Monday, December 24, 2012

Back to Seth

There is one God, but within that God are many. There is one self, but within that self are many. There is one body, in one time, but the self has other bodies in other times. All “times” exist at once.

The voice is that of Seth, the "energy personality essence" channeled by Jane Roberts. We are near the beginning of the third of the Seth books, titled The "Unknown" Reality. I see from my note on the flyleaf that I purchased this book on 8.8.88.
    I came to the Seth materials reluctantly, even after I moved to upstate New York, not so far from where Jane Roberts had lived and practiced (in the Saratoga area and later in Elmira). I was wary around psychic mediums, perhaps because my great-aunt, the opera singer, had foreseen my death in the tea leaves when I was three years old. She was entirely accurate, by the way; in the words of a doctor in a hospital in the winter that followed, I was a boy who died and came back.
    Then, too, I winced at the slovenly or overly portentous verbiage of much of the channeled material that had come to my attention. Much of it seemed quite lacking in humor or wordcraft.
    It took an intervention to get me to start reading the Seth books. The intervention came embodied by a lively, intelligent woman from Caracas named Romelia. I had met her the previous year in Brazil, where we had investigated the mixology of caipirinhas. On a visit to New York, she called me at the farm to which I had recently moved. Naturally, I invited her to visit. At the end of the long drive to the farm house, she could not wait to cross my threshold before she shouted, "Robert, you must read Jane Roberts!"
    And I did, and I did. 
I started with Seth Speaks. I was stunned. Here was the clearest model I had so far found for the nature of the self and the conditions for reality creation in the multiverse. I could have done without all the interruptions to the text (as we are told that Jane paused to smoke a cigarette, for example) but nonetheless the voice came through, bold and clear.
    Before long I was dreaming my own version of Seth. He looked like a knobby Dutch or Scandinavian publican, who might have spent time at sea, and I drew him looking like that. Years later, when I saw a picture of Seth by Jane Roberts’ husband Rob Butts, I was struck by the strong resemblance.

     I became content to respond to the Seth material channeled by Jane Roberts according to its inherent quality, without asking many questions about the source.
     As I listen to Seth again, I am again thrilled by the simplicity and vital importance of his key statements. Re-read the one that opens this post. This goes to the heart of what it means to be a conscious citizen of the multiverse.
     I was interested to find a detailed account by Jane Roberts in a 1976 essay of what it was like to be speaker for The "Unknown" Reality. She described t
he book as the product of “an inner psychic ‘combustion’ – the spark that is lit in our world, as Seth’s reality strikes mine – or vice versa." She said that in her trance of transmission she entered "a higher state of wakefulness rather than the sleep usually associated with trance – but a different kind of wakefulness, in which the usual world seems to be sleeping.” This type of trance brought "a feeling of inexhaustible energy, emotional wholeness, and subjective freedom.” In a striking attempt to define her relationship with Seth, she added, “I think I’m alive in Seth’s subjective ‘body’ in the same way that one of my cells is alive in my physical body.” 

Photo collage; Jane Robert with portrait of Seth by her husband Robert Butts


fran said...

Hi Robert, I have always had a similar response to channeled material, so little of it seems to pass unscathed through the belief filters of the medium such that it hard to tell what part of it is worth the effort of study. Part of the Cayce material is very interesting but it seems to be filtered through the worldview of a pious early 19th century physician. That voice tends toward veneration of the godhead and rarely spends time fleshing out the details of things that are hidden to us and the effect is to leave one wanting more useful information. Plus it often seems grumpy and contentious.

When I first saw the Seth books I was really put off by the fact that it was channeled and the grotesque paperback cover image of Jane Roberts with her head thrown back and her mouth twisted in an odd shape. Only later did I take my sister's advice and read the books. I was impressed with the quality of the material and the scale and scope of the ideas, and I love Seth's humor. It was the first time that I'd found confirmation that reincarnation occurs outside of linear time, and the idea of the multidimensional personality changed my entire worldview and opened my mind to new possibilities, which I must admit took a while for me to accept. And my real dreamwork began with reading Jane's book on dreaming and that inspired me to try some of the Seth dream experiments, which taught me that doing work on your own dreams is the best way to set forth in dreaming.

I was happy to see this blog entry as a few days ago I stumbled upon one of the "Early Sessions" volumes and began rereading it instead of taking one of the books from my looming to-read stack. It is nice to revisit these writings with a decade or so more experience and see them from a new angle. I've also taken the approach of ignoring all of the asides and digressions that Rob Butts makes about Jane sipping wine and blinking, and the atrocious Dr. Instream material which goes on and on and seems utterly pointless to the reader. Jane Roberts has left quite a legacy in both her own writing and the Seth material, but I feel that the Seth texts need some major editing to shift the attention to Seth's words and the ideas he is putting forth!

Happy Christmas to all!

Robert Moss said...

Yes Fran, I agree the best way to read the Seth books is to skip over all the interruptions and interpolations. It would be grand to see editions in which they are simply presented as books rather than transcriptions of the channeled sessions. When the tone and language are seriously off inside Seth's main narratives, I wonder about the accuracy of the transcriber (recording in his own idiosyncratic shorthand.) I wince at the use of words like "awareized" (in The "Unknown" Reality") and find it hard to believe that this is the way Seth really intended to express himself.

I agree, again, that it is good to go back to seminal books long after the first reading and see how we find them with the benefit - and the weathering - of further life experience and study. The Seth materials have stood the test of time, for me, but alas the editing (or rather the lack thereof) have not.