Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seth: Differentiate Between Primary and Secondary Experience

Seth, The Nature of the Psyche, Session 799

Seth: Now, Physically your body has a stance in space and time.

I will speak of primary and secondary experience. Let us call primary experience that which exists immediately in sense terms in your moment of time--the contact of body with environment.

I am creating certain divisions here to make our discussion---or (with a smile) monologue-easier. Therefore, I will call secondary experience that information that comes to you through, say, reading, television, discussion with others, letters, and so forth.

The secondary kind of experience is largely symbolic. This should be clear.

Reading about a war in the middle of a quiet sunny afternoon is not the same thing as being in the war, however vivid the description.

Reading about the energy shortage is not the same as sitting in a cold house.

Reading about the possible annihilation of mankind through nuclear destruction or other stupidities, while you are sitting calmly enough in your living room, is obviously far divorced from the actuality described in an article.

At the levels with which we are concerned, the body must primarily react to present, immediate, primary existence in space and time.

At other levels it is equipped to handle many kinds of data, in that I have mentioned before the precognition of cells. But the body depends on the conscious mind to give it a clear assessment of precise conditions of the space and time it occupies. It depends upon that knowledge.

If you are safely ensconced in a comfortable room, in no present danger, your senses should accurately convey that information.

Your conscious mind should assimilate it. It should be an easy enough accomplishment to look around you and see that you are in no danger.

Your conscious mind is meant to give your body an assessment of what I will call cultural conditions, for there are sophistications and specifications that in your terms consciousness alone can assess.

If, under conditions naturally safe in the terms of primary experience, you become overwhelmed by unsafe signals from secondary experience - that is, from your reading or whatever-you show a lack of discrimination.

You are not able to differentiate between the physically safe present situation, and the imagined, which is perhaps unsafe, calling forth the alarms of danger.

The body mechanisms become highly disoriented. The signals to the body are very contradictory, so that after a while, if such conditions continue, you can no longer tell whether you are in actual danger or imagined danger.

Your mind then forces your body to be in a state of constant alert- but more unfortunately, you train yourself to ignore your direct, sensual feedback in the present moment.

Your body then might say you are safe, and your senses show you that no danger is present-yet you have begun to rely so upon secondary experience that you do not trust your creature reactions.

Because of man's great gift of imagination, however, the alarm signals not only invade a safe present moment, but go jangling into the next one and the one following, and are endlessly projected into the future.

To whatever extent, and in whatever fashion, each individual is therefore robbed of his or her belief in the personal ability to act meaningfully or with purpose in the present.

The body cannot act tomorrow, today.

Its sense data must be clear. This resulting feeling of powerlessness to act leads to a state of hopelessness of varying degrees-and that mood does not tie itself to specific details, but pervades emotional life if it is allowed to.

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