Summarizing Seth: The structure of the self
This is part of a series of posts where I try to summarize the Seth Material.
Behold, my MS Paint skills. (I like simple tools 🙂)
This diagram represents my current best understanding of the relationships between the elements of "ourselves".
The spacious present
The fundamental reality can be described as a spacious present. This does not have time or space as we imagine them. There is a concept of time, but it is psychological and much more flexible than we imagine.
The spacious present can be thought of as ever expanding, but not how we think space expands. It expands like an idea: like inspiration becomes a sentence, a sentence becomes a paragraph, and a paragraph becomes a novel. There are no limits to this expansion, and the expansion is blazingly fast.
An entity exists in the spacious present. It cannot exist in a physical universe. It explores different realities by spawning many personalities. These personalities exist in the spacious present and can be thought of as concurrent.
Per Seth, we would "be better off" if we thought in terms of our entities. It seems for this reason, Seth calls everyone who participates in his sessions by an entity name, instead of their human name. Since entities don't use words or names, Seth gives people names based on what best represents the entity in our reality.
The outer ego – that which you think you are while you are reading this – does not have a direct path of communication with the entity. The inner self, however, does, and the outer ego can connect with the inner self.
The people you meet are personalities who come from their own entities. Some of these entities might be more closely related to yours. A few people you meet might be "counterparts": other personalities of your own entity.
A personality is a structure created by an entity to explore a particular reality. In our reality, a personality has multiple experiences of life. The personality reincarnates, anywhere from a handful of times to many. The number of incarnations is up to the inclinations of the personality.
Reincarnations are concurrent. Your past and future lives already exist. They continue to unfold, in the way an idea unfolds. Your past lives are not done. Your future lives are not done. Your current life is not done, and will never be done, even as your focus passes out of it. All of your lives interact with each other and are constantly being created.
A personality cannot just "go" into a physical reality, because a physical world does not exist as some kind of objective fact. It is a collaborative illusion which must be constructed. Part of the personality, the inner self, must construct it. It coordinates with other personalities so that the illusions have strong points of correspondence. But they do differ.
When Seth says "you", he means the personality. He does not mean the outer ego of which you're currently aware. The outer ego is a focus which the personality maintains. But the personality contains no real boundaries.
Ultimately, there are no completely closed systems and no boundaries in existence. Since there are no boundaries, "you" are ultimately an integral part of all that is, like a wave is a part of the ocean. Nevertheless, patterns and structures exist, and the personality is a suitable level to think of as "I" for our practical purposes.
Inner self and the "physical universe"
What you perceive as the physical universe is a construction which your inner self creates for the outer ego to experience. The inner self exists outside of this "physical universe", since it indeed creates it. The inner self resides in the spacious present and time does not work for it like it works for you. The inner self has vastly greater capabilities than the outer ego. It creates not only the physical universe you experience, but also your past and future lives, which are ongoing currently.
Regardless of its incomprehensibly awesome abilities, which are exercised moment to moment and indeed comprise your moments – the relationship between your outer ego and your inner self should not be thought of as hierarchical. The outer ego is important. It is essential to experiencing the realities the inner self creates. If there was no outer ego, there would be no point. The outer ego has an essential level of influence over its reality. Seth's central point is that you – the personality – create your own reality, and the outer ego's beliefs and attitudes are essential to what is created. Seth is trying to help you improve at this, which will lead to better experiences for you, as well as everyone your reality touches.
Other "spiritual" material may refer to the inner self as the "higher" self. This emphasizes its unimaginable capacities, but at the expense of downplaying the cooperative nature of the relationship. It can mislead a person into treating the relationship as submissive, and therefore cutting off their own power.
When religious people think of a personal "God", or a personal "Jesus", that basically refers to the inner self. This is better than having no concept of the inner self, but again risks a submissive attitude.
The inner self is not some neutral, desireless, bland personality. It contains emotions and desires. What you feel and desire comes from your inner self. Your libido actually originates in the entity.
The subconscious is at the same time a barrier, a buffer, and a connective layer between the inner self and the outer ego. The subconscious has layers representing your individual past in this life; then your past and future lives; a deeper layer connecting you to humankind; and then layers connecting you to the inner self, and ultimately the entity.
You have inner senses which come through the subconscious. Your emotions are the end points of inner senses.
Your subconscious may contain aspects of your personality which may be latent, which your dominant ego may be supressing. These aspects may realize themselves in other ways, for example in dreams. They may also sometimes erupt and show themselves as a suprising change in your personality.
Dream worlds have durable existence and are constructed by your inner self, much like your physical reality. Dream environments have a different construction than physical reality because they are solo work, but they are equally durable.
In dreams, you create personalities, much like your entity creates you. The dream environments and personalities go on to have existences which continue indefinitely. Every thought has an existence that continues indefinitely and expands like the universe, long after it has passed from you.
Dreaming is a necessary part of all physical existence. All consciousness that participates in a physical reality, dreams. Among other things, this is maintenance of a necessary connection to the underlying reality. Animals dream. Plants dream. Atoms dream. Atoms are not persons, and their dreams are not like our own, but they dream.
You do not remember most of your dreams. Most dream experience cannot be represented in physical concepts, so we do not remember. Some aspects of dreams can be represented, and those we can remember, but they might make no sense to the waking ego. Even if dreams make no sense; even if they seem random and jumbled; every element is carefully selected by the inner self to communicate with several different layers of the subconscious. The outer ego does not have to understand the dreams for them to work. However, if one keeps a dream journal, if one works regularly remembering dreams, then the outer ego can begin to understand the personal symbols, and these can convey helpful information.
If you doubt the efficacy of dreams – science is based on them. Here are some great dream discoveries:
- Dmitri Mendeleev's discovery of the periodic table of elements.
- Alfred Russel Wallace's insight into the evolution of species.
- August Kekulé discovery of the molecular structure of benzene.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan, who received mathematical ideas in dreams.
- René Descartes' fundamental idea of the scientific method.
- Otto Loewi's confirmation of chemical transmission of nerve signals.
- Louis Agassiz's insight into the structure of a fish fossil.
If that was not enough, here's even more:
- Einstein's theory of relativity.
- James Watson's discovery of the structure of DNA.
- Elias Howe's invention of the sewing machine.
- Larry Page's basic idea behind Google.
As well as works in culture:
- James Cameron's basic idea for The Terminator.
- Chris Nolan's idea for Inception.
- Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
- The Beatles' Yesterday.
These are some things we know have a dream origin. Consider everything else we do not.
The one who dreams is the inner self. This is how "you", or "I", does not properly refer to the outer ego, but to the personality. When you dream, the inner self moves its focus out of the outer ego, and into a dream. It's like a man standing in the middle of the room, first looking right – through the outer ego, into physical reality – and then looking left – into a dream environment. The man who looks left is not a different man than the one who looks right.
The outer ego
This is what you think of as you, even while you are much more than it. The outer ego has an important role, to experience the physical world created by the inner self. This experience can be improved by the awareness that the seemingly so solid world is self-created, and that this creation follows the beliefs of the outer ego.
This is commonly known as the Law of Attraction, but it is not named so by Seth. What you expect, and not necessarily what you desire, is what will be. You cannot directly control what you expect. The proper use of intellect is like an X-ray, to investigate and illuminate beliefs. The ultimate beliefs, those of which you're so convinced you do not think they are beliefs, they are simply what's real; those lead to emotions and expectations; and this selects, out of infinite possibilities, the phenomena that arise in "reality".
Truth cannot completely fit into words. Every attempt to express truth in words will contain distortions.
Distortions are not lies. They are suboptimal phrasings and nuances that can lead to misunderstandings.
Seth attempted to minimize distortions when communicating through Jane. This material contains Jane's distortions, probably minimal, as well as my distortions, probably quite significant. As you read, you add distortions of your own.
You should read the Seth Material. Then you'll have to deal only with Jane's distortions and yours, and not mine. 😀