain the content quality of the course involved, but at the same time will give it a spiritual component. I have seen this in human body courses, both at secondary and elementary level. For example, correspondences are brought into the study of digestion, illustrating the acceptance of newly arrived spirits into the Grand Man of heaven. Seeing this dual aspect of course material and its correspondence to truths of the spirit has a powerful effect on the students involved; it marries functional faith to a science, and moves them strongly.

One thing is clear: such integration of correspondences into course material is an art form -- an artistic challenge. For correspondences cannot be inserted as a cold scientific process, in a way that is unalive or non-functional. Spiritual and natural operations correspond functionally and beautifully. And both of these aspects need to be conveyed: beauty, and function.

What is needed to see correspondence functioning in course subject matter? First, the genuine doctrine revealed in the Writings -- the doctrine that governs the subject matter. Next there must be an accurate and clear description and understanding of the subject matter itself. The question then follows: what is the correspondence of each element in the subject matter involved? In the growth of a tree, such correspondences are revealed in the Writings. The correspondences of leaves, blossoms, and fruit are known. Knowing these correspondences, the relationship of regeneration and cycles of a fruit tree can be clearly, beautifully seen. But only if we know the general doctrine of rebirth, and the general knowledge of a fruit tree's cycle. There is one more vital element: enlightenment from the Lord, for which we pray.

Sometimes we may think that if only we know the correspondences involved, then any natural subject matter can be turned by us into clear doctrinal lessons and illustrations. And this is true if the other three essential elements are also present: the doctrine within that applies, the facts of the subject under study, and enlightenment. With this four part harmony, the whole world of nature can gradually become correspondentially alive! Many correspondences are already revealed in the Writings, and this is the key in such cases. In myriads of other cases, such correspondences are not revealed. But we do know that there is nothing in nature that is not representative (AC 1807). Where correspondences are not revealed, what must be known is how the natural elements function together in the subject understudy. What role does each element play? Then, how do these work together in a scientific and artistic way? These things can be discovered by research and inductive study: how the elements work together, and what role each plays in this functioning. Then we can deduce the correspondences of each element. We need two other components: the frame-work of doctrines that applies to the subject under study, and we need enlightenment from the Lord.

I hope this doesn't sound too complicated, because it is worth the effort. Correspondences can transform a subject, bathing it in interior light. This can move students deeply. With Divine guidance already present in the Writings, this can be done with anatomy, with the interrelationship of the heart and lungs, with the life cycle of trees, with minerals, etc. And I believe

the Lord then bids us to go farther: to employ the science of sciences to gradually discover Him throughout creation, in ways that are artistically and scientifically fulfilling.

In early elementary school, this pathway of living correspondences is fairly evident and imagination-stirring. The sun, stars and moon; horses, lambs, lions and birds; minerals, jewels and metals; flowers, trees, and fruit -- so many things a child can see or grasp, and that can touch his imagination. Artistic and simple correspondential explanations of these symbols can have powerful meaning. Rocks, water, bread -- each of these can be living symbols to a child. Likewise the stories of the Word have so many correspondences filled with wonder and vivid representations. Children can live in a garden of Divine symbols.

In the secondary schools this can be reinforced and built upon. The generals of the doctrines all have their ultimates in corresponding symbols in the Word and nature. The study of the spiritual world in the sophomore year is replete with the correspondences and representations that rule in heaven, the world of spirits, and hell. Divine Providence has its symbols in the Word and nature, as does the book Conjugial Love. And also in high school, correspondences can be introduced into the science and arts as well, as they have already been into the human body courses. The arts are ground awaiting the use of symbols that stir and uplift the imagination. Some of Andrew Wyeth's paintings convey this.

In college, correspondences can begin to be introduced as a science. Its functional insertion into such sciences as physics and chemistry and biology is a good challenge. And in later college, surely the time is coming for a complete course in correspondences, representations, and significatives. The course formerly taught by Dr. Hugo Odhner called The Human Organic was the precursor to such a course. And a vast bibliography, a host of topics, await the teacher of this subject.

Education is a lifelong process. In fact, it continues to eternity. Adults have the guidelines and doctrines revealed in the Writings for further exploration and use of correspondences and representations. The great background is the overall setting, the cosmology of creation. Bishop W. F. Pendleton spoke of certain universal principles revealed in the Writings that are "the origin of all the sciences and all the arts which we now possess ... (and which) must take their place in the higher education of the New Church as the head, the beginning, and origin of all the sciences." He lists these six philosophic doctrines (universal as principles) "correspondences, representation, influx, degrees, the spiritual world, and God as Man" (address entitled "The Future of the Academy," New Church Life, 1901, pp. 67-74).

With these universal principles in mind, the adult explorer would then need a framework of doctrinal teachings that applies to and governs the subject under study. Prof. Bruce Glenn defines this as the "developing of related doctrines so as to form a framework of principles within which to order and interpret the knowledges of a subject" ("Distinctiveness in Action," address to the Academy Faculty, Nov. 4,1979 -- Academy Journal, Literary Number 1972-73, pp. 5-12). The book entitled The Academy: A Portrait illustrates such frameworks in particular subject areas: history, for example.

In the famous number from The Spiritual Diary on the two foundations of truth, the strong correlation of spiritual laws and natural laws is shown. And this too is a vital principle in seeking correspondential relationships. "The foundations of truth ... are two, one from the Word, the other from nature or from the truths of nature. ... These two foundations of truth agree the one with the other, which is proved by a contemplation of certain things in the Word. Since sciences have shut up the understanding, therefore sciences may also open it; and it is opened so far as people are in good. ... All things of heaven have their foundation in the laws of order of nature in the world, and in man, so that the foundation is permanently fixed" (SD 5709). Laws then that govern specific sciences, arts, social sciences, psychology, philosophy, languages, etc., have their origin in spiritual laws that correspond and are directive.

The challenge to the adult researcher or the college student is to have those six philosophic principles suggested by Bishop W.F. Pendleton clearly in mind, and then research and discover the framework of applied doctrinal principles that govern the specific subject field. With these as basic tools, the next search is to find the spiritual laws that are causative to the natural laws in the subject field. As an example of this, there are spiritual or Divine laws that govern history, and these are outlined in general in The Academy: A Portrait.

Still missing in this effort to bring correspondences livingly into play are three remaining elements: a clear knowledge of the natural relationships and functioning of the elements in the subject under study, enlightenment, and the direct correspondences of each element. If the correspondences are revealed in the Writings, then the pathway is open. If correspondences are not revealed, there will be the need to deduce these from the functioning roles of each element in the subject being studied. This means there will be some enlightened guessing, and a lack of sureness. But such investigation is legitimate and very useful, if there is humility, and allegiance to the revealed framework of doctrines.

The key element in any search to apply correspondences to the curriculum is enlightenment. And this is a gift from the Lord alone, to that person who is, first of all, shunning evils as sins, and looking to the Lord as one's Father. A second essential is to let the doctrines lead, not personal mental agendas. The cautioning is given by the Lord in reference to finding the correspondential sense of the Word; but this applies as well to the search for the inner symbolism of curricular course material. "Falsely thinks he who says to himself: 'I know many correspondences; I am able to know all the Doctrine of Divine truth; the correspondential sense will teach it.' This cannot be done in this way; but, as was said, it can be done if a person says to himself: 'I know the Doctrine of Divine truth; now I am able to see the correspondential sense if only I know correspondences.' But even then he must ... be in illustration from the Lord" (De Verbo 58). In a subject matter search for correspondential meanings, it isn't directly a correspondential sense that is sought, it is rather the corresponding spiritual laws. But the De Verbo 58 rules still govern this search. (Geoffrey S. Childs, “Bringing Correspondences Into The Curriculum,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )

In thinking about the application of the doctrine, the central idea to keep in mind is that it is the function of some physical entity that corresponds to something on a higher plane. Seeking correspondence in the form only leads nowhere -- an idea that the Lord makes clear in the Writings.

This, I believe, is central to efforts to extend our appreciation of the natural world, as in science education, for example. Science instruction that is devoted solely to a consideration of how the world works from a material standpoint falls short of the mark. There is more to everything than meets the eye, and it is up to New Churchmen to increase our appreciation of this with increasingly deep penetration, not for the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity, but for the betterment of human existence both in the here-and-now, and to eternity.

Extending this thought of application into all aspects of education, the principle that correspondences can be seen through function has universal application. The leading question beyond appreciation of the phenomena on the natural plane is "to what does this answer in the human mind?" The "what" here is the spiritual correspondent being sought. It is my belief that this applies to all elements in the curriculum. (Erland J. Brock, “Correspondences: A Personal View,” Journal of the Correspondences Committee, 1990-1992 )



The Writings of Swedenborg are available on the Web in a searchable format at:  

A definitive and well respected biography of Swedenborg is:

Sigstedt, Cyriel (1952) The Swedenborg Epic. The Life and Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (New York: Bookman Associates, 1952) Available online:

The Reading List identifies basic collateral works on the Writings by Swedenborg scholars.

The Topical Index to Sections and Reading List is in Volume 18

This is the End of Volume 8


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