From 1963, up to the time of her death in 1984, the American writer Jane Roberts channelled a massive body of work by the ‘energy personality essence’ known only as Seth, breaking open the floodgates for the New Age Movement and presenting a profound, intricate and ground-breaking philosophy that had never before been heard in such detail, and from which the reverberations can still be felt today.
Aside from the following Ra Material, there remains no channeled work in the literary canon of the west more far-reaching in its influence, and that remains, in nearly every case, more relevant, concise and thorough than the decades of copy still being produced in its wake.
Ever controversial, The Seth Material was conducive to bringing the concept of channeling to a much wider audience, propelling the ideas of clairvoyance and psychic phenomena into the mix with the corresponding countercultural hippie movement of the late 60’s and 70’s.
For the first time in recent memory, the dominant institutions that had formed the 1st-world world view were not only being challenged, but wholly discarded — not through any argument aimed at them, per se, but through the scope of an observation so wide-reaching and astute in its seamless marriage of spirituality and science that it left even the most cutting-edge iterations of either in the dust.
Chief among the fore-running ideas of this time was the concept that every human holds the same potential for divinity within — a core theme that continues to pass through most of the annals of the genre it spawned to this day. The writers and speakers influenced by Seth were many — Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Richard Bach and Shakti Gawain not the least among them. (It also famously served as somewhat of a Catalyst for Jim Henson’s cinematic opus The Dark Crystal.)
While it would simply not be possible to provide even a sliver of the revelations to be found in the multi-volume body of work provided by Seth over the last decades prior to Roberts’ death, collected here are 10 quotes from varying books in the collection that will hopefully, nonetheless, provide somewhat of a taster.
“When people are convinced that the self is untrustworthy, for whatever reasons, or that the universe is not safe, then instead of luxuriating in the use of their abilities, exploring the physical and mental environments, they begin to pull in their realities to contract their abilities, to over-control their environments. They become frightened people and frightened people do not want freedom, mental or physical. They want shelter, a definite set of rules. They want to be told what is good and bad. They lean toward compulsive behavior patterns. They seek out leaders – political, scientific or religious – who will order their lives for them.”
“I am trying to tell you that if you look inward, and study your own sacredness and creativity and blessedness, and joy and power, as closely as you study the sacred books of the gods, then you would realize that all those books of the gods were based upon the great reality of the individual, the individual soul, and therefore based upon your own reality.”
“If you examine your thoughts for five minutes at various times during the day for several times a month, you will indeed receive a correct impression of the kind of life you have arranged for yourself in the next existence. If you are not pleased with what you discover, then you had better begin changing the nature of your thoughts and feelings.”
“When you do not know what to do, relax and tell yourself that other portions of yourself do know; they will take over. Give yourself some rest. Remind yourself that in many ways you are a very successful person as you are. Success does not necessarily involve great intellect or great position or great wealth; it has to do with inner integrity. Remember that.”
“If you find that you are berating yourself because of something you did yesterday, or ten years ago, you are not being virtuous. You are most likely involved with artificial guilt. Even if a violation occurred, natural guilt does not involve penance. It is meant as a precautionary measure, a reminder before an event… “It is not virtuous in any way to put yourself down, or to punish yourself, because you do not feel you have lived up to your best behavior at any given time.”
“You cannot love your neighbor, in fact, until you love yourself, and if you believe that it is wrong to love yourself, then you are indeed unable to love anyone else.”
“…at no time are any events predestined. There should be no such word in your vocabulary, for with every moment you change, and every heartbeat is an action, and every action changes every other action.”
“Nothing exists outside the psyche, however, that does not exist within it, and there is no unknown world that does not have its psychological or psychic counterpart. Man learned to fly as he tried to exteriorize inner experience, for in out of body states in dreams he had long been familiar with flight. All excursions into outer reality come as the psyche attempts to reproduce in any given ‘exterior’ world the inner freedom of its being.”
“…because objects just originate in man’s imagination anyway, there’s always a strong connection between objects and man’s dreams. They act as symbols of inner reality, so it’s only natural that whether he’s aware of it or not, man perceives objects in such a fashion that they also stand for symbols that first originate in his dreams.”
“I feel sorry for anyone who feels that they must take such a huge responsibility upon their poor shoulders. Your responsibility, in your terms, lies in recognizing the joy of your being, and expressing its many aspects. When you express your being, you automatically fulfill your responsibilities. When you think of responsibilities in those terms, however, you think of taking something alien upon yourself and holding it up and bearing the weight. And then you think of being serious and long-faced and dignified and adult and saintly and of making sure that you fulfill yourself. But when you let yourself go, you automatically fulfill yourself. If you will forgive the same analogy, for I use it often, can you imagine a flower in the garden in the morning saying, ‘I must fulfill my responsibilities; therefore, my leaves must go out so-so [gesturing], and my head must be up and pert, and I must smile at the sun.’ And so all the time while our poor deluded flower is trying to bear the weight of its responsibility, its head grows heavy, and its mouth drops lower, because it must be so certain that it does the right thing. But when our flower forgets, and remembers that it is a flower, then it is. And in its being, it fulfills its flowerhood and, therefore, in those terms, its responsibilities.”