Well, Marcia came up with this week’s topic based on a quote from a Bill Bryson book, but it’s a topic that both of us have been exploring for years. For me High School was a five-year event that occurred earlier in the last millennium, but I still remember a class from Grade 9 Physics. In that class the teacher was explaining the principles of physical forces such as movement, friction, lubrication, momentum, etc. but our homework that night was to describe an alternate explanation of these events using ‘gremlins’. Maybe that idea of alternatives was a catalyst that propelled me further on an inward journey of discovery… one I still follow.
When I was a child I was raised Catholic until I was about 12, and in that world the events of my life were governed by a distant God. If there was something I wanted or something I wanted to avoid, I had to leave myself open to God’s mercy and simply accept whatever choices ‘He’ decided were appropriate for me. I covered this topic in more detail here. Still, this is a world (with many variations) that is inhabited by millions of people. The idea that our lives are governed by a God or supernatural force is generally patterned as ‘divine law’.
Among the Greeks there were three Moirae or ‘Fates’ who decided the path of one’s life. Here even the Gods feared the Moirae. Clotho spun the web of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her sister Lachesis measured the length of life using her measuring rod, and finally Atropos chose the time and manner of each person’s death, cutting the thread of life with her shears. The Romans had three equivalents, called Parcae and in Norse mythology these three were part of a larger group called the Norns. There were both benevolent and malevolent Norns, each determining certain aspects of one’s life and the world at large (with thanks to Wikipedia for the information!)
According to Wikipedia (again), “Destiny refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. It is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the cosmos.” A similar view is that of ‘determinism‘. “Determinism is the view that every event, including human cognition, behavior, decision, and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Determinists believe the universe is fully governed by causal laws resulting in only one possible state at any point in time. With numerous historical debates, many varieties and philosophical positions on the subject of determinism exist.”
As I said at the top of this page, I was raised with a belief in divine law when I was a child, but by the time I was 12 a growing interest in science and the fact that the priests with whom I was involved didn’t have answers for most of my questions took me away from religion in general for some years. When I went back to have a second look, I did so from a much larger perspective, looking at many different Ways of Being. One question that occcurred to me with regard to the ideas of divine law or destiny revolved around the idea of responsibility. I’m sure many other people have voiced this question as well. If everything that happens is ‘God’s will’, or if every step we take is pre-determined from the time we’re born, then are we or are we not responsible for our own actions? It would seem to me that such pre-determinism rules out any sense of ‘good’ or ‘evil’, as well as kindness, generosity, anger, morality, and so much more that makes us human. On the other hand, some might argue that while we can’t change what happens to us, we can determine our response to those events.
In April 1929 Albert Einstein is quoted as having written (in response to a question posed by New York’s Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein, “Do you believe in God?”), “I believe in Spinoza‘s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” He later added, “I can understand your aversion to the use of the term ‘religion’ to describe an emotional and psychological attitude which shows itself most clearly in Spinoza… I have not found a better expression than ‘religious’ for the trust in the rational nature of reality that is, at least to a certain extent, accessible to human reason.”
The real question, the one that lies at the heart of all of this is quite simply, ‘Who controls our fate?” Who or what decides what happens to us? Are these rules fundamentally objective and immutable, or are they subjective, based on our own patterns of thought and belief? Interesting questions indeed.
It was back in the 1970s that I first read ‘Seth Speaks’, authored by a self-described ‘energy essence personality, no longer focused in physical reality’. Seth spoke through the author Jane Roberts and his words were recorded by and later annotated by her husband Robert Butts. Between the three of them they wrote more than 30 books and countless other sessions. ‘Seth’ appeared on television, and in many of Jane’s classes. Both Jane and Rob have passed on, but Rob is survived by his second wife, Laurel Davies-Buts. Upon the deaths of Jane and Rob the bulk of this material was donated to the Yale University Library, although copies of the books, tapes, etc. may be purchased here or through various other venues. Seth literally transformed my view of my Self, the world, and my place in it – the next step of my personal journey of discovery.
The sheer breadth and depth of the Seth material goes far, far beyond this one subject. In even looking for an entry point I find myself somewhat confounded, but one of Seth’s basic tenets is this: “My Life Is Mine, and I Form It.” – The Nature of Personal Reality, session 677. In a later book, Seth also said, “The mass world is formed as a result of individual impulses. They meet and merge, and form platforms for action.” – The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, session 859. In ‘Seth Speaks’ he described:
“In one context what you call physical reality is a dream, but in a larger context it is a dream that you have created. When you realize that you form it you come into the memory of your whole self.
“And when you realize that you form the events of your life in the same way, you will learn to take hold of your entire consciousness in whatever aspect it shows itself in this life. Through all of this you must realize that you are not powerless. Remember, also, that this life is a dimension of experience and reality even if it is, in contrast, a dream in a higher level of reality in which you have your larger consciousness.” ~ Seth Speaks, ESP Class, January 5, 1971
I must admit, when I first discovered the concept of ‘You make your own reality‘, I was hooked. It was an idea that made ‘me’ responsible for every event in my life. It implied both great responsibility and great liberation. At first I saw this in very linear terms, and it was some time before I could even begin to get a handle on the enormity of this idea. Others have had their own grapplings with these concepts, as may be evidence in my friend Paul Helfrich’s work, “Who is the “You” in You Create Your Own Reality?” As Seth said:
“Now: Such ‘new truths’ can still be very ancient indeed, but truth is not a thing that must always have the same appearance, shape, form, or dimension. Those who persist, therefore, in shielding their truths from questions threaten to destroy the validity of their knowledge.
“Again, those who are so certain of their answers will lack that need to know that can lead them into still greater dimensions of understanding. Any valid expansion of consciousness is itself, of course, a part of the message. The personality finds itself encountering living truth, and knows that truth only exists in those terms.
“I have used the term ‘expansion of consciousness’ here rather than the more frequently used ‘cosmic consciousness’, because the latter implies an experience of proportions not available to mankind at this time. Intense expansions of consciousness by contrast to your normal state may appear to be cosmic in nature, but they barely hint at those possibilities of consciousness that are available to you now, much less begin to approach a true cosmic awareness.
“The ideas presented in this book should allow many readers to expand their perceptions and consciousness in ways they may not have believed possible. The book itself is written in such a way that all those ready to learn will benefit. There is meaning not only in the written words themselves, but connections existing between them that do not appear, and that will have meanings to various levels of the personality.
“The integrity of any intuitive information depends upon the inner integrity of the person who receives it. Expansion of consciousness, therefore, requires honest self appraisal, an awareness of one’s own beliefs and prejudices. It brings a gift and a responsibility. All who wish to look within themselves, to find their own answers, to encounter their own ‘appointment with the universe,’ should therefore become well acquainted with the intimate workings of their own personality.” ~ Seth Speaks, session 596.
After my first encounter with Seth I found others who were saying similar things, and today the term ‘Law of Attraction’ (as given by Abraham-Hicks) is quite common. All of these ideas hold to a divine law of sorts, but one that is vastly different from the one espoused at the beginning of this paper. Rather than having a God or god-like figure controlling or creating the events of our lives, we are waking up to the idea that we are the gods we’ve been searching for. That very sentence would be considered blasphemous by some, anthropomporphic by others. Anthropomorphism today is usually used to describe the attribution of human-like qualities to other animals (“that dog is happy” for example), but if memory serves the term originally meant to ascribe god-like qualities to humans. I see myself as a suitheist.
Does the fact that these ideas are sweeping the world give evidence that the world is governed by our individual and collective beliefs? Are our choices leading us in this direction? I like to think so. Seth said, ”If the universe existed as you have been told it does, then I would not be writing this book.’‘ ~ The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, session 859. Having choices gives us the freedom and the responsibility to make our world as we wish it to be. Having choices, having the world around us altered by the beliefs that we hold about ourselves, each other and our planet also gives the power to effect positive change. In this event, the future lies within us.
P.S. As I often do in my writings, I’m going to leave the last word to Seth:
“… You are a multidimensional personality. Trust in the miracle of your own being. Make no divisions between the physical and spiritual in your lifetimes, for the spiritual speaks with a physical voice and the corporeal body is the creation of the spirit.
“Do not place the words of gurus, ministers, priests, scientists, psychologists, friends – or my words – higher than the feeling of your own being. You can learn much from others, but the deepest knowledge must come from within yourself. Your own consciousness is embarked upon a reality that basically can be experienced by no other, that is unique and untranslatable, with its own meaning following its own paths of becoming.
“You share an existence with others who are experiencing their own journeys in their own ways, and you have journeying in common, then. Be kind to yourself and your companions.” ~ The Nature of Personal Reality, session 677.
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View