‘While you are conscious bodies, remember what it was like and will be like to be bodiless, to be freewheeling energy without a name but with a voice that does not need [a] tongue, with a creativity that does not need flesh. We are yourselves, turned inside out.’
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul (1972)
Jane Roberts
In Summary

Jane Roberts might seem like a little old lady at first. But when she is taken over by a spirit named Seth, her demeanour and voice radically contort, her entire being caught up in channelling Seth’s message about the multiplicity of universes and the role of the spiritual self within them.


If you strained a little, you might have been able to hear the creaking from outside the old house at 458 West Water Street. Cradling back and forth in her rocking chair, Jane Roberts spent her nights pondering word choice and rhyme structure, her steady creak interrupted only by the shuffle of pacing feet or the anxious tapping of her knee at the desk. Yet on this particular evening in 1963 her poetry was silent, unaccompanied by the usual household acoustics. Realising that Roberts hadn’t made a peep in nearly an hour, her husband came to the living room to check on her. While her hand was scribbling away as usual, her eyes were unresponsive, not even looking at the page as she wrote. When Roberts finally awoke from her trance, she could not remember the past hour, nor the lengthy treatise she had penned, which was crafted in a tone and style utterly unlike her own, as if channelling the thoughts of another. Having no experience with the supernatural, Roberts and her husband initially did not know what to do nor where to turn for answers – that is, until they remembered the old Ouija board in the attic.

Using the board, they learnt that the name of this spiritual entity was Seth. Roberts eventually began to channel Seth’s voice more directly, her head jerking left and right as some otherworldly voice shook from her throat – all the while rocking back and forth in her chair. Seth had apparently completed his earthly reincarnations and was now an entirely spiritual being, returning to instruct humanity through Roberts. While she could never remember these channelled teachings, her husband began to write them down, leading to thousands of pages and numerous books, which are often collectively referred to as The Seth Materials. One of the first and most popular of these was published in 1972 as Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul.


According to Seth, there is not just one reality but an infinite series of realities: ‘If you wanted to be a doctor and are now in a different profession, then in some other probable reality you are a doctor.’ In some realities, ‘Christianity as you know it did not flourish. In some, males did not dominate.’ Your current self on earth is merely one aspect of your infinite Self that exists in a unified fashion across these infinite realities, each contributing a note to the higher ‘music of your own selves’. Each of these realities plays by its own rules, and the laws of time that apply in one reality break down in others; ‘The first words ever spoken still ring through the universe, and in your terms, the last words ever spoken have already been said.’ As such, while we may think we reincarnate chronologically, we do not actually leave these lives behind but exist as all of them simultaneously. Your ‘future personalities are as real as your past ones… You are not fated to dissolve into All That Is. The aspects of your personality as you presently understand them will be retained.’ Thus, while ‘Buddhism’ (that is, the dissolution of self in nirvana) comes ‘close’ to describing reality, it fails to grasp the ‘unique character’ and eternal validity of the soul. Though we reincarnate in different periods, dimensions and realities, all of these aspects of the self are simultaneously preserved and connected in our higher self.

While versions of Seth exist in many universes at once, the aspect of him that has transcended matter has chosen to communicate with us through Roberts. In turn, a more evolved version of Seth, referred to as Seth II, communicates across dimensions with Seth to teach him. Like Seth, we also have the potential to learn from, inform and impact the other aspects of ourselves and the alternate realities ‘through which we can hopscotch.’ We are ‘multidimensional’ beings.

Seth claims that ‘you create your own reality.’ Reality is composed not of inert particles of matter but of consciousnesses that can be telepathically communicated with: ‘The consciousness of matter is present in any matter – a foetus, a rock, a blade of grass, a nail.’ Since we are conscious, we have a ‘natural rapport’ with the consciousness of reality, creating it in our own image. This link is not always appreciated here and now because we have so many unactualised thoughts and desires. However, these thoughts really are actualised, just in other realities. When ‘you dream you are flying, you often are’, just in a different universe. When we have an inspired idea that seems to come from nowhere, this is ‘a thought experienced but not actualised on the part of another self. You tune in and actualise it instead...’ Through harnessing the power of our thoughts and our inner self, we can impact both our present and alternate realities, becoming like ‘gods’.


Jane Roberts - or rather, Seth - widely popularised the belief that we create our own reality, thereby anointing one of the most potent and enduring mantras of the new spirituality movement. As such, The Seth Materials are foundational for those wishing to go directly to the fount of this faith. More practically, Seth contends that this belief is the primary way forwards for humanity, without which we are left hopeless: ‘As long as you believe your environment to be objective and independent of yourself, then to a large extent you feel powerless to change it, to see beyond it or to imagine other alternatives that may be less apparent.’

Similarly, The Seth Materials were one of the main popularisers of channelling in contemporary spirituality, equalled perhaps only by the works of Helen Schucman or Edgar Cayce. Those interested in channelling for academic reasons will consider this a key text in the field, while true believers might find these lessons from the Beyond to be pivotal to their own growth and understanding.

Seth’s emphasis upon the eternal validity of the soul also provides a powerful counterpoint to the dissolution of the self as a drop in a cosmic ocean. Those interested in, say, reincarnation, but concerned that they might have to forfeit fundamental aspects of their personality might take solace in Seth Speaks’ simultaneous preservation of all selves as equally valid. If Seth is correct, then your own ‘personality as you know it, that portion of you that you consider most precious, most uniquely you, will never be destroyed or lost’.

Further Reading By This Author

Roberts was a prodigious channeller, with numerous works being published both during and after her life. Popular among them are The Oversoul Seven Trilogy, The Seth Material, The Nature of Personal Reality, The Magical Approach, The Unknown Reality, The Way Toward Health, The Nature of the Psyche, and The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events.

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