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The subject of the Human Mind is treated in these essays without pretense of covering all aspects of man's mental constitution. But it is to be hoped that behind the topics here considered there should emerge the new view of man's place in the cosmic whole, which unfolds in the Writings of the New Church and which it takes human minds to envision. There is need for a further study of the relation of the Will to the Understanding, as presented in The Divine Love and Wisdom. Another set of teachings could be brought out if the Human Mind were considered with more specific reference to the processes of man's regeneration. Some other articles by the present writer may be recommended as supplemental reading. The subject of the Will and its development is treated of in NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1946, pages 465-479, under the title "The Mystery of the Human Will." In the same journal there is an article on the nature of "Spiritual Thought" (1935, pp. 309-319), and another on the relation of spirits to the human mind "Where Two Worlds Meet" (1952, pp. 509-519). The philosophic problem of the relation of mind and body is reviewed in an address "Mind and Body and the Problem of their Interaction" (NEW CHURCH LIFE, 1930, pp. 633-658) -and in several articles in THE NEW PHILOSOPHY "The Spiritual and the Natural" (1962, pp. 1-14), "Swedenborg and the Cartesians" (1959, pp. 33-43), and "Space and Spiritual Extense" (1958, pp. 301-314). The relations of spirits with human minds are more fully discussed in the book SPIRITS AND MEN (Academy Book Room, 1958). The first six chapters of the present study appeared as a series of articles in THE NEW PHILOSOPHY, 1954-1955. Chapters VII-X are here added, leading up to a study of the interior degrees of the mind. Little has been said in these articles about the "New Psychology" which -since Freud has revolutionized the professional study of the nature of man and the "subconscious" realm of his mind. The present writer, forty-one years ago, expressed his reaction to this movement, in comparison with the teachings of the Writings, in an address which is printed in the JOURNAL OF EDUCATION of the Academy of the New Church, under the title "The Subconscious as a Factor in Education." (Vol. XXIII, pp. 185-203) Since the things there said seem valid today, this address is added to our list of references. No effort is made in these essays to relate Swedenborg's psychology to the presently predominant semantics of Existentialism. But underlying Swedenborg's system is the concept that man's essence and chief determinant is the super-sensible Soul through which the Lord endows him with the faculties of liberty and rationality; while this human essence finds its individuation and existential expression in the Mind, which is formed by responsible acts of choice or free will.

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On several topics I have benefitted by consultations with some of my colleagues in the Academy of the New Church. To the Swedenborg Scientific Association I am most grateful for its generous sponsorship of the book. And to my friend Mr. Lennart O. Alfelt I am deeply indebted for his assistance in editing the proofsheets.


Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1969

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