This is a Selection From:


Textbook of Theistic Psychology
The Science of Immortality
Based on the correspondential sense Extracted From
the Writings of Swedenborg

by Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004


The Hexagram of Consciousness and Reality


Let us now characterize the six steps of consciousness--three descending and three ascending. You will note that we are to think generally of all mental sequences and development and not only that which applies to our age periods. This is because human consciousness is the image and likeness of the universe. The universe and its reality is rational, that is, created out of truth and arranged according to wisdom and intelligence. The underlying substance and framework that holds up the physical universe is the rational universe, which is called the spiritual world. This is one with our mind or mental world. This understanding may be rendered by a basic theistic psychology formula (see Section xx):


spiritual geography = mental anatomy = eternity


Hence you can say that the physical universe is created through the mind as its cause, and is arranged according to the order of the mind, and serves the mind as an extension of itself, just as the effect is an extension of the cause, and the cause is within the effect. Hence the mental world is within the physical world and the two are discrete, not continuous, but correspond to each other. This is why all things in the physical universe proceed into existence according to a rational sequence modeled after, and corresponding to the rational order in the human mind. Physics and chemistry are nothing but the outward natural form of psychology and theology. And this is because the human mind is a model (or “image and likeness”) of the mind of God, the Divine Human.


Level 1 Consciousness (Infancy) – Sensuous Incorporation


Lower consciousness, which is the external mind, is sensuous rather than rational. Its very existence and foundation is centered in the sensorimotor mind (S) (see Section xx). The infancy period of any recursive unit serves to establish the foundation of the entire unit. For instance, infants characteristically put everything they grasp into their mouth. They explore the world through touch and taste more than through hearing and sight. One might call this consciousness focus the "incorporation" phase, which is the inclination to unite bodily with the environment in order to know and experience it. This inclination is the effect of the influx into our sensorimotor mind from the celestial angels (see Section xx).


In the history of civilizations the infancy period is called the Adamic Civilization (see Section xx). They did not have a written Sacred Scripture because Divine Speech "was written on their heart." This means that they had "truth immediate" by psychic communication with their ancestors or spiritual teachers in their vertical community (see Section xx). They were in direct communication with the "departed" and had visions and dreams in which they were instructed directly in the Sacred Scripture which was in the heavens. Their sensuous consciousness was celestial and they saw in all things of nature nothing but heavenly representatives.


Level 1 consciousness properties are contained within the initial definition of a mathematical proof, a chemical reaction, the formation of a crystal in the earth or of a galaxy in space. The empirical evidence for this idea will be found in the research of Dr. Ian Thompson (  )


Level 2 Consciousness (Childhood) – Sensuous Absorption


The second component of sensuous awareness is in the cognitive mind (C) (see Section xx). This is called the childhood period of any developing sequence and its characteristic focus and function is entirely different from the infancy period. For example, children have their conscious focus centered on territoriality and ranking issues. They constantly bicker and jostle each other for who's next, who's on top, who won't make it, whose it is, who should be kept out, what's the difference between this or that, why this rather than that is to be selected, and so on. These are mental absorptions into the architecture of cultural semantics--their reward and happiness comes from navigating through these social and group distinctions of ranks, successes, losses, distances, relations. They include implications by connectivity.


See also Dr Thompson's diagram 1 below regarding additional hypotheses regarding the complexities of influx during the childhood period.


Level 3 Consciousness (Adolescence) – Sensuous Belonging


The concerns in the third step are focused more and more intensely in the affective mind of the adolescent. The affective mind is the locus of our goals, motives, intentions, feelings, and desires. In the adolescent period of development the affect becomes the center of consciousness. Teenagers are absorbed by emotionalism and feeling, love and jealousy, fear of rejection and desire for inclusion. The third level of consciousness relates to function, direction, inclusion-exclusion, coherence, uniformity, consistency, self-aggrandizement, projection, universality, conflict, equity, etc.




The Inversion from sensuous consciousness to rational consciousness takes place at the end of Level 3 and at the beginning of Level 4. The first three levels of sensuous consciousness belong to the external mind (“descending path” see diagram in Section xx). The next three levels of rational consciousness belong to the internal mind (“ascending path”). All development proceeds from the three heavens acting in sequence into our sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective mind. This is called descending path because there is first an influx from the third heaven, then the second, then the first heaven. This is followed by the ascending path – first heaven, second heaven, and finally third heaven (see Section xx).


Regeneration starts with the descending path then shifts to the ascending path after the inversion. We must first make a descent of consciousness in the sense that in infancy our sensuous consciousness is infilled by the celestial angels who are in the Third Heaven, then in childhood by the spiritual angels who are in the Second Heaven, and at last in adolescence by the natural angels who are in the First Heaven. This is spoken of in Sacred Scripture as the "descent into Egypt" because Egypt represents the outmost consciousness that is based on memory-knowledges or scientifics gathered through the physical senses. The literal of Sacred Scripture and the surrounding creation inflow into our external mind and this inflowing is most external with the natural angels and most internal with the celestials.


Level 4 Consciousness (Young Adulthood) – Rational Acknowledgment of God


The fourth overall step in regeneration, and the first of the ascending steps, is called the period of young adulthood, and is represented by such issues as culture, ethnicity, medium, drama, self-assertiveness, depth, inner connectedness, identity, history, etc. It is the unconscious interior presence of the natural angels in our sensorimotor mind (S) that gives a new perception of the world, a sensorimotor perception that pertains to the rational.


Level 4 consciousness is transitional. In the history of civilizations the young adulthood was the new age started by the Incarnation of the Divine Child (see Section xx), by which God became present to awareness in the natural mind formed by experience, history, and science. Rational consciousness of God in the conscious natural mind became possible when this phase of evolution was entered by the human race. God is co-present in the conscious natural mind as the Divine Psychologist or “Holy Spirit” (see Section xx).


Rational consciousness of God is a prerequisite for heavenly life in eternity. It requires the acknowledgement of dualism and Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech with the human race. This level of consciousness leads the person to reread Sacred Scripture and to find in it a new desire for commitment to God, dualism, and character reformation. From now on God is acknowledged as omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.


Level 4 consciousness is our adult rediscovery of our childhood God. We see nature and all that is around us as the work of God. We are on our way to discovering the road way to heaven and embarking upon it. This is the mental state of reformation when we reorganize our principles and belief systems and force them into alignment with our understanding of Sacred Scripture and what God wants from us.


Level 5 Consciousness (Adulthood) – Rational Conjunction with God


Level 5 consciousness is focused on issues of framing, justifying, arguing, confirming, networking, tracing the roots, taxonomizing, inventorying, standardizing, evaluating, etc. In our adulthood we stand on our ability to create a life philosophy that we can justify and support ourselves. We are not satisfied with renting, we want to own. Our rationality is active under the furtherance of the spiritual angels (second heaven) who are inflowing into our internal cognitive mind (C). In childhood these angels inflowed into our external cognitive, but now in our internal cognitive.


Level 5 consciousness in the history of civilizations represents the literal sense of the Writings Sacred Scripture. This presents for the first time a new rational perspective on Sacred Scripture, justifying a “rational faith” that replaces the old “blind faith” full of mystery and obscurity. Now for the first time in human history God is revealing the rational basis of Himself and His government of the universe. The Writings Sacred Scripture announce this new age as “Nunc licet” which in Latin means Now It is Permitted; that is, now it is permitted to investigate rationally the former mysteries of religion and God.


Rational conjunction with God takes place when we are ready to use the truth we know from Sacred Scripture to battle our evil loves and their justifications. These are the battles of spiritual temptations we must fight and by which God regenerates us (see Section xx).


Level 6 Consciousness (Old Age) – Rational Love of God


The last ascending step is called the period of old age and is focused on issues such as appearance vs. reality, performance and execution, uses, ethics, goodness vs. wickedness, spirituality, holiness, saintliness, regeneration, education, character reformation, Doctrine of the Church, theistic psychology, etc.


Level 6 consciousness is furthered by the activity of the celestial angels inflowing into our affective mind. Now for the first time we come into possession of the "Crown of Civilizations" -- of the highest degree of consciousness humans can achieve – rational love of God. The spiritual heat of the Spiritual Sun carries this Divine love down into the minds of the angels. The celestial angels receive it most purely and their influx into our interior affective mind opens up our highest degree--the interior celestial. This is the most rational of human consciousness. Now all the other degrees are available and controlled by this new influx which sits in the highest position—love unto God. Love seeks the truth that is compatible with it, and this is wisdom. Love and wisdom together act out into the external mind, the body, the world, the social order.


The highest level of consciousness (Level 6) is a gradual development in rational consciousness of God and progresses over the course of one’s life on earth, and continues hereafter (see Section xx). Rational love of God is made possible by the interior truths we extract from Sacred Scripture, which we then apply to our daily willing and thinking (see Section xx). It is closely connected to the Doctrine of the Wife for Husbands (see Section xx).


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