evenWhen we left off at the end of Part 3, human consciousness had developed enough to be firmly focused in the physical. We discussed how natural guilt–an internal checks and balances system to prevent violation against others–had gone awry. At this stage, tribal myths and cultural stories as well as various pagan religions arose, which attributed both good and bad events to outside forces. For example, a drought could be due to an unhappy storm god. So could a flood, for that matter. What made the storm god unhappy was something people had done. They were guilty, in other words, and the gods would punish them for their transgressions. These myths involved an intrinsic understanding of nature; its just that the people projected the inner knowing onto exterior reality.
Seth says that these mythologies were an attempt by humanity to regulate itself without natural guilt. They represented beliefs that were shared by peasants and the wealthy alike. Humans projected all kinds of feelings and fears onto these spirits, gods, and goddesses, and even on the natural world and its creatures.
. . . There was a spectacular range of good and bad deities, with all gradations [among them], that more or less ‘democratically’ represented the unknown but sensed, splendid and tumultuous characteristics of the human soul, and have stood for those sensed but unknown glimpses of his own reality that man was in one way or another determined to explore. (Dreams, ‘Evolution,’ and Value Fulfillment, Volume 2, p. 400)
Eventually–over many centuries–these pagan religions gave way to the monotheistic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Jehovah and the Christian version of God brought about a direct conflict between the so-called forces of good and the so-called forces of evil by largely cutting out all of the intermediary gods, and therefore destroying the subtle psychological give and take that occurred between them–among them–and polarizing man’s own view of his inner psychological reality. (Dreams, ‘Evolution,’ and Value Fulfillment, Volume 2, p. 400)
These organized religions which emphasized evil, sin, guilt, and punishment, served to separate people even further from their own inner guides and inherent connection with All That Is. We were here on Earth and God was someplace else, completely removed. Even some of the Eastern philosophies, like Buddhism, taught that all of reality was nothing but illusion and should be rejected for some future state of nirvana.
All such dogmas use artificial guilt, and natural guilt is distorted to serve those ends. In whatever terms, the devotee is told that there is something wrong with earthly experience. You are therefore, considered evil as a self in flesh by virtue of your very existence. (The Nature of Personal Reality, p. 235)
So, we can see that as evolution proceeded, the memory of our cooperative relationship with all of creation diminished. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that Seth criticized these developments. He described them as understandable steps in the development of human consciousness. All mythologies and religions, he said, gave meaning and some organization to people’s lives. Myths were the basis for their societies, whether tribal or civil, and they were the basis of knowledge and participation in the world at those times.
Seth is an equal opportunity critic of worldviews. For example, he mentions how early civilizations often believed that illness was sent by evil spirits who had to be mollified with various gifts or incantations. This seems ridiculous to us now. But Seth says,
It is easy enough to look at those belief structures and shrug your shoulders, wondering at man’s distorted views of reality. The entire scientific view of illness, however, is quite as distorted. It is as laboriously conceived and interwound with ‘nonsense.’ It is about as factual as the ‘fact’ that God sends illness as punishment, or that illness is the unwanted gift of mischievous demons. (Dreams, ‘Evolution,’ and Value Fulfillment, Volume 1, p. 204)
On that note, let’s talk about the waning of the religious worldview and the rise of the scientific one.
From the Enlightenment on, in the Western world at least, science begins to replace faith as the dominant lens through which we interpret the nature of reality. But there, too, short shrift is given to inner knowing and cooperation. Instead, humanity begins to glorify intellectual ability alone.
Seth says that science disconnected fact from religious truth. However, instead of simply squelching human self-consciousness (as religion had done), it actually dissected it completely. From the scientific perspective, consciousness is an accident of nature–merely an epiphenomenon (by-product) of the brain.
In the scientific worldview, the universe operates like a clock or a machine and the body as a mechanism, albeit a complex one. All information is gathered solely through the five outer senses. And rational thinking is the only way to understand what you learn through these senses.
In Western culture since the Industrial Revolution (after about 1760), the idea grew that there was little connection between the objects in the world and the individual . . . it was an overreaction, in your terms at least, to previous religious concepts.
Before that time man did believe that he could affect matter and the environment through his thoughts. With the Industrial Revolution, however, even the elements of nature lost their living quality in man’s eyes. They became objects to be categorized, named, torn apart and examined. (The Nature of Personal Reality, p. 68)
Seth says that we’ve become so specialized and prejudiced in favor of the rational mind alone, that we view it as the only legitimate way to judge intelligent life. He claims that we are surrounded by all kinds of clues from nature and from within ourselves that would give us a more complete understanding.
Because of this cold, calculating way of looking at the world we lost a lot of our love for nature, he says, even getting to the point where we convinced ourselves that killing things was often necessary.
You cannot understand what makes things live when you must first rob their life. And so when man learned to categorize, number and dissect nature, he lost its living quality and no longer felt a part of it . . . Nature became then an adversary that he must control. yet underneath he felt that he was at the mercy of nature, because in cutting himself off from it he also cut himself off from using many of his own abilities. (The Nature of Personal Reality, p. 70)
Although I am barely skimming the surface of the developments within human consciousness over time, I hope you are getting the broad picture. At this point, we have gone full circle and we are approximately back to where I started this discussion at Darwinism based on survival of the fittest.
Since then, new developments have continued. A certain segment of the population has broken away from both the old religious worldviews and the succeeding scientific worldview and begun to express their feelings about being disconnected from each other and from nature.
Some of these people are what we might call New Agers or post-moderns–people who see the world and its inhabitants as interconnected and interdependent. They may be more caring of those whose civil rights are trampled upon; they may revere “mother Earth.” Others with new worldviews align with the quantum physicists and others who see the world as a single system, in which everything is interdependent; many are opening up to new ways of knowing that include the inner senses–thus the growing interest in meditation, spirituality without religion, and so forth. Cooperation is even a growing trend in business, thanks to social media and other collaborative platforms. http://socialbusinessmanifesto.com/social-business-cooperation-vs-competition/
So cooperation is coming more into vogue, but not without a backlash from the older worldview proponents. This is how it goes. Development goes on in spirals. None of them are inherently bad or inherently good. They serve a purpose in their time. For a while each worldview serves well, but then problems start to arise for which the worldview provides no good answers. Then a few renegades will propose something new and different. They will be shot down, at first, but over time their views will become mainstream.
We seem to be at one of these transition points now. We look around and we see a lot of problems. Systems that used to be efficient are not working well anymore–government, finance, education, medicine, security, etc. Something new needs to break through. And it will.
Problems are opportunities for creative solutions. Without them, we would not grow and develop into higher states of consciousness. Much of the competition gone wild in our world is a battle over worldviews. Seth says,
You have set up the problem for yourselves within the framework of your reference. You will not understand your part within the framework of nature until you actually see yourselves in danger of tearing it apart. (Seth Speaks, Amber-Allen, 1972/1994, p. 178)
Forty-five years ago, Seth remarked on imminent changes to our existence that seemed to foretell the current state of affairs, with respect to fanaticism/terrorism, have/have-nots, and transparency-creating technology. He predicted that technology would make space seem smaller and that time would disappear. This is, in effect, what the Internet has accomplished. Now we know in “real time” what is happening in different parts of the globe and we can communicate instantaneously with almost anyone.
Seth speaks about the increasing complexity and the emerging consciousness being able to handle more data; he is not talking simply about empirical data and greater cognitive skill. Up until now, he says, most people used only their outer senses to collect information which they then used for decision making. However, in the near term, Seth predicts that people will develop new abilities, new inner senses, that will enable them to bring in an understanding of more probabilities, from beyond the “official line of consciousness.”
You are in a position where your private experience of yourself does not correlate with what you are told by your societies, churches, sciences, archaeologies, or other disciplines. Man’s ‘unconscious’ knowledge is becoming more and more consciously apparent . . . When . . . his emerging unconscious knowledge is denied by his institutions, then it will rise up despite those institutions and annihilate them. (The Unknown Reality, Volume 1, p. 85)
How that turns out is up to us. It can result in religions at war with each other, military solutions being applied to too many problems, technology being used for violent actions, and the surfacing of extreme ideologies. One might argue that this is where we are right now. Alternatively, we could make a leap in consciousness, learn to use our inner guidance that has been latent all this time, and develop new faculties–just as we have done throughout our evolution. These new faculties would involve using both inner and outer senses, recognizing that cooperation is preferable to competition. This too is happening now. Which will win out?
Value fulfillment tells us that cooperation is inevitable:
Our vitality wants to express itself . . . Old ideas of the survival of the fittest, conventional evolutionary processes, gods and goddesses, cannot hope to explain the ‘mystery of the universe’–but when we use our own abilities gladly and freely, we come so close to being what we are that sometimes we come close to being what the universe is. Then even our most unfortunate escapades . . . serve as doorways into a deeper comprehension and more meaningful relationship with the universe of which we are such a vital part. (Dreams, ‘Evolution,’ and Value Fulfillment, Volume 2, p. 44)