Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seth: Nature of Personal Reality - Ch.4

Chapter 4: Your Imagination and Your Beliefs, and a Few Words About the Origin of Beliefs


In physical life, your conscious mind is largely dependent upon the workings of your physical brain.

The brain to some extent keeps the mind to a three-dimensional focus. It orients you toward the environment in which you must operate, and it is because of the mind's allegiance with the temporal brain that you perceive, for example, time as a series of moments.

The brain channels the information that the mind receives to your physical structure, so that your experience is physically sifted and automatically translated into terms that the organism can understand. (Seth-Jane spoke emphatically, rapping upon the coffee table between us.) Because of this, physically speaking and in life as you think of it, the mind is to a large extent dependent upon the brain's growth and activity. There is some information necessary to physical survival that must be taught and handed down from parent to child. There are basic assumptions of a general nature with which you are born, but because the specific conditions of your environment are so various, these must be implemented. So, it is necessary that the child accept beliefs from its parents.

These will reinforce the family group when the child most needs protection. This acquiescence to belief, then, is important in the early stages as infant develops into child. This sharing of mutual ideas not only protects the new offspring from dangers obvious to the parents; it also serves as a framework within which the child can grow.

(9:27) This provides leeway until the conscious mind is able to reason for itself and provide its own value judgments. Later I will discuss greater aspects of the origin of ideas, but for now we will simply speak in terms of this life, the one you know.

The beliefs that you receive, therefore, are your parents' conceptions of the nature of reality. They are given to you through example, verbal communication, and constant telepathic reinforcement. You receive ideas about the world in general and your relationship to it; and from your parents you are also given concepts of what you are. You pick up their ideas of your own reality.

Underneath all of this, you carry indelibly within you your own knowledge of your identity, meaning and purpose, but in the early stages of development great care is taken to see that you relate in physical terms. These are directional beliefs that you receive from your parents, orienting you in ways that they feel are safe. Cushioned with these beliefs the child can be safe and satisfy its own curiosity, develop its abilities, and throw its full energy in clearly stated areas of activity.

(9:35) So it is quite necessary that an acquiescence to belief does exist, particularly in early life. There is no reason, though, for an individual to be bound by childhood beliefs or experience. The nature of some such beliefs is that while seemingly obvious ones are recognized as harmful or foolish, others connected to them may not be so easily understood.

For example: It may seem silly to you that you ever believed in, say, original sin. It may not be so obvious that many of your present actions are caused by a belief in guilt. We will have much to say about the ways in which your beliefs can be connected, simply because you are not used to examining them.

You may say, “I am overweight because I feel guilty about something in my past.” You may then try to discover what the charged event was, but in such a case your trouble is a belief in guilt itself.

You do not have to carry such a belief. I am well aware that strong elements of your civilization are built upon ideas of guilt and punishment. Many of you are afraid that without a feeling of guilt there would be no inner discipline, and the world would run wild. It is running quite wild now – not despite your ideas of guilt and punishment, but largely because of them. But we will have more to say about that later in the book.

The early ideas given to you by your parents, then, structure your learning experiences themselves. They set the safe boundaries within which you can operate in early years. Quite without your conscious knowing – because your mind, connected with its brain, is not that developed – your imagination is set along certain roads.

(9:46) Largely, but not completely, your imagination follows your beliefs, as do your emotions. To some extent there are certain general patterns. A child will cry when it is hurt. It will stop when the hurt stops, and the emotion behind the cry will automatically change into another. But if the child discovers that a prolonged cry after the event gets extra attention and consideration, then it will begin to extend the emotion.

From the earliest stages the child automatically compares its interpretation of reality with its parents'. Since the parents are bigger and stronger and fulfill so many of its needs, it will attempt to bring its experience into line with their expectations and beliefs. While it is generally quite natural for the child to cry or feel “badly” when hurt, this inclination can be carried through belief to such an extent that prolonged feelings of desolation are adopted as definite behavior patterns.

Behind this would be the belief that any hurt was inherently a disaster. Such a belief could originate from an overanxious mother, for instance. If such a mother's imagination followed her belief – as of course it would – then she would immediately perceive a great potential danger to her child in the smallest threat. Both through the mother's actions, and telepathically, the child would receive such a message and react according to those understood beliefs.

Many such beliefs lie quite within the conscious mind. The grown adult, not used to examining his or her own beliefs, however, may be quite unaware of harboring such an idea. The idea itself is not buried or unconscious. It is simply unexamined.

So one of the most hampering beliefs of all, as earlier mentioned (in the 614th session in Chapter Two, for instance), is the idea that the clues to current behavior are buried and usually inaccessible. This belief itself closes to you the contents of your own conscious mind and prevents you from looking there for the answers that are available.

Now you may take your break.


Now: This is your information.

First of all, it is within your conscious mind. The pendulum would be a method of allowing you to view conscious material that is not structured to recognized beliefs. I want you to understand that, for the reader does not have the benefit of my talking to him personally in this way.

The belief is conscious. You are well aware of it, but you are not aware of those that cling to it. The belief is that you do not communicate well with your mother.

Hinged to this is the belief that this felt lack of communication is wrong you should be punished. In taking dictation for this book you are helping us communicate with many people, while at the same time you feel that you cannot communicate with your own parent.

These beliefs working together, then, bring about a strain in the hand that does the writing. Quite simply, you want to express through the sessions these ideas in which you so believe, and yet you feel or believe yourself guilty for doing so when you cannot describe the same ideas to your own parent.

The conflicting beliefs, then, cause the difficulty in the method. The hand's motion is not as automatically smooth as it should be. You also believe that you communicate through writing far better than you do verbally. To Ruburt you often write notes, saying things easily and beautifully that you find difficult verbally because of your belief.


So this evening you feel guilty in reaching others through transcribing the notes, when you believe that you cold not reach your mother vocally. So the method becomes involved with your beliefs.

(With a smile) I am giving this to you to show you how beliefs work.

(“I need the help, too.”)

You also believe – (humorously) if you wish you can underline every “believe” while I am talking to you – that your main method of communication is painting; and here you are taking notes as a form of dissemination instead.

This would not be involved particularly were it not for the fact of two subsidiary current beliefs that conflict, having to do with the weekend. One, that you should be in Rochester, as you were, dealing vocally with your mother. And two, that you should have been here, reaching out to the world at large through your painting.

Instead, on your return you are communicating to the world through your notes – a choice you made consciously, but without being aware of the other contents of your conscious mind, and the “conflicting” beliefs. Do you follow me?


These mentioned beliefs are obvious enough when I tell you of them, but their opposing natures gave confusing data to the body consciousness: Write and do not write.

(10:35) The idea of punishment, the belief in it, also enters in. you do what you decided to do anyway – have the session – but by punishing yourself with your own personal interpretation.

Your mother's “condition”, you believe, involves a lack of communication. Your brother told you about her occasionally faltering speech. Now your quite conscious interpretation of an apt kind of self-punishment was a lack of hand motion. I am trying to put this simply so you can follow the connections.

Because you believe your method of expression is primarily through your hand in painting, and you believe your mother's to be vocal, you tampered with your hand's motion – not, for example, your speech. Can you follow that consciously?

(“Yes.” And it was very well put, I thought as I wrote.)

Now at various times you made those conscious choices. They escaped your notice but they existed as conscious points of awareness and choice. Now do you have any questions?

(10:40. “No, I'd just like time to think about all of this.”)

Now: Ruburt has recently been in the process of recognizing some beliefs that he wants to get rid of. He has been loosening them so that they rattle around within his consciousness. He is becoming aware of them. They are not as invisible as they were. He is facing many of them for the first time.

You should both become equally aware, and consciously and alertly aware, of the beneficial ideas and their importance in your lives – and this will be a portion of the book for others also.

Tonight Ruburt was exhausted, in one way, from comparing your joint beliefs with those of your brother's family; of checking his own body beliefs (Jane touched her knee) with theirs and seeing where his were detrimental – but also from contrasting his personal psychic and creative abilities with theirs, and that exhilarated him. The result (smilingly) was that he felt both exhausted and exhilarated.

I saw to it that he became aware that I was working on your book (this morning). Ideas about it came into his consciousness. In the past, he did not believe that such bleed-throughs should occur, and so in his experience they did not usually emerge. They were there but his belief prevented his recognition of them.

I will form time to time give subsidiary material for Ruburt and also for you, implementing a chapter in the book for your personal use. It is vital that you realize you are working with beliefs in your mind – that the real work is done there in the mind – and not look for immediate physical results.

They will follow as surely and certainly as the “bad” results followed, and this must be a belief: that the good results will come. But the real work is done in the mind. If you do the work then you can rest assured of the results, but you must not check constantly for them. Do you see the difference?



Dictation: (pause) Your beliefs always change to some extent. As an adult you perform many activities that you believed you could not as a child. For instance: You may at [the age of] three have believed it was dangerous to cross a street. By thirty, hopefully, you have dismissed such a belief, though it fit in very well and was necessary to you in your childhood. If your mother reinforced this belief telepathically and verbally through dire pictures of the potential danger involved in street crossing, however, then you would also carry within you that emotional fear, and perhaps entertain imaginative considerations of possible accident.

Your emotions and your imagination both follow your belief. When the belief vanishes then the same emotional context is no longer entertained, and your imagination turns in other directions. Beliefs automatically mobilize your emotional and imaginative powers.

Few beliefs are intellectual alone. When you are examining the contents of your conscious mind, you must learn, or recognize, the emotional and imaginative connotations what are connected with a given idea. There are various ways of altering the belief by substituting its opposite. One particular method is there-pronged. You generate the emotion opposite the one that arises from the belief you want to change, and you turn your imagination in the opposite direction from the one dictated by the belief. At the same time you consciously assure yourself that the unsatisfactory belief is an idea about reality and not an aspect of reality itself.

You realize that ideas are not stationary. Emotions and imagination move them in one direction or the other, reinforce them or negate them.


(pause) Quite deliberately you use your conscious mind playfully, creating a game as children do, in which for a time you completely ignore what seems to be in physical terms and “pretend” that what you really want is real.

If you are poor, you purposely pretend that you have all you need financially. Imagine how you will spend your money. If you are ill, imagine playfully that you are cured. See yourself doing what you would do. If you cannot communicate with others, imagine yourself doing so easily. If you feel your days dark and pointless, then imagine them filled and joyful.

Now this may sound impractical, yet in your daily life you use your imagination and your emotions often at the service of far less worthy beliefs; and the results are quite clear – and let me add, unfortunately practical.

As it took a while for the unsatisfactory beliefs to become materialized, so it may be a time before you see physical results; but the new ideas will take growth and change your experience as certainly as the old ones did. The process of imagining will also bring you face to face with other subsidiary ideas that may momentarily bring you up short. You may see where you held two quite conflicting ideas simultaneously, and with equal vigor. In such a case, you stalemated yourself.

You may believe that you have a right to health, and yet with equal intensity believe that the human condition is by nature tainted. So you will try to be healthy and not healthy at the same time, or successful and not successful, according to your individual system of beliefs – for later in the book you will see how your beliefs will generally fall into a system of related ideas.

This is the end for the evening.

Session 620, October 11, 1972, 10:00 PM Wednesday

Good evening.

(“Good evening, Seth.”)

We will then resume dictation. (pause)

Your beliefs generate emotion. It is somewhat fashionable to place feelings above conscious thoughts, the idea being that emotions are more basic and natural than conscious reasoning is. The two actually go together but your conscious thinking largely determines your emotions, and not the other way around. Your beliefs generate the appropriate emotion that is implied. A long period of inner depression does not just come upon you. Your emotions do not betray you. Instead, over a period of time you have been consciously entertaining negative beliefs that then generated the strong feelings of despondency.

If emotion could be trusted above conscious reasoning then there would be little point in aware thought at all. You would not need it.

You are not at the mercy of your emotions, either, for they are meant to follow the flow of your reasoning. Your mind is meant to perceive the physical environment clearly, and its judgments about the environment then activate the body's mechanisms to bring about proper response. If your beliefs about existence are fearful, then the emotional reactions will be those leading to stress. Your own value judgments need examination in such a case.

Your imagination of course fires your emotions, and it also follows your beliefs faithfully. As you think so you feel, and not the other way around.

Later we will have some comments regarding hypnotism. Here let me mention that in those terms you hypnotize yourself constantly with your own conscious thoughts and suggestions. The term hypnosis merely applies to a quite normal state in which you concentrate your attention, narrowing your focus to a particular area of thought or belief.

You concentrate with great vigor upon one idea, usually to the exclusion of others. It is a quite conscious performance. As such it also portrays the importance of belief, for using hypnosis you “force-feed” a belief to yourself, or one given to you by another – a “hypnotist”; but you concentrate all of your attention upon the idea presented.

Here, as in normal life, your emotions and actions follow your beliefs. If you believe you are sick then for all intents and purposes you are sick. If you believe that you are healthy then you are healthy. There is much written about the nature of healing, and there will be material in this book dealing with it, but there is also healing-in-reverse, in which case an individual loses a belief in his or her health and accepts instead the idea of personal illness.

(pause at 10:22) Here the belief itself will generate the negative emotions that will, indeed, bring about a physical or emotional illness. The imagination will follow, painting dire mental pictures of a particular condition. Before long physical data bears out the negative belief; negative in that it is far less desirable than a concept of health.

I mention this here simply because in the overall development of an individual, an illness may also be used as a method to achieve another, constructive, end. In such a case belief would also be involved. Such a person would have to believe that an unhealthy condition was the best way to serve another purpose.

Other means would seem closed to him because of various personal beliefs that would form a vacuum in his experience – that is, he would see no other way, perhaps, to achieve the same end. This will be discussed much more thoroughly later in the book.

On belief, of course, can be dependent upon many others, each generating its own emotion and imaginative reality. The belief in illness itself depends upon a belief in human unworthiness, guilt and imperfection, for example.

The mind does not hold just active beliefs. It contains many others in a passive state. These lie latent, ready to be focused upon and used; any of them can be brought to the fore when a conscious thought acts as a stimulus.

If you are focusing upon ideas of poverty, illness or lack, for example, your conscious mind also holds latently concepts of health, vigor and abundance. If you divert your thoughts from the negative ideas to the positive ones, then your concentration will begin to alter the balance. The vast reservoir of energy and potential within you is called into action under the leadership of your conscious mind.

Because you are reasoning as creatures, because you have available such varieties of experience, the [human] species developed reasoning abilities that are meant to evolve and grow as they are used. Your consciousness expands as you use it. You become “more” conscious as you exercise these faculties.

A flower cannot write a poem about itself. You can, and in so doing your own consciousness turns around about itself. It literally becomes more than it was. Existing in such diversified, rich environment-possibilities, the human psyche needed and developed a conscious mind that could make fairly concise and accurate “minute by minute” judgments and evaluations. As the conscious mind grew, now, so did the range of imagination. The conscious mind is a vehicle for the imagination in many ways. The greater its knowledge the further the reach of imagination. In return imagination enriches conscious reasoning and emotional experience.

(slowly) You have not learned to use your consciousness properly or fully, so that it seems that imagination, emotions and reasoning are separate faculties, or sometimes set against each other. The mature conscious mind, once more, accepts data from the exterior world and from the interior one. It is only when you believe that consciousness must be attuned only to exterior conditions that you force it to cut itself off from inner knowledge, intuitional “voices” and the depths from which it springs.

Session 621, October 16, 1972, 9:40 PM Monday

Good evening again.

(“Good evening, Seth.”)

Dictation: I am not minimizing the importance of the inner self. All of its infinite resources are placed at the disposal of your conscious mind, however, and for your conscious purposes.

(pause) There has been on the one hand a too-great reliance upon the conscious mind – while its characteristics and mechanisms were misunderstood – so that proponents of the “conscious-reasoning-mind-above-all” theories advocate a use of intellect and reasoning powers, while not recognizing their source in the inner self.

The conscious mind was [therefore] expected to perform alone, so to speak, ignoring the highly intuitive inner information that is also available to it. It was not supposed to be aware of such data. Yet any individual knows quite well that intuitive hunches, inspiration, precognitive information or clairvoyant material has often risen to conscious knowledge. Usually it is shoved away and disregarded because you have been taught that the conscious mind should not hold with such “non-sense”. So you have been told to trust your conscious mind, while at the same time you were led to believe it could only be aware of stimuli that came to it from the outside physical world.

On the other hand there are those who stress the great value of the inner self, the emotional being, at the expense of the conscious mind. These theories hold that the intellect and usual consciousness are far inferior to the inner “unconscious” portions of being, and that all the answers are hidden from view. (pause) The followers of this belief consider the conscious mind in such derogatory terms that it almost seems to be a supercilious cancer that sprouted like a growth upon man's psyche-impeding rather than aiding his progress and understanding.

Both groups ignore the miraculous unity of the psyche, the fine natural inter-workings that exist between the so-called conscious mind and the so-called unconscious – the incredibly rich interaction as each gives and takes.

The “unconscious” simply contains great portions of your own experience in which you have been taught not to believe. Again, your conscious mind is meant to look into the exterior world and into the interior one. The conscious mind is a vehicle for the expression of the soul in corporeal terms.

(pause at 9:59) It is your method of assessing temporal experience according to the beliefs that it holds about the nature of reality. It automatically causes the body to react in certain ways. I cannot say this often enough: Your beliefs form your reality, your body and its condition, your personal relationships, your environment, and en masse your civilization and world.

Your beliefs automatically attract the appropriate emotions. They reinforce themselves through imagination; and at the risk of repeating myself, because this is so important: Imagination and feeling follow your beliefs. It is not the other way around.

If – now, a brief innocuous-enough example – you meet an individual often enough and think, “He gives me a pain in the neck”, it is surely no coincidence that you find yourself with a painful neck in future encounters with this person. The suggestion is quite a conscious one, however (emphatically), given by yourself and carried out not symbolically but most practically, most literally. In other words, the conscious mind gives its orders and the inner self carries them out.

In this existence you are physically oriented. Surely then the conscious physically oriented mind is the one that is meant to make deductions about the nature of physical reality. Otherwise you would have no free will.

(10:10) In Western culture since the Industrial Revolution (after about 1760), the idea grew that there was little connection between the objects in the world and the individual. Now this is not a history book so I will not go into the reasons behind this idea, but will merely mention that it was an over-reaction, in your terms at least, to previous religious concepts.

Before that time man did believe that he could affect matter and the environment through his thoughts. With the Industrial Revolution, however, even the elements of nature lost their living quality in man's eyes. They became objects to be categorized, named, torn apart and examined.

You do not dissect a pet cat or dog, so when man began to dissect the universe in those terms he had already lost his sense of love for it. It became soulless for him. Only then could he examine it, you see, without qualm, and without being aware of the living voice that protested; and so in his great fascination for what made things work, in his great curiosity to understand the heredity of a flower, say, he forgot what he could [also] learn by smelling a flower, looking at it, watching it by itself.

So he examined “dead nature”. Often he had to kill life in order, he thought, to discover its reality.

You cannot understand what makes things live when you must first rob their life. And so when man learned to categorize, number and dissect nature, he lost its living quality and no longer felt a part of it. To some important extent he denied his heritage, for spirit is born into nature and the soul, and for a time resides in flesh.

Man's thoughts no longer seemed to have any effect upon nature because in his mind he saw himself apart from it. In an ambiguous fashion, while concentrating upon nature's exterior aspects in a very conscious manner, he still ended up denying the conscious powers of his own mind. He became blind to the connection between his thoughts and his physical environment and experience.

Nature became then an adversary that he must control. Yet underneath he felt that he was at the mercy of nature, because in cutting himself off from it he also cut himself off from using many of his own abilities.

It was at this point that the nature of the conscious mind itself became so misunderstood, and those unrecognized or denied powers were assigned to unconscious portions of the self by ensuring schools of psychology. (with emphasis) Very natural functions of the conscious mind, therefore, were assigned to the “underground” and cut off from normal use.

(10:40) Give us a moment... Because the conscious mind has been so stressed (while stripped of many of its characteristics), there is now an over-reaction occurring in which normal consciousness is being put down, colloquially speaking.

Emotion and imagination are being considered as far superior. The displaced powers of consciousness are still being assigned to the unconscious, and great efforts are being made to reach what seem to be normally inaccessible areas of awareness. To this end drugs are utilized, cults set up, and there are methods and training manuals galore. Period. Yet there is nothing basically inaccessible about such “inner knowledge or experience”. It can all be quite conscious, and utilized to enrich the reality that you know. The conscious mind is not some prodigal child or poor relative of the self. It can quite freely focus into inner reality when you understand that it can. You, again, have a conscious mind. You can change the focus of your own consciousness.

There have been tyrannies propagated for various reasons by the race of man upon itself. One of the greatest, however, is the idea that the conscious mind does not have any touch with the foundations of its own being, that it is divorced from nature, and that the individual is therefore at the mercy of unconscious drives over which he has no control.

Man therefore feels himself powerless. If the purpose of civilization is to enable the individual to live in peace, joy, security and abundance, then that idea has served him poorly.

(pause at 10:55) When a man or a woman feels no connection between personal reality and experience and the surrounding world, the he [or she] loses even an animal's sense of pure competence and belonging. Your beliefs, once more, form your reality, shaping your life and all of its conditions.

All of the powers of your inner self are set into activation as a result of your conscious beliefs. You have lost a sense of responsibility for your conscious thought because you have been taught that it is not what forms your life. You have been told that regardless of your beliefs you are terrorized by unconscious conditioning.

The whole following sentence should be underlined: And as long as you hold that conscious belief you will experience it as reality.

Some of your beliefs originated in your childhood, but you are not at their mercy unless you believe that you are. Because you imagination follows your beliefs, you can find yourself in a vicious circle in which you constantly paint pictures in your mind that reinforce “negative” aspects in your life.

The imaginative events generate appropriate emotions, which automatically bring about hormonal * changes in your body or affect your behavior with others, or cause you to interpret events always in the light of your beliefs. And so daily experience will seem to justify what you believe more and more.

The only way out of it is to become aware of your beliefs, aware of your own conscious thought, and to change your beliefs so that you bring them more in line with the kind of reality you want to experience. Imagination and emotion will then automatically come into play to reinforce the new beliefs.

As mentioned (in the 614th session in Chapter Two), the first important step is to realize that your beliefs about reality are just that – beliefs about reality and not necessarily attributes of reality. You must make a clear distinction between you and your beliefs. You must then realize that your beliefs are physically materialized. What you believe to be true in your experience is true. To change the physical effect you must change the original belief – while being quite aware that for a time physical materializations of the old beliefs may still hold.

If you completely understand what I am saying, however, your new beliefs will – and quickly – begin to show themselves in your experience. But you must not be concerned for their emergence, for this brings up the fear that the new ideas will not materialize, and so this negates your purpose.

I mentioned (in the 619th sessions) a game in which you playfully adopt an idea that you want to materialize, then imagine it happening in your mind. Know that all events are mental and psychic first and that these will happen in physical terms, but do not keep watching yourself. Continue with the game.

(11:10) You are doing the same thing now constantly and automatically with whatever beliefs you have, and they are being as constantly and automatically translated. It is the separation of self from beliefs that is so important initially, however.

You are not to hammer at yourself consciously. Imagination and emotion are your great allies. Your conscious direction will automatically bring them into play. You can see why it is so important that you examine all of your beliefs about yourself and the nature of your reality; and one belief, if you let it, will lead you to another.

Now: Much has been written saying that if imagination and will power are in conflict, imagination will win. Now I tell you, if you examine yourself you will find (deeper and louder) that imagination and will power are NEVER in conflict. Your beliefs may conflict, but your imagination will always follow your will power and your conscious thoughts and beliefs.

If this is not apparent to you, then it is because you have not as yet completely examined your beliefs. Let us take a simple example: You are overweight. You have tried diets to no avail. You tell yourself that you want to lose weight. You follow what I have said so far. You change the belief. You say, “Because I believe I am overweight, I am, so I will think of myself at my ideal weight.”

But you find that you still overeat. In your mind's eye you still see yourself as overweight, imagine the goodies and snacks, and in your terms “give in” to your imagination – and you think that will power is useless and conscious thought powerless.

But pretend that you go beyond this point. In sheer desperation you say, “All right, I will examine my beliefs further!” Now this is a hypothetical case so you may find one of innumerable beliefs. You may, for instance, find that you believe you are not worthy, and hence should not look attractive. Or that health means physical weight and it is dangerous to be slim.

Or you may find that you feel – and believe that you are – so vulnerable that you need the weight so people will think twice before they shove you around. In all of these cases the ideas will be conscious. You have entertained them often and your imagination and emotions are in league with them, not in conflict.

Now: You may be poor. Following my suggestions, you may try to alter the belief and say, “My wants are taken care of and I have a great abundance.” Yet you may still find yourself unable to meet your bills.

Imaginatively you may see the next bill coming, with you unable to pay it. “I will have enough money”, you say. “This is my new belief.” But nothing changes so you think, “My conscious thoughts mean nothing.” Yet upon examination of your beliefs you may find a deep conviction of your own unworthiness.

You may find yourself thinking, “I am no one to begin with,” or “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” or “The world is against me,” or “Money is wrong. People who have it are not spiritual.” You may discover, again, one of the numerous beliefs that all lead to the fact that you do not want to have money or are afraid of it. In any case your imagination and your beliefs go hand in hand.

You may be trying to remember your dreams – another example. You may give yourself appropriate suggestions each night, only to awaken again with no memory of them. You may say, “Consciously I want to remember my dreams, but my suggestions do not work. Therefore what I want on a conscious level has little significance.”

Yet if you examine your beliefs more carefully you will find one of many possible beliefs, such as, “I'm afraid to know what I dream about,” or “I want to remember my dreams but – they may tell me more than I want to know!”

in this case also your reality colors your beliefs, and your experience is a direct result of your conscious attitudes. By such attitudes as these just mentioned you put clamps upon your inner self, purposely hamper your experience, and reinforce beliefs in the negative aspects of your being.

Only by examining thee ideas of your own can you learn where you stand with yourself. Now I do not mean to stress the negative by any means, so I suggest that you look to those areas of your life in which you are pleased and have done well. See how emotionally and imaginatively you personally reinforced those beliefs and brought them to physical fruition – realize how naturally and automatically the results appeared. Catch hold of those feelings of accomplishment and understand that you can use the same methods in other areas.

End of dictation.

Session 622, October 18, 1972, 9:40 PM Wednesday

Good evening -

(“Good evening, Seth.”)

- and we will begin with dictation. (quietly)

You also communicate your beliefs to others, of course. When visitors enter your home, they do not see it exactly as you do because they also view it through the screen of their beliefs. In your own environment however your personal beliefs will usually predominate. (pause)

People with like ideas reinforce each other's beliefs. You may meet with some misunderstanding when you suddenly decide to change your reality by changing your beliefs – according to the circumstances, you may be going in a completely different direction than the group to which you belong. The others may feel it necessary to defend ideas that all of you previously took for granted. In such cases your beliefs merged. Each individual has his or her own ideas about reality for reasons that seem valid. Needs are met. When you abruptly change your beliefs, then in the group you no longer have the same position – you are not playing that game any longer.

In the group, you may suddenly cease to provide for the others a need that you satisfied earlier. This affects both intimate behavior and, say, social interactions.

For a time then you may experience a feeling of loss as you move from one group of beliefs to another. However, others, sharing your new beliefs, will gravitate toward you and you to them. I will say more about this later in the book, but it explains for example why a diet-watcher, suddenly determined to lose weight, may meet with veiled or even open resistance from family or friends; why the person who makes new resolutions may find himself baffled by associates' ridicule; why the alcoholic trying not to drink finds others tempting him quite openly, or teasing him into indulgence by hidden tactics.

When someone who has been ill starts on the road to recovery through changing his beliefs, he may be quite surprised to find even his dearest allies suddenly upset, reminding him of the “reality” of his dire state for the same reasons.

New paragraph: Because beliefs form reality – the structure of experience – any change in beliefs altering that structure initiates change to some extent, of course. The status quo which served a certain purpose is gone, new elements are introduced, another creative process begins. Because your private beliefs are shared with others, because there is interaction, then any determined change of direction on your pat is felt by others, and they will react in their own fashion.

(10:01) See them reacting to you in the new way. This is highly important because telepathically you are sending them interior messages. You are telling them that you are changing the conditions and behavior of your relationship. You are broadcasting your altered position.

Some will be quite able to understand you at that level. There may be those who need the old framework, and someone, if not you, to play the part you played before. Those people will either drop out of your experience or you must drop them from yours.

Once more, if you think of daily life as an ever-moving three-dimensional painting with you as the artist, then you will realize that as your beliefs change so will your experience. You must accept the idea completely however, that your beliefs form your experience. Discard those beliefs that are not bringing you those effects you want. In the meantime you will often be in the position of telling yourself that something is true in the face of physical data that seems completely contradictory. You may say, “I live amide abundance and am free from want,” while your eyes tell you that the desk is piled with bills. You must realize that you are the one who produced that “physical evidence” that still faces you, and you did so through your beliefs.

So as you alter the belief, the physical evidence will gradually begin to “prove” your new belief as faithfully as it did your old one. You must work with your own ideas. While there are general categories of beliefs, and general reasons for them, you must become personally aware of your own, for no one person is completely like any other. The old beliefs served a purpose and fulfilled a need.

As mentioned earlier you may have believed that of itself poverty was more spiritual than abundance, or that you were basically unworthy and should therefore punish yourself by being poor. (See the 614th session in Chapter Two, for instance.)

(10:30) According to your energy, power and intensity, you can help change the beliefs of many people, of course.

In your daily physical life you are usually concerned simply with changing your beliefs about yourself, and then campaign the beliefs others hold about you. You will find conflicting beliefs within yourself and you must become aware of these. As an example, you may believe that you want to understand the nature of your inner self – you may tell yourself you want to remember your dreams, but at the same time still hold a belief in the basic unworthiness of the self, and be quite frightened of remembering your dreams because of what you might find there.

It does no good in such a case to bemoan the situation and say, “I want to understand myself but I'm frightened that I will not like what I find.” You yourself must change your beliefs. You must stop believing that the inner self is a dungeon of unsavory repressed emotion. It does contain some repressed emotion. It also contains great intuition, knowledge, and the answers to all of your questions.

Listen to your own conversation as you speak with friends, and to theirs. See how you reinforce each other's beliefs. See how your imaginations often follow the same lines. All of this is quite out in the open if you realize that it is.

Almost everyone in this society is acquainted with the old suggestion, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” * Now that is an excellent suggestion, given by the conscious self to other portions of your being. The results of such a suggestion would also follow your conscious beliefs, however.

Earlier I used, “I am a dependable parent,” as an example of a belief. (See 618th session in Chapter Three.) If to you this means, “I give great attention to seeing that my children brush their teeth, eat enough, and perform properly,” then you will interpret the “better and better” suggestion in that light.

If the belief means to you that love for children is best expressed in those terms, if you feel that there is something embarrassing about expressing affection directly, then the “better and better” suggestion may only reinforce that belief.

you may become more and more efficient in that manner. This is why it is vital that you examine your beliefs for yourself and understand what they mean to you personally. If, using that example, you suddenly begin to realize your position and begin to express your love to your children directly, you may find them quite surprised, delighted but confused. It may take them a while to understand your reactions, but as the old reality had a cohesiveness so will the new.

You must therefore understand and examine your beliefs, realize that they form your experience, and consciously change those that do not give the effects you want. In such an examination you will be aware of many excellent beliefs that work for you. Trace these through. See how they were followed by your imagination and emotions. If possible, look in your own past for points where recognizable new ideas came to you and beneficially changed your experience.

Ideas not only alter the world constantly, they make it constantly.

Now: We are nearly at the end of Chapter Four. I will give you both a rest and we will resume at our next session. My heartiest regards to you both.

(“Thank you very much, Seth.” End at 10:54 PM)

Good evening.

(“Good evening, Seth.”)

Dictation: Let us go on to discuss the relationship between the inner self, your conscious beliefs, and your most intimate physical creation – your human image.

End of Chapter Four.

- pages 56-80, The Nature of Personal Reality, by Jane Roberts

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