Thursday, July 28, 2011

The future isn't what it used to be

Let's pretend that we are back in the halcyon of Bill Clinton's second term; it's March 1998, right before the Lewinsky scandal... I log into my Geocities page and I write:

Predictions for the future

The 2000 Presidential election will be co-opted by a right-wing faction of the government, which, following a devastating terrorist attack on Washington, will launch two invasions of Middle Eastern counties; the wars will last over a decade and end inconclusively;

The cost of these wars will lead to financial ruin for the United States and will cause the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and ultimate cause the US to default on its federal loans;

China will become the preeminent economic power following the default and will begin to challenge the US militarily in the Pacific;

Earthquakes around the world will kill thousands and lay waste to many cities around the world, along with dramatic shifts in the climate that will destroy food crops everywhere.

The 1998 stumbler-upon of these Geocities predictions would probably find my predictions highly improbable at best, alarmist at least, and accuse me of sensationalism. There was little if any visible foreshadowing of these events; the press was preoccupied with Lewinsky's dry cleaning bill.

A reader in 2000 would view the same predictions with a distinct unease; he might think, "Well, he must be predicting someone other than Bush; Bush is a moderate."

A reader in 2003 might view these same predictions with a distinct air of panic, as it seemed that about half of them had already come true, and the other half were more terrifying that the ones that had been fulfilled.

Readers from 2011, however, would have very different opinions about these predictions. One might say that I was dead-on, one hundred percent accurate; while another would say that while some of my facts were somewhat accurate, I had distorted them to fit a left-wing political agenda; while another might say, "It's true that some of these things happened, but they weren't the *only* things to happen in these years; you focused primarily on the catastrophic events, but left out the positive things that happened during this time."

And this argument has merit. It's true that, in a manner, the events in my fictitious "predictions" did come true, to an extent. But for most of us who lived through these years, we got on with our lives. Some of us married; some of us divorced. Some gained income; others lost income. We moved; we changed religions; we lost friends and we gained friends. We lived our lives against the backdrop of these official tragedies, which, to lesser or greater extent, informed our personal realities.

These differing perspectives of what are seemingly solid, established, and fixed official events illustrate what Seth describes as the principle of probabilities with affect both our present and our future. Seth argues throughout all the Jane Roberts books that we collectively participate in, and contribute to, an "official" reality with agreed-upon events, agreed-upon interpretations, and established and fixed historical narratives. This reality seems to be, and in fact is, quite "real." However, beneath this official mass reality lie billions of personal realities, personal histories, and personal futures; and to the extent that we contribute to the official present, as we travel away from these events in time (or as we approach future events), our personal narrative and history begins to digress, bit-by-bit, from the official narrative, often, to such an extent that many of us will argue vehemently on what was, in fact, "real" in the past, and what wasn't.

According to Seth, however, because we have indoctrinated ourselves so thoroughly that there is only one official reality (albeit with differing perspectives), we completely lose sight of the existence of what Starfire Tor calls "co-existing time lines," or what I have learned to call "probabilities." Admittedly, this is a very difficult concept to wrap one's mind around; and even though I have studied this phenomenon for years and looked at it inside and out, I can only intellectually conceptualize it. But everyone can see echoes and traces of this principle in the different perspectives to my hypothetical 1998 "prediction."

This is why there are very few predictions of the future in the Seth material; and this can explain why even people with genuine intuitive insight into the future have such a difficult time predicting future events. Just as our present is in flux, so is our past, and so is our future. We can only view the future in terms of probabilities viewed from the perspective of "now," and at best, we can give only probabilities.

Aside from the rise of the Internet, which allows any yahoo (myself not excepted) to post anything resembling writing on any topic at any time, I believe that one of the possible causes for the explosion of "conspiracy theories" is this principle of probabilities, past, present, and future. Just as we can barely agree on what our present, official reality is right now (just look at the U.S. government), we can no longer agree on what our official historical narratives are anymore. Perspectives are all over the map.

Assuming that probabilities are "real," that there are multiple versions of our reality which overlap, intersect, and, occasionally, contradict each other, a growing intuitive awareness of these probabilities by the evolving human consciousness might explain this apparent breakdown in how we, as a species, view this reality. While on the surface, we appear to be going crazy, Seth would argue that we are finally becoming sane by waking up to the true nature of reality.

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