This article proposes a theory of substantive dualism that defines a physical world in time, a mental world in eternity apart from time, and a connection between the two worlds through one-to-one correspondence. Human beings are born with a temporary physical body and an immortal spiritual body that houses the mind and its organic structures. At death the correspondence is broken and the mind becomes conscious of its own environment in the spiritual world. The afterlife is defined as a mental environment that is without physical space and time but is filled with permanent objects constructed of mental substances. The theory of substantive dualism and mental eternity suggests various novel and potentially useful implications regarding human consciousness and its elevation. Since there is only one mental world for the human race, every person has mental access to any other individual that was ever born. In this system three levels of consciousness are identified as natural, rational, and spiritual, defined in terms of external vs. interior activity of the mind. Heaven and hell are defined in terms of the activity of the will and understanding, and this is either positive and altruistic or selfish and hurtful to spiritual community.
|Keywords:||Mind-Body Interaction, Afterlife, Consciousness, Swedenborg, Dualism, Spiritual Correspondences, Immortality|
Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Hawaii, Kailua, HI, USA