An Overview of Theistic Psychology
Through the Sayings of
Leon James, Emmanuel Swedenborg and Jesus of Nazareth
Dr. Leon James, Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
First posted: 2003| Last update: 2009
Table of Contents
Putting my sayings in a tandem next to those of Emanuel Swedenborg and Jesus of Nazareth may appear outwardly as a vain thing on my part, or plain silly. Therefore a brief note of explanation is in order.
Collocating the three collections of Sayings in this way actually constitutes an intellectual path available to people today who want to do research on the scientific knowledge of God through the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture. I have described this systematic extraction process in my 18-volume online work Theistic Psychology at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic (See also the updated List of Online Books by Leon James at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/booklist.htm )
The Sayings of Leon James is a work that outlines in modern scientific perspective the reports and findings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) regarding the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity. At age 57, in the midst of an active life as a science publisher, engineer, and legislator in Sweden, he suddenly began to become conscious in his celestial mind as well as in his material mind. This dual consciousness lasted for 27 years until his passing on at age 84.
This makes Swedenborg the first modern scientist who had direct observational access to what happens to human beings when their physical body dies.
The Swedenborg Reports on the spiritual world of the afterlife in eternity amount to about 30 volumes of writings which have been translated and researched by dozens of scholars over the past two centuries (see the Readings Section in my Theistic Psychology, or see my Web site on Swedenborg which contains the Swedenborg Encyclopedia of Theistic Psychology).
The Sayings of Emanuel Swedenborg is a work made up of selections I took from the theological Writings of Swedenborg, which describe and demonstrate how to extract the correspondential sense of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures.
The theological Writings of Swedenborg
are available online and searchable from various Web locations, as for
The Sayings of Jesus of Nazareth is a work made up of selections I took from the New Testament Sacred Scripture. These selections are listed and explicated in the Writings of Swedenborg, where it is explained that the words of Divine Speech are recorded by a prophet or revelator in a natural language and published as a written work that is the basis of a religion.
However, Swedenborg demonstrates that the literal expressions and sentences of the Bible are actually written in the Divine language of correspondences. These are the same as the cause-effect laws by which God manages all the discrete layers of creation.
When we analyze the sentences of Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament, using the method of correspondences defined in the Writings of Swedenborg, we obtain a scientific description of God and the methods He uses to create and manage the universe through the rational laws of correspondences.
The Sayings of Leon James provides a modern translation of the method of correspondences and its results in the form of theistic psychology.
The Sayings of Swedenborg provides a description and demonstration of the method of correspondences.
The Sayings of Jesus of Nazareth provides an overview of the scientific knowledge of God, which is included in the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures.
The reason I call this work Sayings is that the selections are held short, in the style of traditional “sayings” or “quotable quotes” that are pithy or concatenated, and contain layers of meaning that can be explored by delightful reflections that can lead to spiritual enlightenment and the desire for further study by going to the three sources for further research.
( 1) Religion is our love affair with God.
( 2) Heaven is the top of our mind and hell is the bottom.
( 3) The goal of life is to become a married couple in heaven united to eternity as one.
( 4) The true husband makes his wife’s will to be as-if his own.
( 5) The highest bravery there is for a man is to listen to his wife.
( 6) True freedom is to be obedient to God’s Law, while slavery is to follow one’s inclinations.
( 7) Love for their pets introduces people into the joyful sphere of heaven.
( 8) Every boy is born a husband to be, every girl, somebody’s wife.
( 9) True Christianity is the Science of God.
(10) Rational faith is the love of truth for the sake of good.
(11) Everything in the human mind is either from heaven or hell – there is no other possibility.
(12) Feeling old is to take appearances for reality.
(13) The greatest event of human history is the appearance of God on this earth as a Divine Human Person.
(14) The greatest of all joys is to love your spouse more than yourself.
(15) The greatest honor you can give the Lord’s Name is to obey His Commandments because He gave them to us.
(16) Love is the invisible portion of truth. Truth is the visible portion of love.
(17) The Word of God contains scientific revelations about God, the human mind, and the spiritual world of heaven and hell.
(18) The Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings of Swedenborg constitute the Threefold Word. These three collections of Divine scientific revelations constitute True Science, the Science of God (i.e., the Science God gives to humanity).
(19) Scientific dualism is theistic science when based on True Science. Science that excludes God and the spiritual world is atheistic. With the completion of the Threefold Word, a new era now begins for the human race.
(20) Doubt is not like an avalanche that buries you in snow, but like a river carrying you to a dangerous waterfall -- you've got to struggle to swim upstream to get away.
(21) Religion is a cultural vehicle for knowing God, and such as is the culture, such is
person begins life in heaven or hell. Some learn the lesson immediately, and pass on as infants to be raised in heaven. Others refuse to learn the lesson after eight or nine decades, finally run out of time and let themselves down into hell. When do you figure on learning that lesson?
(76) Stop. Repent. And try to change. God will then give you victory
(93) Our immortality depends on our rationality.
(94) Swedenborg's record is an exceptional case that becomes evident when his reports are analyzed. It is totally without precedent in the history of humankind where a well known scientist and noted community member, declares in his published Writings that he was given by the Divine the special and unique ability to be conscious in both worlds.
(95) There are two positions one can take about the proposal of introducing God into science. According to one position--the negative bias, scientists automatically exclude God from scientific explanations. This may be called the negative bias in science since there is no way of proving empirically that God does not exist. The other approach may be called the positive bias in science since it accepts the possibility of God's existence without being able to prove it first. But while the negative bias continues unproven as a permanent position, the positive bias allows us to examine the evidence. Once the evidence is examined, and seen as valid, the positive bias is no longer a bias but a proof. The negative bias remains a bias.
(96) According to the assumptions of theistic psychology, scientific revelations have been given by God in the Writings of Swedenborg (1688-1772) and that these revelations make up the basic assumptions and premises for theistic science. Without these scientific revelations it would be impossible to have access to these details about God's management methods, since they cannot be discovered in any other way.
Whatever other authors have written in the past necessarily represent their guesses or visions, and these remain limited. By definition it is impossible for any of them to see beyond the human level. But scientific revelations are Divine and come from the level of the Divine Omniscience. They make accessible to science a database of knowledge about God and the afterlife which can never be discovered or invented by humans living in the natural world. But this is true, not of the literal sense of Sacred Scriptures, but of its correspondential sense.
(97) According to rational spirituality we can be "conjoined" with God in a reciprocal duality where the parts always and forever remain distinct from each other, and there is never a "melding" or other "oneness" possible. Conjunction with God brings salvation and eternal life in heaven, which is the highest state of life for human beings. But the delusion of "oneness" with God brings falsities in one's life instead of truth, and the eventual result is the corruption of the mind so that the self sinks into the lowest state of human life called hell forever.
(98) The great news about substantive dualism is that the geography of the spiritual world is identical to the anatomy of the mind. With this astonishing discovery Swedenborg was able to describe the anatomy of the mind by means of the objective observation of the geographic features of the spiritual world.
(99) Another great news of substantive dualism is that our life of eternity in the spiritual body can be and must be prepared for. Our lot or level of life in eternity is completely determined by the content of the personality and character we have developed while living on earth. Hence any individual can make the conscious choices now that will lead to eternal happiness and super-natural abilities.
(100) It appears that I am one of the forerunners of the future in the history of science since I clearly see and understand that the Writings of Swedenborg are scientific revelations from God given to humankind as Sacred Scripture in its correspondential sense.
The Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings of Swedenborg together make a rational and scientific unit called the Threefold Sacred Scripture (or “Threefold Word”).
By using the method of correspondences revealed in the Writings, researchers in all the ensuing generations will be able to extract from Sacred Scripture an endless stream of scientific information that God has revealed regarding how the universe is created and managed by discrete degrees of existence.
(101) Every individual's mind functions in conjunction with numerous other individuals through a chain of unconscious interconnections with other individuals, from those whose state of consciousness is in the highest regions of the human mind called the “Third Heaven," to those who are in the lowest state called the hells. I call these unconscious interconnections the vertical community to distinguish it from the horizontal community of our neighborhood or country.
(102) Swedenborg observed that our thoughts and feelings are influenced by those who are in communication with our spiritual body that houses the thoughts and feelings. The character of the influence was determined by the character of the individuals or "spirits" who were in communication with our spiritual body. Swedenborg also realized that there is a purpose and mechanism involved in these spiritual interactions. The purpose had to do with regeneration or character reformation. Every individual is put into the position of undergoing regeneration since this is necessary for ascending to the celestial regions of life.
(103) Every planet is created for carrying human life and numerous planets are now inhabited and new ones are constantly being created--all in a grand Divine plan to create immortal human beings that live in eternal bliss in the heavenly regions of the mind.
(104) Character is our spiritual body and is formed of spiritual substances that are immortal and permanently part of our self. We are kept in spiritual freedom continuously. This is effected by being associated with spiritual societies on both sides of a decision-making process. Every time we make a decision, a substantive engram is formed in the spiritual body or character. This is indelible, though it can be covered up and moved to the side during the regeneration process.
(105) A man's character is constructed on a reciprocal basis to a woman's character so that the two may become one united person in the uppermost regions of the human mind. For this unity to be effected to potential perfection, it is necessary that not a single component of the man's character be like any component of the woman's character. They must be perfect reciprocals of each other, or soul mates. Perfection of human life is achieved by maximum differentiation brought into the reciprocation of conjugial unity.
(106) Theistic psychology is not a religion but a science. Theistic psychology contrasts with atheistic psychology which automatically excludes God as an explanatory concept. This is known as the “negative bias” approach in science. Theistic psychology automatically includes God as a concept in all explanations about human behavior and dynamics. This is called the “positive bias” approach in science.
While religion depends on creed and faith, theistic psychology depends on rational and scientific explanations of the laws and mechanisms by which God causes every event and behavior to occur. Theistic psychology knowledge advances by “extractive research” – extracting facts and doctrine from Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech using the method of correspondences with enlightenment, revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg.
(107) The Divine scientific revelations in the Writings of Swedenborg are not opposed to the religious perspective. In fact, the scientific approach confirms the religious one, and goes into scientific details in explicating the reality of God as the universal Divine Human who uses rational scientific methods for creating and running the universe for the sake of His love for the immortal human race.
(108) Irrational and selfish thinking and feeling in the external conscious natural mind prevents the interior spiritual mind from developing within the conscious natural mind. On the other hand, rational and altruistic thinking and feeling in the external conscious natural mind allows for the full development of the interior spiritual-natural mind. When we "awaken" to our immortal life in the spiritual body, it is the quality of this spiritual interior mind that determines our fate forever.
(109) The geography of the spiritual world = the anatomy of the human mind.
There is a perfect overlap between them. This means that in the afterlife we live forever in our mind since the mind of everyone is immortal. What’s amazing is that though we are each in our own mental world, we all can see each other! This is because there is only one mental world. The mental world of each human being overlaps with the mental world of all other human beings. This is like space in the physical world. There is only one space. The space between atoms and the space between galaxies constitute the same space, though there is no overlap in the physical world as there is in the mental world, where there is no physical space but only mental ether.
(110) Unless an object has a spiritual substance within it, or tied to it correspondentially, it cannot come into existence nor continue in existence or subsist. The brain therefore has a spiritual substance within it and it is this spiritual substance that produces sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
The physical brain therefore has a mental brain “within” it, constructed out of mental substances. It is this mental brain that operates sensations, thoughts, and feelings, which make up the mind. The physical brain produces or operates no sensations or thoughts, but only electro-chemical activity that correspond to the sensations and thoughts in the mental brain.
The mental brain contains the memory of our life, our experiences, and our identity. The physical brain contains an electro-chemical representation or model of those mental experiences of living. When the physical brain dies, none of the memories are affected since they are located in the mental brain, which is within the mental body.
Going through the dying/resuscitation procedure detaches the connection between the physical and mental bodies. Upon awakening 33 hours later, we walk off and start our new immortal life in eternity. Swedenborg has confirmed this by going through this process himself many times, during which he stopped breathing and his physical body was inert. He then awakened or resuscitated in his celestial mental body, permitting him to explore that new world and write about in the diary of notes he kept for many years.
(111) It is important to distinguish the science of theistic psychology from other endeavors that fall outside of rational science. An effective way of distinguishing rational spirituality from mysticism and spiritism is to determine whether the spiritual information being provided is based on direct sensory input from the spiritual world. If yes, then it cannot be scientific. This is because, theistic psychology is based exclusively on the Writings of Swedenborg which is the only original source of scientific information on the spiritual world.
(112) Spiritism is harmful because it inhibits the development of rational spirituality in an individual. Swedenborg observed that individuals who first awaken in the spiritual world ("novitiate spirits") are unable to continue believing anything they do not understand rationally. Their science and religion are rejected unless that which has been understood rationally. This is because the spiritual world is a rational world, being the world of the mind.
(113) The basic tenet of theistic psychology can be seen when you consider this definitional and methodological formula:
mental = rational = spiritual = immortal and eternal
(114) The “expanse” of the mental world may be called rational ether which is also the expanse in our mind. It is like the grammar of the language you speak. The grammar is made up of an integrated collection of rational rules called "syntax." Linguists have given precise mathematical descriptions to these psycho-linguistic units in language. We think in terms of rational categories imposed by the structure of the mental organs in which thinking takes place (see my discussion of the work of Mark Johnson and George Lakoff on embodied thinking).
(115) There is a spiritual or mental mechanism by which we rise to our heaven or fall into our hell. It is a predetermined and unchangeable universal law for all humans, just like pregnancy and birth are. While we are still in this world we can alternate between rational and irrational states, which means also that we can alternate between good loves and bad. But this alternation is impossible in the afterlife state where opposites destroy each other if brought together.
(116) Theistic psychology investigates the overlap between the mental world and the spiritual world by means of the laws of correspondences revealed in the Writings of Swedenborg. These scientific revelations indicate that we are born dual citizens in the natural and spiritual world, living in both worlds simultaneously.
(117) Selfishness is slavery. Altruism is freedom.
(118) You don’t get to notice what you don’t value.
(119) All is well within the turbulent waters The churning stops when the yearning goes Then the thought picks up a higher scent And the vitality of enthusiasm rushes in.
(120) Blood coursing through tubes supplies the energy for protein cells, as spiritual heat from God activates our loves in the mind’s affective organ. Air containing oxygen is aspirated by the lungs as inflowing spiritual truth from God, and is received into our rational understanding. The body needs and thirsts for the molecules of uncontaminated water as the mind needs and longs for the substance of spiritual truth. The sensory organs in the nose filter the air, detecting its chemical properties as the cognitive organ in the mind receives and detects the rational quality of the inflowing spiritual light from God.
(121) The more scientific and rational people become, the more they are attached to God. The more scientific people become, without also becoming rational, the more they avoid the idea of God. This is because all rationality is from God and starts and ends with God.
(122) The Two Great Commandments of the Judaeo-Christian Religion – Love God and Love your neighbor – Means to Love God in yourself and in others. To love God in ourselves is to acknowledge His loving and omnipotent co-participation in our feelings, thoughts, and acts. To love God in our neighbor is to acknowledge that how we treat the neighbor, is how we treat God in the neighbor.
(123) Joy is the consciousness of relationship. Happiness is the constancy of joy. Love is the binding force in relationship. Reality is created by love through wisdom (truth, rationality, intelligence). God is the source of all love, hence of all happiness. Such as our relationship to God is, such is our love, consequently such our joy and happiness.
(124) The rational man loves feminine intelligence more than masculine intelligence.
(125) The body is the visible mind.
(126) The body is the form of eternity.
(127) The concept of "eternal" contains two components: one is "outside time"; the other is "mental."
(128) Spiritual heat is nothing else than Divine Love or Good, and spiritual light is nothing else than Divine Truth or Wisdom.
(129) Love produces everything in the mental world of eternity. In eternity everything is produced by our loves.
(130) Heaven is the capacity to be moved by God to will only what is good and to think only what is truth. When we are in the state of heaven, self-interest is totally absent, and hence the state of heaven is called a state of innocence.
(131) Everyone is born with the innate spiritual capacity to acquire a new personality that puts others above self-interest. Anyone who steadfastly strives to practice this attitude of life acquires a character that can be moved by God to will only what is good and to think only what is truth.
(132) Conjunction with God through Sacred Scripture is the process of creating our eternity. Heaven is a product of this conjunction.
(133) Divine Love is the process that operates this conjunction. Conjugial love is received from Divine Love. It produces the highest heaven in the human mind. Through it, we are brought nearest to the Divine Human. All other paths lead to greater distance from the Divine Human.
(134) For us humans, once alive, always alive.
(135) There are three things in a man that a woman wants more than all other things—friendship, cooperation, and wisdom.
(136) A wife wants friendship from her husband because she needs to feel stimulated and free. These are the feelings that come from being best friends. This includes intimacy and sexuality as an eternal couple.
(137) A wife wants cooperation from her husband because her life is miserable and hard when he resists her in this or in that, following his own mind instead of hers.
(138) A wife wants wisdom in her husband so that she could admire him and feel safe and protected from false perspectives and dangerous involvements to which she might otherwise fall prey to.
(136) Conjugial couples do this with one another and for each other:
(a) They always have fun in each other’s company. Thus, they are best friends.
(b) The husband never disagrees with his wife because he is dedicated to support her feelings ahead of his own feelings. Thus, he is spiritually enlightened and has wisdom.
(c) They feel complete freedom in their intimacy because their sexuality is complete, being the ultimate expression of their unity, here, and in heaven to eternity.
Everything not connected with something prior to itself falls into nothing
(Arcana Coelestia 5084)
(31) Nothing is permitted to happen that has not been foreseen, for otherwise, it cannot happen. (Spiritual Experiences 1088)
(32) The thoughts of the spiritual man are incomprehensible and inexpressible to the natural man, and they cannot be transferred to another script and another language (The True Christian Religion 280)
(33) The wisdom of wives is superior to that of men. (Conjugial Love 208:2)
(34) All the moments of life have a series of consequences to eternity. (Arcana Coelestia 6490)
(35) True Christianity consists in this: that men ought to live in charity towards the neighbor, that is, to be sincere, to be just, to be upright; thus, to practice sincerity, justice and goodness for the sake of those things, and to esteem them and venerate them as Divine. (Spiritual Experiences 5063)
(36) The spiritual world is where man is, and is by no means remote from him. In a world, every man, as to the interiors of his mind, is in that world, in the midst of the spirits and angels there; and he thinks from the light of it, and loves from the heat of it. (Divine Love and Wisdom 92)
(37) All who come into the other life are vastated. Those who have been in good, in the world, are vastated as to evils and the thence arising; and they are, then, in their own good and in the truth then arising. But those who have been in evil, are vastated as to truths and goods, if they have any; and they are, then, in their own evil and in the falsity arising from it. Hence, the good become images of their own good, and the evil, images of their own evil. The latter are, thus, cast down into hell; the former are raised up to heaven. (Spiritual Experiences 5071)
(38) To think from truth is the human and consequently the angelic principle itself; and it is a truth that man does not think from himself, but that it is granted him by the Lord to think, to all appearance as from himself. (Divine Providence 321)
(39) Everyone knows, or may know, that evil originates from hell and that good is from heaven. Consequently, everyone may know that so far as man shuns evil and turns away from it so far he shuns and turns away from hell. So, too, he may know that so far as anyone shuns evil and turns away from it so far he wills and loves good; and consequently so far is he brought out of hell by the Lord and led to heaven. These things every rational man may see, provided he knows that there is a heaven and a hell and that evil and good are from their own respective sources. Now if a man reflects upon the evils in himself, which is the same thing as examining himself, and shuns them, he then frees himself from hell and casts it behind him, and introduces himself into heaven where he sees the Lord face to face. It is stated that man does this, but he does it as of himself, and then from the Lord. When a man from a good heart and a pious faith acknowledges this truth, it lies inwardly concealed in everything that he afterwards thinks and does as from himself. (Divine Providence 321)
(40) The Word is the only doctrine which teaches how a man must live in the world in order to be happy to eternity. (Arcana Coelestia 8939)
(41) In respect of the interiors of his mind man is by creation like an angel, having a like will and a like understanding. Consequently, if a man has lived in accordance with the Divine order he becomes after death an angel, with the same wisdom as an angel. (Heaven and Hell 304)
(42) The human race apart from heaven would be like a chain without a hook; and heaven without the human race would be like a house without a foundation. (Heaven and Hell 304)
(43) All the speech of spirits and of angels is also effected by means of representatives; for by wonderful variations of light and shade they vividly present before the internal and at the same time before the external sight of him with whom they speak, all they are thinking about, and insinuate it by suitable changes of the state of the affections. The representations that come forth in such speech are not like those before described, but are quick and instantaneous, being simultaneous with the ideas that belong to their speech. They are like something that is described in a long series, while at the same time it is exhibited in an image before the eyes, for, wonderful to say, all spiritual things themselves whatever can be representatively exhibited by forms of imagery that are incomprehensible to man, within which are things of the perception of truth, and still more interiorly those of the perception of good. Such things are also in man (for man is a spirit clothed with a body); as is evident from the fact that all speech perceived by the ear, on ascending toward the interiors, passes into forms [ideas] not unlike those of sight, and from these into intellectual forms or ideas, and thus becomes a perception of the sense of the expressions. Whoever rightly reflects upon these things may know from them that there is in himself a spirit which is his internal man, and also that after the separation of the body he will possess such a speech, because he is in the very same during his life in the world, although it does not appear to him that he is in it, by reason of the obscurity and darkness which earthly, bodily, and worldly things induce. (Arcana Coelestia 3342)
(44) From all this the truth is seen that the end of creation was an angelic heaven from the human race, and consequently man, in whom God can dwell as in His receptacle; and this is the reason why man was created a form of Divine order. (The True Christian Religion 66)
(45) The Lord does indeed require humility, adoration, thanksgivings, and many other things from man, which appear like repaying, and thus not free; but the Lord does not require these things for His own sake, for the Divine has no glory from man's humility , adoration, and thanksgiving. In the Divine, anything of the love of self is utterly inconceivable that such things should be done for His own sake. Rather, they are for the sake of the man himself; for, when a man is in humility he can receive good from the Lord, because he has then been separated from the love of self and its evils, which oppose (such good). Therefore the Lord wills a state of humility in man for his own sake; because when he is in this state the Lord can flow in with heavenly good. The case is similar with adoration and with thanksgiving. (Arcana Coelestia 5957)
(46) Faith in its essence is truth, and that everyone is able to acquire truths from the Word, and that so far as anyone does acquire them for himself, and loves them, he implants in himself the beginnings of faith. (The True Christian Religion 356)
(47) A faith of the sense of the letter alone is a persuasive faith, which is of no avail. (Spiritual Experiences 5084)
(48) But amongst these are not to be reckoned those, who, owing to immaturity or simplicity, believe the sense of the letter of the Word, and still live according to the doctrine of the Church; but they are those who study the Word, despising the whole of the doctrine from the Word. (Spiritual Experiences 5087)
(49) The reason why they are dangerous, is, because they are able to persuade almost any of the simple and the upright, that is or that is to be believed, merely from the external sense of the Word, and without explanation; and the simple have not exerted themselves, and learned, in the world, that the external sense of the Word is according to the apprehension of the sensual man - for the first apprehension of man is sensual; and that this must be the lowest level of the Word, because in the position of a foundation, or in the position of the soles of the feet, whereon the body stands. For the Word is, in the sight of the Lord, like one man; for it is Divine Truth. Hence, the sense of the letter is its sole; but, still, there are interiors corresponding to it, in accordance with the connection of such things as are in man. (Spiritual Experiences 5090)
(50) Every man [in the world] has, with himself, spirits who are in the other life, and these possess the interiors of the man; therefore, all things of his memory. They do not, indeed, see the world through his eyes, but still [they see it] inwardly in him from his ideas. (Spiritual Experiences 5092)
(51) Marriages are seed-plots of men, and thus seed-plots of heaven. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(52) A female is born an innocence and becomes the affection of good, and the male the understanding of truth. The female becomes the affection of truth, which occurs when she desires to marry. The male becomes the understanding of truth, which also happens, when he wishes to love the female sex. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(53) If a man concentrates his love upon his wife, by shunning adultery as sin, then love with its potency increases daily; but if men take from that love and consume it with harlots, conjugial love becomes like chaff, and dies. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(54) What is usual, when love is truly conjugial, is the plane in which enjoyments form themselves, from within, as upon a rose bed; and that every separate rose becomes a plane in which interior enjoyments are formed and variegated, and this to eternity. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(55) Marriage is like the marriage of the will and understanding, or of affection and thought, in all and every single thing, because it is [the union] of good and truth. The conjunction, or marriage, of these, may be illustrated by the marriage of sound and speech, in which it may be clearly seen. As speech is the form of sound, so man may be described as the form of the wife; they are one flesh; a man shall cleave to his wife; the wife is the man's soul, and life, or is the heart of the man; but neither knows anything else than that the other is his, or hers, and that each is the other's reciprocally and mutually. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(56) Unless eternity, or eternal conjunction, be thought of, a woman is not a wife, but a concubine; and from the lack of the idea of eternity, conjugial love perishes. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(57) In heaven, the wife is spiritual heat, and the husband spiritual light. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(58) The husband's life enters the wife, through the thighs, and by means of love. ( Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(59) There is no lasciviousness in conjugial love, for lasciviousness is unchaste. There is the identical sensation with those who are in conjugial love; consequently, there is nothing unclean, but pure. It appears as if there were, but yet there is not. The reason is,, because inwardly in conjugial love, even to the ultimates, is heaven, and inwardly in the love of adultery is hell; and the ultimates of each appear similar; as to their delights, but yet they are not. The difference is not perceived except by conjugial love. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(60) Conjugial love looks continually to two being one, or one flesh. If conjugial love do not look to this, [the love] is the love of adultery. They [i.e. a man and wife] are able to become one, more and more, to eternity. (Spiritual Experiences 6110)
(61) CONCERNING MEMORY
In the other life it is not allowed that one should use his own memory for the reason, that everyone who draws the past from his own memory, is not only anxious concerning the future, and vexes himself from the fact that the present is unlike the past, but he indulges grief in whatever state he is; and then also, as was perceived, he wishes to live only from himself, for to live from one's own memory is to live, as it were, from himself which for many reasons, is not allowed to a spirit, but to a man more than to a spirit. As a spirit, thinking from the memory of a man, thinks himself to be a man, if he were to use his own memory he would think he was not the man, but himself; wherefore for reasons of use, in order that he may be subservient to man, it is not allowed to exercise his own memory. - 1748, November 13. (Spiritual Experiences 3962)
(62) From my fourth to my tenth year, I was constantly engaged in thought upon God, salvation, and the spiritual sufferings of men, and several times I revealed that at which my father and mother wondered....From my sixth to my twelfth year my delight was to discourse with clergymen concerning Faith-that the life thereof is love, and the love that gives life is the love of one's neighbor. (Letters, 1769)
(63) There are some who are in doubt before they deny, and there are some who are in doubt before they affirm. They who are in doubt before they deny are they who incline to a life of evil; and when this life carries them away, then insofar as they think of the matters in question they deny them. But they who are in doubt before they affirm are they who incline to a life of good; and when they suffer themselves to be bent to this by the Lord, then insofar as they think about those thins so far they affirm. (Arcana Coelestia 2568)
(64) There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Lord has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle.
(65) I spoke with Newton concerning a vacuum, and concerning colors. Concerning a vacuum he said, that in the world he had believed in the existence of a vacuum; but when the angels perceived that he had an idea of a vacuum, as an idea of nothing, they turned themselves away, saying that they cannot bear the idea of nothing, since when there is an idea of nothing the idea of the essence of things perishes. And when the idea of the essence of things perishes, the idea of thought, understanding, affection, love, and of will with men and angels perishes, which things are not given in nothing.
(66) NEWTON. I spoke with him several times. He is a thoroughly sincere man, and is among his own, and is beloved. He told me that he now knows that the Lord is the sun of the angelic heaven, and that all light, which in its essence is Divine Intelligence, and which gives intelligence to angels and also to men, is from Him; although men are ignorant that that light enlightens the understanding, and causes them to think intelligently. He also knew that there was one Life which causes everyone to live, and that that Life appears amongst them as light, and that life is from it also, that it inflows into man's inmosts, and brings it about that it appears to man as if from himself. He also stated that, where he is, there appear colors much more brilliant than in the world, and of much greater variety; also, that the colors there originate from the modification of the Divine Light into life-receiving form in angels and men, and that from it are the varieties of understanding. Respecting the planes of colors, he spoke in this fashion: that there were. . . three: white from light, red from fire, and black from [shade]; and that all the varieties of colors arise therefrom.
(67) The inward level of meaning in the Word cannot be seen at all unless the meaning of the letter is almost blotted out. This applies also in other things, as in philosophical material, when the mind dwells on the words by themselves, as on trivialities; or when a person is absorbed in outer and physical objects. A like principle applies when it comes to the more inward level of meaning.
(68) Being Divine the Word contains within itself things that are infinite which come from its first source, and as a consequence contains things beyond description such as constitute angelic wisdom; but in its lowest form it contains only such things as those that man is able to grasp.
(69) The Word exists in all the heavens, and it is read there as it is in the world, and sermons are based on it. For it is the Divine Truth which is the source of the angels' intelligence and wisdom.
(70) The Word is not understood except by those who are enlightened.
(71) They who read the Word from the love of truth and good, are enlightened from it, but not they who read it from the love of fame, gain, or honor, thus from the love of self.
(72) The Word is not understood except by a rational man; for to believe anything without having an idea of the subject, and without a rational view of it, is only to retain words in the memory, destitute of all the life of perception and affection, which is not believing.
(73) The Word in the sense of the letter is natural.
(74) Before the Lord the universal Church on the earth is as one Man.
(75) Wisdom, like every perfection, increases towards the interiors, thus to the extent that interiors are opened.
(76) This New Church, truly Christian, which at this day is being established by the Lord, will endure to eternity, as is proved from the Word of both Testaments; also it was foreseen from the creation of the world; and it will be the crown of the four preceding churches, because it will have true faith and true charity.
Note: these particular selections were made by Swedenborg. Future research might examine the correspondences of the selections to see if they are arranged in an internal rational series of meanings.
( 1) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)
( 2) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (Matthew 2:7)
( 3) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Matthew 3:8-9)
( 4) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he
went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the
Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. (Matthew 3:16)
( 6) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:7-9)
( 7) Blessed are those
who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of
( 9) "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)
(10) Anyone who breaks
one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will
be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches
these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you
that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers
of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew
(13) "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
(14) If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge
it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes
you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part
of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)
(19) If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:46-47)
(20) "Be careful not to do your 'acts of
righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no
reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not
announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the
streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their
reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your
left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in
secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
(22) "This, then, is how you should pray:
(23) "When you fast, do not look somber
as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are
fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But
when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be
obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen;
and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew
(25) "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 6:34)
(26) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 16-20)
(27) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)
(28) But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matthew 7:26-27)
(29) But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13)
(30) But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28)
(31) "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33)
(32) Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matthew 13:8)
(33) But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:23)
(34) Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. (Matthew 18:21-23)
(35) Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, 'and 'love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 19:19)
(36) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matthew 19-24)
(37) "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. (Matthew 21:31)
(38) Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. (Matthew 21:43)
(39) Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matthew 22:34-39)
(40) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24-12)
(41) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. (Matthew 25:34)
(42) "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15)
(43) He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in
parables. (Mark 4:11)
(45) And he said to them, "I tell you the
truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the
kingdom of God come with power." truth. These are those who do not taste
death. (Mark 9:1)
(47) When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He
said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Mark 10:14)
(51) One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)
(52) "Well said, teacher," the man
replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other
but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with
all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than
all burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he had answered
wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:32-34)
(54) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Luke 3:8-9)
(55) Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (Luke 6:20)
(56) "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:27-31)
(57) "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. (Luke 6:32-34)
(58) But love your enemies, do good to them,
and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will
be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the
ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is
merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)
(60) "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. (Luke 6:43)
(61) I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." (Luke 7:28)
(62) Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)
(63) Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up
and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
(65) Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
(66) Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you. (Luke 10:9)
(67) On one occasion an expert in the law stood
up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to
inherit eternal life?"
(68) As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Luke 12:58-59)
(69) Then he told this parable: "A man had
a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but
did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the
vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig
tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' "
'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around
it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not,
then cut it down.' " (Luke 13:6-9)
(71) "There will be weeping there, and
gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets
in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. (Luke 13:28)
(74) In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)
(75) This is the verdict: Light has come into
the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were
evil. (John 3:19)
(77) but I know you. I know that you do not have
the love of God in your hearts. (John 5:42)
(81) On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:20-21)
(82) Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
(83) "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:1-4)
(84) "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
(85) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:6-8)
(86) "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)
(87) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:10-12)
(88) Greater love has no one than this, that he
lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I
command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his
master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I
learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I
chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then
the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my
command: Love each other. (John 15:13-17)
(91) And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. (Matthew 2:15)
(92) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17)
(93) When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-17)
(94) While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Matthew 17:5)
(95) He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matthew 27:43, 54)
(96) And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him (Mark 1:10)
(97) And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. (Mark 9:7, 9)
(98) But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:61-62)
(99) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:31-32, 35)
(100) Now when all the people were baptized, it
came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was
opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him,
and a voice came from heaven, which said,
(101) And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. (Luke 9:35)
(102) All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22)
(103) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. (John 1:14, 18, 50)
(104) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:13, 16-18)
(105) For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (John 5:20-27)
(106) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:69)
(107) They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. (John 9:34-35, 38)
(108) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:35-36)
(109) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:30-31)
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