Seth’s Advice on How to be Happy: Be a Practicing Idealist in 2017

In my last post, the U.S. Presidential Election had just concluded and reactions and analyses were swirling turbulently around us.

Since then, things have calmed down a bit. There was no mass exodus to Canada. There have been some protests and petitions, an unfortunate increase in hate crimes (as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the FBI), and the media is still trying to figure out how to deal with the unconventional and unpredictable Mr. Trump. The President Elect, through his cabinet picks, has set off some alarm bells.

Whether you are someone who is anticipating the coming change with eager anticipation or, alternatively, filled with trepidation and even horror, life must go on.

In this time of uncertainty, it might be sensible to go back to basics—to think about what people want and need at the most fundamental level. By that I mean, their very purpose in living or being. It is important to remember, from Seth’s viewpoint, that individuals create the living picture of our society, politics, government, culture, and so forth, not the other way around. So we have an opportunity to shape the future.

Seth’s teachings about practicing idealists, closely tied to his statements about “natural law” and human impulses can help us understand how to do this.

Natural Law and Value Fulfillment

In many posts on this blog I have mentioned Value Fulfillment. According to Seth, it is one of the fundamental aspects of reality. To refresh your memory:

You are born with a desire to fulfill your abilities, to move and act in the world. Those assumptions are the basis of what I will call natural law. (The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Amber-Allen, 1995/1981, p. 259)

So what are the Natural Laws that Value Fulfillment is based upon?

Natural Laws are the inner laws of nature that underlie all realities, not just the one we are of aware of. They guide all kinds of life. Seth says they are laws of love and cooperation. These laws are what make us feel safe and secure in the universe, understand that we have a part to play in the whole, and give us confidence that we will creatively add our gifts, talents and outlook to the world. In a nutshell, Natural Laws are what give life meaning.

Seth says that we all come into this world with an impetus toward growth and action–but not growth in terms of size or how much space we take up. Rather, it is a qualitative measure based on how fulfilled we are in the things that matter to us or which we most value.

Chances are that you can look within yourself, your own family or group of friends and identify what some of those values might be for each of them. Some people are competitive and value a challenge. Some people are nurturers and feel fulfilled when they are helping others. There are those who have to feel active all the time; or creative, artistic, or musical. Some people have the need to act as catalysts or to make others laugh or to use their athletic abilities; others get their thrills from always learning or teaching. The list is long and varied.

According to Seth, the way the universe is configured allows for every individual to pursue his or her own Value Fulfillment without impinging on anyone else in a negative way. That is the ideal.

You are born seeking the actualization of the ideal. You are born seeking to add value to the quality of life, to add characteristics, energies, abilities to life that only you can individually contribute to the world, and to attain a state of being that is uniquely yours, while adding to the Value Fulfillment of the world. (The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p. 259)

So far, we humans seem to have missed the memo on this. In fact we have phrases in our language that reinforce the idea of winners and losers, such as “zero-sum game,” in which the only way for one person to “win” is for another to “lose,” so that together they net out at zero.

This is contrary to how the universe actually works, according to Seth. He says that, if we were all true to our values—faithful to being our True Selves—conflicts would dissipate.

Your True Self, Impulses, and Spontaneity

People tell me that they don’t know who their True Self is. It is the Self that you are naturally, without having to try. Think back to childhood. Were you a quiet child who liked to make things out of natural materials you found in the woods? Or were you a child who had to be the center of attention, putting on plays and musicals? Were you someone who liked to read or explore or did you prefer playing sports? Maybe making new friends came easy and you made everyone laugh. Were you kind to others and eager to share? Did you like to build and destroy and build again? Children are more likely to act on their impulses than adults, so it is easier to identify what they inherently value. They are still in their pure form.

Seth says that if we act on our impulses they will lead us to Value Fulfillment? That sounds kind of scary. We’ve come to think of our impulses as things we should keep in check. Seth disagrees; by impulses he means the underlying motive power of everything in existence.

Impulses . . . provide impetus toward motion, coaxing the physical body and the mental person toward utilization of physical and mental powers. (The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p. 242)

Seth reminds us that impulses are what keep the body going. Every cell and organ has an impulse to do its unique job. Our impulses help us make specific choices out of all the probable choices we might consider. Children are often scolded for their impulses. But impulses are what make them use their muscles and minds. Parents often are fearful that their teenagers’ impulsiveness will lead to trouble. But their impulses are also what allow them to learn, explore, and mature.

Impulses are doorways to action, satisfaction, the exertion of natural mental and physical power, the avenue for your private expression – the avenue where your private expression intersects the physical world and impresses it. (The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p. 243)

We get into trouble, according to Seth, because we ignore our small, everyday impulses, either because we have been shamed into doing so or when we act a certain way to meet some set of standards imposed on us by parents, culture, religion, gender norms, business, or even by our own egos. Continue reading[..]

Seth Explains How and Why We All Elected Donald Trump for President

I have restrained myself from blogging too soon after the election because I wanted to make sure I was calm, clear-minded, and appropriately reflective before I did. The day after the election, I had to talk a few crying people off the ledge. And I was feeling kind of numb and shocked myself.

I have to say that my understanding of Seth’s philosophy has helped me tremendously. Not only does it explain the rise of Trump and Trumpism (see my earlier blog on Trumpism here http://sethsays.org/index.php/category/politics/), but it also outlines next steps that could help us mold a good probable outcome starting from where we are today.

As the exit polls revealed, everyone who voted for Trump did not necessarily like him, believe him, or endorse all of his ideas. Many people voted for him despite their misgivings.

Why? It seems clear that they were trying to make a statement about the “system,” which includes the government, corporate America, the “elites”, the media, and the “establishment,” in general. I made a list of the words that have been used to describe their emotional attitudes, which includes:

  • fear
  • anger
  • despair
  • hopelessness
  • disdain
  • revulsion

These people felt that the system was so broken, so stuck, and so irreparable that only someone as brash, outrageous, and iconoclastic as Trump would have the nerve and the audacity to knock it all down. As far as I can tell, electing Trump was equivalent to them  giving the whole world the finger.

Yes Trump’s campaign did indeed unleash some apparent racists, misogynists, and paranoids which we will have to deal with. But beyond that subset, whatever its size, I believe the majority were really saying that the status quo was no longer tolerable and they acted in the only way that they felt empowered to.

Now, before we move on to Seth’s comments, let’s take a quick look at the Clinton supporters. Again, the exit polls showed that there was still a great deal of reluctance in choosing Clinton because of personal distrust, wariness of her corporate connections and involvement with big money interests, and her overly political cautiousness in terms of policy. During the campaign we saw within the Democratic Party a similar populist uprising to the one on the Republican side, with many of the Bernie Sanders voters indicating that they also thought the system was broken.

Now that Trump has won, there have been protests, outcries, and all kinds of fears and worries expressed by the public, the mainstream media, and social media. I decided, once again, to make a list of the words that were being used to describe the emotional states of the distraught Clinton voters. My list included:

  • fear
  • sadness
  • despair
  • hopelessness
  • anger
  • disdain
  • revulsion

Isn’t it interesting that my two lists are almost identical?

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You Create Your Own Reality: Much More than a Catchy Slogan–Part 3

 

Step by Step Reality Creation

1. Use your thoughts, emotions, and imagination to focus on what you want. If you can’t believe that it can ever happen, just pretend that you can, the way a child pretends to be a doctor or to drive a car. Have a light touch while you do this, being playful with it if you can. This is not about trying hard; it is turning your attention to how nice it will be/feel once you have what you want.

If you are poor, you purposely pretend that you have all you need financially. Imagine how you will spend the money. If you are ill, imagine playfully that you are cured. See yourself doing what you would do. If you cannot communicate with others, imagine yourself doing so easily. If you feel your days dark and pointless, then imagine them filled and joyful. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 619, p. 63)

2.  As you are focusing, imagine experiencing the outcome with all of your senses that you can–see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, smell it. Really use your     imagination and feel the emotions surrounding the outcome.

You must begin to initiate action that you want to occur physically (emphatically) by creating it in your own being . . . This is done by combining belief, emotion and imagination, and forming them into a mental picture of the desired result. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 627, p. 104)

3. Keep this focus for a short time–up to five minutes. Then let it go. Do not worry that you have never been able to do this before. Let the universal energies help you.

You must not be concerned for their emergence, for this brings up the fear that the new ideas will not materialize, and so this negates your purpose. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 621, p. 72)

4.  Avoid focus on the things you do not want. You attract to yourself whatever you focus on, good or bad. As far as this process goes, it cannot distinguish between “positive” and “negative.” Beliefs in this system are neutral. Like attracts like. This does not mean that you can never have a wayward emotion such as anger or frustration. But you must realize that when you have those emotions they are giving you a clue about your beliefs. Don’t repress them; look at them and try to understand where they are rooted; then turn them around by choosing a wiser belief.

As you trust yourself more you will naturally express feelings, and their suppression will not bring about explosive reactions any more. They will come and go . . . Attention to your own stream of consciousness is highly important. This alone will help you to see in what areas you are denying impulses or giving yourself directions that lead to powerlessness. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 663, p. 344)

5.  Be happy. Have faith. Once you have set this process in motion, feel grateful that what you desire is on its way to you.

Make one physical gesture or act that is in line with your belief or desire. Behave physically, then, at least once a day in a way that shows that you have faith in what you are doing. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 657, p. 300)

6.  Remember that reality is created in the present moment or what Seth calls the “moment point.” This is the point of power in which Framework 2 and Framework 1 coincide.

At each of these points, what seems to be an isolated life is experienced. Just beyond those intersections, however, there is a more or less unitary and overall recognition of wholeness that ‘rides’ above them. (The Nature of Personal Reality, Session 668, p 376)

 

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Idealists, Fanatics, Fundamentalists, and Donald Trump

The 2016 campaign for President in the U.S. has me feeling alternately amazed, dismayed, energized, and disgusted. Today I’m going to look at the Trump campaign, since this is the one that is causing my reactions and I think Seth offers quite a lot in the way of an explanation.

When the campaign began and Trump and his supporters almost immediately started garnering asymmetrical attention, the news reports focused a lot on the demographics of Trump’s followers: mostly white, blue-collar, skewing male, high-school educated, middle to lower-middle class socio-economic status. As time went on psychological descriptors were added: angry, frustrated, fearful, and some volatile or even dangerous. Of late, Trump’s supporters are called xenophobic, isolationist, racist, and nationalistic.

What about the candidate himself? He has been called sexist, racist, bombastic, narcissistic, arrogant, shallow, materialistic, and ignorant, among other things. Trump seems to view every problem or opportunity from the viewpoint of a salesman, deal-maker, or celebrity; it makes no difference if it is foreign policy, dealing with allies or enemies, the economy, trade, or budget issues–his approach is pretty one-dimensional and based on “power over” or as he might say, strength.

Trump evades substantive questions about policy and pre-empts any bad news that might befall his candidacy by stirring up controversy to change the subject, whenever possible.

Although Donald Trump has upended the status quo–not necessarily a bad thing–it is almost unimaginable to me that he could be the President of the United States, standing for American values at home and in the wider world. It was in thinking about the values that Trump does espouse and those attributed to his supporters that I thought about Seth, remembering that he had a lot to say about worldviews. When I dug into “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events”* once again, I found Seth’s remarks almost tailor-made to today’s political situation. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised given simultaneous time and Seth’s vantage point outside of physical reality!

Worldviews are important, according to Seth, because “The organization of your feelings, beliefs, and intents directs the focus about which your physical reality  is built. This follows with impeccable spontaneity and order. . . You organize your mental world in such a way that you attract to yourself events that. . . will confirm your beliefs.” (p. 164) If we follow this line of thought, then we Americans have created Donald Trump, his campaign, and the way it is going.

Seth calls the American experiment with democracy heroic, bold, and innovative and said Americans, although never really achieving the “equality” that is the hallmark of democracy, still hold on to that American Dream in which everyone has the opportunity to achieve their goals and be happy, which is the “ideal.” Seth noted, however, that American society was disrupted when an older, predominantly religious worldview was overtaken by a newer, scientific and materialistic worldview. In the religion-grounded worldview “The individual lived out his or her life almost automatically structuring personal experience so that it fit within the accepted norm.” (p. 156) That is because in a religious context order is provided from on high. That which is moral and good is clearly spelled out, as is evil. There are established rules, and people with this worldview are happy to abide by them.

When modern society began to emphasize science, technology, and individualism, the boundaries shifted for those with a religious worldview. Darwin’s theory of evolution and “survival of the fittest” affected peoples’ sense of safety and place in the universe. Seth said that after Darwin, “You take it for granted that the species is aggressively combative. You must out-think the enemy nation before you yourself are destroyed. These paranoiac tendencies are largely hidden beneath man’s nationalistic banners.” (p. 177) The so-called improvements that were to be the result of scientific and technological advancements have not necessarily improved these peoples’ lives either. The result is a rebellion against scientific intellectualism. There are many examples of this, but a good example is the skepticism about climate change in the fundamentalist religious community.

With changing worldviews, Seth says, “The individual must make his or her own way through a barrage of different value systems, making decisions that were largely unthought-of when a son followed his father’s trade automatically, for example, or when marriages were made largely for economic reasons.” (p. 156)

According to Seth, the “improvements” of the materialistic/scientific worldview, while convenient, robbed humanity of its heroic impulses and true instinct, which Seth describes as the need to feel that life has purpose and meaning.

In the wake of these sea changes, “some people. . . are looking for some authority–any authority– to make their decisions for them, for the world seems increasingly dangerous and they, because of their beliefs, feel increasingly powerless. They yearn toward the old ways. . . Their idealism finds no particular outlet.” (p. 210)

It is understandable that Trump supporters feel put out. They find themselves in a society now where marriage may be between two people of the same sex, where a Muslim may move into their workplace and be excused several times a day to answer the “call to prayer,” or where they are turned down for jobs which are then given to immigrants. On top of that, the order they once relied on has either imploded or been corrupted somehow. The financial crisis of 2008 was especially rough for them; they lost homes, retirement accounts, life savings, and jobs. At the same time, globalization resulted in many of their jobs being moved to countries with low-wage workers. The world around them changed very quickly, with new technologies, new ways of communicating through social media and the Web, and many social changes that seemed to fly in the face of the religious and moral values they hold. Without higher education or the ability and desire to “reinvent themselves” they did not prosper as once was possible. So, where before they could be “idealists” about what it meant to be an American, now they see that whole way of life threatened. It is no wonder that Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again” appeals to them.

According to Seth, a frustrated idealist “projects his betrayal outward until betrayal is all that he sees in the socio-political world. . . They demand immediate action. They want to make the world over in their own images. They cannot  bear the expression of tolerance or opposing ideas.” (pp. 214-215) Rather than projecting everything bad onto others, the better antidote, Seth says, would be if every person worked on actualizing his ideals through his own private life. “When you fulfill your own abilities, when you express your personal idealism through acting it out to the best of your ability in your daily life, then you are changing the world for the better.” (p. 215)

Instead, some of these thwarted idealists become what Seth called “fanatics” or they turn to fanatics for answers. Seth says:

A fanatic believes that he is powerless. He does not trust his own self-structure, or his ability to act effectively. Joint action seems the only course, but a joint action in which each individual must actually be forced to act, driven by frenzy, or fear or hatred, incensed and provoked, for otherwise the fanatic fears that no action at all will be taken toward ‘the ideal’ (p. 229)

This is where Trump masterfully channels the outrage of the group and brazenly promises that things will be different once he is in charge. He castigates “the establishment,” the liars, the hypocrites, and the sell-outs. His rallies consist of chants, threats, and litanies of problems caused by all kinds of groups and people. The rally takes on a life of its own.

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Seth and Mass Events–The zika virus

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.

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