The Universe and the Psyche
Seth/Jane Roberts

Session 799
March 28,1977



   A dissertation on the Nature of Man, for your edification.


   You realize that a tiger, following its nature, is not evil. Looking at your own species, you are often less kindly, less compassionate, less understanding. It is easy to condemn your own kind.


   It may be difficult for you to understand, but your species means well. You understand that the tiger exists in a certain environment, and reacts according to his nature. So does man. Even his atrocities are committed in a distorted attempt

To reach what he considers good goals. He fails often to achieve the goals, or even to understand how his very methods prevent their attainment.


   He is indeed as blessed as the animals, however, and his failures are the results of his lack of understanding. He is directly faced with a far more complex world then the other animals are, dealing particularly with symbols and ideas that are then projected outward into reality, where they are to be tested. If they could be tested mentally in your context, there would be no need for human existence.


   To many complicated issues are connected here, so that I must at best simplify. It is if as man said: “Now what about this idea? What can we do with it? What will happen if we toss it out into reality, physically? How far can we go with any of the great social, scientific, religious ideas that are so peculiarly the offshoots of mans’ mind.


   If such issues could all be mentally worked out on some nonphysical drawing board, again, the great challenge of physical existence would be neither necessary nor meaningful. How far, say, can nationalism be carried? To what extent can the world be treated as if it were external to man, as an object? What can man learn by treating the body as if it were a machine? As if it were a mirage? As if driven by blind instinct? As if  it were possessed by a Soul?


   To some extent, these are all unique and creative ponderings that on the part of the animals alone would be considered the most curious and enlightening intellectual achievements. The animals must relate to the Earth, and so must man. As the animals must play mate, hunt his prey or eat his berries within the physical context of sun, ground, trees, snow, hail, and wind, so in a different way man must pursue his ideas by clothing them in the elemental realities of Earth, by perceiving them as events.


   When he is destructive, man does not seek to be destructive per se; but in a desire to achieve that which he thinks of as a particular goal that to him is good, he forgets to examine the goodness of his methods.


   One animal chasing another and killing its prey serves the greater purpose of preserving the balance of nature, whether or not the animal is aware of this—and again, the animals intent is not evil. Man consumes ideas. In so doing he contributes to a different kind of balance, of which he is usually not aware. But no man truly acts out of pure intent to do wrong, or to be viscous. Storms rend the summer sky, sending forth thunder and lightning. Earthquakes may ravage the countryside. You may deeply regret the havoc worked, knowing neither the storm nor the earthquake is evil. Not only did they have no wrong intent, but the overall condition corrected the Earth’s balance.


   This requires some unique understanding. I am aware of that—and yet the destructive storms worked by mankind ultimately cannot be said to be any more evil than the earthquake. While man’s works may often certainly appear destructive, you must not blame man’s intent, nor must you ever make the error of confusing man with his works. For many well intentioned artists, with the best of intentions, produce at times shoddy works of art, all the more disappointing and deplorable to them because of the initial goodness of their intent.


   Their lack of knowledge and techniques  and methods then become quite plain. By concentrating to deeply upon the world newspapers and the negative reports of man’s actions, it is truly easy to lose sight of what I tell you (louder) is each man’s and each woman’s basic good intent.


   That intent may be confused, poorly executed, tangled amid conflicts of beliefs, strangled by the bloody hands of murders and wars—and yet no man or women ever loses it. That represents the hope of the species, and it has ever remained lit, like a bright light within each member of the species; and that good intent is handed down through the generations. It is far more potent, that illumination, than any hates or national grudges that may be passed along.


   It is imperative, for any peace of mind, that you believe in that existence of man’s innate good intent.


   It is share by all of the other animals. Each animal knows that under certain conditions the other may fight or posture aggressively, or defend its nest. Each animal knows that in time of hunger it might be hunted by another. Except for those situations, however the animals are not afraid of each other. They know that each other animal is of good intent.


(Louder:) Grant your own species the same.


   Now make a distinction in your mind between man and man’s works. Argue all you want against his works, as you read in your newspapers of errors, stupidities, treachery or war. Collect pages and reams of such material  if it suits your fancy—and I am speaking not only to you or Ruburt, but to anyone who hopes to find a hint of truth, peace of mind, or creativity.


   Collect books of man’s failures. I do not personally know why anyone would collect the worst works of any artist, and get pleasure in ripping them apart. Man has produced some fine works: The high level of communication, the multitudinous varieties of emotional interactions and cultural exchange, the facility with exteriorization of ideas and concepts, the reaches of the imagination—all of these, and many others, are unique in the universe.


   To identify man with his poorest works is to purposefully seek out the mars, the mistakes, of a fine artist, and then to condemn him. To do this is to condemn yourself personally. If a scientist says consciousness is the result of chance, or Darwin’s theories say that basically man is a triumphant son of murders, many people object. If you say, however, that men are idiots, or they are not worth the ground they walk upon, you are saying the same thing. For you must be concerned with this reality as you know it, and the practical terms of your world.


   To say that people can escape to another probability is pragmatically a cop-out- this is apart from the reality of probabilities, for I am speaking from your emotional point of view.


   Now: Physically your body has a stance in space and time. I will speak of primary and secondary experience. Let us call primary experience that which exists immediately in sense terms in your moment of time- the contact of body with environment. I am creating certain divisions here to make our discussion- or (with a smile) monologue – easier. Therefore, I will cal secondary experience that information that comes to you through, say, reading, television, discussion with others, letters, and so forth.


   The secondary kind of experience  is largely symbolic. This should be clear. Reading about a war is not the same as being in the war, however vivid the description. Reading about the energy shortage is not the same as sitting in a cold house. Reading about the possible annihilation of mankind through nuclear destruction or other stupidities, while you are sitting calmly enough in your living room, is obviously far divorced from the actuality described in an article.


   At the levels with which we are concerned, the body must primarily react to present, immediate, primary existence in space and time. At other levels it is equipped to handle many kinds of data, in that I have mentioned before the precognition of cells. But the body depends on the conscious mind to give it clear assessment of precise conditions of the space and time it occupies. It depends upon that Knowledge.


   If you are safely ensconced in a comfortable room, in no present danger, your senses should accurately convey that information. Your conscious mind should assimilate it. It should be an easy enough accomplishment to look around you and see that you are in no danger.


   Your conscious mind is meant to give your body an assessment of what I will call cultural conditions, for there are sophistications and specifications that in your terms consciousness alone can assess. If, under conditions naturally safe in the terms of primary experience, you become overwhelmed by unsafe signals from secondary experience—that is from your reading or whatever—you show a lack of discrimination. You are not able to differentiate between the physically safe present situation , and the imagined, which is perhaps unsafe, calling forth the alarms of danger.


   The body mechanisms become highly disorientated. The signals to the body are very contradictory, so that after awhile, if such conditions continue, you can no longer tell whether you are in actual danger or imagined danger. Your mind then forces you to be in a constant state of alert—but more unfortunately, you train yourself to ignore your direct, sensual feedback in the present moment.


   Your body then might say you are safe, and your sense show you that no danger is present—yet you have begun to rely so upon secondary experience that you do not trust your creature reactions.


   Because of man’s great gift of imagination, however, the alarm signals not only invade a safe present moment, but go jangling into the next one and the one following, and are endlessly projected into the future. To whatever fashion, each individual is therefore robbed of his or her belief in their personal ability to act meaningfully or with purpose in the present.


   The body cannot act tomorrow, today. Its sense data must be clear. This resulting feeling of powerlessness to act leads to a state of hopelessness of varying degrees—and that mood does not tie itself to specific details, but pervades the emotional life if it is allowed to. To whatever degree, the condemning, critical material too often becomes self-prophesying—for those who put merit on it and allow it to cloud their reactions.


   In your terms, while you live, and in the most pertinent terms of intimate sensation, your reality must be what you perceive in the framework of your time, and what you create within that framework as it is experienced. Therefore I entreat you not to behave as if man will destroy himself in some future—not to behave as if man is an imbecile, doomed to extinction, a dimwitted, half crazy animal with a brain that has gone amuck.


   None of the prophesied destruction man so fears is a reality in your time; nor, for all of the critical prophets throughout the ages, and the forerunners of dome, has the creativity of man destroyed itself in those terms.


   There are those who make careers of condemning the faults and failures of others, or of the species itself, and because of that attitude man’s great energy and good intent remains invisible. Man is in the process of becoming. His works are flawed—but they are the flawed apprentice works of a genius artist in the making, whose failings are momentous and grotesque only in the light of his sensed genius, which ever leads him and directs him onward.


   When you are considering the future in your terms, constructive achievements are as real as destructive ones. In those terms, each year of man’s existence  in fact justifies a more optimistic rather than pessimistic view. You cannot place man’s good intent outside of the physical context, for outside of that context you do not have the creature that you know. You cannot say that nature is good, but spawned man, which is a cancer upon it, for nature would have better sense. You cannot say that Nature is – with a capital N—will destroy man if he offends her, or that Nature-with a capital N has little use for its own species, but only wants to promote Life –with a capital L-for Nature is within each member of each species, Nature with a capital N- would be nonexistent.


   Because you are natural creatures, within you there is a natural state of being. That state can be an everlasting reservoir of peace, vitality, and understanding.


   Whatever your scientists think, your body and your consciousness and your universe spring constantly into actualization. Therefore, through cultivating the clear experience of your own consciousness and being with time and with the moment as you feel it, you can draw upon the greater vitality and power that is available.


   To do this, rely upon your immediate sense data, not secondary experience as described. That primary sense data, while pinpointed in the present, providing you with the necessary stance in time, still can open up to you the timelessness from which all time emerges, can bring you intuitive intimations, hinting at the true nature of the ever-present coming-to-be of the universe.


   That kind of experience will let you glimpse the larger pattern’s of mans creativity, and your part in it. You have been taught to concentrate upon the criticisms and faults of your society; and in your times it seems that everything will work out wrong—that left alone the world will run down, the universe will die, man will destroy himself; and these beliefs so infiltrate your behavior that they organize much of your experience and rob you of the benefits nature itself everywhere provides in direct primary experience.


   Often then you ignore your sense’s reality in the world—the luxurious vitality and comfort of the daily moment—by exaggerating the importance of secondary experience as defined for this discussion.


   This most negative projection or prophecy seems to be the most practical one;  when you are reading of the worlds ills, you say in all honesty, and with no humor: “How can I ignore the reality, the destructive reality, of the present?” In the most practical, immediate, mundane terms, however, you and your world are in that moment naturally and physically safe, as your bodily senses immediately perceive. In the most basic of bodily terms you are not reacting to present conditions.


   This would be only too clear if you were physically experiencing the conditions about which you might be reading. If the world were falling down about your shoulders, you would only too clearly understand that “earlier” you were reacting to an imagined and not a real situation.


    I am afraid that I think that some of this may still escape you- meaning Ruburt, yourself, and others. But while disasters, imagined or encountered secondly-handedly, may in fact later occur, they are far different from physically encountered ones. You only add to their unfortunate nature by negatively brooding upon what might happen in the future, and you destroy your own stance. Your stance in time is extremely important, for it is your practical base of operations.


   You must trust your sense data in that regard. Otherwise you confuse your psychological  and corporal stance, for the body cannot be in a situation of safety and danger at the same time. It wastes its resources fighting imaginary battles.


   To some people wars, poverty, murder, treachery, corruption are primary experience, and must be dealt with- AS requiring immediate action. The body must react. Such persons are beaten up, or robbed. Those are immediate sense data, and in one way or another they do react. However feebly, their point of power corresponds immediately with the point of danger.


   You cannot react physically in the same way to projected or imagined dangers. There seems to be no possible reaction. You are frustrated. You are meant to deal with your immediate, primary experience, and in so doing you take care of Your responsibility. You are able to take action in your own experience, and therefore  affect others. You don’t have to be ignorant of wars in other corners of the world, or close your eyes. But if you allow those experience to over cloud your present, valid intersection with reality, then you speak from a position not of your own, and deny the world whatever benefits your own present version of reality might allow you to give.


   The natural creature-validity of your own senses must remain clear, and only then can you take full advantage of those intuitions and visions that must pass through your own private intersection with space and time.


   In those terms, the ever actual integrity of nature ever where surrounds you. It represents your direct experience. It offers comfort, creativity, inspiration that only you impede if you allow secondary experience to supersede your daily moment to moment encounter with the physical Earth.


   I am aware of your questions involving the sleeping and waking portions of life on the Earth. I will answer this evening or at our next session, as you prefer.


   We will begin with that then. All of this material tonight applies to people in general, and to yourselves, and is also for Ruburt specifically.





                                            Session 800




   You form your own reality. That reality contributes to the experience of others, but each of you possesses a unique, original stance in space and time that is yours alone in quite practical terms, regardless of time’s relative existence.


   Only when you operate from your own stance can you help others to the best of your ability. To anticipate, or to imaginatively take on the troubles of others robs you of the very energy with which you could help them. I am not saying, therefore, to turn your eyes from the unfortunate conditions of the world. Practical help is needed in all areas of human life. Yet it is far better, and more practical ultimately, to concentrate upon the beneficial elements of civilization—far better to organize your thoughts in areas of accomplishment than to make mental lists of man’s deficiencies and lacks.


   Such a practice leads to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, in which effective action seems impossible. Life possesses an exuberance. If this is cherished, nurtured, encouraged, then the additional energy is generated that is not for the purposes of daily private life—a super abundance, that can be effectively directed in those areas of the world where help is most needed.


   The strength, vitality, and effectiveness  of thought is seldom considered. Thought, you may say, will not stop a war—Yet what do think started such a war? Throughout history the down trodden have risen into power, using force, rebelling against their oppressors; and yet, learning little from the experience, they turn and become the new elite, the new power holders. Their physical conditions  may be completely changed. Now theirs, the offices of the government , the wealth. Gone are the  conditions that, it would seem, caused the uprising. Yet in retaliation they strike out, forming a new class of downtrodden who must in their turn rise and retaliate,


   Despite all appearances, conditions of an exterior nature do not cause wars, or poverty, or disease, or any of the unfortunate circumstances apparent in the world. Your beliefs form your reality. Your thoughts generate practical experience. When these change, conditions will change. To add your own energy, focus, and concentration to dire circumstances in other portions of the world does not help, but adds to, such situations.


   To close your eyes to them in ignorant fashion, to wash your hands of them, so to speak is equally short sighted. To pretend that such situations do not exist, out of fear of them, will only bring the feared reality closer. It is far better to situate yourself firmly in your own reality, acknowledge it as your own, encourage your strength and creativity, and from that vantage point view those areas of the world or of your own society that need constructive help. Purposefully in your own life, in your daily dialogues with others, in your relationships through your groups or clubs, reinforce as well as you can the strength and abilities of others.


   That reinforcement will add to the personal power of all other individuals with whom those  people come in contact. Find the beliefs responsible for the unfortunate conditions. If the ideas in this book were thoroughly understood, then each individual would be able to assess his or her own reality realistically. There would be no reason to arm a nation in advance against another nations anticipated-- but imaginary—attack.


   Personal grudges would not build up, so that men or women so fear further hurts that they attempt to hide from life or relationships, or shy away from contact with others. It is not virtuous to  count your failings. Self-conscious righteousness can be a very narrow road. If each of you understood and perceived the graceful integrity of your own individuality, just as you try to perceive the beauty of all other natural creatures, then you would allow your own creativity greater reign. There is order in all elements of nature, and you are a part of it.


   The greater sweep of the seasons represents the reaches of your soul. You will not attain spirituality by turning your eyes away from nature, or by trying to disentangle yourself from it. You will not “glimpse eternal life” by attempting to deny the life that you have now—for that life is your own unique path, and provides its own clues for you to follow.


   All That Is vibrates with desire. The denial of desire will only bring you listlessness. Those who deny desire are most smitten by it. Each of your lives are miniature and yet gigantic episodes, mortal and immortal at once, providing experiences that you form meaningfully, opening up dimensions of reality available to no one else, for no one can view existence from your standpoint. No one but YOU can be YOU. There are other communications at other levels, but your experience of existence is completely original, to be treasured.


   No one from a psychological threshold, however vast, can write a book that defines the psyche, but only represents hints and clues, words and symbols. The words and ideas in this book all stand for other inner realities—that is, they are like piano keys striking other chords; chords that, hopefully, will be activated within the psyche of each reader.


   Each of you is couched now in the natural world, and that world is couched in a reality from which nature emerges. The psyche’s rots are secure, nourishing it like a tree from the ground of being. The source of the psyche’s strength is within each individual, the invisible fabric of the persons existence.


   Nature is luxurious and abundant in its expressions. The greater reality from which nature springs is even more abundant, and within that multidimensional experience no individual is ignored, forgotten, dismissed, lost or forsaken. A tree does not have to ask for nourishment from the ground or the sun, and so everything that you need is available to you in your practical experience. If you believe you are not worthy of nourishment, if you believe that life itself is dangerous, then your own beliefs make it impossible for you to fully utilize available help. In large measure, since you are still alive, you are of course  nourished. You cannot close out the vitality of you own being that easily, and the vitality “squandered” on deeper bouts of depression  is often greater than the energy used in creative pursuits. You are a portion of All That Is; therefore the universe leans in your direction. It gives It rings with vitality. Then forsake beliefs that that tell you otherwise. Seek within yourself—each of you—those feeling of exuberance that you have, even if they are occasional, and encourage those events or thoughts that bring them about.


   You cannot find your psyche by thinking of it as a separate thing, like a fine jewel in an eternal closet. You can only experience its strength and vitality by exploring the subjective reality that is your own, for it will lead you unerringly to that greater source of being that transcends both space and time.


   Now briefly: The overall stance of the species is largely maintained by the waking-sleeping patterns that you mentioned earlier. In such a fashion, one large portion of the species focuses in the physical reality while the other portion holds a secure foothold in inner reality. Working on the interior patterns that will form the next day’s realities, and providing probable previews of future events. Waking and sleeping reality is therefore balanced in the world of the mind—not the world brain.


   However, the sleeping portion of the species represents the brains unconscious activities in the body—particularly when you think of the motion of all the specie’s actions en masse in a given day. Those conscious motions have an unconscious basis.  If you think of a mass world brain—one entity—then it must awake and sleep in patterns. If you think of mass daily actions as performed by one gigantic being, then all of those conscious actions have unconscious counterparts, and a great intercommunication of an inner nervous system must take place.


   Part of such a brain would have to be awake all of the time, and part engaged in unconscious activity. This is what happens.


   Diverse cultures are thus able to communicate as the cultural knowledge of various parts of the world is given to the sleeping portion of the entire organism. When they sleep, the waking nations add the day’s events to the world memory, and work out future probabilities…




The Nature of The Psyche
Its Human experience
A Seth Book
by Jane Roberts


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