Cooperation Beats Competition, Pun Intended: Seth Explains Why–Part 4

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.

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Cooperation Beats Competition, Pun Intended: Seth Explains Why–Part 3

According to Seth, those CUs that would eventually become human consciousness as we know it existed during pre-history in a kind of pseudo-form which Seth called a dream body. The dream body, in turn, operated in what might be best thought of as a dream world, also formed by consciousness.

Seth called these pre-humans “Sleepwalkers” and their main concentration was still in the dream world, even though they were beginning to experiment with physical reality. The Sleepwalkers had bodies, some of which looked like ours, but they operated perfectly and effortlessly, were not diseased or defective in any way, and had some abilities that surpassed ours.

This state was one in which pre-humans could try out different ideas, create environments, interact with various species, and learn how they would work together. If things didn’t go the way they planned, they could try something else, without the physical consequences.

The Sleepwalkers did not age anywhere near as quickly as we do and did not need to procreate; gender was not important and these beings had what we would call both male and female qualities. In Seth’s recounting,

While men [and women] had their dream bodies alone they enjoyed a remarkable freedom . . . for their bodies did not have to be fed or clothed. They did not have to operate under the laws of gravity . . . They did not yet identify themselves to any great degree as being themselves separate from either the environment or other creatures. (Dreams, ‘Evolution,’ and Value Fulfillment, Volume 2, p. 222)

During the time of the Sleepwalkers, matter was impermanent; Seth said it pulsed in and out of existence. “What you really had in the beginning were images without form, slowly adopting form, blinking on and off, then stabilizing into forms that were as yet not completely physical. These then took on all of the characteristics that you now consider formed physical matter.” (Dreams, “Evolution,” and Value Fulfillment, Volume 1, p. 179)

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Hate, Violence, and Evil: What’s Fear Got To Do With It? Part 2

In Part 1 we were reminded that Seth looks at evil as the result of blocked fulfillment. And we talked about how wrong-thinking was the root problem. Now, we are going to go a little deeper into Seth’s ideas about guilt and aggression. For misunderstanding about these two concepts is the primary cause of fear and ultimately evil actions.

First of all, Seth tells us that when we turned the corner evolutionarily, from being more like animals to becoming thinking human beings, we lost the natural sense of justice and integrity that operates in the animal kingdom. Basically, animals don’t kill or violate each other except for sustenance, to protect themselves or their young, or for other reasons that make sense if we don’t anthropomorphize them. And Seth says animals do not experience guilt.

A cat playfully killing a mouse and eating it is not evil. It suffers no guilt. On biological levels both animals understand. The consciousness of the mouse, under the innate knowledge of impending pain, leaves its body. The cat uses the warm flesh. The mouse itself has been hunter as well as prey, and both understand the terms in ways that are very difficult to explain. (The Nature of Personal Reality, p. 139)

Once we lost the animal sense of justice and courtesy, we acquired natural guilt as a way to substitute for this lost sense and to prevent violation. It is a tool for learning how to use our free will and consciousness wisely. The whole point of natural guilt is to make us feel bad about any violation, so that we will not do the same thing again.

Its original purpose was to enable you to empathize on an aware level with yourselves and other members of creaturehood, so that you could consciously control what was previously handled on a biological level alone. Guilt in that respect therefore has a strong natural basis, and when it is perverted, misused or misunderstood, it has the great terrifying energy of any runaway basic phenomenon. (The Nature of Personal Reality, p. 140)

The rule for living, according to Seth, should be: “Do not violate.” That means one should not violate any person, animal, or the environment. Ever. Although we could probably come up with dozens of times when we might feel justified in some sort of violation–say for self-defense or to prevent a catastrophe of a higher order,  Seth says this isn’t so. If you remember from our description of the nature of reality in Part 1, everything we experience has been pulled from the infinite probability field of Framework 2. If we were creating consciously at all times, we would not find ourselves in situations where we needed to defend ourselves in the first place.

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