Search Results for Jane Roberts
1970s channeler who wrote the popular Seth Books and several less commercially successful fiction novels before the idea of channeling became a New Age publishing sensation.
Roberts allegedly went into a trance and channeled a spirit entity called ‘Seth’ while her husband Robert Butts transcribed the sessions.
At times Roberts, herself, wondered whether it was just her unconscious speaking but most of the time she writes as if Seth were a separate entity.
Regardless of Seth’s true nature, the worldview advanced by the Seth character is noteworthy.
Seth’s cosmology (i.e. map of the universe) has intersecting parallel universes connecting among themselves backwards and forwards through time. The past and future of all parallel universes – to include our supposed parallel selves – interact with and have an effect on the present as perceived now.
As with other mystical traditions, Seth suggests that part of the self is located in the flesh while other aspects of mind and soul exist beyond the material plane.
The Seth model differs from the belief in reincarnation in three ways:
- Reincarnation stresses the effects of past lives on our present life, largely ignoring the possible influence of future selves on the present
- Seth advances the idea of interactive selves existing in parallel universes
- Not unlike Shakti Gawain, Seth highlights the importance of life in the present, whereas reincarnational theories tend to emphasize an escape from Samsara (the wheel of worldly rebirth)
Similarly, respected theorists like C. G. Jung view time, if perhaps not parallel universes, within a holistic framework. And the idea of parallel universes has gained some academic scrutiny through figures like Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku.
As a final note, the belief in an interactive past, present and future is not necessarily equivalent to the theological idea that God knows the past, present and future. Many traditional theologians become uncomfortable with the idea, for instance, that the future could be seeping into or impinging on the present. They prefer to stick to the old idea that the future just doesn’t exist yet.
This traditional perspective, however, is challenged by the modern physics worldview that space and time are not absolute but rather, relative, multiple and interactive positions.
Perhaps it’s just too challenging for some people to think that far out of the box, and adhering to their cherished old religious and philosophical ideas gives them psychological comfort, much like a baby needs a breast or a bottle before it grows up enough to learn how to walk to the store to buy some milk.
Channeling is a new, perhaps more marketable, name for the old esoteric idea of mediumship.
A channeler allegedly permits a purely spiritual being to speak or write through his or her living, embodied person. Channeled beings may be people who’ve passed or entities in heaven, astral realms and other universes and dimensions.
Information derived from channeling is often quite general, repetitive and, some critics say, sugar-coated. Much of it can be summed up as follows:
Earthly life is a cosmic schoolroom in which we must learn to better love one another. Humanity is evolving into a new type of higher species or awareness. Already existing higher beings are helping us to achieve that higher level of being or awareness.
The alleged cosmic helpers may have Biblical or ancient Egyptian-sounding names (e.g. Seth, Lazarus, Ramtha). The channelers themselves usually present lectures and workshops (usually for a donation or fee) and author books, CDs and DVDs in which transcripts of the channeled entity’s words are made available to the public.
In some instances the channeler seems to become self-aggrandized, believing they’re called for a great, Divine Mission. Sober questioning, however, usually places a question mark around such claims.
From the perspective of parapsychology, one possibility, which might not go over too well in some New Age circles, is that lying and manipulative transcendent beings could see into a channeler’s psyche and play on his or her psychological complexes, weaknesses and desires—all to stroke up the channeler’s ego so they believe they’re divine emissaries.
It’s also possible that some channelers are channeling nothing more than their own fertile imaginations. This is not to say that channeling is necessarily a deliberate or unconscious sham. To place a question mark around the issue simply means we can’t be sure, one way or the other.
Whatever its veracity, the idea of channeling has become so widespread that we often see it used lightly on the TV news and in the entertainment industry. Wikipedia gives a great outline as to how pervasive this idea has become: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Channelling
To this joyfulseeker adds:
I would say that rather than being a replacement for the term mediumship, channeling is acutally a broader term under which mediumship and other forms of spirit communication fall. For instance— automatic writing, Ouija, pendulum, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.
I also agree that there are manipulative and deceptive beings that use these means of communication to connect with and manipulate people. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden become kind and ethical. Channeling, like any form of communication requires care in both how you communicate and with whom. Its not unlike the internet. There are a lot of wonderful people on the net with much to offer you simply have to use discernment in revealing too much of yourself and how much you trust the other person. » See in context
Robert G. Black says:
Quite a lot of good comments about channeling. It’s a big Universe out there, and there’s hardly any doubt that our physical eyes can’t see it all. We can’t even see half of the things today that we take so for granted. » See in context
And Michelle writes:
I believe when we step into the spiritual realm through prayer or meditation, we can be influenced by good or evil. I think that is why we need to be careful who we are trying to contact – and possibly why the Old Testament gives clear warning to stay away from speaking to the dead. » See in context
- ” Golden thread” – channelled message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com)
- Trevor Taylor liked Pauline Battell’s discussion Ivy Northage and Chan ~ plus ~ General Psychic Information (community.humanityhealing.net)
- Who was Edgar Cayce? – A book review of The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn (apolloandartemis.wordpress.com)
- Melchizedek ~~ This is why you all incarnated here and your time is at hand! ~~ channeled by Méline Lafont | Pleiadedolphininfos (2012indyinfo.com)
- “Currency of Love” – channelled message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com)
- How to Channel the Opulence of Zoe Saldana’s Balmain Dress (fabsugar.com)
- Nancy Fox is an excellent channel and psychic medium who effortlessly communicates to those on the other side. (kevinhunter.wordpress.com)
- Ex-student is barred from releasing Ramtha video, other materials (thenewstribune.com)
- Hilarion: We are all Working Together as the Dimensions Come Closer – As channeled by Marlene Swetlishoff/Tsu-tana (007blueray.wordpress.com)
Shakti Gawain is a contemporary American spiritualist and author who lives in California. Her books have sold over 10 million copies.¹ The most popular of her publications are Creative Visualization and Living in the Light, although she has penned several others. ²
Gawain writes about how she spent time working as a cleaning lady before she became a popular spiritual teacher. She believes that positive attitude and expectation create a positive reality. She also advocates an eclectic approach to living in relation to the Divine, an approach which includes prayer, chant, meditation, and the “creative visualization” of desired outcomes.
Just how effective creative visualization really is remains a matter of debate. Many visualizers’ visualizations seem to fall flat—that is, they just don’t happen. Some common explanations for the failure of a visualization to come about are “the time wasn’t right” or “I didn’t focus well enough” and so on.³
But for Gawain, it seems that her visualizations for prosperity did come about.
Sympathetic to Carl Jung’s idea of synchronicity, Gawain rejects the Eastern belief in reincarnation on the grounds that it’s a limiting man-made theory. Along the lines of the (some would say pioneering) channeler Jane Roberts, Gawain stresses the importance of living in the present while recognizing past influences.
Most recently, her website stresses the importance of balancing work and play, along with responsibilities to self and others.
I am finding a balance in my life of work and play, of my responsibilities to others and to myself.4
³ Another explanation could be that the personal desire wasn’t in line with God’s will. But we don’t hear that one too much from creative visualizers because they usually (and almost dogmatically) claim that we create our own reality.
- Simple Daily Ways to Keep Yourself Open and Curious (reinventplay.com)
A lot of New Age writers and alleged channelers talk about or, perhaps, dispense supposed “messages” from Gabriel, along with other angels. While this kind of stuff can be compelling, especially if someone is searching for a higher purpose in life, we really have no way of telling if it’s real, imagined¹ or purposely made up by scammers.
The same charge, of course, has been made against organized religions. Their discourses about angels are often said to be divinely inspired. But… who’s to say for sure?
¹ It would be relatively easy for someone to fool themselves into thinking they were divine prophets for some angel or higher being. All they’d have to do is get in a comfy chair, relax a bit, slip into a slightly meditative consciousness, and then let their imaginations or subconscious run wild. Most likely, this is what Jane Roberts did, who claimed to channel the entity Seth. Another possibility, usually dismissed by contemporary psychiatry but a possibility nonetheless, is that a malevolent spiritual being influences the channeler. So the person is channeling. But not what they think they are.
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Michael Clark, Ph.D
- Uriel, a ‘forgotten’ Archangel (deaconjohn1987.wordpress.com)
- Peter Gabriel (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Invoking Archangel Gabriel (mytruthsetsmefree.wordpress.com)
- Angels, we affirm: I graciously receive my personal power and use it to my Highest Good. | RenamixTech (angelicwords.wordpress.com)
- Saint of the Day for Sept.15th is St. Gabriel, the Archangel (witchesofthecraft.wordpress.com)
- Marlene Swetlishoff – Archangel Gabriel – 12 January 2012 (aquariuschannelings.com)
- Suzanne Poulson Spooner – God & Gabriel Message – 2 January 2012 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- God and AA Gabriel ~ New Year’s Message “Live as if You are the Architect of Greatness” (tauksuzanne.com)
- Archangel Gabriel… Please assist and bless my daughter! Thank you! | RenamixTech (angelicwords.wordpress.com)
It suggests the coexistence of more than one universe and possibly an unlimited number of universes.
The idea arguably existed in Celtic myths about the otherworld. In pagan Ireland, for instance, the afterlife region of sidh very closely resembles earthly life. On Novemeber 1 during the festival of Samhain, spirits from both worlds are said to interact.
In philosophy, Leibniz argues that God conceived of many possible universes but only actualized one: “the best of all possible worlds.”
In the 1970′s, Jane Roberts‘ Seth Books presented a cosmology that included not only parallel but interactive universes. For Roberts, the soul exists as a complex entity among multiple universes, learning something unique from each. At certain times some people may sense a “bleed through” from a parallel universe. The rock musician in universe A, for instance, may sense her other self as an astronaut in universe B.
Roberts’ views are no doubt interesting but, then again, so is science fiction. And until some kind of tangible proof can be obtained, her ideas remain pretty much on the fringe.
In the TV science fiction series Star Trek, which involves the idea of time travel, the following hypothetical problem arises:
If one must choose among two or more possible historical outcomes while time traveling, how would one be certain which choice is right?
One might think that the best ethical choice would be right. But even for those of us stuck in the present, ‘right ethics’ are not always easy to determine or assess, and fictional scenarios such as time travel make the issue even more complex.
One hypothetical solution to the problem includes the idea that every time we make a choice, a new universe branches off in a new direction, creating a potentially infinite number of universes for each choice.
» Free will, Prime Directive, Jane Roberts
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David Hume (1711-76) was a Scottish philosopher who developed a naturalist perspective on all aspects of human life.
For Hume, the highest good is based on the pursuit of happiness. We are personally happy when we’re good to others, not due to some high spiritual reward but because this approach leads to a harmonious social whole. So personal and social well-being go hand in hand.
This means that morality isn’t based on austere rational principles but on the desire for enjoyment. Accordingly, Hume believes that reason cannot determine anything without experience. And he goes as far to say that reason is the “slave of passion.”
Hume’s metaphysics, in particular his critique of the belief in cause and effect, remains an important challenge to our conventional way of seeing. All we can be sure of, says Hume, is that certain events occur one after another in a given region and for a certain duration.
In billiards, for instance, the white ball appears to cause the motion of other balls when impacting them on the gaming table. But here’s the radical part. Hume says that all we can truly know is that, in the past, the first ball impacted and the other balls moved. We cannot prove that the first ball’s impact will always be followed by movement of the other balls. And for Hume, there is no rational way to demonstrate a causal connection:
Reason can never shew us the connexion of one object with another, tho’ aided by experience, and the observation of their constant conjunction in all past instances. When the mind, therefore, passes from the idea or impression of one object to the idea or belief of another, it is not determin’d by reason, but by certain principles, which associate together the ideas of these objects, and unite them in the imagination.¹
Put differently, from prior experience we build up a series of expectations and habitual ways of interpreting observations. Hume calls these “ideas.” But ideas they simply are. Although we expect the billiard balls to move, we have no way of proving or knowing that they always will.
At first, this may seem absurd. But Hume’s critique of causality had a profound effect on one of the most important thinkers in the history of Western philosophy, Immanuel Kant. Mortimer Adler says “…Kant tells us that David Hume awakened him from his dogmatic slumbers.”²
In addition, on a quantum level of reality, contemporary physicists claim that observations of subatomic particles support the ideas of probability and simultaneity instead of linear causality.
However, some say it’s invalid to compare quantum and macroscopic levels of reality because subatomic particles exist in an entirely different arena, and behave in different ways than the larger aggregate objects which they make up.
This debate continues to this day, the answer to which might depend on one’s core beliefs and related worldview. Or in Hume’s terms, one’s “customs of thought.”
¹ David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1896 ed.), SECTION VI.: Of the inference from the impression to the idea, paragraph 278.
² Adler, Mortimer J. (1996). Ten Philosophical Mistakes. Simon & Schuster. p. 94, cited at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_Pure_Reason#cite_note-2
- Link blog: philosophy, hume, atheism, david-hume (pw201.livejournal.com)
- Causality becomes increasingly elusive (boingboing.net)
- Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion by David Hume (belladeluna.wordpress.com)
- David Hume on Causation (socyberty.com)
- Hume on Rousseau (cafehayek.com)
- “Cause Is Not a Fact”: (brothersjuddblog.com)
- Of Hume and Bondage (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- On David Hume (myintelligentlife.wordpress.com)
Some contend that the idea of the ‘New Age’ originated as a marketing category in the 1980s, with New Age style ideas going back, of course, to the 70s and 60s.
Others note, more comprehensively, that the media also uses the term, as do many individuals and organizations. Whatever its origins, the ‘New Age’ refers to almost anything relating to contemporary spiritual discourse and practice.
New Age books, music, lectures, workshops, videos and websites deal with humanity’s development, usually with the goal of self-actualization and sometimes global transformation.
At the outset of the 20th-century, the American psychologist and philosopher William James outlined his The Varieties of Religious Experience several innovative spiritual trends remarkably similar to today’s concept of the New Age:
…for the sake of having a brief designation, I will give [it] the title of the ‘Mind-Cure movement.’ There are various sects of this ‘New Thought,’ to use another of the names by which it calls itself.¹
From the 1980s to around the new millennium religious fundamentalists, especially of the North American Christian variety, targeted the New Age as the workings of Satan. Important figures like C. G. Jung, Rudolf Steiner and Fritjof Capra were caricatured as Satanic hostiles to apparently ‘true’ fundamentalist versions of the Christian faith.
However, the emphasis of fundamentalist reactionary attacks has arguably shifted from perceived psychological and spiritual threats to scientific ones. Believers in evolution sans God are the new devils in the flesh to be countered and corrected by those single-minded Fundamentalists who believe they have a privileged interpretation of Christian scripture.
This shift is probably due to recent advances in mapping and sequencing genomes. The possibilities of this technology are staggering, and the new is always scary to those deeply entrenched and invested in longstanding cultural biases.
¹ William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Penguin, 1985 , p. 94.
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In the science fiction universe of the American Star Trek franchise, the Prime Directive is the overriding regulation of Star Fleet. Star Fleet represents an alliance of “good guys” belonging to the United Federation of Planets, as opposed to the “bad guys” made of up species like the Cardassians and the Borg.
Star Fleet is concerned about right ethics, so the Prime Directive stipulates noninterference with another species’ normal planetary development. This applies to space exploration and time travel. And to violate the prime directive apparently results in court-martial, except in the most extenuating of circumstances.
A problem with this idea relates to the criteria for defining “non-interference.” Some religious and New Age believers, for instance, maintain that humanity is invisibly influenced by a variety of advanced beings within the universe, heavens and throughout time. If so, would not the crew of a Federation starship have a moral responsibility to help primitive but eligible species develop better ways of solving problems?
Despite its lofty sounding ideals, the Prime Directive’s doctrine of non-interference is breached quite often. After all, moral dilemmas are good for TV ratings and, as St. Paul and others have indicated, life’s problems are usually better solved through the spirit instead of the letter of the law.¹
Another problem arises with The Prime Directive and the fictional idea of temporal paradoxes. The Star Trek writers never satisfactorily answer the following problem: How could a time traveler going back in time be certain which of many possible actions would be the correct ones to choose?
¹ While often associated with St. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 3:6, the idea has other applications. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_and_spirit_of_the_law
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Also known as metempsychosis and transmigration, reincarnation is a manmade theory based on beliefs found in different philosophical systems and religions, including ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Jain, African and New Age perspectives.
Reincarnation usually involves ideas of karma and grace. It’s believed that after the death of the physical body, the soul (or in some schools, temporary personality attributes) returns for another birth.
In most traditions the self is on an evolutionary path from unconsciousness to consciousness–that is, from lower to higher, or gross to subtle forms of consciousness.
In some branches of contemplative Hinduism, the soul is said to begin in the mineral world and then move upward to the vegetable and animal kingdoms. Eventually it takes birth as a human being. After learning about and practicing good ethics from innumerable human incarnations, the soul may reincarnate in astral and heavenly realms before reaching ultimate liberation, awareness and bliss.
But bad ethical choices send the evolutionary process into reverse. If a human being abuses their freedom, they may reincarnate backwards into the animal kingdom or possibly further down into one of various temporary hells.
According to popular wisdom it’s often said that God provides perfect punishments and rewards for one’s deeds. So generally speaking, if one makes good ethical choices in an embodied life, one gains merit and reincarnates into a more auspicious life the next time around.
However, if one makes bad ethical choices, one returns to a less auspicious life. Again, the alleged purpose of reincarnation is to instruct the soul, preparing it for an ultimately perfect, eternal existence. The exact nature of this perfection is described differently among various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Taoism.
Once complete liberation is achieved, the soul (or temporary personality attributes) no longer returns to a body, gross or subtle. This idea is expressed in an old Taoist tale, paraphrased as follows:
A man had led a dissolute life and reincarnates as a horse. After a few years the horse grows weary of being whipped by his masters, refuses to eat and dies. He then returns as a dog. Despising this incarnation the dog bites his master’s leg who has him destroyed. He returns as a snake. By now he’s finally learned his lesson. One must play out the hand one is dealt, patiently seeing it through to learn how to be virtuous. As a reformed soul, the snake avoids doing harm to other animals by eating berries and tries to keep itself out of danger. But one day the snake mistakenly dies under the wheel of a cart. Pleading his case before the King of Purgatory, he finds himself reborn a man—a reward for his good intentions (Raymond Van Over, ed. Taoist Tales, New York: Meridian Classic, 1973, pp. 52-53).
According to this view, suicide is like ‘skipping school’ (in the cosmic sense) and causes regression to a less desirable birth.
But not all believers in reincarnation would take this attitude. Some believe that the very same kind of life situation would arise again, as if the suicide is forced to repeat the same cosmic classroom he or she didn’t pass the first time around.
Meanwhile some New Age thinkers say that every life is consciously chosen prior to birth.
In most Asian religions God’s grace can mitigate or even erase the effects of bad karma, a fact often overlooked in specious critiques of reincarnation.
African pre-colonial tribal beliefs about reincarnation differ from Asian variants. African ancestors are believed to reincarnate into one or several descendents to give a particular family more power. Somewhat similar to the Asian idea, however, the African Ibo believe that one chooses between two bundles before birth – one bundle holds auspicious fortune, the other inauspicious. While the spirit tries its best to choose a favorable incarnation, a formerly evil person undergoes a difficult incarnation as a human or animal.
In contrast to the belief in reincarnation, the Old Testament says that evil actions are repaid with evil, but not through reincarnation. Evil begets evil through one’s offspring:
The Lord…a God merciful and gracious…forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:7).
For when they were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil…not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said to her: The elder shall serve the younger.
The Christian New Testament view of the body and its relation to the afterlife is expressed in I Corinthians 15; 51-52; 2 Corinthians 5:1; I Thessalonians 4:14; John 3: 4-7.
Some suggest that the Catholic notion of purgatory was created as a Christian counterpart to the temporary process of punishment and purification as found in non-Christian theories of reincarnation.
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