Psychology 499 Paper, Spring Semester 2005 (G22), Dr. Leon James, Instructor
The Beginnings of Correspondences
Table of Contents:
1. The Divine Human
2. Successive and Discrete degrees
3. The Vertical Community
5. Spiritual Reality
7. Learning Through Correspondences
8. As-of Self
oMy opinion on As-of Self
9. Divine Speech
10. Pan-Human Nature of Correspondences
11. The Writings
12. Personal Anecdote
The Divine Human
The Divine Human has created all things from a combination of love and wisdom, which are His two innermost traits. He can be seen in the spiritual world as a bright entity called the Spiritual Sun. There is an aura surrounding Him that is luminous and hot, which represents His omnipresent Love and Truth. The Spiritual Sun emanates spiritual light and spiritual heat. Spiritual light corresponds to Divine Truth while the spiritual heat contained in the spiritual light corresponds to Divine Love.
The first thing to come into being was the Spiritual Sun. The correspondence in the natural world of the Spiritual Sun is the natural sun. Everything on this planet has come into creation via ether from the natural sun, and by means of working backwards into the spiritual world from whence every natural phenomenon is created; the Spiritual Sun is at its base. To understand the process of working backwards into the spiritual realm, correspondences by discrete degrees must be explained further.
Correspondences are events that occur concurrently as well as being directly related to one another, yet are disjointed in that they are different operations or codes that God exercises in order to run the universe in the rationally constructed way He set it up, based on trinality. The trinality of the codes of correspondences take place in these separate and secluded stages linked metaphorically to God’s original design of all created things as having a source, a cause and an affect. No event from source (celestial) can ever pass into the realm of cause (spiritual) nor can either cross into the realm of effect (natural). The same is true for reverse direction. The source, cause and effect of an event occur in discrete degrees that are simultaneous and successive by correspondence.
Successive and Discrete Degrees
A successive view of discrete degrees shows the highest degree as the earliest in growth with each succeeding lower degree being created later than the one before. The highest degree is also closest to God and is considered within the degree created after it. Each subsequent degree is then enveloping the one prior to it. So the highest is inmost while the lowest is outmost.The simultaneous order of the discrete degrees explains that events occurring within each higher degree create by correspondence events to occur in each successive degree below it at the exact same time. The overall event is the same in each degree however the correspondence expressed in the degrees are not exactly alike in quality. Correspondence is the cause of what happens in a lower successive degree, which is the effect of it.
Diagram taken from Theistic Psychology Section 5.1.1
As the ether from the Spiritual Sun moves into lower discrete degrees, it becomes more ‘natural’. The substances that we can see, touch and feel here on earth are manifestations of their spiritual core that exist in the spiritual world. As spiritual substances get lower through discrete degrees their spiritual nature becomes more layered and hidden from natural human consciousness, which is based on what is external or ultimate.
Correspondences are one of my favorite concepts the study of Theistic Psychology has helped me to verbalize. I enjoy it because I see the interconnectedness of all things. Each event, person or thing I come across in my life is purposeful, has some sort of effect on my life and the greater world around. Things are created for a reason. It gives me a positive feeling to visualize that I have been put here on earth for a reason.
In order to discover why I enjoy the study of correspondences I did some self-witnessing during the time I participated in the studying activity. Why is self-witnessing important? Humans are born connected to both God and infernal societies. The relationship that humans have with God is the most important of relationships because it is through the power of God that we learn to experience what is rational, good and true and reject what is evil and injurious to ourselves and to others.
God is able to systematically remove an individual’s evil loves but not without active participation from the individual. The first step in removing our infernal loves is recognizing what they are and how they come up in our mind and affect our daily lives on a peripheral (sensorimotor) level. The best way to discover our sensorimotor actions and the patterns that cause them to arise is through the method of self-witnessing. The beginning of the process of self-witnessing is to simply watch our behavior objectively and record what we see. We then have access to a running account of the way that we acted in a given day, week or month. By analyzing the actions that we routinely perform and working backwards to uncover meaning in all three parts of the threefold self (I will discuss in more detail later) we are able to discover what societies among the vertical community we are in contact with. (James, Theistic Psychology section 220.127.116.11.1)
The Vertical Community
The vertical community is a concept that describes the communal nature of our minds. Vertical refers to our communication with other spirits in the spiritual world, in either heaven (metaphorically above us) or hell (metaphorically below us) hence vertical. The horizontal community that we are also in contact with and much more familiar with is the groups of people that we are around each day. The communication we have with the vertical community is at a spiritual level and cannot be understood by the natural mind, however it does affect our thoughts and emotions. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 18.104.22.168)
For example, you go and spend an afternoon with two of your friends who are perpetually depressed. You yourself feel happy at the onset of the afternoon. As the hours pass and the conversation lingers around the negative quirks of society, the unfairness of tax season, the gossip about this person and that, you feel your mood begin to shift to a feeling of uneasiness and resentment. After you leave the situation you notice that these two people have emotionally dragged you down. The vertical community follows along the same principle. There is a direct relationship with those you associate and how you feel.
Link to definition of vertical community in Theistic Psychology- Section 22.214.171.124 www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/ch5.htm#never-alone
What exactly is self-witnessing? Self-witnessing is an introspective process in which a person becomes aware and catalogues specific instances in their daily willing and thinking. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 126.96.36.199.1) These events are monitored and analyzed by comparison to the doctrine that one has amassed from Sacred Scripture. As we practice the process we become adept at realizing which actions are Heavenly and come from God through heavenly societies, and which actions are hellish and come from hellish societies. When we see that an action comes from God we are able to trace back, through the system of the threefold self, what the cause in our thinking was and wherefrom the source of the cause began. More specifically what was the thinking that led to the heavenly action and what was the ruling love from the affective organ that was within (in discrete degrees as defined above on page 2) both the thought and the action. Similarly and perhaps more importantly when we find that our thoughts and or actions are from hellish sources we are able to trace back that lineage of source, cause and effect. We then can find out what love of evil caused such and event or thought to take place. "The affective is where the hells actually come into us – selfish enjoyments, lusts, cupidities, evil intentions, worshipping idols, etc. The hells do not come into our thoughts and sensory sensations. Only into our affective. Our cognitive then reacts by correspondence, with content that has been built up from the sensory input through the physical body. This sensor input is in our memory and it is evoked there by the action of the affective organ. If the action is operated by from the hells, then the cognitive will operate with false beliefs and reasoning. Evil in the affective always causes anti-truth in the cognitive."
We begin by cataloguing our sensorimotor behaviors because they are the most obvious to us being that they are the events performed in the natural world. Our sensorimotor behavior is considered the effect. We then work backwards to uncover the cause of the event that was enacted by the cognitive organ. Once the cognitive has been understood we can try to reconstruct the motivation that begun the whole process. The motivation comes from influx from the affective organ. The affective organ either receives influx from heavenly or hellish influences. Heavenly influx comes God and causes our spirits to act from heavenly love. Hellish influx comes from the infernal communities that we are in contact with in the spiritual world. Hellish influx causes us to act from our own selfish loves and forces the cognitive to function under incorrect rationality. It becomes manifest as anti-truth.
The important point to note is that the process originates in the affective organ. When self-witnessing it is important to pay extra attention to the affective processes that we find. We must scrutinize them carefully. If we label a particular behavior incorrectly from the affective organ (its source) then the integrity of the event chain (cause and effect) will be thrown off.
Self-witnessing only becomes a tool for spiritual growth when a person actively uses the information gathered in self-witnessing to change their behavior, their thinking and their willing. In that case the motive behind the self-witnessing must be spiritual in nature. The process does not come from a place of mere inquiry or stark judgment but a place of sincere desire to disconnect with things that we are connected to that are evil. Things that have been revealed to us as hindering our spiritual growth and keeping us locked into places along the spiritual community that may ultimately cause a miserable eternity. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 188.8.131.52)
The most important part of self-witnessing hinges upon the evils that we are able to find in ourselves. When a person is confronted with their evils they must consciously reject the thought as one that is beneath them, or not conducive to spiritual growth. The activity consists not in confessing to God that you have sinned against Him. To do that would be to assume that He is not aware of all that is going on in your life and regeneration process, (and Theistic Psychology assures us that) while in fact
He is quite present every step of the way. The thing that is important is in freedom, as of self, we reject the evil. Anything do in freedom is done from love and higher rational loves have the power to eradicate lower loves.
I asked myself the pointed question of "why do I like the study of correspondences?" The results follow:
Love of Knowledge of Godà To understand God I must put forth energyà Study of correspondences
I notice that these threefold actions are heavenly events. The love of Knowledge of God is a must for anyone who wants to be regenerated. This is because we must love the idea of learning about God before we can learn to actually love Him. The understanding to I must put forth energy in order to gain this Knowledge is also essential in understanding God. This is because as-of self I must choose to pursue the rigorous study of God in order to elevate my consciousness and spend time in enlightened states where I may be able to understand higher order correspondences. The third event sounds like the second except it is the action of the study that makes the two previous events of the self-worthwhile. Motivation and understanding incite the sensorimotor organ to do work in the real world. The sensations I experience while I am studying correspondences are important in making a lasting impression upon my mind of spiritual benefit.
The reason why I enjoy studying correspondences is that it provides me a path of self-improvement. I want to be closer to God and be able to hear Him as clearly as I can. The only way that I am able to better feel His influx is by making myself a more rational person, dedicated to reforming my mind. The study of correspondences is a stepping-stone that brings me closer to heaven.
Heaven and hell are called sources because it appears that they act from themselves. Every single thought or feeling has its source either from heaven or from hell. God's love and wisdom is the ultimate and actual source of all feelings and thoughts in heaven, but not so of hell. God's love and wisdom enters the human race through the heaven in people's mind but by the time it filters down to the hell in our mind, the love and wisdom are turned into their opposites, namely, hate and stupidity (see Section xx). (James, Theistic Psychology Section 12.6.4)
The inversion of what is good and what is true can be seen on a natural level by self-witnessing the justification of our behavior that initially seems evil. We all go through struggles in our lives to make choices that are in line with our morals and values. Some times we triumph over the hells in our minds by hearing their anti-truth and willing against it. Other times we find ourselves giving in to desires that deep down we know are maladaptive to the formation of right behaviors. In my own mind I see the inner dialogue between the angels and the devils as a battleground for my soul. On any given day both sides win a considerable number of battles, and without fail the next day the war rages on. The following is a self-witnessing example of a losing battle for the heavenly side:
Anti-truth Self-witnessing example
I went to the all you can eat cafeteria on campus and paid $6.65 for lunch. I found that I was not all that hungry after a medium size portion of food. I felt cheated out of my money because I did not feel that I was able to get my money’s worth out of what I ate. I decided to take some granola cereal that I like from the bin in the cafeteria and put it into I baggie I had in my backpack. Taking food out of the cafeteria is not allowed and is thought of as stealing. I rationalized to myself why I was breaking the rules citing how the organization of Sodhexo (who runs the food service on campus) is a conglomerate and they would never know or care. Plus I might as well get my money’s worth, that’s only fair. However the rationalization did not make me feel any better about what I was doing. I had a part of me telling me to stop and not to do it but I gave in and did it anyway.
Self Love (greed, needing more)à Deception à Stealing Granola
A theistic psychology approach to rectifying the same mental process:
Love of God à contentment (if I felt content then I would not feel cheated à Leaving the cafeteria satisfied without committing sin
There is a possibility that it was not greed that put me up to taking the granola. An alternative reason could be that I felt I was being taken advantage of and my actions were simply trying to right the wrong by retaliation.
I heard the voice of angels telling me to stop this inversion of truth. I could here them as clearly as the other voices in my head that told me to take what was rightfully mine. I was able to block out the voices of the angels and listen to the devilish voices instead. I accomplished this by elevating the volume and intensity of the justifying voices in my head that told me my behavior was just. As I began to focus more and more on the voices that told me what I wanted to hear, the voices that attempted to negate the action were slowly drowned out.
I was able to ignore the voices of the angels that were telling me not to do it by choosing to listen to other voices that seemed more rational. At first I could hear the angels quite clearly. They told me that I was plenty satisfied by the food that I had eaten, which was true. They also told me that if I went and took the extra granola this time, then next time it would be all the easier to make the same errant choice.
Just after hearing the angels speak there were voices from other places, I assume evil spirits that made pleas to rationalize my other option. The evil spirits told me that I was not getting what it was that I paid for. They reminded me that I work hard for the money that I have and that there seems always to be a shortage. They told me that if I was going to eat out I must get all that I paid for. If I made a habit of going out to eat and paying more money than food I was consuming I would not have enough money for food in the future. I knew through everyday living and common sense that I had not eaten $6.65 worth of food, especially when provided by Sodhexo who purchases the food in bulk quantities. The evil spirits told me that it would only be right for me to take something that would enable me to have more food at a later time in order to even out my potential loss of money.
I would call this eradication of Heavenly spirits from my thoughts a method of selective hearing. In many situations there are two sets of voices that are distinctly different. If I focus on one set of voices then the others diminish in volume and intensity. Eventually I am able to hone in on only the set of voices that I want to hear.
I use this method of selective hearing whenever I am torn between two choices that have to do with some aspect of my morality. It works both ways though. Sometimes I choose to listen to my conscience, and the other voices that are usually trying to convince me that something I feel wrong about is actually not wrong begin to dissipate.
Tracking this behavior through self-witnessing would not be difficult. These occurrences happen everyday. It seems that if I made self-witnessing a priority and really attempted to practice regularly I would be able to see these situations as they are arising instead of reflecting on them later. If I can see the situation as it is arising then I am able to apply any doctrine that I have accumulated and or make the willful choice to listen to my conscience so as not to choose an action that is harmful to others or internally harmful to myself.
The child's personality and character is the personality and character of the spirits. Obviously, if the child's character is going to regenerate later in adult life, God must provide good spirits as well as evil that communicate with the child and are the source of the child's thoughts and feelings. Growing up is therefore a controlled alternation between having hellish feelings or thoughts, and having heavenly feelings or thoughts. By this mechanism, God insures that our adult personality consists of many good traits and many evil traits. Armed with these skills of willing and understanding, God makes young adults face themselves to discover who they really want to become--angels or devils. The rest of their life as adults here on earth they are going to be faced with this dilemma, over and over again. God brings to each precisely those experiences they need to choose in freedom. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 12.6.4)
God wants us to rationally understand Him. He is not interested in blind faith nor does He want a heavenly eternity of robotic humans that cooperate with Him the way a remote control car cooperates with operator. He instills in us "many evils and many good traits" so that we may choose in freedom to co-exist with Him in our minds.
This idea is comforting. As I was growing up I had this feeling that when I did something considered bad I was actually a bad person. It often felt like the authority figures in my life were constantly pointing out that I was a bad person who could not control himself. It gave me a feeling of powerlessness to change. I was convinced that my negative traits were somehow my fault and that I would have to deal with being that type of person the rest of my life.
Theistic psychology provides me with some peace of mind with the above concept. God has given us all heavens and hells to deal with in our minds. They develop during our childhood in order to prepare us to do battle against the evil with the good. In other words our negative traits are 1. Not necessarily our faults and 2. Necessarily important for our regeneration. It makes me feel better about who I was and who I am, as well as giving me a renewed sense of motivation (the opposite of powerlessness) to pursue the irradiation of the evil by choosing the good.
On one hand correspondences are a scientific method applied by the Divine Human in the creation of all things. Not necessarily on the other hand but a distinctly different way to think about the concept of correspondences are that they are natural images of spiritual reality. An image is the final product of creation by the Divine Human. It is a thing or an event that has gone through successive layers in both the spiritual and natural world and is then manifested here on earth. Images are at a different (discrete) degree as spiritual reality.
Spiritual reality is within natural reality and holds deeper significance to our rational mind. People understand images differently depending on which part of the vertical community they are in contact with. Someone who is associating with the hells of their mind may perceive even the most beautiful situation negatively because their interpretation of Truth has been tainted by evil loves. Someone who is in connection with angels in their minds would be more likely to be able to see the Truth and see the event for what it is, beautiful. This can create confusion in the natural world. Both parties to an identical event will convince themselves that the way they saw the event was correct. There is a possibility of marred communication between people who dwell in different levels of their mind, especially heavenly versus hellish. I assume that there can even be confusion between people who dwell in different levels of their heavens or hells.
Learning Through Correspondences
Correspondences help us to understand the spiritual from the natural. In that way we are capable of learning how to live in accord with God’s values by studying our natural environment and drawing conclusions about their causes, which are always spiritual in order to help ourselves stay on the path that God is continually laying out for us.
An example of learning important mental topics by use of correspondences: I have always learned a lot through my body. At a young age I began my career in sports and I loved it, truly and innocently. From the beginning I learned through sports about achievement, about hard work and perseverance. I learned simple lessons that aided me in my character development and prepared me to become a vessel of truth seeking. I have come to believe that my body has become one of my most important teaching mediums that God has given me in order to learn about larger more esoteric topics. The progression from small facts to larger more important truths has been slow and gradual. God first gave me the confidence to trust the things that I learn in sports and apply them to daily life. Then as I got older and began asking deeper questions God began to send me deeper answers through my body.
As I grew out of Adolescence and into young adulthood I began wondering what this world was all about. Why are we here? What am I supposed to do here? In order to find any of these answers out I first had to understand the nature of this world. What works and what does not. At the same time my physical workouts became increasingly more obsessive. I found myself striving to be perfect. I was never satisfied. I pushed and pushed because I bought into the old adage "if some is good, more must be better." Obviously this is not a proper way to live. I sustained my first major injury and had to stop playing sports for a while. I lost something that I loved because I always wanted more from it. I realize now that this incident was my first message from God telling me that the proper way to live in accord with His principles was to learn how to be balanced in my activities and balanced in my thinking. One extreme was probably not the best choice, nor is shifting over to the other. He revealed to me the path of integration and living in moderation.
I feel that this is a correspondence because the natural thinking that caused the injury was also how I was living my life on a larger scale. I had to learn that there were more colors created than just black and white. The natural events were actually spiritual guidance techniques by God. I had to learn to adjust my thinking in all aspects pertaining to this type of behavior in order to make a change and regain what it is that I love.
God is omniscient and omnipresent. His Being is perfect as well as infinite. He creates things with this same formula of perfection. God is made up of corresponding love and wisdom working in harmony. Within Him there are layers or discrete degrees of these two characteristics. Therefore whenever He creates something He does it in perfection according to the laws that govern Him. Since He is made up of correspondences anything that He creates is also made up of correspondences. Correspondences come down from God and they are His way of creating, communicating and manipulating the love and wisdom that He is ever sending towards us on earth. Paraphrased from, Source: Section 1.6.5 of Theistic Psychology
The concepts used by theistic psychology in describing the nature of God and the created universe seems mathematical, rational and mechanistic at the same time. "Mechanistic means logical, which is an external form of rationality." The whole process is like one large matrix where a thing fits into its rightful place and works in a machine-like mechanistic way, allowing another part of the matrix grid to exist and do its work so that the next piece can do the same, and so on. Since theistic psychology is identified with rationality it makes since that it would explain things in a formulated way. Specifically the world and all created things in it are mirror images in structure and function of the Divine Human. Everything created is in His form namely successive and simultaneous degrees of correspondences. I think the formulaic nature is interesting and could be true. The world does seem to be a continuous chain where a missing link could mess up the integrity of the chain. It takes the element of ‘blind faith’ out of the explanatory equation, which allows one to place rational faith behind its theories. Rationality relies on empiricism and seems far better understood by humans than what mystics call ‘intuition.’
God is omnipotent. We would not be able to have a single thought or produce a single action without immediate influx from God. But God does not want us to consciously know that he has a hand in all that we do. If we knew that we would become puppets from God assuming that if He wanted us to do something, he would physically move us to do it. This would make the regeneration process impossible. God wants all human beings to be regenerated. In order to hide His immediate control God covers His control over us by giving us the real feeling that all that we do is done by our own volition. In that way we feel motivated to do things without waiting for Godly input. This concept in theistic psychology is called "as-of self" freedom. ((James, Theistic Psychology Section 2.17.1)
"The sensuous consciousness of God is distant, but the rational consciousness of God is close up. Co-Presence with God is possible only in rational consciousness of Him. This is why the Divine Human had to depart the physical plane of reality. To remain would have condemned humanity to a distant relationship when God was longing for a close relationship. He departed from a distant sensuous consciousness for the sake of close up rational consciousness.
In the modern age of science, God would not speak to us in living voice or appear to us visually because this would paralyze our rational consciousness of Him and thus deny us His co-Presence, rob us of conjugial bliss in eternity. God created heaven in our rational mind so that He can be co-Present with us to eternity, and by this conjunction to make us happy and intelligent to eternity."
Quotations taken from TP Section 184.108.40.206
My Opinion on ‘As-of Self’
The as-of self proprium is a humbling idea to grapple with. It states that we are not in complete control of our mind. At first I want to reject the idea on the grounds that if this were true, I would be a robot forced to act in any way that God felt like moving me. But theistic psychology reminds us that this is not true. We can choose to act against God thereby asserting our will and acting out of complete individuality. However acting against God is blasphemous. It cements our fate as self-serving daemons, condemned to the infernal societies and unpleasant feelings we try so had in the natural world to avoid. So the only rational choice would be to accept God’s will as much as we are currently able, and work towards ridding ourselves of our selfish and hellish desires. To me this means devoting my actions to God. When I consciously will my thoughts and my actions as if they are to serve God then I feel that I am acting out His will. I know that He does not need me to serve Him but it is in my devotion to His eternal presence that I am paying homage to the idea of ‘as-of self.’ Understanding ‘as-of self’ is a relinquishing of what we believe to be our own, but really belongs to God. It is an acknowledgement that I am an imperfect creation of a bigger entity that is perfect.
Our everyday choices are important to us. It is a liberating feeling to think that we can choose any type of breakfast cereal we want, and dress in the manner that suits our personality. It is difficult to conceptualize our minds as actually not being fully under our control. The reality however is just that; a mind that is influenced by our spirits but actually controlled by God. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 3.8)
Divine Speech is a term that describes God’s control over our mind. God is always co-present with us in our mind. He purposely maintains a sort of anonymity, that theistic calls as-of self, in order to stay away from sensuous contact with humans while continually driving at rational consciousness of His co-presence. Divine speech is the manifestation of God’s Divine love and truth exteriorizing into our mind and causing us to have thoughts, motivations etc. It is the actual mental processes at work. They appear as our own processes in order to maintain the as-of self-proprium, so it is easy to deny that anything outside of our own self is influencing our mind.
In regeneration we are striving towards a better, more ‘clear’ understanding of God’s co-presence. Every human being understands God’s co-presence at some level. Our ability to use rational consciousness is indicative of the level to which we understand His co-presence. The study of Sacred Scripture done in the right way can help us to raise the level at which we can perceive correspondences, God’s tool of rational consciousness. The higher the level of correspondent meaning that we are able to extract, the more we are able to experience Divine joy and wisdom. Similarly we are able to notice God’s co-presence more clearly. Eventually we try to stop willing thoughts and actions that come from our own desires (which are inherently connected to the hells) and begin to accept God’s will as our own. When we act out God’s will be strengthen our connection to knowing Him rationally and therefore move towards eternal happiness. (James, Theistic Psychology Sections 3.8 and 4.6)
When we apply the code of correspondences to Sacred Scripture we can reconstruct the original content of Divine Speech before it was transformed by correspondences. And the content of the reconstructed Divine Speech is theistic psychology, psychology that God is teaching the human race to help us acquire a heavenly personality that can live in conjugial eternity. For this is God's purpose for creation. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 13.0.1)
When I say ‘our’ I am speaking as-of self meaning that God maintains in us a feeling of ownership of our emotions and our actions when really it is His influx that allows us to live and breathe and therefore do anything in this world. Sacred Scripture is God’s way of teaching human beings about the mental world, which is the same as the spiritual world.
Diagram B: Levels of Descent in Divine Speech
Table taken from (James, Theistic Psychology Section 220.127.116.11)
When we rid ourselves of our natural bodies we awake in the spiritual world. Here we will stay for eternity either in Heaven or in hell depending on what ruling love we have brought with us from the natural world. God is trying to teach us about the mental world with Sacred Scripture and like I alluded to earlier, the mental world is the spiritual world. Since we will spend eternity in the spiritual world Sacred Scripture serves as a teaching tool for salvation, showing us the way into heaven by the process of character reformation.
A seeming paradox is that all Sacred Scripture is a direct quote from God and yet most of the sentences written in the three books that we call Sacred Scripture (The Old Testament, the New Testament and the Writings) are not spoken directly by God. This is because Sacred Scripture is within every layer of the mind by discrete levels of descending correspondences. (Refer to diagram B: Levels of Descent in Divine speech.)
The natural authors of the threefold Word became inspired by God’s influx and were therefore able to write in natural correspondences the Word of God. There was no way for them to write it in His terms of description because they would never have been able to comprehend it. Even if they could get His ideas down during the brief period of ‘enlightenment’ that they experienced while writing it, after they were no longer in that state of high enlightenment their natural minds could never again comprehend what they had written, let alone be understood by the rest of humanity which is who the threefold Word were actually written for. It is considered a direct quote from God because it came down into the author’s third heaven as direct influx from God. But God did not speak most of the words to a human being with a loud booming voice coming down from the Heavens because He prefers not to work in a sensuous way so as not to hinder our regeneration.
Paraphrased from source: Section 1.6.8 of Theistic Psychology
All Sacred Scripture is from Divine Speech which filters down from God into the natural mind of a prophet where it is represented by natural and historical events and ideas. (James, Theistic Psychology Section 13.0.1)
How does God talk to us? The notion of Divine Speech through Sacred Scripture is a new and exciting idea for me. I have recently accepted the feeling that we may not be acting 100% of our own volition. It is a hard idea to digest because loss of control seems scary. But if God is filled with Love and Wisdom and it is He who is actually controlling many factors of our lives then I am able to rest easier.
The moments of enlightenment felt by the natural authors of Divine Speech also resonates with me as something exciting. I think about the moments that I have felt ‘inspired’ and can’t help but wonder if God had His hand in what I was able to accomplish. I like the idea that we cannot be constantly in enlightenment. Rather it is a flux of mental factors and Divine Will that allows us to live at a higher state of being. No one can be continuously enlightened. It is a state we must work towards but not expect. The more we are fortunate enough to live in enlightened states the easier it becomes to find the mental state again.
Writings Sacred Scripture had to be written in natural-rational correspondences that would allow people to extract pan-human knowledge that was beyond culture and religion.
Source: section 4.0 of Theistic Psychology
Pan-human Nature of Correspondences
It is an important revelation that correspondences in Sacred Scripture are panhuman because I have always assumed that God is fair and just. It would not be fair for God to choose one person or group over another to bestow his Truths. It is interesting to me to see the divide that we have created on a societal, racial and religious basis. How can someone think of his or herself as an individual with a good relationship to God if they are persecuting God’s other creations?
There are three reasons as to why this is so.
Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech manifesting in different discrete degrees of the mind. (Refer to diagram B: Levels of Descent in Divine speech.) The correspondences at each discrete level within the mind are directly related to the stage of a given person’s regenerative process A quote from Theistic Psychology explains this process:
"These three collections of books (Sacred Scripture) form an unbroken series of scientific revelations that took thousands of years to deliver from God to the human mind. Each sub-unit of revelation marks the beginning of a new consciousness in humankind, and delivers the scientific information that fundamentally alters human understanding and perception, and through this, the rebuilding of a new human character that is celestial and immortal.
The literal meaning of Sacred Scripture is only a small part of the overall meaning. The further along a person is in their regeneration the higher level of correspondences they are able to extract.
"A universal pan-human theistic psychology had to be delivered to humanity for the regeneration of all people regardless of culture and religion. This could not be delivered in a literal meaning because it would have interfered with reason (1)." (James, Theistic Psychology Section 4.0)
The interference would be caused if there were only one literal interpretation to Sacred Scripture because then it would not be a pan-human work appropriate for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or geographical
The Writings are meant to endure forever. They are changeless Truths that form the human mind, teach regeneration and connect humans and all that we preside over here on earth to the Heavens and to the Divine Human.
This method of contacting the human race by means of Sacred Scripture was in danger of becoming ineffective at some point in the history of developing civilizations on earth. Of course God not only had planned for this eventuality, but brought it to existence, in order to protect the human freedom of choice which is essential for our ability to elevate our consciousness to the heavenly state. And thus, the Incarnation became the next solution to save Sacred Scripture from falling into disuse and to strengthen its power to regenerate the human mind for heavenly life.
Although the Incarnation event had to assume a historical-cultural-gender identity, the significance of the event is universal for the entire human race regardless of civilization, epoch, or religion. (James, Theistic Psychology section 13.0.2)
Understanding correspondences with enlightenment as they show us our spiritual and immortal nature makes the connection. There had to be no end to the possible extractions from the Word because of its timeless nature. Correspondences were the only way for God to encapsulate all of that endless possibility in Scripture for humanity.
Theistic psychology is a panhuman method for understanding God. If something is going to explain the nature of God then it must surely include application or all of God’s creations, not leaving out certain groups of people while ‘choosing’ others. That would not make sense for a God in the way that most religions understand Him as being fair, merciful, loving etc. Many of the world’s religions believe that only members of their faith can be saved. A Vaisnava sect of Hinduism called the Hare Krishna’s believe only those that meditate on Lord Krishna can achieve full God consciousness. It is part of their doctrine that other religions are valid but are simply worshipping God’s (Krishna’s) lesser energies. For example, they believe that Christ was an incarnation of the Lord Krishna. They claim that devout Christians can achieve Christ consciousness, which is good, but still far from the ultimate level of reality called Krishna consciousness.
There are two organs with the spiritual body that receive influx directly from God. They are the affective and cognitive organs. The affective organ receives Divine heat and is instrumental in creating our willing or our loves. The cognitive organ receives Divine light and creates understanding. It is the mental activity of understanding that gives rise to the concept we have of consciousness. The operations that we can see the use in performing are considered meaningful.
"Meaning is a vehicle for consciousness." Source of quotation and above paraphrasing: Section 9.0.1 of TP
I liken the previous concept to one of the struggles that my father and I had while I was growing up in his house. He always thought that he knew what was best for me and would constantly make ‘suggestions’ about what I should do, how I should behave etc in order to save me from making mistakes. I would tell him that if I were to merely take his word for it and not experience all of life, it’s triumphs and mistakes, I would not actually learn anything at all I would just be a robot following commands. In that same way God does not want us to know that he is there with us every step of the way during our lives making our very lives possible. He would rather we come to the correct conclusions with His merciful aid but by our own willing and thinking. That is the only way we can truly understand how to live in his kingdom rightly, filled with love and wisdom.
"God’s mediate control over our thoughts is affected by means of correspondences of Divine Speech exteriorizing into the natural world as Sacred Scripture." Source: Section 9.0.1 of TP
It is in the third heaven of our natural mind that we receive influx from God’s Sacred Scripture. God uses the cognitive organ to manipulate what level each individual can understand its correspondences. The same goes for a community of individuals or an entire civilization of individuals. The higher the level of understanding of Sacred Scripture the more the regenerated mind can progress towards a Heavenly eternity. However, any level of understanding of Sacred Scripture provides consciousness because it bestows meaning in our lives. That is why some people might be regarded as a ‘being of higher consciousness’ if they are so inclined to take care of nature, or unequivocally show love to their fellow human. It’s not that they possesses more amounts of consciousness then an ordinary person, it is their consciousness of high order loves (i.e. being helpful to others) coupled with the actions carried out by their willing that allows their consciousness to be elevated to a higher level.
"The genes of consciousness are therefore discoverable by extracting the rational structures of meaning that are hidden within Sacred Scripture." Source: Section 9.0.1 of TP
God reveals concepts to us only when we are ready to understand them. It may be a difficult process to understand increasingly spiritual topics but we should rest assured that if God has given us a particular predicament or temptations to deal with then He has deemed us ready to do battle with whatever daemons that may incur. Whenever there is growth there is pain, like the growing pains in an adolescent’s knees as his body stretches bigger and taller. God prepares us with spiritual nutrients before he initiates spiritual growth so that we are ready to endure the process.
"Correspondences of Divine Speech are the formative causes of human consciousness at each of its discrete levels – celestial, spiritual, natural." Section 4.0 of TP
As described above correspondences are the genes of consciousness. Within the natural mind that we use here on earth there are discrete degrees that hold different levels of understanding of Sacred Scripture. The natural-corporeal degree of the mind is the lowest of the mind’s functioning and must be regenerated through natural-corporeal correspondences. The mid-level of the mind is regenerated by natural-sensuous correspondences. The upper level of the mind is regenerated by natural-rational correspondences.
The way that correspondences help to regenerate our mind is that they connect us to Heavenly ideas that can keep us connected to Heavenly communities. These communities aid us in extracting spiritual content in Sacred Scripture. They (as Heavenly spiritual communities) do not know that they are in helping us. They are simply doing what they love to do which is some specific activity in the spiritual world that is inspired by Divine Love and Divine Truth. Our spiritual bodies are in contact with these communities and are therefore nourished by their positive qualities. Thoughts in our mind arise that are filled also by Divine Love and Divine Truth and with them we are better able to comprehend Sacred Scripture meanings at higher levels.
Understanding spiritual ideas is half of the regenerative battle as it enlivens the cognitive organ and allows it to comprehend spiritual principles that the natural mind is generally unconscious of. This is one reason why Sacred Scripture has to be written in natural-rational correspondences. Our minds are not able to comprehend spiritual-rational correspondences in the natural exterior portion. The other half of regeneration consists of consciously willing the affections which gives rise to cognitions and manifests as proper actions in our daily lives to which the new understanding has stimulated. (James, Theistic Psychology Sections 7.0.1-7.0.3)
It is not enough to merely be an armchair theorist. Knowledge without action is only potential. We have to take the lessons that we learn and internalize them, make them a part of our everyday willing and thinking. As I have done this over the course of the last year I find that my actions are more effective. When I put a right attitude and a right intention into the actions of my life the results show the power that the mind and therefore the spirit hold.
The quotations or paraphrasing you have read in this paper was taken from a source online. They are part of a site by Dr. Leon James who created Theistic Psychology. When I reference Theistic Psychology I am to noting where in the online sections I have used either direct quotes or paraphrased ideas. The web site is located at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic
In my discussion I have included section numbers where you can find the topic that I was covering in the actual Theistic Psychology writings.
James, Leon Theistic Psychology: The Science of Immortality,
Based on the Writings of Swedenborg, Published on the Web in January 2004