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ZeusActs 1-12 and the Near Future

Lorin Friesen, December 2021

This is a 380 page cognitive analysis of the first twelve chapters of the book of Acts.

I have gone through over half of the New Testament in the original Greek and have posted essays based upon this analysis. This analysis has led to three major conclusions regarding biblical prophecy: 1) Every New Testament book that I have examined so far makes sense as a single, connected prophetic sequence. The New Testament does not just contain prophetic passages. Instead, it appears that the entire New Testament, and possibly the entire Bible, is prophetic. 2) Whoever wrote the Bible knows a lot about the mind. The prophetic sequences that emerge from the Biblical books make rational sense as sequences of cognitive development. The phrase ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ from Romans 12:2 is often quoted, but this is not just a slogan. Instead, it is a deep characteristic of the New Testament. 3) So-called ‘biblical end-time prophecy’ has very little to do with the Bible. Instead, it is primarily a mindset of Christian fundamentalism being imposed upon the Bible. If such prophecy really were based in the Bible, then it could be altered by an analysis of what the Bible says. The essay on the book of Matthew shows that chapters 2-24 make sense as a detailed description of Western history, extending from the Roman era until beyond the present. This correspondence is shown in a 640 page essay that looks at the original Greek text and compares this in detail with the events of Western history. I do not know how it is possible to come up with a more persuasive Biblical argument than showing that an entire gospel is a prophecy of all of Western history. But I have had essentially no response from Bible-believing Christians. Instead, I have seen many of these Christians embracing conspiracy theories, possibly backed up by a few verses—or even words—taken at random out of the New Testament. I conclude that so-called ‘biblical end-time prophecy’ has very little to do with the Bible. (I have examined fundamentalism and conspiracy theories in an academic paper.) I have also put together a tentative prophetic timeline that lines up previous prophetic essays with this essay on Acts.

This essay starts by quoting, as usual, from the NASB. The NASB is pretty close to the original Greek if one ignores all the added words that are in italics and uses all the literal translations from the footnotes. The NASB is also a well known translation. Thus, any quote from the NASB will indicate which words the NASB places in italics and will also use all of the footnotes that begin with ‘lit’. Footnotes that are preceded by ‘or’ will probably not be used. Saying this more clearly, if a word in a NASB quote is in italics, that means that it is in italics in the NASB to indicate that it is not present in the original Greek text but has been added to make the English more readable.

However, partly through this essay, I became sufficiently frustrated with the NASB to start using the Berean Literal Bible (BLB). There is also a Berean Study Bible but I do not have experience with that translation. The BLB is not well known but I found when using it in this essay that it is closer to the original Greek than the NASB. As usual, the Greek meanings will be taken from biblehub. Biblehub quotes from standard Bible dictionaries but also includes a HELPS Word-studies on many Greek words which I have found to be helpful. I have included all the links to the Greek meanings at biblehub.

I have repeatedly found that the NASB (and other translations) slightly mistranslate the original Greek in order to make the text fit a purely historical interpretation. (That is why I switched from the NASB to the BLB partway through this essay.) In contrast, I have found that a literal translation of the Greek words is consistent with a cognitive interpretation. I am not suggesting that existing Bible translations are wrong but rather that they are slightly wrong. The fact that a cognitive interpretation is truer to the original text than a historical reading provides strong evidence that a cognitive interpretation is appropriate. I have found this principle to be true in every New Testament book that I have analyzed. Saying this more simply, using mental symmetry to analyze the New Testament is more consistent with the Greek text than the official translations of the Bible. I am not claiming to know Greek better than a Bible translator. On the contrary, I am looking to Bible scholars for the meanings of the Greek words. Instead, I am observing that the mindset of absolute truth combined with a focus upon the historical Jesus has caused Bible translators to (slightly) mistranslate the New Testament. The experts are not using the Greek definitions that they themselves provide.

The book of Acts also appears to be a prophetic sequence. It is possible that the entire book is prophetic. However, this essay will not attempt to analyze the missionary journies of Paul. That is because Acts appears to start with the present time and then extend into the future. The future tends to be more difficult to analyze than the past or the present.

Before beginning, I should add a word of warning. This essay will attempt to analyze biblical prophecy from a cognitive perspective. We will be examining an ancient religious text in a detailed manner that will start fairly normal but end up reading like a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and alien disclosure. I think that my analysis is accurate, but it is very important to remain mentally grounded when thinking about a future that is so radically different than the present. I have spent decades thinking carefully about how the mind functions and how it should function. These are lasting principles that will remain the same no matter what happens in the future. Therefore, please remember when reading this essay that the goal remains mental wholeness. Going further, I do not spend all my time studying biblical prophecy. Instead, I divide my time between studying the Bible and studying a secular subject that is grounded in physical reality such as physics, chemistry, neurology, economics, or history. Even though these two areas are regarded as vastly different, I have found that the same cognitive analysis can be applied to both the Bible and to secular subjects. The methodology that I use is based in analogies. However, it is vital to use analogies in a semi-rigorous manner. Pre-scientific thinking such as alchemy used non-rigorous analogical thought and the result was a mixture of insight and garbage. Above all, do not read this essay as escapist fantasy. My personal goal is to see if there is some way out from the political, religious, economic, and environmental mess of current society. We are very close to reaching the point where no natural solution will suffice. The only option that remains is to explore supernatural solutions, which means plunging into an analysis of a possible future while attempting to remain sane and grounded.

Finally, treating the book of Acts as prophecy does not eliminate its role as a history of the early church. Even when this essay on Acts starts reading like science fiction, the analysis will still be guided by cognitive principles. I am quite certain that the original people back in Roman times were going through similar cognitive struggles and asking similar questions with similar emotional intensity. By the same token, all of the cognitive principles described in this essay apply at all times. Thus, it is possible to apply this essay to one’s personal life, even when reading the parts that feel like science fiction. In fact, the only reason that I can analyze the book of Acts from a cognitive perspective is because I have gone through similar struggles in my personal walk of personal transformation.

The essay has been divided into two parts because of length.

Table of Contents

1:1-3 Introduction

1:4-5 A New Baptism

1:6-8 A New Kingdom

1:9-11 The Ascension

1:13-14 The Disciples

1:15-17 Rethinking Worship

1:18-20 The Path of Mysticism

1:21-26 A Replacement for Mysticism

2:1-2 The Day of Pentecost

2:3-4 Tongues

2:5-8 A Religious Response

2:9-13 A Spreading Audience

2:14-16 Peter’s Sermon

2:17-18 The Prophecy of Joel

2:19-21 Signs and Wonders

2:22 A New Concept of Jesus

2:23-24 The Plan of Jesus

2:25-28 The Beloved Look Forward

2:29-31 Placing David in Perspective

2:32-33 An Exalted Jesus

2:34-36 The Limitations of David

2:37-40 The Audience Repents

2:41-43 The Start of a New Society

2:44-47 Regarding Things as Common

3:1-3 The Lame Man at the Temple

3:4-7 Healing the Lame Man

3:8-10 Rethinking Religious Self-Denial

3:12-14 Peter Preaches Transformation

3:15-17 Jesus the Savior

3:18-21 Repentance to Salvation

3:22-26 A New Prophet

4:1-4 Religious Authority Intervenes

4:5-7 A Religious Conference on a New Day

4:8-12 The Rejected Cornerstone

4:13-18 Suppression from the Religious Leadership

4:19-22 Following God rather than People

4:23-26 Leaving Existing Religious Structure

4:27-31 Turning from the Past to the Future

4:32-37 A Complete Spiritual Economy

5:1-6 Ananias

5:7-11 Sapphira

5:12-16 A Spreading Spiritual Economy

5:17-20 Jealousy from the Previous Priesthood

5:21-26 An Inter-Religious Conference

5:27-32 Redefining Religious Authority

5:33-40 The Religious Leadership Splits

5:41-42 A Fully Independent Movement

6:1-4 Religious versus Scientific Culture

6:5-7 The List of Deacons

6:8-10 The Success of Stephen

6:11-15 The Synagogue of Freedmen Responds

Part 2

Introduction 1:1-3

Acts follows the gospel of Luke. I have not examined Luke in detail. I know that Matthew describes Western history. I do not know what Luke describes, but if Acts starts in the present and Acts follows Luke, then logic would suggest that Luke corresponds to Western history. However, a quick look at Luke did not reveal any obvious historical sequence.

Verse 1 also seems to indicate the gospel of Luke precedes Acts. “The first account I made, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach.” The word ‘account’ is literally logos, which ‘is a broad term meaning reasoning expressed by words’. Logos is interpreted in these essays as a reference to the paradigm of some technical specialization—the general verbal theory that lies behind some system within abstract technical thought. This is backed up by John 1:1, which refers to Jesus as the logos, or living word. Incarnation is analyzed in detail in other essays. The basic concept is that incarnation connects personal experiences in Mercy thought with a concept of God in Teacher thought. This is done in the mind by the combination of abstract technical thought and concrete technical thought. Abstract technical thought is related to a concept of Christ while concrete technical thought is related to a concept of Jesus.

Make means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. Thus, ‘making a logos’ would mean using Server actions to form the Teacher theory of a paradigm. This is cognitively interesting because it describes the exemplars of science rather than the beliefs of Christianity. Christianity uses primarily Perceiver facts of belief to build an understanding of incarnation. Science, in contrast, uses the Server actions of exemplars to form an understanding of incarnation. This is not ‘ salvation by works’ but rather means discovering science by the doing of experiments, and learning science by the doing of characteristic problems.

The word Theophilus combines ‘theos’ with ‘philos’ and is used at the beginning of Luke and here at the beginning of Acts. Agape love describes godly love that is driven by Teacher understanding. Phileo love is ‘friendship’, which describes being comfortable with someone. Theophilus implies thinking and behaving the way that God thinks and behaves. Someone who worships God or denies themselves for God is not a Theophilus, because there is no meaningful interaction between personal identity and God. Using a military analogy, Theophilus implies fraternization and officers do not fraternize with enlisted men. Similarly, someone who insists that God’s ways are incomprehensible to human minds is also not a Theophilus. One cannot interact meaningfully with nothingness. It was suggested in the first paragraph of this essay that biblical books make cognitive sense. That describes a mindset of Theophilus. Going further, ‘making a logos’ implies that approaching Biblical books as Server sequences makes it possible to come up with technical paradigms of what biblical books are saying.

Verse 1 adds that this logos is based upon ‘all that Jesus began to do and teach’. Began means to ‘begin’. If Jesus ‘began’, then this means that he started something which needs to be completed. This relates to the difference between Jesus and Christ. Jesus lived as a finite human being at a specific time and place within history. Jesus provided a starting point for both Server and Perceiver thought. ‘Do’ refers to Server actions while teach means to ‘instruct, impart knowledge’. In other words, one needs to go beyond the specific actions and teachings of Jesus to a general concept of Christ. This transition from Jesus to Christ will be described in verse 9 in the Ascension when Jesus ascends to heaven.

Verse 2 explicitly says that the focus upon the specific person of Jesus will come to an end. “Until the day when He was taken up to heaven.” ‘To heaven’ is not in the original Greek. Taken up means ‘pick up, take on board’. It is used thirteen times in the New Testament and six of these refer to something or someone going from earth to heaven. Until means ‘as far as, up to’. Day means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’ and is interpreted in these essays as some era during which a worldview or general theory throws light upon the landscape of society. Thus, some era will arrive when the focus upon the specific person of Jesus will come to an end. This describes current society. The focus used to be on following the example of Jesus. This has been replaced by a universal drive to submit to the paradigms of technical thought. Almost every skill or profession is now accredited or certified. (I suspect that there are major days and shorter days, which means that society goes through major shifts as well as smaller shifts. However, the ‘days’ also appear to be getting shorter because international telecommunications causes trends to come and go much faster.)

Verse 2 describes what happens before this transition. “After He had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen.” The word ‘after’ gives the impression that one is following the other, but the Greek says that ‘having given orders... he was taken up’, implying that what is happening before the transition is enabling the transition. Given orders means ‘to command, emphasizing the end-objective’. These commands are not to everyone but rather to the apostles, which means ‘one commissioned by another to represent them in some way’. Paul discusses what it means to be an apostle in 1 Corinthians. In brief, an apostle is a trailblazer who introduces a major new facet of some system. For instance, Paul was an apostle because he introduced the new idea of theology, which made it possible for Christianity to spread beyond Judaism to the Gentiles. Thus, giving orders to the apostles would mean setting the direction for a group of people who are going to bring major changes to the existing focus upon Jesus. The reference to apostles in the plural implies that this change will involve several major breakthroughs.

The word by means ‘through’. This is the first reference in Acts to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will play the major role in 2:4 during the Day of Pentecost. Holy means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. Spirit means ‘wind, breath, spirit’. Spirit is something invisible that relates to Mercy thought, wind is something within the Teacher realm of air that is felt by—and affects—the Mercy realm of physical objects, while breath is a personal movement of air that indicates life. Looking at this cognitively, spirit relates to Platonic forms. A Platonic form emerges within Mercy thought as an indirect result of Teacher understanding. Teacher thought comes up with general theories that summarize the purified and simplified essence of some situation. A Platonic form is an imaginary image within Mercy thought that exhibits this purified and simplified essence.

Putting this within the context of the Ascension, society is associating Christianity with the physical person of Jesus: he is the example to follow; he is the founder of Christianity; his self-sacrifice sets the standard for idealistic behavior; the episodes of his physical life set the calendar for Christianity. But what Jesus began to do and teach only provide the starting point for a more complete concept of incarnation which goes beyond Jesus to include Christ. This more complete concept includes what is known about Jesus, but it generalizes from the character of Jesus to form a concept of Christ. This transition from Jesus to Jesus Christ cannot be theoretically driven by Teacher thought, because there is no theory of Christ at the beginning of Acts. This means that the transition from Jesus to Jesus Christ has to be driven by a concept of the Holy Spirit in Mercy thought. Various individuals are gaining sufficient Teacher understanding to get an internal picture of a Christianity that is more perfect and more ideal. These individuals are apostles because they are all being driven by a sense that they have been ‘given orders’ to make a breakthrough in some direction. And these Platonic forms of the Spirit are causing these apostles to go in a direction that is different than the world and like the Lord.

These apostles are then being chosen, which means ‘to select out of, by a highly deliberate choice’. This relates to Matthew 22:14, which says that ‘many are called but few are chosen’. The idea is that only some of the candidates for apostleship are following this path to the extent of becoming apostles. Saying this another way, many are being enrolled in a school of apostleship, but only some are graduating. These graduates are being chosen.

The verb ‘taken up’ is at the beginning of the English sentence, but it is the final word of verse 2 in the Greek. Thus, the breakthroughs being made by these various apostles are making it possible to extend beyond a concept of Jesus to a more general concept of Jesus Christ. The word taken up means both ‘take up’ and ‘take on board’. The implication is that something exists within abstract thought to which the concrete concept of Jesus can be taken up or taken on board. Looking at this cognitively, incarnation uses technical thought, and technical thought is always based upon some less rigorous foundation. A technical specialization does not emerge out of the blue. Instead, it begins when some existing body of knowledge is made more rigorous. The apostles are creating this body of knowledge by making various breakthroughs guided by the Holy Spirit. Eventually, a critical mass is reached where it becomes possible to think in a rigorous manner about Christ, rather than merely extrapolate from the biblical description of the historical person of Jesus.

There is also a ‘taking on board’. Mental symmetry illustrates what this means. Whenever I look for an illustration of some aspect of Christ the abstract side of incarnation, I usually do not find this illustration in historical Christianity, because it is too fixated upon the person of Jesus. Instead, I find the illustration in the mindset and processes of science. But scientific thought by itself is not incarnation. Instead, Jesus needs to be ‘taken on board’. Science is objective; it eliminates the personal element from technical thought. Jesus means ‘salvation’; salvation includes the personal element. Taking Jesus on board means adding the subjective element to science which science has explicitly removed. Science helps people through technology. But science does not save people because science has no personal element. Adding Jesus to science leads to a concept of incarnation that saves people. This ‘taking on board’ has to be done through the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to practice science and then add some personal words and feelings about Jesus. Instead, the personal salvation of Jesus has to be taken on board at the level of Platonic forms, which means following a direction that is different than the path being followed by either secular society or secular science. Instead of adding religion as an afterthought to science, religion must transform the motivations, goals, and ideals of science.

Verse 3 describes this personal aspect of incarnation. “To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs.” The word alive refers to both natural and spiritual life. Presented means to ‘stand close beside’ and the word ‘himself’ is explicitly included. This describes the emergence of a concept of incarnation. The mind uses Mercy mental networks (MMNs) to represent living beings. The apostles are being motivated by Platonic forms of the spirit to follow some breakthrough path. This is causing a mental concept of a living incarnation to emerge within the mind. This concept of incarnation is standing close beside personal identity. Incarnation uses technical thought to carry out some plan. (More accurately, concrete technical thought is guided by a sense of cause-and-effect to follow some plan that leads to the salvation of better experiences for Mercy thought.) This concept of incarnation will not emerge if one is following the path of the world. However, it will emerge if one is driven by an internal vision to follow a breakthrough plan that is different than the world, because the content of this plan is being provided internally, and this internal content will coalesce to form a mental concept of incarnation which will become represented by some living mental network. One will gain the impression that a living Jesus is standing close beside me inside my mind to help me carry out this plan. A ‘living Jesus’ also implies that one is going beyond mimicking the Jesus of the Gospels to come up with new steps of action.

This presentation is happening ‘after his suffering’. Suffering ‘relates to any part of us that feels strong emotion, passion, or suffering – especially the capacity to feel suffering’. One is not necessarily being persecuted, but one is feeling strong emotions. This implies that following a breakthrough path that diverges from the path of society will involve strong emotions. This stirring up of strong emotions is critical if a living concept of incarnation is to emerge. And the strong feelings are an indication that subjective identity is being added to the objective thinking of science and the materialistic behavior of society. This requirement is indicated by the word after, which ‘implies change afterward’. Thus, the strong feelings are required to generate a mental concept of a living incarnation who stands close beside.

The word convincing proof is only used once in the New Testament and means ‘a marker or signpost supplying indisputable information’. This is not some miracle that violates the laws of nature but rather a solid reference point for Perceiver thought. As a Perceiver person, I know from personal experience what this means. When one is following an emotional, breakthrough path that is different than the world, then one will often question the validity of what one is doing, asking questions such as, ‘Am I crazy? Is this really worth it? Why should I continue?’ Whenever those questions come to mind, I find myself continually returning to solid reference points—markers that supply indisputable information. And a single reference point is not enough. Instead, one needs many of these reference points, as shown by the word many, which ‘emphasizes the quantity involved’. These reference points are also critical for the development of a concept of incarnation, because technical thought requires a foundation of solid facts. These convincing proofs provide the anchor points for the plan of incarnation.

Verse 3 continues by describing when this is happening. “Appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of things regarding the kingdom of God.” I do not know what forty represents, but if a day represents a period of time illuminated by the sun of some general understanding, this implies that society itself is shifting from one paradigm to another while an internal concept of incarnation is developing within the minds of these apostles. Following an internally motivated path that is different than the path of society will cause a mental concept of incarnation to emerge. Continuing to follow this path while society itself shifts and changes will generalize this mental concept of incarnation to the extent of creating the mental concept of a universal God. One is not just following a counter-cultural path that is different than the world, because that is responding in a reactionary manner to the existing worldview. Instead, one is following a long-term plan based in universal principles that transcends the shifts and changes of society. That describes a kingdom of God. The word kingdom means ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’ and is mentioned twice in Acts 1: here and in verse 6. And a concept of God will emerge when there is a sufficiently general understanding in Teacher thought.

This concept of incarnation is appearing, a verb that only occurs once in the New Testament. The noun form of this verb is used four times and always refers to ‘a vision, supernatural appearance’. This emphasizes the idea that an internal concept of incarnation is emerging. Speaking from personal experience, as I continued to follow mental symmetry, an internal vision of how society could be formed within my mind which was brighter than the shifting fads of society. This internal vision of possible perfection involved following the plan of a living concept of incarnation. Saying this more simply, I became driven by an internal ‘vision’ of ‘how wonderful society would be if it followed a path of transformation’.

Notice that Jesus is already being ‘taken up’ because the concept is emerging of following a kingdom of God that transcends and outlasts the shifts of human society. A concept of Christ extrapolates beyond the specific experiences of Jesus to come up with universal principles that transcend specific cultures. Such a concept of Christ will naturally emerge when one follows universal principles that transcend specific cultures. And part of this emergence will involve the ‘convincing proofs’ of solid reference points that transcend specific cultures.

But this kingdom of God is not yet being lived in. Instead, one is ‘speaking of things regarding the kingdom of God’. First, this is still at the level of words. One is writing and talking about the kingdom of God. Second, this has not yet reached the level of precise understanding, but rather is talking ‘about, concerning’ the kingdom of God. It is like a guidebook that is describing some foreign country but does not know what it means to live in this country. What is new is that some people are actually thinking and talking about the kingdom of God. This goes beyond some organizational church. It also goes beyond copying the life of Jesus. And it goes beyond the impersonal rule of science.

A New Baptism 1:4-5

Verse 4 indicates the first stage of a general theory. “Gathering them together.” This is a poor translation because the verb is actually in the passive. This verb is only used once in the New Testament and combines ‘together with’ and ‘to throng; to accumulate’. What is happening is that these various concepts of living incarnation are themselves starting to come together. The various apostles are realizing that they are following a similar direction.

This focus upon emerging Teacher thought can be seen in the next phrase. “He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father” (v. 4). The word ‘he’ is not in the original Greek but is implied by the conjugation of the verb. And command means to ‘give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels’. This is not a command based in personal status in Mercy thought. Instead, it is the expression of a structured system within Teacher thought. Teacher emotion comes from order-within-complexity. A concept of Christ uses abstract technical thought to function within this order-within-complexity, leading to commands that are fully authorized because they have gone through all the proper channels.

Jerusalem means ‘dwelling of peace’ and represents the center of religious thought. When religion is based in Mercy feelings of reverence and fervor, then the center of religious thought will not be a dwelling of peace, because various forms of religious fervor will be struggling for dominance. However, when religion is based in the general Teacher theory of a concept of God, then religion will be characterized by a peace that brings order to the complexity of society.

The word leave comes from ‘open, vacated space’ and means ‘to separate, divide’. The Greek says more literally not to create a division away from Jerusalem. Whenever technical thought emerges, then the natural tendency is to make a separation away from strong emotions because technical thought finds it difficult to function in an atmosphere of strong emotions. For instance, as mental symmetry became more developed as a meta-theory of cognition, it became possible to de-emphasize the religious connotations. I have deliberately chosen not to follow that path because society will only become transformed if the religious connotations are included. Instead, I have tried to alternate between doing biblical analyses, such as this essay, and writing more ‘secular’ essays and papers. For instance, I just finished writing a major paper on economics. That paper did not discuss religion, but it also did not refrain from pointing out religious implications when they came up. I have found that alternating between biblical and secular is very productive, because the biblical adds the subjective dimension while the secular provides the technical tools that are needed to effectively analyze the subjective dimension.

Instead, they are supposed to ‘wait for the promise of the Father’. Wait is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘all-around’ with ‘remain, abide’. This does not describe passive waiting but rather means remaining in a certain general location. For instance, when someone comes up with an ‘apostolic breakthrough’, the standard path is to start some organization in order to market this breakthrough, preferably putting some emotional distance between this organization and the religious fervor of Jerusalem. But I have consistently noticed that such a choice leads to a dead-end. The breakthroughs typically end, the organization corrupts the vision, and the movement often collapses in scandal.

This does not mean that one fixates upon Mercy feelings of religious fervor. Instead, one is guided by the Teacher emotions of the Father. Verse 3 referred to God. A concept of God emerges when a sufficiently general Teacher theory applies to personal identity. Verse 4 refers to the Father. A father is a source of life. A concept of God as Father recognizes that personal life has its source in a Teacher understanding of God. Thus, one does not make an emotional separation with Jerusalem because one recognizes that one must hold on to the emotional aspects of incarnation in order maintain access to the source of life. But this is a Teacher source and not a Mercy source. Therefore, one is ‘remaining all around’ Jerusalem. One is coming up with a general Teacher theory of God the Father within the context of Jerusalem. For instance, for mental symmetry this meant alternating between analyzing some secular topic in the light of a general Teacher understanding and then analyzing some book of the New Testament in order to gain a deeper grasp of this general Teacher understanding. In other words, one is trying to put everything together in the light of a concept of God; one is attempting to gain a deeper understanding of what the kingdom of God entails.

The word promise ‘is a legal term that refers to an officially sanctioned promise’. On the one hand, the Teacher understanding that is emerging does not describe existing society. It describes what could be, rather than what is. On the other hand, this concept of what could be is based upon a detailed manner of understanding held together by a Teacher theory. For instance, the idea of societal perfection that emerges from mental symmetry is based upon an in-depth understanding of how the mind works and how it could work. It is not based in wishful thinking but rather describes a form of society that could actually exist. This ‘officially sanctioned promise’ is ‘of the Father’, which means that it is held together by a general Teacher understanding.

Verse 4 finishes by saying “‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me.’” The original Greek is simply ‘that heard of me’. Hear means to ‘listen, comprehend by hearing’. ‘Hearing’ means that the words of abstract thought are being used. ‘Of me’ means that the Father is making a promise regarding Jesus. This combination suggests a transition from Jesus to Christ. On the one hand, one is receiving a verbal promise from the Father in abstract thought. On the other hand, this promise applies to the concrete example of the historical Jesus. In other words, one is not using religious words in a mystical, mythological, or connotational manner, but rather using them to transform how one views the historical person of Jesus.

Verse 5 then contrasts the existing system of Christianity with the coming system. “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not long after these many days.” I know that there have been centuries of discussion regarding baptism-by-sprinkling versus baptism-by-immersion. However, the word baptize means to ‘dip under’. What matters is that baptism is a symbol of rebirth, and a new form of rebirth is emerging. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. And water represents Mercy experiences. Thus, a baptism of John by water means that one becomes inundated in some way by Mercy experiences with which one cannot cope. One responds by calling to God and discovers that the Lord is gracious. This type of baptism is need-driven. Life is normal and then it suddenly gets worse, because one ‘dips under’ the ‘water’ of raw experience. The rebirth happens as one discovers that the Lord can be gracious in suffering.

Verse 5 is describing this as something of the past which does not apply to the apostles who are looking forward to the future. That is because they are looking forward to a new baptism by the Holy Spirit. Such a baptism is vision-driven. Instead of experiencing trauma and wanting life to return to normal, the internal vision of how much better things could be is making the present feel intolerable. The rebirth is coming from the stress of holding on to the vision of a better world while having to live within current imperfection. However, this is an incomplete rebirth, because it is not yet possible to live in the future, largely because the internal vision of the future is not complete enough to live in. And part of this incompleteness is not knowing all the steps that have to be taken to get from the present to the future vision. Instead, all one knows is that it will happen ‘not many days from now’. A day is being interpreted as a period of time enlightened by some general theory. The Greek is more literally ‘not after many these days’. ‘Not after many days’ implies that society is close to a major transition point but still has to go through some shifts. ‘These days’ implies that each shift that society goes through will not address the underlying problems but rather will be another version of the same old thing. In other words, there will be a general sense that the end is near, but whenever something changes it will not be the end. Instead it will lead to something which gives an even stronger sense that the end must be near. Thus, I suggest that those who preach end-time prophecy are accurately sensing that ‘the end is near’.

A New Kingdom 1:6-8

Verse 6 describes this inadequate focus upon the end. “So, when they had come together, they began asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time that You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’” Come together means ‘to come together’ and describes something new, which is that the various apostles are starting to cooperate. This is a sign that Teacher thought is developing. Mercy thought thinks in terms of tribes and cultures, in which my denomination struggles with your denomination and my religious culture with your religious culture. Teacher thought, in contrast, looks for order-within-complexity. Various religious leaders are realizing that they are bound together by common fundamental principles as well as common goals.

However, the thinking is still inadequate in several ways. First, they are still thinking in terms of Jesus and not Jesus Christ. They may be coming together guided by Teacher thought, but they are asking the physical Jesus of Mercy thought for an answer rather than being guided by a concept of Christ.

Second, the word ask means to ‘make an earnest request, especially by someone on special footing’. This verb will next be used in 3:3 to describe the beggar asking for alms. ‘Special footing’ implies a Mercy perspective, because the assumption is that when religious leaders come together, then they have the inside track to figuring out what God is doing.

Third, the word time refers to ‘time in duration in the physical-space world’. This indicates an emphasis on trying to set dates for the second coming. Dates do not depend upon mental maturity. In contrast, the kingdom of God is based upon mental maturity. Therefore, focusing upon dates indicates that one has an inadequate concept of the kingdom.

Fourth, the word restore means to ‘restore back to original standing’. Restoration implies that nothing is fundamentally wrong. Instead all that is needed is to restore the perfection of the past. However, what is really needed is a transformation into a new way of thinking and not just a restoration of the past.

Fifth, they are asking for the kingdom to be restored to Israel. Israel is being interpreted in this essay as the Christian Church. I am not promoting some sort of replacement theology in which the church replaces Israel. I am convinced that God is still using Israel at a national level (but not necessarily at a personal level). And Romans 11 makes it clear that God will eventually stop using the Christian Church and turn back to Israel. The word Israel means ‘God strives’. Thus, a reference to Israel would represent the current group of people through which God is striving with humanity. At the present, this is primarily the Christian Church. Restoring the kingdom to Israel reflects the implicit assumption that whatever God is doing centers around my church and my denomination. If God is going to do some sort of restoration, then it is obvious to me that God will fit himself into the kingdom of my church. This also represents a mind set that is guided by Mercy feelings of culture and personal identity rather than by a Teacher understanding of God.

These five inadequacies are all natural byproducts of a mindset of absolute truth. Absolute truth believes that truth in Perceiver is the ultimate source in the Mercy status of some holy book. ‘It is true because it is written in the Bible’. First, this will focus on the description of the physical Jesus described in the Gospels. Second, this will assume that those who give respect to the Bible have an inside track to understanding what God is doing. Third, this will think in terms of physical time because the Bible describes the events that happened in physical time. Fourth, it will think in terms of restoration, because absolute truth believes that ultimate truth was revealed to some group of people in the past. And fifth, God’s kingdom will naturally be equated with the group of people who gather together to worship and follow the Bible.

Jesus’ answer in verse 7 addresses these misconceptions. “But He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know periods of time or appointed times which the Father has set by His own authority.’” ‘Not for you’ uses the genitive case and is more accurately ‘it is not yours’. In other words, this information does not belong to the disciples. The starting point for this information is not some church or religious group. Know means ‘to know, especially through personal experience’. Thus, this type of knowledge is not based in personal Mercy experiences. Having a certain set of religious experiences does not provide the right starting point for understanding the Second Coming. The two words for time are then mentioned. Time refers to clock time and was used earlier, while appointed time refers to time as opportunity. If one starts from the Mercy perspective of religious experiences, then one will not gain an accurate understanding of prophetic dates. One also will not gain an accurate understanding of opportune time, because one is not thinking in terms of cognitive development or societal transitions.

Instead, one needs to take a Teacher perspective, recognizing that the Father has set these by His own authority. Set means ‘to place, lay, set’. His own means ‘uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual’. And authority means ‘conferred power; delegated empowerment’. Putting this together, if one wishes to understand what is going to happen, then one has to understand the nature of God the Father in Teacher thought, because the coming events have been set in place by a form of thinking that is peculiar to Teacher thought. And this is not because Teacher thought has decided to be in charge, but rather because Teacher thought is the appropriate strategy to use. Speaking from personal experience, when I started to approach the Bible from a Teacher perspective of a theory of cognitive development, then book after book of the New Testament fell open and the prophetic sequences lept out at me. But I also discovered from personal experience that those who approach the Bible with a mindset of absolute truth will ignore a detailed description of biblical prophecy, even if one demonstrates in great detail that an entire Gospel corresponds with the events of Western history. That is because such an interpretation of prophecy does not line up with the assumption that God will return at some specific time in order to restore the past by exalting some specific group of Christians.

Verse 8 describes the role that humans play in the Teacher plan of God the Father. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Receive means ‘to lay hold by aggressively, actively accepting what is available’. And power means ‘ability to perform’. It does not say that ‘you will be perfect’, ‘you will be super-spiritual’, ‘you will have instant knowledge’, or ‘you will speak in tongues’. Instead, there will be an exceptional enabling or empowering. The hypothesis of mental symmetry is that the spiritual realm interacts with humans by empowering mental networks. In other words, the spiritual realm does not add content to the human realm but rather amplifies the existing emotional content of the mind. A power tool illustrates what this means. The tool makes the existing actions of a human more powerful. This power also has to be actively accepted. This is again like a power tool which one has to choose to use. One implication is that this power can also be misused. This is illustrated by the charismatic Christian saying ‘Don’t let your gift take you where your character can’t keep you’.

The second phrase gives the idea that an individual is receiving the Holy Spirit, but the original Greek is more accurately, ‘The Holy Spirit having come on you’. Come on ‘stresses the fitting results of the coming’. And ‘you’ is in the plural, which means that some transition is happening to a group of people. Tools have electrical power, but this power is not connected with people. The coming of the Holy Spirit describes a power that is implicitly connected with people.

The second half of verse 8 describes the impact of this transition. “And you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.” A witness is ‘an eye- or ear-witness’. In verse 3, they were speaking about the kingdom of God. Here, they are being a witness, which adds the personal element. This personal element will naturally be present when power comes directly upon people. And all the verbs in verse 8 are in the plural, indicating that this will happen at the group level.

The list of locations suggests that this new movement will start with the religious but spread to all of society. Religion could be defined cognitively as an attempt to deal with the most emotional issues of life. Mental networks form an emotional hierarchy, with more emotional mental networks imposing their structure upon lesser mental networks. If the spiritual realm empowers mental networks, then it makes sense that the most emotional mental networks will be affected first and this will have a ripple effect that spreads to the rest of human existence. Jerusalem is being interpreted as the religious center. Jerusalem is preceded by the word both but the other words are not. We saw earlier that absolute truth naturally makes a division between religious and secular. The word ‘both’ indicates that this split will no longer be present. The starting point will be the religious but the secular will also be included. Judea means ‘praised’ and is the province in which Jerusalem was located. It is preceded by the word all which means ‘each part of a totality’. This means that all aspects of the religious subculture will be affected. This will not just be some new experience that is pasted onto existing Christianity but rather will impact every facet of existing Christianity.

Samaria means ‘to keep, watch, preserve’. In biblical times, Samaria was occupied by people who kept some of Judaism but were not regarded as legitimate Jews. The modern equivalent would probably be the social conservative who is not a Christian but preserves aspects of Christian culture. Earth refers to ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’. This is interpreted as the realm of rational thought that is governed by Perceiver facts and Server sequences. And this rational content is acquired primarily from living within space and time. This is different than the sea, which represents the realm of raw Mercy experiences. The Holy Spirit is typically connected with ecstatic experiences within Mercy thought that lack rational concept. In contrast, the reference to the ‘earth’ indicates that the Holy Spirit will affect rational thought. Remotest part means ‘the furthest, extreme-end’. And as far as means ‘as far as’. In other words, this will not just affect some aspects of rational thought but rather impact all of rational thought. However, the impact will not extend beyond rational thought. This is precisely the opposite of the typical charismatic mindset, which is convinced that the impact of the Holy Spirit is limited to any realm that is not touched by rational thought. However, the Holy Spirit is defined in John 16:13 as the Spirit of truth who will guide you into all the truth, consistent with the idea that the impact of the Holy Spirit will extend to all of rational thought

This implies that those who claim currently to be empowered by the Holy Spirit will probably not connect the coming prophetic fulfillment of this passage with the Holy Spirit. I am not saying that all charismatics are frauds. Some are but many are not. However, it seems that the current movements of the Holy Spirit are always temporary. I suggest that this is a natural byproduct of absolute truth. Looking at this in more detail, absolute truth assumes that the source of truth is far more important than I am. But suppose that I acquire spiritual power. This power will give me some sort of spiritual ministry. Living within this power will raise my personal status relative to my source of truth. And my growing personal status will cause me to question the validity of absolute truth. As I forsake absolute truth, I will lose access to the power of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. I will then have to fake this power in order to continue being a religious leader. I have now become a fraud. Saying this another way, power corrupts, and spiritual power corrupts spiritually. My gift has now taken me where my character cannot keep me.

The Ascension 1:9-11

This is followed in verse 9 by the Ascension. “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were watching, and a cloud took Him up, out of their sight.” While they were watching means ‘to see, be observant’. The word lifted up is different than the word used in verse 2 and means ‘raise, lift up’. Going up is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. One can see this growing generality in the list of locations, because the witness is spreading from religious Mercy experiences to cover all of rational thinking. But one has to be observant to notice this growing generality because the growing witness is crossing mental and societal boundaries. This transition from societal and mental categories within Mercy thought to generality in Teacher thought describes a movement from Jesus to Christ. Looking at this cognitively, this movement is both gradual and sudden. On the one hand, the generality of experiences is gradually increasing. On the other hand, Teacher thought is suddenly turning on by discovering a general theory. This turning on of Teacher thought is described by Thomas Kuhn in his book on paradigm shifts, because he says that a distinct contrast can be made between prescientific thinking with its schools of thought each headed by various experts and scientific thinking with its paradigms (within Teacher thought).

The word cloud is translated as ‘cloud’ but this is an inadequate translation. That is because 23 of the 25 uses of this word in the New Testament refer to some sort of supernatural cloud associated with heaven. Going further, the Greek word actually refers to a cloud nymph and not to a natural cloud. In the Greek legend, the cloud nymph takes on the shape of some person. Took up means ‘to take or bear up’. This cloud is taking Jesus ‘away from their eyes’. Eye refers to ‘the eye, fig: the mind’s eye’. Thus, this could describe both physical and mental sight.

Putting this together, a cloud is a visible shape within the air of Teacher thought. This relates to a Platonic form. What is happening cognitively is that a Teacher understanding of Christ is leading to a Platonic form and this mental image of Christ is swallowing up the historical picture of Jesus. This does not mean that the historical Jesus is being replaced with some abstract concept of incarnation, but rather that the historical Jesus is being regarded as a specific expression of a more general concept of Christ. Saying this another way, the direction is changing. Instead of extrapolating from the historical Jesus to form a more general concept of Christ, as the typical Christian does, a general concept of Christ is being viewed as incarnation and Jesus is being viewed as a concrete display of Christ.

Initially, this leads to a fixation upon the heaven of Teacher thought. “And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going” (v. 10). Gazing intently means ‘To stare at because fully occupied with’. Heaven is mentioned four times in verses 10-11. Each time it is in the singular and occurs as the phrase ‘into the heaven’. Heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. But this is not just the sky or air of Teacher thought but rather a realm in Teacher thought where intelligent beings reside. ‘The heaven’ implies the presence of a single unified theory in Teacher thought. Incarnation is heading into this unified Teacher theory and this is causing an emotional fixation.

For instance, mental symmetry is a general Teacher theory of intelligent life. It began as a system of cognitive styles based upon spiritual gifts. But it has acquired three unusual characteristics over the years. First, it has turned into a meta-theory of cognition that is capable of explaining many aspects of personal and social behavior. Second, it has become a framework for all Christian theology, including the concept of incarnation and the Trinity in general. Mental symmetry has also swallowed up the historical Jesus described in the Gospels, because the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew have been analyzed from a cognitive perspective. Third, it has turned into a theory of prophecy, because when mental symmetry is used to analyze biblical books, then prophetic sequences emerge, such as the sequence being described in this essay on Acts. As a result, Teacher thought within my mind has become fixated upon the theory of mental symmetry.

This was happening while going, which means ‘to transport, moving something from one destination to another’ and comes from a word that means ‘passageway’. This word occurs several times in the New Testament and is interpreted as movement that transforms. One is not just going from one place to another, but rather being transported through a ‘passageway’ that leads to some form of transformation. For example, as mental symmetry continued to expand, this movement into the realm of a general Teacher theory transformed my concept of incarnation and Christianity. Instead of merely saying that Jesus is the Christ, I understood in depth what it meant for a specific concept of Jesus to to become transformed into a general concept of Christ.

This fixation upon the heaven of Teacher thought is accompanied by something else. “Then behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them” (v. 10). Then simply means ‘and’. Behold indicates that something else is appearing that is taking the attention away from the fixation upon heaven. The word men specifically refers to men rather than women. Stand beside means ‘stand close beside’ and was seen previously in verse 3. In verse 3, a concept of incarnation was emerging that was beside personal identity. In verse 10, incarnation is rising to the level of Teacher generality and two men are taking the position of ‘standing close beside’. References to male and female are interpreted as male and female thought. In brief, male thought emphasizes technical thinking while female thought emphasizes mental networks. Two men indicates that two forms of technical thought have emerged as a result of moving from Jesus to Christ.

A similar transition can be seen in Revelation 10-11. In Revelation 10, a strong angel gives a small book to a human and tells the human to eat this book. Eating a book represents developing and comprehending a general theory. Revelation 11 begins with the instruction to measure the temple and the altar. Measurement is a characteristic of technical thought. Therefore, measuring the temple means using technical thought to analyze religion. This is followed in 11:3 by two witnesses who stand before the God of the earth (v. 4). Applying this to mental symmetry, my research has been mentally supported by two witnesses. On the one hand, my goal is to understand how the mind functions. On the other hand, my goal is also to follow a path of personal transformation. Both of these goals have required the use of technical thought and they have acted as witnesses that support my mental concept of Christ. Looking at this more generally, two similar witnesses have emerged within science that support the idea of an incarnation based in technical thought. These two witnesses are cognitive science and psychology. Cognitive science uses technical thought to understand how the mind works, while psychology uses technical thought to help people to deal with personal problems. Cognitive science and psychology have provided much of the technical details that have made it possible to expand the description of Jesus in the Gospels to a concept of Christ Jesus who lives in the heaven of Teacher thought.

These two men are described as ‘in white clothing’. The word clothing means ‘clothing, raiment, vestment, robe’, and clothing is interpreted as the ‘fabric’ of society which ‘covers’ people as they interact with one another. This word for clothing refers more to a general ‘vestment or robe’ which adds grandeur to normal social interaction. White means ‘bright, white’ and represents purity as well as the light of Teacher understanding. What happens cognitively is that one gains a new concept of social interaction, because when a concept of Jesus becomes generalized to become a concept of Christ, then one sees this concept of incarnation illustrated everywhere in social interaction. Instead of viewing cognitive science and psychology as something opposed to Christian absolute truth, they become viewed as support for a concept of Christ.

This needs to be explained more carefully. I am not saying that cognitive science and psychology replace Christianity. That is what typically happens in a modern Christian church. Instead, cognitive science and psychology become swallowed up by a concept of Christ that is consistent with the Jesus of the Gospels. I am also not saying that one ‘sees Christ in every social interaction’ because that reduces the path of personal transformation to the pablum of universal tolerance. Instead, one sees general principles of personal transformation continually being illustrated by social interaction—both when these principles are being followed and when they are being violated. One observes how a person behaves, one notices where this is heading, and one realizes that this is another illustration of some general principle of personal transformation.

This causes the focus to shift away from a fixation upon heavenly Teacher thought. “And they said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?’” Said is the same word used in verse 9, suggesting that the verbal content that used to come from incarnation is now coming from the two men. These two men specifically refer to the apostles as men, indicating interaction that is happening at the level of male thought. (This does not mean that male thought is inherently superior to female thought but rather that there is a time and place for both of these.)

The word Galilean comes from a Hebrew word that means ‘to roll, roll away’. This is interpreted as a reference to the cycles of society. The Gospels often talk about crossing the sea of Galilee, implying going through some sort of experiential cycle. For instance, Christianity typically cycles between an emphasis on doctrine and a focus upon experience. ‘Men of Galilee’ suggests that cognitive principles are being discovered by using technical thought to analyze these various cycles.

Stand is similar to the word ‘stand close by’ but lacks the ‘close by’ part. Look mean to ‘be observant’ and was previously used in verse 9. And ‘into the sky’ is the same phrase ‘into the heaven’. In essence, the two men are asking the reason for the focus upon abstract thought. This could be interpreted two ways. On the one hand, the two witnesses of cognitive science and psychology are trying to extend the focus of attention beyond the fixation upon heavenly theory in Teacher thought. On the other hand, these two witnesses are also finding theoretical integration in a general Teacher theory of heaven.

Both of these interpretations are consistent with the message of the two men, which is a message of similarity. “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (v. 11). What is being compared is ‘this the Jesus’. Taken up means ‘pick up, take on board’ and was previously seen in verse 2. This Jesus has been taken on board ‘away from you’. In other words, the disciples are no longer thinking in terms of the historical Jesus. That concept has been taken away from them because it has gone ‘into the heaven’.

In the same way means ‘in this way, thus’. This indicates a similarity. What is similar is not the person of Jesus but rather the method by which Jesus ascends and descends. This is significant because abstract thought thinks in terms of process while concrete thought thinks in terms of objects and people. Thus, one of the characteristics of moving from a concept of Jesus to a concept of Christ is that one stops thinking in terms of people and events and starts thinking in terms of processes and sequences.

This focus upon process can be seen in the word way which means ‘way, manner, fashion’. And a process is then mentioned. Jesus was ‘taken up’. This is followed by come, which means ‘to come, go’. And go is the same word ‘to transport’ that was used in verse 10. The word watched is a new word which means ‘gaze on as a spectator; to observe intently’ and is the source of the English word theater.

Putting this together, the concept of the historical Jesus has been taken away and replaced by a concept of Christ based in a general Teacher theory. The disciples observed this transition as spectators in a theater. The two men are pointing out that a future transition from Christ back to Jesus will function in a similar manner. This suggests that the Second Coming will start with the religious and then extend to cover all rational thought. This can be seen in Matthew 24:27, which says that “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Notice that this is a flash of light that starts with the ‘east’ of Eastern thought and then extends as far as the ‘west’ of Western rational thinking. And just as the ‘taking up’ was a journey that caused a transformation, so the return will involve a journey that causes a transformation. This can be seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. This is typically interpreted as a single point in time, but the passage is actually describing a sequence of transformative events in which one change follows another.

A mindset of absolute truth will naturally believe that the Second Coming of Jesus will be different than the Ascension of Jesus. That is because absolute truth views the Perceiver facts of the Bible as different than the facts of normal life. The Ascension happens within normal existence. Some person is flying up into the sky. This may be strange, but it is still happening within the normal physical environment. The Second Coming, in contrast, starts with the mysterious, religious realm of heaven, where the facts of normal existence do not apply. As far as absolute truth is concerned, comparing these two is like comparing apples and oranges. In contrast, mental symmetry has led me to a different conclusion. My basic premise is that the structure of the mind does not change when one moves between earth and heaven, and that angels and humans have similar minds. Thus, the same cognitive principles are applicable all the time, and it makes sense to apply the same form of cognitive analysis to both the secular and religious and to both the physical and the non-physical. Doing this sort of mixed analysis leads to conclusions that make sense, even when one is attempting to analyze angels and aliens. Looking at this just a little further, I am not aware of any rational explanation apart from mental symmetry that includes all of these realms. And the US government just issued a report saying that UFOs involve real experiences that cannot be explained scientifically and need to be taken seriously. And this is being reported in the major newspapers of the world.

In verse 12 they stop fixating upon heaven. “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem.” Return means ‘to turn back, return’. I do not know if it is significant, but the phrase ‘returned to Jerusalem’ occurs five times in Acts. If Jerusalem represents the religious center, then returning to Jerusalem would mean coming back to a religious focus. The word mountain means ‘mountain, hill’, and a mountain represents a pragmatic form of general theory. That is because a mountain is a height of land from which one can see the surrounding area, similar to a theory that provides an overview of some surrounding area. They are going away from the mountain, which implies movement away from pragmatic theories. The word Olivet is used once in the New Testament and means ‘the place of olive trees’. Olive oil represents the Holy Spirit. Thus, a place of olive trees would mean a source for a concept of the Holy Spirit. Looking at this cognitively, a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when Platonic forms come together to create what Plato called a Form of the Good. Putting this together, a Mount Olivet would represent an incomplete concept of the Holy Spirit based upon a collection of pragmatic theories and Platonic forms.

This interpretation makes sense if one realizes that a concept of incarnation is based in technical thought. The apostles have come up with a number of breakthroughs, leading to a partially rigorous system of beliefs. But when a concept of incarnation rises to the heaven of Teacher thought, then this means that technical thought will start thinking about theories and ideas. And the basic building block for abstract technical thought is the precise definition. In other words, the disciples are returning to Jerusalem in order to rethink their theology in a more rigorous manner. This desire for greater rigor is being triggered by the encounter with the two men. For instance, I mentioned earlier that I find it useful to alternate between secular research and books of the Bible. That is because secular research gives me the rigorous tools that are needed to analyze the Bible, while the Bible contains the subjective and spiritual content that is missing from secular research. In verse 12, the disciples are returning to religion in the light of the rigorous tools that they have just acquired from the two men (of cognitive science and psychology). This interpretation is backed up by the next two verses, which describe the disciples gathered in a room and praying.

This return trip is described as “a Sabbath day’s journey away” (v. 12). From the perspective of Jewish law, one was permitted to walk a certain distance on the Sabbath before it officially qualified as ‘work’. The Greek is more literally, ‘Of a Sabbath holding road’. Journey means ‘way, road’ and holding means ‘to have, hold’. A road is a form of path for Server thought. Holding onto a road of a Sabbath would mean maintaining the Server sequences of the religious realm, because the Sabbath was a time devoted to God. Looking at this cognitively, this rethinking of Christianity from a more rigorous perspective is maintaining religious actions and rituals. At this point, the goal is to gain better understanding of the doctrine rather than change the actions of religion. Saying this another way, this step involves using secular research to think about religion more rigorously while maintaining the existing actions of religion.

But they do not become part of the religious system when returning to Jerusalem. “When they had entered the city, they went up to the upstairs room where they were staying” (v. 13). The original Greek does not mention anything about the city, but rather says ‘when they had entered into the upper room’. Enter is a common word but this is the first occurrence in Acts. The word upper room is only used in the book of Acts, where it is found four times. It is a variation of the word ‘up’. This is followed by the phrase ‘they went up where they were staying’. Went up means ‘to go up, ascend’. Thus, the emphasis is upon going up into a higher location. Moving up is interpreted as heading in the direction in Teacher generality. Staying is found once in the New Testament and means ‘to stay fully’, ‘to remain permanently’.

Putting this together, they are not returning to Jerusalem in order to rejoin the religious establishment. They are also not preaching some new doctrine. Instead, they are entering the realm of personal identity—where they remain permanently—in order to gain a theoretical understanding. Looking at this personally, attempting to understand my real self has been a major part of developing mental symmetry. Performing only introspection leads to self-deception, but introspection is very useful if combined with the two men of psychology and cognitive science and performed within a context of the Jerusalem of religion. In other words, I am not just trying to understand myself, but rather attempting to place myself accurately within a moral and cognitive understanding of the mind. Verse 13 emphasizes that they are entering an upper room and then going up where they are permanently remaining. This means adopting a theoretical perspective and then attempting to understand personal identity.

The Disciples 1:13-14

This is followed by a list of disciples. I have found so far that every list in the New Testament makes cognitive sense. A similar list of disciples can be found in Matthew 10. The Matthew 10 list can be divided into three groups of four, and these same three groups can be found in the same order in Acts 1 (missing Judas). However, the order within each of these three groups is different. The same interpretations of the names will be used here as was used in Matthew 10.

The first four in Matthew 10 are Peter, Andrew, James, and John. In Acts 1, the first four are Peter, John, James, and Andrew. These first four are all connected by ‘ands’: ‘both Peter and John and James and Andrew’. Peter means ‘stone’ which obviously represents the solid facts of Perceiver thought. John means ‘The Lord has been gracious’. James is actually Jacob, which means ‘to follow, to supplant’. And Andrew means ‘manly’. The connection of Peter and John suggests a new viewpoint of truth. Absolute truth views Perceiver facts as rules and doctrines that are imposed upon personal identity. When one makes a transition to a Teacher thought, one realizes that these facts are actually building blocks to Teacher understanding. And one realizes that revealed truth is actually an example of ‘the Lord being gracious’ because it provides a starting point for understanding. In other words, the Bible is an instruction manual that has been provided by the Creator. This is followed by being manly. Manly refers to male technical thought. Obviously, if the Bible is an instruction manual, then it makes sense to use technical thought to try to understand this instruction manual. In contrast, it does not make sense to treat the Bible as a holy book that one sings about and preaches emotional sermons about, just as it does not make sense to sing songs and write poetry about a science textbook.

James means ‘to follow, to supplant’, which is interpreted as referring to some sort of change in thinking. Thus, approaching the Bible from a technical viewpoint reflects a change in thinking away from the mindset of absolute truth. This is different than approaching the Bible from a technical viewpoint as a collection of abstract doctrines of theology. Remember that the disciples in Acts 1 are going up from personal identity. This suggests that the Bible is being viewed as a technically accurate description of personal identity. In other words, the Bible makes sense at the level of a textbook if one approaches it from a cognitive perspective. I know that this is a new perspective, because whenever I mention this concept to educated Christians I experience strong negative pushback. But after having analyzed half of the New Testament from this perspective—including many passages and doctrines that educated Christians say are incomprehensible, I can conclude with certainty that this new perspective works.

The next four disciples in Matthew 10 are Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew. In Acts 1, the list is Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew. (The ‘ands’ are as found in the original Greek.) Philip means ‘horse-loving’ and horses have historically been expressions of organizational and government might. Thomas means ‘the twin’. ‘Philip’ suggests that this new perspective about religion and the Bible is expressing itself as a new form of organization. For instance, when I think of studying the Bible and religion, I now associate this mentally with the organizations of academia rather than the organizations of Christian religion. Generally speaking, I now find the typical Christian book to be emotional, religious, doctrinal, and intellectual fluff. There are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. Twins are two siblings who look identical. (I know that there are fraternal twins, but I presume that the symbolism of a twin focuses on the essence of twin-ness, which is looking identical.) The twin-ness comes from having two ways of looking at the Bible and religion. Is the Bible a religious book or is it a textbook of cognition? Is Christianity a religion or is it a path of cognitive development? Is the Trinitarian God the real God or is it the image of God that emerges when the mind is complete? In each of these cases, one is dealing with a matter of twins—two different perspectives that are leading to very similar conclusions.

Bartholomew means ‘son of Tolmai’ and a Tolmai is a ‘plowman’. Matthew means ‘gift of Yah’. Food is interpreted as intellectual food. A plowman plows some field in order to grow food. Thus, Bartholomew would represent the idea of exploring some field in order to gain more knowledge. This is a major departure from absolute truth. That is because absolute truth believes that all truth has been revealed in the past through some holy book. However, the twin-ness of the Bible and Christianity have just been demonstrated. Instead of being the source of absolute truth, the Bible appears to be an accurate description of universal truth. And one can use psychology and cognitive science to fill in the gaps by adding more details. This describes my experience with the path of mental symmetry. Whenever I go away from the Bible to use psychology and cognitive science to fill in the gaps, I find that when I return to the Bible more of the Bible makes sense and not less. Thus, the twin-ness survives as one continues to alternate between religious and secular understanding. This leads to the idea of all knowledge being a ‘gift of Yah’. A single monotheistic God has created all knowledge, and this single integrated system of knowledge can be explored through science, psychology, and through the Bible.

The final four disciples in Matthew 10 are James and Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot. The final three on the list in Acts 1 are “James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James” (v. 13). (‘The son’ is not in the original Greek.) Judas Iscariot is of course missing from this list. These final three names are all connected by ‘ands’ in the original Greek, indicating that they belong together. James is Jacob, which means ‘to follow, to supplant’, and this was interpreted as some form of transition that follows. The name Alpheus probably means ‘changing’. Thus, James of Alphaeus would represent a major shift in thinking.

Simon means ‘hearing’. A zealot is ‘someone burning with zeal’. This describes Exhorter motivation based in strong mental networks. ‘Hearing’ indicates a focus upon the words of Teacher thought. Putting this together, a new way of approaching Christianity and the Bible has emerged that is based in TMNs of rational understanding. The Bible is no longer being viewed as a holy book that is separate from normal existence. Rather, it is being treated as one aspect of understanding the character of a monotheistic God who behaves in a certain manner. For instance, I no longer think of separate specializations. Instead I view all of knowledge as a single subject, and whenever I study some so-called specialization, I am gaining more knowledge of some facet of this single subject, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the character of God. For instance, I just finished writing an academic paper on economics. The average person would consider economics to be totally different than the book of Acts. But I feel as if I am still studying the same general topic from a different perspective. When this type of unified theory turns into a TMN, then one becomes a zealot.

Judas means ‘praised’ and we have seen that James is Jacob, which means ‘to follow, to supplant’. This TMN of unified understanding is sufficiently potent to alter feelings of worship and praise. Existing Christian worship will feel inadequate, misdirected, and even harmful. For instance, a mindset of absolute truth will cause a person to feel that God is ultimately incomprehensible to human thought. This now triggers deep repulsion in my mind, because I have become emotionally driven by the TMN of a growing understanding of the nature and character of God. I am not claiming that finite humans can fully understand the infinite God. But I am convinced that it is possible to gain a sufficient rational understanding of the basic character of God. I know that this reflects a major change in worship. For instance, I am no longer asked to speak at my local church precisely because of a fundamental conflict over this issue. I should add that these local church leaders who are asserting that God’s character is ultimately incomprehensible should know better, because they include retired university professors.

Verse 14 describes what these disciples are doing. “All these were continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Continually devoting means ‘to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty’. This relates to a concept which I refer to as Contributor confidence. Contributor thought is in charge of technical thought. Contributor confidence is the ability to stick to a plan even when carrying out the plan is difficult. The plan here is to use technical thought to rethink religion, Christianity, and the Bible. Rethinking an entire religion is not trivial, but one can see from this list of subjects that mental symmetry has been used to comprehensively rethink Christianity.

With one mind combines ‘same’ with ‘passion’. Thus, what is being described is an emotional unity. This comes from being guided by the TMN of a common concept of God. This common emotional focus can be seen in the word prayer, which actually means an ‘exchange of wishes’. Cognitively speaking, MMNs of personal identity are interacting emotionally with the TMN of a concept of God. This type of emotional interaction will only lead to a single passion if Teacher thought is in charge and if the general Teacher theory has room for MMNs of identity. In contrast, if MMNs of personal identity are in charge, then the result will be religious conflict masquerading as unity.

This rethinking may be using male technical thought, but it also includes the mental networks of female thought. The preposition along with means ‘closely identified together’. And ‘the’ is not in the original Greek. Instead, the male technical thinking is being done ‘closely identified together’ with women, implying that male technical thought is cooperating with female mental networks. I have found this to be the case with mental symmetry, because I am simultaneously using technical to understand the mind as well as following the emotional goal of achieving the long-term happiness of a whole mind. Saying this another way, one of the basic premises of mental symmetry is that male and female thought need to become mentally ‘married’.

Mary the mother of Jesus is then explicitly mentioned. Mary is an ancient name that means ‘bitter’ or ‘rebellion’ in Hebrew and ‘beloved’ in Egyptian. Egypt represents the world. Putting this together, what the world regards as beloved is being regarded by religious thought as rebellion, leading to a response of bitterness. In other words, ‘God wants me to turn my back on the world and suffer for him’. This attitude of religious self-denial is a natural byproduct of absolute truth. It is incomplete, but it also starts a person on the path of personal transformation, because the first step of transformation is to realize that my mind is ruled by childish mental networks that need to be transformed. This can be seen in the phrase ‘mother of Jesus’, which would refer to the mental networks that gave birth to incarnation. Looking at this cognitively, the Christian culture is being rethought. Instead of being viewed as the ultimate expression of Christianity that will last for all of eternity in heaven, Christian culture is being seen as the birthplace for incarnation. This is being done ‘and with the brothers of him’, which means including the other forms of technical thought which were birthed by the culture that gave birth to incarnation.

This will naturally lead to a rethinking of Christian worship, because the basic premise of Christian worship is that Christian culture does not need to give birth to anything but rather is the ultimate expression. According to traditional Christian culture, the goal of the Christian is to bow down before the throne of God in endless worship as portrayed in Revelation 4. But that describes the mindset of the beginning of the book of Revelation. This rethinking of Christian worship is described in the rest of Acts 1.

Rethinking Worship 1:15-17

Verse 15 begins, “Not long after these many days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (a group of about 120 names was there together), and said...” ‘Not long after these many days’ is the literal translation given in a footnote, but this is not the literal translation. Instead, the Greek says, ‘And in these days’. (I mentioned at the beginning of the essay that I got frustrated with the NASB and eventually shifted to the BLB. For instance, the BLB translates this phrase as ‘And in these days’, which is what the original Greek says.) Days are being interpreted as periods of time in which society is lit by some general theory. In these days would mean that this rethinking is happening over a period of time as society is going through various shifts. Historically speaking, Peter stood up in a specific meeting and made this proposal. Prophetically speaking, Perceiver thought is standing up and coming to certain conclusions as society is going through various transitions.

The word stand up is a new word that means ‘to raise up, to rise’ and is the verb used to describe resurrection from the dead. What is happening cognitively is that Perceiver thought, represented by Peter, is rising from the dead. Absolute truth uses strong emotions to overwhelm Perceiver thought. When this is replaced by rational understanding, then Perceiver thought has to rise up from this state of being mesmerized. As a Perceiver person, I remember the struggle that was involved in learning how to think for myself. A rethinking of Christian worship will only happen if Perceiver thought rises from the dead, but if Perceiver thought awakes, then this will result in a rethinking of Christian worship, because the fundamental premise of traditional religious worship is that Perceiver thought needs to be overwhelmed by religious Mercy emotions.

Peter is standing up in ‘midst of the brethren’. Among means ‘middle, in the midst’. The NASB says ‘brothers and sisters’, but ‘sisters’ is not in the original Greek. (The BLB accurately says ‘midst of the brothers’.) Women were mentioned in verse 14, so it is known that women were present at this meeting. But the word used in verse 15 specifically refers to brothers and not sisters. Looking at this cognitively, the facts of Perceiver thought build connections between the technical specializations of male thought. This function of Perceiver thought is specifically mentioned in the keys of Peter in Matthew 16. Cognitively speaking, technical thought will naturally subdivide into specialization, each with its own technical vocabulary. Perceiver thought uses analogies and similarities to build bridges between these specializations. Thus, it makes cognitive sense that Perceiver thought is coming alive in the midst of the ‘brothers’ of male technical thought.

This is a significant point. The facts and connections of Perceiver thought by themselves are not rigorous. But Perceiver thought can become semi-rigorous by discovering connections between technical specializations, and these connections will give Perceiver thought sufficient confidence to be able to rise up in the midst of many brethren of technical thought.

Verse 15 explains that ‘a group of about 120 names was there together’. Name means ‘name; the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character’. Cognitively speaking, a name is a verbal label in Teacher thought that is applied to some person. Group means ‘a crowd, multitude’. (Here the BLB is less accurate, because it translates ‘group’ as ‘number’.) The name of some brother would refer to the Teacher paradigm of some technical specialization. A crowd of names indicates that a general rethinking is happening at the verbal level of Teacher thought involving the names of many specializations. One of the complaints made about mental symmetry is that it functions in the midst of a crowd of technical names by continually jumping from one specialization to another. But that is how Perceiver connections acquire their rigor. Perceiver thought gains confidence in connections as these connections show up in many unrelated specializations. For instance, one can see the characteristic of absolute truth in many different fields, and one can learn about the nature of absolute truth by seeing how absolute truth exhibits itself in different fields. In fact, I have just submitted a brief article to academia letters for peer-review describing the methodology mentioned in this paragraph. When I wrote that short paper, I had no idea that I would be seeing that principle described in Acts 1:15 two weeks later. (Editing this a few months later in November 2021, the article is currently in the top 1%.)

I do not know what the number 120 represents. I have deliberately stayed away from attempting to interpret numbers when looking at the Bible.

Verse 16 describes what Peter says. “Men, brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.” Both men and brothers are in the original Greek, emphasizing the focus upon male technical thought. Had means ‘it is necessary’. Fulfilled means ‘to make full, to complete’. Scripture means ‘writing, scripture’ and this is the only use of this word in the first seven chapters of Acts. A mindset of absolute truth would say ‘The Bible says, therefore...’ but Peter is saying something different, which is ‘It is necessary for the Bible to have been completed’. The reference point is not the words of the Bible but rather ‘how things work’. These necessities are putting a constraint upon the words of the Bible. However, basing Perceiver truth upon ‘is is necessary’ is not causing the content of the Bible to be denied, but rather leading to the observation that the content of the Bible needs to be completed. In other words, the Bible is an accurate starting point.

Foretold means to ‘say before’ and it is the Holy Spirit who is ‘saying before’. David is merely the mouth for the Holy Spirit. This is not how absolute truth thinks. Instead, absolute truth would say ‘David revealed the truth of God to us long ago’. Peter, in contrast, is focusing upon the current situation and viewing the Bible as a ‘saying before’. It was mentioned earlier that a concept of the Holy Spirit forms as Platonic forms become unified. This happens as a natural byproduct of developing a general theory in Teacher thought because a general theory that ties together many elements will also tie together any related Platonic forms. Peter’s concept of the Holy Spirit is helping him to see how the ‘saying before’ of the Bible has to be completed, and it is also making it clear that David was a mouthpiece who did not necessarily understand what he was saying. The name David means ‘beloved’, which describes a relationship that functions at the Mercy level of love. David was given this revelation because he was ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (1 Sam. 13:14), but this does not mean that David had a complete understanding of what he was saying.

David was talking ‘concerning Judas’, and Judas means ‘praised’. Thus, Peter is re-examining ‘praise and worship’ by gaining a new perspective upon the idea of the Bible being revealed to those who were beloved. Judas ‘became a guide to those who arrested Jesus’. Became means ‘to come into being’. In other words, praise did not start off this way but it turned into this. Guide combines ‘way, road’ with ‘to lead’. In other words, religious praise created a path that others followed which transformed them into something that opposed Jesus. Arrest means to ‘seize, arrest, capture’ but also ‘to conceive’ (become pregnant). In other words, following a path of praise makes it possible to control, arrest, and capture Jesus. Praise gives the feeling of lifting up some person, but it actually turns into—or conceives—a system by which a person can be controlled.

Looking at this in more detail, suppose that the focus turns to praising and worshipping Jesus. The strong emotions of praise will overwhelm Perceiver thought. If Perceiver thought is overwhelmed, then a person will lack the confidence that is required to factually analyze Jesus and the Bible. In addition, religious leaders who guide this praise will acquire emotional status by being connected with the worship of Jesus. This religious priesthood will become regarded as the interpreters of Jesus and the Bible who are capable of telling the lay person what Jesus and the Bible are really saying. Jesus and the Bible have now been taken captive by the religious leaders. Notice also that a religious system has been conceived which has no inherent connection to the actual character of Jesus or the actual content of the Bible. This describes much of Christendom during the last two millennia.

In verse 17, Peter points out that the praise of Judas was historically regarded as an aspect of religion. “For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” Counted means ‘to number among’ and is only used once in the New Testament. The word number is the source of the English word ‘arithmetic’. Numbers are an expression of technical thought. (The primary reason that I avoid attempting to analyze numbers in the Bible is because I find that those who do analyze numbers get lost in some detour of technical thought and lose sight of the primary message.) Numbered among us would mean that praise was considered by technical thought to be an essential element of Christianity. Consistent with this, I find that older Christian theological books tend to juxtapose technical analysis with episodes of ecstatic praise. And when modern science studies religion, it usually focuses upon some aspect of worship. Allotted means ‘to obtain by lot’ and describes how inheritance was passed on in biblical times. Share also refers to ‘a lot’. Ministry means ‘service, ministry’ and refers to Server actions and rituals. In other words, praise started out as one of the Server actions associated with Christianity. But it turned into the method for capturing Christianity. This is literally true in the case of the Catholic Church which maintains that a Christian receives grace from God by participating in the ritual of the Eucharist carried out by officially sanctioned church officials.

The Path of Mysticism 1:18-20

Verse 18 describes in more detail what happened to the praise of Judas. “Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.” The word ‘man’ is not in the original Greek. Instead, the generic pronoun this is used. Looking at this cognitively, praise does not use male thought. In fact, it does not even use human thought, because it turns into an unthinking adulation. Acquire means ‘to acquire’. A field is ‘a confined piece of ground’. Price means ‘wages, hire’. When looking at Bartholomew, a field was interpreted as some field of study. Putting this together, something that is not intelligent became recognized as an intelligent field of study: ‘This acquired a field’.

This combination can be seen in Christian mysticism. The goal of mysticism is to ‘become one with God’ in worship. But the average mystic has only a few genuine mystical experiences in his lifetime. Instead, he spends most of his time trying to analyze the few mystical experiences that he has had. In other words, ‘This acquired a field’. But this field is a ‘confined piece of ground’. This is evident in one of the books that I analyzed which compares the mysticism of Kierkegaard with modern physics. (That book was recommended to me by a pastor and theologian after discussing mental symmetry. But when I analyzed the book, I found that the theologian was not interested in my analysis and never discussed the topic with me again. This has happened to me several times.) The book describes the thinking of physics in considerable detail from a cognitive perspective, and I found that aspect of the book to be quite useful. But the authors connect physics with Christianity by relating the mystical encounter described by Kierkegaard with physical singularities—places where the laws of physics do not apply. A Christianity that can only be connected with the exceptions to the rule of physics has only purchased a very small field. In contrast, mental symmetry connects the general principles of physics with the general doctrines of Christianity. This goes beyond a confined piece of ground to an entire landscape.

Wickedness means ‘unrighteousness’. Righteousness can defined cognitively as following Server sequences that are guided by Teacher understanding. A concept of righteousness emerges naturally when one uses an understanding of how things work to connect religious and secular, which was mentioned in verse 11. Worship is by definition unrighteous, because a basic premise of worship is that God’s ways are too lofty to be comprehended by mortal humans. If one cannot gain a rational Teacher understanding of how God behaves, then it is impossible to act in a manner that is consistent with how God behaves. Thus, the field was acquired out of the ‘wages of unrighteousness’. Looking at this cognitively, mysticism claims to transcend human logic, but mysticism can be explained cognitively as the natural result of following a certain cognitive path. If one builds upon the premise that God’s ways are incomprehensible, then one will receive the wages of mysticism. I have discovered that those who practice mysticism will categorically reject such a rational explanation. They must, because explaining mysticism explains it away. But rejecting a rational explanation of mysticism is itself a form of unrighteousness.

‘Falling headlong’ is not an accurate translation. Headlong is only found once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘leaning (falling) forward (prone)’. This could be translated as ‘headlong’ but the emphasis is upon ‘falling flat’. The word falling actually means ‘to come into being’ and was used in verse 16 to describe the transformation of Judas. In other words, worship is becoming transformed into falling flat. This can be seen in mysticism. The basic premise of worship is that Perceiver thought should be overwhelmed by the emotional status of some object of worship. Such an experience leads to strong feelings of certainty for Perceiver thought, expressed as blind faith. Going further, if Perceiver thought is totally shut down, then Teacher thought can break through emotionally to overgeneralization. This breakthrough can be seen in the Zen koan. One continues to think about some logical contradiction until an emotional breakthrough is is achieved. This breakthrough occurs when Perceiver thought gives up, steps out of the way, and allows Teacher thought to make a sweeping statement (or overgeneralization). This could be described as ‘falling headlong’ because one is attempting to shut down rational thought through the use of mental tricks. However, as far as Perceiver thought is concerned, this is a ‘coming into being’ of ‘falling flat’, because a mental transition is being made into a form of thinking that becomes enabled when Perceiver thought ‘falls flat’ in total surrender.

The next stage is to ‘burst open in the middle’. Burst open is found once in the New Testament and means ‘to crack noisily’. Noise involves the Teacher realm of sound, but noise is also unintelligent, implying a lack of rational thought. ‘Cracking noisily’ suggests some sort of breakthrough in Teacher thought that opens up some finite container. Middle means ‘middle, in the midst’ and was previously used in verse 15 to describe Peter standing up in the midst. In verse 15, Peter, representing Perceiver thought, is finding connections between the various specializations of male technical thought. In verse 18, there is a ‘cracking noisily’ in the midst. This accurately describes the type of breakthrough that typically happens with mysticism which is described by the Zen koan. When Perceiver thought gives up trying to assert rational facts, then the mind ‘cracks’, allowing Teacher thought to escape the finite container of rational thought and make sweeping statements such as ‘all is one’. This cracking happens in the midst, because the sweeping statement is regarded as a universal Teacher theory that applies to everything.

The final step is that ‘all his intestines gushed out’. Gushed out means ‘to pour out’. Liquid refers to Mercy experiences. Pouring out would represent a sudden outburst of Mercy experiences. Intestines refers to ‘the inward parts’ or ‘visceral feelings’. This spilling of the guts describes the other aspect of the mystical experience which is the feeling that ‘I am one with everything’. The mystic feels that he really is ‘one with God’, but as far as Perceiver thought is concerned, this is a pouring out of the guts, because it is a mental breakdown of the Perceiver facts that normally separate my personal identity from others.

In the words of Wikipedia, “Mysticism is popularly known as union with God or the Absolute. In the 13th century the term unio mystica came to be used to refer to the ‘spiritual marriage,’ the ecstasy, or rapture, that was experienced when prayer was used ‘to contemplate both God’s omnipresence in the world and God in his essence.’”

Summarizing, Verse 18 accurately describes the cognitive steps involved in achieving a mystical experience. First, thinking in a manner that violates rational understanding is treated as a legitimate aspect of rational thought. Second, active steps are taken to overwhelm Perceiver thought. Third, an emotional breakthrough is achieved in Teacher thought as the absence of Perceiver thought makes it possible for Teacher thought to make sweeping statements. Fourth, Mercy thought identifies with the sweeping statement of overgeneralization made by Teacher thought. These four stages can be stated using more religious language. First, God works in mysterious ways. Second, finite humans are incapable of comprehending the nature of God. Third, the oneness of God can be grasped by transcending rational thought. Fourth, the goal is to become one with God. These four beliefs are fundamental aspects of Orthodox Christianity. They define religions such as Buddhism and they are present to some extent in most aspects of Christianity.

Looking at the bigger picture, analyzing mysticism is a major step in reformulating Christianity. Mysticism demands the submission of Perceiver thought, while the connections of Perceiver thought provide the key for integrating various technical specializations in order to generate a legitimate monotheistic concept of God. Analyzing mysticism is also a major step in reformulating Judaism. Judaism may claim to proclaim the concept of monotheism, but it defines monotheism as mysticism. However, one cannot merely declare mysticism to be wrong. Mysticism may use a mental trick to come up with a fake theory of Teacher universality, but the only way to overcome mysticism is by replacing the fake theory of everything with a real theory of everything. Constructing a real theory of everything is not trivial. Notice that we are not talking here of a grand unified theory of physics, because that deals with physical reality. Instead, what is needed is a unified theory that includes God in Teacher thought and humans in Mercy thought—and the beginning of Acts has described the development of such a theory. This theory must contain sufficient rational content to replace the mystical combination of ‘All is one’ and ‘I am one with everything’. And we have seen that constructing such an interdisciplinary theory requires Perceiver thought. Thus, Perceiver thought has to wake up from the state of stupor induced by mysticism and then stay awake long enough to construct a legitimate alternative to mysticism.

Verse 19 describes the spread of mysticism. “And it became known to all the residents of Jerusalem.” Known means ‘to know experientially’. Became means ‘to come into being’. Resident means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. And Jerusalem is being interpreted as the center of religion. Putting this together, all religious experts acquired an experiential knowledge of mysticism. The average lay person may not understand mysticism or have had a mystical experience. But I have found that an experiential knowledge of mysticism is common among religious professionals. In the words of Wikipedia, “mysticism can be found in all religious traditions, from indigenous religions and folk religions like shamanism, to organized religions like the Abrahamic faiths and Indian religions, and modern spirituality, New Age and New Religious Movements.”

Verse 19 finishes by saying that mysticism acquired the status of a general Teacher theory. “As a result that field was called Hakeldama in their own language, that is, Field of Blood.” Called means that one is giving a name to something in Teacher thought. Field is the same word that was used in verse 18 which was interpreted as some field of study. In verse 19, a name is being given to ‘that field’. This is an inherent contradiction because the basic premise of mysticism is that Teacher thought must go beyond any concept of names or specializations. However, mysticism, which demands the cessation of rational thought, has become regarded as a legitimate topic in the rational study of religion.

Language means ‘speech, language’ and is the source of the English word ‘dialect’. Hakeldama is found once in the New Testament and is Aramaic for ‘field of blood’. This is then translated explicitly as ‘field of blood’. Blood is the liquid of life and would represent MMNs of personal identity. Blood is normally concealed but becomes spilled when life is threatened. Thus, blood usually represents personal identity falling apart. Notice that mysticism is acquiring the same name in both the religious language of Jerusalem and the secular language of Greek. In both cases, it is being recognized as a field of study that specializes in strong emotions of identification.

This spillover from religious to secular can be seen in the following quote from Wikipedia. “Mysticism referred to the biblical, liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity. During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to ‘extraordinary experiences and states of mind.’ In modern times, ‘mysticism’ has acquired a limited definition, with broad applications, as meaning the aim at the ‘union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God’.” Notice how mysticism ‘has acquired a limited definition’, which means that it is regarded as some field within the general landscape of understanding. Mysticism was viewed within the context of Christianity but it is now also viewed more generally as a ‘state of mind’. In both cases, it is a ‘field of blood’. This experiential spilling out of personal identity can be interpreted religiously as ‘union with the infinite’ or secularly as an ‘extraordinary experience and state of mind’.

Verse 20 describes what rational thought thinks of mysticism. “For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘May his residence be made desolate, and may there be none living in it’.” The word written is the verb form of the noun ‘Scripture’ used in verse 16. What is happening in verse 20 is that the content of the Bible is being compared with the mindset of absolute truth and the associated religious practice of worship. (Absolute truth leads to worship, because absolute truth requires a source of truth that has much greater emotional status than personal identity. Thus, absolute truth can be maintained by regularly behaving in a worshipful manner that reinforces the feeling that the source of truth is far more important than personal identity. Worship is not the same as mysticism but can turn into mysticism.) When Perceiver thought wakes up, then one of the major steps taken by Perceiver thought will be to use Perceiver thought to reevaluate the content that was acquired through the blind faith of absolute truth.

The ‘book of Psalms’ is explicitly mentioned. A psalm describes ‘scripture set to music’. Setting words to music places the content of Teacher thought within the Mercy framework of a song. A ‘book of Psalms’ would refer to what the Bible actually says about worship. This is not the attitude of worship that comes from a mindset of absolute truth but rather what the Bible really says. These are not the same, because I have repeatedly found that a mindset of absolute truth will impose content upon the Bible which the Bible does not actually say. The quote is from Psalm 69:25. That psalm talks about despairing because of being attacked without cause by enemies and becoming estranged from family because of zeal for God. That summarizes what has been described in the preceding paragraphs. My experience is that those who pursue mysticism will instinctively reject and ostracize any attempt to rationally analyze Christianity.

Looking now at the quote, be made is again ‘to come into being’, indicating some sort of transition. Residence is found once in the New Testament and means ‘a country house, cottage, cabin’. Desolate is the word for desert which means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Living means ‘to settle down as a permanent resident’ and was used in verse 19 to describe those living in Jerusalem. In other words, when one examines the actual content of the Bible, one discovers that worship is not described as a permanent location within which one can live. Applying this to the book of Revelation, the endless worship of Revelation 4 is actually replaced by new forms of behavior that emerge in the following chapters.

Verse 20 finishes by saying “And may another take his position of oversight.” That quote is taken from Psalm 109:8, a psalm which also talks about being hated without cause. The word position of oversight means ‘a visiting, an overseeing’ and is related to the word episcopal. Take means ‘to actively lay hold of’ and was previously used in verse 8 to talk about ‘receiving’ power from the Holy Spirit. And another means ‘another of a different kind’. In other words, the official church leadership that promotes mysticism needs to be actively replaced by a different kind of leadership. This would be a major change because in my experience most religious leaders promote mysticism in some form. But if one examines the content of the Bible, it does not promote a mindset of mysticism.

Peter is not saying that worship should be abolished, but rather that the official leadership promoting worship needs to be replaced by a leadership of a different kind. The rest of chapter 1 describes the process of deciding what should replace existing church worship. The existing leadership needs to be replaced because it has used its emotional status as priests of Christianity to take Christianity captive, as described in verse 16. Therefore, this priesthood needs to lose its emotional status and be replaced by a different kind of priesthood. And I am quite aware that this statement questions almost two millennia of apostolic succession.

A Replacement for Mysticism 1:21-26

Verse 21 describes the requirements for a replacement for Judas. “Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out to us.” It is necessary is the same word that was used back in verse 16. Notice the combination of necessity and revelation. In the previous verses, the behavior of mysticism was compared with what the Bible actually says about worship. In verse 21, an understanding of how things work is being used to come up with a replacement. In fact, how things work has always been in charge. The focus upon worship was being determined not by the content of the Bible but rather by the mindset of absolute truth. In other words, how the mind works was overriding what the Bible says. Similarly, mysticism generates feelings of ecstasy because of how the mind works. Verse 18 does not describe the feeling of being one with God but rather summarizes the cognitive mechanisms that are causing the mystic to feel one with God. Here in verse 21, a knowledge of how things work—what is necessary—is being explicitly used to try to come up with a replacement for worship. And the word ‘it is necessary’ is followed by the word therefore, which indicates that ‘how things work’ is being used as a basis for rational thinking.

Accompanied means ‘to come together’ and was previously used in verse 6 to describe the various apostles coming together to discover Teacher order-with-complexity. Men refers specifically to men and not women. Thus, what is needed is a Teacher theory that is associated with male technical thought. This describes a paradigm, which is the general theory that lies behind some technical specialization. Time refers specifically to clock time and not time as opportunity. Went in means ‘to go in’ and went out means ‘to go or come out of’. This describes all the transitions involving Jesus within real life. When one is using male technical thought to analyze transitions, then this leads to a sense of cause-and-effect. Science studies physical cause-and-effect. But verse 21 adds one extra aspect, which is ‘to us’. This includes the subjective. Thus, one is looking for physical cause-and-effect that applies to me as a person. This extra subjective element turns the cause-and-effect of concrete technical thought into the salvation of Jesus.

Putting this all together, abstract technical thought is based in precise definitions, while concrete technical thought is based in cause-and-effect. A concept of incarnation emerges when abstract technical thought becomes unified with concrete technical thought. Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation. Examining all the ‘going in and out of’ Jesus will reveal the various cause-and-effects that are associated with concrete technical thought, causing Jesus to be understood as the concrete side of incarnation rather than as some superhero who needs to be worshiped. If the various cause-and-effects of Jesus ‘come together’ using male technical thought, then this will lead to a concept of Christ, the abstract side of incarnation. In essence, one is looking for general patterns in the various cause-and-effects of Jesus. For instance, this means interpreting the book of Acts as a series of cause-and-effects from which general processes can be pulled out. To some extent, a sermon does this whenever trying to derive some lessons from a story in the Gospels. However, the goal here is to do this in a manner that is sufficiently rigorous and sufficiently general to provide an alternative to the Teacher ‘theory’ of mysticism. Saying this more simply, one is gaining an understanding of the character of God and incarnation by looking at the behavior of Jesus. Notice that Jesus is referred to as ‘the Lord Jesus’, indicating that one is not just reading stories about Jesus but rather discovering general principles of cause-and-effect to obey. Saying this another way, one is learning from Jesus ‘what is necessary’.

Verse 22 describes the scope of this study. “Beginning from the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us.” Baptism means ‘a dipping or sinking’ and indicates a rebirth. The baptism of John was defined earlier as following absolute truth and being submerged in the ‘waters’ of overwhelming experience. Notice the focus upon baptism, which is a form of personal transformation. The goal is to find a new motivation for worship. The baptism of John leads to the motivation of ‘Jesus became real to me in my time of trouble’. Looking at this personally, I have found over the years that the Christians who end up being my friends are not the ones who preach the Bible but rather the ones who have gone through suffering and discovered the reality of the Christian message.

Taken up means to ‘take up, raise’ and the phrase ‘taken up away from’ was previously spoken by the two men in verse 11. ‘Taken up’ was also used in verse 2 where it was associated with a certain day. This describes the era in which the rise of psychology and cognitive science started to replace a concept of Jesus with secular cognitive principles. This is preceded by until, which indicates that one should stop at this point.

Looking at these two endpoints from a cognitive perspective, the goal is to find a new motivation for worship to replace the ‘praise’ of Judas. Two factors are required: a Jesus of transformation and a concept of God. Using cognitive language, a concept of incarnation includes technical thought but goes beyond it in two ways: Incarnation saves people by including the subjective in Mercy thought. Scientific thought, in contrast, is objective. Incarnation is an expression of a concept of God in Teacher thought. Scientific thought, in contrast, avoids a concept of God through specialization. Absolute truth includes the subjective and the universal, but it does not necessarily include the technical thinking of cause-and-effect. Thus, one includes absolute truth if it is combined with the ‘baptism’ of personal transformation. And by including baptism, I do not mean dunking somebody in a pool at the front of a church and saying ‘In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit’. Instead, I mean experiencing the truth of the Christian message by being submerged within some overwhelming situation.

Going the other way, psychology and cognitive science are not an adequate basis for worship. Even though most of the principles of cause-and-effect being described by technical thought are accurate, the emotional framework is distorted. The need for personal transformation is only partially recognized and the psychological principles are not placed within the framework of a universal Teacher understanding. Thus, one learns from psychology and cognitive science, but one does not build a church upon these two.

Verse 22 finishes by looking at the larger picture. “One of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” Witness means ‘an eye- or ear-witness’. This adds the subjective but does not build upon the subjective. An eyewitness personally experienced the events, but did not cause the events; an eyewitness felt the emotions but reports the facts. Resurrection means ‘a standing up, a resurrection’ and this is the noun form of the verb that was used to describe Peter standing up in verse 15. This resurrection is ‘of him’, which refers to Jesus.

Looking at this cognitively, a new concept of incarnation is emerging. The technical thinking of incarnation is based upon a foundation of Server sequences and Perceiver facts. The resurrection of Perceiver thought provides a new set of Perceiver facts. And the various ‘coming in and out’ of Jesus provide a set of Server sequences. This combination lays the foundation for a resurrected concept of incarnation. For instance, mental symmetry describes incarnation as extending technical thought to include the subjective in Mercy thought and the universal in Teacher thought. This is a resurrected concept of incarnation. It is based in the Server sequences of following an extended path of personal transformation, and it is based in the Perceiver connections that have been discovered by comparing various specializations. It is a resurrected concept of incarnation and not a new concept of incarnation because the content is consistent with the description of incarnation in the Bible.

Verse 22 does not specifically talk about becoming a disciple but rather ends with the phrase ‘with us to become one of these’. And ‘these’ is presumably ‘a witness of the resurrection’. This seems to be saying that the process of transforming a concept of incarnation will itself become a witness of the resurrection. One will no longer think merely of the historical Jesus dying on a physical cross 2000 years ago. One will also think of a concept of incarnation based in absolute truth being betrayed by mysticism and coming back to life.

Verse 23 illustrates two ways of interpreting this transition. “So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias.” In this case, the word ‘men’ is not in the original Greek. Put forward means ‘to make to stand’, and was previously used by the two men in verse 11 who asked why the disciples were standing looking into heaven. Standing while looking into heaven implies holding on to certain Perceiver facts while pursuing Teacher understanding. In verse 23, two sets of facts are being examined. Starting with the first alternative, Joseph means ‘he increases’. Called indicates a name being assigned in Teacher thought. This name is Barsabbas, which combines ‘son of’ with ‘to be inclined, desire, be pleased’. The second called refers to a supplementary name or a surname. This second name is Justus, which is a Latin name that means ‘just’. This combination of names describes the growth of society. When society goes beyond absolute truth to discover psychology and cognitive science then society itself will experience the increase of growth. Instead of viewing truth as a stick being wielded by some authority, truth will be viewed as the basis for a just society that enables personal desire and leads to pleasing results. This describes the basic premise of economics, which is that technical specialization under the rule of law increases the well-being of society.

The other alternative is Matthias, which means ‘gift of Yah’. The idea here is that a monotheistic concept of God in Teacher thought is the ultimate source of what is happening. Joseph describes the Mercy results of having a resurrected concept of incarnation. Matthias describes the Teacher source of a resurrected concept of incarnation. For instance, mental symmetry suggests that the TMN of an integrated theory of cognition creates a Christian Trinitarian concept of God as well as providing the motivation and structure that is required to maintain a growing society.

Verse 24 describes the method of choosing between these two. “And they prayed and said, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all people, show which one of these two You have chosen.’” Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. This describes an emotional interaction between the TMN of a concept of God and MMNs of personal identity. This type of emotional interaction becomes meaningful when a concept of God is based in ‘how things work’. The TMN of a concept of God guides how things are done, while MMNs of personal identity provide personal goals and means. For instance, technology is guided by a Teacher understanding of ‘how the physical world works’. But technology uses an understanding of natural processes to satisfy MMNs of personal desire and need.

One of the premises of the consumer society is that ‘the customer is always right’. But the customer is often a childish idiot who needs to experience personal transformation. This recognition is reflected in the phrase ‘you, Lord, who know the hearts of all’. Lord indicates that MMNs of personal desire are not in charge; the customer is not always right. Know the hearts is used twice in the New Testament, both times in Acts, and combines ‘heart’ with ‘experientially know’. This is the other side of being a witness of the resurrection of incarnation. On the one hand, personal identity has experienced what it means for a concept of incarnation to be brought to life by a general Teacher understanding of God. On the other hand, the resulting general Teacher understanding of God brings order to all the specific Mercy experiences involved in being a witness of this resurrection. The NASB adds the word ‘people’, but the original Greek simply says all, which means ‘each part of a totality’. In other words, this is not overgeneralized concept of God based in sweeping statements that have no application to the facts of reality. Instead, it is a general concept of God that brings order to all of the specific experiences of personal identity.

Show is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to lift up and show’. Teacher thought creates general theories by lifting up specific items and showing that they are more general. Thus, a Teacher concept of God that knows the nature of personal identity is being asked to indicate which of these two alternatives is more general in Teacher thought. Is it the growth of modern society, or is it a unified concept of God? Teacher thought is being asked to choose one of these two, and ‘one’ and ‘two’ are both in the original Greek. Notice that this is not a Mercy choice between focusing upon God in Teacher thought versus living within society in Mercy thought. That is how a Christianity based in absolute truth would view such a choice: ‘Will you give your life to God or will you live for yourself?’ Instead, this is a Teacher choice involving generality. Which is more fundamental, the growth of modern society or viewing an integrated concept of God as the ultimate source?

Verse 25 describes this as a replacement for Judas. “To take the place of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” Place means ‘place, region’ and is used twice in this verse. Place is determined by Perceiver thought because Perceiver thought places items within a map. But place also assumes a general Teacher theory—a landscape within which specific items can be placed. This is cognitively significant. Absolute truth uses Perceiver facts to judge people: ‘You are good; you are bad’. Transformed Perceiver thought places people within a map of character development: ‘This is where you are in the path of transformation’. Ministry means ‘service, ministry’ and describes Server actions. Contributor thought, which guides technical thinking, combines Perceiver and Server. This combination can be seen in ‘the place of this ministry’. Perceiver thought thinks in terms of place, but this is a place of ministry, which describes a combination of Perceiver and Server thought. Perceiver thought by itself would say ‘This is where you are’. When Server thought is added, then this turns into ‘This is where you are in the path of transformation’.

Apostleship is the noun form of apostle. Apostles were mentioned in verse 2, and this is the first reference to either apostles or apostleship since that verse. An apostle was defined earlier as someone who performs a significant breakthrough in the understanding or expression of Christianity. (One could also define an apostle more generically as someone who achieves a significant breakthrough in the understanding or expression of science or society.) The general assumption of absolute truth is that everything important happened in the past; absolute truth was revealed to some sources of truth in the past and has been recorded for those living in the present. Absolute truth will conclude that there are no new apostles and that describes how most Christian denominations view apostleship. Going further, viewing some living person as a prophet within a system of absolute truth usually leads to heresy and corruption. That is because viewing someone as an apostle gives them the Mercy status to question existing absolute truth. Basing Christianity in an integrated Teacher understanding makes it possible to have apostles in the present without them automatically becoming corrupted.

And verse 25 points out that Judas was corrupted and did turn aside from his own place. Turn aside is found three times in the New Testament and means ‘to transgress in a willful defiant way’. We saw earlier that the Judas of praise willfully transgressed the content of the Bible by embracing mysticism. To go means ‘to transport’ and is interpreted as a path that is accompanied by a transformation. Thus, the praise of Judas became transformed into something different on the path to mysticism. Judas ended up in ‘his own’ place. In other words, mysticism evolved into a separate system of religion that is distinct from Christianity. This focus upon the turning aside of Judas is consistent with the suggestion that this passage is describing a replacement for religious worship.

In verse 26, Matthias is chosen. “And they gave lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.” A lot was previously mentioned in verse 17 describing the share of Judas. A lot is a random choice. In biblical times the belief was that God would decide random choices. This can be interpreted cognitively as allowing the situation to decide. One does not make a decision but rather follows both options until it becomes clear from the environment which option is the better one. The premise here is that a God of Teacher generality will become evident as one examines the general environment. This is a different concept of divine sovereignty. Instead of viewing God as deciding every specific event, one views God as having control over the general course of events. This passive response is indicated by the verb fell which means ‘to fall’. They are not choosing but rather seeing what becomes chosen.

The word added to is found once in the New Testament. It combines ‘with’, ‘against, according to’, and ‘to count, calculate’. It is generally used for voting along with others. Thus, Matthias is being included with the eleven apostles. Looking at this cognitively, it becomes apparent over time that a unified Teacher understanding is most fundamental. That is because the growth of a society will become unhinged in some manner if the fundamental nature of Teacher understanding is not included. This principle has become evident in my study of mental symmetry. This is not the only apostle, but it must be included as one of the apostles and it must replace the mindset of worship. What this means in practice is that one goes beyond technical specializations to recognize in an emotional manner that a God of Teacher thought holds everything together. Worship then becomes motivated by seeing the hand of God in how things work together. Instead of viewing God as a transcendent incomprehensible deity that is worshiped by turning one’s back upon human existence, one views God as a universal being who is bringing order and structure to the complexity of human existence.

Looking at this more practically, a distinction can be made between popular art and classic art. Popular art is motivated by Mercy feelings and can be appreciated by the average uneducated person. Classic art, in contrast, includes Teacher concepts of order, structure, beauty, symmetry, and harmony. Classic art requires some education to appreciate, because the ability to appreciate Teacher emotion has to be developed. If worship is supposed to view God from a Teacher perspective, then one worships God with classic art and not popular art. I should emphasize that I am not referring to the semi-chaos of ‘modern classical art’. I know from personal experience what this is, because I have played considerable ‘modern classical music’ in orchestras. That confuses novelty with understanding and personal impact. A concept of God emerges as a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity. Therefore, one worships God with art that includes personal identity. Modern classical art vomits upon personal identity; that kind of art is motivated by the machine of the modern society which steps on the individual. Instead, by classic art, I mean art that includes order, structure, beauty, symmetry, and harmony while also speaking meaningfully to personal identity in Mercy thought. One major aspect is that classic art should include melody because melodies speak meaningfully to personal identity. (More precisely, a melody is the musical equivalent of having a home, going on a journey, and then returning home.) Going the other way, when the drums are in the center of the stage and are the focal point of the music, then this is also an indication that a God of Teacher order is not being worshiped. That is because rhythm activates Teacher thought at the primitive level of acoustic transitions. This hijacks Teacher thought, preventing Teacher thought from functioning at the higher level of general understanding.

The Day of Pentecost 2:1-2

Chapter 2 describes the Day of Pentecost. It is interesting to examine Pentecostalism in the light of the verses that have just been discussed. Summarizing some of the points from the linked essay, Pentecostalism initially spread through the Azusa Street Revival which began in 1906 in Los Angeles and continued until 1915. The emphasis was not upon an integrated rational Teacher understanding. Instead, extreme Mercy experiences were regarded as a substitute for rational understanding, and one of the primary signs was speaking in tongues, which replaces Teacher words of rational speech with the shape of a language that lacks rational content.

Looking at the cultural context, Pentecostalism emerged in the context of the modern consumer society. Los Angeles was a boom town during this period. By 1900 it had become a city of over 100,000 and was being actively promoted by a number of developers. Oil was discovered in 1892 and began to be exploited in 1900. The city of Hollywood was incorporated in 1903.

Looking at this in the light of Joseph and Matthias, Los Angeles at the beginning of the 20th century was a vivid example of Joseph—a booming consumer society. The basic premise of Pentecostalism is that God wants to give me prosperity. Initially, this was a subconscious message, because Pentecostalism became prominent in a center of consumer prosperity. However, this message of personal prosperity has became explicit in many branches of Pentecostalism, with the blessing of God being equated with material prosperity. In contrast, Pentecostalism is not an example of Matthias. On the contrary, Pentecostalism has historically been strongly anti-intellectual. Looking back at the history of Pentecostalism, one concludes that this has not been a wise choice because many—if not most—Pentecostal movements have imploded in some form of scandal. Looking at this from the other direction, Pentecostalism became less prone to self-destruction—and more accepting of rational thought—when it morphed into the charismatic movement in the 1960s. (Mental symmetry came to birth in a center of the charismatic movement and was rejected by the leadership of that church for being too psychological and too cognitive.) The charismatic movement also bridged many of the divisions of the Christian church, a symptom of Teacher order-within-complexity. However, the charismatic movement itself has become largely replaced by a third wave of psychology and crowd manipulation. Using psychology and cognitive science is fine if everything is held together by an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought. But that integrated understanding is not present within the charismatic movement and the fragments of rational theology that do exist are not strong enough to withstand the pressures of secular society. I do not want to write off the entire Pentecostal movement, but one can definitely conclude that what it has produced has been far less healthy than what it has claimed.

This essay will use the term Pentecostalism to refer to the emotionally enhanced, rationally crippled version of Christianity described in the preceding paragraphs. Pentecostalism has historically been most prevalent within the Pentecostal denomination, but not everything within the Pentecostal denomination would qualify as Pentecostalism. Going the other way, some behavior outside of the Pentecostal denomination would definitely qualify as blatant Pentecostalism, such as the Toronto Blessing or the Lakeland Revival.

Moving now to chapter 2, verse 1 sets the scene. “When the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled, they were all together in one place.” The term being fulfilled is mentioned in a footnote. It is found three times in the New Testament and means ‘to fill up completely, hence to fulfill’. In other words, the day of Pentecost is not arriving at some specific time, but rather when a sufficient filling up has occurred. The Greek is more literally ‘and in the realm of the filling up completely of the day of the Pentecost’. Day is being interpreted as a period of time illuminated by the light of some general theory. Pentecost means ‘fiftieth’ and refers to the Hebrew festival of Shavuot. Pentecost is only mentioned three times in the New Testament: here, and twice by Paul to describe the festival in the Hebrew calendar.

The word together is used four times in the New Testament and comes from the word ‘the same’. ‘One’ and ‘place’ are not in the original Greek. Instead, the pronoun ‘the same’ is used. Thus, a more accurate translation is ‘they existed all the same upon the same’. This describes unity at an existential level, an organic form of integration that goes beyond organization or cooperation. I suggested earlier that a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when many Platonic forms come together to create a Form of the Good. Saying this another way, a concept of the Holy Spirit appears to be an emergent property. I am not suggesting that the Holy Spirit came into existence at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity who has existed before time and creation. But it does appear that this cognitive mechanism applies to any fresh expression of the Holy Spirit.

Looking at this more carefully, most Mercy mental networks (MMNs) form as a result of emotional experiences imposed upon Mercy thought by the physical body. In contrast, a general theory turns into a TMN when it continues to be used. Some threshold is crossed where the theory suddenly acquires a life of its own. Before this point, one can choose to ignore the theory. After this point, the theory will generate negative feelings when it is activated and not used to explain some situation. A concept of the Holy Spirit seems to emerge in a similar manner. Coming up with a unified Teacher theory will bring unity to any associated Platonic forms, leading to a single, unified Form of the Good. But this Form of the Good will only turn into a MMN when a person and/or society lives in the light of this Form of the Good for a sufficient length of time. This explains the reference to the complete filling up at the beginning of verse 1, as well as the statement of existential unity at the end of verse 1. Summarizing, verse 1 talks about a complete filling up that exhibits itself as a form of existential unity. That appears to be the cognitive basis for a Pentecost.

This kind of existential unity can also be seen in the Bible School in which the Pentecostal movement had its birth in 1900. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Parham started Bethel Bible College at Topeka in October 1900. The school was modeled on Sandford’s ‘Holy Ghost and Us Bible School’, and Parham continued to operate on a faith basis, charging no tuition. He invited ‘all ministers and Christians who were willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school for study and prayer.’” I am not suggesting that this movement was necessarily healthy and Parham’s ministry experienced a major scandal in 1906. But it appears that there is a cognitive principle here, and one can see this principle illustrated in the school of Parham. Saying this more clearly, Parham may have met the cognitive requirements for forming a concept of a holy spirit but he did not meet the requirements for maintaining and developing a concept of the Holy Spirit. (Parham was following a model established by Sandford, who wielded absolute dictatorial control over his commune and declared himself to be the incarnation of Elijah and King David.)

Verse 2 describes something coming to life. “And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven.” Came means to ‘come into being’, indicating that something new is happening. Suddenly means ‘suddenly’. These two words describe what happens when a mental network is formed. A group of related emotional memories suddenly start functioning as an integrated unit. From is more accurately ‘from out of’. And ‘the heaven’ is in the singular with the definite article. Heaven represents a realm within Teacher thought that is inhabited by intelligent beings. ‘The heaven’ would represent a Teacher realm based in integrated Teacher understanding. ‘Coming into being from out of the heaven’ would describe a mental network that is emerging as a result of an integrated Teacher understanding. This is consistent with the description given earlier of how a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges.

This expresses itself as a noise, which means ‘a loud or confused noise’ and is the source of the English word ‘echo’. This word is used four times in the New Testament and translated as ‘report’, ‘roaring’, ‘sound’, and ‘blast’. Noise implies the auditory realm of Teacher thought. ‘A loud or confused noise’ suggests that Teacher thought is being disrupted in some manner.

Like means ‘just as, even as’ and indicates that one item is analogically similar to another. Wind means ‘blowing, wind, breath’ and is used twice in the New Testament. The other time it is used it is translated as ‘breath’ and accompanies the word ‘life’. Air and wind represent Teacher thought, but blowing and breathing imply that this Teacher thought is the expression of living mental networks. And breath represents Teacher thought at the basic level of maintaining life. Rushing means ‘to bear, carry, bring forth’. This means that the basic expression of living Teacher thought is carrying something along with it. Violent is used once as an adjective in the New Testament. Violence implies spontaneous behavior that is being motivated by core mental networks being disturbed.

Looking at this cognitively, verse 2 specifically says that this is an analogical description. Thus, it is appropriate to illustrate this with an analogical description from physics. If one examines the mathematics of special relativity and general relativity, an interesting conclusion emerges which is analogically similar to the description of the previous paragraph. Stated in simple terms, gravity messes up the elegant laws of nature. Special relativity can use fairly simple laws to analyze the behavior of the universe. General relativity adds the effect of gravity. What happens is that gravity warps space-time, forcing various ‘warping factors’ to be added, such as Christoffel symbols. Gravity is generated by the mass of objects and objects relate to the concrete world of Mercy experiences. In other words, the perfect Teacher order becomes slightly messed up when Mercy thought enters the scene. A similar relationship between Teacher and Mercy thought can be seen in the physics concept of symmetry breaking, a basic premise of quantum field theory.

Using a simpler analogy, it is as if the house is perfectly neat and ordered and then a child arrives. The child is alive in Mercy thought, but the child also disturbs the perfect Teacher order. In verse 2, something universal is becoming alive in Mercy thought—some MMNs of the Holy Spirit. This emergence of Mercy life is adding a little chaos to universal understanding in Teacher thought.

Applying this to the Pentecostal movement, one of the primary attributes of Pentecostalism has been chaotic behavior. Pentecostalism has introduced a lot of childish behavior into the Teacher order of the church. For instance, Wikipedia quotes from a 1906 newspaper report on the Azusa Street Revival. “They cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall out on the sawdust blanketed floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell.” What happened with Pentecostalism is that the Teacher order was coming implicitly and indirectly from the Teacher laws of science, reinforced by social standards for civilized behavior. Science and technology were producing a new consumer society and Pentecostalism was believing that the same thing could happen within the realm of the spirit.

Summarizing, a move of the Holy Spirit will always induce some chaos and some childish behavior. However, this move of the Holy Spirit will only last as long as the Teacher order survives the chaos. That is because the Holy Spirit is an indirect expression of a unified understanding in Teacher thought. Using the analogy of a child, raising a child will bring chaos to the Teacher order of the house, but the well-being of the child depends upon the order of the house surviving the chaotic presence of the child. Looking at the example of relativity, gravity bends space-time, adding complexity to the neat equations of physics. But gravity only bends space-time. When gravity breaks space-time, then that describes a black hole. When Christianity becomes associated with mysticism, then scholars will associate religious experience with the singularities of black holes where the laws of physics break down. Similarly, when the chaos of Pentecostalism becomes too pervasive, then this will destroy the theological structure of Christianity.

Verse 2 continues by describing the effect. “And it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Fill means ‘to make full, to complete’. Whole means ‘all the parts are present and working as a whole’. A house is ‘a house, a dwelling’. And sitting means ‘to be seated’. One sees here both a limitation and a lack of limitation. On the one hand, the presence of the Holy Spirit is limited to the subjective realm—the dwelling in which people are living. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the spiritual realm empowers mental networks. The mind uses mental networks to represent living beings. Therefore, the influence of the spiritual realm would be limited to the realm of mental networks. On the other hand, this presence totally fills the subjective. I have mentioned that a concept of God emerges when a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity. Obviously, any resulting concept of the Holy Spirit will also be limited to the realm of personal identity. But a concept of the Holy Spirit is a universal concept that will entirely fill the subjective realm. It is a concept of universality within Mercy thought that affects all mental networks. We saw earlier that mysticism shuts down Perceiver thought. Pentecostalism also overrides rational thinking. But Perceiver thought is required to distinguish between me and other people, and to separate between one room of a house and another. A concept of the Holy Spirit will question these Perceiver distinctions. If a movement of the Holy Spirit manages to overwhelm these Perceiver distinctions, then individuality will collapse into mass hysteria and crowd manipulation.

Notice that Perceiver thought is carrying out two functions. In abstract thought, Perceiver thought adds details to general Teacher theories. The sound of a violent rushing wind describes the impact of the Holy Spirit upon this abstract Perceiver function. The mystical overgeneralization that ‘all is one’ attacks this abstract function of Perceiver thought. In concrete thought, Perceiver thought distinguishes between one person or item and another. The filling of the entire house describes the impact of the Holy Spirit upon this concrete Perceiver function. The identification of mysticism attacks this concrete function of Perceiver thought. This puts another twist upon the statement that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth who leads into all truth. Cognitively speaking, a concept of the Holy Spirit focuses upon Perceiver truth because the continued existence of a concept of the Holy Spirit depends upon the integrity of Perceiver truth. This statement can be demonstrated by examining the history of Pentecostalism. Whenever truth and integrity were lost, the movement of the Holy Spirit collapsed.

Tongues 2:3-4

Verse 3 describes the personal impact. “And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, distributing themselves.” Appeared means ‘see, often with metaphorical meaning: to see with the mind’. This is the first use of this version of ‘see’ in Acts. The spiritual realm is an unseen realm that affects reality through mental networks. This is consistent with the idea of ‘seeing with the mind’. Distributing is the next word in the original Greek and appears as a verb which means ‘to distribute, to divide’. What is doing the distributing is tongues, and a tongue means ‘the tongue, a language’. This refers to Teacher words. Thus, the Holy Spirit is having a dividing impact at the level of Teacher words. This can be seen with technical specializations. A specialization begins as a system of thought guided by the TMN of some paradigm. As people within the specialization interact, a culture emerges within Mercy thought, based upon the unique set of experiences of that specialization. This culture leads to a dividing of technical language because the technical language of one specialization will diverge from the technical language of another. For instance, math and physics both use mathematical equations, but the vocabulary is slightly different. In physics the answers are approximate, while math deals usually with exact answers. Math regards all possible solutions is valid, while physics rejects mathematical solutions that do not make physical sense. Notice how the difference in Teacher language is the result of functioning within a different realm within Mercy thought. Answers are approximate in physics because physics deals with physical reality which is messy. Physics rejects answers that do not make physical sense because physics is applying mathematical equations to some limited situation within reality and these mathematical equations do not apply outside of this limited situation. For instance, the equation that describes a ball traveling through the air does not apply to the period of time before the ball is thrown even though the mathematical equations may come up with a possible answer that refers to negative time.

I am not suggesting that tongues are only variations in the vocabulary of technical specializations, but rather that this provides an analogy that helps to understand the nature of tongues. And I suggest that the analogy of technical vocabulary is more accurate than the analogy of babbling nonsense syllables. I also suggest that the use of analogies is appropriate because the next word in Greek is like, which means ‘as if, as it were, like’ and indicates that an analogy is being used. Looking at this more carefully, the supernatural and the spiritual realms are not subject to the physical laws of nature. But it appears that there are analogical similarities between the functioning of the supernatural, the functioning of the spiritual, and the functioning of the physical. Thus, one can use rational thought to understand what these other realms are like. Using the language of mental symmetry, one cannot use the technical thinking of scientific law to connect the laws of physics with the laws of the spiritual and the laws of the supernatural. But one can use the analogies of normal thought to build bridges between these various realms. The theory of mental symmetry, which functions at the level of analogies, can be used to come up with a single rational explanation that includes the physical, the spiritual, and the supernatural. This explains why a day of Pentecost shakes existing Teacher order. Teacher thought is encountering a new form of behavior that is not being driven by existing Teacher order, as illustrated by the arrival of a new baby to an ordered household. However, this new form of behavior functions in a manner that is similar to existing Teacher order. Using the example of a baby, the physical and cognitive development of a child are guided by principles that can be described using rational Teacher thought.

Verse 3 compares the dividing tongues with fire. Fire brings heat and light, but it also consumes. Fire is interpreted cognitively as an Exhorter motivation that consumes itself, often related to a form of frustration. This can have a purifying effect as dross of various kinds is consumed. Verse 3 does not say that the tongues are fire, but rather that they are like fire. Applying this to technical specializations, this dividing and purifying effect can be seen in the concept of explication. Explication is a process of gaining additional understanding by clarifying and tightening the definitions of terms. This is a dividing of tongues, because each specialization is clarifying its language, causing the language of one specialization to diverge from that of another. This is like a fire because it leads to the frustration of having to use more precise language. But explication also makes it possible to gain a deeper understanding of a field.

Verse 3 finishes by saying “and a tongue rested on each one of them.” ‘A tongue’ is not in the original Greek. Rested is the verb form of the noun ‘sitting’ that was used at the end of verse 2. Each means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’. This emphasizes the dividing effect of the tongues because the tongues are leading to a form of individuality. Looking again at technical specializations, one specialization becomes separate from another and acquires its own individuality as it gains its own language. Whenever one learns a new technical specialization, part of the struggle is to learn the technical vocabulary of that specialization.

Verse 4 is the first mention of the Holy Spirit in chapter 2. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues.” This is the first use of the verb filled in Acts, which ‘implies filled to one’s individual capacity’. Spirit means ‘wind, spirit’ while holy means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. This combination is consistent with the idea of a Form of the Good that is based in Platonic forms. ‘Wind, spirit’ implies something that emerges as a result of Teacher thought, while ‘holy’ indicates that it is not coming directly from the physical realm of Mercy experiences. ‘Filled’ indicates the significance of a concept of the Holy Spirit, because this concept is providing the mental container for the presence of a real Holy Spirit; each individual is being filled up to the capacity of their concept of the Holy Spirit.

Began means to ‘commence, rule’. Speak means ‘chatter in classical Greek’, which implies normal conversation. Tongue means ‘tongue, a language’ and was used previously in verse 3. Another means ‘another of a different kind’. This appears to go beyond the technical dialects mentioned in verse 3. Chattering is not technical speech. Most technical dialects would be other languages of the same kind. And ‘commence’ indicates that something new is starting. This suggests something that goes beyond the normal technical specializations of science but is an extension of technical specializations.

Verse 4 adds more details which describe how this works. “As the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out.” As means ‘according as, just as’. This is another word that indicates similarity. The Spirit is mentioned but the word ‘holy’ is not included. Give means ‘to give’ and is normally used when giving something to someone. This combination suggests that something is being given from the Holy Spirit to individuals as a gifting which functions at the spiritual level. Speak out is used three times in the New Testament. It is defined as ‘to ennunciate plainly’ and is ‘not a word of everyday speech, but one belonging to dignified and elevated discourse’.

What appears to be happening cognitively is that new technical specializations are developing as a result of the Mercy focus of the Holy Spirit. First, dialects of specialized language are emerging as a result of technical specializations. Second, many kinds of technical specialization are coming together within Mercy thought to form the combined concept of a new and better world. Third, individuals are coming up with new ways of talking and thinking in Teacher thought to the extent that they have an internal concept of this new and better world. Fourth, this is resulting in new technical statements being made in Teacher thought. Looking at the scientific analogy, different scientific specializations are emerging each with their own specialized vocabulary. This scientific research is leading to the internal concept of ‘a technological world transformed by science’. Individuals are becoming motivated by this internal vision to the extent that they have an understanding of science. This is causing new technical specializations to emerge whose purpose is to develop some of these internal visions.

I should repeat that I do not think that this passage is only talking about science and technology. Instead, I think that it is describing something in the spiritual realm that will function like science and technology. Notice also that everything so far has happened at the level of Teacher words and Mercy internal visions. Actions have not been transformed; neither has the physical world. Comparing this with other passages, I suggest that what is being described is what I refer to as the theoretical return of Jesus. This is a breakthrough from the spiritual realm, but it is happening at the level of Teacher words and understanding and not directly impacting physical reality. This theoretical return lays the foundation for what I refer to as spiritual technology, which appears to follow the theoretical return of Jesus and be a result of it.

A Religious Response 2:5-8

Verse 5 describes the response of the religious crowd. “Now there were Jews residing in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.” The fact that Jews living in Jerusalem are being impacted indicates that this goes beyond the objective realm of science and technology to touch the subjective realm of religious thought and experience. Residing means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. This verb was used in 1:19 to describe the residents of Jerusalem, which we interpreted as the center of religion with its religious leaders. This is the first reference in Acts to Jews and they will be mentioned two more times in chapter 2. The word Jew is actually related to Judas, because both words come from the tribe of Judah, and Judah means ‘praised’. Thus, a Jew can be defined as someone who has a legitimate personal relationship with God based upon absolute truth. This would include at present the ‘born again’ Christian as well as the Jew who has a personal relationship with God that extends beyond the mysticism of Kabbalah.

These characteristics are emphasized in the rest of the sentence. Men are specifically mentioned and this is being interpreted as male technical thought. This excludes mysticism which rejects the content of male technical thought. In other words, a male monk living in some holy site in Jerusalem who approaches God in a mystical fashion and worships God through religious ritual would not qualify cognitively as a male resident of Jerusalem. Devout is used four times in the New Testament and means ‘taking hold of what is good’. This means pursuing long-term goodness for personal identity in Mercy thought. Someone who is ‘denying self’ or ‘suffering for Jesus’ is not devout, because such a person is pursuing pain for personal identity and not ‘taking hold of what is good’. Going the other way, hedonism is also not taking hold of what is good, because hedonism looks for short-term gratification and does not hold on to anything. That is why I mention ‘a legitimate personal relationship with God’, because such a relationship will believe that God loves me and wants me to have what is best for me’. I know that these statements question millennia of religious practice. But we have just examined how a mindset of Judas turns into mysticism and ends up denying and betraying Jesus. The statements of this paragraph are implications of that analysis. In other words, the suggestion that Judas needs to be taken from his place and replaced with another is not just a theological statement. It means rethinking the whole concept of what it means to be a religious leader.

These devout men are ‘from every nation’. Nation means ‘people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’. This describes the MMNs of culture that join some group together. ‘From every nation’ is by definition cross-cultural. However, this does not include every culture. Instead it includes every nation ‘under the heaven’ and heaven is interpreted as the realm of Teacher thought. Cognitively speaking, these nations are all recognizing the supremacy of rational Teacher understanding. Using religious language, they all hold to theology rather than basing their religion in experience. This provides a cognitive explanation for the term born-again. The childish mind is naturally built upon the MMNs of the local culture. A re-born mind recognizes that the mind has to be held together by the TMN of a concept of God, leading to the conclusion that religion crosses cultural MMNs.

If one observes current Christians and Jews one notices a mixture. On the one hand, Judaism is based in the MMNs of Jewish race and culture, but on the other hand, Israel is full of Jews from many cultures. Similarly, Christianity is based in MMNs of respect for the Bible, but on the other hand, Christians realize that the Christian message extends beyond preaching the Bible to include many aspects of salvation. On the one hand, Judaism practices traditions that stretch back thousands of years. But on the other hand, Judaism has had to become reborn as a result of returning to the land of Israel. Similarly, Christianity also is based in 2000 years of tradition, but Christianity is having to rethink this tradition as a result of the decline of Western Christendom. A similar description would have applied to the historical audience in Jerusalem during the time of Peter and the apostles.

The response of this crowd is described in verse 6. “And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together and they were bewildered.” A different word for sound is used than the word in verse 2 which means ‘voice, sound’. This is more intelligible than the noise mentioned in verse 2. This is also the first use of the word crowd in Acts which means ‘a great number’ and comes from ‘to be full’. This full number is ‘coming together’, a word first used in 1:6 to describe the apostles coming together. That was interpreted as many viewpoints coming together to form Teacher order-within-complexity. Thus, what is attracting the crowd is not chaos but rather order. The Azusa Street revival that began modern Pentecostalism was characterized by excessive chaos. In contrast, things are fitting together too well in verse 6; things that were regarded as distinct are fitting together; things are making too much sense. For instance, the emotional appeal of mental symmetry is not that it is new and radical but rather that it manages to tie together so many disparate elements. The charismatic movement of the 1960s and 1970s was also characterized initially by an excessive coming together that even transcended divisions between Protestant and Catholic.

The word bewildered means ‘to pour together’. Pouring indicates the Mercy realm of liquids. Pouring together means that Mercy experiences are coming together suddenly. This happens when separate cultures are suddenly brought together by an integrated Teacher understanding. The Mercy experiences of each culture, which were regarded as distinct, will pour together, resulting in strange feelings in Mercy thought. For instance, it now feels almost normal to me to jump between physics, cognition, history, and the Bible. But this feels like a pouring together to someone who is used to regarding those topics as unrelated.

Verse 6 finishes by emphasizing that this is creating widespread rational thought. “Because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.” Hearing means to ‘hear, listen, comprehended by hearing’. This goes beyond hearing noises or babbling voices to actually understanding what is being said. The message is making sense. Language means ‘speech, language’ and is the source of the English word ‘dialect’. This word was found once previously in Acts 1:19 which talked about the ‘field of blood’ in the local dialect. A dialect implies a language that is specific to some region or culture. This individuality is emphasized by the word each, which means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’ and own, which means ‘uniquely one’s own’. Speak means ‘chatter in classical Greek’. Thus, what is being heard is natural conversation in the local dialect and not some foreigner attempting to speak the local language in a stilted manner.

For instance, I keep finding that when mental symmetry is applied to some ‘foreign dialect’, the result is a cognitive explanation that flows naturally and does not feel contrived or forced. It is as if mental symmetry really is describing how the mind is functioning within that context. Similarly, I find when analyzing the Bible cognitively that the interpretation flows naturally. When one examines the words in the original Greek, then the meanings fit without having to be forced. Notice again the emphasis on things making too much sense.

Verse 7 describes the response. “They were amazed and astonished.” Amazed means ‘to remove from a standing fixed position, put out of place’. Standing in a fixed position will be interpreted in this essay as holding on to some fixed reference points in Perceiver thought. Thus, being removed from a standing fixed position would mean that existing reference points are being questioned. Astonished means ‘astonished out of one’s senses’. This describes being confused at the concrete sensory level. Such a response may seem to contradict the idea of things making too much sense, but mental symmetry has given me an idea of what this might entail. Modern technical thought is locally rational. It is composed of many unrelated technical specializations that are rational within their specialization. In addition, technical specializations are objective. Mental symmetry builds connections between technical specializations and it also takes the thinking of technical thought and applies it to the person doing the thinking. This removes a person from the standing fixed position of some specialization by integrating the mind. This can be described as things make too much sense. Extending objective theory to the realm of the subjective will lead to being astonished out of one’s senses, but the astonishment is not coming because of some inexplicable event, but rather because each person is hearing the message in their own dialect.

Verse 7 continues, “saying, ‘Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?’” The first word that they say is not, implying that the initial response is rejection at a gut level. Whatever is happening feels wrong. The next word is behold, which means that something is attracting their attention beyond the initial rejection. Their attention is then drawn to the nature of the messengers. They are all Galileans, a word that comes from a Hebrew word that means ‘to roll’. This term was used once previously in 1:11 and was interpreted as the cycles of society. In 1:21, Peter mentioned the going in and out of the Lord Jesus. This refers to the various cycles of society and personal behavior. Technical thought views these various cycles as impediments to rational thought. But important cognitive mechanisms can be derived by analyzing and understanding this ‘going in and going out’. As a result, those who are speaking will be ‘Galileans’. They will not be using normal, approved, technical methodology. Instead, they will be deriving conclusions by looking at the cycles of religion and society. My experience with mental symmetry is that most interaction with experts within academia reaches a roadblock over methodology. I am not an insider from Jerusalem. Instead, I am building my understanding upon the very instabilities that academic thought is attempting to bypass.

But verse 8 explains that this very subjective realm is being explained by the Galileans. “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language in which we were born?” Hear means ‘listen, comprehend by hearing’ and was previously used in verse 6. The phrase in verse 8 is almost identical to the phrase in verse 6. In both cases, the speech is matching the local dialect, but this was being stated as a fact in verse 6 while in verse 8 it is being noted and questioned by the people doing the listening. Looking at this cognitively, the subjective realm that technical thought was ignoring is being addressed. However, this is not leading to an emotional response in Mercy thought but rather to a sense of knowledge in Perceiver thought. It is also leading to a question of methodology: how does this work?

Verse 8 adds the additional phrase ‘in which we were born’. The childish mind acquires a set of core MMNs around which the rest of the mind integrates. This leads to a ‘language in which one is born’, a way of thinking and talking that is based in the core MMNs of childish identity and culture. The message of the Galileans is addressing these core mental networks. That is because the cycles of society and religion are being driven by these core mental networks. Thus, understanding the cycles will lead to a theory that speaks the language of childish MMNs.

We have been interpreting these verses from a cognitive perspective, using mental symmetry as an example. I think that mental symmetry plays a key role in the prophetic interpretation of this passage. That is because I am not aware of any alternative theory that could play this role. However, I think that this passage goes beyond merely the cognitive for the simple reason that the cognitive is not enough. Back in the 1980s, my brother Lane and I knew enough about human personality to be able to describe people in detail, explaining their core mental networks in a manner that made too much sense. This was not enough to change people, but rather caused mental symmetry to be ignored and rejected. Mental symmetry is now able to explain entire systems at a cognitive level. But that also is not enough, because people ignore the message and hide behind official status and methodology. (This is not totally true because I am now getting some response from academic individuals to my papers. But while I think that a cognitive explanation is necessary and am grateful for this interaction, I still think that it is insufficient.) This leads me to conclude that a further development of mental symmetry is required which functions at the level of the supernatural and the spiritual. Mental symmetry is capable of functioning at this level, because it provides a rational explanation for both biblical and secular descriptions of the supernatural and the spiritual. But this assumes that a door will open between these realms. And that has not yet happened. Concluding, mental symmetry makes it possible to understand what might happen, but Acts seems to be describing something that goes beyond mental symmetry to include the non-material while remaining consistent with mental symmetry.

A Spreading Audience 2:9-13

The next three verses contain a list of countries. As usual, this list will be treated as a cognitive progression based in the meanings of these names. Some of the meanings are uncertain, but one can still use history and culture to come up with a possible interpretation.

The list starts in verse 9. “Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia.” The first four terms are connected by ‘and’s, and the first three terms are only found once in the New Testament: Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those inhabiting the Mesopotamia. The meaning of Parthia is uncertain but the Parthian Empire was to the east of Israel and included Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. The word Medes probably means ‘central, suited in the middle’. The Medes were related to the Persians and practiced Zoroastrianism. Elamite comes from a Hebrew word that means ‘to conceal’.

Putting this together, Parthians would refer to a culture that juxtaposes rational Greek thought with the more subjective thinking of the East as well as being combined with various local cultures. ‘Medes’ goes beyond this to include the central assumptions and mental networks of society, while ‘Elamites’ addresses the private mental networks that people keep hidden from others. These three terms together refer to the various MMNs of society and culture. Thus, what began within the religious center of Jerusalem is extending to the mental networks of society.

Resident means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. This word was previously used in verse 5 to describe the Jews living in Jerusalem. Mesopotamia combines ‘in the middle’ with ‘river’ and refers to the region of land between the Tigris and the Euphrates. A river is interpreted as referring to the stream of society. Between the rivers would refer to a society that is being driven by two different streams. For instance, current society is driven by the stream of scientific progress as well as the stream of cultural postmodernism. Modern society lives between these two streams, and verse 9 refers to those who live between two major rivers. Notice that ‘Parthians, Medes, and Elamites’ provide the cognitive pieces for analyzing living between the two rivers, because the public stream of the Medes combines with the private stream of the Elamites to produce the juxtaposition of the Parthians.

The next two terms are also joined by an ‘and’: ‘Judea and Cappadocia’. Judea was previously mentioned in 1:8 and refers to the province in which Jerusalem is located. It has the same meaning as Judas, which is ‘praised’. This refers to the Mercy feelings of religious fervor that surrounds the religious center in Jerusalem. The word Cappadocia probably means ‘low country’. This relates cognitively to the idea of ‘praised’, because living in the region of a religious center that one praises implies that one is living in a low country. This describes the feeling of religious self-denial that accompanies any religious system of absolute truth. Thus, the mindset supporting religion is being analyzed from a cultural viewpoint. Notice that these two terms happen after the previous four. That is because analyzing society provides the cognitive tools that are required to analyze the mindset behind religion. This is an example of the secular realm providing the tools that are required to analyze religious thought.

The next two terms are also joined by an ‘and’: ‘Pontus and Asia’. Pontus means ‘a sea’ and refers to a region in Asia Minor (currently Turkey). Asia describes a Roman province that occupied the western third of Asia Minor. The word Asia could mean ‘East’ in Assyrian. Water is interpreted as Mercy experiences. Therefore, a ‘sea’ would refer to a realm of Mercy experiences. This would describe people living within the ‘sea’ of some culture. If Asia is interpreted as the thinking of the East, this would refer to Eastern thought and religion, which are also characterized by Mercy experiences devoid of rational content. Putting this together, analyzing the more rational aspects of society provides the tools that make it possible to analyze the parts of society that are purely experiential.

The list of regions continues in verse 10. “Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and the sojourning Romans, both Jews and proselytes.” Phrygia and Pamphylia are connected by an ‘and’. Phrygia is also in Asia minor. I cannot find a meaning for this term but the region was in the highlands of central Asia Minor (current Turkey). The King Midas of legend ruled Phrygia. Pamphylia is on the south coast of Asia Minor and means ‘every-tribal’. Living in the highlands implies a larger perspective as does ‘every-tribal’. Thus, this pair appears to describe the larger viewpoint of a multicultural society. Cognitively speaking, one would have to understand the various components of society before being able to decipher how they interact.

The rest of verse 10 is connected by ‘and’s. Egypt represents the secular world. Thus, specifically mentioning Egypt means that the theory has made a transition from being a religious theory of Jerusalem to being a secular theory of Egypt. Libya is used once in the New Testament and means ‘the west bank of the Nile’. It comes from a word that means ‘the southwest wind’. Part means ‘part, share, portion’. Thus, only part of Libya is included. Cyrene is mentioned once in the New Testament. Cyrene was a Greek colony but many Jews lived there. It had famous schools for medicine and philosophy. The name probably means ‘of high social standing’. This combination suggests the more educated aspect of secular society. Looking at this cognitively, a person who lives within the sea of Mercy experiences is being driven subconsciously by cognitive mechanisms. A secular person who is educated and/or has high social standing also becomes characterized by various cognitive mechanisms as a result of individuation. The average secular person, in contrast, is not characterized by any single set of predictable mental networks. That is because identity is too developed to go along with the flow of society but not sufficiently developed to form a stable entity. Thus, a general theory of the subjective would not apply vividly to such an individual.

Sojourning means ‘am resident, temporarily, in a foreign city’. Rome means ‘to strengthen, be strong’ and would represent the strength of secular government. Sojourning implies that the core of secular government will not be affected, but rather the aspects of government that interact with the religious and moral realm. Notice that Rome shows up near the end of the list, strongly suggesting that the door to the supernatural will not open with a UFO landing by the White House and asking to speak to the president. Instead, government will get involved near the end, and this involvement will not involve the core aspects of government.

The final phrase is in verse 10 in the NASB but in verse 11 in the Greek. “Both Jews and proselytes.” (Verse numbers were added in the 16th century.) Jew means ‘praised’ and would refer to religious believers based in absolute truth. Proselyte is used four times in the New Testament (three times in Acts) and comes from a verb that means ‘to approach, to draw near’. A distinction has been made between the content of the Bible and the mindset of absolute truth. These essays are attempting to show that the content of the Bible makes cognitive sense. A Jew approaches this content with a mindset of absolute truth, while a proselyte draws close to the content because of the content itself. A similar distinction can be seen in the concept of the ‘American dream’. The typical American views this as an expression of American culture while a non-American sees it as a universal goal of economic prosperity that can be reached by pursuing technical thought within a market economy. The reference to both Jews and proselytes suggests that the division between absolute truth and rational thought is being bridged. Looking at this cognitively, all knowledge starts out as absolute truth based in respect for some source of truth. And all knowledge, religious or secular, has to be made one’s own. This is explored in the paper on economics.

The list finishes in verse 11. “; Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty deeds of God.” Crete is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Crete was originally settled by the Minoan civilization which preceded the Greeks. One Bible dictionary gives the meaning of ‘carnal; fleshy’ for Crete. The only other New Testament reference to Crete is Titus 1:12-13, which says, “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true.” Arab is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘a desert plateau’. The previous pair united religious and secular thought. This pair appears to unite the external and the internal. Cretan appears to refer to a hedonistic way of living that is not guided or restrained by any internal content. Arab refers to the opposite in which one inhabits a physical environment devoid of external comfort. Looking at this cognitively, the physical world and the mind are guided by compatible structures. This relationship is explored in the essay on physics. Thus, a single unified theory can be used to describe both the behavior of the hedonist and the monk, the extrovert and the introvert.

The phrase ‘we hear them speaking in our tongues’ is slightly different than in verses 6 and 8. Our is ‘the emphatic form of our’. And tongue is the word ‘language’ used in verse 4 rather than the word ‘dialect’ used in intervening verses. A language is more developed in Teacher thought than a dialect. This emerging Teacher structure can be seen in the final phrase. Mighty deeds is found once in the New Testament and comes from the adjective ‘mega’, which means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’. Mega is interpreted elsewhere as a reference to Teacher generality. Thus, mighty deeds describe a recognition of Teacher generality. Teacher generality is also evident in the term ‘the God’, which would refer to a concept of God that is based in a universal Teacher theory. God will be mentioned several times later in the chapter, but God was only mentioned once before in Acts 1:3, where Jesus was talking about the kingdom of the God.

Pentecost began with a shaking in Teacher thought. The end result in verse 11 is a larger concept of God that applies to far more of human existence. This emerging of a larger concept of God is consistent with the final two pairs in the list. Jew and proselyte connected religious and secular, while Cretan and Arab connected external and internal. Religion talks about God, but the secular realm adds content and depth to a concept of God. A concept of God emerges within the mind, but this concept of deity feels real when the mind connects with reality.

Verse 12 describes the response to this emerging concept of God. “And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’” Amazement was used previously in 2:7 and means ‘to remove from a standing position’. Verse 12 adds the additional word all, which means ‘each part of a totality’. This added word is consistent with the idea of a larger concept of God. In verse 7, they were amazed. In verse 12, they are all amazed. In verse 7 they also marveled, which means to ‘wonder at, be amazed’. In verse 12 they are in great perplexity, which means ‘totally perplexed because having no solution (way out).” This is also a symptom of greater Teacher generality, because the intellectual dilemma of verse 7 has expanded to become a total dilemma.

Saying to one another is literally ‘other to other saying’, and other refers to ‘another of the same kind’. This implies that communication is still happening within the confines of technical specializations and cultures. The final phrase is more literally, ‘What wishes this to be?’ This is the first use of the word wish in Acts which means ‘to desire, wish’. This is what it feels like when a general theory turns into a TMN. It acquires a life of its own. A more general Teacher concept of God emerged in verse 11. In verse 12, this is turning into a TMN with emotional power. However, it is not yet clear that this general theory is a concept of God. That will happen in the coming verses. God was mentioned for the first time in this chapter at the end of verse 11. God will be mentioned 11 more times during the rest of this chapter.

Verse 13 describes an alternative response. “But others were jeering and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine!’” Other here means ‘another of a different kind’. The implication is that the TMN of a concept of God has not yet formed within the minds of these individuals. This can be seen in the word jeering, which comes from a word that means ‘a joke’. This describes how technical thought typically responds when the paradigm behind that technical specialization is questioned. The competing theory is emotionally belittled, treating it as some form of joke. Notice that verses 12 and 13 are describing two ways that a technical specialization can respond to a universal theory. The theory can turn into a TMN which creates a motivation to extend thinking beyond the comfort zone of the specialization, or the specialization can protect itself by belittling the universal theory.

Sweet wine is used once in the New Testament and ‘refers to the unfermented juice of grapes’. And full means ‘to fill’. Liquid represents Mercy experiences. Wine would represent pleasant Mercy experiences of art, culture, and entertainment. The response of the second crowd is typically portrayed as mocking derision, but that does not seem to be consistent with the original Greek. Instead, these two responses seem to correspond to the two disciples viewed as replacements for Judas. The first group is recognizing the emotional supremacy of a concept of God in Teacher thought. The second group is becoming filled with the new culture while downplaying the intellectual content. Saying this more simply, the second group seems to describe the typical Pentecostal.

Peter’s Sermon 2:14-16

Peter then preaches a sermon. This can be interpreted as Perceiver thought attempting to determine the facts of this new situation. Verse 14 begins: “But Peter, taking his stand with the other eleven, raised his voice and declared to them.” The Greek begins with the verb having stood, which means ‘to stand’. This makes cognitive sense because Perceiver thought can be overwhelmed by strong emotions and the previous verse has just described strong emotions. Thus, before Peter, representing Perceiver thought, can speak, he has to stand. However, Perceiver thought is not standing by itself but rather ‘with the eleven’. This corporate standing is a byproduct of a general Teacher understanding. That is because Teacher emotion comes from order-within-complexity. Mercy feelings of fervor (as well as Teacher feelings of mysticism) attempt to overwhelm Perceiver thought. Teacher feelings of understanding, in contrast, encourage Perceiver thought, because Perceiver thought provides the facts that are required to assemble the structure of a general understanding.

This focus upon Teacher generality can be seen by the verb raised, which means ‘to lift up’. This is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. The word voice has been used once previously in Acts in 2:6 to describe the noise that initially brought the crowd together on the Day of Pentecost. This is also consistent with the idea of a focus upon Teacher generality. This may sound like a trivial point, but it describes one of the primary realizations for me as a Perceiver person. When I started helping my brother develop the theory of mental symmetry, I thought that a Perceiver person could only use facts to poke holes in the general theories of others. It was a major breakthrough when I realized that Perceiver thought can also construct general theories by looking for connections. Verse 14 is describing this new function for Perceiver thought. Declare is used three times in the New Testament and means ‘to speak forth’. It was first used in 2:4 to describe the spirit giving people the ability to speak out. When Perceiver thought uses connections to build general Teacher theories, then Perceiver facts become connected with Platonic forms.

Thus, a distinction can be made between Perceiver facts and Perceiver truth. Absolute truth views Perceiver truth as facts that are quoted from a holy book or textbook. When Perceiver thought helps to build Teacher theories, then this also leads to a distinction between Perceiver facts and Perceiver truth. Perceiver facts involve specific situations in Mercy thought while Perceiver truth involves Platonic forms in Mercy thought. Saying this another way, Perceiver truth deals with universal facts—facts that apply in many situations.

Verse 14 describes the audience for this new form of Perceiver truth. “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words.” The word men means ‘men’. The word Jew or Judea (the Greek word is the same) is found 195 times in the New Testament. It is only combined with the word ‘men’ in this verse and back in 2:5. This is cognitively interesting because women are statistically more religious than men, especially in Christianity. A 2016 Pew Research study found that “On all the standard measures of religious commitment examined in the study, Christian women are more religious than Christian men.” Judea means ‘praised’ and praise involves the mental networks of female thought. Absolute truth bases Perceiver thought in mental networks of female worship. But Perceiver thought is using a new form of thinking that involves male thought.

The current religious focus upon mental networks can be seen in the Pew Research article. “According to media accounts, women so outnumber men in the pews of many U.S. churches that some clergy have changed decor, music and worship styles to try to bring more men into their congregations.” ‘Decor, music, and worship’ all involve mental networks. Cognitively speaking, changing these in order to try to attract men is using a different form of female thought to attract men, but the focus is still upon the mental networks of female thought. Peter, in contrast, is applying the male thinking of technical thought to the ‘female’ realm of Judea.

Peter is also speaking to those who ‘live in Jerusalem’. Live means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’ and Jerusalem represents the center of religious thought. With absolute truth, Jerusalem is the source of truth; it speaks to the rest of the world. Peter, representing Perceiver thought, is speaking to the center of religion. This may sound trivial, but it describes another huge transition. For instance, my early focus was upon the process of personal transformation. As I was developing the theory of mental symmetry, I started noticing that biblical principles were appearing as byproducts of my research. Using the language of Acts, Peter started proclaiming to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

The NASB translates the next phrase as ‘know this’, giving the impression that Perceiver thought is imposing truth, which is how absolute truth functions. However, a footnote points out that the Greek literally says ‘let this be known to you’ (and that is how the BLB translates it), which suggests that the facts themselves are doing the proclaiming. When Perceiver thought discovers connections that are repeated, then the facts start speaking for themselves. Known means ‘to know experientially’. This adjective was previously used in 1:19 to describe the mysticism of Judas becoming experientially known. Absolute truth cannot really be experientially known, because it is imposed upon personal identity by some external entity. Truth based in repetition can be experientially known, because it describes facts that are universally evident. For instance, it is possible to experientially know the law of gravity by dropping some object and experiencing it shatter on the floor. Similarly, it is possible to experiential know the theory of mental symmetry. One can learn about cognitive styles and different ways of thinking simply by interacting with one’s fellow human beings. But it is possible to ignore these facts, which means that one has to allow this truth to be known.

The final phrase is ‘pay attention to my words’. Pay attention is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘in the realm of’ with ‘the ear’. The ear would represent hearing the words of Teacher thought. ‘In the realm of the ear’ would mean using Teacher thought to evaluate words. Word means ‘a spoken word, made by the living voice’. Absolute truth does not pay attention to the spoken word, but rather regards the words written in a holy book to be far superior to the spoken word. One of the characteristics of Pentecostalism is a focus upon spoken words of prophecy made by living voices. However, Pentecostalism usually does not evaluate these spoken words ‘in the realm of the ear’. Instead, they are evaluated using the Mercy feelings of the heart. Universal truth, in contrast, can be evaluated ‘in the realm of the ear’ because facts that apply in many situations lead naturally to general theories in Teacher thought.

Verse 15 addresses the idea of drunkenness. “For these people are not drunk, as you assume, since it is only the third hour of the day.” We saw when looking at verse 13 that the word sweet wine means unfermented grape juice. This is normally interpreted as sweet alcoholic wine because of the reference to drunkenness in verse 15. And this interpretation may be valid when looking at the historical event. But another interpretation emerges when examining this passage cognitively.

Suppose means ‘to take or bear up, to receive, to assume’. This word is used one other time in Acts in 1:9 to describe a cloud taking up Jesus in the Ascension. That was interpreted as the specific person of Jesus being swallowed up into the general Teacher theory of Christ. This implies that verse 15 is describing the crowd placing the experiences of Pentecost within some form of general Teacher theory. The Greek begins with the phrase ‘For not as you suppose’, indicating an incorrect generalization. This is then followed by the words ‘These are drunkards’. Drunkard means ‘intoxicated with wine’. Cognitively speaking, alcohol enables emotions, releases inhibitions, and minimizes rational thought.

In other words, alcohol enables female thought while suppressing male thought. This relates to the comment made earlier about Peter addressing the men of Judea. Pentecostalism is a form of spiritual drunkenness, because it enables emotions, releases inhibitions, and minimizes rational thought. Acts 2 describes something new that is happening based upon the Holy Spirit. The obvious conclusion will be to regard this as another form of Pentecostal movement, another attempt by religion to escape the meaninglessness of modern existence by emphasizing emotional experiences and minimizing rational thought.

This contrast can be seen in Ephesians 5:18. “Do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” The word wine in this verse means ‘wine’. And get drunk is the causative form of the word ‘drunk’ used in 2:15. Debauchery combines ‘without’ and ‘save’, and save is the word used to describe the salvation of Jesus. In other words, there is no salvation in wine. It does not transform people. Similarly, Pentecostal movements have typically ended in some form of scandal which indicates that people have not really been morally transformed but have only pretended to be changed. This is contrasted with the filling of the spirit. Fill means to fill to individual capacity and was used in Acts 2:2 to describe the whole house being filled on the Day of Pentecost. Summarizing, one of the primary characteristics of ‘being drunk with wine’ is the absence of long-term personal transformation. Looking at this more generally, many individuals within the Pentecostal movement have experienced personal transformation, but I think that one can now conclude that Pentecostalism has not made any long-term difference to society.

This explains Peter’s comment at the end of verse 15: ‘since it is only the third hour of the day’. Literally speaking, this refers to 9 AM. Symbolically, a day represents a period of time illuminated by the sun of some general theory. Early in the day would represent the start of a new era. Peter is saying that this is a different kind of spiritual breakthrough that will not lead to religious escapism that has no impact upon society but rather indicates the beginning of a new era. Saying this another way, modernism has been replaced by postmodernism. Postmodernism is a looking back at modernism. In verse 15 something new is emerging, making it possible to look forward to a new era. For instance, when I discovered as a Perceiver person that I could build connections, then this was the start of a new era for me. That is when the theory of mental symmetry started to develop and it has continued to grow to the point of becoming a meta-theory within which other theories can be placed.

Similarly, in verse 16, Peter places the prophecy of Joel within the context of what is currently happening. “But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel.” The Greek begins with the phrase ‘this is that’. This describes a Perceiver connection because one thing is being equated with another. However, the experiences of the present are being equated with the words of the past. What was talked about in the past is now being experienced. The word through means ‘through’ and indicates a way of viewing absolute truth which is that the writers of the Bible are not the sources of truth but they are accurate conduits of truth. Prophet combines ‘beforehand’ with ‘elevating or asserting one idea over another’. This views prophecy from a Teacher perspective, because Teacher thought comes up with general theories by taking one idea and elevating it above other ideas. Prophecy does this beforehand. This is like trying to predict the future by focusing upon some present trend and seeing where this leads. Joel means ‘God is Jehovah’. A reference to Jehovah was previously seen in the name Matthias, which means ‘gift of Yah’. (Yah is a shortened form of Jehovah.) The end of chapter 1 described a choice between focusing upon growing society or upon the universal Teacher theory that enables a growing society. The choice fell to focusing upon the universal Teacher theory, viewing society as ‘the gift of Yah’. Quoting from Joel represents a description of what happens when a universal Teacher theory is treated as God. Summarizing, Pentecostalism illustrates what happens when Joseph is chosen to replace Judas. The verses from Joel will describe what happens when Matthias is chosen to replace Judas.

The Prophecy of Joel 2:17-18

Verse 17 begins, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.’” Last means ‘last, final’ and is seen in the English word ‘eschatology’. Days are being interpreted as eras lit by the ‘sun’ of some general Teacher understanding. ‘In the last days’ refers to a set of days that will happen at the end of the process of societal development. For instance, the modern technological society is a new form of existence that has not existed previously in human history. But technological society still goes through various eras. These eras could be referred to as ‘the last days’.

This focus upon God as the source in Teacher thought is indicated by the phrase ‘God says’. Joel is an accurate transmitter of truth, but the real source of truth is a concept of ‘the God’ in Teacher thought. Similarly, modern technology has its source in the general theories of science in Teacher thought.

Pour out means ‘to pour out’ and was previously used in 1:18 to describe the guts of Judas being poured out. That pouring out was interpreted as mysticism, in which an overgeneralized concept of God leads to a flood of Mercy experiences. In verse 17 God is doing the pouring out, which implies that a general concept of God is now leading to a flood of Mercy experiences. Notice this distinction between overgeneralized and general. An overgeneralized theory makes sweeping statements by ignoring the facts; a general theory makes general statements based upon universal facts.

Going further, in verse 17 God is pouring out ‘my spirit’ and ‘my’ is explicitly mentioned. This is consistent with the idea of the Form of the Good being an indirect expression of a universal theory in Teacher thought. Mysticism also leads from Teacher theory to Mercy results, but mysticism leads to the ‘spilling of the guts’ of identifying in Mercy thought with the overgeneralized concept of cosmic oneness in Teacher thought.

Going further, mysticism denies physical existence as either ultimately evil or artificial. That is because an overgeneralized theory that ignores the facts cannot be applied to the facts of physical existence. In contrast, the Spirit of God in verse 17 is being poured out upon all flesh. (A footnote in the NASB indicates that the word ‘mankind’ is actually ‘flesh’.) All means ‘each part of the totality’, which indicates that details are being included. This is not just a sweeping statement that ignores the details. And flesh means ‘flesh, body, human nature’. Cognitively speaking, it refers to the physical body and the mental content that results from living within a physical body. A God of mysticism has no connection with the flesh. In contrast, the God of verse 17 is pouring out a spirit upon all flesh. These various qualities can be seen in the theory of mental symmetry. Even though mental symmetry is a general theory, it can be applied to the details of human existence. It leads to the Platonic forms of a whole mind and a whole society. And it can be extended to include physical existence as well as the study of the laws of physical nature.

Verse 17 continues, “And your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream with dreams.” In the same way that gender is being interpreted cognitively, so age will be interpreted from a cognitive perspective. Physical and cognitive age are related. For instance, Thomas Kuhn points out that “Almost always the men who achieve these fundamental inventions of a new paradigm have been either very young or very new to the field whose paradigm they change. And perhaps that point need not have been made explicit, for obviously these are the men who, being little committed by prior practice to the traditional rules of normal science, are particularly likely to see that those rules no longer define a playable game and to conceive another set that can replace them” (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1970, p. 90). Stated crudely, it is hard for an old dog to learn new tricks. Young minds have the cognitive flexibility that is required to embrace some new paradigm, and I suggest that what is emerging in verse 17 is not just a new paradigm but a new civilization.

The first phrase refers to sons and daughters. Son is a generic term that could refer to either male or female, while daughter definitely refers to females. Prophesy is a variation of the word used in verse 16 which means to ‘assert by elevating one statement over another’. This relates to Kuhn’s observation that young minds are best able to consider the new paradigms. Kuhn describes a paradigm shift as elevating a different statement over other statements. “One perceptive historian, viewing a classic case of a science’s reorientation by paradigm change, recently described it as ‘picking up the other end of the stick,’ a process that involves ‘handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework’” (Kuhn, p. 85).

The reference to both sons and daughters means that a paradigm shift can be driven either by male technical thought or by female mental networks. Until now female thought has been hijacked by mysticism and Pentecostalism. This expresses itself in modern society as rational scientific thought coexisting with irrational subjective feelings. Basing a concept of God in a general Teacher understanding integrates these two sides of thought. On the one hand, a universal theory in Teacher thought brings unity to the specializations of male technical thought. On the other hand, the same universal Teacher theory will express itself emotionally as a TMN as well as create a Form of the Good that will emotionally shape MMNs of culture and identity in Mercy thought.

The second phrase refers to young men, which uses the word for ‘a young man’. Young men would refer to those who have acquired the skills and knowledge of technical thought (whether physically male or female). The word see means ‘see, often with metaphorical meaning: to see with the mind’. The word vision is used four times in the New Testament, three of these times in the book of Revelation, and it comes from the same word ‘to see with the mind’. What is happening here is that new goals are being added to existing technical thought. Technical thinking is well-developed in current society. The problem lies with being driven by childish mental networks to apply these technical skills in an inadequate manner. This second phrase implies that people are being guided by new internal visions of possibility to apply existing technical skills in a new manner. For instance, I have found in the development of mental symmetry that most secular research can be trusted. The problem does not lie with technical thinking but rather with the emotional framework that is guiding this technical thinking. The goals in Mercy thought are inadequate as well as the general understanding in Teacher thought. But the technical knowledge itself is worth learning.

The third phrase refers to old men, which means ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’ and is the source of the English word presbyter. Dream means ‘a dream while asleep’ and is used both as a verb and as a noun in verse 17. An ‘old man’ would refer to someone who has used technical thought within some paradigm to the extent of becoming emotionally imprisoned within the paradigm. Kuhn describes this resistance to change in the ‘old men’. “Though some scientists, particularly the older and more experienced ones, may resist indefinitely, most of them can be reached in one way or another. Conversions will occur a few at a time until, after the last holdouts have died, the whole profession will again be practicing under a single, but now a different, paradigm” (Kuhn, 1970, p. 152). Dreams occur when conscious control is taken out of the way. If old men are dreaming dreams, then this indicates that those who have built their minds upon previous forms of technical thought will still get mental glimpses of this new civilization when conscious technical thought is taken out of the way and intuition is allowed to function.

Verse 18 continues. “And even on My male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” The word servant means ‘someone who belongs to another’. And female slave is mentioned as well as male slave. Cognitively speaking, absolute truth can be viewed as truth that belongs to some other person. Absolute truth can be made my own by successfully applying it in difficult circumstances. This is not just a vague analogy, but can be applied in a coherent fashion to the field of economics. The general principle is that discovering universal truth does not eliminate the need for absolute truth or eliminate the role of absolute truth. That is because all education starts with absolute truth. One learns information from some source of truth and accepts this information because of respect for the source of truth. Saying this more simply, translating Christianity into a rational theory of cognition does not eliminate the role of the Bible-believing Christian. This principle applies to both male thought and female thought. Both are legitimate ways of learning and practicing Christianity as absolute truth. However, this is not the ultimate expression of Christianity because it practices Christianity as a slave of God.

The phrase ‘I will pour out my Spirit’ is the same in Greek in verses 17 and 18. This implies that this new form of the Holy Spirit will be accompanied by a legitimate form of Pentecostalism. One of the big problems of Pentecostalism is that there is nothing to keep the movement honest. In contrast, a legitimate movement of the Holy Spirit would act as a mature expression that would keep Pentecostalism honest. This is similar to the way that academic research keeps academic instruction honest.

Verse 18 finishes by saying that slaves of God will prophesy. The cognitive principle is that one can predict trends without having a full understanding of the subject. Reporters do this all the time. In fact, sometimes those who are outsiders to a field can predict more accurately where this field is heading because those who are inside the field tend to miss the forest for all the trees.

Signs and Wonders 2:19-21

Verse 19 describes something new. Until now the impact has been limited primarily to words and imagination. In verse 19 something larger is happening. “And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, blood, fire, and vapor of smoke.” The word give is an accurate translation and suggests that powers are being given rather than miracles being displayed. A wonder is ‘a miraculous wonder, done to elicit a reaction from onlookers’. Sky is the same word ‘heaven’ that has been interpreted previously as the realm of Teacher thought. In verse 2, a sound came out of ‘the heaven’. In verse 5, every nation under ‘the heaven’ was affected. This describes a progression which begins with something unusual in Teacher thought, extends to those who are guided by Teacher thought, and then performs something new within Teacher thought.

A sign is ‘a sign, typically miraculous, given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate’. Earth refers to ‘the physical earth; the arena we live in which operates in space and time’ and is interpreted as a reference to the rational thinking of space and time. It was mentioned once before in Acts in 1:8 which talked about being witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’. A sign is cognitively different than a wonder. The goal of a wonder is to create an emotional reaction, whereas the goal of a sign is to promote mental certainty. The wonders are happening in the Teacher realm of heaven in order to emotionally affect Teacher theories. The signs are happening in the Perceiver and Server realm of the earth in order to build confidence. The interaction between these two is emphasized by the two words above and below. ‘Above’ is only used once in Acts while ‘below’ is found one other time in Acts in 20:9. Movement up and down is being interpreted as moving towards or away from Teacher generality. ‘The sky above’ emphasizes that Teacher generality is built upon the facts and sequences of the earth, while ‘the earth below’ emphasizes that earthly facts and sequences are an expression of Teacher generality. Verse 19 suggests that ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ are becoming integrated in a new manner. However, this integration is bringing stability to the rational thinking of earth rather than destroying it. More specifically, there is no mention of an earthquake in this chapter. This is consistent with my general hypothesis that the Second Coming will be a ‘theoretical return of Jesus’. It will strongly impact the Teacher realm of heaven, but it will not directly impact the human realm.

The end of verse 19 describes what the impact will be. ‘Blood, fire, and vapor of smoke.’ Blood means ‘blood, especially as shed’, and the shedding of blood is interpreted as MMNs of personal identity falling apart. In other words, personal identities will fall apart. This is significant because the basic premise of today’s postmodern society is that nobody is allowed to make my personal identity fall apart.

Fire was seen previously in 2:3 to describe the tongues of fire. And it was interpreted there as a motivation that transforms through frustration. This is also significant because another basic premise of today’s society is that methodology must continue unimpeded. Fire implies that existing ways of doing things will become frustrated.

Vapor is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘breath, steam, vapor’. The other occurrence in James 4:14 says that “You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” Vapor is liquid within the Teacher realm of air. Thus, vapor would represent Teacher theories that are an expression of Mercy experiences. Smoke means ‘smoke’. It is used thirteen times in the New Testament, twelve times in the book of Revelation. Four of those times are in Revelation 9:2-3 which refers to the smoke from the pit, and that passage was interpreted as referring to the questioning of postmodernism. That is because postmodernism is like a flock of locusts that consumes intellectual food, while darkening the light of understanding with a smoke of doubt and confusion.

Verse 19 refers to a ‘vapor of smoke’, suggesting that the smoke will only be a vapor. Cognitively speaking, the smoke of postmodern questioning will be a short-lived vapor within Teacher thought that reveals itself to be merely an expression of Mercy feelings. This is significant because postmodern questioning is currently the dominant strategy in society and this smoke has successfully managed to obscure the light of understanding from most personal and societal issues.

Putting these three points together, the fundamental principles of today’s postmodern society will become stymied.

This leads to verse 20. “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood.” This is the first mention of the sun in Acts, which will be mentioned next in 13:11 where Elymas the magician is temporarily blinded. The sun represents a general Teacher theory that throws light upon the earth of rational thought during some ‘day’. Turned is found three times in the New Testament and means ‘to turn about, turn around’. Darkness means ‘darkness, either physical or moral’. The ‘sun’ of today’s modern society is probably materialism, which means using rational thought guided by the assumption that only physical reality exists. This sun originally exhibited itself as the Enlightenment, which saw rational thought as an alternative to blind faith in the supernatural. This sun is changing direction to bring darkness rather than light. The previous verse talk about the supernatural breaking in to the natural realm. A sun of materialism would turn into darkness if that happened. That is because any supernatural event would have to be interpreted as the absence of rational thought, because rational thought is being equated with physical events.

This has become clear to me in the development of mental symmetry. Mental symmetry is compatible with scientific rational thought and its study of physical reality, but mental symmetry is ultimately based in the structure of the mind and not in physical reality. Mental symmetry can also be used to analyze the Bible (as this essay is doing) or the supernatural in a rational manner. This can be done by using the same methodology that is used when studying science and psychology. Materialism, in contrast, cannot conceive of non-physical reality, but rather becomes an impediment to understanding that brings darkness when attempting to go beyond physical reality.

The moon is mentioned once in Acts. It is a reflected light that is brightest at night when the sun is not shining. Thus, the moon represents the structure of a society which reflects a sun of understanding. For instance, the infrastructure of modern civilization is a moon that reflects the Teacher order of scientific thought, and this physical structure has become the dominant source of light now that the sun of modern thought has set and become replaced by postmodernism. Blood was just interpreted as personal identity falling apart. The moon turning into blood would represent the structure of civilization being viewed as an attack upon personal identity. This already happens to some extent with people viewing current society as inherently inhuman. If the door to the supernatural opened, then it would become apparent that modern civilization with its assumption of materialism is deeply harmful to personal identity. Alternatively, the inhuman nature of modern society would acquire an additional spiritual component that would actively threaten personal identity.

Verse 20 finishes by saying that this is a precursor to the start of a new civilization. “Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.” This final phrase is more literally ‘before the coming day of Lord, the great and glorious’. This phrase begins with the Greek word before, which indicates that the existing sun and moon have to be removed before a new day can begin. Verse 20 does not say that the sun and moon will be destroyed. Darkening indicates the loss of the light of Teacher generality, whereas blood indicates the fragmentation of existing personal identity. The sun will still exist but it will bring discomfort to Teacher thought; the moon will still exist but it will bring discomfort to Mercy thought.

The next word is coming which simply means ‘to come’. This emphasizes the idea that something new is arriving. This is significant because we currently live in postmodernism and think of ourselves as living at the end of Western civilization. Day means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’, which is interpreted as some era of civilization. Lord means ‘a person exercising absolute ownership rights’. A day of Lord (‘the’ is not in the original Greek) implies an attitude of personal submission. Current society focuses upon personal rights rather than responsibilities, and the basic premise of postmodernism is that one must vigorously protest against and rebel from any entity that acts as a lord. A ‘day of lord’ implies that people will realize that one must submit to the rules.

But these rules will not come from personal authority in Mercy thought. Instead the day will be ‘the great and glorious’. Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’, and is interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. Glorious is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that combines ‘suitably on’ with ‘to bring to light, to cause to appear’. This describes the rise of appropriate understanding in Teacher thought, which will replace the inappropriate understandings of materialism, absolute truth, and mysticism. In other words, the fragments of technical specialization which are currently being assembled and applied in an inappropriate manner will be reassembled in a proper manner.

Verse 21 describes the positive personal impact of reassembling everything properly. “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Everyone means ‘each part of the totality’. Thus, this describes something that will actually happen in the details of reality and not just a sweeping overgeneralization. The Greek is more literally ‘everyone who if’. Thus, the positive results will not apply automatically but rather have a prerequisite. This prerequisite is to ‘call on the name of the Lord’. Name refers to ‘the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character’. This indicates a focus upon Teacher thought. For instance, a profession focuses on the name of some job rather than the specific person doing that job. ‘Name of lord’ implies submitting in Teacher thought to understanding rather than submitting in Mercy thought to some person. Call upon is the same word that was used in 1:23 to describe the surname of Justus. It also has the meaning of ‘appeal to’. Calling is something that is done using words in Teacher thought. Thus, ‘calling on the name of lord’ would mean appealing to Teacher thought to rule over some situation. For instance, calling on the name of medicine means going to a doctor, listening to what the doctor says, and then submitting to the professional understanding of the doctor.

Anyone who does this will be saved, which means to ‘deliver out of danger and into safety’. This is the first mention of this word in Acts and it will be used two more times in chapter 2. This is also the first mention of personal impact in Mercy thought. Until now everything has been happening within either Teacher thought or Mercy imagination. Teacher understanding is now having an impact upon personal identity in Mercy thought. This personal impact is voluntary. Only those who are calling on ‘the name of lord’ will be saved. However, it is potentially universal because it applies to everyone who calls.

The name Jesus means ‘Yahweh saves’. Verse 21 ends by describing salvation as a result of calling upon the Yahweh of a monotheistic God in Teacher thought. Jesus is explicitly mentioned for the first time in this chapter in verse 22 and will be mentioned three more times in the rest of the chapter. Looking at this cognitively, absolute truth starts with the historical Jesus described in the Gospels and then extrapolates to form a more general concept of Christ. A concept of God based in universal Teacher understanding emerged in verse 11. (This does not mean that salvation is universal. Instead, we just saw that salvation is potentially universal. Everyone can be saved, but they still have to call on the name of Jesus.) This Teacher concept of God is now descending from abstract to concrete to create a new concept of Jesus. This is not a different concept of Jesus but it has a different basis, being rooted in a general Teacher understanding rather than in a historical document.

A New Concept of Jesus 2:22

Verse 22 describes this new concept of Jesus. “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a Man attested to you by God.” Men means ‘man’, which indicates a reference to male technical thought. In other words, Peter is using rational thought rather than making an emotional appeal. This is the first use of the word Israelite in Acts, which comes from a Hebrew word that means ‘God strives’ or ‘one who struggles with God’. Until now, Acts has talked about Jews and Judah (which means ‘praised’), emphasizing the mindset of emotional reverence that accompanies absolute truth. ‘Israel’ views a group of people who follow God from a different perspective. God is striving with them, through them, and they with God. In cognitive terms, God is an infinite being represented by a universal theory in Teacher thought. Humans, in contrast, are finite. God has to express himself to humanity through some group of people, which requires striving with these people in order to help them represent a more accurate concept of God, and these people also have to struggle with God in order to translate universal Teacher understanding into finite human results. Jacob was given the name Israel after he wrestled with the angel. This is described in Genesis 32:28. “He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.’” Research and development (R&D) provides a partial illustration of what this means, because R&D wrestles with the general Teacher theories of science in order to bring benefits to human society. The idea of Israel being ‘a light to the nations’ conveys a similar concept.

Words is the plural of ‘logos’, which is interpreted as a paradigm—the general Teacher theory that lies behind some specialization in abstract technical thought. This word was used once before in Acts in 1:1 where the author Luke referred to the first ‘logos’ that he wrote concerning Jesus. ‘Logos’ is now being used in the plural, implying that many technical paradigms are being connected together. For instance, mental symmetry is a meta-theory that integrates many different paradigms of technical thought. Peter tells his audience to hear the logoses. This is not what a scientist normally does. Instead, as Thomas Kuhn describes, the typical scientist spends most of his time solving technical puzzles within some paradigm while assuming the existence of that paradigm and ignoring other paradigms. Peter is telling his audience to be consciously aware of paradigms in Teacher thought and to go beyond one paradigm to several paradigms.

Peter then refers to ‘Jesus of Nazareth, a man’. As was mentioned before, this is the first reference to ‘Jesus’ in chapter 2. The word Nazareth probably comes from a Hebrew word for ‘branch’. A branch grows out of a tree; it is an expression of the tree. Thus, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ implies that Jesus is a branch of a larger living entity. The historical Jesus was a legitimate part of the ‘tree’ of Christ, but it was not the whole tree. It was only a branch. Jesus is then referred to explicitly as a man. Calling Jesus a man means that Jesus emphasized male technical thought and not female mental networks. Cognitively speaking, a concept of incarnation emerges when the concrete technical thinking of ‘Jesus’ becomes integrated with the abstract technical thinking of ‘Christ’. In addition, the human nature of Jesus is being emphasized. Absolute truth will naturally view Jesus as a superhuman figure who is different than other humans and who deserves to be worshipped. ‘Jesus the man’ emphasizes that the historical Jesus was like other humans.

This does not mean that Jesus was a normal human who acquired the delusion of being God. Instead, he was ‘attested to you by God’. Attested means to ‘exhibit, literally show from’. The word by actually means ‘from, away from’ and is seldom translated as ‘by’ in the NASB. Thus, a more literal translation would be ‘having been exhibited away from the God’. Thus, a monotheistic concept of God in Teacher thought is the source. Jesus is an exhibition of ‘the God’ who came away from the God. This is consistent with John 1, which describes Jesus as the Word who was God and who was with God and who came into the world. Summarizing, Jesus is an expression of a larger concept of God in Teacher thought. This is different than absolute truth which extrapolates from Jesus to make statements about God. And it is different than the official theology of Orthodox Christianity, which states that nothing can be said by humans about God except for what has been written in the Bible.

Verse 22 finishes by saying how Jesus was exhibited by God. “With miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” Miracle literally means ‘power, might, strength’. Strength relates to Server thought. Power is related to Perceiver thought and multiplies the strength of Server thought. For instance, a power tool multiplies the strength of a person using that tool. A similar principle applies to machines in general. (Electric power was compared previously to mental networks being spiritually energized. Electric power is harnessed through the structure of machines. Similarly, the supernatural realm appears to provide the structure that is required to harness the power of the spiritual realm.) Wonder means ‘a miraculous wonder’ and is the same word that was used in verse 19 to describes ‘wonders in the sky’. A sign means ‘a sign given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate’ and was also used in verse 19 to describe ‘signs on the earth’. These three words are joined by ‘and’s in the Greek indicating that they are related. This suggests that verse 22 is more integrated than verse 19. In verse 19 the wonders were in the sky of Teacher thought while the signs were on the earth of rational human existence. In verse 22 the wonders are happening together with the signs. When these two come together, then this results in a multiplying of human strength as expressed by the word ‘miracle’.

The phrase ‘which God performed through him’ is fairly accurate. God is again with the definite article: ‘the God’, indicating an integrated, monotheistic concept of God. Did means ‘to make, do’ and is interpreted as referring to Server actions. Through means ‘through’ when followed by the genitive. Notice the emphasis upon God as the source in Teacher thought who is working through Jesus in Server thought as an expression. This is similar to the way that universal Teacher laws of science work through technology in Server thought as an expression. This also indicates an integration of signs and wonders.

Notice also the parallel between what God did in verse 19 and what Jesus is doing in verse 22. In both cases, God is the source, and in both cases wonders and signs are being performed. Looking at this cognitively, if one compares the expression of a concept of God in Teacher thought with the super-human actions performed by Jesus, then one notices a similarity. This is not just a handwaving arguments, because Matthew 2-24 (and probably the entire gospel of Matthew) can be mapped in detail onto the events of Western history. This mapping is described in a 640 page essay.

Going further, the Gospel of John has also been analyzed from a cognitive perspective and this analysis provides a clue to the nature of incarnation. It was just mentioned that a concept of incarnation emerges when abstract technical thought becomes unified with concrete technical thought. Both forms of technical thought are under the control of Contributor thought and Contributor combines Perceiver and Server. This means that there is a Server side to incarnation as well as a Perceiver side. Peter, a Perceiver person, represents Perceiver thought and the Perceiver side to incarnation is seen in the keys that Jesus gives to Peter in Matthew 16. Jesus makes it quite clear in the Gospel of John that he only does what the Father is doing. Thus, on the side of Server thought there is a total integration between the Server actions of Jesus and God in Teacher thought. This Teacher-Server integration is described in verse 22, with God performing miraculous actions through Jesus. But the Gospel of John suggests that Jesus became integrated with God on the side of Perceiver thought during his physical life as an incarnation. What happens several times in the gospel is that Jesus struggles as a human to break through to a higher motivation and then suddenly realizes that he is God. It is not that Jesus becomes God, because Jesus is always acting as God on the side of Server thought. Instead, Jesus is acquiring the self-image of recognizing that he is God on the side of Perceiver thought. This interpretation makes historical sense because Judaism focuses upon doing Server actions that were prescribed by God while Christianity focuses upon Perceiver beliefs that transform personal identity in Mercy thought. Thus, one can see a cognitive transition from Judaism to Christianity in the life of Jesus as described in the Gospel of John.

Verse 22 finishes ‘in your midst, just as you yourselves know’. Midst means ‘middle, in the midst’ and was seen previously in 1:15 to describe Peter standing up in the midst of the disciples and in 1:18 to describe Judas cracking open in the middle. 1:15 was interpreted as the connections of Perceiver thought becoming evident in the middle of the specializations of technical thought. 1:18 was interpreted as the ecstatic experience of mysticism becoming the central experience for subjective identity. In verse 22, Jesus is acting as an incarnation in the midst of the men of Israel. This is consistent with the idea of Jesus acquiring the self-image of being God by acting like God within the human realm of Israel.

Just as means ‘according to the manner in which’. This describes an analogy in which Perceiver thought is pointing out that one thing is like another. This word was used once previously in Acts in 2:4 to describe people speaking other tongues ‘just as’ the spirit was giving them utterance. That also describes an extension through analogy. Platonic forms of the Spirit are indicating that one situation is like another. That described a form of analogy that goes beyond surface similarities to similar fundamental principles.

In verse 22, the analogy is with what ‘you yourselves know’. Know means ‘to see with the physical eyes as it naturally bridges to the metaphorical sense’ and this is the first use of this version of ‘know’ in the book of Acts. In other words, the new concept of Jesus that comes from a universal Teacher understanding of God is analogically similar to the concept of the historical Jesus, but one has to go beyond the knowing of personal experience to a knowing that goes beyond physical facts to look for metaphorical analogies. Thus, in the same way that analogies can be used to bridge technical specializations, so analogies can be used to connect the historical Jesus with a theoretical concept of Jesus.

Looking at this prophetically, Acts 2 appears to be describing in detail what is involved in what I refer to as the ‘theoretical return of Jesus’. This is typically viewed as a single ‘Second Coming of Jesus’, but even the description of the Second Coming in Matthew 24 can be subdivided into four stages: 24:24 describes a number of fragmented breakthroughs from the supernatural. This is followed in 24:27 by an initial flash of global illumination. In 24:29 there is a massive shaking of existing human and angelic structure. And in 24:30 the sign of the Son of Man appears in the sky which is followed by great mourning. The fragmented breakthroughs are described at the beginning of Acts 2. The initial flash of global illumination happens with the concept of God described in verse 11. The massive shaking was just described in verses 19-20. The sign of the Son of Man will be described in the upcoming verses while the great mourning happens in verse 37.

The Plan of Jesus 2:23-24

Verse 23 describes the plan followed by Jesus. “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of men without the law and put Him to death.” Notice first that this is a plan of ‘the God’. Therefore, this describes how God functions in Teacher thought to affect human history. The NASB adds the word ‘man’, guided by the assumption that this passage must be describing only the man Jesus, but ‘man’ is not in the original Greek and only this is used. (The BLB says ‘Him delivered up’ which is more accurate.) Predetermined means ‘to set boundaries’ and is the origin of the English word ‘horizon’. Related to this, the word translated as predestined in Romans 8:29-30 and interpreted as the doctrine of predestination does not mean ‘predestination’. Instead, it adds the prefix ‘before’ to this word ‘set boundaries’, which means that God is pre-determining boundaries. This leads to an alternate interpretation of divine sovereignty in which God determines the overall shape but gives humans freedom to move within pre-determined boundaries. I realize that this opens a very large can of theological worms and this concept of divine sovereignty is discussed in other essays. Looking at this cognitively, a mindset of absolute truth leads naturally to the conclusion that God controls everything because God is VERY BIG and humans are nothing. In contrast, a concept of God that is based in a general Teacher understanding leads to a division between general and specific. God controls the general plan in Teacher thought while giving humans limited—but real—personal freedom in Mercy thought.

What God has set boundaries around in verse 23 is a plan, which is the noun form of a verb that means ‘to plan with full resolve’. This relates cognitively to the new way of forming a concept of Jesus. A concept of Jesus is based in concrete technical thought. Concrete technical thought uses a knowledge of cause-and-effect to formulate and carry out plans in order to reach goals in Mercy thought. Jesus means ‘salvation of Yah’. Thus, if one understands the plan that is being carried out by God in human history, then this creates a mental concept of Jesus. Verse 22 describes God carrying out this plan in human history through Jesus and verse 23 describes this as a plan that that was ‘framed’ by God. This explains theologically why it is possible to interpret the Gospel of Matthew as a detailed prophetic framework of Western history. Jesus really is God carrying out a plan of salvation in human history. Therefore, Matthew can be interpreted both as an account of the life of the historical person of Jesus and as an outline of God’s plan for history that began with the physical life of Jesus.

The word foreknowledge occurs twice in the New Testament and is the noun form of a verb that combines ‘before’ with ‘experiential knowledge’. It is the source of the English word ‘prognosis’. A mindset of absolute truth interprets this as God already knowing every detail of what will happen in the universe. This is again consistent with the idea that God is VERY BIG and humans are nothing. But a more nuanced understanding emerges if one understands how general theories in Teacher thought affects specific plans in concrete technical thought. Universal truth in based in Perceiver connections that are repeated. This repetition leads in Teacher thought to general theories, because a general theory describes how things generally work. And such a general theory can pre-know what will happen because it is based in a knowledge of how things generally work. Applying this to human history, people are guided by their core mental networks. If one has an experiential knowledge of the core mental networks of a person or society, then one can predict the path of such a person or society. This leads to pre-knowledge, which is not magical pre-knowledge but rather a prognosis based upon a detailed knowledge of the subject matter. (Several decades of studying human personality has led me to the conclusion that the average person is quite predictable.) God is an infinite being who has total knowledge of everyone’s core mental networks. Stated theologically, God knows the human heart. Therefore, God could (and can) use this detailed pre-knowledge of core mental networks to place boundaries around a plan of salvation. For instance, analyzing Matthew as a detailed prophecy of Western history does not lead to the conclusion that God is controlling every single event of history. Instead, it presents the idea that history is progressing naturally guided by natural cognitive mechanisms and that God is occasionally intervening in a surgical manner to ensure that certain key transitions happen.

Verse 23 then refers to the human side of this divine plan. “You nailed to a cross by the hands of men without the law and put Him to death.” This is not the best translation. Part of the problem is that this sentence contains several words that are only used once in the New Testament and a meaning is being assigned to these words guided by a literal interpretation. Whenever a word is only used once in the New Testament, it is usually a compound word composed of words that are commonly used. A more literal translation would be ‘delivered up by lawless hands, having crucified, you put to death’. Delivered up is used once in the New Testament and means ‘given out or over’. By means ‘through, throughout, by the instrumentality of’. Hands means ‘hand’. The hands are used to perform detailed movement. Therefore hands are interpreted as referring to the detailed manipulations of technical thought. Lawless add the prefix ‘no’ to the word ‘law’.

Putting this together cognitively, I have suggested that the beginning of Acts refers to the current era in which technical thought is well-developed but is not being used in a manner that is guided by a general understanding of the law in Teacher thought. This can be seen in the many ways that technology is used to build weapons, promote escapism, build useless trinkets, or preserve societal dominance. These are all examples of ‘lawless hands’. God has given incarnation over to these lawless hands and is working through them to carry out his plan. The general principle is that the mind will only follow a higher strategy if it is blocked from following a lower strategy. Opposition from lawless hands is forcing a higher strategy to emerge.

The word having crucified is found once in the New Testament and actually means ‘to fasten to’. This implies being nailed to a cross but does not say anything about either nails or a cross. ‘Him’ is not mentioned. And the word put to death actually means ‘to take up’. It has a secondary, implied meaning of putting to death. Thus, the final phrase is more literally ‘having fastened to, you took up’. Movement up is being interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Putting this together, lawless hands fastened incarnation to something and then regarded that as general in Teacher thought. This applies to Western society. A concept of incarnation is based in technical thinking, but goes beyond abstract technical thought to be guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought and goes beyond concrete technical thought to bring salvation to people in Mercy thought. Modern society has developed significant technical thought and uses this to pursue science and technology. But these technical hands have been fastened to a mindset that is inherently lawless and this lawless expression of science and technology has been lifted up to become the general theory in Teacher thought.

Looking more generally at this interpretation of ‘having crucified and put to death’, I have found that the events of Jesus are often described using language that could be interpreted in a different manner. This illustrates the distinction between the general plan of God and the specific events of history. Jesus experienced the general plan of God in a specific manner that tended to be brutal and physically painful. However, it is also possible to follow the same plan of God in a manner that is less brutal and less physically painful. This alternate expression of the general plan of God becomes evident if one looks at the literal meanings of words that translators have to slightly mistranslate in order to fit the events of the historical Jesus.

The key cognitive principle in ‘having fastened to, you took up’ is that technical thought has to be misused at the level of Teacher generality. That is because the mind will only follow a higher strategy if given no alternative. Therefore, a higher way of using the technical thinking of incarnation at the level of Teacher generality will only emerge if society is misusing the technical thinking of incarnation at the level of Teacher generality. And this higher way will come from the Teacher-based concept of incarnation that has been developed in the first two chapters of Acts. On the one hand, the apostles who were following God were breaking through to a new Teacher-based concept of God. On the other hand, the lawless hands that ‘fastened to and took up’ the technical thinking of incarnation forced the apostles to go beyond merely talking about their new concept of God to actually calling in desperation upon this new concept of God. I know that this principle is valid because I am speaking here from personal experience. On the one hand, I keep making theoretical breakthroughs with mental symmetry. On the other hand, I keep being forced by the modern misuse of technical thought to view my theoretical breakthroughs not just as new theories to be published in papers or preached to an audience, but rather as plans that need to apply to my personal life so that I can be saved from the lawless hands that surround me.

Verse 24 describes God stepping in in a new way. “But God raised Him from the dead, putting an end to the birth pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it.” God is used with the definite article: ‘The God’. Raised means ‘to raise up’ and was used once previously in Acts in 1:15 to describe Peter ‘raised up’ in the midst of the apostles. ‘From the dead’ is not in the original Greek. ‘Raising up’ is being interpreted as gaining Teacher generality. Thus, God in Teacher thought is giving generality to a new concept of Jesus. These essays are attempting to do something similar by giving generality to a concept of Jesus based in cognitive principles.

The next phrase is translated as ‘putting an end to the agony of death’, but as a footnote indicates, the word agony really means ‘birth pang’ and is translated as such in the other three times that it is found in the New Testament. And these other three times are all associated with a prophetic reference to the Second Coming (Matt. 24:8; Mark 13:8; 1 Thess. 5:3). Putting an end really means ‘to loose, to release, to dissolve’. It is found 42 times in the Bible and is only translated by the NASB as ‘putting an end’ in this verse. (The BLB translates it as ‘loosed’.) The word death means ‘death’ and is accurately translated. Thus, a more accurate translation would be ‘having loosed the birth pangs of death’. On the one hand, the lawless hands are attempting to kill incarnation by misusing technical thought. But on the other hand, God is using this to bring to life a new concept of incarnation. Thus, what feels like death is really birth pangs. The difference lies in the interpretation. From a materialistic viewpoint, lawless hands are successfully managing to squelch healthy expressions of technical thought. But from a viewpoint that extends beyond the materialistic to include the spiritual and the supernatural, this materialistic squelching is forcing a larger perspective to be born. For instance, mental symmetry includes the spiritual and the supernatural. But this would normally remain a theoretical footnote that would not be mentioned in polite, materialistic, academic circles. However, the suppression of lawless hands has been forcing me to explore the spiritual and supernatural connotations of mental symmetry. This larger perspective loosens the birth pangs of death. It does this cognitively by giving me the positive Teacher emotions of a larger theory which balances the personal pain of being squelched. And it does this spiritually by increasingly giving me the internal sense that beings exist in other worlds with whom I am interacting.

The final phrase of verse 24 says ‘since it was impossible for Him to be held by it’. Since means ‘according as, because’. This implies that the loosing of the birth pangs will happen to the extent that this final phrase is true. ‘Impossible’ is two words in Greek: the word not followed by power. Held means ‘to place under one’s grasp’. And ‘it’ is holding ‘him’. Power is an expression of abstract technical thought which multiplies the strength of concrete technical thought. In other words, there is a struggle in abstract technical thought between incarnation and the misuse of incarnation by ‘lawless hands’. Incarnation is logically coherent; lawless hands are not. Therefore, to the extent that it becomes apparent that lawless hands are logically incoherent, to that extent they lose the power to impose the birth pains of death upon incarnation. For instance, when I started developing mental symmetry, I was in awe of academia and was also powerless to escape being totally squelched by academia. However, as mental symmetry has developed to become a meta-theory capable of explaining many aspects of technical thought, I no longer feel squelched by academia. Instead, I increasingly view the twisted aspects of academia as lawless hands, which are using technical thought in a logically incoherent manner to try to pursue lawless goals. And I am now starting to have some academic interaction and am finding that mental symmetry is capable of surviving this dialogue.

The Beloved Look Forward 2:25-28

Verse 25 describes this growing personal confidence. “For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.’” David means ‘beloved one’. Of actually means ‘to or into’. About twenty possible definitions are given of this common preposition, and none of them is ‘of’. Cognitively speaking, words are acquiring a new function. Speaking is heading in some direction. One is learning what it means for a concept of God to be based in the TMN of a universal theory. One is beloved by God. But this does not mean being loved by a finite person represented by some MMN in Mercy thought. Instead, God lives in Teacher generality and one approaches God through words. One is beloved by God by gaining further understanding in Teacher thought about the character of God and one responds by ‘saying to Him’ rather than worshipping Him.

Saw combines ‘before’ with ‘to see with the mind’ and is used four times in the New Testament. Thus, this is not a normal physical seeing, but rather a predictive mental seeing, which is the type of seeing that one gains from a general Teacher understanding, because Teacher thought thinks naturally in terms of sequences. For instance, this essay is interpreting Acts as a divine sequence. Before means literally ‘in the eye’. In the eye implies that this is a personal, emotional interaction. And ‘Lord’ indicates that this divine sequence rules over personal identity. These terms add details to the idea of ‘speaking into him’. The words are leading to a Teacher understanding, which is resulting in an internal sight that predicts where things are heading. This describes what is happening in these essays on biblical books. Each book is revealing itself to be a prophetic sequence that rules over personal identity. One might think that this leads to fatalism, because there is no point in fighting the divine plan. But the divine plan is stated in general terms. The freedom lies in how this plan will be enacted within human experiences. This replaces the illusion of freedom with genuine, but limited, real freedom. ‘Speaking to him’ adds specific human details to the general plan.

Continually is the two words ‘through, by the instrumentality of’ followed by ‘each part of a totality’. Thus the phrase is more accurately, ‘I foresaw the lord before my eye through each part of a totality’. Cognitively speaking, one is seeing the details of existence and putting this together to gain an internal vision of where things are heading. This describes what happens when a general theory turns into a TMN. It will exert emotional pressure to apply its interpretation to situations. A concept of God based in a TMN is placing its interpretation of where things are heading upon the situations of life.

The next phrase is ‘because he is at my right hand’. ‘He’ is not in the original Greek. At actually means ‘from, from out of’ and none of the twelve alternate meanings are ‘at’. Right means ‘the right hand or side’. Thus a more literal translation is ‘because out of my right hand is’. All New Testament references to left or right parts of the body that I have examined make sense from a cognitive perspective. Thus, ‘right’ would refer to left hemisphere thought. (The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body.) This describes Teacher thought and Server thought. Cognitively speaking, Teacher understanding emerges out of left hemisphere thought. It does not emerge out of the right hemisphere thinking of Perceiver facts or Mercy experiences. Instead, forming a concept of God in Teacher thought requires thinking in terms of sequences and then applying these sequences through some form of Server actions. Stated more simply, one gains additional understanding about the character of God by allowing existing understanding to guide Server actions.

This relationship between Server actions and a Teacher understanding of God can be seen in John 3:21. “But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.” Notice that truth is being practiced through Server actions and this is leading to the light of Teacher understanding, leading to the conclusion that these Server actions express the character of God in Teacher thought.

The final phrase is ‘so that I will not be shaken’. Shaken means ‘to agitate, shake’ and comes from a noun that refers to the swelling of the sea. The sea represents Mercy experiences. When a concept of God turns into a TMN, then this provides emotional stability that counteracts the various ‘waves’ of cultural and personal MMNs. Society may be going through various upheavals, but one has a growing understanding of where God is heading.

Summarizing, the NASB does not do a very good job of translating this verse. I suspect that this is because the translators are trying to be consistent with the original Hebrew verse in Psalm 16:8. However, the Greek text makes sense when viewed from the theoretical perspective of the TMN of a concept of God. Looking at this more generally, biblical Hebrew is a less nuanced language than biblical Greek. It is possible to do a cognitive analysis of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament but this is evident more at a narrative level involving situations and the names of people because biblical Hebrew does not appear to have the detailed vocabulary that is found in the New Testament. One could interpret this as New Testament writers quoting from the ‘inadequate’ translation of the Septuagint. But I have consistently found that New Testament quotes from the Old Testament make cognitive sense if one looks at the meanings of the Greek words without worrying about whether this matches up 100% with the original quote in the Old Testament. This does not mean that one ignores the Old Testament. Instead, the context of the original passage in the Old Testament appears to be significant, consistent with the idea that the cognitive message appears more at the narrative level.

Verse 26 describes the emotional impact, “Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue was overjoyed.” ‘Therefore’ indicates that this is a result of what is happening in verse 25. Glad combines ‘good’ with ‘the midriff, the parts around the heart’. This describes a good gut feeling. And the heart refers to ‘the affective center of our being’, which describes personal identity in Mercy thought. I am not sure exactly what gut feeling represents cognitively, but I know from personal experience that it is one of the last parts to change when I am following theoretical understanding. When I can follow understanding at the level of gut feeling, then I know that I have really made a personal breakthrough. I suspect that gut feeling relates to the flesh—the mental content that is acquired from living in the physical body. The general principle is that one is following the TMN of a concept of God to the point of changing Mercy feelings of personal identity at a gut level. (Neurologically speaking, sensations in the gut are related to the brain region of the insula.)

Tongue means ‘the tongue, a language’ and was used previously in 2:11 to describe the crowd hearing people speaking in their own tongues. This would refer to a verbal system of understanding in Teacher thought. ‘My’ is explicitly mentioned with both the heart and the tongue, indicating that this is happening at a personal level involving my personal identity and my understanding. Overjoyed combines ‘much, very’ with ‘jump, leap’. Jumping into the air would represent heading in the direction of Teacher thought. ‘Very much leaping’ would cognitively represent continually experiencing the Teacher pleasure of discovering new understanding. For instance, this describes my path with mental symmetry, because the Mercy discomfort of rejection from societal MMNs has continually been balanced by the positive Teacher emotion of gaining new insights. Such Teacher pleasure is providing the motivation for me to write this essay. I do not know how many people will actually read these words. But I am still experiencing Teacher pleasure when writing them.

Verse 26 then goes beyond words to physical existence. “Moreover my flesh also will live in hope.” Flesh means ‘flesh, body, human nature’ and is interpreted as the physical body combined with the mental content that comes from living in a physical body. Live is used once in Acts and means ‘to pitch one’s tent, encamp’. In means ‘upon the ground of’ when followed by the dative. And hope comes from a word that means ‘to anticipate, welcome’. Putting this together, the final phrase is more literally ‘now also my flesh will encamp upon the ground of anticipation’. This relates to the comment made previously connecting gut feelings with the flesh. A concept of God can only help some area if it applies to that area. In verse 25, the TMN of a concept of God applied to the gut feelings of living in a physical body. In verse 26, this concept of God is bringing hope to the gut feelings of living in the physical body. This leads to the concept that my flesh is camping. A mindset of absolute truth interprets this as thinking that the physical body should be denied as unimportant and unholy. But what is being expressed here is the idea that my physical body is not my ultimate source. Using a physical analogy, I cannot lift up my leg if my weight is resting upon that leg. But if I can lift up my leg if I transfer my weight to the other leg. Similarly, resting my personal weight upon the TMN of a concept of God makes it possible to conceive of the idea of altering the MMNs of my flesh. If my flesh is living in a camp, then that camp can be moved. And it is possible to ‘camp on the ground’ of anticipating and welcoming this change. This is different than a mindset of absolute truth which views absolute truth as something totally different than normal facts. That leads to a hope that one will eventually live in heaven by-and-by after leaving the physical world. That is a hope, but it is also a hope that cannot be realized in physical existence. In contrast, the previous verses developed a concept of God based in universal Perceiver facts that apply everywhere including both the physical and the nonphysical. The end result is a hope that also bridges the physical and nonphysical.

This extension beyond the physical is described in verse 27. “For You will not abandon my soul to Hades.” Abandon means ‘left in a condition of lack; hence, to feel forsaken’. To means ‘to or into’. Hades means ‘The abode of departed spirits’. It combines ‘not’ with ‘visible form, shape, appearance’. It is used twice in Acts: here and in verse 31.

This is the first reference to the soul in Acts. It means ‘breath, the soul’ and is the source of the word psyche. The soul is interpreted cognitively as the integrated mind, in which technical thought and mental networks are placed within a grid of normal thought. Using the classic division of regarding soul as mind, will, and emotions, the emotions and the will are united by the mind.

Putting this together cognitively, following the TMN of a concept of God will eventually lead to an integrated mind. This will result in the feeling that one is living within an unseen world. This is a byproduct of recognizing that one’s physical body is not one’s ultimate source of existence. Using an analogy, lifting up the foot of ‘the flesh’ is accompanied by putting down the foot of ‘the spirit’. But this can lead to the conclusion that the ultimate goal is to live as a disembodied mind within the realm of the spirit. This explains the word ‘to or into’; one notices that one’s soul is heading in the direction of the unseen, because one feels forsaken by God in the realm of the physical. I know from personal experience what this feels like. Believing that I will go to heaven after I die is actually an example of believing that God will ultimately abandon my soul to the realm of departed spirits. (Biblehub points out that abandon also has the positive sense of ‘let remain over’.) In contrast, a concept of God that includes both the physical and the nonphysical will lead to the belief that the non-physical realms of the soul and the spirit will eventually affect the physical realm of the flesh. Verse 27 refers specifically to ‘the soul of me’, indicating that this is something personal and not referring to a general resurrection of physical bodies.

I am not suggesting that the soul is the spirit. Whenever this essay uses the phrase ‘cognitively speaking’, then that is referring to some aspect of the soul. My personal experience is that as one continues to focus upon the cognitive, then this loosens one’s mental bondage to the physical realm of the flesh and also opens up a new awareness to the spiritual realm.

Verse 27 finishes, “Nor will You give Your Holy One to see corruption.” (The NASB provides two literal meanings in footnotes.) Give means ‘to give’. Holy means ‘what is sanctioned by a higher law’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. See means ‘to see with the mind’. And corruption comes from a verb that means to ‘thoroughly corrupt, totally degenerate’. In this case, the pronoun ‘of you’ is explicitly mentioned. The NASB adds the word ‘one’, guided by the assumption that the physical person of Jesus is being described. But ‘one’ is implied. A more literal rendering is ‘nor will you give the sanctioned by a higher law of you to mentally see total corruption’. This describes the part of the soul that being guided by a Teacher concept of God to follow a higher law. Cognitively speaking, this refers to an aspect of Christ, the abstract side of incarnation that follows general laws in a technical manner. This knowledge of a higher law is being guided by a general concept of God in Teacher thought, but it is being given substance primarily through the repeated examples of people breaking this law and experiencing the negative consequences. Verse 27 is believing that one will not have to continue learning from the stupidity of others. One’s internal visions of God’s law will not become overwhelmed by the continual experiences of God’s law being violated. Stated analogically, one will not end up being a painter in the land of the blind; one will not become a sane individual locked in an insane asylum that has been taken over by the inmates. I speak again from personal experience.

Verse 28 elaborates on this positive alternative. “You have made known to me the ways of life.” You have made known means to ‘known experientially’. For instance, I made the comment that ‘I speak again from personal experience’ at the end of the previous paragraph before looking up the meaning of the first word of verse 28. This word basically says that one will be able to speak from personal experience. ‘To me’ is explicitly mentioned, indicating that this is a personal knowledge that does not necessarily extend to other people. Ways means ‘way, road’. This relates to the idea of thinking in terms of sequences and Server actions. Life refers to both physical and spiritual existence. This is the first use of this word in the book of Acts. Thus, observing the behavior of others is leading to an understanding of the many roads that lead to personal destruction. But when this is placed within a Teacher understanding of a concept of God and combined with Server actions, then this leads to a positive understanding of the roads that lead to personal life, a life that includes both the spiritual and the physical. This is related to a concept of Jesus, because Jesus means ‘the salvation of Yah’. Summarizing, the Teacher concept of God is leading to an understanding of personal paths that lead to salvation.

Verse 28 continues, “You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.” Fill means to ‘fill to individual capacity’. It was previously used in verse 2 to describe the house being filled with a sound. This relates to the idea that a concept of God can only save personal identity to the extent that it applies to personal identity. If one’s individual capacity is small, then the filling will also be small. This verb is also in the future tense which indicates that one is looking forward to something that will happen. Gladness is used twice in the New Testament and is the noun form of the verb glad that was used in verse 26, which refers to a good gut feeling. The idea is that gut feelings have been partially transformed but cannot be totally changed as long as one continues to live physically within a world gone crazy. With means ‘with, in company with’ when followed by the genitive. Presence means ‘the face’ and is used for the first time in Acts. In other words, one is being disturbed at a gut level by continually experiencing the various faces of unpleasant social and personal MMNs. But one believes that gut feelings will become good to the extent that one can be in company with ‘the face’ of the TMN of God. Speaking from personal experience, gaining a Teacher understanding of the character of God is only the first step. One also has to choose to be consciously aware of this Teacher understanding while in the situations of life. This is different than the idea of ‘practicing the presence of God’, because that attempts to remain aware of God as the MMN of some important person. Instead, one is recognizing that personal and physical life function within the domain of God in Teacher thought and are guided by the ‘ways of higher law’. Notice that verses 25-28 all describe the mindset of a person who is following God at the level of David. Peter is looking back at this mindset and describing its features and limitations.

Placing David in Perspective 2:29-31

In verse 29, Peter places David within a larger perspective. “Men, brothers, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is among us to this day.” As a footnote in the NASB indicates, both men and brothers are mentioned, indicating a focus upon male technical thought. This is cognitively significant, because David means ‘beloved one’ and beloved implies a focus upon the mental networks of female thought. Thus, Peter is using male technical thought to rethink mental networks of religious devotion. I should add that a mindset of absolute truth is capable of breaking through to some extent to the attitude of David: ‘God is everything and I am a nobody, but for some reason God has stooped down to love me the nobody.’

‘I may confidently say’ is not the best translation. The BLB says ‘It is permitted me to speak with freedom’ which is more accurate. Permitted means ‘it is permitted, lawful’. This word is used primarily in the context of arguing over what is or is not permitted under religious law. A mindset of absolute truth feels that it is not lawful to use rational thought to analyze sources of absolute truth. In contrast, one of the basic premises of universal truth is that it can be applied to itself. The lawgiver is also subject to the law. In fact, one of the major steps in moving beyond absolute truth to universal truth is to apply truth to the source of truth. Speak means to ‘answer, bid, bring word, command’. Thus, one is not just talking about some subject but bringing verbal reasoning to bear upon this subject. This word was previously used in verse 13 to describe those joking about being full of new wine. That also was an example of bringing verbal reasoning to bear on some subject. Freedom combines ‘all’ with ‘a proverb or statement quoted with resolve’.

Normally, when one speaks to the religious authorities of Jerusalem, one accompanies this with an attitude of sufficient respect. And one does not speak toward these authorities but rather quotes from these authorities. Verse 29, in contrast, describes Perceiver thought applying Perceiver facts verbally to religious authorities with freedom and resolve. For instance, this essay is doing something similar to the translators of the New Testament, because we are applying the meanings of the Greek words with freedom and resolve to the religious authorities who have translated the New Testament.

The topic is ‘regarding the patriarch David’. Regarding means ‘about concerning’ when followed by the genitive. Patriarch combines ‘to rule, to begin’ with ‘lineage, family’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. In other words, David started something; he was the beginning of a religious movement. This is different than viewing him as the source of truth. Regarding someone as a founder thinks in terms of Server sequences. David broke through to the level of recognizing that God loves him.

Died ‘focuses on reaching the necessary end-point’. It has the meaning of ‘died’ but its primary meaning is to bring something to completion. This word is only used twice in Acts. (The other time is in 7:15 which says that our fathers died.) This views absolute truth as a transitional form of knowledge that leads to something else. It is a school from which one can graduate. Absolute truth views itself as the ultimate and feels that it does not need to learn anything from anyone because it already possesses the ultimate in truth. Peter is saying that the mindset of absolute truth is itself a transitional form of knowledge that will eventually reach some necessary end-point where it will come to an end and die.

Buried means ‘to bury’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Burial places a body within some physical location. Cognitively speaking, this means placing the content of mental networks that used to be alive within the ‘earth’ of rational thought. A mindset of absolute truth feels that unwanted mental networks need to be suppressed. Burial, in contrast, analyzes mental networks rather than blocking them off. For example, the cognitive analysis of absolute truth in these essays is an example of burial.

Tomb comes from a word that means to ‘remember’, which is related to the idea of analyzing past mental networks rather than blocking them off. The Greek phrase is more literally, ‘the tomb of him is in the realm of us’. Absolute truth views a source of truth such as David as existing apart from the secular experiences of normal life. Universal truth, in contrast, places a source of truth within a larger historical context that includes us. This is true ‘to this day’. To means ‘until, as far as’. It was used once previously in Acts in 1:2 to describe Jesus being with the apostles until the day he was taken up. ‘This day’ would refer to the new era that is just starting to emerge in Acts 2. Verse 29 is saying that a rational analysis of being ‘beloved by God’ can be extended all the way from the absolute truth of David to the present era of a universal concept of God. In other words, this was not a case of people being religious, abandoning religion, discovering some new form of spirituality, and then constructing a more universal concept of God. Instead, at each stage people are being beloved by God. God is using a combination of so-called religious and secular, so-called physical and nonphysical to lead his followers along a path of love. God is not limited to religion but is bigger than religion.

Verse 30 talks about the new existing in seed form within the old. “So because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath.” We saw previously that prophet means ‘asserting one idea over another’. Was actually means ‘already have, be in possession of’, and this is the first occurrence of this word in Acts. Because is ‘therefore’, which means that it follows logically from the previous phrase. Putting this together, ‘already having a prophet’ follows logically from the description of David in verse 29. Cognitively speaking, David was not consciously a prophet, because he did not explicitly state what would happen. But the path that David followed implicitly resulted in David ‘being in possession’ of prophecy. David being beloved by God caused him to emphasize certain ideas and write certain words, which caused succeeding generations to assert these ideas verbally over other ideas. Stated more simply, David wrote the Psalms to express his personal relationship with God. Succeeding generations read the Psalms causing the ideas contained within the Psalms to become emphasized. But analyzing the Psalms cognitively shows that they are consistent with the path of reaching mental wholeness. Thus, the Psalms are prophetic. Similarly, analyzing the story of Jesus in the Gospels is implicitly prophetic because the content is consistent with the path to reach mental wholeness. God, the ultimate author, simply had to tweak these words in order to ensure that this historical account was properly prophetic.

Knew means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. This describes empirical evidence, because one comes up with facts based upon one observes. This version of ‘know’ was used once previously in Acts in 2:22 when Peter said that his audience knew about the miracles of Jesus. The audience to which Peter was speaking had physical evidence that Jesus performed miracles. Similarly, Western history provides physical evidence for the validity of a Christianity based in the story of Jesus, because this form of Christianity gave birth to modern science and technology, which other religions did not do.

David also had a form of empirical evidence, because he know that being beloved by God had measurable results in the physical world. He did not just have warm feelings in his heart. He also experienced physical benefits. Similarly, the physical transformations created by science and technology are a result of the mindset of Western Christendom. This does not mean that everything produced by Western Christendom is good, but science and technology came to birth in Western Christendom and not elsewhere.

There are two Greek words for oath and both are used in verse 30. The noun oath comes from a word that means ‘fence, enclosure’. The verb swear means ‘to swear, take an oath’ and means to swear by something or someone. Absolute truth is a form of swearing because belief in truth is based in emotional respect for the source of truth. In essence, the believer in absolute truth is saying that ‘I swear by my feelings of religious fervor that my holy book is true’. An oath is different because it places a fence around something. An oath is related to the idea of predestination mentioned earlier which places fences around something beforehand.

Applying this to the life of David, he initially experienced a swearing—words based in Mercy feelings of religious fervor. But what he experienced over the long term was the fence of an oath; he learned that God puts fences around his personal behavior. David describes this divine fencing in Psalm 139. “You have encircled me behind and in front, and placed Your hand upon me” (v. 5). Psalm 139 then goes on to describe David experiencing God’s fences no matter where he goes. This is consistent with a more literal reading of verse 30, which is ‘knowing from empirical evidence that God’s emotional swearing was the creating of fences’.

Verse 30 finishes by describing what God swore to David. “To seat one of the fruit of his loins on his throne.” Fruit means ‘fruit’ and cognitively describes something pleasant that grows in the living realm of mental networks. The Greek is more literally ‘from out of the fruit of his loins’. Thus, pleasant mental networks are emerging as fruit from David’s loins.

Loins is used once in Acts and refers to ‘the hip, reproductive area’. This explains why a ‘David’ is capable of being a founder of some system of absolute truth. The act of sex involves the deepest physical emotions. Similarly, breaking through to the spiritual realm requires becoming involved personally at the deepest emotional level. Thus, in order to break through, one must be beloved by God. Stated briefly, it appears that one will only make a spiritual breakthrough if one wants it with all of one’s being. This relates to the reference in verse 27 to ‘my soul being abandoned to the spiritual realm’. The entire mind felt abandoned by the physical and thus opened up to the spiritual. I am not trying to interpret these words in some sort of sexual fashion, because that brings the spiritual down to the level of the flesh. Instead, the flesh needs to be viewed as an illustration of something even deeper and more profound that involves the spiritual.

Putting this all together, David first experienced the swearing of religious words based in some religious source. But this was followed by David’s deepest desires repeatedly coming up against walls that fenced in these desires. Over time, David realized that these divinely imposed restrictions upon his deepest desires were causing something good to emerge. This is a general cognitive principle that applies to anyone who is following God at a deep level, and this type of divine fencing can function under absolute truth or under universal truth. For instance, over the years my deepest desires have repeatedly been stymied by various walls of divine providence. Looking back, I can see that these walls caused the words of mental symmetry to generate an internal fruit that expressed these words.

The final phrase is ‘to set upon his throne’. To set means ‘to make to sit down’. This verb was used once previously in Acts in 2:3 to describe each tongue of fire sitting down upon some person. In both cases, an expression of the Spirit is being attracted to something cognitive that has become transformed. Throne means ‘seat, throne’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. In other words, God makes some divine pronouncement to David. This is followed by God using providence to wall in the life of David at the deepest level. These walls cause something good to come to life within David’s mind. David realizes that God will use this goodness as a basis for his throne.

Applying this to Western Christendom, the historical Jesus started some process of historical transformation. God then led Western society through the imposition of divine walls. (The Gospel of Matthew describes the process by which God has channelled Western history.) These divine walls of providence have caused something new to come to birth, namely science and technology. God will use the goodness of science and technology as a basis for his throne. This summarizes the prophetic path that has been derived from looking at other books of the New Testament. Stated briefly, the theoretical return of Jesus will be followed by spiritual technology. I do not know exactly what spiritual technology is. All I know is that it will add spiritual overtones to existing technology. In other words, science and technology will act as a basis for the throne of God.

Verse 31 supports this interpretation. “He looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.” This is the first mention of Christ in the book of Acts and ‘the Christ’ is with the definite article. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation and a mental concept of Christ is based in abstract technical thought. Science uses abstract technical thought to understand how the natural functions. Looking ahead means to ‘see before, ahead of time’ and was used previously in verse 25 to describe David ‘foreseeing’ the Lord. In verse 31, this ‘seeing before’ is causing David to speak about the resurrection of the Christ. Speak means ‘chatter in classical Greek’, which implies that David is not using technical language. Resurrection combines ‘up, again’ with ‘to stand’ and is the normal word used for resurrection. It was used previously in Acts in 1:22 to refer to the resurrection of Jesus. In verse 31, Christ is being resurrected, which means that a new abstract concept of incarnation is coming to life.

Putting this together, David, representing a mindset of being ‘beloved by God’, is extrapolating from a path of personal transformation guided by divine constraints to a concept of Christ. Stated more personally, ‘If the fences imposed upon me by God have led to the growth of good fruit within myself, then it makes sense that God could guide society in a similar manner.’ This is a valid extrapolation because a concept of incarnation is cognitively natural. Following a path of personal transformation will lead to a concept of incarnation and this internal concept of incarnation corresponds in detail to the description of incarnation given in the Bible. However, this extrapolation is not technically rigorous. Instead, it leads to a general idea of the nature of incarnation stated in non-technical language.

The rest of verse 31 is similar to verse 27. “That He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.” Abandoned means ‘to leave behind’, Hades means ‘the unseen place’, and decay means to ‘thoroughly corrupt, totally degenerate’. These same words were used in verse 27. But there is no reference to the soul in verse 31, suggesting that David did not have an integrated mind. And ‘sanctioned by a higher law’ is also not mentioned, implying that David did not have a developed understanding of higher law in abstract technical thought. (That is why David does not describe the Christ in a rigorous manner.) But David has learned two essential characteristics about the Christ.

First, the Christ does not remain merely within the spiritual and the non-physical. Saying this in more detail, forming a personal relationship with God in a system of absolute truth will not generate a rigorous concept of Christ. But it will come up with general principles about incarnation that are capable of being applied within the real world. For instance, this can be seen during the Victorian era, when people within Western culture were motivated by Christian principles based in absolute truth to introduce substantial reforms to society, including the abolition of slavery, improved labor conditions, policing, honest business practices, and wholesome entertainment.

Second, physical existence does not mentally see total decay. (The word see often means ‘to see with the mind’.) Looking at this in more detail, absolute truth may lead to Platonic forms that have no connection with physical reality, but these mental images of heavenly perfection will create a motivation to make physical existence a bit more heavenly. This will provide a morally uplifting force for society that will counteract the descent into the dog-eat-dog competition of pure physical existence.

An Exalted Jesus 2:32-33

Verse 32 returns to the topic of Jesus. “It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses.” Eliminating the implied words in italics, the first phrase says ‘This Jesus God raised up’. Raised up means ‘to raise up’ and is also used to describe resurrection. Cognitively speaking, raising up implies being lifted up to generality within Teacher thought, and this interpretation makes sense because ‘the God’ is doing the raising up. Looking at this cognitively, verse 32 is saying that the attributes of the historical Jesus mentioned in verse 31 become emphasized within Teacher thought when absolute truth is replaced by universal truth. First, specializations within abstract technical thought are applied to change the real world. Stated theologically, Jesus is the Word made flesh. Second, abstract technical thought provides a morally uplifting alternative to pure physical existence. Stated theologically, Jesus saves.

The NASB adds ‘a fact’, implying that the passage is referring to a physical event. But the Greek merely says ‘to which we are all witnesses’, suggesting that a larger process is being addressed. This is supported by the word all, which means ‘each part of a totality’. Witness means ‘eye- or ear-witness’, which emphasizes the factual side of personal experience. Modern technology provides a partial illustration of what this means. We all know factually that 1) technology is a physical expression of science, and 2) technology can make the world a better place.

Verse 33 then returns to the present. “Therefore, since He has been exalted at the right hand of God.” The Greek begins with the phrase ‘to the right, therefore, of the God’. Right means ‘the right hand or side’ and was interpreted in verse 25 as a reference to the sequences and processes of left hemisphere thought. This is cognitively significant because one of the basic principles of science is that one studies the sequences of cause-and-effect in order to understand natural processes. Similarly, Thomas Kuhn pointed out that science is taught using exemplars, which means that one learns science by going through repeated Server sequences of solving scientific problems. Applying this to the previous verses, what David really learned about incarnation came from following a path of being fenced in by divine providence and was not learned in an instant by receiving some revelation of absolute truth.

The right hand of ‘the God’ emphasizes that Server actions need to be guided by the Teacher understanding of a monotheistic concept of God. This goes beyond the bureaucrat or professional whose Server actions are guided by the Teacher understanding of some organization or profession. This is the first use of the word exalted in Acts. It comes from the word ‘height’ and means to ‘raise high’. This goes beyond making something more general in Teacher thought to regarding it as most general in Teacher thought. Modern technology provides a partial illustration of what this means. Science uses abstract mathematics to describe natural processes. The technology that is the best physical expression of scientific thought is the computer, because a computer performs physical sequences guided by the abstract, verbal language of some computer program. Modern society has raised up computers to the level of Teacher universality because almost all gadgets and machines now contain one or more embedded computers. This is not an exaggeration. (Embedded computers are explored further in the second half of the paper on economics.) And placing computers in everything can make the world a better place because computer-controlled devices are flexible and adjustable. Combining smart gadgets with dumb people is very dangerous. That is also discussed in the paper on economics. My guess is that this verse is describing something similar happening within the spiritual realm. Spiritual technology would rectify the current problem of juxtaposing smart computers with dumb people because people would be forced to become less dumb in order to deal with the spirituality.

A proper spiritual extension is described in the next phrase. “And has received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father” (v. 33). Promise means ‘an appropriate promise’ and was used once previously in Acts in 1:4 where Jesus describes the Father promising the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in verse 33, but receiving this promise is now described in the past tense. Thus, what was promised in 1:4 has now happened. Pentecostalism led to a receiving of the spirit that, generally speaking, was not appropriate. In verse 33, the receiving of the Holy Spirit is appropriate. That is why I refer to ‘spiritual technology’. Technology is an appropriate expression of God the Father in Teacher thought, but it is not spiritual. Spiritual technology would add a spiritual component to lifeless, physical technology. Received means to ‘actively lay hold of to take or receive’. This goes beyond passively accepting something to actively acquiring it. For instance, modern technology has to be actively taken hold of, because one has to learn how to use a modern gadget.

Verse 33 continues, “He has poured out this which you both see and hear.” Poured out means to ‘pour out’ and was previously described in verses 17 and 18 as something that God will do. In verse 33 this pouring out is described in the past tense. Pouring out implies an abundance of Mercy experiences. See means ‘to see something physical, with spiritual results’. And hear means ‘hear, listen, comprehend by hearing’. These are both in the present active tense, indicating that this is happening in the present. If the pouring out of the Holy Spirit is being seen physically, then this means that physical expressions of spirit are being experienced, and ‘with spiritual results’ means that people are recognizing that these physical expressions are coming from the unseen spiritual realm. ‘Comprehend by hearing’ means that Teacher thought is understanding this spiritual activity. This is different than Pentecostalism which regards spiritual activity as incomprehensible to Teacher thought. This is why I use the term spiritual technology. Technology is comprehensible to Teacher thought, and it is a physical expression that obviously comes from an understanding which goes beyond the common sense acquired from living within physical reality. Spiritual technology would be like this but spiritual.

The Limitations of David 2:34-36

Verse 34 points out the limitations of a mindset of David. “For it was not David who ascended into the heavens.” Ascended means ‘to go up, ascend’ and was previously used in 1:13 to describe the disciples ascending to the upper room. This is being interpreted as moving to Teacher generality. Heavens is in the plural implying a multiplicity of Teacher theories. David represents a mindset that is based in absolute truth but adds the additional emotional element that God loves me and cares for me. Such a mindset cannot ascend to the heavens of Teacher generality because the basic premise is that God is bigger than I am. Thus, it would be regarded as presumptuous for me to come up with general theories on my own. What this means in practice is that the theoretical analysis will only go so far before being replaced by poetic words of worshipful self-abasement.

Verse 34 then mentions what a mindset of David is capable of saying. “But he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand.”’” Said means ‘answer, bid, bring word, command’ and was previously used in verse 29 to describe Peter, representing Perceiver thought, speaking with confidence. What is happening in verse 34 is a potential conflict between two rival concepts of lordship. The same phrase is quoted in Matthew 22:44 where Jesus asks the Pharisees about the nature of Christ. That passage is interpreted as theology colliding with the institutional mega-church. On the one hand, Christian theology leads to a mental concept of Christ, the abstract side of incarnation. This describes ‘the Lord’. On the other hand, running the organization of a mega-church implicitly creates a concept of Christ, because abstract technical thought has to be used to bring structure to the practical words and actions that are being guided by a concept of Jesus. This describes ‘my Lord’. In Matthew 22, the Pharisees are unable to resolve this conflict between ‘the Lord’ and ‘my Lord’. Similarly, the mega-church typically avoids addressing the question of the relationship between theological structure and institutional structure.

The solution is to ‘sit at my right hand’. Sit means ‘to be seated’ and implies resting rather than struggling or fighting. Right represents the sequences of Server and Teacher thought. At is actually ‘from out of’. Thus, ‘sitting from out of the right of me’ would mean allowing the Server sequences of personal organization to be an expression of the Server sequences of how God functions. In other words, one asks how God does things and one then does things in a similar manner. A mindset of David is capable of following this principle because it will instinctively view the ways of God as an example to copy. This can be seen in the phrase ‘What would Jesus do?’, which became popular in the United States in the late 1800s motivated by Charles Sheldon’s book In His Steps. This phrase has recently become popular again, but has expressed itself primarily as a bracelet to wear and a slogan to market rather than an actual lifestyle to follow. That is because the mindset of absolute truth is fading in today’s society. Thus, wearing a WWJD bracelet is a way of emotionally supporting a crumbling concept of absolute truth.

Verse 35 says how long this should continue. “Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” Until suggests that one should continue following the strategy until some goal is reached. Make actually means ‘to place, lay, set’. This verb was used once previously in Acts in 1:7 where Jesus tells the disciples that it is not theirs to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in place by his own authority. In other words, one needs to allow God in Teacher thought to handle the ‘putting in place’.

Enemy ‘implies irreconcilable hostility’. Cognitively speaking, this refers to incompatible core mental networks. This is the first mention of enemies in Acts. And ‘of you’ is explicitly mentioned, indicating that these enemies will focus personally upon those who are following the Holy Spirit. The implication is that an open expression of the Holy Spirit will lead to a hostile backlash from those who are motivated by incompatible mental networks. Verse 35 describes a response that is neither passive nor active. One does not actively fight the enemies but one also does not submit to them blindly. Instead, one takes the positive alternative of sitting at the right hand of the Lord, which means continuing to behave in a manner that is consistent with how God behaves.

Footstool means ‘under the feet’ and represents total domination. And ‘the feet of you’ is explicitly mentioned, which means that the final state will be total domination over the enemy. Note that this is a Teacher victory and not a Mercy victory. A Mercy victory would call for the destruction of the enemy. A Teacher victory thinks in terms of generality and domain; the winner is more general than the loser. ‘Putting in place’ indicates that this is happening within a structure of understanding. The winner is more general in the structure than the loser. That describes verse 34 from a cognitive viewpoint, but these verses are going beyond the cognitive to the spiritual. Looking at this spiritually, it was mentioned earlier that achieving a spiritual breakthrough requires reaching the end of one’s rope. That describes the negative requirement. The positive requirement is that a Teacher-based concept of God has to exist that is capable of supplying a spiritual solution to the problem. Continuing to perform Server actions that are guided by a Teacher-based concept of God helps to build a positive alternative while sitting and waiting creates the Mercy need that propels a person through to a higher solution.

For instance, the theory of mental symmetry violates many implicit assumptions from many groups of people and I have discovered that these groups really are my enemies. Thus, I continue to build the Teacher theory of mental symmetry, I continue to allow this theory to guide my Server actions, and I wait (usually) patiently for God to make things right. I also try to interpret situations from the Teacher perspective of God’s universal principles rather than from the Mercy perspective of my personal conflict.

Verse 36 concludes by saying that God has made things right. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” The Greek begins with the word for certain, which combines ‘not’ with ‘totter, cause to fall’. Know refers to experiential knowledge. House means ‘house, dwelling’ and was used once previously in Acts in 2:2 to describe the rushing wind filling the whole house. Thus, what began within the house of the apostles has now extended to the entire house of Israel. Israel was defined earlier as the group of people through whom God interacts with the world. (This would include the modern nation of Israel, because God does interact with society at a national level through Israel.) A house of the apostles would represent a new way of interacting with God because apostles, by definition, make major breakthroughs. A house of Israel would represent the existing way of interacting as a group with God.

Verse 36 says that God has replaced the existing method with the new method. This is not because some group of priests or religious leaders has declared the new method to be valid. Instead, one knows that a replacement has happened through personal experience and stability. The new method works experientially while the old one does not. The old method is tottering while the new method is not. For instance, how do I know that I am following God by presenting mental symmetry as a reformulation of existing Christianity? First, I know experientially that the existing method of absolute truth no longer works while the new method of universal truth does. Second, the old method of absolute truth is tottering and falling while the new method of cognitive theory does not totter.

Made means ‘to make, do’ and refers to the actions of Server thought. God is a universal being. Therefore, when God acts, then there are universal changes. Entire systems quit working and are replaced by new systems. Lord means ‘a person exercising absolute ownership rights’. Ownership is a characteristic of concrete technical thought. This can be seen in economics which is based upon the principle of private property and ownership. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. What has been made Lord and Christ is ‘this the Jesus’. Historically speaking, Peter was referring to the Jesus of the Gospels. But this same phrase ‘this the Jesus’ occurred at the beginning of verse 32, which said that God raised ‘this the Jesus’. We saw there that ‘this the Jesus’ has two primary characteristics: First, specializations within abstract technical thought are applied to change the real world. Stated theologically, Jesus is the Word made flesh. Second, abstract technical thought provides a morally uplifting alternative to pure physical existence. Stated theologically, Jesus saves.

For instance, pursuing mental symmetry has forced me to emphasize these two aspects of Jesus. First, I know that I will only continue to make progress in understanding the mind if I apply the understanding that I have in some manner in the real world. If I do not apply my understanding, then I know that my research will reach a dead-end or turn into self-deception. This describes the first characteristic. Second, understanding how the mind functions has created Platonic forms within my mind of a better mind and a better world. These have provided a higher motivation to keep me going amidst a society that is fixated upon physical existence. A concept of Jesus based upon these two fundamental principles has become Lord and Christ within my mind. It is Lord because I have no choice but to submit to these principles, and it is Christ because following these two principles has transformed mental symmetry into a system of understanding within abstract technical thought that is capable of analyzing entire systems, as illustrated by this essay. This entire process has been motivated by the TMN of a concept of God in Teacher thought.

But ‘this the Jesus’ is ‘whom you crucified’. The word crucified here actually means ‘to crucify’, and this is the first of two times that this word is used in Acts. Crucifixion kills through immobilizing and asphyxiating. One is attached to some piece of wood and one gradually loses the strength to continue breathing. Cognitively speaking, this corresponds to the way that a mental network dies. A mental network will eventually fall apart if it is continually triggered and not allowed to express itself. Blocking off an unwanted mental network is easy. If an undesirable mental network is not triggered, then it will feel as if it is no longer present. But it still remains in the background, waiting to be reactivated. Crucifying a mental network is much harder, takes much longer, and is far more painful. It is also something that has to be done by others. I cannot crucify myself. I can take many steps to weaken a core mental network and I can kill lesser mental networks, but the final killing of a core mental network goes beyond the ability of conscious will. Instead, the final death of core mental network happens as others trigger this mental network and do not allow it to be expressed. This places a positive cognitive interpretation upon the crucifiers. Such a crucifixion appears to be cognitively necessary because interacting with God by definition involves core mental networks. A new method of interacting with God will only go beyond theory and words to really interacting with God if core mental networks are torn apart and rebuilt.

Looking at this in more detail, absolute truth will naturally crucify ‘this the Jesus’. First, absolute truth studies the words of some book in a technical manner but ultimately bases its belief in Mercy feelings of respect for the source of truth. Thus, absolute truth encourages the development of abstract technical thought but forbids using abstract technical thought as a starting point. For instance, one is told theologically that Jesus is the Word made flesh, but one is condemned if treats Jesus as the Word made flesh. The result is a mental crucifixion, because a core concept of Jesus is continually being triggered but not being allowed to express itself. Second, absolute truth lifts up the content of a holy book as a moral standard but regards this holy book as distinct from normal life. Thus, one is told by absolute truth to believe that the moral standards of the Bible are universal but one is condemned if treats Biblical moral standards as universal. The result again is a mental crucifixion, because a core concept of Jesus is continually being triggered but not being allowed to express itself.

Similar statements can be made about modern science. (Modern science is a materialistic form of science.) First, science insists that one should use the abstract technical thinking of mathematics to analyze real life. But modern science also insists that the only valid starting point is empirical data from real life. Thus, science says that one should start with abstract technical thought but modern science condemns anyone who starts with abstract technical thought. I know this from personal experience, because mental symmetry starts with a theory of the mind. This theory is consistent with empirical data, but that is not good enough for modern science. The result is a mental crucifixion of the first principle that Jesus is the Word made flesh.

Second, science insists that one should use invisible understanding to comprehend the nature of physical reality. But modern science also insists that nothing exists except physical reality. Thus, science says that the visible is based upon the invisible but modern science condemns anyone who really says that the visible is based upon the invisible. I know this also from personal experience because mental symmetry is a cognitive model that describes how the invisible mind functions. The result is a mental crucifixion of the second principle that invisible ideals provide a morally uplifting alternative to physical reality.

Now suppose that spiritual technology emerged. This would be rejected by Pentecostalism. (Pentecostalism would include various forms of spirituality without theology.) First, Pentecostalism says that spiritual power comes from God, but Pentecostalism attacks those who associate spirituality with a concept of God in Teacher thought. Second, Pentecostalism says that God’s Spirit is moving in the physical world today, but Pentecostalism attacks those who treat God’s Spirit as a morally uplifting standard that should be applied to today’s secular, physical world. Spiritual technology would be condemned by Pentecostalism as being too rational and too worldly. Saying this more clearly, this essay is describing an alternative to the Rapture and Tribulation. I strongly suspect that the typical Christian believer in the Rapture would interpret spiritual technology as the kingdom of the beast. I can state this with confidence because many Christian believers in the Rapture are currently interpreting government attempts to deal with covid as the kingdom of the beast. If a global campaign to deal with a pandemic is sufficient to drive many evangelical Christians to conspiracy theories, imagine how strongly such individuals would react to a theoretical return of Jesus followed by spiritual technology.

Spiritual technology would also be rejected by modern science. (Modern science would include everyone with a technical skill or profession.) First, modern science says that technology comes from the universal laws of science in Teacher thought, but science condemns anyone who interprets these universal laws in personal terms as a concept of God. Spiritual technology, by definition, would add a subjective component to the impersonal laws of science. Second, modern science uses technology to improve the physical world but pursues an objective mindset that refuses to apply the same kind of thinking to the subjective. Spiritual technology would add a moral, subjective component to the objective technology of modern science.

Concluding, if spiritual technology emerged within today’s environment of Pentecostalism and materialistic science, then these two would instinctively crucify spiritual technology. Crucifixion sounds horrible, and physical crucifixion is horrible. However, mental crucifixion is bearable—if the emotional pain of existing mental networks falling apart is counterbalanced by the emotional pleasure of new mental networks coming into existence. Verse 36 describes this as having happened in the past tense. Thus, one can conclude that by verse 36 something new has emerged to replace Pentecostalism and materialistic science. This does not mean that Pentecostalism and materialistic science would cease to exist. Instead, they would become footstools of the new system of spiritual technology. Pentecostalism would eventually love the new spiritual technology but would view it as a form of magic that actually works. Similarly, materialistic science would eventually love researching the physical expressions of spiritual technology but would view these physical manifestations of the spiritual as purely materialistic phenomena. Both Pentecostalism and materialistic science would become like moths drawn to the flame—irresistibly drawn but unable to approach too close.

The Audience Repents 2:37-40

This realization leads to great moral pain. “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart” (v. 37). Hear means ‘hear, listen, comprehend by hearing’, which implies that the listening is accompanied by comprehension. Pierced is found once in the New Testament and combines ‘down’ with ‘pierce’ leading to the meaning of ‘pierce all the way down’. Moving down implies heading away from Teacher generality. Heart refers to Mercy identity. Putting this together, there is a loss of Teacher generality combined with a painful extending into Mercy identity. Stated more simply, there is a realization that my understanding is only part of the picture and I have not applied my understanding to myself. For instance, mental symmetry acts as a meta-theory that rules over other theories. It also acts as a cognitive mirror that takes a theory and reflects it back to the person doing the theorizing.

Applying this to spiritual technology, if spiritual technology did emerge, then Pentecostalism would realize that the real God is bigger than the ‘god’ of Pentecostalism and it would also realize that Pentecostalism has been following a caricature of personal transformation. Similarly, materialistic science would realize that universal theories go beyond the physical to include the supernatural and the spiritual and it would also realize that it has been improving things while ignoring identity.

The audience responds with deep questioning. “And said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, men, brothers, what are we to do?” (v. 37). Speaking to Peter implies addressing Perceiver thought. This is cognitively significant because Perceiver thought builds the connections that make it possible to integrate mental fragments. Perceiver thought also builds the confidence that is required to hold on to facts in the midst of subjective emotions. Applying this to Pentecostalism, using Perceiver thought means going beyond absolute truth to universal truth, while building Perceiver confidence means thinking rationally about spiritual power. Applying this to modern science, Perceiver connections make it possible to connect the physical, the spiritual, the cognitive, and the supernatural in an analogical manner. And Perceiver confidence makes it possible to go beyond objective research to include the subjective.

The rest means ‘the rest, the remaining’. Perceiver thought is the starting point because Perceiver thought builds connections. But connections connect to something. Therefore, starting with Perceiver thought will end up connecting with the remaining apostles.

The response of the audience indicates a category mistake, because they ask what should we do, implying the use of Server thought. However, the phrase ‘men, brothers’ indicates a major change. First, the reference to men indicates that they are using male technical thought to analyze the Teacher emotion of losing generality and the Mercy feeling of personal condemnation. For Pentecostalism, this would mean thinking rationally about God and the spiritual realm. For modern science, this would mean extending scientific thought to include both God and the subjective. Second, the reference to brothers indicates that they are recognizing that there are extensive similarities between the existing system and the new system. For Pentecostalism, this would mean recognizing that spiritual technology is a valid form of Christian spirituality. For modern science, this would mean recognizing that spiritual technology is a valid branch of academia.

Peter addresses the category mistake in verse 38. “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized.” This is the first use of the word repent in Acts, which means to ‘change one’s mind or purpose’. The solution is not to perform Server actions but rather to use Perceiver thought to reconnect thinking. This is followed by baptized which means to ‘dip under’. Baptism was mentioned once previously in Acts in 1:5, which compared the baptism of John with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If verse 38 is describing the emergence of spiritual technology, then verse 38 would refer to a baptism of the Holy Spirit. Looking at this cognitively, repenting takes existing mental structure and rearranges it to be consistent with a new way of thinking. Baptism then makes this new way of thinking personal by submerging the mind within some set of Mercy experiences. Applying this to spiritual technology, both the Pentecostal and the modern scientist would have to reconnect their ways of thinking and then submerge themselves within the new spiritual technology. Both of these elements would be necessary and ‘repent and be baptized’ is connected by an ‘and’ in the Greek. The ‘repent’ forms a new worldview, while the ‘baptized’ shakes up existing personal identity so that it clings to the new worldview.

Each means ‘each unit viewed distinctly’. Thus, this process of ‘repent and be baptized’ needs to be followed at an individual level. Going to a Pentecostal meeting will not work. Instead, each Pentecostal has to struggle with this as an individual. Similarly, going through a paradigm shift as an academic community will not work. Instead each scientist needs to struggle with this as an individual.

Verse 38 then adds more details. “In the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Name refers to the character of a person in Teacher thought. Thus, this repenting and baptizing should not be viewed as some emotional experience in Mercy thought. Instead, it should be viewed as a theory or name in Teacher thought. This is the first time that the complete name of ‘Jesus Christ’ has been used in Acts. Cognitively, this refers to an integrated concept of incarnation that includes both concrete and abstract thought. A partial illustration of this can be seen in research and development because R&D combines abstract technical thought with concrete technical thought. One is simultaneously developing new products and performing research. This is also similar to the way that pursuing mental symmetry is simultaneously following a path of personal transformation and gaining an understanding of the mind.

For means ‘to or into’. Forgiveness means ‘something sent away’. And sin means ‘missing the mark’. This goes beyond feeling that one’s sins are forgiven. Instead, the goal is to become free of the mental networks that are causing a person to ‘miss the mark’. The goal of ‘repent and be baptized’ is to get rid of inadequate mental networks. The ‘repent and baptized’ heads ‘to or into’ the ‘sending away’ of ‘missing the mark’. Thus, a transformation in core mental networks leads to a transformation in behavior. This interpretation of verse 38 illustrates what this entails because a religious phrase typically associated with becoming a Christian is being given a functional, cognitive interpretation based in mental reprogramming.

Verse 38 finishes with a positive goal. “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Receive means ‘to actively lay hold of’. In other words, this mental reprogramming can also be viewed as a way of actively laying hold of something new. Gift means ‘a gift, freely given’. This is the first mention of a gift in the book of Acts. Cognitively speaking, the gift of the Holy Spirit means a Form of the Good emerging within Mercy thought. On the one hand, this is a concept of universal goodness. On the other hand, every individual creates this concept by building upon personal actions and experiences. Thus, it is both a gift and a concept of the Holy Spirit. Applying this to spiritual technology, the specific way in which a person constructs a concept of the Holy Spirit would determine the kind of access to spiritual technology that a person would gain.

Verse 39 summarizes with a more general statement. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” The word promise ‘is a legal term that refers to an officially sanctioned promise’. This word was previously used in verse 33, which defined the promise as the promise of the Holy Spirit. Verse 39 says that this promise is now being fulfilled. However, the promise is described in personal terms: it ‘is for you’, implying that the promise still has to be appropriated at an individual level.

A child is ‘a child living in willing dependence’. ‘Your children’ would refer to those who are living in willing dependence upon those who appropriate the promise. Cognitively speaking, this defines a new role for absolute truth. Religion views absolute truth as believing the words of a holy book that was revealed to important people in the past. Education views absolute truth as believing the words of a textbook written by people who have acquired expertise. Those who apply the promise of the Holy Spirit become experts who then teach others who are ‘living in willing dependence’ upon them. The implicit assumption of being a child is that one will eventually grow up. Similarly, the implicit assumption of education is that one will eventually go beyond absolute truth to universal truth supported by Teacher understanding.

Far away means ‘a long way, far’. As many means ‘how much, how many’. Will call to himself is a single word that means ‘to call to’. And the person doing the calling is ‘Lord, the God of us’. Absolute truth views Christ as an extension of Jesus. Thus, every expression of Christ is expected to be consistent with the culture and religious practices of Jesus. Saying this more clearly, absolute truth expects that God will use the language and culture of my religious group when saving people. But a new concept of Jesus Christ has emerged in verse 38 which views Jesus as a specific expression of Christ. Jesus still lives within a specific culture, leading to the concept of ‘the God of us’. But Christ is the starting point and not Jesus. This means that God as an infinite being has the freedom to give the promise of the Holy Spirit to other groups that would be regarded as far away from my cultural expression of Jesus. Notice that Teacher thought is still involved and there is still free choice. People are being verbally called. But this final phrase of verse 39 makes it clear that ‘the God of us’ is becoming free of ‘us’ to reach groups of people that are at a distance from us and that God in Teacher thought is doing this generalizing and not some specific cultural group within Mercy thought.

Verse 40 can be viewed as a form of ‘and so on’, but it is also an application of the final phrase in verse 39. “And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on urging them.” Words is the plural of logos, which is interpreted as the paradigm in Teacher thought that lies behind some technical specialization. A concept of incarnation is based in technical thought. Therefore, creating a valid concept of Christ means connecting together many paradigms of technical thought. This is done by Perceiver thought, and this bridging function of Perceiver thought was described earlier when looking at the keys of Peter. Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Many means ‘greater in quantity’. Interdisciplinary research typically connects a few specializations that are similar. This is ‘greater in quantity’ because it extends these connections to include paradigms that are ‘of a different kind’. This methodology is described in an article that I just published (my first peer-reviewed article). And this reference to a peer-reviewed article in an essay on a book of the Bible is itself an example of using Perceiver thought to include paradigms that are of a different kind.

Solemnly testify adds ‘thoroughly’ to ‘witness, testify’. The cognitive principle is that objective research is not sufficient when extending a concept of incarnation. Instead, research needs to be accompanied by personal application. This relates to the combination of ‘all who are far away’ and ‘the Lord our God’ mentioned in verse 39. Testimony looks at personal experience from a factual perspective. Testimony transforms subjective emotions from hindering rational thought to assisting it, because a new subject will make sense if it resonates with personal experience. ‘Thorough witness’ extends this personal involvement to core emotional issues, and I have found that this extension makes it possible to resonate with a far greater range of technical specializations.

This emotional involvement can be seen in the word urging which means to ‘personally make a call’. This word is used numerous times in Acts, but this is the first occurrence. On the one hand, personal emotions within Mercy thought are involved. On the other hand, one is calling within Teacher thought. This is related to the Holy Spirit because the noun form of this verb is used in John 14-16 to describe the work of the Holy Spirit.

The rest of verse 40 describes Peter’s message: “Saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation!’” Saved means to ‘deliver out of danger and into safety’. From means ‘from, away from’. Generation means ‘race, family, generation’. Perverse means ‘crooked because dried out’ and this word is only used once in Acts. Putting this together, an alternative to existing society now exists. The problem with existing society is that it is ‘crooked because dried out’. Dried out implies a lack of Mercy experiences. This describes objective thought which deliberately suppresses Mercy experiences. Objective thought may avoid self-deception at the detailed level of facts, but the modern mindset of objective thought has led to a generation that is crooked. That is because advanced, specialized, technical thinking becomes combined with childish mental networks. But an alternative set of subjective Mercy emotions is now present with the Holy Spirit. This concept of the Holy Spirit emerged as Platonic forms became unified by an integrated understanding of God the Father. The result is an internal image of a transformed society—a different age.

Applying this to a future realm of spiritual technology, the general assumption today is that technology can be separated from morality. Spiritual technology would initially be viewed as a spiritual add-on to existing technology. But it appears that the spiritual realm interacts with through mental networks. Therefore, spiritual technology would become influenced by subjective mental networks and technology would no longer be separate from morality. Stated simply, people with childish or destructive mental networks would find that their use of spiritual technology would become corrupted by these mental networks. I do not know exactly what this means, because I am trying to extrapolate to something in the future which does not currently exist. This relationship explains the need for salvation. Treating spiritual technology as normal technology would be dangerous, and the way to escape that danger is by becoming saved away from the current generation of ‘crooked because dried out’, which means replacing objective thought with being guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Start of a New Society 2:41-43

In verse 41, many respond positively. “So then, those who had received his word were baptized.” Word is ‘logos’, which means that Peter’s message is itself a paradigm of technical thought. For instance, mental symmetry has become developed to the point where it can be regarded as a system of technical thought. This is described as ‘the word of him’ which would mean a paradigm based in the Perceiver thinking of Peter. For instance, mental symmetry uses the analogies of Perceiver thought. This can be defined with sufficient precision to be regarded as a technical paradigm, but it is really using normal thought in a semi-rigorous manner to bridge technical specializations.

Having received means ‘to accept gladly, welcome’. This goes beyond factual agreement to emotional acceptance. Baptism has been discussed previously and means to ‘dip under’. The structure of the sentence suggests that welcoming the logos of Peter is itself leading to a baptism. That is because using Perceiver thought to integrate various specializations will also interconnect Platonic forms, causing a concept of the Holy Spirit to emerge. The moral goodness of this concept of the Holy Spirit will have sufficient emotional strength to pull personal identity through the rebirth of baptism. For instance, mental symmetry has created a concept of a better world within my mind that is sufficiently potent to transform my mental networks of culture and identity.

Verse 41 concludes, “And that day there were added about three thousand souls.” A day is interpreted as an era illuminated by some general theory. ‘On that day’ would refer to the era in which the promise of the Holy Spirit is first experienced. This is probably an era in which spirituality is being added to technology and people are not yet aware of the dangers or implications of combining these two. Added means to ‘put together for a purpose’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Soul is interpreted as referring to the integrated mind. This word was used once previously in Acts in 2:27 which said that ‘You will not abandon my soul to the realm of spirits’. The reference to souls rather than people suggests that the positive response is coming primarily from those who have integrated minds. Saying this another way, their ‘thorough testimony’ is resonating with the logos of Peter. When people with integrated minds come together, then this will result in a ‘putting together for a purpose’. I do not know what the number 3000 represents. This is the only time that this word is used in the New Testament.

Verse 42 describes the resulting behavior which is similar to that mentioned in 1:14. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Continually devoting means ‘to continue to do something with intense effort’ and was previously seen in 1:14 where the apostles ‘were continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer.” This was interpreted previously as Contributor confidence, which means sticking with some plan within technical thought regardless of the difficulties. For instance, my work with mental symmetry could be described as ‘continually devoting’ because I follow the plan of developing the theory regardless of any difficulties encountered. Prayer means ‘exchange of wishes’. In 1:14 everyone was focusing ‘with the same passion’ upon the plan of connecting God with personal identity at an emotional level. For instance, my initial efforts to use mental symmetry as a meta-theory focused upon theology and religion because I wanted to deal with the most emotional issues first. In verse 42 there are still prayers, but they are mentioned in the plural at the end of the verse, which implies that the final step of the plan is to ensure that the progress remains connected with core emotions of God and personal identity.

Verse 42 focuses upon teaching, which means ‘a summarized body of respected teaching’, and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This describes a curriculum, which is a standard collection of subject material that is taught to students. However, this curriculum is coming from the apostles, and an apostle is defined as someone who makes a major breakthrough. This suggests that a new curriculum has been established. Developing a new curriculum involves significant effort, which explains the need for Contributor confidence, because one is attempting to package new material so that it can be taught in a technically competent manner. This makes cognitive sense because a number of new converts were gained in verse 41. in verse 42, these converts are being taught in a systematic fashion.

Verse 42 adds ‘and to fellowship’. Fellowship means ‘what is shared in common as the basis of fellowship’ and this is the only use of this word in Acts. In other words, not only is a new curriculum being taught, but people are also interacting at the level of Mercy experiences. These two are connected by an ‘and’, indicating that they are related. This is consistent with the idea that the theology of God the Father in Teacher thought needs to be combined with the social interaction of the Holy Spirit in Mercy thought. Notice that the teaching comes first and then the fellowship.

This is followed by ‘the breaking of bread’. This is the first reference to bread in Acts and bread is interpreted as intellectual food. The word break means ‘to break’. It is used sixteen times as a noun or verb in the New Testament, always in connection with breaking bread. The idea is that intellectual food has to be broken down into bite-sized chunks. This explains why a curriculum has to be developed, because a curriculum breaks knowledge down into a series of bite-size chunks. This is conveyed in the Lord’s Prayer, where one is told to ask for one’s ‘daily bread’.

Bread and prayers are connected by an ‘and’, but there is no ‘and’ between fellowship and breaking of bread. Looking at this cognitively, teaching and fellowship are both social activities, while breaking of bread and prayer are personal and internal. The bread comes before the prayers, implying that emotional interaction with God needs to be guided by the intellectual food of ‘breaking bread’. And the use of prayers in the plural suggests that each individual is emotionally interacting with God in a unique way as an individual.

Verse 43 describes the result of this interaction. “Fear was occurring to every soul; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” The soul refers to the integrated mind. Occurring means ‘to come into being’, and every means ‘each part of a totality’. Fear means ‘fleeing because feeling inadequate’. This is the first use of this word in Acts and the next occurrence will be in 5:5 when Ananias falls dead. The rest of the verse explains the basis for this fear. What is happening is that things are going beyond the cognitive to the spiritual and the supernatural. The new curriculum is not just teaching a new way of thinking but opening the door to a new way of existing, and that is bringing terror to the integrated mind. What typically happens in such a situation is that the mind focuses upon some tree in the forest. In other words, the integrated mind is replaced by specialization. Verse 43 says that this is coming into being with every soul, suggesting that everyone is increasingly realizing that what is being taught goes beyond the cognitive and physical.

The ‘fleeing because feeling inadequate’ can also be interpreted in a positive manner as not challenging the curriculum. Speaking from personal experience, for several years I have felt that my path is being guided by something and/or someone that is bigger than I am and that the integration of my mind depends upon following this path. The fear here has been expressed as fleeing away from disturbing the path. This would be like taking a course in high voltage electricity. One is fearful of deviating from the path of instruction because the results could be fatal.

Wonder means ‘a miraculous wonder, done to elicit a reaction from onlookers’, while a sign is ‘a sign, typically miraculous, given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate’. These two are connected by an ‘and’. This is cognitively significant because there is a combination of instability and stability. The wonder is emotionally violating reasonableness, while the sign is reestablishing mental stability. This is important for Facilitator thought, because the Facilitator determines reasonableness, which is done by comparing something new with what is known to be solid. Thus, a violation of reasonableness is being followed by the reestablishment of a new sense of reasonableness.

Wonders and signs were mentioned previously in 2:22 in connection with Jesus. Such signs and wonders would reinforce a mindset of absolute truth, which believes that the source of truth is special and different than normal people. In verse 43, the wonders and signs are happening ‘through the apostles’. Through means that the apostles are not themselves the source of these miracles. And these wonders and signs are ‘coming into being’ just as the fear was ‘coming into being’. Notice that the wonders and signs are happening through the same apostles that are formulating the curriculum. This combination helps to prevent a movement towards hero worship. What often happens is that the hero presents himself as the source of miraculous behavior and is surrounded by groupies who worship him as a hero. In verse 43, the wonders and signs are happening through the apostles, and the followers are interacting with the apostles by learning a system of established teaching. This can be seen to some extent in engineering, because engineering is taught as an established curriculum and engineers then use their understanding to produce new and amazing results.

Regarding Things as Common 2:44-47

This leads in verse 44 to what may initially appear to be a form of commune-ism. “And all the believers were together and had all things in common.” Starting with the first phrase, believe means to ‘persuade, be persuaded’. This is a common word but it is being used for the first time in Acts. Persuasion reinforces the idea that a curriculum of rational thought is being taught. One might think initially that signs and wonders would exclude the possibility of rational thought, but a distinction needs to be made between materialistic science and rational thought. Mental symmetry uses rational thought, but the rational thinking of mental symmetry can be used to analyze both the material and the non-material. What is being taught in verse 43 is a system of rational thought that extends to the non-material and this extension is leading to the fear.

Together is more accurately ‘on, upon’. The word same is used in the singular, which usually means ‘self to the exclusion of others’ or ‘self not prompted or influenced by another’. Thus, the phrase is more accurately ‘the having believed were upon the individual self’. My limited understanding of Greek would interpret this as meaning that being persuaded is being followed by individual and personal application. Looking at this cognitively, it appears that the spiritual realm interacts with the physical through mental networks. Thus, if a spiritual movement is to be maintained, then each individual person within that movement has to remain integrated as an individual. Applying this to Pentecostalism, movements of the spirit seem to go downhill when persuasion is replaced by emotional manipulation and personal integrity gives way to crowd dynamics. This provides a justification for questioning the idea that this verse is describing a form of communism. It is possible that the original group 2000 years ago practiced a form of communism. However, the basic principle of communism is that people should not regard themselves as individuals, while the first phrase appears to be focusing upon individual growth.

Turning now to the second phrase, have means ‘to have, hold, possess’. All things means ‘each and every part making up a complete unit’. The word common means ‘common, referring to what is defiled (stripped of specialness) because treated as ordinary’. It is used fourteen times as a noun and fourteen times as a verb in the New Testament. Twenty of those times it is translated as unclean, unholy, defiled, or impure. It is translated twice as ‘having things in common’ in verse 44 as well as in 4:32. And it is used twice (in Titus 1:4 and Jude 1:3) to refer to a common faith or common salvation. When interpreting the Bible cognitively, I have followed the general principle of using one technical definition for each Greek word because abstract technical thought is based upon a foundation of consistent definitions. This leads to the conclusion that common in verse 44 should also be interpreted as ‘common as opposed to sacred’. This is related to the definition of ‘in common’ because secular knowledge is based in Perceiver repetition. Perceiver thought builds universal truth upon attributes that exist ‘in common’. This leads to the cognitive interpretation of holding each part based in Perceiver repetition. This is the opposite of communism, which insists that Perceiver divisions of property and ownership should not exist.

This means that verse 44 is not referring to some form of communism. Instead, it should be interpreted as no one regarding their possessions or experiences as unique or special, because the fundamental meaning of holiness is separation from the world. Similarly, the idea of a common faith or common salvation would mean that the message of salvation does not have to be phrased using special language that is regarded as holy or different. Instead, what matters is following the cognitive principles. Thus, having all things in common would mean not regarding any objects as holy or special but rather regarding objects as merely things. Communism eliminates concepts of private ownership. Having all things in common preserves private ownership but does not build personal identity upon ownership or regard objects as special or locations as holy. This may seem like a minor distinction but a new form of spiritual economy will emerge in chapter 3 which will reinterpet religious self-denial as a spiritual form of economic exchange. This can only be done if existing feelings of holiness are analyzed in a way that preserves concepts of ownership.

Verse 45 is also traditionally interpreted as a form of communism. “And they would sell their property and possessions and share them with all, to the extent that anyone had need.” Property means ‘a possession’. Possession means ‘a possession kept under someone’s authority’. Selling means ‘to sell’. Share means ‘to distribute, to divide’. All again means ‘each part of a totality’. To the extent means ‘according as, because’. Need means ‘need’ and have is the same verb used in verse 44.

I suggest that what is being described is not communism. First, concepts of private property still exist because people are selling their properties and possessions. Second, there is no central government carrying out a central plan because the same people who are doing the selling are also doing the distributing. Third, this distributing is happening intelligently according to people’s needs. I know that communism claims to give to everyone according to their needs, but that is not what happens in practice. That is because communist central planners have no concept of individual people’s needs. Actually giving to everyone according to their needs can only be done at an individual level as individuals become aware of the personal needs of other individuals.

Looking at this more generally, I suggest that what is happening is the emergence of a new economy. The basic principle is that one gains spiritual wealth by selling physical wealth. This principle is often misused in Pentecostal circles to gain financial donations from gullible viewers but the principle still remains. Verse 43 described a new curriculum being accompanied by supernatural events. In order to gain spiritual wealth, one has to let go of physical wealth. Jesus tells this principle to the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:21. The selling in verse 45 all involves the material realm of ‘having’. Comparing this interpretation with the book of Matthew, Matthew 24 refers to the Second Coming. This is followed by the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 which describes people conducting business in order to gain more talents.

Summarizing, it is possible that verse 45 is describing something that might appear to be like communism. But the context strongly implies that a spiritual economy is being jumpstarted by selling physical possessions in order to gain spiritual wealth. A spiritual economy does not deny the existence of physical wealth but instead realizes that there is a spiritual economy of being that extends beyond the physical economy of having.

This spiritual economy is described in Galatians 6:7-8. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” Notice how this economy is based in the character of God. It is also rooted in sowing and reaping, a connection which is a fundamental characteristic of any market economy. However, it is a spiritual economy, because one is selling to the spirit and reaping from the spirit. And it is an economy of ‘being’ rather than ‘having’, because one is reaping eternal life.

Verse 46 says that this continues for some time. “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house.” ‘Day by day’ suggests that this is continuing through several societal shifts. And if the spiritual is impinging upon the physical, then days would be following one another in rapid succession. Continuing is the same word ‘continue to do something with intense effort’ which was seen in verse 42 and is interpreted as Contributor confidence. This supports the idea that a new economy is being developed because Contributor thought thinks in terms of economics and buying and selling. With one mind means ‘with the same passion’, which indicates a common emotional motivation. This word was previously used in 1:14 to describe the apostles praying together in the upper room. This is happening ‘in the temple’. And temple refers to ‘the entire temple complex’. This is the first use of this word in Acts, where it appears numerous times. Putting this together, a new economy is emerging based upon unified motivation within the religious realm. This is consistent with the idea of a spiritual economy, and ‘with the same passion’ suggests a common desire to break through to a new form of economic interaction.

And actually means ‘and both’ which means that the religious interaction is being accompanied by a personal element. ‘Breaking bread’ was previously seen in verse 42 and is interpreted as consuming intellectual food in bite-size chunks. This is happening at each house, which implies that the consuming of intellectual food is happening within the context of some culture or personal identity within Mercy thought. For instance, much of the development of mental symmetry has consisted of analyzing a succession of books and/or systems. On the one hand, there is a breaking of bread because I continually learn new facets of mental symmetry. On the other hand, this breaking of bread is happening within some house, because I am learning more about the mind by analyzing some specific book or system. Moving from one book or system to another ensures that the growing Teacher understanding does not become locked into the MMNs of some specific person or culture.

Verse 46 finishes by saying that “they were taking their food together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” Food means ‘nourishment, food’, which is being interpreted as intellectual food. This is the first occurrence in Acts of the word taking which means ‘to lay hold of with initiative which prompts a change afterword’. This combines active analysis with personal transformation. For instance, analyzing a system requires active thought and I find that analysis is usually followed by personal change. Again one sees the combination of theoretical research and personal transformation. Such a combination would naturally occur within spiritual technology because the theoretical research provides the foundation for the technology while the personal transformation adds the spiritual component. Speaking from personal experience, I am finding increasingly that when my research is followed by personal change, then this leads to a growing awareness of the spiritual realm.

This is happening ‘with gladness’. With is more accurately ‘in the realm of’. Gladness was used once previously in Acts in 2:26 as a verb. It means ‘so glad one jumps in celebration’. That was interpreted as extending beyond the earth of rational thought into the air of Teacher emotions. In verse 26 the tongue was ‘jumping in celebration’, indicating a Teacher joy limited to the realm of words. In verse 46 the eating of food is happening with jumping celebration. The NASB adds the word ‘together’ but that is not in the original Greek. It is implied because the verb ‘partaking’ is in the plural. Thus, the emphasis is not upon eating together and having a party but rather upon the fact that partaking of food is leading to change. The gladness explains the source of this change, because consuming intellectual food is being followed by an emotional breakthrough in Teacher thought which is causing the change.

Sincerity is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘not’ with ‘stony ground’. Rocks represent hard Perceiver facts. Ground that is not stony would represent rational thought that is not cluttered with hard Perceiver facts that inhibit the development of understanding. This ‘not stony ground’ is of heart and the heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. The idea is that Perceiver facts are not being used to protect or shield personal identity. This relates to the interpretation given earlier of regarding all things as common rather than holy or special. Saying this another way, people are not putting up mental roadblocks to impede the development of this new spiritual economy. One can see mental roadblocks illustrated by Peter’s response to the vision in Acts 10. God tells Peter to eat what is unclean and Peter responds ‘By no means, Lord, I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.’ Peter’s response is an example of stony ground of the heart. And we will see when looking at Acts 10 why Peter responds in such a manner.

Verse 47 describes the relationship with the rest of society. “Praising God and having favor with all the people.” Praise means ‘to praise’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. The object of this praise is ‘the God’ with the definite article. A replacement for Judas was found at the end of chapter 1 and we saw that the name of the replacement Matthias means ‘gift of Yah’. A new society has come into existence which is a gift of a monotheistic God in Teacher thought. The Teacher source of the new society is being praised. Looking at this more carefully, the praise of Judas made a detour into mysticism. Mysticism worships a concept of God that is based in a combination of Teacher overgeneralization and Mercy identification. In contrast, the new society is tied together by a general concept of God in Teacher thought and a spiritual economy preserves concepts of personal identity and ownership within Mercy thought.

Favor means ‘grace, kindness’ and is one of several related words that all appear to be related to receiving something good from God in Teacher thought. With actually means ‘motion towards to interface with’. All signifies ‘where all the parts are present and working as a whole’. People means ‘the people’ and is the source of the English word ‘laity’. This is the first use of this word in Acts. And having means ‘to have, hold’, which is being interpreted as a form of ownership that is more peripheral than ‘being’. Putting this together, a new priesthood has formed, because the followers of the apostles are giving grace from God in Teacher thought to the lay individual in a way that brings wholeness. However, this is functioning primarily at the objective level of ownership rather than personal transformation.

In Acts 1:16 the praise of Judas resulted in a priesthood that arrested Jesus. And the mysticism practiced by this priesthood resulted in the spilling of guts and not wholeness. The new priesthood is enabling a Jesus who is ‘the word made flesh’ and who ‘saves people’. And the new priesthood is enabling Jesus by bringing grace from God to the people in a saving way that promotes wholeness.

The result is growth. “And the Lord was adding to the same day by day those who were being saved” (v. 47). Saved means to ‘deliver out of danger and into safety’. In verse 40, Peter exhorted the crowd to be saved. In verse 47, they are being saved. Adding means to ‘put together for a purpose’ and was previously seen in verse 41. In verse 41, Peter was doing the exhorting. In verse 47 the adding is being done by ‘the Lord’. The cognitive implication is that Perceiver thought has laid a sufficient foundation for the plans and lordship of Contributor thought to take over. This is happening ‘every day’, suggesting that society is going through various cycles as this is happening.

The sentence ends with the Greek phrase ‘epi to auto’, which is translated in a footnote as ‘to the same’. This same Greek phrase was found in 1:15, 2:1, and 2:44. Searching for this phrase is difficult because all three words are very common in Greek. However, I scanned Acts 1-10 and find no other occurrences of this phrase. In 2:44, this phrase was interpreted as building upon individuality. That interpretation also makes sense in verse 47. 2:1 described the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. The implication there is that the disciples are together but they are still together as individuals. This interpretation is consistent with verse 3 where the tongues of fire distribute onto the individuals. In 1:15 this phrase was applied to the number of names gathered together when Peter talked to the disciples. The implication there was that specific technical specializations were coming together as result of the connections of Perceiver thought. Summarizing, I do not know with my limited Greek whether this interpretation is grammatically accurate, but whenever a phrase is repeated it does seem to be significant, and this interpretation does make cognitive sense. The general idea is that the kingdom of God is always composed of individuals coming together. It is not based in group-think where individuals lose their identity. I know that individuality is an expression of Western culture as opposed to Eastern culture. However, I also know that Western civilization grew out of the West with its focus upon individuality. I am not suggesting a rugged individuality where everyone is suspicious of each other and rejects organization. There is a place for societal order and structure. But I have come to the conclusion that the interaction of God’s kingdom never eliminates the individual.

The Lame Man at the Temple 3:1-3

Chapter 3 describes the story of a lame man being healed by Peter and John. Looking at this cognitively, a key aspect of existing religion is being addressed and transformed in this passage. I suggest that this transformation is a natural byproduct of the spiritual economy described at the end of Acts 2.

Verse 1 sets the scene. “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.” Peter, representing Perceiver thought, has occupied center stage so far. Peter is now mentioned together with John. The baptism of John was mentioned back in 1:5 and John was also mentioned in the list of disciples in 1:13. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. I know that John the Baptist is a different person than John the disciple, but when interpreting the Bible cognitively, then the general principle is that each word has one cognitive meaning. Thus, both John the Baptist and John the disciple would represent something similar cognitively. John the Baptist represents Christianity based in absolute truth, and absolute truth is ultimately rooted in Mercy feelings of personal status. This suggests that the disciple John also represents Mercy thought in some manner. Consistent with this, the disciple John probably had the cognitive style of Mercy person, and John refers to himself in the Gospel of John as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. Finally, the meaning of the name John is consistent with being loved by the lordship of incarnation.

Summarizing, the combination of Peter and John represents a new stage in which Perceiver thought cooperates with Mercy thought. This becomes possible when the Platonic forms of the spirit transform core MMNs of personal identity. Mercy thought then becomes an emotional and personal way of looking at the facts of Perceiver thought.

Looking at verse 1 in more detail, Going up means ‘to go up, ascend’ and is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. This verb was previously used in 2:34, which stated that David did not ascend to heaven. The idea is that this new combination of Perceiver and Mercy thought is capable of heading in the direction of Teacher generality in a way that the ‘beloved by God’ of David could not. That is because the mindset of David was still held back by the attitude of absolute truth. Thinking too much about absolute truth will undermine the underlying assumption that God is everything and I am nothing. 2:34 did not say that David could not ascend but rather that he could not ascend into the heavens. Thus, some Teacher theory is possible but one cannot live personally within this Teacher theory.

Temple refers to ‘the entire temple complex’ and to means ‘to or into’. Thus, the Teacher generalizing is heading in the direction of religious thought. What began as a spiritual addition to technology and expanded to become a new spiritual economy is now becoming explicitly religious. I experienced a similar transition when developing mental symmetry. My initial goal was to understand the functioning of the mind but I included subjective emotions. This combination of the facts of Peter and the emotional experiences of John headed theoretically in the direction of religion.

This is happening ‘at the hour of prayer’. Prayer means ‘exchange of wishes’. This exchange of wishes is between John, representing subjective identity in Mercy thought, and a concept of God in Teacher thought, represented by going up to the temple. ‘Hour of prayer’ would indicate that this is happening at a certain stage in the ‘day’ of some era. The ninth hour corresponds to 3 PM, suggesting that this is happening later in the day.

Putting this all together, a new form of spiritual economy emerged at the end of chapter 2. Initially, such an economy would deal with smaller and more personal issues. However, as this economy developed, then more global concerns would come into focus. This would cause Perceiver and Mercy thought to head in the direction of religious Teacher generality ‘later in the day’. These two would go together because Perceiver thought would recognize that the personal concerns of Mercy thought are repeated in the personal concerns of many other people. Saying this another way, when I realize that what is bothering me also bothers many other people, then I am starting to think about Teacher generality.

This religious heading in the direction of Teacher generality encounters a form of thinking that is already present. “And a man who had been unable to walk from his mother’s womb was being carried” (v. 2). This is referred to specifically as a man, indicating that one is dealing with an aspect of male technical thought. Unable to walk means ‘lame, deprived of a foot, limping’. This same term was encountered in Matthew 15:31 and will be interpreted in the same manner. Cognitively speaking, personal identity ‘walks’ by resting the weight of the mind alternatively upon MMNs of personal experience and TMNs of theory. For instance, the path of personal transformation builds a general theory in Teacher thought in order to rest the mind upon understanding, making it possible to lift up childish MMNs and then put them back down in a reborn form. The basic principle is that this kind of mental walking requires interconnected MMNs and TMNs. A person who mentally rests solely upon either MMNs of culture or TMNs of understanding is mentally ‘deprived of a foot’.

Absolute truth is a mindset that is based upon only one foot. It rests upon the ‘foot’ of MMNs of authority but is incapable of resting itself upon the ‘foot’ of TMNs of understanding. Saying this another way, absolute truth can lead to a mindset of David, but David is incapable of ascending to the heaven of Teacher generality. This lameness is literally ‘out of the womb of mother’. From means ‘from, from out of’. Womb means ‘belly, abdomen, heart, a general term covering any organ in the abdomen’. And mother is explicitly mentioned. Mother occurred once previously in Acts in 1:14 to refer to Mary the mother of Jesus. We saw there that the name Mary means ‘beloved’ in Egyptian but ‘rebellion’ or ‘bitterness’ in Hebrew. That describes a mindset in which one follows God by denying the worldly pleasures of Egypt, a mindset that naturally accompanies absolute truth. Mother represents an emotional source of the MMNs of childish existence. This subjective, emotional source is emphasized by coming ‘from out of’ the ‘belly, abdomen, heart’. And this condition of lameness is described as ‘what exists, especially what preexists’, implying that it is a natural byproduct of sourcing absolute truth in MMNs of emotional status. This man is being carried, which means ‘to take up, carry’. The implication is that thinking rationally about absolute truth is regarded as a burden. One does it as one’s religious duty in order to show respect for the source of truth. This is different than Peter and John who are ‘going up’ to the temple, suggesting that they are being emotionally motivated by TMNs of general understanding.

Verse 2 continues by describing how this lame man is being treated. “Whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful.” Sit down means ‘to place, lay, set’. The idea is that a doctrine of religious self-denial is being placed within a system of religion. This is happening ‘every day’ which suggests that the mindset of absolute truth will cause religious self-denial to be included as part of the religious system within every societal age. Gate means ‘a door’. This is described in the singular with the definite article as ‘the gate of the temple complex’. Placing religious self-denial at the door of the temple implies that this is being regarded as an entrance requirement for religious participation.

Called is a reference to the words of Teacher thought. And beautiful actually means ‘belonging to the right hour or season, timely’. Teacher thought deals with sequences and timing. This was mentioned in 1:7 which said that God the Father sets times and periods. This adds details to the idea of a ‘missing foot’. Absolute truth rests its weight upon MMNs of personal status. But it has to wait passively for the right time to come within Teacher thought because it is missing the ‘foot’ of Teacher understanding. Stated simply, I deny myself for God and then wait for God to step in at the appropriate time.

Verse 2 finishes by describing the behavior of the lame man. “In order for him to beg for charitable gifts from those entering the temple grounds.Beg means ‘to ask, request’. Alms means ‘mercy, pity, alms’. It is mentioned three times in this section. Notice the contrast between Peter and John going up to pray and the lame man asking for mercy. Peter and John can exchange wishes with God in Teacher thought while the lame man has to beg for help from people in Mercy thought. That is because the lame man is ‘missing the leg’ of Teacher understanding. Notice also that Peter and John are going up to the temple in the hour of prayer, implying that they have an understanding of God’s timing. In contrast, the lame man has to wait passively by the gate of divine opportunity.

Enter combines ‘to or into’ with ‘to transport, moving something from one destination to another’. Transport is being interpreted as a movement that creates change, and the addition of ‘into’ indicates that entering the religious realm is causing a change. The word into is explicitly repeated. Thus, the lame man is asking for alms from those ‘transporting into into the temple complex’ (The double ‘into’ is deliberate.) Looking at this cognitively, religious self-denial plays a major role when moving into the religious realm. This relates to the concept of righteousness described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:1-4). The cognitive principle is that the TMN of a concept of God will take responsibility for motivating behavior only if this behavior is not motivated by MMNs of personal status. In the words of Matthew 6, if one does righteousness before men then one will receive no reward from God in heaven. Absolute truth views this as an expression of religious self-denial, driven by a desire to suppress personal identity in Mercy thought in order to exalt MMNs of religious authority. Such self-abasement is viewed as an entrance requirement for belief in absolute truth.

A spiritual economy views this same behavior from a different perspective. The goal is not to suppress personal identity in Mercy thought but rather to gain the higher reward of being motivated by a concept of God in Teacher thought. We saw at the end of the previous chapter that people were selling what they had in order to gain more spiritual wealth. This explains why Peter and John meet the lame man. What absolute truth interprets as religious self-denial, the new spiritual economy is interpreting as gaining more lasting treasure. This principle is already true but it functions primarily at a cognitive level. If a spiritual economy that had a physical impact were to emerge, then the behavior of religious self-denial would come into direct contact with the behavior of the new spiritual economy. This also explains why Peter and John are entering the temple together. What is being described is a combination of Perceiver connections and subjective mental networks. Personal identity in Mercy thought is being connected with a concept of God by performing acts of righteousness that are motivated by the TMN of a concept of God. Saying this economically, economic value uses Perceiver thought to compare the attributes of various alternatives while using Mercy thought to place an emotional label upon each alternative.

In verse 3, the lame man approaches the situation from an attitude of religious self-denial. “When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple grounds, he began asking to receive a charitable gift.” Saw is the version of ‘see’ that means ‘to see with the mind’. This implies that religious self-denial is being mentally connected with the behavior of the new spiritual economy. The phrase ‘into the temple’ is the same as in verse 2, indicating that a similar transition is being made from the secular to the religious realm. However, the new spiritual economy would view this as moving from having to being rather than as moving from secular selfishness to religious self-denial. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. This is not the unusual term used in verse 2 but simply means to go in. Thus, what absolute truth views as a major transition from secular to religious, the new spiritual economy would view as a simple movement. About to means ‘at the very point of acting’. This implies that religious self-denial involves the initial stage of a transaction in the spiritual economy—the stage in which one lets go of some form of physical wealth. (An economic exchange involves letting go of one item in order to receive another item.)

Asking means ‘to make an earnest request, especially by someone on special footing’. This verb was previously used in Acts in 1:6 where the disciples asked Jesus if he would restore the kingdom to Israel. In both cases, the ‘special footing’ can be interpreted as a special relationship in Mercy thought. The lame man is asking for alms because religious self-denial has a special relationship with absolute truth. Similarly the disciples in 1:6 felt that they had a special relationship in Mercy thought with the historical person of Jesus. The reference to ‘special footing’ is ironic because the lame man actually is missing a foot. The lame man asks ‘to receive a charitable gift’. Charitable gift is the same word ‘alms’ that was used previously, and receive means to ‘actively lay hold of to take or receive’. Thus, the man is expecting to be the beneficiary of some act of self-denial in Mercy thought and regards this expression of self-denial as something to be grabbed from givers. In essence, this describes a form of economy, in which professional recipients of self-denial are receiving rewards from people who are attempting to enter the religious realm by practicing self-denial. This is an example of practicing one’s righteousness before men.

Healing the Lame Man 3:4-7

A major rethinking happens in verse 4. “But Peter, along with John, looked at him intently and said, ‘Look at us!’” The Greek begins with the verb looking intently which means ‘to stare at because fully occupied with’. This verb was previously used in Acts in 1:10 to describe the disciples gazing intently into the sky after the Ascension of Jesus. In both cases, something that has been viewed from a Mercy perspective is now being analyzed using Teacher thought. This transition naturally happens when Perceiver thought looks for repeated connections. On the one hand, Perceiver thought wakes up from being overwhelmed by the Mercy emotions of absolute truth. On the other hand, Perceiver thought examines the topic to see which connections really are repeated. And when Perceiver thought discovers facts that occur in many situations, then this leads naturally to general Teacher theories. This happened when the Jesus of the Gospels ascended to the heaven of Teacher understanding, and it is also happening here where the religious self-denial of absolute truth is being re-examined in the light of the new spiritual economy. Peter is doing the looking, but this is happening ‘with the John’, which means that MMNs of ‘the Lord has been gracious’ are also being examined. In other words, Perceiver thought is looking for what is really being repeated regarding the graciousness of the Lord. For instance, I remember going through this kind of questioning when I started to examine Christian doctrine in the light of mental symmetry. It felt almost blasphemous to question existing Christian concepts of heaven and life-after-death. But I kept asking myself what type of future existence actually qualifies as heaven: the endless worship described by many Christians, or a personal existence based in mental wholeness.

Look means ‘to see something physical with spiritual results’. It was used previously in 2:33 in Peter’s sermon where he told his audience to look at what was happening. In other words, new spiritual things were happening in the physical world and the audience was supposed to observe these physical effects and come to spiritual conclusions. In verse 4, Peter tells the lame man to ‘look at us’. Thus, religious self-denial is supposed to look at the Perceiver facts and Mercy experiences of the new spiritual economy and come to spiritual conclusions.

This attracts the attention of the lame man in verse 5: “And he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.” Give attention means ‘to hold fast, to hold toward’. One of the signs that Perceiver thought is starting to wake up is that one ‘holds fast’ rather than being emotionally drawn to the latest infatuation. For instance, one of the characteristics of late twentieth century Pentecostals was their extensive tape library of motivational speakers that they would continue to listen to in order to remain emotionally infatuated. Expecting means ‘to await, expect’. This relates to the idea of waiting passively at the ‘timely’ gate. Exhorter thought focuses upon the internal vision of something better, waiting for God to fulfill the vision. What is happening cognitively is that religious self-denial is causing personal identity to become mentally connected with the Teacher words of absolute truth: ‘The Bible talks about a better world. I have denied myself in order to enter the holy temple of the God of the Bible.’ This will create Platonic forms and connect personal identity with these Platonic forms, because one is being motivated by the Platonic forms and not by mental networks of normal secular existence. But there is no way to turn these Platonic forms into reality, because they are based in the words of a special book based in religious Mercy experiences that are regarded as different than secular life. This can be seen in the recent history of end time prophecy, in which believers are continually feeling that the Second Coming of Jesus is just around the corner. If this Second Coming expressed itself as a theoretical return of Jesus followed by spiritual technology, then this would not feel like a Second Coming to the religious believer.

The lame man in verse 5 is expecting to receive something, and ‘receive’ is the same verb that was used in verse 3. Thus, the lame man expects the new economy to function the way that religious self-denial did, which means that a person denies himself for Jesus and then receives some material benefit from those who want to enter the religious realm. Notice that both the lame man and the alms givers are practicing a form of religious self-denial. The lame man lives within religious self-denial, while those who are passing practice acts of religious self-denial by giving alms to the lame man.

Peter changes the expectation of reward in verse 6. “But Peter said, ‘I do not have silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.’” Silver represents ‘money in general’, while gold means ‘gold, viewed in terms of its purchasing power’. Looking at this economically, money (represented by silver) places an intermediate stage between the exchanges of barter. One gives up some item in order to receive money. One then gives the money to someone else in order to receive another item. Gold represents holding on to money in order to achieve security. If one is wealthy, then one has enough money to pay for help when experiencing problems.

Have means ‘already have’ and the same verb was used in 3:2 to describe the lameness of the lame man. The lameness of the man was an inherent byproduct of the attitude of absolute truth. Similarly, a lack of silver and gold would be an inherent byproduct of a spiritual economy. A normal economy functions through the exchange of money. A spiritual economy functions through mental networks. In simple terms, a mental network takes ownership of any behavior that it motivates. For instance, if behavior is motivated by the TMN of a concept of God and not by MMNs of personal identity, then the TMN will take ownership of behavior and that behavior will be regarded as righteous. (The word ‘righteous’ will be used for the first time in Acts in verse 14 to describe an attribute of God.) This causes money to be viewed as a secondary method of exchange that is peripheral to the primary exchange involving mental networks. Going further, a person who has enough gold to pay for personal emergencies does not need to call upon God for help. Therefore, someone who wants to function within a spiritual economy will try to avoid amassing too much gold.

Peter then gives the lame man something else. In other words, Peter’s lack of monetary wealth is not the result of practicing religious self-denial. Instead, Peter has something better to give to the lame man.

Verse 6 describes this better alternative. “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!” Name indicates that one is approaching people from the perspective of Teacher thought. The previous use of ‘name of Jesus Christ’ was in 2:38 where Peter told the audience to be baptized ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’. Baptism indicates rebirth and rebirth in the name of Jesus Christ laid the foundation for a new spiritual economy. Verse 6 is describing the functioning of this spiritual economy. Looking at this cognitively, Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation while Christ refers to the abstract side. A normal market economy involves the cause-and-effect of the concrete side of incarnation. A modern market economy takes detours through the abstract side of Christ in order to multiply the effectiveness of the economy. This concept is explored in extensive detail in an academic paper on economics. The theoretical details taken by a technologically driven market are guided by the Teacher theories of science. The theoretical detours of a spiritual economy would be guided by the Teacher theories of a concept of God, and righteousness would play a major role in taking such a detour.

Nazarene probably means ‘branch’ and has been used once previously in Acts in 2:22 where Peter referred to ‘Jesus the Nazarene’. In verse 6 Peter refers to ‘Jesus Christ the Nazarene’. ‘Jesus the Nazarene’ was interpreted as viewing the historical Jesus as a branch or expression of some larger concept of Jesus. Jesus Christ is now being treated as a branch of a larger concept of incarnation. For instance, connecting a concept of Jesus Christ with a modern market economy and with science and technology are both examples of treating Jesus Christ as a branch of a larger concept of incarnation.

Walk combines ‘comprehensively around’ with ‘walk’, and a Hebrew mindset interprets this as a way of life. Expanding upon this, Judaism refers to the Jewish law as ‘halacha’ which means ‘walking or going’. This views law from the Server perspective of doing. And this Server perspective describes the leg that is missing from the lame man. This is the first use of the word ‘walk’ in Acts and it is used four more times in verses 8-12 to describe the behavior of the lame man. This repeated usage supports the idea that Server actions are being added to the one-legged thinking of the lame man. ‘Walking comprehensively around’ also suggests that a new general way of behaving is being introduced.

The results in verse 7 are immediate. “And grasping him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.” Grasping means ‘to lay hold of, to take’ and is usually translated as ‘seize’. Right means ‘the right hand or side’ and is being interpreted as a reference to left hemisphere thought. In this case, the word hand is explicitly added. ‘Hand’ was used once previously in Acts in 2:23 to describe the hands of godless men crucifying Jesus. Hands represent technical manipulation and right hand would refer to the manipulations of Server thought. Jesus was crucified previously by the hands of technical thought. A new methodology of technical behavior in Server thought has now emerged as a result of the new spiritual economy, and this new methodology is seizing or taking hold of the one-legged behavior of religious self-denial. Using a partial example, science did something similar to scholasticism. Scholasticism used technical thought to study books of revealed truth. Science placed this technical study of written books into the larger system of constructing scientific theories of how the physical world functions. Similarly, the new spiritual economy would place the practice of religious self-denial into a larger system of how the spiritual world functions. Notice that Peter is only grabbing the right hand which implies that only the behavior of religious self-denial is being swallowed up and not the Teacher theories that are driving this behavior.

Raise up means ‘to waken, to raise up’. This conveys the idea of transforming passive behavior into something active. Instead of just waiting passively for the opportune time, the lame man can behave in an active manner. For instance, Biblical prophecy is typically viewed as something ordained by God in which humans sit passively waiting for God to intervene. These essays have been interpreting prophecy as a series of Server sequences that have to be followed. This leads to the conclusion that one can actively encourage prophecy to be fulfilled by personally following these Server sequences. For instance, when I see a similarity between my path of pursuing mental symmetry and some sequence of biblical prophecy I interpret this as functioning within a spiritual economy in which one receives a spiritual benefit from God by following the necessary biblical sequences.

Immediately means ‘instantly, immediately’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Spiritual results seldom happen immediately but usually require going through some path of personal growth. The result here is immediate because two existing systems are being bolted onto one another. Religious self-denial does practice an aspect of the spiritual economy. Thus, once a spiritual economy emerges, then self-denial can be bolted on by Perceiver thought resulting in immediate benefits.

Strengthened means to ‘make stable, solid, immovable’. It is used three times in the New Testament, twice in this story in Acts 3. Foot is not the normal word for feet but rather is used once in the New Testament. It comes from a verb that means ‘to walk, to go’ and is the source of the English word ‘basis’. Ankle is also used only once in the New Testament and means ‘the ankle’. The ankle is a joint that flexes when walking. Looking at this cognitively, religious self-denial is continually troubled by doubt. That is because it is continually denying the natural urges of self guided by belief in some book that has no direct relation to physical reality. A spiritual economy provides a solid basis for religious self-denial because it places it within the structure of a larger economy that includes both spiritual and physical reality. Religious self-denial is also inflexible, because it holds stubbornly to the idea of suppressing personal identity no matter what the cost. A spiritual economy adds flexibility to this attitude by showing that it is one step in a larger process. There is a time for religious self-denial. One moves into religious self-denial and then one moves out of it. Thus, religious self-denial becomes a step in the walking of a spiritual economy. Religious self-denial, in contrast, has no concept of time but instead fixates upon denying self while waiting passively for the right time to come.

Rethinking Religious Self-Denial 3:8-10

Verse 8 describes the results. “And leaping up, he stood and began to walk.” Leaping up combines ‘out of’ with ‘to leap’ and is found once in the New Testament. ‘Leap’ is found three times in the New Testament, two times to describe a lame man leaping up and once to describe water springing up to eternal life. Cognitively speaking, leaping implies entering the air of Teacher thought. Water springing up implies that this is happening to the realm of Mercy experiences. And leaping ‘out of’ indicates that some state within Mercy thought is being exited. Thus, what was viewed as a static experience of religious self-denial within Mercy thought is being revealed by Teacher thought to be an active component of a spiritual economy.

Stood means ‘to make to stand, to stand’. It was previously used in 2:14 to describe Peter taking his stand with the eleven. That was interpreted as Perceiver thought waking up and taking an active role. Similarly, religious self-denial is waking up from an attitude of suppressing self to taking an active role. One denies self in order to gain treasure in heaven, and this heavenly treasure expresses itself on earth as spiritual wealth within the new spiritual economy. The word walking is then repeated which means to walk comprehensively around. Thus, a new way of behaving is being revealed and expressed.

Verse 8 continues, “And he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” Entered means ‘to go in, enter’. The ex-lame man enters ‘into the temple with them’. Until now, the lame man has been stuck at the entrance to the temple. Looking at this cognitively, religious self-denial is seen as entrance requirement to the religious realm, but an attitude of self-denial cannot enter the temple because personally experiencing the temple violates self-denial. Saying this more carefully, the basic premise of absolute truth is that I have no status compared to the emotional status of the source of absolute truth. This leads naturally to a feeling of religious self-denial. But if my personal experiences become connected with the source of absolute truth then I will start to feel that I now have some status compared to the emotional status of the source of truth—which will contradict the attitude of religious self-denial. Saying this more simply, I will feel that humility is something that I can never claim to possess, because as soon as I claim to be humble then I stop being humble. The lame man does not enter the temple by himself but rather enters with Peter and John. Stated cognitively, religious self-denial has to be placed within the context of a spiritual economy in order to enter the religious realm. In other words, the humble person does not start proclaiming his humility. Instead, the humble person recognizes that acts of humility are a stage in the process of gaining spiritual wealth. This means changing the Perceiver thinking of Peter from absolute truth to universal truth, and it means changing the Mercy experiences of John from exchanging approval and disapproval with people to receiving favor from God.

Within the temple, the lame man is walking about, the same word used previously in the verse. In other words, viewing religious self-denial as an aspect of the spiritual economy leads to a new form of behavior within the religious realm of the temple. A caricature of this can be seen in Pentecostalism, because religious self-denial becomes viewed as an aspect of the physical economy: ‘Deny yourself by sending donations to me the televangelist and God will bless you with material blessings.’ This is correct in recognizing that religious self-denial needs to be viewed as an aspect of the economy. But instead of lifting up the material economy of ‘having’ to the level of the spiritual economy of ‘being’, spiritual activity is being brought down to the level of a material economy.

Leaping is the same verb that was used at the beginning of verse 8 but without the prefix ‘out of’. One of the basic premises of a spiritual economy is that one behaves in a manner that is motivated by the TMN of a concept of God and not by MMNs of personal approval. Leaping into the air represents personal behavior that is motivated by the TMN of a concept of God.

Praise means ‘to praise’ and was used once previously in Acts in 2:47 where the same phrase ‘praising the God’ was used. 2:47 described a new emotional way of interacting with a concept of God motivated by the spiritual economy which replaced the old praise of Judas. In verse 8, the ex-lame man is performing this same praise of God within the temple complex. In other words, what started out as a spiritual economy is now transforming the practice of religion itself. By swallowing up the practice of religious self-denial, the new spiritual economy has acquired religious overtones.

In verse 9, the public becomes aware. “And all the people saw him walking and praising God.” Saw means to ‘see with the mind’. This seeing is being done by the people, a word that is the source of the English word ‘laity’. In other words, the average religious person is making a mental connection. That is because the average person still feels that the source of absolute truth is more important than personal identity. The religious leadership is not making the connection, because they feel that they have an inside connection to the Mercy source of absolute truth. Laity were mentioned once previously in Acts in 2:47 within the context of describing the behavior of the new spiritual economy. Saying this more clearly, it would be difficult for religious leaders to participate in a spiritual economy because they would find it hard to practice the religious self-denial that is necessary to acquire spiritual wealth, and they have already received personal benefits for their religious self-denial in the form of religious status from the laity.

What the laity notice is the ‘walking about’ and the ‘praising the God’. They notice the new system of behavior and they also notice the new emotional attitude regarding a concept of God. They do not necessarily notice the leaping, which implies that their Teacher understanding of God is incomplete. For instance, one can see this in the modern technological economy. The average consumer notices the new behavior of research and development, as well as the new attitude of recognizing the Teacher theories of science as beneficial to human society. But they do not necessarily have a Teacher understanding of the science that lies behind the technological economy.

In verse 10 they recognize the man. “And they recognized him as being the very one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg for charitable gifts.” Recognize means ‘apt experiential knowing’. This describes a combination of Peter and John. It has the personal experiences of John but also includes the factual knowing of Peter. This knowing is being applied to the lame man who represents religious self-denial. Him is a generic pronoun that actually means ‘this’, which implies that the focus is more upon what the lame man represents rather than upon the lame man as an individual. In the Greek, the next phrase is ‘for the alms sitting’, consistent with the suggestion that the behavior is being emphasized.

Sit means ‘to be seated’ and was previously used in 2:34 to describe ‘sitting at the right hand of the lord’. That was interpreted as waiting patiently while following divine sequences in Server thought. The sitting mentioned in verse 10 contrasts with all the walking about that the lame man is now doing. The man was sitting for alms. Looking at this cognitively, religious self-denial was regarded as a static attitude within Mercy thought in which one sits; one enters a state of self-denial and then remains in that state. A spiritual economy, in contrast, regards the same religious self-denial as a step that one follows in the walk of life.

The ‘beautiful gate of the temple’ is then mentioned. Remember that beautiful means ‘timely’. The word gate means ‘an entrance gate to a city or fortress’. This is different than the word gate in verse 2 which simply means ‘door’. The implication is that a larger conclusion is being drawn, because a gate is more significant than a door. This is also related to the idea of ‘apt experiential knowing’. Conclusions are being drawn regarding the relationship between religion, represented by the temple complex, and the role that self-denial plays in entering the religious realm in a timely manner.

Verse 10 finishes by describing this larger attitude. “And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Filled means to ‘fill to the maximum’. It was used once previously in Acts in 2:4 to describe being filled with the Holy Spirit. The idea is that the extent of filling is limited by the size of the container. Wonder means ‘utter amazement with a sense of wonder’. It is used three times in the New Testament, once in Acts. Amazement means ‘to remove out of a standing position’ and this is the first use of this word (as a noun) in Acts. The words ‘signs and wonders’ that were used previously both imply that God is doing the miracles, which is consistent with an attitude of religious self-denial: God can do far more than I can. In contrast, the terms used in verse 10 both describe a strong emotional response but there is no reference to God. This makes sense if religious self-denial is being placed within a spiritual economy. An economy describes something that I do in order to pursue wealth. Economics is viewed as something secular that is different than religion. If religious self-denial were to become part of a spiritual economy, then the initial feeling would be that secular commerce has swallowed up religion.

This interpretation is consistent with verse 12, where the crowd attributes spiritual power to Peter and John. It is also consistent with the word happened, which combines ‘together with’ and ‘walk’. And ‘walk’ is related to the word translated feet in verse 7. In other words, the lame man is finding a basis for walking and something related to the spiritual is walking alongside. The idea is that normal human behavior is suddenly being accompanied by something supernatural. This would lead to ‘wonder’ because normal actions are generating extraordinary results. And it would also ‘remove out of a standing position’ because many fundamental economic and religious assumptions would be called into question.

In verse 11, the lame man is clinging to Peter and John. “While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the portico named Solomon’s, completely astonished.” Clinging means ‘to place under one’s grasp’. It was previously used in Acts in 2:24 to describe Jesus being held in the power of death. Looking at this cognitively, religious self-denial is grasping on to Perceiver facts and Mercy identity. The implication is that Perceiver thought and Mercy thought are themselves being controlled. In other words, religious self-denial involves strong emotions. If this were to become connected with a spiritual economy, then this would take control of Perceiver and Mercy thought for a while.

Run combines ‘together’ with ‘run’ and is used once in Acts. In verse 11 all the laity are running together towards them. If the gifting that is promised by Pentecostalism actually started to be exhibited, then this would generate strong coordinated movement in the laity towards the grouping of Perceiver thought, Mercy identity, and religious self-denial.

They gather ‘at the portico named Solomon’s’. A portico is a pillar supporting a covered colonnade. This is the first of two times that Solomon’s porch is mentioned in Acts. Solomon comes from a word that means ‘to be complete or sound’. A spiritual economy that extends to religious thought is actually an expression of mental and societal wholeness. It unites the various streams of society and is based on a mind that is whole. If everyone is running together towards Solomon’s portico, then this suggests being emotionally driven to pursue mental integration in an integrated manner. Verse 11 refers to the portico called Solomon’s, whereas 5:12 refers more directly to Solomon’s porch. Thus, verse 11 would refer to a Teacher understanding of mental and spiritual wholeness, whereas 5:12 describes a fuller expression of mental and spiritual wholeness. For instance, mental symmetry is a Teacher theory that describes mental and spiritual wholeness but this is not the same as actually living within the wholeness described by mental symmetry.

Completely astonished is used once as a noun in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘out from’ to the word wonder used in verse 10 that means ‘utter amazement with a sense of wonder’. What is happening cognitively is that what happened as an isolated event in verse 10 is spreading to all of the laity. The result is a new societal order—an amazement ‘out from’ existing society. This describes the difference between a subculture and a culture. A subculture is something different that happens within existing culture. The average person may be amazed but they are not amazed out of existing culture. However, when a subculture spreads to the rest of culture, then the average person becomes amazed out of existing culture.

Peter Preaches Transformation 3:12-14

Peter responds in verse 12. “But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, ‘Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this.’” Saw means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, while everyone else is being amazed, Perceiver thought is thinking internally of the connections. Reply means ‘to answer’ and this is the first use of this verb in Acts. Until now, Peter has been doing the proclaiming and others have been doing the responding. Now something else is happening and Peter is responding. This reaction by Peter is consistent with the idea of Perceiver thought being seized by the mindset of religious self-denial. Looking at this cognitively, Perceiver thought needs confidence to function in the midst of emotional pressure. The emotional pressure has just gone up massively, forcing Perceiver thought to gain additional confidence. Peter is answering to the laity, suggesting that the laity are leading this movement while Perceiver thought is following.

The word men means ‘men’ and would refer to male technical thought. The implication is that male technical thinking needs to become capable of coping with the flood of spiritual mental networks that has just emerged by adding religious self-denial to the spiritual economy. The term Israelite was used once previously in Acts in 2:22 where it was also combined with the term ‘men’. In the previous sermon, Peter accused the men of Israel of killing Jesus. In this sermon, Peter will accuse the men of Israel of disowning Jesus. Israel represents the group of people through whom God interacts with the world. In the previous chapter, Peter accused this group of killing the existing concept of Jesus. In this chapter he will accuse this group of rejecting the path of Jesus; Jesus’ attitude of religious self-denial is being emphasized but not the path followed by Jesus that motivated his acts of religious self-denial. This is consistent with the idea of the lame man having only one leg to stand on.

Amazed means ‘wonder at, be amazed’. This word was used once previously in Acts in 2:7 to describe the response of the crowd during the Day of Pentecost. In 2:7 the amazement came from the fact that things were making too much sense. Everyone was understanding words spoken in their own language. In verse 12 things are also making too much sense. What used to be regarded as religious self-denial subject to the timing of God is now being seen as merely an aspect of economics.

Verse 12 continues, “Or why are you staring at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?” Staring means ‘to stare at because fully occupied with’ and this verb was used previously in verse 4 to describe Peter staring at the lame man. In verse 12 the laity are staring at Peter, John, and lame men. Stated crassly, they have become fixated upon how one can gain spiritual power and wealth.

As though is a comparison that means ‘as, like as, about’. Looking at this cognitively, the laity is still thinking in terms of the one leg of the lame man. They are still focusing upon the Perceiver facts of Peter and the Mercy experiences of John and they are seeing this as a pattern to follow.

Power means ‘power, might, strength’ and is interpreted as using Perceiver connections to amplify the strength of Server thought. The laity view this power as ‘our own’, similar to a power tool that one can purchase and own. Godliness combines ‘well’ with ‘venerate, pay homage’. It is used once as a noun in Acts. The idea is that one can acquire spiritual power by exhibiting the right religious behavior expressed with the proper religious attitude in Mercy thought. Made means ‘to make, do’ and is being interpreted as Server actions. This brings the integrated mind down to the level of concrete actions. And walk means to ‘walk around’. In other words, the laity are looking for a new variety of existing religious ritual and they are viewing Peter and John as a new form of priesthood that exemplifies this new religious ritual.

Peter introduces a new way of thinking in verse 13. “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus.” This is a new way of referring to God that has not been used so far in Acts. This describes a sequence because Abraham was the father of Isaac and Isaac was the father of Jacob. Abraham left the city of Ur to follow God. In other words, Abraham practiced religious self-denial. And Abraham also practiced religious self-denial when being asked to offer up his son Isaac. As Hebrews 11:13 points out, the result was the Platonic form of a better city. However, this ideal image could not be turned into reality but rather had to be ‘welcomed from a distance’. Isaac means ‘he laughs’, which represents the joy of Teacher emotions. Jacob, in contrast, practices the opposite of religious self-denial because he struggles for an inheritance, first with his brother and then with an angel.

Mental symmetry refers to this sequence as the path of personal transformation. The first step is to leave MMNs of culture and identity in order to construct the TMN of a concept of God. The second step is to allow the TMN of a concept of God to guide Server actions, which results in righteousness. The third step is for MMNs of identity and culture to become transformed by the TMN of a concept of God. These three stages correspond to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Religious self-denial follows the first stage of Abraham, but it cannot follow the second stage because it has no concept of timing or righteousness. The lame man was implicitly following the second step by being placed regularly at the gate of ‘timing’. When the lame man is healed, then this describes the third step of receiving an inheritance. A similar sequence can be seen in modern economics. Companies will turn their attention away from selling existing products in order to do research motivated by the hope that this will lead eventually to the development of a better product. Economics emphasizes the role that technological developments play in shifting the curves of economic supply.

Verse 13 adds that this is ‘the God of our fathers’. In other words, if one examines the development of both Judaism and Christianity, one sees similar stages functioning in the past, which has just been illustrated by the detailed description of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob given in the Torah. However, this is not viewed as a sequence within Christian circles. For instance, I cannot remember ever hearing a sermon on the topic of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Scanning briefly for webpages on the topic, Christianity.com talks about a covenant but does not mention anything about sequence. Bible.org explains in great detail how this formula is repeated throughout the Bible, but does not interpret the formula as a sequence. This is consistent with the concept that a Christianity that is based upon absolute truth is missing a leg.

Glory is defined as ‘what evokes good opinion’, but the biblical uses of glory go beyond this definition. God’s throne is described as glorious; God comes with power and great glory; Satan tempted Jesus with the kingdoms of the world and their glory; the glory of the Lord shone around announcing Jesus’ birth; Moses and Elijah appeared in glory in the Transfiguration; John speaks of seeing the glory of the Word made flesh. None of these cases refer merely to evoking a good opinion. Evoking a good opinion is what people do when they give praise. In contrast, all of the descriptions of glory given in this paragraph describe a visible manifestation of internal character. Even the leftist Huffington Post recognizes that there is a deeper meaning to glory than verbal praise from people. The problem is that absolute truth is incapable of generating glory. Instead, it practices religious self-denial and repeats endlessly that ‘God is great’. If religious self-denial became connected with a spiritual economy, then that would clarify the meaning of the word ‘glory’. Modern technology provides a partial example. Scholars used to be glorified by giving them wealth and honor. A scholar of science is glorified today by using the research of that scholar to develop new and exciting gadgets. The beginning of Acts 3 describes this second form of glory emerging and that is why everyone is being amazed. The self-denial of Christianity is suddenly going beyond dispensing and receiving approval from people to generating actual results in the physical world.

Servant means ‘a child under training’. Verse 13 describes Jesus as the child under training of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And this child is being glorified. Stated cognitively, Jesus is learning to follow the path of personal transformation and is experiencing glorious results from God because Jesus is following the sequences of God. (Jesus always was God, but still had to experience the process of living through the sequences as a human.)

The rest of verse 13 then turns to the inadequacy of religion based in absolute truth. “The one whom you handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.” Handed over means ‘to deliver over with a sense of close involvement’. This same word is used both for the betrayal of Jesus and for the entrusting of something valuable. This dual meaning has been discussed previously. The general principle is that a fundamental transformation has to be propelled by some fundamental force. This fundamental force can come through the negative pressure of a betrayal. It can also be provided through the positive pressure of an entrusting. In both cases what is happening is that someone who is closely involved is ‘delivering over’. In the case of Christianity based in absolute truth, the mindset of absolute truth has increasingly become more important than the content of the Bible. The result has been a betrayal of Christian principles to secular science and technology. This betrayal began during the Enlightenment, when scholars came to the conclusion that embracing science implied abandoning Christianity. Mental symmetry is attempting to ‘deliver over’ the Christianity of absolute truth in a positive manner by viewing biblical content as something valuable that God has entrusted to humanity.

Disowned means to ‘refuse to affirm or to confess’. This is a verbal denial. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it is repeated in the next verse. One might think that a believer in absolute truth is confessing and affirming truth. But what happens in practice is that the mindset of absolute truth becomes more significant than the content being taught by absolute truth. I know from personal experience that this is true, because mental symmetry quotes in excruciating detail from the content of the Bible. But I have found that this means nothing to the vast majority of ‘Bible believing Christians’ because I am not following a mindset of absolute truth and I am not a member of the priesthood of absolute truth.

Presence means ‘the face’. It was used once previously in Acts in 2:28 where David said that ‘you will make me full of gladness with your presence’. That describes an intimate emotional relationship with God. In contrast, the betrayal and disowning is happening before the face of Pilate. The name Pilate means ‘skilled with the javelin’, and Pilate was the Roman ruler of Israel during the time of Jesus. A javelin is a weapon thrown through the air. This is cognitively interesting, because the three stages of personal transformation leave the human realm of Mercy experiences, travel through the air of Teacher thought, and then return to the human realm of Mercy experiences. The difference is that when throwing a javelin, only the object travels through the air while the human remains unchanged. In contrast, in the path of personal transformation, the person travels through the ‘air’ and becomes transformed. This similarity of path makes it possible to find partial illustrations of Christianity within science and technology. However, Pilate was a Roman governor, and government uses science and technology to impose force upon people. Similarly, a javelin travels through the air in order to impact people in a forceful manner.

The ‘face of Pilate’ would represent the opinion of secular authority. This describes Christianity becoming Christendom—an officially sanctioned religion enforced by the arm of secular government. For instance, in the 19th century Christian missionaries accompanied Western colonization, resulting in a mixed message of God and country, both at home and in the colonies. More recently, the extensive backing of evangelical Christendom for Republican politicians can also be viewed as a betrayal and disowning in the presence of Pilate. (I am not suggesting that Democrats are more Christian than Republicans.) This has led to a massive betrayal of Christian ethics and a disowning of Christian principles in order to gain the approval of secular authority.

This explains my comments earlier regarding the term ‘glory’. Christendom has repeatedly betrayed and disowned the salvation of Jesus in order to gain the glory of praise from secular authority. The underlying assumption is that Christianity is incapable of generating the deeper glory of inherent benefits. The beginning of Acts 3 describes the self-denial of Christianity becoming connected with the deeper glory of inherent benefits. Peter is pointing out this contrast in verse 13.

Finishing verse 13, decided means ‘to pick out by separating’. One is not just deciding that something is right or wrong, but rather clarifying distinctions in order to make a more accurate judgment. ‘Him’ is more accurately ‘that one’. And release means ‘to set free, release’ and is also used when referring to divorce. In other words, modern secular government has generally divorced itself from Christianity, deciding that religion deals with a different realm than secular government, treating it as ‘that one’ out there. This would have given Christianity the freedom to pursue the inherent benefits of glory without government interference. But instead of pursuing Christianity to the point of breaking through to the inherent benefits of a spiritual economy, Christendom played politics. That is because absolute truth thinks in terms of emotional sources of truth, and government acts as an important source of truth.

Verse 14 continues. “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One.” Disowned is the same word used in verse 13 which refers to verbal denial. In verse 13 the personal salvation of Jesus was being denied. The disowning of verse 14 is happening at the abstract level of Christ. Holy means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. The basic principle is that God resides in Teacher thought and uses different strategies than people who reside in Mercy thought. But the very idea of God being different than humans is being verbally denied by absolute truth. That is because absolute truth only talks about theology in Teacher thought while being ultimately based in MMNs of human status. Instead of being like God, Christendom has tried to copy the world and slap on a Christian façade. I know that Christian theologians and preachers often say that God is totally different than humans. But this is invariably accompanied by the assertion that God’s ways are incomprehensible to the human mind. What then happens is that theologians and preachers become regarded as the interpreters of God who translate the incomprehensible God into human language. The end result is a concept of God that is formed in the image of Christian theologians and preachers.

This is the first use of the word righteous in Acts. It ‘relates to conformity to God’s standard’. Cognitively speaking, righteousness describes Server actions that are guided by the TMN of a concept of God. Righteousness is only possible if one has a concept of a God who acts. If the concept of a God who acts in history turns into a TMN, that that mental network will exert emotional pressure to behave in a manner that is consistent with how God acts in history. However, if one is trying to seek the face of secular government, then one will try to be consistent with how governments behave in human history. God may use human government but God does not behave like human government.

Verse 14 finishes, “and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.” Ask means ‘to ask, request’. This word has been used once previously in Acts in 3:2 to describe the lame man asking for alms. The Greek then adds the word man, indicating a focus upon male technical thought. Murderer means ‘committing unjustified, intentional homicide’. Granted means ‘to extend favor, grace’ and is one of a family of words that refer to help from God. Cognitively speaking, the mindset of religious self-denial is expressing itself as doctrines of killing mental networks and this is being regarded as grace from God. Religious believers are asking God to give them grace to be able to suppress and kill their mental networks, and technical thought is being developed to be able to kill mental networks more effectively: ‘Following God means suppressing scientific thought. Following God means denying personal goals. Following God means suppressing physical pleasure. God help me to kill all my personal urges so that I can follow you more completely.’ This explains why many secular people has started to view American evangelicalism as a death-cult.

Jesus the Savior 3:15-17

Verse 15 explicitly refers to the idea of a death-cult. “But put to death the Prince of life.” Prince means ‘a person who is originator or founder of a movement and continues at the leader’. Life means both physical and spiritual life. This word was used once previously in Acts in 2:28 to describe the ways of life, emphasizing the connection between righteousness and life. Righteousness describes the second stage of personal transformation. Life describes the third stage of rebirth that follows. Put to death means ‘to kill’. Religious self-denial is the first stage in a process that leads to life and the historical Jesus originated this path. Saying this another way, religious self-denial is the first stage in the process of personal transformation which finishes with the third stage of personal rebirth. But any attempt to move beyond the first stage is interpreted by absolute truth as something ungodly that needs to be killed. That is because absolute truth can only survive as long as I am nothing compared to my source of truth. If the content of absolute truth starts to save me and give me life, then I cease to be nothing. This is ironic given the explicit pro-life stance of most Christian evangelicals. However, recent developments have made it clear that this pro-life profession is often an overgeneralization that does not translate into any details.

Verse 15 continues “Whom God raised from the dead.” Raised means ‘to waken, to raise up’ and was previously used in verse 7 to describe Peter raising the lame man. From is more literally ‘from out of’. And dead means ‘what lacks life’. This conveys the concept of wakening mental networks that have not been given an opportunity to express themselves. Saying this more carefully, religious self-denial for God will lead to the formation of Platonic forms of heavenly perfection. But these mental networks have no way of expressing themselves because they are continually being suppressed by an attitude of absolute truth. God in Teacher thought is taking these mental networks of possibility away from the ‘death-cult’ of absolute truth.

Verse 15 finishes by saying that this is “a fact to which we are witnesses.” The NASB adds ‘a fact’ guided by the assumption that a specific event in Mercy thought is being described. But what is being addressed is a general attitude. Witness means ‘an eye- or ear-witness’. This last phrase is not true today. However this phrase would become true if a spiritual economy came into being, because then everyone would know from personal experience that religious self-denial is part of a larger package that is rooted in the TMN of a concept of God.

Verse 16 describes this new approach. “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is His name which has strengthened this man whom you see and know.” Faith means to ‘be persuaded’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This faith is ‘in his name’. Evangelical Christianity talks a lot about ‘having faith in the name of Jesus’ and there is some substance to that claim. But this phrase would acquire a much deeper meaning in a spiritual economy. Rational thinking would then conclude that one should regard the blessings of the spiritual economy as an expression of God. In contrast, religious feelings would probably insist that one should reject the spiritual economy as an expression of Satan. Being persuaded would mean choosing to follow rational thought rather than religious conviction. One might think that a Christian would never choose to reject life and embrace death in such a blatant manner, but many evangelical Christians are currently rejecting the covid vaccine, even though over 99% of the people currently dying from covid in America are unvaccinated. This is an example of refusing to be persuaded even in the face of a clear-cut distinction between physical life and death. ‘Being persuaded by a name’ describes the rational thinking of science, because one is being persuaded by words and understanding.

See means to ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’. This is a new version of ‘see’ which is being used for the first time in Acts. Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’, which refers to empirical evidence. This combination of seeing and knowing describes scientific thought which analyzes empirical evidence. Strengthen means to ‘make stable, solid, immovable’. The NASB mentions ‘this man’ but there is no mention of man in the original Greek. A more accurate translation would be: ‘The name of him has made solid this which you are “gazing on in order to analyze” and “treating as empirical evidence.”’ Looking at this cognitively, the methodology of science is being troubled by the new experiences of spiritual power. But a Teacher theory of Jesus can bring stability to scientific thought. Thus, a proper understanding of religious self-denial actually ends up reinforcing scientific thought rather than attacking it.

Science itself does not provide an adequate reason for using science. This inadequate basis for science would become obvious within spiritual economics. But mental symmetry does provide a rationale for scientific thought, and mental symmetry can also be extended to include the spiritual and the supernatural. Theoretically uniting these two also makes it possible for the person who is seeking spiritual power to continue using scientific thought.

Verse 16 continues, “And the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” Faith is mentioned again, but in this case the faith is ‘through him’ rather than ‘in the name of him’. The persuasion started with Teacher understanding, but the persuasion continues with the new concept of incarnation that is emerging. Using science as a partial example, modern technology began by being persuaded by the laws of science in Teacher thought. But modern technology is now being persuaded by the ongoing process of combining research with development.

Perfect health is used once as a noun in the New Testament and means ‘the condition of wholeness, where all the parts work together’. In the same way that research and development integrates abstract theory with concrete application leading to a more integrated society, so a fully integrated way of functioning that lives within a spiritually empowered research and development is causing the physical, the spiritual, and the supernatural to work together. The faith in him has given the perfect health. Thus, the wholeness is a result of being persuaded by a spiritual economy that extends to include religion.

Before means ‘over against, before’. And all means ‘each part of a totality’. The implication is that this integrated system is now functioning within society but involves some people and is being observed by the rest. This is similar to today’s technological society in which most people are consumers who experience the benefits of research and development.

Peter points out in verse 17 that his audience did not know better. “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers also did.” Know is ‘seeing that becomes knowing’, which is being interpreted as empirical evidence. Acted means ‘what is done as a regular practice’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Ignorance adds the negative prefix to personal knowledge. Putting this together cognitively, inadequate MMNs of religious experience led to the development of certain religious rituals. Peter does not know experientially what that means, because he does not think that way. But he has observed their behavior and come up with certain conclusions. For instance, I have been following mental symmetry for so long that I can no longer emotionally identify with the average believer in absolute truth. Instead, I feel as if I am observing this behavior as an outsider.

Just as means ‘indeed just as’, which indicates an analogical similarity. Ruler means ‘a preeminent ruler’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Until now, Peter has been addressing himself to the laity and the crowds. This is the first reference to religious leaders. And the religious leaders are being regarded as similar to the laity. This is also new because absolute truth leads to a strong emotional division between clergy and laity, with clergy acquiring emotional status by becoming associated with the source of truth and laity regarding themselves as insignificant compared to the religious establishment. This new connection is because Peter is now focusing upon methodology, ritual, and regular practice, and he notices that both the laity and the clergy are part of the same system of behavior.

Looking at this another way, when religious self-denial becomes placed within the larger system of a spiritual economy, then laity and clergy also become placed within a larger system. Absolute truth views laity and clergy as totally different. But both laity and clergy are practicing a form of religious self-denial in order to receive some sort of reward. The laity practice acts of self-denial in order to acquire approval from the religious realm, while the clergy are professional self-deniers who receive support from the laity.

Repentance to Salvation 3:18-21

Verse 18 looks at the larger perspective. “But the things which God previously announced by the mouths of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has fulfilled in this way.” Previously announced means to ‘decisively announce beforehand’ and this word is only found twice in the New Testament. By is more accurately ‘through’. Mouth means ‘mouth’ and was used once previously in Acts in 1:16 to talk about the Holy Spirit predicting Judas through the mouth of David. All means ‘each part of a totality’. And a prophet ‘asserts one idea over another’. This describes a global message being decisively conveyed by God through absolute truth of which the sources of absolute truth are merely a mouthpiece.

The message is ‘that His Christ would suffer’. Suffer refers to ‘especially the capacity to feel suffering’. This word was used once previously in Acts in 1:13 to describe the sufferings of Jesus. In verse 18, ‘the Christ of him’ is suffering. Suffering is normally interpreted to mean only physical pain, but the emphasis is upon experiencing heavy emotions. Stated cognitively, suffering exposes core mental networks; it reveals who a person really is.

Putting this all together, Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. A concept of Christ requires a larger perspective. Transforming a concept of Christ is also a massive project. These essays on New Testament books provide one possible interpretation of a global message being decisively conveyed by God through absolute truth using the sources of absolute truth merely as mouthpieces. It appears that every book of the New Testament, and possibly the Old Testament as well, can be interpreted from a cognitive perspective as a prophetic sequence. And the general theme of each sequence is the process by which Christ, the universal side of incarnation, experiences deep emotions. Notice that this is the Christ of God, incarnation as a universal being who is with the universal God in Teacher thought. When Jesus suffered, that only involved one person within history. But when Christ suffers, then that encompasses something far greater.

Verse 18 finishes by saying that ‘he has fulfilled in this way’. Fulfilled means ‘to make full’. In this way means ‘in this manner, in this way’. It was used once previously in Acts in 1:11 to say that Jesus would return to earth in this way. Thus, some process is being brought to fullness in a certain manner. The manner is that those who claim to follow absolute truth will end up becoming the enemies of those who are actually applying absolute truth, forcing the application of absolute truth to break through to a higher level. That was just described in the previous verses and that appears to be a general principle of history. Notice that this a process involving a transformation of the knowledge of abstract technical thought. Those who proclaim knowledge are suppressing the application of this knowledge, forcing the application to extend to the level of Teacher understanding. Something similar happened in the healing of the lame man, because the mindset of absolute truth was leading to the practice of religious self-denial, and this was suppressing the application of absolute truth. Absolute truth then had to become applied in a secular context until a breakthrough was made to a spiritual economy that was capable of swallowing up the practice of religious self-denial. This general theme emerges repeatedly when reading the Bible at a surface level and also when examining the Bible from a cognitive perspective.

Verse 19 describes what the response should be. “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Repent means to ‘think differently after’ and this word was used once previously in Acts in Peter’s first sermon in 2:38. The instructions there were to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Chapter 3 has described such a baptism happening in the name of Jesus Christ, because religious self-denial has become transformed through a baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ expressed through a spiritual economy. In verse 19 the instructions are to return, which means ‘to turn, to return’, and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Turning is more complete than merely thinking differently. Religious self-denial is a practice and verse 17 used the word ‘practice’. Turning implies a change in practice.

So that actually means ‘motion towards’ which is consistent with the idea of changing one’s practice. Wiped away means ‘to wipe out, erase, obliterate’. Sin means ‘missing the mark’. Sins were mentioned once previously in Acts in 2:38 which referred to the forgiveness of sins, and forgive means to ‘send away’. Forgiving sins implies following a new alternative that sets aside the old misguided ways. Obliterating sins goes further by replacing the old misguided ways with a new way of functioning. Using an analogy, forgiveness moves out of the old city and creates a new city, while wiping away builds a new city out of the building material of the old city. The healing of the lame man describes the practice of religious self-denial being swallowed up by a spiritual economy. Religious self-denial missed the mark of pursuing mental and societal wholeness. A fully developed spiritual economy wipes out the rituals and religious experiences of a religion that is based in absolute truth because it reveals the substance that lies within what is currently being practiced as magic formula. Bringing this down to reality, imagine what would happen if the modern technological economy included everything that Pentecostalism promises but seldom delivers.

Verse 19 continues, “In order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (In the Greek this is the start of verse 20. Verse numbers were added to the New Testament in the 16th century.) In order means ‘how, in what way’ and is being used for the first time in Acts. Thus, Peter is introducing a new methodology to replace the old practice. Time means ‘opportune time’ and was used once previously in Acts in 1:7 where Jesus said that it was not appropriate to know times and seasons. The concept of opportune time is now being reintroduced, consistent with the idea of introducing a new set of Server sequences. The lame man sat passively at the ‘timely’ gate. It is now possible to turn and be guided actively by an understanding of opportune times.

Refreshing is used once in the New Testament (and also occurs once as a verb) and means to ‘breathe easily’. Air represents Teacher thought. ‘Breathing easily’ implies a comfortable relationship between Mercy identity and the air of Teacher thought. For instance, I currently feel as if I cannot breathe easily in society because I follow a Teacher understanding that is so different than the current worldview. In other words, opportune times happen when people think and behave in a manner that easily expresses Teacher understanding. What normally happens is that the experts who receive public approval are not necessarily the real experts but rather the ones who most clearly express the spirit of the age. In contrast, this new ‘breathing easily’ is not coming from public approval but rather from the face of the Lord; those who breathe easily are the ones who have a personal awareness of what incarnation is doing. Saying this more generally, one figures out what God is doing and then enters into the plan of Jesus Christ.

Continuing with verse 20, “and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.” Send means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. In other words, God is carrying out a plan through incarnation. The NASB separates Jesus from Christ, but these two words are together in the original Greek. This translation by the NASB is actually warranted, because Acts has spoken so far of Jesus Christ and this is the first time that the term Christ Jesus is used with the two words reversed. (The BLB translates this accurately as ‘Christ Jesus’.) The implication is that this is the first time that incarnation is being approached starting from the perspective of the universal plan of Christ. Verse 18 talked about the universal suffering of Christ. Verse 20 implies a new, more general, concept of incarnation. Appointed means ‘hand-picked before’ and is used three times in the New Testament, all in Acts. Hands represent technical thought. ‘Hand picked before’ means using technical thought to decide beforehand how Christ should express itself as Jesus within a certain era.

Verse 21 looks at the really big plan. “Whom heaven must receive until the periods of restoration of all things.” Must means ‘it is necessary’ indicating that certain requirements must be met. In other words, God is not just carrying out some arbitrary plan, but rather following a plan that has requirements. Receive means ‘to receive in a welcoming way’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This receiving is being done by heaven, which represents the realm of Teacher thought. Verse 20 was the first use of the word Christ Jesus, implying a focus upon the abstract side of incarnation. Verse 21 says that this concept of incarnation needs to be received by heaven. This relates to the idea of extending the spiritual economy to include the religious realm. This extension does not just touch the fringes of religion but rather it needs to extend to the core of religion within the heaven of Teacher thought, and this heaven needs to receive this extension in a welcoming way. This seems to indicate that existing religion really will become swallowed up in a spiritual economy to the extent of being regarded as a replacement for traditional religion. This phrase appears to be indicating a major shift in the heavenly realms. Instead of heaven with its angels setting the agenda for what happens on earth, humans on earth will now set the agenda for angels in heaven.

Until means ‘until, as far as’ which means that this new view of religion needs to be continued until some goal is reached. Time means clock time and is in the plural. Verse 20 mentioned opportune times. Verse 21 mentions physical times. Heaven appears to function outside of physical time. This is true of the Teacher ‘heaven’ of the laws of physics because they are free of the arrow of time and it also appears to be true of the actual heaven. Verse 21 describes heaven being guided by the clock time of physical existence. This happens until the ‘restoration of all things’. Restoration is used once as a noun in the New Testament and means ‘to restore back to original standing’. It was used once as a verb in 1:6 where the disciples asked if Jesus would now restore the kingdom of Israel. Such physical restoration is now possible. But what is being restored is not just some limited religious kingdom of Israel. Instead, all, which means ‘each part of a totality’, is being restored. And there are ‘times of restoration’ in the plural, indicating that this physical restoration will happen in stages at certain physical times. The general principle appears to be that heaven itself requires a transformation, because heaven is doing the right things for inadequate reasons. Stated one way, the angels are following the sequences of God because they inhabit names that force them to behave in such a manner. The Christ Jesus of the new spiritual economy provides a more complete foundation for angelic behavior, making it possible for angels to become fully developed intelligent beings rather than mere messengers.

In practical terms, this means that the physical restoration which current Christianity relegates to some future heavenly kingdom will start to happen within physical society in a manner that will not feel religious to the current mindset of absolute truth. Stated more bluntly, those who believe in a ‘rapture followed by a tribulation’ will probably view this restoration as a deep work of Satan. But reality speaks louder than blind faith. This is already true to some extent, because the reality of dying from covid speaks louder than one’s faith in anti-vaccine theories.

Verse 21 adds that this has also been predicted. “About which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times. Spoke means ‘chatter in classical Greek’. The implication is that God described this in the past using non-rigorous language. The English connects ‘holy’ with ‘prophets’ but the order of the Greek is different. The Greek says ‘by the mouth of holy from the age of his prophets’, placing ‘from the age’ between ‘holy’ and ‘his prophets’. Holy means separate or different. A ‘mouth of holy’ would indicate a mouthpiece that thinks in terms of religious and secular. This describes the mindset of absolute truth which instinctively adds a concept of religious self-denial to the message of the Bible. ‘Age of his prophets’ would refer to the era of absolute truth, which has just been replaced by the new spiritual economy. The implicit message being conveyed is that the approach of the messenger is modifying the message. This explains the need for a more complete foundation for angelic behavior, because the approach of messengers (angel means messenger) is also causing the message to be implicitly modified.

Saying this more clearly, in the same way that a mindset of absolute truth twists the message of absolute truth, so the ‘physical body’ of an angel implicitly twists the message being conveyed by an angel. I put the term ‘physical body’ in quotes because I have no idea how the ‘physical body’ of an angel functions. The best analogy I can come up with is that it causes an angel (and alien) to behave like a bureaucrat or technical professional. Hearsay evidence indicates that aliens have no sense of art or culture and are not guided by Mercy feelings of love. The bureaucracies and technical specializations of modern human civilization have made it clear that this type of thinking is inadequate even when practiced by humans. The solution for humans involves turning so-called public servants into actual public servants who behave as servants of the public. Similarly, the solution for angels (and aliens) would be for humans to set the agenda for them until they learned what it is like to be human. Hearsay evidence suggests that aliens are now having to deal with human emotions and they do not know how to handle these emotions. Learning from humans is not currently possible because humans currently do not know what it means to be human and human society is trying its best to act like inhuman angels and aliens. However, when a portion of human society reaches the level of the second half of Acts 3, then it will become possible for humans to start setting the agenda for angels (and aliens). I include aliens—and links to a website about aliens—because angels and aliens both appear to be the same kind of supernatural creatures.

A New Prophet 3:22-26

Verse 22 describes a new source of messages. “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your countrymen.’” Moses means ‘to draw’ and is given this name in Exodus 2:10 because he was drawn from the water. Cognitively speaking, Moses represents a system of law drawn from the water of Mercy experiences. Moses is predicting his replacement. Raise up was previously used in 2:32 describing God raising up Jesus. This is the first use of the term ‘Lord the God’ in Acts. Lord indicates a master to whom one submits, while God indicates a universal understanding in Teacher thought. ‘Lord the God’ would indicate a master that rules universally. This raising up is ‘out from the brothers of you’. And Moses adds that this will be even as me, indicating a similarity.

This is strange because a universal concept of God does not normally arise out of human Mercy experiences, especially one that rules as lord. This combination would normally describe an absolute dictator who rules a police state, like a Hitler, Stalin, or Kim Jong-Il. But Numbers 12:3 describes Moses as a very humble man, which is precisely the opposite of an absolute dictator. That is because a dictator raises himself up to act as a lord god, whereas in this case the Lord God is raising up some human. In addition, this person is described as a prophet and not a ruler. A prophet predicts what will happen based upon current trends. Verse 22 describes a prophet who is able to accurately predict what will happen. Such a person is capable of being humble because he is describing existing trends rather than imposing lordship.

This idea of a prophet rising out of human Mercy experiences is consistent with the suggestion made in verse 21 that heaven will start to pay attention to what is happening on earth. Normally, heaven has the big picture while earth has an incomplete understanding. Verse 21 describes a new relationship in which earth now has the big picture and heaven follows. Cognitively speaking, this indicates a new kind of Teacher theory. Teacher thought normally uses words to come up with general theories. Hopefully, these verbal theories describe how reality functions. A new kind of theory is emerging in which Teacher thought acquires its generality from the order-within-complexity of reality. This is not normally possible because reality is far messier than theory. However, a new spiritual economy has just emerged that is righteous. This spiritual economy will become the structure for Teacher understanding.

Verse 22 describes what this transition means in practice. “To Him you shall listen regarding everything He says to you.” Listen means to ‘listen, comprehend by hearing’. This is different than the proclamations of absolute truth which typically are not initially understood. Everything means ‘each part of a totality’. This indicates that the prophet will bring comprehension to a wide range of topics. This is followed by how much, how many and talk, which means ‘chatter in classical Greek’. In other words, the normal conversation of the prophet will bring comprehension to whatever topic is discussed. Thus, the prophet has to talk about a subject in order to bring understanding to this subject, but the prophet does not have to use the technical language of an academic paper. Working with mental symmetry has given me in idea of what this might be like, because mental symmetry brings comprehension to every subject that I examine in the light of mental symmetry. Examining the subject rigorously may increase the comprehension but the understanding typically comes even in normal conversation.

Verse 23 follows with a threat. “And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” The soul refers to the integrated mind. A dictator threatens the physical body. This prophet will threaten the integrated mind. And this threat will apply to every integrated mind. Listen is the same word that was used in verse 22 which implies comprehension. Utterly destroyed is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘out from’ with ‘ruination with its full, destructive results’. Putting this together, living within a spiritual economy will require an integrated mind. The prophet will be able to predict how the spiritual economy can be misused. It was suggested previously that using a spiritual economy makes it possible to wipe out sin. That is because misusing a spiritual economy will wreak havoc upon the soul, wrenching it out of the spiritual economy. This utter destruction will happen ‘out from the laity’, emphasizing the fact that the average person who does not comprehend the warnings of the prophet will be ripped out of the spiritual economy.

For instance, the distinction between male and female thought is a fundamental principle of the integrated mind. The very concept of gender is being questioned by many these days. If such questioning happened in a spiritual economy, then theory predicts that this would have a deeply fragmenting effect upon the mind. 2 Peter 2 appears to be describing this same period of time and talks about angelic power being misused and leading to ‘swift destruction upon themselves’. Such cognitive fragmentation already happens, but it is possible to compensate for it by relying upon physical reality, social approval, and/or government. A fully functional spiritual economy would override such compensation mechanisms. Experiences of reality would be modified by spiritual forces and these spiritual forces would be guided by core mental networks. Thus, mental fragmentation would have physical consequences. Spiritual consequences would impact the mental networks that guide social approval. Going further, government would become inter-tangled with angelic power, because heaven would now be interacting within human history. Therefore, government edicts that enforced or encouraged mental fragmentation would become unsustainable because enforcing these rules would fragment the minds of the government officials behind these edicts. Notice that verse 23 does not say that the prophet causes destruction. Instead, it predicts that anyone who does not listen to the prophet will experience severe mental fragmentation and be ejected from among the laity. Thus, the default will be to experience painful spiritual consequences and listening will be required to avoid these consequences. That is because the default is for the human mind to head in the direction of fragmentation and a lack of wholeness.

Verse 24 moves forward from Moses to Samuel. “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel and his successors onward, have also announced these days.” Samuel means ‘name of God’. All the prophets speaking from Samuel would refer to predictions of the future based in a Teacher understanding of the character of God. Presumably, mental symmetry would qualify. Successors means ‘in order, in succession’. This describes the concept of Server sequences, and chapter 3 described adding Server sequences to a Teacher-based concept of God. The same phrase ‘as much as is spoken’ is used that was used in verse 23 to describe the new prophet. Thus, being able to make accurate predictions with normal speech will not just be a special ability of the one ‘prophet like Moses’ but also apply to other prophets who have a Teacher-based concept of God that recognizes Server sequences. Those prophets decisively announced these days. In verse 18, God ‘decisively announced beforehand’ what would happen regarding the suffering of Christ. In verse 24, the prophets are decisively announcing these days. Notice how God in Teacher thought is decisively announcing the general principle ahead of time, while prophets are making more specific decisive announcements based upon an understanding in Teacher thought of what God is doing. However, these prophets are looking forward to future eras in which heaven and earth will become intertwined, whereas the ‘prophet like Moses’ is functioning within an era in which heaven and earth have become intertwined.

Verse 25 emphasis that what was predicted is now reality. “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God ordained with your fathers.” A son is a male offspring. Sons of the prophets suggests that the predictions made by those prophets played a role in fulfilling these prophecies because they established the form of male technical thought that made it possible. For instance, mental symmetry is making predictions about the future in essays such as these. But mental symmetry also builds the technical understanding that is required to bring about such a future. Covenant means ‘a covenant between two parties’ and this is the first mention of a covenant in Acts. Verse 21 described a new integration between heaven and earth. A covenant promises a relationship between the heaven of Teacher words and the earth of physical reality. Thus, living within a covenant lays the mental foundation that is required to live within an integrated spiritual economy. Using science as a partial illustration, living under the rule of law lays the mental foundation that is required to apply science through technology.

The mention of sons personalizes the connection with the past. The mind uses mental networks to represent people and the spiritual realm interacts with the human realm through mental networks. Thus, a full-fledged spiritual economy would add a strong personal element to economic thought. One is not just following the example of the past or learning absolute truth revealed in the past. Instead, one is the sons of the past. The reference to son rather than daughter indicates that male technical thought is being emphasized. However, describing this relationship as the living relationship of being a son indicates an underlying foundation of the mental networks of female thought.

Ordained means to ‘thoroughly, carefully arrange’ and is used once in Acts. And ‘your fathers’ would refer to the ancestors of the society of Acts 3. Thus, looking back (in the future) at the history of the current spiritual economy will show that history has been carefully arranged to lead to this current state. This can be seen in more detail in the essay on Matthew, which interprets chapters 2-24 as a detailed prophecy of Western history in which the fathers of modern Western society have been guided through a carefully arranged process.

Verse 25 describes the goal of this carefully arranged process. “Saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” Abraham represents the first stage of personal transformation in which one leaves existing MMNs, usually driven by feelings of religious self-denial. (One can tell that such feelings played a dominant role in the mind of Abraham because he thought it normal for God to tell him to sacrifice his son, and he lived in a society in which such acts of religious self-denial were considered normal.) Seed means ‘that which is sown’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Literally speaking, this refers to the descendants of Abraham. Cognitively speaking, seed eventually produces the grain of intellectual food. However, this growth happens organically and initially invisibly. Verse 21 introduced the new principle that heaven will be guided by earth. But this already happens to some extent as illustrated by the growth of seed. Intellectual food does not emerge instantly within a vacuum. Instead, intellectual breakthroughs have to be seeded by the right kind of mentality and society. For instance, modern science emerged within Western society and not within China, even though China was far more advanced technologically. That is because Western society had the kind of mentality that was required to develop science whereas China did not. This is an example of the heaven of Teacher thought being guided by the earth of human existence.

Blessed is an intensified version of ‘bless’ that is used twice in the New Testament and adds ‘in the realm of’ to ‘speak reason which confers benefit’. In other words, the right kind of mentality is creating the seed for the development of intellectual breakthroughs that will result in benefits. For instance, Western Christendom gave birth to scientific thought and science eventually led to the benefits of modern technology. Family means ‘lineage, family’. It comes from the word ‘father’ and is used three times in the New Testament. Culture is transmitted through the mental networks of female thought. Family is describing a mindset that is being transmitted through the development of male technical thinking. This focus upon male technical thought is emphasized by the word earth which refers to ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’.

Verse 26 concludes. “God raised up His Servant for you first and sent Him.” First means ‘before, at the beginning’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Raised up is the same word that was used in verse 22 to describe God raising up the new prophet. Servant means ‘a child under training’ and was previously used in verse 13 to describe God glorifying His servant Jesus. Historically speaking, this would refer to Jesus. But it could also refer to the prophet mentioned in verse 22. Sent means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’ and was used in verse 20 to describe sending Christ Jesus. The cognitive principle is that the prophet is fulfilling a dual role. On the one hand, he has been sent on a specific mission by God which means that his words have consequences. On the other hand, he himself is a child under training who is learning to understand more accurately the ways of God. This dual process of accurately predicting and learning to understand more accurately is starting with the group to whom Peter is talking. In other words, the new extended spiritual economy will start with some group of people and then spread from there.

Verse 26 describes the impact of this message. “To bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” Bless is the normal word which means ‘to speak reason which confers benefit’ and this word is only used once in Acts. ‘Bless’ implies a transition from rational understanding to personal benefits, from Teacher theory to Mercy identity. Turning means to ‘turn away from’ and this word is only used once in Acts. These two words imply a unique transition occurring at this time in which words are being applied to real life in a way that results in a major change in direction. Everyone means ‘each unit viewed distinctly’ indicating that many aspects of society are shifting in major ways guided by understanding. Wickedness means ‘pain-ridden evil’ and is also used once in Acts. Verse 23 talked about the mental fragmentation that was resulting from ignoring the warnings of the prophet. Those who experienced such mental fragmentation would provide public exhibits that would demonstrate the pain-ridden nature of evil. These examples would provide a strong motivation for others to change the direction in which words were being applied.

Religious Authority Intervenes 4:1-4

In chapter 4 the religious leadership finally responds. Until now, no mention has been made of the leadership. This indicates that the system of existing religion is finally being threatened. Looking at this from another perspective, it would be possible for existing religions to ignore a spiritual economy as long as that economy was limited to the spiritual enhancement of technology. But if a spiritual economy extended into the realm of religion, then this would threaten existing religious structure, forcing religious leaders to respond. Saying this still another way, economics deals with matters of intermediate emotional significance while religion addresses core emotional topics. If a spiritual economy extended beyond matters of intermediate emotional significance, then misusing the spiritual economy would have major personal destructive results, as was mentioned in the previous verses. It would also impact the realm of religion, as will be described in Acts 4.

Verse 1 begins, “As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them.” Notice the implicit attitude of absolute truth. On the one side is the laity to whom Peter is talking. On the other hand is the priesthood backed up by institutional might. Came up means ‘to set upon, set up’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. There is no dialogue but rather the arrival of authority.

A priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. This emphasizes the concept of absolute truth which bases truth in MMNs of religious status. Captain means ‘general, governor’. Temple means, as usual, ‘the entire temple complex’. A Sadducee was a ‘member of the aristocratic party among the Jews, from whom the high-priests were almost invariably chosen’. These three terms are all appearing for the first time in Acts. Curiously, there is no mention of Pharisees.

In chapter 3, the spiritual economy extended into the realm of the religious. Chapter 4 opens with the laity being taught new content. The religious establishment does not respond with words or with miracles. Instead, it responds first by emphasizing the holiness of its system. Saying this more clearly, applying the new spiritual economy to religious matters feel like blasphemy. The next response comes from the government of the religious system. This describes a response of church discipline and excommunication. The final response comes from the culture of church leadership. In other words, the new teaching will be rejected as being against the traditional interpretation of accepted experts. The Pharisees, who focus upon actually following the content of the law, are not mentioned.

Verse 2 describes the motivation for this response. “Being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people.” Greatly disturbed is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘to labor, toil’. Teaching means to ‘instruct, impart knowledge’. This type of response is indicative of the final stage of absolute truth. Absolute truth begins by proclaiming truth, but there is no proclamation here. Instead, the teaching role of absolute truth has been taken over by a new group. The traditional leadership is responding with extreme effort, but this effort is not focusing upon truth. Instead, it is attempting to reestablish traditional chains of authority: we are holy and the people are not; we use organizational discipline to maintain our power; we have a traditional right to be in leadership. A similar response can be seen in the current response of American evangelical Christendom. This group claims to be Bible-believing, but the Bible is seldom mentioned these days. Instead, extreme effort is being exerted to reestablish the idea that Christianity needs to be viewed as holy by American society, institutions of Christian authority need to be reestablished, and existing Christian leaders have a historical right to occupy these places of Christian authority. But the average person is no longer listening.

Verse 2 continues, “and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Proclaim means to ‘decisively announce’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. ‘In Jesus’ is more literally ‘in the realm of Jesus’. Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation. The spiritual economy has introduced concrete salvation, and ‘in the realm of Jesus’ would refer to this real salvation in the real world. However, this salvation is now extending too far. Resurrection means to ‘stand again’ and is the normal word for ‘resurrection’. Acts 1:22 talked about being a witness of the resurrection of Jesus; 2:31 spoke of the resurrection of Christ. Verse 2 speaks of resurrection as something being experienced by people. And this resurrection is ‘out from the dead’, the same phrase used in 3:15 to describe the raising of the originator of life. Stated bluntly, the new spiritual economy is delivering goods that traditional religion promises but cannot deliver. The power of the religious leadership ultimately comes from its claim to have an inside track to life after death. And this claim can be maintained as long as no real life after death emerges. But the new spiritual economy has reached the level of touching the realm of life after death, not to the extent of complete resurrection, but enough to question the need for a religious establishment. And this is being openly proclaimed within the religious realm as a new form of religion; this is happening upon the home turf of established religion.

Verse 3 describes the response. “And they laid hands on them and put them in prison until the next day, for it was already evening.” Laid means ‘to throw over’ and hands represent the detailed manipulation of technical thought. Cognitively speaking, this represents the imposition of organizational structure and methodology. Put means to ‘place, lay, set’. This word was previously used in 3:2 to describe placing the lame man at the ‘timely gate’. Prison is used three times in the New Testament and is based upon a word that means ‘to watch over, to guard’. Looking at this cognitively, the institutional church is attempting to place this new movement within its structure in order to tame it and keep an eye on it. This is similar to the way that Pentecostalism became institutionally acceptable in the charismatic movement. This tamed the excesses of Pentecostalism while giving institutional legitimacy to the Pentecostal movement. The word next day is ‘tomorrow’ and the same word is repeated in verse 5. This implies that the religious leadership recognize that this is a temporary fix and that a new era will come in which a more permanent solution is required. The charismatic movement succeeded in taming Pentecostalism because Pentecostalism claimed much more than it actually delivered. In contrast, organized religion in chapter 4 is attempting to tame something that actually delivers what it promises. Verse 3 explains that ‘it was already evening’, and evening means ‘evening’. Thus, everyone knows that society is at the end of an era, similar to the label of postmodernism that is applied to current society. In this case, the label will be some version of post-materialism, because everyone will know that the era of purely materialistic human existence is coming to an end, but it will not yet be clear what sort of new society will emerge.

Verse 4 describes another major time of conversion. “But many of those who had heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” Many ‘emphasizes the quantity involved’. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. This word was used previously in 3:23 as a threat against those who did not heed the words of the prophet. 3:23 described the negative fate of those who did not comprehend by hearing. Verse 4 describes the positive fate of those who do comprehend. What is being heard is the logos, which is being interpreted as the paradigm that lies behind some system of technical thought. Incarnation is described in John 1 as ‘the logos’. Thus, hearing the logos would mean learning about incarnation as a system within abstract technical thought. Most paradigms are limited to some specialization. Incarnation is a meta-paradigm that covers all other paradigms. Mental symmetry illustrates how this might work. It uses the analogies of normal thought to tie together many specializations based in a reasonably technical understanding of how technical thought itself functions. Economics can also be viewed as a meta-paradigm within the realm of goods and services. Extending economics into the realm of the spiritual would lead to a powerful concept of incarnation which could be taught as the logos of a system in abstract technical thought.

Merely studying about incarnation as a paradigm is not enough, because having heard the logos is followed by believing, which means to ‘be persuaded’. Thus, a step of personal faith is still required, but instead of taking a leap of faith into a Mercy-based relationship with the Jesus of absolute truth, this is an application of faith in which one allows an abstract understanding of incarnation to guide personal life.

In 2:41 about 3000 souls were added, indicating an emphasis upon an integrated mind. The language in verse 4 is quite different. Instead of added, the verb came into being is used, suggesting that something new is coming into existence. The word number is used, which is the source of the English word arithmetic. Numbers are a basic expression of technical thought. Thus, a number coming into being would represent the development of technical specializations. This number is described as ‘of the men’ and men represent male technical thought. What is happening is that a new form of academia is emerging based upon religious paradigms. This describes what mental symmetry is attempting to achieve.

A Religious Conference on a New Day 4:5-7

Verse 5 moves forward to the next day. “On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem.” The Greek is more literally ‘it came into being then on the tomorrow’. Thus, something has come into existence making it clear that a new era is beginning. Cognitively speaking, this new era would be a result of all the new technical specializations that have come into being. However, the reference to ‘tomorrow’ indicates that these new technical specializations are being viewed as harbingers of a future society that is being analyzed by current society. This explains why all the religious leaders are gathered together. They know that something major is starting to happen and they want to try to get a handle on it.

Gathered together means ‘to lead together’. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it will be used three more times in chapter 4. The idea is that existing religious leaders are attempting to come up with a system of societal Teacher order that is capable of containing this new movement. In other words, the future spiritual economy is proving to be too powerful to be swallowed up by existing religious structure, unlike Pentecostalism which was tamed through the charismatic movement. I should add that the Pentecostal movement needed taming and mental symmetry itself came to birth in the initial stages of the charismatic movement. But the charismatic movement did not have sufficient spiritual life to survive this taming.

Ruler means ‘a preeminent ruler’. This word was used once previously in Acts in 3:17 where Peter said that both the laity and the rulers were part of the same system. This word will be used two more times in Acts, both times in chapter 4. Elder means ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’ and is the source of the English word ‘presbyter’. In Acts 2:17, the elders were dreaming dreams. A scribe is ‘one learned in the Jewish law’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Note that this is a different group of people than those that initially responded in Verse 1. For the first time, content is being discussed. This is consistent with interpreting verse 4 as the rise of new technical specializations. Every system of abstract technical thought begins with the defining of terms, and these terms make it possible to discuss the content of that specialization. First, this gives a topic academic respect, meaning that it can be discussed by preeminent rulers. Second, one gains a basis from which one can analyze experiences in a mature and seasoned manner. And third, it becomes possible to analyze the written content of absolute truth. For instance, the theory of mental symmetry has given me sufficient academic confidence to be able to interact with ‘preeminent rulers’. It also has given me a mature system that can be used to analyze the experiences of society. And, as this essay is illustrating, it makes it possible to analyze the content of the Bible. These three categories are all referred to in the plural, which means that this is a general discussion, and this is happening in Jerusalem, which means that this is a general discussion about religion.

Verse 6 then mentions the major religious bigwigs of the time. “And Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.” As usual, this list of names will be treated as a cognitive progression. Annas means ‘Yah has been gracious’. Caiaphas probably comes from a word that means basket or tub. John has been seen before and means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Alexander is a Greek name that means ‘man-defender’.

This is the first mention of ‘chief priest’ in Acts, and he is mentioned first in the list. Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’ and a priest is ‘one who offer sacrifice to a god’. This means that the first question involves the fundamental questions of holiness and how people interact with God. This would make sense if a spiritual economy extended into the religious realm. On the one hand, the spiritual economy is now delivering results that previously belonged to the realm of religion. But on the other hand, 3:21-23 made it clear that this new spiritual economy has major moral repercussions. When one is dealing with such extensive moral consequences, then concepts of holiness and sacrilege will re-emerge. If the high priest is ‘Yah has been gracious’, then this indicates an era of spiritual blessing, which could be interpreted as a genuine charismatic movement.

‘Caiaphas’ implies that this movement is attempting to be contained and that the container is not very strong. The general principle is that current church structure is designed with the presupposition that spiritual words will only occasionally result in spiritual manifestation. Stated simply, the problem is that Yah is being too gracious. Yah refers to a universal concept of God in Teacher thought. Lord describes the rulership of the technical thinking of incarnation. This suggests that attempting to contain this charismatic movement is having the unintended impact of adding technical thought to general theories, and this addition of technical thought is having beneficial results, leading to the concept that ‘the Lord is gracious’.

‘Alexander’ implies a shift in thinking. It is a Greek name, implying a movement away from religious to secular thought. And man-defender suggests a focus upon defending humanity, not just in a vague way but in a detailed manner that involves male technical thought. What is happening cognitively is that mental networks of human existence are starting to be threatened. The new spiritual economy has reached the level of questioning what it means to be human. This describes the ultimate form of culture shock. This can also be interpreted as moving to a new form of priesthood. A priest mediates between God and humanity; a priest is a human who interacts with nonhuman realms. A ‘man-defender’ is functioning as a priest at the fundamental level of human existence, standing up for what it means to exist as a human within an environment that is increasingly inhuman.

Added to this list are ‘all who were of high-priestly descent’. High-priestly is a variation of the word ‘high priest’ used earlier in the verse. Descent means ‘family, offspring’. All means ‘how much, how many’. The inclusion of this at the end of the list means that all of the implications of priesthood are being questioned, consistent with the suggestion that the very nature of priesthood is being challenged. This would lead to questions such as, ‘What does it mean to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of humanity? What does it mean to mediate between God and man? What does it mean to be holy?’

The disciples are placed at the center of this controversy. “When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire.” The passage does not explain who ‘they’ or ‘them’ are. ‘They’ were teaching the people in verse 1 and ‘they’ were put under guard in verse 3. The implication is that the new spiritual economy has reached the level of functioning as the ‘them’of a group. Placed means ‘to make to stand’. This word was previously used in 3:8 where the lame man stood up with a leap. Center means ‘middle, in the midst’. This is happening passively, which means that this new successful charismatic movement has become the center of attention not because it is choosing to be the center of attention but rather because of the profound impact that it is having upon all aspects of organized religion. Inquire means ‘to inquire, by implication to learn’. This does not indicate an inquisition, but rather a genuine desire to learn.

Verse 7 then describes the central question. “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” By is literally ‘in the realm of’. What means ‘of what sort’. It is being used for the first time in Acts and appears twice in this verse. Power means ‘power, might, strength’. Power multiplies human strength, as illustrated by power tools. One could compare this situation to that of people discovering that tools become powered when they are plugged into a wall socket. If one did not know about electricity, then the obvious question would be ‘What sort of power is this?’ And if it became clear that misusing this power had moral consequences, then this would become a major religious question. Notice that power is a question involving lordship, because a lord exerts power. Name looks at a person from a Teacher perspective. This is a question involving a concept of God in Teacher thought, because Teacher thought deals with names.

The focus is upon doing, which means ‘to make, do’ and refers to the actions of Server thought. Thus, human actions are being multiplied by power and they are being given righteousness by a concept of God in Teacher thought. This describes the essence of spiritually-enabled technology. Technology performs actions but these actions are given power by some nonhuman source and they are guided by the Teacher theories of science. Thus, what is being asked is ‘What is the spiritual version of science and technology? What does it mean to interpret spirituality as a form of science and technology?’

The Rejected Cornerstone 4:8-12

The answer in verse 8 comes from Platonic forms. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders.’” Peter represents Perceiver thought and Perceiver thought finds connections based upon similarity. Filled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. It was previously used in 3:10 to describe being filled with wonder at the healing of the lame man and in 2:4 to talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when a universal concept of God in Teacher thought interconnects Platonic forms to create a Form of the Good. The religious leadership is addressing central issues of holiness and priesthood from a Teacher perspective. When these various aspects of priesthood come together, then Perceiver thought will start making connections. Saying this another way, the charismatic movement is proving to be more potent than the organizational structure designed to contain this movement; the structure is more like a tub or basket than a proper jail. When the leadership gathers together to deal with this threat in a more organized fashion, this is causing a more potent and integrated form of Platonic forms to emerge.

Ruler means to ‘rule, take precedence’. ‘Rulers of the people’ refers to those who take precedence over the laity. Absolute truth is based upon the premise that truth is revealed to the laity by sources of truth who have great emotional status and that this truth has to be interpreted to the laity by some priesthood that has an inside connection to truth. Platonic forms function as a form of priesthood, because they are imaginary images of perfection within Mercy thought that have an inside connection to universal truth. Perceiver thought is pointing out this similarity to the existing priesthood. Saying this cognitively, a concept of the Holy Spirit as purer and more holy than normal existence is resonating with the organizational structure of priesthood. This is also affecting the elders, which means ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’, because their experiences are providing support for this similarity. This may sound like a weak argument, but I have found repeatedly when going through the New Testament that I am only able to understand it because it resonates with my personal experience. Thus, I am assuming that verse 8 is describing a similar cognitive mechanism.

Verse 9 focuses upon the beneficial results. “If we are answering today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well.” Today is derived from the word ‘day’ which is interpreted as some era. Notice that the focus has shifted from tomorrow to today. It has now become clear what sort of era is emerging. Answering combines ‘up, completing a process’ with ‘to select by separating/judging’ and is being used for the first time in Acts. One major step in developing abstract technical thought is the clarifying of distinctions. Thus, abstract technical thought is being used to attempt to analyze this subject.

Benefit means ‘a good deed’ and is used twice in the New Testament. It combines ‘good’ with ‘a deed that carries out an inner desire’. This describes good results based in good motives. Man in this case is a generic term that means ‘mankind’. Sick means ‘without strength, weak’. Thus, this phrase is more literally ‘a well motivated deed to weak mankind’. This turns the question on its head. The charismatic movement is being regarded as too strong to be contained by existing religious structure. But this should really be viewed as people acquiring internally motivated strength.

He is more literally ‘this’ and how also indicates a generic question, consistent with the idea that a general impact upon humanity is being described. Made well means to ‘deliver out of danger and to safety’ and is the standard word used to describe salvation. Thus, verse 9 is describing the essence of the message of Christian salvation because it refers to ‘a good deed that is internally motivated that brings salvation to mankind’. Putting this together, Perceiver thought is noticing that there is a deep similarity between what the Christian message promises and what is actually being delivered.

Verse 10 concludes, “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene.” Know means to ‘know experientially’. All, which means ‘each part of the totality’, is repeated and applied to both the religious leadership and laity of Israel. Israel refers to the group of people through whom God interacts with humanity. Thus, both the priesthood and the laity know this from personal experience, because they have both experienced a level of spiritual power that exceeds the capacity of existing church structure, one which becomes more powerful the more carefully it is examined.

The name ‘Jesus Christ the Nazarene’ was used once previously in Acts in 3:6 when healing the lame man. This is the name that was able to transform religious self-denial. Jesus Christ refers to both the abstract and concrete sides of incarnation, while Nazarene means ‘branch’, which indicates that the current expression of Jesus Christ is merely a branch of some larger tree. Stated cognitively, the integrated concept of incarnation that swallowed up religious self-denial is now swallowing up existing religious structure.

And verse 10 adds that this larger concept of incarnation is shedding more light, both upon existing religious structure and upon a concept of God. “Whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.” Crucify is the standard word for crucifixion. This implies that the careful study that is being done is making it clear that existing religious structure did not just suppress an integrated concept of incarnation, but suppressed it to the extent of completely killing it. In contrast, ‘the God raised this out of from the dead’. Raised means ‘to waken, to raise up’. This relates cognitively to a deeper version of righteousness, which I refer to as the principle of existence. It was mentioned earlier that the TMN of a concept of God will take ownership of behavior that is motivated by that TMN and not by MMNs of culture or human status. Similarly, the TMN of a concept of God will give life to behavior that is motivated purely by a TMN of understanding how things work and not by any MMNs of societal approval or personal reward. This functions cognitively at the level of mental networks, and it also appears to describe an aspect of the spiritual world because the spiritual world interacts with the physical through mental networks. In verse 10, the religious leadership is realizing that they have played the role of the crucifier in this process.

The NASB uses the phrase ‘by this name this man stands’, but the Greek is more generic, saying ‘in the realm of this, this stands’. Stand combines ‘from close beside’ with ‘to stand’ and was previously used in 1:10 to describe the two men standing beside the disciples after the Ascension. Cognitively speaking, some generic understanding of Christianity is standing alongside existing Christian understanding and Perceiver thought is noticing the similarities. However, in existing Christianity the religious leaders are the heroes, while in the new and parallel understanding, the same religious leaders are the villains.

Before means ‘in sight of, before’. Good health means ‘sound, whole, healthy’ and this word is only used once in Acts. In other words, the religious leadership cannot ignore this parallel interpretation because it is in their face. Their congregations are experiencing a form of soundness and wholeness that exceeds what the religious leadership has previously achieved using existing methods.

Verse 11 makes a more general conclusion. “This one is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone.” The NASB recognizes in a footnote that the subject is a generic ‘this’ and not ‘he’. A stone represents a solid truth in Perceiver thought and this is the first time that this word is used in Acts. Rejected means ‘to count as nothing, to treat with utter contempt’ and this word is only used once in Acts. For instance, this describes the response of religious leaders to mental symmetry. It is treated as worthless and ignored as if it does not exist. This even describes the attitude of the leaders of the tiny church that I attend. The leaders appreciate my technical skills, love to hear me play violin, and even laugh at my jokes, but my life-work of mental symmetry is never mentioned. Builder means ‘to build a house’. This combines technical thought with personal identity, because technical thought is being used to build a home for personal identity. Science uses technical thought but suppresses personal identity. Religious leaders, in contrast, consider themselves to be experts in using technical thought to improve personal identity.

Become means ‘to come into being’, which implies a gradual organic transition. The is more literally ‘to or into’, indicating that this organic transition as heading in a certain direction. Cornerstone is sometimes written as a single word and sometimes as two words. Here, two words are combined. Head means ‘the head’, which would emphasize intelligent leadership. Corner means ‘an angle, a corner’. A corner implies a change in direction. Therefore, the head of a corner suggests an intelligent change in direction. This passage is describing a major shift in the direction of organized religion. The religious leadership would think that they are most qualified to direct this religious shift in an intelligent manner, as indicated by their attempt to keep a watch over the charismatic movement by placing it within a religious container. But this extensive effort has instead revealed that the religious leadership have stifled the movement while something else that was rejected as worthless by the leadership has played the key role.

Verse 12 then draws a religious conclusion. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” The word ‘salvation’ is used twice in this verse, once as a noun and once as a verb. The verb ‘salvation’ was used in verse 9 but this is the first occurrence of ‘salvation’ as a noun in Acts. This goes beyond acts of salvation to a general concept of salvation—a Platonic form of ‘salvation’.

The first phrase contains an other which means ‘another of the same kind’. It also contains two negatives: a not and a no one, and this is the first use of ‘no one’ in Acts. The first phrase refers experientially to ‘the salvation’. Nothing else that is similar generates salvation. Notice that this is a negative definition. The implication is that the existing leadership has tried to adjust the new spiritual economy into something similar that is less threatening to the existing church structure and has discovered that nothing works. Any attempt to mould this new salvation into the shape of existing church structure simply ends up crucifying the salvation, causing it to re-emerge in a stronger form driven by a Teacher-based concept of God.

The second phrase refers to a name in Teacher thought, and the realm of Teacher thought is explicitly mentioned because this is described as ‘a name under the heaven’. In this case, another means ‘another of a different kind’. Teacher thought deals with generalities. Therefore, it is possible to take a name and translate it into something that is similar, because what really matters is not the specific words being used but rather the meanings of these words. For instance, Islam maintains that only the Quran written in Arabic is the legitimate Quran, while Christianity maintains that it is possible to translate the Bible into other languages and still have a legitimate Bible. ‘Under the heaven’ suggests that this examination of names is happening within an environment of supernatural empowering in which humanity is functioning under the heaven of Teacher-enabled power. A ‘name of another kind under the heaven’ would mean trying to change the meanings of the words of the new system or repackage the message so that it fits within another paradigm. This method is not succeeding in taming the new movement. Notice that ‘another name of the same kind under heaven’ would translate the language of the new movement into the language of some specialization and would presumably lead to a further expression of the new movement. In contrast, ‘a name of another kind under the heaven’ would mean trying to re-package the new movement in a way that eliminates the characteristics which the existing religious leadership find offensive. That method is not working but rather makes it more obvious that the existing leadership is playing the role of the crucifier. And this institutional suppression is giving members of the new movement additional opportunities to acquire spiritual wealth through a path of religious self-denial.

Given means ‘to give’, and ‘among mankind’ is more literally ‘in the realm of humanity’. Thus, the overarching goal is to find a Teacher theory that makes it possible to function as a human within a realm that includes the heaven of Teacher thought. For instance, mental symmetry can be used to explain both the human thinking of science as well as the spiritual and supernatural realms. I am not aware of any other general theory that is capable of explaining simultaneously the natural, the spiritual, and the supernatural. This kind of name would be essential for existing as a human within a fully developed spiritual economy. Notice that this returns to the essence of priesthood, which functions as humans within the realm of the divine.

Must means ‘it is necessary’ and was previously used in 3:21 to say that heaven must receive Christ Jesus. This leads to a double ‘must’ involving both heaven and humanity. Heaven must receive an integrated concept of incarnation that includes physical restoration. Humanity must hold on to the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene. Salvation is being presented in the final phrase more as a threat than as a promise. It is ‘necessary for us to be saved’. In other words, both heaven and earth are now subject to a common necessity based upon an integrated concept of incarnation that is bringing salvation to humanity, whether humanity wants this salvation or not. This also explains why all of the references in these verses have been to humanity in general. Humanity as a group is being saved. But individual humans can still choose to cooperate with this salvation or not.

Suppression from the Religious Leadership 4:13-18

In verse 13, the leadership recognizes the existence of another form of thought. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men.” Observe to ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’. It was used once before in Acts 3:16 to describe the healed lame man that the people see. Confidence means ‘a proverb or statement quoted with resolve’. This word was also used once before in Acts in 2:29 where Peter talked about the death of David. Cognitively speaking, this is describing a new form of certainty. Absolute truth has to quote from official sources in order to be certain and theology then uses technical thought to analyze these quoted words. This leads to certainty in Perceiver thought (notice that I said certainty and not confidence). With absolute truth, the only way to acquire feelings of resolve within Mercy thought is to gain emotional status by becoming part of the priesthood. A priest feels that he is emotionally justified in making pronouncements because he feels that he has an inside emotional connection to God. In verse 13, Peter’s certainty is coming from confidence in facts and this confidence is providing a solid basis for John as well—without them being part of the official priesthood. For instance, I have done most of my research outside of the ‘priesthood’ of academia. But I have gained sufficient Perceiver confidence as well as sufficient Mercy self-worth to be able to speak to academia with resolve. This resolve is not based in assertiveness but rather in a solid understanding of how the mind works.

Understand means ‘to grasp something in a forceful manner’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Uneducated occurs once in the New Testament and combines ‘not’ with ‘written’. In simple terms, this means not starting with the words of some book. This contrasts with the basic premise of absolute truth, which is that one has to start with the words of a holy book. Men here actually means ‘mankind’, and would therefore refer to both male and female thought, which makes sense since both Peter and John are being mentioned. Saying this cognitively, absolute truth is both a way of gaining certainty for facts in Perceiver thought and an emotional attitude that one adopts in Mercy thought. Untrained means ‘of one’s own self; used of a person who conspicuously lacks education or status’. The idea here is that one is not quoting from all of the church fathers and religious experts but rather coming up with one’s own ideas. For instance, I have a Master’s degree in engineering, but most of my expertise in cognitive science is self-taught. I learned neurology, for example, by reading neurological papers until they started making sense. (I did take one graduate class in the history of neurology.)

Putting this all together, the religious leadership are grasping that there is an alternative to absolute truth. One can gain Perceiver confidence and feel like somebody in Mercy thought without having to quote from holy books or study religiously respected experts. For instance, mental symmetry makes it possible to come up with both factual and personal conclusions that are not based in the Bible while remaining consistent with the Bible.

Verse 13 describes the response. “They were amazed, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus.” Amazed means ‘wonder at, be amazed’ and was previously used in 3:12 to describe the crowds being amazed at the healing the lame man. In 3:12 the laity were being amazed by the new approach to religious self-denial. In verse 13 the priests are being amazed by the new approach to absolute truth. I can imagine what this would mean because the primary stumbling block that I have when talking with evangelical Christians is that I no longer subscribe to the mindset of absolute truth. For an evangelical Christian to really grasp that one can go beyond absolute truth would be mind-shattering.

Recognize means ‘apt experiential knowing, through direct relationship’. This word was used once before in Acts in 3:10 when the crowds recognized the man who had been lame. This goes beyond experiential knowing to appropriate experiential knowing. For instance, Pentecostalism attempts to go beyond the absolute truth of the Bible by building upon the experiential knowing of the Holy Spirit. However, Pentecostalism lacks a theoretical foundation. Therefore, the charismatic movement attempted to add doctrinal accuracy to the emotional fervor of Pentecostalism. Something different is happening this time, because the new charismatic movement is proving to be doctrinally accurate. The result is an appropriate experiential knowledge, as opposed to an inappropriate experiential knowledge that has to be corrected by the doctrine of absolute truth.

With means ‘closely identified together’ and Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation. In other words, what makes this experiential knowledge appropriate is that it is following a path of personal salvation. This goes beyond ‘asking Jesus in your heart’ to actually being saved by the concrete expression of incarnation. Verse 12 concluded that it is necessary to be saved by Jesus Christ the Nazarene. In verse 13, religious leaders are appropriately recognizing what it means to be with Jesus. For instance, mental symmetry simultaneously follows the two paths of deciphering the mind and being personally transformed. This combination causes a person to closely identify with a Jesus that is an expression of a larger concept of incarnation.

In verse 14, the religious leaders who are the interpreters of divine truth to the people have nothing to say. “And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.” Man again refers to mankind, and see means ‘to see something physical, with spiritual results’. Standing means ‘to stand’. And healed means ‘to restore a person having an illness’ and is the source of the English word ‘therapy’. This is the first use of this word in Acts. Therapy implies a psychological and/or medical approach. Physically speaking, the man who was crippled is standing in front of them. Cognitively speaking, a mindset of religious self-denial that was psychologically crippled is now standing restored. The religious leaders see this result and they come to spiritual conclusions about religious self-denial. Materialistic secular thought sees religious self-denial as strange because it believes that only the material world exists. Going the other way, religious self-denial believes that following God means turning one’s back upon physical reality. A spiritual economy takes a larger perspective, recognizing that religious self-denial moves temporarily away from physical reality in order to gain power from the spiritual realm that can be applied within physical reality. Mental symmetry refers to this as the path of personal transformation and this path is summarized by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But one has to follow this path in a way that maintains human sanity. When one returns from the spiritual realm back to physical reality one needs to be psychologically healthy and not psychologically crippled. Mental symmetry appears to allow this, because every time I make a detour into analyzing religious topics, such as this essay, I end up with a more integrated cognitive understanding.

Notice that the healed man is standing with Peter and John and not with the religious leadership. The implication is that the religious leaders have no adequate place for religious self-denial. They cannot bring adequate therapy to this attitude, because the very existence of a priesthood is premised upon the mindset of absolute truth and this mindset of absolute truth is causing the religious self-denial. Stated more bluntly, the salaries and jobs of the priesthood depend upon leaving the lame man in a crippled state. In contrast, religious self-denial can become psychologically whole when connected with Perceiver facts and Mercy feelings about the personal transformation of Jesus.

In reply combines ‘opposite to’ with ‘speaking to a conclusion’. Nothing means ‘no one, nothing at all’. It was used once before in Acts in verse 12 where it was stated that no other name has been given to mankind for salvation. In verse 14 the religious leadership is reaching a similar conclusion. For instance, developing mental symmetry has led me to the conclusion that it provides a legitimate alternative to the Bible-based message of evangelical Christianity. And the behavior of various streams of society—including evangelical Christianity—over the past few years have made it increasingly clear that every other alternative has reached a dead end.

In verse 15, they are told to leave the room. “But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another.” Ordered means ‘to command’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. ‘Leave’ combines two Greek words. One word is ‘outside, without’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. The other word is ‘to go away’. Council is Sanhedrin, which combines ‘identified with’ and ‘a convening, sitting together’. Historically speaking, it was the highest Jewish court. Cognitively, it would represent the consensus of religious leaders. On the one hand, the healed man is standing with Peter and John. On the other hand the religious leaders are sitting with each other. A similar distinction can be seen in the definition of science. Is science a description of how one discovers the laws of nature, or is it a description of how a group of scientists behave? Peter and John have discovered how the spiritual world behaves, as illustrated by the healed man standing with them. The Sanhedrin is based upon how a group of religious leaders behave. Thus, verse 15 would represent a separation between results and methodology.

Confer combines ‘with’ and ‘throw’ and means ‘to throw together’. Throwing sends objects through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, ‘throwing together’ would represent theorizing based upon methodology. With means ‘to, towards’ and one another means ‘one another’. This emphasizes that theories are being bounced off of other individuals. In other words, the experts are coming up with general theories by interacting among themselves while ignoring the results. It is as if scientists are turning their back on reality and arguing among themselves about the laws of nature.

Verse 16 describes the conversation. “Saying, ‘What are we to do with these men?’” Saying emphasizes that this interaction is happening at the level of words. In contrast, Peter and John have produced results that go beyond mere words. Do means ‘to make, do’ and describes the human realm of Server actions. ‘We’ is implied by the grammar and not explicitly mentioned. However, ‘these’ is explicitly added to humans. Thus, the religious leaders are thinking in materialistic terms when they confer among themselves, because they are talking about doing actions to human people. In other words, when these priests who supposedly represent God to the people talk among themselves, they use a materialistic godless mindset that ignores the power or existence of God.

Verse 16 describes how they evaluate the healing. “For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.” Fact means ‘truly, indeed’. Noteworthy means ‘experientially know’. Miracle means ‘a sign, typically miraculous, given especially to confirm’. Taken place actually means ‘to come into being’, which goes beyond some event to describe something new that has emerged. And through means ‘by the instrumentality of’. Thus, the religious leaders are recognizing that something new and miraculous has come into being through this new charismatic movement. But notice that the religious leaders do not get it. They are still viewing the supernatural as a violation of the natural that gives credence to the absolute truth of the Bible. This is like viewing a physical healing as proof that God violates medical knowledge. This explains why the healed man has to stand with Peter and John in order to remain psychologically whole. The religious leaders claim to represent God to the people but they are steeped in a materialistic mindset that regards the work of God as an exception to the rule, instead of viewing both heavenly and earthly as aspects of wholeness.

Apparent means ‘visible, manifest’ and comes from a word that means ‘to bring to light’. Light represents Teacher understanding. Live means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. In other words, the light of Teacher understanding has come to all those who are living within the religious realm of Jerusalem as a result of the healing of the mindset of religious self-denial. Notice that the religious leaders do not include themselves as part of the group that has seen the light. This is because the religious leaders have always considered themselves as different from the laity. Looking at this further, absolute truth will only survive as long as the source of truth is felt to have much greater significance than personal identity. When one becomes part of the priesthood, then one will feel that one has personal status compared to the source of truth, which is why one feels justified in interpreting absolute truth to the laity. Thus, a typical priesthood will be filled with people who do not really believe what they are proclaiming to the laity. Thus, when the light of understanding does come, then the priesthood will be able to talk about this light without really believing it—because they have acquired the skill of being able to talk about religious truth without really believing it.

‘Cannot’ combines ‘not’ with ‘power’. And deny means ‘deny, refuse’. This word was previously used in 3:13-14 where Peter accused the laity of denying Jesus as well as denying the holy and righteous one. A priesthood will naturally view truth as something to be manipulated in order to control and guide the laity. In verse 16, the priesthood is recognizing that they cannot manipulate religious truth in this circumstance. Notice that they do not have a concept of being guided by truth or of recognizing that truth exists independently of personal opinion. Instead, everything is viewed as a matter of politics and crowd control.

In verse 17 the priesthood decides to practice damage control. “But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak any longer to any person in this name.” Spread is used once in the New Testament combines ‘through’ with ‘to parcel out’. This goes beyond merely spreading to the establishment of new technical specializations. Further means ‘greater in quantity’. Verse 4 described the emergence of new technical specializations based upon this new charismatic movement. In verse 17, the leadership is trying to prevent new specializations from emerging. This is happening ‘into the laity’, which means that these new specializations are giving the average person new topics to study within alternate recognized schools of learning.

Warn is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to threaten’. Any longer means ‘no longer, not anymore’. Speaking indicates a focus upon words. Similarly, name indicates a focus upon Teacher thought. Any means ‘no one, nothing’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. And person is the generic word for mankind. Translating this into academic language, the religious leaders are using their control over theology and academia to suppress the new paradigm. Teaching details about the new movement is permissible, but one must totally cease mentioning the new paradigm in Teacher thought. This response makes cognitive sense because it describes the standard response that I have received from the vast majority of individuals. I can make specific statements guided by my understanding of mental symmetry. But the topic of mental symmetry as a theory becomes a taboo subject that must never be raised. Cognitively speaking, that is because a theory that continues to be used turns into a TMN. When a theory turns into a mental network, then it is possible to suppress this mental network by refusing to ever raise the subject again. Using religious language, one is crucifying Christ anew. The priesthood has created a TMN of religious structure based upon how a group of priests behave. This is being challenged by a new TMN based upon how the spiritual realm functions. The priesthood is responding by forbidding the discussion of the new TMN.

Having made their conclusion, the priesthood then turns back to reality in verse 18. “And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Summoned simply means ‘to call’ and this is being interpreted as interacting with someone at the level of Teacher thought. Command means to ‘give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels.’ This word has been used once previously in Acts in 1:4 where Jesus commanded the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit. In other words, the system is responding, which is consistent with the suggestion that the way that the priesthood behaves has turned into a Teacher structure of order-within-complexity. At all is used once in the New Testament and means ‘on the whole’. In other words, this command applies to the integrated package. Presumably one can still raise the subject at a detailed level.

Speak is used once in Acts and means ‘to make a generic or unintelligible sound’. Teach means ‘to instruct, impart knowledge’. What is forbidden is instructing ‘in the name of Jesus’. In verse 13, an alternative emerged to the current system of absolute truth interpreted by the priesthood. This alternative was described as ‘being with Jesus’. This alternative source of understanding is being forbidden. This prohibition applies to both intelligible and unintelligible speech. Putting this together, one can still make detailed statements based upon personal experiences with Jesus. But one must not suggest, either verbally or nonverbally, that these detailed experiences can be combined to form some general understanding in Teacher thought.

Following God rather than People 4:19-22

Verse 19 makes it clear that general understanding in Teacher thought is being addressed, because Peter speaks twice about God. As was already mentioned, the priesthood who claims to speak for God has not said anything about God. “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, make your own judgment.’” Until now, Peter has done all the talking. But the answer in verse 19 comes from both Peter and John, indicating that this is a combined response of Perceiver and Mercy thought. Answer means ‘to answer’ and this word was used once previously in 3:12 to describe Peter responding to the crowd after healing the lame man. In both cases, Peter is responding to a statement made by others.

Peter and John do not respond by claiming authority like the priesthood but rather by submitting to a higher authority. Right means righteous and is interpreted as allowing a Teacher understanding of God to guide Server actions. This word was used once previously in Acts in 3:14 where Peter accused the crowd of disowning the righteous one. Before means ‘in the eye’ and ‘in the eye of the God’ would mean treating a general Teacher understanding as a living being. The reference to righteousness is significant because righteousness makes it possible to move beyond religious self-denial. One becomes righteous by being motivated by a TMN of God rather than by MMNs of people. And one goes beyond religious self-denial by interpreting this self-denial as following God rather than people. Verse 19 specifically mentions this comparison, because Peter and John compare listening to the religious leaders with listening to God. Listen means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Judge means ‘to pick out by separating’.

Stated simply, Peter is telling the priesthood to apply this general rule to the current situation. One becomes righteous by following God rather than people. Righteousness is the basic principle of a spiritual economy that makes it possible to incorporate religious self-denial. The priesthood is violating the principle of righteousness because it is ordering the disciples to follow them as people rather than follow God. If the priesthood really understood the principle of righteousness then they would not respond in such a manner. One might think that an intelligent person would not make such a basic mistake, but I have been surprised over the years how many systems fall apart when applied to themselves. Notice that this exchange involves both the Peter of Perceiver thought and the John of Mercy thought. Perceiver thought looks for similarities. It is obvious to Perceiver thought that this situation with the priesthood is similar to the principle of righteousness being applied in the spiritual economy. And it is clear to Mercy thought that following righteousness leads to a better personal state than submitting to people.

Verse 20 emphasizes the underlying emotions. “For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” ‘Cannot’ combines ‘not’ with power. In other words, Peter and John are being driven by motivations that they are powerless to resist. This is a symptom of a mental network. When a Teacher theory turns into a TMN, then it becomes an emotional force that cannot be resisted. The priesthood sense that this is starting to happen within peoples’ minds, which is why they are attempting to squelch any discussion about this new TMN.

Seen often means ‘to see with the mind’ and hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Talk means to ‘chatter in classical Greek’. In other words, an internal understanding has been gained combined with the internal images of Platonic forms making it impossible to avoid talking about the subject in some manner. Notice that this response is itself an example of righteousness. Peter and John are dealing with the question of obeying God rather than men at the level of the religious priesthood and their official concept of God. They have chosen to obey God rather than men at this level and their behavior is now being irresistibly motivated by the TMN of an internal concept of God—which is an example of righteousness.

Verse 21 describes the resulting standoff. “When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them).” Threatened further is used once in the New Testament and adds ‘moving towards a goal’ to ‘to threaten’ which was used in verse 17. This also describes a cognitive change, because the threats are now being motivated by some goal. Let them go means ‘to set free, release’. It is also the standard word for ‘divorce’. Thus, the religious priesthood has now divorced itself of the new charismatic movement.

No basis is ‘no one, none, nothing’ and this word was used once previously in Acts in verse 17 by the priesthood when they decided that this name should be mentioned to no human. Finding means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. Punish is used twice in the New Testament and is ‘used of punishing slaves to incapacitate them’. Thus, the goal is to cripple this new movement in some fundamental and irreparable way. This is not just a random goal but the result of investigation. The priesthood decided in verse 17 that it would forbid the speaking of this new paradigm. In verse 21, the priesthood is discovering that it is incapable of crippling the new movement. The priesthood began by deciding to impose a verbal ‘no one’ upon the new movement. The priesthood ends by discovering that the new movement has imposed an experiential ‘no one’ upon the priesthood.

Verse 21 continues by describing the underlying problem. “On account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened.” On account of means ‘on account of, by reason of’. And people means ‘laity’. Thus, the priesthood is realizing that their real master is not God but rather the laity. Peter and John have performed their righteousness before God rather than humans, becoming irresistibly motivated by an internal concept of God. The priesthood has performed its righteousness before humans rather than God, becoming irresistibly motivated by the opinions of the laity. Glory was discussed earlier and it was mentioned that it can be interpreted either as saying good things about someone or else generating external results that express internal character. The descriptions of the glory of God in the Bible refer to the second kind of glory. Glory as saying something good about someone indicates that one is functioning at the level of praise of men rather than reward from God.

The laity is ‘glorifying God for what had happened’. On the one hand, the priesthood have no concept of God and have become slaves of the laity. On the other hand, the laity are glorifying God. Glorifying God could be interpreted as everybody saying ‘Praise the Lord’, or it could be interpreted as the new spiritual economy producing visible benefits that express the character of God. The word for when followed by the dative usually means ‘upon the ground of’. And happened means ‘to come into being’. The implication is something new has emerged that expresses the character of God. This may result in saying ‘Praise the Lord’ but this verbal response is being motivated by real changes—changes that the existing priesthood is incapable of delivering.

Putting this together, the priesthood cannot curtail the movement because if they do they will lose their congregations, their livelihood, and their status. But they cannot continue associating themselves with the movement because its success is pointing out to the crowds the inadequacy of the priesthood. Therefore, the only option is for the priesthood to divorce themselves of the situation, which probably means clinging to historical mental networks of liturgy, pomp, and authority. The priesthood can always run a good church service and/or conduct a meaningful mass.

Verse 22 summarizes. “For the man on whom this miracle of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.” I am not sure what forty years represents, but there is a cognitive parallel with the Israelites who traveled through the wilderness for forty years before entering the Promised Land. The original generation that left Egypt did not have the faith to enter the Promised Land. Therefore, that generation had to die off and be replaced by a new generation. Similarly, a mindset of religious self-denial will leave the Egypt of the world but is incapable of entering the Promised Land. The solution is to wait for the next generation which interprets religious self-denial more as a profession that is carried out in front of people rather than an attitude prompted by respect for God. That is because the next generation is implicitly acting as if religious self-denial has a reward, making it possible to swallow up religious self-denial within a system of righteousness. The healed man is described as more than forty years old, implying that a longer and a more thorough transition has happened than what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness.

Miracle means ‘a sign, typically miraculous, given especially to confirm’. The benefits of the spiritual economy are confirming the validity of this new movement, making it clear that there is a better alternative to religious self-denial. Healing means to ‘supernaturally heal’ as opposed to therapy. Thus, the sign is that the spiritual economy can deliver healing that goes beyond human psychology and medicine. Obviously, this would question the need for a priesthood which claims to deliver healing that goes beyond human psychology and medicine.

Leaving Existing Religious Structure 4:23-26

In verse 23, the new movement starts to function independently. “When they had been released, they went to their own companions.” Released is the word used in verse 21 which indicates divorce. Notice that the new movement did not choose to leave the established church. That is because the new movement wanted to be motivated by the TMN of a concept of God rather than imposing MMNs of personal authority. God is releasing the new movement from the control of organized religion by using cognitive mechanisms, causing organized religion to divorce itself from the new movement in a way that eliminates any remaining spiritual connection that existing religion has with God. For instance, whenever mental symmetry has been ostracized by existing leaders, I have felt strongly that I should not resist. One of the reasons is that I want to receive a reward from God and not just from people. Another reason is that I do not want to force a polarization that would cause religious leaders to lose any existing relationship that they have with God. Such a polarization is happening in chapter 4, causing religious leaders to lose their existing relationship with God.

Neither ‘companions’ nor ‘their’ is in the Greek. (The BLB accurately translates this phrase as ‘they came to the own’.) Instead, those who have been divorced are ‘coming to the own’. Own means ‘uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual’. But ‘own’ is in the plural indicating that this is happening to many individuals. Thus, individuals who were functioning within the official religious establishment are discovering their personal identities and realizing that they have a common bond. The absence of a ‘their’ suggests that this coming together may be leading to the MMN of some group identity, but it is not being driven by MMNs of culture or group identity.

This new group then “reported everything that the chief priests and the elders had said to them” (v. 23). Report ‘looks back to the cause of the announcing’. Thus, the new group begins by talking about the past. This is the second reference to chief priest in Acts. And elder means ‘mature man having seasoned judgment’. Chief priests and elders would refer to people within the religious structure who have the most Mercy status. Said means ‘answer, bid, bring word, command’. This describes the sort of communication that one receives from a source of absolute truth. And ‘to them’ is explicitly mentioned. Thus, the people are looking back at their personal interaction with their sources of truth. This describes a mindset that is still thinking in terms of absolute truth, because it is being emotionally affected by sources of truth. For instance, if some stranger tells me that I am a heretic, then that probably will not bother me. But if the established leaders of Christendom declare my movement to be heresy, then that will provoke an emotional reaction. Thus, what is initially being discussed is not the name of Jesus but rather the names of the religious experts. A new independent group has formed, but it is still a subculture that has formed out of the existing religious culture.

However, this new group then responds in a righteous manner by appealing to God. “And when they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind and said” (v. 24). Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. This goes beyond gossip or complaining to intelligent understanding. One mind means ‘of the same passion’, which indicates unity at the level of underlying motivation. This is not an organizational unity but rather an organic unity based upon similar internal drives. Raised means ‘to raise, take up, lift’ and implies movement in the direction of Teacher generality. Voice is actually in the singular and means ‘voice, sound’. This is an organic expression of Teacher order-within-complexity which is being directed ‘to the God’. This goes beyond talking about monotheism, beyond a doctrine of monotheism, and beyond a system of monotheism to being driven emotionally to function as a group in a monotheistic manner.

Verse 24 describes the kind of God to which they appeal. “Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them.” The word lord is only used once in Acts. It means ‘someone exercising unrestricted power and absolute domination’ and is the source of the English word despot. In verse 21 the priesthood realized that they were incapable of crippling this new movement. In verse 24 those who are part of this new movement are also recognizing that they are being ruled by an inescapable, absolute lord. For instance, one primary reason why I have continued with mental symmetry is because I have felt at a deep level that I cannot escape the rule of divine providence.

Made means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. Heaven is mentioned first. This refers to the realm of Teacher thought both cognitively and supernaturally. Earth refers to the human realm of space and time. Cognitively speaking, this would indicate the realm of rational materialism. Finally, sea is mentioned for the first time in Acts and would represent the realm of Mercy experiences inhabited by the average consumer and ‘social animal’. All three of these terms are in the singular with the definite article, implying a unified and integrated perspective. The healing of the lame man led to a new integrated spiritual economy. Verse 24 describes the concept of God that emerges from functioning within such an integrated spiritual economy when this functioning is being done despite the utter rejection of the priesthood. This is not a religious concept of God but rather the concept of a monotheistic God. Verse 24 adds ‘and everything that is in them’, with everything meaning ‘each part of a totality’. Thus, this is not an overgeneralization being stated in some doctrinal manner but rather a general conclusion based in extended experience.

Verse 25 looks back at those from the existing religious system who follow God with sincerity. “Who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said.” Father indicates that one is using male technical thought to look back at one’s source. When one is attempting to move beyond absolute truth, then one of the first steps is to look for more authentic sources of truth. The new movement has just been disowned by the official priesthood. It is responding by looking for more legitimate church fathers. However, this is more than a matter of finding a new emotional source. For instance, many evangelical Christians have attempted to find a more legitimate form of Christianity by going back to the original church fathers and Orthodox Christianity, which claims to be the original expression of Christianity. However, they do not realize that Orthodox Christianity is largely mysticism clothed with Christian language.

Verse 25 describes a different kind of attitude regarding the fathers. The ultimate source is the sovereign Lord who made heaven and earth and everything in it. David is regarded as a servant, which means ‘a child under training’. This describes the mindset of absolute truth, which can be viewed as a child under training, because it is an intermediate form of learning used in education. The reference to David indicates that those who had a sincere relationship with God were the actual ‘children under training’ and not necessarily the priesthood. David is also described as ‘the father of us’, as opposed to a priesthood which regards itself as different than the laity. The new movement is also recognizing that it did not emerge out of thin air. Instead, it developed from a foundation that was laid by those who followed absolute truth in a sincere manner. But David is recognized as the mouthpiece and not the source. Finally, this communication happens through the Holy Spirit. In other words, those who had a sincere relationship with God may have lacked adequate concept of God in Teacher thought, but they were still driven to some extent by an integrated set of Platonic forms—they had an internal vision of a better world.

Verse 25 then mentions what David said. “Why were the nations insolent, and the peoples plotting in vain?” Insolent is used once in the New Testament and means to ‘vehemently neigh like a horse’. A horse is interpreted elsewhere as a symbol of organizational and governmental might. That is because horses were the ‘tanks’ of ancient time and required extensive organization to support. The previous verses have been interpreted as the religious organization attempting to preserve its Teacher order. This type of gut-level response could be described symbolically as the neighing of a horse. The word nation means ‘people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’. This refers to a group of people joined by MMNs of culture. This is an ironic label because it is usually applied to non-Jews, or in modern language the secular world. However, in the previous section the priesthood has just functioned like the secular world. Instead of being guided by the TMN of a concept of God, it also has developed a culture based in MMNs of religious ritual and experience. Functionally speaking, it is no different than the secular world, which means that it is not holy, because holy means different than the secular world. But if it is not holy, then it is no longer a priesthood.

People refers to the laity. Plotting is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to care for, practice, study’. The other occurrence in 1 Timothy 4:15 is translated as ‘take pains’ in the NASB and as ‘meditate upon’ in the KJV. Vain simply means ‘empty, void’. The priesthood may no longer respect absolute truth, but the laity does, taking pains to carefully study and meditate upon the writings of religious experts. But what is being studied is empty and devoid of content. For instance, mental symmetry does not quote extensively from church fathers and religious experts. I do not quote Calvin, Luther, or Augustine. In contrast, a student of theology studies these experts in great detail and can state with great precision how more recent religious experts have interpreted these earlier religious experts. When I read most theological works in the light of mental symmetry, I find that they are largely empty. There is nothing there of substance. This is not universally true. However, most of the substance comes from those who have had a genuine relationship with God—like David, and not from the theologians or scholars. I have come to the conclusion that current theology is largely a case of the laity carefully studying emptiness. This principle is especially true when dealing with mysticism, because mysticism insists that God transcends all rational content. But there are many carefully-written tomes about mysticism that use very precise language to say nothing and insist that nothing can be said. For instance, this describes apophatic theology.

Faced with this behavior, one can only respond as verse 25 does and ask ‘Why?’ This question becomes apparent when one approaches Christianity from a cognitive perspective. Chapter 4 is describing this institutional neighing and studying of emptiness becoming apparent in a future spiritual economy. Similarly, the reference to David indicates that those in the past (including our present) who tried to follow God sincerely also became aware of the institutional neighing of religious authorities and the studious emptiness of most religious studies.

Verse 26 continues, “The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.” King means ‘a king’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. These kings are ‘of the earth’, which refers to ‘the physical earth’. This refers to secular authority guided by rational thought based in physical reality. Stand means to ‘stand close beside’ and was previously used in 4:10 to describe the healed man standing before the religious leadership. That was interpreted as the new spiritual economy happening within the organization of the religious system. Verse 26 describes this in the plural, which suggests that the various kings of the earth are standing close together. In other words, a common front is emerging to preserve a mindset of materialism, and the priesthood has become part of this common mindset that is reacting against the new spiritual economy with its combination of material and spiritual. This implies that humanity has gone beyond the initial excitement of spiritual power and is now experiencing a form of culture shock leading to a desire to preserve a mindset of materialism.

Ruler means ‘to rule, take precedence’ and would refer to those who set the MMNs of culture and society. Gathered together means ‘to lead together’. It was used once previously in Acts in 4:5 to describe the religious leaders gathering together in Jerusalem. In other words, those who determine cultural mental networks are now gathering together in order to mutually support these cultural mental networks. Using modern language, all of the talking heads of mainstream media are attempting to project a combined message of cultural preservation. The Greek says that they are ‘gathered together to themselves’ giving the impression that they are attempting to ignore the facts and focus upon their mutual status as the guiders of society.

Verse 26 adds that this is ‘against the Lord and against his Christ’. The Lord would refer to the sovereign lord mentioned in verse 24. The success of the spiritual economy is making it apparent that the supernatural, the natural, and the cultural are all under the inescapable lordship of an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. In response, human leaders are trying to use emotional status to preserve a mindset of materialism. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. Therefore, ‘his Christ’ would describe a system of abstract technical thought based in this inescapable lordship. This is precisely what the religious leadership was attempting to squelch back in verse 17. However, what started as a name of Jesus back in verse 18 has now grown to become a Christ of a sovereign Lord. This is no longer a fragmented spiritual economy functioning within existing human society but rather a complete alternative framework based in a concept of Christ and supported by inescapable principles of ‘how things work’.

Turning from the Past to the Future 4:27-31

This is described in more detail in verse 27. “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed.” Gathered together is the same verb used in verse 26. Truth means ‘true to fact’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. We just saw that the leadership is doing its best to use emotional status and organizational structure to avoid the facts. Verse 27 views this gathering together from a factual perspective. City means ‘a city, the inhabitants of the city’ and the city was the primary expression of Greco-Roman civilization. Saying this another way, a city makes the specialization of a market economy possible, because people within a city can specialize and trade with each other. This is the first reference to a city in Acts. This essay has talked about the development of a new spiritual economy. In verse 27, the material economy is separating out from the spiritual economy, as indicated by the reference to ‘in the realm of this city’.

Servant means ‘child under training’ and holy means ‘set apart’. We just saw that the existing priesthood is no longer holy because it is acting just like the secular world. Verse 27 describes a new form of holiness emerging based upon ‘your holy child in training Jesus’. The new spiritual economy is holy not because it regards itself as different from the secular world but rather because the secular world is separating itself from this economy. Going further, this is not a holiness that views itself as the source of truth for the people, but rather a holiness that is trying to learn how the new spiritual economy functions. A partial example can be seen in current technological research. The average person views this research as too complicated to understand. But the goal of this research is not to be different than the average person but rather to understand more accurately how the physical world functions.

Anoint is the verb form of Christ, and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Teacher thought creates general theories by anointing specific concepts and treating them as general. Anointing is done with oil, which represents the Holy Spirit. Similarly, cognitive anointing is done through the Platonic Forms of the spirit, and the highest anointing happens with the Form of the Good of the Holy Spirit. Thus, verse 27 is actually referring to ‘Jesus whom you Christ-ed’. A new concept of Jesus emerged in verse 18 based in using the spiritual economy to bring salvation to humans. This new concept of Jesus is revealing itself to be a concept of Christ. Saying this more clearly, the phrase ‘new concept of Jesus’ may be giving the reader the impression that I might be referring to a concept of Jesus that is not based in the Bible. This describes what is happening in Acts 4 because verse 13 described religious leaders recognizing the existence of a new concept of Jesus that was not based in the Bible. In verse 27, this new concept of Jesus is becoming Christ-ed, which means that it is growing to become an integrated concept of incarnation in abstract thought.

A mindset of absolute truth assumes that any concept of Jesus that is not based in the Bible will contradict the Jesus of the Bible. But mental symmetry makes it clear that this is not necessarily the case, because mental symmetry describes a concept of Jesus that is not based in the Bible. However, when the Bible is examined, then it becomes clear that this concept of Jesus is actually more consistent with the Jesus described in the Bible than the Jesus taught by those who claim to be experts in the Bible. Notice that the anointing is not coming from any religious leadership. Instead it is coming from the sovereign Lord. In other words, what truly makes salvation universal is not a priesthood forming an organization and declaring the salvation to be universal. Instead, what makes salvation universal is experiencing this salvation universally. And what makes something universal is being consistent with how heaven, earth, and sea function. For instance, the law of gravity is not universal because it is taught in universities, but rather it is universal because it applies universally. This may sound like an obvious point, but it is mentally difficult to focus upon how things work when one is being regarded as worthless by all the religious leadership and being damned to hell by one’s existing concept of God. And this sort of mental damning will happen because any mental network will protest vigorously when receiving inconsistent input. Therefore, a mental concept of God that is based in absolute truth will project feelings of eternal damnation when one attempts to move beyond absolute truth. The solution is to point out internally to one’s concept of God that one is attempting to place the content of absolute truth upon a more solid foundation. That is why verse 24 refers to the Creator God. The ultimate foundation for understanding is not the words of some book proclaimed by some group of people but rather the universal principles of creation. It is possible to ignore books and people, but the universal principles of creation cannot be ignored.

Verse 27 describes the enemies of this new concept of Christ Jesus. “Both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel.” Herod and Pontius Pilate are secular authorities, which indicates that the struggle has now gone beyond the religious realm. Herod means ‘son of a hero’. Historically speaking, Roman civilization was based in the idea of heroes as exemplified by the Roman trait of virtus. Christianity replace this swaggering manhood with the idea of a servant leader. Herod represents this concept of humans as heroes. A spiritual economy enabled by religious self-denial would replace this with a concept of humans as incomplete, who become more complete by choosing not to act as heroes.

Using an example from current North American culture, Herod is illustrated by the human man-child who buys a pickup truck in order to prove his manhood. In 2020, five of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in America were pickup trucks. Some people who purchase pickup trucks have a legitimate need for such vehicles, but America has a love for pickup trucks that extends far beyond utility to a mindset of Herod. It should be pointed out that Herod means son of a hero. There are many legitimate heroes who require pickup trucks to perform their jobs. It is their ‘sons’ who are purchasing pickup trucks in order to appear as heroes without having actually become heroes. I know that many of these pickup truck owners would be offended by these words, but that illustrates the passage, which is that many people in verse 27 are becoming offended by the new spiritual economy, because participating in this economy requires humility rather than arrogance. Reality is currently (somewhat) on the side of the pickup truck owners. In a future spiritual economy, reality would be strongly on the side of the spiritual economy. Obviously, a mindset of Herod goes beyond owning a pickup truck. However, this is a rather clear example of Herod.

Pilate was mentioned before in 3:13, but not Pontius Pilate. The name Pilate means ‘skilled with the javelin’ and was interpreted previously as using abstract technical thought to make more effective weapons to subjugate people. Pontius means ‘belonging to the sea’ and this is the only mention of this name in Acts. The sea represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Humans grow up within a ‘sea’ of Mercy experiences. Pontius Pilate represents a materialistic mindset that insists that only the sea of human Mercy experiences exist and that the role of technical thought is to live more effectively within this sea of Mercy experiences.

This is consistent with the suggestion that humanity is feeling threatened by the new spiritual economy. But notice that humanity itself is not being threatened. Instead, humanity is actually being saved. Instead, what is being threatened is the Herod of exalting the Mercy status of humanity as well as the Pontius Pilate of the materialistic mindset.

These two attitudes are being backed up by ‘the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel’. Gentile means ‘people joined by practicing similar customs’ and refers to the mental glue of cultural MMNs. In verse 25 the Gentiles were neighing like a horse, implying being motivated by TMNs of societal structure. This combination indicated that MMNs of culture were being emotionally reinforced by TMNs of societal structure. In verse 27, cultural MMNs are revealing themselves to be MMNs of human culture as opposed to the new integrated spiritual economy.

People means laity and Israel represents the group of people through whom God interacts with humanity. This group is revealing itself to be pro-human as opposed to pro-God. Those who claim to represent God to humanity are supporting those who are defending humanity against God. Something similar can be seen in current evangelical Christianity, because many of those who claim to follow the words of the Bible rather than human custom have turned into conservatives who preserve human custom as opposed to the words of intelligent understanding.

Verse 28 points out that God is still in control. “To do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur.” Do mean ‘to make, do’ and refers to the Server actions performed by the physical body. Hand represents ‘the instrument a person uses to accomplish their purpose’ and is interpreted as the expression of technical thought. Purpose means ‘a resolved plan’ and was used once previously in Acts in 2:23 to describe Jesus being crucified through the plan of God. In other words, humans are doing the acting but this is happening within the context of God who is using technical thought to carry out his plan. This is quite different than the current evangelical Christian mindset which views technical thought as something used by the world which some God of miracles opposes. The Bible-believing Christian may say that God is in control, but when such individuals succumb to conspiracy theories, then they are really acting as if Satan has access to technical thought while God does not.

Putting this into a larger perspective, verse 24 described a sovereign Lord who rules over all of creation. Verse 28 is describing a sovereign Lord who manipulates human history. This second aspect became more clear to me when I went through the Gospel of Matthew and realized that the entire book appears to be an accurate prophecy of Western history.

Predestined is used once in Acts and combines ‘before’ with ‘establish boundaries, limits’. This is the word that is used in Romans 8 which is traditionally interpreted as God controlling every detail of existence. But that is not what the word means. Instead, God is putting boundaries around human society, allowing humans substantial freedom with the details while ensuring that the general plan remains on track. And occur means to ‘come into being’, which implies that God is not imposing divine will upon humans but rather allowing human behavior to come into being. God can do this because God’s plan of history uses cognitive mechanisms. This is not a vague statement but rather is backed up by a 640 page analysis of Western history, as well as by other essays. In other words, people within a society will naturally behave in a certain manner based upon the cognitive development of that society. God then puts walls around this behavior in order to ensure that the next stage of cognitive development is reached. This summarizes what it means for the sovereign Lord to place the doing of humanity within his resolved plan.

Verse 29 then appeals to this sovereign Lord to intervene. “And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant it to Your bond-servants to speak Your word with all confidence.” Look at is only used twice in the New Testament, both times to refer to the Lord looking upon a situation of human disapproval and dealing with it. It combines ‘upon’ with ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. The idea is that God has a greater awareness of empirical evidence and can use this awareness as sovereign Lord to change the facts. In other words, God can change reality in a big way, and reality overrides personal opinion. Threat means ‘a threat’ and is used three times in the New Testament, twice in Acts.

Bond-servant means ‘a bond-slave without any ownership rights of their own’. Thus, this is not a case of cheering on my God to grind my enemies into the dust. Instead, there is a strong recognition that the sovereign Lord is guiding physical events for everyone, including his followers. The divine gears of providence are turning and everyone is equally affected.

Confidence means ‘a proverb or statement quoted with resolve’ and was previously used in 4:13 where the priesthood recognized the confidence of Peter. Speak means ‘chatter in classical Greek’ which implies non-rigorous conversation. However, word is ‘logos’, which is interpreted as a paradigm of technical thought. Chattering about paradigms suggests taking technical thought out of the academic realm and applying it to normal life. Doing this with confidence means really believing that the paradigms of technical thought apply to real life. For many years, I have deliberately not done this but have stopped about talking about mental symmetry to others. That is because I could see their mental walls going up when I raised the subject. Thus, I knew that pressing the topic would lead nowhere and I also suspected that I myself needed to do more research and learn more lessons. Verse 29 is describing a tipping point where it is time to open one’s mouth. But notice that this is being done as a bond-servant of the sovereign Lord. One is not wielding truth as a weapon to slay the enemy, but rather pointing out reality to those who are trying to ignore what is happening. And one is not just describing the facts rather talking about the logos of a technical paradigm.

Verse 30 describes the reason for this approach. “While You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Hand refers to the manipulations of technical thought. Extend means ‘to extend’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. The implication is that the Lord is already performing technical manipulations and that this manipulating needs to be extended to additional areas. This type of request is consistent with Teacher emotion, because Teacher thought feels good when a general theory applies to more areas.

Heal means to supernaturally heal and this is the second of two times that this word is used in Acts. A sign is ‘typically miraculous, given especially to confirm’. And a wonder is a ‘miraculous wonder’. Take place means to ‘come into being’. Verse 30 juxtaposes two things which one does not find combined in Pentecostalism. On the one hand, humans (or possibly God) are spreading technical understanding. (The word ‘your’ in ‘your hand’ is not in the Westcott & Hort Greek New Testament suggesting that human ‘hands’ are being stretched out by God.) On the other hand, humans are asking for extensive supernatural intervention. This combination is both possible and necessary given the circumstances. In the previous verses, technical thought was being used to extend the spiritual economy into the realm of religion. However, both religious and secular authorities have just turned against spiritual power in order to defend human materialistic existence.

The phrase ‘your holy servant Jesus’ was previously used in verse 27 and was interpreted as learning to follow a path of salvation that is different than the world. In verse 27 this new path was being anointed or Christ-ed. In verse 30 this new path has a name. This name makes it possible to chat about the logos. Saying this more carefully, people were experiencing miraculous help in verse 27 and human society was turning against this supernatural intervention. In verse 38 a Teacher understanding of this supernatural intervention has been developed, making it possible to talk intelligently about supernatural intervention. This explains the request of verse 29 to have confidence to talk intelligently. The intelligent talking lays the foundation for the supernatural intervention. For instance, I have continued for several years to write about mental symmetry even though I know that few people are reading the material (this is starting to change). That is because I know that gaining an intelligent understanding and putting this understanding down in words is an important step in enabling divine intervention.

Verse 31 describes the result. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken.” Pray is not the normal word but rather means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. In simple terms, the situation is desperate. This relates cognitively to the principle of existence, because people are calling on the TMN of God even when there is no human reason to do so. Shaken comes from a word that means ‘tossing, the swell of the sea’. Place was previously used in 1:25 to describe Judas going to his own place. And gathered together means ‘to lead together’. It was previously used in verse 27 to describe those gathered together against the new movement. This describes a polarizing of society. Those who want a materialistic human society are gathering together while those who need supernatural assistance are also gathering together. The materialistic group is trying to preserve mental networks of human existence. In contrast, those who want supernatural help are experiencing a tossing in the ‘sea’ of Mercy experiences. Looking at this cognitively, a human will not normally choose to embrace supernatural intervention even if this leads to salvation and healing, but will choose to do so when given no alternative.

Verse 31 concludes, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” Filled means ‘filled to one’s individual capacity’. This relates to the idea of understanding laying the foundation for supernatural intervention. The mind has to be held together by a set of core mental networks. For those opposing God, these mental networks come from human existence. Divine intervention will challenge these mental networks. Therefore, the only way to survive divine intervention without going crazy is to build the mind around another set of core mental networks that are capable of including both the natural and the supernatural. For instance, mental symmetry is a general theory that includes both natural and supernatural. This is not just theoretically interesting but rather makes it emotionally possible to survive supernatural intervention without going mad. Saying this bluntly, extended supernatural intervention from a spiritual economy would eventually lead to an extreme case of culture shock.

All means ‘each and every part making up a complete unit’. Cognitively speaking, a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought ties together Platonic forms in Mercy thought. This tying together can be seen in the word ‘all’ and is implied by ‘gathering together’. The phrase ‘speaking the word with boldness’ is precisely the same as the request in verse 29. but verse 31 adds ‘the God’, which implies an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. This is consistent with the suggestion that a concept of the Holy Spirit requires an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. Thus, the new spiritual economy has now reached the level of being guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought. Going further, a concept of the Holy Spirit provides an alternative emotional foundation in Mercy thought to the mental networks of human existence.

This indicates the completion of a religious shift. On the one hand, the existing priesthood has revealed itself to be merely another aspect of materialistic human society that has nothing to do with God. On the other hand, the new spiritual economy has reached the point of being a genuine religion that is guided by an integrated concept of God as well as the Lordship of an incarnation who rules over all of creation.

A Complete Spiritual Economy 4:32-37

Verse 32 describes the new society that emerges. “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul.” Congregation means ‘great number’ and was previously used in 2:6 to describe the crowd on the Day of Pentecost. Believe means to ‘be persuaded’. This means that many are persuaded by the extension of technical thought to normal life. Heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought, while soul refers to the integrated mind. One is the number one. The final phrase is more literally, ‘in the realm of heart and soul one’. Verse 31 described an integrated concept of God. Verse 32 describes the resulting integrated concept of the Holy Spirit. There was unity after Peter’s first sermon in 2:44 but there was no mention of heart, soul, or Holy Spirit in the community of 2:43-47. Thus, chapter 2 described the beginning of a spiritual economy while chapter 4 describes the extension of this spiritual economy to all of human existence. It is being followed with an integrated mind, it involves all of personal identity, and it is being guided by the integrated Platonic forms of a Form of the Good.

The rest of verse 32 adds, “And not one of them was saying that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” This goes further than 2:44 which said that “all the believers were together and had all things in common.” Both chapter 2 and chapter 4 contain the same phrase ‘all things in common’. It was suggested earlier that this phrase means that no possessions are being regarded as special. (The Greek is more literally ‘but were to them all things common’.) Belonging means to ‘already have’, and was previously used in 3:6 by Peter to say that he did not ‘already have’ silver or gold. Verse 32 describes a verbal rethinking of existing concepts of ownership, because people are ‘bringing word, command’ regarding what they already have. Thus, what was being done spontaneously in chapter 2 is being done completely as a verbally stated policy in chapter 4. The cognitive principle is that the healing of the lame man has revealed the central role played by religious self-denial. Saying this more clearly, no places or things are being regarded as special, holy, or private. Instead, places and things are being regarded as part of a larger spiritual economy. This would include giving financial and material aid to those who are in need. But it would also include being willing to let go of church buildings and church services. For instance, some religious groups were not willing to treat churches and church services as common when told to shut down live services in 2020 during the covid pandemic.

Verse 33 describes the impact. “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is being interpreted as an expression of Teacher generality. This word was used once previously in Acts in 2:20 to refer to the great and glorious day of the Lord. Power refers to the supernatural empowering of natural human strength. Great power is illustrated by a large hydroelectric dam, which does not just generate power for a few machines, but produces great power.

Give means ‘to return, especially as a payment’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. What is being given back is the testimony of the apostles. Testimony means ‘eye- and ear-witness’ and an apostle is someone who breaks through in a major way. Looking at this cognitively, the belief of many people is creating a context that makes it possible for the apostle to go beyond words to actions. Saying this in more detail, an apostle has to pay a personal price to make a major breakthrough. But an apostle can only experience the personal benefits of this breakthrough if others apply the message of the apostle, creating a context within which the apostle can also apply this message. This is like a legislator proclaiming some new law. The legislator can only experience the benefit of the law if a group of citizens apply this law making it possible for the legislator to experience the benefits of the law as a fellow citizen.

This is not how things function in a normal economy. But it does describe how things work with infrastructure such as the Internet. Suppose that I write some fancy new software for social media. Some current examples would be Facebook, messenger, and twitter. If nobody uses this software it is worthless. But if many people use the software then it becomes highly valuable—even if the software itself is given away for free. It appears that a spiritual economy functions in a similar manner. Think of an apostle as the developer of a new ‘software program’ of spirituality. Such a program would acquire power as it became applied. Apostleship is examined further in the essay on 1 Corinthians.

The previous verses have referred to the development of a new concept of Jesus, and described how the religious and secular authorities forbade any mention of this new concept of Jesus. The ‘resurrection of the Lord Jesus’ indicates that this new concept of Jesus is coming back to life after being suppressed. The implication is that a new Teacher system has emerged to replace the organized church.

Verse 33 finishes by saying that “abundant grace was upon them all.” Grace means ‘leaning towards to share benefit’ and is one of several similar words that indicate how God in Teacher thought helps humanity. The previous use was in 2:47 which described ‘having grace towards all the laity’, indicating that God was helping people through the new spiritual economy. In this case, the grace is upon all of the believers, because verse 31 indicated that they were all are in desperate need of help. This grace is also described as abundant, using the same word ‘great’ that is interpreted as Teacher generality.

Verse 34 indicates that all needs are being met. “For there was not a needy person among them.” The word needy is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘in the realm of’ with ‘to tie, bind’. Person is a generic pronoun that can refer either to people or things. Thus, this phrase is more accurately ‘for nothing was in the realm of binding’. This is similar to the concept of forgiveness, which means ‘to release’. The existing priesthood and secular authority are being bound by mental networks of human existence that are preventing them from embracing supernatural help. In contrast, nothing is binding this new group from making progress or from receiving supernatural help.

Verse 34 continues, “For all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the prices of the things being sold.” Owner means ‘a possessor, owner’. Land means ‘a confined piece of ground’. This can be interpreted literally as physical property or cognitively as some area of expertise. Owning land would thus represent having expertise in some skill or area of knowledge. A house is ‘a house, dwelling’ and would represent ownership that involves personal identity. Would is actually the verb ‘already have’ that was used previously in verse 32. Sell means ‘to exchange or barter’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This implies a spiritual economy in which people are attempting to sell material wealth in order to acquire spiritual wealth. More cognitively, existing areas of expertise are being bartered away as well as pre-existing concepts of personal identity.

It should be emphasized that this is not talking about communism. I mention this again because one of the primary goals of communism is to eliminate all concepts of private property. Personal ownership is not being eliminated in verse 34. Instead, people are trading away less valuable aspects of personal identity and personal ownership in order to gain more valuable aspects. Any introductory economics textbook will point out that physical trade requires laws of private property. Similarly, the sort of spiritual trading that is being described in verse 34 requires solid mental concepts of identity and self-image. That is why I use the term spiritual economy. But this is also not the typical Pentecostal so-called spiritual economy in which spiritual words are used to acquire material wealth. The Bible refers to that as spiritual prostitution. Instead, people are paying deep personal prices in order to acquire the spiritual wealth that accompanies a transformed personal identity.

Bring means ‘to bear, carry’. This word has been used once previously in Acts in 2:2 to describe the wind of the spirit on Pentecost. The idea in both cases is that gifts are being carried by people in order to make the exchanges of a spiritual economy. Price means ‘price, honor’. And sold means ‘to export for sale’. This conveys the impression of a spiritual economy which does not just exchange one item for another but rather exchanges material and social wealth in order to gain spiritual wealth and ability.

Verse 35 describes the receiving side of this economy. “And lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each to the extent that any had need.” Lay means ‘to place, lay’. This combination of ‘placing at the feet’ was previously seen in 2:35 which promised to place the enemies at the feet as a footstool. This relates to the principle of apostleship described earlier. Using the example of a legislator, when citizens submit to the rule of legislators, then this creates a place for the feet of the legislators, making it possible for them to ‘walk’ by passing new laws. The great power mentioned earlier suggests the passing of new laws for the spiritual realm.

Distribution means ‘to hand over, distribute’. Each means ‘each unit viewed distinctly’. To the extent means ‘according as, because’. ‘Any’ can refer either to people or things. And need means ‘need, business’. Verse 35 does not say that the apostles are doing the distributing. Instead, what appears to be happening is that an apostle is passing some new law in the spiritual realm enabled by the placing at his feet. This new law is enabling access to spiritual power in some area, and people are then receiving according to their personal need. This might appear to an outsider like communism, but it is actually a form of spiritual capitalism that includes both the material and the spiritual.

Verse 36 mentions a specific person. As usual, this will be interpreted as referring to a cognitive principle. “Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement).” Joseph means ‘he increases’. Another Joseph was mentioned once before in 1:23 as a possible replacement disciple for Judas. It was decided there that the focus should be upon God in Teacher thought, represented by Matthias. Pentecostalism indicates the validity of that choice because Pentecostalism has focused upon the Joseph of spiritual and material prosperity rather than the Teacher God of intelligent understanding. In verse 36, Joseph is showing up again, implying an increase of spiritual and material prosperity. Historically speaking, the historical Joseph was also associated with a time of material prosperity for the original Jews living in the land of Goshen in Egypt.

Barnabas means ‘son of a prophet’. Call means ‘to call upon’ but is also used to indicate an alternative name. Joseph is given the name Barnabas by the apostles. Looking at this symbolically, the growing prosperity is viewed by the apostles as a male expression of their prophecies. The apostles laid the foundation for this current spiritual society, and they predicted that the current prosperity would come. It has finally arrived in the form of male technical thought—a system of technical thinking that includes the spiritual and the supernatural. Using the analogy of legislators, the apostles are like legislators who have passed new spiritual laws in the hope that they would lead to prosperity. The current growing prosperity that is a result of applying these laws indicates that these laws were prophetic.

Notice that this is another example of taking an incomplete concept and making it part of the spiritual economy. In Acts 3, religious self-denial was placed within the spiritual economy. Religious self-denial by itself is ‘missing a foot’. It becomes complete when viewed as an aspect of the spiritual economy. Similarly, the growing prosperity of ‘Joseph’ is also incomplete when treated as a replacement for the worship of ‘Judas’. But Joseph becomes complete when given the name Barnabas by the apostles and placed within the spiritual economy.

The average person has a different perspective. Translated means ‘to translate’ which implies a different perspective of the same name. Encouragement means ‘a call done by someone close beside’. The same word is used in Romans 12:8 to describe the exhortation of the Exhorter person, and it is similar to the word used to describe the Holy Spirit in John 14-16. Levite is used once in Acts. It probably means ‘joined, attached’. Cyprus could refer to the Cypress tree or to copper, because Cyprus was a major source of copper in antiquity. Birth was used once previously in Acts in 4:6 to describe those of high priestly descent. This suggests that a new priestly class has come into being. Back in verse 6, anything that descended from Mercy experiences of holiness acquired an aura of holiness in Mercy thought. This can be seen, for instance, in the numerous churches and shrines that have been erected in Israel to commemorate the various stories of the Gospels.

Putting this together, what the apostles view as a fulfillment of prophecy, the average person views as a motivation within Exhorter thought related to the Holy Spirit. A similar parallel can be seen in modern technology. A scientist views technology as a fulfillment of the prophecy of some scientific discovery. A consumer views the same technology as a source of motivation based in an expression of Platonic forms of possibility. Those who work with technology are a form of priests because they mediate between the laws of science in Teacher thought and the personal experiences of the consumer in Mercy thought. A tree is interpreted elsewhere as a tree of academia with its various branches providing homes for the ‘birds of the air’ of abstract thought. Metal is used to represent truth that has been tested through some sort of refining process. These symbols suggest that the new priesthood is born out of a combination of academia and personal refining. For instance, I have mentioned several times that the development of mental symmetry involves a combination of the academic pursuit of understanding the mind as well as the personal path of becoming mentally transformed. A similar combination would be required for the priesthood of spiritual economy, because an academic understanding would be required as well as the ability to apply this academic understanding in real life. This is already true to some extent with current technology as illustrated by the engineer who needs to be competent in mathematical analysis as well as able to apply mathematical understanding to the messy real world.

Verse 37 says that “a tract of land belonging to him, he sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Own means ‘to already have’. A field is larger than some piece of property and means ‘a field, especially as bearing a crop’. Sold means ‘to exchange or barter’. This suggests that the new priesthood does not emerge out of a vacuum but rather comes from those who already have expertise in some field exchanging their natural expertise in order to gain spiritual expertise.

Bring means ‘to bear’ and was used in verse 34. The implication is that a spiritual economy has a personal element that is not present in a normal economy. One is not just buying and selling goods but rather exchanging aspects of personal identity. The word money means ‘a thing that one uses or needs’ and is translated as money or riches. The word money used in verse 34 describes the results of using money as a medium of exchange, in which one trades what one has in order to gain what one needs. Notice that this is different than focusing upon silver, which refers to money as a medium of exchange. For instance, my father was always buying and selling items, but we did not always get to enjoy the benefits of the items that were being bought and sold. Looking at one example, for many years my dad owned a genuine black London cab. But he never licensed the cab and drove it. Instead, the car sat in the garage and he stored potatoes in the trunk. This describes a focus upon silver as opposed to ‘a thing that one uses or needs’ which can be bought using silver. This problem is described in 1 Timothy 6:10 which describes the love of money as a source of evil. Love of money is a single word which combines ‘phileo’ with ‘silver’. This distinction will show up in chapter 5 in the story of Ananias and Sapphira.

The phrase ‘laid at the feet of the apostles’ is the same as the phrase used in verse 35 except for the preposition ‘at’. In verse 35 it means ‘alongside of’, whereas in verse 37 it means ‘towards’. This implies a kind of independent existing that is pointing in a certain direction. Technology provides a possible explanation of what this might mean because technology exists independently of science but points in the direction of science.

Ananias 5:1-6

This independence of spiritual wealth implies a possibility for corruption and chapter 5 opens with the story of Ananias and Sapphira holding back part of what they sell. Verse 1 begins, “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property.” Ananias means ‘Yah has been gracious’. This is the same meaning as the name of the high priest Annas in 4:6. in both cases, this indicates a society that is experiencing the practical benefits of following a concept of God in Teacher thought. In a similar manner, technology could also be described as practical benefits that result from following the general laws of science in Teacher thought. Sapphira is mentioned once in the New Testament and means a sapphire, and this word sapphire is used in the description of the Holy City in Revelation 21:19. Sapphira is described as ‘the wife of him’. This combination describes the emergence of a new form of money as a store of wealth. Instead of using the spiritual economy to meet needs, spiritual power is being used to generate jewels of spiritual wealth. This goes beyond the ‘silver’ of focusing upon trading itself rather than what this trading buys to the ‘gold’ of viewing money as a storehouse of wealth. Saying this another way, the name Ananias implies a spiritual economy whereas the name Sapphira implies objective jewels of wealth. These two are married.

Sold means ‘to exchange or barter’. Property means ‘a possession’ and this same word was used in 2:45 to describe what people were selling. In contrast, the selling of 4:34 and 4:37 involved fields of various sizes as well as houses. A field is used to grow food, while a house is lived in. Food represents intellectual food which is related to Teacher understanding; a home is a place for personal identity in Mercy thought. Property, in contrast, is disconnected from either Teacher understanding or Mercy identity. The spiritual economy began in chapter 2 as a spiritual extension to the disconnected items of normal technology. Ananias is described as selling property, which implies returning to the earlier stage of objects. This explains why the result is a sapphire and not a spiritual power. Saying this another way, technical thought naturally becomes objective and specializes and an economy requires technical thought. (A paper on economics explores the relationship between technical thought and the supply of an economy.) A spiritual economy under God includes the subjective in Mercy thought as well as universal understanding in Teacher thought. The natural tendency will be to try to return to an economy that is like the current economy with its focus upon objective goods and services.

Verse 2 describes the nature of this exchange. “And kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge.” Kept back is used three times in the New Testament, two times in verses 2 and 3. It comes from a word that means ‘apart’. Of means ‘from, away from’. Price means ‘a valuing, a price’ and is the same word that was used in 4:34. This is consistent with the idea of dealing with isolated items that are regarded as apart from either Teacher understanding or Mercy identity. I noticed this kind of mental isolation repeatedly when writing the paper on economics. (This 150 page paper examines most of the topics that are covered in first year courses on microeconomics and macroeconomics.) That is because economics consistently avoids looking at the implications of economic trade in order to focus upon the trade itself. This appears to be a fundamental characteristic of the current field of economics.

Full knowledge combines ‘together’ with ‘visible form, shape, appearance’. Wife means ‘woman, wife’. The implication is that both male technical thought and female mental networks are focusing together upon visible form and appearance. This would be like both technological development and potential consumers focusing upon how gadgets look rather than how they function. This is a major problem with the current consumer society, but it would be a fatal problem in a spiritual economy. That is because one is not just dealing with objects that express the Teacher laws of science but rather with physical expressions of spiritual life. I should add that this flaw naturally results from the breakthrough of the last chapter. That is because we just saw the spiritual economy being extended in a new way to the realm of physical objects. This extension would make it possible to limit the spiritual economy to the realm of physical objects.

Verse 2 continues, “And bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet.” The phrase ‘laying at the feet of the apostles’ is the same as the phrase that was used in 4:35. And bringing is the same word ‘bear’ that was used previously, indicating that there is still some personal involvement in the exchange. What is different is the word portion which means ‘a part, share, portion’. Thus, the principles of a spiritual economy are being followed partially, while attempting to treat part of this exchange as a normal economic exchange involving things. The example of my father and the London cab provides a possible illustration of what this means. A car is meant to be driven by people. Storing a car in a garage separates the item being owned from the people who own this object. For spiritual technology, the fundamental principle would be that objects and skills are related to personal identity. That is because the spiritual realm interacts with the mind through mental networks and the mind uses mental networks to represent people. This personal characteristic means that buying and selling inherently involves aspects of personal identity. A sapphire, in contrast, is a beautiful item that is distinct from personal identity. The mental network is still there, but it is no longer an expression of personal identity. Similarly, my dad’s London cab was still there and I saw it every time I went down into the garage. But it was not connected with personal identity in any meaningful fashion. Such separation can be done when buying and selling objects. But when aspects of personal identity are treated as objects to be bought and sold independently of personal identity, then this leads to spiritual prostitution, because prostitution treats an aspect of personal identity as if it is merely some object to be bought and sold.

Peter responds immediately in verse 3. “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.’” Peter represents Perceiver thought and Perceiver thought builds connections. Keeping apart or away from indicates a lack of Perceiver connections. Peter addresses Ananias, which indicates a focus upon personal help from God in Teacher thought.

Heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. Filled means ‘to fill to individual capacity’. This is the first mention in Acts of Satan, which means adversary. Thus, Ananias is not just making a random mistake. Instead, his personal identity in Mercy thought has become filled with an adversarial mindset. This naturally happens when MMNs of identity or culture take precedence, because that will lead to a satanic mindset of ‘us versus them’. In contrast, being guided by the TMN of a concept of God will lead to the oneness that was mentioned in 4:32. Going further, focusing upon personal identity in Mercy thought will lead to thinking in terms of things and objects rather than processes, leading to a focus upon what things make me look better than other people. In other words, what sapphires of conspicuous wealth can I accumulate?

Peter describes this as ‘lying to the Holy Spirit’. Lying means to ‘willfully misrepresent’ and is used in Acts only in this verse and the next. Looking at this cognitively, a concept of the Holy Spirit is related to the Form of the Good. And the Platonic forms that make up a Form of the Good are all internal images of idealized perfection that exceed anything within reality. Lying to the Holy Spirit would mean taking some physical item and treating it as superior to the Platonic form of that physical item. For instance, this might mean treating my house or my church as superior to the Platonic form of the ideal house or the ideal church. Keeping apart or away from will lead to this form of lying, because these separate items are being viewed as superior to items that are expressions of Platonic perfection. More generally, an economy of gadgets is being viewed as superior to the spiritual economy of Jesus. A new spiritual economy has just emerged which is bringing the salvation of Jesus to people in a more complete manner. This salvation was a response to the extended personal need of the people and their desperate cry for help. But now that prosperity has been achieved, some people want to return to a less demanding economy of things and they think that exhibiting wealth to other people is better than being mentally and physically whole. That is a deep lie to the Holy Spirit, because being is more fundamental than having. This principle is mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25 which asks, “Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

Verse 3 finishes, “and to keep back some of the price of the land?” Keep back is the same word that was used in verse 2, which means ‘to abandon, to set apart’. The word land in this verse refers to ‘a confined piece of ground’. This is the same as the word used in 4:34 and is different than the word that was used in verse 2. The implication is that Ananias may have thought in terms of specific things but his act actually had a larger impact involving some region defined by Perceiver thought. Ananias is not just making a personal separation involving things and the conspicuous display of wealth; he is also detaching a piece of the spiritual economy and treating it as part of a normal economy.

Verse 4 explains the flawed thinking of Ananias. “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own?” Remain means ‘to stay, abide, remain’. This word is used for the first time in Acts and it appears twice in this verse. The first sentence is more literally ‘not remaining to you did it remain?’ And the BLB (Berean Literal Bible) translates it as ‘Remaining, did not remain yours?’ Looking at this cognitively, Ananias thought that he could detach an aspect of the spiritual economy and treat it objectively as part of a normal economy. But he did not realize that the objects still had a personal connection to him as the owner of these objects; the goal of a display of wealth is not to display the wealth but rather to use this wealth to improve personal status.

Verse 4 continues, “And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” Sell means ‘to export for sale’ which implies a transition from the material to the spiritual. Control means ‘power to act, authority’. This word was used once previously in Acts in 1:7 to describe God fixing the times by his own authority. Was means ‘to already have’. The idea is that the spiritual economy does not negate personal responsibility or authority. This is not a communism that eliminates the individual but rather a subjective extension of capitalism that adds personal responsibility and authority to ownership. When Ananias acquired spiritual wealth he still had authority over this wealth. Notice that authority is different than identity. In 3:12, Peter had to correct the misconception that he and John had cured the lame man by their own power or godliness. However, the spiritual economy does appear to lead to power over which one is given authority.

Verse 4 then asks the question. “Why is it that you have placed this deed in your heart?” Place means ‘to place, lay, set’. This same verb was used in 4:37 and 5:2 when placing at the apostle’s feet. This placing is happening ‘in the realm of your heart’ and heart refers to personal identity. Therefore, when Ananias decided to treat spiritual wealth in an objective manner, he was actually making a subjective decision. Deed comes from a verb that means ‘accomplishing by regular practice’. This goes beyond a single action to a practice or habit. Server thought creates stability for Teacher theories. Righteousness allows the TMN of a concept of God to guide Server actions. Going the other way, repeating a set of Server actions will impose a structure upon the TMN of a concept of God.

Verse 4 finishes by pointing out this larger impact. “You have not lied to men, but to God.” Men is the generic word for mankind. Lie means to ‘willfully misrepresent’. Verse 3 said that Ananias lied against the Holy Spirit. This happened by elevating the imperfect real world above the perfect realm of Platonic forms. Verse 4 says that he lied against God. This happens when Server thought develops habits that are inconsistent with a monotheistic concept of God in Teacher thought. When one behaves in one manner in a spiritual context and in different manner when dealing with objects and personal status, then one is effectively creating two inconsistent concepts of God in Teacher thought. A similar dichotomy arises for the Christian who believes that miracles violate natural law. This leads to two incompatible concepts of God in Teacher thought: one God created the Teacher order of the physical universe while the other God violates this order by doing miracles. In essence, God proves that he is God by rebelling from God. That actually describes a satanic adversarial mindset, which is related to verse 3, which talked about ‘Satan filling your heart’.

Verse 5 describes the impact upon Ananias. “And as he heard these words, Ananias collapsed and expired.” Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Word is logos, which is interpreted as a paradigm of technical thought. Thus, this is not a case of pronouncing some verbal judgment to Ananias, but rather of using comprehension to build abstract technical thought. Collapse means ‘to fall’ and this word was last used in 1:26 to describe the lot falling to Matthias. The idea is that the system collapses; it loses stability; it can no longer stand. In chapter 1 it became obvious that a Pentecostalism that focuses upon personal prosperity is unstable and will collapse. Expire means ‘to expire, breathe one’s last’. This word is used three times in the New Testament, all in Acts. Air represents Teacher thought. And Ananias means ‘Yah has been gracious’. In other words, any personal access to Teacher thought is being lost, which means no more access to the supernatural in this area. The previous verses talked about new general laws being enabled. These new general laws can also be lost by treating them in an objective manner.

The result is a new respect for the system. “And great fear came over all who heard about it” (v. 5). Fear means ‘to flee, withdraw’. This fear is described as great, which is interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. Thus, people are being driven emotionally to avoid making this mistake in Teacher thought. They are gaining a meta-expertise about how a spiritual economy functions. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Thus, this fear is happening to those who are dealing with the spiritual economy at the level of abstract technical thought. The average consumer of spiritual technology is not affected by Ananias. The average consumer will become affected when Sapphira dies.

Verse 6 describes recovering from this theoretical error. “The young [men] got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.” The Greek begins with the word got up, which means ‘to raise up, to rise’. Direction upward is interpreted as heading towards Teacher generality. Men is not mentioned. Instead, young means ‘new on the scene’ or ‘new in time’. The idea is that the existing corrupted spiritual economy cannot be corrected. Instead, a new spiritual economy has to develop Teacher generality. This is similar to Thomas Kuhn’s statement that a new paradigm is usually discovered by people who are either young or else new to a field, and an old paradigm typically dies off as its proponents die physically. The cognitive point is that a paradigm that is backed up by a methodology in Server thought is stable. It cannot be reformed from within but has to be replaced. This reinforces the idea that an objective economy is not really objective but rather describes a specific way of handling the subjective and being motivated by the subjective. Even if it begins as being objective, continuing to behave in this objective manner will lead to the formation of a TMN, bringing back an emotional component.

Cover up is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘together’ with ‘to arrange, prepare, gather up’. This is conveyed by the English phrase ‘wrapping things up’. Thus, the next generation with its new paradigm does not just ignore the old paradigm but rather uses the new paradigm to explain the old paradigm. Carry out adds the prefix ‘from out of’ to the verb ‘bear’ that has been used previously. Thus, the misguided spiritual economy cannot just be theoretically explained away. Instead, a personal commitment is required. That is because any purely theoretical explanation continues the underlying flaw, which is to treat the spiritual economy in an objective manner. The final stage is to bury. Burial takes a corpse and places it within the ground. Cognitively speaking, this takes some previously living set of mental networks and places them within some location within rational thought.

Sapphira 5:7-11

Verse 7 describes the next stage. “Now an interval of about three hours elapsed, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.” Interval is used once as a noun in the New Testament and is the noun form of a verb that means ‘to set apart, to intervene, make an interval’. I am not sure what three hours represent, but if a day represents an era guided by some worldview, then three hours would represent a maturing of this era. Wife is a generic term that means woman or wife. Know means ‘to see with physical eyes’ and describes ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. This is interpreted as empirical evidence. Come in means ‘to go in, enter’. It was previously used in 3:8 to describe the healed man entering the temple. In verse 7 the woman is entering the realm of the apostles. A woman represents the realm of female thought with its mental networks. When there is a major cultural shift, then mental networks experience a delayed reaction. This can be seen in culture shock. Visiting a new culture is initially exciting, but it eventually becomes emotionally unpleasant as cultural MMNs continue to be challenged by strange experiences. The implication is that the incomplete spiritual economy will continue to function for a while at the level of mental networks. But eventually the corruption will disrupt the spiritual economy causing those who are functioning within these mental networks to seek a fresh injection of power. A similar transition occurs in the typical Pentecostal movement, because the spiritual empowering will function for a little while within an atmosphere of spiritual corruption before fading away and requiring a fresh injection of spiritual power. This initial fading of spiritual power will happen internally and there will be no empirical evidence that anything has changed. Everything will look the same.

In verse 8, Peter asks a question. “And Peter responded to her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for this price?’” Responded means ‘to answer’. In other words, Perceiver thought will attempt to evaluate this situation factually. This price means ‘so great, so much’ and ‘price’ is not mentioned in the Greek. What typically happens in a fading Pentecostal movement is that Mercy emotions are used to inflate words and actions to give the appearance of Teacher generality. For instance, I can receive twenty TV channels over the air where I live. One of the TV channels is the Jimmy Swaggart channel. Almost never does Jimmy Swaggart speak in a normal voice. Instead, he always talks in a super-spiritual manner that gives the impression that his words have great emotional and spiritual weight. As a Perceiver person I listen to this voice and I ask, ‘Do your words actually have so much emotional weight? Is there really such a great generality to your words?’ One could ask something similar about the singing on that channel, which is performed in a professional manner but is also done with great devotion and fervor. Today’s Pentecostalism can continue to function in this manner because it is expected to promise much and deliver little. In contrast, this would be a fatal flaw within a future spiritual economy that actually delivered what it promised.

Land means ‘a confined piece of ground’. This goes beyond objective possessions to deal with some limited field of knowledge. For instance, Jimmy Swaggart does not just own physical property but also claims to have spiritual expertise in some limited field of knowledge. Sold means ‘to give up, give back’. It was used once previously in Acts in 4:33 to describe the apostles giving back great power. This is consistent with the idea of a culture of spiritual technology having to occasionally recharge itself from the apostles. Some person functioning within the spiritual economy returns something to the apostles who have achieved breakthroughs in order to receive more spiritual power. Perceiver thought is asking if this giving back has the Teacher generality that it claims to possess. This would be like Perceiver thought asking Jimmy Swaggart if his super-spiritual sounding prayers for spiritual power actually reflected an understanding of the character of God in Teacher thought.

This is an appropriate question to ask in the case of Jimmy Swaggart because Wikipedia relates that “Sexual scandals with prostitutes in the late 1980s and early 1990s led the Assemblies of God to defrock him. As a result of the scandals, Swaggart temporarily stepped down as the head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.” Wikipedia adds that, “Believing that Swaggart was not genuinely repentant in submitting to their authority, the hierarchy of the Assemblies of God defrocked him, removing his credentials and ministerial license. Swaggart then became an independent, non-denominational, Pentecostal minister, establishing Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.”

Verse 8 continues, “And she said, “Yes, for so much.’” Yes means ‘yes, certainly, even so’. She then repeats the word ‘so great, so much’. In other words, when asked about the facts by Perceiver thought, the emotional inflation is asserted to be factual and genuine. For instance, Jimmy Swaggart and his congregation have probably convinced themselves that their great emotional fervor actually expresses a close relationship with God.

Verse 9 describes the response of Perceiver thought. “Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test?” Agreed together combines ‘together with’ and ‘sound, voice’ and is the source of the English word ‘symphony’. ‘Sound, voice’ suggest that intelligent understanding is not necessarily present. There are words and sounds but not necessarily meaning. Again, Jimmy Swaggart provides a good example, because there is a lot of group and choir singing as well as many emotional words by Swaggart and his fellow pastors. And these various voices are all coming together in a professional manner to produce the symphony of a harmonious message. This goes beyond using Mercy emotions to inflate Teacher words to creating Teacher order by conveying a common message in a harmonious manner.

In today’s technological world, it is (usually) obvious that people cannot override the laws of nature by agreeing to do so as a group. However, in a spiritual economy people could partially override the laws of nature by functioning harmoniously as a group. But my understanding of a spiritual economy is that one could not merely take some random spiritual pronouncement and declare it to be universal. Instead, this universality would need to have some basis in either the laws of nature or the functioning of the mind. It would have to be an extension or reassembling of existing Teacher universality. And this Teacher universality would have to be combined with personal purity within Mercy thought, because personal purity amplifies existing properties. This already functions to some extent in normal technology, because modern gadgets perform their wonders by emphasizing physical properties that already exist within nature, and the first stage in making gadgets usually involves purifying substances in order to emphasize desired physical properties. For instance, the process of building integrated circuits begins with the growing of a large single crystal of ultra-pure silicon known as a boule.

There are two words for test in the New Testament. One has the positive meaning of testing for purity while the other has the negative meaning of tempting. The word used here means ‘to tempt’. Temptation can have positive benefits if one survives temptation without succumbing to it. But the goal of temptation is to cause a person to fail, while the goal of testing is for a person to succeed. In other words, the purpose of Sapphira is to bring the spiritual economy down to a lower level that requires less personal purity and commitment.

‘Spirit of the Lord’ is a new term that has not seen yet in Acts. The end of chapter 4 described a more vigorous spiritual economy based upon the lordship of the creator of both human and angelic existence. Spirit of the Lord would refer to Platonic forms based in this concept of lordship. A Platonic form is an ideal that is more perfect, more pure, and more simple than anything in reality. For instance, a large single crystal ultra-pure silicon is more perfect, more pure, and more simple than anything that exists naturally in reality. As Wikipedia relates, “perfect single crystals of meaningful size are exceedingly rare in nature.” Fabricating integrated circuits requires recognizing the lordship of such inhuman purity, because the level of purity required in a fabrication plant is almost incomprehensible and building such a facility currently costs around $3 billion. Similar purity and simplicity would be required at a personal level to drive a spiritual economy.

Verse 9 describes the result. “Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” The feet are used to support the weight of the body and represent the foundation for personal identity. It was suggested earlier that digesting the corrupt spiritual economy will require a personal commitment. This personal commitment is implied by the phrase ‘the feet of those who buried your husband’. This personal commitment makes it possible to deal with the mental networks of a corrupt spiritual economy.

But this personal commitment is accompanied by factual thought. Husband means ‘man, husband’ and would refer to the male technical thought that accompanies this corrupt spiritual culture. Burying means taking the corpse of some living movement and putting it into its place within rational thought. This combination of personal commitment and intellectual analysis makes it possible to deal with the corrupt spiritual networks.

These people are described as ‘at the door’, and door was used once previously in 3:2 to describe the gate of the temple where the lame man was placed. A door suggests some transition. Thus, analyzing the corrupt movement is not enough. Instead, one has to apply this analysis to the corrupt movement and this means going through some door. Verse 9 predicts that the woman will be carried out, using the same word that was used in verse 6 to carry out the husband. This suggests that the corrupt movement will not dissolve on its own but rather has to be carried out through some process that involves personal commitment. When this analysis begins, it will still appear as if the corrupt spiritual movement is alive and functioning.

Verse 10 says that the collapse of the movement happens as soon as the analysis starts. “And immediately she collapsed at his feet and expired.” Collapse is the same word that was used back in verse 5. Immediately means ‘instantly, immediately, on the spot’ and was previously used in 3:7 to describe the lame man immediately standing up. In both cases, the conditions have already been met making it possible to instantly receive the results. For the lame man, religious self-denial already met the conditions for a spiritual economy but had to be inserted within a spiritual economy. Similarly, the corrupt movement already meets the conditions for collapse but has to be inserted within an understanding in order to actually fall apart. Applying this to the current situation, as long as no better alternative exists, spiritual movements such as Jimmy Swaggart can continue to exist. Thus, the continued existence of inadequate Pentecostal movements such as Jimmy Swaggart (and there are Pentecostal movements that are far more corrupt than Swaggart) should actually be viewed as an indictment against the Pentecostal movement in general, because if a more genuine alternative existed, then these inadequate movements would immediately collapse.

‘At his feet’ would refer to the feet of Peter, representing Perceiver thought. Thus, the collapse of a corrupt spiritual economy becomes a set of meaningful facts for Perceiver thought. For instance, I have learned many cognitive principles by observing the self-destruction of people and movements. Expired is the same word that was used in verse 5 and indicates that personal identity permanently loses access to the air of Teacher thought. Stated simply, the corrupt spiritual economy returns to the level of Pentecostalism with its strong words and weak results.

The young men then arrive on the scene. “And the young men came in and found her dead.” Came in is the same verb that was used in verse 7 to describe the woman coming in. The word young men in this verse explicitly means ‘young men’ and not just ‘new’. And dead is the normal word for ‘dead’. Find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. It was used once previously in Acts in 4:21 to describe religious leaders finding no way to cripple the new spiritual movement. Putting this together, it appears that male technical thought is attempting to use some aspect of this corrupt culture to acquire spiritual power and is discovering that it is lifeless. Similarly, it is possible that some Pentecostal movements start with real spiritual power, but the end inevitably seems to be hype without content. This emptiness will usually be discovered by outsiders who are looking for actual content.

Verse 10 concludes. “And they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.” ‘Carried out’ and ‘buried’ are the same words used in verse 6. ‘By her husband’ indicates a recognition that these two flawed forms of thinking go together. Looking at Ananias the husband, attempting to treat the spiritual economy in an objective manner will lead to adversarial thinking in Mercy thought backed up by flawed practice in Server thought. This adversarial thinking will often express itself in a focus upon condemning evil or casting out evil. Attacking Satan in an adversarial manner is by definition satanic, because Satan means ‘adversary’. Thus, any direct attack upon Satan will be self-defeating. Turning now to Sapphira the wife, this will express itself in a culture of temporary spiritual power that falls dead when exposed to rational analysis.

The resulting fear in verse 11 is greater than the fear of verse 5. “And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard about these things.” ‘Great fear’ was mentioned back in verse 5 which was interpreted as fear involving Teacher generality. However, in this case the great fear is coming over the whole church. This is the first mention of church in Acts, which means ‘people called out from the world’. And whole means ‘where all the parts are present and working as a whole’. Until now, the followers of the new spiritual economy have experience disapproval and shunning but they have only experienced success from the spiritual realm. This is the first time that the participants of the new spiritual economy have experienced fatal consequences.

When my group experiences success from God and other groups experience judgment from God, then it is natural to conclude that my group is holy while other groups are evil. This leads implicitly to the satanic type of thinking described earlier in the chapter, as well as the emotional inflation of confusing MMNs of my spiritual culture with a TMN of God. Those who are called out learn in this episode that the new spiritual economy is based in universal laws in Teacher thought that apply equally to everyone. Going further, when one is responding to suppression from others by pursuing real benefits, it is easy to respond to others by exhibiting these real benefits in a public manner, leading to public exhibitions of wealth. Thus, Ananias and Sapphira are not so much deviations from the path as inevitable consequences of following this path. I suspect that the young men who are carrying out and burying the corrupted movements will be coming to similar conclusions.

In verse 5, great fear came ‘upon all those hearing’. This same phrase is repeated in verse 11 with the addition of the word ‘this’. This suggests that the collapse of the movement is providing a concrete example for the previous technical analysis.

A Spreading Spiritual Economy 5:12-16

Verse 12 describes a functioning spiritual economy. “At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all together in Solomon’s portico.” Hands represent the use of technical thought. Hands have been mentioned several times in Acts, but this is the first reference to the hands of the apostles. This suggests that the new spiritual economy has reached a level of technical expertise that it did not previously possess. A sign is ‘a sign, typically miraculous’ while a wonder is a ‘miraculous wonder’. It has been suggested before that there is a cognitive reason for combining these two. A sign provides stability while a wonder performs something unexpected. Movement forward requires a combination of consolidation and exploration.

Many means ‘much in number’, and this is happening ‘in the realm of the laity’. This is quite different than a normal priesthood which performs its rituals in special ways and places that are separate from the laity. Acts 2:43 also spoke of ‘many wonders and signs coming into being through the apostles’. These same Greek words appear in verse 12 with the addition of ‘the hands’ and ‘among the people’. Thus, the spiritual economy has become more technical and also more widespread.

All together means ‘with the same passion’. In 2:46 they were altogether in the temple complex. In verse 12 they are altogether in Solomon’s portico. This location was mentioned in 3:11 as the place where everyone ran together after the healing of the lame man. This suggests that what used to be regarded as religious self-denial is now a central aspect of the spiritual economy. This makes sense because the incident with Ananias and Sapphira has shown the danger of abandoning a mindset of humility. Solomon means ‘to be complete or sound’. The word portico literally means ‘a pillar’ and was usually a roof held up by pillars. Cognitively speaking, gathering together in Solomon’s portico would mean finding stability and covering in wholeness. For instance, mental symmetry defines moral goodness as whatever causes all seven cognitive modules function together in a whole manner and the goal of mental symmetry is to achieve mental and spiritual wholeness.

Verse 13 describes this group as a new priesthood. “But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.” Rest means ‘the rest, the remaining’. Dare means ‘to show daring courage necessary for a valid risk’. Associate with means ‘glued together’. Thus, the spiritual economy is being regarded by the average person as a high risk environment, implying that the spiritual economy is no longer being tainted by the normal economy. High esteem means ‘to make or declare great’ and comes from the word that was interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. This esteem is coming from the laity. Using an analogy, this is like a group of spectators watching professionals work on high-voltage power lines. The spectators recognize that the workers are dealing with potentially lethal voltages. They respect the expertise but do not want to get zapped.

Notice that this is a different kind of holiness than before. A normal priesthood separates between sacred Mercy experiences and secular Mercy experiences. The priesthood of verse 13 is separating between human Mercy experiences and superhuman Teacher generality.

Verse 14 adds that there are converts. “And increasingly believers in the Lord, large numbers of men and women, were being added to their number.” Increasingly means ‘rather, more than’. Added means to ‘put together for a purpose’. The same word was used in 2:47 to describe those being added during that period. In 2:47 the Lord was doing the putting together for a purpose, implying that divine providence was playing a role in choosing the necessary people. And the reference was to being saved, suggesting a focus upon improving concrete experiences. In verse 14, the believing are being added in the realm of the Lord. And believe means to ‘be persuaded’. This suggests that people are being convinced by rational thought to join and that they are naturally coming together for a purpose. This is consistent with the hands of the apostles functioning at a more technical level.

Large numbers means ‘a great number’. This word was used previously in the singular in Acts but this is the first time that it is in the plural. One of the side effects of using technical thought is specialization. In great numbers in the plural suggests that people are starting to organize into different groups that specialize. Men and women are both explicitly mentioned, indicating that this growing society includes both technical thought and mental networks. In the previous section, both male and female thought exhibited fatal flaws. In this section, both male and female thought are functioning effectively.

Verse 15 describes an extreme level of effectiveness. “To such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets.” To such an extent means ‘so that, therefore’. A street is ‘a wide road, street’ and this is the only occurrence of this word in Acts. A road is a path for Server thought. Laid means ‘to place, lay, set’. The same word was used to describe laying the price at the apostles’ feet. Carry out means ‘to carry out’ and the same word was used previously for carrying out the bodies of Ananias and Sapphira. Sick means ‘without strength, weak’. The cognitive principle is that general Teacher laws are based in Server sequences. This relates to the principle of righteousness. A wide road represents a general Server sequence because many people are traveling along the same road. Weakness implies a lack of Server strength.

A cot is ‘a small couch’ and is used once in Acts. A pallet is ‘a small bed used by the poor’. Humans do not live in Server sequences. Therefore, some sort of translation has to happen from Server sequences to Perceiver places. This happens when the people are laid ‘into the streets’. Contributor thought combines Perceiver facts with Server sequences and Contributor thought controls technical thinking. Thus, laying on the street becomes possible as a result of technical thought. The couches and beds suggest that this translation is focusing on the subjective and that the focus remains upon the Server sequences. For instance, I took my mother to dialysis for several years. Dialysis performs the Server sequence of cleansing the blood. The person receiving dialysis is directed to a certain bed or chair where a machine exists that translates the Server sequence of cleansing the blood into the human world of objects. A dialysis station is not meant to be lived in but rather provides a place for receiving the sequence of dialysis.

Verse 15 continues, “so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any of them.” Come by simply means ‘to come, go’. Peter represents Perceiver thought. At least means ‘and if’. Shadow means ‘shadow’. It is used once in Acts and refers either to ‘shade caused by the interception of the light’ or ‘an image cast by an object and representing the form of the object’. Perceiver thought forms connections. A Perceiver connection that is repeated many times leads to a general Teacher theory. For instance, mental symmetry is a general Teacher theory because it describes similar connections that occur in many different fields. But Perceiver thought also thinks in terms of objects. Therefore, when Perceiver thought thinks about the light of some general Teacher theory, then this implicitly creates the form of some object. This is the cognitive mechanism that is responsible for creating Platonic forms.

Fall is related to the word shadow and means ‘to cast a shadow on’. It is used once in Acts. Cognitively speaking, the hope is that Perceiver thought will find some similarity or connection between the Platonic form and the specific situation of the weak person. This describes the methodology used by mental symmetry. The theory itself is based in the ‘streets’ of how the mind functions. Whenever I analyze some system or book, then I use Perceiver thought to look for similarities between the shadow of the theory and the shape of the specific situation. If such a similarity is discovered, then technical thought can be used to examine the similarity in greater detail. Even if verse 15 is describing actual historical behavior, one can still conclude that this behavior functioned because of a Perceiver similarity between laying people in the streets physically and doing so cognitively.

Verse 16 describes a wider impact. “The multitude from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together as well.” Coming together means ‘to come together’ and was previously used in 2:6 to describe the crowd coming together on the day of Pentecost. This suggests growing Teacher order-within-complexity because Teacher thought feels good when many items come together in a simple manner. Multitude means ‘a great number’. Vicinity means ‘all around’ and is used once as an adverb in the New Testament. A city is a center of civilization and was previously used in 4:27 in the singular to describe those gathered against Jesus. This means that the new spiritual economy is affecting other aspects of civilization which are becoming organized around the Teacher understanding of the spiritual economy.

Verse 16 describes this unifying effect. “Bringing people who were sick and tormented with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.” Bringing means ‘to bear’ and was used to describe bringing the proceeds to the apostles. Sick means ‘without strength, weak’. Tormented is found once in the New Testament and means ‘to push with mob-like force’. This describes being carried along uncontrollably with the crowd. Bringing implies some sort of transition from physical to spiritual. The cognitive principle is that one cannot bring spiritual power to a person who is self-sufficient. Instead, it is the weak person who receives supernatural strength. Paul describes this principle in 2 Corinthians 12:9 where he says that ‘power is perfected in weakness’. Similarly, someone who lacks self-will is capable of receiving supernatural wholeness. Notice that these people are not coming themselves but rather are being brought by others.

A similar principle functions today with Christianity, because many become Christians after reaching a point of total helplessness. The general principle again is that one can only save those who recognize that they are in need of salvation. The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God have been mentioned several times in Acts, but this is the first reference to an unclean spirit. Unclean means ‘not pure because mixed’. Mental wholeness is pure because all the parts of the mind are pointing in the same direction and heading towards the same goal. The reference to unclean spirits is actually a major step forward because the secular realm is recognizing that behavior is driven by unseen spirits. This goes beyond the previous mindset of materialism. And secular people are recognizing that their spirits are impure. Heal is the source of the English word ‘therapy’ and implies natural healing. This again indicates a step forward because spiritual healing is now being regarded as something natural.

This extension of the material to the spiritual provides a possible explanation for the opposition that happens in the next section. The existing priesthood abrogated their role by embracing materialism. But society as a whole has now moved beyond materialism to include the spiritual. This brings the old priesthood into competition with the new priesthood.

Jealousy from the Previous Priesthood 5:17-20

Verse 17 sets the scene. “But the high priest stood up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.” Stood up means ‘to raise up, to rise’ and is the verb form of ‘resurrection’. The Greek begins with the word ‘having risen up’, implying the resurrection of the traditional priesthood. In 4:6 the high priest was present along with all those of high priestly descent. In verse 17, the high priest rises up and all those with him. This suggests a new concept of priesthood that is not based primarily in Mercy feelings of following some important source in Mercy thought but involves rather a combining together in Teacher thought. The word along with means ‘with, together with’ and was previously used in 5:1 to describe Ananias working together with Sapphira.

However, this priestly cooperation is limited to the sect of the Sadducees. Sect means ‘a strong, distinctive opinion’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. A Sadducee was ‘a member of the aristocratic party among the Jews, from whom the high priests were almost invariably chosen’. Acts 23:8 points out that the Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection, angels, or spirits. Thus, the Sadducees represent the aspect of the traditional priesthood that views religion as a means of maintaining social order and personal status. For this group, religion has always been a tool for power. Such a group would find it easy to embrace a spiritual economy that spread into the secular world, because it matches how this group already treats religion.

Filled up ‘implies filled to one’s individual capacity’. Jealousy literally means ‘hot enough to boil’ and is also translated in a positive sense as ‘zeal’. This is a different attitude than 4:2, which described the Sadducees as greatly disturbed, which combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘to labor, toil’. Ironically, the priestly group that does not believe in the resurrection has experienced a resurrection. In 4:2 the religious leaders were attempting to control the new spiritual economy. In verse 17 this same group is becoming filled with zeal/jealousy, implying that they have gained access themselves to spiritual power.

In 4:3 “they laid hands on them and put them in prison until the next day, for it was already evening.” In verse 18 “they laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public prison.” In both cases the same two Greek words ‘laid’ and ‘hands’ are used, and hands represent the application of technical thought. The apostles were previously mentioned in verse 12, which referred to the hands of the apostles. It was pointed out that this application of technical thought was something new for the apostles. In contrast, the traditional priesthood has great expertise and skill in applying technical thought. Thus, by acquiring technical expertise, the apostles have entered the realm of traditional organized religion. The same word prison is used in both cases, which means ‘a watching, hence imprisonment, a keeping’. However, in verse 18 this is described as a public prison. The imprisoning of 4:3 was interpreted as the official religious leadership attempting to gain control over the new charismatic movement. Verse 18 suggests a similar attempt to gain control, but ‘public’ implies that this is happening in a more open, secular, and institutional manner than before. And the focus is upon the apostles, who have been acting as sources of spiritual power. In other words, the traditional priesthood wants to control this new power and have access to it. In 4:3, this institutional control happened at the end of the day when the current movement was fading. Verse 18 implies that this attempt to control spiritual power leads to the end of the day, because verse 19 refers to the night, while verse 21 refers to early morning.

Verse 19 describes a new kind of response. “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and leading them out, he said...” This is the first reference to an angel in Acts. The word angel means ‘angel, messenger’. This is an ‘angel of the Lord’ and the previous section has been focusing upon the lordship of the creator God. The general principle appears to be that one has to go through the spiritual realm in order to move between the natural and the supernatural. We have been talking about a spiritual economy, and this economy just started functioning at a technical level. The Sadducees are assuming that one can treat this spiritual power in a technical manner free from any outside interference. But when one reaches this level, then one discovers that it is occupied by angelic powers. The Sadducees thought that they could control the apostles now that the apostles were functioning within the realm of the Sadducees. But the Sadducees are about to discover that they themselves have been resurrected and are now functioning within the realm of the angelic.

During mean ‘through, throughout, by the instrumentality of’. This is the first use of night in Acts. Night indicates the absence of a sun of a general understanding. A night would result if traditional religion attempted to take control of spiritual power and encountered actual angelic beings. This night would also give angels freedom to function. That is because angels appear to live as messengers within the heaven of abstract thought. By openly embracing the spiritual, existing religious leaders have opened themselves up to the angelic realm. But the absence of a sun suggests that existing religion is in over its head. Angels live within the realm of the light of God. Approaching such a realm with no light of understanding would be a case of boldly going where angels fear to tread and would lead to almost certain disaster. Saying this another way, organized religion talks about angels and spiritual power but it assumes that such angels and spiritual power will only be experienced in small, controllable ways.

Open simply means ‘to open’ and door is the normal word for door and not gate. The word prison is different than the word used in verse 18 and means ‘a guarding, guard’. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it will be used two more times in this chapter. The previous word referred to ‘a keeping’ which implies the impersonal use of walls. A guarding is more personal, implying that the spiritual interaction has become more personal and now involves supernatural beings. The general principle is that angelic rule in abstract thought cannot be applied to only one group and not another. If the door to the supernatural opens for the religious leadership then it will also open for those who are being imprisoned by this leadership. Lead out means ‘to lead out’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This verb implies a process, and it appears that the supernatural realm deals with processes. This principle was seen earlier when mentioning that directly attacking Satan is, by definition, satanic, because the supernatural realm deals with processes and not just groups.

The angel then gives instructions. “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple area all the words of this Life” (v. 20). Go means ‘to transport’ and is being interpreted as movement that is accompanied by transformation. Stand means ‘to make to stand, to stand’. Thus, the apostles need to rethink their methodology in the light of this new encounter with supernatural beings and gain the mental confidence that is required to stand in this new relationship. Speak in classical Greek describes chattering, which is being interpreted as normal conversation. The apostles are told to speak in the realm of the temple complex to the laity. The Sadducees have realized that spiritual power can be accessed with a secular mindset that merely acts religious. The apostles are now taking advantage of this new integration between the secular and spiritual.

Word is not logos, which refers to the paradigms of technical thought, but rather refers to the ‘spoken word’. It was used once previously in Acts in 2:14 when Peter began to talk during the Day of Pentecost. Life refers to both natural and spiritual life, and verse 20 refers specifically to the words of this life. ‘This’ also indicates a new personalization of the spiritual economy. The religious leaders are opening the door to the supernatural and are encountering angelic beings. These angelic beings are revealing through the apostles to the laity what it means to live as a normal being within the realm of messages.

Verse 21 indicates that this is a major transformation because it refers to daybreak. “Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple area about daybreak and began to teach.” Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’ and ‘this’ is not in the original Greek. Thus, the apostles have to rationally comprehend this new interaction with angelic beings; they have to rationally understand what it means to deal with living messages. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Daybreak means ‘daybreak, dawn’ and is used once in Acts. And temple refers to the temple complex. Teach means to ‘cause to learn’. Putting this together, a new era is beginning based upon a rational understanding of the interaction between humans and angels and this understanding is being taught in a religious context. On the one hand, the Sadducees have been attempting to use spiritual power as a means of continuing their normal control. On the other hand, the apostles are using this same spiritual power to bring a new understanding of life to the laity.

Repeating this principle one more time, an angelic door cannot be opened for only one human group. Instead, opening such a door for one group of humans will also open it for all human groups. However, suppose that one acquires the mental maturity that is needed to handle some supernatural power. Opening this angelic door will then implicitly judge any group that lacks the mental maturity that is needed to handle that supernatural power. Saying this another way, God rewards people by blessing them with blessing that they are capable of handling. God judges people by blessing them with these same blessings, knowing that they are incapable of handling these blessings.

An Inter-Religious Conference 5:21-26

The story then turns to the high priest. “Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, that is, all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison for them to be brought” (v. 21). Come means to ‘come on the scene’. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it is used two more times in chapter 5. The impression is that ‘the high priest and those with him’ are trying to keep up with what the apostles are doing. Verse 17 used this same phrase but added the word ‘all’, suggesting that in verse 21 only some of the group is managing to keep up. Called together means ‘to call together’ and this is the first use of this verb in Acts. Calling together indicates that people are being brought together to create Teacher order-within-complexity. Thus, this resurrected priesthood has an understanding of how heavenly Teacher thought functions. Council refers to the Sanhedrin, which was the highest Jewish court. The Sanhedrin was mentioned once previously in Acts in 4:15. Thus, this resurrected priesthood is functioning at the highest level of authority.

The NASB says ‘that is’, suggesting that the Senate is an alternative term for the Sanhedrin, but the Greek uses the word ‘and’. Senate is used once in the New Testament and comes from the word ‘old man’. These old men are ‘of the sons of Israel’. Israel refers to the group through which God interacts with the world. ‘Sons of Israel’ would represent all the male technical thought of this group, and ‘all the old men of the sons of Israel’ would represent all the experienced technical experts in the technical thinking of organized religion. This would include all the head theologians. This would be like Vatican II but even bigger. Vatican II attempted to redefine Catholicism in the light of modern society. This counsel would be redefining organized religion in the light of supernatural intervention. In simple terms, aliens have landed and organized religion is trying to redefine itself. (The appearance of supernatural beings would be a version of alien disclosure.)

This uber-counsel then retrieves the prisoners. The word sent orders is the verb form of the word ‘apostle’ and was previously used in 3:20 and 3:26 by Peter to describe God sending Jesus. Thus, the religious council is attempting to function at an apostolic level, the way that the apostles were functioning earlier in the chapter. The word prison means a place of bondage. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it is repeated in verse 23. Bring is the normal word for ‘lead, bring, carry’ and has been interpreted as the personal type of exchange that is required by a spiritual economy. The implication is that increasing strong measures have to be taken to control this extended spiritual economy.

But the apostles are not there because the angels have been setting the religious agenda without informing the established religious leaders. The great human religious counsel that was assembled to deal with alien disclosure is being ignored by aliens. (My general hypothesis is that angels and aliens come from the same supernatural realm. I have also come to the conclusion that the supernatural visitors will include a combination of angels and aliens both guided by an intelligent concept of God. This angelic transition from ‘angels versus aliens’ to ‘angels and reformed aliens’ started back in 3:21.)

Verse 22 explains, “But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported.” Come is the same word ‘come on the scene’ that was used in verse 21. Officer means literally an ‘under-rower’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. A boat represents some organization that moves across the sea of Mercy experiences. The gathering together of religious leaders could be represented as a very large boat moving across the sea of human experiences. The under-rowers are the technicians who use Server actions to apply the Teacher theories of the leaders to the Mercy experiences of normal life. Find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. And prison means ‘a guarding’ and was first used in verse 19 to describe the angels opening the doors of the prison.

Looking at this cognitively, the high priesthood is assuming a human context, as illustrated by human experts gathering together and a ship traveling across the sea of human experiences. However, angels do not live in physical reality. Angels are now visiting human reality but it is still not their home. Stated simply, angels can move in a way that would appear to humans to be teleportation. It is possible to guard a human who is trapped within a physical body but it is not possible to limit an angel who naturally transcends physical reality. (This principle can also be seen when demanding physical evidence of alien encounters. Aliens may visit physical reality but they do not live within physical reality.) I do not know if this passage describes literal teleportation or merely the use of angelic Server sequences that transcends human reality. Cognitively speaking, one is just a more extreme example of the other.

Returned means ‘to overturn, turn back’ and this is the first time that this word is used in Acts. The implication is that traveling to and from the prison is no longer a simple journey involving purely human existence. Report means ‘to report, announce’. This word was used once previously in Acts to describe Peter and John reporting what the chief priests and elders had said.

Verse 23 describes the message of the guards. “We found the prison locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” The word prison is the stronger word ‘place of bondage’ that was used in verse 21. Find means ‘discover, especially after searching’. Locked simply means ‘shut’. Securely is used once in Acts and combines ‘not’ with ‘totter’. In other words, the angelic intervention has not overturned any human stability or human doors. Instead, it has merely bypassed them. This has happened numerous times in Acts with human authorities placing restrictions on believers and the believers responding by discovering a way of escape that bypasses the human restrictions.

Going further, guard means ‘keep watch over, keep secure’ and is related to the word ‘a guarding’ used to describe a prison. The guards are standing before the doors, assuming that a person can only cross a wall by going through a door. But quantum mechanics says that elementary particles can teleport across walls through a form of quantum tunneling. Something similar is happening here because human guards are enforcing various restrictions which angelic beings are simply bypassing. The guards open the doors and discover nothing inside. Looking at this cognitively, the human religious experts are trying to deal with angelic beings but they do not realize that angelic beings live within angelic reality. This goes beyond angelic beings disclosing themselves to humans to the angelic supernatural realm expanding to include aspects of physical reality. Not only are the angels ignoring human authorities, but they are also bypassing human physical restrictions.

Verse 24 describes the resulting confusion. “Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what this would become.” Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. And ‘words’ is the plural of logos. This indicates a rational, technical understanding of the situation. Captain means ‘general, governor’ and ‘captain of the temple’ was previously used in 4:1 when Peter and John were speaking in the temple after the healing of the lame man. And chief priest is in the plural, referring to the entire religious leadership. Perplexed ‘refers to one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out’. This is an interesting statement because the story began with the apostles totally trapped and having no way out. Now the priesthood is recognizing that they are totally trapped and have no way out. Putting this together, the captain of the temple would represent institutional methods of controlling religion while the chief priests would represent religious ways of controlling religion. In verse 17, the existing priesthood became resurrected. This new priesthood understands the principles of spiritual power and is using these principles to attempt to control the apostles. But they are now recognizing that an angelically guided priesthood can always outmanoeuvre a human-controlled priesthood.

The laity have been listening to the priesthood because the priesthood claim to have an inside connection with the heavenly realm of angels. And this resurrected priesthood now has legitimate angelic power. But real angels are showing up who ignore the greatest theologians, bypass institutional control, and tell the apostles to share the message of life with the laity. A footnote in the NASB gives the final phrase ‘as to what this would become’. This accurately reflects the Greek which describes an open-ended uncertainty. A door has been opened and it is not certain where that door will lead. What happens when human religion becomes taken over by angels?

Verse 25 describes where this will lead. “But someone came and reported to them, ‘The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple area and teaching the people!’” Come is the same word used in verse 22 which means to ‘come on the scene’, which is being interpreted as catching up with what the apostles are doing. Report is the same word used in verse 22. In verse 22 the ‘under-oarsmen’ were reporting. In verse 25, the report comes from some unnamed individual. Thus, not only is the official priesthood unaware of what is happening spiritually, but it is incapable of using the official means to determine what is happening spiritually. Instead, the official priesthood has become a religious outsider, learning about religious developments from the average person. Practically speaking, the priesthood has been reduced to the level previously occupied by the laity. Standing was previously used in verse 23 to describe the guards standing before the doors, which implied that the existing spiritual structure remained intact. In verse 25, the apostles have discovered a new source of religious stability because they are standing in the temple area. Even worse, the apostles are teaching the laity in the temple complex. Thus, not only are the angels ignoring the human priesthood but so is the human laity.

In verse 26, the priesthood realizes that it has limited options. “Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).” Captain is a word that means ‘general’ and officer means ‘under-rower’. In verse 22, the underlings were sent by themselves to the prison. Now, they are accompanied by the general. The implication is that the priesthood is losing control of organized religion. Bring is the word to lead, bring’. This word was used once before in Acts in verse 21 when an order was given to bring the apostles from the place of bondage. The word ‘bear’ implies the personal commitment that is required in a spiritual economy. ‘Bring’ suggests a lack of personal commitment.

Violence means ‘strength, force’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Without violence is literally ‘not in company with strength’. Strength is a characteristic of human Server actions. Angels, in contrast, have power. One primary characteristic of any effective government is that it has a monopoly on the use of strength or force. But in this case the government cannot use strength, which illustrates the lack of options possessed by the priesthood.

Afraid means ‘to fear, withdraw from’. People refers to the laity. And stoned is a new word in Acts that means ‘to throw stones’. Speaking literally, religious government has lost the mantle of legitimacy. Looking at this symbolically, stones represent solid Perceiver facts. Throwing a stone uses a solid Perceiver fact within the air of Teacher thought. The scientific equivalent of stoning is using the facts of science to silence someone. The apostles have been teaching the laity about life. Anyone who uses rational thought knows that principles about life override personal opinion. For instance, when a person dies of covid because he refused the vaccine, then this silences any arguments he has made against the vaccine. A similar principle applies in verse 26, except the topic is no longer physical life but rather life that extends beyond physical death backed up by angelic beings. Stated bluntly, a teaching that shows me how to have actual eternal life and which can bypass human restrictions overrides any official religious opinions about eternal life.

Such a statement would sound strongly anti-religious in a normal context, but this statement is being made in the middle of an extended analysis of the original Greek text of the Christian Bible. Thus, my goal is not to replace absolute faith in the Bible with secular thought but rather to replace absolute faith in the Bible with a rational understanding of the Bible. This is an important statement to make, because a concept of God that is based in absolute truth will condemn a person to eternal damnation when it feels threatened. The solution is to point out to such a concept of God that an inadequate concept of God is being replaced with a more legitimate concept of God. In a similar vein, such a statement might sound strongly anti-religious when made within a materialistic scientific context. But we are talking about a future society in which humans and angels interact in a meaningful level. Such a context may be compatible with science but it is not materialistic. Saying this another way, these essays are not using materialistic rational analysis to eliminate religious hope. Instead, blind faith in heavenly paradise is being replaced by a rational plan that includes all of the supernatural aspects which currently fall within religious hope.

Redefining Religious Authority 5:27-32

The next section focuses upon the question of religious authority. Verse 27 describes human authority. “When they had brought them, they had [them] stand among the Council. The high priest interrogated them.” Bring is again the word that implies avoiding personal commitment. Set means ‘to make to stand, to stand’. The second ‘them’ is not in the original Greek, so I am not sure if the apostles are being made to stand or if they themselves are choosing to stand. In either case, the context is the Sanhedrin, because they are standing in the ‘realm of the Sanhedrin’. Thus, the priesthood is examining the apostles on its own turf. The Sanhedrin then sets the paradigm for examining the apostles. This context is brought out by the word interrogate, which is ‘done by someone on preferred footing who makes a request from a preferred position’. This is the first of two times that this word is used in Acts. Thus, the priesthood thinks that it has a right to know, and it assumes that it is using the right paradigm to extract this information. And the high priest in the singular is asking the question. In other words, God’s representative on earth is asking for an answer in the company of God’s representatives on earth in an official meeting of God’s representatives on earth. It does not get any more official than that.

Verse 28 relates the question, which is actually an ultimatum and not a question. “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name.” Order means ‘something announced from close-beside therefore fully authorized’. This is the first of two times that this word is used in Acts. Gave is the verb form of the same word and was previously used in 4:18 when ordering the apostles not to teach in the name of Jesus. Previously, the religious system imposed its methodology. Here it is imposing both methodology and personal authority. In 4:18 they were commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus. In verse 28 there is no mention of Jesus. Instead, it is Peter who first brings up the name of Jesus in verse 30. In verse 28 the priesthood refers only to ‘this name’. Speaking psychologically, the name of Jesus has become an unmentionable. Speaking spiritually, the name of Jesus has acquired a power that means that it dare not be mentioned, even when surrounded by the entire priestly system of authority. Going further, the name Jesus means ‘salvation of Yah’. An angelically enforced message of life is, by definition, an aspect of the salvation of God. In contrast, the existing priesthood is thinking only in terms of authority and privileged position.

Verse 28 continues. “And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.” ‘Behold’ indicates again a revelation being experienced by the priesthood. Filled means to ‘fill to individual capacity’. Jerusalem would represent the entire religious establishment. Thus, all of the religious establishment is being affected by the teaching of the apostles. What is filling Jerusalem is ‘your teaching’. Teaching means ‘teaching, especially a summarized body of respected teaching.’ This is not just a new doctrine or a new movement but rather an entirely new religious establishment. ‘Your teaching’ indicates that a new established system of religious education now exists in opposition to the existing system. And the term ‘your’ indicates that the priesthood views this new system as an attack upon their ability to impose religious ‘truth’ upon the laity. However, ultimately there is no such thing as ‘your truth’ because true truth exists independently of groups and personal opinions. For instance, in today’s world, the conflict is between personal opinion and scientific fact. Scientific facts are independent of personal opinion. In Acts 5, the conflict is between personal opinion and principles of life. Even if supernatural power could override physical reality, there would still be inescapable principles of life that apply to everyone.

Intend means ‘to plan with full resolve’. This describes motivation backed up by technical thought. Bring upon is used once in Acts and adds the prefix upon to the word ‘bring’. ‘Bring upon’ is then followed by the preposition ‘upon’ and ‘us’ is explicitly mentioned. Notice how the priesthood is thinking it is all about them. They are assuming that the apostles are being emotionally consumed with a desire for vengeance. Not only is the priesthood trying to control the situation by wielding its authority to the extreme, but it is interpreting the behavior of the apostles in terms of the authority of the priesthood.

Man is the generic word for mankind. Blood is the liquid of life. It represents the mental networks of personal identity falling apart. Throughout the book of Acts the priesthood has focused upon the new movement from a Mercy perspective and has attempted to kill it from this perspective. In each case, this attack has led to a breakthrough for the new movement in Teacher thought which has given this new movement more power. However, achieving this breakthrough has required letting go in Mercy thought and holding on to Teacher thought. The new movement is capable of letting go in Mercy thought as shown by the description of holding all things as common. In contrast, the priesthood is blinded by its official authority into clinging to personal identity in Mercy thought. Even when describing this principle of dying to Mercy thought in order to become alive in Teacher thought, the priesthood is still framing it in terms of their personal identity in Mercy thought: ‘Your plan is to bring the blood of this man upon us.’

Peter reframes this principle in verse 29. “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Answer means ‘to answer’. In other words, Peter is using Perceiver thought to address the facts, in contrast to the priesthood which is attempting to impose their personal authority. And the Perceiver facts of Peter are now being backed up by the breakthroughs of the other apostles.

Obey means ‘persuaded of what must come first’. This is the first use of this word in Acts and it is repeated in verse 32. Must means ‘it is necessary’. The NASB gives the impression that the apostles are also thinking in terms of obedience to personal authority. (The BLB says ‘It is necessary to obey God rather than men’.) But the apostles are thinking in terms of facts and necessity. Using the current situation with the covid vaccine, taking the vaccine has nothing to do with politics or personal authority. Instead, logical thought indicates that it is necessary to take the vaccine in order to minimize risk of death. Stated simply, Peter is pointing out that being convinced by the facts trumps personal opinion. Applying this to Acts 5, facts about eternal existence overrule all religious opinion about eternal existence. This conclusion may seem obvious but it is important to point out the context. Imagine if some angels showed up who were cooperating with ex-aliens and that the followers of these angels started experiencing genuine physical rejuvenation. Imagine also that the entire human religious establishment was denouncing the legitimacy of these angels and declaring that following them would lead to eternal damnation. What choice would you make?

Verse 31 points out the principle of rebirth that has been discussed previously. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging Him on wood.” God refers to Teacher understanding as a living being. ‘God of our fathers’ implies that the apostles are speaking for God while the priesthood is not. This is obvious because the priesthood is acting, thinking, and speaking entirely on the basis of its own personal status.

Raised means ‘to waken, to raise up’. This is an interesting term and Peter used the same words to describe God raising Jesus in 3:15 and 4:10. For Perceiver thought, truth always exists. But Perceiver thought has to waken out of passivity in order to be able to believe in this truth. Perceiver thought cannot do this by itself, but it can hold onto Perceiver facts when backed up by the Teacher emotions of a general understanding. Peter then mentions the name of Jesus, which the priesthood has refused to mention. Cognitively speaking, the priesthood is so busy worrying about maintaining its own personal status that it is incapable of thinking of salvation for the people.

Killed is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to move by the use of the hands’. Thus, the meaning ‘killed’ comes from the context of the story. Cognitively speaking, the priesthood is attempting to control salvation through the application of technical thought; whenever a new spiritual movement arose, the priesthood attempted to co-opt it and control it. Hang means ‘to hang’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Wood means ‘anything made of wood’. A tree is being interpreted as some form of academic structure in which the ‘birds of the air’ of academic thought can find a nesting place. Something that hangs is immobilized within the air of Teacher thought. It resides within Teacher thought but cannot move as an individual. This describes academic control, in which technical thought is used to try to control ideas. Applying this to mental symmetry, most of my life has been characterized by being limited and controlled by technical thought, usually wielded by Contributor persons. In each case I have been immobilized, unable to function within the world of human interaction. However, in each case my Teacher understanding of the nature of God has grown, causing me to have a deeper grasp of the salvation of God.

Verse 31 replaces the Mercy focus of the priesthood with a Teacher perspective. “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior.” Exalt means to ‘raise high’, which is interpreted as moving in the direction of Teacher generality. The priesthood is imposing its personal status in Mercy thought. In contrast, ‘the God’ in Teacher thought is giving generality to Jesus. When some principle has universal validity, then it is being raised high by Teacher thought. Right means ‘the right hand or side’ and implies left hemisphere thought. This describes the principle of righteousness in which certain Server sequences are being lifted up as universal. The general sequence being described here is that of letting go of Mercy status in order to be given Teacher generality.

Prince really means ‘a person who is originator or founder of a movement and continues as the leader’. ‘Prince’ gives the impression of Mercy status, but the Greek word does not describe someone who claims status in Mercy thought but rather someone who initiates a sequence to be copied in Server thought. Thus, the apostles are following a process that was originally demonstrated by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Savior comes from a word that means to ‘deliver out of danger and into safety’. Following an angelically promoted message of life delivers humans out of danger of mortality and delivers them to the safety of lasting life. Again one sees Peter focusing upon the facts of reality rather than personal status.

Verse 31 then addresses the existing organizational church. “To grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Grant means ‘to give’. The existing priesthood does not give anything, but rather makes sure that it remains the dispenser of divine grace to the laity. Repentance means ‘a change of mind’. The priesthood is attempting to hold on to the existing paradigm of a priesthood based in Mercy feelings of holiness. God, in contrast, is giving a change of mind—a new way of thinking about religion. ‘Repent’ has been mentioned twice as a verb, but this is the first use of the noun ‘repentance’. In other words, God is not just saving people, he is also giving the method of transformation. This is being done to Israel, which represents the group of people through which God interacts with the world. God is giving a change of mind to this group of people. Looking at this cognitively, the priesthood thinks that it is special and holy, but it is really trapped within a mindset of absolute truth and in bondage to the expectations of the laity. God is giving a change of mind to this system.

Forgiveness means ‘something sent away’. And sin means ‘missing the mark’. The existing priesthood is missing the mark. It is incapable of truly interacting with the angelic realm with which it claims to interact. This new system makes it possible to let go of the old system and send it away, instead of clinging to it and attempting to preserve personal status.

Verse 32 concludes. “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Witness means ‘an eye- or ear-witness’. Thing means ‘a spoken word’. It can mean a thing referred to by the spoken word but it really means ‘spoken word’. An angel is a messenger who lives in a realm where words have substance. Therefore, one of the characteristics of angelic intervention is that words would have substance. I am not sure how far to take this principle, but it is interesting that Peter talks about being witnesses of the spoken word.

I am not sure from the grammar whether the Holy Spirit is being witnessed or is also doing the witnessing. While repentance is given to Israel, the Holy Spirit is given by God to those who obey him. Obey is the same word used in verse 29 which means ‘persuaded of what must come first’. The apostles are following a process because they understand what must come first. They must go through a process of being rejected by the existing priesthood in order to break through to a new form of priesthood. The negative Mercy experiences of being rejected are balanced by the positive Mercy images provided internally by the Holy Spirit. Saying this more simply, the apostles are willing to go through a period of rejection because of the internal vision they have of the better society that a transformed priesthood will make possible. The existing priesthood is clinging to what is, while the new priesthood is being motivated by what could be.

The Religious Leadership Splits 5:33-40

Verse 33 describes the initial response of the existing priesthood. “But when they heard this, they became infuriated and nearly decided to execute them.” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Infuriated is a poor translation. The word is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘through’ with ‘cut with a saw’. (The BLB says ‘they were cut’.) In other words, Peter’s words rip them in two. On the one side is the understanding of how the spiritual economy functions, backed up by expertise gained by having actually functioned within this realm. On the other side is the system of the existing priesthood which they are doing everything to maintain. Decided means ‘to plan with full resolve’. Execute means ‘to take up, take away’ and was used previously in 2:23 to describe the existing priesthood executing Jesus. In other words, their plan is to repeat the mistake that they made with Jesus. But they now know the consequences of carrying out this action. Instead of eliminating Jesus they merely lifted him up and gave him Teacher generality.

In verse 34 someone speaks up. “But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council.” This is the first reference to a Pharisee in Acts. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. While the Sadducees merely saw religion as a tool for maintaining and imposing social status, the Pharisees actually practiced a holy lifestyle. Instead of viewing themselves merely as sources of absolute truth, the Pharisees also submitted to absolute truth. The Greek text begins with the word stood up, which is the normal word for resurrection. In verse 17 the high priest from the Sadducees was resurrected. In verse 34, a Pharisee is resurrected. The resurrection of the high priest was interpreted as a transformed institutional church that followed the rules in order to acquire genuine supernatural power. The resurrection of the Pharisee indicates a transformation in the concept of absolute truth. A similar transformation has occurred today in secular education. The holy books of religion and classical literature used to be regarded as the sources of absolute truth. But absolute truth now acquires its content—in the objective—from the discoveries of science. The ‘resurrection of a Pharisee’ suggests that a similar transition is happening in the realm of the subjective. This resurrection of the Pharisee is happening in the Sanhedrin, implying that a transformation is happening in the realm of religious expertise.

Gamaliel means ‘God is my reward’. Cognitively speaking, absolute truth is a transitional form of learning that can lead from blind faith in Mercy authority to Teacher understanding. This views a concept of God in Teacher thought as the reward of following absolute truth. Consistent with this, Gamaliel is called a teacher of the law. This is a single word in the Greek that is found three times in the New Testament which combines ‘nomos’ (a ‘system of religious thinking’) with ‘teaching’. Absolute truth can only make a transition to a general Teacher understanding if the content that is being taught exhibits Teacher order-within-complexity. And this is the first use of this word ‘nomos’ in Acts. For instance, mental symmetry does not view the Bible as the source of absolute truth but rather as an accurate description of universal truth. Similarly, mental symmetry does not view theology as a set of doctrines to assert but rather as the conditions for having a whole mind. In verse 34, theology is going through such a transformation. What this would entail is illustrated by these essays. I have examined half of the New Testament from a cognitive perspective. I strongly suspect that the entire Bible can be analyzed in a similar manner. Gamaliel is described as ‘honored by all the laity’. Honor means ‘having recognized value in the eyes of the beholder’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Thus, while the priesthood has been demanding social status from the people, Gamaliel has been earning the respect of the people.

Verse 34 continues. “And gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.” Gave orders means ‘to command’ and the same verb was used in 4:15 during the previous council meeting. The same word outside is also used, but what is new is the word short time, which means ‘short, little’. In chapter 4 the teaching of the apostles was regarded as something irrelevant that could be dismissed without consequences. A ‘short time’ gives the impression that this teaching is now viewed as valuable and that its absence is missed. Similarly, in chapter 4 the apostles were told to go away, while in verse 34 the word for Server actions is used. In chapter 4 they were referred to as ‘them’ while verse 4 refers to them as humans. The phrase is more literally, ‘he commanded the humans to act outside for a short while’. This could be interpreted as an attempt to temporarily transcend human perspective with its physical actions in order to adopt a more angelic perspective. This is consistent with the context because Gamaliel looks at sequences from a moral perspective and he mentions God.

Gamaliel begins, “Men of Israel, be careful as to what you are about to do with these men” (v. 35). Men refers specifically to men. Thus, ‘men of Israel’ would represent the people through whom God interacts with the world viewed from the perspective of male technical thought. This describes theology as a guide for thought and behavior, consistent with his role as a teacher of the law. Be careful means to ‘have towards, to give full attention’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This describes an intermediate attitude between having and being. One is still taking on objective viewpoint of having, but one is doing it with personal attention. And the phrase is ‘give full attention to yourselves’. In other words, Gamaliel is pointing out to the council that spiritual principles also apply to themselves. They are not just sources of the law who are above the law. And Gamaliel refers to the apostles as ‘these humans’. About means ‘at the very point of acting’, and do refers to regular practice rather than a single action. Looking at this in the context of future alien disclosure, Gamaliel is pointing out that one should be careful how one treats humans, because the Server actions that one applies to humans will establish general Teacher rules which determine how the supernatural realm treats humanity. Applying this to current stories about aliens interacting with the human military, I suggest that it would be dangerous for the military to contact aliens because the basic practice of the military is to pursue objective goals even if this means killing humans. This type of practice would attract aliens who behave in a similar manner.

Verse 36 provides the first example. “For, some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined him.” ‘Some time ago’ is literally ‘for before these days’. This would refer to a previous era before alien disclosure, such as the era in which we currently live. Appeared is the normal word for resurrection. Thus, Gamaliel is referring to some previous transformation of thought. Theudas is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘flowing with water’. This would refer to a transformation based in the waters of Mercy experiences. Cognitively speaking, this describes today’s Pentecostalism which is rooted heavily in a flow of Mercy experiences. Pentecostalism is a resurrection of historical Christianity because it attempts to resurrect the supernatural gifts of the New Testament era. The second phrase is ‘saying to be something himself’. This accurately describes Pentecostalism which verbally claims to be something even though it lacks substance. Joined is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘towards’ with ‘incline’. Men would to represent male technical thought. Pentecostalism does not contain much male technical thought, but it has caused technical thought to lean in a certain direction. I do not know what the number 400 represents, but it is significant that the word number is used, because a number represents the use of technical thought at a basic level. More specifically, numbers integrate abstract technical thought with concrete technical thought at a primitive level. Similarly, the doctrine of Pentecostalism integrates the supernatural realm of abstract thought with the human realm of concrete thought at a primitive level. in other words, Pentecostalism often claims to have discovered spiritual laws that can be applied to gain personal benefits, but these spiritual laws and personal benefits are typically primitive and inadequate.

Verse 36 continues, “But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.” Killed means ‘to take up, take away’, which implies using Teacher thought to take something over. Follow means ‘to persuade’ and is the root of the word ‘faith’. Dispersed is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to dissolve utterly, scatter’. Applying this to Pentecostalism, the spirituality has been ‘taken away’ by the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism, the Teacher overgeneralization of unconditional acceptance, and the Teacher order-within-complexity of crowd manipulation. Using religious language, ‘God wants us to worship him with total freedom’, ‘God loves and accepts us unconditionally’, and ‘Come encounter God at our awe-inspiring worship service’. Those who were convinced rationally have scattered and it has ‘come into being towards nothing’. There may be exceptions, but this generally summarizes the history of Pentecostalism.

Verse 37 provides the next example. “After this [man], Judas of Galilee appeared in the days of the census and drew away some people after him.” The first phrase is simply ‘after this’, and ‘man’ is assumed. Appeared is again the word that means resurrection. Judas means ‘praised’. Galilee means ‘to roll’ and is interpreted as the cycles of society. Thus, Judas of Galilee would represent worship that goes through cycles. This can be seen in the various cycles of the charismatic movement, which was also a resurrection of the existing church. Contemporary worship has been a major facet of this movement. That happened ‘in the days of the census’. Census means ‘to copy, enroll’ and the same word is used in Luke 2:2. ‘Days of the census’ would represent societal eras in which the focus is upon gathering data. This describes the current era with its obsession for recording data about everything. Draw away means to ‘make to stand away’. The word people means laity and ‘some’ is not in the Greek. After means ‘back, behind, after’. This accurately describes many of the megachurches, parachurches, and televangelists which have achieved a form of stability and standing, largely by adopting the data-driven methods of the secular world, but have also created forms of Christianity that stand apart from historical Christian practice.

Verse 37 finishes, “He also perished, and all those who followed him were scattered.” He is ‘and that one’. Perished means ‘permanent destruction’. Followed is again related to the word ‘faith’ and scattered means to ‘disperse greatly’. I think that we in 2021 are in the process of seeing this permanent destruction take place, because all around the world big congregations of evangelical Christianity are heading towards permanent destruction and their followers are being dispersed. Notice that the institutions are destroyed but the people scatter, implying that many will still hold on to some form of Christianity but stop attending an institutional church. An article from the Barna group examines these individuals who ‘love Jesus but not the church’. As of 2016, this group made up 10% of the American population.

Verse 38 follows with a warning. “And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone.” Stay away is the same word that was translated as ‘draw away’ in verse 37. In other words, the resurrected Pharisees and Sadducees should make a stand that is apart from the new spiritual economy, similar to the way that many current mega-churches have made a stand apart from traditional Christianity. Men in this case means humans. In other words, let the new spiritual economy interact with angels and function independent of them. This is the first use in Acts of the word leave alone, which means ‘to send away, leave alone’. This describes a resurrected priesthood and theological system that is functioning apart from the new spiritual economy.

Verse 38 describes the one alternative. “For if the source of this plan or work is men, it will be overthrown.” The first phrase is literally ‘for if it be out of humanity’. Plan means a ‘resolved plan’. Work describes ‘a deed that carries out an inner desire’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Stated cognitively, Gamaliel is describing Exhorter motivation and Contributor plans that have a human source. This combination describes the essence of economics. I am not just making a throwaway comment but rather stating a conclusion that emerged from my analysis of economics. Overthrown means to ‘loosen thoroughly’. Notice the wisdom in this response. The priesthood has just learned that they can be totally bypassed by angelic powers. Therefore, they are concluding that any movement that is based in humanity will be totally bypassed by angelic powers. And the priesthood is recognizing that this happens naturally and does not have to be imposed by any person or group. In addition, the priesthood is focusing upon internal motivation.

Verse 39 describes the other alternative. “But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow it.” From God means ‘from out of’ God. Notice how Gamaliel understands that one can either view Mercy thought as the source of humanity or God in Teacher thought as the source of humanity. One of the characteristics of absolute truth is that it is a transitional form of learning that leads from human authority in Mercy thought to an understanding of God in Teacher thought. The word ‘is’ is specifically included, which may indicate a transition from ‘having’ to ‘being’. Power can refer to angelic power. And overthrow means to ‘loosen thoroughly’. The priesthood has just experienced being outflanked by angelic power. They have learned that human supernatural power is no match for angelic supernatural power. They have also learned that a structure that is based in a Teacher understanding of God cannot be dismantled or ‘loosened thoroughly’.

Verse 39 concludes, “Or else you may even be found fighting against God.” Fighting against God is a single word that is used once in the New Testament which combines ‘God’ with ‘to fight’. And found means to ‘discover, especially after searching’. We have been seeing that God uses those who fight against him to carry out his purposes. And those who fight against God usually discover what they have been doing later after searching. And the religious leadership has just experienced that fighting against God leads to painful results such as being ‘cut through with a saw’. The wheels of divine justice may grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.

Verse 40 describes the decision. “They followed his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them.” Followed advice means ‘to persuade’ and is related to the word ‘faith’. In other words, the resurrected priesthood is actually choosing to follow rational thought instead of being driven mindlessly by MMNs of religious status.

One point in passing. I used to respect the NASB as an accurate translation. However, I have found that it consistently mistranslates the text in order to support a mindset of absolute truth. For instance, one would never know from reading the NASB that faith has any connection with following advice, but ‘following advice’ is the verb form of ‘faith’. The NASB assumes that non-Christians follow advice while Christians have faith, consistent with a concept of absolute truth. I have been looking at the Berean Literal Bible while going through this essay and have found that it eliminates about 90% of the inaccuracies of the NASB. (I have added several references to the BLB while editing in order to illustrate this difference.) I have continued to go with the NASB partially because it is such a well-known translation and partially because it shows in detail how a mindset of absolute truth causes theologians to misinterpret Christian doctrine. The footnotes in the NASB correct many of these inaccuracies, but these footnotes do not seem to correct inaccuracies that result from the attitude of absolute truth. (This essay will switch from the NASB to the BLB in 7:22. I have kept all of these comments in the essay in order to place this decision within a context. Replacing all the NASB quotes in this essay with quotes from the BLB would be too much work. And the NASB is definitely better than a translation such as the NIV that follows ‘dynamic equivalence’—which actually means imposing the paradigm of current society upon the biblical text.)

Call in means ‘to call to’. It is usually used for Jesus calling his disciples. In the previous incident in 4:18, they merely ‘called them’. In verse 40, ‘they called to the apostles’. This implies some form of professional respect. Flog means ‘to skin, to thrash’. This is bad, but there is a worse term that means to scourge with a whip. Physical sensation from the skin is a primary source of MMNs. Thus, flogging could be interpreted cognitively as imposing unpleasant MMNs. In other words, the existing religious leadership is using the one weapon that is left to them which is to use their Mercy status and official authority to inflict Mercy pain upon the disciples. But we have already seen that this will merely cause the disciples to experience an additional breakthrough in Teacher thought. I am not trying to minimize the pain of such unpleasant MMNs but rather to reinterpret this pain as the cost of purchasing something valuable within the spiritual economy. Hebrews 12:2 says something similar, pointing out that Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”. In other words, Jesus was viewing the pain of the cross as the cost of purchasing the ‘joy set before Him’.

Verse 40 continues, “And ordered them not to be speaking in the name of Jesus, and then released them.” Verse 40 and 4:18 both mention ‘command’ and ‘in the name of Jesus’ but the verbs are different. In 4:18 they were commanded not to make any noise or teach, whereas in verse 40, they are told not to speak in the name of Jesus, and speak means to ‘chatter in classical Greek’. Thus, the prohibition is against showing a lack of respect for the name of Jesus. This would be like a prohibition against swearing in the name of God. And the flogging could be interpreted as an attempt to impose an attitude of respect upon the apostles. In other words, absolute truth may now be teaching similar content to the apostles, but absolute truth will feel that this content needs to be taught with a feeling of sufficient respect.

For instance, it bothers some people when I do not capitalize pronouns that refer to God or Jesus. Two paragraphs earlier, I wrote ‘his disciples’ and not ‘His disciples’ Verse 40 was just interpreted in a similar manner involving religious respect. It is quite possible that this interpretation does not apply to the original historical encounter with the Sanhedrin, but it appears that the story has been written using language that can be universally applied. Stated more generally, even if Acts describes God foreordained plan for history, one can still use free will to interpret this plan in a way that is less painful for humanity, and I choose to do so because I am a human and I do not like pain. I am making this as a throwaway comment, but I have come to the conclusion that it is a very significant principle. I have mentioned several times that angelic messages describe general principles. Thus, it is possible to use human freedom to express these messages in a manner that is more pleasant for humanity. Similarly, the messages that are written in the Bible cannot be changed. But the way that a biblical message expresses itself in human reality can be changed.

Release means ‘to set free, release’ and is the word used for divorce. The same word was used in 4:21 after the previous encounter. In both cases, the existing priesthood is divorcing itself of the new movement.

A Fully Independent Movement 5:41-42

Verse 41 describes the response. “So they went on their way from the presence of the Council.” On their way means ‘to transport’, and is interpreted as a journey that creates a change. This change is indicated by the word ‘rejoicing’ which follows right after in the original Greek. Joy is related to the word ‘grace’ and means ‘to delight in God’s grace’. This is the first use of the word ‘rejoice’ in Acts. Joy is interpreted as Teacher emotion. The apostles just received unpleasant Mercy experiences from the priesthood. This Mercy pain is balanced by the Teacher pleasure of joy. Away from the presence is more literally ‘away from the face of the Council’. The idea is that the apostles will no longer regard the religious leadership as individuals with special status in Mercy thought. This shift is also consistent with a new view of absolute truth. When truth is revealed through sacred texts, then absolute truth is the ultimate source of truth, and the priesthood of absolute truth demands the highest respect. However, when absolute truth acquires its content from science and research, then holy books turn into textbooks, and the emotional status given to absolute truth is secondary to the status given to research and understanding. In academic circles today, those who write textbooks are considered inferior to those who publish papers.

Verse 41 describes their attitude. “Rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” In chapter 4, the disciples discussed everything that the religious leadership had said, indicating a sense of respect in Mercy thought for this leadership. In verse 41 the religious leadership is not mentioned. Instead, the focus is upon the following the process of letting go of Mercy thought in order to gain a reward in Teacher thought.

Consider worthy is used once in Acts and means ‘weighing that reflects actual, precise worth’. This is an economic term that reflects the personal price that has to be paid in a spiritual economy. This is done ‘in behalf of the name’, which supports the idea that behavior is being guided by a name in Teacher thought. In contrast, shame means ‘to treat dishonorably because perceived as having no value’. The focus here is not so much on suffering for Jesus, as is implied by the NASB, but rather as being treated as worthless. For instance, I do not receive personal suffering from Christian leaders, but my research is treated as worthless. Something that is worthless has no benefits and generates no benefits. In other words, it has no connection with the salvation of Jesus. The priesthood has just decided that it can divorce itself of the new spiritual economy without experiencing any consequences. The priesthood does not need the apostles to deal with the angelic world. Presumably, the priesthood feels that it now has its own connection with the supernatural realm which is more compatible with the traditional attitude of respect for holy people. Because the apostles have been treated as worthless, they have paid the price for acquiring worthiness from God in Teacher thought.

Verse 42 describes the new worthiness. “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and preaching the good news of Jesus as the Christ.” ‘Day’ is in the singular and it seems to me with my limited Greek knowledge that the first phrase could also be translated as ‘and all day’. The two prepositions ‘and all’ are also found in Acts 21:18 which is translated as ‘and all arrived’, as well as Acts 26:14 which is translated as ‘and all having fallen down’. This implies that verse 42 is referring to a single societal era and not a series of eras. Temple refers to the temple complex. House means ‘a house, a dwelling’ and would represent the realm of personal identity. Meeting in the realm of the temple complex and ‘according to house’ indicates the lack of a division between holy and secular, which is precisely the division which the existing priesthood is trying to maintain. For instance, I have found repeatedly that those who believe in absolute truth do not like mental symmetry even if mental symmetry says the same thing that they say. That is because mental symmetry does not show the proper respect for absolute truth; it does not have a worshipful attitude but rather treats religious and secular as both expressions of the same general laws in Teacher thought. In verse 42, the apostles are maintaining such an integration of religious and secular.

Teaching means ‘to cause to learn’. Preaching the good news is a single word that means ‘to announce good news’ and is the source of the English word ‘evangelical’. This is the first use of this word in Acts. Did not stop means to ‘cease, stop’. Notice that the disciples are following the prohibition of the priesthood, because they are not just chattering about religion. In contrast, they are doing proper teaching. However, they are continuing to emphasize that this teaching has personal benefits, which means that there is a solid connection between the religious message and personal life. This good news is literally ‘the Christ Jesus’, which again indicates starting from a concept of Christ the God and connecting this with the personal salvation of Jesus.

Religious versus Scientific Culture 6:1-4

In chapter 6 something new happens, which is an internal division within the new spiritual economy. Verse 1 begins, “Now in these days, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews.” The NASB adds a number of words to explain the literal situation, which are placed in italics. ‘Now in these days’ is an accurate translation and implies that something is happening within this context. Thus, chapter 6 does not necessarily happen after chapter 5.

Increasing means ‘made full, especially to maximum capacity’. This is the first use of this word in Acts which is repeated in verse 7. The cognitive principle is that greater social organization is required when a group reaches a certain size, because the existing organization will exceed its maximum capacity. Disciple means ‘learner, disciple’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts, which is repeated in the next verse. The term ‘disciple’ implies a system of organized learning, which also suggests that a group has reached a critical mass.

Grumbling means ‘muttering, murmuring’ and is used once in Acts. Muttering happens when the average persons experience discontent and feel that they have no way of appealing to distant authority. This is also a symptom of a growing group of people. Hellenist refers to an advocate of Greek language and culture and this is the first mention of this word in Acts. The word ‘Jew’ is assumed. The term Hebrew is used once in Acts and refers to ‘a Hebrew, particularly one who speaks Hebrew’.

At the end of the previous chapter, the apostles were integrating religious and secular thought. But that integration was happening at an abstract level of teaching. A division is now emerging between religious and scientific culture. This is leading to complaints among the average people who live within these cultures at a concrete level, and the scientific individuals are complaining about the religious individuals. In other words, it is one thing to come up with a unified theory that integrates secular and religious thought. It is another thing to try to integrate a religious culture with a secular technological culture. Imagine fundamentalists and geeks attempting to live together.

Verse 1 explains the problem. “Their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.” Overlook is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘beside’ with ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’. Distribution means ‘service, ministry’ and is the source of the English word ‘deacon’. This passage will introduce the concept of deacons. Daily is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘according to’ with ‘day’. Widow means ‘widow’ and would represent female mental networks that are no longer supported by male technical thought. This would describe mental networks of culture; ways of doing things that may have begun for some logical reason but are now being continued out of force of habit. Putting this together, the complaint is that religious mental networks are being given greater weight than scientific mental networks when applying theory to practice.

Looking at this personally, I spend part of my time examining the Bible and writing essays such as this time, and part of my time reading scientific papers and writing secular articles. My initial tendency was to focus upon religious topics because they are more emotional, but I have found that scientific articles give me the technical tools that are required to analyze religious topics more accurately.

The apostles respond in verse 2. “So the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said.” Call means ‘to call to’ and was previously used in 5:40 to describe the Sanhedrin calling the apostles. This suggests a similar calling of those in authority to followers. Multitude means ‘a great number’ and disciples is the same word that was used in verse 1. This is consistent with the idea of a few leaders combined with many followers. ‘The twelve’ indicates that Matthias is being included as part of the leadership.

Verse 2 describes what the disciples say. “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.” Desirable means ‘pleasing because in moral agreement’. Neglect means ‘to leave, leave behind’. Word of God is ‘logos of the God’. In other words, the twelve apostles are being guided emotionally by paradigms of Teacher understanding and they do not feel that this should be abandoned. Looking at this cognitively, a paradigm of abstract technical thought will eventually turn into a mental prison. This is inevitable. That is why it is important to discover the best possible mental prison. Thus, the apostles are realizing that they have become emotionally imprisoned by TMNs of abstract technical thought.

Serve means to deacon and tables are explicitly mentioned. Food is being interpreted as intellectual food. The question here is not the content of intellectual food but rather the focus of attention. Will the research be driven by paradigms of Teacher understanding or by personal need in Mercy thought? For instance, what determines my topic of research? For a long time, I responded passively to people’s demands for evidence: ‘Read this book. Explain that topic.’ That provided my initial motivation. But I am increasingly being motivated by a desire to develop an integrated understanding for a new society. Similarly, whenever I tell people about my research, the standard response is to ask ‘What is your target audience?’ The underlying assumption is that I am intellectually waiting upon tables. But I do not have a target audience; I am not ‘waiting on tables’. Instead I am pursuing an integrated understanding. However, I find that most people see no value in pursuing an understanding.

A solution is proposed in verse 3. “Instead, brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation.” Select means to ‘look upon, visit, look out, select’. This describes a practical form of decision based upon Mercy experiences. I think that brothers in the plural can refer to either male or female. But men specifically refers to male technical thought. Thus, this is not a matter of being guided emotionally to help those who are hurting, but rather using rational thought to deal with the situation. However, notice also that male technical thought is being applied to the ‘widows’ of female mental networks. In addition, these men are being chosen out from the people by the people. The recognition is that concrete thought has a right to exist independently of abstract thought. This is different than the normal priesthood which thinks that the laity have no right to independent existence but rather need to give status to the priesthood. The apostles do not need personal status because they are being driven by the Teacher emotions of a paradigm. They enjoy doing the research for research sake. Good reputation means ‘to bear witness’. This again is not a theoretical qualification but rather one based on personal testimony. This is not a matter of emotional status but rather a matter of knowing the facts through personal experience.

Looking at this in the context of angelic intervention, the angel in verse 5 did not deliver the message himself but rather told the humans to deliver a message of life. Similarly, the apostles in chapter 6 are not imposing the evangelical realm of research upon their followers but rather telling these followers to develop an independent human existence guided by its own leadership.

Verse 3 describes the qualifications. “Full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.” The Greek phrase starts with the word ‘seven’. (This might be a reference to seven cognitive styles.) They are supposed to be ‘full of spirit’ but there is no mention of the Holy Spirit. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges as a result of an integrated Teacher understanding. Full of spirit indicates thinking that is completely guided by Platonic forms but not necessarily by an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. This is the first use of the word wisdom in Acts, which means ‘clarity’. Abstract technical thought is based in precise definitions. Clarity implies that one can apply the thinking of abstract technical to some situation.

Put in charge means to ‘set down in place’. Thus, the apostles will still use their research to bring order and structure to the deacons, because the deacons have incomplete Teacher understanding. Task means ‘need, business’. Need involves human personal emotions in Mercy thought. The deacons will deal with human need, while the apostles will bring order to the way that this need is supplied. More simply, the deacons will deal with ‘what’ while the apostles will deal with ‘how’.

The apostles describe in verse 4 what they will do. “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer means an ‘exchange of wishes’. This indicates that the apostles will bridge humanity and divinity at an emotional level, connecting emotional needs of humans in Mercy thought with the emotional need of God and angels in Teacher thought. ‘Ministry of the word’ is more literally ‘deacon of the logos’. Thus, the apostles will be servants of their paradigms. When one does research in the realm of the subjective, then one’s personal life must remain consistent with one’s understanding. Thus, one must be a servant of one’s logos. Devote means ‘to consistently show strength which prevails’. In 1:14 the disciples were devoting themselves to prayer. In verse 4, they are devoting themselves to prayer and to the ‘deacon of the logos’. This tells us that the apostles have developed a technical understanding that they did not previously possess. And continuing to behave in a way that is consistent with a paradigm requires strength that prevails. I know from personal experience that this provides emotional joy and satisfaction, but there is also hard work and a narrowing of options.

This meets with approval in verse 5. “The word found approval with the whole multitude.” Approval is the verb form of the adjective used in verse 2. And word is ‘logos’. In the same way that the apostles are emotionally driven by their paradigms, so this emphasis upon concrete need leads itself to an emotionally satisfying paradigm. This is ‘in the face of the multitude’. At the end of chapter 5, the apostles turned away from the face of the priesthood. In verse 5, the apostles are gaining the face of the multitude. The priesthood claimed that it was following God but it was actually seeking to maintain the face of the multitude. By giving freedom to the average person, the apostles have gained the societal approval that the priesthood was trying to demand from the average person through force and religious manipulation.

The List of Deacons 6:5-7

Verse 5 follows with a list, which we will interpret as a cognitive progression. “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nikolaos, a proselyte from Antioch.” Choose means ‘to select’ and was last used in 1:24 when choosing a replacement for Judas. Stephen means ‘a wreath, awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games’. This is a crowning based upon results. In contrast, a diadem is a royal crown related to personal status. However, a wreath is not something that one receives as wages, but rather a reward that is received as a result of some personal, physical accomplishment. One becomes something in order to achieve some objective goal and then is crowned as a result. This relates to the spiritual economy in which one performs personal self-sacrifice in order to receive a reward from above.

Stephen is described as a man full of faith and Holy Spirit. Faith means being persuaded by rational understanding. The Holy Spirit is the internal Mercy image that results from a general Teacher understanding of God. Looking at this cognitively, Stephen is an expert at moving from abstract theory to personal experience.

Philip means ‘horse-loving’ and horses represent government and military organization. Thus, horse-loving would mean someone naturally talented at organization, probably a Facilitator. Looking at this cognitively, the movement has been growing too large and the people are complaining. The response to this growth is organization. However, notice that organization is the second step and not the first. The first step is to make sure that one places concrete thought upon a foundation of abstract understanding that is both internally visualized and personally applied to the point of receiving a crown of victory.

Prochorus means ‘before the dance’. This is interesting because a mindset of absolute truth has to be wary of dancing. I grew up in a Mennonite household and dancing was verboten. The problem with dancing is that it performs Server actions in a way that emphasizes Mercy feelings and creates Teacher order. The fundamental assumption of absolute truth is that the source of truth is far more important than personal identity. Thus, dancing does not just focus upon the physical feeling and physical movement, but it does so in a way that expresses Teacher order and grace, providing an alternative to the Teacher understanding of absolute truth. Thus, there is a cognitive reason why churches that believe in absolute truth have suppressed dancing. However, we have just seen that the new spiritual economy combines religious with secular. Among other things, this would express itself as a reevaluation of dancing. Instead of viewing it as a threat to holiness, it would become a physical expression of religious order. If a religious movement can handle dancing without succumbing to sensuality, then this indicates that it has moved beyond absolute truth. It should be mentioned that the word dance is the source of the English word ‘choir’. Thus, one is not dealing with a sensual free-for-all, but rather with an organized, physical expression of Teacher order, more like ethnic dancing than what passes for dancing these days. But one is still using the physical body to express feelings of Teacher order. And I am not suggesting that Prochorus involves only physical dancing, but rather that concrete existence is being viewed as a kind of cosmic dance.

Nicanor probably combines ‘victory’ with ‘man’. The word for victory is Nike and is found once in the New Testament in 1 John 5:4: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.” This describes a different kind of victory. One is not struggling with some foe in Mercy thought but rather becoming a personal expression in Mercy thought of God in Teacher thought and overcoming the cosmos through faith. Modern technology provides a partial example because the real breakthroughs come from those who apply the Teacher theories of science in a new way that makes existing ways obsolete. This puts a different spin on the previous stage of ‘before the dance’, because dancing becomes interpreted as moving in emotional synchronization with Teacher order, leading to a person who will naturally behave in a way that expresses the Teacher laws of God.

Timon means ‘perceived value, worth’. Modern technology has changed the concept of value. Some precious jewel that merely sits there is not really valuable. Instead, a new invention is valuable because it can perform something that has never been done before. This leads to the idea of new inventions being marketed to the rich and then being adopted by the masses as prices come down. Similarly, a new breakthrough in spiritual technology would be valuable at a more personal level, probably like the way that a medical breakthrough is valuable.

Parmenas means ‘constant’. This again indicates a new way of thinking that can be partially illustrated by technology. What started as a new invention becomes a constant of society. For instance, almost everyone has a smart phone, everyone has electricity, and everyone has indoor plumbing. All of these started as innovations that were initially adopted by the rich and considered to be of great value. The most useful of these innovations have become the constants of society. In other words, a breakthrough that brings universal benefit will be adopted universally, replacing old ways of doing things.

Nikolaos means ‘victorious over the people’. This follows naturally from the previous point. The laity become conquered by the new constants of society. Again, the smart phone provides a good example. Smart phones rule over the people because they have been adopted to the point of becoming a constant in society. Antioch means ‘resistant, holding out against’. Proselyte means ‘one who has arrived’ and describes a Gentile who converted to Judaism. Putting this together, ‘victorious over the people’ is described as a convert from ‘resistant, holding out against’. Modern technology provides a possible interpretation, because when some technological breakthrough becomes a constant of society, then those who were holding out against this new technology eventually become converted and the technology becomes victorious over the people.

In summary, this strange progression is consistent with the interpretation of a spiritual economy that functions like modern technology. It does not sound like the sort of deacons that would be chosen to lead a church under absolute truth. This supports the suggestion that Acts 6 is describing a new sort of institutional system that combines religious and secular.

(Note from 2024: I just encountered an academic book that did “an exhaustive study of diakonia in Christian and non-Christian sources from about 200 BCE to 200 CE [and found] that in all such sources the word is used to mean ‘messenger’ or ‘emissary’, and has no implications of humility or of helping the needy.” Thus, ‘deacon’ actually corresponds more closely to education or marketing. Going further, ‘widows’ are interpreted in 1 Timothy 5 as mental networks of culture and religion that have been widowed by the global dominance of an objective, specialized, technological economy.

This section makes more sense when interpreted from that perspective. The apostles want to focus their research upon core topics of religion or personal existence without being sidetracked by educating secular society or marketing these concepts to secular society. This describes the mindset of the apostles at this stage in Acts.

Therefore, the apostles delegate education and marketing to a group of ‘deacons’. This begins with Stephen, who has paid the personal price to be guided by rational thought and internal Platonic forms of the Holy Spirit. This is followed by Philip, who forms organizations that externalize the internal Platonic forms of Stephen. With Prochorus, the Teacher structure of organization becomes replaced by the Teacher order of the ‘dance’ of society. Nicanor describes this new societal ‘dance’ achieving victory over existing human mental networks. This leads to the transformed sense of value of Timon, which then spreads to all of society through Parmenas. Nikolaos indicates the final stage during which all remaining facets of society become converted to the new constants of society.

This sequence is followed by the backlash of the stoning of Stephen. That is because mental networks will lash out in self-defence when faced with annihilation—as illustrated by today’s conservative backlash against secular, liberal society. My guess is that the apostles are actually setting the stage for this eventual backlash by delegating education and marketing to others. Instead, I have come to the conclusion that living within the Mercy experiences of normal life provides profound lessons that apply to the deepest cultural and religious topics. By delegating the care of ‘widows’ to others, the apostles are ensuring that these widows will eventually spark a backlash against the apostles. This does not mean that there is no place for education or marketing. Instead, it means that research should include the mental networks that guide education and marketing rather than regarding these ‘widows’ as unworthy of serious research and delegating them to separate departments of education and marketing.)

Verse 6 continues. “And they brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.” Brought means ‘to make to stand’, which is being interpreted as achieving some form of stability. Before means ‘before the face of’. This standing happens before the apostles. Thus, each stage has to achieve stability in the face of the emotional pressure provided by the apostles with their angelic authority.

Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. Lay means ‘to lay upon, to place upon’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. ‘Laying on of hands’ is traditionally interpreted as some magical impartation of spiritual power from the approved priesthood. But we have just seen from the previous paragraphs that this is not a normal priesthood. Instead, hands represent the application of technical thought. Thus, when the apostles are laying on their hands, this suggests that they are using abstract thought in order to place these stages of development within a technical framework. The passage began with the apostles saying that they did not want to wait at tables but rather wanted to be guided by their paradigms. Verse 6 implies that the apostles are waiting upon tables in a larger sense. They are not meeting specific needs but they are being guided by general trends of society. This is similar to the way that macroeconomics builds upon the individual purchases of microeconomics but goes beyond these individual purchases to look at general trends of an economy.

Verse 7 describes the results. “The word of God kept spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem.” ‘Word of God’ is ‘the logos of the God’. This describes a concept of Christ, because John 1:1 also refers to incarnation as ‘the logos of the God’. In other words, giving independence to concrete thought does not threaten an integrated understanding of God. Using technology as a partial example, the consumer society with its technological gadgets does not threaten scientific understanding. The ignorance of current consumers threatens scientific understanding, but chapter 6 is talking about a spiritual economy in which consumers themselves have to submit to a scientific-like understanding of God. Verse 7 is related to verse 6 because the apostles are ensuring that the development of the people remains tied together by a technical understanding of the character of God. Kept spreading means ‘to make to grow’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. This means that the apostles have an emotional reason to apply abstract technical thought to the growth of society: It leads to greater understanding of the character of God and not less.

Increase means ‘made full, especially to maximum capacity’. Greatly means ‘all-out, exceeding’. Number is a source of the English word ‘arithmetic’ and is interpreted as using integrated technical thought in a basic manner. For instance, one of the first steps in applying scientific analysis to some new topic is to come up with some sort of number that quantifies measurement. This is useful, but it also results in a limited understanding. Disciple means ‘a learner, a disciple’ and was first used in the beginning of chapter 6 to describe a new kind of follower who is distant from the apostles. What is being described here is the development of technicians who have a professional training but understand incarnation at the more basic level of numbers. The point is that the new spiritual economy has successfully managed to scale up by adopting a form of organizational function with a much larger group. This scaling up is happening within the religious realm of Jerusalem.

Returning to the big picture, notice how this sequence addresses the original problem of the mental networks of science being overlooked as opposed to the mental networks of religion. This is not a religious sequence, but it is also not a purely secular sequence. Instead, it combines elements of religion and science into a single progression of society.

Verse 7 concludes, “And a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. Priests were mentioned once previously in Acts in 4:1 where the priests questioned Peter and John after they had healed the lame man. At that point, the new movement had only attracted the attention of the lower religious hierarchy. In verse 7, this lower hierarchy is following the new movement. Looking at this cognitively, a priest is primarily a transmitter of truth and not a source of truth. Therefore, it is easier for a priest to leave the existing priesthood than it is for a high priest because a priest has less to lose.

Great means ‘much in number’ and many means ‘crowd, multitude’. Thus, the priests are not converting as individuals but rather as part of a group. In essence, the technicians of the original priesthood are becoming technicians of the new economy. This idea of a technician is backed up by the word obedient, which means ‘acting under the authority of the one speaking’, and this is the first use of this word in Acts. But these converted technicians are not becoming obedient to a new priesthood but rather becoming obedient to ‘the faith’. In other words, those who teach absolute truth are recognizing that the goal of absolute truth is to submit to rational understanding. Saying this another way, the converted priests are attempting to go beyond rote learning to critical thinking.

The Success of Stephen 6:8-10

Verse 8 focuses upon Stephen. “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.” The other six are not mentioned. This makes sense because Stephen represents the first stage with its direct connection to Teacher understanding. The other six names address other kinds of ‘widows’ that emerge downstream from Stephen. Stephen was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. He is now full of grace and power. Grace means ‘leaning towards to share benefit’ and describes help from God in Teacher thought. Power would refer to a supernatural enabling of natural strength, similar to a power tool. Both of these describe a form of ‘crown’ that the supernatural is placing upon the natural.

Perform means ‘to make, do’. Wonder is ‘a miraculous wonder’ and a sign is ‘a sign, typically miraculous’. Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. This is a strange sentence because humans do not ‘do’ signs and wonders. Humans do physical acts of strength. This indicates an unusual ability to function in the human world of actions while being enabled by the supernatural realm of power. This is also happening ‘in the realm of the laity’. Normally, miracles are performed (or claimed to be performed) by the priesthood apart from the laity. However, Stephen is bringing the normal life of the laity up to the level of the supernatural. This is an important point because in verse 11 Stephen will be accused of blaspheming the holy, which means bringing the supernatural down to the level of the normal life of the laity.

Opposition arises in verse 9. “But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen.” This verse begins with the verb rose up, which is the standard word for resurrection. (The NASB sticks this verb at the end of the verse.) This resurrection is only partial because ‘some rose up out from the synagogue called Freedmen’. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’ and this is the first mention of a synagogue in Acts. Freedman is mentioned once in the New Testament and refers either to one who has been liberated from slavery or the son of a freed slave.

Looking at this cognitively, today’s church finds converts among the ‘down and out’ who are in bondage to sin and bad habits. That is because such people know that they are sinners because they fall below the standard of society. The result is an implicit morality as well as an emotional fixation upon saving people out of the gutter. The point is that the existing priesthood can bring substantial salvation to ‘freed slaves’, which provides a reason for the use of the word ‘synagogue’ rather than ‘church’. (The word ‘church’ was first mentioned in 5:11.) Presumably, verse 9 is referring to a similar sort of group. The ‘resurrection’ mentioned in verse 9 suggests that some of this group is making a breakthrough into supernatural power.

Verse 9 continues, “Both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen.” Cyrene probably means ‘of high social standing’, which suggests the more educated aspect of secular society. Alexandria means ‘defender of mankind’ and was the center of ancient scientific thought with its great library. A freed slave is quite different than a ‘person of high social standing’. Applying this to the ‘down and out’, the average person saved out of the gutter has a limited education. But it is possible for a person of high social standing with a scientific education to experience hard times and be saved out of these hard times. Such a person would have the motivation and ability to become a ‘defender of mankind’, especially within the context of alien disclosure. The problem is that such a person’s morality is implicit; defending the status quo of existing human society becomes viewed as a moral imperative, because such a person felt morally driven to return to the status quo of existing human society; he was a slave and has become free. Morality for such a person means becoming freed from slavery and not necessarily acting as a moral human being.

Cilicia means ‘which rolls or overturns’ and is within southeastern Turkey. The word Asia could mean ‘East’ in Assyrian. And in Greek the word ‘east comes from the rising of the sun. Both of these terms indicate some sort of major societal transition leading to a mindset that has experienced some sort of transformation. But this transformation is not the result of internal change but is rather being imposed upon the mind by societal rolling, overturning, or the dawn of a new age. Again one sees the idea of a freed slave, but in this case the freedom is from bondage to culture.

Argue means ‘to investigate jointly’ and is used twice in Acts. In other words, societal change is being examined from two different perspectives. Stephen’s perspective views societal change as an expression of Teacher understanding and an externalization of Platonic forms of perfection. The ‘synagogue called freemen’, in contrast, views societal change as an escape from either painful Mercy experiences or else the status quo. One views growth as something that is going to a goal, while the other views growth as something that is coming from the past. This may sound like a trivial distinction, but one of the primary characteristics of evolutionary theory is that it is forbidden to think in terms of reaching some goal in a teleological manner, especially if this goal is treated as an expression of some divine mind in Teacher thought. This essay is massively violating that prohibition, because we are interpreting human history as an expression of a divine mind in Teacher thought who is implementing a plan to reach a goal of wholeness in a teleological manner. In current society, the non-teleological thinking of evolution can ignore the teleological thinking of Christianity. That is because one can use (some) rational thought to discuss evolution while a Christianity of absolute truth ultimately stops using rational thought and retreats to divine authority.

In verse 10, the situation is reversed. “But they were unable to oppose his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.” Able means ‘embodied strength that gets into the fray’. This describes the human realm of Server actions. We saw earlier that Stephen has also entered the human realm with his supernaturally enabled Server actions. Withstand means to ‘take a complete stand against’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Notice that the synagogue of freedmen views morality as opposition to either inadequacy or the status quo; one does not move forward but rather takes a stand against something.

Wisdom means ‘clarity’. And spirit refers to Platonic forms. Speaking refers to chattering, or normal talk. The problem with escaping from the past is that it leads to muddy thinking because one is trying to talk about the future without talking about the future. Notice the muddy thinking in the following quote from Wikipedia: “It is a common experience in pedagogy that a minimum of apparent teleology can be useful in thinking about and explaining Darwinian evolution even if there is no true teleology driving evolution. Thus it is easier to say that evolution ‘gave’ wolves sharp canine teeth because those teeth ‘serve the purpose of’ predation regardless of whether there is an underlying non-teleologic reality in which evolution is not an actor with intentions.” When one finds it convenient to talk about goals but has to clarify that this does not really mean that one is talking about goals, then that describes a fundamental lack of clarity. A similar fuzziness happens with regard to Platonic forms. In order to break free of the status quo, one has to have an internal concept of a better and more perfect world—a Platonic form. But this implies the existence of a God within Teacher thought who is the source of this better and more perfect world. Thus, one requires an internal vision of a better world in order to get out of one’s rut, but one must not conclude that this really is an internal vision of a better world. That is also muddy thinking. This muddy thinking enters normal speech, because one is continually saying things that one is not supposed to say.

The Synagogue of Freedmen Responds 6:11-15

In verse 11 these people claim that Stephen is blaspheming. “Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” Secretly induce is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to throw or put under’. Throwing implies using Teacher thought. Normally one uses Teacher thought to come up with generality, but in this case one is using Teacher thought to eliminate generality by ‘throwing under’. One can see this kind of ‘throwing under’ in the evolutionistic treatment of teleology. Normally, reaching some goal implies that some general plan is being carried out guided by Teacher understanding. But theoretical language is being used to submerge the idea of a general plan.

Moses represents the law that is drawn from Mercy experiences of culture. Moses means ‘to draw’ and was given that word because he was drawn from the water. Similarly, the Mosaic law was given to a tribal culture immersed within Mercy experiences. A ‘synagogue of freedmen’ would emphasize a moral law that is drawn from the Mercy experiences of slavery. The phrase ‘Moses and the God’ implies that Moses is the source and God is the follower. In other words, one starts with the human realm of Mercy experiences and pulls out of that universal Teacher order. For instance, this describes the basic premise of the theory of evolution, which states that biological life began with some primordial soup of Mercy experiences and out of that emerged the current Teacher order-within-complexity.

Verse 11 contains a strange juxtaposition of verbs. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’, implying the use of rational thought. But speak refers to the chatter of normal conversation which is not normally treated as a source of comprehension. And word is not the ‘logos’ of a technical paradigm, but rather ‘a spoken word, made by the living voice’. Thus, they are not complaining about Stephen’s technical language but rather about his daily conversation.

Similarly, those who assert the theory of evolution make a sharp distinction between technical thought and normal conversation. In normal life, one talks about formulating goals, reaching these goals, and using abstract understanding to reach these goals in a better manner. That describes the essence of economics. But one is not supposed to use such language when dealing with biological life as a whole. However, the new spiritual economy has now reached the point of affecting biological life at a comprehensive level. In a similar manner, evolution views human history as modern society emerging out of the cave man. But one is also expected to use intelligent thought to guide society. That describes the rationale for government. Likewise, Christianity views salvation as being saved out of sin. In contrast, trying to define the goal of this salvation is regarded as heading into divine territory where humans should not go. In each case, the new spiritual economy has reached a level of universality that will question these underlying assumptions.

Blasphemy means ‘to speak lightly or profanely of sacred things’. This is the only use of this word in Acts, and blasphemy as a verb is first used in 13:45. Why would a ‘synagogue of freedman’ focus upon blasphemy? The previous paragraphs describe a possible reason. Holy means separate from the world. Whenever one uses rational thought with everyday life while using a different form of thinking when dealing with technical theory, then one is implicitly building holiness. But what kind of holiness is being constructed? This is not a holiness of God in Teacher thought, because it is forbidden to apply normal human reasoning to the realm of universal Teacher order. Instead, one ends up with an implicit holiness of humanity. For instance, humans are special as the unique product of evolution. Human society is special as the unique product of human will. Or the human church is special as the product of having emerged out of sin.

Verse 12 continues. “And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes.” Stirred up is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to move together’. People means ‘laity’, elder means ‘a mature man having seasoned judgment’, and scribe means ‘a writer, scribe’. Notice that the disturbance is happening at the level of practical experience. The laity live within normal Mercy experiences. An elder has understanding based in a lifetime of Mercy experiences, and a scribe is a technician who does not necessarily understand what he is writing. None of these people actually have an understanding of the Teacher order of creation but rather assume that the world of universal Teacher order needs to be treated differently than normal human experiences. Notice also that their contest is with Stephen, who is living within concrete thought as an expression of abstract Teacher understanding. And this is not a theoretical integration but rather the common people finding implicitly that they are moving together.

Verse 12 adds, “And they came up to him and dragged him away, and brought him into the Council.” Came up to him means ‘to stand upon’ and this is the first use of this word in Acts. Drag away means ‘to snatch together’ and is also being used for the first time in Acts. And bring is being interpreted as activity that lacks personal involvement. Putting this together cognitively, these various groups have not thought consciously about holiness. But when they experience what Stephen is doing, then that is causing them to ‘stand upon him’ by solidifying Perceiver facts as well as developing Teacher theory. This is leading to a combined effort in which they are bringing their feelings of holiness to the attention of the religious leadership. In practical terms, Stephen’s success at starting from a plan of God in Teacher thought is making them feel guilty and inadequate, and they are responding to these feelings by accusing Stephen of blasphemy, because he is committing the ‘blasphemy’ of acting as if God in Teacher thought is related to normal human existence and then committing the further sin of being successful.

Verse 13 describes the resulting dishonesty. “They put forward false witnesses who said, ‘This man does not stop speaking words against this holy place and the Law.’” Put forward means ‘to make to stand’, which is being interpreted as the rise of stability in Perceiver thought. Thus, what was implicit is being turned into explicit ‘truth’. ‘Speaking words’ as before means the chattering of live speech. ‘Holy place’ is a contradiction in terms because ‘place’ implies that one can compare one location with another while ‘holy’ implies a special location that cannot be compared with other locations. But this contradiction defines the essence of the holiness that has been described in the previous paragraphs because a feeling of holiness is continually being used to stop normal thinking from entering the realm of Teacher universality. For instance, Nature is not a person; teleology does not mean teleology; the God who created intelligent humans in his own image cannot be discussed intelligently by humans; progress is always ‘from’, it is never ‘to’.

This is also the first reference to ‘the law’ in Acts. This term can refer to ‘the Law (Scripture)’ especially when preceded by the definite article, or to ‘any system of religious thinking’. The word ‘law’ comes from a verb that means ‘to parcel out’. Parceling out thinks in terms of Perceiver facts and Perceiver locations, as expressed by the idea of a holy place. This is different than the idea of righteousness, in which one performs Server actions that are consistent with the character of God in Teacher thought. But the previous paragraphs have described a form of thinking that is based in Perceiver place and not in Server righteousness. Believing that God behaves is being regarded as blasphemy. This may be blasphemy against the transcendent God of Christian doctrine, against the purposeless ‘God’ of evolution, or against the idea of God guiding human history. Instead, God is viewed as inhabiting a different place than normal life, a place that is holier than normal life. For instance, the average Christian thinks of moral law as a set of divinely imposed barriers that one must not cross, not as a set of divine exemplars that one follows. This Perceiver-based concept of moral law has entered the ‘Sanhedrin’ of Christian theology.

The argument grows in verse 14. “For we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Say does not mean chatter but rather means ‘bringing a message to closure’. Jesus means ‘Yah is salvation’ and the word Nazareth probably comes from a Hebrew word for ‘branch’. A branch grows out of a tree; it is an expression of the tree. Thus, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ implies that Jesus is a branch of a larger living entity. And this is precisely the message of Stephen, which treats the concrete salvation of Jesus as merely a branch of a larger tree of the divine Christ.

Destroy means to ‘loosen thoroughly’. What is being loosened is ‘this place’, indicating again a focus upon Perceiver thought. In other words, they are complaining that treating concrete salvation as an expression of divine understanding will pull apart the idea of treating law from a Perceiver perspective. And they are right. One needs to be guided by a concept of a God who behaves, not limited by the concept of a God who restricts. Following God in righteousness will pull apart the stony heart of thinking in terms of rules and restrictions.

The word change is used once in Acts and comes from a word that means ‘another of the same kind’. Custom means ‘behavior based on tradition’. Handed down was used once previously in Acts in 3:13. It means ‘to deliver over with a sense of close involvement’ and is the verb used to describe the betrayal of Jesus. However, it can also have a positive meaning of delivering something. Looking at this cognitively, when there is a major societal shift, then some person or group has to instigate this shift. This can happen in a negative manner through a betrayal or in a positive manner through a delivering.

Moses instigated a major shift that involved being drawn from the water of Mercy experiences, similar to the way that the ‘synagogue of freedmen’ was drawn from the water of slavery. The one who is freed from slavery is not trying to behave in a way that expresses God’s character, but rather wants to become free in order to behave in a way that is based on tradition. For instance, I recently was standing in line at the local dollar store and noticed some lady buying many bottles of pop. I made a comment and the lady responded that drinking pop is better than getting drunk. In other words, her goal was to move up from slavery to alcohol to the normal tradition of drinking pop. Her goal was not to go beyond the normal tradition of drinking pop to some healthier beverage.

Going further, Stephen is not being accused of transforming existing traditional behavior but rather of adjusting it. Applying this to evolutionary theory or historical analysis, current humanity is always regarded as the epitomy, or end result, of past development. Current humanity is seldom regarded as an incomplete example of a more complete form in the future. Or if some future humanity is discussed, it is usually presented as a twisted or perverted form of current human perfection. However, it is generally forbidden to suggest that current behavior is inadequate. Current behavior may need to be extended and applying to more areas but it is seldom—if ever—regarded as inadequate.

The end result of this regarding of the status quo as holy is to transform Stephen. “And all who were sitting in the Council stared at him, and they saw his face, which was like the face of an angel.”

Staring means ‘to stare at because fully occupied with’. And at means ‘to or into’. This response is bizarre, because the highest religious council is staring hypnotically at some person. Looking at this cognitively, Stephen is actually doing what the priesthood has attempted to do, which is to apply the principles of God to gain success within the human realm. The priesthood talks about representing God, but its real goal is to use religion as a means to gain success within the human realm. This would be like a witch doctor encountering real science and technology. What the witch doctor pretends to do, real technology actually does. Or one could also compare this to a beginner in some skill watching the effortless perfection of the expert. One could see that this would lead to a total fixation.

See means ‘to see with the mind’. The face would represent mental networks of personal communication. Like means ‘as if, as it were, like’. This is the second time that an angel has been mentioned in Acts. The first time in 5:19, an angel told the apostles to preach a message of life. That was strange, because angels are living messengers (the word angel means ‘messenger’). In verse 15, Stephen, a human, has a face that looks like the face of an angel. In the previous encounter with an angel, the priesthood concluded that they as humans had no chance competing with angelic beings. They now see that Stephen, a human, is like an angel at the level of mental networks. Looking at this more generally, my hypothesis is that angels and humans have the same minds but live in different ‘containers’, and that these different containers cause the same kind of mind to develop in radically different directions. This mental compatibility is backed up by the fact that aliens always seem to communicate telepathically with humans. If human and angelic minds were not compatible, then human and angelic minds would be unable to communicate. Notice that the priesthood is mentally seeing this similarity between human and angelic mental networks. Humans and angel minds inhabit radically different containers, but they can become emotionally compatible at the level of fundamental mental networks even while continuing to inhabit these radically different containers.

Part 2