The material collectively known as "The Seth Material" was channeled by Jane Roberts beginning in 1963 continuing until the early 1980's. With over 1500 sessions and 23 books the Seth Material is some of the greatest channeled material published to date. The Seth books have sold over 7 million copies and been translated into 11 languages. Most of the original material has been archived at the Yale University library. Seth described himself as an "energy personality essence no longer focused in physical reality" who was independent and distinct from Jane Roberts.
The Primary Seth-Dictated Books are as follows:
- Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul
- The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book
- The "Unknown" Reality, Volumes I & II
- The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression
- The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events: A Seth Book
- Dreams, "Evolution," and Value Fulfillment, Volumes I & II
- The Magical Approach
The main tenets of The Seth material in short form are:
1.) We create our own reality.
2.) Our point of power is the present.
3.) We are not at the mercy of the subconscious, nor are we helpless. and
4.) We are gods couched in creaturehood.
The Seth material is primarily metaphysical in nature and goes into incredible depth of how reality is constructed at the conscious and subconscious levels.
Tenets of the Seth Material - long form
(While I can't personally verify the accuracy of the following tenets as I have not read all the Seth material yet, on the whole it seems to be fairly accurate.)
The Seth Material covers a wide variety of topics, including the nature of physical reality, the origins of the universe, the theory of evolution, the Christ story, the nature of God, and the purpose of life. The Seth personality made the following assertions, among many others:
The physical universe is one of a multitude of universes or “systems of reality”, some physical in nature, some mental or spiritual, and some completely foreign to human concepts, each with its own natural laws, and each as valid as any other. As in the “many worlds hypothesis”, our physical universe has multiple “probable” renditions. Any event or action which is likely to occur in one probable universe will be actualized in that or another probable universe, or will be actualized in the dream universe or in some other system of reality. There are, as examples given by Seth, probable universes in which the dinosaurs are still alive, and probable universes in which Christianity did not develop. Each individual has many counterparts within the probable renditions of the universe, not all of whom have the same name, occupation or personal relationships. All systems of reality are, to some extent, camouflages since all beings have an existence which is independent of any system. The number of systems is infinite since new systems come into existence constantly. No system of reality is closed or finite; energy and information pass through all systems.
Reincarnation is the rule, although many misconceptions abound. For example, human beings never reincarnate as animals; cause-and-effect does not operate from one life to the next; and reincarnation does not end in a state of nirvana. Each individual must experience fatherhood, motherhood and childhood, and thus must incarnate at least twice; the maximum number varies, depending on the temperament and needs of the individual. There is a period of rest between incarnations, and sometimes individuals will occupy other planes of existence before returning to the Earth. When an individual’s reincarnational cycle is over, the individual moves on to other systems of reality. There is no heaven or hell, only continued existence.
The majority of souls who are reincarnating enter the fetus shortly before, during or after birth. If the mother is considering an abortion, the soul will be aware of that and can choose not to incarnate. If the soul enters the fetus and the fetus is then aborted, the soul continues on to other lives. Some souls seek the in utero experience and do not wish to be born. According to Seth, there is no actual death in the universe; even the cells of the fetus reincarnate.
Each human individual has many layers, most notably an “outer ego”, which interacts with the physical world, and an “inner ego” or “inner self” which is concerned with the mechanics of constructing the physical world, and which existed prior to any incarnations. The entire self (which Seth referred to as an “entity”) is a gestalt consisting of the various selves that the entity has been through all past existences (physical and nonphysical), plus all the currently reincarnated selves, and all their probable counterparts. According to Seth, human beings are generally unaware of the inner self, although it comes through as intuition and the “inner voice” that many people believe they hear. At death, the outer ego lives on and continues to develop; it becomes part of the entire gestalt that forms the entity, but is free to evolve as it chooses and to develop new associations.
Each incarnated self exists in four universes simultaneously: the physical universe, which is the result of coordinated mass mental projections on the part of its inhabitants; a dream universe, which is created in the same way but has less rigid natural laws; an adjacent electrical universe, where the inner self resides and all mental activity occurs; and an anti-matter universe of which Seth said very little. The various portions of the self, and the various universes, are all aspects of a single whole, though Seth referred to them separately for the sake of explication. Ultimately, there are no boundaries to the self just as there are no boundaries to any system of reality. All portions of the self contribute to dreams, which continue when the outer ego is awake.
Time and space are illusions, and both the past and future coexist with the present in what Seth referred to as a “spacious present”; therefore, a person’s incarnations in different time periods are actually lived simultaneously, as opposed to consecutively. Communication among the various past, present and future selves occurs during the dream state. Time appears to exist in a linear form because of limitations inherent in the physical human brain.
All individuals create their own circumstances and experiences within the shared earthly environment, similar to the doctrine of responsibility assumption. The phrase “you create your own reality” was frequently used by Seth and may have originated with him. The inner self is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the individual’s physical body and immediate physical environment. Events, however, unfold according to the outer ego’s beliefs and attitudes. Both productive and unproductive attitudes are translated into reality, and thus one of the tasks of the individual is to learn how to direct his or her thoughts in positive directions. In a private session given to a friend of Jane Roberts, the Seth personality said:
“You must watch the pictures that you paint with your imagination, for you allow your imagination too full a reign. If you read our early material, you will see that your environment and the conditions of your life at any given time are the direct result of your own inner expectations. You form physical materializations of these realities within your own mind.
“If you imagine dire circumstances, ill health, or desperate loneliness, these will be automatically materialized, for these thoughts themselves bring about the conditions that will give them reality in physical terms. If you would have good health, then you must imagine this as vividly as in fear you imagine the opposite.
“You create your own difficulties. This is true for each individual. The inner psychological state is projected outward, gaining physical reality — and this — regardless of the nature of the psychological state. The rules apply to everyone. You can use them for your own benefit and change your own conditions once you realize what they are.
“You cannot escape your own attitudes, for they will form the nature of what you see. Quite literally you see what you want to see; and you see your own thoughts and emotional attitudes materialized in physical form. If changes are to occur, they must be mental and psychic changes. These will be reflected in your environment. Negative, distrustful, fearful, or degrading attitudes toward anyone work against the self.”
There is a God, whom Seth referred to as “All That Is” and described as a “primary energy gestalt”. God is composed of self-replicating and inexhaustible mental energy, and contains all of Creation within it. God is therefore a gestalt of all existence, as in Pantheism and Panentheism (a gestalt being a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts). The mental energy of God is the composite substance of all things, including all beings, all universes, and all events and phenomena. God’s consciousness extends into all things as they are created, and is therefore omnipresent. For these reasons, all things in existence, including physical matter, have life and consciousness. God wishes to experience existence in all its forms and ramifications, and through its creations is able to do this. God is therefore dynamic and ever-changing and shares in the failures, triumphs, perfections and imperfections of its creations. The individuals that exist within God, though part of God, have free will and self-determination. If there is reality outside of God, the Seth personality was not aware of it.
There was a Creation, but it differs markedly from the Christian version. In God’s early stages, the universe existed in a state of potentiality within what Seth referred to as God’s dreams. The power of God’s consciousness was so great that the individuals in its dreams had self-awareness, and they clamored to be made real. The creation occurred when God learned the means to make its dreams real.
Christ, who still exists, is a highly evolved entity who has existence in many systems of reality. However, Christ has the same relationship to God that all other individuals do — i.e., he is part of God. At the time of Christ, the Christ entity incarnated as three individuals — John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and Paul or Saul of Tarsus — and each was to some degree aware of his role in founding a new religion (although Paul/Saul was not aware of his role until after his conversion to Christianity). Seth said that Jesus was not crucified, and that it is not in the nature of enlightened individuals to sacrifice themselves. Rather, a willing and deluded surrogate, who believed himself to be the Messiah, was substituted in Jesus’ place, and it was this surrogate whom Judas betrayed (and who was then crucified). Jesus was then able to be “resurrected” because he had not actually died. Seth said that the crucifixion of Jesus did occur as a shared psychic event, but it did not occur as a physical event.
Paul/Saul will reincarnate in the 21st century to correct mistakes that he made that set Christianity on the wrong course, and a period of spiritual awareness will ensue. Paul/Saul will not identify himself as Christ, and some will view him as the anti-Christ since his appearance will hasten the decline of traditional Christianity, along with other organized religions. Paul/Saul will be known as a psychic; he will strive “to straighten out Christianity, which will be in shambles at the time of His arrival”, and he will form “a new system of thought when the world is sorely in need of one”. The events surrounding the return of Paul/Saul will substantially be complete by the year 2075, but the ensuing changes to society will take a century to unfold.
Seth on Identity and Stability
Identity, because of its characteristics, will continually seek stability, while stability is impossible . . . It is this dilemma between identity’s constant attempts to maintain stability and action’s inherent drive for change that results in the imbalance, the exquisite creative by-product that is consciousness . . . identity must seek stability while action must seek change, yet identity could not exist without change, for it is the result of action and a part of it . . . every action is a termination. And yet without the termination, identity would cease to exist, for consciousness without action would cease to be conscious.
[Note the correspondence to quantum physics regarding: ". . . every action is a termination." In quantum physics the detection process acts on the wave motion creating the particle view or identity. In effect our existence and consciousness is the process of momentarily stopping the change (the waves and motion) to create the NOW, stability and existence, that is, like creating a stable 'time layer' moving through the waves of probabilities.]
Seth on Conception of Time
Any event that you perceive is only a portion of the true dimensionality of that event. The observer and the object perceived are a part of the same event, each changing the other. This interrelationship always exists in any system of reality and at any level of activity. In certain terms, for example, even an electron “knows” it is being observed through your instrument.
…Time and space are each the result of psychological properties. When you ask how old is the universe, or how old is the world, then you are taking for granted that time and space are somehow or other almost absolute qualities.
…Space, again, is a psychological property. So is time. The universe did not, then, begin at some specified point in time, or at any particular location in space-for it is true to say that all of space and all of time appeared simultaneously, and appear simultaneously.
You cannot pinpoint the location of consciousness.
When you are dreaming you cannot pinpoint your dream location in the same way that you can determine, say, the chair or the bureau that may sit on the floor by the bed in which you dream. The inner location is real, however, and meaningful activity can take place within it. Physical space exists in the same manner, except that it is a mass psychologically shared property-but at one “time” in the beginning this was not so.
In the beginning, physical space had the qualities that dream space has to you now. It seemed to have a more private nature, and only gradually, in those terms, did it become publicly shared.
Source: Dreams, “Evolution”, and Value Fulfillment pg.164-165
Seth on Concept of God in Relation to the Ego
The Hebrews conceived of an overseer god, an angry just and sometimes cruel god; and many sects denied, then, the idea that other living beings beside man possessed inner sprits. The earlier beliefs (prior to the Hebrews) represented a far better representation of inner reality, in which man, observing nature, let nature speak and reveal its secrets.
The Hebrew god, however, represented a projection of a different kind. Man was growing more and more aware of the ego, of a sense of power over nature, and many of the later miracles are presented in such a way that nature is forced to behave differently than in its usual mode. God becomes man’s ally against nature.
The early Hebrew god became a symbol of man’s unleashed ego, God behaved exactly as an enraged child would, had he those powers, sending thunder and lightning and fire against his enemies, destroying them. Man’s emerging ego therefore brought forth emotional and psychological problems and challenges. The sense of separation from nature grew. Nature became a tool to use against others.
Sometime before the emergence of the Hebrew god these tendencies were apparent. In many ancient, now-forgotten tribal religions, recourse was also made to the god’s to turn nature against the enemy. Before this time, however, man felt a part of nature, not separated from it. It was regarded as an extension of his being, as he felt an extension of its reality. One cannot use oneself as a weapon against oneself in those terms.
In those times men spoke and confided to the spirits of birds, trees, and spiders, knowing that in the interior reality beneath, the nature of these communications was known and understood. In those times, death was not feared as it is in your terms, now, for the cycle of consciousness was understood.
Man desired in one way to step outside of himself, out of the framework in which he had his psychological existence, to try new challenges, to step out of a mode of consciousness into another. He wanted to study the process of his consciousness. In one way this meant a giant separation from the inner spontaneity that had given him both peace and security. On the other hand, it offered a new creativity, in his terms.
Now: At this point the god inside became the god outside. Man tried to form a new realm, attain a different kind of focus and awareness. His consciousness turned a corner outside of itself. To do this he concentrated less and less upon inner reality, and therefore began the process of inner reality only as it was projected outward into the physical world.
Before, the environment was effortlessly created and perceived by man and all other living things, knowing the nature of their inner unity. In order to begin this new venture, it was necessary to pretend that this inner unity did not exist. Otherwise the new kind of consciousness would always run back to its home for security and comfort. So it seemed that all bridges must be cut, while of course it was only a game because the inner reality always remained. The new kind of consciousness simply had to look away from it to maintain initially an independent focus.
I am speaking here in more or less historic terms for you. You must realize this that the process has nothing to do with time as you know it, however. This particular adventure in consciousness has occurred before, and in your terms will again.
Perception of the exterior universe then changed, however, and it seemed to be alien and apart from the individual who perceived it.
God, therefore, became and idea projected outward, independent of the individual, divorced from nature. He became the reflection of man’s emerging ego, with all its brilliance, savagery, power, and intent for mastery. The adventure was a highly creative one despite the obvious disadvantages, and represented an “evolution” of consciousness that enriched man’s subjective experience, and indeed added to the dimension of reality itself.
To be effectively organized, however, inner and outer experience had to appear as separate, disconnected events. Historically the characteristics of God changed as man’s ego changed. These characteristics of the ego, however, were supported by strong inner changes.
The original propulsion of inner characteristics outward into the formation of the ego could be compared with the birth of innumerable stars- an event of immeasurable consequences that originated on a subjective level and within inner reality. The ego, having its birth from within, therefore, must always boast of its independence while maintaining the nagging certainty of its inner origin.
The ego feared for its position, frightened that it would dissolve back into the inner self from which it came. Yet in its emergence it provided the inner self with a new kind of feedback, a different view not only of itself; but through this, the inner self was able to glimpse possibilities of development of which it had not previously been aware. In your terms, by the time of Christ, the ego was sure enough of its position so that the projected picture of God could begin to change.
The inner self is in a state of constant growth. The inner portion of each man, therefore, projected this knowledge outward. The need, psychological and spiritual need of the species, demanded both interior and exterior alterations of great import. Qualities of mercy and understanding that had been buried could now surface. Not only privately but en masse they surged up, adding a new impetus and giving a natural “new” direction – beginning to call all portions of the self, as it knew itself, together.
Source: Seth the Eternal Validity of the Soul, pg 338- 341
A couple of my favorite quotes from Seth:
"Man cannot mistrust his own nature and at the same time trust the nature of God, for God is his word for the source of his being—and if his being is tainted, then so must be his God."
“Initially, language was meant to express and release, not to define and limit.”