Another fantastic and perhaps excerpt from Seth/Jane Roberts’ “The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events” that I think is most worth sharing with the world. As always Seth/Jane doesn’t pull any punches, hitting at the very core of the highly disputed and controversial subjects of Religion and Science. In almost 40 years not much has changed, the same debates between these two overgrown and over-sensitive giants of popular culture still rage. Here Seth/Jane pops that very large balloon in no uncertain terms, providing a very much needed alternate view.
As these are quite long excerpts that I want to present here, I am going to do so as parts 1 and 2.
“Most cults have their own specialized language of one kind [or] another – particular phrases used repetitiously – and this special language further serves to divorce the devotees from the rest of the world.
“…You have scientific cults as well as religious ones.
“Religion and science both loudly proclaim their search for truth, although they are seemingly involved in completely opposing systems. They both treat their beliefs as truths, with which no one should tamper. They search for beginnings and endings. The scientists have their own vocabulary, which is used to reinforce the exclusive nature of science. Now I am speaking of the body of science in general terms here, for there is in a way a body of science that exists as a result of each individual scientist’s participation. A given scientist may act quite differently in his family life and as a scientist. He may love his family dog, for example, while at the same time think nothing of injecting other animals with diseased tissue in his professional capacity.
“Granting that, however, cults interact, and so there is quite a relationship between the state of religion, when it operates as a cult, and the state of science when it operates as a cult. Right now your cultish religions exist in response to the cultish behaviour of science. Science insists it does not deal with values, but leaves those to philosophers. In stating that the universe is an accidental creation, however, a meaningless chance conglomeration formed by an unfeeling cosmos, it states quite clearly its belief that the universe and man’s existence has no value. All that remains is what pleasure or accomplishment can somehow be wrested from man’s individual biological processes.
“A recent article in a national magazine speaks “glowingly” about the latest direction of progress in the field of psychology, saying that man will realize that his moods, thoughts, and feelings are the result of the melody of chemicals that swirl in his brain. That statement devalues man’s subjective world.
“The scientists claim a great idealism. They claim to have the way toward truth. Their ‘truth’ is to be found by studying the objective world, the world of objects, including animals and stars, galaxies and mice – but by viewing these objects as if they are themselves without intrinsic value, as if their existences have no meaning.
“Now those beliefs separate man from his own nature. He cannot trust himself – for who can rely upon the accidental bubblings of hormones and chemicals that somehow form a stew called consciousness – an unsavory brew at best, so the field of science will forever escape opening up into any great vision of the meaning of life. It cannot value life, and so in its search for the ideal it can indeed justify in its philosophy the possibility of an accident [or incident] that might kill many many people through direct or indirect means, and kill the unborn as well.
“That possibility is indeed written in the scientific program. There are plans, though faulty ones, of procedures to be taken in case of an accident – so in your world that probability exists, and is not secret. As a group the scientists rigorously oppose the existence of telepathy or clairvoyance, or of any philosophy that brings these into focus. Only lately have some begun to think in terms of mind affecting matter, and even such a possibility disturbs them profoundly, because it shatters the foundations of their philosophical stance.
“The scientists have long stood on the side of ‘intelligence and reason’, logical thought, and objectivity. They are trained to be unemotional, to stand apart from their experience, to separate themselves from nature, and to view any emotional characteristics of their own with an ironical eye. Again, they have stated that they are neutral in the world of values. They became, until recently, the new priests. All problems, it seemed, could be solved scientifically. This applied to every avenue of life: to health matters, social disorders, economics, even to war and peace.”
(Roberts.J, 1995, A Seth Book: The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Amber-Allen Publishing)
Part Two to follow….
20 thoughts on “Seth Speaks – Religion and Science – Part One”
Sorry, but i have to call BS on “They both treat their beliefs as truths, with which no one should tamper.” That’s antithetical to science which has built in mechanisms for self correction: thesis + anti-thesis = hypothesis. The genius of science, as method, is that it proceeds from a position of humility and does not – cannot – assume anything to be 100% known, rather best theorised: an unrestricted, open air, temporary platform which is free to be revised and repositioned as new evidence comes to light. In essence its a process of being less wrong. Yes, there are faults in the system, humans generally screw up most systems, but to date its the best method we’ve come up with to be less wrong.
Lol well you were never going to take the side of religion were you!
Actually the statement is quite justified within the context of history and how and why the modern sciences came into being. It is the context that this excerpt is found within the book, as Seth is discussing the psychology and social aspects behind the emergence of science, but you would have had to wait for part 2 for that to become apparent. As it stands I am considering a lengthier response to both you and Noel and anyone else who has any interest, in the form of an up and coming post. I think this subject and my personal views on it is worth presenting in a more academic format where our humble half-measures can be measured in the appropriate context.
OK, great. Now, you know i like Roberts/Seth, but this statement was in error. It’s a common mistake by theists (even spiritualists, who i generally respect): trying to place a persona on science which is nothing but a method of inquiry.
Do you discount psychology altogether then? For goodness sakes how do you think marketing works? Science in its ‘pure’ academic form is just a method of inquiry, but it has a larger, wider social identity that most of us will refer to at one time or another in order to justify our beliefs, whether that is seen as scientifically relevant or not. Any philosophy, whether religious or scientific in nature is just a method of inquiry that is used in order to justify a set of beliefs, how do you not see that?
I respect that you are an authority on your personal view of the world, but it’s not one I share, and placing me in parentheses does not necessarily justify your view over mine.
I’d never pigeonhole you… i don’t consider you a spiritualist. As for psychology, it’s a little wishy washy. There’s merit in it, some helpful insights, perhaps some half-explanations of behaviour, but its still mostly esoteric. I just don’t think people are that complicated. We want there to be more, more of everything, but i just don’t see it. Do good for goods sake, not reward, but always know you’ll be up against greed.
You couldn’t have put it more succinctly: you don’t see what more there is. But you must agree that quality of life is important to you, so how do you propose to measure that? What rule do you use in order to justify your desire to value life, because I am pretty damned sure that you do? I am certain that you place emotional value on who you are and of the people around you that you love and care about. Unless you really do consider yourself a husk of accidental randomness that just so happens to be wafting through life in an aimless direction? Do me a favour!
What rule do you use in order to justify your desire to value life?
Humanism. I’d like to see us survive this adventure and get out into space. I’d like to see us cease the daily ecological genocide we rain down on this planet. I’d like to see us grow up.
But growing up requires understanding how and why things have meaning, in order for it to be meaningful and valuable enough for us to stop abusing each other and the world we live in. Hard scientific inquiry alone will not suffice. For as long as we divorce ourselves from the world we live in, then atrocities will continue because no one is willing to take ownership or responsibility for it. However, I’m getting a sense of deja-vu here. We’ve gone over this before John.
You’ve done a good job of equivocating so far. Well done!
You have no disagreement with me on matters of responsibility 🙂
I didn’t think so; and this I surmise is what this debate boils down to, in a roundabout bizarro way?
Of course. Personally i couldn’t care less if someone believed in a giant, floating sphincter named Harold. What bothers me is when the Harold worshipers defer responsibility onto the whims of said colossal sky ass.
Your eloquence is inspiring! 😉
Harold the colossal sky ass, yeah that has a ring to it. I’m still going to post this piece I have in mind about the history of science, even just for posterity. I’ve been wanting to write such a piece since I began my degree course – years ago now. The whole thing still irks me to this day. Just like you lost your religion to a giant Roo, I lost my science to academic study (doesn’t sound as impressive though, but my brain is struggling to function right now, so I can’t think of anything quipier!).
My brain is frozen over, too…. bitterly cold here in the valley tonight.
Looking forward to the post.
I’ve just got another commission so the post will have to sit on the back-burner for a bit. Sounds like it’s time to get those socks on for you! 😉
Am no scientist, my credentials are I went to architecture school and passed but as John says I will disagree with the assertion that scientists
which I think is a strawman. Science, taken broadly, really is about the study of man in the cosmos and how he relates with it.
I also disagree with
what would he rather man was told? That his thoughts are something more, something magical. I don’t see how this devalues man’s subjective world.
Lastly, in order not to be verbose, I object to
because it is from the objective world that we can learn things about our nature and other things in Nature. It is in studying stars that man has come to the poetic conclusion that stars dies so that we can live, we are star dust and I think this is beautiful. I don’t know if scientists view these things as having no intrinsic value, I think that is a subjective judgement that each person makes depending on their persuasions.
I welcome your comments as always my friend, and you are free to think as you wish. However, the scientific view is at best a half truth, such is the nature of theoretical study. There is always the exception to the rule with any hypothesis, which is why the term is not a statement of absolutism. There should always be room to consider all views and all contexts, as such the context in which this excerpt appears it related to the historical emergence of modern scientific thinking, and the social psychology behind it. Perhaps you should have a read of the Seth books, John’s read some them. They will certainly challenge your thinking, and at the very least entertain you.
I shall reserve a more detailed response for a following post I think. The history behind the emergence of the modern sciences is a very interesting one.
I think I will just have to wait for the second post.
I guess so
The toughie is sorting the wheat from the chaff.
There’s an awesome amount of deluded folks out there, and even ‘talking to spirits’ goes through fashionable phases (I’m told ‘ectoplasm’ is currently out of vogue).
There are my friend, there are. I’m very wary of most people waving their joss-stick wisdom under my nose when it comes to books, or anything for that matter. Like you I am a self-sufficient opinionist, if it doesn’t sit right, it ain’t. The Seth books are by far still at the top of my reading list, and contain the only philosophy that even come close to what how I see things. Talking to spirits, well something in itself. Have you seen my intuitive portraits? Some of the people I have drawn, it turns out are real, or were. Freaky but true.
(Ectoplasm was a bit 80s anyway, mind you the 80s horrendously enough ‘is’ back in vogue…I never in a million years even dared think that could happen!)