What I expect to see are cavemen and mammoths and — wonder of them all — a saber-toothed tiger. But I do not see these things. Indeed, something very different appears — a whole, complete world that is in no way our modern world. I see it only for a moment, then it is gone. But the color, the complexity, the sense of life — it’s all quite amazing. I see cities, but they seem isolated and enclosed, much more so than at any time in our recorded history. Most of the people are outside cities and live primitive lives. Those inside, though, exist in a state that even today would seem like magic. This is not a good world. The oppressions of Rome are kind compared to what chains these people. Their knowledge may be greater than what we have now, but they have used their intelligence to enslave their own souls. This world is engaged in some sort of obsessive project, and I know what it is. They are trying to escape. They are trying to break the chains that bind them to the Earth. I go closer, I enter myself as I was then — and I find that it is a very troubled self. I am afraid. We are all dreadfully afraid. We have deep mines, and in them are detectors that tell us what is happening in the center of the Earth. I know that Earth’s core is crystalline iron, not molten as we think in 1995. (147-148)
The story is probably unremarkable to most who read it, except for those dozen or so who are versed in “Seth Speaks”.... it is an obvious description of a civilization that Seth called the “Lumanians,” described as the second of three cultures that pre-date “Atlantis”:
These people, as remnants, really, of the first great civilization, always carried within themselves strong subconscious memories of their origin. I am speaking of the Lumanians now. This accounted for their quick rise, technologically speaking. But because their purpose was so single-minded —the avoidance of violence —rather, say, than the constructive peaceful development of creative potential, their experience was highly one-sided. They were driven by such a fear of violence that they dared not allow the physical system freedom even to express it. * * * * They formed energy fields around their own civilization. They were, therefore, isolated from contact with other groups. They did not allow technology to destroy them, however. More and more of them realized that the experiment was not a success. Some, after physical death, left to join those from the previous successful civilization, who had migrated to other planetary systems within the physical structure. * * * * While the civilization of the Lumanians was highly concentrated, in that they made no attempt to conquer others or to spread out to any great extent in area, they did set out, over the centuries, outposts from which they could emerge and keep track of the other native peoples. These outposts were constructed underground. From the original cities and large settlements there were, of course, underground connections, a system of tunnels, highly intricate and beautifully engineered. Since these were an aesthetic people, the walls were lined with paintings and drawings, and sculpture was also displayed along these inner byways. * * * * Of course, they had complete records of underground gas areas and intimate knowledge of the inner crusts, keeping careful watch upon and anticipating earth tremors and faults. They were as triumphant about their descent into the earth as any race ever was who left the earth.
It’s obvious that Strieber and Seth are describing the same thing. It’s such a graphic description of a crypto-civilization (and the most detailed in the Seth material) that I’ve spent many years wondering about it. And I’ve decided that it has merit... specifically, in the idea that the tunnels left by the Lumanians (and the elaborate art that decorated them) were occupied by later primitive civilizations, who copied their art in the form of cave drawings. In fact, of all the stories of crypto-civilizations throughout the New Age literature, it’s the only one I’m inclined to believe—mostly because Seth is so specific, and his description corresponds with what is currently known about Neolithic civilizations.
So, this causes me to wonder: Did Strieber read “Seth Speaks” and unconsciously appropriate the story? It can’t be ruled out. But Strieber has never (to my knowledge) mentioned Seth or given any indication that he’s familiar with the material. (Seth is, admittedly, not amenable to casual reading, and while the material is seminal, it’s rarely cited.) Or did Strieber actually project into the distant past and view the Lumanian civilization? That’s what I thought when I read “The Secret School.” So there’s the paradox.