Monthly Archives: August 2012
I was born into a family of book lovers. Both of my parents read to us, wonderful tales like “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Hobbit”, “The Secret Garden,” and many more. I loved not only the tales, but the hard back books beautifully illustrated.
As a child, my father moved all of us around a lot, for no tangible reason. This was hard, particularly the time we moved to Ireland and had to give away one of my favorite dogs ever, Clark. One of the stable things in my young life were the books, placed into rough, hand-made book shelves my father would build each time we moved. To this day, I always feel comforted when surrounded by shelves and shelves of books.
So, in honor of the love and comfort books have given me now for over 50 years, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite books from the metaphysical section of my library. These are books I have read, earmarked (now with new book darts that don’t ruin the page!), recommended to others, and plan on keeping until I, too, yellow, crinkle, and dim. I hope to share with you the delight, insight, and other experiences these books have brought to my life. So, come with me! Let me show you the first book I have taken down from my overcrowded bookshelf.
Book 1: The Nature of Personal Reality/by Jane Roberts
The first book I have chosen is “The Nature of Personal Reality,” by Jane Roberts. I actually bought this book over a year ago. I placed it in a prominent spot in my bookshelf mostly because it fit there. I would walk by it daily and tell myself, “Read this soon!” One morning, when a client said I reminded her of the author of this book, I decided the time had come TO actually read it. At this time, too, I had been revisiting my early, teenage, spiritual influences. Jane Roberts was one of those.
Now for those of you who don’t know anything about Jane Roberts, let me briefly introduce you to her. Starting in the early 1960’s, Jane Roberts began “channeling” a personality called Seth after she and her husband, Robert Butts, were working with a Ouija board. What followed was over 20 year of sessions where Jane would go into a light trance and her husband would write down what she, or rather, Seth, said. Each session was meticulously transcribed, with Robert precisely noting the time sessions began, stopped, paused, and ended. The topics transcribed were varied, with many connected to metaphysical thinking. In fact, the “Seth Material” influenced many of the current, popular New Age thinkers.
This particular book, “The Nature of Personal Reality”, contains more than 75 sessions examining how we as individual’s create our personal reality. Seth’s explanation, however, is far more complex than simply thinking something into creation. To understand how we do create reality, Seth touches on a variety of areas: the conscious and unconscious mind; emotion and thought; and time itself.
I found Seth’s view of the unconscious quite interesting. He does not see the unconscious as a deep, dark place that is difficult to access. Instead, it is a place which contains “great portions of your own experience in which you have been taught not to believe,” (pg. 69) and, is easy to access.
Some of my favorite sessions in this book revolve around how Seth views both emotions and thoughts. Belief is the seed of our creation, says Seth. But then, like an artist with a palette, “Your thoughts give the general outline of the reality that you physically experience. Your emotions will fill in the patterns with light. The imagination will forge these together. The sound of your inner thoughts is the medium that you actually use.” (pp. 90 – 1) When he speaks of mind in this way, my buddhist background calls out to me. Is he speaking of the natural luminosity of the mind? He continues on this somewhat buddhist path when he suggest we simply leave our various, “magnificent, trivial, frightening, or glorious thoughts,” alone – they will simply come and go. This parallels part of the shamatha meditation training I was taught.
Being utterly fascinated with the concept of time, I also enjoyed Seth’s idea that all of our reincarnational lives are happening simultaneously at once. If this is true, this would explain how from the present, an individual can effect both past and future time. I like, too, how Seth talks about “probable futures”, a term I often use when doing predictive tarot readings. My husband, Michael, and I both see prediction in terms of probable lines of energy based on present circumstances and decisions. We even like to add (when possible) how probable this may be – say 80%, 50%, or otherwise.
The voice of Seth, as spoken through Jane, is quite quirky, tremendously encouraging, and surprising well-mannered! I particularly like his use of the word “creature hood” , as well as how he often ends a session with “I bid you a fond good night.” As for his encouragement, not only is it sincere, but often eloquently put, in lines such as “You are a multidimensional personality. Make no divisions between the physical and the spiritual in your lifetimes, for the spiritual speaks with a physical voice and the corporeal body is the creation of the spirit.” (pg. 433)
Besides putting forth ideas about the nature of our reality, Seth also suggests some simple exercises to begin shifting our beliefs, and thus, change our reality. He first gives two methods of determining the beliefs that are behind our reality. The most direct one involves simply having a series of talks with yourself and then writing down your beliefs in a variety of areas. In doing so, no doubt you will come across contradictory beliefs: “These represent opposing beliefs that regulate your emotions, your bodily condition and your physical experience. “ Seth then encourages you to keep going, examining the conflicts. From there, you will see invisible beliefs which you have ignored up until now because “they represent areas of strife which you have not been willing to handle thus far.” (pg. 213)
The second method is to look at emotions that arise, accept them without judgment, and see what belief is behind these emotions.
In Seth’s opinion, there is no such thing as good or bad emotions or thoughts, a view that is incongruent with many current New Age views. Take, for example, Seth’s view of aggression. He feels there is a natural aggression that is inherently part of creativity – “the real nature of aggressiveness . . . in its truest sense simply means forceful action. This does not necessarily imply physical force, but instead the power of energy directed into a material action.” (pg. 137) Violence, he claims, comes more from a sense of powerlessness.
Although I agree with much of his ideas, there are some ideas, like the idea that everyone choose how they are going to die, I truly cannot support. Or his provocative ideas about people who live in potential disaster zones. For instance, he says there is a particular kind of person drawn to live in earthquake zones: “Such people are attracted to such spots because of their innate understanding of the astonishing relationship between exterior circumstances and their own private mental and emotional patterns.” Still, he does say some rather nice things about earthquake people – that they have “great energy”, and “intense capacities for creativity and innovation.” (pg. 349)
Nevertheless, I can heartily recommend this unique book. Reading it, I felt stimulated, encouraged, and generally entertained. I found myself later ruminating over some of the passages. Right now, for instance, I am mulling over Seth’s theory that each of us is part of a greater self, a self that simultaneously is having adventures in other places and other times. Is that sudden thought I have about jousting coming from my medieval self in the midst of battle? Who knows! But it sure is fun to consider.