One complaint that I’ve heard about the Seth material is that Seth’s claims about the nature of reality are too farfetched and the explanations too complicated. I don’t agree with the assessment that Seth’s ideas are implausible. However, a lot of the detail is difficult to grasp. It has taken me many years to get clear on some of the ideas, and each time I revisit the material, I seem to grasp a little bit more.
I’ve been aided along the way by other source material, most notably, from quantum physics, at least to the extent that I can understand it. The channeled material of Elias is also helpful in that he often elaborates on topics that Seth introduced but for which Seth didn’t give exhaustive detail. The Elias material is interesting because Elias doesn’t dictate books, like Seth did, but answers questions posed by people who attend the sessions. A lot of those people ask the same questions I would ask if I could. (Here is a link to the Elias Forum where you can search the transcripts by topic: http://www.eliasforum.org/
Occasionally, illumination will come unexpectedly, as recently happened when I read a popular novel. The book was the first novel of a young, British author, Laura Barnett, called The Versions of Us. I have no idea whether Ms. Barnett is familiar with the Seth material, but her book brought a particularly perplexing concept—probable selves—to life for me.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but it is safe to give you the basics. The story revolves around two main characters, Eva and Jim. They are Oxford University students who meet by “chance,” when they are 19. Barnett writes three different versions that all begin at this meeting point. From there, three “probable” versions of each of them spin off into different probable realities. The author follows the main characters throughout their entire lives, showing us how their choices affected them in each alternative timeline–an interesting, though not entirely original conceit. More surprising, however, is the way Ms. Barnett includes incidents which suggest that these divergent timelines (or probable selves) continue to influence one another. This is a concept I recognized from the Seth material, though I’d never seen it explored exactly this way in popular media.
So what are probable selves? Seth says that each probable self is a portion of your soul, which comprises many, many probable versions in our physical reality system, as well as many more versions in the reincarnational system. Every time we reach a choice-point, that is a moment where we are about to make a decision that will move our lives in a different direction–a probable self will spin off to follow “the path not taken.” In The Versions of Us, for example, Jim asks Eva out after they meet. In two of the versions she acquiesces, but in one she does not. This choice is significant because Eva is already in a relationship with someone else when she meets Jim, so going on a date with another man could initiate a meaningful change in her relationship. Two probable realities are generated by her decision to date, or not to date, Jim. Seth says, minor choices that don’t create major life changes do not cause a new probable self to form.
I don’t know about you, but I am very aware of certain choice-points in what I recognize as my past—times when I moved in a totally new direction from the path that I had previously been on. For example, I come from a traditional Italian-American family that emphasizes close familial ties, especially the responsibility of daughters to care for their parents as they age. My maternal grandmother lived with us and my mother took care of her throughout both of their adult lives. My, grandmother, likewise, had taken care of her father at her home during his old age.
When I met my future husband and later decided to marry him, I knew I would be moving to a different state and that I was consciously eschewing the daughter-as-live-in-caregiver role which might later be expected of me. I would have had a vastly different life if I had stayed close to home, married someone of a similar background, and followed in my mother’s footsteps.
Other versions of me spun off at that choice-point, perhaps in many different probable realities. There may be one timeline in which I never married, another in which I did and lived with my parents in their old age, maybe another in which I made the choice to stay, but ended up with a disgruntled husband who left me. I could even have died before my parents in another probable life. The probabilities are endless. And, of course, this life I know as my own now is a probable version of all those other lives. And each of those probable selves perceives itself as the protagonist in its own, uninterrupted timeline.
The way I understand this concept leads me to believe that some probable selves have a lot in common. That’s because possible and probable are not equivalent. Some events are possible but highly unlikely; other events have a high likelihood of occurring. Many probable selves may, therefore, be relatively similar or share similar experiences and pursuits.
In The Versions of Us, the three versions of Jim and Eva meet and interact with many of the same people throughout their lives. There is some overlap in the events they experience. In some cases, their probable selves participate in nearly identical conversations. Seth explained why we might have many closely aligned probable selves. He attributed it to “significances.” He claims that we incarnate with a specific nature, in which certain values are significant to us and others are not.
You may remember from previous posts (see here and here) that everything in existence is formed of consciousness units or CUs. CUs, according to Seth, form into gestalts with other CUs of similar propensities with an inclination toward certain experiences. They attract each other in a quest toward value fulfillment. Every person is a gestalt of CUs. Every other physical thing or event is too; so is a society. All these gestalts gather due to their attraction (or orientation) to certain significances.
In each now-moment, you draw from the vast bank of unpredictable actions certain ones that are ‘significant’ to you; and your private idea of significance will result in what seems to be predictable action. (The ‘Unknown’ Reality, Volume One. Amber-Allen, 1996/1977, Session 682, p. 42)
(In part 2, we will explore what science says about this assertion.)