January is that time of year when many of us think about our lives and contemplate improvements. That may involve making resolutions or setting goals. At my age, it is something different. A new year seems to get me thinking about my mortality and about the ongoing purpose of my life. The busiest years of career and family work are over, which is a mixed blessing. Yes, I have more time to pursue what I love but I also must consciously choose the activity of my days. I have never liked to “waste” my time. I like to choose mindfully how I spend the time I have.
At the end of December, the media run stories or air shows that highlight all the famous people who died during the year. My husband always jokes about how we only seem to find out how great people are after they die. It’s true. In these memorials, and even at local funerals, friends and family tell such wonderful stories about their deceased loved ones and I always wish I had known them better.
As it happens, I attended the funeral, this morning, of a friend from town who had been a vibrant octogenarian until acquiring the illness that killed her. Her service was held at a Congregational Church in town and was completely filled with friends of the family. A woman who had been friends with the deceased for over 50 years gave the first eulogy. She spoke of how they had been young married women and mothers together in the early 60s and about the many hours they spent on the phone gabbing with each other.
This friend’s recollection was so poignant, that it reminded me that mundane activities like talking on the phone can have a big impact on another person; it is not just consequential accomplishments that touch other people’s lives. This was a timely lesson for me as I considered what were important or not important ways to spend my time.
I learned recently that January 1, as a date, has the highest death rate of any day of the year. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/30/the-deadliest-day-of-the-year-is-almost-upon-us/?utm_term=.45fc5f32cf91 ) The researchers who learned this, could not say definitively why, but they hypothesized that it was because, when people went to emergency rooms on New Year’s Day, a lot of the regular staff was off and they got less experienced people to care for them. I suspect that there is more to it than that. I would guess that it’s a time when people might look at their lives and see no clear purpose to it for whatever reason and on a subconscious level decide to check out.
So at this time of year, as I ponder the deep thoughts about life—and death, I invariably turn to Seth for inspiration. As it turns out, Seth has quite a lot of intriguing things to say about death and that is the focus of this post. The phrase of Seth’s that sticks in my mind more than any other is this:
You are ‘dead’ now—and as dead as you will ever be. (Seth Speaks, Amber-Allen, 1972/1994, p. 141)
I remember the first time I read that. I found it provocative but had no idea what to make of it. How could I be dead and alive at the same time? Even now, after decades of studying the Seth Material, my understanding keeps changing and growing. One thing is certain, Seth’s explanations of death, life after death, life between lives, and reincarnation are some of the most hopeful, uplifting, and reassuring parts of his books, at least to my way of thinking. So, let’s look at some of them.
You are more than the individual that you think of as “I”
Basically, what Seth says is that each of us is a multidimensional personality. Yes, one aspect of us is focused in our physical frame of reference. But there is a whole lot more of “us” existing in different frames of reference, some of which have no physicality, as we know it, at all. They are all connected, whether we are aware of these other aspects or not.
These other aspects of ourselves, according to Seth, may be what we usually call “past lives.” They could be “counterparts,” that is, other incarnations existing in the exact same time period as we do; in other words, we could actually bump into them on the street! All of this sounds impossible, I know. But, there is a lot of evidence for reincarnation. Read more here: http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-proof.htm or watch more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w2MCpzE8u0
There are also “probable selves,” which exist in a different system all together from the reincarnation system. Probable selves split off from the self we know every time we make a meaningful choice. The choice we contemplated, but did not make, gets played out by a new personality who then carries on in a parallel reality system.
The thing that ties the whole multidimensional personality together is the Oversoul or entity or greater self—Seth refers to it by many names.
Most of us are aware that the cells of our body die off all the time, some surviving days or weeks and others months or years. Consciously, we take no notice of these partial “deaths,” or as Seth puts it, our consciousness “rides above” them.
From the perspective of our larger, multidimensional self, the physical death at the end of one life is analogous to some of our physical body cells dying off. Our soul can stay focused on the broader experience and ride above that “partial” death.
Although you may think that makes our lives seem inconsequential, Seth says it isn’t so.
Seth is careful to reassure us that, although our soul comprises many identities/personalities, those identities do not just evaporate at death; nor do they merge back in to the one big identity of our Oversoul. Each identity is inviolate. As difficult as it is for us to believe, our Oversouls can simultaneously know themselves as whole entities and as the individual parts. This is a very old and sacred concept that exists in many wisdom traditions and is a feature of what is called the “Perennial Philosophy.” Anyone who cares to know more might begin exploring here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy
You are not a miniature self, an adjunct to some superbeing, never to share fully in its reality. In those terms you are that superself—looking out of only one eye, or using just one finger . . . You are not subordinate to some giant consciousness. While you think in such terms, however, I must speak of reincarnational selves and counterparts, because you are afraid that if you climb out of what you think your identity is, then you will lose it. (The “Unknown Reality, Volume 2,” Amber-Allen, 1979/1996, p. 618)
Seth explained that he and Jane Roberts were connected as strands of the same consciousness; in other words, they were each offshoots of the same entity.
I have my own existence, that is quite different from Rubert’s [what Seth called Jane], and yet I also have a reality that is connected to his psyche. Each of you also have the same kind of connection with other ‘more knowledgeable’ portions of yourself, or your greater identity, that are independently themselves and yet also alive in your psyches. They are portions of your ‘unknown’ reality. (The “Unknown” Reality, Volume 1, Amber-Allen, 1977/1996, p. 78)
When I first read this, I tried to think of any evidence in my own life that I had a “greater self.” The first thing that came to mind was that “person” I experience sometimes during meditation if I have a thought about myself and I feel like “I” am different from the self that I am thinking about. Who is the thinker that makes my regular “I” seems like a third party? I feel it is my higher self.
I have used automatic writing as well, at times, when I had a particularly thorny problem or a tough decision to make and I wanted some spiritual guidance. Automatic writing seems to deliver information that is beyond our normal conscious abilities. Reading back the information that I recorded in journals at the time, I feel like it comes from someone smarter or more mature than I am. I believe that is my higher self.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of books and articles on our multidimensional selves, but Seth was one of the original teachers of this concept in our lifetimes.