My reply to Seth (entity channeled by Jane Roberts)

This page is under construction

Puzzled that I missed that for so long, while I had checked and criticized Walsch's purported (fake) "Conversations with God" which was best seller when I was searching just after my deconversion from Christianity. But now I'm going to catch up.

Let's start with Seth Speaks, ch. 1.
"...I can quite literally be called a ghost writer (...) I address an unseen audience. However, I know that my readers exist, and therefore I shall ask each of them, now, to grant me the same Privilege."
That is something I naturally empathize with, since myself, like any author, also most often address an unseen audience. I also know that my readers exist, as Awstats shows me so, but I cannot see them. But I often happen to feel even more uncomfortable as I usually feel a big gap with most people, since I am usually despised by both skeptics (for my belief in the paranormal) and by spiritualists (for my rationalism and my disagreement with their usual teachings), and have so often the impression of just wasting my time like I was talking to walls when trying to debate with people or explain them things because of their low IQ (and I usually don't stumble either on the few who would have the IQ, as they usually went too far in their specialization and aren't there anymore to care about deep basic questions).
Now I don't believe something without good reasons. So for better ensuring your existence I cared to do my little bit of research. I just mean, I had a look at the research of others. How skeptics had nothing intelligent to say, how Wikipedia reported it all as serious (while skeptics are often powerful there), and skimmed through one academic research work on the topic. But my main reason, was the intelligence of a good deal of stuff I read from you. Some of the most amazing stuff I had the chance to read on this otherwise usually dull planet, letting me perceive your company as quite palpable and meaningful by contrast, even though your host Jane died since long, thus probably leaving you without a chance to reply to my letter down here anymore.

Some people even reportedly saw your stuff as the most mind-blowing stuff out there on this planet. I understand them, but I personally wouldn't go that far. I mean it may be a correct assessment in that particular field, that is, the field of metaphysics (compared to other "channels" and the teachings of existing religions), but I personally had other opportunities to have my mind blown by works in other fields (and of course I may have missed more existing mind-blowing works, as I'm not an erudite and I felt discouraged of trying to be one by the dominating dullness around); I will come back on that later.
For now let me just mention one on the "opposite side" of that very field : the arguments of the atheist blogger Greta Christina against Christianity and other religions and spiritualities. In that way, which some of your followers might see as paradoxical, she did also genuinely fulfill the very purpose which you insisted we are all here for on this planet : that of developing our skills, personality and creativity, each in our own ways in our lives; and also contributed to some growth of the personalities of her readers. While her work may be read as arguments against all spiritualist metaphysics at all, it also makes sense as signals of genuine challenges that spirituality needs to work on. For example, her remark on "The failure of religion to improve or clarify over time". Isn't there ? I know that you have your whole original conception of "spiritual progress", that it does not have to look linear, and remains somewhat different from our usual conception of progress as we experience in science and technology, but...

Somehow, one could claim that your stuff brings a big progress compared to what was before. Several objections to this case can be raised, however.
  1. Your Material came not as a fruit of anyone's spiritual research, but from your unilateral decision to fall on Jane by surprise (so what the f**k could be the value of all the energy invested by all the devout monks, mystics and other praying people of the world in their "quest for wisdom" if the wisest teachings turned out to fall on us by such completely unrelated channels ? I wonder).
  2. From a superficial viewpoint your contribution may be viewed as adding to the confusion, since you contradict with your teachings much of the usual ones carried by the most widespread religions, therefore invalidating much of the supposed value of what millions of religious people had given their life to, at least since 2 millenia. Of course letting a good stuff appear where there was none is a kind of progress. But what a modest one climbing from such a terrible previous state of affairs, in contrast with so many people's optimistic view of the whole field.
  3. I have no impression of significant further progress of human spirituality since the publication of your books. Instead, the large majority of "new agers" seemed to switch their attention to works of lower quality, such as those of Walsch already mentioned.
  4. Finally, I would even question the quality of some aspects of your Material itself, as I'll develop in the rest of this review.
Indeed, after granting you that Privilege of knowing your existence, I still won't grant you a different Privilege, which anyway you explicitly did NOT ask for:
"... this material with all my best efforts, and with yours (Rob & Jane), of necessity must contain distortions merely in order to make itself exist at all on your plane. I will never condone an attitude in which either you or Ruburt maintain that you hold undiluted truth through these sessions. Any material, to exist on your plane, must to some extent don the attire of your plane, and in the very entry to your plane it must be somewhat distorted. I must use phrases with which your minds are somewhat familiar. I must use Ruburt's subconscious to some degree. If I did not take advantage of your own camouflage system, then YOU would not be able to understand the material at this time. Inner data, even this, MUST make its entry through some distortion. We must always work together, but you must never consider me as an infallible source. This material is more valid than any material possible on your plane, but it is nevertheless to some degree conditioned by the camouflage attributes of the plane. "
which Helfrich further commented saying it puts the responsibility of finding the truth on each one of us. Indeed. As you once said:
"I come here because it is fun. I have fun when I come here. I do not come here because I feel that I have any great responsibility for your beings or welfare. Who am I to set myself against the innate wisdom of your own individual being, or to take upon my invisible shoulders the great privilege or joyful responsibility for your behavior and destiny ?"
Searching for the truth is our task, a game we're down here to play. At least for those few of us down here naturally inclined to play that particular game, while the large majority of people visibly have their agenda filled with lots of much more childish games to play instead. As for so-called "skeptics", they seem involved in a rather strange version of this game, a quite distorted version of the scientific method which they claim to follow. They seem to view this game like a sort of competitive Mines game, where their opponents game would be over at the first mistake or even risk of mistake (as they skeptics decide to suspect from their own limited perspective), while their own strategy would be to keep their own game safe and therefore winning simply by abstaining from any significant exploration. So they may have genuine points observing things going wrong in spiritualist circles, but they fail to offer any defensible solution to the enigma.
As you can see, I follow myself a much more adventurous conception of the game, where careful examination of given candidate thesis and detection of the possible presence of mistakes there, is but one aspect, crucial but still largely insufficient, as it needs to be completed by a hard work of figuring out and formulating new candidate alternative pictures of how the world may more likely be, including fully defensible explanations of where the mistakes which occurred may be really coming from. This can turn out to be a daunting challenge in the face of diverse observations which seem to contradict each other, paradoxes suggesting that reality may actually be structured in much more complicated ways than initially expected. I even happened to be almost devastated by this difficulty at some periods of my life, especially my period of Christian faith, pushed as I was by my natural inclinations to take that game so seriously I was literally sacrificing my life to it even while no clear picture was yet in sight. The tragic intensity of that struggle, for which I could not see any trace of the help from beyond which I was hoping for, then made me feel kind of jealous towards the majority of those much more childish players who did not even try this hard game at all, focused as they were on much easier games.
Let me first take note of something a little bit odd in your above claim : if it really was "more valid than any material possible" in this world, then in which practical sense would it be wrong to have an "attitude [to] maintain that you hold undiluted truth through these sessions" ? After all, the only possible concrete sense that may be given to the question of choosing to maintain or not maintain an attitude of claim of truth, would be regarding the status of some given proposition versus a competing proposition which may be effectively formulated by somebody else - thus also expressible in the same world. For which, 2 questions may be asked.
  1. Does the latter proposition actually contradict the former or not (or its actually intended meaning) ? which the participants might not be at clear with, as your actually intended meaning could escape them.
  2. Can the latter proposition be also true, or eventually even better than the former ? If it was, this would actually contradict the claim that the former proposition was "more valid than any material possible"
I understand it would most often be a daunting, practically impossible task for you to anticipate all possibly relevant alternative propositions that may be thought of and answer both above questions about them, so as to prevent the risk for an attitude of "holding the truth" by the erudites of your Material, to be an effectively wrong attitude. However if it was only that, it still would not properly justify the use of the word "infallible" to describe that which would so often miss in the quality of the material which you are providing, that they would have to be warned of never holding it (or even yourself) as such; for this I'd rather use the word "accurate", for example. Because, fallibility is something worse than inaccuracy: it means an alternative proposition can be more true in effective contradiction with one of yours. Thus, it would even contradict the claim of your material being "more valid than any material possible". But maybe the key is in your claim that "even this, MUST make its entry through some distortion". Maybe, that disclaimer itself suffers some hidden distortions. Maybe, it wasn't a valid claim after all to describe your Material as "more valid than any material possible". But how dare I suspect that, you may wonder ?
You must understand how the background of my experience obliges me to the greatest caution against directly trusting any message coming from beyond. For years I regularly visited diverse Evangelical churches, some having bunches of people "filled by the Holy Spirit" (which I didn't happen to experience myself but I couldn't figure out why, so I was troubled with how I might have not been inviting Him well enough), which concretely meant they were in some kind of trance, driven by ghosts more or less like how you were speaking through Jane. These ghosts either just made them babbling nonsense ("speaking in tongues") or sometimes giving rather clear messages either pompously called "propheties", other times "translation of speaking in tongues" in the name of God or Jesus, but most of the time just to repeat and paraphrase the same articles of faith ever and ever again. Meanwhile the "Holy Spirit" of one church could be just easily dismissed as demonic possession by devout members of the next church. I found myself so disappointed by the level of "wisdom" of those purported divine revelations, from a God whose wisdom was supposed to be maximal. Similarly disappointing are the experiences of so-called Catholic saints, such as that poor self-tormented Faustina in her giant assisted masochism endeavor, large excerpts of whose diary I once read.
Now one might try to explain or interpret these phenomena based on your descriptions of the working of spiritual realms, the idea that spirits may be created or attracted as a result of strongly held beliefs. However, I still find it unsatisfactory, and I'd even say, deeply unfair, in this way: even though these people believe in daemons, they still do not only believe in daemons, but they also usually believe in God, Jesus and other presumably benevolent spirits, and they especially care so strongly to focus their thoughts and prayer on such positive spirits rather than on negative spirits they otherwise believe in. Why, then, does this only ever attract such terrible spirits, which might eventually look nice from a naive viewpoint but remain ever so unwise, sticking to the same crude and childish image of the faith they already have, and never significantly raising them to any truly wiser understanding of life ? Indeed, in spite of the immaturity of their beliefs, which I know is severe, I still would not find it right to essentially blame them of any kind of stubbornness in their error (any supposed deep opposition to genuine teachings and corrections in case any truly wise invisible teacher wanted to try helping) as an excuse to abandon them there. In conclusion, a source of information once observed as perpetually following such an extreme weakness and irresponsibility of passively mirroring immature expectations without adding to it any higher wisdom, cannot then deserve to be blindly accepted as an honest and reliable source, by a lucid observer seriously caring for the validity of information.
To further investigate that matter, let us enumerate some theoretically possible causes of distortions beyond both already mentioned (the limits of language expressibility and available size): Indeed unfortunately in what I read from you, your very large CV did not seem to include any trace of a training as a mathematician. I understand your possible excuse of having mainly come to live on Earth in times when mathematical sciences were not developed yet. Still anyway as you explained yourself, a skill not developed in a life down here may fail to find any good substitute opportunity of development elsewhere. You may be suffering consequences of that gap, such as the difficulties you mentioned in Seth speaks Ch.2 in these terms:
"Some personalities, therefore, have never been physical. (...) In some systems for example, [consciousness] forms highly integrated mathematical and musical patterns that are themselves stimuli for other universal systems. I am not very well acquainted with these, however, and cannot speak of them with any great familiarity".
In the same chapter, you told more quite interesting things:
" My environment, now, is not the one in which you will find yourself immediately after death. I cannot help speaking humorously, but you must die many times before you enter this particular plane of existence. (Birth is much more of a shock than death...) My work in this environment provides far more challenge than any of you know, and it also necessitates the manipulation of creative materials that are nearly beyond your present comprehension. (...) In my environment you would be highly disoriented, for it would seem to you as if it lacked coherency. "
That is also something I understand very well and which I naturally relate with, since myself, just like many thousands of other mathematicians, physicists and IT specialists, are living quite similar experiences to yours in our respective fields of work. We never needed to go through any kind of death to reach there, however. Still as you describe, any lay people suddenly invited to these working environments bypassing the necessary training, would also be highly disoriented. To reach there requires a long training process on top of special innate individual skills. This training process has similar features, such as abandoning the naive assumption of the 3-dimensionality of space in favor of the exploration of many other kinds of spaces (perceiving the actual 4-dimensionality of our physical universe; exploring vector spaces, affine spaces and projective spaces which may have any dimension, and even infinite-dimensional spaces such as the case of Hilbert spaces and many others), as well as lots of other mathematical structures which do not even look like any kind of "space" at all.
It is in these working environments that the most mind-blowing works on Earth I know of can be found. These works are literally hidden from the visibility of most spiritual researchers on Earth, by the particularly distant location of the working environments in which they reside. This is not any space distance which might be counted in miles, but a purely psychological distance, a difference in mental tuning, awareness and training. Let me just name a few such mind-blowing works, whose existence I am aware of, though I am not really familiar with them : Milnor's works on topology ; quantum field theory ; the concept of supersymmetry ; the concept of forcing in set theory, as used in the proof of independence of the continuum hypothesis. With due respect to the high quality of your Material, which is quite unique and valuable in its kind (and despite the lack of sense of trying to make any comparison between works in such vastly distant fields of inquiry), I must disagree with the particular expression of enthusiasm of some of your followers by still rating higher those works of pure mathematics as some of the most mind-blowing works whose presence on this planet I am aware of, but which, obviously cannot create any fake interest in the eyes of "spiritual people" by looking like giant carrots at all. By the way, I remain doubtful of the supposed special value of your giant carrots, which, despite the large number of your followers, did not seem to bring so noticeable fruits to the progress of civilization, in contrast to the much clearer effects of the more usual kind of scientific and technological advances which keep occurring meanwhile.

Now one may argue against the relevance of this comparison of value, precisely by the lack of accessibility of those works which I see more valuable, while the design of your work was visibly bound by the constraint, which you took on yourself but whose justifications I remain doubtful of, to make all of it accessible to a wider audience. Indeed it is such a pity to see those wonderful realms of mathematics still only visible to so few people. This is why I undertook to develop my web site on the foundations of mathematics and physics to provide to a larger audience, as far as possible, a much more direct access to some of the most amazing gems from those fields.
As for the quality of your material, considering that my patience reading much of Seth Speaks might have been still insufficient to grasp the depth of the more complete message you intended to provide, I took the time to read further, especially browsing through a number of pages of The Unknown Reality which was supposedly deeper and wider in its exploration of reality with less obsession on issues of supposedly more direct personal interests. But reading many pages still did not succeed to give me much to discover, think about, decide to agree or disagree. Comparing this with how some pure mathematics texts I happened to look through could get my mind blown by amazing new concepts at every page, or even paragraph, I must consider your work rather disappointing. You even somehow discredited yourself by your way of spending pages ranting against the value of modern science in general, and of mathematical skills in particular, rants which I understand could help a lot to get your Material popular across a large public of proudly ignorant people and science haters, but which is neither lucid nor respectful towards the real values of these fields, values which I turned out to be very clear witness of, after extremely careful checking (so necessary for me to dare contradicting the so widespread antiscientific "spiritual wisdom" around). No wonder, then, why your work could not reach respectability in the eyes of the minority of the more serious thinkers and scientists who are known (for good reasons, such as their success on a free market whose working principles ensure at least a partial rooting of success on reality rather than mistaken ideology ideology) as making the more useful contributions to the progress of our world.
But I understand that, at some point of this you could be just making an honest mistake due to your particular perspective which you once told a word about. I understand that while browsing through the world you could stumble on a number of "unofficial scientists" in your terms, i.e. cranks, and fall into the trap of sympathizing too much with their paranoid, self-delusional endeavors where they imagined that they were doing better science than real scientists (so you mistake them as the "true" scientists which they delude themselves as), just using "intuition", dismissing mathematical skills. You could not dare to figure out that all their works and convictions may have been nothing more than a huge... accident.

Now are you really sure it is safe to throw mathematical and rational skills out of the window ? Let us look at some examples of your teachings.
"If you accept the possibility of the slightest, smallest, most insignificant accident, then indeed you open a Pandora's Box, for logically, there cannot be simply one small accident in that case but a universe in which accidents are not the exception but the rule. A universe in which, therefore, following logic..."
Sorry, this in my vocabulary isn't called "logic" but "slippery slope fallacy". Now if you did not specify like this the reason for that conclusion of "there is no accident" as you did, I could still wonder from which special knowledge or other motivation you might have drawn that conclusion. But now that you explicitly present it as a pure matter of simple logic, which it cannot be, this directly shows to me that I can safely dismiss this conclusion immediately.
But didn't you somehow acknowledge yourself the abundant presence of accidents, by these words from Ch.4 of Seth Speaks:
"[conciousness] has within it infinite sources of creativity, unlimited possibilities of development. But it has yet to learn the means of actualization, and must find within itself ways to bring into existence those untold creations that are within it. Therefore it creates varieties of conditions in which to operate, and sets itself challenges, some doomed to failure in your terms, at least initially, because it must first create the conditions which will bring new creations about."
Now I'm going to add to this another logical reason why accidents must exist, even as a consequence of your own general framework of statements on the structure of reality (in case you didn't notice, or, if you were joking, to try un-hypnotizing a little bit your followers from that joke).
What logic really says is Here is goes. You said that personalities, or entities, have their own freedom, that of creating their own reality, not being mere puppets of God. Don't they ? So, if several personalities or entities coexist and interact in some common spaces, as they visibly do, then the plans (choices, intentions) created at the initiative of one of them are generally independent of the plans created by another. But then these independent plans from different individuals usually come to produce effects in the same spaces, where these individuals interact. Therefore, the plans of the one have all chances to not properly match the plans of another. They will enter in "contradiction" with each other, however deep and hidden may be the ultimate meaning you wish to give to this concept. A "good" mindset and expectation of someone, whatever this might mean, may meet a "bad" (or less good) choice of another, so that the author of the "good choice" will suffer the consequences of the bad one, which "did not fit", whatever this idea of "fitting" may deeply mean. Now such a mismatch is what I will call an "accident". In the sense of that definition, rather clear and defensible, accidents will happen sooner or later.
You might try to escape this conclusion by arguing the existence of parallel probable realities, where the reality in which one individual makes a given choice would be supernaturally made to match the reality in which the other makes the fitting choice. However this attempt at escaping the conclusion fails for 2 reasons.
  1. There is no reason why a perfect correspondence should always be even conceivable between the list of options of the one and the list of options of the other.
  2. An even bigger trouble, is that for such a supernatural matching system between probable realities to possibly work, the split of possibilities for one individual should occur simultaneously to the split of possibilities for the other. But the chances for this simultaneity condition to be satisfied are essentially zero.
And really, I guess God must have had lots of other works and constraints on the table, of how to design reality, than to ensure such supernatural matches to always occur ; moreover, in practice, since I already heard thousands of time in my life from different "spiritual sources" claims like "everything happens for a reason", however that might be exactly interpreted, I had a lot of time and chances to compare that idea, which I initially had my mind quite open to, with the way I found and suffered things occurring in my life, and only after very careful checking did I finally, with a lot of regret, find myself in necessity to reject that concept.
Unknown reality : "People will die when they are ready to, following inner dictates and dynamics. A person ready to die will, despite any medication. (...) The dynamics of health has nothing to do with inoculations. They reside in the consciousness of each being."
How to explain the spectacular extension of life span which coincided with the coming of modern times ? How to explain the way genetic studies confirmed that better genetic factors of immunity in front of certain illnesses were selected during the periods of occurrence of those illnesses, but not in populations which were not subject to those illnesses, if not because these genetic factors were really influential in the chances to suffer those illnesses ? If, during the conquest of America by Europeans, large numbers of American natives died of European illnesses, which Europeans themselves could bear thanks to their many centuries of genetic adaptation, is it because these American natives were suddenly inspired by a desire to die to give space to European conquerors ?
Quote: "The over-population problem will teach you that if you do not have a loving concern for the environment in which you dwell, it will no longer sustain you..."
Uh ? The over-population problem does not come from not loving enough, but rather from loving too much, and this in two ways; one of these is the dedication to sustain the survival of poor people in terms of nutrition and medical assistance. I do admit that there is still a third important factor in the equation however, but which you once insisted to reject from consideration as a possible solution, as you said "There is no justification for murder."
(Seth Speaks) "[after death] you learn to understand how your experiences were the result of your own thoughts and emotions and how these affected others"
And vice versa ? If I have to admit that my choices could have the ability to affect the life of other people in ways which they did not always perfectly "deserve" or "need", whatever that might mean, then why should I be forbidden to also consider the possibility that my life could have really been damaged by the wrong thoughts or choices of others in ways which I never really deserved or needed ?
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you used the word "you" or its declinations 4,183 times in Seth Speaks and 7,734 times in The Nature of personal reality (by automatic counting, which thus counts twice any occurrence in a title of chapter, sorry for this but I think these do deserve to be counted twice indeed)
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"Your world is not in dire straits because you trust yourselves, but precisely because you do not. Your social institutions are set up to fence in the individual, rather than to allow the natural development of the individual!"
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Seth on a Conscious Creation Myth
"In those terms there was a point where consciousness impressed itself into matter through intent, or formed itself into matter. That ‘breakthrough’ cannot be logically explained, but only compared to, say, an illumination – that is, a light everywhere occurring at once, that became a medium for life in your terms. It had nothing to do with the propensity of certain kinds of cells to reproduce, but with an overall illumination that set the conditions in which life as you think of it was possible – and at that imaginary hypothetical point, all species became latent."
session 797 "Your universe did not emerge at any one point, therefore, or with any one initial cell – but everywhere it began to exist at once, as the inner pulsations of the invisible universe reached certain intensities that “impregnated” the entire physical system simultaneously. In this case, first of all light appeared. At the same time EE (electromagnetic energy) units became manifest, impinging from the invisible universe into definition. "
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