Seth often gave advice to his readers about how to apply his ideas to everyday life situations, both large and small. One of those situations is aging and it’s one that has been on my mind a lot lately.
I turned 60 this year; my husband is thinking of retiring; friends in our own age group have died in the past few years; we became grandparents; and my 93 year old Dad’s situation requires me to deal with age- and health-related issues all the time.
Seth offers some interesting and even surprising insights with respect to aging, age-related diseases, and senility. So let’s start first with the general and then get to some specifics.
Early on in the sessions, Seth said that “Aging . . . is not a primary [construction] . . . It must be recognized as secondary.” (The Early Sessions, Book 5 of The Seth Material. New Awareness Network, 1999, p. 70.)
What does this mean? Primary constructions are formed by your entity or soul. Essentially, your entity consciously projects into space/time a material replica of some degree of its own inner essence. I say some degree because, as you know, the entity/ soul or Self is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted; each portion will reflect some of the inner essence. Projections are not one-time events. Your Self continually keeps the projections going, which makes it appear that your body has duration in time. So, primary constructions are what allow you to be perceived in the world of matter. Seth reinforced repeatedly that the psychological structure precedes the material in all cases.
As an example, the physical body/mind is a primary constructions. The flexibility and free choice we have once we are here in body is where secondary constructions come in.
Secondary constructions are formed by consciousness “branching outward, constructing secondary images of other consciousnesses (beings and things) with whom it comes in contact” (ES2, p. 241) We make secondary constructions all the time. It is through secondary constructions that we experience life with other people and in the environment. Secondary constructions seem to have something to do with our perceptions, expectations, and beliefs, as well as with consensus opinions held with others. And Seth said that we have more control over these secondary constructions than we think. So, if a physical body is a primary construction, a secondary construction might be a belief that with old age comes sickness and fragility. Secondary constructions do not affect the inner self since it is outside of our system.
A recognition of the differences between primary and secondary conditions can . . . allow you to minimize the effect of the secondary conditions to some considerable degree.
Two men for example, of precisely the same physical age, of precisely the same physical condition, will be in completely different states of mind, of competence, of effectiveness and of strength, as a direct result of their inner beliefs as to their relative freedom within the framework of the physical existence in which they exist.
The man who does not realize his basic independence from the physical system will not have the same freedom within it. (ES5, p.70)
Seth spends some time discussing how we pick up ideas about aging from society and cultural beliefs. This cultural conditioning starts in childhood and continues throughout life. We can, however, un-learn erroneous beliefs. But make no mistake, the physical body will conform to whichever belief an individual takes on.
You may have a belief that . . . age automatically makes you less a person, turning you into an individual who can no longer relate in the daily pattern of environment. The belief, you see, would work to insure the materialization of that state. On the other hand you may believe that wisdom grows with age, that self-understanding brings a peace of mind not earlier known, that the keen mind is actually far better able to assess the environment, and that the physical senses are much more appreciative of all stimuli. And so those conditions will be physically met in your experience. The physical apparatus itself, following your beliefs, will continue in health. (The Nature of Personal Reality. Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974/1994, p. 103)