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[..]