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 THE HUMAN ORGANIC
The Philosophy of Structure and Function as seen in the light of the New Church
and illustrated by Swedenborg's philosophy

Lecture Notes by Hugo Lj. Odhner,, Phil 10, A.N.C
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1940, Revised 1964


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EDITOR'S NOTE
This version of The Human Organic Notes by Hugo Lj. Odhner is scanned primarily from the 1964 revision.  However, various other copies were available from other versions that have been incorporated because of useful content or better images.  There are various systems of page numbering as a result.   Many of Dr. Odhner's marginal notes and attachment are available in his own copy, which has been scanned  in graphics images on compact disk and can be viewed in the ANC Swedenborg Library by students who wish to pursue the subject in more depth.  Scanning of this on-line version was initiated by Mr. Jim Weaber for Mr. Charles Cole, and continued by me.  Oliver R.Odhner. 

INTRODUCTORY

    The following NOTES are presented as reference material for study in connection with lectures on Swedenborg's concepts of the Human Organic.
 

    The citations and summaries which are taken from Swedenborg's physiological and psychological works are selected in the endeavor to analyze and interpret the concepts there presented. But the student should take notice of the fact that Swedenborg's position in various stages of his study was subject to later modification and was not crystallized with finality, and that details were sometimes inconclusive and tentative. This is noticeable in the comparative views as to the immortal function of the "pure intellectories" taken in the Economy of the Animal Kingdom and in the Rational Psychology; and also in the expansion of the idea of the "soul" or "spirit" in the Writings. Students should therefore be ready to recognize that the term "soul" (to take one important instance) has been used by Swedenborg in several senses. See appendix to these notes concerning various uses of the term "soul" in Swedenborg's Writings.
 

    Swedenborg's physiological data and theories are presented in these NOTES without prejudice to the findings of modern neurologists, but with the conviction that his philosophy cannot be grasped apart from an understanding of his physiological premises.
 

    References to the RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY are the numbering of the Sewall English version, not to that of the Rogers-Acton version.

Hugo Lj. Odhner
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
1945
TEACHING NOTES

The Tissues, Organs, And Viscera, and their spiritual correspondences. The correspondences of the alimentary canal, in detail. The Thoracic viscera and the blood. The endocrine system, and the vital functions of the Pituitary Gland.

The Brain and the Nervous System, described in general.

The Connection between Mind and Body. The operation of the soul in the Body. The universality of purpose or use (teleology).
The principle of series and order, and the doctrine of  Discrete Degrees and trines. The doctrine of Forms (morphology).

The Origin and Nature of the "Spirituous Fluid." Swedenborg's Search for the Soul. The organization of the cortical substance. The cortical "glands", the "simplest fibres", and the circulation of the vital fluids.

The Brain as the Basis of the Mind. The brain as Common Sensory. Physical basis of Memory And Imagination. The Pure Intellectories as the seat of Intuition. The Rational Mind and thought Relations of the Pure Intellectory to the animus and to paternal heredity. Perversions of the Spirituous Fluid, and its relation to the immortal mind.

The Immortal Mind As Organic. The spiritual embodiment of the mind. Identity of mind and spirit. The spirit is in the human form. The inmost 'soul' as the first receptacle of life from God.

Relation of Soul and Body. The philosophical question of dualism. Theories of "influx". Swedenborg's solution of the problem of the intercourse of soul and body: the Conatus Theory. The historic theories of the relation of mind and body examined. A summary statement of the New Church doctrine concerning the formation of man's immortal mind (or spirit) and its influx into the body.

 Requirements. Phil. 1 (Introduction to Philosophy) is a prerequisite as well as a senior High School course in the Human Body or an equivalent anatomy course. Usually about six papers are required, and a written examination is given at the end of each semester.

In 1961-62 The topics of the papers were:
Oct. - What is Philosophy?
Nov. - What has Philosophy accomplished?
Dec. - Heredity
Jan. - The Human Form of Society
Feb. - The Spiritual Correspondences of the Digestive System
May - The Mind and its Connections with the Brain. (term thesis covering three months material.)

 Self evaluation.

The course would be more effective if more time were allowed than the present two periods a week, and/or if the instructor could demand more extensive assignments on the part of the students. The course is frankly intended for those who wish to have a better understanding of the Writings of the New Church and the light they shed on the nature of man. It is therefore especially useful to future teachers, doctors, and ministers. Although of value as a part of a liberal education, it is expected that few colleges would accept it for credit, because of its primary stress on Swedenborg's philosophy.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART ONE

INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION

  Chapter I. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
What is Philosophy?
 Section A
pp.
A.What Philosophy is not 1
B. How Philosophy arises 2
C. The Scope of Philosophy 2
D. Definitions of Philosophy 3
E. The Philosophic Attitude 4
F. Philosophy and the Individual 5
G. Philosophical Doctrines 5
H. The Central Concept of a New Church Philosophy - Philosophical Doctrines in the Writings 6-7

Chapter II. WHAT PHILOSOPHY HAS ACCOMPLISHED: A survey of the History of Philosophy

Chapter III. THE CENTRAL PROBLEM OF PHILOSOPHY
A. The Mechanistic Theory
B. The Vitalistic View
C. The Theory of Emergent Evolution

Chapter IV. ORGANIC FORMS AND THEIR ORIGIN
A. What is Meant by 'Organic Forms'.
B. Origin of Organic Forms

Chapter V. DEGREES: ELEMENTAL AND ORGANIC

PART TWO

THE HUMAN BODY IN GENERAL

Chapter I. THE ORIGIN OF THE HUMAN FORM

Chapter II. THE SOUL AS A FORMATIVE SUBSTANCE

A. The Soul as a Spiritual Substance
B. The Term "Soul" is also applied to a Purest Natural Substance Which Serves the Spiritual Soul as a Formative Essence in the Body
C. Procreation By Seed in the Natural World

Chapter III. THE PATERNAL SEED

Chapter IV. HEREDITY

Chapter V. FORMATION OF THE BODY
A. The Doctrine of the "Economy"
B. The Cell-Theory versus the Fibre-Theory
C. The Formation of the Organs
D. The State of the Fetus

Chapter VI. BIRTH

Chapter VII. GENERAL TEACHINGS ABOUT THE BODY OF MAN

Chapter VIII. THE BODY AS A WHOLE: The Study of Man

Chapter IX. CORRESPONDENCE OF THE BODY TO THE LARGER FORM OF SOCIETY AND TO THE GRAND MAN OF HEAVEN
A. History Of The Concept Of The Grand Man
B. The Human Form In The Collective
C. The Heavens and the Church in a Complex Represent One Man
D. General Correspondences of the Grand Man
E. What Spirits Belong to the Grand Man
F. Correspondence of the Organism with the Commonwealth

Chapter X. General Divisions of the Body and the Grand Man

PART THREE

THE TISSUES, ORGANS, AND VISCERA

Chapter I. THE ULTIMATES OF THE BODY
A. The Bones and Cartilages
B. The Skin and the Hair
C. The Muscles

Chapter II. THE ABDOMINAL VISCERA
A. The Alimentary Canal in General
B. The Lips
C. The Mouth
D. The Teeth
E. The Tongue
F. The Oesophagus
G. The Stomach
H. The Small Intestines
I. The Peritoneum
J. Chyle
K. The Liver
L. The Cecum and Vermiform Appendix
M. The Large Intestines

Chapter III. THE THORACIC VISCERA AND THE BLOOD
A. The Heart
B. The Blood
C. Circulation, Resolution and Purification of the Blood
D. The Lungs
E. The Glands

Chapter IV. THE BRAIN AND THE NERVES
A. The Nervous System
B. The Cerebrum
C. Blood Supply of the Brain
D. The Cerebellum
E. Pons Varolii
F. Fluids of the Cerebrum and the Cerebellum
G. Motion of the Brains and its Effects
H. Correspondences of the Brain
I. Sensory and Motor Nerves; Action; Sensation
J. The Nerve Impulse

PART FOUR

THE CONNECTIONS OF BODY AND MIND

Chapter I. THE OPERATION OF THE SOUL IN THE BODY
A. The Principle of Use (Teleology)
B. The Principle of Series, Order, and Degrees
C. The Doctrine of Correspondences and Representatives
D. The Doctrine of Man as Microcosm
E. The Law of Influx
F. Equilibrium In the Body
G. The Doctrine of Forms

Chapter II. ORIGIN AND NATURE OF THE SPIRITUOUS FLUID
A. Swedenborg's search for the Soul
B. The "First Aura" and the Spirituous Fluid

Chapter III. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CORTICAL GLAND
A. Each Cortical Gland is Similar to the Brain as a Whole
B. The Various Elements of the Cortical Glands
C. Circulation of the Vital Fluids in the Cerebral Cortex
D. Degrees Within the Cortical Glands

Chapter IV. THE BRAIN AS THE BASIS OF THE MIND
A. The Spirituous Fluid and the Soul
B. The Brain as a Common Sensory
C. Imagination, Memory, and Recollection
D. The Pure Intellect and the Mixed Intellect
E. Teaching of the "Rational Psychology" about the Soul and the "Spiritual Mind"
F. After-Death Functions of the "Spirituous Fluid"
G. Teaching of the Theological Writings on the Memory and the "Limbus"
H. The Human Mind and its Connection with the Spiritual World

Chapter V. THE SPIRITUAL ORGANIC
A. The Spirit or Soul is Organic
B. The Bodies of Spirits and Angels
C. The Human Internal, "Soul", or "Inmost"

Chapter VI. THE RELATION OF SOUL AND BODY
A. Theories Concerning the Intercourse of Soul and Body
B. How the Soul Can Act on the Body

Chapter VII. ANCIENT AND MODERN CONCEPTS ABOUT THE
SOUL AND THE MIND
A. Theories
B. Criticism
C. The Solution Offered in the Writings
 
    The Human Organic Guide to Illustrations
Part/Chapter
Description
1 / I
The relationship of various studies to the Divine Human.
1 / IV
Charts of Degrees
2 / III
Illustrations of the supposed functions of the centrioles of the spermatozoon.
2 / III
Cell division in male and female germ plasms.
2 / V
Blood Corpuscle
2 / V
Representation of a Cell.
2 / IX
The Human Kingdom
3 / III
Nutrition and Purification of the Blood
3 / III
Malpighian Corpuscles
3 / IV
Central and Autonomic Nervous System
3 / IV
Chief Ganglionic Regions of the Brain and Median Section of the Brain
3 / IV
Corpora Striata
3 / IV
Comparative Nomenclature of the Cranial Nerves
3 / IV
Relation of Action and Sensation
3 / IV
Diagram of Typical Reflex Circuit
3 / IV
Membrane Theory of Nerve Impulse
4 / I
Influx into Nature and its Kingdoms
4 / I
Forms of the Universe
4 / I
Comparative terms used to express the relation between spirit and mortal body.
4 / II
An interpretation of Swedenborg's concept of the Cortical gland.
4 / III
Diagram of Nerve Sections
4 / III
Relation of Organic Tissues to Finites and Elements
4 / V
Functional adjustments in mental degrees.

4 / V

Interiors of man which do not die.
4 / V
Relations of Mind and Body

Click here for Bibliography


End preliminaries.
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