Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Seth Phenomenon
Jane Roberts and "Seth"
WHAT YOU CAN STILL FIND.... A friend reminded me of this recently. It's a secret some otherwise rational people share, that a woman named Jane Roberts channelled a "personality" who was demonstrably smarter than she ever was, who made fools of psychiatrists and scientists who attempted to debunk him in live trance sessions, and made sense of the nature of existence even to people like me, who had to discover quantum physics before we could read Seth with anything like an open mind.
Basically, my friend challenged me to man up and admit that the Seth books -- now no longer in print -- were a major philosophical milestone for me as they had been for him. We've known each other for a quarter century and I can't recall having discussed this matter with him before. That's how secretive and defensive we can be, meaning writers who know what writing is and how impossible it is that the Seth books could be some kind of hoax. Seth was a writer on the order of Immanuel Kant. Jane Roberts, uh, wasn't.
Here's the nub. A woman from Elmira, New York, published in the 1980s a series of books "dictated" by a personality she channelled in a trance state. Her husband transcribed these sessions with embedded time codes, demonstrating that the sessions were occurring in real time and at great speed. with no edits or corrections. The Seth personality had an unmistakeable tone of voice, very even and precise. He was evidently, to all of us who know writing, a formidable and careful intellect who defined his terms from a great height, aware that there were in many cases no words in our vocabulary to capture what he was saying. But he never hid behind that handicap. He was, well, relentless about finding words that would convey his concepts. He was also continuously joyful about life. Although Jane Roberts died young from a mysterious wasting disease that could and probably should have made her bitter about the nature of existence.
Things that have stayed with me over the years that strike me as remarkably penetrating, plausible, and thought-provoking. According to Seth, the Christ event was an incredibly important and real event, imperfectly remembered perhaps, but consisting of a single transcendant and archetypal meta-personality incarnating in three different individuals to precipitate Christianity: John the Baptist, Christ, and St. Paul. He said the crucifixion as we remember it did not occur in fact but became real afterwards, which relates to his description of existence itself.
He said of the world's major religions -- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc -- that there was one which was a fraud. Islam. (Hardly PC in the early 1980s...)
He said he could find no information about Atlantis. He speculated that Atlantis either didn't exist or was a memory of the future. (If you're a cheap seer, wouldn't this be a question you'd have a ready answer for...?)
He said, by way of explaining some of these phenomena, that all time is simultaneous. There is simply one continuous present in which we all participate in a process of creating consensus reality. He postulated the existence of mass events, like the Kennedy assassination (or presumably 9/11) in which we agree via dreams and other subconscious forces to enact a drama that enables us as individuals to realize our characters and pursue our own personal growth.
We do not, any of us, ever die. We are all creators in training. And we all have so many existences in parallel worlds -- every decision does split the universe -- that every sort of potential we possess is realized, which is the good news. The bad news is that if we realized how many versions of ourselves are operating in parallel realities, we'd feel hopelessly insignificant. Although we're not insignificant. Because every one of us is one center of the universe.
He also talked about pets, many of who whom are "fragment personalities" of people we have known who choose to remain with us even as the larger part of themselves move on.
I'm not saying that I have no skepticism about Seth. I'm saying that I read all the books and there are no inconsistencies, which, believe me, I'm always alert to. And I'm wondering these days about Mickey, who was born a few months after my dad died (although I didn't meet him, couldn't have met him for a couple of years after that death) and seems to spend an inordinate amount of time these days taking charge of all the dogs and cats and telling me what to do and when. Sometimes he just stares at me. For no reason. But he definitely wants to be with me. All the time. Which for a feral cat is a miracle.
Okay, George? Have I done my duty?