From Chapter 1. How I Teach
My approach is more embedded in the rough and tumble of everyday life. It will allow you to see ugly stuff as really ugly but will also allow you to see that, in addition to being ugly, it is beautiful and sacred. That doesn’t excuse the ugliness of it, but it will make you more effective in engaging and making the world better in your own way.
I am reminded of a book that was around when I got started called Three Pillars of Zen. Someone asked a Zen monk, I guess he had been a monk for about eight years, what he was accomplishing and he said, “I don’t know but when I get up in the morning everything seems beautiful.” He didn’t say, “I’ve created a world where I get everything that I want,” he said, “Everything seems beautiful.”
What’s most important as far as I’m concerned is your ability to live in this world, to work towards becoming more authentic, kind, and generous, to develop really good communication skills, and to refine enough neutrality that you can be open to life as it is.
To me the central part of this is, how can I be a more effective human being? So the focus always brings us back to the very specific experience of being human.
In a paradoxical way, that is enhanced by going really far out.
We get programmed by our parents, our school system, our religions. There is an implicit threat behind that programming: if you find a wrong answer you’re going to get punished. And that is a very distorting concept.
I see people get fixated on what happened to them when they were four years old. When they get stuck like that, putting their crown junior to what they think their trauma then was, the story they’re telling themselves is, “I’ll never really be whole because this stuff happened to me when I was four years old.”
We are not caused by the past. If anything, we are caused by the future. But we’re not caused by anything. As every moment expands in every direction, a horrible experience that you remember may not even be part of you anymore. And you can learn to help it not be part of you. You can come from resource states that don’t have to go through the terrible past, that allow more flexibility and more openness to life.
Your personality is composed of sensations, emotions, and thoughts, and you might notice that in some sense they’re separate, independent, and in another sense, they’re interpenetrating, interdependent.
You are dealing with stuff that you so much take for granted you might not be able to generate curiosity about it. But just be interested in the fact that you have sensations, you have emotions, and you have thoughts. Whatever experience arises, ask yourself, Is that a sensation, an emotion, a thought, or some blend? And notice how things move from one moment to the next. Now notice how your sensations, emotions, and thoughts are affected by other energies in the room.
I’ve said, from time to time, I channel these classes. I have a kind of informal channeling that goes on when I teach, actually goes on throughout my entire life. It's kind of a blend of me and not-me. It’s not I go unconscious when I channel. I have conversations with my guides and share my opinions while I’m doing it.
I work on an upcoming workshop, but not in the usual sense of preparing. I walk around and get lit up and my guides sort of drop little things. It comes together however it comes together: “Hey, this looks like it would be cool, who wants to jump in the pool with me and see what happens?” And anyone who wants to join is invited in. This is the way that I teach.
My benefactors, as Castaneda would say, were Lewis Bostwick who founded the Berkeley Psychic Institute and Jane Roberts who channeled Seth; each gave me freedom from the other. They each had their significant blind spots, so I was fortunate to study with both of them. My spiritual project grows out of their work.
Alfred Whitehead said that all western philosophy is a footnote to Plato. What he meant is that Plato set up twenty-five hundred years of subsequent human exploration. I think that the next twenty-five hundred, will be a footnote, or expansion, or exploration of what Jane channeled from Seth. It’s that vast and eloquent and mystically radiant.
The Sethian information came in three big waves. Madame Blavatsky and the theosophists were the first wave of a distinctive Western point of view even though it’s not clear whether Madame Blavatsky had any idea what she was doing. But it was profoundly important.
Those old Theosophists, they were something else. You know, you read their stuff, it’s just drenched in the exhorting Victorian trip-laying energy, because they were Victorians--why wouldn’t it be like that? But they saw really incredible stuff, and I don’t know where they got it from, because there weren’t really any real precursors for the left-hand turn they took. They studied with a bunch of Buddhists and Hindus, but they transformed it into a very Western approach where becoming enlightened was no longer the objective.
Then you have a second wave through Alice Bailey. She couldn’t be less Sethian because her writings are a constant harangue against what is uniquely limited and human. She decided she was a “Master,” and in some sort of sense, she was. But I would argue that, profoundly important as her work was, it was off. Yet as I look at her now, she not only became an incarnated soul, she went on up from there.
Jane Roberts was the fulfillment. Jane comes along and is completely down to earth. She’s a real character in the best sense of the word. Boy, did she screw some things up! That was also part of her strength. But because she was who she was, she could bring something really incredible. She broke through all kinds of walls, and her limits, as they are for all of us, were part of her strengths. If she hadn’t had the kind of belief system of “let’s fully explore our independence,” I don’t think she could have forged the solitary road that she did, breaking through millennia of spiritual approaches that are inconsistent with the coming Aquarian age. She had to be hyper-individualistic to get to interdependence.
Basically, she didn’t understand the creative use of polarities; she would focus on a very willful approach to the world, one where she could impose her point of view on her own life. To her, that is how you improved life itself. Of course, you want to engage your point of view as you engage life, and you work to push things that you think you want--anything else would make no sense at all--but no matter how good you are at creating your reality, you’re not going to get everything you want, and a lot of the stuff you thought you wanted isn’t even going to turn out as good as you thought it would.
I love Jane beyond limit. As I said I think that she may be the most important intellectual figure for about the next two thousand years, but I’m going to be harshly critical of her at times because that’s the human condition. There are some things that she didn’t get, that she just didn’t understand as there are for me and, I believe, for anyone.
One of the remarkable things about Seth’s books is that they are literally different now than when I first encountered them forty-five years ago (1972). The words are the same, but the energy connected to those words has changed. It happened mostly unconsciously.
I feel Seth talking to me through these words with a different energy now. Of course, while he’s doing it all at once for him, it’s unfolded slowly for me. But I think Seth is also literally different now than he was forty-five years ago.
Seth is a big enough being that, in current time, each person engages a Seth book in their own unique way and in different ways at different times. Seth himself operates in multiple time frames. He is not time-limited, nor are the guides who channel this seminar.
Seth is there all the time, and in Seth’s experience, to the extent that I can describe it, which I can’t, it’s all happening at once. It’s sort of like the way you could see the Great Plains and the mountains off in the distance. Someone who’s walking down on the Great Plains is different each place they are. And the experience in the mountains is different from the experience in the plains. For Seth they’re happening simultaneously.
So Seth outside of time broadcast material through time, and at certain places in time his energy connected discretely with his words. They carried a certain meaning, and at other places in time they carried another meaning. That may happen to a tiny extent in an ordinary person’s words too.
I channel several entities around the Seth project. I used to call it “Seth,” but Seth people get very prissy about other people channeling Seth. Seth had said he would only come through Jane in her lifetime, but it’s not as though he just goes away. He was almost certainly who was talking to Alice Bailey earlier, though she thought she was talking to a Tibetan. Seth also doesn’t have a single memory bank. He uses information in different ways depending on who channels him. He blends with the personality. For instance, the Dalai Lama is an emanation of something much larger, but he is not the only emanation of that bodhisattva. Jane Roberts likewise interacts with an emanation of a much larger being, and her channeling of it will never be repeated because no one will interact with that being in the same way. Emanations can even disagree with one another, though the entity disagrees with itself skillfully.
I call the being I channel who is mostly “Seth,” Yukteswar, Yogaganda’s guru, infuriating both Yogananda and Seth people. At this time, I more often channel Mataji, a female guide from the Yogananda world. This corresponds with a shift in myself toward female energy at Etheric and Astral levels. Whoever my guide actually is, she sounds a lot more like Seth than Yogananda.
It behooves you, if this stuff is important to you, to practice it regularly. I hesitate to name a number because most people, if they can’t spend that long, say, “Oh, I’m a failure,” and then they stop doing it altogether. It’s like exercise. If twenty seconds a day is what you can spend, spend it. If you want to become really competent at this practice, try to find at least twenty to thirty minutes a day. To do Etheric work, you really need to spend as much time on your personal or Astral aura as on the Etheric because too much concentration on the Etheric without connecting it to the Astral breaks the connection between your body and your emotions.
The practice doesn’t have to be in just one or two sessions. If you spend twenty seconds a hundred times a day, that’s a pretty good effort. And if you just spend twenty seconds once a day, that’s better than spending twenty seconds once a week, which is getting to be pretty lazy. But it’s still better than nothing.