Chapter XII. The Mind as the Two Kingdoms.

THE whole spiritual or internal mind is here presented in two degrees, the celestial and the spiritual. When by regeneration these two degrees are opened in man and stored with good and truth from the LORD, they answer to the two kingdoms, celestial and spiritual, into which the whole heaven is divided.

When the degrees of the spiritual mind are so opened and stored, then also the two degrees of the natural mind are cleansed of evil and falsity and replenished with good and truth of a lower degree, and form an orderly and correspondent base for the two kingdoms of the internal mind.

Every regenerate man is in one kingdom or the other according to his state of regeneration.

In the internal mind reside love to the LORD and love to the neighbor, and these heavenly loves ought to rule and qualify the loves of self and of the world located in the external mind. With the regenerate they do rule and impart a good and true quality to these natural loves.

But if the natural loves rebel and throw off the dominion of the higher, as with the wicked, they become evil, pervert the external mind, and close up the internal. This state of the external is called hell.

This diagram presents also a view of the two kingdoms of hell opposite to the two kingdoms of heaven. The satanic kingdom lies in the plane D, the diabolic in E. (Read DLW 273, and recur to the diagram; TCR 281 end; AE 740.)

In Last Judgment 14, the lowest hell (in the degree E and called the hell of devils), is said to be behind, because that which is lowest in the order from above down, and outmost from within out, is behind in the order from front back.

The satans mentioned in Apocalypse Revealed 97, 550 and 841 are in the degree D, the devils in E.

There is no discrepancy between the statement in one passage that devil is evil and thence falsity, and in another that devil is the love of self and of dominion thence. In one passage satan means falsity or the love of falsity and the evil thence, in another it means the love of the world, and thence the love of possessing the goods of others, in still another pride of intellect and of self-derived intelligence. A similar variety of statements occurs in regard to heavenly principles. It is said that the celestial principle or kingdom in heaven is love of good and thence of truth, and is love to the LORD and thence love to the neighbor; and that the spiritual kingdom is truth and thence good, or love of the neighbor and thence of the LORD. The good of the spiritual kingdom is intellectual good because the good there is from truth reduced to practice, thus truth which is intellectual is the essence of that good. Concerning the spiritual kingdom we read, –

“The angels of the second heaven are in spiritual love. Spiritual love is the love of truth, and in the supreme sense the love of Divine Truth which proceeds from the LORD, thus also love to the LORD but in an inferior degree to that in which are the celestial angels, for the celestials are in love to the LORD from the reception of Divine Good from Him; whereas the spiritual angels are in love to the LORD from the reception of Divine Truth from Him; the difference is as between love in the will and love in the understanding, or, as between flame and. its light.”- AE 831

The meaning in this passage is not that the spirituals have not will but that their will of good is formed by truth and is therefore intellectual. Inversely among the satans evil is the evil of falsity and is therefore intellectual, and inheres in the love of the world as a final end. Evil arising primarily in the will is voluntary and is the evil inhering in love of self as a final end; this is the ruling love among the devils.

This diagram illustrates True Christian Religion TCR 234, 235 and 236 and like passages throughout the Writings in which the angels are considered in two kingdoms and men in the natural degree below. The celestial angels are in B, the spiritual in C. In B is the celestial sense of the Word; the spiritual sense in C. The natural sense is in D, E, F, which together constitute the natural kingdom mentioned in 236. The higher celestial part of the natural sense is in D and the higher spiritual part in E; the merely literal sense, including the lowest spiritual and celestial element, is in F and answers to the life of the natural body.

The celestial degree and kingdom of the internal mind, is the primal abode of celestial perception, the spiritual degree that of conscience.

Perception and conscience flow thence into the natural mind, gifting it with natural perception which is celestial, and natural conscience which is spiritual.

Heaven is a mirror image of God’s Love


The topic of heaven and its topological description is closely connected to neuroscience and the mind/brain problem.

Modern neuroscience has discovered that every part of the human anatomy has reference to some specific part of the brain and its grouping of neurons. They suspect that in some similar manner, the physical parts of the brain are correlated to specific functions of the non-physical mind.

Emanuel Swedenborg, who is the father of the neuron theory of the brain, made comparable statements in his scientific writings, but took these ideas much, much further in his theological works. In his multi-level cognitive model, brain states not only have correlation with mental states but that every affection and idea of the human mind has reference to a specific society and spiritual function in heaven (or hell). And finally, every society in heaven has reference and correlation to some aspect and quality of God’s Divine Love and Wisdom.

This causal nexus has eternal consequences.

Every time we think and feel, it resonates with some society of spirits or angels in the other world. The mind is non-physical and represents the operation of our spirit. This spiritual operation consists purely of the various affections, dispositions and intentions of our heart (will), which find form in our thoughts and ideas (thought gives form to the affection and intention).

Affections, emotional moods, intentions, appetites, and dispositions are all derivatives of love. Everyone’s love is different. In fact, the qualities of the human heart and its resulting thoughts can be organized into genera, species, and varieties.

Heaven gets its organization from these genera, species, and varieties of love (which represent our receptivity to some quality and influence of God’s Love).

Heaven is not the same for everybody (nor is Hell). While someone on planet earth can live next door to a person with opposing likes and dislikes, this cannot apply to neighbors in the spiritual world, who form relationships and societies according to affinities.

Heaven consists of individuals who desire to be of service to others in order to promote true happiness (rather than to seek happiness through personal gain and promotion). This is the essence of spiritual and heavenly love. Those who view this activity as servitude and seek their own betterment are removed to a society among those of similar bent.

Happiness, of course, cannot be acquired in a society where everyone desires to be greater than others. This is what constitutes Hell.

Swedenborg states that in the spiritual world everyone gravitates to, and creates, a society that most corresponds to one’s own quality of love. All substances and forms in heaven are holographic representations of what we love and think.

Love is spiritual formative substance and spiritual life (and not merely a romantic notion).

In this psycho-topological landscape of the heart and mind, we each adapt this primal substance into our appropriate environment, where everyone becomes their own genera, species and variety of love (or self-love).

Heavenly societies are mirror (holographic) images of God’s love because they reflect and manifest some particular quality of Divine Spiritual Love. All the myriad ways we can each be of service to others is an image of God and is what creates both the special distinctness and unity of heavenly societies.

The Lord God views heaven from a holistic and organic point of view – just as we view the human anatomy as a unified division of labor and mutual cooperation. Heaven takes on an ultimate Grand Human Form because “humanness” comes from God’s spiritual love – and from no other source.

Because you can love and hate, you already are, as to your spirit, moving through different spiritual societies and have associations there.

Please be mindful of that.

Posted on June 18, 2008 by thegodguy

This entry was posted in god, Inner growth, Life after death, love, metaphysics, psychology, Reality, religion, science, spirituality, unity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Sacred things – Do they matter?

Ordinary life is filled with cares and concerns. We each get taken up with earning a living, the needs of our family, the problems of where we live or whatever. Don’t you sometimes yearn to re-discover a sense of balance and composure? Many people do this by re-connecting with a magical place where they have experienced a special moment. A place they have come to regard as sacred.

The word ‘sacred’

The word ‘sacred’ is a religious word. Whether you are a member of a faith tradition or none, any place can be seen as sacred if it is especially important to you. One person’s religion may be another’s superstition or folk belief, eg good-luck charms or religious relics may be imbued by some with mystical powers.

According to spiritual philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, in the distant past, ancient people would be reminded of inward human qualities by physical things e.g. a heart – representing love; a snake – sensory pleasure; a sword – integrity in fighting for what is right. But in the course of time, he says, this symbolic knowledge was lost. Later generations mistakenly assumed there was supposed to be something inherently holy in such things and thus began to superstitiously revere them as idols.

What is sacred

What you regard as sacred doesn’t have to be what you have you been told by others but what you experience within. It is a very personal matter. It might not be a place at all but rather an activity, an object or even an idea.

“What is sacred can refer to something that one cherishes, that is precious” (Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist)

sacredPerhaps it is something you respect that is so different from what is ordinary & mundane that it is beyond language to describe. This might be because it makes you feel safe. Or perhaps it reminds you of your deeper values. Or perhaps it inspires a sense of wonder and awe that touched your soul. And so you want to keep whatever it is unspoilt and pure.

Sacred activity

What is a blessing to you might be a walk in the woods that you love. It could be meditating – there is a sacred space in the mindful moment. Maybe its when listening to that special piece of music or reading that favourite book that deeply affects you.

Some say you know what it is when you feel connected with a sense of what is profoundly good and wise.

“Whether we’re religious or not, a prayer is the acknowledgment of something greater than ourselves. It is a ritual that allows us to create space for hope even in the tiniest prison, including the prison of our mind.” (Tim Leberecht, spiritual writer)

Sacred ideas

What is revered by you might simply be an idea that you value and regard as precious; for example a specific thing that reminds you of the principle of honesty with your life partner, the innocence of childhood, your sense of vocation, or the value of social justice. When you recall the idea, it stands apart in its significance for you giving a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

Why we need something sacred

Don’t we all need to get in touch with something, in our heart of hearts, that is really dear to us and worth dedicating ourselves to? Something that goes beyond the self and that is very real and powerful, pure and good. Imagine a life in which nothing was consecrated for you – or to anyone else. To me, such a life would be empty and sterile.

Responding to the sacred

Whatever it is that you feel is worthy of veneration why not return to it? You can then get to know what it is like to be touched by it. I happen to believe that by setting aside a little time to do this, on a regular basis, you can be taken away from your ordinary concerns so that your mood and mind is lifted to a higher plane.
I really believe there is something divine in everything if you want to find it. Whether it’s in the smile of a child, the handshake of a stranger, the sound of birdsong, or the newly opening buds of a snowdrop.

Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author Heart, Head & Hands


Battle with yourself – How to win?

You may be uncomfortable with some negative traits in yourself. Instead of being greedy you may wish to learn moderation, instead of being judgmental, to learn tolerance. Or maybe your archilles’ heel is self-pride or impulsiveness and you want to develop modesty and patience. Whatever your weakness, the question arises how do you change? For example you might attend a problem drinking clinic or a slimming club but don’t consistently keep to the programme.
battleI would suggest that to find the better person within, you will first need to battle against yourself. It is not enough to accept you need to change, you also need to have a strong resolve and put effort in to curb your impulses: to put up a fight against your demons whatever they are. This is the viewpoint of Western and Eastern religion; that one’s lower nature has to be repudiated before the higher self can properly emerge. To gain the positive, one needs to conquer the negative. But how do you do this?

Getting fighting fit

Before going into battle a soldier needs to prepare. To wear the right armour and get hold of a shield and sword. The armour protects from harm and the sword kills the bad guy. You also need to be fighting fit. It’s the same when you battle against yourself. You need protection from dangerous illusions and to be armed with right knowledge and understanding.

The enemy is within. It comes from all the negative influences around you. The allure of product-advertising that suggests an impulsive purchase. The angry and impulsive behaviour of fictitious characters in film and television who function as role models. The strident and loud voices that proclaim that you have the right to be happy no matter what the cost.

Being armed with the sword of truth is to remember alternative right ways of thinking that encourage how you ideally would like to be. What is the truth about the fantasies that sustain your negative actions?

What is the truth of your ethical code that teaches proper dealings with people? What is the truth of your higher principles that can guide you away from a selfish uncaring attitude?

“It is truth that goes into battle first, for the battle is fought from truth since it is from the truth that a person recognizes what falsity is and what evil is. Such conflicts never arise therefore until a person has been endowed with knowledge and cognitions of truth and good.”(Emanuel Swedenborg)

Running battle that goes on for a long time

Sometimes we expect immediate results and get easily disappointed by set-backs. You need to appreciate that the struggle with negative habits can go on for a long time before a clear-cut victory can emerge. This is because the problem behaviour is likely to have become entrenched within your make-up and have several facets that all need tackling.

Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. (Eric Burdon)

Although talking about the world of politics, Margaret Thatcher once observed that one may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

One of the Bible writers bemoaned the running battle that goes on for a long time:

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?(Psalmist)

Uphill battle

In fact the battle can feel like an uphill one with the odds against you.

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved. (Samuel Smiles)

So don’t give up without a fight. The army commanders train the troops to obey orders. They instil disciple through drill. Likewise you need self-discipline if you are to do battle and not give up without a fight in the face of the enemy.

Happiness is dependent on self-discipline. We are the biggest obstacles to our own happiness. It is much easier to do battle with society and with others than to fight our own nature. (Dennis Prager)

Yes, having a battle with yourself can – and perhaps should – be a central issue in your life. However it is so easy to exaggerate the uphill nature of this battle. This exaggeration is another negative facet of what you are up against. It is an example of negative thinking that takes away your courage. Again the sword of truth can encourage your effort. The truth is we are the biggest obstacles to our own happiness. So try to remember the reasons for the battle with yourself. Recall why you wish to be different. And challenge the mistaken and unrealistic excuses you had made up to support your negative behaviour. You may lose one battle but live to fight another day.

Fighting chance

When you have hit hot rock bottom you may feel you are fighting a losing battle. Perhaps wrestling with ones own nature in ones’ own strength is not enough. Alcoholics Anonymous teach that one also needs help from a higher power. Likewise religious people pray to their image of God for help.

One complaint about religion is the way fundamentalist believers take their sacred writing as sacred because of its literal truth; for example that the battles mentioned in the Old Testament justify violence against one’s foes. But an alternative approach is to take such imagery are figuratively sacred. This is to see a battle as referring to the inner battle of good versus bad within each human individual. This ties in with the idea of correspondence between natural things and spiritual qualities. Many observers—both Muslim and non-Muslim talk of jihad having two meanings. The ‘greater jihad’ is said to be an inner spiritual struggle. If only those jihadists wanting to terrorise the West would realise this.

According to this figurative view when we read the Psalmist praising God as the ‘king of glory’ ‘strong’ and ‘mighty in battle’, who ‘fights’ against those who ‘fight against’ him, we can understand the idea of an all-powerful God destroying evil thoughts and feelings within us rather than destroying  people.

You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. Psalm 18:39

Copyright 2016 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author Heart, Head & Hands

Posted on31st January 2016CategoriesLatest post, Meaning of life, Spiritual meaningTags, , ,