The overall message of the Seth material is one of optimism. Any Seth reader knows that Seth stresses the personal power of every individual to shape his or her own reality. And throughout the material, Seth continually reminds us that All-That-Is supports value fulfillment for everyone. How then, are we Seth students to understand the many negative events and situations in the world? Seth gives a plausible explanation for disasters, tragedies, and epidemics that still fits in with his overall theme of personal power. It involves learning.
We have to look at the beliefs behind the physical manifestations in order to understand what is going on. Seth explains this quite well in his book, “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events.”* Mass events are events that reflect and influence large swaths of the population.
Seth says that individuals cannot separate their realities from the societal and cultural attitudes that surround them and in which they participate. In fact, “The magnification of individual reality combines and enlarges to form vast mass reactions.” (p. 9)
Let’s look at the zika virus epidemic that was recently declared a Global Health Emergency by the World Health Organization. The zika virus is allegedly linked to a frightening birth defect called microcephaly–a condition that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and often severe brain damage. The first outbreak of this latest epidemic took place in Brazil and is quickly spreading to other Latin American countries and beyond. Zika virus has been around for a long time, in Africa, but without causing the effect we are seeing now, such as microcephaly. So why is it suddenly a problem?
We know that Seth says we all create our own realities and that “no person becomes ill unless that illness serves a psychic or psychological reason.” (p.10) In the case of zika, it is not only the child who is affected, but also the parents, families, communities, governments, and so forth.
What is the point?
According to Seth,
The environment in which an outbreak occurs points to the political, sociological and economic conditions that have evolved, causing such a disorder. Often such outbreaks take place after political or social action . . . has failed, or is considered hopeless. (p. 20)
Let’s look at the political, social, and economic conditions of Brazil and Latin America to see how this applies.
According to the world’s leading economists, Brazil’s economic outlook is bleak. After a decade of fast growth, rising wages, low interest rates, and improving housing conditions, a newly emerging middle class had high hopes and expectations for a better future. Then, between 2011-2014, the growing economy slowed and by 2015 it came to a screeching halt. The government was stuck with huge unfinished public projects that it had started during the boom times. Brazil’s surplus turned instead into a growing deficit. Inflation rose quickly, interest rates on borrowing went way up, real wages fell, and unemployment trends reversed themselves. Amidst the economic turmoil a looming pension crisis was exposed, along with striking levels of corruption in government. Consumer confidence is now at its lowest level since 2005, with only 20% of the population feeling optimistic. In 2016, Brazil’s problems worsened, and today there is a movement underway to impeach the President for corruption.
Latin American countries are similarly facing worsening economic conditions, weakening currencies, and even recession.
I can’t help thinking that the people in these areas must feel that the rug has been pulled out from under them. Along with their dashed hopes and dreams, there must be general despair, anger, and frustration.
Another troubling aspect of this story is the fact that poor women, pregnant women, and women of child-bearing ages are particularly pressured, beyond the general population. In the affected countries, women have been advised to avoid pregnancy. This is ironic in a region dominated by the Catholic Church, which opposes condoms and birth control and in which both Church and State make abortion illegal. Additionally, Latin America has been noted to be a region where violence against women is endemic.
This situation puts women in a “damned if you do; damned if you don’t” dilemma. There is little assistance of any kind for women in these regions, whether financial or health related.
When you combine the high-stress worry about microcephaly and zika with general despair about life prospects, there seems to be a perfect scenario for an epidemic, at least according to Seth.
Seth claims that preliminary to an epidemic, “there is a psychic contagion. Despair moves faster than a mosquito.” He goes on to say that each personal tragedy becomes “part of a mass social protest.” (pp. 20-21) And in “Dream, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, Volume 1” Seth says,
Viruses that you consider communicable do indeed in one way or another represent communications on a biological level. They are biological statements, literally social communications, biologically made. (p. 264)
Certain diseases have specific symbolic meaning, in Seth’s explanation. I can’t help wondering about the meaning of the small heads of the babies with microcephaly. Is it possible that symbolically the reflect the “reduced” opportunities of those affected.
What we are meant to understand is that, “Whenever the conditions of life are such that its quality is threatened, there will be such mass statements.” (p. 41) Such epidemics, therefore, do actually serve a purpose, but at a horrific price, at least on the surface. They are warning that conditions can’t be tolerated any longer.
There is a biological outrage that will be continually expressed until the conditions are changed. (p. 21)
What conditions are being protested? That is the question. The powerlessness of average people, perhaps. The toxic gender norms where women are concerned, especially poor women. Or the nonchalance of government bureaucracies and politicians to the plight of their constituencies. Maybe the greed and corruption that takes from the many to benefit the few.
Maybe a vaccine will be quickly developed. However, if beliefs don’t change or are not given a reason to be changed, it is likely that this virus will continue or another problem will surface even if this is quashed. As Seth says, “there are no inoculations against beliefs.” (p. 4)
Probably the most difficult and even disturbing part of Seth’s ideas about situations like this is that each person caught in this epidemic on a personal level has, at a deeper level, chosen to participate. It is not that Seth blames the victims, however. To see it that way would be to miss one of the foundational precepts of the Seth material, i.e., that physical reality springs from a greater, invisible reality (Framework 2) and that our greater Selves have purposes that we are not aware of in this plane of existence. Seth says that “conditions also often involve events in which the individual senses a larger identification. . . even sometimes a renewed sense of purpose that makes no sense in ordinary terms.” (p. 130)
Remember, involvement in this drama includes not only the women, children, and families personally affected, but everyone who knows of it, has the power to do something about it, or who potentially will change an attitude or belief because of it. It even includes all of us who are at a great distance from those areas affected. We can demand more from our governments and elected officials, we can do more to respect and value women, we can be more supportive of those who live in poverty. There are unlimited possibilities. The whole situation is one of learning and potential evolution.
When I was reading about microcephaly for this post, I found a story about a mom with two daughters born with microcephaly. They did not get it from zika, but the family of five did have to deal with this enormous challenge, just the same. They said it was difficult and sad at first, but that after the first year, they became joyous in the gift of their two special girls and that, even if they could go back and change the situation, they would not.
So we never know the soul’s purposes.
No one ever said the Seth material was easy!
*All page numbers refer the “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events” (Amber-Allen Publishing, 1981/1985) unless otherwise noted.