For this blog entry, it is a long one. At first I was just going to string together a collection of videos from an author of one of my favorite books entitled, The Reflexive Universe, by Arthur M. Young. Its an interesting theory, one that I think that should be developed further. Here I will be reviewing or summarizing them, and indicating where I think the theory should be corrected. I will also be comparing it to the writings and visions of Emanuel Swedenborg, as he offers quite a few insights into this theory, which provides an interesting view into the universe in which we live.
Based on his scientific observations and studies of ancient creation myths, Arthur Young proposes that there are seven "states" of existence. And some of these observations correlate to the seven "days" of creation in Genesis. Swedenborg interprets these seven "days" as seven states of regeneration of man, and that is as far as he takes it. He also says that scripture has multiple levels of meaning -- and I think that Arthur M. Young has stumbled upon one of them. Man is truly a microcosm of the universe, in more ways than we know. Its a theory of understanding everything that exists - and everything that exists will belong to a certain level or degree of existence. Each level or degree of existence is defined by its constraints or freedom. Its at a primitive stage, something that has the potential to unify several things defined separately in physics, math, and biology. What are the seven levels? They are as follows, although there is a mistake in Young's proposal which I will correct later:
1. LightEverything that exists, exists in one of those seven levels. Man is different from animals in that his soul is eternal, and after death has the potential to enter a realm of light. This of course corresponds to the light that exists in our physical universe. Light has the most freedom, and degrees of freedom are progressively lost until we reach the molecule. Then life begins as a growing being - life is organic, acting upon what is inorganic, gaining new levels of freedom. It is a comprehensive view of the universe, having the potential to unify all knowledge of science. Its at its infancy, and its something I would like to see developed further. Below is a summary of lectures that were once on Youtube but have since been taken down:
2. Subatomic particles
SPACE-TIME AND ESP
Young observed that the theory of Relativity does not properly account for the phenomenon of time, but tries to simply make it as part of space in the "space-time" continuum. Young mentions structure, and time is defined as "change." Swedenborg makes a distinction between space and time, which are related to the "substance" and "form" of matter. Young had initially struggled a bit to articulate a good definition, it is unfortunate he did not hear of Swedenborg's ideas. Like Swedenborg, he felt he needed to explore the physical reality of science to find the true inner nature of spirituality.
Young mentions an interest in ESP, and his surprise of his discovery of the reality of precognitive dreams. The scientific definition or understanding of time does not account for this.
He then jumps to discussing the four traditional elements of ancient myth: fire, water, air, earth, and how they are related to the four cardinal directions of space. While he tries to relate it to this theory, I think Swedenborg's interpretation of these symbols in myths is the more likely explanation: myths are expressions of the symbols seen in the spiritual world. Swedenborg observed that in heaven there were four quarters, which he explains in detail in his work, Heaven and Hell. A more valid point he makes is he mentions how in math the horizontal axis represents real numbers, and the vertical axis represents imaginary numbers. The first is used to indicate the state of something in space, and the second its state in time.
The "theory" of what Young is describing in the "Reflexive Universe" is in reality not a "theory": it is rather an orderly articulation of everything that exists. It has practical applications in science in properly ordering our extensive knowledge that we have gathered in the last few hundred years. This is something that those who are interested in Intelligent Design should pay attention to: while proponents of Intelligent Design may just seek to prove that God exists and leave it at that (which is why it is rejected in education), the design in creation that Young describes can accurately describe discrete degrees of order. It is a classification, vocabulary or accurate articulation of everything that exists. You do not need to say "Intelligent" Design. You just describe the mathematical properties of what is seen in the design: its order, or "Orderly Design." Things are not random, but exist and proceed according to order. At this point I will quote from Swedenborg:
"[God] is in His Divine order everywhere, inasmuch as God is order" (Heaven and Hell, n. 57)
"[The Lord] is Jehovah, from Whom is order. Hence it may be said that Jehovah is Order itself, for from Himself He governs order; not, as is supposed, in the universal only, but also in things most particular; for the universal is from the particulars" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1919.4).
"...it is to be known that there are two things which constitute the order of the whole heaven, and thence in the universe; namely, good and truth. Good is the essential of order, all the things of which are mercies. Truth is the secondary of order, all the things of which are verities"(Heavenly Arcana, n. 2258.2).
"The Lord is order itself; and therefore where He is present there is order, and where there is order He is present." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 5703).Once it is known that God is order itself, then it is known that man must live according to order:
"All order is from Jehovah, that is, the Lord, and according to this order things, one and all, are ruled by Him; but with manifold difference, namely, from will, from good-pleasure, from indulgence, and from permission. Those things which are from His will and good pleasure are from the laws of order as to good, also many which are from indulgence, and some which are from permission. But when a man separates himself from good, he then casts himself upon the laws of order that are of truth separated from good, which are such that they condemn; for all truth condemns man and casts him down into hell; but the Lord from good, that is, from mercy, saves him, and raises him up into heaven. Hence it is evident that it is man himself who condemns himself." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2447.2)
"That evil is contrary to Divine order, and good according to it, may be known by every one; for Divine order is the Lord Himself in heaven, since the Divine good and truth which are from Him constitute order, insomuch that they are order, Divine good its essence, and Divine truth its form. Divine order when it is represented in form, appears as a man; for the Lord, from Whom it is, is the only Man" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 4839.2).It is somewhat unfortunate that Young entitled his book, The Reflexive Universe - most have probably never heard of it and do not know what it is about. I would call it "The Universal Order of Design." While Swedenborg speaks of order in generalities, Young makes use of the particular knowledges gained in science to make discoveries in the patterns or order of things that exist. Young, however, sometimes get sidelined into interpreting some ancient myths, which is not essential to the theory.
For describing order, Young starts with molecules, and from there goes onto atoms, and then subatomic particles, and then light. These are discrete degrees of order in creation. Discrete degrees are not a continuous spectrum - they are different levels of order, with nothing in between. There is nothing in between a molecule or an atom, and nothing in between an atom and a sub-atomic particle.
At this point I would like to point out what I regard as an error in the theory: Young regards light, or the photon, as a discrete degree of order separate from subatomic particles. This is incorrect: light in itself is a subatomic particle as well, it is not a discrete degree of order separate from other subatomic particles. But I will get to that point later on, to express what I think is a more correct view of the theory. As to why he symbolizes light, subatomic particles and the atom as a point, line, and tetrahedron, I am not so clear, except perhaps to express how lower planes of order are necessary to build higher planes of order.
DISCRETE DEGREES OF REALITY
Young further describes the discrete degrees of light, subatomic particles, the atom, and molecules. With subatomic particles, it is hard to know their position: according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, we cannot know the exact position of certain particles. With the atom, this uncertainty disappears: we can better know the position of an atom. Young relates the position of a particle with its "identity". The smaller we go, the principle of identity begins to break down.
One of the fundamental principles of the theory is that at each level or plane of existence, there are different degrees of freedom. So at the level molecules, that degree of order is the most deterministic: we can measure and know whatever we want about a molecule. This is where science excels: it excels in knowledge which is deterministic. Atoms are less deterministic: although we know their position, it cannot be exactly determined how each atom will radiate or absorb energy. Particles are even less deterministic, as we cannot exactly know their position. Similarly, once the position of a photon is known, it no longer exists: the photon has been absorbed. That is Young's explanation, I will offer an alternative later.
FREEDOM VS. DETERMINISM
The more deterministic a level of order is, the greater the level of constraints, and the less degree of freedom for each particle. Young describes these degrees of freedom in terms of space and time. I do not think Young is completely accurate in describing these degrees of freedom in terms of space and time. Once we recognize this, it will be easier to see a gap in the theory which I will then fill. But an important point that Young makes: uncertainty is a fundamental part of the universe. Science tends to cover this up, as science would like to have everything be deterministic. This uncertainty, as a part of the universe, allows for something to exist we all value: free will. The freedom to make a decision, which is not deterministic. One may say: the universe was created so that free will might exist.
I would go with an alternative way of describing these levels of reality: they are discrete degrees of order. And this is a concept that is fundamental through all of Swedenborg's ideas: the concept of discrete degrees of order is not only applicable to all scientific knowledge, but also all spiritual understanding. In spiritual development, lower planes of existence must be passed through to reach higher planes of existence. Swedenborg states:
"There are degrees of two kinds, degrees that are continuous and degrees that are not continuous. Continuous degrees are as the degrees of the waning of light from flame to its obscurity, or as the degrees of the fading of sight from what is in light to what is in shade, or as the degrees of purity of the atmosphere from its highest to its lowest level. These degrees are determined by the distance; whereas degrees not continuous but discrete, are distinguished as what is prior and what is posterior, as cause and effect, and as what produces and what is produced" (Heaven and Hell, n. 38).Swedenborg's application of discrete degrees to human psychology and development is a large topic, and it is impossible to cover here. But these levels of reality in Young's theory, determined by science, provides a good foundation for understanding discrete degrees of order.
HIGHER DEGREES OF ORDER: LIFE FORMS
Young mentions higher degrees of order above the molecule: life, which includes Plants, Animals, and Man, on an upward path to gain more freedom from the constraints of the physical. Everything created, must return back to its creator. On the chart, Young shows life on an upward path, as it begins to remove constraints and gain more freedom. A living organism can do one thing that a molecule cannot do: it can grow, and multiply. Here is an image of the diagram:
In the video, for the final seventh state instead of "Anthropotheos" (meaning, "God-man") Young has (Man), which he put in parenthesis, because he does not know what belongs there. This is one case where Young recognizes that the theory is incomplete. What is in that seventh and final state? I will cover that later, but one guess he provides is "God". For Molecules, Plants and Animals, Young mentions that these are the three kingdoms mentioned by Aristotle: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. But at that time Aristotle did not have enough scientific knowledge to be aware of these other kingdoms. The progression through these states or kingdoms is a process: the process of the Universe.
FOUR ELEMENTS OF ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY
Young mentions how each of the four levels correspond to the four elements in ancient mythology. I will skip over this, as it is not fundamental to the theory. One point he makes at the end: he makes uncertainty in the state of the matter equivalent to what we know as "free will."
PHASE ROTATION AND THE TORUS
Young goes through one of the sub-states in each level as an example. But one thing that bothered me about the theory, which one can see in the chart: the second row, representing subatomic particles, is blank. I will fill this in later. Another error I feel he makes: he takes light, and tries to make the different spectrums of light into seven sub-states. Also the seven sub-states of the seventh level are highly speculative, and the reason for that is that Young is forced to guess, deriving each sub-state from what is known from science at the other levels.Young now walks through the seven substates of the kingdom of animals - which is what we know the most about. Although he at times followed the biological classifications (at the Phylum level), at times he combined separate Phylae. The key is to look for levels of organization in the animal. Here are the increasing levels of organization seen in animals:
DEGREES OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
1. Paramecea (one-celled animals).
2. Metazoa (many-celled animals) - Sponges
3. Coelenterates (one organ animals) - having identity, or a center, or inside and out
4. Mollusks (many organ animals). Many filae were put together for this one.
5. Annelids (segmentation)
6. Arthropods (side segments, or legs) - all insects, crabs, lobsters, shrimp. Increased legs, until finally down to six. Highly developed instincts. Exoskeleton.
7. Chordata, or vertebrates. Nerve cord.
GAPS AND ERRORS IN THE THEORY
At this point I would like to stop: it is impossible to have just one blog entry on a theory that discusses everything. There is enough evidence, especially in the higher levels of existence that we know about, that Young is on the right track. He explains that for him, the grid was like filling out a cross-word puzzle: he knew what kinds of properties should go there, but in many cases he did not know if it existed or not. One example he uses is at one point he was looking for a "mobile" chemical. So when you compare each substate of each level with others, the same pattern constantly repeats, but with a higher level of organization. But I do not want to proceed further because there are obvious gaps in the theory, and Young was able to recognize some of the gaps. But in other cases he makes a mistake. So let's correct that now.
The first big gap in the theory is that the second state of existence, subatomic particles, is left completely blank. Young explains that at his time (he died in 1995) scientists were still investigating this area. The world of subatomic particles is so small that the only way we can derive information about them is to smash them together, and derive information from the parts that fly off from the collision. Its as if our finger tip was as big as the earth, and we try to smash two cars together and observe the flying parts to figure out what kind of engine each car type has. And there is a lot of theory. But I think science has discovered enough where we can now take an educated guess as to what substates exist in the subatomic world. Another gap in the theory is the seventh state: it represents a higher level of existence than man. He puts "man" there, but this is incorrect: man represents the culmination of the animal kingdom. I feel he gets closer to the truth when he puts in different states of consciousness for each substate of the seventh level. But that is harder to verify: because as we shall see, I think this is describing a reality which cannot be measured by science.
Let us first start with one basic mistake he makes, which is somewhat of a big one: he puts light or the photon in the first state of existence. In many of his points he is influenced by myth and religion. But it is dangerous to derive scientific fact from a myth, so lets just stick to the scientific facts. The fact is, and any scientist will tell you, a photon of light is simply a subatomic particle. And just because it has no mass, or get absorbed when it is observed, does not mean it belongs in a completely different level of existence. So when you look at the first row of the grid in the video, he creates different substates of the kingdom of light by dividing it into seven different wave-lengths. If the second state of existence is the subatomic world, that is exactly where light belongs. So now, we have the following states:
2. Subatomic particles
6. Animals and Man
7. (unknown)Now that we have pushed light back into the subatomic kingdom, lets take a closer look at that one.
THE SEVEN SUBSTATES OF THE SUBATOMIC WORLD
Everyone who studies chemistry knows that there are protons, neutrons, and electrons. But there are many more subatomic particles than these. I think there are about 63 of them, and the interactions are complicated and in many cases unexplained. So what to do? When I took a look at this problem, I decided to start with the most simple principles. One thing I observed: just as there are four levels in Young's diagrams, so there are four basic forces of the universe. Each force is mediated by a subatomic particle. The four forces are as follows:
1. Gravity. This force is mediated by as of yet an unobserved particle, the graviton.There are only four known forces in the universe, and their relationship to Young's theory is obvious: each level of force constrains a particle further and further, until its stuck and packed inside a small nucleus. Young speaks about how as we make a descent into the lowest fourth level, freedom is lost, there are more constraints, until particles get stuck as if they were in a frozen prism.
2. Electromagnetic force. This is mediated by the photon.
3. The Weak Nuclear force. This is mediated by W and Z bosons. It is responsible for "beta decay" - I kind of decay of the atomic nucleus to obtain the right balance of protons and neutrons. The W and Z bosons are extremely heavy when compared to the other particles.
4. The Strong Nuclear force. This is mediated by the gluon. It is responsible for holding protons and neutrons together in each atomic nucleus.
So, if on the left hand of the diagram we have force mediating particles, what goes on the right side? The particles that mediate a force all belong to a category known as "bosons". Now take a look at the following diagram, which classifies all of the known subatomic particles in the Standard Model:
1. Graviton (mediates gravity) - hard to observe directly, but we know its there.Note that in the fifth state, I put "other stuff". That's because I don't know what to put there. I don't want a boson, that should remain on the left side of the diagram. What I would like is another kind of Fermion that has half spin, that has the property of matter. So I did some research, and found something I never heard of: a "Skyrmion." What? Well here is the definition:
2. Photon (mediates electromagnetism)
3. W and Z Bosons (mediates weak nuclear force)
4. Gluons (mediates strong nuclear force)
5. (??? - other stuff)
6. Baryons (includes protons and neutrons)
7. Leptons (includes electrons)
"In a quantum field theory, there can be field configurations of bosons which are topologically twisted. These are coherent states (or solitons) which behave like a particle, and they can be fermionic even if all the constituent particles are bosons. This was discovered by Tony Skyrme in the early 1960s, so fermions made of bosons are named Skyrmions after him."Apparently these things are hypothetical:
"The skyrmion is a hypothetical particle related to baryons. It was described by Tony Skyrme and consists of a quantum superposition of baryons and resonance states."Bosons that behave like Fermions. Ok, I will "squirm" a Skyrmion in there for now. I have absolutely no idea what these are. I may be wrong, but it shows the value of the system that Young developed: it allows you to define a state of matter or existence that has certain properties, which allows you to know what to look for to fill in the gap. (Some people are probably screaming, HEY what about that Higgs-Boson there? Did you miss it?? No, I will get to that later).
The highest states of the subatomic world, which include baryons and leptons, are used to build the atoms at the next state of existence. One point I would like to make, is that in every level, the seventh state is the most interesing: things that dwell in this state just about control everything. Here are the electrons, and its always the number of electrons in each atomic shell which determines how they bond together. Leptons also are unaffected by the strong nuclear force: its as if the particles at this state have obtained "complete freedom". This is in line with what Young says about his theory. When I come to think of it, I wonder why he missed this completely.
THE FIRST STATE OF EXISTENCE
When I thought about it, it is simple. The first state of existence is Space-Time. Without that, nothing afterwards can exist. Likewise, you need a piece of paper before you can draw a dot.
This again, is something that Young missed. People tend to think of space as "nothing". Its not nothing, space is something. Space and time are created things. As this theory, which proposes seven states of existence, is related somewhat to the seven days of creation, look at how Genesis begins:
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. (Gen. 1:2)
Now, once it is known that the first state of existence is space-time, if you listened to those videos of Young when he explained the degrees of freedom, you will notice something he says that does not make sense. Since he did not define a level for Space-Time, he then uses the concept improperly. He talks about levels that are free from space, free from time, and free from space and time. If you listened to it and it does not make sense, ignore it (it is because it will never make sense as it is incorrect.) So what are the degrees of freedom then?
First, it should be known that in empty space, scientists noticed something weird: virtual particles pop in and out of empty space at random. They come from nowhere, and then go back to nowhere. So returning to the degrees of freedom, what are they? They are freedom of movement. Now lets go through the first four levels of existence:
1. Space-Time. Virtual Particles pop in and out. "Teleport" movement.This concept is important, because it will play a role in understanding the seventh and final state of existence.
2. Subatomic particles. Movement is now constrained into a particle-wave.
3. Atoms. Movement is now constrained into an orbit, or a smaller nucleus.
4. Molecules. Electrons now become further constrained in bonds between multiple atoms.
THE SEVEN SUBSTATES OF SPACE-TIME
1. One dimension.And obviously, that is as far as I can take it. Its as if each dimension becomes an additional "constraint", boxing us in the world of space-time. But suppose we take time to be the center, from which we have a frame of reference. When we have a frame of reference, there are not 3 dimensions, but six: left, right, up, down, forward, backward. And 3 + 1 + 3 = 7. Perhaps it can be symbolized by this object:
2. Two dimensions.
3. Three dimensions.
Which of course, is the Jewish menora, which was always lit in front of the Holy of Holies.
Let us take the second dimension, and assume we can divide that further into seven further substates. What are the seven substates of the second dimension? At one point, Arthur Young starts to relate each level to a different geometric object: a point, a line, a plane, and a tetrahedron. He eventually links everything together in the donut shape of a torus. I wondered why he did not relate each level to a conic section. How many conic sections are there? This was first investigated, as far as we know, by ancient Greek philosophers, but is probably based on earlier knowledge from Egypt:
So there are four conic sections, which intersect the double cone, right? Wrong. There are seven. If a plane intersects the exact middle of the cones, we get a point. If the plane happens to lie exactly on the edge of a cone, we get a line. If a plane cuts the double cone in the middle, we get a plane, in the shape of two triangles. The seven conic sections are:
1. PointAnd, if we squeeze the diameter of the circle we end up with a point all over again.
Thus, when you add space-time as another level of existence, we can now organize our concepts of geometry into this system. The reason why I touch a bit on conic sections, is that the ancient Pythagorans used math as an introductory subject to introduce students into higher spiritual topics. In Young's theory, each degree or level can be divided into seven sub-degrees or levels. It is a beautiful theory. After you see this, you will want to remember all that stuff you learned in school and then forgot since you never used it.
One side note: I have created seven substates of the second substate (the second dimension) of the first plane of existence (space-time). Thus, it is quite possible that each of the other substates can be further classified into seven sub-substates. Thus when Young takes light, and divides its wave-lengths into seven states, he may very well be correct.
THE HIGG'S BOSON AND SCALAR PHYSICS
The Higg's Boson was a new particle discovered in 2012 - and at first I thought, so what? Billions of dollars spent to find that? But having read up on it in light of my thoughts on this theory, it is a bit strange. The Higg's Boson is responsible for providing mass to all other particles. Or, to put it another way, the Higg's Boson is an excited state of the Higg's field, and it is this field which provides all particles mass. Its as if the Higg's field is the "stuff" that space is made of. So that is why I did not include it among the seven subatomic substates. Unlike the other bosons, however, the Higg's Boson has a spin of zero. And then I read this interesting statement from Wikipedia, on what the discovery of the Higg's Boson means:
Proof of a scalar field such as the Higgs field would be hard to over estimate: "[The] verification of real scalar fields would be nearly as important as its role in generating mass".  Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of the LHC project, stated in a 2011 talk on the Higgs field:
- "All the matter particles are spin-1/2 fermions. All the force carriers are spin-1 bosons. Higgs particles are spin-0 bosons (scalars). The Higgs is neither matter nor force. The Higgs is just different. This would be the first fundamental scalar ever discovered. The Higgs field is thought to fill the entire universe. Could it give some handle of dark energy (scalar field)? Many modern theories predict other scalar particles like the Higgs. Why, after all, should the Higgs be the only one of its kind? [The] LHC can search for and study new scalars with precision."
The Higg's Boson is also known as the "God particle." So the proof of its existence is like the Second Coming among the physicists: it opens up a whole new door of reality. Coincidentally, it was discovered in 2012 - so maybe those ancient Mayans were right. A scalar, as I understand it, is a mathematical concept where there is just a value associated with it. A scalar has no direction. The Higg's Boson, having a spin of 0, is a scalar "particle" - or a value on a scalar field. So this is why I do not put the Higg's Boson in the kingdom of the subatomic world: I put it in the kingdom of space-time, which may be a set of scalar fields. Particles in the subatomic kingdom in this theory have a spin of 1 or 1/2. And they have direction. Scalar particles, which have a spin of 0, do not belong in this level, but belong rather in the lower level of space-time.
If this is correct, then...there should be seven substates of scalar particles. At this point we are diving into some highly theoretical physics. One particle hypothesized is the graviscalar, or radion. Its an excitation of the gravitational field. Another reason why I put Higgs-Boson into the Space-Time level, below the subatomic. So discovery of the Higg's Boson is very important. It is the first discovery of a scalar particle - before that, scalars were just used in theory to help explain the physics. Who knows? Manipulation of scalar fields, in the future, could allow us to eventually jump through space-time.
It may not be necessary to postulate other scalar particles to fill in the gaps of the first plane of existence. When researching this matter, I came across an article entitled s-channel Higgs Physics beyond the Standard Model, by G.G. Boyarkina, published in Particle Physics at the Start of the New Millenium. I will quote:
"It is quite possible that the actual Higgs sector in nature has more than one doublet of Higgs bosons or has Higgs bosons in other multiplets. This is expected in many theories that go beyond the SM (Standard Model)."He continues further, and says:
"Let us consider the asymmetric LRM (left right model) (...) with the bidoublet and two triplets. After spontaneous symmetry violation we are left with the following Higgs bosons: 4 doubly charges scalars (...), 4 singly charged scalars (...), 4 neutral scalars (...) and 2 neutral pseudoscalars."So theoretically, it is quite possible that multiple types of Higgs-Bosons will be discovered. And apparently theories outside the Standard Model predict that as well. The Standard Model explains many things about particle physics, and even made several successful predictions of particles before they were discovered. However there are known exceptions. The problem is, from the way I see it, is that the plane of scalar fields is a separate discrete order from from the plane of subatomic particles. Its as if atoms and molecules are jumbled together, and scientists are trying to figure out laws that explain both. If it is recognized that this is a separate, prior, discrete order of existence, that may help solve a few problems where the Standard Model does not apply. We have to give up the idea that we are dealing with billiard balls in a space of nothing: at the lowest levels, we are dealing with scalar fields, and if enough energy is directed at a certain point in a scalar field it manifests itself as a "particle." But it is a lower discrete order of existence.
THE SEVENTH PLANE OF EXISTENCE
In Young's theory of the Reflexive Universe, the seventh state is just about completely blank. This is the state of existence beyond animals and man. Although he admits he has no idea what goes there, I think he is close to the truth when he started to fill in that gap with different states of consciousness. So what higher state exists beyond man? These are internal psychological states and ways of living. As a human develops, he/she will pass through discrete stages or planes of existence. And this is where Emanuel Swedenborg comes in. Like Arthur M. Young, Swedenborg was a scientist in search of the soul, and tried to make use of scientific knowledge in order to find it. He wrote a massive work entitled The Animal Kingdom...and then his scientific inquiry stopped. This is because his internal vision was opened, and he began to see visions of the spiritual world. And then these revelations started to explain the spiritual sense of the Bible. He went into reclusion, and came out with this massive multi-volume work, Heavenly Arcana (also known as Arcana Coelestia, meaning "Heavenly Secrets"). You will not hear of him in church. Because the visions explain where the modern Christian churches have turned away from God in their theology, and he does not mince his words. If we read the first sections of Heavenly Arcana, it begins with Genesis and he proceeds to provide the spiritual meaning of the seven days of creation. Readers will have probably noticed some similarities between the different planes of the theory of the Reflexive Universe and the first chapter of Genesis. In Heavenly Arcana, each "day" of creation is a state, and the seven days are seven states of spiritual regeneration. Man begins with his selfish ego, and the first state of regeneration is when he/she sees spiritual light: that one is a sinner, that any good inside of a person originates from a higher source: God. The light of the first day is the spiritual truth. When one accepts the truth, one passes into the second state, which is a state of temptation. Because the way one lives may not be aligned to the spiritual truth. Then temptation and conflict results. Higher and higher states are described further. If you read it, you can probably figure out what spiritual state you are in. Most do not even enter the first state, and many stay stuck there when they refuse to live by the truth.
The way Swedenborg interprets the literal sense of scripture is through symbols, a system he called "correspondences". Every thing, plant and animal in the universe corresponds to a higher spiritual state. Completely independently, Arthur M. Young also discovered that each substate of the different planes of existence correspond with each other. Young's theory of the Reflexive Universe is one and the same with Swedenborg's system of correspondences. The reason why Swedenborg could not find it, and Young could, is that in Swedenborg's day atoms and molecules were for the most part unknown, except theoretical postulates among philosophers. However, Young does not know how to deal with the seventh plane of existence, which is the spiritual state. And that is where the visions of Swedenborg comes in: it fills in the gap of the seventh state. Whoever revealed this stuff seems to have anticipated the roadblock that science would come to for the seventh plane of existence. Because the internal spiritual world is something that cannot be measured by science. They are internal psychological states, which we do not know until we experience them. And that is where psychologists come in, except their theories are not as systematic as what was revealed to Swedenborg: always it's one piece there, another piece over there. Just like physicists have just discovered the Higg's Boson: that is just another small piece of the puzzle.
So what does Swedenborg have to say how about the system of correspondences? A lot. This was knowledge well known to the ancients, knowledge that has been completely lost. Lets cover what he said about the fifth plane of existence, plants:
"I have spoken with angels concerning representatives, to the effect that there is nothing in the vegetable kingdom on the earth which does not in some way represent the Lord's kingdom. They said that all the beautiful and comely things in the vegetable kingdom, derive their origin through heaven from the Lord; and that when the celestial and spiritual things of the Lord flow in into nature, such things have actual existence; and that the vegetative soul or life is from this. Hence are representatives. Because this is not known in the world, it was called a heavenly arcanum" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1632).
"It has been given me to know from much experience, that in the natural world and its three kingdoms there is not the smallest thing which does not represent something in the spiritual world, or which has not something there to which it corresponds. Besides many other experiences, it was also made evident from the following. At a time when I was speaking of the viscera of the body, and was tracing their connection, from those which are of the head to those which are of the thorax, and so on to those which are of the abdomen, then angels above me led my thoughts through the spiritual things to which those viscera corresponded, and this so that there was not the least error. They did not think at all concerning the viscera of the body, of which I was thinking, but only concerning the spiritual things to which they corresponded. Such is the intelligence of angels that from spiritual things they know all and every one of the things which are in the body, even the most secret, which can never come to man's knowledge; and indeed all and every one of the things which are in the universal world, without fallacy; and this because from thence are causes, and the principles of causes.Throughout Swedenborg's visions, he also discusses the symbolic correspondences of animals, and every object and thing that appears in the Bible. Moreover, concepts are divided into discrete degrees, where one spiritual state must proceed the following state. He also speaks of planes of human development:
"The case is similar with the things in the vegetable kingdom; for not the smallest thing exists there which does not represent something in the spiritual world and correspond thereto, as has been frequently given me to know by like intercourse with angels. The causes also were told me, namely, that the causes of all natural things are from spiritual, and the principles of those causes from celestial; or, what is the same, that all things in the natural world derive their cause from truth which is spiritual, and their principle from good which is celestial, and that natural things proceed thence according to all the differences of truth and of good in the Lord's kingdom, thus from the Lord himself, from Whom is all good and truth. These things must needs appear strange, especially to those who cannot or will not ascend in thought beyond nature, and who do not know what the spiritual is, and therefore do not acknowledge it" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 2992-2993).
"Man's life after death is according to his voluntary part, not according to the intellectual. The will is being formed in a man by the Lord, from infancy to childhood; which is effected by innocence that is insinuated, and by fondness for parents, nurses, and children of about the same age; and by many other things which man knows nothing of, and which are celestial. Unless these celestial things were first insinuated into the man while an infant and a child, he could by no means become a man; in this way the first plane is formed.
"But as a man is not a man unless he is endowed also with understanding, will alone does not make the man, but understanding with will; and understanding cannot be procured except by learning and knowledges. He is therefore to be imbued with these by degrees from childhood; and in this way the second plane is formed. When the intellectual part has been instructed in learning and knowledges, especially in the knowledges of truth and good, then first the man can be regenerated; and when he is being regenerated, truths and good are then implanted by the Lord, by means of knowledges, in his celestial things with which he was gifted by the Lord from infancy; so that his intellectual things make one with the celestial; and when the Lord has so conjoined these, the man is gifted with charity, from which he begins to act; and this is of conscience. In this way he first receives a new life, and this by degrees. The light of this life is called wisdom, which then takes the first place, and is set over the intelligence. Thus the third plane is formed." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1555.2-3)
Man, the culmination of the sixth state of existence, then becomes the basis or foundation for spiritual development in the seventh. There is much that Swedenborg has to say about the seventh state of existence...innumerable in fact. Swedenborg once said that since God is infinite, in heaven there are infinite things. I will continue a bit more on Young's theory and Swedenborg in subsequent blogs.
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