Now is no different. What stands out for me now in my re-current reading of "The Early Sessions" (and the "official" corresponding book, "Seth Speaks") is the persistent emphasis on the "inner senses." It seems to be the core theme of both books, and Seth repeatedly drives home the importance of using our "inner senses." Previously, I've glossed over these discussions... I considered them too esoteric, too remote from any practical experience, but I now believe that Seth's descriptions can finally be validated, fifty years after their first transcription, by contemporary NDE accounts.
A full discussion of what Seth means by the "inner senses" is well beyond the scope of this blog... but to summarize what I think Seth means, "inner senses" are those perceptive mechanisms that are associated with our whole self--both the part that is physically incarnated (the subconscious), as well as those aspects of our greater self that reside outside our physical system. Our physical senses mimic to some extent the functions of the inner senses, but they are narrowly focussed on observing (or, more correctly, building a representation of) the physical world. (A good summary of Seth's treatment of the inner senses can be found here.)
My primary interest in the subject is in validation--is there any evidence in existing reports, outside of the Seth books, that documents the use of these senses?
I think that there is, at least concerning the "first" inner sense, referred to as "inner vibrational touch" (which is a woefully inadequate description of the actual experience). Those who have had vivid OOBEs likely are quite familiar with this sense; Seth describes it as such:
I will go into it more deeply but you may call it the first inner sense. It involves immediate perception of a direct nature, whose intensity varies according to what is being sensed. It involves instant cognition through what I can only describe as inner vibrational touch. This is, if you will excuse the pun, touchy, since I want to avoid any implication here of sloppy sentimental emotionalism; and the word vibrational is not the best. This sense would permit our man to feel the basic sensations felt by the tree, so that instead of looking at the tree his consciousness would expand to contain the experience of what it is like to be a tree. According to his proficiency, in a like manner he would feel the experience of being the intervening grass and so forth. He would in no way lose consciousness of who he was, and he would perceive these experiences, again, somewhat in the same manner that you perceive heat and cold. In your camouflage pattern you must adapt yourself to the effects of heat and cold, but our man in the inner world would not be under any such obligation. I am speaking now only of our first inner sense.
By this first inner sense, the comatose patient undergoing a near-death experience is able to "see" the operating room theater, the instruments that the physicians are using, perceive the thoughts of the nurses, sense the fear of relatives gathered outside, and look beyond walls and doors of the room and see not only the physical environment in intricate detail, but also the underlying "astral" environment (lights, music, vivid landscapes) that coexists with the physical.
Such is, in fact, what Anita Moorjani describes in "Dying To Be Me":
In this near-death state, I was more acutely aware of all that was going on around me than I’ve ever been in a normal physical state. I wasn’t using my “five biological senses," yet I was keenly taking everything in, much more so than if I’d been using my physical organs. It was as though another, completely different type of perception kicked in, and more than just perceive, I seemed to also encompass everything that was happening, as though I was slowly merging with it all. * ** As my emotions were being drawn away from my surroundings, I started to notice how I was continuing to expand to fill every space, until there was no separation between me and everything else. I encompassed—no, became—everything and everyone.
I would like to explore further this first "inner sense" but for now, I am willing to go out on a limb and argue the following: If Ms. Moorjani's account is correct (and I can't find any reason to assume that it isn't), she describes the operation of the first "inner sense," fifty years after it was first explained by Jane Roberts--before NDEs were part of the cultural landscape. While it's not impossible that Jane Roberts "free-associated" her way through a detailed description of an esoteric experience that would not be explicable until years later, I'd rather think that she didn't. Seth's description of a sense that he clumsily calls "inner vibrational touch" is simply too strange, too obscure to have any contemporary meaning then; but it does now, to students of NDE accounts.