Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings
Correspondential Meaning of Asanas (Postures)
Correspondential Meaning of Mudras
Correspondential Meaning of Breath and Breathing
Breathing Explained in
the Writings Sacred Scripture
Wisdom of Hindi Sacred Scripture
The Spiritual Content of Yoga
When I first started studying Hindi religious literature I
saw only the literal sense of it. From that representation Hindi spirituality
appears to be a nonduality between God and human beings. This literal meaning is
in sharp contrast with Western religious literature that includes Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam. In this literature God and human beings are in an
absolute duality with each other. According to this view no human being can
appropriate anything Divine since the Creator must be separate and different
from the created. Hence the Hindi religion and associated practice of Yoga are
still today considered contradictory to each other, and should they be brought
together, they would annihilate each other.
However this separatist perspective completely changes when
we consider the correspondential sense of Sacred literature in Hindi and in
Western religions. The correspondences are the same in all Sacred literature
since what is involved belongs to the spiritual mind, and this is above and
separate from the natural mind (see Section xx). The literal meaning of Sacred
Scripture belongs to culture, religion, and belief systems in the natural mind,
while the correspondential meaning of Sacred Scripture belongs to the universal
human race, thus the mental world of every individual regardless of religion,
culture, era, or planet. Swedenborg has confirmed by observation that those who
are resuscitated are from diverse cultures and planets, and yet when they awaken
in the spiritual mind after dying in the natural mind, they speak the same human
language of eternity and acknowledge only one universal God (see Section xx).
By studying the correspondential sense of Hindi Sacred
literature we can demonstrate that it is the same Divine Speech that issues from
the one God who is surrounded by the Spiritual Sun, which flows into the
mental world of humanity with living spiritual heat and light. This is a process of
Divine good (spiritual heat) and Divine truth (spiritual light) inflowing into
the spiritual mind of every human being. Then by correspondence, the natural
mind reacts with representative content from the physical world and body. This
is the chain of correspondences from God to human beings. God rules the human
mind through this chain of correspondences. What these correspondences are has not
been known to humanity for the past thousands of years, but has been revealed
once more in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx).
The practice of yoga has been adopted by millions of
Americans in recent times. A search for yoga in Google gives more than 84
million sites that use this word. According to the definition provided with
these results, yoga is
- A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness
for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.
- A system of exercises practiced as part of this
discipline to promote control of the body and mind.
[Hindi, from Sanskrit yogaḥ,
Clearly this definition relates yoga practice to a
spiritual discipline. The physical effort we put up when doing yoga poses and
breathing is for the purpose of becoming more aware of our spiritual mind.
"Spiritual insight" refers to the rational understanding of
the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, that is, of theistic psychology.
"Spiritual tranquility" refers to the heavenly feeling of
peace that we experience when there is absence of temptations and conflicts.
This is also called the Rest of Sabbath, meaning the absence of emotional
conflict, anxiety, fear, anger, egotism, fantasy, envy, cruelty, restlessness,
and all other negative emotions and intentions.
When all this negative activity ceases in our mental
states, we experience the "peace that passes all understanding," which comes
from total reliance and confidence in the omnipotence and benevolence of God
operating in our mind and lives.
Fear is caused by insufficient love of the Divine
Psychologist in our mind. This insufficient love comes from our inherited
tendency to enjoy relying on our own self-intelligence rather than on our
understanding of Sacred Scripture. The more we communicate with the Divine
Psychologist in our mind, the more we have to rely on our knowledge from the
correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, also called, our doctrine of truth
(see Section xx).
But we resist this reliance on the truths of Sacred
Scripture. Why? Because these truths inform us that when we reach adulthood, we
must stop enjoying the evil traits we have from both inheritance and
Evil traits are those we rely on and enjoy all day long,
and yet they are bad for us, and hurt others and society. Examples you can
recognize in yourself are:
inconveniencing others for the
sake of self (e.g., being late, being loud, littering, aggressive driving,
hurting others for the sake of
gain (e.g., deceiving, cheating, manipulating, yelling at, taking advantage
hurting one's growth and health
(e.g., being overweight, neglecting daily hygiene like flossing the teeth,
living in unclean environment as our room, car, office, clothes, closets,
kitchen, stove, etc.)
Which ones of those listed do you yourself do or not do?
Probably you do all of them, some of us more than others.
You can see why we all need spiritual discipline,
that is, the daily practice of exercises designed to bring these evil habits to
our conscious awareness. We must have a spiritual motivation for this practice
in order to become conscious of our evil habits of thinking and willing all day
long every day. If this motivation is not spiritual, there can be no spiritual
change or benefit in our character.
There are two types of spiritual discipline we can
practice: continuous and occasional.
Yoga as it is practiced by most Americans is
occasional since it is performed as a
physical periodic session that may last a few minutes or an hour and a half.
There is the tradition of carrying the yoga "breath" and "tranquility" to the
rest of the day, but this is not usually part of the yoga practiced by most
Westerners (although specific data on this is lacking).
The practice of continuous
spiritual discipline in the Western cultural context takes the form of
rational spirituality (see Section xx). For instance, people may read Sacred
Scripture and study it by trying to extract its spiritual message. Few people
today know correspondences from the Writings of Swedenborg or from the study of
theistic psychology. Hence most people attempt to comprehend the spiritual
message of Sacred Scripture by natural methods of understanding, rather than
spiritual. What exactly is the difference?
Every method of interpreting Sacred Scripture that has been
proposed and practiced is natural -- except the method of correspondences
revealed by God in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). This is not an
issue of authority, intellectual approach, religion, or preference. This is a
scientific approach. Swedenborg is the only known scientist in history who has
had the ability of being conscious in the spiritual mind, which is the mind of
every human being in the afterlife of eternity (see Section xx).
Regardless of how intelligent, sincere, and authoritative
are the interpreters of Sacred Scripture they carry no scientific weight because
they are not based on empirical observations. This is required by science. The
Swedenborg Reports are the only empirical observations we have of a scientist
who was conscious for 27 years in the spiritual mind as well as in the natural
mind. Through this unique ability granted him by God he was able to fulfill his
Divine mission, namely, to publish his empirical observations of the spiritual
correspondences in Sacred Scripture. The experimental method he used for this
project was to read a verse of Sacred Scripture in the original natural language
or its translation (Swedish, Hebrew, Greek, Latin), through his natural mind and
physical eyes, on the one hand, and on the other, to read the corresponding
verse in a copy of Sacred Scripture in the spiritual world of the afterlife.
Every human being when resuscitated in the spiritual mind
no longer uses the natural language of their culture or community, but instead,
a universal spiritual language that Swedenborg describes as very much like the
thought-language we think in. If you want to know what that universal and
eternal spiritual language is you need to focus in on your thinking all day
long. This is a spiritual discipline called
self-witnessing (see Section xx). It is spiritual because the purpose
of this mental self-monitoring is to discover
the content of our thoughts and feelings that forms our life all day, and then
to amend them in accordance with the doctrine of truth we extract from Sacred
Scripture. This is the purpose that makes
continuous daily mental self-witnessing a spiritual practice or
As you get more skilled at mental self-monitoring you begin
to discover on an empirical basis what is the relationship in your mind between
the natural and spiritual layers. This relationship is called correspondences.
By this exact method of comparison, Swedenborg was able to make lists of
correspondences with each entry of a word or phrase in the natural language, and
its spiritual signification or equivalent. For instance, in the most general
terms only and without further details, we can write dictionaries of
correspondences like this:
|Sacred Scripture expressions in a natural language on
||Spiritual correspondences in the universal human
language of eternity
|water, wine, lake, ocean, rain
||specific varieties of truths, some in the natural mind, some in the
||forms of good, some in the natural mind, some in the spiritual mind
|numbers 4, 40, 44, 400
||undergoing spiritual temptation
||what is complete, the last element, or the whole of the subject being
|God's anger, vengeance, destructive act
||God's appearance to us when we knowingly break the Divine order, rule,
|tree, plant, vine, fruit, flower, root, branch, leaf, grass
||specific varieties of human activity in relation to one's character
||specific varieties of celestial mental states in the spiritual mind
||specific varieties of spiritual mental states in the spiritual mind that
are lower than the celestial states
|bronze, iron, clay
||specific varieties of natural mental states
|Babylon, Philistines, Goliath, Judas
||specific varieties of abusing one's knowledge of correspondences and of
spiritual knowledge, e.g., gaining power and influence over people for
enjoyment, gain, reputation, and adulation
|Egypt, Pharaoh, horses
||knowledge of correspondences, but without applying them to one's
self-witnessing and character modification or regeneration
|Jerusalem, Mount of Olives
||the doctrine of truth that we extract for ourselves from the study of
correspondences in Sacred Scripture
||every animal species corresponds to a general quality in the human mind
(e.g., wild and poisonous species correspond to the specific varieties of
evil affections, intentions, and the nature of their enjoyment)
|days of the week, progression of the day from AM to PM, progression of
seasons, the four quarters of directions, etc.
||in Sacred Scripture all references to time and direction correspond to
developmental states of our mind as we progress through the phases of
regeneration and character reformation. Each reference to time and direction
corresponds to particular types of thoughts and feelings that we have in
|(For more examples of lists of
correspondences, see Section xx.)
Everyone can understand correspondences because they are
the basis of how we think in daily life, and how we describe our mental states
through physical objects and events (e.g.,
I've had a peach of a day
I see what you mean
He's got a good heart
He rules with a strong hand
Watch out he's a snake
She's got a soft spot for you
In each case we describe a mental state in terms of
physical objects. We do this naturally, spontaneously, as part of our linguistic
and semantic abilities. Hence it is we can understand each other's figurative
speech that are correspondences. Note that these are natural-spiritual
correspondences since physical objects are natural and mental states are
spiritual (see Section xx). The natural and spiritual mind are each a mental
organ (see Section xx). The layers of our mental organs from low and simple
capacity to high and complex capacity, are tied to each other through the laws
of correspondences that were established by God as part of creation (See Section
What Swedenborg observed makes sense therefore, namely that
the thousands of people he observed awakening in the spiritual mind, at
resuscitation and immediately after dying, were able without exception and
regardless of culture, to speak the one universal and eternal language, the
language of thinking in the spiritual mind. This is because all along, since our
birth, we had been thinking in this spiritual language as the backdrop of the
natural language we were using and thinking in consciously. So our natural
language expressions are correspondences of our spiritual language expressions,
which is inborn and does not have to be learned.
More on correspondences in
Section 18.104.22.168.2 and
We now want to understand yoga practice in its true
spiritual tradition of gaining understanding and control of the
natural-spiritual correspondences between our body and our mind, that is, our
physical organs and quality, on the one hand, and on the other, our mental
organs and their quality.
Every physical body organ has a corresponding counterpart
to our mental body organ. We are born with both bodies, the physical body in the
physical world, connected by the laws of correspondences, to the mental body in
the spiritual world of eternity. All our sensations, thoughts, and feelings are
operations of the mental organs in eternity, and not at all of the brain or
physical organs. Most of us take it for granted that our thoughts and feelings
are in our physical body and the brain. But this is clearly impossible in
scientific dualism where correspondences connect objects from different layers
of existence, one physical in time, the other mental in eternity.
Literally and actually we are not on earth since we are
our thoughts and feelings, and they are not on earth, but in eternity.
We can't have sensations, thoughts, and feelings without a
mental body that contains mental organs. The operations of these mental organs
are our thoughts and feelings. These mental operations are not on earth or in
time. They have no mass and no energy. As your thoughts and feelings cumulate,
your b rain does not weigh more since these mental substances do not have weight.
Yoga practice is the conscious
connection between physical body parts and poses on the one hand, and on the
other, the mental body parts and states. Yoga is therefore contributes to our
study of correspondences in Sacred Scripture.
Consider the following description of
Yoga in a medical encyclopedia at:
The term yoga
comes from a Sanskrit word which means yoke or
union. Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self
with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. Physical
and mental exercises are designed to help achieve this goal, also
called self-transcendence or
. On the physical level, yoga postures, called
, are designed to tone, strengthen, and align the body.
These postures are performed to make the
supple and healthy and to promote blood flow to all the
, and tissues, keeping all the
systems healthy. On the mental level, yoga uses breathing
) to quiet,
, and discipline the mind. However, experts are quick to
point out that yoga is not a religion, but a way of living with
health and peace of mind as its aims. (...)
studies have shown that even slight facial expressions can cause
changes in the
involuntary nervous system; yoga utilizes the mind/body
connection. That is, yoga practice contains the central ideas that
posture and alignment can influence a person's mood and
self-esteem, and also that the mind can be used to shape and heal
the body. Yoga practitioners claim that the strengthening of
mind/body awareness can bring eventual improvements in all facets of
a person's life. (...)
Today (2007), yoga is thriving, and it has become easy to
find teachers and practitioners throughout America. A
recent Roper poll, commissioned by Yoga Journal
found that 11 million Americans do yoga at least
occasionally and 6 million perform it regularly. Yoga
stretches are used by physical therapists and professional
sports teams, and the benefits of yoga are being touted by
movie stars and Fortune 500 executives. Many prestigious
schools of medicine have studied and introduced yoga
techniques as proven therapies for illness and stress.
Some medical schools, like UCLA, even offer yoga classes
as part of their physician training program.
Classical yoga is separated into eight limbs,
each a part of the complete system for mental,
physical and spiritual well-being. Four of the
limbs deal with mental and physical exercises
designed to bring the mind in tune with the
body. The other four deal with different stages
of meditation. There are six major types of
yoga, all with the same goals of health and
harmony but with varying techniques: hatha,
, bhakti, jnana, and
is the most commonly practiced
branch of yoga in America, and it is a highly
developed system of nearly 200 physical
postures, movements and breathing techniques
designed to tune the body to its optimal health.
The yoga philosophy believes the breath to be
the most important
of health, as the breath is the
largest source of prana
, or life force,
literally means the science or control of
breathing. Hatha yoga was originally developed
as a system to make the body strong and healthy
enough to enable mental awareness and spiritual
The other types of yoga show some of
the remaining ideas which
yoga. Raja yoga strives
to bring about mental
and discipline through
meditation, simplicity, and
things and desires. Karma
yoga emphasizes charity, service to
others, non-aggression and non-harming
as means to awareness and peace.
is the path of
devotion and love of God, or Universal
Spirit. Jnana yoga is the practice and
development of knowledge and wisdom.
Finally, tantra yoga is the path of
self-awareness through religious
rituals, including awareness of
sexuality as sacred and vital.
There seems to be a conflict here
between the medical and the spiritual perspective on yoga. Most Americans who
practice yoga are Christians and there is a strong tendency to separate or
divorce the physical and the spiritual aspects of yoga practice. Christians feel
uncomfortable with the traditional yoga practice of ending practice sessions by
folding the hands in prayer posture in front of the chest (heart) and reciting:
The God in me greets the God in you and sometimes: The light in me
greets the light in you. In theistic psychology we are able to look for the
spiritual correspondences in yoga expressions and affirmations about spiritual
For instance, "the God in me"
corresponds to the Divine Psychologist (see Section xx). The Divine Psychologist
is just another name for God's activity in our mind. The term "Holy Spirit" in
the New Testament Sacred Scripture has the same meaning in its correspondential
sense. "To greet" corresponds
to communication, friendship, and conjunction. Yoga as a Hindi word means unity or
conjunction. "In you" and "in me" correspond to mind, thoughts, and feelings. So
the expression: "The God in me greets the God in you" signifies that both
of us are united to the Divine Psychologist in our mind. Or: that the same God
operates my mind and your mind, and thus we are conjoined. The phrase: "the
light in me greets the light in you" signifies that you and me receive our
intelligence from spiritual light, which is from the Spiritual Sun, which is
from the Divine Human or the universal God.
Another phrase that gives Western
Christians a conflict or doubt about practicing yoga is cited above in the
definition: "Traditionally, yoga is a method joining the individual self
with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness." The conjunction of
the individual with the Divine can be interpreted in terms of nonduality and
duality (see Section xx). Nonduality says that when we are united to the Divine,
we are Divine. This of course is not acceptable to Western religions like
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which hold that God and human beings are of two
separate and distinct natures forever and one cannot be transmuted into the
But there is a Christian tradition from the New Testament
Sacred Scripture that affirms that God is in us and we are in God. This must be
interpreted within dualism, namely that "being in God" and "God being in us"
does not mean that we are Divine, but only that the Divine is active in our
Hence it is possible to reinterpret the
spiritual traditions attached to yoga by means of spiritual correspondences so
that they become congruent with Western traditions of Sacred Scripture.
Quotes about yoga listed at
The Quote Garden:
Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the
evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being,
from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union - the union of body
with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways
of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in
the performance of one's actions.
~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala
Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.
~Patanjali, translated from Sanskrit
Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence
through self control. Energy within and energy without.
Corpse pose restores life. Dead parts of your being fall away, the
ghosts are released.
~The Quote Garden
When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you
exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains
with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender
Balance of mind is called Yoga
~the Bhagavad Gita
The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings
Yoga sayings is the traditional method of expressing
many relevant natural-spiritual correspondences. Here are samples of "Namaste"
yoga that I collected from yoga practice lessons and commercially sold DVD.
1. To take on one challenge today, one small challenge.
What would that be?
2. As if to say, I’m ready now, and it’s the readiness
3. Gathering the heart and the mind to feel the depth
of our lives.
4. To meet yourself face to face without expectations.
Such freedom does exist.
5. Feeling yourself balancing the energies of giving
and receiving equally, with no fear.
6. To learn to be more gentle, more open, more honest.
7. To trust in ourselves, to know that we can change
for the better.
8. As if to give up competing with yourself and simply
see the honesty in your effort.
9. Remember: every obstacle you meet in life can be
seen as a block, or as an opportunity.
10. As if to vow to ourselves to become ourselves,
again and again.
11. Feel your ground, feel your heart. Feel your body.
Breathe your body. Let all the weight of the body fall down into the ground,
leaving your body light.
12. Give up competing with yourself and simply see the
honesty of your effort.
13. To trust in ourselves to know that we can change
for the better.
14. Freedom is moving, thinking, and speaking from a
place of no ego.
15. Let us meet in a place with no fences, endless
sky, boundless potential, opening from the heart.
16. To be annoyed by our restrictions is natural. To
be free of them, is Yoga.
17. Practice with effort, then letting go of the
results of that effort.
18. To be kind to others and to ourselves is as
natural as a flower opening in the sun.
19. To forgive weakness in others is to recognize and
forgive weakness in ourselves.
20. Bowing to the teaching that lies inside the heart,
and the teaching is forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with oneself.
Is there anything in the above yoga affirmations that is
spiritually contrary to
Sacred Scripture as it is known in Western cultures -- the Old Testament, the
New Testament, the Koran, and the Writings of Swedenborg?
To determine this we need to translate the literal meaning of each yoga
saying into its correspondences. Remember that correspondences are revealed in
Sacred Scripture and all Sacred Scripture is written in correspondences of
Divine Speech (see Section xx). Hence if Yoga sayings contain a spiritual
meaning through correspondences, it is objective evidence that Yoga Wisdom is a
genuine spiritual doctrine derived from Hindi Sacred Scriptures such as the
Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (see next Section).
The Wisdom of Yoga Sayings
from Sacred Scripture
1. To take on one challenge today, one small
challenge. What would that be?
= striving to put our natural mind in an order that is compatible with our
Today = the mental states we have
With every task all day long we need to invoke our
spiritual truths. This is spiritual discipline.
2. As if to say, I’m ready now, and it’s the
readiness that matters.
Readiness, I’m ready = spiritual discipline
applied to each task.
That matters = what is critically important.
The most important aspect of spiritual discipline is to
maintain it vigilantly with all tasks, without making exceptions.
3. Gathering the heart and the mind to feel the
depth of our lives.
Heart = the will or affective organ
Mind = the understanding or cognitive organ
Gathering = conjoining
Depth of our lives = spiritual good and truth
Receiving spiritual truth requires intending and acting
in accordance with the spiritual truth in our understanding.
4. To meet yourself face to face without
expectations. Such freedom does exist.
To meet yourself = becoming aware of your dual
citizenship through the physical body and the mental body.
Without expectations = not using our false ideas to filter spiritual
Freedom = acting from truth rather than desire
Awareness of eternity requires that we not use natural
ideas to comprehend spiritual truths.
5. Feeling yourself balancing the energies of
giving and receiving equally, with no fear.
Giving = intending
and acting from truth
Receiving = being open to truth and loving it
With no fear = reliance on God
Loving truth and living according to it is possible
only when we rely on God as the source of truth and good.
6. To learn to be more gentle, more open, more
More gentle =
innocent or fearful of hurting any one
More open = looking to a person’s good side rather than bad
More honest = attributing all power to God
We need to understand that being good to others is
possible only from God by acknowledging Divine Providence in everything.
7. To trust in ourselves, to know that we can
change for the better.
To trust in ourselves = to understand that God empowers our
attempts when they are from good with truth
Changing for the better = cooperating with God in our
We can become a good person only when we ask for that
good from the source of good, or God.
from Sacred Scripture
8. As if to give up competing with yourself and
simply see the honesty in your effort.
As if = to act as of
ourselves while knowing it is with God’s power
Competing with yourself = believing that what you do is from you
rather than from God
To see the honesty of your effort = to knowingly act from God, but as
if from self
Understanding that all that we do is from God allows us
to avoid falsifying spiritual truth.
9. Remember: every obstacle you meet in life can be
seen as a block, or as an opportunity.
Obstacle in life = the enjoyment of inherited and
acquired hellish traits
Seen as a block = to deal with our hellish traits from ourselves
Seen as an opportunity = to deal with them from the acknowledgement
of God’s Divine Providence in all details
We can stop enjoying our evils by appealing to God for
the power to get rid of them and to hold them in aversion.
10. As if to vow to ourselves to become ourselves,
again and again.
As if to vow to
ourselves = to reaffirm our certainty that all things are from and by
To become ourselves = to regenerate our character and becoming
heavenly in our enjoyments and traits
Again and again = as a daily spiritual discipline
Attributing all things to Divine Providence allows us
to carry out our daily spiritual discipline of character reformation.
11. Feel your ground, feel your heart. Feel your
body. Breathe your body. Let all the weight of the body fall down into the
ground, leaving your body light.
Feel = become aware and understand it
Your ground = the operations in your cognitive organ of the
understanding and thinking
Your heart = the operations in your affective organ of the will and
Your body = the operations in your sensorimotor organ that act
together with the physical body’s operations
Breathe your body = your actions have to follow the truth in your
Weight of the body = our resistance to act from good in the will
through truth in the understanding
Falling down into the ground = resistance to good in the will can be
overcome through knowledge of truth in the understanding
Self-witnessing as a spiritual discipline allows us to
become aware of our resistance to loving good and truth and to act
from Sacred Scripture
12. Give up competing with yourself and simply see
the honesty of your effort.
Competing with yourself
= alternating between attributing things to God and to self
Honesty of your effort = attribute all things to God
To achieve spiritual enlightenment we must attribute
all things to God and nothing to oneself.
13. To trust in ourselves to know that we can
change for the better.
To trust in ourselves
to know = having peace of mind
Change for the better = acquiring aversion for prior hellish
Peace of mind and spiritual enlightenment are the
result of the rejection of our inherited and acquired hellish traits.
14. Freedom is moving, thinking, and speaking from
a place of no ego.
Freedom = the
mental state when we act from spiritual truths that we obtained from Sacred
A place of no ego = the mental state when we act in freedom
Moving = sensorimotor organ of sensations
Thinking = cognitive organ of understanding
Speaking = affective organ of willing
The only freedom we have is loving to act from the
spiritual principles in Sacred Scripture. To act from one's own principles
or that of someone else, is to be a slave to our inherited and evil ego.
15. Let us meet in a place with no fences, endless
sky, boundless potential, opening from the heart.
Let us meet =
our desire to share spiritual truths with others who love good
(Erecting) fences = mental states in which we falsify the truths
in Sacred Scripture
A place with no fences = our mental states that correspond to
truths of Sacred Scripture
Endless sky = endless progression in understanding deeper
spiritual truths through our cognitive organ
Boundless potential = endless progression in loving and
willing these deeper spiritual truths through our affective organ
Opening from the heart = the remains of our mental states of
good and innocence that God preserves for our afterlife in the spiritual
In our heavenly mental states, our feelings, thoughts,
and actions operate from the truths of Sacred Scripture that we have
acquired and honored. In that state of mind, our intelligence develops
endlessly and our abilities are endlessly extended to eternity. This is made
possible by God who preserves all our states of innocence and good will, and
preserves them for our eternity.
16. To be annoyed by our restrictions is natural.
To be free of them, is Yoga.
= wanting what is not heavenly
To be annoyed = suffering negative consequences or
experiencing negative emotions
To be free = wanting what is heavenly or what is according to
truth from Sacred Scripture
Yoga = reformation of our character according to spiritual
truth from Sacred Scripture (spiritual wisdom)
We stop enjoying life and being happy when we want what
is contrary to the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture. To regain our
enjoyment and zest of living we can compel ourselves by spiritual discipline
to stop wanting what is not heavenly, and to start wanting what is heavenly.
17. Practice with effort, then letting go of the
results of that effort.
Practice with effort
= performing things as-if from self
Letting go = attributing to God the power or efficacy of our
Results of that effort = the works of Divine Providence which
is in every detail of our lives
Our power to achieve things as-of self is the power of
God cooperating and acting in our service. We endlessly increase in power to
the extent that we attribute our power to God empowering us for the
sake of our spiritual development and eternity.
18. To be kind to others and to ourselves is as
natural as a flower opening in the sun.
To be kind =
to avoid feeling and thinking denigrating things about someone
As natural as a flower = to feel and think from heavenly
sentiments and truths
Opening in the sun = to receive spiritual heat and light from
the Spiritual Sun of eternity
We receive goods and truths from God into our
unconscious spiritual mind. We can have these now if we admit them into our
conscious natural mind, which is done by always avoiding thoughts and
feelings that are denigrating to someone.
19. To forgive weakness in others is to recognize
and forgive weakness in ourselves.
To forgive others
= being kind = to avoid feeling and thinking denigrating things about
To forgive ourselves = assessing ourselves in terms of how we
Weakness = inherited enjoyment of what is not good
To recognize weakness in ourselves = acknowledging that we are
in need of reformation of our inherited character
Being kind to others consists of caring how we affect
them, realizing that everyone is born with an attraction to what is not
good. We are as much as others, in need of changing how we think and feel
20. Bowing to the teaching that lies inside the
heart, and the teaching is forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with oneself.
accepting an idea as spiritual truth from Sacred Scripture or God
Teaching that lies inside the heart = the correspondential
sense extracted from Sacred Scripture
The teaching is forgiveness = all the Divine commandments
summarized into one is the commandment to stop being unkind to others
Forgiveness starts with oneself = we are to assess
ourselves by how we affect others
Genuine spiritual truths are obtained by extracting the
spiritual meaning of Sacred Scripture. The chief spiritual truth is that we
must stop feeling and thinking denigrating things about others. Only then
can we become kind and caring.
You can see for yourself from the above analysis that Yoga Wisdom, viewed in
the correspondences of Sacred Scripture, is similar to theistic psychology,
which is extracted by correspondences from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).
Let us examine the spiritual meaning of some Yoga asanas or body
postures that are familiar to all who practice Yoga as a form of exercise.
From Wikipedia at:
In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali describes asana as the third of the 8
limbs of classical yoga (raja
). These eight limbs are the
(observances), asanas (postures),
(sense withdrawal or non-attachment),
(realization of the true self and/or unity with
Asanas are the physical movements in a yoga practice. In combination
pranayama or breathing techniques, it constitutes
In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali describes "asana" simply as sitting
meditation, suggesting meditation to be the path of
from Sacred Scripture
(the God in me greets the God in you)
God in me
= the influx into our mental organs of spiritual good and light from
the Spiritual Sun from God
God in you = the acknowledgement of God's influx of good
into every human being
Salutes = acknowledgment or recognition of every human
being as belonging to God
By saluting others with Namaste, we are affirming
our deep spiritual commitment to honoring the good in every human
being. The gesture symbolizes love for one's neighbor and commitment
not to hurt the good in the neighbor in any way.
Spiritual teacher = someone who represents the knowledge of
spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture
Guru = someone who teaches spiritual truths, not from himself
or herself, but from Sacred Scripture
No one possesses spiritual truths from oneself, but only from Sacred
Scripture. God is the sole source of spiritual truths in Sacred
Scripture. Those who study and teach these spiritual truths out of
love for truth, are noble and honored in the eyes of heaven and God.
Yoga positions or asanas = various mental states as we
go through character reformation and regeneration. The physical shape
and form of the position, and the physical effort required on each
body part, all correspond in detail to the structure or form of a
particular mental state or necessary phase of development. These
include having particular feelings, thoughts, and sensations.
Yoga is the practice of symbolizing spiritual truths and principles
through precise body poses and movements. Each pose is recognized as
one particular spiritual truth or principle given to us by Sacred
Scripture. The physical effort involved in learning and performing
each precise position, represents the mental effort required by
modifying our reactions, thinking, and intending from less good to
more good, reaching for perfection from God, who inflows into this
mental effort and creates a heaven in our mind.
(hands together in front of the chest)
Prayer = communication and connection with God
Affirming our obedience to God and worship of God. Affirming our total
dependence on God for all things no matter how small.
Bowing the head
Bowing = acknowledging the Divinity of God as
Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent
Affirming our recognition of God's presence in every detail, managing
our mind, our lives, and our eternal future.
Our greatest potential lies in the realm of no ego. Let us meet there.
Our greatest potential = becoming a heavenly character
Realm of no ego = shunning evils as sins
Let us meet there = striving to achieve
Our inherited evil character can be regenerated into a heavenly
character when we compel ourselves to resist doing and thinking the
evil things that we enjoy.
Corpse = resuscitation, awakening in the spiritual mind
of eternity; inner breathing or the breathing of the spirit body
Affirming our recognition of immortal life. Symbolizing our
resuscitation at death in the spiritual mind of eternity.
(deliberately and through the nose)
Inhaling = receiving influx of good and truth from God
Affirming God's omnipresence with each breathing act -- inhaling --
corresponds to the influx of spiritual good and truth from heaven,
which is life from God.
(deliberately and through the nose)
Exhaling = acting in accordance with the good and truth
received from God (ascending line)
Affirming our responsibility in the face of God with each breathing
act -- exhaling -- corresponds to our behavioral intentions, or
what we are moved to do for others.
Gesture of no fear (right hand raised facing outward, left hand by the
side facing up)
Gesture = affirmation and communication
No fear = reliance on God's loving Divine Providence in
every detail of our life
Right hand = giving
Left hand = receiving
The gesture of no fear symbolizes our determination to see God's
omnipotent management of every possible detail of our daily life and
experience. We do this by balancing receiving and giving, descending
Warrior = resistance to temptations by means of truths
from Sacred Scripture
The warrior pose symbolizes our commitment to resist doing what is bad
Rabbit = purification from falsities
The rabbit pose symbolizes our readiness to do what it takes to purify
our false ideas that keep us in the enjoyment of evil.
Child = innocence and obedience to God's truths and
The child pose symbolizes our desire to be obedient to God and God's
truths in Sacred Scripture.
Crane, swan = marriage love at the external or male
dominant level of relationship between husband and wife
The crane pose symbolizes the first of three stages of marriage love
between soul mates. It is in the natural mind. This is the natural
marriage that is temporary and does not continue in the afterlife in
Bird of paradise pose
Bird of paradise = marriage love at the middle or equity level
of relationship between husband and wife
The bird of paradise pose symbolizes the second of three stages of
marriage love between soul mates. It is in the spiritual mind. This is
the spiritual marriage that continues in the afterlife in eternity.
Doves = marriage love at the inmost or unity level of
relationship between husband and wife
The dove pose symbolizes the last of three stages of marriage love
between soul mates. It is in the celestial mind. This is the celestial
marriage that continues in the afterlife in eternity.
Meditation = study and reflection on the spiritual
truths in Sacred Scripture
Taking time out from our daily physical concerns of duty and work, in
order to study and reflect upon the spiritual truths revealed in
Right hand above left hand
Right hand = spiritual power of loving what is good
Left hand = spiritual power of loving what is true
Above = superior or more excellent spiritually, closer
Right hand over left hand is a symbolic gesture affirming our
closeness to God though our love for what is good.
Left hand above right hand
Left hand above right hand = truth without good in it
Left hand above right hand is acknowledging that we are not yet fully
in the order of God because we are elevating truth above good,
and that is the opposite of what God does and wants for us.
Earth-Rain Link movement
Earth = our conscious natural mind and its contents from
experience and knowledge
Rain = natural truths or scientific knowledge about the
The earth-rain movement symbolizes the distinction of our natural life
on earth from our spiritual life in eternity. In order to understand
our spiritual life we need first to acquire ideas, concepts, and
principles of the natural world in the natural mind.
Sun = the Spiritual Sun's aura surrounding God in
eternity; love in the affective organ
Moon = faith in the cognitive organ
We have two lives, one consisting of love or good from God, and the
other consisting of faith or truth from Sacred Scripture. .
Lotus movement unfurling at the chest
Lotus flower = doctrine of truth and life from Sacred
Unfurling at the chest = applying the doctrine of truth
to willing and intending
The unfurling of the lotus movement at the chest region symbolizes the
affirming that Sacred Scripture gives us the teaching or doctrine of
truth that we must apply to our daily willing, thinking, speaking, and
Sun = God and the Spiritual Sun
Morning, East = looking to God for enlightenment
Saluting = affirming our relationship to God
Performing the sun salutation sequence of movements represents our
looking to God for enlightenment and reaffirming our eternal
relationship to God.
Heart = affective organ of the will
The heart center represents our willing and intending, from which all
else in us depends. If our willing is good, then our thinking,
speaking, and acting will be good. If our willing is bad, then our
thinking, speaking, and acting will be evil.
Touching one's forehead ("third eye") with the hands in prayer posture
Forehead = acknowledgment of our relationship to God
Hands = our power to intend and do
Touching = conjoining, uniting with
Touching the forehead with hands in the prayer position symbolizes our
intention to think and speak only what is good so that we may get
closer to God.
Feel the body grounded, one with the universe
Body grounded = the mind arranged in the order of heaven
One with the universe = obedient to God's order
Affirming our connection to God through the truths of Sacred Scripture
taken up into our understanding.
From the above analysis it is clear that people from all religions are
able to affirm and confirm the spiritual truths that are symbolized in the
performance of yoga postures and movements (asanas).
Most Americans who practice yoga postures as a beneficial physical exercise
become familiar with a a few yoga words or expressions that are used by teachers
and books. Let us analyze the correspondential sense of some of these to see how
their spiritual meaning is congruent with the Sacred Scripture that is familiar
to Americans, namely, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Writings of
Swedenborg, and the Koran (or Qu'ran).
When these yoga expressions are viewed in the literal sense, then their
meaning and message is associated with the religions and cultures of India and
the related spiritual philosophy called Buddhism.
Similarly, when the New Testament is viewed in its literal sense by Christians,
that spiritual message is rejected by Jews who rely only on the literal sense of
the Old Testament, and also rejected by Islam, which relies on the literal sense
of the Koran. Again, when one reads the Writings of Swedenborg in their
literal sense, as do the members of the New Church (see Section xx), then the Christians, the
Jews, and the Muslims reject it altogether as opposed to their religion.
So it is clear that the literal meanings of Sacred Scriptures, from all
the major religions or cultures on this earth, appear to be opposed to each
other, or in some way contradictory to each other, and hence unacceptable to
Swedenborg tells us that the ancient peoples on this earth, at the
beginning of recorded history, also had different versions of Sacred Scriptures, and
yet they never fought over religion or doctrine. Why not? What made them
so peaceful to each other despite the differences in their cultural and
religious beliefs about God?
The reason is that the ancient nations at one point, mostly focused on the
correspondential sense of their Sacred Scripture.
They could plainly see that the correspondential sense was the same
regardless of the literal version in each culture and religion.
This is because the literal version was originally written by prophets or ancestors who studied and understood what
they called the "science of correspondences" (see Section xx). Swedenborg
tells us that at the historical beginning of written languages, writers always
wrote in correspondences. Much later, after the science of correspondences was
forgotten and lost, writers began writing in natural meanings, thus producing
books, textbooks, manuals, and stage plays or fiction. By the time the Sacred
Scriptures were written in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and
New Church, all of it was written in a natural language describing visions and
historical events. Since the science of correspondences was lost and forgotten,
no one suspected that their own Sacred Scripture was written in the language of
The effect of this lack of knowledge of correspondences over the past
millennia has been that all religions and doctrines about God and eternity, are
based strictly on the literal sense of Sacred Scripture. This necessarily
creates religions that are ethnic or cultural, and hence opposed to one another.
But by the 18th century God had gradually shaped the human mind on this earth
that the era of modern science began and continued to develop. Emanuel
Swedenborg (1688-172) was the first scientist prepared by God since his
childhood, to develop the first modern scientific mind who could comprehend
correspondences, integrate it into modern science, and explain it scientifically
and rationally to others. This he accomplished in the collection of his 30
volumes, which in theistic psychology are called the Writings of Swedenborg
Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).
Today theistic psychology has become possible because modern science is being
taught in all public schools and universities across the globe. We can now
translate all of the literal meanings of Sacred Scriptures in all religions,
proving that they are compatible with each other since every Sacred Scripture in
correspondences is Divine Speech, the Speech of the one God of creation and
eternity (see Section xx).
The Abhaya "No-fear" Mudrā represents protection, peace,
, and dispelling of fear. In the
it is usually made with the right hand raised to
the shoulder's height, the arm bent and the palm facing
outward with the fingers upright and joined and the left hand
hanging down on the right side of the while standing.
The Bhūmisparśa "Earth-touching" Mudrā literally represents
Buddha as taking the earth as witness. The right hand
touches the ground with the fingertips near the right knee
extended or with only the index pointing down touching the
ground with the left hand commonly resting on the lap with the
palm facing up. It can also represent the subjugation of the
demon horde of
Dharmachakra Mudrā represents a central moment in the life
of Buddha when he preached his first sermon after his
Enlightenment, in Deer Park in
Gautama Buddha is generally only shown making this Mudrā,
Maitreya as the dispenser of the Law. This Mudrā position
represents the turning of the wheel of the
Dharma. Dharmacakra Mudrā is formed when two hands close
together in front of the chest in Vitarka having the right
palm forward and the left palm upward, sometimes facing the
Dhyāna Mudrā is the gesture of meditation, of the
concentration of the Good Law and the Sangha. The two hands
are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully
stretched and the palms facing upwards, forming a triangle,
symbolic of the spiritual fire or the
Triratna, the three jewels. This Mudrā is used in
representations of the
Buddha Śākyamuni and the Buddha
The Varada Mudrā signifies offering, welcome, charity,
giving, compassion and sincerity. It is nearly always used
with the left hand for those whom devote oneself to human
salvation. It can be made with the arm crooked the palm
offered slightly turned up or in the case of the arm facing
down the palm presented with the fingers upright or slightly
bent. The Varada Mudrā is rarely seen without using another
mudra used by the right hand, typically with the Abhaya Mudrā.
Vajra Mudrā is the gesture of knowledge. It is made making
a fist with the right hand, index extending upward, and the
left hand also making a fist and enclosing the index. A good
example of the application of the Vajra Mudrā is the seventh
technique (out of nine) of the Nine Hand Seals, using the
mudra with mantras in a ritual application.
The Vitarka Mudrā is the gesture of discussion and
transmission of Buddhist teaching. It is done by joining the
tips of the thumb and the index together, and keeping the
other fingers straight very much like Abhaya and Varada Mudrās
but with the thumbs touching the index fingers.
The Jnana mudra (Sanskrit:
), or "gesture of knowledge" is
done by touching the tips of the thumb and the index
together, forming a circle, and the hand is held with
the palm inward toward the heart.
The Karana mudra is the mudra which expels demons and
removes obstacles such as sickness or negative
thoughts. It is made by raising the index and the
little finger, and folding the other fingers. It is
rather similar to the gesture known as
in the West.
MUDRAS IN BUDDHISM
- Zen Dharma Teacher - IBMC
Mudras are one of six principle iconographic themes in Buddhism,
particularly in esoteric Buddhism. Briefly noted, these other principle
thematic elements are mandalas, asanas, thrones, aureoles, and implements and
accessories of the deities.
A mandala, of course, is a specifically detailed diagram representing a
deity and his forces, or groups of divinities, depicting the invisible
universe of the forces that govern the cosmos. The postures that a Buddhist
deity assumes in a sculpture or painting are known as asanas. They can be
widely varied and divide in to two main groupings: static postures and dynamic
postures. Thrones and pedestals on which the deities are placed often
condition the asana assumed by them. These regularly include lotus thrones,
stands or chairs, demons and lower deities, and support animals, such as
lions, elephants, peacocks, etc. Aureoles are the haloes or auras that
indicate the divinity or saintliness of a personage and are placed behind the
statue or image. There are numerous variations and elaborations among them.
Finally, implements and accessories of the deities accompany many mudra,
symbolizing material and spiritual virtues and powers of the deity
represented. Chief among these are lotuses of various colors, thunderbolt
scepters or vajras, of differing numbers of points, bells, wheels, weapons,
pots, and maces.
Also by -
Rev. Lynn "Jnana" Sipe
Reflections on Mara
Buddhism In the Numbers
An Irreverent Look at Zen in America
The European Discovery of Indian Buddhism
from Sacred Scripture
The idea of breathing appears very prominent in the oldest sacred writings in
the Hindu tradition. The spiritual significance of Yoga breathing can be
scientifically understood and explained in theistic psychology. The
correspondences of breathing can be illustrated through various concepts in
Correspondences to Breathing
(physical body operations)
Theistic Psychology Explanation
(mental body operations)
|Breathing in, inhaling
- descending line
- opening up, relaxing
- feeling integrated, harmonious
- feeling empowered, focused
- feeling peace, clear
|Breathing out, exhaling
- ascending line
- closing in, compacting
- feeling fractioned, ambivalent
- feeling weakened, scattered
- feeling struggle, foggy
Explanations for breathing: inhaling and exhaling
descending line vs. ascending line
receiving vs. giving
satisficing vs. optimizing
opening up, relaxing vs. closing in, compacting
feeling integrated, harmonious vs. feeling
feeling empowered, focused vs. feeling weakened,
feeling peace, clear vs. feeling struggle, foggy
1. Inhaling corresponds to our higher self
descending from our spiritual mind to our natural mind, while exhaling
corresponds to our lower self ascending from the natural mind to the spiritual
2. Inhaling corresponds to the higher self
("angels") descending from our unconscious spiritual mind into our conscious
natural mind. When this occurs, we experience elevation of the lower self in the
natural mind. Our conscious self feels mentally elevated. We are receiving
spiritual influx of good and truth through the laws of correspondence. The
thoughts we are conscious of are rational and consistent, and the feelings we
are conscious of are positive and hopeful.
Exhaling corresponds to the lower self ascending from our conscious natural
mind into our spiritual mind, so that our will is moved and motivated by higher
spiritual truths in our spiritual mind. This ascending is achieved through
giving, that is, mentally giving to others what one has received in the
descending operation. Giving to others is performed by doing tasks that are
3. Inhaling corresponds to satisficing or
adapting to the descending operation. We are changed by inhaling or descending
operations, as we become more spiritual by receiving spiritual truths into our
conscious thinking. The reception process is called satisficing because we must
digest and incorporate the spiritual truths we receive from above. Satisficing
means to attach a value to what we receive, making it valuable to us.
Exhaling corresponds to optimizing or making use of the ascending operation
to motivate the will to act. Behavioral intentions are exhaling operations that
involve interacting with the environment, struggling to achieve the intended
goal. The ascending operation of exhaling creates our morality as individuals,
as we strive continuously every day to be useful to others, or to prepare
ourselves in learning and discipline, that we may become useful to others.
4. Inhaling corresponds to descending,
receiving, satisficing, and mentally opening up or relaxing. Our mind is open to
the descending influx of good and truth from the spiritual mind into our natural
mind. Our conscious thinking and reasoning is modified. We begin to think in
agreement with correspondences. Our reasoning becomes rational and scientific in
accord with the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture that are in our spiritual
mind. The content of our spiritual mind is the influx of spiritual truths from
the Spiritual Sun, that is, from God.
Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in,
compacting. We change the world or the environment through the exhaling
ascending operations, as we become more heavenly in character. This is done by
resisting temptations in our lower self, struggling to oppose our animal nature,
compelling our lower self to purify itself from hellish enjoyments that hurt
others physically, and self spiritually. Our reasoning is now in the
service of our good will and good intentions. We perform acts of charity, that
is, preventing ourselves from hurting others, first, and then second, striving
to benefit others with useful intentions.
5. Inhaling corresponds to descending,
receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up, relaxing, and feeling integrated
and harmonious. We begin to feel that we are spiritual and that we belong to
heaven in eternity and to God. We feel integrated with the order of the universe
and reality. We can see how our life on earth is nothing but a sequence of
correspondences in the natural mind and physical body, creating our lower self.
We can see that we have a spiritual mind and we feel in harmony or congruence
with it. Our natural mind is integrated with our spiritual mind.
Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in,
compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent. We are keenly experiencing our
struggle, our ambivalence, and our incompleteness. We strive to apply the
spiritual truths that we received in the inhaling descending operation. We
struggle to bring heaven down to earth, to purify earth so that it corresponds
to heaven. We feel fractioned, ambivalent, hesitant sometimes, over reactive at
other times. We experience the mental state of temptation and suffering, before
we are rescued and receive victory through the inhaling descending line.
6. Inhaling corresponds to descending,
receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up, relaxing, feeling integrated,
harmonious, empowered, and focused.
Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in,
compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent, weakened, scattered. As we
struggle all day long to optimize the spiritual truths in actual behavioral
intentions, we feel weakened by our lower self, by our attachment to hell and
infernal affections. Our attention is scattered, we are filled with uncertainty
and doubt, as we become aware of our shortcomings. Our reasoning becomes faulty
and biased as we plan and execute our good intentions.
corresponds to descending, receiving, satisficing, mentally opening up,
relaxing, feeling integrated, harmonious, empowered, focused, feeling peace,
Exhaling corresponds to ascending, giving, optimizing, closing in,
compacting, and feeling fractioned, ambivalent, weakened, scattered, feeling
The Science of Kundalini Yoga Compiled by Datta Singh
The yogic science of breath is called Pranayama.
Pranayama is the control (yama) of the life energy (prana) through breathing
exercises. Kundalini Yoga employs a wide range of breathing techniques. The
breath, its rhythm, and its depth relate to different states of health,
consciousness, and emotion. Kundalini Yoga uses the breath scientifically to
change energy states. There are a few basic breaths that should be mastered
in order to freely practice the kriyas.
Long Deep Breathing
The simplest of all yogic breaths is long deep
breathing. It is a habit that we in our western culture have lost. Our
normal tendency is to breathe shallow and irregularly. This leads to an
emotional approach to life, chronic tension, and weak nerves. The lungs are
one of the largest organs of the human body. Average lungs can enlarge to a
volume of almost 6,000 cubic centimeters. Normally we use only 600 – 700
cubic centimeters of that capacity. If you do not expand the lungs to their
full capacity, the small air sacks in the lungs, called alveoli, cannot
clean their mucous lining properly. Therefore you do not get enough oxygen
so toxic irritants that lead to infections and disease build up. By taking a
deep breath you can expand the lungs by about eight times. If you establish
a habit of breathing long, deep and slowly, you will build your endurance
and patience. A long deep breath can bring you back to your center, even in
Breathing Explained in the
Writings Sacred Scripture
The following are selections from the Writings Sacred Scripture that address the
spiritual correspondences of body parts and position, including how we breathe
in our mental body. [ italicized notes in square brackets are not in the
AC 97. The reason why life is described by "breathing"
and by "breath" is also that the men of the Most Ancient Church
perceived states of love and of faith by states of respiration, which were
successively changed in their posterity. Of this respiration nothing can as
yet be said, because at this day such things are altogether unknown. The most
ancient people were well acquainted with it, and so are those who are in the
other life, but no longer anyone on this earth, and this was the reason why
they likened spirit or life to "wind."
The Lord also does this when speaking of the regeneration of man, in John:
[New Testament Sacred Scripture]
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof,
and knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth so is everyone that is
born of the spirit (John 3:8).
So in David: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the army of them
by the breath of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).
Thou gatherest their breath, they expire, and return to their dust;
Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created, and Thou renewest the faces
of the ground (Ps. 104:29-30).
That the "breath" [spiraculum] is used for the life of faith and of love,
appears from Job: [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]
He is the spirit in man, and the breath of Shaddai giveth them
understanding (Job 32:8).
Again in the same:
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of Shaddai hath given
me life (Job 33:4).
* In the original languages [Hebrew, Greek] , "wind" "spirit" and "breath"
are all expressed by the same word. [Reviser.] (AC 97)
AC 169. I [ Swedenborg ] was reduced into a state of insensibility as to the bodily
senses, thus almost into the state of dying persons, retaining however my
interior life unimpaired [ = mental body or spiritual mind ], attended with the power of thinking, and with
sufficient breathing for life, and finally with a tacit breathing, that
I might perceive and remember [ = method of empirical observation ] what happens to those who have died and are
being resuscitated. (AC 169)
LIFE 86. Man [ = human beings ] possesses a natural mind and
a spiritual mind [ = in the mental body or spirit body ]. The natural
mind is below [ = lower layer by correspondences ], and the spiritual
mind above [ = upper layer by correspondences ]. The natural mind is
the mind of man's world [ = physical input into the sensorimotor organ of
the natural mind ], and the spiritual mind is the mind of his heaven [ =
spiritual input into the sensorimotor organ of the spiritual mind ].
The natural mind may be called the animal mind, and the spiritual mind the
human mind. Man is discriminated from the animal by possessing a spiritual
mind. By means of this mind he can be in heaven while still in the world;
and it is by means of this mind also that man lives after death.
 In his understanding [ = cognitive operations in the interior
natural mind ] a man is able to be in the spiritual mind [ =
the interior natural mind is also called the spiritual-natural mind ], and
consequently in heaven [ = spiritual mind ] , but unless he
shuns evils as sins [ = in his conscious natural mind ] he cannot be in
the spiritual mind and consequently in heaven, as to his will [ = affective
organ of the natural mind ].
And if he is not there as to his will, he is not in heaven, in spite of the
fact that he is there in understanding, for the will drags the
understanding down, and causes it to be just as natural and animal as it is
 Man may be compared to a garden, his understanding to light, and his
will to heat. In wintertime a garden is in light but not in accompanying heat,
but in summertime it is in light accompanied by heat. Just so a man who is in
the light of the understanding alone is like a garden in wintertime, whereas
one who is in the light of the understanding and at the same time in the heat
of the will is like a garden in summertime. Moreover the understanding is wise
from spiritual light, and the will loves from spiritual heat, for spiritual
light is Divine wisdom, and spiritual heat is Divine love.
 So long as a man does not shun evils as sins [ = to stop thinking
and willing what is not good because the evil we do and think binds us to hell
in eternity ], the concupiscences of evils [ = our inherited enjoyments
of hurtful and foolish things ] block up the interiors of the natural mind
on the part of the will [ = the interior portion of the natural mind that
is activated when regeneration of character begins ] , being like a thick
veil there, and like a black cloud beneath the spiritual mind, and they
prevent its being opened. But in very deed the moment a man shuns evils as
sins, the Lord inflows from heaven, takes away the veil, dispels the cloud,
opens the spiritual mind [ = our conscious natural mind in its spiritual
interior, i.e., our comprehension of spiritual correspondences ], and so
introduces the man into heaven [ = our daily thinking and willing when they
conform to the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture ].
 So long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the
natural mind (in the way we have indicated) [ = prior to character
reformation when we are still holding on to the enjoyment of many evil or
injurious things ], so long is the man in hell [ = the inherited
enjoyment or love for these evil things is a spiritual binding connection to
our hell in eternity ] ; the moment, however, that these concupiscences
have been dispersed by the Lord [ = when we cooperate with the Divine
Psychologist by compelling ourselves to resist doing the evils that we enjoy
and to which we are attracted by love ], the man is in heaven [ = we
are being regenerated by the Divine Psychologist and thus we are acquiring a
new heavenly character for our life in eternity ]. Furthermore: so long as
the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind, so
long is the man natural [ = the old inherited character we have prior to
beginning our regeneration in adult life ] ; but the moment they have been
dispersed by the Lord, he is spiritual [ = once we begin regeneration we
are committed to struggling against our enjoyments of evils and we are thereby
enlightened, becoming dual citizens ].
Furthermore: so long as the concupiscences of evils block up the interiors
of the natural mind, so long is the man animal, differing only in his ability
to think and speak, even of such things as he does not see with his eyes,
which ability he derives from his capacity of uplifting his understanding into
the light of heaven [ = spiritual truths ] . The moment however that
these concupiscences have been dispersed by the Lord, the man is a man,
because he then thinks what is true in the understanding [ = knowledge of
the spiritual truths in Sacred Scripture ] from what is good in the will [
= perception and comprehension of spiritual truths is given by the Divine
Psychologist when we struggle to rearrange our willing and thinking so as to
be in accord with what God wants and commands us to do ].
And furthermore: so long as the concupiscences of evils block up the
interiors of the natural mind, the man is like a garden in winter time [ =
in the mental world of eternity dry and dead gardens are seen around us when
our mind has not yet been arranged into the form of spiritual truths from
Sacred Scripture ], but the moment these concupiscences have been
dispersed by the Lord, he is like a garden in summer time. [ = in the
mental world of eternity beautiful and wonderful gardens are seen around us
when our mind has been arranged into the form of spiritual truths from Sacred
 The conjunction in a man of the will and the understanding is meant in
the Word by "heart and soul," and by "heart and spirit." For example: that we
must love God:
With all the heart, and with all the soul (Matt. 22:37).
And that God will give:
A new heart, and a new spirit (Ezek. 11:19; 36:26-27).
The "heart" means the will and its love [ = operations in the affective
organ of the mental body ], and the "soul" and the "spirit," the
understanding and its wisdom [ = operations in the cognitive organ of the
mental body ]. (LIFE 86)
AC 607. The character of that Church [ = the content of the
operations in the natural layers of our mind ] is described later on, but in
order that some notion of it may be gained at this point let a brief
description be given here. The Most Ancient Church [ = the earliest
generations living on this earth. They represent the celestial layer of mental
eternity in our spiritual mind], as has been stated, was celestial whereas this Ancient Church
became spiritual [ = the subsequent generations, including us today. The
spiritual layer is correspondentially below the celestial in our mind ]. Whereas the Most
Ancient Church possessed perception of good and truth [ = conscious
awareness of the spiritual mind ] this Church had instead of perception a
different kind of dictate, which may be called conscience [ = our
intuition of what is good or right ].
 Something as yet unknown to the world and perhaps hard to believe is
that the member of the Most Ancient Church possessed internal breathing
[ = the breathing of the spirit body, i.e., conscious awareness of the spiritual mind and its operations ],
but no external breathing except that which was soundless [ = conscious
awareness of the natural mind was not independent of the spiritual mind, as it
is for us ].
Consequently people spoke not so much by means of vocal utterances,
as they did in later times and as they do nowadays, but like angels, by
means of ideas [ = after resuscitation in our spiritual mind in eternity we speak a universal
thought language and are called angels ]. They were able to express ideas by means of countless
alterations in their facial expressions and in their looks, and especially by
means of alterations of the lips where there are innumerable threads of
muscular fibres which are all knotted up nowadays but which had freedom of
movement in those times.
They were in this way able to present, mean, and represent inside a minute
things which nowadays take an hour by the use of articulated sounds or
utterance. And they did so far more fully and more clearly to the
comprehension and understanding of those present than can possibly be done
with words or sentences. This is perhaps hard to believe but is nevertheless
the truth. There are also many others who do not originate from this earth
who spoke and still do so today in this manner. These in the Lord's Divine
mercy will be dealt with later on.
 I have been given to know also the nature of that internal breathing
[ = the breathing of the spirit body] and how in course of time it was changed. And because their manner of
breathing resembled that of angels [ = we are called angels when we gain
conscious awareness of our celestial layer in the spiritual mind of eternity
] who breathe in that kind of way, profound
ideas constituted their thought, and they were able to have perception [ =
quasi-omniscient ], such
as defies description. Consequently if such a description were attempted it
would not be comprehended nor therefore believed either.
Among their descendants however that internal breathing gradually passed
away, and with those who were obsessed with dreadful persuasions and
delusions it became such that they were incapable any longer of presenting any
idea comprising thought except the very grotesque. The outcome of this was
their inability to survive, and so all of them were wiped out [ = they keep
themselves in the hellish layers of eternity ]. (AC 607)
AC 608. When internal breathing [ = conscious awareness of
the spiritual mind and its operations ] came to an end, external breathing
[ = conscious awareness of the natural mind and its operations ]
practically the same as that today gradually took its place.
And with external breathing came vocal speech or articulated sounds,
which encapsulated the ideas comprising thought. In this way man's state was
changed completely, and he became such as to be incapable any longer of
possessing perception of that kind [ = conscious awareness of the
operations in the spiritual mind was no longer possible prior to resuscitation
after death -- unlike Swedenborg who was given this conscious awareness while
he was still in this world ].
Instead of perception he had a different kind of dictate, which may be
called conscience, for though similar to conscience, it was in fact
something half-way between perception and conscience as some people know it
today. And once such an encapsulation of the ideas comprising thought had
taken place, that is to say, within vocal speech, people could not be
taught any longer by way of the internal man, as the most ancient people
had been, but by way of the external.
Consequently the revelations that the Most Ancient Church received [ =
direct perception of spiritual correspondences ] were succeeded by
matters of doctrine which had first of all to be apprehended by the external
senses [ = reading Sacred Scripture in its literal sense only, ignorant of
its correspondences ]. These would produce material ideas in the memory,
from which the ideas comprising thought were formed, such ideas being the
means by which they were taught [ = religious education through language as
a means of building up our conscious understanding of God and eternity ].
Consequently the mental constitution of this Church was altogether
different from that of the Most Ancient Church which it succeeded. And unless
the Lord had brought the human race into that mental disposition or condition
nobody at all could possibly have been saved [ = no one could have
been regenerated from their inherited evils, hence being automatically
condemned to a hellish existence in eternity ]. (AC 608)
AC 1119. I have been shown by actually observing it how the internal
breathing of the most ancient people flowed in a non-audible manner into a
kind of external, and thus non-verbal, speech, which was perceived by another
person in his interior man.
They said that that breathing with them changed according to their state of
love and faith in the Lord. They also stated the reason, namely that because
they had had communication with heaven, it could not be otherwise. In fact
they and the angels who accompanied them were breathing in unison.
Angels have breathing to which internal breathing corresponds, and which
with them changes in a similar way. Indeed when they encounter anything
contrary to love and faith in the Lord their breathing is laboured, but when
they are experiencing the happiness that accompanies love and faith, their
breathing is full and free.
Something similar to this also exists with every human being but in this
case everything depends on the bodily and worldly loves and on a person's
basic assumptions. When anything goes against these he experiences
laboured breathing, but when it is in keeping with them his breathing is full
and free. These observations however apply to external breathing. The subject
of angels and their breathing will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with
later on. (AC 1119)
AC 1120. I have also been shown that the internal breathing of
members of the Most Ancient Church which had come from between the navel and
the inner region of the breast was changed in the course of time, that is,
among their descendants. It retreated more towards the region of the back and
towards the abdomen, and so retreated outwards and downwards till at length,
among the final descendants of that Church who came immediately before the
Flood, scarcely any internal breathing was left.
And when at length none at all came from the breast they underwent
self-caused suffocation. Among certain people of that time however external
breathing came into existence and with it articulated sound, or vocal speech.
Thus the ways in which people breathed prior to the Flood were determined by
their state of love and faith; and when at length neither love nor faith
existed but a persuasion of falsity, internal breathing came to an end. And
when that came to an end so did perception and direct communication with
angels. (AC 1120)
AC 1121. I have learned from members' of the Most Ancient Church about
their state of perception - that they had a perception of everything that was
a matter of faith, almost as the angels did with whom they were in
communication. The reason they had it was that their interior man, which is
the spirit, was joined - also by means of internal breathing - to heaven, and
that love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour have heaven within them.
Thus man is joined to the angels through their very life itself which
consists in such love. They said that because they abided in love to the Lord
and in love towards the neighbour they had the law inscribed within them. That
being so whatever the laws dictated was in keeping with their perception and
whatever the laws forbade was contrary to that perception. Nor did they doubt
that all human laws, like Divine laws, are based on love to the Lord and
charity towards the neighbour, and regard these as their foundation. Since
they had this foundation in them from the Lord they could not help knowing all
that arises from it.
They also believe that all people living in the world today who love the
Lord and the neighbour have this law inscribed within them as well, and are
acceptable citizens everywhere on earth just as they are in the next life. *
lit. sons or children (AC 1121)
AC 3883. THE GRAND MAN AND CORRESPONDENCE - continued IN THIS
SECTION THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE HEART AND LUNGS
What the Grand Man is, and what correspondence with it is, has been stated
already. The Grand Man consists in heaven in its entirety, which in general is
a likeness and image of the Lord. Correspondence is a correspondence of the
Lord's Divine with the celestial and spiritual things of heaven, and of those
celestial and spiritual things of heaven with natural things in the world,
primarily those in man.
Thus there exists, by means of heaven or the Grand Man, a correspondence of
the Lord's Divine with man and every individual part of him, so much so that
man comes into being from that correspondence and is all the time coming
into being, that is, is kept in being, from it. (AC 3883)
AC 3884. As the world knows nothing at all about the
correspondence of heaven or the Grand Man with every individual part of man
or about the truth that man comes into being and is kept in being from it, and
as what is going to be said on these matters will seem paradoxical and
unbelievable, let me refer to things which I have experienced and of which
I am therefore firmly convinced.
On one occasion when the interior heaven [ = highest layer of our mental
eternity ] was opened to me and I was talking to the angels there I
was allowed to observe the following activities there. (It should be realized
that although I was present there in heaven I had not left my body at all, for
heaven is within a person wherever he is situated. So when it pleases
the Lord a person can be in heaven and yet not withdrawn from the body. In
this way I was allowed to perceive the general activities of heaven as
plainly as anything perceived by any of the senses.)
On this particular occasion I perceived four activities taking place, the
first being into the brain at the left temple. This was a general activity
involving the organs of reason, for the left side of the brain corresponds
to rational powers or those of the understanding, but the right to affections
or powers of the will. [ = Interesting historical note: This was
written two hundred years before the medical discovery of the left brain-right
brain functions ].
 The second general activity which I perceived was into the breathing of
the lungs, which was gently controlling my own breathing. But it did so from
what was interior and so I had no need to call on my own will to control my
breathing or drawing of breath. I perceived plainly at that time the actual
breathing of heaven [ = the breathing of the mental body which is the
spiritual mind ]. It is an internal breathing and not therefore
perceptible to man [ = unconscious to our natural mind ], but flows in
by means of a wonderful correspondence into man's breathing, which is external
or of the body [ = our physical breathing is a correspondential reaction to
the breathing in our spiritual mind as it acts into the natural mind ].
And if man were deprived of that influx he would instantly fall down dead [ =
unable to have a physical body ].
 The third activity which I perceived was into the systole and the
diastole of the heart, which was at that time gentler in myself than it
had ever been at any other times. The pulse rate was regular - round about
three beats for every breath that was taken - yet such that beats ended in and
so conditioned actions taking place in the lungs. How at the end of each
breath taken the alternating actions of the heart fitted into those of the
lungs I was allowed to observe to a certain extent. The alternate
sounds of the pulse could be observed so easily that I was able to count them.
They were separate and gentle.
 The fourth general activity was into the kidneys; this too I was
allowed to perceive, though obscurely.
From these activities it was evident that heaven or the Grand Man [ =
spiritual mind in eternity ] has heartbeats and draws breaths, and
that the heartbeats of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the
heart and its systolic and diastolic motions, and that the breathing actions
of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the lungs and their
But neither can be observed by man [ = before we are resuscitated ],
being imperceptible because they are internal [ = spiritual ].
EU 63. A certain spirit ascending from the lower earth [ =
returning to the consciousness he had in the natural mind when first
resuscitated ], came to me, and said that he had heard what I had been
discoursing upon with' other spirits, but that he did not understand at all
what was said concerning spiritual life and the light thereof. He was asked
whether he was willing to be instructed concerning it. He said that he had not
come with that purpose. From which I concluded that he would not comprehend
He was very stupid; yet it was declared by the angels, that when he lived
as a man in the world, he was much celebrated for his learning. He was cold,
as was manifestly felt from his breathing, which was a sign of light
merely natural, and of none spiritual, thus that by the sciences [ = the
negative bias in science ] he had not opened, but had closed for himself
the way to the light of heaven [ = rational understanding of
spiritual truths ]. (EU 63)
EU 87. Spirits from Mars [ = people whose mind corresponds to the
sign of the planet Mars ] came to me and applied themselves to my left
temple, where they breathed upon me with their speech; but I did not
understand it. It was soft in its flow, softer I had never before perceived;
it was like the softest aura. It first breathed upon my left temple, and upon
my left ear from above; and the breathing proceeded thence to my left eye, and
little by little to the right, and then flowed down, chiefly from the left eye
to the lips; and when it reached the lips, it entered through the mouth, and
through the passage within the mouth, and indeed through the Eustachian tube,
into the brain. When the breathing arrived there, I then understood their
speech; and it was granted to speak with them.
I observed when they were speaking with me, that my lips were moved, and
the tongue also a little; which was by reason of the correspondence of
interior speech with exterior speech. Exterior speech is that of articulate
sound finding its way to the external membrane of the ear, whence it is
conveyed, by means of little organs, membranes, and fibers which are within
the ear, into the brain. From this, it was granted, to know that the speech of
the inhabitants of Mars [ = people in the afterlife of eternity whose
mental states correspond to the sign of the planet Mars ] was different
from that of the inhabitants of our earth [ = people in the afterlife of
eternity whose mental states correspond to the sign of the planet Earth ]
, namely, it was not sonorous, but almost tacit, insinuating itself into the
interior hearing and sight by a shorter way; and being such it was more
perfect, and more full of the ideas of thought, thus approaching nearer to the
speech of spirits and angels [ = people in the afterlife of eternity whose
mental states operate in the highest region of the mind ] .
The very affection of the speech is also represented with them in the face,
and its thought in the eyes; for the thought and the speech, also the
affection and the face, with them act as one. They regard it as nefarious to
think one thing and speak another, and to will one thing and show another in
the face. They do not know what hypocrisy is, nor what fraudulent pretence and
That such was also the speech of the most ancient people on our earth,
it has been given me to know by conversation with some of them in the other
life; and that this matter may be made clearer, it is permitted to relate
what I have heard, as follows: "It was shown me by an influx which I cannot
describe, what kind of speech they had who were of the Most Ancient Church,
namely, that it was not articulate, like the vocal speech of our time, but
tacit, which was effected not by external respiration but by internal; thus it
was the speech of thought. It was also granted to perceive what their internal
respiration was, that it proceeded from the navel toward the heart, and so
through the lips without being sonorous when they spoke; and that it did not
enter into the ear of another by the external way, and beat upon what is
called the drum of the ear, but by a certain internal way, and in fact by a
certain passage now called the Eustachian tube.
It was shown that by such speech they could much more fully express the
feelings of the mind and the ideas of the thought, than can ever be done by
articulate sounds or sonorous words; which speech is in like manner directed
by respiration, but external: for there is no word, nor indeed anything in a
word, which is not directed by applications of the respiration. But with them
this was much more perfect, because it was effected by internal respiration,
which is the more perfect, because more internal, and more applicable and
better conformed to the very ideas of thought; and it is further effected also
by the little motions of the lips and corresponding changes of the face.
For, since they were celestial men, whatever they thought shone forth from
their face and eyes, which were varied in conformity, the face as to form
according to the life of the affection, and the eyes as to light. They could
by no means present any other countenance than such as accorded with what they
thought; and because they had speech by internal respiration, which is that of
man's spirit itself, they were therefore able to associate and speak with
The respiration of the spirits of Mars was also communicated to me;# and it
was perceived that it proceeded from the region of the thorax toward the
navel, and thence flowed upward through the chest with an imperceptible
breathing toward the mouth. From this, as also from other proofs of
experience, it was made plain to me that they were of a celestial genius; thus
that they were not unlike those who were from the Most Ancient Church on this
# That spirits and angels have respiration (n. 3884, 3885, 3891, 3893). (EU
EU 102. The inhabitants and spirits of the planet Saturn answer in
the Grand Man to the SENSE WHICH IS MIDWAY BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL AND THE
NATURAL MAN, but which departs from the natural and verges on the spiritual.
This is why those spirits are seen to be carried off or hurried into heaven,
and then shortly to be sent back. For anything to do with spiritual sense is
in heaven, but anything to do with natural sense is below heaven.
 Since the spirits of our world answer in the Grand Man to natural and
bodily sense, I have been allowed to learn by plain experience how the
spiritual and the natural man fight and quarrel, if the natural man is not in
a state of faith and charity.
 The spirits of the world of Saturn were seen coming from far off, and
then direct communication was established between them and such spirits of
our world. On becoming aware of them our spirits became almost mad, and
started to attack them, throwing out disparaging remarks about faith and also
about the Lord; and amid their rudeness and insults they actually plunged in
among them, and the madness from which they were suffering made them attempt
to inflict injury. But the spirits of Saturn were not at all frightened, being
safe and calm. However, the spirits of our world, finding themselves among
them began to be distressed and to have difficulty in breathing, so that they
hurled themselves away, one in one direction, another in another, and
 This made the bystanders aware what the natural man is like, if he
is separated from the spiritual man, when he enters a spiritual sphere; he is
For the natural man when separated from the spiritual can draw only on the
world's wisdom, and gets nothing from heaven. Anyone who relies only on the
world's wisdom believes nothing but what his senses tell him [ = the
negative bias in science ], and trusts what the deceptive impressions of
the senses make him believe. Unless these are taken away by influence from the
spiritual world [ = studying the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture
or theistic psychology ], they lead to false beliefs. That is why
spiritual matters are meaningless to him, to such a point that he can scarcely
bear to hear the spiritual mentioned.
As a result such people go mad, if they are kept in a spiritual sphere. But
this does not happen while they are living in the world. Then they either
think about spiritual matters in a natural way, or they close their ears to
them, that is, they hear but do not listen.
 That experience also proved that the natural man cannot invade, that
is, climb up to, the spiritual man. But when a person is in a state of faith [
= assumes the positive bias in science ] and thus enjoys spiritual
life, the spiritual man exerts an influence on the natural man, and thinks
in him [ = our enlightenment as dual citizens ].
Spiritual influence, that is, an influence from the spiritual world, can
occur working on the natural world, but not the reverse. Influence is
spiritual, not physical or natural, so that the spiritual world influences
the natural world, but the natural does not influence the spiritual world
(AC 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427-8, 5477, 6322). There is an apparent influence
of a person's externals on his internals, but this is misleading (AC 3721). (EU
SE 3121. On united breathing.
A general waving of heaven was felt, and I was told that it was the
breathing of heaven, through which comes the breathing of a person on earth,
and of many. It matched my breathing about 3 to 1, for that breathing passes
over into effort, due to which all things breathe. (SE 3121)
SE 3317. There was further discussion with them about the mode of
their speech. That it might be understood, I was shown the manner of their
breathing, and instructed that the breathing of their lungs was changed in
time, according to the state of their faith, which was before unknown to me,
but I can still understand and believe it.
For my breathing was developed by the Lord in such a way that I was able to
breathe inwardly for quite a long time without the help of outside air, so the
breathing was directed inwardly, while my outer senses still remained in their
vigor, as well as my actions. This cannot be granted to others than those who
are so formed by the Lord-it is being said, except miraculously. I was also
instructed that the breathing is thus directed without my knowledge, so that I
may be with spirits, and speak with them. (SE 3317)
SE 3318. I was also instructed that heavenly and spiritual angels
each induce a different breathing, indeed, the heavenly one kind, with every
possible difference, and the spiritual another, with every difference, as was
shown to me by means of the breathing itself. Moreover, a spirit of Mercury
enumerated many kinds of breathing, some of them communicated to me, both
those that flowed into the inward breathing, and those that flowed in
outwardly especially toward the left eye. Therefore each society of the grand
human being has its own kind of respiration, which all flow in and determine
the ordinary respiration of mankind. And because the kinds are innumerable,
and the species of each kind innumerable, I cannot yet show what they are
like, except as said. (SE 3318)
SE 3319. Besides these I was shown a breathing that belonged only to
[the region] of the loins, even to the foot-soles. It was said to pertain to
the foot and sole alone, meaning the lowest harmonizing breathing, flowing
from within, which they did not feel, as it was later separated from the
inward one. Hence those who seize the pleasures of marriage, or rather of
[procreating] offspring, without the inward breathing, are the kind who in the
ancient Church were later separated from the inward region, and because they
imagined that they still grasped inward things, they are called the head of
the serpent, for the head of the serpent symbolizes this. Therefore also
adulterers, or those who regard adulteries as nothing, are at the same time
also cruel. And because cruelty thus attaches itself to that kind of marital
love, they are also under the foot-sole. In short, the aura of adulteries and
that of cruelties are together, along with the kind of lewdness that appears
to be marital. This I know from experience. (SE 3319)
Here are a few selections regarding body position in the spiritual world
of eternity from the Writings Sacred Scripture. This is of great interest to
us since the mental world of eternity does not have physical space and
directionality. This is true of both our conscious natural mind and our
unconscious spiritual mind. In your thoughts you can picture yourself in any
position, anywhere. You can fly through the air, you can invert houses or people
to stand upside down, and so on. The mental world of eternity in our spiritual
mind is responsive by correspondence to what happens at different layers of our
AC 3638. From this it is that in the other life all societies, how
many soever they may be, keep their situation constant in respect to the Lord,
who appears like a sun to the universal heaven; and what is wonderful, and can
scarcely be credited by anyone, because not apprehended, the societies there
keep the same situation in respect to each individual, wherever he may be, and
however he may turn himself and move about-as for instance, the societies
which appear on the right are continually at his right, and those which appear
on the left are continually at his left, however he changes his position as to
face and body. This also it has been given me frequently to observe in turning
Thus it is manifest that the form of heaven [ = the mental world of
humanity ] is such as to bear a constant relation to a Grand Man [ =
spiritual geography in the form of the human body ] relatively to the Lord
[ = God the Divine Human ]; and that all the angels are not only with
the Lord, but in the Lord; or what is the same, that the Lord is with them,
and in them [ = Omni-Proprium by which God is omnipresent in our mind
]; otherwise this condition would not exist. (AC 3638)
AC 3641. All appear erect - both those in heaven and those in hell -
with their heads in the air and their feet on the ground. Yet in themselves,
and in the eyes of the angels, the body-positions in heaven are different
from those in hell. Those who are in heaven appear with their heads
pointing up towards the Lord who is the Sun there and so the common centre
from which every station and position is derived. But those who are in hell
appear in the eyes of angels with their heads downwards and their feet
upwards, and so with an upside down body-position and also a bent one. For
that which to those in heaven is above is to those in hell below, and that
which to those in heaven is below is to those in hell above. This shows to
some extent how heaven can so to speak make one with hell, that is, how
together they can resemble a single entity so far as position and station go.
AR 36. [verse 10] 'I came to be in the spirit on the Lord's day'
signifies the spiritual state then as a result of Divine influx. 'I came to be
in the spirit' signifies the spiritual state in which he was while in the
visions, concerning which state [something] follows. 'On the Lord's day'
signifies influx from the Lord then, for on that day there is the presence of
the Lord, because the day is holy.
It is plain from these [considerations] that 'I came to be in the spirit on
the Lord's day' signifies the spiritual state then as a result of Divine
influx. Of the prophets we read that they were 'in the spirit' or 'in a
vision', also that the Word was delivered to them by Jehovah. When they
were in the spirit or a vision they were not in the body but in their spirit,
in which state they saw such things as are in heaven [ = our spiritual
mind ]. But when the Word was delivered to them, then they were in the
body and heard Jehovah speaking.
These two states of the prophets are to be properly distinguished. In the
state of vision the eyes of their spirit were opened and the eyes of their
body closed, and they then heard things that angels spoke, or that Jehovah
spoke through angels, and they also saw the things that were represented to
them in heaven; and then sometimes they seemed to be carried from place to
place, the body remaining in its own position.
 John was in this state when he wrote the Apocalypse; and sometimes also
Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel [were in it]; and then it is said that they
were 'in a vision' or 'in the spirit'; for Ezekiel says:-
The spirit took me up, and brought me back into Chaldea to the
captivity, in a vision of God, in the spirit of God: so the vision that I
had seen went up over me Ezek. xi 1, 24.
D. WIS 7. [94.] VII WITH MAN THE CONJUNCTION OF
BODY AND SPIRIT IS THROUGH HIS
CARDIAC AND PULMONARY MOTIONS: SEPARATION TAKES PLACE WHEN THOSE MOTIONS CEASE
For this to be understood some things must be stated first, which may as it
were bear a torch in advance; from them the truth of the above will be seen.
(1) A man's spirit is equally a man [ = the natural mind is connected to
a physical body, and the spiritual mind is connected to the mental body -- the
two have the same human form ].
(2) His spirit [ = our spiritual mind with its mental body ]
likewise has a heart [ = affective organ ] and consequently
pulsation, also lungs [ = cognitive organ ] and consequently
respiration [ = sensorimotor organ ].
(3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of its lungs
flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs with the man
in the world [ = the natural mind and its physical body ]. [ = the
physical and mental bodies are in correspondence with each other ]
(4) The [ physical ] body's life, which is natural [ = temporary
], comes into existence [ at birth ] and continues in existence by
means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of the influx, thus on
separation taking place [ = resuscitation at death ].
(5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual. [ = before
resuscitation we are conscious in the natural mind, but after resuscitation,
we are conscious in the spiritual mind ]
[95.] (1) A man's spirit is equally a man.
This you may see attested by much experience in the work [by Swedenborg
on] HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 73-77, 311-316, 445-452, 461-469: also that
every one is, in respect of his interiors, a spirit, in Nos. 432-444.
To this it may be added that everything spiritual is, in its essence, a man
[ = spiritual mind = mental world of humanity in eternity ], and thus
everything of love and of wisdom proceeding from the Lord, for this is
spiritual [= spiritual is human, the essence of which is rational from
truths in Sacred Scripture ].
The reason that everything spiritual or everything proceeding from the
Lord, is a man [ = in the human form ], is because the Lord Himself,
who is God of the universe, is Man [ = Divine Human ], and there
cannot proceed from Him anything that is not of like nature; for what is
Divine is not changeable within itself, nor is it extended, and that which
is not extended is everywhere the same. From this comes His Omnipresence [
= Omni-Proprium ].
The reason men have formed the idea, in regard to angels and spirits and in
regard to themselves after death, that they are like ether
or air without a human body [ = mental body or spirit body ], is
that materialistic (sensuales) learned men [ = the negative bias in
science ] have conceived this to be the case from the name "spirit (spiritus)"*
being the breath of the mouth, and also from spirits being invisible and not
appearing to the sight; for materialistic men only think from the
bodily-sense plane and from what is material.
This notion of theirs was due also to some passages in the Word having
not been spiritually understood.
Yet they knew from the Word that the Lord, notwithstanding His being a man
in respect of flesh and bones [ = the Incarnation Event of the Divine Child
], actually became invisible in His disciples' presence, and passed through
closed doors [ see New Testament Sacred Scripture ]; they knew also
that in the Word [ see Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures ] angels
were seen as men by a number of persons, and these angels had not put on a
human form but were showing themselves in their own form to those persons
before the eyes of their spirit which had been opened at the time.
In order, therefore, that men should no longer remain in a fallacious idea
concerning angels and spirits and their own souls after death, it has
pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit and so enable me to speak face
to face with angels and with men deceased, to observe them, to touch them,
to tell them many things about the disbelief of those now living and how they
are deceived. I have been in their company daily from the year 1744 to the
present time, a period of 19 years.
From the above things it can be seen that a man's spirit is [equally a man]
[ = has a mental body with its organs ].
 [96.] (2) A man's spirit likewise has a heart and consequently
pulsation, also lungs and consequently respiration. This must be confirmed
first from experience [ = empirical evidence ] and
afterwards by reason [ = scientific explanation of it ].
The angelic heaven [= our spiritual mind in the afterlife of eternity
] is distinguished into two kingdoms [ = the dual quality of
our thoughts and feelings at two different layers of the spiritual mind ]
, one called the celestial kingdom, the other the spiritual kingdom. The
celestial kingdom is in love to the Lord [ = they put loving of others
first, and understanding truth, second ], and the spiritual kingdom is in
wisdom from that love [ = they put understanding truth first, and loving
others, second ].
Heaven is distinguished in this way, because love and wisdom in the Lord,
and from Him, are two distinct things, though united nevertheless; as said
above, they are distinct in the same way as heat and light coming from the sun
are. Angels of the celestial kingdom, being in love to the Lord, have
reference to the heart of heaven, and angels of the spiritual kingdom, being
in wisdom from that love, have reference to the lungs of heaven: for as also
said above, in the Lord's sight the whole heaven is like one man.
Furthermore, there is an influx from the celestial kingdom into the
spiritual kingdom, like the influx from the heart into the lungs, with man [ =
in the physical body ]; in consequence there is universal
correspondence of heaven with those two motions, the cardiac and the
pulmonary, in every individual. I even had occasion to learn from angels
that the arteries pulsate in them from their heart and that they breathe, just
the same as men in the world do; and further, that there are with them
variations in the pulsation according to their states of love, and variations
in their breathing, according to their states of wisdom. They themselves felt
their wrists and told me so, and I have myself often felt the breathing from
[] [97.] As the whole heaven is distinguished into societies according
to affections that are of love, and as all wisdom and intelligence is
according to affections, therefore each society has distinctive breathing,
different from that of any other society, and similarly, distinctive cardiac
pulsation. Owing to this, no one from one society can enter another society
remote from it, nor can any one from a higher heaven descend into a lower one,
or any one from a lower ascend into a higher, for in that case his heart beats
with difficulty and his lungs feel compressed; least of all, can any one from
hell ascend into heaven: any one venturing to do so begins to struggle for
breath like some one in the death agony, or like a fish taken out of water
into the air.
[] The most general difference in the respirations and pulsations arises
from the idea they have of God, for it is from this that differences in love
and wisdom result. On account of this a nation of one religion cannot approach
nations of differing religion. I have seen how Christians were unable to
approach Mohammedans on account of their respiration. The easiest and gentlest
breathing of all is the breathing of those whose idea of God is that He is a
Man, and, amongst those from Christendom, the breathing of those whose idea of
the Lord is that He is the God of heaven. On the other hand, the breathing of
those who deny His Divinity, as do Socinians and Arians, is hard and rough. As
pulsation makes one with the Will's love, and breathing makes one with the
Understanding's wisdom, those who are to come into heaven are first
inaugurated into angelic life by means of respirations that accord with it;
this is effected in various ways; by this means they come into interior
perceptions and into heavenly freedom.
[] [98.] By reason.
A man's spirit is not a substance unconnected with his viscera, organs and
members, it is intimately attached to them; for that which is spiritual
accompanies every thread of them from outermost things to inmost things, and
so, every thread and fibre of heart and lungs as well; the consequence is that
when the connection between a man's [physical]
body and spirit [= spiritual mind with its the mental body ]
is severed [ = when dying and being resurrected ], his spirit [ =
our life in the mental body after resurrection ] is in a form
similar to the form the man had previously; there is merely a separating of
the spiritual substance [ = spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual Sun
] from the material substance [ = physical heat and light from the natural
Accordingly the spirit possesses heart and lungs just as the man had
possessed them in the world, and consequently it also enjoys similar
sensations and similar motions, and speech as well; without a heart and
lungs there could be neither sensation, nor movement, nor speech. Around
spirits also there are atmospheres, but they are spiritual atmospheres [ =
rational ether in the mental world of eternity ].
How greatly do they go astray who assign to the soul
some particular position in the body, like the brain or the heart, for a man's
soul which is to live after death, is his spirit.
 [99.] (3) The pulsation of the spirit's heart and the respiration of
its lungs flow into the pulsation of the heart and respiration of the lungs
with the man in the world. This also must be corroborated from experience, and
afterwards by reason.
Men do not know that, while living in the world, they have a twofold
pulmonary respiration and a twofold cardiac pulsation, because they do not
know that a man in respect of his interiors is a spirit, and that his spirit
is equally a man. That these twofold motions, however, do exist in man
continuously, and that the two motions of his spirit flow into the two motions
of his body, it has been granted me to feel
I was once reduced to the use of the former only, at a time when there were
spirits with me, who, from a strong Persuasive could deprive the Understanding
of all its faculty for thinking, and so, take away the ability to breathe as
well. Lest this might do me harm, I was reduced to the use of my spirit's
respiration only, and I then plainly felt it to be in accord with the
respiration of angels in heaven.
From this it was evident also that heaven in general breathes and that
every angel there in particular does so too; and further that so far as the
Understanding is affected, the respiration is affected as well. For the
Persuasive possessed by some evil spirits in the spiritual world has at the
same time a suffocating effect as well. Accordingly it is termed "suffocative"
in respect of the body, and "destructive" in
respect of the lower mind (animus).
Sometimes, too, angels have been empowered to control my respiration,
reducing my bodily respiration and by degrees suppressing it until only the
respiration of my spirit remained, and then I also perceptibly felt it.
Besides I was in the respiration of my spirit whenever I was in a state
similar to that of angels and spirits and whenever I was raised into heaven;
at such times I have been in the spirit and not in the
body, at other times in both the spirit and
the body. See also HEAVEN AND HELL, NO. 449,
in regard to the animation of my lungs, and of my
body being suspended, leaving only the animation of my spirit.
[] [100.] By reason.
These actual experiences establish the fact that, because every
human being enjoys this double respiration, one within the other, he can think
rationally from his Understanding, indeed spiritually too: and can thereby
also be differentiated from animals; and furthermore that he can be
enlightened in respect of his Understanding, be raised into heaven and breathe
with angels, and so be reformed and regenerated.
Besides, where there is an external, there must also be an internal; and
this internal must be in every action and in every sensation. The external
supplies what is general, the internal supplies what is particular (singulare),
and where there is not a general, there is no particular either. Accordingly,
human beings possess both an external and an internal systolic motion and
inhaling motion, the external systolic and inhaling motions being natural, the
internal being spiritual. It is in this way that the Will can, in union with
the Understanding, bring about bodily movements, and that the Understanding
can, with the Will, bring about bodily sense-activities. In animals also there
are both general and particular pulsations and respirations, but in their
case, what is external and what is internal are both natural, whereas, in the
case of human beings, what is external is natural but what is internal is
In a word, such as is the Understanding, such is the respiration,
because such is the man's spirit; it is his spirit that from the
Understanding thinks, and from the Will, wills. In order that these operations
may flow into the man's body and enable him
to think and will on the natural plane, the spirit's respiration and pulsation
must be conjoined to his body's respiration and pulsation, and there must be
influx from the one into the other; otherwise transference could not take
 [101.] (4) The body's life, which is natural, comes into existence and
continues in existence by means of that influx; it ceases upon withdrawal of
the influx, thus on separation taking place.
The reason a man after death is equally a man as he was
before, except that he then becomes a spirit man, is that his spiritual is
adjoined to his natural-or the substantial of his spirit to the material of
his body-so adaptively and so unitedly, that there is not a single fibril, or
woven particle, or any smallest thread of them, in which the human of the
spirit does not make one with the human of the body. And as the life of the
whole and the life of the parts depend solely upon those two universal
motions, the heart's systolic motion and the lungs' respiratory motion, the
consequence is that when those motions cease in the body, the natural things
that are material become separated from the spiritual things that are
substantial, being unable to carry on together the same work, and this results
in that which is the active itself, the spiritual, withdrawing from each of
the things acted upon, namely, the natural things, and so the man becomes a
man of another kind.
This, then, is the death of the man, and it is his
resurrection; on this subject, some things related from actual experience may
be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 445-452, 453-460, 461-469.
[] [102.] When a man's breathing ceases, he appears to have died, yet
he is not dead until the motion of his heart also ceases, and usually this
does not take place till later. That a man is not dead till then, is
evident from the life possessed by infants in the womb and also from the life
possessed by adults in fainting-fits or in states of suffocation, in which the
heart continues contracting and expanding, while the lungs are quiescent; they
are alive nevertheless, though without sensation and without movement, and so
not conscious of any life.
The reason for this is that, though it is true their spirit's respiration
is continuing, there is no corresponding bodily respiration, and consequently
there cannot be any reciprocation between the two vital motions, the motion of
the heart and the motion of the lungs; without that correspondence and without
that reciprocation, there is no life in sensation, neither is there any
It is the same with the natural life of a man's body as
with the spiritual life of his mind; if his Will and Understanding, or his
love and wisdom, do not act conjointly, no rational operation takes place. If
the Understanding, or the wisdom, ceases to act, the Will with its love
becomes as if dead; yet it is still alive, though not conscious of itself,
provided the Understanding is only temporarily inactive, as in cases of loss
of memory. It is quite different if the Will, or love, ceases to act; then it
is all over with a man's mind, just as it is all over with him when his heart
stops beating. That the separation of the spirit from the body takes place in
most cases the second day after death supervenes, it was given me to know
through my speaking with different deceased persons who were then spirits, the
third day after.
 [103.] (5) A man, then, from being natural becomes spiritual. A natural
man and a spiritual man are entirely different from each other; to such an
extent do they differ that there is no possibility of their being together.
Any one not knowing what the spiritual is in its essence, may suppose it to be
only a purer natural which in man is called the rational.
The spiritual, however, is above the natural and as distinct from it as
midday light compared with the shades of evening in autumn. No one can become
acquainted with that distinction and that difference except one who is in both
worlds, the natural and the spiritual, and to whom it is granted to alternate
between them, being now in the one, now in the other, and so, by his
reflections upon them, to look at the one from the other. It having been
granted me to be in a position to do this, I have
become informed as to the nature of a natural man and the nature of a
spiritual man, who is a spirit. In order that others may know this, it must he
[104.] A natural man, in everything of his thought and speech and in
everything of his Will and action, has matter, space, time and quantity as
their "subject"**: these with him are fixed and permanent things, nor is he
free from them in any idea of his thought or of his speech therefrom, or in
any affection of his Will or in any action proceeding from it.
[] A spiritual man, or spirit, does not have these things as "subjects,"
but only as objects, the reason for this being that in the spiritual world
there are objects exactly like the objects in the natural world; there are
lands, there are plains, there are fields, there are gardens and woods: there
are houses with rooms in them, and in the rooms all useful things: there are
garments, too, women's garments and men's garments such as there are in the
world: there are tables, foods, drinks, such as there are in the world: there
are animals as well, both harmless ones and harmful ones; there are
consequently spaces and times, and also numbers and measurements; all these
things being so like the things in the world that the eye can detect no
difference at all; yet they are all nevertheless appearances of wisdom and
perceptions of loves, the appearances being of the angels' Understanding and
the perceptions being of the angels' Will.
For the objects are created in a moment by the Lord, and in a moment also
are dissipated. They endure or they do not endure according as the spirits or
angels continue or do not continue in the wisdom and love of which they are
the appearance; this is the reason they are only the objects of their thoughts
and affections, their "subjects" being the things from which the appearances
are derived, which, as said, are the things of wisdom and of love, thus
spiritual things. For example, when they see spaces, they do not think about
them from the space they contain: when they see gardens, trees, fruits,
shrubs, flowers and seeds, they do not think about them from the outward
appearance they present but from those things that are the source of their
appearing; and similarly with everything else.
[] Hence it is that the thoughts of spiritual beings are altogether
different from the thoughts of natural beings: their affections likewise; they
are so different, indeed, that they transcend the thoughts of natural beings,
and do not fall into natural ideas, except in some degree into interior
rational sight, and then only by withdrawing or removing from one's thought,
when thinking about qualities, everything to do with quantities.
[105.] It is evident from this that angels possess a wisdom that to natural
men is incomprehensible, and is moreover inexpressible. Their thoughts being
so different, their speech is consequently different, too; so much does it
differ from man's speech that they do not agree in respect of a single word.
It is the same with their writing; although, as regards its letters, it
resembles the writing of men in the world, even so it cannot be understood by
anyone in the world. In their writing each consonant is a complete idea, and
each vowel is an affection; the vowels, moreover, are not written, but
pointed.*** Their manual works, which are innumerable, and the duties of their
occupations, likewise differ from the works and duties of natural men in the
world, and therefore cannot be described in human language.
[] It can be perceived from these few instances that "natural" and
"spiritual" are as different as darkness and light. However, there are many
varieties of this difference, for there are sensual spiritual men, rational
spiritual men and celestial spiritual men; there are evil spiritual men and
good spiritual men. The difference varies with the affection and with the
thought therefrom, and the appearances presented vary with the difference.
The above makes it plain that a man from being a natural
man, becomes a spiritual man as soon as his body's lungs and heart cease their
motions, and his material body becomes on that account separated from his
* The Latin word anima means both "breath" and "soul," and spiritus
means both "breathing" and "spirit."
(to be continued)
10.10.2 The Wisdom of Hindi Sacred Scripture
The previous sub-Section presents the analysis of Yoga wisdom
sayings and some common yoga postures (asanas. Two important conclusions can be
drawn from this analysis which specifies the correspondential sense of Yoga
(1) The correspondential sense is entirely different from
the literal sense of these sayings or of the spiritual symbols that are
represented by the form of each posture.
(2) The correspondential sense is entirely in accord with
Sacred Scripture already analyzed, such as the Old Testament, the New
Testament, and the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). This means that we
may consider Yoga spirituality in its essence as part of the Hindi Sacred
Writings and Scriptures, among which are the Bhagavad Gita and the
Upanishads whose analysis is presented in this sub-Section.
The analysis now follows:
The following selections are culled from these Web sites:
Woopit. Famous Quotes at:
Your Quotations.net at:
Living Being Media at:
The Vedas are the more ancient of the sacred texts
recognized within the Vedic / Hindu tradition of faith dating from almost
three and a half thousand years ago. Another series of Holy writings, the
Upanishads, a name which suggests "sitting at the feet of the Teacher" are
often more philosophically and mystically sophisticated than the Vedas. The
earliest of the Upanishads date from some three thousand years ago. The term
Vedanta refers to teachings based primarily upon the Upanishads. The Bhagavad
Gita - the Song of God - is a celebrated and more recent addition to Hindu
holy writings dating from the second century A.D.
Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita and Their
Thinking about sense-objects Will attach you to
sense-objects - Grow attached, and you become addicted - Thwart your
addiction, it turns to anger - Be angry, and you confuse your mind - Confuse
your mind, you forget the lesson of experience - Forget experience, you lose
discrimination - Lose discrimination, and you miss life's only purpose - (Miss
life's only purpose, and you think about sense-objects.)
"Thinking about sense-objects"
= to reason from appearances rather
than from underlying rational causes
"Being attached to sense-objects"
= incapable of understanding
spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture
"Become addicted" = acquiring physical attachments that are
contrary to a heavenly character
"Thwart your addiction, it turns to anger"
= inability to free yourself from
"Confusing the mind, forgetting the lesson of experience, losing
discrimination, missing life's only purpose"
= mental symptoms caused by reasoning
from sense appearance without spiritual or rational considerations
"Life's only purpose"
= becoming enlightened from spiritual
truths in Sacred Scripture and then willing and thinking accordingly
When a man dwells on the objects of sense, he creates an
attraction for them; attraction develops into desire, and desire breeds anger.
= our natural mind which
includes the sensuous mind and the rational mind
"Dwelling on the objects of sense, creating an attraction for them"
= shutting off the rational mind for
the sake of enjoying the sensuous appearances without the rational in them
"Attraction develops into desire"
= attachment to the sensuous mind
separated from the rational mind becomes a spiritual damnation or hell
"Desire breeds anger"
= a spiritual hell that enmeshes all
the mind into negative emotions and irrational delusions that are extremely
difficult to get rid of
Governing sense, mind and intellect, intent on liberation,
free from desire, fear and anger, the sage is forever free.
"Governing sense, mind and intellect"
= the natural mind after undergoing
character reformation by means of spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture, and
is thus in a heavenly order that corresponds to the spiritual mind
"Intent on liberation"
= committed to daily monitoring of
our willing and thinking in order to reject what is contrary to our spiritual
"Free from desire, fear anger"
= being capable of undergoing
spiritual temptations, gaining victory over all of them through cooperation
with the Divine Psychologist
"The sage is forever free"
= when our inherited character is
reformed or regenerated we understand spiritual truths rationally, and this
gives us spiritual wisdom and spiritual freedom
God is seated in the hearts of all.
"Seated in the hearts of all"
= God inflows every individual mind
through goods in the affective organ of the will ("heart") and then through
truths in the cognitive organ of the understanding
It is true that the mind is restless and difficult to
control. But it can be conquered, Arjuna, through regular practice and
detachment. Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in
meditation; but those who are self-controlled, striving earnestly through the
right means, will attain the goal.
"the mind is restless and difficult to control"
= the sensuous mind enjoys inherited
evils of character and therefore we are unwilling to give them up no matter
"conquered through regular practice and detachment"
= inherited character weaknesses are
removed by the Divine Psychologist when we compel our daily willing and
thinking to conform to the spiritual truths of Sacred Scripture
"Arjuna" = our mental state while we are struggling against spiritual
"Those who lack self-control will find it difficult to progress in
= without spiritual truths in our
understanding we cannot reject our attachments to evil enjoyments
"self-controlled, striving earnestly through the right means"
= to apply spiritual truths to our
daily willing and thinking
"attain the goal"
= regeneration or the mental
states that conform to heaven in eternity
The self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects,
free from either attachment or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace.
"The self-controlled soul"
= our mental states when we possess
spiritual truths in our understanding by which can resist spiritual
"who moves amongst sense objects"
= while we are still conscious in our
natural mind, prior to death and resuscitation
"free from either attachment or repulsion"
= our willing and thinking in daily
life when our intentions and thoughts are motivated by spiritual love, i.e.,
love for the good and truth in others and in self
"wins eternal Peace"
= absence of temptation and negative
emotions, thus filled with love, wisdom, and joy
Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for
that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.
"Death is as sure for that which is born"
= we are born into eternity with a
permanent spirit or mental body, and in time with a temporary physical body,
which drops off at death and resuscitation in our spiritual mind in the mental
"as birth is for that which is dead"
= upon dropping connection with the
physical body at death and resuscitation, we awaken in our spiritual mind in
eternity and continue our immortal existence
"grieve not for what is inevitable"
= our inherited attachment to the
sensuous mind and its delights in the natural mind, are as nothing in
comparison to the heavenly delights and pleasures of the spiritual mind in
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.
= our natural mind before it is
reformed in the order of heaven
"made by his belief"
= the thoughts and feelings we have
all day long constitute our self
"as he believes, so he is"
= the thoughts and feelings we have
all day long constitute our character, which is our ruling love, therefore our
very life and existence
One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is
intelligent among men.
"One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction"
= to act as-of self, with disciplined
and motivated effort, while knowing that it is God who provides the power for
"is intelligent among men"
= we are in a state of wisdom
when we do this
A man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the
skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his
= in our natural mind
"can drink water from any side of a full tank"
= we can acquire natural truths from
= including the knowledge we have of
the historical and natural truths we can find in the literal sense of Sacred
"can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his
= which can be interpreted in
different ways that are agreeable with many of our evils in the inherited
There are two ways of passing from this world - one in
light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back;
but when one passes in darkness, he returns.
"two ways of passing from this world
= when we are disconnected
from the physical body at death we awaken in our spiritual mind in eternity
and we then have a choice of continuing in our life of heavenly loves and
affections, or else in our life of hellish loves and affections
"one in light and one in darkness"
= one option is in our
heavenly loves and the other option is in our hellish loves
"When one passes in light, he does not come
= if we choose the
heavenly option, we forever cut asunder all connection with our hellish loves
and with our corporeal pleasures
"but when one passes in darkness, he returns"
= if we choose the hellish option, we
retain our connection to to corporeal loves, but we nevertheless always retain
the option to choose the heavenly loves
Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower are the
three factors which motivate action; the senses, the work and the doer
comprise the threefold basis of action.
= cognitions of the cognitive organ
in the natural mind
"the object of knowledge"
= sensations and movements of
the sensorimotor organ
= the rational mind
= the sensuous mind
= doing uses, or accomplishments
= the affections of the affective
On action alone be thy interest... Never on its fruits...
Let not the fruits of action be thy motive, Nor be thy attachment to
"On action alone be thy interest...Never on its fruits"
= we must always act as-of self and
put up the effort, while recognizing that God's omnipotence determines the
outcome of our effort
"Let not the fruits of action be thy motive"
= we must be motivated by acting
according to what is good and right, rather than according to what is
convenient or advantageous to ourselves
"Nor be thy attachment to inaction"
= we are required to take
responsibility and initiative for doing what is good and right as-of self
All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning,
manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are
annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?
"All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning"
= no one deserves heaven from
birth for everyone is born hellish
"manifest in their interim state"
= we are saved when we allow God to
regenerate our character
"unmanifest again when they are annihilated"
= which requires combat of
temptations during which we are immersed in our hellish enjoyments
"So what need is there for lamentation?"
= but after the temptation battle is
over, we receive a state of peace from God
Which is as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar in
the end; that is declared to be "good" pleasure, born from the serenity of
one's own mind. That which is like nectar in the beginning from the connection
of the sense-object with the senses, but is as poison in the end, is held to
be of "passion".
"Which is as poison in the beginning, but is like nectar in the end"
= what is heavenly feels at first
like it is difficult to love
"that is declared to be "good" pleasure, born from the serenity of one's
= yet it is delightful to our higher
mind which is celestial in character
"That which is like nectar in the beginning from the connection of the
sense-object with the senses"
= what is hellish feels at first to
be enjoyable to our mind and easy to do
"but is as poison in the end, is held to be of "passion"
= yet it destroys our heavenly
delights and its eternal peace
Perseverance in (seeking to gain) the knowledge of
the Supreme Spirit, and perception of the gain that comes from knowledge
of the truth: This is called knowledge : all that is contrary to this is
"Perseverance in (seeking to gain) the knowledge of the Supreme Spirit"
= striving to acquire spiritual
truths from Sacred Scripture
"perception of the gain that comes from knowledge of the truth"
= the benefits we derive from living
according to these truths
"This is called knowledge"
= spiritual truths produce wisdom
"all that is contrary to this is ignorance"
= natural truths by themselves do not
He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am,
who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any
creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.
"He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am"
= God commands that we love Him above
"who worships Me"
= God commands that we acknowledge
Him as the source of all holiness and good
"being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature"
= God commands that we resist our
evils because they are sins against Him, and this consists of doing no harm to
anyone for the sake of gain for oneself
"this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me"
= when we do these commandments God
can elevate us into our eternal heaven
Whenever the wavering and unsteadfast heart wanders away,
then so often let him subdue it and bring it back to the control of the soul;
For supreme happiness comes to the Yogin whose heart is at rest, in whom
passion is tranquilised, who is one with Brahma, and free from sin. The Yogin
thus uniting his soul (to Brahma), who has ceased from sin, enjoys easily
the boundless happiness of union (lit. contact) with Brahma.
"Whenever the wavering and unsteadfast heart wanders away"
= in order to be saved we must be
regenerated by God, and this involves undergoing temptations during which we
are immersed in our hellish loves
"then so often let him subdue it and bring it back to the control of the
= during temptation battles we must
fight as-of self against our evil enjoyments, knowing that it is God who
fights for us against all the hells to which we are connected by inheritance
"For supreme happiness comes to the Yogin whose heart is at rest"
= after our temptation combat we
receive from God a heavenly peace as foretaste of our ultimate future
"in whom passion is tranquilised, who is one with Brahma, and free from
= God is closest to us when we are in
temptation combat against our evil enjoyments and we are striving to resist
them as-of self
"The Yogin thus uniting his soul (to Brahma), who has ceased from sin"
= God unites Himself to us when
we reciprocate by acknowledging Him in the good that we strive to do
"enjoys easily the boundless happiness of union (lit. contact) with
= our heavenly state after
temptation combats is a state of union with the good and truth in us from God
The Correspondential Meaning of
Download PDF document of the Upanishads:
from Sacred Scripture
The word "Upanishad" consists of three words—"Upa"
means "near", "ni" means "down" and "shad" means "be seated". So,
"Upanishad" means, "be seated at the feet of the Guru to receive the
= to perceive the meaning of spiritual truths
Ni (down) = to acknowledge and worship
Shad (be seated at the feet) = to obey spiritual truths and
Guru = an individual who represents spiritual truths from
The teaching = doctrines of truth extracted from Sacred
Scripture as guides to our thinking and willing in daily activities
The Upanishads are a collection of Sacred Scriptures
when viewed through its correspondential sense as theistic psychology.
About the Upanishads:
The word "Upanishad" consists of three words—"Upa" means
"near", "ni" means "down" and "shad" means "be seated".
So, "Upanishad" means, "be seated at the feet of the Guru
to receive the teaching."
The Upanishads constitute what we call the Vedanta
(Veda-anta), the end of the Vedas, not merely because they constitute the last
part of them, but above all because they are their ultimate teachings,
reaching to the highest metaphysical state, beyond which is the realm of
The most ancient Upanishads are, in fact, part of the
Vedas, and are therefore a part of the Shruti. So they constitute the
fundamentals, the essence of the Hindu philosophy. They are connected to the
whole of Knowledge and contain within them the exposition of the origin of the
Universe, the nature of Brahman and the jivatman, the relation between the
mind and matter, etc… therefore, the main topic of the Upanishads is the
ultimate Knowledge: the identity of the Brahman and the jivatman—"Tat tvam asi"—You
are That (Chandgogya Upanishad), the quest for unity in diversity «That by
which the whole Universe is known» (Mundaka Upanishad). The Upanishads are the
first scriptures where the law of Karma first appeared as taught by
Yajnavalkya (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad).
Beyond the senses are the objects; beyond the objects is the mind; beyond
the mind, the intellect; beyond the intellect, the Great Atman; beyond the
Great Atman, the Unmanifest; beyond the Unmanifest, the Purusha. Beyond the
Purusha there is nothing: this is the end, the Supreme Goal.
That Self hidden in all beings does not shine forth; but It is
seen by subtle seers through their one—pointed and subtle intellects. The wise
man should merge his speech in his mind and his mind in his intellect. He
should merge his intellect in the Cosmic Mind and the Cosmic Mind in the
Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn. Like the sharp
edge of a razor is that path, so the wise say—hard to tread and difficult to
Having realised Atman, which is soundless, intangible,
formless, undecaying and likewise tasteless, eternal and odourless; having
realised That which is without beginning and end, beyond the Great and
unchanging—one is freed from the jaws of death.
Children pursue outer pleasures and fall into the net of
widespread death; but calm souls, having known what is unshakable Immortality,
do not covet any uncertain thing in this world.
It is through Atman that one knows form, taste, smell, sounds,
touches and carnal pleasures. Is there anything that remains unknown to Atman?
This, verily, is That.
It is through Atman that one perceives all objects in sleep or
in the waking state. Having realised the vast, all—pervading Atman, the calm
soul does not grieve.
"He who inhabits water, yet is within water, whom water does
not know, whose body water is and who controls water from within—He is your
Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits fire, yet is within
fire, whom fire does not know, whose body fire is and who controls fire from
within —He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who inhabits
the sky, yet is within the sky, whom the sky does not know, whose body the sky
is and who controls the sky from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits the air, yet is within the air, whom the air does not know, whose
body the air is and who controls the air from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits heaven, yet is within heaven, whom heaven does not know, whose body
heaven is and who controls heaven from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits the sun, yet is within the sun, whom the sun does not know, whose
body the sun is and who controls the sun from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits the quarters of space, yet is within them, whom the quarters do not
know, whose body the quarters are and who controls the quarters from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits the moon and stars, yet is within the moon and stars, whom the moon
and stars do not know, whose body the moon and stars are and who controls the
moon and stars from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits the akasa, yet is within the akasa, whom the akasa does not know,
whose body the akasa is and who controls the akasa from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits darkness, yet is within darkness, whom darkness does not know, whose
body darkness is and who controls darkness from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal. "He who
inhabits light, yet is within light, whom light does not know, whose body
light is and who controls light from within.
—He is your Self, the Inner Controller, the Immortal." This
much with reference to the gods (adhidaivatam). Now with reference to beings (adhibhutam).
The essence of all these beings is the earth; the essence of
the earth is water; the essence of water is plants; the essence of plants is a
person; essence of a person is speech; the essence of speech is the Rig—Veda;
essence of the Rig—Veda is the Sama—Veda; the essence of the Sama—Veda is the
Udgitha which is Om.
Now is described the meditation on the Udgitha with reference
to the gods: One should meditate on the Udgitha as the sun who gives warmth.
When he (the sun) rises he sings the Udgitha for the benefit of all creatures.
When he rises he destroys darkness and fear. He who knows this becomes the
destroyer of darkness and fear.
This prana and that sun are the same. This is warm and that is
warm. This they call svara (what goes out) and that, pratyasvara (what
returns). Therefore one should meditate on the Udgitha as this and that.
One should meditate on the Udgitha as the vyana. That which
one breathes out is the prana and that which one breathes in is the apana.
That which is the junction of the prana and the apana is the Vyana. This vyana
is speech. Therefore when one utters speech one stops the prana and the apana.
Then Silaka the son of Salavat said to Chaikitayana of the
line Dalbhya: "Well, may I question you?" "Do ask," he said.
"What is the support of the Saman?" "Tone (svara)," he replied.
"What is the support of tone?" "The prana (vital breath)," he replied.
"What is the support of the prana?" "Food," he replied.
"What is the support of food?" "Water," he replied.
"What is the support of water?" "Yonder world (heaven)," he replied.
"What is the support of yonder world?"
"Let no one carry the Saman beyond the heavenly world. We place the Saman in
the heavenly world, for the Saman is praised as heaven."
The pranas (sense—organs) disputed among themselves about who was the best among them, each saying: "I am the best,"
"I am the best."
|The corporeal self has no ability to think rationally.
They went to Prajapati, their progenitor and said: "O revered Sir, who is
the best among us?" He said to them: "He by whose departure the body looks
worse than the worst is the best among you."
|It must be instructed and guided by the rational self.
The organ of speech departed. After being away for a whole year, it came
back and said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other
organs replied: "We lived just as dumb people live, without speaking, but
breathing with the prana (nose), seeing with the eye, hearing with the ear
and thinking with the mind." Then the organ of speech entered the body.
The eye departed. After being away for a whole year, it came back and
said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs
replied: "We lived just as blind people live, without seeing, but
breathing with the prana, speaking with the tongue, hearing with the ear
and thinking with the mind." Then the eye entered the body.
The ear went out. After being away for a whole year, it came back and
said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs
replied: "We lived just as deaf people live, without hearing, but
breathing with the prana. Speaking with the tongue, seeing with the eye
and thinking with the mind." Then the ear entered the body.
The mind went out. After being away for a whole year, it came back and
said: "How have you been able to live without me?" The other organs
replied: "We lived just like children whose minds are not yet formed,
without thinking with the mind, but breathing with the prana, speaking
with the tongue, seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear." Then the
mind entered the body.
Then as the vital breath was about to depart, he uprooted the organs from
their places just as a noble horse tears up the pegs to which its feet are
tied. They came to him and said: "Revered Sir, be thou our lord; thou art
the best among us. Do not depart from us."
Then the organ of speech said to him: "That attribute of being most
excellent which I possess is thine." Then the eye said: "That attribute of
firmness which I possess is thine."
Then the ear said: "That attribute of prosperity which I possess is
thine." Then the mind said: "That attribute of being the abode which I
possess is thine."
And people do not call them (i.e. the sense—organs) the organs of speech,
the eyes, the ears, or the mind, but the pranas. The prana alone is all
"The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies,
as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never
grieve". "That self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by
much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The
Self chooses him (his body) as his own". But he who has not first turned away
from his wickedness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not at
rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge. (Katha Upanishad
"As one acts and conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good
becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous
action, bad by bad action."
The quality of our life in eternity is determined by the
quality of our willing and thinking now. Those who intend well to others
live in heaven, but others live in hell.
"When a man dies, what does not leave him? The voice of a
dead man goes into fire, his breath into wind, his eyes into the sun, his
mind into the moon, his hearing into the quarters of heaven, his body into
the land cheerfully. earth, his spirit into space"
When we die we are resuscitated in our spiritual mind in
eternity. Nothing whatsoever from the physical body and natural mind
becomes part of our life in eternity, which is entirely spiritual or
"Even as birds, O beloved, return to their tree for rest,
thus all things find their rest in Atman, the Supreme Spirit. All things
find their final peace in their inmost Self, the Spirit."
All human beings who die on earth congregate in the mental
world of eternity. Their eternal life in heaven is dependent on God's
Proprium or Personality, so that each individual's personality is then a
unique version of God's Proprium.
"Wherefrom do all these worlds come? They come from space.
All beings arise from space, and into space they return; space is indeed
their beginning, and space is their final end."
All the innumerable societies in heaven exist in rational
ether created by the Spiritual Sun around itself. Rational ether is a
spiritual substance created by spiritual heat and light from the Spiritual
Sun. Every feeling, thought, and sensation is constructed out of this
rational ether and belongs to it.
"Even as a great fish swims along the two banks of a
river, first along the Eastern bank, and then the Western bank, in the
same way the Spirit of man moves along beside his two dwellings; this
waking world and the land of sleep and dreams."
A human being is made of two lives acting together. One is
the life of feelings in the affective organ. The other is the life of
thinking in the cognitive organ. These lives exist in the both the natural
mind that is filled with things from earth, and the spiritual mind that is
filled with things from eternity.
"There is something beyond our mind which abides in
silence. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and
one's subtle body rest upon that, and not rest upon anything else. God is
sound and silence. Attain therefore contemplation, contemplation in
silence on him."
The natural mind is conscious to us here on earth, while
the spiritual mind is unconscious. After dying and resuscitation, it is
the reverse. The natural mind does not understand any of the thoughts of
the spiritual mind. The natural mind understands God naturally, while the
spiritual mind understands God spiritually. To understand God spiritually
we must think of the correspondences in Sacred Scripture.
"Even as a man who is asleep awakes, but when he is asleep
does not know he is going to awake, so a part of the subtle invisible
Spirit comes as a messenger to the body, without the body being conscious
of its arrival."
The unconscious spiritual mind influences the conscious
natural mind without our awareness. The operations in the physical body
are physical correspondences to the mental operations in the unconscious
spiritual mind (or spirit body in eternity).
"The soul is the consciousness of life. It is the light of the heart.
Forever remaining the same, the Spirit of man wanders in the world of waking
and also in the world of dreams. But in the rest of deep sleep he goes beyond
this world and its fleeting forms"
"Oh life-giving sun, offspring of the Lord of Creation, solitary Seer of
heaven, spread thy light and withdraw thy blinding splendor that I might
behold thy radiant form: That Spirit far away within thee is my inmost Spirit"
"When the soul is in silent quietness it arises and leaves the body, and
reaching the Supreme Spirit finds there its body of light. It is the land of
infinite liberty where, beyond its mortal body, the Spirit of man is free."
"The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging
among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve. That self
cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning."
"It is true that the body is mortal, that it is under the power of death,
but it is also the dwelling place of Atman, the Spirit of immortal life. ...
when a man is in the joy of the spirit, he is free from all bondage, the
bondage of pleasure and pain."
"From joy all beings have come, by joy they all live, and unto joy they all
"Where there is joy, there is creation. Where there is no joy, there is no
creation. Know the nature of joy."
"Know the self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot,
the intellect the charioteer, and the mind the reins."
"It is not the language but the speaker that we want to understand."
There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the
highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart
When a man dies, what does not leave him? The voice of a dead man goes into
fire, his breath into wind, his eyes into the sun, his mind into the moon, his
hearing into the quarters of heaven, his body into the land cheerfully. earth,
his spirit into space.
Where there is joy there is creation. Where there is no joy there is no
creation: know the nature of joy.
It is not the language but the speaker that we want to understand.
"He who knows self as the enjoyer of the honey from the
flowers of the senses, ever present within, ruler of time, goes beyond fear.
For this self is supreme!"