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Lectures by Hugo Lj. Odhner


Chapter Six


1.    Origin of Society by Specializations of Uses.

          a.    The Family - a micropolis.  Society is its enlarged form.  Illustrated by the modern status of woman, owing to the domestic uses having been specialized into separate manufactures.

          b.    Interdependence of members of society through social needs and wants.

          c.    Two kinds of dominion furnish the motivation of social government.

                A. 10814,    P. 215.

                Patriarchal society.
                Communities - formed mostly for sake of protection.
                A. 81182
                U. 173-4  (Fifth Earth)  Contrast state in planet Mars, where prompt separation occurs of thos who think ill; descr. A. 7364
                Love of the world - a less dangerous motive than the love of rule from self.  H.D. 77.

          d.    Relative specialization of uses in the organisms of the animal kingdom.  Data and theories of "Emergent Evolution":  

            1) Nutrition and Reproduction the original and fundamental functions; the rest are specializations.  Motion?  Sensation?  

            2) Coordination of these by the brain.

              Illustrated by the alleged evolution of vision from pigment-spot (or heat-organ) on the skin; and of lungs from the swim[bladder of aquatic animals (e. g. lung fish).

          e.    Man the most specialized and complets, and thus his social life the most complex.

                The human form is the most perfect.  Balanced functions of the body.  The problem of vestigial organs.



                 The present danger is that the world of thought confirm itself in the habit of viewing the human form, not as the most perfect form towards which Providence ever leads, but as the accidental outcome of an unguided evolution.

                    Man's behavior would then be interpreted solely as of animal and physical origin, and human social and moral problems would be solved only in the light of animal necessities and animal instincts.  Creation then would not  be seen as reflexive of the human form, still less as imaging the Divine Human, but man and society would be seen full of parallels of animal forms and animal behavior.

                    Cp.  "Behaviorism"; and Sigmund Freud's Philosophy of Instincts and Inhibitions; and other modern symptoms.

2.    Plurality increases the Perfection of a Form.

    Thus we are told that it is instnded that the human race is to persist on all earths of the universe, because the perfection of heaven increases according to plurality.

      a.    "In proportion to the increase of numbers in that most perfect form (of heaven), there is given a direction and consent of more and more to unity, and therefore a more close and unanimous conjunction...
             "Everything is there inserted as a mediate relation between two or more, and what is inserted confirms and conjoins..."  J.12; cp. H. 51, 418.

      b.    "The correspondence of heaven to the things in man can never be infilled or completed."  H. 418.

          1.    Perfection in uses:  depends on the complexity of the organism.  Compare Protozoans with the mossusc and this with man.  A. C. 3624.

          2.    Perfection is predicated of conjunction.


                      Children confirm marriage.
                     Perfection of a child is less before the muscles and faculties are coordinated; MEDIA - new nerve cells for insulation of the fibres - at first these are lacking.
                      The wise and intelligent have more means of conjunction with all states.
                      Knowledges and things of wisdom: are MEDIA for approaching many uses and coordinating them.
                     NEW TRUTHS are signified by "Benjamin", and he also corresponds to the means of conjunction within the Grand Man.
              All mental growth depends on seeing new relations.  Perfections of    THOUGHT is attained through extension into new spiritual societies.


                                 [No "distant action" in the mind:]
              progresses in order from the rational, until it meets with uncertainty, or doubt, or ignoracne.  Then it bends about and traces its way out in some other direction, or else STOPS.  Thought, to be perfect, should be direct.  It is direct acording  as it is FULL of the means (i. e., Truths); thus according as it is complrc.

                ::    Hence it may be seen that numbers make for perfection, IF they have the consent to unify and thus (by true government) direction to unity.

                    The quality of a form is from the arrangement of the things within it, from their mutual respectiveness and their consent to unity.

                ::    Therefore all men are precious in the sight of the Lord - since they each bring a gift to the heavens - in their minds immortalizing the changing needs and beauties of the earth.

                    NOTE:    The evil, by dissociating themselves from heaven and from each other, steal the things of the memory for themselves.  Compare professional jealousy.  Their memories are not offered as ultimates for others (?)


          c.    Increase in numbers means -  ORGANIZATION, order - JUDGEMENT.

                  Evil obstructs the flow of communications and of mutual exchange by forging good.  The evil turn to themselves the current of life and misappropriate its power.  They give no consent to unity; and therefore there is need to remove such elements from HEAVEN, from SOCIETY, from the HUMAN MIND.

          d.    CONCLUSION;  Thus it is contrary to divine order to permit the world to be destroyed, or to cause to cease procreations from the human race.  But the Judgment that is necessary is the continual removal of evit so that the new elements of growth can take their appointed places in the ever more perfect  GRAND MAN of human  USES.

          e.    From the same principle it follows that all parts of the body do something for the common weal.  Cp. H. 64, etc.

3.    Society is the Greater Form of Man.

      a. Nature is the same in greatest and leasts.  W. 19.

      b. Each society of heaven reflects (refert) one man.  H. 68 (gen. art.)

      c.  The history of mankind (or of the Church) on our earth is like the history of one man.  E. 6414.

      d.  Every man subconsciously thinks of a collective body of men as of one man.  W. 24.

      e.  Illustrated by ADAM, NOAH, EBER, ISRAEL, "UNCLE SAM".

      f.  Some philosophers, with Henfy James, 1st, (letters, 1879), claim that "Society is the redeemed form of man".


              Does society regenerate man, or man society?

              Relation between Individualism and Socialism.

              Is there a soul in corporate society?

              Is society discretely higher than the individual?

              See H. K. 96, cp. 91ff; charity, 72-89.


4.    Lack of Absolute Truth in the Sociological Field.

        Compared with the exact science of Mathematics, whch gives a fair element of exactness to various fields of other sciences, sociology is admittedly lacking in exact data.  It deals with a realm influenced by human freedom - by the "personal equation".

      a.    The lack of sociological truth is the admitted weakness of "modern progress", See Meyer, "Seven Seals of Science" (1927), who compares the assurance of a garageman in putting together a wrecked car, with the hesitance of the statesman (p. 5).

      b.    The wisdom of life, in the Most Ancient Church, as now on Mars, Jupiter, etc., consisted in a perceptive sureness in coordinating all uses into a human form.


5.    Plato's  Concept of Society as a Human Form

    Three classes of citizens corresponded to the three faculties of man - all conspiring to unity.

      RATIONAL  -  "Guardians", Counselors, Magistrates.

      WILL             -  Warriors.

      APPETITIVE  -  Producers, Artisans, Merchants.  

      See also Plato's Republic.


6.    Pauline description of the Church as a Divine Body of Many Members.

I Cor. 12:12-27:

        "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many are one body; so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.

        "If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not of the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an ete, where were the hearing?  If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  

        "but now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now they are many members, yet one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

        "Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; and those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have not need.  But God hath tempered the body together, having given mor abundant honor to that part which lacked, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer all the members suffer with it; for one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.

        "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  And God hath set some in the church: first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, government, diversities of toungus.  Are all teacher< are All workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing<  Do all speak with tongues?  Do all interpret?  But covet Cearnestly the best gifts; and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."

        See also Rom. 12:4,5; I Cor. 10:17; and especially Eph. 4.

        NOTE:    The doctrine of membership, by communion, in the mystical body of Christ has ever persisted in the Christian Church, with widely different interpretative implications.

7.    Sociologhical Parallels with the Human Body.

    The most recent study of the parallelism between sociology and psychology is that of M. de la Grasserie in "L'Humanité Nouvelle", cited in Very's "Epitome of Swedenborg's Science", vol. II, pp. 343 seq.    We are aware how far this special parable is inspired from New Church thought.

    This author regards Society as an organism superior to the individual.  Sociology, he believes, rests on psychology, as this upon biology.  While history may be compared to the current record of the world's weather, sociology is like chemistry and physics and deals with the underlying principles that control the weather.

    The accompanying charts display his general analogies, but details are filled in, and certain revisions made, the object being not to present his views, but to stress the fecundity of the study of an analogy of society to the human body.



a. Internal Nutrition

b. Internal Reproduction

c. Connectives

d. Motive Powers





    Public conveyances
    Telegraph & Telephone
    Bills of Exchange

DISTRIBUTION: (by law of supply and demand)

     Wholesale and
    Retail trade
    Government aid - Secretions?


     Wealth (fat - tissue)
    Absorption of goods & products by the public


    Wasted human lives



    Cell division

Steady birth-rate

    Cell growth


     Specialization of tissues

Specialization of Uses






    answers to the sensation of hearing, sight and small [?] which foster unity in the individual.


    which create a higher cultural unity of common "tastes" (or perhaps "smell'?]


    propaganda, etc. moulding public opinion]

[Facilities of keeping in "touch"; geographic unity, etc.]







a.  Social Disease

b.  Social Monstrosities

c.  Social Therapeutics  and
d.  Social Hygiene


e.  Social Atavism

Criminal elements (germs

The incurably insane (cancer)

[Whan, from unjust distribution of rewards of labor (apathy, anaemia)]

[Wastefulness, luxury-conditions [effeminacy] (corpulence)]

[Prostitution, divorce, race-suicide (Epidemic, contagious diseases)]

[Unemployment (congestion)]

[Rebellions & class wars (fevers)]

Government Ownership for its own sake (fatty de-generation of the brain?)]


Ascetic Orders

All who undermine by teaching, etc., the morality, religion, marriages, etc. of a country.

Prisons and Penetentiaries

Social surgery (death penalty, life sentences)

Asylums, Workhouses

Public charity

Emergency relief, public and private

[Institutions for educational prevention or vice, ignorance, etc., in the social life.  The Church.]

Vagrancy and nomadic habits

Mendicancy and parasitism

Bribery and nepotism

Duels, vendettas, and Lynch-law

Mob-rule and unofficial governments by caste or wealth or labor-unions.

Government by force (militarism, etc.)




       What corresponds to the Brain and Nerves in Society are the potentially governing groups which inspire and guide the currants of government by learning, art, and political ability.  By these (according to de la Grasserie) the nation is moved, wills, and thinks, as a whole.  The author's original devesion is followed here, but modified by additions.

a.  Social Central Intelligence

b.  Social Sensation

c.  Social Will in Action

    The thinkers


    Public Opinion

[Rational conscience enlightened by Religion should actually be the Ruler of the State.  See H. D. 322, 323.]




    Sculpture and industrial arts




    especially as expressed through Representatives, through Press, and Free Speech.]

1.   Juridical principles and administration of statute laws.

2.   Administrative, constitutional, or political regulation of the human relations in society.  {Directs also all public works ?]

3.   Penal phenomena, punishments; Adjudication of rights.



Procuring of means for national progression and development

a. National Nutrition

b. National Reproduction

c.  National Connectives

d.  Power of nations


Exploitation of colonies

International commerce



Foundation of new states by:

    1.  Colonization

    2.  Secession

    3.  Fusion with neighboring states.









a.  National Pathology

b.  National deformities

c.  National therepeutics and
d.  National Hygiene

e. National Survivals


Injuries from foreign wars, from national sins.

Expulsion or repression of the best of the race by religious or political persecution or social revolution.


Un-assimilable races.

Unprogressive state of nation, industrially or socially.

Holding of foreign provinces.

Geographic anomalies.


Favorable treaties.


Lucrative enterprises under government control

Immigration of proper racial elements.

Peace conferences.

Centralization or decentralization of government.

Education of public opinion.

Public morality, with essential religious base.


Decretit nations.

Aggressive nations.

Jingoism and militarism.

Imperialistic militarism.




    These concern International phases of organization, and answer to a discretely higher government than the cerebral gland groups which control various organs.  As a ruling "state" is above the routine wperations of the cerebral cortex, so there are coordinating factors in international life that influence national governments.  These factors become organized into such movements as the Hague World Court, the League of Nations, the Conferences that have international scope, Labor Bureaus, commistic "Internationales, etc.


 9.    The Place of the Nations in the Human Form of theRace.

    That the various nations of earth have unknown spiritual representations even at this day according to their relationships to each other, and thus their special places in the Grand Man of uses, is taught in D. P. 2513, 4, where it is explained why the Lord does not check wars until one side has become exhausted.  A nation is necessary as long as it  can serve for the representation of a spiritual use.  Victories of unjust men and unjust nations accur; for "in heaven there is a spiritual justice to a cause and in the world a natural justice, and these ar conjoined by means of a connection between things past and things future that is known to the Lord aloine."  (P. 252).

    "All wars, however much they may belong to civil affairs, represent heaven the states of the Church, and are correspondences.  Such were all the wars described in the Word, and such also are all wars at this day...  Each nation with which the Sons of Isreal waged war signified some particular kind of evil....  Like things are represented by the wars of the present day, wherever they occur; for all things that take place in the natural world correspond to spiritual things in the spiritual world, and everything spiritual has relation to the Church.  It is not known in this world what kingdoms in Christendom answer to the Moabites and Ammonites, what to the Syrians and  Philistines, or what to the Chaldeans and Assyrians and the others with whom the Sons of Israel waged war; and yet there are those that do answer to them.  Moreover, what the quality of the Church upon earth is, and what the evils are into which it falls, and for which it is punished by wars, cannot at all be seen in the natural world,...but this is seen in the spiritual world...and there all are conjoined in accordance with their various states.  The conflicts of these in the spiritual world correspond to wars, which are governed by the Lord on both sides corespondentially, in accordance with His Divine Proviedence..."  (D. P. 251).


    The arrangement of the nations in the spiritual world before and at the time of the Last Judgement (1757), illustrates their representative places in the Grand Man.


 10.     Each Age of a Civilization is aubdivisible into Periods analogous to the Ages of a Man's Life.

    This is seen by common perception, and needs no illustration

    Professor Frank W. Very attempts such an analogy in respect to the present civilization:

      Feudal Age:

        Obediance to authority.

      Capitalistic Stage:

        Each man for himself, rivalry,

      Socialistic Stage:

        Adult age;
        Cooperative enterprise,and beginnings of  Altruism;
        and disorders corresponding to the changes occurring.

      The Final Era

        he believes to be a "Celestial Age", the "Commune of Christ", and to correspond to Eternal Life.  But he deprecates attemps to carry it into premature effect now, since a youth "cannot suddenly develop the wisdom of age".  (Epitome, vol. II, p. 380).
            For his ideas of this final age, without money rewards or selfishness, see the cited work.

End of Chapter Six